Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So pleasant it is to have money!

I was thinking about the cop who gave me the ticket 20 years ago.

How funny, you know, to run into someone like that, and without benefit of Facebook! My brother George says Facebook is like the afterlife, everyone in your life comes back. But this officer, he appeared without Facebook. In person.

How surreal to be talking with him!

Today I was telling my mom about it and one thing I remembered, when I got this ticket, my father was still around. And I told my father about it. About this ticket I got, and why I got it.

I remember telling my father that now that I had the job at the paper, and I had a paycheck, I could not assume the correct craven attitude toward the officer who stopped me, the attitude that I suspected had gotten me off the hook the (few, ahem) other times this sort of thing had happened. It was as if I were a new person. I was not the person I had been before.

My dad listened and he understood. And he quoted a poem to me. After all these years, I remembered two lines of it:

And if I should chance to run over some cad
I can pay for the damage, no matter how bad.

Only now did I think to Google it and find out what poem this was. Everything is at your fingertips, you know? If you just Google.

The verse came up right away. I found it here, to give credit where credit is due. The poem has a wonderful name. It is "Dipsychus." And the author has a wonderful name. It is Arthur Hugh Clough.

It is illuminating to see it, just as it was illuminating when someone came forward with a poem he said inspired Leonard Pennario's "Midnight on the Cliffs." But that is another story for another day.

For now ...


By Arthur Hugh Clough

(English poet and scholar, friend of Tennyson and Matthew Arnold, 1819–1861)
AS I sat at the cafĂ©, I said to myself,
They may talk as they please about what they call pelf,
They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking,
But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking,
  How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!        5
  How pleasant it is to have money.

I sit at my table en grand seigneur,
And when I have done, throw a crust to the poor;
Not only the pleasure, one’s self, of good living,
But also the pleasure of now and then giving.        10
  So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
  So pleasant it is to have money.…

I drive through the streets, and I care not a d—n;
The people they stare, and they ask who I am;
And if I should chance to run over a cad,        15
I can pay for the damage if ever so bad.
  So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
  So pleasant it is to have money.

We stroll to our box and look down on the pit,
And if it weren’t low should be tempted to spit;        20
We loll and we talk until people look up,
And when it’s half over we go out to sup.
  So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
  So pleasant it is to have money.

The best of the tables and best of the fare—        25
And as for the others, the devil may care;
It isn’t our fault if they dare not afford
To sup like a prince and be drunk as a lord.
  So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
  So pleasant it is to have money.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The ghost of tickets past

Today the wildest thing happened to me. I met this cop. I do not want to say where I met him because that might give away who he is and he does not want that.

The deal is, he asked me where I worked.

I said, "The Buffalo News."

He asked what my last name was. I told him.

Then he filled in the rest of my name. He said, "You're Mary Kunz Goldman."

I said yes.

Then I stood there waiting for the other shoe to drop. One thing about Buffalo, usually when people figure out my name it is never because "Oh, I'm into classical music, and I've seen your name in the paper." It is always something else!

And sure enough.

The officer says, "Did you use to live on Delavan, on the West Side?"

And I said, "Yes."

He said: "There was something that happened...."

Then it dawned on me.

I said: "Did you give me that ticket?????"

Because I got a ticket a million years ago from a California stop. I kind of did a California stop sliding through a stop sign. At least the cop said I slid through the stop sign. It was at Delavan and Baynes if memory serves me.

The cop served me, that was for sure. He served me that ticket.

Anyway, back to today. The policeman nodded.

"Yes," he said.

Unbelievable! Not only was it 20 years ago or something that that happened, that I got that ticket, but I was just talking about it last night at my friend Gary's house. We were talking about tickets and I talked about that one.

This policeman was so nice. A handsome guy and he said he had always wanted to apologize, he didn't know why he gave me that ticket, 29 out of 30 he let go, but I was the one he ticketed. Hahahahaa!

He seemed to think I would be mad but I just thought it was funny.

I told him, "Tell me your name, so we can be friends." And he did. But he made me promise I would not write it in the paper or anything. So I take that to mean I can not write it on the Web log.

But about that ticket, I have the idea he ticketed me because I may have been -- well, to use a Leonard Pennario term, snotty. I had just been hired by The News and I had a paycheck for the first time in forever and I just did not care. I did not cry and I did not act craven enough.

I think that was the problem. Even at the time I realized that, that something had changed and I had lost that humility that had gotten me off of tickets previous to that. I told the officer that today. It felt as if I were in a dream, meeting him and telling him that. Because I had always remembered that ticket.

Only in Buffalo would you find that cop 20 years later, you know? Only in Buffalo would he remember you and introduce himself.

I am telling you, this is the best town.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nakedness in the news

It is hilarious, all the nakedness in the news!

There are the congressmen skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee.

The poor prince, he is not the brightest bulb in the royal chandelier. (That honor of course belongs to Prince Philip.) He seems to have his mother's propensity toward the nightclub life. 

What is with generations of royals and nightclubs and discos, you know? You own the world. You could summon Al Brendel to Buckingham Palace to give you piano lessons. You could call him Al! You could demand that certain Leonard Pennario recordings be rereleased.

Oh well. One thing thrilling about that story is, who knew the royal family could ban something? I hear they are banning publication of the pictures. I like to think they still have power. More power to you, House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha!

The congressmen, I have to say, I have sympathy for them.

First there is, as the story puts it, "the night of eating and drinking in Israel." That sounds like fun! I wish a giant hand could pick me up and put me down right now in Israel for a night of eating and drinking. I hear the seafood there is excellent.

And about the Sea of Galilee, skinny dipping there has probably been going on for thousands upon thousands of years. Abraham and Sarah probably swam naked in the Sea of Galilee. Jesus may have. I mean, He was human, right?

If you were at the Sea of Galilee and did not skinny dip you would regret it for the rest of your life!

Imagine it, floating around, lying on your back looking up at the sky, thinking: I am naked in the Sea of Galilee! 

It would sure beat being naked at the Schvitz. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

People of Walmart

Tonight I went to Walmart. Ha, ha! Just reading that sentence reminds me of something.

A few years ago my friend Toni at work had Swiss friends visiting her. This family, all they wanted to do while in town was go to Walmart. They went once and then they went again. And again.

We ran something in the paper, in the Buzz column, about it, and the headline was Swiss Family Walmart.

I still laugh about that headline! It was just so silly.

Well, tonight I found myself walking in the footsteps of Swiss Family Walmart. And fascinating it was! I have not been in a Walmart in I do not know how long. Too long!

There was a huge bin of off-brand CDs of everything from George Jones to Mozart. I checked the Mozart over really quick to see if it was one of those labels that pirate Leonard Pennario but it was all people I had not heard of.

There was a mountain of Crock-Pots. The Crock-Pot Classic. Just a mountain of them. There must be a lot of people out there buying Crock-Pots!

I ogled a Hula Hoop but in the end was too cheap to pay $8.

I bought Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea which I am drinking right now. No other tea measures up to this stuff.

What else? The world waits.

OK, I finally caved and bought a new garbage can for the kitchen to make up for the one Larry broke. He stomped on the foot pedal too hard and broke it.

That purchase hurt, I have to say. There is nothing fun, nothing, about buying a kitchen garbage can. Especially when you have to buy it because the old one, that you had to shell out for before, is broken. Also the garbage can aisle was a mess, cans and covers lying everywhere. My friend Lizzie who was with me was saying that this Walmart was just trashed. People just go everywhere and break things.

When we got out it was warm and there was a beautiful crescent moon. I am telling you, the parking lot was full.

Perhaps you wondered where people went of a fine soft evening like this. The answer is Walmart! There was even a stabbing in their lot this afternoon.

But that did not stop me from taking a stab at Walmart. You know me, I do not let fear get in the way of enjoying life.

And all the cheap things it has to offer!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The mixmistress

After all that talk about going back to the days of the Raj, I have not gotten around to it. I will very shortly. Last night though I found myself short on time and so I made Jerk Chicken.

Jerk Chicken! I love just saying that phrase.

It is from Cooking Light. All that kvetching I have been doing lately about Cooking Light and there I go, cooking out of it. It is this recipe except I skipped the peppers.

Very good and very easy.

I do not have a food processor so I used my 1950s Osterizer which worked just fine. Ninety-nine percent of the stuff they say you need a food processor for, your vintage blender will step in nicely.

Howard and I were laughing at just the term food processor. It sounds so unappetizing! You process the food and you have processed food.

I am a vintage blender snob. I love my ancient blenders. Once I piously went out and got a new Osterizer, with ice crushing capabilities. I never remember it crushing much ice and after a couple of years it went on the fritz. So back I went into the basement and got this vintage Waring blender I keep in reserve, and I have never looked back. I tossed that new blender out in the trash.

Since then I have gotten a new old Osterizer and another one to keep in reserve. The reserve Osterizer sits downstairs alongside the heroic vintage Waring blender that bailed me out that time. No more new blenders for me!

I have an affection for my Waring blender because of this Linda Ronstadt song, "Poor Poor Pitiful Me."

Right about at 1:18 you can hear Linda sing: "He put me through some changes, boy, kind of like a Waring blender."


It is not Leonard Pennario but still.

Anyway, I recommend that Jerk Chicken.

Try it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Breakfast of champions

This is what I am making for breakfast today.

Well, at the rate I am going it will probably be for dinner. But still! It will add an exotic note to my day.

"It is based on the Indian dish khichri and comes from the days of the Raj."

I am not totally sure what the days of the Raj were. Ask me about Leonard Pennario and Beethoven, you know? And better still, wait until after I have had my first cup of coffee.

But I do know it refers somehow to British India. A most attractive era! Plus, the word Raj has such a wonderful sound. All I can think of is Rudyard Kipling and books like "The Secret Garden" and movies starring James Wilby.

I Googled "the days of the Raj" and the picture above came up. Which I love! Not only that but it was attached to a fascinating story on curry. That is another dish I will have to make this week. And we will enjoy it with Darjeeling tea.

One more picture of the days of the Raj.

Soon to be re-created in my kitchen!

Monday, August 13, 2012

My ride is here

A big expensive yacht has been sighted on the Buffalo waterfront. It has been there for over a week, I do reckon. It is To-Kalon!

That is it up above.

Here is a write-up about it.

Here is the dining area, not that I have been inside. It is off of the 'Net.

It is striking to have this ship parked downtown where we all can look at it. Now Buffalo can be known as not just the birthplace of Leonard Pennario but as the docking place of the To-Kalon yacht.

I have been looking at it for a week and yet I see no people coming or going. There is a pair of sandals sitting by one of the doors as if somebody kicked them off in the last few minutes. But no one is there.

Reading up on the yacht I find, the best thing about it is the company that designed it.

It is Burger Boats!

All you can think of is...

... I am sorry.

Still an impressive boat. Although if it were mine, I have to confess, I would have to dub it not To-Kalon but Burger King.

Come on, how could you resist?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A heated discussion

The Bosch bashing turned out to be not such a big deal. Orville's is sending a repairman to fix the thing this week on an agreed-upon day.

Not at an agreed-upon time, but at least we have the day nailed down.

I was laughing on the phone. I said, I cannot bake anything for three days?

What if I lose weight?

I will sue Orville's!

It is funny being without an oven. You cannot make pies or gratins. Or galettes! That is a hip thing in cookbooks, galettes. They are like pies only sloppier. You fold the crust over the filling.

No galettes for me.

On the other hand it made me affectionate toward my oven that I had a few jazz people over last week and was able to bake a peach cake. The oven was iffy by then but it rallied to bake the cake. It did not stick me. For that I am grateful.

The peach cake was its swan song!

And a beautiful one at that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bosch bashing

Zut alors, my Bosch stove is kaput.

I should say Ach, du Lieber, not zut alors. Because it is a German stove. But at least I got the kaput part right.

The oven will not heat up. It has been iffy for a few days now and today it is taking forever to heat up to 450 degrees, the temperature required to cook this cauliflower gratin for my mom. I looked on the Internet and I see other people raging about that problem. Apparently it is common for these stoves.

I came home from my mom's expecting this quiet nice evening when I could work on Leonard Pennario and prep for the next day's dinner as I did so. And now look.

Here is where Web logs come in handy: It is a kind of diary of your life and I see that I bought this stove two years ago. Still too early for it to break if you ask me. But it does not matter what I think.

How am I ever going to get this fixed? And how insulting is this? Here I have been talking up this stove and it goes and does this to me.

Above is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch of the maker of my Bosch stove meeting his just deserts in the underworld. He is the one being devoured by the big creepy beast in the chair. 

Wow, what is going on with those other people in the picture? All I can think is, such is the fate assigned to those who besmirch the good name of Bosch, and make ovens that go on the fritz after only two years. 

It is not pretty!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spaced out

Howard and I are agog at the Mars landing.

We watched updates late last night. Up early this morning I learned that Curiosity had landed and I watched the video up above. It is great for the scene where you see all those past-faced nerd guys at NASA celebrating! They all start hugging each other and that one guy in the front starts bellowing.

There is nothing like nerds celebrating and in this room are gathered the biggest nerds this country has to offer. Well, I am a pretty substantial nerd myself, with Leonard Pennario and all.

I like that NASA work space, how the nerds are arranged in long rows, surrounded by screens. They appear to have name plates in front of them too. This was all happening in the middle of the night so I imagine that afterward they all went out for beers. They are probably still out celebrating.

You have to wonder if they were munching on Mars bars as they worked. How could they not?

Anyway, amazing to think that Curiosity has landed on Mars and is now crawling here and there on its six wheels.

I wonder where it will think to go first.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Laughs for the day

Funny things I saw today:

First I was on the 190 and there was this SUV that kept ending up behind me and it looked weird, as if there were lines around the headlights. How odd, I thought.

Then it pulled into the next lane and got closer and I saw what it was: The woman driving the SUV  -- it was a woman -- had put eyelashes over the headlights. Big sets of eyelashes!


I went to Albrecht Discount to get stuff for my mom. This was the Aldi on Maple Road and I parked on the side, next to this game place, Lasertron.

When I came out and was sorting out my purchases I just had to smile because first this little train went by in the Lasertron lot, carrying these little kids. It is impossible to look at a little train full of kids and not smile.

Then all these bumper cars started zipping around. In complete silence! No loud music, nothing. Just these cars, zipping around these highways and byways. It looked like so much fun!

Speaking of music, or lack of it, one other thing made me smile. I got to work this morning and there was this big envelope from Sony and among the riches it contained was Leonard Pennario's recording of the Beethoven E Flat Trio, with Jascha Heifetz on violin and Gregor Piatigorsky on cello.

I am so Pennario-attuned these days that I just kind of set it aside, thinking, oh, this is great, I love this piece and I do not have it on CD.

It took me a little while to do this double take and say, wow, a Pennario recording just landed on my desk. Newly re-released!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Weed eater 2

Remember the bishop's weed that I have been eating? Since writing that laudatory post I have gone on to make pesto with it. But that is a whole other story.

Now there is a new weed, one that also began growing in my garden. It is funny, when I was observing all the seedlings coming up that I planted, there was one set of seedlings that I was nurturing and later I realized it was, you guessed it, a weed. I realized that when it began growing in the driveway as well as in the garden, as well as over at Howard's building.

But this is a most excellent weed.

It is purslane!

And today I see that purslane is featured in Martha Stewart!

It is in their WTF column. Which stands for What's That Food, haha.

That little column is really complimentary to purslane. Purslane is the Leonard Pennario of the weed world, brilliant and versatile. Purslane is also healthy. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids, to use a phrase I love.

Just that word, purslane, I love it. It sounds so Olde English. Let me look it up.


From Merriam Webster:

Middle English, from Anglo-French porsulaigne, from Late Latin porcillagin-, porcillago, alteration of Latin porcillaca, alteration of portulaca First Known Use: 14th century

What do you know?

A most distinguished weed!

I will report back on what I do with it.