~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2005-12-27 - 9:24 p.m.

New Jersey Holiday

A summary, since I've been intending to add entries much more frequently during this visit. Alas, no. What I've mostly been is lazy, sleeping until eleven or twelve (or worse), and sitting around reading and snacking much of the time. Still, the relaxation and lack of any pressing tasks have been great.

Saturday, Dec. 17:
Missed the SuperRide shuttle I had scheduled (I awoke to them calling me at my scheduled pickup time of 5:30am). Could have been worse, but Jodi was a trooper for picking me up and driving me to the airport at that hour. Problem-free flights SBA-Dallas-Philadelphia. Then, mistakenly took the SEPTA R7-Trenton instead of the R3-West Trenton; luckily, Mom now has a cell phone and I was able to call her to come down to Trenton from the other station where she was waiting for me. Too many transportation fiascoes for one day, but, I felt good upon arriving, and Mom had Chinese food waiting for me (though she inadvertently ordered Lo Mein instead of the Egg Foo Young she and I were both looking forward to).

Sunday, Dec. 18:
Made, embarrassingly, my first pilgrimage ever to Grandpop's grave with Nan, and also visited the graves of her parents. Wasn't incredibly solemn, but the visit is one that had been on my mind quite a bit before and after. We then stopped at the Trenton Farmer's Market to buy poinsettias and stop at Pulaski's booth for poppyseed roll and double-smoked kielbasa. We then had dinner that night at Mom's: fried shrimp and [homemade] macaroni-and-cheese. Made the one-hour drive to Rick's in Forked River to see his new house (it's a cozy non-McMansion; i.e., great).

Monday, Dec. 19:
Went with Rick to see Brokeback Mountain (I haven't read the story yet) with Rick in Red Bank, which is a really cool, semi-hip little town that I had never really been to (Kevin Smith is one of its claims to fame). I've thought about the movie quite a bit and I'm glad I saw it, though I can't say I was incredibly emotionally moved by any of it. No tears welling up or my usual emotional response. I've wondered if that's partially due to being "evened out" by the antidepressants; not that I feel nothing, it's just that I don't have those hyper-emotional moments much anymore. I suppose that's a good thing....(?). Oh, and I'd spend time in Big Sky Country with Jake Gyllenhaal anytime (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Tuesday, Dec. 20:
A Very Crazy Night in New Brunswick (or, Down in the Depths on the Nineteenth Floor).

Wednesday, Dec. 21:
Made the acquaintance of one of Woodbridge's Finest (seriously, not quite the experience that might spring to one's imagination; alas, it so often is not...). Bought the eponymous Kiran Ahluwalia CD (Punjabi-Canadian ghazals) I'd been wanting (of course I have) since hearing her on NPR a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, Dec. 22:
Not sure what I did for most of the day, but had dinner with Nan at one of those typical family-owned Italian places, called Candela's, not far from her house. We also ate there last year. "True" New Jersey pizza, one of the things I really miss most in the Golden State.

Friday, Dec. 23:
Dinner at Rick's with his friend Michael, whom I've met before, and a new, hunky love-interest (Rick's, not mine, needless to say) named Ross. Enviousness. Enviousness... A good time was had by all. Rick's present to me was a copy of the newly-published Truman Capote novel, Summer Crossing (I'm curious, but not overeager).

Saturday, Dec. 24:
A fairly low-key Christmas Eve. Did a little bit of stress-free last-minute shopping, then had Chinese take-out at Mom's (this time, we really managed to get the intended Roast Pork Egg Foo Young, which satisfied incomparably).

Sunday, Dec. 25:
Nowy Swiat.
Totally drama free, and an enjoyable turkey dinner at Uncle David's. Too much food, as always, but I managed not to overstuff. It was nice seeing everyone who was there, but a smaller gathering than usual (David stayed in Ohio, having just bought a house, which is somewhat depressing considering he's ten years younger than I am, and Devon is in California with her USMC, of all things, boyfriend). Lee and Cheryl were there, as were Michael (cousin), and Claude (mother's cousin). Another good time had by all.

Monday, Dec. 26:
Since I sleep so late, days seem to be fairly uneventful! Went to Rick's in the evening and we had dinner at a local "Charley Brown's." Then went to his house to watch one of his latest video finds, 1969's What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? with Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon. I don't know where he uncovers these campy finds, but it was truly one of those suspense-camp almost-classics.

Tuesday, Dec. 27:
Another uneventful afternoon (I'm not minding!), then got takeout to bring to Mom's from the new Malaysian-Thai place, Penang, that I discovered in the Nassau Park Center. The Beef Rendang was amazing.

Looking forward to the remainder of the week. Hoping to get to New York, and also to possibly take a drive around the South Jersey counties, which I've never really visited.

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