Tara-Habby came to Berkeley Place as a kitten, curious and full of, well…serious attitude!
Who would have known this independent, my way or the highway kitty would grow into adulthood with a ‘tude (attitude) of ‘God save the Queen’ (she is the Queen—all others, peasants).
The Hab lived with mom and each respected the others’ routines and weirdness. With mom’s passing, she was confused, normalcy disrupted and left alone for long periods of time in the apartment she shared with a person no longer there.
As I was also going through grief, I felt sorry for Tara-Habby. We bonded as kindred souls missing the one who loved us unconditionally. Not sure if grief is over for her as it isn’t for me.
She’s adapted well to living in a household with three cats, bent on dethroning her reign with a stint in the dungeon ending with a beheading!!! The greyhound she accepted as I believe she thinks dogs are stupid and not worth the stress.
And yes, the greyhound is basically Santa’s Little Helper.
Tara-Habby is a natural born killer of mice. No compassion, no empathy, no nothing…
She’ll taunt and growl as she plays soccer with their precious bods and although I have tried to intervene, she manages to grip the mouse in her mouth, threatening me, sort of like, “If you come one foot closer I’ll off the head”.
She drives me crazy, but alas she is my mother’s cat as I am my mother’s daughter.
The last two weeks have brought water from my eyes. At times behind closed doors and while walking down the middle of a crowded street.
Native to NYC as rats are to the subway as pigeons are to rooftops as hawks are to Ppark as racoons are to Cpark as squirrels are to the ‘hood,
Sparrows rule NYC.
Little dictators who at times remind me of the honey badger when competing with pigeons for bread crumbs.
Mom loved birds, particularly cardinals, blue jays and cockatiels which she had as pets. She kept bird feeders in the backyard filled with seed that attracted every animal imaginable as well as providing seeds for seedlings erupting in the ground below.
Mom loved birds and I miss her.
The last two weeks with July 4th approaching brought unease and depression.
Three little birds brought awareness.
happened in front of a church during a work-related training. I was feeding a sparrow crumbs from a bagel and thought it strange how the bird would pick up a crumb, fly away, return and repeat the process. It finally dawned on me that the mom bird was actually bringing food to her nest. What an incredible workout her wings endured as she flew across the street, near the opening of a roof to feed her young.
Talk about free food delivery.
During a training run in Ppark, spotted a sparrow I thought was in distress. Not sure what was going on or if interference was required. My run slowed as I approached the tree filled area. This smaller than normal sparrow was trying to fly and at first it looked as if it was cray-cray as I was or directionally challenged as I am. The beautiful being flew down then up, down then up, down then up, down and up then finally, flew in a straight line to another tree across the pathway.
Guess the youngin’ ain’t coming home anytime soon.
(” Fly robin fly. Up, up to the sky” and yes it was a sparrow I saw and not a robin but I like the song)
Katie (the greyt) and I strolled up Lincoln Place, a route we normally follow, one block over from our crib. The song of high-pitched bleeps grabbed my attention as it was harsh on the ears. Of course the sound did not bother Katie’s as her nose was to the ground leading her mind. On a low branch in a Ginko tree sat a nest comprised of twigs and NYC’s finest collection of plastics and weeds-yeah bird, for keeping it real and with some serious improving! Three hungry open beaks protruded from the top of the nest. I was in awe.!
A city slicker seeing an actual bird’s nest for the first time!! As I was staring and Katie sniffing the ground beneath our feet, I heard a squawk from a near-by tree and turned to see Mama glaring at me with the biggest black eyes for miles and…she wasn’t no sparrow. But she wasn’t no crow. We exchanged mutual glares and I went on my way because I remember Alfred Hitchcock’s movie!
After a week of grey rain, gray clouds, grey people and gray dogs the weekend came with sunburst and starlight. Warm days, warm nights and people acting stupid drunk at 2am on the stoop next door on Saturday night.
With their annoying whiny loud voices discussing earth, movies and fake friends, the drunk and stupid woke me at 2am.
An engaging discussion it was not, so I turned on a Spotify’s white noise selection.
Ocean waves and hypnotic rain drops blended with annoying whiny loud voices and the not engaging discussion, pushed me over the edge. The edge of my bed that is.
The cops arrived on the scene and off the stoop went the whiny loud voices along with their not engaging discussion.
Good riddance, good night.
hanging with Sandy (Mr. Sandman) was not to be.
got up at 7am and ran 10 miles around Ppark. Afterwards came home, showered, dressed and dragged my reluctant Greyhound, Katie out the door.
Reluctance on her part because if she had it her way, she’d sleep for 14 hours instead of pounding the pavement! (Some bad habits must be broken)
Up the block, past Ppark, past Brooklyn Public Library, past the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to the Brooklyn Museum.
(Brooklyn surely in the house with this writing)
We sat, or rather I sat on the steps of the museum, as Katie refused to sit or lay down or just about follow any command coming from my mouth.
“Neighours…or sometimes it would be nice not to have any”.
On our return home I ran into a neighbour I have not seen in a long while sitting in a chair outside her home. She did not attend my mom’s prayer service. (Not good, so not good)
I listened to her wail over the loss of her own mother, how my mother loved me very much, how she should have come to visit my mom when she was at home, how her son treats her bad, how her daughter treats her bad, how she’s suffering from Dementia, how her hair fell out, how she’s not feeling well, how she’s glad my mom listened to her lawyer advice, how the world is against her…
But, at least she asked me how I was.
As Katie and I stood there listening to the never-ending misery of her life (wanting to trade this encounter in for the whiny drunks on the stoop at 2am) another neighbour joined the one-sided conversation. He was on his way to Target to buy a present for a co-worker. (He did attend my mom’s prayer service)
(Thank goodness, my escape excuse to get away from drama and go home).
Neighbour on the way to Target, walked down the block towards where I live, with Katie, and five cats.
Neighbour on the way to Target: “Well, you know my birthday was this month?”
Me: “Oh really when was it?”
Neighbour on the way to Target: “June 5”
Neighbour on the way to Target: “Well don’t bother taking me out to dinner as I’m all dinner out. **** and her husband****took me out to dinner on Wednesday, then I invited them to my student’s recital, and now I’m just dinnered out. Have to buy a gift for a co worker and don’t know what to get her. I’ll get her a vase. Gift certificate you say? No, that’s not a real gift. She’s an older woman and would appreciate a gift than a gift card. Now I don’t mind gift cards but other people really want a gift.”
And, he didn’t ask how I was.
Just another day in the neighbourhood…
with neighbours you wish you didn’t have.
*****This post is dedicated to quotation marks and I’d like to thank the ellipsis for being accommodating.
Marathon #2 sits on the horizon and, god willing…God Willing I’ll cross that line again.
Marathon #1 was an all-out disaster that almost didn’t happen due to my mom’s illness but did happen due to my mom’s illness and her unrelenting push for me to train.
I trained through, tears, stress, worry and crossed the line many times arguing with incompetent doctors who destroyed my mom’s will to live and her health
I finally crossed THAT LINE at the end of the marathon which my mom did not live to see.
-Actually, she did see, for she was on the corner of Sackett Street and Fourth Avenue, just not in this realm and as I woggled towards that street, I stopped, crossed myself and bowed for the Queen.
back to Marathon #2 in which training has not officially begun but I’ve started anyway because well, I have nothing better to do than pound my knees via my feet kissing asphalt, concrete and dirt trails.
Love the trails, love my feet, love my knees, hate the dirt.
And at least I’m not kissing someone’s ass
I’ll tie up the laces tomorrow, that are tied already, just need to slip on the sneaker.
-(I’ll set the garmin, set the interval timer, wear the running glasses that get dark in the sun, put on the Panache Bra, set up the Spotify, put on the lip balm, make the Nunn for the water bottle, separate Tara-Habby from the treacherous cat posse (worse than the Sharks but just like the Jets) out to dethrone the Queen ( not me this time) and ultimately sit on the throne (corner of my bed).)
Work, or the place I make money to sit in front of a desk, banging away at computer keys is not the place to be right now.
Diversity, cultural sensitivity, pay inequality, upward mobility-SQUASHED-like a bug meeting it’s maker in a leather shoe.
The people of colour are the worker bees.
The people who have no colour are management.
The company we work for is plump and tasty on the outside with brand colours sashaying in the wind of possible funders, grants and donations.
The company we work for is sour, vinegar and rot on the inside sashaying our token employees in the wind of possible funders, grants and donations.
The company we believe in doesn’t give a crap about us.
Thirty five hour work weeks are just illusions on paper, for the thirty five is actually forty five and beyound.
Overtime hours only exists in hours we hope will be collected and applied to pseudo vacation time instead of paying actual overtime hours. O/T is too expensive for the worker bees and management must preserve their own salaries.
So, the worker bees press forward, out of ignorance, desperation, some content with their salaries while others strive forward through low moral, depression, separation, divorce, as management continues to sit on their thrones of comfort, affordability and feeling so blessed and thankful that their salaries afford them lavish vacations around the world while growing so fat of the backs of the worker bees.
“I may not be rich, but I have GOD”
He will set things right
right the wrongs
wrong the rights
Send a flood or fire to wash and burn the world of dirt, greed, and those who have everything while those who have nothing coexist right beside them.
sadness is pretty much clear, singled out with pity parties thrown but not in your honour
Sometimes feeling blue is ok
feeling blue its totally acceptable-look how many songs about being blue are out there
feeling sad is not
people run away as if you’ve contracted the plague -sadness, we all know is highly contagious
Sometimes feeling blue is ok
blue is an acceptable colour, blue skies, blue eyes, blueberries even playing the blues has colour
feeling sad is not
sad is gloomy and dark, no colour hues like blue just tears, frowns and being down
Sometimes feeling blue is ok
like when long standing relationships end because the glitter that kept them going has been thrown and scattered so many times there’s just nothing left
feeling sad is not
especially when you go around trying to pick up those specks of glitter and end up with dust bunnies attached
Sometimes feeling blue is ok
when it rains on your parade and then, behold, the sun comes through bringing fairies and yellow rays of sun
feeling sad is not
when you try to open an umbrella to starve off the rain on your parade and the wind turns the umbrella inside out and you’re too busy cursing and fighting with the wind and you accidentally knock a fairy upside the head along with the single yellow ray of sun that was guiding it
Sometimes feeling blue is ok
When you buy a hot dog to make you feel better cause the stress at work is bringing you down
Feeling sad is not
you forgot to order sauerkraut with that hotdog and once you take a bite, the bun is stale and you already walked too far from the vendor to run back and curse him out
-the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despittemptations to abandon it.
Been trying to be ‘self-discipline’ for over 50 years and all I’m reaping with that discipline is sabotage of the self
-another term for self-esteem
Taking a job that does not reward demanding work, excess hours spent completing projects and scrimps on overtime and still working there? Yep-that’s exactly why I make the yearly salary I do. Ups and downs of life living with depression can take a toll on self-worth leaving it defenseless against soul sucking predators who are everywhere, in every field.
running with a group, racing for my own personal gain can seriously stimulate that old self-worth and lord help the mofo who tries to mess with my self-worth when it’s fueled by natural endorphins. Yep. You can mess with my salary but not my head.
-absorbed in one’s own thoughts, activities or interest
I’m so absorbed in my own thoughts, activities and interest that an impenetrable wall somehow was built around my heart without any funding or government interference. The joke was truly on me without my knowledge or participation.
–confident on one’s own abilities or character
I was so self-assured on accepting a job that started me at 31k. Then realized how the scam management team operated and requested an increase to 37k. The work load increased and the only salary increases were to everyone else’s except mine.
-lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure
Selfish is looking pretty good right now. Time to reel in the empathy and substitute it with apathy and concentrate on what matters most: me, myself and I.
Ain’t gonna happen.
The me, myself and I cares too deeply for the sentient beings who have no voice, are seen but not heard, are invisible until the rain falls and…
this does not include the mosquitos.)
Those opportunist mini drones who thrive on the sucking and stealing blood from those who have not given consent or signed a waiver steer me towards…
So many memorable political moments in the year as well as some notable human souls going into shadow that will leave a dent in our social fabric-most recently Erica Garner.
She passed on at the age of 27 from a heart attack or as Al Sharpton stated ” Many will say that Erica died of a heart attack, but that’s only partially true because her heart was already broken when she couldn’t get justice for her father”.
Erica Garner was a warrior who turned tragedy into a platform for social justice instead of wallowing in bitterness and should haves, could haves.
2017 is almost out the door.
Habits and routines are difficult to break because, habits and routines are dependable, always there, nothing to question and no anxiety.
I wanna be superwoman
I wanna make a major change in the world
I wanna be like Erica Garner and stand for social injustice
I wanna be a rebel and give the middle finger to every passive aggressive white person I’ve had to deal with
I wanna win the Mega Millions jackpot and take care of the people who have remained in my life along with its idiosyncrasies.
I wanna buy a large piece of Russian River land in Cali and set up an animal/artist sanctuary with a friend who is dear to mi alma.
Does that promote social justice?
It would be a sanctuary for the outcasts of America, the eclectics, insane, irrationals, unpredictable dreamers, wanna be r’s and the right to live without you eatin’ me.
Animals and artists, so much in need of love, support and hope.
Tobias, Toba, Tub of lard, Mr. Tobes, Mr. T, Tobester, Tobadia, Mr Tobadia.
Toby, for me
YOU will always be…just Toby.
I want to write down the words that tell my feelings about
When I think of
USTED, I get all mamba jamba boogied up tight lip and my chest hurts, missing your bunny hopping days through Ppark.
The pain is so real and so there…as
TÚ is no longer here, and neither is Pi and I long to touch and smell
USTED as I do him.
Although, stink, Pi did, as did
YOU, and it did not matter because being all mine, all the time, unconditionally, lovingly far surpassed the dirty dog, musty stink after swimming at the doggy beach in Ppark brought into the house.
USTED passed into shadow on Monday evening, October 9, 2017, licking peanut butter from my finger as Propofol made its way through the vein that would eventually connect with other veins on a path to your heart-unstoppable as your personality and love was.
TÚ paused in the peanut butter licking, confused somewhat and before I could acknowledge what was taking place, the ER vet plunged Euthasol into that same vein, which stopped, and ended the pumping of your sweet heart that held mi alma intact and made me realize that yes,
YOU and your love were stoppable.
Pi took my heart…
TÚ my dear first fur baby, the oldest of the pack, took my soul (mi alma).
Beat on…run on…free at last from the arthritis, the crippling of the joints, the senioritis which left you at times confused looking for our house on return walks the sometimes incontinence, the sometimes-foggy vision, free at last, thank HIM almighty you are free.
Gracias me perrito que vivir en mi vida por catorce años.
Gracias for choosing me.
I want to say to
YOU all that wasn’t said while this earth was lucky to have your soul in its presence, it’s concrete jungle, pseudo Ppark in the woods landscape with me by your side. Gracias a
TÚ for finding and choosing me to spend time in your life. Pi was not part of
the package, pero
USTED accepted him or better yet, tolerated him on your own terms.
The residents at the now defunct Bishop Hulces nursing home would also join in this thanks to
YOU, the certified therapy dog who strutted through the dementia ward bringing the gift of words to those who would not normally speak.
USTED, my sweet baby boy would allow the locked words to flow in their gibberish, unstoppable, accepted and not challenged or corrected way.
I remember the young teenage girl who was placed in the nursing home due to her disability of severed legs sacrificed from her attempted suicide gone wrong pact with an MTA train. Mother and father were at her bedside during our visits and the tension and awkwardness were too real to ignore. They spoke no English and who knows what if they knew what to make of you grizzly Adams appearance.
YOU jumped on me, and unto her bed, snuggled up to a hip that no longer had an extension. She in turn was happy to pet your fur which brought forth a smile easing the tensions from the parents who now mirar a
USTED at what I perceived to be respect and admiration. The visits to her room always brought out the best in the soul that resided en
TÚ and el alma that took my own away.
Bereavement is not so acceptable when it comes to fur babies because for many they are insignificant, easily discarded as the wrapper on a wad of gum. Going into shadow is as irrelevant as swatting a mosquito of an arm.
But guess what…
For me not having
YOU, the job of life can be done but trust me, it will be half assed done, for your unconditional no judgement love does not await me when I return home and I’m left with no defense to put the day’s sucking vampires behind me.
I go to work, forced to converse in conversations when I’d rather be home licking my wounds and thinking of you. Grieving for your lil bro was much easier-I was unemployed.
To pick up your ashes, I must return to the place your last breath was drawn and I will bring
Which is where you are now, my sweet Toby boy.
** TÚ, USTED = You. Mirar=look. Gracias a tú=thanks to you. en= in. pero=but. Gracias me perrito que vivir en mi vida por catorce años=Thank you my doggy who lived in my life for 14 years.