Z is for Zigzaggery

New Thoughts on Words


Photography by Patrick Latter


Instead of writing about zucchini bread, I thought this up. It is zany….

Z is for Zigzaggery

Zig-zagging along through life

Swimming the course with zest and zeal

Then zap!

A  hand grenade is tossed in your lap

Swerve and sway, get out of the way

Make sharp turns and alterations

Zoom in the zone

Experience Zen . . . . aka; zero expectations

Duck and Dodge, or escape to other zip code destinations

Zigzaggery is not a trip to Zeeland, Zanzibar or a vacation

You are at a zoo, the zebra’s have lost their stripes and duck tape is the only salvation


Here on earth we call it life

. . . . just saying

l7c5645Patrick Latter’s picture, he used photography skill to create the zigzag picture at the top

I is for Indignant Indigestion

Aging & Attitude


New Thoughts on Words

What do Sheryl Sandberg, Susan Patton and Yvonne Brill have in Common? Indignation, all three women have reason to be angry about accusations thrown their way.

Megan Daum’s thoughts under a headline, “Mrs. Degree? Maybe” highlights the controversy and raises the question again, husband or career? Daum writes for the Los Angeles Times.

Susan Patton got herself into trouble writing a letter to the Daily Princetonian suggesting female students check out the pool of eligible man on campus before graduation. Then attempting to clarify, shot herself in the foot, suggesting a professional life is not fulfilling.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and best-selling author, advises woman to “lean in”. Statistics confirm that women have a problem advancing and Sandberg outlines the criteria to fix it; sit at the table and keep your hand up, make partners real partners and don’t leave until you leave.

Yvonne Brill is deceased and cannot defend a preference to being called Mrs. and comments, “Good men are harder to find than a good job.” However many were offended by a New York Times obituary beginning with, “She made a mean beef stroganoff.”

A rocket scientist might consider that more of an accomplishment. The pertinent question, was she equally compensated with male counterparts?

These three women, unlike men, are being criticized in the media for their decisions regarding work, marriage and family.

Women are judged for their choices, and even Hilary Clinton was defined by her hair when Secretary of State, as will John Kerry.

Would we be having this discussion if Sandberg, Patton and Brill were male?

So what’s it all about Alfie?

The issue is a woman’s identity.

Women conflicted over life choices, feel guilty and a person’s identity cannot be founded on guilt.

If a man wishes to be a beer drinking- Belcher and farter, the world does not attempt to persuade him otherwise. If he wants to be president, that is fine too.

Some things are hard to swallow but we do and realize after, it was a mistake and indigestion is sure to follow.

Please pass me the pepto-bismol.

…just saying

G is for Gaudy


Aging & Attitude

The Alphabet Series – New Thoughts on Words

Gaudy is a word I heard as a child. My mother used the adjective to describe styles not to her liking. Designs she considered garish, ornate, flashy, kitschy, tasteless, vulgar, and extravagant. Our neighbor’s orange velvet sectional is a good example. The French Provincial Couch covered in plastic stuck to the back of your thighs in the summer and cracked when you sat in the winter. The iridescent fluted fruit bowl filled with shiny fake red apples and ornate oranges that decorated their dining room table was in my mother’s words, “poor taste.”

She told me “Gaudy is derived from an eccentric architect, famous for constructing some God-awful cathedral in Spain.”

The true impact of the word is captured by a visual of the works of Antoni Gaudi, the architect. As an adult I was fortunate to visit Barcelona and view the site she talked about.

Gaudi, born in 1852, is famous for his elaborate ornate architectural style. The Sagrada Familia  has been under construction since 1882 and expected to be completed in 2024. That is a 142 year project funded by private donations.

My mother knew about Gaudi but learned her sense of style from her father, Achilles DeSalvo, Pop-Pop to me.

Called Charlie, and never trendy, faddish or snazzy, he knew how to dress.  His family owned a tailor shop in Manhattan called DeSalvo & DeSalvo.

I loved him dearly.

Summertime, Saturday morning, Pop-Pop would take the Long Island Railroad to the Westbury station. He arrived wearing a blue seersucker suit, straw hat and spectator shoes, an afternoon addition of the Herald Tribune under his arm.

He wore cuff-links and his nails were polished.

We waited with great expectation for him to remove his suit jacket, and get comfortable in a chair. Surrounded by his four grandchildren he would unwrap one Mounds Bar and divide each half,  in half  for us to share.

But the best was yet to come.

Concealed in a breast pocket was a cigar.  The  cigar ban was presented to one of us and worn as a ring, for the day or week…depending on how long we made it last.

We never moaned or complained. We stood with hope and felt his love.

My grandfather got me my first real job at the Plaza Hotel.

Occasionally he would say, “Meet me on the northwest corner of 55th street and Madison on Tuesday at noon, and we’ll go to lunch”.

I did.

There was nothing ornate, flashy, gaudy or extravagant about his love. It was genuine. His style memorable.

 ….just saying