A Three Way With Mustard

Mustard_JarI rarely eat dinner…I much prefer a lavish mid afternoon meal that usually holds me till breakfast.

But every once in a while at 3 a.m. I wake up ravenous.

I don’t keep much food in my house. My fridge has bottled water, an array of mustard and film in the butter tray.

The freezer…coffee and ice.

It comes from living in Europe loving the lifestyle. You had a sweet breakfast…brioche, espresso, a huge, swoony lunch and a small dinner. I also like to eat spontaneously never forced to say, I better finish that ham before it goes bad, when what I really want is tuna salad on rye.

So there I am awake hungrier than I’ve ever been…at least that’s how it feels, tooling to the fridge knowing there’s nothing there. Licking Gray Poupon off my fingers won’t cut it.

But then I remember…ah…the panini Anthony the grocer gave me on my way home.

“You need ta eat,” he said, handing me a Mozzarella with sprouts and sun dried tomatoes. The stray cat in me never refuses food…if nothing else, it will jazz up my refrigerator for a limited run.

I took it out of its cellophane realizing it was too cold to eat. Okay…now we get out the waffle iron I never use figuring, I’ll just perk it up with a little heat.

I don’t know what happened exactly, but as it was sizzling making a comeback, my smoke alarm went off when there was no smoke…scratching my head, removing it from the grill, I hear a knock on my door that had to be pretty loud for me to actually hear it.

It was my next door neighbor coming home from work.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah…I was just heating up a sandwich and the alarm went off.”

‘”You’re cooking? I am so hungry.”

Then her roommate comes out to find out what we were doing and said he was hungry too.

So my panini was split three ways along with chips she had in her bag and some fruit he came up with.

We ate like squirrels then went to bed…

and no, not with each other.


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Clooney Off The Market

images George Timothy Clooney, our favorite Taurean heartthrob, has finally tied the knot.

On Saturday in Venice, Italy surrounded by family and friends, he went the distance with the one woman who didn’t come with an expiration date.

Amal Alamuddin, a beautiful British/Lebanese girl with eyes the size of soup tureens, is the new Mrs. Heartthrob who happens to be one in her own right.

She’s not just beautiful, but smart and independent proving a man will respond to a woman with a brain when he sees what a plus it is. It must get pretty boring leaning over the dinner table every night asking, “So honey, how’s your scampi?”

He had everything else…a beautiful home in Como, Italy…one I’ve seen from afar along with a motorcycle collection that looks like an art installation.

Has a great relationship with his family…wealth…success, all he’s very generous with.

Who ever thought he’d hang up his bachelorhood for something solid and substantial after saying, he would never marry again (wed Talia Balsam in 1989, divorced in 1993).

I heard a woman at the Food Emporium snark because of their age difference. “It’s a little unda twen-ee yee-as,” she said, while buying 40 containers of Dannon Light.

“Maybe that’s just a coincidence,” I said, deciding all that dairy must be affecting her point of view.

She shook her head like a horse. “Doncha know the twen-ee yee-a roo-ul? Men want women twen-ee yee-as younga than them.”

Does that mean there’s some 80 year-old headed my way? Is that what she’s saying?

Fuck statistics and the horse they rode in on.

Brings to mind a remark an interviewer made to Clint Eastwood about marrying a much younger woman. Clint said without missing a beat, “Well if she dies, she dies.”

I love that. In other words, what’s your point asshole?

Older men with younger women makes sense since we’re notoriously more mentally advanced than they are, and of course sex helps when you don’t feel like throwing that casserole in the oven.

For the record, I could be with the hottest man in the world, but if he’s boring with no interests or conversation, that’s when my milk expires…but back to the groom.

George Clooney is a great guy. He stands up for people…notices their plight and digs deep into his own pockets trying to make a difference.

He too was asked a stupid question by a journalist after giving a great deal of money to some cause. “George, that was a lotta dough,” the reporter said, “whatever made you do that?”

George said without a blink of a big, brown eye, “Because I can.”

I think he waited so long simply because he could.

Here’s wishing them all the best.


Posted in Family, humor, Love, media, money, sex, Uncategorized, Women and men | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Snoot In A Suit

As I was coming out of Zitomer, the Cartier of drug stores, a man…a very dashing man I might add, hit me straight on because HE WAS TEXTING…


Okay, I’ll admit, I could have, but he really pissed me off with his cyber tunnel vision, a chronic problem on Madison Avenue.

6 3″ with legs the length of a diving board, elegantly dressed in a three-piece navy suit…Gucci loafers twinkling in the sunshine…he was a show-stopper alright, with or  without a phone.

But as my Aunt Tillie would say, “What does that have to do with the price of tomatoes?”

Nothing, but I’m human after all.

His looks were understated, something I like. It takes a trained eye to see how expensively dressed he was along with a twitchy demeanor to get he was just one more well-heeled schmuck schmucking up the Avenue..

“Hey, how bout…EXCUSE ME?” I said, staring up at his strong jawline into greenish blue eyes that made me think of dolphins, string bikinis and pina colodas by the pool.

“You ran into me on purpose?

I’ll admit, I was already in a bad mood after seeing my American Express bill that arrived earlier on a stretcher, but how did he know that?

“I did not,” I fibbed, “you weren’t looking where you were going…and if you don’t mind me asking…what the fuck is so important that you have to text while you walk?”

This shut him up for a second. Then he said something very unexpected.

“You’re right. I had a friend who was killed in London while he was crossing the street.”

“Was he texting?”

“Of course he was texting, that’s the point.”

With that tone of arrogance… any good feeling toward his dolphinism just went right out the window.

“Well, on behalf of your friend who’s sadly no longer with us, you should take better care of yourself.”

Boy, was he cute.

He shook his head yes, and that should have been that, but I said.

“By the way…I did bump into you on purpose.”


“And you know what? It might be the nicest thing that happens all day.”

That left him speechless alright…the snoot in a suit.

Yeah, her flirt muscle may be slightly arthritic, but it still works.



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imagesMy iron level, according to a recent blood test, is at an all time low, something I find neurotically disturbing.

My doctor, who looks at everything like it’s Godzilla, is concerned.

A friend of mine, a couple years my senior, also has low iron, but his doctor isn’t as worried as mine.

Should I just go see him so he can say…there there…don’t you worry, or continue to not sleep and bite my nails?

That’s all any of us want – reassurance, comfort and an occasional lie.

Me being me, those wheels of catastrophic thinking have been turning for a week even though I’ve been through an iron drop a year ago. I successfully raised it by eating more spinach than Popeye proving a condition can really change by a shift in diet.

Of course once it went up I went back to pizza and cheap chocolate figuring, that was that.


Lots could happen in a year, so am I checking out possibly before Christmas with iron poor blood?

Where’s Geritol (and Freud) when you need it?

Part of it is age. When I was in my 20s, 30s and even 40s, I never ever went to a doctor unless it was something serious, you know, like a drive-by shooting.

Now a cuticle cracks and I’m in his waiting room updating my will.

My friend Ed says, we’re all headed for the grave anyway, so just lighten up and assume it’s not today…a cheerful thought.

I try taking this advice, but find it requires alcohol and a limitless Visa card.

Part of my problem is never being sick until my hearing went south a year ago. You’re like a racehorse, my then doctor would say. Now I’m one who needs a weekly stress test.

When Bette Davis said, old age ain’t no place for sissies, she wasn’t just whistling Dixie.

What I need is to relax, remind myself the sun’s out and have a little more spinach to show my alleged anemia who’s boss.

I yam what I yam after all, just with a limited iron supply.



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Choosing Cheer

No, I don’t mean the detergent. I’m speaking of bliss, elation, the joie de vivre as opposed to the droops, as Camille likes to call them.

My friend Chris will always ask me after I finish lamenting over what seems like a terrible situation, what good came out of it.

“Excuse me?”

“Something Bianchi, whether it be a lesson of some kind or just the experience, there’s something positive there.”

This is I when my tail dives between my legs in miserable protest, though I see his point.

If you don’t search for the good than nothing about the situation is salvageable. It’s a no win across the board. But if you dig for that one nugget all was not lost.

Kind of like mining for gold, or bling in my case.

I’m not saying this way of thinking…Pollyannaism…is easy. It’s not. After spending many years mired in negative mud, those inroads are hard to avoid.

I will say, it does leave you feeling less tragic.

Laughing helps. To look at anything with clown eyes is a good start, like when my new espadrille came off in the middle of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, and before I could retrieve it, a fruit truck ran over it. Now it looks like artwork some kid made in school. Even Phil the shoemaker giggled when I told him the story.

“You lose your shoe? You not know you have one shoe?”

“Yes Phil, of course I know…I mean knew, but there were cars coming. I couldn’t just go get it. I could have been run over.”

“You right Susannah…better shoe than you.”

I tried to smile hobbling home remembering I hadn’t even paid for them yet.

What good came from this?

I did make Phil laugh who said, maybe if he stuffs newspaper in them for 6 months, they might come around, and he told Vanya, his wife, who also laughed…and then she told Hilda around the corner who asked if she could see it since she heard it was so funny.

I suppose honing the skill of not taking yourself so seriously is what my smashed shoe left in its wake.

That and my unpaid American Express bill.



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No Ifs Hands Or Butts

images-2 I have a stock phrase whenever I’m asked what I’d like for Christmas. It’s something like…not much, just Carolina Herrera, an Asian baby and an ass like Jennifer Lopez.”

Hey, a girl can dream.

Camille, my long time pal, has one I’ve forever been envious of, and she, like anything else we’ve had since birth, treats it with casual indifference.

“Oh big deal,” she’ll say when I tell her how great she looks in a pair of pants. “Your ass is just fine.”

“Stop lying.”

“Alright, so it could use a little padding, but look at the rest of you?”

This consoles for a split second till I see my behind in a mirror looking as if it was stolen right out of my jeans.

We have to make the most of what we have, this I know. My legs are still long and slim, so dresses camouflage my humble hindquarters so who would know. Trouble is, I love leggins and jeans that do tend to make me look like a crayon, and who wants to skip around in a dress all day?

Luckily it bothers me less and less. That’s age for you. It whittles down what’s important and looking like Charlie Chaplin from the rear doesn’t make the cut.

Camille has a waist issue I don’t have, something she reminds of when I’m busy coveting her butt. “You can still wear little tight shirts, when I can’t…unless I want to look like a stuffed pepper that is.”

I laugh when she says this.

It’s certainly a plus when you can make fun of yourself and your anatomical shortcomings.

I also remind her I have hands like catcher’s mitts while hers are slim and elegant.

She tells me to expect another pair of gloves this Christmas to conceal my mitts.

This is usually when one of us says, “Another round please, and make it a triple.”


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What I Miss Most Not Having A Man

images Sunday mornings.

The one morning a week when there’s no clock to punch…the one day you can loll in each others arms till your heart’s content.

It’s also the day when my geisha girl comes out at her fullest, scurrying away to plug in the coffee and grease a cookie sheet. When he murmurs, “Where ya goin Darlin?” You whisper…”Sleep Sweetie…I’ll be right back.”

You lovingly cover him up, his long, lanky frame in a well deserved rest making him look so much younger than his 60 plus years. Yes, even my imagination is age appropriate.

When people say, go find a younger guy, I laugh. For what? I want an older guy who can still canoodle like a school boy while teaching me something, if not for him, I’d never know.

That’s sexy…to be well-read with the gift of sharing with your lady fair.

You hang onto every word, your heart pumping, legs entwined like tangled yarn…you notice how young he still looks, especially when he’s talking about what he loves….music..books, a little Maltese he used to have…and let’s not forget you.

When you crawl back to bed and he says, “Hmm, what smells so good?” You say, “Me, and the scones I just put in the oven.”

You nestle in the crook of his arm so inviting while he gently brushes your hair with his palm like your dad used to do, making you feel safe and loved.

When the bell to the oven goes off to say breakfast is ready, he holds you tighter so you can’t geisha away.

“They’ll keep,” he says, as you make love like two 16 year-olds without a care (or scone) in the world…




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Why Writers Need Editors

images  Yesterday, after posting, I realized I had misspelled a word, in my title, of all places. I immediately corrected it of course, but my followers who get notified via email the second I post, would see this colossal mistake.

You would have thought I burnt the house down the way I berated myself for a simple error. The few who emailed me to say…wow…you really fucked up this morning…didn’t help either. I made a mistake…big deal… it’s not the end 0f the world.

Writers who can afford them have editors, a reason they’re graciously thanked so often in their book acknowledgements. Their eye, unlike most writers when it comes to their own work, is cleaner…like a jeweler’s.

By the way, editors when they publish, also have editors.

As far as spelling goes, read the letters between Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s as if two third graders wrote to one other. We’re talking about the authors of The Great Gatsby and Movable Feast, and believe me, they both had copy-editors.

I’m writing this not just for my benefit, but for any writer who tends to beat themselves up for a common grammatical error or occasional misspelled word.

It’s okay.

The important thing is we write, and one day, we’ll all have money in our pockets to pay someone to peruse our chapters to snip those loose threads we hadn’t noticed…

I guess because we were just too busy writing.

And in the meantime, we will merely have to bask in the grace of loving what we do :)



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The Basset Beauty Parlor

imagesCarmela is shedding. I realized this when, after a festive romp with Mr. Kato the fun loving Rot, he looked as if he had a severe case of dandruff.  Joey, Mr. Kato’s faithful walker, suggested a good old-fashioned brushing.

A couple days later I went to see her and of course, was welcomed, along with my cookie pocket, with howls and sniffs. I asked permission if I could enter the yard to groom her.

Should have looked up groom in Spanish, but live and learn.

Amalia, one of the housekeepers came out with a tiny stool, the kind farmers use to milk cows, so I’d have a comfortable perch.

Carmela, thinking we were going for a walk, went and got her harness, the smartie that she is. “No, Carm…this is spa day, and once more you’re gonna to love it.”

Her ears drooped in disappointment when I put the harness back staring at me as if I had lost my mind. Little does she know it was lost long ago.

Thinking she really would love it, she didn’t. She kept wiggling away as if to say, “What on earth do you think you’re doing. Stop that!”

And when I tried combing out her stomach all hell broke loose. She howled in protest. “Hey, it’s okay when Mr. Kato tickles you there Miss drama queen.”

She let me know, I was no Mr. Kato.

The fur was flying in more ways than one since I saw just how much she needed to be brushed. I gave her a cookie hoping it would make her stay still, but she wasn’t falling for that trick either.

“I’m smart Susannah….or have we forgotten?”

I know when Joey brushes Mr. Kato he’s in seventh heaven, so I didn’t quite understand Madam’s grievance. Then I realized I had bought a cat brush by mistake…hmm…I suppose if word got around she might be perceived as one big pussy.

Well, I guess until I remedy the situation, a wash and set will now be out of the question.

Women, even those who shed, are stubborn, sensitive and oh, so smart.



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The Mean Reds…Fighting Depression

images-1 I’ve loved this expression ever since reading it in Truman Capote’s classic, Breakfast At Tiffany’s…what he called his version of having the blues.

In the book, Holly Golightly, our famous heroine, goes to Tiffany to chase those blues away. Even the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn opens with her tooling by early in the morning looking in the windows for peace and solace (see picture).

We all have different avenues we take when we’re not feeling up to par. I go to the Park or visit Carmela, the basset hound. My mother used to cook.

I knew right away things were not too well when I’d come home from school and find a cake, two pies and a slew of cookies cooling on the counter. She’d have that forlorn look on her face with a highball glass in her hand that by the looks of things, had been refilled quite a few times.

I have several friends who take medication, something I’ve unsuccessfully tried. The first time I went on Prozac for eight months and yes, it took the mean reds away. As a matter of fact, it took everything away. I felt wrapped in cellophane my feelings squished down not even able to cry. I decided numbness wasn’t what I was after. I wanted to feel, but still function, something I work on daily.

Then I tried two others that made me sick finally deciding nature would be my drug of choice.

Sometimes animals are given Prozac to calm them down. I knew a pit named Oscar who was on it his whole adult life after a very perilous puppy-hood. A Beagle named Sam also takes an antidepressant or he can’t even leave the house, poor pup. There’s a French bulldog called Alouette who also takes something or else she moans in her sleep.

Sadness affects us all at one time or another, doesn’t much matter how many legs we have.

Depression has been very much in the news lately, starting with Robin Williams who sadly lost the battle. From someone who intermittently suffers, this still greatly disturbs me. If only he rallied and were still here to talk about it…help others find that side door….but alas, that was not to be.

Whether we combat it making pies, taking meds or strolling by Tiffany eating a Danish  like Holly…we need to fight those mean reds when they appear.

Life, however it comes, is just too precious not to.


Posted in animals, Books, dessert, Fashion, Health, humor, Love, New York City, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments