766. Yahoo Travel, the saga continues

So I’m doing this stuff for Yahoo Travel. It’s really fun. I’ve been hearing from all kinds of people and I like that. And I love the website. There is an article about any possible thing you may want to do.

 There is one little thing I never thought about when I signed up. They expect me to go places.

 It’s not like I have such a busy life. I can get away. But they obviously haven’t been reading this blog if they think they have some kind of Lewis and Clark on their hands.

 Anyone who reads what I write will learn absolutely nothing about the places I write about except how to look like you’re doing something smart while all your doing is shopping, eating, and complaining about any minor discomfort.

 Yesterday they asked me if Marcia and I were interested in going to Capri.

Actually that sounds really good but Marcia can’t go anyplace until her puppy gets house broken, you know, the one from Arkansas. I’m not sure they’ll want to stop the presses for that.

 Anyway my next planned trip will be to Santa Fe to visit Liz. I’m hoping David will go when I go because as you all know, he always delivers and I can do a whole article on going to a gun store with that jerk.

 Speaking of David, he and I had dinner last night. When I met him downstairs the first thing he said was “What’s wrong with your eyebrows?”

 “I dyed them”

 “It looks like you only dyed half of them. Why would you do that?”

 “I dyed all the hairs that were there so shut up”

 “Okay, I was just saying, it looks stupid”

 “Thanks for nothing, just stop looking at my eyebrows”

 “Kinda hard to do but sure.”

 We went into the restaurant and I explained that these Yahoo people want me to travel.

 He got that superior smirk on his face that he always gets when he thinks he’s saying something smart.

 “What a surprise, they expect a travel writer to travel. Didn’t I tell you that would be the case?”

 “I know, I know. Actually I wouldn’t mind going to Capri. Marcia would like that too.”

 Just then my phone beeped. I look at the message. It was from my Yahoo boss,

 “How does China sound to you?”

 These people are nuts. They’re thinking of sending a woman who can barely walk to Bloomingdales to climb the Great Wall.

 Then I start thinking, do they have pizza in China?

765. I dyed my eyebrows and oh yeah, I’ve been hired to write for Yahoo Travel

That’s right, all you freeloaders. Yahoo is actually paying me money to write stuff. You can see my first article at Yahoo travel.

I’m not going to say what they are paying me per word but I’m getting what all big time writers get paid. In fact I have it on good authority that my pay scale is almost identical to Charles Dickens’.

Yep I’ll be traveling all over flashing my Yahoo Travel badge (I assume they’ll give me a badge) so I get special treatment.

Maybe I should get a lorgnette, you know those eye glasses on a stick. That way they’ll know I’m fancy and when I go to a hotel they’ll give me extra shampoo.

I’m really excited about this.

I wonder if they’re gonna expect me to go to snooty places like operas? No can do.

Here’s the deal. If you want to know the happ’nin’ spots that will broaden you intellectually I ain’t your guy, but if you are looking for some sights that will be easy on the knees and still sells refrigerator magnets worth putting in your kitchen, that’s me.

Now on to my eyebrows.

I read that one of the things that make you look older is pale eyebrows.

Now that I’m a paid writer I owe it to my fans to look good which is why I had my eyebrows professionally dyed yesterday.

I must say I was very pleased with the result. I practiced several expressions in the mirror and noted how much more effective they were with these dark eyebrows. I did angry, then perplexed, then pensive. I’d like to say which was the best but they were all sterling.

I pretty much forgot about them until Julie and Violet arrived for dinner.

When I came to the door Julie looked at me and said “Your face looks different” and then she bent over hysterically laughing. I do mean hysterical too. If my living room had aisles, she’d have been rolling in them.

“What are you laughing at? My eyebrows?”

She’s not a mean girl and I could see she was trying to pull herself together but she just couldn’t.  Every time she tried to say something comforting I would change my expression and she’d be back at it.

Finally, well into the meal, she gave me some half assed explanation for her laughter. While keeping her eyes well above my head she told me that she just got frightened when she saw me.

How that was supposed to make me feel better I don’t know.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll “Yahoo travel” over to the place I got my eyebrows done and ask if they can erase them.

764. I Spoke Too Soon

David is home for one day and we’re at each other’s throats.

First he was furious that I removed the word “Zipperhead” from his comment on yesterday’s blog. True, I didn’t know what the word meant but I know it was an insensitive description of some minority.

Remember folks, I’m trying to keep him somewhat lovable while still giving you an idea of what a dope he is.

Not for him, he couldn’t care less, but every time I quote him exactly I get an immediate call from Liz.

 “Do you realize that people know that he’s my fiancé? How do I explain that if you show what he’s like? Take it off!!”

 And I do.

 But it wasn’t all harsh words. We discuss lots of intellectual things too.

 We talked about fracking.  To tell you the truth I don’t have a clue about what fracking is so I asked him to explain it to me.

 He did, in great detail making it sound logical and absolutely the thing that’s going to save the U.S. economy. He’s very much for it.

 Which is why I’m against it. If he thinks it’s good it’s got to be evil.

 When I told him this he sneered “You are just against it because your sister says it ruins the water. She’s an idiot.”

I should note that the last time Marcia was here they had a vigorous discussion on fracking and haven’t said a nice word about each other since.

 “Well, David, I do value my sister’s opinion above yours because she is good and you stink”

 Now that I think of it, it is nice to have him home.

763. I have to admit it. I miss David

My neighbor David is always saying that without him my blog would suck. Being dumped is old news. My cat Elvis is beyond boring. My family interactions are only interesting to the people in my family. These are his words, not mine.

He may be right though. He’s been in Santa Fe with Lizzie for about a week and I can’t think of one thing to write about.

Usually when that happens I walk across the hall and just wait for Obama to give a speech or some law giving minorities the same rights as WASPS to pass and I can count on him to give a summation of what’s wrong with this country and, by the way, me.

Any innocent question like “Is Atlanta on the way to Santa Fe?” can get him going for about 20 minutes.

He delights in pointing out that my geography knowledge is limited which is only true to a point. I’m a sponge. Even though I’m seventy I’m still growing and learning.

Why just the other day someone wrote and told me I have a fan in Kansas.

I went right to my globe and found Kansas smack in the middle of the United States, kinda.

Now it’s my favorite state.

See? I’m evolving while that putz is still looking for Obama’s birth certificate.

762. The glory of being me.

Good news. Seems I’ve been grinding my teeth when I sleep so my dentist has added a night guard to wear under my breathing machine. Now I’m perfectly protected facewise if the ceiling caves in.

Looks like the guy who sells fruit on my corner who’s been eying me in what I consider a come hither fashion will have to be prepared to pay that twenty five bucks for extra carry on if he wants to whisk me away to a tropical island for a romantic weekend.

As for kissing? No can do unless he wants to get his lips bitten off while I’m gasping for air.

Come to think of it it might be worth it to him. I was quite the kisser in my day.

Ah we’ll see. You never know what can happen in the throws of passion.

I was talking to my sister this morning and she mentioned that her husband sent away for a new printer while she was here helping Julie move.

“That was sweet of him” I said

“No it wasn’t” she answered

“No it wasn’t” I corrected.

“Did that mouth guard break your brain?” Even though she’s always been known as the sweet sister she can have a real bite to her when crossed.

“It just that I haven’t had a husband for awhile. I forgot how stupid they are.”

That seemed to placate her.

I’ve been spending my last week getting hacked and changing my password and getting hacked again.

The good part about this is that in the morning when I see I have 28 emails I get all happy because I think I’m popular. When one of them is from the dry cleaner I haven’t used in 20 years telling me to go fuck myself the bubble bursts.

Maybe I’ll give him a call. After all he did answer personally. Let’s see if he’s game for a weekend in the Bahamas.


761. Movers and Shakers

I  know it’s been awhile.

I came back from Italy, had jet lag and with my sister Marcia immediately focused on helping Julie move.

Yesterday was moving day.

Julie’s new place is about 15 blocks from her old apartment.

In one way it was easier than we thought  ( I say this because I did very little of the packing) and in some ways harder (not for me that much but there were a million oys coming from my loved ones).

The easy part was that she had the greatest movers who kept rearranging her furniture for her until she was happy ( Go Shleppers!)

Also Julie was smart enough to make sure that the cable /internet guy was there on moving day because as she told me yesterday  since the internet was turned off the day before they left their old apartment, Violet was living like a pilgrim. She actually played with a puppet.

Well the movers left, lots of stuff was put away and I suggested that it was time to toast the new apartment.

Since the cable guy was still there I assumed it would be rude not to include him.

Obviously not everyone agreed because Julie came out of the bedroom with a look of disbelief on her face asking “Did I just hear you invite the cable guy for cocktails?”

“Guilty as charged”

After a frenzied search for a corkscrew only solved by our friend Claudia going down to buy a new one and by the way picking up a bottle of red to go with the white we already had, it was time to celebrate.

“What’ll ya have?” I asked the cable guy “Red or white?”

“I’m kind of a wine virgin, either one.”

“Okay, red it is”

We all toasted the move, the internet and just life in general.

A few minutes passed and the wine virgin said “Maybe I’ll give that white a chance now”

“Er, okay”

Me still in a party mood asked “Which do you like better?”

He seemed to mull it over and after swilling down the remainder of the wine in his glass gave us a thoughtful “Red”

We all pretty much ignored his holding up his glass, I suppose to see how the mixture of the two would go down, and thanked him and started putting the wine away.

Everything went well until about ten minutes after he left, the downstairs buzzer rang and it was WV coming back up.

I will say that Julie, my sister and Claudia all looked at me with accusatory glares blaming my gracious invitation for the possibility that we may have a stalker.

It turned out he just forgot to have Julie sign the paper that said he had done what he was supposed to, in internet terms that is.

They had to feel bad for maligning me without reason.

To you out of towners, here’s something you may not know.

In Iowa, if you move 15 blocks away you’ll meet pretty much the same kind of people. Here in New York, not so much.

That really hit home to me on the new bus route I took back to my neighborhood.

This is  how they wear sweaters where Julie lives now.


760 Muchas Gracias Italy!

I’m home. I think my cat actually missed me. He keeps rubbing against me and hasn’t bitten me once. Well maybe just once but I was askin’ for it.

While this was the best vacation I ever had I must say that we didn’t leave Italy without incident.

While we were checking in at the airport, the cabdriver came running up and said that we had taken the room key with us and could we please give it to him to bring back to the hotel.

We assured him that we did nothing of the sort. We were quite sure of this since as Liz said how could we carry home the equivalent of
a gas station bathroom key attached to a hubcap?
Just to reassure the driver though, we looked through our carry on luggage. No key.

It wasn’t until we were on the plane flying over Omaha (I’m pretty sure we pass Omaha on the way from Venice) that Marcia while searching her bag for a sock to put over her eyes (don’t ask) that she sheepishly pulled out the arm shaped key to room 155.

“How did you not notice it?”

“With all the stuff I was bringing back my bag weighed a ton. How would I notice an extra quarter of a ton? And besides, shut up. I’ll mail it back when we land”

It was kind of refreshing hearing Marcia tell me to shut up again. All this niceness was getting old.



759. And then came Liz

As some of you know my sister Marcia and her husband Paul lost their dog, Tony just before she came on this trip.
They were looking for a new rescue dog to keep their remaining dog company.
Marcia, feeling a bit guilty for going to Italy told Paul that he needn’t wait for her to come home before getting a new dog. If he found one he liked he should just get it.
The other night on the phone he told her that he found the perfect dog. He called the woman who was giving it away and even though the dog would cost $550 he knew that that was the dog for him since I’m guessing mutts were very rare in the state of New York.
The woman lives in Arkansas and as my sister says played Paul like a fiddle.
Paul told her “She said she just moved to Arkansas and it was so great to finally speak to an intelligent person”

Although I have no right to give marital advice I asked Marcia why didn’t she tell him that he was being taken?
She said because it was on the phone and I’m in Italy.

“Gotcha” I said, “Why cut off his balls if you aren’t there to see it.

Back to me. Here’s why people should use travel agents.

She, Eva, picked fabulous hotels with luxurious rooms, centrally located at a reasonable price.
I chose the hotel in Venice myself because it had wonderful memories for me. It was not too far from the Piazza San Marco and had charm.

Let me tell you what “not too far” means to knees that are almost 40 years older than the last time I made that trip.
Try dragging 2 suitcases and a breathing machine over a bunch of bridges without screaming in pain.
And charm? Me I find air conditioning charming and rooms that when you open the windows don’t allow every bug that ever made its home in a canal in to take a bite out of you.
And to add insult to injury, at my suggestion, Miss Liz made a reservation in the same hotel so we could spend the day together.
Marcia and I were so happy to see her this morning. And leave it to her not to make a peep when she saw her room.
We all went out to experience Venice together. We kept saying how happy we were.
We shopped and had lunch by the canal.
Now we’re all having a nap until cocktail time when we’ll paint the town red.

Tomorrow home. Can’t wait to kiss Elvis.

758 My mother had a friend named Florence. She was nutty as a fruitcake.

I don’t want to tell Italy what to do but if you’re going to have a church every 10 feet and you feel it’s your responsibility to gong out every hour and follow it up with a song maybe you should get off the 24 hour clock.
Come 21 o’clock you just want to go shoot a priest.

Today was another good day. We walked our feet off, shopped, paid way too much for something we aren’t sure we’ll know how to work when we get home and just loved being together.

I have decided that there are 2 themes for this trip. Photos of everything we eat for my friend Susan and pictures of my sister standing next to strange men.
The second part is not easy. Unless the men embrace it Marcia immediately runs away.
When that happens I threaten her by saying that since she didn’t like that guy, the next guy I approach will be worse so she’d better stop fighting me.

I admit on occasion it doesn’t go exactly as I’d like. This afternoon I instructed Marcia to stand with these two young men with their cameras and I stepped back to get a shot of it.
The men started screaming at me in italian that I was in the way of the photo they were trying to take of their girlfriends.

I couldn’t have cared less but Marcia was halfway down the block in about a minute.

I had to punish her by making her pose with the two toothed guy that sold magnets. As an extra special treat I picked up a nice magnetic statue of David, a prestigious item on anyone’s refrigerator.

Marcia has a very important job also. She is our mouthpiece. It seems that when we checked in we had a bit of trouble getting internet and I might have gotten a bit too graphic in telling the desk clerk what he was missing in the brains department.

Needless to say any questions we have must come from the sweet sister.

Well it’s about a quarter to 19. Gotta get dressed for dinner.

While I hid behind a pole Marcia got a recommendation from the desk clerk for a wonderful restaurant.

If he didn’t spot me it should really be good..

757. Buon Giorno Americanos

My sister and I take security very seriously. Well I do. I’m a City girl. Marcia lives upstate where I assume there are no robbers.
Twice she got out of a taxi here in the land of the Mafia and left her purse in the cab.
If I didn’t pick it up with my stuff and sweetly ask her if she was sure she didn’t want this, dangling her pocketbook with my lips pursed, she’d be in big trouble.
Anyway with my urging we both bought small purses to hold our passports and money that I wear under my sweater but Marcia wears out in the open (Why do I even try?)
This morning we almost missed breakfast because we couldn’t find the key to our room.
I made it real clear to Marcia that without it we;d have to haul all our valuables down to the dining room.
It turns out that I should have looked where I left it, in the lock outside the door.
Marcia said not a word of recrimination. At first I thought I heard her say “nice going stupid” but I’m sure I’m wrong.She’s way too sweet for that.

Since my finances were decimated by my “better” half running off to a lifetime of happiness, my travel souvenirs have changed from jewels to refrigerator magnets. I was trying to buy one in this little shop across from the Duomo in Orvieto but I was told that the guy had no change.
The thing was 4 euros and I had a 5.
How could a store that only sells crap to suckers not have enough change to get the deed done?
I walked out disappointed but cheered myself up by saying I’d just have to be satisfied with the magnet I got in Rome that has the Pope giving a thumbs up.
Then it was off to Florence. We were lucky to get a cab driver who was kind enough to take us from the Duomo to our hotel to pick up our luggage and then to the train, about a 15 minute drive for only fifty bucks. May that prick come to New York and try explaining to a New York cab driver in broken english that he wants to see the Statue of Liberty. I’m thinkin’ we’ll be about even then.
The rest of the trip went okay. I think the woman who sold the tickets at the train station got annoyed with my almost perfect italiano. I”m pretty sure she called me a whore.
Isn’t a putana a whore in italian?
Ah I’ve been called worse.