Best Line Of The Week

I’m standing in line at Panera, a father and one whiny kid in front of me, screaming because she can’t have a lollipop the size of Montana at 7 in the morning.

My ears in peril, I decide to intervene.  I say to little Damea, “you know what…I think I have something for you,” reaching into my trusty, old Kate Spade, producing a more modest lolli from the bottom of its depths, lolling like a sugary lifeboat.

I look at the dad for approval.  He nods.

“You can save this for later,”I say, like Nana in Peter Pan, images if she could talk that is…and dad says,

“You’re so nice…are you on medication?”

Now there’s a thought.


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Whoa Nellie

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There’s a man who fast walks in the park with a beautiful golden retriever he lets off her leash.

She runs like a colt, jumping in and out of the bushes, greeting you like a Campfire Girl.

The glitch?

She relieves herself in those bushes, while her surly owner turns a blind eye.

Manhattan has what is known as a Pooper Scooper Law, punishable by a 250 dollar find if your dog poops and you don’t scoop.  I’ve rarely seen it put into effect since, most dog owners are pretty good about honoring it.

Even though, since I don’t miss a trick, noticed this man doesn’t, I’ve kept my mouth shut.

Yeah, I know, since when am I so passive.  Well, I’ve learned to pick my fights, and poop, unless I were to step in it, then there’d be hell to pay, isn’t one of them.


we all aren’t so magnanimous.

A woman confronted General Patton the other day, who ignored her and kept marching.

The dog, on cue, pranced over as if to say, “is this about me? I’ll bet this is about me (did she just smile? ). Oh, don’t let it worry ya, he’d never find it anyway, I clean up so well after myself.  You know how us girls are?”

The woman, shocked she got no response, looked at me in exasperation.

“Well, I just don’t know what to say?”

“You’re pooped?”

No, she didn’t laugh.


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Stand By Your Man

images I was perusing through a book about the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), and the page I opened to, was about his wife, Adrienne.

During France’s revolution, called the Reign of Terror (1793-1794), that didn’t do justice to the horrors that went on, after just doing his job of trying unsuccessfully to protect the King and Queen (both were executed), Lafayette was thrown in jail.

Not just any jail mind you, but Olmutz, the worst jail in Austria.

Adrienne, also arrested, but placed in another prison (La Force then College du Plessis), before Sally Monroe, wife of James who was our diplomat in France at the time, advocated for the Marquis de Lafayette, until they finally let her out a year later.

Instead of going home, Adrienne went to the Emperor of Austria to say, she wanted to be with her husband.

Go home Madam Lafayette, he told her, go be with your children.  You cannot come out once you go in, but taking their two daughters, went anyway, saving her husband’s life since he was failing so…his legendary spirit all but gone.

Finally after two years, Napoleon released them, but sadly, Adrienne, at 48, the experience diminishing her, died, buried alongside her family who were executed as members of the aristocracy, thrown into a mass grave in Paris’s Picpus Cemetary where Lafayette, outliving her by 27 years, also rests.   images-1

I can’t say enough how much Adrienne’s story moves me.  The selflessness, determination and sheer will to be with the man she clearly lived for.

On her death bed, her last words to him were…

Je suis toute a nous….I am all yours.

Women, when we love, we love big.



Marie Adrienne Francois de Noailles, Marquise de Lafayette (1759-1807)




Posted in Books, Family, History, Home, humanity, Love, Politics, readng, violence, Women and men | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Run For Your Life

There’s a middle-aged man living in my building who suffers from acute panic attacks.

Bald, a little hunched over, we literally run into each on the stairs.

Despite an elevator, I make myself take them since for forty years, lived in a 4 floor walk-up having little choice but to hike.  I have the heart of a yearling, my doctor tells me, and wistfully want to keep it that way.

Whenever this man sees me, he jumps, dropping what he’s carrying, running back out in the direction in which he came.

My heart opens since, I had these attacks as a kid, and they’re no fun, folded in a inexplicable terror you can’t shed or outrun.  Gratefully, I outgrew them, but sadly, my neighbor on 12 has not.

I’ve tried to calm him like a skittish cat, but he backs up, often falling into one of the lobby’s ficus trees adding embarrassment to his plight.

The doormen have offered to intervene for me…for the lady on 5 he’s so rude to.

However, the lady on 5 declines this offer, as she gently continues to try to make a new friend.

Here kitty kitty.



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I’m a big reader, as most of you know, having the privilege of belonging to a very special library, with stacks you can roam that remind me of catacombs.

You just never know what you’ll find.

images-1 In one of my diggings, a book called…Assassination: Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy 1925-1968, a summary published in 1968, by the editors of The International Press, beginning with RFK’s final victory speech at California’s Ambassador Hotel, to when he’s mortally wounded…his funeral, first in New York, then taken by train to Arlington, laid to rest not far from his brother John.

The book, that I’m sure is out of print, made me want to don a black dress, since that’s how real it felt…like I was there, in one of the pews at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with my head solemnly bowed.

But what had me in tears, at the very end of this 272 page poignant chronicle, was Bobby Kennedy’s Irish Spaniel, Freckles, who was always by his side.     images

He even alluded to Freckles as he joyfully addressed a crowd for the last time, asking his wife, Ethel, should we go get him, Freckles, asleep upstairs, in their hotel room.

When I read that he was at the gravesite, pulling on his lead trying to be near his master’s coffin before it was lowered into the ground, well…I sobbed…

for Man’s Best Friend, whose heart may break, even more than ours.

images-1   SB


Posted in animals, Beauty, History, humanity, Love, media, New York City, Politics, violence, war, words | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Snow Blows

Winter decided to have one last blast before Spring comes to take his place.  Yeah, winter is so annoying it has to be a man, not to mention, one who belongs in rehab if you could see what’s falling. Flakes the size of hankies waving from the sky as the little fucker, hopefully, finally takes flight.

New York is basically closed for the day if you don’t count the 24 hour places that are eternally open, God help the snow shift who will man their counters like a telethon.

I naturally, despite wild winds, went out foraging for coffee, Starbucks looking like an abandoned movie set. Not one to fight the inevitable, trudging to Hot and Crusty, the only place open whose coffee lives up to it’s name.

So I sat beneath lights brighter than a bowling alley in the company of Pedro, mopping the floor, and a hooker putting on her fake eyelashes.

Think Time Square in a snow globe.

Pedro, whose zipper was down, changed my mind about ordering a glazed donut.  How could I tell a 4 foot 11 kid, the candy store was open, as my mother would put it, when he hasn’t slept since he left Mexico, along with his mop he’s now singing to.

Mind your own business Susannah, and try not to look.

Then the hooker said, “do these look natural?” Meaning her eyelashes that were now fastened to her lids like clam shells.  “Yes they do,” I said, and they could also be used as fly swatters. No I didn’t say that part.  I smiled and actually admired her efforts to look her best after a hard night’s work, and in inclement weather no less.

I then wandered to all the all-night CVS, where I met Juanita, the little Latino woman I see most mornings in Starbucks waiting by the door.

“Good morning,” I said.

“I wait fa Sta-boooks to oo-pan,” she said, staring at it’s windows like a Marine on a reconnasiance mission.

Having just run into Julie, the Barista, who said, since no one showed up but her, she was going home, having to break the news to Juanita who lives for her daily ham and cheese breakfast sandwich on a croissant.

“Hot and Crusty is open,” I said cheerfully.

“NO NO…NO HOT N CROOOSTY.” And could you blame her since you could plug a hole with their Columbian Blend.

“It’s either them or nothing Juanita, and it’s only one day. All will be back to normal tomorrow.”

This did not help.

I left her still staring out the window while I went home with my array of snow supplies including Snickers, Ice-cream and Oreos, because hey…what else do you really need on a snow day besides the willingness to enjoy it.   images






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When Your Tolerance Is Down A Quart

I have a theory about, when something unpleasant keeps occurring in your life.  It’s an obstacle keeping you from personal growth, because the moment you learn to deal with it appropriately, it never happens again.

At least once a day someone does something that could put me over the edge.  It usually involves self-absorption, ignoring me, who’s put in their path.

In the mornings at 5 a.m. there’s a man who comes into Starbucks I’d like to kill.  He doesn’t even have coffee, just comes in, sits down and talks on his phone.  I half think he pretends to be talking after observing him for some time.  He always needs to make his presence known in his baggy trousers barely holding up his girth that tumbles out like a snowdrift.  He has a notebook as if he were Walt Whitman and flirts with Julie the barista whose overt politeness sadly betrays her since, he just won’t leave her be.

I’ve tried to take myself off the ledge in regards to how annoyed he makes me.  I say, Susannah, he’s a lonely, needy man.  Where’s your compassion?  Asleep goddammit…it’s 5 fucking a.m…it hasn’t punched in yet.

But back to my theory.  Until I can sit there unaffected by his incessant chatter on and off the phone, he will continue to piss me off.

What’s the answer?

shove a sock in his mouth…

complain to Julie who will just smile and say, I know, I know…

find a new place?

See, that’s just it. This guy has relatives who will appear on their phone in baggy pants with empty notebooks since you can’t write and irritate at the same time, so it’s best that I somehow get over it…sigh




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Squirrel Life

Have you ever watched squirrels in action?

I’ve decided they’re great teachers, the way they conduct themselves, so independently of their fellow creatures.  You never see them steal food from the birds, or interrupt when they’re in a group.  And their work ethic is to be admired.

How industrious are they.

They’re always busy, either burying nuts or unearthing them, sharing with one another. You never see them fighting over whose nut it is.

They also make time for fun, chasing each other, playing tag.  Sometimes I even think they’re practicing yoga…upward facing squirrel…down squirrel…plank, naked of course.  Could they be closet nudists out of the closet?

And of course they have a very healthy sex life without guile or shame since, they’ll go at it right in the open as if to say, it’s a natural act…

I’m a squirrel…I’m proud…say it loud.

Kinda stole that from singer, James Brown, who practically had a harem himself, so I don’t think he’d mind.

Squirrels remind me to be happy with what I have, remember to exercise, and to live in the moment.

Yes, they’re great teachers alright.

Nookie at sunrise is suddenly sounding pretty good to me.   images


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Grace of a Lady

I was walking home along Park, when I notice a frail, black woman leaning against the building of a doctor’s office, her hands gripped tightly around her walker.

In her 80s, obviously cold, and boy, was it that.

Last I looked, it was 32 with a wind whipping at one’s heels.

“Ma’am, are you okay?” I gently asked, not wanting to intrude nor alarm her.  It can be tricky helping the elderly since pride is one of the last things they have left.  She looked at me for a second before saying, “Well, I’m waiting to be picked up, but they seem to be running behind.”

“How long have you been waiting?”

“Oh, an hour or so.”  Oh my God, she’s been out in this cold for that long?  I at once, spun into action.

“Were you at the doctor’s?” I knew she had to have been, but again, was moving slowly,
afraid to offend.

“Yes,” she said, so I put her gloves back on that were hanging from her old leather handbag before entering the office.  When I told the staff she was still there, they flipped, running out without coats to get her, she stoically refusing their help.

“They’ll come.  Access-A-Ride always comes,” a bus service for those with disabilities.

I then got out my best Joan of Arc and said, “Ma’am, please wait inside and I’ll stay till they come so they know you’re still here.”  After hesitating, she finally agreed.

In the interim, the office called and they were indeed on their way.  When the little mini coach pulled up, a young Latino man hopped out with the grace of a deer looking around anxiously.  “Where’s Mrs. Yancy? I got stuck behind an accident.”

Suddenly the office door opened and accompanied by two women, Mrs. Yancy appeared.

“There you are Hank…was getting worried about you.”

My eyes filled up as we watched him gently, his arms around her shoulders, help her to her seat.


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