Monday, October 26, 2020

He gots the a) Covids, b) Cancer, c) Sugar


Cookie would like to know when in the hell it became conversationally OK to insert the "He gots" in the present tense?   Especially when it comes to illness. 

In the old days, it was acceptable to use "Johnny got sick," if it was followed by "but he is much better".

We didn't need the details unless it was contagious, like chickenpox or measles.   Once in the early 70s a kid named Sargent came down with mumps and all hell broke loose.  It wasn't his fault.  And it wasn't a reflection on his parents, but the school took no chances.  Parents were notified and warned what to watch for. Boys in his cub scout den - his mother was den mother - were highly advised to go to the pediatrician where some of us were given shots of something to protect us.   No harm, no foul, but our poor classmate had to suffer out the miserable disease, so we sent cards. 

Now, I hear all sorts of "he gots" and on social media, I am reading "he/she/they gots the [fill in the blank] as if its become part of accepted language: 

"He got the appendicitis."

"She got the cancer."

"Grandpa got the hemorrhoid"

"They both got the sugar."

You really know its bad when "He got the cancers."

Into this comes the one that makes me really insane: "She got the covids."  Not just COVID-19, but evidently ALL OF THE COVIDS. 

And this came from a doctor!

Folks, it's like nails on a chalkboard.  BUT if we must, let us conjugate "gots", shall we?






And for our southerners out there:

Y'all Gots - and - 

All y'all GOTS

See how wretched this sounds?

Thirty years ago, this "gots" used to a reactionless nod of the head.  Many of my clients were in S.E. Ohio, so you heard it frequently, but not universally. 

And even back home, I started to hear it, I just thought that people were parroting back what they heard. 

But last year, on a trip back home, my cousin was yelling at her husband when he forgot the five-pound bag of sugar she needed for holiday baking.  He called his friend, Bud, who was at Walmart picking up prescriptions and asked him to pick it up on his way over.  Bud agreed.  

Five minutes later cousin's husband's phone rang again. A brief conversation was had, and the call was over  Then this transpired:

"That was Bud."

"Did you tell Bud that I wanted Domino and not the store brand?"

"I told him. Honey. Bud's got the sugar," in his Illinois monotone.

"Lord have mercy!  Bud's got the sugar? Why would you ask Bud to get sugar if he has the sugar? It's be like tell Twila to pick up flour with the gluten sh's got.  Dear good when?  When did the doctor tell him he has diabetes?  Did he take one of them instant sugar tests at the Walmart?  Poor Diane..."

"Sharon, Bud called to say he bought the sugar.  He's got the Domino sugar, but he doesn't have the sugar."



Folks, words have meaning, and things have names.  Like a coaster in a motel, USE THEM.

So if you will y'all excuse me, I'm going get me a cup of "the coffee".

Friday, October 23, 2020

Voted, delivered it, and it has been counted. Now the hard part...


Are we done with being trapped in this election season? 

I am so sick and tired of this hate and this willful ignorance.   And I am SUPER over this idea that verifiable facts and logic are all lies.  Straight outta 1984. 

Still, Cookie is hanging in, even if the inside of my brain feels like this illustration looks. 

Lord have mercy on us all. 

But the only way we are going to fix this VOTE, because this year, our lives do depend on this. Cookie is Ridin' with Biden, and I hope y'all are doing that as well. 

As a matter of fact my ballot went in the remote box on Sunday, was placed into the verification system on Tuesday and today I received confirmation that my vote was counted. 

Remember darlings, the only way to really fuck over Trump is to vote for Biden.  You are not casting a vote for someone you love, this year we are casting votes to get rid of Trump. 

And whether we lose, which could happen, or win, our work continues.  This isn't a once and done thing people - we are beyond that.  We are at war representing what is kind, what is smart, what is legal and what is morally and ethically righteous.  And after this election, the midterms are only 24 months away.  

We cannot let happen to this nation what the rise of that fat slobbering fool brought upon us, again. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

There is merit in backing up the computer, to a point


So the COVID-19 house task of the week has been going through a stash of 20+-year-old CD-ROMs that I have kept for way too long. These files were supposed to ease the setting everything else back up.  You know, because "you never know".

Remember when writable CD-ROMs were the in thing?  If you do, you're old like me.  

When I made these, the stuff I saved was really important.  Looking through a dozen CD-ROMs of these I found a total of forty files worth keeping. 


And they were family pictures, scanned at what I thought was great resolution at the time.  Granted - I had an 18" tube monitor that was deeper than the picture was wide.   The computer at the time, an HP with a four gig hard drive running Windows98.  I never imagined then that I was going to be dealing in terabytes of CdV's, Cabinet Cards, Brownie card, created art, etc., and so on.  That computer back then was almost as much computing power as we used at the trade association I worked for! 

The problem that those family pictures are mostly *.gif files, AND each one is about the 300 pixels wide.   Pretty useless. But they have since rescanned at 200% their size, 600dpi, and stored in multiple clouds.

The jewels in all of these were some images I scanned in 2000 that belonged to my cousin Di who passed away in 2019. (I just found out about her death on Monday morning.)  

Things changed in 2004 when I signed my first respectable book contract, but the way I backed stuff up also changed instead of using CD-ROMs, I started using portable drives, so they are my next target.  I have about 20k regional history images for north central Ohio. 

The downside to this is that CD-ROMs are starting to fail after 20 years.  So they would lock up my computer when I run them. The upside is that computers reboot in the blink of an eye.

What I didn't find was anything of monetary value, which would have been great.  

I'll be content with the 4" of cleared CD-ROMs on the shelf.  

And happily, there are no 5.5 floppies that I have to contend with. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

How are your nerves, and what color is your discharge?

Cookie has no idea what the Viavi Cure was. But these types of traveling doctors were the rage in the late 19th century.  They would distribute forms, gather information and then based on returns, schedule time in various towns, usually in hotels near railroad stations where they would thump, palpitate, feel things on the body that affected you.  Towards the end of the 19th century, with the advent of the portable electric vibrator along, so they could release women's feelings of frustrations and shame. 

Can you imagine that? 

But wait, there is more!  They also sold patent medicines, and syrups to calm the nerves, relieve neuralgia, and otherwise soothe those sick headaches.  When the patients were all seen - off they were to the next town with advice ("If that beast of a husband takes care of his own needs and not yours, see your doctor. And thank you, madam, that will be one dollar for our time, your treatment and the tincture of Lillies White Laudanum...")

Well, right here, dear readers is your own copy of the Viavi Company's very own, official, symptom list for its next visit to a town, city, or rural hickville nearest your abode.  This was found in a treasure of family papers left in a box for nearly 100 years!  Simply fill out the form with your name and will write to you with the date of the first visit and what time the doctor will see you.  Notice that discretely, on the back, is a place to discuss those topics worthy only of whispers and private miseries, lest any creeping eyes spot your application while you are filling it out.  Leave no detail unmentioned, even if its the "vapors".  

Tah, Tah, and I am off to the next metropolis down the road. 

Tell us reader, what are your complaints and maladies?  Coated tongue?  Yellow or greenish-yellow discharges?  Halitosis?  Bromedosis?  Oh, dear lord not the scourge of bromidrosis, we hope!  Tell us it all. 


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Tell us, what do we have here...


This is a tacky postcard from the 1950s - 1960s.  It needs a description and your boss wants you to come up with one that will appear on the back of the card. Put on your thinking caps and tell us, what is going on here?

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

RuPaul and Snoop Dog in a cage fight. Bing made the pairing

Cookie is not a lover of Google. I don't hate it, I just don't love it. 

The irony of this is that I use Blogger, which is their product.  I used to love Blogger, but since they revamped the interface I still love blogger, though I hate their interface.

Anyway, back to Google - I don't like how Google places emphasis on the number of link backs to determine how reliable sites are.   If I want sites based on the 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air Interiors, I don't need, want, or even desire to get all loaded up on subpar sites that promise to sell me one. 

So I have been using Microsoft Bing - it tends to get the search right without the advertising garbage your face like Google. 

Microsoft has been "tweaking" Bing, which is no longer "Bing" but now MICROSOFT Bing with the windows logo.   But they have been adding in all manner of nonsense to their sidebar results.  One of the most annoying is telling how tall different notable people are. 

For example, let's pick someone who was popular, but isn't: Brittney Spears. Search for her and Bing returns its results AND insists on telling you that she is 5'4".

If no one cares about "Brit'ney" they sure as hell don't give a tinkers damn about how tall she is. 

But Bing takes this trivial pursuit one step beyond.  NOW they tell you who else is 5'4", as in "as tall as" for comparison sake. 

So now, we don't give a damn about Britney Spears, we sure as hell don't care who she is, but... It's who they pick that Cookie finds absurdly funny, to a point.

And who does bing tell us is a tall as Britney? Alecia Beth Moore, aka PINK

This is only useful if you imagine that they are in what I have come to call BING CAGE MATCH, an imaginary "what if" the game in which you get to pick the winner of an all-out locked cage match, brawl to the end battle.

And BING CAGE MATCH, Pink pins Britney. Pink has that bitchin' body. 

Joe Manganiello?   He's 6'4" of beautiful muscle and perfection.  And he is as tall as Pablo Schreiber.  In BING CAGE MATCH, Joe Manganiello pins Pablo Schreiber.  On looks alone, but Joe is simply the winner given his build and good looks. Yes, I know its subjective, but that's part of the fun.  But you see that this can be a momentary parlor game, right?

David Letterman v. Bill O'Reilly?  Letterman. See. The only thing is that it has to be a modern celebrity.  Evidently, Bing didn't feel the need to tell us how tall Marie Curie was, or Marie Antoinette - with her head attached of course.

Earlier in September, Jeopardy announced that it was bringing Ken onboard its production team.  Husband asked me if Jennings was going to replace Alex Trebek given Trebek's health situation.  So I looked it on Bing and Bing gives me results and in the sidebar feels the need to tell me that Ken Jennings is 5'10".  

That's well and fine; 5'10" is one of the average heights in the United States.  So I decided to Play Bing Cage Match with Ken Jennings...

...and it compared serial Jeopardy winner Ken to...

...serial killer Ted Bundy.

And in a Cage Match, we know who is going win, and it is not going to be done with "Alex, I'll take Personal Defense for $500."

I mean seriously Bing, what the hey.  Out of ALL the celebrities that are 5'10" your system chooses Ted Bundy? 

I spoke with a cousin who's spouse works for Microsoft about this match-up and her reaction was simply "Oh, my god."  She called Kyle, and Kyle's reaction was, and I quote "No, oh, no, no, no."  Within 5 minutes that pairing on the screen caption above was gone.  

Now Ken Jennings is incomparable in the height contest. 

So then I wondered what other unlikely BING CAGE MATCH matches were being made.

  • At 5'2" each, Charles Mansion, v. Yoko Ono.
  • At 5'8" is Kanye West v. Eminem.
  • At 6'4" is RuPaul v. Snoop Dog.
  • At 5'2" is Amy Winehouse v. Nelly Furtado - AND - 
  • At 5'10" Rodney Dangerfield v. Sally Kellerman.
I am NOT telling Mindy about the Yoko/Manson match, but I have captured this in an image just to have a record of it.  I am not posting it because I do not want people I am a fan of his.   

But try it yourself.  Or try it with someone else's famous name and see what you get. What really gets me is that if weren't in this COVID mess, it would make for a great game to play with friends while having a drink on a fall night. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Wishing everyone a meaningful and fulfilling Yom Kippur


Cookie has done his time in retail and I have seen pretty much, it all.  A gun pointed at me during a robbery, shoplifters, the "raid" by the woman who called herself "The Worthington League For Decency" where she sent her six-foot-tall son into our retail book store to pick up a copy of Playboy two inches off the top rack so she could charge us with peddling smut - I have seen it all.  

I even had to deal with a best selling diet doctor - Dr. Stuart Berger - from the 1980s who was at the top of his game, in town for a signing.  He insisted and insisted that I come by his hotel, do a couple lines, and have unsafe sex. His hands were like tentacles, everywhere, but I got him through the signing, gave him someone else's phone number, and told him to call me.  (No, I never would, and I never did.  The man was vile.  He died in the 90s from an overdose and morbid obesity.)

But what topped all others was my stint working in Pikesville, an area of Baltimore with a high Jewish population.  The problem was always around Yom Kippur, and it was gentiles who meant well, coming into our store where I worked asking for "Happy Yom Kippur" stuff.  

Happy Yom Kippur cards, party invitations, cookbooks, and stuffed animals for gifts. 

In my mind, it was always "Yeah, it doesn't work like that lady," but in practice, it was my cue to be helpful, help them - gently - see Yom Kippur for what it is - a time of reflection, atonement, forgiveness, and to ask G-d to write your name in the book of life for the coming year.  People can learn if you are kind. 

"Well, it's not a Hallmark holiday.  It's a serious day of introspection.  One looks at how they have lived in the past year and if necessary - and it always it - extend apologies and accept them.  And there is fasting, a symbolic act of yearning, and to understand how others feel their hunger."

Everything gentle. 

Now, every now and then we'd get some bellicose ass in who wasn't taking no for an answer.   But for the most part, people wanted to show support for their friends and neighbors. 

My store manager, an older woman said at a staff meeting the first year that we should suggest gift cards as presents.  

"No, this isn't a holiday for that.  The only thing you give is of yourself, and humble acts."

"Not even a card?"

No. Just stop it.  "It's about you, not merchandise.  Jews have enough days to give merchandise.  This isn't one of them."

The second-year I was there, I jumped in front of that bus before she could utter the words. "You weren't going to let me, will you."  No, I was not. 

Corporate wanted us to sell merchandise, and we did.  But not for Yom Kippur.  For Passover, buy that stuffed lion for the little girl next door.  But for Yom Kippur, the greatest gift that non-Jews can give Jews is respect for the day, some breathing space, and if you borrowed a hammer from the neighbor, return it and ask for forgiveness.  We'll be happy for the hammer and the bonus of saying that they can let you off the hook. 

So, for the next 24 hours or so is about looking inward, becoming better people, seeking forgiveness, and giving it.   Give it a try.  It might lift a burden or two from your shoulders.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

No, you really aren't the nicest person you know.


One thing that a young child I was blessed with was self-consciousness, and too much of it at that.  Growing up I felt awkward, uncoordinated, and ugly.  I had no use for sport because my biggest competition was myself, and we both hated losing.  And contrary to every camp counselor and gym teacher, "Athletics" did not imbue me with confidence.  It made me a target, and I held the honor of last chosen for every school year I was at Mercer of Byron Junior High.  Moreover, whether a twist of fate or not, I was always chosen for the skins team, which made the public humiliation all the more painful. 

My desire to be liked and accepted was always ground out like a cigarette butt by junior high gym teachers who were better suited to a U.S. Marines Training Center than an upper-income Junior High.  

Bullies picked up on that, and to show everyone what a waste of human flesh I wasm I was shoved downstairs, had my locker trashed, and was I was put down, not only by some of the other boys but some of the better-looking boys.  As the years went by they were in my mind as I spent my first years in the gay dating world. In my eyes, I was good enough to use for sex, but nothing more. 

One of my worst tormentors however was a girl.  A short, mean one named "Bertha".  Imbued with a shock of hair that looked more like a broom, Bertha's master art wasn't physical abuse, it was verbal abuse.  And she worked with it like Vermeer worked in oils.  I endured it for two years. A pint-sized harridan, Bertha's words cut like a hot knife through my cold lonely soul.  The only time she was nice was when she wanted something - like to be the star of a photography project or help on a history test. 

We left Shaker for a more sane life when I was 14, mostly because my mother was certain that if another year happened like eighth grade, I was certain to kill myself, and most likely I would have.  In our new town, a new school system, I found friends.  Out of the 400+ high school students, subtract out about 20, and we all got along.  I was never manhandled, bullied, or abused.  High school was pure bliss. 

At the last Shaker reunion, I went to, a long time friend said that I should forgive Bertha for all the anger I held towards her.  "She's grown."  So said friend maneuvered me into Bertha's orbit, and Bertha instead of hello, treated me with a "Cookie? What are you doing here?"

In talking with Bertha, before I could forgive her, I mentioned that it was would nice to get along and start over.  Bette who was headed toward a table of her friends from school - Deb, Debbie, D'bora, Deebs, Dee, Deedee, and Angela - stopped, and looked at me and said the following:

"It was your fault we didn't get along.  If you thought I was the problem, well, you need help. Why I'm the nicest person I know."

And with that, she walked to her table. 

The table filled with her friends that she just threw under the bus.  

The same friends that she just claimed she was better than. That's what you are saying when one says "I am the nicest person I know."  It says that they are better than everyone else, and it says they don't give a damn about anything but them.

What I learned very fast is that you can't forgive a bully unless the bully asks for it.  And unless they ask for it, that's who they are - accept that move on. 

But I walked away having great admiration for Bertha's friends.  She uses them and they are there for her. I mean, it takes a whole lot of patience to be friends with the Bertha's of the world.  One day, Bertha just might wake up and realize it.  

But my sense she won't.  

Self-awareness was never her strong suit. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

In this Time of COVID: The ultimate in "Staycations"

Careful, time these days just loops and loops and loops some more. 

I had a call from my longest-running friend from Shaker Heights the other night.  She called to tell me that Lake View Cemetery - where Cleveland's best go to be buried - is running a sale on plots, vaults, and, grave markers.  The most enticing the brochure is that they are advertising their cemetery as the final destination trip you'll ever take.

"They are calling it the ultimate place for your end of life staycation," she remarked.  I almost feel some days that would be more exciting than this endless loop we're in now. 

Right now, the husband is on vacation and our staycation is blurring the lines of the days - they are all the same.  

And we seem to have lost all concept of what day of the week it is.  

Because we can't travel - my lungs and asthma, and his essential worker status - we are stuck here in Baja Towson, doing things around the house.  And they are the things that no one wants to do. 

Saturday, we pushed a couple buttons and the oven in the range went on automatic cleaning mode for four hours. The temperature was low enough that we could open windows, but by God, it was stinky and smokey.  Still, after four hours the oven was pristine after a wipe with some damp paper towels, and you could see in the window. 

Last Friday it was a new hot water tank. We said farewell to Bradford White - whose age the old people who sold us the house lied about.  Bradford was not five years old as they stated.  Bradford was 12 years old.  At 17 he crapped out.   Bradford's position was filled by A.O. Smith, and the money in the bank replaced by a giant void of nothingness.  Mr. Plumber on the other hand made enough to make two payments on his Mercedes Van. 

Yesterday, I worked on a project for a client (all these Slavic names and strange punctuation marks!) that I have to deliver this week, while the husband weeded the gardens.  

Today the BIG news was that multiple things happened!  

First up, the husband gathered all his paperwork up to get his real ID driver's license renewed.  Per Maryland's Vehicle Administration, he lugged in his certified this, that and a current bill moved to the address.  The MVA is where humorous control hungry people go to work and you never know if you are going to get a human being or Morbo who commands you to "Sit there and remain SILENT puny human!  I will ask the questions!" while tentacles of bureaucracy move about in slimy squishy sounds.  In this case - and SUPRISE! -he got a human being who looked at the reams of paperwork he brought to the only appointment he could get since last May, who gave a brief look and said "We good."   He was amazed - ten minutes!

Secondly, the Husband decided it would be a swell time to core aerate the sylvan grounds of Staten Cookie.  I only exist to help remove the rented beast from our truck and put it back.  What I hate about this process is that for the next month our sylvan grounds are littered with dirt plug that looks like a convention of Canadian geese was held here.  We can do it for $65. TruGreen wanted us to pay them $200.  Anyway, it will take a month for these things to either be dissolved by rains or chewed up by the landscapers. 

Neigh Katty is crossing the street as I type to come to get about $100 dollars word of iris plants that the Husband had to divide two weeks ago. 

Tomorrow, it's the exterminators for ants, followed by the arborist's (Trees by Felize) to look at the birch trees.   The cable guys show up on Friday to replace the dying cable modem. 

And in NONE of these instances to I get to send you a postcard with the words "Wish You Were Here" because I know that isn't what you would find fun.  

Alas, in this time of COVID, the days seem to blend together and together and together.  No fun at all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

No, the doctor did not declare him deceased

When Cookie was a journalism student, the first rule of writing news was get the facts, and then verify those facts.  Without verifiable facts, your story is hearsay, worthless, gossip.  The second rule of thumb was if you doubted those verifiable facts, double down and verify them again. 

Do you the reader see a pattern?  FACTS matter, and what matters better be based on facts.   

Since the rise of the internet where anyone can call themselves a news site, and the rise of "entertainment" masquerading for news, we see to have a crisis of confidence.  Too many people prefer to hear what makes them feel validated, and they love to mock people who put a value on truth.  And not enough people who want the truth don't stand up for standards. 

Add to this the culture of everybody getting a certificate for showing up and you get what I came across today, and why I needed someone like my friend to back me up with the AP style manual. In this case that I am railing about is that of declaring someone legally dead. Now there are several types of death, aside from the good old fashioned "when you are dead, you're dead" school of thought. 

There is such a state as Civil Death.  And there is such a thing Social Death.  

But today, we're talking about DEAD - as in no longer showing signs of life, lung, heart, and/or brain function dead.

This raised itself up because Cookie was reading a news blurb by a radio station.  Apparently, a car ran a stop sign, hit a motorcyclist, and the injured man was transported to the hospital where the ER doctors declared the victim dead, as in declared dead.   Not Dead on Arrival (DOA) but in this case, the victim showed signs of life but died in the ER. 

Get it?  Got it? Good.

The problem is that the news outlet stated that "where the doctors declared him deceased."


"The deceased...", sure.  "The decedent..." alright. 

But declared deceased?  Huh?

So I contacted said news outlet and said "this is incorrect. One is declared dead by a doctor, not deceased."  

I didn't do it because I needed to be right, but because it was a violent accident and a terrible way to go for that young man.  

The answer, that I got back simply stunned me:

"Hello, I am the station's wordsmith..."

Stop right there.  

Writers, reporters, editors, columnists, feature reporters, traffic eye in the sky, yes.  Wordsmith?  No.  Oh, no, no, no.  The Wordsmith continued:

" you'll agree, 'dead' and 'deceased' are practically the same words..."

Sweet Smoking Jesus!  NO!  First, do not paint me into that corner with getting me to agree that words mean the same when it is the legal action - the declaration of death - at the heart of this matter.  And yes, a duckpin bowling ball and a tennis ball are both round balls, but neither can be substituted to do what the other was designed to do.

One is not declared deceased in hard news. One is declared DEAD. Declaring one "deceased" sounds cliche, and as the AP Style manual will tell you, avoid cliche and euphemisms.  

But the Wordsmith promised to get back with me and the Wordsmith did:

"There is a certain truthiness to being declared deceased...and English is a constantly evolving language... "

Reader, if I had a brick wall, I would be banging my head against it. 

Another thing, the "man is pronounced dead" by the doctor.  Why?  Because to say say that the man "pronounced deceased" sounds really bad.  Try saying that allowed, or show an English teacher.  It is affected.

To me, "deceased" is for feature articles, for obituaries, for (and now I am dating myself) the late Harold Denzer, clasping his hands while asking my grandmother what the music the "deceased" would have preferred ("Perhaps "Whispering Hope, and other songs of hope and eternal life?"

Even us Jews (when I wear that yarmulke) know, when you are dead, you are dead. You are going into that Light of G_d because that's what we believe. There is no everlasting life for Jews. You leave life's stage and you go into the light of God and you are dead, as in not coming back, dead. People who use "truthiness" as their fulcrum to try and cleave an argument from where there is none to split off.  This kind of logic is what we get when someone builds a society of "certificates" for just showing up.  

So I did some searching.  One newspapers(dot)com, one of the largest databases of searchable newspapers, "Declared Dead" - 321,662 occurrences. "Declared Deceased" - 2,665 matches. 

The problem with truth is that Wordsmiths only care about what sounds poetic, soft, winsome.  Whereas old news people like Cookie want facts.  I want news that is meaty, lean and something I can chew on and ponder. People like the Wordsmith only care about pablum, that goes down easy. 

And that ain't me.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Goodbye and good riddance summer, and here comes fall


Well, that was one Hell of a summer vacation season.  Here comes fall 2020 and like summer, I am predicting it'll be pretty - and unfortunately - Hellish. 

Hold onto your seats, its going to be a bumpy flight...

Monday, August 31, 2020

Best of DHTiSH: A Children's Salon, On the Rocks

I shudder to think about it. So Would Ann Douglas

Somehow, without our consent, the people in the last years of the baby boom era have reached that age where we simply don't get "young people".  That I could even use that phrase astounds me - when did I become elderly?  When did I become that old person that people look at and wonder: Is he having a mid-life crisis?  Does he understand how pathetic he sounds?

My husband and I are too old for living our entire lives online, and for preferring text our friends instead of talking with them on the phone.  I don't want to subscribe to blogs to get my news, I want to hold a copy of the Sunday Washington Post, or the New York Times, and savor it.   And yet my husband and I are still way too young for Social Security or thinking about the easy carefree lifestyle that a retirement community could afford us.  And music today?  Don't get me started. 

That we are most likely younger than the people in the image above really sets my teeth on edge. Those are old people. We are not.   So the idea that they would be "wife swappers"  just kind of scares us.  Shouldn't they be at home, watching Lawrence instead of trading partners?   Does anyone even admit to swapping spouses?

A neighbor's 20Something-year-old son is into VCR movies, something that we experienced in the decades ago in its first iteration. But to him, its all-new, it's all hysterical.   His mother Sue came over with her dog for a play date with our dogs yesterday and laughing that a box of used tapes that he found at a Salvation Army Store included "Bob and Carol, Ted and Alice." 

Sue is about ten years younger than us and had our rapt attention as she tried to answer her teenage son's question about whether or not the movie was pornographic.  And Sue said "I remember the term, and the movie, but did anyone actually that.

Yes.  It really was real.  Wife Swapping was a "THING" in the 70s, as I remember it.  In the 1950s, when the people in this picture would have been "into it", it would have been a bit Avant-guard.  But in the sixties and seventies, all sorts of stuff was happening in homes with shag carpet and lamps swagged by ceiling-mounted chains.

When I was in or about fourth grade, wife swapping, however, was all the rage.  Or so the magazines would have you believe.   

My neighborhood 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 things that we were clueless about.  "Weed".  "Giving yourself permission to look at your vagina."  "Premature ejaculation" and "How to make him feel like a potent man." If the headline was "Are you and you other compatible signs?  What's a Cusp? We show you how to draw your own STAR CHARTS."  

All of it, in the seventies, was on magazine covers.

But, according to Cosmopolitan, Wife Swapping Was Empowering - "It's a BLAST" the headline read while the subline read "We show you how! See page 69."   Playboy's cover was all IN for girlfriend swapping. In fact, the magazine even suggested that a man could please three women at once, without his buddies even participating.  There was even an article on one cover that asked "Why Swap? Orgy Instead!"

My friends and I spent our dollars on enough sugar to cause a diabetic coma in adults and took our hoard to the vacant lot across Fairmount Boulevard.  There, amongst the ruin of a house that was never built, we stuffed our faces and just would just yabber away. 

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.  Back then, at ten, you don't know about what don't know because you don't have that awareness to know that you didn't know.   And if you wanted to learn anything, you either needed a much older brother to tell you - and good luck with that. OR you needed a girl who was going into sixth grade - because they knew everything. 

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

"Why would you want to do that?"


"Swap your wife?"

"Because you're tired of her.  It's like trading your car with a friend because you want to drive his convertible, but he needs your station wagon," said Beth McClatchy. Beth was headed to junior high school in a couple weeks for seventh grade. We were in awe. Little did any of use understand the snake pit that every junior high school was.

"Hey," said Ann Douglas "You aren't going to mix pop rocks and Pepsi together are you?"  Beth, her mouth full of pop rocks, wide-eyed, nodded 

"Its certain death," admonished Ann Douglas.  Ann had always been Ann Douglas as not to confuse her with Ann McCauley who lived further down the block.  Ann McCauley was fourteen and had "developed", so she had better things to do with the prepuberty crowd.

But Ann Douglas was such a buzz kill; Beth looked really annoyed.  Beth got annoyed so easily and the boys figured it was because she was getting boobs.  We couldn't see anything, but she made it a point to remind us that she had a training bra "because my bosom is growing."  And that to a ten-year-old made us giggle. "Don't laugh fart face, just wait until you see what you're going to through."  But for now, she was still one of us. 

"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 rolled her eyes said "Because stupid, they are staying together for the sake of the children.  So Brad and his sisters can come from a happy home. GAH! Don't you know anything?"  Beth nodded in agreement.  Secretly, in their heads, I just knew that they were annoyed beyond all words. Girls were like that, because boys all had cooties. 

Not wanting to be left out, I chimed in reminding them that my parents were divorced.

"But my mother says your father is a 'hound' and a 'skirt chaser.'  So your mom was smart to get a divorce."  Sally had a point.  My father loved women.  He didn't love my Mom.  But other women, yes.  My father loved women in every shape and flavor.  And he always picked the wrong one to marry.

"Wife Swapping," started Ann Douglas, a sixth-grader who "knew things" paused for us to pipe down and get the attention that an oracle deserved, then said: "I think they do it to spice up their marriages and love lives.  Marriage has to be like an episode of the Waltons. Every week you tune in and expect something different at the end, but all you get is a "G'night John Boy."  

Anne's brother Chuckie piped in with "Sometimes I wish someone will ask "who farted?"



"Chuckie, Mother doesn't like you using that word." We started on the second candy bar, there was a lull as each of us took that first gulping bit.

I asked, "None of our parents would do that, would they?"  And I immediately knew that I shouldn't have said it. 

At that point all everyone else's parents became suspect. Every last lawyer, accountant, doctor, den mother, and housewife could be into "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 Lisa's parents have sex with Colin's parents, or would they peel off with Ann Douglas' parents? It was our first Mexican Standoff, and any of our parents could be doing things with other parents.  Collectively, our stomachs sank for a brief moment. 

Then, someone broke the tension.  "NO!"



Beth sighed and growled "Your parents are divorced; they can't swap.  Your mother could become a Swinger, I guess.  Then again, your father remarried so he could be a wife swapper."  It was a backhanded comment, but I figured it was her "bosom" making her like this.  I really want her to grow the pair and start hanging out with Ann McCauley.

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 "Tonya" because "Tonya promised to mumblemumble 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, watching a medical drama and playing solitaire replied, "Well, she's not here, give them your father's phone number.  He ought to enjoy taking that call."  

It seemed like the thing to do.  So I did.

The second time it happened a few days later, I told my mom and she had the same response.  But she didn't just drop it like she did the first time.

"What did this guy want?"

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

My poor mother.  She wasn't expecting that.  "What did you say?"  I started to repeat what I had said but she cut me off.  She was angry, but not at me.

"I only said it because you asked what the guy on the phone said."

"Don't say that word again."

"What word?"  Needless to say, Mom sat me down and she gave me the talk.  I was appalled.  I was appalled that I had spoken to the guy, I was appalled that my mother had to explain "masturbation" to me, and I was just appalled.  The next thing I knew was that my parents were fighting over the phone and my mother was really angry. 

But back to the idea that my mother could be 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. She was a Daughter of the American Revolution!  Moreover, she wore a sash that read CHAPTER REGISTRAR.

The truth as we knew it was, not one of our mothers would, well, because they were our mothers and that would be gross.  In reality, all our mothers really want was ten minutes of peace and quiet. 

"Do you think that anyone in our neighborhood would become a Swinger?" Colin 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. Country clubs aren't in the country, they aren't about golf.  Getting into a country club means you have a good reputation, and someone is willing to sponsor you into the 'club'.  When your father tells someone that he belongs to Acacia, or Beechmont or even The County Club, that means that he has money and that he and the family have been approved," reasoned Ann Douglas.

I must have had the word STUPID on my facial expression because Beth read it and added: "Country clubs aren't about the bad food and golf. It's a social code for being good people. 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."

Beth had a point, and Ann Douglas was irritated by her because "She thinks she knows everything" Ann once said

The Richman's (not to be confused by the Richmond's who lived in the house next to the lot we were seat in) 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 oldest son Gary enlisted in the Israeli army. 

Again, Ann Douglas took charge "Mom said that Beechmont Country Club kicked them out when they insisted that they help with the day to day operations of the club instead of annual dues, which they felt was a capitalist concept."

Capitalist what?  Huh?

"If," Brad started to say "anyone in this neighborhood is going to 'swinger', 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 damning bit of evidence: "They have that modern house."

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. Well then; That was the key to everything.  

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

"And they ski. There's a lot of drinking and sex at a ski resort.  And they do IT on bearskin rugs."

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

It was, of course, a foolish thing to ask.  "Andy Turner's father reads Playboy." Well, that wasn't news. Every ten-year-old boy at Mercer knew that.  It was the only reason to go over to Andy's play, and his dad kept the evidence under the mattress in his parent's room.  

"Playboy is a magazine of nude women and cartoons showing escapades at ski lodges that took place on bearskin rugs, My father reads it for the articles," said David Wright.  David was mostly silent, you almost forgot that he was there, so when he spoke up it was something.

After deciding that all wife swappers could be swingers, but not all swingers would be into wife swapping, I asked - having my silent yearnings even at that age and wondering what Mr. Shipley looked like without his shirt - "Why do they call it 'wife swapping'?  Why not 'husband swapping?"  Now I could see a couple of the male camp counselors at Hawkin day camp doing it.  But I was smart enough not to say that.

And the answer my friends proclaimed was one of major importance:



"Can't happen. Because men are men, duh!"


This is when the boys 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 a 'mo thing."  And Beth rolled her eyes to emphasize how childish we were. 

"So women never think about two guys together?"

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

And with that bit of drama, Sally put an end to the salon on the rocks having finished her Pop Rock's and moved on to Hubba Bubba, the absinthe of under 13-year-old set.  "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, and that meant we were all going to follow.  "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.

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

But like those late August afternoons before school started, the cassette's are breaking down, as our minds and bodies.  I am one half of a happily married old couple.  Still, if my husband wanted to become a swinger, it's his option, not mine.  He wouldn't, but once we hit the retirement community in the next decade, maybe he will.  As for Cookie?  I am in the Sons of the American Revolution. 

One day, in 2060, a twenty-something will bring home a box of cassette taps that they bought at an estate sale.  He'll load it in and hit the play button and out of the speakers, with pops and scratches will come the voices of ten to twelve ten to twelve-year-olds from the year 1972 saying the word Fuck.  They will say it softly, yell it, they will sing it and shout it. He'll write about it on his social media platform, or play it on the nightly news.  He'll muse, did people used to do this?  Why would anyone do this?  

And that will be his moment to ponder and make sense of a bunch of kids, one summer, on the rocks figuring life and all that other stuff out.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Really? That boozy-boozy?

This is a chart, by Brown Forman Distillery, allegedly tells one how to prepare for a party, and provide the host with a gauge as to how many drinks you and your friends would consume while you are entertaining them, 1950s style.

Cookie is shocked and appalled!  YES, our outlook on boozy-boozy lunches have changed, but this is a lot of hooch!

Just look at the lunch recommendation.  Four people for lunch, and EIGHT cocktails, two apiece!  Now eight glasses of whine sound reasonable for a brunch.  But regular lunch?  "No more than two cocktails for me honey, I still have to drive that afternoon school bus of children to their homes in about three hours."  Dear God! I hope not.

The amounts grow as you increase the hour of the day, evening, and night, and the number of guests you have.  Throw a dinner buffet and you might as well just to cater the affair or better yet, book the party room at the Theatrical Club!

Now Mame Dennis could pull this off - Beekman Place is big enough to hold the backstock. But put another way, let's pretend that you are Holly Golightly and you are having twenty people up to your apartment for a little "thing" you are throwing together. That would be a minimum of enough booze for eighty drinks AN HOUR if you going by this chart. 

And where would you put the bottles? 

Well, I can tell you that Mr. Yunioshi isn't going to let you use his place to store the spirits.  And if you could cram into chez Golightly, when you add the guests, just where will Mag Wildwood fall when she faints from hearing about Rusty Trawler's fortune?

Considerations all.  But as for Cookie, the days of drinking are pretty much over.  We were down to only having cocktails when we threw a party, but between Baltimore being Baltimore, and this COVID thing, it could be years before we get out the barware. 

But trust Cookie.  If this president doesn't destroy this country, or the world, when the COVID cure - the one that really works - actually appears, the 1920s will look like a church picnic.  So hang onto your hopes and your drinkware.  Happy days could be here again.

Monday, August 24, 2020

A call to arms...

Mammam est spectaculi sensus fashion!

As we approach our SIXTH month of social distancing and muffled by masks conversations, Husband and Cookie are running out of things to discuss that don't descend into how much alike feel about the current President and Administration in Washington.   Politics aside, our evening conversations consist of how expensive groceries have become, 400 channels and nothing to watch, or sneezes and coughs brought on by the allergy season.

The other night however we charted unknown territories.   All y'all - and yes you can put an "all before "y'all" and grasp a larger group of inclusion - know that when you are an old married couple like this, unchartered territories of conversations are for marriage encounter groups, marriage counseling sessions or for new acquaintances that one can make. Since none of that is going on, these new topics are a bit like sailing to the end of the world and then dropping off the edge, so one treads carefully.

And all y'all know that Cookie is a genealogist, and my husband caught the tombstone twitch from me.   So the topic came up that if we would create our own "Coat of Arms" what would the family look like, and what would the motto be. 

While we haven't finalized a design, which so far includes a fish, a chicken, and a platypus, the motto is also a work in progress. My mother's family is lousy with family mottos - remember, my grandmother was That Woman's fourth cousin, twice removed.  The motto has to be something that says something about goals, lofty ideals, or just something that the family is known for.  Like Bill's Knapp's Family probably has something that roughly translates to "Famous for fine food," or the like.

And it has to say it in Latin.  Why? Because.

Since the husband and I are of the simple folk, neither of us knows Latin.  What I remember about Latin is that you have to keep it simple or you can easily create something completely unwieldy or something that takes twenty words to say something that was created in English using five words.

Our top competitors include:

1) Since my mother in law loved lots and lots of butter with her "lobstah", was known to call out "Buttah, wheres my buttah!" while were melting her third stick of Land-O-Lakes.  That pharse converts to roughly "Butyrum: butyrum ubi est?"

2) Then there was the bad milk in the plastic jug that was two weeks out of date and had separated like Kim Bassinger and Alec Baldwin, Mom' well into her eighties said it was fine and to "Just Shake It Up!" which becomes roughly "Vastata est lac, agitabit ante bibens!"

3) From my family comes "Who left the bathroom light on?" which is a bit less esoteric, but more universal, and the rolls off of your tongue with Qui relicto in balneo lux?

Of course, no one will ever say such things aloud, but any would look swell embossed upon a golden banner underneath the large shield, adorned with a fish, fowl, and platypus rampant upon a field of azure, whilst argent lions pose in a noble stance on either side of the scene playing out on the Cookie Family Arms.

What about you?  What would your family motto be?

Monday, August 10, 2020

Big 10 Babies

Good Lord people, did you hear the screams people as they jumped out of their basement windows from the Big Ten fan base today?

The cries, and the insults of a season that will not happen for college football?

Fair disclosure - Cookie is a graduate of a Big Ten school.  Cookie and his husband lived within a mile of the OSU Horseshoe for 20 years, too.

But for the love of all that is holy, we have three types of upset people who are upset.

The first are the fans who are disappointed.  We all are.  But we see the bigger picture.  Still, it stings today.

The second type - and this is important - are the rabid fans who are sure the sky is falling.  Woe to them!  This was supposed to be our season! (Full disclosure, every season is always the season your team will win.  No tailgating either?  Nope.

Then there are the full-on assholes and Trumpist who are college football fans - even though a sizeable portion of this group never went beyond 12th grade who are certain that this is a PLOT.  Not only that, but it's also those Liberal schools who are out to - and yes, they are saying this - out to politicize this COVID-19 situation. 

I fucking kid you not.

These are the same people that refute science, refute logic, and swear that a pussy-grabbing mentally unstable President is their Savior.

People lets remember - it is only a game. Right?

"But I have to go to work and put myself in harm's way," says a high school drop out who confuses working in the only job he/she is only qualified for because they were too lazy to get the GED. And yes, Clovis Stansberry, I am talking about you.

"I have to go to work, why do those players get out their obligations?"

Clovis was never too bright.  He'd have dated his grandmother had the old woman not come to her senses. Man, that was an awkward prom to behold. But he got extra points from me on his ability to use a polysyllabic word.

But here's the difference: THEY are student-athletes.  And their ability to play is based on numerous factors, including the school's ability to ensure their safety and well-being.

And as we have seen with baseball, which is not a contact sport like college football.  Teams are struggling to make it through a series with one other team, let alone the abbreviated season.

Now Cookie does not attack the stupid on other people's pages.  We have a mutual friend and I am not going to assault their friend's page. 

Nor am I going to point out how everyone has found a way to politicize COVID-19.

But there is not enough ability in anyone to save the stupid from their own biases.

That is, unfortunately, a lesson they are going to have to learn on their own.

But until that happens, they need to get the fuck over this, Big Ten Babyheads

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Merritt Corrigan's Washington Merry-Go-Round

Merritt Corrigan and Number "46" She's so excited!
So many of you know that Cookie seldom takes on modern politics, but sometimes something so batshit insane comes down the pike that you just have to pay attention.  So pay attention.

EVIDENTLY, there has been a chipper you woman - a very politically conservative woman - named Merritt Corrigan.  And 20something Merritt Corrigan started out her career working for some very conservative people.  Politico reported in 2019 that Corrigan had left the Republican National Committee, and took a job with the Hungarian embassy where she praised the current Hungarian leader, Victor Orban - a fascist-leaning strongman leader type.

Last December, Corrigan appeared in a photo seated in a chair with Tucker Carlson, the tweet stated that she was so excited to be with "46", implying that she either can't count or that Trump will be victorious and the next President will be Tucker Carlson.  Silly girl.  If Donald Trump wins in November, Donald Trump Jr. who will be 46.  Or at least try.

Then Corrigan was appointed by President Trump to a job at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as an"Assistant Liason to the White House", whatever that means.  The USAID is a small agency that operates on about 16 million a year.  Under the Trump Administration, it does even less than it did before, but one of the important roles it does perform is to promote overseas tolerance of LGBTQ peoples.  Because it acts internationally,  it does have a relationship with the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Well, Merritt Corrigan has a long track record of tweeting out things that indicate that she hates LGBTQ people.  And that put her in conflict with her agency and its role in international issues.

Corrigan was so out there, that House committee was displeased with and the White House pulled the plug on her employment

And what came out of that termination was a whole lot of tweets raging against the government standing by while LGBTQ people got married to one and other and thus devaluing straight marriage, funding LGBTQ equality, and my favorite: funding a Tunisian gay soap opera.

Cookie, for one, would like to see that soap opera. 

Wonkette called it by naming its article on the mess "Wow, There Really Is Someone too Batshit Bigoted for The Trump Administration" posted to its site on August 4, 2020.

In one of Corrigan's post-employment tweets not excoriating the government, it slipped out a nugget about a presser on August 6, 2020, with Jacob Wohl, where it would all be revealed.

So now you are asking "who the hell is Jacob Wohl?"  And my response, in the most Christian manner I can summon is that Jacob Wohl is a political operative in the same vein of the creep behind Project Veritas.  But instead of setting up stings, Wohl apparently facilitates accusations against people on the left of the political spectrum including Dr, Anthony Fauci.   The Wohl connection to character assassination is also covered HERE on this Salon Magazine article.

Again, the article from LA Magazine, mentioned above will tell you some of the stuff you need to know about this 22-year-old instigator. That's right, he's only 22.

So we have Merritt Corrigan, we have Jacob Wohl.

And now we have Merritt Corrigan BLAMING Jacob Wohl for issuing her tweets from her phone that has brought down all manner of outside examination.

This brings to mind the great Madelon Kahn playing Eunice Burns when she sees underworld thugs with Howard Bannister's igneous rocks.

What are you doing with Howard Bannister's rocks?
"Jacob Wohl, just what are you doing with Merritt Corrigan's Twitter password?" 

Yes, Jacob, what gives?

Whether her charges are true or not they need to be heard.  But if Corrigan knew on Monday that Wohl was tweeting out on her of her account, why didn't she state so?  Oh, yeah.  Jacob has her password, and there is not another computer or iPad on the face of the earth for her to change that.

Yeah, right, right?

Corrigan also alluded to a plot to get her, per the Daily Beast article:
"I did NOT send these messages, and while I vehemently protested about them being sent in my name, my devices were not in my control. I see now that I was part of an abusive scheme and I was used to attack people that have nothing to do with me." The Daily Beast
Uh, huh.

The problem is that Merritt has been tweeting her views - as is her right- for a while. And those views are anti LGBT.  And she has moved around Washington with those tweets following her from job to job.

As for her relationship with the 22-year-old Wohl, it's anyone guess how that will play out.

Let's see if she sues Wohl for his involvement.  I am not betting she will.

Her parents must be so proud.

Further reading:

Merritt Corrigan political Appointee at USAID Forced Out Out Series of AntiGay Tweets at Washington Post

Merritt Corrigan Five Fast Facts at Heavy 

Merritt Corrigan old tweets - she has since locked down her account, Internet Archive

Merritt Corrigan USAID Liason to White House With History of Anti-LGBT Comments Fired After Series of Tweets

Right-wing smear artist Jacob Wohl has a long, dubious history. Will he finally go to prison?

Monday, July 27, 2020

More, please...

She later went on to have a career in being the college co-ed nanny who breaks up the marriage of her employers and then married the newly divorced husband.  Then she pushed him down the stairs.  You know the type.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

In this hot weather...

It's cool.

It's jellied.

It's horribly civilized.

Actually just horrible.

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Shit Show Continues

Details, updates, ups, and downs, are at the Hair Hall of Fame - which is not about to deploy anything malicious if you follow the link.

Cookie feels a lot like the dog in the commercial right now.  Or at least the music is applicable.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Problem with The Hair Hall of Fame because of ""

This is a cross-post to let you know that we have found an issue to access The Hair Hall of Fame

EVIDENTLY, some users have found a warning screen when they try to access "The Hair Hall of Fame", a blog that Cookie and a cast of whacky cohorts participate with.

When some people try to access the site, using Chrome or Safari, a screen, like the one pictured below, will POP-UP and claim that the site has malicious content.  Unless you consider BIG hair to be dangerous (Well, keep open flames away from aerosol hairspray, of course) and warns you not to proceed.

So we have XFINITY working on this because evidently, this is their thing.  Or it could be Google's thing.  Either way, we need to know.

The problem is, whoever is and its algorithm has fingered the blog and there is no way to appeal.  We cannot even find out who developed the damned program.  But we do know it's been making people miserable for some time.   Worse still, the HHoF has been dropped from major search engines.

So if this is happening to you, please let Cookie know in the comments.


Friday, July 17, 2020

How could something sarong be so right?

Actor John Payne, about 1945-46 posing in a sarong style swimsuit.  And a surfboard.

John reminds us all that there is fun in the water and there is danger, too. 

Why, that swimsuit could blow at any moment!  And wouldn't that be something.  (Not a question.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

To Hell with Mermaid Toast

Jan sees Sam delivering the salami to Alice.

So, here we are.  Bastille Day, 2020.  Viva la, oh, just forget it.

The isolation of and the days drag on.  And frankly, it is starting to take a toll on me, again. Even food is getting monotonous.  The taste no longer entices Cookie.

No, Cookie isn't showing signs of COVID-19. 

Cookie is getting sick and tired of trying to figure out what's for dinner.

I have a limited menu, mostly because my stomach will revolt, or worse, I cannot abide the smell of seafood cooking.  The surgery a couple years ago to remove two feet of colon has also left me at the mercy of foods that won't make me ill in the output part of digestion.

And the food supply here is just getting back to normal, but not quite.

As a result, there is damn little to update anyone on.

Oh!  Wait!  Husband and I gave each other haircuts over the weekend, so that's new.  His hair is exquisite. As for my hair, he's learning, but it came out not bad.  When this whole foolish looked like it was going to be long term, Cookie had the foresight to buy a fully kitted out Wahl hair clipper.  And besides even with Zoom calls, who is going to see us in HD?

All of our friends seem to be using their heads, and masking up, staying six feet away, so from our vantage, everything seems OK.  One worry is Muscato's husband, Mr. Muscato.

As for other interactions, they are online.  And it never ceases to amaze me how dull people really are. Not the spelling and punctuation, but on their cultural literacy - remember that fad in the 1980s?

I posted a picture in a group of a display at the 1964 Worlds Fair, and the majority of people had no idea what a World Fair was - "Is that what they used to call the Olympics in the olden days?" - or where the fair was.

I was appalled. I still am appalled.

In one of Facebook's car groups vintage car groups, some twenty-something tried to argue with older, better-educated motorheads that the Chevrolet Impala was its own stand-alone model of car in 1958, its first year on the market.  One thing you don't do is poke a bear.  The other thing you don't do try telling a car guy something that isn't patently true, youngster.  We have libraries full of old car books, with all sorts of stats and stuff.  Needless to say, said Youngster was delivered a good old fashion smart ass' trip to the woodshed. (For your edification, in 1958, the Impala was cataloged as a member of the Bel Air range. It became its own thing the following year for 1959's model year.) 

I know where the Apple Store is.  I know who Cardi, Billie Eilish, and Tyga are.  I even know what Mermaid Toast is, and that I'll never eat it because it isn't made from mermaids or mermen.  I consider myself woke enough to know that dealing with one's biases is a daily struggle.  I know that it's Black Lives Matter, and that masks stop you from transmitting COVID.

Now granted, Worlds Fairs are not things that happen anymore but come on people. But not to know that the 1964 World's Fair was at the same location as the 1939 World's Fair is pure laziness. Or that it's in Flushing, New York.  Or that they play the U.S. Open on part of the grounds now.  I mean really.

Oh, well, maybe this is a sign that Cookie is as old as a Motorola Quaser ("Works in a Drawer") T.V., but I am not going quietly. 

And while I am at it, fuck Mermaid Toast, anyway, Anna Wintour.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Happy post July 4th


Little Little Edie hopes your holiday was as patriotic as you felt it could be.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Well, now, another thing in life, ruined.

Somehow, dirty movies will never be the same.  Now I'll see Ms. Touchstone instead of the action.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

What is that chaperone really up to?

If you have hung around here long enough, you know that Cookie loves vintage ads.

This is the one that I find disturbing.  Not the product, or the "yutes".  I do hate punch.  Mostly because most juices burn my mouth and throat - an intolerance, not an out and out allergy, so the doctor says.

No, its that chaperone.   We know she not the mother of one of these "young people" - there is no wedding ring.  But she certainly has mannish hands of great strength.

What the Hell is she up to?   Yeah, she's making punch. But she looks a bit like her mind is telling you "Yes, my plan is working...WORKING!" Muh ha ha ha.

Now, any chaperone at a party with high school or college coeds may be charmed by youngsters and young love, as it was called.

But her face is telling us that a different, darker thing is going on.

"Hey Mom, that new housekeeper is great, but we've been getting calls from the Maryvale Asylum for the criminally insane, but they won't say why they are calling.  Have you checked Lizzie's resume and her recommendations?"

"Why yes, Ethel, but her recommendations seem to be from people who died, many years ago."

"How odd..."

How odd, indeed.

Maybe I have been watching too much TCM, but I just know that Lizzie is up to something. 

A real chaperone would be busy telling the couples to dance four fingers apart.  Or would be admonishing Henry Wilson not to "get that grape juice on Mrs. Applewhite's rug."  Or would be giving Ethel sage advice to Ethel, like "Save yourself for marriage.  You'll be glad you did."*

Instead, I just can't shake the feeling that after the party Lizzie will turn into Mrs. Danver's, and poor Ethel will be invited to the balcony and then the patio in one last step.

So whatever you do, Ethel and friends, don't drink the punch.

* No she won't.  Seven years into that marriage the milkman will bring her milk and a free bottle of whipping cream.  One afternoon of having consensual sex with a man who knows what's he doing and she's ripe for the Chapman Report before Murgatroyd realizes that she wants more than 30 seconds, the second Saturday of every month. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

YOUR recipes await...

It's not my recipe, but it is yours.

Oh, yes it is! 

Says so right there, Missy.

Watered down soup, a few chunks of chick, escarole, and radishes.

Bon appetite!

And what is this?

Well, it says a tomato aspic salad with cucumber salad and red cabbage slaw.

I don't see the red cabbage slaw.  But I see the tomato aspic shaped like the Hippodrome!

If you ask me, it's two thumbs up.

What this has to do with Monterrey is beyond me, unless its the canned tuna, canned a la Steinbeck.

It's never a good thing when your meal has an evil eye on its top.

Remember to clean up after dining!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Doorknobs and Bullshit

Remember this image, you'll need it later.

Cookie wears many hats, one of which is Historic Architecture Preservationist - a field I have forty years of experience in - consultant, head of a statewide preservation organization, etc. and so on. 

During this COVID thing, I have tried to find different ways I can use my knowledge.  Someone suggested joining some of the old house groups on Facebook set up to help people with restoring their period houses. 

For the most part, a lot of people don't have any clue what restoration of a house is, but they love the word Restoration, which has to be the poppers of home remodeling - because it gives them a heart on.   

These are people who think the BS they see on HGTV's Hometown or stripping the plaster to expose the structural walls and chimney's in their houses is restoring something - it is not.  It's remodeling and decorating. 

  • When you RESTORE a home, you are taking it back into a point of time when it would have looked a certain way.  Restoring your original wooden windows means that you save the sashes if they are in good repair, clean them, scrape them down, reglazing them, and then putting the whole thing back together. 
  • Remodeling is when you don't restore anything, but get rid of the old and then bring in inferior replacements, as in throwing out the original windows and then replacing them with sad ass vinyl windows. Also known as "remuddling".
Get it? Got it? Good.

So I am a member of this group, cringing, at people who think they are doing wonderful things, trying to talk them into not vinyl cladding their homes - LOTS of posts seem to begin with "Looking for opinions, but if you disagree then please don't respond" and the like - when this woman who bought this fire trap in upstate New York chimes in with her latest hair-brained tip.  We'll call her Tonya. 

Tonya has posted all sorts of stupid stuff in the six weeks I have been in the group.  Like the time the roof was caving in but "I got distracted with polishing the light switch plates, and putting them back in the right places."  Or the time the porch caved in and she said "I knew it was unsafe, but I got distracted polishing the stair rail."

Anyway, yesterday, Tonya went a bit too far.

Tonya posted a picture of porcelain doorknobs, one with white knobs, the other with black knobs, and the other with the woodgraining.   These types of doorknobs were fashionable from the early 1800s on into the 1890s.  They were less expensive than true brass knobs, and they were usually fitted to surface latch and lock sets designed to screw into the inside face of a door (new example here).  These too were inexpensive, and they were a quick install - no mortice work on the door itself, just drill two holes through the door and match those holes to the holes in the metal latch and key set, and screw that in.  The latch catches on another plate screwed into the surface of the door frame.  In addition to being weak, they started falling out of favor when doors began to be mass-produced.

Tonya's narrative with the doorknobs went something like this:
"I just learned this and I thought I would share this interesting knowedge!  In Victorian times, white door knobs meant anyone in the household could enter that room in a house.  The black knobs were only on the doors that house servants could enter.  The wooden door knobs were on doors that only white people could use, blah, blah, blah..."
And then Cookie started reading the comments of the people who read this and actually agreed with it: 
  • "I think I read that on the internets somewheres (sic)."
  • "I know I heard that, but I forget who told me."
  • "And those people were so clever.  You'd need that in a mansion."
Reader, let me tell you - Cookie just about had a stroke when he read that racist bullshit. 

So I called "Bullshit" with a capital "B".

I explained that in forty years in historic preservation, in preparing a National Register of Historic Places nomination, in college classes, in graduate school courses, I had never heard anything even remotely like this.  In book after book, nothing like this.  I also pointed out that solid color knobs, white and black were the least expensive, and that the wood tone ones would have been used in public rooms.  White could be used in any room, as could black, as well.  "You could walk into a house that was practical, and the doorknobs could be any color based on what the builder could afford."

I also pointed out that this was particularly insensitive given what the nation is currently undergoing.

And then something magical happened.  Tonya removed the whole post. 


But today, she is back at it, asking if she should expose the brick in the kitchen like the house was when servants cooked meals in the fireplace. 

Sweet Smoking Jesus.

This idiot doesn't get that plaster walls were desirable in modern homes going back centuries. 

See.  This is what happens when we don't teach basic history.  You get people who think that the word old was spelled "olde".  Or you get people that olde time western movies were what the west was really about, pilgrim.

But I can only do so much.

My bet is that Tonya will leave the house when it's condemned.  And after seeing the pictures she posted today, I can't imagine it won't be long now until it is.