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

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015


or, "It Takes So Little To Make Me Happy"

Cranky had taken a test for a job, a very involved and convoluted test but loved the challenge of it but then worried she hadn’t passed it and wished she had had more time to look it over.  So, when she hit the streets of Manhattan after the test and a group of Italian-speaking people asked her directions to the ‘Metro,’ she blanked --- Cranky’s brain was still lost in the test she feared she had flunked.

“Metro, metro?“ --- Cranky thought --- oh, right --- the subway!  The Italian tourists were sweet and waited patiently, somehow trusting she’d eventually come through.  They were all on a corner of a major intersection in mid-Manhattan.  There had to be a subway around somewhere.

Finally, it came to Cranky and she pointed them to just a few blocks away, to a biggity-big station that she had fogged out on, apologizing to them that she had just taken a test and was confused.  The bigger guy of the group shook his head understanding the word ‘test’ and all were smiling and grateful, bound on the ‘Metro’ to “Ground Zero” --- a term Cranky hadn’t heard in a while.

Then, on the way back to Brooklyn and another commitment, Cranky stopped to return something to a store, a major chain --- only to be told she was two days’ past the return time and when Cranky balked, not wanting a pair of pants that didn’t fit, the cashier handed her back the bag and said --- “Here --- take them, they’re yours!”  Cranky tried bargaining for a store credit but to no avail.  “Call central headquarters” was all she was told and sadly went out the door carrying a bag and contents she couldn’t use and everybody probably knows how cheap (err, frugal) Cranky is. Plus, she hates waste and this was waste.

Cranky was now not only a bit shaky from the test and the failure to return something to a ‘known’ store but she hadn’t eaten anything so far that morning.  She wanted to just pick up a cup of coffee to take with her on the ‘metro’ back to Brooklyn and eat at home.

But, when Ms. Cranky searched and searched for a coffee cart (they are cheaper than most cafes and, usually, have great coffee) --- they were nowhere to be found --- not near Penn Station anyway.  It was all hot dog and souvlaki carts but no coffee carts.

So, underground in the Penn Station Concourse, Cranky wandered among the many shops, not wanting to spend a lot of money for not very good coffee.  Then, she came upon a really good chain she knew had good products if not cheap prices.  Has Cranky used the word ‘cheap’ over five times yet??? --- She hopes not.

But, as Cranky entered the shop and approached the counter to order, she came upon four young cashiers behind the counter, all women, singing along with and dancing to a very catchy Michael Jackson tune.  Cranky’s mood changed immediately --- they cracked her up!  Out of nowhere, it wasn't even noon yet, on an ordinary work day --- Cranky had come upon this burst of joy --- four girls, of different shapes, sizes and heights, each with a broad smile, were dancing up a storm.

They were so into their routine that Cranky danced along with them as she tried to order coffee --- not easy to do over the din. 

Then, suddenly, the girls pointed her to a stand in the middle of the shop where you help yourself to coffee and, as Cranky pulled out money to pay, they hollered and waved her away ---‘it’s on us!’ they said and went on about their dancing. She tried protesting, waving her bill in the air, but they just kept a-dancing.

This was just the medicine that Cranky needed to fend off the ‘probably-failed-the-test blues’ and the huge chain store that didn’t have a decent return policy.  How wonderful to run into this ménage and on an ordinary Thursday, in a crowded underground area, just up from where she’d catch the “A” train.

And, for their joy and good will towards her, Cranky will now not seek out a cheaper coffee cart when she is nearby but will go back to that shop over and over. 

It takes so little to be nice and it takes very little for Ms. Cranky to perk right up and soldier on.  ‘Perk up’, te he, not meant to be a pun but a pretty good one anyway!!!

Thanks for stopping by, as always, and Cranky’d love to hear any of your stories of lovely happenings in the ordinary days of your life.

Ms. Cranky ---

from underground at Penn Station where the subways run --- celebrating a good deed that meant so much --- cashiers who dance, and, why not? --- and, oh, the coffee was so very good!

rock on cashiers and counter people of the world --- rock on!!!

Friday, October 16, 2015


Ms. Cranky though not a sports fan (?) does love when 'her' teams do well.  She loves the spirit of her city when everyone's all revved up.  Cranky even sometimes learns more about the specific sport at major times like this.

So, the Mets' win last night in LA is very exciting to her --- no she'll not buy a ticket, not that she could --- there are none. No, Cranky wouldn't go that far but she does think she might just hop a train from Atlantic Avenue and zip on out to Citi Field just to catch the rarefied air.  She thinks that just by 'being there' she'll be excited and will surely see a spectacle of her fellow New Yorkers --- all dressed up in their Mets hats and tees.  Hey, it's not exactly like having the Pope around but it'll have to do for the time being.

Not too many events can compete with that guy and his little beanie, at least for Ms. Cranky.  Bring back the Pope, bring back the Pope.  Cranky wishes he lived here, maybe they could volunteer at a soup kitchen together, they would have such fun.

But, back to, ehh, sports --- what Cranky mostly loves about these sporty things is seeing the families together and can easily cry over a father holding his small son's hand as they take the subway to a game.  If they might also have on matching outfits, Ms. Cranky will truly cry (but, not as much as for Pope Francis!).

There's just one problem that Ms. Cranky has with all this sports stuff (besides boredom, sometimes) --- how can they waste all that champagne???  It breaks Cranky's heart.

Any waste bothers Ms. Cranky, ala her over-wrought recycling life.  But, we're talking about champagne here!!!   Champagne --- so, so sad --- a sweet sentiment, perhaps, but such a waste.  Do something else with that sentiment --- like hold the cork.

Or, overwrought teams could get one of those new gadgety machines that put sparkles in your water and use that and save the champagne for what it's made for --- to drink.

Nice talking to you, a cool but sunny day here, Ms. Cranky gets a few hours off after a hard week --- a bit of gardening maybe or, perhaps, a trip to the Pier in Red Hook --- just to look out on the water and remember there's more to life than complications; sometimes that's hard to remember. And, there's gotta me more to life than unresponsive bureaucracies!!!  Hopefully.

Enjoy the baseball series but, remember --- hold the cork!

See you next time, Ms. 'baseball fanatic for a few weeks' Cranky.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Pope comes to America and gets an Italian entertainer, not an Italian-American entertainer --- how come???

Ms. Cranky finds it ironic, though she understands somewhat, that Pope Francis for his first visit to the United States, will be serenaded while In Philadelphia by Andréa Bocelli who is from Italy, maybe a few blocks away, should they have ‘blocks’ in Italy.

There are tons of great singers, opera and otherwise, in Philadelphia.  There is the Academy of Music which housed an annual Pavarotti Competition for many years; there is a bar-restaurant called Victor’s Café in Philadelphia which grows opera singers.

Okay, Mr. Bocelli happens to be at a conference in Philadelphia at the same time, but, ‘hello’ --- the dear Pope could hear him any time --- in his own backyard (if they have back yards at the Vatican???)  But, come on here, Cranky’s sure Andrea would be very glad to just ‘pop by’ anytime --- ‘when in Rome.’

Ms. Cranky, though trying hard to be understanding, can’t help but think of all the wonderful American singers whose lives would be changed forever with the experience of singing for the Pope. 

But, per usual, no one has asked Ms. Cranky’s opinion.

 Have a great day, a lovely and safe Pope visit, a wonderful Jewish holiday.  

Ms. Cranky

any thoughts greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Modern (?) Life (?)

(not written in 'Ms.Cranky' style, but, ...., thanks for looking, good stuff.  mpk)


We couldn’t both get down the sidewalk at the same time, so I waited. I had a cart and three loads of clothes from the Laundromat that I was dying to get down the street and up to my apartment.

But, they, the adults and dog in-between really took their time, oh, she saw me waiting.  And, she could have told the man but she was busily talking to him though he was absorbed by his phone screen and not paying any attention to her.  She could easily have told him to move a little quicker as I waited and waited some more.

But he could have cared about her or anyone as he surveyed his contraption and walked as slowly as he wanted.

When the man finally looked up from his phone to walk past me, I thought he’d apologize, say, ‘sorry, or excuse me.’  I would have.  But, instead there was just this straight stare at me, quite hostile actually; maybe he thought I shouldn’t have been ‘allowed’ on his sidewalk.

Later I wondered who raised people like this?; who raised people to be so self-absorbed, so non-caring of other people’s lives; maybe they saw my grey hair and thought I was retired --- hah, like that will ever happen.  And, even if I could be retired, I might still be real busy.

But, besides wondering who raised these people, mostly, I worried about the little dog stuck in the middle of them.  She deserved better.  She seemed a very sweet doggie, if a bit confused by being very ignored.


He weighed me on the scales and said “Good for you;” I had seen him many times before when I came to the doctor.  I laughingly explained --- “All I had to do was stop walking down the Dove chocolate aisle of the local CVS and 6 lbs. fell off in a month!”  I was sitting up on the metal table by now.
He then tied me up to the blood pressure machine and started it.  I watched the machine --- good --- my blood pressure was well within the norm. I knew how to read the machine.

And, it was a good thing I did because three minutes later I was still tied up to it and had memorized my blood pressure readings over and over.  By then, the young tech had received a call and was busily reading his phone which had a photo of a pretty young lady on it.  He smiled while reading, ignored me some more, then, still smiling, started texting back.

By now, I figured I’d had enough of this, extricated myself from the machine, got down from the table and hollered back to him my readings as I went out the door.  I doubt he heard.

At least, he had forgotten to charge me my ridiculous co-pay!  

Amazing.  And my acquaintance is worried ‘the Chinese are taking over the world’??? Well, it wouldn’t be hard to take over this world.  And this is why our new rip-off health plan upped my co-pay and cut my benefits??? --- no more eyeglasses for you dearie, no more preventive medicine for you, oh, and your blood pressure? --- it’s good you know how to read it by yourself. 


I was happily swinging my bag while walking across Court Street in Brooklyn, happy because I was on my way to the great bread bakery (which also had cookies!).  I waited for the light, walked out into the crosswalk carefully and noted a police car slowly coming out of the street across from me.  

I walked merrily along, anticipating just a few cookies for later but as I walked more into the street, I noticed that the police car from the side street turning in --- just kept coming into the intersection, slowly, thank God, but it was NOT STOPPING, not stopping for the pedestrian (me) in the crosswalk. 

My mood quickly changed from merry to panic and my bag stopped swinging as I saw the grille of the police car very close to me and realized the police car was not going to stop.   

Screaming, I was able to jump out of the path of the oncoming police car.  Aren’t police people supposed to protect you from reckless drivers and not be them?  What is wrong with this picture???

The driver opened his window and very nonchalantly murmured to me  --- “Sorry, we were looking at something,” --- ‘something’?, ‘we’?, why we??? And why the driver???  Why was the driver ‘looking at something’ when his colleague could look at it???  Couldn’t one police person drive and the other ‘look’? 

And, could anyone have bothered, maybe, to look at me??? --- me, the pedestrian about to be run over in her own neighborhood, in a crosswalk, with the green light by people she once trusted and whose taxes she gladly pays for???

I saw the policewoman in the passenger seat next to the driver with a another contraption in her lap.  There didn’t seem to be an emergency, they were just moseying along, peaceful as could be, except for almost killing someone.

I never cry, ever, ask anybody who knows me --- unless a pet is sick and then I cry all over the place.  But, there I was on Court Street outside my favorite bakery, holding close the bag I had just a bit ago been swinging so merrily, crying my heart out, trying to focus on the bread in the window but realizing, instead, I had gotten way too close to not being around to buy bread or anything else and I would have been downed by the very people who hand out tickets for what they had just done. 

Your thoughts are greatly, warmly welcomed.


Monday, May 18, 2015


All her life Ms. Cranky remembers older women calling her ‘hon’ and ‘dear’ and ‘sweetie,’ most especially waitresses named Lil or Gert.  Cranky didn’t mind it, it was a nice part of life and she didn’t think much about it.  Until lately --- when Ms. Cranky became one of ‘those people.’

There was no warning nor preparation and no one told her to do it.  There was no instruction booklet or ceremony gently moving her into the world of the Lil’s and Gert’s of Cranky’s yesteryear.

But, slowly, Ms. Cranky began noticing those old familiar words creeping into her very own language, usually on goodbyes.  “Bye, sweetie; okay hon, see you real soon…”

Did Ms. Cranky get older?  --- Yes, of course, Ms. Cranky got older, and, seemingly, very quickly.  But, did Ms. Cranky suddenly become a waitress in a highway diner with homemade coleslaw and heavy off-white coffee mugs?  No she didn’t. 

It took a while for Cranky to process this information and to even realize she was doing it.  She’d hang up the phone and go, ‘Hmmm,’ did I just call my niece-in-law ‘sweetie’?  Was that actually me saying ‘goodbye honey’ to my mentee?   It was not thought out in the least but it was definitely happening. 

Now, over a bit of time, Ms. Cranky doesn’t mind the change; she even thinks it’s sort of sweet (not ‘sweetie’).  One day she simply realized her new speech had become a pattern, an ‘okay’ pattern that came with the passage of time --- maybe like lower-heeled softer shoes or needing eyeglasses or trying to decide to color your hair or not?

Ms. Cranky wonders your thoughts on this matter and also wonders if it happens in all cultures and what the names would be in Italy or Croatia or China?  And, Ms. Cranky celebrates all the women who came before her and their most welcome terms of endearment.  A term of endearment is always enjoyed.

See ya’ ‘round ‘dearies’!!!
April 2015

a few photos from our winter --- long, tiring, slippery but, at times, utterly beautiful, this night even my neighbors were hanging out their doors admiring and admitting its beauty.

the geraniums are outside now but in winter, they are in cranky's bathroom getting the southern light they so love. the skirts were in an exhibit in a building cranky works in, there were several colors of skirts hanging in the winter garden of the world financial center, moving some; in time the art installation was to be put to music, the different-colored skirts probably swirling about which cranky would have enjoyed seeing but never caught that act.

thanks for looking, Ms. C.

POLLY WANTS A CRACKER, MS. CRANKY WANTS A CRACKER, BUT JUST A CRACKER. (And, please hold the seven-thousand varieties)

Ms. Cranky wonders if it’s too much to ask to just buy a box of crackers anymore, regular old crackers, crisp and chewy.  Cranky doesn’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits or, worse, dampen a cracker and make it soggy (yikes!) but these exotic cracker tastes --- hello!!!  Are we that truly bored?
Does Cranky really need a jalapeno-banana-with a hint of lime cracker (made up name)???  Or, sesame, flaxseed, limburger cheese crackers???
Can’t Cranky just get an old really crisp crunchy cracker of yore?   Okay, maybe the black pepper ones, okay maybe those but please not tootie fruity.  And, boy does Ms. Cranky love her horseradish but she loves it in a proper tall slim glass horseradish jar in her refrigerator, not in a cracker --- oh, all-right, maybe horseradish. Cranky’ll concede to that.

Cranky wonders when all this ‘enhancing’ will stop and at what point will the desire to gussie up a perfectly-okay product cease?  Dill and sea salt, not bad, fire roasted tomato, tomato and basil, rosemary, okay but Cranky does not need all this confusion.  

Cranky is confused enough by daily life and dodging people walking into her with their appliances.  Why a cracker too? isn’t there enough to juggle?  How much can the brain handle?  And, why are people acting so nuts???  Probably because they can’t find a good old plain cracker anymore, not to mention the exorbitant cost of a box.  Hello, millionaires club! 

And, in the meantime, can we find out what’s in the ingredients of all these exotic tastes???  Can we examine the labels?  Ms. Cranky does not believe that variety of this nature comes without a problem.  Perhaps if God had wanted ratcheted-up crackers, he or she would not have started us out with a plain old wonderful wafer.

Ms. Cranky would, as always, love to hear your thoughts on any of this.  Maybe she’s just being ‘too cranky’ here, she admits that.  Or, maybe, other people feel the same way.  She’d love to hear. 

And, remember, never eat, plain or enhanced, crackers in bed.  That is a given, if not much else is.

April 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS --- a bit behind but the spirit is still there

Ms. Cranky was honored one night to be on a subway platform at Bay Parkway waiting for the “F” train, with views so spectacular of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines that she went to the end of the platform in the very dark.  She was the only one there waiting and Ms. Cranky is scared of, like, just about everything.

The new World Trade Center which Cranky usually loves to hate, was spectacular, shining, shining and the old Empire State as always lit up and, then, building after building on each side of the river was bright and right below where she stood, were the memorials rising up to the sky of one of the most beautiful cemeteries Cranky has ever seen, a very old Jewish cemetery.   Oh, and did Cranky forget to tell you of the small slit of a moon just sitting up there in the very cold?--- Cranky finds skies so spectacular in the coldest weather though her knees climbing those old old subway steps weren’t doing as well as the night sky.

Then, a few days later Cranky went into Manhattan on a brief outing, conveniently forgetting how intense the ‘Christmas crowds’ would be even after Christmas.  She had a few errands to do, and, then, hoped to grab a decent cheap lunch and walk through Bryant Park.

It was really hard getting through the crowds, very claustrophobic but all could be handled and went all-right till Cranky couldn’t find the reasonably priced Irish bar where she’d had a great sandwich once and, since Cranky does not eat breakfast, she was getting weaker and weaker and wandering up and down side streets searching and searching --- ‘it’s gotta be the next block, etc.’ getting, more and more, err, ‘cranky’ so she, finally, dove into a dark diner (unusual in itself, she should have ‘realized’) and quickly ordered a turkey burger, the cheapest thing on the menu. 

That’s when she was pushed by the waitress to order ‘deluxe’ which she didn’t want. And, in time, Cranky would find out that if you didn’t pay extra for deluxe, at least in this joint, you weren’t even allowed a pickle on your plate! 

The waitress had her so upset pushing for ‘deluxe’ --- “You won’t get lettuce and tomato and fries” she kept repeating and Ms. Cranky would more-or-less-patiently reply that she didn’t want ‘deluxe,’ this went on and on and, then, the barren turkey burger with not a teeny thimble of over wrought slaw nor a pickle, arrived, and, for some reason had a second roll on the plate, which Ms. C. found strange but was too hungry to ask about it and started to eat.  Anyway, she couldn’t do another ‘deluxe’ conversation.   Cranky does admit to munching a bit of the second roll --- who knew a turkey burger came like that --- and, why?

So, when she went to pay her bill, Cranky was all excited and in a good mood to tell the tourists who had arrived in the shop some places to go, where window displays were still on, etc., Cranky loves pushing the delights of her city as you might guess.  But, when she got to the counter to try to get a check, the stalwart deluxe-pushing waitress had over-charged her for her very plain old turkey burger and, then, added on $1.45 (!) for the extra roll Ms. Cranky had never ordered.  Is that a lot of money for a roll???

When Cranky asked the waitress about all this, the woman started screeching --- ‘you get a menu and check the charges, you cheat, you cheat’ and went on and on about Ms. Cranky ordering a second roll.  There went the tourists sitting there, Ms. Cranky hoped to chat with.  This was not the Xmas, New York City spirit Ms. Cranky loved.

Cranky, per the menu, changed the wrong charges on the bill to correct ones, crossed out the aforesaid horrid roll not asked for, multiplied everything by 9% tax as 8.75 was too hard for her rusty math brain to handle.  She left the money at the counter near the cash register with the corrected receipt and even left the screaming waitress a tip on the table, not as big as usual, but a tip.  

Then, Cranky sadly exited the diner without her usual pep talk to the eager tourists as she was too humiliated and found herself out on the street, still really hungry and not in too pleasant a mood.  This was not what she had planned but, then, whatever is?

So, stalwartly determined to ‘start again,’ Cranky walked up the side of the NY Public Library building towards the beautiful Bryant Park with it’s even more lovely tiny Christmas shops and great skating rink at this time of year, still upset from the dim no-pickle diner experience.

As Cranky was walking up a stairway holding on to the railing on the right side (the correct side to go up) a woman sent her son, actually pushed him to that particular side, ‘the wrong side’, where he hit Ms. C. but did not totally topple her.  The boy was about 10 or so but pretty large and the mother who had pushed him and seen it all, came laughing behind him as Ms. Cranky tried to pull herself out of harm’s way.  Ms. Cranky was not having a ‘great day in Manhattan’ so far.

Cranky rarely gets mad enough to speak up but this time, high on the tails of the turkey burger, extra roll, overcharge incident, she shouted back to the mother --- ‘Thanks for sending your son to push me down the stairs’ --- but the mother just kept laughing.  Cranky’s words fell on, well, not ‘deaf ears’ but huge thick purple ear-muffed ears.

But, just as Ms. Cranky might finally give in and feel a sorry for herself, just then, as she re-arranged herself at the top of the little stairway, came a family of four --- an older couple ahead, then, an teen-age boy and, next, probably, his mother.  

Ms. Cranky would have thought nothing of this group except for the fact that the younger woman, bringing up the rear, was crying and as Ms. Cranky stopped to notice, the woman began actually sobbing hard --- right there walking along, coming up from the beautiful park.  That stopped Ms. Cranky in her tracks, literally.  

No, she hadn’t found the cheap Irish bar hard as she tried, she had a barely decent sandwich in a diner and had been mis-charged, then verbally accosted for the mis-charge and certainly didn’t have ‘deluxe’ treatment, then, trying to approach the beloved park, had a large child hurled at her by his laughing mother who kept on laughing even as the boy fell into Ms. Cranky.

It hadn’t been a great outing but Ms. Cranky was not walking behind her family and crying, not even a little bit.  She quickly forgot her own minor woes and felt very sorry for this woman. 
Cranky approached the low white wall of the park which she so loved, where you could look out all across.  

She had finally arrived there and blessed herself as was her old way and stood silently praying for the poor sobbing woman, wishing she could stop whatever was hurting her, hoping the woman’s pain would go away real, real soon.

Ms. Cranky, sometime after Christmas, 2014Thanks for stopping by, love to hear any of your Christmas stories, sweet and bitter.  Please come again, writing more now.