Gothamist posted a haunting series of photos of Grossinger’s, the famed Borscht Belt hotel in the Catskills which closed its doors in 1986. It also happens to be where my Grandmother used to wait tables, and where my father spent his childhood summers.
I sent my Dad an email with the link, and this is his response:
"I spent many weeks year after year in that pool… When grandma worked there. And even took mom there before Len was born. Met some amazing people, acts, comedians. People you may never have heard of. The lifeguards were the Canadian Olympic Diving Team and they taught me how to dive. I saw Elizabeth Taylor with Eddie Fisher while he was still married to Debbie Reynolds… Thanks for sending this."
I am obviously going to needle him for more sizzing hot Liz Taylor goss later this evening. But sad to see this place in such a state of disrepair.
And for reference, here is my Dad on his Bar Mitzvah day. What a fine looking Jew.
My Mom called earlier to make sure I read the obituary for George Jacobs, valet to Frank Sinatra, amongst other celebs. Usually when Mom called to make sure I’ve seen something in the times, it is penis related, such as the time there was a photo of Beyonce where the shadow of a microphone on her leg made it look like a penis and my Mother nearly pushed the Town Car to the ER in neutral out of LOLs.
That being said, she’s usually onto something. This obit really hit the death rattle out of the park. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
1. “George Jacobs, a former valet whose memoir revealed his longtime employer, Frank Sinatra, to be both a hero and a villain, died on Dec. 28 in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 86. His son Snake Jagger confirmed the death.”
He had a son named Snake Jagger. My pants just turned to sand like in the Do You Remember The Times video.
2. “He served as Sinatra’s live-in valet… with a roster of duties that, he wrote, included… securing the nighttime services of women in a storied profession; and, in the wee small hours of the morning (Sinatra liked to do his actual sleeping solo), settling their bills before sending them on their way.”
Snake Jagger’s father would DJ Jazzy Jeff Sinatra’s hookers out of the house before the sun came up. For this alone, the man deserves a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame. (The least they can do, Mr. Ed’s understudy has one.)
3. “There was the specially constructed underwear [Sinatra] wore in public, which kept what Mr. Jacobs describes as his considerable natural endowment discreetly suppressed.”
My Mom Recaps The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: "My kishkes are up by my throat."
Last night, while making quite the entrance at Homegoods (I knocked a pan over), my mom called to tell me she couldn’t sleep because of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Having not seen the episode yet, I told her to walk me through what happened. What follows is a direct transcript of our conversation:
Mom begins: “Yolanda is a lowlife.
First of all, the fact that she and Lisa are even in cahoots with Brandi – forget that new woman, the witch one, she’s a one-note pony. But Lisa, such a lady of all people, to be in the camp with Brandi who is… wait til you see today, you’re gonna throw up. She’s just despicable.
Now the new girl, the one that looks like that Miss America, from Puerto Rico. She’s very very sweet, a gorgeous girl, but literally dumb as shit. So to gang up on her, and you’ll see what I mean, you’re gonna hate it.
Yolanda is a pig. And I’m telling Daddy – what does she have that she married these two wealthy men? I don’t get it. Mazel. MAH. ZEL. Because she is dumb as fuckin shit. I’m sorry.
Me: Well so what happened?
Mom: That Miss Puerto Rico or whatever, she invited them to Palm Beach (Ed.: Springs, but close) at a very nice property for the weekend. So it’s different houses on the property. It was built in 1929, what do I know?
So Kyle, Kim and this Miss America get there first, and they take the main house, of course, with all the nice rooms in there. They probably filmed it in the summer, it’s gotta be 120 degrees. So now they have to walk to the other rooms, like it’s not next door, it’s a little hard to walk among the paths there to the other houses in the heat. So I think that Brandi and this British witch is in one room, and then Lisa and Yolanda in the other.
So then this Puerto Rican girl hosted a dinner. Her name is Joyce. Throughout the whole time, stupid Brandi is calling her Jacquelyn. To the point where it’s just already, you know, past good taste. When it’s just obnoxious and disgusting. And what’s the point of that? It’s not intelligent. And of course, that Yolanda and Lisa, they laughed! Because they think that this Brandi, the whore, is funny, they laugh. I see the hurt on that girl, I see it.
And also, they’re sitting around the pool, and of course Brandi with that witch, they go in, and eventually Yolanda went in, and they’re coaxing Joyce to come in. “Come in! Come in!” And eventually, Brandi goes “Oh, you know Black people don’t like water.”
What are you fucking crazy? Who talks like that? Imagine if that would have been directed to this trio? They would have been chewing her alive. Just nasty.
So when they came to the table for the dinner, which was gorgeous, Yolanda goes to Joyce “So where should we sit?” and she says, “You know, anywhere you like.” Yolanda goes, “Well YOU’RE the hostess, where are we sitting?!” she says “Anywhere you like!” I’m telling Mel (Dad), “What is with this Yolanda, she lost her mind?” There are only 6 girls – anywhere you like! It’s not like a dinner for a hundred. I have to tell you, it really riled me up.
And I said it to Daddy already, it’s the group of Lisa with Brandi and Yolanda, and obviously the witch is with them, and then this new girl who is really dumb as shit, gorgeous, gorgeous girl, and Kyle and Kyle’s sister and that’s basically it. (Ed.: Yes, she just rattled off the entire cast.)
In the middle of the dinner while there is a whole conversation between Yolanda and Kyle about shit that happened I don’t even know when. And Brandi is telling to Yolanda, “Oh, can you take my weave out?” while the hostess was talking. In the meantime, Yolanda, “the lady,” starts to fish around in that scuzzy hair of Brandi trying to unclip her weave. That? At the dinner table? You’re such a lady? I spit in your face.
I got, I got, my kishkes are up by my throat. I’m not gonna lie to you. And Kyle! Kyle… She doesn’t bother me. I always say that to you. And even Kim. Kim is like a luft. Kind of a luft – a butterfly. I mean, even the relationship with the children, it’s almost like she is a child herself. So you know, I feel a little bit pity. You have to see how Lisa dismisses her. In the most disrespectful, despicable way. And Lisa, I tell Daddy, Lisa, the most intelligent one there, why are you behaving like that in front of Brandi, the courve.
Wait til you see how the show starts. Brandi’s writing another sex book, so she’s bringing her scuzzy girlfriends, you know not these ladies, some other scuzzy girlfriends, to find out what kind of sex situations they like. I mean the woman is disgusting, I mean seriously.
This weekend was the OC Pet Expo. A weekend of animal frenzy in Orange County featuring weiner dog races, dog diving, millions of pets to hug, and most importantly, a llama exhibition. Ladies and gentlemen, my Coachella. (Please note the camera around my neck, which I did not use once.)
There was a large, open petting zoo that was cahhh-rayyyzyy. At one point, a duck stepped on my foot (it hurt), and a pig snout-butted me in the arm leaving a round print of wet hay in its wake. At one point, I stood with my arm kind of out at my side, and before I knew it, I was in love. This llama baby basically ran up under my arm, which I choose to believe had nothing to do with the ice cream cone I purchased with the sole purpose of making animal friends. Picture the scene with Jennifer Grey jumping into Swayze’s arms in Dirty Dancing, that’s kind of what this was like. (I was Patrick.)
Little did I know, his girlfriend was in the back watching this shit go down:
And she wasn’t happy about it. Cue Llama Clinger:
There were also goats there.
I petted this one into a goatnap:
And then took full advantage of it:
And this goat:
Who was a tiny little albino seal baby:
But what of the pets. Ah, the pets:
This woman was kind enough to let me hold this puppy:
I had to restrain myself from actually squeezing it to death:
But I loved him.
Sadly, we didn’t get any pics of the other attractions, such as the diving dogs… and the… handicapped birds…. (one actually had a bird stroke. a tiny bird stroke.) but we ended the day with lots of wine and washing our arms up the the shoulder. Couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday.
Thanks to Jim and Jess Cantiello for coming along and risking hoof and mouth disease for my happiness.
My fabulously glamorous mother Judy spent all day Sunday binge-watching the first season of Game of Thrones. Note that my mother never binge-watches anything, much less a show about people having doggy style sex by torch-light. It became clear I needed to document her thoughts on Game of Thrones word for word. What follows is a 100 percent real, barely interrupted stream of consciousness, and may be the first honest Game of Thrones review you’ll ever read.
I have news for you: I’m not watching the second series. We started to watch it at 11 in the morning, we just finished. (Ed. Note: It was 9 PM.) It’s the same, every episode: The slashing, and the f*cking, and the more slashing and the more fornication… it’s just endless. The minute you win the war, you have to regroup and fight again. What is that?
There are a couple of favorite people, I’m gonna tell you who I like: Conan the Barbarian, the blond girl’s husband, cause who the hell remembers their names? I kept calling him Conan . She is a gorgeous girl, and a very good actress.
I love the little girl. The daughter. She was like from the movie Oliver. Actually, I liked everybody! Obviously I didn’t like that little twit, that young king there, he annoyed the sh*t out of me, but that’s the character.
What can I tell you? If you look at each episode, like if you can take photos altogether, every episode is the same as the one before it. You barely have to change even the words. After a while I got tired of it, and Daddy says “Well, you got me into it!” — that was after 7 hours of this — he wanted to know how it was going to end. Then I’m thinking , maybe I’m also a little curious?
And what kind of a stupid ending was this? When Conan was in the middle of that fire, when she walked in naked and walked out like a dragon lady. I don’t even know her name! Uch you know it’s not my kind of miniseries. But I tell you, the acting is amazing. She’s an amazing character.
Now the daughter that has the hots for that prick? The one who had to look at her father’s head dangling from the bridge? I wanna tell you, I thought she was gonna push him off the bridge. First, I thought she was gonna jump. Then I thought, uch, one nudge you know with the elbow, the guy weighs like a featherweight. He would have been flying. But then she would have been killed anyway so…
I personally never cared for these kind of middle age stories. Who remembers a million names like that? And it’s disgusting, so many heads so many kishkes, in my life, they were skinning animals there and yanking out their delicious kishkes. I’m telling Daddy, “I have such delicious food in the fridge! And now I’m gonna throw up.”
That Conan was fabulous. Oh my god, and what about all that male frontal nudity? There were at least four naked men, you go revisit it. One was on his way to die, obviously. And yeah, they were all hanging out naked. Total male frontal nudity. I’m thinking “Whoa this is very progressive! Thank you England.” Cause it’s always females and I’m thinking “Excuse me this should be equal opportunity.” So that was very nice.
Did you know they had an elevator back then? They did. I didn’t know they had an elevator in the Middle Ages. But there was a guy, like one of those morons cranking it up and the elevator cranked him up to the 2nd floor. Daddy says “Look, an elevator.” We thought that Otis discovered the elevator, but I guess not.
I tell you who I love. I love the illegitimate guy. He is very very good. The guy who works in the north — you know, the good guy, who is on the Queen’s side. A dark haired guy he was together with the fat guy who wasn’t good with the sword. He was the star of the f*cking show. He was very good.
I tell you the acting, well, it’s England. Who is bad in it? Nobody. Every actor probably finished the Shakespeare School of Acting. No, they’re very good. The wife of the fat King? She’s as you can see drop dead gorgeous and a very good actress.
The wigs were sensational! Althoughhhh, what’s her name, Khaleesi — the only way I remember that name is I think of Calista Flockhart, I have to say, Calista… Khaleesi — had some very sexy gowns. I think I’ve seen some of them on Project Runway. Fabulously draped gowns on her. She’s gorgeous.
MC: Were you upset when they killed Ned Stark?
Judy: Very. Lord Stark? Very upset. He first of all reminded me of someone from Les Mis. The character, the looks. I was very upset. And let me tell you, his f*cking daughter is the one who made him confess there for no reason. You know, she was very pretty when she played a teenager at the beginning. She looked like Princess Diana. I don’t know if you felt it. Looks a little bit like her and in the mannerisms, I kept telling Daddy, every time I look at her I see Princess Diana.
MC: What about when Jamie Lannister pushed Bran out of the window?
Judy: I was very upset! What are you joking? That little boy was adorable by the way. I’m glad he survived, because that very easily could have killed him.
Oh and there was so much incest and every f*cking thing you can imagine, and I’m thinking “Where is this going? Where?” I was just not getting the whole gist of this. And then to bring dragons into this? Please. This is where they’re losing me. At one point after 6 hours I’m very lost here. It’s like when I went to see Avatar, an hour later, I’m very lost. I can’t follow their names and there are so many of them. And that language! You know you really almost have to create a new phony language.
MC: What about Peter Dinklage?
Judy: Who is that?
MC: You don’t know Peter Dinklage? The little guy.
Judy: Oy!!! How could I forget! I have to tell you, when it comes to acting, this midget should win the Oscar for acting. I’ve never heard of him. He looked like a shrunken Mick Jagger a little bit. In the first episode, I’m telling Daddy, “Doesn’t he look like a shrunken Mick Jagger?” and he said “He really does!” Eventually you forget he’s a little person. Although in the face you can see… (trails off) You know, in the face. An amazing actor and what a role! Wow, he was great. Oh when he was in that jail that was an open wall, up high, and couple of times I’m thinking “Oh sh*t, this guy is gonna roll over and fall right down” but obviously he didn’t. He was great, he was just great! I really liked him. I told you before, the acting… but it’s every British show, Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs…
MC:Are you going to watch Season 2?
Judy: I can’t. I am burnt out. Besides that, Season 2 is on for the next two months. This we watched because I told Daddy it’s very fashionable to do a marathon of something. But that’s it, I’m burnt out from it. I hate it, I’ll tell you the truth. I was praying for it to end. It’s so not me. And you know eventually this king, the other king, the plotting, the outfits, all those swords and shields, it was wonderful. Is it my kind of scenery? No. I don’t care, I’m not watching it. I’m not interested and it’s not going anywhere. Finished.
Note that I will do everything within my power to ensure she watches Seasons 2 and 3. This isn’t over yet. Cue theme music.