To Dye Or Not To Dye

I’m in the middle of an experiment.

I’ve been coloring my hair for over twenty years.  Where it once was every eight weeks, then six, down to four…now it’s three, and it’s driving me, not to mention my wallet, crazy.

I’m a slave to my Persian hair colorist who slaps it on my hair any way but gently as I sit under a hot light baking like a ham.

He then, Sable Brown Number 3 dripping down the sides of my face, knocks my already addled head around in a sink that may as well have been imported from Pompeii.

We mustn’t forget the matter of my ears.  I tell him, Chagall, please, don’t get dye in my ears…they’re in enough trouble as it is.  I shove in 3-ply earplugs along with two fingers, but he still manages to squirt them with black, sudsy water.


I wear my hair short, the reason I’ve never gotten highlights since they’d be cut off every three weeks.  I’ve been told, at my age, I should lighten up…in more ways than one…since a lighter shade of color would brighten my, middle-aged, sallow face.

Thanks for sharing, and now shut the fuck up.

I’m a creature of habit.  With the exception of things I can’t change like crows feet, unforeseen wattles and a surprise panty line, I do my best to keep things the same.

I’m a brunette, and like my Italian grandmother at 86 on her deathbed said,”Can you call the beauty parlor…see if Loraine can come give me a little touch-up?”

But then had an epiphany.

My hair isn’t all that gray…it’s more dry, the texture of hay when I need color, from years of using dye.

What if I keep cutting off that part till I have a fresh head of hair.  Maybe it will actually look and feel okay.

For me to be going on my 8th week without a dye job is no less than a miracle.

Of course there are hats and headbands to help me along the way…but all in all, if you ignore the fact my head is a tad flat, I’m more or less pulling it off.

Chagall, who you can imagine isn’t too happy about this losing money and all, actually went so far as to say, he’s thinking of buying a new sink…one that doesn’t threaten to decapitate you.

I’m still determined to see this through, and who knows, maybe I’ll never have to dye again…well…just once more, in my bed without a Lorraine aiming a squeeze bottle at my head like an overpriced grenade.

images-95 Sometimes its just plain hard to be a woman.


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A Word Between Us

images My ears, what’s left of them, perked up when I was referred to as whimsical, a word you don’t hear often…an adjective meaning: easygoing and playful, carefree and quaint.  Outlandish, unconventional and quirky…marching to the beat of a different drummer.

Someone you’ll surely remember.

I liked being called that since it reflects my lighter side…the soft cotton rather than rough corduroy…the reversible me…happy as opposed to moody, brandishing a breezy brightness…airy, fresh – well-ventilated, glad just to be style.

Whimsy is the noun…she has a lot of whimsy in her, that Susannah.  You just never know what’s she’s gonna do.  It suggests humor, fun and a lightness of being.

I also like how it sounds… the way it rolls off your tongue like a peppermint Lifesaver.

Now I know why, when Bill Hicks was bored, he’d read the dictionary.  Way before computers and iPads, he had a HUGE Webster he kept by his bed.  I’d often get a call with him crooning, “Hey, isn’t this a mother-fuckin great word?”

When I can’t sleep, like now, I take out my own Webster’s with pages folded, some dog-eared and falling out, to search for a word that inspires.  There’s something about the weight of it on my lap that outshines a Google search.

You can’t always count on one coming your way when you’re standing in a grocery line and someone looks at the bright, yellow laces in your old beat-up Chucks and says…how delightfully whimsical you are.

He was around 90 with a cane featuring a bear’s head with its mouth open.  Takes whimsy to know whimsy, said this wry, whimsical thin girl.





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Toe, Mary and Shirley

images It’s pedicure season.  Everyone and their dogs get their feet manicured and painted for the world to see.

It’s a pity Manhattan has only 8 nail salons on every street, packed with women soaking and smoking outside while their polish dries.

I try to go early to avoid the cell phone crowd who yak like crows while their cuticles get pushed around.  How I’d like to push them, right off a cliff.  The price of a few moments of peace is rising alright.  Do I really need to know that porterhouse the night before was a little tough?

When I arrived at Sunny Side Nails right when they opened, two other women had the same idea.

“You too?” one said, the size of an Oldsmobile. “I have so many things cookin…for real, she giggled, “havin guests for lunch.  I’m Shirley.”

“How do you do,” I said, a little less than thrilled.  See, I knew right away, she was a talker.

The other woman was an obvious snoot clutching her Vuitton like one of us would steal it.  For the record, I’m no longer a Louis fan, not since you can buy a copy on the street for 8.99 from a vendor named Ali Abu Baba.

So there we sat with Shirley in the middle holding court like a game show host, while our old polish was scrubbed off by young girls with names like Ling, Sing and Ming.

I decided I liked Mary because she sat in silence…well, till her phone rang that is.  “Yeah,” she said with the charm of a moth.  “I dunno…ask me late-a.”


The owner of the shop, a Miss Lee, comes over and asks, “What cula?”

“Oh, let’s see,” screamed Shirley.  How bout Ebony On Fire this time.” (who, pray tell, comes up with these names?)

How about you have your head examined.  Black nail polish eludes me.  It looks like you got all ten toes smashed in a car door.  But did that stop her?

Shirley then looked at Mary. “How bout you, what color will you be today?”

If looks could kill, Shirley wouldn’t need color, except maybe in her face after Mary punched it.

“I have moy own thank you,” she said, pulling a bottle from Louis.  Did he just hand it to her, or are the fumes getting to me?  Then her phone rang again.  “Yeah?” I dunno, ask me late-a.”

I also brought my own, a smart thing for touch-ups making me wonder why Shirley hadn’t thought of that, but then realized, she’s so overweight she probably can’t reach her toes.

Yes, my heart opened, but just a crack since, as I predicted, SHE DIDN’T SHUT UP.

I started counting men I hate, something I do when I either can’t sleep or want to murder somebody.

Then, like the Supremes in harmony, we were all finished at the same time, so we dried together too, a must, even if you leave barefoot.  No, I do not walk home like a native.  I’m merely making a point.  You must sit for at least 20 minutes or you’ll smear, not a good thing unless a bagel’s involved.

Let’s see, what did I learn while drying.  Shirley and her black toes were serving a cold pasta dish and Waldorf salad for lunch with an upside down orange pound cake with fresh cream.  She can’t decide whether to serve liquor or lemonade.

“Liquor,” I said, probably a little too quickly.

She has new blue L.L. Bean Bermuda shorts and a yellow tank (that gave me a chill unless it was a Sherman tank she could drive everyone home in) she ordered just for the occasion.

She invited a fella she met online who doesn’t know she’s not a size 6.

“Liquor!” I begged this time.

As for Mary, I didn’t learn much about her except, she didn’t know, and was getting quite a few calls…late-a.



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Blood Sweat And Ears

images-1  I wish.

Forgive my choice of words, but I’m truly fucked.  My hearing is so bad right now I virtually can’t have a conversation.  My nodding abilities are soaring since no one has any idea since I keep encounters brief so not to give myself away and wonder, now what?

Should I hop back on Prednisone like a horse that continues to throw me…or just quietly accept the fact I am slowly but surely going deaf?

I get really furious at God screaming at him saying, of all the shits in the world you can go after, why would you choose a nice girl like me?

Yeah I know, how stupid, but that’s where we’re at folks.

I had a bone density test that more or less said, I’m in the green room for osteoporosis.  When I think what great shape I was in before this from my years of running, I could cry.  Steroids are like termites that gnaw at your bones till there’s nothing left.  Vultures politely leave more in their wake.

Such attractive choices I have…

to either go deaf or break a hip.

Do you think I should flip a coin?

 images-2 Let me just say, I’m grateful for my sense of humor, plus a place in which I can vent since candor, believe me, is key.


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You Had To Be There

From Google Images, but this is exactly what the puppy in question looked liked.images

It was around 7ish in the morning as I walked through the Central Park.

It’s quiet and peaceful at that hour, so when I heard someone yell, it immediately got my attention. I couldn’t hear exactly what this runner in black spandex from head-to-toe was saying, but the essence of anger was clearly felt.

A dog, from what I could see, was playfully chasing him. His owner, an elderly black man, calmly walked in the distance undisturbed by the man’s over-the-top response.

I stopped to observe, on the dog’s behalf, so I thought, and felt my blood go up like a broken thermometer.

“You better keep that fucking dog on a leash,” this guy yelled, “you have no right to let him roam.” Actually he does, till 9 a.m. dogs in all their glory can run free.

I was impressed by this old man’s magnanimity having seen fights ensue for far less then this.

The funny part was this dog who was as vicious as a circus clown, was never a threat to this man. He was just happy to be out, having a great time. A rescue to be sure, something I know without asking, just the way he looks to see if his master is coming…a doggie smile from ear to ear.

Dogs who get a second chance show it and it’s a wonderful sight to see.

The runner, though the dog had now joined his owner, was still screaming.

I stepped up to the plate not being able to help myself. Whenever I encounter anyone who thinks he has special park privileges, I see red.

“Who the fuck are you yelling at that way,” I said, calling him out. It didn’t much matter to me he loomed a good 2 feet over me.  A handsome, male model type fancying himself no doubt, as a great athlete affected by the playful audacity of what he obviously perceived, as a dumb dog.

“Are you talking to me?” he said, shocked…I mean, if I wasn’t so mad, I would have laughed at the look on his presumptuous face.


Boy, did I come out swinging.



Yeah I know, in my own way, I was as crazy as he was.

The old man, still serene as can be, said, “Come on now Miss, let’s just get on with our day and let the man get on with his,” the dog at his side still smiling.

The idiot runner who I so wanted to punch in my post-Prednisone stupor finally went on his way, but if I see him, again, I’ll be right back in the ring.

It’s interesting how I had never seen him before…but would remember him like a wanted poster hanging at the post office.




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Notes From The Carlyle – August, 2015

Camille and I are standing in front of Saks schvitzing like we were in a men’s club sauna, the August heat compromising our sex appeal, to say the least.

“Taxi, the Carlyle, and step on it.”

I know it sounds like a bad film, but where do you think bad films come from?

Our driver smelled like tuna salad, an aroma I could have done without.  When I asked after air-conditioning he reluctantly got off the phone from Iraq and said, “Open window and you will feel breeze.”

Yeah, I’ve heard that one before.

Since Camille was the color of kindergarten paste I asked him to pull over.

“Why…we almost there,” he said, his turban clearly too tightly wound.

By the time we did get to Bemelmans we needed CPR.

The central air greeted us putting color back in our cheeks.

Anton from hospitality happened to be at the door.

“You two ladies look as if you need a drink.”

Ya think?

We needed more than that.  It was the first time Camille has ever looked her age.

“Two vodka martinis please…COLD,” we said in unison.  I saw Anton gesture to the barmaid, it was on him.

Always liked Anton ever since he was a waiter at my favorite bistro before rising to the ranks of a good hotel.  Don’t ever think over tipping is ever in vain because you’ll be surprised when it shows up happy to see you again.

We sat at a table in order to sprawl our legs feeling moist for all the wrong reasons.

“Now you know why I don’t wear underwear after Memorial Day,” said Camille in a daze. “I could grow mushrooms…shitakes…in my thong.” Another image I could have easily done without.

There were many men strewed around the room…their jackets off…perspiration marks clinging to their button-downs.  The trouble was, it was just too hot to flirt, so we all drank, ate chips and over tipped the barmaid who kept plying us with ice and a smile.


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Little Elvis

Today I was walking up Madison when the skies opened, making the whole stunned avenue run for cover.

I found myself under the canopy of a lavish dress store next to a one year-old and his Spanish speaking nanny.

She, naturally, was on her phone while he lolled in his stroller in jeans and a tight T-shirt, the tiniest sneakers you ever saw on his eency weency feet.

His shaggy blonde hair dipped in the front like a rock star’s while he swigged from a red plastic bottle.  One couldn’t help but wonder who his parents are.

I noticed all of this without making eye contact knowing if I did, I’d become obsessed with his care.  Do you really want your nanny to be talking to Mexico when she’s supposed to be watching your son?

But, when he began gurgling, that sounded a little like Jail House Rock, I couldn’t look away any longer.  I said, “So, you’re one happy guy are ya?”  Without taking pause he grinned and waved.  That was the moment my dignity went south.  Happens every time I’m around a kid or animal.

I knelt down close to him and said, “Don’t ya think it’s a little early to be drinking?”  He laughed so hard, the same way Camille does when I say it to her.  “That may look like a jazzy juice bottle, but I know, it’s really a flask.”

The nanny kept yakking away when let’s get real, this is New York.  I could have been an escapee from the nearest loony bin, but she didn’t seem concerned, so I continued to flirt.

“Are ya single?” I whispered.

Again, he laughed like I was the funniest thing since Bozo.

“I’m single, and just so you know, I have a thing for very short men who can hold their liquor.  What, no laugh?”

Uh-oh, he must be self-conscious about his height.  I do know cats taller than he is, but kept that to myself.

He then sweetly offered me a sip from his flask, I mean bottle, but I said, “It’s a tad early, even for me.”

He then grabbed my thigh digging his little nails into my bare flesh.  “We just met for heaven’s sake.  Where are you from anyway…Jersey?”  He got very serious and started sucking his thumb.

“Oh go ahead, pout, see if I care.  I know you’re young, but I’ve been to the rodeo before there Sparky.  I’ve seen it all.”

The minute I mentioned rodeo his testosterone must have shot up because he started smiling at me all over again as if to say, ya know honey bun, don’t let the packaging fool ya.  I am all man, all three yards of me.   That’s when the nanny finally got off the phone and said, ”Look, the rain, it stop, and you need changin.”

He didn’t say much at this, but did clap his hands.

We gave each another one long, last stare.

Bye Bye, baby, it sure was nice while it lasted…sigh.  images




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The Meaness Of Strangers

I’ve heard it said, if one’s abused as a child he’ll either become meaner than his tormentor, or the kindest soul on earth.

I make no bones about getting kicked around as a kid, and am pleased to report fall in the second category.  Just call me Saint Francis in pumps.

I suffer from hearing loss, something else I try to be open about constantly shocked at the coldness it receives, as if it were somehow catchy.  Arrogance is a terminal trait because mark my words, it will eventually bite you in the ass leaving one helluva scar.

I was the most independent person I knew giving self-possession all new meaning.  To have to ask for help is tough for me, accepting it, miraculous.  When someone snaps after I nicely ask them to repeat something, WHAT, ARE YOU FUCKING DEAF? is like a verbal assault.  I’m happy to say, despite the hurt, my heart remains open.  As a matter of fact, it spans the length and width of the Brooklyn Bridge, and for this I’m grateful.

Brooklyn Bridge is 5,989 feet long and 85 feet wide. getPartcirca 1992


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The Egg And I

No, Yul Brynner was not in this.

It’s about a quote I read in the September issue of O.

“Eggs are the little black dress of your kitchen- sophisticated and simple, versatile and tasteful!”

As you may know, I have a little black dress collection images-3 so comparing these sheaths to oeufs, as they’re called in French, made me and my frocks take pause.

What are my feelings on eggs?  images

That if I’m at the helm, it doesn’t matter if you ask for them fried, poached or over easy, they will ultimately come out scrambled, like my brain, my pal Camille always says.

I do like them soft-boiled splashing over toast the way my mother made them when I was small, a way to get me to eat them.

And of course without eggs, one couldn’t make an angel food cake, my favorite dessert in the whole world, French toast, meringue, bernaise or a first class meatloaf even though I no longer eat meat.  But alas, a girl still remembers.

How could a naughty kid attack the unexpected passerby if he didn’t have eggs to throw or pelt against passing cars.  Yes, I did that and was almost caught by a man that looked an awful like Johnny Carson, but not as funny.  And what would we dye on Easter pray tell…golf balls?

So I’m thinking, I’ll slip on one of my little black numbers then go have an egg or two, in an omelet perhaps, or a couple soft-boiled splashing over toast…

you know, for old time’s sake.  images-1


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Cecil the Lionhearted

There’s been lots of controversy over the fatal death of Cecil, the southwest, African lion shot by an arrogant Minnesota dentist named Walter Palmer, causing a ripple effect across the world.  There’s a picture of the kill, the slayer standing over him I can’t bring myself to post.


“He never bothered anybody. He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at,” said Johnny Rodrigues, the head of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

Cecil lived safely at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa before Palmer bribed wildlife guards to lead the lion off the premises where he stalked him with a bow and arrow till he was sufficiently wounded enough to shoot him.

Now it’s been reported in 2006, he illegally killed a black bear in Wisconsin offering guards 20.000 for their silence.

Men, do they all have their price?

When I expressed upset over what Palmer did, a friend of mine said, “But your hero, Teddy Roosevelt, wouldn’t have acted any differently.”  Okay…here’s where I’m weighing in.

Teddy, 220px-T_Roosevelt who by the way hated being called that preferring Theodore, died in 1919.  That’s 96 years ago when hunting animals was all about your manhood, like a notch on your belt.  Instead of philandering you shot the shit out of an elk.  It was a different time.

So I said to my friend who may be off my Xmas list, that frankly, if Teddy, I mean Theodore, were alive today, he might very well feel, and therefore act, in another manner.

After all, as one of our first conservationists, he signed the Antiquity Act in 1906 giving a president power to create a National Park.  When you go to Sagamore Hill, his home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, right across the road is an aviary named after him called, The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center near where he’s buried in Young’s Memorial Cemetery.

Teddy (I mean Theodore) clearly had mixed feelings about killing and protecting.

Feeling I know him the way I do, I think for instance, if he were president during 9/11, he would have struck back harder than George Bush ever could because we, the United States of America, were attacked, since you don’t do that to us and get away with it.  Saddam Hussein would have run for his life weapons of mass destruction or no weapons, with Bin Laden bringing up the rear cowling like a calf.

He also stood by the innocent who couldn’t fend for themselves, so he’d be very active in children’s rights, same as the father he was named after who founded Manhattan’s Children’s Aid Society.

I believe he would advocate passionately for the homeless.

He would have defended the police and fire departments.

And, would have been appalled that someone killed this beloved animal whose brother stepped up to care for his cubs.  Nature ingrained responsibility in all her creatures, but quite often the four-legged do better than the two.  As someone said, “The pride has pride.”

We mustn’t forget the origins of the Teddy Bear.  TR came upon a black bear cub tied to a tree images he just couldn’t bring himself to shoot, cementing the image of a baby bear being let go into the wild.  Truth be told, the poor little guy was suffering so, TR requested he be put out of his misery…an act he himself could not do.

Like I told my friend, Theodore (I mean Teddy) even in death, would have stood as Cecil’s chief crusader because what Palmer did was just plain wrong.

And, believe me, there would have been hell to pay.



Posted in animals, Family, History, Love, media, New York City, Politics, Women and men | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments