Susan got stung by a wasp twice in less than a minute. Ow! Ow!
As she was being attacked by a swarm of two or less wasps she used her awesome shrieking powers in combination with a crazy dual arm protective flailing motion while running away.

Susan's never been stung by anything except skeeters. It may have been payback for an earlier incident in which she murdered a family of wasps. Who knows. She ended up smashing this one too.

Susan's assessment of wasp stings are that they hurt more than skeeter bites but they don't itch for days, which is a plus because she's still scratching a bite from two days ago.

Beware wasps! You have now made an enemy of Susan.


Susan was bewitched by this photograph of a raw vegan carrot cake from This Rawsome Vegan Life and made it even though she knew no one in her family would eat it.
Other than Susan's cake not being quite as tall, nor all tarted up with pecans and pumpkin seeds, it looked exactly the same.

Her son the wrestler flat out refused to try it telling her you lost me at vegan. The daughter took a forkful then just ate the icing. The husband surprised Susan by eating his whole slice declaring it flavorful but sweet.

Susan thinks her cake more closely resembled a chewy lemon-carrot-coconut cheesecake, although the only thing it had to do with cheesecake was that it must stay refrigerated.

She chopped off a quarter of the cake and took it along to her friend Sharon's, submitting it for an opinion. Sharon took a bite, then another, said she liked it but Susan's going to check her fridge next time she's over and see if it's still in there.

Two days later Susan served a piece to her little sister, who ate it concurrently with a slice of German apple cake to balance the sweetness. Susan applauds her strategy of eating two pieces of cake because one was too sweet.


This is Susan's unemployment office. If she's home sitting on her ass, here's where she does it.

From this seat she listens to the birds singing, the leaves whispering with the summertime breeze, helicopters ferrying folks out to the Hamptons and her children declaring that there's no food in the house. Most recently this is where she pedicured herself, had an 84 minute conversation with her parents then figured out how to get a picture from her phone over to her laptop.
All important undertakings.

Susan calculated that today is her 46th day of unemployment. Running the household minus her former paycheck has guaranteed a sour temperament from the housebound daughter. So, Susan took her out to two local towns with main streets. Susan loves towns with main streets! Notice how she ended that sentence with an exclamation point to emphasize how serious she is?

The first town they visited is where Susan attends her Department of Labor workshops. At first glance it seemed promising, but other than a coffee house with ample seating & an adorable but overpriced natural food store, there was not much to hold the girls' interest so they took a pretty drive along a secondary road to the next town, which is also home to a wonderful famous person.

The second town had a tight little main street filled with gently worn clapboard facades. The girls went in to a tiny, fragrant & friendly health food store where Susan chatted up the owner and spent an extravagant $7.29 on a box of lemon, ginger and mankuna honey tea along with a bar of African Black Soap chosen by the daughter. They went around the corner to an even teenier little ice cream parlor & candy shop where Susan observed a seventy-ish woman walk over from the beauty parlor still adorned with the protective cape and head filled with hair dye. The woman handed over a small package of chocolate covered graham crackers to the teenage cashier as repayment for a two dollar debt loaned earlier in the day. She said the crackers were a favorite when she was a girl. Turning to leave she pulled out a banana, held it up to hear ear like a telephone and instructed I told you never to call me when I was in the ice cream parlor then walked out the door.
Susan would kill for that sort of neighbor at home.

Their final stop was to the United Methodist thrift shop a little farther down the block. This is a fave of Susan's because she always manages to dig deep enough to unearth something neat. Her most magically inspired purchase was probably fifteen years earlier when Aunt Eileen sent Susan out to locate a ceramic coffee filter holder for her friend Linda. You sit it on a coffee cup, fit it with a paper filter, fill it with ground coffee & pour boiling water over it for a single cup of fresh coffee. Susan said she would keep her eyes peeled for such a thing and then found it that same week at the UM thrift shop. For a quarter.

Susan ended the day by almost throwing up in public. She may delve more deeply into that later, but not now.


Susan had a full day yesterday.
It started with another in a series of fights with her daughter over nonsense, and by nonsense she means passive aggressive bullsh*t instigated by a sixteen year old because of who knows why, certainly not Susan.

The fight sucked up a lot of energy so Susan took a shower, made some snacks for later, accompanied her pal Sharon to purchase white paint, cleaned ants out of her cupboards, then attended a Tupperware party hosted by Aunt Barbara.

Here's Aunt Barbara:
She's a sassy lady and the top seller of plastic crap in the northeast
Aunt Barbara's also a little near-sided because she mistook Susan for Julianne Moore.

Sorry Susan's real Aunt Eileen and Aunt Maryann, you're out. Barbara's her new fave.

Ed. note: Susan's friend Sharon would like it noted that the ants were cleaned out of Susan's cupboard, not Sharon's. Sharon feels that point was not clearly made back in paragraph two.


"You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”


Little sister remarked recently that Susan likes to hibernate. Can Susan help it if she enjoys being home? That's where all her stuff is. She likes getting out and going places too but she can be just as happy having nothing to do.

During periods of personal financial constraint it's good that Susan likes to stay home and do nothing. Of course, she doesn't really do nothing, but it's usually such a low-impact something that it's often mistaken for nothing.

Today she baked real bread with yeast then used a long neglected pint of heavy cream to make butter. Some funny people she knows inquired (a) what she was milking for the butter and (b) if she were wearing a bonnet.

Susan was all set to enjoy her first attempt at fresh bread, however that's not what she made. The daughter suggested it was similar to a project her brother completed in middle school; an inedible wartime biscuit made of flour & salt. The kid was right.


Susan and her daughter went out to the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, that's Hamptons traffic, guys. Summer Hamptons.

Susan was all excited because Maya Lin had two geographical installations exhibited, it didn't make much difference that they were both like eh, Susan's still a fan. During the magical time when Susan worked in NYC she showed countless people Maya's overhead clock in Penn Station.
Anyway, here are Maya Lin's contributions:
On the way in Susan drove right past these two Roy Lichtenstein sculptures:
The museum is grandly simple in style with wood post, beam & truss construction (she looked that up), big windows, poured concrete walls, a mod restroom and tight little gift shop.
Be good or you'll have to sit outside on the concrete bench:

Susan adored this Louise Nevelson composition of wooden junk painted black, her daughter did not:
 Susan also liked this six foot tall silkscreen by Chuck Close:
The BIG lemon by Donald Sultan:
And this nerdy lithograph by Alex Katz:
During their trip Susan and her daughter established an unalterable rule: they must never be in each other's company while hungry.

Lastly, Susan remembers this as a teenager, click HERE.


Susan and her daughter took Lucy the pitbull for a walk on the beach.
You see those sandy overgrown cliffs filled with poison ivy? That's how they got up and down. Please note that's just the bottom half in the picture. Nonetheless, it was a lovely solitary walk and a strenuous uphill climb on a gray summer day.

Susan hasn't been doing anything exciting this summer, certainly nothing crazy like going on a vacation, but she's been making ice pops like her life depended on it.
Ice pops, ice pops, ice pops!
She bought a nice Zoku pop mold and immediately got inspired to use coconut milk and mango, then she added herbs.  Unfortunately the black bean chocolate fudgesicle didn't go over very well with the family but she got back on track with fig jam & yogurt pops and blueberry, cardamom & cream from the people's pops cookbook. And, how come no one ever told Susan about Coco Lopez? It's like a can of thick, sweet coconut heaven.

Other than making ice pops, Susan's also been watching Orange Is The New Black with her son, planning equally economical activities with her daughter, slaving away at her resume and following the deterioration of Bey & Jay's marriage.


Susan and her family went to the Brooklyn Museum to observe the daughter's 16th birthday. Originally the kid didn't want to do anything but she changed her mind because she's been there before and "they have a good gift shop".

They had some pretty neat stuff in there, like Kara Walker's silhouettes:
Susan was delighted to find some paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe:
Both she and her kids liked this installation by Swoon:

How about this cheeky painting of The Sculptor :
And his neighbor, this lady:
And this fella:
And then she liked all this stuff too:


And lastly, this thing which was made entirely from corn kernels and corn byproducts:


Susan and her daughter were five minutes into a seventy five minute drive when the daughter said she was thirsty.

What's the matter with you we just left the house if you were thirsty why didn't you bring something to drink I'm not stopping to spend money because you're not smart enough to know that you'll want something to drink on the ride didn't I just ask you to count all the singles in my purse and saw that I only had twenty two dollars you do this all the time I'm really frustrated with you!

After Susan's little tirade she saw that they were directly opposite a ubiquitous convenience store. She considered the heat of the day and how she wanted her daughter to love her and asked You want a Slurpee? The Slurpee idea changed everything for Susan from anger to chilled happiness. They went inside to get their Slurpees when the daughter asked if she could get a sandwich.

OMG we're not even out of the house five minutes you know it's a long drive why didn't you eat before we left I can't spend money on food because you have no imagination to open up the refrigerator and find something to eat this is the last time I am buying you something to eat immediately after we've left the house so I hope you enjoy it I'm not kidding this is the LAST TIME get your sandwich and go up to the register!

Susan was aware that she sounded like a pathetic wretch to everyone within earshot but didn't care, she kept the volume of her voice to a minimum but not her exasperated tone. The total expenditure, although small, was one third of the cash in her wallet, a point she made to the daughter once they were outside. Not wanting to alienate the kid any further Susan engaged her in a normal conversation and worked out a Plan of Correction to effectively prepare for a car ride so that her mother would never have to pull out money again.


Susan has been cycling through her own personal stages of unemployment.
First was (1) Overwhelming Relief followed immediately by
(2) Medical Appointment Scheduling
(3) Work Friend Isolation Syndrome (ongoing)
(4) Big Decision Reconsideration
(5) Pantry Reorganization
and now she is up to (6) Lists.

Susan makes lists whenever she has a need to stabilize herself or has a bunch of stuff to do in a short amount of time. First on Susan's list was her diet.

She's been feeling lethargic lately which is a dangerous condition for someone who is already a low-energy personality so she put together a list of healthier things to eat for breakfast. Susan won't bore you with what they were (shout out to Cousin Lisa) but they're all better options than mixing chocolate chips directly into a jar of peanut butter.

After her breakfast list Susan made a very nice bundt cake with the blueberries attracting fruit files in her kitchen.

Susan dug out an unused notebook into which she transferred her breakfast list. Then she added her free things to do this summer list which was established even before there was a hint of unemployment in her life. It's a good list because there's always free things for Susan to do involving music or outdoor movies as long as she doesn't mind figuring out where she's going to park.

The next list she's going to tackle is her daily schedule because right now she has none.


Susan's beloved Cousin Lisa was not a fan of Susan's previous post, she advised Susan via text that reading about her pantry was boring and suggested a more weighty topic, to share the conversations Susan is having with her son as he gets ready to leave for sleep away college.

Susan would characterize her son as being under communicative. From at least age twelve he has maintained a steadfast creedo of non disclosure, routinely employing the effective 'I don't know' blow-off when asked about anything. He provides one word answers and admonishes her with 'I told you already' if she asks the same thing twice which she often does because her memory is afflicted with advancing decrepitude. Since that time, if she wanted to squeeze from him the teeniest little drop of personal information Susan would have to begin plotting weeks in advance. She was most successful when he was tired, but even then she would have to be very stealth lest he figure out that they were talking.

Unemployment has opened up Susan's availability around the house and a happy side benefit has been the increased number of conversations with both her children on a variety of topics.

The other evening Susan's son described for her, in punishing detail, the plot line of the new Planet of the Apes movie, even though she gave every indication that she was disinterested. Of late he's been more forthcoming with information about social events he's attended, including but not limited to; who was there, what they were doing and if they were drinking. When asked, he'll oblige her with a brief synopsis of that day's goings on at his part time camp counseling gig. 

Susan has also been riding shot gun while he practices his driving giving her the opportunity to sneak in more conversation. They've discussed music, which of his friends' parents he connects with (and a possible topic for an upcoming BLAHg post), the differences in each of his gym workouts, how he plans to use his summer earnings, what he thinks of his sister and father and the standard inquiry about what Susan is preparing for dinner.

Susan doesn't chat like best friends with either of her children because they do not allow her to do so. What she offers them, and what she believes they value, is her interest in their lives and her largely undivided attention.

Butt, who nose.


Sometimes Susan's mental resolve weakens & she finds herself thinking OMG, I'm unemployed! 
Susan would like to establish that overall, she prefers to be employed. However, during this specific period of her life she is going to enjoy a bit of unemployment and get her balance back.

Susan finds it soothing to organize things. The fact that nothing stays that way has no bearing on the process. Actually, it's not accurate to say that things don't stay organized, because many things in her house do. The bedroom closet and kitchen cabinets are always in exemplary shape, the pantry is another scene entirely. It's an orgy of unrelated items piled on top of each other, co-mingling without any regard for decency.

The pantry is located behind bi-fold doors in her dining room. Her kitchen and dining room are technically rooms, but more closely resemble spaces one must pass through on the way out the back door. Susan's pantry also houses the washer & dryer and must hold laundry supplies as well as all manner of food, lesser used kitchen appliances such as the rice cooker and juicer as well as cook books, light bulbs, batteries, recycled newspapers and dog food. Bulky items such as extra paper goods are stored in the basement, but sometimes Susan forgets what she has down there and frivolously buys more.

Ever since the first day she stayed home from Acme Sweatshop she'd been eyeballing the pantry. Last week it became too much for her to ignore so she tore it apart.

It took the entire day, and then some, but at the end her unemployed brain was soothed and she had a place to keep her mostaccioli separated from her mayo.

Up next; Susan cleans her refrigerator!


The day after Susan's little backyard party for her son found her wandering the landscape of her yard like a zombied hostess collecting all the borrowed tables, chairs & coolers for return to their owners. There was very little trash because the party guests, including the teenagers, cleaned up after themselves, which is what civilized people do.

There was nothing fancy about the party, Susan made most of the food herself and even forgot a central component of the dessert, shortcake for the strawberries, but no one noticed because they were topped with cream whipped five minutes prior to serving. There were a few other failures, such as her panforte and inability to keep the food hot, but this did not deter her guests from eating everything except some grilled pineapple slices. 

Susan maintained a relaxed posture with her guests all afternoon which was directly proportionate to the amount of yelling at her family she had done that morning.

Special thanks go out to Susan's next door neighbor KB, who made a wonderful spinach & strawberry salad including a dressing which had to be prepared twenty four hours in advance. 

And to Cousin Greg for crawling underneath Susan's kitchen sink to tighten her faucet after asking 'What's with this faucet?'. He also bestowed an awesome gift of tequila in a bottle so large it could not fit in Susan's bar.

Teenage guest, Mike showed up after dark with a box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts resulting in eight grown-ups licking chocolate from their fingers in record time.

           *               *               *               *

Susan spent her Party Recovery Sunday moving very slowly, doing very little, staying within collapsing distance of the couch.


Susan opened a kitchen cabinet and five glass bowls stacked in descending size flung themselves downward ("Hey!") exploding on her fancy granite counter top.

This was no safety glass. Shanks and shards flew from the kitchen to the dining room.

Mercifully, Susan got only one small cut but the cleanup involved a three step process;
a straight edge was employed to sweep the debris directly into a big black contractor's garbage bag,
then the cumbersome wet-dry vac,
lastly, a series of wet paper towels to wipe up the sparkly glass dust.

There were no casualties beyond the glass bowls. Spared was the the brand new candy thermometer used for the panforte Susan made last night and the French press filled with hot coffee, a mug for which Susan originally opened the cabinet.

Does the last part of that sentence sound right? Susan opened the cabinet to get a mug and the sh*t fell on top of her.

The husband claimed responsibility for improperly stacking the glass bowls, Susan forgave him and they had coffee.


Susan is hosting a backyard graduation party for her son next weekend.
Her entertaining skills have improved over the years, but she still sought advice from veteran hostesses such as her little sister and friend, Sharon. Susan has also consulted the world wide web for inspiration but sadly encountered a preponderance of things like this:
There's no way this sort of OCD barbecue sh*t is happening in Susan's backyard.

She will cut the grass, borrow chairs, throw checkered bed sheets over the buffet tables, make delicious sangria & pulled pork, ensure she has enough disposable utensils, fill up the tikki torches and tart up her basement in case it rains and she has to throw half of her party guests down there.


Susan has not yet established a schedule for her summer of unemployment beyond taking the extra time to French press her coffee and sitting outside in the cool morning shade to drink it while a wasp of decent size buzzes by several times an hour to search for his murdered family.

Susan is still happily content to do nothing for the time being, although when the husband asked what are you doing today? she experienced the teeniest little flutter of guilt.

Susan is not one for guilt. She often admonishes her sisters for needlessly tormenting themselves over nonsense.
You feel guilty because you left the baby with your mother in law and enjoyed time alone with your spouse? You feel guilty because you ate something sugary and delicious? You feel guilty because you worked hard for something and can afford it?
Knock it off girls.

Anyway, Susan is rejecting guilt and going to make fig jam instead.


Susan is aware that she has traded the quality of her BLAHg posts for quantity and thanks everyone for pretending like they didn't notice. She hopes you find the minutiae of her quiet life charming, and are prepared to endure it for an unspecified period of time longer.

Today as she sat outside in the breezy quiet of the morning, listening to the birds, enjoying her coffee, appreciating the serenity of doing nothing, she noticed a wasp buzzing above her head. 

Susan was situated beneath a set of bamboo wind chimes hanging from the patio umbrella. They aren't so much chimes as they are a set of hollow pipes which knock into each other in the breeze and make a gentle, natural sound. The wasp had a long piece of dried grass and disappeared up one of the bamboo pipes.
Uh oh.
When a second wasp came buzzing around Susan jumped up in a panic, doused the wasps with bug spray and threw the chimes into the pool. Six or seven little wasp babies floated out of their former crib along with a parent. Susan fished them out of the pool and stomped them to death. After her righteous killing spree ended she set her attention to blasting the wasp nest out of her gentle wind chimes with the garden hose. Out shot a bunch of dead little bright green crickets.

Susan temporarily hung a set of bell chimes where the bamboo had been and for the rest of the day watched wasps buzzing around looking for their former domicile before flying off.


Susan's day began at the awesome hour of 5 am so she could drink the second part of her colonoscopy prep. Everyone at the doctors' office was nice to her and afterward the husband took her out for a proper breakfast; a sausage sandwich & cup of coffee.
Has Susan mentioned that she likes sausage?
Well she does.
She was not allowed to operate machinery or make any important decisions for the rest of the day, so she went home and sat in the sun, reading, napping and passing gas instead.


Susan spent a beautiful summer Sunday in the house preparing for her colonoscopy on Monday.
First, and most horribly, she was not allowed to eat solid food! The husband was no help at all saying ridiculous things like, don't overreact.
Go f*ck yourself, Susan thought. She can't eat! Of course she's going to overreact.

Susan was restricted to clear liquids including water, juice without pulp and Jello. Nothing red or blue. She may also have popsicles and hard candy, big deal.
Susan sent the husband out for miso and wonton soups from which she strained anything remotely resembling actual food.  She drank her juice, ate her Jello and sucked her Werther's until 5:30 pm when she began drinking 32 ounces of osmotic laxative.
It took a little more than two hours to take effect.

Other things she did while not eating real food for an entire day;
Rubbed Lucy's belly
Made a plan for her daughter's 16th birthday next month
Read the newspapers
Made ravioli from wonton wrappers
Watched a documentary about the High Line
Enjoyed a pop in visit from her niece.


Let's all congratulate Susan's son the wrestler, he's now a High School graduate!

Editor's note: This is the only picture containing Susan in which she did not look like a matronly version of her youthful self.


Susan's parents, the Old Folks are back home now, but last week during one of their two hour breakfasts Susan's old man told her the story of Two Four Victor.

Back in the days before Susan's dad met Susan's mom he drove a NYC bus and took flight training at Teterboro airport. One morning while he was getting ready to go to work he heard on the radio that a plane had landed on Broadway in upper Manhattan at two in the morning. The story was that it landed there as a bet.

Coincidentally, his bus route took him right past the spot where the plane was sitting, taking up two parking spots in front of the precinct house. He said that the wings were off the plane & tied to the side as if they were handcuffed.
At his next lesson he learned that plane was Two Four Victor, the same one he had flown two days earlier.

Susan thought that was a great story. Her dad is filled with charming little anecdotes about people and circumstances. She told him 'I bet there's a picture of that plane' and opened up her laptop.
Susan's no genius with the computer, that's more her little sister's domain, but it took her exactly thirty seconds to find this story:
Click HERE!


The CEO is Dead

Susan resigned from Acme Sweatshop this week.

Susan is at peace with her decision even though quitting without having another gig lined up may appear a little insane. She believes herself to be entitled to this sabbatical and alternates between feeling happily relaxed and somewhat untethered.
It's very unusual for her not to be working.
She has replaced those 40 + hours by slicing her thumb while using a sharp knife, driving around with the sunroof open, figuring out how to make pulled pork, scheduling a colonoscopy and missing her co-workers.

Susan's wardrobe also reflects her non-working status. She wears what she calls her Backyard Collection, a less ironed, more lived in version of her work clothes. The only criteria is that she look good and not be afraid to ruin anything when she sits down on a dirty Adirondack chair.
Everyone knows how Susan feels about looking unkempt. There's no reason for it.
Yesterday, while sitting outside the bank waiting for her son to deposit his $12.99 income tax return, she observed a standard issue mom from her neighborhood; sloppy, hair a mess, dressed like a bum climbing into an expensive SUV.
Ladies, is this how we want to represent ourselves?

Join Susan as she navigates her Summer of Unemployment and see which of her standards she lowers.


Susan is aware that she promised to write a paragraph a day, but her parents have been in town since last week messing up her schedule. She's not accustomed to the loosey gooseyness of their day which starts with a two hour breakfast because it takes her old man half that time to gnaw through his bagel. No plans are made before noon, but the earliest anyone really gets out of the house is 1:30pm.

This time management handicap not withstanding, they've done some good stuff like;
Gone to see the Big Duck
Visited a few points along the Culper Spy Trail
Walked a beautiful wooded park
and listened to bluegrass while eating ice cream.


Susan's poison ivy has almost completely disappeared and been replaced with a general itchiness all over her body. She's not sure if it's an actual medical condition or a manifestation of the extra thinking her brain has been doing about life and stuff.

Regardless, it's itchy.

The husband had been pushing Susan to pop some Benadryl but it makes her jumpy, so she stuck with the itching. But, the itching is insane. When she's not scratching she's thinking about scratching.

Eventually she could no longer stand it and ate the pill. It had a minimal effect on the itching but made her feel simultaneously lethargic and anxious, an unpleasant combination.
She slathered on the cortisone cream and went about her business.

This week Susan is hosting her parents, catching up on her medical appointments, seeing people, doing things and getting ready for her immediate future.
All good things.


Susan's daughter's sez that all her friends refer to Susan as 'The CEO'.
She assumes this is because the daughter has portrayed her mother as a professional person with some measure of responsibility. It could also be based on the fact that they've never met her because she's always working.

Anyway, Susan got a kick out of this moniker. She's often scrambling to keep up at Acme Sweatshop and any progress she makes is only temporary. She has not let this dissuade her. Every day she gets up, tries her hardest, works late, then comes home to a family that has lived their day without her.

Who recognizes the definition of insanity in this pattern?

The CEO took a couple of unscheduled days off and has spent her time opening windows, chatting in a relaxed manner with her children, scrubbing two bathrooms top to bottom, cutting late blooming lilacs for her table, reconnecting with friends, cooking dinner and considering what direction she wants her life to take.


Susan lives in an area teeming with poison ivy, she keeps it off her property by pointing it out to the husband who kills it with chemicals. However, it's an invasive little f*cker and they must make monthly patrols to ensure eradication because Susan is super allergic.

Two weeks ago Susan shaved her legs. She really hates this chore because she has delicate flower petal skin, but she understands the necessity during warm weather when her prickly legs are exposed for anyone to rub up against. 

In no time Susan had a poison ivy rash across the front of her left leg. By the next day it had exploded into an attention grabbing purpley red mass twice in size. Susan controlled the itch with a paste of baking soda and water but she couldn't control the horrified stares from family and co-workers. Recommendations that she go to the doctor were laughed off, her strategy was to ignore the leg until it returned to normal. 

Then her ankle swelled. 

Over the weekend Susan attended a family event and kept the spectacle hidden under a pair of black pants. When eagle-eyed aunt Eileen caught sight of it she cornered Susan and shamed her into making a doctor's appointment.

On Monday, Susan's 54th birthday, she went to the doctor and got a cortisone shot in her ass. Then she filled a prescription for some methylprednisolone, slathered her spectacle with cortisone cream and went to work. That night little sister and the available members of her family came over to celebrate and give Susan presents. 

In the morning Susan's husband brushed his teeth with her cortisone cream.


On Sunday morning Susan received a voicemail from a woman with a heavy black accent who said;
'Hannah, mama died, I'm not going to church.'


Susan has lopsided balance in her life.
She loves to BLAHg yet doesn't. She toils in service for Acme Sweatshop yet still gets in trouble. She's overdue for almost every medical test she should maintain. She doesn't bake. She barely keeps in touch with anyone and has no effective method of remembering birthdays, which is really lame because it's the easiest thing in the world.
Susan's not in a depression or anything, she's just in an extended lethargy. She can fix it, she just has to decide that she wants to.
She's going to start by BLAHging every day. Just a paragraph, but every day.
See you all again tomorrow.


Susan drove into Brooklyn, USA to visit her girlfriend, GP.
A week earlier GP had driven to Brooklyn from South Dakota to visit her son's family; six people and a mother in law in a narrow apartment.

Susan loves driving in to Brooklyn because she gets to see the Manhattan skyline, a bunch of bridges, the Statue of Liberty and some inner city graffiti. She also has a history of snagging great parking spots. She's talking like directly across the street from her destinations or no more than a one block walk from a very well attended street fair. And it's not like Brooklyn isn't crawling with bearded hipster men in ill fitting clothes with full color back tattoos and infants swaddled against their chest in hippie slings taking up parking spots. Because there are. There's tons of 'em.

Susan and GP ate Indian food, fried dough covered in powdered sugar, ducked into cute little Park Slope shops with cute little over priced things and enjoyed each other's company enough to hold them till the next trip.


It's been ten days since Susan crash landed on her living room floor, she's been stiff, bruised and sore ever since. Her ribs took the biggest hit and as a result she hasn't been able to sleep in her preferred position; curled up on her left side like a little green inchworm. Instead, she sleeps flat on her back, stretched completely straight, and when she wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to roll over she can't because it hurts.

The bruise on her hip started out the size of a fist. After four days it exploded into a purple splotch shaped like a steak. It was pretty intense. Now it's simmering down and is only about half a steak with a bump.

Discomfort notwithstanding, Susan has only eaten a half dozen Advil and they weren't all at once.


Susan and her son were horsing around in the living room, he's eighteen with a wrestler's physique and she's an old mom chancing a broken bone. Shortly after the son's cell phone hit the floor and Susan faked like she was going to stomp on it she found herself flying sideways through the air. She's not sure what happened, but her brain sped through a checklist of everything in her way and she knew it was going to hurt.

She crashed into it all and slammed to the floor.

The son and husband were on her in a flash, but Susan was in no condition to move. Lucy the dog came over and licked her face, Susan didn't care, her only thought was of an old bottle of Vicodin she found in a kitchen cabinet yesterday.

After a few minutes of wondering if she had broken anything other than the IKEA table, Susan was hoisted to her feet nauseous and in pain. She limped out the back door to get air, and to make sure she could walk.

The pain was concentrated in two areas; her left hip & ribs. Nothing was poking out, so that was a relief, but she couldn't take a deep breath or bend without wincing then crying. The hip turned a purpley black and was quite impressive getting a wow! from the daughter. The son stuck around long enough to wait for his ride to the movies then he was gone.

Feel better soon, Susan.


Susan did a shockingly uncivilized thing today, she ate a cookie while sitting on the toilet.
She's never done that before and can't guarantee she won't do it again.


Susan received three gifts today!
The first was an envelope from her boss which she has not yet opened because she forgot it under a pile of debris on her desk.
The second was a cigar (Cuban seeds, rolled in the D.R.)
Third was a commercial gel ant killer.


Susan has ants in her house, which aren't the worst things to have crawling around, but they're a bit of a nuisance.
Here are some places Susan has found ants:
  • In the bathroom sink
  • On the kitchen counter
  • In the coffee machine
  • In the sugar bowl
  • On her sandwich
  • On her computer screen
  • On her person


The neighbors directly across the street from Susan were evicted yesterday morning and as a result there is a tremendous amount of sh*t at the curb, except that Susan's neighborhood doesn't have curbs, so it's all piled up in the street.
Most of the night cars pulled up and carted off pieces of the pile including a fella with half his ass cleavage hanging out. Susan tried to take his picture but wasn't quick enough.
Normally, Susan would have been right there with them, but it looked more like a hoarder's pile and Susan's already got a few of her own at home.


Susan fed her family tofu for dinner.

And they ate it.


Susan saw this picture of Lou Reed and was thunderstruck by his cool beauty.

Just look at him.

He appears to be styled from the garbage pail yet could go anywhere in his outfit. Susan wants to get a see through plastic top now.

(She's kidding).

Instead, maybe she'll put his picture up on her bedroom wall so she can stare at it like a teenager.

Have a cool Sunday, everybody.


Who's up for some more Gwynnie?
Susan is!

It seems Gwynnie made some dopey comments and the awesome NY Post treated it's readers to this cheeky letter written by an articulate working mom in response.
Comparing herself to a mom with a 9-5 job she actually said "It's much harder for me"

Gwynnie, you can't say stuff like that without expecting to get crushed.

Not everything out of Susan's mouth is smart either, but she manages to keep it contained to just the people she sez it to.


Another great love affair down the crapper.
Click HERE and read all about it.

Or, you can click HERE and purchase some really expensive stuff.
Unnecessarily expensive.

Or HERE and learn how to make a michelada, which is actually good to know.

And then you can click HERE and make a little snack to accompany it.



In the last 36 hours, between bitterness and self mandated enthusiasm, Susan saw these actual signs of seasonal rebirth:

Her fig tree has leaves!
Susan's fig tree spent the winter downstairs in a big pot. Prior to that it was in the living room, and before that it was outside her front door. She checked on it last week and it looked as dead as the Greek lady who sold it to her told her it would look. But, yesterday morning she went down there and it had leaves.

In her mind Susan heard her dead nanny declaring; Well, glory be!

Second were the green things pushing themselves up through the ground at the library. Susan was on her way to get some David Bowie music and took notice of what will likely end up being crocuses.

Lastly, Susan's son the wrestler flattened a mosquito in the hallway.


Susan's going to take a break from being bitter, even though she's totally in the mood for bitterness, to welcome Spring. There are absolutely no signs of Spring in Susan's neighborhood; just pot holes and a bit of filth covered snow around the corner. Plus, it's still cold.
Regardless, she's going to pull out something from her closet that isn't black, improve her attitude, and do the best she can.


Susan knows that she sucks as a BLAHger, you don't even have to agree with her. She's been too busy working like a dog for Acme Sweatshop and raking in zero appreciation.
That's a lot, right?
The appreciation is matched only by the encouragement she receives.

Boy, Susan sounds bitter.

She can't always be in a friggin' good mood about everything, it's not her natural state, that's why she's Twisted Susan. There's enough happy bloggers out there writing sh*t like this;

There is just so much amazing inspiration out in the world, how do we take it all in? It's kind of inspiring in itself how much beauty there is in the world and how we can capture it through sight, photos, art, senses, etc. What do you think? :)
That was from a real blog. Susan thinks it's the worst thing she's ever read.
She'll stick to being bitter.


Susan went to see the local high school production of Miss Saigon. Susan had never seen Miss Saigon nor had she ever considered what it might be about until the daughter mentioned seeing her classmates dressed as prostitutes all week.
As it turned out Susan was not a fan of highschoolers dressed as prostitutes. Afterward Susan's daughter opined that while she thought that aspect of the play was out there, she felt the audience was mature enough to view the girls as actors performing a role.
There you have it, Susan's an old prude.
Prude, not prune.


Did Susan really just sit down to kill a few minutes before dinner, catch the end of Titanic and cry?
Oh, yes she did.


Even though Susan and her little sister were only in North Carolina for four days and the teeniest portion of a fifth day, they had many silly adventures. 
Most importantly, Susan is happy to report that Sophie the dog endured her operation very well, was praised by the veterinary staff for behaving like a champ and left with an enviable bionic leg to tell all her friends about.
During their trip they saw a turkey owl in a tree, a swan bat in the air, a stagecoach-wheel car in a parking lot, and hotels made of trailers. They also saw plenty of swamps, double decker trucks filled with pigs and trucks carrying the longest, most dangerous looking logs. Those trucks scared the sisters.
It was very exotic.
They were serenaded by plenty of screaming preacher radio and Pat Boone singing Stairway to Heaven in the most hilariously uncool way. It was so uncool it almost circled around and became cool.
Susan’s little sister found it almost impossible to order a cup of hot tea anywhere in the state because any request for tea is assumed to be for sweet tea. At one drive-through little sister had a devil of a time getting the voice over the loud speaker to understand her simple request and was forced to shout NO! when the voice asked one more time if she wanted sweet tea.
Hot tea?  the voice asked in the most incredulous manner.
With milk?! as if she were being asked to provide a cup of baby’s blood with chocolate syrup.
Hot tea dificulties notwithstanding, the sisters found North Caroliners to have superlative manners.


While Susan and her little sister were in North Carolina they enjoyed a marvelously refreshing cocktail provided by an adorably under attentive bartenderess at Yo Sake. The bartenderess took pride in her concotion and was kind enough to provide the ingredient list for home replication.
Susan likes to call this cocktail the Near Miss, which relates to a funny occurance earlier that day.

The Near Miss

Ginger liqueur
Simple syrup infused with basil
Lemon juice
Muddled basil
Serve with lots of ice, a lemon wedge and a basil leaf garnish

Susan recommends that you guzzle the first and sip the second.

*Editor's note: In the absence of fresh basil Susan infused her simple syrup with rosemary and declared it to be a marvelous substitute.


Susan scored this awesome leather patchwork jacket on Sunday's outing to the Urban Jungle. She can't believe that it escaped being snatched up by some fashionable gentleman on his way to beat up a few prostitutes.
But, it wasn't...so now it's hers!


Susan baked lemon cookies with her friend, Anna.
Of course they had cocktails.
Anna served Prosecco and pomegranate juice into which she submerged a modest ball of raspberry sorbet then covered it with more Prosecco. Anna is all about making people feel good.

Susan ate lemon cookies the next morning for breakfast.

Susan is accompanying her sister down to North Carolina later in the week. She's looking forward to a good, old fashioned road trip, crashing like a college student on her niece's floor and meeting Wild Bill's wee grandson.

Wild Bill suggested Susan bring something to hike in.
Susan's footwear options are heels, cute flats or snow boots.

Susan wishes everyone a good Super Bowl Sunday.
She will be spending hers far away from the television in Brooklyn, USA at The Urban Jungle accompanied by her daughter, little sister and cousin Lisa.


Susan's little sister has a house full of rescue animals, some are her own, and some she fosters through Last Chance Animal Rescue (LCAR). Susan's little sister is f*cking kooky about saving doggies and kitties by bringing them into her house and letting them run around and jump on people when they're sitting on the couch trying to watch Nacho Libre. Eventually they get adopted and then she brings home more except for every once in a while she'll keep one.

Sophie is one of little sister's former rescue dogs who is now a member of the family. She's a perfectly fine brown dog with a good personality. A few weeks back Sophie broke her leg in a few places and required an operation with plates and pins and an unbelievable price tag. The secondary, and ultimately less effective option was to cast the battered limb, still at a steep cost, and hope for the best.

Little sister's friends at LCAR were nice enough to go behind her back & begin raising funds on the sly to pay for Sophie's medical expenses. As it turns out Sophie's leg has not healed properly and requires an operation which will be taken care of by a veterinary orthopedic surgeon in North Carolina next week.

Susan has put up a little gadget on which you can read all about Sophie and send some cash if you're so inclined.

Susan's in a rush now, she'll write later.


This weekend Susan was again seated in the bleachers watching her son wrestle. Her strategy for sitting on something so unforgivingly uncomfortable is to roll her jacket up and stick it underneath her ass.

Anyway, Susan's little sister and brother in law were in attendance and made the hours sitting on the miserable bleachers go by in a more entertaining manner. Susan likes watching the wrestlers, but after a while it's like how much wrestling can a person watch?

For most of the afternoon Susan's little sister & daughter were sitting in front of her. At her feet were backpacks, gear and  Gatorades. There was nowhere to move them so she arranged her feet around them. There were stuff and people all over the gym.

At one point a man sat to the right of Susan, she didn't look over at him because she didn't care who was sitting next to her. Seats open, get sat in, get abandoned, and so it goes all afternoon. It's like sitting on a bus. Susan and her family members watched the wrestlers, chatted, took pictures, made each other laugh and passed the day in a congenial way.

After a period of time the man next to Susan asked 'Is that your granddaughter?
Susan considered his question and said 'No, that's my daughter' pointing to her kid.
The man countered with a surprised 'That's your daughter?' Then -not stopping- he gestured to Susan's sibling, a mere five years her junior, and added 'I thought she was your daughter.'

At first Susan was gobsmacked, but then she realized he must have zeroed in on her chicken neck and ultimately couldn't blame him for thinking she was her own daughter's granny and her sister's mommy.


Susan had a great Friday.

  • It was payday
  • The daughter commented that Susan's hair looked good
  • The husband surprised her with a spicy tuna roll
  • And a neighborhood mom sought out Susan in the high school gymnasium to praise her son

Susan was sitting on the bleachers watching her son's team wrestle when a woman plopped down next to her and asked if she was Sean's mom.
Susan is indeed Sean's mom.
The woman was Diane, and when she opened her mouth the loveliest compliments about Susan's son came gushing out.

Good kid, polite, respectful. The adjectives every mother longs to hear about her kid. Diane told Susan that her son, Leo is a freshman and Susan's son has been mentoring him.

Diane lost her father a year ago September, he was a wrestler and Leo decided he would join the wrestling team as a way to honor his grandfather. Leo hadn't wrestled before and Susan's son has been wonderful with him, really taking the time to make a difference in his ability and confidence, being kind of a big brother in the process. Diane described the positive effect this has had on the whole family.

Susan has no idea what goes on when her son walks out the front door. She is confident that he always behaves in a way that would make her proud, and periodically this is substantiated by another parent.

Last year her son attended a wrestling tournament out of town and unaccompanied by his father. On the final day of the tournament the son pulled a very stupid stunt, got caught, and the punishment was to coach 'the little kids' every week until he graduated high school.
Leo is one of the little kids.

God bless you, Diane for providing Susan with a much appreciated alternative view of her good natured but somewhat passive-aggressive, reserved and minimally communicative teenager.


Susan had to drive all the way to Brooklyn, USA for a decent cup of coffee.

She chose the lowest echelon of small-batch-roasted-in-house coffees offered; brewed. For another dollar she could have had it French pressed, but opted not to.

Susan squeezed herself into a too small space surrounded by people with laptops and caught up with her girlfriend, GP. They discussed all manner of important topics; dogs, personal growth, anxiety, the great chicken massacre and annoying people they know.

The drive home afforded Susan a glittering night time view of Manhattan and complete control over what she listened to on the radio.


Did everybody have a good first day?
Susan did.
She went to bed at 2am and emerged eight hours later fully rested ready to spend the day in her pajamas reading the papers, pouring Bailey's into her coffee, baking biscotti, watching an Odd Couple marathon, getting frustrated by her new laptop and going to the movies.
Susan has resolved to go to the movies more. She thinks it's something she can commit to.


During Susan's BLAHgy Christmas blackout she left her folks' Christmas card on the table for at least two weeks and when she finally opened it a little piece of paper with some numbers and a signature fell out.

A few days later Acme Sweatshop held their fancy holiday party; all top shelf liquor. By the end of the evening Susan had lost her eyeglasses.
They were gone.
As if they never existed.

Susan likes to live on the edge and not keep a back up pair. So, twelve hours later she had an eye exam and a $474.95 pair of eyeglasses ordered.

Susan's ability to see things clearly again has been made possible by a Christmas card grant from her mommy and daddy.


On Saturday afternoon Susan dribbled a Skinny Peppermint Mocha down the front of her white corduroy jacket and spent the rest of the weekend scrubbing it out. She's happy to report that the stains are undetectable but she learned a valuable lesson; never order anything with the word skinny in it.


The husband informed Susan that she left the stove on.
'I forget which way to turn the knob' she told him.
He assured her it wasn't on for long then added, 'That's what landed my mother to the nursing home, you know.'



The holiday cat has been out of the bag for a few weeks already. Fake greenery and red bows were suspended from the ceiling of her local department store well before Thanksgiving, chopped down trees are for sale in formerly vacant lots and seasonal music has been heard coming out of car radios.
Susan already duked it out with the daughter over the tree, and lost.
Susan is resigned to Christmas.

Oh, and good riddance NaBloPoMo.



Susan's sick of NaBloPoMo.
She's sick of trying to poop a BLAHg post out of her head after 11:30 every night. She can't wait for December first.
Susan hates everything right now.



Susan missed the deadline for this post by forty minutes because she was making a cranberry orange cheesecake and watching 30 Rock, but she's still going to back date it because she's a NaBloPoMo cheater.



Susan hates when the weather f*cks around with her parents' travel arrangements and keeps them from getting to NY for Thanksgiving.
Susan's going to console herself by eating their dessert on Thursday.



Susan just saw the word mushrooms reduced to 'shrooms and was instantly filled with rage.


Sunday morning all of Susan's frustrations with her children let loose as she loudly and demonstratively admonished them for being the lazy, passive aggressive pricks that she raised them to be. Afterward she felt a better but it still didn't keep her from stomping around the house and starting in on the husband.

She got herself to relax by rolling some Asian meatballs.

The previous evening, Susan's little corner of the universe was reintroduced to winter temperatures complete with snow, not much, but still snow. After Susan's righteous hysterics, the daughter headed out to her figure drawing class in a little denim jacket and sockless feet tucked into her shoes but was blown back inside by a blast of arctic winds.

Susan's son, the high school wrestler, was dispatched out of her sight to clean the subterranean living space so that G-mama and Pippity Pop (the Old Folks) could sleep down there on Tuesday night.

After the meatballs, Susan prepped Slow Cooker Experiment Number Three  and dumped the mess into the slow cooker for the next eight hours.

With the yelling out of the way Susan settled in and spent the entire day in her PJs, it was very relaxing for her.

Food verdict: The slow cooker experiment lacked complexity, but it's not worth chucking so she's going to work on it. The family was split on the Asian meatballs but Susan didn't like them so that's that.


Today's BLAHg post was pinched from the awesome
Nick Holmes.



Susan's hairdresser, the one with the fig tree, had the audacity to be unavailable with when Susan's hair was in dire need of attention.

At a previous appointment Susan was sent home with two bottles of color and a bottle of peroxide so that she could do things herself, she tucked them away for a gray day.

Fast forward to right now.

Susan measured out the pungent chemicals using a shot glass and mixed them with a toothbrush. She didn't have gloves to protect her hands, so she used plastic bags from the supermarket.
She applied the color to her distinguished Mitt Romney temples and waited ten minutes then did the rest of her head. Thirty minutes later she said three Our Fathers in the shower, washed the color out and then checked the results in the mirror.

The color was perfect, she heaved a sigh of relief.

Until she took a closer look, Susan's temples were most definitely still gray. Not as gray as before her DIY dye job, but gray enough that she had to do them over.



Susan's second slow cooker experiment was crowned a failure when she managed to make stew.
The daughter remarked that Slow Cooker Experiment Number Two tasted like vinegar.

OMG, how Susan hates stew.



Susan hates when she has twelve minutes left till midnight and hasn't even begun to create the magic that is her daily obligatory BLAHg post.
After that she must put together the ingredients necessary for the slow cooker experiment she plans to feed her family Thursday night.
Susan hates slipping in just under the wire.



Susan has the misfortune of being exposed to the Katie Couric show most weekday afternoons.
Ugh, that poised, solicitous, fake b*tch puts on some dreadful show.
Susan hates the Katie Couric show.


Susan Doesn't HATE Anything Today

As previously disclosed, Susan is on the hunt to find three slow cooker meals that fit her criteria;
that they not make her gag.
She is happy to report that she's had her first success with a smoked sausage cassoulet.
While it was bubbling away on her counter she was positive she'd hate it.
She was stunned when it revealed itself to be all smoky deliciousness.
There is no hate in Susan's universe today!



After work on Friday Susan went immediately to the liquor store. They didn't have her favorite bottle of sangria, so she considered purchasing a box of sangria. A number of reputable people she's acquainted with have used boxed wine with no ill effect. She read the panel and discovered that her box of sangria would last six weeks.
She bought it.
Once home she stashed her box of sangria in the fridge and went on with her life.

Saturday night Susan felt like cooking so she set the laptop on the counter and pulled up this recipe. She poured herself a glass of boxed sangria, put on a pot of water, sauteed onion & garlic, cubed 5 cups of acorn squash, chopped five cups of kale, and knocked her glass sending the sangria up in the air and all over the kitchen.

Susan hates when she douses her crappy laptop with sticky liquor.



Susan hates FB.
She hates when people tell her they're FB friends with people they don't actually spend time with.
Susan hates when her little sister sez Look what I posted on FB and then shoves the screen in front of her face.
Susan hates all the fake bullsh*t people use to draw attention to themselves on FB.
The retardedly unnecessary LOL doesn't even get capitalized anymore, it's just lol.
And, OMG the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!
Susan hates FB.



Susan hates being unispired when she's committed to BLAHg every day this month.
Can this be her post? Twenty words?
She apologizes for being light on the hate today.



Susan hates when the underwire in her brassiere breaks free from the confines of its fabric prison and pokes her in the armpit. She enacts the flawed plan of pushing it back in place until she eventually pulls it out completely. Once gone she wonders why the underwire was even necessary. She doesn't have a Rosalind Russell physique, just little B-cups and they certainly don't require much to hold them in place.

Susan managed quite happily for a week or so without the underwire in her left cup until she got poked by the right cup. Based on her previous success she pulled out the remaining underwire and immediately figured out why it was necessary.

Without the structure underwire provides, Susan's brassiere is like a flaccid sack into which she throws two oranges.



Susan hates when she is sitting at a table in traffic court conferring with the town prosecutor about the questionable validity of her parking ticket and the husband interjects.

She watches the town prosecutor's face start to twist, which it wasn't doing while Susan was speaking, and admonishes the husband in front of everyone to 'Stop talking!' A few moments later she is forced to offer a follow-up reminder in the form of, 'OMG, I told you to stop talking!'

Sidebar: Susan's fine was reduced from $100 to $15.



It makes Susan uncomfortable when she hears grown ups say Yummy. She'd like the yummy-sayers to reconsider if that's the way they wish to portray themselves vocabularily.
What's wrong with Tasty? 
Or even Mmmm, this is good.
Scrumptious should never be an option, it's a ridiculous word and just as weak as yummy. Nom-nom too. No more nom-nom please.
Susan said please.



Susan's stove runs on propane and there's really no way to know when it's going to run out beyond having a general idea of how long the tanks last. But, if she doesn't pay attention to the last delivery she'll find herself in the middle of making dinner and the fuel craps out.

Ugh, Susan hates when the propane runs out on the weekend.

Susan asked her sister to borrow back the slow cooker that nobody uses because nobody likes stewy meats with soft vegetables all swimming together in a murky ooze.
But she doesn't care anymore, even though she'll have propane on Monday, she's determined to figure out three meals that she can make in that damned thing that taste good.



Susan hates being unable to move around with the painless flexibility that she enjoyed in previous decades. This was particularly evident after assisting her friend Sharon to hump a four hundred pound piece of office equipment to her storage unit. Susan bends with her knees, not with her back, just like her old man has been advising her to do since she was eighteen. Back then she ignored him, but now she embraces his wisdom because she's a worn out middle-ager.
Oh, and on Day Ten Susan gave in and turned on the heat.