Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dan's 40th B'day Party! So, let it rain! - Poem: Sarah's Cake

 Look, Bubby! He named the cars on his train set. All's I remember is Douglas.

Max has been potty-trained for about 4 days.

My mom and I got there early, which was great, so we could all be together before the party animals arrived.
 And our darling Grace Katherine missed school for about 4 days with some sort of virus.
She was fairly quiet for a while.

 Dan's reading the card from Gram and explaining to Grace about endorsing a check. Darn, I forgot to endorse the two books by Candice Millard I bought for Dan.

Coincidentally, Dan's late father was named Millard "Mike" G Deming. Another person who had no business dying so young. 62, I think. 
 Gram sat on the couch for a couple of hours. Her legs are pretty bad but she walked bravely with one person holding her hand on each side. Donald and Hillary.

Finally! John McCain said he wasn't gonna endorse him.
 Gram had given me Sarah's diploma from Brown. I brot it over asking Dan to give it to Say when she arrived from Bklyn. (He forgot) She didn't plan her trip right and had to leave in about two hours to unlock her apartment for her cousin Nikki.

They're having a party for a very nice man who's dying of cancer. Just as my writer friend Kym died yesterday of cancer.
 Met this interesting fellow Rob, whose family is originally from Staten Island. We have relatives buried there. Great-grandfather Louis, who killed himself; critical Aunt Tay, an artist; and a former friend Susan Axt.Will never forget when her husband Marshall called to tell me. Hadn't realized he was an actor.

Rob, who's half -Italian and half- Puerto Rican was the first to leave Staten Island. Over the years, his family followed. You were the pioneer, I said.

"O Pioneers" was required reading in high school. Did not like it at all, though I LOVE the mostly forgotten author Willa Cather. 

 Rob and his GF have taken a no. of great trips, including to Iceland. Reykjavic. He pronounced it RAKEyaVic.

Told him I'd watched (1) a documentary about the amazing country of 300,000 people (Rob had mentioned with very little crime - was it this? - and  (2) also a Netflix film about Iceland being occupied by Russia.

Actually it's a Norwegian film and was quite good
If YOU could take a trip WHERE would you go? Hmmm. I spose wherever Rick Steves takes us on his show.
Grace took this pic with my camera. Then she took a couple other photos.
Grace made this bus with Legos.

My mom loved the view out the window.

Dunno what this is. Nice colors tho, Grace.

 Hello Tariq.  Big black guy...a Muslim. My support group was having a program on Major Religions of the World and I asked him to come.

He didn't, so I asked Latif.  Tariq now runs an IT school and does very well.
 Grace was kind enuf to get me a glass of water. Max only drinks water. I enjoyed various types of bottled beer, none of which I finished.

Stagger stagger stagger. Lee.
What a joy to see A J, who's now a lawyer in Albany. He and his wife Mara have four b'ful kids. She's originally from Bryn Athyn and his people are from Afghanistan.

He came into the room, looked at me and said Hello. Then, You have no idea who I am.

A J ?

Oh, my, oh, my. He's a year younger than Dan but was in town to drop his son Jovan at the boarding school in Bryn Athyn, PA.

His family lives in Albany, state capital of New York.

Mom, who's hard of hearing, did mention that her nephew, my cousin Mark, was an art prof at SUNY Albany, now retired and living in The Big Apple.

 I seemed to excel in having conversations with Robs. Here's Rob from New Jersey. He, his wife, Anita, and their two kids, Maya and Keiran, are super interesting!

Anita brought a crock full of a spicy lentil dish. She and Mom talked about the sweet and sour lentils my Grandma Lily and also my mom used to make. Nothin like it. From the Settlement Cookbook, which Mom said is in shreds now. 

Rob works from home - most of the guys are in I T, like Dan - so he keeps his own schedule and has trouble sleeping.

Did that ring a bell!  At our ND meeting, we discussed that. Many of our folks take melatonin. Rob has tried it but it doesn't really work.

Why don't you drink wine, I suggested.

I'm an excellent sleeper and usually fall asleep as soon as I turn on a movie. I can get along with very little sleep but then I make up for it.

Scott just came over, said Judgment at Nuremburg is on Channel 12, so I'll go over and watch shortly.

Hope I can stay awake, he said. Scott has a permanent sleep deficit from working the night shift on SEPTA. Here's a story I got published about him and his friends when they were kids. I also emailed it to Pauly, featured in the story, who is deaf, and wondered if he'd feel bad about what I wrote. 
 Rob and Nita brought a great gift.... three huge bottles of liquor.

I had a sip of his rye whiskey.  Delicious!

The shot glass was long and thin and beautiful, like a model.
 At last Sarah arrived!
 She always looks great. My mom was so happy to see her.

The blue cans are seltzer water.


 Evan is a happy laffin kid, who knows to pose for the camera, said his mom.
 Sarah was starving when she arrived and gulped down a cheeseburger. I'd already stuffed myself with Nicole's delicious slow-cooker mac and cheese, and two grilled hot dogs which I painted with a cheese dip and moutarde.
 We took a piece home for my sister Ellen, Gram's protector. Just wrote a poem on the day after.
Maya and little Kieran, which is both a boys and girls name. His mom made a top knot for him. Tub of vanilla ice cream to top off the cake. I had two pieces and kept shooting up insulin. When I got home the first thing I did was check my sugar.

A decent 205, which will gradually descend by itself.

They were playing a Dancing Game.

 Is that you outside, Hilliard?
 Bye bye.
I had to put Wite-Out on the switches on the car so I could see them in the dark when I turned on the front defroster.

Tough to see in the dark and the mist when I drove Mom home.

We made it!

Great time.

Now.... bringing my Trail mix to Scott's to watch Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark, and Judy Garland who plays a traumatized woman.

Great film, made in 1960, a necessary antidote against the evils of the war age. 


She arrived at her brother's
party, cake plate in hand,
after babysitting her
best friend's daughter,
after stopping at the
gym where she works,
then catching a taxi,
called 'a car' in
Brooklyn, who drove her
to the train station,
then stepping carefully
aboard those slippery
steps in the rain,
arranging her white
fishnet stockings before
she sat down - what those
would go for in the war
years where her Grampa had
served as a Marine

Taxiing to the party house
lit up in the twilight
greeted as she entered
by the calico cake
and then entering like
a beauty queen into the
kitchen to resounding
yays and applause.

Was the cake any good?
Do the planets still
revolve around the sun
or the leaves fall
off in autumn?

Yes. That good. Damn good.

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