290. I think that Donald Fagen may be secretly in love with me.

This will be an interesting week.

I”m going to the east village club, Drom, twice.

Once to hear Joe Caro with Lew Soloff and Randy Brecker and on Saturday I’m going to hear the adorable Duke Gadd.

I still remember Duke as a toddler standing up close to the TV rocking to Tina Turner videos. He was sooo cute then and he’s double cute now.

I just read the last two sentences and though the mention of an east village club seemed hip I jewed it up by adding the old lady kvelling about how cute everyone is.


In planning my outfits for these outings I realize that even though I love them I can’t wear my wedding rings to these functions.


If I do then people will look at me with eyes of pity. Most of them will keep it to themselves  and just think of me as a pathetic schmuck but Lew Soloff is bound to call me on it.

The man does speak his piece. The second I write anything loser like I get an email or a phonecall. I love that he cares though.

I do have many people who encourage me.

Just last week I got the most touching gift from JIm and Grace Pugh who plays with Steely Dan, Jim not Grace, although I’m sure she could. It seems like a trombone shouldn’t be that hard to play. It doesn’t have all those little buttons.

I digress

It was an itunes song by Donald Fagen called “I’m Not the Same Without You”.

When I first saw the title I was shocked for obvious reasons. But when I listened to the song it was as if it was written for me.

“I feel much stronger than I have in years” is only part of the song.

I just realized. If Jim and Grace see me like this, maybe I won’t be viewed as pathetic.

But I’ll lose the wedding rings just  in case.

289. Sing this: Have gun will travel reads the card of a girl

It’s 6:23  a.m.

I’m sitting at my computer waiting for my alka selter to take effect.

You guessed it. Cocktails with David last night.

And even though I am trying very hard not to go out to eat because I simply can’t afford it any more I still suggested that we continue our very deep, thoughtful conversation at the new restaurant down the street.

I think we were talking about something I read on twitter.

Could you fall in love with a misogynist bigot if the person was hysterically funny?

Keep in mind, cocktail hour makes everything seem deep and thoughtful. Anyway I was determined to ask Liz what she thought about it since she must know.

I changed out of my pajamas and put on something black and off we went.

At the restaurant David mentioned that he was planning on going to shoot clay pigeons with his friend Ian.

You remember Ian. He’s the guy who got dressed to go out and checked to see that he had his glasses, wallet and switch blade.

(We had abandoned our previous conversation with a solution of “who cares?”)

When I heard about this outing I thought “Now that is something I’d like to try.” so I mentioned to David that I might like to accompany them.

Well you’d think that I suggested that I tag along on his wedding night.

“Absolutely not! I will never go shooting with a novice. It’s a good way to get yourself killed.”


I was floored.

“Don’t be ridiculous. I won’t kill you and besides I’m not a novice. I once took riflery at camp Ma-ho-ge.”

He stopped dead in his tracks. By this time we were walking back home.

His voice got real high “You don’t even know the differenced between a rifle and a shotgun?”

Like there’s a big difference.  You aim and shoot. Anyway I decided to throw him a bone.

“You can show me. And don’t worry. I know enough not to aim a loaded gun at anyone. I’ve seen that on TV a million times so you’re safe. I won’t shoot you or even Ian”

“Tell that to the guy who went hunting with Dick Cheney”

He takes any opportunity to mention a republican but he couldn’t throw me off so easily.

“Pleeease David, pleeeeeze take me with you”

“Absolutely not!”

I’m going to tell Liz to make him take me then I’ll shoot him in the foot.

288. I coulda been a contender

I was advised today that one of my favorite writers, Ann Leary just sold her book, “The Good House” to a movie company.

Not wanting to let a moment pass without pitching myself, I sent her a Facebook message stating that if she’s looking for someone to play an intrusive neighbor or a know it all aunt who also knows how to tap dance I’m her guy.

Then I started thinking about my tap dancing creds.

One of the earliest upsetting moments of my life occurred via tap dancing.

Each day when I got home from school my mother would ask me the same question, “Did the teacher say that you were the prettiest one?”

I was no dummy. Even though I knew I was in fact the prettiest one I was aware that no teacher worth her salt would hurt the rest of the children by saying so.

Therefore my answer was always a shy “no”

At some point when I was about 8 my mother or I decided that going to dancing school would be just what I needed to complete me.

I stood next to my mother while she dialed up the dancing school happily picturing myself floating around a stage in a tutu wearing toe shoes.


My mother’s voice pierced my lacy billowy dream when I heard her say,

“She’s a little chubby so what kind of dance would you suggest?  Tap?”

“Chubby? Tap?” Was I hearing things?

Even now I can almost envision my self esteem falling to a tutu covered lump on the floor where I stood.

Is it possible that when my mother asked me each day “Did the teacher say you were the prettiest one?” that she knew it wasn’t so?

Clearly she thought I was chubby. How did that fit in to a description of the prettiest girl?

As Doctor Phil says ” This was a defining moment”

Anyway I didn’t say a word. I took the tap lessons that I still remember, “brush brush tap” but I was not very good.

I guess my heart wasn’t in it.

But if Ann wants me to tap dance in her movie, I will.

287.A true athlete always has the correct tools, whatever that means.

Well it’s time to face the music.

What with Thanksgiving and a steady run of visitors I have let my commitment to fitness lapse.


Today I am going swimming again.

Now that I wrote it I can’t back out. And don’t think I don’t have a LEGITIMATE excuse to do so.

It’s fucking freezing out.

Walking home with icicles in my hair won’t be any fun at all.

Even if I decide to take a cab home (which might just defeat the whole exercise thing or at least put a dent in it) there is a good chance that my flippers will freeze before I can hail one.


What to do, what to do.

You see I’ve put a great deal of thought into exactly how I go about my swimming routine that worked quite well during the summer months but I see that I’m going to have to fine tune it for winter.

One thing that must stand. I wear my bathing suit under my clothes to go there.

That limits the number of times I have to be naked and even though much of the clientele isn’t as fussy, I, my good friends, am a lady.

Now as to my outer garments. In the summer I wore a cotton sleeveless dress over my suit. The reason being that taking it off is easy and putting it on while keeping the amount of time before bathing suit is off and body is covered to a minimum.


And if I bring slacks and a long top  which might serve the same purpose, trying to pull them up over a still damp body, no easy feat.

BTW is “slacks” still a word or has it gone the way of “beauty parlor”?

Anyway it’s clear that it’s got to be a dress.

The only winter dress I have is the one I wore to a wedding. A bit upscale for a public pool but certainly not impossible to carry off.  And if I don’t wear the corsage it can be looked at as absolutely de rigueur.

So now that I have my clothing down there’s nothing left but to get dressed and go.

I wonder if the fat guy and the naked lady will be there. It’ll be nice to see old friends.

286. Please stand by for this brief announcement

Many of you that receive my blog via email may not be receiving the wonderful gift that is Shelby McChord.

Shelby is my niece Stephanie’s dear friend. She has become my treasure.

Last year after reading my blog she told Steph that she would be willing to illustrate it.

I had seen some of Shelby’s cards and drawings and I loved them. I was happy to let her do it.

Well it’s a year later with over 300 drawings that have turned my rather mundane blog of a woman trying to find her way in a strange land into a work of art.

I write my little tome and a day or two later I receive the most insightful, funny, wonderful drawings.


My responses to her are getting almost boring. How many times can you say to someone “This is so great, so funny and you’ve captured more than I ever hoped anyone could.”

So if you want a real treat, look at these fabulous drawings on my blog and know that there is a wonderful, gifted, very generous and kind woman who draws them.

And please excuse me for taking a break from my whining forum to thank her with all my heart.

285. Like Kyle Rote, whoever he is or was, would have pissed on him.

The cabinets in my kitchen are higher than the others in this building.

In fact I can’t reach the second shelf without a step stool.

In addition, there are cabinets built in over the kitchen doors that may have something in them but whatever it is I obviously haven’t needed it for 36 years and I can’t reach them now so.. ho hum.


Yesterday Miss Liz went back to Santa Fe and she left a container of matzo ball soup. Since David thinks any jewish cooking is disgusting, I went over to his house to take it for my dinner.

I don’t know how we got on the subject but I mentioned that the reason my cabinets are so high is because the person who lived in my apartment before me was Kyle Rote.

Now I’m not sure I even  know who Kyle Rote is. I think he was some kind of football player but the only part that means anything to me is that he was tall, hence the cabinet height.

Usually when I speak David doesn’t even look up other than to roll his eyes. He’s either looking at his phone or some stupid football game.

This time his mouth flew open and he yelled “Kyle Rote lived in your apartment??”

I never saw him so happy at anything connected with me.

I got a little worried so I grabbed my matzo ball soup and ran home.

I received an email from David this morning

“Please don’t take this the wrong way but it would have been cool to have lived down the hall from Kyle Rote. To have regaled one another  with reminiscences of our alma mater Southern Methodist University… Then the glory days of the NY Giants in the 1950’s… Frank Gifford, YA Tittle, Tom Landry and so many other great men. The 1958 game against the Baltimore Colts..regarded as the greatest game ever played. I was born too late. Hey I realize we’re stuck with you but can’t a guy fantasize a little ”


I read the email slowly then I thought, “Please don’t take this the wrong way”

He loves me.

284. Don’t read this if you don’t like cookies.

I went to the cookie swap today.

I know you people think I did it for the cookies but the real reason I went was to end world hunger. This cookie swap was sponsored by “Why Hunger”. It turned out that the only hunger I ended was mine.

At first I had planned not to eat any because well, just because. But when I arrived the queen of Cookie Land @THEToughCookie gave me my personal cookie and it was all downhill after that.

I started eating the cookies according to size, then I moved on to color and wound it up with any cookie with a theme. Since the event was in a BBQ restaurant I figured the cowboy boots cookies and stetson cookies fit in that bill.

I want to send a shout out to the lovely blonde woman who says she reads my blog.

“Michelle I’m so sorry for spitting those cookie crumbs all over the front of your blouse.”

You got me early in the day and I was still in a cookie frenzy.

I think I’ll end this post with a scientific fact.

“Too much sugar makes little kids very active. It makes old people want to sit in their chairs and snore”


283.When you travel in fancy circles you must burp into your sleeve

Dinner last night was deeelightful.

All Liz’s worries about my shocking her father’s doctor friend were for naught since he was a no show.

Immediately after we were all seated I felt that it was my duty as a truth teller to let Liz’s father Tom know about her warning to me. I was sure he’d take issue with her about it.

I reminded him that as he well knew I am always on my best behavior when I am around him so she had nothing to worry about.

He mumbled something under his breath, I believe it was “This has been your best behavior?”

What a kidder.

Since I was sitting next to him I regaled him with my most pleasing personality. I must have been successful because even though I had vowed to only have one drink, he told me that he saw nothing wrong with my following my cosmo up with some wine.

I knew that would be okay because I hadn’t anywhere near reached my limit. Of course I feel that anything short of throwing up is not anywhere near that limit and if I can skirt it I am only that much more charming.

As I mentioned that the other doctor didn’t come but David’s son Marshall did.

Usually Marshall just perks up the place silently looking good but last night he turned into a real charm boat. He was funny and smart and sweet.

And David was all nice too. I finally understood why Liz is so smitten with him.

He even pretended that when he split the bill with Tom that he was more than happy to pay for my fifty million dollar steak and a shrimp cocktail appetizer

I wonder if he and I will become best friends now and go to the movies together and watch TV and maybe he’ll even take the chain off the door when I try to come visit.