Archive for December, 2004

Dec 31 2004


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The Year In Review:

January: Recovering from Christmas Concussion. Nurse Suzy meets Frontier Suzy (which is scarier?) as I spend most of the month at my sister’s place in the country, helping to take care of Mom, who once again rises from the almost dead. She makes Lazarus look like an amateur. Bonus: lifelong fear of the dark banished by a month of darkness bootcamp.

February: Went to Florida for the first time and loved it. At least Hurricane Suzy left the place in one piece.

March: The incredibly moving Bar Mitzvah. Computer problems.

April: My blog’s third birthday. Barry Bonds hits 700. Minor, self-induced back problems.

May: Blogger’s block.

June: Baseball games, one at home and one in enemy territory. Blogger’s block continues apace. Actually do not care about my birthday! ~gasp~

July: Dogsitting. New York City! Sunburns galore and flaming appliances! Garden party envy.

August: Third anniversary of my father’s death. Suzy’s Hamptons Diary.

September: Nothing fit for public consumption*.

October: The torpor continues. Shocked out of torpor temporarily by sudden mouse invasion. Sinus infection from hell.

November: Viva Las Vegas! Sick again. So is Mom, and of course, she outdoes me and is in the hospital. After a two week stay, she is released. She’s Wonder Woman! Thanksgiving with all my siblings and assorted friends.

December: The perils of country driving for a city girl. First foray into professional photography (as a rank amateur). A cardless and gift-free Christmas. The perils of city driving (or parking) for a city girl.

*If you’re curious, email me at and I’ll give you the dirt.

2 responses so far

Dec 29 2004

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A Christmas comedy, starring Suzy
Co-starring an uncooperative car and a very recalcitrant turkey

On Christmas Eve, I volunteered to go to a mall(!) and pick up some last minute items for a friend, who was hostessing a quite splendid party. I braved the hordes of last-minute holiday shoppers, and emerged victorious, clutching my hard-won shopping. I got in the car, turned the key, and…


I couldn’t believe this, so I kept trying until I realized that the car battery had chosen a cold winter evening to expire, proving that no good deed goes unpunished. For once, I was actually glad to have my cell phone, and summoned help. While waiting for rescue on a cold winter evening, I reflected on the fact that time can actually stand still. When Rescue Guy arrived, it took less than one minute to bring the car back to life, and less than that for me to put the heat on.

Arriving at my hostess’ house, I hurried in with all the shopping I could carry, and then returned to the car for the rest of it. This was a good theory until I realized…

…that I had locked the keys in the car with the engine running.

No wonder I hardly ever drive. I’m a hazard when I’m parked.

Fortunately, it was a different Rescue Guy the second time.

The comedy continued in the kitchen, where the turkey, which had been defrosting for two days, was still frozen. We put it in the microwave to defrost, but after three rounds, it was still frozen inside. My hostess had the bright idea of pouring boiling water into the frozen cavity. There’s a trust exercise for you: I held the turkey upright while she poured the boiling water in.

It finally thawed enough for us to try and remove the plastic bag of grossness and the neck. The plastic bag gave up easily, but the neck would not come out. Peering into the dark recesses of the entr&eacutee-to-be, it appeared to me that there were two things in there, not one. A prolonged bout of turkey wrestling ensued, with one of us holding the pan and the other attempting to wrench the neck out (and whatever else was in there).

It finally emerged, and turned out to be in fact the longest turkey neck ever seen – the John Holmes of turkey necks. We ended up having to wrap the poultry porn star in foil and roast it at 400 degrees, and had dinner at a very European 9:00 pm.

Note to self: get a chauffeur and become a vegetarian. The world will be a safer place.

3 responses so far

Dec 22 2004

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Well, I am more naughty than nice. But you knew that.

Beaded bookmark made for me by a friend who apparently knows me all too well!

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Dec 20 2004

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The Grinchitude continues apace Chez Suzy: I haven’t sent a single Christmas card, I don’t have a tree or decorations, I haven’t sung a carol or bought presents or even done my traditional annual reading of John Masefield’s masterpiece, a Christmas story called “The Box of Delights” (my father used to read it to us every Christmas when we were kids, and this is the first Christmas ever that I haven’t read it).

But I do have a Festive Fire Escape (doesn’t that sound like an Edward Gorey book?).

7 responses so far

Dec 16 2004

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And from the more glamorous days of air travel:

A stewardess told me that when she first started out in her job in 1968, they would actually weigh the girls before they were allowed on the plane. Once, she weighed 1/4 pound too much and was thrown off the plane, missing a day’s pay. She said, “I just laughed and sat by the pool that day. Eventually, they stopped doing this, since it was so hard to find replacement staff at the last minute.”

4 responses so far

Dec 13 2004

The Not So Glamorous Assistant

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The Not So Glamorous Assistant

The fabulous K, she of the evilly delicious chocolate martinis, somehow convinced me to accompany her to the depths of the country to be her assistant at an outdoor photo shoot. She must have caught me in a moment of extreme weakness or have powers of persuasion so superhuman that she could solve that pesky Middle East problem while refreshing her lip gloss, because:

1. I had to leave the house at 7:15 AM. That means morning, you know (theoretically – the sun very wisely and enviably still had its head under the covers at that ungodly hour). Yikes!

2. Being a photographer’s assistant is not the same as being, say, a magician’s. There are no sequins or outsize feathers involved. Damn!

3. The country: It’s another name for Nature, and you know how much I love that. It consists mostly of fields of nothing, also mud and lots of it. My poor little boots!

3. The outdoors is shockingly over-ventilated, rendering me a temporary Suzy-sicle. The shoot was for the cover of a magazine and involved a particularly handsome, yet recalcitrant dog who paid no attention whatsoever to my stage directions, even when I tried to lure him with treats. I hate it when males are immune to my charms.

On the other hand, there was a puppy of possibly illegal cuteness, with the result that my coat is now covered in puppy slobber and dog hair, but it was completely worth it.

PS: You decide which is weirder:

1. The fact that the dogs’ owner names them all after hotels; or

2. The fact that he thinks it’s really cool and kept telling us about it. Frequently.

7 responses so far

Dec 11 2004

Rainy Day Blues

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Revelation du jour: you can be just as bored on a cold, rainy day that keeps you indoors when you’re a grown-up as when you’re a kid. Despite the fact that you have access to a far wider range of playthings as an adult than as a child: TV unlimited by parental intervention; DVD’s & videos; the Net, with its alluring array of online shopping and other pleasures (some guiltier than others); phone*; email*; books, magazines. Sure, you could catch up on some of the annoying chores that are the lot in life of all adults, but who wants to when you’re bored and cranky and want to be distracted? It’s more depressing than a barrel full of Thomas Hardy novels out there.

Oddly, I would probably go out if it was snowing – snow being rain’s more glamorous cousin and all.

The truth is, I wanted to go shopping today, and am understandably annoyed that Nature has kept me from doing my bit to improve the economy. And my butt: shopping is my cardio, after all.

*The other truth is, I sort of hate the phone. Returning messages, like answering emails, is kind of a chore-ette. Like we all love to get mail, but are much less enthusiastic about answering it. Especially when you’re stricken with paralyzing boredom and have nothing of interest to say.

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Dec 10 2004


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I may be a Grinch(ette), but I winterized!

4 responses so far

Dec 07 2004


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My slide into Grinch-itude has escalated like drug use.

Last year, it was our family agreeing not to exchange gifts, though my sister Megan cheated by making everyone stockings filled with cool stuff and my dear Kathleen made and sent every girl in my family beautiful scarves.

I have to say, it made the whole thing a lot less stressful (also cheaper) and a lot like having a second Thanksgiving, just food and family and sharing happy holiday memories. It worked out so well that we’re doing it again this year (or not doing it, depending on how you look at it).

This year, I have actually decided not to send out any Christmas cards!! It gives me a feeling of terrifying freedom, and I also feel like I’m going to get in trouble somehow, but what a stress reliever! Last year, I sent out around 70 of them, and it was a lot of work, since I have the quaint notion that I should write (or scrawl – my always-odd handwriting has gotten even more eccentric with lack of use) something personal in each one. I used to start the day after Thanksgiving to get all the European ones out in time.

For those of you who are sending out cards this year, why not use the Dr. Seuss stamps? Even though you’re not a Grinch!

6 responses so far

Dec 05 2004

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Protests and politics, NorCal style:

(Mendocino, California)

(Mendocino, California)

Christmas wreath with a message:

(Elk, California)

Even the cats have opinions (don’t they always?):

(Elk, California)

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Dec 02 2004

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Mom’s being released from the hospital tomorrow, I’m back in the city, and all’s right with the world. I even managed to lose the mutant cold from hell somewhere on the frighteningly curvacious Greenwood-Philo Road, en route to the equally corkscrewesque Highway 128. It just couldn’t keep up, and I’m assuming it’s lying in wait for its next unsuspecting victim.

Country driving has hazards unfamiliar to city drivers:

– It’s really, really dark at night (and night falls early this time of year, very inconvenient for those of us who just have no talent for getting up early). No streetlights and no ambient light. Finally, a rational, semi-adult reason for being scared of the dark!

– People give you directions like, “Turn left at the yellow house. When you see that really big tree, make a right, and we’re right next to the water tower.” Finding the yellow house is especially challenging in the pitch dark on a dirt road. No cell phone service, either, so if you’re lost, you’re really on your own, feeling like the star of your very own horror movie. Is that an axe murderer or a tree?

– Even the Bambiest of deer are terrifying when they leap out of the woods and right in front of your car. Fortunately, I missed that one and it vanished into the woods, taking a few years of my life with it and leaving me with even more grey hair. I also managed to avoid hitting a cat, a squirrel, and several birds. I guess you could consider it a car game, like I Spy. In fact, it’s a variation of I Spy when you think about it.

– Cattle grating. This was a new one. According to my sister Megan, the country dweller, cattle grating is used to keep cows from crossing the road (anything that reduces the animal population on the roads is just fine with me). It freaks them out, she explained, and they don’t like to walk on it. However, you have to drive over it really slowly, like 10 miles an hour, or you’ll fishtail all over the place and end up even more freaked out than the cows.

My sisters and I (left to right: Beth, Megan, Me) had breakfast together in the beautiful little town of Elk before I left for San Francisco. You have to love eating breakfast outside in December in a place that looks like this, with hummingbirds whizzing around and flowers blooming everywhere. Across the road, a happy little group of people were decorating the Christmas tree outside their church. It was a charming tableau.

4 responses so far