Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stepmonster's Lamp

While going through some old digital pictures, I found this - a picture of my Stepmonster Shark's lamp.  What gets me about this "lamp" is that it is not a classic floor lamp. It is not a table lamp.  Like Stepmonster it is like some expiriment in creation, gone horribly wrong.

Shark's taste in furniture was unique, and her own.  I would argue that her taste was so beyond words that Liberace wouldn't dare go there.  When I would show people this back in 1995 when Daddy Cookie passed onto his reward, people were absolutly stunned. 

My late mother, God rest her soul, remarked "That woman's taste is all in her mouth."  Well, that sums it up.

Sixteen years later, I too am still stunned by it, as I am Shark because it truely tells you about the woman that she was and I assume still is.

Though the picture blocky from file compression, Reader, I can tell you that it was even more horrid in real life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Listen to Mr. Peenee

"Catseye frames are always flattering. They make you look like Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra."
                                                                             ~Mr. Peenee, Style Maven

 Just ask Iris Fine!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cadillac or Cataract



Several years ago I asked my eye doctor (who is as adorable as he is brilliant) about LASIK surgery.  Cookie was, after 42 years, tired of coke bottle eye glasses and extreme nearsightedness.  Dr. Adorable (who's wife is equally adorable, and who we love as well) said that at my age the smart thing to do would be to wait for cataract surgery, which is a medical procedure (as opposed to a vanity procedure) and get my vision corrected then. 

My chickens, if Dr. Adorable wasn't so adorable, and more importantly, brilliant at what he does, I would have stomped out of that office, offended that I had been called old.  But because we respect him (and did I mention his wife is also adorable) I took it with steely resolve.  My time would come for corrected surgery.

Well, my time has arrived.  Yay!

We've been to the Dr. Adorable and he confirms what we thought was happening: I have a cataract in my left eye, sufficient to call for surgery.  He also found - and are you ready for this - another cataract in good eye as well.  AND he told me that I had small pupils.  "Excuse me?" 

"Well, on most people, the size of the pupil can be within a standard range - your's are are on the small side.  But this is good because it means that cataract removal is even more important - so we don't have to allow this thing to grow and get worse."

Hooray for small pupils!

Here's the good news, with the advances in cataract surgery and lens replacement, there is a very good possibility that I'll only require glasses for reading!  Yay! 

We find out more in the next couple weeks. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The burden is lifted

Well, the estate auction at Mother Cookie's has come, and it has gone. 

And we are very relieved, but we are also euphoric!

You see the burden and worry about the consents of Casa Cookie have weighed very heavily upon our shoulders simply because they were there.  But their existence also became a bit of a burden because they were the things that she loved because meant something to her, while it didn't mean squat to me.

Sometimes, though, you just have to make a decision based on business, not on emotional or sentimental factors.  And last Sunday afternoon I had reached my limit.  Like a mother dog who tends to her litter, there comes a time when everything needs to go, and last Sunday I reached my limit.  And just as quick as you can say "fuck it,"  as I declared to my husband, I was over all of it, and we left.

So yesterday I met the auctioneers employees, and they started to throw this stuff into lots, into boxes and parceled the contents in to salable groups.  While 99.44% of the stuff was picture perfect (Mother kept a very clean house and kept her things very clean and like new) I poshed silver to make it sparkle, made sure that certain things that should have been together were together.  I also needed a few moments to myself.  Just to be with the things that she loved because I loved her, too.

This morning was cold and crisp.  by the time we reached the house things were abuzz with activity.  I could tell people what to do.  Reader, when I tell you that being able to tell people what to do and having them do it makes me giddy, you better believe it.

In the end, expensive things went cheap.  Cheap things went for insanely huge amounts.  The Erwin-Lambeth coffee table sold for a mere $200.  A vase from a Teleflora arrangement that I almost threw in the trash sold for $20!  The 5 year old car sold for $4,000 more than either I or the auctioneers thought it would sell for.  And a used Dyson went for $350!  You can buy a new one for that.  But the moment grabs people, making me wonder how many people got home only to think "now why did I buy that!"

And by 1 PM it was over and all of the contents were gone. 

But wait, there's  Now we attack the house and paint, and deep clean and spackle, and wash and shine.  Gotta make it look good for the next round of potential buyers.

But the best part is that I have the things - the small intangible things - that remind me of her.  A pin box, her seam ripper, and the nutcracker I bought for her when I was Kindergarten that looks like a tiki.

The things that mean the most can't be sold at an auction, because you put put a price on memories, and having finally come to understand this and know it is true, I am at peace.  Let life go on - I have much to do...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We interupt this sabbatical: Elizabeth Taylor, Rest in Peace

Elizabeth Taylor

With her passing, the world is a little less brilliant.  Safe journey.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sputter and stall

Well boys and girls I had hoped to share pictures of my trip to the "happiest place on earth" but we've been sidetracked with the estate sale at Mother Cookie's house coming up this weekend. So I'm out of commission again for a about a week.

Come next Monday I'll have all sorts of tales about people buying things and carting away the stuff of life.

Fear not for me, its time that this happens. Cookie is burned out and anxiously awaiting the moment we can move onto the next phase of this crazy thing called fun.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

While I loathe Laurel and Hardy...

This is looks and sounds like a match made in heaven...

Debbie is selling out!

When I saw this and read I shrieked "Oh, Doris Day! Oh, Gorden McCrea!"

My lieblings!  I knew that this was coming - well actually, all of us who know Debbie knew this was coming after the hotel in Vegas went "ousch kitsch putt"-  but I never really thought the day would actually happen.

She's parceled whats left the collection and selling it off!  Now TJB can bid online to buy the Cleopatra costume worn by Claudette Colbert.  And Norma Desmond can buy back all of her costumes from her days at Paramount!

I would expect my catalogue is on the way.  Having purchased part of a cousin estate from them a few years ago they send the beautiful catalogs, that make perfect bathroom reading. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One last Fat Tuesday fling!

The Worst American Car, Ever.

When I started this countdown to the worst automobiles ever made by American companies I was sure I knew where the journey was going to take me.  Smugly, I thought I could pull from my knowledge of Motodom's biggest flops and there you would have it.

The problem that reared its ugly little head was that whenever you get an ersatz self appointed know it all with an opinion of their own in these lists, like myself, the same damn cars keep popping up.  And these cars keep popping up not because they are so gawd awful that they desrvse it, but because its easier to say they are bad than really look at what resulted from that car, itself. 

Take for example the Ford Motor Company's Edsel.  Was it a bad car?  In reality, no, it was not worse than anything else on the road.  It may have been ugly, it may have been all hype and no substance, and the it became the butt of jokes, but it wasn't an inheritantly bad automobile. The Edsel did have a great engine and great brakes but all of that was lost "in the process."

Another example of a car lumped in as bad was the Corvair.  Yes, there were handling issues in the 1960-61 model years if the tires weren't inflated properly, but by the time the 1965 models hit the road 99% of the prioblems had been ironed, but the dye was cast.

So to name my idea of the worst American car ever I had to weigh some criteria:
  • Looks
  • Operation
  • Cost
  • Build
  • Impact
After carful consideration....

My worst American car ever...


The Ford Model T.

Now hear me out on this one.  First of all the car was utilitarian - no real bells or whistles.  And most of the models didn't provide all weather protection, necessitating the use of oiled canvas curtains. 

But, Cookie, you argue, they sold so many of them!  This is the car that put America on the road, a car in ever garage, a filing station on every street corner, asphalt roadways....

And it is precisely that reason why the Model T is the worst of the whole lot.  Henry Ford's machine and its business developments led to many of the troubles that plague us today.  Yes, Ford envisioned a car in every garage, but could he ever have imagined two cars in every garage? Streets packed like sardines with cars burning fuel while they waited to go forth?  The noise, the air pollution, the industrial waste, the shopping malls, suburbia, the decline of the American downtown, the erradication of passenger rail...  The list goes on and on.

The Model T put mobility into the minds of the middle class, and today, for every $30,000 mid sized car we buy - and my parents didn't spend that much on their first house in Shaker Heights - we commit another $15,000 to $30,000 over the life of the vehicle into its upkeep, taxes spent on infrastruction, insurance, fuel and everything else that goes into supporting that car and its needs.

For as much as I love the American Car, that Model T was as much a curse as it became a symbol of mobility.  It was crude and loud and it was a model marvel of its day.  And our cars today are engineering marvels too - but we're far too dependent on them, we use them too much and they are destroying the world around us because we don't think further than our immediate needs.  Why should we - anything we need is a short car ride away from where we need to go.

The Model T was to Americans as the box was to Pandora.  And that is why I have named it as the worst car in the history of the American Automobile industry.

Live it up, darlings; it's Really Fat Tuesday!

Oh, yeah...

Or as Rip Taylor once said: "Must be jelly cause jam don't shake like that."

Evidently, our finger lickin' frriend here didn't take TJB's advice that "a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips."

Enjoy this final day of splurging, for tomorrow, we diet.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A long and sordid story

Well, I am back but still recovering from my caprice, and I have to honor my promise on the Hair Hall of Fame by explaining this picture.  This image, and its accompanying obituary, appeared in the home town newspaper next to my dear sainted mother's obituary last year.  The woman in the image was the only person that I have ever witnessed my mother throw from our house.

What I can tell you is, that back when one of my uncle's passed away, the doorbell rang and this woman was on the other side.  She told me her name, and I let me mother know who had rang the bell.  My mother claimed that she didn't know her, but came to the door anyway.

One look told me this wasn't going to end well for someone.

The woman started to say that she had come over to give her sympathies on the passing of my uncle, but my mother cut her off and told her to not to just leave, but to "get out, now."  The woman called my mother by her first name, and asked if she could put the past behind her, "it was so long ago," she started to say,  but my mother would have none of it.  She grabbed this woman by the back of her neck and pushed through the door saying "not after what you have done." The woman tried to respond, but mother followed her out and ordered her from the property.

At this point the woman was standing on the in front of my grandfather's house (where we were living) and she was trying to over shout my mother to the effect that the sidewalks were public and she had just as much right to be there as the next person.  Mother threatened to get the hose and turn on the water.  It was December and that would have smarted.

The woman gave up and left. 

My mother went inside. 

I was really confused. 

In the kitchen Mom was looking in her compact, she reached for her Revlon lipstick, and said we were going out to dinner as if nothing had happened.  I asked who that woman was and my mother said she didn't about which woman I was speaking of, but if I didn't hurry we would end up at some place I didn't care for.  All night long I badgered her, but Mom would not speak about it again.  The elephant had been in the living room, however she had also been dispatch, toot suite, I suppose.

I never heard from or saw this woman again until her obituary.  Years later I was able to put two and two together and discovered the source of the rift.  Suffice it say that my mother's outrage was justified, but it could have been handled better.

Had I known then what I later found out on my own, I should have had the hose ready for my mother to use on her.

In reality, this woman went on to have a family that I am sure she loved.  I'm sure she left a positive mark on the world.  But she left the wrong type of mark on people my mother loved, and as one who was not usually open with her feelings, Mom's outburst was as protective as I ever saw her get with her own family. 

I rather liked it.

Draw your own scenario, but keep it to yourself.  Have respect for the dead - they meant something to others who mourn their loss and their passing.

The family member who showed it to me started to tell me who this woman was - I stopped them from saying more.  Some things should remained buried.  Still, and I pointed this out to the family member I was speaking with, that had my mother known that she and this woman were to appear in the obits on the same day - I think Mom would have hung around a couple days longer to avoid being seen together.

My mother, how I miss her...

We're back!

And we are sad to say that we didn't get to go to Rio or "N'ollins", but we did take the husband someplace he has never been before!  Let me down a few stiff drinks and I'll spill the beans...