Monday, November 8, 2010

Boo Yah!

I cannot believe I forgot to post this! So much happening right now that I don't have time to update, but at least I can push this out of the "edit" box.

So Hallowe'en turned out to be a blast! (and unlike Election Day, I mean that in a good way). The last tie I had so much fun on this holiday....well, lets just say a bunch of people were still alive who aren't any more (and that is not a vampire joke!) It seemed like the whole town turned out, and a surprising amount of people form up and down the road so I guess Gene's flyer blitz worked. We started early so that people could bring their kids, so you would think it would have been over by 8 but everyone was so up for a fun time that we made it happen and it was past 10 before we agreed to call it a night. Pretty good for a sleepy down on a school night! And also a great way to get people thinking of REU as a good place to come. I think this was one of the smartest marketing things those kids could have done. I'm starting to feel way better about their prospects for making a go of it.

They decided to go the Alice route, because it's so hot this year that everyone would get it. They filled the place with giant roses and playing cards and, my favorite, a huge mushroom that held the baby's bassinet (and cute was that little caterpillar suit Pomona made for him?!) Lots of tarts, of course, and platters of tea sandwiches, and tureens of "mock turtle soup" that was really some kind of chicken with oyster crackers (of course!) and was poured into teacups. The license came through on Thursday, but the stuck to the fruit punch -- which was excellent, btw, and much smarter considering it was a family open house, really. There was a little "haunted house" corner set up for the kids with cobwebs and the bowls of spaghetti and peeled grapes and all that other usual stuff. Jenn did some juggling (you never know what people know how to do), with "skulls and bones", and Alec gave a pumpkin carving demo that was pretty amazing. We had apple bobbing, danced the Time Warp and the Monster Mash, and even played "Alice croquet" (Gene supplied the plastic flamingos to use as mallets), which was a riot. One of the hippies from the trailer park had a fortune telling table. She told me she saw Janis' overdose in her palm at Woodstock -- and no, I'm not telling what she saw in mine!

I’m reading this back and it doesn’t sound like much, but for whatever reason, it was just a really good time. Yay for all of us!

If you're wondering, I would up going as Christine O'Donnell. I wore a long black dress, a wig and I got a witches hat and hung tea bags from the brim. Well, it was clever for Arahmpett! And it was comfortable, which counts for a lot I think. I always remember the 6th grade, when I went as Lucy Van Pelt in her "the doctor is in" booth, which I made out of an appliance box and some oaktag. It looked pretty good, but I couldn't sit down all night. Never made that mistake again!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Yay, the kids got their liquor license for REU!! Or at least they will definitely have it by November 1. So Hallowe’en will be fruit punch, which is probably a good thing really, but Thanksgiving will be as gala as they want it to be. Ed and Leonie are going to do their holiday there, too. I still don’t know if Jeff’ll make it, but Leonie’s got family coming over from France, so we’ll have a big long table and all dress up, and it will be elegant and lovely and a real celebration!

Meanwhile, coming up a lot sooner, I still can’t figure out who I want to be for Hallowe’en. Gene says he could turn me into Courtney Love in a heartbeat, but I don’t know, I’m not really up for doing anything to do with music. Maggs said I should go as a trophy wife, which was funny but more than a little bitchy, I thought. She and Ken get to go to this very old Hollywood bash to raise money for typhoon victims. I was a little pissed about the trophy wives crack so I pretended I thought she said “tycoon victims” and told her we’d appreciate the help very much. Well, I thought it was funny J Anyway, they all go to some Hollywood costume place and spend more on renting something they’ll wear for one night than most people spend on clothes for a year. They’re going as Princess Leia and Han Solo. Yup, the “slave” costume. She must have had some more work since I saw her last. I mean, she’s in good shape for someone our age but for a gold bikini? And he’s no Harrison Ford – more like a cross between George Harrison and Yoda. Oh, well, they won’t be the only people making asses of themselves at that party. Oh, well. I’ll think of something. Or Gene will. He’s so excited to have the kids here and doing something special for the holiday. He drew the flyers for them and even paid to have them copied on the neon orange paper. Tomorrow I’m watching the shop all day so he can drive up all over the place sticking them up. He’s planning to go as far as Amagansett! I think he misses being young enough to train into the Village for the parade and stay out til dawn. It would mean a lot to him if we could make Arahmpett a Hallowe’en hotspot. Stranger things have happened, right? And it’s an innocent dream. Hmm, wonder if he’d want to go with me as Dorothy and the Wizard?

I don’t remember if I already wrote this (and I’m too lazy to go and look back at old blogs!), but I decided that this winter I’m going to finally clear out all those boxes I’ve been storing on the sunporch. Yes, finally! I’m no Farmer’s Almanac but I have this feeling it’s going to be a really bad winter, so I’m expecting to be stuck indoors a lot. That reminds me – I want to do a run to Trader Joe’s and stock up on their soups and some of those cool packaged things they have, like the Indian and Thai dinners. I better do a candle and battery run while I’m at it. Maybe pick up a few more pair of ski socks – when it gets really cold, there’s nothing like ‘em to keep the feet warm and if your feet are warm, you pretty much feel warm, at least I do. Anyway, I’m going to go through every damned box on that sunporch and be ruthless. Either I can use it – meaning it’s actually useful – or out it goes. Sentiment is not an option here. By the time May gets here, I want a nice empty sunporch, with a clean coat of paint and something comfy to sit on. Yes! You read it hear – I am so going to get this done!

But why am I rushing the season? I haven’t even gone pumpkin picking yet -- better not rain this weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pauses and Delays

Did you ever feel like everything in life was on hold? Not that I'm really doing anything, but it seems like everyone around me who is keeps running into little roadblocks or something.

Like Alex and Jenn, who first ran into a liquor license delay, and then got screwed by some gas pipe under the parking lot that no one seemed to know was there until after that explosion in California, when suddenly people got crazy vigilant and started scanning all kinds of old plans and things. The pipe by REU turned out to be nothing, but they still had to have it dug up, and then a new inspection, which all together lost them two weeks. There's still going to be an Open House there for Hallowe'en, but it looks like no official opening until right before Thanksgiving which, come hell or high water (and please no high water! my yard can't take any more!) they will be serving and which I am planning to eat!

I was going to go with Jeff, but there's another glitch for you! Some kind of FU in his off-shore setup so he's off to Manila again and may not be back in time. I hate that he has to go halfway across the globe and work 24/7.
He sounds so tired of it all, like he'd just rather walk away but he can't afford to. There better be a major payday for him at the end of all this! I swear if there isn't, I may have to see if Horst has any old wrestling friends who might feel like burning off some righteous anger, if you know what I mean. Ahem.

Speaking of Horst, I guess this is as good a time as any to admit that he flew in week before last and we spent some, um, quality time. High quality time, actually. It was really nice. And it's not that he lead me on or anything, but I guess I didn't realize he'd planned to spend most of next year in Tuscany doing wine things and when I did, I was a little infantile about it and we had a major blowup. So yeah, that glitch was mine and since I caused it, you could say it was all mine. It's not that I'm looking for a relationship, but I guess I'm not good at being told I can't have one either.

On the bright side, it looks like Ken may actually be going ahead with his CBGB film, and if he does they're going to shoot the whole thing in New York. Even though they'll have to turn some club under the Williamsburg Bridge into CBGB's to do it. Still, it would be a lot of fun to have it going on, and a great excuse for Maggs to spend months in tow. Maggs says he might even give me one of those expert/consultant jobs on it. Okay, it wouldn't be til summer of 2012, but it's nice to have something to look forward do that hasn't yet been messed up!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In My Own Backyard

Wow, so we had two tornados in New York last week – and Arahmpett is so far off the beaten track, we missed them both. It was the NW part of the Island that got hit; we only had rain and thunder, not that Wizard of Oz wind began to switch thing. I don’t know whether to be relieved or a little maybe regretful.

It’s good, I know, because except for the patch Ludo put in, I doubt my roof could take something like that. And I’d have hated to watch my big tree torn up and spinning away Out East. I freaked out just watching the footage on the news of the storms hitting the city. You don’t expect to see New York looking like Oklahoma or something. Where Jeff lives in Queens, there were trees down all over the place. He sent me phone video of a big old tree completely uprooted, taking half the sidewalk with it. The top branches were chopped off by the wind and ended up down the block, smashed onto a parked car, completely crushing it. He was lucky. Windows safe, power on. All he has to do is walk carefully so he doesn’t break a leg tripping on the rubble.

Jeff was here the weekend before and it was nice and peaceful. He didn’t leave til Tuesday, since he could take the days and said he needed the rest. It was a little to early to go picking anything (dummy me!), so maybe he’ll come out in a few weeks do do that. It was good to spend some quiet time. This time we really caught up. He’s doing some stuff that sounds interesting, even to me. I hope it’s his ship coming in at last; that would be so great. And I got to walk him around and meet the Kids. Jai turns out to be a closet geek (I just realized that’s funny, and very 2010, that he’s openly gay but still a closet geek!) and knows Jeff’s name from some fanboy gaming blog; don’t ask me to explain because it’s so not my world. Anyway, Jeff was able to help him around some bugs on this software he needs to send patterns to a factory in Malaysia and that the phone support people were screwing up. Jai has a nice little sideline going, “facilitating” for small designers who are transitioning to medium and starting to work in quantity. No coincidence, I suppose, that his uncles own the factory in Malaysia. Then he, Jeff I mean, put in a few hours going over the system some friend of Zach’s is supposed to be setting up for the Restaurant. Busman’s holiday, isn’t that what they call it? But he liked being able to help the Kids and they made us a fantastic dinner as a thank you, so all in all it was happy days for everyone.

The important thing is that we got things sorted out. When you’ve been friends forever, the way we have, it’s so hard to have a blow up. You don’t want to watch a lifetime get blown away like some trees in a tornado, right? It’s bad enough when it happens to a marriage; it should never happen to friends.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bet You’d Live Here If You Could and Be One of Us*

(* with apologies to the Go-Gos!)

When the kids asked me what we do for Labor Day in Arahmpett, I was kind of embarrassed to say “nothing.”

When I was growing up, we had some kind of town picnic/barbecue thing, where Uncle H and his pals would drive all their grills over to the parking lot at the elementary school and everyone would bring hot dogs and potato salad and jello molds – all that kind of stuff. The big thing, I remember, was that the town would pay the guy who drove the Good Humor truck in advance for his haul and he’d set up there, too, and all the kids – the grown ups too – would come running for free Chocolate Eclairs and Strawberry Shortcakes. You know, I can still taste those? They had this great cakey stuff stuck to the outside, and in the center of the vanilla ice cream was a kind of crunchy mother-lode of flavor. You had to take a really good bite to get all three layers in your mouth at the same time. I was more a licker than a biter – I had front teeth that were sensitive to cold things – but I always made an exception for Good Humor bars.

And there I go again, starting out on one thing and rambling along a side road! Back to where I started – even after my school years, it’s been a long time since Arahmpett’s done any town holidays. First it was apathy, then too many old people; now it’s the economy plus apathy and old people….Zach was especially disappointed. I think they had this idea they were moving to some kind of Heartland. I suggested maybe we try and get a committee together, see what had to be done about zoning or permits or whatever, and try to get something going for next summer. Well, Jenn must have said something to Peter, and I know I did to Leonie, so next thing you know, they decided that if the kids wanted to try and pull some kind of ad hoc thing together now, since the vineyard would be closed to the public anyway, they could use the picnic area outside the tasting room. The next morning, those kids were all over everywhere, sticking flyers under windshields.

Meanwhile, of course, the weather forecasts are dire beyond imagination about this hurricane Earl that’s due to blast the Island by Friday night and kill the entire holiday weekend. Does this stop the kids? No way, bless their crazy hearts! They just kept knocking on doors. I heard the pitch a few times, so I can tell you it was like they were running for office, the way they’d talk about how excited they are to be here and what a great town it is. The enthusiasm was too cute, but I was worried they’d be really hurt when it didn’t turn out. On the other hand, I figured Earl would cancel it anyway and we’d all be hunkering down on our own with candles, peanut butter sandwiches and bathtubs full of emergency water.

They were right and I was wrong – on everything. And am I ever glad! Earl passed us by. The weather this weekend has been so gorgeous it would make you want to come here on vacation (just kidding!). I made my way to Green Mountain noonish to help Peter and Leonie, and the kids were already there, plus a few of the hippies from the trailer park. Around 2, people started streaming in. We had folks setting up grills, all kinds of food set out on the picnic tables. Someone brought a portable volleyball net, and a game got going. A couple of the trailer park guys brought guitars, and we did some singing. George got a little too excited and started a chant to make me sing “Hard to Be a Girl”, which was embarrassing but then fun, because I got everyone to join in on the chorus. All the time, Jenn, who is some powerhouse, was working the crowd with the baby (smart girl!), meeting and greeting and getting people to put down their names for a town “event planning” committee. It was a great day. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many Arahmpetteers in one place – and all smiling even! And enough people hung around to help clean up, so Green Mountain doesn’t look like a trainwreck.

We might have a real town here again!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just a Nice Day

This must be the nicest weekend of the entire summer. I’m sitting out back, thinking about how another summer’s almost gone and I still haven’t really tackled the yard. What I’d really like is to have an outdoor living room, like we had at the beach house. It’s not the size of the lawn I miss so much as the open space, with no trees dropping bugs and seeds and sap dust onto my book or (even worse, cause it scratches) laptop screen. On the other hand, I love my trees. I guess I just need to make it my winter project to clear out the damn sun porch for real this time.

It seems like a gigantic job. Then I watch what those kids are doing with the old bank and I’m embarrassed. Seriously! Tuesday, after Have a Heart, I popped my head in to say hello. It’s amazing how much they’ve accomplished. Ludo showed me around. They needed a real contractor to handle the kitchen and the upstairs, and Peter recommended him. So old offices are all kitchen, and the vault will be for wine, which will look very cool. Then all around the windows downstairs is going to be their market. There were shelves already up and painted all kinds of bright colors. Zach and Sophie were working on covering some odd long tables with mosaics made of broken plates and things. Ludo says those were the counters left from the bank, where people would fill out their deposit slips. The center is apparently going to be table seating. Right now, there are a bunch of used tables and chairs piled up; I recognized one from Have a Heart. Ludo says that upstairs is going to be a more traditional restaurant. A friend of his who’s one of the hippies who lives in that sort of trailer park they squatted on the abandoned garage is a woodworker and is making a very cool bar for it. I have to take his word for it, because the stairs aren’t ready for prime time yet. It was like a hive in there, buzzing with energy. Made me very excited to seem something coming to life. I told the kids I’ve gotten pretty good at painting furniture and would be happy to lend a hand if they need. I hope they take me up on it.

I was telling Maggs about my hipsters (can’t help thinking of them this way). She and Ken are flying in Thursday to stay at the house….I mean, Corey’s retreat… for Labor Day. I’m glad the restaurant is nowhere near opening yet because Ken thinks he’s a foodie and I wouldn’t dare bring them somewhere I can’t vouch for. But I figure it’s never to early to get the buzz started, right? Anyway, it turns out she’d seen Jai on some Mizrahi show that was supposed to replace Project Runway, and she’s dying to meet him and Pomona and maybe get first dibs on a hot new label. This, as I told Leonie, is what I call networking!

On a totally other hand, I had a call from Jeff the other day, so I guess he finally gave up being pissed at me for nothing. Catching up on sleep and stuff will do that. He’s going to come out one weekend after Labor Day, when (he says) it’s quiet. Maybe we’ll go apple picking or whatever kind of picking there is then. Yeah, I know I should know this but I don’t.

Enough blogging! It’s too nice even to sit still outside. I’m going to go take a long walk and enjoy the best kind of summer day. ☺

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We Have Hipsters!

The way I see it, you've got two ways these of knowing which way your neighborhood is headed. If you've got bedbugs, you're going down. But if you have hipsters, oh happy days! And though it's freaky hard to believe and I totally don't get why, it looks to me like Arahmpett is on the way up.

So here's what I know. Tuesday I was helping out Gene and he tells me that someone bought up the old bank building at the end of the strip, the end that's not tied up in the Wilber estate. Anyway, someone bought it and there's fresh newspaper taped all over the inside windows, and that's all he -- or anybody -- knew to tell. Because if anybody knows,Gene finds out. That afternoon,this couple walks in, all Ernest Sewn jeans and vegan shoes. She's a very severe Eurasian with hacked off hair and she's wearing a wife beater with an necklace made of the contents of a hardware bin. He's got on those skinny black glasses, a frayed dress shirt and a baby sling. They're picking through stuff, getting all excited and taking pictures with their phones. I hear the word "sustainable." They give Gene some money for Sy Gioe's old Tiki bar and a box full of those Welch's jelly glasses with the Flintstones on them, and say they'll pick it all up later in the week.

Yesterday, early in the morning, Leonie calls me to ask me to dinner. Not ask, beg. They're entertaining some potential clients and she thinks maybe I'd be able to "relate to them and smooth things over". She actually asks me to "dress cool." So I threw on my "I heart (actual drawing of human heart) Reykjavik" tshirt and worn jeans that really fit, with some giant rubber earrings I picked up in Amsterdam back in the day and can only wear for a few hours without wanting to pull my lobes off. And as soon as I walked in, I kicked off my shoes so I'd be strutting around barefoot with toe rings. The group, 6 kids none a day over 30 to my eye, included the pair from the thrift store -- not to mention the baby, who fortunately slept most of the time, except when he had to nurse. And let me tell you, that he didn't bark his head on mommy's necklace doing so was a major miracle!

Glasses...or Zach as I now should call him, turns out to be a painter (and on his website, which I checked as soon as I got home, his work looks interesting). Jenn, the wife is a sommelier. All of this is part of the story. The hunky guy with the incredibly pale grey eyes looked familiar. Then I remembered staring at the line from his shoulders to his butt one day when I was helping out in the Green Mountain tasting room. He, Alec, turns out to be a chef and Jenn's brother-in-law. Sophie, his wife (Jenn's sister) writes feminist graphic novels (I had no idea). The others were Jai and Pomona who aren't a couple but are partners in their own clothing line. Alec and Jenn went to Johnson Wales together and have been wanting to open their own place ever since. Now...lately, I guess...they've been working together at a moderately hot place downtown and trying to scrape together the financing to move on.

It seems that even Brooklyn is getting too pricey for the young and hip -- it's what always happens; the artists build up a neighborhood and then get driven out. So they've been looking for alternatives. After the tasting, they were so impressed with Green Mountain that they started wondering about the neighborhood and rode around. They saw a nearby beach, an easy drive to the Hamptons and tons of cheap, abandoned real estate. Eureka, apparently. Cashing in on their tiny holes in Prospect Park, they were able to buy the old Woolworths and two houses, Jenn's with a big enough garage to turn into a painting loft for Zach. When they told Jai and Pomona and drove them out to see, those two got so excited they traded in their loft in LIC to come along.

Jenn and Alec want REU ...which stands for Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and when I knew that was from Hitchhiker's Guide, I got a nice shot of respectful attitude....they want REU to be "as local as possible", so they're getting their produce from nearby farms and cheese from that crazy hippie over near Riverhead. And they want to get a lot of wine from Green Mountain. Now this is all great on paper, and I wasn't going to be the one to say anything to discourage them and screw up a sale, but Peter, who may be the most honest guy I ever knew (okay, him and Jeff), asked them flat out where they thought they'd get customers for this kind of place. You know, it really smacked me in the face, the confidence and optimism of being that young. These kids just waved him off with a smile. REU is going to be a combination restaurant and food shop, and they figure if they build it people will come. Specifically people like themselves. Total certainty that just by them coming here and staking a claim and cooking and making art, others like them will start to come and before we all know it, we'll have a whole hipster colony. My mind is still boggling, and I've had all day to think about it (and sleep off the excess wine!).

If nothing else, this is going to be fun to watch, right? First off, I want to see what they do with that tiki bar!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peace of Drizzle

After the stickiest, most blech week, we finally got a little rain. Not much, but still. So a couple of hours ago, I stuck on a suite, dragged the old plastic webbing pool chair into the middle of the lawn and stretched out in the drizzle with a mason jar full of bourbon and lemonade. Ahhh!

Yeah, sometimes it’s the simple things, right? I felt like I was 16 again, only then Ronnie and I used to have to sneak the bourbon. And in those days, I sat out in the sun, not the rain. We used to drench ourselves with baby oil to sit out in the sun. Ronnie always undid her straps, but I used to love getting a tan line – it made me feel tanner and more glamorous to see that teeny stripe of white on my shoulder. Now I can’t remember the last time I tanned. First I got out of the habit, then I heard so many horror stories that I made sunblock my best friend. Now I guess I’m lazy. Even with the fake tans, you have maintenance or you just look like you maybe ate too many carrots. Stretching out under a drizzly sunset, though, there’s no fuss. All you’re going to get is wet, and you always have to shower after laying out anyway so, perfect, right? I cooled down from all the humidity and let everything just melt out of my body. At least that’s how I was visualizing it. Every bit of stress dripping off my fingers and toes with the water -- totally relaxing. Or maybe it was just the bourbon.

I was hoping for maybe some kind of revelation. If I were in a movie, there would have first of all been some very cool background music. Then I would have suddenly jumped off the chair with a fast cut showing I’d had this great idea and was putting it in action. Or else while I was sitting out, something would have happed, like a gorgeous man crashing his car into the tree in the road and then I’d drag him out of the wreckage and we’d fall madly in love. You know what? Considering my track record with men, maybe it’s just as well that that all I got was a little wet.

After maybe 20 minutes or so, I came on in and had my shower. I’m still trying to figure out why I feel so peaceful, because if I could then maybe I could repeat it sometime when I get restless. Or maybe then I could turn myself into a life coach like Cory Lake. I mean, is that a great gig or what? How do you qualify for it? Has been rocker with four marriages behind her, and still alive and – bourbon aside – relatively sober. Who could be a better life coach than me?! I’m sure I could fit it between volunteering at Have a Heart and helping Leonie in the winery tasting room. Just joking, you know. But not all the way. I think I really am ready for the next part of my life, and I’m still enough of a dreamer that I’m hoping maybe it’ll be something great.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Men 2 Boys

Well that wasn’t fun at all. And it was a great reminder to me that I just don’t understand men and will never understand men. And that most of the time, like right now, I don’t much care if I ever do!

Backtrack. Jeff came out and was here for a week. Remember how I said he’d been in Manila for months? Okay. Where Jeff works now is a start-up. He’s been calling it his “end-down” because he’s kind of over the hill for start-ups, which are a kids’ game (he says this, not me!) and this is his last shot at one. I couldn’t tell you what they’re trying to do, because it’s all Martian to me. But Jeff things they could make a lot of money, and getting in on the ground floor and being so critical to it, he gets stock or a percentage or whatever. If this works, he says, maybe he’ll be able to retire someday after all.

So they had to hire a bunch of people to work on the program and stuff, and it turned out that they were getting them somewhere in Manila. And he had to go there and get it all set up and everything. And while he was away, he subleased his apartment to his old company, who had some programmers in from India for training and needed a place for them to stay. Apparently this is how the computer business works, with people hopping all over the world. This is why Jeff was staying for a week for a change, because he wouldn’t get his place back until August 1. I told him he could stay for the whole month of August, if he wanted to rent it out another month, or even longer. He’s my best friend in the world, after all.

He got here straight from the airport and looked like someone recovering from malaria or something. Which he wasn’t – he was perfectly healthy. Only even skinnier than usual and pale and grubby looking, because he’d been working almost 24/7 all the time he was there. Can you imagine going to Manila and never going to the beach? And he’s not a great traveler, so all he wanted to do was take a shower and crawl into bed. Which was fine with me.

Only it was the same day Horst was leaving and he’d dropped by to say goodbye on his way to the airport….did you ever feel like you were a revolving door??...and he was sitting with me in the living room having a glass of Green Mountain “Summer Wine”, which is a light white blend with a really nice kind of flowery taste. Okay, I’m getting way off the track. Thing is Horst is sitting in my living room when Jeff arrives, and bam! Now I need to make it absolutely clear here that Horst and I have not started anything. We’re friends, that’s all. Like Jeff and I are friends, only newer. But as soon the two of them were sitting in the armchairs glaring at each other, I felt like a bone between two dogs. I couldn’t exactly throw Horst out and he was leaving in another hour any way, so that was that. It was horrible. Every stupid little comment anybody made was like a stick of dynamite.

Now at some point, Horst had told me he used to have our poster on his wall when he was 12. Hey, I was only 19 at the time myself at the time, so it’s not exactly The Graduate! It was that one when I had the Louise Brooks bob and lived in that vintage silk lingerie I used to find down at Antique Boutique and Screaming Mimi’s. It was sort of my Sally Bowles look, if you remember, kohl and all. I’d found a few copies of the poster in my stuff, and as a kind of joke, I’d autographed one for Horst and so I brought it out to give him. I had it in a tube of course, but he had to unroll it then and there and give me a big kiss. And Jeff turned all kinds of purple. Then Horst had to go, and gave me another kiss and a bear hug – and until you’ve been hugged by a former wrestler you don’t know what a hug can be – and even shook hands with Jeff, both their eyes narrowed like hand to hand combat.

As soon as the door closed, Jeff lit into me. I swear, Uncle Harry never yelled at me that bad when I was first dating Robbie! And for what? Hanging out with a friend? While he was over in the Philippines, by the way, and believe me Ed and Leonie, and even Gene, were getting pretty sick and tired of me hanging around them all the time. I know I shouldn’t have yelled back. I mean the man had a ton of jet lag. But I was so pissed at being talked to like a naughty child, that I just let him have it back. He stomped off and hit the shower – I could hear the water – and then I heard the bedroom door slam. I figured he’d sleep it off, but the next day he was still pissed off. And I was too pissed off at that to apologize. I mean, I hadn’t done anything wrong and would have apologized just to be nice except he was so mean to me! And Horst calls from Vegas, and he’s making snarky comments about Jeff, so here I am pissed as hell at Jeff and feeling like I have to defend him…and also sad that Horst was maybe turning out not to be such a sweet guy after all.

This is getting too long. Okay. Let’s just say we couldn’t just sulk around for days. But neither one of us would be the first to cave. So we ended up being very very polite and all “no whatever YOU want to do” and everything like that, and it was just awful.

Jeff went back to the city yesterday. I spent all day today alone in the house, just listening to the quiet and it was wonderful. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mama's Got a Mixed Bag

Taylor and his effing blog! First, and this is not hard feelings – just hard truth – he’s a writer like I’m Cyndi Lauper. I mean I’ve written a couple of songs and I was front woman for a band but…you get my point. Actually, I’m a lot closer to being Cyndi than he is to being any kind of writer.

So Taylor, like the rest of the world (including me, right?) has a blog. And, nasty little worm that he is, he decides he’s going to “get back at me” for what happened to Simon – which was all Simon’s fault as even you know and has totally nothing to do with me. Someone who was at the Midsommer Night concert posted some pictures and he found them. There was one where…okay, it had been kind of chilly and dampish, which I hear is typical for Reykjavik that time of year, so during the day I’d stopped at the knitting shop and picked up some things. A pair of knitted wristlets…except you can call them “wristlets” if they go up to your elbow like these did…whatever, these elbow fingerless glove things and a stripey cap that had two points ending in tassels, and this a long skinny scarf with these tufts of something sticking up. I had them on with a t-shirt and cargo pants and my old turquoise Uggs and, there’s no way around it, I looked like Bjork’s mother. I did. And in this photo, I’m on stage with Stu and you can tell I’m doing the goofy shout-out parts at the end of “Hard to Be a Girl”. And Taylor sticks up this photo with the headline “Raisin Bran” and a totally vicious rant about “rocking chair rocker Tash Loving.” Incoherent, but so ugly.

It wouldn’t matter except that he somehow managed to get it re-posted by some “Remembering CBGB” blogger who, unlike Taylor, actual has readers. Someone in Pozzo’s office saw it there and passed it to him, and he showed it to Vlad who I guess after all never forgave me for turning him down that time after Robbie died so Vlad – with lots of phony LOLs all over it – forwarded it to me. Now instead of remembering what a great night that was, all I can do is wonder how many people there were laughing at me. I want to hit someone. Or cry.

I’d be feeling totally miserable except that Horst came by and we went for a walk. He’s a really sweet guy. The first time he came by after the whole Simon thing, to see if I was okay (which you have to agree was pretty damned sweet), it was one of my afternoons to work the tasting room for Peter & Leonie and I brought him along to Green Mountain. He latched onto Peter for the rest of the day, and hung around after closing and came up to the house for dinner. Turns out his dream is to open a winery of his own. I apologize for all the clichés I ever thought about wrestlers. I mean, apart from the gentle giant thing, he’s got a degree from Cornell Ag, an MBA from Columbia and spent the last two years studying with Coppola at his vineyard in California. Obviously he and Peter got on like best buds for life, so he decided to stay in the area for a couple more weeks to come by and tap his brain some more. It’s been a lot of fun, for all of us.

So just after I got Vlad’s “funny” FYI, there was a knock at the door and it was Horst. I told him all about it. Good thing about professional wrestler’s – they know what it feels like to be the butt of a joke. He let me kick & fuss for while. Then, since it had decided not to rain after all (at least not yet; any minute now and then, if you can believe the weather reports, for days) we hopped on his bike to go to the beach for a walk. On the way, we stopped by the pizza place for ices, since it was closest. He hadn’t seen the strip before; not exactly where I think of taking visiting celebrities. His whole face lit up when he saw it, boarded up shops and all. He said it reminded him of where he grew up in Michigan. It was so long since he’d been in a “regular place;” he actually thanked me for bringing him. We talked a lot about growing up in the suburbs today. You can get nostalgic over the strangest things.

I’ve only known Horst a couple of weeks, but I’m going to miss him when he leaves on Thursday. On the bright side, Jeff’s back home and he’s coming out this weekend. Doesn’t matter if it pours – poor guy just needs to unwind and catch his breath. Four whole months he’s had to be out there in Manila, slaving round. Whatever they pay him, they don’t pay him enough, that’s what I think.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It never rains but it pours. Okay, right now it just never rains. It's been a steambath for two weeks already, the last couple of days worst of all. I'm living on iceberg lettuce and cucumber with thousand island dressing. I know, I know. But since I was a kid, that's what I crave when it hits 100. That and creamsicles, which for some reason feel colder than either vanilla ice cream or orange sherbet. Huh?

I'm getting distracted from the real thing I wanted to talk about, which was the huge uproar last weekend out in Bridgehampton. So I mentioned in my last post how Corey Lake was renting the house all summer. Well, he had a retreat going last week that was ending with a big open houseparty on the 4th. I was actually invited, but it depresses me to see the house so I said no and went to the barbecue Ed & Leonie were having at the winery, which was such a nice time and also turned out to be a damned good thing.

According to Corey who told Maggs who of course called me immediately, which was the only reason I knew what was going on when that reporter from NBC was sticking a mike under my nose, that one who lives out here and is always right on the spot when anything happens. According to Corey, then, what happened was that they'd just finished sun salutations and were meditating before breakfast when they heard a scream from the kitchen. The cook, who's some vegan Johnson Wales dropout who looks like she'd fall over in a stiff breeze, at least according to Maggs who got it from a friend who was there a couple of weeks ago, she comes running into the dining room shrieking her head off about a crazy-looking man who burst into kitchen and was going through the refrigerator. Well it happened that one of the retreaters (retreatees?) was Horst Morgenstern, who used to be "The Morningstar" for the WTF, so he and Corey, who picked up the bread knife from the table, go out to the kitchen and there's Simon. Gary's son Simon. Standing in front of the refrigerator with the door wide open, screaming "why isn't there any bacon!" and throwing food all over the floor. Morningstar wrestled him to the floor (I don't know what Corey thought he was going to do with a bread knife) and when he wouldn't quiet down but kept on screaming about "my house" and "that bitch whore," they tied him up with the sash from Corey's Happi coat and called the cops.

Apparently the girlfriend finally dumped him for some guy who had a better father. Simon never put a dime away all those years of course, and now he hasn't got a place to live, so in his twisted spoiled little mind, he decided to come "home" to the Hamptons. One of the women at the retreat said she'd noticed him sneaking around the garden the day before and the cops found some Subway wrappers and a gym bag in the wind break, so they think he must have been sleeping there. When he calmed down at the station, he told the social worker that I stole his father's money and was keeping it from him. I got this directly from the social worker, a very nice young man who showed up at my door like Joan of Arc and who had to have a tour of this luxurious Armpit mansion and a personal call with my own lawyer before he would believe my side of the story. But then he apologized very sweetly and suggested I'd maybe want to file a restraining order.

They tracked down Taylor in some town in Istria, which apparently is where he is now, as Simon’s next of kin, and Taylor called Sandy, their mother, who lives in a condo in Arizona with her 80 year old husband. Corey says as long as somebody comes to pick him up and get him far out of town, he won't press charges. I think it was kind of exciting for Corey, plus there was all that free publicity he got on the news. It didn't do Morgenstern any harm either. Maggs says Ken saw him interviewed and is thinking of testing him for a part in a 40-part Viking miniseries that he’s developing for HBO. I guess everyone’s happy except for Simon. I could almost feel sorry for him, except that he’s a total spoiled shit.

So that was what we had for fireworks for 4th of July.

I have to go take another cold shower. The AC units in this house are pretty old and not all that great. I’m wondering how hard it would be to put in a few ceiling fans.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Starting All Over Again - Again

I’m working on my jetlag and still haven’t come down from my high : ), and I just had such a craving to stand on a table and cheer or something, and I thought of this blog. I really didn't think it was a year since the last time I did this, but then I looked and wow! it’s really even a little more!

You know, I really liked writing this blog. It just got to be too much work and for most of the year it's been all I can do to think of getting up in the morning and cutting a grapefruit in half. In the old days I would have gone to Dr. W_______ and gotten a prescription for Zoloft or something, but now with the bargain basement health insurance I'm not-really-affording, I'd be lucky to get seen in an ER if I was spurting blood. That is if there are any ERs any more. How scary was that, St. Vincents closing? I mean, it’s been ages since I lived down there, but I can’t imagine downtown without it. When I think of all the times I had to throw Robby or somebody into a cab …Ah, good times. Seriously, they were. Mostly.

Anyway, nothing good was happening. We couldn’t even get hold of old Wilber before he died of a major coronary down in Boca, so we never got to open “Hard to Be a Girl.” I mean, I couldn’t even get something going for charity, for God’s sake! That was a serious downer. Until it got too cold for the wine tours, Ed & Leonie had me helping out at their place on weekends, pouring for tastings and writing up orders and stuff. Which at least got me out of the house, and since I had to act all sociable kind of held off the worst. After that was done, I guess I basically hibernated. It was all I could do to just get through one day at a time with Jeff and Ed & Leonie checking in on me if I disappeared for too long.

Then all of a sudden, in March, it was like my stars shifted or something. First I get a call from Don, saying he wanted me to know they’d just closed on the place in Tahoe. Someone from BP, which shows how much timing counts, right? Anyway, if whoever it was is in the firing line now it’s not my problem – it’s his bank’s. Point is, between that and some of Gary’s portfolio turning around, it’s made a big dent in the estate debt pile. When we finally sell Bridgehampton I’ll actually end up with some cash in my pocket.

And meanwhile on that front, btw, that life coach friend of Ken and Maggs who rented it for two weeks last July decided it’s a great place to run retreats and took it for the whole season for an obscene amount money. Did I mention Maggs and Ken reconciled? After jfkdjfkdfj turned into a money machine, Ken decided it would be too expensive to get a divorce and anyway the MTA decided she was gay and moved in with….hey, I’m not here to gossip. I’ll just say it WASN’T Lindsay Lohan. So they made up, went to Budapest for his-and-hers tune-ups and are back on the red carpet like lovebirds or whatever people say these days.

Anyway, the Tahoe thing was cheering me up and I was starting to come out of my groundhog den, when I swear not two weeks later I get this email from Pozzo! If you’re a fan of mine, you probably also used to listen to Godot, so you’ll remember Pozzo. The bald bass player, with the waxed moustache? Turns out he’s been looking for me for ages and his kid (how scary is that?!) found me online thanks to my blog! Which is making me a major blog fan, let me tell you. Pozzo’s a music producer now, of course, and he was putting together a roster of events in Reykjavik for this summer. He asked if I would maybe want to come over for a week and hang with some old friends, his treat. Well, with all the volcanic ash thing, I was afraid to get too excited but of course I said yes. I mean, I haven’t been out of Armpit for more than a year, and Iceland is soooo great! Plus I’d get to see him and Vlad, and like a dozen others from the old club circuit. It was like having a fairy godfather or something. Troll? Is that more Icelandic? Don’t know, I’m embarrassed to say.

I just got back yesterday, and I am still buzzing from how great it was. 20 hour days (I’m too old to go without any sleep at all!), so much wonderful music, a few long theraputic soaks in the Blue Lagoon, all the hotdogs I could eat (no, that is not a double entendre; they have terrific hotdogs in Reykjavik!). I got to see so many faces that I didn’t even realize I missed. And I met some amazing people. Yes, I even got to meet Bjork, who was so welcoming and really great. Then to top it off, as you may have read on other people’s blogs (she said so not modestly!), there was this all day marathon event for Midsommer Night – music and bonfires – and suddenly there was Stu with a guitar! Stu Ball, of all people! Pozzo hadn’t told me, cause he wanted me to be surprised and believe me I was. If I hadn’t been drinking Brennivin all afternoon, I’d have have freaked! But instead I thought it was totally the coolest thing. And when Stu dragged me up on the stage and started playing “Hard to Be a Girl”, well, I just wailed it out! Then we did “You Say and You Do”, which was one that Stu and I wrote together. And finally, because we looked at each other and it just seemed right, “Greenland Isn’t Green.” They loved it! We had cheers and stomps and everything. It felt like a major transfusion, I can’t tell you.

Oh, it’s not going to last, I know that. It was a Cinderella night, and those kind of things are one shot. But so special. All that love out there – friends, fans -- under that beautiful blue grey purple sky. Thanks, Pozzo! I kiss you a million times!!!

And now I’m going to take a nap before I pass out :)