Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Summer Rerun Of Remembering The Power And The Powerless Of The First Step

Originally posted October 11, 2009, there have been many hundreds of first steps taken since as we continue on into our missions.

We met in a tiny office for NYU graduate students. It was 1993 and she was very friendly. That's because she came from California.

We pounded out the idea of friendship together, did office work together, survived so-called writing classes together, graduated together, wept together, wrote together, planned together. We buried ideas, ex-boyfriends hopes, and parents together. Sixteens years were filled with gasps from infuriating new ideas, risks of spirit and never enough meat-fests from BBQ.

Now Josslyn is in Divinity School. I say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. She says when marching with Dr. King, Rabbi Heschel said "When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying."

And then there's the first step of recovery she and I had embarked on so many years ago:

We admitted we were powerless fighting the greatness of our mission and that our lives became unmanageable the minute we turned our backs on the Divine.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Memories: Let's Go Mets!
Or Something….

Loving the Mets used to be an act of futility.

Like in the 1980s when there were only big answering machines but no cell phones and no voice mail and so you literally had to wait by the phone for that guy you had the perfect date with to call you

(omg it was so great and that kiss good night and he said "I'll call you", that's what he said and by the third day  you start to wonder if you were crazy you could have sworn things were going well)

That's what it was like being a Met's fan.

Watching a World Series game against the Yankees in 2000 was like watching a million dollar Ming Dynasty vase fall in slow motion with no hope of leaping across 20 feet to catch it.

Call it building a team by Moneyball theories, or figuring out a way to survive Bernie Maddoff's ripping you off so that the Mets could stay in New York, call it a good general manager, or maybe it was just bringing up talented kids from minor league…

Or maybe all of the above…

Whatever it was, in recent times the days of no rhythm or reason, of nothing being predictable...

(the last game right before the 1994 strike everyone left Shea Stadium in the 8th inning because it was  1-0 Phillies and who the hell wanted to get stuck in traffic and we all sat there shaking our heads like you don't know what's going to happen and in the 15th inning the Mets lost 2-1)

…. have recently been replaced by steady slow almost consistent games.  It's fun to watch them win, or at least lose less.

But, that feeling of never knowing what was going to come out of left field, literally or metaphorically, although never a joy, was familiar and even things that suck but are familiar are missed when not there.

At the new predictable, steady, consistent Citi-Field, lots of loyal fans of their beloved team paid good money to pour their love into chiseled stone.  Let's Go Mets! and We Love You! pepper the plaza.

But the Nicolau Family remember a different time.

Now that's a cry of love.

Related Posts:

Art and Life: A Love Story

Like Father, Like Son

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And Is A Diamond In The Rough



LUCY (formerly known as DIAMOND!)

Social Tees rescued Diamond from the kill shelter a few months ago.

Nobody wanted her because she was blind, six years old, black (black dogs and cats have a harder time getting adopted) and completely matted.  All that amounted to being "undesirable." 

Along came a wonderful couple that eagerly volunteered to foster her.  BUT, as soon as they met her, their hearts were melted by her soft-spoken yet enthusiastic way of giving and asking for affection. Before long, they fell in love and decided to adopt her.  And even better, their vet told them she actually had a good chance of regaining her vision through surgery, and fast forward to now... 

Her proud mom says: "Lucy just had her eye surgery and she is no longer blind! When she went to her one week check up they said her eyes look great, the cataracts are gone, and she has regained almost all her sight already. 

While we thought she was perfect before, but she is so excited to see again. It is pure joy to watch her explore and become much more independent and less anxious than she used to be. I loved having her attached to me all the time, but it's clearly so much more freeing for her to know what's around her. 

Although not a huge fan of the cone, she has learned to use it as a carrying case for her baby (favorite stuffed animal), and she is great when it comes to letting us put her eye drops in (15 sets a day). I know a lot of people say this but we can't imagine life without her, or why anyone would have given her up. We're so lucky to have ended up with this funny, sweet, wonderful little girl. Thank you so much!"



Baker is 12 weeks old, super friendly and living, great with everyone. 

Champ Blue, dumped by his foster for no reason without a warning, is good with dogs, loves all people and is housebroken! He has a good amount of energy and needs a short-term foster home OR a forever home! 


Come Volunteer!!!

Come Visit!!!!

 Come On In!!!!!
 Social Tees
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Failing Into Success

Packing up Florence's love letters to be donated to the Lesbian Herstory Archives meant peering into my mother's secret heart, the one that each of our parents have or had, where they loved and lost and yearned and romanced and dreamed.

Florence, late in life, had somehow unshackled herself from shadows she did not belong in and had flung herself into the arms of women for the chance to dance, wildly happy, to foxtrots and waltzes.

As I shifted through that overflowing file soon to be catalogued for future researchers and students of women's lives, I read proof of her comings and goings and her many attempts to make love last longer than a Benny Goodman song.  Every broken-heart ballad became a documentary of her crash and burns after leaps of faiths.  And every love song became a wild wish when you blow out the candles.

I could only think then that her efforts had been a role model of how to succeed at failure.  Love had not worked for her and so often love had not worked for me.

But, as the Mariner pointed out one day, in baseball, the really great hitters fail 70 percent of the time.  These guys, getting multi-million dollar contracts, were literally failing into success.

I didn't remember that as I tried to capture the perfect picture of "Surprise! It's Our Anniversary Roses a day early because you're home sick!" 

Nothing worked.

So I had to accept that only I would know how the flowers illustrated the house with three years of joy and beauty and were a portrait of that unique private connection, filled with our own wildly happy dancing.

We found each other so late in our own lives, after failing so many times.  What, in that first date, which just happened to have been the same date of my parent's wedding anniversary which led to a marriage that could be called a complete failure, what was it in those five hours of talking, arguing, eating, arguing, eating again that coaxed us to, once again, leap?

Don't know about the Mariner, but, now I see that I must have learned at the dancing feet of a master.

Related Posts:

Letters At The Speed Of...

A Special Encore Of Sunday Memories: I Hear It Was Her Birthday

Sunday Memories:  Good Times, Good Times

When Bliss Intersects With Home

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Reruns: Being Sick

Florence never got sick. 

That sneeze was a fluke. The COPD was just allergies. And broken rib? What broken rib?

I learned at the broken ribs of a master.  Knowing that I am sick takes others telling me to shut up, go home, lie down. Well, it takes a lot to admit defeat to something that doesn't have a face or a pair of fists. But so be it. 

A May Day Post of 2011 commemorating sick days.

Juggling a soup bowl or a cup of tea, Florence would point her finger at me and say, "Well, you know it's all your fault."

After that statement of fact, the rest of the day would be spent curled with a pile of my favorite books and the radio tuned to the New York City radio station that broadcast children shows for all the sick kids stuck at home. On special days, I even got to spend the day in my parents' bed. Naps would sneak up on me and when the radio was tuned to WABC AM, music like 'These Boots Are Made For Walking' would transform my dreams to music videos before video had even been invented.

These days, books and a mini-tv and the cat keep me company as I drift in and out of naps. Every once in a while I tell myself "Well, you know it's all your fault."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Memories - An Encore:
Even The Cat Was Found On The Street

The idea that you can actually pick what you like rather than what is there is the height of luxury. So, an encore after five hours of dragging the Mariner through Ikea and another six hours of weaving new things into a house found on the street.  

Ok, so I always start at the "As -Is" section, but still….

Originally posted December 12, 2009.

You left things on the street. You picked things up from the street. It was the New York Ikea when Ikea was still just in Sweden and New Jersey.

Beds, chairs, mattresses, bureaus, shelves, knick-knacks, desks, cupboards, plates, cups, coats, even shoes. Florence had many, many chairs gotten from departing neighbors, Coney Island vendors and street corner garbage heaps. I had many many chairs and surprisingly many many tables from departing roommates, stoop sales and street corner garbage heaps.

But now even if the items are left to be taken on sidewalks or by trash cans, even if there is a note that says TAKE ME, I feel a hesitancy, an embarrassment as it were that thirty years after furnishing my first and only home from the remnants of other people's lives, I am still too broke to buy things new.

In the final sweep of emptying Florence's apartment, things have come in and things now wait to go out, this time maybe to a friend, or neighbors.

Or if left on the street corner, maybe to someone still brave enough to pick it up and take it home.

The cat of course stays.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories Of Days Like This That Didn't Include Food Poisoning

Sunday Memories Encore: Days Of Frostbite

Getting Adopted

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday's Child Is BIG Loving And BIG Giving. Seriously.

REGULUS -  150 pound of love

Regulus is a real, honest-to-God Tibetan Mastiff.  Four years old.  Very low key, GREAT with dogs and people, but not fond of cats.

He's also a cuddle-bunny.  One thing is for sure, taking this boy on a stroll will give you ALL the attention you can imagine PLUS some more (AKA CHICK-DUDE MAGNET!!!!)

Social Tees is looking for a short-term foster home. Who of you big dog lovers can help this big baby out?  They do NOT want to have to put him in a kennel.  If you can help, please email:


Got Cat?

Adoption events at Social Tees!!!!  Kittens, cats, all sizes, shapes, colors…..



Come Volunteer!!! 

Come Visit!!!!

 Come On In!!!!! 
 Social Tees   
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003