Did You Know…Everything But The Kitchen Sink Edition

The Statue of Liberty has an 879 size foot, a 35 foot waist and a face 8 feet long.

Now that’s what I call a big girl.  

French President, Charles de Gaulle was 6’5, an inch taller than Abraham Lincoln, with JFK a shrimp in comparison at only 6 feet. President James Madison at 5’4 was a pygmy next to all three.  

Marlon Brando, whose greatest pleasure was massaging his own feet, turned down the part of Jim Stark in the 1955 film, Rebel Without a Cause, that made James Dean a star that fell fast dying at 24, totaling his Porsche in Cholame, California, the spot now named, James Dean Memorial Junction.

30 Jazz Musicians are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx in what’s known as the Jazz Corner, including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Lionel Hampton.

The reason John F. Kennedy Jr. wasn’t buried alongside his parents at Arlington, was because his wife’s mother said, if her daughter couldn’t be buried there too, then the Kennedys needed to make other arrangements, which they did.

John, his wife and her sister, dying together in that doomed plane, were cremated, their ashes sprinkled at sea. 

Speaking of questionable burials, John Wilkes Booth, killed during a shoot-out 11 days after murdering Abraham Lincoln, was buried in an unmarked grave. His mother in 1869, got permission from President Ulysses S. Grant to have him moved to the Booth Family Plot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, providing it was left unmarked afraid he’d become the Elvis of killers.

126 years later, his remains remain a mystery of where they actually lie, though a lone stone, minus dates, is among the other tombs pennies are left on.

Of course Lincoln is on the penny.   

Actresses Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Tallulah Bankhead, all preferred women over men, but in their day kept it secret.

Jodie Foster, Cynthia Nixon and comedian Wanda Sykes luckily, in theirs, don’t have to. 

Elephants hug with their trunks. 

Chimpanzees have the highest IQ of any animal.

 

Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was the first woman to lay in state at the United States Capitol. Senator Henry Clay from Kentucky, the first person in 1852, given the honor. 

Gee, only took 168 years for a woman to command the same respect.

Woody Allen’s 1979 film, Manhattan, made 40.2 million dollars.

Steven Spielberg’s 1991, Schindler’s List, made 322.

In 1997, The Titanic, directed by James Cameron leaving his wife, Julia, for her best friend, actress Linda Hamilton, made 2.19 billion dollars.

Julia Cameron is one of the best writers on the planet. 

Linda Hamilton, is no Meryl Streep. 

She and that loyal, ole Jimmy were married and divorced two years later. 

That’s what you get, Sparky.

When 89 year-old Director, Elia Kazan, received a special Oscar in 1999, escorted to the podium by Martin Scorsese and Robert Di Niro, because in 1952, gave up the names of 8 actors to the House Un-American Activities Committee ruining their careers, many of his peers refused to stand nor clap.

Let’s face it.

No one likes a stool pigeon, not even a stool pigeon.  

SB

 

Posted in animals, art, Books, Cinema, creative writing, History, humanity, humor, media, music, New York City, Politics, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Best Story of the Week…February 25th

5:45 A.M.

I’m heading towards the Park when I see a newspaper delivery man I bump into most mornings.

“Good morning,” I said, same as every day, and same as every day, he doesn’t respond.

So me, being a little on edge say, “Wouldn’t it be nicer to start your day with a bit more cheer? Must you be so rude?”

He ignores me, getting back into his van.

A doorman who witnesses the exchange, or lack of, said, “Just so you know, he’s mute. He doesn’t talk at all.”

Wow, did that stop me in my tracks, no pun intended.

“I had no idea,” I said, “no wonder he never answers me.”

“All we know is, he shows up every day, rain or shine,” said the doorman, “and another delivery guy said it happened when he was a kid, if I remember right, in Somalia, hurt by a family member that did somethin’ to his vocal cords.”

Being someone who knows all about abuse and having a disability, starts to cry.

“Sorry Miss (he called me Miss, vanity never far), didn’t mean to upset ya.”

“No, it’s okay,” I said, properly ashamed, “but I just learned a lesson I hope to get this time.”

“What lesson is that, if ya don’t mind tellin’ me?”

“That we truly, though we smugly think so, don’t really know anything.”

I accept the paper towel he hands me to blow my now, unmasked nose, no longer out of joint, just red and humbled.

SB

Posted in Culture, grace, Health, humanity, inspiration, nature, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Pass the Synonym

I read that cinnamon was really great for you, rich in antioxidants and reduces the risk of heart disease.

A teaspoon a day, is all you need.

Great, I think, as I head to the store.

In flight, despite trying to be more mindful after the lost key incident, am deep in thought, listing all words for an essay I’m penning that mean chaotic: disorderly, disorganized, topsy-turvy, tangled.

Now in the store, I mosey around looking for their spice section…in an uproar, messy, frenetic…finally asking a young man, where the synonym is. 

He doesn’t answer me. I ask again. This time I add, you know, it’s a spice…muddled, jumbled, in disarray.

He still doesn’t respond.

“I’m pretty sure you have it,” I say, “since you’re such a big store.” 

He finally says, “Just a minute,” while he consults a fellow worker.

Confused, unhinged, NUTS!

She comes over and says, “What is it that you want?”

I’m now losing patience.

Synonym,” I say with a sigh, “you put it in cookies and oatmeal.”

“I think what you want is cinnamon.”

OOPS!

Well, I guess I made a little error, but here’s the good news. 

Rather than saying, boy Susannah, you’re an ass, I said, boy Susannah…you’re just a writer. 

How’s that for progress. 

Excuse me while I send my shrink a fruit basket…gift, token, acknowledgement, tip.   

SB 🙂

 

 

Posted in creative writing, food, humanity, humor, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

If You Don’t Know, Ask

There’s nothing wrong with not knowing something. Unfortunately many people are ashamed to ask.

I was like that, feeling small because I hadn’t attended college.

When people now are surprised by this, it makes me smile.

A woman I knew years ago with many scrolls on her wall said… Susannah, all school is…you read a lot and write about it. 

I’ve never forgotten that.

I’m self-taught enjoying every minute of the journey and do often share it. Just get me going on the American Civil War or Brooklyn Bridge and you’ll have to hit me with a stun gun to shut me up.

Knowledge is exciting, especially when there isn’t a gun to your head to learn it. 

Now I know what George Bernard Shaw meant when he said, youth was wasted on the young. I didn’t care much either, and this was way before Tweeting took precedence. But now, it’s different. I Google constantly, and if still need clarification, call my pal Ed, aka Edipedia, since he seems to know a little about almost everything. 

Hearing something explained simply without bells and whistles is by far, the best way to retain it, making it your own.

My least favorite writers are ones who flex their education making it more important than educating their reader.

Preening egos go right back on that library shelf faster than you can say…It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, thank you Mr. Dickens. 

The other thing about learning is, it ups your self-esteem.

To be able to say to someone, did you know? Have you ever read? Let me share this, it’s amazing, does more for you than an iPhone 12 or Prada bag.

It adds weight to your being, making you more interesting.

My respect in someone grows when they ask a question, not to mention, increase it in myself if I can supply the answer.

I guess it all comes back to reading, making it a habit, lacing it into your life.  

Francis Bacon said, knowledge is power, and I think he meant, power within oneself because you feel steadier, more reassured, the more you know.

The Definition of more is… a greater or additional amount or degree, and I’ll add, without necessarily having one.  🙂

   

SB

 

 

Posted in art, Beauty, Books, creative writing, Culture, History, humanity, inspiration, internet, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 48 Comments

Best Story of the Week…February 18th

5:45 a.m.

I’m heading to the Park ambling up East 90th Street, approaching a young woman walking three dogs: a Black Lab, a White Lab and a Chihuahua.

As I’m about to pass, the Chihuahua starts barking at me doing wheelies so I can’t get by.

“Hey Napoleon,” I say to him, and yes it was a he, since his little schlong was hanging out as excited as the rest of him.

“What’s your problem?”

The other two dogs are shaking their heads. “He’s a pain in the ass, we know.”

“Is it my hair?” I ask him. Turns out his name is Francisco, named after some bullfighter. Only on the Upper East Side could this be true.

“It’s 6 o’clock in the morning, Frank, so what do ya want, a beehive?” The little shit’s still barking and now going for my ankle.

I look at the girl and ask, “Does he always do this?” and she replies, “Never,” so now I’m taking it personally.

“Hey, you little roast compoyo (remembered that from a Lucy Show), get outta my way, NOW!!!”

And so, he did, well after his owner finally picked him up.

But I was all set to say…PUT UP YOUR PAWS PAL!

But didn’t have to.

I’ll tell ya.   

The life of athingirl. 🙂

SB

Posted in animals, creative writing, Culture, humanity, humor, nature, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

A Little Historical Lore

Since one plague can lead to another…

images.jpeg Dr. Samuel Mudd (1833-1883) comes to mind, remembering the Yellow Fever epidemic that broke out at Fort Jefferson in the Gulf of Mexico, in 1868.

Dr. Mudd was imprisoned there for setting the leg of John Wilkes Booth a day after he shot and killed Abraham Lincoln,images.jpeg breaking it, jumping onto the stage of Ford’s Theater from the balcony where Lincoln sat enjoying the show.

Mudd denied ever meeting Booth before, claiming when he showed up at his farm in Southern Maryland, asking for help, he was just honoring his Hippocratic Oath, or his Hypocritical Oath? Unknown-1 2.36.45 PM.jpeg It’s hard to believe when you read about it now, that he didn’t at least know, though he kept to his story till he died.

Despite his denials, along with two other alleged Lincoln conspirators, was tried and given a life sentence, escaping the death penalty by one vote.

While incarcerated at Fort Jefferson, the largest military prison of its time, when the fever broke out Mudd volunteered his services after 30 year-old, Joseph Sim Smith, the in-house physician died from it.

Because of his selfless service, President Andrew Johnson, ironically Lincoln’s Vice-President and reluctant successor, granted him a full pardon on February 8, 1869.

Despite efforts from his descendants to clear his name, his conviction was never overturned, leaving the sad legacy of…your name is Mudd, if one is disgraced or disappointing in any way.

The unfortunate part, it’s an expression that was used way before Dr. Mudd was stitched into the fabric of our nation’s history.

images.jpeg The Presidential Box at Ford’s Theater as it looks today.

As far as our pandemic goes, I guess it’s just history repeating itself…sigh

 SB

 

Posted in Books, Culture, Health, History, inspiration, violence, writing | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments

Whine And Cheese

Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves, wondered Robin Williams.

If I’m the best man at a wedding, why is she marrying him? asked Jerry Seinfeld.

I realize these were two jokes, but were they really? Aren’t they damned good questions?

I think so.

One learns, you don’t necessarily need to read Plato to get the best advice.

Steven Wright said, you can’t have everything, because where would you put it? I try to remember that while shopping with coupons.

Never underestimate stupid people in large groups, cautioned George Carlin, and after watching that new…storming the Capitol footage, get his point. He also said, in America, anyone can become president…that’s the problem.

Relax, I’m not running.

The other pearl of wisdom from Mr. Carlin about getting sober… just because the monkey’s off your back, doesn’t mean the circus left town.

Ah yes, just because you’ve hung up your wineglass doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

It’s the reason I can’t walk pass the Carlyle, still having to cross the street. I’m just too damned close to the bar, and swear I can hear that ice tinkling in those beveled glasses.

Henny Youngman, another sage said, If you’re going to do something tonight you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning..sleep late.

Wish I knew that in those drinking days when I’d wake up and ask the fella next to me…and you are?

Mustn’t forget Winston Churchill who if wasn’t dead, I’d invite for a sleepover. He advised, If you’re going through hell, keep going. This has become my mantra, even in the supermarket trying to reach the butter while still obeying the 6 foot rule.

When they, whoever they are said, when the the student’s ready, the teacher will appear, should have mentioned he or she wouldn’t necessarily be wearing a suit and pearls. Well, he could have a double-strand, but she might be one of the village people…

or be wearing a derby smoking a cigar, looking oddly familiar. 

Don’t ever underestimate what a little silliness can do. 🙂

SB

Posted in alcohol, comedy, creative writing, food, History, humanity, humor, inspiration, internet, Politics, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 102 Comments

Best Story of the Week…February 11th

I’m in line at CVS.

There’s a baby in front of me, and one a little ways behind.

The latter is screaming her baby powdered head off.

The mother, a well-heeled young woman in a fur hat, looks as if she’d like to give her up for adoption.

The line is long because the do-it-yourself machines are on the fritz. We wait to what’s starting to sound like, really bad opera.

The baby in front of me, a cute little boy in a bright blue parka with the name Trevor etched on the front, is looking over his mom’s shoulder at his screaming colleague who is still singing Carmen.

His eyes get very big as though he has an idea.

He starts blowing the girl kisses, the charmer we now all know he will grow up to be.

You’ve never seen a group of such diverse individuals clutching their various necessities change their tune from grumbles to smiles so fast.

If only Carmen would change hers.      

SB

 

Posted in Culture, Family, humanity, humor, inspiration, kids, music, New York City, parents, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments

When The Student’s Ready

You’re not supposed to talk about your random acts of kindness, but to say I was humbled by this experience makes me want to share it.

I was having a really bad day after losing my house keys while running. My carelessness caused self-condemnation that was off the charts, calling myself names like, idiot and schmuck before checking into the Pity City Motel.

Oh yes, my mother, my biggest critic, came back to lead the band while I did a mean solo.

After borrowing the building’s set you have to provide, made copies, including a pricey mailbox key. But before I could fix everything in a neurotic New York minute, I had a doctor’s appointment downtown.

As I get off at Union Square licking my wounds, coming out of the turnstile, a little man with a bandanna wrapped around his face asks if I’d let him in with my Metrocard. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but the card I have now, my… you’re old Susannah so you get to ride the train half price card… doesn’t allow it.

I explain this to him, but his huge black eyes, like a sad seal, speak to me.

I could buy him his own card.

I tell him to wait, this man who barely comes up to my waist, while I walk to the machine. After a slight splurge, said to him, “Hold on to this card so you don’t have to pay for another. Just add money to it.”

The MTA charges a dollar for a new one.

The man never takes his eyes off of me, and then starts to cry, I believe because someone took the time to treat him like a fellow human being.

“It’s okay,” I said, “please don’t cry. I’m having a bad day, but it just got better helping you. By helping you, you helped me.”

Here I am out of my mind for losing keys to my home not seeing the grace that I have one. This man, who hadn’t asked for money, just help getting onto a train, more than likely doesn’t, my humility now on her 10th curtain call.

I give the man a Kleenex he gently takes and then, and my friend Ed will kill me for this, despite any 6 foot rule, hug him.

We, the teacher and student, then go on our respective way, lesson learned, hearts lifted.   

SB

Posted in Culture, Faith, grace, Gratitude, humanity, inspiration, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 51 Comments

Did You Know…All Bets Are Off Edition

Abraham Lincoln stashed papers in his Stovepipe hat.    Do you think Jack and Ike did too? Maybe that’s where Jack hid all those long-legged phone numbers. 

Marilyn Monroe lived in 20 different foster homes, sexually abused by more than half of her foster-fathers.

Shall we form a posse and beat up all their descendants?  

Marie Antoinette had a Pug called Mops she never left the palace without, till she was axed that is, for high treason. Apparently she never said, when complaints were laid at her feet by starving Parisians…let them eat cake.

See how rumors get started. Maybe she said, may I have some cake, France’s 1793 version of Fox TV.

I just saw Bill O’Reilly in a powdered wig eating Entenmanns.

Babe Ruth is buried at the Gates of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York… gravesite: Section 25, Plot 1115, Graves 3 & 4. His tomb, regularly visited, is covered with momentos like baseballs, 5ths of whiskey and letters written by young Babe wannabes who worship the Bam, the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat. 

George Herman Ruth Junior died of throat cancer on August 16th, 1948.

He was 53 years-old.

The Yankees retired Babe’s number  given because he always batted third.  

When I visited him, I left a hot dog with the works, loving the story of how he used to pick up kids in his 1940 Lincoln-Zephyr Continental and treat them on the way to the stadium.

   

Thomas Jefferson promised his wife, Martha he affectionately called Patsy, on her death bed, he’d never marry again because she didn’t want another woman bringing up her children.

How selfish was she, and what a putz he was for listening. Hey, death do us part amigo, and if you really love someone, you want them to be happy.

Well, maybe not happy, but at least, taken care of.

  Francis Ford Coppola had to fight Paramount boss, Robert Evans, for Al Pacino to play Michael    in The Godfather, Robert Redford, Evans’s first choice.

I’m a Bob fan, but can you really hear him say…

“Fredo, You’re My Older Brother, and I Love You. But Don’t Ever Take Sides With Anyone Against The Family Again. Ever.”

NOPE!   

They also wanted Frank Sinatra to play the Don. 

Too close to home I would think, and speaking of Ol’ Blue Eyes, he wasn’t too happy with the Johnny Fontaine character that was based on him. Rumor has it, he threatened to break Francis’s and writer, Mario Puzo’s legs, but who knows. 

Was Fox on the air in 1972?

Robert Kardashian, OJ’s best friend, was Kim Kardashian’s father who appeared in court every day, to support his friend, even though some say he thought he was guilty, staying friends with OJ till he died of esophageal cancer in 2003 at age 59. 

Speaking of his OFF-spring, who now owns Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank Watch she snagged at auction for… $379,500 bucks.

Is there no justice?

Her ass makes 6 of Jackie’s for starters.

Does the watch even fit her wrist?

           

Don’t get me started. 

SB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in animals, Cinema, creative writing, Culture, dessert, History, humanity, humor, media, money, Politics, Sports, violence, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 58 Comments