Arrival   (2016Jul20)

Thursday, July 21, 2016                                           4:03 PM

Jessy spent two days in the hospital having her daughter, Seneca Duffy Burr—we didn’t get nervous until yesterday afternoon, when she stopped calling to go into delivery, and we didn’t hear back until 8:30, when we got to be the first to see our new grand-daughter via Facetime, straight from the delivery room, before they even weighed her (8 lbs., 4 ozs.) Jessy looked very tired, with good reason, Seneca looked relieved, and baby Seneca looked like a sleepy angel. I have never seen Claire so joyful—and I couldn’t stop grinning either. We went from worry over our baby to having a new baby (okay, so we’re just the grandparents—she’s still ours).

We’re still walking around on clouds today. There are no words. But here’s a thousand words worth:




and here’s a couple of re-posts of the ‘before’ Jessy:




Two For The Road (2014Apr09)

Well, tomorrow is Claire’s Birthday! We’ll be having a joint celebration–because Jessy and Seneca (& Tuesday, the Wonder Dog) will be leaving on a road trip to California the next day.

I’m hoping they have a great trip–and that they find many new and exotic experiences out on the shore of the Pacific.

Their transportation (bought, paid for, registered, insured and inspected just today) is a 2006 Volvo hatchback–a beauty of a car (I’m jealous).

Thus today’s two improvs:


In Which I Make a Spectacle of Myself

What town was I in? Nelsonville, aka Cold Springs, NY. Where? On Main Street.

Jessy’s dog, Tuesday (the ring-bearer) and our son, Spencer, and myself had just been driven there by Karen, Claire’s Mom. My Mom, Ethel, had already arrived at a nearby hotel, where she shared rooms with my niece, Danielle, Kathy’s eldest, and Danielle’s daughter, Boston (the flower girl). Our neighbors, Harlan and Sherryl, were there. The rest of the forty-odd wedding party were Burrs from South California.

They had excused me from the rehearsal dinner so that I would be fit for the wedding—and Claire had gotten a sudden case of shingles, so she stayed home, too. If my Mom hadn’t made it, Jessy would have had no family there! I felt bad for Claire—between her work and her courses and helping Jessica with wedding arrangements, she’s been busier than a one-armed paper-hanger. So, I figure the shingles were stress-induced. Now that it’s all over, I hope she can find a little ‘me-time’ again.

So there I was, walking down Main Street on a busy Saturday afternoon in a tuxedo with bow-tie and two-toned (black and white) shiny dress shoes. People were shouting at me, “Hey, nice suit” and “Looking dapper, there” and so forth—I had never felt so exposed in my life—and I wasn’t quite sure where I was going. I wandered into a bed and breakfast and asked if Jessy was there and, for a miracle, the lady said, “Yes, she is. Come on in.” So I stood there in the foyer and I guess I was a little winded—she looked at me solicitously and asked if I’d like to sit down—which I suddenly realized I very much wanted to do—and asked me if I wanted a cup of tea or some water—which I suddenly realized I needed almost as badly.

So she disappeared upstairs to the girl’s party that brides-getting-dressed always seem to become. I sat in an armchair sipping ice water and dreading the long walk up the street to the library where the wedding would take place. I didn’t want to walk that far, but as father of the bride I felt obliged to escort her wherever she went in her bridal gown—and she was walking up Main Street, so I was too. In the event, it was five of us, including the beribboned dog, walking through town and causing quite a stir.

At the library I ignored all the stairways and what-not, focused on being the ‘arm’ Jessy was ‘on’. The service was surprisingly long (considering it was secular—I would’ve expected it from a Catholic wedding service) and then it was back down the hill, but it was dark, I was no longer obligated to escort anyone—so Claire and I walked down rather slowly. I was running on fumes at this point.

We got to the reception, an illegal storefront with no liquor license. As soon as I walked in, the sonic assault made me dizzy—O, do I hate loud music in a small place when I’m expected to make small talk with strangers—OMG, as the kids say. I soon retreated to the sidewalk again, had a smoke, and steeled myself to re-enter. Before too long it was time to eat, and then they danced. I had to do the traditional Father-Daughter dance—but I can’t dance, of course, so I just went from side to side, trying to lift my feet off the floor a few times just to make it officially ‘dancing’.

But Jessy was so happy and so loved and really enjoying her own wedding—something much rarer than you might think—it was a pleasure just to hold her in my arms, regardless of my awkwardness. And she had told me, days before, that the father-daughter dance would be my last mandated activity, so I was relieved to be close to the ‘finish line’, if I can call it that. I would miss the bulk of the reception, including the cutting of the cake, and the after-party—which I assume only the young people had the energy for.

Today, if I remember correctly, they are on their way to Cancun for their honeymoon. Jessy had been married once before, alone in Vegas, to an army recruit who spent most of their married years in Iraq—and this ceremony had much more of an air of permanency about it. I hope that remains the case—they are wonderful people, the now Mr. and Mrs. Burr, and life is so much nicer when you have someone to share it with!

And me? Well, I have a renewed appreciation for lying in bed and watching TV all day. And something about this wedding made me feel that Jessy was taken care of, parentally speaking—and that’s a great feeling. Now, all we need to do is find a girl smart enough to see Spencer as the beautiful man he is…

My Baby’s Sick –And That Debate Just Now Isn’t Helping

Tuesday, October 23, 2012              2:18 AM


Our sweet petunia, Jessy, came up on the Harlem North train tonight with her dog, Tuesday (the Wonder Dog). She came and asked for heartburn remedies, of which I have several. But she was in intense abdominal pain and she wanted a hug. So I gave her my best daddy-hug, but it didn’t work. Claire just called from Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco. They say ‘appendicitis’ and she’ll call me back when she knows whether the surgery will be tonight or later this morning.

 I know I’m not supposed to be worried about a little appendicitis operation, but it is surgery, minor or otherwise, plus I’ve been getting pessimistic lately and I could really use one in my win column—if only to convince me that there are two sides to luck, and not just the s**t end of it, which is all I’ve been getting lately. And our baby is so fragile. I couldn’t stand it if anything went wrong.

 Just to give you an example of how things have been going lately: Jessy’s emergency surgery in the next few hours will require us to cancel the surgery scheduled for Tuesday later today—the reason Jessy came up to our house in the first place! I should be grateful—if she had stayed in the city, who knows what might have happened. Now she’s with Claire, up here in Westchester—and I’m watching Tuesday until they get back. And Tuesday’s surgery can wait—she’s just getting something removed, in case it’s cancerous. Maybe I should talk to my doctor about adding a third anti-depressant prescription….


And that debate tonight—I nearly gag every time that nut-job tries to criticize Obama while saying that his policies won’t be any different. It’s times like these that I really wish the USA had a higher standard of education—if Obama doesn’t get his ‘four more’, I’m just going to stop talking to people. If the people in this country have already forgotten what eight years of GOP admin has done to us, we have nothing to talk about.

Besides, it seems like the stupid people are always winning elections these days—those tea-party whack jobs got voted in in 2010, pretending they were a new, improved conservative agenda—they’re new, alright—we haven’t had such narrow-minded, fear-based elected officials since the Salem Witch Trials—who woulda thunk any group could out-stupid Geo. W. Bush!

 But it will all happen the way it happens. I’ll be thrilled if we voters get the better man—but, if it’s Romney, that will only indicate that our days as an ‘empire’ are fading. And that’s something I’ve been hoping isn’t true for decades now, while suspecting that it already was. Making sense and having patience—stuff like that has never been the American way—hell, it’s never been the way of the world at large. Nor can I claim any great sense or patience in the way I lived my own life, so how can I complain?

If civilization doesn’t simply collapse under its own weight, it will only be due to a sea-change in the global paradigm. Unless the entrenched powers-that-be are overrun by angry mobs, nothing of significance will change quickly enough to stop our totally uncontrolled explosion of digital tech, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the abuse of natural resources that threaten the world’s ability to sustain life of any kind.

 And that angry mob will have to be a global one—so, imagine Syria, then multiply that times the whole world. Not a pretty picture—yet, still the only alternative to allowing the stuffed shirts to guard their own precious quality-of-life until it is too late to reverse the damage. Am I advocating violence? No, I am not. But I would appreciate it if someone else can tell me what the hell else can change civilization’s inertia from self-destruction to self-awareness? And in just a few decades—because, while our ecological policies remain as is, the damage they cause accelerates constantly—and now we have all of China (and other just-now developing nations) well on their way to matching, even exceeding the pollution that we Americans produce.

I’m just saying.