Archive for the 'comedy' Category

Facebook or Wastebook; An Addendum to the Addendum

Here are a few articles that Cranky thinks some one seriously needs to write about Facebook:

Scientific Study on the Relationship to OCD and Facebook
“My wife used to be very particular. Nothing out of order in our house. She was kind of a clean nut”, says Ed Edmondson of Chicago, IL. “Now that she is on Facebook she can’t stop checking it, he says. “I found out she once posted 10 times in one day. And now that an old boyfriend showed up on Facebook, I’ve found her getting out of bed and logging on in the middle of the night to see if there are any messages from him. She won’t stop….

Enterprising Group Starting the No. 1 Facebook Detective Agency
The growing popularity of Facebook has been behind the formation of the No. 1 Facebook Detective Agency. The founders of the agency found that there we a lot of people who wanted to know a few things before they pressed confirm or ignore when accepting new friends on the site. “A guy I knew in high school showed up,” says Betty Anderson of Westchester, NY, “But all his posts were between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. What does that mean? And his profile says he is in a relationship, but it also says he is interested in women and looking for dating. How does that work? So I hired the No. 1 Facebook Detective Agency and sure enough, he is a crazy man living in a shack in the woods.”……..

The Facebook Quiz – No Bad Answers?
“Everyone across the board gets an ego lift from taking one of our
Facebook quizzes”, says quiz creator Mike Geekman. The results are all good. We didn’t even include the Mesozoic in the “WHICH ERA DO YOU BELONG IN” quiz, though I’m sure we have members that truly belong there.

12 Steppers Step Right Up On Facebook
“It’s a new thing. People are sending global bulletins on Facebook to everyone they’ve ever known past and present telling them to call them for an apology.” Says Facebook administrator Glenn Particularis. The validity of doing the 12 steps on Facebook has also been called into question by veteran members of AA. “We feel doing it on Facebook doesn’t count,” says long time member John Daniels. “ How serious can you be posting an amends right there with videos of kittens playing in paper bags?”

New Survey Finds People FaceBooking from Asylums Have More Friends Than Ever
The isolation of the insane is now ending thanks to Facebook. Henry Nutter, a long time resident of Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center says, “I can’t believe how many friends I have now thanks to Facebook. And my profile is all true. I just left a couple of things out. I’ve found all the people I went to high school with and I was really surprised, some of them are really messed up.”….

In Suburban Recovery

Cranky grew up in the suburbs. It was a place full of scary women running around in golf outfits doing their marketing. (Which at the time, meant grocery shopping.)

There were giant bottles of gin at every social gathering. A division between men and women. The men took the Stamford local into “the city” every day. The women shopped and hid the clothes in the back of the closet. Irony was king. Women did whatever it took to be constantly persistently perky. Every medicine cabinet had a plethora of diet pills. We nick named one friend’s mother Abba Dabba because she was so hyper that every sentence out of her mouth was preceded by, “Abba dabba abba dabba abba dabba Midge….” There was a women’s club. I was fortunate enough to go one night to hear a talk on marriage. Here is a transcription of the notes I secretly took during the meeting:

“Hello. I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Lucienne Brown, and I’ve been a member here at the Manor Club for eighteen years. I’m here today to give advice to our junior members. My talk is called “Tips for Newlywed Gals.” Oh, and I’d like to thank Becky Porterfield) for her invitation, it was she who said to me, “If you know so much about marriage, why don’t you give a seminar on it. Becky, thank you, thank you. What a great idea!

Well dears, lets face it, the first year is the absolute worst – when you’re faced for the first time with the horrible reality of it all with absolutely no tools to deal with it.

I’ve always thought, that instead of marriage vows, they should read Miranda Rights, so that a married woman would at least have the same rights as an arrested criminal. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. If he brings up the budget at one a.m. and you don’t want to talk about it, you’re not avoiding the topic; you’re just too damned tired.

And remember, ANYTHING YOU SAY MIGHT BE HELD AGAINST YOU. The statement, “I ran into Michele in Saks the other day”, can turn into a conversation, not about Michele, but about what the hell you were doing in Saks in the first place when we just decided to turn over a new leaf and stop spending money.

So, sift through topics through your mind for their explosive possibilities before speaking.
Ok, first, TRAINING. A good husband must be cultivated, like a vegetable, they are not found like precious truffles. You have to grow you own husband.

All men feel they are the center of the universe and entitled to anything, so we have to learn when and how to draw the line. A recent cover of “Time Magazine” asked the question, “How Apes Became Human?” That’s easy – someone married them, and spent ten years training them not to dribble food down their chest, and to pick up after themselves.

Next, RESEARCH. A few good books are a big help in running a household. My favorite is “The Household Encyclopedia”. I think it is very telling that directly following hydrangeas is hysteria. There are times when your home will turn into just that: hydrangeas on the outside, hysteria on the inside. Just remember, you’re not alone. Many a viciously fighting couple will open the door for their guests and act like they are absolutely agog over each other. Don’t be fooled. Looking perpetually happy is a social requirement, not an absolute truth.

On to TELEPHONE STRATEGY. Get your own phone line. The only time to talk on the phone when he’s around is when he’s also on the phone. Otherwise your conversations will be interrupted with constant questions, dirty looks and moans and groans. Or, your husband will try to turn you into Charlie McCarthy and say: “Tell them I said this” and “Tell them I said that” –“ What did they say?” Irritating to you and a good way to lose friends. So, when he’s home, the minute the phone rings for him – make those calls girls.

And of course, THE KITCHEN, the source of many an argument. Everybody has their own way of doing things and they all think everybody else’s way stinks. If you don’t want someone turning your flames up and down and telling you how they always did it, cook alone.

Sadly, there are many activities that when done together lead to fights. So a good marriage strategy to adopt is: DO AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE TOGETHER, THUS AVOIDING BLOW UPS.

Now, DECORATING. If there’s something you really want to do for the home, just do it and stand your ground. If he hates it, insist it’s the latest thing and absolutely fabulous and he will doubt his taste and succumb. Decorating by committee takes entirely too long and most men want everything black and gray and lots of metal – if he buys anything that looks like that, tell him how nice it will look in his office!

And then there are VACATIONS, they are no panacea either, believe me. You have a choice of one, the country, a non-convenience area full of bugs. Or two: there is Europe, where you’ll be pounding the pavement all day looking at churches. Or three: the Caribbean, where you’ll roast all day and drop a bundle on terrible food, which you’ll eat a ton of because you’re so bored that you’ll end up by the end of the week looking like a balloon in a bikini. The whole thing is awful.

If you’re catching a plane, good luck. My husband will be “checking things” in the house while the car is outside honking. And, once at the airport, he refuses to walk fast even if the plane is leaving in ten minutes. The slow walk, fast walk argument is a tricky one. The more frenzied you look, the more he starts dragging his feet and looking casual. Don’t ask me why. If you walk on ahead of him, then you look like the rude one. Just abdicate responsibility in your mind.

SO, WHEN YOU GO ON ANY VACATION YOU SHOULD EXPECT TO SUFFER THE WHOLE TIME. That way, if any moments turn out to be pleasant, it’s a nice surprise.

Then we have the issue a WEEKENDS, a 48-hour marathon of togetherness. Don’t ask why Saturday’s are so dead boring. Just get used to it. They consist of one long meal in front of the television set, the beautiful day outside reflected on the screen. To my husband, daylight is an annoyance that gets in the way of his TV, computer screen and blackberry viewing pleasure. The only way to get him outside is the possibility of buying yet another mysterious electronic device.
Sometimes, on a Saturday, I’ll finally get him out of the house at maybe 1:30 and I’ll see a couple who is all dressed up and look like they’ve been out for hours. They’ve been to farmers markets, stores, they’re wearing blazers and khaki’s. Oh please, the only way they could be that way is if I they are trying to change they’re lives and “do things on the weekends”, and by next week they’ll be back living like the rest of us.

And yes, we have to talk about it, SEX. I read somewhere that Deborah Kerr used to belly dance for her husband. I thought, what is wrong with me? On a good night my husband comes home to a wife in sweats and fuzzy slippers standing over a pot of boiling pasta which is slated for dinner. Belly dance for him? Of course, Deborah Kerr probably didn’t have to pay bills, clean toilets, run out of Tide after she had put the laundry in the machine, or have the dog throw up and have diarrhea the minute we moved into a place with wall to wall carpeting after begging the landlord to let our perfect dog live there.

guess she could go gleefully belly dancing around the house because she could pay people to clean up the dog diarrhea. But, dancing Debbie did have a point there. Sex is on the top of the list of your husband’s priorities. Too many women get bogged down with tidying up and let their sex lives go. Does your husband care how neat everything is? If you don’t keep up your end in this area, he’ll lash out about all sorts of ridiculous things that are unrelated. “You paid three dollars for a soy milk!” really means, “ “I’m frustrated and I’m going to find things wrong with you!”

So, prioritize gals; sex first, clean later. Virtual pets have a checklist of their needs, so does your husband. Feed him, talk to him, pet him, fuck him – check them off if you have to!

Well, good night ladies, don’t give up the ship. Stay in the driver’s seat! Bon soir!”

I’m still in recovery from my childhood in “the burbs”. It’s been a long road. I’ve discovered the amazing fact that men are people too. Not just ATM’s in suits. If given the chance, they will talk even. Especially about computers and inanimate stuff like that. How nice.

Cranky Goes To Vermont

Cranky just got back from Vermont. Vermont Vermont. I think it should be called “THE COMPOSTING CAPITAL OF THE UNITED STATES.”
Seriously, if we all lived like Vermonters the Polar Bears would be like over whelmed with their choice of ice floes.
These people believe in stuff and actually do things about it. Other than just buy the hat and wear the pin.
I visited a high school friend who is now 100% Vermonter. With two other high school friends. Vermonter kept finding contraband in the garbage can. “WHO THREW THIS IN HERE?” Oh oh. Gail got snagged for putting a cracker box in the garbage. This is serious. Very serious. I’m absolutely sure there is not one person in the entire state watching “The Millionaire Matchmaker. No, no these people are serious.

On Sunday night at 8:30 a hyperventilating neighbor came by to tell us it was time to turn off the lights for global warming. A great idea. It was nice to be a part of it. But neighbor lady was so SERIOUS about it she was giving herself a heart attack as she ran through the corridors of the co-housing complex turning on the movement sensor lights in her wake to tell everyone to turn off their lights.

“I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!” she said, when my friend tried to introduce us. And she flew down the hall to spread the word, lights flicking in time with her feet. The Paul Revere of the eco-movement.

Merrills are a must. As is no makeup. And I think no hair conditioner by looks of the inhabitants of co-housing.
There was a cake timer in the bathroom. What the hell? I was afraid to ask. But I so wanted to know. Finally someone asked, “Why is there a cake timer in the bathroom?” “Well”, Vermonter said, “My neighbor thought we should try to work on taking shorter showers.” “NOW YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR!” was my response. Fanatic Paul Revere Lady and her big ideas. She’s already convinced my friend that they should stop using the clothes dryer. Hence the cardboard like scratchy towels that had dried on a rack in the middle of the living room.

Al Gore called it “An Inconvenient Truth.” INCONVENIENT – you got that right.After going to Vermont ,I feel I should do more than use a few compact florescent bulbs and recycle. But what? Even if I composted what could I do with it? Put it on houseplants? I’d get a fine if I threw it in the park.

Then I remember that hell, I live in New York City. City living is all about sharing. It doesn’t matter that yeah well, we are forced to do it. We actually each have very small eco-footprints in the big city. We take mass transit. We recyle.
Cranky felt superfluous when visiting Vermont. These people are working on saving the world and I’m writing funny little plays. And acting in experimental theater. I feel very unimportant. But then I remember Fanatic Paul Revere woman. And hey, someone has to help her lighten up.

I’m So Depressed It Makes Me Happy or Am I Happy I’m Depressed?

The good thing about being an actress is that you can easily access your emotions. The bad thing about being an actress is that you can easily access your emotions.

I have to be careful to try to overlook certain things in life or they will send me into a weeklong depression.
Like a fish in a tank or a bird in a cage. I’ve trained myself. LOOK AWAY. LOOK AWAY. LOOK AWAY. Don’t think about the fish in the tank or the bird in the cage. What the fuck kind of life is that? I mean my life is not that great, but at least I can take a walk down the block! What can the fish in the tank and the bird in a cage do? NOTHING. The fish, little circles. The bird back and forth on the perch. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t take it.

They even have a fish tank at my hairdressers. Why why why? I asked about it and was told the owner loves her fish. IF SHE LOVED HER FISH, SHE WOULD FREE HER FISH!

I once saw a beautiful raven in a stupid cage in the Children’s Zoo in Central Park and I though about it for a week. I lost sleep. I kept seeing it. Standing there. I wanted so badly to call them, but I knew they would think I was a crackpot. (Don’t say it!)

I send money to the animal organizations, but I cannot under any circumstances read their pamphlets. No. No. No. These things feed into my natural cranky melancholic state.

And now I am losing soul mates to anti-depressants every day. My soul buddy of years and I always used to say, “summer is overrated,” and laugh. We like the dark. We like the cold. We like to stay in the house and read under a lap blanket. We always dreaded summer. Now suddenly, yesterday, she announced that this year she is not dreading summer at all. Ever since she started anti-depressants she is looking forward to it. LOOKING FORWARD TO IT? What? We have dreaded summer together for fifteen years. Now she has gone over to the sunny side.

I have another friend I’ve always thought of as another brother, especially because his favorite saying is, “It’s all been a horrible mistake.” Now he’s all positive and helpful around the house and I barely know him. He’s going to parties now. He is a victim of the script. What’s up with that? He must be taking the same prescription as my friend.
This actually made me question whether or not I’m depressed. The answer was maybe a little, but I like myself this way so fuck off I am not taking a pill. I just have to do the right amount of exercise to generate enough endorphins to function in the world, that’s all. I do allow myself a yoga high. I feel really good about life for about one hour and forty-five minutes after doing yoga.

I think actually feeling things is good for creativity. I mean, just imagine Edgar Allan Poe on anti-depressants. See what I mean?

Even as a kid, I kind of reveled in my melancholy. I’d hibernate in my room and play music and be alone. Which actually made me happy which is actually kinda contradictory. This may seem totally nuts. But if you refer back to “Cranky and Her Crazy Relatives” you will see that I am actually doing really well.

P.S. – Spring has arrived in Brooklyn- just saw two pigeons mating on a fire escape.

Facebook or Wastebook; An Addendum

Facebook is making me ask myself questions. I’m neurotic enough, without having to deal with how to deal with this. Its all cuckoo now I think. This morning while going through today’s facebook posts I asked myself the following questions:

Some peeps from high school are working on getting a facebook group reunion together. We’ve seen pictures of everywhere everybody has been on vacation their entire lives. We’ve read their profiles. We know where they live. We know what they do for a living. We know if they are married or single or in a relationship. We know their favorite quote. We know what they had for fucking breakfast! I keep imagining myself trying to start a conversation and then realizing I already read the answer on Facebook. My day at the reunion would consist of, “Um, ah…. Um…. Oh! Where?…oh no, forget it. Ah…”


Got a message from someone I barely knew in High School with the following content. I t was posted on my wall for all to see:
“My Mom is still in the family house. It hasn’t been cleaned in over 25 years. I got sober in 2006. Developed bi-polar in 2008. Living on disability since then.”


These are questions I ask myself everyday while I’m scrolling down the facebook page to avoid doing something else I should be doing. An extra few minutes of avoidance before dealing with the task at hand.

My mother used to say “Curiosity killed the cat,” and it always pissed me off when she said that. Wanting to find out answers to things always seemed like a good thing. But let’s face it, part of the facebook thing is all about curiosity. Where is so and so? How do they look? What do they do? What ever happened to them? In a perfect world I could read everyone’s profile’s without them knowing I was there. And then be facebook friends with the 8 people I actually know. What would it be called? Voyeur book?

Websters defines nostalgia as:
“a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition”

Sounds like nostalgia makes your present life seem even more sucky than it already does.

I would like a past and present facebook where you could keep present friends and past friends separate. Depending on how wistful you are feeling that day, you can pick the past or the present.

A really good day is when we pick the present. Dontcha think?

Cranky Actress Hates This Week

I think maybe this week there is someone with a doll that looks like me and they are sticking pins in it or something. Really, I’m not emotionally equipped for life sometimes.

It started with an audition yesterday where the director and the casting director stood me up. I got dressed, put make-up on, got on the subway and went to the appointed time and place and nothing, nobody. WTF? The room was empty with chairs piled against the wall. I waited 20 minutes and got back on the train and went home. Sent a what’s up email and got the following response the next day:

I’m terribly sorry. There was a missunderstanding with the times and place. We were indeed holding auditions at that time but in a different building.
It was our fault and I apologize.

Ah, yea – misunderstanding was MISSpelt And, ah, your misunderstanding with “the times” – would that be the newspaper? Stu goes to one of the most expensive, most prestigious film school’s in the U.S.
The bad thing about these people is that I have to deal with them. The good thing is, they make me feel like a fucking genius.

Then, we’re trying to get everything together for taxes and my marriage becomes a game of: WHOSE FAULT IS IT? There is nothing like going back over all the stupid things you spent money on the past year to make you totally depressed. I have to go into the computer and assign categories to everything. It’s making me feel guilty. My emotional state is making me make mistakes. A few times when I’m supposed to write in dining I actually wrote SIN. I’m not kidding. I wrote SIN as a category. Which was exactly how I felt.

Then the kitchen sink water started backing up into the bathtub and my husband didn’t like taking a shower amongst the floating lettuce.

I wanted to avoid dealing with the sink. I mean, you gotta understand. I call our apartment building “1800’s House.” We have about the same amenities here as they had in 1800. The decor of the lobby in our building can only be described as “Early Mental Hospital.” And we have the obligatory Yugoslavian super who sleeps late and doesn’t want to be bothered. I’ve been thinking of writing a book about him. I’m gonna call it: “The Super Wore Sandals.”
Anyone shuffling around in sandals with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth is not up for any heavy labor.

So due to my husband’s complaining about the lettuce in the shower situation, I got brave and talked to Mr. Sandals about it. I asked him if he had one of those snake things and I make a twirling gesture to be sure I’m being understood. He says, “NO, NO. I BE BRING CHEMICAL.”

So he goes to the basement and comes back with this scary looking bottle of brown stuff. I think the label said PIPE BOMB and it had a lot of Xs and poison warnings on it. He puts PIPE BOMB down the drain. Two minutes later my doorbell rings. The marginally catatonic guy who lives downstairs strolls right into my apartment when I open the door and mumbles with his head hanging down, “I guess you know about the leak downstairs.” “WHAT! WHAT LEAK? LEAK?” I say.

“Ah, there’s water pouring out through my light fixture in the bathroom,” he mumbles. “OH MY GOD!! OH MY GOD!” I run screaming into the bathroom to tell the super.

Skip to the end, I spent the day with a jackhammer tearing up my bathroom floor. THIS IS WHY I WANTED TO AVOID THE REPAIR. In 1800’s House every repair leads to new damage.

When the floor has been completely dug up I see the pipes. They are definitely from another century. There was more gunk inside than there was pipe. The drain pipe had a million little holes along the bottom where PIPE BOMB had done its job. It looked like an archeological excavation. Then the dust started spreading. And spreading.

Since Cranky likes to stay home as much as possible, Cranky takes great care of the house. Seriously. Anybody from “Elle Décor” wants to drop by and take some pictures, my apartment is camera ready.

So I started whining to Mr. Sandals and he looks at me and says, “NO, NO. CRANKY YOU BE GET NEW FLOOR!” This is true. I have wanted a new bathroom floor for like 10 years. But in 1800’s House you don’t get any extras. Mr. Sandals so understands me. He knew exactly how to cheer me up, and make me see the bright side of the massive hole in my bathroom floor. So I forgive him for be bringing chemical.

What a Poor Actress Must Endure To Get Her Hair Cut

As an actress, I have to keep groomed. I have the curse of Irish/Italian hair, so I really have to have it trimmed every six weeks to keep it from looking too bush-woman. So I am always looking for a bargain. But I want a REALLY GOOD HAIRCUT. No Super Cuts, thanks.
The best bargain, is when you can get hooked up with a hairdresser who will cut your hair at their house on their days off. Like a guy from one of the Madison Avenue salons.
It’s great. But is very no frills. You’re in some guy’s kitchen. It’s his day off. It feels personal, but you just wanna get your hair cut and get out of there.
The first time I did this, I went to a guy’s apartment and he was having a huge gay boy party at the same time I was having my haircut. The wine was flowing. My do came out kinda asymmetrical and I still don’t know if it was on purpose. That was the first and last time for him.
Then sometimes you are alone with them and there in no blasting music like in the salon and all the other people, and you have to make conversation. I can talk my head off, but when I feel I have to, I hate it. Once you get past vacations and movies the going gets tough.
Except with the last guy I went to see. I think he had a substance abuse problem. He was very SPEEDY. His hands shook He washed my hair in the kitchen sink with the dirty dishes. There was stuff everywhere. He was a riot. I never had to say anything though, because he talked non-stopped.

He loved to talk about his clients at his salon and then he would segue into what was wrong with his partner.
Here is a sample of his conversation:
“These women have no shame. You do their hair, they tell you everything. I’ve seen some sights, honey. There was Rhonda Ackerman. Ewwwww…… ANOREXIC! She used to go to the gym from six am to ten am every day. I swear on my mother. Every fucking day honey. And all she ate was oats. OATS, that’s it. Nothing else. She was like this (holds up his pinkie finger). I used to see her at the gym on this horrible climbing machine. Climbing, climbing. The sweat poring offa her. Just oats and nothing else. It was a sickness. Of course she’s blown up now.
Oh, oh, oh, last week I had a woman in my chair who said; “Oy, honey, I’m not feeling so great. I just had my period.” She must’ve been 80, I swear. My other client took one look at her and said, “ Period? She wishes! Humpph! Who is she kidding?” “Can you believe that?

“You know what I hate? I hate when the fat ones come in and they plop themselves in the chair and they send out a PUFF OF ASS SMELL.”

“Honey, no one should have a SMELLY ASS. Including MY BOYFRIEND. He takes a shower every four days. I told him; “if you’re so depressed why don’t you get a gun and shoot yourself?”

“I’m not letting him drag me down. Oh no honey. Let him be depressed all he wants. Staring at the computer all day. At the computer! What is he a mongoloid or something? There’s something wrong with him, I swear.”

“No sex in a year? Whattya kidding? I get mine, believe me. But I’m not going anywhere. Oh no. I like the apartment. I love the neighborhood. No way I’m going back to Jersey City, sweetheart. Oh no, I like this neighborhood. It’s beautiful. I sleep in my nice comfortable futon in the living room. “

“Who’d wanna get in bed with him anyway? It’s full of crumbs. He eats in bed, that fat thing. It’s disgusting. My mother would never have allowed that. I make him dinner and that’s that.”

“All he does is sit in that room and stare at computer screens. He has a few of them going at once. And he watches “Chicago” over and over again. How many times can you watch a movie? Huh? Huh? How many times? There’s something wrong with him. He’s some kind of genius weirdo or something. He was so cute when I met him. Here, look, look at the picture. Handsome, right? And look how skinny he was.”

“Hah, I was talking about my clients. Oh my god! How did I get on this? How, will you tell me? Huh? Ok, clients. CLIENTS… Well, one thing I can tell you, they’re all happy when their husbands die. Oh yes they are sweetie. All of them. Even my own mother. My mother didn’t cry. Oh no! She hated my father. Yes she did! The only time they want a man is if they don’t have any money. They have money; they’re thrilled the husband’s gone. THRILLED. My father hated everyone. He only liked animals. Oh, the way he was with animals! People, forget it. I told myself when I was young if I ever ended up like that shoot me.
“Do you have a gun? Hahahahaha!!” He bends over laughing.

I am creative, but I couldn’t make this shit up.

Whenever I left him, I always felt paranoid because I wondered what he told everyone about me.

No Country For Good Food

I’ve realized something. If you live in the city long enough, you become like animals who’ve been in the zoo so long they can’t survive anywhere else.

This became glaringly apparent to me last week. I had a business meeting in the hinterlands. Ok, well almost the hinterlands. It was New Jersey. They served lunch. Suspicious looking cold cuts and big puffy white bread rolls. Cranky couldn’t touch it. I decided the soup was the safest thing.

Then they served dessert. I walked back and forth in front of the buffet like Patton inspecting the troops. I saw a platter of fruit. Hmmmm, a possibility. Then I saw it. A tall cylindrical container with a lovely yellowish color liquidy substance. “Oh wow,” I said to my boss, “They made us FRESH ZABAYONE! Isn’t that great? I LOVE ZABAYONE!”
ZABAYONE! ZABAYONE? Am I nuts? It was MELTED VELVEETA to dip your pretzel in. Ah – VELVEETA! HELLO VELVEETA! I can’t. I can’t even recognize food items outside of the city.

My husband and I have tried vacations in the country. It’s always a disaster. Have you ever stayed in a B&B? It should stand for Boring & Boringer. We stayed in one once run by WASPY alcoholics who had pictures of the Princess of Monaco on the piano., who they referred to as a distant relative. I didn’t ask. Oh, and they were horse people. But, as far as running a B&B went, they sucked. They were so tanked, that every time they tried to tell us where a good restaurant was, we got lost. I actually started crying hysterically one lost night in the car, “WHY IS EVERYTHING SO FAR APART?” Which boils down to what is wrong with the country, besides the food. You have to drive 40 minutes to get to any restaurant. And none of them were good believe you me. I had never even seen canned vegetables before. I was frightened of them.

We went to the Alps once and food was still a problem. For the first time in my life I said a prayer before each meal. My prayer was, “DEAR GOD PLEASE SEND A VEGETABLE!” All those people eat is meat and cheese. And sometimes a potato to dip into the cheese. And a lot of the meat is like ancient cured stuff. I’m sorry. I know I am giving New Yorkers a bad name by writing this. But I need my baby arugula and my fresh broccoli rabe. I need salad dressing made with virgin olive oil. Even my CORNER DINER has that!

I now feel I am in a life-threatening situation is there isn’t a Korean Deli within a 4-block radius. I get existentialist angst if I’m not surrounded by people. I don’t want to talk to them. But I need to know they are there.
I grew up in the suburbs, but now I find them like creepy now. There is this weird thing I wish someone would explain to me. When a city person moves to the suburbs, it’s OK for them to say all sorts of horrible things about the city, but the city people are not ALLOWED to knock the burbs. “Isn’t this great. There is so much space!” they’ll say. And, “This is horrible. There is so much space,” I’ll think. But there is a rule that I can’t say it. You have to admire their big closets and freezers in the basement and never say, “I’d rather shoot myself than live here,” even though you are thinking it. Is it because they are convincing themselves that they love it, and you have to go along with it too?

City people are not allowed to say how much they love the city except to other city people. I do it all the time. Yes, Cranky loves something. CRANKY LOVES THE CITY. I was recently with a friend downtown. We ate in a little place in Chinatown. We went to a film showing in a loft. The city looked beautiful. We were about to cross the street and she looked at me and said, “Man, don’t you LOVE the city?” Yeah I do. And I can EAT HERE AND EVERYTHING. So, hello!! If you are reading this and living in a place where you can’t buy a cappuccino or an antique – GET THE FUCK OUTTA THERE!

I Want The Benefits of Meditating I Really Do

They say mediation is good for creativity and effectiveness. I want to be more creative. I want to be more effective. But, I’m not sure Cranky’s mind is well suited to meditation.

I take the occasional yoga class. I know it’s really good because I hurt so much the next day I can barely put a blouse on.
I don’t have tattoos or piercings or anything, so I don’t totally fit in there.

The first time I went to a class in the East Village I asked a guy who was waiting outside class a question and he didn’t answer me. He was observing silence. It was my first time there. Nice. They had a dishtowel that everyone dried their hands on after using the bathroom to save paper. That freaked me out.

This week at the end of class we did some meditating. Oh good, I thought. This will be good for me. I will become a better actor. Even our president meditates. Look how successful he is.

So here is how it went for Cranky:
I started out trying to just focus on my breath like the instructor suggested.
Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, I remembered I forgot to buy English Muffins and I know I was supposed just let the thoughts go, but I thought if I did that, I would forget that I forgot. So I wanted to remember, so I was thinking English Muffins, English Muffins, English Muffins, English Muffins English Muffins over and over and over so I would remember to buy them.

Then that seemed like a mantra or something, ENGLISH MUFFINS, and that struck me kind of funny and I had to keep myself from LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

Then I tried to do the other thing the instructor said, and think about nothing. So I kept thinking NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING. Then I realized that thinking the word NOTHING is actually thinking SOMETHING so I don’t think I understood that one.

Then I remembered that the teacher said, “Don’t do yoga for small selfish reasons,” and I thought, “How about big selfish reasons? How about MY BIG FAT ASS?” Which also struck me funny, again.

Then I wondered if I kept meditating if I would come up with a career that I would be happy and successful in. The week before, while meditating, got the idea that I could start my own business giving instant makeovers on the photo line at the DMV. But when I came down from my yoga endorphin high, it didn’t seem like such a great idea.

This time I got the thought that I could rent myself out to the weather channel as a human barometer because you can tell the exact level of humidity by the size of my hair. Is this what is called the inspiration that comes from meditation? I don’t know.

Anyway, then I tried to go on to this joy thing the teacher told us about but then right away I thought about how the girl in front of me had on this great bandanna and I wondered if I had a bandanna on if I would be a better meditator. ESPECIALLY IF IT WAS IN A NICE PAISLEY. It might hold my thoughts in or something. And then I wondered if they had one in the yoga shop downstairs. Then I wondered what else they had in that shop and I decided to go there immediately after class was over.
Then I got this itch. And I didn’t know what to do. I know we’re supposed to sit still. But an unscratched itch is excruciating. And I was like, “Is it OK to scratch it?” And I have my eyes closed and I didn’t know if anyone is looking at me, which also became a weird feeling. But I didn’t want to disappoint the teacher and move before the time was up or something, but the itch became like real torture. But I didn’t let myself move. And then finally the teacher said we could come out of it and I like never enjoyed scratching an itch so much. Which maybe for me, was what I got out of it.

Cranky and Her Crazy Relatives

Cranky has some crazy relatives. Did you say you’re not surprised? Shut up! Bettie Davis had a crazy sister, so I’m in good company. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one with crazy relatives. No one ever talks about it.
I had a visit with one of my crazy relatives with her psychiatrist, and even the psychiatrist was so bored and testy she wouldn’t let my crazy relative finish a sentence. She just scribbled yet another prescription and was outta there. And she is someone who is supposedly caring for the crazies. Interesting that all the theories of the unconscious, the collective unconscious, etc, all boil down to meds when someone is genuinely nuts. When you’re not nuts, you can talk about these things for years, but real nuts and out comes the script pad.

I have one relative who is sure the government is in cahoots with the aliens, and if you disagree with him he will hang up on you because you are obviously part of the conspiracy. So how do I have an honest relationship with him?
To be honest, there is nothing I could do even if it was true. I know he gets pissed off by my reaction to him. He’s like: “LISTEN TO ME! THERE ARE ALIENS HOLDING HIGH LEVEL POSITIONS IN OUR GOVERNMENT!” And I’m like: “Ah, OK. I really have to do the dishes now.”

The world could be coming to an end and I’d be like: “Did the dog eat yet?”

I also read the paper this way. I’d much rather read about Murray’s Cheese Shop than the tanking economy or the latest bombing on the West Bank. I run out and buy the twelve-dollar table salt recommended by the New York Times and it makes me so happy. And it is something I read in the paper that I can act on.
So I definitely don’t get worked up over his latest theory about the aliens. I’m good at avoiding even earth problems.
Now he says that there are some kind of reptilian aliens. They look like reptiles, but can shape shift into human form. He says there is a concentration of them in my neighborhood. I told him, “ I haven’t seen anything except a few water bugs. Do those count?”

I have another crazy relative whose entire life is smoking and watching TV. The worst part about it is the cough

I can only see this relative sometime between “All My Children” and “Jeopardy”. She’s very strict about that. Sometimes I have this fear that I’ll be arrested by mistake and I’ll get my one phone call and I’ll call her because I know I can never get through to my executive husband (I could be dying in the street and I’d get “Welcome to Audix”). So I place my one call, and I’m like screaming: “IT’S ME! I’VE BEEN ARRESTED! I’M AT THE POLICE STATION! YOU HAVE TO KEEP CALLING MR. CRANKY UNTIL YOU GET THROUGH! GET A PEN! I’LL GIVE YOU HIS NUMBER! HURRY! OH MY GOD!”


It’s sad, this sitting in front of the TV all the time thing. I’ve tried to get her to go to a movie and she asks; “How much does it cost? Oh forget it! I could buy a whole pack of cigarettes for THAT.” I tell her I’ll pay, but she says: “Sorry Cranky, you can’t smoke in there. CAAA HAAAA KAAAK HAAAAA.”

She has never expressed any interest in going anywhere. Then out of the blue, she started asking about the Shinnecock Indians. “Maybe we could take a ride there sometime.” I think this is totally amazing and a big break through, until I later find out she’s trying to figure out a way to buy cheap cigarettes from the Indians.
I think the soap opera she loves is a bad influence. I know she thinks, “Look at Erika – she’s beautiful, she’s rich – look at all her problems. She’s been in jail, she’s always in trouble, it’s really safer just staying on the couch, look at what can happen when you get involved with people.”

Sometimes I get so worried about my crazy relatives that I end up looking through their prescriptions to see if I can find anything good and steal something from them to help me relax because I’m so worried about them. But I don’t. I just stay cranky.

I know my crazy relatives think I’m insane, because I will spend twelve dollars on salt or something, but actually there is a deep underlying philosophy there. Enjoy the little things in life, because the BIG THINGS REALLY SUCK.


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March 2023

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