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.

IMG_2642-1

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.

IMG_0258-1

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

938 Books

Today is definitely Book Day.

I woke up, grabbed Ray’s leash and my Kindle. And lo and behold while I slept Ann Leary’s new book, “The Children” that I pre-ordered months ago had downloaded.

And not a moment too soon. Tonight I’m going to Barnes & Noble where Ann will be reading from that book. It’s kind of a book party and I’m invited along with a lots of celebs.

I just realized that I have a bunch of different things to say about all this.

When I was a little girl I adored Nancy Drew. The second the bookshop near me had a one cent sale, buy one Nancy Drew book for 99 cents and you get a second book for a penny my father would give me a dollar and I’d run to the store in absolute ecstasy.

If I’d have known Caroline Keene personally I’d have gone crazy with glee.

Of course since then I’ve learned that Caroline Keene is a pseudonym for a group of authors who wrote the Nancy Drew series but that isn’t the point.

Now me at parties. I have a terrible personality in person. I babble on and say weird things to people when I first meet them. I have absolutely no gift for small talk which brings me to how I got to know Ann Leary as a writer.

I really liked her in theory.

She is a very good friend of  Julie’s and one of the people that can make Julie laugh. She is also is really kind.

When Julie found a thin pit bull on the street and was calling all over to find someone to take it in Ann said “Bring him here. I’ll take him until we can find a place for him.” I had to love her for that.

She did have one thing against her. She’s married to Denis Leary.

In spite of the fact that through my ex husband’s music I had met many famous people I always got tongue tied and said nutty things whenever I was in their presence.

I had actually paid money to see Denis perform in Atlantic City so I really hoped not to be anywhere near him for Julie’s sake. Which explains how I came to read an Ann Leary book.

Ann and Denis made a lovely book party at their home for Julie  when she wrote “You Had Me At Woof “. Another reason to love Ann. After the party everyone went to the local book store for a reading.

At their house I mumbled some inappropriate comments to both Ann and Denis and I think one of their kids so by the time we were at the book store I was all red and  sweaty and decided to lay low.

I sat on a chair in the corner trying to hide when I noticed a display of Ann’s books. I picked up “An Innocent, A Broad” and started to read it and I couldn’t put it down.

From then on I read every word she’s written.

I finally had my very own Carolyn Keene.

And I’m not the only one who values specific writers.

Why just this morning I was on Twitter when I read a tweet from a book lover. It was to Karen Gravano, the daughter of Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, best known for ratting on the mob. It seems she “wrote” a book about her famous father.

The tweet said,

Into bed & catch up reading #mobdaughter on ibook by @KarenGravanoVH1 first book iv actually ever enjoyed 🙈❤️👏🏼

So there Mark Twain!

Gotta go. I’m going to write some bon mots on the inside of my arm in case someone talks to me at the party tonight.

937 Dinner and a Show

Every time my sister Marcia comes into the City we treat it like a mini vacation.

She was here this week to see her granddaughter and my niece in a middle school talent show.

We knew the kid had talent to burn and she didn’t disappoint but I’m nor sure that was true of a few of the other kids.

I was even thinking that being in this show must have been mandatory or why else would the kid who threw around 3 sticks have chosen to perform that as his talent. He had to search long and hard to come up with that. And in truth he wasn’t even that good at it unless dropping one of the sticks was just to show how difficult it could be.

Kindly the audience gave screaming ovations before and after each and every performance.

Then came two very handsome boys introduced as one accompanying his friend on the guitar while the other sang a song he wrote. “Wrote” was a strong word as was “sang”. The kid screamed some words he threw together.

Have any of you seen the Broadway show “Stomp”? This is where a group of dancers use their feet as rhythmic drums and move in unison.

Well we were blessed with the middle school version of this where the only thing the dancers did together was put on red shirts.

We were all entertained out so we skipped the second half of the show and went to dinner.

We chose a French Vietnamese restaurant in my neighborhood.

We no sooner sat down with our drinks when 4 men were put next to us. Two of them were older, I would say in their late 60’s and two were in their middle 40’s. It was clearly a business dinner and the business was international  because they were talking about Hong Kong.

If you’re wondering how I know that it’s because the tables were very close together. So close in fact that when the young guy sitting next to me, let’s call him Clark. toasted the table he included us in his toast and spoke to us a few times during the meal.

I don’t want to suggest that I don’t listen to other peoples conversations because I do especially if it’s a couple fighting or something interesting but the tables were really close so I kind of had no choice.

While Marcia and I enjoyed our meal we mostly ignored the goings on at the next table until one of the older men, let’s call him Reginald, asked the others

“Who do you think will be the next President?”

No one answered so he continued. I didn’t catch everything he said but I did hear

“He never did anything illegal and though it’s true that he lost a lot of money in Atlantic City, everyone lost money there. He’s still a brilliant business man”

I didn’t hear the rest because Marcia started threatening me. “Don’t say a word. They are not our people. Mind your own business. That is a separate table.”

Since she’s my big sister I tried very hard to obey her. We paid the check and got up to leave. I leaned over and looked Reginald in the face.

“By the way boys, the next President will be Hillary”

Reggie looked like I slapped him. I guess he comes from a state without buttinskies but Clark’s face lightened up. He almost shouted.

“I agree and I’m backing her”

All that time I thought Clark included us in his conversation because of our remarkable beauty but it seems he was just searching for a lifeline from those two old right wing fogies.

Glad to oblige, Clarkie.

936. The Visitor

David and I are either going to have to redefine our relationship or not speak to each other until after the election.

With Donald Trump as the republican nominee I find nothing funny about what’s going on in the country.

When David says hateful things about President Obama and Hillary and with one eyebrow up in a serious voice starts spouting ways that the donald (long time readers know what those small letters mean) has helped our vision in the world as a country that won’t take any shit I want to stab him with a butter knife (more painful than anything sharp) until he’s just a puddle of stupid lying on the floor.

Enough of that, let me tell you about our visit. He is staying here because his son, Marshall was having a back operation.

He arrived on Wednesday at about 4. I had cocktails and hors d’oeuvres waiting for him. Ray was absolutely ecstatic.

He had dinner plans at 7:30 so that’s 3 and a half hours of chatting. Usually on the phone we speak for about 15 or 20 minutes.

After about 45 minutes we had clearly run out of talk especially since I refused to let him speak about politics or quote one of the 500 John Wayne movies that he has committed to memory.

There was one break in the chatter when the babe with the husband and 3 kids called which made clear that all that bullshit about him being too honorable to dabble in that relationship was exactly what I knew it was, bullshit.

After that he started calling everyone he knew to see if they’d have a drink with him before dinner so he could escape before 7:30.

I was just about to suggest that he see if the doorman was free when his ex sister in law agreed to meet him.

I was asleep when he got home and the next day he was with Marshall so we really didn’t see each other until this morning when we had breakfast.

A lovely breakfast I might add. David was being very nice. He even commented that I barely burnt the eggs. There were a few slip ups when he asked for salt and pepper and I brought him salt and ginger and then cinnamon. I finally put on my specs and gave him the pepper.

He only got a bit ugly when in serving Ray his eggs and cream cheese I put the knife back in the cheese container. I had to scrape off the top of the cream cheese before he would use it on his (nicely browned) bagel.

When he leaves I’m going to have to scrape off the top of the cream cheese again before I feed it to Ray.

We talked about Marshall’s recovery. The doctor said that because he was all muscle and no fat his pain would last longer. I guess that’s the downside of being a hunk.

David remarked that it would be good when Marshall would be able to run again because he couldn’t live without running. Then David said that he too used to run regularly.

“You? I’ve never seen you get off the couch fast”

“I was still running when I moved to NYC from Darien”

When I expressed disbelief he insisted that he ran many 10k’s.

“Unless the K stood for the the silent letter in knearly 10 inches I find that hard to believe. What made y0u stop?”

“I got hit by a gas truck”

We sat in silence while I’m sure he was thinking “Only something major like that could have stopped my constant quest for exercise ”

And I thought “HAHAHAHAHA”