Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Uninvited

 There are times when having a guest drop in on you can be a delight.  You’ve had some forewarning that they might be coming.  There was some time to prepare your home for company, and you looked forward to the visit with eager anticipation.  The guest arrives.  Together you spend some stimulating and interesting hours.  Perhaps you share a meal and a glass of wine.  Then, as all good guests eventually do, they leave before they’ve worn out their welcome.  You smile and think about the future visits.  Maybe you even invite them back.

Such was not the case with Irene.

 No one wanted her to come.  She was not invited to our home.  A most rude guest, she sent an intrusive, advance team, hours before her arrival, making certain we were well aware of her intended visit.  Even before that team began pelting us with heavy hints of what was to come, we made extensive changes to our daily lives, further disrupting our normal routine,  in order to make Irene’s visit as palatable as humanly possible.  No way could we avoid her planned invasion.  So we had to make the best of it.

 Our best outdoor furniture was secured.  Flag of our allegiance to the United States of America, and a banner boasting our loyalty to the New York Yankees, were removed from the standard holders by the front door, where they normally flew.  They needed to be stored, lest Irene snatch them away.  She had very recently established a reputation for doing things just like that.  And those of her ilk were prone to this sort of thievery.

In fact, two years prior, we had a weaker relative of Irene’s storm on by.  I believe his name was Bob.  During Bob’s visit he had the audacity of robbing a floral seat pillow from one of my wicker chairs.  This brazen act left  me with only three out of four matching pillows, essentially ruining the set.  I still haven’t gotten over it.

Now, just in case Irene might take it literally, we removed the wooden, welcome plaque, which decorated one of the porch pillars, and hid it in the garage.  We checked, then checked again all around front and rear yard, assuring ourselves that Irene would not find anything outside that she could toss around during a gusty temper tantrum.  She could be such a bitch.

Then the wait.  Her emissary, Lee Goldberg, gave an approximate hour that she would blow on in with her companions, Windy and Surge.  We are still waiting.

To All My Loved Ones, Family and Friends, Be Safe and I’ll Let You Know How We Made Out With Our Uninvited Guest, Irene.

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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Atlantic City

Clang clang clang clang clang, was there ever a sweeter sound?  That discordant, jarring, noise  announcing that you’ve won the jackpot. Oh, wonder of all wonders. You are getting some return on the money you’ve offered up to the gambling gods, by virtue of the slot machine. Probably not nearly what you’ve thrown in during the frenzy, but all the same you are ecstatic. You are a winner!

You are going home with about half the money you went with, if you’re lucky.  And you got to go to shows, sit by the pool, stroll the famous Boardwalk, buy outlandish dresses, in stores run by pleasant foreigners wearing sari, all to kill some time before doing what you really wish to be doing. Sitting in front of that bank account devouring slot machine.

Modern day casinos no longer resemble those of old.  Back in the day, women were attired in gowns, and men wore suits,  just to gamble in the only state which boasted legalized gambling, Las Vegas.  The playground of adults. Lovely gowned women traversed the smoke-filled casino floor with filthy hands carrying cardboard cups full of nickles. A comedian once said, (I think it was Alan King),  they looked like whores in coal mines.

I was twenty-nine years old the first time I saw Las Vegas. My gown of choice was a soft flowing, white, spaghetti strapped, floor length, creation, with a short tied,  under the bust, white jacket. The wide sleeves ended just above the elbows and were trimmed with white fluffy feathers. Pair that with my New York accent, and you can bet I was viewed as hot stuff.

Jim,  and I, went into a Vegas Revue that featured twenty-five or so topless girls, wearing colorful,  feather boas. They made their entrance by riding motorcycles up a run way to center stage. I was astounded. They were beautiful. It was only one of the spectacular offerings of the show. While there two friendly guys, at our table,  began speaking to us. One said, “I love your accent.”  I had no idea what he was talking about. What accent?  Then he informed me that they were from back East as well. “We’re from Milwaukee, and we don’t even drink beer.” All I could think of, although I nodded and smiled pleasantly, ‘where the hell is Milwaukee?’

Today casinos are so very different. Besides the barely twenty somethings, in their very short, skin-tight, dresses, and super high heels, rarely do you see people dress up to gamble. I still dress up in the evenings, although no longer in evening gowns. The very act of choosing what to wear enhances the experience for me. I luxuriate in the illusion that I am a wealthy world traveler, spending a care free evening and winning is secondary. (It’s Not). Still the fantasy is a pleasant one, and one which is supported by my casino host, Brett Hamilton, the staff at the Diamond Jim Club, and the VIP lines at Tropicana’s Show Room. My husband, Jim, ever my partner, also dresses. While he doesn’t bring suits, he does wear attractive sports jackets. It’s the whole Gestalt!*

While all that I’ve stated here is true, never lose sight of the real reason I love Atlantic City. It’s the adrenalin rush. Few things get my heart pumping like expecting to pull a Ten of Spades, when the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack, of the same suit, is already in my hand.

I believe gambling is in the genes. My father loved playing cards for money. He also played the numbers. His steady number was 607. He would have loved Atlantic City. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1959,  long before Resorts put in its first slot machine.

My Mom also loved to go to AC with her friend, Ruthie Baby. This was when Mom was much older. Money was pretty tight for her.   Her health was beginning to fail, and this was one of the joyful, adventures left to her. Whenever she would be ready to go on a trip,  Jim and I would ask her if she had enough money to play. Always, she would say, “Yes, certainly, but I think I am a little short for my medicine!” She knew we would press a couple of bucks in her hand no matter what she said. It was a game we played, and the memory always makes me laugh.

Well, my friends, I apologize to the few people who look forward to my ramblings, for neglecting my blog.   I was away on a week vacation. Guess Where!

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Reincarnation Now or Later

Today was interesting in that two people, well-known to me, but total strangers to each other, brought up the subjects of reincarnation and metaphysics.  Subjects which I am very interested in, have read about, and studied for many years.  Granted, those many years, were many years ago.  I still have a passionate interest in these studies.

It seems that most of us have experienced deja vu* at some time in our life.  Many people try to explain it away.  Explanations usually are framed as, “You’ve been there before, you just don’t remember it.”  ” All houses built around that period have rooms laid out the same way, that’s how you knew to turn right instead of left into the kitchen.”  Yes, there are all kinds of reasonable; well thought out arguments, that discount a deja vu experience.

What about when you know exactly what someone is going to say before they have an opportunity to utter a sound?  Some disbelievers might submit, “you know the person well and it’s easy to anticipate his reaction.”  I imagine we could find a rational explanation for every case cited in favor of reincarnation. Either one believes or they don’t.

Admittedly, when  someone has knowledge of something they couldn’t possible know, as in the cases of Bridey Murphy,

 ( In 1952, Colorado businessman and amateur hypnotist Morey Bernstein put housewife Virginia Tighe of Pueblo, Colorado, in a trance that sparked off startling revelations about Tighe’s alleged past life as a 19th century Irishwoman and her rebirth in the United States 59 years later. Bernstein used a technique called hypnotic regression, during which the subject is gradually taken back to childhood. He then attempted to take Virginia one step further, before birth, and suddenly was astonished to find he was listening to Bridey Murphy,who seemed to be a women of another world that Virginia had described of.

Her tale began in 1806, when Bridey was eight years old and living in a house in Cork. She was the daughter of Duncan Murphy, a barrister, and his wife Kathleen. At the age of 17 she married lawyer Sean Brian McCarthy and moved to Belfast.  Bridey told of a fall that caused her death and of watching her own funeral, describing her tombstone and the state of being in life after death. It was, she recalled, a feeling of neither pain nor happiness. Somehow, she was reborn in America, although   was not clear how this event happened. Virginia Tighe herself was born in the Midwest in 1923, had never been to Ireland, and did not speak with even the slightest hint of an Irish accent.)

 or the young Indian boy, documented by Stephen Wagner,

  • A six-year-old boy named Taranjit Singh from the village of Alluna Miana, India, claimed since he was two that he had been a person named Satnam Singh. This other boy had lived in the village of Chakkchela, Taranjit insisted, and even knew Satnam’s father’s name. He had been killed while riding his bike home from school. An investigation verified the many details Taranjit knew of his previous life as Satnam. But the clincher was that their handwriting — a trait experts know is as distinct as fingerprints — was virtually identical.

it would be much harder to pooh poo reincarnation, or laugh off the evidence. 

So having been reminded of my own studies on the subject, later in the afternoon, while staring up into the endless blue sky, I began to think about whether it was necessary for one to be dead to be reincarnated. In fact, wasnt this about my fourth incarnation during this one lifetime, with more yet to come, I hope.

Each time we reinvent ourselves aren’t we ourselves clothe in a different persona?  Why must we wait to change the things we want to alter about our selves and our lives?  Every twenty years or so, we become different people.  Hopefully, we hang onto our core beliefs, but perhaps some of our thoughts, traits and opinions no longer fit as well.

Perhaps we are smart enough to learn from life’s lessons and begin anew.  We find ourselves born again to travel a new path.  Often, those, that peopled our old reality, are with us on this new path, but we relate in a new way to them.  After a surprisingly short time, its been my experience, they will behave toward us in a different way.

Perhaps, if you are not content in your present life, its time for a reincarnation .  Begin slowly making some changes, and enjoy the journey.

*French.  From deja, “already”, + vu, “seen”  —  A feeling of having previously experienced something, especially when that is not the case.  Have I done this before?

Something which one has or suspects to have seen, or experienced before.

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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized


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It’s Just a Matter of Time

Time, the measuring of it, is a relative thing.  Tell a child sitting in the backseat of a car that you will arrive at the amusement park in fifteen minutes, as opposed to reminding an adult they need to be dressed, and ready to go, in fifteen minutes.  By the clock it is the same ticks from minute to minute. Each statement contains nine hundred seconds. Yet, to the eager child, that fifteen minutes seems like hours. It is almost forever.  How many times can they say, “Are we there yet?”, in that short period of time. For the adult, fifteen minutes to get anything accomplished is the mere blink of an eye, and virtually impossible when it comes to hair and makeup.

I can remember believing summer vacation was a full year. Winter and school another year. Time appeared to move so slowly.   That was just the way it was for all children.   I didn’t question it, nor was it a worry. When one is very young time is more measured by events then by hours. Your birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the first day of school, the last day of school. Children have no need for clocks, even if they could tell time.  If a child wears a watch it’s only to mimic some harried adult, who is the keeper of the child’s time. Sopia it’s time to wake up, time for school, time for dinner, time for bed, and so on.

In later years, it wasn’t so much that time moved more rapidly, but rather the things you jammed into each hour or day.  Time didn’t speed along, but it kept a reasonable pace.   Of course I understood the changing of the seasons, and how celebrations, work and life, were not counted in time, but accomplishments.  Run, run, run.  Goals were set, and I moved from goal to goal.  The engagement, the wedding, the first baby, the house, and so on. 

A year was still a long time. When I considered that I might have to wait a year for any one thing, it stretched out endlessly before me.  Yet, suddenly, the year had passed, and that thing I yearned for was in my near reach.  I guess that year really wasn’t so long.

Years go by; you stop counting days.  Its season to season.  Put up the Christmas tree, take it down, turn on the sprinkler system, open the pool, shut the pool, winterize the house, put up the Christmas tree.  We’ve all seen movies where the movie maker wishes to depict the passing of time.  The camera pulls a close up on a calendar,  and a usually ominous wind causes the pages to flutter quickly from the New Year to oft-times two or three years later.  Now, I seem to relate, although its usually a breeze rather than an ominous wind.  I imagine my life is not as dramatic as an ominious wind might indicate.

I wondered about this.  Does time really pass more quickly only because one becomes older?  Why did it move so slowly when I was young?  Is each minute still sixty seconds, or had some joker pared a minute down to forty-five seconds?  What the hell is going on?

I sought the answer only to discover no one really knows why.  However there are several theories,  and some facts which might lead to possible answers.  According to, ‘Krulwich on Science’, it has to do with the time keeping neurons in our brains.  Time flows through humans differently as we grow older.  The pulses in the older brain recording things around us are slower,  therefore, the world around us is moving faster, whereas in the younger brain, as you would imagine, the pulses are faster, therefore they record and observe more in less time therefore slowing it down.  They can relate an experience in detail because each experience is new.  The detail makes it seem as if it is taking a long time.  Routine, on the other hand, makes events seem as if they are going faster.

OMG, I just confused myself.  Ok, so then lets forget all that.  My opinion is that time moves faster as we get older because we are in training to become Superior Spiritual Beings, in another realm, where time will have no meaning at all.  Where everyday is a Holiday, the pool is always open, and the grass is always green.

It’s Just a Matter of  Time.


Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Really Annoyed

Its time for the American People to Hold Their ground and not allow Congress, the Whitehouse and Fear push us into another recession.

Live Life As you always have. America is and always will be AAA. If not America, then Who?

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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Spoon Rest

 Through the course of life most people get caught up in some type of collecting.  The items one collects can be as varied as the stars in the sky.  Collecting is different from hoarding in that the collection is usually displayed,  although not always as in the case of rubber band balls or string.

I’ve known people who  have collected either stamps, coins, baseball cards, or dolls.  Others enjoy books, bookmarks, baskets, movies, and of course music (how the music is kept and played changes with the era, from records, to eight track, then quickly on to tapes, the revolutionary CDs,and now wonder of all wonders, iPods.  How far we’ve come!)

 Myself, collections  have changed and evolved throughout the years, or moments in time.  One such short-lived passion was shells and seagulls from a souvenir store located at the peak of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Some of these collections remain with me always.  Some the location and surroundings caused me to not realize how horrendous that plastic seagull would look on a coffee table in the North East.  Fanciful items are usually desired for a shorter time period.  I don’t know what draws our eye and heart to these things that we, for an unknown reason, cannot resist.   Could it be a case for reincarnation?

Surely, it cannot always be the beauty of an item.  I have had a frog collection for years.  Frogs are not known for their classical beauty.  Some I did not purchase,  but instead they were gifted to me.  My frogs come in all shapes and sizes.  A particular set of three are made of a ceramic material crafted and painted by a friend’s mother.  These are quite large as collectibles go.  When Pete‘s mom passed he and Leslie, his wife, came across these frogs while going through mom’s things.  These frogs were now orphans.  The couple generously thought of me.  Now whenever I look at the inherited frogs I think of his mom, who I only met briefly, and my friends, Pete and Leslie.

Price is not a factor regarding my collections.  The elephant period went from paper mâché, brass, crystal, and all in between.   I even made a glass end table with an Indian elephant for a base.  His saddle changes color with the room’s paint job. This is perhaps my oldest elephant.  He has been holding up that round piece of glass for thirty-five years.

Not all the things I’ve collected are just things to look at and admire.  Some have a purpose.  How would you stick all those notes, checks, pictures and bills to the front of the refrigerator without a magnet collection.  The magnets are an eclectic mix of states, countries, bars, ferry boats, and much more, purchased at different times by me,  and by my loving, traveling friends.  I have so many that most are not on the fridge at all, but on a magnet board for all to appreciate.

What got me thinking of my collections, was this weekend’s purchase, at yet another friend’s, garage sale.  A perfect and unusual set of three spoon rests.  Now I have five spoon rests in my kitchen.   All of them are beautiful.

My addiction to spoon rests started when I was eighteen years old.  I was visiting the recently married, Louise.  I was her maid of honor two months earlier.  Louise and her new husband, Joey,  invited Jim and I over for their first dinner party in their Jackson Heights apartment.  While she was in the kitchen cooking up the chicken soup, I stood chatting with her.  It was then and there that I spied my first spoon rest.  I didn’t even know what it was called.

Years ago they gave a civil service test for some uniform department in New York City.  The civil liberties union filed a protest against the test, and eventually had the results thrown out. They claimed that the test was unfair to poor people.  One of the objectionable questions was something like,  paper is to pen as cup is to ___________.  Well the answer was saucer, but most of the minorities who had taken the test never heard of cup and saucer.  They drank out of mugs.  A saucer was just another plate.

In the apartment where I’d grown up there were no counter tops in the tiny kitchen, therefore a spoon or ladle was rested on the stove while you cooked.  Louise discovered the spoon rest at the five and dime when shopping for kitchen gadgets.  Thus my love affair with spoon rests began.

Originally, they were very inexpensive made of tin or plastic in the shape of a spoon.  Later I purchased ceramic ones in every design.  Many shaped like vegetables, or sea shells, bottles of oil, fat chefs eating spaghetti, celery stalks and eggplants etc.  I love them all.  A piece of art that makes me smile, and changes periodically.  The spoon rests chip and need to be discarded after a period of time.  Good thing or my kitchen would be buried in them.

My daughter Kyra was especially hard on my spoon rests.  She accidentally chipped or broke about five.  She was sincerely sorry each time.

Now she is a married woman with full-grown teenagers in her home.  I was telling her on the phone today how I just acquired new spoon rests.  She confessed to me how she loves them and for some weird reason she keeps chipping them.  I promised I would look around for a special new one for her.  She wants one that looks like a bunch of grapes.

It doesn’t fall far from the tree!


Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Rookie Nights

It’s not always easy being a rookie. Whether it’s baseball, politics, law enforcement, or whatever comes to mind, the new kid on the block has a lot to learn, and dues to pay. You might think once you’ve gone through the rigors of the minor leagues, taken political science for four years of college, or gone to the police academy for physical, weapon, and sensitivity training that you are locked and loaded for your new position on the team.

Not so. Schooling gives you the bare minimum of training, and an iota of the information which you will need to make a success of your chosen career. It is what addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, is to calculus. You need the basics to eventually go on to solve an intricate problem. Every day, during the performance of every job, one should expect the unexpected. Often, the rookie, must perform his duties with little or no guidance. He must do it within the boundaries of job title, or incur the wrath and ridicule of a supervisor, coach or elder statesman. This circumstance never changes. Once in a while the “rookie” pitches his own curve ball, leaving supervision speechless.

Under the reign of Mayor of New York, John Lindsey, the city went through some unprecedented upheavals. We had a blackout, race riots, looting, sanitation department strike, and a mass transit strike. Every form of urban, man-made pestilence, fell upon the city. It was a rough and tumble time, and exactly when young, Jim Matthews entered the police academy.

Typically, the probies (probationary patrol officer) trained and tested in the academy for a minimum of three months, however, only a month after Officer Matthews had begun his training the transit workers union, (TWU) under the inflammatory, Michael Quill, went on strike. This was 1966. Every subway station a potential crime scene. The stations, rails and equipment needed police presence to guard against not only vandals but disgruntled transit workers as well.

Much man power was needed, to protect the massive New York City subway system. The probies in their pressed and starched tan uniforms and their shiny new, Smith and Wesson 38, were wrenched out of the academy and deposited on a bitterly cold subway or elevated line platform. The rookies were paired with an experienced police officer for at least the first couple of days to patrol their beat.

Such was the case with P.O. Matthews. He reported for a midnight tour and was sent to the Bronx with a ten-year veteran. No sooner had the pair arrived on the scene when the veteran gave Matthews a pat on the back and informed him that he was going to cash a check and would be back shortly. It didn’t occur to the rookie that a check cashing places are usually closed by midnight.

Full of confidence and energy and in an effort to keep warm, it was a very cold night, Officer Matthews diligently began to patrol the post. One end of the platform was clear. He noted that clearly in his memo book as he had just learned in the police academy. Turning he walked briskly down to the other end where he spied someone lying on the cold, dirty floor, next to the far staircase. Matthews slowed his pace to walk over cautiously. He observed a well dressed, older male, perhaps fiftyish, lying motionless.

Matthews, bent over the man and called to him. No response. He knelt beside the unfortunate person, lifted his wrist and felt for a pulse. Nothing. The rookie wondered if it was his imagination. He removed his own gloves, and slid his hands around the neck of what he was beginning to think of as, the body. Matthews pressed around the neck, feeling for a pulse, then he pressed harder, thinking to jolt the man. It suddenly occurred to him, if it came to someone examining the body, Matthews’ own finger prints would be around the man’s neck. He jumped back! He stood and looked at his first incident and then realized in this below thirty temperature, smoke should be coming out of the man’s mouth. No matter how shallow someone would be breathing, smoke should appear.

What to do? His mentor, the veteran cop, still had not returned. P.O. Matthews jogged to the nearest phone and called headquarters. After identifying himself he blurted into the phone, “I just found a dead guy on my post!”

The cop at the other end of the line screamed, “Are you a doctor? Only a doctor can proclaim someone as being dead. Got that officer? Now, Matthews, what do you have?”

Police Officer, Jim Matthews thought for a moment, then stated in the most professional voice he could muster, “Sir, I have a man on the South bound platform, who refuses to breath.”


Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


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