811. A good dog is better than a lousy husband any day

My niece Stephanie told me that if I write about Ray one more time she’s going to just erase my blog but this is a story that must be told.

I’ve had the flu this week. I stayed in bed for 2 days straight.

Since “Self Pity” is another of my names in addition to “Truth” I spent much of the time feeling sorry for myself and bemoaning the fact that since dave left me to endure my twilight years alone I had no one to comfort me.

I was just about to writhe around on my bed of pain when I bumped into a little fat warm body. That’s right, Raymond.

He never left my bed except to go out on the terrace to take care of business. Luckily Cheryl had gone home so I could leave the door open.

He spent the whole time snuggled up against me. I figured he might be getting bored so I  even brought some of his toys on the bed but he ignored them. He had a greater job to do.

This reminded me of 9/11.

dave and I watched the horrors of the attack pictured on our TV.  A few hours later dave put on his coat.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“To the office” He wanted to get to his friends so they could all discuss what was going on.

“Are you crazy? People all over New York are trying to get home to their families and you’re leaving?”

I could see he was annoyed but he took off his coat and later we gathered friends from the building to come up and so we could all find comfort together.

Raymond would never have dreamt of leaving me.

comfort

810. Guests and fish can be very bossy

You all know how much I love my niece, Cheryl.

In fact since I turned dave’s office into  a guest room she has been it’s primary resident. She even finished writing her last book there.

Whenever she tells me she’s coming to my town I’m more than happy.

Well let me tell you, you think you know someone until you know someone.

She got here the other day and everything was perfect. She met Raymond and thought him wonderful. He loved her too. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that they both got along.

THAT IS until the first morning after her arrival when Cheryl showed her true colors. For your information those colors I speak of are shades of yellow forming a streak down her back.

I always leave my terrace door open so that if Ray wants to drop a deuce or pee during the night he can.

Which is what I told Cheryl  when I saw that she had closed that door before she went to bed.  I expected an “I’m sorry, sure”

What I got was “her going apeshit

“Your dog is trained. He doesn’t need to go out during the night. You have to close the door.”

“Why?” I really was puzzled.

“Because someone could come in and kill you”.

“I live on the 18th floor.” (When I told Julie about this conversation she said “Who’s going to get you Spiderman?”)

“They could come down from the roof.”

“I live in a doorman building. How is anyone going to get on the roof?”

“He could come from another building and jump on your terrace”

She was getting so excited that I didn’t even remind her that there were no buildings taller than mine. I just dropped it and figured I’ll open the door after she goes to sleep.

But after giving it some thought I realized that she’d just have to understand, my house my rules. The next night I put my foot down. I told her I was leaving the door open and she should just close the door to her room and put something heavy against it so that when the killer comes in he’ll only kill me.

She wasn’t happy but she seemed to accept it.

I had no sooner gotten into bed, turned on “Watch What Happens Live” and was just getting into the behind the scenes antics of the Housewives of New Jersey when my door flew open and Cheryl came storming in.

“I can’t go to sleep with that door open.”

Realizing that hillbillies (i.e. not New Yorkers) can’t be reasoned with I got up and closed the terrace door.

Suffice it to say at about 3 in the morning I sensed that Ray wasn’t in the bed since I was able to move my legs so I got up and went into the living room where he was standing by the terrace door with a puzzled look on his face. At least I assume that was what he was feeling.

I let him out and we both went back to bed.

Today at breakfast Cheryl decided to have a talk with me.

“I want you to promise me that you will keep that door closed even after I leave. I worry about you.”

“I’ve been living here for almost 40 years and during that time I’ve had Norman , Harry, Rupert (Liz’ dog) and now Ray and I’ve left the door open for all of them and nothing has happened to me.”

“You’ve just been lucky”

“You know I’m not lucky. If I was lucky my ice machine wouldn’t be broken.

In case you’re wondering that is no longer the case. It cost me almost 5oo bucks but it’s fixed now and Miss I’m So Worried About You never left the safety of her room to protect me from the hairy assed repairman while he worked on it.

cheryl

I was just about to let bygones be bygones when Cheryl asked me if I would be so kind as to remove Raymond’s breakfast bowls from the table while she ate. And there I was thinking I was being thoughtful by picking his oatmeal bowl and egg bowl off the floor so no one would trip on them.

There’s just no way to please some people

 

809. The slippery slope of age isn’t all downhill. There are some stopovers.

I watched the video of various stars singing “God Only Knows” three times yesterday and twice today because I forgot the last 4 digits of my cell phone number at the drug store yesterday.

What does one thing have to do with the other? I’ll tell you.

In order to pick up my prescription I had to fill in those numbers. I was expecting it to be my home number but instead they asked for my cell phone.  I froze. I couldn’t remember them. I finally thought I knew them and typed in the last 4 numbers of Julie’s cell.

When they were rejected I could see the pity in the eyes of the girl that was helping me.

I pulled myself together and recited my whole number in my head and I put the correct numbers in.

My nose drops were released to my custody.

I said “Thank you”.

The girl answered “You’re welcome.” and as an after thought she added “Be well”

I left the store cringing.

Now the video.

“God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys is one of my favorite songs and the new video by various artists is wonderful.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqLTe8h0-jo).

When I got home I went on Facebook and saw a post by my cousin’s husband of that video. I had posted that same thing a few days before.

I was feeling low so I watched it again.

I realized that I knew many of the people singing. Not just the ones you’d expect me to know like Elton John or Chrissie Hynde or Dave Grohl, I also knew Florence Welch and Lorde and Pharrell Williams and even One Direction.

I immediately felt better. My brain was getting mushy but not totally liquid yet.

BTW who’s the babe on the horse? It looks like Rosanne Barr.

 

808. Latkes and other pancakes

Every November my sweet nephew Yitzhak visits me from Israel.

Every once in awhile he brings one of his children. He has 10 so he rarely has to repeat.  As I meet each child I fall in love again.

I’ve told you what a pain in the ass Yitz can be with the food. I spend the whole visit trying to make sure he doesn’t get cooties from a piece of cheese that hasn’t been blessed by Jesus or whoever blesses cheese.

His kids are a little looser. Maybe it’s because they were born into it rather than coming to it later in life like their father did.

Anyway Yitz called me last night.

I started the conversation by telling him how I can’t wait to see him. That’s really true. I’ve loved him so much since the day he was born.

“I might be bringing someone with me”

“Great, who”

“Well my son is coming for a kosher food convention. And when my daughter heard he was coming she wanted to come.”

“Cut to the chase. How many?”

“Four, but they all have places to stay”

“Are you serious? They will stay with me. I can absolutely make room for them”

“That would be great. But you don’t have to feed them. They’ll fill up at the convention.”

“Even better. Can you ask them to avert their eyes while I’m eating?. Of course I’ll feed them”

I could hear the sigh of relief on the other end.

“Eric, you do know I have a dog now.” I fall back on his birth name when I’m delivering bad news.

“I know” long pause “Do you think you could keep him in your room during the night?”

“No problem. I absolutely will discuss it with him and he will stay in my room at night unless he doesn’t want to stay in my room at night in which case he will go out of my room at night and hop into bed with one of you. BTW he likes to sleep under the covers”

I can’t wait to see them and hug the girls and not hug the boys.

I really am the luckiest girl in the world.

807. Tonight’s New Year’s Eve so Par-tay

yarmulke

 

Tonight is the beginning of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.

I personally have been perfect  this year but in case I slipped up someplace my sister Marcia is fasting for me.

It is also Raymond’s first Yom Kippur. At least it’s his first Yom Kippur with me and though he started off pretty good he’s feeling quite at home now and frankly in the past few weeks he’s turned into a real prick.

Oh he’s going along with all the surface stuff like wearing the yarmulke without bitching but he still thinks who he is.

He’s not doing anything that could be considered a sin but he’s not the easy dog I thought I was getting when I saw that pathetic picture of him in the pound.

I’ve complained of his behavior on walks. If I don’t go exactly where he wants he stops and grips the ground until, after trying each direction, I hit on one he likes and he continues on. If I’m in a hurry or it starts to get dark, the outing turns into a dog drag. Not fun for anyone.

I mean I’m not going to make him fast or anything but only 5 pieces of cheese instead of his usual 8 should help him repent at least in the eyes of God.

As you know (being students of all religions), yahrzeit candles must be lit at sundown in memory of the loved ones we’ve lost.

I light them for my mother, Pearl, my father, Saul, my sister Iris and my other sister Phyllis. I miss them all terribly.

I just looked in my cabinet and saw that I only have 3 candles. I know you think I only need one more but I always light extra ones for my mother because I feel she’d want to make the other ghosts jealous.

So Shanah Tovah to all of you and thank you for reading my blog.

I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year.

 

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?