.....and other random stuff......

Friday, March 29, 2013

I Think My Closet Might Be a Stargate

At least that’s what I’m hoping!

We have a very large mirror in our bathroom. It spans the wall over the double vanity. Directly behind it and off at a slight angle is our closet.
The other morning as I was drying my hair I saw Husband (in the mirror) walk into the closet.
This is not unusual.
It’s a walk in closet and quite large so we use it for storage as well as clothing.
The strange part was he didn’t come out.
I didn’t think too much of it. I just thought he was taking slightly longer to fish something out of the depths.
I kept waiting for him to emerge.
And waiting
And waiting.
I finished drying my hair and went to look in the closet to see what he was up to. (You know, just in case of “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”)
He wasn’t there.

There was no way he could have emerged without me seeing him.
I went out to the living room to find him watching TV.
“Were you just in our room?” I asked.
“No.” was his reply.

I KNOW I saw someone go into the closet!

I'd much rather entertain the idea that my closet is a Stargate than to consider the other possibilities...................lol

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It Was Inevitable

We stopped for a late lunch the other day.
The teenage cashier took one look at us and didn’t even ask! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Husband Stories

Husband doesn’t recall very many childhood memories.
I think it’s a guy thing.
But the few he does remember are winners!

When he was a teen he was in the habit of eating a bowl of cereal as a snack.
He would bring it to his room and when he was finished shove the dirty dishes under his bed.
After a while his parents found they had no more bowls or spoons!
His mother would find them piled under his bed growing a fine crop of fuzz.
He was ‘reminded’ over and over to return the dirty dishes to the kitchen, but being a teen, well, we all know how that goes.
One day his father, having had enough,  went to the garage, got the garbage can, brought it into Husband’s room and said, “You want to live in a dump, HERE, live in a real dump!” and emptied the garbage can all over Husband and the bed! (This was before we put garbage in neat little plastic bags!)

The lesson must have stuck, he is downright fastidious now!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Stuck in the Middle with You

This is what happens when the muse takes a holiday in the middle of a project! LOL

Friday, March 22, 2013

Waiting for the Muse

So here I sit, drumming my fingers on the table, waiting patiently (ha!) for the return of my muse.
I’m tired, impatient, depressed, disgusted, discouraged………..think of a negative adjective, I’m feeling it.

I know she’ll return when she’s ready. 
I’m just not a patient person.
And while she’s away I feel alone, inadequate, small, undeserving.

And fat, did I mention fat?
When I get discouraged it’s in all aspects of my life! LOL

This too shall pass……eventually.
In the meantime, I’m going to go play some Bubble Buster!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bro’s Before Ho’s

I might be prejudiced but I think they were (are still) two of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen! LOL
Then, as now, they ‘got each other’s backs!’

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Magic of Grandpa

Son1 was a colicky baby. 
As in he cried/screamed for hours on end at precisely six PM every evening. 
Of course it was when I was alone with him. Husband was at work and my backup (aka my mother) had gone home.

One evening as I was pacing the floor rocking, cuddling, burping, cradling Son1 ……. my father-in-law walked in.
He took the baby from my arms, handed me my car keys and told me to go to a movie and not come back for at least two hours.

The minute, no the SECOND Son1 was in his arms he stopped crying!

I have no idea what Grandpa’s magical powers were, but whenever he held any of his grandchildren in his arms they always stopped fussing.

I will be forever grateful for Grandpa!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Vomit Queen

We dubbed my mother ‘The Vomit Queen’.
I never knew anyone so eager to throw up in all my life.
One of her favorite sayings was, ‘Better an empty house than a bad tenant!”

(I, on the other hand, sold my soul to the devil to never throw up again. I have what is commonly known as “if I hear it or anyone even talks about it I start to feel queasy myself’ syndrome.)

Which is why she would gleefully retell the stories of her pregnancy with BigBrother.

Over and over.

She would tell of standing on the subway platform puking up that morning’s bran muffin.
And how, when she went into labor, she had a craving for a black and white soda so she stopped off at Schrafft’s on the way to the hospital.
She said it was good going down, not so much coming back up!

“Aw, geez, Mom!” I would say.
 And she would giggle at my green complexion.

When she was recovering from open heart surgery and living with us, the boys would run screaming out of the room when she even LOOKED like she was going to hurl.
Which she did on a regular basis. With great flourish and boisterous retching.

There were times when she exhibited an exceedingly twisted sense of humor. :->

Monday, March 18, 2013

Recurring Nightmare

Since the day I graduated high school I’ve had a recurring nightmare.
It’s always the same.
I dream I haven’t really graduated and I have to go back.

I hate the dream.

As I grew older I was also older in my dream and it was harder and harder to fit in.
I would get lost in the hallways, not be able to find the right classroom, come into class late so everyone would stare at me.
Classic anxiety dream.
Over the years I had it less and less and it finally stopped.

Until last night.

Only this time it was different.
When ‘they’ told me I hadn’t actually earned my diploma and I would have to go back, I replied, “I’m ‘effing sixty years old! I don’t care if you think I need a high school diploma or not!”

I’m hoping ‘they’ will leave me alone now!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Right Here, Right Now

Right here, right now is just right.
I’m writing, people are reading.
I’m not rich or famous (or infamous.)
I get to bask in obscurity and still express myself artistically.
It’s a win win situation!

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Parents; the Early Years

When they were first married they had an apartment in a converted row house in Greenwich Village, owned by an elderly widow.
It had a parlor on the first floor for visitors because Mrs. Casey, the landlady, was very old fashioned and did not allow visitors past the first floor.

They only had two rooms, a living room and a bedroom (bathroom down the hall) cooking wasn’t allowed.

My mother snuck in a hotplate. She had to keep moving it to different hiding places because Mrs. Casey would sneak into the apartment when they were at work to try and find it!  

My father was an early riser, my mother….not so much. So on Sunday mornings my father would quietly leave my mother to sleep late and go for the Sunday papers.
Mrs. Casey thought he was a good Catholic boy going to Mass every Sunday. (He did not dissuade her of this notion.)

Okay, so now I’ve set the scene----Mrs. Casey, nice Catholic lady, slightly nosy with access to their apartment during the day.

Add to this mix a couple my parents knew from college.
They weren’t married.
My parents would, upon occasion, allow them to ‘borrow’ their apartment for afternoon trysts.

One afternoon Mrs. Casey walked in on them.

She was very put out but my father had the gift of blarney (with a capital B) and soon smoothed it over by spinning a tale so intriguing Mrs. Casey couldn’t help but believe it.

He told her the couple was secretly married but the young woman was a student nurse, living in the hospital dormitory. Nursing students weren’t allowed to be married. Plus his parents didn’t approve of her because she was Irish. They were hoping she would become pregnant. Then they could tell everyone the truth, she could quit her studies and settle down to being a housewife and mother.

After that, Mrs. Casey couldn’t get them into bed fast enough when they came to ‘visit’!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Smoochie Blues

Son1’s first ‘real date’ was when we still lived up north.
Husband had the privilege of being the chauffer. On the way home from dropping the young lady off, Husband teasingly referred to the girl as ‘Smoochie Blue’ because he couldn’t remember her name (and she had been dressed in blue.)

The name stuck as a catch all phrase meaning any girl they happened to encounter.
As in: Check out the Smoochie Blue standing over there. Or, Smoochie Blue at 9 o’clock.

I guess it was rather sexist, and I should have discouraged it, but it wasn’t done with malice. It was just a funny ‘family–ism’ (and we have MANY!)

When we were moving, the boys were very unhappy at the prospect of leaving their friends so Husband started spinning tales about all the Smoochie ORANGES there would be in our new home state.

He also pointed out they don’t wear heavy coats in subtropical climates!
Wink wink, nod nod.

  (Okay, okay, I should have put my foot down, but I still say it has comedic value!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Then There Was The Time That She Did Kind Of Lose It…….

I was about fourteen and reading the ‘dirty’ book of the day.
La Vida by Oscar Lewis.
It was a dog-eared copy with all the ‘good’ pages marked but I was reading the whole book because besides being just slightly titillating it was a pretty interesting story.

My parents were big believers of reading and looking things up. If you didn’t know a word, try and figure it out from the context of the sentence, or look it up.
Well, I came across a word that not only couldn’t I figure it out from the context of the sentence it wasn’t in the dictionary!
So I asked my mother.
The problem was, I asked her as we were entering the foyer of our apartment building just as a very prim and proper older woman was going out.
As we passed her I said to my mother, “I can’t figure out the definition of this word. What does c**t mean?”

Everything happened so fast…………
The woman shrieked and ran out of the building as my mother unlocked our door and shoved me inside while muttering. “I’ll tell you later!”

Once we were inside and she stopped laughing, I got a very detailed explanation of what an ugly and derogatory word that was to refer to a woman and to never, ever under any circumstance use it. 
It wasn’t that my parents advocated censorship, just good taste.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mom Was Pretty Unflappable

We could talk about anything.
I mean ANYTHING. No subject was taboo or out of bounds. Questions about sex were just as common as questions about history or math.

My parent’s attitude toward sex was that it was good clean fun, and not fattening (family joke….)
I could ask them anything, and I did.

One day my mother picked up my girlfriend and me after we had spent the afternoon with friends.

 At one point our friends had made a joke about rainbow colored dildos.

I had learned very early to laugh when everyone else laughed, even when I didn’t understand the joke.
I didn’t want to look like a fool or show my ignorance and I knew I could ask for an explanation when I got home.

So when I got in the car and my mother asked if we had a good time I answered yes, but…………
And I asked what a dildo was.

My friend in the backseat was waving madly at me to shut up, signaling that she would tell me later.
My mother could see her in the rearview mirror and burst out laughing.
She then proceeded to explain to me what a dildo was.

My friend was mortified.
To me it was just another day in my life.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


On their first date my Grandfather took my Grandmother to an ice cream parlor.
He wasn’t a wealthy young man.
He had saved for weeks for this date.

As they were perusing the menu he was making suggestions about what to order based on his finances.
A soda was 5¢, how about a dish of ice cream for 10¢?
Nope, not my Grandma!
She ordered the most expensive item on the menu, half a cantaloupe filled with ice cream for 35¢!

My Grandfather’s comment was,” Boy Ruthie, you sure know how to order!”

He loved telling that story.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Crazy

My father’s mother was……..difficult.
As I got older my father would tell me stories that gave me more insight into his idiosyncrasies’.

It was all his mother’s fault.
That was a family joke, but I think it might have been closer to the truth than I ever realized.

I don’t remember ever seeing her smile. EVER.
Not in pictures or in real life.

She was passive/aggressive.
Example: My Grandfather loved to listen to baseball games on the radio. Just to interrupt his pleasure she would take the plug to the iron and shove it in and out of the electrical socket over and over to create static so he couldn’t hear the game!

She was anal.
Example: She ironed my Grandfather’s SOCKS! That’s right I said SOCKS!

She was vindictive.
She remembered every wrong ever done to her (real or imagined!)
Example: She didn’t talk to her own sister for forty years. At the end of their lives they lived in the same apartment building and would occasionally ride the elevator together. Even then she didn’t speak to her.
(What, you may ask, was the horrific deed that was so awful it would keep two sisters from speaking for so long? My great Aunt scorched my Grandmother’s slip while ironing it when they were girls!) 
(Are you kidding me?)

She was a worrier. Even about things that WOULDN'T happen.
Example: She worried about my cousin getting Polio. Even after she was vaccinated.
She would say, “She could have gotten Polio!”
My mother would say, “But she didn’t.”
Grandma would say, “But she COULD have!”

And you wonder why I’m slightly off kilter? 
Look at the gene pool I was distilled from!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Back in the day when celebrities performed in posh nightclubs (think El Morocco, the Stork Club….) Robert Goulet was performing in the Persian Room at the Plaza.

Robert Goulet was one of my mother’s favorite singers.
So of course my parents went.

But they didn’t have reservations.

This did not deter my father in the least.
He went to the maĆ®tre d’ slipped him a bill and told him he was  DR. COX.
They got right in!
The reason they got right in is because at the time, Dr Cox was a very well known and respected Dr on Park Avenue (and also happened to be my father’s cousin!)

My mother said she sat through the whole show terrified that someone would have some sort of medical emergency and my father would be called on to assist.

She wasn’t afraid he’d be caught in a lie, but because knowing my father he would actually follow through with the ruse and try to perform some sort of medical treatment!

(I don't doubt for a moment that he would have!)

Luckily, no one needed the Heimlich maneuver that evening.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Aunt Jemima

I know the year because that’s what it says on the snapshot.
It was my first official Halloween.
I was three.
My mother dressed me up as Aunt Jemima. Blackface and all (because my father was a member of the local drama company and had theatrical makeup.)
I don’t think it was meant to be offensive, just an easy costume for a mom to make.

She said I picked up the whole ‘trick or treat’ concept pretty quickly and by the third house I was ringing the doorbell and asking, “Got any candy?”

But that’s not what this story is about.

Several weeks after Halloween we were at the local luncheonette having a treat.
As we were sitting at the counter a large black man came in and sat down beside us.
My mother said I was fascinated and kept staring at him.
After a few minutes I turned to my mother and in a whisper you could have heard a block away asked, “Why doesn’t he take his Aunt Jemima off?”

She was mortified.
But calmly explained that not everyone’s skin color is the same.
The man smiled at her explanation and even let me rub his hand to prove her point!
(Even at age three I look like I know this can't be right.)

Monday, March 4, 2013

If I Die Before I Wake

I’m glad I ate that last cupcake……..

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Once again….

I didn’t (fill in the blank.)

Do you have days where you meant to get to ‘this’ or ‘that’ but never do?
A day where you had the best of intentions but……
A day that slips away to who knows where?
A day that you just can’t seem to focus?
A day where it takes all the energy you can muster just to get from bed to the couch?

I try.
I really do.


On days such as this I take comfort in a lesson I learned from my mother.

She taught me on those particularly awful days when nothing seems to get done, write something on your to-do list that you’ve already completed.
Just to be able to cross it off and have the feeling of accomplishment!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Guys and Dolls

The movie Guys and Dolls was on TV last night.
The minute I hear the overture it takes me back to when Son1 was a baby.

I would come home from work at midnight as Husband was leaving for work. 
So it was just Son1 and I.
I would sit in the rocking chair and rock him back to sleep as I sang  ‘Fugue for Tinhorns’

I got the horse right here

The name is Paul Revere

And here's a guy that says that if the weather's clear

Can do, can do, this guy says the horse can do 

If he says the horse can do, can do, can do.

No sissy lullabies for my son!
(It's a good thing babies can't remember or I might have ruined music for him for life! LOL)