Betty Crocker

43 posts

Symbols of Life And Death In Brooklyn, NY

My BFF is Bill. He is like a scary, funny Gremlin who’s been fed after midnight.  His mother recently passed away after a long illness, and though my friend is tough, this was significantly tougher.  For a while, anyway.

The family mausoleum is in the historic and very beautiful Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn.

Symbols abound in our lives.  If you got a bouquet of yellow roses from a dude in 1880, it meant “We’re pals and that’s it.”.  You see a stick figure of a guy on a door and you can probably pee standing up if you cross the threshold.   Victorian ladies would snap their lacy hand-held fans at you if you pissed them off.  These days, women don’t usually carry fans.  But I don’t know one who can’t give you the side-eye.  We use these things to communicate when speech is either not needed or welcome.  Let’s see how that went for me and a friend yesterday. Continue reading

BOOM! Goes the Irate Neighbor!

Those of you following the tale of my neighbor’s journey through Social Services Hell may be heartened by the long-ish letter I’ve helped her write.  Of course I copied in various media sources.  Feel free to copy language I’ve used here if you are in a similar situation.  My calls to the Commissioner were not returned, but I thought hand delivering it in writing might generate a quicker response. Continue reading

Public Assistance In 2011 Is Charles Dickens’ Worst Nightmare

When you first meet Janine, your overall impression is of softness – she speaks clearly in modulated Midwestern tones, her hair is a honey-colored cloud, and she has the kind of posture your Grandmother yelled at you for not having.  Her casual clothes are sweet and feminine.  Today she has on a denim skirt on which she hand-stitched a few tiny flowers, and a gauzy white eyelet blouse more befitting a high school sophomore than the 43 year old medical secretary she once was.  And she’ll talk about that to me today, while she tells me all about what it’s like to be on public assistance for the first time in her life.

There’s the shame, of course, and we’ll get to that.  But first, more about Janine. She moved to New York to follow a man.  He was a contractor redesigning the billing system in the Midwestern hospital where Janine worked, and by their third date she was smitten. Continue reading

Betty Crocker And The Isle Of Fire

Fire Island, for those who don’t know, is a barrier island off the South Shore of Long Island that has evolved from a tiny summer community to a combination Gay Mecca / Family Circus.  And away we go!

This narrow strip of land is awash in Gay History, and sun-spangled waves, and lovely white sand beaches.  There are several communities here, but I will focus on the two I visited most recently: Cherry Grove and The Pines.

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Every Day I’m Shufflin’

Interviews, quelle horreur!


Well.  Here I am – qualified and knowing that “You better work!” isn’t just a drag queen mantra.  After a minor meltdown, I’m back in the interview saddle.  Those similarly situated should know that the game has changed.

Here’s what you can expect.

1) The interview where you wear a suit and your prospective boss wears flip-flops.  This happened to me three times.  One micro-skirted woman lost her flip-flop when she crossed her legs like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, and only the fact that her flip-flop fortuitously flew foiled a furor over her flap.  She worked for a Big 4 accounting firm, BTW.  Her colleague was wearing stained khakis and a polo that barely protected his paunch from being peeped.  Let it all hang out, guys!  I don’t mind befouling my Hugo Boss in NYC’s summer heat so that I can show you the respect you think you deserve. Continue reading

What’s Up, Doc? How to Choose a Personal Physician

Well, he or she should be hawt, like clueless wolf cub Dr. Karev from Grey’s Anatomy or Dr. Robin Scorpio from General Hospital.  Kidding! I kid! By ‘hawt”, I mean that he or she should take your health plan as payment, and accomodate the preposterous rules about using Flexible Spending Accounts for co-payments.  If you have neither insurance nor an FSA, the general principles below apply anyhow. Continue reading

Kooks N’ You

Our urban centers – especially New York City – have a reputation for being Crazytown. One minute you’re giggling at an Italian comic opera, and the next you are being accosted by a toothless hobo screaming obscenities with his hoo-hah out. Then, glancing at the Playbill clutched in your white-knuckled hands, he bursts into an aria from The Barber Of Seville.

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