Saturday, August 11, 2018

Feminine Hygiene Minutes in History


Yes, Nurse Margaret Kissack, with her greying hair and jet BLACK eyebrows has all the answers, because she just not a "nurse" or some actress who plays advertisements.

Margaret Kissack was a real registered nurse. She has been trained to be helpful, non-judgemental and objective.  And there is no SHAME in going to comely Nurse Kissack because she was a professional.  And an employee of the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic.

Impressed?  You should be.  This nurse, this disciple of Florence Nightengale gave her life to helping women through every serious medical moment imaginable.  Including how to chose the right hygienic travel syringes.

Moreover, Nurse Margaret Kissack was a native of the Isle of Man, who became an American Citizen and lived in 1940 at 2670 East Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio.

We know this because the 1930 U.S. Census tells us so.  Yes, she gave up a fun-filled and fulfilling life on an island full of men, where Peel automobile was built.

We also know that caring Nurse Kissack died in Cleveland in 1977.   Shame on you for not caring.

So when you have a question about how to keep your secret lady place dainty, say to hell with the stranger on the street, to hell with your friends and fuck the Hell off to every LPN there is: seek out your own Margaret Kissack, R.N. and step out of the shameful shadows of secret lady place odors.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A place I would not go to

Not our old house


To me, houses are emotional objects.  They are homes, buildings, structures, and places of shelter.  So some of the houses that I have lived in are very personal.

Our first house in Baltimore meant nothing to me when we discovered that it was freezing in the winter, like a kiln in the summer and that it lacked any place to put anything.  It was head over heels charming on the outside, but inside it was a terrible waste of spaces.   So when we moved, I was glad to leave because it was never a home, just a house.

The house in Columbus was also another place that started out just like a house.  It was my first house.  And it was full of problems.  I was only going to keep it for two years, and then flip it.  But before you knew it, I was there almost ten when I left my prior partner and the husband moved in, and it's started feeling like a home.  By the time we were transferred to B-more, we were just shy a full twenty for me at the place.

And we left a gorgeous house behind.  The young couple that bought seemed thrilled with it.  The landscape was something that he was going to have to learn, but that comes with time, I thought.

Because we are still very close friends with our former next-door neighbors, we soon learned that the couple dug in, but in every way harmful to the house. 

First to go were the year-old canvas awnings that provided the house with a wonder filtered light in the summer and kept the upstairs from becoming too hot.  Next were the 100-year old wood windows that we had painstaking restored.  Next, they killed the roses - one of which, a Red Masterpiece, was over 60 years old and produced the most magnificent long-stemmed red roses.  Evidently, the roses were too needy.

They pulled down the original lights, removed the antique drape rods, and stripped the house of every ounce of character we had restored, and then they "West Elm'd" fucking shit out of every room.  Everything was painted with various shades of grey, linen, and charcoal.  Drum lamp shades popped everywhere.  They even removed the cork flooring system from the kitchen that had been featured in a magazine and replaced it with tiles.

In the backyard, they removed all the stonework, the large pine tree, and replaced it with a sand pit that has become the toilet for every free-range cat in the neighborhood.

Then they removed the stucco from the upper half;f and concrete board sided it, making the house a "non-contributing" structure in the historic neighborhood I helped to get listed.

And now, six years later, they are putting it on the market, ready to move into the next house and rape it in the name of "West Elm" and "HGTV".   AND, because real estate right now is tight, they have priced it $100,000 over what they paid us.

Look, Cookie understands that everyone has a different style, and a wants to make their home theirs.  I can't fault them for that.

But when you buy an "Arts and Crafts" era house and try and make it look industrially modern loft - maybe you should have bought the loft in the first place.  When you buy a house with a yard, you know you are going to have to take care of it, not turn it into a litter box.

I really hope they sell the place.  They have been aloof to our old neighbors, who we introduced them to, and have treated their invitations with disdain.  The only couple they have bonded with are, apparently, Frigid and Frigida, the Scandinavian autocrats who used to shove the "Middle of the Street Committee" around.   And they didn't honor the house, instead, they modelled it after a commercial ideal of what they should have bought, to begin with.

So I really want these people to sell and GET OUT.  GET OUT NOW.  Good luck.  Bon voyage, happy home ownership.  B'bye.

I hope the next owners will be kinder and gentler to the place, and nicer to the neighbors.   And not rent to college kids.

I have also asked the old neighbors not to send me links to the listing. I have no intention of wanting to see the full extent of the damage beyond what I know about.

Simply, I want to remember it the way it was - a lovely house, one that was carefully tended and respected for what it was, our home and part of the neighborhood fabric.

Friday, August 3, 2018

It was all just a facade.



Secretly she wanted to be a Supreme. 

Or an oboeist.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

It's got a hold over me



I know nothing about it other than I am mesmerized by it every time I look at it.

Who is/was this woman?

Was she dancing or just doing the moves?

What music did they play, or was it done in silence?

Did she ever see the image?

Did she find her body movements mesmerizing or grotesque?

Could she have wondered if she could have chosen something better to wear? Something different?

A great photo makes you think, it haunts you.  It's something that you just cannot let go of.  It haunts you.  And every time you look you find something new.

This picture has a hold over me and it's not likely to leave me now, or in the future.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A child's salon on the rocks

I shudder to think about this crew


Yes.  It really was real.  Wife Swapping was a "THING".

Back in the 70s, as I remember it.  In the 1950s, it would have been a bit avant guard.

When I was in or about fifth grade, Wife Swapping, however, was all the rage.  Or so the magazines would have you believe.   My friends and I would go to Campus Drug and pick out our dime candy bars and our quarter (.25) cans of cold pop and stop off look at magazines to see what we weren't supposed to know about.  The covers talked about all sorts of theings that we were cluless about.  "Weed".  "Giving yourself permission to look at your vagina."  "Premature ejaculation and how to make him feel like a potent man."  All of it, in the seventies was on magazine covers.

But, according to Cosmo, Wife Swapping was empowering. "It's a BLAST" the headline read.  Playboy's cover was all IN for girlfriend swapping.  There was even an article on one cover that asked "Why Swap? Orgy Instead!"

My friends and I would take our candy bars to the vacant lot across Fairmount Boulevard and sit on a pile of rocks left over from some house that never got built, eat our .50 cent horde of pure sugar when one of the boys in the neighborhood wondered aloud about the topics we were reading in the headlines.  The Wife Swapping topic proved to be as puzzling to our uninformed minds as any other topic.

But we knew from the word "Swapping" that this somehow involved trading.

"Why would you want to do that?"

What?

"Swap your wife?"

"Because you're tired of her?"

"Hey," said Ann Douglas to Beth McClatchy, "You aren't going to mix pop rocks and Pepsi together are you?  It's certain death."

Ann was such a buzz kill.

"What if she's tired of him?"  Colin, Beth's younger brother asked.

"In our house my parents just sit in different rooms, sleep in different rooms and grumble about going places together."  Brad Silverman said.

"Why don't they get a divorce?" asked Colin.

Sally Wilson said "Because stupid, they are staying together for the sake of the children.  So Brad and sister's can come from a happy home.  Don't you know anything?"  Beth nodded in agreement.

I chimed in reminding them that my parents were divorced.

"But my mother says your father is a "hound" and a skirt chaser."  Sally had a point.  My father loved women.  He didn't love my Mom.  But women, yes.  My father loved women in every shape and flavor.

Ann Douglas, who was a sixth grader who "knew" things said, "I think they do it to spice up their marriages and love lives.  It's like watching the same episode of the Walton's and expecting something different at the end and always getting "G'night John Boy.  Sometimes you wish someone asked, "Who farted?"

"GROSS!"

I asked, "None of our parents would do that, would they?" Because at that point all everyone else's parents became suspect. Every last lawyer, accountant, den mother, and housewife could Wife Swapping and we would have no way of knowing.  The crinkle of candy bar wrappers stopped.  All was silent as we look at each other, asking in our minds "would Chuckie parents have sex with Colin's parents, or would they peel off with Ann Douglas' parents?

Then, one of use broke the tension.  "NO!"

EW!

BARF!

Then one friend from Colby Road said to me "Your parents are divorced, so they can't swap.  Your mother could become a Swinger, I guess.  Then again, your father remarried so he could be a wife swapper."

Secretly I knew that my father's wife was promising men sex in bars because both of my parents had first names that began with the same letter (M) and my mother was in the phone book as "M Cookie, and my father was in the phone book as MA Cookie.  So drunken men were calling the first "M. Cookie" house asking to speak to "Bessie" because "Bessie promised to masturbate me off."

The first time it happened, I went to my mother said "there is a man on the phone who wants to talk to Dad's wife."

My mother replied, "Well, she's not here, give them your father's phone number."  It seemed like the thing to do.  So I did.

Mom came back into the room and asked "What did the guy want?"

"He said that Bessie was going to mastersomething him off.  I don't know the word or what it means."

My poor mother.  She was expecting that.  "Where did you hear that?"

I explained it was the guy on the phone. 

"Don't say that word again."

"What word?"  Needless to say Mom sat me down and she gave me the talk.  I was appalled.

But back to my mother being a swinger.  We all knew that was as unlikely as mankind exploring Pluto because my mother would never have sexual feelings. Or muss up her hair.  None of our mothers would, well, because they were our mothers and that would be gross.

"Do you think that anyone in our neighborhood would become a Swinger?" I asked.

Beth chimed in and said: "I think it could happen, but if the membership committee at their country club found out, then they could kick you out."

"Why would they do that?" I asked.

"Because you can't get in until they judge you.  Getting into a country club means you have a good reputation, and someone is willing to sponsor you into the 'the club'.  And getting caught sleeping with someone else's husband or wife is not the kind of thing that looks good.  That's how reputations are ruined."

She had a point.  The Rosensteins went to Israel and came back raving about living the Kibbutz lifestyle.  They gave their house a name: "Kibbutz Rosenstein" and became vegetarians.  They even had their son Gary enlist in the Israeli army.  But Beechmont Country Club kicked them out when they insisted that they help with the day to day operations of the club in lieu of annual dues, which they felt was a capitalist concept.

"If," my friend's sister started to say, "anyone in this neighborhood is going to swing, it's going to be the Shipley's.  Mr. Shipley is, according to my mother, 'handsome like a news anchor' and Mrs. Shipley can wear hip-huggers."

John Wise added in "And she has big boobs."

We all talked about Mrs. Shipley's boobs until Ann pointed out that "They have that modern house."

Well then; That was the key to everything.  They looked the part, and they lived it, so they had to be honest God real wife swappers.  The nail in the coffin though to securing our decision that they were both on the road to living the lives of a Jacqueline Susann character lifestyle was the house.  It was big, and bold and had an all-white interior with huge plate glass windows.  And they had no children.

"So they can swap without worrying about finding babysitters."

"And they ski. There's a lot of drinking and sex at a ski resort."

How would you know, I asked - never having been skiing myself. 

It was, of course, a foolish thing to ask.  "Chuckie Turner's father reads Playboy, and the evidence was under the mattress in his parent's room.  Playboy was a magazine of nude women and cartoons showing escapades at ski lodges that took place on bear skin rugs," said David Wright.  David was mostly silent, so when he spoke up it was something.

So then,  I asked, having my our silent yearnings even at that age, "Why do they call it 'wife swapping'?  Why not 'husband swapping?"  Now I could see a couple of the male camp counselors at Weehawken doing it.  But I was smart enough not to say that.

And the answer my friends proclaimed was one of major importance: "Never. Because men are men, duh!"

This is when they told me that it was OK for two women to do it together because that was hot, and men got off on that.   But two men having sex was "totally homo."

"So women never think about two guys together?"

Beth let out one of those pre-adolescent girl growls - "GAH!"

And with that, Sally put an end to the salon on the rocks having finished her Pop Rock's, the absynthe of eleven-year-olds.  "Look, you guys are just gross," which is kid speak "Oh, fuck for fuck's sake."  And thus our enchantment, our kiddie salon, ended.

"What are we going to do now?"

I announced that my father gave me a tape recorder.  "We can go to my house and swear into it?"

Ann Douglas proclaimed that as something she wanted to do.  "I love saying fuck. And now I'll be able to hear myself fucking say it.  Fuck, I mean."

And that's what you did when I was a kid in the 70s. You made up life as you went along.  From candy and cola to solving the question on Wife Swapping, and the answer was "gross" to swearing into tape recorders, that was a summer day in Shaker Heights.

And I still have those old cassettes with us swearing on them.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Has anyone seen the bladder control products?


So Cookie is one of the chosen few who participates in BIG ONLINE RETAILER MARKETING REVIEW PROGRAM, a review program that BIG ONLINE RETAILER conducts.  BORMRP works by sending out items to people for free, in return for use and review.  Where do they get the items?  Manufacturers provide them at their cost.  They may get ten widgets from International Amalgamated - "We make everything, you can have everything" -  or they might get 500 sanitary napkins from Amalgamated International  - "Discerning products for picky people."

Sometimes, its feast (computers, mattresses, lawn mowers) other times its famine.  Mostly, it is famine.  I would love to say that everything we get is fantastic, but sometimes we get products that are duds.

Cookie's job is to give an honest review.  NOTE: Cookie does not "logroll" his reviews.  What is logrolling?  Logrolling is the old term that was used in publishing by big name people who would provide GLOWING reviews just to get their names and quotes on the back of the book because the PR was better than nothing.

When I review, its the good, the bad and the ugly.

One review even drew the ire of the manufacturer, but the product was obtuse and support was all in pictograms.  It was so high tech that the creators got lost in its design supremacy. 

There have been winners - like the coffee maker that is so exclusive that I would never hope to own one, but now that I do, I cannot imagine anything better.  There have been losers, like the item above (its real use was never clear to me), or the set of bamboo sheets that disintegrated in the washer right out of the package.

Things remain on the catalog page for a couple days - the best stuff gets snatched up in a hurry.  The stuff that languishes, however, ends up in something called "Something For Everyone", which is a dustbin of unloved, unwanted things.  You know, inflatable cat mattresses, one single cupboard doorknob, and course things like "Men's Extra Small Under Armour Tank Top, Moss Oak Camo".



Part the reason why these things languish is that they are simply too specific ("Amana RADAR Range Replacement Glass Tray") or they get lost because people don't know how to catalog them.  Like the item above: 

Mixed in with hinges, switches, cotter pins and wires in the INDUSTRIAL & SCIENTIFIC category is an Incontinence Pad. 

Industrial?  No.

Scientific?  Debatable.

Meanwhile, these will stay here, unnoticed, and unwanted.  Not because they aren't needed, but because they are in the wrong place.   Somewhere, someone is leaking and they never thought to look under the deal that sends one a SINGLE hinge.

And while you may think that this a boffo program to be on, I have no advice as to how you do it, because I certainly don't know how I got into it.  AND you have to pay taxes on the value basis of the item. 

I am grateful I am part of it?  Yes.  Am I mad because all their clothing options sent to me are women's clothing?  No.  But then again, you can't review what you can't use. 


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Show Your Love, Remember Them, DO IT!



In today's blog entry, Cookie would like to ask that readers follow the following links to the site Find A Grave, and leave "Flowers" on the memorials of the following pioneer gay adult film stars.

While Find A Grave does have a famous section for "actors", evidently they feel that adult film performers (men, women, gay, bisexual, transsexual and straight), no matter how popular they were are not worthy of being tagged as "famous". 

As a result, many of these men who are icons of the gay porn have memorials that are languishing and forgotten.  I mean, Richard Locke, the man's man from the Joe Gage's milestone Working Man  Trilogy has five, FIVE, freaking tributes.  ONLY FIVE!

We knew these guys because their movies were erotic, sexual, and somewhat forbidden.  In death, at least on the largest website dedicated to finding the graves and outcomes of people's lives, they too are being forgotten by policies that damn them and their accomplishments to the dustbin of society. 

The irony is that Find A Grave's acronym is "FAG".

In the tribute section, you can choose a flower and leave a brief message.  Remember that Find A Grave is a "G" rated site and that if enough people dispense with the social protocols of the site, that the memorial will no longer be able to have tribute made in the future - something that has happened to likes of baby seller Georgia Tann. 

So keep it clean, and for goodness sake do this.  These men literally gave their lives unwittingly so a generation of men could get off.  Some were more famous than others, and there are hundreds more like them like the ten featured here. 

1) Casey Donovan, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17727173/casey-donovan

2) Andrew Robert Okun, aka Al Parker, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/93820561/andrew-robert-okun

3) Fred Halstead, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/145599028/fred-charles-halsted

4) Richard Cole, aka Steve Taylor, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/102519756/richard-cole

5) Scott O'Hara, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8826354/scott-o'hara

6) Chuck Holmes, Founder, Falcon Studios https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8826334/chuck-holmes

7) Robert Curtis "Bob" Blount - https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/54143428/robert-curtis-blount

8) Chris Burns, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17726997/chris-burns

9) Frank Richard Fitts, aka Dick Fisk, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10588914/frank-richard-fitts

10) Leo John Hilgeford, aka Leo Ford, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/19407424/leo-john-hilgeford

P.S. Marilyn Chambers qualifies as a "Famous" record, which allows you to vote on how famous she was, on the site because of her "Ivory Snow" work in Commercials.  Seems a bit one-sided, no?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Farewell Fernway, May You Rise Anew

Snatched from WEWS News Site. 

Kinda of a sad day in Shaker Heights. 

Fernway Elementary School, built in 1927 caught fire and is severely damaged.  The School System is in disaster recovery mode because school starts in a little over a month and things have to be moved and changed. When the roof caved in, we thought it was a total loss.  But Shaker didn't build poorly constructed buildings, so we hope it can be salvaged and be reborn.

What was eerie in watching the video feeds from the stations in Cleveland, was how quiet it was as people watched.  At least seven different fire departments responded, from as far away as Lake County and the west side of Cleveland.  In the picture above, you see the finely manicured lawns, the trees in full leaf and flames coming out of the roof at the northwest corner. 

No photoshop this - its the real deal, and it's surreal.

Still, of the nine elementary schools that were open and full when I went through the system, Malvern is now assisted living, Sussex and Ludlow have other education programs inhabiting them, Moreland is the main library.

So that leaves Mercer, Lomond, Boulevard, and Onaway to either absorb the overflow or, one of the other two middle schools will have to yield space for the 300+ pupils in grades K-4 that attending the school.  And it was a lovely building in a beautiful neighborhood. 

And here is the kicker, next to Mercer, built around 1952, Fernway was the second newest building in the district as far as grade schools go.

I hope that they do the right thing and rebuild it.  I would hate to see another school get shut down or its student body dispersed.  Its a community, even if you don't have students in the school itself.

So, farewell Fernway, may we see you reborn, and soon.   

Monday, July 9, 2018

No good deed goes unpunished, but every lesson can be learned

The clue phone was calling.  I needed to pick it up. 

Medicine has turned into an American Horror story.  Hospitals are growing like cancer cells, adding on new buildings, new rules and milking patients for every drop they can get.   And yet for as sophisticated as modern medicine gets it the people that get lost in the shuffle.  Today, I witnessed it quite literally. 

We don't live in the inner core of Baltimore, but one thing about this place that drives me crazy is that every morning the window sills are coated in the dark gritty mess, year around.  You can wipe it up and it just comes back.  And the grime stains things a yellowish tint.   Add that to the flowering everything and grasses, the weeds and the cat piss, and reader, I am telling you, I have never wheezed, rattled and coughed so much in my life.

Cookie heads to the near hospital every two weeks for allergy shots.  I am allergic to everything from bi-valves to grasses, cockroach poop to cats.  I have been a compliant patient and go every two weeks.  The shots and the steroid inhalers help.  I can breathe in this God forsaken city. 

Every week, I get "Cats" and other allergens (molds, cockroach poop, etc.) in one arm and the then opposite arm gets "Pollen and Grasses".  I can always tell the "Cats" arm because it hurts like a motherfucker.   Then you return to the lobby and sit for a half hour until they are sure you aren't going into anaphylactic shock at the worst, rashes at the least. 

This morning I showed up and couldn't find a parking place.  The hospital campus charges you to park.  And the places where patients can park is limited.  Usually, it's just easy.  Today, after the July 4th holiday week, the place was packed.  So I wasted 15 minutes driving around looking for a parking space.

Then up to the allergist's office, I go, only to be met with a line, which never happens.  I stand and I wait and there is a small, old African American man at the head of the line talking softly to the receptionist.  The line doesn't move until a woman and her daughter, who have been speaking French, loudly - and not very well because it wasn't "French", but "Berlitz French" - got fed up and decided to go get a coffee and continue their conversation on what sex a mans belt is downstairs in the "cafe".   So I got to move up.  This afforded the chance to hear the conversation better at the window.

The Man: "But this is the room that they said to go to."

Receptionist: "The room on your piece of paper says suite 500.  We're suite 550.  So the office you need is down the hall and across from the elevators that you came up on."

The Man: "So this isn't the room I am supposed to be in?"

Receptionist: "No sir.  This is an allergists office.  Your paper tells me that you need to go to Suite 500 and that your appointment is with the Perioperative Group.  So you would leave our office and go down the hall to Suite 500.  RIght now you are in Suite 550 and your doctor is in 500."

The Man: "So I go down the...This isn't where I am supposed to be?" 

The two women in front of me were uncomfortable with this, and all I wanted to do was register for the shots so I stepped for and inserted myself to get things moving.

Me: "Hi sir, I hope you don't mind, but I would be happy to walk with you to Suite 500 so you can see your doctor."

He looked at me and you could see the haze in his eyes.  Someone dropped him off and didn't stay with him.  He was lost in the building, and he was very confused.

So we walked down the hall together.  He told me his name was Willis and that the woman in the office told him to go down the hall to see his doctor.  The paper in his hand said Suite 500.   We talked about how big the building was and how he used to be young like me, and how confusing this was.

I agreed, but I promised him I would get him to the right place.   Eventually, we reached Suite 500 with Willis using his cane and shuffling his bed slipper-clad feet, and me trying to take small steps to walk with him, not in front of him.

When we got to Suite 500, the woman at the desk looked up and said "Mr. Willis?  What are you doing here?  I told you that you needed to go to suite 510 down the hall."

Willis looked right through her and then at me.  "Tell her what the woman said in that office."

I explained that he ended up at 550, and seemed very confused.  That I brought him to 500 because that was what his paper notes said.

"You don't need to tell me what's on that paper," the receptionist snapped. "Mr. Willis I told you suite 510."

"5 what?" he replied.

I didn't like this woman and didn't know if she was having a bad day, or if she was always cunt like this, but I excused ourselves and said that I would walk Willis over to the other suite.

When we got to Suite 510, I took Willis up to the desk and the receptionist looked at me and then the old gentleman.  She asked where he had been.  "We've been looking for you for twenty minutes, where have you been Mr. Willis.  Raejean called me from the main office and said that she sent you here.  So where have you been?"

Really - the guy has been AWOL for 20 minutes and now you are screaming at him, too?

"I believe that Willis is a bit confused and needs assistance.  Is there anyone who can help him instead of treating him like an errant child?"

Another woman appeared and said "I know Mr. Willis - it's me, Candy," she said at him and his face lit up.  "Let me come out here and help him."

Relieved, and somewhat offended at his treatment I said goodbye to Willis and asked if had someone to help him home.  Just then, Candy came out and said, "We'll get him transport back over to residence.  Thank you for helping him."  He seemed happy, so I was happy.  My good deed for the day.

Or so I thought.  By the time I made it down to the allergist, there were no 16 people in front of me.  This meant that there was no line jumping reward for doing the good thing.  And my parking would be higher because of the time I spent walking Willis from point A to B and then to C.

An hour later I left the building to discover that the car had been dinged - its first chipped paint.   I did stop by 510 and spoke with Candy to make sure the old man had had his appointment and she assured me that all was fine, but that "HIPAA prevents me from saying anything more." Understood.

So frustrated, I set sail in the Prius for the credit union to deposit a check for my husband and it gave me time to think.

Did I do the right thing?  Yes, I helped that man out. 

But did you do it to help him out, or did you do it to get my shot?  "One," my mind said, "was kind, the other selfish."

Yes, I did a kind thing.  The kind of thing that I would want someone to do for me.  But I didn't do it out of a good heart.  I did it to help me get ahead in the line. 

And truth be told, I was annoyed by the old man until I asked his name and we talked as we slowly progressed down the hall.  And once we got to Suite 500, I had no idea of becoming emotionally attached to the scenario.  I was going to dump the guy off and get my shot.

So I didn't do it to be kind, I did it to be selfish.  It became a kind act when I started to care about him as a person.

Maybe Karma taught me a lesson about patience, about not judging people, about doing for people not because I would hope someone would do it for me at some point in the future, but because it was the right and just thing to do in present. 

Now Willis may never have known this was going on in my head.  Maybe he did, but he was a gracious man, thankful to see someone he knew.  Thankful that someone cared enough, for whatever reason, to see him safely through that 100-foot journey.

And perhaps, the ding in the paint was a lesson as well.  What was important was keeping that man safe.  What isn't important is a medium tip pen chip in a car door.  Because in the long haul, which matters most, security or vanity?

I did call the practice and speak with the administrator and I gave him an earful about Raejean and how she needs some training.  I also pointed out that if Raejean had been paying attention to Willis in the first place, no one would have been put out, but Willis would have been safer and better attended.

"Can I send you a free parking pass for your next visit?"

Normally I would have said no, but in my mind, this man having to mail me this was a way to enforce to him that Willis had someone witness how he was treated.  And Raejean surly is getting a good finger waving in her face for being such a cunt.

What Raejean should have done was taken two minutes to walk that gentleman to 510 instead pointing her six inch fake nails at the door and expecting him to comprehend what she just "told" him to do.  Where is the caring in that?

So, ask yourself the next time you do something out of "kindness": are you doing it because there is nothing in it for you, or something in it for you.  Then you decide if it was really kindness or not. 



Friday, July 6, 2018

A lovely, twisted and broken memory.

Every time around this time of year, I feel a bit sad.  It's the kind of sad that you get when you are given an object that brings with it memories, but you break it.  You try and remember how it went together, and if you figure that out, then you can glue it back together and make it all better.  But it isn't all better, because the object is still broken.  And will always be broken.

It was in July 1984 that I met Michael Gedling.  And he is my broken memory.

First all, in 1984, I had been out for a year and a half. I was a newly minted baby gay (out at 20) and I was naive.  One of the things that gay boys and lesbians didn't get back then was the practice dating and advice on how to handle crushes and breakups.  You couldn't go to your parents in those days.  It was strictly OGT (On Gay Training) in real time.  So we all acted like a bit like children in figuring how things were supposed to work, but without any role models to look at and work toward.

So, 22, out of the closet and desperately wanting someone who wanted me, I fell in love.  Actually "I fell in love" is an understatement.  Everything around me stopped.  He was handsome, smart and funny.  I felt like I had found "the one".  Other than his worship of Prince's music - Purple Rain had just come out - he was perfect in bed, and in life.

Mike Gedling was everything I dreamed about.

But I got out too far in front in the dream of happiness.  He could be the rest of my life, I fantasized.  He could be the rest of my life.

And save but for a twist of fate, he could have also ended it.

But, as so many of us find out the hard way, sometimes the one simply isn't who or what we think they are.

The first chink in the armor was was when we were talking one night I got brave enough to tell him that my father sexually molested me when I was in grade school.  What I thought of as sympathy soon got very weird and he invited me to act out what my father did.  Sex should be fun, but this was creepy, especially when I felt coerced by his statement  that "if we can act it out, there is no shame in reliving your abuse."

Sex became his weapon, and this turned him on.  I kept trying to steer him back to just having great sex, but in the middle of it, ask me to call him daddy and my dick would go limp.

Here we had a good thing and it just started to go to Hell.  It was like carrying that object if was starting to get our your hands, but you hope that you can save it.  A normal weekend became the odd weekend, and then the whole thing went sour. 

Within two months, he had not only used me but humiliated me in the rawest, most hateful way possible.  The breakup?  It came in the form of a note that read "I can't do this anymore."  Not "I'm sorry for using your abuse as a turn on."  Not "I'm the one with the problem." 

Just five words and his name on a piece of paper, "I can't do this anymore."

I was devastated.  I cried for years, quite literally.  He took that secret of mine and used it on me, and I allowed that happen.

Making the matter worse was that he and his roommate had taken a place literally around the corner from where I lived.  That meant that I saw him and his new boyfriend "Joe" all the time.  And the salt was ground into the wound all over again.

Michael Gedling sent me into an emotional tailspin, and it wasn't until years later that I discovered what he had sparred me from.  And that tailspin - that was all mine as well.

I moved in 1985, to Clintonville, I got on with life, and assumed he got on with his.  I also got a shrink because I was not going through this again.

What the shrink taught me is not to accept damaged goods as part of the package.  He taught me to think better of myself.  He taught me to not tolerate a drunk.  He taught me not to tolerate a sex addict.  And he taught me that if the guy was adopted, he had better be at peace with it, or at least working on it.   I had my own host of horrors to contend with, and the shrink taught me that "needy" love would cure neither of me or the other guy.

Yes, I would make some of those mistakes with the next guy I was with.  And yes, it took me nine years, eleven months and two weeks to figure that one out, but I did it on my own.   

I may not be the sharpest knife in the block, but eventually, I cut through the smoke and mirrors.   But I am getting ahead of myself.   Because...

In the fall of 1992, Michael tried to worm his way back into my life.

I had come home from work one day and found him on my front porch.  "I bumped into Bill and he told me you were still in town.  So I looked you up.  How have you been?"

I was floored.  Why was he here?  What did he want?  We talked, and he asked if I could make him a cup of coffee.  I was, older and wiser.  I did not unlock my house, and he didn't get a cup of coffee.

Instead, we sat on the porch and I asked how Joe was - "Oh, that blew up..." and what he was doing in town.  He was "just visiting," having moved to Chicago.  He made his move, and I recoiled.  Nine years before I would have been putty in his hands, but I told him he should go.  He apologized by saying "Oh, I didn't mean to ruin anything or upset you."

And I responded that he didn't ruin anything, but that I was not going to let myself ruin anything for me.

He drove off and it was the last time I saw him.

Fast forward to 2007, the husband and I just celebrated our ten year anniversary. And I bumped into a mutual acquaintance who knew Michael and a few other people.  We played the game "whatever happened to..." and Michael's name came up.

"Oh, honey," my friend said, "haven't you heard?  He died of massive heart attack in 1993.  He moved home from Chicago when he was diagnosed with HIV.  He died at work - he was terrible sick.

There is a moment when one's blood goes cold.  It was that moment when I realized that he could have taken me down as well.

What happened?  Some detective work and some calls got me what I needed to know to put this behind me. Michael seroconverted and in typical Michael fashion, decided that if he was going down from HIV, he would go down in flames.  He got involved with the raw leather community, had all manner of unsafe, unprotected sex, booze, and drugs.   For Michael, sex with strangers was a way for them accepting him on the most intimate terms.  By making it anonymous sex, he didn't have to accept them, or himself.

That visit he had paid to me? Most likely he was POZ when he was at my house, and would have infected me given the chance.

Was he vindictive?  No.  I think he was angry and hurt. In some ways, he was more childlike than I had been. He wanted everyone to around him to be in the pain he had been in.  He was angry at being placed for adoption, he was angry at being adopted, he was angry at anyone who loved him and he was angry at himself and this was a way out.   Thus his interest in my sexual assault as a child.  His parents betrayed him and it excited him when he could play out my father betraying me.

But what he did was to others was criminal.  And I hope to God that the lives he jeopardized made it through the eye of the needle. Those were the years when the "Cocktail" was showing amazing gains in helping people.  Maybe they didn't get dragged down with him.  Maybe, right?

Anyway, I pulled myself together, and being rather logical about it, I ordered his death certificate, found where he was buried, and drove to the cemetery where his grave was and took a moment.

Then I went to the car, got a trowel and bag from School Kids Records, and dug a hole at the base of the gravestone and dropped in a copy of Prince's Purple Rain and buried it.

This is why I love my husband so. We are here, we are happy and we are healthy.  No games, no secrets, no damages that are hidden from sight for either of us.  Love is best when it is given and accepted.  And it takes someone special to accept what you can offer.  I could have ruined it all had I not gotten help, grown up and got smart.

Still every year, around this time, I get a bit sad.  Hurting me like he did was most likely his way of saying that I was too good for his type.  The pain, the self-exploration, and the strength to say no to him years afterward saved my life.  There is no way I could have saved him.   But I often think of Joe, the guy he dumped me for and hope he is well.  I think about his roommate Ed, and have no curiosity for him at all. Now, Ed's old boyfriend Tom.  I would like to hear from him because he was a honey.  The best of the lot.

So what am I getting at?

You can have a lovely teapot, and have it, and use it.  But if it breaks and you try and mend it, it's still a broken teapot.  It may leak, or the handle won't always be trustworthy.  But if you keep using it, pretending nothing is wrong, one day the mend, the seal, the fidelity of the whole will come apart.  You can be burned in an instant, and you'll have scars for the rest of your life.

I know I some would say throw the whole memory out, be done with it.  But then there is nothing to be learned, nothing to be reminded of, nothing of us when there was so little at all.  So, up it goes and on the high shelf, it goes for another year, to dust off next year at this time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

What is on your Fourth of July Menu?



For those of you who didn't get enough out of Part One.



It looks so, so-so.




A Sheldon Cooper Must Have!



Zapped is more like it.  What the Hell is that Aunt Margery?  Chuck Wagon Rolls? 



Not only can you Whiz on your burgers if you are a Top, But you can Whiz in them if you are a bottom.  Vers?  Whiz both ways.  Kraft shows you how. 

So what's grilling at your place?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Don't wear a...


...tank top unless you have the body to carry it off...

Friday, June 29, 2018

Vagabond Cookie!

I told Arlene when I left not to keep an eye out for me.  Arlene never listens.

So, you have all been wondering what Cookie has been up to, haven't you.   Not a question.  I can read your minds.

Well, where have I been?   I have been traveling.

Like a contestant who has won the prize package of a lifetime, I have been visiting all of the most exciting places in Illinois and Ohio.

FIRST, we were flown, coach, with one layover in each direction, to the fabulously overcrowded O'Hare Airport.  Big but small, There is nothing good going on at O'Hare.  The Delta Airlines packed us on one of its flying pieces of shit - an ancient MD-88 and flew us from Baltimore to Atlanta.  Once at ATL (What are they calling it this time?  Maynard Jackson International? Pheff!) they crammed us onto another MD-88 but I got the special seat!

What is the Special Seat?  It is the seat that cannot be locked in the upright position because maintenance wasn't on the ball and the lock was broken. During take-off, my seatback flew backward into the lap of this very handsome man from India, who flying with his charming wife and baby that so cute I could have squealed.   Luckily the wife was holding the baby or I could have clobbered the kid.
Our Airline attendant came right to my seat - it was like watching a mountain goat climbing up the Matterhorn - and scolded me.  When she listened to what I had to say and verified that she couldn't lock the seatback herself, she didn't even apologize to me, or the couple behind me.  Delta thanked me with 5,000 SkyMile points for my trouble, but the point is that my life flashed before my eyes as a passenger being forcefully carried off the plane for doing no wrong.  So on flight changeover back to Baltimore, I made a beeline for the Sky Miles Club for free food, snakes, drink and clean bathrooms.

Upon arriving in Chicago, we got a rental car and hiked up and west to sensational Deerfield, Illinois. And let me tell you, they really do roll up the sidewalks in Deerfield, Illinois they roll them up at 9 P.M., sharp.

What followed was two days and three nights family festivities as we celebrated Thanksgiving in May in June.  The idea is that we gather with my inlaws family once a year for a meal, or two.   Since I was working on my family union, and because my "almost" sister (long, long story) live literally a 1,000 feet from my sister in law's, I had a great breakfast with her while the Husband his family tried to get out of an escape room.  Aside from seeing the family, we also went to the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Oak Park which is totally for you if you are GaGa for FLW.

While there and short walking tour that followed, I got to show off my knowledge of architecture and FLW techniques.  The family was positively slack-jawed while I discussed water table's and why they are important to a building.

On the way home, we flew through Detroit, and then home first class.  You guessed it, the longest leg on a miserable MD-88.  But it was first class.  And that's all that matters.

Once back on terra firma, it was back in the car to The Ohio's for the monster event - the HUGE first time in a 115 years reunion that I put together.

Our route took us first to beautiful SHAKER HEIGHTS, OHIO, for a hard time fun time.  Geraci's Pizza on Sunday night, seeing my oldest friend's new house, seeing that Van Aken Center is no longer there, but under construction.

I stopped by the original homestead and knocked on the door with photos of the place and the owners literally invited me in for a tour. Usually, people say that they find their childhood homes smaller than they remembered them.  This was not the case.  My old bedroom was positively HUGE.  How did that happen?  Well, the bathroom was smaller than I remember.

The next day, I went and had breakfast at Corky and Lenny's, of course.  Then I went to the cemetery to visit the grave of my Step-Mother* who departed this world in October.  She's crammed in there at Bet Olam Cemetery - "The Cemetery Where Ever Square Inch Matters".  Jesus, Mary, AND Joseph, but they really have a lot of people shoehorned in that cemetery.

I went, in quiet repose, to contemplate the finality of death and the temporal nature of life.**

What I found was her grave, next to her first husband.  In cemeteries like these, you don't get broad vistas of greenery and scenery.  You get row after row graves packed so tightly they might as well be Yodels in a box.  And her grave was especially so like her, a filmy hard yellow clay covering a barren area, devoid of any pleasant signs of life.  How very much like her.

The real joy is that she's going to be buried under the name of her first husband, because the stone was already paid for.

Once I said what needed to be said, I left a gift, I put a rock on her marker, and then I did the one thing she will never be able to do in her memory: I left the cemetery.  A better person, of course, for paying my respects.***  But reader, I walked out of those gates on Richmond Road.  Then I had to walk back in because my car was still on their lot.
Nevertheless, Cookie persisted.

THEN it was back in the car and own to Columbus for the great big family reunion on my mother's side. I had 48 hours to myself, and then I picked up the husband and we had two days to ourselves, and then we two amazing days with the extended family.

The one HUGE mistake that we made was to hop in the car and drive back to Baltimore that Sunday.  When you have been running on adrenaline for a month trying to get the show on the road, the last thing you should do after the show is done is getting on the road yourself.

I was just was absolutely ragged.  Like my head was socked in with fog.  And reader, I had a beer and a glass of wine that entire trip to Ohio. I couldn't afford time wasted modeling lampshades on my head.  But the trip was grueling on both Cookie and the husband.  In fact, it took until yesterday (Thursday) to return to my familiar dyspeptic self!

So I am now able to get centered in my own space until the next BIG convention in Pittsburgh coming up.  So this has been Cookie, over and out!

* I am being nice out of respect for her children for a one year mourning period.
** I am being REALLY nice until October 23, 2018.  Because I respect her children during this time of great emotional sorrow that they are most certainly feeling.
***She would have wanted it that way.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dear Poppy Harlow, Kate Spade was NOT hung by her neck





Dear Poppy,

Poppy, I wanted to touch base with you regarding a huge mistake that you made on air this morning, June 6, 2018, while covering the tragedy of Kate Spade's suicide.

Because you work for one of those companies that follow the odd and unhelpful protocol of employing operators who claim they cannot connect you to anyone but a voice mailbox, I am sending this out into the ether.  You may or may not ever read this, but I am hoping it gets through to you on some level.

While I was watching you on your show on CNN, you made a grammatical speech error in what you said, and it is the type of error that is akin, to my ear and the ears of others, to dragging one's nails across a chalkboard.

Today, you stated quite clearly, several times, that when Kate Spade committed suicide that she was "hung".

You probably chose "hung" because it sounds like the past tense of "hang".  Its one of those things that are, and isn't.  But in the case of people who commit suicide, it is grossly incorrect. 

Essentially, what you said meant that at the least Kate Spade was found to have a large, as in long, penis.  Hung is to people, a word regarding genitalia.

Yes, we know that people can be hungover after a night of drinking.  And yes, in Auntie Mame, the line is spoken by Patrick imitating his late father is "Pipe down sonny, the old man is hung."

And when a person has an issue or is disturbed by something, they can be hung up on that matter.

One can also say, so I am told, that "Over the weekend, I hung out with my friends."  I prefer a good game of bridge or a good museum.  But if hanging out with a friend is "your thing", better with friends than it applies to your décolletage.

But the correct past tense word to describe someone who commits suicide (or murdered by some fiend, for that matter) by hanging is always "hanged".  Always.  No exceptions, ever. 

Yes, I understand that it sounds stilted.  But sometimes English is a bit off.  Like when the accused enters his or her plea to charges, and it is later reported that the accused "Pleaded not guilty."  One wondered, why did they just say that the person "pled not guilty."  Why indeed.  Well, its because one does not "pled" to the court (or one's spouse for that matter) one's status.  One "pleads" and in that case the past tense of "pleads" is "pleaded".

English is one of the most imperfectly perfect languages.  Unlike romance languages, we need not assign a sex to a "thing", instead, a belt that wraps around your waist and holds up your pants is just a belt, whether you are a man or a woman.  In French, a belt is masculine, which mean that Mr. Belt not only keeps up a man's trousers but Mr. Belt also holds up a woman's slacks as well.

Well, in English we have some quirks too:

1) After a meal, people are finished; it was the meat that they ate that was "done".

2) When asking about whether or not one indulges in a cookie, it is "May I have a cookie," versus "Can I have a cookie."  The answer to the former is going to either be "yes" or "no", while the answer to the later could be "I don't know, can you?"   How does that work?  To your host, or parent, or your superego, the question is "May I?"  To your doctor who is trying to get your blood sugar down, "can I" is the proper question.

3) You can most certainly spread out a blanket in Key West and lie on the beach.  But if you lay on the beach, you should be arrested.

4) A well-known news anchor used to mispronounce the word "puberty" as "pooberty" and seemed surprised when I called him on it.  My mother worked as a nurse for his uncle.  I know he knew better.

But when you say that man who is "hung by the neck" until dead, he most certainly was popular with the women (and/or some men) in the village.

A woman who is hung is most certainly either leading a life of masquerade or is a hermaphrodite.

So remember: Meat is hung, people are hanged.

And that isn't what you meant to say about Ms. Spade.  I know that.  But getting it right means getting it right.  It also means being able to respect the dead, for whatever reason they saw no other way of carrying on.

Kate Spade was an incredibly talented business leader, designer, a wife, and a mother.  And it pains all us to think that she felt there was no other way forward but to end her personal pain by suicide.  At moments like this, we all wonder if we could have saved her or any loved one from committing the act that ends their life.

We owe her that one final dignity of getting it right.

Love,

Mrs. Edwin Smith Standish
Shaker Heights, Ohio

PS - I had a friend at Miss Porter's who we called "Poppy".  She is now a Viscountess. ESS

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How I almost ended up in Dermatology Detention Hall



Cookie has this icky problem that only seems to bother Cookie.

What?  Yes.  I know its hard to concentrate with "Thing" giving masturbation lessons to the women's book club - "Where the only thing we read is the wine labels!"

Anyhow, Cookie, FOCUS, has this skin issue and it really has been bothering me for the past 30 some odd years.  Now that I have a dermatologist, who I adore, I love going to see her because even she can make wart removal seem like fun.

So the reason why we have "Thing" with us today is that this problem has to do with my hands.   It's a hand "thing", and the thing is, every spring, my fingers get covered in these wee-tiny blisters that look like athletes foot, but it's not.  And its only during the months of May and June.  Then it goes away.

Medical doctors just sniff at it, but I figured, what with the established relationship with the dermatologist, you can go and ask her, right.

So I stopped by the office and spoke with Connie, who works the front desk - who I would love for a best friend - and Connie looked and said, yeah, I can get you in next Monday at 10:30.  Because I have a horrible sense of time since that wee-small TIA I had back in 1992, she printed it off for me.

Well, into Cookie's head comes the idea that the appointment is at 1PM.  How did that get planted? I had no idea.  Its been stressful here in Maryland with all the rain and the mud and the silt and sand and we live miles to the nearest creek.

Anyhow, I fucked up.

So I called IMMEDIATELY and tried to mea culpa my way out of it because you know how doctors offices can be, especially with specialists.  The woman who answered was Connie, and she was very serious, as she had every right to be.  And I was about ready to cry because being told not to come back to a specialist office is like one of the worst sins in my mother's book of common guilt, when Connie said: "Normally, you would be put into Dermatology Detention Hall with all the other appointment scufflaws.  But you called, you apologized, we can work this out.  How about tomorrow at 9AM?"

And the stress came down, way down.
                                                 Like way down here, d
                                                                                       o
                                                                                         w
                                                                                           n.

So I went in today, tail between my legs, and Adrienne is at the front counter and she is like "NAME? TIME OF APPOINTMENT? Oh, you're the one who missed yesterday!  Its Dermatology Detention Class for you!"

Connie, walks out of the billing area and she is cracking up and then Adrienne starts laughing.

"We put a sign on the supply closet where patients can't go, and its now officially the Dermatology Detention Hall.  You must have had some weekend."  I told her what was going on and she was telling me what was going on.

Long story short is that I get back to see the doctor, who is WONDERFUL, and she asked her questions, then got out a pad and wrote down what it was.  "I'm writing this down because I understand you have a hard time remembering things... This is not bad, its common."

I think that I blushed embarrassed because she said: "Now that is what I call a super flushed look!"

The diagnosis is that I have a very common form of eczema.  Evidently, lots of people have this.  "And there is no cure.  Just don't pick at them.  They'll disappear in a few weeks.  They may come back in the fall.  Probably allergy related.  Here's a script for some cream that will help with the sloughing of the dead skin."

And like Santa Claus, with a wink of her eye she said, "no charge for yesterday, but let's not have it happen again, K?" and up the chimney, she was gone in a flash.

On the way out Connie was like "Remember, use your navigator in your car so you get home."

I love Connie.  And the Dermatologist.  Cookie is a lucky guy to have such great peeps watching over me.



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I have planted my own tree



Like Helen Lawson, yes, I have planted my tree.

Four in fact.  "Duraheat" birches, at that.  It involved an awful lot of driving around, but we found them halfway to Philadelphia.  But our neighbor the landscape architect was very specific about these trees and their heat tolerance.

These trees are not scrawny trees.  No - these trees are broad trees - trees that have a span.

And to make sure my trees will grow, we cut down SIX other trees including a 100ft tall pin oak (that was the final word from the tree service)  that could have taken our house our the neighbor's house out given the right combination of wind and prolonged rain.  It really threw me into a giant funk, too.  The day it came down I was moody, bitchy, sad, upset and easily aggravated.  It was the universe, exacting its revenge because someone else planted that tree and made it their tree and I ruined that dream and had an eighty-year-old dream cut for firewood.

In the end, these trees are better situated for the lot and in a couple years will give shade and a nice filtered light.  And none of them will grow so big as to kill anyone should the right mixture of water, wind, and rain take them out.

What I really wanted was a weeping willow, but those are illegal in the city and their root systems can go out 100 plus from the base of their trunks in search a water source.

So one is named after Helen Lawson, the other after Neely - they are planted together, by the way - and then the other two are Barbara and Sharon.   Couldn't remember the names of either of the characters in the damned movie.

Now go out there and plant your own tree, and earn your oats while you're at it.

And remember, SPARKLE NEELY, SPARKLE!



ONE LAST THING.  If you are a Maryland Resident and Plant a Tree, You can get cash back from the state!  Go to Maryland's Forestry Division and get your coupon.  Coupons must be presented at the time of sale.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

I'm not one to talk, but...



We had a neighborhood cookout last week and the patio was BUZZING with juicy gossip:

ITEM!  Mary Madelon (NOT Madelyn! Dear GOD, never make that mistake!) Somethingorother was out shopping with her teenage daughter and was in a foul mood.  She had a sinus headache was grumpy.  Her daughter found a Massage Envy and bought a thirty-minute neck and shoulders session just to "Help me relax," which is code for "shut her mother up."  When she returned to pick Mary Madelon back up, her mother said that her shoulders felt better, but that her sinuses were still miserable.  Massage Envy's "Shaquilla"  said "You have the sinus?  Why didn't you tell me you had the Sinus?  Come, You should have told me.  Come back to the chair."  She made Mary Madelon sit upright, and then she began in the jaw muscles and then dropped her thumb down behind the jaw, then pressed the thumbs "firmly yet not harshly" up to the top of my neck bone and then down either side of the neck bone."  Evidently, on the first try, Mary Madelon's flesh tingled. On the second attempt, "My sinuses opened up like the red sea and the pain disappeared!" SNAP!  Shaquilla has quite a fan because Mary Madelon does not tolerate quackery or brightly painted front doors on her street!

ITEM!  Gracie and Vickie are looking for a male sperm donor to help them get pregnant.  Gracie's brother has said no, again and Vickie doesn't want to to have a child "fertilized by Gracie's brother," because they have interpersonal "issues."

ITEM!  Cookie and Husband are getting trees removed and then new ones planted.  This makes Mary Madelon unhappy because the pin oak that is coming down is so tall and so beautiful.  Cookie and Husband agree, but the tree is too close to two houses (it really is) and could take out either home in a bad storm.

ITEM!  Dr. Mitch had forgotten how much he liked he liked a glass of good Shiraz!

ITEM!  The hostess, Becky, didn't tell him it came from a box!

ITEM!  The host and hostesses house passes Nan's white glove test, she tells Cookie in sotto voce. Impressive.  Then Cookie goes into the dining room where everyone is trying not to look at the dust cobwebs in the dining room light.  Oopsie.  Looks like host missed this one and so did Nan's White Glove Test!  Double OOPSIES!  Sharmel whispers to Cookie "Why don't people leave this room so I can deal with that when no one is around?"  Sharmel, Becky, and Doug have a good friend in you.  "Has everyone seen whats in the backyard?" Shouts Cookie?  "It's charming, let's go take a look!"

ITEM! While Cookie herds everyone back to the most gorgeous yard in the world, it starts to rain.  Hoping Sharmel had enough time!  She did  But Mary Madelon's keen eye picks it up when she notices that the cobwebs are gone!  Harrumpf, indeed!  Queso, Mary Madelon?

ITEM! Connie in the 400 block is miffed that the city street sweepers aren't following the schedule clearly printed in the city calendar.   They do both sides of the street on the same day!  Solution: Call 311!

ITEM!  Bob has had enough to drink and has called himself an Uber to get him home, which is half a block down.

ITEM!  Houses are selling at a furious pace in the hood - even going before the brokers open.  Multiple offers!  In five years no one has seen anything like this.  Many wonder if now is the time to get out.  And who are these people buying into our neighborhood? 

ITEM! Do not patronize Tetrazzini's.  Carter and Madge had a terrible experience.  "Territa was our waitress and it was like being ignored."

Blind ITEM:  Which neighborhood Chateline STILL hasn't picked on the fact that you can buy anything at this unnamed merchant, but you never, ever, EVAH buy produce from them.  They have carrots older than she is for sale.  No! No! No!

UNSPEAKABLE ACTION:  You there!  In your Tesla Model S sedan. On stopped at the traffic light on Owings Mills Boulevard.  I saw you stick your finger in your ear, dig around, remove your finger and then smell your finger.  Gross.  All the money in the world can get you a great car, but you are still common as a Cold.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Clint Walker



Word has come that big, beefy, hunk-a-licious Clint Walker has died.  At 6'6", Walker was never a top movie star, but he did have his own TV show, Cheyenne during the era of Westerns in the 1950s and 1960s.

His height worked against him.  He was drop-dead handsome, but staging shots between a 5'3" heroine and a 6'6" man required too much fancy work, so he was resigned to doing Westerns, which usually had male heavy casts, and men tend to be taller than women, so there you go.

Walker was 90 according to his daughter. 

Let us remember him the way we would like to remember him, in his prime.













Farewell, you, magnificent beast, you.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The GDPR and DHTiSH



Well, here goes nothing:

I, Cookie, have this bit-o-business that I feel like I should take care.  "Blogger" is of no help, but I feel like I need to do something, so here goes:

On May 25, 2018, the European Union will begin to enforce something called General Data Protection Regulation, and it will impact how and what data is collected and require permissions, compliance, etc.  This is to protect the information gathered about EU residents and permissions granted, blah, blah, blah.

I say "blah, blah, blah" because you can look the rule up online and get lots of information.  Suffice it to say that Doing Hard Time in Shaker Heights does NOT collect, store, analyze or otherwise commit voodoo any information on anyone who visits the blog other than what Google Analytics provides the blog managers in snapshot form, day by day.

Really, Cookie is feeling a bit like Hodor with all of this.

I do not know who comes and visits this blog - unless you leave a comment - other than how many people stop by and look at a particular post.  This is not a business, so I have no interest in who comes here and from what IP.  I do not know what kind of operating system, I do not, to our knowledge deploy cookies to your computer.  "Blogger - a Google entity - may do so, and you have to take that up with them.

I really would like to be compliant, and since I know nothing about our audiences or their preferences and are not privy to such things, that really takes any Cookie out of that loop.

If you find that you have been blocked from the site, contact your National government, or the EU, and give them what-for keeping you from this site.   Shake your fist, no tighter.  Damn them!  That's the spirit.

All kidding aside, though, I really cannot find how this impacts us or you since I have nothing to do with such things.  So while I would love to comply and believe that I would because I can't get to the stuff that this covers.

Wish Cookie all luck, then.  This could be nothing, or it can mean headaches for one or all.

Cheers!

Cookie