Tag Archives: weddings

How Do The Obamas, e.g., Michelle This Weekend, Officiate At Weddings?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.




When I saw a news story this morning that Michelle Obama had officiated at a wedding over the weekend, it got me thinking. I kind of knew that ex-First Ladies do not have an automatic right to perform marriages. Yes, she, as a very qualified lawyer, could easily be a Justice of the Peace (JP), but I had never heard of her mentioned as a JP. Then I vaguely recalled that I had also read that Barack had officiated at a wedding.

Is that a prerogative of a President and does it get carried over even when he leaves office.

I had to look it up.

Aaaahhhh! Simple when you know. They became ‘Temporary Officiants‘. In their case that would not been very hard. Cool. Neat. Glad I looked it up.

I wanted to share.


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by Anura Guruge

NYC De Blasio Pizza ‘Forkgate’ Is Nothing Compared To Dilema Sri Lankans Face With Eating Rice & Curry.

New York’s new mayor Bill de Blasio struggling with a pizza. From ‘The New York Times’. Please click to access full coverage and story.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


by Anura Guruge


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A pretty representative picture (from 'supersana.com'). WE really eat with your fingers rather than your hands per se, though this is not always the case with Indians.

A pretty representative picture (from ‘supersana.com’). WE really eat with your fingers rather than your hands per se, though this is not always the case with Indians.


When I saw the ‘Forkgate‘ story on TV this morning my heart went out to poor De Blasio, because I too used to have this same dilemma, albeit not with pizza, but with rice and curry, especially when I was in my 30s and 40s.

Though I don’t eat it often, and haven’t eaten any rice in a year, I do like curry. I assume that that is kind of genetical. I grew up eating rice and curry and that kind of gets you in the groove. In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), at least in my day, everybody ate their rice and curry by hand — a rice & curry meal consisting of rice (invariably white), dahl (lentils of varying consistency and spiciness) and one or more meat, fish, potato or vegetable curry. You combined a bit of rice, a bit of dahl and one of more of the curries in your hand and then put that in your mouth. You only used your fingers and those of just your right hand. In Ceylon that is how you would remind people as to which was their right hand — the one they ate with.

fingerbowlsOK, for the purposes of full disclosure, I used to be fed, by hand, by my grandmother during most of the 13.9 years I lived in Ceylon — departing in August 1976, a week prior to my 14th birthday. No, I wasn’t anymore disabled or incapable as I am now. And it was not laziness by any means. It had to do with my Type AA++++ personality where I can’t even brush my teeth unless I am reading something. And reading, my lifelong vice, was the problem. We didn’t have TV in Ceylon when I was growing up. So, I used to read — non-stop, in both Sinhalese and English, from the time I was three. I read in the car, I read in the bathroom, I read in bed, I read everywhere. Just like now I was surrounded by books. And here was the problem with rice & curry. Given the need to combine the food it is not really possible to read and eat rice & curry, effectively, even if you use a spoon and fork. I basically, even at 13, would rather read than eat — though nobody would have ever accused me of being undernourished. That had to do with my grandmother. She took care of me ever since I was born. She had me on a super-rich diet, of eggs, butter, meat and fish. And because I had my face in a book or comic, she would sit and my side, for long periods of time, and put food in my mouth when I opened it. Now, this does not in any way mean that I was spoilt.

Well, after I left Ceylon there was nobody to feed me. So I had to fend for myself. Plus I didn’t eat rice & curry on a daily.

bohra-cuisine-thaalI enjoyed eating with my fingers. I could do it well. I used to make fun of Sri Lankans who didn’t eat with their fingers. When I was in my mid-20s and moved into marketing I started wearing my trademark french-cuffed white-shirts, cuff-links, colorful ties and ‘fancy’ suits on a daily basis. I still ate, at lunch, if I was at an Indian, with my fingers. In those days Indian restaurants served finger bowls, in varying degrees of fanciness, before and after your meal. I ate with my fingers in 5-star hotels in India and Sri Lanka. That what you did. Then I started, while visiting Paris, to sometimes use a spoon and fork. That used to bother me. I used to go back and forth. Used my fingers in the U.K., spoon and fork in Paris!

By the time I was in my mid-40s the matter was settled. I didn’t eat rice & curry that often, BUT when I did I didn’t use my fingers. A couple of years ago we were invited to a Sri Lankan house in Massachusetts for rice & curry and I did eat with my fingers just to prove that I could.

So, I feel for De Blasio.

Now some Indians, especially Southern Indians, eat with their hands. They move the rice & curry to their palm and even squeeze it. They will drink the liquid that comes out. That is messy. I have never done that.

Now just to make some of you cringe, I have also partaken in communal eating — with your fingers, from the same plate! As I have stressed in these posts, Ceylon, when I was growing up, was pleasantly multicultural. We would go to muslim weddings. Being asked to partake in communal eating is a sign of kinship. I was young. Never bothered me. I knew the folks and there were strict protocols. Not sure whether I could do it now. Deanna cringes even when I mention it …


NH Car Registration Fee Rate, $18 per $1,000 ‘list’ Price

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge

As with the length of wait for a permanent license after online renewal, the ‘above’ was another piece of information that I could not easily locate using Google.

So, yesterday we had to register the KIA we had bought on June 28, 2012 from the (still) good folks at TEAM KIA, Concord.

I had to confess, I was taken aback by how much it was to register. But, as the lady pointed out, NH must get its revenue in someway. I understand that (to my cost, since I also get hit on ‘income and dividend‘).

The rate, at least as it applies in Alton, NH, is $18 per $1,000 of ‘list price’ — with the list price per the NH DMV database, which I am sure only has average prices across a given model line. So, though we have the basic model, I am sure that the list price they used was that averaged out across all the models of that make. C’est la vie.

Hope this helps.

How Long Before You Receive Permanent Plastic Driver License After Online Renewal.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


2017 update HERE — Click.


Having renewed my license online on Thursday, June 28, 2012, I did a Google on the ‘above subject’ out of curiosity. I was surprised by the paucity of useful results I got. So, let me help out by stating how long it took in my case: 20 days.

Renewed: Thursday, June 28, 2012.

Received it by mail: Wednesday, July 18, 2012.

20 elapsed days, 13 working days not counting the day I renewed or the day I received it. We had July 4th on a Wednesday, which I am sure added at least a day. So roughly 2 working weeks. That seems OK — given that the DMV allows itself 2 months to deliver it.

I do not know the details at all, but I think that the NH DMV, like all others, now has to submit all driver renewal applications to a Federal agency for review and approval. So that must account for some of this wait period.

The one thing that I find disquieting is that the license is sent ordinary mail with the ‘State of New Hampshire’ credentials printed large. I worry that I could have lost my license in the mail … and then the hassle of trying to get another one. I don’t know if it has changed but this also used to be the case with Green Cards. Sent normal mail. I had a very nice correspondence with Senator John Sununu on this matter.

I now it is always a cost issue, postage and the extra handling, but, I for one, would gladly pay an extra $5 to $6 to have the OPTION of having it sent certified, with signature required. That would make me so much happier, just because I think (though I have no experience) that trying to get a license reissued will most likely cost me more than $6 in added hassle. So to me, it is like insurance. Anyway, hope this helps.


Of late, ANOTHER one of the many, many things that continually intrigue me has become: ‘how many XXX per year … per day‘. Yesterday I was talking to a local photographer who was lamenting that he only has 3 wedding engagements booked for the whole year. I was trying to figure how many weddings … and marriages … we have around ‘here’ each year. He reckons 50. That could be weddings, i.e., a reception of some sort. That seems low to me.

So, today’s question. How many driver license renewals a day in NH?

Obviously the DMV knows that, but I am not sure they will tell me. More fun to try and estimate. 1,318,194 souls in NH per the 2011 census. 21.2% under 18. So, lets assume that 25% are under 16 and that another 20% do not drive. So 55% of 1,318,194 is 725,006. 5 year renewal cycle, so per year we could just take 1/5 of that (and yes, I know we have those taking the test for the first time etc., but I don’t need exact): 145,000. Divide that by by 365: 397.

Seems about right to me. ~400 license renewals in NH a day. Do you have a better number?