Sunday, April 5, 2015

Why, oh why, oh why-o?

As you read this, I am on my way, by car, on my way back to Ohio.

For one week.

By myself.  Without my husband.

But not alone.

You see Cookie has a conference that I must attend as part of my certification process for my new career, so I will be there for a week.

The conference is a four day hoot-n-anny, and it was silly for the husband to take off four days and sit around while I submersed in DNA Genealogy classes.

So while I am by myself, I am not alone.  Oh noes!

I sent out feelers to my friends to say "I'm coming back..." and soon found that my dance card is full to overflowing.

This is what I miss about Ohio - our friends.

One never knows how rich you are in friends until you move away.  Good friends are precious as rubies.  So my meals and evenings are FULL to overflowing.  I consider myself very lucky.

So I will not be sitting in a hotel room alone, nor will I be out getting into trouble.  Just doing research, meeting with old friends -AND- engorging on midwest cuisine.  I should be fat as a hog in week.

On the other hand, the husband will be here, at the house, working on projects.  Winter has finally yielded its unyielding icy grip on the mid-Atlantic and the daffodils have finally bloomed.  So he has his hands full.

But I will miss him and the pups more than anyone will ever know.

Next Sunday, I will be on the road the road again, coming home.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Back in the day...or is it that I am just getting old?

I would venture to say that besides easily identifiable porn hunk Paul Barresi (middle row, on right) that at least two other of these models (top picture middle and bottom picture) either did Playgirl photo spreads and or gay porn (usually at the same time).

There was also a very brief time in the pre coming out days that an International Male catalog would send me over the edge until in the afterglow that I realized that no-self respecting man would wear "The Stoker", a fishnet muscle shirt most favored by overweight men who would go to gay dance clubs because they thought it would make them look "hot".

I personally always like guys in the swimsuit cuts shown in the middle photograph.  Covered just enough.  I never understood "board shorts", and I certainly don't understand these fabric slings that European twinks seem so enamored with that cover the genitals and strap around the leg,  Having seen a couple images of these, sent to me by a female cousin - who seems to think that I drool over these sorts of things because Cookie is "GAY" - I really find them a bit disgusting.

She always seems disappointed that I don't squeal with delight when I get them from her, and she also seems to have a hard time with the concept that while its pure fantasy to look at a fit man, in reality, Cookie prefers someone a bit older than I, with a bit or reality on his body.

"What do you mean you deleted them?  My friend Beth, in Thailand, said that men just go ga-ga over these types of guys," says she, implying that the problem is mine, not in her sending me these images of high school graduate twinks.

I point out that 1) I am not, and never will be in Thailand, and 2) Don't understand mankind's obsession with youth.  It isn't as if a fifty year old man will somehow become anymore vital if a bit of ejaculate from a 22 year old guy gets on him.  He may feel flattered, but thats about all.  And in the end, that semen and his feelings of vitality turn to a watery liquid mess.

Don't get me wrong - Cookie can have very twisted fantasies - but skanky (or otherwise) hairless twinks under the age of 25 are never in them.

Me?  I like men.  Always have.   Always will.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Travel in my future but I am in hot water

So Cookie received the BEST two Valentine's Day presents imaginable this year.

Present Number One:  Since I have embarked on a career change - I mean working at the Beef Bran and Strip Club is a job, it certainly isn't a career - I have had to come up with my dream career and I have settled on Certified Genealogist.   It has been said that while I "can't remember where you put your keys five minutes ago," Cookie can find anyone.  I have been doing this as a hobby for 35 years and why not make big money and make it while traveling to glamorous places?  So to accomplish this, Cookie needs to get some serious research time in under my belt.

To this end, the Husband decided that it would be in our best interest to take a vacation, and combine it with some hard focused research time, which, Cookie can use towards the certification process.  So we are jetting to sunny California at some point in the future.  Felix has been told that we are coming and we hope to see him as well as Lady Donna Lethal.   If that wasn't glamorous enough, Husband is jetting us first class, coast to coast.  

And if that wasn't glamorous enough, Present Number 2 asks how much more could the big guy show me how much he loves me?

But popping for a NEW Hot Water Tank!

A what?

You heard me.  Ville Cookie, when purchased, came with many old things.  And old fashioned kitchen (no dishwasher), a purple bath tub (original to the 1932 construction of the house) and a garage that the doors don't work well.  While we relish the "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" life style, the hot water tank, vintage 1994 approached the end of its lifecycle ten years ago and has been filling up with water and sediment for way too long.   We know this because in the morning, when we are showering, washing dishes by hand or doing laundry, it sounds like someone is setting firecrackers off in our basement.

The loud popping is a bit unsettling, because it shouldn't be happening.  Mr. Bruce, our plumber, informed me (as if I didn't already know this) that the Popping is coming from the sediment in the bottom of the tank heating up and cracking, thus releasing air bubbles.

"You know," say he at $100/hour, "there are two things that leave you house weighing more than when you moved it in: your mattress, and your hot water tank."

In addition to getting rid of two ton Gertie, we are also moving the location of the new one to get it out of the way.  Right now she takes up a leisurely large percent of area that is prime space.  So the tank gets moved, we gain some space and we get more than 10 gallons of hot water at a time.

Imagine, being able to take a shower that is longer than three minutes.

Ain't life grand?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

I am out of hibernation: March is here!

So, where in the Hell has Cookie been, you may be asking?

Well dear ones - you know that I am not a winter person.  So I was being very bear like until March 1st, which has come and gone.  So on March 2nd, I am here for all to bask in my greatness.

Someone, or another, once said that March is the cruelest month because it promises so much, and delivers mostly nothing but cold, wet, soggy weather.

Au contraire!

March is the beginning of the earth's northern hemisphere waking up after its slumber!  Or more to the point - We have made it through the worst of Winter.   Think about it:

1) March snows seldom hang around for a few days, let alone weeks.  It snows and it melts.  And the glaciers occupying the lawns of the suburbs north of Tennessee (except in Minnesota, where it will snow until May 1st) start to retreat.

2) Daylight savings time begins this coming SUNDAY at 2AM.  The down side is that it will be dark at half past crack in the morning for a couple weeks, but on the good side, you get home from owrk when it STILL daylight!

3) And with daylight savings time, grilling season begins!

4) Morning bird song starts up at this time of the year.  And little Robin Red Breast returns to eat worms. Right now we have a brood of dark eyed Juncos, finches, blue jays, wood peckers all dining at our feeders.

5) My camilla in the front garden, aka Camilla Parker Bowles, will bloom.

6) St. Patricks Day is coming, so the bloody Irish (of which I claim 1/16th of my heritage) can  get whatever it is that we need to get out of our systems out of our systems.

7) St. Patrick's Day also means that my evil stepmonster, "Pat" will turn 83 this year, and it makes me so happy that she is growing older with every day.  We are hoping that Pat lives to be 110, partly because I vowed to wear a red dress to her funeral, and mostly because she dreaded growing old and having her looks leave her. (Insert evil laugh.)

8) And TJB at SSUWAT can get down his spring wear and box up his velvets and furs.

So be glad that it is March - we survived.  The worst is behind us!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fall of 1968: Your next car

Top line, New Yorker

Mid-line "300"

Value series Newport

Friday, January 30, 2015

Quelle Horreur: The lie that tells the truth

I want you all to know that this is no "found on Tumblr" interior desecration.  This was taken, by moi, in my father's living room.  My father, was not a man known for his "taste" (if you can call it that) in home decor.  And that is the living room in the house of mirth where I lived from Kindergarten in 1968 until third grade until 1971.

But this lamp is what my Stepmonster, Shark, brought to the relationship.  Tasteful, just like her.

"Don't you love it?  It's art, don't you think?" she asked.

Yes, the woman who told my mother that she was going to redecorate the "kitchen and the bedroom first - because that's where a woman does her best work," moved into the house last touched in 1968 (this picture was taken circa 1995) and redecorated by plunking this thing down in the Living Room.

The picture simple doesn't do it justice.  I showed it, back when I took it, to my mother who stared at it and then said "Of all the women through his revolving do he finally found someone who has taste worse than his - but what is it?"

Good question.  "It's a lamp, but Frankensteinish."

She then tried to figure out what its creator was trying to accomplish.

"Well, it looks like someone took and ugly sofa lamp, and mated it to a pedestal for an occasional table.  But why is the cord coming out of top of the pedestal?  And that shade?  It's too small and ugly.  But there is something so absurd about it, it's funny.  Your Aunt Nan would just die for this lamp."

I asked her what style she would call it and she decided on "Belle Watling Rococo Revival."

At one point the lamp stood in front of the living room picture window.  Thats how I learned about.  I started getting calls from people I knew up in Cleveland, and they usually started with "Have you driven by your father's house lately?"  No.  Why.  "If you do, do it at night."

Finally, one friend described the sight as "A Jewish version of the major award" from A Christmas Story."

This I had to see.  My father and I weren't speaking - one of our many not speaking periods, so I took a business meeting and dinner in Cleveland just to see it.  The house sat at the top of plain hill, no trees to mask the view, and the curtains were parted.  The library of the house - the original man cave where my father's barcalounger sat before the 25" Zenith and where he spent all of his time - was lit up.

But in the living room window on the other side, there it was, lit brightly as to show off its garish curves.  It was beyond ugly.  But it was something so over the top.  As I have written about before, my father and his family members were the Jew's with the faux Louis XVI furniture.  And cherubs everywhere.  Even our Jewish Guilt was colored with faux gold gilt.  So this lamp was  something larger than life and so horrible that it went full circle into right into what we call "camp" - the lie that tells the truth.   It was so horrible, it was magnificent.

The surface, as I would discover, was in gold and copper metallic paint, and the 250 watt bulb illuminated it, so it glowed.  Like Jean Shepherd wrote in Ralphie's voice "we were bathed in the glow of electric sex" when his father turned on the infamous leg lamp, I too felt bathed in the glow from this lamp; bathed in glow of bad taste and Jewish Angst as only our family could do.

On my next visit to see the lamp in the window about a year later, it was gone.  I had hoped that someone had accidentally knocked it over and broken it.  But it was not to be.  Stepmonster, who my mother referred to as the Imperial Concubine, had simply moved it to another location away from the window.

Eventually, when my father was stricken with the first of many attacks that would end his life, I made the effort to overlook his transgressions over me and at me and sucked it up and spent time with him.  These visits were taxing.  Even though I hated him for what he did to me, and my mother, he was still my father.  Though he never drank a day in his life, his liver had cancer and he was dying, all the while the stepmonster was feeding him a diet high in sodium and off plastic plates.  It was on one of those visits when I could get in the house and that was when I took this picture.

We all are going to die, sometime.  It's what our destiny is from the day we are born.  But something that over the top, and that garish deserves to live on.  Maybe it's the Baltimore vibe.  Maybe its living down the road from Divine's grave and up the road from John Waters, but I want it. I want that lamp.


Because no matter where you go in life, you can never outrun your past.  It may not be who you are now, but your past can't be undone because its part of who you were.  And that lamp is the perfect symbol of the burlesque that was my life in Shaker Heights at one point.  Besides, every house deserves something that represents a joke or is pure "camp" - the lie that tells the truth.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mercury has been in retrograde!

It's been a day like this.

A well regarded coworker found another job in retail that pays better than the Beef House and Strip Club.  I will miss her because she was the type of person you want to work with.  Great ethics, a black sense of humor, and she brought out the best in her coworkers - these just don't fall off the tree with every application.  So not only are we short handed, but one of the regular came in and asked for said co-worker, and when told that said employee was no longer with us, Customer launched on another coworker who was trying very hard to help said Customer.

It was ugly.  People literally stopped what they doing and listened at the rant.

So a couple of us stepped up to back this co-worker up, get this person quieted down and out of the store ASAP.

Later in the day the husband of the crazy bitch came to the store and spoke with the Manager.  The husband explained that the wife was going through a rough bout of menopause and she just felt "horrible".  The manager listened, and told about the apology one by one.

"She going through the change of life," says Manager.

Well what the Hell is she changing into? A Harpy?

"Mehbee," said Manager, "she no want to take the hor-monays."

My mother used to say that Menopause is like "riding a wild bucking bronco to Hell for some women."

So riding that wild bucking bronco to Hell during Mercury's retrograde phase must be some kind of special trip.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An ugly little secret about Angie's List

Cookie would like to take the fun loving hat off of his head and put on a serious one for a second.

Waaaay back when - twenty plus years ago - in fact, Cookie signed up for a referral list called Angie's list that had just opened up in Columbus, Ohio - the center of midwest consumerism.  My reasons were varied, but as a new homeowner, I didn't know who to call the stuff that was beyond skills.

I can sweat copper pipe and wield an acetylene torch, with the best of them.  But I don't do sewer replacements.  Installing a new toilet is a sinch, climbing on the roof, is not my forte.

So I joined Angie's List.  For annual subscription fee, we could join, call and get referrals to businesses that passed muster.

In turn, we were told, that our information was kept confidential.   The system was kept honest because subscribers paid to be in the system, which was supposed to dissuade false reviews.  Good enough for me - I was in.

Over the years, Angie's List changed.  The organization that vowed not to take ads from service providers started taking ads from A+ businesses.   Then we started getting peppered with email ads.  Deals of the Day that involved Angie's List as the pass-through payment system. The monthly magazine grew less chatty and useful and converted to general, mundane information that wasn't telling us anything about service providers.   In other words, the things that made Angie's List special erroded away.

Well, two weeks ago I, after pestering emails from Angie's List that I had not left a review for Herb's General Amalgamated Contracting, I knuckled under just to stop the pestering emails. I left a glowing review for a contractor, with four out of five stars on the quality of their work on our old house.  But I also said that an estimate for the new place came in way too high and that consumers considering using their expertise should be prepared $$$$$.  We found a local contractor who did the same work for a fraction of their bid, and were happy. Case closed.

Or so I thought.

Last week I started getting calls from the vendor - their manager for social media, "reaching out, after my comments..." and the kicker was "because of the impact on social media..."


So, on a lark, I called Angie's List yesterday and asked: "How did the contractor get my name and phone number?"

And the answer was:  "We provided all vendors with the names of people reviewing them."

And that was when my blood went cold.

Here's the thing, I have never written anything untrue about any vendor.  But at the same time, I have a problem with a vendor calling me up and trying get my to change my review - especially a four out of five star one - so that it makes them look better.

I also have a problem with a company founded on keeping clients identifiable contact information confidential, all of sudden providing that information freely.  Especially when they are goading me to write reviews, that they charge an annual fee to other people to access.

So, keep in mind that IF you write a review for Angie's List, they won't share your name with other members, but they certainly will share that information with the business.  Knife+Your Back = Stabbing.

Cookie has cancelled the service, and instructed them not to send me anymore "electronic" promotions, sales, magazines or elsewise.  All communication from Angie's List to me has to be sent in letter format.

Consider yourselves warned.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow storm Janis is here...

...and the people of this town are pussies when it comes to snow.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I am going to bed

Got my leopard jammies on...

my lips are moist...

The husband thinks marabou is a bit overdone...

 I hope I don't have those bad dreams, again.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Day Silliness... here is Helen Steiner Rice emerging, ney, *popping* out of her mink cocoon.  Evidently she is done pupating...

There, post number one for a New Year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Just remember what is most important about this "Eve"

And don't you bitches forget it.

By the way, Cookie is sending out positive energy, good vibrations and checks to our creditors in the morning.

Here's hoping your 2015 is EVErything you hope it will be.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Krab" with a "K"

Being that it is only December 28th, Cookie is stuck in Retail Hell, and that means having to spend a great deal of time in the cultural wasteland that is Reisterstown Road in NE Greater Baltimore, dealing with people who will try to screw you anyway possible.

At the Strip Club and Beef Barn, people are returning things that have evidently been used, poorly reboxed, and then returned without a receipt.  Since I do not own the beef barn, and since we have been told that it is all about the "experience" of "beef" and "strippers" (new readers may be confused by this.  It is a cloaking device so my corporate bosses don't try and shut down my blog) what do I care why they are returning?

I don't.  As unreceipted merchandise, that we normally stock, they get the lowest price in our database.  I dance the dance I need to dance to make others happy.

But I refuse to give these "patrons" the unreasonable, full price.  Why?  Because its morally wrong and practically theft.

"What do you mean this this used sex toy is only worth $4.98," asks a heavily accented grandmother.  "My granddaughter would never buy me a gift that only costs $4.98," she asserts.

I patiently explain that her granddaughter could have paid full retail, $20.95 for the small purse sized vibrating object before it went on clearance in February 2013, but the system is only allowing for $4.98.

"My granddaughter would have not paid just $20.95 for a gift for I, her beloved grandmother.  I am sure you charged her fifty, even a HUNDRED dollars for this cheap item that you now say is worth only the price a gallon of gasoline!"

And this is how it goes.  People bring stuff in the door, and they expect you hand them whatever dollar amount they feel its worth.

Then there are the errant couponers.  Corporate sends out coupons like Typhoid Mary sent out germs.  And they expire.  But the eastern european euro-trash foreign nationals who live in the area don't understand the concept of "expiration dates."

"You," said one angry woman with flaming orange hair (that most certainly wouldn't match anyone's carpet) pointed at me accusingly, as if to imply that I sent her an expired coupon. "You, sent this to me when I was sick in bed and now I demand to use this coupon!"

I explain to her that the coupon she is trying to use expired in October.  "It is not my fault that I have been busy since then!"

All the while, I hear my manager "it's about the experience."  Yet when I ask for the over ride, I get "Well October is a bit far back...."

It's times like this that I want to page the store for "Jack Hughes".

Yesterday, I had one man come into our shop, rudely insert himself into a conversation I was having with another customer about how to use a thumb index (no joke), and insisted that I help him at that moment with his hand-held device.

I excused myself from the befuddled customer I was helping and asked a coworker to help this man, giving her the eye signal that the guy was a handful, and he says, "I don't want no nigger like Obama telling me...blah, blah, blah..."  My befuddled customer, gave the man a sharp look, and went back to the index at hand.  My coworker and I both used our headsets to alert the manager that it was customer "tag" time, and she was it.

Now, just so you not think that I surround myself with crazies, 99% of the people I encounter are normal people.  Its just the 50% with unreal expectations that I kvetch about.

And its not just my store.  You find these people everywhere in the NW corner of Baltimore.  They just don't save it for me.

The other day on my lunch hour, I had to run to the local Giant to pick up something to eat.  While standing at the deli, there were two women standing just behind me.  Their conversation was thus:

Young Woman One: "Look at dat, what is that?"

Young Woman two: "Dat?" pointing with a finger that my peripheral vision picked up along my side.

YW1: "Yeah, that 'krab salad' shit.  They misspelled 'Krab' with a 'K' when it should be a 'C'."

YW2: "My mama says that it's kosher krab so the Jews can eat it."

YW1: "What make it kosher?"

YW2:  "All krab with a 'K' is kosher because it starts with the same letter as 'kosher'...."

There comes a time in everyone's life when you can address someone's stupidity, but that urge is overcome by the feeling "what good will it accomplish.  This was one such moment.  

After a day of "Many unhappy returns", Cookie just didn't care.

Instead I ordered my turkey breast, paid for it, headed to the Cookiemobile and, once seated and belted in, doors closed and locked, I screamed at the top of my voice.

Regaining composure I headed back to the Beef House and Strip Club for round two of my double shift.

Think of me the next time you see an offer for "krab" with a "k".

Friday, December 26, 2014

Well now...

Now the holiday returns are done, and you have shipped the children back to their boarding schools, aren't we relieved its over for another year?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and welcome to our home!

Aunt Midge is standing by the door, and has dragged our bar over so she can get you started on her mission to spread Christmas cheer.  So do come in and have a glass of mellowed eggnog, minus the nog.

Our brother and our sisters are still decorating with tasteful nudes and bowling balls - so you can join in if you choose - or - ...

... head to the Rumpus Room to hear some Bob Ward toons on the Wurlitzer...

A "boofay" meal will commence shortly...

And my sister Disco Noel has finally arrived...

Just remember, tomorrow is Boxing Day!

From my home to yours, Merry Christmas one and all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Party Hell

So, why has Cookie not been posting to the blog so much, you may well be asking yourself.

Well, if you have been following said blog, you would know that Cookie is in sales at the Beef House Strip Club, and Christmas is an busy, bust time of year.  My days are spent consulting with clients, and answering their questions:

Customer: Have you used this dildo?

Cookie: Madam, we carry over 100,000 different dildos, and it would be impossible for me to try them all.  But purple sparkly is a flattering color on you!


Customer: Well it looks like your co-workers aren't very keen on helping you out...

Cookie: Madam, that could be because they are helping other patrons with their ball gags.  Now, what kind of brisket would you like to find today?

Customer: Well someone needs to tell your zone manager that they aren't very good at scheduling enough employees.

Cookie:  Would you like me to ring them for you?

Customer: I don't want to get into the middle of this, you call and tell them.

Cookie: Hello, Manager, This is Mr. Cookie in the Beef House.  We have a Mrs. Rosenbloom would like to complain about your staffing of the Pavilion.  "Mrs. Rosenbloom, Manager will be here shortly..."

Enough about my drab existence. You want more? OK.  Last Friday I went to the most unfriendly Christmas Party ever.  Husband is a member of LGBT network at International Amalgamated.  He joined because he thought it would be a boffo way to meet people, and we have met people.  Strange, odd people.

Anyhow, Christmas was at the home of two men who live the "Loft Condo" lifestyle.  You know, RAW brick, RAW steel trusses and beams and ENORMOUS windows for all to see into the Condo while they do outrageous things, with great sophistication.

We were greeted at the door and TOLD to put our coats in the closet, then TOLD to get a drink.  Once we had said drink, made with well spirits, we were TOLD to go up stairs to the living level.  Up in the living level, we were TOLD that they would give us a tour of their "space".  We walked around this enormous room and were told that the air ducts "delineate our purpose spaces."

"Purpose spaces?" asks the husband.

"Well we can't very well call them rooms, can we.  Will you excuse me while I go greet Monica?  You can find your own way back to the Conversation Area.  MONICA!...."

Monica, a woman of color and her bald girlfriend walked in.  Bald girlfriend, Clothilde, shaves her head to shatter the male dominated paradigm for women's fashion.  Monica told us this.  Baldy, who we have tried to chat with before is rather rude.  She looks, and she doesn't engage, but does engage with other "womyn'.  In her path to shattering sex, race and gender paradigm, EVIDENTLY Baldy doesn't include men in that mission.  Fine by me.

Anyhow, I had worked a ten hour shift on my feet earlier in the day, my legs were killing me and I was exhausted, but I put on that support husband smile and chit chatted for about two hours, when my body - which was still 50 days out from surgery - started to get wonky.  I needed to sit and sit fast before my legs went out from underneath me.  Even the husband noted that after drinking three plain old ginger ales (from cans we brought) and dining at the buffet while standing up, that the color had drained from my face.  He looked into the "casual dining purpose space" and saw that a chair had freed up and sent me to it.

No sooner than I had sat down then ol' Baldy said her first words to me: "You aren't going to sit down there.  There is a pregnant woman standing over there," and she nodded at a youngish twenty something with a trim figure. I must have had the "Huh?" look on my face and ol' Baldy reasserted herself by calling to the pregnant woman "Renee, git yourself over her, this man needs to get up and out so you can git off your feet and sit in this chair."

I looked up at the husband who looked at Baldy, who looked at him and said "Find him some other place to sit."  Both offended, we walked towards the kitchen area where there was a food bar and stools when the host came over and TOLD us to move towards the "Social Purpose Space" (reader I am not making this up) because "I spent all this money on this loft and people need to learn to use the spaces."

So the husband and I got up, and moved towards the coat closet, got our coats and left.   The man who runs the group saw this ten minute Kabuki Theatre presentation and looked as horrified as we felt. "Fred's just nervous about hosting, and Clothilde is a lovely person when you get to know her. Please stay.  We thanked him, but I pointed that I really did feel wonkie, and had to work the next day.  "Maybe another time," and we left.

Now, all this said, and ol' Baldy, and the creepy host aside, this group is important to the husband at International Amalgamated because it gets him social access to decision makers.  And the man who runs the group is very nice, and 90% of the people are exceptionally nice as well.   But even the husband was really put out by these people.

On the way home, husband said "Did all that really happen?"  Yes, it did.

Between the host who treated us like circus dogs by ordering us about, and ol' Baldy, I am just fine as long as we can get away from these people.

Just fine indeed.

Monday, December 15, 2014

You have until sundown tomorrow... get that Chanukah tree up and ready for your your eight nights grief  from your parents, cheap presents from your bubbie, and candle lighting.  Good luck, and remember, if the Rabbi comes to call have a sheet handy so you can drape it and just say that the "parrot is sleeping".

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's a Mitzvah!

I just heard that one of our family members is now Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady!  I'll let the "bride" make the announcement, but don't expect it until they get the bride's legs closed and out of his therapeutic sling.

I have pictures from the Bachelor(ette)  Party and Taffy Pull that I'll share!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This holiday...

...Norma and MJ, try and make an effort, if for no other reason, for the sake of the children.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Household hints from Cookie

Who could live in such a bleak house? 

The one thing I can do following the surgery is light cleaning around the house.  Cookie's mother was a whizz at household cleaning, as am I.  Still, I do like that lived in look.  But when pushed, I can make a house shine and sparkle.

So read through this and find the items that would help you most:

1) According to the late Joan Crawford, the fastest and easiest way to clean your home if it is to never let it get dirty.  Tis true.  Everything should have a place and everything should be in that place, except when you are using it.  Simple. Vacuum every two days, then damp dust.  Use your dishes, wash your dishes, then put them away.  Stay away from fabrics and coverings that aren't washable.  Vinyl is your friend.  And remember: no wire hangers ever!

2) If you aren't JC, good for you, and actually live in your house, can't afford a maid and aren't wound as tight as a laCrawford, you are going to get some messy patches.  The following method works well if you house is under 2,500 square feet:
  • Walk through all the rooms and make a mental note of their condition, and start in the messiest room to get it out of the way. 
  • Declutter all of the non plumbed rooms, one right after the other.  Do not dust or sweep - that comes later.  Simply put everything away.  If you pick something up that belongs in another room, take that item to its correct room and place it where it belongs and then return to the room you are working on.  I know that people say you can save a lot of effect making piles to take to other rooms so you only have to make one trip, but it simply results in a pile of junk that you have to move to another room enmasse.  Remember, if you pick it up, put it back.  Its good to move about. 
  • Vacuum each room, one after another - you get it all done at once. 
  • Damp dust each room, one after another.  No matter what they say about swiffers, a good deal of fine dust simply goes airborn with those buggers.  The only way to trap dust is a slightly damp rag in one hand, and a dry rag in the other. 
  • If your mini blinds need cleaning, find a day when you can do all of them at once.  Again, its easier to do them when you are in the "groove" instead of being distracted by other chores. 
  • Do the windows inside with Windex or another glass cleaner, one after another.  Yes, your windows get dirty.  Just clean them. 
3) Never buy those gel pellets at Bed Bath and Beyond (or any other store for that matter) to clean your garbage disposal.  Instead, throw five or six ice cubes into the disposal and run it until its silent.  The ice cleans the blades and the sides as its being ground down.  The ice also keeps the blades nice and sharp.  If you're feeling sassy, throw some thin sliced citrus peel (not the white flesh, just the colored skin of an orange, lime, grapefruit or lemon) in with the ice. 

4) Buy a box of generic denture tablets.  You heard me right. Denture tablets are cheap and they do so many things.  
  • If you use a coffee pot, fill it up with HOT water and drop a couple tablets in and let it soak while you are work, then wash.  The tablets break down the coffee oils and lifts them from the glass. Also they work on ceramic coffee mugs.
  • Toss a couple in your toilet bowl before going to work.  When you get home, use the toilet brush or Johnny Mop.  The tablets will bubble out the fine particulate matter that usual brushing misses.  And its a whole lot cheaper than Vanish.  Leaves your toilet minty fresh. 
5) WD40 your stainless steel for a fingerprintless shine.  Spray some WD40 on soft cloth and then wipe down your stainless steel appliances.  Wait five minutes, and then wipe down with a clean, soft cloth.  They shine, and fingerprints simply wipe away. 

6) Stay away from convenience wipes. Commercially made convenience wipes just don't the job done.  They leave streaks and paper fibers behind.  And, if you don't follow the wiping with these buggers, the cleaning solution that gets up the dirt simply evaporates leaving the dirt behind that didn't get collected by the cloth. 

7) Damp dust and dry. The name of the game is cleaning once without leaving behind additional dust, or creating extra work.  Damp dust (with a barely wet cloth) in one hand and a dry cloth in the other. 

8) Get a good vacuum, use it and maintain it.  That means every now and then, clean the outside and the innereds.  Plastic will conduct a static charge from the motor housing, this collects dust and when you fire that baby back up, the dust simply goes airborne.  CLEAN the filters - they work it they are all clogged up.  Check the brushes.  If the brushes are wore, get them replaced.  If the brush are worn, then you missing the second step of a three step process. The beater bar on a sweeper roll loosens the dirt, the sweeper brushes comb the dirt out of the pile and the suction transfers the dirt to the collection point. 

9) For most household cleaning, you only need a mild detergent.  Harsh detergents, over time, can remove the factory gloss from an item.  The only time you need the heavy duty stuff is when you really have a dried, ground in mess.  And even then, use it according to the directions. 

and my favorite tip of all...

10) Learn how to properly use a dish scrubby made of net, and learn the proper way to use a brush, for Christ sakes.  Brushes are great labor savers - there's a reason why a Fuller Brush man could support his family selling brushes -  when you use the right brush for the right job. For 99% of the time, you'll use a nylon brush.  Brushes clean the best when you don't exert pressure down and crush the bristles - the TIPS of the bristles do the work, and when you press so hard that you crush the bristles you are creating more physical work for you.  This goes for toothbrush on your teeth to a floor scrubbing brush.  Let the brush do the work, and then wipe down or rinse what you are cleaning. 

As for nylon scrubbies, you can use them in the dish pan.  You can use them in the bathroom - they are excellent at getting soap scum up and off of ceramic and fiberglas surfaces like tubs, sinks, etc.  And because they are nylon, they don't scratch, and a quick rinse and air dry and no sour smell. 


A clean sweep in the bathroom. If you hate cleaning the bathtub and the shower stall, buy an old fashioned straw broom like your mother used to use on the floors, wet down the tub/shower, spray on some cleaner, wait a couple seconds and then use the broom to scrub the surfaces.  No stooping, no bending - save's your knees for other things that require specific attention. When you're done, rinse the broom down and let it air dry. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Since I can't dance yet...

Club Cheetah, Manhattan, 1967 one said I couldn't dream about it...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Semi Colon Life, Day 22: Still not there, yet.

We are now three weeks out from my surgery, and while I feel great, the doctor's office called today to see how I am doing, and to remind me that I am still to take it easy.

"Minimal bending, no twisting, no dancing, no lifting, no pushing, no pulling, and no whole grains, oatmeal or spicy food," said Dr. Alfredo.

"No dancing?"

"No.  AND stay on the bland, low waste food diet."

OH, DEAR GOD!  that means two more weeks of bananas, white rice, apple sauce, lean chicken, low fats, no fresh fruit and no fresh vegetables.  No nuts or seeds, no popcorn, yet.

As a result of all the things I can't eat, I am obsessed with them and crave them.  As of late, my dreams are filled with bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, slathered in rich, creamy mayonnaise.   Last night in a dream, I had sex with a ceasar salad, which I then ate.

I can eat eggs, I cannot have a thick tender fillet mignon, served on a small round of crispy toast and caramelized onions.

I cannot have a pork chop, but I can eat an all beef hot dog.  But unable to slather it in mustard, what's the point?

I can have milkshakes.  I cannot have liquor or beer, which is no problem, until you start dreaming of Rob Roys, Manhattans and vodka martinis.

In these dreams, sometimes the food chases me, while other times I chase it.  And then there is the eating of the dream food, which is always wonderful, until you wake up hungry.

The most vicious of the dreams involves Taco Bell.  In one, there was a table loaded with shells, meat, beans, sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes and I just licked the table top clean after eating all of it.  I left the restaurant looking like Mr. Topogrosso.

As a result of this, my stomach has shrunk and I have lost twenty five pounds.   I should be losing more, but the high caloric count of my dreams interferes with this.

On the rare occasion that we do go out, I find myself wondering if they will let me order from the senior menu, where the food is all soft and easily digested.

In some restaurants, where the portions are beyond anything a reasonable person could eat, I can get through a quarter of the meal before the server, or worse still - the manager, comes over and asks if there was something wrong with the meal.

"No, it was great, I just can't eat what I used to," is often met with a tale about someone in their family having gastric bypass, too, and how wonderful they are doing.   Then you have to weigh your options, as in do I clarify that it wasn't gastric bypass, but a partial colonectomy, or is it just better to leave well enough alone.  I usually leave it alone, but if the server is an ass, then I don't mind going into the details until the color drains from their faces.

"Well, thats the last we'll see of that server.  Did you need to tell her about the condition of your delicate starfish?" says my husband.

And because of the condition of my delicate starfish, a low waste diet is for the best.

What I didn't know about the surgery was that in order to reattach the two ends of the new and improve colon together, they send a good sized instrument up your pooper to finish the surgery.  And since my tight starfish is outtie, not an innie, it - how do I say this - came out of this surgery looking very used and sloppy.

I asked my husband, who normally enjoys my delicate starfish, to take a look and his first words were "Whoa!" followed by "it's a little inflamed."

What it felt like was the mouth of giant octopus mouth from 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea had taken up residence down there following the surgery and for the first week afterward.

And it is just now, regaining is tone.  So pooping isn't the joyful experience that it once was, but I am told that it soon will be.

So I am watching the clock and calendar- November 22nd is our friends moving away party, so we are hoping that real food, or at least one glass of wine is within my reach in the real world instead of the dream world where it is served with a nice thick burger, coleslaw and side of fries...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The perfect haunted house

Isn't it simply divine?   The perfect place to pass out candy on Halloween!  It just screams Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

This dear reader is not a parody, or a piece of photoshop art, but was the Taylor Residence, built in Washington, DC., at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue NE, and 3rd Street NE. (We are looking north northwest in this picture.)

I first learned about the house some 30+ years ago when I lived in DC and it graced the cover of the first paperback edition of Capital Losses by James Goode.  Capital Losses was a book that really made a huge impact on me.  A social history of the destroyed architecture of Washington, DC, the book tells you something about the structure, and then tells you about the people who built it, or are most closely associated with it.

Goode called the Taylor House, built in the 1870s, an exuberant cottage.  Evidently it was well known that stereoviews of the house were sold in gift shops.  The Taylors also owned the lot next door on the Massachusetts Avenue side, leading me to believe that this fanciful mish-mosh of everything American Victorian was the start of something a bit larger, but it never made it beyond this stage.

Alas, what made it charming in 1876 didn't age so well - much like our opinion today of 1960s "Brutalist" architecture - and the Taylor House was razed for the Congressional House Apartment building in the early 1920s.