Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aloe Vera Juice Drink
Hold The Pickle

Two or three years ago, my friend Laura went to California with her mother and her Aunt Edie to stay at a desert spa and basically high colonic their way to health. This wasn't one of those "now we march through the mountains" retreats, but more, "let's rest your system by the pool waiting for the next enema assault." I'm not sure if Laura picked up the recipe for this drink at the spa, or later in persuing "health is our only real wealth" mindset, but she got me on the kick, and I stuck with it for a good while. I do remember one plus is that's it's suppose to keep your metabolism at a healthy level.

I still had the ingredients floating around, so I decided to start doing it again. Simple really. Aloe vera juice (not the gel,) organic apple cider vinegar (both of which I got at Whole Foods,) and fruit juice.

The portions are as follows:

1/4 to 1/2 cup Aloe Vera juice (I usually go with 1/4 cup)
1-2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar (I usually do two)
Remainder of glass with grape or apple juice.

I've varied the juices. Since it's not necessarily something that's in the "sip and enjoy" category, but rather "get it down," I think you have to play around with the "juice" part. I tried cranberry, but that didn't really work. Now I do grape juice, but I could see orange juice working. Just something with more substance to override the vinegar.

I'm putting this on my blog, because I think Laura has given up on me in keeping my own copy safeguarded somewhere. Now I know where to look when I can't remember my portions.

I photographed this with an antique glass from Posin's. Do you remember Posin's? It was a Jewish market founded by Abraham Posin. His family had come to the United States from Russia around 1910. Young Abraham visited an uncle living in Washington, where he met and married Gertrude Rose, another Russian émigré.
The couple opened a store in Foggy Bottom, later moving to the Arcade Market in Columbia Heights and then in 1947 they moved to 5756 Georgia Avenue. Abe’s sons, (World War II veterans Max and Hyman,) eventually took over the store. Although most of his Jewish customers moved on in the 1950's, Max stayed to serve the African-American and Caribbean immigrants who took their places. He died in 1995, and his son Randy closed the store three years later. If you say to me "Posin's," I say "pickle barrel." Something that has disappeared from Washington in just the past few years. Even Giant, another store founded by Jewish immigrants, had pickle barrels in every store, next to the deli section.
A friend of mine remembers his aunt and grandmother going to Posin's every week. They would buy smoked whitefish (with the eye,) lox, bagels, challah, pickles, brisket (which Posin's was famous for,) and other Eastern European delicacies. I like shopping at stores with that Mom and Pop vibe, but they are harder and harder to find. Easier in the Asian community, and there are still some remnants of Italian stores floating around, over by Catholic University which at one time had a large Italian-American community. The passing of the pickle barrel. Sigh. (My friend said, "Bad little boys used to piss in them." Thank you for sharing that fact, Friendo.)

Founder Abraham Posin at the meat counter, with his son's Hy and Max.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

The Shooting Of The Hip Yoga Death Goddess*

Woody Harrelson just shot me in yoga class. I was dreaming I had returned to my yoga class. The studio was dark and people were in class in the shadows working through a series of movements. I told myself I was only returning to retrieve purple pillowcases from my locker. I was wearing the wrong clothes. I walked into the studio and fell in line doing the poses. I was thinking, "I can't do this. I am wearing the wrong clothes." Yet I could.
My yoga instructor left the room and Woody Harrelson walked in, (as the teacher,) and he seemed normal at first, but then he shifted into political tirades a la Oliver Stone, just talking madness. I tried to speak to him rationally. He kept babbling insanity.
I was holding an art book, and in the back was this folded diagram in green and white expounding and building out as a "tree" chart on some art movements. Woody ripped it out of the book, claiming it was a book he had written, and he taped the diagram on the wall, still ranting and pointing at the paper and talking political conspiracy.

Savasana Corpse Pose

He came over to me while babbling at the others. He grabbed me and produced a gun and pressed it into my flesh. I kept talking to him as if he were normal, knowing he wasn't. When I realized his intent: to kill me, I started wrestling with him for the gun, but he was stronger than I was, and he shot me in the side. People pulled him off of me, and I sat trying to stay very still to assess how damaging the shot was. It took a long time for the EMT's to arrive. I thought, "If I am conscious this long, I won't die from this."

When we arrived at the hospital and they had me in the emergency room, I asked the doctor who was prepping me for surgery if I should say my final goodbyes to the world, meaning I wouldn't make it through the surgery. He had a funny look in his eye.

I awoke with a start. Now I'm sitting here with a pain in my ribs where the phantom bullet went in. I guess I should go back to sleep and see what happens next.

*The title refers to an Ultimate Spinach song entitled, "Ballad of the Hip Death Goddess." It's on YouTube. I tried embedding it, (with my phantom bullet pain still hurting,) and it kept failing, so foo, yanno? Go look it up.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weddings? Who Knew? You Get Presents!

I thought I was done with wedding and baby gifts, but this summer I was invited to another wedding; a young woman that works the reception desk where I get my manicures. Close? Sort of. She took to me right away--the kind of girl who is just very optimistic and bubbly and happy and comes from a loving, stable family (and "yes," over time I've met her Mom and Dad, too.) She always gives the biggest hugs, is spontaneous and laughs more than anyone I know.

I wanted to get her something nice for her marriage, and I needed to get the gift to her today, as she is getting married this weekend. I am putting this up because: 1) I do keep a photographic record of cards I create and packages I wrap and 2) this shows me (at least) how I can have a solid idea in my head of how I want something to look, have to amend it, then have to amend it again. It pays to stay flexible.

I'm not that thrilled with this wrap job. It wasn't my first vision, but I just couldn't find the right paper, so I shifted to a traditional wedding paper in pale pearlized champagne with white flock fleur-des-lis. I used a champagne tulle ribbon FROM HELL. It was just murder working with it, so lesson learned there. "Never again."
Once I had the paper set, then I had to go looking at flowers, and it took forever. Back when we had MJ Design around this area, I could walk in and always find quality products. The closest I can come to that now is an American Florist out on River Road (and that's an iffy source off season,) and Homestead Gardens, but that means driving to Davidsonville. A.C. Moore's is crap. Sorry. It is cheap crap. I settled for Michael's, but that's a lot of picking and chosing, because they aren't top of the line, either.

By the time I put the flowers together, it would have been double in cost in what you see in hydrangeas and snapdragons and some tiny pink roses with strands of pearls on tiny plastic threads dangling down, but I had to cut the big flowers in half, ditch the roses and pearls and use a vine of pale variegated ivy. To create what I wanted would have been over fifty dollars. The downside of this is I know what's in my head, and this wasn't it, but it was going to have to do.

After all that last night: running for supplies, wrapping an oversized box, (and it did take every bit of the paper,) then fighting the ribbon, it was just icing to have to fight the flowers as well. I finally shoved it all off center angular and said, "Good enough."

I hear so many troubled stories these days from friends. So many bad stories. My own life hasn't been going smoothly. Deep in problems. I wanted to sign her card "Have you really thought about this? Seriously?" But. She's in love. She's young, she's level headed, she comes from a really good, stable family. I adore her Mama. I pray she stays as happy as she has been this past year.

She's in her love bubble. Floating. Let's leave her there and wish her the best.

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