Kicking My Drug Habit

Yes, I’m an addict of sorts…a junkie…a person with a compulsive habit or obsessive dependency on something.  In my case it’s steroids, and no, I’m not a weight lifter or sumo wrestler.

I’ve been taking them to keep my hearing stabilized, and they work like a charm, or snake coiling from a basket, depending how you look at it.

A dominant drug taming everything in its path.  Trouble is, steroids are addictive, and very potent because the minute you stop taking them, it feels as if they’ve hurled you off a cliff.

Did I mention they’re packed with speed, which is why you’re painting your kitchen at 2 a.m. like Jackson Pollock on acid.

A doctor I know said, medicine is your friend Susannah.  Oh yeah, well with friends like Prednisone pal, who needs enemies?

I’m sitting here in my basset hound pajamas one step from occupational therapy.  A form of rehabilitation for those recuperating from physical or mental illness that encourages healing through the performance of activities required in daily life.

Ya know, like making a wallet without your belt.

Yes I jest, because there’s no other way to combat the severe withdrawal, except with humor I gratefully have in spades, along with diamonds and hearts.

Toss in a joker and we’re off to the races.

The big question is…to brave it out, stay off of them…show steroid just who’s boss, taking the chance of my hearing going south.  It’s already lolling in Louisiana so if it ends up in Texas, I’m pretty well fucked.

Yes, even girls from Connecticut have need of the F word even if we try not to use it.

It’s just so fucking universal.

Oh, there I go again.  crazy-woman


Posted in Connecticut, Health, humor, women, words | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Pitts

I saw a quote that put it all in prospective for me…


As the world remembers, how can we not, Angelina Jolie in 2005, took Brad Pitt away from his then wife, Jennifer Aniston, after meeting on the set of Mr. Mrs. Smith, like a hurricane in heels.

I remember how the press tore into Jennifer as if she were a forgotten Dickens character.

Rumor has it, Brad had a little fling with French actress, Marion Cotillard, while making the film, Allied together.  If indeed true, being French, along with her live-in fella, Guillaume Canet, no one’s packing any bags in their house.

These things happen.

But in Hollywood all bets are off when you cheat, even if it is your own karma…hence, Angelina is leaving Brad and taking the kids.  She doesn’t want money, though he makes much more than she does, and there may or may not be a pre-nup, wonders never cease, so all I can say is, when a woman doesn’t even want your money…

SHE’S PRETTY PISSED, though…once she settles down, WATCH THE FUCK OUT!

Brad, like most men, does not want a divorce

A DIVORCE? WHAT? NO NO NO…like the Beatles said…


Oh yeah, said the soon to be ex Mrs. Pitt, I don’t think so there, Mr., I should have kept it zipped in my pants, even though, Marion claims, there’s nothing between them.

Maybe not now.

The definition of a fling?  A short, spontaneous sexual relationship, which is the beauty of it, well, if you’re European that is.

In America it’s more, FLING THIS…WHO’S THE PUSS IN MY BOOTS…as you leave the house in only your underwear.

What I find fascinating, there are so few women in Hollywood as beautiful as Angelina, except for maybe Jessica Rabbit and Marion.  images-6

Brad, the little imp, is like flypaper, isn’t he?

There’s also an ugly rumor that Pitt abused one of his kids.  I’m not accepting that so quickly.  Apparently, he had an alleged altercation with their eldest son, Maddox, but that doesn’t make a mom go for the jugular by calling the movers.

You know Ang, I admire you for so many things...BUT


Brangelina… images-5


Posted in Family, Home, kids, media, men, money, parents, Women and men | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Worst Story Of The Week

I’m walking home passing Park Avenue Synagogue when I see a well dressed, 40ish, African American man leaning against the wall by the back entrance with his head in his hands.

Of course I stop.

“Are you alright sir?” I gently ask.

He flips around like a ticked-off tortilla and says,”Can’t a man just pray anymore,” shaking his head as he runs to his car parked at the curb. I watch as he peels off like Mario Andretti even running a stop sign. Wonder how God would feel about that?

No good turn goes unpunished, as they say, shaking my own head in quiet bewilderment as I walk the rest of the way home.


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Excuse Me, But Whose Baby Is This?

I’m in Starbucks sitting next to a parked baby carriage, the only seat in the house.  It’s a little after 8, late for me, so the place is already jumping.

As I sit answering emails, suddenly a little foot appears, like a flag or road sign.  I peek in the carriage greeted by who I’m certain, is the Gerber Baby.  All smiles, charming as can be, gurgling her little heart out.

Oh, it was a girl alright, in her pale pink smock with a matching bow in her curly brown hair.  Now I don’t speak gurgle by any means, but I’m pretty sure she was saying, have you seen my mom, who has yet to reappear.

That does it.  I stand up, my indignation in place and scream, “EXCUSE ME, BUT WHOSE BABY IS THIS?”

A little bouncy blonde wiggles over and says, “That’s my baby. That’s my little Carol Ann.”

Steady Susannah.  If you smack her there are too many witnesses.

“Well, don’t you think you should be keeping an eye on your little Carol Ann?”

She looks at me as if it never occurred to her, smiling her best veneer smile before wheeling her closer to where she’s talking to a very handsome Latino worker.

Something tells me they weren’t discussing Venti Pumpkin Lattes either.  Or maybe her engagement ring, the size of a walnut, hypnotized her, making her forget she even had a baby.

I say good bye to Carole Ann who gurgles back, “Nice knowin ya, and thanks. You know how kids are.  Babies having babies.”

“I know Carole Ann, I know.”   images-6

A present day Gerber Baby having nothing over Carol Ann.


Posted in Family, Home, humor, kids, New York City, parents | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Can A Leopard Change Her Spots?

I’ve never been a lover of animal prints.  Hey, I’m from Connecticut.  Back when I lived there, if you walked down Main Street in spots of any kind, they’d shoot you.getpartThey don’t call it The Nutmeg State for nothing.

But in my twilight years I’ve become quite fond of prints, especially leopard.

J.Crew, the new Tiffany of sportswear, is exploding with it:  slacks, skirts, shirts, even shoes, and it’s all sexy as hell.   images-7

My mother is rolling in her grave.


Years ago, and you’re part of the reason, so you can’t hold that against me.

I’m really diggin the shoes.  Flats  images-5 with a little dip in the middle to show off your instep to its best advantage, and who knew leopard went with everything?


What did you say Ma?  If you weren’t dead you’d kill me?

Tough luck.

Now the downside…anything leopard is very pricy, including faux, and of course toss in animal advocates who feel, even fake leopard is sending the wrong message, so be prepared to pay the price on a couple of levels.

I say, over 60, all bets are off fashion wise anyway.  Let’s face it, there’s not much out there exciting to a woman of a certain age, so when she finds something, she deserves to run with it.  Imagine a pair of leopard shorts images-1 with a matching sports bra.


Now I can’t wear fur, I can’t…I’ve tried, but a make-believe cat donning my tootsies somehow feels okay.


apparently there’s a crowd outside looking for me.

Better switch to my Keds before going out there.

Of course I made that up.



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Susannah’s Fall, Winter Reading List 2016-2017

getpart-4-1 I’m here surrounded by books I’ve taken from the library, like a wild party when no one goes home.

Stacks of them by my bed, in the living room, near the front door.  Biographies, essays, memoirs and even the occasional novel.

Perhaps it’s the simmer of summer making me crave a classic…a dreamy tale to transport me on the wings of a writer’s imagination.

Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier (1938)

I read it 20 years ago, when the daughter of a friend had to read it for school, so her mother bought copies for everyone she knew.  I remember loving it then, but not as much as now.  Du Maurier’s prose drips with visuals, the flora of Manderley and its inhabitants springing to life.  The film comes to mind with Sir Lawrence Olivier as Maxim de Winter, the moody lord of the manor, and Joan Fontaine, his tormented second wife.

Someone said, “You read that when you’re 17 Susannah.” “Oh yeah? Really? how bout when you’re 62…more coffee?”

I then jumped right into essays needing pith after all that melodrama,  so what better than David Sedaris’s classicYou Talk Pretty One Day (2001), a funny, nutty set of stories when he first lived in France.  He’s always a good choice, and the only writer who’s ever made me laugh, out loud, on the New York subway.

A Talent to Annoy…Essays, Articles and Reviews 1929-1968, Nancy Mitford (1986).  It’s amazing how current her writing is. Wry, candid.  A big favorite of mine also living in France in her day, like David.

Take The Cannoli, Sara Vowell (2001), another zany, talented lunatic whose essays rounded out the three.  Makes perfect sense she and Sedaris are good friends, and I’m certain, both of them would have hit it off famously with Nancy.

That pushed me back to another classic novel, The Godfather, by Mario Puzo (1969),  Vowell’s cannoli having to be responsible.  Made me want one at Connie’s wedding while Luca Brasi practices his speech to the Don, and like the film, there are spots, when I need to just close my eyes.  “Look, at what they did to my’a boy.” 

The Italian theme continues with memoirs by two women very close to Frank Sinatra.  His fourth wife Barbara, and middle daughter, Tina.  I read Mrs. Blue Eyes, My Life With Frank (2012), first, wondering why there was no mention of Frank’s two daughters with Frank Junior barely in passing.

When I read Tina Sinatra’s book, My Father’s Daughter (2009), it explained everything in a stepmom, stepdaughter nutshell.  Did Tina loathe Barbara.  Makes her out to be the biggest blonde bandit to ever land a big fish who happened to be her father.  Merging famalia isn’t easy, especially when you’re the most famous singer in the world.  Heads butt, feelings fray, and there you are in a terry robe in the last leg of your tour, so to speak, while all those you love fight over, not so much you, but your name and money.

The Central Park Five (2011), Sarah Burns, daughter of filmmaker Ken Burns, who did a helluva job writing about the 1989 Central Park jogger who was viciously attacked, and the 5 fellows falsely convicted.  Turns out, though no angels, they didn’t do it.  A disturbing page-turner, especially for me, who runs in Central Park.

Obsession, The Lives and Times of Calvin Klein (1994), Steven Gaines, a thorough bio of the dashing designer Gaines leaving no stone unturned.   His personal life…the swaying between sexes, the love for his daughter Marci who gets kidnapped at age 11 and his rise to fame during the Studio 54 years, will surely hold your attention.

Genuinely Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren (2004), Michael Gross.  Another wild trip through the fashion industry, Lauren coming out not smelling like a rose.  Rude, conniving…indiscreetly cheating on his wife with one of his models.  No wonder he refused cooperation with Gross on the book.  Again, you have to wonder, do you have to be a colossal shit to make it in this world, seeming to be the million dollar question.

The Battle of Versailles (2015), by Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer Prize winning fashion critic for The Washington Post, about a famous fashion show in 1973, held at Marie Antionette’s stomping grounds with top designers such as Halston, Bill Blass and Oscar de Renta, sparring with their French counterparts, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy and Yves St. Laurent while Liza Minnelli and Josephine Baker shimmy across the stage.  I loved its retro glamour and how Givhan brought it to life, like The Day of the Dead of chic.

American Tragedy: The Uncensored Story of the Simpson Defense (1996), Lawrence Schiller and James Willwerth.  I read all 685 pages riveted, feeling as if I were there, ringside, in 1994.  The unrecorded details, of what’s been called, The Trial of the Century, especially held my attention.  The ego wars among the defense team.  One lawyer wanting OJ to plead manslaughter while the others swore he couldn’t have killed two people so savagely, while according to his acquittal, the real murderer has yet to be found.  Yes, well…read it, then you tell me who you think did it.

Perfect Murder, Perfect Town (2002), Lawrence Schiller, the 1996 unsolved slaying of 6 year-old, JonBenet Ramsey, in Boulder, Colorado that 20 years later has yet to be solved.  Packed full of mind-boggling data, you walk away thinking, our legal system needs a serious rewrite.  Schiller seems to have found his calling, grisly as it is.

Diana, The Last Year (1997), Donald Spoto.  I suppose it was her humanity that perpetually pierces my skin.  The People’s Princess, as she was aptly named, whispers to the reader’s heart, Spoto hitting his marks sparingly with great poignance.  Just don’t mind a few unexpected tears.

Gable and Lombard (1974), Warren Harris.  Another read that seeped through my bones, Carole Lombard now becoming a hero much more than her cheap, philandering husband she loved so much.  Patriotic to a fault, losing her life in a plane crash alongside her mother at the age of 34 after passionately selling war bonds, rushing home to her beloved, you truly wonder why the good always do die young.  As for Gable, despite his antics never got over her, buried side by side, 16 years later.

Bombshell…The Life and Death of Jean Harlow (1994), David Stenn.  A close friend of Gable and Lombard’s, her story leaving me speechless.  Dead at 26 from kidney failure, ruled by a pariah of a mother whose Christian Science faith kept her from sending The Baby to a doctor.  More proof that organized religion can kill you.  I wept when I read Jean was reading Gone With The Wind when she died.

The Residence (2015), Kate Anderson Brower, The Downton Abbey of the White House…what the workers have to say.  Talk about being a fly on the wall.  LBJ and Nancy Reagan fare the worst, while the senior Bushes come out like starlings.  Daughter of writer Christopher Anderson, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

First Women (2016), Kate Anderson Brower, a look at our First Ladies from Michelle Obama back to Jackie.


Shadow (2000), Bob Woodward, the presidency after Watergate ending with Clinton who always makes P.T. Barnum seem shy.  Not a big Woodward fan, but he had me this time.

Destiny and Power…George H. Bush (2016), Jon Meecham   After reading what swells they were in the White House, the Bushes began to intrigue me, and Meecham, one of our finest historians, was just the man to make the introduction.  Despite their offspring, I  came away really liking George and Barb.

Franklin and Winston (2003), Jon Meacham.  Read it a second time not getting enough of the esteemed author.  History’s Huck and Jim, FDR and Winnie steal your heart as well as your respect for the times in which they lived.

The Making Of Donald Trump (2016), David Cay Johnston, a fascinating account of The Donald’s rise to Trumphood.  All I’ll say is, Hillary isn’t the only one with a rap sheet.

The Red Bandanna (2016), Tom Rinaldi.  On September 11th 2001, a 25 year-old fellow named Welles Crowther, working as a trader on the 104th floor of the Trade Center’s South Tower, helped a great many people get out losing his life as a result.  His dad, when he was very young, gave him a red handkerchief he was never without.  People who lived tell their stories about the guy with the red bandanna.  A very touching read indeed.

Making Rounds With Oscar (2010), Donald Dosa M.D., a sweet, poignant true tail about a cat in a nursing home who knew instinctively when someone was about to check-out.  For anyone needing comfort or knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease, or just the perils of the elderly, it’s a very special read.

The Travels of Babar (2002), Jean De Brushoff.  I always like to end with a little light reading, so Babar and his wife Celeste, are the perfect couple to spend a cozy, wintry night with.  Funny, smart… Illustrations that will charm…and that Celeste, a real clothes horse for such an elephant.

I warn you, she’ll make you want to shop.    Young-King-Babar-and-Young-Queen-Celeste-Royal-Wedding-Dance-babar-the-elephant-33881897-1488-901


Posted in Books, History, humor, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Mr. Ed

I’ve been on the disabled list, due to what I thought was muscular, after having an overzealous exercise session.

When I told Ed, my pal and wingman in all things, I did 300 leg lifts on each leg said, he’s surprised my pelvis is still attached.

When I said I think I’m dying, Ed said, there should be no more dying than absolutely necessary.

Turns out after limping to the doctor, I have a urinary track infection, or what is known as, Honeymooner’s Disease from too much sex…alas, not why my lower abs feel assaulted.

Seems unfair, doesn’t it?

I have visions of Ed saying to Evelyn, aka Ev-ita, his wife of a thousand summers, oh God, what does she want now?  Is she dying again?

This is pure me, you understand.  He never remotely complains nor shows any sign of irritation.  Ed, with the exception of maybe Joan, is my best girlfriend.  I’ve often imagined him as my maid of honor (alright, matron) when I get married on Brooklyn Bridge to my beloved who’s yet to arrive.

He’s awfully late SB, Ed would say…traffic? A little jail time perhaps?

So maybe he’ll wear taffeta and pumps in our next life.

We shall look forward to that.  getpart-5


PS  This is my favorite photo of him that shouldn’t have a black eye.  Blame it on WordPress that deserves one.

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Skirmish On Lex

A word you see often in Civil War books, and a favorite of mine since I have so many.

A skirmish is an episode of irregular or unpremeditated fighting…a quarrel, tiff, spat or clash.

I clashed alright, with a mean mother over an upset kid.

I was coming out of Staples, elated, after buying 25 notebooks at .17 each.  Schooldays Special, it was called and luckily they didn’t ask for ID, when I notice a little girl in a heap on the floor in tears.

“What’s the matter?” I say, immediately rushing over.  She’s so distraught she can’t answer.  Turns out, she broke the top of her styrofoam cup spilling its contents all down her shirt and socks.

“Don’t cry,” somehow fixing it so it wouldn’t spill anymore. The poor thing is just beside herself, and I’m just guessing, with shame.

“Who are you with?” I then ask, knowing she couldn’t be alone since she was just a little more than a baby.  She slowly looks up and I see this tall, angry looking woman with a little boy observing, more like a truant officer than a mom.

“Does she belong to you? She’s very distressed.”

“She’s always distressed about something, the little shit.”

Where’s that ten foot baguette when you need it?

“Get up honey,” I say to the kid, still perched on the floor. “It’s only a little spilled drink, it’s okay?”

“It’s not okay. Look ad-der.  Like a little orphan with crap all over her.”

The tears start all over again and did she hit a nerve with me.  My mother, too, made fun of me whenever I cried, telling everybody what a little pain in the ass I was.  It’s a myth that kids have no feelings…they’re just crocodile tears.  I’m here to tell you, that isn’t so, our tears in lieu of words.

I have to muster every shred of control so not to knock this woman on her cruel, bitchy ass.

I pause taking a breath. I reach my hand to help the little girl up who hesitates, but then stands.  She’s so sweet, tears the size of gumdrops clinging to her long, dark lashes.

I then look at her mother and say, “I was never lucky enough to have a child, but I can tell you this, as her mom, and I’m not judging you (to hell I wasn’t), your job is to help her get through whatever it is, even some spilled milk.”

“Well thank you Dr. Spock.”

Okay…hold your temper Susannah because if you don’t, she may take it out on the kid.

“It was very nice to meet you both, and I hope the rest of your day goes better.”

Yes, I say that, fists clenched, a serene smile on my face phony as can be. It’s times like these I know I can act.

I wave to the little girl who just stares with her big watery eyes, while her mother pays for a huge roll of packing tape, I would so love to wrap over her mouth.

As for me, I cry too, for all the little kids who are mistakenly, misunderstood.

I was one.


Posted in Family, Home, kids, Love, New York City, parents, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Need A Ride?

When did ambulance drivers get so flirty?

I had tripped crossing the street, luckily catching myself since, every time I fall it’s like playing bone roulette, my skinny frame, no matter how much calcium I take, in constant peril.

You’re wondering, why is it Susannah that you keep falling?  It’s the Marx Brother in me, pratfalls in my DNA.

But back to the Don Juan of EMTs.

He’s standing in front of his Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulette, that if it was used for anything else, could be quite cute, playing with his phone, smiling in a way that, if I didn’t know better, was watching early morning porn.

Good Morning New York with Amber and Friends, who naturally are all naked.

Hey, it’s the writer in me imagining such things.

Instead of inquiring if I’m okay professionally, or at the very least, gentlemanly, our emergency medical man says with a grin, “Need a ride?” I don’t know…you need a smack?

I then decide, since it’s 6 a.m. and my eyes are barely open, I’d just let that one go.

I then, turn on my heel leaving him, along with Amber and friends, testosteronning by the curb like a man who’s had a bit too much internet.


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Willie and His Radio

Old Willie, who’ve I’ve written about, I see in and around Starbucks in the morning, found a radio…a little transistor that has seen better days.

Taped, scratched, the kind you had when you were a kid, but if you saw him with it, you’d think he found gold.

Must be tough living in a wheelchair, sleeping under an awning or subway entrance, and I’ve noticed since spring, despite a better wheelchair, Willie has taken a turn.

He used to stay in a halfway house at night, but no more. Was it his decision, the state’s?  I don’t know, and he’s not a soul who opens up, his privacy and choice to share are what little he has left, but back to his radio.

As I write, I’m watching his face shine in contentment listening to some early program, reminding myself, the smallest thing can switch on a light as well as an AM FM station.

Later on that day…

On my way home, I see Willie again, parked on 84th and Lex, radio on…foot tapping.  I hand him a little bag that, when peeked into, produces a huge smile.


It was filled with AA Batteries.


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