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  1. Sharin' Stuff

    Tuesday, June 29, 2021


    Sharin’ Stuff


    I went out to the store after midnight for a bad reason – a few loose cigarettes.  My punishment was seeing a rat.  Damn.  I thought the block had this under control.  It was under control for a few years.  I hope this gets solved before it becomes a tremendous deal.  There was a time it was so bad that I wanted my buddy to drive me into the lobby when he took me home.  I can’t bear the thought of it getting that way again.


    A number of blogs back, I shared proudly that I did my taxes days before the deadline.  I’m still waiting on my refund.  I can’t believe it.  The local one came quickly but that was a very small one.  I need the federal one.  I have checked on line a few times, and the status is that it is still being processed.  I can’t f’in’ believe this.  They blamed the delay on the pandemic.


    I’m not proud to admit this, but I’ve been watching the Bachelorette.  I’ll blame the pandemic.


    Lately, when I see my little feline friend, Mustache, she is very loud and demanding for affection.  If I’m by the counter purchasing something, she insists on letting me know she’s there and waiting.  She rubs hard against my legs and ankles.  Sometimes she rubs her cheek against the top of my feet.  Then after my change is given, I bend down to pet her and she has much to say.  Then we go to her food – she likes me to walk her there.  She starts eating with her tail straight up, expressing her happiness.  I pet her and tell her, “I’ll see you next time.”  It’s always an experience that makes me smile.  Such pure love.  💗 😻


    I want to have a four-legged member of the family again, but I have concerns.  First I was concerned about the finances and if there’s a need for veterinary care at some point.  A woman in the neighborhood said if I speak to the ASPCA, they may provide help for that.  I was happily surprised but never looked into it.  (I’m hoping I’ll be able to earn money again now that so many folks are vaccinated.)  Another concern is that though a cat doesn’t have to go out to relieve her/himself, they shed more than many dogs.  I have breathing issues, so that could be a problem unless I become a much better housekeeper.   😆 😅 😄 😃 😂 😁 😊 😏 😤  A dog does have to be walked several times a day.  I can do that, but I wonder about the days when it is 3 degrees.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that.  I find that torturous.  I’m still dealing with the after-effects of Legionnaire’s (Fall/Winter 2019) and a mild case of COVID (Spring 2020) combined with cigarette smoking.  I’m working on it, but I just don’t feel sure I should have a furry child in the apartment yet.  Yes, one can have four legs, be furry, and be my child.  It’s the heart that matters.


    When I had my darling Luigi, I tried to get him to do his bizness on newspaper in the apartment when it was a blizzard or extremely cold out.  No way.  Once he had learned that he was a “good boy” for going outside, there was no way back.  He was a “good boy” for the rest of his life.


    Now I’d want an older cat or dog for several reasons.  They are usually not the ones most desired for adoption.  They deserve peaceful and loving senior years after all they might have been through at the will of shitty humans.  It is worse for the animal if they outlive their human.  It hurts a whole lot when they pass, but it’s worse for them if we do.  Since I’m not a youngster (except in my mind), I don’t want to take the chance on a very young fur baby who might outlive me.



    Love always to CGG-M ❤ ❤ ❤

    Mindy Matijasevic

    June 2021





    The two co-editors of a publication requested a new poem of mine for their November issue.  That was my high for the day.  What an honor.  We belong to the same on-line poetry community/workshop where we aim to share a poem twice a month.  We sometimes get feedback.  This time I received such a wonderful request.  I haven’t submitted poems to journals on a regular basis in a long time.  I hadn’t submitted to this one either though I like it.  So to be asked felt so special.


    It also is like a loving smack in the head.  Get your shit out there, woman!  Whattaya waitin’ for?!



    As far as my battle with cigarettes goes, I’m still doing better than I had been before attempting to cut down.  I hope I can eventually do better than now because it’s not really good enough.


    Aside from eight mosquito bites, I had a wonderful day with two long-time friends on Friday.  We went to the Village of Sleepy Hollow and spent the day and evening under a gazebo in Rockefeller State Park (or right near it).  We each know each other well and accept each other as we each are, flaws and all.  No matter have much aggravation we might be having in our lives individually, we end up cracking up laughing over so many of our life experiences.  Deep laughter is so good.  Really helps endure the pain.


    When we were up there, we stopped in a couple of food stores before going to the park.  It was wonderful to see that the supermarket there carried Bronx Hot Sauce.  It is the only hot sauce I ever liked.



    I once worked at a job that, as a bonus project, had developed a garden where they planted peppers (among many other things).  The peppers were grown for the Bronx Hot Sauce company.  They supported us and we supported them.  Several teachers, a former director, and many students are due the credit for that work.  Though I was barely involved, I encouraged my students to get involved.  Many came from countries where they farmed, so it felt like a bit of home for them.  They’d get to take home many of the vegetables they planted.  In many ways, it was a good adult education program though there was room for improvement.  When the third administration team came in, it became a whole different program.  The garden, the dedicated counselor, the most popular teachers, gone.  Other good people left on their own.  It takes so many years of hard work and evolving minds to build something great, and so little time for the narrow-minded to destroy it.  One of my former co-workers told her therapist what was going on at that job.  The therapist believed that the new director got rid of those she felt threatened by because she felt they knew more than she did. 

    It echoed of the previous White House administration. 


    Constant love to CGG-M ❤ ❤ ❤

    Mindy Matijasevic,  June 2021

  3. Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

    Tuesday, June 15, 2021


    Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad


    On Sunday, I was looking at the posts in a Facebook group I’m part of for people who grew up in the Bronx.  Many were highly recommending the movie, “In the Heights.”  Then someone posted a photo of his tv with the movie on the screen.  It was a shot of the rally scene.  He asked me if that was me in it.  It was!  It was a background role, but I was positioned next to an actor with lines, so I was clearly seen.  This was filmed before the pandemic.  (I haven’t dared go into crowds since the virus.)  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I intend to.  What really struck me is that the person who recognized me only knows me through that Facebook group.  We never met in person.



    I messaged him to thank him for the photo and to let him know I was surprised he recognized me since we only know each other on Facebook.  He wrote back:

    Bella mujer, I've admired you for a long time. It’s an honor. I would have put a better picture of you but I needed your permission. But yes, I spotted that beautiful face in the crowd. BTW I hate musicals except West Side Story and now this wonderful movie. Have a blessed day.


    Later that night, I went to the 24-hour store to get chips and a few loose cigarettes.  The night cook made a big point of saying hello.  He’s not one of the cooks I am too familiar with, so I was a bit surprised but I responded.  Then he asked about my dog and then acknowledged that my dog must have passed by now.  I was very surprised.  He said he saw me every morning walking the dog when he was going to school.  I asked if he lived in my building.  He said no, but that he lived on my block.  He said he’s seen me every day since he was about twelve.  I was wide-eyed.  I had no idea.  He is a grown man now.  I said, “So you knew me when I was skinny.  Look at me now,” and I grabbed some blubber from my middle.  He said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”  I was impressed, and I cracked up laughing.  He’s young; many older men wouldn’t have responded that intelligently.  He spoke of my dog being calm, not barking at everyone, and looking like Lassie.  I just wanted to hug him.  Instead, I thanked him for telling me all that and told him that it made me feel good.


    Wow!  I started to feel the world was telling me to come back and join the living. 


    On my way home, a drunk man said, “Hello Mami.”  I didn’t recognize him, but I certainly noticed him aiming right at me while asking me, “Where are you going?”  I went to the other side of the sidewalk and walked around him.  He was about my height but much broader.  He was drunk enough that I felt I could push him, and he’d fall.  So I was not frightened as much as surprised.


    Three surprises in one day; two out of three felt great.




    Love always to CGG-M ❤❤

    Mindy Matijasevic,  June 2021

  4. Just Stuff

    Saturday, June 12, 2021


    A few days ago, I heard the elevator alarm as I left my apartment.  pressed the button in case that would get it moving, but it didn’t.  I went downstairs, and the people were stuck on the first floor.  I opened the outer door and then pulled and pushed the automatic door to try to get it open enough for them to squeeze out.  They said something in Spanish.  I said in English (the only language I know), “I’m trying to help you.”  I got it open enough for them to help push it open.  They got out.  As I left the building, I saw the husband of one of the women.  “I just rescued your wife.”  He apparently knew they were stuck and had gone to find the super. 


    Today, I was the one who got stuck in the elevator.  It’s not my worst fear, so I wasn’t panicking.  I was hot in there.  But I was grateful I didn’t have to pee, and there was no roach or waterbug in there.  It could have been worse.  The hardest part was not knowing how long I’d be in there.  I made a lot of noise with the alarm button.  After a couple of minutes, someone showed up and was trying to get the automatic door open for me.  It was the man whose wife I had rescued.  I thanked him so much for returning the favor. 


    Many of my neighbors barely speak English, and I know just a bit of Spanish; however, most of us do speak "neighbor."  💚



    On Friday, my long-time friend Judy, who lives in Staten Island, was in the Bronx for some business, so she texted to see if I was free to come downstairs and see her before she went home.  That’s always a treat.  It’s usually for about 15 minutes.  This time, she didn’t have to get anywhere else, so we spent a few hours together sharing many things including our troubles.  I hadn’t expected that amount of time.  It felt good.  I wish we lived closer to each other.


    In our twenties.

                                                                                Decades later. 

    Much love to CGG-M. ❤❤❤


    While I’m still struggling along to maintain my progress cutting down on the cigarettes, I had two unsuccessful days.  Actually three.  They were still better than what I had been doing before, but not by much.  The next day, I felt more in control and got it down further. 


    On Tuesday, my buddy (my unofficially adopted brother) offered to drive me to take care of some errands for me (and some for him), have late-afternoon breakfast, talk, and enjoy each other’s company.  It really helps when he interrupts my routines that are not productive.  I do my best not-smoking when I’m with him.  It took years for me to adjust with a good attitude, but I now appreciate that he does not allow cigarette smoking in his house or car.  I never had a car, so getting driven around is always a treat.  It was a good day that included lots of sharing and laughter (which I haven’t had enough of lately).  He also appreciated my efforts and what I’ve managed to improve on so far regarding the f’ing cigarettes. 


    On Wednesday, I had human interaction again, this time on line, with the poetry workshop I’ve been part of for a number of years.  Two days in a row of hours of significant human interaction seems to have done me good.  Plus a family in my building got a puppy who I met in front of my building.  For a while I just watched him.  I saw how the dad was very concerned about things I’d be concerned about – how hot the ground was, checking his paws, untangling him when the leash got between his legs.  After about five minutes, I went over to say hello to this delightful puppy.  He sniffed my feet, jumped on me, all happy and loving.  I think that moment also did me good.  Nothing like passing an animal’s smell test.  They sense the soul.  It’s an honor.


     Lots of love to CGG-M ❤💜❤


     Mindy Matijasevic






  6. Warrior, Lump, or Both?

    Friday, June 4, 2021


    I have been drinking so much water since cutting down on cigarettes that I think I may have also lost a little weight.  I’d be glad if I did.  I received good advice from a former smoker.  She knew from experience not to aim for zero from smoking 20-30 cigarettes a day.  It did make me feel calmer than I expected to feel.  I stopped being upset with myself for smoking and instead felt proud of my progress. 


    I’m still only buying them loose.  So far, I’ve gone from 20-30 a day to 5-15 a day.  I feel that if I had a pack in the house, I’d likely smoke the whole pack.  Still desire it.  I don’t feel sure I can maintain what I’ve achieved so far, but I’m still trying.  It’s been 17 days.


    A few nights ago, I returned a phone call to one of the many people to whom I owe a phone call.  We spoke about a number of sad things, yet I felt good talking with her.  Her view of me is so much better than my view of myself these days.  We knew each other from a former job where she was a very caring counselor who really helped people.  I was a popular teacher who appreciated my students and was appreciated by them.  She told me I was an ass-kicker and a warrior.  Though I love that vision, I told her I felt like a depressed lump.  Her reaction was, “Oh NO. Not in my eyes.”  I am trying to borrow her eyes.



    She shared how much she loved my writing and wanted me to continue.  That night, I wrote.  I hadn’t realized, until later, her impact on me.


    One of the things I have been working on is a collection of my experiences in adult education where I taught people who were returning to try to get their high school diploma.  That night I wrote a first draft of the time I had to co-teach with someone who was very different than I am.


    Several nights later, I presented it to a writing workshop which mainly focuses on poetry but allows the occasional short prose.  Since the pandemic, we’ve been doing it on-line.  They had so many ideas and questions and suggestions.  So though I thought my piece was done, I have things to think about.  The workshop folks are so helpful.  Their feedback helps me try to make the piece as good and as clear as I can.


    I hope to get back into comedy.  I’ll let you know when there are shows I’m doing.  I hope it is soon even if we are masked.  I need money and laughter.

    Love to CGG-M ❤❤❤

    Mindy Matijasevic