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.”



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.


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!

shopping carts

(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:


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.


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.


Happy Hump Day

Bactrian Camel

(google images)

Morning work rush.
a piece of boiled egg
not properly chewed,
gets lodged in my throat
becoming a ball of cement

Hump Day
we call it Wednesday
but I’ve seen no camels
in the office

Wouldn’t that be fun?
Bring Your Camel or Other Humped Beast
to Work Day–
moose, rhinos, bison, and such
would a humpback whale suffice?
or a drawing of one–why not?

And shall it be one lump or two?
there are one-humped
and two-humped camels,
the humps providing fat for energy
when food is in short supply

Or maybe an egg
stuck in one’s throat
would satisfy the requirement for
a hump
or perhaps something a little more risque?

Zen CD Master

Quincy, CD master

I am Quincy, Master of the CD rack upon which I sit and reign. All who pass this way must pay a toll, and/or give me treats. Temptations are my favorite.

Quincy, CD master 2

I am Quincy, Master of the CD rack, but sometimes I get distracted and watch TV.

The Kitty and the Boot

This is the boot, the boot that protects me when I shower It keeps the foot dry until the stitches come out. It is pumped up like a bicycle tire; then it seals shut directly under the knee.

dry pro cast cover


This is the cat who sensed the boot, and ducked and weaved, like Muhammad Ali. He is blind in the right eye, with 30% vision in the left. His world is dominated by smells and sounds more than sight, even more than the average cat. His name is Quincy.

Pensive Pince

This is the cat who went to check on the boot after I had hung it up to dry.

sammy in tub

His name is Samson. He is Quincy’s best friend. He has checked the bathtub thoroughly and believes the coast is clear.

Quincy continues to scour the bedroom and bathroom, thinking to himself: Where is that boot? Will it end civilization as we know it? How can I be sure we are now safe from it and that it shall not reappear?

Quincy says, “This is my Fortress of Contemplation, my safe house, my shield against all harm. I will be safe here until the boot returns.”

Pince in trash

Sammo and Quincy serious

Quincy and Samson in conference, contemplating their fate and that of the missing boot.

Let me leave you with this kernel of wisdom: Cats who live in trash cans should not throw bones.

All photos (except for the boot) by Erica Herd and L.E. Swenson.


Chuckles, the Bus Driver

sad clown mural

Will Russell

Chuckles is the saddest bus driver you ever did see
but he isn’t testy, and he isn’t mean
he picks us up at the same time every day
but when you say “good morning,” he turns the other way

I’ve tried to get through to him, Lord knows I have
hoping on a Friday he wouldn’t be so sad
still sullen as ever, he turns the other cheek
perhaps he’s simply mild-mannered or meek

I wonder if I poked him or brought him a beer
you think that would cheer him, or would he think it queer?
of course, I’d tell him it was for after his shift
wouldn’t want him to get in trouble or drive us into a ditch

Perhaps a mug that says “Best Bus Driver Ever” would do the trick
or would that go against driver / commuter etiquette?
What about Bus Drivers Appreciation Day, I think it would be swell
they certainly deserve it, they go through hell

Commuters yell at them when buses are late
we know they’re not to blame, but sometimes haters gotta hate
we could storm Christie’s office, demand the transit system be improved
but Governor Christie, as we know, has more important things to do

Despite his glum demeanor, I hope Chuckles finds joy
perhaps he’s a Rhodes scholar, and is merely underemployed
at least he has a job, we all know that is a boon
so Happy Friday all, and remember, your bus driver has a heart too.

I Need My Quil



google images

My head feels like a bowling ball
ready to pop off and roll down the
carpeted floor


The sensual feel of molasses in the veins,
the wheeze as you exhale—
oh, so sexy

Not sure you’re hearing instructions from your boss,
“What did you say?”

Your mind operating like an old LP at 32 rpm

The DayQuil has worn off!

At the office
three more more hours to go

chills, ears ringing
the burning desire to go to bed.

I know I have no cause to complain, but
I will anyway