Friday, July 29, 2011

Tattoo You

Have you heard the one about how Kat Von D, the tattoo artist turned celebrity, got a portrait of that spectacular idiot Jesse James, the ex-husband of Sandra Bullock, when he was a kid, under her arm?

And then they broke up.
What a great catch he is

Seth and I are together for nearly 30 years and I have no intention of paying any attention whatsoever for his repeated pleas for freedom and mercy--which means he's not going anywhere. But I wouldn't have his, or anyone's (with the possible exception of Alex Trebek) face tattooed on my body.

I have no issue with tattoos. In fact, I wish I had the guts to get one. Nothing big. Just a tiny little "Cash Cab" on my ankle....with the lights flashing. But I don't have the guts so I will probably admire yours if I like it. 

But if it's Jesse James in your armpit, I will remain discreetly silent.

I think, when she did it, she was subconsciously aware that the relationshio had to end. He's a serial asshole and she's starting to look too much like a drag queen for it to have survived the test of time
Yup, that's her armpit, alright.

Also, if you truly love someone, you might place their image near your heart but not in a sweaty, stinky spot like an armpit.

Kat has also joined Mike Tyson, as well as a large portion of the inmates on my second favorite show (refer back to fourth paragraph if you've forgotten my first favorite), "Lock Up" by getting tattoos on her face.
It's a spray of stars on the side of her cheek. Again, not my thing....but it could be worse.  

For her lifestyle, it's no big deal. She will forever be a "personality." But like all women, her lovely tats will one day be grazing the floor and, thanks to age and loss of collagen and elasticity, those lovely vines and flowers will become a tangled, wilted mess.

But, I do believe it's Friday.and that means it's Costco frozen yogurt day (chocolate last week, vanilla today....I've grown tired of swirls: neither flavor is distinct), the day I finally destroy that gloating maniac, Seth, at gin....and the start of what, hopefully, will be a good weekend for you all.

Thanks for reading....and remember, you can "follow me" by signing up to the right of the page. See you on Monday.

Until then, don't get any tattoos you may regret. Like this one:
"Mom, you'll never believe what I did."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What You Can and Cannot Wear To a Night Club. Hint: No Stripes.

Don't bother praying, you're not getting in..
I just read an article in today's New York Times about the "dress codes" in trendy, upscale clubs in the borough of Manhattan, USA. either. Stop asking.

It appears, that among other things, striped shirts for men are out because they indicate that you are a "randy" member of "the bridge and tunnel" crowd--meaning that you are either from New Jersey or one of the boroughs and are just coming to get laid  have a good time. 

Well, of course. What else are you coming to a club for?

And, how many Manhattan residents aren't originally from either Jersey or the boroughs? Maybe three.

It is suggested, if you are a man and wish to be admitted, that you wear a blazer or a solid color button down or sweater. And, if you're a young lady, the minimum height of your heels must be five inches and they should preferably be "Christians."

Now, even though I'm a suburban drudge who just felt dangerously trendy wearing dollar store flip flops to the supermarket, I imagine not everyone can navigate the world on five inch heels...which is, obviously, what the club owners are saying. They know damn well who can and who can't.

I also know that "Christians," in this case, does not mean men in chain mail on horses carrying crosses during the Inquisition. They're Christian Louboutins--the type of shoes Oprah, the billionairess, wore on her show, crossing her cankles provocatively so that we damn well knew the pedigree of her footwear

I just checked what those shoes retail for and I think I may need a shot of Jack Daniels before my juice and oatmeaI. I knew they were expensive but the prices appear to start at around $700.

Pardon me, world, but that is insane.

And while I totally admit to being a reverse snob ("Where do you buy your flip flops if not at the dollar store? Oh, really? Well, I never!) this does not apply--$700 for shoes is, in a sane world, just plain stupid.

Sorry, girls. Save your money for a few weeks and buy a house. I hear they're going for very little these days.

I have always told my boys to dress well and based on good choices and smart shopping, it can be achieved despite a budget that doesn't include Louboutins.

I have no problem with club owners requesting no t-shirts, jeans, baseball caps or shorts. But, in this economy, if a patron can afford a $15 dollar martini, I might just say "Come on in!" instead of "Sorry, your shirt has are obviously a yokel, go home."

Not only that, but have you ever seen one of these chic, glamorous clubs with all the hidden fluorescent lights on while the cleaning crews are working---they are little more than the roach infested deli down the street....if that deli had fresh flowers and a sleepy attendant handing you a folded towel in the bathroom.

So, come on, you club these snobby club owners who's boss: Hang out on your front steps with friends, invest in the newest edition of Pictionary, go to the local diner in a group and enjoy a big Greek salad....don't let them tell you can't wear striped shirts or three inch heels.

Or, come to my house.

There may be a "behavior code" and you will, of course, have to bring cake but I will tell you exactly where the fire exits are ("Right over there, to the right of the cat dishes."), plus you can wear dollar store flip flops and I'll charge you a lot less for a drink.

I'll also make sure you use the bathroom before you head back to the bridge or tunnel. It's a long ride.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rob a Bank or Eat Peanut M&Ms? You Decide.

Actual conversation overheard In the food court of the mall yesterday:

First Idiot: "If I found out I was going to die soon, I would rob a bank so I would have lots of money to do stuff."

Second Idiot: "Yeah, that's a really good idea. Me, too."


First of all, robbing a bank -- even unsuccessfully -- probably takes a lot more preparation than those two appeared capable of.

First and foremost, one must be able to write a note to slide under the plexi-glass partition to the teller.Your handwriting must be legible and you should be able to spell well enough to write the word "gun"  correctly.*

You need a clean hoodie and a getaway vehicle and it helps if you look like Al Pacino in "Dog Day Afternoon" which I cut school to go see them filming in Brooklyn in the 1970's.

Believe it or not, it was the only time in my entire public school career that I ever cut school. I waved goodbye to my mother while walking in the proper direction only to double back around the block to get on the subway at the corner. Tricky, I know.

Plus, it is only for Al that I would have done such a thing.
Now, that's what I'm talkin' about.

And yes, he was very, very cute in person.

Although, he was at his pinnacle of cuteness in "Serpico," which I did not see them filming.

I'm pretty sure there's other stuff you need to plan out but I'm not sure what so, clearly, I am not cut out for robbing banks.

Second, no one ever looks good in the grainy still photos taken from the surveillance tapes that they show on the six o'clock news. And on the wanted posters. 

It also puts your friends in a tricky position because they will definitely be able to identify you even if you're wearing a George Bush mask because you might forget and put on that old sports jersey you got for Christmas with your name across the back.

They will also have to make a choice between the $10,000 reward and your continued friendship. No offense, but I know which I'd choose.

All in all, it's just too complicated. Which is why I chose to suggest to both Idiot One and Idiot Two, totally unsolicited, that they might be better off buying a lottery ticket, adding that if I found out that I was dying soon, I would immediately eat my weight in peanut M&Ms because it wouldn't matter anymore if I did.

They were very, very surprised by my interruption of their discussion. So much so that I was able to grab my tiny shopping bag from The Body Shop and flee on my very short legs before they could respond.

I hope I scored a point for law and order. 

*Please, I beg you, watch this clip... it's only two minutes long.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Another Monday: A Dangerous Cult,The Debt Crisis and the Death of Amy Winehouse

What a shame.
When I awoke this morning, I did what I usually do...grope around and pat the heads of the cats that have come to snuggle close and then, to their annoyance, snap on the TV quickly in order to avoid any thought of my own actually popping into my head.

As I've mentioned before, thinking can be too destructive but today's news really made me squirm:

I see, yet again, that the powers responsible for preventing the world from entering an era of total financial ruin are, yet again, engaging in what is consistently described as "brief sessions" at the White House.

Brief sessions?

Pardon moi, but if Seth and I were about to lose our home and put ourselves, our children and our children's children into debtor's prison, lose our credibility and, because of the ripple effect of our personal stupidity and lack of foresight, cause our neighbors to struggle financially as well, you can bet your smart phones (ass wagering app) that we would be discussing the problem 'round the clock until we came up with a solution.

I then wondered, as I regularly do, what sort of eye liner John Boehner is wearing because it looks great---very natural, not too smoky, doesn't run when he cries---very flattering

Next, it's Amy Winehouse. I happen to love her music and rock out regularly to "Back to Black" in the car. I kind of liked her gross hair and creepy makeup and had been pulling for her to defeat her demons as I anticipated another great album sometime in the future.

But here's a girl who gave her life away.

Yeah, yeah...some creative people are "too sensitive for the world." I've heard those excuses and don't care. Get help, sensitive artists. Stop buying ketamine,coke and heroin and washing it all down with a bottle of vodka and being found dead in your apartments.

Straighten out your acts and get back to celebrating the talent that God chose to give YOU.

This morning's next totally retch-worthy story was about Warren Jeffs, the leader of a Mormon fundamentalist sect who built his cult around a man's right to have as many wives as he wants.

This, in itself, doesn't bother me. I have no problem with whatever assholery takes place between consenting adults and, in fact, have long suspected that Seth has a second family near his job. I hope his other wife is more agreeable than I am.

But, for this self-proclaimed prophet, "many wives" means marrying 11 year old girls. Where are their mothers? Totally brainwashed, so forget about them...they don't deserve the title. And Warren Jeffs doesn't deserve a penis so I advocate it's immediate removal.

So there you have it, just another Monday morning at "Susan Says..."

We've covered the financial ruin of Planet Earth, drug overdoses and the removal of a man's most precious possession and I don't mean his Brett Favre autographed jersey.

Until next time....

Friday, July 22, 2011

What Do Julius Erving and Mussolini Have in Common? More Than You Think!

If you are strong of heart and can, typically, keep your eyes open during whatever is on the other end of "the following surveillance footage may prove disturbing..." picture this:

I sleep in a position that could be interpreted as either the facist salute or the great Julius Erving, sinking a jump shot.

I am neither implying that Dr. J is, or ever has been, a facist nor that facists enjoy basketball---but they might, it is a great game.

What is happening, is that I am getting stiffer and turning from side to side, during the night, isn't as painless as it once was.

A turn from left to right now means that Dr. J or Mussolini must flip -- picture an oxygen-deprived fish with one dead fin --to the opposite side until the sore fin "defrosts" and can, once again, be of service.
Actually, I do like basketball.

Once the stiffness in the fin, er, I mean the arm subsidesit is of minimal use so it's a huge relief that I rarely (notice I didn't say never) have to summon a cab from my bed in the middle of the night.

Even in my younger, pre-stiffness years, I used to contemplate how much easier it might be to sleep if ones arms could be unscrewed and laid on dry ice in the "night limb storage locker" until the morning. I neglected, however, to factor in the necessary leverage arms and legs provide when changing position

So, while I keep my arms screwed on at night, lately they are of little use unless you count getting Italy's trains to run on time or being the high scorer for the Nets--all before sunrise.

Jealousy will get you nowhere.

It is on this note that I wish you all a grand weekend. Keep cool, smile a lot if possible and remember that I appreciate that you read this blog very much.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Oh, We're Having a Heat Wave..."

My air conditioning broke down yesterday.

For some reason, I wasn't even surprised.

After all, if it's going to make a statement, it might as well choose a sweltering night in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave in which to do so.

And, for some odd reason, I am not upset. This may have a lot to do with the fact that the end is in sight. My repair guy is coming this afternoon to fix it....and I plan to hide in a dark corner of the house until he gets here.

Plus, I took a xanax.

I hate the hot weather. Always have. My mother and I, during my un-airconditioned youth in Brooklyn, always tried to make the best of it but would celebrate the arrival of Autumn with joy and relief.

Cold soups (Hungarians love 'em--ask me for a recipe if you're interested) were for lunch, corn on the cob might be for dinner with very little else---we'd each eat at least five ears. And, at night, I'd head for the bakery around the corner -- under the elevated subway --for nickel ice pops. The available flavors were lemon, orange and cherry. Occasionally, and to our great delight, pineapple would make an appearance.

My friends and I used to pretend that we are wearing lipstick after having a cherry ice. They stained our lips bright red and melted into indelible rorschachs on our summer clothes as we sauntered home under the street lights.

If it became unbearable, we'd spring for a movie or head to the library where the air conditioning was so strong that it felt like a meat locker. We loved it. We'd pull books from the shelves and read them right there, sitting across from each other at the light, polished wood of the wide library tables.

When I was very little, we did something that no one in New York would ever consider today.

If it was extremely hot, we would drag our mattresses to the front of the house and sleep with the doors wide open to the front stoop. My mother and grandma would sleep closest to the door so that if someone decided to kill us they'd get whacked first.

I didn't worry about that, though. This was before the city went into the dark ages of the 70's but all I knew was that I was protected by not one but two mama bears. No one could have gotten past them. I slept deeply.
Even he would not have stood a chance against my mother and grandma.
Other friends would sleep on fire escapes. All we sought was air. We didn't harbor illusions about cool breezes.

Accepting summer meant accepting oppressively hot nights and steamy days. 

We were in it together.

Everybody was hot. Who had air conditioning back then, anyway? 

As the years passed, a lucky few got window units and entire families would sleep together on the hottest
nights in jigsaw puzzle configurations of mattresses and sleeping bags.

We did that with my own sons when they were little, singing songs and telling stories in the darkness until the white noise of the air conditioner lulled us to sleep.

I miss it all....grandmas on mattresses, refrigerated libraries and movie houses, ice pops for a nickel. Modern life keeps us cool but more distant, no?

Why Tipper left.
Keep cool today, friends. And if Al Gore calls to ask your opinion about global warming tell him his ego is so big that it's causing the glaciers to melt from the radiant heat it emits.That'll shut him up.

Now enjoy this classic hit....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Bet Madonna Would Have Done the Same Thing.

Today I answered the phone thinking that the call was one I had been waiting for....

I picked up the receiver and in my best (sanest) grown-up voice, chirped a bright and cheery "Hello!?!?" only to have another bright, cheery voice chirp "Hello!" right back and ask me how I was doing.

Still uncertain as to the origin of the call (the caller ID was inconclusive, which would have been a clue to anyone not stoned on a combination of cat dander and poppy seeds from a recent bagel), I responded, "Fine thanks...and you?"

It was then I realized that this was a recorded call that had been timed for a response and which then went on to say, "Good to hear!! I have great news about your a) pathetic credit rating b) apparently endless mortgage payments or c) the dead squirrel that's been wedged into your chimney since last winter!"

It was one of those but I didn't listen long enough to be entirely sure.

When I realized I'd been duped, I hung up and stared at the phone with crazy eyes for several seconds. I then looked at Buzzy who was reclining on a nearby chair and gazing at me with pity--the kind of look he reserves for total morons who are fooled by recorded phone calls.

I actually felt really embarrassed---I'd been humiliated in front of my cat, which is never good.They wait for stuff like that so they can feel better about the time they over-estimated the distance between the floor and the bathroom counter and crashed into the mirror.  

And, if you're me (and it's really hot out) embarrassment has a tendency to morph into rage very quickly.
So, I did what anyone would do.

I opened the back window and, literally, hurled the phone into the backyard as far as I could.

I was very impressed with how far it went but before I sign up for a local softball team, allow me to remind myself that my strength was fueled by a case of rather demented anger.

For a brief moment, I felt great. Empowered. Vindicated. Queen of the Jungle. Mistress of my Fate. I was Madonna, on stage at Madison Square Garden, wearing a black leather bra in the shape of ice cream cones.

Even better, I was Pat Benatar, in full eye liner, singing "We Belong" in her video of the same name.

I was totally bad ass.

I looked at Buzzy again. His eyes were very wide and if there had been a cartoon balloon over his head it would have said "Have you gone nuts??? Go get the phone and grow up."

So, I went and got the phone. Growing up, obviously, is going to be a challenge.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Crazy Voice, Andy Garcia and a Cold Root Beer.

Root beer, Susan?
 I sound just like a Mah Jong Lady...

The kind with deep, raspy voices and leathery skin from years of dedicated tanning with no sunscreen because, in 1963, who knew the sun was trying to kill us?

Please don't be angry. Not all people who play Mah Jong develop "the voice" or got too tan or are even from New's a stereotype. And yes, stereotypes can be hurtful but I'm going with this one.

Call my attorney if you want to take legal action. I'll be using the same jury that was used for the Casey Anthony trial so you don't have a snowball's chance in hell.

In any case, I heard myself yelling at the cats this morning while still in bed, eyes closed, and I sounded like a 75 year old New Yorker who's smoked all her life.

I am neither 75 nor have I ever smoked a single cigarette. I knew I'd never smoke. But I did try one. It was being smoked by my cousin at the time and I asked for a puff. I'm still coughing from that one drag I took. And they're still laughing. I was 11.

But here I was, accusing Nifi,aka The Mad Pooper, of unspeakable crimes (he had, indeed, just left a giant man-size poo right outside the litter box) in this new and terrible voice.

I have nothing to blame it on but the hot and sour soup I had for supper from a new Chinese take-out place whose hot and sour was so searingly spicy that I think it may have simulated about 45 years of smoking as it traveled past my vocal chords on the way to my tummy.

To cut to the chase, I was rudely awakened from a dream by the curling plumage of Nifi's stink as it floated sinuously from the bathroom to my slumbering nose. 

And I was having a good dream.

Andy Garcia was buying me a root beer.

Why Andy Garcia, I have no idea but there are far worse people with whom to be sharing a soda. Am I right, ladies?

And, best yet, it was the Andy Garcia from "When a Man Loves a Woman" which is where he puts up with Meg Ryan's crap for an entire movie as opposed to the Andy Garcia from "Godfather III" which is where he is overacting dangerously in order to appear believable as an Italian.

But I do think I wanted the root beer due to the Chinese food which was pretty salty....and delicious. Except for the soup.

I am now going to clean up the giant poo. I keep the litter boxes pretty clean (except when I don't) but Nifi has become very hard to please. He likes leaving his horrifyingly large "gifts" in perfectly clean boxes which is simply not always possible.

I cannot dream of having a cold root beer with Andy Garcia and change litter boxes at the same time.

But I can wish you a great weekend free of bad news. It's been a crazy week, America, hasn't it?). Thanks for reading....see you on Monday!
The irony is that Mah Jong originated in China.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Tablecloth, Part Two

I'm not going to beat around the bush.

Sometimes, no matter how painful, the truth must just be blurted out:

The tablecloth that saved the day...

That salvaged my reputation...

That buoyed my spirits when I was locked in my lethargic little world of poor time management...that redeemed me in the name of  Sandra Lee and Nate Berkus...that whitened my teeth 2 shades...that prevented me from limbo-dancing directly under the bar leading to the dark side and worse--a possible subscription to the magazine, "Martha Stewart Living"...

... met an untimely and awful fate

Seth thought it was disposable and threw it away.
He did what? I will make his skull into a planter!
In the garbage. On garbage night. Taken away by men in ungainly gloves. Gone. Forever.

I am very calm now.


The yelling that ensued the next morning, upon discovery of this travesty, is now listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the loudest ever recorded -- based on decibels and pitch -- in the western hemisphere since last year when it was discovered by someone who really, really loves Costco frozen yogurt that the yogurt machine was broken for the second week in a row. 

What can I tell you. I express myself in sound.

Don't be a hater.

As for Seth....

He had no choice but to become a Buddhist monk and can now be found at the Dragon Cliff Zen Center in upstate NY where he is currently enjoying isolated meditation until his hearing returns.
Seth strolling with his new friends.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Tablecloth-or-Entertaining While Hysterical, Part One

Company coming. Oh, God.


What shall I cook? Why haven't I restained the kitchen cabinets, replaced the tile in the bathroom, seen Macchu Pichhu (wait---that's a different blog....)?

First order of business---become immobilized for several weeks. Sit by window and bitterly regret any and all invitations extended to other humans.

Then two days before company is due to arrive, get busy. Very.

Fling yourself down on chubby knees to shpritz and scrub under the two inches of fridge that no one really sees but is very dirty. As the grime easily wipes away, wonder why you don't do this more often.

Do the same along and under all heat registers, including the ones in the bathroom. By the end of all this shpritzing, chubby knees are locked. Look around for help. There is none to be had. Consider remaining on the floor until Seth comes home but his arrival is hours away and you would miss Cash Cab.

Curl into fetal position and suck thumb for several minutes, then just get up.

Walk into kitchen, admire your very, very minor work.

Panic again.

Consider getting all the repairs you have put off for the past 11 years done in one afternoon. Once you accept that this is not possible, become belligerent.

Mentally assault your as-of-yet unarrived guests. Eyes darting, silently, accuse them of being demanding bastards who expect too much. This dysfunctional attitude makes it okay that you have yet to replace the door your son punched through ten years ago when impulse control was still just a frothy pink dream on the horizon.

Continue on to become thoroughly defensive and decide that if your visitors don't like what they see, they can goddam well leave.

Shout the words "Like it or lump it!" loud enough to be heard by the UPS man in the neighbor's driveway and to rouse the snoozing cats who have witnessed this scene many times before.

Calm down -- as the cats knew you would -- and slowly breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. Decide to simply do what you can...

Grab handful of Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons and leap into car.

Drive at unsafe speeds to store because you've decided that those demanding bastards might enjoy eating outside but you need a tablecloth for the table which took a beating this winter because you were too lazy to cover it.

Growl quietly at every sales person who greets you as you careen through the aisles of the store like a sasquatch on crack and audibly snort when you hear a voice on the loud speaker refer to a customer needing help as a "guest."

Say the words, "If I am a guest, give me a sandwich," loud enough to be heard.

Snort again, loudly enough to damage your septum and become unreasonably despondent. Make a mental note to play Power Ball every week from now on so you can win millions which will, of course, solve nothing everything.

On the way to the tablecloth department become distracted by all the shiny, pretty things in the other sections. Fondle a wafflemaker until people around you become frightened and back away.

Try to explain to them that since your sons have moved out, you no longer need a waffle maker. Ask them if they like waffles. Ask them again. Watch them run toward the front of the store.

Arrive in tablecloth department.You know the size you need because you used to work in the tablecloth department of Macys Herald Square. Reminisce privately for a few minutes about the time the guy with no pants came in and Phil The Floor Manager had to call security.

Look at all your No. Too busy. Stripes? No. Too striped. Little village scene depicting quaint European street of undetermined country that you think might be Paris? No. No. No.

Spot a display of vinyl with flannel-backing. Perfect for outdoors--they can be wiped off, they come in solid colors and they are on sale!!

Shuffle through them until you find the perfect red one that will make your teeth look whiter and your dishes look newer.
May I ring this up for you?

Grab your size and run in great loping strides to the register and brandish your coupon at the yawning clerk with the pierced eyebrow who is barely able to conceal her hatred for you.

Cheerfully tell her that you don't need a bag and run out to the car holding the cloth and the sales receipt conspicuously aloft lest someone accuse you of theft.

On the way home challenge yourself to see how little you can use the brake pedal.

This tablecloth has made it okay that you never quite finished repainting the hallway since you repaired the sheet rock after Charlie's ass went through it during a wrestling match with his father or that all the houseplants in your living room are dead.

Your new red table cloth is all you need for success as a hostess.

You rip it from it's plastic and put it on the table and feel happiness seep into your soul. It will all be okay now.  It will all be okay.

Or will it?

Learn the fate of the red table cloth in tomorrow's post.....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Head Case Betty

Miss Fritzi never married.
My oldest cat, Frtizi, has always been a sensitive sort.

Born to be a super model, she has posed in the sun for years but like so many with her enviable beauty, has suffered from the effects of being extremely high strung.

Hence, the nickname of Head Case Betty.

When Fritzi becomes Head Case Betty, she is sent to "the sanitarium" for as long as necessary to correct the problem. The problem, one that troubles many women cats of a certain age is, of course inappropriate peeing.

And, the sanitarium is the small bathroom off the master bedroom. We appoint it with a blanket-lined basket, food and drink as well as her very own litter box. We visit often throughout the day to administer affection and soft words of encouragement.

"Good girl, you can do it...use your little box-ie, good girl!"

My question is this: If you had an aunt (albeit a small furry one) living with you who took to peeing up your couch cushions or your fresh laundry, wouldn't you kick her ass straight into an institution?

I would.

Or, if you had a grandma (albeit a petite, whiskered one) who cleaned her private parts in company, one leg carelessly stretched over her head in order to provide optimum access, making weird little biting noises, wouldn't you make sure she was in a strait jacket and being carted out of your house on a dolly rather quickly?

I would.

This is what you get if you google "cat in strait jacket"

And, how about if you had an elderly cousin living with you (albeit one with occasional ear mites) who periodically hocked up a hairball under the kitchen table or on your bed, wouldn't you send her to another living situation post haste but not until assuring the cousin who got her next that she was very well-behaved and not any trouble at all?

I would.

But Fritzi isn't an aunt or my grandma or even a cousin. She's my little bag of feathery fur who I love very much.

Rock on, Fritzi--you're safe. They don't make strait jackets your size.
When not institutionalized, Fritzi likes to hang with her home girl.

Friday, July 8, 2011

You May Not be Able to Tell But I'm Beating Clothes Against a Rock At This Very Moment...

I am doing this right now
Yep, I am working very hard.

Can't You tell?

If you were here, you could hear the churning and whirring coming from the dishwasher.

That, my friends, is the equivalent of me standing by the sink elbow deep in hot suds with an aching back, blowing wisps of hair out of my eyes.

If it weren't for the modern marvel of the dishwasher, I would be battling dried tomato sauce or chocolate syrup or whatever stubbornly clings to a cup, saucer or bowl. The fact that the dishwasher is doing it for me doesn't negate my efforts because the job is getting done....and I am, therefore, entitled -- guilt free -- to sit down here, in my jammies, tapping away to you.

Next, a load of clothes will enter the washing machine dirty and emerge clean and fresh, ready to be popped into dryer from which they will reappear dry and, if folded quickly, nearly wrinkle-free.

This is, obviously, the equivalent of two hours (at least) of back-breaking labor.

The kind once done by my grandma in the deep tub of our kitchen sink.
She actually had one of those old-fashioned wringers that would squeeze out the water and would then hang each item on a line in the backyard.

Grandma's ancestors would beat laundry against the rocks of the stream that ran behind the hut....therefore, I am actually doing this very work while I sit back with a crossword puzzle or a catatonic expression in front of Cash Cab After Dark (where the dollar values are doubled!!).

Take this to heart, American women who feel you must accomplish other things while your appliances are plugged in and doing their jobs.

That is pure nonsense. Put up those feet, pop a bon bon, grab that copy of Cosmo, put a fresh topcoat on your pedicure or just tilt your head like a bird and stare out the window to your hearts content---you are hard at work and don't let anyone tell you different!!

Have a great weekend....thanks for reading!
She's actually hard at work right now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Current Events: Casey Anthony and Verrazano the Kitten

Taken after her child went missing.
I, "Television Girl, did not turn on the set yesterday.

I will often snap on the TV while doing work around the house so as to prevent myself from thinking.


Because thinking, if you're me, can be dangerous.

I can come up with stuff to worry about, punish myself for and feel guilty about so quickly and creatively that if awards were handed out for such things, I would win every year just like James Gandolfini did for his role as Tony Soprano. I hope he bought his own tuxedo. I would have.

So, I choose to watch Rachel Ray ricochet between fridge and "garbage bowl" or lose myself in the flare of Nancy Grace's vindictive nostrils. Though oft-annoyed by day-time TV's banalities, I am better off than if I allow the angst to creep in and set up shop in my brain.

But today there was none of that. My own dark thoughts were preferable to what I was trying to avoid...

Casey Anthony.

You know....the woman who is getting away with murder.

The woman who chose not to alert authorities that her daughter was missing for 31 days. Unbelievable? Not if you're a sociopath who wants to shed the burdens of motherhood. Then it makes sense.

The woman who fabricated a nanny and blamed her for her child's disappearance. The woman who competed in "Hot Body" contests at bars during that 31 day period and, while her daughter was missing, got a tattoo in Italian on her scrawny shoulder that translates to "Beautiful Life."

Hard to believe? Nah. Not if you're a remorseless murderess.

If Tom, at age 26 and Charlie, a soon-to-be 22 year old man, are unaccounted for for more than ten minutes, I contact the FBI... 

...Casey Anthony put duct tape over her child's mouth.

Today she will be sentenced. And, according to the talking heads on cable news, may walk out of the courtroom as a free woman.

What did I learn before taking my brief moratorium from daytime TV? Do you mean beside the fact that it's completely possible to get away with murder? I knew that already thanks to the O.J. trial.

But I did discover that many legal pundits appear to be women. 

Besides Nancy Grace, who is a category unto herself, Marcia Clark has resurfaced looking 15 years younger than when she prosecuted O.J in the nineties. She shares air time with other attorneys and jury specialists all of whom have an opinion on what happened in Florida three years ago.
Marcia Clark--a progression
They wear flowery summer frocks with matching cardigans and chunky jewelry, smiling as they try to explain why the jury acted as they did.

The jury acted as they did because their decision might have sent a woman to the electric chair. While defense attorney Jose Baez pompously intoned that "Little Caylee would not have wanted her mother to die," a jury clearly feels the weight of a capital case. As well they should.

But in this case, a murderess goes free.

She would be safer behind bars, don't you think? America truly hates her. If she's not killed on the street by some vigilante (or Nancy Grace), maybe she's got a future as a porn star. Not even Dancing with the Stars will want her.

On a totally different scale but speaking of villains, nonetheless--someone threw a five week old kitten out of a moving car on the Verrazano Bridge in New York City yesterday.

Miraculously, an animal control officer was driving behind the car and stopped traffic to save the kitten who bounced off a wall instead of disappearing into the water below.

The cat, named "Verrazanno," is now up for adoption.

Perhaps I would hand out death sentences like breath mints at a PTA meeting, but I'd send that bastard to the gallows along with Casey.

I can only suggest that if I am summoned for jury duty, this be kept in mind before I am given a seat on a panel and a handful of lunch vouchers. Attorneys, feel free to use this blog for reference.

I may have to turn off my TV more often. My own thoughts may not be so bad after all....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Small Town Fourth of July

What a pretty girl!
When I was a kid, the Fourth of July meant that you hid in your house all day.   

Firecrackers were a popular projectile in the 70’s and my mother was firm about not going far from home but we had our own anticipated traditions.  

Though way too “off the boat” to grill,  we still made sure to have hot dogs and other things American to enjoy until it was time to sit on the stoop in the evening and watch distant (therefore, safe) fireworks over the apartment building across the street. 

We ate ice cream from bowls as the smell of gunpowder hung in the sultry air over 55th Street. The next day the garbage trucks would rumble through the neighborhood  and tired men would sweep up the thousands of fire cracker wrappers that had collected against the curbs.
 Here, many miles and years away from childhood, the Fourth of July is more as I imagined it should be: smiling and waving at familiar faces in a local parade, hot dogs on the ball field with home-town politicians making speeches and grills getting fired up in too many backyards to count—the combined smell of sausage, steaks and burgers forming an aromatic haze over the entire town. 

Though I tend to be more inclined to feel estranged from the mainstream, I get into it on the Fourth whether at my house or yours and proudly scratch my mosquito bites the next day, happily confident that the ketchup stains on my jeans and the sunburn on my nose make me as American as anyone whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower.
My two sons are home for the weekend and, since it’s been a tradition for the past  sixteen years, again they sat—side by side—on the curb, watching their town parade go by. We knew what to expect once the festivities began. 

There would be local teams and scouts, political hopefuls, fancy cars, gleaming fire trucks and my favorite part— the veterans, visibly older but carrying their colors, some proud, some sad, but all determined to be counted on this day. Each Fourth, of course, there are fewer who remember World War II, their numbers thinning as the years fly by.     

One particular gentleman caught my attention as he approached. Straight and handsome in the passenger seat of an open Jeep, this veteran of the Second World War noticed my boys in the summer heat and looked at them very specifically, his head turning towards them as he rode by. Tom and Charlie were unaware but my husband and I both took notice.  

Whatever this fellow may have been  thinking as he looked at my sons, his actions many years ago—whether he served stateside or on his belly in a muddy trench across the ocean, laid the groundwork for their presence on that curb, squinting into the sunshine, enjoying hot coffee and bacon, egg and cheese on a roll.  What privilege. What plenty. 
A classic--rent it!
I’ve seen enough Jimmy Stewart movies and hummed along to enough Irving Berlin medleys so that this moment was not lost on me. The tears rolled down my face until I was hit by a Tootise Pop thrown into the crowd. Since it was cherry, I gave it to my husband—that’s his favorite flavor. 

So, as they came from other countries to make their home in a new world where independence was eventually declared and later celebrated in countless cities and small towns across America, so we came to our new home here.   

Former stoop-sitting city dwellers seeking something better. Whether we found it is not the point .The point is that we sought it—a yard, a parking space, a place to plant a garden, freedom from congestion and bad air, the kind of place we dreamed of as kids as we hid from firecrackers in Brooklyn. 
Whether we like what’s happening in our country today or not, I challenge you to find a better spot on earth. Since I’m pretty certain that there’s something in the Declaration of Independence  about the inalienable right to be corny, I always exercise that right on the Fourth of July..   

I hope you did, too. 
There's always room for a fart joke.