Friday, December 29, 2017

Lies told to children of the 1960s.


This past weekend, WTBS again indulged us in a 24 hours of a Christmas Story, the movie that reminds us that if you desire the wrong thing, "you'll shoot your eye out."

So at a dinner last night a group of us, all ranging from 59 to 50 started chatting about the lies that we were told by adults in 1960s to keep us from doing things that children like to do, or attempt to do.  Some of the lies included the following:


  1. Sitting too near the color TV set will make you sterile.  
  2. Make that face and it'll freeze that way. 
  3. You have to sit while eat a piece of hard candy or it will lodge in your throat and your choke to death.
  4. Wonder Bread helps you grow 12 ways.
  5. If you keep doing no one will like you.  
  6. If he/she is bothering you, just ignore them. 
  7. So help me God, but if you two don't stop it, I will turn this car around and we'll go home.
  8. That dime is from the tooth fairy. 
  9. Santa Claus is coming to town. 
  10. If you can play the piano well, you'll always be invited to parties.
  11. Everyone loves watching Lawrence Welk. 
  12. There are children starving in India (or any other foreign land) who would just love to eat that beef liver. 
  13. You need to take this cod liver oil. 
  14. There is nothing under your bed. (Yes, there is - hundreds of dollars of toys you don't play with.)
  15. Winky Dink needs your help to get across the valley.  Draw him a bridge to walk across. 
  16. You don't like that. 
  17. That man is light in his loafers. 
  18. Why doesn't Aunt _____ get married?  She hasn't met the right man.
  19. Well, Aunt Sally and her friend Mary live together to share expenses. 
  20. Don't run with those scissors.  The little boy down the street ran with scissors and he tripped and fell on them and now he's dead and he feels just terrible about what he did. 


Then there were the "Do as I say, not as I do" moments:

  1. Smoking is bad for your health, it'll stunt your growth. (Says your 6 foot tall father with a cough.)
  2. Drinking is bad for you. (Says your parent, aunt/uncle or grandparent on their fifth rye whiskey.)
  3. Lobster?  You won't like it all. (Says your parent as they order it in a restaurant.)
  4. Playboy? Well I read it for the articles. (Says your older brother.)
  5. Let's not tell Mommy about meeting cousin Taffy.  They don't get along like "cousin" Taffy and Daddy get along.  
  6. Mommy will be very mad at you if you tell her that we had lunch with "cousin" Taffy.
  7. Don't stick your arm out of the car.  Says the driver resting his elbow on the sill and fingers on the window frame.  
There may very well be other little lies and tales.  What do you remember being fed a load of?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

With this crown of thorns I wear, why should I worry about a prick like you?



After yesterdays "fuck you up" fest, Cookie should explain that he had been off his allergy meds for about nine days getting ready for today's allergy testing.

See, Cookie has watery eyes, a cough, itching, stuffy nose and a wheeze.  I have had hay fever and and a world class allergy reaction to cats and kittens since I was but a wee small child.  But since moving to Maryland, things have gotten beyond worse.

Finally, about two weeks ago, Cookie's doctor said enough of that, get thee to the allergist.

So we set up the appointment.

Thing is, that means no antihistamines for seven days.  Cookie thought that if seven was good, lets get a couple extra days in for good measure, and I went for nine.  No Zyrtec, no Pazeo, no calming cremes/lotions, nothing.

At first, everything was fine, by day three I starting having sneezing fits.  The itching started on day four.  By yesterday, with the car break-ins and the broken glasses and the leaking shower drain (and it really is true - it never rains when all this shit is going down, it pours) Cookie was a hot mess of rage.

So I really got those old ads that claimed "Woman Cured of Terrible Itch."

Today's appointment went well enough, as the doctor and I chattered.  THEN it was time for the test.

The doctor exited and a young woman came in with a tray.  She said I had two options.  "If we run the tests on your arms, its a twenty minute wait.  If we do it on your back, its half hour. The back won't itch as much.

Given that it was one of the colder mornings and the room was terribly cold, I had no issue with the arms.  So she had me sit in a chair, my hands palms up on a table, and she bring in these three trays, sets them down and them washes my fore arms was alcohol swabs.

"Alright, there are eight substances on each pad, and each arm gets three pads, starting at you shoulder and down to your hands.  Its really important that once these begin to react that you don't scratch anything in the touch area. You mustn't touch the area, either as it could ruin the results."  I agree.

At first they look like large stamps from a stamp pad.  What she did tell me at the last moment was "You may feel a small pricking sensation," and she was right.  I imagined that that if this was bad, an iron maiden must be worse.   With that, though, the iron maiden pads, of eight tiny needles at a time, went into my flesh, at one of the thinnest stretches of skin on the body.. Then comes the second, then the third - I now had 24 weeping punctures on the right arm and she moved to the left, and the tiny "scratches" (little stabbings) started anew.  The iron maiden thing done, she took a special pen, broke the seal on the pen, and started writing with ink all over my arms.

And that is when the itching really started.

Mother of God!

After carefully blotting each stamp area, she turned on a dine and said "Now you get to watch a video and I'll be in in 20 minutes and with a smile, she spun on the balls of her foot and took the trays with her.

Ten minutes, Cookie's tender pale flesh was a rashy red, and the welts and hives were in full blossom, and the itch was tremendous.

GAWD!

My Kingdom for a tube of Lanacane!

But I sat there pretending to be a Catholic saint.

At twenty minutes on the dot she returned to find me as she left me, and I did not move because there is no fucking way I will go through this again, I thought to myself.  I was almost in the promise land.

Then we did breathing measurements.  They hand you a tube and you inhale and exhale as much as you can carry through your lungs. Then they give yo a steroid, and you do it again until you are light headed.

She took pictures and started measuring.  Out of 48, I scored a 44! 

I seem to be allergic to everything.  Trees, bees, mites, and cats.  But kitten dander was my number one reaction, followed by "timothy", which is a "hay".  Ragweed put in a strong showing as did walnut trees and walnuts.  Every variety of turf grass as well.  Sycamores, pine trees, birch trees, etc and so on.  Flowering bushes and molds.  Just about the only thing that didn't send me over the cliff were perfumes, commercial scents, detergents and thank Christ on a cracker - dogs.

And how did dogs escape my body reactions?  "When they brought you home from the hospital, did your family have a dog?"  Yes.  "Lucky you.  You established a relationship with dogs early in life."

What about if they would have had cats?

"No, cats are different than dogs."

Duh.  But a better explanation about what she said will come in a couple lines.

The woman than mercifully slathered my arms with extra strength PreparationH (which is nothing more than cortisone cream and mineral oil) which calmed the areas down immediately as far as the itching.  "The mineral oil will help soothe the rash."

The doctor came in and said "You are a high achiever. And you also have asthma."

Really.

They ran more tests and sure enough, inhale and exhale is way off.   "With everything you have going on with regard to windpipe irritation, you are not getting enough oxygen."

The goal is to get the windpipe calmed down, and then start me on shots.   "And for the love of God, stay away from cats, and stay out of the houses of people that have cats.  Spend a night in a house with a person who has cats and doesn't keep the house clean and you'll end up in the ER."

The tests were 12 hours ago, and cats and pine trees are still fleshy spots.  Shots start in ten days.

And what is the big deal with cats?  Evidently cat urine, cat saliva (because they lick themselves) cat gut bacteria (All that fur comes right back up in a hairball) and cat dander gets airborne and sticks to fabric, walls, rugs and floors.  "And it stays active for up to six months."

So who loves kitty?  Not me.

I have been pricked, steroided and will start my shots regime in a couple weeks.

I do feel better and am headed to bed as I wrap this up.  Some folks from back home are coming by tomorrow for a visit.




Tuesday, December 26, 2017

It's Boxing Day, Motherfuckers, and not the civilized type of Boxing Day, either



Sometimes, you just wake up and think fuck it.

Then there are the days where you are awoken with news that really is "What the fuck?"

Today, the day after Christmas, aka Boxing Day, was such a day.

Husband, getting ready to leave for work, come into our room, gives me a kiss goodbye and leaves.  Next thing I know he's waking me up with: "Someone has been through my car."

What the fuck.

What about the Cookiemobile?

So he goes out to look, and I see him from the bedroom window taking pictures.

Fuck, fuck, fuck!!!

Of the two cars, mine was the one trashed.  No damage to the exterior or interior, but the motherfucker took my prescription sunglasses, the wallet containing the manuals for the Prius, and a two dollar winning lottery ticket.  Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Luckily, Cookie is not the type of idiot that leaves his backpack containing laptops and ipdas and the like in the car like a woman over in Pikesville who was interviewed on the news and said "I only had in my car for a day or two."

Thanks to NextDoor, you read about these acts of stupidity fairly regularly.

"My car was stolen when I ran into the Petrol station to buy a pack of cigs.  I guess I'm not used to Baltimore.  On the shore - where I am from - I leave my car running whenever I run in for cigs.  What kind of person would steal my car like?"

What kind do you think?  I'll tell what kind sister-woman - the kind that steal cars, motherfuker.

Now we lock our cars and we are downright neurotic about that.   So we did not pull a sister-woman.

Our cars got cracked because the fucking bastards who did this built a radio device (instructions are out there) that pings the remote in your house and then opens the car from afar.  So now I own two Faraday Cages to make sure that the motherfuckers don't get in again.

Now on the plus side of this, our neighbor DID find the wallet of manuals, and there was great rejoicing because those motherfuckers are expensive as fuck. And the car registration was in the wallet.  So that takes a load of worry off my shoulders.

If you're out there fucker, come around here again and I will beat the shit out of you, and then beat it back in.  And it doesn't need to be Boxing Day for me to do it. Don't make me go all Dr. Detroit on your ass.



Do not fuck with Cookie's car, Cookie's house or Cookie's loved one's because I will hunt you down, find you, beat you senseless, wake you up, and then school you K-12th, college and post grad on what happens to fuckwits like you when you fuck with the wrong cookie.  Then I will haul your ass to your mama, so she can go all ugly up your bony little ass.  I hope she smacks you so hard that she sends on a trip into next month.

To everyone else most Happy Boxing Day, whatever you do in your foreign lands.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas with the neighbors


Over at the Davenport's, Dawn was disappointed that there were no No cha-cha heels for year this year.


The Barbie's got together for their seasonal night of drinking - call the red party - when Bouffant Barbie showed up and evidently didn't get the message that it was the RED Party and not the Red and Matched Sets party.


The neighbor's cat endured another annual embarrassment and this morning it's owner woke up to find that the chair became a scratching post in the middle of the night.


Over at the Wifebeater's, it was a casual affair.


The Flockman's still haven't learned that a little leopard goes a long way.


Things are getting Oh-E-Oh-E-Oh at the Robinson's



And Aunt Darlene is sitting in the den and she is just fine, "don't worry about me. But a scotch, neat, would be a nice jesture.  And an ash tray.  Where are you fucking ashtrays?"  We weren't planning on her but she is happy to sit there, judging us.


Just ignore her, but remember, Roni Spector and the Ronette's hope your day was swinging fun!

Merry Christmas from Nancy, Ernie and Cookie.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Negative Net Christmas


Well, we're here.

Twas the night before the night before Christmas, and frankly, Cookie isn't feeling it.

Nope.

Part of the reason being is that Cookie is MISERABLE at the moment.  My allergies have gotten to the point where no over the counter anything was helping.  So I scheduled an appointment with the allergist after my eye doctor said "Yeah, its time.  We don't want to increase the steroids because of a glaucoma possibility.  But this is the best time of the year to get it done."

So he called my doctor who called his buddy and I went in for the sign up and paperwork and they got me in this week. 

The thing is, they tell you stay off the antihistamines for "168 hours, which is seven days.  If you can go 240 hours then that would be even better."

At this point, I should be at my ripest, betterist and ready to become inflamed when he does his scratch tests. 

My eye's feel like sandpaper, I am itchy, coughing, sneezing and phlegmish. 

I was hoping this year we could do a simple, non-decorated Christmas, given my physical state, but the hubby wanted the tree up so we hauled it out of the box and set it up with a minimum number of ornaments and it looks great.  No candles in the windows.  I had to draw the line some place.

But since its just us in Baltimore, it'll be like 48 hours in a snow storm.  No stores, no activities, just home bound because there is nothing to do .  Maybe a movie on Christmas Night, but it has to make me laugh.  No crying on Christmas.

And no presents this year for he and me.

Nope, instead we are cleaning out our clothes bureaus and linen closets.  We have too much crap, and a local charity could use this stuff.  I mean how did I end up with 36 pairs of black socks?  So this year, it's a negative net Christmas.  Nothing coming in, but stuff is leaving the house and getting into the hands of people who need it and can use it. 

Now the dogs, are getting all manner of squeaky toys.

But this year I just think that we have everything we want or need, except a Zyrtec, at the moment.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Look Back: Christmas BHG 1958 style

I ran the following post in 2015, and it was enjoyed by many.  Now its time for a revisit.





Cookie is now 53 (in 2017, I'm the same age.  My blog, my rules) years old, and through my life I have lived through shocking moments, and I have seen shocking things.   I know, I know - hard to believe, but true.  Yes, I have seen things that one should not need to see - so few things "shock" me today.

Actually, I take that back.  I am still shocked and repulsed by people who support Donald Trump.  There you have it.

So imagine my surprise when this arrived in the mail after I won an eBay auction.  I had not bid on it, but the seller got confused and I ended up with it.

It is shear Christmas Porn.  Page after page of lurid color images.  Each page more SHOCKING than the next.  And people think that things were better in the good old days?  Think again...

Lets look at that cover, shall we?

The evil humpty dumpty - with long legs that would easily get him off that wall, if he just tried.  The fruit cake sitting on sharp metal points.  Bags filled with God knows what on the tree.

Inside, the editors invite you think "outside of the box" and try an "Oriental" style Christmas theme.



And how do we know it was inspired by the east?  Because nothing says Tokyo than Pink Tulle glued to driftwood, right?





And we also know that this is ORIENTAL because of the cunning ORIENTAL man hiding presents for his neighbor's Caucasian wife.  (Hint: Asian Americans like being called "oriental".  We are using it as an Occidental reference.)

And what this?


Nothing says ORIENTAL Christmas like a tree made out of Golden Rod, eh?

Meanwhile, on the east coast....




Inside we find the Mame Dennis Burnside home on Beekman Place.  Evidently things are lean as Nora and Ito have resulted to making a Star Burst Pinata, and cheap ribbony gee gaws on the wall.  It's all very sad...Tasteful, but sad...This is an example of basic decoration for people who don't like the fuss and bother that BHG intends on unleashing in the pages to come.





What the flock!

This looks like a festive tree.  I actually love the colors and the decorations.  Something quite different than the usual theme trees of today.  And where does one get those fabulous 50s decorations?  You make them.  The magazine gives you step by step instructions.  Well, actually, not you, this is job for your...




Looks like it's time to get your kiddies sweat shop up and running!  And what adorable moppets don't love crafts?  And crafts for eight to ten hours?  Too much fun!!!  Plenty of sugary Christmas cookie will help keep them hopped up and cranking out those ornaments till the whole flocking tree is covered.

Now according to the text, you are going to need wooden clothespins, wooden picnic spoons and forks (wooden?), tin can lids, embroidery hoops - wait a minute.  Tin can lids?


YES!

Razor sharp tin can lids!   And other sharp pointy things painted with lead based paint, and plenty of small beads - the perfect size for choking on!  Did I mention the sharp pointy skewers that can take out an eye faster than you can call 911?  And that glue?  Made from Mr. Ed's hooves.




So while the kids are pinching one and other with those clothespins, Mom will be sitting down with a scotch and her scrap bag to create toys that the kids really can throw at each other.  See, it's easy - see?  Not quite sure what up with that stoner dog puppet - damn hippies.


And what about Dad?  Where is he with all this mirth making being made?



Well I'll tell you where he is - He's in the Rumpus Room basement, damnit, with his man friends, war buddies, the type of friends that you kill for, and have when the North Korean's are on the march. 

Being manly and making a manly meal, it's not a snack.  FUCK NO! BHG calls this a STAG FEED.  Now girly or pussy man food here.   

BOOYAH!  

And while Dad is carving his meat in a manly fashion, his buddy Maury is getting some pocket pool time in, and their friend Dick - well, he's leaning in.  Why?  BECAUSE, men need to be manly, that's why!

Let's take a look at that holiday man food will ya:



Just look at that god damned delicious chow for this manly STAG FEED!  Manly cheese - a whole wedge of it - slices are for pussies.  And mustard - lots of them - because only sissies and kids like ketchup.  Big Manly crackers.  Flat Bread is a pussy term.  Men eat crackers - and they love big six inch crackers - and larger too!  And we've BEEF because men crave red meat. {Snarl} And for bread - there is the most manly bread known to MANKIND - dry rye bread, with plenty of seeds and lots of that dry gummy dough, because men know how to woof it down.  On the stove?  A big pot of beans.  Why beans?  Because it's a manly dish, and men can fart around other men - hell, it's inspriational. One guy will fart then another and then it smells like a man party. And the Indian Club style grinders?  Because real men GRIND their salt and pepper.  Shaking from shakers is for Commies, and women.  Never mind that Earl there is playing pocket pool, or that Mike is looking at Steve's meat zone. Just the guys.  Nothing gay going on here. 



And speaking of plastered, Baby Jesus certainly looks plastered.  And HEY!  Just in case you are one of those idiots who has forgotten what this season is REALLY about - it's about a plaster likeness of the baby Jesus, swaddled in a golden doily and placed upon a pink glittery piece of scrap fabric.  And oh, Come let us adorn him with glittery silvery ornaments and lights, because THAT there, bub is the REASON FOR THE SEASON.

GOT IT?  Merry Christmas and none of that Happy Holiday Bull Shit.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

You little tramp

"Merry Christmas Mama"

I could watch this over, and over.

How did Sandra Dee end up with a hairdo that made her look older than her mother (Constance Ford) in 1959's A Summer Place?

And the lines they gave her!

"Am I a bad girl, Johnny?"

If you have to ask, then you're too good for your own good.

My friend Clark, whose mother roomed with Suzanne Pleshette during Suzanne's only semester in college, recalls getting to meet Constance Ford on the set of Pleshette's movie "Rome Adventure", a cheap knockoff of Three Coins in the Fountain in that both movies deal with American young women living in Rome and finding themselves mixed up with the wrong guy.

Upon being introduced, Clark's mother said that enjoyed Ford's performance in A Summer Place.

"I love playing a bitch," said Ford.  Clark mom said that she found the Christmas scene between Ford and Dee very intense.  "I loved almost slapping Sandra," said Ford with a twinkle in her eye.

Evidently, there was a nylon thread tied to the top of the fake tree that would pull the tree back so it would not injure Sandra's face.  If you notice the tree flies up a little.  Can't have the star's face damaged by a cheap tree from the five and dime.

Nothing good can come of this.



Glows, claims the ad.

"Lasts lifetime."

And your life will be much shorter thanks to the radium that makes it glow.

You have been warned*.

Note: While it should be obvious, since the election of Donald Trump, I have lost a great amount faith in the total intelligence in the American people, people will do things that they know that can't and shouldn't do.  SO, IF YOU VOTED FOR TRUMP, you cannot send any money to the address above.  This ad is almost 67 years old.  NO, YOU CAN'T GET THIS.  

Friday, December 15, 2017

Amtracked

Stolen from phil-are-a-go.blogspot


Cookie loves the train, to a point.

The train is so much better than driving, and frankly it's so much easier than a plane.

Where the train loses its luster is that a conductor is not a flight attendant.

And the food service on Amtrak's horribly misnamed "Cafe Car", which is really vending machine quality food, served by a person.  The delights are all microwaved, and on a six hour ride, you get about three hours of service.

So when you compare airliner food - and yes, you do get food service in the air in First Class - to this garbage, being x-rayed, patted down and otherwise having to disrobe is a worth it.

People on the train are a different sort.  Some are quiet and some are not.

On yesterday's train, we started off well, good internet reception, and then we started hearing so young college student running his mouth about politics.  He's at that age where he has every answer, and knows everything.  And he yabbered for a full hour, complaining about Liberals the entire way.

At the next stop, an Orthodox Rabbi decided to sit in front of us.  When a young lady got on at the next stop, she sat next to him.  Which made him get up and move. 

Three stops later we were at a major crew change spot, so we moved to a different car, that had been refurbished. Nice leather seating. Better WiFi.

BUT, at the first station, a couple in their fifties got on and that's where the fun started.

They were loud.  They were soused.  And they were loud and soused. 

"I'm telling you that that bastard wanted to feel my bosom.  My Bosom.  BOSOM," said the woman.  "He was running a casting couch. I just wanted to get a job dancing, and he wanted to audition my...." she trailed off.

"What bosom?  You're as flat as the earth was before Columbus discovered it was round."

They both laughed.

It wasn't funny, but they thought it was.  As the trip progressed, the outbursts got more bizarre.

"Are you fucking serious?  Marc Chagall was a better artist than Jackson Pollock?"

"You," says she, "are a fucking moron.  A monkey could paint like Pollock.  Chagall was, was..." she lost her way, and refound it when she bellowed out "DIAPHANOUS!"

"No. You mean ephemeral."

"No, his art is lasting.  I meant that is style ethereal!"

"STOP IT! I CAN'T TAKE THIS!" he screamed. 

All of car went silent, save for the sound of speed from the undercarriage.

They settled back down.

About five minutes later the conductor walked through and asked if there were any more outbursts.   I shook my head.

"They're bombed and I think they passed out cold," he said.  "Which means I'm going to have to wake them soon.

He need not have worried.  Soon we heard her coo "You were so handsome.  What happened?"

"You. Bad theater.  Twyla Tharp."

"Yeah, I never liked her, either."

"She's the one who's gotten old."

"You like Alvin's dance programs, didn't you," she asked.

I assumed that she meant Alvin Ailey, and she did, but the life of the party was back.

"Yeah, those Chipmunks were all alright."

"God Moe, you are killing me," she said in a Lucky Stripe raspy laugh.

These two weren't your average couple who had ingested too much booze.  These people were interesting, they knew their arts and that was fascinating to...

"Excuse me," I heard.

I turned around and it was, I guessed, "Moe".

"Me and the Mrs. haven't had a smoke since we got on this truck and we really need a smoke - you got a Kool on you?"

I explained, that no, neither of us smoked.

"Thanks anyhow," he said.  "Hey Doll," he called back to the woman lying on the seat, "you're going have to wait until the stop." I watched as Moe bounced back to his seat. 

In ten minutes, they were off the train.  Things got very quiet for the last 100 miles.

I wondered if they were going back to a some cold water flat, or something far more expensive than I could afford.  Most likely it was something in between, nondescript, but I bet they had the walls heavy with art and a forty year old stereo for their vinyl.

I wondered if in a few years the husband I will have our madcap moments, but the truth of the matter is that we are far more introverted and structured.  Our art doesn't match the sofa, but it also wouldn't thrill the avant garde.

And this is why I love the train.  Amtrak really is the great equalized, as long as you stay out of the quiet car.

They are freaking insane in there.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

One can never really say good bye to Omarosa


Well, we knew it was going to happen. 

Frankly, I am shocked it lasted as long as it did. 

Evidently, John Kelly found the balls to kick her to the curb.   I normally abhor violence against women, but in this case, the metaphor fits.

Omarosa was *resigned* from her job in the White House as a liaison to the Black Community.

*Resigned* means that she was terminated last night and according to April Ryan, there was a great deal of drama.  The unofficial official word is that Hellcat was dragged out of the Executive wing kicking, screaming, cursing and sometimes, all three at once.

But of course, Omarosa is telling people that she planned on doing this all along, so she *resigned*.

Quelle Surprise.

What did she do?

That seems to be part of the problem.

The morning after Judge Roy Moore pulled in less than 2% of the Black Vote in yesterday's election, we know that Manigault (I am not using her married last name because past behaviors as indicators of future behaviors, this latest marriage of hers won't last) was charged with building bridges with the Congressional Black Caucus, and with the Black community at large.

My sources tell me that Manigault was given to using the Executive Wing like it was her fiefdom. Until John Kelly put an end to it, she would attend meetings without invitation, she would miss meetings in which she was expected and when called upon to give progress on how things assigned to her were coming, instead of results, there were excuses.

Remember the whole "I understand that Frederick Douglass is doing great things," comment from Trump?  THAT happened because Manigault failed at tutoring Cheetolini on the who, who, why, where and how of Douglass. 

Omarosa also started a pissing match with April Ryan, the one of the leading journalist reporting on the Trump administration, who is also Black.  The two got into a heated exchange last spring when Omarosa started shrieking for other White House employees to come to her aid.   The thing is, if it comes down to Manigault v. Ryan, I am of course siding with Ryan, because Ryan live in the real world, is a world class journalist and she doesn't make stuff up.  April Ryan knows how to document stuff.  Omarosa makes shit up. 

And if you are keeping score, this brings the number of "high" profile blacks in the Trump Administration down to one.   That's right, Ben Carson is out there flexing his brand of crazy.

So in addition to the book deal she is going to get, the President's race problem has gotten better and worse.  Better in that she has been sent packing.  Worse in that now he must get another person of color into the Executive Wing pronto if he is going to keep from matters worse for him than they already are.

But Omarosa is a vampire.  She will never really fade away.  She'll be back.  I give a short while before she appears on the National Enquirer cover, or divorce court.

And like all great soap operas, the character isn't dead and in the coffin.  They can always be rewritten back in again.

She'll be back.




Wednesday, December 13, 2017

As we grow older...




Yesterday was Cookie's day at the dermatologist.

I had had my semi-annual poke and prod at the doctors, last week when I asked my doctor about a spot on my forehead.  With all the skin cancer warnings that have been flying about for years, I had noted a spot on my face where the skin text was different.  They tell you in the public missives that any skin that is oddly discolored, will not heal, bleeds, has an irregular shape, etc., should be examined. 

Like colon/rectal cancer, if caught early, skin cancer can be excised and cured.  Just like everyone seems to be on an anti anxiety or anti depressant drugs, everyone seems to know someone has had a little something removed, or have had Mohs surgery, or in rare cases, someone who has died from skin cancer.

So I told the doctor and I pointed at the spot on my forehead.

My doctor, a perfectly preserved man who is my age, and looks decades younger than I, is from deep, deep south and speaks in a drawl and is very good at what he does would need to look at it first, and then it would nothing or something, a something meaning that a dermatologist would examine it.

He looks, then squints and then says "I need to step out and get something."

He comes back with a small tube and says "I am about to invade your space." 

Instead of my forehead, he dives for a spot half way between my left nostril and my radial socket bone like a clumsy kiss is to be expected from a drunk.

He puts the tube up to his eye and my face and says "I saw this from across the room and I would like Dr. Soandso to look at it."

At what?  What about the forehead?

He's not concerned about the forehead, though Dr. Soandso can look at that, but that spot on your face...

He points, and I see a small round divet surrounded by a border of skin, like a crater. 

"That?"

Yes.  "That."

"You know Cookie, as we grow older...and being that the skin is the largest organ that we have, which comes as a surprise to most men...but I'm not a dermatologist, and THAT spot concerns me."

My heart sinks a bit.  He pats me on the shoulder telling me that everything will be OK, be that an extra set of eyes is a good thing.

So I go upstairs to the skin doctor, and am told that "Doctor doesn't have anything until spring.  What Does your doctor want looked at?"

I point to my face.  "That."

"What?  Oh, THAT. Let me check the PA's schedule.  I can get you in next Tuesday."

She assures me that I am not to worry but that the PA will take a closer look.  "If its nothing, its nothing.  If its something, then she can get the doctor."

I leave with a mountain of paper to complete and am told to come back in five days.

Five days I come page, am seated in the beautiful office, offered a Nespresso, to which I reply "no thank you, I had two this morning." I explain we have a Nespresso machine and was so nervous and sleepy that I need to wake up and cause my nerves to be even more on edge. The nurse laughs.

As I sit there, I notice two things.  First, the Christmas music being played at the level just barely loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to be forced upon you is a series of holiday classics interspersed with heavy organ compensations, that are almost dirge-like. 

The second thing I notice is the smell. 

The room, which is very nice bordering on beautiful - and thankfully has no TV - smells like unwashed bodies, and decay.  In walks a teenage boy with his father, the boys face looks like Disney's animated version of the moon.  Acne and pimples, and it looks painful, like he's been stung by wasps.  When he walks by I am almost knocked out by the odor of rank adolescence.  The poor kid is clean and well dressed, and from his coat, I know that he's a Gilman student.  But he is the midst of a puberty battle within so terrible, that you want to give money to a foundation to find a cure. 

My mind wanders.  God, I hated acne.  But who loves it.  I think about my school pictures, my face looking like a cheese pizza. If there was the Foundation for Explosive Acne, they would need to run commercials at Christmas time to raise money like every other childhood non-profit is doing.

I imagine that one of the commercials would feature this teenage boy and a voice like Sarah McLachlan saying in pained tones "Won't. You. Give. So Kyle can have a pimple free prom?" 

In another commercial, a gravel voiced Robert Duvall would say "A grandfather should never have to watch his granddaughter miss out on what should be the greatest night of her last year in middle school because of the stigma of blackheads, nodule and pustule acne." The visual is of the school orchestra giving its triumphant spring concert, and in the eighth grade section of brass, there is an empty chair, with a lone piccolo on the seat. 

And of course, adults would have to be included.  A third commercial features adults who say things like "I have enlarged pours, because no one told me the lasting affects of popping a cystic acne pimple."  A woman, red welts on her face who says "This shouldn't be happening to me, I am 32 for God's sake."  A woman in her early fifties "Menopausal acne is so misunderstood." 

I am finally escorted back to the PA's offices by a very nice nurse who takes my vitals, asks what I am in to see the PA about.  I point. "This."

"That?" she asks.  "I see, well the PA will have a good look - our patients love her.

My blood pressure is taken - its a we bit high.  My nerves are tightening.  I am alone.  Thinking, this is nothing or something horrible.

The clock ticks and I hear a wee knock on the door, and it opens.  The PA is a very small woman, of Asian heritage and she walks in carefully, almost apologetically, my paper work clutched to her chest.

"Well HELLO!" she enthusiastically says, smiling ear to ear.  We review my information, she types everything in on her tablet.

"What am I looking for?" she asks.   I point.  She shakes her head.  She hands me a mirror.  I point.

"That."

"That?"

"That."

She gets out her scope and she flies in, like a chimney swift, and out again.

"That?  NOTHING! Old acne scar." She smiles.  "And on the forehead?"

I nod, she swoops in and away.

"Flat wart.  Let me see you hands."  I, of course hand them to her.

"Oh, dark spots.  As we grow older...."  I get the speech.  But she starts looking at my fingers.  A sly smile comes over face.  "Just as I thought.  You have the flat wart, here too."

Where?

"There."

That?

"That."

Its a small dot residing on the swirl of my finger, that reminds me of the storm that exists on the swirls of Jupiter that NASA tots out and says "This storm on the face of Jupiter is larger than the planet we live on."

I am relieved, beyond words.  Cancer, no matter how small strikes a fear into soul.  I almost begin to cry, my eyes welling up a bit.

She explains that sometimes, "warts, like mice, are seldom alone."  I have had warts in the past, usually on the bottoms of my feet, and a podiatrist scoops them out, slaps a band aid on them and sends me packing.

"I burn them off," she explains, slathering a numbing gel on the two spots.  While we wait for the lidocaine to work, she tells me that she wants to do a body check in February, and will make sure that "the dead warts are gone. and make sure the rest of you are in good shape."

She draws a large cylinder, like a blow torch from a cupboard, keys the lock.  I have never had this done before and she explains that a small jet of liquidized nitrogen will come out through a microscope tube and "burn it away."

But before she does it she tells me to go home and take two Tylenol. 

"Because its going hurt?" I ask.

"Some people, it hurts.  But this going to give you one hell of a headache when I treat the forehead spot."

She wasn't kidding either. The spots themselves felt a sting, but when I walked out the door, I have one of the worst headaches of my life.  I am also relieved beyond all words.  Hearing the word "Wart" was like a Christmas present.  And, I think to myself, they really need to take your blood pressure after they deliver the good news.

The husband was relieved, too.  But only to a point.  After 21 years together, he knows me all too well. 

"You made an appointment for me, didn't you." 

"It's good insurance," I say.  "Besides, the skin in the body's largest organ. And as we grow older..."

Growing older isn't easy.  But its better to alternative to not growing older, warts and all.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Santa and his rocket ship



Long before Carter Osterhouse's parents even considered that they would meet, marry and have a child that would become a grade "C" celebrity on DIY type TV Shows devoted to Christmas decorations rivaling the Las Vegas Strip, this display in Marion, Ohio was everything in the world to the children of that city, and even spending the holidays with their grandparents who lived in that city.

In those days, Christmas lights were large C7 bulbs, that got hot, and blew fuses, or worse, didn't work because one or more of the bulbs had gone bad.  A string on this bush, a string on that bush, some over here, or not at all.

In Shaker Heights we were Jewish, 24/7, except for school hours, when the teachers decorated and teased us with stories where good giels and boys were rewarded with gifts and perfected happiness.  But if you were Jewish, it stands to reason that you are not going to celebrate the birth of someone who is going to take away three forths of your dues paying members at the temple and claim to be the Messiah. 

That meant: No Christmas trees.  No Christmas music.  Nothing.  We did get Hanukkah, but lighting a candle each day and possibly getting a gift a night was nothing like what Jean Shepherd called the "unbridled avarice" of Christmas morning.  One night an extended family member Syd and his wife Florence stopped by the house during Hanukah and passed out flash lights to my cousin's children (I was eight, and she was like 30) but they had none for me.  So Syd told me that I was too old for Hanukah presents.  I cried.  I'll cry again when someone takes away my car keys and says I am too old and blind to drive, too.  But that was like a knife.  So Florence whispered something in his ear and Syd realizing what he did ran out to the car and pulled the first thing out of the glove box - the car's manual.

HERE!  He handed me the manual to his ancient car.  I was instantly smitten with it.  Pictures, instructions on how to shift and clutch.  Best present ever. BUT Hanukah was a dangerous proposition, still because it was all spread out.  Everyday was a crap shoot.

Meanwhile, my cousins on my mother's side, who were not spoiled like I was, at least got presents on Christmas morning.  All I got was a bowl of Cream of Wheat, no friends to play with and nothing on TV but Sermonette.

THAT changed with my parents first divorce when I was but wee Cookie.  That was when my mother would scoop me up and over the river and down I-71 we would travel to my grandparents house for a week of shopping, presents, unending food and the feeling of safety lacking for me in Shaker.

My mother's people come from a long line of Methodist Episcopal's (They were the evangelicals in that faith until the civil war, then they were the Northern branch of the faith until the 1940s) and Baptists.  While the family respected God and the heavens above, and Sunday was viewed as a day of rest, I can't ever remember my grandparents going to church for anything but a wedding, the occasional baptism or the all too frequent funeral.  So Midnight Services was replaced by a big meal, one present, and a game or six of an old pinochle variation called "Horse" for the adults.  I would watch and get tired, my Aunt Mrytle (a shirt-tail Aunt) would watch folks play the game and let me lie down on the couch and rest my head on her lap and I would conk out.

Christmas morning was as it should have been. Tons of presents and toys.  Anything to shut Cookie up. Amen.

Cleveland had Christmas lights.  Better still, it had NELA Park, the GE labs in East Cleveland that in those days went bonkers with enough lights that they could have been seen in space IF anyone was up in space in those days.

But they didn't have this display.  And this display was everything to generations of children and adults.  It wasn't the biggest or the brightest.  But it was the BEST thing ever.

The two men behind it was obviously geniuses, both electro-magnetically and creatively, and the there was nothing like it at any place in Central Ohio in the 1960s and the 1970s.

The set up went like this.  Take a basic national homes ranch house, build a long-range TV antenna structure at the garage end (Marion is 50 miles from the nearest TV station, and in those days there was no cable) and then string a wire from the front door to the top of the tower. They needed three plastic Santa's - one on top of the gable over the front door, and one at the based of the twenty-five foot tower.  Then they needed one crescent moon, and three rocket ships.  The rocket ships were mounted to the wire and connected to the electric.

In the basement was the control panel with the motors and switches to control the contraption with a simple 1-on 1-off, 2-on 2-off, etc. serial.  When 6 switched off, the cycle ran without flipping a switch for a bit more time than the one/off cycles, and then the cycle repeated.  This went on for hours.  And it made it look like Santa popped out of the chimney, hopped in his rocket, which flew into space, landed on the moon, and then he appeared again at the base of the tower like he took an elevator down.  One of the granddaughters said that while the family was upstairs they could hear the relays and motors turning and clicking.

Yes, one had to surrender the idea that Santa used a sleigh and suspend disbelief that he had a rocket ship.  But it was glorious.  We would pull up in the car - it was a few blocks from my grandparents - and I would press my nose to the window and watch it and watch it and keep watching it until my mother got tired and we drove off.

But WOW!

The downer came when we went back to Shaker, and I tried to tell people about it and they thought I was lying.  They also thought that I lied about the pneumatic tubes and capsule systems that the department stores, Frank Brother's and Uhler's in Marion, used instead of cash registers.   I would have liked for them to believe me - that Christmas light Santa flew a rocket ship over a house on Sefner Ave, or that while shopping my grandmothers money was sent some place with a sales receipt though a vacuum tube,  only to be returned to the correct counter with the exact change.

After we moved to Marion full time, the lights, the rocket, the star still drew us out in wonder - even in high school.  Even those of who were clueless how to create anything like this knew it was possible.  One night my best friend and I were headed back to my house when we parked in front of the house and got out of the car to marvel at the display.  There was a sidewalk bench advertising the mom and pop dry cleaners around the corner, and one of the high school stoners was sitting their, high as a kite, with his "special lady", a skinny girl best known for getting sent home from school for wearing halter tops.

"HOLA, and seasonal greetings, gentlemen!" he called out.

We walked over and he offered us his joint - being the straight arrow teens that we were - for fear of anyone finding that we were gay (Hell, I had no clue my best was queer back then) we thanked him, but passed.

"Suit yourself, but me and Angie were taking in the sites. This shit over here," he motioned at the display - "is wild.  I call it Kamikaze Santa.  Dude pops out of the chimney steals the rocket and blows it the fuck up on the moon as goes all Robinson Caruso.  Maybe the kids laced his milk and cookies with hash."

Angie chimed in with "Isn't he," pointing at Stony, "so  Awesome?  I love the way he can see it straight, and in the abstract."

The idea that Santa would steal a rocket is blasphemy.  Part of my five year old self emerged.  Santa would never steal anything, let alone a sleigh.  And even if he did steal the rocket, he'd bring it back, because Santa doesn't take things, he gives things to good boys and girls.  And besides, the moon is made of cheese.

Well, what about the Santa at the bottom of the TV Antenna? If Santa went and blew himself and the rocket up, how do you explain that he's there?

Stony looked at it and continued to look at it and looked some more until five or six cycles had passed and then said "I need one more toke over the line sweet Jesus, to figure that out."

That was Stony then.  Today he and Angie have grandchildren and he likes President Trump.  Pot will destroy your brains people.  That shit will fuck you up like it did Stony.

Fuckin' aye! Molly Hatchet and all.

Now that I am much older, I miss those days and wish I had paid closer attention to the people around me and the neatness that was my life.  No other kid got to experience a life like mine, and see and live in two different places that were so different from each other.

It was a charmed childhood in Shaker, but nothing could compare with the simpler times in that old Ohio town at Christmastime.  Even with Santa flying a rocket to the moon and back.

Monday, December 4, 2017

From Dinette Set to Jet Set



Really now.  Who thought this was a good idea?  Anyone?  And at $18.95 in 1967 money?  Based on inflation, that is - and are you sitting down - a whooping $144.25 in 2017 money!


Not even the models look convinced it's worth it. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

My husband and I are in love...



...with our exterminator, Dennis. And Jack.  And Raysheen.  Or Rayray as he likes us to call him.

Oh, where to begin?

Let's start with Baltimore.  We live in a city built on a swamp.  We never had bugs in Ohio. But as someone said to me years ago "When you build a city on a swamp in the mid Atlantic, its bound to happen."

Our problem was two-fold: ants, and these mother fucking spider crickets. Have you ever seen a spider cricket?  Never saw them before we cam here, and Jesus, those mother fuckers scare the shit out me the first time I laid eyes on on one.  Literally I screamed.  That scared the shit out of the sogs, but think looks like a cross between a daddy long legs and cock roach.  And when you squash them they god SPLAT!

"You've never seen a spider cricket," said a coworker.  "First time I saw one wet myself.  Those mother fuckers are fast son's of bitches. Shit.  And they are all fucked up.  God's insect answer to a platypus."

In any event, we had problems.  Most 90 year old houses do have problems. 

Maybe it is that the people before us, who were peace loving, never angry Quakers, and they knew about the bugs, but never did anything to combat any problem they had in the house. You know how they abhor violence.   If a light switch went, they left it for fear of hurting the wiring.  Evidently "friendly persuasion" and reason don't work on broken light switches, cracked plumbing lines or on insect infestations.  They just put up with it all.

It quickly became apparent that everything from Bay leaves, to talc, to borax, to hedge apples, and every other natural way of getting rid of the bugs short of buying an aardvark wasn't working.

What we needed were chemicals.  We tried Raid and Tero, but no luck.  Clearly we needed to step up our game before it became an "issue".

So we shopped around, found a company both highly rated and affordable and they seemed nice enough, and the service visit did help.  We thought once and done was it.

Wrong.  At Christmas, the ants were back, swarming on the counter like a wave.  So we called the guy again, and out comes his brother - a smallish, round man who looked like Danny DeVito, who was just as nice as the first guy, who laid down more chemicals and sure enough, the ants went away.

In the spring, the problem raised its ugly head again, so we called, and instead of the owner, they sent out "Kyle".

Unlike the owner, Kyle was more like Zeus.

And reader, Cookie couldn't speak. 

Tall, ravishingly handsome, polite, helpful, and the owner of a body that could barely be contained by his shirt, or his pants.  I don't know how the zipper on his fly could withstand the pressure that his package was putting on it.

Kyle treated the problem and as he drove away I breathlessly called the husband, because we keep nothing from one and other.

After fifteen minutes of me raving about Kyle awakening something in me - the horny housewife who yearns for an affair with the cabana boy -  long dormant, the husband injected a "Really?  He made you feel like Shelley Winter's in the Chapman Report?"

Yup.

The following fall, here came those little six legged mother fuckers and I called for the exterminator and this time, there was no Kyle.

Instead, they sent me Rowkeyse, who said - after I nearly slaughtered it because I was drooling - "Nah, my mamma gave me that name.  Everyone calls me Key."  Key explained that Kyle was on his honeymoon so he was picking up his houses.  Key was six foot six inches of delicious man, with lips that would have put Englebert Humperdinck to shame.  And the man had hands that were an accurate portend - I hoped of what was in his pants.

"You see," Key started to explain, "An the cold weather blah blah blah..."

My eyes were transfixed by his body.   I wondered about his nipples.  Were the smallish and taut, or were broad, stretched by his magnificent pecs, or fleshy and...

"blah blah blah trying to find shelter."

Uh, huh.

Again, I let him do what I needed done to the house (no, not me) and when he came to me and said, "let's go in the dining room so I can show you something," I almost closed the curtains.  Good thing I didn't.

Instead he laid out the bills for the last three calls and said his boss "wanted me to show these to you.  Each time we're here, you are paying "X+1".  Well, two times "X" is enough for an annual contract, and blah, blah, blah...."

I was transfixed by his beauty, his presence.  This was a man who would be a firm, but gentle lover.  I was his, if only in my mind, and this is a top who would have tumbled for Key.  I was sunk.  So I did the only thing I could do: I yielded to his logic.

And in fact, had we signed the contract, we would have saved the $99 house call fee.  Duh.

"...blah, blah, and we would come out four times a year instead of the tree, plus any emergency calls in between are covered."

That dark chocolate god wanted to sell me a contract, and this savvy consumer who normally throws people out of the house for less said "Where do I sign?"

I mean, yes, from a money standpoint, it made sense.  But four guaranteed visits from Kyle, or Key, even if it was only in the professional sense was well worth it to brighten my humdrum days.

My husband was a bit less thrilled, until I showed him the numbers and their promise that they would be here at the drop of a pin.

"Of course, you know, now they send the ugly exterminators."

I stopped fantasizing and came down to earth.  It sounded like something I would fall for.  And what a business model.  Send in the gods with the killer good looks and the award winning personalities, get the contract signed, then send in the employees with "summer teeth and B.O.  How diabolically brilliant.

Thankfully, over the last seven visits, Kyle, Key and a host of their coworkers have only gotten better.

There was Billy, a sun tanned man in his late thirties from Southern Virginia, salt and pepper hair, the bluest eyes and deepest dimples.   "I think you have a paper wasp nest that could be a problem should that limb come down," was what he said, but what I heard was angels singing.

There was Rasheen, who Billy sent to take care of the wasp nest.  "Make sure your windows are closed for the next couple days just in case someone comes looking for their home."  Uh-huh. He had a million dollar chest with nipples I could latch onto, and a mega watt personality and smile.

And then is Jerry, late twenty something, ginger with freckles and shoulders and the most perfect ass I have ever seen.  Jerry is asstastic.  And he has a personalty that is so sweet, and eyes so green that he could tell me the house is about to crumble termites and I wouldn't care.

"I normally work in Howard County," he said the last time, "but I love coming here. You guys and the people next door and the woman across the street are just the nicest people."

So I asked Joannie who lives across the street what she thought of Jerry.

"You know, I hate the name Jerry, but on him, it's good. Even if he were named Nestor, he'd make it the sexiest name in the world.   He's like that guy in the Diet Coke commercial," she said.  "I work from home when Jerry is scheduled.  That way, when he's spreading that stuff to kill the vermin outside, I can have him all to myself in my mind."

Billie, who lives on our other side is a commercial artist who works from home as well.  She does illustrations for romance novels.

"I could make Jerry a star like Fabio. But when I am done with him he'd end up opening grocery stores, maybe get asked to appear on Dancing with The Stars.  Or worse, a bit part on a Lifetime movie."  She sipped some ice coffee and swirled around her mouth like a fine wine.  "I couldn't ruin him like that.  I hope his girlfriend is sweet and lovable and they they make lots of babies.  So the world will be a better place."

Then she added "I want to hate her, whoever she is. But I couldn't do that to Jerry."

Today we had Dennis.  Dennis, an Irish lad with a killer accent and the perfect narrow waist to broad shoulder ratio that puts every other man to shame.  Dennis, I told my husband is the man I would marry if I weren't married.  And as it happened, the husband was home today working in the yard.  To date, he had never seen any of these guys.  Today, he got an eye full of Dennis.

He got so smitten with Dennis that he turned off the core aeration machine, which we rented by the hour, to walk over and chat about bugs and vermin.

"Dennis told me," my husband said, "That there is an outbreak of rats over in , but that he'd make sure we were taken care of.  We talked about Ireland.  His people are from County Roscommon, like my people."  

As the husband went back out to his big honking yard machine there was a swagger in his step.

Its good to share interests with your mate.  Even if its oogling at the hired men.  Yup, neither of us can't wait to see some ants come this spring.






Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weight training at home...


... - Quietly.

Sounds awfully sneaky, sneaky, right?

As in Patricia Neil as "Livvie Walton" in the original broadcast movie of the Waltons movie "The Homecoming" asking "What'ya doing behind locked doors, John Boy?"

As in you mother wondering why you guys got so quiet in the basement. 

Yes, lifting weights at home - Quietly.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Jock Check



A posting on Facebook, leading to an article in The Atlantic on locker rooms and the culture of "manliness" brought back a whole bunch of childhood memories this morning, and not one of them good.

Normally, I push my bad Shaker Heights memories back - way back, and then I lock them down, deep down, and throw the key away.  We know now that while an unhealthy way of dealing with trauma, almost everyone does it because its a brains way of moving on.

For my fathers parents, the horror of escaping Russia before World War I was locked up and filed away.  For their grandson, it was the American version something just as traumatic, junior high gym.

First of all, we didn't have teachers in gym.  We had physical education coaches.  The problem with this nomenclature was that it was assumed that by seventh grade, you knew all the basics of every sport.  The coaches didn't seem like they wanted to teach us how football was played, the just want refine our skills.  So if you had zero understanding of how football worked (as a couple of us were), you were SOL.  (If you were a seventh grade girl in the early 1970s in Shaker, SOL meant "so out of luck."  If you were were a 13 year old boy, yes, it was shit out of luck and if you were me, it just meant "fuck me," in the ironic sense.)

Second of all, the "Coaches" were not bad people.  Let me say that again: the coaches were not bad people.  In fact if they were teaching in a Shaker School, they had to be qualified and well liked by their peers.  Shaker didn't hire second run personnel.  Even Blanche Brown, my sixth grade teacher was an outstanding teacher.  She was Evil, and no grass grows on her grave, but she was no slouch if you fit the mold of what one of her students should be.  If you were outside that mold, you were fucked. 

But the coaches they had back then were MEN, damn it, and that was the era that we lived in.  They were there to instruct you, not mollycoddle you. 

The unease didn't start until a friend from high school on Facebook brought up the topic and mentioned the practice in boys gym of the "jock check".

At the Junior High I attended, we had a first rate athletic complex in its own wing.  There was a girls gym was closest to the classrooms. The last building, at the end of the bus dock, was boys gym. A first rate natatorium, complete with guest bleachers split the difference.

On my first day of gym at the junior high, we were brought into the gym and told that in addition for changing into our gym uniforms (which in those days we short blue shorts, white tee shorts, whit gym socks and tennis shoes to be used only in gym) that we were also to be wearing jock straps.   The coach who made this announcement, while pacing up and down the single file lines that we were sitting in ("Indian style") made the announcement, followed by the statement "For some of you that will mean a rubber band and half a peanut shell."

This was the first minute that I felt totally unsafe and scared shitless.  Why?

First of all I had gone through early puberty.  How early? Started when I was 10, which was fourth grade, pimples in fifth and by sixth grade I was the boy with the lowest baritone voice in music music class, which delighted Mrs. Hamm, but brought even more unwanted attention down on me.   And then there was my dick and balls, which on a 30 year man would have been a gift.  But on a gawky gangley 13 year old made me feel like a freak.

Secondly, once we had said jock straps, we were all given twice weekly jock checks.  Whats a jock check?  It varied from school to school, but at our school it meant during roll, as the coach walked down the row, when he got to you, you had to reach your thumb up your shorts leg, hook it around the leg strap and pull on it and SNAP it.  It was degrading.  And twice each week I hated class, a little more, and I hate the coach even more so.  I don't know of anyone who enjoyed it.

Finally, there was the mandatory shower.  Teen boys stink.  I may have been over the puberty hurdle, but the two hundred other boys in Junior high weren't.  So the showers were just another hygiene thing they had to teach us.  So it was a quick in and out.

And this reader, is how I developed a hatred for sports locker rooms.   Combine all this with bad body image issues, and you get a recipe for a Cookie freak out.

But what The Atlantic magazine article gets at is, how did the locker room (baths excepted) become the place where men are at their manliness?   Where straight boys learn to be men?  By walking around the Y locker room with a towel over your shoulder?  Gross.  Dude, their are kids in there.  Wrap it up, OK?

What I really don't get is why do really old straight men love hanging out in sports locker rooms?  What is the deal with their love of the lounge?  They're not gay, but somehow, this is the only place that they can be at ease, surrounded by younger, and fitter men.  I just don't get it?

I mean if nothing else of the selfie era, we know that straight, gay and bi men LOVE posing for selfies in the sports locker room.  But the straight male dance of superiority in locker rooms has an erotic edge to it.  Like bull elephants, trying to out flex, out pose and out impress one and other, the whole thing becomes comic when a scrawny little guy walks in with the biggest dick in the world.  And at that point, everyone in the room knows that their muscles no longer matter.  Their perfect tans mean nothing.

The little insecure guy with the porn dick just won the show and tell.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Things I am thankful for


Happy Rooms.  You know it's happy because it says it's says it's happy.




Truth.





Children honoring their mother's with their own art.





Meat.





That I could be a puppeteer and I could amaze my friends that I had become a puppeteer, but that we live in a country with freedoms, and I choose not to be a "puppet", or it's "teer."

and, of course:




Carleen Fredricks.  Because she kicks ass when she takes the stage.  You wanna go up against Carleen?  She will kick you into next week, but humming beautiful music.


What are each of you thankful for?

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.  And what color is "Almost Mauve"?  It's what house painters call a "blush white" or a "pinkish white".   My friend Annie calls it "Spoiled Milk".

Now, intentionally, really, on purpose, another color aspires to be like "Mauve" of all things, but can't bring itself to fully 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 they can't come up with anything that's better than "Almost Mauve" for the name of a color? 

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, but PANTONE called "Blooming Dahlia".  And trust me, the tubers are angry about that farce, as well.

See the rest at PANTONE.