Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Warm winter clothes - Two Xmas dinners - Poem: Dining with Thich Nhat Hanh

I simply did not feel like making breakfast this morning. I drove to my favorite diner Daddypops in Hatboro, which was mobbed, so I figured I go to Lochel's, but then I passed the new Galaxy Diner and pulled into the huge parking lot. It was packed.

I ordered my favorite things on the menu, things I haven't eaten in ages, partly b/c of my kidney-healthy diet before I got the tplant. Of course, now I have diabetes, so I've really gotta watch myself. In fact, I brought the terrific mag Diabetes Forecast to read while I waited for my food to arrive.

Two poached eggs, which I put over tasteless corned beef hash, and equally tasteless home fries with onions. How can you mess up home fries?

Another tasteless meal from Galaxy.

This was all a prelude for buying myself some nice new sweaters for the winter. Was trying to decide where to go when - what luck! - I passed The Sweater Mill.

The owner Robin made it a very pleasant experience. She was shocked as was "Val" (I didn't catch her name) when I said I absolutely hated clothes shopping. I think I told my entire life story to Robin when I was there. She'd been talking to a client and mentioned someone had had 8 hours of plastic surgery: breast augmentation, thigh liposuction, whatever so naturally I couldn't wait to tell of my kidney transplant.

Then Val said a friend of hers in her 60s got a new heart at the University of PA. She only had to wait three months for it. She was a perfect match.

Me, I'm going in and outa the dressing rooms, trying stuff on. I just hate doing this. A couple of times my socks get caught in one of the jeans I'm trying on so I have to bend over and fish out the sock.

What's to like about shopping? It's a colossal waste of time and I could've been home writing or submitting my work. On my way home I remembered writing a terrific piece called "We Think about Death Over Coffee," written in short little segments. That's another one I should submit. When I told my then-poetry mentor "Dave McGill" the title, he said, "You could also call it 'We Think about Sex over Coffee.'"

I wrote the piece when Sarah and I took a vacation to one of the Caribbean Islands.

I had to fire my poetry mentor, who I had a massive crush on, b/c he kept unconsciously stealing lines of my poems.

At the Sweater Mill, I also bot two warm pair of leggings, which are those women's pants that cling. I wore a black corduroy pair outa the store and will wear them to Elaine's funeral tomro.

Dyou think in Beverly Hills there's a funeral parlor whose motto is "We put the fun in funeral?"

Hope everyone had a great holiday yesterday.

In the afternoon I went to sister Donna's, where her children and grandchildren were gathering for the day. I brought them the DVD called Greenwold Family Movies that I got at DVD Magic nearby. I made a $500 downpayment. When I stopped by to see if they were ready, Joel said "Ruth, all I need is another $400 and we're finished."

Whew! I was really worried I'd need lots more moolah.

Joel put really good music on it dating from the 70s.

The family loved the movies.

I noshed on the most marvelous appetizers, including Nikki's artichoke salad. There was also some debate whether some canned olives were any good. They're used to eating the marinated ones.

I popped one into my mouth and pronounced it "delicious. This is the way they're supposed to taste from the can."

I also told Donna to make a cream cheese n olive sandwich like we had as kids and she said she bot cream cheese.

Melissa, 41, who was in the movie as a baby, loved the movies, which also showed her dad. I made captions and titled his "Roberto 'Herman' Cartagena."

I asked Donna if she wished she were still married to him and she said, "Hellooo!"

Well, his second wife is very happy with him. They have two boys in their mid-twenties.

Then it was time to visit the Demings. I'll roll the photos:

When I got home I knew I was gonna go on my exercise bike for 25 minutes to lower my blood sugar.

Look what book I've stopped reading. Yes, it's scary, but the dialogue is terrible, especially with the cop and his wife and kids. It's so forced and phony I can't abide it. Before I stopped reading it, here's what I wrote on this revised website:

Scott's buddies at SEPTA pass around books. Since Scott is finishing up Robinson Crusoe (no, they didn't pass that around; Scott's on a mission to read the classics) I started my first Dean Koontz book ever.

It's scary as hell and, to quote my story Spanish Arches, I'm a life-long 'fraidy cat and am terrified when reading What the Night Knows. So, alone in my bed, I turn on my new Sony radio - boy, if Steve Jobs ever saw the Sony design he'd say, "That's the shittiest design I've ever seen. You can't find the control buttons. Whoever designed this should be fired on the spot."

I had to put White-Out on it so I can find the On button and the Station Change buttons. It's horrible. But then I wouldn't wanna spend $700 either on a new Bose, which my 'mother/law' bought her husband for Xmas. Actually, I would spend the money but the Bose is too long for me. The Sony stands straight up. My bedside table doesn't have too much room.

So I turned up the radio quite loudly and I read the book with the loud radio on. I also, before reading each chapter, scanned it to see if it would be scary OR if there was dialogue in it b/c sometimes our hero cop John Corlina is alone in a house where a dreadful murder has just taken place and he believes someone else might be there.

And of course now I wonder if someone is in MY house, but I figure, oh, well, I've had a good life and all that.

Next morning as soon as I get up I goggle Dean Koontz. The man is a Republican. He and his wife Gerda have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican causes. He supports Mitt Romney. Honestly, I wish I liked Romney cuz I can't stand Obama tho he did get us out of Iraq and has set a date of Afghan'n.

I read reviews of his books. Where dyou go to read reviews?

I went right on Amazon, which of course means I'm getting lots of suggestions today from Amazon of what books I might like to read.

Apparently, Koontz is not nearly as good as he used to be. That is, if you're a loyal Koontz reader.

However, if you've never read him before, then he's a wonderful writer who can keep up the suspense and have your heart pounding.


When I began eating my omelet
hot to the tongue
sprinkled with scallions
and cheese
and thought of my Christmas shopping
sometime after breakfast

I asked Thich Nhat Hahn to
sit across from me at my
kitchen table.

In dark robes
he bowed his bald head
over black tea I prepared,
delicately lifted the orange cup
as he bowed toward me again
eyes that have seen much
some of it wrapped into books
or poetry or praying for peace

Taste returned to my tongue
the omelet and the goodness of
the hen who had given her life for me
I became one with the morning
The sun shone into my living room
I bowed my head in thanks for its
arrival that morning
Then I lifted my glass of water
stared at the clear cold liquid
thinking not that this is where we came from
or that never is there water enough in
Africa but that it is cold
and good to me.

And the master across the table
pinkie lifted,
and drained the last of his fine tea.

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