434. Friends

I started my morning like I always do. Checking my email and catching up with what’s new in Hollywood.

I was perusing an article about Lisa Kudrow when something she said hit home.

She was talking about how her sister saved her.

Q: Was it your older sister who rescued you from being isolated in school?
LK: She did, definitely. Unbelievable of her too, because I was 13 and she was 20. She would find out when our half days were, when everyone would go out to lunch and I would have no one to eat with. She would pick me up and take me to lunch. That’s extraordinary to me. It was just very generous of her to be so sensitive and aware, even though there was nothing anyone could do.

When I was 9 and my sister Iris was 20 and very pregnant with my nephew Barry, my two friends, Beverly and Patricia, didn’t like me any more, I’m sure it was through no fault of my own and also they were counts (spellcheck added the “o” ).

Iris would meet me at Sid’s, the luncheonette that I ate in and sit on the stool next to me so I wouldn’t have to eat alone. I know my mother made her do it but it was sweet nevertheless.

I miss Iris every day. I miss my sister Phyllis too and thank God I still have Marcia who would sit on a stool with me anywhere.

Yesterday I got a surprising email from David. It said

“Let’s have dinner soon!”

I wrote back “Is this some kind of joke?”

“No why would it be? We’ve all had dinner before”

That’s when I realized that our friend Andrea was included in the note. I knew the tone was wrong if it was only to me.

“Oh I didn’t see Andrea. I thought you were talking about the 3 course dinner you owe me for fixing your toilet?

He wrote back “What an idiot”

Now there was no doubt who he was writing that to. The world was back on it’s axis.

433 9:10 p.m. Ring Riiiing

Me, “Hello”

Liz,  “Whatcha doing?”

Me, “Watching “Person of Interest”

Liz,  “Can you go over and fix David’s internet and bring him some Halloween candy?”

Me, “Done”

He was sitting on the couch watching the World Series when I got there. He glanced up at me,  “This fuckin’ thing just stopped working.”

I hand him the vat of candy and check all the things that you check. Once again this means me climbing on a ladder and unplugging things and plugging them back up.

“I”m going to have to call Time Warner”

“Oh No” he says.

Now why this should be of any interest to him  (I was going to write effect but I wasn’t sure whether it was affect or effect) since he had no intention of moving .

After two calls and another death defying climb the internet was restored.

“Call Liz and tell her it’s working” he actually looked annoyed that he had to peel his eyes from the TV but he did do it.

When she answered he said, “I got it working ”

“YOU??? YOU got it working? I’m the one who got it working. You are too stupid to fix anything”

He looked over at me “One should never equate wisdom with the ability to handle shit like this. Care for a drink?”

“Nah, see ya tomorrow”


432. Says who? Me, that’s who

So yesterday was one of my good days.

In the morning I went to Brooklyn, picked up Susan and we went to my “salon” so I could get my hair cut.  I really needed it because my beautician has been on vacation.

When we got there Tony was having lunch. Susan and I sat there watching him slowly eat his fish heads au gratin followed by an amuse bouche of lizard and a cleansing of his palate with pepsi cola.

After he washed and dried his dishes (he has to do that after every meal because some of the plates must be returned to the shrine near the door) he came over and cut my hair.

He was in a really cheerful mood. He regaled us with details of his trip . He took his wife and children to Hong Kong.

He said it was very expensive but with the tips I give him he must have money to burn.  On my twelve dollar haircut I slip him a twenty so he has a fast eight bucks that no one has to know anything about.

Then Sue and I went into the City to meet Julie and Ronnie for cocktails, with plans to meet Allan, Susan’s husband later for dinner.

On the way Susan suggested I email David and ask him to meet us.

I had to be honest.

“Look, Sue, I’m uncomfortable emailing him with you in the car because his answer won’t be pretty and you’re very sensitive. He’s bound to write back that he has no interest in eating with those pea brains or something worse.”

Susan assured me that she was willing to risk it because for no reason I can fathom, she thinks he’s good company.

I did and his answer was a surprising “Sure”.

This was the email I sent;

“Do you have any interest in meeting me and Susan and Allan at Carmines at 90th St. and B’way between 6:30 and 7 ? I’ll have the car so we can drive home.”

Now since he spends most of his life saying that he’s smarter than everyone, except for Ronald Reagan, why, when I called him at 7 to ask where he was, did he say that he thought we were going to meet at our building?

That sounds like he’s end of his term President Reagan smart rather than beginning of his term President Reagan smart.

Now I’m going to hear from all his nitwit friends about one or two of the few flaws that they can scrape up on President Obama.

Here’s my answer to that.




431. “Growing old is not for sissies”

That ice flow (floe?) I’m going to have to spend my final days  on is coming closer.

I bounced a check yesterday.  I have never done that before and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out how it happened. It turned out that I wrote a transfer in my bank book and never actually did it. That’s the kind of thing that dotty old ladies do.

Fortunately the person that received the bad check was very kind and forgiving. I was almost crying and he probably thought I would go over the edge any second and his only shot at getting me to make that check good was if he talked me off the ledge.

That’s not giving him his due though. He was really sweet when I called.

This is an example of when I could have used dave. If he were here he would have made that phone call.

We had a deal that if either of us had a call that we dreaded making, the other one would do it, no questions asked.  The pact couldn’t be called if we were just lazy. It had to be a willies type of thing.

I couldn’t wait for David to come home last night so I could tell him what happened to me.

Naturally he couldn’t care less because as he said “He was dodging shit all day”. For some reason indifference is calming to me and  I went home feeling better.

Obviously I didn’t give him any comfort because he called me later and asked me to meet him in the hall with my Halloween candy.

Buying that candy was the biggest mistake of my life. I got it at Costco so you  know how big that bag is. Since I’m on a budget I try to cut corners where I can so even though the little trick or treaters wouldn’t be knocking on my door for a few weeks, I bought this bargain vat of candy.

Probably by October 31 there will only be one Twixt and a Snickers wrapper left.

Even though I keep it at the back of my linen closet I still know where it is.

I forget everything else, why can’t I forget that?



430. I finally went to a happy funeral

Well happy may be stretching it. But is surely was a celebration of a life more than a grieving at a death.

Dave Taylor’s mother Gertie died at 98. She hadn’t been well and maybe even she thought it was time to leave.

Loads of people showed up which is unusual in someone that old and they weren’t just family. It seems that many people loved her.

This is saying a lot because even though her son in his eulogy said that no one ever had a bad word to say about her and she never had a bad word to say about anyone, that was not the Gertie I knew.

She had plenty of bad words to say and she didn’t hesitate to say them. That might have been what I liked most about her.

I wrote about her in this blog before when I visited her in the nursing home. She was quick and fun to be with.

I didn’t recognize her from Dave’s brother’s description at the grave sight but he was her son and he loved her and wanted to remember her like sort of a Jewish Mother Teresa.

I kind of like that. If anyone comes to my funeral please say that I was very skinny and polite and that though my talents lay in tap dancing I was more of a ballet kind of girl.

Oh yes and that I never had a bad word to say about anyone even that whore that stole my husband.

429. Sometimes I spend time with people that drink their tea with one pinky up.

I had some high toned guests yesterday.

Carmon Deleone and his lovely wife, Kathy.

Now these are two people that when dave and I broke up I was afraid that I’d never see again, not only because Carmon has a snooty job, he is the musical director of the Cincinnati Ballet and the conductor of the Middletown Ohio Symphony, but he’s dave’s best friend in the world.

In fact I used to say that after me, Carmon was the person dave loved most in the world. I really know people.

The thought of losing those two and their wonderful daughters really made me sad so you can imagine how happy I was that I was going to see them. In fact they’re coming to stay with me in May too and I can’t wait. I do have a guest room you know.

Let me tell you about them and our history.

Before he was a big time conductor,  Carmon was a drummer at the Playboy Club and that’s when he met Kathy. She was a bunny supporting 3 little daughters, he played in the band.

You know how you don’t want to introduce an older friend as what they used to be because, well, we all age, but Kathy still looks like a Playboy Bunny. She’s still beautiful and joy and light enter the room with her. I personally think she should stop wearing the ears but you know me. I like to mind my own business.

I remember the first time I met Carmon. dave and I were engaged and we went to Cincinnati to visit. All over the airport were pictures of Carmon in tails.  You can imagine how I dreaded having to make conversation with this guy. Especially since I had heard that dave’s first wife thought Carmon was “difficult”.

Well he was wonderful and if he was fussy about exactly which Pepperidge Farm cookie he preferred I could live with that.

In fact it was almost a year before I found the right one. I’d serve him the cookies and each time he’d take a small bite, smile and say “very good but….” and he’d shake his head.

I was shocked to see that his preference turned out to be  Bordeaux, a relatively plain choice for such a fancy guy.

They live in this beautiful big house with giant white pillars in front.

Kathy not only takes care of this house all by herself she also paints it and spackles stuff while serving Carmy his snooty guy breakfasts that almost always include a white sauce.

She’s everything I always wished I was.

One of my favorite things she does is totally decorate her house for Christmas. Each year she makes a beautiful wreath for her front door and takes out all her decorations so she can bring the season into every room in the house.

One year after visiting them , loving the holiday feeling, even finding little reindeer in the guest towels, I promised myself I’d do the same thing when I got home.

I bought tiny blue lights and put them all around my living room and placed candy canes in all my plants.   I obviously shot my load on that effort because those decorations stayed up for 8 years until the last candy cane was eaten by somebody that didn’t consider freshness a prerequisite for enjoyment of sweets.

I knew then that I could never be like Kathy, I’d just have to enjoy her.

There’s another Carmon and Kathy story that I’ve always loved.

They were dating for several years when Carmon planned a trip to Europe and told Kathy to bring her divorce papers. She naturally assumed that Carmon was going to ask her to marry him and they’d do it on the trip.

Actually Carmon told us later that that was his intention but when he got there he just didn’t feel like doing it. Being Carmon, he also didn’t feel it was necessary to mention  his change of plans.

I keep imagining Kathy getting up each morning, hopefully putting on her wedding dress only to be disappointed. I pictured Kathy getting on the plane to go home wearing a frayed, dirty gown and holding wilted flowers.

Well Carmie and Kathy did get married and they lived happily ever after. In fact dave’s father performed the ceremony.

I’m so glad they’re still in my life. Not only because I love them and I do but because the Maestro said he’d fix my TV before going back to Cincinnati.

Life is good.

428. Why I should be put out on the ice

1. The night before last I got undressed for bed and I realized that my shirt was on inside out and it was a shirt with buttons.

2. Yesterday I was in Home Depot with Miss Liz and tried to reach into my pocket only to notice that my pants were on backwards.

Nuff said.

427. Let’s say some day I die…. Nah that’s not gonna happen.

I went to Hugh McCracken’s memorial on Monday.

They kept playing a video with Hugh just talking and it felt like he was there.

So many people that loved him got up to speak and a few played.  You could hear a pin drop when  Will Lee sang  “Blackbird” in his beautiful soulful voice.

I came away with a few thoughts other than what a great musician Hugh was.

He made everyone feel like he really cared about them and was happy to see them.

People came from all over to pay their respects and return that love.

It was standing room only. I can’t imagine that many people showing up for me (something that many of the people at this thing said about themselves)

The memorial was held at a church affectionately known as the Jazz Church in the Citicorp building.

I’ve paid my respects to several musicians there.

I always expected to hold a memorial for dave there. I just assumed he’d die first and that all the musician’s that played with him would come and play his arrangements and I would receive their sympathy stoically.

Well I hope he tells his girlfriend where the jazz church is because if he wants a nice send off it will be up to her and if he has any regrets about leaving me, first on the list should be that I won’t be organizing his memorial. I do know how to throw a party.

In the old days if your dog died you had to put his body in a bag for the garbage men to pick up and you had to label it “dead dog”.

My sister Iris used to say to her children. Don’t come to my funeral. Visit me now. When I die you can just put me out on the curb in a bag with “dead mother” written on it.

So here’s what I want. When I die I want everyone I cared about and who cared about me to know I said “Thanks and See ya”

426. Give us your tired, your poor and your nuts.

It was an exciting weekend.

I spent Saturday night at Steph’s. She took me, her sister and her friend Donna to dinner theatre to see “Kiss Me Kate”.

The show was wonderful, beautiful music, talented actors, dancers and singers.

I did think there was one flaw. Remembering Howard Keel in the role, big strong and handsome, I originally thought that the guy who played the lead was too old. He had trouble lifting his young partner and he was a little jiggly in his tights.

I was clearly wrong though because at the end when he kissed Kate he had a big hard on.

Well not big but a hard on never the less.

And yesterday Miss Liz came home.

The 18th floor is whole again.

While David watched  the Dallas Cowboys, Lizzie and I went shopping.

Remember my telling you that when I’m uncomfortable I talk crazy? We were in the elevator with our packages when this giant handsome man got in with us.

For some reason I said ” You think we can’t beat you up but we can”. He didn’t miss a beat. He just smiled and said “I never doubted it for a minute.”

Julie would have cringed but Liz didn’t even blink. We’ve been friends for a very long time and she’s not related to me so my genes ain’t hers.

That was actually a New York story.  It’s such a high functioning city that you have to think on your feet all the time.

Another example of this happened only yesterday when I accidentally walked in front of a young man who was taking a photo of his friend.

When I apologized he said “Don’t be silly we were trying to get you in the picture”.

I’m so glad I live here. I can be as crazy as I want and no one cares.

425. I’m pretty sure that Jews can’t become alcoholics

I’ve never been much of a drinker.  In fact, I could never see the point of having a drink just to have a drink.

I’d have a glass of wine before dinner but that’s pretty much all I’d do.

As I’ve mentioned dave loved drinking, maybe too much.

So did my sister, Iris. When it was 5 pm on the nose she’d pour herself a cocktail. She did it scientifically. She had determined exactly how much gave her a buzz without putting her over the edge. She measured out her scotch or whatever carefully and you could just see her relax.

Iris and I couldn’t have been more different but she was definitely my best friend and I was hers. It pained her that I didn’t like to drink. She complained of it often.

She and dave loved each other and they both loved drinking together.

I remember sitting at dinner with a sober, disapproving expression on my face while the two of them were trying different cocktails and laughing and laughing.

I hated them both so much. In my defense, I had just quit smoking and was going through menopause so I was almost always furious and sweating and my watching them be happy made me want to kill them.

Well things have certainly changed. One of the things that dave left me with, along with half his worldly goods, was a love of the grape or the potato (is vodka made from a potato??)

When David sends me an email saying “Cocktails?” I can’t get over there fast enough. Hell, if the doorman sent me an email saying “Cocktails?” I’d shoot down to the lobby lickity split.

I was beginning to worry that I may be drinking too much because 1. It interferes with my wish to lose weight. Not only because it’s fattening but it opens the chicken parmigiana door and 2. I never can remember what 2 is.
That can’t be good. 2 might be important.

But then I started thinking. With the government shut down there’s nobody out looking for commies ergo the Russkies could overtake us and we’d have to drink vodka to get along and if I already like vodka I will be popular and maybe become a government official so I could shut down the government and there will be nobody looking out for honest well meaning politicians and they can overtake us and I can stop drinking.

It’s a no brainer.