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Tossed Salad Friday

~~ As this is going to get a bit lengthy, I’ll save my stories until the end and share some observations first.

~~ How is it that Spain has been without a government for five months? And why do I get blank looks when I say this to people in the U.S.?

~~ The New York Rangers broke my heart even though I saw this crash-and-burn coming miles away. I am the world’s biggest realist (with an enormous underbelly of pessimism), but when it comes to the teams I root for, I steadfastly and optimistically refuse to acknowledge the piles of excrement wearing jerseys until the bitter end.
In the case of the Rangers, the stench burned away the lining of my nose all last week, but still I tried to sniff out perfume even as it was obvious that they should reenact the Passover story and make a hasty exodus from the arena. However, if you think I learned any lesson at all, you’d be wrong.

~~ I’m laminating my woman’s card tonight in hopes it’ll get me even less than78 cents on the dollar in wages, more male politicians restricting my reproductive health, and as many women disliking me as they do Secretary Clinton.

~~ Donald Trump is either historically illiterate or tone deaf. He pontificated about “America First” as if he invented this isolationist policy, when in fact Charles Lindbergh — Nazi lover, Jew hater — espoused it in the 1930s and early 40s. Supporters who scoff at Jews bristling over Trump’s call for a banning of Muslims, certain that it will open the door to discrimination on more fronts, should refresh their knowledge of Lindbergh’s America First movement.

~~ OK, here we go with tales of just two days this week. First day: The agency calls my spouse to say the new aide won’t be coming to relieve the present aide because the new one is ill. A few hours later, a stranger is at my door. Who is she? The new aide! So I inquire if she’s sick, as the person she’s attending is elderly and frail. “What!” she yells. “You won’t let me in?” I respond that I will if she’ll just tell me whether she’s well or not. “I came from the Bronx and you won’t let me in!” she screams. Then she spots my dogs and shrieks, “You have to put them away! I’m allergic!”

I let her in and insist she stay in the kitchen until my husband shows (I called immediately). She whips out her phone and is bellowing into it. I’m shaking in frustration and a bit of fear. When my husband gets home, he has a semi-heated discussion in which the aide insists she’s not sick, despite the DayQuil he spots in her bag. That’s for allergies, she maintains, but not for dog allergies. The dogs must go, she trumpets. But she’s the one that goes.

~~ Second day: I return from morning yoga and my husband says a new aide’s come to replace the present one. She arrived a few minutes before he did, so the one aide let the other into the house. OK, cool. I’ll try to be positive in the face of so much upheaval. I bid my husband goodbye, make the acquaintance of the new aide, and sit down at the desk to work.

From my window, I see a mini school bus pull up and then three cop cars. Oh, no! I go outside, concerned. A cop approaches and I ask if all is OK. Does someone on the bus need help, and if so, whom do I call since he’s a cop?

While I question him, he stares at me, gesturing for me to move farther away from the door. He’s not answering my inquiries. Instead, he’s motioning me towards the street. Finally, he starts asking if I’m OK. What? “Are you OK?” he says for a third time. “Is there anyone inside threatening you?

What what what? By now, I am quite far from the door, and he tells me that one of my neighbors called the police to report “strange people breaking into [my] house.” Oh, now I get it! One black woman let another into my house and a white neighbor freaked.

Meanwhile, as I am reassuring the cop who’s engaging with me that there’s no one behind the door with a shotgun, my dogs run out. One promptly gets into a police car with an open door, and the other is yapping at a cop (there were four in total). A cop points at yappy Freddy and says, “That’s a giant guinea pig!”

I call and Mookie exits the car, Freddy returns to my side and the lead cop escorts me inside. Did I mention he’s so huge that his foot is longer than Mookie? I now have to state my name and date of birth (WTF? A neighbor’s a racist and I have to tell a stranger how old I am?) He asks again if I’m OK, and seemingly satisfied, he and his fellow cops depart. (Oh, yeah, about that bus. It was just turning around at the time of the SWAT team’s arrival.)

Shaking again for the second time this week — 10 times as hard as the day before — I return to my desk. Five minutes later, the massive cop returns, looking quite concerned. I go out, flabbergasted as he starts drawing me away again. “I called your neighbor to tell her what’s going on and she insists you’re still in peril.” He seems like a very nice man, so I don’t go all snotty on him. I do invite him to come in, do a thorough sweep in night vision goggles or whatever else it will take to reassure him that it’s just me, two dopey dogs, and two women who’ve done zip except commit the crime of existing while black.

He finally leaves and I make myself a cup of English Breakfast tea at two in the afternoon. Compounding that crime, I let the leaves steep an extra five minutes. Hey, bigot neighbor: call the tea police!

Have a good weekend. If you’re observing, Kalo Pascha!


Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I started writing this. I stopped writing and then started again. My nerves frayed. My days shredded. My candidate won, hallelujah! My team lost and then lost again.

~~ But I’m a writer, so I marshaled all my concentration. Well, I actually only gathered 98 percent of it — I figured I’ll just use the other two percent to check Twitter quickly before returning to my task. I saw that Prince died.

~~ The words I might have mustered up for you were consumed by a bonfire of sorrow. The ashes streamed away via the tears of a million doves.

So please have a Zissen Pesach and a good weekend. Go crazy.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ This was definitely a week for dumb things (I’m purposefully excluding Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for brevity’s sake). Like the company that wanted me to review their fashionable, slip-resistant shoes but required me to return them after I’d worn them. And the freelancer offered a continuation of her project who waited five days to respond, and then became perturbed that I’d turned elsewhere as my deadline loomed. How about the alumni president of an all-male Harvard club who defends its rule prohibiting women by boasting that it eliminates the risk of sexual misconduct? Maybe the worst is Lisa Ling’s husband, Paul Song, who called Hillary Clinton a “corporate whore” — though Ms. Ling is not responsible for her husband’s words any more than Ms. Clinton is for Bill Clinton’s actions in freeing Ms. Ling’s sister (Dr. Song’s sister-in-law) from North Korea. (By the way, dumb of you not to denounce that slur, Bernie Sanders, but instead thank the speaker.)

~~ Is this a positive book review?

~~ In the space of under five minutes, I closed an open cabinet door, cleaned an overflowing lint trap, turned off two lights, changed out a soaking wet towel, washed a filthy sponge, and mopped up a puddle. If I’d wanted to follow someone around and clean up, I’d have had more children of my own.

~~ Why would anyone, even a member of the force, want a tissue box with handcuffs? Am I missing something?

~~ “Are you married?” the man asked me. “Yes, why?” He responded that I was smiling so much I must be unencumbered. “Trust me, I rarely smile except at yoga,” I said. “But I’ve been happily married for almost 37 years.” He expressed surprise: “Wow. I didn’t make it even eight full years. But she was a real bitch.” OK, go away, please. You’re creepy and we’d all be bitches if we were married to you.

~~ One more dumb thing. I shared a kid’s story on the Boating Times’ Facebook page, and someone posted this in response:

~~ By the way, the April issue of the magazine has fun and interesting articles for non-boaters as well as boaters.

Enjoy! http://boatingtimesli.com/NY/

Have a great weekend! If you’re eligible to vote on Tuesday, please do so.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ “I’d make you some to try,” she said of a new recipe, “but it has salt in it and I didn’t know if that was vegan.” I said salt was always vegan unless the people who harvested it are killed in the process. To her credit, she laughed.

~~ I just used up the last title company freebie from my time in practice. I never understood salespeople who showed up with office supplies. Was I supposed to base the quality of my client’s home purchase and enjoyment of clean title on who gave me better paper clips?

~~ Kudos to NYC for banning smokeless tobacco at ballparks. They could dispense with legislation and enforcement and likely cure every chewer if they’d just hold up mirrors to show what they look like with the disgusting spittle and terrible teeth, but that’s my little old opinionated take.

~~ The other day, I put my legs over my shoulders like they were straps on a backpack, and then lifted up to semi-resemble a firefly. I’m not bragging about the physical achievement; I share because having the freedom to try a pose like this is why I love yoga. My brain did not dwell on stress and worry, and I was away from both the demands of others and my preconceived notion of gravity. When I’m on my yoga mat, all I have to focus on is my breathing for 75 glorious minutes.

~~ Hey Bernie Sanders, many women know what you mean when you say “not qualified.” We know that’s code for “woman” and we are sick and tired of gender (purportedly) conferring second-class status.

~~ A woman who seemed otherwise sane said she’s voting for Bernie because “he’s not a career politician like Hillary and needs a chance to get things done.” Whaaaat? He’s held elected office since 1971 and, near as I can figure, didn’t cause a progressive revolution in the past 45 years.

~~ A woman who is obviously inane is very excited about Donald Trump. She says, “He’s not one of them” and will fix what ails middle class people like her — which apparently is being 55 years old and divorced twice from husbands who didn’t pay child support. Yep, the guy who claimed to be broke when he’d divorce his wives and who thinks women her age are useless is going to make her life better. Though I wonder if it’s by withholding Western Union payments to Mexico from those in the US so he can fund his wall, or by creating an nuclear Japan, or just by kicking all Muslims (except “some good ones”) the hell out of the country.

~~ And this woman is hoping Trump will bring funerals back and stop all those flower-less cremations! https://www.facebook.com/TheYoungTurks/videos/10153552888554205/

~~ Did you see Ted Cruz at the matzah factory?

~~ For readers wondering how prison life is progressing for me, I thought I’d share a picture instead of 1,000 words:

~~ OK, also one story. I was thisclose to getting out the door to go to yoga when I’m tugged. “Come look at this. Come look at this.” It was something that could wait and nothing at all.

~~ OK, another one. Nah, I can’t. I started to type it and began to shake.

~~ Serenity now:

Have a great weekend!
GOing away soon, NY KNICKS, GO!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Yay, it’s April. To me, this day carries a lot more hope and inspiration than does January 1.

~~ My nominations for Best April Fool’s Day jokes all happened in March: Donald Trump, Susan Sarandon, and almost every GOP U.S. senator.

~~ The worst joke of all is losing Patty Duke.

~~ This week I locked into a battle of wills with my own immune system. It didn’t rally on my behalf as it should have, and as a result, the germs brought into my home took up residence in every one of my cells. I’ve been coughing, sneezing, aching, and dragging — it isn’t pretty and it certainly has not been productive.

~~ I knew I was really sick when I couldn’t find a book to read. They all seemed to have too many words.

~~ In my immune system’s defense, it’s been battered and pummeled mercilessly recently, so I can’t be all that surprised that it took a week off.

~~ Let’s see, since I last griped at you, what else is new? I know! There’s been an aide who left globs of split pea soup in my sink for unknown reasons and the one who yelled at me for not helping her though I had a contagious cold. I told her my spouse would be home in a few minutes, to which she sniped, “I want to be out of here by then!” despite it being 25 minutes before the scheduled end of her shift. Then there’s the one who arrived 110 minutes prior to her shift start and stared at me while I made breakfast. “May I get you anything?” I asked. “Oh, no,” she said. “I’m good.”

~~ You know how a watched pot is said to never boil?
Well, a washed smoothie maker takes a really long time to get clean if someone is watching you rinse it.

~~ Despite my whiny navel-gazing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the perspective of the elderly patient, drained of memories by dementia, who sees a new face caring for her every day. Who has no say in where she is, what she wears, or what she eats. I only pray that she isn’t too confused and isn’t scared by what’s happening to her mind and body.

~~ Then again, she is shielded from having to disinfect the backdoor key and doorknob after catching the aide using them while wearing the same feces-festooned gloves worn to change the diaper about to be tossed in the trash.

~~ Or hold a swaying ladder in 40+ mph winds so we could put back a part of the gutter that came loose before it tore off a section of the roof and/or broke windows. We were spectacularly unsuccessful — it did damage and may do more, but for once, the peril of the situation even worried my “No problem, I got this” spouse. He gave up and came down from the top of the tottering ladder and joined me back in the abyss.

~~ Which is just as well, because I was playing out the scenario in my mind where he flies off the ladder and I throw myself under him to cushion his landing. If one of us was going to get splattered, I’d be damned if it was going to be him taking the easy exit off this highway through hell.

~~ I really can’t wait for baseball’s regular season to commence Sunday night.
I need the pure joy that comes from millionaires playing a game in front of corporate moguls under the lights in frigid weather while continuously prying my eyes open to make it past the seventh inning. Woo-hoo!

Have a great weekend! If you’re not me, it’s practically guaranteed.
GO away already, NY KNICKS, GO!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Today there will be lots of griping about the narrow world of elder care. Skip to the part about politics towards the end if you had your fill of whining in last week’s blog (if you have no idea how my life has imploded, scroll down and read March 18’s entry).

~~ I have a great idea for a story and trot towards my computer. “Dear, do you have more body wash?” I run upstairs to get it. “Come, let me show you…” says the aide as she points out things I already know or don’t need to know. Twenty minutes later, I arrive at the computer and the idea has vanished. Poof! Just like my life and creativity.

~~ I really thought I enjoyed a broad range of music, but the Creole songs that are blasting as I write this are kind of whiny.

~~ The aide yells, “You have to wake her up earlier! She poo’ed all over herself.” Isn’t that what people do who wear diapers and need aides?

~~ Two out of the last three home health aides have been coughing and sneezing. Apparently, the health part of their title is optional.

~~ Actually, health isn’t a consideration at all. The majority of the aides are smokers, which means I am regressing to that child/teenage state where my mom and grandma both puffed away night and day and my stomach turned over and over. I can’t abide the smell, and though they seem to smoke only outside, the stench is pervasive inside.

~~ “You’re going to give her cold cuts for dinner?” one aide asked my husband quite archly. I was hoping he wouldn’t be mollified by her faux nutrition expertise; the aide ate a large bag of store-brand Doritos and drank a big bottle of Pepsi for lunch.

~~ The family member gives me that same cold glare I’ve been getting since Jimmy Carter was president. Since most of her recollection seems to have vanished, I may be ready to attribute it to a form of chronic resting bitch face.
~~ First-year psychiatry patients would probably have a field day with what I’ve shared today.

~~ A yoga-friend told me about her grandfather with dementia and PTSD dating back to WWII. Once he took all the shiny balls off the family Christmas tree and hurled them at the neighbor’s house, yelling “Die, Nazis!” and lots of profanities. “Be grateful your [family member] isn’t mobile,” she says.

~~ Do Trump voters actually think soulless cretins who indiscriminately murder people while blowing themselves up will crawl back into the motherless wombs from which they were hatched if Mr. Huuuuuge is elected? Their candidate scares the hell out of me, but I’d venture a guess he’d be nothing more than an ISIS recruiter if he won.

~~ A young Bernie Sanders voter tried to “educate” me about how he was a “better Democrat” than HRC. When I asked if he realized Bernie just recently became a Democrat and has never engaged in down-ticket fundraising for other Democrats, his retort was laughable but ignorant: “You’re wrong. He was always a Democrat, but he just didn’t want to waste his time going to party functions.”

~~ I couldn’t believe that Paul Ryan Is this the little girl I carried, is this the little boy at play? and that afterwards Charles Grassley I don't remember growing older, when did they? but it seems the Supreme Court Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days…     Obviously, a request was made for the Fiddler on the Roof CD, and I cannot focus on anything because of the noise four rooms away. If I were a rich man…

Have a great weekend! If you’re celebrating Easter, have a blessed and peaceful holiday.

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ The woman lay down on her yoga mat this past Monday and asked the room in general, “Did anybody else eat half a loaf of Irish soda bread this weekend?” Turns out no one else did, but she received some general joshing and a good dose of rationalizing as to why it was no big deal. Thinking it was an amusing story, I shared it at the dinner table, where I was so surprised to hear my son say, “I did, too!”

~~ I was walking down the street when a woman seemingly of an advanced age pulled up onto the sidewalk to park. Needless to say, I was startled and grateful that I was untouched. I stare at her as she exits the car and heads for the deli. She either had no clue what she did or her curb jumping was so commonplace that she no longer felt the need to apologize to passersby.

~~ My life has changed completely as a frail family member with dementia has come to live with us. I was going to write a few words here about the demands and chaos, then recalled I’d shared quite a few words with friends and relatives who were kind enough to ask how things were going and allow me to vent. Here are some snippets of my responses:

  • I've mopped up after a messed up washing machine mishap. I have been called on approximately 20 times before noon. I gave her my lunch because the aide said, "Maybe she'll like that better than what I was going to give her."

  • The Game Show Channel is on all day — every time some contestant wins (or loses, I don't know) as signaled by a bell, my dogs run to the front door, barking wildly

  • I open the refrigerator door and grape juice pours all over my legs and shoes from a filled cup the aide left on a shelf. "Oh, did that spill?" she asks as I mop up and wash my shoes.

  • “I’m cold” is followed by “I’m hot” as soon as you run for another blanket. “Turn up the thermostat” says the aide. “Can’t you make it any cooler in here?” asks the aide within 10 minutes.

  • I cut up tomatoes but she doesn't like them. I cut up Brussels sprouts but she doesn't like those. I cut up broccoli but she doesn't like that. Exasperated, I tell the aide to stop asking me to prepare vegetables to serve as she apparently doesn't like them and my dogs are getting fatter from all that extra food.

  • My house smells from applesauce and diapers, and let me tell you, an air freshener simply called “Feng Shui Spray” is no match. No match at all.

~~ Let me temper my griping (I already edited the above quite a bit) by acknowledging that I was humbled and grounded by two women in a yoga class. One woman has a family member struggling with cancer and the other lost her 40-year-old son. Both touched my arm and offered their shoulders because their hearts weren’t hardened against the world. As they flanked me, my heart opened enough to feel their pain and my brain acknowledged that their stories were way worse than any of mine.

~~ “You’re Irish, right?” he asks. “You have red hair.” I say that I don’t think you can go by that anymore. He cracks me up by responding, “But Clairol sounds a bit Irish, don’t you think?”

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ Chris Christie followed up his out-of-state campaigning for president and out-of-state stumping for Trump with an out-of-state visit to watch spring training baseball in Florida. What a public servant!

I just have one question, Chris: If I’m down on my luck in NJ and need government assistance, you’ve done your damndest to ensure I don’t get it, so how come you’re entitled to have the taxpayers fund your hobbies?

~~ I read an article by one of the least-likable attorneys I know (and that, folks, is a wide field). In it, she archly discusses management of a law practice, though she does not run one. Her suggestions regarding staff and interruptions include train, restrict, control, curb, and eliminate. That sounds more like teaching a puppy! I’m surprised she didn’t counsel lawyers to brandish a soiled newspaper at staff or send them into crates.

~~ The weather was so delightful the other day that I left my winter coat at home and wore a lightweight New York Rangers’ jacket to yoga. The class was all females, and as I walked back to the coat/shoes area, one woman said, “I wonder who wore that aggressively masculine coat?” I fessed up immediately, and she laughed, saying, “I was just curious because there weren’t any guys here today!” I left shaking my head and wondering both how a coat hanging on a hook can be aggressive and how one tells from the back if an outer garment has a gender.

~~ Overheard: “What kind of shampoo did you use? Your hair looks good.” “Thanks. I dunno. Whatever my daughter bought.” “Don’t you pay for everything?” “Yes, but she chooses everything.”

~~ I’m sitting next to my spouse having a conversation with a guy. At one point, he says to me, “You look familiar.” He then turns to my husband and asks, “Has she ever been to [name of his business]?” Hello, fella: I’m right here!

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ “Can we go to dinner next week?” asked one woman to another. “I can’t make plans for next week until I decide if I’m going on a diet,” was the response.

~~ Last night’s GOP debate was between Three Stooges and Stan Laurel.
~~ There are about two gazillion reasons why the 2016 political race is both so puerile and venomous, but those who shrugged off the “Produce your birth certificate, Barack Hussein Obama,” and the Joe Wilson “You lie!” during the SOTU, discounted the multiple killings of unarmed persons of color, and didn’t see the big deal over rallies advocating for discrimination against LGBTQ persons have brought hatred out of the shadows.

~~ But wait, there’s more:

~~ I’ve found that it’s never really worth it to turn in early for bed when you have dogs. They make a mental note of what time you turn in and then, just for the fun of it, wake you up two hours before the time your alarm is set to go off.

~~ I burst out laughing when a caller to a sports radio show described himself as a “disgruntled Knicks’ fan.” Are there any other kinds?

~~ I’m walking along the boardwalk on a 60-degree day in February. I stop to take photos and notice a man wearing a NY Rangers’ hat standing by the railing. I casually ask, “What do you think of the trade?” He hadn’t heard about the trade that had taken place one hour earlier, and from there, he spoke for about 10 minutes on his hip replacements, his weight loss goals, his grandmother’s garden, and his father’s various ailments. He also related how he wants to see the NY Giants win another championship before Eli retires and why money is the root of all sports evils. This, my friends, is why I suck at small talk.

Anyway, here’s a couple of the photos I took…

Have a great weekend!

Tossed Salad Friday

~~ I was displaced from my office after 24 years. It’s not for a reason I wanted and it’s not something I embrace, but it happened. As I was feeling the lowest about moving out, I found a 1996 Polaroid photo of my father that had slipped behind the desk and a teeny (one-half inch) figurine of a clown he’d given me from his vast collection. I took the finds as signs. What else could they be but my dad telling me that things will be fine?

~~ I’m not sure if this is also a sign, but a yoga teacher opened a class by saying, “Don’t constantly carry around your woe. Put it down and walk away from it from time to time so the weight of it doesn’t become unbearable.”

~~ I had no connectivity for three days at the beginning of the week. No internet, no landlines, no TV. All gone because a competing service working nearby cut our lines. Our service provider was fairly useless for two-and-a-half-days, and then I called them out on Twitter. Suddenly service was restored and a followup call placed to gauge our satisfaction. The satisfaction was quite low, thank you very much, as was our patience. One more day of living like semi-Neanderthals and I’m not sure how this story would end.

~~ We watched the Democratic Town Hall on CNN on a tablet and couldn’t flip channels as usual. The numerous talking heads assembled resembled the incessant and pointless chatterers before, after, and halfway through NFL games. Lord help us, but do we need people who used to be something, want to be something, and failed at being something explaining the nuances of every freaking elbow bend, nose scratch, and policy mention?

~~ You think Trump’s a winner just because he says he is one? Besides his failed marriage, airlines, and businesses, don’t you remember how he screwed up the USFL and caused the league to fold? http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/20/sports/football/donald-trumps-less-than-artful-failure-in-pro-football.html?_r=0

~~ I nod and say “Hello” to a guy from time to time. Nothing more, ever, so why do you think he felt compelled to ask me if I “wanted to hear a joke?” I smiled and said, “No, but thanks.” Then I decided my answer was just as strange as his question.

~~ I was on my way to an office in a professional building. As I walked down the corridor, a door was open into what I saw was a small law office (one man’s name on the door). He was talking loudly and excitedly, so when I completely passed his doorway I stopped to eavesdrop for a moment. “Mom, mom, mom!” he yelled. “I hate this goddamned profession, and if you want the money back, I’ll give it to you. I never want to go in front of a judge again, do you hear me?”

Have a great weekend!



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