Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bugger??? No, BogHER...Why not Boghim? BogHER BogHER! Bless you!

I am going on vacation, dear readers, for two whole weeks of bliss... with my husband that poses as a Comedian abroad.
That is, if my husband, can make it home from London tonight... The plane that was supposed to take him home to my loving arms has rerouted itself to Cyprus to pick up some people in greater need than us. When he returns we will not be going to Blogher, nor Bloghim just to a cottage on cliff that overlooks a lake with the most wondrous sunsets in the world.

So, hoping that he does make it home, as I am anxious when he is so far from us, last year he narrowly escaped the bombings in the tubes on July 7th.(all I can say about that is I am so grateful that he is forgetful as he was at the staion at just two minutes before the explosion, and realized he had to go back to the hotel as he forgot a pass, three hours of agonizing waiting to find him safe...)

But as I wait in anticipation for my man, I thought, I would fill up some loose ends from my blogthis past month, to keep you, dear reader, uptodate on the goings of Ms. Pendullum.

Dr. Jekyl has come and gone with a haze of happy well wishers. We had endless dinner parties at our home to welcome our time-traveled friend home. For a week and a half it was party haven here.
He dropped a bit of a bomb on us by letting us know that he is planning one more trip. His last trip before he hangs up the ole bicycle gears...
He is going to cycle from Korea(He will take a boat) to Australia. Australia is his 'training cycling ground' for the great wall of China/the Far East and ending his journey in South Africa. I am not happy with his decision. I know that it is not my decision to make... But still...
Besides the Far East and all the problems in Pakistan and India, besides Iran, besides him doing it ALONE, besides the fact that he is pushing 50, alone on a bike with no one waiting for him at the finish line... Besides all that... there is Africa...
And there are a great deal of wars that are not even mentioned here...
A friend of mine who is working as a prosecutor for the UN on crimes against humanity was nearly murdered there just a few months ago... and that was with an entourage...
Not a lonely westerner on a bike with perceived disposable income...

As you can see I am worried... And the condescending 'he knows what he is doing' is not going to get you far in this gal's blog...
as 'All the power to him' 'Good on him' seems like hollow by yours truly.
My question to him as he left for his plane bound for Korea was 'what are you running away from?' and as he laughed sheepishly, he said 'Good Question, good question!'

Harvey and I went to see Rita. It was horrible. I have experienced 10 friends of mine who have all died from this horrible disease but none were as bad or as helpless as young,dear,sweet,Rita.

When we entered the room, we were greeted by Alice (go figure?). Alice talked to us as if Rita was not there. In the far corner of the dimly lit room was Rita's older sister who is a nurse. She was writing in a journal and when she looked up... I saw what Rita would have looked like had she the opportunity to turn 50. The possibility of what future wrinkles and fuller figure will never be there for my dear, sweet friend who had sunken eyes, a bald head and weighed no more than seventy pounds.

We talked, and Harvey brought pictures of his children, he held Rita's hand and told her of his travels and of the orphanage in which he volunteered, he talked about becoming a vegetarian and he talked about his business failing. He stood the entire visit.

I would like to say it was beautiful. It was. But all the while Alice was lyin gon her back, on Rita's bed. Alice was asking about the possibility of meeting Harvey for a coffee, she was talking about her new found religion, that, being a new GP that knew everything. And to me, Alice knew a lot of nothing.

They, Harvey and Alice, talked about anti-depressants together and the lack of sex drive. I could not believe Alice. I could not believe that she was flirting on a dying woman's bed even though she 'lacked sex drive'. Looked to me that she was not lacking in the flirting department... Just a catty observation...

I knew where Harvey was coming from. I knew that he was scared. I knew through his pacing. I knew that he was hurting and trying to find Rita through the morphine and pain. Trying to find the beautiful vivacious graceful woman that he knew. And that is what I wrote in her memory book that Rita's sister asked me to sign.

I wrote that while Harvey was talking about his life, all the while underneath it all, was a whisper of love, that Rita mattered so much in his life, Rita, that you were loved by him, that you instilled a grace in a room, your laughter could feel a room, your insights into the worlds workings will be missed and that, he, wishes you Godspeed old friend.

When we walked out of the hospice, we were reeling with all kinds of emotions. I know that I was hurting and I was angry because I hurt so much. I just turned to Harvey and asked what the hell Alice all about...

I did not handle it well... But a woman flirting??? And dear reader she was...
Asking if Harvey's wife would be threatened by an ex? Laughing and imagining if they had kids? Talking about how Rita's husband had deserted her and only she, Alice and the sister are there...(Blatant lie, as I talked with the sister and she informed that Rita's husband has been there everyday. He also brings their child every single morning///)
People handle things differently I suppose but taking credit and discrediting people for your own benefit... Big no!no! My way I tell ya...
But as I established I was angry. And Sad... And Helpless... Nothing was going to bring Rita back. And through the haze of it all we wanted it to be a big mistake. But htere was no question it was Rita and when there were those brief moments when she was lucid, we saw our friend trying to make cancer okay for us.

We made it home, quite late, in the evening. We arrived home at around 12 am. And my house was dark. My husband and daughter were asleep. Harvey needed to have a cigarette(which we purchased on our walk home. He has not smoked in fiv years) and a beer. I needed a big honking glass of wine...

And as we settled onto my front porch... My daughter comes barreling down the stairs crying...
Momma, Momma, I could not sleep... You were in big trouble... I could feel it... I could feel your heart being sad... Momma... I could feel it...
Are you ok???(May I add, that she did not see us off... She was in playdate heaven and had no idea about our trip... so she indeed felt us and our grief)

My husband turned on the light and all I could see was his silhouette form from our dark front porch, somehow I was calming seeing his wild haired bedheaded being...

He just shrugged and told my daughter 'See... They're home...'
And with that she retorted 'Not Yet!'
And she insisted;insisted; that we take out an old video...
An old movie that I took out about a month ago...Folklore at this stage of our lives...
It was of a time together, Harvey, my husband and I, when we had countless get togethers, before children, before bankruptcies, before cancer...
A time of frivolous humour...

My 8 year old was right! We laughed and laughed, and somehow it grounded us through our history. Funny how old movies do that.

So, that when we departed for bed, we could toss and turn about Rita in our own way. We would have all our own silent tormented dreams about our dear Rita. But all the while a flicker of that video of happiness and laughter played in our subconscious dreams.

We did not sleep well. But we did have the visions of the past dancing in our heads.

The following day, I was walking with my husband and daughter and we were going to cross our favourite bridge to the lake... when... all these police cars swarmed all around us just as we began to cross the bridge...
And to our horror, there was a young woman getting ready to jump. she was all poised to leave this planet, when I diverted my daughter and my dog's attention to look at the train coming towards us instead of the horror unfolding behind us...
By the time my daughter had her eyes turned around, the lady jumper, was wrestled to the ground by 4 cops. I explained that she was not feeling right and that she needed medication so that she would not be hurt. She was used to the restraints needed for a friend that has drastic seizures so she seemed fine with our explanation.

So, as you can see dear reader... I need a vacation. Where my main concern in life is if I put enough sunscreen on my daughter, if I can really body surf the next wave, catch a frog, or see a heron...

I look forward to toasting the sunsets on the lake. I look forward to thanking the sun for a glorious sunny day... I embrace our dinners on the cliff with a bottle of wine, I salute our bonfires, and we will stare up at the stars in wonder... and at the end of it all, I look forward to dragging my butt up the 100 stairs, to our cottage and putting on a old Danny Kaye movie or whatever else strikes my fancy, and watch a movie with my tired husband, my exuberant daughter and my naughty dog...

Ohh... And by the way... During all of the above I managed to reach 40 years of age. My mother called me on my big day and asked 'How depressed are you?' As she remembered how depressed she was when she turned 40....
And my retort that 'I was sad for Rita and all my friends that could not share the moment with me...' I told my mother, as I am telling you...I am going to throw a big party in the fall at a dance hall for my 40th year... I was going to charge $10 a ticket and all my profits were going to the Cancer Society. I skidded into 40. I have had a lot of friends that have parted, that I was so blessed to have known... and I know that they will be with me, when I take off my red high heels, and dance like there was no tomorrow...

I hope I get wireless service up there. And will hopefully check in with all of you.
I hope you have fun at Blogher. I hope to see lots of pics posted on the internet with wild witty remarks. I hope that I can read all your blogs in the morning light, with a sip of coffee and watching the waves from above. But if not... I will have visions of Catch, Nikki, Rhonda, Kirstin, Kim,Kristi, Mimi, Domestic Chicky,Oh the Joys, Motherhood Uncensored, Painter Beach Girl,Mrs. Moghul, Domesticator, Kevin Charnis, Mothergousemouse, Pandamonium and countless others in my head...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cinderella I Am NOT!!!!

I going to relent and post a pic...And I want to state right up front that I am not a glamorous gal. Just a regular gal. I do not light up a room when I walk in. I am just a normal gal who looks like a hundred other gals and 'Bella' is form of greeting that my young Italian Restauranteurs. The pic I have chosen is of me in the morning on my front porch... In FULL 'mornin'glory...

I will post my pic but you will have to endure another story...

I used to know this actor.
He was a Shakespearian actor.
Onr of those amazing voices that you would die for.
His name was John Colicos.

He used to frequent the bar I worked at years ago. We met each other and we had the same quirky sense of humour... He could tell a good yarn. His stories were amazing. I loved all of them. We just got along like old souls. No attraction just a love of a good story and for it to be delivered with that voice...Wow!
What an honour to hear him speak!

I quit working at the bar but continued my friendship with John Colicos. We would meet for the odd drink and just share some stories. We would always be approached by people who were greatly effected/affected by his work...
Apparently he was one of the best King Lear's of our day. He first performed the role in 1966 and it changed people...(Or so the many people who approached whatever retaurant we were in would say!)He of course was in a whole lot more, as I learned through his fans. He was the first Klingon in Star Trek and Baltar in Battlestar Gallactica. He was in the Battle of Navarone, He was in the Postman Always Rings Twice with Jessica Lange and Jaaaaaackk...

He was modest and never talked about being an actor. He just talked about life, renovations and stories about the stars that I would just gobble up over dinner.
He was always gracious with his fans. He signed autographs a plenty. The fans always left feeling like they connected with a star.

And I was always left pondering how we became friends.

One day, I had just worked out at the gym and was on my way home. I had no make up on my face, it was blotchy from a workout. My hair was stringy from just having showered. I was wearing comfy clothes and running shoes. And to top my 'look' off I had my work out bag.

I was walking with purpose when I bump into John wearing jeans and a yellow ascot.(I kid you not)

Pendullum Dahhhhling... Is that you???

John? How are you?

Pendullum where are you headed?

Oh, I think just home.

Pendullum, why don't you join me for a drink?

Oh, what the heck why not?

I am not feeling self conscious as these moments are to be embraced. How often do we bump into an old friend and you both have time for each other?

Well, we hop into a taxi and he gives an address that I am not paying attention to as we are gabbing and getting caught up in each other's lives.

We head out a bit and then the taxi stops in front of a red carpet, search lights and someone opens the door. I look at John.

Oh Dahling, it's just a premiere.
What? A Premiere?
A man grabs my hand, helps to haul my sorry worked out butt out of the taxi.
I look at John as I want to kill him. Everyone is in black taffeta. Everyone is decked out and then there is me. Miss Workout in her skanky, comfy, illfitting outfit... I could have killed him.

It was sink of swim.

John did not have a mean bone in his body. He was the most unpretentious person I have ever known. He never judged people by their appearances and this certainly proved it. I was with a man going to a premiere that was wearing an ascot he was in a denim shirt and casual pants. He never noticed my ratty appearance... He just saw a friend...

He then announces me at the front. He gives my full name and it sounds glorious. I have never heard anyone annunciate my name before. It sounded so regal, so majestic. I pulled my shoulders back and took in my name...
It was a voice that the Queen of England is accustomed to, but not this wee gal.

I became the Empress With New Clothes.
Through the delivery of my name alone I became a starlet for one night. In my stringy, now dry hair, in my wild, comfy clothes I became someone. Someone who had an introduction like no other.
Norman Jewison came over and asked me what I had been in. I had actors approach as John guided me through the crowd of people waiting for the picture to begin.

I loved him for that moment. I love to tell that story to my daughter. It was a life's lesson. It is not what we wear. It is not what we look like. It is all in the delivery. Hold your head up. Walk tall. And have a great Shakespearian actor on your side!

We should all be so lucky.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Do I Know You???

I have one of these faces that reminds you of someone...Someone's mother, your old best friend, someone. And someone famous, someone that I do not know.

I get it all the time.

There was a time my husband and I were in a Hasty Market and the guy behind the counter was very excited. I thought he was on old friend of my husband's and that he was just happy to see him again. His face had a grin from ear to ear. He was racing around us. We were talking with an old friend of my husband's already. Hasty Market seemed to be the place to be! I thought he was just waiting for a lull in the conversation before he interjected with 'Remember me ole buddy?'
But no!
He was excited to see me. HE was fussing over me.
'Let me take that from you.'
Is there anything else Missss.. Anything else??? Ohhh, this is my lucky day!
Now, just wait here...
I have a camera somewhere... Please lemme take a picture...
And he gives me a sheet of paper and says 'Please for me, my name is Rick.'
I look at him and think he is joking.
He is serious...
My husband just looks at me and I shrug.
'Who does he think you are?'
'I dunno.'

There was a time I was in Sardis in New York, havin a drink with my best friend before a show. I went upstairs to use the loo. By the time I was leaving the loo a crowd had gathered outside the restoom. I was swarmed by people asking for autographs.
I protested and said 'I am just a vistor, I am not who you think I am'(and just who do you think I am???)
and they would get indignant and call me 'A SNOB'as they trust their sheets up paper under my nose'
My friend came up and I had to scream for him and he literally had to break it up as we were late for our show... It looked as though I had a gay handler who was very irrate with my delay...We were going to be late for a show... Which caused the crowd to go into squeals of 'Break a leg honey!'
And I did not ever find out who I was... Maybe I am just plain scared to find out that I am like Florence Henderson or some other character actor...

Well, fast forward to me present day.(Well, at least me in the last few years.)

One of my best friends in the whle entire world asks me out. And I accept. Hubby is working late and will not miss anything with two gals yakking all night. She decides on a very cool restaurant downtown and we agree to rendez vous at around 7 as it will be pretty hard to get a table as we had the film festival and the jazz festival happening in our fair city.

I head on down and my girlfriend is waiting for me at the bar. She comes over to me and says that they are fully booked and there is no way we are getting in. The robust owner is rushing around cursing and then sees me, he makes eye contact and screams 'Bella! Bella, you're here'
I look around, as it can not be me.
'Bella, have you been waiting long?'
Gianncarlo, go clear that table immediately!
Here Bella, Table for how many?
Here you are Bella.
My girlfriend and I sit down.
Pendullum, do you come here often? asks my gal pal.
The owner comes by with a really nice bottle of wine, 'On the house Bella!'
This is ridiculous! I do not know what to do...
But it's happenin and we are just laughing...
Anyway we have a wonderful dinner...
Owner comes by and invites us to a party with Al Pacino. I decline as I just do not want to take this any further.
Then he says 'How about a party for David Cassidy at my brother's restaurant???'

Now, I must take you, dear reader on a side adventure....

Flash back to a young girl who loved the Partridge Family(Before she saw the Elvis 68 comeback special) she thought that David Cassidy was love.(Until she saw that Elvis special with him in leather... and then I reeeeally knew what love was... But I digress)
She bought the Teen Beat. She set up the poster and each one of her gal pals would kiss David.
The infactuation died as they always do.And that person is a million miles from my teens.

In my teens I was a babysitter for the big hotels.
And one day, I was called to do a job and who answers the door but ..........David Cassidy!!!!!
My face went scarlet as I was certain that if my Teen Beat pictures could talk they had told a thousand stories to the man standing in front of me. I was so embarrassed. I was red and my face would not stop glowing. I could not look at him. And I was going to be left in charge of his kid????
What kindof justice is that????
Anyway, he left, with his beautiful wife, and I did not damage his child as he was asleep in the room before I got there.

Now, flash forward to me and my gal pal...

Nahhh, thanks anyway.... But I told the owner my David Cassidy story...
As the night progresses, my husband just happens to walk by and he joins us. It is one of those fun nights with laughs galore that you just do not want it to end.
We are tipsy and have a craving for a cognac and cigar...
(What would be the first indication that we are tipsy???)
We decide to leave the restaurant and go to a restaurant that specializes in our poison.
The decision is made for a bar up that is within walking distance up the street. And being loose, we absolutely forget that this is where the David Cassidy party is supposed to be.
We walk in, the owner sees me and screams 'Bella , you made it!!!'
Ohhhhh Noooo...
My husband just looks at me.
My gal pal just says,'Loooong story!Just smile and be part of the entourage.'
The owner of the previous restaurant called his older brother and has relayed my David Cassidy story.
This guy isis only too excited to get me, Bella, (Whoever the hell I am) and David back together....

Nonono.... I protest...

'We don't want to go to the party! We do not want to see David Cassidy. We do not want to hang with the entourage...
All we want is a cigar!' But this guy just doesn't hear what I'm saying...

'Ahh, Bella, David is not here yet...'

'I don't want to see David. I just want a cigar and me and my pals are just going to sit at the bar.Ok?'


Well, in walks David... He is swarmed by adoring middle aged fans. He is polite, (he at least knows who he is) he signs autographs and is escorted to the private dining room where his party is waiting for him.

And my group of three is just having a good ole time at the bar.

And then I feel a hand on my shoulder.

'Hi, I am David Cassidy and I hear that you babysat my stepson.'

He stayed with us all night. My husband talked with my gal pal and I talked with David.
Polite, kind, funny. He stayed with us the entire time. And he picked up the tab when he left.How often does that happen??? I'm livin' the dream I tell ya!

After he left, another famous Canadian actor came sat beside me and said'You seem like the person to know.'

I felt like David Letterman holding court...

But I do not know who they think I am.

Guess I will never know.

But there is my first crush story. No Elvis Presley in leather... But there you have it...

Might I suggest that you go to

as she was the inspiration for my long story... Her story of Celebrity crush is stellar!!!

Her blog is soo funny...
Could not stop laughing and it brought back to many memories.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Planets In My Universe Went Bam!!!!

As I mentioned in my earlier blog I lived with all these guys. And Harvey was a guy that lived with us the longest. He was a constant. He had a good disposition. He made bread on the weekends, he liked to dance when he was drunk. He even liked and even laughed at my husband's bad jokes. Harvey always kept his cards close to his chest. You never really knew what was going through his head or his heart.

Harvey founded a company with a partner. He worked very hard at this company. The company did well. He never had the desire for opulent wealth just comfort. Harvey always believed that he was fortunate and he always gave back to the community.He had the opportunity a few years ago to give back and went to India to work, for four months, in an orphanage. He's that type of guy. He worked hard. Was honest. He sold to all my artist friends, at cost. No profit.

Anyway, he expanded his company and long and short of it, one of his employees robbed him blind and now he and his partner are losing everything. He is going for broke. Not bitter. Just the way it is. He feels a fool but can not change the past.

Now, apparently, if you are ever in the position of bankruptcy, it becomes like a mind altering experience. A man that always has played his cards close to his chest will tell you everything about his life. No stone left uncovered so to speak.

So when we had our soiree for Mr. Jekyle a few nights ago, he was with his closest of intimate friends that he had kept at bay for 20 years, and he decides to share his life's story. As the night progressed he opened up. He talked and talked and we were all riveted to his life's story. A story. A journey that certainly had Dr. Jekyle in awe.

All of us were dumbfounded as the conversation was deep, insightful, painful, funny, and mindblowing in its honesty.

Harvey talked about his failures, his triumphs, his recent loss of his company, going bankrupt and he also talked about his lost loves and of his regrets.

Harvey is married now, and he loves his wife, Margaret, incredibly, and adores his children. And because of that he thinks that he is grounded for the obstacles up ahead. It has been the worst year of his life but he kept on saying that he has is health and his family is healthy. It took him a long time to put it in perspective but now it is...

But before he got to the point where he was this married guy, he was a sad bachelor.

He was a bachelor looking for love. And at one time he was dating two girls who were good friends... And he had to make a choice between either Rita(my friend) or Alice, no friend of mine, but a good friend of Rita's.
Rita was a devout Roman Catholic, from a large family. She blushed, was soft spoken, kind, well read, a wee bit uncertain of herself and a virgin. She had a hardy laugh when she heard a good story and always had a kind word. But the virgin thing at the age of 28 can be a bit daunting for a man I suppose. And Mary Tyler Moore character is hard to figure into a 3D life I suppose.

Alice on the otherhand was a powerhouse. She was strong and confident and took life by its horns... Never had a doubt about herself or where she was going. She had a swagger to her walk and a head that was cocked up, ready to look you in the eye whenever she spoke.

Harvey chose Alice. And regretted it. (Alice, the skallywag, broke up with Harvey on his birthday 2 years later.)

As a result of Harvey choosing Alice, I dealt with a very, sad and dejected Rita. She slowly faded from the picture as it was too painful to see Harvey at functions.

I would bump into Rita on and off again. We always had a good laugh. We would run into a coffee shop and get updated in the course of a coffee. The last time I ran into her she was happily married and had a beautiful girl.

Harvey, just before our Dr. Jekyle soiree bumped into Alice. She lives a block away from where he is raising his family and they have never seen each other up until now. They had a quick conversation and that was that.
Harvey came to the party without his wife as they could not afford a sitter.
Harvey relayed his story of bumping into Alice and he wondered aloud what ever happened to Rita.

He told the group that he still to this day regrets his cowardice in dealing with Rita. He misses her friendship. He thought that she was absolutely something extrodinary. Age has taught him all of this. He misses her. He would not trade in his life. It is just a feeling of 'whatif'... and 'I am sorry' that he has always wanted to relay...

Now, I was walking down the street, a week after our soiree, and I bumped into my neighbour that I always share, brief life's lessons about our kids and living in our hood. We always have a good laugh. Today our conversation took a turn ...I find out that this neighbour that I have been having a good ole laugh with for the past ten years is Alice's sister..., Wow...
But the story continues...
If that is not enough to blow my mind...

Alice has just connected back up Rita. It seems as though Alice after bumping into Harveylast week , just happened to bump into Rita's best friend directly afterwards. The best friend of Rita's told Alice some devastating news.

My neighbour has just informed me that Alice is helping to nurse Rita. Rita is dying. She has but days to live. She is in and out of coma and it is just a matter of time. The family knows that she is not coming home. They do not have enough money to pay for the round the clock nurses and friends are picking up the slack.
Alice has just become one of them as of last week.

I write this to all of you while I have the phone beside me waiting for Harvey to return home to get my message.
I am waiting to tell Harvey this horrible news. But somehow I think the universe has gone BAM! that all of this has happened, and that there is some lesson here...
Some hard terrible lesson that Harvey and I are about to embark on and I am so sad.
I am sad for Rita.
I am sad for her 6 year old daughter. I am so sad for her soulmate and heart's companion.
I am sad for Harvey.
Somewhere in the universe, a planet has decided to set all of us in motion colliding towards Rita in her last days...
And now I sign off and wait for Harvey's call...
and wait for my neighbour to call with all the info so that I can be put on the list ... and maybe Harvey will sit with me...