All posts for the month March, 2010


Published March 31, 2010 by jean cohen

I had a convo with Cheese Boy about Twin Peaks, which I repeated to Tom.  Which led to a discussion about Daniel Day Lewis (don’t ask me; as usual, I don’t know how his mind makes those leaps).


We were talking about DDL’s movies, and, specifically, which year he won the Oscar for ‘There Will Be Blood’.  I googled it; it was 2008.  Then it invited me to a site of ‘The Best Movies of 2008’.


I was only moderately interested, (gee, I missed a lot of films in 2008) until I detected a pattern.  A lot of the titles, with a little imagination, applied to the Turd of Camberley. 


Maybe like the Chinese do with years, 2008 should have been dubbed ‘The Year of the Turd’ by Britain.  Smack and I both met him in that year.


It was actually difficult narrowing it down to the ten funniest titles.


There Will Be Blood – yeah, really.  If the Witches of Meadway ever find all three of ourselves in the same place as him, you can bet your tush there will be.  His.


You Don’t Mess With the Zohan – Just change that ‘Zohan’ to ‘Cohen’. I think maybe he’s figured that out for himself by now.


How to Lose Friends and Alienate People – I don’t think the Turd needs a primer for this one.  He’s an ace at it.


Burn After Reading – Obviously, he should add this instruction to all of his texts and emails to ladies IN CAPITALS; especially when they compare notes and discover he’s sent it verbatim to all of them.


Iron Man – Come on.  Think.  Boxing Day… all three of us…


Speed Racer – It’s a marathon!  Racing around Surrey in a people carrier from house to house to house.


Sex and the City – It’s just a suggestion, but maybe the Turd should extend his geographical parameters to London; there’s more anonymity in the Big Lime.


No Country for Old Men – Same idea; Surrey is no longer the best ‘county for old men’ on the prowl.


Drillbit Taylor – This one actually makes me think of Tom and his miner’s euphemisms, but it kind of works here.  ‘Drillbit’ Meadway’s only positive quality is – well – his drillbit.


Body of Lies  And again, this totally defines the Turd, without any distracting adverbs, in three words.


Righteous Kill – Not the literal translation of ‘kill’; more the ‘killing me softly with their words (and actions)’ kind.  And referring to The Witches, naturally.


Which leads me to EtcK and Smack, my fellow Witches of Meadway.


We’d kept in touch after the dust settled post apocalypse, and we’d all said at various times “We should really get together”.  But we’re all so busy in our post-Turd  social lives.  Strange.  The Turd, sadly, isn’t; except with Smack’s garden and doing her grocery shopping.  She’s still in contact with the Turd; he’s trying some heavy duty re-writing of history to woo her back.


I decided to be pro-active.  I emailed EtcK and Smack, inviting them to mine for lunch.  I picked a date (before Pesach started so I could serve some real food).  They both accepted.


Although they’d spoken on the phone, they’d not actually met each other.  They decided to travel together to me on the train.


Smack said the Turd’s expression was priceless when she dropped the little bombshell on him that the three of us were meeting for lunch and ‘girl talk’ at mine.  I was sorry she hadn’t taken a picture.


I met them at Weybridge Station.  We’d all seen pictures of each other, so I had no trouble recognizing them.  Besides, EtcK was wearing a witches’ hat, to set the mood.  That was so damned cool.  I seriously wished I had thought of doing that myself.


We had a long, lovely afternoon, fueled by a few bottles of California’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon.  The conversation got down and dirty, and I mean that in the most literal sense.  Nothing was off limits or too intimate to be shared, compared and dissected.  Unsurprisingly, and like all rats trapped in a corner, the lies he told after he got busted were pretty desperate.  And pathetically easy to disprove.


But this is about the Witches and me, not the Turd of Camberley.


EtcK and I are very different women.  She is a kinder, softer person than me, but a far cry from the clingy, needy picture I had formed based, again, on total lies.  I think this might really be the most ‘mortal’ of the very many sins the Turd committed, unfairly and untruthfully disparaging EtcK for his own sexual  agenda.


Smack and I are a great deal alike.  We’re both widows, both independent and feisty (she’s Italian too), and perhaps a bit demanding.  In a good way, in that we have expectations and standards, and we expect them to be met.


I’m not sure what they thought about me.  I’d like to think that they liked me too, and thought I was pretty special.  Maybe I should invite them both to do a ‘Guest Blog’.


Will we all become ‘best friends’?  I doubt it.  That requires some sort of deep emotional connection that I don’t think any of us felt.  And there’s the G.U. factor; they both live quite a distance away; not conducive to casual coffees or get togethers.  But I think we honestly clicked. 


I hope we’ll keep in touch, and maybe meet up from time to time to catch up on our lives, not the Turd’s.  He was just the inadvertent catalyst that brought us together in the first place.


I believe in karma, although in this particular situation it didn’t work exactly by the book; three women benefitted from one Turd’s harmful actions.  The Turd got what he deserved.



ITALIA dei VALORI – that’s my favorite party

Published March 29, 2010 by jean cohen

This is interesting.  Apparently I can vote in Britain, if I want.


Well, in Surrey anyway, in local elections.  Since I’m a taxpayer.


The very thought gives me brain freeze, just like Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, which I found at Sainsbury’s.  Nary a single box of bloody matzoh, but 2 for 1 on Ben & Jerry’s.


But I  explained very nicely to the Lib Dems that I spend a lot of time already at 3:00 AM (when DeadJerry isn’t kvetching or I’m watching out for a ghost with big feet and zero taste to slip another sock in my knickers drawer) pondering about Silvio and Barack.  I just don’t have a spare minute to get all worried and depressed about Cowey Sale, even if it’s a landmark and my paison, Julius Caesar, crossed the Thames there on his way to conquering England and introducing vino to the natives.


Note to the natives:  You’re welcome.  From us Italianos.


“Yeah, But I’ve so done that other one” I explained, “The famous one; the Washington and the Delaware one, like, 800 times.  There’s a painting, you know.  By some German guy.  I think his name was ‘King of Prussia’ or that was his local.  Anyway, they’re all in a row boat, in the snow, on Christmas Eve on their way to Trenton, New Jersey to kick some British tush.”


The Lib Dems suggested that perhaps I might like to be a Tory.


Buy Design’s second Trunk Show was not a rousing success.  It was really rather disappointing, especially since Carol and I had worked so hard.  My friends all turned up again, bless them, and our sub-vendors did well, but we didn’t sell nearly as much as we’d projected.  We’re meeting this week—when we can squeeze it in- to rethink our strategy.  We’re not giving up, though.  We’re determined to be successful.  And stunningly dressed while getting that way.


I think Carol might come with me when I go home for a visit in September; to see Valley Forge and Independence Hall.  At least I think that’s what she told Tony.


I went to Divine’s house for coffee, and to hear all the dish on her vacation in Egypt.  Her son was off school – allergies – and so was at home.  A scary, strange thing happened while I was there, which I won’t go into, but it necessitated a phone call to Surrey’s Finest.  While we were sitting around waiting for the cops to arrive, we tossed around possible explanations for what had ‘gone down’.   (We all watch a lot of Law and Order.)


Harry, sort of apropos of the incident, or how he interpreted it, commented “Britain doesn’t provide any mental health services at all to their crazy people.”


Divine and I looked at him, looked at each other, and started to laugh.


I said “Harry, I could bite you right now!  You sounded so ….  American.  You’re so cute!”


Divine agreed.  “That needs to make the blog.  Harry, you’ll be famous.”


Harry is a war buff, especially World War II, so I’d brought him Season One of my priceless Rat Patrol to borrow.  The next morning I got a message from Divine:  “Watched Rat Patrol with Harry last night.  The German is mine.”


Those were fighting words.  “Think again, Girlfriend.  The German is mine, mine, mine!  You can have Tully or Hitch.”  Said German is, of course, the prototype for the conflicted not really very evil hero of my magnum opus.  Hey, wars have been waged over less.  Ask Harry.




Published March 27, 2010 by jean cohen

I had a second driving lesson.  That’s it.  That’s all I’m saying.


Well, okay, maybe I’ll just add that I’m not liking it very much.  And when I don’t like things, I pretty much just don’t do them.  Simple, really.


I had Tea Lady duty Tuesday morning, and had planned to do a little preparation for the Trunk Show on Friday night while I was there, and I had a meeting with Sanjay and the manager of the Hersham Centre at 11:00.  But Hester rang first thing in the morning to report that she was ill and not coming in; could I sell raffle tickets and do the lunch reservations for her? 


Sure.  In my spare time.


My friend, Brenda turned up at 11:30.  We had a date for coffee, which I’d totally forgotten about.  At 12:00 Vicki, turned up.  We had a date for coffee, which I’d completely forgotten about.  When I got to my beauty parlor appointment at 1:00 (which, thankfully, I remembered), Marie, my stylist commented “Gee.  You seem a little tense.”


“Yeah, well, if you were coming off three coffee dates in two hours you’d be wired too.  It’s the caffeine” I told her.


Naturally, by the time I was leaving the hair salon, it was pouring down rain.  There went my super-smooth bob; Shirley Temple curls proliferated all over my head by the time I got to the NHS for my doctor’s appointment.


I just knew that weird guy sitting in the corner mumbling to someone invisible was my doctor’s patient before me.  He didn’t even glance at the dire warnings about ‘appointments are 10 minutes long; if you’re really, really sick, tough shit.’  He must have been in there, like, 17 minutes.  I timed him.  I was in a hurry; it was Tom Tuesday and I needed to get home, shower, do something about those bloody curls and get gorgeous before I had to dash up Hangar Hill to meet Tom at Our Italian.  I talked fast.  I was out in nine minutes although I lost the big battle: ‘no more drugs until you have your blood test, which is seriously overdue’.  


Tom Tuesday was terrific; no surprise there.  Geordie Guy is off to a temporary contract in Florida and has decided to have a holiday in Key West.  He asked my least favorite question.  “What should I do while I’m there?”


I’m sorry.  Am I wearing my ‘Travel Agent- Ask Me Stupid Questions’ hat again?


“Look both ways when you cross the street” I suggested.  I always find that one helpful, especially when the askee is British.  I don’t like Florida.  I wouldn’t care if it fell off the end of the US and floated over and copulated with Cuba or wherever.  And next to Orlando, I dislike the Keys the most.  All that sand, surf and sunsets.  Yuck.


It’s funny; Vicki asked the same question.  Well, I mean she’s not going to Florida with Tom.  She’s off to a conference in Boston.  Since I like Boston, I had tons of suggestions.  Of course I explained that Philly is much nicer and the stupid Tea Party doesn’t give the folks up there bragging rights as the most important city Revolutionary War-wise, no matter what they say.


But I did mention Paul Revere and the History Trail, and impressed her with a few verses: ‘… one if by land, two if by sea, and I on the opposite shore shall be ready to ride and spread the alarm to every Middlesex village and farm.’  And I told her to eat at Anthony’s Pier 4, go to hear the Boston Pop, and catch a Sox game at Fenway.


Carol and I had a slew of stuff to do to get ready for the Trunk Show, and I had JDavid work that had to get finished, so I actually had to beg off my Sam shift this week.  I went out to lunch and shopping with BooBoo in that time slot. 


Partly that was a necessity.  Otherwise I would not have seen BooBoo for a whole week (she popped in to drop off some signs she’d made me for the show, but I wasn’t there).  But I had to shop for my luncheon party on Saturday.  I am entertaining the Witches of Meadway.  Yep, EtcK and Smack are coming to Weybridge.


Pesach begins on Monday and I’m off to London to the Rabbi’s house for the First Seder.  I’m overnighting there.  (Gulp.) 


Then its back early Tuesday morning for the Easter Lunch at the Senior Centre.  Me: “I need a special meal.”  The Cook: “How about a nice ham omelette?”  Me: “On second thought, I’ll just pack my lunch.”


Then it’s change again and dash to the Communal Seder at Shul for Second Night.


Then Wednesday in London again with JDavid at a work thingy, and on Thursday a Lib-Dem Do with Vicki.  No, I’m sorry; I have no clue what Lib-Dems are, but it sounded like fun so I said ‘Sure!’.


But I will blog all the details of the Show, the Witches’ visit, the Rabbi’s house, etc, etc.


Someday soon.



Published March 22, 2010 by jean cohen

It was a nailbiter.  ‘Nova played like the Night of the Living Dead.  They squeezed by Robert Morris (!) in OT.  So much for the Fox pundits who predicted a second consecutive Final Four appearance.  Not the way they’re rebounding.


I’m sorta liking Old Dominion at the moment; they beat Notre Dame.  Butler beat UTEP and BYU beat Florida; not an auspicious start to my pool.  Fortunately, Kentucky took care of business.


Notch another one for ‘Carrie’, AKA me.  Another electronic device bit the dust.  Well sort of.


My computer, Mario, coded, flat-lined, and finally went to … hell, I don’t know … where computers’ souls go when their cold shells stare back at you with a dead black screen.


But I didn’t even get one hair out of place pulling it all out.


I have a new Computer Guy.


Mario needed some tweaking last week, a problem with the driver for my CD drive.  There was an ad in Haderech, the synagogue newsletter, a computer person who comes to your house and solves all your problems.


Okay.  Stop it.  Stop snickering right now.  Computer Guy One is,  as far as I’m aware, still making house calls in King of Prussia.


I rang this new computer guy, who said “Hi, Jean.  I haven’t seen you in a while.  You alright?” 


Gee, I must know him.  I guess it isn’t surprising.  This is Surrey.  I know practically everybody.  And if I don’t, they’re probably not important enough to know.  “Do I know you?”


“Of course.  We’ve met at shul and at the First Seder last year.  I’m Debbie’s fiancée.”


Well, that explains it; he’s the nice young man engaged to Kay’s daughter.  Although, to be honest, the last time I met Debbie and her intended at shul, I was too busy checking out her engagement ring to pay much attention to the guy who bought it.


Computer Guy did all sorts of wonderful things to Mario.  He had to take Mario home overnight, but when he brought him back the next morning, Mario is acting like a frisky young laptop again.  Mario is happy, and so am I.


And speaking of explosions and ‘Weybridge is a Very Small Town’, Tom and I were upstairs and we heard this loud pop downstairs.


“What was that?” Tom asked.


“Some electrical appliance or whatever probably exploded” I explained disinterestedly.  “You’re the man, Sweetie; you go take a look.”


Sure enough, Tom reported with shock and awe that one of the under-counter spotlights had … exploded.  So I had to call PPeter and tell him.


PPeter came over (and he left with both bloody socks on), shook his head a lot, just like he did when the shelf in the refrigerator cracked into a million tiny shards of glass one evening, and said he’d order a new fixture.


He rang to say that the new fixture had arrived, but he couldn’t come on Saturday morning to install it as he was ‘busy’.


“Yeah, I know, Sweetie” I told him.  “You’re having a simcha and a special Oneg Shabbat at shul for your retirement from the cemetery.”


“How did you know that” he asked, gobsmacked.


“This is Weybridge” I told him.  “Everybody knows positively everything about positively everybody.  Besides, I read it in Haderech, the synagogue newsletter.  I’ll be there.  It’s not like every day that my landlord gets a simcha at my synagogue.”


When I got to shul on Saturday morning, there was PPeter, a bit uncomfortable in a suit and a yarmulke, standing in the vestibule with Ian, the shul’s Burial Scheme Coordinator.  (Ian’s job must be to say ‘No!  We can’t slot her funeral in on June 17 next year!  We have to plant her now!  Today!  Tomorrow at the very latest!”)


I said hello, and PPeter said “I guess you’ve never seen me dressed before.”


It was a Smith Barney moment.  Everybody who was busy Shabbat shaloming everybody else stopped on a dime. 


“Ya know, I don’t think that came out right” I told PPeter.  Like I don’t have enough tsauris what with being mean and smutty.“

“He’s my landlord” I announced.  “He comes around a lot to fix things that exploded and visit the rhubarb that ate Surrey.  He takes his shoes off, but that’s all.  He never, ever takes his socks off.  Really.”


The little ceremony after services was sweet.  Several people made short speeches about Peter’s kindness and thoughtfulness at what is always a difficult time.  One in particular brought tears to my eyes.


As you know, or maybe you don’t, it’s the custom when visiting a Jewish grave to leave a small pebble or stone on the tombstone. When somebody from shul explained this to Peter, he gathered up a container full of small stones to offer to people, like hard candies, to place on their loved one’s tombstone.


Tom Tuesday was, as always, fantastic.  At Our Italian, the conversation meandered around from the Vietnam War to the Korean War, which veered to the 38th Parallel, and then watching episodes of ‘MASH’ on Comedy Central.  Which segued into reading ‘Catch-22’.  I brought that up; a copy came into Sam and I put it in the Classics section, prompting some nasty American-British disagreeing in a loud voice.  We chatted about the book, and then moved on to the movie. 


Naturally, Tom renamed a portion of my anatomy to ‘your 38th parallel’, possibly an improvement over your ‘Mason-Dixon line’.


On Thursday night, ‘Catch-22’ was on Sky.  I texted Tom to tell him.  He texted back that his hotel didn’t have Sky and I would have to watch it for both of us.  So about every ten minutes I sent him an update: ‘Yossarian just got his medal stark naked’,  ‘Milo Minderbinder just arranged for the Germans to bomb the airbase’, ‘Yossarian just told Nately’s whore that  Nately’s dead’, and so on.  His replies were hysterical.

Otherwise, it’s been work, work, and more work getting organized for Carol’s and my next Trunk Show this weekend.  It is really tiring to hit seventeen charity shops in one day looking for drop dead gorgeous new clothes.  But we managed.  And we branched out—beauty products this time and footwear.


Unfortunately, Villanova lost to St. Mary’s in Round Two of March Madness.  So I’ll continue with my brackets, and my predictions, but my heart won’t be in it.  Given how busy I am with other stuff, I probably won’t even mention it again.  Until the Final Four round.






Published March 17, 2010 by jean cohen

I know I promised to warn y’all if I got behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle.  Well, I did; but I didn’t share.  I had my first driving lesson in the UK.  All ‘mazel tovs’ graciously accepted.


I’m the first to admit that I am a truly shitty driver in the States.  Even Stevie Wonder would offer to drive rather than be a passenger in a car I’m piloting.  We all have unique and special talents; driving is not one of mine.


To illustrate the point, a few weeks before DeadJerry got, well, dead, he could hardly make it outside to his big mother SUV, preferred ride of short men who have Napoleon complexes, for a doctor’s appointment. (Did that sound a trifle mean and petty?  I guess I still have some unresolved issues.)


Anyway I hoisted all 62 lbs of him up, up, up to the drivers seat, and then offered to drive instead.  His response: “I’m dying, but there’s no way I want it to be as a traffic fatality.” 


Naturally, I got a teensy bit pissed off.  “Yeah, but” I protested, “I could pull you outta there with my little finger, throw you in the wheel well, and just drive to the fucking hospital, ya know.”


Of course, I let him drive.  But I made him stop at Wawa first for jumbo cappechinos.


Ken, my instructor, is very nice.  And very patient.  He hardly screamed at me at all.  He did suggest that I stop hitting every pothole in Surrey at 60 MPH.  Maybe he owns the car. 


I think he must eat a bowl of Prosac sprinkled with granulated Valium for breakfast.  I asked, and he said no, he has a banana.


Oh yeah.  He only has one leg.


Apparently, if you want to learn to drive an automatic in England, they send a guy who doesn’t need that other foot to stamp on the clutch.


The first words out of his mouth were, big surprise, “Are you American?  


“No, I’m Italian.  Read the learner’s permit.  It says ‘Italian’. I just can’t watch enough Law & Order on telly.  Must have rubbed off.”


One legged Guy: “Ooh!  Have you ever been on Route 66?  The Ventura Freeway?  The Pacific Coast Highway?”


Ditto.  Check.  For sure.


Then he insulted me.  “Are you from Texas? You have a funny accent.”


C’mon.  Texas?  Seems like One legged Guy is missing a few other important parts, too.  And, once and for all, I don’t have a bloody accent.


I hated every second I spent in that stupid bloody car on those stupid miniscule little roads, going around stupid confusing roundabouts driving on the wrong, stupid side of the road.


It didn’t go real well, but nobody died.  I don’t think.



I made my pilgrimage to the only Jewish Waitrose in Britain with BooBoo.  I have been invited to North London- to the Rabbi’s house – for the First Seder.  I’m pondering; it requires an overnight stay due to the train schedule.  Jackie told me very seriously “The seder starts at 7:00 and finishes about midnight.”  Oh dear.  I ran this past Princie on the phone when he rang to swear it wasn’t his sock. 


“I know, Sweetie” I assured him in regard to Sockgate, “That would be too damned Appalachian to even contemplate sober.”


Anyway, Princie said “Wow!  7:00 to Midnight!  They must do the entire Haggadah from back to front!”  That thought had also occurred to me.  At the Cohen seder, praying was over by 8:15; and that included 47 children taking turns saying the Fir Kashen for a Susan B. Anthony silver dollar.


Boo and I discussed what an appropriate hostess gift might be to bring when you’re staying overnight at your rabbi’s house and it’s Pesach.  In other words, an Entemann’s cherry strudel would not be a good idea, even if you could get one.


“Wine is always good” Boo suggested.


“Nah, can’t do wine” I told her.  “Not only does it have to be kosher wine, it’s got to be ‘kosher for passover’ wine.” 


“You just made that up” Boo accused me suspiciously.  “Uh uh” I protested, “That’s one’s true, Boo.  I swear.”


I do not know why people always suspect me of telling lies.


“’Kosher for Passover’ wine is more kosher than kosher.  It’s, like, the kosher-est wine.”


“And what makes it kosher-er than the kosher-est?” she asked.


I knew she was gonna ask; I was ready.


“Well, besides the rabbinic supervision, and only Sabbath-observant Jews jumping on the grapes while singing Chad Gad Yo, the mold can’t be mold that grew on bread.  It can only be fruit mold.  Duh!”


I only made up the part about Chad Gad Yo.  Maybe they sing Hatikvah.


Imagine Boo’s amazement when we found the Kosher section at Mr. W’s (hidden in the corner behind the toilet paper)  and on one of the three shelves were some bottles of ‘kosher for Pesach’ wine.  For ₤9.99 a bottle.  And it wasn’t even Manischewitz White Concord.  I would have sprung for a bottle- or two, or four – for my own private ‘Pesach seder’.


I did get matzoh, so I can make fried matzoh, and, unbelievably, chocolate covered matzoh.  I’m not sure what you do with it, but I’m looking forward to experimenting.  Maybe on top of ice cream?


When I went to Film Club at shul (It was ‘The Music Box’; excellent flick) I shared my ‘adventures of Pesach shopping in Britain’.  Sandy, another member of shul, has a house in California.  She started talking about going to a supermarket, any supermarket, and how there are aisles after aisle crammed with Passover foods, including as she said ‘those family packs of ten boxes of matzoh for $2.00.”


“Really” I agreed, tripping down Memory Lane.  “I just paid ₤3.99 for one box.  I didn’t even buy any macaroons; they cost more than a Whistle skirt.  I won’t be getting all ecumenical and inviting some Gentiles over for fried matzoh at mine any time soon.” 


Sandy:  “What’s fried matzoh?”


Big sigh.







Published March 15, 2010 by jean cohen

It’s the happ-happiest time of the year again!  Well, not counting the playoffs and Draft Day.


Yes, it’s March Madness time finally.


The Big Dance is upon us once again, and we’ll be coloring our brackets, making our selections, and boldly breaking the law in 49 states.  The Field of 64 will march inexorably to the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, The Final Four, and then the whole enchilada.  Yippee!


Selection Sunday is tonight, but I don’t think I’ll stay up and watch.  It breaks my heart to have to report than ‘Nova might not even get into the Tourney.  They may have blown it in the Big East showdown, in spite of Scotty Reynolds.  West Virginia will be the #1 seed in the Big East.  I know you’re all asking ‘How the bloody hell did that happen, Jeano?’  My answer: ‘Beats the shit outta me, dude. They snatched defeat right out of the jaws of victory.’


I put in an appearance Saturday night at a Do; I dragged J David with me for company.  I spent a delightful hour chatting with an American friend on who’s in, who’s not, who our respective Cinderella Teams are going to be, and what a disappointment Seton Hall (his team) and ‘Nova (mine) have been this season.  Poor David’s eyes started to glaze over.  He just wanted to go to dinner.  “I had no idea you were such a devout sports fan” he grumbled as he dragged me out the door, just when the convo got really interesting.  We were talking about Michael (Dog Murderer) Vick’s prospects for next season.


Much, much more on this exciting topic after the Field is announced.


Toots has been obsessing on Sockgate.  She sent an email: ‘the electrician did it.’  I sent one back: ‘It was Col. Mustard, with handcuffs, in the bedroom, with one tatty black sock and no jockeys on.’


Then when I rang her, she crowed “Could it have been the Turd?”


“No” I told her.  “Don’t be silly.” 


“Does he have a key to your house?  Maybe he sneaked in and planted it to make you crazy.”


“The Turd never had a key.  Do you think I’m nuts? (Don’t answer that.)”


Undeterred, she persisted.  “Well, he knew where all the secret hidden emergency keys to your house are stashed.  Everybody does.  I know where they’re hidden and I’m in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.”


She had a point, there.  I do misplace my keys on a regular basis.


But I’m absolutely sure it’s not the Turd’s sock.  The patented Toxic Turd-ide Monitor next to the smoke alarm would have started shrieking. I’m going to post a picture.  Of the sock.  If it’s yours, please ‘fess up and satisfy our curiosity.


Otherwise it was just an ordinary week; volunteer shifts, JDavid work, Tom, a few coffee dates, a ladies who lunch lunch, a serious meeting with my Buy Design partner, preparing for the Trunk Show, and, of course, Syn for my soul.  I went to hear a Rock Band and out to dinner with JDavid on Friday night.


And the most important date was a confab with Sally, the Editor from Hell.  I am painstakingly, contumaciously, and reluctantly continuing to delete adverbs.  Sorry, Sally, I like adverbs.  I’m actually doing some re-writes as well, in places where she feels I lost the plot (so to speak).  We’re up to Chapter 14.


Curiously, Tom said he wanted to read it, so I gave him a copy on disc.  He doesn’t seem to mind that he’s reading an adverb-heavy version.  He says he’s quite enjoying it and he’s had some very positive comments, as well as some constructive criticisms.  He thinks the heroine’s feisty best mate, Karen, should be from New Castle instead of Sunderland.


Of course, I tweaked him.  “But Sweetie, I don’t know much about Delaware.  I mean, I know it’s squashed in down there somewhere near Maryland, under Pennsylvania. I’ve been through there on my way to somewhere definitely cooler.  I don’t think I could do the accent and nomenclature justice.  Oh.  Did you mean the one with no space and a small ‘c’?”


On tap this week, Israeli Dance class, Film Club, Tom Tuesday on Wednesday, Buy Design search& seize missions, Tea with the rabbi, my shifts, JDavid work, more editing on the Great American Expatriate Novel and a seminar on ‘Diaspora Jews and Israel’.  I’m tired already.


And I can’t forget coloring my brackets.






Published March 12, 2010 by jean cohen

I have officially had an experience on the Dark Side.  Yeah, go ahead… laugh.


It’s  so creepy.


I was getting dressed, which can be a pretty scary thing – so many choices-so little time – but that wasn’t it.


I reached into my knicker drawer and pulled out one black man’s sock. 


“Hmm” I pondered, “A man’s sock.  What’s it doing in my knicker drawer?”  Then I said “Holy shit!  I’m in that drawer every day and I don’t just pull out the first pair I grab; I have to color-coordinate my panties to my outfit.  Sometimes even more than once a day, like when I remember to wash clothes.  One black man’s sock!  Not even a matching pair.  Where the fuck did that come from?”


I rummage through that drawer every single like when I remember to wash clothes and I have to fold 42 pairs of panties, sort them into colors or patterns, fold them and then put them away.  All by myself; unless Booboo’s around to do it for me. 


Anyway, it wasn’t in my sock drawer and it wasn’t mine.  I recognize my socks when I see them, and this definitely was a man’s sock..


On Tom Tuesday, I mentioned it to him.  “Hey, Sweetie.  Wanna hear something weird?  I found this black man’s sock in my knicker drawer.  Did you leave it here last week?’


It was a straightforward question.  He didn’t need to be so snippy.


“I think I might have noticed if I left wearing one sock.”


Then: “It was in your knicker drawer?  How did a man’s sock get in your knicker drawer?  Who else has been taking their socks off up here?”


“Oh, keep your socks on, Tom” I told him.  “Nobody.  Except you.  That’s what’s so creepy.  Plus the fact that it was in my knicker drawer, not like, in my cammie drawer or my ‘jammie drawer or ya know, all the other ones. It was with my underpants.  I’m taking it on faith that the bloody thing is at least laundered.”


I shared it with a few friends at Sam and the Senior Centre.  Deaf Peter commented “A nice cup of tea and a sausage roll, Virginia”, but that didn’t really help much.  My friends managed to think of about twenty lame jokes where ‘washing socks’ is a euphemism for sex.  I didn’t get it.  While I enjoy the latter, it doesn’t make me gasp for the former.  Ever.


I discussed it with Boo, who reminded me that Tony the Electrician was here the other day banging and drilling away in my bedroom. 


“The only thing Tony took off was the outlet cover on the wall receptacle” I insisted.  “Besides, Boo, you were here the whole time.  Nothing electric went on.”


“Yeah, but we left him here working to go shopping” Boo said.


Honestly, was I supposed to believe that Electrician Guy was so taken by my charms that he left one of his socks cuddling up to my panties as a love talisman?  Nah.


Boo loves mysteries.  She started naming all these guys who have been to mine- all in completely innocent circumstances, I might add.


“Irish Lad brought over the projector for the Purim Revue.”


“Yeah, but he used his fingers to work the keys, not his toes.”


“JDavid comes over a lot to work.”


“And your point would be what” I asked rather annoyed at that one.  “We work – hard; we don’t do boss and executive assistant playing footsie.  And I’m definitely not up for it after he says ‘IT Value Maximisation’ 75 bloody times.”


“How about PPeter?  Or Mad Tommy?“


“PPeter rides his bike over.  His foot would freeze on the way home.  I make Tommy stand on the step.  I don’t think he even owns a pair of socks, anyway.”


Then she said “What about Princie, when he was here visiting?”


Well, Princie did take his socks off while he was here, I know, but his feet are family.


 “No.  It’s not, like, a Jappy sock.  It’s actually a rather unattractive one.  Stuart wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it.”


Wait a minute, I thought!  Dead people!  Maybe it belonged to a dead person whose feet don’t mind the cold anymore.   Perhaps it’s too damned hot to wear socks where they are.   Maybe my little pink house is haunted.


I should point out that I knew right away it wasn’t Jerry’s.  He only wore Gold Toe socks, knee length for dress, and plain white sweat ones with his topsiders on the boat.  Tatty black, calf-length ones were so not his style. 


And I cannot recall a single 3:00 AM visit where he was barefooted.  (Sadly, his feet were not one of his most attractive features.)  I’m pretty certain he wears black Gold Toes when he pops in; well, duh… he’s wearing a suit and tie.  I mean, he wouldn’t wear sweat socks with a suit, unless sartorial elegance is

unnecessary in Heaven.  In which case, I won’t be going there.


Sorry.  I got carried away again.


Anyhow, Booboo agrees that Sockgate is creepy and that a visit to the Church of the Poisoned Mind is in order very soon to get some answers.






Published March 8, 2010 by jean cohen

First of all, I just have to say a heartfelt, sincere ‘Mazel Tov’ to my main man, Snoop Dogg.  You rock, Dogg!


Of course, he’s rich, too, so he could afford a team of legal eagles to fight the ban on allowing him into the United Kingdom all the way to the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.  I suppose becoming Italian was less stressful, not to mention cheaper, but not as satisfying as winning.


The Snoopster got the official word on March 1 that he is no longer persona non grata here.  Home Office Officials issued a statement that they were ‘disappointed’ at the ruling.   What they meant is “Shit!  Now we’ll have the Dogg and Jeano here fucking up our perfect little country.”


I’ve already Twittered Snoop with an invitation to my annual Festa di Indepedenza barbecue.


Here in Oy-veybridge it’s certainly a big letdown to no longer be a Director and have people ringing and texting constantly. 


I went to shul on Saturday because I’m deeply spiritual.  Geeze, that was a really big whopper.  I went so that everybody who got their Hederach that morning would read about the Revue and make a fuss over me.  Adulation is my drug of choice at the moment; going cold turkey sucks.


I saw Lawrence, who’d done the music for the show.  “Darling!  How are you?” I cooed.  “The show’s over, Jeano” he informed me.  “Stop already with the ‘Director’ shtick.”



And, of course, I wrote the damned article (byline: by the amazing, multi-talented Jean Cohen) so I got compliments on that, too.  I hadn’t seen the galleys, so I was kind of surprised to see my picture there.  It wasn’t the one I’d have chosen.


There was a B’not Mitzvah, a double Bat Mitzvah, followed by an elegant Oneg.  Adonai spoke to me, of course.  He said “What do you expect when you turn up to a double bat mitzvah?  There’s two torah portions, two sermons, a haftorah longer than Gone With the Wind and everybody and their grandmother has to get an aliyah.  Stop kvetching it’s taking too long and your tush hurts.”  He was most unsympathetic, I thought.


It’s only three weeks until Pesach, we’re getting ready to hit the trail with Moses in the Torah now, so time to scrub the crevices in the kitchen counters with bleach and a Q-tip again.


Note to self:  Tell cleaning lady about Q-tips, etc.  And she should bury the dishes in the rhubarb garden for a few days to ‘kosher’ them.


Annoyingly, Pesach means the annual trek to deepest, darkest Cobham to Waitrose to fight over the three boxes of Matzohs they stock every year for the holiday.  But it just isn’t Pesach without Fried Matzoh, even if I have to cook it.


But I had fun this week.  I went up to London for the day with a friend to the Jewish Book Fair in Bloomsbury.  Naturally, I met three people I know on the train to Waterloo.  And I ran into Esther, from shul, at the Fair. 


I over-bought shamefully; it was hard not too.  The books were so gorgeous.  I snagged an autographed copy of Michael Chabon’s latest, ‘Manhood for Amateurs’.  He wasn’t there signing them; they had a table of signed copies by various Jewish writers.  I eschewed the cookbooks and biographies, and bought a few Israeli mysteries to sample and a coffee table book called ‘Born to Kvetch’.


We sat in on a couple of the forums and then had a fancy ‘ladies who lunch’ lunch before we hit the shops.  Getting the train home at Rush Hour was tough, especially shlepping  all those bags.


I had a Tom night, worked my charity shifts, and served and cleared at a Lenten lunch at Christ Prince of Peace, the Catholic team.  Sam was the Charity recipient this week.  It’s actually called a ‘Cafod Lunch’ and includes soup, bread and cheese.  And water.  People just drop in, have lunch, and put a few quid in the box.  They have the lunches every Friday during Lent.


Now that I’m officially a member of the Sam Beare Hospice Fund Raising Team (when the hell did that happen?) I am expected to turn up at all these little Dos.


In fact, I was just asked to join the Israeli Group at shul.  I had to say ‘Sorry, but no. There just isn’t enough of me to go around.’  I’ve already agreed to take on some public relations duties for the synagogue.


I did get my tush out of bed on Sunday morning (Guilt! The Olympic Sport of Jews) to attend the Israeli Group’s round-table so I could write it up for Hederach.  It was a thought-provoking discussion, heated at times, with almost as many differing opinions as attendees.  Plus a yummy lunch, courtesy of the Bat Mitzvah girls, leftovers from the Oneg on Saturday.


It’s funny how the silliest little things can send you spiraling into a blue funk.  It was a chance remark during my weekly 59 minute phone convo with Toots.  All she said, in the middle of good dish, general conversation, and bitching about everything as only we can do, was that she and Ron had planned to go to the Boat Show but had missed it due to the bad weather.


Cue up ‘Brian’s Song’ (the saddest one I know).  I was missing Jerry so bad it hurt.  We always went to the Boat Show.  We always argued about going to the Boat Show.  (I hated it; so I always bought a couple new pairs of Topsiders while I was there, just to piss him off.)  Real life is not a Bollywood Movie.


So I travel through my personal wilderness, I have fun- lots of it- and do my small bit to repair the world.  But Jerry should be with me, and sometimes I hate it that he’s not. 


But I guess he is, even if I don’t seriously mention him a lot.


‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.’