Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Ceiling Saga, Continued

Well, unfortunately, when I woke up Saturday morning, the ceiling was still collapsed.

Same with Sunday morning.


On the plus side, the living room ceiling hasn’t caved yet.

And I have received lots of good advice.

As tempting as it is, I have put any suggestions involving actually killing the contractor on a back burner.

Ditto for “just put a match to it”.

My sister Cathy said: Ok, let me get this straight…he offered you your money back?
Me: Yes.
Cathy: But he said only if you didn’t tell the insurance company?
Me: Yes.
Cathy: And you said, no, I am telling the insurance company?
Me: Yes.
Cathy: So why didn’t you keep your mouth shut, get the money and THEN tell the insurance company?
Me: GGAACCKKKK!!!!!!!!!

My Son the Lawyer is in New freaking Zealand on his honeymoon. Well, I guess he deserves that. lol He will be back in a week. In the meantime I will see what the insurance company has to say.

I will tell Ryan to be very, very mean to the bungling scam artist who left me with this mess. That ought to be entertaining considering Mr. Contractor’s incompetent knickers were in a twist from me yelling at him.

What kind of contractor can’t take a little yelling, anyway?!?! And from a girl?!

Ohhhh, right. An inept, swindling one.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just Another Relaxing Friday Night

A cup of tea, reading, knitting, feet up in bed. Ahhhh.

So I can take it in stride when MY SUNROOM CEILING FALLS DOWN!!!!!

I’m sitting in my bedroom when I hear this ungodly crash. And this is what I found:

The roof and ceilings were repaired in April. And now the repaired ceiling is lying in soaking wet pieces on the ground. I would not call this a successful job.

I frantically called the contractor who had done the work. And guess what? He was SNOTTY. What is this, an epidemic of snottiness? My ceiling is on the floor and he’s nasty to me?!?!

He actually said to me that he told me at the time the roof was unfixable. And I would find this acceptable? I said to him, are you kidding me? You said I can’t fix your roof and I said okey dokey then here’s $3000 thanks for not fixing the roof?

And he replied “I can only assume that you are talking to me like that because you are upset.”


My CEILING is on the FLOOR and I am hurting his feelings because I raised my voice?!?!

“If you think that was bad” I replied, “then hear this: I paid you to fix these things AND NOW MY FUCKING HOUSE IS FALLING DOWN!!!!” Because the living room ceiling is looking pretty precarious too.

We went back and forth, him insisting he told me he couldn’t repair the roof, I saying he never told me any such thing, until it was obvious we were getting nowhere. He offered to give me back my money if I didn’t call the insurance company.

Oh, I don’t think so. The insurance company recommended him. They are definitely going to hear from me. So he said forget it then, sue me. That is when I hung up. And filed a claim with my homeowner’s.

Now I have to go cry for a little while because an up part of my house is down. And it is a terrible mess that I am going to have to clean up. It is just too much.

I am so tired.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A few more things...


I loved my wedding purse! It is my Stevie Nicks bag.

Everything I choose my fashion arbiter Christine rejects as "too Stevie Nicks".

Hey, I LIKE Stevie Nicks. I can't help it if I am an aging hippie. And I have good, classic rock'n'roll taste.

Christine is ten years younger than me. You didn't see me out on the dance floor waving my arms around like a fool to Bon Jovi!

I do try to forget hearing a rock critic refer to Stevie Nicks as "the Norma Desmond of rock'n'roll". Ouch.


When I got the hotel to meet the boys before the wedding, the four handicapped spots in front were already taken. I was strung out and stressed out, still had to put my make-up on and hadn’t been able to zip my dress all the way up in the back because of my broken shoulder. Not a happy camper.

I drove around fruitlessly trying to find a spot I would be able to walk from. There were NONE. I was close to tears because I was also late.

So I parked in the front, figuring I would get one of the boys to move the car for me.

When I went in, I said to the clerk, “I can’t believe you only have four handicapped spots for this entire hotel!” And she got SNOTTY with me!!!! Can you believe it?!?! Alright, so I looked like a mad woman, frazzled, no makeup, my dress drooping down in the front to reveal my underwear. But she was mean. To a handicapped person! So my only apparent handicap at that time was that I appeared to be insane. But still.

She said, "Ma'am, we have plenty of handicapped spaces."

I replied, with total maturity and self restraint, “Well thank you SO MUCH for your sympathy and helpfulness. It is so gratifying to see such a demonstration of really outstanding customer service.” And I said it sort of loud.

So she said, with super-sized snottiness, “Ma’am, we have at least four handicapped spots at each entrance.”

So I said, “Oh, like the other entrances that are a football field length away?!?! Well that IS helpful.”

What I really wanted to do at this point was start jumping around yelling “ATTICA! ATTICA!!!” or at the very least chain myself to a chair in the lobby. But I realized that while in principle Ryan might support my pursuit of social justice, choosing this particular moment could cause him to be less than pleased.

So rather than make a massive a scene in the hotel lobby, I just had her call his room and up I went.

She may claim that I stuck my tongue at her when we left. But I will deny that to the day I die.

(When Bob went to move my car, there was a spot right in front. Ah, the irony.)

My Birthday

It was yesterday. I was mumble mumble mumble years old. Chronologically. Maturity wise I am approaching 12.

I had actually been awake for about an hour before I remembered it was my birthday. That struck me as a little pathetic.

But Ryan and Claire surprised me at the post-wedding brunch with a cake. I was so touched I forgot to take a picture of the cake before it ended up looking like it had been ravaged by a pack of rabid badgers:

It was delish.

Everyone sang happy birthday and I got this beautiful card from my FIVE children:

I can’t deny the fact that they like me!! Right now, they like me. lol

Happy Birthday to me!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


And what a wedding it was. It is an incredible experience to be in the same space as 200 people who are simply overjoyed to be together. It would not be an overstatement to say the day was absolutely perfect: the company, the weather, the happiness, the fun. And oh, everyone had SUCH fun.

First there was the groom and his handsome groomsmen. With the exception of Claire’s brothers, these are boys (ok, men!) that I have known since they were little guys. Not only have they grown up to be stunningly attractive, they are the nicest, kindest, funniest, sweetest people you could ever meet (and I have discovered even though they are new in my life, Claire's brothers also fit into those categories!):

Ryan, looking very cool, calm and collected indeed on the way to the church:

Ryan seeing Claire as she appears at the back of the church:

Here comes the bride:

Makes me cry:

My four, Elizabeth, Mary Kate, Ryan and James:

At the beach:

The reception was a blast. Ryan and I danced to In My Life. The great band kept everyone dancing. Yep, I was able to dance thanks to my dearest friends, who held onto me so I could feel normal. Thanks Michael, Christine, Cathy, Bill and Peter! I danced A LOT with my friends holding me up. The band was awesome and played a lot of Bruce. Of course when they started Jersey Girl, I was in the Ladies brushing my teeth (ok, I'm a teensy bit neurotic about oral hygiene). But within minutes, me, my sister, my best friend Christine were all belting it out. 'Cause down the Shore, everything's alright...nothing matters in this whole wide world when you're in love with a Jersey girl!!! lol

I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would. I felt so sad for Ryan that his dad wasn’t there. But Ryan and Claire did not forget him. Dennis was mentioned in the program and his memory was evoked at every table.

(I don't know why apples; when I find out, I will tell you.)

My sister-in-law, who I LOVE, sat next to me. My nieces (3 of her 6 girls) were there as well, along with my cousins, my aunts and best friends (I am lucky enough to have even more wonderful people in my life; I only wish I could have invited them all!!). I was surrounded by love. How blessed I am!!

The reason I didn’t cry buckets because I was so, so happy for these two, who are clearly meant for each other. I was choked up thinking of my precious little boys, how they have grown and how proud I am of them.


There are places I remember
all my life
though some have changed.

Some forever, not for better,
some have gone
and some remain.

All these places have their moments,
with lovers and friends I still can recall
some are dead and some are living;
in my life, I’ve loved them all.

But of all these friends and lovers
there is no one compares with you
and these memories lose their meaning
when I think of love as something new.

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
for people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them.
In my life, I love you more.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Rehearsal

The rehearsal dinner was a resounding and joyous celebration.

First came the church part. Blah blah blah blah.

I am not usually like that about church stuff, especially worship. But this was just droning, YOU - stand here, YOU - stand there, YOU - sit, YOU - bow. Excruciating. And now I will probably disgrace Ryan and Claire because I didn’t pay a bit of attention and will have no idea what is going on tomorrow.

I was too busy enjoying my grandson.

Already scoping out the girls. Hey, James, good choice. That one is a doctor, but unfortunately is already married.

All the boys and girls took the instructions very seriously.

My two precious, handsome boys , Ryan, James (the best man) and my lovely new daughter. Oh, and an extraneous clergyperson:

Then we went and we had us a PARTY.

We were in a local restaurant, in the front room, with the doors opened up to the outside. On a cool, breezy evening, it was perfect.

The service was cheerful and attentive, the food was awesome, the company was the best. That room glowed with the sheer pleasure of each other's company, happiness for Ryan and Claire and gratitude for the opportunity to join together for such a wonderful occasion.

Isn't he gorgeous?!?!

Ryan was made an honorary member of the bride’s family.

He made a moving speech on how much he and Claire loved everyone there and how thrilled they were to be surrounded by so much affection and support. Then he, with beautiful and loving words, he thanked me specifically. Although he didn't mention my tan.

This is me (see how tan I am? lol):

Everyone is full of joy for these two beloved young people.


The Wedding!!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I cannot believe that I now have any experience with this subject, which in the past I have expressed nothing but disdain for.

Disdain, that is, until I tried on a dress that made me appear to be an illustration from “Ghosts of America”. My skin looked like the white underbelly of a fish, blending with the beige of the dress to create the understated yet hideous fashion statement of having a wasting disease.

My daughters go to the tanning salon on a regular basis. “Isn’t it relaxing?” asked Mary Kate.



Why sure.

Here are some of my relaxing thoughts:

Gosh this is loud.

This is really scary.

Is it supposed to be this loud?

Maybe the bed is broken.

I wonder if the girl remembered to set the timer.

Maybe the timer is broken.

Do I have enough bronzer on? I think I don’t have enough bronzer on.

Maybe I have too much bronzer on.

Maybe I will turn orange.

I think she forgot to set the timer.

Gosh it’s getting hot.

Is hair flammable?

I am positive she forgot to set the timer.

Could this bed be defective?

Maybe it’s defective and has freakishly strong UV rays.

Maybe I am going to burst into flames any minute. Starting with my hair.

Agh!! Agh!!! I am going to end up in the burn center swathed in bandages and loaded with IV pain killers.

Actually, now that I mention it, that last part doesn’t sound too bad.

She forgot to set the timer!! I know it, I know it!!! I am going to be immolated, I know it!!! My children will gaze sadly at my charred remains, hold each other and say “I hope she left some money.”

The whole store will burn down and it will be all my fault. It will be known as the “The Great Tanning Disaster of 2008” and will have my name inexorably linked to it because it will turn out I had some weird genetic predisposition to spontaneous combustion when exposed to a tanning bed.

I will not only die a horrible death, but an embarrassing one too.

CLICK!!!!!!! The machine snaps off. Phew!!! I am alive, unscathed and, um… pink.

Alrighty then, all ready for tomorrow!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I decided to try out my make-up before the wedding.

I have been tanning, because with my pathetically white skin I looked like a corpse in my beige dress. I know, I know, I wouldn’t have believed it either if you had told me I would do such a thing. But I did.

Anyway, as I am now a whole different color (a color that I do not think actually occurs in nature), I had to buy new foundation. While poking around the make-up department, I saw false eyelashes. Because my sister was not there to say “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?!?!”, I bought them.

Now I have to tell you [yet another reason that it is a very good thing that I am in therapy], I have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror. So I always put my makeup on using a little tiny mirror, doing one piece of my face at a time. Then I take a quick glance to make sure everything matches and I’m on my way.

Besides the obvious, there are certain disadvantages to this method. Like occasionally being really, really surprised at the outcome. And not pleasantly surprised either.

Last night I put on my new makeup on using my teeny little mirror. I put on my false eyelashes and a nice dramatic, dark lipstick. I brushed my curly hair. Well, beat it into submission anyway. I was stoked, certain of stunning results. I looked at the finished product in the bathroom mirror. I was stunned alright.

I have only one word for what I saw. One word repeated over and over.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I looked like my father in drag.

(N.B.: NOT that I have ever seen my father in drag!! Or that I know of any occurrence of him being in drag. It’s just I look like him and I looked like him with a ton of makeup on. Yikes, way to start rumors!!)

I couldn’t stop laughing as I peeled and scrubbed everything off. Why I am laughing I do not know. Anyone with half a brain would be weeping and having nightmares for weeks. I found it hilarious.

I don’t know what I am going to do that day, but it won’t be that scary clown get-up. No offense Dad.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cranky Saturday

I am cranky.

On a typical Saturday, I have maybe three or four errands to run.

Today I have THIRTEEN!!! Mostly associated with the wedding.

What I really want to do is knit:


Have a cup of tea, read and write:

(Alright, so it isn’t War and Peace. Cut me a break.)

I will admit, I am spoiled. After 31 years of raising children and putting everyone else’s needs first, I have an abundance of “me” time.

So I will get my stuff done as quickly as possible and hie myself back home to my yarn, book and laptop. Except by that time it will be time for wine, not tea.

Cool. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Prize Winning Blog


I won a prize from my dear friend Jane in England who writes a great blog, I want to say it is hilarious, which it is, but it is also serious sometimes, and thought provoking. But mostly it is hilarious. And, clearly, Jane is extremely discriminating. ha ha ha

When I first read her post, granting this award to five blogs she thought were deserving, mine was listed first. I saw nothing but that big “Number One” next to my name and I was off like a rocket ship, gushing and blubbering and groveling in gratitude. A few hours later, when my vision had cleared, I noticed the disclaimer “…in no particular order…” ahead of her list.

Oh. Never mind.

I was pretty embarrassed and Jane had had a good giggle at my over-the-top reaction, but all’s well that ends well. ?!?! Whatever, I couldn't think of a way to end the paragraph.

Naturally, because this is my life, nothing is ever easy. There were rules associated with the award. Rules that took me five days to figure out.

So to start with, I will list the rules. Here they are:

1. Select 5 blogs that I believe deserve this award for their creativity, design, and interesting material or for contributing to the blogging community.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog .
3. Each recipient must then show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4. The award-winner and the one who has given the prize has to show the origin of the award which is

Ok, they might seem simple to you, but I felt as though I went blind every time I read them. Hey, I never claimed to be a brain surgeon.

Then I had to pick five blogs. The hardest part. One, because there is really a lot of good stuff out there. Two, because I have not had the time to keep up with all the good stuff.

So here, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (so no one will embarrass themselves like I did; not that any of them would be likely to), are five blogs I think deserve recognition because of their unique talents:


Joe writes this eclectic blog, along with several others, that is remarkable for its humor, insight and crankiness. I love crankiness; it is my favorite emotional state because I think it uses up a lot of calories. Joe and I have a great deal in common, including a [probably unhealthy] love of toast. I was dismayed to see several things that I actually quite like on his list of things that piss him off, but we will save that discussion for another day.


This is Kate’s Life. And a rich one it is. Kate is a remarkable girl (sorry Kate, but when you’re younger than at least one of my children, you have to be a girl). She is very funny, extremely perceptive and sensitive and, best of all, also occasionally cranky. Are you sensing a theme here? Kate is also a physician, in her psychiatric residency. She already is a remarkable and empathetic practitioner. She is going to be one of the best.


For anyone who loves New York, this blog is a gift. I can’t walk these walks anymore, but I get to experience them vicariously through Teri’s site. She does the most incredible amount of research and her observations are spot on. I am always so grateful for the photos and the essays she posts. Talk about a Valentine to the City!!


When I first started my blog, the idea was to chronicle my loss of millions of pounds over the ensuing months. Well we know how that ended up. But Jessica, who was one of my first readers and commenters, has kept up her commitment. She is a sweet girl, generous with her praise, encouragement and friendship. She will always be special to me.


When you read Barb’s blog, you want to call her and have her come over IMMEDIATELY for a cup of coffee and commiseration. Everything that happens to Barb has happened to me at least once. Except for the being from Texas part. I am from the Bronx. But see, they both have ‘x’s in them!!! Her girls are precious and remind me of how much fun I had with mine until they grew up and became soul-sucking parasites (forget I said that, Barb, you are clearly a much better mother than I am, so no fears there). Barb is funny, smart and touching all at the same time. You will wish she lived next door.

So there you have it. Check out these great blogs and spread the word!!

…as I continue to gush “I can’t deny the fact that you like me!! Right now, you like me!!!”