She recalled how well prepared he’d seemed, how he’d breezed past her restaurant booth to a stool at the counter. Clean Khakis, a bright red knapsack, some sort of double hat. A bucket cap fitted so well over a baseball cap, or a type she’d not seen before. Doffed, it revealed a good haircut, short on the sides in salt and pepper, and well chosen eyeglasses. He’d pulled off one upper layer at a time, three in all, as if testing the atmosphere in steps, and settled on a somehow still crisp button-down shirt. Two waitresses had recognized him, one moving opposite him behind the counter, the other to his side to view his cellphone offering. A picture or two, she’d decided. About five-ten, medium build, possibly retired – it was a late Tuesday morning after all. Mid sixties to early seventies. On a bike or afoot? He puzzled only a moment over the soup choice, and when a waitress delivered his ice water with a hefty slice of lemon he plucked the fruit from the rim of the glass, put it whole into his mouth, chewed it for ten seconds and swallowed.


I recently had a go at designing a “real” webpage. Picked WordPress for a platform, not realizing I’d have to learn a few tricks to jump from blog format to “static page” business. A free theme with limited customization (unless one wants to edit code – I’m now convinced I do not). Have a look. I’m helping boost a local boy.


Superbowl Five Zero

Did I forget to rant last year?  It’s possible. I didn’t even know which teams were involved this year until the game was well underway. The giveaway Facebook remark evolved into a discussion of the relative strengths of two natural enemies, the bronco and the panther, with a leading authority attesting that panthers would be dispatched by healthy adult broncos, but enfeebled broncos could be catfood.
The cacophonous halftime show drew the ire of a former NYC mayor, who called a costuming nod to a 1960’s black rights group an “insult to the police”. Thanks Rudy, for going worldwide with your nonsense and luring me into watching the benignly trashy Beyonce act.

It was only at the diner on Tuesday that I heard reference made to the Superbowl singing of the national anthem. Frank had had a bunion carved from his foot on Friday, and Tuesday was his first day out of the house. He dismissed questions about his plastic bag wrapped left foot and got straight to his main concern.

“Did you hear that bitch sing the national anthem on Sunday?”

Alice, who had, said she approved of the singing, others demurred, and I vowed to watch it and report an opinion. My report of approval on Wednesday was rebutted with “Somebody should have shot the bitch.”

I’m gonna give Gaga an “oh hell no” on the hairstyle and an “oh shit yes” for the rest. An interesting piece of timing, I understand the Blue Angels had her performance on headset, along with instructions from a flight coordinator. A couple seconds off? Go to coda.



Attention seeking

“The dinner went well?”

Marlene often asked questions with her back turned.

“Riotous, as expected. But a success.”


“In order, G-ma arranged a near formal entrance for herself, by way of a perceived slight. Possibly by me.”

“What did you do?”

“The tables and chairs were crammed together to accommodate everyone. She chose an impossible route to the least accessible chair in the room. I advised against it, offered to convey her plate while she re-routed.”

“She exited the room, of course.”

“Yes, caused quite a ripple, but Nene handled her. Simply said ‘Mom? What’s going on?’, then went into the kitchen and ushered her back. By then everyone else was seated and five people had to rise to let her pass.”

“A triumph all around.”

“And then Nene opened with ‘Does anyone here like Donald Trump?'”

“She’s not always as sweet as can be, is she?”

“She said it sweetly, and her brother actually let his hand start to rise. I believe he stammered a couple words before the din of scorn overwhelmed him.”

“He’s been listening to his buddy Joe.”

“Joe, yes. You unfollowed Joe because of his tirades didn’t you?”

“I didn’t unfriend him.”

“Did I say unfriended?”

“No dear.”

“Outside of that it was pretty much all Gigi’s show.”

“She’s a sweetie. She was supposed to be a teacup.”

“And cost ‘Jack must not know’. I remember.”

“She attacks the biggest dogs. She’s fearless.”

“A Yorkie the size of a small cat, yes. Everyone was warned again about feeding her scraps. The near death experience, the pancreatitis, was recounted yet again to make sure we were all in line about it.”

“Can’t be too careful.”

“Of course she came pleading to everyone during dinner. I’ll bet she was next to me ten times. Very polite with the ‘I want something’ look.”

“You didn’t.”

“Of course not, I doubt anyone did. But by dinner’s end she was being scooped into people’s laps and petted.”

“Even closer to the food. That’s a bit perverse.”

“As it turned out, the begging wasn’t about the food.”

He left it silent, smiling until she broke down and turned.

“What are you talking about? Why are you laughing?”

“In the end she went under the table and peed on G-ma’s foot. She’d been begging for an hour to go out. Couldn’t get it across.”






not quite left out


“No. Gigi does not get ‘people food’. She overindulged, or was overindulged a few years ago, got very sick. Nearly died of pancreatitis.”

She was supposed to have been a teacup, and Nene had paid a price she would only describe as “Jack Can Never Find Out.” Failing but one expectation Gigi had grown to a mini, the size of a small house cat, adorable, cuddly and willing to attack dogs one hundred times her weight when they invaded her territory. Of the sixteen dinner guests only a couple were unfamiliar with the dog’s gastric history. The kids all knew. Nene’s mother G-ma knew. The newbies were duly apprised and the buffet commenced with seating for all, at two tables, in the dining room.

“I don’t think you can get through this way Maxine. It’s so crowded I can’t even move my chair. I can take your plate and you can go around the other way.”

My offer ended G-ma’s initial bid for the least accessible seat in the room, and she retreated, dinner in hand, to the kitchen. A slight panic swept through the mostly seated company. Theories pertaining to G-ma’s departure were rapidly traded, including my allowance that I may have offended her. Nene ended it quickly, leaping into the kitchen and accompanying G-ma back. All rose on the far side of the table to allow passage, and full seating was graciously achieved.

Nene opened the dinner conversation with:

“Does anybody here like Donald Trump?”

Her brother’s hand began a sheepish rise then fell limp at the immediate crescendo of contempt.

“I know, you’re so hungry aren’t you sweetie?”

Gigi had begun to make the rounds, stopping before or beside each person, sometimes lifting paw to human leg. Peering earnestly into the eyes of every potential benefactor.

“No treats for you, doglet!”

” I swear this is the tenth time she’s been here giving me that look! She’s such a little cutie she’s hard to refuse!”

On it went for an hour, the poor dog occasionally even being scooped up into a lap, closer to the food. She was mild mannered through it all and, in hindsight, seemed not all that interested in the food once it was at eye level. She had failed to be persuasive, failed to convince, and in the end her desire became need.

“Oh my gosh! Gigi just peed on my foot!”

“She wouldn’t do that G-ma!”

“When was she last out?”


Dearest Sun

I do not seem to you
Do I?
Too small to love.
(Imagine that you or your
deep flung Arab kin could love!)

I feel you fulcruming
The orbs
In our black bag
(Ask your gravity question
please, the one with no answer)



Trump Gap Widens


A day after praising supporters for punching and kicking a black protester in Birmingham Alabama, Donald Trump is hoping to impress his racist credentials on a wider audience of white, bigoted americans.

Having voiced concern a week ago that Syrian refugees would be “very, very unhappy” in Minnesota because “it’s cold there”, the GOP frontrunner urged an audience in Aberdeen, Texas to consider how an influx of refugees might effect their everyday life:

“If we get a great number of these people coming into our country, will we then have to be reading Syrian as well as French and Spanish on all of our packaging and instructions and signs? Wasting time searching for the English? Does any American, or any Christian for that matter, really want that?”


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