Saturday, September 25, 2010

let's eat.

we have a lot of friends. oh, not like some, where the christmas card list has 200 people on it.  as a matter of fact, i have a client that has a christmas card list with over 1600, that i manage for him.  talk about postage!!! no, we're not that popular but we're well liked in small circles and as such we get invited, and in turn invite, and often break bread with our, truth be told, husband and i are good eaters, to which our individual waistlines will attest.  there really isn't much he doesn't like.  well, salmon, for one, but only hot.  he loves lox and nova, and cold poached salmon in a lovely dill sauce, or salmon salad, (you know, like tuna fish, except for jews).  just doesn't care for it hot.  ok, that's fine.  as for me, i'm not crazy about lima beans, and scallops are also not my favorite.  although if they're in the dish, i'll certainly not pick them out.  not weird like that or anything.


growing up, i, as all kids, i'm guessing, was a little fussy about eating.  coming from my background, with a mother who was "just a girl who can't say no" to food, to quote rogers and hammerstein, it was almost unacceptable not to eat. but my family was weird.  i really didn't like lima beans then, and i especially didn't like grandma's gefilte fish, even though i was told it was the finest in the land, and my father wouldn't eat chicken on tuesday nights, beacause he went bowling after dinner, and in the days before dawn dishwashing liquid, your hands stayed a little greasy no matter what you did, so he couldn't grip the bowling ball, so chicken on tuesdays was out.  my brother wouldn't eat beets, because it looked like they were bleeding, my sister wouldn't eat anything fried, for fear she'd end up looking like my mother, so we were quite the little group, actually.  but over the years i learned that if it wasn't burnt you could eat it.  (and even some burnt stuff as well,  you know, like the edges of the burnt cheese on a pizza crust).


so i get it, that people just don't like certain things, and when husband and i entertain we take that into account.  i would never serve pulled pork to my vegetarian friends, or fish to a lot of my gay friends, that for some odd reason, won't eat fish.  (people, don't go there....).  and for the most part we're really good at dinner parties and keeping it all together, i must say.


we have a couple of friends, casual acquaintences really, whom we see once in a blue moon.  a gay couple who are really darling, and we thoroughly enjoy their company.   one of them, the one that cooks when we visit them and is a very fine chef indeed, is a very good eater.  haven't scared him yet.  (unless he's so polite as to qualify as disturbed, as he's never said a bad word about our food.  well maybe not disturbed, but uncommonly accomodating.)  his partner, not so much.  i love him more than dessert, but he has, shall we say a few food quirks.  he doesn't care for, among many other things: 

1. beans of any kind.  not beans in chili.  not black beans and rice, not refried beans, minestone soup, nada.  if it's a bean, it's out.

2. raisins.  which leaves out a lot of desserts and certainly a lot of native jewish dishes.

3.  solid meat.  steak, lamb chops, pork chops, beef stew, chunks of meat.  all out.  now, hamburger, ground meat in pasta, stir fry with veggies but no solid meat, except for a chicken breast.  that somehow is ok.  so those are some limitations for the chef, but hey, we love them , and want to spend time with them.

so salads and pasta dishes are in.


several months back, we met another lovely gay man, a single guy, handsome as all getout, and in great shape for a guy our age.  this couple about which i speak, and he, became fast friends, and it took us a while to get into that sphere, but over months, we eventually did.  he too, has, how can i put this, issues about food.  actually more issues than a magazine rack.  but alas, his are allergy borne so there's no fucking around.  can't slip the salt and pepper into the dip and not tell, even though it's bean dip and we don't tell the other one that won't eat the beans.   shhhhhh.  there are a lot of things that he'd like to eat but can't.  no condiments.  that includes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, caraway, fennel, basil, thyme, rosemary, you get the idea.  there are nine more jars in my spice rack, but i'll just stop there. unlike the other friend, he'll eat solid food, like a chicken breast or a steak, it just can't be seasoned, or touch the bbq grill that has had a previous salted item on it, etc.  ok items are steamed spinach, or any steamed vegetable actually, a grilled chicken breast and a salad with a little lemon juice.  they fool him sometimes and toss a little olive oil, because let's face it, god didn't make one creature on this entire planet that's allergic to olive oil.  too cruel, even for god.  ethiopian starvation? ok. eathquakes in india?, that's fine, thank you very much, but an allergy to olive oil?  unacceptable.


so it's our turn to have the couple over, and we decide, let's invite the single guy as well, as they're all friends and it's a good mix.  i turn to husband and ask, kind of from a distance, what shall we make?  he says, gently, so as not to make me think that this is about me, how the fuck should i know?  he's a master, and i know he can do this, but i also know when i say dinner party, he sees pesto, or marinara, or rack of lamb, or moussaka, or cuban festival, and so on.    so he takes to his cookbooks, joy of cooking of course, the bible, beautiful tuscany, the italian bible, and the food and wine cookbook, just a great cookbook with lovely food pictures, and he muses for days.  well, you see the punchline coming.  for the single guy he plans a lovely poached chicken breast, simmered with carrots and onions in the cooking liquid, but no seasoning, (did someone say yum?), plain steamed spinach and salad pulled off of the big salad before it gets dressed.

that's one down.  for the rest we start with a hummus appetizer.  (oh, i forgot, somehow, garbanzo beans are excluded from the hatred of beans.  don't ask.), and some crostini with bruschetta, and some shrimp in a garlic parsely olive oil drizzle, and all is well.

the main course is lasagna, with a hazelnut pesto and light cream and cheese filling, and is served with a dressed salad (from which the single guy's  has been removed).  desserts were mostly store bought, and then coffee and after dinner liquors.  did i mention that the single guy, that doesn't eat, has the best body of  all of us?  about which i'm definitely jealous, but let's face it, i ain't eating like him.  married to my husband, a master, i am simply not eating like that, no matter what you promise i'll look like.  fuck it.  i love food too much.

so it was a good dinner party, and everyone had plenty to eat, well, almost everybody.  the spumoni, and biscotti desserts were good, for store bought.  (see earlier blog about the night that the role of the biscotti was played by the mandel bread, actually made by one the above mentioned guests.  the chef guy, married to the bean hater).

we don't host all that often, which is ok too.  everyone loves when we do, and most reciprocate in kind.  but sometimes it's just fun to go out to dinner with your loved  ones, and leave the "issues" for the chef at the restaurant. 

pass the salt, please.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

can we talk? er......sing?

ok, me again. 

i did something tonight that i realized i'd never done before, and at my age, that 's impressive.

i took a few days off from the blog, because, well, if you must know, i'm a good ways through chapter one of something bigger.  i'll keep you posted, i promise, and those of you that throw feedback, will get chapter one, with a simple request, which is.....  tell me if you care enough about the characters to want to see chapter 2.  not all of you will get it, to be in my test group, just some of you.  i think you probably know who you are, don't you?  oh well.

but back to tonight's event.

we were going to cook dinner, as we almost always do on a weeknight, but husband is at the tail end of a mission, and i've been working on my business, and of course on the above mentioned chapter one, so it was a long day.  i skipped my afternoon swim and both of us were busy til way late, like 8ish.  so husband suggested, let's just go out for a bite, to one of our favorite haunts, and grab a burger. 

fine with me.

so off we go, grab a table, snag a very cute waiter, which is kind of lucky because the wait staff at that place tends to be young girls that look like they eat way too much of the barbeque menu, and it's always fun for two older gay men to get a cute young waiter.  after all, we're going to eat anyway, right?  and we order.  i'm expediting here, because i want to cut to the chase.  as we wait, he brings us the monster pitcher of beer for $5.00 special and we sit a very few minutes, and suddenly appears a handsome guy, across a crowded room, (i know, sounds like south pacific, right?) and i'm thinking he's a d.j. and they've started a new thing on wednesday nights. 

fine with me. 

so as he, i think, is spinning, i hear a very pleasant singer that i don't recognize and i'm impressed with the nice music, and we're sipping our beer, and i glance over and, gasp, clutch the pearls, he's not spinning, he's actually singing.  and it's very good.  it's billy joel's new york state of mind, which can be a tough song, and the guy nailed it.  (and i'm one who knows, remember?).  so i'm impressed and i'm thinking, how nice, they hired an entertainer while we dine. 

well, not a moment later, someone else is singing and it's also nice, so,

fine with me.

our food arrives and our attention span wanders as we plunge into burgers, brisket, bbq, and pulled pork.  as we dine, yet another person takes the stage, and with a mouthful of smoked turkey i say to husband, oh shit, we stumbled into karaoke night. 

now the confession at the top was, i did something tonight i've never done, which is, believe it or not, karaoke.  oh, i've been to restaurants where starving actors sing as they wait tables, and they're usually good, as they're really professional performers that haven't gotten their breaks yet, and i've been to gay bars where every queen that ever sucked a cock thinks she's judy garland and gets up to sing, and quite frankly, most of them are very good as well.  (all part of being a queen). so i didn't really know actual karaoke, until tonight.

so, as mentioned, the first guy was good.  and the second, darn good as well.  this karaoke might not be as bad as everyone says it is, which is,

fine with me.

then, lady number one.  a tad zaftig, in way too tight pants, sang a song i didn't recognize and some of the lower notes were kind of in tune, but her falsetto notes wandered.........not sure where to.  maybe she'll find them after she has another beer...........

less fine.

lady number two.  a pretty girl with big knockers (and in a sports bar, so she got a round of applause, replete with hooting and hollering before she even began to sing) and the crowd was kind, even though she was borderline bad.

guy number three.  a fat bald guy, who not only looked like he didn't belong on a stage, but after he began to sing, my mind wandered to dr. kevorkian, and i wondered if he still made house calls.

girl number three.  yet another chubbette who thought that standing on a chair, and then sitting on a restaurant table with one thick thigh in the air would help.  alas it didn't.

guy number four.  a toupe that made more noise than the karaoke machine.  i'm sucking down my third beer at this point, licking the barbeque sauce off my fingers.  anything to take my attention away from the "event".

not fine at all anymore.  i'm eyeing the exit signs.

girl number four.  a woman in a wheelchair, excuse me, an OLD woman in a wheelchair singing elvis' my way, too hideous for words.  the woman couldn't walk, what made her think she could sing?  she probably saw that susan hayward movie, with a song in my heart, about poor crippled jane froman, who actually could sing, and built a career on it, on stage, screen and television,  before she became crippled in an airplane crash.  all i could think of as i watched that horrible singer was let's play achille lauro, and push this bitch into the ocean before she sings again.

finally, we're done eating, and the cutie brings the check, and as i'm waiting for the return of the credit card,  guy number one takes the mike again to sing another billy joel song, and again he's terrific.  he finishes to a nice round of applause and suddenly, the rolling wonder woman is about to take the stage again, and we hurry toward the exit.  on the way out, i grab, the billy joel guy and tell him he's better than the rest, and to find a better crowd of singers to loaf with.  and with that, we were out the door and safe in the parking lot, lost in the sounds of silence. (which is probably the song the bitch in the chair was singing).

next wednesday, we're staying home.

Friday, August 27, 2010

forget about it.........

once again, remember the premise, i'm old.  but am i senile?

some say that if you ask that very question, it's proof you're not.  kind of like madness.  if you ask, am i crazy?, the answer is: no, if you were, you wouldn't think to ask, you'd just be. 

but i'm not sure about the senile question, because it happens in degrees.  you don't sleep in the buff for 60 years and then wake up one morning and say what happened to my pajamas? or suddenly walk into a starbuck's and think do i take sugar or splenda in my grande venti half-caf, decaf, chocolate mocha espresso machiato? no, i'm thinking it begins with little things.  and i think we write it off  as getting older, becoming forgetful, senior moment, that sort of thing, and that may be correct, but how do you know when you've crossed that invisible line?

we've all done certain funny things.  what did i come in here for?  that's a pretty common one.  where did i put my keys?  regular forgetfulness.  that nice republican gun-toting actor, the one that played moses in the ten commandments, what was his name?  marginal.  is that nice george w bush still president?  ok, we've crossed the line.  so i think you see where i'm going with this.  how do we know when we're not just aging, but losing it?

example:  i come home, the milk is on the counter.  hmmmm..

mehusband, did you use the milk?
himyes. i had some with lunch.
me are you finished using it?
himyes, why?
mejust curious. 

but of course i'm more than curious.  he put everything away and left the milk out.  (ok, i know what you're thinking.  big deal.  it happens.  and you're right. it does.)

my turn. 

i've been out shopping, at the grocery, and i come home, open the garage door, pull in, pick up my phone off the car seat, disconnect my itouch from the sound system in the car, take the keys, get out of the car, and walk into the house.  i put the keys away where they belong, and my toys down, and take a drink of water, walk into my office to check my email, and suddenly i remember, there are groceries in the trunk, including ice cream, i've completely forgotten.  (it happens?  senior moment?  could be.)

here's a good one.  ever done this? 

you're in the mall.  you come out of macy's, bloomie's, saks, kmart, walmart, (whatever your particular financial and shopping level is, no snobbery intended), and you're carrying packages and suddenly you stop.  where did i park?  ok, that's the first panic.  then you suddenly realize, you're not even sure you came out the same door through which you entered the mall.  from the parking lot, macy's has 4 doors.   now that sinking feeling in your stomach.  you pause, think really hard, and usually it comes to you, and you head toward your vehicle, a little frazzled.  (ever see that commercial for that item you talk into, and it will record up to 30 seconds?  i'm starting to think about getting one.  i'd speak into it and say something like this:  schmuck.  when you come out of the store all glassy-eyed from retail overkill, you're parked in blue parrot zone.  i think that would help.  you know,  i'd be one of those people that puts a tennis ball on the top of his antenna to find the car, (you've all seen that in florida),  but the 2009 honda accord builds the antenna into the windshield, so there's no rod.  i could glue a tennis ball to my back windshield, but it's not the same.  can't see it from a distance.  i might wander for hours in the hot florida sun looking for a gummy tennis ball with glue running down my window.  bad plan. 

the older i get, the more i think about this stuff, and notice things.

once there was a time, and it was for a very long time, when everything that i ever knew was lurking right in the front of my brain, (frontal lobe, i think it's called.  you know, the one they poke in a lobotomy when you actually do lose your mind and become violent), but there, just waiting to spill out onto the tip of my tongue when called upon, like the a.d.h.d. kid that i always was.  now, the distance from that front brain area to the tip of my tongue is somehow much further.  sometimes the thoughts just don't make it anymore.  long distance calling.....too far.  too much effort.

then, there are the times when jeopardy will come on the tv.


there's no way any of you could know this, (except of course for the few of you who really do), but that nice young mormon man, who was on jeopardy for about a year and won over a million dollars, because nobody could beat him, whatshisname, (just kidding on this one, it's ken jennings), had nothing on me.  i could kick some serious jeapardy ass, like you read about.  it's a gift.  comes from being full of shit.  i know shit.  i know a lot of shit.  i know all kinds of shit.  can't explain the sponge in my head that has recalled all the trivia, minutiae, useless facts and figures and other assorted crapola that i absorbed throughout my entire life.  scary. very scary.  my loved ones will testify.  for years i was the unequaled champeen.  people would say to me all the time, you should go on that show.  probably should have. could have made some serious money, and used it on elder care for myself, right about now.  oh well.........probably would blown it anyway.....


these days, when jeopardy plays, i'm still good, but clearly the brain cells have slowed down considerably.  makes me crazy, because i know the answers but i can't bring it out of the brain to the tongue like i used to. old man?  losing it?  maybe.  or maybe i should just take up a different game.  tic-tac-toe is nice.  it's a thought.  (write that down before i forget it).  i've actually taken up sudoku puzzles these days.  very logical exercises that work the brain. i'm trying to keep the juices in the synapses flowing so that my neurotransmitters will occasionally fire, enabling me to shriek  who is willa cather?, when the answer on jeopardy is she wrote oh, pioneers?  i always get that right.  or in a moment of jubilation, cry out, what is a dodecahedron?  when the answer is a solid figure having twelve plane faces. (see, some of it still works, that's the scary part.  all that shit is still in there, i just can't reach it consistently anymore.)

i guess i'll just tool along, hoping that when i walk from the kitchen to the garage, i'll remember what i went out there for, and hopefully, i'll get to the ice cream before the trunk stinks like sour milk.  but husband and i made a pact.  and i'll hold him to this.

when the day comes, that i get up out of bed, and put on my striped blue shorts, with my yellow checkered shirt and argyle socks, and the orange cardigan, (because i'm cold, wherever i go, even in the summer in florida), and check myself out in the mirror and think, hmm, this looks pretty good, he is instructed to put me down.  even if i'm not actually senile, and it's just a senior moment, or an isolated incident, i'd rather die than have anyone see me dressed like that. 

so the next time you say to yourself, what did i come in here for?, think about this blog and ask yourself, is it time for the tennis ball on the antenna?

Friday, August 20, 2010

the family way..........

don’t say i didn’t warn you way back in the beginning……
i’m old and i’m kind of strange……

sometimes i lie in bed at night and i wonder about stuff.  who doesn't?

so, last night i was lying in bed, stroking my pussy, (the cat, you ninnies, what did you think i meant?  minds out of the gutter, everyone). she’s attached to my hip. i lie, she lays. i snore, she purrs. (there’s a vaudeville act in there somewhere). so i’m lying, she’s purring, husband is reading and the conversation goes something like this:

me: do you remember lassie?
him: of course.
me: the original, i mean.
him: yes, the one with tommy rettig, who played jeff? long before jon provost played timmy? that one?
me: yes. i’ve been thinking. how come there was jeff, jan clayton as mom, and george cleveland as gramps, but no dad? and gramps? who’s grandpa was he? jeff’s? mom’s? and where was gramps' wife? all these people living on a farm, and dad and grandma were missing. lassie can find jeff when he falls into the well, but she can’t find grandma? so it was kind of a very modern family. a mom, a kid, a senile old grandpa figure and of course the dog, who was smarter than a fifth grader.
him: you think too much.
me: yeah, i know. but while i’m on the subject, remember that danny thomas show, make room for daddy? who’s uncle was uncle tonoose? danny’s? the wife’s? the kids’? (in which case it would have been danny’s brother).
him: uncle tonoose? who the fuck was he?
me: hans conried. a great character actor.
him: really? what else did he do?
me: a bunch of b movies. never mind. and while we’re on the subject, do you remember the real mccoys? that freakin’ jingle still haunts me,
     want you to meet a family, known as the real mccoys
     that’s grandpappy amos, the head of the clan
     roars like a lion but he’s gentle as a lamb
     and now there’s luke who beams with joy
     since he met kate, mrs luke mccoy.

     from west virginny they came to stay
     in southern califor-nia (this part oddly rhymes)
     old grandpappy amos and the girls and the boys
     of the family known as the real mccoys.

me: anyway, who’s grandpappy was he? there was luke and kate, and of course little luke, who i think i remember was their son, and a mexican illegal named pepino, (although nobody seemed to mind back then) and an old coot named grandpappy amos. was he luke’s daddy or his grandpa? kate’s? or was he little luke’s grandpa? in which case he’d be big luke’s pa. i was little then, so i didn’t give it much thought, but it’s goddam confusing.
him: wow, you know you’re really disturbing me.
me:  yeah, sometimes i scare myself.  moving about bonanza?  do you remember that one?  three sons and a dad. dan blocker played hoss (that's western-speak for horse, which is the animal he most closely resembled, adam, played by pernell roberts who was a dark haired hottie, in chaps, (a young budding gay boy's fantasy), and of course the adorable little joe, played by michael landon, who was by far, the most handsome.  now, as i remember, ben, the dad, was married 3 times and had a son by each marriage.  one might ask, where were the wives? all dead? well, let's face it; if you had to wake up every morning and look at lorne greene you might just die as well.  but how did a face like his produce little joe?  i'm thinking the milkman's kid. (or whatever the wild west equivalent was......the well digger's kid?  the chicken feed salesman's kid?  something like that.)  but once again on tv, a dad, 3 sons, no mom, no love interest of any of the boys, and yet another illegal immigrant cleaning and cooking, this time chinese, named derisively enough, hop sing.  (what happend to skip jump, his twin brother?  probably left him in china town, or, since this took place in nevada, maybe he was busy doing construction on the hotels on what would one day be the strip, in vegas).
him:  you really think hop sing had a brother?
me:  probably. a brother, but no wife. hmmm.
him:  maybe i should have married your brother.
me: yeah, i know, but you married me, live with it. and btw, i’m not done yet. i had a sleepless night the other day. how about the beverly hillbillies? you had jed, right?
him you have way too much time on your hands, you know that?
mehumor me a little longer, ok?  so, do you remember jed clampett?
him: yes, the buddy ebson character.
me: right. and ellie may who was his daughter, and jethro bodine who was his half-witted nephew by way of pearl bodine, his sister, i guess, played by bea benaderet. there was also irene ryan as granny. so let’s do this again. who’s granny was she? jed’s? ellie may’s? (in which case she’d be jed’s mother? (so why are we calling her granny?) jethro’s? (in which case she’d be jed’s aunt?) and where’s grandpa? dead out in the cement pond? so this is the family in the 60’s. jed, his daughter, the brainless nephew, (who dallied in drag, playing his own twin sister jethrine….which was coincidentally my very favorite part of the entire show), someone’s granny, and let’s not forget the mannish, bookish, lesbian named miss jane hathaway. (ellen degeneres owes her, big time).  yet another modern family.
him: i know gay marriage is not legal in florida, but is divorce? you’re one sick fuck.
me: don’t sidetrack me, i’m on a roll. how about the rifleman? chuck conners? (he helped make me gay. but that’s for another discussion). here he was, out in the wild west, strutting around in leather chaps, (there's a trend happening here, with all these hot, wifeless men in chaps, don't you think?), with a boy. the kid called him paw. (that’s how johnny crawford pronounced it). so there was lucas mccain, and mark mccain, (the boy.) where was mom? and not even a gramps in this one? WTF?? what kind of families were they representing. i mean, i was no beaver, or even a wally, or a ricky or david nelson, (christ, those families were too pure.  mom vacuumed in heels and pearls.  it's not the heels and pearls that freak me out, it's the fact that they had a mom who actually vacuumed.), but i did have a gramps and a granny. (ok, truth be told, i never called my grandmother, who came from a shtetl in russia, and fled the pogroms, crossed the ocean in steerage carrying an infant until she settled in jersey city and spawned 4 more, granny. she just somehow wasn’t the granny type, if you take my meaning.
him: I’m getting sleepy.
me:  wait, one more.  how about bachelor father?  remember that one?
him:  yes, john forsythe?
me:  that's the one.  he played this unmarried guy in his, i'm guessing late 30's, who was so rich, that even his first name was bentley. and who somehow gets custody of a niece, apparently from some dead sister, and he has to raise her all alone, never having been a dad, with no help from an adult woman.  he did have, however, i am so loathe to say this, yet another in a series of itinerant chinese housekeepers, named peter tong, played by samee tong. (i shit you not. but somehow amos and andy was the politically incorrect show, even in light of all this other crap going on.  go figure.  but one more time, it was an odd make-up of an american family.  a batchelor, a teenage girl and a chinaman.  (probably folding bentley's shirts into neat little piles).  too wierd.
him:  can the rest of this hold until i get some shut-eye?
me:  surebut i'm going to think about this some more.  i think the reason it's upsetting me, is that it seems that if those were the pictures of families in our formative years, then why would, say, bill o'reilly go off on jennifer aniston for wanting a baby without a dad?  she could always find a gramps or a granny, couldn't she?  i'm guessing she probably already has a chinese housekeeper AND a mexican or two strutting around the grounds of her beverly hills mansion.  or at the very least, she could certainly buy a collie.  with her money, i'm thinking she could.........seems like a pretty foolish thing to tell people what constitutes a family these days, given our colorful sordid past..........don't you think?  ok, babe, go to sleep...............

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the new arrival.....

godot has left the building...........i'm done waiting.........

it never came. i had a few thoughts, as i gave up on friday, after the mail arrived, in kind of this order...........

douche bag. thief. (petty thief at that, rip me off for $71.25...what ever happened to never steal anything small?). scumbag. crack head......indulge me on this one, i'm a bit bitter....hey, that's not so easy to say.....a bit bitter....try it 3 times fast). anyway, i grieved for about 10 minutes. (hey, this has been coming for 2 weeks, i'm over it). then i launched into what i like to think of as jersey city revenge.

i left feedback on the auction site.

oh, not just any feedback, like, he done me wrong, or bad transaction, thumbs down, type of thing. no,no, no. i announced to the world at large, to whomever shall find that site, that his name was jason bodle, he lives in williamsport, pa, he banks at the woodlands bank, and i put his entire bank account number,(which was on the back of my check, that schmuck), online,for all the world to see, with a note to all other would be scammers,(you know, honor among theives) and effectively said, hey guys, here's one for you for free. have fun with it. and then i quietly moved on...........

now i feel a little better.

so plan B...........

i began to shop again online for a used one, (for you latecomers, an apple ipod touch) and realized, after talking to my tech savvy roommate, that i'll pay 1/2 price for a used one, with again, no recourse, or i could buy a new one, for around, yipes, $300. so i shopped yesterday at the apple store, in the galleria mall, and played with the toy for like, an hour, and was immediately sure i was in. oddly enough, sometimes the universe kicks in with a little help. i don't know if you've seen these vending machines in big elegant department stores (not kmart, walmart, or sears, but more macy's, bloomingdales, and saks, that actually allow you to swipe your credit card, in a vending maching, (not unlike a candy machine, you know, where a kit kat bar, or a bag of cheese doodles falls down), but for $150. an ipod nano drops into your hands, or for $300 an ipod touch does. (and for years i've been saying, what kind of a fool would do that? ahem. the cheese, once again, stands alone. now the fates stepped in, and i had a huge credit on a gift card from macy's, and a gift certificate for the galleria mall, (which can be used at macy's) and so i put them all together, with a couple more bucks and i now own.... da... da da da.....(did that sound like a trumpet fanfare?), a new 32gb apple ipod touch toy. the big mamoo.


you've read about my love of toys. (still ironing out the kinks in the logitech universal remote. 3 keys to go and i'm home!!!!!!!!!!!!). so i've been anticipating this for awhile, if you've followed these ramblings. but sometimes, your dreams exceed your know? it happens. too much anticipation. but sometimes reality actually does exceed your dreams........and this is one of those moments.........


this toy is....... (i have no word). amazing? futuristic? indescribable? fun? tricky? difficult? eye-opening? a learning experience? all of the above? not sure i can convey my excitement.

ok, i'm not going to do their commercial. that's their job.

but i suddenly feel, (and it's only day 2), that i'm holding the entire world in the palm of my hand. my email, my banking, my friends, family, music, movies, italian lessons, french lessons, gps system, photos, you tube, kindle, CNN, bill pay, the metropolitan opera, shopping, ebay, google earth, etc, and on and on. (in the words of julia sugarbaker from designing women,
i have been a big fool!) i should have had this thing years ago.

i've decided to re-read bram stoker's dracula, and lewis carrol's alice in wonderland. hey they're free books, and they're in my hand..........backlit......easy on the eyes........

ok, i won't go on and on. i have one, i'm happy, and i just wanted to update you on:

a) toy story is complete

b) the fool on the hill did indeed get ripped off, but it led me to much greener pastures, with a new one with the latest technology, (instead of a used one, which in the long run would have left me jealous) and

c) that godot is finally finished waiting. poor thing, waiting, since 1949

one more thing.........with the toy in my hand, i can see your house from here.

say cheese and smile..................

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

thoughts on a colonoscopy...part 2

6/27 wednesday morning............

5:30 am. i'm awake. i need to pee, but that's about it. my insides are completely empty. i can thump my stomach and hear an echo. (you know, like when you're in the grocery, picking a watermelon and it makes that sound?)


i've been eating watermelon as long as i can remember. summers, in belmar, new jersey, since i'm 5 years old. it's been so long, that i actually remember watermelon when seeds were not an option. it had seeds. period. you ate the fruit, you spit. (unless of course you were educated at miss muff's academy, or the marcia blaine school for girls (a jean brodie reference). there, you held the pits in your mouth and slid them delicately on to the front tip of a teaspoon and laid them down on the edge of your plate, very ladylike, as you ate your melon with a knife and fork.) i actually knew people, mostly girls, who did that. in jersey city, we just spit them out. not only that, there were often contests involving the spitting. distance contests. (well, i said it was jersey city). i rarely won. i was more like the jean brodie girls, than the spitting boys. but we've covered that already.

for most of my life, picking out a melon has been a pig-in-a-poke kind of thing for me. i had no idea what a good melon vs. a bad melon was, picking one. it's a talent, a gift, or a farm knowledge thing, but we jersey city boys didn't get that gene. (certainly got the spit gene, but not the other). then, one day, about 8 years ago, i was in a produce store trying to decide, and an old black man was loading watermelons into the big bin in the center of the aisle for customers. (oh god, another cliche`. a black man and a watermelon. (a vietnamese guy that does nails. where does it end?). i swear, the old man wasn't tap dancing too, just moving the melons. sometimes the things you see in a normal day are funnier than the walmart people). so i stopped and i asked him to pick one for me. (i realize now, how completely politically incorrect that was, but it didn't dawn on me at the time, because he was, after all, an employee, and i needed help). so he picked one up and thumped it, set it down, picked up another, thumped it, set it down and so on, until one made a sound he liked and he handed it to me. curious was i, so i asked why this one? he put the melon in my right hand and balanced it, then he took my left wrist with his hand and smacked the melon with my open palm and we both heard a particular sound. he said, that sound is what you're looking for. just like that. that simple. and i've been an excellent melon picker ever since. (again, this is not all that important, like finding a cure for cancer, but it is one of life's little lessons along the way, and i'm very happy to have learned it.)


sorry, but that was a nice reminisce about the melons.

so there i was, empty, with a very hollow feeling at 5:30 am and my procedure was not until 7:30. what to do for 2 hours? well, obviously, EATING WAS OUT!!!!!, so i showered, husband roused and showered and we both shaved and he had coffee and toast as i glowered, staring at the food. (don't forget, at this point, it's been some 30 hours since i've eaten, save for the jello, broth, and of course the vodka). but i'm more nervous than hungry.

when we were ready, we headed out to the facility where, as i recall, they were all set to put a mile of black plastic tubing with a color camera and lights, where, as my mother used to say, the sun don't shine. (hence the need for the lights). ok, people, i'm trying to be delicate here.

so after appropriate paperwork, and insurance questions, they begin to prep me.

digress again............

at the time, i had really crappy insurance,if you'll pardon the expression. i had a $2500 deductible, like i carry that much cash around with me. so i asked the insurance nurse, how much is this procedure, and she said we bill the insurance company $2000. (which obviously is coming out of my pocket considering my deductible, and she adds, but it counts towards the $2500. oh goodie. lucky me.) but it's still 2 grand. so jersey city wise ass kicks in, and i ask, how much is it if i walk in off the street with no insurance at all and want my picture taken? her answer? $600, but it doesn't count towards the deductible. WTF??? so my choice is $2000. out of pocket, or $600. out of pocket. DUH!!! let me think a minute............

i flash my credit card, and a minute later i'm out $600. suddenly i feel like i want to say, husband look! i just saved $1400. but somehow it just doesn't feel right. so i hold my tongue. (and you wonder why the health insurance industry needs a little work.)


so having taken care of the distasteful money part, they proceed to prep me. they give me a little oscar de la renta gown, you know, the kind that fastens in the back? or not? and the whole world gets a gander at my derriere, like i give a rat's ass, considering what they're about to do to my derriere? oh, the indignity of it all. and again, i'm not afraid of the procedure, only of what they might find. and i'm trying not to be too upset, ($600 gone, my ass catching a breeze, and i'm starving). but i've never done this, even though they've done it a million times, and i would have been scared shitless if i had any left, so i kind of go with the flow, even though flow has left the building sometime yesterday.

they put me on a gurney, and try to soothe me with just try to relax. yeah, that'll happen. next thing i know, they're putting a needle in my arm with a drip attached and they tell me, we're going in to the procedure room now, so just try to relax. count backwards from 100, and they turned on the drip. i have to add here, that i saw one drop fall, then another, and then i started counting backwards. i must say, i was hugely proud of myself. i started counting and almost made it to 98. i kind of nodded right after 99. (i don't think the drip was quaalude, because it no longer exists on earth, more's the pity), but whatever it was, i'm not complaining. (i wonder if anyone has ever made it to 97. guess i'll never know.)

in the end, so to speak, it all went very well, no problems, they found nothing, come on back in 10 years and we'll play again, thank you very much. that sort of thing. again, to quote tangina from poltergeist, this hole is clean. but the sad truth is, i remember nothing. they told me i'd have amnesia from the drugs, and i said HA!!, an old drug pro like me? amnesia? that only happens in the movies. well, the cheese stands alone, one more time, because i truly remember reaching 99 and not much after that. husband said i spoke to the doctor at length after i came out of the anesthesia and he related the procedure, the results and more, very enthusiastically. there were no issues, polyps, or scary stuff. and i remember nothing. nada. like i wasn't there. i called the doctor's office the next day and the nurses told me all over again. (god only knows what went on in that room, because i sure don't). wish i could tell you more, but hey, sorry. (i do, however, remember just simply loving that drug.... until i hit 99. very nice indeed.) can i get a to go cup, please?

that's about it. i'm due again in about 5 years and i have a checklist before i go next time.....

1. i'm going to try to make it to 97. (99 is for wimps.)

2. i'm going to ask husband to bring a recording device to the after party, so i can hear what the doctor actually says.

3. i'm going to have better insurance. (did that already....check).

4. i'm going to have a laptop for the night before, so that while i'm on the crapper i can share. (did that already too.........check).

so, if you haven't had this procedure, and you're over 50, you ought to. if you're over 55, you must. and if you're older than that, shame on you. you've read my experience. didn't sound so bad, did it?

hey, if i can do it, you can do it............

the preceding has been a public service message......brought to you by phillips milk of magnesia

smile please...................

Monday, August 9, 2010

miss saigon.........

it smells good in here

i'm trying to concentrate, but i must admit, the aromas wafting from the kitchen are severely distracting. thai food, to be exact. there's a man from thailand in my kitchen, cooking. i'm serious. what are the odds of that? think about it. when was the last time you had a thai person in your house? let alone cooking authentic thai food? how, you may ask, is this happening? i'll explain........

as most of you know, we have a housemate. a very amiable chap from germany. yes, actual germany, the country in europe. (unt he shpeaks like diss.......), and he's a really nice fellow, and he has friends whom we don't know, just as we have friends whom he doesn't know.


you know how everybody has a type, sexually, that they like. i'm not going to try to describe what straight people like, because, quite frankly, i'm not sure. (other than big breasts. seems all straight men like big breasts. that's about the extent of my knowledge). but i have gay friends and i know their types. some like big bearish guys, with mass and hair everywhere, (i know, i don't get that either). some like young boyish types, who seem barely legal. (oh, i have to tell you this. sometimes when you read ads, like on craigslist or other classifieds, where gay guys are looking to hook up with other guys and they post notices to promote themselves and their desires, you see the phrase, young guys wanted, barly legal. barly. not barely. i crack up every time. i think if you're looking for barly legal boys you should make sure you can spell as well as a fifth grader, because after all, you might just end up with one.) no, i'm kidding. that's really too young. that's michael jackson young. roman polanski young. creepy.

i have friends who like them very preppy. like, i dunno, dean cain in that show lois and clark. (woof!! that includes me, actually, as one of my types. boy, that dean cain. can we talk???) and i have other friends who like older guys. i mean really older. like one foot in the grave. (and not so they'll die and leave them everything, they have their own money.) they just like older guys. (maybe they're hitting on the oxygen tank and like that a lot.) i don't pretend to understand. and then there are the guys who like the chubby ones. they call it girth and mirth. i swear. (is this too much information for my straight friends? if it is, please tell me, although my jersey city guts tell me i haven't gone over that line......yet.) the fatter the better. hot guys, that i'd boink in a heartbeat, and they look at me and think......too scrawny......go away, put on 100 pounds, and come back, and then let me rub your big belly. (yeah, i know, i don't get that either).

myself, i'm partial to muscular dudes with biceps and tight, um, ok, tight everything. but hey, in real life, you pick a partner, settle down........and the rest i think you know. love transcends all. you can have the hots for a hottie (that's how it works), but it's your partner above all, that catches your desire and your heart. (how was that? think husband will buy it? i'll send flowers with a note).


so, housemate has a type too. he likes very slight, very slender asian guys. they don't have to be young, they just have to have the body of a 10 year old boy. no, i'm kidding, but he does like them asian and delicate, like a lotus flower (no, i made that last part up), and so tonight, he invited a friend to dinner, and the friend offered to cook, and brought shopping bags filled with food, some bought, some to cook, and that explains the delicious, distracting to madness, aromas emanating from the kitchen.

uh oh........the dinner bell.........gotta go........

i'll be back........

so now, it's after dinner, and you know my favorite expression, the cheese stands alone, well, duh, apparently, if the eyes are a tad slanty, i turn into archie bunker. can't tell one asian from another!!!......... can't tell miss saigon from madame butterfly from suzy wong. the friend is actually vietnamese not thai. even more exotic, no? when was the last time you had an actual vietnamese man in your house at all? let alone cooking authentic vietnamese food. all together now.......NEVER!! well, me either!!!

and it was awesome. different. i've never had vietnamese cuisine, and the first course was this pancake (kind of like a moo shoo concept) only with big lettuce leaves that you wrapped pieces of the stuffed pancake in, and the pancake had ground pork, very lean, and tiny shrimp, (department of redundancy department....tiny shrimp!!) and you wrapped it up and dipped it in fish sauce. can you spell yum? and then this dish of roast pork chunks over rice with raw cucumbers and a soybean sauce. not soy sauce, soybean sauce. completely different, and OMG!! it was an epicurean wonder and quite splendid and flavorful. what a meal!

the young man, as i said was vietnamese, and we chatted and he was so genteel and so mild mannered and polite it was a joy. i asked him what he did for a living. are you ready? i mean, seriously, are you ready? i swear, i'm not making this up. he does manicures and pedicures in a salon, and is apparently very successful at it. but i mean honestly. talk about a walking cliche`. vietnamese nail techs?

hey, i'd like you to meet my jewish friend, sol, he's a banker. and i'd like to introduce you to my italian friend, vito, he's with the mob. oh, this is dimitri, he owns a diner, and here's my buddy ahmed, he's with the taliban. i mean really, you can't make this stuff up. i'm teasing, you know i am, but i got a kick out of the coincidence.

so i'm not going to blog tonight, because i ate too much and i'm sleepy, and i have to lie down and figure out exactly how he did those pancakes.

bon appetite............

Friday, August 6, 2010

two on the aisle, please..........

there's a lot of entertainment available on the television, as you all know. it's summer now, so there's less original programming than winter, but still, there are dramas, comedies, dramedies, (you know, dramas with some humor added), and i guess commas (comedies with drama added...or doesn't that exactly work the same way? food for thought), reality shows (dancing, singing, nannies, obese people crying, or single, spoiled rotten phony, pretentious people giving away roses, and so on). i do have a question though. who was it that thought up the concept of watching a gang (for lack of a better word), of people (again, for lack of a better word) just hanging and being hideously the jersey shore. WTF??? i grew up at the jersey shore, and when there were people like that we kept them out of sight in bungalows, fed them lots of alcohol, and told them never to come out amongst people. on the rare occasion that they did venture forth among civilization, we made up excuses like cousins marrying cousins, death in the family trauma, and shit like that. tried to explain it away, instead of glorifying it. but alas, that was then, and this is now.

so with this lack of a plethora of summer programming, (did you like that? lack of a plethora thing? saw it once in a novel. always thought it would come in handy one day), we watch a lot of movies. netflix provides. (wow, that should be their new slogan.) ok, patience, i'm getting there.

so lately, we've seen several good films. an education. one of the 10 films nominated this year and it was a revelation. just a glorious piece of film making. the kind of film where every 10 minutes or so, i say to husband, or he says to me, this is a good movie!! also, a single man. a brilliant film. moving, engaging, emotionally riveting, and important, in a cinematic way. (i mean really, it's a film. it's not important like in a cure cancer kind of way, but i think you take my meaning.) sometimes we love an adventure or fantasy film, like lord of the rings, or a james bond epic, all in good fun, with cgi special effects. good old fashioned escapism, and they don't have to be great. just entertaining, engrossing, and kind of kill 2 hours before dinner. i choose the movies, based on previews we see on the netflix disks, new york times reviews (not gospel, just guidance), and word of mouth, and in general i pick fairly well. husband rarely complains.


lately i'm in a slump. pick-wise.


you know how sometimes, when a movie arrives and you load it, and the previews start, and you're not really in a hurry so you let them play instead of fast forwarding through them or hitting the top menu button to get right to the movie? well, one night that happened and there was a preview of a movie that was from a supposedly terrific book. and i ordered it and it came. it was called the road.


viggo mortensen, who i like a lot since lord of the rings. (the aragorn/stryker character), who's a sexy guy, a good actor and ok in my book, was the star, and academy award winner charlize theron has a small part as well, and we all know how good she is. well, this film is about a post-apocalyptic world, that descends into cannibalism and madness. well, the madness is on me, for watching this boring, stark, depressing, epic with no redeeming features whatsoever. i'm thinking watching paint dry would be more interesting than this movie. watching the cat groom his butthole is more fun than this hopeless piece of crap. i don't mean to be unkind.........just my opinion.

so i lost a few points with husband, but not to worry, my batting average is good.

and then tonight. percy jackson and the olympians: the lightning thief. again, the preview looked pretty good for an adventure, cgi effects thing. you know, the greek gods, monsters, (hey, that reminds me, that was a good movie, gods and monsters, but i digress), minotaurs, hydras, harpies, (no, not the marx brother, the other kind), and i thought we'd have a rollicking good time until dinner, but no. no, no, no. let's just say that percy jackson needed the help of peter jackson to pull this piece of mediocre, sophomoric blather together. it was a teen/hero piece with a few cgi moments, but for 2 hours, i would rather have slept. period. that's it. sleep would have been more entertaining than this piece of teen drivel. (i wonder if the show about the fat people vying to be a loser was on and i missed it for this?) thought....if you set out to be the biggest loser and succeed, does that make you the biggest winner? metaphysically absurd, if you ask me)

but there it is, strike two.

i need a winner, and i mean right away, before i lose my creds.

anybody got any suggestions?...................

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

waiting for godot.........

i know, very existentialist title.

you know, while i'm on that subject, i've actually read that play, more than once. and i've seen it performed, more than once. (we literary types do that sometimes. read/see the classics multiple times), to really grok their meaning, as mr heinlein would have said. (stranger in a strange land for the uninitiated....boy, that's a hard word to spell. i spell checked it so don't get know....). so true confession here. i haven't a clue what that play is about. ok, i get the symbolism of endless eternity and nothing really important happening for the whole play, except what's in the actual moment, and in the end there's nothing. but i'm 60 years old, for chrissakes, and it has to mean more than that, doesn't it? i mean, 2 hours of rather fun, intellectual dialogue, with a few belly laughs interspersed, but still, at the end of the day, or rather, play..... WTF???? becket must have known what he meant, but quite frankly, he never shared it with me. (i think this play is so tough to get because the original was actually in french, and you know how difficult the french can be to understand. especially when they write existential, absurdist plays.) give me a happy play like who's afraid of virginia wolff, or streecar named desire, anyday. those are way better plays than godot......for me, and at least at the end i have a clue as to what just transpired. tennessee, tennessee, wherefore art thou tennessee.

but i take the name of the play in vain to portray my mental state. ladies and gentlemen, in tonight's performance the role of vladimir (godot, remember?) will be played by yours truly. truthfully, this is an easy one compared to the night a while back when i played all three siblings in my family drama).

i spent the day waiting for the mail. well, actually our mail comes quite early, so i spent the morning until 10:30 waiting for the mail, and lo and behold, no touch thing. i breathed deeply, took it in stride and remembered my plan. no panic until thurs, officially.

to quote the bard, i fretted and strutted (ok, it's a paraphrase, janice, don't sue me.) but i didn't panic. i went online back to the auction site, and stalked the seller. i researched all there was to know about his other sales, his feedback ratings, and they were kind of marginal at best, but not enough to send me over the edge. (understand, if this really is going to be a ripoff, i'm not upset about the $70 bucks. chump change, even for me. i'll be pissed that i still have no touch thing, and the hunt will have to resume, and dammit, the gods have decreed that i ought to have a touch thing.)

so i sent him an email, with nothing but positivity in it.

me: hi jason, did you get the check? it should have arrived by now. if not, for sure in tomorrow's mail. did you send the touch thing? when did you send it? was it regular mail or ups? is there a way to track it? (and then it dawned on me, i sounded as if i didn't trust him, and i didn't want to convey that), so i ended with, i'm so excited i can hardly wait! i figured, even if he's a douche bag thief, he might recant at my excitement.
him: i shipped it postal, should be there by next week. sorry for the delay.

and i immediately began the happy dance. (you know, the same dance the cats do when i, after a night of feasting on chicken wings (not often...remember... i'm fat.....for me......) and i forget to take out the garbage with the chicken wing bones that's on the top of the island in the kitchen? and they find it in the middle of the night, knock it over, splay the bones all over the granite counter and do that kitten happy dance? just before they get completely greasy?) so, i do the happy dance because my jersey city smarts......not that they did me a fuckwad of good yesterday....they tell me that if he truly is a douche bag thief, he wouldn't have sent any message at all. just would have disappeared into the vapors, leaving me on the dock with my dick in my hand. but at this juncture i don't believe that for a minute. the touch thing is coming for sure. as the man said...... sometime next week.............

so as i vladimir and estragon, in that godforsaken play, i'm sitting here waiting........

waiting for the mailman.........

to be continued........

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the fool on the hill

there is the distinct possibility that i'm about to be ripped off.

do any of you have any idea what the odds are for that? most of you reading this know me pretty well. (how do i get past that part? where everybody knows me? any suggestions?) . but you do. and you know i'm not one of those people that goes through life with his shirt tucked into his panty hose with his ass hanging out. (work with me, it's a metaphor).


i mentioned on day 2, that i was born, in a hospital in jersey city, to a mother who ate her young, the important part being jersey city. there, you're born ready. we'd emerge from mom's nether regions, carrying switchblades if we could (at least around the time in history when i came forth.) so i'm nobody's fool. (my pockets have never been picked, because i'm acutely aware since childhood that there are people that want your stuff. ) i'm good with the internet and know exactly how much info is enough and how much is too much. when people i'm just meeting, hug me, i check my pockets, and i walk through airports more secure than iraqi women in burqas. i'm just a happening, aware, hip, wisecracking, ex-patriot, metro new york, jew, and proud of it. no fool here.

so how then, one might ask, is there a possibility of a ripoff? well, it's something like this.

if you'll recall toy story, earlier, i'm a victim of gadget love. i'm currently, as i mentioned, having a love affair with my sony walkman, (i think i have become one of those people that bursts forth in song in public if i think i'm alone. i'm afraid to actually notice if i do. but i'm pretty sure it least a little.) and i had that ereader, which i mentioned might be going back, and it did. great reader, crappy internet. (and when i see all those people with that i-touch thing, i get a tad green. ) my phone has internet, albeit really crappy internet, so i yearn for something better.

so here i am, kind of pining, for that touch thing, but hey, i'm not so in love as to spend $300 bucks on it. and then i stumbled onto an online auction. reputable site, a little complicated, but i've purchased there before and it's been very cool. so i see a touch thing for $50 bucks, high bid, with 2 days to go. i'm thinking how high will it go? i know they go for $ 300, so i figure i'll go $150 max, and if i win, hey, the touch is mine.

so i wait until there's like 1 minute left in this auction, and i throw my bid. now here's the tricky part. here's where jersey city smarts come in. the bids go in $1.25 increments, and i figure i can't be the only one who is among the people in the dark, stalking, waiting for the last minute to throw a bid. if you throw a bid way higher than current, it only takes you to $1.25 above the last bid, and so on, until someone outbids you. so if i say $100, and someone has already said that, i lose. but everyone's high bid is a secret. ( i think you all know how this works), so i bid $151.25, thinking that if someone else's highest possible bid is $150, and he's there before me, that extra $1.25 pushes me to the top. i'm proud of that logic, and so i did it. at the time, the bid was actually $61.25, and i knew all hell was going to break loose in the last minute because there is no way on earth, the 16GB Apple I-Touch was going for $61.25. that's a gimmee. no way, jose. incon-fucking-ceivable.

well, the final bid was indeed mine. exactly $61.25 (i'm kind of pissed, actually. all that planning, all that brilliant logic and for what? bupkis. it defies reason).

so i won it!! i'm so excited i could scream. the touch thing is mine for $70.00 (including the shipping). shout out. high fives. yada yada.

so i email the guy instantly (i'm not one to sit on an auction debt. i won it. i want it, so i pay right away, usually). paypal, credit card, i'm good to go.....but.... when i email him, he says he wants a check in the mail. no paypal, no security, a real abba moment. (take a chance on me, in case you're not completely following this). so here's jersey city david, out on a limb, what to do, what to do?

time for a snopes moment. (the emes...that's yiddish for truth)

the truth is, during the course my life, i have been, how shall i say, snookered, a couple of times. once in a pyramid scheme in the 80's (total loss about a grand, thank god i didn't know bernie madoff.) and then there was the time the fabulous surround sound system fell off a truck and i was the lucky recipient in the parking lot of the two con men salesmen, who took me for a couple of hundred, for a system that belonged at the bottom of the ocean). so, a couple of slip-ups in 60 years is my true record. not too bad. i'll still bet my jersey city bona fides on my common sense.

which brings us to today. i sent the check in good faith. i just have a feeling it's going to be ok, so on saturday i sent it, and got an email that he was sending the touch thing that same day. it's coming from pennsylvania, so i'm figuring tues/wed/thurs arrival. today is tuesday. and it didn't arrive. ok, that leaves wed/thurs. i'm still very optimistic, until tomw. then i'm holding our for thursday. if it's not here by thursday, that will bring me back to the beginning. which is, there is the distinct possibility that i'm about to be ripped off.........

to be continued........

Sunday, July 25, 2010

toy story.......

i like toys.

i don't mean dolls and g.i. joe toys. i mean the adult kind. and no, get your filthy mind out of the gutter, i don't mean the kind of toys that adults play with that would cause their mothers to rue raising them. no, no. i mean like whoever has the most toys at the end of his life, wins..... ok, i better clarify a bit. not jaguars and jets, not rolex watches and diamonds (although most people wouldn't classify the latter as exactly toys). i mean like video systems, sound systems, gps devices, etc. those kind of toys. stuff you don't really need, but just love having. my grandparents lived out their entire lives, well into their eighties without a remote control to the television. so we don't really need this stuff to have fulfilling lives, we just love having these things pretending they fulfill our lives.

i had a big couple of weeks................


i was always the one, when technology was first being born, back in the sixties, that knew how to wire the video game, or connect the stereo wires, or use the remote controls, and i was very proud to be a geek in that regard. some people were just so clueless. and i think, back then, it was just a lazy thing for some, because it was really take the wire, run it from the output (of whatever device) to the input (of whatever device) and big deal. and i have to say i was excellent, right through the dawn of the computer age and surround sound, until about 10 years ago, and then, i just kind of slipped away from me. i got older, (it's a young man's game) and i kind of lost interest in the wiring of it, but still had the fascination for the toys themselves. (there are several areas in my home that look like the scene from raiders of the lost ark..... just snakes everywhere.......wires.....and more wires........and i now definitely need help with the wiring, a geek or a techie..........and i'm man enough to admit it.


so a short while ago, i went to an auction site and bought a gps system for the car. that's officially a toy. i'm 60 years old, and have found my way across this planet so far, with virtually no help, but now, i like to program publix onto the gps and listen to the mechanical voice guide me there. it's 12 freakin' blocks and i go almost every day, but still........there's something so cool about in a half mile, make the next left, or make the first possible u-turn, that just gives me a kick. can't help are fun. (question....ladies, is this a guy thing?) many of my friends have gps systems either on their cell phones, (major toys) or built right into their cars.....(over the top toys.) so, not to be left too far behind.....(you know, like the avatar experience about which i spoke in an earlier post), i bought the gps system and i'm having fun......sort of........

ok, next up, everybody has these other devices now, either phones or blackberrys, or touch things, or clutch the pearls, this newfangled pad. (i think apple is responsible for most of them,) and i'd like to go on record and say that pad, should not have been the name that the geniuses at apple decided upon. there are too many other uses for that word. besides, something this fabulous just needs a better name. even tablet, would have been better. sounds a little biblical, no? like something given down by god?) anyway, these things hold their music, videos, facebook connections, etc........ i wanted one, but .........

a) they're expensive
b) the monthly service charges can be very pricey......unless of course you buy the 3g version in which case........
c) they're very very expensive.

so, count me out of that game.

but i did buy a sony device for my music and videos (although the screen is 2" in diameter.........i'm thinking avatar is out..........from big screen 3d to 2 inches? not likely) but it's pretty cool for the music. it will literally hold every cd i own. and the number runs into the hundreds. (like i'll live long enough to play it all). and i found it plugs into my car and comes out the speakers, if you push that heretofore unknown button called auxiliary. that button has never been pushed until now and WOW. (how cool is that?)..........i think i'm having a cheese stands alone moment. i can hear you all saying. i know. i've known all along.......... hey.......what can i say?

next up, it the remote control. or should i say remotes control. oy..........

to sit in our house and watch a movie takes 4 remotes. some just do one thing, because my universal remote won't do that one thing, so there they are, 4 remotes next to my chair. poor husband. not the best at that sort of thing, but then who is? most people are not. i'm good at them, but it truly takes all 4 to work the system. tv, dvr, dvd, sound, you get the picture. you all probably LIVE the picture. so what a surprise to me to find that logitech makes a universal that really really works.

one device. (you program it from your computer with a usb cord plugged into the remote.) it asks you the make and model number of everything you own, and the computer does the programming. (ok, truth time. i called a geek friend to help me.) you could program your ceiling fans if you so desired. up to 12 devices (and i bought the low end one. the high end will do 17.) i still haven't put away the 4 remotes yet. not until i learn this thing from top to bottom. i don't quite have the confidence that the nightmare is really over.

but back to that pad thing. (even with it's hideous name). have you seen one in action? it's like the ultimate toy to date. ever. it's music, movies, photos, read a book, internet browsing, email, calendar, date book, all your porn, (come on, you know you have some......even if it's just soft porn, like the fireman calendar.......although i must say, it does still elude me why they call certain things soft porn. sounds like another oxymoron. soft porn. a subject for another time.......) and on and on. but it costs around a bazillion dollars. well, $600 or so, and that's not chump change......


the reason this subject came up is that husband and i have changed our habits somewhat. we've both become readers. instead of the television at night when we retire, we read. and he reads a lot. me, not so much.


so i was thinking about one of those reading devices, for him, like a kindle or a nook, that lets you read ebooks right from a 7 inch screen, no matter how big the book is, or how many you have. bigger or smaller fonts, turn the pages by touching a finger and sliding it sideways, the whole enchilada. it's one of the newer toys these days, but it too was pricey til recently. but now there are other companies making copycat devices. there's one now, for $120 that lets you do the read thing, the email thing, internet, photos, porn, (stop the giggling) calendar, all of it, like the pad. (only slower, because it's not $600). but still, way cool. so............

i bought one today.

i've actually got it up and running by myself, (didn't need a techie or a geek to help me), and i'm having fun with it, although i must say that until you actually buy an ebook and download it to your ereader, they give you free ebooks. (i might have to do another piece on what happened to my regular english language?) the freebies are from the classics. dead authors. so tonight i'll either start jane eyre, pride and prejudice, or little women. (it's a good thing i'm gay, because with those choices i'll probably wake up tomorrow morning wanting to do drag shows.) i'll keep you posted on how it goes. so far, i'm not sure it's a keeper yet, because it really is a little slow, and i'm kind of feeling like i should maybe wait a while until the pad becomes a little more affordable. not too long, of course. otherwise when i get one, and subsequently tell people i have it, and how cool it is, they'll say.......yeah, i know. i've known all along.

could someone pass the cheese, please?............

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the fat lady has sung........

remember day 1, blog 1? the premise? i’m old?

every so often, even now, in my dotage and senility, i discover something wonderful. to be honest, it’s usually something everybody else has already discovered, and i’m just late to the party. a perfect example is avatar. you know, the movie this past year? it had grossed a billion dollars and everyone on planet earth had seen it, even poor people, at 14 bucks a pop, and the multitudes were ranting and raving and it was winning awards and changing the face of movies, and by the time i saw it there were 9 people in the theater. exactly 7 others, and us, husband and me. and of course i came out all wide-eyed, having just discovered this amazing adventure in 3d that changed my movie world in a way not since 1977, when star wars did the same thing. and it’s always a riot, because after these discoveries, there’s nobody to tell, because i was the last to find out, and if you try to share, people say, yeah, i know. i’ve known all along. so in the words of the old kid’s song, the cheese stands alone.

sometimes, though, it’s just a bandwagon thing, and i don’t jump on, doesn’t matter how much time goes by. an example of that would be….. i don’t know…….. survivor, or american idol. people rave and carry on, i take a look, and decide, ok, but not for me. and then the opposite happens….people want to tell me about david archuleta, or taylor whatshisface, and i just don’t care. (although i will admit carrie underwood has some talent. but i bought her cd and spared myself simon, paula, and the others.

tonight was one of those discoveries.


when i was 12 years old, i had an aunt in jersey city, who was my mother’s older sister, who somehow, growing up in the depression, poor like everyone else, discovered classical music and especially opera, and grew up with a love for it, all her life. she had a husband who had the sensitivity of a cement block, and two children who were multi-faceted, well educated, and bright, who cared nothing for this particular bent of hers. our families summered together at the jersey shore in belmar and the metropolitan opera would send out their touring company each summer to a neighboring town for a couple of shows. i already had a feeling for music (remember the little budding fairy within?), and so at the age of 12, aunt asked me if i’d like to accompany her to an opera, and i said yes. she was a very smart woman, in that taking me to my first, she did not choose a 5 hour, wagner epic, like gotterdammerung. no, she was a clever woman. it was carmen, among the easiest operas for a beginner to digest. lots of familiar music, dancing, singing, costumes, toreador, all of it. and i was smitten. (that day did to my opera world what star wars would later do to my movie world). she was thrilled that i liked it and we spent the summer, she and i, as a couple, aunt and nephew attending various operas. (is this story too sebastian and violet? from suddenly last summer? by tennessee williams? gay boy, lonely aunt?, actually it was gay boy and his mother, (one step removed from psycho).....but unlike those stories, in my tale, nobody gets killed at the end). and from that summer on, my love of opera was born and bred. i’ve loved it with a passion ever since. (including the 5 hour wagner epics).. a deep and abiding love that has withstood the test of time. a passion. a soul fulfilling emotional attachment to it. (oy, i got carried away, but i think you get the picture).


so when friends suggested that we try this new-fangled outlet for opera, i agreed. tonight i discovered the high definition performances of the metropolitan opera broadcasts in one of our local movie theaters. oh i know what you’re thinking, pbs has broadcast live from the met for years. i know that, and i’ve watched with abandon everything they’ve ever shown. and i have cds and dvds and podcasts, but this was really different. you’re in a dark theater with the smell of popcorn wafting in from the lobby and all, and sticky floors and everything, and it starts out like a regular movie going experience (which i might add, i hate. i don’t go to the movies very much at all. i don’t care for people’s behavior in a movie theater anymore. not to be a snob or anything, but it’s all just too uncouth, people munching, talking, using their cel phones, texting, slurping…..too much for me. avatar was the last film i saw in a theater, a year ago. that ought to tell you something. just not for me anymore, thank you very much, unless there’s a real reason.) so i’m sitting in this popcorn smell, and i can tell my clothes reek already, before it even begins, but i’m there because they tell me this is good opera and i can’t resist, and i put up a good front and a happy face, here in "uncouth land", and i’m pleasant. and the lights dim and it begins………..


suddenly, i’m transported into the audience of the met. the video is high def as i mentioned, and the picture is huge and clear and i’m in. sucked in so fast i got whiplash. the conductor comes out and shakes hands with the concertmaster, and you can see he's sweating already, that's how good the picture is. he bows to us, the audience, and turns to his orchestra. i can't tell you how much it was like being in the actual opera house, except it was a way better seat than i could ever afford. with the close ups, it's like your in the pit with the players. or on the actual stage. so real. and, it was one of my favorite operas, turandot, with a great cast and the old franco zeffirelli production which is simply magical. (the picture is so good and so clear, that you can sometimes catch a glimpse of velcro on the soprano's dress, to see how they tuck this rather large woman into all that fabric and still make a shape.) talk about wondrous art!! now you have to understand that i’m a regular operagoer to live opera several times a season, and this was actually better than that. it too is a live performance, but with the sound and the hd and the close-ups it was amazing. i was like that 12 year old kid again, and at the end, i walked out of the theater, and realized that this experience is a deal changer for me, in that i need to subscribe and go often. (how ironic that it was the metropolitan opera on the road again that did this to me, like all those years ago), and of course, i want to tell someone, but i’m thinking i'll get, yeah, i know, i’ve known all along. this is me and again, the cheese, stands alone.

but it’s good to know that there are still wonderful things to discover even now. so people, every so often, i want you to shut off dancing with the stars, put down the remote, and go discover something new.......that everyone else already knows.

Monday, July 19, 2010

dog day afternoon......

did you ever have a dog?

i've blogged a bit about the cat-nation that is our home, and mentioned the dog in passing, but she's a tale to be told in and of herself. she's an old girl now, (which is appropriate because i'm way too old to have a puppy). she's been with me since almost her beginning. i got her at 8 months (her life, not mine) and it was no ordinary adoption. (it's a funny concept to adopt a child when at heart, you're still a child yourself).


i'd been a single gay man a long time. happy enough, self-sufficient enough, and good at being single. i wasn't one of those single queens that would say, cook for 1? are you crazy? easier to bring in take out. (oxymoron? bring in take-out?) no, having been single awhile, i learned to cook, made beautiful dinners for one, watched my collection of vcr movies, (always good for a streisand festival, or an opera on tape, or one of the classics......). i entertained, got laid enough....(more than most) and was generally a happy fairy. add to that i was self-employed, worked out of my home, and had sister (yes, the one from previous blogs), working with me in my business, and business was good, and i found myself buying a house that was way too big for one person, but fuck it. it was a great house, i could afford it, and i bought it. life was good.

then, one day, (at the tender age of 49), someone said to me, you know, if you get a puppy, and take it for walks, guys will stop to pet the dog and they just might pet you, as well. maybe meet a husband. and i, like a fucking moron, believed him. like that ever happens.

so, sister and i, took a morning off and headed to the shelter to look for a puppy. (she's a natural animal lover and has always had animals....dogs, cats, birds, boyfriends, (well, just some of them were animals), so she was perfect for helping me choose. and that first day, in the entirety of the broward county marti huizenga animal shelter, there was not one dog that we loved. not one.

but hey, i'm a child of the '60s and the supremes taught can't hurry love, so we went back day after day for a week, and the pound was just bereft of choices. nothing. nada. it started to feel like a bad idea. and then one morning.........she was there........a raucous, feisty, amazingly cute puppy, which the workers told us had come from the shelter in puerto rico, because, when our shelters are empty, we help with their strays. after all, they're a colony and all.

so this little puerto rican puppy, jumping and spinning caught our eye. and sister, who was already smitten, said to the dog, hola. venga ya. (actually talking spanish to this little dog from puerto rico). and the dog actually came, all smiles and wagging, and suddenly we were done. toast. stick a fork in us, done to perfection, and the little puerto rican came home with us. she was 8 months old. humour me.....take a look...............

stop traffic, no?

finding her seemed like the easy part.........

but naming her, that was the hard part...........


her "history card" said that she had heartworm, and would need treatment to survive. the shelter offered to treat her, free of charge, and the only thing we had to do, was keep the puppy......the amazingly hyper, happy, running, jumping, tail-wagging puppy.......quiet for 30 days. something about the drug clogging her heart and killing her. (WTF?). and then at the end of 30 days, another treatment, and another 30 days of quiet, lest she excite herself to death. so for 60 days, one of us was a wreck every time she barked, and i can tell you now, it wasn't her. that i got through those days in one piece, was a bloody miracle. funny......she didn't look so hyper..........

but trust me..............


so i began to think about a name. i didn't want a name that ended in an "ee" sound........daisy, fluffy, shirley, buffy, etc. just didn't. and i didn't want a name that was too jewish. (sophie, sammy, mildred, after all, i'm the jew, not her. (although they tell me there are puerto rican jews. not , however, according to my grandmother, but........anyway..............) and then it hit me.

i thought about the book, the prince of tides, and the sister who tries to off herself early in the story that gives rise to the rest of the book, and it turns out she fails suicide, becomes healed and survives and subsequently becomes this pillar of strength for the rest of the family, and i likened that to my poor child with the heartworm and wanted her to survive as well. she was a fighter, (and a blonde), so i named her after that wonderful character in the book, savannah wingo. well, just savannah, anyway, and survive she did, and became quite the handful of joy over the years. take a look at adult savannah......... not a bad looking bitch, i must say.........


remember, i was a single fairy, living alone, and this was supposed to bring me a husband. (i'll wait til the laughter subsides). but, sceptical though i was, and with the fates conspiring, not 6 months after adopting my girl, i met a man. with a dog. yes, husband. and i already had the 2 old cats. so suddenly, there was a pair of men, 2 dogs, and 2 cats all sleeping in a double bed. any bets on what our first purchase together as a couple was? ok, say it together..........

that was 11 years ago. the two cats are long gone, husband's dog is long gone, and 2 new babies were adopted (see earlier blog, replete with pictures). savannah's an old girl now, i'm an old man, and husband, well, he's the oldest of the lot. we're all (savannah, husband and i) content in our senior years, and it makes for a pretty good family, and we're extremely grateful for all that we have, and of course for the fact that the cats let us live here at all.

there's an expression..........cats rule and dogs drool........and that is so true, i can't tell you.

but there's another expression as well................happiness is truly, a warm puppy................

if you've never done it, get a dog................................good night all..............