She Dresses Like One of Don Draper’s Wives

And boy can she talk. An_Noy_Ing. And unpleasant. High nasal voice. Always throwing in “Just Kidding” at the end of her outrageous statements. Even more annoying than that train foamer who talked from Brattleboro to New Haven. Mercifully, I passed out from my third Bloody Mary.

It had started so nice. On the way up we got off in Rattleboro, but the Train went to Fellow’s Balls, so we embarked there on the return trip. We’d seen an eagle flying up the Connecticut at the depot and we snuck off to spark a bowl behind the station, with the impressive Gibraltar-like Fall Mountain over in New Hampshire dominating the clear blue sky. On the train I saw another eagle, perched in a tree as we slid through a bend in the river where the bank dropped off in a near palisade providing a natural perch nearly invisible to prey below. The water sparkled.

The dude started talking and the college student next to him was soon asleep. Two coeds were watching an ipad with earbuds and were oblivious. The story I remember from the kid with the Suzyn Waldman voice was about his brush with fame in the person of Ben Savage, mega-star.  There was more mix-up as we entered the twilight zone of “the Palmer Turnaround” where the tracks head 8 miles east, towards Boston, before the train switches tracks and finishs the trip backwards with the engineer driving from the  rear control cab, now upfront. But soon after he was quiet and my Bloodies were soothing.

On the 1960’s TV sitcom That Girl, Marlo Thomas’ boyfriend shops for an engagement ring. He hears the word baguette for the first time. Jewelry baguettes are the little surrounding diamonds that highlight the larger stone. Ted, the boyfriend says; “I just heard that word for the first time yesterday, now it’s popping up every five minutes.” Too bad annoying girl wasn’t more like Marlo and less like Megan. But here’s a real life version of the first occurrence followed by multiple reoccurrence phenomenon.

Grindr, the hookup app is not named for a sandwich. It’s named for the humpy pumpy dance two males do during physical love as they smash their pudentia together.

I never meant to open this door, but I’m just getting all this out of my system. Like Poop Beard. Saw a couple of stories on the web where they swabbed dudes’ beards and cultivated the swabbing samples in a petri dish. And they claim it was identical to germs found in fecal material. The explanations were sickening. How did it get there? Sex? Improper hand washing? So what i came up with is this: a beard can harbor dead skin and old food and germs from the hands, because we beardies know how nice it is to lovingly stroke our whiskers. Maybe the petri samples are from a germy mix that imitates buggies found in the colon?

It is hard to segue to lunch now, but that’s what begat my new occurrence/multiple reoccurrence tale.

Being interested in regional food, I innocently asked a citizen of Arizona what they call a grinder sandwich out there. The answer was snippy. They call it a sub, or whatever, we understand it all out here, no one is actually from here, they all moved in after life in the other 49.  What a crank ass.

Then during karmic retribution he was listening to Boomer and Carton and the topic of unregulated New York city hotdogs came up. The law says prices must be displayed, but several sting operations found prices varied from the standard $5 to $8 or even as high as $30 for the more distractedly meek tourist.

The radio conversation turned to what do you call a sandwich on an oblong roll. Grinder, hoagie, sub, zeppelin, torpedo, hero, po boy and muffuletta? And which regional variations they knew, loved and remembered. We laughed and he was less cranky.

Today at work he got free lunch. They had giant six foot sandwiches. Babs, the old trainer who showed him around Webbing & Casing asked him;

“Do they have sandwiches like this back east?”

Which started a discussion on regional foods and how soda is pop and tonic and other various names around the country.  We talked  that night and I told him about Donald, Marlo’s boyfriend and he was like;

“How did you sidetrack off to a 1960’s TV show? We were talking about food?” But he thought the occurrence/reoccurrence theory was interesting.

Later he would tell me;

“After we got off the phone last night, Chris came in and asked me if I wanted a sandwich, cause he had rolls from work.”

Here it goes again he thought.  Sandwiches and the initial occurrence/ multiple reoccurrence theory all in one.

“What kinda bread did you get?” He asked his bro; “Baguettes” Chris answered.

“He got them from this bakery called Hollinger’s, it’s really good and old”

“You won’t believe this,” I said; “but the boyfriend’s name  on That Girl was Hollinger.”

Now we’re longing for a “That Girl” remake starring Nicki Minaj and Ben Savage.


While writing this I took a break and attended a tasteful, civilized Jack & Jill party for my niece and a woman guest brought her two pubic aged boys named: Chianti and Minaj.




Cottonwood Fluff

It looked like snow. It clumped together, clung to your shoes and covered the trail in fibrous hoarfrost. I might have seen an osprey over the town center wending along the Mill River.  Found $2 and saw a marmot or groundchuck. And the otter. It could be a different one, but who else lives in the area and rides a mini bike? Once he came to the Duane Reade and went inside with his helmet on. Today I only saw the helmet but the skinny frame was what I used for proof. And that’s the funny thing about truth, rarely is it not subjective, assumptive intuition creeps into the equation and our minds accept that as truth.

Election Day

Here in Hamlet we are electing a new mayor. The old ones were pretty good. The town has a nice sanitation department that offers twice a year bulk removal of bigger items in addition to the weekly trash pick-up. The  transfer station (dump) is nice. The Arts Commission puts on farmer’s markets and concerts. The fire department does a great fireworks show. The snow gets plowed most of the time. There’s a temporary mayor and three candidates. The old elected mayor got a nice job with the state and he’ll probably run for office again. He was part of the commission for the school shooting report. That was a sad day, when that shooting happened. I was hoping it was only a domestic violence killing, like someone shot a lunch lady, or teacher. but it wasn’t. And it’s kinda sick that I hoped it would be ONLY a domestic or maybe a workplace shooting. I think I thought that if the people knew each other it would be easier to create a motive.

“Oh, someone was fired and they shot their boss.”

So the horror of that random act could somehow be lessened by mitigating circumstances. That was the saddest day.

There’s been a hullabaloo about a university and the housing of students. Mostly parties, cars and parking, kids crowding together in what was once single family homes and a promise to create enough room on campus.

Both sides, town and gown have merit but it’s so complex. Is it resistance to change? Preserving peace and property values? Unfulfilled obligations? Sheer nuisance and youthful stupidity? Then there was TV and the chief got pilloried. I think I’ll vote and try to come in on the side of suffer the children and clean up your messes. Hamlet has an excellent sanitation department

Stupidity Under Fire

Every time I take the online Jeopardy test I fail, miserably; no- spectacularly! But sometimes the contestants are just as dumb. But it’s not ignorance or  lack of knowledge, it’s pressure.

Most of the time the Jeopardy question/answer is embedded in the answer, which is revealed verbal and visually. Usually, in champions and generals, instinct and intuition take over and reveal the path to true knowledge. It’s only when we second guess, go against our intuition, that wrongness prevails. We doubt and allow our minds to  fall downward into a plausible, but often incorrect second choice.

Scenario One.

Just before the last commercial break Alex Trebek announces the Final Category. It was “Islands”. I guessed Manhattan, before the commercial and before the answer was revealed. Then when I heard the answer. “It’s population of 2 million has not changed since 1886.” I over thought and changed my mind to Hong Kong. I would have lost. I probably would have written Manhattan and then scratched it out and put Hong Kong. It’s a teachable moment.

The other night the Final Category was Animated Characters. The answer was;

“This character is based on a composite of Clara “Two Doves” Liscomb, who is her direct descendant and supermodel Christy Turlington.

Now the question is in the answer theory would lead towards Pocahontas, i.e. the Two Doves in quotations reference. Of course I, guided by my field marshals sense of intuitive correctness choose the right response. But only one of the three contestants also guessed the answer. One guessed Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, which was a good try. The other guessed Ariel, from the Little Mermaid. Dumbest question answer ever. I’ve seen Clara “Two Doves” Liscomb, and she doesn’t look Mermish at all.


Two geese honking earlier across the parking lot. Heavy overcast, humid with a chill. Big plane sounds, not a jet, a glimpse of it leaving through a break in the clouds. Too far to identify. Deep, full throated engine, props.

Then again I hear it hours later, but the cloud cover has raised, not gone, just gone higher and I saw it pass overhead. High tail, four engines, distinctive wire coat hanger shape. B-17’s. The most interesting birds to pass over in quite a while



This past two days; Robin singing in a parking lot tree, flycatcher at Lake Wintergreen, vulture or hawk floating and circling north. I pick vulture because of  side to side tipping, but was too lazy to get binoculars.

Gimme a Verbal Diet Pepsi

Everybody needs encouragement sometimes. A friend used to bring me a soda when he bought one for himself. I miss the soda but kind words could replace it. It’s like when people tell ya your kid is charming, but you never see it. Just a pill and a crank. I’ve failed as a friend and a father; but I always shared a diet pepsi, liquid or spoken. Be kind to me Jack Emmett, yankee doodle, cakey, pooger, squigs, grits and newburgh, I once gave you my best.

Sometimes Happiness is Only Possible by Getting Outside of Yourself and Wallowing in the Majesty of the Mundane

Audrey Hepburn called it the “mean red’s” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s the blues, crossed with pissiness and anger, sorrow and boredom. The only thing that lifts it is getting outside your head and shutting down the mind . Can’t focus on chores or finances or relationships or anything like what you should do. Just turn that all off. I headed to my path and eventually Walgreen’s (one I hope they don’t close). I stop consciously thinking and just absorb the different surroundings.

I see a deer, between me and the Wilbur Cross. It has a huge tail, like two feet and it stands bolt upright as it hops away, flashing white and beige hindquarters. Fear comes back as I pass under some dead trees and I worry about death by falling branch. I hurry through those parts. I take a phone call. Remember when the phone was on a shelf, in the hall and when you went out if it rang nobody knew? People of the Stone Age even had a little telephone alcove or at the least a phone table. No caller id, no answering machine- nothing. Things happen so fast, and the old technology is just mostly gone. I wonder where would Superman change his clothes today? The Apple IBooth? Nah, he probably has an app for that.

My voice on the phone call startles another animal kingdom denizen, a great blue heron; which flies upstream away from the gossipy talk of fat pets; rabbits, cats and dogs and the CT Idol who will probably win. The caller frequents a bar they all go to and when I found out how bratty he was and how slutty everyone else there is, I was turned off. And the bar’s name is the same as the one on TV’s third most incipient show from the 70’s and 80’s. But the Idol can really sing.

Some nutbag in Manhattan was walking around with a hammer swatting people and the police shot him after he attacked one of them. Too bad people make them do it. But there are a few cops who may feel like I did today, that take things a little too far.

So I googled Police shootings. Then I googled police baby deliveries. There were like 6 pages of shootings and 14 of deliveries. I would like to know the exact numbers, but I suspect that for every police shooting there are like 30 baby deliveries. This encourages me.

But the star of today’s show was not the fauna, but the flora. I always think of Lincoln’s funeral whenever I see lilacs blooming in the dooryard. Their perfume fills my neighborhood. I head home and take a side street. The wisteria is in bloom, cascading from a large bush. There was something that looked like frangipani framing the wisteria bush and across the street white and purple lilac blooming side by side. Mid spring is a wonderful time of year, even though it’s when Lincoln died.

Tale of Two Stop & Shops or Assault with a Deadly Turkey.

Once in the Hamlet of Den there were not one, but two Stop & Shops. They were differentiated by the locals as;

“Stop & Shop” and “Ghetto Stop & Shop.”

I thought of the dearly departed Ghetto Stop & Shop because some man asked me if the Worth Avenue Extension led to the Hamden Plaza. I told him no and he got mad. I told he had to head down Dixwell (all’s well that Dix well), but he  headed off down Worth. Stupid lemming. Once I was looking at slightly used meat at Ghetto Stop & Shop and found two ugly, misshapen filets mignon. They were one day before their sell by date and had a coupain for $2 off attached.

I nixed the purchase and bought hamburger. Walking home a short gentleman stopped us and tried to sell us the same package of meat. He claimed he changed his mind on dinner. But I told him;

“No you didn’t, you stole these because if you bought them the coupain would be tore off.

“I forgot to ring it up at self checkout.” he replied, which was totally  plausible if I hadn’t seen him pull the package out of the front of his underwear.  I passed on the meat.

After the doubting Thomas dude struck out to find the fabled Northwest Passage to the Plaza, I saw my second turkey of the week. The first walked in front of the car on East Rock Road. It stopped, stood there looking at me and then quick stepped across the road, staring me down with a look of confusion and disdain. This second one was foraging in the trees near the park where the Goldfinchs come and where they have band concerts at the gazebo in the summer.

The turkey was moving parallel to me with that head shuffling gait and lots of ground pecks. My way was clear. Unfortunately the turkey’s path was intersected by a shirtless bicyclist  lounging in the almost warm sun. The cyclist spotted the bird stood up and said something smart like;

“Hi Buddy.” And the bird exploded at him- “Gobble, gobble gobble, but throatier and phlegmier, scaring the poor biker who grabbed his trusty bike steed and positioned it between the turkey and him.

The bird hopped/flew off and I laughed at the folly of men who run afoul of dangerous birds, and ignore directions.

When I reach the corner I see Doubting Thomas coming up Whitney going 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the Plaza. I jaywalk through deadly traffic just to avoid his presence.

Later at a Chinese Restaurant, with a kid who looks exactly like the one from Fresh Off the Boat, I see swifts and hear a woodpecker in the heart of the industrial city fringe that Fitzgerald described so well.