Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Horrified: The no pan cake

Rather than chance it, the husband I are going to spend a quiet night at home.

Oh, the picture?  Oh, yes, little lambs.  Its an ad for a "cake" that you make (more like assemble) inside a half-gallon milk carton.  This was the RAGE in the 1967.  "Dee!  How imaginative!" and "Kathy!  You always come up with the most wonderful ideas".

Meanwhile, Stan, Kathy's husband holds back, holds his hat, and hopes that their hosts won't kick them out for bringing this over.

But I am sure it was a big hit!

So like I said, rather than chance this at our front door this evening, its a quite night for us.

Have a HAPPY and more importantly SAFE New Years Eve.  And even though I know, NONE OF YOU will drink too much, remember, there are those out there who will.  Watch out for those bastards, OK?

See you in 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas Miracle: Me, the Religious Bastard

Keep this handy reference (ca. 1960) guide.  You may need it one day.

Cookie is, and I know that this will come as a shock, a bit of a religious hodge podge.

My father was the son of Russian Jews who came to the States so my grandfather could stop hiding from the Cossacks.  My father was an observant Jew.  Thats on that side of the family.

My mother, er, eh, that's a different kettle-o-fish.  Mom's side of the family is from the card playing school of Methodism.  They seldom drink, save a well earned beer after a hard day at work, but only after they hydrate with plenty of water.  Have another?  "Oh, no; it'll just make me sleepy."

But how Methodist were my mother's family? Well, Cookie's great great great great grandfather, who was raised Anglican.  However after hearing a circuit minister in 1805 who was preaching Methodism, and, as they say, "caught the fire of the Holy Spirit".  

This simply was not done in a good Anglican family. 

Things got so bad in fact, that a tear stained letter (held in collection at the Los Angeles Public Library) from 1809 written by his father talks at length at how she frightened that "Jeremiah will not receive communion with God in his heaven" because of this transgression.  Furthermore, my 5x great grandfather wrote in the letter that his wife, Jeremiah's mother, my 5x great grandmother, was so consumed with anguish that "walks the orchard at night sobbing "as not to disturb the other children" with this burden."

Pretty dire stuff, eh?

Back then, the Church was called the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The "Episcopal" part being that John Wesley was a member of the Anglican Church himself, so the M.E. church followers were essentially the equivalent of the religious "wild things" of the period.  

Our family is tied so tightly to the history of the M.E. and Methodism history that we have celebrations named for the family at major colleges and universities across the U.S.  And Cookie is a bit of an authority of on the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) and its schisms.  

Just to bring this current, in 1939 the various branches of the Methodist Episcopal Conferences came together and united, agreeing to heal the schisms.  What emerged was the Methodist Church, and the Episcopal part was dropped.  When you see an old church and the corner stone reads M.E. Church, now you know where that comes from.  In 1968, the Methodists and Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church united, forming what is now known as the United Methodist Church.  The problem is that the EUB are perfectly nice people and all, but they were derived not from the Anglican Church, but were at their core, Lutherans. 

Can you imagine - CALVINISTS!  Right here in River City!

In my mother's family, this upset the applecart - you simply can't undo 155 years of tradition.  Or could 

Turns out you can.  It's rather easy, at that.

So the family found the new union not the same, and entered into what I call the "Great Drifting"; and the policy of sleeping in on Sunday was granted to us when visiting my grandparents.  Church became a place for weddings and funerals.  And this made my grandfather happy beyond all reason, as after he retired from farming, he could pursue his favorite hobby, napping. 

But this wasn't the first bump in the road.  When my mother married her first husband in 1947, she converted to Judaism.  And that created a whole other elephant in the living room.  The term "your people" entered the vocabulary.  But it didn't work out and they divorced.  Maybe the people of Abraham was just something in passing, right?  

But then she went out and did it again: she met the man who would be my father, and my parents got married. I was born and they got divorced and remarried and divorced.   Eventually I developed a grudge.  If I ignored being a Jew, then he didn't exist either.  He hated that.  But Dad had it coming.  Payback for his smacking Mom around and getting his jollies with yours truly. 

I'm sharing this because it is salient to who I am.  I don't have bagged, I have a baggage cart full.

In Cleveland, I was Jewish.  In Central Ohio, not so much. So we got into the Christmas thing when I was little.  And as my parents marriage grew more violent and corrosive, and I felt I was drowning, the days in Central Ohio became the rare times I could come up for air and feel normal.  There was no yelling.  No screaming.  No one beating up my mother.  No one hurting me or sexually assaulting me.  Why?  My father simply wasn't allowed.  Not because he was Jewish.  But because they didn't like him.  

And then my Stepmonster, Shark, did the unthinkable when she proclaimed that my mother was very much of a "Jewish woman because she wasn't born to it."  Yeah, my Stepmonster is pretty much a cunt. 

So this explains a bit why I am a neither fish, nor fowl.  I am neither a Jew, or a Christian, or anything else. 

I am the spiritual equivalent to a half-breed.  

I am the one that the grandparents kept their eye on, looking to see, with suspicion what kind of person I would be when I grew up.  

Would I be like his people, or her people. 

Turns out, neither.  I am both.  You'll find me on the far right branch under radicalism.  It fits me quite fine.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Is Madonna really Big Edie Beale, reincarnated?

Top: Madonna on Saturday Night Live 12/21/2013
Bottom: Big Edie Beale on a Saturday, but barely alive at that, 1970s 

My sources say yes.

Ever notice how you never see them alive in the same place at the same time?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

DHTiSH Person of The Year: Edie Windsor

Its that time of the year when people and organizations recognize the people who they should give the accolade of Person of the Year to.

My award for the DHTiSH Person of the Year goes to Edie Windsor, because Edie refused to be teated as second best, and she stood her ground.   Moreover, Edie is not a person who challenged the Federal system because she wanted to make a name for herself.

She did it because it was right thing to do.

Because of Edie, every Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans American citizen in a same sex relationship now has equal protection under the Federal Laws of the United States.

She didn't win our Freedom - there are plenty of states that need to be brought to justice.

But she made it possible for same sex couples to get the Federal benefits that same sex couples have come to take for granted.  The right to fair tax treatment.  The right to Federal benefits for Federal workers, their spouses and dependents.

We now have, and God forbid any of us get in a position where we may need this, Federal protection in court related actions where our spouses are concerned.  Prior to Windsor, people in same sex relationships could be compelled to testify against our spouses.  Because of Edie we enjoy the same protection as straight couples.

There are other benefits, but most importantly the victory in Windsor says to the rest of the United States that we have the rights to the things that they have.

That this happened in our lifetime is amazing.

And because of that, Edie Windsor is the DHTiSH Person of the Year.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Death tries to meet its Hollywood quota

Usually when Hollywood Death comes a knocking, it happens in three's.

This past week, trying to make year end quota it came in four's.

Death took Eleanor Parker, Audry Totter, Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine.

And today I found out that Tom Laughlin has died.

Who is Tom Laughlin?

For those of you who remember Billy Jack, its hard to believe that the hunky swabby, during filming in of South Pacific in 1958, above is a young Tom Laughlin.

In the 1960s Laughlin's creation was a half Navaho Indian who had a penchant for kick boxing, of a sort.  Billy Jack defended the right of the peaceful, the down trodden and the misunderstood.  Billy Jack was one righteous dude.

More importantly, Laughlin's fight to regain control of the first true "Billy Jack" movie from Warner Brothers Distribution, and its success in its second release, changed the way Hollywood distributed independent movies.

Laughlin's costar in the movie was his wife, Deloris Taylor.  Laughlin and Taylor were married in the early 1950s, and remained a pair until his death - you don't find that in Hollywood much, then or now.

As for Joan Fontaine, well she regained the spotlight last

No one lives forever.  And Death is never out of a job, quota or no.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Could this be me?

Soooo, besides getting flipped off by small women driving large SUV's, what else has Cookie been up to.

1. I am back in therapy.  After I got a freaked out about the shrink that I was seeing being married to my physician, I asked a neighbor who is a shrink themselves if they knew of anyone who was taking new patients.  She did not, but she would ask around.

She came back with a name and I love this new shrink.  No, it is not a physical thing, and it is not romantic - I'm not that crazy - BUT in the six sessions with him, he's really brought out a lot of stuff that I have been pushing down, deep, deep down. I look forward to the sessions, but I feel tremendous when they are over.

2. I found out that I have a "whisp" of Asperger's syndrome and a lot of OCD.  The Aspergers is related to my inability to read nuanced reactions in people.  Fair enough.  My introversion, my fixation on automobiles (single topic fixation) and a few other things point in that direction.  So, am I Sheldon?  Not quite.  But we'll work through this and live with it now that we know it has a name.

3. We had our sister in law and her daughter, our 27 year old niece, visit last week and it was nice to get be with them away from the stress of my inlaws.  I introduced them as "our sister in law and our niece" to a friend who is a manager of a restaurant that we frequent.    Sister in law gave me a big hug and thanked me calling her and the niece by those titles.  I guess its a rare occassion when it happens, because they are out in Chicago and the rest of my late brother in law's family is on the east coast.

4. My name change is official and legal, but we have run into a bump.  In the OLD days, if you born and named John Quentin Public, you could choose to either use your full name, or a shortened version of "John Q. Public".  Each was simply accepted.

NOW in the era of hyper security and identity theft, whatever the name is on your birth certificate (or name change order) is your official name that must be used, in FULL for all official purposes.

I didn't know that when I changed my name.  When I changed my name, I took the husband's last name as mine, I kept first name.  I kept my middle name BUT I added my former last name as a second middle name.  That way, I could keep my fingers in that family circle. Besides the first letters of each name rhyme so it gives my full name a cadence that is pleasing to my ear.
I will never be this hot, or a Latino, either.

BUT, what I am finding is that since my FULL, four part name has to be on everything, that people are thinking that I have two surnames, which is incorrect.  So I get a lot of "well Mr. A-B...."  Which makes me have to correct them, "No, its just Mr. B.", and make them want to make a big deal.

None of us saw this problem when I sounded it out with the husband, the attorney, a couple people at a cocktail party, etc.  But when it comes with dealing with the government agencies, Air Lines, Insurance companies and the credit unions, its a hassle.

5.  After all of that, I need a time with Carlos Ponce.  You can enjoy him too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

No parent in their right mind would buy this for their children

What were the kind people at HASBRO thinking when they came up with this kiddie version of Russian Roulette for seven year olds?

But you have to watch the commercial to get to the most perverse aspect of this game was it's pie in the face aspect, it was something else:

Did you get that folks? At the .14 second mark?  You were supposed to ask your mother to buy a can of whipped cream so you make the pies.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, canned whipped cream was expensive in 1968.  "I will not spend good money food that you are going waste on that silly game!"

Given the choice between wasting perfectly good food on this "game" and letting a ten year old you have the keys to the car so you could drive around, you'd get the keys to the Dodge.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Christmas thing isn't working for me this year.

Not that I am being a scrooge this year, but the Christmas thing isn't working for me this year.

I am not feeling the Christmas love.

It could be being in Baltimore.  But it isn't the fault of the weather.

Yesterday a storm treked up the east coast and gave us snow, freezing rain, rain and ice.  Here as Castle Cookie, our final measurement of snow was six inches.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

That is more snow than we had all last year.

Then, the husband called from work to tell me that the Weather Trolls that work in his office (Husband has a job that is impacted by weather) were passing out their forecasts for the next couple days and we are on target to get another 3" to 5" tonight?


Anyhow, what yesterday's snow did was get in the way of our Christmas Tree shopping.

Yes, we still get a live tree.  And they are EXPENSIVE.

Your's truly is over the live tree thing.  I want a prelit tree that pops out of a box, ready to go, and I want a slim tree.  A slim tree with a couple dozen ornaments.

What we get is a HUGE tree.  And it ends up being decorated with 100+ ornaments, which I, yours truely, gets to put away.

The husband loves it, so who am I to get in the way of the fun, right?  If a tree makes him happy, then it makes me happy too.

So I have bought his gifts, I just need to go to target and get some wrapping paper.

Is it just me, or does the wrapping paper from previous years depress you?

Husband did a fine job on the outside of the house - we are tres festive.

And here's the problem with a live tree this year, we are spending a few days with the inlaws, between now and Martin Luther King Day.  So that means no one will be watering it, and it'll start dropping those damn needles, which are a mother fuck to clean up.  The good side of that is that if I pick them up with Dyson, they'll clean the inside of the cannister.

My other beef is that I am approaching the tail end of my depression season, and frankly, I am tired of  their physiological BS.

And the good people of Baltimore are not helping with my anger issues that accompany the SADD.  Today I watch a young, small woman in a large SUV take up THREE parking spaces.  That takes some talent.  And balls.  And when she saw me staring at her she fires off a "What the fuck are you looking at."

So I told her that I was staring at her parking job.

"Well," says she with the elf hat on, "I'm in a hurry, there is plenty of parking for everyone and its none of your business."  Then she flips me the bird and into Target she goes.

So I think "Merry Fucking Christmas to you too" to myself.

If she's going to be a cunt, then I'm going to be a cunt to her right back.

I got every fucking Target cart I could find in the cart corals and lined them up all along that cunt's truck, three thick.

Am I proud of myself?  Not really.  But like I said, I'm not feeling the love this season.

January first can't come fast enough.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mistress MJ visits the blogsphere

Our sources are indicating that the long absent Mistress MJ has taken a break from her other passion, cooking, and visited the blogosphere.  Could it be true?  Or is she just toying with us?  Only time will tell.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas traditions in other places

In America, children are told that if they aren't good, that Santa Claus will leave coal in their stocking.  In Alpine countries a misbehaving tot is taken by the Krampas, a horned troll like being.

Of course the mother will save her little boy, but you can bet that he was a very well behaved child after this encounter.

In the Netherlands, children are treated to a minstrel show, of sorts. St. Nicholas,  former Bishop of Turkey, arrives by ship before Christmas, and brings with him six to eight "black" men, all named Zwarte Piet.
And if the child is not good, St. Nicholas and Zwarte Piet will pretend to kick them.  If they haven't gotten with the program on good behavior, the children could be stuffed into a bag and taken to Spain, where the former Bishop of Turkey has retired to.  (Special thanks to David Sedaris for his explanation of this particularly strange tradition.)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Whatever became of old what's his name, the Swinger?

So, this ad is from an old issue of Viva Magazine in 1974, which was Penthouse for women back in the day.

Seeing that it will soon be an astound 40 years since it ran in a couple of months, I ask the question, whatever became of these spokesmen for Jovan Musk - a cologne so closely associated with the 1970s that only patchouli could overcome it in my olfactory senses.

We have:

1) B. Van Sickle, Sportsman,

2) J. Fink, "Swinger"

3) B. Shipp, "Husband"

4) R. Hart, "Attorney"  -and -

5) K. Cawthorne, "College Student"

Anyone care to guess what their M.O. turned out to be?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving comes but once a year...

...but your Aunt Audrey's little digs last months afterward.

Your aunt Audrey is always the first to arrive on Thanksgiving day and the last to leave.  She spends most of time judging others.  She's judging you right now.   She peppers her comments with little needles, and saves the heavy ammunition for dessert time.  Did you make turkey soap, she asks?  No, you mother says, but it'll thicken up in a minute when it heats up.

Audrey arrives with a frozen pie, your Uncle Harold, and you two cousins Howard and Elise.  Your favorite Aunt, your mother's youngest sister Adele is the mother of your favorite cousins, but they show up just before the meal hits the table.

Audrey is always the first to ask your mother is she needs help (you mother always says no, because, well, thats your mom), and the last person to help with the clean up.  Audry is just tits about collecting the linen napkins and tossing them down the chute.  Thats the extent of her helpfulness.

As a teenager, Audrey was the first to bring up your acne ("Looking at you I start craving a peperoni pizza) and then she wants you to go pop the zit on your forehead because it looks like a third eye.  "Stop the bleeding with some Clearasil!"

Now that you are all grown up, she asks, how's your job.  You tell her.  In a hushed voice she says "You sound like your mother," and "sure its a job, but is it a career?" and the hurtful dig "your mother can't sleep because she knows you just get by.  Stop thinking about yourself, do the right thing for once."

To your sister its about her boyfriend.  "SO I was talking with your date and he tells me he's Korean.  I am assuming he's from the right side of the border?"  Your sister attempts to protest, but Audrey overrides her by saying "Look, if you are going to have a baby, just make sure that he can't take it back with him, that's all I'm saying."

To your father its "So Harold, when are you going to move up to our neighborhood?   Adele deserves the best, you know what I mean."

To your grandmother it's "Ma, just let it go. If she wanted the plastic off the furniture she would have taken it off herself."

To your grandfather its "Dad I don't want to hear about it.  Now don't ruin a nice day like this."

And this is why Thanksgiving can become such a monumental drag.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This year...

...please don't go to any trouble by making me something.  Send a card instead, OK?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pardon us if we don't join you in the Hot Dog Hot Tub

You have to kind of wonder who was running the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company's marketing efforts in the 1950s.  To push gum as a desert, they ran a series of ads done in tri tone black, white and red, featuring recipes, and I use that term loosely, that had NOTHING to do with gum, except to say "Oh, yeah - your family needs to chew more of our gum."

And the recipes were all stinkers.  Cake recipes that told the reader to ""make a box cake according to instructions...decorate with gum drops...and for that clean cool taste, try Wrigley's Spearmint Gum..."

This dude above is one of their hot dog hot tube recipes.  Slice "franks" lengthwise and arrange in an oven safe dish.  Open a can of potato salad (note: they don't give you a recipe for the potato salad, they want you to open a "can" of it) and dump it the middle.  And then, in a coup de gras of cookery, they invote the reader to ADD A LITTLE MORE GLAMOUR by adding in some "catsup", or "chili" or "barbeque sauce".  

I have this vision of a Mom, in between John's, chewing that gum and taking this concoction out of the gas oven and setting down in front of her three children, each fathered by a different man, and each as street smart as their Mother and the eldest, a girl asks "Say, what do you call that?"  Mom cracks her gum like a pistol going off and says "I call that you dinner and breakfast.  I'm off to make money for your lunch.  See ya, toots."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Not a day goes by...

...that I don't miss you.  You were so right, we had a lot of fun when it was you and I against the world.

Cookies Mom
November 9, 2010

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hauling ass all over Baltimore

Q: So what has Cookie been doing of late?

A: I changed my last name.

Q: You did?

A: That is right, I have. I legally had my last name changed to my husband's last name.

Q: But why?

A: Well, its all very simple.  My last name, the one that I got stuck with because it was my father's, was a real mouthful that people couldn't pronounce or spell.  And frankly, seeing how I have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with my late father I just decided, as my friend Martha Smith Standish would say, "it was simpler" to de-emphasize it.  So instead of "It" being my last name, the old last name now becomes my second middle name.  So I have a four part name.  This will help with the books that Cookie has written, and will bridge them more easily to the books that I will write in the future.

Q: So why have you been hauling ass all over town?

A: Well, when the decree came down, I had a set number of days in which I need to get the paperwork going.  Social Security, Maryland Vehicle Administration, et. al. all have time frames that must be met.   And Oh, because the certificate hadn't arrived at my home yet, I had to go to the courthouse to get copies of filing because all these agency's want originals.  Most give them back, but you can never be sure.

Q: But, aren't you married?  Couldn't you just take your husband's name like all the other married folks?

A: Ah, there is part of the rub, as it were.  In Massachusetts, where we were married in 2008, you have to tell them BEFORE you get married what your married last name will be and that goes on the certificate.  And because we were living in Ohio, and the chances of living in a marriage equality state was slim to none, I said I was keeping my surname as it had been up to that point.  And now that the Federal Government and 15 states and the District observe marriage equality, and because none of these agencies all work the same, in speaking with an attorney, we figured that this route would be the best way to go.

Q: And...

A: Well, what we found is that the Federal Government would accept the name change WITH the marriage license, but the Maryland MVA would say that they would accept the Massachusetts marriage license because I didn't declare on IT that I was changing my name.  And dealing with the MVA is like dealing with the Knights Who Say "NI".

Q: Who are the "Knights Who Say NI"?

A:  Really?

The rules that MVA Employees observe depend on the whims of the person you get when they call your name.  You could get someone who changes it, no problems asked, ie, they like the shrubbery.  OR you can get someone who doesn't like marriage equality, in this case, the shrubbery, and demands that you produce other documentation or perform other tasks, like bring them another shrubbery, or in the worse case, cut down the biggest tree in the state using only a herring.

Q: Where else have you been? 

A: All over God's creation.  Trust me on this.  Between out of town guests, this name change and pre Christmas shopping (I loathe the mall during the holidays), I have been as busy as MJ's beaver!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

What to get me for my birthday this month.

From Better Homes and Gardens, November, 1959.

Norma loves this.  Weiners while driving?  Don't mind if I do!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chairs that love too much

Cookie is in mourning.

My chair, that I have had since 1986, and reupholstered twice, is terminally ill and it can't be saved.

My mother bought the chair for me after two friends and I were run over by a drunk driver on Columbus' North High Street the night before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.  Ironically, we were on our way to a bartending class offered through the university's now defunct CAP program.

Luckily, our injuries were minimal.  None us broke bones.  But it screwed up my back muscles.  And my mother decided I needed a decent chair to sit in.  So I picked out a timeless Lane Furniture club chair and she picked $438 out of her purse.

Its the chair that I have sat in for watching TV and reading the paper everyday that I have been at home since it was delivered 27 years ago. It's the chair where I sat after hearing that my father died, and the chair where I ate a sandwich after coming home from mother's death three years ago.  And last month two years after its latest reupholstering, the frame cracked.  It would cost more to fix it than buy a six chairs of its original purchase amount.

Nothing lasts forever, still, it's a blow.  So I have shoved a brick under it and we went shopping for a new chair.

I have three demands of upholstered furniture.  First, the seat and back cushions have to be reversible,  it must be comfortable and three, the frame has to be sturdy. The way I look at it, in 27 years I'll be 78, and I won't want to shop for a new chair, so this thing is going to have to last.  I don't care what it looks like, but the three qualifiers have to be met.

So for the past week I have been chair shopping.  And with my three "things" that I need from the chair, I have been to a lot of furniture stores.  And I have been sitting in a lot of chairs.  Sorta like five days of doing squats.

A lot of moderately priced upholstered furniture these days somehow manages to sew the back cushion to the chair.  We found chairs that were comfortable, but that back cushion scared me off because you can't turn it.  Besides Kevin would discover it and it would become his personal hammock back there.

A lot of chairs fit into three categories:

1) Uncomfortable - these are the chairs that aren't made for humans of average height.  They are made for people seven foot or taller.  Then there are the chairs made for people 5'1" or shorter.

2) The chair that doesn't want anyone to sit in them.  These are the chairs cause you to get up as soon as you sit down.  Either the stuffing is awkward, or worse, are so high style that they were designed for people who would rather look at their avant garde furniture than sit in it.

3) And then there are the chairs that love too much.  These are chairs that suck you in, way in.  Either the sides are too high and the seat is too low, or their are sprung to soft, or worse, their cushions are stuffed with 100 angel goose down, pluck from the behinds of geese who are feed a strict diet of grains selected by the virgin girls imbued with a godly sense of luxury.  These chairs are also impossible to get out of.

I sat in chairs that cost as much as the old chair did, and I sat my fanny down into a $5,000 chair just to see what it felt like, and honestly, it was about as uncomfortable as the $450 dollar chair, except it was covered in ostrich.

We finally ended up at Ethan Allen, where we bought our sofa, and found a chair that fit well, the cushions were reversible and the frame is all hardwoods.  Sucker weighs more than I could lift.  And I figured if I was going this far, I splurged and selected an "S" fabric that added $800 (durable AND beautiful) to the price of the thing.  It's very lodgy looking and compliments the sofa.

And the old chair?  It will go and live in the sun room until I can bear to part with it.  We have two months with one and other left and if the frame goes a bit more, I can always shove another brick under it. Still, in the long run, I'll miss it.  It was the old friend that was always welcoming, comforting and consoling.   But in the end it isn't a person with feelings. People tend to assign human feelings to things that are inanimate that they love because with like to be loved by the things we love.

So the chair has no feelings, or knowledge of me, or the future. So this is all about me and my ability to give up something and move on.  I'll make it.  Unless life is scripted by Steven King, and then it would love me too much and be my number one fan.  And lets hope that , a chair that loves too much, never comes to pass, or comes for me.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I picked the most interesting person I could think of for the guess who.

This is the fun part of the game that we play when a blogger reveals who it is that we have asked you to guess.

First, lets take a look at the picture again from the other day:

Just look at that angelic face!  Those brilliant true blue eyes.  That lush head of hair.  The bee stung lips.

And about later...

...during his "gold chain years...

...and during his appearances on Dallas...

...And he worked steadily in small roles in film and TV.

In between he started a couple businesses, which he sold and became a millionaire on the proceeds.

And then, he did an audition for a Bondesque role for a commercial.  Not so much spy, but a man with a way with women.  And it earned him a title...

"He once had an awkward moment - just to see how it felt."

The Most Interesting Man in The World, a role played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith.  His accent?  Modeled on distinct speech of his sailing partner, actor Fernando Lamas.

Since no one won, I will tip my hat at DREWBIE because he looked it up, but never ruined it for others.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Shall we play the game, again?

Below is a picture of someone...

I just want to run my hands through his hair, and kiss those fabulous lips, as they are in the picture. 

HINT: He wore a red shirt on Star Trek, the television series, and he has been in commercial films. 

Your job is to guess who this, in the comments section below, is AFTER you read the rules:

1) If you know for certain who it is, hands down, immediately, wait a little while so people can guess.  Its part of the fun. 

2) If you take the image and run it through an image identifier, and then say you know, then you have already lost.  I may not know that you did that, but you know.  And only someone with fragile ego and a small penis would do so.  And you have to live with yourself.  I don't, but you do. 

3) The winner gets an accolade at the unveiling in a couple days. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Good news on the shrink front!

We are happy to report that we have found a new shrink and we are sympatico.  No bullshit kind of guy.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I'm a ramblin' man

At least someone has some excitement in their lives.

Since it's been a while, I thought I would just kind of use DHTiSH to just kind of ramble...

Out of Town Visitors

The husband's brother and sister came for a visit - their first since we've moved here.  We were able to turn my office into a guest room - we had our doubts given its small size and layout, but the inflatable twin just snuggled into the slight alcove of the room.   We gave that room to BiL.

SiL got the Husband's office and the inflatable queen platform bed, which meant the dogs slept with us, which means we got little or no sleep.  Kevin is a bed hog and rocky will just pounce on you in the middle of the night like a cat will.

The visit was really wonderful, and not just because they can read this (if they can find it) but because they have hosted us every time we go out and it was nice to take care of them for once.  And I really like them both, which makes it fun as well.

But that brings me to...

It Rained All Weekend

We had all sorts of plans for them, including a segway tour of Baltimore.  Well the weather, AND the Baltimore Marathon got in the way by closing streets everywhere.

First it rained and rained and rained and rained some more.  The sun would poke itself through the clouds to remind us that it was still there, and then it would start to rain anew.

It rained in the morning, afternoon and evening, and for good measure, it rained all night, too.

And when did it stop? It stopped when the BiL and SiL left to fly back to Boston.

The Baltimore Marathon doesn't have a winners purse - no big money for those who win, just glory and a mylar blanket.  So the Kenyon's don't bother to enter.  Seriously, that is what they said on the news.  So the winner this year, out of 16,000 runners was a local Owings Mills high school teacher, which I thought was kinda cool.

While we were sad to see the BiL and the SiL go, we could get in back into our behavioral patterns of farting and belching in our own house.  I for one was happy I could get back to my computer again...

Until the Computer Broke

Thats right chicken's, more computer angst.

When I was having the operating system reloaded in August, the computer geek said he was concerned about my Power button on the Dell, because it didn't work for him.  Well it worked fine for me.  And so did the computer for that matter until I pressed the On button this morning and it just went "click" and nothing happened. And over twenty minutes of plugging, unplugging and replugging things nothing from the computer.  The power supply was fine, but so much as a beep.

I am happy to report that I remained calm and didn't freak out.  I knew it was a hardware issue and that meant my data was safe.  And my last backup was last month, so I would just lose a little bit of stuff, not a lot.

So we unhooked it took it back to the Geeks and the lad said "We have to send hardware issues out, should have it back in two weeks."  So I begged him to jiggle some wires and try it again and HOLY SMOKES!  It booted!  Upon leaving the store we considered ourselves lucky.

So tonight I'll back it up again, take it back to the geeks and let them send it off and replace the button.

So that is what is going on in my corner of heaven.  Hows by you?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Get off one couch, get on another couch

Longtime readers of this blog know that I have a bit of crazy in me, part nature and part nurture.  Unresolved issues, sexual abuse as a child and of course the three months of the year that I am rendered useless by SADD.

THANKFULLY, I have worked hard in therapy, which is the only way therapy works, coordinated my care through my doctor and the shrink, and for the most part, I function far better and I am better today than I did in my 20s.

When we moved east, I left my shrink, who I had been seeing a couple times a year, behind.  It isn't like you can put them in a box and keep them under the bed when you move.   So when I got here, the first priority was a medical doctor, followed by a shrink.  I found the doctor that I liked, and asked if he could refer me to a shrink.

He did, and I went.

I wasn't totally comfortable with the shrink though.  While totally qualified, there were some things - were off between us.   I couldn't put my finger on it, until last week.

I discovered that the shrink is in a long, long term relationship with the medical doctor, and neither told of me of this. And frankly, I really felt betrayed.

I shared this with a couple friends from around the country, keeping all things confidential, and they too were a little unnerved.

NOW, that said, I spoke with the husband as well, he too was "creeped" out by it.

So yesterday I had a follow up with the GP, and I brought it up and we talked with about it.  He apologized for not disclosing it and as he said, that our first visit had been a long and involved one and we talked about a lot of stuff, and he was focused on my medical care.  He said that the practices are separate and that neither talks off sheet about patients, and that he 99% of the times lets his clients know.  Watching his body language and tone voice, I could see he was sincere.

So that was one half of the equation.

This morning I called the shrink (because if I would have seen him face to face then he would have billed me)  and we talked.  I explained that my main issue was that he didn't say anything in the past month of seeing him weekly, and I explained how I was informed of the situation. I also said that since therapy is primarily about me, and since part of the issue of trust is about relationships, I felt a bit creeped out by this.  He listened, said he understood and did I need a referral.   But there was no apology for the nondisclosure aspect.

The GP deals with my body, and he's good.  To me he should have disclosed at the time of the referral.

But a shrink is my mind and a different type of trust relationship.  He should have disclosed this.  And he didn't.  Instead he remarked that "Dr. Soandso is a very good physician" and "you'll receive excellent care" with him as if he were someone that he saw at conferences, or lived down the street.  But no disclosure, no indication of a relationship.

So later this morning we start anew with another therapist, who comes highly recommended, from another shrink, who I know here on a social basis.

I bear no ill will towards the former shrink, and I am sure that he is wonderful at what he does.  And I gave him a few sessions with me but that inner voice wasn't comfortable.  I should have listened to it.

So it is off one couch, and on to another.

Monday, October 7, 2013

And they wonder why it never sold...


Rugby Team Shows You How to Check for Testicular Cancer

As part of Doing Hard Time in Shaker Heights continuing effort to improve the health of our readers, we present this INFORMATION ONLY video on how to check for Testicular Cancer.  Now wipe that smirk off your face and drop your pants in the name of preventative health.

And as you can see, Dr. Christian Jessem who performs the ultrasound in the video above, believes in the importance of keeping fit himself.

This has been a DHTiSH Public Service Announcement.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Well, this sucks: I've got a cold in my toes

I felt great on Tuesday.  Out and about doing errands, then putting in an entire day at Mr. Peenee's project house.  Came home, we ate a great dinner of THE Brisket, a fitting tribute since Tuesday would have been her 89th birthday, got some work done, and into bed I went.

Slept like a log until 4AM when I woke up with a bad sore throat.  And in my half sleepiness, I went right back to sleep until 6:30, which is when I get up on the weekdays.

In those two and a half hours my throat felt like it had razor blades in it, and my head hurt AND my nose was running in a constant flow of snot.  So I stood up, first mistake of the day, and almost fell over.  What the fuck?

The husband saw me and asked if I had a dream in which I was run over by a truck, because it looked like I had been run over (ha, hah) and I started blowing my nose.

And the crap, which was clear, would not stop running out of my nose.  In fact, I went through a full box of Kleenex by noon.

So I willed myself to get in the car and drive to the nearest health food store where I got a bottle of Thayer's Slippery Elm Bark lozenges, because they are the only thing to relieve the pain of a sore throat (seriously, if you have never had these, go get them NOW.  They make your throat feel wonderful without numbing your mouth. I also picked up a box of Coldcalm to help with the runny nose.  By late afternoon I was feeling a bit better.

I have since spoken with a couple neighbors who have said "It's going around," thus confirming that it finally got to me.

Well, now my snot is the color of butter.  Yay!  I'm brewing up a batch of lung butter!

Grandma, my mother's mother, used to say that a cold that comes on fast and strong can leave just as quick.  She said that cold has three places to visit, namely your throat, your head and your chest.  Yesterday was the sore throat, now its mostly gone.  And my head is blocked up, so this shit should move to my chest tomorrow.

And this is the tricky part, because as we know, when it gets to your chest, that's when the two weeks of coughing start.

I'm afraid of products containing acetaminophen because of the liver damage (seriously folk, that shit can kill you), so Nyquil is not an option at all.

So I found Grandma's cookbook, the one that isn't arranged in any fashion, and I found her cough remedies:

Option one, the Turpentine Stupe - "soak a flannel cloth in near boiling water for five minutes.  Wring out as much water as possible.  Dip the cloth in a bowl of turpentine, and then quickly apply this to the chest.  Leave on for five minutes.  Then wash."  Now that's a nonstarter.  And why five minutes in the hot water?  Why not ten or twenty minutes?  I guess the washing helps to remove the layer of skin that turpentine loosened.

Option two, the Vicks treatment - "Before bed, coat the undersides of the bare feet with Vicks Vapo-Rub.  Put on heavy socks and spend the night in bed with the socks on."  Now this I have done and it WORKS.  No idea why.  But no coughing.

Option three, and I kid you not, "As pharmacist for cough syrup with codeine.  Take as labeled."

Now, grandma has been dead for 40 years, and somethings have changed in the world. Since options one and three are out of the question, then its to number two we go.  Problem is the dogs won't come near me when I've been mentholated.

Hope you weekend will be more fun that mine.  Keep away from that turpentine stupe - sounds dreadful.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The tombstone twitch

If you become interested in genealogy, this chart will make all kinds of sense to you, too!

Cookie would like to confess something.  I am a genealogy hobbyist.  Yeah, I like to hang with the blue haired lady brigade.

I am not ashamed of this.  I am ashamed that I don't find a lot of British humor funny. And don't think I haven't tried.  I've watched hours of "Are You Being Served" and only found the bit about Mrs. Slocum calling her neighbor and asking him to peer through her front door keyhole and report on whether or not he saw her cat.  That was funny.  But the rest of the show? Meh.

I am not ashamed of my genealogy hobby, but sometimes I feel a bit ashamed that I don't understand what the fuss is over sushi.  Cookie does eat fish - raw, grilled, baked or broiled - because its a texture thing. And a "smell" thing. Fish to me smells like rotten stuff.  I've even gone to a hypnotist about this, but it cannot be overcome.  Now I do eat crab and shrimp without so much as a thought, and I love them.  But fish? Dear god, no.  And the same goes for lobsters; I don't eat them. Don't judge me.

My interest in genealogy got started during the whole "Roots" revolution, because thats when Americans cared, for a moment, about the human condition.  Kunte Kinte was a beacon for Black Americans because it brought the issue to slavery and sacrifice to the forefront.  But when white Americans discovered Kunta Kinte, which was also after a couple years of Bicentennial Minutes and the actual Bicentennial itself, they developed a rapacious desire sir to find their own roots.

Local genealogical societies, which had been the kingdom of little old ladies and men were overrun with middle class white people, all with a desire to discover their ancestors, which sounds a bit presumptuous if you ask me.  One's ancestors are ones ancestors.  They are not discovered like a cure for a disease.  You document your ancestry.  Anyway, I digress.

The people who came forward to find their own family's "Kunta Kinte" - except their ancestors were white, could have been indentured, be were not slaves -  divided themselves up into two groups.  There were the people who learned the hobby, did the work and knew for certain who they were dealing with, and the other people who just made shit up as they went along.

Or, put another way, when someone says "My grandfather was in oil," that is a fairly straightforward statement.   But when the say "I've traced my tree all the way back to Jesus," they are freaking bat-shit crazy.  And you need to run.

Talk at card parties was dominated by people talking about their favorite subjects, themselves, but with a new vigor unseen before.  Mother, who was very annoyed with these people, because they were talking about "her", started referring to them as people "with the Tombstone Twitch", as if it were a nervous tick or something.

"It's such a selfish hobby if you ask me," she said.   I wanted to know why she thought that.  "Because all they do is talk about their people.  I couldn't care less if they are a descendent of Jesus H. Christ.  They need to focus on playing their hands better."

After Root's, I started asking questions to my mother about her life and family.  And I found that there were gaping bits of her past that she just glossed over, while focusing on certain events, which she tried to use to lure me away.  She play dumb on what she did from 1942 to 1959, but she could tell you how she made her own giant firecracker and almost lost her hands.  And the more she evaded the truth, the more I wanted to get to the bottom of things.  My interest in getting answers where none had existed before coincided with the whole Root's phenomena, it just helped to give me an idea on what to look for.

When we moved from Shaker Heights to north central Ohio, that put me in the heart of "my mother's people" and that was the first time the floodgates opened.  Starting with my grandparents, I found their parents, and then their parents, and then their parents.  And when I couldn't go back any further, I started at the furthest point back and went forward.  And I keep finding things about these long gone people that were interesting.  Some things were mildly interesting, while other things were down right not spoken about in good company.

When I could drive, I started visiting different libraries in different communities.  I became a pest at courthouses, digging through files 150 years old, trying to find people who simply had gone missing.  This was a hobby that finally gave my OCD personality the outlet that it begged for.  I actually did find something interesting things, which my mother had never told me about before.  When I asked about them, her response was "That happened in the past," or "I don't know anything about that, and don't want to."

I actually showed my projects at the Ohio State Fair where I won blue ribbons for my research.

One judge looked over my mother's father's family and pointed out "it looks like you have an error in your great grandfather's birth date.  I think you meant December 1865 and not December 1864," said he trying to hold his skills over mine.

"No, that's right," I told him.

"But he couldn't have been born before they were married," said he.

"Well, they couldn't get married before he was born, or my great great grandfather would have been guilty of bigamy."

The man went slackjawed.

"Legally he was still married to her when he ran off to Chicago with my great great grandmother.  I couldn't lie about this.  It wouldn't have been right."

More crickets, and then he wrote something on a slip of paper and said "Give this to your mother."

Mom read the note and then called the judge a "fartless wonder" and told me that my project was too mature for display.

When I went to college and the whole thing just stopped.  I boxed up my files, and got on with life.

It wasn't until 9/11 happened that I dived right back in again.  Genealogy became my refuge.  And it was now available online, so I could obsess and work on the lines well into the night.  But now the "internets" came into being and it was a whole new world of online research.  And I found even more stuff.  Good stuff.

I actually have a book on the family from 1911, written by my great grandfather's first cousin - who established a nationally recognized business so well known, that its as synonymous in its industry as "Kleenex" is to facial tissues.  And what did I do with said book? I started proofing - verifying - his work.  Why?  It's what genealogy people do to test the validity of the source.

And I have found direct ancestors of these people and contacted them.  In every occasion, save one, they were as nice as could be. And they had pictures of all these people long since gone that I had never dreamed that I would see a face of.

Only on one occasion did I meet a pair of cousins - two little old harridans from California - were as nasty and vile as could be. And they weren't mean, but they sure were cruel.  I kept their emails because no one believed me when I told them what was in them.  Yes, they were harsh, but they were also dishonest and they stole most of my research on one great great great aunt and claimed it to be their own.  Karma is going to have a great time with them one day.

This past summer, the hobby took me places like Juniata and Perry Counties in Pennsylvania, and deep into the heart of Western Maryland where my tombstone twitch was finally scratched.  It's beautiful country, but very remote and in the heart of central Pennsylvania. To apply Gertrude Stein's quote, they are best described as "There is no there, there."

The countryside is gorgeous and lush, but it is remote.  Each county is banked by a mountain to its northwest and its southeast.  To get to either one you rely on two lane state roads, and pass through "Gaps", one of which is named for an ancestor, where the mountains could be breached.  But if I find it remote in my Prius, heaven only know knows what my ancestors were thinking in 1820 when they sold off everything and started for north central Ohio.

And maybe it also says something about me, you and everyone else.  It just seems like we've lost track at how amazing our progress has been in those 200 years before us.  We have roads, infrastructure, a fairly safe food supply and the only thing stopping us from hopping on a plane to go from point A to B is how much money we need.  The roads in life have been cleared for us by those people who came before us.

And it would such a shame if we never took the time to learn who came before us, or what was down the road that could tell us a bit more of ourselves.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Found, at the local secondhand bookstore

This is fabulous enough as is, but found inside the book was an old magazine article on which fabrics to wear to achieve your perfected disco look:

"For a night at the roller disco, avoid loose fitting blouses and gaucho pants made of sateenlike materials, which tend to "flutter" as you skate.  Save these for the disco dance floor; their "bounce" and drape will complement your moves to the music."

Totally wicked advice.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oh, what a tangled web we try to weave

A few days ago, I put this picture up and asked people to guess who it was:

Which was actually this picture, the image reversed and the color eliminated and then renamed...

...Fred Astaire Jr., Which Mean Dirty Pirate was honest enough to say "Eh, Cookie, did you know that..." To which I said, yes I do.

And I have to say that it wasn't Eb from Green Acres.  But I thought that Bob Fosse...

...was a very good guess!  But Bob never looked that awkward.

But it takes a person with a real desire to succeed to make it, even when he's a bit awkward on his feet, but as it turns out, he was very good at being on his knees...

And Jack Wrangler not only looked good enough to eat, he was also one heck of a heart throb for my generation of gay guys.

He was attractive, he knew how to build his body up to be an object of desire, and he was a very sweet man.

When Jack, which is how I knew him after meeting him once in Columbus in December 1983, showed up once the Kismet, a bar long gone, but fondly remembered, I was there.  People stopped dancing and started gawking at the door.  The guy I was there with was friends with the bar tender, and that got us up to the bar into the proximity with the golden haired man of porn.

Wrangler was visiting friends in town - Columbus has long been the gay mecca of the midwest - I was introduced and entranced.  While he didn't drink, he bought me and the guy who had brought me to the bar a beer, smiled, and I was his for a single moment, and nothing more.  But oh, what a moment.  I thanked him, he winked, and I was mush.

I found out that he had died when I was at work, and I sat stunned.  After a couple minutes I wiped away my tears and thought myself silly for a second.  But then again, how do you say goodbye to the first fantasy that you wanted to jump off the screen and pick you up and take you to his bed?   He was a good man in those few seconds with me, and he left me with fantasies for years later.  I still keep the first picture of him I ever saw - jeans in hands, dirty jock, shirtless and that look of desire that lit my heart right up.

So for being the FIRST person to guess correctly, a big congratulations goes to FELIX for guessing and guessing correctly.