The nurse needed nursing

My father was in the hospital recently. Nothing major, he had hurt his leg, he had to have it checked out. He would get anxious at times and I guess to calm him down, they had some sort of nurse in the room with him. She was just there for comfort, not to actually nurse him, more of a sitter. For a few days it was a different person each day.

It was unnerving at first, but then sort of turned into a reality tv camera – you know, it’s there, but you don’t notice it/her. You go about our conversations and business and she is just taking it all in, but you ignore her – you know, “Don’t look at the camera!”

Well, one nurse was a complete mess. She complained of having a headache, she had a backache, she also said her blood sugar was 300! and she some other issues. She complained about not having eaten, she wanted to know where her replacement was so she could go down to the cafeteria and eat.

She didn’t get the memo to shut up and just “film” the scene.

My father was cracking up. He said, “She is supposed to be taking care of me, but I think I have to take care of her!”

Other than all that, she was very sweet, at times she reminded me of my grandmother, my father’s mother.

One man sitter was noisy as hell. He totally ignored us, which was good; he was on his cell phone most of the time, talking loud, which was bad, almost yelling; he was a loud talker. I had to literally shout over him to be heard in the room!

Dad’s home now. The nurses/sitters are off “filming” someone else now.

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Check it!

Professional bartender serving a cocktail in the glass with one big ice cube on the bar counter in the blurred background

I heard someone say, “check it” the other day, and it all came flooding back.

One night in the late 1980s, I went to a club in NYC with two of my cousins. I had purchased a brand new jacket, a thick, expensive winter coat.

In the club, I layed my jacket over some sort of room divider or half wall or something and this girl comes by and puts her drink on it. The drink looked like this image, same glass, but with lots of ice and lots of dripping on my jacket.

I started yelling at her, “Look what you did! That’s my jacket!” She yelled back, “Why don’t you check it!” Now being from Miami most of my life, I am not familiar with coat checks, so I thought, “Why don’t you check it!” was some sort of insult. So I yelled back, “You check it!”

And life went on. I remember that same night on our way home we stopped in front of the NY Public Library on 5th Avenue and got out of the car and danced to Pump Up the Jam, which was new at the time. Anyway, that’s my remembrance of the night.

20 years later, in 2009, I’m watching a movie on tv, literally 20 years later – and one guy says to the other, “Why are you carrying your coat around, why don’t you check it?” And that sentence came flooding back to me all those years later and it dawned on me, right then and there, that the girl was telling me to check my coat with the coat check.

The funny thing is I never wore that jacket again. Not sure why. I think it seems too puffy. I still have it in the closet somewhere.

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The stamina to not eat what you hate

This cartoon got quite a few comments yesterday. It seems that everybody has a story on what they hated to eat as a kid. I think I didn’t like liver and possibly spinach. Spinach I like today. Liver never.

I don’t think my mom forced me to eat what I didn’t like, but I do remember her telling me to try it.

One thing I have almost daily is olive oil, I take a spoonful daily for the omega threes and to be in step with those blue zones around the world, and I also put it on things when eating. But I didn’t like it as a kid and my mom was telling me how good it is for your health, I remember. She said I would get used to the taste. I eventually did.

One lady mentioned spaghetti, in a comment. She didn’t like that and was forced to eat it as a kid. I can sort of understand that, as I am not a big fan of spaghetti, but I’ll eat it, I don’t have to be forced to eat it, but I wouldn’t order it in a restaurant.

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Winter Arts Festival time

We did our local arts festival yesterday and will go back again today. When I say did, I don’t mean we showed our art, I mean we walked around, ate, drank, kibitzed and enjoyed the show. For one thing, the town is mobbed with people and it’s impossible to get in and out so it’s best to just stay put and enjoy the event.

It is getting a bit out of hand with the $25 entry fee and $15 gyros and $18 taco dishes, but it is what it is.

This weekend every year is the busiest weekend of the year in Miami. There are a few arts festivals, the boat show and some other things. They say it’s impossible to find a hotel room or rent a car – they’re all booked for the weekend.

Oddly enough, it was cold all winter, where I love, but yesterday and I guess today, when a bunch of us go back, it will be very hot.

I ran into my nephew’s friend, he told me that he and his wife got in for free. He said to the people at the gate that they forgot to stamp him when he left and then he rubbed the wet stamp on his wife’s hand after they stamped him – sort of like we used to do at the clubs. So he saved 50 bucks.

I used to be part of this as a sponsor when I did the daily news around here so I would get lots of tickets to give out free. But not anymore, I’m now a peon like everyone else (which I love being by the way), but people didn’t know and I got so many texts and calls from friends and family asking me for tickets. Even the UPS guy was hounding me for tickets. How he got my phone number I’ll never know.

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My dad’s brother

I was visiting my dad in the hospital (nothing major) and a nurse came into the room to see him. She asked if I was his brother!

Should I be insulted? But when I think of it, he looks younger than his age, so maybe it was a compliment to him. I’ll take it that way.

It reminds me of when people ask women if they are pregnant, or when are they due, and they aren’t even pregnant!

Italian-style Christmas?

Me with Laura (not Marsha or Jan)

We had a great Christmas despite the fact that we lost a lot of people this year – mainly my mother, my aunt (a second mother to me) and a cousin. We didn’t do Christmas last year due to the pandemic, so it was nice to get together. I have a large family and a few were missing due to illness and one niece was pregnant so she and her husband couldn’t travel – they had the baby last night btw.

Anyway, on Christmas Eve, we were at one of my brothers’ houses. One niece (let’s call her Marsha) and my nephew’s wife (let’s call her Jan) got into an argument. It got heated. I joked that it seemed like a Thanksgiving thing to do.

The next day, Christmas Day, we were all at said nephew’s wife’s house (with my nephew of course). I was the first one there. She (Jan) came up to me and said, “I’m concerned about Marsha. Do you think she’ll show up today?”

I said, of course, she traveled here for the holidays, she’ll come with her parents.

Jan then said, “That’s what I love about your family – it’s so Italian. There’s a huge blow out and it’s over in five minutes. If that was my family no one would speak to each other for months.”

I laughed and didn’t realize we were like that. I don’t really remember arguments, but we do talk loud and maybe that seems like arguments to her, who knows.

I do have a friend whose family don’t speak to each other for long periods of time over stupid things. They’re Italian, so maybe they are the exceptions who prove the rule.

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He’s being held prisoner

The Health Care system in our country is the worst – but that’s no secret.

Last Saturday, we brought my father to the hospital. He had hurt his leg. About three weeks before he fell and ignored the wound and after awhile, it got infected. So we, or I should say, one of my brothers drove him over to the hospital. And he is still there! They are keeping him captive, it’s like he is in prison.

When they arrived, they waited 12 hours for a bed, there’s a bed shortage in hospitals all over the US and today, over a week later, he is still taking up a much-needed bed, because of incompetence at the hospital and the insurance company.

I won’t name the hospital or insurance company, but the people there are idiots and the insurance company would rather pay for his over-a-week stay at a hospital than pay for a wound vac, which is what he is waiting for. He should have gone to a better hospital, one our family has used for years, but he said he wanted to go to somewhere closer to home. But this is maybe 10 minutes closer and he wasn’t in an ambulance, it wasn’t an emergency, he didn’t need to go to the closest place.

I went yesterday and tried to speak with his case worker at the hospital, who was in hiding and refused to come out of her office. All the nurses on that floor lied to me, to my face – telling me she was busy, she was on the phone, she was in a meeting – she wasn’t – she was just avoiding me and the situation. At one point I heard someone say, “Get security,” meaning, throw me out of the hospital!

I can get loud, but I wasn’t loud, I was just insistent and demanding. I had many legitimate questions.

Finally the case worker came and said the wound vac would arrive yesterday afternoon and he would go home, but that was the story for the past week. Nothing came, he is still there today. I don’t believe the case worker is working on the case or pushing to have him receive the wound vac and have him released. I know hospital workers are overworked these days, so maybe that’s her attitude – pure exhaustion.

It’s so frustrating thinking that he is perfectly healthy and could be at home while his leg heals. But he’s stuck in a bed. Every time I go visit, the bed next to him is taken by a different person – those people are in and out, but he lingers.

Bed are scarce during this time of pandemic, is it any wonder when they are giving beds to people who don’t need it?

He is in prison. It is literally as if he is jailed. He isn’t hooked up to any machinery, he is just there – in bed, taking up space. Waiting.

I won’t go there today, I get too upset, more than he apparently is; my brothers and other family members will visit. But it’s such a foolish thing – he is just captive. What really bothers me is that this it the hospital where my mother and brother died. I want Dad out – released today.

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Having second thoughts

I bought a bunch of soda machines for Christmas gifts this year, you know, the Soda Stream, it’s called. I always liked them and wanted one myself, so I got them for people as gifts with all the works – extra CO2 cylinders and flavors and bottles and stuff.

I also like air fryers and thought they would be a cool thing to have, so last year I bought a bunch of those for people.

Funny thing is, I don’t have either for myself even thought I would like them.

But the other day I was watching tv and someone said that the soda maker is the stupidest gift. They said, why not just go out and buy a bottle of soda if you want one? What’s the point of going through all the trouble of making a glass of soda. And now the whole idea doesn’t seem so great.

On top of that, they are big and heavy and last year the air fryers were big and heavy and both a pain to transport around to give to people. For many years I would deliberately buy small things, you know, nice gifts, but small gifts, that I could easily carry around and hand out. I’m not sure why I got the air fryers last year and the soda machines this year, but they are freaking heavy. And hard to wrap.

But after hearing that they are a stupid gift, I can’t get that out of my head. I’m thinking of returning them. I probably won’t, but I can’t get the idea out of my head that you can easily go and buy a bottle or six pack or liter or whatever, of soda any time you want it, you don’t need to make it.

Point taken. But they did love the air fryers last year, so let’s see how this goes with the Soda Stream.

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Christmas commercials

This commercial reminds me of my father and my uncle, who both lost their wives this year. Really sad.

And this, Publix commercial, of course, is my all-time favorite Publix commercial.

The “Last Train Home” commercial was shown for many years in the 1980s and ’90s.

The music in Last Train Home is from Still Life (Talking) an album by Pat Metheny Group, released in 1987. This Publix commercial ran from 1987 to 1996.

To this day, when Pat Metheny is performing, he’ll refer to the song as, “The Publix song.”

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The Christmas card

This year has not been kind to our family. We lost three family members – my mother, my aunt and a cousin. My father lost a wife, a sister and a first cousin (none from covid).

When my aunt passed this past Spring, I asked my cousins for something personal of hers. I wanted something with her energy attached – a coffee mug, an earring, etc. They gave me this little painting she made. It was in her dining room for many years – this little snowman image.

I took it home in July, after I spent time in New York and it sits on a table in my living room.

I would look at it daily. I thought, “It looks like a Christmas card – the snowman, the snow and birdhouse evoke Christmas. And it’s the size of a Christmas card.” And from there, I got the idea of making an actual card out of it. So in late July, that is what I did.

I held onto the card all summer and fall until this week when I mailed it. I didn’t tell anyone about the card, I wanted it to be a surprise. I only had 20 made and I sent it to my immediate family and my cousins and uncle. It went over well, everyone was touched and surprised at the image when they opened the envelope.

Let’s hope for a happier and healthier 2022.

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