Friday, May 30, 2014

There Was No Ark For These Friday's Children


You've probably all heard about the terrible floods washing over much of the Balkans right now, destroying many homes and lives. 

One of Social Tees' top volunteers is from Croatia, and her friends back home are desperately struggling to rescue thousands of dogs, cats, and farm animals that are in serious danger. 

Appalling numbers of animals have already perished, but the rescue groups there have saved many and THEY NEED YOUR HELP in order to save more! 

ST's volunteer says: "Animals are getting pulled out but there are a lot of dead ones The water is getting polluted and the ones that survived are getting sick and we are sending medicine etc. But more is needed! Everyone is really chipping in and I’m so proud how people came to gather not only to take care of people but animals as well." 

PLEASE MAKE A DONATION!!! Just $5 or $10 makes a huge difference. Learn more at And send a donation via PayPal to (Include a note that payment is for animals affected by the floods.)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Company Returns

You can barely see them.

But go look closely at that rock rising out of a man-made pond that's  hanging around in a lot waiting to become out-of-reach-expensive housing

He's standing guard and she's kinda  hidden in the weeds. 

I had seen them a year ago.  Passing that lot many times after I kept looking for them.

Then on a day, just today, so unspring-like, rushing through cold when just yesterday it had been summer-hot, I glanced through the chain-linked fence.

He was swimming around and so was she and then I looked closely.

There, paddling after her were a whole bunch of itty-bitties.   No matter how cold it was, spring and its company had returned home.

Related Posts:


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Long March

When he moved to Southern California to keep his sister company as she faded to the end, he walked everywhere.  After all, in New York, he walked everywhere.  A train or a bus were second choice and a taxi was for emergencies only.

And even though he got a car for those last few years at the job, and again when he moved to California, driving was never very comfortable.  He had learned too late and did a lot of steering wheel gripping as he kept to the speed limit while other drivers honked and yelled at him as they flew by.

So here, in sunny Southern California, it was nothing to him to walk 20 miles a day, no snow or ice to keep him from discovering the cul de sacs and sprawling suburbs now his new city.   Perhaps it is why at 93 the doctor keeps telling him he's doing "real fine".  

His legs walked him into these late years, still living on his own (kinda) and still physically robust (kinda).  But those long walks have now faded fast and gone, and the five minute walk to the end of the hall and back took more like 12 minutes and all I could think was shit if he topples over I'm fucked.

Related Posts:

Getting Lost In The Dangling Conversation

Sunday Memories: The First Home

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Memories: "I'm Your Memory"

That's what Len says every time Seymour says he can't remember.

Not stuff like the thousand of jokes or remnants of Marx Brothers songs or ditties from the lower east side my father can rattle off for hours on end.

No.  Just the next five minutes.  If he and Len are going to the bank or the supermarket. If it was lunch or time to sit the couch.

"I don't remember."

"Don't worry about it.  I'm your memory."

Len is.  He remembers the schedule of each hour and every day.  He know every doctor and every check up.  He knows what meals are incoming and what medicines are running out.  

But I wonder who holds the other memories.  Not the joke or that the supermarket is next.  But the other ones.... the smell of the cake his mother used to bake in coffee cans when they lived at Knickerbocker Village.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories:  Lost In The Dangling Conversations

Ode To Spring, New York Old School Style

Encore:  When Does A House Become A Home

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And Just Flew In From Los Angeles.
Boy! Are Their Arms Tired!

Foster these puppies and all the others 
and no more bad jokes will be told....


 She's a charming little one-eyed poodle. This curly little girl lost her eye due to an abusive former owner, but you'd never know it considering how happy, grateful, cuddly, and loving she is.


He's the perfect size!  Scoop him up under your arm and hit the town!

Bonus:A total chick or hunk magnet!!!!!!


Social Tees just got an amazing email from a family that adopted a puppy last week and had to share it. 

These girls, chock full of ambition and compassion, were so inspired to give back to the community after they adopted their pooch that they decided set up a lemonade stand and donate all proceeds to Social Tees. 

The awesome little ladies and their tiny canine companion (Pippa fka Nikki) raised a whopping $40. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's a lot of lemonade.

Social Tees says:  THANK YOU, GIRLS!!!!! We are blown away by your awesomeness and so grateful for your help. xoxoxoxo

Why does Her New York
care about animal rescue?


...Everybody, at least once or three times in their life, should feel so much love that they get up at 4 #$*&)$&#*$ AM IN THE MORNING...

 - I'm not saying, I'm just saying -

...and puts out not one BUT TWO different kinds of cat food because the Big Boy wanted to have it his way.


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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What My Phone Saw

New Ancient Remains Of The Day

Those little marble square tiles probably made the bathroom in 1903 or 1908 or whenever the building became a home, the height of modern interior design.  It was unearthed after an angry leak from 100 year old pipes, hidden under snappy turquoise tile that were the height of modern interior design in the 1950's.

The piece of a wall, one not made of plaster or whatever walls are made of, but of 100 years of paint, each coat the 'now' color of any modern wall, piling up like the rings of a redwood tree until it was thicker than cardboard.

And the Buddha. Maybe the hippest thing to have in the 1970's, hand painted by the girlfriend of his brother who died and then she went out with a woman and got sick and died and the woman died in a car crash, and it had lived twenty years in his home, moved from room to room until it landed in the kitchen, gathering layers of 7300 days of meals cooked and coffee brewed and tea steeped, and finally, he, making his own fresh start in life, asked if it could live with us.

Related Posts:

What Remains

Faster Than A Cable Car Going Downhill

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Flying Time

Perhaps she was remembering when her embrace was bigger than her son...

Related Posts:

Tales From A Hard Day's Night: Darkest Before The Dawn

Sunday Memories: In The Happy Cacophony Of A Visit...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Memories Of A Moment Long Ago: My Mama Done Told Me

As the Mariner and I trot off to a wedding, the subject of love weighs on our minds.

Originally posted on May 8, 2008:

Florence is refusing to do much but lie in bed.

I say, "Fine. You don't want to get out of bed, then go lay down and die."

She yells, "Lie down! Lie down!"

I say, "You can't get out of bed, but you can still correct my grammar?"

She yells, "Yes! It matters!"


She doesn't.

The Jonathan Schwartz show starts.

We settle in to listen.

I look at her butchered hair. That's because the week before I took the household scissors and chopped off big chunks of it. I did that because it was a huge halo of wildness, so thick and silver sparkling. Now it was a huge halo of wildness that got caught in a buzz saw.

Sinatra comes on. She sings along.

"My mama done told me... a woman is two faced... cry in the night..."

Knowing something of her dating history, I ask her if that's true.

She says, "I didn't make it up. That's what's written.

I start laughing. She asks why.

"You're singing with heart.”

Shrugs, "I'm just trying to get the words."

And then she - who broke many hearts of many old girls and garnered many angry love letters and hurtful looks across crowded dances put on by the local gay senior citizen group - she looks up and asks, "Is it true? A woman is two faced?"

Related Posts: 

Conjugating Love

True Love Takes Wing

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And Needs A Couple Of Heroes!

Fifteen to be exact.
To foster incoming small dogs 
just rescued from a kill shelter
in Los Angeles

Social Tees reached its Los Angeles Rescue Mission fundraising goal, and the first group of dogs arrives tomorrow morning!!! 

They're looking for foster homes for 15 super-duper friendly, small dogs.  Each one is under 20 pounds and good with other animals. 

Pickup is at Social Tees at 11am; fostering lasts one or two weeks. 

Email NOW if you can help!!! 

Why does Her New York
care about animal rescue?


...and because they are 'heart-openers'.

Someone recently said that to me.  "This prayer is a heart-opener."   It was a meta - a Buddhist prayer that welcomed in an antidote to feeling murderous about another human being.  Or political party.  Either one.... or both.  Maybe even all of the above.

The fact was when I did the Buddhist prayer, that gnawing emptiness dissolved and peace filled me. 

The Big Boy and the Little Girl look at me and the Mariner as a can-opener, and the minute they heard that particular 'crack' sound of a metal lid being pulled back they come sprinting across floors at the speed of Superman.

So, perhaps that's all it is. Something being opened and all of us filling up with nourishment of one sort or another.


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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

An Encore That Celebrates The Diaspora Of Beds: A Woman's Bed Where She Lies and Tells Poems*

Originally posted August 14, 2008.

It's rumored to be made of horse hair, this bed she has slept in since 1977. Bought with the girlfriend, the only one she lived with and I think there was even a story of bringing the bed into the building, giggling like mad because neighbors watched and knew something different was happening behind closed doors in that apartment. (Or maybe that was the Christmas Tree story, another act of terrorism that only two middle aged Lesbians could do to a Jewish enclave.)

I have rarely laid on this bed. I have cleaned, made, stripped this bed, sprayed this bed with Febreze, sat, held and comforted on this bed, dressed, undressed and clipped her nails on this bed. But all the times, thinking she was back on Hester Street where sleepovers were common between friends, when Florence invited me to "lie down and go to sleep" in this bed, I said no.

Her bed, the place she has loved in, lost in, splintered peace with frightening dreams in, climaxed in, refused to cry in, the bed she cradled herself through sleep, the radio playing all night NPR news shows. The bed she bought to begin new life, new hope new love. The bed no man has slept in. The bed where she told herself better futures and worst pasts. A woman's bed filled with poems, poems told fiercely as reality shattered and disappointment flooded.

Soon, tomorrow the new electric hospital bed will arrive with its hydraulic lift for less back-breaking bed bathing of Florence by G. and P. and bars to keep Florence from falling out in the middle of the night. G. and I will somehow coax her from her old bed. I will lie, not in the bed, but to her face. I will say "we are putting you in a special bed just for a little while. Until you get better and can sit up without being dizzy. And when you do and when you are walking again, you'll go lay down in your own bed and then we will go to Coney."

And she will correct me and say "Coney ISLAND. And I will LIE down not LAY down."

And I will nod and know my lie is forever.

*Dedicated to Florence's demand proper grammar be engaged: One does not LAY down. One LIES down.


Ray and Dennis set up the new stage of her life.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Memories: Diaspora
In The Key Of Life

These got surrendered to the person who is making a new home.

There is no way to walk away from an internal hope that home might for a brief second feel like it once did. 

Except to put keys on a table and, after lengthy and heated discussions, push them into waiting hands.

Florence, too, pushed, keys to new homes across many tables into waiting hands.

Keys to new ideas, new practices, new worlds, new ways of walking down a street, literally and metaphorically.

She said, "Why don't you keep a diary?"  I was 12.  It was learning to risk a full sentence.  It was a bridge over a moat of silence.  It was a coat of armor in the middle of battles.   It was a way out of hell.

She said, "Go see this movie.  It's important."  I was 13.  It was Jules Et Jim.  It was 8 1/2.  It was A Man And A Woman.  It was the unexpected moment when I suddenly saw for the first time what my thoughts looked like.  It was important.
And there were keys she didn't realize she was giving.  Like the ones to my own home, found after months of wandering from place to place, the fight between us too permanent,  that even though I still had keys to her home, that door was no longer mine to open.


Years later, those keys had to become my sister's and mine so Florence could be safe in her own home.  Pushed across a table made of lost health and a failing mind.  Given reluctantly, given in fear, given barely trusting, given away and given up. 

Yet, in surrendering those keys, the home she had always lived in became a home filled with mothering she had never known before.  Those keys that once locked her door now opened it to care and nurturing and love. It was, finally, the home she had secretly dreamed of.

Whether any of us knew it or not, those keys were her last gift to us.  

Because after those lengthy and heated discussions, those keys got pushed into new waiting hands, and in return, checks got pushed across the table to us. 

And suddenly there were keys to a world only dreamed of, only seen in others' lives, only imagined.

After so many Mother's Day she scoffed at, not wanting to be thanked for giving birth or raising us, the most surprising gift she ever gave was the most motherly thing she ever did.

A way to a home that began to feel like home once did. 

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories:  Mother's Day

Another Sunday Memory, Another Mother's Day

Sunday Memories:  My First Date With Bond

Sunday Memories - The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Seven - Try to Remember The Kind of September*

The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Six - Home Where My Love Lies Waiting*

The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Five - " It's The Pebble, Not The Stream"*

The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Four - Hyman Comes To Visit

The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Three - Even The Baby Chair Is A Transient Moment

The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Two- The Ladies of the Pizza

Sunday Memories - The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part One

Emptying Into Open

Faster Than A Cable Car Going Down A Hill

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And Occasionally Late

Why does Her New York
post about animal rescue?


The Big Boy (Jupiter) and the Little Girl (Goldie) finally reached detente on an issue other than pigeons.  Breakfast.  Breakfast at either 5:50am or 6:07am.  But not 6:15.  I'm not sure how they negotiated who does what when, but between 5:50am and 6:07am, they take turns waking one of us up (me).  It's almost like being the floor in a tap dance-off.

First she paws at different parts of my body then he paws my cheek then she purrs in my ear then he licks my eyes and paws my cheek then she paws at my head and purrs in my ear then drops a ball of yarn on my face then he bites my face but not hard licks my eyes paws my cheeks then she paws my head purrs in my ear paws my stomach drops a ball of yarn on my facecries paws at my feet then he bites my leg cries paws my cheek licks my eye cries bites my....

6:08am a can is being opened.

On the other hand, I've never been more on time to work.

Want your own loveable alarm clock?????

Catzilla, 33 pound mega cat, needs a foster home!!! He's huge, awesome, ORANGE and good with other animals. Social Tees recently rescued this monster from the kill shelter and he needs a home to chill out in.


Bunny is 2 yrs old and 11 lbs, super friendly!! 


Social Tees pulled this 10-year-old totally gorgeous Pomeranian mix from the kill shelter a little over a month ago and fell WAY in love as soon as he arrived. 

Then his foster mom fell WAY in love too and decided she simply couldn't live without him... so she adopted this special senior fluff ball. 

She says: "Swatches (FKA Kaos) comes to work with me almost every day and will probably be promoted to art director pretty soon. He's a sweet, relaxed old dog who loves watching X-Files on his days off, but also loves long walks and playing chase. Whenever he sees me pick up his leash he circles and stomps his paws with excitement! He's very loyal and has quickly become my new best bud — so happy I ended up adopting him! Thanks for everything guys!!!"


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

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Art And Life: A Love Story

After breaking a few of her pieces and with two cats jumping around, the glass picture of our view out our window of the moon and the water tower got wrapped up and tucked away. 

But, when there's sudden money left over from bill paying and basic necessities, icing on cake becomes possible and why not splurge and get it framed? Why not, why not, it's just money and life is a short trolley ride...

I shut my eyes as I handed the credit card to the young woman.  

Now, whether it is day or whether it is night, we can admire the moon and its beautiful lover, the water tower and watch our dreams unfold.

Related Posts

A Poem Becomes Her

GUEST ARTIST: Joni - Sunday Memories of Her New York And The Games We Once Played - Part 6

Once In A Blue Moon

Admiring The Moon Over The Capital

You Got Your North Star. I Got Mine.

In My Dreams

Chelsea Frames

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Flying Home

He can't wait.  Once the youngest child finishes school... home.  Oh, he'll return every couple of months to visit the oldest child going to college in New York, but home...finally, home.

Will you fly planes there? I ask.

A grin, with a greater wing span than the bald eagles I once saw on a Minnesota lake or the jets I take to visit my father.

To fly in air and light that grew your heart... finally...

I say, let me take of picture of your cowboy boots before you go.

"Oh, I don't wear these when I fly," he laughs, but steps into take-off anyway.

Related Posts:

Flying High Now

Sunday Memories: Lost In The Dangling Conversation, A Childhood Joy Found

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Memories: Recuederos

"It's a short trolley ride," he'd say.

He was quoting Aunt Lil who, after decades in some municipal job, yeah a professional job but a grind, day in, day out, retired early, took much less of a pension and went off to fight for peace in the Middle East.  Before she died a few years later, she had already changed the world.

"It's a short trolley ride," he said again today.  We were walking through art billions of years old, some of it quite boring.

We then wondered into rooms filled with busts and paintings of attempted assassinations and childbirth and statues of naked men offering their sons to gods .   Jean-Baptiste Carpeau's passion had kept him insisting there was sculpture shimmering just below the surface of that stone before him, even when marble dust made him almost blind and others had to be his hands, even as cancer hurtled him sicker and sicker to a young death, the world losing 30 years of his telling its story in statues and paintings, even after who he loved married another....

Circling one of the last rooms, like an embrace were his self-portraits, a multitude of photographs made from pencil markings and brush strokes.  His attempt to grasp that moment of time, his life speeding by and only a fraction of his dreams in stone,  his own face becoming his memory of who he was.

After, we got on our trolley and as the C train hurtled downtown, memories swirled by at the speed of light.

Related Posts:

Knock Down Seven...

Recuederos La Alhambra 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And Doesn't Give A S*#$) About Anything But Love. And Food. And Playing Fetch. And...

Why does Her New York
post about animal rescue?

We were talking about the small stuff.  And how, no matter how much deodorant you use, you still sweat it. Ok. I do.  I get easily hurt and rattled by small stuff like cliches (with middle aged people, I mean come on...)  I get irritable and angry with minor household things that, really, at the end of my life are not going to be what I celebrate or regret.  OK maybe regret about snapping about dishes and laundry...  but don't I at that moment want to remember laughing so hard I almost peed on myself?  

And in the middle of all this gnawing and angsting and being pissed offing, a little golden-girl cat came prancing in to remind me to NOT GIVE A S*#$&) about anything but LOVE, FOOD AND PLAYING FETCH!!!


Angelhair is a fluffy Angora/Persian mix!

Not only is he outrageously handsome, he's got hypnotizing charm, yet is laid back, loving, tender, and affectionate... OK and check out the coolest eyes EVER!!! When's the last time you saw that on a cat?  Or a dog?  Or a person?  Come meet this heartbreaker today at Social Tees!!!!!!



Stitch FKA Tebow traveled up here to the Big Apple a few weeks ago via the mega awesome rescue group Social Tees works with in Tennessee.
  Just looking at this hunk, you can probably guess he was scooped up pretty quickly.  

His new mom says: "He is the biggest clown I know, snores way too loudly, loves playing fetch, and will do anything for a belly rub.  I've given him a bunch of stuffed animal toys -- his favorite is his Despicable Me minion, then he also has a unicorn beanie baby he loves to chew on.  He is so happy and well adjusted already!  He's super friendly and jumps up to say hi to my neighbors. It's been incredibly rewarding to adopt and care for Stitch and everyday he makes me laugh because of some ridiculous prank he pulls around the house!"


Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!

Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003

Thursday, May 1, 2014

More Views From Other Fields Of Dreams (An encore)

Originally posted August 28, 2008

An Unidentified International School of Beauty Somewhere in Manhattan

Photo taken on the sly while bending over backwards with my head in a sink since they don't allow photos in their football-size-florescent-lit-hair-dryers-from-the-first-cold-war-when-women-still-wore-curlers school.

*The 87 year old-cut-it-all-off-it-is-driving me-crazy-lady --  also needed her roots retouched and  "only him- the boy with know... can do it."    $32.63 including tax.

*The gaggle of girls in beauty technician robes sauntering in, their own hair testaments to chemicals and zero-gravity laws.

*The head teacher repeatedly admonishing the students, "Stop talking to her! She's with a customer".  But that does nothing to stop the discussions about whether or not Miss _____ had the right to kick her out of class everyone knew the trains were all delayed because of the rain and why did she have to wait until November to take the State class that's so unfair.

*Teasing spraying cutting pinning and discussing who spoke English who was Korean who was Chinese who was Jewish who made their children do chores who was always cold who....

*Her plan:  not work out of her house.  Instead "go back to work in a salon because you're in, you're out, the kids aren't driving you crazy, it's unprofessional to yell at them when you have a client..."

(With thanks to the young woman who used her own personal product on my hair because it was better than the school's.)