today’s agenda: gym, pool, meditation, find an apartment & someone to have dinner with.
– Stephen Wright
yesterday (saturday) was the first time i went swimming since 2007, or maybe even 2006! the sun even came out for the occasion and it was great relaxing at diane’s pool. i dropped ivan and my laundry off at my parents house and headed for diane’s home in the country. she lives on 6 acres in the woods and i was surrounded by deer. two frogs and a rabbit joined us as well. very nice. before leaving the city I set my new ‘humane’ mouse traps. as instructed, i put cheese in one and peanut butter in the other. the mouse enters the little plastic box through a swinging door but cannot get back out. i didn’t think to check the traps upon my return home last night. i arrived home around 9:00, unpacked my clean laundry, read my mail, brushed ivan, checked him for ticks, took him for a walk before the impending thunderstorm and by 10:00, i was ready for 1 episode of law & order before going to sleep. as i was channel surfing for an un-seen episode, mouse-boy came right into the living room and made himself comfortable on ivan’s bed. damn! even though i’m pretty sure i only have this one resident mouse (who i’ve named ‘mouse-boy’), i got up off the couch to check the traps. no mice. no cheese. no peanut butter. just twenty thousand ants. that was truly disgusting. although i would like to be hiking my way through bhutan, i will basically just relax this week. bhutan will have to wait until i have the money and a travelling partner. or, a travelling partner who wants to pay for me to go to bhutan. whatever. instead i will go to meditation / dharma service today and spend the rest of the day catching up on some reading i’ve been wanting to do. tonight i was planning on enjoying a good bottle of wine with a friend in my backyard. here is the forecast for tonight:
my organic mouse-be-gone sachets arrived the other day and worked great! no mouse sightings for 4 days. until last night.
my bathroom ceiling is growing mold at an alarming rate. i’ve called the landlord about it, showed it to him and asked the super twice to get it removed. i called the city and registered a mold complaint this morning.
the rock wall in the back yard avalanched back in march and the landlord promised to fix that as well. a giant hole remains in the very center of the wall.
when the landlord was here over a month ago to check on my various complaints, i also showed him the soot that was shooting all over my back yard from the boiler which is located in the basement directly below my apartment. soot is an awful substance. it’s like mercury in the way it moves. the only way to clean it is to gently vaccuum by holding the vaccuum nozzle directly above each granule of soot. if you try any other way it smudges into the surface it is located on and nothig will remove it – not even bleach. soot travels too. it gets onto the curtains and every time the curtains move even a little bit, the soot crawls upwards. it’s weird stuff. I can only imagine what the neighbors were thinking when i was vaccuuming my back yard for over an hour. if they have a blog, i’m sure i’m in it.
this morning i came outside with my laptop at around 6:30 to get a little work done outside before the rain starts, only to find another soot explosion. this one was even worse than the last. it has covered all of my plants and everything else in the yard. it has ruined the following items of mine:
my 2 lounge chairs that i purchased about a month ago, 4 cloth placemats, one yoga mat, 2 chair cushions, the table umbrella and my ‘work’ chair. total damage, somewhere around $400.
cleaning as much as i could has cost me an hour of work time, not to mention the humiliation of the hundreds of people in their apartments getting ready for work who potentially witnessed me vaccuuming my yard plants at 6:30 am.
these things, coupled with the general filth in the hallway, have motivated me to make a decision. it’s time to move.
i don’t watch a lot of tv and if i do, it’s law & order. i’ve seen every episode, i think. surprisingly, last night i surfed every channel and law & order was no where to be found. cnbc was hosting a program called “the billionaire next door.” it was an interview with warren buffett who i think is one of the coolest people on the planet. here’s why:
CNBC: “What’s the number one thing you’ve learned from doing business with Warren Buffett?”
Business Owner: “Ethics.”
CNBC: “What is the one thing that young people should be doing about money?”
Buffett: “I tell them two things, generally. One is stay away from credit cards… The second thing I tell them is to invest in themselves.”
CNBC: “What is the Warren Buffett secret to success?”
Buffett: “If people get to my age and they have the people love them that they want to have love them, they’re successful. It doesn’t make any difference if they’ve got a thousand dollars in the bank or a billion dollars in the bank… Success is really doing what you love and doing it well. It’s as simple as that.
“I don’t have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It’s like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GNP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don’t do that though. I don’t use very many of those claim checks. There’s nothing material I want very much. And I’m going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die.” (wikipedia)
Buffett backed Obama for president, and intimated that John McCain’s views on social justice were so far from his own that McCain would need a lobotomy for Buffett to change his endorsement.
Warren Buffett does not carry a cell phone, does not have a computer at his desk, and drives his own automobile.
“If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”
– Warren Buffett
if you ask someone a question it is respectful to listen to the answer. the whole answer – not just the first part and then draw the conclusion on your own while you shift your attention to something else. if you must type, watch tv or read your e-mail while in a conversation with someone, consider calling back later.
“Genius is nothing but continued attention.”
– Claude Adrien Helvetius
maintaining a blog is alot of work. i like it though. technically it’s free but i did pay $14.95 for upgraded storage space so that i could document my life with pictures, music & videos. this morning while adding pictures to my blog i find myself wondering, if i die, will anyone renew my wordpress account?
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. “
an ounce can feel like a pound when it unexpectedly lands on your big toe in the form of a mouse dive bombing out of the bathroom cabinet.
eyes closed, i was washing my face when the incident occurred. i screamed. ivan came running into the bathroom and the mouse froze. he just sat in the corner and stared at us – he wasn’t even trying to hide. my bathroom is so small I have to have the door open to dry myself off after a shower, and here i am in the bathroom with a 70 pound dog and a one ounce mouse! he’s been hanging around for over a month now and he’s getting very comfortable. he thinks he lives here. just the other day i as i sat in the livingroom preparing to meditate he came out to play. i watched him play right out in the open for 15 minutes or so. he has no fear. he walks around like he owns the place and looks me square in the eye. several times i have seen him walk right by ivan – within 3 inches of his face! ivan just turns to me with a look like “did you just see that?” lucky for this one inch long baby mouse, he’s the cutest thing i ever saw. his looks have spared him his life. if i could only potty train him, i would let him stay.
i watch him climb up the electric cord that runs from behind the television to the outside through the window. i keep the window and door open all day, therefore he is free to come and go as he pleases – but i have seen him come right in through the back door when it was closed. he is so small he can fit through the crack between the bottom of the door and the saddle. i’ve tried shoo-ing him out using the swiffer, yelling at him and chasing him with the vacuum. i’ve even threatened him with glue traps – but he must sense that i’m not really going to kill him. i can’t keep him out.
i found some organic repellent online several days ago and i hope it will arrive in today’s mail. it apparently has a woodsy scent that alerts mice to fox – their natural enemy. i hope it works. if he attacks me again, or invites any friends over, i’m going for the glue traps.
The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest and then becomes a host, and then a master”
– Khalil Gibran
every once in a while one of the cashiers at food emporium will say hello to me. usually not. one customer seems to run into the next like one continuous order of groceries. i sometimes wonder if i will return home with someone else’s toothpaste because it became part of my order in the continuous line of groceries moving along the belt. then i worry that i will have to check the receipt and see if i was charged for the toothpaste. i am sure i will not discover the toothpaste until i get home and then i will have to go back to the store, wait in the customer service line with someone else’s toothpaste and my receipt showing the charge and fill out all kinds of paperwork in order to get my money back.
i wonder if i will be able to load my groceries on to the moving belt and get the ‘food emporium club membership card’ out of my wallet before the cashier is done scanning my items and it becomes too late. i get concerned when i am swiping my credit card and the cashier has already began scanning the next person’s groceries and i still have to enter my pin # and then answer some questions like “is this the correct amount?, would you like cash back?” the person behind me is anxiously waiting for me to finish as her groceries come crashing into my shopping bags that are still sitting at the end of the beltway. I still have to wait for the final verification before i can press enter and her groceries are coming down the belt at an alarming rate. i start collecting my bags to make room. it is usually right about then that the ‘verification’ message finally pops up on the machine and the cashier, who already seems a little annoyed that i am not yet gone from the store, reaches her hand over to the swiping machine and without even looking, her index finger manages to find the big green ‘enter’ button and verifies my card for me.
this week was different. as i stood in line, i watched the cashier graciously greet the person in front of me. she mindfully scaned each item with a slight smile. she actually informed the customer what the total order came to an patiently waited for the woman to hand her cash. the cashier returned the change with a smile, bowed her head to the customer and proceeded to very carefully place the groceries into the bag. she then quietly thanked the customer, gently handed over the bags, and bowed her head slightly once more. this cashier had an aura of peace and contentment. you couldn’t help but to notice her equanimity. she was different from the rest in a most beautiful way. i was next and i couldn’t wait to meet her.
she smiled and said ‘hello’ with deliberate eye contact. with her steady slight smile she scanned my items one by one. i knew there was no need to worry about the condition of my eggs as they were gently placed at the end of the belt. her name tag read, tenzen – the same name as the dali lama! i asked her where she was from. she looked up and quietly said “tibet.”
she spoke perfect english in a quiet manner with a tibeten accent. i had so many questions. . .
tenzen escaped tibet by foot. it took one month for her to reach nepal. from nepal she travelled to new york city. there was no way i could take the time to ask all the questions i had. i told her i would get in her line again next time i came to food emporium to ask her more. her smile broadened as she handed me my bag. she bowed her head and thanked me. i bowed my head and thanked her back.
tenzen seemed grateful to be a cashier in food emporium on 1st avenue and 72nd street where she is raising the vibration of each person in her presence. there is much to be learned here.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”
my neighbor lea and i once talked about furnishing an entire nyc apartment using only other peoples garbage. everyday you can find great stuff that others no longer have a use for, right out on the sidewalk. i love it the most when the people are careful to place their ex-belongings in locations where they will not be urinated on by every passing dog. high atop a mound of garbage, on a window sill or on the steps where it remains safe. it’s especially considerate when they attach a note that says something like “this tv works perfectly.” i’ve seen beautiful couches, desks, beds, dressers, book shelves, books, plants, tables, blenders, televisions, mirrors, framed art and everything else one might need to live comfortably. the last weekend of the month is a particularly good time to do sidewalk shopping because the first of the month is moving day. it’s amazing what people can’t take with them to where ever it is that they’re going. occassionally people will strategically place doggie bags containing their unfinished restaurant meals on top of garbage cans so that a homeless person may eat well that night.
yesterday there was a unopened box of cereal bars with several packaged granola and meal replacement bars sitting on the front steps to my building when i went out to run some errands. when i returned home an hour later it was gone. i hope some homeless person felt like they hit the jackpot when they discovered the batch of non-perishables!
i totally understand not wanting to throw away perfectly good stuff and hoping to find someone who has a need for it.
this morning when ivan and i left for our morning walk, we found this:
| “It’s difficult to believe that people are still starving in this country because food isn’t available”
– Ronald Regan
As a solid mass of rock
Is not stirred by the wind,
So a sage is not moved
By praise and blame.
As a deep lake
Is clear and undisturbed,
So a sage becomes clear
Upon hearing the Dharma.
Virtuous people always let go.
They don’t prattle about pleasures and desires.
Touched by happiness and then by suffering,
The sage shows no sign of being elated or depressed.
– Dhammapada 81-83
maple king, an asian restaurant on 1st avenue between 73rd & 74th streets is ‘grand re-opening’ tonight. in an apparent attempt to generate business they sent their men out to litter the sidewalks & lobbies with piles of maple king menus. tonight on my way out with ivan, i stopped in the vestibule and collected the menus scattered all over the floor, like i always do. except tonight i didn’t toss them in the garbage pen outside the front door. i kept them. i continued to collect all of the menus littered on the sidewalk & stuffed into doors all along 73rd street until i got to the end where maple king is located. i ripped the menus so that they wouldn’t reuse them on another block. i asked ivan to wait outside and went inside. i slowly and deliberately tossed each of the menus throughout the restaurant as i calmly explained to the woman at the cash register that “these menus were tossed all over my lobby and 73rd street and i wanted to return them.”
she looked at me in disbelief and with a heavy accent asked, “are you crazy?”
“no” I said. “i just collect all the garbage people leave on my floor and on my block and give it back to them.
please don’t do it again.”
“you are very strange,” said the woman, shaking her head as i left maple king.
i won’t be dining there anytime soon.
“Whoever is unopposing among those who oppose,
Peaceful among the armed,
Not clinging among those who cling,
I call a brahmin.”
– Dhammapada 406
8:35 am saturday, july 4th:
“All they have to do is look down at the traffic and suddenly they don’t feel like flying is that expensive a way to travel after all.”
– Jim Herron
today dad turned 74. 🙂
he cracks me up – i think he is one of the funniest people i know. my mother would strongly disagree.
about once a month – sometimes more, he e-mails this photo to me:
he also has it hanging up on the wall next to his desk.
i remember one time my niece claire spotted the 8×10 photo on the wall.
horrified, she turned to me and asked “who’s baby is that?”
“Sing a song of Birthdays
Full of fun and cheer
And may you keep on having them
For many a happy year.”
living right across the street from the ronald mcdonald house is wonderful. i call it the healing house. local businesses, fire companies and neighbors put forth great effort to keep the children happy. the kids are often seen boarding buses headed to the circus, shows, fireworks and many other fun-for-kids places. businesses donate so many toys and games it’s a virtual wonderland inside the house. they have parties regularly and more often than not the children are carrying balloons and smiling. the folks at the ronald mcdonald house and surely all of the kid’s parents believe they are doing their very best to help their children heal. obviously they don’t understand the role nutrition plays in health. the neighboorhood restaurants very kindly donate food on a regular basis. the problem is the food is usually pasta, lasagna, rolls and more refined carbohydrates.
recently they had a walkathon fundraising event starting out at the rmdh. on the sidewalk were tables and tables of bagels, croissants, coffee cakes and breads for the house guests and the walkers. tonight as i walked by there was a van with two men unloading cases and cases of cheezits, cookies & cases of wonderbread. i didn’t even know they made wonderbread anymore. this food is toxic for healthy people!
to see children with cancer being fed this type of ‘food’ makes me so sad. if you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that i run a non-profit organization whose mission is to diseminate information on the ill effects of carbohydrates in the diet. i work with many of the top researchers in the world concerning nutrition and the science is there – even though instinctively we already know that we should only consume only whole ‘real’ foods. society has convinced us that fruit roll-up are actually food! did you know that the ONLY source of nutrition for brain tumors are carbs? i’m certain if the parents of these children knew the damage being done by allowing their children to eat processed ‘foods’, they would be banned from the rmdh forever! they simply do not understand metabolism. they believe what they see on television and read in the paper. they do not realize the politics that are involved in creating the food pyramid; the career climbers and lobby groups with very deep pockets and of course, the pharmaceutical giants, that have allowed a nation to be brainwashed into thinking that 6- 11 servings of pasta, bread and cereal is good for people with cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and so many other diseases. if you too are unaware, please look at the research on my work site: metabolism society.
“to insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness and maintain
an interest in life.”
– william londen
just when i think my life sucks, the universe sends me reminders of just how lucky & blessed i really am.
i will admit that i’ve been feeling pretty lousy about almost everything in my lfe lately. i won’t supply the whole laundry list but my recent weight gain & the weather have not helped to say the very least. i had missed sunday morning meditation last week and i committed myself to go this week in an effort to cheer myself up. as i left my building, on the sidewalk, sitting right outside my front door was a man counting his empties. he was waiting for someone to come out of the building with a key to open the garbage pen for him so that he could collect the empty bottles and cans from the trash which was locked inside. as i was locating my key he explained to me that his parents wanted him to live with them forever so he stayed way too long which cost him the opportunity of living in a rent controlled apartment today. he had no home and collected bottles and cans to trade in for money for food. i opened the gate for him. he thanked me and said “god bless you.”
as i headed down york ave. towards 57th street, a man with only one working arm was lying down on the ground, tightly wedged between scaffolding and building. he was yelling “help me! help me!” i started to mentally plan out how i was going to be able un-wedge him and pull him out of the small space he was crammed into. i stopped and asked “what do you need?” to which he replied, “i need a soda!”
i felt lucky to be able to buy him one.
continuing down york i saw a woman in a wheelchair praying. she was hooked up to a tube which went into her nose and an iv running into her arm in front of sloane kettering hospital. i smiled at the woman and she gave me a beautiful smile in return.
today i feel very blessed.
” Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving”
– WT Purkiser