Tag: maine

No prescription for Joseph Dankowski (the doppleganger of my father)

Joseph Dankowski

Joseph Dankowski

On January 1 of this year, my mother emailed me to say how surprised she was to read the name of Joseph Dankowski in her local paper, The Somerset Times. When she mailed the newspaper clipping to me at my request, I saw that it was a legal notice to creditors announcing who had been appointed personal representatives to certain estates, including his. But as soon as I got her email on New Year’s Day, the following memory of my father, Joseph Dankoski, came instantly to mind.

I don’t know if it was in the summer before he died in 1998, or if it was any other time he was sick before then, but I remember that one time my father and I went to the Rite Aid pharmacy in Houlton, Maine. We strolled up to the white counter in the back of the store to pick up a prescription, perhaps, for my dad. The pharmacist, a tall man stationed as his computer, asked my dad for his name, and my father answered in a grumbled, almost annoyed, voice: “Dankoski. Joseph.” Continue reading

How to make a jeżyk (aka Polish porcupine ball)

The many stars of the jeżyk ornament

The many stars of the ornament

On Christmas night, my wife, mom and I spent some time making what Mamusia calls “jeżyk” — or what is known across the net as “Polish porcupine balls” (even though jeżyk translated to “hedgehog”) — the delicate Christmas tree ornaments that you can make from sheets of fancy tissue, wrapping or heavier paper. Continue reading

I’m a slow reader. And other meandering thoughts on a “sick day.”

The Book of Dads, edited by Ben George

The Book of Dads

It takes a sick day from work to be able to sit back in my La-Z-Boy and read a good book.

Today I returned to the excellent The Book of Dads, which I bought on June 9, 2009. I know the precise date because of two things.

One, I see that, in this collection of essays by writers on the joys and humiliation of fatherhood, the authors — including Steve Almond and Mainer Jennifer Finney Boylan — had crossed a line through or around their printed bylines and replaced them with their autographs, some wrote the date and “For Stan.”

The other reminder is that the occasional Goodreads newsletter reminds me that I started reading this book, the latest one tells me, 535 days ago, and I’m still not done. Ouch. Continue reading

Dreaming in iambic pentameter

Bert and I were late for class, and we started running.

We were already inside a building, which looked strangely like a fancy hotel lobby. We slammed open the gold-rimmed double doors and ran up some stairs. It soon became clear that all this building had were stairs and short hallways. Most sets of stairs looked like it was from Fallon Memorial School in Pawtucket. One set looked like it was from the Harvard T Station. Continue reading

Ramping for camping, and partying like a 2-year-old

On Labor Day weekend, I plan to go to a tango/camping weekend event, so this weekend I went up to my mom’s house to grab some gear. I set up my tent this morning (Sunday), which I haven’t used in a few (maybe four?) years. I also wanted to see if two people and a dog could fit in it. Luckily I had volunteers to help me see if I could. Continue reading

Busy month

I wish I could say I was on an actual vacation for most of this month. I haven’t actually written a real post here for most of July, as I’ve been unusually busy. Not really with busy work here and there, but I feel I’m occupying my time, for the most part, more wisely. There is a better sense of purpose. So here, I will try to do a brief (haha) synopsis of my month, picking up where I last left off.
Continue reading

Can you guess where I am?

Can you guess where I am?

Can you guess where I am?

Need a hint?

Need a hint?

Lighthouse! No more hints!

Lighthouse! No more hints!

View from top of lighthouse

View from top of lighthouse

On my way to getting away

My previous blog post is proof that my phone has a shitty built-in camera. Where there were Canada geese swimming and flapping their wings in the Charles River, all you saw was a murky midnight-bluish-gray. Those were taken just a few steps south of Watertown Square, on the bridge near the Galen and Watertown streets intersection.
Continue reading

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