Four-Legged Referrals

Wouldn’t it be great if animals we knew could give us references, so we’d get that job?

I’d be hired for everything if Hans the Hotdog, or Zeus the Cat spoke on my behalf.

Hans: I’ve known Susannah now for most of my life which is going on 8 months, and like me, she has poise and pedigree, if you consider Prada proper lineage. We met in the Park when I misplaced my ball, and yes, I still have mine, thank you very much, climbing over the fence to get it, giving it back proving she is very noble and trust worthy.

Zeus: Susannah is one of my closest friends for 5 years now. She’s warm and considerate whenever she takes care of me, leaving me with a clean box knowing as a Virgo, it means the world.

Of course Carmela the Basset Hound, would sing my praises like nobody’s business.

Carmela: Susannah took care of me for 2 years without pay because I really needed a friend. I never laughed so much especially when she’d whisper in my rather big ears things like…fat Pug up ahead, or cookie at 12 o’clock. She’s also very democratic, taking me everywhere, including to get our nails done. She’s the one who taught me to be a lady instead of just puttin’ on the dog. We mustn’t forget her sense of humor. For Halloween, we went trick or treatin’ as Bill and Hilary. I have to say, I looked pretty good with a blonde bouffant.

Yeah, animals have better instincts than a lot of people who miss a lot when it comes to character.

Zeus: Once my heat went off so she came over with a cashmere sweater she wrapped me in like I was Orson Welles (alright, I do need to lose a few pounds), and stayed all night. She even brought  liver pate’, my favorite, and read me Cat In The Hat. When I rubbed up against her, she said, she was sorry, but I was a little too young for her. She’s a pearl of a girl alright, with morals.

Hans: Not once when my German came out, like when I punched Darla the Poodle, who I can’t stand, did she get mad. She said, Darla, that little bitch, had it comin’, before hiding me in her bathroom for the rest of the day.

They don’t make Susannahs anymore.

You’d be a fool not to hire her.

Sincerely Yours,

Carmela, Hans, and Zeus

🙂 SB







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She Got The Chair

My pal, Mr. Imma, otherwise known as Sorryless, inspired this with his comments concerning the self-absorbed habits of the very rich.

I was in my late 20s, my clarity impressive, when I lived in my garret of an apartment with nothing in it but an old black and white TV set, a used mattress that was given to me, and my esteemed wicker chair that still nobly graces my bedroom.

It was a muggy summer’s day when I found it at Housing Works, the charity thrift shop, still in existence championing the homeless and those suffering with AIDS.

It was 35 dollars, a fortune back then, especially for me who lived on brown rice and beans, but fell so in love with it, like it was waiting for me to take it home.

I carried it 5 blocks and three avenues with great pride, bumping into Marty Fab, I’ll call him, and his snooty wife on the esplanade at Park and 77th.

I wore old denim shorts, a Hanes T. and Keds, my uniform back then, while they, in all their rich splendor, looking like Astors, gave me their best condescending smile.

I remember it well, the seeds of that cub reporter taking it all down.

“Oh, you got yourself a little chair I see,” said Marty, while his wife, who never speaks directly to the servants, the category I, as Daisy Mae fell into, gave me an icy stare.

I didn’t let them dampen my joy, I’m happy to recall.

“Yes, isn’t it great?” I said, skipping across the street as the light changed, stopping every few feet to rest.

It was a brief encounter that I believe had become significant in memory because of what happened to them…this elite couple who on paper had everything, including a beautiful baby girl.

Their marriage fell apart, him moving into a hotel, she becoming much more successful than he in the art world, not caring what it did to his self-esteem, while he to this day, remains a devoted drunk.

The only thing going for him now, with his wife’s earnings, is to drink at the Saint Regis Hotel, ironically once owned by an Astor, in an overpriced suit, staggering his life away.

As for me, I’m very content with everything I have, while my chair, that if could only talk, would lecture on what’s important, and what’s not and how money doesn’t buy happiness.  Sigh images-1.jpeg


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The Rich Are Different

When F. Scott Fitzgerald said…the rich are different from you and me, he wasn’t kidding, seeming to occupy a different planet than the rest of us. images-1.jpeg

Who are the rest of us? We the people who live nicely though modestly, appreciating all we have.

There’s also a smattering of smugness, as if we should all be entering through a backdoor.

I can only speak for myself, but I do better with less, realizing my needs are met pretty simply. Little things are what I bask in…a long, sudsy bubble bath, soft PJs to slip into, a silo of Skinny Pop next to a book on the nightstand.

The other thing that always surprises me is how miserable wealthy people seem to be. The more they have the more anxious they appear, retaliating by taking it out on you.

I recently did some work for a woman who seemed bothered I was content with my single lifestyle.

“Are you gay?” she asked, rather inappropriately, just because my hair is short and my goal in life isn’t lassoing a man for financial gain.

I tried, one not to hit her, and two, to explain that all my relationships were organic in the sense where, if I met someone that turned my head and I theirs, we went from there without asking for our mutual tax statements.

It’s actually how I conduct everything. I don’t even buy food until I’m hungry since I won’t know what I’ll want. Better eat that chicken before it goes bad when I really want eggs, doesn’t appeal to me, life’s short after all, but I’m digressing.

This woman is also on 20 different medications, has trouble with her array of employees who work in her three homes, and is cheap on top of it.

That’s the part that leaves me bewildered. They have so much yet penny-pinch as if they have nothing.

Me? If I have a dime and you’re broke, I’ll happily give you a nickel. If I have more money than you, I’ll buy lunch. Receiving is in the giving, so that miserly streak is as foreign to me as Arabic.

If having money means having no soul, I think I’ll stay a Franciscan thank you very much, living in grace amid bubbles and snacks, adhering to the law of the jungle, to remain calm, sharing my bananas.  images.jpeg 🙂




Posted in Books, Culture, Gratitude, humanity, humor, money, New York City, readng, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 42 Comments

Strolling Through The Park One Day

A Pit is doing his business while his owner patiently waits.

I tool by and say to the dog, “Look how much your dad loves you.” The man, irritated, rolls his eyes and says, “He just takes so long to find a good spot.”

The dog looks at me as if to say, “What does he want from me? It’s not like he has to hurry when he has to go.”  images-1.jpegThe guy shakes his head as he scoops.

I’ll admit, the dog poops like a Marine, but maybe grumpy should have gotten a Toy Poodle instead….or goldfish.

A hotdog vendor is doing his own advertising by eating one weenie after another. I marvel at his cast iron stomach. The smell alone of whatever is in one, makes me feel faint. I smile at him and say, “You seem to be enjoying what you sell?”

images-2.jpegHe says, “No, but I try to eat as many as I can since I don’t get paid much.”

If only I had a Tums to give him.

As I cross the old bridal path, remembering how lovely it was when they still had horses galloping by, I stop at the water’s edge to admire the view.

I see an array of geese cruising by like a fleet of feathered sailboats. There’s a group in particular that catches my eye. Parents and two kids…the dad in the lead, mom bringing up the rear while their offspring frolics between them. images.jpeg

Seeing where the term, goosed comes from, I watch one tease the other, Mom coasting in as if to say, “Now that’s enough there missy. Leave your brother alone.”

The father, in his own world, just stays the course, enjoying the nice spring weather.

Nature is really something.

She’s mischievous, unpredictable, colorful and occasionally cruel, yet still, what a gal, in all her dazzling, spring splendor. images.jpeg






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Tweeting History

You know how much I love American History, regaling it at every opportunity.  It’s what keeps me calm during our present, being able to tiptoe back to consult with our noble predecessors.

When I recently was told to shut-up by a young girl of say, 30, who couldn’t concentrate on Twitter while I was naming presidents, the truth slammed me good and hard.

Social Media is the new administration. Has anyone told Congress yet?

No one cares about American History anymore.

This is so sad for me since it moves me more than any Tweet can, unless it’s actual birdsong.

What’s so important anyway? What could you possibly be missing every 3 minutes? Short of NASA, checking your phone like it’s a tick you have, is socially unacceptable.

Of course, we have a Tweeting president who’d probably flunk an American History quiz, but just ask him about Twitter, and he’d win the washer and dryer.

A pal of mine in Britain said in an email, “Aren’t you embarrassed by all this, the way things are going?”

I didn’t know how to respond trying to rise above things one has no control over, not until the next election that is when hopefully the White House will take back the Fun House, that hasn’t been all that much fun after all.

Took everything I had not to go off on that young lady.

I said to someone else, seated at the table, “Please restrain me.”

The Twit Tweeter looked up and said, “What the fuck does that mean…restrain?”

No I didn’t say, look it up, but was close.  Unknown.jpeg


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Virginia Beach…May 31, 2019

12 dead in Virginia Beach.

Been hearing in my head the song Neil Young wrote about the Kent State shooting on May 4, 1970… 4 dead in Ohio, though there’s no connection. Well, that’s not exactly true. Guns are guns, no matter who’s toting them legally or otherwise.

The first gun I ever saw was my father’s hunting rifle he kept in the garage. He belonged to the Newtown Fish and Hunt Club where he’d go do manly things like drink beer and shoot helpless animals no bigger than his work boot.

I had just turned 4 when I came upon dead baby rabbits still warm, laid out on our back porch. Balloons from my birthday party I remember, were still stuck to the ceiling.

When I went to play with them, my mother grabbed me by my ponytail.

“Don’t touch them. They’re dead,” she said.

“You mean like Uncle Danny?”

Took a while for my little mind to digest this since I used to play with my uncle too, so I then asked, does that mean there would be no Easter Bunny anymore.

I remember adding them to my prayers.

The 12 people in Virginia Beach who did nothing but go to work, were like those bunnies who did nothing but cross a field at the wrong time.

I’ll pray for them like that little girl who prayed for those bunnies.

Will it ever stop?


Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drummin’
Four dead in Ohio… 


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A Boy and His Dog

He’s a year old if he’s a day, just starting to toddle, careening down a hill in Central Park like a little car without breaks.

Mom is behind him, smiling, her honey blonde hair waltzing in the breeze, while an elderly white Lab nobly stands watch.

He walks slower these days, this 4-legged member of the family, arthritis assaulting his hips, like any long time nanny or granny… Nana in Peter Pan.

But he can still tender his charge like a tiny ship, making sure as he tumbles a familiar face is always there to greet him.

I watch this mini episode of a present day Lassie, my heart strings pulled, knowing, the little boy’s first loss, will be the first friend he ever made.


Posted in animals, Family, friendship, grace, inspiration, kids, nature, New York City | Tagged , , , | 60 Comments

Staying The Course

I’m in hell right now due to a bevy of reasons I won’t list since, whining never helps anything. Now wining is a different story, but it’s much too early to crack open a bottle of red.

I talk openly about being in a 12 Step Program, two to be exact. The rule is, anonymity for others, but you can come clean as long as you keep it about yourself.

To be open and honest, candor flowing, is my greatest goal, thinking of enrolling in the John Waters’s Online Course..Spilling Your Guts in 4 Easy Lessons…All Major Credit Cards Accepted.

That all said.

When those winds come, how do we proceed? I’ve had challenges my whole life and maybe youth made them easier to conquer, because I feel as if I’m losing ground, not to mention my wallet that I swear, plays Hide and Seek at least once a day.

My forgetfulness concerns me, not to mention a chronic case of distraction. Saturday after hysterically retracing my steps, located my Debit Card at Barnes and Noble that a woman apparently behind me in line, rescued, unable to catch up with me since I tend to gallop like a Greyhound late for a race.

It scares the wits out of me, this early dementia? Oh we all do it, says my friend Ed.

But do we?

He also said, a doctor told him, if you’re worrying about dementia, you couldn’t possibly have it. If I knew where that doctor was, I’d send a bouquet.

My mother, who in one way or another inhabits my being, her strength I’ve mysteriously inherited, gets me out of bed every day regardless. Just now while having a substantial sob still made coffee after taking my vitamins, making the bed and donning my running clothes.

Right foot left foot, chants in my head like an Olympic Mantra.

When Bette Davis said, old age ain’t for sissies, All About Eve wasn’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Lincoln’s favorite tune, by the way.

I guess if I can still remember Abe whistling, I must have at least one marble left.

That all said….

where the hell are my keys?

Better check the fridge.



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They Were Soldiers

I’m very patriotic honoring the past, patient with the future, proud to be an American no matter what’s presently going on.

I’m a soldier’s daughter after all.

My dad served during the Second World War in the Royal Air Force (RAF) flying planes, stealing the hearing in his left ear as an honorary keepsake.

He never talked about his war days, and could never even watch a movie or newsreel that showed any kind of warfare. He kept what he saw locked in his heart, alcohol muting its memory.

I’ve often wondered if that’s what truly caused the alcoholism that eventually killed him, another casualty of war.

It brings me to Meyer, the Vietnam Vet, who panhandles in front of Best Buy wearing vintage fatigues, his dog tags entwining a sign that reads…

A Vietnam Veteran Who Needs Your Help

He always has a beer in a paper bag the cops never seem to bust him for.

Is it out of guilt.


I wonder if the masses walking past him realize the sacrifice he made. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention he’s got one arm that ends at his elbow, swaying in the sunshine like a lopsided ear of corn.

When I walked the Gettysburg Battlefield where in 1863 Pickett’s Charge took place, I thought I heard cries mewling from the earth. To this day I’m truly not sure if I imagined it or not. Patton claimed he heard them too, on other fields, from other wars.

Deadspeak, I’ve heard it called, where the souls that are trapped still trying to take flight, howl for help.

Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred…

There’s a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried. The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other…

“Remember The Alamo.”

Robert Dale Draper, 19, was killed in an ambush.
Stan King, 21, was killed less than a week after reaching Vietnam.
Alfred Van Whitmer, 21, was killed while on patrol.
Larry J. West, 19 was shot near Quang Nam.
Jose Moncayo, 22, was part of an entire platoon wiped out.
Clive Garcia, 22, was killed by a booby trap while leading a patrol.

Daddy, we’ll remember the fallen, even if it’s painful…even if we don’t know all their names.

Memorial Day…2019

A Soldier’s Daughter.  





Posted in alcohol, Books, Culture, Faith, Family, History, humanity, inspiration, war, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

Call for Miss Bianchi

I had a date. Yeah I know, wonders never cease.

He’s a guy I see most mornings walking his Jack Russell, my least favorite breed since, they’re about as cuddly as a banker you’re hitting up for a loan…red flag number one. Unknown.jpegWhen he says, hey, wanna have dinner sometime? I disregard the PAUSE RULE of, waiting five seconds before answering.

“Sure,” I say, while Fido has his teeth fixed on the hem of my hoodie.

“How bout tonight? Know a great little place on York I’m betting you’ll like.”

“Is it quiet?”

“I’ll make sure of it.”

Hmm, does he own it? I’m now dreaming of carte blanche at the dessert cart.

So I get there on time in my best Audrey dress, and he’s late.

Red flag number 2. Unknown.jpeg I’m from Connecticut you see, so arriving when you’re supposed to is considered a pastime, same as golf, croquet and the designated cocktail hour.

When he finally waltzes in, minus an apology, I think, oh let it go, as I peruse the French menu with entrees that should come with oxygen and a heart surgeon.

After licking his lips like a cat, he puts his phone on the table, so now there’s 3 of us.

When the waiter comes to get our drink order, he textes.

When the drinks arrive, he textes again.

While the waiter gives us the nightly specials, he does it again.

“Um, could we have a few minutes please,” I say to, Mr. you’re hurrying us just a tad, who reluctantly departs.

“Are you going to be flirting with your phone all during dinner?”

He looks at me with great bewilderment. “Will that be a problem?”   Unknown.jpegUnknown.jpegUnknown.jpegUnknown.jpeg

This time I do observe the PAUSE RULE…1…2…3…4…5…

“No, it won’t be,” I say, as he checks it again.

“Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“Call for Miss Bianchi. Hmm, wonder who it could be,” I say, popping my cardigan round my shoulders, clicking my heels like Dorothy.

“Excuse me, will you?”

He doesn’t even look up. You know why?


So, as I’m galloping up York, wondering what I’ll pick up for dinner, I get a text.

Are you okay?


Yes, couldn’t be better…and by the way, tell your phone to order the veal, I hear it’s divine.   images.jpeg

🙂 SB

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