806. My middle name is now Hero

I know it used to be Truth but if the moment comes to take a bow you’ve got to seize it.

When you people sit down safely tonight to enjoy your chicken and latkas (that’s for the Jews, the rest of you will be eating some kind of pork with mayonnaise) you will have me to thank.

My quick thinking and my ability to act under pressure  came into play this morning.

I was walking Raymond as usual.

I turned the corner of 59th Street and Second avenue when I spot out of the corner of my eye THREE UNACCOMPANIED SUITCASES in an alcove.

I know most of you would ignore this and keep walking. “After all,”   you would say to yourselves “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Well not me. I am not just my brother’s keeper, I am my City’s keeper and it is my job to fight crime and keep you people safe (Not you people from goofy states, like Michigan, just regular states like NEW YORK.)

Besides the U.N. is in session and you can’t be too careful. What if someone from a hostile land decided to take out Bloomingdales’ which was right down the street?

So what do I do? I tell Ray “Ray this is our time to get involved” He gives me his smartest look.

ray best

This is a picture of his smart look. It’s from when he was sitting in my chair but picture him giving me that look in the street. I was too busy saving the future of humanity to snap him at the time but believe me this was his expression.

I did what anyone (well not anyone, me) would do. I called the traffic cop over and pointed out the offending suitcases. After all “If you see something, say something” (I know you were waiting for that)

The officer, traffic cops like when you call them “officer”, looked over and said ” Now you’re scaring me”

He looked like he was gonna make a run for it when a police car stopped at the light.

“I’m only traffic. These guys can help you better” He slowly backed away from me, and the suitcases, and pointed to the cop car.

I told my tale to them.

They took it all in, put on their flashing lights and got out of the car.

The driver started to walk over to the suitcases. I said “You’re not going to touch them are you?”

He kept walking. I turned to the other cop and said “What say you and I run around the block while he’s doing that”

He mumbled “I’d like to.This is my first day “.

The first cop started to open the zipper on one of the cases. He put his hand in and said “Eww it’s filled with dirty clothes”

He came over to his partner and said “Give me the Purell”.

“You don’t know for a fact that there isn’t a bomb under those clothes” I wasn’t quite ready to let it go.

But Ray was. He started pulling me towards the tree so he could cop a squat.

I figured I’d done all I could do so I moved on. When I got down to Third Avenue I looked back and their lights were still flashing and the two guys were deep in conversation.

You could look at this one of two ways, 1. The suitcases were filled with harmless dirty clothes and owned by a homeless person or 2. The dirty clothes were there to disgust you and put you off the track so you wouldn’t dig deeper to find the hell that was beneath them and we’re all lucky that there are people in this City brave enough to step up to the plate and save the day much as Derek Jeter did last night in his final game with the Yankees.

I choose 2.

You can’t see me but I’m taking a bow.

805. Give credit where credit is due

I was reminded that I forgot one very important thing.

Right after they moved out, the girl I was dealing with told me that the house was in good shape so they were expecting their full security back

I mentioned that to David saying that I was planning on sending it without inspecting the house since I couldn’t go out for a few weeks and because they were so trustworthy last year.

His response:  “That would be so stupid, even for you”.

I thought he was wrong but I figured it couldn’t hurt to listen to him.

I hate him a little less today.

804. I wish it was legal to hit people who do you wrong

My sister and I went out to Montauk this weekend to check out the house after the renters left.

I almost cried when I got there.

It was a mess.

The door was open. The lights were on. The furniture was all moved around.

You should have seen me and my 76 year old sister (who luckily is an ox) move a king size bed back to where it belonged only to find half eaten pizza behind it.

The closet doors were off and leaning against the wall and there were once wet towels hanging all over the place.

There was plenty more but I’m boring myself.

I thought I was so smart too. My friend Susan told me not to rent to a group of young people plus she said I could get more money.

The reason I ignored her is because I had rented to them last year and they really took care of my house. I thought the difference in money was worth the peace of mind.

I’m not going to make myself sick over it. I’ve already called someone to come out and clean and fix what’s broken and I’ll take it out of the security that those fuckers left me.

I wish I could tack on a “you are a bunch of shit heels” fee but the broker said I can’t.

I think everyone should write a blog. I feel so much better after saying all that.

The rest of the weekend was pretty great though. Marcia and I went to the beach, shopped and just had fun.

Just so you won’t pity me too much, here’s a picture of the lobster roll I had for lunch

lobster roll

803 Tis the season …..almost

treeJulie and I are usually alone on Christmas. Her daughter is with her father and my ex husband is with his present wife. I’m hoping he gives her the same kind of Christmas that he’s always given me. Opening up your no presents in a deserted marina in some shit hole town in Florida.

NOTE : You people from Florida, don’t take offense. I have nothing against Florida except that it’s not New York and anyone that thinks you can throw some tinsel on a palm tree and make it holidayish, I got a bridge to sell you and it ain’t in Florida.

So to me, being with Julie on Christmas is not at all sad.

We love each other’s company and we try to make it festive.

The year before last we planned to go to a movie and have dinner at the place that Jews go to celebrate the birth of Christ which is a chinese restaurant. Our favorite is Chef Ho.

When we called the day before we were shocked to see that the movie was sold out and and the restaurant only had openings for 3:30 or 10:00 p.m.

We ended up at a mediocre kosher deli which was still pretty crowded with all the Jews that couldn’t get into Chef Ho.

Last year we decided to get my car and drive around the City and admire all the lovely Christmas decorations.

We drove down Park Avenue, every window showing happy scenes of  a Dickensian Christmas in one form or another. I finally got tired of Julie telling me how depressing it was and finally settled on eating at the Indian restaurant on my block, the only place that would take last minute guests.

The one high point of that evening was that Julie’s boyfriend, who was with his family in Iowa which is very near Tennessee and just outside the Baltic Region, called the restaurant and paid for our dinner.

The point of this whole thing is that both Julie and I love Christmas. Even though we’re Jewish, we’re not fanatics and this is a lovely holiday.

Since our poor planning ruined this glorious day for us in the past we decided that this year we won’t get caught with our seasonal pants down.

We’re going to plan ahead and because we’re way early we’re setting our sights high.

I called The Waverly Inn, a restaurant that screams Christmas but they won’t be open on Christmas day.

Next Julie decided use her go to source, Twitter.

Most of her followers just goofed on us for being losers and the ones who took us seriously didn’t get the concept of “festive”.  They suggested cuban chinese or diners.

So I’m appealing to you, my beloved readers, give us an idea of where we can eat on December 25th.

And don’t come up with that shit that Julie’s Twitter friends gave us.

It has to be fancy and in New York and we prefer Manhattan because I’m pretty sure that’s where Jesus was born.

 

802. Call me crazy but…

I wrote something odd on Facebook today.

The worst part is that it was to someone I don’t know personally who I admire because when I read her Facebook stuff I’m always impressed with what she’s doing.

This is not new for me.

I’ve always said nutty stuff out of the blue. Ask anyone who knows me.

I have no ability for small talk. I’ve written about that before. When there’s a silence in a conversation I frequently fill it with , hell I don’t know what. Whatever comes into my mind.

I think it’s getting worse because now I’m putting stuff in writing without giving it any thought at all.

Like what I wrote today.

I won’t say the person’s name but it is someone who is very successful and talented and adventurous.

She wrote that she was at some National Running Center waiting to get evaluated.

Just that. No comment necessary and if there was one it should be from a close friend or family member or even someone interested in running.

Here’s what I wrote,  “I was evaluated recently. They called me lumpy.”

Now there wasn’t a reason in the world to write that. Sure I thought it was funny but this woman knows me not at all. And I don’t really know her except to know that she has a bee and a goose.

What made me think I had the right to comment on her space?

I do it to people I know and love too.

The other day one of my nieces, a successful writer and mother (not Julie) whose name sounds like Shmeryl put a comment on Facebook praising a boy who was fighting to have his yearbook photo be a picture of him holding his fluffy cat.

Not even thinking I commented ” I gotta think that the closest that guy gets to any pussy will be his cat when the girls  see that picture”

Almost immediately my comment was deleted. Not by me, I’m not sensitive enough for that. I guess by Shmeryl.

When I gave it some thought I understood. After all I wasn’t the only one following her. Writing colleagues, people whose children went to school with her children and maybe others that mightn’t like the word pussy. At least that’s the conclusion I came to.

I know I should try to be more careful but if I can’t remember to wear the same shoes how much hope is there that I’ll succeed?

801. I gotta be me.

Last night my friend David took me to task for yesterday’s blog.

He said that using the word diarrhea and saying that my dog goes to sleep on my dining room table was disgusting.

Every time he made reference to it he scrunched his face up and shook his head as if he was trying to shake the memory out of his brain.

“I’m not surprised you didn’t get many comments. People were probably gagging when they read it.”

I’m wondering if I owe my readers an apology.

After all there is such a thing as too much information.

Then I remembered the source.

This is a guy who referred to my relatives (and I guess me) as “Christ killers”.

This was not in some kind of religious discussion but as in “Are you having all your Christ killer relatives for Thanksgiving?

But bodily functions offend him.

So I think I’ll just let it be.

BTW Raymond didn’t make a doody all day yesterday.

Too much rice I guess.

 

800. Have I become a pet blogger instead of a dropped like a hot potato blogger?

Yesterday my dog Raymond got sick. He had bad diarrhea. (Sorry, I know that was indelicate of me)

I’ve had dogs all my life. When they get this you give them boiled chicken and rice and they recover but my recent situation with Elvis made me forget all that and I panicked.

It didn’t help that Ray kept staring at me accusingly while he lay around like a noodle.

This dog doesn’t look happy on his best days, you can imagine how he looks when he’s under the weather.

sad

But let me cut to the chase.

He appears to be cured this morning.

He’s well enough to start destroying his toys.

toy

And making demands.

cured

But last night was another story.

It was so painful for me to watch him that I had to take a tranquilizer in order to calm down. I slept fitfully, occasionally waking up and feeling his wrist in order  to check his pulse in order to see if he was still alive.

Luckily he pulled through.

Now I’m thinking, am I really cut out to have a pet? Maybe I’m too crazy.

Actually there’s no maybe about it but too crazy? I don’t think so. I think I’m just crazy enough.

Every time I walk in the room and he’s sleeping on the dining room table is it crazy that I can’t get over how cute he looks?

When he wiggles his hot sweaty body under the covers of my bed in the exact place that I was thinking of putting myself does the fact that I move over and make room for him make me crazy?

I could go on and on but that would be crazy.

And as the Everly Brothers say “Love Hurts” so I’ll just have to take the bad with the good.

“What Raymond, you want to sit here? Okay I’ll move”

 

799. Tick Tock

This morning I was telling Liz that my bathtub is clogged. I said that I was sheepish about mentioning it to the Super because I think that it’s Elvis’ fault and since he isn’t here anymore (something that makes me sad every day) I was going to have to take the blame for it.

You see my cat spent quite a bit of time sitting in the bathtub. Since he also spent a more than an equal amount of time in his litter box, sometimes litter would stick to his little paws and I believe that that is why the water won’t drain in my tub.

elvis bath

Liz told me that I won’t be able to unclog it myself because that stuff is like cement.

About a half hour ago I decided I’d have to try.

I took a plunger and though I got a good suction, not a drop of water went down.

I was just telling Raymond that he and I would have to go over to Home Depot and get some drain cleaner when my doorbell rang.

It was my Super. He wanted me to let some guy measure something on my terrace.

I took this as a sign from God.

“Lester, his name is Lester, I can’t believe it’s you.  I need help.” Then I went on to tell him the whole story apologizing for Elvis’ misdeed.

He followed me into my bathroom and watched while I reached over with my plunger and showed him how useless it was.

“See? it’s not helping at all. Will we need a snake?”

” I don’t think so. This might be why the plunger isn’t working” and he leaned over and flipped up the little switch that opens the drain. The water immediately went down.

I handled it the only way I knew how. I pretended I was dead.

As he was leaving he smiled and said “I’m telling people”.

NOTE: I am no longer writing clever adventurous anecdotes in this blog. Instead I’m tracing my inevitable steps towards senility.

ANOTHER NOTE: The picture of Elvis shouldn’t make you sad. He was loved. Not everyone can say that.

798. You said what????

Liz and David came home from Santa Fe the other night.

I saw Lizzie but I didn’t see David so when David left the next morning to go to work he thoughtfully knocked on my door so he could say hello to me and more importantly, Raymond.

Now if I’m in my bedroom, with the TV blasting generally I can’t hear if someone’s at the door. One exception is that I can usually hear David who always notifies me of his presence by banging on the door and screaming in German.

(I gotta say that if there were no such thing as Nazis David would have had to invent a reasonable facsimile. They just have been so useful to him in dealing with the few Jews he comes in contact with, mainly me)

Back to what I was saying. This time I didn’t hear him and I had to start my day unscathed.

Only later did I realize that with all the shit that comes  with getting older,  maybe my hearing is getting worse too.

Why just the other day I was in the car with my sister and I told her that my eyes keep tearing.

I was surprised by her response and questioned her “Where did I get these earrings? You were with me. I got them inVenice.”

She yelled at me “I didn’t say anything about earrings. I said “Why do you think your eyes keep tearing?”

I just shrugged and said “I guess it’s the new make up I just bought”.

Only now am I saying to myself that even in context I should have been able to figure out that it didn’t make any sense for her to talk about  earrings when I was clearly wiping my eyes and kvetching about them tearing.

Why didn’t I just say “What?”

I’ll tell you why. Because like my father before me I wasn’t aware of how bad my hearing was getting.

I’m also thinking of adopting his response when my mother suggested he get a hearing aid which was “I’ve heard enough”.

I think he was right. How important is it to hear stuff anyway.

I remember at my Aunt Rae’s 80th birthday which was held at the Windows of the World, the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Tower listening to a conversation between my two brothers in law, Jim and Bernie.

The conversation went on for quite awhile. My sister Marcia and I sat there listening and marveling that Jim was talking about my Aunt Rae while Bernie was talking about Ronald Reagan and neither one of them realized it.

They both had a good talk and did the world come to an end because neither one was hearing the other? I think not.

In fact as my old friend Ernie Matterasso used to say “Except for an occasional “Watch out” he hasn’t said anything that had to be said in the  past five years.”

I think it’s been longer for me.

797. I’m as sad as sad can be today

I had to put my dear cat Elvis to sleep yesterday.

Since I started this blog I always felt a responsibility to write about what’s happening in my life but this morning when I was walking Raymond around the block with tears streaming down my face I thought that today’s blog would simply say; “I have no words”.

Now I’m home in front of my computer and of course I have words.

I had never owned a cat before and there was really something missing in my life. I didn’t want the responsibility of a dog but I wanted something.

Everyone told me cats are easy. They are not demanding but they do add warmth to your home.

I spoke to my niece Randy who is a cat rescuer.

She assured me that she would find the perfect cat for me. She finally decided on this little grey and white guy who loved being held and wouldn’t stop purring.

It was love at first sight. I named him Elvis after my first love.

cat cute

He was wonderful. The not demanding thing didn’t seem to play out but I didn’t mind that. If I was there he was rubbing against me or sitting on me.

There are a lot of things they tell you about life after divorce but one of the things I didn’t think about was that there is no one who needs you and no one you have to go home to.

At first there’s freedom in that but after awhile…

I was used to going out to dinner with couples and feeling okay with that.

One thing that never got old was when I was with my girlfriends and they had to call home or pick up something for the person in their lives and I only had me.

But Elvis changed all that. He filled the hole in my heart that I didn’t even know I had. Now I was the one who had to go home because there was someone waiting for me.

But I’m a worrier. One of the things that Randy told me when she gave me Elvis was that she didn’t usually give kittens to anyone over 65 for obvious reasons.

Because of that I constantly looked for someone to take Elvis when he, as he no doubt would, outlived me.

I didn’t want him to go back to Randy because there were too many cats there (at last count, 30).

Liz was a real cat person but she has bears near her house.

My niece Laura would be perfect because she loves cats but her husband is allergic.

I finally decided on Laura’s son, Scott. When he met Elvis they actually melted into each other. I was very comfortable with that decision.

That settled I wondered if Elvis needed company. Someone other than me. So I got him a dog.

Julie found me Raymond who was an 11 year old boston terrier who had one foot on a banana peel and the other on death row.

Raymond wasn’t crazy about Elvis. As I’ve said often, he couldn’t pick him out of a line up because every time E walked by Ray would turn his head.

But Elvis was in love. He followed Ray from room to room and had his eyes on him constantly.

My little family was finally perfect.

pile o' pets

Since the two of them were so great I bored everyone to tears with their antics. Photos galore on Facebook and Twitter were greeted with the ooos and ahhs they deserved.

refrig

nap

It seems that kittens, especially kittens who lived in groups are susceptible to a virus called FIP Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Corona Virus.

It’s only catching to other cats. In many cats it stays just as a virus but it can mutate and there is no cure.

I won’t go onto this any further except to say when I saw that he wasn’t feeling well after much discussion with my sister and my niece, Julie, I took him to the Animal Medical Center.

She wanted to come with me but I said I was sure it was nothing and I didn’t need her.

I was only at the AMC for a few minutes when I turned around and Julie was standing beside me.

The Vet seemed as broken hearted as we were when he told me that nothing could be done.

He was a darling boy and I held him in my arms when they put him to sleep forever.
 
Look, I am fully aware that there are way worse things going on in the world than the death of a little cat.

But not in my house.