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.)