Tuesday, November 26
So it’s Thanksgiving again…
And for some odd reason Chanukah arrives the day after.
Sheesh..this holiday gets earlier every year.
At this rate, I’m fully expecting to light the menorah in August.
Fun, sun and latkes anyone?
Anyway, since Thanksgiving is all about thanks, I thought I’d take a break from hating terrorists, being royally pissed about September 11th and fighting a deep desire to kick anyone in the shins who wears tight white jeans, to give thanks.
Just for today I shall try to remove all the angst and mishegas from my soul and remember the things I really feel thankful for.
So here goes..
I am thankful, that I live in Manhattan where I can scowl at strangers, grimace over nothing, kvetch over everything and talk to myself in great depth without even warranting a second glance by passersby.
I am thankful, that I no longer live with my family or anyone remotely related to my family, (no offense to my clan, I love ya all, just not under the same roof or in the same state).
I am thankful that I have a hot Cuban to while away the late night hours with, although La Cubana doesn’t seem to be around for the early hours or the mid hours or the not so late hours…or….never mind…I’m thankful…I’m thankful.
I am thankful that I have rather large pouty lips. Eat your heart out Collagen mouths!
I am thankful, that I don’t live in a Muslim country because surely I would have been stoned many, many years back and I don’t mean in a good way.
I am thankful that for the moment I live alone and can bathe, expel gas, couch potato out and sing badly to U2 anytime I want to.
I am thankful that HOPEFULLY, I am cute enough that I can stop living alone anytime I want to.
I am thankful that my soul was not re-born into the body of a turkey.
I am thankful that no one I ever dated looks like George Bush either in a male or female version…although…hmm..never mind.
I am thankful that the great surviving spirit of New Yorkers and Americans came shining through like a giant blast of goodness and blew away all the death and the dust of one terrible day in September.
I guess I’m just thankful to be here, right now, living my life and telling you folks all about it.
Happy turkey-day..ya’all or tofu turkey day to some of you.
Saturday, November 23
This morning I’m sitting here feeling so happy to be an American I could just plotz.
Not only do I have the freedom to walk out of my home in a t-shirt and a pair of jeans, (although it’s a tad cold today) without fear of being stoned to death, but I also have the freedom to write something on this web site or for a newspaper in this country without worrying that religious fanatics will storm out and kill oh a hundred people or so.
If any of you, have managed to not read or listen to the news since Thursday, you may not know this latest tale of Islamic intolerance.
On Thursday after a Nigerian newspaper called, “ThisDay” ran a controversial story about the “Miss World” pageant to be held for the first time in Nigeria. Angry Muslim mobs took to the streets stabbing anyone they suspected to be Christian, setting fire to bystanders, burning down one of the newspapers offices and the list goes on.
They were angered by a story in the paper, stating that Muhammad would have not only approved of the pageant, he probably would have chosen a wife from among the contestants.
The paper, of course, printed a whopping ass kissing apology immediately, but that hasn’t squelched the mobs. They’re still killing and destroying.
So what’s the end result of this madness?
Well besides the 100 or so innocent people murdered and the ruined lives of their loved ones, all the hundreds of people injured and the homes and livelihoods destroyed….
The Miss World contest which would have brought badly needed money and tourism to Nigeria is relocating to London.
You can bet the Miss World contest, not to mention any other beauty contest won’t be coming to a Muslim country anytime soon.
You can also bet, that people around the world who were considering visiting Nigeria won’t be coming. They’ll probably be canceling their trips to any other Muslim countries too.
I’m fairly sure that “This Day” not to mention every other publication in a Muslim country is now even more paranoid to exercise freedom of press than they were before.
The people of Nigeria can now look forward to even less tourism and money flowing into their country.
And there’s this little ditty.
Prejudice against Muslims.
If September 11th didn’t do it.
If the Palestinian suicide bombers didn’t do it.
If the Taliban didn’t do it.
Stories like this one will take tolerant, liberal, open-minded folks and sour them against this religion.
I consider myself to be a liberal, caring, humanistic person.
I’ve always felt that if racist were on one end of the spectrum I would be starkly on the opposite end.
How can I amidst the granddaughters of the holocaust pass on the terrible lessons of this atrocity by becoming what I hate most?
But it’s getting harder.
I feel myself tense up in taxicabs when I read my driver’s name is Mohammed.
I feel myself becoming colder, darker, everytime another news clip of Islamic fundamentalism wrecking havoc comes on the TV.
I try, and I am trying to separate the millions of peaceful Muslims from the hoards of murdering fundamentalists.
But, like I said, it's getting harder.
And if it’s getting harder for me, someone who strives on a daily basis to be open, kind and tolerant.
How is it for the people out there who are more easily swayed?
So I say to you, the leaders, the voices, the scholars, the spokes-men for this religion, reach out, speak out, act out. Show your fierce non-approval of these acts. Stop this flow of hate before there really is a World War Three.
Partially because I’m seeing, every day, violence and blind hate spilling out into the world.
And partially because I feel my own heart hardening.
We are all born innocent. Life teaches us to become evil.
That’s a lesson I don’t want to learn.
Wednesday, November 20
I took a cab ride to the gym yesterday.
Hey I’m a woman! I’m entitled to be confusing.
So anyway, my driver DAMN IT, turned out to be one of the few NYC cabbies who like to talk. Worse yet, he spoke English.
Anyway, he felt compelled to tell me in detail, his conspiracy theory, (hmm shades of a Mel Gibson movie) that the US only wants to fight Saddam because we want Iraq’s oil.
I was like, well ummm..there is the matter of the weapons of mass destruction.
He was un-daunted.
“The US control all the oil except Iraq’s!” he shouted.
I didn’t take the time to delve into this new line of dialogue, because we got to my stop, and. ..well…because he was starting to spit. So I gave him a half tip, (I feel strongly that spitting should cut the tip in half) and went to the gym.
So here’s the thing. I get that controlling oil in Iraq would be good or great or terrible depending on who you talk to.
I get that the higher-ups in this country (and in every other) probably have hidden agenda stamped on their foreheads.
I even get that the %$#^&*^ US government might have murdered Marilyn Monroe!!
But after all is said is done…I’m left with…this thought.
This still doesn’t make it any better that Saddam may be building an arsenal of nasty toys.
I was never against taking out Saddam.
My problem was that I thought the baby Bush was speaking out of his penis not his brain when he starting making war threats without UN support.
He also kinda blew the whole international good will thing we had going after September 11th.
Since then, he’s obviously been listening to his elders and he took a deep breath and started playing the game.
So guess what?? The baby Bush got what he wanted; total UN support, not to mention kicking our (the Democrats) asses in the elections.
As a woman, a lesbian, a humanist and a triple minority I’m way bummed about the Republican take-over, but as a Jew who loves the homeland of my heart; Israel, I’m feeling a tad conflicted.
Then comes this little curve-ball.
Last night I watched Al Gore being interviewed on the Charlie Rose show.
Al obviously got back a lot of the alpha male stuff he lost playing the smaller guy to Clinton. I’m not sure if he would win an election today, (although I do believe he may have won the last one) but I liked him more than I have.
Al brought up a side issue that’s been fairly stream-rolled in all this chat about oil, oil, who’s got the oil??!
His issue is oil, oil, how long before our planet is destroyed by oil?
Shit! The planet! I forgot all about the %$#&@* planet!
Wouldn’t it be just the perfect holy irony, if we took out Saddam, 86’d the terrorists, got all the oil under our control and all the Islamic fundamentalists in jail (or in hell) and then this planet was made un-livable by global warming?
God would surely be laughing then, or crying.
I’m not saying we should slow down in our fight against terror.
Not saying that at all.
I’m just saying we shouldn’t’ let all our war cries and anti-war cries drown out the fact that drilling will destroy a huge and gorgeous part of Alaska and a freighter just went down off Spain with enough oil on board to make Exxon Valdez seem like a kiddy ride.
The news is filled with pictures of birds covered in oil, a look of terror and agony in their eyes. They’re too messed up to mind being picked up human hands.
Hey I’m always the one in the movies who doesn’t shed a tear when people get shot, but kick the dog and man.. I’m bawling like crazy.
All those millions of gallons of oil, oil, oil, killing everything under the sea and above it for miles…how do we ever get that back?
So here’s what I’m thinking, while we’re policing the world, and protecting liberty and all that, don’t you think we could also be perfecting the electric car, and solar heating and any other energy alternative.. so that after all is said and done, we can turn around to Saudi Arabia and say, “Oh you want to raise the price of oil..that’s fine..but you know we really don’t need it anymore. Why don’t you try to find another use for it, like..hmm perhaps a camel laxative?”
Saturday, November 16
My last post on this site, was me doing what I used to do; ranting about this and that, poking fun of myself, doling out a little not-so-PC humor.
After I posted the rant, it occurred to me that this kind of light airy thing was what I had started a personal web site to write.
Except, that less than two weeks after launching my first site, “911” happened.
Needless to say, I didn’t exactly want to write light airy things after that.
But lately, I’ve been in this mood, a kind of fuck-it-all-let’s-move-on frame of mind.
So I let it seep into these electronic pages.
But I read my site last night and it felt odd to me.
Maybe because I was taking advantage of the old “I can say it, but you can’t” rule and calling myself a Jewish American Princess. I’ve always adored poking fun of my own special blend of Jewishness.
But last night I went to sleep feeling like, in these times, maybe I can’t do that anymore.
Then of course I was hit with the, “Naah. Then they really win.”
If we give back Jewish humor which largely consists of Jews poking fun of ourselves, that we’ve given back everything. Laughter is life isn’t it? Or at least a big part of it.
Anyway, I went to sleep with my own internal PC battle raging in my skull.
This morning, I decided to treat myself to a greasy plate full of eggs and went out in search of this thing they call breakfast. What greeted me as I bounced down the stairs was a copy of my neighbor’s New York Post lying in the entryway.
“AMBUSH” read the headline laying out the horrific details of yesterday’s massacre; the bloodletting they are now calling “the Sabbath Massacre.”
My light airy mood, melted into the black smudge the New York Post always leaves on your fingers.
I took the black bleeding paper out with me in the rain, by the time I got to my corner breakfast joint, the post was all over my hands and the images were all over my heart.
How Islamic terrorists who say they are on a holy war, can feel good about murdering innocent people, I have no idea. That’s not my idea of god-liness.
But for them to murder those people while they are on their way back from worshipping at a holy site; The Tomb of the Patriarchs, said to be the burial ground for Abraham, a place held holy by Jews, Moslems and Christians alike, goes somewhere past horrific into a new dimension that I do not have the words for.
I do not want to have the words for this place.
This place of self-righteousness that allows people to commit cruelty beyond what one would think a human was capable of.
But this is not the first of these affronts to all things holy.
The sting of the Passover massacre is still in the air. How can we forget the murder of women, children, families coming together to celebrate the story of Moses?
Now Passover has a sibling; “The Sabbath Massacre.”
So I say to these villains in the name of holy-ness.
What exactly can you find in these acts that is holy?
How can you call yourself victims?
How can you call yourselves martyrs?
How can you call any of these acts heroic?
I'm pretty sure if you look up "heroic" in the dictionary it will not say, "One who attacks innocent people while they are returning from prayer."
The irony is that the Israelis had just pulled out of this section as a “goodwill gesture.”
A GOODWILL GESTURE
I am forced to watch on television and to read constantly how the Palestinians and all their supporters many of which are in this country demand that Israelis pull back.
Well can we take a moment here to observe the reward?
Meanwhile, why do I feel it’s highly unlikely that some emergency meeting of the UN will take place to discuss the atrocities being conducted against Israel?
The only thing we’re going to have shoved down our throats is the out-cry that will come from whatever Israel does in retaliation,
Hebron was to be a model for Palestinian and Israeli co-operation. Sharon pulled out of Hebron to show how it can be when we all play nice.
So this is how it can be?
And when the Palestinians have their own state, why should I believe that it will be the end of terror and murder from amongst their ranks?
Do you really think it will stop?
My only hope is that giving the Palestinians their own state will prevent them from having any more excuses to murder Israelis.
If they continue to do so it will be a lot harder for the UN and the world to turn such a blind eye.
Because if they do, then the UN and the world, and the folks who hold up their anti-Israel signs in Union Square Park, will be saying out loud what we already know so many of them are thinking, that hating Israel is just a very useful cover for hating Jews.
I take back what I said in my last rant.
I am not a Jewish American Princess.
I am a Jew. I am an American.
And I’m too pissed off to be a princess.
Friday, November 15
Some of you may think that’s normal but for moi, who used to think expensive bedding meant not polyester, this was a big deal.
I’ve tried the 75-dollar not-so-cotton blankets from K-mart (and clipped off the Martha Stewart label so no one would ever have to know that I purchased something from the peroxide anti-Christ).
I’ve bought the 12-dollar pillows, the half price throws, the not-so-soft sheets.
But you know what.
My low budget bedding has caused me high-budget allergy attacks and worst of all, has cramped my sexiness.
You just can’t be hot, when your bedding is NOT!
So I went out and bought the whole shebang; 200-dollar comforter, 100-dollar duvet cover, 40-dollar pillows, 39-dollar pillow shams and a partridge in a pear treeeee.
This is more money than I’ve spent on my bed since I tried to install that mirror…and…um…never mind.
Anyway,while I should be sitting here congratulating myself on taking the plunge, I’m actually feeling totally FAKAKA because this and several other incidents seem to be signs from above. These signs point the way to a terrifying reality, a reality that I’ve lived my whole life in denial of.
I may be a Jewish American Princess.
Yes, yes, I know.
How is this possible for rustic Rossi ??
Well.. read on.
Just yesterday, I got busted when my Cubana, sensing I might have a little MSG problem asked me if I happened to know the phone number for my local Chinese delivery joint… by heart.
Hey at least it wasn’t on my speed dial….yet.
Then there was the little matter of 100 channels of cable not being enough for me so I had to upgrade to direct TV and wop on another 200 or so. Now I have the divine pleasure of surfing through hundreds of channels I won’t watch.
But I can!
So between the expensive bedding, the kazillion cable options, the Chinese delivery addiction and the fact that I now, for whatever reason can no longer buy generic bath products, I do believe I’ve crossed over.
I’m sure my friends will say, duhhhhhhh, when (and if) I come out to them and admit that I am a lady of luxury.. I don’t think any of them were ever fooled by my tattoo or leather.
Or the fact that I’ve always covered up my fear of being a princess by being exceedingly snotty to princesses.
“Don’t you know that outfit is so yesterday’s MALL!!!!”
I’ve been accused of being a JAP before…don’t know what gave me away…Maybe the fact that I’ve never been comfortable staying anywhere that didn’t have room service.
Or it could be my little taxi addiction.
I am powerless over taxicabs. I must take them everywhere I go. Any city that doesn’t have cabs is a wasteland.
Is it so wrong?!?!?
What the hell..I guess I might as well embrace my true self..I mean if I can’t love moi than who can.
I’m here…it’s clear…get used to……picking up the tab darling….
Now then, exactly how the hell do you get this huge comforter into this little duvet cover?
And what the hell does duvet mean anyway?
Sounds like a name for French drag queen.
Madame Duvet Delight
Monday, November 11
Just got back from Tampa.
Man if you ever really, really, really need to relax, fly into Tampa and don’t rent a car.
Sheesh. It’s worse than LA.
At least in LA you’ve got some distraction…convertibles full of strippers being one of them.
Luckily I had taken this all into consideration before I left.
The idea was to get so relaxed I might actually ponder boredom.
Aaah boredom, after 18 weddings, the idea of being so relaxed I might actually get bored sounded like heaven.
Anyway, when I realized I was about to have my first weekend off in 10 weeks, I called up my travel chick and said, “Travel chick get me outa here!”
She sent me to the Safety Harbor Spa, a somewhat sleepy resort, best known for their natural spring waters which fill the pools, the steam room and even come out the tap.
First time I ever got to guzzle tap water and feel good about it.
A cold front blew in with me and Natch Indian summer descended on NYC as I left.
Is this Karma for being such a rotten teen-ager?
Anyway, I flew in Thursday and luxuriated in the spa and poolside all day Thursday and Friday, opting to order room service and watch HBO at night instead of hob-knobbing with the geriatric babes in wash&set hairdos.
For an extra thrill I would sip wine on my terrace and watch tacky guys in tennis ware try to shmooze up some babes who looked like they’d just come back from the Dinah Shore look-alike contest.
But it was nice.
There were also some real highlights (and not the peroxide kind).
Scaring the women in the steam room with my tattoo was one of em.
Watching “The Sopranos” while sipping on a great chardonnay with the Tampa Bay in the distance was another.
But what the travel chick didn't know and what the spa hadn't warned me about was that on Saturday and Sunday, the spa would be transformed into my worst nightmare; a wedding location.
Imagine my horror when I threw myself into a lounge chair pool-side and saw the set up of a wedding buffet being assembled 50 feet away.
Will I ever escape this endless land of nuptuals?!?!?!
So…yeah…I’m back and its gray and drizzly and my allergies greeted me at the airport, but WTF…it’s always nice to come back to Manhattan.
FYI I knew I was headed in the right place at the Tampa airport when I walked through a bazillion people dressed in pink, yellow and turquoise and found a whole room full of folks in black, gray and beige.
I didn’t even have to see the sign saying this was the hang-out for the NYC flight.
Anyway, here I is slightly de-stressed…somewhat..relaxed..just a little rested.
In other words, I’m a big blonde tank ready to be filled up with aggravation all over again.
What can I say?
Bring it on!
Thursday, November 7
Okay so call me crazy, but after 10 weeks of non-stop catering hell…I’ve just decided to spend my first weekend off outa here.
Decided meaning I booked my trip yesterday and I’m leaving this morning.
It’s nothing too terribly exotic dearies just some place in Florida I’ve never been to with a spa, two pools, mineral baths and all the items required for 4 days of decadent rejuvenation.
Jacuzzi here I come!
I was supposed to go to Mexico but the shortest flight my travel chick could find was 6 hours and a long flight for a short trip don’t mix well for moi.
Anyway, I’m outa here.
This is all part of my now, well touted, “911..I will not postpone my life” campaign.
Meanwhile, after watching the entire country go Republican the other day, I need to hide in denial for awhile.
Not that Florida is the best place to go to avoid hearing or thinking about the Republican take-over.
While I admit to actually liking a few things the republicans have had to say this last year, (supporting Israel being number one) I am also really frightened that the Repubs sweeping the whole board like that might lead to a few rather lousy things.
The possible loss of our right to choose is up there in my &^%$# things that might happen if the Repubs get their way list.
The possible start of WW111 is another little item in my ^%$#@& uh oh list.
I’ve had a lot of folks ask me to jump on the “don’t fight Saddam” band-wagon and I have trouble joining up with them because, well because he’s such a shifty little mo-fo.
But at the same time, I’d sure like to see this country have a lot more world backing before it went after the jerk.
There’s also the little matter of wondering..just why is he so much worse then Saudi Arabia? Aren’t they the breeding ground for a nice chunk of the world’s jerks these days.
Sorta farm-raised you might say.
Get yer farm-raised terrorists…here.
Anyway I’m ranting when I should be packing.
Wish me luck all that soaking in the sun and getting massaged is gonna be so rough.
Hope we still have all our basic freedoms when I return.
Monday, November 4
Yesterday was what you call in my biz a caterer’s nightmare; a wedding the same day as the New York Marathon.
After loading our van, we congratulated ourselves on the fact that the kitchen and the wedding were both in Queens. We’d made it from Manhattan to Queens. The nightmare was over.
After loading the van, I sent my driver out to the store. I told him to run over to any nearby bodega and buy me some applesauce. I’d had an epiphany about my chutney that morning.
“A little apple sauce would be just the right picker upper.”
40 minutes later, he still hadn’t returned.
Sergio (my sous chef) and I walked out to the end of the street to look for him. What we found instead were empty streets, blocked off by fire trucks, police cars and lots of yellow tape. The silence was eerie and deafening.
We knew it was the calm before the storm of 30,000 runners, but what it felt like to both of us was “911” all over again.
I remember the silence of those early days after “911”. It was like the quiet in a snowstorm.
The deja-vus almost made me cry.
We were now over a half hour late for the reception, our driver was missing and more and more streets were getting blocked off.
Sergio tried to hot-wire the van.
I started making calls to see if we could find another last minute vehicle.
Then Peter, my driver, came back.
He had to walk a mile out of his way to get back to us.
We piled into the van and began, what should have been a 5-minute drive, but every time we came to a turn a police officer waved us on. After three missed turns, I climbed out of the van and explained that we were on our way to cater someone’s wedding and he, (the cop) was about to ruin the most important day in their lives.
“ Anyone who has a wedding the day of the New York Marathon doesn’t deserve to eat,” he said and waved us on.
After about 40 minutes, we finally found a back street and a sympathetic cop who let us through to our party location. We were now over an hour behind schedule.
Neil (my chef), Sergio and I went into tunnel vision mode. Don’t talk to us. Don’t get in our way, just stay back and let us smoke.
Sergio and Neil unloaded, while I set up the international cheese table. By some miracle, we managed to catch up. The food was loaded into the fridge. The herbs chopped. I laid out the last bit of sliced bread and sundried strawberries on the cheese table. We closed the screen to the kitchen, patted ourselves on the backs and then we heard it.
It sounded something like a stampede.
At 1:30, the guests who were supposed to arrive at 2:30 walked in.
Or shall I say charged.
Oblivious to the fact that they were 1 full hour early and without even taking off their coats, they stormed over to my (just finished) cheese table and began to eat.
“It’s gonna be one of those,” I told Neil and he sighed his (I’ve been in this business to long sigh) and began to un-wrap the cheese we never thought we’d have to use.
Aah the glamorous life of a caterer.
There were highlights to the day.
Watching 30,000 people run over the 59th street bridge, while filling up trays with seared tuna hors d’oeuvres was one of them.
But to tell you the truth, I never shook the eerie deja vus Sergio and I experienced together in the morning.
Funny.. the things that un-nerve me now; quiet streets and pretty mornings.
By the way..
I had an amazing experience a couple of days ago.
Two women, Nancy and Kelly who are doing a college research paper that includes the emotional effects of September 11th on the arts, interviewed me.
They found me from my web site.
They were visiting NYC from San Francisco for just two days but they asked to spend two hours of that time interviewing me (and my girlfriend who came along because she’s convinced that anyone you meet from the internet is a serial killer).
We were expecting two 20 year olds to show up and instead two women our age, (let’s just say over 30 okay) arrived. We liked them right away.
They asked really intelligent questions.
It was a strange experience to be interviewed about my feelings on “911.”
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time talking about that day, but having someone, a stranger, interview me like that was very different.
My answers did not surprise me. What did was the way I felt.
On the one-year anniversary, my (wise) girlfriend so purged me in everything to do with ground zero, that by midnight that day I was ready to move on.
And in many ways I have moved on.
Yet there in that restaurant over Mexican eggs, I was right back in that moment watching the first tower come down.
And yesterday, with Sergio, looking at the yellow tape and the fire truck and hearing nothing but my own heart, I was again sifting through the impossible.
What the girls really wanted to know was how “911” has affected me and the answers I gave them that day are not the ones I would have given 6 months ago. They are not even the ones I would give today only a few days later.
The truth is I have no idea how “911” has affected me.
I may not know for years.
Maybe none of us will.
In the meanwhile, if you’re planning a wedding, wouldya make a few phone calls first to make sure it’s not the same day as the New York Marathon.
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