Archive for August, 2013

Duschinsky Family Reunion, 2013

Friday, August 30th, 2013

my cake for Duschinsky family reunion

I kept this on the down low.  I’m a Duschinsky.  Yes, that’s right, if not for a name having too many letters on the marquee in Vaudeville days, I too would have, could have, should have,  been–a Duschinsky.  A Duschinsky just like my cousins.

And now I was headed to a Duschinsky family reunion.  That is what the invitation said.  I started to reveal the information to my friends in the weeks and days before.  At book club, I announced my plans for the up coming weekend: “I’m a Duschinsky,” I said out of the blue—the way I say most things, no segue necessary.  And, this Saturday, there is a HUGE and I do mean HUGE Duschinsky family reunion.    “Duschinsky, it’s great,” Donna said.  Then she started laughing, “You would have been Fredrica Duschinsky, which sounds like Russian royalty.”  Yep, Fredrica Duschinsky would have been a mouthful.   We are Hungarian.  As my father told me, quite the opposite of royalty, we’re gypsies. (more…)


Monday, August 26th, 2013



I admit it.  I eavesdrop.  I love it, but sometimes I end up a buttinsky.  I start chatting with random people in a restaurant, and it’s so transparent that I have been leaning way far over in order to hear it all.  One time, in New York, I overheard a first date.  They met on  Two middle-aged people (pushing 70, so maybe not middle age) were having a conversation and the cuckoo bird woman was telling her date she was a princess in some obscure country no one has heard of.  I’m not kidding.  I wanted her to go to the bathroom so I could tell the guy to make a run for it.  And it was SO none of my fucking business.  And yet, I continue this pursuit even though the hearing is now diminished in my right ear and I have to be seated just so in order to overhear everything. (more…)

Alley Cats

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013



I just got my car cleaned at the most ghetto car wash.  If it weren’t for cars being dried there you would think it was out of business.  When you pull up, you see that the gas pumps are pulled out, just stubs left behind, not paved over.   In their place, scribbled in pen (not even a Sharpie) on a torn paper sign, “No Gas.”  The whole place is in disrepair, completely run down.  By the way, best car wash I’ve had in years.  The guys working there get in your car with cloths and spray bottles and really have a go.

While standing in the small building where I paid, basically the size of a tollbooth, I was flooded with memories of an old friend.  He lived in the alley right behind this car wash for at least thirty years.  I called him Charlie.  That’s what he told me his name was.  Others called him Pierre.   “Where is Charlie, the homeless dude?” I asked the curt woman as I handed my credit card over.  “You mean Pierre?”  “No, I mean Charlie — because I was friends with him and he told me his name was Charlie.   I know he told some people to call him Pierre.”  She said he moved a few years ago after a big health scare when neighbors and other fans in his hood rushed him to a hospital and he nearly died.  “After that, he moved to the Valley.”  The Valley??!!  I thought but didn’t say. (more…)