All posts for the month March, 2013

Dancing in the Street

Published March 18, 2013 by jean cohen

I cross the pond tomorrow to Philly, but that just means it was an even busier week than usual.

The Fashion Show! I know you’ve been wondering how it went. Well, it was really a lot of fun. Once I realized there wasn’t a goddamned catwalk and I didn’t have to worry about tripping and flying off the thing and landing in someone’s rubber chicken, I relaxed and got into it. I sashayed around the room very model-ly and stopped at every table so the ladies could check out my outfit (and me). Carol, Hazel and Live Jerry came to support me, and I knew practically everybody there. There were 140 ladies. I got lots of applause and kisses and hugs.

On my way to Tea Lady duty on Tuesday, ladies I didn’t even know stopped me to say how great I was. And, modestly, my picture was in every local paper.

On a serious note, the event raised over £4000 for the Hospice.

Saturday night was the Sam Beare Quiz, which I co-chaired with Anne. I blackmailed some friends, and put together a table of eight. Ray came, as did JDavid and his partner, Estelle, Adriana and a lovely couple from Syn called Antony and Laura. After I met Antony and Laura, I couldn’t remember their names, so I started referring to them as ‘the nameless South Africans’. Me: ‘I saw the nameless South Africans on the High Street today.’ Or: ‘I think I’ll invite the nameless South Africans to the Festa di Independenza this year.’ BooBoo had a really good suggestion. “Why don’t you ask somebody else at Syn what their names are?” Oh.

Anyway, my team, dubbed ‘the Terminators’, was truly awful. (The nameless South Africans chose the name.) We didn’t know diddlysquat about anything. At least we didn’t come in last. And in fairness to me, almost all the questions were British. What do I know about Britain? I did positively gobsmack the table by pulling Cho En Lai’s name out of my memory bank in answer to the question ‘Who was the Prime Minister under Mao Tse Tung’. Mr. Cho must have been mentioned in a song or something, because I, like, just knew that was the answer.

Those were the highlights of my week. The rest was the mundane coffees and lunches and a dinner with friends. And committee meetings for Sam Beare and the Spring Fayre at the Senior Centre. (Yes, that’s how they spell ‘fair’. Don’t ask.)

Speaking of the Senior Centre, one of the regulars said something pretty funny on Tuesday. I have to admit that it’s someone I really dislike, so I did get a lot of mileage out of it. What she said was “I had a friend who lived to 94. Then she died.” You don’t have to email me to say that this is exactly the sort of dumb thing I’m apt to say. If I say it, it’s meant to be clever and funny. I get the subtext. Duh! ‘Lived to 94, so obviously croaked.’

What I replied was “Really? When she turned 94? My friend became a vampire when she turned 94. You just never know.”

It seems like it’s never the right time to go home. I’m miffed that I’ll miss a really great party that is happening on Saturday night. (It’s a surprise, so I can say no more.) And I’m missing Pesach at shul for the first time in five years. But I’ll get to go to a family seder, which will be nice.. I guess.

As usual, I have a large calendar I printed specially for the occasion with all the social engagements Boo and I, and then just me, have planned. We will be zigzagging back and forth from Pennsylvania to Delaware to New Jersey to Pennsylvania at least twice. And Boo really wants to visit Amish Country. I told her there’s absolutely nothing to see except Amish people and fields, but she is adamant. Fortunately, there’s an outlet mall practically right in Lancaster. Thank you to Scary Fairy for reminding me. So…ten minutes observing Plain People doing whatever it is they do, and then five hours in the Coach outlet.

Oh wow! I got a comment on the blog about cooking with that extra special ingredient. I got quite a few, but they were funny ones from friends. I think this guy was serious. He did clear up the question about freezing. You can freeze it. But he gave my fertile imagination a spectacular scenario:

‘Even better is to ask your dinner guests to contribute.’

Really. I don’t make this stuff up. Of course, I immediately pictured my Festa di Independza Barbecue and handing the guests (male) a little cup. Then standing around tapping my foot snarling “Hurry up! The barbecue’s on! I have to make the hamburgers!”

Note to David B: Just Kidding! This will not ever happen.

And finally, it’s March Madness time! The Big Dance! The Field of 64! Guys with great bodies in little shorts. Men’s College Basketball. I printed several brackets to get me started, and I will update you faithfully. Both Villanova and Temple are seeded- both are 9th seeds – and LaSalle has a play-in. Is that exciting or what?

The next blog will be written in the City of Brotherly Love… probably. Unless I’m having too much fun.


You have the right to remain silent

Published March 11, 2013 by jean cohen

A busy, busy week in Weybridge. And this one is a quickie.

Tomorrow is, remember, the Sam Beare Fashion Show. So I did the usual girlie stuff: haircut and highlights, manicure, teeth cleaning (at the dentist, not just brushing them in the loo), lose 30 lbs in one day. That last one didn’t work out real well.

But on the subject of Mattius (the dentist) wow – he unloaded a bombshell on me – the juiciest bit of gossip. When you get the best dirt from your Swedish dentist, Weybridge is a small town. I almost broke one of my newly manicured nails dialing Live Jerry to share.

A lot of JDavid work this week, some of it at restaurants. We had a working lunch at Oatlands Park Hotel, and I ordered Eggs Benedict. Then I remembered, you know, extra special Hollandaise with the secret ingredient. It almost put me off my Eggs B. I demanded to see the chef, but Monsieur Tariq assured me he didn’t add anything personal.

Tuesday was my usual Blitzing Addlestone with Carol. This is a weekly thing; she picks me up when I finish my shift at the Senior Centre. We hit the charity shops, the Pound Shop, Iceland and then have lunch because we’re exhausted. This week, we made a stop at the Library. I wanted to apply for my Senior Bus Pass. In England, if you’re around 42 years old, you can ride the buses for free. Only a tiny little bit of that sentence was a slight misrepresentation of the truth.

Tuesday was absolutely gorgeous; blue sky, big yellow thingy, and warm. It reminded me of that season they have in America between Winter and Summer. I forgot what they call it. Of course, by Thursday it was back to normal: grey skies and 28°. (If you really want to feel bad for me, in British it’s -2°.) We may even have more snow.

Ray came to play Scrabble on Friday, and we had two tough games. I am now playing Scrabble and Words with Friends online with Scary Fairy, Ray, Toots, Ron and some lady in Idaho. I think she might be a survivalist. She knows a lot of words for guns.

Friday night was a rehearsal supper/party for the fashion show, Saturday after shul I went to friends’ from shul for Shabbat lunch and then out again for dinner on Saturday night. My friend, Jenny, rang and asked “What are you doing? Want to go out for a meal?” Instead of saying “No, thanks”, of course I said “Did the pope abdicate? Sure!” Maybe that’s why I had trouble with those pesky pounds.

You would think that with all this rushing around I have no time to watch TV. Not so. Since I got my Super Magic Gizmo from Sky, I can record stuff while I’m out to watch later. After several lessons from BooBoo, I am pretty good at it now. And there are lots of cool American shows on right now. I am especially addicted to this program called ‘The Following’. It honestly scares the panties off me; it’s so violent. But the FBI hero guy is Kevin Bacon. He’s so hot. And from Philly, too.

I thought about the stuff I record and I realized that most of it has at least one or two court trials. Or, even worse, a few dead bodies turn up in each episode, requiring graphic autopsies. Maybe I’m a psychopath or an osteopath, or some other ‘path’ and I don’t even realize it. At least, Crime & Investigation has been very helpful with tips about pinging cell phone towers and directional blood spatter.

On Top of Spaghetti

Published March 4, 2013 by jean cohen

It has been a grey, rainy, cold and miserable week in Weybridge. Normal weather, in other words. I spoke to my friend, Brenda, this morning and she and her husband are off tomorrow to Boca Raton for three weeks. I, like, really hate her.

It was a good week anyway, in spite of the weather; lots of socializing, including a day in London.

I went to Jewish Book Week at Kings Place with Hazel. The opening event, which had been on Saturday night, was a Leonard Cohen tribute, with local bands covering Cousin Lennie’s greatest hits. On that afternoon, Jenny J called to offer me a ticket. (It was sold out.) I was already committed to going to the Purim spiel at synagogue to take pictures. I was one unhappy Cohen.

I did buy a couple of Len’s poetry books as well as a few novels. They always have a few ‘American’ Jewish authors and Israeli writers and it’s nice to read about happy Jews or non-apologetic Jews instead of depressed English ones.

Hazel and I had a super lunch and then meandered over to Piccadilly Circus to meet Bernard. We had tickets for the matinee performance of ‘A Chorus Line’ at the Palladium. It was a great production.

I did my shifts at the Centre and the Bookshop, and spent Friday working with JDavid. Things had been quiet for a while on the JDavid front, but it’s heating up again.

Friday night there was an extremely interesting Oneg at shul. A London Blue Badge Guide called Rachel Kolsky wrote a book- ‘Jewish London’ – which was also featured at Book Week, and she came and talked about it. It’s almost embarrassing that there are so many neat places I haven’t been to in London. I spend far too much of my time in Weybridge.

Saturday Karen and I had a girl day. In other words, we went shopping. Before you go “Shopping! Again? You couldn’t possibly need anything!” (Oh, wait. That was Dead Jerry on Thursday night.) Anyway, we weren’t shopping for us. We were shopping for more pressies to take to the folks back home, followed by a leisurely dinner and catch-up.

Sunday I stayed home and washed clothes, edited seventeen articles for the next issue of Haderech and blogged. (By the way, being Copy Editor is hard work.)

Yeah, right.

My American friend and #1 Mule Kandice rang and asked if I wanted to meet up in Woking on Sunday. I thought about all the shit I had to do on Sunday and said “Damned straight I do!” Then she rang back and said we were all going to Kimberly’s (another American) for Sunday Roast. I’d met Kimberly and her husband Shez at the Sam Beare Thanksgiving Dinner.

So I hopped on the Southwest Train to Woking and my phone rang. Kandice said “Walk to the first carriage.” She and Nick were on the same train from Vauxhall. Living in Surrey is so damned cool sometimes.

Well, as I said, Kim is American too; she’s from Houston. So we three ladies had a lot of commonality. We confessed to an overpowering passion for Chef Boyardee Beef-a-roni. We missed proper Chinese food, real pizza and Texas ribs. Being from Texas and all, Kim doesn’t have the appropriate appreciation for a cheese steak. We miss Entenmann’s dark chocolate donuts and every single kind of TastyKake. (Gosh. My mouth is watering.)

I said that I would sell my soul for a Bed, Bath & Beyond in Surrey. Big Sigh by the ladies. But the most intense love was shared for Target. Gee, I’m getting teary as I type.

But it’s all good as I will be in Target, buying Beef-a-roni (among other things) in less than three weeks! Cheeseboy always asks for Twinkies when I’m home. That just shows you what kind of taste he has. Bad! Didn’t Hostess go bankrupt? Are there still Twinkies in the land of the free and home of the brave?

Kim showed me this really cool clip on You Tube of a guy called Doug Stanhope about America. I posted the link on Facebook. You should all watch it.

Well, that’s about it for this week, I guess.

Wait! I had another Dark Side issue this week. A delivery one, again. I ordered cartridges for my printer online, and they promised next day delivery. No cartridges. So I rang the company.

The (actually rather nice and helpful) associate checked and said “The driver left them on your porch.” Nah, I didn’t bother to explain that I don’t have a porch. “Hang on” I said. “I’ll go look in the front garden. It’s so-o-o damned huge I might have missed it.”

Sure enough, under the bush by the front door that smells just like cat piss, was the jiffy bag with my cartridges.

In honor of this astonishing fact that my doorway is a porch, I took a picture of it. Feast your eyes on a proper English ‘porch’. Now you know why they can’t make decent pizza.