Archive for the 'Humor' Category

On Another Note



Ever since Hollywood made such a mess of my book, “More Than You Want To Know About Me,”my life has been a closed pamphlet — and yet here I am writing an open letter just as if I didn’t respect my privacy and was about to let the calico cat out of the bag again. I am just so special and it really wasn’t fair the way Meryl Streep played me with a lockjaw upper Eastside NYC accent. I mean we never even met. “They” wouldn’t let me come out for a conference and a pedicure at the Beverly Hilton and if you’re at all interested — “they” are the director, the producer, the stars and that goddamn snotty little script girl who was sleeping with everybody (alternately I believe but you never know in tinsel-town) right after lunch on a daily basis. How, you may well ask, do I know these things? Well I have my sources and if I were to name names I wouldn’t have them any more now would I and then what? There have been rumors about my long term friendship with Dominick D. but there hasn’t been a murder connected with my movie yet so what our talking on the phone for two hours every night has to do with anything I’ll never know.

We’re just friends and he appreciates my brilliant, unique psychic predictions of future mayhem and — well I’m sorry to say — there is going to be another murder — big names, blood, a missing shoe and all that — and we’ve been going over the details. That’s ALL I’m going to say at this time. More later.

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Disclaimer: Don’t worry–not a word is true.


In Memorium


Although my Mother was nearly ninety-three when she died, she was never old enough to receive Modern Maturity, the AARP monthly sent to every member, like it or not.

“God damn it to hell,” she would shout when it arrived so as to be heard as far as the duck pond across from her townhouse in El Reno, Oklahoma and the cemetery down the block where her ancestors slept. The publication was so repulsive that several days passed before she could lay a hand on it. Then suddenlyshe would stub out her cigarette, rise from her prone position on the couch, pick up the despised magazine and toss it with extraordinary precision–considering she was not athletic, hated to walk or move about unnecessarily–from some distance into the wastebasket.

“I’m not mature enough!” she’d say and then, as if she’d heard a chorus of protestations. “No, and I never will be either. So there.”

She must have had her last cigarette on the evening of September 3, 2000, because the next morning I found her, via telephone which she answered as if nothing were wrong, by her bed on the floor where she’d fallen, following, as I later learned, a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). The only upside of this episode was that she never smoked again. Before this it was useless to protest her habit even though I found burns on tabletops and burned out cigarettes in ashtrays whoseinch-long ashes drooped menacingly. It also did no good to mention my throat got sore from second hand smoke.

“Why that’s not true, dear,” she said, disappointed at yet another confirmation that I had failed to inherit her good sense. “There’s no such thing as second hand smoke.”

One evening after I coughed and coughed twice more, she stood up, glared at me and said, “That’s just ridiculous and I don’t want to hear about it ever again.”

She was firm, confident, unyielding. I don’t recall her being in doubt ever about anything except once. After an evening when she said she’d had “a snootful,” a self-compliment because people who didn’t
drink were of no consequence, she wondered if she’d behaved quite as she should have the night before.

“Still” she said, upon a brief reflection, “I did it–so it must have been all right.”

When it came to politics or bias my mother never held back. At the height of William Jefferson Clinton’s undoubted scandal, my Mother said she had characterized the President to her younger sister, a woman as far to the right as she was to the left, as “that sweet, darling Bill Clinton.” Her sister allowed she wouldn’t be in touch for a long, long time.

“I don’t care one bit if she didn’t like it–that’s how I feel. Anyway,” she continued with accidental clairvoyance, “she didn’t have to make such a federal case out of it.”

The mini-stroke affected her profoundly, and, unable to be on her own any longer, I brought her home to Connecticut. Although she lasted another nineteen months I knew my mother had turned a final corner when she said nothing about the Florida ballot dispute or the ultimate determination of the election of 2000. As often as W appeared on the screen, I was never again to hear her say,”I don’t know what it is–but I just cannot STAND that man!”

A month after her death I went to get the mail across the street from the end of our driveway and found my Mother wedged in above the circulars, junk mail and bills, in a box. It was a shock despite the fact that I’d been expecting her. I thought she was going to be delivered by UPS, a dispatch I would have preferred as more dignified and less trivializing although there’s nothing dignified about having ashes delivered by any means, then to save, inter or sprinkle them, as I would do when I decided where. I thought it might be appropriate to take some to Park Avenue where she lived for many years although itdidn’t seem environmentally correct. What if everyone did that?

I could also have sent them down to Oklahoma where my mother was born, and where she lived fifteen of her last seventeen years. Courtesy of one of my many cousins, her ashes could go in the duck pond or around her parent’s graves. But mailing her again would have been “too macabre” as my mother liked to say–that always made me want to ask if there were such a thing as just macabre enough? Of course I knew full well that she just liked saying the word, glamorized with the “too” asin “too fabulous” while stretching out the second “a” in macabre for a bit longer than was endurable. It was also her way of not having to discuss something as unpleasant and, to us both, unlikely as her death.

She went so far, however, when lost for a more controversial topic, to remind me she did not want a funeral or a burial–that she wanted, never mind the disapproval it engendered among her siblings–my mother thrived on disapproval–cremation.I thought I might put her in the Atlantic Ocean where she’d sprinkled her husband’s ashes in 1980 off the Westhampton shore, their summer residence. That had to be the place because as soon as I thought of it I heard her come to life in my head and respond in five of the many voices that accompanied five of her many roles:

The baby, “Oh goody, swimmin’ with the fishies;” the grande dame, “Absolute perfection, darling girl;” the hillbilly, “Shucks, this old country gal’s not fussy;” the kindly gentlewoman, “Bless heart, what a sweet idea;” or herself, “Goddamn it to hell, I don’t give a shit!”

So my inimitable mother was reduced to ashes–as we will all be, one way or another, to be delivered–as we will all be, one way or another, back to earth. It is very ordinary. It is very strange.

Cheap Tips

Thus far I’ve been unable to work out the cookie problem–meaning–if you don’t know what I’m talking about–when you try to leave a comment about this blog you are told to enable your cookies. A wild, mysterious phrase for non-techies and if by chance you are in any way a techie, please tell me how a visitor can have a cookie if it’s her first visit? Anyway I keep sending messages to those in charge at Word Press so with any luck I’ll know what to advise by fall. Stay tuned and if nothing else you’ll learn to speak computer.

Well I’ve messed this up big-time–While trying to fix something I just erased three-quarters of the post and now I have to remember what I said. Rats.

D. emailed me from Virginia and said: One thing you might want to share is a web site — This enables you to see where sex offenders are living. If they are near a school or home of someone you love. It’s very interesting.

I talked with Sidney in Connecticut who said she had two tips, the first she insists I told her about a while back but since I can’t remember yesterday, it’s new to me:

For leg or foot cramps put a cake of soap under the covers at the bottom of the bed. I know it sounds crazy but wait till you read tip 2.

For fungus under the finger or toenail do not buy the hundred dollar teeny-weeny bottle at the pharmacy. Instead apply Vicks Vaporub all over the tip of the digit. I’d cover it with a white cotton glove/sock or the sheets will be greasy and your dog asleep at the bottom of the bed on top of the soap may expire from the fumes. Do this for three days and you’ll be fungus-free.

When I was growing up or even when I was fully grown I don’t remember anybody having fungus. Maybe they just didn’t say. Today we say everything. Maybe it’s a good thing as long as you’re not too squeamish or in the middle of dinner. I hope I didn’t upset your stomach.

That’s all for now.

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Yet Another Blog is Born

When I first heard someone say blog I thought it was one of the most unpleasant words I’d ever heard– gloppy like glop, slimy like slime, yucky like yuck–and truth to tell I still do. Yet here I am giving birth to one of my own.

It’s easy–unlike the births of my four children in close succession many years ago so right there I’m off to a good start although it is said no pain–no gain.

Herewith a bad/good introduction of sorts: In the past fourteen months I’ve had a lumpectomy on a tiny but malignant, invasive cancer, radiation, a diagnosis of sleep apnea after falling asleep on the highway, the loss of two dogs, a broken wrist and on the plus side the adoption of two dogs, the marriage of a son, the birth of a granddaughter, the college graduation of another, her half-sister, and the acquisition of a CPAP. I suspect most of you have experienced worse and better. The bottom line is we are all blessed to be in this amazing world, though terrifying for many–it is so only in night and daymares for the rest of us. (Yes, new word. I have a tendency to make them up.) At least, so far.

I’d like this blog to be a little about me and a lot about you. To make this happen please write to me. Here are some ideas:

What’s happened in your life you’d like others to know about?

What information do you need/want?

What subjects are of interest to you?

What/Who makes you mad?

What/Who makes you happy?

What would like to see/do/accomplish before you die?

What sites, tips or products have been useful to you?

What movies/books/articles would you recommend?

I’ve written a novel that I will tell you about at some point and am working on another, parts of which I will post. I intend to write daily and hope to hear from you soon.


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