Battle Of Wills

Bill-Hicks-001 If you ever told me there would be someone I’d meet who hated the comedy of Bill Hicks I would have never believed it.

For me he’ll always be the quintessential man of comedy, and for good reason.

And I’m not alone in this.

I rarely attend parties these days, my hearing loss making it so hard to enjoy myself, but a model I really like asked me to an event.

So I went.

After putting on my best dress, a vintage black Agnes B’ fitting me like an old glove, I prepared to seize the evening as best I could missing probably, with the exception of sight, one’s most important sense…to hear what is being said around you.

I burst in like I was entering a war zone, and in a way I was, since for me the ambient noise was like machine gun fire.  I immediately found my friend so happy I came making the whole effort worth it.

I found myself on a bar stool next to a well-heeled fortyish fellow holding court as if he were royalty.  To my amazement he was talking about the recently released Letterman footage when the very last set Bill did was not permitted on the air.

I remember when it happened, Bill being so shocked David Letterman, his greatest advocate, feeling he had somehow crossed a line.

This guy was saying how Bill was so out there…inappropriate…outlandish and just plain crude…even then, his point of view veering to a place of incomprehension.

I took this in like a stabbing.

Bill died over 20 years ago, but did I get my Italian up.  Did I hear wrong? I asked myself.  I am drinking after all.  But knew I didn’t, and Bill for me will always be my greatest creative champion.

“Excuse me,” I said, interrupting his lavish rant. “I’m curious, did you know Bill Hicks?”

He looked at me surprised I suppose anyone would have the nerve to interrupt him.

“No,” he said, clearly stunned by the question.

“I did, and his comedy was flawless.  And as far as the Letterman gig goes…if you Google further, you’ll find the film when he admits what an error he made.  Why he opted for the decision not to air Bill’s monologue, and how sorry he was.”

This man looked so shocked, as if I busted him in all his smug, self-righteous glory.

“Did you know him.” he asked sarcastically.

“Yes, I sure did. SB








Posted in comedy, friendship, History, humor, Love, media, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Fleeced While Under


images This is the second time I’m writing this after first publishing by accident before deleting it by mistake into the ethers.  Just proves how undone the whole event has left me.

I had a nerve biopsy on Wednesday convinced the doctor who orders the most tests wins a car.  Remember when I said, Mount Sinai Hospital was a noble institution?  I’m taking it back.  One would be safer at Sing Sing.

My procedure is initially scheduled for 10 am…then noon pushed till 2…at 4:10 I’m finally crawling into the OR.  Why crawling?  I’m starving not to mention dehydrated as an eel.  You can’t eat if you’re having anesthesia and do these people care, as they’re all munching lunch at their desks?  NO, THEY DON’T.  It’s like a fucking assembly line, the insurance companies getting richer, while you’re ready to faint scared out of your wits.

After filling out my…in case you die on the table…forms, what looks like a watch is attached to my wrist to know my whereabouts at all times.  Last time I saw one of these was on Sopranos when Uncle Junior was under house arrest.  Before that, you’re given a beeper because the waiting room is the size of Shea Stadium so even with perfect hearing, you’ll never hear your name.  I love the little note etched across the front…



I’m then ushered into a little cell told to take everything off including my undies which I really only wore to be polite, donning a pastel johnny coat even too bright for Liberace.

A little Asian man comes in to ask me the same questions as the woman who relinquished all responsibility in case I expire during surgery.

Were they trick questions?  No, I’ve never had any organs removed, not even an EMENEE from my den thank you very much.

He then gives me socks and disposable cotton underwear, boxers no less, Miss Piggy would swim in.  images-1 “Um, these are a trifle big,” I said to him as he scribbles away.  “Soddee, all I have.”

Then, being over 60, a little guy named Juan comes to give me an EKG.  I show him my Hindenburg underwear asking him if he knows a hippo who could use them.  He tries not to laugh, but happily can’t help himself.

My pal Ed, who’s picking me up, comes flying into the room escorted by a lady who looks like Dinah Shore.  Was I happy to see him.  Him and his iPad then head to Shea, I mean reception, to patiently wait and read.

I’m then told I can bring nothing onto the operating floor given a huge plastic bag to store my things.  Why I don’t give Ed my purse will remain a mystery blaming it on hunger and overall fear.  The little Indian girl who comes to get me makes it a point of showing me she’s sealing it.  Think Vanna White in plastic not a wheel.  As we leave, she tosses it on the floor in the corridor.  Now, even in my weakened state, I know, this just isn’t right, but anxiety trumps suspicion and off we go.

The surgeon is there smiling with her cell twitching in her hand.  Tweeting are you Doctor, I’d like to give you a good smack?

I meet my nurse who is so nasty to me…an old Irish woman who’s clearly taken one too many temperatures, finally making me say, “I truly do not appreciate how you’re speaking to me.”

The anesthesiologist pats my hand and says, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”


You mean like an old cat who’s about to meow her last?

Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?

While they slice open my ankle like a kumquat, someone goes into my SEALED bag stealing my phone and Bluetooth device I need in order to speak on it, a very expensive gadget I might add.  Had just finished paying for it two weeks ago.

I thought just the phone was missing blaming myself of course.  Hearing loss sadly comes with loss of belongings since if something drops, you don’t always hear it.  Just the day before I lost sunglasses at the main library.

Ed, who comes into recovery with Starbucks, equal to a Saint Bernard on a sled with brandy, conducts a massive search.


In a post drugged haze me on crutches accompanied by tears, we go to AT&T to get another phone.  Let me just say, this is when you know who your friends are because Ed never leaves my side even when I tell him to.

When I reach for the Bluetooth to program it to the new phone, it was only then I realize I’ve been fleeced…pillaged, looted and plundered by Mount Sinai Hospital totally seeing it as an in-side job.  Theif-of-Theives-Minimates

I go to their security department who’s aloof at best determined to get some kind of compensation.  May have to take the fuckers to Small Claims Court, and I will too.

As the day from hell FINALLY concludes, Ed says…let’s go to Farinelli, my favorite pizza place, and have a slice.

Like I said, you always know who your true friends are especially when they come with basil and cheese.

Would like to thank my pal Amy who through the whole ordeal kept emailing…take notes.



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Notes From The Carlyle – June 2015

images-2 There I was on my way to Zitomer, the Cartier of drugstores, when I came upon a woman sobbing beneath the Carlyle’s canopy.  Naturally I couldn’t just go by, not after seeing a man take all of her shopping bags dumping them in the nearby gutter.  Hmm…now it was Father’s Day eve so I thought, was he just that unhappy with his tie and Brooks Brothers cardigan?  They looked like Connecticut personified in their well-pressed slacks and blazers, cordovan slip ons gracing their feet.

Takes one to know one.

We both watched him make a beeline to the Mark across the street to have a drink no doubt.  Not a bad idea, I thought, though she seemed to need one more than he did.

As she stood sniveling, I said, “Um, was he someone significant?”

She started to sob all over again. “No, just ma husbun.” All I can say is, that line inspired this essay.

“You know, it’s cocktail hour, ” I said, stretching it a bit since it was barely 3.  “Why don’t we step into Bemelmans for a little boost.  I could sure use one.”

She took out her compact to rid herself of that raccoon look men so often cause and said, “That’s a great ah dea, and thank you for the suggestion.”  I then helped gather her bundles still lolling on the street like they had just been mugged:  Michael Kors, Armani, Max Mara, Polo, Prada, Juicy Couture.  This woman was one serious shopper.

I loved how me, being a perfect stranger didn’t trouble her in the least, and I’m betting it’s due to my slim fit chinos, button-down and Gucci flats held together by Elmer’s Glue…but she didn’t know that.  Style attracts style, even if mine was more resale than retail.

We sat at the bar like two college coeds who hadn’t seen one another in a while.  There was no awkwardness, no hesitation, especially when she told the barmaid, just charge this to my room.  She was staying at the hotel.  Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, in nice pants.  I even forgave her that big hair sitting on her head like lettuce.

“So, I’m Susannah.”

“Lillian, but please, call me Lily.”

“If you don’t mind me asking Lily, what happened that he tossed your packages that way?”

“He’s angra I didn’t ba him anything while I was out.  But he’s so fussa.  Every ty-me I do, he hates it all.  Now in Dallas where we live, okay…it’s easa to bring it all back, but this is New York Cita.  It’s vera inconvenient.  But now he says, I don’t love-em.”

“So, let’s go buy him something..anything.  I’ll go with you.”

“No, to hell with him, treatin me that way and leavin me standin there, my balongings thrown on the street like unwanted ter-ash.  If you hadn’t come ba we’d all still be there.”

“Maybe not, and remember there are no accidents.  We were meant to meet.  After three peach daiquiris,  a drink with a kick to say the least, I convinced her to at least order online having it delivered to the hotel.   So in no time, Mr, you don’t love me, had a navy cotton pullover, an array of argyles, a shitload of CDs and a one snazzy Tom Ford bow tie.

We were rather drunk at this point, especially when she leaned over and whispered, “He likes bow tas..a lot…with nothin else on ta speak of.  It realla turns him on.”

Now there’s an image.

“What about you?”

“Not so much…want anotha drink?”

“Just a bow tie…nothing else?”

“Sometoms he’ll keep on his socks.”




Posted in Fashion, humor, Love, men, money, New York City, sexual relationships, shopping, Women and men | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

So, How Often Do You Tweet?

images“So, how often do you Tweet?” a deep voice asked.  I half expected a robin to be seated next to me, but it was a young man fondling his iPhone like a blowup doll.

“Excuse me?” I said, looking up from my book.  I was having a late afternoon latte at an outdoor cafe not expecting this question.

“I’m referring to Twitter.  How often do you Tweet?”

“To be honest, I’m not much of a Tweeter. ”

“You’re logged on aren’t you?” He was starring at me as if I had three heads.

“I actually am, so my blog tweets itself every time I post something.”

“How often is that?”

“Five days a week, twice on Mondays since I participate on #Mondayblogs.”

He shook his head. “But what about building an audience for your blog.  Tweeting is the best social network for that.”

“You know, you’re barking up the wrong tree here.  I’m just not that kinda girl.  I do every thing moderately, including Tweeting.  And if you don’t mind me saying, what’s so important that you have to tell the world everything you do and think anyway?”

“People are interested.”

“What was your last Tweet…may I ask?”

He scrolled like a pro showing his screen. Talking to an attractive woman over coffee.

Of course the attractive woman part thawed me a bit, however.

“Why was that interesting? Who the fuck cares?”

“My followers do.”

“Oh please…spare me.  You’ve also misled them.  We’re having coffee, but technically separately.

“I only have so many characters to work with so brief is best.”

“Deception is best you mean.”

The 4 bucks I paid for my now ruined latte, the milk somehow evaporating, irked the hell out of me.  Why I engaged in the first place will remain a mystery.  He was all of 30 with a nose you could hang your hat on.  He looked like a myna bird, which I suppose made sense being such a Tweeter and all.  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

As though reading my mind he said, “Would you like a fresh cup?”

“If I said yes, will you Tweet it?”

He smiled impishly.   I watched him stand in line, his fast, frisky fingers never leaving his keyboard.

images-1 Tweet that why don’t you…mother fucker.



Posted in Books, humor, New York City, Women and men, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 39 Comments

A Word Or Two

imagesMy pal Ally Bean in one of her comments, used the word wizened, and it’s been circling my senses every since.

It’s an adjective of German descent meaning…shriveled or wrinkled with age, a state I can certainly relate to…

Atrophied, slack, saggy and lax.  Faded, parched, puckered and just in need of a really good press.

Add lined, creased, crinkled and gnarled…withered, weather-beaten, scrunched and limp and I don’t know about you, but a shrunken head comes to mind, or fruit left in the fridge too long.

I’ve been starring at my crow’s feet ever since wizened came into play.  I had been rather snide over the way writer Sam Shepard aged voicing it in an essay (  Ally said, she kinda liked how he looked…even if he was a little wizened.

Well, floating at the speed of light through my sixth decade, I’m a bit wizened myself, so move over there Sam.

I’m cinched in the cheeks, grizzled around the mouth.  My skin, though for my age pretty taut, could still use a little dew, steam, flush and an overall good spritz of something wet and wild.

Any suggestions?

Reminds me of a favorite greeting card of mine.  A very skinny woman is on the front with hardly any hair and hoop earrings you can jump though… It reads…

On your birthday, I’ve got one word for ya honey…


Words, you never know where they’ll take you.




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Sweet Interlude

As I was walking down 86th Street a woman holding a baby was coming towards me.  She was pointing to a tree explaining its blossoms.  I loved how intensely the child listened as if he understood every word she said.

“Teaching a little life lesson I see,” I said, slowing my pace.

“Well, you have to start somewhere,” she said, “and what’s better than a tree.”

The first thing I noticed was how mother and son had the same eyes which is so uncanny.  The mystery of genetics, how it takes a blueprint of a parent to reproduce and patent a scaled down model.

“What’s it like to see yourself in his itty-bitty face?”

Without taking pause she said, “Like the first time I ever looked into a mirror.”




Posted in Family, Home, kids, Love, nature, New York City, parents, words | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Let’s Grab Our Balls And Go

images-6 I love this expression, apparently a favorite of John Kennedy’s in essence, his way of saying, let’s suit up and show-em what we got.

OOH, such a masculine mix of words now obsolete since they’d be considered inappropriate and more than a little politically incorrect.

But in the early 60s, JFK was so dazzling, with perhaps the exception of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) who was about to check out, who cared.

This was a time when men lived by the direction their balls took them in, common sense not always to follow.  John Kennedy was the last of his kind unless you consider his younger brother, Robert, wrestling with his older brother’s testosterone tipped legacy that let’s face it, killed him.

If RFK hadn’t opted to pick up JFK’s gauntlet in 1968, he would have lived.  Of course then who would he had been, not the man we still dream of who, if he had run and won, the country might have been saved, to quote writer, Pete Hamill.

I’ve been on a Bobby kick, reading 6 books still counting as I pen this.

He’s always been someone I’ve found fascinating beckoning me repeatedly to Arlington to pay my respects.

What impresses me more than the hop, skip and a jump in proximity to his brother’s images-7 snazzy grave, is the simple white cross gracing his.  220px-Robert_F._Kennedy_grave_in_Arlington_National_Cemetery Talk about representing the man speaking eloquently of who is buried beneath it.

Of all the books I’ve exhumed from the library stacks laced with so much dust they’ve made me sneeze, my favorite has to be Jack Newfield’s (1938-2004) RFK: A Memoir, written in 1969, a year after Bobby died.  It truly blew me away with its noble candor and reverence for a man who might have really been a great president.  Newfield who began interviewing him two years before he died, was there when Bobby breathed his last making his story much different than the one he had intended to write.

It inspired me to rent Emilio Estevez’s film Bobby, made in 2006 at the actual Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles where he was mortally wounded, right before it was torn down.

I guess the state of California could use a stronger landmarks commission since as far as I’m concerned, that was hallowed ground so casually razed, for what…another strip mall or apartment complex?

When I think of our present leaders, with the exception of maybe golf, balls never come up.  Bill Clinton was the last to have them, squeezed by a young, busty aide I’ll admit, but also flourishing a foreign policy impressive to read about providing we can forget about Monica long enough to even have an interest.  But men in government nowadays just don’t have the same bluster and pluck of those gone by.

Obama’s take on anything is like thumbing through the Spiegal Catalog thinking, why am I bothering, it’s not like I’d ever buy anything in here.  Our 44rd president leaves me flat, though I feel for him dueling with a Republican Congress resembling Spanky and Our Gang, who at least were funny.

When I read about the Bay of Pigs along with the chronic coup to kill Castro, and the senseless war in Vietnam we now see was a near apocalypse, one nonetheless can still hear the drums beat, raising passions of our citizens, even if they were misled by the Kennedy mystique.

Where am I going with all this?

Not sure.

I’m just still, all these years later, mighty impressed with Bobby Kennedy (who preferred being called Bob).  Not with his brother he so loyally served whose death he never got over blaming himself, but his heart, despite Sirhan’s barrage of bullets, that never really stopped beating for the poor and oppressed.

The doctors at Good Samaritan Hospital, after declaring him brain-dead, couldn’t understand how his heart continued to beat so strongly.

I swear, I can hear it pound through all these pages I’ve been reading.

He’s my hero 47 years after his exit from the world as someone who might have made that difference.

Could just be the romantic in me…    images-6 who knows.

Recommended reading:

RFK: A Memoir…1969, Jack Newfield

Assassination: RFK 1925-1968…1969, United Press

The Dark Side of Camelot…1997, Seymour H. Hersh

The Last Patrician… 1998, Michael Knox Beran

In Love With Night…2000, Ronald Steel 

The Last Campaign…2008, Thurston Clarke




Posted in Books, Cinema, Family, History, men, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

21 And Steamin

I have a new neighbor upstairs who’s caught my eye.  I can’t help it since she’s a cross between Marilyn Monroe, images-2 Elly Mae Clampett images-3 and a Shetland Pony. images-1She bounces and trots, canters and wiggles with a southern accent that curls your hair.

Electric comes to mind, her presence causing a chronic stir.

This is her first apartment, so as a 21 year-old taking the city by storm, all bets are off.

The canoodling lawyer across from her (see Humpin in the Hallway) thinks he’s hallucinating every time they meet, she dazzles him so.  “Ya think she needs a lawyer?” he asked me on the stairs.

“I dunno, you tell me, what are your plans?”  He never seems to get any of my jokes, a true generation gap if there is one.

She texted to ask if she could come visit.  I opted to visit her instead since it’s easier to escape that way.

Her place is like a little pink dollhouse with IKEA couches and a king-size bed from Pottery Barn Gulliver would be quite comfy in…huge pastel pillows strewed across the floor like Scheherazade was her decorator.

She said at 2 a.m. the boy across the hall tried opening her door.  Hmm, I thought, that’s bizarre even for him.  When she said, who’s there, what do you want, he said, “Oh, hi…just came by to say hello.”

Me being the seasoned New Yorker knew exactly what had happened.  He was a little drunk thinking her door was his and when realized his mistake said something only the stupidly incapacitated would ever say…just came by to say hello.

I couldn’t help but to chuckle.

She felt my theory was plausible especially since, when she called the police, they said the same thing.

After reassuring her all was well, I rose to leave.  “Hey, can I ask you one more thing?” she said, popping off the couch.

“Do you think this is too much?”

She brought out from the bedroom a bright peach, long-lined corset that might have belonged to Mae West.  images It even had lace stays on the bottom to hook your nylons.

“I was thinking, tight black capris, heels, hoops…right?”

“In other words, no blouse over it.  This is it?”

She started bouncing like a slinky with such gusto I didn’t have the heart to say…if you were in Nashville maybe.

Imagine asking Audrey Hepburn how she feels about stringing Xmas lights across her chest.

“You know Lonnie, I’ll call her, you are a young, beautiful girl who can wear just about anything.”

“Ya think?”

“I do.”

Could have sworn she whinnied as she cantered to the door.



Posted in Women and men, sex, Fashion, New York City, humor, Beauty, Home | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

My Little Calendar Girl

Carmela has been cordially invited to be in the 2016 Tri-state Basset Hound Rescue’s annual calendar, lovingly sponsored by Sharon, her former foster mom.

Am I proud of my girl carrying that model’s mantel.  I knew fashion was in her blood. images-4 Of course my maternal paranoia kicked into immediate overdrive, making sure it was all legit.  Hey, a girl 4-legged or otherwise if she’s not careful can be taken in by flattery, often referred to as the ego’s opium.

I’ll admit, I had visions of her in a thong and pasties swinging a lariat Penthouse style, but then got hold of myself.  It’s Tri-state after all, not Hustler magazine.

Apparently, being asked is quite a coup so once again our Tubes hit a homer.

And who knows, she could be the next Miss New Jersey.  I could just see her in the swimsuit competition looking hot in a bikini and heels.

Can’t wait to see what month she is.

So Carm…can I have your autograph? images-5 images-2



Posted in animals, Beauty, comedy, Fashion, humor, Love, modeling, women | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Is That An Avocado In Your Purse?

I frequent a gourmet store in my neighborhood.  It’s actually the one I wrote about in Notes of A Working Cat.  notes-from-a-working-cat The cashier, I called Carmen, likes to sneak little gifts into my handbag having a habit of leaving it on the counter as I forage for food, to be found later.

I was in Joe Fresh buying cheap sandals.  My vintage Kate Spade mail bag is like the Bermuda Triangle, so as I dig for my wallet I could easily find oil, Atlantis and maybe even  Amelia Earhart.

The woman patiently waiting to ring me up looked at all the contents spilling onto the counter finally saying, “Um, is that an avocado in your purse?”

“Yes,” I said, “I believe it is.  Is Discover okay?”


Posted in humor, money, New York City | Tagged , , , | 45 Comments