A Suggestion to U.S. School Boards

I’m hesitant to speak out about the Florida school shooting, especially since I haven’t read every news account, but, I’d like to make a suggestion to school boards across the US. I suggest that if a student is found to have concerning posts on social media and/or threatening encounters with other students or teachers, rather than simply expelling the student, please consider offering that student free counseling by a valid psychologist. Give that student an opportunity to work out their feelings with someone who is qualified and offers a confidential setting. It would be a small expense that could save many lives.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ode to My Cats

(Sung to the tune of “Look What They Done To My Song”)

Look what you’ve done to my rugs, boys,
Look what you’ve done to my rugs!
Well you clawed them like they’re scratching posts
and tore them all right up, boys,
Look what you’ve done to my rugs.

Look what you’ve done to my clothes, guys,
Look what you’ve done to my clothes!
You slept on them, and wrinkled them,
and covered them with fur, guys,
Look what you’ve done to my clothes.

Wish I could teach you to clean, boys,
I wish I could teach you to clean!
When I’d get home all the dishes would be done
and I’d put my feet up some, oh kitties,
I wish I could teach you to clean.

Look what you’ve done to my rugs, boys,
Look what you’ve done to my rugs!
Well you clawed them like they’re scratching posts
and tore them all right up, boys,
Look what you’ve done to my rugs!

Posted in Music, Poetry | Leave a comment

My Eagle, ‘Tis of Thee

I was talking with a friend, tonight, about my relationship with Rob, and I explained about how we were exapt opposites and that how much it had worked out to our advantage, in the beginning.

Rob and I were like magnets. People could see the electricity between us, and several commented on it. It came as no surprise, to us two. Rob and I knew it.

We loved. Oh my goodness, but, we loved.

Thunder and lightning, fire and air, eventually make rain.

We learned that the hard way, but, eventually, yet still, we loved.

Opposites attract well when they can work together, but eventually they butt heads.

Our country is butting heads.

Our country is no longer working together, but as two separate and – almost daily – more recognizably hostile entities.

And this scares me.

Something very large is coming to light that our country has got to face, and withstand. It’s going to make us all gasp, and take time to take in.

But take it in, we must.

Because, as I’ve learned, having lost a loved one that was my opposite, yet needed just for that reason, our country needs to keep making those opposites attract, work together, and preserve their relationship for the long haul.

Our United States deserve as much as Rob and I did, if not one hell of a lot more.

Don’t let us keep splitting this country apart as we are doing. And don’t let us keep turning what was something good into some kind of scary – I don’t know what. I don’t know how to name this scary thing that our country is becoming, all in the name of politics.

America is too beautiful for this.

America deserves more.

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Deep State Lament

Sung to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down”:

We really hoped we could pull it off, but
we can feel the heat a-coming down
We really thought we would get a win, but
The voters spoke, there’s a new man in town
Well we really should’ve covered our tracks
No one believes in those Russian hacks

We’re going down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down

We get intel from Russia and Britain
and we dress it for the FISA court
We cover up the fact that it’s written
and paid for by Hillary’s cohorts
We’re sick and tired of our setting Trump up, yeah
Setting him up just to get ourselves caught and so Trumped

Down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down, going down!

We tried so hard to take this President down
We got the media to call him a clown
We paved the way to a Clinton landslide
Somewhere along the way we lost our hides
Now we look in the mirror each morning
and wonder what new truths will be found
We used to love to go to work
But lately we just worry ‘cuz we know we’re all going down

Down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down…

Down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re goin down, down, down, down
We’re going deep state down!

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One More Freebie Chapter

Chapter Two

It’s all about you, sweetheart. It’s always all about you. – Rob

Actually, I’ll start and end with Rob. Because, well, I have no other choice.

Here’s my story all about Rob. We met just before Memorial Day in 2012. We met at a bar. We didn’t know we were coworkers, right away, even though we had just both gotten out of work and had headed for the same bar.

Me, I was new to the tavern, and to Pennsylvania, pretty much. Rob was not as new and had acclimated from Long Island far better than I ever could. And, he was wearing a uniform with our work logo on it. I wasn’t.

His pickup line to me, that day, after having shared some conversation and beer at the bar, was, “You wanna come home with me, smoke some weed, and meet my dogs?”

Well, jeez, how could I resist?

I hadn’t gone to any guy’s home in years, hadn’t smoked weed in over seven months, and really liked the guy, odd as it sounds.

He said he lived just around the corner on Route 390. I said, “Okay. I’ll follow you there.”

I followed him for what seemed like days. I remember suddenly thinking that I should pay attention to side streets in case he was an axe murderer intent on locking me up in a basement for weeks on end before killing me. I remember laughing the whole time I followed his big green truck down winding and twisting roads onto a gravel path. I remember meeting his dogs and loving them at first sight, and letting them out to run in the yard.

I remember looking around the place and soaking everything in. His previous girlfriend had been with him for several years and then had suddenly died in a car crash just three years ago. He was displaced, heartbroken, and he had lost just about everything. But he had salvaged as much as he could of their belongings, relationship, and friendships, and he was hanging on, and getting by. That was the impression he gave me, and it’s the impression I got.

We sat across his kitchen table for two hours, drinking beer, smoking weed, and talking, talking, talking. And I liked him. We exchanged phone numbers, and when it got near dark outside, I headed home. I found my way home from a strange place, in the dark, and I was happy that I had met a nice guy. It was a weird, new kind of night.

We hooked up again that Saturday, our day off. Late in the day. We met up at the tavern again and then I followed him home again, but this time, we determined to cook dinner and eat it.

So we scrounged up a meal, after I searched his refrigerator, cupboards, and freezer. We found that we could make frozen ravioli with a jar of spaghetti sauce. Mangia!

He lost me when he poured the sauce into a frying pan instead of a sauce pan, but I was happily stirring the ravioli into boiling water within minutes, figuring we could make this meal really work. He seemed satisfied with our cooking endeavor, enough to announce that he wanted to change into his pajamas, if I wouldn’t mind. And I didn’t. So he did.

Two minutes later, he emerged from his bedroom (which, for the record, I had not seen yet) wearing flannel pajama bottoms and a t-shirt, and slippers.

For a moment, he stood there, watching me stir tomato sauce in a frying pan at his kitchen stove, and then, with two lunging steps, he reached for me and took me in his arms. I remember dropping the spoon somewhere and grabbing him right back, and kissing him, and just falling to the floor, with his arms around me and our mouths still joined and joining further. And I remember gasping for breath, and at the same time, Rob gasping and then moaning and then saying, “Oh my god. This is fucking ridiculous,” before we both started kissing and moaning again.

We did not eat, that night.

I did not go home to Mom’s, either.

And I have loved him ever since.

Posted in Art | Leave a comment

So, After I Was Born


After I was born, I grew. Tallest girl in my entire elementary school in 5th grade but terrible at sports. Acne, glasses, and braces on my teeth helped to add to my appeal. I walked around the hallways in between class with my shoulders slumped, my head hanging down, clutching my notebooks to my chest and avoiding eye contact with everyone, and then wondered why I was so unpopular. Go figure.

Now that I’m in my early fifties it’s easy to look back and laugh. Back then, I contemplated suicide. But, luckily, I inherited a strong stubborn streak – and I’m a Libra. Ta dam.

All of us have a gift. Each and every one of us has that something special. Ya got let it out.

I’m lettin’ it out.

Wanna come along?

I’m going to start with the now, and move backwards. Otherwise, I’ll just meander and make no sense. And, for me, last year time stopped and has ever since then been not quite right. Time keeps slipping away from me while at the same time looming ahead with dark unknowns, and I don’t have enough time to plan for time. I suppose this is what they mean by mid-life crisis? Oy.

By the way, I guess I should introduce myself before I bore you with the little details of my life like shoppers do in long lines at big box stores. Before I take my upper denture out and get comfortable on you, here: I’m Lis, short for Elisabeth, and I am your faithful and truthful narrator from here on out. As an aside, however, my sister Jeanne tells me that most of my memories are rather incorrect as she remembers them, so you can be damn sure she’ll edit as she sees fit.

I trust her. She’s older than me.

She’s looking up our family tree, and has traced us back to the Dutch coming to New York. I’m impressed both with her detailed investigative reporting and with the fact that we are DAR’s by at least five different branches from our maternal grandmother’s side. I feel like I should buy a ball gown with a hoop skirt and bustle.

Jeanne says I’m our family’s Dorothy Parker. I say that Jeanne is the heart of our family. We both make each other blush, but more with pride than embarrassment.

All of my sisters have skills and talents and tremendous stubborness. I like that. It sort of makes up for our father’s lack of having had a son. Boy, did he want one. He tried…and tried…and tried…and…

Actually, seriously, he loved each and every one of us daughters, and was proud of all of us. I know this. This, I know.

But, getting back to the present, I’ll start with Rob. Oh, ouch. This is gonna hurt. But, also be wonderful. Really. Trust me. This, I also know.

Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So, I’m Thinking of Writing a Book


Everyone tells me I should write a book. So, I’m writing a book.

I don’t know what in hell to write, but I figure if I just keep typing, everything is bound to come out. What happens after that, I haven’t a clue.

And, neither do you.

* * * * *

Chapter One

To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) and have now become Miss Havisham – Charles Dickens, and me

So, how did I get here? Well, it’s a long and very convoluted tale, just like anyone else’s. But, basically, I don’t know how I came to be, because I’m agnostic. I know that, being born in October, my parents had a very happy night sometime in January, which makes me a Libra who’s right on time.

I was the third child from the first of six marriages (three marriages, respectively, both parents – pay attention and do the math. I have been asked, many times, to draw family tree diagrams when trying to explain it all. It grows tired.). I am my mother’s third and last child, and my father’s third and not last. Both parents married twice again, after me. So I always felt like a sort of a bookmark, in between wives and children, and other things, in between.

But, anyway, I was born and I was beautiful. My mother tells me so. Pictures prove it. No babies are perfect, and I looked like a miniature Winston Churchill, but don’t we all? I was the non-crying one. Mom loved me for that.

Posted in Art | Leave a comment