Life is Just a Ziploc Bag of Cherries

I always thought the adage “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries” silly, never gave it much thought. But while eating my afternoon snack of cherries in a ziploc bag, I was compelled to look up the lyrics to the song. Judy Garland does a rousing rendition of it, but I preferred Doris Day’s softer, slower interpretation. I’ve had a soft spot for Doris since I was a child. Often thought of her as a surrogate mom–always cheerful, rosy and full of life and love. Anyway, I digress.

Having read the lyrics, I find the song isn’t so inane after all:

People are queer, they’re always crowing, scrambling and rushing about
Why don’t they stop someday, address themselves this way?
Why are we here? Where are we going? It’s it time that we found out
We’re not here to stay; we’re on a short holiday.

And this part:

 . . . The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?

So that’s all I’ve got today. Thought I’d drift into lighter territory and elude the sorrow.

Enjoy the cherries.

 

Locker Room Chronicles

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(google)

A couple weeks ago I lost my mother’s necklace. The week before, two pairs of earrings and a necklace of my own.  Back in June, I lost two pairs of pants while cleaning out the closet in preparation for our “house viewing” by prospective buyers.

Today I couldn’t open the gym locker after my workout, even though I always use the same combination. I had to get the Facilities guy to unlock it for me. Luckily, it is one of those “modern” locks and can be opened with a master key. So I sat in the locker room waiting, my office attire held hostage.

I didn’t feel like going back to my desk in brown yoga pants and a blue T-shirt, so I had time for contemplation.

Contemplating my manic state, and how I could get locked out of something as benign as a gym locker.

Contemplating the absurd, the trivial, and what got me to this place. Yes, to this locker room, separated from my work uniform, my daily armor.

Isn’t that what we do every day when we leave the sanctity and security of our homes? Suit up for battle? Hope for the best and anticipate the worst. Weather the elements and brave the municipal transportation system. And at the end of the day, hope to make it home in one piece.

My existential musings for the day.

 

 

 

The Drunken Juggler

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(google)

Late night bus rides are never dull. After 10:01 p.m., the buses arrive at different gates, in more distant, less-trafficked chambers of Port Authority Bus Terminal (“PABT”). More tourists, more drunk people, a generic strain of weirdos and lost souls (aren’t we all?).

I arrived at PABT at 10:40 p.m. last night after seeing an opera with my friend. The next bus was scheduled for 11:05 p.m. A jocular becspectacled woman with a thick mane of dirty blonde hair bounced toward the front of the gate. Some of us were leaning against the wall and a few others, lined up.

“Where do we line up?” she said, smiling widely. “Do we stand ‘in line’ or ‘on line’? Do we have any grammar Nazis here?”

I said, “I think it’s ‘on line.’ ”

“In school it was a really big deal. We stood on line, that’s what we did. Always a line.”

“Yes, we did,” I said.

She fished into her canvas tote bag, pulled out five soft black and white balls and started juggling.

A guy leaning against the wall next to me said, “Wow, I could never do that.”

The lady said, “Oh, we can teach you. Come to Bryant Park any Wednesday between 5 and 7. We’re always there. I find it makes people smile. It’s all about getting people to smile.”

If her smile was any wider, I thought it would tear the sides of her mouth until they bled.

She dropped a ball and returned all five balls to their tote bag.

“Oh, alcohol makes everything better!” she said.

The leaning guy and I smiled at her.

Definitely a New York moment.

It was one of those times where you enjoyed the moment, but felt a bit on edge, like you had to participate in this person’s exuberance no matter how tired you were. Not necessarily a bad thing, but there was a tinge of danger and volatility to her. I thought if we looked at her the wrong way or didn’t smile, she might fly off the handle.

We were a captive audience.

I was happy when the bus arrived and I could burrow into a seat towards the back of the bus and close my eyes. I had had enough excitement for one day.

 

 

 

Svengali

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(google image – John Barrymore as “Svengali”)

You are the best at everything
You are God
but are too humble to admit it
most of the time

You have so much going on
we couldn’t possibly understand

You don’t want to bring us negative energy,
you say,
but you do anyway

You love us so much
We are “family”
but you don’t treat us that way

You come into our home
and take what you please
Of course you can,
you have the key

You never say “thank you”
or “please”

You hate liars

You are not who you say you are

You are Svengali

We were your slaves

We were suckers

but we know now

We will heal ourselves

and move on

Will you?

Things I Don’t Understand

1.   Family stencils / decals on the back of cars, or what my husband Lorin calls “the serial killer’s menu.”

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(google)

2.  People who ride Citi Bikes (New York thing) on the sidewalk. It’s both rude and dangerous. Oh, and don’t get me started on the ones who go through red lights and ride on the wrong side of the road.

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3.  People who race through Shoprite as if their carts are on fire. It’s kind of weird and also dangerous: you could hit a little kid or old lady that way!

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(photo by me)

4.  Why cashiers at Duane Reade say, “the following guest” or simply “the following”? I never feel like I’m a guest at Duane Reade. Are we at a party or a pharmacy?

5.  Why we can’t pump our own gas in New Jersey. NJ folks text, apply makeup, give themselves bikini waxes, eat entire meals, read newspapers and talk on the phone in their cars, but we’re not allowed to pump our own gas. Some of us don’t mind a bit: bumper stickers and T-shirts abound proclaiming:

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6.  Why Governor Christie is still in office. The New York Times aired the latest dirty laundry: giving his pal Donald Trump a major break on taxes for the Taj Mahal Casino. No wonder the Garden State can’t afford decent lighting on the roadways and pothole repair.

7.  Why people don’t like Sphynx cats. Come on, look at this puss.

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8. Short people on the NJ Transit bus who lean their seats all the way back so the person behind them gets their legs crushed. Is it a Napoleon complex? By the way, it’s generally smaller women who do this.  Same goes for people on airplanes. It’s rude!

9.  People with “glass head syndrome.” Those are the co-workers who are friendly to you one day and the next look through you as if your head was made of glass and you don’t exist.

10.  Cookie dough ice cream. Both cookie dough and the ice cream of the same name make me sick to my stomach, and I love baking.

 

Bernie the Hoarder

Bernie on his mat

(photo by me) 

Hoarding. An issue many of us have personal experience with or know of through reality TV shows like Hoarders or Confessions: Animal Hoarders.

Books have been written and films have been made about famous hoarders like Homer and Langley Collyer and Long Island socialites Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”) and her mother Edith Ewing Bouvier (“Big Edie”) .

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(The Collyer Brothers home, 1947 – http://www.nydailynews.com)

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(“Little Edie” – http://www.collegefashion.net)

He might not be rich or famous, but Bernie the Cat may have succumbed to their ranks as well. He is neither a compulsive shopper (so we have not gone bankrupt, thank goodness),  nor does he save reams of old newspapers and other paraphernalia, but does like things.

At first we noticed the shoes. He would lay his head on my sneakers or put his nose inside them, often falling asleep this way.

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Then it was my purse and duffel bag.

Next came the red blanket, which he talks to and drags around the floor in his teeth and kneads with his claws.

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Once I found his scratch mat, toy alligator and toy bird wrapped inside the blanket as he was dragging it. Alarming!

Last week we found him laying on Lorin’s computer apparatus and extension cords in the basement, seemingly taking possession of them.

He likes to build a fort consisting of my purse, duffel bag and the red blanket. He is not happy when one of his objects is taken away.

Is it time for an intervention?

Hopefully, with love, support and patience, we will get through this as a family, and not have to seek professional help.

Have any of you experienced hoarding with your non-human companions?

 

Pinot Meow

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Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger, along comes Pinot Meow–a non-alcoholic, catnip-based wine for cats. The other variety is MoscCATo. Both were created by cat lover Brandon Zavala of Apollo Peak in Denver, Colorado. I heard about this while watching an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher yesterday.

Zavala says, “I originally thought of the idea as a joke with some friends and I just slapped a label of this ‘Pinot Meow’ onto a wine bottle and from that got the idea to actually start something for cats.”

The feline elixir which hit the markets in November 2015 has become an international sensation, and Zavala promises a canine variety will be available in the near future.

Never drink alone again!