Today is my dad's 60th birthday. If I were more with it and on the ball, I would have set this to post at 3:13 AM, the minute he was born. Frankly, if I were with it and on the I'd have his actual present finished and ready to go. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.
So now, without further ado, 6 things I love about my dad, 1 for each decade of awesomeness.
6) He calls me every year at the exact minute I was born and says the following:
"'Betty Bear was so excited she could hardly sleep. It was her birthday.' Happy Birthday Betty Bear!"
(Betty Bear's Birthday was my favorite book when I was very small. I don't even remember reading it but he still knows the whole thing by heart. )
5) He is at once ridiculously proper and totally irreverent. He uses phrases like "daily ablutions" and "ladies foundation under garments," he stands when a lady enters a room or leaves the table and always carries an extra hankie. Then there's the side of him that does things like turn to you in the middle of a family wedding and whisper:
"Your mother and I didn't light a unity candle. We used a Bowie knife and had a ritual blood letting on the altar."
And then, because he's so well mannered, he's able to turn away and watch the rest of the ceremony while you're sitting there biting your tongue, holding your breath and digging your nails into your thighs in a desperate attempt to keep from laughing.
4) He's a triple threat. He can sing, he can dance and he can act. He's amazing. And intimidating. He also knows more about music, dance, theater and film then you do. No. Really. He does.
3) He's got style. Serious style. People stop him on the street. Style, panache and charm. It takes a special kind of guy who can pull off shocking pink trousers with green elephants. My Philadelphia lawyer father is perhaps the only man who can them look dignified and understated.
2) He is the reason we got the Disney Channel as kids. It wasn't so we could watch it, it was because they played the old Zorro and Davy Crockett TV shows at night. He loves Zorro and Davy Crockett.
1) Five years ago, in a conversation that lasted one minute and 37 seconds that he probably doesn't remember and I'll never forget, he gave me the biggest vote of confidence I've ever received. It's his voice I hear now when I have to drown out the voices that say, "you're no good," "you can't do this," "who do you think you're fooling?"
Indiom [in-dee-uhm] –noun (derived from the english word idiom) a figure of speech or a colloquial term or phrase whose meaning cannot be deduced by the literal translation or arrangement of its words. An indiom can be a reordering of the words that make up recognized idioms; the use of several words to describe an existing word; the misuse of an idiom or word in a way that makes it mean something radically different and/or hilarious. Indioms are typically coined by Indian-born men over the age of 60.
For example, when discussing the death of Jack Kemp this spring, Dr Sharma had this to say,
So, last night I was walking home down 5th Ave. I spied a tall man in blue jeans with long, curly grey hair. "Who does that guy think he is, Billy Connolly?" Alas, it was! Yes! So, Billy Connolly! Strolled 6 blocks down 5th Ave, he and I. Nice legs, Billy. Oh Billy!
So much easier to come home when your bell rings early Sunday morning with friends bearing gifts- oj, coffee, the paper and a bottle of Moet. Oh, and Sam Cooke on the stereo.
Not bad. Not bad at'all.
--- In other news: Check out the front pg of the automobile sections. Cadillac station wagon! Be still my beating heart! Before I ever wanted a Mercedes wagon, I wanted a Cadillac.
Perhaps dreams really do come true.
Edited to add: Once again, my Guy Friday comes through: If you can wait for it, we could go halvsies on a CTV-S Wagon. You'd get a non-conformist leather lined grocery getter.I'd get a super charged 550 bhp baloney smoker.
A man among men you are, my friend. A man among men.
I rarely use names, but for once I'll make an exception.
At this very moment, Miriam and I are sitting in her living room singing Whitney Houston and Bryan Adams songs. Not at the top our lungs but rather under our breaths. You see, John has gone to bed and we don't want to wake him.
Getting along famously has to be the best way to get along. Don't you agree?
It’s been nearly 4 years and I’m still not over Wendy Wasserstein’s death.
Strange, I know.
It’s not as though we ever met. We didn’t have a weekly, monthly or, hell, even annual date. It’s not as though October 22 rolls around every year and I think, “oh, Wendy and I would have been doing X today.”
Still, there’s a Wendy sized hole in my life.
I remember reading my first Wendy essay—Shiksa Goddess. I think, though I could be wrong, that the essay was published around the time Jamie Lee Curtis starred in the film version of the Heidi Chronicles. As an aside, I thought that the Heidi Chronicles was the true story of Heidi Fleiss. It’s not.
Anyway, she was just there. For about 13 years. I read her plays and her essays, bought her books. I grew up- graduated from college, moved abroad, fell in love, had my heart broken, fell in love again and had my heart broken (again) moved to New York, got a job, lost a job, got a new job and re-read her plays and essays. She was always there.
And then she wasn’t.
When she died her tributes spoke volumes, especially about her friendships. One woman commented that she was a “new friend,” she’d only known Wendy for 25 years. The quote that came up again and again was:
You can judge the quality of a woman by how long she keeps her friends
Well. I suppose you can. So Wendy died and I reached out to an old friend to whom I hadn’t spoken in years. Our mothers have been friends since the early 60s, we’d been very close and fallen out not with a bang but with a whimper. As chance would have it, she happened to be living at home for a year. So I called and we started talking and it was awkward at first but we got through it. And now she lives in New York and is an actress and we meet for brunch or movies or dinner or coffee or whatever and it occurs to me that we are now doing the sorts of things that Wendy’s characters were doing when I started reading her almost 20 years ago.
So I guess I’m sad because I won’t have Wendy to tell me how the story ends. Guess I’ll have to figure that one out on my own.
It had been, until this weekend, a very long time since: I've scaled a fence Had security called to a hotel room at 3am due to noise complaints Started a quote list because everything we said was just too funny Lost my voice screaming at a football game
S.E.C. Football and tailgating in GA is pretty amazing.
We have a pretty even distribution of labor in my household.
From each according to her ability, to each according to her need. Or something like that. Except without the bad Soviet hair cuts and drab clothing.
This works well and keeps things moving swiftly along. We each have our own duties and roles suited to our own strengths and weaknesses.
I, for instance, am in charge of removing all manner of insects and creepy crawlies. Also, spraying Raid in the cracks and crevices of our abode.
My roomates, on the other hand, are in charge of dealing with any and all snakes that may enter the apartment (yes, I know I live in New York City but snakes are scary) and any and all ghosts.
I'm not kidding.
Things that go bump in the night? When my over active imagination takes charge and I'm 100% certain that there is a serial killer hiding in our bathtub hidden by the shower curtain? All them. They also understand my fear of showering when I'm home alone and are perfectly willing to scream, "I'm home! And I'm not going to go all Norman Bates on you!" as they walk in the door.
In Which I Fall Deeper into Cliche or I think I need to Punch Myself in the Face.
So, I work in fashion. The majority of my clothes are black, white or camel. I own more pairs of black tights than dresses and have a different black dress for every day of the week. And a pair of black flats to match each one. I live in the West Village and know more gay men than straight.
I want a cat desperately but refuse to get one because, well, I just can't.
Today. Today, though I slipped to a new and dangerously dark low.
I went to Starbucks for coffee. I don't do it all the time but these are the times that try a girl's soul and desperate times call for desperate measures. I wanted the flavor of a latte with nutmeg and cinnamon on top. I needed more of a kick than that. So I, no joke, stepped up to the counter and ordered the following:
"I'd like a medium Americano cafe au lait."
I had to explain how to make it.
Then, when they didn't do it correctly, I asked them to dump it out and re-make it as I stood at the counter and gave them step by step instructions.
I tried to be as nice as possible while telling people how to do their job. I'm properly embarrassed and left a $5 tip.
What with Jude Law sightings and Gwyneth Paltrow drive bys and its most recent mention in the Style section, the Standard is this year's Gansevoort (as an aside, perhaps one day I'll throw champagne off the roof of this hotel, too!). As such, the paparazzi camp out in front of the entrance.
It's not unusual, I see them all the time. Generally they don't give me the time of day.
Last night must have been a slow night. As I ran past 2 or 3 of the guys started screaming, "Smile, pretty girl!"
Right. File this under "best laid plans." It was a winter's day in New York City.
A Tuesday I think. Perhaps a Wednesday. Mid-week. Grey. Wet. Rough day at the office. You get the idea.
Anyway, I decided it was a pizza kind of night. I went to Arturo's and picked up a large mushroom pie and a 6 pack of Heinekin. Figured I'd bring it home and surprise my roomates with dinner. Got home, opened a beer, put the oven on warm, took a slice for myself and put the rest of the pie in the oven (can you guess where this went sideways?).
Some 10-15 minutes later I smelled smoke. Went into the kitchen and saw flames jumping out the top of the oven. I managed to pull the flaming box out of the oven and got it in the sink. The flames set the paper towel roll and the dish drying rack as well as the wooden spoon on fire.
Fortunately I had a full brita filter of water and was able to put out the fire. Unfortunately, I lost the pizza. Fortunately, I still had 5 beers left.
And that, is the story of how I set my apartment on fire.