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  1. I have never used the word “putz” in my writing, but I have never written about Eliot Spitzer. When he announced his comeback, my first thought was now that he and Weiner are running for office; Gail Collins will have a field day. And with her op-ed piece two days later on these two, she did. She wrote that we will always picture Weiner in his underwear. Yes. And how will we picture Spitzer? In or out of his underwear? With or without his expensive hooker? Without or without his wife?* I always picture Spitzer with his smirk, arrogance, and family’s money. Among my least favorite human traits along with ‘boring’, ‘kvetchy,’ and ‘lazy,’ are ‘hypocritical’ and ‘holier than though.’ What to do on voting day? I dunno.

  2. Protesting George Zimmerman’s acquittal, Stevie Wonder won’t be performing in Florida. Way to go, Stevie!! Yet how tragic, how crappy it is that like all good moves and protests, nothing changes the rotten, awful stuff in and about this country. A commentator on CNN, who supports the Florida decision, asked why we always make everything about race. Why? Because it IS about race. In 2013, it still is about race. It absolutely is.

  3. Other happier news: An article in a recent issue of THE WEEK was about two seeing-eye dogs bonding during training. That led to the bonding of the man and woman who own them. The man and woman married. The dogs posed with them in the family group photo.

  4. And in my NYU classroom: When a professor who audits my Thursday night writing class took one of his breaks–for water, air, to pee, to wander–someone in a row near his heard squeaks coming from below his desk. “I think there’s a bird in there,” she said, pointing to his large canvas sack on the floor. Others hearing the squeaking

Lady Bird

assumed it was chalk on the blackboard of the adjacent classroom. Except there is no adjacent classroom. There’s an unused office. Upon my student’s return, I pointed to his bag. “You don’t have a bird in there, do you?” He smiled. “You found out.” He pulled out two little square plastic containers–deli-like containers–that looked like they each might contain little snacks. One had a teeny-tiny sparrow. The other had the sparrow’s teeny-tiny food. My student found the bird two nights before. In trying to keep it alive, he had to feed it every half hour. Taking it and its nourishment into the hall, he put the containers on the floor by our windowed classroom door. I kept glancing at the wounded sparrow. Not seeing movement, I asked the new pet owner to check. Twice. All was fine. A wonderful thing about my work: I get to hang out with all sorts of interesting people. And all sorts of strange birds.

*Let’s hear it for Silda Wall Spitzer who is working, painting, and tending to a newborn calf, NOT standing by what some naïve character in ONCE-UPON-A-FAIRY TALE-TIME might have called “her man.”


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