Monday, April 14, 2014

Celebrate The Choices

Oh, to know then what I know now!

                                                       


I just celebrated a birthday - mine. Well, celebrated is not the right word. This is not to say I didn't enjoy my birthday. I did - very much. What I find hard to celebrate, however, is getting older.  What's to celebrate? You lose your attractiveness. Your abilities diminish. You are closer to your grave.

Readers of this blog are familiar with my obsession with death and the hereafter. This obsession visits me daily. Today it moved in. I am its landlord. I should evict it but this obsession has become sort of comforting. It gives me hope. As long as I grapple with it, the possibilities that occur seem plausible.

Back to getting older - is there a plus side - yes. Speaking purely for myself, I can say aging has made me more tolerant. It has given me wisdom. I know that's a cliché but, trust me, it is true. And this wisdom makes me weep with regret. If only - if only. The distance of age has given me hindsight and clarity, "Oh. that's what I should have done. It is so damn clear - now. Well, baby, it is too late."

Back to the dark side.

 I went through a period of deep regret but emerged into my present state - one of acceptance and forgiveness - forgiveness toward my self for my bad choices. After all, I have a good life and these choices - good or bad - have made me the person I am now. I know, another popular cliché but also true.

                                                 
        

So, should I celebrate my choices? I do like who I am. My time is my own. My love is my love.

Except I wish I were younger and know what I know now..................Oh, the possibilities............

                                              



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

That Damn Light

                                                    


Attending wakes, memorials and funerals are becoming a common activity. I haven't gotten complacent  as yet but I see complacency around the bend. There was a time when I wouldn't 't go to funerals out of squeamishness. I was very young and very dramatic. Now I realize that was selfish of me. Showing up at wakes and funerals is an act of kindness toward the surviving loved ones. I now know from experience as a surviving loved one that the more that attend the merrier. Well, not merrier exactly but it is a certain kind of happiness to see big numbers at the funeral of your parent, spouse or sibling AND it is comforting. We need to hear "At least he didn't suffer" and "She looks good - they did a good job" and "Well, he is at peace - no more pain" and "She's looking down at us and smiling"

Clichés' abound and so what. It is all meant well and the grief is shared in all varying degrees from "what a shame - tsk tsk" to "Oh my God!" - wails and whimpers - all necessary all inevitable.

It is unavoidable these frequent events. As we age death lurks everywhere. Our contemporaries and those senior to us become the "at risk" community. I think it outrageously unfair how life works. As we gain wisdom and a true appreciation for this gift of life our time for such appreciation diminishes. We don't quite see that light we are supposed to walk toward but we do see our mortality - not as comforting as that light we are always hearing about.  
                                                    


But what can be done about this gross unfairness - this illogical last phase of life?

Nothing.

So, some of us go to the gym religiously. We diet - eat healthy - lots of broccoli and blueberries - multi-vitamins - positive thinking - anything to delay seeing that damn light.

Some of us pray.

Some get religion. Now the rotten bastards want to play saint. They drop their sense of humor and proclaim they are born again. Everyone is a sinner and they are pure. After all, don't they attend church every Sunday. Don't they pity the poor. Don't they now know Jesus. Don't they condemn all who are not like them. "Isn't that dress cut too low"  "He drinks, you know." "She's such a slut." He's a homo."  Surely they will be welcomed into eternal grace - so they think.

Yes. as we get old some of us panic as our friends and family leave us. Is it just a matter of time for us? Are all these wakes and funerals paving the way - our way toward that light we keep hearing about?
                                                       

Many say "Just don't think about it."

Hm...............

Well. I don't think about it until somewhere in my week  - week after week - I am confronted with another loss. Whether it be a personal loss or that other loss - celebrities, actors etc. that we grew up with - loving their songs, movies, books - this is a reminder that our world - our particular generation and all its bells and whistles is winding down to a memory - a footnote for the present up and comers.

I don't like it.

But there's nothing I can do about............

I just won't think about it.

Uh huh.......right!
                                                 
                                                 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

bite

                                                       
      


Ami Melamed goes his own way. He knows what he likes and we like what he knows. Okay, I'm being cute. bite(in lower case), a soup, salad and sandwich restaurant on 14th St. in Manhattan is seriously cute. Mr. Melamed, also cute, has created a very hip joint. So hip that if you are not hip, by the time you leave bite you will have joined the ranks of the NYC hip.

His sandwiches, soups and salads are made from organic ingredients. It is all gourmet delicious. You will discover one of a kind sandwich creations. I especially like  - no - love - the Sabih made with humus, eggplant, hard boiled egg, salad greens and a spicy dressing on a bread of your choice. I like the ciabatta. The salads are full meals. I adore the goat cheese salad. It is heaven!

While you are in heaven you will be transported to cloud 9 with Ami's divine chili. Spicy & thick, it is served in a bowl with a mound of white rice in the center and sour cream hanging to the side. Whenever I travel to NYC, my first stop is chili at bite. I dream about this chili.

                                                        


There are plenty more choices on the menu including homemade cookies and brownies - so good. The thing is, bite is original. There is nothing like it in all of New York City.

And there's nothing like Ami Melamed in all of new York City.

                                                     
  

Let's talk a little bit about Ami Melamed. Here is an extremely amiable man who undoubtedly enjoys his restaurant and its customers. It is not unusual to see him chatting with diners as if they were old friends. And they are. Anyone who frequents bite will get to know this terrific guy and gain the status of "old friend". . I once remarked about the beautiful music playing in his restaurant. Ami disappeared returning with two Cd's -he gifted me with copies of his current play list for the place. His friendliness is sincere not solicitous. Bottom line - I like this guy.

Now, I have to relate a most important and compelling fact. bite is unbelievably inexpensive. Gourmet quality food is served up for under ten dollars! Oh yes and satisfyingly so. This fact may be the reason bite attracts the large student population nearby and artists of all disciplines. The attractive and colorful clientele make bite all the more appealing.
                                               


Good food, people and prices and the lively location make bite one of my favorite destinations while in New York City. Go to bite's website to peruse the menu and learn more about Ami Melamed. You will certainly be intrigued.

bite website  http://bitenyc.com/about.html

                                                   

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why Oh Why?

Why is everything a controversy these days? Why Oh Why?

Fun loving Joe Namath wears a fur coat at the Super Bowl coin toss AND tweets litter the web.

Staying with the Super Bowl - Coke debuts a beautiful commercial about diversity to the tune of "America The Beautiful" and the boors of America are up in arms - no doubt literally in some cases - because to make the melting pot message the lyrics are in many languages including English - boors take note.

Cheerios did a cute TV ad about a bi-racial family - oh boy, out come the bigots, again AND we are off and running with another controversy.

DUCK DYNASTY, THE BACHELOR, THE GOLDEN GLOBES, Alec Baldwin, Jerrod Leto, Hillary, Obama, Beiber and on and on........

Aren't we suppose to be the land of the free - speech, expression etc.?

Some of these "controversies" deserve attention BUT haven't we lost our sense of humor, our sense of perspective? Sometimes we should just look the other way. The offense will die a natural death and less importance will be given to the idiots of the world. Let the offenders dig their own grave. They do not always need our help.


I AM SO BORED WITH APOLOGIES FROM PUBLIC FIGURES AND CELEBS.   




We know they don't really mean it. They are just eager to salvage their reputations and keep their current lucrative gigs.


Are we all so thin skinned that any little stupid utterance by over paid narcissists threaten our delicate sensibilities?                                                        
              
 



We need to relax. The oafs of the world will reveal themselves and will either go away or hang around in a cloud of disgrace or irrelevance.

Of course, it is easy to feel outrage in today's world. As fairness takes a stronghold as it always will, the opposing forces are naturally called to arms. Freedom for all is not everyone's ideal. Somehow this opposition feels threatened by other people's happiness. They hide behind religion, patriotism and politics to make their case. It is a coward's tactic but this strategy convinces the weaker ones in our society. So, we fight on and on and on.................
 
This is the world we live in. This is the world we have made. We have an over active media and a huge and still growing social media where tweets and posts have replaced thoughtful letters and essays. There is no turning back. We must stop romanticizing the past with hopes of returning to it. The past wasn't all that great. We will move forward and deal with what we have and what is yet to come. And, you know what? We will get what we deserve - most definitely. Let us hope what we  deserve is the very best.

But then, I believe in karma. The future is anyone's guess. 
                                                  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Code Blue by tony baksa





2 degrees
real feel minus 6 - outside
inside real feel
warm and cozy

staying home
grateful
diversions
aplenty
                                              

TV news
cold snap continues
not for me
warm diversions - aplenty

a giddy feeling
prevails
weatherman says
"code blue" - code blue?
                                              

homeless herded
into shelters
borrowed warmth
just for the night

some soup
a cot
a blanket
then sleep

out at 8 am
real feel
COLD
a long day ahead
                                            

a chill sweeps
over my contentment
desperately grateful
cherished home

code blue
a cruel signal
of charity
temporary warmth

out at 8 am
a long
cold
day again

real feel
sad
real feel
thankful

code blue
cold
blue
prevails

                                       

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gloria - First Birthday In Heaven

I cannot believe it has been less then one year since Gloria passed away. In fact, it was March 17th - St. Patrick's Day. How do you wish someone who has passed Happy Birthday. It seems rather absurd. Nevertheless, January 9th needs to be acknowledged. It's the date we think of Gloria. So here is my video birthday card for my dear sister Gloria. Simply - Happy Birthday - you are missed.



video

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Midnight Musings

                                              


  • I'm back to thinking about mortality - my ax, I know. Phil Everly died and a flood of memories and thoughts wash through me. I went to youtube to visit the past and hear the beautiful Everly Brothers. They were as beautiful as their sound. Weren't we all to varying degrees. And the age old question comes back to bother me. Why must we die? How do we live knowing we die?
Some people rely on religion to soften the blow, Some people refuse to think about it. And some people (me) think about it all the time. Merde.

  • I find as I age, that my tolerance for shallow people has diminished greatly. Am I being unkind? Are people purposely shallow? Is shallow subjective? Do I join their shallow world by tolerating them - a sort of participation? 

  • It's funny how I continue to make new friends. I thought that when you got older, your friendships were pretty much set. But, I am always amazed at the frequency of "new" people that enter my world.
                                                 

  • Totally switching gears: An old friend of mine who lives in Tennessee sends me terrific presents every Christmas. This year she sent me food gifts; Chow Chow which I tasted today by putting it on my grilled salmon steak. I liked it. Among other items was a box of Goo Goo Clusters. OMG! these candy bars are absolute heaven. I remember them as a child but I don't recall them being this delicious.

  • Staying with food - I promised myself - a sort of New Year resolution - to eat more fruits and vegetables. I love fruits and veggies but I like bread and butter more. I am conflicted about this because I feel - getting back to my original topic, mortality - if I deny myself the foods that I like , I may go to my grave before I re-experience éclairs and Goo Goo Clusters. So, what do I do. Live a fat and happy life or a slim and healthy (deprived) existence?
                                                            

  • I have this image of myself - in my mind's eye - I see a slim 27 year old with longish hair and bright eyes - I feel this image of me also. Then I go to my bathroom mirror in the morning to throw water on my face - I towel dry and glimpse a man that resembles my father - the man in the mirror is not slim and 27. If it weren't so funny I'd cry.
                                                      


  • Fair warning - a rant is coming.............I know same sex marriage is still fairly new to our culture BUT, although I had a pretty terrific Christmas, with all the family and friends I spent time, NOT ONE PERSON ASKED ME WHAT GLENN GAVE ME FOR CHRISTMAS or ASKED GLENN WHAT I GAVE. This might seem like a small thing but believe me it is not - especially when all the straight people are asking the other straight people what their spouses gave them for Christmas. I have noticed that straight people - well, in my world , anyway talk differently to opposite sex couples then they do to same sex couples. They seem to deliberately avoid romantic topics, domestic issues and just everyday inquiries into your cohabited life. Yet, they are all over straight couples about the tiniest of things getting all gooey over just any little hubby wifey thing. And, you may not agree with me but dear family and friends THIS IS A FORM OF  HOMOPHOBIA. So, at several  gatherings I got so angry inside that I volunteered information as almost a protest - a declaration of the validity of my marriage. And yet the response was indifference laced heavily with avoidance - facial expressions that seem to say "Uh-we don't want to talk about THAT" For example, I announced that one of the gifts Glenn gave me was a check for one thousand dollars. I thought such a gift would garner glee and joy from my family and friends. What I got was blank stares and a moving on attitude. If one of the straight husbands or wives at this particular gathering had shared such news, it would have been received differently - you know, good natured jokes, congrats, questions about how will you spend the money etc. But, no, not a word. I was so deflated and then felt because of this cold collective response to my gift announcement, that they will all decide and talk later about how Anthony bragged. Sometimes I wish there was a separate planet for gay people. A place that hurt would only result from issues other than sexuality. A planet free from opinions by straight people who think they know BUT DO NOT KNOW a true thing about being gay in a straight society.
                                                               
 

  • One more rant in a similar vein - GAY IS NOT A LIFE STYLE - mmkay? A life style is living in a cabin in the woods - fishing and hunting for your food. A life style is boating enthusiasts. A life style is something you choose like being a vegetarian. A life style is living high on the hog or choosing to live simply. Surfing is a lifestyle. Our wonderful new Pope has chosen a humble lifestyle. ROMANTIC AND SEXUAL FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS ARE NOT  LIFESTYTLES - DO YOU HEAR ME STRAIGHT PEOPLE? GAY IS NOT A LIFESTYLE! GAY JUST IS like straight just is. Someday I'll rant about how I hate the defining terms "gay" and "straight". But not today. I'm spent.
                                                            

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR!