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Archive for the ‘Bitching & Moaning’ Category

Five year old Linda wanted one thing and one thing only:

“I wanna be in the Peanut Gallery of the “Howdy Doody Show! “  I wanna meet Buffalo Bob and laugh with Clarabell – yell at Mr. Bluster and gawk at the beautiful Princess Summerfall  Winterspring. 

Monday through Friday I was glued to this oddly shaped box watching these characters in black and white, hoping, praying, begging to be a part of the Peanut Gallery.

And then, like magic, I came home from  first grade on a Thursday and mom said the tickets had arrived and that both me (age 6 now) and brother Mitch (age 3) were going to be in the Peanut Gallery in three weeks.

I was happy, but didn’t know if I could actually wait three weeks.  I felt a funny knot in my stomach every day while asking mom, “how much longer?”

 “Tomorrow?   Are we going tomorrow?  The day after tomorrow?”

Eternity finally arrived.  We got into Dad’s car and drove from our Brighton Beach, Brooklyn apartment house all the way to “the city” which was Manhattan – to a place called Rockefeller Center.  I had to put up with endless details – but I knew it would be worth it.  I’d just like to say I didn’t think my brother should go because he was only three but mom told me to be quiet – in a very loving way.

I could barely breathe.  We were standing outside a room where people were counting us and taking us away from our moms and dads – and leading us – oh god – leading us to that very same Peanut Gallery I watched on TV every day.   As they moved us into rows, I again complained that Mitchell was too young but no one was listening to bossy me.

As they seated us, we were told that this was a very special day because Buffalo Bob, Howdy Doody, Mr. Bluster and the treasured Princess were all on vacation.  And that Clarabell would be running the show.

“What???”  I started screaming – we’re not going to see Howdy and Buffalo Bob?”

“No dear,” said some mean lady with big black glasses who was trying to shut me up – you’re going to see Clarabell so pay attention now!”

Clarabell walked out and asked as Bob normally did:  “What time is it?”

I did not respond with the normal “It’s Howdy Doody time,” because it wasn’t.  Instead I screamed – “It’s NOT Howdy Doody time!  It’s not.  Don’t let them trick you.”

The mean woman then tried to get us to sing the theme song – but I wouldn’t.  I was tricked and I was mad!  I actually caused a bit of a commotion so that mean lady moved my brother and I to the very back corner of the Peanut Gallery.

In all the days I watched the show – the main characters NEVER took a vacation.  I was sure I’d done something wrong and cried all the way home in the back of my dad’s car, asking “Why?  How could this happen?” And although I continued watching the show most days, my heart was no longer in it.  I focused more on “Captain Video” which was on right afterwards.


Think of your colon as Venice’s Grand Canal (GC) and your sphincter muscle…if you will…as the Gatekeeper (GK)  deciding when to open the gate…Nature is just so freakin’ brilliant…she is.

Recently I’ve noticed Nature has even more tricks up her sleeve…as the wrinkles on my outside multiply…apparently so do the creases inside my body…making internal organs and systems more persnickety. 

For me…the most troublesome system would be digestive.  My GC seems to be increasing in tributaries making its process more difficult.  It operates as it chooses…digesting when and if it feels like it.  I’m going to share in hopes this graphic experience will give other sufferers some relief…

I’m in exercise mode…at 24 Hour Fitness…bouncing away on one of the elliptical machines which I can only do while watching episodes of “Boston Legal” on my portable DVD player…my legs alternating movements with my hands on the bars…burning up those calories…shaking up the brain cells…when Queen Colon of the GC decides to cramp up and not in a loving way…I’m talking spasms…she then decides to perform a somersault…reversing peristalsis by returning my ½ egg salad sandwich on cracked wheat…back to its point of entry…my mouth…then out my spout onto the elliptical and right at William Shatner.  Fortunately I’m short so that the liquefied pieces did not go beyond the metal machine…but the clean-up did entail ten minutes of humiliation….

Yes I went to my internist AGAIN the next morning…yes she sent me to a specialist…yes I’ve been given annoying and expensive tests and medications.  Two physicians have now confirmed powerlessness over my colon.  I beg them both to please keep it SIMPLE…

Physician one places her right hand on mine…gives it a squeeze…confirms my GK may be in serious conflict with my GC…then whispers two little words into my left ear…Stool Softener…”You can buy them anywhere…”

Who said age is just a number?  I’m on my way over to CVS…I’ll be the one hiding the bottle of…well…you know!

There are so many things to be ashamed of…

  • Stealing
  • Spreading gossip
  • Lying
  • Coveting thy neighbor’s wife…
  • Sticking bubble gum in someone’s glove compartment

I’ve stolen…lied… gossiped…and have made massive amends (Step 9 of 12)…but I still feel shame…

I FEEL SHAME FOR being sick!  I am embarrassed to tell people that I’m not in perfect health for today…that I have to rely on a doctor or doctors…that I find myself on the line at CVS again today.

I’m grateful it’s not cancer…but I am being sent to both a gastroenterologist and a cardiologist…

I had an EKG at my internist’s office today…so far that’s fine…but I feel so freakin’ ashamed that my body isn’t functioning perfectly…

I have put this info on my Facebook page and have gotten nothing but loving support.  I need to flush my SHAME down the toilet…but I feel a little ashamed of needing to use the toilet for anything…

This is STEP ONE in self-love…!

I finally learned avoiding TV shopping channels is an act of self-preservation…but only after the ill-fitting clothing…gaudy jewelry…hair chotchkies…non-miraculous youth creams…dulling shampoos, caking make-up, fragrances from hell…and barbaric slimming undergarments began taking up more closet and bureau space than my…drawers.

What irks me is the CALCULATED SALE…I’m unsuspectingly watching a NY Yankees home game on TV…every time a player is up at bat…which happens a minimum of 54 times per game… an enormous…vibrantly colored…larger than Sasquatch’s lips…billboard of a MACDONALD’S BIG MAC  reaches out for my mouth…my arteries…and of course…my wallet.  This distracting visual almost makes me forget how one bite of the over-processed burger makes me want to puke.  And…more importantly…the image detracts from the concentration on my beloved game.

There’s more.  My TV guilty pleasure…”Days of Our Lives” is now incorporating product placement.  Every few shows “they” slip in a mention of a specific snack food…”Let’s have a Hershey’s Bliss…they’re so delicious…” Back to the action…It’s hard to fast forward past eight words.  Do I really need to be reminded of chocolate…DO I?????

Fortunately I’m a woman of conviction…but…I…uh…need to call and cancel that clothing steamer I bought this afternoon…So I’m a mark!  Sue me!!!

If an attractive blonde approaches you while on line at your grocery store and she/he is foisting multiple four packs of Activia on the counter…asks you…” TAKE MY COLON, PLEASE”…just say NO!  You don’t want it, you don’t need it.  It could be diverticulitis!

If the well-built gal/guy standing in front of you at the pharmacy purchases enough weight in antibiotics to cause a hernia AND rip through your canvas bag…turns to you and begs: “TAKE MY COLON, PLEASE”…just say NO!  It could be diverticulitis!

If absolutely anyone in front of you at the health food store is buying giant bottles of probiotics, protein powder and a huge variety of bottled juices grabs you by the arm and cries:   “TAKE MY COLON, PLEASE”…don’t even answer…it could be…well…you know…

If a grandma sitting at the next table at your favorite steak restaurant looks longingly at your New York Strip Sirloin…I’m talking tears rolling down her face…dribble sliding down the corner of his/her mouth as they stab obsessively into their consommé…ask the server to change your seat!

Diverticulitis kills eight people per day…in a decade…okay…not a plague…but frankly…spending a good part of the day bent over as in tying my sneakers and I’m actually wearing flip flops…”TAKE MY COLON, PLEASE!!!”

Another commercial audition this afternoon. American Express was asking this short, chubby Jewish girl to be a rancher and to dress in “casual rancher” garb.  My agent suggested I could duplicate the outfit I’d worn in the submitted photo.  Truth is my present life doesn’t require much of a wardrobe so I still had the shirt.

I also re-created the pic’s hairdo by shaping my locks into two eggrolls, one on each side of my head.  Upon arrival I noticed there were no other women at the call but there were seven or eight middle-aged Asian men, none of whom had much hair.  After questioning, I was told not to worry, so I leaned back and enjoyed being the only female.

It was an interview audition where they ask a question and film your responses.  Those are my favorite because there’s no wrong answer.  I can come up with something funny and then leave. 

Afterward, I got into my car and tallied my audition vs. booking ratio and  winced when reminded of my low stats.  As I comforted myself, I randomly poked my radio and caught Whitney Houston singing “I Will Always Love You” which gave me a ping of sadness…that voice…that melodious ‘any note goes’ voice appears to be gone.  Her crappy choices over the last ten or twenty years have taken its toll.

Suddenly it was all about me.  I became Whitney with a faltering career and began questioning some of my choices.  Maybe I should have stayed in New York; maybe I should have stayed single and devoted more time to my career; maybe I should have remained on the radio; maybe I should just…turn off the radio. 

That’s when I remembered I was a writing drama queen who could go home and spin words on my laptop.  I can continue writing my memoir, post random blogs and generate laughter and thought although never perfectly.  That’s also when I remembered my sweetheart Rob who I met in LA, would be waiting for me when I got home.  And after we quibbled over whose turn it was to either make or pick up dinner,  we could have a glorious evening  Wonderful friends, both virtual and in the flesh.  And of course, my NY Yankees who would be waiting for me on my DVR after we made up…what a glorious life!!!  Especially because I always believed…that “crack is whack!”

I’m feeling painfully lonely right now and I can’t seem to shake it.  What if I feel this way for the rest of my life? 

It’s Memorial Day Weekend Sunday and I’ve made no plans.  Of course I’m feeling empty or sort of “without.” 

I look around me and make a mental “to do list“…

File hundreds of pieces of paper with my scribbling…clean stuff…clean me…go to the gym…play one of my purchased yet unopened exercise DVDs…write…make that dinner I’ve promised Rob…explore sexual intimacies…return phone calls and/or emails…

Instead, I sob into an absorbent Costco paper towel.   I feel better so I look around again…


It’s Memorial Day Weekend…1960, East Meadow, New York

Mom and Dad just returned from the golf course.  Dad went upstairs to shower while Mom runs out back to begin the barbequing of her outrageously delicious shish kebob with meat and veggies that have been marinating in a huge pot for two days.  I check the rice so it doesn’t overcook and stick to the pot.  My 12 year old brother does nothing but lie on his bed and read horror comics while Al Jolson sings “My Mammy” from his record player.  Methinks “Oedipus Rex” is looming.”  I find this strange and annoying and wish he’d close his door.

I’m finishing up my junior year at East Meadow High School and my brother Mitch is in the 7th grade at Barnum Woods Middle School just around the corner.   No one is helping Mom outside except for our collie, Lady, who loves running back and forth through the backyard trying to appear nonchalant about any possible morsels that might accidentally fall from the barbeque.  Lady always keeps Mom company.   They love each other so much that it’s a joy to watch the hugging and cooing sounds coming from both of them.

The pungent fragrance from the cooking food drifts through the kitchen’s bay windows as I lick my lips.  I couldn’t know that this luscious smell would remain with me as a beautiful memory for my entire life…long after the three of them are gone.  I’m going to let this image marinate with an absence of sibling rivalry and Dad’s frequent dinner time personality critiques.  


“Lonely” isn’t really being empty or without.  It’s the solitude or quiet which  presents an opportunity to hear what is thought or felt deep inside.    Now I’m ready to make Rob that dinner.

*Excerpt from:  How I Buried My Mom…While The Umbilical Cord Is Still Attached”

Slaving away all day at the computer mired in the last of my semi-clean jeans & tee left an odor of funkiness drifting  through the apartment that even began to turn me off.   I tried spraying that awful stuff I call ca ca spray,  it smelled worse.  I sliced huge chunks of onions into my eggs to misdirect the aroma…but failed to de-whiff any area of my living space.

So I pulled the temporary plug on the blog, entitled “The First Time I Saw His…”  which I was totally enjoying…and scooted off to the laundromat.  Busy…busy…too many cars parked in the lot so I drove off to do an errand for a friend, a little food shopping…grab an early dinner…Bingo!  There was a parking space and I was ready to repent for my smelly duds. 

My plan was to continue working on my blog in between converting dollars to quarters, washing, rinsing, spinning, drying and folding.    In between the matching corners on those east coast King sheets which are six feet wide and I’m barely above five feet…I was stretching…pulling, re-folding to make ends meet each other…I was totally focused on pinning the corners…so when I turned around to put my blog safely in my cart…I noticed…my blog was freakin’ gone…!

Ordinarily I’d be upset…but now I’m enraged!  This was the quintessential blog…perhaps the absolute best blog ever written in the history of the world.  It was genius!  It had personification, unification, onamatopoeia, metaphors, analogies, similies and even homilies…yes it was life-affirming, sermon-like.  I believe it could have cleaned up the oil spill in Louisiana and possibly, very possibly ended world hunger.

The movie based on the blog would have been Oscar-nominated…and I could have moved out of a small apartment into a large home where all my friends could visit from other coasts and gather for Salon Sundays.

I looked around, surveyed the other customers…could it be the six non-English speaking women with carts piled higher than the Eiffel Tower? Hmmm!  The homeless guy…yeah…he mighta been thinking he could sell my blog and buy a bottle of vodka…nah!  His contacts probably aren’t reliably humor buffs.   Now I’m panicking…I rushed to the car to see if I might have moved it during the stress of getting clean…oh no! 

The laundry manager whose head is covered with unbraided brillo-like curls just took out his guitar and began singing!!!  He’s singing loudly and totally off-key.  He seems awfully happy…lemme get a look inside his guitar…maybe he’s the culprit…No!  There’s nothing in his instrument…neither the one he’s playing nor that thing on his head…

I promised Hollye I’d get this blog done tonight…I don’t want to disappoint anyone…but obviously…it’s gone.  How does one replicate a gift from the universe?  It was a one time deal…like the time my dog ate my brilliant homework.  Oh well, tomorrow’s another day.

I am rather concerned about the environment, especially the immediate space that directly intersects with mine.  I have a very sensitive nose which cannot bear overstimulation by gallons of perfumes. 

So…am I alone here?  Do you ever wonder what possesses people to splash or spray themselves with enormous amounts of whiffery so that they actually become Olfactory Terrorists? 

Investigation suggests low self-esteem, perhaps fear that their natural body odors are so putrid that people will shun them?  For others, it might be a cover up of a shower skip?  The fact that he/she hasn’t made it to a washing machine in way too long and knows their clothes are way too smelly, dank, fettered with smells that the garment can actually speak.  Listen sometime…”I’m reeking of spilled broccoli” or “Boo hoo – I haven’t touched soap suds in two years.”  Some messages are as bold as “Get away, stay away..I’m unlovable, untouchable, don’t trust my space…or in some instances…RUN. 

I’m telling you ‘smell tsunamis’ are invading us daily and we’re too busy focused on other issues like food, jobs, war.  Can’t people limit themselves to say – one or two sprays a day?  Okay, for special occasions  go for three quick spritzes, but GET conscious people because you just may be an offender.

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