Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dig That Heavy Metal, Underneath Your Hood

My sister's view of her walking lake in Colorado
This summer I rode with P to park his car in Red Hook as a means to hang out and play together.  Alternate side parking provoked more than a few of these tag-alongs this year.  It's a short fun ride and it remains one of the few close tranquil spots where you can actually disembark the merry go round and just be. The Buttermilk Channel is right there to enjoy alone, like my sister's lake.  It's rare that more than a couple of people are around, even in summer except for a few hot spots.
Fairway has a nice spot out back facing the water to drink coffee and share a muffin.  I noticed the big planters were full of herbs, peppers and tomatoes this year.  Were they always there?

I never tire of looking at this old girl.

After taking some pictures, I lounged around the front seat reading, daydreaming and exchanging silly texts with my sister while P waxed and fiddled with something or other. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Weary Pilgrim, Welcome Home

Caprese Burger over Butter Lettuce
I may have been homeless in a previous life because I am super grateful for what some might call basic luxuries, like having a good meal or two each day.  This herbed brown rice coupled with a lettuce burger hit that spot.  The butter lettuce is so tender it's perfect to rip a small piece to tear away at the meat patty.  The grainy rice has that nutty bite, cooked in broth then mixed with the fresh herbs and a tiny pat of butter at the end.
Having a bed with clean sheets to sleep on, a roof over my head, that list does go on and on. Of course the love of eating is number one but the ability to take showers is pretty high on the beholden list. 
The ability to steep in soap and water is life.   Every time I'm toweling off or lathering up either in the bowels of summer or the coldest winter night, I consider how much of a game changer a simple bath can be to my overall mental health.  I assume others feel this as well. This is where your body really connects to your brain. Cleaning every nook, scrubbing the demons off my skin.  Rinsing away any bad funk from the day.  A fresh start, a new beginning each time. like a little miracle. The way your hair feels all bouncy pure air drying from the window breeze.  How your skin almost breathes in refreshment.  Leaving not one speck of make up on my face.  Every orifice spotless.  Yep, I'm a big fan of showers and bathing in general. 
Without this essential daily boost, I fear my mind would quickly wilt into the deep abyss. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

You Say Why? And I Say I Don't Know

A young man, looked like a student, came into the store today and stopped me while I had an armful of cardboard.  He was a bit frantic.  It's always a bit of an annoyance that anyone really needs help in a store that is basically set up so that you don't.  And of all places, in the kitchen accessory shop. I had gone there for my refuge.  I like to hide straighten up in there and grab some peace on the last half hour of my shift.  It's mindless but also a calming, honest work out.  So of course I'm a little short with him.  If you need directions, I will make allowances.  You're lost.  You need assistance finding your way out or to pay.  I can understand that.  But what does this child want?  So he starts to say but seems to have a tough time getting the proper words out.  Not because he's daft but I surmise he's one of these kids that has never held a hammer or operated a drill.  He's having trouble describing his issue. I try to help pull the right thing out of his big round head..."screw hole?' I say?  Anchors, you mean?  Are you talking about the studs?"..we were speaking a different language it felt like.  After a bunch of deep breaths on my part and more prying I finally get that he is trying to find a shelf that will fit into the same holes that the previous shelf mounted onto.   The conversation goes back and forth for a while.  I could see he was getting more anxiety ridden, which made me mad for reasons I can't know.  'Drill new holes' I said, 'what's the big deal?  We don't have the same size.' More whining. And then when my coworker hears me raise my voice, 'What is Spackle?!' , she runs chiming up yelling 'just put toothpaste before you move, no one will know'.  So that just blew his mind and now he's completely confused.  I said to him sternly, 'what is your actual dilemma'?  Is it that you're not allowed to drill new holes?' No, that wasn't it, he says. I wasn't getting it and in my experience you try to help people but if you can't you gotta just cut them loose quick. Otherwise you get those lingerers.  I actually helped two other bathroom and closet department seekers in between, trying to ditch him but he stayed with me, what felt like clinging to my leg for eternity.  I turned as a retail way of saying, we're done here and he wants to continue on, determined I could help solve his problem.   In the end tables turned and he got all huffy with me!  As if trying to trick me he asks, 'What kind of screws will I use to mount the new shelf then?'  I told him the same ones you did before if there was no problem.  He tells me that's exactly the question he was asking me to begin with and stormed away as if I had wasted his time. 
It's weird what you end up thinking about at night while laying in bed trying to drift off.  I thought about this kid in his conservative V-neck sweater and the picture of that hole in the wall he kept showing me on his phone.  What was the significance?  Funny font on top of an online picture of him, 'Who man is dis?' came into my mind and I had a good laugh.  Did he share his experience with anyone? Did he find me incredulous?  I don't imagine anyone has ever thought about customer service as much as me.  In my head I'm hearing Werner Herzog wrapping up my encounters with this stranger.  Did he ever find what he was looking for?
Before I called it a day I made these quick BBQ drumsticks on the stove top and they tasted grilled. smashed halved Brussels Sprouts and tomato salad. 
Perfect night for dinner and a documentary...of my own making.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

25 or 6 to 4

Image result for blood moon

Its very rare that I wouldn't delight in multiple slices of pizza especially on a full blood moon eclipse night when we have major thunderstorms and extreme flash flood warnings.  That's a dream night for a  weather loving nerd like me.  It could only be better if I was off the next day.  I'm excited but I'm also full on wolfin' it big time. My adrenaline level is through the roof. My bike ride was effortless and I was even passing the tall skinny young dudes who usually leave me in their dust.  I rode, I did yoga, a little Tai Chi and I still fear I might eat the cat.  I asked P to hang back in the other room because let's face it, he's gonna say something stupid, some insensitive comment or do one of those things in front of me that drive me insane, like spill water all over the kitchen floor and then walk on it with his dirty shoes.  Or wipe his greasy hands on the couch armrest.  You know what, he doesn't even have to do anything, just thinking about his past crimes against sanitation is already making me want to pounce on his back and take him down.
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I'll need to wait this one out in solitude.  I've yet to meet another person that is affected to this degree by the full moon.  My body aches as though every muscle and vein want to burst through my skin.  My breathing is heavy.  Random hairs grow seemingly overnight. My mind races with the thoughts of the deranged. When I talk to people I feel I can see too far into their psyches.  And magically at daybreak everything tends to settle into a more manageable pace.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

 My sister's heavenly tamales
My sister makes gorgeous, I'm assuming ridiculously delicious tamales all the time and sends me pictures of them.  I love tamales and know how to make them but it takes time, good pork and patience. And skill.  Plus after all the work of putting the ingredients together and seasoning just right, you must then spend time assembling them.  This is when I get sloppy and yet sis takes the time to tie sweet little corn husk ribbons on hers.  But out of the grey skies today the world stopped spinning on it's normal boring axis, and shat out a tamale happenstance just for me.  A flat tire caused me to take the subway instead of my bike to work.  Reaching my stop, even though the humidity was fierce, I could walk the rest of the way rather than bussing it in comfortable air-conditioning and it would save time.  I knew I wanted to get a good picture of my newfound bestie restaurant so I walked by and saw this handwritten sign surely from God saying:
I ran in and ordered, my feet barely touched the ground the rest of the way I was so happy.
They were not as pretty as Rach's but they tasted divine as does everything I've tried from this delightful place. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Is This a Lasting Treasure or Just a Moment's Pleasure

P can take all the calm out of the air with his deep sighs, angst and heavy energy.  Sometimes his presence feels like a category 4 storm rolling through my calm island paradise. It's a side of him that I tolerate but have never gotten used to or fully
understood.  He's such a chill person normally but then for whatever reasons, and to be fair, usually specific, reasonable ones, he goes all whackadoodle on me.  Like he becomes electric.  And then I am hyper sensitive to any kind of force in my vicinity, I can't help it. I find it very hard to ignore a fussy being.  I pick up those bad readings like a cat.  Now I'm all wound up.  This is all opposite of serenity.
Image result for cat freaking gif

I joke about darting him, bringing him down like a giant rhino so that I can retain my quiet space.  Standing over him like he's a trophy, which is horrible and disgusting when its a real innocent animal but funny when you fantasize about doing it to your husband.  He was gone for another road trip and just got back today.  I had the apartment sparkling clean when he was away.  Everything in it's place, candles burning, no water on the counters, no weird hairs in the bathroom sink.  Mona the cat was easy and sleeping peacefully on the fluffed up bedding.  I felt like the air was flowing through in a nice jet stream.  Then he walks in and muddles up all my chi.  I love him, don't get me wrong.  I want him around and I did miss him but good Lord in heaven you have to acknowledge the funk a man can put on a place, especially when you've just enjoyed several days of pure, peaceful bliss.
In honor of my gorgeous solo girlie time I made this cool pretty wedge salad with bacon, tomatoes, red onion and a great avocado Green Goddess dressing.

Earlier that morning a stroll in the park to run the steps I ran into a bunch of fireman in uniform. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

All I Leave Behind Me Is Only What I Found

P took a road trip to see a jam band music festival with this brother in Scranton.  I texted him that New York had air quality alerts due to the heavy stench of old Burkenstocks coming over from the Northwest.  Old man hippie stank thick like a fog.  I thought it was funny.
Meanwhile, rain hit the area hard and taking the subway gave me the opportunity to finally try this new little Mexican joint under the overpass.  I had no cash and the morning cook didn't know how to operate the credit card machine.  At a stand still he decided to let me slide like Wimpy, promising to pay for my tacos another day.
These times are when I feel so 'unMexican', so uncool.  Some crazy hybrid awkward geek mutant that can't speak Spanish or even convey a simple promise.  My sister busted me right away when I told her the story.  She knew I would become way too chatty nervously trying to explain that I would definitely come back that afternoon to pay.  I ended up sounding like Miss Jane in one of her screwball episodes.  What a nerd turd I can be sometimes.  It's a leftover from my Midwestern days where if you ever did anything wrong in society as a Mexican child you must immediately become convincingly trustworthy and sound.  In other words you never wanted to start any trouble or make waves.  Certainly never be caught unable to pay at check out.  My mom was big on always being presentable and not giving anyone ammunition to become hostile. I took this to heart.

But this guy looked like he could care less if he ever saw me again,  Apparently old lady goobers aren't captivating.  Made me feel even worse. My dorkiness aside, its as if people are less connected every year, less human, less feeling.  Less moved by each other.  We're moving too far away from our natural animal communication abilities.  Not many people look you in your eyes anymore. Do you notice that?  There is a lot to see in those peepers, for me anyway.  He had no idea how psyched I was to finally try this place.  How I thought it was so brave to start a business in this corner.  How happy it made me for them that it most certainly paid off.  How the rain made this moment possible in a sweet chance encounter that made me feel even more linked to this man, making my tacos.
Later, after work I walked back to pay my debt and to try another offering for my dinner.  This time with more social armor up.  This morning it was steak, so I bought two chicken tacos. I waved at him,  happy to see he was still working but the gesture was not acknowledged, although he motioned to the cashier that I owed from this morning.

Later I sat in my apartment enjoying the chicken taco with a huge iced lemon seltzer considering how we're failing more every day at humanity.  If you can't conjure a little love with a simple taco exchange on a rainy day then I fear the end is surely not far behind.