Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Waiting Room - Meeting my Friends at the Giant - Poem: Wheeling my Booty to the Car

 Last night I made Scott and myself a special dinner:

 Scallops with veggies on a bed of brown rice.
 Stewed pears for dessert.
"That was delicious," he said.

Here's what I did this morning:

THE WAITING ROOM AT
QUEST IN JENKINTOWN PA

When I left home, snow
peppered the neighborhood
my car door and I sparring
to make it open

Up the Duke of York Road
I traveled, and into the
parking lot of Cloverly
Plaza, then trotting in
the chill to the well-
attended waiting room.

A dozen sat in chartreuse
chairs, while I pulled
Tom Hanks from my pocketbook.
Everyone stared. Tall, receding
hairline, with that unmistakable
voice of his.

Relax, ladies and gentlemen, he
said, holding up his book of
short stories.

We did as he said. I kicked my
leg and looked out the huge window.
Across the street was the former
Strawbridge and Clothier.
From the era of department stores.

We used to have lunch there, Mom, Dad,
the kids and I. Chefs in white hats
prepared meals and the carpet glowed
green.

Finally, Jane called me.
As the needle went in, it hurt.
I breathed as I watched the tubes
fill up with the elixir of
the gods.

"You done good," I said to myself
as I dressed for the day ahead,
clamping my blue beret on
my head.

Here I am, home on the red couch,
sipping on - what else - hot water,
not ready yet to remove my beret.





***

So long Christmas Lights for the season.

Every little thing in my window sill is precious to me.

Now, yes, right this minute, I am doing something very difficult.

Enough procrastinating.

Am talking to Jasmine from Verizon. Got my password to get on Verizon. Thank you, Jasmine, from Dallas, Texas.

It's 19 degrees down there.

I'm laffing now at the ridiculousness of our world.

She and her fiance will take a road trip cross country.

WOW!

I invited her to Philadelphia and said they'd enjoy this cradle of democracy.

Sensible people believe the current administration has set back democracy, but not everyone agrees.

Image result for jelani cobb        Jelani Cobb is hopeful.

A gregarious individual like myself can only be cooped up for so long.

What time is it now?

3:11 pm.

We're waiting to see if ND will meet tonight or not.

You decide and lemme know

I'm hiding my eyes.

***

Bought two important things at the Giant. Olive oil and a flashlight with batteries. I need the flashlight to see what the temperature is in the living room. I turned it down to 64 b/c I biked for 20 minutes.

***

Ate delicious Chinese food that Helen served me. Does SHE know how to save money? Into a small Styrofoam box, she ladled two orders - noodles and chicken and broccoli.

Image result for chicken and broccoli on noodles chinese 

Ate it in the Starbucks section, where I saw Sally and Danielle from my nephrologist's office. You can't miss Sally's gorgeous curly hairdo, or Danielle and her tiny nose ring.

Also bought a Rotisserie Chicken, an impulse purchase.

Cathe at Starbucks - blue nails today - gave me a small black coffee and a warm chocolate croissant. Really enjoyed the the food.

Remember, Ruthie, the napkins are on the left of the Starbucks counter.

WHEELING MY BOOTY TO MY CAR

Image result for starbucks cup  

Careful, as we cross the bumpy keep-the-carts-out section,
to my car, parked as far away as possible.

We don't wanna lose one precious drop of coffee,
as we sail across the lot, my strides as long as

a pony. What does this coffee cup represent?
Cathe made it for me. The beans are a

dark roast and come all the way from
across the Pacific.

As I sip, I feel warmed all over. And
maybe I can even write a new

short story I stumbled upon last
night while watching Antiques Roadshow.

Image result for antique watch from tiffanys

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Just learned about great guitarist Tommy Emmanuel - My Friend Frankie just published in Literary Yard - Ruth Roth and blowing out the bday candles

Let's see. It's 9:25 pm. Not late, right?

It was pizza night at Scott's. After the great pizza, we went upstairs to watch TV. We fell instantly to sleep to Skull Island, a King Kong movie, an update from the original King Kong.

We were each gone after five minutes. The film was terrible.

I woke up and walked home in the beautiful darkness, staring up at the sky. Such a pain that I'm so uncomfortable walking in the cold.

Raise your hand if you've heard of the Australian guitar player Tommy Emmanuel? He's 62 now and is touring the country.

Image result for guitar tommy emmanuel plays      Tommy, lemme shake your hand. You is one fine geetar player. What's more you will be coming to our local Keswick Theater in Glenside on Feb. 3. Lemme check my calendar - I keep it under this laptop - to see what day of the week that is.

Saturday night. No way am I gonna drive. Thing is, should I make an effort to go? My friend Neal is an Uber driver. Will give it a think.

Image result for frank kelso wolfe   Self-portrait of Frank Kelso Wolfe.

Read my story MY FRIEND FRANKIE which appeared in today's Literary Yard. Thanks for publishing it, Onkar Sharma. Click here.

I sent it to loads of people, including Tony Salvatore of MCES, who said it was a powerful story but very sad.

What really got me about Frank's death is that I think it was caused by kronic pain. Nuff said.

WHAT DID YOU WISH FOR WHEN
YOU BLEW OUT THE CANDLES

Ruth Roth, the smartest girl
I knew at Shaker, had a face
like a frisky palomino,
blue eyes and blond hair
and a smile as wide as
the moon, wanted only
one thing. To know how
to dance.

She was shy and couldn't
make herself jitterbug at
the dances in the crepe-paper
decorated gym.

Dance lessons were mandatory
with my parents. Calvin, my
father's chauffeur, drove me
to Carlos and Kaye. I stared
at the brace on his leg
as he drove.

Was there anything worse than
dance lessons? As a grown-up
now, I can think of
a million bad things, over-
shadowed by one great thing.

I look out my upstairs window.
There's my car with its
powerful radio. It looks like
a rhino who took a bath
in the mud.

I always wondered how cars
got so dirty with the ice
and the snow. I've joined
the fleet and hope it don't
drive over the edge when
I watch Lynn Levin's documentary
on the Galapagos later today at the library.

***

B/c of the freezing cold weather, only three people attended Lynn Levin's LIFE ON THE NAPO RIVER:  Life on the Napo River, A Glimpse of the Ecuadorean Amazon, its People, and Their Traditions.

Lynn went on two trips. First to the Galapagos - maybe a dozen folks were there -  and then to the Amazon, where half a dozen were there.

She went all by herself. Lots of walking. She tried going to her gym more frequently to get into shape. Lynn is short and slender.

Image result for lynn levin

I was late to the program bc I couldn't remember how to get to the Huntingdon Valley Library. I started off and headed toward Olive Garden, knew I was wrong, said Do not panic, I'll get there, panicked and said I'll never find it, came home via Davisville Road, pounded on Scott's door which was locked, uncharacteristically, then looked it up on my laptop.

The key was Terwood Road. Was very nervous driving, plus listening to my audio book, but got there fine.

The front parking lot was empty. I allus back in.

Gonna send the Upper Moreland Historical Assocation a note asking if they want Lynn to give a presentation. Look, she did all that hard work and it must be seen!

And so it goes.

(Dyou like this as a closer?)

  


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Satchel Full o Poetry - Happy New Year - Stories by Tom Hanks - And the Studebaker Parked on our Street - Mom and Tom Thumb - View from the Bathroom Window

Here's all the folks I sent postcards to in the last couple days. Nelson Yeardley, Iris, Sarah Lynn, The Creamers, Max and Grace. As you know, my intimate readers, I never buy postcards. They arrive by the dozens for free. Boys Town I nearly donated to today and Sierra Club, but I stopped myself just in time. Like a drunkard, tipping the Jack Daniels into my mouth but failing to complete the action.

Image result for janis joplin and jack daniels

Was very excited to wake up this morning and start working on my short story, finally titled Moon River, I think. Make that Moon Over Miami.

BREAKING NEWS! Just went upstairs to ready the TV for a guitar concert. The end of a film was still on.

A couple were out in the rain and passionately kissing. I mean passionate!

The song Moon River was playing and the kissers were Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Breakfast at Tiffany's, of course.

I'll tell you something. I could never stand the film and always shut it off halfway. The end was great!

Last night watched a fab concert w Lady Gaga, 38, and Tony Bennett, 87. Twas a repeat. My story would mirror their concert somehow.

Image result for tony bennett lady gaga      So many costume changes. Oh, if only you could see what I'm wearing now, Dear Reader.

As I said when I sat down in our Writers' Group, I'm wearing my smoking jacket. My polka-dot pajama tops. Should I request I wear this to my wake? My body will be cold, so this will warm me up, Mr Rigor Mortis.

In the cold weather I wear my beret around the house.

Jerry Van Dyke just died as reported on FB.  A nice round of applause for Jerry!!!

Image result for jerry van dyke dead       Friendly guy, great teeth. Wanted everyone to like him. A quick note from Wiki, and yes I did pay my yearly donation of five bucks.


HAPPY NEW YEAR

Join me in toasting
the New Year with a
cuppa hot, make
that fiery hot
Starbucks, a
gift from Rem
at my birthday
party.

Why, you may ask
is this cat wearing
a hat? Freezing
in here, tho the
sun steals unabashed
into the living room.

Ah, I hear gurgling
in the kitchen. You
mustn't allow coffee
to burn.

So many things we've
learned in 2017. The
fidelity of neighbors,
the devastation of
hurricanes, the value
of a lingering kiss,
and the patience
required for yet
another swinging
mobile.

The treks to the
compost heap to
sleuth out who
ate what. The
tiny track marks
of the birds
are a show of
God's kindness
to mankind.

Did I tell you
I added cinnamon
to the coffee? Just
a pinch. Toasting
y'all for a happy
healthy prosperous
and surprising
New Year, 2018.

***

Pssst!  Don't spread this around but I don't care much for coffee anymore. 

Image result for old studebaker station wagon

AND THE STUDEBAKER PARKED ON OUR STREET

- Lines from the audio book "Killers of
  the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders
  and the Beginning of the F B I "

Aside: I check out many audio books at a time b/c most of em are no good to listen to when I make a meal. The above book is one such book. The cavalcade of characters was too much to keep track of.


"Studebaker" and I remember when he
pulled up to our row-home at Caster and
Cottman, in Philadelphia

A huge green two-tone car, fueled by
gasoline and six-packs. We gave the
old man the living room, while we
slept on a lumpy mattress, made love,
and argued, When is he gonna leave?

He loved to talk. Over breakfast, he
plied me with tales about the Jews.
Never been one in the family in
Crockett, Texas.

Josephus, a Jewish historian, wrote
about Jewish history, Jewish history,
repeated The Old Man, as the beer began
affecting his brain.

It was worse than that. He had alcoholic
dementia, I learned. Rolling Rock Beer,
a local variety was stacked up against
the kitchen wall like a shelf of books.

At night, he'd come whistling home from
the local bar.

I'd never met a drunk before. What was I?
All of 24?

He kissed my hand before he left. His third
wife Nedra was waiting for him at home. The
sad thing was that after he died - there were
a dozen of us at his funeral somewhere in
Arkansas - baby Sarah was with us - Nedra
died a year later.

And the jalopy? The Studebaker? Ripped
apart, I'd imagine, the way he did
the family, and sold for a pittance
to the local junk man. 

***

STORIES BY TOM HANKS

Nah, I said to Emilie
the intern at my library
it got bad reviews. Don't
want it.

Pushed it back to her.
Never mind, I said.
The critics are often
wrong.

At home I plopped it
onto the husband's side
of the bed or the cat's
side, whatever you please

And began to read. The
second story Christmas
Eve 1953 may win the
Pushcart Prize

And maybe I'll take
Honorary Mention for
the most books -
twenty or thirty -
being read at one
time.

You think you're the
only one that does
this, right? All over
the world in languages
including Cajun, Inuit
and Roumanian, ten-
thousand are reading
right now in their
huts, shacks, wigwams
or whatnots, just like me.

***


Be not afraid of the winter. Stay indoors if you're a fraidy cat like me.

However, I did drive to Beatriz's today being scared as hell but having no problem.

 Wall of birthday cards
View out the bathroom window. Hold on, a poem goes with this.

I had to fetch it from FB.

VIEW FROM THE BATHROOM WINDOW

They came straight at me
the tiny whirly helicopters
that made me laugh
Nature thinks of everything
to perpetuate its species
A thousand maple trees
growing on my backyard lawn
my yellow house in the
middle of a forest?

Let's drink a cuppa tea
and have a good think.
I know. I know. When next
I look out, there's the
Gingerbread House and
Hansel and Gretel
on the outside nibbling
the delicious frosting.

Stop right there, I shout,
putting down my tea. Go to
your left, my darlings, and
there you will find another
abobe, a safe abode, a
yellow house where I shall
have milk and cookies
waiting for thee.


*** 

WHAT IF GEORGE SCHULER
WERE TONY BENNETT

Don't look in the mirror
bad hair day
Eeeek! I can
always wear a hat
and do.

"I don't know you" I wrote
Julian Amin after he
emailed me twice with an
urgency not seen since
the Downton Abbey folks
fought in the trenches.

Seems like someone with
my surname was mentioned
in a will. I need only
respond with some vital
information. Bra size,
favorite dessert, and
sport you last played.
but I jest, Beau.

What a show! I clapped,
I laughed, I rode my
stationary bike, and
blew my nose with what
once was a lovely summer
blouse, and felt the breezes
of spring, though it was four
degrees only three feet from
my clapboard home.

My late friend George Schuler
could have been Tony Bennett
but it never came to pass. George and the
high-strung performer Lady Gaga
danced across the stage. Bennett
was 87 at the time. My George
was 91 when he was felled by
a fast-moving illness, he
couldn't outdance.

I have danced across the living room
this morning, then peered out the
front door seeing if the world was
still there.

***

Chant from Haggadah:  Why is this soup not like any other? Hint: It's creamy, healthy, thick, filled with onions, garlic, mushrooms, Udon nodules, half a cinnamon stick removed after 40 minutes, plus one whole egg for protein.

***

Scuse me, if you please. Gonna work on Moon Over Miami a bit before burying myself, not at Wounded Knee, but under my colorful bedspread/quilt I bought at K-Mart and a white feather comforter with pink nail polish on it to indicate which end is up. It's still impossible to tell. As I mentioned once, putting on these covers is like sailing a ship and hoisting up the sails in hurricane winds.

Special !  ONLY FOR READERS of this blog.

My Kmart has closed. In its prime, it was a great store. Bought springtime plants there plus soil. A  $40 gorgeous ceramic bird bath but made the mistake - mea culpa - of leaving it outside in the winter.

The top cracked.

Read these hilarious comments about the newly closed K Mart.

In closing...watched the great guitar player Selwyn Birchwood and his band and could not stop dancing.

Then another great guitarist came on!

Remember, tomro, to write a poem about Ruth Roth from high school.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Poem: Aisle Seat Please - Snacks - Snow!!!


Image result for apollo 13

Will the real astronauts from the Apollo 13 please stand up?

Here's their story.

TCM featured it last night since Bill Paxton, who played Fredo, the astronaut, passed away in 2017. Cause of death: complications from heart surgery. He was 61.

Bill Paxton 2014 retouched.jpg  Bill, we'll see you on the other side of the moon.

AISLE SEAT, PLEASE

With his flashlight
he led me down the
darkened theater

I blew my nose
softly as I sat down
and prepared for
three films
I'd never seen before

Mildred Pierce came first.
Joan Crawford won an
Academy for this. You
mustn't watch if you
can't stand a mother
who raises a spoiled
brat of a child.

That would be rosebud-
mouthed Ann Blyth, still
alive today at 89.

Jules and Jim was a lovely
black and white with bicycles,
kisses, trench warfare, and
a death triangle, as Jeanne
Moreau rejects each man
she loves. Each lover
falls hard the moment
they see her dreamy
deadly eyes.

I raced up front and chose
sweet-potato chips, yes, they
are crunchy, to fortify me
through the the final film.

Why had I thought Apollo 13
was a triumphant walk on
the dusty surface of the
moon?

The rocket engine blew up
shortly after launch. The
Odyssey Three as ground control
called them, fought for their
lives. Towards the end they
had barely any oxygen, too much
CO2, they turned blue with cold
and in a final inspirational
speech, Tom Hanks, after hugging
his men said, I couldn't be
prouder of you.

We all cried as their parachutes
opened over the ocean, even testy
Ed Harris back at NASA.

I too dabbed my eyes as I
realized I was sitting in
Scott's bed - he'd gone to
work - and I was borrowing
both his warm socks and
his Turner Classic Films.

***
I get so many donation requests in the holiday season. I write down every donation I give on a sheet of paper affixed to my wall.

I finally gave to WHYY-TV,  $5 per month. This morning I wanted to give to the Adan Hospital Maternity section - view it here - holy cow, I had no idea it was in Kuwait!

And so I did.

When I went to w/draw the money from my checking account - $15 - I saw the bank had charged me $10 for several w/drawals.

What's going on here, I asked Rachel, drawing water at the well, at the bank.

If you have more than 6 w/drawals they charge you tell dollars.

Jeez, I said. It's like I'm giving the bank a cut for all my generosity.

Woke up with a scratchy throat. Nuzzled under the covers on the couch and continued watching the thoroughly most terrible Netflix pix imaginable.

One is called THE DINNER. Roger Ebert hates it!

The Dinner Movie Review

 Finally stopped snowing.

Gotta write a quick poem about my car.


SNOW COVERED CRACKERS

Be it bird or boy or
bellydancer or barn swallow
If' metal's your thing
come and dine neath
the pearl grey sky.




After I woke up from The Dinner, I snacked on sweet-potato chips and mild salsa.

I supped on soup - that cream of mushroom with the sweet condensed milk. Tell ya the truth, it tasted like butterscotch soup.

Watched a couple of TED Talks, about Alzheimer's disease. It's probly already growing in our brains OR we're gonna be caregivers.

Me? Learn Japanese?

Me? Learn the accordion?

Me, with my horribly painful right arm, will go upstairs and hunker under the covers and read.