• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Good Times Never Seem So Good

Spoiler alert: I continue to hate, including to hate the term, “spoiler alert.” I hate the barista at Starbucks near my office (and I hate the word barista). Every morning when I ask for decaf, she says, it will have to be a pour over the way the salesman at the shoe store used to squeeze my foot and say extra wide like it was my fault. I haven’t been blogging for a few reasons. I’ve been writing in my diary every day and that’s a time suck. I’ve weaned myself of late night television. I’ve been making a valiant effort to go to the gym. I can’t stop cleaning like in the old PMS days. And I’m lost.

Does the lord help those who help themselves? Spoiler alert:

19 Responses

  1. Hang in there?

    Seriously, you’ve got to admit you understand the irony of asking for a decaf at Starbucks, right?

    Wouldn’t that be like someone approaching you to publish their book of crossword puzzles?

    No? No.

    Nevertheless, I think it’s wonderful that you’ve given up late night television: I believe that I recall how you said that you had been watching, and finished ‘The Wire’?

    I have something else for you: Deadwood (2004-2007) 3 seasons.

    Trust me, you will love it. It’s a panorama of everything good and evil; thoughts, intentions, actions, motives. Every scene is a cocoon of the simple and complex. It is so sublimely written and acted and directed that you will want to immediately watch it again. But you cannot; it’s just too brutal. Even in its beauty.

    The Wire, and Deadwood—-two of my all-time favorites. It will make you forget the barista and the shoe salesman. But, it might also create a place where you see them differently.



    • I feel compelled to add my shrill scream to this Deadwood Devotional. If TV ever had a Shakespeare, it is David Milch writing Deadwood. I am as jealous of his achievement as I can manage while worshipping him. The whole thing is music, I think.

      This clip is not the best one to show that, but it came to mind first, and who wouldn’t love Calamity Jane, earning her name in this scene?

  2. “Does the lord help those who help themselves?”

    No. Sorry. We’ve been lied to (again). The lord tends to its own affairs. As for the rest of us, go ahead, help yourself. You might get lucky.

  3. I hate the word veggies. And meds. My mother uses both. What does this mean? No, I don’t hate my mother. I love her, but her word choices are a like a sudden scream in my ear. (then there’s colonostopy and mammiogram – aye yi yi) Actually, I don’t like the word barista either. In my head (and that’s a weird place to be lately) it sounds like a word that ought to be used in a lawyer’s office. I.e. “The barista will handle the paper work for your case.”

    What used to motivate me no longer does. The gym. Running. I likely won’t step foot into a gym again, but I will get back to running before too long. That ought to be interesting.

    In other news, my second book released day after Christmas. (THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET) What’s a time suck for me is hovering around various sites and reading reviews. People say “don’t.” That’s like telling an addict to quit doing drugs.

    Oh, and we got Apple TV from our son for Christmas. You can wander around looking at all those programs for ever and a day. I haven’t decided if I love it – or hate it.

  4. That was me. I cleaned out my cache yesterday, confusing my computer.

  5. “Does the lord help those who help themselves?”
    Help themselves to what?
    Grapes in the produce section, the bank bag on the counter, or the private parts of the person seeking advancement?

    Lord, yup I’m speaking to you…help !
    I don’t want to go to work today. I hate that my job is a pointless daily exercise achieving nothing more worthy than making the Jone’s cape look nicer than the Smith’s raised ranch.

    Save me lord.
    Oh wait, is this church?
    Am I in church?
    Ah ha, Lerner’s Tabernacle on the Mount.

  6. Oh thank god. I hated that you stopped hating.

    And the cold pour is bullshit. A busy coffeeshop should always have decaf. I used to work in a coffeeshop. I called myself a grad student/bookseller/coffeeshop employee.

  7. Don’t know about the Lord, but I think it’s time for old white men with antiquated values, moralistic tendencies and too much power to wither up and fade away. And they won’t go easily. Spoiler alert: hard work ahead. The outsiders are chipping away like prisoners building a tunnel and, while it’s going to take some time, there is progress. So don’t let go now;
    the old white men
    are on the run.

  8. Yay! Glad your hate wasn’t gone too long. A Betsy without hate is like a day without sunshine. Welcome home. Sorry you feel lost. Write a map.

  9. I’m lost too. Suddenly lost in Pinterest. Lost in Broadchurch. Lost in Chinese food and Hershey’s Kisses. Lost in doctor’s offices and CVS. Lost in my own bed. Lost in dog hair and wilted celery. Lost in work I don’t care about. Lost in Space. So damn lost.

    Other than that I’m fine.

  10. It’ the wilted celery that pushes me over the edge. Lost in my own bed beautiful line. Betsy

  11. I am living proof that the Lord only sees me as an object of comic relief. With each mitzvah, there is a swift, and often expensive, retaliation. I don’t dare ask a Deity for help. So: as firm believer in brewing my own coffee, I also prefer those multi-fold paper maps to any electronic voice – especially after OnStar wanted to direct me into the middle of a sugar cane field (not my destination). Have no fear of being lost, ’cause we will find you!

  12. Yes. And thank god. I just ventured out of the house to get a pizza and realized it’s not that I hate people in general, though I debate that with myself, it’s the identites they try to create and then insist you go along. In most of the places I’ve lived if you don’t treat the baristas, whatever the fuck that is, like they are unrecognized artistic genuises and have momentarily humbled themselves to enlighten you with body art and smarmy politeness, you’re an asshole. Another thing I hate is when I introduce my wife to people, This is my wife Angela, and they call her Angie. I correct them each and every time. I’m sorry, do we know you? I think it’s healthy to hate some things. I think it’s in our god-given nature to hate some things. Imagine the nightmare we would live in if we didn’t hate some things. Thanks, Betsy! (Fiction perhaps? Full on Malamud fiction. Sorry, I don’t know any female Jewish fiction writers off the top of my head, my ignorance, but you have the skills and the experience. I would buy one of your fiction books. Without hesitation.)

  13. What do I hate?

    – One-ply toilet paper
    – Restaurants that carry Diet Pepsi (which tastes like bug spray) instead of Diet Coke
    – People who leave two-star reviews when they haven’t read more than a couple chapters
    – Giving pills to cats
    – Gum snapping
    – DT
    – The use of the word “hubby” instead of “husband”
    – The use of “u” instead of “you.” (How much time did you save by eliminating those two letters?)

    Shall I go on?

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