Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting for the Compass - finally, one of my stories will be published - pistachios are my new favorite nut, low in carbs, hi in succulence

Knowing you, you're probly wondering why I set my timer for an hour. That's when I'll drive to Hatboro to see the final Compass proofs before Mark prints them out. Jerry Boggs of Boggs Printing just walked the disc over b/c the file was too big to email.

Listen, I don't know what any of this stuff means. I just repeat it. Rene did a great job w/the graphics design.

This is not the New Yorker, which is virtually error-proof, so I had to keep checking and rechecking for mistakes.

Oh, listen to this. My bank - American Heritage Federal Credit Union - my main source for stealing pens - came up with a new pen, the one on the right.

"I don't know if I can deal with this, Tina," I said when I went to deposit the receipts from last nite's meeting. In fact, the new pen is worse! It doesn't write immediately. Why oh why didn't they check with me first.

So yesterday I went to Scott's so we could nap together during the Rockford Files. I brot the proofs over and lay in bed shuffling thru them.

"The busy executive at work," he said.

"Am I really an executive?" I asked as I was going thru the pages.

He could barely say yes cuz he was falling asleep.

Anyway, now at last I can relax.

Oh, remember when I said no one will publish my poems?

Today I got an email from an online publication I've never heard of called Haggard and Halloo. It's very impressive. They're gonna publish a story I wrote called Spanish Arches. It's about my search for a house, this very house I live in on Cowbell Road.

This summer I went thru a frenzy of submissions. Can't remember the names of the mags where I submitted them.

Goggle is doing me wrong. They refuse to list the website of Haggard and Halloo where I tell them to. Find it yourself.

Yesterday I did a little sleuthing. If you'd like to live a few doors down from me, here's an empty house you can bid on at auction. Of course, I'll have to interview your first to make sure you're a suitable neighbor. Friendliness is a must. I'd also like a more ethnically diverse neighborhood.

These are the people who left in the middle of the night. I feel sorry for the kids.

View thru living room window. It's b'ful inside.

Let's trespass into the huge beautiful backyard. And don't slip on the moist deck, Ruthie, which of course I did, but didn't fall.

Matching shed out back.

The perfect place to relax and drink some blackberry brandy, as I did at Goddard College many years ago. It was great! I learned for the first time how to get drunk. Isn't that what college is for?

The back door has this old-fashioned doorbell. Of course I rang it and felt melancholia when no one answered and thought about the family that used to live there: Steve and Anissa and their three kids.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas excitement mounts on my street w/ beautiful lights/ Poem: November

Nothing more beautiful than steam rising from the tea cup. It reminded me of a poem I wrote when I used to drink coffee. Find "November" at the end of this post.

Since I finished my work today by four, I went over Donna's to watch two films on Turner Classic Movies: An early Hitchcock film called Stage Fright (1950) starring the young and beautiful Jane Wyman. Married four times, she died in 2007 at the age of 90. As we know Ronnie's third wife - Nancy Reagan - is still alive at 90.

Lana Turner starred as a high-paid fashion model in A Life of her Own (1950). I loved looking at her tailored clothes and interiors of 1950s apartment buildings. Lemme try and find us a picture of her.
Lana is at the far right. Co-star Ann Dvorak is her friend and Tom Ewell is the head of the modeling agency.

And good news! My platter is fixed, thanks to Scott and SuperGlue.

Here it is back home on its beautiful ladder, the ladder of life, the ladder of love, the ladder of success.

Lastly, ladies and gentlemen, since I just came home from Donna's I had to take my evening pills. Remember how many I used to take? Now I'm down to three at nite. That's three pills, HS, Latin for "before bed" - "hora somni."

After I finish this blog, I'm gonna see what Bill Hess of Wasilla is up to. You may too by clicking here and you'll be magically transported to moose country, Alaska.

And, then, I've gotta revise one of the chapters in my kidney memoir titled "Hello Brad Pitt, Let me Show you my Lithium." He was working on the movie 12 Monkeys here in Philly and psychiatrist Laszlo Gyulai, then head of the bipolar unit at Penn, called and asked me to be on the panel of experts. It's a great story.


The electric fan sits idle
in these darkening days
balancing the cup of coffee
that warms my hands
against the winter chill.

The leaves on my sturdy maples
tremble, then drop
one by one
sucked by those great,
immovable forces
that hold and bind us all,
the birth of babies,
the rhythmic seasons,
the toss of ocean waves
the hurricane's deadly whine
the soprano's lullaby.

The crisp breeze
sweeps more leaves
to their grassy descent
the sky to open
to be revealed
rippling with clouds.........barrelsful!
coming in at high strut
like circus figures on parade
the jolly tamer of lions.......see!
tumbling and rolling.....bumping into view
of a divine white softness
and hue,
then, on signal,
fragmenting and bowing out.

PS - I really think this poem is terrific. I just love it. But I'll betcha I can try to get it published on a thousand different poetry sites and no one will have it.

Also, the reason I use those unsightly ellipses (......) is b/c goggle won't let me leave spaces between words. Hmmm, I'll betcha the Mac would let me do it. I'm up to the part in the Steve Jobs' bio where they just introduced the Mac. Steve was 27.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Back to Glencairn and more!

Temple Grandin, read below.

Hey, did you read in Gail Collins's Times editorial that someone asked the simply awful Republican candidates what their lowest moments were? Rick Perry said he had a hole in his soul until Jesus saved him (good for you, Rick, cement yourself w/ the religious right, you phony, who doesn't know how to complete a), Herman Cain cried as he talked about his bout with cancer (how your bouts with women?) and Ron Paul, who is anti-everything, couldn't think of anything to say until he confessed he didn't get on the track team in high school. I'm crying for ya, right now, Ron.

My lowest moment was today when we visited Cairnwood Museum - more later - and I stood by the railing on the seventh story and thot about how people will themselves to jump to their death. Should I run for president?

Anyway, guess who visited this morning? The Abington Destroyer.

This platter was given to me by childhood friend Nancy Wolen. Grace was so fast I didn't see her when she threw the platter from the shelf to the ground.

Roll the photos of the cutie-pie anyway:

Dan is helping me with Amazon. My account got screwed up so he helped me order Eat Right and Live Longer by Dr Joel Fuhrman. It's for my 89-yo mom who has been food-obsessed since she became my mom.

Nicole said this is Grace's Sgt. Pepper's jacket. It's so cute, let's have another photo....

Say bye-bye to Bubby. Dan did me the great favor of helping me rake my front yard leaves and trim the forthithia in the back yard. We were both shocked at how much energy is takes to rake. My left arm was killing me for two days after I got my flu shot, but it's back to Norma today.

The real reason I wanna blog is to show myself - and YOU, of course - I would never abandon you, Dear Reader - the photos of the awesome trip that Scott, my sister Donna and I took to Glencairn Museum. Ready?

Here's one of the tour guides, Reade McArdelle, talking to Donna. He had a b'ful black ponytail, just like Donna often does. The Swedenborgs are an amazing religion - tolerant of everyone! They're Christians who believe in an Afterlife, as I don't, and who believe in giving service to their community.

Glencairn is a National Historic Landmark registered with the National Park Service of America.

Can't remember if I loaded this or not.

Entrance to Glencairn. Lions are on the outside of the door, Lambs on the inside. This seven-story home of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn and their nine little lambs (children) was turned into a museum in 1984, I think, after Mildred's death.

Beautiful decorated door, next to beautiful Hannah Simons. She was our guide when Ada and Friends toured here a month ago. We got two free tix b/c they were doing construction and we couldn't see all the galleries.

Here's our elevator series. Even if you are not claustrophobic, you may be when you go on this tiny elevator. The way to overcome it is to take photos or make jokes.

This photo came out so good, it could be an award-winning photo. Don't you think? This is an elevator shot.

The alleviator took us to the seventh-floor where we could stand out on the balcony. Neither Donna nor I could move to the railing, we were so terrified. It reminded me of climbing the Lighthouse at one of the Jersey shore points.

Even great museums have (guess the name of the bug)?

You're just lucky, said Donna, that I like you today. And, Donna, you're just lucky I didn't push you over the railing.

From up here we could actually see downtown Philly. We could also see Holy Redeemer Hospital, where Grace was born.

Scott commented that the way Philadelphia looked - off in the distance, about 20 miles, just sitting there - "the mist-enshrouded city looked like the Emerald City. I thought it was kind of eerie looking."
Overlooking this b'ful tiled roof.

On each floor there are docorations in the hallway such as these Moorish-style mosaics. I couldn't help myself and touched the cold tile with the back of my fingers.

View from another part of the house. Pitcairn just loved putting in all these beautiful windows.

One of the tourists was photographing a view down the stairs, so I did too. I started saying something to him, but he left. Donna said, "Ruth, he doesn't care that you had surgery and wouldn't been here a year ago." I disagree. I was dying to tell someone about my surgery, but there was no one to tell.

The Chapel. Above the lamp is Hebrew writing, possibly the prophets foretelling the coming of Jesus. I did, quite honestly, thank Jesus or any other deity who may have been listening - and that includes you, Persephone, goddess of the dead for eating six pomegranate seeds - thanks for the back surgery. Then it went outa my mind. That's called "processing your emotions."

You can't live forever!

This was our guide, Gwenda, the good witch, from the Wizard of Oz.

The embalming room.

For you amateur embalmers out there, here's some instrux. Read graf two about the brains.

Osiris, god of the dead, with Cleopatra, one of the most educated women of her day.

Egyptian male. Everything in this room is at least 6,000 years old.

This is a new gallery at Glencairn. Here are two wooden statues. On the left is Madonna and Son. You will notice, said Gwenda, that he is very adult-like and this is not a carving for the populace, but for the clergy only. It was also carried in parades.

Medieval stained glass. Note the preponderance of three's, undoubtedly an unconscious reference to baseball - three strikes and you're out, etc.

I really got to know and love the Bible when I was a student at TU. Vernon Gras was my professor and elegantly explained the great books to us, including the Book of Job. As you know, I'm reading the bio of Steve Jobs, and I often call him JOBES while reading the book.

Romanesque statuary. Listen, I have no idea what that means. I'm just taking a guess.

Ah, another hallway decoration. I really dug this. The sign read, "Telephus and The Hind." These Greek myths are so sad, I suggest you wait till tomro before reading, so you won't cry for Telephus all nite.

Mr. Pitcairn pays tribute to the workers who helped build his house. It took all of 13 years.

Tombstone for a Greek girl who was buried below.

Leave room for the cream, please. Over 2,000 years old.

Aphrodite herself, minus a full schnozzola. I always wondered what she looked like. As a Jew, I was deprived of seeing what our great heroes looked like - Moses, Jahway, David, Bathsheba, Patrick and Nancy - b/c one of the 10 commandments is "Thou shalt make no graven images."

Can you make out the linen bedspread in the Pitcairn bedroom?

View from the meer in the Pitcairn bedroom.

Mommy and Daddy had a huge baffroom. Here's Mommy's sink. Daddy's is on the other side and far higher on the wall, b/c he was a very tall man.

Daddy's towel bar.

The sleeping porch.

There's not one place to look at that is not beautiful. This is the hallway. The wood paneling, often teak, had many secret doors, such as one leading to the laundry closet. Hooks in the hallway held dirty clothes, so the maids could just grab it and take it to the laundry. We did not see the laundry room.

Nativity scenes from all over the world were in the Great Hall.

My favorite nativity scene. From South America.

When leaving, we saw the annexation of the New Church's library across the street. Fountains were sprinkling. The college is expanding and, according to Gwenda, has a top-notch program.

On our way home, we stopped at Angelo's in Southampton to pick up a pizza for dinner.

Scott's waiting for me at his house. We're gonna watch the HBO film Temple Grandin. I saw a preview of it and immediately reserved it at my library.