982. Who Says I Can’t Still Get a Man?

I’m on my way to TJMaxx. I need a few things.

Waiting for the light to change I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around. It’s a guy who lives on my block.

I can’t say time has been kind to him. He walks with a cane and he appears to have given his teeth up for Lent.

“Barbara?” he asks

“No Mattie”

“How do I know you.?”

“Well you’ve lived on my block for  40 years. I once drove you to Queens. I usually  have a dog with me.”

“How’s your husband?”

“He ran away”

“Listen Barbara, I was invited to a wedding. Wanna go?”

“I’m so sorry I can’t”

“You sure?”


He didn’t say anything he just turned and  left.

I still got it.

981. About A Dog

David called me the other day to tell me that  he’s dating a Jewish girl.

I’m so glad to hear it in spite of the fact that by the third date she’s gonna have to say 100 Jewish prayers and eat 1000 pieces of gefilte fish to make up form dating him after he “accidentally” tells her about his feelings that Jews are cheap because they’re “good with money” which she should take as a compliment since he would no sooner say that Mexicans are thrifty than that Jews are lazy,

This will be a slight change in our convo since I’m sick to death about hearing about his one Jewish friend ‘Something” Stein who lives in some jewish sounding town. I forget the name. I think it’s Kiketown, Texas.

Speaking of dogs, David keeps suggesting that I get another dog. I’m thinking about it.

ONLY THINKING so don’t start sending me pictures of dogs.

Here’s what I’m thinking.

  1. I feel much freer now.  When people (I only have Susan, Ronnie and my family that would fall into my ‘people’ catagory) want me to do something first I hesitate then I realize that I don’t have anything tying me down so I can go.
  2. I can get the smaller steak because I don’t have to bring home some steak to my dog.
  3. When I had the flu I was so glad that I didn’t have a dog looking at me wanting to go out.

If I got a dog (I’m going to call him/her ‘it” for ease in writing this.

1 It would have to be little enough to fit in a bag so I could bring it with me everywhere because I’m crazy.

2. It would have to be lazy and want to lie around and not ask for too much activity because unlike the David’s Jews, I’m lazy.

3. It would have to want to sleep in my bed. I miss Ray every night.

4. It would have to have a terrible life so it would be glad to be with me. It took Ray a long time to love me and when I told Stephanie that she said “Maybe he didn’t think you saved him, maybe he thinks you took him”

I’m looking at this list and I’m thinking

  1. maybe I should get a snake
  2. I’m crazier than I thought I was.

980. Deja Vu

I really believe that my generation stopped the Viet Nam War. Well me and Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.

This generation will have a profound effect on gun violence.

It it is for that reason I dragged my bad knees over to The High School of Art & Design to stand with the kids that are going to come out of their classes to demonstrate their support of meaningful gun control.

I got there at about 9:45.

Nothing doing.  I knew I’d write a blog about it so I took a few pictures.

Here’s the front door.


I was a little nervous because my brain isn’t so great any more and I was worried that I had the wrong day but I was cheered up by the arrival of another neighbor who was smart enough to bring herself a chair


I also noticed a plaque on the front of the school


Since I know a great deal of pig latin I was able to translate this for the others as “Never spell stuff wrong”

Then the kids started coming out.

strt walk

The two other people and me waiting for them cheered and clapped.


One of their teachers stood outside giving them the “thumbs up”.

teacher giving thumbs up

My niece who usually won’t give me the time of day smiled when she saw me and let me hug her while whispering  “I’m so proud of you”.


Even though I was sobbing my head off she told her friends “That’s my aunt”

I stayed until the school emptied.. The plan was to walk around the block and return to school.

Crying the whole way I was only able to pull myself together at the make up section of Bloomingdales where I had to exchange a lipstick I bought.

It was too dull.

What do you think of this one?


Cheerful huh?

979 So What’s New With Me?

Well last weekend I accompanied Julie and Dan up to my sister and brother in law’s house in upstate New York.

My sister is regular. My brother in law, not so much. He spends a whole lot of time saving the planet.

I’m surprised they have any garbage at all. There is nothing he doesn’t re-use. He even cleans up the piss that Julie’s dog made (Julie’s dog loves to piss) and squeezes the sponge out in a plant.

I happen to love him like crazy so don’t think I’m criticizing. Calling someone a whacko good citizen isn’t a criticism. Not totally.

We all had a wonderful time too. Here’s some photos. Most of them are of dogs.

Julie’s dogs exhausted from the trip.


Charlie, new rescue



Vinnie. He has a sister but she doesn’t photograph well.


Marcia and Paul (my brother in law who will probably take that crossword puzzle and make a  hat out of it.)

I also spoke to my ex neighbor David last week.

When he lived in New York I thought he was a scream because I thought there was no one else like him but since trump became president (no capital letters for him either) I stopped laughing.

Talking to him the other day was enlightening though.

He didn’t vote for trump.

He thinks trump is crazy.

He believes in some gun control. Not as much as me but…..

Don’t get me wrong. He’s still a right winged bigot asshole but I guess it takes all kinds.

I really miss talking to him.

Remember he was very kind to me when dave flew the coop and he’s given me more laughs than I can count.

I’m glad he’s back.

978. A Reason To Rejoice

I know that all of you have been praying that I would recover from that terrible flu/virus that I was brought down with.

Well you can get off your knees.

Today for the first time in 3 weeks I feel like myself again.

“Myself” being a girl who now feels so alive that I can once again catch up on all the Housewife shows that I was too weak to enjoy during my weakened state.

So what’s new with me?

Well Miss Liz sold her apartment which means that I will have a stranger living down the hall.

The only good part about that is that when she comes to NYC Miss Liz will stay with me.

I do love her but she isn’t the kind of guest with no opinions.

In fact she spent two nights here this week and informed me that a blanket that was used to make my late dog (may he rest in peace)  even more comfy in his bed was not a sufficient cover up for the guest bed.


She gave me strict instructions to have my quilts and blankets cleaned before she returns.

I don’t know what she was bitching about.

I had given Ray 2 baths in the 4 years he was living with me. TWO!

Who is she Louis Pasteur?

I mean I’ll do it because no one wants to spend time with a pissed off Miss Liz but jeeez.

Until next time….

977. May I Please Have Some Pity

I just spent 2 weeks recovering from a terrible virus.

I didn’t die even though I was hoping I would.

I believe I am all well now and  since Stephanie said “Are we gonna hear about how sick you were forever?” that is the last I will speak of this.

Oh I can’t promise I won’t utter an occasional “oy” but I was doing that before so……

So what’s been going on since I was, you know, near death?

I hear we might be having a military parade. Goody.

I hope it’s one of those things with tanks going down the street just like our friends the Russians have.

I think that’s a great idea. Look at all the money we saved feeding and electrifying Puerto  Rico.

We gotta spend that money somewhere.

Anyway here’s my ‘well’ face. Can you imaging how I looked when I was sick?


Don’t ask.  Wait, you didn’t.

976. The Life of Pie

I had a wonderful birthday weekend. I spent it in Newtown, Connecticut.

Friday night my nieces Stephanie and Laura and their husbands Terry and Mark took me to dinner at a fancy restaurant.

I’ve told you about them before.

Stephanie is the mean one and Laura is beyond sweet.

Unfortunately I had hurt Laura’s feeling last week when I posted a picture of a guy eating a pizza on the subway with a note that he looked just like Laura with a false mustache and a wig. (see photo)


She sent me 2 WTF’S? in response.

Clearly either due to my advancing age or the fact that when she was about 4  I made the guy stop a ride at an amusement park when she started to cry, she decided to either forgive me or prove me wrong by showing up at the fancy restaurant like this;


She also saw my delight at Gesine’s sympathy pie so not wanting to be outdone she baked me a pie for my birthday.

laura pie

Note the heart in the middle.

I gotta tell you I wasn’t at all unhappy about pie being my go to gift from now on. *

On the way home from the restaurant I wondered aloud how I’d get the pie home on Sunday.

I’d come up by train due to the inclement weather.

“Not to worry” Steph said “I’m making dinner tomorrow night and Laura and Mark are coming. We’ll have it for dessert”

I thought it was a little presumptuous of her but it was reasonable and I can barely squeeze into my pants as is.

So I feigned agreement and said “Good idea”

The next afternoon Stephanie was busy wth her horses and donkeys and the pie was on the counter for all to admire.

Terry and I were particularly drawn to it.

Terry: “Do you think we can have a piece?”

“Sure. It’s my pie.” and I cut a sliver for myself.

Then Terry started taking bites from the pie itself.



Unbeknownst to us Steph had come into the kitchen.

She picked up the pie and said,

“That pie is for dinner. Now I’m going to hide it and tonight when we are all having pie you two can just sit there and watch us enjoy it. I was going to put a birthday candle on it too but now that’s not happening”

I mumbled something about it being my pie but she stormed out without a word taking my birthday gift with her.

I looked at Terry.

He just shrugged and said “I’m sure she didn’t mean that”

My only answer was  “She’s my blood but you chose her”.

That evening after cocktails and dinner it was time for dessert.

She brought the pie into the kitchen from its hiding place and asked.

“Who hasn’t already had pie?”

Terry raised his hand with Laura and Mark.

I, being a person of honor, sat with my hand down mumbling for about the fortieth time that day.

“It’s my pie.”

Steph, knowing what a liar her husband is gave herself, Laura and Mark each a piece of pie.

Only at Laura’s objections, I told you she’s the sweet one, did Steph reluctantly give Terry and me a slice.

I know that she wasn’t happy at having to back down because she said under her breath to me,

“You still didn’t get a candle and I’m eating the heart”

And she popped the beautiful loving heart that Laura put in the middle of the pie in her mouth.


(Thank you to all  those who contributed to my birthday charity, Sandy Hook Promise. I did reach my goal of $200)

*Thanks GB Prado!

975. I may not be sane enough to get another dog.

Ray was pretty much perfect.

He slept most of the time. He was totally trained. He wouldn’t think of going in the house under any circumstances .

He wasn’t even that crazy about me for the first year. Except for bedtime he pretty much ignored me.

This changed eventually. He really loved me and liked keeping me in his sight as much as possible.

Yet when I went out he went into a deep sleep and didn’t get up until I shook him awake. He wasn’t even that happy to see me. He just seemed to like that the status quo had returned to normal

Still knowing all this I rarely left the house without him. If I had to I’d bundle all the things I needed to do in one trip and do without if I couldn’t manage that.

Though totally trained I left my terrace door open for him 24/7 in all weather. and I mean all weather no matter how much my guests and family complained.

When they did I’d simply explain that if he felt he wanted to go to the bathroom I didn’t want him to feel stressed.

This cold snap we’re having now wouldn’t have effected that at all.

I’ve always been this way.

I had a basset hound named Jenny when I was about 9. If I was in a room with Jenny  and she was sleeping no matter what my need, hunger, thirst, peeing,  I’d stay put until she woke up on her own because I knew that if I moved she’d be disturbed.

I had another basset hound named Norman in my twenties. I was living with my parents then and I slept in a single bed.

It used to irritate my father because Normie liked sleeping across the middle of the bed and I’d be crunched up at the top.

Then I had a mutt named Harry for 14 years. I don’t have to tell you how he controlled me.

So things are weird now.

I went to the supermarket yesterday and started shopping the way I always did. Picking up everything I’d want for the foreseeable future when I remembered that I could go out as often as I needed to so I put most of the things back.

I feel guilty because one of the things i’m feeling is free.

I’m going to visit my sister next week by train because she lives upstate and the roads aren’t that good.

I would have had to drive if Ray were here  but I guess I just wouldn’t go. He hated car rides and a 5 hour trip would have been unbearable.

Still my apartment is kind of soulless now.

I realize if I get another dog I will have to change. You know, not be crazy.

But what’re the chances of that?

My ideal dog would obviously be a rescue.  He or she could be on the older side, 7 or so. I’m no spring chicken.

I’d like him/her to be tiny to fit in a bag so i could take it with me a lot.

I’d kind of prefer silky skin because i like kissing.

I’d like it to be Jewish so I wouldn’t have to do all that Christmas crap.

I wouldn’t mind if it was a miniature frankfurter dog or one that looks something like this



974. I’m not going to be sad any more

My new attitude might have started with a pie which shows how incredibly shallow I am.

GB Prado sent me a pie. Not just a pie. A beautiful pie. It’s not like she has nothing much to do.

I watch her on TV all the time. AND she has a million animals plus a goose.

(Because of her  I got a bee, Howard. I haven’t seen him for awhile but he’s somewhere in my house.)

As busy as she is she sent me a pie. (see pie)


And tonight Julie and Dan are coming over for dinner and I will give them each a sliver of pie.

I know that sounds selfish since Julie has been limping around left and right in an attempt to cheer me up but who am I? Mother Teresa?

My other niece Stephanie called me a little while ago.

Usually she sprinkles her calls with criticism since she’s mean as a snake but today she told me about taking the woman, Eloise, who helps her with her horses out to a fancy lunch and she bought her a bunch of warm clothes.

This woman is such a good person. She saves a loads of animals and is very poor. When Stephanie’s cat died at the vet’s, Stephanie was heartbroken.

The vet asked if she wanted the dead cat and Steph said no.

Eloise went back to the vet and got the cat and buried it on her property. She knew it would make Steph happy and it did.

There is so much good in the world.

Even the death of my little dog won’t bring me  down.

He died in a warm house with a full belly in his sleep. From the time he came off death row to my home he was loved beyond measure.

I’m going to dwell on that and be happy.


I’ve already started rehearsing Bruno Mars’ dance moves from “Uptown Funk”. I should be ready to perform by a week from Tuesday.

And I have pie.


973. I’ll never put quotes around Facebook and Twitter friends again.

It was Christmas Eve. I’m Jewish but Ray isn’t so I gave him a special dinner, you know, out of respect.

It was a Chicken thigh and gravy with some kibble. He gobbled it up.

He and I sat around shooting the shit and watching TV.

I woke up at around 2 a.m. and Ray wasn’t in my bed. He’s always under the covers with me with his hot belly against my leg.

I got up and looked around the house.

No use calling him, he’s deaf as a post.

I looked in all his usual spots. I even went out on the terrace. As most of you know I leave the door open for him in any weather.

He wasn’t there but right outside the door. he had gone to the bathroom. This was a little strange because he always goes in the far corner.

Then I found him sleeping  on the floor  with his back against the couch. Whew!

I figured he might be cold so I got my coat, covered him and went back to bed.

In the morning my sister Marcia called as she always does.

“Funny” i told her “Ray must be still sleeping”

While we talked I walked in the living room and he was where I left him during the night.

I reached down to wake him up and he was ice cold.

“Marcia,” I whispered. ” I think he’s dead.”

“Are you sure? Is he breathing?”

“I don’t think so”

We both started crying.

“What do I do now?”

“Call your Super”

“I can’t do that. It’s Christmas”

“I’ll take him to the Animal Medical Center”

I got dressed, picked my little boy up, wrapped him in a blanket, he was cold and stiff. I put him in his carriage and walked the 6 or 8 blocks to the AMC.

When I went in the door the receptionist asked if it was an emergency.

I had to think for awhile before I said no.

On my was home wheeling the empty carriage I came upon a woman who lives in a box on my street.

I’ve always talked to her. She isn’t very old, maybe in her thirties but she’s very cheerful in spite of her situation.

“Where’s your pup?”

I told her. She put her arms around me and we both started to cry.

I got home and looked outside my terrace door and saw where even while he was dying he did his best not to make a mess in the house.

He was a good boy.

My friends and family all reached out to give me comfort. I guess that’s to be expected.

But the thoughtful messages and kind words from people that I’ve never actually met but feel that I know and know me made me so happy.

I got such warmth from these people. At first I was surprised but then I thought.

I care about them too. I mourn their losses and celebrate their successes.

Who thought at almost 74 I’d be making so many new friends.,

All I can say in answer to the lovely messages is,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.