© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Fingers coursing beads
in a room turned caramel
by pulled shades,

an ancient lady
prays, locked in her bed beneath
a picture of Jesus,

and breathes medicinal
odors of age & death while
her sister dusts rungs

on a wicker chair.

Originally published in A Matter of MindFoothills Publishing, Kanona, NY © 2004.
© copyright 2010 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog
All rights reserved.

Friday, May 14, 2010

None of my grandkids are going to see it

What passes for a newspaper in our fair city publishes synopses of movies currently playing around town. A number of them have a Parents Guide appended to them to let Mom and Pop know about anything that some parents might find unsuitable for their kids. Here's the Parents Guide for Queen Latifah's new movie "Just Wright":
There is an implied overnight tryst with Queen Latifah nearly dancing in bed the next morning, covered by a sheet. There is other mild sexual innuendo, wine and beer drinking, occasional mild profanity, and some intense basketball action.
Oh no!

Quick! Cover your eyes!

They're playing basketball!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sign of the times

Saw a campaign sign today for a candidate for a congressional seat. Under his name was his campaign slgan, "Less government."

So if I understand, he wants me to vote for him because he'll do less work than the other guy. Wonderful. Wish I had a job that would pay me to do less.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finding Braja

On our last day in Charleston we had breakfast at Saffron, a bakery/deli/cafe at the edge of the historic district. When we sat down, the server asked if she could bring us something to drink, "Coffee? Juice? Soda?"

I gave up drinking coffee almost a year ago, and so I said I wanted ice water and asked if she had green tea. She said she didn't know but they had lots of tea and she'd go look. When she came back she had two teabag envelopes that she put down in front of me to see if either one would work.

The first one I looked at said "Green Tea with Jasmine." When it comes to green tea I'm a bit of a snob (though I'm not above using a tea bag to brew it), so I rejected the jasmine. The second envelope said "Pure Green/Supports Vitality." I said that's the one I wanted, so she picked up both and walked away from the table. Looking back over her shoulder, she asked "You want water with that, right?"

I had one of those disconnect moments but felt quite ascetic as I pondered how I might have tea without water.

When she came back she had a pot of hot water, the tea bag and a glass of ice water. I took the tea bag out of the envelope and put it in the pot of water. After about two minutes I went to remove the teabag, but the tag at the end of the string came off in my fingers. I turned it over in my hand and both noticed there was a fortune written on one side and felt a presence.

The fortune said "Without realizing who you are, happiness cannot come to you." Then I looked back at the envelope that had held the tea bag and for the first time noticed the brand. It was "Yogi." And then I understood. Somehow, I had made a connection with the lovely blogging Yogini from half way around the world. You may not have been aware, Braja, but you gave me something to think about that morning.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Words Women Use

If you are ever in Charleston, South Carolina, as we were last week, there are at least three places you have to go to eat.

The first is Magnolia's on East Bay Street. Order the small plate seared tuna. It is the closest I've ever come to Nirvana at the dinner table.

The second place is Hank's, about a block from the Old Market at the corner of Church and Hayne. (Tip: Make your reservation before your trip if you want to get a table at a reasonable hour.) There is nothing there that isn't good. But don't pass up the oyster sampler. The best part of it was the oysters from the local waters. The shells were long and narrow, and the oysters were exquisitely delicate and sweet.

The third place is Hyman's Seafood on Meeting Street. It seems every tourist in Charleston has to go there, so if you go in the evening, be prepared to wait outside in a line. We went for lunch. I can't say the food was outstanding like at the other two restaurants, but it was good and plentiful. I don't think they know what a small plate is. But it's not the food I'm sending you there for.

In the sugar container on each table is a stack of cards with words of wisdom printed on the back so you can become enlightened while you wait for your meal. Here's the one I Picked up:

Words Women Use

Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this is a half hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with "Nothing" usually end in "Fine."
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.
That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
Thanks: A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

The card S got was filled with advice about how to keep your marriage strong. It was a verbal cornucopia of loving, caring things couples can do for one another, and so of course, S was reading them to me. Things like "Compliment each other's choice in clothes;" "Start each day with a kiss;" "Give back rubs;" and the like. As she read them she came to one that said "Date." She stopped reading, looked at me, thought for a minute and then said, "I think they mean each other."