Friday, March 30, 2012

A Dull Stretch

I have discovered why I no longer work nine to five...I HATE it.  I got stuck last week with my ambulance chaser for FOUR DAMN DAYS.  Nearly killed me.  Actually, nearly killed HIM...I finally turned on him (politely, I may add) and told him that if he didn't stop interrupting what I was doing, the work would NOT get done, I would completely lose track, and he would NOT have his nice closing last Friday.  Well, come on, I didn't raise my voice...I merely stated the facts.  That counts as politely in my book.  I didn't even tell him to fuck off and get the hell out of my way.  See?  A perfect lady, as always.  He turned an interesting sort of very pale shade and slunk off to bury himself in some files at the back of his office and left me to get on with it...on my own terms.  So there.

But four days is WAY too much.

This week has been much better...I only got stuck with it one day, which suits me fine, even if the exchequer is the poorer for it.  My Social Security was three days late, so I was glad of the work, at least.

And my birthday is tomorrow!  I really CANNOT get my mind around 67 at all.  It just seems so strange that I could be this old and still feel so young...and welcome to today's cliche corner, girls and boys!  I think I'll do what I usually do with birthdays...enjoy the occasion and forget the age.

Although there seems to be some confusion about my actual birthday party this year.  Sarah always collects the guests and we all go out to dinner at my favorite restaurant in the world, my shabby little French joint uptown.  However, this year Sarah has had ructions.  Her roommate, the one whose name was on the lease at her apaartment, decided to move in with her boyfriend and gave Sarah two weeks to find a new place and move, since she was giving up the apartment.  (Yet another person who just came off my Christmas card list.)  So in order to save the apartment, Sarah had to get a guarantor for the new lease...and our trustee didn't want her to take the lease on.  Therefore, the last couple of weeks have been punctuated by Sarah wailing madly and announcing that her cat was going to live with me (which would NOT have been a great idea...I don't think my two would have been madly thrilled with this).  Then Sarah was going to move in with me...another bad idea.  Not that I don't love living with her, because she's a great companion and all around good person, but if she's living in Brooklyn, I don't worry about her.  This makes no sense whatsoever, because she's still coming home at weird hours in weird neighborhoods, but it's different when you're trying to sleep and waiting for the key in the door...which could be 6 am.  And not alone.  I would think her entirely strange if she DIDN'T have a nice bouncy sex life at the age of 27, but I don't necessarily want her to have it in my living room.  This is, after all, a one bedroom apartment.  And suppose I get lucky?  (This is admittedly wishful thinking on my part, but you never know...I bought a ticket for the big lottery drawing tonight, too.)  Introductions over the breakfast table could get just a teeny bit messy. 

All is well, however...the gal who owns the bar where Sarah does karaoke agreed to go guarantor for her (she's DEFINITELY on my Christmas card list, and I may put her down for a nice fruit basket, too), so disaster is averted and Sarah will stay in her own apartment.  Large sighs of relief all around.

However, with all this going on, she really couldn't have been expected to worry about my birthday party (which I fully understand), so I have called my best friend Caesar and informed him that my birthday is tomorrow and he's going to take me out.  And Sarah says we'll have my party, too...just a little late.  Which is fine...nothing better than an extended birthday!

Meanwhile I am going to KILL Time Warner Cable...again.  Or still.  They have just sent me a notice from a collection agency announcing that I owe them $462.04.  Well, I DON'T owe them $462.04.  I owe them $200.00.  As I have mentioned in these pages, I went around and around with them, and finally got them to acept the fact that I owed them the $200, and not anything more.  They also confirmed on the phone that this was due tomorrow, March 31st.  This collection agency notice is dated March 23rd.  Would anybody like to explain this to me?  They are going to get such an earful from me tomorrow...along, of course, with the $200, WHICH IS ALL I OWE THEM.  Grrr.

So in honor of my birthday, I went out today to the good grocery store and spent $90.  I now have a houseful of nice grownup food.  Of course, the only problem with this is that it all has to be actually cooked.  I have the makings for kielbasa and sauerkraut (yes, I know it's a low taste  but I love it) and actual spaghetti sauce and all kinds of goodies.  Then I schlepped it all home and neatly put it away...aren't I good?

Now I'm watching the first Star Wars movie, which I love (well, who doesn't?).  Unfortunately it's on a channel called Spike, which has more commercials than movie.  Oh,'s handy for going to the john, anyway.

Love, Wendy

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Mayor Is An Idiot

Our beloved New York mayor, Mr. Bloomberg, has gone completely off his rocker...not that he was ever that firmly rooted on it to begin with.

He has decided that the time-honored New York habit of food purveyors and restaurants all over the five boroughs of this city of giving their leftover food to the homeless must stop, because the food donated can't be tested for fiber, cholesterol count, calories, and whatever the hell else.


The practice of donating food through places like City Harvest, among others, has been going on for years and has given enormous comfort to an enormous number of people.  Our soup kitchens have long been suffering under inadequate funding, as have the pantries for the poor.  So he decides to cut off an excellent source of nutrition.

Evidently, he thinks that if he can't get rid of the homeless any other way, he'll just starve them to death.  I don't know about you, but if I hadn't eaten in a day or two, the LAST damn thing I'd be worried about would be my cholesterol count.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Saved By The Bell!

Well, isn't this nice.  Just as I was sitting here worrying about how the hell I was going to get through until my Social Security, my nice ambulance chaser turned up with work for today and tomorrow and probably some next week too.  I'm thrilled...bored as hell stuck in an office, but since the entertainment business is ignoring me at the top of its lungs, I might just as well be sitting around an office making SOME money.

Meanwhile, I'm going to KILL Time Warner Cable.  I no longer have their service, because this building will only take FiOS or something called RCN, which I've never heard of, so I went with FiOS.  I canceled my service with Time Warner in December, and finally gave the equipment back to them.  When I did so, the guy who came to pick it up said to call the office to find out what I owed them.

Well, Time Warner doesn't, as far as I can figure out, know what ANYBODY owes them.  First they said (over a month ago) that I owed them for the months of December, January and February.  When I gently pointed out that I had canceled my service in early December, they said I still owed them some weird amount like $700.  I explained AGAIN that I owed them nothing except the equipment rental, since I hadn't had their service in those months.  Well, the final amount turned out to be something like $336.00, which sounds about right because their damn equipment fees are so high.  So I promptly paid them $136.00, and told them I would pay the other $200 at the end of March (that good old Social Security check).

They have now called me four times this week, each time with a totally different amount I'm supposed to owe them.  Each time (except the last one), I have explained the situation again and asked them to check their records and they will see what has been set up.  Each time they promise to make a note of it.  I don't know where the hell they're putting these notes they're supposedly making...on the back of an old envelope that they promptly throw out, evidently, since nobody who calls seems to have the slightest notion of what I'm talking about.  I finally lost my temper tonight.  I had already taken one call from them at the office this morning, and the minute I got home and sat down, guess who was on the phone AGAIN?  This time I simply started screaming.  And once again I was told oh, I see.  Well, we'll mark youir file.  One can only assume they're marking it in invisible ink. 


Love, Wendy

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Wow, what a day.  I went out this afternoon with only a flannel shirt over a t-shirt...never let it be said that I'm not fashion forward here.  I took the bus over to the big Whole Foods on the Bowery to visit the food, since nobody in their right mind would pay their prices anyway.  I do the same thing at Dean and DeLuca...I just wander around and look at the stuff.  Well, the displays are so pretty...and I like to dream about being the kind of person who'd actually pay $39.99 a pound for imported ham.  Sheesh.  If I want ham, I can bake a damn ham.  Which, now that I think of it, I just may do.  My problem is that I really hate that thin sliced deli ham.  When I make a ham sandwich I want big slabs of the stuff, and really good bread and sweet butter and Dijon mustard...called a French ham sandwich in our family because that's the way they make them in France.  (Duh.)

Then I wandered off down Elizabeth Street to admire all the expensive boutiques carrying clothing I would never wear in a million years, and checking out restaurant menus.  The restaurants are WAY cheaper than the clothes, and I'm making mental notes for outdoor lunching when I get some money in hand...out of which I currently am.  I did, however, have the good common sense to get back on my partial unemployment (on account of I'm partially unemployed), and that should start turning up the day after tomorrow or so.  Which is an excellent idea, since what I've got will last me through until the day after tomorrow, but not any further.

I even cleaned the house a bit yesterday, and have discovered my ENTIRE kitchen counter, which is very big, now that it's not covered in plastic bags and books and stuff to be thrown out (trash type stuff like empty garbage bag cartons, not food trash...I'm sloppy, but I do manage to stay at least a step in front of the Health Department).  And I did a fast wipe down in the bathroom. 

Tomorrow I think I'll get to the taxes, which I'd like to get done before April 14.  I hope I can get something back this year...I don't think I made that much money (hell, I KNOW I didn't).

Other than that, I managed to get out two nights at least...both times to Sarah's bar.  Once was last week for an art show, where the artist paid for all the drinks (an excellent idea for the broke), and once last night, for an occasion that amused the hell out of me.  It was the anniversary of the bar, and the start of its 13th year in business, so Carla, who owns the place, dubbed the party "A Bar Bar Mitzvah."  Which I thought was great. 

By the way, what in hell are all these Presidential candidates thinking?  If at all?  What is this insane insistence on making women the enemy?  I swear, if they had their way, we'd all be wrapped up in burkas.  And it fascinates me that any crime against women is, of course, their own fault because men can't control their urges when they see a woman's ankle or some damn thing.  I don't know about you, but I'm damned if I'm voting for anyone who has that much trouble behaving like a normal human being.  Do we really want a president who by his own admission feels like raping any woman in a short skirt?  (We'll just not discuss the ones we've already HAD like that.  At least they never held themselves up as saviors of the family unit, for God's sake.)

Love, Wendy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Bit Of A Social Life

Well, this week has been fun.  A friend of mine was directing a play, and we all thought it was going on this past it turned out, it didn't.  However, having already arranged to meet my old pal Tom, we decided what the hell and had a few drinks together at Sarah's bar anyway, which was fun.  Then the play did, in fact, go on on Wednesday, which gave me a chance to see my pal Philippe, and of course Ted, the director.  Fun all around, and got me out of the house with actual makeup on twice in a week.  On general principles I don't wear makeup much because when I'm working I have to plaster the stuff on or have it plastered on, and I'm VERY vain of my good skin, which I attribute to keeping it clean.  However, you never know who's going to turn up at plays, and it helps to look as decent as possible.

Other than that, I'm stuck again on the damn apartment...althugh I actually did just take out the garbage.  Such a housekeeper.  Tonight there's something on TV I want to at least take a look at...a movie called Little Red Riding Hood which I thought might interest me when I saw the ads for it when it first came out.  So I'm going to clean off the dining room table while it's on...unless, of course, I get totally riveted and decide to just sit and watch it.  One never knows.

And I made a WONDERFUL discovery today.  It was absolutely gorgeous out...nearly 70...and I finally decided that I wasn't going to just sit around all day and went to my new library.  It's really criminal that I haven't done this before, but then we all know that I get into these not moving moods.  Anyway, it's terrific!

Well, that was interesting.  My computer elected to shut itself off after that last sentence.  Everybody's a critic.

Anyway, the library is terrific.  It actually has books in it!  I realize that this would seem to be obvious, but the library in Chelsea, which I believe I've mentioned before, had about 12 books, all of which were by Danielle Steele.  So you can imagine my delight in being able to get books I actually want to read...such as the new P.D. James, which mixes murder and Jane Austen, and a book called Room, about a young boy and his mother stuck living in a small room for quite some time.  Not to mention the latest Charlaine Harris.  I realize this last is silliness, but I love her vampire books, although I've never watched the show.  The reason is that I almost ALWAYS hate any show made out of books I love, because the image in my head doesn't jibe with what's on screen.  There are, of course, a few exceptions...the PBS Brideshead Revisited some years back was beyond belief brilliant, for instance.  I had this problem even as a child...I invariably hated Disney films such as Peter Pan, the Jungle Book (DEEP hatred on that one because I'm a mad Kipling fan), and the rest of them that came from actual books.  They were never ANYTHING like the books I had read or my mother had read to me.  Winnie the Pooh by Disney has the power to make me gag even now.

And now for something completely different.  I don't read many political columnists, but I do read Gail Collins and Maureen Dowd in the NYTimes because they think like I do...i.e., liberals with wit.  I was absolutely horrified to see the following in her column yesterday:

"The champagne sugar daddy of Newt Gingrich (and soon, Romney) is Sheldon Adelson, a multibillionaire casino owner and hawkish Zionist who endorses Gingrich's view that the Palestinians are 'an invented people' who have no right to a homeland."

Ah, WHAT?  If anyone is "an invented people" (which I don't admit) it would have to be the Israelis, for God's sake.  Israel came into existence in a country which happened to be CALLED Palestine (and therefore would have contained Palestinians) in 1948, people!  Don't you think the world would be a much nicer place if the people who are/want to be our elected officials read their damn history so they could at least take a shot at knowing what the hell they're talking about?  God knows I'm not getting into the Jewish/Palestinian question, but really...nobody invented the Palestinians.  Trust me on this one.

And then, of course, there's Rick Santorum...fruitcake extraordinaire.  I fear for my country when it contains people who actually think he makes sense.  Not to mention the whole damn birth control and religion argument, with Rush Linbaugh characterizing a woman who wants to protect herself as a slut.  (If you're a religious Catholic, NOBODY said you had to use birth control, you blithering idiots...just that it should be available for those who DO want/need to use it.)

You know, people, we don't really need to go to another country to start a war...we can do it right here at home.

Meanwhhile, I'm off tomorrow to my ambulance chaser for another fun day of telling him to sit down and shut up, followed by an art show.  Get me!

Love, Wendy