885. Memories

My sweet cousin Maxine lost her vibrant and talented husband Irv this week.

Because of this we will all see each other on Sunday to mourn his passing and hopefully give some comfort to Mac.

Whenever the family gets together I think about how it was when we were growing up.

Our families were very close. Maxine and Barbara were the children of my mother Pearl’s older brother Louie and his wife Ray. Uncle Louie and my dad not only worked together but my father loved him like a brother. My mother and my Aunt Ray were best friends. They were somewhat competitive but they laughed together a lot so that made up for it.

My three sisters and I were always together with Maxine and Barbara throughout our childhood.

My older sisters, Iris and Phyllis spent most of their time with Maxine and  Marcia and I with Barbara. In fact the three of us went to Camp Highmount together.

When I say that I was with Marcia and Barbara it was only because they had to drag me along.

Speaking of Camp Highmount, it doesn’t hold very good memories for me.

I was homesick all the time. I remember being shocked that there were kids in my bunk who actually chose to go to camp. To me it was something you had to do.

I remember trying to hold in my tears when my parents were saying good bye at the end of parent’s visiting weekend because my mother told me if I cried she wouldn’t come back again.

“Nice parenting, , Pearlie”

I guess she was right though. I should have been tougher. After all I was 5 and it was only a sleep away camp for 8 weeks.


But it didn’t do me any damage. I’m sure that the reason I don’t like to leave my house for more than a week has nothing to do with that. And surely my inability to travel much has no effect on my being a travel writer.

………… (this is me trying to pull myself together so I don’t call mommy a bitch)

But I loved my mother and I love my cousins and all their kids and I wish we were getting together for something happier but happy or sad we’ll deal with it better together.

Rest in peace, Irv.

884. Gripes.

I just have to say that while I was having cocktails with the two people who hate me I got a call from two people who love me.

Carmon DeLeone conductor of Cincinnati Ballet Company and david’s best friend, called and he was in the car with his wife Kathy, who I adore. I miss them so much.

They were going to a James Taylor concert and they would be meeting with someone I also love, Steve Gadd, and Bob Mann and Lew Marini. I loved all of them.

It kind of made up for the fact that I was entertaining people who talked to each other and didn’t talk to me.

I”m drunk so this might not make sense but I’ll read it tomorrow and correct it/

883. Par-tay

My hair is all cute and I have lipstick on.

David and my down the hall neighbor are coming over for cocktails. I guess we’ll go out to eat after but I’ll have to wait on that.

Now let me tell you how low I’ve sunk socially.

My down the hall neighbor once stopped talking to me for 5 years because I broke an ashtray in her house when I was minding her cat. I”m not allowed to say her name because Liz will hit me.

She’s friendly now because,  I guess she’s lonely, and she’s using my wifi. Plus she has no furniture while she waits to rent out her apartment.

When I  invited David he said he’d come if we sit on the terrace and the dog isn’t a pest.

Good luck on that David, he’s been sitting around the house all day twiddling his paws.

The sad part is that I’m looking forward to this.

I’m thinking that I’m going to have to go back on my rule about not having any new friends.

The terrace looks so great.

My nephew Terry came over this morning to put the finishing touches on the improvements he made on it.

He lives in Connecticut yet he was here at 7 a.m. and he put in a watering system so I don’t have to water my plants.

He wasn’t cranky or anything. He’s Stephanie’s husband and I guess there can only be so much cranky in one house so he probably gave it up for Lent.

I think I’ll have my drink now. It’s always good to have a buzz on when you’re entertaining people who hate you.

882. Shades of Embarrassment

So what’s new with me?

Nuthin’ much. Oh wait, I saw “Gone Girl” last night. It was pretty good, not the least reason because you get to see a real wiener.

For some reason I just thought about something from my past that still gives me the willies.

When I was in high school I was dating a singer who was in a rock and roll group. Dating is a little strong. I got him to come to my house once with the other guys on his way back from a gig.

His name was Dennis Minogue (he later changed it to Terry Cashman and wrote “Sunday Will Never Be The Same”) I loved him then and I love  him now. He was absolutely the hippest person I ever dated.

My parents were having a card game that night and for some reason I thought it was a good idea to have the group come into the den and sing for them.

They  sang “Hey Senorita” a cappella while my parents, my Aunt Bertie and Uncle Jerry, my Aunt Rose and Uncle Moish and my Uncle Louie and Aunt Ray sat there  and watched them, just holding their card as they were with uncomfortable smiles on their faces.

As soon as the guys started singing I knew it was a terrible idea but I just had to sit there until the song was finished. For some reason, the most embarrassing part of this was the applause. May parents and my aunts and uncles all clapped with their cards still in their hands. This made the clapping almost soundless .

We, the guys and I, just backed out of the room.

Now this was not as embarrassing as when I sneezed and farted at the same time in the third grade in Assembly  in front of David Gillis and Richard Sheslow, but I was older and my shame was subtler.

I feel better already. I’m going to go back in my memory book of excruciating moments and include them in future posts.

881. Consider this an ad.

So I put my house on Airbnb.

I wanted to see if it was attractive so I went  on the site as a purchaser. Could I find it?

The answer to that is no. And I know where it is.

Not that it matters because I’m afraid to talk to strangers anyway.

My friend Susan told me that someone she knew was looking for someplace to stay in Montauk. She offered to give me their phone number but when she saw how nervous that made me (how she could see me scrambling under the bed over the phone I’ll never know but we’ve been friends for a long time) she offered to make the call.

So I’m going to put all the facts about my house here where I’m among friends.

It’s an upside down contemporary (this means the bedrooms are on the first floor and the other  sunny stuff is upstairs.)

It has 3 bedrooms. However in the living room I have 2 couches that open up enabling 4 more people to sleep.

One and a half bathrooms but it has an outdoor shower.

It has a lovely deck with a BBQ.

A perfect kitchen with a dishwasher.

A TV, cable and wifi.

I supply all sheets and towels. There is a washer and dryer.

You can walk to the ocean beach. Not that you’d want to because it’s about 6 blocks away and then you have to leap down a cliff.

Right across the street is a petting zoo and horseback riding. They will give you rides on the beach.

Also very nearby is Tennis, Golf, and a pool.

Now the photos.outside



table full

whole room


LR 2




red room


Plus there’s a piano and I allow dogs if they’re good looking.

I’m charging $750 a night which sounds like a lot until you realize that you can squeeze 10 people in there.

Pretty nice huh?

If any of youse are interested let me know and I’ll have Susan call you.

880. Just Bitching

It is sooo hot here in the Big Apple.

I took Ray for a walk and half way around the block he just lay down.

I carried him home.

I’m not walking him for the rest of the day. He’ll just have to use my terrace (or as David says, the most expensive toilet in NYC) for his ablutions.

I know this won’t make me popular but I have a bone to pick with some dog owners on Facebook.

Not all dogs are good looking just as not all babies are good looking.  Yet there are some people who keep putting photos of mediocre looking dogs on the site.

I say if your dog is especially handsome or pretty, for example:


Go for it.

If they don’t reach this benchmark (see above) keep the pictures in your wallets.

If you don’t like me for saying this, well haters gonna hate.

Does anyone else realize that I have no idea where to put commas? I just throw them hither and yon and hope I get away with it.

I am very mad that as of yet no one has rented my Montauk house and the summer is passing by.

I have my friend Susan, out in Montauk now,  well not Susan, Allan, because he has more of a flair, if you know what I mean, at taking stylish pictures.

I’m going to put these on one of those websites that notifies murderers and thieves that you have a vacation house there for the taking.

I think I’ve been too picky. The way I see it, I ain’t gonna marry these people. If they pay the rent I don’t care if they run a meth lab out there.

Just as long as they clean the sheets before they leave.


879. I forgive but I don’t forget

I’ve totally forgiven Ray for running away for 2 reasons.

1. I can’t look at him without being filled with love.


2. When I asked George, the guy who found him in the staircase, what he was doing when he came upon him he said “He was just sitting there”.

I don’t think 12 is that old but he does seem a bit spaced out sometimes. We go for a walk and he stops dead for long periods of time and just stands there which is why I always bring a book with me.

Not that different from me. I go into a room to get something and when I get there I have no idea what I came for.

It’s kind of nice to know that we can talk about how nutty we’re getting to each other.

Although I have forgiven Ray I am still mad at David because he’s

1. Not cute

2. A fucking prick shit and is a stupid rat crap head.

Maybe I should explain.

We went out to dinner last night. We were sitting at an outdoor table and because the service was so lousy we had plenty of time to watch the world going by.

Early in our meal I noticed 2 young men walking together laughing and talking. They were either in their late teens or early twenties. One was white the other was african american.

We finished our meal and as we were paying the bill I saw something that broke my heart.

The two boys had returned from where ever they went. The white kid was standing in the street hailing a cab and the african american kid was  standing behind the side of the building where he couldn’t be seen.

When the cab stopped the white kid got in and held the door and the african american kid came out from behind the building and got in next to him very quickly.

I told David what I had seen. It made me so sad.

His response “Bullshit”.

“What’s bullshit? That I didn’t see what I saw or that I’m coming to the wrong conclusion about what I saw?”


“I’m lying?”

“You’re always putting your liberal spin on everything. No cabdriver would have refused to pick up those kids.”

This from a guy who in trying to convince me that he isn’t antisemitic keeps bringing up the same jewish friend he knew 20 years ago. He probably doesn’t know him now because he turned him in to the nazis.

“First of all, I don’t think that’s true. Second, it’s irrelevant. Clearly they thought they had a better chance of getting a cab this way.”

Our argument deteriorated into him sneering and mimicking me and me suggesting that his father was gay which is why he never saw him with any woman  other than his mother.

When we got home I slammed the door in his stupid face in an attempt to drown out his derisive laughter.

Which is why I am asking all of you, especially you stupid David, to read the following.


Well that’s about it. I have to call David to see what time he wants to go to Costco.


878. It’s a shame I never had kids. I have so much to offer.

Well I’ve calmed down somewhat after yesterday’s trauma.

I’m still giving Ray the cold shoulder even though I did tell the doorman he could resume saying  “Hey Ray” when we go out. Yesterday no one was allowed to speak to him at all. You do the crime, you do the time.

As you know Julie is in Paris so I went to pick up Violet at writing camp yesterday and we had dinner together.

She’s not like any kid I’ve ever known. When she got in the car, before she put on her headphones to tune me out, I asked her what they were writing about in the class.

It seems that the girls were mostly writing romantic stuff and the boys were writing about space ships and zombies. Her story took place in an insane asylum but funny.

She really is Julie’s kid.

I’m glad to know that I’ve been able to put my own stamp on her though.

Over dinner she told me that there is a girl in her class that is “so fucking annoying”.

I was proud. She combined an air of superiority with a nice curse word. Not bad for an almost 12 year old young lady.

I just know Julie will be grateful.

Maybe I should open up some kind of finishing school. I could use the coins.


877. Dog – gone

I haven’t written for awhile because every time I sit down to do it something happens in the world that seems more important than whatever I was going to say.

For example, Liz has been home for a few weeks and the other night I had a dinner party with Steph and Terry and Liz and David.

David was his usual pain. Since he insists that I’m the worst cook in the world (whenever he eats at my house he brings his own food), he wanted to know exactly what I was making. Only Liz’s threats kept him from bringing his own BLT with him.

As always Liz was wonderful, Steph was Steph and my sweet Terry brought me a watering system for my newly fixed up terrace.

I was going to write loads of clever things said over our (superb) meal but then Justin Bieber put his tushy on instagram and Ben and Jen broke up.

Like anyone cares what I have to say after that.


I just had a trauma.

When Liz is in town we usually leave our doors open. It used to be so Rupert could walk back and forth and now for Ray to do it.

I had just cleaned my kitchen from my dinner two nights ago and was rewarding myself by watching “The Real Housewives of NY”.

Ray was over with Liz.

I knew that when she left she would put him in my house and close my door.

I am planning on picking up Violet in about an hour.

I walked into my living room and noticed my door was closed so I thought I’d tell Ray that he could come with me to pick up the kid.

Unfortunately he was nowhere to be found.

I looked everywhere. I even went to Liz’s house to see if she had left him there by mistake.

No Ray.

I know I’ve been critical of Ray of late what with him liking everyone better than me but I was by no means through with him.

I was looking everywhere. I was in a panic. I knew that even if I didn’t find him I couldn’t be late to pick up Violet.

Then I noticed the fire stairs were open and one of the workers, George, in my building heard me calling. He ran down the stairs looking for my dog.

I’ll cut to the chase. He was on the 12th floor. I live on 18.

Did I give him a stern talking to? You bet I did, especially when George got in the elevator and Ray followed him (that dog doesn’t give one shit about me)

Did I take away his hall privileges? You know it.

Did I kiss him and kiss him?


876. If a pig is really pretty she doesn’t need lipstick

I have a very nice apartment.

I’ve been living here since 1976.

I never was really “house proud” but I think since dave left I’ve taken that casualness to a new low. My apartment needs painting. The ceilings in almost every room have at least a little spot that’s peeling and my dining room chairs need to be recaned badly.

Mostly only people I know well or are related to come to visit but I am having kind of strangers over in a few weeks.

I guess I could fix some of this stuff, like my chairs, but that would cost money. I have money but I’d rather spend it on other things. Things that make me happy. Fixing my chairs wouldn’t make me happy. It would just be the absence of noticing that they need fixing which only bothers me when new people come over.

And painting the place would probably mean that I have to do some preparation. I wouldn’t like that at all. And the walls look okay, it’s just the ceilings. And who looks up when they’re in someone’s house? I’ll tell you who. Nuts.

I was thinking of putting post it notes on the chairs and the peeling places saying that I CAN fix these things I just choose not to but when I mentioned that to Julie she told me that it was a crazy idea and I shouldn’t do it.

I don’t know why not. Isn’t it kind of a free speech thing?

Anyway she’s not the boss of me.