Thursday, July 29, 2010

can't sleep

I can't sleep-the well of dreams is dry and so I will tell you a story about how love and marriage always ends up with the husband wearing a loaner toupee. A young friend is visiting Julia and I was thinking of her grandfather who she never met. Something we have in common. My grandfather passed away the same year I was born--but I didn't take it personally. Her grandfather, Peter, was a rare gem. He worked for the railroad in New York and had a late in life cushy job riding around in a little yellow truck. He would visit my store in the morning to partake of our coffee pot. I love coffee, I love pots and when you put the two together you have a coffee pot. The aroma seeping out of the spout, the death rattle gurgle of the dark beans clinging to life... until silence. a silence that comes to us all. Except no one is going to put you or me into a cup and add cream and sugar. But I digress. Peter would turn up the work radio on his truck in case their was a problem on the tracks and park in back of our store. We would keep the double doors open so he could listen with one ear and carry on a conversation with the other. He wore a jump suit. A man over sixty should never wear a jump suit--it looks like a giant diaper. Peter, as long as I knew him always wore a toupee. It was a very nice toupee. I was quite fond of that toupee and so was the staff at the furniture store. We would pleasantly waste a good hour drinking coffee and admiring his toupee-sometimes he would let us touch it. Then he would be off to mysterious destinations until the next day. I would miss that toupee--some days more than I missed Peter--although I never told him lest I hurt his feelings. One day Peter's truck pulled up in back of the store and we heard the chatter of his radio competing with our coffee pot. I was expecting an unchanging universe but oh how I was wrong. In walked Peter with a blond toupee. If he walked in sobbing his eyes out and asking God to end his embarrassment it would not have been funny, but he walked in, filled a cup with recently deceased coffee added cream and sugar and acted like it was yesterday. We tried, we really tried. Alice in the office tried so hard when she saw him that her face turned bright red and a trickle of blood rolled down her ear lobe, but the dam burst and laughter drowned out the truck radio and the coffee pot and the war in Vietnam. There was beloved Peter, a man who deserved better-looking hopeless, helpless, who never had a chance. He told us a sad tale. His long time toupee (a personal friend of mine) had begun to show wear and tear (so what! You don't potato sack the family cat in the Hudson river because he has a bald patch on his ass). His long time wife 9 who wore a wig) had brought his toupee to the shop for repairs ( who knew!)and they had given her a loaner toupee for Peter who had lost his will years ago sometime in the third decade of marriage. I miss Peter-- he died too young at heart. I miss his big diaper jump suit, his little yellow truck and his chattering radio. He was so blissfully happy that he wore a blond loaner toupee and couldn't care less. Peter may be gone, but his toupee lives on now worn by an ex-nun in Baltimore--but that's an another story for a sleepless night when the well of dreams runs dry.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

another proverb

I have been working on packaging a version of the proverb game that has good friends illustration on the cover. The printer is making me up twenty to begin with and I'll gauge the response. One day, a day that I may never see, this game will be used in classrooms and help to produce prejudice free world citizens.


This proverb explains that what you learn when you are young,
stays with you forever.

"What is learned in the cradle lasts till the ------------."

A. Next diaper change.
B. Bus leaves for Cleveland.
C. Grave.
D. Time when you have your own children.

Monday, July 19, 2010

2nd meeting

I went to my second Food Addicts in Recovery meeting to night with my wonderful daughter Julia. I'll make it up to her if it takes the rest of my life. Some good-some bad. I wanted to kill the lady who was moderating. She spoke forty minutes and I thought about that book series and movie "Lemony Spicket and a series of unfortunate events. She told the story of her life five times--I zoned out when she fell into Mt. St. Helens and now must live a hairless life forever. I'm venting. The good--an enormous lady waddled up to tell her story. I'm ashamed to say I thought it was her first time. She had been in the program ninety days plus three weeks and had lost 77 lbs. She spoke of love. She talked about the feeling in the pit of her stomach in college when she realized she was in love, a love that is still strong after 25 years of marriage. She said she wants that same feeling about the rest of her life that she could only have if she could be freed from addiction. I told Julia it was what the lady didn't say that I was thinking of. She didn't want to lose her husband. I tried to explain to my daughter. I said what if someone put a bag over your head and took you out of my life and I never saw you again. I would be beyond anger-an anger I would never survive. But what if I was the one who put the bag over your head and put you out of my life because I ended my life prematurely because I lost the addiction battle. The result would be the same-an anger I would never survive. That is why it is so important to win this battle. Win your battle people.

Friday, July 2, 2010


At the staff meeting last night they gave me a card signed by the bosses and fellow staff members, gift cert., ice cream cakes accompanied by speeches-one boss gets emotional when he talks about me. All because I'm semi retiring-not totally retiring and not even dead(pardon me while I look in a mirror to be sure). The owner of this huge company encourages me to send ideas directly to him that I think would improve his company. Friends from around the world say wonderful things about me, our classes at Green Acre based on a book I co-authored fill up and get great reviews. The straw that broke the camels back was an email received yesterday of a group of prisoners in Arizona who hold classes using our classroom workbook. I also have two books published and more on the way plus innumerable mag. pieces for children. And every time I get a compliment I smile and look inward and say to my self. This man you praise most likely would not have made out of his twenties. He would have died a despondent alcoholic-would never have found the love of his life, or been blessed with two wonderful daughters and an incredible granddaughter.
One day made all the difference almost 46 years ago to the day. My mother dragged me up to Green Acre Baha'i School even though I told her I wanted no part of religion. I believe I became a Baha'i that first day. I stayed the summer and painted cottages and went to an occasional class and loved every moment of it. Maybe it was the people that first attracted me or blame it on the bossanova, but in the end a particle of dust landed on me from the robe of Baha'u'llah-the founder of the Baha'i Faith and it changed my life. It is all about honesty and this is something I will say this once. Ronald Tomanio, the guy I grew up with, well he died on a bar room floor. He never did anything noteworthy or added one grain of sand or blade of grass to the world or improved it in any way. So, don't ever worry that if you praise Ronald Tomanio he will get a big head. I will take any compliments and smile-later I will take that smile and inwardly turn it into a flower which I will lay on his grave.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


My first week of my new pared down work week. Gym and swimming with Karen yesterday--muscles sore, but in a mentally good way. I'm taking a break from final go over a story I'm sending to England. I find myself thinking of phony jobs I could tell people I do, and who among the dwindling friends that still believe anything I say, would actually believe me. Anyway, I have taken a job(delusional thinking alarm) writing those random non sequitor security codes like " cement frog" or "toe jam sandwich". Or, how about this. Last week our landlord had an electrician install carbon monoxide sensors-a new law now. Why not bull**** sensors. A salesman comes to the door selling swamp land in New Jersey. Immediately, an intermittent screeching sound followed by a loud warning "b*******t!" fills the house. There could be a phone version that would break in upon hearing the words "time share" or "subscription".
My late much loved Janet from Norwegian told this joke from her old country. Two friends get laid of from the factory and go the unemployment office to get a temporary check. Olaf goes in the office first while Eric stays in the car. Olaf meets the benefits manager to find out how much he will get from unemployment insurance. He comes back to the car all happy and tells Eric that he will be given 400.00 a week. "Wow" said Eric. "If you got that much and you are only my assistant, I'm going to get a lot more!" So Eric meets with the manager who asks him what he does for a living. Eric answered, "I run a sewing machine that sews ladies undergarments." The manager looked in his book and said, "As a sewing machine operator you will receive 200.00 a week." What! You gave my friend Olaf 400.00 a week."
"Olaf told me he was a diesel fitter--that's quite a responsible job in the official book" "Diesel Fitter", shouted Eric. I sew the woman's panties and Olaf puts them over his head and says "Diesel Fitter". Oh well--a nap and then back at it.