Ain't email grand? 

The words of wisdom that appeared in my inbox today were written by Regina Brett, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer who's a mere 90 years old. (The italics below are mine.) 
If you're in a hurry, go directly to #10. It sums it all up.


1. Life isn't fair, but it's good.

Or as that great philosopher Mae West once said, "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
But watch out for the dog shit.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.
Life Is Short is the very apt title of Mickey Rooney's autobiography (may he rest in peace). I'm thinking of writing one myself, and I'll call it, Life Is Short And So Am I.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.  
Your friends and family will.

Too true. But ya gotta take care of them too.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
Yes! This blogger HATES paying interest to those bloodsuckers. It's like throwing money away. And there are SO many better ways to throw away money.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
I get the first sentence. I get the second. Just don't see how they go together. Help, anyone?

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
Okay, but be sure to invest in some waterproof mascara first.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
He? Not She? The jury is out on this one.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.chocolate_lover
Now you tell me!

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Any questions?

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
Past? I don't remember making any mistakes, do you? Of course, I don't remember what I had for breakfast.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
Or anyone else. Although I am still embarassed by the time I broke down in sobs in the dentist chair. Not because of the upcoming root canal, although god knows, that can unnerve a person, but because my dear friend had just died and I hadn't really cried yet.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. And never be envious, the green-eyed monster will really mess you up.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
We've all done it, so don't be too hard on yourself, but yes, if you can't shout it from the rooftops, or at least giggle about it with your best friend, run, don't walk away from this person.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.
I don't get this one at all. Please explain.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
Ahhhh, yes.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways. 
This includes people.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
No pain, no gain? Unfortunately, this is all too true.

19. It's never too late to be happy. But it's all up to you and no one else.
I do believe that I, and no one else, can make me happy. On the other hand, if George Clooney called . . .

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
Yo, Houston! Failure is not an option

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
I hate it when they go gaga on Antiques Roadshow that something has "never been out of the box." Great, so it's worth more money. And no one has ever enjoyed it! Sheesh. What a world.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
Yup. Make the list, check it twice, then remember that anything that can go wrong almost certainly will . . .


Ellen_Degeneres_OscarsWhat can you say about the 
Academy Awards Show this year?

It was nice. Ellen was nice. Except for the semi-snarky bit pretending that Lisa Minnelli (in the flesh) was actually the best female impersonator ever. Lisa did not look amused.

The dresses were tasteful, mostly pastel or bright, and that was . . . nice. Although I do feel the need to point out that if you're going to wear a very, very plunging neckline, you should have something to show off. Unless you're Jared Leto. I also give a pass to Lupita Nyong'o because she is so lovely and wore such a pretty shade of blue.

I also liked the pizza party ploy, and Ms. DeGeneres had fun getting all those 1 per centers to cough up a few bucks. Especially Harvey Weinstein, who complained later that he put in $200 and that Ellen pocketed the money. We suspect he can afford it. Ya think? Meanwhile, the bewildered delivery boy, who thought he was going to be bringing the pies backstage, was reported to have received a $1000 "tip" for his impromptu onscreen appearance.

Pizza_Guy_At_The_OscarsActually, most of the stars who partook of the pie got it for free, because they are rich and famous (Does this make sense to you?) but that was nothing compared to the goodie bags they got this year, which were worth a mere $85,000. Really. Can you imagine?

Passing out the pizza was a way to connect us mere mortals to the mega stars. They eat slices just like us! Well, maybe not JUST like us, but let's nibble, not quibble. And did you notice that some of these usually diet-conscious celebs like Meryl Streep took big healthy bites.


Oscar_SelfieLoved the selfie. And so, it seems, did everybody else. It was retweeted 2.7 million times and received 1.4 million favorites. This breaks the site's previous record, which was set by President Barack Obama after his re-election. I would wonder whether people didn't have anything better to do, but they were, you see, watching the Oscars, and if you don't need to get another beer, or get rid of what you've just drunk, during all those acceptance speeches, then yes, retweeting makes perfect sense.

We're also quite impressed with Mathew McConaughey's performance in The Dallas Buyer's Club, but, as one critic pointed out, we wish that he wasn't quite so impressed with it. Talk about acceptance speeches. Nah, let's not. Except for. . .


Gentlemens_Guide_To_Love__Murder. . . Meets The 
Book of Mormon 

Is there room for a hit show on Broadway that doesn't involve jokes about fucking babies as a cure for AIDS?

Thank the lord there is!

It's The Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder and I'd swear on the actual Book of Mormon itself that it's as funny as its English cousin, the great classic movie, Kind Hearts and Coronets. Both were based loosely on a 1909 novel, The Autobiography of a Criminal, and the film made a star of Alec Guinness, who plays 8 roles (including two women), all victims of a devious fortune hunter who knocks off the relatives that stand in his way of becoming a duke.

Quick! Check Hulu or Netflix! Ya gotta see this movie. Buy it if you must. You'll still be hundreds of dollars ahead because of the money you'll save on tickets to The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

Book_Of_MormonDON'T SEE MORMON??

What are I saying here? That you shouldn't see the show that is, according to Jon Stewart (and we all do so love Jon Stewart), the best thing that has ever  happened—or will ever happen—to The Great White Way? Okay, okay, see it if you've got your heart set on it, but be prepared to spend an obscene amount of money for mediocre seats or worse.

Last summer, I lusted for Mormon so bad I could taste it, which is pretty funny because yes, while the show has funny moments, it is also pretty tasteless. Unless you really, really like jokes about abusing babies. And maggots in some guy's scrotum. Is that even possible?

Anyway, I had the incredible luck of getting house seats to the show. I was so thrilled that I checked in at the theatre before dinner that night just to make sure that this wasn't all some great cosmic joke. It wasn't. We went, we saw, we wondered whether we were seeing the same show as Jon Stewart. Yes, the opening number featuring the all-white, white-shirted wide-eyed missionaries headed for Darkest Africa, and that great anthem to repression, "Turn It Off," were both impressive, but really. The best show ever? I think not.


Just a block away from The Book of Mormon is The Gentleman's Guide to Love And Murder at the Walter Kerr Theatre, and we got tickets for that show (not cheap but not off the wall) with "relative" ease. Didn't have the hype of Mormon, but I knew it was related to Kind Hearts and Coronets, and figured that it had to be good.

It was! The word reviewers seem to be using for the show is . . .




As readers of  
I Can't Believe I'm Not Bitter  

know by now . . .

Valentine's Day Is Tricky.

Sure, a guy can get something sweet for her. Tobasco

A gal can get something "hot" for him.

Something cute for the kids, anyone?




But what if you don't have a her, 
a him or a them?

What if you don't have a Valentine?

Don't worry.

And don't get bitter, which, as we know, is a fate worse than death.

Just do this:

HeartMeatloadMake a (more or less) heart-shaped meatloaf and serve it up hot, with garnish and gusto to your mother, your neighbor, your doorman, your dog, or any animate object who isn't a vegetarian.

They'll love you for it. And that is the point.


And, for the meatloaf recipe (best you ever tasted), 
and the story that goes with it, click on:  
The Heart-Shaped Meatloaf



New Year's Irresolutions

Well, folks, it's that time of year again. When you promise yourself you'll do all those things that will allow you to become a better person and make the world safe for democracy.

Actually, it's 14 days past that time of year, which leads me to:

Never Put Off Tomorrow What You Can Put Off Today

Resolution #1: I will not procrastinate any more. Or, as the old joke about drinking goes, I won't procrastinate any less either. How much do I procrastinate and in what circumstances? Basically, whenever and wherever I can.  This post, which should have been done on or before January 1, is evidence enough, is it not?. Case closed.

Resolution #2: I will stop saying "Case closed." Who am I? Perry 
F-ing Mason? I will also stop Perry_Masonsaying, "Period, end of story." That's a sure sign that the story will never, ever end. They never do.

Resolution #3: I will stick up for the downtrodden, such as Jacqueline Bisset, who's getting a lot of flak for her acceptance so-called speech at the Golden Globes.

Hey! The woman is pushing 70 and they serve alcohol at that event (a heady combination), so give the woman a break. Besides, how may Golden globes have any of us won lately?

Jacqueline-BissetThe person who should be ashamed (or shot) is her hairdresser.
Call me, Jackie, if you want to talk.

Resolution #4: I will go to the gym and work out more.  Sure I will.



Resolution #5: I will not gloat over the fate of Chris Christie even though in my heart of hearts I feel that it couldn't have happened to a nicer person. And I sincerely hope that he, or any member of his staff, does not read this post. 
You can't be too careful.

Resolution #6: Like most of you, I don't wear 90% of items in my closet. So, I'll either start wearing some of it, or throw the unused stuff out in six months and get new stuff. I see a mammoth shopping trip in my future, round about June. Anybody wanna come?

Resolution #7: I will never write anything snarky again. . .


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Bitter Patter

Okay, so I broke up with Walter White 
(due to his untimely and extremely inconvenient death.)

Click here for:
Breaking Up
Badly) With Walter White

But I do so love Valentine's Day.

Click here to see a clip about that very subject:


But Who's Counting.

Pat's Appearance
on the TV Show
Good Morning, New York

This is great advice. . .
about advice!

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.Henry Ward Beecher

I'm the woman who said she never got a cold.
Guess what? I got one. 
Oh well, it made a good story: 

Wallowing 101

Does anyone else keep getting those emails from people who want to change your life?
Here's the lastest one from "Tara":

Today, this wonderful Secret can bring about happiness in your life, by fulfilling the wish that is closest to your heart, the one which may completely change your destiny.

Tara, a question:
Can you make me twenty again?
Knowing what I know now?
No, didn't think so.
Therefore, take my name off your mailing list.

 Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
― Albert Einstein

Apparently, Mr. E. also got a new coffee maker.

See: "The Coffee Pot From Hell"


Have you visited 
It's an online publication
that features some of my articles.

Here's a link to a book review:

"Antidote For Holiday Stress"

 When you finish reading the latest post,  click on the icon on the right, which will take you 
to Amazon, where you can  get your very own copy of 

 Just as I posted
I found a website called The Ghost Who Blogs about The Phantom comics:

Writing Comics. . .
Was a small but wonderful part of my checkered career, and doing a post about it  brought back a lot of great memories. If you know any other women in NYC who wrote — or are writing — comics, tell me how to get in touch with them. 

 I'm on a watching-old-movies kick these days.
Great way to lose yourself.
If you're lucky, you'll never be found. 


I'm All Right, Jack:
"Jack" is not just all right, it's totally delightful and fresh as a daisy after all these years (made in 1959), with Sellers, although not technically the lead, giving the brilliant performance that launched him as an international star. He plays an all-too-zealous union leader and father of a blonde bombshell who falls for Stanley, the British Upper Class Twit played, also to perfection, by Ian Carmichael, who you might remember from the Lord Peter Wimsey series. The makeout scenes between the the Twit and the Bombshell are priceless. But what is Stanley doing in this working class atmosphere anyway? Working. And too well at that. Forced by financial circumstances too dreary to discuss, he gets a job in his uncle's factory and messes things up for the other workers by, well, working, and thus making his fellow employees look bad. The film takes a big shot at unions — but also at management: they are manipulating white-collar thieves who'll do anything for a buck. Or a pound. Except for the ones, like Major Hitchcock, played by Terry Thomas, who are just plain lazy and inept. Needless to say, Stanley foils everybody's plans, labor and management alike, to my great joy and delight. Oh, and on top of everything else, Margaret Rutherford plays dotty dowager Aunt Dolly. Delicious!

 The Big Lebowski:
What can you say that hasn't been said before: brilliant, inspired, with some of the most memorable lines ever to come out of a movie, the most quoted being "The Dude abides." Oh yes. For anyone who hasn't yet seen the film, and it's now out in a special Blu-Ray edition if that floats your bowling ball. The Dude in question,  played to perfection by Jeff Bridges, is an out-of-work pothead who is roughed up and has his rug destroyed by some thugs mistaking him for another, bigger, Lebowski. The Dude is really upset about this because, man, "that rug really tied the room together," which The Dude says with all seriousness and not a trace of irony, a great comic touch considering the condition his condition is in.  Oh, and besides "Just Dropped In," all the music is perfect for the film. The plot, according to Wikipedia, which has been known to be wrong, is "loosely based on Raymond chandler's novel, The Big Sleep." Could be. But who cares. It involves a bowling competition, "the occasional acid flashback," a trophy wife, a group of German nihilists, a kidnapping gone awry, a mad millionaire and his lackey, in another great performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Actually, they're all great performances. Never a fan of John Goodman before or since, he is brilliant in this film. And so are John Turturro, overacting his little heart out, Steve Buscemi in a nerdy, needy role that makes you marvel at his star turn in Boardwalk Empire, and even the actors in the smaller parts, especially Julianne Moore and Sam Elliott. Elliott plays The Stranger (God? Everyman? The part of us that roots for the bad boy?) who elicits from Bridges the immortal words, "The Dude abides." Which prompts The Stranger to comment to the audience: "Don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals." We'll never know about the bowling trophy because there's never been a sequel to this 1998 film by the great Coen Brothers, and I hope there never will be. It just abides, as all great films do.

Prince of the City:
Okay, the criticisms of this movie are not totally unfounded: it's too long, and Treat Williams may have overacted a bit, although I found him so deliciously charming I couldn't care less, and there's one part concerning the Jerry Orbach character I just didn't understand. But get over it, The New Yorker, this is one powerful movie. And yes, Dog Day Afternoon it isn't, but what it? The DVD has a great special feature with Williams (I so want to call him Treat) and Sidney (what the hell: I once made a meatloaf sandwich for the man) that explains a lot about filmmaking in general and this movie in particular. Also, Sidney's views on good and evil, and how things are not so black and white as you think. I loved it.

Bad Day At Black Rock:
Recommended on TCM by Robert Osbourne as a film he originally had no interest in seeing, then loved it, and by Alex Baldwin, who pointed out the great actors in the cast, including Lee Marvin, Ernest Brognine and Dean Jagger. Well, after all that, I had to like it, right?  I did. A lot. It was a Good Day On My Couch.
Behind the Scenes Stuff: Spencer Tracey was off drinking and wouldn't commit to the film until the producers (who wanted him desperately) told him that they had Alan Ladd, at which point Tracey grabbed it.  He was perfect for the part, wearing a dark suit and tie the entire time in a western setting,  pulling it off perfectly. Other than that "fashion statement," the film makes a strong case against racism: the hatred of the Japanese during WW2. See it.

Song of The Thin Man:
I usually like these frothy, silly, suave, utter unrealistic films from the 30s and 40s, with William Powell and Myrna Loy as the couple we'd all like to be — if only we had the looks, brains, money, a huge capacity for drinking and a dog like Asta. But this one was a stinker, rather than a stinger, or maybe a sinker, because  it turned out to be the last, not to mention the least, in the series. Watch any of the others four sequels, but not this one: Even the pooch jumped the shark.

The Children's Hour:
It had its moments, and just looking at Audrey Hepburn makes life worth living, but mostly I kept thinking that the play, by Lillian Hellman, was so much better. It's about two young women runing a school for girls, who are accused by a hateful little brat of being (GASP!) lesbians. And although the closest we get in this 1961 production to using that actual term is the word "unnatural," it's enough to ruin their lives.  A young Shirley McClaine is worth seeing in this, and James Garner, and Audrey Hepburn is, well, Audrey Hepburn. The rumor of the love that dare not speak its name is totally untrue — or is it? And I'll say no more, because you should see the movie for yourself, imperfect as it may be, as is Life Itself.

Because when I am not blogging, I sometimes cook,
and because woman does not live
by martinis alone,
I like this blog:

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