Best Story of the Week…8/16/2018

  It’s early and rainy, forgoing my run, instead, heading to Starbucks a few blocks away.

Though the door is open, no one is in the front, so I patiently wait trying not to steal any cookies that are all winking at me like women of the night.

Is that a baby I hear?

A little barista with nails that could service the entire cocaine industry, comes running out to say, she’ll be right back.

It’s only 5 a.m. but amazed I’m still the only one here.

Finally she emerges, clutching a cradle with the cutest baby girl wrapped inside cooing like a little dove.

“Is she yours?” I ask, getting all loopy at the gummy grin the wee thing’s giving me.

“Yes, ma baba sitta’ didn’t come, and I had ta open. I’m so upset. I’m scared they’s gonna fira’ me.”

“No they won’t,” I say, suddenly the Norma Rae of protective mothers, before having the wild idea of offering to babysit.


But that cooing was playing me like a cheap banjo.

Before I could shoot myself in the sneaker, another woman comes in with more or less the same response.

“What I’m gonna go?” said Mom, really panicking since, now she has a line that her co-worker, who finally shows up, is trying to man himself.

Imagine Lucy at the candy factory after she hears….SPEED IT UP OUT THERE!

The woman alongside me, who I happen to casually know, offers to take Accolade. Maybe it was Adelaide, and I didn’t hear right, though an accolade is a prize after all and Mom is maybe 17. (how old do you have to be to have a key to a Starbucks?)

My copilot then asks, “Doesn’t she have a dad?”

“Yes ma’am, but he’s doin’ ta-m’, but should be out in no ta-m’. He didn’t do nothin,” she says, like a good urban attorney, “but would jus’ not rat on his freends’.”

I like him immediately, as I watch this wonderful woman take the little bundle and cuddle her like a doll.

I get my Tall Viennese Blend in a Grande Cup and leave, deciding, it’s high time I learn how to change a diaper, since you never know when this could happen again.

  It’s New York remember.  🙂





Posted in comedy, Family, food, humanity, humor, Love, New York City, Starbucks, women | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

War Wounds

Forgive your enemies, but always remember their names.  

John F. Kennedy

I saw my X on the street who startled me to say the least, seeing instantly how his alcoholism has escalated.

His clothes were rumpled, he needed a haircut. I could smell last night’s booze oozing from his pores.

He was all over me, kissing me on both checks, saying how great I looked.

Yeah, I’m still standing alright, despite the way you treated me.

The belittling, the cheating. How you said, my niceness made you sick.

Now I hear he’s with a lady who beats him up regularly, like a favorite hobby.

I was still polite, but detaching quickly since he was moaning about how unhappy he is.

Nope, don’t rescue drunks anymore, sorry, and I have you to thank, you whose abuse drove me into a 12 Step program that taught me how to save myself from the perils of alcohol.

That’s not to say my heart didn’t open, knowing now it’s a disease more than just a pastime in a glass, but I’m glad to say, memory, who never leaves my side, kept her vigilant foot in the door…

forgiving my enemies, but always remembering their names.  


Posted in alcohol, grace, Health, humanity, men, New York City, Women and men, words | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

A Quirky Writer

Someone I really respect said this of me, causing me to troll the net for every possible meaning. A quirky act in itself.

Turns out it’s a pretty huge compliment I should have known since, David, who said it, is such a great pal.

A person considered quirky is unconventional, unusual in an attractive, interesting way.

Weird, but appealing, having a strange mix of traits that end up being charming and entertaining.

They often have a way with words, spending much time articulating with a sense of silliness to their odd sense of humor.

Offbeat, far-out and kooky.

And my personal favorite…a bit of a screwball.

The opposite of quirky is average, commonplace, mundane and run-of-the-mill.

A garden variety without any surprises (OOH, how sad).

I realized, all of my favorite writers are quirky: David Sedaris, Anne Lamott, Patti Smith, Paul Rudnik, Sarah Vowell, Lisa George and the Big Daddy of quirk…Mr. John Waters.

I at once began to bask in my quirkiness, happy to be in such esteemed, off-the-wall, zany, what you’d never expect company…

so thanks David…:)

A Screwball we all know, and hopefully…love.     

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Tags, Tacos and a Thingirl

 It’s 6 A.M. and I’m en route to the train, my neighborhood slowly waking up. Starbucks has just opened, Jose is at his cart busy arranging his donuts, and there’s a short, chubby Latino fellow standing beside a taco truck that’s being replenished with supplies.

It’s hot. Sweat is pouring off his face he mops with what looks like a dish towel.

I notice the tag to his polo shirt is sticking out, a little peccadillo of mine, so unable to stop myself, shimmy over to tell him.

Turns out his shirt is inside out. He laughs, before peeling it off like a banana skin, brandishing a buddha belly in all its bouncy glory.

Imagine a dolphin, in pants.

“Gracias Meez,” he says, still smiling.

And Meez thinks, boy, does she need a life.



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A Vintage Phrase

I’ve been reading lots of English historical fiction you’ll see on my next reading list, you know, the one, no one ever reads? Well, except for Skinny that is. 🙂

I can’t say enough how tantalized I am with the language. Alison Weir, who I call the English Doris Kearns Goodwin, is more than a little gifted the way she splices in words, terms and phrases no longer in use.

Gainsay, is a word she uses a lot, meaning, to deny, dispute or disagree with. It’s a verb used in dialogue so often, it was clearly a casual term in the mid 1500s.

A woman who is expecting has her courses interrupted, meaning her monthly period stops. When her baby starts to move, it quickens rather than kicks.

Sweeting, more than honey or even sweetheart, is the common endearment.

But my favorite term is, seeing the back of them.

Queen Mary, at perpetual odds with her younger sister Elizabeth often banishing her from court, would say to her ladies-in- waiting, “I will be glad to see the back of her.”

Don’t you love that?

How many men could I have said that about? Glad to see the back of him as he tooled out the door.

Language of yore when explored, is fascinating making you wonder why and when it changed.

How come instead of saying, he contradicted me, we no longer say, he gainsaid me?

We should try it and see how the person you’re addressing reacts. Will they ask what it means, or pretend they know?

I always ask, or look it up on my phone, when you go to the restroom.






Posted in Books, History, humanity, humor, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Harvey Weinstein, the Sir Thomas Seymour of Hollywood

 Thomas Seymour lived during the time of King Henry VIII, executed for treason trying to kidnap King Edward, Henry’s son and successor. But the other thing Tom was famous for was his inappropriate canoodling, especially with Henry’s 13 year-old daughter, who would become, Queen Elizabeth I.

I’ve been following the Harvey Weinstein case like a pretty bad mini series, waiting for his axe to fall.

I don’t claim to be the Jean Dixon of WordPress, but do think he’s going under since, there’s so much evidence against him, despite the trickeries of his lavish legal team.

Bill Cosby, who was already convicted of his hide-the-salami predilections, ironically a Woody Allen line, and facing sentencing in September, I think will be placed under eternal house arrest being in his 80s and legally blind.

But back to Harvey, whose face alone tells you he was the Bluebeard of producers, taking what he wanted while the throng of women finally, as a group, were bravely able to take him to task.

I can’t help feeling sorry for his kids, and all the kids having to carry the sins of their fathers, like Fox’s Roger Ailes’s son who was bullied in school for his dad’s public sexual indiscretions.

You have to wonder why these men, before they pounce with their flies open, don’t run the whole tape.

The hubris of feeling, I’ll never get caught plus the rules don’t apply to me, will never cease to amaze me, the Pollyanna that I am.

Thomas Seymour screamed and swore as they dragged him to the scaffold on Tower Hill. Wonder how Harvey’s going to take it when they permanently cuff him and make him exchange his Armani blazer for that polyester orange jumpsuit?

His first phone call will probably be to his tailor.      

Just a hunch.



Posted in Cinema, Family, Fashion, History, humanity, humor, internet, kids, men, money, sex, violence, Women and men, writing | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Best Story of the Week…August 3, 2018

 I’m at Starbucks seated at one that has a counter, enjoying my collection of birthday gift cards.

I’m having cookies with my Tall, Dark Blend, 3 in a pack.

An attractive, professional looking lady in her 40s is next me with one seat between us.

Suddenly she slyly sneaks a dollar in my direction.

I look at her curiously.

“Can I buy one of your Madeleines,” she quietly says, my cookie of choice.

I mull this over as if it were a pass she just made at me.

“No, you can’t,” I finally say, “but how bout I give you one?”

I then slide the one remaining over while her dollar languishes, like a naughty sailor, on the counter.     

She finishes before me, leaving the buck in her wake, that I graciously leave for the barista.




Posted in dessert, humanity, humor, money, New York City, Starbucks, women, words | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

You Great Small Beautiful Doll

I’ve changed the lyrics to the famous song to honor two twins I encountered on the avenue in frilly dresses and Mary Janes, ribbons in their curly blonde hair.

There they were, toddling along, their Nanny manning their empty double-stroller like a patient Palm Beach Chauffeur.

I naturally stopped to tell them how pretty they looked.

“How old are they?” I asked Nanny.

“Just turned 3,” she said, “and they love dressin’ up.”

“See, this is how it starts. Next thing you know they’ll be first in line at a sample sale with a wad’a cash in their itty-bitty pocket books.”

She laughed as I took them in from the front, looking like American Girl Dolls that walked and talked. Amelia and Beata stared up at me like the debutants they’d soon become.  Nanny, who was like a columnist for The Post, said, their mother is an attorney and their dad, an investment banker. She lives with them so the girls have become like her own.

Meanwhile, those girls are now pulling up their skirts like strip teasers laughing, showing off their snazzy panties.

“Nanny, maybe you need to curb that because, this is how it starts.”

She laughed again.            



Posted in Family, Fashion, Home, humanity, humor, kids, New York City, parents, travel | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

FDR’s Fala Speech

Once again, history came a callin’.

There I was coming back from Zitomer, the Cartier of drug stores, after purchasing my semi annual Clinque Chubbystick in Maraschino Red, when who do I come upon but a black, Scottish Terrier, a dead ringer for Fala, FDR’s famous pooch, splayed on the sidewalk refusing to budge.

His walker, a young lady in shorts made from a hankie, was trying to reason with him, but in Spanish, which could have been the problem since he didn’t seem all that bilingual to me.

I naturally stopped to say, “Well, he is a Scot after all, and you know how stubborn they are…his breed that is.”

Despite her texting and pointedly ignoring me, I tell her how our 32nd president had one just like Boris, her Scottie, his name emblazoned on his collar, who’s buried right alongside him at his presidential library in Hyde Park.   

Did you just yawn?

Looking at me like I had two heads, I tell her anyway about FDR’s famous, what’s become known as, The Fala speech, he gave when he was accused of sending a navy destroyer to the Aleutian Islands after accidentally leaving Fala behind on the nation’s nickel.

Let me say, he would have left Eleanor faster than that little Scottie of his, so he and his legendary humor, on September 23rd, 1944, addressed his accusers bringing down the house, as it were.

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him—- at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—- his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog.

Of course I told Boris’s walker the SB version, that’s shorter with fun hand gestures, stumped why her expression never changed, but when done, I could have sworn Boris grinned and clapped his paws.

In any event, it got him up and going.

Sometimes all a guy needs is a good tail told well, by a girl with very red lips, up on her history.

Fala died in 1952, at the age of 12, buried beneath the sundial at Springwood, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s childhood home, a few yards from his beloved master.   



Posted in animals, Family, History, humanity, humor, media, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Writing Clean and Spare

I work at brevity, to kill off my darlings, a quote attributed to writer, William Faulkner, since my essays can often rival Gone With the Wind.

I think blog readers have a shorter attention span, so it behooves one’s readership to remember this.

I went back and read some oldies and boy, did they need editing. No wonder only three people read them since, who has the time?

But I remind myself, it’s all a part of the learning process, to omit needless words, as Stephen King says, taken from the classic book, Elements of Style.

One of my favorite blogs is Patricia’s Place  because she has the gift of clean and spare, as if each word she pens is delicately placed on the page without too much fuss or fanfare.

She selects and polishes, shaves and shapes, like an expert barber snipping split ends.

Of course it looks easier than it is, whittling words, but it inspires me to do the same, or at least try to pare down what it is I’m trying to say.

The definition of brevity…concise and exact use of words in writing or speech.

The economy of language…succinct, crisp, short and sweet.

A talent for pithiness getting your point across clearly, without dressing it up like a woman wearing too many pearls.

Quality over quantity penned in ones humble truth, is certainly the writer I aspire to be.

Like Patricia… 🙂






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