Beautiful weather, hair done, bills almost paid up, steak and drinks with Dottie

The other day my Forerunner 410 slipped off my wrist and I couldn’t find it. It turned up near the coat-rack (I’d been taking my keys off the chain, as I was going out for a run in a while; though I didn’t go for long). In the meantime I identified the blob on the bedroom radiator as my missing Craft running gloves, which were wet and freezing back on Sunday the 12th, the rainy day on Gov Is. Thought they’d tumbled out and got lost in the lavatory at the culture center.

Mailed some new VCF papers at Radio City Station just before ten, then to Gracey at Timothy John’s for color and cut. I needed both. As it was my third visit, I got a “free” deep-conditioning treatment. Put $224 on the WF card and $27 cash in the little envelope. Then to Whole Foods, where I thought I might buy some flour to make bread. Instead I bought bacon and English muffins and avocados and sardines and salad greens and a Resin beer. Stole a cheap honey because the bar code did not scan on first pass. Washed some dishes at home, made myself two bacon-avocado sandwiches (filled me up for the day), drank most of the beer, took a nap mid-afternoon. Watching a Marg of Arg series with Claire Foy. It’s supposed to be Season Two of A Very English Scandal, and I stumbled into it because I found myself watching the final part of the Hugh Grant/Jeremy Thorpe thing from 2018. This is not nearly as good as that Season One story line. According to the credits, this is actually a standalone called A Very British Scandal.

Check to Con Ed and autopay to Verizon went through this week, and those with Gracey took up most of my funds in the Wells Fargo checking account. Rather magically, this had got to about $800 a week ago thanks to payments via Gusto last Friday and two weeks earlier. Money from home. But the first of the month is tomorrow and I won’t see another Gusto deposit until the beginning of July, and that will not be large. Very little nruns work coming up. Must write write write every day.

The other day I decided to try Sling TV. Back in 2012 or 2013 something called Slingbox was inquiring of me about a job. I didn’t get it, and it sounded flaky anyway. But it’s turned into Sling, one of a number of “streaming tv” products that act as a substitute for cable television. Not much different from Amazon Prime, except that Sling and Roku and the others offer you a variety of actual channels, not just an assortment of movies and TV series. So I have a trial deal for a month for $20. Twice that if I go on and subscribe. (Still a lot cheaper than what we were paying Verizon for unnecessary bandwidth and full-range cable.)

What attracted me was getting Fox News, and maybe Newsmax and OAN for a little more per month. Mr. Trump had the jury go against him on 34 (count ’em) felony charges yesterday, and while these will undoubtedly be thrown out in the coming weeks, the election season is shaping up into some interesting coverage. The sheer viciousness of these New York nigger judges and prosecutors amazes and appalls the world.

A fly in the ointment with Sling is that it does not work on our Samsung Smart TV. That device dates from 2011 or 2012, does not have the Sling “app.” This is a common complaint. There are workarounds. One is attaching a Roku box or Amazon Fire Stick. I bought a cheap “refurbished” version of the latter. Due to arrive in a couple of days. After clicking, I realized the thing may not work with my hardwire ethernet connection. Fire Stick et al. assume a wifi connection, though there are ethernet dongles as well.

Or would wifi work for us now, I wondered? Late 2020 our cable kept cutting out because it was riding on wifi. I thought to buy and attach a long RJ45 cable, and all has gone swimmingly since then, apart from the fact that I recently deep-sixed all the TV usage apart from what I could still get through Amazon Prime.

But, again, what about now? I recently downsized from 1gb mbps to 300 on Verizon, rather than severing it entirely and switching to Spectrum and paying nearly as much for all services, and meanwhile the 300 seems fine for everything. It even seems fine when I detach the ethernet and try the wifi again. A new router was put in, with extender box, on February 6, and this arrangement now proves more powerful on wifi than what we had a few years ago. Yesterday I disconnected the ethernet and connected the TV with the main Verizon router in the foyer closet, which is the closest signal we have. (There is also a ten-year-old Apple router running as a slave nearby that Verizon extender by the liv rm windows.) And it works fine. Strong signal. So the Fire Stick should get me Sling on our Samsung TV.

That 20′ ethernet cable from the TV will be useful when I am lying abed and writing and drawing on my old 13″ Mac Air, which has had a weak and wonky Airport connection ever since I zapped the machine with soup on 2014, and can no longer works with a USB wifi dongle because I foolishly deleted its extension a week or so ago, and the other ones I installed don’t work. I bought two more dongles on eBay last week. They work fine on the little, anemic 11″ Mac Air, which doesn’t really need one.

I made another batch of the lemon-orange-ginger-carrot-mint smoothie I did a couple of weeks ago, this time adding a bit of honey and ACV and rather more water than last time so it’s not all sludgy. Went out to Duane-Reade for some TP and paper towels and chocolate milk, and then to Shirley’s for a pint of vodka. Svedka this time. Have not had vodka in a week. Or more.

Last Saturday Dottie and I had an early Memorial Day celebration on her rooftop and in her apt. She got two kinds of steak and grilled them on an hibachi-sized Weber-type bbq grill. They were good, as were her lima bean and mushroom stroganoff side dishes. My contribution was $50 worth of Cointreau-type liqueur and quality tequila, with some limes from the big Wegman’s there (which Dottie absolutely swears by). She had ice and Himalayan salt and a blender, and I made margaritas.


Going down the escalator at Wegman’s, having just spent a half-hour in a nearby Dick Blick’s, looking for ink cartridges (they didn’t have ’em), I reflected on how my neighborhood used to have everything, now it has nothing…unless you go way the hell over to 9th and 10th Avenues, or east of Lexington, where again houseware and hardware shops abound. We lost a Best Buy and Bed Bath and Beyond around 62nd St and Broadway in the past year. But my old neighborhood, down along Third and Fourth and Second Avenues, Cooper Square, Stuyvesant Place…truly a delight.


Billy Flesch liked my Substack memoir of Cuffe. Looking forward to sequel. (FB comment.) I made a false start a few days ago, telling about how when I got back to NYC everyone was dead. That by itself is okay, but I have to get into Cuffe and Fehhrrgus Slloaan right away. And Gino. It was at Gino Restaurant (itself a good story of a couple hundred words) that Fergus, who always ordered the tricolore pasta salad and osso bucco, would tell stories about Cuffe and Gail Donovan. He didn’t think much of Sharlene Spingler, and he pranked us both. This should have led to endless enmity, but we got over it. That prank is the meat of the story.

Sharlene with her nutty Clark Rockefeller stories on the more obscure precincts of cable news, some 12, 13 years back. Sharlene with her immense mastiff mutt, bigger than her, taking up most of the oxygen in her tiny Tudor City apt. When she was prematurely old and dotty she’d show up at the Tap Room of the NYAC in a lopsided top hat that was out of 1950s Dr. Seuss. Looking through her FB account I see she collected funny hats like this, wore them to her Kentucky Derby parties. She was really sort of fashionable in her way. Back in 1998 worked for a hole-in-the-wall place called North American Precis Syndicate, which was just that. The kind of auxiliary-journalism outfit that thrived back in the 20s, when Haddon and Luce were founding Time. Thousands of papers, they had space to fill, here are your comics, your columns, your crazy out-of-town stories. NAPS must have gone under around 2004, because then she was at some place called O’Dwyer’s, a public relations firm of sorts.

After we became rather friendly we discovered through exchanges on Facebook that we’d both grown up or at least spent part of our minority in the Village, near Julius’ back when that was still at least a part-time family hangout.

It was after a bibulous lunch at Gino that Gail Donovan fell down on the sidewalk, I believe, and Cuffe said to leave her there. “Well she’s a real gobble and go,” he’d say of a doxy who ate a meal but didn’t do much else. After collecting a few of these stories, with Cuffe safely dead, I shot a proposal to Chris Buckley for FYI but he was mystified. “We provide service.”


COMIC IDEA for that old Hatlo parody notion I had 30-odd years ago, “There’s One Born Every Minute!” (Or maybe Minnit!)

Panel 1: Lefty lady telling well-armed Fashy lady, “How will you defend yourself with Armalites and AK-47s when the government has big tanks and jet fighters?” Tanks and jet planes in bg.

Panel 2: People with bags on their heads, gags, bound wrists, one holding newspaper with headline (TODAY’S NEWS), Fashy lady on oversize walkie-talkie like phone: “We’ve taken your whole family hostage. Maybe you’d like to test out your tanks and fighter planes?” Corner image of Lefty lady in cartoon shock.