Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Extra Ordinary

Yesterday I saw Vincent Van Gogh crossing the street to 30th Street Station.  His hair and beard were closely cropped and glowed in the morning light with a peachy ginger color that was both pale and vibrant if such is possible.  His clothing was black with straps and buckles hanging loose.  His face was gaunt, as what else would it be, but he looked homeless.  No hat in the 21st century.  I did not stop to ask where he was keeping the paintings.

Today I saw a Muslim girl by a bus stop dressed mostly in black with the ubiquitous head scarf tied around her neck, not flowing over her back as sometimes happens.  She wore an India print dress that featured a brilliant print over what would be the apron if she wore one. I'm not sure what she was going for there.
 The effect was Romanian Peasant circa 1930 or so. 

 I wish I had a photo of either but driving and photography is still kind of touchy.
 One day the cameras will be in our heads.  Probably they will cause headaches but the government will know exactly what we are up to.  How scary is that?  The gain will be less than the loss of freedom I'm thinking.

Friday, April 05, 2013


My friend Bruce writes a blog for a poetry magazine in, I don't know, New Zealand? And he decided to write about getting old, although he has wanted to be old since he was 14.  He wears old man hats that are too small, and a heavy beard that combine to make him look Hassidic although he is less than religious.
He wears button down vests, heavy brogues and tweed whenever possible and never have I seen in in just a t-shirt as other men wear on a regular basis.
This was my reply to his story.
Last week on the phone, a customer, heavy and black and in her sixties, told me that I was an attractive elderly woman. I said that I did not consider myself to be elderly.
"Are you in your thirties?" "the woman i saw in the store?" I said no, I was in my sixties and I was the one who she saw, and did not disabuse her notion that 
Rollin had fixed her lamps when in fact it was largely my effort.
"Then you a very attractive elderly lady".
With her, the emphasis appeared to be on attractive, but what I heard, was her saying I was elderly.
I thanked her and w hung up, but despite my growing distaste for the state of my facial skin sagging and wrinkling,and the barrage of aches and pains, I feel I am barely An adult, and hardly elderly, but I could be mistaken.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Health Food

Last night went out with an old friend from high school.  His wife was attending an acupuncture meeting in new Hampshire or something.   We went to a Chinese restaurant and I allowed him to order his favorite dish from there: spicy tofu.  I am not a big tofu fan but after a bit I said  This is really good!  Then I thought for a while and said You know what we are eating?  This is General Tso's Tofu!!  It was lousy with sweetener and the tofu was fried!!!

The joke was on him.  I don't think that was so healthy after all!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rest STOP!!

Nory was driving home from the shore and decided to call a friend who lived halfway home to see if they were up for company.
When she  got  the voice mail she figured; so okay, not going there, but in front of me is a gas station with very cheap gas, and I really need some. While I am there why not use the bathroom if it is not too gross and there is no giant key on a boat paddle to drag around?  There was no key and it was a large tiled room with a sink, toilet, hand dryer and a urinal.  When getting out of the car, she thought, should I take the keys? And she answered herself in her head; how long am I gonna be in there?  I'll just take the phone.  It was not the fanciest, but today one does not leave the phone.

How did this make sense? The car was worth way more than the phone, and the radio was still on,  but she had confidence in the young Indian looking man who spoke very good English, and sported a navy sweater vest over a white T-shirt.
The vest was kind of odd, but so is life, and Nory  kept her bag over her shoulder so it would not get all germy on the floor or walls or sink or anything.  It was pretty clean in there not really clean but then again not gas station dirty.  She washed her hands, dried with the industrial leaf blower in the wall and then tried the door handle.

When she came in she had wondered, should I lock this door?  She did not know where that came from.  Of course you lock the door!  Who wants someone walking in on you?  You can't stand up, you cannot push the door closed.  It was not a stall, it was a room you could put a roller rink in and have room for the disabled seating as well.  Now she was going back over her previous thoughts.  I told you not to lock this door!

There is a button on the wall behind the handle of a mop.  It says something like: push button if rest room needs attending.  That's odd, am I in an elevator?  Nory is more than perplexed.  She is locked in the rest room, and though it is not too dirty she does not wish to touch any surfaces not previously touched by herself  in the last few minutes. She pushed the button.

The young man comes to the heavy metal door, and like a man asks "what have you done?"  "Turn it to the right!"  But she has turned it to the left, right and in the middle and the bolt in the door frame is just plain not moving.  She tries to call her friend who lives right down the road, but the room is metal and she cannot call through, though later, she sees that a call has gone through.

There is much jimmying, shivvying, juking, shaking and banging on the door. The echoes of the tile walls are incredible and Nory covers both ears with her hands, making sure that her purse does not leave her shoulder. Bam bam Bam Bam, he is hitting the metal door with a hammer, and the sound is deafening!

She tries a nail file like they do in movies, she inserts it into the crack and lifts it and it hits the bar just as if it were a deadbolt, no business card or credit card was going to do the trick.  Her Swiss Army knife was too heavy to carry, and she had taken it out of her bag years ago, plus, she could never get it on a plane, but if she had it, the screws for the doorknob were on her side of the door, as were the giant hinges.  The hinges would need a hammer and a very big screwdriver, but the gas jockey, between continually running out to fill people's tanks, slipped the tip of a screwdriver under the door.  It was too short to get any leverage.
She slipped it in her back pocket.  And stands away from the door, should he somehow push it into the room.

They are getting tired.  "Should we call 911?" he asked.  "I really don't think I want to do that yet," Nory tells him, thinking how embarrassing that would be: headline news: Woman Stuck in Jersey John!

Finally, in a move where he completely misunderstands Nory, he decides to hit the doorknob, which is the cheapest part of the assembly and which, eventually bends and falls to the floor, but the lock mechanism stays stuck in the round hole of the door.  It is some time with both of them pushing pulling and scraping at the metal bar, but at last he gets some purchase on it, and it falls to the floor, and the door swings open.

Nory walks out and hands him back the screwdriver wondering do I really have to pay for the gas now?
"You are pretty good from that," he said, "Some customers would be terrible".  Nory's mind is asking: is this not the first time this has happened?  She asks how much for the gas, and it is the same 40 dollars she told him not to exceed. She suggests taking a photo to commemorate the occasion but it seems too awkward. She did not even look at the pump to check the amount as she got into the car, still slightly shaken by the small misadventure, but she did get a receipt for the forty dollars.

She called her friend so that he would not come running over with tools when she was already gone. " Nory, I'm really busy here, honestly," he said.
"I'm sure you are" she said, and hung up.  He was not listening to me at all, she decided, now I just look like some kind of nag for calling 3 times.
 The hell with it, she considered, I'm going to get a doughnut at Johnson's farm and go home.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Look Into My Eyes

When was the last time you looked a stranger in the eyes?
 In Italy if you looked into a man’s eyes, he would immediately think you wanted to sleep with him, and he would put on the moves- fortissimo.
Today I ate lunch in a place for concerts where there was a guy playing gorgeous guitar and singing with a beautiful tone. He has more hair than sideshow Bob and it was all gray, as was his prodigious beard. Normally, I would not look at this guy to save my life, but I wanted to see who was underneath. I looked into as much of his eyes as I could see beneath the hair, and eyeglasses, and he saw me. It was loud in there, and my friend was yakking away but I only wanted to listen to the music. I wanted to make a friend. We left before the set ended but he will be around, and next time he will look at my eyes.
Try it today or tomorrow, just look and see what happens.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Home Diva

Usually I get my best ideas by hearing something wrong.  The other day, I was in the back of the shop, stringing up crystals, when I heard someone mention going to Home Diva.  Wow! where is that store? I know a million girls who would like to go there.  It turns out, that was not what they had said at all.  My mind understood something that I thought I would like instead of something mundane that I already knew.  I did not even know what would be at Home Diva once I got there, but I was sure I would like it.  So, just in case, I got the fictitious name registered, and I am the new home diva.  What I do with that remains to be seen.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

What to bring to a Potluck Dinner

A couple years ago, I read an article in Esquire Magazine.  It involved tiger shrimp and cannelini beans and I made it thinking they had a chef do it, so it must be good.  It was not so good and I wrote them the following note.  They, being the snide guys they are only printed the word gremoulata as something pretentious, or oh, I forgot, but they did not print the whole letter. Gremoulata is generally put on lamb and it is chopped garlic, parsley and lemon zest and it can really zing up a dish.


I realize I am never going to get all those wrongs set to right, but I can put my improvements here.  If you want the original recipe, I think you can find it here:

Re: Minor Catastrophe No. 138
I found your recipe for a potluck intriguing.  Let’s face it, someone comes to the door with a load of giant shrimp and nobody’s going to gripe, right?
I thought the recipe was quick and easy, but bland to the taste.
 I mean; why does everyone eat shrimp scampi or shrimp with cocktail sauce?  The reason is because shrimp itself, has a very delicate taste and needs some kind of foil to set it up.  Also, those cannelini beans aka: white northern, soak up a lot of liquid. I added some white balsamic vinegar, Australian sea salt, a couple shakes of hot sauce, the juice of a lime, some fresh thyme from the garden, and just for an even more luxurious mouth feel, an avocado.  I served it on a bed of crisp romaine.  NOW it’s dinner.
If I worked at his restaurant, I would be fired, as I once was for suggesting gremoulata be put on a lamb dish that was lacking.  That’s just me all over.

The truth is, that I was fired for suggesting an improvement in a restaurant kitchen, and because they said I was too slow.  They were right.  I was too slow because 1. my feet hurt, and 2. I was the only person on the waitstaff not stoned to the gills on cocaine, which I told them when they called to fire me on the phone. It did not help my case.