Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Goodbye Sydney...and thanks

originally posted here

Two years ago, I wrote this post. Upon hearing of Sydney Pollack's death, I decided to re-post this, in tribute to a great film maker. Without Sydney, who knows...maybe my first date with Mr. Cruisin' wouldn't have led to the following...

I had just broken up with someone.

Well, that's not true. I had been dating someone, who, after a weekend ski-trip with the boys, came back to tell me he had met someone else. He told me...over the phone. Just as I was about to see a client. Nice.

I already knew Mr. Cruisin, as he was a friend of a relative. We would see eachother at various events, but he had a girlfriend. Although I thought he was cute, and funny...I didn't look at him in that way, you know, potential husband material...because he was, well...taken.

But as fate would have it...one evening right after a$%hole dumped me...I ran into Mr. Cruisin at a local restaurant. He proceeded to tell me that he and the girlfriend had broken up.

Now, you think I would have been jumping up and down ecstatic at this point, right? I mean, come on...nice Jewish boy, cute, funny, good job, tall, good dresser, hair on his head...what more could a girl ask for?

Well, being the "girl" that I was...I was too immersed in a self-pity party. Afterall, someone actually had the nerve to DUMP me! I was unable to see past my own sorrow, to notice that this perfect speciman of a guy was now available.

A few days later, the relative who was friends with Mr. Cruisin, told me that Mr. Cruisin wanted to ask me out. The relative told him not to...HUH? Well, as it turns out, the relative was just being protective, not wanting me to be a rebound, "transitional" person...and possibly get hurt.

Since I was still in a stupor and wallowing in self-pity, I didn't even react to this. I figured, okay, whatever.

Luckily for me, Mr. Cruisin is a self-made man. If you tell him he can't do something...he's all over it.

So, a few days later, to my surprise, I received a message at work...from none other than Mr. Cruisin. I proceeded to return his call, totally unaware that he was about to ask me out.

And sure enough...that's exactly what happened. We were having a fun, polite conversation, when out it popped...the question..."would you like to go out Saturday night?".

My head was spinning...how could I go out with this guy when my relative had just told me it wasn't a good idea to go out with someone who was on the rebound? Not to mention, I was still having a wild time attending my own self-pity party.

What to do?

I pretty much had to go out with the poor guy...I mean, he did just break up with someone...wouldn't it be rude to say no? I had known him for years, afterall, and he was my relative's friend, and I felt kinda sorry for him, having just broken up and all.

So, I said YES. We set up the date and that was that...or so I thought.

When I hung up the phone, a thought occured...

Should I really go out with him on a Saturday night?...afterall, Saturday night was notoriously "date" night. I didn't want to say no, but I didn't want him to think I was really interested in that way, since I had been warned by my relative that I would probably end up hurt.

So this was my quick-thinking plan.

I would call him back, and explain that I couldn't go out Saturday night...something had come up, but I could go out with him Wednesday or Thursday night. He said it would be no problem and we changed the date to Thursday.

It just so happens that following my phone call to Mr. Cruisin, my mother called. I proceeded to tell her about my upcoming date...telling her of the switch from Saturday to Thursday, and the carefully thought out plan behind this decision, when she had this to say to me:

"Cruisin-mom (she always called me that)...don't you deserve to have a date on a Saturday night? You don't have to marry him...just go out on a nice date...there's no harm in that."

Panic quickly set in...my mother (as always, dammit) was right. Why shouldn't I go out on a nice date, with a nice person, who could at the very least, end up being a good friend?

I picked up the phone, and called Mr. Cruisin back. I explained that the plans for Saturday night had been changed and I could go out afterall.

Mind you...this is all happening within a 20 minute time frame at the most.

Let's recap: Mr. Cruisin calls for Saturday night date. I say yes. I rethink, and call back within 5 minutes to change to Thursday night. I talk to mom 5 minutes later. I call Mr. Cruisin back to say Saturday night is good afterall. Cruisin Mom appears to be "nuts" at this point in time.

Thankfully, Mr. Cruisin was still in a bit of his own stupor, having just broken up with his girlfriend...so throughout all of this he was just kind of like "whatever".

By now the guy knows I'm nuts, but decides to show up for the "Saturday night" date anyway.

Since that phone call, (or calls, I should say), I had developed the cold of the century. I was sneezing and coughing... and producing enough mucous to fill Dodger Stadium.

Ah, yes, I was a beautiful, red-nosed sight. And I had to decide what to wear on this okay-I'll go out with you on a Saturday night-but don't want you to get the idea that I'm interested-because you are on the rebound and I don't want to get hurt-date.

I decided to go casual, sweater and cords...nice but nothing fancy (hey, at least I wore something besides my blue jeans).

It was time, and Mr. Cruisin arrived...I opened the door, and there he stood...ADORABLE!!! My heart did that thing it does when you first realize you are actually attracted to someone...I believe it's called "skipping a beat" or "all a flutter" or "tingly all over" or "the need to throw up"...well, you get the idea.

There he stood...wearing a tie!!! I was dressed casual and he was wearing a tie...YIKES!

So of course, being the genteel gal that I was, I immediately blurted out, rather loudly I might add, "You're wearing a tie!!!" ...(Duuuuuh)

You know what that adorable man with hair on his head did? ... he bravely ripped off the tie! He could sense my discomfort (the scream may have tipped him off) . "Wow,...this guy is already getting me", I thought to myself, as I proceeded to blow mucous into a kleenex.

Off we went. We drove into Westwood (the ultimate date destination in those days) for a wonderful dinner and movie. A new movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray had just opened (Tootsie) and we stood in line to see it. We talked effortlessly, really getting to know one another, while I proceeded to blow and hoch up buckets of mucous.

How could any man resist that?

Well apparently, this man couldn't. Here we were on a Saturday night, out on a non-date, date, having the time of our lives. The connection was undeniable. The conversation and laughter endless...not to mention the mucous.

He brought me home. We talked (yes, really, that's all) until the wee hours of the morning. At one point, I excused myself to the bathroom. And here is what Mr. Cruisin told me later about that moment:

He spied a mastercard bill sitting on my dining room table (open, so it wasn't like he was going through my mail). It was for a grand total of $32.50. It was at that very moment he knew he could spend his life with me.

Afterall, what woman has a mastercard bill of only $32.50? So, she screams and blows mucous and calls me 3 times within 20 minutes to keep rearranging our date...she has a mastercard bill of only $32.50. He knew then, I was the woman of his dreams. Needless to say, those bills have a few more zeros tacked on them now.

The evening was coming to a close...and he asked me out for a second date.

There was no turning back now. This man, apparently thought I was wonderful...mucous and all.
And I knew, that any man who could take in stride and laugh at endless streams of mucous and being screamed at on a first date, was most likely the man for me.

We danced the first dance at our wedding to...

the theme from Tootsie.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just a spoonful of sugar...

It was 1964. I was nine.
And I was going to see Mary Poppins.
My entire family was going. Parents, brother, aunt and uncle and cousins.

It was a huge event. I lived in Van Nuys, so we had to drive all the way into the "city" (Los Angeles) to see the movie. It was playing at a beautiful old theatre called The Carthay Circle theatre (it was later demolished, considered obsolete in light of modern multi-plexes).

In those days, you didn't just throw on a pair of jeans and run out the door to see a movie. Oh no. You had to "dress". I remember getting all dolled up, in a dress, patent leather shoes, and a pair of white gloves.

Yep, you heard me right...white gloves.

Movie going was serious business in those days. (Christ, I sound old...oh yeah, I AM)

As I have written about before (in fact, coincidentally, exactly two years ago to the day) all first run movies were shown in the city. So the trek had to be made over the hill if we were to see Mary Poppins.

I can't begin to tell you the anticipation and excitement I can still remember feeling. The whole event was like a dream come true.

Julie Andrews was so beautiful...who wouldn't have wanted her as their nanny. Not that I would have known what a nanny was!

I often wonder if seeing a movie is as exciting for a little girl today. Knowing that you can rent it in a few months if you miss it, and then watch it 50 times over, probably takes the same excitement out of it. But I wouldn't know...being so old and all.

I truly hope that's not the case. I truly hope that the same excitement and heart pounding anticipation is experienced today by little girls going to see a long awaited movie.

It's an experience that I can still feel and smell and taste all these years later.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Your name please

A few years ago, I wrote about our blue and gold macaw here. It's funny, I wrote it at a time when I was getting 20 to 30 comments on a post, and yet this particular story only pulled 3 comments.

I couldn't understand why at the time...and I didn't dare tell my bird for fear she would either fall into a deep depression, or take it out on me and attack.

So when I came across this story the other day, I couldn't help but think, WOW, now that's an impressive bird.

(AP) When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught - recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help. Police rescued the African grey parrot two weeks ago from a neighbor's roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for clues, local policeman Shinjiro Uemura said. He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet. "I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian, according to Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs. "We checked the address, and what do you know, a Nakamura family really lived there. So we told them we've found Yosuke," Uemura said. The Nakamura family told police they had been teaching the bird its name and address for about two years. But Yosuke apparently wasn't keen on opening up to police officials. "I tried to be friendly and talked to him, but he completely ignored me," Uemura said.
Now, my bird?...she can say her first name.

But when I read that the bird said: ""I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," well, that just did me in...

I have been laughing for 2 days straight.

(okay, so I don't have much of a life...American Idol and Dancing with the Stars have both ended this week...I'm in a deep funk, so give a girl a break).

And then, I couldn't help but imagine if this bird had been Jewish...

"I'm Hymie Goldberg, I come from the Bronx and I love to eat bagels with a little shmear. Now...get me home".