Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cookie's Must Have Colors for Spring 2018

Hot on the heals of PANTONE's must have fashion colors, Cookie releases his set of colors with finely crafted, evocative names:

So who among you is going show us what you spring fashion colors are?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Well, Thank God the Minotaur Showed Up

Just a brief check in.

This weekend we have/are hosted/hosted back to back night get together's at Cookie Manor.

Last night it was the Husband's event - Cocktails with the Captain.  This where we invite all the people who live in the Husband's block captain area to our house for a get together.

Tonight is my turn and we are hosting a brief get together of my former co-workers from the Beef House Strip Club.

So we have been grocery shopping for two days in a row.  Our problem is that we have a very limited amount of space in the Frigidaire.  So we can't prepare much in advance.

So we figured if we do back to back events, then we can clean the house ONCE, unpack the serving ware ONCE and then we can put everything back together in order ONCE.

I have to tell you, Cookie is DYING, as in tired.  It'll all come together.

And tomorrow, I sleep in. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

PANTONE introduces us to the color least likely to thrill anyone.

PANTONE has presumptuously named it's in colors for New York's Spring Fashion Week 2018, and again, we must ask "And...?"

Really?  That's the best you could come up with?

The color GIANT has been doing this for a while and every year their choices get more and more pathetic, and in equal parts needy.

Its like that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda drones on and on about a color and what it did and how it got used and how it was copied and copied until it became passe. 

A couple of years ago PANTONE announced that a shade of Emerald Green was the "IT" color of the year!

Fat chance.

Wear too much Emerald anything and you look like a Leprechaun.  In fact, anyone who would wear that shade would be horribly out of place on any day but March 17th.  And even then, Emerald has never enjoyed as much popularity as it did when the Great and Powerful Oz made it so.

Now, PANTONE has released its colors for spring, and like always there is a red, a blue, some pastels, a color that looks like Easter grass, and then something caught Cookie's eye.

And I let out a Nathan Lane chirp of a laugh.

They have called a color "ALMOST MAUVE" (Pantone 12-2103).  As if Mauve, the color that terrorized the 1980s isn't bad enough. 

Now, intentionally, really, on purpose, another color aspires to be like it, but can't bring itself to become it?

Can you imagine if Norman Lear had dreamed up a sitcom about a mealy suburban housewife, simpering, unable to make up her mind, afraid to offend and called it "Mauve"?  The theme song would go "And almost Mauve, and almost Mauve..."

Even Bea Arthur would be offended.  MAUDE was VIVID.  Almost Mauve? Milquetoast.  Actually, milquetoast would have been a better name.

I mean we are talking about Mauve.  God Damn Mauve.  The color of my father's last wife's bedroom, MAUVE.

If a color could have a smell, Mauve would be the color that says "smells like grandma". 

But "Almost Mauve"?  "Could smells like grandma."

Come on PANTONE, you pay people hundreds of thousands - nay, MILLIONS Of dollars and the can come up with is "Almost Mauve"?  I call BULLSHIT!

Even "Boaty McBoat Blush Face" would have been better name for the color. 

Runner up for the other silliest name?  The color that is the same color as the old Crayola "Flesh" color that PANTONE called "Blooming Dahlia".  And trust me, the tubers are angry about that farce, as well.

See the rest at PANTONE.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Check Out how to Check Out

Cookie sometimes get nostalgic for the good old days and the things that made life better.  Like when the check out employees would check you out and pay attention to their jobs instead of discussing their private lives with the person on the other register next to them. 

Cookie enjoys full service.  In all things.  I give it when I work it, retail that is.  It shows that your are professional, and it tells the customer they matter.

And the customer doesn't want to hereabouts what a douche nozzle "Gary" is, or whether or not someone named Tyrone is down with the plans for tomorrow night. 

No, I live in a world where Tyrone is either Tyrone Power, or Lady Tyrone of Carolina's, not Tyrone DuBois (DUE-boys) is full of shee-it.

Unfortunately, none of the checkers that work in even the stuffiest groceries in Baltimore have any poise.  They are all just surly.

In the film above, we meet three past International Checker of the Year award winners, an honor awarded by the Super Market Institute. 

And no, I am not kidding.

Ruth Bussey, (no, not Ruth Buzzy) a Cashier at B&B Stores, Tampa, International Checker of the Year for 1964 at the convention held at McCormick Place in Chicago. Pat Hilton, of Alpha Beta stores in California, and Rose Scalavino of Star Markets, Cambridge, Massachusetts, the 1962 and 1963 title holders respectively, also appear.  Each sets a fine example for the new girl on the block, "Miss Jones" who aspires to the glory and glamour of holding the title, International Checker of the Year.

In Cookie's mind, contestants would be judged on their appearance, customer service skills, fingering technique in keying prices, and whether or not they faced the bills in their cash drawers. All would do these tasks in their uniforms and smocks, all freshly pressed and starched.   Bagging, of course would be judged.  As would weighing and shopper's loyalty card scanning.   Problem solving, and keeping their scanning windows would also be judged. 

But that got me started thinking about the evening gown competition.  Surly there would have to be one, I mean this was 1964.  So there would need to be a formal attire walk on the runway.  Would their sash's have their names, or the name of their store emblazoned on it?  Would they glide or clump along the runway into the adoring crowd?

And for the swimsuit portion, would they be required to wear stilettos, or their crepe rubber work wedgies?

What about those questions?  I wonder how Pat Hilton answered her random question, asked by the tuxedo'd host, on what it means to be a checker. 

"Mrs. Hilton, who would you like to check out through your line, and how could that make the world a better place for less fortunate people?"

And then, the host would pick the winner, bestowing her an adding machine, and her "Tillie" award.

Mrs. Bussey got a trip to Hawaii. The runners up get a trip to Hollywood....Florida.

What about screen tests?  Endorsements?  Did they attend high school events to inspire the next generation of checker outters?

It all seems so dead end. Here's your prize, best of luck, mmmmm bye.

If you actually watch the video, and you should, pay attention to the middle aged woman who is cashing a check and causing Miss Jones all manner of consternation.  The actress is none other than Fran Ryan, a veteran of TV and Movies.  Ms. Ryan usually played crusty but lovable types, upper crust ladies who are the foil for comediennes and the like.  Like Reta Shaw and Elvia Allman, if you grew up in the 1950s through the 1970s, you knew the face, but never knew the name.   

I know that they still have bagging championships, but since the advent of just scanning an item, I think that International Checker of the Year is a valid contest, but it would, I think, inspire today's Cashiers to focus on their job and customers instead of whether or not "Donwell is nasty man." or we just wanted our stuff in "paper or plastic."

Friday, October 27, 2017

Something uplifting

I have posted this picture before.

It's my Aunt Nan in the cockpit of her plane that she flew, sponsored by Eaglerock Dealers during the summer at Euclid Beach Park in the late twenties and early thirties.  It's a Curtice biplane.  One just like it hangs in the terminal of SeaTac Airport.   For a dollar, two adults would squeeze into the cockpit and she'd fly them up and then out over Lake Erie, and then back down.  For two dollars, she'd loop d'loop the plane.

By the time I was born, the family had crushed her spirits time and time again, and confined her to the role of the dottering old spinster aunt. 

It was better to stay at home, never grow, never reach for the stars because you were sure to fall. Stay home where its safe.

Nan had one one more shot at glory.  She lived in California during the War and debriefed female test pilots for the navy and army air corps as the planes came off the assembly lines and were put through their paces.

"I used to ask them if the plane fought them, if they felt a shimmy in their bottoms and needed a second going over.  Most of the women said the planes felt like they wanted more throttle, wanted to climb higher, bank and dive.  But the jobs were to get them up make sure the controls worked and bring them back down."

"Oh, how I wished I could taken one of them our for a run and see what the plane could really do.  But I had a desk job at the airfield, not a seat in the cockpit."

But then after the war, she was guilted into returning to Ohio and guilted into becoming my grandparents caregiver.

She could be at times the most frustrating woman on earth but she loved all of her nieces and nephews with great passion and verve.

On the night before we buried my father, my very proper aunt, who was also my very frail aunt demonstrated not only a backbone of steel, but a mastery of Yiddish played at the exact correct moment, like a sabre through the heart of Satan.

In the Rabbi's library, there was raucous battle for my father's funeral to be accurate, and after the other side hurled insults about my mother, Nan looked at the Widow and her three family members (who had no right to be there), and simply growled "guy kokken offen yam."

The room fell silent.

Mic drop, time.

In the car going back to drop off Nan at her apartment in the assisted living facility, I asked, "Did I hear what I thought I heard?"

Nan just looked at me and smiled and put her fingers up to her mouth as if to insert a key and turn the lock on her lips.

My middle brother said "Cookie, our aunt told the Black Widow of Beechmont (Country Club) to 'go shit in the ocean.'"

I looked at Nan, and she shrugged her shoulders and said "I should have held my tongue, but she attacked your mother.  That wasn't nice, but never do what I just did.  You see, Cookie, an old woman can get away with stuff like that when someone else hurts her nephews.  But you would have gotten a poke in the eye.  They weren't going take a swing at me."

Well, shit.

How about that.

Stick a fork in and see if I am done.

The woman who no one thought could stand up for herself stood up for her family.

Well played, Nan.

The next day was a blur, but as the funeral professional was getting ready to leave for the cemetery. I was sent inside to find Nan, who had wandered off.

I found her at the side of my father's casket, her hand gliding across the surface, while he purse dangled from her bad arm, the one polio tried to claim.  Lopsided and frail, she just seemed in a trance.  The funeral home employees waiting to wheel the bronze monster to the hearse gave her some space.

"You know, I held him right after her was born,' her face traced her hand as it moved across the lid of the coffin.  "I had just turned 14.  Your Aunt Mim was holding your uncle because he was the older baby by five minutes, and she was the eldest sister.  The doctor was taking care of your grandma and grandpa - no one ever mentioned there were twins.  I held your father.  Oh, he was a handful.  Always fighting to get out of my arms and into the world.  Now this."

I took my aunt's arm and we walked silently towards the hearse, and then to the limo that was taking us to the cemetery.

The next few days were chaotic, exhausting and confusing as we heard of what had been going on behind the scenes with the Widow.  After that, all we focused on was trying to get back part of what was owed us from the widow of the man that fought everyone.

That happened in 1996.  By 1998, Nan was gone.

Nineteen years later I wish she could know how stupefied I was by what came out of her mouth, how brilliantly played it was, and how grateful I was for her but how much I hated that we had grown apart because of that man who was my father.

She may have been a dottering old woman by the time I was old enough to know her, but she still had a bit of spunk left in her when said what she said.

I wish I could have known her when she was young and saw nothing but endless possibilities.  I was glad to know her at all.

Love the people around you because one day you may be the one left behind.  And you'll only have your memories left to cloak you from the cold cruel world.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


I will not shed a tear over her death, instead I will think kind thoughts to people who loved her.

I will not keep a child, from their parent, as she did.

I will not insult a parent to their child's face, as she did.

I will not coax a feeble minded man in to robbing his sister's bank account, as she did.

I will not flaunt my sexuality toward a man whose child is present, as she did.

I will not call anyone's mother a bitch in front of a Rabbi, as she did.

I will not give away items that do not belong to me to spite other people, as she did.

I will not alienate someone who has a right to be present, as she did.

I will not harass, demean or otherwise tell someone that they will die of AIDS as a way of cursing someone, as she did.

I will not tear my husband from his home to live in a place that he does not want to live, as she did.

I will not deny family members the right to observe a milestone, as she did.

I will not lie to others, as she did.

I will not stoop to her level in my life, in any way, as she did.

I will not force a dying man to change his will, as she did.

I will not harass a previous spouse over death benefits owed and earned, the way she did.

I will not rob anyone of their father's legacy, as she did.

I will not let my sick husband die surrounded by strangers because "I needed a day of pampering," as she did.

I will not take a jab at her memory*.

I will, however, forgive her for these sins against my father, myself, my brothers, his grandchildren because she could never forgive anyone for any slight that offended her, and that would make her nuts. 

But I will never forget.

Now, she has what she deserved all along, nothing.

And that is justice.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

We need Druid-B-Gone

Oh dread.  The Druids have returned.  Now we'll never get them out of the trees.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The confessions of fake Melania.

Damn!  Whey did I let the have moleskin on my nose show?

OK, holding things back has never been my strong suit - meaning you never want to be trapped in an  elevator that is perilously stuck between floors with me -  but I have a confession that needs to be made.

I am Fake Melania. 

Yes, that is I, Cookie, in the right side picture.  Every one is talking about it.  Or they were, yesterday.  Fame is fleeting, no?

Preposterous you say?

You have never seen my legs, but they really very nice.

And I am toe walker, meaning there is no heel high enough to conquer me or make me tip over.  Not even stripper heels.

How do I do it?

And in the right light, my goatee shaved and my pouting lips, coated with Radiant Rose Dawn Mystique lipstick, a pair of sun glasses from a designer whose name - if you can't tell by the shape - would be obvious if you ran in the circles that Melania runs in, along with a wig and a ordinary satin lined top coat, I become Melania.

Why do I do it?

Because I believe that a girl in trouble is a temporary thing.  That's why.  And Melania is the type of be-atch who has her underlings give and give and give some more until there is nothing left to give, then she makes them give to their very marrow, leaving them soulless, desiccated shells of their former selves.

Melania and I are like that.

So, Melania and I were getting our weekly sea weed wraps - they used to be monthly, but as she said "Cookie, neither of us is nubile anymore," so now we have to go weekly.  Anyhow, so we are all bound up like villains in a Wonder Woman comic book and I asked how Washington was treating my Mel.

"Eet eze horrible here.  I shvitz and get wet with the glistening sweats from the humids weather," she said.  "It makes me feel dirty in not a Melania kind of way."

And I said "Stop it," half jokingly, half not, because I really hate "the humids weather" crack because it makes her sound so provincial, and "I asked how things were going with her and the Most Powerful Man in the world?"

"Putin never calls me anymore.  It upsets the Donald."

So I asked how things were going with her husband and her, in that tiny White House, and I noticed that one of eye cucumber slices wiggled as she gave me the stink eye.

"Eff this facial masque weren't hardening and soaking up all the impurities een my skin I would give you such a look."

So I kinda turned my head to side and said "What up, buttercup?"

So Melania goes into this story about how she is always getting pawed by him in front people, you know as to say "Look what I can get away with" but when they are alone he sits in the corner making these lists of people who have wronged him so he knows who to exact his revenge upon.

"Or for fun, John Kelly will pitch pennies at him and watch him scurry about the blue room.  It's rather fun, actually."

"Well that sounds dreadful," say I.  And indeed the mud mask was hardening, causing mine to crack every time I said something.

Just then Olga and Simone came in to remove the masque, give us out facial massages and facial admonishments ("Cookie, never down!  Always up!") and eventually the wraps were cut off and Melania and I found ourselves in our white cotton robes at the spa's Herbs Body Shop (the name of the tea room) for herbal teas and non-gluten (which means non-glutton to me, because Cookie loves his gluten) cakes and we continued our conversation.

In a nutshell, Melania hates being First Lady ("I get the sick every time I hear 'Flotus' - it sounds like intestinal gas.") and she really really hates that Donald is President.

"This is not journey I signed up for.  I can love a fat, rich man, that I will outlive.  I did not think this would have ever happened.  Where can I sunbathe topless now?  My bra's are made of Kevlar."

I assure her "None of us thought it possible, either."  I would put my hand on her, but touching Melania, now that she is First Lady, is a Federal Offense.  So the best that I do is give her that "there, there," look.

So I asked her "Hey, lady: what a win would look like for Melania?"

Melania cocked her head ever so slightly to the side and said, "Well, since Robert Goulet is dead, an affair with him is out.  OK, then; I just want some sleep.  Restful sleep.  Every night the Donald gives me this thing he calls a Dutch Oven.  It is not something from Netherlands but it comes from his nethe-regions.  OK, heez ass.  And it has nothing to do with cooking, but everything with brewing.  It's digusting."

I give her that "I know, darlin' " look.  "Bless his tiny, congested heart."

"Could be worse.  Look what he did to Marla Maples.  One word: 'Tiffany'," I reminded her.

We laugh.

"Don't you think that Eric (Trump) looks like Nosferatu?  Yeah, my step son looks like Nosferatu.  How the fuck did that and all of this happen?" she laughed.

We laugh again.

So we hatched this plan, with some help from Kellyanne Conway.  Why Kellyanne?  Well the bitch has TERRIBLE skin issues.  She's like snake, always shedding her outer covering and she has found that the HDTV make up that the networks use is like the perfect concealer.

"Kellyanne's fresh layer of skin after she slithers out of the old layer is translucent until it dries - like all cicadas, so the thick HDTV foundation makes he at least look less like an alien from Uranus.  Don't tell her I said that, or I will cut cut a bitch," Melania said, half jokingly.

So with wig, trench coat, those big honking sunglasses and some stripper heels, I become fake Melania for a couple hours while she grabs some Zzzzzz's in the White House bunkers.

We've been doing it since June.  I play Melania with a headache, and the President keeps his distance.  If it involves Air Force One travel, I have the secretary of the treasury give the Donald a coloring book and some fresh crayons.  Donald will only color with fresh crayons. 

And it was working until that BITCH Kellyanne rats me out the National Enquirer!  How do I know this?  Because that's what Kellyanne does.  She squeals to the Enquirer, or worse, Tomi Lahern.

"She is such a C U Next Tuesday," said Elaine Chou over drinks one night at the Prince George County Hooters.  Elaine loves Hooters.  "Mitch would love to join us, but he can't, because everyone would want to know why he can't get a bill passed in Senate. I could tell them why.  For the same reason he can't get it up in the bedroom."

"I loathe Kellyanne," Elaine confided.  "Did you know she has the hotsies for Mikey Pence?  She can't get near him because Mrs. Pence (she has no first name, you know, but she'll answer to "Mother") always has a can of moth spray handy.  Kellyanne HATES moth spray.  File that in your mental Rolodex for later."

Let me tell you, Elaine was right. Some O-Cedar moth proofing keeps Kellyanne at bay better than a voodoo curse.

But Elaine, as it turns out, also makes a great duplicate Melania.  I showed her the costume and she had to try it on. Elaine's a bit short, so she needs platform shoes to pull it off.

When Melania saw her in the get up she said "Bitch! I hate you you look so fine."  Because of this, I can get a day off from Melania's day off if Elaine is free. 

But lets get this clear - I AM fake Melania.  Elaine is just moonlighting.  Get's her away from having to go to Kentucky and drinking moonshine.

So I asked Elaine what Mitch thought about this.

"Yurtle is too busy playing with that nasty ass outtie bellybutton to notice," she said while we were doing shots of Ouzo at the RNC Club. 

We were having a swell time - until Tomi Lahern came into the bar and we had to duck out through the backdoor of the joint.

Elaine HATES Tomi. 

"You know, I am not one for bad things to happen to people, but I bet we could ship that skank off to North Korea and get Kim Un to get her the F off our backs.  He'd feed to a pack of wild dogs.  Wouldn't that be some awesome shit?"

"Why don't you invite her to Kentucky and leave her in a hollow?" I ask.

"Me, Mitch and Tomi in a private jet to Kentucky to drop off the trash.  As if Hatfield's and McCoy's don't already have enough problems."

All I can say is thank GOD the President can't read. Otherwise he'd know what I am up to, and Elaine would have to go back to wearing that electrified chastity belt Mitch likes her to wear.  And nobody wants that.  Not Me, not Elaine and certainly not Melania.

"Oh, for fucks sake, the Donald would be livid.  And I need my beauty rests," said Melania.  You know, she's really in her mid fifties.  But by not smiling she keeps the wrinkles at bay.

Don't worry America, we got this covered.  And just in case, Ivanka Trump always has Donald's shock collar.

Yeah, we got this covered.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tough act to follow

Imagine, she could have been in the Pantheon of the Greats had it not been for the four guys from Liverpool.

NOTE: The name Shapiro is one that has two distinct camps. 

1) In one camp, the one I grew up in the Jewish Community in Shaker Heights and Beachwood, Ohio, the name is pronounced "SHAW-peer-oh".

2) In the other camp, aka, the Philadelphia School, the name is "sha-PIE-row"

Just so you, know, the people in Philly are WRONG.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Politics: The Cheif of Staff's Press Conference today

Did you ever think that you would live long enough to see the day when the Chief of Staff, with any president would need to holder a press conference to show that there was at least one adult in control of themselves in the White House?

Did you ever think that there would be a day when any Chief of Staff would need to come out and explain that the President has meetings in groups, rather than one on ones, so that the President can make an informed decision, rather than being swayed by one person or another?

Did you ever think that only one person in the White House has any level of credibility?

If you voted for Trump, this is what it has come to.  Not a White House of competency, but a White House with a single adult who has the courage to speak with an bit of common sense.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Don't be like Ann

This Ann has problems in the kitchen.  She is not an email or
comment SPAMMER.  But Ann Martin who sent me the SPAM
She is a SPAMMER.  But she can also probably make better guac.

So I noticed today that this blog started getting SPAM posts today from overseas.  The posts had nothing to do with the post content, they were just bullshit phishing scams.

One of these bullshit comments was from "Ann Martin", a resident of Bangalore, who writes:

"Yes, I very much see that your Windows computer is publishing content to your very entertaining product site with malicious code that indicates that a repair must be done to save your work.  *CLICK HERE* to grant me access for fixing of this problem and your worries will be gone..."

FUCK YOU, "Ann Martin", who if she is Bangalore, got there because "that of her translation submission led her to such a place where she can send emails with which to copulate up other's computers for financial profit in USD."

My first inclination was to just zap the bull shit comment from the actual blog page UNTIL I remembered that Blogger has a comments link on your dashboard.  Choosing that brings up all your comments in the blog and you can not only mark the offending BS as SPAM but it reports it to Google so they can zap the offending party.

That's what they say.

And unlike "Ann Martin", their sentences are at least written by a human, not a translation program.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Summons to Ohio

Cookie is back in Ohio for a couple days and not for a happy occasion.  There are two goodbye's that need to be said.  One in which I bid farewell to one of the best people to ever marry into my father's family, and one in is implied because Glioblastoma has been diagnosed.

The cousin, who I will call "Mel" was indeed a wonderful woman.  She was the type of people who was accomplished in her own right, but also had the poise and the intelligence to connect with everyone she met.  She was an accomplished business woman, mother and wife. 

When a cousin gets married, unless you are exceedingly close to them, you think "I hope they are happy," or "Why would they marry that person?"  But when Cousin married Mel, there was a feeling that he had not only chosen well, but that we were going to be a better family for it. Cousin had really married "up".

And we were all made better by her being in the family.

Mel and I would work on my father's family genealogy and together hit our heads against the wall, as we found one lead to nothing after nothing.  Our Aunt who tried to tried to create a "dream" heritage, replete with taking Yiddish names and Americanizing them, leaving us precious little, and the precious little she left was cloaked in mysteries and cryptic messages.

Together, Mel and I could work them and figure out which ones had merit and which ones did not.  We could also share a sarcastic moment, in which we would roll our eyes in unison, much to Cousin's amusement.

I will miss her. 

Then there is our friend Mike who was diagnosed with Glioblastoma.  Last year in October, I attended the funeral of my late co worker Becky who died of this aggressive form of brain cancer.  And having it as a diagnosis is a death sentence.

So this will most likely be the last time that we see our friend, former bowling partner and good friend.  This is not defeatism, but it is taking a sobering stance.  Glioblastoma is horrible way to go.  With Becky, her final days were spent in excruciating pain waiting for her body to yield.  I am not going to go through the details.  But this is something that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

We knew Mike through the "friends" that sent me a nasty text message a couple years ago telling me that that wanted nothing more to do with me.  For years, we watched "Person" pull this stunt on people, and we never did anything to tell him we saw what he was doing.   So when it happened to Mike first, then me, Mike and I had even more in common. 

So my hope is that "Person" comes to comes to his senses and finds the compassion and strength that he owes Mike.  Given their joint history (they all attended Findlay University together and were in the same frat) I know that "Person's" husband will be Mike's side, but "Person" needs to man up and be there as well.

I don't want to believe that this is happening to Mike, and we'll stay in contact as best as we can from afar. 

This truly the worst part of the move to Maryland - leaving your friends behind. 

Goodbye's are never easy.

So it is back to Maryland tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus: Fixer Upper

Cookie is either doing a dance, or on his knees in celebration: Fixer Upper's fifth season is its last.  Fin. Adios. Gone. Won't you come home Bill Bailey out-of-here vamoose. As in no more, after this season.

Now Cookie only wishes the best for the hosts - Chip and Jojo.  But thank God almighty we'll be free at last from the ship lap, the wacky metal letters and 12 episodes a day of HGTV's biggest blandfest.

I wish them well - but they are not going away.  Just the show.  No, according to their twitter feed  they want some Chip and Joanna time of their own.  And they are working on stuff  for Target - that's all I am saying.  Thank God its not Wal Mart.

AND because of HGTV being an "Evergreen" network, chock loaded with content that never goes stale, I am sure were are in for reruns for a while.

So there is hope for plaster walls, again!

This might even be a reason for sex with my husband tonight!

Here's the link:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I did the space needle, and then I almost collapsed

So after leaving Bainbridge, it was time for Husband's end of the trip.  Husband's get to win, too, folks.

We stayed at the Seattle Hilton, because with a Hilton you can expect things to be a certain way.  Just so you know - the Seattle Hilton is old, and it is strange.

The hotel was built in 1969 atop a multi story parking tower "giving guests a commanding view of downtown Seattle including the iconic Space Needle..." said the newspaper in the "T" floor hall way.  That's "T" for "Top.  And the "T" Floor is where the Hilton Club floor lounge is.

Well, the Seattle skyline has changed and from our view on the 26 floor all we could see were the white hoops in the picture above, but every direction was blocked by buildings taller than the Hilton.  So much for commanding views.

The bathroom was Microtel sized, and the TV was liquid crystal.  And there was so much furniture jammed into the room that you crab walked around everything.

We met friends for dinner in a Vietnamese cafe - a first for Cookie, and I ate unfamiliar foods.  When someone mentioned a spring roll, I could get into that.  What I wasn't prepared for was that they don't fry their spring roll's like Cheap Chinese does, around the corner from our house.  So what you get is rice paper that is translucent - like a thin layer of flesh.  I ate it.  But it gave me the cold willies.  Still, I ate it.

SO the next morning we get up and head down to the Hilton's restaurant - because they all have one, right? - "Red Trees" and what we find is something that looks like you'd find in a Best Western, but not the best Best Western, or even the second best Best Western.  The room was very small, and striped down to its simplest form, giving to all the charm of a table area you would find in a airport food court.  The buffet was pure economy hotel food.  We chewed our way through that, then left for the Space Needle.

Now Cookie has an unreasonable fear of heights.  But the Husband wanted to go up, so I went too.  I stayed in side, got my sea legs and then ventured outside where I held onto the inner wall.  When you're in a place like this, you are surrounded by two types of people.  There are the people who think its neat, and then there are the people, like me, who are making the best of a very bad situation.

And we acrophobic's stick together.   Oh, Hell yes.

As I worked my way around the obersvation deck - knowing that only a few wires and a rickety railing stood between certain death and myself, I encountered many people doing as I was doing - clinging to the wall.  This presented certain challenges akin to modern dance, because we were not all going the same direction or speed.   In one instance a woman bravly stepped about two feet from the wall to let me pass, then rushed back to claim her space.  In another, a man and I did something where I left my hand on the wall and he crawled under my outstretched arm.  He said thank you, and I could help but notice that he was sweating up a storm.

"My wife loves coming up here when we visit our son, and if she's happy, I can get through this.  Right?"

"Spouses get to win sometimes," was my reply.

After a half hour, my husband said "Let me take your picture."

Holding the wall?

"No, stand with your back to the railing and I'll take a quick picture!"

Spouses get to win.  So I carefully, with one hand on the building stuck a leg out, and let go of the building and then got a death grip on the railing.  I smiled, a painful smile, and then jumped back to the building and inside.

I got in the down elevator corral and rode down to the gift shop, which is larger than the observation deck.  The husband joined me and we shopped for souvenirs to take home.

As we left, he said do you want to get something to eat, and I said yes and we went to the closest place near there - the armory.

And that's when I kind of lost it.

I was either out of adrenaline from risking my life on the top of that Space Needle - which I was sure was going to fall the minute I stepped foot on it - or I was hypoglycemic, or both, but I got very confused and upset and I couldn't make a decision.  I also got a bit paranoid - as if all of Seattle was judging me.  I almost started to cry.  According to the husband words were coming out of my mouth that made no sense at all.

That was when the husband sat me down, told me to stay there and got us both some food.    About a hour later, I felt better - not great - but well enough to take the monorail back to towards the hotel.

I told him to leave me there while he went exploring and I crashed on the bed.  I remember him coming back into the room, once, then twice, the second time with a cup of coffee and he woke me up.

He asked me if the nap was good - a silly question, because all naps are good - but I said that I seemed stuck in the twlight sleep.  "You know, resting not sleeping?"

No, he assured me.  "You were out cold."

He told me about his exploits and explorations.  He had seen people who were very trendy, people who looked like they were trekking through the street like they were on a hike in the hills and tried on some shoes at Nordstrom's mothership store.

I did feel better after the nap.  And dinner was consumed and it was the best tasting food I had had in a long time, even though it was not a terribly posh place.

We went out to dinner and turned in early so we could get up early so we could get the Hell out of dodge.  And into the Delta Club for some food.  And yes, they had their uber yummy roasted Red Pepper and Gouda soup.  So I was very happy.

All of our flights were wonderful and the cabin crews were magnificent.  And yes - we LOVE TSA's pre-screening procedure.  I have never been so happy to keep my shoes on in my life.

So the filing of the pictures begins tomorrow, and the encoding begins.

But Cookie is not doing any tall buildings for a while.  A long, while.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Into and out of Seattle

So, where was Cookie last week?

On another madcap caprice - this time to Bainbridge Island, and Seattle, Washington.

Having never been there, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Growing up it was "Here Come the Brides", then it became "Sleepless in Seattle" and then it morphed into Seattle and then simply "Grunge".

I can tell you this - the second best part of the trip was hanging out in the Delta Sky Lounge's in Detroit, Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul before and in between flights.

The best part?  Family.

The purpose of the trip was to go and meet the grandchildren of my first cousin, three times removed, the great Banker.  Bo and Peep and Peep's husband, Bob.  We'd never met, but they said - come for a visit, we have some stuff for you.  So we went. We scheduled a couple days with them, and then a couple days in Seattle.

 From the airport, its about two hours by car, via Tacoma.  Otherwise, you take the ferry, which takes about half hour of travel but on a Friday afternoon, about an hour and a half to line up and wait for a ship that will carry your car.

My first impression of Bainbridge Island was that its a wee bit like Cabot Cove, without Jessica Fletcher, and without the highest murder rate in the state.  Charming, woody, lodgelike, with scrumptious views of boats and Puget Sound.  I loved it.

It isn't often that you get so amazingly lucky as we did.  Sometimes in genealogy trips, you end up with American Gothic where the conversations are nothing more than "Ay-up" and "Don't see what you find in all of this."

But this trip - we had a totally wonderful experience!

All three were delightful, wonderful people.  Generous to a fault.  And they had a puppy.  Peep and Bob had a house and Bo decided to retire, they invited her along.  So she built a lovely cabin on their land.  We were given a guest house room.

We ate, we laughed and I learned a great deal about their mother, who was - in her own right - an amazing person of kindness and accomplishment.

On the second day they invited us to the basement of Bo's house where boxes and boxes of family "stuff" were located.  I found pictures of my 4th great grandparents I never dreamed existed.  Every box yielded something amazing - jaw dropping - in fact.

And they were never once they types to say "Mine, Mine Mine!"  It was always there to share.  And my heart was filled - and long time readers know that this is an uncommon thing for Cookie to admit - with pure love and joy that cannot be built into words.

I opened one box and I was stunned silent.  Marriage licenses for ancestors from the 1820s and the 1830s.  I looked up and Bob said "Something good?"  My husband replied "He's either having a stroke or so overwhelmed that there are no words to express how excited he is."

And that was the truth.

We had originally planned to leave on Sunday, but spent an extra night cleaning up for them when they were at a charity event.  Monday morning was spent packing up boxes that were shipping home to us filled with pictures from the 1850s to the 1940s.  We were simply dumbstruck at their kindness!

To say I was exhausted at that point was an understatement.

But we said our goodbyes and headed to the ferry where the car and the of us were taken back into Seattle for two nights.

More on that in the next post.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chip and Joanna Gaines: What Formulatic Fuckery Is This.

This Fuckery Will Run It's Course.

So in the last post I detailed our upcoming addition to the house.  And the things we will not have in the addition.

But we also touched on the subject of HGTV's dreadfully unimaginative "Fixer Upper" staring the Gaines', Chip and Joanna.

Now, I am going to say this up front.  A former blogger tells us that they have met said Chip and Joanna and that they are as warm in person as they are on TV.  So I have no doubt that they are decent people.

They also "show well" in the dog and pony show that is HGTV, which should really be renamed since there is no more gardening to be found on the network.

In fact HGTV is now nothing more than Buy 'N Sell Real Estate TV, because in addition to some decorating, its mostly all programming about people looking for their "Forever Home" in United States, or selling their old home to buy a "Forever Home" in Canada.

Into this mix come the Chip and JoJo, who get people to buy houses and remodel them in Waco, Texas.  And they have been good for Waco - because it is no longer the site of the Branch Dividian Tragedy, but now its a place to visit "Magnolia", their enterprise.

So here is Cookie's beef with the show:  Every. Week. Its. The. Same. Damned. Thing.

And every week it looks the same damned thing.

Now we all know that everything in the decorating world has a limited life span.  No style is forever.  Bean bag chairwere in and they are out.  Polished chintz?  The same.  Mission Style furniture?  For as much as I love it, the lodge look is out.

But right the hottest things in home decorating are also the ugliest things in a very long time.  Everything is either "inner city" West Elm industrial, or down home and "country" industrial.

Into this walks the Gaines'.  And every episode is the same because they all contain:

1) Harvest Table.
2) Bare metal ceiling lights and pendents that feature very bright bare light bulbs - or - bare light bulbs in clear glass shades.
3) Exposed brick that was never meant to be exposed.
4) Wacky mixed up discarded commercial letters on the few walls that they don't rip out that spell "HOME" and/or "FAMILY" just so you know where you are and what you are.
5) Painted furniture that needs to be stripped, or perfectly beautiful wood furniture that needs chalk painting so it looks old and distressed.

Now let's see - what could I have left out?  Could it be the mid century modern ranch houses that are remade in to Texas farm houses?  Could it be the the 1970s french provincial ranch houses made into Spanish haciendas?  Could it be the turn of the 20th century formal colonials that are turned into informal colonials?

Well, there are those, but I am thinking of something else.  Something that is shabby and chic.

You know what it is?

All that FUCKING ship-lap.

Now for those of living under a rock, ship-lap is a board of wood.  Now back in the good old days, in better houses, the walls were covered in lath (narrow strips of wood with gaps) and plaster applied over the lath in layers to build up a finished interior wall.  In "less formal" houses, they would use these boards to cover the wall.  It wasn't a material with bragging rights.

But thanks to this show, fucking ship lap is everywhere, so we all get to live like crackers and trash. This is the show that made the ship-lap industry BOOM.

To me it's fugly and a fire hazard.

But to some people, it is squeal inducing pure hillbillies in a haunted house marvelous.

And every week its the same damn thing.  It's become a show where women binge drink when they hear ship-lap.  It is the same old same old.

So Joanna, if you are reading this - you are becoming as predictive as the trains that run on schedule in a country with a dictatorship.

Girl, you need to stop being afraid of color.  Add in a high quality antique - the antique industry will thank you*.  Add in some funk.  And how about not tearing down ever interior room because one day all these young families are going to find themselves with surly, moody, stanky teenagers and the parents are either going to want a room for the kids to trash, or a place for the parents to go and hide from the kids.

Seriously Jojo, your relaxed look is becoming too structured for a your own good, and as cliche as a composite ribbon that reads "Live, Laugh, Love" at WalMart.

To grow your brand, you need to broaden your appeal.

*Hell, even Harriet Craig had a real antique in her cold humorless house.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Yes we are, and oh Hell no: we are not

Mr. Cookie and I have made plans to put on a small addition that will have a large impact of Cookie Manor, which is a center hall colonial - elegant and formal.

While our house was built in the era of Calvin Coolidge, the architect and first resident designed a formal house that made the most of the public rooms by making them a wee bit larger at the expense of the hallways and stair halls.

Things are to the point where "If it were any tighter, I'd marry it," tight, but it creates some issues that impacted the former residents ability to sell the house for top dollar and quick, both of which worked to our advantage.  This included the world's smallest master bath, and the worlds smallest family bath on the second floor, which we call the "Crab Walk Room," because that's the only way to get from the door past the tub and the sink to the "loo".

But now that we are owners, and plan on leaving Maryland one day for retirement, and a ranch style house, we realize the minor faults of the 1920s are big issues in the 2010's and beyond.

This means we have to make a few adjustments to the manor, which involve moving three bathrooms and redoing the kitchen, which means that we're in for a big project.  The end result, we hope and know after consulting with numerous real estate agents, will double the value of our house.  And that, is a good thing.

One of the by products is that we'll gain a new back hall, the removal of an inside corner of our living room to permit circular flow, a new front closet, a second floor sitting area and a laundry shute while doubling the size of both second floor baths and a kitchen that will be spacious, simple and functional. And the installation of a vintage telephone niche, because we have one that we bought from a Habitat store and it is SUPER cool.  And yes, that will also mean a candlestick phone.

Still people ask questions.  Usually its the why, and what.  "You're making the house bigger for just the two of you?"  Yes, because one day, the house will be sold to another family that may be LARGER and need the house to function better.

Other questions and answers are as follows:

QUESTION: Are you going to put in a barn door?  (Usually followed by a statement about how much they love barn doors.)

ANSWER: No. Why?  Because Barn Doors belong on BARNS.  I left farming when we moved to Maryland.

QUESTION: For the lights over the kitchen island, are you going to do clear mason jars and those "olde tyme" (emphasis added) bulbs?

ANSWER: No. Why? Because 1) it's 2017 and there is nothing attractive about a bare light bulb, and 2) mason jars are for canning and the occasional cliche substitute drinking glass for outdoor dining.

QUESTION: What kind of Granite are you choosing for the counter-tops?

ANSWER:  We're using stainless steel for the sink area, and laminate or quartz.

QUESTION:  But aren't buyers looking for granite?

ANSWER: They are.  But granite off gases RADON, which causes and abets lung cancers.

QUESTION: Are you installing a vegetable sink?

ANSWER: The vegetables will have to share the only sink in the kitchen with the pots, pans and other foods.

QUESTION: Will the toilets have their own little rooms?

ANSWER: No. They are going to be in water closets, because that's what the little rooms are called.

QUESTION: How much is this going to cost? 

ANSWER: Millions. Millions and Millions.

QUESTION: Are you doing the walls in ship-lap?  What about a harvest table?

ANSWER: Oh. Fuck. No. On both.

What it all boils down to is making the house more livable, and honoring its integrity.  What it is not going to be is some kind of Chip and Joanna Gaines bullshit special.  I am sure that they are lovely people.  But this remodeling is going to be all Hillary from Love it or List it.

And frankly - if it came down to a cat fight, my money is on Hillary.  She'd kick Joanna's ass.

When will this happen?  Well the plans are on the table downstairs, right next to the architect's bill, so the soonest that I think its going to happen is about a year from now.

Making yourself an easy Target

There are somethings that you do, my mother taught me.  A lady never smokes on the street. Never clear a garbage disposal with your hand.  Never jab a knife into an electrical outlet.

I am here to add, never wear a red shirt into a Target Store.

Trust me on this, people.  All sorts of hapless people will see you, tell you to come to them and demand that you show them where the 3M Command strips are located.  Or where the Swiffer's have been relocated to when the store was rearranged.  Worse still "You must be new here..."

Today a woman of a body type that I will call luscious told me to show her which freezer case had the plastic tubs of rainbow sherbet.  And she wasn't nice about it.  And her cart was filled with crap.  And her her Louis Vuitton was a fake.

"Do you really think that's such a good idea?"

She gave me a dirty look.  She was about to speak to my supervisor.

"C'mon. You deserve better. Häagen-Dazs, instead?"

She got all kittenish and said "You crazy. It's for kids at a party.  They can eat that shit."

I offered to find someone who worked at the store. "This shirt?  Bad fashion and shopping planning."

We both had a moment, giggled and went on.

But yeah, don't wear a red shirt to Target.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

More than likely, no, your female ancestor was not a full blooded Cherokee

Most of y'all know that Cookie suffers from the tombstone twitch - genealogy is my hobby, my profession, my passion.

And it being the 2010's, that means you have to have some level of comprehension when it comes to DNA, because DNA Testing is the latest fad in genealogy.  Like cocaine in the 80's, everyone is doing DNA testing to find their "roots".

Minus the white powder on their noses, some people get addicted to DNA.  Some of these people check and recheck their results every flipping day, multiple times a day, even though the results get updated multiple times throughout the week.

When I work with people, or am a meeting or a seminar, or even on Facebook, inevitably some well meaning soul will say something like:

"I got," (NOTE: Cookie hates the "I gots" but you see it everywhere these days.) my DNA results in and it's wrong.  My grandmothers grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee and the result don't show that."

And these people have no idea which grandmother had the grandmother - we have two - that this legend supposedly affects.

Then there are the people who say:

"I am asking for a friend of mine* who just received their results, and they seem to be wrong.  His great grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee and it's not showing up in the results."

*Which, by the way, means "I am hiding behind this facade, this ploy, this convention, this charade because I don't want to embarrass myself by sounding stupid."  Sorry Buttercup, but you have outted yourself.

Anyhow, there is a long answer to this Cherokee problem and a short answer.

I will give you links to the long answer below, but in the short answer, its simple: Somebody has been lying to themselves and lying to you, Buttercup.

The Myth of the Cherokee Princess, as we call it, has been an ongoing piece of genealogy lore in the South for generations.  It was used to explain away a lot of stuff.  Darker features on children of light complected people.  Mixed race offspring.  High cheek bones. Etc. and so on.  It was handy, it was used a great deal and its been passed on and accepted without question.  It adds an air of the mystical.


Let me ask you this.  What child in their right mind is going "sass" their parents and ask them if they are lying.  Not a question.  That kind of sass will get you knocked into next week.

Cookie's Axiom: "that most people who don't know, and are too lazy to know are fond of making shit like that up."

But there are somethings you should know about this myth:

1) It almost always involves a female ancestor.
2) It almost always involves at least a grandmother, a great grandmother, a great great grandmother, etc.
3) The records have been destroyed.
4) The only proof to be had is what someone older than you told you.
5) And no, no one has any way of knowing why that person would lie to you.
6) They most likely were not lying to you.
7) They are telling you what they were told, so they believe it to be real, an undeniable truth.
8) They want you to stop looking where you shouldn't be looking.
9) You cannot use this lie to get to the head of an Indian Nation owned or operated casino buffet line.

The simple fact is DNA tests - when done correctly, by the instructions, and by a reputable firm do not know what you family "lore" is, and it doesn't care what your family lore is.  But the results are the results, Buttercup. Your ancestor is your ancestor, not your token Native American to brag about.

Now there are very real results that show that you could be Native American.  This always happens in families where there is Native American blood.  See what I am getting at?

So if it happens to you, if it happens to family members and even if it happens to some idiot shooting his mouth off about how those DNA labs make stuff up, someone needs to set aside their preconceived notions.

And you can test all you want, but the results are going to be pretty much what they are.  BTW, if you don't like my links provided below, go look for your own, Buttercup.  The truth shall set you free.


Cherokee by Blood - Takes on the Cherokee Princess

Why Do So Many Americans Think They Have Cherokee Blood?

Friday, September 8, 2017

I'm sorry, but you have reached an incorrect number

So, what has Cookie been up to of late?

The latest fresh Hell is that our house phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting to volunteer in training therapy dogs for wounded U.S. Veterans.  And just not a couple calls - lots and lots of people want to volunteer.  And who wouldn't want to - puppies and wounded vets.  Everyone wins.

Evidently, a good hearted volunteer in area code 440 (Ohio - naturally) incorrectly put their number in as 410-XXX-XXXX.  The problem is all those X's are our exchange and number.

So we have been getting calls like:

Person: "I am calling about the volunteer opportunity to work with...."
Cookie: "I hate to tell you, but there was a misprint in the paper that put the wrong number in."
Person: "But I dialed 410-XXX-XXXX like the ad said."
Cookie: "I understand that.  It's why we are talking, but..."
Person: "Can I speak with someone who knows what's going on?"
Cookie: "You can if you hang up and call 440-XXX-XXXX."
Person: "Can you just connect me, I'll hold."
Cookie: "I'll try, but if I lose you, you'll need to direct dial them yourself."

If the calls were coming in looking for One Million Mom's then I would hang up.  But who am to question the steely resolve of people who want to clean out dog crates so that others can rehabilitate canines into service dogs.

Sometimes they call back and tell me that the mailbox is full on the other end, or that their voicemail's aren't being answered.  I tell them that I'm just the answering service, and all I can do is pass on their complaints, but I would be happy to do so the next time they call in for them.

The calls are slowing down, which tells me that either they fixed it, or the paper it was published in has become stale news.  They should update the column next week.

Until then, it'll be Cookie playing Ernestine on the phone.  Complete with snappy come backs and snorts.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Call it what it really is: a Fetish

This no longer exists.

So this past week, Baltimore City government swooped in and removed four sculptures dedicated to the Confederacy.  Included is this one, Gloria Victis - Glory to Vanquished.

Now it is vanquished, hidden under a plastic tarp in some city owned lot.

Now if you live in the south, and you live near a city, there is probably one or more monuments to the Confederacy.

They do not honor a native son.  They do not mark a battle spot.  And they most likely were erected between 1880 and 1960.

They are, however not statues.

Let's get that clear, right now.

Rodin's Thinker is sculpture.  Lincoln has a Monument.  The statue of Jefferson stands in the Jefferson Monument.

But Glory to the Vanquished is not, I said NOT, a statue.

It is a FETISH.

Say what?

Fetish, but not a sexual thing, right?

Wrong!  Look in Webster's and you'll see that it means more than something prurient.

Fetish: "an object in which magical power is present or in which it believed to exist.  An object of worship imbued with trans-formative meaning, or luck." Etc.

This is why I call them Fetishes.  

They are Fetishes because they were designed, crafted and erected to honor the Confederate leaders, soldiers and people, and reform their reputations and their "cause" into something that was noble to fight for.  They were erected to change the shame of defeat for cause that sold, traded and abused human beings from something shameful into fight for "The Cause" of honor.

Organizations like the Daughters of Confederacy, etc., raised funds and paid for these Fetishes in order to redeem the actions of their fathers, grandfathers, husbands, sons and other family members, transforming them losers and traitors into the "glorious vanquished".  They became symbols that would, over time, rewrite the perception that the Confederate States of America could be forgotten and in place, "The South" became a code word for the CSA, and thus more dignified.  

These bronze Fetishes, were to reform those who committing treason, racism and murder, and perpetuated slavery and the slave trade.

And they did have that transformative power.  As the years passed, White America saw them as -oh, yes -  public art!

"Oh, look!  Sculpture!" I heard a tourist say one day in Wyman Park. Looking at the statue of Lee on a horse that didn't look like General Lee at all.

But these Fetishes had another meaning to Blacks.  And that message was "We may have lost the war, but we control the politics, the wealth, the business and you futures, here.  Don't even think of trying to better yourself."

And that message was clear.

And then Barack Obama was elected President and change couldn't come soon enough, and it didn't.  For as much as I loved President Obama, there was never the resolution of the race problem, there were never discussions that needed to happen.

Then a minority voters, in strategic states elected the current President.  And race erupted after a White woman was killed by a White Supremacist. And when the President failed to guide the nation on this matter, these Fetishes in the south became the focus of the national debate.

They are not great works of art.  They should not be on public lands.  They honor people who sought to tear the nation apart.  They need to go.

They need to go because we need to be free of their powers over some who see these fetishes as keys to their White domination of others.

Let me be clear - getting rid of these monuments is a small step.

Their removal will not make life for Black America easier.  They will not free White Americans from their duty to understand what it really is like to be Black in this nation.   And their removal will not end the segregation of society.

In fact if all that is done is to remove these Fetishes and things go back to "normal" then racism wins.

We will not be free of this burden that every American carries until we move beyond the fits and starts of moving this country forward.

We cannot be a united country until every man, woman and child is valued for who they are, their experiences are heard, validated, and we remove the prejudices we subconsciously commit everyday.

And to those who argue back that we are allowing our history to be rewritten, remind them that when these Fetishes were erected that was when history was rewritten.  And now we are correcting that record.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Calls, Cookie gets calls and SPAM emails...

We still have a landline into our house because the Husband's job (on call, 24/7), and because the cell reception in this house is pretty bad.  My friends who have abandoned landlines and know how to reach me.  And frankly, I don't like giving out my cell phone number, because I don't want any calls on it that aren't necessary, or from people who would bother me with calls like "Hello, this Rachel from Card Member Services," and "Hi, this Cindy, calling from the Car Warranty Center."

Call me old fashioned, but I don't mind being tethered to a desk for an old fashioned corded phone because it means that I can focus my attention on who is calling and what we are talking about.  We have cordless phones as well, but I like that feeling of being connected to the dying art of simply taking a phone call on a real, honest to gosh telephone.

One advantage to having a landline is that is that during hurricanes, and power outages, the copper lines seem to work while cell phoneaholics are desperate to save battery power, or running about looking for some place with power so they can charge up.

I still have my cell phone, and I carry it when I leave the house.  But if I am home, I don't answer it.

Technology is fine, and even great.  But it has its downside.  People think you are always accessible.  And there are sometimes when you are not accessible, or shouldn't be, like when you are in the bathroom.

A couple years ago, I had two feet of colon removed to end my life long suffering with diverticulitis.  This was the good type of technology, because before I met with the doctor, I was convinced it meant a colostomy.  But no.  Today they do it with a combination of laparoscopy and a two part tool, one piece goes into into your rectum and and the other piece is placed in the remaining colon and they staple and glue you back together.

In the old days, it would have a week in the hospital and weeks before food, losing pounds on liquid diets of consomme.

With this new procedure, you're eating a turkey sandwich the next day and home the day after.  Heck, the night of the surgery, I was walking the halls of the hospital, albeit like a ninty year old man.  But dammit, I was up and walking.

The surgery indeed worked like a charm. But it comes with one major side effect.

The problem is, I have two feet less colon than everyone else, which means that, in the doctors words "You may suffer front an immediate need to evacuate your bowels."  This brought up images in my mind of the evacuation of Saigon one moment, and then me in a diaper the next.  "But," he continued most patients are able to adjust to the new signals in their gut and take offensive measures.  No pun in tended, of course."

Of course.

I have figured out those signs, but still, wherever I go, I have to know where I can "go", every moment I am away from the house.  And there much of any warning.  Eating seems to set it off, so if I am out shopping in the morning, it has to be after my morning toilet, but before my lunch.  If I can't make it without food, because the world starts to spin about, I can eat, but again, you never know when a forceful act of nature is coming.

This, of course, means that I am often using a public toilet, and that means I am using a public toilet  in a place where some man is also using the facilities, and talking on their cell phone.

This is the bad end of technology.

I don't mean to listen in, because that would be rude.  But public bathrooms, made of tiled floors, walls and lacking anything that could absorb sound tend to echo and amplify sounds bouncing off of the glazed surfaces.  And being confirmed to a small booth, unable to see the world around you tends to amplify every sound as your eyes signal you ears as if to say "Hey, buddy, you are driving this car now that I can't see a thing but this graffiti."

Making matters worse is that people think that they have to SHOUT every word on a cell phone.  They can't hear the caller, but everyone in a 30 foot radius can hear what they are saying.

So you get drawn into the conversations if the guy is unaware that his VOICE IS A LOUD AS IT WOULD NEED TO BE IN A CROWDED BAR, and that EVERY WORD HE IS SAYING IS CARRYING ALL OVER THE ROOM FOR ALL TO HEAR.   And if you are going to BE THAT LOUD THAT I CANNOT AVOID YOU.

A couple weeks ago, I was the restroom of a local big box electronics store.  After I was settled in, some man came into the john, walked over to an area not by me, which is usually the urinals.  He was on his cell phone, and to convince his wife that he was in the car on his way home after not showing up when he said he would.

"Doreen, look honey, I am driving as fast as I can but the roads are really clogged.  I am so in the car.  What do you mean it sounds funny?  Maybe the connection is bad, but I am on my home.  No, I did not stop at the computer store to buy more junk."

He wasn't lying, if you want to get technical about it.  He wasn't in the computer store's sales floor, he was in the computer store men's room.  Being the son of a lawyer - and yes, I know that sounds like a terrible thing to say - but you learn to listen to what lengths most people try and get away with something based on what they say.

Technically, the man wasn't lying, but he wasn't being truthful.

This is when the conversation took an interesting turn.  The man forgot that the toilets had automatic flushers.  So when he stepped back, the urinal flushed with a loud WOOOSHHHHHH.

"Doreen, what did you say?  No, I am not at the computer store, honey.  No, I am not in bathroom talking to you while I am on the can.  That sound?  That was a semi blowing a recap tire, now look, I have to get going so I can concentrate on driving...." and he left the men's room.

In my mind I would call Doreen, and in an evil voice say "Yes, Doreen.  You man was lying to you and he was in the men's room with me.  I'm on your side Doreen.  That's right honey, men can be pigs."

Hopefully he had better luck on the sales floor of sounding like he was in the car.  He probably told her that sounds she heard were the radio.

Still, the idea of handling a cell phone in a bathroom - any bathroom - gives me the creeps.  Its bad enough having to use one for the intended purpose, but using your phone?  That's down right gross.

When I am home, Cookie is always amazed by the SPAM and Robo calls that we get here at Cookie Manor.  They interrupt my day while I am at work, either doing house-husbandly things, like the laundry or cleaning, or working on a project and sometimes, while sneaking an episode of the British show of the moment on ACORN TV.

Today I had three hang ups and and one piece of noteworthy SPAM emails.

The SPAM messages tat come through email are annoying.  Unlike the calls, you can easily train your email program to weed out the bad ones.   Usually, they are from people who want to sell you pills for erections that you don't need pills to get.  And even if you did, would you buy them from someone in Nigeria who would send you messages like this:

"Mr. Cookie, You know that you need V_I_A_G_R_A to obtain the hardness that you know she likes and demands.  Men like you, who rely on our quality product have comfort in knowing that the best price to be obtains is through our International buying power making womans wet around the world wide..."
You have to admire their staying power in promoting erection pills at "best competitive USD prices that no one can undercut..." unless you have a health plan that will pay for you to get a six hour erection, but refuses to pay for your colonoscopy.   Either way, you know you are going to get screwed.

Today's SPAM was different.

This was one of those SPAMessages that reads like it was run through a translator in Nairobi, Kenya, or some other far off nation where the "writer" is the wife or husband of a dead leader and "find my self with an amount of money equaling $1 million dollars in U.S. funds that I must find safe harbor for..."

This one was a bit more strangely worded:

Dear Mr. Cookie Husband:
Here is to inform you of this incident knowing me as Anthony Gomez a legal representative to a late client Mr. Harry Allan Husband, who had the same surname with yours. He died leaving a valuable amount in one of our local banks here. Please get back for more important details.
Mr. Anthony C. Gomez.
[Senior Attorney]

Normally I would toss this aside, but this one got to the side of me that can hear this being read, and because my father was an attorney.   The other thing is that I am genealogist, and since the Husband and I are married, I use his last name, not my birth surname.  So in addition to the poorly worded, it raised my ancestry hackles.

So I wrote back:

Dear Mr. Senior Attorney Anthony C. Gomez.,
This day, to you, I am writing, because of the email letter that you wrote to me in which you detail the death of Mr. Harry Allen Husband.  News of his passing has a certain finality to the story of life.  In order for me to to help you solve this matter, I will need the name of Mr. Husband's parents, for surly you understand that if they are the General Nassar Husband and his mother is Mrs. Lady Jane Husband, there can be no mistake. I would also like a family tree, for surly you understand that this must be a certaintude to be true.
Most respectfully,

Several hours later, around 11 am I received a reply.
Dear Mr. Cookie Husband,
This morning I am over-joyed to discover that in fact Mr. Harry Allen Husband, the gentleman about which you wrote is in fact the son of the people, with which you sent detailed correspondence with me earlier.  It is most urgent that I obtain your bank account authorization ensuring that the transfer of funds to you.
 Mr. Anthony C. Gomez.
[Senior Attorney]

 This of course that I needed to respond.

Dear Senior Attorney Mr. Anthony C. Gomez.,
Whilst awaiting your most recent missive, a most amazing event happened.  I went to the other room, and when I returned, who should be sitting on my guest chair, but my relative with the same name as mine, Mr. Harry Allen Husband!  Mr. Harry Allen Husband tells me that you "have done a fine job as agent for his holdings, and thanks be to you, Senior Attorney Mr. Anthony C. Gomez."  My relative with the same name as I has indeed brought a large suitcase full of USD and he would like to send you half. Therefore, he has asked me to obtain your most high valued account so that we can ensure the transfer of USD appears for transfer.  Please get back with me with the details.
 Yours truly,

Around noon, the email from Senior Attorney Mr. Anthony C. Gomez arrived.
Dear Mr. Cookie Husband, 
There can be no mistake on the finality of Mr. Harry Allen Husband.  Because you seem to show a great amount of uninterest in his funds, I must continue on to seek another living member of the Husband surname with which to shower these riches.  I thank you for corresponding with me and bid you farewell
Mr. Anthony C. Gomez.
[Senior Attorney]

I am sure that this account will get hit with many more SPAM emails, and that the phone will continue to ring with hang ups, clicks and calls from robo dialers wanting to sell me car warrenties for cars that we sold long ago.

We live in a world right now where nothing seems like it is, just as Harry Allen Husband sits in my living room, speaking in a form of pigeon English that my mind cannot escape from.  So I'll need therapy, or at least counting my USD and wait for the next message in which someone will seek my bank account numbers to so I can receive a fortune from a far away land.

But at this moment, now if you will excuse me, but I have to get the phone.  It's Rachel from Card Member Services and you know how insistent she can be.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Really? "Getting Acquainted with Jewish Neighbors"

I shit you not.

As if you thought that Gentleman's Agreement was a trifle, I offer this book by Mildred Eakin from 1944.

I know, right?

Cookie must have a copy of this.

Why?  Because I saw this and hair on the back of my head bristled.

And. Oh. Bitch. PLEASE!  Read through the chapter descriptions!  Every WASP's greatest social fears, addressed!

Getting acquainted is a whole lot more different that "Let's be friends."

Yes, Mildred. Those people, in your neighborhood.  Get over it.  

Getting acquainted says "Let's say hello, but not go any further."

And in Chapter IV...


No Alice, its not about "Squanto Friend of the Pilgrim" as the sign reads on the statue in Plymouth, Mass.

But in reading up on Mildred Eakin, apparently she was an academic in comparative religions and education and she was very concerned about America's inability to shake its old hatreds as society progressed.  She was also very concerned with public school educators who could not adapt their curriculum's to be more open to matters of race and wrote books and papers on how to do that to help all students, regarding of race.

This book was one of pieces that she wrote trying to help Americans to bridge the gap.

But 73 years later, we are still dealing with that divide.  Its better.  But old hatred and suspicions die hard.

But yes, this book is something that Cookie must find because I need to read it and see it for my own eyes.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kings and Queens

Surly you have heard about the Burger King.

But what of her Majesty, the Burger Queen?