“You looked so nice I almost didn’t recognize you.”

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‘Appearances can be deceiving. Or something like that.’

So. Today is February 14. And yes, I did get something red and shiny for Valentine’s Day: my nose. Maybe by next week — when it’s (fingers crossed) only a miserable memory — I’ll find this cold amusing enough to write about. We’ll (sniff) see. In the meantime, I’m going with what I originally planned.

Which is a riff on Being Compared to Someone Else.

You know. Like when someone comes up to you at a family reunion and says something along the lines of “You remind me so much of your Aunt Net”. (A real Aunt of Mine whose name was Annette. She wore a hairnet, which is how she got that nickname. Or so we kids thought.) Continue reading

Lost Cat: Answers to the name ‘Mango’

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‘Or “Salmon” or “Steve”. Or maybe just “Kitty.”‘

I’m kicking myself that I can’t find that poster. The Child made it herself, when she was, oh, ten or so. See, we had this most amazing cat at the time. His name was Mango. And he went missing.

He was an orangeish tigerish marmalade cat. So The Child named him Mango. She was very good at naming cats. She was responsible for the late lamented Tuna (whose runner-up names were ‘Grandpa’ and ‘Lipstick’), and our current cat-in-residence, Wombat. When I was a kid, I was terrible at naming cats. I would give them names like (barf) ‘Buttercup’. And then everyone, including me, would just call them ‘Kitty’. We had two littermates once called ‘Black Kitty’ and ‘White Kitty’. They were both brown; one was just darker than the other.

Alienation of Affection, feline style. The Dude captures the heart -- and fur -- of Kitty

The Dude captures the heart — and fur — of the kitty in residence when we met (the ‘Kitty’ whose real name was supposed to be ‘Flicka’)

When I was pregnant with The Child and considering names for her As-Yet-Unbornedness, my Oldest Younger Brother Scott would tease me and say ‘Why worry about names? You’ll just end up calling her “Baby”‘. (He wasn’t far off the mark, since I do in fact refer to her as The Child.) Speaking of names for The Child, remind me sometime to tell you about how The Dude wanted to name her after a Greek goddess. (‘Persephone’ was one of his suggestions.) Continue reading

Thanks a bunch, Bill

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‘The time The Child got her hands on the Starr Report, and I had me a whole lot of ‘splainin’ to do’

The news as I write this is, deservedly, all about the late great David Bowie. But as much as I love ‘Modern Love’ and get a big kick out of la Bowie’s turn as a sexy vampire in ‘The Hunger’, I don’t, alas, have any amusing David-Bowie-related stories. So I’m gonna go with the one about Bill Clinton.

See, Bill Clinton, AKA Hillary’s Husband, was in the news recently too. It seems some transcripts were just released of phone chats between him and his Best Brit Bud Tony Blair. And the Times thought this was pretty juicy. (Okay, I have to ask: If you were president, would you tape your telephone conversations? Holy Tricky Dick, I honestly do not understand this.) Continue reading

La Dolce Vita and Me

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‘The time I flew to Rome for a wedding in the Vatican’

The Dude is still kicking himself that he was ‘too busy’ to go. A friend of ours, who happened to be one of the Pope’s attorneys, invited us to his wedding. (This was way before Pope Francis, so he wasn’t one of his attorneys. But, come to think of it, I’m not sure Pope Francis needs attorneys.) Anyway, this friend was getting married to a woman from a Great Italian Family — and because of their well-connectedness, they were getting married in the Vatican.

We found out about it when we got this amazing wedding invitation in the mail. Calligraphy, of course. On parchment. Several sheets of parchment. In fact, this invitation was more like an illuminated medieval manuscript than anything else. There were pages and pages. The woman from the Great Italian Family needed a whole page just to list all her names.

There was a page for the ceremony, to be held in one of the chapels in the Actual Vatican Itself. (Not the Sistine, but close.) And pages listing all the other fun stuff planned for the wedding guests: A Ball in a Palace (“white tie or full military dress”), Rehearsal Dinner in a Private Club (“black tie”), Private Tour of the Sistine Chapel (“Appropriately Modest Attire”), Reception at the American Academy (“Whatever You Wore to the Wedding”, or something like that). Etc. Etc. Etc. Continue reading

Yup. Even Slackers get the Labor Day Blues

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‘Summer, I miss you already’

I know, I know. Summer isn’t officially over till, like, September 21. But even if yesterday wasn’t Labor Day, I say that if I have to grill my burgers by flashlight it’s Autumn. Okay? And today it’s back to Reality (and the Big City), since even sporadically-employed freelancers like me have obligations and responsibilities. (See ‘I love the smell of SoftScrub in the morning’ for envy-inducing examples.)

But before I go, I’d like to recall a few of the summery things I miss already, along with those white bucks I never got a chance to wear:

Glam home upgrades. Look out. If the Southampton Hospital Designer Showhouse Committee gets wind of our new propane tank, they’re sure to come calling.

Nope. It's not the Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile. It's our snappy new propane tank. Now everybody's gonna want one.

Nope. It’s not the Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile. It’s our snappy new propane tank. Now everybody’s gonna want one.

Newsy neighbors. Due to an amazing stroke of parental luck (The Dude’s Dad had many famous–and grateful–patients*), we live in a neighborhood of BoldFace Names. One of our neighbors was recently on the front page of the Post for erecting an electric fence to protect the ‘Hillary for Prison’ signs he put up in his yard. Another, Jerry Seinfeld, was in the East Hampton Star’s Crime Log for running an illegal lemonade stand: Continue reading

The Dude, by any other name, would not be Jeff Bridges

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‘What’s in a name? A lot of funny stuff, actually.’

Many of you were a tad confused, as well as amused, by my recent story ‘The Jerk and The Dude’. So I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight: I am not married to Jeff Bridges.

Granted, Mr. Bridges is pretty darned cute, and is known far and wide for his role as The Dude in that funny Coen Brothers film, but I must tell you that my personal Dude earned his dandified moniker back when Mr. Bridges was still only a Fabulous Baker Boy. Even before that, actually.

His Dudeness-to-Whom-I-am-Wed was dubbed ‘The Dude’ when he misguidedly, but rather charmingly, wore a tie to his freshman mixer at Dartmouth College. I do not have photographic evidence of this, since I did not know him then. Continue reading

The Jerk and The Dude

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‘The Summer I went out with two Wild and Crazy Guys’

Yup. One of the two Wild and Crazy Guys I went out with that wild and crazy summer was indeed Steve Martin. The other one, though, was not Dan Aykroyd. (For those of you who are Very Young, or were living under a cultural rock during the late 70s, I have included links so that you can find out who the heck I’m talking about. But if you need to click on them, you probably won’t ‘get’ this story, so might as well stop reading now and go to your hot yoga class.)

This story is all about my date with Steve, who was famous, besides being a Wild and Crazy Guy, for his role in a seminal film called ‘The Jerk’.  And whose phone message, incidentally, I kept on my answering machine (remember those?) for years. (‘Hi Alice. It’s Steve. Please call me. I really want to go out with you. [Phone number goes here.] Click.’)

Classy art-house poster for Steve's most famous early film.

Classy art-house poster for Steve’s most famous early film.

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