Sunday, October 26, 2008

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Spiced Rum Now


For a reason I don't know, I can't get Saturday Night Live on TV. I was watching a Zombie/Vampire movie and turned that off to see SNL. I've been watching it since they started the Sarah Palin stuff. I'm sipping way too much Spiced Rum and chillin'. I drink too much and I'm concerned about Alzheimer's and brain damage. OBS My dad had Alzheimer's from age 78 on. I didn't want him to live the walking dead routine I'd witnessed in nursing homes. I worried. Luckily, he passed away just when it started to get worse. One thing was funny. When anybody called and Dad picked up the phone, if they wanted my mother and she was out of sight, he said she was out shopping. It seemed like she spent an awful lot of time gallivanting around. He was a very nice man. Smart.
My nature is like my dad's. He was a social butterfly, and when I get out of the house, I am too. He had a lot of disappointments and he didn't get to blossom. I don't know that I've had much of that sorrow, but I'm still depressed. As long as I'm not suicidal, I'm okay with it. Especially if I can have some spiced rum on ice at night. During the part of the day when I'm awake, I try to do at least some of what I think I'm supposed to do. Plus, I have lots of coffee and read the newspapers. I feed the cat outside who visits. And later on, I paint. I think I'm finished the flowers and I don't have that much to do on the apple. I can't tell. It's cute. I want to frame the flowers before I take a picture of the painting. I'm really happy painting with no thought of galleries or fame. Reputation. Any of that crap. Eventually, I probably will have to do some kind of open studio or something, to get rid of some of my work. So far, I'm getting ready to store all the watercolor/pastels that don't make me happy, and hang oil paintings in their stead. That is, if the particular oil painting makes me feel good.
Uh oh. The peanut gallery has to close. It's going on 1AM.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

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As Good As It Gets



My leg hurts. Nine days ago, I had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and hack off some arthritic gunk. I wondered why not just my knee, but my leg hurt. It turns out, to do the surgery, they take the blood out of the knee by applying a tourniquet. Ugh. I found out that down the line, my knee pain will increase, but new knees don't come with my problem. Great news. Not.
I sleep from about 2 AM till 11 AM, then read my email and messages till about 12 noon. My day starts for real, maybe about 2. I often end up painting till 9 at night. That's fine. I feel as though I'm not doing enough though. I have lists from months ago that I never did. I feel like all I actually DO is paint. I'll go back to the water exercise because I have to. I don't like to be bothered. All I want to do is paint, read the paper, play with the kittens, and watch television. And sleep. I should be painting the canes. I keep saying I will, but I haven't. So much gets forgotten that I wish I had done. Wish I would do, but probably won't.
I'm lonely. I wish I had friends down here. So far, everyone I meet is either conservative or too religious. They don't know Jews down here. It's like we're exotic creatures that live somewhere else. I was friendly with one woman and found out her husband was something of a lout. Intelligent, but ignorant. I don't want to start up a friendship with a woman married to someone I can't stand, unless the woman is really my kind of person. That kind is liberal, progressive, open-minded, honest, smart, and open. Kooky is good too. How many people in Delaware, or anywhere, are like that?
Delaware is a great state for Harry and I, in that everything we need is within about fifteen minutes driving time. That includes all the shopping. The doctors and hospital are five minutes away. We couldn't have afforded a house in Pennsylvania where that would have been the situation. I know it's not possible to have everything. I have a lot here. I still love my house and our front and backyards. I'm thrilled to be here. I guess I kinda wish the neighbors and people I see around would be my type of people. I know now why my mother used to say Delaware was full of "hicks". I wonder what she thought of people in Ohio?
So, I think I'm depressed. I'm taking what I think of as tons of psychiatric medications to brighten my mood. I guess they're keeping me out of bed and away from the knife container. Probably, the shoulds are killing me. I wish with all my heart that Jerry was still here. He had the patience to read philosophy and know all the world's religions. He gave me one piece of the most important information I know: 'All I need to do is be.' I need him now. I need to know more, but I don't want to open the books. Fantasy is so much easier. Even history. Those books only tell me that we're all crazy and not getting any better. (Tell me how people like W, Hillary, and the rest of them aren't depressed. Why not? How not? Is that actually possible?)
I'm mixed up. It's okay to go right into death being confused. There are lots of things that are worse. Natch. Well, I'm 60, I'm not ready to turn to dust. I still have painting to do, and I enjoy my kids and kittens. Harry is looking better with his gray hair, albeit cranky and not feeling well. That's as good as it gets.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

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Our Fur Babies


My Keke
A year ago, our daughter discovered two cats living under a tree across the street from her house. She works with a group who catch, neuter, and return feral cats to their previous homes. These two though were being beaten up by other male cats in her neighborhood. Our daughter asked us to consider allowing the two cats to live in our garage. She told us they would die living outside with no protection from the weather. We agreed to take the cats if she would help. Our daughter did everything necessary, including setting up a little warm house for them and putting in a little cat door into the garage.
Tigger, an average size light ginger cat, was very afraid. Little Keke, a black and white tabby, was friendly immediately. They loved roaming the little park beyond our backyard. There were suddenly no birds, mice, or squirrels in our backyard. This past summer, Keke and Tigger both sat with me on our swing out back. Tigger wouldn't get up on the swing, but he began to run in front of me and lay down in my path. I would lean over, pet him, and walk on. Tigger would keep running ahead of me and laying down. He wouldn't allow me to pick him up.
Finally, at the end of the summer, I brought both cats into the sunroom for the veterinarian to examine with the intention of making them part of our feline household. I was really afraid of their getting hurt. (We live in Delaware where a kitten was tortured to death in the Spring.) The vet finally gave them the okay, and they joined Autumn and Moon with the whole house as their territory.
Tigger now comes to me and cries to be petted. He still rolls over but won't get onto the chair or anywhere more convenient for petting. Keke is a total joy. He's fearless and adorable. He ignores Moon's hissing and growling and does whatever he wants, including chasing Moon or Autumn. The vet judged Tigger to be six, and Keke four, by their teeth. I can't believe Keke could be four. He's the size of a six-month old kitten and soooooo affectionate. Little Keke slept with me last night and he gives me cat kisses on my hand and does the cat nose rub. There are many homeless kittens and cats waiting for homes. They take very little care if they stay indoors. No fleas, no disease. Each cat needs at least one kitty litter and they're not difficult to clean. Cats live on average live from twelve to sixteen years old and they give love and affection differently, but as much as dogs. If they have a special corregated cardboard to scratch, they leave the furniture alone and they rarely scratch their family except by accident or if you are playing "cat" with them. Cats are independent, as smart as dogs, but they learn to respond to their names. They are endlessly curious and it's very hard not to think of them as "our furry babies".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

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House A Mess


HARRY MARTIN POLIS, poet-philosopher

E-mail: harrymartinpolis@yahoo.com
http://www.poet-cop.com/
ICQ # 10954537



HOUSE A MESS
I need to complain for a minute or two. Jaynee has wanted to put a full bathroom in the family room since we moved in. We had a tiny powder room, a deep closet, and a larger laundry room in the intended area. Nothing was quite large enough and they were already cluttered with paint and tools when we came. It took a few months of investigation, and Jaynee found a small company to do the conversion. Jaynee sat down with Eloy Sosa, who owns the company with his brother, and planned the new bathroom. Jaynee always planned to have a shower, and because Eloy is a master tiler, this bathroom would have tiled walls and floors. When the walls were knocked down, the space was too small for the washer and dryer, so vertical units had to be purchased. The window was too close to the washer/dryer “closet”, so a new one had to be installed. Two doors were closed off and the walls redone. Probably the most difficult part was drilling the cement floor to extend the water line and drain.
Meanwhile, the entire house is filled with dust. It is not obvious how the two new cats add to the furry dust; they have blended right in with our other two cats. For a long while, our washer and dryer were in the driveway. The guys set up their machinery on a part of our garden, but were careful of the holly bush. Our beautiful family room has two pathways now. The furniture is pushed together in the center and it’s all covered with dust.
The shower doors and the vanity will take a while to get here. There is no sink in the downstairs bathroom for now. The bathroom is gorgeous though. Jaynee picked out medium blue tiles and they go all the way up to the ceiling. When the bathroom is done, and I can’t wait, it will be special.
Copyright 2008 by Harry Martin Polis and edited by Jaynee Levy-Polis
Harry is available for lectures and entertainment with stories and poetry. Contact SCOOP USA, or e-mail Harry.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

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Michael's Restaurant

I had a question so our waitress explained I would have to ask the manager, so I went looking for “Bob”, the manager. Bob turned out to be the man tending bar. He apparently did not intend to answer me at the reservation desk, but I was not going away until he did.
Mr. Bob was rude. The man was already touting a miserable facial expression and demeanor. Apparently, it took very little to set him off. Bob is one of Michael’s managers and he seats customers. I wrote to Michael’s about what happened to me. Mrs. Moskowitz—she and her husband own the restaurant—answered, promising to send me some kind of coupon. Since she supported her manager's behavior, I wrote again complaining about how their manager had acted. She did not answer and needless to say, I never received any coupon.
I do not patronize restaurants where staff is surly. Michael’s fare is mediocre at best. Their salad bar is their draw. While not comparing with Charlie Brown’s, it is a good one. For a slim or small person, going there is a waste of money. Harry and I call this kind of restaurant a “Tie on the feed bucket” eatery. The salad bar is misleading; a name closer to reality would be “Joe’s Eats”. With that name, a glowering host/manager and completely uninspired meals would be no surprise. I definitely do NOT recommend this gussied up hole-in-the-wall. One problem and the customer would find a very nasty brick wall, not the family-owned friendly face for which one might be looking.

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