948 Nuts and Bolts

I had an appointment with my shrink yesterday. She’s not really a talking shrink she’s more of a mental patient pill shrink.

She texted me the time and date of the appointment, 11 a.m. on Monday.

I got there a little early and buzzed to get in the building. No response.

When there was no answer at 11:15 I texted her.

“Are you on your way?”

She wrote back “I moved my office . It’s 3 blocks uptown.I forgot to tell you”

“Way to keep your clientele booming, telling nuts the wrong address. That should set them back a bit.”

I ran up to keep what was left of my appointment.

She always asks me lots of questions about how I’m doing. I always say fine but I’m not looking to work out any problems with her. I have my sister for that. I just want my crazy pills.

She asked me if the pills are working for me. I had to think.

I realized that I have no idea if they are working.

Then I gave it some thought.

I’ve been taking one or another of these pills since my husband said he was leaving and I was either frozen or I couldn’t stop crying.

Do I do that any more? No.

Does that mean I can stop taking them? I still dream of him every night which makes me think I’m still not totally over it.

I was married almost 40 years. Will it take that long to really move on?

If I stop taking them will I go back to feeling the way I did in 2011?  That’s a chance I don’t want to take.

I answered.

“Yes they’re working”.

947. NYC = Mayberry RFD

For the past month or so my dog Ray has turned into a rooster.

As soon as the sun comes up he starts barking and barking in my face until I get up.

I know what you’re thinking.. the poor boy has to drop a deuce.

Well those of you who’ve read this blog for any length of time know that I leave my terrace door open in all weather and if that was his problem he could easily step outside to this lovely haven.

terrace

The little prick should remember from whence he came. His previous owners thought so much of him that they dumped him in a kill shelter and I saved him from death row.

You’d think he’d show a little gratitude.

So grumbling profanities I get up, throw some duds on and sleep walk to the front door where he’s sitting with a superior look on his face.

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When I pick up his leash, he prefers to walk me on a leash, he does a little dance and I have to admit that all is forgiven.

The other night I was watching either CSpan or Bravo when I get a call from my neighbor Jeffrey.

“Can Dominic come up and use your computer?” Dominic is  Jeffrey’s husband.

“Sure just let me put my pants on”

“No need.”

I ignored him because being a woman alone I didn’t want to tempt him and have that marriage go the way  of mine.

After Dominic did what he needed to do on the computer he brought up 9/11.

I did what all Jews do when attacked.

I rushed to the supermarket to stock up where  I bumped into Jeffrey and Dom. Dominic is Italian which is the same as being Jewish food wise.

I decided to buy a turkey and I told them to come to my house for dinner and bring our  friend Carol who lived on their floor.

I even invited my down the hall neighbor who hadn’t spoken to me in 2 years because I broke an ashtray in her house while I was minding her cat.

Obviously Lizzie was there. I’m not sure if David was in the picture yet.

We all huddled together for comfort.

New York was a very small town that night.

For the people who live here it always is.

Especially if you have a rooster.

 

946 New York, New York It’s a Wonderful Town

So I’m walking my dog this morning and I notice that the nicely dressed guy walking in front of me stops and picks up litter as he’s going along and putting it in trash cans.

He wasn’t nuts about it. He didn’t pick up every little thing, only the kind of big things.

I always have a running commentary going on in my head while I’m walking Ray. Usually it’s criticism of my fellow New Yorkers,

“So you tried that dress on in the store and said “This looks good on me. I’ll take it”?’

“Clairol didn’t have a brassier color you could use?”

“No one told you that your ass crack belongs IN your pants?”

But this time it was different.

“What a nice thing to do. Not only doesn’t he litter but he cleans up after those that do.

I’m not surprised that he’s doing this. He’s wearing nice clean clothes and he seems like a gentleman”

Then we get to the corner.

He keeps trying to cross the street against the light and every time a car comes he looks at the driver in surprise puts his arms up in wonder and says

“Fuck you. Fuck you What the fuck are you doing you fucking cocksucker?” or a variation of that.

Because it’s rush hour the cars are moving slowly so one or two of the drivers give him the finger but say nothing.

Finally the light changes and he gets across the street shaking his head in irritation.

Then he continues on his way making NYC a prettier and cleaner place for us all.

This, my friends, is why I never want to live anywhere else.

 

 

945. A Dog of Many Talents.

Ray is a city dog as I’ve said before but he certainly enjoys the country life.

We spent the weekend up at Stephanie’s house minding her animals. She has 2 horses, 2 donkeys, 4 cats and 2 dogs.

Obviously I do most of the care but Ray is a very active partner.He feels a certain responsibility for all his cousins and keeping the grounds safe from robbers and varmints.

Here he is guarding the door

ray at door

 

Here he is keeping watch outside.

ray examining the property

 

Here he is using camouflage to guard the inside of the house

camaphloge

Here he is having a frisky romp with his cousin Lucyrandl

Of course he knows how to use the city to his benefit even more .

Why just this morning I was walking him while engrossed in my book “The Children” by Ann Leary and as I got to the end of the page I looked down at Ray because I’m a wonderful dog mother and I noticed that he was licking vomit.

I wasn’t that upset though because I spotted the cut up fruit so it was clearly a cocktail of some kind.

I’m sure the alcohol killed anything bad in it, right?

944. When is it time to lose a friend?

Since early in my writing of this blog I’ve amused you with stories about my friendship with David.

I’ve told you that he’s a right wing gun loving racist republican who if he wasn’t engaged to my good friend Liz and living across the hall I’d never have met and certainly not chosen as a friend.

It turned out that he was a very good friend to me. In fact he was a major source of comfort to me in one of the worst periods of my life.

The fact that our friendship still exists now that he is no longer with Liz and has moved to Houston Texas is one of those things that just can’t be explained.

I’ve had a lot of laughs with him though.

I was in Home Depot the other day and there was another woman there waiting with me to be served.

I mentioned the heat, you know just to be pleasant, and the woman agreed with me. Then she got chatty.

“Yeah and I had to walk about 12 blocks to get here and I have bronchitis. Don’t worry you can’t catch it. I haven’t been able to get to the gym for two weeks and dontcha know it I lost 4 fuckin’ pounds.”

I started to laugh because it brought to mind that I had once told David that I was walking Liz’s dog Rupert in the carriage and a well dressed woman came up to me and said “He is so fucking cute”.

His response was

“You only hear language like that in the Armed Forces, prisons or on the streets of New York”

When the Home Depot woman saw me laughing she was puzzled.

“Where are you from?”

“I live in the neighborhood”  I clearly didn’t get her meaning so she clarified this.

“I’m part Polish, Russian and Jew”

She had clearly honed in on me because she added “No offense with the Jew part”

“None taken”

Now back to my friendship with David.

Even though he’s claimed that his hatred of the man has nothing to do with his race, as all racists do, I’ve long ago refused to let him speak to me about President Obama.

As far as donald trump, I never thought he was anything to worry about but that appears not to be true.

As you might know if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, I am a serious follower of all things Bravo. I’ve always felt a kinship with those that feel the same way until…..

The other night I was watching “Watch What Happens Live” when Andy Cohen asked people to call in and vote for either Hillary or donald.

Much to my shock it was a landslide for donald.

This reinforced my fears. I know that if this man beats Hillary the United States is doomed.

I told David that if he votes for trump I could never forgive him and I couldn’t be his friend.

He swears he won’t.

The other day he actually said that he blames President Obama for the racial unrest in this country.

If he’s that stupid can I trust that he’ll keep his promise?

BTW I’m very aware that some of you will want to drop me as a blog friend because you don’t agree with what I said.

I can live with that.

 

943. Oy

So I’m walking Ray this morning. I read my book while I walk because as anyone knows, walking a dog is boring.

I casually glance down at Ray and I notice he’s not in his halter. I’m walking an empty leash.

I look around and he’s where I last saw him, licking something on the ground.

I always let him lick the ground outside the steak restaurant.

I run back and put on his halter.

I notice a big construction worker standing there laughing.

“Very funny. Why didn’t you say something?”

“I figured you’d realize sooner or later when you saw how light your leash was.”

“Glad you got a few yucks.” I walked away with as much dignity as I could muster.

I’m not feeling that good about myself now anyway.

Lizzie is the greatest friend.  She does a million things for me.

She lets my family stay in her apartment when they visit.

I only had to mention that I wanted to start painting again and she sent me a bunch of paints.

That’s just an example. Like I said she’s a great friend.

I, on the other hand, suck as a friend.

The only thing she asks of me is to pick up her mail and water her plants while she is in Santa Fe and she only has 2 plants.

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nuff said.

942. And people say my life is boring

I’ve been busy as a bee.

I may have made a new friend named Liz Caro. I’m saying her last name so you will know it’s not my regular Lizzie. I think I also like her husband Joe.

I like her because she’s outrageous and laughs at the same things I do and I like him because he’s kind of mean and I figure he’ll appreciate someone liking him anyway.

And here’s the good part. They live in another land so I can be friends with them without leaving my apartment.

I spent a night at my niece Stephanie’s house in Connecticut. I usually get a great dinner when I go there. My nephew Terry pulls out all the stops in a restaurant. Apps and dessert? No problem. Cocktails, his pleasure.

Unfortunately this was their bowling night so dinner was a big disappointment.

Not that I’m complaining (I actually am) because the evening was worth it. Although why  a blue collar sport should mean a blue collar dinner I can’t guess.

Now let me tell why I was interested in going to watch them bowl.

I’ve been hearing about Steph’s bowling for years. She actually gave herself a bowling name, Midge, and when she first joined a league years ago she had a bowling shirt made with “Midge” on the pocket. She also had a crystal (plastic) bowling ball with a rose in it.

She took it seriously. All her life  she’s been competitive.

I believe she named herself captain of the team and once punched one of the members in the stomach for not practicing enough .

Like I said, competitive and maybe a little free with her hands.

Eventually there was a mutiny where even her husband Terry voted her out as leader.

This was years ago. It’s a new league in a different state. Now it’s Steph, Terry, Steph’s childhood friend, Donna and Donna’s boyfriend Scott

.

The rose bowling ball is gone but the name Midge remains.

I was totally looking forward to watching my little girl wipe up the floor with the other team.

Imagine my surprise to find that she stinks at bowling. In fact except for Terry her whole team stinks.

I may be being too harsh though. It’s possible that they only stink in comparison to the team they were playing.

These people were pros. You could tell before they threw a ball, and may I say that they each had about 5 balls, they were big time.

They had all kinds of leather things made to fit different parts of their arms and fingers. Plus they were wily.

Where our team (I considered myself part of the team even though I never left my seat) had to buy candy from a machine to keep up our energy, they came with a plastic box filled with candy. Plus they even had a little jar of powdered chalk to keep their fingers … I don’t know what it kept their fingers but it made us look like losers.

And once the game started they were a symphony to watch.

There was a girl named Anna who stood in front of the lane tapped her foot behind her and threw the ball, immediately turning without looking to see where it went because she always knocked down all the pins.

On the few times that one remained standing, also without looking she’d go to get her second ball because she knew the sound of a bowling ball hitting one too few pins like she knew the face of her first born.

If only she could have transferred all those bowling skills into a few teeth she’d have had it made.

After her turn she walked back to her team in kind of a slow motion ballet step with no expression on her face.

This was unlike our team where when someone got a strike or a spare there would be whoops and high fives or advice of “Focus!”or something equally stupid if something was missed.

Our team left in fairly good spirits since I believe that they won one of the games due to the handicap of one million that the other team had .

In fact they could barely enjoy their crap dinner what with patting themselves on the back for a game well played.

The next day was beautiful and I was happy to see Ray run around so he would sleep in the car.

There was no way he could keep up with his cousin Theo who was constantly searching for trespassing rodents under his barn.

theo

They say imitation is the finest form of flattery though and Ray did his best to imitate Theo in the car on the way  home.

sleeping car

941 Ladies Who Lunch

I remember when my mother and her friends used to get together.

They’d play cards, eat, chat about their kids, tear apart whichever friend couldn’t make it that day. Ya know just be girls.

Yesterday a few of the “Girls” came over to my apartment. One girl was visiting from another land, Hawaii, and she wanted to catch up with some of the friends she hadn’t seen for awhile.

Susan actually organized it but it was at my house because as she explained to the others, “Mattie doesn’t like to leave her dog”

There were 5 of us, all connected to the music business in some way, either through work, marriage or previous marriage.

This wasn’t exactly like my mother’s get togethers.  I may have heard her and her pals discuss their home remedies for stress but I don’t think “blow”was one of them.

 

Except for Susan I don’t really know the other women well and her telling them that I didn’t like to leave my dog might have given them an idea that I’m not all there.

Liz, the girl from Hawaii seemed more than amused by the dog carriage in the corner.

“No kidding, that’s for your dog?”

That’s when I took out the vodka.

Everything seemed to be going well until the dog that I” didn’t like to leave” ruined it by bringing every toy he has to the feet of the ladies and barking incessantly until someone threw  it.

I tried to distract him by feeding him cheese and crackers but it only quieted him while he was chewing.

“You feed him cheese and crackers?”

I mumbled something about “only when there’s company”

More vodka.

Ray would simply not stop barking. He had finished the brie and was giving the Jarlesburg the glad eye so I resorted to something I had read somewhere about quieting your dog.

I put my face close to his and screamed “Shut the fuck up you fuckhead”.

 

Then I gave him some more brie.

 

940 A City Mouse Visits a Country Mouse.

As I’ve always said any time with my sister Marcia is a real treat.

I prefer her coming to the City but every once in awhile I have to go to see her where she lives in Upstate New York. (READER: the word “Upstate”is very important. Think “Arkansas”)

I chose this weekend because I wanted to see my brother in law  Paul who was performing at a soirée given by a lovely woman who invites as many as 40 people to her home to dine and  hear music.  Anyone who chooses can get up on stage and do his or her thing and several people do.

Paul has always been funny but at the age of 80 he discovered that he could sing and that soiree has been his monthly gig for the past year or so. He tells jokes and finishes up with a couple of songs. He has fun and the crowd loves him.

Paul

My sister is not much like me. Which is why she chose to live in the country. I am strictly City Girl but I love her so much that I’m willing to brave the dangers of her town to be with her.

I wasn’t there for 15 minutes when I was attacked by a snake. When I say attacked I mean one slithered past me. Try not getting the vapors after something like that.

Ray was not happy there. Mainly because my sister has two dogs, Vinnie and Sally, that have the idea that any dog  visiting should welcome licks and hugs.

Ray is not a dog’s dog. He tried ignoring them.  After all he was a guest. When that didn’t work he snapped and got up on a chair.

Since for some odd reason those dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture they couldn’t find him there.

This chair thing became quite an issue. Not only the dogs, but Marcia and Paul sat wherever they pleased without having the good grace to see if the space was occupado.

squish

In spite of the abuse that Ray suffered we had quite a nice time. He was proud that in just a few short days he trained my brother in law to say nothing when he was fed steak under the table during dinner.

Now if Marcia and Paul could just get the chair thing right he’d have been a happy camper.

 

 

939 Save a Life

It’s been exactly 2 years since the word SAFE was put on Ray’s death row picture. That is the day he moved in.

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He was agreeable from the beginning. Not effusive mind you but polite and pleasant.

He was really skinny and tried very hard not to be a bother. If I were a different person he could have been trained to fetch, sit and do the laundry. That’s how amenable he was to fitting in.

And fit in he did. He realized after awhile, quite rightly, that we would share a bed, most meals and an ice cream pop before we went to sleep.

He didn’t request it but I’m sure that he appreciated that even though he was very housebroken I left my terrace door open 24/7 so he wouldn’t have to stress.

That wasn’t as easy as it sounds. When certain people in my family ( I won’t mention names, Cheryl) came to visit they tried very hard to make me close the door when the temperature went to -10.

Even when I proved that Ray enjoyed his nightly toilet (pronounced twah-let) :

footsteps

That unnamed person (Cheryl) could get ugly.

He became more and more comfortable with the living situation.

Slowly he caught on that simply staring at something would make me get up and give it to him.

Into the second year he let it be known that me sleeping past 6 am was beginning to irritate him so he’d either tap me at the bottom of the bed where he had shoved me or stand by the bedroom door shrieking in a tone that I believe he picked up from a pekinese that he had tried to attack on 59th Street.

I first saw his picture on June 6, 2014.

It was then that I knew that I had to save a life.

Mine.

ray n me