All posts for the month September, 2009


Published September 25, 2009 by jean cohen

Yeah, people laughed at me when I talked about Adonai texting or Twittering.  I’m not so dumb after all.


In my Yom Kippur greeting from (a Jewish religious site which sends practically weekly emails telling me what I’m doing wrong in my life, and, by the way, could I send some money) there was an advertisement.


For only 99 cents, you too can send Yahweh a text message- right to the Wailing Wall.  An iPhone is required.  Apparently the rabbi downloads them, prints them on little scraps of paper and takes them over and sticks them into a crevice for you.  So you don’t, like, have to fly 12 hours to Israel to do it yourself.   Such service!


And if it’s not a Yahweh-caliber request, you can send it to Rebbe Schneerson, of righteous memory, instead and they’ll stick it in his tomb.  I think an example of the Rebbe’s turf might be “Dear Rabbi: Please make Donovan’s rib all better by Sunday.  Jeano PS – you’re not a Giants fan, are you?  In which case I won’t waste my 99 cents. Unless you can give Farve a rotator cuff injury so Sage starts.  (Hey, he’s one of Us so that should count for extra nachas.)  And Penn State…the National Title..” .


It’s hard to know where you got your 99 cents worth when you start one of these heartfelt pleas for divine assistance.


So, seriously, how long do you think it will be before your mobile rings and the little window flashes ‘G-d ringing …and don’t even think about letting it go right to voice mail’?  Or you’re surfing Twitter to see what Ashton Kutcher  or Demi had to say about anything, and you see one from St. Theresa of Avila: “How did we screw up so badly with Reginamaria? What happened to that proud Little Flower Tradition of ‘educating young women since 1939’?’ I told you she never paid attention when anybody talked to her.”   


a HUNDRED REASONS to go to Camberley

Published September 23, 2009 by jean cohen

Well I made the cut; I’m in the Book.  Of course, the Book isn’t sealed until Yom Kippur, so it’s a kinder, nicer Jeano during the ten days of awe and repentance.  ‘Til after Monday.  Unless Yahweh sends you a text or something saying “You flunked!” I always wonder how you know you’ve actually repented enough. 


An idea:  The Prize Patrol pulls up to Rede Court in the Publishers’ Clearing House Sweepstakes van. Ed McMahon comes to the door. (Forget that he’s dead; I see dead people all the time.)  In addition to the balloons, he’s holding a giant facsimile of a check which says “Congratulations!  You didn’t win $10,000,000, but at least you’re sealed.  Mazel Tov!”


Let’s get the bad news over fast.  The Birds got blown out on Sunday 48 – 22.  I couldn’t even watch; I turned it off.  Of course it helped that I was invited for a festive L’Shanah Tovah roast dinner at the Dyers’. Irish Lad made that special “Sheepie’ that I love, with that crackling stuff.


Kevin Kolb started in place of the injured McNabb. I think #5’s sulking; he was wearing his ‘Does this look like a happy face to you?’ expression. In addition to playing like total crapola, his name doesn’t conjure up anything remotely sexy to fantasize about. 


And okay, Mike, I’ll admit it.  The Irish beat Michigan State 33 – 30.  I was wrong; the Irish got lucky. Not exactly a barn burner, though, was it?  The Nittany Lions, unsurprisingly, crushed Temple 31 – 6.  They moved up to #5 in the national rankings this week.


I had a date (maybe it was two; I can’t remember) did my various shifts at Sam and the Senior Centre, had a class on ‘Web Design’ with JKeith and lots of other stuff.  I just know I was hardly ever home.  And I trained for a full day of ‘Search & Seize’ with Carol on Friday.


Pinkie, Carol and I are starting a little business.  We’re going to host Trunk Shows.  Naturally, if each of us just cleared out our closets we’d have enough clothes to have a show a month until the Warren Commission releases the classified details of JFK’s assassination.  I suppose the clothing would have gone out and come back in in a big way.  Anyway, we’re all dutifully blitzing the shops religiously for finds for the show.  And us… oh, not all the time.  We’ve got a couple other vendors lined up too, a jewelry designer and a knock-off pocketbook pusher, to participate.


Anyway, Carol turned up at mine bright and early, ready to rumble.  We did every charity shop in Molesey, Shepperton and Addlestone.  We were meant to do Cobham as well, but I was practically in tears from exhaustion and lack of coffee.  And I really did have to get home to change for Erev Rosh Hashanah services. 


Of course by Saturday afternoon when Pinkie suggested a mooch up the High Street and a coffee at Poppins,  I was sufficiently recovered to agree enthusiastically.  We scored some stunning stuff at Sam naturally.


On Sunday I was up at the crack of dawn.  I was helping BooBoo do a table at a car boot sale.  For a variety of reasons, I was up late on Saturday night, and Boo took one look at my ‘does this look like a happy face?’ face and made another pot of coffee, which she poured into a giant thermos she’d thoughtfully brought along before leading me to where the car was parked (where it’s always parked; right outside my door.)


Fortunately, it was a gorgeous day.  I helped her set up her table and then headed off to check out all the other tables.  I like to poke around, but I seldom buy other people’s junk.  She did okay, and after we packed what was left up, we headed home about 1:30.  Pinkie, whose washer had bitten the bullet earlier in the week, was at mine washing.  So we three sat in the garden enjoying the sunshine and discussing my complicated social life.  Well I discussed; they just took the piss.  And, of course, the trip.  The one Across the Pond.


It’s only two weeks away!  After Princie and I drop Pinkie off in Balty, I have a full schedule of lunches and dinners booked until we pick her up at Amtrak in Wilmington for an Incollingo cousins’ dinner.  Then we shop, and shop.  Then we head down to Atlantic City, then back up to New York City and then to Scary Fairy’s in Clifton-on-the-Garden-State.   I think after that we come home.  If we can figure out how to get all the shit I’m sure we’ll be buying into our suitcases.


On Tuesday, I attended my first official ‘Friends of the Weybridge Centre’ committee meeting.  Imagine my surprise to discover that not only am I on the committee, I’m the Secretary.  I have got to stop zoning out and fantasizing about Sage when people are nattering to me.  I had grumbled to Hester (she’s on the committee, too) before it started that ‘I really have enough friends now, thank you very much!’ 


Then President Guy Reg announced that I had to take minutes.  “Who blabbed about the shorthand” I mumbled to myself, mentally putting pins in little voodoo dolls.  This obviously meant I had to pay attention.  Wow!  Apparently when I’m not buying clothes, planning a Thanksgiving Dinner for 120, administering JDavid’s web site, and shifting at Sam, I have duties at the Senior Centre.  There goes my sex life… up in a puff of smoke. 


I am escorting the last whoop-de-doo excursion of the season on October 21.  To Camberley.  I am not shitting you.  Really.  “Um, Reg?  Why are we going to Camberley?  Is there anything there?”

Of course, nobody knew the answers to those probing questions.  “If there are charity shops there, then Hester and me are covered.  But what are the rest of them supposed to do for four hours?”


Sanjay said rather unsympathetically I thought, “That’s your department.  You need to figure it out.”


Note to self: Start paying attention when ‘everybody’s talking at you’.




Published September 16, 2009 by jean cohen

I have to admit to having had a morbid interest in Patrick Swayze’s battle with pancreatic cancer.  Part of it was really a tinge of jealousy; he lasted twenty months.  I did wonder cynically if movie stars got access to better treatment options since the prognosis is generally approximately six months, but he succumbed finally too and probably just as horrifically.  I wasn’t especially a fan, but I’m sorry, mostly for his wife and family in a ‘been there, lived through it after all’ sort of way.


Jerry has been much in my thoughts anyway, as I’m making preparations for my trip home and his yahrzeit is rapidly approaching.  (Yes, I got the candles already.  No room in my suitcase for extras on the way back from Across the Pond.)  No trip could be complete without a pit stop at Har Yehuda.  I can show Pinkie my name on our tombstone, which freaks people here out for some reason.  And have a conversation with my husband, during which I get to do all the talking, as opposed to the 3:00 AM ones where I never get a word in edge-wise.


Tuesday was an awful day here; it was grey and cold, and it poured buckets without a break.  Typical English weather, in other words.  I did my Tea Lady shift, managing to dodge Mary, who still firmly believes we’re in competition for Charles’ affections,  and planned to come home and put a few hours in working on JDavid’s web site.  But I simply couldn’t concentrate.  If anybody wants to check out the site by the way, the web address is  My friend Jeanette rang whinging about the crappy day, and asked if I wanted to go to the movies and out for a meal.  Is the pope a German?


We saw ‘Julie and Julia’.  And before you snicker that I went to see a movie about a renowned chef even though I don’t, you know, cook, that wasn’t the point of the story at all.  It was the blog.  Julie, a writer who can’t get published, decides to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s French Cookbook in a year and blog about it.  Obviously, she already knew how to cook ordinary stuff that isn’t a Ready Meal.  Well, the blog takes off big time, and she gets famous.  Hmm.  I must be doing something wrong.  But I’m still not gonna start cooking to become more interesting.  I thought my blog was incredibly and endlessly fascinating already.   And most of it’s true.


It was a sweet film.  Of course I’d seen Julia Child on TV (probably when I was flicking over to NFL Today), but I really didn’t know anything about her.  It was sort of a love story- she and her husband had a special relationship and the plot wove back and forth from Julie’s cooking adventures to Julia’s efforts to write a French cookbook for American  women while living in Paris (her husband was a diplomat).


After the film, we went to ‘Somebody & Somebody’s New York Style Italian Restaurant’, which, needless to say, wasn’t… by any stretch of the imagination.  Hope does foolishly persist in springing eternal.  The service was atrocious, as was the food.  Being a tiny bit grumpy from sun deprivation, when some official person (I wasn’t sure if it was our waitress; we only saw her for a second when she snippily took our order) asked “How was everything?” I replied “Sweetie, trust me.  In New York, Uncle Guido would have you whacked for even serving pasta that crappy.  Do the words ‘al dente’ mean anything to you?”  The restaurant came to a standstill because I complained.


Right.  Maybe in a different galaxy.  I just got ‘the look’.  The one that says ‘gee, you’re an unhappy customer. And I should care because … ?’


And moving on to another ‘Weybridge is a small town’ anecdote, Sanjay rang and said that I needed to sign bank cards as a new signatory on the Centre’s bank account.  He asked if Vicky, the new Treasurer, could pop over with the forms.  She did and I offered her a coffee.  I didn’t know her- we’re not there on the same days- but as we sat and chatted about changes we’d like to make, we both said “Did we meet before?  You look so familiar.”  We mentioned possible local charitable events we’d both been at, but couldn’t come up with one.  Later, she mentioned that her husband is a member of the Surrey County Council.  The penny dropped.  With a thud.  “Oh my god” I squealed.  I have no bloody clue when the aliens did the brain transplant and I stopped talking like a normal American.  I find myself saying shit like  ‘Hello, you’ or even worse ‘Love you!’ to everyone when saying goodbye on the telephone.  The guy from Sky Sports replied ‘Dinna ken blah blah tank ye”.


Anyway.  I said “Oh my god!  Is Miles McLeod your husband?”  When Vicky confirmed this, I said “I interviewed him for an article I wrote for the Haderech, my synagogue’s newsletter.  He spoke at a Bagels & Lox meeting.”  “I was there, too” Mrs. McL told me.  “I went to the meeting with him.   At Jenny Jenkel’s. That’s where I met you!”


Fancy that.  I pretended that I remembered her clearly.  I know Cousin Bernie was there looking adorable, but he’s the only one I remember.  And I damned sure remember having to ring Miles McLeod afterwards and make him repeat practically the whole talk so I could come up with a reasonably intelligent article.  Gosh, I love little towns.


Female readers will be crushed to hear that the Birds did not sign A.J. Feeley to help out during Donovan’s latest crisis.  So no ‘touchy Feeley’.  They signed Jeff Garcia instead, who happened not to be busy for the next couple of Sundays.  I can’t think of anything remotely funny to say about Garcia.  And he’s not hot.  He’s bald.  In fact, if Terrell Owens is to be believed (and I personally don’t put much credence in anything he says) Garcia’s gay.


This week Penn State takes on the Temple Owls.  I’m going to make a prediction here.  64 -3.  And Notre Dame faces Michigan State.  Okay.  I’m up for another prediction.  Commentator: “The Irish have this one in the bag.  There’s only 3 ticks left.  Wait a minute!  Michigan State just intercepted the ball!  They’re running it back 147 yards for the go-ahead score as time expires.  Looks like the Irish fucked up another one.”


I’ve got my shifts at Sam and a meeting for the Thanksgiving dinner, plus an entire day of shopping with Carol.  And a car boot sale with BooBoo on Sunday.  Friday night is Erev Rosh Hashanah so lots of Syn time this weekend.  I’m invited to friends’ for dinner after services on Saturday night.  And Piano Man is back from holiday on Monday.  Unless he dumped me while he was away and forgot to mention it in one of his emails.


Shana Tovah!


Published September 14, 2009 by jean cohen

I got conned into working at a Sam Do on Sunday.  It was an 18 mile bike race in conjunction with the Horsell Village Festival.  Okay, I thought.  I can sell cupcakes (made by someone besides me) or man the Tombola booth.  And a Village Festival sounds quite ‘Agatha Christie-ish’.  Should be fun and another ‘first’. 


The Events Coordinator was a bit vague about the details, but hooked me up with a guy from Walton who’d also volunteered to work and agreed to pick me up and bring me home.  Hubba! Hubba!  She hadn’t told me Simon was my age, drop-dead gorgeous and a widower.  Don’t get excited.  He’s engaged already.  Why is it if they’re even slightly worthwhile they get snapped up in a New York minute?  I actually worked with a woman who read the Jewish Exponent obituaries religiously and showed up at Shivas  toting a casserole in a Tupperware container with her name and phone number on it so the grieving widower would have to call her to come pick it up after he ate it.  Hey, it’s a jungle out there.


Anyway, imagine my surprise to find that I was going to be a Traffic Warden.  Seriously.  In a nifty orange vest and everything.  With Simon as my partner.  Between ogling Simon and still looking the wrong way when crossing streets, it was definitely not an auspicious day to be a bicycle rider in Surrey.


We’d been given the wrong time to arrive, so Simon and I had an hour to kill.  No.  Get those minds out of the gutter.  We just had a coffee and sat and chatted.  We got three seconds of instructions on wardening, and then got dropped at our roundabout for the start of the race.  That part was easy.  I just had to stand at the marker and direct the bikers onto the path into Horsell Common.  After we got them on their merry way, we got to go back to the Hospitality Tent and sit around drinking more coffee and flirting like mad.  I meant chatting amiably. 

The serious business came at end of the race.  My job was to halt oncoming traffic on the approach to the intersection to get the straggling bikers, most of whom chose to ride in bizarre costumes or gaudily decorated bikes for some reason, across the road.  Yes, I had to step into the road and stop traffic.  I know that my very ‘Jeano-ness’ can, and has, stopped traffic in the past, but my me-ness was somehow not working properly on Sunday.  Many of the fuckers tried to mow me down or zipped around me.  I didn’t think to carry a pad and pen with me so I could jot down their license plate numbers so Uncle Guido could have his goombahs whack them or at least do some reproachful kneecapping.


I was freezing, and more than a little bored, waving people across the road muttering “Hurry up!  The natives are getting restless and making fists at me.  It was only eighteen bloody miles.  Don’t tell me you’re knackered.”


When the van drove up to tell us that the last of them were finally crossed and take us back to the Fest, I was a popsicle.  They wouldn’t even let me keep the vest.  Simon and I had some food and lots more coffee, and then wandered around the booths.  Homemade cakes?  No.  Plants?  Definitely no.  Face-painting?  No, that’s what Ruby was for.  In other words, the fest sucked.  The Our Lady of Pompeii Block Party was a million times more exciting even when nobody got whacked- for those readers who remember it.


Simon drove me home and came in for another coffee and more chatting.  I will probably see him ‘around’ as he’s now on the list as another stupid person who is willing to help out at Sam Do’s.


While I was busy wardening, Scooter Man had rung cancelling our date on Sunday night.  I could hardly hear him- I was standing in the road at the time – but the dog apparently ate his homework yadda yadda.  Whatever.  I was relieved actually to just have a hot, hot, hot shower, put on my Eagles ‘jammies and watch seven straight hours of American football.


First up were the Vikings and the Brownies.  No, Jock Jew didn’t play.  I concentrated really, really hard on Favre breaking one of his brittle 43 year old bones, but no joy.  Of course, in the way of cosmic karma, all that concentration transmuted to Philly by mistake and Donovan cracked a rib on a touchdown scramble.  The Dog Murderer is still suspended for two more games, so next week doesn’t look so good.  Maybe Feeley’s not busy next Sunday?  Hey, that’s a pretty cute name.  “What are you doing tonight, Jeano?”  “Oh…I don’t know.  Maybe some touchy Feeley.”  The Birds, of course, spanked the Panthers handily.


Then it was time for the G-men and the ‘Skins.  This is a tough one to watch when you’re hoping that both teams will simultaneously combust and go up in smoke.  As I faithfully ring Scary Fairy on Sunday nights, we watched the game together courtesy of Sky Talk.  Just because she lives in North Jersey, Scary pretends to be a loyal Giants fan.  I think it might be mandatory in her zipcode.  I got in a lot of really cool digs about Eli; he’s a bow-wow as well as being a crap quarterback.  Plaxico is so last week.  She reciprocated, naturally, with the latest Vick jokes.  The conversation kinda went like “He stepped out at the 35!  Is that Zebra blind?”  “Pass Interference?  Your mother!” “Wow! Did you see the ass on #67?  I’d like to get my hands on that!”  “#72’s got the hottest thighs ever!.”  We enjoy all aspects of the game.


Naturally, Scary concurs with me that Jock Jew is adorable, and she thinks ‘Sage’ is a really cool name.


Congrats to Coach Joe and the Nittany Lions for taking care of business in Syracuse 28 -7.  And mazel tov! to Notre Dame for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and losing to Michigan in the closing seconds of the game 38 – 34.  I was worried about my pool there for a while.


And Simcha Tov to Pinkie on her new job!  I knew she’d nail it.  Since she will be working in a top secret location that I cannot discuss (okay; it’s near a really big road that starts with an ‘M’ in a place where people arrival and depart in big silver thingies, unless it’s Virgin, in which case they’re red).  As she’s required to get a security clearance and vetting that she doesn’t hang out with any terrorists (I don’t count now that I’m Italiano), I won’t tell you any more.  Okay.  Except that I spent more than a few hours there, more than once, as a guest of Her Majesty’s Immigration Services.  Well done, Sister!


Pinkie’s been waiting patiently for her new car to arrive, and only mentions it 17 times a day.  “When I get the new Jazz…”  We were coming back from shopping, and she started talking about the new car again in the car.  “Pinkie” I chided her, “You shouldn’t talk about the N-E-W  C-A-R in front of this one.  It’s got to last two more weeks and it might get pissed off and implode out of spite.”  Pinkie laughed, but guess what?  The next day, when she was coming home from her shift at Guildford, some important part of the car’s underneath workings gave up the ghost and landed on the driveway with a loud crash.  (I forget what she said it was.) The neighbors actually came running out to see what the hell happened.  Which proves that Pinkie should listen to me more often.


It’s another busy week for me with JDavid stuff, a committee meeting at the Senior Centre (I’m the Secretary?  How the hell did that happen?), Sam shifts and Erev Rosh Hashanah beginning on Friday night with special services. 


I hope you all performed Teshuvah and May You Be Sealed for a Happy Year.



Published September 10, 2009 by jean cohen

I carefully packed away all my white clothes.  Happy Labor Day!  Not that I won’t see them; I’ve run out of closet space for some reason, so they’re all squashed in the one packed with ‘What was I Thinking?’ mistakes and my minks. 


I don’t have to pull out my winter woolies.  They never got put away.  Last year I changed my closets around and then in July I was digging under the (never worn) Bermuda shorts for a turtleneck.  And believe me, I wore them all summer.


Congratulations to JoPa and the Lions on a brilliant game on Saturday, shellacking Akron 31 -7.  And because I don’t want to have to sleep on a park bench in Central Park while we’re in New York, a rousing ‘well done!’ to the Fighting Irish for narrowly edging Nevada 35 – 0.  I didn’t see the game; perhaps the Pep Squad played.


I did catch part of a ‘49ers game on NFL Roundup on Clueless Sports.  Their rookie running back is called Glenn Coffee.  I love coffee; I live on the stuff.  I might possibly have more ‘coffee breaks’ than ‘booty calls’.  Well… okay, it’s too close to call without the chains.


Anyway, I think I prefer being asked “What do you want, Jeano?” so I can say “I’ll have mmmm… Coffee”; it’s more amusing than the  ‘booty’ imaginary conversation.   I used to have a thing for Tedy Bruschi.  He’s not remotely hot, but I thought if I was married to Tedy, he could say cute shit like “Mrs. Bruschi, get the linebackers another brew-ski while you’re up.” 


Maybe I’ll start a new index of football players with cool names.


I had a meeting with the Sam managers the other day; not just me, the three people designated ‘Senior Volunteers’.  I said to Mikey “That’s not, like, because we’re old, is it?  It’s because we can read and we know that Jilly Cooper isn’t ‘classic British literature’?”  Honestly, you would be shocked if you saw what some of the staff put in the Classics section.  Some of the volunteers are worth exactly what we pay them.  Bupkis.  Really true example: “There’s a lady on the phone asking if we have ‘The Forsyte Saga’.  Did you ever hear of it?”  Several evil yet witty rejoinders came to mind, but I just took a deep breath and looked in the ‘G’s’ in Classics for Galsworthy.  And I’m not even British.


That reminds me.  Jennifer, the third member of the triumvirate, and I stopped to have a coffee after the meeting.  We were criticizing one of the managers and I said “Well, ‘the devil can cite Scripture for his own purpose’, you know.”  Jen was gobsmacked.  So was I, even though I often impress myself.  But I do use quotes a lot; usually from ‘The Prophet’, it’s true, but I can download a Shakespeare or two from my memory banks on occasion.  “Where’s that from” she challenged.  “Merchant of Venice” I told her.  Jen, who has a much more thorough background in English Lit than I, disagreed.  She bragged that she’d directed the play while attending her posh boarding school.  I promised to check the quote source when I got home, and ring her.


Yes, I was very childish.  “Na-na-na-na! You were wrong” I crowed when she answered the phone.  “Merchant of Venice – Act 1 – Scene III – Antonio.”   She had to admit I’d stumped her.


On Tuesday, I had to go to Chiswick for JDavid, and enticed Pinkie into coming along by promising to take her to ‘the Mother of All Consignment Shops’.  Wow.  That was an expensive outing.  We stopped for lunch on the way home at the Minnow, where, naturally, I ran into two people I knew (and Pinkie didn’t).  One was Myra Cohen Cohen, who said, basically, ‘You don’t call.  You don’t write.  You don’t come over for a coffee.  Did you forget where I live? Lose my phone number? I could be dead and you wouldn’t know it.”  Well, I am paraphrasing, but just a tiny bit; she was looking especially Rosie the Terrible-ish and I thought “Trust my mother-in-law to be having a very expensive lunch at the Minnow.   She wouldn’t be caught dead…well…alive at the Slug & Lettuce.”  I said to Pinkie afterwards “God!  I feel so guilty.  I’m a terrible person.  And there’s probably another big black mark in my fucking Book!  Oy vey.”  You can ask Pinkie; it’s true.


Jen rang late Tuesday afternoon to say she’d been to lunch in Richmond (coincidentally practically next to Chiswick) with a group of her school chums and related the story to them about the Merchant of Venice quote.  She told me that she’d said “I was bested on Shakespeare by an American from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania!”


Hmm, I wondered.  Which part of that statement is the most insulting?  Granted, a lot of Americans are illiterate, but it’s not generally the done thing to say so, and I’m certainly not.  Or does she think King of Prussia is, like, Alabama or Arkansas and I went to school in a one-room schoolhouse like Abe Lincoln or those obnoxious children on ‘Little House on the Prairie’?  British people have the most peculiar misconceptions about Americans sometimes.


On Wednesday, I escorted another coach trip for the Senior Centre- this one to Worthing.  I believe Worthing is the seaside, but I’m not sure.  Hester (who came for company) and I never stopped shopping long enough to verify this rumor.  Hester is the sort of friend you want by your side during a crisis– like when you have to go to a seminar with JDavid and you have nothing to wear.  She’s a bit rigid, however.  Everything is black-and-white, literally.  Like she refused to let me buy that stunning sweater coat because it was black-and-white.  “You’re a Warm Autumn.  Ruby and I say ‘No!  You can’t have it!’”  (Not to worry; they had it in beige and brown.)


The summer outings had all been arranged before I got elected to the committee and, apparently, there had been issues with the bus on a few of them.  As this was the last one, the bus company sent their poshest bus.  It was an executive coach, with four seats together, two on either side of a table and satellite TV.  It should have been quite pleasant.


It wasn’t.  This woman got on and plunked herself at our table.  I felt just like that Vietnamese officer in ‘Airplane!’ who made the mistake of sitting next to Striker.  She didn’t stop nattering, and in this truly awful accent.  I don’t even notice British accents any more, but this one was like a cat with it’s tail caught in a Chop-o-matic.  Ignoring her and one word answers didn’t even slow her down, so in lieu of hari kari – on her, not me – I pulled out my .mp3 player and cranked it up, drowning her out and leaving Hester to cope.  Since the woman was on her own, I gave my little ‘We’re in Worthing.  Let’s be careful out there.’ shpiel in double quick time and dragged Hester off before Cat Woman latched on to us for the day.   Yeah, just put another black mark in my Book.


The regular season starts on Sunday.  The Birds travel to Carolina to play the Panthers.  Would everybody please send Donovan ‘happy’ thoughts?  And while you’re at it, focus on Farve getting a nasty bug or arthritis in his playing elbow so Jew Jock starts?  You’re the best, faithful readers.

I have a date with Scooter Man on Sunday night.  This will be a watershed in our relationship.  He has never seen me watch an American football game.  It will get ugly.  I guess I’ll have to be extremely attentive in other ways to make up for it.




Published September 6, 2009 by jean cohen

It’s freezing here.  I am shivering in my fuzzy Eagles jammies.  I’m so glad that I didn’t burn them in the middle of the night when the Birds embarrassed us all by playing down to the lowly

 J-E-T-S  and got creamed.  Since I know you’re dying to know,  Philadelphia Freedom (my new name for #7 himself- Mr. Vick) was mediocre: 7 for 11 for 26 yards, he carried 7 times for 35 yards, he was sacked 4 times, coughed it up once and when that wasn’t disgraceful enough he threw a big fat INT.


I want to turn on the bloody heat.  It’s September 4, for Adonai’s sake.  Everybody knows you turn on the heat on October 15.  You stop wearing white on Labor Day, you winterize the pool on September 30, and you turn on the heat on October 15.  That’s the way it’s done; The Orderly Progression of the seasons. 


When I whinged to BooBoo, she was unimpressed.  “Well, turn on the heat if you’re cold.”  “But it’s only September 3rd” I explained patiently.  “There’s an order to things that must be followed or it’s like…chaos… or England and queues.”  Never mind; it made perfect sense to me.


“Then I guess you’ll be cold”.  Very unsympathetic.  Scooter Man actually got out of bed and closed the windows the other night.  He was freezing and I’m not much help in the body heat department.  Especially since I insist on staying way over there– on my side of the 50 yard line- with encroachment earning a yellow flag and a fifteen yard penalty in Jeano Football.


The hunkalicious Jock Jew had a dreadful night on Friday.  (That’s known as an ‘oxymoron’ in grammatical terms; Jews are never, ever jocks, well except for maybe Mark Spitz, but he just liked swishing around in Speedos.)  The vile ‘Boys beat them.  Favre didn’t play.  Maybe he was filling out his application for AARP.  Sage, #2 on the Jeano Hottie Index and the Vikings roster, how eerie is that, was 7/15, 115 yards and 1 INT.  But it wasn’t his fault.  The stupid wide receiver shoulda jumped higher. 


The other backup QB did even worse.  But.  But.  Get this.  His name is Booty.  Really.  I’m not kidding.  I started fantasising about doing the deed with John.  Wearing only his helmet (he’s not all that hot, but the bod’s excellent).  It’s all about the name. “What are you up to tonight, Jeano?  Spending the evening memorizing the September issue of Vogue?”  “No, smartass.  #9’s coming over for… drum roll, please … a Booty call!”    


One more football item and I promise I’ll stop.  Good luck to Coach Paterno and the Nationally Ranked #9 Nittany Lions on Saturday against Akron in the season opener.  Gee, I wonder if the Fighting Irish are going to be playing this year.  Does it matter?  Just put a red ‘L’ in all the little blanks now and save time later when filling out your pools.


Moving right along from sex with football players (in grammatical terms a ‘tautology’) to religion, it is only two weeks until Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  And then it’s Yom Kippur.  I am, of course, teshuvah-ing (repenting) like crazy so I get sealed in the Book again this year.  Hopefully my charitable works worked like a cosmic Amex payment to offset any deplorable behavior I engaged in, not that I remember any.  Hardly any.  And I apologized, sort of.


At Syn on Saturday there was a really sweet mitzvah.  Maxwell, a member of the congregation, was celebrating the 60th Anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah.  The midrash portion of the Torah this week was exactly the same one he read 60 years ago.  So he got called to Torah to read that portion again in front of scores of kvelling relatives and friends.   Then he hosted an amazing luncheon for the whole congregation.  As Max is South African, the food was all regional dishes… kosher, of course.  I have no clue what most of it was- I know bagels with cream cheese and lox when I see it –  but it was all delicious.  Chatting to the Bar Mitzvah Senior Citizen during lunch (well, I can’t call him the ‘Bar Mitzvah Boy’) he was really funny.  He admitted that he had woken up in the middle of the night all week in a panic to recite his portion once again, just to be sure, something he hadn’t done the first time around with the supreme confidence of a thirteen year old. 


Saturday night I went to see Scratch and Mrs. Scratch playing at the Ash Tree with my friend, Jeanette.  We had a scrumptious Thai dinner at BooBoo’s restaurant and then met up with Cheese Boy.  They always put on a great show.  They did ‘Sweet Home You Know What’ just for me, courtesy of the Boy’s incessant piss-taking.


I have a frantic week ahead, but lately they always are.  Piano Man is on holiday for two weeks, so that’s at least a couple of free evenings.  BooBoo couldn’t resist taking some piss of her own.


“I hope he doesn’t ‘stupidly forget to pack his charger’ so he can’t text you while he’s away” she said with a straight face.   “Yeah, really” I replied refusing to play along.  “Remind me to pack my charger when I go home, not that I’m planning on texting him or you while I’m having oodles of fun.”  That’s called ‘irony’.




Published September 3, 2009 by jean cohen

It’s so comfy to watch Proper, American football on my very own telly instead of at a pub, even if it’s on Sky Sports.  I must remember not to throw Coors Light bottles at said telly when I disagree with the zebras as I only have one.  The British twits who are the presenters on ‘Around the NFL’ don’t have even a clue what’s going on between the hash marks, or probably what ‘NFL’ even means so I yell a lot. “It was encroachment, you asshole!  10 yard penalty.  Didn’t you see the pretty yellow flag?  They’re punting because now it’s fourth-and-sixteen, not because it’s the other side’s ‘turn to be up!’” 


I did catch some highlights of #7 in for a series behind center during the last pre-season skirmish.  Donovan lined up as the TE.  It was surreal, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:30 instead of 7:00.  The Five-ologists among us, who watch McNabb’s body language carefully for signs of an approaching psychotic episode, held our collective breaths.  Vick is still a giant hotdog after everything that happened and that bonehead formation merely fucked up any momentum the Birds’ might have had going on the drive .  Nobody, even the British twits, thought for one millisecond ‘Halfback Option! Isn’t that clever?”  Donovan was not a happy camper, and we all know what happens when that happens, at least those of us who make sulking an art form.  To add to our woes, DeSean Jackson, Shawn Jackson and Ingram are all injured.


I might be forced to watch Vikings games for my football fix.  And Yahweh knows, they have the ugliest jerseys in any sport.  Come on, purple and yellow?  Who looks good in purple and yellow? At the same time.  I’m glad you asked.  Because I’ll tell you.  That positively hunkalicious back-up quarterback, Sage Rosenfels.  I’ll bet he looks damned good only wearing a towel, even in Minnesota in the winter.  6’4” of rippling muscle, the face of an angel and no foreskin (I’m supposing here).  Yeah, that ‘Sage’ sobriquet thingy is a bit strange, but he is Jewish so maybe his zayda was called Shmul or Seymour.  He is so hot he moved to the number two slot on my Jeano Hottie Index, right after Sean Connery and right before Wes Hopkins. 


Note to Sting:  Sorry, Sweetie, but every little thing you do isn’t magic anymore.


I dug out my Turd of Camberley voodoo doll; this is so much more worthy.  I colored on a little Vikings helmet and a number 4 with nail polish (did you ever try to find yellow polish?) and moved all the pins from the crotch to the left leg.  I hope Sage is suitably appreciative of my help when he’s the starter.  And Favre hasn’t had any magic (or an arm) for a couple years at least.


A big “Sorry!” to British readers.  Yes, you will have to put up with football rants in the blog for the foreseeable future, until I get bored.  You lived through March Madness, didn’t you?  Be strong.


I also watched Ted Kennedy’s funeral.  Practically the whole thing.  I’m not one of those ‘Tax & Spend Democrats’, of course, but he was a political icon and it was a sad finale to the Kennedy dynasty.  People remember Chappaquiddick but they forget that in his 43 years in the Senate, he sponsored vital legislation.  He was pretty hot when he was younger, too.  Mary Jo Whatsherface obviously knew a good thing when he offered her a ride in his car.   I’ll own up to a few sniffles when they got to Arlington.  But that might have been because the commentator kept talking about ‘the sun and 93 degree heat in DC’.  Gee, I remember the sun- a little bit.  It’s already winter in Weybridge; summer never showed up, so 93 degrees is simply a number.


In fact, I never wore most of my white clothes all summer.  It never got warm enough.  And it’s Labor Day on Monday.  Pinkie told me that while she was on holiday she watched ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’.  I’m not trying to embarrass her here.  Well, maybe just a little.  The reason she even confessed that she’d seen it was because of the scene where Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane says to Boss Hogg “Who told you you can wear white after Labor Day?”  “Not that I didn’t believe you” admitted Sister, “But I didn’t really believe you.  Now I know it’s true.”  She also said the movie was ‘lovely’.  (Yeah, that was a lie.)


Since I’ve been in England for a long time now – 18 months! – I’m pretty much acclimatized and rarely have those odd occasions where I have no clue what someone is on about.  Mad Tommy, my neighbor across the court, popped over the other morning.  He is called ‘Mad Tommy’ because he is … well … mad as a hatter.  Anyway, I opened the door and he inquired politely in between twitches (I think he hadn’t had his morning cup of Methadone yet) “Do you have a hairslide?”  I was confused, or farmisht if Sage is reading this.   “Golly” I thought.  “Brits call a comb a ‘hair slide’.  How weird is that?  Yeah, I know it slides through your hair, at  least after you stick some Bed Head Detangler on it.  No!  Wait a minute!  I’ve seen combs at Tesco’s in the Beauty Aisle.  They call them ‘combs’.”


“I don’t know what that is” I told him.  He started jerking and mumbling, never a good sign with Tommy.  And he tried pantomiming something that resembled picking head lice out of your kid’s hair after the Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise didn’t work.  “Ah!” I guessed.  “Do you mean a bobby pin?”  “What’s that” Tommy asked.  We were getting positively nowhere fast.  “Sweetie, wait here just a mo” I told him.  “On the doorstep.  Do not come inside.  I will consult the American-English dictionary.”  

Well.  A hairslide is a barrette.  How often does that word come up in my conversations?  “Holy St. Nordstrom of the Rack!  That’s a positively stunning barrette you’re wearing, Jeano.  Where did you get it?”  “At Saks Fifth Avenue.  In the Designer Barrette Boutique right next to the Louis Vuitton counter.” 


I told Tommy that no, I did not even own a single barrette and he shuffled across the road, only to return an hour later, asking if I had a hairdryer.  Fortunately, I didn’t need to consult the dictionary again.  Apparently, he had a lady visiting.  I use that word ‘lady’ in it’s broadest sense as described in the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.  I saw her as they were heading out for a mid-day pub crawl probably.


I had a date with Piano Man on Tuesday and one with Scooter Man on Wednesday.  And I’m going to see Scratch and Mrs. Scratch on Saturday night with friends.  Plus I need to fit JDavid and some projects for him in the gaps.


It’s only a month ‘til I cross the Pond and I must get busy with the Thanksgiving Do.  That will certainly be meetings and more meetings.  And I’m working a Sam Do next weekend in Horsell. 


I think this simply begs for some wise words from the Jewish Buddha:  The Torah says: Love thy neighbor as yourself.  The Buddha says: There is no Self.  So, maybe I’m off the hook?