792. “David’s Guide to Capital Punishment” by Stupid M. Stupid

Last night David and I went out to dinner on the block but first we had cocktails at his house with the boys.

Elvis was happy for the interaction since he had been alone during the day and Ray was exhausted from sobbing for a good part of our outing up to visit Laura and Stephanie.

Anyway David started talking about something he read in the crapfest known as the New York Post. It was some kind of horrific murder of some innocent by some bad guys.

“You don’t believe in the death penalty do you?” He just likes to get me going.

“No, I think the State should be better than that.”

“Even for these guys?”

“I think there should be life without parole and no TV and stuff.But death? No”

“Well, here’s what I think.”

Like 1. I don’t already know and 2.I wasn’t askin’

“I would like to take these guys and slowly kill them, torture them for days then I want to skin them alive until they beg for a bullet.”

“Sounds good. Where should we eat?”

“I don’t know Bar Vetro?”


So we went down the street and had a lovely dinner.

When I got home I started thinking about what he said.

HE wants to kill those guys? Personally?

This is a guy that doesn’t like to get off the couch to take a piss. Just last night he asked me to get up three times so he wouldn’t have to move.

Once to turn on the a/c, another time to switch on the lamp and a third to check if the a/c was really on.

How is he going to be inclined to torture someone for days. Ya gotta get off the couch for that.

And don’t ask how labor intensive skinning someone alive is. And they aren’t going to just let you do it. You’re going to have to tie them up or something. Not a walk in the park.

Call me crazy but I think David doesn’t alway think things out before he speaks.

791. Knowledge is NOT power, it’s disappointment

The other day when my nieces Stephanie and Laura were here I was bragging about how great my animals are.

One particularly cute thing that Elvis does is when I scratch him under his chin he closes his eyes and puts his head back.

I showed them this and E didn’t disappoint. While I was kvelling and explaining that I was going to have him do it when Julie comes so she can video it and I can put it on Facebook, I was shocked to hear Stephanie murmur to Laura “She never had a cat before. She thinks that’s special”

Then she turned to me and said “All cats do that!” in a voice louder and with more contempt than was necessary.

I gotta say I was happier before I knew that.

Yesterday something else happened that reenforced that to me.

I got a mass e mailing from David Rosenfelt saying that his new book is out.

Now I love David Rosenfelt. I love him not only because I adore his books but he’s a great guy who saves dogs. He has 25 of them. If you look at his web site there are pictures of his dogs. Most of them are old or sick but all of them are happy. They are laying around his house just chilling.

When I got the email I wrote back automatically. I said that I had just bought his last book and I was loving it.

In a few minutes I got an answer. “Thanks, Mattie”

I was so excited. He actually read my email and responded. I felt like I was having a brush with greatness.

Then I started thinking.

If someone reads one of Julie’s books and writes to her, she’d write back.

All of a sudden it wasn’t so special.

Knowledge ruined my joy again.

This then brought to mind something that happened when I was about 12. I may have written about this before but so what,

I read in a movie magazine that Dion of Dion and the Belmonts lived in the Bronx near the Bronx Zoo. It really put a bee in my bonnet.

The Bronx Zoo was only 2 buses away from my house in Riverdale. Unlike Elvis in Memphis or all those other stars in Hollywood, this meeting was a possibility.

Without telling my parents or my sisters I got dressed. Nothing was too good for Dion. I wore a party dress. It had balloons on the skirt.I topped that off with my most treasured article of clothing, a white fake fur coat lined with black fake fur.

Either there were no full length mirrors in my house or I had been struck blind on my 12th birthday because that bulk couldn’t have done my chubby self any favors.

So off I went. I took the first bus filled with happiness and expectation.

It wasn’t until I changed on 231st street and Broadway to the bus that would take me to that part of the Bronx that I had never been in unless I was with my mother or sisters going to the zoo, that a few stray thoughts creeped in and then took hold.

“Near the Bronx Zoo” is a big place. How could I find his house. And even if I could I would never ring his bell so it would have to be an accidental meeting.

What if he wasn’t outside (harmonizing on a street corner with the Belmonts which is how saw it on bus #1)?

And then the real truth hit me. Even if I found him why would the fabulous Dion fall in love with me a kind of fat, albeit beautifully dressed, twelve year old when he could probably get Sandra Dee?

All of a sudden I wondered what the hell had I been thinking. Why didn’t I realize all that at any point until now?

I selected an outfit, gathered my bus money from my allowance, got dressed and actually gotten on 2 buses without really thinking it through.

I got off the bus, crossed the street and began my long trek home.

Maybe you’re thinking that knowledge saved me but I disagree.

If I had never had that bus 2 epiphany I might have followed through, never  found him, and gone on thinking that it was only rotten luck that kept us from being together forever.

Knowledge screwed me up.

You know I was just thinking. That whole going to look for Dion thing isn’t so different from how I behave now, acting without thinking.

Maybe I don’t have symptoms of Alzheimer’s, maybe I’m just a schmuck.



790. OY!

Look, I’m not Henny Youngman. My responsibility isn’t solely to entertain, which I’ve proven in the past.

Sometimes I just gotta blow off steam.

I  had a big trauma today.

I was preparing to have company for dinner so I figure the least I can do is take out the weeks of garbage that I have accumulated. Elvis followed me into the hallway.

Since David and Liz are in Quogue and the French people down the hall are in Europe, or wherever France is, I decide to leave my door open so the boys can enjoy the hall.

After awhile I noticed that  Elvis hasn’t returned from his outing so I go into the hallway only to see that the the door to the fire stairs is open.

I immediately ran back to my apartment to see if he came back without me noticing. If you remember the shoe incident from a few days ago you’ll realize that that was entirely possible.

No cat. I grab a book to hold the elevator door open on each floor  while I start my search. I live on the eighteenth floor but I decide to start at the Penthouse because, well he could have gone up or down.

I could drag this out by telling you how my search went and how my heart was beating the whole time but I’ll save you from that.

I found him on 8. He was shaking like a leaf.

We hugged and kissed and now he’s home and back in his old routine.

Hiding so he can scare Ray

scaring ray

And catching forty


It’s been a tough morning.

789. A perfect circle

I’m always saying that Raymond seems to like everyone better than me.

When people come to visit he hops and jumps on them.

When I come home, nuthin’.

Well this morning something wonderful happened.

David sent me an email, “Coffee?”

This means come on over and sit on my terrace while I read aloud parts of the paper that insult Obama.

“Sure” I said, “My coffee will be ready in a minute but I’ll bring the boys over.” which I did.

Elvis casually sauntered over while Ray ran over and jumped around David trying to kiss him.

Then I went back to my house and got my coffee.

It was about 10 minutes until I returned.

When I did, Raymond was sitting on David’s lap looking tiny.

As soon as he saw me he jumped off and ran to me jumping and hopping.

That’s when I realized. Maybe he doesn’t get excited when I come home because he expects me to be there. When I left him alone at David’s, maybe he was afraid that I was going to leave him there just as he’d been left before.

I’m not worried any more. I know my dog  loves me as much as I loved him the moment Julie showed me the picture of of him in the pound.

death row



788. Small Steps

I was never good at demanding that those in my life behave well. I don’t run a tight ship.

I had a husband that dated. I really should have said no to that.

I have a cat that sits on my keyboard when I’m trying to write.  I’ve been meaning to put my foot down on that.



But anyone can change.  I’m not the same person I was.

I do all kinds of things that I thought I couldn’t which is why I am celebrating my recent achievement.

My dog has the good sense to look guilty when I catch him on the dining room table.

table 2

787. Well I’ve finally entered Crazy Old Lady Land

Before I start writing I’m going to show you an adorable photo of my pets taking a nap because that’s what I want you to remember after you read this.

boys taking a nap

Now some history. I’ve always been a little strange, ask anyone in my family. Actually that doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m going to say.  I think I’ll start again.

I hate being bored.

Walking a dog is kind of boring so I always  bring a book and read while I walk. I had a dog for 14 years, Harry, and I read while I walked him. I have excellent peripheral vision. I never bump into anything.

I did get somewhat of a reputation in my neighborhood as the girl who’s always reading on dog walks. Clearly it isn’t something that a lot of people do.

Anyway now that I have Raymond I’ve picked up my old habit.

I’m reading a particularly good book now, a mystery by Karin Slaughter so when Ray nudged me to go out I was happy to do it.

Out we went, up 58th street to Second Avenue then downtown to 57th Street. At the corner of 57th and Second I had to look up from my book because we were planning on crossing the street when the light changed.

While we were waiting I happened to glance down at my feet. It seems I was wearing two different shoes.

I decided to cut the walk short and return home. I was really unnerved.

The only thing that made me feel better was that at least the two shoes were so similar that only the most attentive passerby would notice.





786 Random thoughts

Liz and David are coming back from Santa Fe tomorrow. I’m really happy but not nearly as happy as Raymond and Elvis will be.

A good part of their day is sauntering down the hall to visit the neighbors.


I love my pets so much even if they fill me with angst.

I took Raymond mainly because he looked so skinny and sad behind the bars and they were going to kill him but also because I assumed that Elvis was bored with only me. I noticed how he perked up when he found a bug on the terrace.

Well Elvis has absolutely bloomed with the addition of Ray. He watches him all the time and keeps getting closer and closer to him. I even saw him kiss Ray  (if cats kiss, I know nothing about them) when he was asleep.

Now I worry about Ray. Is he happy? Does he wish I’d take him back to his previous owner? After all he doesn’t know that they put him in a kill shelter. Will my craziness mean that I have to get an armadillo to keep him company and then a turtle for the armadillo (whose name will be Anthony)?

When I think of it Ray gets really happy when he sees David. Will David fill that empty spot in Ray’s heart?

Remember I said that you never really know what a new dog is thinking. Is it possible that Ray sees something in David that he admires?  I know that he’s an elitist like David.

He never looks directly at Elvis. It’s almost like he thinks Elvis is beneath his consideration.

Is he a racist?

When we went to Stephanie’s house, he played with the pure bred dog, Lucy, but I never saw him even acknowledge her other dog, Theo, who appears to have a touch of something else in his breeding giving him long legs which, though shapely, suggest a touch of , shall we say, a dalliance of his mother with someone other than another Jack Russell?

And though Ray likes to snuggle up with me at night and will occasionally drop a toy at my feet, I do notice a certain air of contempt when I talk to him. I almost feel like he considers me “help”.

Does he, like David, think that the fact that I couldn’t point out Omaha on a map is an intellectual weakness?

Look, I’m not going to drive myself nuts with this. I found a way to get along with David, I’ll find a way to get along with Ray.

And respect isn’t everything.

Besides maybe taking a peek at the map of the United States wouldn’t kill me.

OR I could just never mention Omaha.


785 Dog Day Afternoon

When you get a pet from the pound you never know what they’re thinking.

Yesterday I took Raymond back up to Stephanie’s.

It’s paradise for any dog I’ve ever known. She has land and dogs and cats and donkeys and horses and she serves lunch to her pet guests.

Even though Ray did a lot of crying last time we went there I figured that now that he knows the place, he won’t be scared.

It was a good sign that when we got to the car he jumped right in but as soon as I started driving he began to fidget. He never sat down the entire way and did plenty of crying.

When we arrived he jumped out of the car and walked around. He spent the day looking kind of sad, until lunch that is. He likes his meals.

He played with the girl dog occasionally but mostly he just walked around looking sad and crying, not constantly but enough to let me know that there was something lacking.

I said to Steph “Doesn’t he know I saved him?”

She answered, “Maybe he thinks you “took” him”.

The only time he perked up was when I went to the car to leave. He jumped in but then he cried most of the way home.

When we got home he was his old happy (well not sad) self. He snuggled up against me and went into a sound snoring sleep.

After all it’s very tiring to fuck up a day in the country.

784. I like to run a tight ship.

It’s July 3, the beginning of the holiday weekend.  Everyone I know is away.

The City is empty. I love when it’s like that. I’m going to put my time to good use. I’m going to make sure my dog isn’t a pussy just because his brother is one.


I started training him last night.

Julie, Violet and I were sitting on the couch.

Ray was staring at the wheat thin I was eating. I decided no time like the present.

I held up the wheat thin, “Sit”

He stared at me blankly without moving.

“Good boy” I gave him the wheat thin.

Perfect. Who wants one of those ass kissy little trick dogs?

Now if I can just teach him not to fetch.

That’s not going to be that easy. You can’t put anything down without the little bastard bringing it to you and dropping it at your feet.