266. I am not a nice person

I woke up this morning to  a load of emails from friends and family asking if I am okay after the hurricane.

I wrote back “hurricane shmurricane. It didn’t even blow the petals off the daisies on my terrace”.

Then I turned on the news and saw the devastation this storm left on the east coast and I was ashamed of myself.

Now I’m going to tell you why I’m not a nice person. I say I was ashamed of myself because I don’t want you to hate me but I wasn’t really. I was just so happy that I have electricity and I didn’t get hit by a tree.

When you’re old and alone you are obsessed with self preservation and cling to personal comforts.

Ah who’m I kidding. I was always that way.

When I’m in a restaurant and have to wait for water, I’m clutching my throat and gagging until the waiter makes eye contact and I can point to my glass.

I am a major advocate of protecting the environment and am serious about global warming but you wouldn’t want to spend one second with me in a non air conditioned room.

I don’t like having to throw him under the bus but a very good part of having David across the hall from me is that he makes me feel kind of okay about myself.

He was really pissed this morning that his newspapers weren’t delivered.

265. I laugh in the face of danger

So here I am waiting for the hurricane to come get me.

I actually don’t  think it’s going to be any big deal unless you live by the water, which I don’t. It’s only a catagory 1. I piss on category 1’s.

One of the interesting things about NYC being a ghost town is that David has absolutely no one else to talk to so  for the last two days he was teaching me football. I actually cared who won yesterday.

And a ghost town it is. No subways, no restaurants open, No stores open.

There’s not a thing to do today except watch TV and the only thing on TV is dire reports about the hurricane. Remember you heard it here. It will be no big deal.

The  one thing I learned from traveling on a boat for 30 years is wind speed and this windspeed isn’t nothing but it isn’t any big deal.

I think I may not print this until after the hurricane comes and goes. No ! I’ll stand by my words unless I’m wrong and then I’ll blame it on David.

264. A lesson in etiquette, storm preparation and holding on to your almighty soul.

I’m getting ready for the hurricane.

“How?” you ask.

Before I go into that I had another epiphany. When you go to someone’s house for dinner one usually brings something, a bottle of wine or flowers.

I have decided to make a request that whoever comes to my house should give me $9. That’s probably less than the price of a bottle of wine or any decent bouquet and I’d rather have the cash. I’ll bet plenty of people feel that way but they’re ashamed to say it.

Back to the storm.

Liz called to make sure that David and I had prepared our terraces for the oncoming storm. I was forced to tell her that David didn’t take in his cushions (remember one of my middle names is “truth”).

She immediately hung up so she could call him back and yell at him. I pursed my lips and returned  to what I was doing when she called, watching a replay of “The Real Housewives of Miami”.

I was just about to go onto Bravo.com to say what a shitheel Joe Francis is for telling everyone who he had sex with (ickety  ick ick) when the phone rang and it was Whiney calling to say I was a tattletale.

Then he asked me to help him move stuff on his terrace which did. Nothing I  like better than bossing someone around. We had cocktails and decided to go out to dinner.

In the restaurant we met Gene Bertoncini, the famous guitarist. He sat with us for awhile and I introduced him to David who was so charming that I thought he must be a pod.

That’s his real talent. He pretends to be nice so I look crazy when anyone reads what I say about him.  I think that’s how the devil walks around the earth to pick up souls.

Back to what I’m planning to do during the hurricane.

Look out the window.

263. Traaaaa Laaaaa!!!

Last night was Julie’s first reading for her new book “Friendkeeping”.

Naturally she was wonderful.

I spent the day driving her around the city getting her hair done and picking up stuff, like Violet, her kid.

My sister Marcia and I decided to lighten up the day and help pass the time by singing at the top of our voices any song that had to do with friends.  When I saw that Violet was embarrassed by it I thought I’d increase her discomfort by opening all the windows so passerbys could hear us.

Obviously she has our genes because during Julie’s reading, Violetta went up to the stage and suggested to her mother that she let us come up and sing.

For some reason, Julie decided to give that a pass. Not that I would have done it since when we were little girls and tried to sing together, Marcia would hit me in the back of the head because I couldn’t harmonize.

Oh yeah and because we sing like crows.

262. I think I may be too snooty for my old friends now.

Today I had breakfast with the former Ambassador to Belgium and his wife who it turns out is a Hollywood bigwig AND HE PAID!  They didn’t even ask me to leave the tip. Classy!!

Plus I bet I could have ordered anything I wanted. I probably could’ve had chicken parm with a side of steak and they wouldn’t have blinked. Yep that’s the circles I’m traveling in now.

They are very good friends of Liz and her parents so I was very careful to put on my best manners. I didn’t want to embarrass Lizzie or heaven forbid, her father. So I started off easy asking him to describe a day in the life of an Ambassador.

Did you know that even if they’re having a great time at a party they have to leave early because no one can make an exit before they do?

Then with a great deal of subtlety I began grilling him on anything he knew about former Presidents, Vice Presidents etc. Actually the guy was a little closed mouthed but since he and his wife are my new best friends it’s only a matter of time before they invite me for dinner or even a sleep over and I’m sure he’ll loosen up.

Anyway when Mr Ambassador (I believe that’s his official title) excused himself to go to the can I turned my attention to his wife who is truly Hollywood royalty.

Since I subscribe to both People and Us I feel that we had a great deal in common. I had barely gotten to asking about what Frank Sinatra was really like when, much to her disappointment (I could tell) he husband returned and they had to run for their plane.

They said something like “We must meet again” as they were leaving so while they were rushing off I shouted my email address at them several times so they could commit it to memory.

I’m pretty sure he’ll remember it. You can’t represent the good old U S of A in a foreign country if  you don’t have a good memory.

261. A life well lived

Yesterday I attended the memorial that was reason why I made this long trip.

I wanted to support Liz and her family in remembering Nan Rees, Liz’s mother.

When someone dies, the people who are left behind to speak of them do so in glowing terms, frequently overstating their good points and ignoring the rest.

This wasn’t really like that. Well maybe a little but the worst they could say about her was that she yelled at the TV and didn’t suffer fools gladly or quietly.

The good she was couldn’t be overstated. She lived her life not only for herself and her family and friends but she was determined to make the world a better place before she left it, particularly for the women and children of Africa and animals everywhere.

It spoke volumes that there were well over a hundred people who came to a place that had no direct flights to pay homage to this incredible woman. And these weren’t people with nothing to do. There were captains of industry and movers and shakers. And they weren’t there for any reason other than friendship and love for Nan and Dr. Tom.

First her children spoke. I can only say that there isn’t a mother on earth who wouldn’t want to be remembered that way.

Then a series of women spoke.

Her friends, they say you can tell a person by the quality of their friends.

These women were all incredible. They each had anecdotes and seemed to come from different places but then I realized that they were all saying much the same thing.

The overriding theme was the love story between Tom and Nan. You only had to spend a short time with them before you saw what a complete loving pair they were.

Nan had very strong opinions and didn’t accept people easily but once she did you became family. I didn’t know her as long or as well as most of the people in the room but since I loved her daughter, I too was welcomed into the fold.

She was a happy woman with a sense of wonder and adventure.

She worked tirelessly for Africa. She asked that her ashes be spread there so she could become a part of the land she loved so much.

She ended her life much the way she lived it, with bravery and grace.

There isn’t much more I can say. Yes she will be missed but she left such a strong imprint on all the people that she touched that she surely will live on in all of them.

260 On the road again….

So far so stinky.

I just got thrown out of the Admiral’s Club.


Slinking out of there with my carryon and my sleep machine plus my pocketbook and a jacket wasn’t my finest moment.

As I was leaving I saved a little face by yelling back “what a bunch of Snootheads” before I entered the elevator.  Unfortunately the door didn’t close right away so we just stared at each other until I broke eye contact.

Then on to gate D2 with the rest of the riff raff.

I don’t know what I expected First Class to be but it wasn’t this.

The seats are close together kind of like regular seats were when I used to fly many years ago.

We just took off.

I think my tranquilizer kicked in because I’m not screaming.

More later.

The second plane looked like a mosquito but it was newer than the first plane so I was fine.

Actually the flying part wasn’t bad at all and then I got to Santa Fe.

I never loved anyplace this much. It looks like another country.

Liz took me all around. All you saw was wonderful pottery, jewelry and clothes.

I hope I can find someplace where they sell refrigerator magnets.

259. I just bought myself a little piece of heaven.Which may be a poor turn of phrase.

I may be going crazy.

Yesterday once again something happened that put another nail in my losing it coffin.

Somewhere in my house is a necklace that my mother gave me that I always wear when I want to look nice. I keep it hanging on my bed post.

It’s nowhere to be found. I will search and search but I feel very hopeless. I know no one took it. I must have put it down someplace. I do that kind of thing all the time.

My sister is coming next week and she says she’ll help me look for it. Here’s hopin’

But that’s not the crazy part.

Here goes.

David dropped by this morning. He just got back from London and he’s leaving today for Toronto so I won’t see him until I get to Santa Fe.

He saw my giant suitcase on the floor with clothes spilling out of it and he started in on me.

“You’re going there for 3 days! What is all that stuff?”

“Choices. ”

I won’t go into the rest of the conversation about him saying that Santa Fe is a casual town and me answering that I only packed 3 gowns and one mink stole (like I would wear mink).

I told him that when I heard that he wasn’t traveling with me I thought, “What the  hell, I’ll check my bag”.

If you recall he said that if I checked anything he’d leave my ass at the airport.

In spite of that I told him that I’m so sad that I’m not traveling with him even if he was going first class and I’d be going coach.

Then he told me that since he had to change his reservation there were no first class seats on his plane and he will be going coach too.

Small comfort since I won’t be there to see it.

After he left I got an email from American Airlines saying that I can check in now.

I followed the instructions.

At one point I was asked if I wanted to upgrade to first class for $90 on the first leg of my trip. I didn’t even hesitate. “Yep” I said.

Another first. I never changed planes before. I never flew alone. I never went first class.

Only after I gave my credit card number did I realize how stupid that was. I almost never eat out any more.  I haven’t bought anything new in a year.  Last week I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner three times. And here I was spending $90 for a small part of my trip.

Then I started thinking of David crumpled up in coach and me stretching out in first and even without my necklace the day got a little sunnier.

258. Giraffe, Elephant. Six of one half a dozen of another

Good day planned today.

Going to Brooklyn to have mani/pedi’s and lunch with Susan.

I’m going to the chiropractor first. I have a stiff neck. I’m pretty sure it’s tension because last night I took 1/2 a tranquilizer and I felt a bit better.

Why am I bringing this up? Because as a writer ( I call myself that now) I look at books where the author documents their deterioration from some dread disease and they get a Pulitzer Prize so I’m sticking my toe in that water.

I’ve mentioned my slow loss of marbles before but it’s moving forward at lightening speed.

I lost my chiropractor’s card so I went on line and tried to get his number there. I’ve been going to him for years but I don’t know his number by heart.

I googled Michael Fox in NYC.


I tried putting in my zip code to get nearest chiropractor named Fox near me. Nothing

I spelled it Foxx.


My sister called and I told her that I was worried. Maybe he isn’t a real chiropractor and that’s why he doesn’t want to advertise.

I was stymied.

Before calling someone else I tried one more thing. Googling the address with Chiropractor and no name.

Michael Wolff popped right up.

257. Sometimes I’m so smart I just want to kiss myself.

Well Rupe and Liz have gone back to Santa Fe.

I miss them already.

I will see them soon though. In exactly one week from yesterday I’m going to Santa Fe for the weekend on American Airlines, airline to the stars who no longer have careers and don’t care that much if their plane doesn’t make it because the up side of a plane crash is that at least they’ll get in the news again. Does that make me sound negative? I hope not.

Starting today I will be planning my wardrobe. I don’t know, should I pack the black? Or mix it up a bit with the black?

I’m doing a few firsts.

1. I’m flying alone.

I really feel sorry for whoever sits next to me. I’m a nervous flyer, hell, I’m a nervous liver and when I get nervous I babble and say all kinds of crazy stuff. I’m constantly leaving people with odd looks on their faces.

2. I’m changing planes.

This kind of annoys me. I could see if I was going to someplace rare like Illinois but I’m going to fly into Albuquerque. Isn’t that a  big place that a lot of people go to? Why can’t there be a direct flight from New York? New Yorkers travel everywhere (not me but the others) Shouldn’t all flights from New York be direct? I’m just saying.

3. I’m going to a land I’ve never been to before.

Even though I just told you that Albuquerque is an important place.  It isn’t my final destination, and I’ve never been there anyway.  I’m going to Santa Fe. This is a place I’ve only seen on TV. What language will they be speaking? I only speak Bronx, will they understand me?  Will I be attacked by a rattler? So much to prepare for.

I think you can carry guns there.  I know David has some guns under his and Liz’s bed. Since he’s leaving town before I do I don’t think he’ll mind if I  just take one of  his guns and pack it in my suitcase. I won’t bring it in my carry on. That would be just asking for trouble. Although “Trouble” is my middle name, along with “Truth” and “Joan”

Liz told me that breathing may be difficult there because the air is thin or something. I wasn’t really listening. That won’t be a problem for me though because I’ll just wear my sleep machine the whole time I’m there.  Note to self: Bring backpack for the motor and some kind of small generator.

Ah what am I worried about? I got this thing aced.