Paw Collection

There is a reason my cat’s nickname (well, one of the countless) is Paw Collection. Here’s one. Or four. Or five. Or something.

One of these may or may not (as lawyers like to say) be a tail. Some of these may or may not be actual cotton balls attached to black sticks, as a certain cat likes to whisper in my ear. Some of these may be figments of someone’s imagination, including, but not limited to (as lawyers also like to say), yours, mine, my cat’s, and/or Kermit T. Frog’s or yo mamma (what?).

In any event (yeah, as lawyers …), this nickname sprouted out of nowhere or thin air, spontaneously, on the fly, on the cuff, and maybe on the couch/sofa (I’m more of a “sofa” type m’self, but YMMV, as the kidz are probably not saying anymore if indeed they ever did), and every time my cat finds herself curled into any number of adorable configurations, often on my lap, as seen here — yes, you’re seeing a fragment of my pajamas — I grin with delight over the jangle of paws and the tail mixed in and never want to move from that spot lest I disturb the arrangement.

I want to document them all, but that would be ridiculous, even though if you know anything about my Instagram account, you’ll know that it is home to more than 200 photos of this same cat lounging in a bathroom sink, so be careful what you wish for or what I wish for or what I probably didn’t even wish for but just mentioned here. Whatever.

Anyway, Paw Collection thrills me to no end, both the actual paws and the actual cat.

Enjoy your, of course, Caturday. Meow.

Sequestered on the West(ered) Side

Still waiting to TRULY care that I can’t do much right now other than hang out at home with my ridiculous cat; flopped on the sofa watching movies that I can stop and start at will; eating delicious food that I’ve prepared by myself, so I know exactly what’s going into it; running alone outside in my favorite city, seeing a variety of dogs, depending on the route I take; and transcribing a bunch of stuff for lawyers I never have to deal with directly, cursing at their recorded faces aloud, and frequently, in the comfort of my own home.

My wardrobe is weeping behind the closet door, worried that it will never have the opportunity to be seen outside those confines and paraded around town. I assure it this is temporary, that we’re not even going to deign to call this time “the new normal”, that eventually we’ll have places to go and people to meet and shows to see, and even on days when we have nowhere in particular to go, we’ll be able to strut our stuff just for the sake of strutting it. This horror will eventually end, and the outfits will make a triumphant return.


Quasi-spanikopita. Not authentic, but fuck it. It’s Greek to me.

I made these at home and am quite pleased with them, although I know they can be tweaked, as can just about anything. But I’m not going to say that I couldn’t have shoved at least two more “servings” of these into my maw. Or I could have just heaped more on the plate, or used a bigger plate, and called it one serving, like a pint of ice cream (cue raucous laughter and knowing nods from aficionados of rom-coms featuring single ladies scooping huge spoonsful of Häagen-Dazs into their faces).

Not that I ever really use the term “serving”, especially since it’s just li’l ol’ me, “serving” to myself. But always on a pretty plate.

Next up: I incorporate sumac, thanks to a friend who knows this kind of stuff.

Note to self

“Note to self”, people used to say, but I suppose it’s fallen out of fashion, and for that I am grateful.  But as I type “I am grateful”, I cringe because I’m not the sort of granola, yoga-pose-on-a-rock-at-sunrise-and/or-sunset, namaste/om type of person you’d think would not only think that but say it and write it.  So maybe I can just say I’m glad people have stopped saying it, but now on Twitter we have people saying “Thank you for coming to my TED talk” and it raises my hackles, whatever they are, and I still want to punch nearly everyone.

I am here.

Well, not by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, really, but here as in here on this “blog” and here in NYC and ready to rumble, which is particularly fitting given that I’m on the Upper West Side, only a few finger-snapping hops, skips, and pirouettes from where some of the scenes were filmed lo so many years ago.

This photo is from a recent run I took around the reservoir, though, the day after a weird-ass tornado warning that I didn’t think yielded an actual tornado but did produce some rather crazy wind that no doubt blew the rest of the leaves off the trees that you see here across the water, the very reason why I wanted to run that particular part of the park. But as you can see, it’s still lovely no matter what.

Here is where I make a trite remark about being grateful for what you have and I punch myself in the larynx.

My solemn-ish vow

Now that I’m “up and running” again (knock wood), I promise to post here more often than I had in the past, oh, what, like decade or so, especially in the last few years since I’ve had issues with this “blog”.

See, it’s been so long that I don’t even know if “blog” is a word anyone uses anymore, or if it’s totally old school and I’m “dating” myself. Whatever. I do vow, though, to post more here, possibly as an alternative or adjunct to the hideousness of Facebook.

Out of sorts

Does anyone have any sorts? I’ve been out since June 25, when my best friend left this world. Donations would be appreciated. Don’t ask if they’d be tax-deductible. He, a tax lawyer, would’ve known that.

Christmas marks six months since he’s been gone. Reality strikes me like accidentally catching a glimpse of oneself in a magnifying mirror, with all the attendant gasping horror, and I want someone else’s glasses to appear on my face so I can retreat behind the blur, even if it means I can’t see crumbs on the kitchen counter or the permanent sadness in my eyes.

I am so out of sorts I don’t even know what to do. I flop down onto the sofa as if I don’t have bones or muscle or the wherewithal or ability to lower myself onto it with anything resembling grace, and stare without blinking, straight ahead without even seeing anything until I focus on my bare feet and consider them alien not just to the species in general but my body in particular, thinking them preternaturally huge and misshapen, neither of which they truly are. I try jostling myself out of it, but fail, and so succumb fully, unwillingly.


“Are you Monroe?” he says with a Russian accent. He’s stopped his vehicle among others arriving at the airport terminal passenger pickup.

I say no. My name, the car service told me, would appear in the vehicle’s window along with the car number. I see neither. Move on, sir, with your awful late ’70s hairstyle and dour expression.

Ten minutes or so later, my cell rings. A Russian-accented man asks if I see his vehicle, hazard lights flashing. At first I don’t, but then look to my right several yards away, where a man stands outside a vehicle, cell to his ear.

Our eyes meet. I approach him and the vehicle. He lowers his phone and glares at me beneath the sweeping bangs of his ’70s mop.

“I asked you 15 minutes ago if you were waiting for Carmel,” he says, “and you said no.”

“Oh. I thought you asked if my name is Monroe. Which it’s not. I didn’t hear ‘Carmel’. Sorry.”

“Unbelievable,” he says, several times, reiterating a mumbled accented scolding.

Any time he takes a dark, desolate road on the way to Manhattan, I think he’s planning my murder. I’m only half-kidding.

I’ll bet he’s a magnificent father.