Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Day 81

Day 81, self quarantine:

Okay, I don’t like Wednesdays but I’ve got to get my act together today.

Woo, I had a bad work day yesterday.  I had a 100% error filled day, and when that happens, I either work harder to redeem myself or I completely shut down.

Guess what happened.

Maybe it was the culmination of the last few days, maybe it was the non stop helicopters overhead and the construction workers across the street screaming so loud I thought they were in Julie’s bedroom, or maybe it was just post-traumatic stress from the last three months.

Anyway, it wasn’t a good day to screw up.  I have deadlines and I’m so busy I can’t breathe.

I may have barely slid by yesterday but I won’t today so I have to put my head down and work.

Trouble is, I don’t feel like it.

I hardly slept last night.  I heard a couple really loud explosions.

The news just told me that three ATM machines were blown up blocks from my house.

Actually, I just heard another explosion now at 5:30 a.m.and so did the fellow currently reporting the news four blocks from my house.

Good times.

And naturally we also have a freak weather forecast today with severe multiple thunderstorms and damaging wind gusts throughout the day and a high of almost 90 degrees.

Maybe the power will go out.

Am I actually hoping for that?  Why, yes.  Yes I am.  

As long as it goes back on when work ends at 4:30.

Gah, my day actually started out great.  Aileen came by to get the bicycles, I actually had my first face to face conversation with someone for the first time since March 13, she brought us bags and bags of fresh lettuce and herbs from her garden...I could have hung out with her all morning.

Maybe that was it.

Oy, I can see I have decisions to make sooner rather than later.

Anyway, Gary suggested I salvage the day by going to Lemon Hill with him and Jake at the end of the day to see this “really cool rainbow thing” that popped up in the park so how could I say no?

I’m so glad I did.

I needed a new pic in my head to replace the defiled piano in the street following the riot in Philadelphia this weekend though okay, that photo is never leaving my head, ever.

That piano is a metaphor to me for  broken America, the culmination of three years of a monster in the White House who has zero passion for the arts.

I just wish he was gone.  I don’t really care how.  

Pick your worst.

Oh well, sue me, all my posts can’t be inspirational, funny, or include cheesecake recipes.  Life has warts.

I’m going to go inhale a pot of coffee and listen to some music to get out of my bad head.

Later, apocalypse dudes.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Photos from the apocalypse

A photo of the apocalypse trio this morning as captured by their first visitor since quarantine.

My husband has an apocalypse  beard which he isn’t trimming until this is over.

Idiot in chief 8

Welp, we know who the eighth deadly sin is, huh, President Pussy in a Bunker!

The worst person in American history

And if you support him, so are you.

Day 70

Day 80, self quarantine:

Holy hell, we’re only 20 away from 100 days shelter in place.

That’s insane.

But as I keep saying, I’m down with 100 more.  At least.

I’m not going to comment on President Pussy’s ridiculous fascist speech and phony Bible photo op last night, no worries 😜

Not in this post, anyway.

But I needed comfort and sustenance yesterday so Gary gave me a lot of hugs and oh my God he made black pepper cheddar buttermilk biscuits with spicy honey butter.

Can you marry a biscuit?

Because if there is anything on earth better than that biscuit, I haven’t met it.

Oh, okay, the guy who baked it is cool.

But oh my lord, that combination of flavors.  And the grated cheese in the dough makes it flaky and a
little chewy at the same time.

The honey butter also had smoked paprika.

I’m having leftovers for lunch.

Is it lunch yet?

Tonight is the final trash night. Tonight the last barbecue, the 87 barbecue accessories, 5 broken hoses, the 27 trash can lids, the rusted empty propane tank, the four hideous 20 year old green resin chairs that I finally talked Gary into parting with...all in the trash.

Along with another 16 bags of leaves and I don’t know what.

We have conquered the hellhole that was our yard.

Now the fun stuff starts and I am so here for that.

Right now, just the idea of standing in a totally empty trash free yard is so exciting I can hardly wait for 7:00 tonight.  

This day is gonna take forever!

But there will be biscuits In between to break it up.

Always have goals, people.

Idiot in chief 7

You’re not American, TRAITOR.  Americans don’t teargas peaceful protestors so they can walk to a church and put tneir BLASPHEMOUS tiny hands on a Bible for a hideous photo op 🤮🤮🤮

Monday, June 01, 2020

Day 79

Day 79, self quarantine

Welcome to week twelve of the apocalypse.

So what’s next?  Swarms of locusts?  A thousand ton meteor hurtling out of control toward earth?  Leprosy?

Right now I’m wondering if the building where Gary worked for twenty-five years until the pandemic hit is still standing.  Last time we checked, the neighborhood was under siege.

If it’s not, what a metaphor that would be, huh.

I dunno.  For once I have no words.  For once I have no fucking clue what happens next.  No idea.  It’s terrifying.

Once again, I am rethinking everything.

I don’t know how to fix things.  I’m a mom.  Fixing things is what I do.  

I don’t understand how you can hate someone based on their race or religion.  My mind doesn’t work that way.

I hate people for other reasons 😎.

I do know this.  105,000 Americans are dead.  Forty million Americans are out of work.  We’re hurting and we’re exhausted and we’re scared.  Instead of addressing the nation yesterday and appealing for calm and unity, that ridiculous, vile human garbage five time draft dodger in the White House cowered in his basement bunker, sending out inflammatory, insane Tweets.  Tweets meant to INCITE more violence.


(You wish, Tubby)




(Ooh clever.  For a ten year old)


(That’s you, Donald)

You’re a PUSSY, Donald.  An international laughingstock.

As are your supporters.

I hope every sane American calls for your resignation today.

I’ll start first.


The National Guard is in Philadelphia and I woke up to my city on fire.

Three months into the apocalypse, everything in my life has totally changed.  I’m not even going to address the last three and a half years, that’s a given.

I think about everything differently now. 


I’ll tell you one thing, though. This is not a good time to have an overactive imagination unless you can channel it to make art.

On a lighter note...

I was watching a rerun of Saturday Night Live and everyone was hugging at the end like they’ve done for 45 years and I shuddered, both from realizing that this sweet tradition would never happen again and from the thought of deadly coronavirus germs spreading.

Within five minutes I wrote an obituary for everyone on that stage.

So great, now when I see anyone touching or too close to each other I cringe and think of death.

Like I needed any help with thoughts of death.

Okay, enough of that.  Life has to go on, and now, more than ever, we have to make the best of it.  We’ve had plenty of time to reflect here at Casa Slick, and we’re focusing on trying to make this world a better place.  We’re old.  We have that luxury.

We spent hours last night discussing ways we can help.

But for now, because there’s still a PANDEMIC going on, we’re concentrating on the garden.

I’ve never seen Gary happier.

He outworked me this weekend.

Our yard may be tiny but it’s a really pretty space.  It’s full of both sunlight and crazy shadows.  I took some pictures of the yard in progress and noticed a flash of red.

“I think there’s a family of cardinals living in our tree,” I told Gary excitedly.

“What?  Where?”

Gary talks to birds.  It’s really extraordinary.  They answer him back.

I showed him the pic.

“You knucklehead, that’s our rosebush!”

The rose bush we planted twenty years ago and totally forgot about?  Whoa, it’s now blooming in the highest branches of our tree.

Excuse me for not knowing roses did that.

But too cool that they’ve been out there blooming all these years independently without any help from us.

I kind of like the idea of a freak aerial rosebush in our apocalypse garden.

Of course I also googled pruning rosebushes just in case we want normal ones, too.

I went back outside and took a better picture.  It still doesn’t do it justice.

But I will say this.  That bizarro climbing rosebush made me smile for the first time all weekend.  It is so “us.”  

Talk about a metaphor...

Be crazy, be different, and be beautiful.

And always reach for the stars.

Unfortunately for me this morning, that means climbing the stairs to Julie’s former bedroom now my office.

For now.

Later, apocalypse dudes.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Idiot in Chief 6

Hahahahaha, you’re such a PUSSY, Donald.

Not to mention an international laughingstock.

I doubt Putin would hide in a bunker 😂😂😂

Idiot in Chief 5


Idiot in Chief 4

I hereby designate cheesecake to be eaten with every meal.

Idiot in Chief 3

He looks better than you, MURDERER.

If you weren’t completely incompetent and dementia ridden and had called for a national quarantine and mandatory masks in January when you KNEW about the virus,102,000 Americans wouldn’t be dead, you ridiculous imbecile.

The Idiot in Chief 2

How about if you simply stop lying and inciting violence, Dotard?

The idiot in Chief

Sigh...stop talking about your penis, bro.

Day 77

Day 77, self quarantine

I’m broken.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Day 76

Day 76, self quarantine:

Good morning.

It doesn’t seem right to talk about my garden or what I’m having for dinner today.

America is broken.

And I’m sorry, if you’re sitting here complacent this morning and pleased with the monster in the White House, so are you.  You’re future greeters at the Gates to Hell and you will burn in agony for eternity.

I may despise organized religion but I talk to God all the time.

Donald, Lindsey, Rand, Mitch, Gym, Gaetz and the rest of the *sic* Freedom Caucus are mentally ill, but nowhere nearly as mentally ill as their supporters.

They’re laughing at you, you pathetic excuse for humans.

Jesus weeps.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Day 75

Day 75, self quarantine:

Happy Friday!  Today is the best day ever.  I have the day off from work for a Jewish holiday  that celebrates with cheesecake.

This is my kind of religion.

I mean, we all know I am not a fan of organized religion but cheesecake celebrations are next level.  So I wondered how it came to be.

Actually, it’s Shavuot,and Shavuot, like most Jewish holidays, has a food component. On Shavuot we celebrate dairy foods. It is a vegetarian holiday for kosher Jews, because the laws of kashrut forbid mixing milk products with meat. 

Speaking of cheesecake, right before quarantine, I had one of the best cheesecakes I ever had in my life.  I asked for the recipe but I never looked at it until now when  I was reminded by the holiday.  Holy hell, no wonder it was so good, it’s made up of sour cream, cream cheese and heavy whipping cream.  And it’s no bake?!  

Oh, Gary?  I have a favor to ask...

We are so having this for our Shavuot feast tonight.

Seriously, look at this recipe. How can it be bad?
 1 9" or 10" graham cracker crust prepared in springform pan
16 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature (450g)
1 cup powdered sugar (150g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/3 cup sour cream (75g)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream 
Additional whipped cream for topping, optional
1. Place cream cheese in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
2. Add powdered sugar and stir until combined.
3. Stir in vanilla extract and lemon juice, pausing to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
4. Add sour cream and stir well.
5. Pour heavy cream into a separate, medium-sized bowl (preferably a chilled metal bowl). Whisk on high speed (preferably using an electric mixer) until stiff peaks are achieved.
6. Fold your whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until smooth and well-combined.
7. Spread cheesecake mixture evenly over prepared graham cracker crust. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Ugh, I hate that refrigerate and WAIT TO EAT nonsense. You’re really supposed to wait four hours when there’s a cheesecake in the house?

When I was growing up, we had those God awful frozen Sara Lee cheesecakes and no microwaves to defrost them.  I can remember being a stoner teenager with the munchies trying to hurl a frozen brick of cheesecake against the wall to get it to slice or at least be thawed enough not to burn my tongue.

Gary better get started now 😜

So we can’t work in the yard today because of the rain which is a bummer but we’re gonna be brave and put on our masks and run a few errands.  

We’re out of dog treats.  

Heaven forbid.

Tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be beautiful and to be honest, there’s no way we can do physical labor three days in a row, anyway. I’m still feeling the work we did last weekend.

I’ll say it again - getting older isn’t for sissies 😎

So that’s about it for today.  No words of wisdom, just a banging cheesecake recipe.

Chag Sameach!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Day 74

Day 74, self quarantine.

Good morning.

I’m in a mood.  So let me just get this out of the way. The despicable fake Christian racist rapist squatter in the White House DARED to mock Joe Biden again last night for wearing a mask.

Here’s my reply tweet to him just now.

“Really?  If you weren’t completely incompetent and dementia ridden and had called for a national quarantine and mandatory masks in January when you KNEW about the virus,102,000 Americans wouldn’t be dead, you ridiculous imbecile. #TrumpPandemic”

I’m sorry.  This man is not just the worst president  in American history, he’s the worst person in American history and anyone who supports him is, too.

Okay, I’m done.

Oh, wait, one more tweet I want to post here from writer Matt Haig which I absolutely love:

Yes lockdown poses its own mental health challenges. But can we please stop pretending our former world of long working hours, stressful commutes, hectic crowds, shopping centres, infinite choice, mass consumerism, air pollution and 24/7 everything was a mental health utopia?”

Right?  This tweet speaks to me.

I’ve been having moments of clarity lately.  I love my job but I want to work remotely forever.  

Speaking of work, I have to head upstairs at dawn again because I’m still in the weeds but woo hoo, after that, I’m finished for the week.  Let the three day weekend commence!  Looks like we’re not going to the beach due to crap weather but that’s okay, we are at the exciting phase of our backyard!  We have just one more barbecue to throw out and we seem to have an astonishing collection of trash can lids...but people, I don’t think it’s premature to say that by next weekend I’m hanging those fairy lights!

Also, my rock painting supplies will be here.

I’m posting some more in progress photos of Gary’s girls.

So that’s about it for today.

I think, anyway.

Onward, apocalypse soldiers!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Day 73

Day 73, self quarantine:

Wednesday, huh.  I could get used to short weeks like this.

Gary doesn’t want me to post a pic until he’s done so here’s a photo of one of his girls as he calls them before she’s planted.

We really scored some beautiful stuff.

Omg our backyard.  I have never been more excited to take out the trash than tonight.  I still can’t believe this is happening.  My schemes never work like this.  

In other news, assuming we stay in yellow or even move to green, Eric and Natalie are coming to Philadelphia June 24-25!  It’s their one year anniversary.  

I can’t believe that, either.

I’m trying not to get too excited in case it doesn’t happen but okay okay I AM EXCITED.

Also, there will be major Eric news mid next week and that’s all I’m saying.

Oh wow, I haven’t seen Eric and Natalie since the beginning of the year.

Okay okay I’ll calm down.

Short post today.  I’m in the weeds at work and need to head upstairs now.  I gotta admit I love being able to do this.  I’m such a morning person and I’m so much more productive this time of day.  It would be too creepy to go to my actual downtown office at 6:00 a.m. but man, I kill it at dawn.

I guess so.  It’s when I wrote all six books.

Another perk of starting at daybreak is I don’t feel guilty about taking extended lunches with Gary.  That dude can cook 😎.

Okay, okay, I better get my sorry ass upstairs.

Sigh... I’m never going to be able to look at Julie’s bedroom the same...

Peace out, fellow apocalypse humans.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Day 72

Day 72, self quarantine:

Ah, yes, the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend, also known as “Welcome back to the real world” day.  

Whatever that is in apocalypse land.

All I know is, all things considered, I’d rather be at the beach today.

We had the most insanely productive weekend, though.  It was pretty amazing.   Okay, I’m not gonna lie, Saturday was a bust because it rained super heavy and our roof leaked and I pitched a fit when Gary insisted on climbing an aluminum ladder in the middle of the storm to check it out because excuse me, I don’t want him to kill himself and HOW DID HE PLAN TO FIX IT WHILE IT WAS RAINING?

Arghhh we are so getting a new roof.

So yeah that was Saturday but we put it behind us and by Monday afternoon we accomplished so much we were giddy.

Gary is in his groove when he’s around plants.  He was so freaking happy playing in the dirt yesterday.  

He’s not done yet so here’s a pic in progress.

So what I’ve been hoping during this entire quarantine and especially since Gary’s unexpected retirement in April is happening.  He’s got a project he’s really into and excited about, I can go upstairs to work today and not worry he’s staring blankly at the television all day.

It’s going to be eighty degrees and sunny.  He told me he’s going to be outside working in both the yard and front of the house.

Wah, I want to do that, too!  I’m jealous!

Oh, well.  I wasn’t jealous when he watched television all day - I can’t have it both ways, huh.

Meanwhile, speaking of television- this quarantine has affected my secret-from-Gary guilty pleasure degenerate tv watching like you would not believe.  There’s only five more episodes of Top Chef! Where’s all my shows that come out in the spring and early summer to fill my lonely predawn hours when Top Chef ends?  Where’s MasterChef?  Where’s Best Baker in America?  Where’s Chopped Sweets?  Ffs, where’s MasterChefJr.?  I’m desperate!

You know I googled it.

The guys at Google are laughing their asses off.

“Look at this old broad in Philadelphia who keeps asking daily Why isn’t MasterChef on tv this year? like America hasn’t been shut down for three months and there’s not 100,000 Americans dead in a pandemic.”

Listen, if any of you ever talk to Gary, you cannot tell him I watch MasterChef.  He loathes Gordon Ramsey and will never let me live it down and he’d be right.

I don’t know why food competition shows are my crack, there’s clearly something wrong with me.

It’s why I sneak them at 4:00 a.m.

Haha I used to do that with drugs.

Oh wait, that was all day 😎

Anyway, it turns out the pandemic has messed with all of my shows except...sigh...MasterChef, Jr. which was already in the can before quarantine and instead of airing from March to June like they always do, Fox is holding it until September because they have nothing else to air in the new season.

Thanks a lot, apocalypse.

Google finally told me this after I checked daily for days and oh, cool, now google and the government think I’m a weirdo for obsessing about a cooking show for pre-teens.

Do not tell Gary this, either.

I used to have such better secrets.  What the hell happened?

Oh, yeah.  I got old.

Thank God.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Day 71

Day 71, self quarantine:

Welcome to Memorial Day, the apocalypse edition.

I still can’t believe any of this.

So here at Casa Slick, we have a magical thing going on. We’re always rewarded in some way when we clean.

Sometimes I might find something amazing.  Maybe it’s an earring I thought was lost forever, maybe it’s a Polaroid photo of Julie and Eric from 1990, or maybe it’s my first publication acceptance letter - written by the magazine editor in longhand.

Once we went to Atlantic City for dinner following a major hardcore  spring  cleaning and I walked past the slots, put in a couple of quarters for the hell of it, and won $300.00.

I don’t even play slots.

Oh god, I just had a memory I haven’t had in years.  I used to play blackjack and count cards.  This was before Julie and Eric were born.  I never got caught because I sucked at it.  But oh god did I think I was cool sitting there at the table with my vodka martini acting like I knew what the hell I was doing.

Holy moly how many lives have I had?

Haha now I’m apocalypse woman, watching the world go by in my pajama pants.

I’ll take it. 

Anyway, back to the story. Yesterday my gift for working in the backyard came via my Facebook friends talking to me about painted rocks.

It sent me down the most glorious rabbit hole.

I’m now obsessed and you have no idea how much I needed it.

I love to paint but stopped years ago and now I don’t even have any art supplies.  I think about it a lot guiltily but I don’t have the light or space to work on anything large and worse, I don’t have any inspiration. But rocks...this is so doable and with two incredibly talented artist kids, I now have a ready answer for “what do you want for your birthday/Christmas?” too.

I don’t really need instruction but I found a book of painted rock ideas I thought I’d share.

I think having a section of painted rocks in my backyard is going to be beyond perfect under the fairy lights.

So now in addition to writing a new book during quarantine, I’m going to embark on a major rock painting project.

I just ordered a buttload of paint and other supplies.

Now.  Where the hell do I find rocks?

Omg, are Gary and I going to have to go rock collecting somewhere?  Is there a place near downtown Philadelphia? Hahaha how did I not think of this?

And if I find them, can I just take them?

Hang on, Google is my friend.

Holy cow, you buy them?  Are you kidding me?

Huh.  This idea is getting better by the minute.

And I know I can probably find them cheaper and in assorted shapes.  Ew, how creepy to have rocks all the same size and shape.

Yeah, I know these will be easier to paint, but I think real rocks are much cooler and I at least need to use some.  I clearly have to take Gary on a rock collecting expedition.

Wait’ll I tell him.

So I know I said I wasn’t going to look yet but I found these crazy outdoor  chairs in electric violet and teal blue but no, no, I won’t buy them until we’re ready.  

This yard is going to rock.

Haha, get it?

See why I love this down time, though?  All I want to do is make art and do positive things 

And I know I’m not alone.


If only this deadly virus wasn’t out there lurking.

If only there weren’t breathtakingly stupid imbeciles out there not social distancing or wearing masks and yapping this is a government conspiracy taking away their “freedom.”

What a crazy, crazy time.

In other news, we made astonishing progress in the yard yesterday.  We’re still filling trash bags with leaves and stuff and my friend Aileen has to come by and get the bicycles (how’s Wednesday?) but oh am I going to have a much better pic next week!  

Not only that, we swung by the hardware store and bought plants.  We ran out of steam to install them in the window boxes but that will be tomorrow.  I’m laughing because the plants are Gary’s thing.  If it were up to me, I’d probably hire someone and we’d have a tasteful color scheme interspersed with lots of greenery.

Gary literally buys one of everything.  Purple, yellow, red, orange - he loves an explosion of different hues and types and he nixes anything that doesn’t bloom in neon rainbows.

I adore how it turns out and it occurs to me it goes along with my thoughts about not wanting rocks all the same size and texture.

I’ll post a pic tomorrow when he’s done.

So what else...hmm...we’re not having a typical Memorial Day dinner tonight...unless we lived in Italy, I guess.  Gary made fresh pesto last night and it smelled so damn good we both said at the same time we had to have it for dinner so we’re having pasta, greens and potatoes with pesto which is freaking unbelievable:

This is a pretty informative post today, huh.

Okay, I’ll stop.

Time to watch my taped Food Network shows and get my moments of zen in before Gary wakes up.

Omg, Top Chef.  It’s so obvious to me Kevin Gillespie and Bryan Voltaggio are the two finalists but I’m wrong every year so don’t listen to me.

I like Bryan’s laugh but I’m Team Melissa all the way, though I am also a big Gregory fan and would love for him to win, too.

I am so not a Kevin fan.

And now I sound like a total dork.

Okay, I’m outta here.

Happy Memorial Day!