908. Back to the drawing board

An upsetting thing happened to me the other day.

As many of you know, I just returned from Italy.

While I was there I wrote copious notes and took pictures, some of which will surely fall in the iconic category.

i.e. the one of me faking my death after falling down the stairs (or step) in my hotel in Venice.

When I got back I wrote to Yahoo to ask if (when) I should submit a piece on my trip.

Since last year I won a prize for an article I wrote for them, I assumed it was a shoe in.


Well I was wrong. they weren’t interested. It seems they claim that they only use in house writers now.

I gotta think that my career as a PRIZE WINNING travel writer is at an end. This is not terrible news since not only do I hate to travel but my dog hates me to travel.

So as the title of this post states “Back to the drawing board”.

Of course I have this blog but it’s not putting food in my matzo hole.

Therefore I’ll have to go back a bit further to see what path I could have taken but didn’t.

Then I can find where the pitfalls were that kept me from being a huge star. At that point I will see if I can revisit them with more success.

I wrote for a few sailing magazines but I don’t go sailing any more and anyway I hated it when I did.

I wrote liner notes and articles on dave or jazz for Japanese magazines but they were all in Japanese so I could never read them after they were printed so who knows what they said.

I had about 30 songs recorded but they were all for Japan and anyway I don’t know if they stunk because on many of them my husband was the producer so I was guaranteed a spot on those records.

Now that I think of it, most of my successes had dave as a common denominator.

Wait, there is one thing I did well that had no connection to him.

My friends and family used to call me when they were wronged and didn’t know how to respond in a way that would get their points across in a dignified manner.

Since I was always very successful at being mean and I had a gift for getting that meanness in writing I’d put pen to paper so that they could copy it and send it under their names.

After awhile I graduated to more poetic letters. Here are some examples:

Note: this was a long time ago so I’m not sure what each person’s transgression was.

In this letter I believe my nephew Brian didn’t get paid all he was due for a job


I also came to the aid of Violet’s dad when he felt he was being misused at work.


Actually the first one I wrote was for my nephew Barry who had some conflict with the Mayor of the small Oregon town that he lived in when the Mayor wanted to buy his house.

Barry is my oldest nephew. He’s a doctor and quite serious. I sent him the following letter and suggested he forward that letter to the Mayor.

If he had taken my advice the deal would have gone through without a hitch. Unfortunately he was too “classy”. I guess I don’t have to tell you that the Mayor passed on the house.

orig barry

As you can see I have an absolute gift for settling conflict. In many cases I lay out the problem, drop a minor threat and follow up with a little something to pierce their self confidence.

I’m thinking my future holds some kind of mediator job or maybe a nurse or a singer.

In either event, Yahoo!Travel better check their in-box for a letter.

I hear Academy Award winner, Meryl Streep has something to say to them.

907. A guest from the deep south

David has been gone for almost a month now.

I haven’t had a chance to miss him because 1. I went to Italy and 2. My family was here from Israel and 3. I talk to him almost every day sometimes more.

At first it was just to discuss how he was doing and then every once in awhile we would have cocktails together on the phone.

Then there were the phone calls for me to help him do something long distance that if he were here he’d get me to do for him.

For example, putting the duvet cover on his quilt.

I gave him detailed instructions, even offering to make a diagram and scan it.

He called me the next day only to tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that fortunately he had found someone who did.

His next door neighbor, an older woman, happened to be outside watering her flowers and hanging up her KKK outfit to dry when he struck up a conversation with her and he mentioned his problem with the duvet cover.

She immediately came over and did it for him in two shakes of a  lamb’s tail.

Fortunately he had just gotten his bed skirt delivered so she was able to help him do that too.

Good luck lady. In a week or two you’ll be cutting his toenails.

Although David said she can’t take my place yet mainly because his new Mattie agrees with everything he says.

“I don’t even know no liberals” She told him.

The fact that he can’t find anyone to argue with is really getting him down.

When I told him about cooking for my whole family and how much they loved it he tried to be his usual mean self.

“Did anyone ask for seconds or did they just push the food around their plates?”

“That’s kind of a weak insult. You don’t seem like yourself”

“I know. I’ll do better. I know I can. After all I don’t want you to feel like I’ve left you emotionally as well as geographically”

He’s coming to NYC tomorrow on business and as he says, he’s going to “squeeze me in for cocktails before he goes to dinner with someone he likes better”.

Just thinking about coming to a City that isn’t voting on whether it should be in the Constitution that a man can hunt and fish whenever he wants and that there should be a third bathroom for gays and transgender people is sharpening him up.

Yeah he’ll be okay.

906 Family

This probably won’t be interesting to anyone who isn’t related to me.

My nephew Eric, now Yizhak, visits me every year about this time.

He comes to do something or other at his mother’s, my sister’s grave. I’ve told you before that to him I’m a hair away from being Catholic so he won’t be surprised that I don’t know what he’s doing.

He won’t eat off my plates, cook with my pots, or use my silverware so while he’s here we eat on paper plates with plastic forks etc. I keep a big black bag behind my couch with kosher knives, bowls and pots which I don’t touch unless he’s here.

I buy only kosher food and work very hard not to let any of my heathen shit touch his Godly crap and as I’ve said, I remove my Pope magnets from my refrigerator.

For the past few years he’s brought with him one or more of his kids, he has 10.

A few weeks ago my sister Marcia and I went to visit 2 of his kids and their families in London and we fell in love.

Two of them would be  here in New York when Yitz with another son and daughter was coming so we made plans to get together at my house.

Usually it’s just me and Yitz and Julie but this time Julie brought her family, Marcia drove 5 hours to be here, my nephew Brian came up from Annapolis, Yitz’s brothers Jon and Jim came down from Ct and New Hampshire. Added to that were Yithaks 4 children. Six of these people slept over.

It was all so great. Not everyone spoke english but we all felt like what we were, family.

In spite of the distance we all had the same senses of humor and we just spent the whole time laughing and saying how much we love each other.

Here are some pictures.


y and RayY and M

And my sister Phyllis would be so touched and proud to see that her grandson came all the way from Israel to kiss her spirit.


905. Well it’s that time again

My nephew and some of his kids are here from Israel.

I did my preparations for his visit. I took all the magnets of the Pope off my refrigerator. The one with him giving the thumbs up really hurt.

I removed any type of heathen food and went to a kosher store to fill the house with matzohs and gefilte fish.

My sister Marcia and I just visited 2 of his sons and daughters in law in London. It was so great. we fell in love with all of them even the kid that kept hitting me in the face with a paper airplane.

On Monday I’m making dinner for them, Libby and Mordicai, my nephew Yitzhak, his son, Yakir, my other nephew Jon and my other nephew Dan and his crew which includes Julie plus my sister.

Ordinarily I’d slop something together since it’s family but there is a certain responsibility here. This is the table my niece Libby made for me and Marcia in London.


If you will note there are 3, count’em, 3 main dishes there.

This is going to be a hard act to follow but follow it I will. I may even top it with 4 main dishes and that won’t count my salad. I could even throw a pizza down there.

That girl will see who she’s dealing with.

The only slight chink in this is that I cook just like my mother, lousy.

And also like my mother there will be plenty there.

Unfortunately it will all taste like shit.


904. A very touching thing from my past

Halloween is bringing back a terrible memory.

I was 7 and at sleep away camp (torture in itself) and there was a costume contest.

I had a cowgirl costume and a girl in my bunk had a tutu. Who wouldn’t want to wear a tutu?   I asked her if she would trade with me. Much to my surprise she was game.

So I squeezed into the tutu (I wasn’t thin even then) and feeling beautiful I entered the contest.

I’m sure you can guess what happened.

She won the contest.

I guess I wouldn’t have won anyway because even feeling pretty good in my tutu I just slunk around the circle with no showbiz edge.

I can still see that little cunt marching around the circle with her hat tilted on the back of her head (where the hell she got a hat I don’t know. My costume didn’t have a hat)  pretending to shoot the pistols in the air while she strutted.

I still hate her fuckin’ guts.

If on 10/31 any little bastard comes to my house in a cowgirl outfit I’m going to give her friends candy and her a can of peas.

903. Only 2 more nights in Italy

I know I haven’t written but it’s not my fault. This country isn’t much for wifi.

Plus Marcia and I have been very busy having fun with only a few mishaps yesterday.

I tripped a baby and Marcia spilled a bottle of red nail polish on the floor of a supermarket. Strangely enough instead of making a run for it she stood around looking at eye shadows.

I had to grab her arm and pull her out of there. I asked her why she stayed even tho there was a girl on her knees cleaning up the mess right by her feet.

She said she felt the least she could do was buy something and anyway the girl was doing such a good job she was sure it happened to them all the time.

We are in Lake Como now.  We went looking for a place to eat dinner and came upon a lovely restaurant. It was very fancy.

The service was extremely slow and at least twice Marcia had to restrain me from asking who we have to blow to get a drink?

The waiter spoke english but neither one of us understood a word he said. Interestingly enough every time he asked us if we wanted something we still said yes.

In most cases you’d think it wouldn’t matter.  For example he mumbled something when our main dishes came. It had a question mark at the end. What coud it be? cheese? Fresh pepper? So she nodded which is why he threw olive oil all over her ravioli.

I think he wasn’t crazy about us anyway.

Marcia spit out her amuse bouche. I told her it was pasta.

Holy squidastrophe!

903. A stinkweed is a stinkweed is a stinkweed

David has finally found a home.

I actually thought that when he got to Texas and heard people saying the things he’s been saying here it would offend him but each time I speak to him he sounds happier. Crazy me.

I’ll give you a taste of what he’s been telling me.

When the landlord said he’d be responsible for the yard he asked the broker “Don’t they have any Mexicans here?”

Her answer “Oh yes, we have plenty of Mexicans”

On agreeing to something in the lease that he thought was petty, “Well I’ll just act like a white man and sign it.”

Her response “I thank you for that”.

Last night he told me he actually used that term with a woman who was lawyer a from Mexico. She was helping him pick out bedroom furniture.

“Are you crazy?” I asked him.

“She knew I didn’t mean her”

I gotta think Dave’s gonna have to find some else to take him to furnish his living room.

He spoke to his neighbor asking him if they separated cans and things from regular garbage.

“Hell no! Where you from?” This gave David an opening for his favorite joke.

“The people’s republic of New York”

“What denomination are you?”

Not wanting the guy to think he was a Jew or a Catholic, which according to him are 6 of 1, half a dozen of another he proudly said “Methodist”.

I gotta think my ex father in law who was a Methodist minister and the kindest and most liberal man I’ve ever known is twirling in his grave.

Well people we got rid of one bad apple from the Big Apple.

From now on my blog will be filled with puppies and flowers.

That is unless someone fucks with me.


902. The plate of a crazy person is alway full

Well I’m living my life P.D. (post David) quite well.

Of course I’m still butting into his business. I sent him Jew Mail the other day telling him that since he needs a new TV and computer he should buy them over the Columbus Day holiday for the sales. He pretends to be annoyed but he’ll do what I said.

Miss Liz is back for awhile so I have her to play with and I’m getting ready to go to Italy and London with my sister.

It’s as if Ray knows I’m going away. He’s sticking to me like glue. It’s almost as if he’s making himself more handsome to torture me.


(I just realized that this is a Justin Bieber picture)

But he’ll have his cousin Scott with him and when Scott is at work his Uncle Dan will come and have lunch with him.

The sweetest thing that Scott does is that he’ll text me a picture of Ray having fun so I don’t worry. Ray will be fine, I’m the one that’s nuts.

Now back to my trip planning. It always surprised me when my sister Iris would come to the City and put her purse down on a counter while she stepped away to look in a mirror. I would never in a million years do that.

Being from New York I am always paranoid so for this trip I have about six different places to hide credit cards and money so if someone robs one I’ll have a back up.

I’m not a good flyer. I take extra mental patient pills and it helps a bit but I’m still nervous and a hair away from running down the aisle screaming.

I’d like to write more but I have to draw some diagrams of Ray’s favorite walks for Scott and Dan.  It will be easier on them if they’re aware that he doesn’t like to make lefts.


901 Well he’s gone

sad copy

And someone is very sad.

I took David to the airport this morning at 5 a.m. He bitched about my driving all the way.

“Didn’t you see that man?”

“Don’t drive with the dog on your lap”

“You’re driving with one hand”

First of all I didn’t see that man because as I’ve told him many times I can’t see in the dark.

I had to keep the dog on my lap because he wouldn’t let the dog sit on his lap.

His reason, (say this in a whine)”I don’t want dog hair all over my suit”

I got news for him. He’s sitting in Ray’s regular seat so he has hair all over the back of him.

I drove with one hand because how can you have that little angel on your lap without hugging him.

We got to the airport, hugged and I left.

Did I cry all the way home? Maybe.

But he left me with a long list of duties.

Fill out a change of address card for one.

Plus he left me with about 30 bottles of booze that he insists that I send him in November. Why didn’t he send it with the movers?

“Mattie, I don’t expect you to know this, but most of these bottles are worth hundreds of dollars. The lot of them are worth thousands”. They will get overheated in the moving truck.

At first I was insulted because he’s always insinuating, hell saying, that I am ignorant of the finer things. Like fancy people don’t burp when they drink soda.

But then I gave it some thought. I can’t learn about quality liquor if I never drink it so I decided that I should try one  or two of his bottles. With all of them there he’ll never miss ’em.

Plus I was considerate enough to take one of the old ones because nobody is going to drink port from the 60’s.


Not bad but not great. Maybe it’s the bottle. I saw another one there from 1956. If I mix that one with some seltzer and add a few olives  or a dash of cherry coke it might be better.

900. A Moving Tale

I haven’t written in awhile because I’ve been really busy.

First of all I’ve been packing with David and I use the term “with” loosely.

I admit that he put his clothes in but anything with solid sides or points has been my job. Since the movers came yesterday we asked his son, Milton (at his request I am not using his real name which is Marshall) to come over the night before to help us pack the TV, and a few other big items.

Again the term “us” =loose. As I explained to Milton “Daddy’s drunk so he won’t be much help”.

And I was right. Here’s what David was doing while Milton and I packed our hearts out.

moving 1

moving 2


Even Ray looked more alert. Here he’s wondering why there’s a cup outside the dishes box.

ray move

But then Marshall arrived, I mean Milton. He lifted the TV and boxed it plus a million other things. He carried a giant heavy TV from my house which doesn’t sound like much but it weighed a ton. He brought it over so that for the next few days his father could watch football. How on earth could such an asshole have such great kids?

After his son left and I walked to the door, he called me back, I thought to give me a thankful hug, which I was sure he was going to do except something caught his eye

“How come you left my Yankee Xmas Ball out of the ornament box?”