Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A smashing look

My hair had been freshly washed in Lustre Creme shampoo. I wore Coty Pastel Tint makeup. I combed my eyelashes with a Germaine Monteil black mascara and the finishing touch was Hazel Bishop Kissproof lipstick: "stays on you... not on him." I wore a frosted pink Max Factor rouge and I was drenched in Estee Lauder Youth Dew. I had Revlon's Fire and Ice on my manicured nails. Oh, and those earrings (only one is visible) were 18K gold and from Venezuela. I adored them, but I lost them in about 1981 on 42nd Street and 9th Avenue near the old Alps pharmacy.

Vanity Fair's Best-Dressed List

In the current issue of "Vanity Fair" is their International Best-Dressed List. I always had a unique sense of fashion, and I was a total trend-setter. Today, I have a flair all my own. Since it is all about the hair, I do a daily shampoo in the shower with Kerastase Bain Miroir. Next, I moisturize with YSL Temps Majeur. On my perfectly La Prairie made-up face sits my Kata glasses. My lips are stained with Estee Lauder's Black Cherry lipstick and I splash on Jo Malone's Tuberose Cologne.
Then my personal sense of style: I wear Jones New York Signature blue jeans with a yellow Rocawear t-shirt. On my feet are my pale yellow Merrell Waterpro sneakers. I carry a medium-size red Balenciaga bag and I am good to go. I wear the Jones blue jeans and Rocawear t-shirt every day. Every single day. I do a daily wash to make sure the outfit is fresh and clean. It's not just my signature style... it's my trademark uniform!
In the above photo, one can see I alway was perfectly turned out. Please note the well-placed cinch belt.

Monday, July 28, 2008

58 years later

... and I am still telling people to "get off my back."
Detached retinas, carpal tunnel syndrome, and Meniere's! The internet is hazardous to health.

from Vilna they came

... and over 100 years later, here I am!

this side, from Minsk

The Levines, circa 1916, in Brooklyn. My father is the little boy on the stoop looking back at his brother.

Friday, July 25, 2008

he goes, she goes, you go, he goes, she goes...

I am adding another TV show to my list in the "Vast Wasteland": Big Brother. What an asinine show. The "Houseguests" sit around and discuss "strategy" all day in their personal game of human dominoes. They whisper to each other like they are discussing the name of the second shooter at the grassy knoll. And millions of people watch which Houseguests will be evicted each week with more eager anticipation than listeners did when trying to tune in to hear "Tokyo Rose."
And from what I understand, when the HGs deviate from that topic... production calls them into the Diary Room and tells them to stick to the discussion of "strategy." So, the show starts out with 13 players and the "game" of human dominoes continues for 3 months... with no intellectual stimulation provided of any kind. I would go into cardiac arrest if once I heard those dolts discussing politics. I wonder if a theoretical physicist or rocket scientist ever applied to be on the show. This year, they have a "mixologist." Bill Paley must be turning in his grave over how his "Tiffany Network" has deteriorated. And to think, this is the same station that once aired "Harvest of Shame."

"A Vast Wasteland"

I write very little commentary on my blog, because basically I am self-involved and try to keep it all about me. I really don't care what crap is on TV. But, this one takes the cake: "Date My Ex: Jo & Slade." What IS that? I mean, what IS that? Jo and Slade? Good grief! "When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there for a day without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit-and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you — and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland." -- Newton Minow, May 9, 1961.

The Null Set

bumped up from a piece written last January:
There is nothing more satisfying than the null set. In mathematics and more specifically set theory, the empty set is the unique set which contains no {zero} elements. I decided to test this theory on a stage in a comedy club for a "bringer" show. I "brought" eight people. And I was the eighth of ten comics to perform. I was introduced by an enthusiastic MC and I took the stage. And for my entire six minutes, I stood there and said nothing. Correct, I said nothing. When the MC returned to the stage, he vocally wondered if I had stage fright. Did I develop a case of laryngitis? Was I an hysterical mute? An audience member asked me if the cat got my tongue. Did I step on a rusty nail and was this the beginning of lockjaw? Alas, it was none of the above. I was testing a theory. I wanted to see if the booker would give a good strong damn if I said absolutely nothing up on that stage as long as I "brought" in the required amount of bodies. Was it all about getting asses in the seats? Would it even matter as long as I fulfilled my "bringer" requirement? It did not matter. I was invited to return and I was actually given more time! More time to stand there in total silence and push the limits of my theory. Life is strange. It is thundering in January. And I found a way to always "kill." I perform the "null set." Silence is golden and I adore performance art. I had actually been totally nonverbal on the stage, but my nuanced facial expressions spoke volumes. There is nothing better than a well-placed eye twitch. When I exited the club, one drunk slurred, "Great set, Marjorie." I love doing stand-up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"You've got to have friends..."

circa 1939?, Etta (Toni) and Eddie (Smitty): "We were here." RIP

June 1966

I took the LIRR from Valley Stream to New York City and walked around (with a friend) seeing the sights. Central Park and the Broadway theater area seemed filled with magical possibilities.

Friday, July 18, 2008

August 25, 1991

... my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the John Peel Room on Long Island. My mother is on the far left in the top photo. My father is on the far right in the bottom photo.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

the "Independence Avenue" years (1949-1952)

It was here that I attended PS 229, and I have vague memories of my first grade teacher, Miss McGlynn. I would play "count the blue cars, count the black cars" with my grandmother when we sat at the living room window (seen in the picture here) while waiting for my parents to come home from a day out. And at night I would listen to the sound of the whooshing cars and watch their dancing shadows on my wall as they traveled down Bay 8th Street.

Just born!

"Gweetings and salutations."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

and soon after, a lofty stroll

two portraits from the 1930s

... my mother at graduation, my father in formal wear.

"There she is..."

... it was about 1963, and on our front porch my sister practiced winning "Miss America."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"You Can't Go Home Again"

I am filled with memories of summers of long ago. I can close my eyes and remember awakening to the sound of lawnmowers and the smell of fresh cut grass. A "newsboy" would deliver Newsday and I would read Brenda Starr with more eager anticipation than a new episode of "The Sopranos." On warm days, I would ride my bike around a stream that was filled with tadpoles and return home to watch "American Bandstand" followed by "I Married Joan." Now, I awaken to the sound of a cell phone tower being installed on the roof of my building and I am excited to discover who was nominated for eviction from the "Big Brother" house. And I drive my car to Zabar's for the chopped liver. What a denouement! Can we all say "Final Exit?"

Monday, July 7, 2008

see the USA in

... your brand new blue Pontiac convertible!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A flawed design

And as I speak, a huge crane is parked adjacent to my building and it is hoisting cell phone towers to the roof to fry the residents' brains. Oh, the joys of living in Manhattan. I am trying to think positively. That thing could serve as a giant ultrasonic and electromagnetic roach repeller. As it was installed and activated, I saw 20 roaches scurry across the fifth floor. There's always an up side and I tend to want to see the bright side.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

best toy ever

It was December 26, 1947 and NY was being bombarded with snow from a terrible relentless blizzard. And, it was on this same night that my father had promised to bring home the Mickey and Minnie Mouse dolls I had seen in a toy store. My mother was getting worried because my father was late coming home and she told me not to expect him to be able to go to get the dolls in such terrible weather. Well, darkness fell and still no sight of my father. As I was about to go to sleep for the night, in walked my father covered in huge amounts of snow. And he was holding the precious Minnie and Mickey Mouse dolls for which I had been frantically waiting all day. I still can hear my mother saying as he walked through the door: "In this weather you went to get the dolls? You're crazy." Let's all say: "Awwwwwwwwww."
(In the photo, Minnie Mouse is looking up at me. How weird is that?)

a premonition

when I grow up, everybody is so gonna be sweatin' me...

What the... ?

Look at this photo called "Santa and Me!" Draw your own conclusions...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's so all about me

I ain't your ordinary Mrs. June Cleaver.

doing a set at The Eagle Tavern

choose one:
a. I "killed!"
b. they hired me for "The Gong Show"
c. the audience told me I was better than a valium
d. I left happy thinking: "I wish I could get my classes this quiet"
e. all of the above
f. none of the above, you immature self-involved idiot!

In 1990, Jackie Mason weighed in

... what comedy career?

"Katnip Kollege"


1 2 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock rock...

In the early 60s, my family stayed at this Mountain View Motel & Ski Lodge, up in Great Barrington, MA. Can we say "Friday the 13th?"
drive-in links
omg bury me now, I have died and gone to heaven:
a treasure trove of nostalgia
take a look at: Shor's of Oceanside

Hotel Grossman

This was a postcard sent to my mother in 1941 from her newly married friends Toni and Al. The Hotel Grossman was in Lakewood, NJ, a town rich in history. On September 8, 1945... they all enjoyed a night out at the Cafe Zanzibar.

in increments

... already teaching ten years.

3 blocks from 30 Rock

... this was taken in the 70s, as I entered the PS schoolyard to pick up my 6th grade class after lunch. That was the last fur coat I ever wore. It's so tacky and a real played out look. We can all have our eyes opened, be made aware, and live and learn.

equal time

All great beauties surface with their childhood "ugly ducking" photos. Why should I be any different? OMG, it's Betty Rizzo!
(Good grief, I really did have bad acne, huh? Clearasil eventually worked for me...)

This Old House

I love these photos from 1960 and 1961. They both show in the background a very old house that was torn down shortly thereafter. The first is a photo where I am pledging for Theta Sigma Delta Hi-Y, which is similar to a sorority. The second photo shows me standing on our patio. I love old photos because they are really a glimpse into the past and are the closest experience we have to time travel.

Just cause

I am very self-involved and prefer to spend my time at my blog typing about myself. The above photo shows the vandalized scene that greeted me at 8:40, the morning after my 50th birthday party. And that was my tsuris. But, this is another kind of tsuris. I love a juxtaposition.

the bumfy boy

I blinked, and I had a terrible haircut... but look at this happy laughing sweet bundle of joy! In the second photo he is looking up at me, and this was my mother's favorite photo of him. He is now a grown man.

he often walked

... on the street where she lived