Sunday, May 31, 2009


First, here's the menu:
Hot chocolate, milk soup, tilapia in cheddar, mac n' cheese, greek salad, cheese blintzes, ravioli, cheese cake and ice cream.

Cheeses eaten with white wine:
Blue, brie, le marcaire, smoked cheddar, and cranberry with port wine cheese.

Several years ago, I bought a few good cheese for Shavuot and ate them with wine with my friend.  After all the wine and cheese, we were wasted like never before.  We barely crawled to shul and drinking a cup of coffee where one third of the cup was coffee and the rest water didn't help.

Having the above incident in mind, I warned my friends, different ones, who came over not to eat too much of the weird cheeses.  Well, the cheeses tasted too good and my warning went unheeded.  After coming to shul, I offered my friend who ate by me some x-mas tea, mint with white tea, but he shrugged it off.

For the afternoon meal, we went to the above mentioned friends.  Turns out that the dude felt so nasty afterwards that he thought he may need to go to the hospital.  At the meal, he refused to eat anything dairy and claimed to swear off cheese until at least next Shavuot.  I, of course, being the good friend that I am, made sure to make fun of him throughout the meal.

Let this be a warning to everyone else.  If you don't usually eat aged or imported fine cheeses, don't spend Shavuot night stuffing yourself with assorted cheese and milk products.  You will feel like crap and you will wish to have never laid eyes on said cheese in the first place.

This has been a public service announcement.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Presenting NY's present.

NY smells stinky.
Go to change him.
Diaper only wet.
Turn to get new diaper.
Turn back with new diaper.
Present on the onesie.
NY happy about present, me, not so much.

MTA SPAM, Part 2

On March 23rd, I wrote about mta_nyc account on twitter tweeting spam together with the regular service announcements.  Recently, I got a reply from MTA that that account is not official and MTA is not responsible for the SPAM.

I don't remember if I checked MTA's info site or not, this is not what this post is about.  I emailed MTA about their website possibly being hacked on March 23rd, the reply came, brace yourselves for this one, on May 14th.  It took MTA over a month and half to respond!  Not only that, but the url for the official site listed in the response was misspelled!

This is what happens when you have a monopoly.  A month and a half waiting time for email inquiries, buses and trains being late up to and over half an hour, half the subway being out of order on the weekends, AC not working in the summer, one technician installing a sign while four others stand around doing nothing, dirt, stink, filth, and always rising prices.

How bad are MTA buses?  Both times wife gave birth, I would start walking from Maimo and meet the bus two to five blocks later.  When working in Brooklyn Navy Yard, I would start walking from Prospect Park and meet the bus halfway, two thirds of the way, two blocks from work, or not at all.  Sinai Academy, Bay Parkway and 79th bus stop, sometimes would meet the bus halfway, sometimes not.  Three or four buses coming at the same time.  Bus driver trainees driving buses full of people.  The moron almost hit a car because he doesn't know how to make a turn!  95%  of the subway not being wheelchair/stroller accessible.  What's the point of that 5%?

Yes, there are new buses and new trains, but the quality of service always stays the same.  The only thing MTA guarantees is an increase in price.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Square 2009

Finally, after a four year hiatus, our shul went for a shabbaton to New Square.  While it was fun, it wasn't quite as enjoyable as the previous times.

We got lucky with the eating arrangements.  Both last time and this time, we ended up eating by an OTD family. They had meat.  Most people in New Square eat only chicken and only with a New Square hashgocha.  There are, however, a few "rebels" who have meat.  Some, even have whisky.  We also got lucky, unlike some of the other people on the shabbaton, to have a host who both, speaks English and who doesn't have men and women sitting at separate tables.

We slept and ate by separate families but both houses were near each other and also within two minutes from shul.  Finished dinner at my usual 1AM, went to the tisch, though didn't stay till the end and left at 2AM.  Shacharis was at a very shabbas nap friendly time of 11AM.  Food was great, though the meat jello, however you call it, I wouldn't touch even if the Rebbe himself gave it to me.

The not enjoyable part was centered around the half-assed organizational skills of the shul.  When we came to the family we were sleeping by, we found out that nobody bothered to warn them that we have a 4 month old infant who needs a crib and not a child bed.  One of my friends, by their hosts, got a mattress to put on the floor for his two and a half year old daughter.

The most fun, however, was had when we came to the Rebbe for a brocha.  There were other people who were let in first because we were a big group so by the time we got into the room it was 2AM.  All the times before, the preggies and families with infants and little kids got the brocha first so they could leave.  This time, a few people from our shul showed just how noble they are.  There was one family with a toddler and a pregnant wife, two families with toddlers, a couple more with little kids.  Who pushed through, ignoring the tired toddlers and babies who were either falling asleep or asleep in their parents' arms?  One of the shul's board members and his wife!  Now, not only were they there by themselves, but they weren't even leaving, they were staying until Sunday!  Then went the gabbai with the preggers wife and toddler, then two other families, and finally us.  The family who was supposed to go next were our friends who were driving us.  Who shoved in front instead, two bochurim, both of whom knew with who we came and who could could very well see me standing with NY in my arms and my mother with Shlomik.  Besides us, there were also other families with kids still waiting, but, apparently the force of the Rebbe's brocha wanes with each consecutive one and it was absolutely imperative that they get in in front.

While we had fun, the enjoyment was marred by these four people's display of selfishness and disregard for others.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

All the cholent you can eat

Essex all you can eat + soup, 19.99 on TwitpicToday we went to Essex on Coney on M. During the week, as she was walking home from express bus, wife saw that on Mondays and Thursdays, Essex has all you can eat, plus soup, plus drink, for $19.99 per person.  For three people, with tax and, for some reason, gratuity, it came out to $75, which is still a good deal.

For soup, there was a choice of split pea soup, taken by wife, chicken noodle, taken by Shlomik, matzha ball, meh, and turkey gumbo, taken by moi.  The turkey gumbo was awesome and will be my permanent choice for any future visits.

For drink, there was free water and a choice of Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite.  In retrospect, I should have asked for a pitcher of juice or tea.  We settled for Coke.

The buffet consisted of salad, sweet and sour chicken, beef with noodles, beef with broccoli, French fries, very nice eggrolls, fried rice, rice with mashrooms and some very strange menu choices.  By strange, I mean kishka and cholent.  What I would like to know is who, in their right mind, would go to a $20 buffet and get cholent and kishka, on Thursday, in a restaurant.  Dude, wait a day and a half, or at least get it from the takeout next door.  The weird thing, as you can see on the picture, is that both trays were almost empty.  We tried everything on this side of the buffet and Shlomik acquiesced to have a couple french fries.

For dessert, we had some layered cake and cheese cake.  Not sure if it was part of the deal, though we weren't charged for it.  If it wasn't, don't leave stuff lying around where I could get to it, because I will eat it.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience and, while I wouldn't do it every week, once a month is definitely a possibility.