Sunday, December 18, 2011

Countdown to Year's End - Scott's Bday - Tap tap for Tapioca (the manioc root) - joke from Dr Eisenman / Poem: The Man Who Loves Animals

Here's some fun things I've been doing. These photos are mostly Leftovers I've been wanting to use.

Went to sister Donna's condo to visit. This is the same condo that flooded so badly two months ago - the creek runs thru it - that people had three feet of water in their living room, some with fish swimming in it.


We watched the The Help on "videoDemand" - I refuse to advertise the real name of the monopolistic company. We watched on her huge curving leather sofa that is freezing to the touch, but we both had blankets.

The Help, about southern maids raising white children in Jackson, Miss. - who grew just as prejudiced as their parents - was a great flick except it didn't seem to know how to end. Tears were streaming down my cheeks by the end of the movie. Ron Howard's daughter Bryce Dallas Howard played an evil southern belle.

You know, we think of the word evil as in Hitler or Stalin or today's Republicans, but when you see all the suffering this woman caused it's fair to call her evil.

Here she is sitting on the extreme right of the park bench. Hilly was her name in the film.

What's a girl to do in these lonely winter nights except to make TAPIOCA. I'm very particular about what I eat. I cannot stand anything artificial. So when you buy a pudding mix or, in this case, tapioca, you can't buy the instant variety - all you taste are artificial flavors. But the Jell-O Cook n Serve variety tastes great!

I hit upon a great idea. After cooking, I let it cool in paper cups. Then I could eat it and throw away the cups. No washing! And it was really fun eating out of paper cups, tho next time I can eat it out of those beautiful wine glasses Helene gave me.

Today she moved into Artman Lutheran Home. I'm sure the Board is debating whether or not to remove the word Lutheran. Other religions live there, like my Jewish friend Helene.

How could anyone resist photographing this guy? New Directions attended the Marine stocking-stuffer event at the Upper Moreland Middle School in the Crematorium, oops, I mean Cafetorium.

They would be sent to the Marines in Afghanistan. What an insidious name Afghanistan has become. When my kids were growing up, they had a friend Afzali - A.J. for short - whose parents hailed from that country, though he'd never been there. We thought nothing of it at the time. What are your memories, Reader, of the country before the debacle.

Afzali's uncle owned the fantastic Afghan restaurant "Yalda's Grill" on Horsham Road in Horsham. When I drove by recently it was shuttered and closed down. I had one meal there, cooked to order, that was outa this world!

Even tho I live in Willow Grove, the nearest PO to me is Bryn Athyn, straight down Terwood Road and a left on Fetter's Mill. Hello, Mr Fetter, time to get out of bed and get your mill running. Otherwise people won't be able to bake their own breads.

Tucked in a corner is CHUCK, the former postmaster who, my friend, Rich Fleisher, has deemed the best postman ever, for his quickness and his vast knowledge. I myself had many intimate talks w/Chuck when he was behind the counter and count myself among his many fans.

This is funny b/c I was thinking I should've been invited to the Giant Supermarket's Xmas party, held in the large room at the end of the second floor.

Hello Sultan in the fish department, along with other fish friends, Debbie, who looks cute in her cap, Robert the head of the department, and Justin who also works at Pine Run Assisted Living Facility. If you work there, they will pay for you to become an RN, which is what Justin is doing!

My other friends there include Mary Ann Moylen, nutritionist, Robin and Elyse, who work in the Community Room upstairs, and of course the wonderful pharmacists Hanna, who's from Korea, and Dr Bob, whose the head honcho there. I dropped off a copy of the Compass so they could read it.

Speaking of meds, I got permission from Dr Kung, my nephrologist, to go off Zantac, which I took to safeguard my tummy from my antirejection meds.

Photo from College of American Pathologists - Renal Allograft and the BK Virus

In November my blood tests showed the BK virus had begun growing in my body. Kung immediately took action. This is why I like the guy. I think he is smart! He reduced my Cellcept and when that didn't do the trick, he took me off entirely.

Today I called Einstein Medical Center to get my most recent lab results.

You utilize the test results in conjunction with your creatinine level. Mine was very good - .089.

Last month my reading was 126,000 in my blood.
This month is was 43,000. Quite a difference.

Last month the reading in my urine was 43 million.
This month, it was 1 million.

"Way to go, Mom," said Sarah when I called her with the good news.

She and I have been working super-hard on our Kidney Memoir. She wants to mail it off to her 'readers' tonite or tomro, before she flies to Wisconsin to meet Ethan and spend Christmas with Ethan's brother Spencer, who lives in a group home up there.

When you write a book, you select readers to read it over and give you feedback. Scott is one of my readers, as is my friend from Goddard College, Jonathan Katz, the comedian.

We mention Jon in our early chapters when he was a stand-up comic and used to come to Philadelphia to perform.

So, the other day I'm going for a walk around the block and who do I see? My sister's BF Neil O'Keefe. He's been driving for Meenan for six years.

I was eager to see how oil is delivered to a house.

It takes all of 10 minutes. Everything is automized. This is not Neil's usual route so it was just a coincidence we met. Yeah, yeah, I know there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. YOU can believe that, I don't.

Oh no! It's 6:02. Gotta go over Scott's to watch my fave show:

Hi, I'm back. It was a two-parter. The female lead was Carol Leigh, an excellent actress.

For Scott's 53rd b'day, I slipped his poem under his door so he'd be surprised when he came home from work at 8:40 in the a.m. He works as a mechanic for SEPTA and loves his job.


He fed them parsnips from his own table
stood next to their crouching family in the woods
they watched the winter sun rising low
he, longing to touch the majestic antlers,
and stroke the darkened coat,
their big eyes watched him walk home
soundless as only deer can be

Inconspicuous follower of St. Francis,
he fed the birds sunflower seeds
they perched on his windowbox
fearing him not
chirping when he walked home from work
tired and wearing a hat

The black cat sunned itself in his backyard
white boots hidden until she rose
to stalk a mouse across the
winter-imploded grass

Only the fox is coy
his appearance brief
so when you think
you’ve got him in your eye
all you see is
his white tail vanishing.

He believes in god and an afterlife
“I made the decision long ago and
ain’t gonna change my mind.”
He says this to his unbelieving girlfriend
who lives right next door and fears the
perfection of Eternity.

He nursed her through sciatica
when she couldn’t leave her bed
the chamberpot
the garbage bucket
visited her in the hospital when
she had a kidney transplant
his mustache tickling her lips.

Her birthday card was in his mailbox today
December 13, when he staggered exhausted
home from work
“Happy Fifty-Third”
“Only three more months of winter,” he smiled
a disarming smile his parents fussed over
long ago
as their only boy walked into the living room
alarm clock peeled open, sprouting wires
looks good on a resume for SEPTA
the girlfriend puts her arms around him
and stares into his unfathomable green eyes.

Periodically I get hilarious emails from my former BF Russell Eisenman, who makes an appearance in our kidney memoir as Marvin Weissbaum, PhD.
The following is from a comment to an article that I read. The woman writing it is from NYC and commenting on moving to a small Ohio town to be a college professor. She says she is:
married to a Black man, with a bi-racial child. One of the first things a neighbor had to say to us when we were unpacking our belongings was a question. To my husband: "What kind of Black person are YOU?"

"Um, the kind that kills people who ask me stupid questions!" --is the answer I would have given. My husband just laughed and said nothing.


  1. The Help was an amazing book! I have it if you are interested in it after Steve Jobs!

  2. thanks, toohey. i should be finished with steve jobs by this weekend. you guys will love it!