Grandma’s birthday is today. She’s pictured here without the bathing cap (her sister is wearing the cap).
Here’s what I knew of her as a not young person sitting at a water hole located somewhere in Pennsylvania of the 1920s.
1) She took each of her grandkids to an adventure with her. Mine was hanging out with her in Europe with Auntie.
2) We had an unfortunate dinner experience in perhaps Liechtenstein where the food was supposedly to die for the restaurant itself was smothering, humid, and the maitre d’ was entirely too hot wearing a tux made out of the finest sheep’s wool (we were not in a sauna, mister). He spent the evening muttering to himself, almost crying, the entire time we were there. We were the only people there that evening. Grandma made fun of him, and then of us, reminding us that we, too, spoke several different languages.
Continue reading “Grand”
Captain Crunch’s Log, Soup du Jour
Two people in town wore masks over their faces now that Covid-19 has been more thoroughly digested.
Contrast from 3 days ago when I apologized to a friend with dog for touching his leash. Désolée, I kept saying. Huh, he said. Social distance, I said in English. My French in the best of times is bad. But apocalypse French? Non. Oh the virus, he said like a curiosity. I’m in a town in the Larrys where lots of people are senior citizens. I was shocked he wasn’t with the program yet.
Today it was -2, the Year of our Celcius, and sunny, therefore kind of warm.
Continue reading “Before the Zombies Come”
I once scored a lucrative job from someone running a mysterious company that needed a creative writer. Creative is a term that, to me, involves humor. Which is why I’d submitted the following:
Water balloons prevent total, absolute slaughter of pumpkins
A school district in West Virginia of over 1,000 students began a mass slaughter of pumpkins in pursuit of science.
“Organizers say the goal of the event is not to make the squashes go splat, but rather to provide some pumpkin protection…” when dropped from 40 feet.
“It’s an applications process, it’s a physics process,” said one big wig where the demonstration was held.
The winners used a variety of materials. One group used “…milk cartons instead of cups” along with cardboard.
Another group of students found that water balloons, traditionally the weapon of choice for certain middle school and high school enthusiasts, provided adequate pumpkins protection.
Calls made to the Pumpkin Anti-Cruelty Society for a comment were not returned.
Continue reading “No, no, Submitted for YOUR Pleasure”
Please note: this is not journalism (exactly true per se), but rather a prose poem that I performed some in Boulder, Colorado in 1994-95…and then published in a magazine at Harvard University .
Things To Do In Jamaica Plain
Connie painted that mural on the wall of the fish market. The one with the big happy multicultural family in JP. Everyone buys her cards and T shirts and thinks they’re lucky to have such a great local artist. She hates me.
These lesbians I forget their names want to be known as The Lesbians of JP. They have synthesizers, televisions and cartons of cigarettes in their apartment. They inhale with their noses and mouths and talk about art like it’s a board game written in Portuguese. They pretend to be characters from a Tarot deck and all I can do is cough from the smoke. Therese slept with them all then moved to Cambridge.
Jane’s at the Art Mart. She says,” I painted all the platforms red and now everyone’s coming in. And I made new labels: the Our Lady of Lourdes Bath Salts, the San José love potions, the dog chains. I swept the floor. I even washed the damned windows.”
C. Shafton lives up to his name. He’s a lawyer and everyone’s a victim except for the women who rent an apartment from him. He once screamed Continue reading “Things To Do In Jamaica Plain – a reprieve”
The first time I heard the phrase “mind like a steel trap” was when my father, PigPen, had a quiet sit-down with my siblings. My mother was elsewhere. Likely still asleep in her bed.
“Mom’s been sick in the mornings lately. You’ve noticed, I’m sure,” he began.
We had only one bathroom back at the tiny house that had what my mother described as “cardboard walls”. We nodded to PigPen, yes.
“So it’s only in the mornings. And her appetite is weird. And she’s gaining weight. Sensitive about all that. Which means…” He waited.
“She’s pregnant,” I answered.
He pointed to me like I was a contestant on the Price is Right. “Mind like a steel trap,” he said. Continue reading “How to Have a Baby”
The art of cooking a squash begins with the right kind of information
We go to the Jean-Talon, the premier outdoor market in Montreal, to fondle produce before driving back home.
It’s no longer summer, that message made loud and clear by the decrease in foot traffic. The chill. The ease in parking. The brick and mortar shops surrounding the market sporting snow tents for their doors. It doesn’t feel like a party any more.
We hop out and head towards the vast indoors, the weather being about 12 Celcius, but I stop at an outdoor offering, staring at a gaggle of asparagus and thinking about the color of urine. What could I make to go with it? Continue reading “The art of winter, or how to cook a squash”
After the election, the Director said, “Canada doesn’t have anything like the KKK. What is it exactly?”
I sent the Director out for a photo shoot, impromptu to capture a different kind of Quebec man.
We were at the bank, about to get some cash when I spied a pick-up truck with a confederate flag on the back window. His truck had Quebec tags. A curious thing. I squinted harder at the old man in the cab. Was he American? Why was he taking such a hard stand way up North, past yankee territory to something much worse?
“Go and get a photo of the flag on that guy’s truck,” I pointed.
She looked ahead and emitted an I don’t want to noise. “Why?” Continue reading “Confederacy in Quebec”
…it’s more an Alpha male dog the size of my foot.
The dog I inherited is a complete asshole to everyone but the German, the Director, and me — to whom he’s most devoted. He was my mom’s dog for a brief respite between shelters. She worried about what would happen to him when if she died. I’ll take him, the German told her. She breathed a sigh of relief with what little breath she had left.
Continue reading “Inheritance isn’t a bitch…”
People used their words at the last Democratic candidates’ debate, umpteen days ago. And while the way they used them, the words, might have changed, since the last debate (old news), they’re still part of their permanent record. We might as well see what they look like.
A reminder: I copied and pasted the transcript and pasted each speaker into wordle.
Continue reading “Using their words: the Democratic debate”