Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Why I Blog

Many years ago, I was visiting family in New York City.  While at my grandmother’s house, I made my way to the basement.  In the back of the basement was an impromptu recreational area, with free weights in one place and a computer workstation in another.  But what I was interested in was the PlayStation console that sat on the floor near a small couch nestled in the corner of the basement.

While I was perusing the game deck on the desk, a movement caught my eye.  And it was then that I met Buster, my cousin’s dog.  I don’t remember what kind of dog he was, but he was small, like a terrier.  Maybe he was a terrier.  I had no clue.

In those days, I really wasn’t a dog person.  Cats were my dope, and they still are.  Dogs really didn’t do anything for me. 

But Buster was unlike most dogs I’d come across.  For one thing, he was quite calm.  No yapping or snapping at my feet.  And he looked at me with such knowing eyes.  Maybe he knew that I wasn’t a dog person and he chilled out just for me.  I respected him for that.

For the next few hours, Buster sat with me as I played video games.  And sometimes I found myself talking to him and he would sometimes grunt or snort in response.  At first, he sat a few feet from me, but over time, he inched his way towards me until he sat right next to my feet.  He was a smooth operator.

My brother came down to find me and Buster in the dark, heartily playing PlayStation, completely oblivious that it had turned into evening.  There was a gathering of friends and family topside, and I wasn’t paying it any mind.

“God, you’re so anti-social!”  My brother said as he snapped on the lights.  “You came all the way from Maryland just to sit here and play video games?  Come upstairs!  Socialize!”

I looked at Buster and he looked at me.  I tell you, if I could’ve taken him at that moment, I’d have snatched him up and taken him home with me. 

But instead I gave him a pat on his little head and made my way upstairs.

But what my brother had said stuck with me.  And he was 100% right.  I am at my most happiest in relatively solitary activities, with my usual company being Zen Master and Zen Mum.  So in the subsequent years, I self-reflected and worked on my appalling social skills. 

You’ll be happy to know that they’re still appalling.  But the difference is that now I am at peace with it. 

I am friendly but I still don’t truly socialize.  Making small talk is a big accomplishment for me because I never did.  Sometimes I still find myself struggling with it but I deal.  It’s all about baby steps, right?

And then I started this blog.

I have been a lurker of food blogs, and have been one for years.  I realize now that I am essentially “playing video games alone in the basement” again. 

It’s time for me to go topside again, but this time I wish I had Buster with me.

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Yesterday Zen Master, Zen Mum and I went up to New York City for the day.  While we were visiting with family, I had the luck of running into my cousin, Kenny.  Some time back I had asked him for caricatures of us and I was able to finally get them from him.


I actually thought I was a bit more sexier than this, but obviously that was just a figment of my imagination.

Zen Mum, Me, and Zen Master

This is his little gem to my request for a family portrait.

And the artist for these cuties…


He prefers being behind the camera rather than in front, but he begrudgingly stood still when I asked him for his picture.

Sorry, ladies, he’s engaged. 

And speaking of engagement, I forgot to tell him that if I were to ever get married, I would be asking him to do my invitations.

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