Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Ms. Cranky was fighting with her crossword puzzle and not really listening to entertainment TV the other night when she started hearing these reports about the Kardashian sisters’ closets.  Again, not paying much attention but trying to get ‘#64 down,’ the information kept coming at her from out of the TV set --- did they really say like ‘300 some pocket books and 51 clutches,’ but poor Courtney only has ‘273 pocket books and 51 clutches,’ 51 seems to be the magic number for clutches in that family. A ‘clutch’ for someone who doesn’t know is a smaller bag that you just --- clutch to you; it has nothing to do with gears on your car.  Cranky guesses it’s something you might take to a party when you don’t want to be seen with a bigger bag, but, then, as Ms. Cranky always thinks --- who really cares?  Ms. Cranky has but one purse and not a clutch to be seen.
But, the story about the closets must have bothered Cranky more than she thought because she kept thinking --- ‘I have one bag and that’s fine with me and I usually carry my Wegman’s tote bag for extra things --- library books, light groceries, crosswords to do while waiting for buses, riding the subway, etc.’
Then, Ms. Cranky remembered where she got her purse, quite nice though small.  It was left behind under a desk at a temp job she was at and when they were moving offices, no one wanted it and voted it should go to Ms. Cranky.  It was worn some but it still worked. 
Cranky began using it last summer after her other bag, a hand me down from a friend she loves, got stolen when she was out trying to keep pickers out of the garbage pails in front of her building.  The pickers were really making a mess of everything.  Someone next door had moved and just threw all their stuff --- clothes, shoes, full diaries and all out onto the street, not even in trash bags.  But, when the pickers were gone, so was Ms. Cranky’s purse, her good deed undone. 
Ms. Cranky wonders what she would do with more than one hand bag?  Where does one get the time to change your things around and what if you forgot your Metro card in the new purse, how would you explain that to the bus driver?  But, Ms. Cranky thinks the Kardashian sisters don’t ride the bus a lot.
Ms. Cranky got to thinking that if the Kardashian sisters auctioned off even ½ of the many purses they have, think of the money they could raise for charity?  And, if they auctioned off half, they would still have 26 clutches each.  Are there even 26 different colors for these things to go with?  And, where do they find the time to shop for all this stuff?  Not to mention storing it, repairing it.  It’s all Ms. Cranky can do to work, wash her kitchen floors which look dirty again before the mop dries, cook, move a button and fix a hem here and there and participate in the great life of her city and area.
Yikes, and this Kardashian wedding this weekend?  Ms. Cranky will probably miss it; she thinks it’s probably on some cable TV station that she doesn’t get. 
Oh, well, she’ll have to garden, swim, get ready for the annual block party and go to church and pray for her many friends with horrid ailments and surgeries ahead of them who just want to be healthy again and to hell with another purse!

Thanks for stopping by.  Ms. Cranky would love to know what you think of having 273 purses? 
Keep truckin’ as they used to say and Cranky never knew what it meant then either.

Yours, Ms. Cranky

August 18, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011


Ms. Cranky is most excited that people can get married who love each other no matter what their sexual orientation is.  Love counts and a couple of friends of hers who have been together 27 together are now going to be able to legally claim their love!  Wow.  And, our Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ever the good businessman, has put out an open invitation to gay couples to come be married in our wonderful city, stay in our hotels, use our caterers and dining establishments, and hire a Rabbi, priest or Guru of their choosing.

But, living in New York City and trying to get around crowded areas can cause Cranky to be very, uhh, ‘unromantic’ so before the Mayor of New York City invites any more couples to be married here, a few ground rules need to be set down.  Please don’t think Cranky isn’t all for love and marriage, she just sometimes needs to get someplace and if people are holding hands all over the sidewalk, it’s hard to navigate around them.  There are two resolutions she wants to propose to the Mayor for possible promulgation.

Resolved:  That there can be no hand holding in Times Square on weekends or at major holiday times.  Ms. Cranky’s real sorry but if you’ve ever tried to get through to an appointment or a shop or to the theater when the area is crowded, you’ll understand.    If you’re lucky, you can get around one person ahead of you but when there are two adults holding hands, swinging them in joy in fact, all starry-eyed and looking up and around at the bright lights and tall buildings, you just can’t get through.  Cranky has a friend in a wheelchair and she sometimes accompanies him and his wife to the theater and getting through crowds at 7:30 at night, is agonizingly slow with or without a wheelchair. You could miss the whole first act.

Oh, Cranky knows you’ll say “But we came to New York for our honeymoon so of course we’re holding hands” and that’s nice, it really is. Cranky is thrilled for you and thrilled you chose New York over Des Moines or somewhere else. We very much appreciate and need the business.  It’s a great town and we are glad you chose us and we love love but you’ll find more room to hold hands down in the Battery area.  You could go down to the Battery and carry on all you want and see the Statue of Liberty while you’re at it.  Or, wait, you could always go over to10th Avenue and hold hands --- just not in Times Square itself.  
Or, come out between midnight and 8 a.m. and walk around --- now, that would work!  And, don’t worry, there are lots of people out, it’s not ever deserted but it’s easier getting through the streets during those hours

We sincerely hope you have a great visit in our wonderful city and hope you might come back for future anniversaries.

Oh, and one more thing ---

Resolved:  That there be no linking of arms of whole huge families in the Times Square area.  Once again, we’re sorry to have to make this regulation and we’re so glad to have you here and, yes, we understand you’re from Nebraska and you’ve saved up for years to visit us (thanks, very nice) and you’re all thrilled to be in the middle of New York City as a family --- that’s lovely, that’s commendable even but if you get all excited and link arms, nobody can get past you.  So sorry to have to say it.  We hope you understand, and, of course, we do hope you come back.

All the best,

Ms. Cranky

With copy to Mayor Michael Bloomberg
August 11, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011


Ms. Cranky wonders about the closed MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) booths where customers could get Metro cards, maps, information and actual help.  She knows it is a ‘money thing’ but was baffled once again last Friday evening when she came home from the Adirondack Mountains lugging her stuff and was confronted with no booth or help available in, of all places, Penn Station.   How can this be?  It’s bustling, it’s a tourist mecca and our city always claims it needs tourists.  Cranky can’t tell you the number of times she’s rescued stranded tourists who couldn’t figure out the Metro card machine, who needed directions, etc. and were getting fed up. It’s baffling.  Here of all places where an MTA booth could help the city make money.
But this story is Ms. Cranky’s own.  She had come home from the Adirondack Mountains by car and train, about a 6 hour trip.  She was covered with bug bites, (someone loves her) and carrying a bunch of luggage. Next to the Long Island Railroad and below the AMTRAK Station, going into the subway was incredibly hot.  And, now Cranky was finally nearing the “A” train and a subway trip home where she was longing to be but her Metro card stuck in the slot at the turnstile.  This often happens, especially when the turnstiles haven’t been cleaned, you can actually feel your card stick as you go to swipe it but the MTA rule is to keep on trying at that particular turnstile which Ms. Cranky did, over and over.  Her biggest suitcase was already pushed under and on the other side.  But, the slot wouldn’t let her go through, it stuck and stuck so she did what she knew was a sin with a capital “S,” she tried the next area and got the error message, “already used”  which means you are stuck waiting 18 minutes until you can try your card again. 
In other stations like at Borough Hall # 4 and #5 stations, when this happens as it did a lot last winter when Cranky was teaching in the Bronx, there is a booth and an attendant who can look at your card, see that it’s valid, and let you go through.  But, not here at big time Penn Station.  You’re just stuck after a 6 hour trip from up north with your luggage, the awful heat and Cranky guesses you’re supposed to lean against a wall and wait, there’s sure no place to sit.

Cranky was sad.  She goes to this wonderful Writers’ Retreat every year but mid-week this year, she got homesick and then sick sick and all she wanted to do now, at 7 on a Friday evening, was go home, touch her cat, see her beautiful flowers and be in that most wonderfully named place of all --- home.
So, now she pulled her bag back and under and was upset that she would have to wait 18 minutes in this sticky atmosphere. 
Cranky must have looked real discouraged because this lovely young man just ‘arrived’ at her side and asked if he could help her, thinking she needed help getting her bags through.  She said, “No, my card stuck 6 times and now I have to wait 18 minutes to use it again.”  He was, in fact, also really very nice looking, something Cranky couldn’t help but notice even in her upset state.
The young man went easily through a turnstile and Cranky thought that was that when suddenly she heard a loud buzzer noise and someone hollering and looked to see that he had gone in, gone over to the emergency door, opened it and was now beckoning Ms. Cranky to sneak in that way.
Which, she did without thinking and Cranky is terrified of police and jail and such, but she really wanted to be HOME.  No hand arrived on her shoulder, and she didn’t land in jail, thank heavens.  She thanked the young man profusely, he didn’t have to do that and he went on his way and Cranky lugged her stuff up the stairs to wait for the subway.
Anyway, it wasn’t really cheating as Cranky has a monthly unlimited card for all her roaming about.  She can’t help it if the slots aren’t always clean.
Thank you kind and most handsome young man.  Ms. Cranky usually does not concentrate on superficial things like looks but she couldn’t help but notice and, not only was the man most attractive but he was kind and caring as well which makes a person much more beautiful.
Dear MTA and Mayor Bloomberg --- what is it with this decision to close the ticket booth at, of all places, Penn Station?  Hire me, I’ll greet and direct and help people and they’ll spend more money and want to come back to our wonderful city.  But, could I have one of those little portable fans on my shoulder?

Hey, thanks for stopping by.  Ms. Cranky hopes that your little and big roamings are pleasant and that you too will be aided by a stranger or a friend is fine too.  Thank you kind and thoughtful stranger!!!

Ms. Cranky, August 8, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Ms. Cranky just got back from her annual Writer’s Retreat in the splendiferous Adirondack Mountains.  Cranky had known the Adirondack area from childhood and considers the mountains her sacred home, plus she wasn’t very cranky as a youngster.  When she arrives in the Mountains, her life clicks into place and she pretends for a week or so to be an Adirondack Woods woman though she is very urban the rest of the year, as we all know.
Unfortunately the bugs, consider Ms. Cranky a ‘hot chick’ if you will, so if you should see someone walking down the street showing a small bit of skin between huge red-purple bites, that could be Ms. Cranky.  Pass the ointment, if you will, though the doctor just told her most don’t work, so much for all the $ Cranky already handed over to CVS!
But, in the Adirondack Mountains, the air is so fresh, the smell of pine intoxicating, the lake brilliant and clear and cold, the skies bright blue with wondrous wisps of clouds and the trees make lilting noises from various winds.  Ms. Cranky’s family lost their mountain camp many years ago and she recently found this new place and honors the whole area as a gift of huge proportions.  It’s Cranky’s true spiritual home and, hey, it’s the bugs’ home too.  Ya gotta respect ‘em.
But, even in the sacredness of the Adirondack Mountains, there can be problems though this one was minor:
Ms. Cranky woke up the second night in her cabin with noise from under another bed in her room.  She got up, turned on the light and out popped the most beautiful chipmunk she had ever seen.  She followed him into the living room of her cabin until he zipped under the back door and all she could see was his gorgeous multi-colored tail, striped of shiny rich black, white and orange. 
And, over the next few days, a relationship built, or so Ms. Cranky thought.  The gorgeous creature would be there when she returned from class with his cute little face and bright dark eyes. She would talk quietly to him until he eventually skittered off.  The chipmunk was even more skittery than Ms. Cranky is accused of being, or maybe it’s just that they both have a ‘short attention span.’
Ms. Cranky quickly announced to anyone at the writer’s retreat who would listen that she had a ‘pet’ chipmunk;   Cranky always was a bit too eager to announce things. 
And, she was sure that the tiny chipmunk was a boy.  “Pete,” Cranky named the gorgeous several ounce animal, a good old name but, then, Pete was so tiny that she changed his name to "Petey."  Maybe changing his name was the problem --- who ever knows? 
Petey was there several more times when Cranky got back to her cabin after class or swimming.  Petey made so much noise chewing on crackers, you’d think he was chewing through steel.  The crackers had fallen out of Ms. Cranky’s ‘cracker box’ one late night while she was reading on the porch.   But, she feared that if she swept them up, she’d wake her cabin mates who were early-to-bed types.
Then, after a few days of being excited about Petey and talking about him and researching proper food Cranky should feed him, Petey was gone.  The crackers were too.
Ms. Cranky thought that she had left those kind of guys behind many years ago but here it was happening again even in the hallowedness of the Adirondack Mountains, even with a being that probably didn’t weigh a pound.
She kept thinking Petey would come back but he never did.  Cranky knew that human men acted that way sometimes but, for some reason, she thought the chipmunk population would be a notch up the evolutionary ladder.  Okay, maybe Cranky should have named him “Arnold.” 
Later in the week, her cabin mate, Jane, a lovely woman who wanted Ms. Cranky not to be sad, said “I saw Petey today --- he came back” but Ms. Cranky had seen that chipmunk.  And, it wasn’t Petey --- the colors were all wrong; it was a perfectly fine chipmunk that stayed awhile and Cranky talked to her and, though she had no crackers to offer, the chipmunk hung around. Ms. Cranky speaks only English, a very few words in Italian but she knows nothing in “Chipmunkese.”
Oh, well, as they say in the movies --- ‘it was just a summer romance’ --- and, we all know how those end!   But, it wasn’t even Labor Day, it was only late July and it was about running out of crackers.

Ms. Cranky thanks you for coming by --- more tomorrow.  She’s totally back to urban life.  
Have a wonderful day, evening, whenever you read this.  I pray people have been polite and considerate to you of late.  It makes life so much easier and sweeter and it’s so easy to do --- don’t you just love it when it happens???
Signing off,
Ms. C.

P. S.  As Cranky was writing this about Petey, the little ingrate though handsome as hell, she had the radio on and the wonderful Tina Turner was singing --- “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” --- Perfect, Petey - -- you just go into the woods and under the door of another cabin and befriend a new push-over --- you little rascal.  But, while you were around, you were a joy.  Thanks for stopping by, Petey.  May the wind forever be at your tiny little beautifully-striped back.  It was fun while it lasted!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ms. Cranky, AN APOLOGY

So, so, sorry but Ms. Cranky has been away for a week on a wonderful adventure.  She will post more tomorrow. Cranky is sorry if you felt deserted or that she had leapt into the river or something.  Oh, no, never --- we have to fight a bit hard to get to the life we want but eat a protein bar or whatever and just keep fighting or ‘keep trucking’ as they once said, which Ms. Cranky never understood but pretended to be ‘cool’ and with it so she never asked?!
Anyway, Ms. Cranky background --- after years of threatening to jump the Brooklyn Bridge, one year walked across it with her guests from England and found that there would be no dramatic plunge into the river from that wonderful bridge, but, that if she jumped, she would land on a Toyota or a Prius or something --- a very unromantic way to go.  So, it was better to stay in the 'fray' and, if you can’t figure it out, just enjoy the parts that work.
More tomorrow about Cranky’s time away in the brilliant Adirondack Mountains at a Writers’ Retreat. Ms. Cranky had a fabulous time as always, had a brief ‘love affair’ with a totally unfaithful chipmunk, and just came from the doctor’s office as her whole body is covered in bug bites.  But, it’s nice to know someone or some species loves you!   But, still, the Adirondack week is the highlight of Ms. Cranky’s year and some years the bugs behave better! 
And, soon, Ms. Cranky will be back to writing about urban life.  When she got off the train in Penn Station only a few nights ago, it was like Ms. Cranky went away for but a week and while she was away everyone really practiced how to act their worst --- is that possible?  Maybe Cranky is still clinging to her woodsy ‘ohm, ohm, thing’ --- you know what I mean?  Except for the guy by the subway turnstiles (a true ‘hunkaroonee’) who helped her get her bags through.  Ouii.  And, where did he disappear to???
Ms. Cranky thanks you for stopping by or just peeking in.  She prays that today someone was wonderful to you --- a shopkeeper smiled or a stranger on the street.  When Cranky went to get her myriad of bug bites cheeked at her HMO, the assistant was so nice, she almost cried. It seemed the assistant really cared and she smiled and was lovely --- how hard is that to do?  
And, you know, Cranky needs to get the assistant’s name and write one of those commendation cards.  It’s important to do.  People should be rewarded for their good and kind work and, maybe, in time, it could become a habit --- how fabulous would that be???
 79 degrees tomorrow or, so, ‘they’ say --- is that even possible? Cranky has a list of work projects if it’s true.  More tomorrow.
And, thanks again for stopping by.  You rock, you.

Ms. Cranky, August 2, 2011