Tennis At The Bar

The amount of material at ones fingertips is staggering, encouraging you to write essays all day,  just by logging in the miles of inappropriate behavior.

It’s Sunday, or No Worry Sunday, as it’s come to be called, where I dispense with all woe till Monday morning.

I’m having a great, unplanned day doing anything this oh heart a mine desires, including a stop at Morini, my favorite neighborhood watering hole for an ice cold glass of Prosecco, better known as, poor girl’s champagne.

It’s 3 p.m.  A half an hour after Happy Hour began, so the place is still flush with brunchers sipping coffee and inhaling homemade Tiramisu, one of their specialties.

The medium size bar is empty, except for a 40ish bald man in white pressed tennis shorts drinking a martini, and a woman of a certain age whose boobs are front and center, like twins in a jumper seat.

They’re seated at opposite ends, talking to one another.

With little choice, I sit between them.  Think Wimbledon without balls, sex appeal or Roger Federer…just a prosaic version of a volley…back and forth, back and forth.

I breathe in, muttering…patience Susannah, do not forsake your peace for a strain of poor manners.

The woman, despite her sagging age, is flirting unabashedly like a debutante, while this still young stallion, a wedding band picking up the overhead light is, I’m estimating, merely being polite.

I finally say, unable to contain myself a second longer,”Why don’t you two sit closer to one another?”

The woman, liking the idea, sits tall in her chair, while the man slumps in his, embarrassed at my overt suggestion.

Check please?  They seem to say simultaneously…she from rejection, him from…Jesus, I was just being nice.

As I watch them both leave like strangers who never officially met, I settle on my cozy bar stool to write this, perhaps not the most riveting, but nonetheless, true just the same… essay.


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Are You Drunk Or Just Happy To See Me?

I’m writing this in my head, standing in a very long line at Whole Foods, the Epcot of organic supermarkets.

There’s a guy in front of me who looks like a weight-lifter with arms the size of salamis, holding one item: a mango Chobani yogurt.

The woman in front of him has a good 50 things, yet won’t allow him to go ahead of her.  This positively kills Pollyanna as she fumes on his behalf. The man, who looks as if he could take on Syria single-handedly, is smiling like he just won a car.

I finally say to Miss, I don’t give a shit, with her many parcels, “Couldn’t this gentleman go first since he only has one thing?”

He quickly says, “No, I’m good. Don’t mind waiting at all,” sidestepping the sneer the Upper East Side charmer gives us both.

However, when she turns all the way around I see she has cleavage three feet deep that he, being so tall, his salamis at attention, is enjoying like a mammary matinee.

He winks at me, showing dimples that made me, and Pollyanna blush, like a coupla schoolgirls.


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The Godfather, by Mario Puzo

Godfather-Novel-Cover.png Though published in 1969, I first read it in 1972 after being captivated by the film.

When I found it all dusty on my library shelf, we became inseparable until its last page was read, like we had never met before.  Imagine the film, but with multi-layers.

Hey, in 44 years you forget a few things, even the greatest of lines from the movie’s screenplay, also written by Puzo.  images-1

“Leave the gun.  Take the cannoli.”

“You touch my sister again, I’ll kill ya.”

“You’re takin this very poisenally.” “It’s not personal Sonny, it’s just business.”

“Maunday, Toosdee, Tearsdee, Whahnsday.”

“Did Clemenza tell you to drop the gun?” “Yeah, a million times.”

“What’s the matter Carlo?” “Shut up and set the table.”

“Paulie, pull over, I gotta take a leak.”

and my personal favorite….

“In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.”

images Mario Puzo (1920-1999) was an outstanding writer, his descriptions jaw-dropping, especially his erotica.  Stephen King, who in his book, On Writing, lectures on the necessity of candor, would bray in approval.

I couldn’t help wondering how Mrs. Puzo and the mother of his 5 children felt back then, about her husband’s hot, steamy love scenes.

“So Mario, tell me something.  This creamy thigh business of yours…legs draped around necks…something tells me you weren’t talking about us.”

“Oh sweetheart.  I could never talk about our lovemaking, it’s sacred after all.”

“Yeah, sacred this Mario. ”

False candor is very hard to be faithful to, so if I was Mrs. Puzo, my suspicions would have been awakened too.  Whose thighs was he talking about exactly?

“Remember honey, I’m a writer with a vivid imagination.”

“Yeah?  Don’t honey me. What’s her name?  I’ll kill her and her white thighs I’ll drape around her neck I’ll break in half.”

Leave the cannoli, take the gun.


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Clutter…A Clean Word

Since I’ve moved into my new place, I’ve been criticized for my neatness.

Sounds odd, right?

The first person to question it, came with gifts and good cheer saying, “You need to come to my house next time.”  She lives in a huge, old place I truly wanted to see.

My apartment is old too, just lovingly restored by its previous tenant.

Then I get an email disinviting me.  “I have to clean before you come.  You are so damned neat, I can’t let you visit.”

I guess she still hasn’t images-1 because the invitation was never reissued.

Then someone else, who without even asking, opened my closet and said, “Jesus Susannah…you’re so fucking anal the way your dresses are lined up. I guess now I have to go home and clean my own closet. ”   images

My spareness…spotless, unsullied and a tad pristine, seems to be giving me a bad name.

Clutter: a collection of things lying about in an untidy fashion.

A mess, mass, litter or heap.  Confusion, chaos, disarray…a hodgepodge of disorder.  Untidiness, debris…an accumulation of things of little value.  Junk-piles, stockpiles, possessions one doesn’t need.

I’m positively preening in my state of clutter-less-ness.

This is what I know.  We have control over very little.  Think about it.  Life has the last say, whether it’s ultimately our health, success in love or how the world treats us.  The rough and rude, inappropriate and discourteous. Toss in insensitive, and we’re really off to the unbridled races.

Our home environment is the one area we have a say in.

Every Sunday I clean.  I can’t afford my cleaning lady right now, so I’ve become Hazel in a twinset.  It’s No Worry Sunday, when I disregard all my troubles starting the day with soap and water.

It’s very Franciscan to clean ones own home.  I always said, I wasn’t very good at it, but see, that was a myth created in order to get someone else to do it.

When I’m all done and the place smells of Lemon Oil and Ivory Soap, Mr Clean and fresh air since the windows are wide open, I feel free, is the only way to describe it.

My neighbor down the hall is a bit of clutter-bug.  He said, it’s hard to get rid of anything, even his newspapers because they make him feel comforted.  I thought about this, how different we all are, which I respect.

I’m comforted when there is no excess anywhere, that whatever I see has purpose and loved by me.  If not, out it goes to the closest thrift shop because guaranteed, someone else will treasure what no longer serves me.

My apartment is filled with other people’s gifting.

That said...clutter….to amass muddles of merde, the French term for shit, that sounds so much nicer.

I think I’ll go dust the hangers holding my lineup of dresses, since, you never know when someone’s gonna, without notice, open up your closet.  getPart-4



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I Love Lucy Still

I’m in a summer swoon attempting to rise above the clouds, minus a silo of alcohol.

It’s hard competing with vodka on the rocks, but Lucille Ball is indeed a contender, her classic reruns beating Prozac in the antidepressant department.

I even made popcorn before my Lucy marathon.

We start in Italy, when to soak up local color, Lucy decides to squash grapes, with her feet.

images I love the fist fight she has with her fellow grape squasher causing her to fall on her ass.   images-2

Wonder how many takes that took?

Then we pop over to France when she and Ethel, tricked by Ricky and Fred, wear faux designer dresses thinking they’re Paris originals which include a horse’s feedbag on their head. E147LucyRickyEthelFredinParis

Back to Italy when she’s missing Little Ricky in New York on his birthday, and throws a party for all the local Italian kids.

tumblr_inline_nsv8bhy86b1rvl0vd_1280 “It’s a my’a  birth’a day too,” fibs Giuseppe, the group’s barefooted ringleader.

When she presents him with a pair of new shoes, is when he tearfully confesses to the ruse ordering all the kids to give back their gifts. “But it’a really is my’a birth’a day,” says one indignant bambino, so it ends happily with Little Ricky calling from the states.

They all seem to connect, like when she tries desperately to tell Ricky she’s pregnant, finally going to Club Babalu pretending she’s a guest requesting him to sing, We’re Having a Baby…my baby and me…images-3

which makes me sob into my popcorn.

And who can leave out the candy factory. images-1 While Ricky and Fred play house-husbands, Lucy and Ethel bring home the bacon, but in this case, chocolates by the pound.  When Lucy stuffs them in her hat, I’m on the floor.  Not bad considering I’ve seen it 300 times.

Time to fly to L.A. where Ricky has been cast, though a stretch, as the Cuban Don Juan, while Lucy gets in all kinds of mischief, starting with harassing William Holden at Hollywood’s famous Brown Derby, where Ethel cuts Lucy’s spaghetti with manicure scissors images-6 before dumping a cake on Holden’s head. images-4

This might be my favorite episode, especially after Bill gives Ricky a lift home from the studio, who invites him up where Lucy, in disguise, lights her nose on fire, an accident while filming they decided to keep in.images-5

Naturally we end in Connecticut where the Ricardos and Mertzes move deciding to raise chickens. The girls, to give the chicks elbow room, allow them the run of the house almost causing Fred to have a stroke.


Funniest image ever is Lucy pretending she’s a mother hen to get her chicks to come out from under the fridge.  images

So the big question…did my swoon lift after playing Ball?


Instead of meds, these doctors should prescribe Lucy, every four hours, and then you won’t have to call them in the morning.

Think about that.  images


Posted in alcohol, Cinema, comedy, Connecticut, Family, Fashion, Home, humor, kids | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I’m in a bar…a French joint on the Upper East Side nursing an overpriced Chardonnay.

The barmaid, with a freak of nature bust-line, hands me a note.

“I just love your glasses.”

Yeah, heard that one before.  Next thing I know, to my surprise, a middle-aged woman sidles up to me and says, “Would you mind if I try on your specs?”  Though startled, I say, “No, not at all.”

Feeling like an optometrist for the first time in my life, start discussing frames and why a face the size of mine needs width that rivals the Chesapeake.  I bring Jackie O into it saying, she had the same issue as did ET if he were shades shopping.  Not getting my joke, this woman, who weighs 8 pounds and sounds like Barbara Walters, says. “I’d like to discuss this further…here’s my number,” scribbling it on a napkin.  I watch her leave, a schelppy husband in tow, wondering, if she really expects me to call her.

Cut to…and once again, things are never what they seem, the barmaid who easily could be Miss September says, “It’s very sad.  They come in every day…she has tea, he a double scotch.  She has early Alzheimer’s and he just carts her around best he can.”

Talk about taking the wind out of your Raybans.

What does this say to me?

The world is in pain…I’m not alone.  The likes of this woman who the barmaid said, is rich and was once a very notable doctor in her field of medicine lecturing all over the world, has now been leveled where she can barely remember her own name.

To think this all started over glasses, mine filled with wine, hers tea, with Jackie, our eternal hostess.

If this is God’s idea of humor, he can just go to hell in an eyeglass case.


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Day Of The Dead…LIVE

I have an image, where everyone I know who’s dead, are all at the same cocktail party having a grand old time.

Hicks, Jack, Joyce, Nancy, Phil, my grandfather, even Auntie Ida, who in unison all cluck…

“Susannah, trust us when we say, all the shit that’s bothering you, doesn’t mean a damned thing up here, so shake it the fuck off.” (I’m assuming they all made it to that heavenly, 5-Star hotel in the sky).

A point you have to admit, well-made.

Then I muse about the thousands killed on 9/11. What were they worried about on their last day on earth?  My rent is due, he didn’t call, I’ve gained a pound and didn’t get the job.  I need a facelift, hate my boss…need a holiday, need a change.

Be careful what you wish for.

Forgive the appearance of irreverence, truly not the case.  But it does help to remind ourselves, we’re not on the planet forever.

When those whiny winds blow with us at the wheel steering a crooked ship, it helps to remember, one day our room too, will be ready.

Right Hicks?

That’s right, bay-ba…that’s right.


Posted in alcohol, comedy, Faith, Health, humor, words | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

New York At Her Most Irritating

When did the city get so loud?  You can’t walk down the street without covering your ears,  construction on every corner.

If they knock down one more old building, sadly not landmarked to build a high-rise, in ten years times, we will rival Tokyo with a population similar to ants.

I feel accosted every time I leave my house.  Toss in people on their phones in every pubic place, courtesy at bay as if it were extinct, which I’m beginning to realize, may be the case.

The desperate, jumping in front of you demanding money, as if that too were the norm.

Just now a man without legs attempted to make me feel guilty because I have mine.  As you know, pulling my heartstrings is a walk in the park, but his ire angered me so much I just let him have it, and not in dollars and cents either.

“How dare you yell at me.  I’m sorry for you…I am…but I have a disability too for your information.  Maybe it’s not as obvious as yours, but I have one…so get the fuck out of my face.”

Yes, my mother made one of her jolly, cameo appearances and frankly, I was glad.

I love New York.  I’ve lived here most of my life and don’t wish to leave it.  I’m part of its grid, its fabric…right along with its landscape and the likes of the harbor and the Chrysler Building, but it’s losing charm as if it had a slow leak.

And if not careful, I too will lose mine.

Peace…know where I can get some?

SB    crazy-woman

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Bill Cosby, August Vanity Fair

An article worth reading, if nothing else, for the complexities of the charges leveled against a man who, if guilty, should be drawn and quartered.

I met Mr. Cosby on two occasions, having worked on one of his shows.  He’s an imposing man, tall…burly, who walks, like my friend Camille likes to say, dick first.

One of the things I remember was how he belittled the young (white) director in front of the whole cast and crew. Why?  I imagine just because he could.  It was his show after all and in the world of filmmaking, that gives you the right to abuse.

The funny thing about witnessing bad behavior of the famous is, that’s what you remember about them, more than their talent.  Cruelty crows, doesn’t matter how many awards you get, so his comedy, considered groundbreaking, has lost pulp.

I recall how the women always got smiles and preferential treatment, me included, even though I wasn’t very coveted, thank God.  He just liked a harem around him using his charm to insure it…merely a thin girl’s theory, but a pretty good one.

The piece in Vanity Fair recaps the multiple allegations from 35 different women claiming he drugged them in order to have sex while they were barely conscious.

Many of the women are models and actresses one could doubt.  I actually know a couple whose credibility I’d indeed question.  But this couldn’t apply to all of them, who woke up in the morning, shellshocked and sore having been used like a sexual tinker toy.

But the person who speaks to me the loudest is Camille, images-2 his wife of 52 years who, not only stays by his side, but never moans or whimpers.  They have 5 children together, a son, Ennis, at 27, tragically murdered in 1997.

So I can’t imagine what it must be like for this woman to have to endure the scandal of her husband’s alleged conduct.  I use the word alleged purposely, since this is America remember, and one is innocent till proven guilty.

But William Henry Cosby Jr.,  in his 77th Year, such a leader of his time, indeed may be headed for the slammer.     images


Posted in Family, Home, kids, media, men, parents, Politics, sex, violence, Women and men | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Losing A Friend

It’s happening again.   Someone I love has packed their bags.  You’d think since my hearing loss I’d be used to it by now, but the truth is, it still hurts like hell.

One feels as if you’re worth ten cents a pound discarded like an old shoe, after waiting for it to finally drop, seeing its coming.

First communication lessens so it’s harder to make plans.

Busy Busy Busy…is the chronic excuse, just with other people they’d prefer to be with than you.  You immediately know it’s due to your altered state of having to ask to have things repeated and, could we go to a quieter place?  You’ve just become too much trouble and not enough fun anymore.  And on occasion speak loudly, though unintentionally and always severely apologetic, still an embarrassment across the board.

The tears I’ve shed may become legendary because I really love this person whose own faults have never remotely deterred me.

But on a brighter note, someone who’s been absent unexpectedly showed up with flowers in a limo no less, like a knight in leather pants and an Electric Lady T-shirt, to whisk Helen Keller away for the weekend for a belated birthday celebration.

In my nightgown, it being midnight the hour Sir Lancelot travels, thought for a second before saying her usual no, packing her vintage overnight bag flying down the stairs not waiting for the elevator.  Montauk here we come, where we spent the nicest two days at a private house, on the beach where I read, drank Old Granddad Sours, my knight’s specialty, while he cooked wild salmon and fresh corn on the grill.

We were all alone except for a discreet woman who came while we slept to replenish our needs. Think room service on the ocean. They say, when God shuts a door he opens a window. Well this time, he blew the roof off the place.

I kept crying I was so happy.

The simplicity of it soothed my deepest feelings especially when he sang, Oh Susanna, to me on his guitar, and said, I was still the prettiest, funniest, sweetest thin girl he knows, which could have been whisky induced, but we’ll take it anyway, even on the rocks.

I came home rested and restored, my sadness put aside, sitting down to pen this essay.


Posted in alcohol, food, friendship, Gratitude, humor, Love, music, readng, sex, travel, Women and men, writing | Tagged , , , , | 31 Comments