Before dinner on Sunday afternoon Susan's Christmas tree was at the curb. That's right, at the curb! As far as she can tell, her tree was the first in the neighborhood to assume that location.

There's really nowhere in Susan's house to fit a dead tree anyway. There's no picture window to prop it in front of and no corner that doesn't already have something in it even if it's only a few shelves to hold her Santa Clara pottery.

Traces of Christmas remain in the house; lights and snowflakes and things, but the biggest offender is out. The Christmas cards are gone too. 

She's ready for the NEW year.


Susan went to the mall and came home with a car with no steering wheel.

It's been probably close to thirty years since Susan had a car broken in to, so she was overdue for a robbery. Luckily, they didn't take the air freshener or the stuff in her trunk, but they took the husband's wallet because he likes to leave it in the car even though she's told him a billion times that it's a stupid place to leave his wallet. 

Now he knows.

Mercifully, Susan & the husband had a little bit of money and were able to afford the expenses related to having somebody f*ck up their car. Unfortunately, that money was earmarked for other things.

The next day, three days before Xmas, they went out and got a tree. 
A very well priced tree too, Susan thinks it's the cheapest one they ever bought. The husband & daughter took care of dragging it into the house, installing it in the livingroom & decorating it without any help from Grinchy Susie.

As it should be.

Ed. note: Photographic credit & a lift home are courtesy of little sister.


This morning Susan went absolutely berserk when she couldn't locate the nail clippers.
She clenched her fists and screamed and yelled and jumped up and down and flung spittle then threatened not to control herself. 

One of those clenched fists is going to punctuate the next outburst so everybody in her house better learn how to duck. It's not going to be her fault since her family members refuse to return the f*cking nailclippers to their designated location.

There's still no Ex-Mas tree in Susan's house which is PERFECTLY FINE by her. The place is tarted up enough for the season even without it. Unfortunately, the daughter is still pretty vocal about wanting one and shows no signs of simmering down.
Damn that sweet teenager! Now Susan's going to have to waste a Friday night making her happy.

And Susan wants to know how anyone finds anything on etsy.
Really, there's a billion things up there, usually she gives up and just orders the last thing she looked at.


Susan protects herself when she has to. 
Generally it's in response to a heightened feeling of anxiety left behind by some ancient panic attacks. She'll stop reading the papers, limit her TV watching, avoid phone calls and withdraw till she feels better.

Periodically something happens in the world that's so awful she has to shut herself off from it. She won't be able to avoid it entirely, but she'll try. 

Like many people, Susan has to work to maintain her buoyant mental health, one way she does that it by not taking her brain where it doesn't want to go. She's pretty firm about that.

She'll be skipping the newspapers this week.


Susan had an interaction with a catering hall chocolate fountain.

She's seen these things for the last few years and has purposely avoided them; cascading milk chocolate just isn't her scene, if she wants something that's too sweet she'll eat sugar directly. However she was filled with just enough alcohol from Acme Sweatshop's holiday party to ignore this and dive in.

She loaded up on the standard assortment of things to hold under the running chocolate; pineapple, marshmallows, strawberries and bananas. She wasn't totally sold, but she was committed to see the plan through to its completion.

Susan eyeballed her plate expecting the chocolate to ultimately encase the fruit and marshmallow in a hardened shell but the chocolate stayed in its liquid format. Susan's enthusiasm wilted. Other party guests assured her that this would not be a problem because everything should be eaten with melted chocolate poured over it. 

Susan stuck a chocolate drenched marshmallow into her mouth. It only took a moment after the slimy chocolate hit her tongue for her to spit the entire mess into a napkin.


More to her liking were the small chocolate cups into which could be poured any number of sweet liqueurs.

Later in the evening when Susan was making the rounds to say goodbye, many of the party guests were still drinking, some were drunk, and she was glad to be going home with the husband and a tremendous winter table scape centerpiec


Susan watched Miracle on 34th Street twice this weekend.


Susan's body is in the throes of a post holiday party recovery.

In mid November Susan flipped the page on her social calendar and saw that she had one invitation for all of December. 
The singular engagement to which she looked forward was Acme Sweatshop's annual bash, which is a lovely, sparkly upscale thing filled with high heels and laughter and alcohol, but she needs more.

So, in the span of two minutes Susan had invitations ordered and commenced dreaming of her very own festive cocktail party. Two more minutes and her daughter agreed to be a low paid employee.

Susan doesn't like to host lots of people because her retarded entertaining abilities get overwhelmed then they lie on the floor, kick their feet and cry, but 20 people was a manageable amount. She became preoccupied with finding a grown up punch to satisfy her non-drinking friends but into which a shot of liquor could be added for the alcoholic enthusiasts. 

Ginger ale, pineapple juice, lime juice with optional dark rum was the winner.

Since this all went on when Susan's mother was in town she accompanied Susan to find some sort of festive fabric to throw across the dining table. 

What's more festive that three yards of gold sequins? Susan was giddy. 

She returned with a load of white candles from a trip to IKEA during which little sister finally bought a coffee table to replace a very impractical upholstered bench that Susan always hated.

Susan selected a reserved palate of silver, white and gold from her established Christmas decorations. Her daughter spent three days making chain garlands from wrapping paper. Susan bought snow flakes in every size from the dollar store which she hung in the windows and from the ceiling when applicable.

The day before the party Susan sent her son upstate for a wrestling tournament, then moved furniture, cleared counter tops, strung lights and made tapenade from olives, sundried tomatoes & garlic. She also worked in some time to visit with one of her best, oldest pals

The day of the party Susan filled her house with friends from all areas of her life. When it was over all two gallons of the punch, for which Susan had late onset misgivings, was almost completely gone. Same for the rum.

The day after the party Susan woke up with a headache to a house that smelled like bacon. She wandered around like a sloppy, constipated mess eating left over party food. She made a list for next time of what worked and what didn't and determined that 15 people is the magic number for optimum hostess socialization and that she will line her walls with gold sequins.

Also, Trader Joe's Creamy Toscano soaked in Syrah is friggin' fantastic.


Susan failed her NaBloPoMo responsibility of providing a post a day and it was all her parents' fault. They started out by keeping Susan talking in her kitchen till after 1am, then they side tracked her with Thanksgiving, old movies, Chinese food deliveries and thrift store shopping trips.

Damn them!

During their stay Susan hosted a family gathering with meatballs, sangria, blueberry pie and a kiddie table for everyone under 50.


November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Click HERE


Susan crawled around on her belly and cleaned all the baseboard moulding in her house. As long as she was down there she cleaned table legs, the bottom of doors and all the corners in to which she could squeeze a toothbrush.
Filth, not obsessive compulsiveness is the way she sees it.


Susan's folks like to visit The Dali Museum, it's the last place she'd ever expect to find them, but what does she know?


One of tomorrow's projects is to make ginger syrup for a sparkling ginger pineapple punch. The punch notwithstanding, how could ginger syrup not be wonderful?

For ginger syrup
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup thinly sliced unpeeled fresh ginger (1/4 lb; from two 5-inch-long pieces)
Bring water, sugar, and ginger to a boil in a 1- to 1.5 quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, then remove from heat and steep, uncovered, 15 minutes. Pour syrup through a sieve into a bowl, discarding ginger. Chill, covered, until cold, about 2 hours.


Susan is well aware that her BLAHging has sucked lately, she can't help it. She doesn't really feel like BLAHging but she's stuck in the middle of this NaBloPoMo thing and has to do what she can to keep from writing a post. Hence the recycled Smoking Pabst Drinking Jesus.

Wasn't he worth a second look anyway? 

And, nobody liked The President and The King? Susan saw that twenty five years ago in the NBC gift shop & thought it was funny. 

It's a completely legit thing to post and she's not apologizing.

Would you prefer to hear about her BIG weekend plans? It will involve lots of vacuuming, putting stuff away and locating sheets for the bed her parents will be sleeping on next week.

She's also planning a grown up holiday party and has contracted with her daughter to do all the low end chores, like gathering dirty glasses and keeping the bathroom clean. Between now & then she'll be road-testing some new cocktails & researching party games. She's never previously hosted a party then forced her guests to play a game, but she likes the idea. If you have any suggestions please share them with Susan, because you know sharing is caring.


On this thirteenth day of NaBloPoMo Susan would like you to enjoy Smoking Pabst Drinking Jesus in lieu of an actual post.


Susan is going to haul out a fave childhood joke for day twelve.
It's a knock knock.

Susan recalls the hysterics into which she dissolved when her eight year old self heard this for the first time. She bent over like Sammy Davis Jr and peed.

Are you ready?
Susan must offer this disclaimer before she can proceed:
Don't expect much.

Here it is:

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Jackie Gleason's UNDERWEAR!

Told you.


Susan is periodically gifted with an aluminum pan of smoked pork by the husband of her friend, CB. 

Susan spends the rest of the week distributing smoked pork into every meal she can, on the last day she throws the scraps into a pot along with some onions, garlic and vegetables on the verge of perishing to make awesome stock which she turns into awesome soup.

Don't you envy Susan?


My Mom

Fun / Funny

And a real looker.

*Taken without permission from the daughter's fourth grade Writer's Notebook, circa 2007. 


Say hello to Wild Bill's wee grandson.

Love It Forever photography


Susan caught wind of this 30 Days of Gratitude thing which was probably devised just to bug people like her anyway.

Haven't we had enough with listing things to be grateful for?
Susan sure has.

If somebody doesn't say ENOUGH, then this gratitude bullsh*t is going to flourish.

Aren't we all grateful for the same boring stuff anyway; health, loved ones, clean towels, etc?
Ten years ago Susan was grateful for birth control.
Twenty years ago it was cigarettes.
Thirty years ago, what...The Go-Go's? Who cares.

Susan is grateful that none of the million horrible things that happen to nice people every day hasn't happened to her.
Susan is grateful when she has a question she can GTS (google that sh*t) instead of leafing through twenty volumes of an encyclopedia, like she did in the olden days
Susan is grateful that her mom can't make her eat fish sticks and spaghetti any more
Susan is grateful that she's sort of got the hang of Acme Sweatshop and makes it through most weeks intact
Susan is grateful for curse words.

Now, can we all f*cking stop telling everybody what we're grateful for? Sonofab*tch!


This post a day stuff is a drag.
Imagine if you will, Susan staring for hours at the laptop screen going 'um......' 


Susan got a good night's sleep last night and is no longer in the mood to hate everyone. In fact, that was probably a bit strongly worded. She's not a hater and she doesn't know everyone in order to hate them all. And, she definitely doesn't hate you guys.
Susan's ready to go to work, vote, and meet all the other responsibilities of her day.
Go, Susan, Go!


Susan is not in the mood for BLAHging. 
At all.
She's in the mood for hating everyone.


Susan's children are looking forward to returning to school after laying around the house eating Pop Tarts for a week. She's not kidding, they're happy to go back.

Susan's looking forward to falling asleep watching 30 Rock again.

This is Susan's post for the day.


Susan's relationship with blogging was non existent in October. At first it was due to the daughter using her computer all the time for a school project, immediately followed by a period of inactivity as she considered BLAHging, but lacked enthusiasm. Susan likes to participate in NaBloPoMo each November so she knew she'd have to whip herself into shape by the first. But, that b*tch Sandy knocked out Susan's power and internet access up until almost this exact moment. 

Susan is still going to participate in NaBloPoMo even though she MISSED THE FIRST TWO DAYS, which she just put in capital letters so no one thinks she's cheating or anything. 

Stuff that happened to Susan while she was in BLAHging blackout:

  • Wild Bill became a grandpa! The second of Susan's three nieces belongs to Wild Bill and she birthed a wee ginger baby boy. This redheaded baby begins a new generation in Susan's family
  • Susan lost a diamond earring
  • She stopped getting pedicures
  • She infused pomegranate into a bottle of vodka with excellent results
  • She encouraged her daughter to cheat at Scrabble 
  • She started wearing winter clothes
Also noteworthy, one of Susan's children described her as 'okay' and the other as 'nice'. Her heart is filled to the rim with love.


Look at the groovy 16 mag Susan found sitting in a box at a yard sale.

It only cost her a dollar to travel back to March 1970 and see Pete, Linc and Julie again!

Here Come The Brides was on after Susan's bedtime, Bobby Sherman remained elusive much to her anguish.

But not the Monkees! Mickey was her fave although she preferred him without that curly hair.

                                                                                                                                           How to act with boys is every girl's biggest problem!
Don't you agree?


Is it not enough that Susan's eldest child wakes her up before the alarm clock to ask if he could invade the sanctum sanctorum of her purse to remove five dollars for lunch? 
No, it's not enough.

Must he also phone while she's in the shower to request that she divert her commute and hand deliver to the high school the five dollars he left on the table?
Yes, he must.

Susan took the five dollars and wrapped it in a piece of computer paper because she forgets every single time she is in a store that sells envelopes, to buy envelopes. She took a thick Sharpie marker and addressed the slim package thusly;

Mommy and Daddy wuv (name of firstborn removed for privacy) 

Then she decorated it with sparkly butterflies and race car stickers and dropped it off at school. 


Susan's son turned her on to this video a few weeks back, she would have shared it with her bloggy pals earlier, but she forgot. Luckily it's never too late for four minutes of silly happiness with a repetitive beat.


Susan was riding shotgun when the husband stopped to get gas. She spent the next few minutes observing a drunken citizen saunter up to each patron and attempt to shake them down for change. He serpentined his way throughout the station, accosting everyone he encountered, establishing a 100% failure rate. People looked at him quizzically then shook their heads or held up their hands to convey forget it, pal. Ladies stayed in their cars and shooed him away in a flurry of fingernails. He wasn't a sympathetic character; unsteady, glassy-eyed with a red nose & dirty shirt stretched over a big belly. Susan wondered how a person arranges their life so they end up panhandling drunk in a gas station unable to make a dime.


Susan's hairdresser is a friend of her little sister who works out of her home. Sometimes Susan runs into her sister, or her sister's neighbor, and they all chat and have a nice time while Susan's gray is being covered with a close approximation of her original color.

Susan's daughter also likes the hairdresser because she takes the time to listen to the daughter in order to determine how to effectively showcase her curls. Additionally, during the course of conversation the hairdresser has been known to side with the daughter against Susan and the daughter finds this betrayal of her mother appealing.

Often, appointments overlap and Susan will chat with the lady who is vacating the chair into which Susan's ass will be flopping. It's all very pleasant and neighborly and Susan never feels put out by having to interact with a stranger for a few minutes.

Today Susan took the daughter for a trim and got ambushed by the previous client, an extreme talker. Ten minutes went by and the extreme talker kept talking.
Twenty minutes, still talking.
Finally it was time to pay the bill and leave. Talky Talker walked them out.

Outside Susan realized that she didn't have her car, the husband had dropped them off then left to run an errand. Talky was still talking, trapping Susan on the sidewalk. Even the daughter moved away leaving Susan to fend for herself.

Susan watched Talky's mouth, it kept moving but Susan couldn't focus on what she was saying, she was considering her options. 

Susan dropped to the ground, faked a seizure then grabbed the daughter & bolted up the block when Talky ran inside to call the ambulance.

Ed note:
100% true except for that last sentence.


Summer's on the way out and Susan's not fighting it. Go already, she doesn't care. Take the heat and humidity and fruit files and f*ck off.  She's counting the days till she can remove the Burt's Bees Bug spray & SPF 50 sport sunscreen from the bottom of her bag.

Sure, she'll miss peaches and mangoes and basil and the fragrance of her butterfly bush, but she'll have cranberries and clementines and pomegranates to tide her over. Plus, she can turn the oven on and bake something. 

She'll probably cry when she has to turn the clock back & lose that last sunshiney hour and then when she has to shut her windows for good, ugh, that'll be rough.  But, she's still got at least two months till the onset of socks. 


Susan would like to share a sampling of the comments she has received from the highly inarticulate Anonymous since disabling the word verification: 

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Tiffany Jewelry On Sale the speech of welcome, credit and loan production gift as remboursable any had a month of Tiffany shop. 



Susan's Le Creuset is old news guys, she's been using that for months to make chili and chowder and things that simmer in sauce. She's talking about gleaming, silvery stainless steel. Susan is now so fancy that she's got two expensive pots.

The stainless steel replaced her non-stick fry pan, it's big with deep sides and is good for almost everything that a person needs to do on the stove. It browns like a sonofab*tch then cleans up like magic. She's not kidding when she sez like magic, even the rotten kids clean it.

Susan opted not to get a whole set of stainless steel pots because she only likes to have what she needs. Plus her storage is out in the open and she has limited ability to look at all that sh*t without going nuts.

Editor's note:
Thank you guys for being interested in hearing about Susan's cookware, this is what she chose.


Susan's been keeping a secret.

She switched to stainless steel cookware. It was like two months ago & it's only one pot, but it was all she needed to know she's in love.

With a pot.

Also, Susan hates TV commercials with toddlers drinking juice boxes explaining why they love their mommies.


Early this morning Susan was getting ready for work. Everyone in the house was asleep and the children's summer schedule has already established that they don't wake up on their own so she didn't think twice about walking naked into the kitchen to make coffee. 

Susan put the coffee on and turned around to see her son fully dressed, backpack on, looking for someone to give him a lift to wrestling practice.


Did Susan ever tell you about the game her children play with the dog?

It generally starts out in the living room. The unsuspecting participant will be relaxing on the couch with the dog, often stroking her head while reading or working on the laptop. The instigating participant will come in and lure the dog away as if to insinuate that they are more beloved by the furry family member.

This game is particularly popular with Susan's son. 


Day Eight of Susan's vacation she woke up in her own bed and emerged like the goddess of her universe with a relaxed glow, and no back ache from someone else's mattress.
She made herself a pot of coffee and some Irish oatmeal, the kind you have to cook on the stove for a half hour. Eating out exclusively for a week had left her unable to poop, but that would be fixed shortly.
Lucy, the dog came home! She was temporarily sweet smelling and a pound or two lighter.
The washing machine was put into immediate service, windows were opened, deck furniture was hosed off and another Saturday was in full swing.


Day Six of Susan's vacation:
  • Susan failed her test of inner peace when she walked across a parking lot of fire at the flea market held in the old fashioned Wellfleet Drive-In
  • Two weeks overdue, Susan did her own pedicure
Day Seven:
  • Whale watching on a wonderfully breezy, bright gray day with dark clouds in the distance
  • Spontaneously deciding to make the 10pm ferry home instead of leaving in the morning


Day Four of Susan's vacation:
  • Susan observed a person getting handcuffed on Main Street and it wasn't even lunchtime yet. Perhaps Meg or Bee would like to guess which town.
  • Susan had a close encounter with her childhood when she came across a collapsible drinking cup just like the one her grandmother used to keep in her purse. Her grandmother also used to keep hard candies impregnated with tobacco from unfiltered Pall Malls, but Susan didn't find any of those.
Day Five:
  • FYI: Susan prefers to leave ON TIME when she has to use scheduled transportation to get places, particularly if she woke up early to do so.
  • Susan has yet to tire of the expansive views afforded by ferries and light houses.


Day Three of Susan's vacation:
  • Susan convinced her family to leave the car behind and walk everywhere in punishing heat
  • Later, Susan's family took a two hour air conditioned nap


Day One of Susan's vacation:
  • Susan got sunburned. Sitting in the shade on the ferry affords one no protection from the sun's reflection off the water
  • Susan sat in traffic.
  • Susan cleaned six months of spider webs and dust from the very compact house her family is renting on Cape Cod
  • Susan panicked when the internet password was inaccessible
  • Susan had a frozen cocktail with dinner
Day Two:
  • Susan ordered a Guinness with her lobster and split her big toenail in half. It didn't hurt.


Susan's summer eating binges have resulted in her gaining some weight. At first she didn't mind because it didn't impact her waistband, but her concern began to manifest when she developed one of those kangaroo pouches big enough to carry her teenaged children. Of course, the damned kids refuse to travel that way.

The other day she caught sight of some back fat rolling over the constraints of her brassiere and was horrified. She stared at it in disbelief then closed her eyes and looked again, it was still there. A fat back monkey.

Over the weekend she began her new inspired eating regimen by removing the cream cheese frosting from a cupcake and taking a smaller portion of Bananas a la Little Sister; sauteed in sugar and alcohol then dumped over angel food cake.

She feels invigorated.


Susan's little sister scored some free tickets to a Broadway play for Friday night and chose Susan as her date. The seats were right up front so Susan was able to see spit flying out of the actors' mouths. They were also really cushiony and comfortable, which is not always guaranteed in Broadway theatres. Anyway, the play was good, it had some famous people in it and Susan got to see a few of them in their street clothes because her little sister likes to hang around the back door to get autographs.

Afterward they walked down to Columbus Circle and encountered a fellow with extremely smelly feet. Totally smelly.

On the way home they saw the Empire State Building all lit up in blue, yellow, red, green and white for the Olympics, which Susan's little sister was smart enough to figure out. Susan just thought they picked those colors because they were pretty.


Guys, you didn't love LET'S HAVE A KIKI?

Lock the door
Close the blinds
Fire up the smoke machine
And put on your heels...

Are you messing with Susan? 
Well, quit it.

Anyway, here's evidence of last month's bathroom rehab


Susan saw the motherf*cker of all rainbows today, it started on the left and stretched all the way to the right. She saw both ends! And, if that wasn't magical enough, there was a second rainbow begining.

She tried to alert her kids to the rainbow using the husband's phone but she kept getting wrong numbers even though she pressed HOME on his touch screen. Strangely, he categorizes a number of different home numbers as HOME but with different numerical designations, this is how Susan came to have a nice chat with one of the husband's grown daughters.

Susan looked at the rainbow for a long time and took a bunch of pictures with the husband's phone but they all came out crappy and completely un-awesome. Instead, Susan would like to substitute a picture of her daughter, the typist.

Happy Fourteenth Birthday, darling!


Susan has a tourniquet on her index finger. She cut herself removing an avocado pit in order to make avocado ice cream which was a recipe she found too ridiculous not to try. It called for 1/3 cup of tequila which she didn't think was appropriate for the demographic in her house, but she had no issue including two tablespoons of ginger liqueur which she regretted not increasing to three.

The morning started off with great excitement when Susan scored a 1930's typewriter on eBay for the daughter's birthday. Then she had a cup of coffee and read a number of juicy stories in her fave paper, the Post.
Go, Kerry Kennedy!
Then she cleared off her old, dead dog's grave and oversaw the son as he arranged a bunch of paving stones into a heart shape on top of it. Then she went inside and tried to chop off her finger.

Who wouldn't want this for their birthday?

Later on Susan was amused when the daughter pretended she didn't know how to pick up dog sh*t.


Susan's hatred of Facebook is well documented somewhere in her BLAHg posts. Every year she commemorates the day she deactivated her account by feeling superior. However, when Susan wanted to sign up for pinterest she had to sully herself once again with the undesirable FB.
There was no way around it except thru Twitter which is a word that makes her feel silly even to think about.

She put it off as long as she could then reluctantly made a new FB account and threw up.  After consideration Susan invited her little sister to become her sole friend in order to have access to her pictures then tightened up her privacy settings so that no one could find her. But, that's not really possible because FB is all about finding people. Within an hour she had two friend requests from her oldest and dearest, and declined them both. Then her little sister started tagging her in pictures which started people commenting about the pictures which generated more friend requests from her actual friends.
This was a disaster.

Obviously Susan doesn't know how to effectively manage her settings and will have to employ one of her children to assist their doddering old mum.


Susan's teenaged children will eat twenty yogurts instead of bending down to look through the refrigerator for something substantive.
I don't like leftovers the daughter commonly sez making her little sour pickle face to which Susan counters, That's ridiculous.
The son is no better, although he remains largely silent not divulging any information that his mother may be able to use against him in an argument.

Today Susan came home and found the remnants of something she couldn't identify in a dirty pot.
What's this? she asked the daughter.
Spicy Peanut Noodles.
You made this?
Susan looked into the pot struggling to understand, you chopped up onions?
Did you use soy sauce?
Yes, and sesame oil and red pepper flakes and peanut butter.
You cooked something using grown up ingredients?
Unable to contain herself Susan threw her arms around the daughter and cried I'm so proud of you!


The High Line, NYC


             click HERE.


Susan's little corner of the universe has been HOT for weeks. When the weather person predicted 101* Susan panicked and made a run for ice, mangoes, limes, tomatoes, cilantro and a sprinkler, the old school type that just sits there and sprays upward.

Back home Susan used half the mangoes for salsa (mangoes, chipotle, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro and lime juice, red onion optional). She used the other half and all the limes for sorbet in the ice cream maker, a gift from her formerly recurring house guest. Susan had no idea that she would love to make ice cream and sorbet so much most notably because it only takes twenty minutes and she can use up whatever she has in the house. Lemons and basil? That's a flavor! Susan will argue that everything tastes good if one adds enough sugar then freezes it.

Susan also made gazpacho, she's still working on the recipe but it involves tomatoes, red peppers, celery, onion, garlic and Spicy Hot V8 Tomato Juice. Susan only knows gazpacho through Pedro Almodovar but the daughter requested some so Susan is determined to figure it out. Wild Bill liked last week's attempt but Susan felt it lacked depth. This week's is better although the husband prefers it less crunchy.   

Lastly, Susan made tapanade (olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic) then she took a nap.


Susan has entitled this photograph 
Girl Happy About Her Lobster Lunch


The old folks are back home, Susan's back to work and Wild Bill's still on little sister's couch.


Last week Susan took her daughter and mom to her fave local art museum to see an exhibit made from garbage.

                                 They liked it.


Other than Susan, who didn't get their full compliment of sleep last night?

She did pretty well till a dream woke her up at 4am and jump started her brain.

Oh, it must have been a scary dream you're thinking.
Not really, it just provided a sticky place for her anxiety to germinate.

Being tired didn't make any difference, that was that and Susan was AWAKE.

Good morning, black darkness!



Susan's on vacation this week!
Before you get all excited, she's spending it at home with the old folks who came up from Florida to sleep in her basement.

Every day Susan and the old folks discuss what they'd like to do the next day observing the following criteria;

  • that they not leave on time
  • that someone change their mind about the destination 
  • that Susan's father ultimately decide he'd rather not go
  • that the place be closed when they get there
In the meantime everyone's eating lots of ice cream and waiting for Wild Bill to hit town.


Today, after Susan had been home for a few hours the daughter said quite casually 'Guess what I saw today.'

Susan indicated through her facial expression that she didn't know.

'I saw (brother's name removed for purposes of privacy) naked' and then erupted into teenaged laughter.

'OMG, front or back?' was Susan's horrified inquiry.


'Thank goodness' said Susan, most relieved.


Susan  found a notebook she kept when she went to London with her little sister in the spring of 1986 and would like to share with you the contents.

Tavern Bar in the hotel: this is the only bloody place open and we'll be chased out soon enough. I can't believe that they actually chase you out of these places and then pull all the liquor off the bar - everything's locked up by 11pm or 1am at the absolute latest, and that's this place.

Description: All wood, mahogany stain, red floral carpeting, tables and chairs clustered throughout, stained glass lamps, low ceiling, beams. The bartenders are doing a good job with my Mudslides (Bailey's, Kalhua, vodka). Lots of loud travellers - we've got a bunch of Swedes in and they're making the most noise, they were singing out front when I went past for smokes.

Friday we lucked out because after hours Jacques and Allan took us to the place where Allan worked or we wouldn't have eaten at all.  We met them the first night at the Gloucester Arms, over a block or two. We had been walking around taking pictures because it was such a nice night and we were searching for food. - we were so knocked out after that miserable flight and the unbelievably horrendous trek to this hotel, dragging all our luggage in the rain then then the snow. We were limping along with tons of stuff when the rain turns into snow, we don't know where we're going but, we're going. So, anyway thanks to Allan we got to eat at the Hamilton House (I think it's called). The chef was funny - a tall, nice looking fella with his blond hair in a pony tail underneath a big white chef's hat. Some red-haired fella was playing a guitar and singing from a book of words he had while assisted by Kevin; a moderately obnoxious thin English type with a button-all-the-way-up shirt and a crew cut. I had some pretty good chili and after Kat goes to tally up at the register I find out that we picked up everybody's drinks. That's terrific - just like the newspaper guy last night; we're down in Piccadilly going in what we thought was the right direction and I want to get a paper so I ask the fella what a good London paper is and he tells me The Times, 'it's the best and the dearest' which I take to mean they're all gone. I ask for the second best and there were none of whichever that was either so, I settle for The Mail, 'a reasonable paper', sorta like the Daily News but not as bad. They're all like the National Enquirer here just in varying degrees. Anyway, the point is - after I settle for this reasonable paper some fella comes up, asks for The Times and gets it! That sonofabitch newspaper guy wouldn't give the damned paper to me.

Trader Vicks, London Hilton; enjoying a lovely Trader Vick's Stinker - sloe gin, rum, grog (whatever that is) and a couple of limes. This place looks like a Polynesian village after a tidal wave. There's a decent amount of business suits and we're the trashiest looking couple here - but, they did let us in. The second round is coming up, we're having a Pina Colada at Trader Vicks.

Cheap Day Return; on our way to Salisbury to get a bus and see Stonehenge, we're waiting to get thrown out because we paid for second class and we're sitting in coach - the only difference seems to be there's more room and tables between the seats like in a diner. 
From the train you get to see the countryside and the towns, it's quite pretty. These folks sure like brick. 
It's very hazy, not like the fog you see Basil Rathbone walking in and out of, this just sort of sits off in the distance. When it's seen through the trees it's atmospheric and very nice but when yer trying to take pictures of Big Ben it's a real drag.  The last few nights have been absolutely bitter and Kathryn dragged me out to shoot the Houses of Parliament/Big Ben last night and Tower Bridge and the Tower of London the night before. They're all on the water and the wind goes ripping through any area that's not secured; up sleeves and down necks. Scarves and gloves are only minimally effective, they're better than no scarves and no gloves but you still suffer. Kat keeps saying You're wearing a skirt again - aren't you cold? while she's standing there with her coat unbuttoned and no gloves.
Speaking of gloves: I left my red ones in the Gloucester Station.

Stonehenge was real boring; an hour and a half on the train (nice ride) then ten miles on the bus. The bus driver was a real good guy - he told us to behave ourselves and left us there for an hour. After paying one pound fifty for admission and walking around taking pictures, we had 46 minutes to stand around and complain about the cold. It was all roped off so you couldn't get too near the stones and some old guy in a glass booth made extra sure that we didn't. On the other side there were sheep - lots of them, everywhere we walked we had to watch out for the blueberries.

Stanhope Tavern; I found my red gloves. The Iranian at the Bureau de Change had them. Bearing in mind my native land I naturally assumed they were gone fer good. There's a great jukebox here - I'm singing Wild Thing to my sister, we have to keeping drinking till all my songs are played; ten for a pound.

DINKYS: Double Income No Kids Yet. This is one of Elizabeth's expressions, we met her at the Stanhope Tavern; she's thirty seven, interested in New York but loves Europe and tells us that the Britons were outraged that we involved them in the air raid to kill Qaddafi by flying through their air space. I've heard that the British are very cold and unfriendly but I must say that the worst anti-social behavior thus far has been simply to ignore. At least once a day we find someone who is very friendly and sweet. Having someone turn my leather gloves in was a big two points in my book. Elizabeth was sitting there all by herself (just like Jacques was) and we all started yapping - sounding different is really a conversation starter. 

PS: I started talking to Elizabeth. I saw her coming and I cleared the stool of our coats so she'd have a place to sit while Sue was in the toilet (Written by Susan's little sister).

Last day: I've been thinking about Klaus; he's a journalist that we met in the lobby last night, the floors in the hotel are smooth and slippery so I dragged Kat along by her hands, she used her boots as skis and Klaus came up behind her and pushed. We were to have met him for a drink forty minutes ago but we never got out of the room. There was a note waiting for us this morning at breakfast, I naturally assumed we were going to get yelled at; we had just met him so what type of message could he possibly be leaving us? He wrote that he regretted not being able to talk to us, he included how long he waited and said that he'd be in America at the end of the month and would like to meet us. We also got an invite to France from Midi, our little waiter -  he was so small and such a cookie, he immediately took to us...he wants to see us bronzed (from the sun as opposed to cast in bronze). He was so attentive and complimentary I'll have to put him on my list for correspondence.

The plane ride's been alright so far - no gut wrenching turbulence, we have in flight drinks, Irish music on the headset and we even left on schedule.