Thursday, January 26, 2023

Never lose anything in your muff, again!

 

Now that we are at the heights of Muff Season, be careful when you put in your muff.  

Tis' a tragedy as old as time itself that someone shoves something into their muff only to lose track of it, or worse loses it in there.  Why an old muff, which has become loose with age and wear, things can simply fall out if you are careful. But using the suggested trick will keep everything small accounted for. 

And it's essential that you use that muff of yours.  In cold weather, if you can. (You muff enjoys being cold, in fact!)

And remember, never let a man into your muff in public.  Your reputation may suffer from whispers about your ease with familiarities.  People will talk. 


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

1983 to 2023

 

Not Cookie. But, oh, what fun we had in your youth

On January 21, 1983, I came out to myself.  And over the next many months, to every one else.

It was a long process. Oh, I had long been having sex with men, lusting after them, and dreaming about men.  Why, when I was five, watching the original Batman on TV, I kept hoping that Adam West's costume would rip open.  I had no idea, but it made me feel all warm inside. 

But on that night in 1983, I understood that gay men really were humans and not just people driven by sex. 

That was the night that the light (Disco Ball, if you will) went off in my head and I realized that they had lived like everyone else, had hobbies and interests like everyone else, played cards, laughed at movies, and were concerned about their futures.  And at the climax of the night, they could hold each other after sex, sex that was good, satisfying, and felt natural. 

I know that may sound odd but back then, society still treated you like a joke, as something less than, nothing more than a punch line on a TV, or doomed to a life of fulfillment, and worse still, someone people really rejected. 

And I also came to understand that the older generation in 1983 had had it far worse than what I thought was our current situation.  Those who came before us had it much worse when it came to law and to relationships with their families. 

In 1983, I never thought that I could one day marry a man and be happy.  In 1983 I thought we had to be content with calling our other half my lover, a term that connoted only sex. 

One by one, the people who knew me told me they knew all about it, and for a long time.  My mother kicked me out of the house but came around once I showed some backbone.  My father never came around, which is no surprise, because he was unable to admit he was ever wrong about anything.  His loss, not mine.

What a difference 40 years makes in many ways.  I am now happily married to a man I have been with for decades, someone who is my very best friend and someone I thought would have rejected me in 1983.  On the contrary, he was in his own closet trying to keep his head down, and not be identified. 

We all make different journeys.

Now Cookie is the older generation.  And sometimes it feels damn lonely here. If the joke is Gay Life ends at thirty, try sixty.  I always deferred to my gay elders, but I really feel that younger gay men have become so callous as to see us as their brethren. 

I have been called "Troll" "dead man walking" and "Boomer". I have always found safety in the company of men who are older, but here I am with at best maybe 20 years left.   My friends are varied, but younger gay men forget that people like me pushed and pushed hard to be able to be out at work, that we pushed and pushed hard to open up housing, employment, and yes, minds.  Just as the older generation did, and grateful I have always been, for the guys of my era.

To those who mock me, my answer is always the same: "If you are lucky, you'll make it to my age. And that's a big "If"

And I think of all the men stuck down by AIDS when there were no cures, just death. 

Still, I worry about the next ten, twenty, and thirty years.

Will my marriage be invalidated?  Will our health insurance be cut off because we aren't a straight family? Will we be hunted down, and forced to separate for our own safety?

I hope not.  I hope we grow old into our dotage. And before taking that final step into an afterlife, if one exists, there isn't much of a wait for the other to join the first to go. 

But the one thing that remains constant is that we will remain at war with society until they give up trying to make us into something less than they are. We have to keep pushing, keep making our voices heard and our rights guarded, and we need to keep pushing. 

Nothing won is ever safe. Life is full of struggle.  My Ancestors taught me that. 

Still, what an amazing forty years it's been.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Moving About, A Cookie Surgical Update



Time for my final post-surgical update. 

Well, since having the dreaded Catheter removed, my mood, pain and overall recovery have all accelerated.  Still a bit sore and such, but I can move about, run the vacuum, fold laundry, and drive. 

Yesterday poor husband had to put up with me as we ran three BIG errands, with only pee break, which is a good day, all things considered.

I spoke with the spouse of a neighbor who went through this - and she is a former nurse, and she said that she was really happy with my milestones, but again, urged me not to do too much too soon. 

This is a problem for people recovering from surgery.  Fifty years ago, I would have been fileted stem to stern, spent a week in the hospital, and then released to mostly rest at home, then been told to introduce light activities. 

Today, you go in, have the surgery, and get taken to your hospital room where I spent 30 hours, during which I had to get up and walk the halls of the hospital four times.  Then they released me. Coming home, it was more of the same, up and moving, a nap, more walking, etc. By the third day out, I was walking around the block.  I got tired, but they wanted to walk so I did. Followed by a nap. 

But they keep saying don't do too much. 

OK, but how much is too much?

On that point, they get a little fuzzy.  They want you to do a little more than you did the time before if you feel up to it. 

"Just keep moving, but don't push yourself too far."

It seems a game of platitudes tempered by nebulous warnings. You want A, but not too much A.  How will I know. You'll know.

Anyhow, I stay busy, doing stairs, walking and walking, standing and standing, and when I get tired, I relax and nap out. 

Still, my twisting days are still away, and joke that I told the surgeon.  If you know about surgeons, they are a different breed of human. Often times distant, most of the time detached. So when I said the twist comment the surgeon looked at me and said:

"You don't want to do too much, too soon, but you also have to get up and move. I would avoid twisting until you feel up to it."

You can't win for trying. 



Friday, January 20, 2023

Someone has their flabby teats in the wringer

 Name the member of Congress in this picture:



Said member of Congress vehemently denies that it is them.

So let's do the layover image between a campaign picture and the one above:


Clearer, yet?

How's this?


Let's see how many Tea Party trolls protest Miss Thang over her sordid past. 






Thursday, January 19, 2023

Hopeful news, but not cured, yet.

Cautious Optimism Could Be Called For

Well, we have hopeful news from the lab tests and dissections:

1) They got all the known, evident cancer.

2) The margins (extra) they took were clear.

3) The lymph nodes on both sides that they took were clear as well.

HOWEVER

4) The lab found evidence that microscopic bits of the cancer were found on the outside of the prostate. 

What does this mean?

We are not out of the woods, totally, yet.  And I don't want to go dancing in the streets until I know more. 

I have always viewed cancer as a chronic disease, not always immediately cured by surgery, chemo, or radiation.  We have all heard the phrase "The Cancer is back..." and usually that's bad. 

Really bad. 

Cookie says you can be happy with the first three bits, and by all means, strip into your natural state, grab a tambourine, and dance in the street if you are so inclined.  Fly that Cookie Freak Flag! Enjoy this moment.  But the other - well, that is what the follow-up brings. 

What happens next? 

Well, for the short-term future, people undergoing this surgery have additional PSA tests, and if the numbers are good to improving, well good.  And if the numbers are really good for a period of time, that might be a signal of a real cure. 

But, if the numbers aren't where they should be, or are trending down and then up, that would be another PMSA Scan (where they shoot you full of a radioactive isotope that targets the PSA in your body and see where it is active) that could lead to radiation, Chemotherapy, and additional surgeries.  Now the last PMSA scan said it was just in the prostate, but that was in August. So I am hopeful that we're still in that bubble as no microscopic cancer cells showed up in the margins. 

IN OTHER NEWS, the Catheter was removed, so no more bag! Sweet Jesus, what a freaking relief. 

My next goal, aside from passing the PSA test, is to sleep on my sides again without pain.  In a couple weeks, we should be there. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Recovering, covering up, and "It's in the bag, man."



Hello My Pretties,

This is Cookie, who is now one week and a day out from my cancer surgery.  I am here to tell you that all things considered, I am healing and feeling pretty fine. 

Last Monday was the operation and I must tell you, it was rough.  Well, it could have been a whole lot worse. They were able to use the DaVinci robot to cut out the involved prostate and reattach the pee pipe to the bladder - there was a chance that wouldn't happen because of previous abdominal scarring.  

The Cancer (because Cookie has lived in central and Southern, Ohio - we have to use the article in front of the disease noun - as in The Cancer, The Sugar, etc., and of course, et. al.) and some lymph nodes were sent to the lab, we get those results tomorrow.  

I was glued up, a drain inserted and stitched into place, brought to, and remarkably had no sore throat from the anesthesia tube.  I guess it was forty years of practice that paid off.  What hurt like Hell was the trunk of my body.  

Dear God!  

The pain from the CO2 that they fill you up with was excruciating.  I felt like Mr. Tropogrosso!

The worst of the worst is the exterior plumbing. Because they have to attach the pee tube back to the bladder, you have to have a catheter (NOT a Sureflo unit, and I did not have a buttocks drape either) and an external collection bag. They don't want the bladder to spasm, and they don't want the bladder to blow up with urine like a water balloon, yet.  So I have spent a week with three feet of tubing attached to the collection vessel (the bag).

The catheter itself is rubber and has a small balloon inflated in the bladder to keep it from pulling out.  It's not comfortable.  The figurative "pain in the ass" is the tube that connects the catheter to the bag.  The plastic tubing has a mind of its own.  It keeps wanting to twist and coil back into its original shape.  

Verily, it will not be denied. 

In the hospital, it was no problem, because you have people to help you deal with it, and IV poles for the bags of fluids, and you can hang it from when you have to walk the halls.  And yes, I was up walking the halls within three hours of the surgery.  But the tubing isn't a problem. because it's attached to the pole, which is on wheels, and around you go.  

But at home? No pole.  

This makes wearing pants next to impossible.  So I have spent the week in my husband's boxers while I sit around the house.  But because I need to walk up and down the street, that means stuffing said bag and non-compliant tubing into the large of some baggy pants.   And that makes for a look that gets second looks from people driving by or neighbors out for their walks. 

Add all of this up and you can't sleep well.  You are propped up on your back at odd angles.

My diet is pretty limited - soft food and semi-soft food. So lots of soups. Chicken soup is going in and out by the gallons because it's nourishing and surprisingly restorative.  I was able to have a crab cake because this is Maryland and crab cakes are our official food of choice, and a God-given right. 

But now the neighbors are sending food, and I am grateful, but they are sending gallons of Chicken soup.  I keep telling myself: soup is a meal and a liquid...soup is a food and a liquid...hydration is good...

I should start clucking soon. 

Soon, the catheter and I will part company, and we'll get the lab results.  I could pull it out at home, said the doctor.  And I replied "I couldn't but I won't."  I have had a catheter removed about eight years ago, and it wasn't something I was prepared for and I am glad of that.  So no, Dr. Surgeon is removing that clown car. 

The good news would be no spread, nothing in the margins, and nothing in the lymph system.  That means that I will have quarterly PSA tests (blood work), and that will reduce over the next five years.   The bad news is something in the margins, or something in the lymph system, which could mean radiation and chemo. 

Either way, you may not hear from me for a week or so because, and frankly, I am exhausted. 

Now all of you men out there, go to your doctor and get a PSA test. Seriously.  All of the above was but a minor nuisance compared to how this could have gone had I ignored the problem.  And I was that lucky because I insisted on them doing the damned test.   I watched my uncle die from this cancer as it spread through his body at 65, and I am determined that will not be me.  Oh, something will get us all one day, but it won't be prostate cancer.   

So don't let it happen to you.  Better to battle a bag for a week to ten days than to end up on a morphine drip headed into eternity. 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Our New Years Party


Well, we threw a humdinger last night!

The Mistress said she wanted proof.  


...and, here it is!




A light menu, nothing fancy, has been selected. 




But first, Hors d' Oeuvres are being enjoyed.



The polite guests have been seated. 


Our bartender is offering a full-service menu. 



Oh, dear. Who let Muriel into the basement where the bubbly was being stored?



Our main entertainment was a smash.




When it got within a second of Midnight, Mrs. Potts gave the word!



The New Year was announced!


Who let Perimenopausal Pauline in?  
Get her out before she brings us all down. 





And with some help from Xavier Cugat, we formed a Conga Line.
 


Whew, that was fun. 



The orgy is next door and Fawn and Fred's. 
(The scene at Fawn and Fred's as the couples started to pair themselves.)




I did not book this band, that's for damned sure. 



Meanwhile, in the Garage, the second half of the night is underway. 




And by 4am, Vonda was turning our knotty pine basement into the Naughty Basement.

But in the end...


Everyone was able to get home, happy and exhausted, but mostly many will have to sleep it off.




Saturday, December 31, 2022

Everyone has cameras these days...


 ...so above all other things tonight, remember your dignity.  And think about it: La publicité!

Have a SAFE and Happy New Year's Eve.  We'll post pictures from our party tomorrow!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Look who showed up for a a cup of Christmas Cheer


 Why it's Miss Minnish, the newly retired girl's gym teacher from the grade school.  She's come to spread sunshine, and smoke from her Phillip Morris.  "I snip the filters off because they interfere with my rich, full tobacco enjoyment."



Vonda came over in her nightie to show us her cat's costume. Never mind she is her underwear. She just had to show us King Ferdinand of Tiggie-Whompers and his Kitty Costume of Good Cheer. "He thinks he's the ghost of Christmas past." Yes, Vonda, that's it exactly



Aunt Faye has shown up.  Fay was supposed to be here Yesterday.  She and Miss Mannish don't get along.  As long as Faye stays in the living, and Mannish stays in the den, we should be OK.  I should add that Fay is pissed off, she is judging you.  "Did Dom leave me here and drive back to Bayonne? That bastard." And Faye is not in the holiday spirit.  Not. At. All.



And then these two assholes showed up, complaining about their sled.  "Sled's need snow, Steve, and we ain't got none," Aunt Faye had to opine.


And finally, Aunt Gert would like us to freshen her drink.  We just poured the damned thing.  "Well honey, I like my Scotch neat and in a manly kilt!" Her throaty laugh reminds cookie of wuffa-wuffa sounds the exhausts on a 1969 Riviera make pulling away on a cold day.  

As for Cookie, I am looking forward to getting the house back to ourselves.  Merry Christmas, all y'all.





Friday, December 23, 2022

Ghosts of Christmas Parties Past: The Special Purpose Christmas Party

 



The following was part of a post that Cookie made back in 2014.  An update follows at the end.

Last Friday the Husband and I went to the painful, unfriendly Christmas Party ever.  Husband is a member of LGBTQ+ network at International Amalgamated.  He joined because he thought it would be a boffo way to meet people, and we have met people.  Strange, odd people.

Anyhow, Christmas was at the home of two men who live the "Loft Condo" lifestyle.  You know, RAW brick, RAW steel trusses and beams and ENORMOUS windows for all to see out of, and for the neighboring similar condos to see into.  Designers call this great sophistication, but Cookie is unimpressed.

We were greeted at the door by one of the hosts who was high as a kite, and TOLD to put our coats in the closet, then TOLD to get a drink.  Once we had said drink, made with well spirits, we were TOLD to go up-stairs to the living level.  This was a four-floor condo, and I knew we were on the ground floor level, but if the next level up was for living, and one level presumably for sleeping, Cookie wondered what the other mystery level did.  But we were told to go up a level, and up to the living level we went. Arriving on the living level, we were TOLD that they would give us a tour of their "space".  We walked around this enormous room and were told that the air ducts "delineate our purpose spaces."

"Purpose spaces?" asks the husband.

"Well, we can't very well call them rooms, can we.  It should be obvious that there are no walls.  Will you excuse me while I go greet Monica?  You can find your own way back to the Conversation Area.  MONICA!...."

(Husband turned to me and said "Bitter party of one...")

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

And we had been at other events where both women had been outwardly annoyed whenever I had been seated by them, or by how I chewed my food, how I breathed, how I had the audacity to simply be. Husband said that he had talking to them and Angelea said the bare minimum before turning her back.  They were both fine with the organizers, they were both fine with the people who worked in their building. But as far as we were concerned, they were simply rude. 

Anyhow, I had worked a ten-hour shift on my feet earlier in the day, my legs were killing me, and I was exhausted.

But I put on that support husband smile and chit chatted for about two hours, when my body - which was still 50 days out from surgery (two feet of colon removed for chronic diverticular disease) - started to get wonky.  I needed to sit and sit fast before my legs went out from underneath me.  

Even the husband noted that after drinking three plain old ginger ales (from cans we brought) and dining at the buffet while standing up, that the color had drained from my face.  He looked into the "casual dining purpose space" and saw that a chair had freed up and sent me to it.

No sooner than I had sat down then Clothilde said her first words to me: "You aren't going to sit down there.  There is a pregnant woman standing over there," and she nodded at a youngish twenty something with a trim figure. I must have had the "Huh?" look on my face so Clothilde reasserted herself by calling to the pregnant woman 

"Renee, git yourself over her, this man needs to git up and out so you can git off your feet and sit in this chair."

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

So the husband and I got up, and moved towards the stairs, which moved up toward the coat closet, which moved toward donning our coats.   

The man who runs the group saw this ten-minute Kabuki Theatre presentation and looked as horrified as we felt. As we donned our coats, he had followed us downstairs. 

"Fred's just nervous about hosting ... and Clothilde is a lovely person when you get to know her. Please stay."  We thanked him, but I pointed that I really did feel wonky, and had to work the next day.  "Maybe another time," and we left.

Now, all this said, and Clothilde, and the creepy host aside, this group is important to the husband at International Amalgamated because it gets him social access to decision makers.  And the man who runs the group is very nice, and 90% of the people are exceptionally nice as well.   

But even the husband was really put out by these people.

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

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

Just fine indeed.

UPDATE: As it happened, this was our last event with this group.  

Months later we saw the group organizer who noted that he saw we had moved, and what a lovely house we once had, and we explained that the new house was much better for hosting gatherings.  He remarked that he would love to know if we could host the Christmas Party in the coming months and we honestly said we'd get back to them, though we never did.  

Sometimes, you know where you belong, and sometimes no matter how hard you try to accommodate people, it just isn't in you to do so again and again. But these people would have shown up, used our house and our efforts, and walked out. 

But oh, reader, in my mind how I yearned to show Clothilde hospitality really works.  

You see, in our house, anyone can sit anywhere. But if I catch you telling another guest that they cannot sit in the empty chair next to you, you'll be invited to go sit on our curb.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

People with problems

 



Why, because, we all have...tendencies.  

And his is your hair.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The pre-Christmas rant

 



Time for Cookie's pre-Christmas rant.   So take heed.

1) One of Cookie's most hated seasonal songs is the Little Drummer Boy, which can suck the happiness out of any room. So Cookie has joined the Little Drummer Boy Challenge.  It's easy - you are a winner as long as you don't hear anything from that song. The song, lyrics, melody, etc. when you are listing to playlists, grocery store muzak, waiting room muzak, NPR, the Robert Shaw Chorale, ringtones, anything.  So far, so good.  And the husband who loves all kinds of music has been placed on notice to void that song from any playlists he might listen to protect my ears. 

2) People in Baltimore with cars in parking lots.  Good Lord in heaven above, but every time I pull into a parking lot - be it the grocery, target, the little market down the hill, etc., and so on, I swear that Jesus is testing me.  Evidently, the rules of safe driving are off the table as people shut off every sense that there is anyone around them and pull some of the most dangerous and stupid things.  

Like today, the woman who pulled into the market lot about ten minutes from our home and just stopped her car to check her texts blocking the entrance.  There were no cars in front of her, but she blocked the whole parking lot entrance.  Cookie was trying to make a left into the parking lot, which is on a busy road, but it was the people trying to make the right that lost it.  And what did the driver do? She stuck out her hand as if to wave people around her.  One driver tried that and what did the driver of the car blocking the lot do, she started moving forward and CRUNCH hit the car she just waved around her.  Cookie said "hell with this" and went to the veddy veddy upper crust market in Ruxton instead. 

3) Rude people at parties.  These are the people who act like assholes without the benefit of being drunk.  But put a Christmas Sweater on Dale from one block over and he becomes Super Dick, and not the kind you like to look back on with misty memories.  

4) The twenty-dollar Big Mac meal.  I can't eat them, but for the love of God, twenty dollars for a Big Mac, fries, and a soda, indifferently bagged by a person making $20/hr.?  This comes from my friend Dee Dee who nearly choked when she got the receipt at the drive-through in California.  "Christ, I can make four quarter pound sirloin burgers for $8.99, add in the buns, and tater tots, and you are feeding FOUR people."  Convenience, what can I say.   

5) 49% of voters in Georgia.  For Christ's sake people, Walker couldn't finish a goddamn sentence without sounding like a moron, is evidently cheating on his property taxes, is against abortions for others (but its OK for his girlfriends) and doesn't know how many children he has, and yet as of today, 49% of voters across Georgia voted for him.  WTF.  Anyhow, Warnock won.  Thank you 51%.

6) Cable TV.  This is a perennial complaint.  Comcast sucks.  Day in and day out. 

7) And Finally That Guy in Florida who stole top-secret papers from the White House, and has had his lawyers TWICE state that these were all the documents he had, until today when his lawyers announced that they had found a third collection in a padlock-secured storage unit.  

Do we really think that this is the end?  Nope.  Dig Up Ivana and what is in that casket!!!


Thursday, November 17, 2022

When you can't cope, take Cope®

Cookie has always been fascinated with the marketing made toward women in the 1940s-1960s because it was mostly created by men who knew very little about what women really needed.  Instead, they decided to tell women what was good for them, and most of the time, it wasn't. 

From fashion to dishwashing detergents, from haute couture to hot meals in minutes, and from drudgery to sexuality, Madison Avenue advertising firms and corporations twisted minds and sent subliminal messages. 

Today we focus on Cope® a pain reliever from the mid-1960s, targeted at women as a cure for tension headaches - the type brought on by the demands of being a woman.   




Make that a white woman upper-class woman, because only white women appeared in the ads.  And Cookie couldn't find a print ad in a major marketing magazine that was targeted toward African American women. 

Unlike plain or buffered aspirin or other pain relievers, Cope® was marketed exclusively to "better" women, containing salicylate (aspirin), caffeine, and a mild relaxing agent to calm one down. And here's the important thing - the relaxing agent. 

Anacin® promised the same type of headache relief, but in a more in-your-face, working-class fashion:



But women of a certain class, evidently needed a different message, one that was softer, one to help them COPE. Cope® would take away the headache, indirectly promised tranquility.  

Even the Cope® bottle was different with an off-side neck and opening.  

The label stated that the product was for women, and just in case one had any questions, a Venus Symbol appeared on the label. 

In other words: NO MEN ALLOWED. 

Commercials for this product featured middle and upper-class women - much like Shaker Heights housewives - happily and proudly interacting with family members. Voiceovers came from men - calming, soft-voiced men.  The implied message is "Men knew better."  And what set off these headaches was that Cope® was the best treatment option. 

And just what set off these Cope headache moments?  Not men.  Not money problems.  

It was children.  

And it just wasn't any child, that set these headaches into motion.  It was little girls, around the age of five or six.  Little women pushed mature women over the edge, and into a world where they needed to be calmed down. And Cope® would make it all better. See: 

 


Cookie felt it should have been an ad featuring a daughter who was about 12-14, and oppositional.  The type who gets in a mood and retaliates at authority by saying "You're the worst mother, EVER!", or a teenage son who mutters "bitch" under his breath when she finds junior hanging with the wrong crowd and forbids it. 

But those were moments when one was at the end of one's rope, a valium might be the better option. So no, Cope Of course, Cope® is no longer sold in the US.  

No, now mommy takes the edge off with a bottle of wine, but that's for another time and rant.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

SNL takes on the Big Dumb Hat Fem Bots

 


On October 23rd, Cookie broke out the picture of the Pumpkin Spice Fem Bots for the annual naming and poking fun of all things beige, look alike, and wealth privileged. 

I got a couple nasty grams from people saying that as a male, I had no right to judge these women, despite the fact that they all looked like they were refugees from a Nordstrom catalog shoot on their way to Starbucks for Pumpkin Spice Latte fest. 

And I wondered - could this be true?  Or is it just me.  

But then Saturday Night Live skewered the look on its show on November 5, 2022 show and they went after their hats.  Their big dumb hats. 

The only thing missing is where they all meet up together, squeal, tennis kiss, and then compliment each other on their outfits that look like what they themselves have on from the Nordstrom catalog. 

And while Cookie is validated, Cookie also is dying. Enjoy:


Sunday, October 23, 2022

If its October its time for the Pumpkin Spicebots!

 

We're all cycling together!

Every year, in October but before Halloween, Cookie drags out this picture and celebrates all that the trendy Pumpkin Spice Nordstrom way of living has brought to the world. 

And is tradition, we bestow the women in this picture with names that mirror the devotion that they bring to choosing their wardrobes, which are still curiously still on trendy in 2022.

So, from left to right we have Madison, Mara, Marlo, Mathe, Mimi, Maree, Marla, Maren, Marr, Mazie (always with a "Z", like Liza), and Mame.  

And it's been so super fun-fun seeing all of them! (Squeals!)

Over cups of green tea and sugar-free cocoa, the conversation drifts between cars (Three of them drive Tesla SUVs, and two have Volvo XC40s ("Because I really think that we need to protect the planet, and they are so trendy!"), two have BMW Hybrids, two have Mercedes Benz SUVs, and one doesn't own a car because she still lives in the city and she can uber wherever "just so long as the uber is an electric that's all I care about."

One has a brother-in-law in Federal Prison because he got involved with something that "I don't want to get into." 

"You don't need to with us.  We're here for you, in this moment! We see you, we hear you."

"Thanks, you guys! I have the best friends."

Another has a sister who is simply "out of my life with all her types of crazy."

Mara is pregnant yet again this year because "It's so easy for me, I LOVE BEING PREGNANT!"  (Squeals!)  She and Anders are having their fifth!  (Squeals!)

Mame just downsized because she wants to travel.  "You know, nothing fancy. "Fiji, the Galapagos, and I'll winter in St. Barts, just to unwind from the other trips." 

"And you should see Mame's new place on Central Park East - it's so functional."

"Well, it's only 4,800 square feet.  That's doable, right?"

"And so cute."

"Super cute."

She has her own pilates studio in the unit. 

"My trainer Arden comes in three days a week for pilates, and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I meet with Ravi, who removes negativity from my chi.  We meditate for an hour, and then he anoints me with Tibetan oils as we do vocalization therapies to help clarify my inner voice."

"Ravi is so amazing," adds in Mimi.  "He helped Cooper release all the pent-up negativity through chanting and stretching."

"Coop just takes in so much anger from others. And he is so unselfish with the giveback."

Marla BTW is the daughter of Murial Puce, so you know it's all top-drawer.

So super to see you, girls.  Until next year!  (Squeals!)

Friday, October 21, 2022

The lettuce is the winner! But can Boris be far behind?

 


Cookie seldom comments on the political situation in other countries, but I have been following the ups and mostly downs of Liz Truss, the Prime Minister of England for a scant six weeks.  He high point was meeting with the Queen.  Then there was her presence meeting King Charles, the State Funeral, then the slide really started when she announced a tax decision without any reason plan beyond that.  

In 1980, Ronald Reagan sold the United States on the lie that was then known as Supply Side economics.  It didn't work for us, but in the forty years since the rich have gotten richer and the middle class is barely hanging on by a thread.  Plans like Reagan's, like Truss's' don't work because they fail to take into consideration how they favor the rich, harm the poor, and do nothing about greed. 

I mean, at the beginning of the week the big question was would Truss of Lettuce last longer?  The Lettuce won.  All Hail the Lettuce!

Now comes word that traction is gaining for bringing back Boris Johnson to right the ship.  As of this moment, Boris was sporting a speedo in the Caribbean.  If that doesn't make you shiver, I don't know what will.  For my part, I really hope that the people who make these decisions remember that they defenestrated Boris for a reason and that they don't backslide. 

And what are the parting gifts for Ms. Truss, now the shortest PM in the modern history of England?  She gets a lifetime annual pension of about $127,000.  That's more than Zachary Taylor, the President of the United States of America for a month got when he died of gastritis. 

But all kidding aside, I hope that the Conservatives do the right and proper thing and elect a Prime Minister who is ethical, compassionate, and will work to undo the damage to the economy.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Seriously, Madonna, Herman Munster Wants His Shoes Back

 This appeared in news outlets today.  What the eff is she wearing? 

The answer? High Fashion Crocs with a Babushka dress, and washed-out pink hair, and that look that old people get when they are asked to guess who is coming to dinner.

Can you hear the Mistress holding her own face in her hands and saying "I can't even."

I can. 

Poor Madge. 

She's been stuck in a horrible loop for years. This outfit says "Such Tsuris."

Once one to keep reinventing herself, she seems stuck in her own cliche. 

Now she looks tired, old, grotesque.  And seen outside without her fishnet fingerless gloves, no less. 

Maybe she had a rough Kabala Style Yom Kippur.   Yeah, I'll go with that. 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Grocery Shopping with Sam and Rose


 

Today we did errands.  The vet, Joe Banks to pick up our suits for the upcoming wedding we are attending, Grocery store one, Grocery store two, and grocery store three. 

Why three? Because you cannot get everything at one store.  Impossible around here.  Not in Ohio, but here in Baltimore, grocery shopping is a multi-store hassle.   I mean in Columbus, it was Giant Eagle or Kroger. For specialty items, we would go to Weiland's, or Carfagna's. 

Here it depends on what we need.  

Some weeks it's Safeway, others Wegman's, and still others, Weis. 

But they are always followed up by runs to Eddie's or Grauls or both.  Eddie's and Graul's each have their charms.  One is good for baked goods, the other for their butcher counter. Both are local "markets" and since we hate Giant (not the same as Giant Eagle, which we love), they are our go-to markets for a quick in and out.

BUT TODAY, my chickens we were shopping at one of these boutique markets when we heard what I thought was someone in pain, and the Husband thought was someone taunting an angry nesting blue jay.  

"SAM? SAM? SAAAAAMMMMMMM! WHERE IN THE HELL ARE YOU?"

And we were never quite on the right aisle to see who (or what) was making that horrible hog-calling noise. 

Sam was on the opposite side of the store bellowing "ROSE! ROSE! ROSE! Damnit ROSE, where in the hell are you?"

It was a demented version of Marco Polo, without the pool. 

And as one went through an arch into the other side of the store, the other would head to the frozen food area, and the whole thing would start anew.

"SAAAAAAAAAMMMM! Where in FUCK ARE YOU?"

"ROSE! ROSE! ROSE! WHERE ARE YOU HIDING?"

Eventually, we checked out, and then we saw a man who was evidently Sam tottering outside toward the parking lot.  

Then the Bickersons moved out into the parking lot.  Where it got louder.

"ROSE! ROSE! ROSE! ROSE! OVER HERE! OVER HERE!"

And out from the store comes this gnome of a woman, wearing what looked like a housecoat, I think, with wrinkly skin, a rats nest of unkempt hair and she is screaming in her raspy six-pack-a-day voice.  SAM? SAM? WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU SAM?"

"ROSE! ROSE! ROSE! OVER HERE! OVER HERE! LOOK OVER HERE, DAMNIT!"

"SAM? I AM NOT A DAMN DOG.  I DON'T GIVE A DAMN WHERE YOU ARE.  YOU CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL FOR LEAVING IN THERE BY MYSELF..."

"LIVING WITH YOU IS HELL!"

And at that moment, she looked at the two of us stunned by this Kabuki Theater of the absurd, and shot me a look that probably cast an evil eye on us.  Those eyes were black as frying pans and mean.  This was a woman that no one crossed. 

Then she really laid into Sam.

"COULD YOU BE ANY MORE USELESS, DAMN IT! THE GROCERY BAGS ARE INSIDE, GO GET THEM...WHERE IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING LEAVING THE DAMN CAR LOCKED ON ME."

"CAN YOU PLEASE SHUT YER PIE HOLE?"

"YOU CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL SAM!  WILL SOMEONE RUN THAT FUCKER OVER AND END MY MISERABLE MARRIAGE?"

We got into the car. 

My normally stoic handsome husband would just sit there, and I said in a soft voice, "You can go to Hell Sam," and my husband cracked up. 

I mean the two of them had to be in their eighties, and they were carrying on and on.  I'm amazed one of them didn't need oxygen.

"Can you imagine living next door to that?"

"I'd rather live under the flight path to BWI," said I. 

I carefully drove out of the parking lot, avoiding the possibility of coming near them, and on the drive home, along Bellona, up the big hill towards Charles Street, I held my husband's hand and thanked God that our first, and hopefully last encounter with Rose and Sam had come and gone.  

Still, tonight, before dinner, I am taking a pinch of salt and throwing it over my left shoulder just in case that rump-fed runyon put the evil eye on me.


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The latest news

Well, I wish I had better news than this, but situations change.   Things have become complicated. 

On the known cancer front, we are waiting on news of a genetic test.  This was done, in part because of continued large bowel issues that took an unpleasant turn last week, resulting in the cancellation of a colonoscopy, and an emergency CATScan and flexible sigmoidoscopy. 

Nothing looks cancerous (hooray!) but other things aren't right.  And I haven't heard from the colo-rectal surgeon that all is clear, either.  I am hoping for that news soon.

Bottom line (no pun intended) but the assurance of my colorectum surgeon eight years ago that I was good for a full ten years could have been deadly.  Get your colonoscopy today, people. 

I remain on all manner of caustic antibiotics and am pretty enervated, lackluster, and just feel pretty oogie. 

Sorry, it's not better news, or funnier, or wittier tales to be told.  But Cookie doesn't have it in him. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Killing time with Miss Marple, Miss Marple, Miss Marple, and Miss Marple

 


Ever since Covid struck, one of the things that I have become of a fan of are the ITV series, Marple and Poirot. 

Poirot took some time to get through because ITV started the series with several seasons of one-hour mysteries that took some time to cut through before getting to the mysteries based (sometimes loosely) on the books.  But each episode was perfection. 

Marple, on the other hand went by way too fast.  Two actresses played Marple in this series.  


In the second half, she was played by Julia McKenzie who I admired and enjoyed for years.   Her take on Marple was business like, efficient.  Unfortunately, to get enough material, someone of the scripts were based on non-Marple stories. Several of the episodes seem to have flashbacks, and I am not a fan of flashbacks.  Flash forwards are fine, but a flash back is usually unneeded if the dialogue is written correctly.

For as much as I have enjoyed McKenzie - I was first introduced to her as woman who made trousers for her cow on Cranford - the real joy came in the first twelve episodes of in which Geraldine McEwen played Marple. 


Unlike Margaret Rutherford's boisterous turn, and McKenzie's cool cookie, McEwen was as sly and she was charming, a softer Marple.  Observant, and gentle, there was a twinkle in her eye in every episode.  And she played Marple as a woman who was more than just as an inquisitive old woman. 

My understanding was that as Marple progressed, she found the process taxing and asked to leave after the 12 books were completed.  She died several years after she left.  I have been scrounging about for her other roles. 

BOTH of these fine actresses were enjoyable.   

AFTER we finish up with Ms. McKenzie (we have four episodes left), then we start what the Miss Marple's that everyone claims is the Ultra Marple - played by Joan Hickson.  


Hickson impressed Christie in a radio program in the which she read the part so much so that Christie told the actress that she hoped she would one day play the role in a film.  I was surprised to see that Hickson was part of some "Carry On" films.  I might want to see those as a primer of sorts. 

Even Queen Elizabeth reportedly so enjoyed Hickson's portrayal over Rutherford's that she complimented Hickson by saying that her efforts were exactly what Elizabeth herself Marfple would be like.  

We'll see about that.  

 

Monday, August 22, 2022

How many times I have told you No Credit Card Rate Reductions, EVER!!!!!

 


Cookie is an instigator.  Most of the time I annoy people, but when I put my mind to it, I can really get under people's skin. But piss me off, invade my privacy or try and cold call me on a scam you are trying and I don't play nice.

Take these fools who call our landline.  And yes, we have a landline because of the husband's job we need a phone system that works when the power is out. 

But we get a lot of calls that can get irritating, and mundane.  And I like to stir up the pot. 

We live in a hundred-year-old house without a furnace and no furnace ductwork.  (Boiler and steam heat.) but we get calls from people in India that want to sell us duct cleaning services. 

Caller: "May I talk with the woman of the house?"

Cookie: You're talking to him. 

{Click}

What I have started doing for the month of August is reciting random lines from Mommy Dearest whenever they ask a question.  You know, just to spice it up. 

Male caller from overseas: "Hello, may I speak with *Cookie Blogger* about his credit card rate?

Cookie: "Don't Fuck With Me FELLA'S. This ain't my first time at the Rodeo."

Male caller from overseas: Pardon?

Cookie: "CHRISTINA, Bring me the AXE!"

{Click}

There are also the times that we get these "keyboard" automated calls from some bullshit charity.  What you hear is a humanist voice that is being driven by a human at a keyboard chocking out prerecorded phrases.

Keyboard Voice: "Hello. Am I Speaking with Cookie's Husband?  I hope I have called the right number."

Cookie: "Helga, I am not mad at you. I am mad at the dirt."

Keyboard Voice: "I Can Call Back If..."

Cookie: "HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU: NO WIRE HANGERS EVER!

{Click}

And just today I got to use this plum of a line:

Female Caller: "Hello, I'd like to speak with Cookie Blogger about ...

Cookie: "Why can't you give me the respect that I'm entitled to? Why can't you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street? Why? Why?"

Female Caller: "Excuse me, this is Dr. Urologist's office calling about next Monday's appointment.  Can you come in at 7:30AM instead of 11:00AM?"

Cookie: My bad.  I thought you were trying to sell me something.

So I guess I'll have to give that respect line to someone else.  But I need a movie for September.  Perhaps Sound of Music?  Misery? The Wizard of OZ?

Thank God IMDB has an app for that. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

The report is in...

 


The report from the BIG cancer scan is in. 

It was a horribly uncomfortable scan. It started out with radioactive dye (delivered by a man in a radiation suit carrying a metal canister) injected into my arm, allowed to swirl around for an hour while it infiltrated every nook and cranny.  Then, after an hour, I was delivered to the PetScan equipment where I was told to lay flat, arms over my head for 30 minutes while the scan read the locations of the PSAT seeking dye.  "Hold that position!" and thirty minutes of agony later the guy had to help me bring my arms back down.  I was in a foul mood. Even the husband could see the pain I was in. 

The scan would tell us if any PSA was found in any other part of my body other than the previously known cancer in the prostate.  Anyway, it can spread, you know.  And that's the way the find it.

But the report results are officially unofficial - they haven't been shared with us by the surgeon, that comes next week. But the doctor leaked them, and the rectal colo surgeon seconded them (we were afraid that it spread to the colon.  More about that in September.

But results are in and they tell us that cancer HAS NOT spread.  It remains localized. 

Thank Baby Jesus and the Big One too. 

Now, I'll hippity-hop along until next week when we decide on a course of action on the prostate cancer, which will be sometime after September is my guess.  


Monday, August 8, 2022

So Much Drama: Movie of the Week

 

Love me some Uptonking.  

In leaving a comment for the last post, Uptonking reminded me of the staple of ABC television in that started in 1969 and ran to 1975: The ABC Movie of the Week

ABC promised us, not movies that were years old on TV, like The War Wagon, or Love is Many Splendored Thing, but "World Premiere" movies were 90-120 minute movies (with commercials) with original scripts "made especially for TV."  Or so the announcer said with great gravitas.  (The hidden meaning was "movies" that break for commercials with mini cliffhangers, instead of mid-scene.)  In actuality, these were 72 to 100-minute or so one-off TV shows. 

To build excitement, Harry Betts got the rights to use Burt Bacharach's 1969 composition "Nikki", rearranged it, and when combined with state-of-the-art graphic animation, the tune became synonyms with MOVIE OF THE WEEK.

     


Some were very good, like Steven Speilberg's Duel, starring Dennis Weaver and the demonic truck intent on terrorizing him.  Others were just awful, like Gidget Gets Married (see below). 

None starred Steve McQueen, Barabara Streisand, Warren Beatty, or Elizabeth Taylor, but the actors were TV staples and some slightly faded stars.  Dennis Weaver, Patty Duke Astin, Henry Jones, Stella Stevens, and Joseph Cotton.   

Some of the movies were just that; movies that were ends unto themselves. 

Then there were movies made as TV pilots.  Take Gidget Grows Up, with Karen Valentine as Gidget who is a tour guide at the U.N., which did not get picked up.  Starsky and Hutch started out as a Movie of the Week.  So now you know who to blame for the second coming of the Torino that swept up car culture in 1975-1976, and David's Soul's "Don't Give Up on Us Baby".

Then there was Gidget Gets Married, which was a *movie*.  In this, the last of the Gidget flicks, Gidget marries Moondoggie and moves to a Stepford-like community, where employees of a company are residentially segregated and socially isolated in their position with in said company, I kid you not.  And it was Gidget who was sick and tired of the Man bossing everyone around and fighting for social justice. The result was something so bad that evidently, the young woman who was chosen to play Gidget walked away from acting. 

While the Movie of the Week tried to rotate its genres, with ratings slipping, and towards the end of the run it became top-heavy with films that had a message.  Comedies, which were seldom guffawed out loud funny became fewer, and dramas and thrillers increased.  And the ratings continued to slide down, down, down.

But it was the 1975 season, at the end of the run that gave viewers its two best camp classics:

  1. Episode 246 was a cringe-worthy social drama called "Someone I Touched" which starred Cloris Leachman as a wife in a loving marriage who contracts VD from her husband who liked to fiddle around.  If that wasn't bad enough, Leachman's character - who had desperately yearned for a baby - discovered that she was pregnant.  Also notable is Lena Peterson, who plays the mother of Glynnis O'Connor.  O'Connor sleeps with Cloris's husband and you know what happens.  He gives Glynnis a social disease. In a tearful scene tries to tell her mother that something terrible has happened.  The mother thinks she is pregnant and comforts her daughter saying that there were ways to deal with the situation.  But O'Connor pushes on with the truth: Syphilis!  And Lena Patterson then begins one of the longest slap fests on TV, punctuated by calling her daughter a tramp, while play smacking Glynnis into the next part of the movie. Patterson was a noted actress, and a Tony nominee, but the camera is so close to both actors that the violence isn't at once amplified and muted.   And oh, did I mention that Cloris sings the theme song?
  2. Episode 247 is the cult favorite, and I am warning you that you need to put aside reasonable disbelief when you watch it.  Trilogy of Terror, starring Karen Black, in three unrelated mini films inside of mini made-for-TV movies where she plays four different characters.  I would try and explain it all, but frankly, I don't have the strength.  Suffice it to say that Karen emotes.  A lot.  And you can get this one on YouTube for FREE.
Now, of course, cable vomits whole channels like this onto our laps, movies with mediocre plots. For many, only the titles are entertaining.  (A personal favorite was Tory Spelling in "Mother May I Sleep With Danger.") For others, there is a cathartic release for SOME PEOPLE (Yes, you, Dee Dee) for watching movies where the psycho boyfriend locks his girlfriend away in the poorhouse while seducing her loved starved mother, or the new nanny sets out to gaslight the mother of quadruplets so she can send the children to a Swiss boarding school and do craven things to the handsome husband. 

But back in the day, it was a weekly dose of fluff, with a thin plotline, and a great fanfare, starring people whose faces were familiar, and whose names you needed a TV guide to ID. That was Tuesday night living in America.