Monday, April 28, 2008

Chasal Siddur Pesach... what did I just have for my first real (aside from a bowl of cereal this morning) post-Pesach chametz meal? A laffa with schwarma and veggies, some of them pretty hot. (Quite excellent. From here.)

Wait a sec. That's not really chametz- in point of fact, it precisely describes a Temple-era seder. You know what? It brought me back to those days, even though I'm eating hurriedly at my desk instead of in luxury (and it was luxury this year, as every year) at the family table.

Actually, that also pretty much describes an original seder as well. Go figure. I'm looking forward to the conference I linked to above, even though it'll likely be pretty bloodless. A malady of the MO, I'll admit, and O in general, especially in Temple-related matters. And one thing I'm not bloodless about is the Mikdash. Ah well. It should still be good. The "seder" certainly was.

(OK, I had fries and a corn muffin too. Neither are chametz either, but they didn't have either back then.)

A couple of politics-related points: I'm listening to Rush online today and, at the top of the hour, get a weird disconnect, as the station switches to Sean Hannity having a conversation- clearly from today- about Jeremiah Wright with Juan Williams and Niger Innis. I actually checked my watch a couple of times- Hannity doesn't come on until later- and then shrugged it off when El Rushbo returned.

Then Hannity comes on and tells us that, in the upcoming show, he'll be talking with...Juan Williams and Niger Innis, about Jeremiah Wright. Now, I know this goes on in radio all the time, and I don't really blame them for it. But it was still interesting to hear.

(I can pick out a host asked a guest questions to elicit pre-recorded answers in a second; I can easily tell when a host hasn't really read the book the author of which he is interviewing. The former is less cool; the latter is really less cool. And unforgivable is reading another's newspaper piece as your own: I've heard hosts- not those mentioned above- do all of these.)

Speaking of Wright, he's been bellowing all over the last couple of days, which means I've gotten to hear him as never before. One thing strikes me: The man seems to operate best with a peanut gallery that he appears to carry along with him. (It reminds me of the "claque" at the end of The Bonfire of the Vanities.) He even brought a bunch to the National Press Club, to cheer on every insane comment he makes. He's probably used to this based on his job, but it strikes me as demagogic, as if I needed any more evidence. I already knew he was a nutcase, and that doesn't speak well for his protege, does it?

Well, that was one rambling post. I chalk it up to a full stomach and a relaxed mind from the last week plus. Onward through Sefirah, all!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Peaceful Coexistence, as the first issue of National Review told us, bunk. But I got a request below for more New York stories, so here goes:

Down the block from my office is a very good kosher lunch-type place (these definitions don't really apply to kosher places) called "Milk and Honey." Right next door is a Lebanese lunch-type place called "Bread and Olive." I always thought the juxtaposition notable, especially during the last war.

Anyway, I passed Milk and Honey today and noticed the windows were all papered over. Not to worry: They're simply closed for Passover, as a sign in the window informs passers-by. And, with horrible grammar (this is, after all, a store that advertises "Hot Bagles" out front), asks the postman to deliver all mail this week to...Bread and Olive, next door.

Either it's the city or food that brings us together. Who knows, but me likey.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Do you think Philologos had any idea what he was getting into with this column? (See the comments.)

This is really some piece by Kristol. This one is pretty good too.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cindy Adams Time

Last night, as the F train pulls out of the Roosevelt Island station, a voice comes over the intercom: "Officer! Grab the kid in the green shirt!" We're in the tunnel and the voice repeats: "The kid in the green shirt! Grab him!"

A few seconds later, the kid apparently caught, the voice (I think it was the engineer, not the conductor) can't resist one more dig: "Oh, you're real smart, aren't you? Spit on the window and then get on the train? Reeeaaaal smart."

Today I'm on the 5 train going down to court. Middle of the day, packed. A couple of gaggles of young German tourists. A couple of men with antipodean accents asking directions to Ellis Island of an older woman. A middle-aged, small Chinese woman screaming about "your Messiah and Savior" in heavily accented English as she walks through the car. And in the middle of it all, a fully-costumed Mariachi band- beaded vests, cowboy hats, and all, at least two guitars and an accordion- playing and singing at the top of their lungs as the train weaves through the tunnel.

Only in New York, kids.