Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Long Time No Write. Time to Catch Up

Long time no write. Two weeks is an eternity for a blogger. But I have an excuse. Having Gilda at home because of her broken wrist disrupted my normal routine. However, too much of a good thing, like too much candy or cake, can be detrimental to one’s senses, though I have learned some new skills, such as how to affix earrings to her ears, how to hook up a bra (so counterintuitive to most men’s experiences). 

Gilda went back to work Monday. We resumed our chauffeur-client status, meaning I get up at 6 am to drive her to work, return home and then go back to pick her up at the end of her shift at Mount Sinai Hospital. Today we’re hoping it’s “coming off day,” as in, the cast finally will be removed from her left, dominant hand, wrist. I will still have to drive her around until she regains full use of her extremity, but we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel later this afternoon. 

Meanwhile, some updates on previous blogs and some new tidbits to chew over:

Inspired Celebration: Though she admitted she prefers harder than her mother’s matzo balls, Ellie’s Rosh Hashana batch mostly melted in one’s mouth. Even more savory were the two types of ruggelach she baked. The hit of the evening, even topping my brisket (prepared under Gilda’s watchful eye).  Ellie also reminded me she made kreplach, one of my favorite foods, for my birthday.

Rosh Hashana is the earth’s birthday, number 5775, according to the Jewish religion. For only the second time in 19 years Ellie did not sing with our cantor during our congregation’s New Year’s services. For many worshippers it seemed the holiday was a little less whole. She had good reason to demur. She didn’t want to feel queasy in front of them. For those who didn’t get my drift, Ellie and husband Donny are expecting their first child, our third grandchild, in late March-early April.

While the congregation didn’t get to enjoy Ellie’s singing, our family did during a back-to-nature communion on the second day of Rosh Hashana. Instead of going to temple, we celebrated Rosh Hashana at Croton Gorge Park and Croton Point Park. We recited prayers, read children’s books to Finley, Dagny and their cousin Elliot, took a hike to the top of the dam, Ellie sang and we blew the shofar. Gilda had bought toy rams’ horns for the kids. I trumpeted our elongated shofar. It was one of the more inspirational Rosh Hashana commemorations I have experienced.

Giant Turnaround? Perhaps I was too hasty in my criticism of the NY Giants. They’ve played much better in winning their last two games. I even picked them in one of my football pools. A good test will come Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Farewell to the Captain: I’ve previously expressed my admiration for Derek Jeter, the now retired captain of the New York Yankees. His grace under pressure and ability to conquer the moment separated him from other players, many who were more talented and skilled than he. But as I wrote back on September 12, 2009,  

“Watching Jeter year-in, year-out brings joy to any true baseball fan. Sure he’s had a full reel of highlights. But it’s the everyday work ethic and performance that impresses me.

“During the early Joe Torre years it seemed whenever we needed a late score, if Jeter led off an inning he ignited a rally. Because he was not a home run hitter, or exceptionally fast, or had the best arm or range at shortstop, Jeter made you feel comfortable, made you feel that you too could do his job if only you had dedicated your life to his career choice, to baseball. But then he’d corral a pop up into short left field with an over the shoulder, back to the infield catch and you’d say, ‘I couldn’t do that.’ or he’d glide into the hole and do one of his now patented jump throws to first, and you’d say, ‘I couldn’t do that.’ or he’d hit a home run when you least expected it, as he did to become Mr. November in the Series against Arizona in 2001, and you’d say, ‘I couldn’t do that, not under the pressure, the constant pressure, he’s under.’”

I won’t recount his exploits during his last game at Yankee Stadium or the last game of his career at Fenway Park in Boston. Suffice to say, I doubt there will be another player who will make as many favorable memories as Derek Jeter did during his 19-year career.

Shoah. Showa: Reading an Op-Ed piece in Tuesday’s New York Times (“Hirohito: String Puller, Not Puppet”), I was struck by the similar sounding names Shoah and Showa. Showa, the author wrote, is how Emperor Hirohito is known in Japan. During his reign from 1926 to 1989, Japan modernized and militarized. During the Showa period, wrote Herbert P. Bix, Japanese aggression “took the lives of at least 20 million Asians (including more than three million Japanese) and more than 100,000 citizens of Western Allied nations, primarily the United States and Britain.”

Shoah is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust when six million European Jews were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators. 

Ready When You Are, C.B., (as in DeMille): My acting career has hit a scheduling bump. Show Me a Hero, an HBO mini-series filming in Yonkers, alerted me my services as an extra were wanted. But the date they offered conflicted with another appointment, so I must now wait for them to find a mutually convenient time slot. At least I’m not waiting tables until my big break comes, unless, of course, you consider all the cooking and cleaning I’m doing during Gilda’s convalescence from her broken wrist.