Mangiare e Bene

Mangiare e Bene

We sit down at the table, pass around the basket of bread.
Our menu in our hands, ordering we do dread.
Pasta, pasta everywhere, but not a drop to eat.
We love to see our peeps, we eat and then repeat -AGAIN?
With some laps around the clubhouse pool.
And a walk around the lake.
Another fettuccine bolognese we really cannot take.
Our pants are getting tighter, as the buttons they do pop.
And then we order dessert and pull out all the stops.
Four forks around the key lime.
Or a spoon for creme brûlée.
A holy moley to the cannoli.
Decaf cappuccino on the side.
We glance into the mirror, as it really tells no lies.
Our girlish, curvy figure, so very far away.
When we get up in the morning we start a brand new day.
A scoop of some plain yogurt- add a banana to the bowl.
We have yet to stand on the scale.
The Veal Milanese has taken its toll.
As we dress for one more table and another group of friends.
The caring and conversation we trust will never end.
If we eliminate the bread, skip the pasta page indeed.
Perhaps some broiled salmon, is exactly what we need.
Have a great Monday,Monday!

Oh! the Places You’ll Go!

Step out, step out of the sun, if you keep getting burned. —Evan Hansen.
Ok listen up, what’s it going to take?
Adages galore bout repeating mistakes.
First toast to health and good luck along the way.
Stay with me this time, cause it will juxtapose naysay.
As time marches on with challenges stockpiling.
We fuss and we muss the “not importants” all the whiling.
“Elementary dear Watson,”
Easier said than done.
We’re turning our cheek, as we’re coming undone.
We try flipping the negatives.
Counting one by one.
Will they like us and invite us to come back?
The hard on ourselves, try cutting some slack.
Hit the ground running.
It’s medicinal indeed.
Give it a chance.
Plant a new seed.
The news on the daily, breathtaking for sure.
Like a minute under water, open a new door.
Dr. Seuss and I quote.
“I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win cause you’ll play against you.”
Give yourself a good Sunday. Bh

Neil Simon Penned one Long Love Story.

In 1997 he wrote the screenplay Proposals. The take away thought about what he loved in a character he developed is ” her humor is different. Her take on life is different.”
“Never Underestimate the Stimulation of Eccentricity.”

Homage to Neil Simon-. We binged your movies to help ward off “The Biloxi Blues.”

Whether we were “Barefoot in the Park, while “Lost in Yonkers” or hitching a ride home from “Brighton Beach,” we waited to hear Jonathan Schwartz “Playing our Song,” on WQXR American Standard Radio. Marvin Hamlisch played Carole Bayer Sager’s lyrics to his music with his particular Zip-a-dee-doo-dah enthusiasm. We swayed along and knew all the words. Your collaborations with Mike Nicols and Gene Zaks prolifically chronicled our youth. Oh Neil, we got hooked when we read your name amongst the credits as we watched Sgt. Bilko, played with such guile on The Phil Silvers show. We waited to hear your interviews with Joan Hamburg on 77 WABC to learn what play was next to be “Broadway Bound.” Her interviews typically came at the end of her show after the bargain shopping and food segments. There was often a reference to Shelly Fireman, our forever friend and his spin on delicious Italian fare.)

When we spatzered around our favorite thrift shops we heard your familiar very New Yawkish sounding voice broadcasted live. When Joan interviewed you, the two of you had a repartee we so enjoyed, although we considered you quite the “Odd Couple.”

We marveled at the big city duplex apartments with sunken living rooms, and gilded cage appeal that set the stage for many of your playbooks. Was Willy’s (Walter Matthau) apartment at the Beaux Arts Ansonia really that big? We thought it could possibly the best pad ever to play hide and go seek. Did Jane Fonda actually run around “Barefoot in the Park” as she pleaded with Robert Redford to try again to save their marriage? We wanted to live in her apartment as soon as we moved to the Village. We knew we didn’t want to live uptown and become a “Prisoner on Second Avenue.”
We weren’t sure you could top the episode when Felix Unger walked into Oscar Madison’s cluttered apartment to try to get back together with Gloria. You certainly did when you portrayed the classic “Northeast distributor of Guilt,” and had Molly Picon threaten to keep her head in the oven over the troubles with her bachelor sons. Oh, Frankie.

Our take away quote of yours is “if you can go through life without experiencing pain you probably haven’t been born yet.” Neil Simon- we trust you’ve be filling them with laughter in Suite 203-04 during your “Chapter Two.”

And so the Story Goes

And so the story goes…Swing easy!

When Birdie met Bogey in the old neighborhood they were pretty much hook(ed). They (fore) warned their parents that they believed strongly this was their (stroke) of good luck. They knew there might be (rough) days ahead, but their attraction proved to be (out of bounds.) With no (mulligans) in sight and no red (flags) in view they would plunge ahead, not let sleepy dogs (lie.) They would disregard an (albatross) as an impasse and call it three strokes in their favor.
Perhaps there would be (hazards) along the (Fairway) but for now they were in the (Green.) They vowed to (bunker) down together, knowing all the while as long as the (Eagle) has landed they would invite everyone to the 19th hole to raise a glass as they celebrated their ( hole in one.)
See you on the Tee box- off to drive a few buckets. Reeking with enthusiasm. Minchen by you.

Happy Days are here Again!

Don’t go to the Butcher if you are looking for Flowers.

Give yourself a boost.
And I quote Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Perhaps get intimate with a new hobby, take up Golf- ( you looking at me?), or sit with friends at dinner and add new meaning to the conversation by learning more about their beliefs on a topic you have never discussed before. Somewhere between sharing a salad and four forks at dessert ask if you had your choice of any one to sit around a table and have a conversation with who would it be? Henry Kissinger, Andrea Bocelli, or one of your grandchildren? So just for today find your way to adding and multiplying possibilities by starting a new book, calling someone you haven’t reached out to in awhile, perhaps trying the new coq au vin recipe you recently got. Small positive steps help to minimize stress. Trite? We think not- in the old dog new tricks fashion.
Hit it Barbra with an A.
“The skies above are clear again. So let’s sing a song of cheer again.
Happy days are here again.”

Revisiting an old fav

“Forget your troubles- Come on get Happy. You better chase all your cares away.”

“Understand people’s anxiety- Always have a suntan-” Aristotle Onassis- Dale Carnegie-kind and ever so real. He won friends and influenced people he never met. His basic principle to aim for cheerful friendliness and approach things with zero ambiguity. Antiquated?- we think Not. Pushy tactics are not necessary when you carry your own concept of yourself. His motto “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.“ Hmmmm! His book has gone the distance on the daily, like our morning coffee, Al Rokers weather report and scrolling through Instagram. Eliminating gossip and pointing fingers, leaves time for forwarding junk emails to 10 people as an opportunity to win the lottery. Loling. His suggestions served as the prototype for all The Chicken Soup for the Soul publications. Helen Gurley Brown in her Cosmopolitan style, told it like it was as career and love life merged, through red lipstick and panty hose and we listened- well maybe some of the time. We watched, we must confess, early on when Phil Donahue met “That Girl” and interviewed Jean Nidetch (founder of Weight Watchers.) We learned the value of zero point foods and loosing some lbs.

Back to -Oh Dale, how your words resonated loud and clear upon first read and today when we need a reminder or two. That unpleasant look from so and so the other day had everything to do with them and very little to do with us. People project their feelings and own bias when their defending the one side of the story they didn’t hear.

We long for the days when we walked into the candy store and put the new Betty and Veronica, Little Dot and Dennis the Menace comics on the counter next to our bazooka and red licorice treats. How bout the primordial smells of the gum in the pack of baseball cards that one of the kids on your block shared with you? The very familiar smell of a brand new spalding ball lingers on in our bag of childhood treasures. Exhuming those scents easier than remembering, well a-lot these days. We believe our first art lesson was on Etch a Sketch, and early writing lessons happened through creating stories of where Barbie and Ken will go on their honeymoon. We thought Bermuda would be nice. One guilty pleasure we recall was chewing double bubble, piece after piece (not knowing we were helping our dentist enjoy his summer home with each bubble that landed smack across our faces.) Oh the 60’s where art thou now? Our world is bleeding out of control. We had what seemed was like 5 minutes in between the pandemic and the attack on Ukraine. Worry, insomnia and zapped energy a deleterious trifecta too common in our everyday. So hit it Dale-“ Get busy. Keep busy. it’s the cheapest kind of medicine there is on earth- and one of the best.” Thanks, Mr. Carnegie we’re in.

“Biz Hundert Un Tsvantsik Yor!”

Dear Papa Lenny we’re sending a Big shout out to you.

Defying all the odds is just what you do.

Your moxie and your gratitude is quite a big allure.

Just two of your qualities we truly adore.

The beauty of your grandchildren, sitting by your side.

Leaves all of us smiling very big and wide.

Your 99 years of living through glory and through strife.

Helps serve as a paradigm of hope for a fulfilling life. 

Your smile gleams with kindness, your eye is on the ball.

So keep raising your tanqueray martini, add a piece of chocolate or two.

Your adding years to your legacy in all you say and do.

Give a Kick!

Recipe for long living, long ago. 

How many had grandparents who lived well into their 90’s? Maybe they knew Vic Tanny existed but they were too busy working hard, cooking and baking and smoking cigarettes to get to know him well. My Grandmother, (Bubby Chicken), for those in the know, led with an indomitable spirit. She had a startling ability to push unpleasant thoughts down the block and across the street. She was too busy to worry about what so and so said or thought. With rolling pin in hand and her grater not far away she filled part of her days. I often wondered if she slept with her apron on as it was ever present and the first thing we noticed when we ran in for her endless Hugs.

We believe she was the prototype for the “I’m gonna live forever, I’m gonna learn high to fly” lyrics. So, noodle and or potato pudding, apple cake, rugalach with raisins and jelly and her famous candy bowl filled with hard candies were things we came to depend on. We never knew how we would make it to dessert as we were left stuffed with carbs, salt, schmaltz and gribenes (another-for those in the know.) And- just in case, she had her trustworthy mylanta, gaviscon- or “here mamala have a tums” waiting on the counter next to the left over flour and right under an old plant that still had the ribbon and card on it from last Mother’s Day.

In the absence of gummie probiotics, papaya enzymes, lactaid free whatevers, Pilates, colonoscopies, portion controls, intermittent fasting, calories counts on products, my grandmother and her friends lived on. They were the Northeast distributors of 100 calorie bags filled with TLC.

Were their stomachs better equipped? Was it not considered abuse to reach for the sugar and go for the salt first? Perhaps endemic to generations long ago who focused less on Vit. D levels and more on how good Halavah tasted, whether it was marble or chocolate covered. The conundrum eludes me, how about you?

A three pronged example of a lifestyle fast forwarded is a workout on the treadmill, a bullet veggie shake and dashing off to have our blood work tested after a 10,000 unit regimen of Vit.D to pump up the numbers. Bub, we all miss the high caloric, straddled with confectioners sugar way you celebrated life. By the way thanks for palming us the good luck gelt every time we left your side. Bh

More than the Rabbit Died

2023 Monterey Park shooting- Official say Gunman Who Killed 10 in California is Dead. Lunar New Year shooting and more than the Rabbit Dies.

May 25- 2020 Uvalde, Texas- 18 Children 3 Adults Dead-

No “Pulse“ Nightclub- Orlando Florida – Jun 13, 2016-

That certain night , the night we met, there was magic abroad in the air. There were angels dining at the Ritz- “And a Nightingale Sang in Barclay Square.” Words by Eric Maschwitz, music by Manning Sherwin. The song was written in 1939 in a French fishing village Le Lavandou right before the outbreak of the Second World War. Fast forward— On a steamy week-end eve you get dressed, put on your lipstick, turn off your music and walk out the door. You look forward to debriefing the week with a friend and meeting some new friends. You’re all set to chill in a high energy, safe haven club, on your local Barclay Square- the nightingales were singing. Dry martinis, familiar faces and music you listen to at home and know every word to. A perfect design for a five-star time. One would think. And then the World According to Garp doesn’t happen. No Lin Manuel, THESE senseless acts of tragedy are what is “promised.” Our promised land nearly 70 years after World War Two- on the the doorstep of World War Three. “Praising Isis, Gunman attacks Gay Nightclub, leaving 50 dead in worst shooting on U.S.Soil. Yes, on U.S.soil again and again. We scream in horror, we cry in disbelief as one more lunatic walks into one more gun shop and puts down one more stolen credit card. We then pay dearly for the laws that govern the strongest nation on earth. We pray for the insane and fund them in jail after they take away our freedom of choice, as to which place to dance the night away–that takes our Life away. In concentration camp like fashion we become prisoners of the loose cannon, suicide bombers who live to die. The adage of ” do guns kill people or do people kill people” is center stage again today.. One avenue for slaughter is 18 year olds being allowed to buy murder weapons. How long is congress on sabbatical from revising laws on buying over the counter rifles in a store that houses beef jerky too? Dear G-d please look in our direction. We need our backs covered and we are willing to double down for this. Bh

Home Alone.

And just like that he left for Home. All the while we believed Home is where the left over stuffed derma is. Was it that there was too much cooked celery in the chicken soup? Perhaps he found too many bounce dryer sheets stuck to his socks in his drawer? Could it be the half and half wasn’t fat free? She racked her brain trying to come up with a sound reason she was left behind to negotiate The Boys parking lot by herself?
So she rearranged her mindset, left an extra house key in the car and knew if she got the chicken in the pot from 3ggg’s she was covered for dinner the next two nights.

He left her the buy one get one flyer from Lucille’s Barbecue in case she wanted ribs one night. For the next 7 days Amazon was her plus one go to. Paper goods left in front, hopefully the day they’re delivered it won’t rain.
Ok then now what? Netflix, perhaps?
Finishing the book for the next book club? Indeed a possibility. In an attempt to keep busy during her solo ride she packed a bag for a destination beach day. She included her air pods, zinc oxide for her lips and a turkey sandwich for lunch, no mayo, could spoil in the heat. Well that will take care of a day in his absence. On the way home, while listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, she stopped at Glicks for a container of soup and a six pack of Dr. Brown’s Diet Cherry Soda. Counting moments dinner by dinner. Interesting.
Back to the check off list for when the garbage is picked up and to make sure to leave the housekeeper money on Wednesday.
She’s covered on heavy items i.e. bottles of water and Tide Detergent. No worries, all good, yes freezer is full. Who knows a little time apart in the absence makes the heart…fashion could be good.

So she took a left on to Jog after what seemed like a long wait, pulled into Town Center for a little shopping therapy only to realize it was only 8:45.
Next stop the bagel place at the (OMG) counter for one seat. An everything bagel with a schmear- often a comfort food panacea.
With a little time to go until Neimans opens CVS is a good time filler. One can never have too much Calamine lotion for those middle of the night leg itches.
My take away on Home Alone, after a glued to the hip time together especially during the Pandemic days is that keeping busy is key. They are having a Bingo Game in our community. Buying some new dabbers at the Big Apple flea market on Atlantic can help pass the time until life goes back to Two for the Road. No worries I got this week covered.

Hit it Henry Mancini
Two for the Road

If you’re feeling fancy free.
Come wander through the world with me.
And any place we chance to be,
Will be a rendez-vous.
Two for the road.
We’ll travel down the years.
Collecting precious memories-
Selecting souvenirs.
And living life the way we please.
In summertime the sun will shine.
In winter we’ll drink summer wine.
And everyday that you are mine
Will be a lovely day.
As long as love still wears a smile.
I know that we’ll be two for the road.
And that’s a long, long while.
As long as love still wears a smile.
I know that we’ll be two for the road
And that’s a long, long while.