465. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

I believe I told you that my niece Cheryl is here to meet with some Hollywood people about the  movie  they’re making from her book “Elusion”. The road to this hasn’t been without it’s bumps.

I’m really proud of her. In fact on my wall is a copy of the email that she got from the producer telling her what a great writer she is and how happy he is to be working with her.  No sooner had she forwarded it to me when I got a hysterical phone call from her saying that her account had been hacked and an answer to his very thoughtful letter went out trying to sell him a penile implant. 

It seems the offer also went out to her co writer, both of their agents and her daughter’s two 16 year old math tutors. I assured her that  this happens all the time, in fact I got two of them from my divorce lawyer.

Once I convinced her that she didn’t have to worry she immediately sent a note to her film agent asking her to follow up with the producer and ask him to get back to her with his order.  Cheryl suggested that she explain that she was cleaning out her garage and she only had a few of these penile implants left because they were going like hotcakes.

The girl knows how to take lemons and turn them into lemonade. That’s why I must say I was a bit chagrined that she didn’t go with the flow at my house.

My guest room is where she has written some of her book and where she stays when she has any New York meetings.  She and Elvis have really gotten along which is why I didn’t close him in my room for the night thinking that they may want some bonding time.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up to find him back in my room with the door closed.

When I questioned Cheryl it seems that Elvis being a little “friendly” was not acceptable to “Miss Hollywood”.

She said that when he put his nose real close to hers lightly patting her on the cheek as if to say “Hi Cher, how’s tricks?” it interfered with her sleep. She claims that she would have accepted that but when he put his ass on her neck with his tail happily slapping her in the face she was forced to give him the boot.

I guess the Beverly Hills Hotel doesn’t have any drawbacks, if you’d call a loving companion sharing the evening with you a “drawback”.

She’s my niece and I love her so I  hope that Elvis will choose to forget this little flutter and remember his cousin like this:


464. Tom Cruise is right. Being an actor and, it goes without saying, a writer, is harder than being a soldier.

When my world changes what I consider to be a necessity changes also.

For example when dave left, my friend Susan gave me a back scratcher that I can keep near my bed in case I itch.

Now I have socks on my night table so when Elvis attacks my hands during the night I can slip them on to sop up the blood.

Yep I roll with the punches.

And I hope my niece Cheryl is as flexible as I am.

She’s coming  to visit today. Well not just to visit, also to do some work.

Cheryl (Klam)and her co-writer Claudia (Gabel Lindvall) have written a book (the first of a series) called “Elusion” that is so successful that it’s becoming a movie and she’s  coming for some meetings and to work on book two.

She has her own room here with a computer so she can create in peace. There might be a slight glitch in this as is evidenced in the photo that I took when I tried to write this.

computerAnd that’s when he wasn’t attacking the mouse.

Ah she’s a trooper.

463. Mattie is the new boring.

Liz and Rupie are going back to Santa Fe tonight.

I will really miss them. David however will remain here and he has a new roommate, his son, Graham.

Graham broke up with his girlfriend and will be staying with  his dad for awhile. How this will effect the 18th floor I have no clue.

On one hand I expect to see less of David since I was never his first choice for company but on the other hand the bromance between David and Elvis seems quite strong.

We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

In either event, Graham has the flu so I’m not going near either one of them.

I think having my first cat has made me boring. Since nothing about him is familiar I am constantly amazed at his every activity.  When I talk on the phone I may interrupt the conversation with stuff like “Oh my, he’s licking his feet. I wonder if he needs shoes?”

Stephanie will cut me off quickly but others in my family are kinder. Though even my sister Marcia, who is the sweetest person I know, appears to be losing interest. Yesterday I actually  heard her humming while I was telling her how Elvis slid off the piano.

At least I have Elvis to keep me company. Well I will after Rupert goes back to Santa Fe. Those two are thick as thieves. When they’re together I can hardly get a word in edgewise.

462. That Day

In doing my research for how stupid I can make myself I was watching “Watch What Happens Live” and Matt Lauer was answering Andy Cohen’s  question which was,  “Is there anything you wish you hadn’t done on the Today show ?”

Matt had no trouble recalling the time that Amy Grant and Vince Gill were on the show and while Amy was singing, Matt noticed that Vince was staring at a very voluptuous background singer. Matt leaned over to Vince and said “I know what you’re thinking, are they real?” After a beat Vince answered “I hope so. She’s my daughter”

Now I’ve had so many moments like that in my life that there are too many to count. I still wake up in the night cringing at some remark I made that I thought was a scream but lay there like a lox.

I know that if my sister Iris were alive she’d still regret a moment in time that she always had trouble talking about. It was when she goosed my father.

To explain the enormity of this I’ll have to give you a little background information. My father took himself very seriously. Don’t get me wrong, he was charming and witty but he liked to think of himself as a David Niven type of guy. While the secretaries in his office might have called my darling Uncle Louie, Louie or my half wit Uncle Julius, Julius, they called my father Mr. Smith.

He cared how he appeared to the outside world. He was always impeccably dressed. Even when he retired to Florida and started wearing those horrible golf clothes, his pink shirt was sure to pick up a pink stripe from his plaid pants.

I don’t even remember ever seeing him with his hair uncombed. Like I said, he cared and took his demeanor seriously

Which is why “that day” would torture my sister Iris for over 50 years.

My other sisters and I knew never to walk up the stairs in front of Iris. If you delayed even a bit, she’d speed you up with a playful but firm goose. Maybe that explains, but doesn’t justify, even in her own mind, why when following my father up the stairs, she totally lost her mind and goosed him.

As she told it to me, on the one time she was able to actually able to talk about it, her hand went way farther up his ass than she intended and he made kind of a squeaking sound and hopped up the 6 or 7 remaining steps. He turned and looked at her but never said a word to her directly. His silence said it all.

The truth is, it’s always worse for the person that does or says this stuff than the person it’s done to. I’m sure my father never gave it another thought but that didn’t help Iris with the willies.

Since I’m always saying things I shouldn’t I am very understanding of people who do it to me. I remember the horror on my husband’s and mother in law’s faces when I was describing how I had negotiated the purchase of a samovar at an antique market and my mother in law filled in the term that I was searching for quite incorrectly as  “jewed him down”.

I was more amused than anything but dave  begged my forgiveness and my mother in law wrote me a letter of apology referring to her “little faux pas”.

I couldn’t have cared less and in fact if I had had to write an apology letter for every shitty thing I’ve said about her through the years and about dave in the past 2 years I’d have writer’s cramp like nobody’s business.

I’m only writing about this to warn the other angels in heaven not to walk up stairs in front of Iris because though she always regretted that particular goose it didn’t stop her from continuing to assist the slow climbers in reaching their destination in a timely manner.

461. I give up

I shouldn’t have a pet.

This morning I ate my breakfast standing up to keep Elvis from putting his hands in my eggs. When I sat at my computer he kept walking on the keys while I tried to write. To add insult to injury, then he knocked over my glass of water so it went all over my desk.

I wouldn’t be able to write now except he’s across the room staring at Rupert.

Liz and David decided to have a talk with me about all this.

Liz made me promise to keep Elvis off the dining room table. David naturally took this thought and ran with it saying that the bare minimum of civility is to keep your pets off the table. Then, never missing an opening to spew his hatred, he went on to name all the ethnic groups that, low as they are, EVEN THEY, wouldn’t let a cat on the table.

It was then that Liz (who I must remind you that since that shooting incident I believe has been somewhat tarnished by this relationship) said ” at least not uncooked”.

Once he realized that Lizzie wasn’t going to jump on him for the racist shit, David then decided he had a clear path to finish the conversation with a description of his cab driver last night who added an extra minute to  his trip by taking the Midtown Tunnel instead of the 59th Street Bridge. Do I have to tell you that english wasn’t this guys first language?

David actually said “That would never happen in London”. Which had what to do with the conversation? I can only assume that in England the cabbies are all graduates of Sandhurst.

I’d better finish this off because Elvis looks as if he’s getting tired of climbing my curtains. He may be thinking of dancing on the keyboard again.

Nope, it’s my head.

460. I swear this is the very last one

Yesterday morning we had another vet appointment.

Since a big snow was expected my plan was to drop Elvis off,  go out to breakfast, pick him up and take him home. Liz insisted on coming with me because I’ve been known to cut and run. She also came as another pair of ears because  the whole time the vet speaks to me I stare knowingly at him and nod while hearing nothing but the loud scream in my head.

When we get there the vet tells me that we couldn’t wait for him but because of the snow we could come back at around 3.At least I think that’s what he said. What I heard was EEEEEEEEEK!

Before I knew it Lizzie and I were chatting over pancakes. I hadn’t had pancakes since I was 7 but it seemed like the right choice.

The snow kept getting worse and worse but this is New York and I’ve never seen Manhattan brought to it’s knees by a little weather. The constant traffic always keeps the streets clear. It’s not like this is Iowa or something. We got places to go.

So at about 2 o’clock we leave to pick up the prince. The vet is a straight shot down second avenue. A straight 25 block shot. My first shock is that there are no cars on second avenue. It looks like a ski slope.  But we know that the buses will run so we wait at the bus stop for about 20 minutes with a bunch of other people.

Finally Liz says “Look, you wait for the bus. I’m going to walk on ahead”

“I can’t let you do that” I say “If you’re walking, I’m walking”

“You’ll just slow me down. I walk 5 miles a day in Santa Fe. This is nothing for me”

“I walk 5 miles a day too. Just slower”

She just looked at me with disgust and took off. She knows that unless someone moved Bloomingdales 5 miles away from my house rather than across the street that isn’t so.

So I wait. A little ashamed that my much younger friend is doing something that I should be doing.

Finally one of the women waiting for the bus says that she works across the street and she hasn’t seen a bus all day.

I call Lizzie on her cell and tell her to turn around. I’ll call the vet and say we’ll pick him up tomorrow. It gave me a sinking feeling because Elvis is just starting to know that he has a home and I felt like I was letting him down but I really love Liz.

Liz just said she’s almost there. I worried about taking the cat out in the snow with his respiratory infection. Liz says she won’t take him unless the vet says it’s ok.

Long story short ( I know, it’s too late for that). Liz walks all the way home with Elvis wrapped in a blanket on her back, stopping in banks on the way to make sure he’s ok. Which he was and he was also grateful to her as evidenced in these two photos:



459. Well maybe just one more

Remember I told you that when Stephanie saw a woman driving all hunched forward with her cat draped across her neck she said “That would be you if you had a cat”

Well she hit the nail right on the head. During the night I turned on my side and Elvis curled up on my hip. I had to lie there in that position for over an hour until he moved.

Julie and Violet came for dinner last night. Elvis was walking on the table before I served the food.

“Waddaya think Julie, is he allowed on the table?”

Julie seemed to think it was my call. Although her dogs are so beautifully trained she still isn’t one to give advice.

I finally came to the conclusion that he could burn himself on the chicken so:

Rule number one – No being on the table during meals where hot food is being served.

I hope he doesn’t feel restricted . I don’t want him to feel like he’s in a military school.

Violet brought over my birthday present. It was something she made out of this craft thing she has that is something like stained glass only plastic.

It was a little teeny martini glass and a coaster that said “Happy Hour” on it. I feel that you have to be honest with kids so they know if they’re doing their best so I said,

“Violet I really love this. It’s so much better than that grey turdlike thing you made me last year. What the hell was that?”

I’m sure she appreciated my honesty.

Got a call from Captain Hugh this morning. He’s the guy who helped us with our boat about 10 years ago and calls on every holiday and near holiday asking for money, which I always send him.

He told me that he was sorry he couldn’t get in touch with me to wish me a happy new year,( although his groundhog day message was much appreciated and plenty good enough). I wished him the same and told him I’d call Western Union as soon as I hung up.

How come dave got the boat and I got Captain Hugh?

Oh yeah and here’s absolutely the last photo I’m posting of Elvis unless he learns how to juggle.

julie photo

458 Elvis is in the building


If I can keep my crazy under wraps this might be the perfect pet for me.

Last night I was a wreck because Elvis went under the bed and wouldn’t come out but during the night he jumped up on the bed and that’s where he slept.

I have purchased a variety of beds for him scattered about my house and he has ignored them all. Same with the toys.

This morning Liz, David and Rupert came over to see him.

Liz held Rupe and they just stared at each other. David got bored and went home.

After awhile we noticed that Elvis was gone. We looked all over and finally found him in Liz and David’s house on David’s lap. I have a cat with no taste.

I want you to know that this will be my final Elvis post. It’s even boring to me. I will however add my picture of Elvis and Rupert meeting.

rupe and elvis

457 Hello from the boondocks

I only have one more night here. Tomorrow my niece Randy is bringing Elvis to me and the two of us are going back to NYC to start our new life.
I’m both excited and scared.
Interestingly, for the first time in many months Rupert will be home. If he and Elvis hit it off, all my prayers will be answered (except the one about me and Robert Redford).
If they don’t, I don’t know what I’ll do.

Back to the present. So far no coyotes have eaten the dogs, which is very good news. As I’ve said before, my job is the dogs, the cats and something I didn’t mention before, I have to leave 13 piles of deer food half way down the driveway every day at around 5. They are all standing there waiting so I can’t miss a day.

Donna, Stephanie’s friend is in charge of the horses and donkeys and barn cats but yesterday I decided that I have to feed the horses because I have to pass them on my way to the deer and I can’t stand them staring at me and yelling “Nu?” (jewish for “What the hell? Did you forget when dinnertime is?”).
They’re a bunch of schmucks because Donna comes home between 5 and 5:30 but waiting isn’t their strong suit. Certainly not waiting without kvetching.

Speaking about schmucks, I have a blind item for you.
“What schmuck is planning a personal coup in the schmuckiest way possible? And what neighbor of the schmuck is going along with said schmuckiness to take her final step into Schmuckland?

456 Tell me again why some people don’t live in New York City

I’ve just passed my first night at Stephanie’s house minding her animals.

It’s like Noah’s Ark here. She has 2 horses, 2 donkeys, 2 barn cats, 2 house cats and 2 dogs. I’m only responsible for the dogs and the house cats. Steph’s friend Donna is caring for the big guys.

Not that she isn’t helpful with my tasks. Why just this morning she suggested that if the dogs come in with muddy feet i might want to go over the floor with a damp rag.

Yeah, I said to myself, good idea. Since I have all this extra time that I might be pissing away watching my favorite TV shows, why not fill that with a little scrubbing.

My own kitchen floor has a grape on it that I was seriously thinking of picking up before I left yesterday but with all the rushing it slipped my mind. Well maybe that’s not exactly true. It was more that I figured it would be so much easier to corner, what with how grapes roll, when I get home on Friday and it’s turned into a raisin.

So wash Steph’s floor? I don’t think so. My job here is to hug and kiss these dogs and cats, feed them and (hopefully) keep them from getting eaten by coyotes.

I do have a nice lunch planned though. I’m meeting Shelby, the genius who did those wonderful drawings for my blog. She gave me detailed directions to her house. I told her she only had to give me her address because I have a gps hidden under the seat of my car so no one will steal it, although David says that I needn’t bother to hide it because stealing that would be like stealing an abacus.

Well gotta go now. I have a big morning planned. I have to stare into space until about 11 and then dress for lunch, busy busy.