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Where was I?

I actually have no idea.

Here are some updates about my life:

There are many, many snails in my aquarium. I don't want to kill them or anything, but I'm pretty sure that critical mass will be reached at some near point.

I would like to replace my copy of the Sundays' Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, because I miss that album.

I have determined that as much as I'm enjoying the parks, historical sites, and restaurants in Philadelphia, I like the people in New York much better, and wish it was as convenient to go there.

I'm reading this book right now. Well, not right now, but currently. If you see what I mean.

Lately, I have made lemon frozen custard, chocolate spearmint ice cream, and banana ice cream. Strawberry ice cream is next, per a request from a little monkey in my house. I don't much care for strawberry ice cream, but it will probably be fun to make.

I really need to mow the lawn.

Holly Golightly's dress is up for sale.

People are stupid.

And again I say.

This makes me a little sad.


So, there's this pool in my backyard. It was opened on July 11, and that's why you haven't seen me much since. It's work. But really fun work. The water was clean when the cover was taken off, but there was lots of vacuuming to do, and the chemistry was out of balance for swimming. The water here is much too soft and the pH is very low. So I spent a couple days working on that, literally nearly every hour, then more vacuuming, and then the buying of swimming attire, toys, flotation devices for those who haven't spent much time in water, and it just seemed endless for a few days.

Now I can hardly keep the boys out of it. And it looks beautiful after all my work, or it did til last night, when a whopper of a storm hit, causing quite a lot of the oak tree in the yard behind us to come down directly into the water. So this morning I was fishing out leaves, twigs and acorns, and realizing yesterday's vacuuming job went for naught. It's a fairly painless process, but I had hoped when I finished yesterday that I could just actually get in the water and swim around a bit.

Now today, it's not even blisteringly hot, the high is supposed to be only 83, but maybe I'll make time for it later anyway. I did find time to make chocolate spearmint ice cream yesterday, using spearmint from my garden. And I've had lots of other little things to manage lately that have kept me from peacefully idling away my time by sitting with this computer.

ALL THAT TO SAY, I missed noting my longest-enduring internet friend's birthday. Bad form, I say. I remember a couple days before that thinking, "I should send a card or note to ol' Sergio on the occasion." And then boom. There was the pool, everyone and everything else forgotten. I do tend to get focused that way.

So Happy Birthday Big Brother, a week late, but I like to think of a birthday as the beginning of a new year for the person they belong to, and wish you a fabulous 51 weeks of this one, and, of course, many, many more.


5:45 pm

After a day spent in and out of the backyard pool, with an outdoor temperature approaching 100 degrees, the boys were contentedly settling into a quiet hour of computer games and TV, when, as unceremoniously as ever, the power went off. The oldest son had the hare-brained idea to ride his bike. The younger ones went scurrying for toys forgotten in the excitement of water play.

Now, five minutes on, the boy on the bike has wised up to the fact that a day when the electric company is overtaxed by societal need for cooler air is no day to be on a bicycle, and the youngest boy is groaning at the idea of board games, which middle boy has eagerly retrieved from a past life of cooler days and nights.

It's so happily quiet without the buzzing of aquarium filters, cable box, and all the other little attendant noises of electricity. I could be cheerfully reading a book, but the joy of knowing I can still type on a keyboard even while disconnected from the grid draws me to the screen, at least for a few minutes. I kind of wish I could use the phone, though. The outage must be fairly widespread, as there is no cellular signal, and the house phone is connected to the cable system so that's out of the picture as well.

This both amuses and frustrates me. We're a bit isolated here, and a couple of family members are in other places. I have no idea if they have power where they are, or when they'll turn up. Otherwise, I'm good with this, for awhile at least. It's not House night, after all.

7:38 pm

It's getting hot in here. No, I am not going to take my clothes off. I've been to the store. The nearest one was closed up and dark. I went on down the road a piece to another; it was hectic in there. That store is always a bit hectic, so I only use it for emergencies or if I happen to be coming home from out west somewhere. I had a dim moment when my shopper card for the other store wouldn't scan properly. But that passed quickly enough.

I brought home sandwich ingredients, frozen fruit bars, and puzzle books. We have another hour of good light, so I guess I'll get right on the Bowl-a-Scores before it gets dark in here. According to an outside source, this was the hardest hit area of New Jersey with as many as 10,000 houses without power. I think that's probably half the houses in town, but it's hard to say.

9:33 pm

Middle boy and I just stared at the "sun candle" and asked some spirits to bless us with restoration of the magical power grid. And the power came back on right after that. Hee. I don't know what got into him, but the timing was spectacular. Now hopefully the fish will recover quickly.

It's cool to be American

Here are "American" things I intend to get done today. I already discussed the closing of the NJ government with someone, and my view on the possible sales tax increase, and decided we'll have iced coffee instead of tea, when we go to the beach. ;-)

listen to Frank Sinatra
make cherry pie if I feel like pitting all those cherries, which I probably do
listen to Tom Glavine pitch
drive my Chevy van to the beach
eat Kosher hot dogs
watch fireworks if it doesn't rain too hard
listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd,
briefly catch up on (studying for his citizenship) Craig Ferguson monologues
watch House, a show about a crank American doctor who is played by a wonderful English actor

June 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

Follow along

Today at Costco I got Acne Free, a three month supply for $29.95. It promises it has the same stuff in it as Proactiv, with the added benefit of a time-release benzoil peroxide. So we'll see.

I used it for the first time tonight, and like the way my face feels; clean and fresh and not too dried out. It also does not have a strong odor. I mainly got it because one of my daughters has almost severe acne, and I had been thinking of taking her to a dermatologist. But I want to try this first. Since we're both using it, that's still a six-week supply. My own acne troubles are sporadic, but my face never feels completely clear, and it's always uneven in tone. Maybe I'll take yucky close-up photos tomorrow night and we'll do our own before and afters. If you can stand the idea of seeing me that up close and personal, perhaps I'll share the experience through photography.

If it really does work, I intend to try the body wash, as well.

I'd like to have more to say. Yesterday I wrote a quick poem for someone as a lark. She works in NY theater, and the first letters of each line spell out the word "Macbeth." Long story. Anyway, it's not very good, but I'll share it. Maybe someday I'll fix it up a bit.

Manic summer heat drives her fury
as her sweaty skin absorbs the dust from city streets

Counting cracks in the sidewalk
baking sandals on the asphalt
energy wanes as dusk crawls over the rooftops
tenuously at first, then all at once seizing the light.

Heat remains, visible in the sodium-brightened night sky...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tired sigh

Well, I still haven't had much to say, have I? But I've been doing a good job wearing out my carpals and such, relinking old stuff. There's poetry and Glory of Garnish added to the scrapbook, mainly. I've got new photos ready for the Garnish page, but if you want to reread any of it in the meantime, because it is sort of funny, it's here: The Glory of Garnish.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Something cool

First, there are about 30 new pictures in the Moon Motel, of animals and the Phillies ball park and a little more.

On Sunday, the girls and I were in the city, and we ended up at a place near Times Square for dinner before taking the train back home. You may know I am not a fan of soda, even though I like carbonation, I sort of hate corn syrup, and rarely drink any soda besides the occasional Dr Pepper. I like dry carbonation with gin, though. Anyway, that was before Coke Blak. I just am mad for that stuff. It has a speck of aspartame in it, which I normally completely shun, but it's seriously only a speck.

I like that it's in a tiny bottle, only 8 ounces, though I might like 10 or 12 to be more completely satisfied. I would never drink a regular-sized bottle. And I like that it is sharp yet smooth. It's much nicer than regular Coke. I'm curious about the French mixture of it, which is supposedly more heavily coffee-flavored, but this seems very balanced to me. It has no more caffeine in it than other drinks, and less sugar, though I think some people have the idea it's boosted like those faux-energy drinks. I think that is a marketing concern that should be addressed, personally.

There's a big Coke display up at Times Square, all the time, and right now part of the rolling ad is for Coke Blak. I thought that was neat, because normally when I like something that much, it's doomed to failure or obscurity, so I'm taking advantage of it while I can.

More blather later today. I'm on a roll right now, of silliness and such. Rare these days, and worth grasping onto.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

some stuff

There are lots of new pictures at the Moon Motel.

I had a lot to say. Now I can't remember much of it.

Yesterday, we were eating a picnic provided by Amanda in DC, on the mall, I suppose, I was just along for the ride, while the others talked local talk, when a middle-aged man walked up to us and handed out postcards. We all looked down and didn't want to make eye contact at first (later we all shared that we thought he was going to evangelize,) but he was so well-spoken and friendly that we got interested in what he was saying. His name is Bernard, and he and his wife are homeless, and he said that since he is a rare black man who cannot sing or dance, he just signs his name to the cards, offering blessings to people who contribute to the sleeping indoors fund. It's a pretty good schtick, I think.

We all liked him, believed he was being truthful with his story, and waved to his wife, who came over. Elizabeth gave them some cookies, and everyone gave a few dollars except me, because I didn't have any. I rarely do have cash, but right now there just isn't much to have anyway.

Bernard totally set the bar for future solicitors, who just really didn't pass muster, as far as any of us was concerned. I really do wish him well.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Hm, I thought this test was hard

but it's fairly accurate. I'd say that some of the answers have to do with my current, rather than usual, state of mind. Normally, there would be sharper highs and lows. If you hold your cursor over the colors, they are labeled.

Some updates

I added some pictures to the moon motel blog, which is just going to be the photo album from now on, and it has a new url. And the website is up and has three sections. The middle one leads here. I didn't change the address for this blog, so the email notices will still be mailed if I update this page. So if I add pictures to the moon motel, or something to the other section of the website, I'll just post about it here, and then anyone on the list can come here to see what's new. That seems the simplest way.

Now about three people want me to catch up on reading their blogs, so I'm going to do that now. And about three people have been wondering why I've been so uncommunicative lately. Well, I kind of feel mute. I'm working on that. There's nothing terribly wrong, I just don't much like life at the moment. However, since tomorrow is my birthday, I've decided I better use that as a beginning toward gathering up some mental health, and attempting to move forward.

Two years exiled here in Poland, might as well keep trying to make something of it. And who knows what follows, but maybe it will be very good.

I did take the picture of the trout. I'm not sure where I put it, though. I'll hunt that down.

Friday, June 02, 2006

fighting my way to the top

I just kind of have been hating life. I plan to start catching up with it all, very soon. And here's where you'll find me when I do. Well, there and here. Really.

The Juniper Glen