798. You said what????

Liz and David came home from Santa Fe the other night.

I saw Lizzie but I didn’t see David so when David left the next morning to go to work he thoughtfully knocked on my door so he could say hello to me and more importantly, Raymond.

Now if I’m in my bedroom, with the TV blasting generally I can’t hear if someone’s at the door. One exception is that I can usually hear David who always notifies me of his presence by banging on the door and screaming in German.

(I gotta say that if there were no such thing as Nazis David would have had to invent a reasonable facsimile. They just have been so useful to him in dealing with the few Jews he comes in contact with, mainly me)

Back to what I was saying. This time I didn’t hear him and I had to start my day unscathed.

Only later did I realize that with all the shit that comes  with getting older,  maybe my hearing is getting worse too.

Why just the other day I was in the car with my sister and I told her that my eyes keep tearing.

I was surprised by her response and questioned her “Where did I get these earrings? You were with me. I got them inVenice.”

She yelled at me “I didn’t say anything about earrings. I said “Why do you think your eyes keep tearing?”

I just shrugged and said “I guess it’s the new make up I just bought”.

Only now am I saying to myself that even in context I should have been able to figure out that it didn’t make any sense for her to talk about  earrings when I was clearly wiping my eyes and kvetching about them tearing.

Why didn’t I just say “What?”

I’ll tell you why. Because like my father before me I wasn’t aware of how bad my hearing was getting.

I’m also thinking of adopting his response when my mother suggested he get a hearing aid which was “I’ve heard enough”.

I think he was right. How important is it to hear stuff anyway.

I remember at my Aunt Rae’s 80th birthday which was held at the Windows of the World, the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Tower listening to a conversation between my two brothers in law, Jim and Bernie.

The conversation went on for quite awhile. My sister Marcia and I sat there listening and marveling that Jim was talking about my Aunt Rae while Bernie was talking about Ronald Reagan and neither one of them realized it.

They both had a good talk and did the world come to an end because neither one was hearing the other? I think not.

In fact as my old friend Ernie Matterasso used to say “Except for an occasional “Watch out” he hasn’t said anything that had to be said in the  past five years.”

I think it’s been longer for me.

797. I’m as sad as sad can be today

I had to put my dear cat Elvis to sleep yesterday.

Since I started this blog I always felt a responsibility to write about what’s happening in my life but this morning when I was walking Raymond around the block with tears streaming down my face I thought that today’s blog would simply say; “I have no words”.

Now I’m home in front of my computer and of course I have words.

I had never owned a cat before and there was really something missing in my life. I didn’t want the responsibility of a dog but I wanted something.

Everyone told me cats are easy. They are not demanding but they do add warmth to your home.

I spoke to my niece Randy who is a cat rescuer.

She assured me that she would find the perfect cat for me. She finally decided on this little grey and white guy who loved being held and wouldn’t stop purring.

It was love at first sight. I named him Elvis after my first love.

cat cute

He was wonderful. The not demanding thing didn’t seem to play out but I didn’t mind that. If I was there he was rubbing against me or sitting on me.

There are a lot of things they tell you about life after divorce but one of the things I didn’t think about was that there is no one who needs you and no one you have to go home to.

At first there’s freedom in that but after awhile…

I was used to going out to dinner with couples and feeling okay with that.

One thing that never got old was when I was with my girlfriends and they had to call home or pick up something for the person in their lives and I only had me.

But Elvis changed all that. He filled the hole in my heart that I didn’t even know I had. Now I was the one who had to go home because there was someone waiting for me.

But I’m a worrier. One of the things that Randy told me when she gave me Elvis was that she didn’t usually give kittens to anyone over 65 for obvious reasons.

Because of that I constantly looked for someone to take Elvis when he, as he no doubt would, outlived me.

I didn’t want him to go back to Randy because there were too many cats there (at last count, 30).

Liz was a real cat person but she has bears near her house.

My niece Laura would be perfect because she loves cats but her husband is allergic.

I finally decided on Laura’s son, Scott. When he met Elvis they actually melted into each other. I was very comfortable with that decision.

That settled I wondered if Elvis needed company. Someone other than me. So I got him a dog.

Julie found me Raymond who was an 11 year old boston terrier who had one foot on a banana peel and the other on death row.

Raymond wasn’t crazy about Elvis. As I’ve said often, he couldn’t pick him out of a line up because every time E walked by Ray would turn his head.

But Elvis was in love. He followed Ray from room to room and had his eyes on him constantly.

My little family was finally perfect.

pile o' pets

Since the two of them were so great I bored everyone to tears with their antics. Photos galore on Facebook and Twitter were greeted with the ooos and ahhs they deserved.



It seems that kittens, especially kittens who lived in groups are susceptible to a virus called FIP Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Corona Virus.

It’s only catching to other cats. In many cats it stays just as a virus but it can mutate and there is no cure.

I won’t go onto this any further except to say when I saw that he wasn’t feeling well after much discussion with my sister and my niece, Julie, I took him to the Animal Medical Center.

She wanted to come with me but I said I was sure it was nothing and I didn’t need her.

I was only at the AMC for a few minutes when I turned around and Julie was standing beside me.

The Vet seemed as broken hearted as we were when he told me that nothing could be done.

He was a darling boy and I held him in my arms when they put him to sleep forever.
Look, I am fully aware that there are way worse things going on in the world than the death of a little cat.

But not in my house.

796. What kind of travel writer hates to go places?

Even though I love to have sleep over guests, I hate to stay at other people’s houses. The more I love you the less I want to stay with you.

When I’m a guest I worry about making a mess, being trouble or just not following the rules of the house.

And let me tell you, everyone has rules even if they don’t know it.

For example I like a dog napping on the table but I realize that no matter how cute it looks, in someone else’s house my dog must choose the floor for his forty winks. I also accept that dogs that visit me may not find the table that comfortable.

I like to feel that I’m welcoming and flexible but the way I live my life can be downright irritating to others.

I leave my TV on 24/7. I never turn on the heat in winter because I’m always hot. Those are two things right off the top of my head but I’m sure there are more.

When dave lived here guests had to put up with sleeping on the living room couch with him making eggs in the middle of the night. Since he mostly worked with Japan he also was on the phone during the night doing business which only later did I find that it was funny business.

When he left I turned his office into what I considered a lovely guest room. I believed that it was pleasing to all.

Since I got my cat and dog however I’ve heard a few rumblings from some of my regulars.

My nephew Barry is coming to NYC for a medical convention or something and he’s told me that he will be staying at a hotel. When I pressed him he told me that he noticed that every photo that I posted of my cat and dog was on the guest bed. I think he considers that unhygienic. Go figure.

My nephew Yizhak visits me for a week every November. He suggested that I get the “dog on the table” thing straightened out before he gets here.

I can actually see that. He’s religious and I’m fairly sure that dog ass isn’t kosher.

What’s bringing all this up?

I visited my sister in upstate New York this past weekend. Now let me preface this by saying that except for their almost insane commitment to saving the planet I can’t think of anyone more welcoming. And their guest room is a dream (well one is, the other one has been known to have bats in it).

However since all the kids were there this weekend I stayed at a B & B nearby.

I am not a fan of bed and breakfasts because they too have rules. I like the anonymity of as my niece Julie says “any guest room of Mr. Hilton’s”.

This place was no exception. They did have a black washcloth that said “to remove make up” which was a warning that covered way more than that request. It meant that watching my p’s and q’s was going to be necessary if I didn’t want to be thought of as, well, a poor guest.

I’m ashamed to say that at breakfast (the second B) I was chastised for taking the teaspoon that was to be used to put sugar in ALL the guest’s coffee and bringing it to my table.

In my defense, I was just trying to remove the evidence since I thoughtlessly stirred my private coffee with it.

I don’t want you to think I was called out unkindly. No sir.

You see another thing about B & B’s is that people talk to you at breakfast. Not just other guests although they can be a bit chatty but also the help and the owners so it was IN CONVERSATION that my spoon error was pointed out.

Not to be mean, truly.  It was in between her description of her upcoming wedding and since she wasn’t just our server but  also the gardner and maid, the details of her replanting the garden, that she mentioned that since I’d be there for 2 more nights she knew I’d want to know that that spoon was for everyone’s use.

Believe me I was grateful.

Anyway when it was time to leave this lovely inn, and it was truly lovely, I made my bed, cleaned the bathroom and did a light dusting.

I left a $30.00 tip for the 3 nights to cover the spoon thing and anything else I might have missed.

Next time I’m bringing my own sheets and towels. I really don’t want to be a bother.



795. So I was having lunch with Tad and Biff…

Yesterday I got an email from someone telling me not to ever use their name in one of my “stories”.

This was the second time that there was some negative feedback on something I wrote.

Both Liz and Julie suggested that in the future I change the names of the people I write about.

Makes sense to me. In fact I think I’ll enjoy finding names that suit those I memorialize in my blog.

I have to use the real names of my family, well because I want to.

dave will remain dave since I have a written document from him saying that I can write whatever I want about him.

David will remain David because not only doesn’t he give a shit what I say about him but the worse it is the better he likes it.

Now Liz has shown some displeasure about the things I write about David, and the crap he writes back in return, since as she says, “How do I explain why I’m engaged to him?”.

It is for that reason in the future Liz will be called “Muffy”. I’m fairly sure Liz, or Muffy,  has 6 or 7 friends with that name so nothing can be traced definitely to her.

Susan and Allan will remain Susan and Allan because Jews like their names and Sue and I long ago made a pact to always protect each other’s feelings with our lives so there would be no reason to disguise our contacts.

Ronnie won’t mind my using her real name because other than those few years when she was a stripper, she’s got nothing to hide.

Oops, I mean Bonnie.

As of now, Elvis and Raymond will remain the names of my boys but if at some later date I am forced into witness protection or something, I’m thinking Wayne and Bullet.

BTW here’s a picture of Muffy and Marcia in Venice enjoying pizza.

pizza liz

794. Why we should insist that Texas secede from the Union

I once wrote about David’s friend Ian who when he was meeting his son for dinner patted his pockets before leaving to make sure he had his glasses, his wallet and his switchblade.

David actually called me from the Dallas airport to tell me what he considered to be a hysterical story.

Ian and his brother were going to a wedding in Texas when Ian’s brother who was driving realized that he had a gun in his glove compartment.

His dismay wasn’t because he realized he must be a stupid jerk but it was based on his fear that since there was valet parking his gun might be stolen.

Ian suggested he remedy this by putting the gun in his back pocket and wearing it to the wedding.

His brother’s response “I can’t I already have one there”

So Ian wore  it for his brother so they were both “packing” for their friend’s nuptials.

There is so much wrong with this story, not the least of which is that David thought it was funny enough to make a long distance phone call to me about it.  Am I showing my age again?  Is “long distance” the same as “beauty parlor” and “pocketbook”?

I honestly believe that for the most part, in New York the majority of the people carrying guns for anything but hunting (and you can imagine how I love that) are criminals or nuts and those that aren’t would never think of bringing one to a wedding which is why New York is good and Texas is bad.

“The More You Know”


793. I’m expecting a lot of hate mail for this

The first batch will be from my family and friends when I say that I’m tired of being mad at dave.

I”ve loved him for more of my life than I haven’t and that can’t count for nothing.

Also there are so many times that I wish I could tell him stuff.

He’s been my friend longer than he’s been my husband. I really do miss that.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to have chatty emails and phone calls but I can see a time when on occasion we can contact each other for something other than business.

I think one reason for this change of heart is that I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I feel fulfilled with my writing. I adore when I receive positive responses for something I’ve done rather than something dave has done.

I also have these 2 pets, both rescues, that I love like crazy. They are almost too great. My cat could easily win a beauty contest and don’t ask about my dog. He’s flawless.

Now for the negative responses I’m going to get for what I’m going to say next.

As you all must know by now, my husband left me for a Japanese woman.

In the past few years I’ve noticed that one out of every ten couples I see in the street are comprised of Japanese women and American men, rarely the other way around.

(DISCLAIMER: The 1 in 10 thing has no mathematical basis in fact. It’s just a number I might have pulled out of my ass and my assessment of these couples walking around the street refer only to what I’ve seen in New York and as most of you know, I don’t give a shit about anyplace else)

I have come to the conclusion that Japanese women have something that American women don’t have. It appears that whatever it is it’s drawing American men to it like flies to honey.

Are they nicer? Better lovers? Less argumentative? Whatever it is, our boys clearly like it. I keep running this over in my mind. Is it possible that dave’s new wife never calls him her meal ticket or tells him to shut his piehole? Nah, can’t be. She may be from another land but she’s human and he never shuts up about what boring thing he’s just read on Reddit.

Again this is my opinion. Don’t be writing and telling me that you have an American girlfriend in Idaho with a great personality.

Now is this racist? Probably, but I can’t imagine that it’s pissing them off.  What African American man has objected to people thinking that they all have big dicks. I’d bet none.

That being said it’s probably not dave’s fault (although he’s lost the capital D forever) but I will never stop hating that piece of shit that he married and now that I’m writing this whole thing I’m mad at him again too so they can both go fuck themselves.

Never mind.