Posted tagged ‘Chinese New Year’

“Talent is useful, but always keep your dagger sharp.”

February 18, 2018

The predicted snow stayed north of us. My sister who lives 14 miles from Boston got 5″. We got rain. The rain storm started around eleven and was still going strong at 12:30 when I fell asleep. Today is bright with sun. The blue sky is almost cloudless. The breeze is strong, and the pine branches are swaying and bending enough to make noise. It is a chilly day.

Tonight is game night, and we’ll also celebrate Chinese New Year. One year we did origami and folded the different color papers into dragons and kites and other symbols. I was horrible at it. I thought I had folded the papers just right according to the illustrations, but the finished produces had no resemblance to the pictures of them. It was frustrating, but I knew it would be as I had learned from experience I can put almost anything together by following the word directions and not the picture directions.  There’s that old left brain in action.

When I was kid in elementary school, we had art every couple of weeks. It alternated with music. There was no music teacher and there was no art teacher. The teacher or the nun I had did it all. Sister Hildegarde, my eighth grade teacher, had music class more often than once every other week. She had a keyboard which one of my classmates played. She also had pitch pipe which was round and had the keys listed next to the hole to blow. She’d blow the note then start us off with the first line. She sang so badly we had to hide behind our music books so she wouldn’t catch us laughing at her. I think it was also in her class I learned Gregorian chant notes. We even had tests of reading and writing chant.

I don’t remember much about my art classes. The only one I remember is when we made paper mâché puppets. We also had to write a small play and team up with classmates. I made a devil, and it was the best thing I ever created in any art class.

As I grew older, I found out that words strung together in the right way created beauty, a beauty of language which conjured images and memories and feelings. It was my talent.

“That’s what we are now—just ants. Only——” “Yes,” I said. “We’re eatable ants.”

February 7, 2016

My tree is mostly off the deck. It is not yet totally upright, but it’s getting there. Clumps are still falling off the branches. The sun is bright in a cloudless sky. It will be in the 40’s all day then it will get colder, and the snow will make a return visit. 6-10 inches are supposed to fall before the morning. Every kid will be hoping for a snow day, the first of the winter.

Tonight we’re celebrating Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. In case you were wondering the lucky numbers are four and nine.

My parents told lies. I’m not talking tooth fairy, Santa or the Easter Bunny, but real untruths. I figured they were protecting us. The one I still remember is they told us Chinese food was just for adults. We begged to taste it but that didn’t happen. They said it wasn’t good for kids. I believed them for the longest time.

My father used to put so much hot mustard on his Chinese food that his nose ran from the heat. He’d pull out his white handkerchief, blow his nose and then go back to eating. I also use the hot mustard, and once in a while when I overdo, my nose runs, and I think of my father. It’s a bit weird I suppose that a Chinese food runny nose brings such a strong memory.

I’m watching the original 1953 War of the Worlds, and I want to slap the lead female. She’s a crier and a screamer. She covers her ears as if to blot out the sounds of the saucers and her eyes so as not to see them; however, she is not without some redeeming qualities much appreciated in the 50’s. She can make perfect fried eggs and toast.

” All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.”

January 26, 2012

Okay, I am a sloth. It was 11 o’clock before I woke up this morning. Granted, I didn’t go to bed until nearly two, but I was shocked at the time when I finally got out of bed. Fern and Gracie too were sloths as both were with me. They are now on the den couch taking their afternoon naps so they are the slothest (a new word coinage). Gracie is even snoring.

Last night we celebrated Chinese New Year, a couple of days late but it was our first opportunity. My friends and I made lanterns first then did paper cutting. I actually cut one which looked like the picture. I was amazed as I am a horrible follower of pictures. We played a game of cards then ordered Chinese food. Clare and I used our chopsticks. Tony did not. He can’t get his fingers to work. I gave him a child’s set attached together at the top one Christmas, but he has no idea where it is. We make fun of him, but he’s used to that. Not knowing what to serve for dessert, I went internet hunting and found coconut ice was a choice, and that’s what I bought. It was a perfect ending. I watched when Tony and Clare left to walk down the street to their house. They were carrying lit lanterns and wearing their round Chinese hats. I always sort of wonder what the neighbors think.

A tempest in a teapot is one of those wonderful metaphors which has disappeared. It came to mind the other night while I was waiting to fall asleep. I have no idea why it popped in, but I don’t usually analyze where my head goes. It would give me a headache. When I woke up, I thought about all those other lost metaphors, all those colorful phrases no longer used. When was the last time anyone was out of the frying pan into the fire? I remember when we used to plant a seed, reach the end of our ropes, put all our ducks in a row and draw a line in the sand.

The one metaphor I hear all too often is drinking the Kool-Aid. It doesn’t refer to Ken Kesey as I originally thought it did because of Tom Wolfe’s book, a must read for my generation back in the late 60’s and early 70’s; instead, it refers to Jonestown and means unquestioning belief in someone or something. I don’t like this metaphor. I don’t like its origin, and I cringe when I hear it used.

Let’s go back and start using metaphors like what’s good for the goose is good for the gander or you sound like a broken record; of course, if we use that one, we’ll just have to explain what a record is and what happens when it’s broken.