Rita Zelig…. As Herself

Ok, I told Rita I would write something about her yesterday and now it’s today. But better late than never.

Mostly yesterday I tried to find a photo of her from High School, because a photo is worth a thousand words.  Ok, maybe a couple of hundred.

But I couldn’t find a photo so I’ll have to use some words, unlike Rita, who now seems extraordinarily fond of FB stickers.  Especially the kind that move.

Rita wasn’t in theater and like anyone who wasn’t, my memories of them are a little vague.   I do remember she was big and by that I mean larger than life.

Twins separated at birth?

She had, and still has a great smile and I remember her being more mature-looking than the rest of us.  She kinda reminded me of Sophia Loren and I sorta pegged her at 25, while the rest of us were about 14-15.  She had big blondish-reddish hair and a big laugh.   She seemed a little exotic.  And the word that keeps coming to mind is fast.  There were a couple of girls in the class ahead of mine that also seemed that way, but I never really paid much attention to anyone who wasn’t in theater,  so I could be wrong about all of them.  But I don’t think so.

I’ve learned a lot about Rita through FB in the past years.  Perhaps more than was necessary.  She claims to be an extraordinary cook of all ethnic cuisines, due to some kind of weird relationships with the ethnicity involved.   As illustrated in the Great Meatball Debate on FB, December 2016:

 

 

Hey missy! My Italian Meatballs were trained by only the very best right out of Sicily! I defy you to tell my mother in law her Meatballs suck! Since she absolutely swears I improved upon their texture and flavor! 

December 7, 2016 at 5:54am

(If I know anything about Sicilian Mothers, and I do because I have one, they lie to your face and laugh behind your back.)

 

 

If you doubt my Italian culinary talents…you should ask Francesca & Paul Nixon! Try my baked ziti! Homemade sauces, etc! I have many witnesses!

 

December 7, 2016 at 5:40am

(I’m pretty sure Francesca is Polish and Paul is Irish, so I don’t know what qualifies them to judge Italian cooking, even if she changed her name from Fran to Francesca, but oh well.)

 

 

I make the VERY BEST STUFFED CABBAGE & without the Cabbage stinking up the place! A very special restaurateurs trick! And my mother in law is Sicilian! And I was only common law married to her son! Thank G-d for that! She rolled her eyes at him for bring a f*cking male puttana, more than anything besides smacking him repeatedly for hitting me! But my Meatballs were not from a recipe written down. And still isn’t! She’d curse me if I ever did that! I’d already been cursed with her son! I didn’t need anymore help in the cursing department! Her recipe & that of her ex druggie daughter in law were two differing styles which I simply took more flavour from one, added more pork from the other which btw…I freshly ground myself! And a few other switches from each one, to arrive at something even Mario Battali would have praised & raised up the Italian flag for…then given my ex, the Italian Salute and we would have shared a whole lot of Chianti until we were all very happily schnockered! And you really should try my latke recipe. And my Meatballs, Stuffed Cabbage, CHILI con CARNE, etc., etc., etc. My Asian cuisine is spot in as I inherited a whole Chinese Restaurants knowledge database from my friend…may she RIP. She was the owner of a highly successful Chines Restaurant. Again! I have witnesses! You’d also like my special baked/broiled salmon. I’d better go change my Depends now…grab my hearing aid & my spectacles just fell off my nose again! Gosh dang it! 

December 7, 2016 at 7:09am

(This whole response just confused me and I’m sure also Mario Batali, if he happened to read it, which, since we’re not FB friends, I’m sure he didn’t.)

 

I just gotta say if your common-law-mother-in-law was really a Sicilian, you’d be dead and buried somewhere in New Jersey & we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And bragging about Corned Beef & Cabbage just proves it.

December 7, 2016 at 7:13am

And that was the end of the discussion, almost.

I say, I say, That’s a joke, son.

I have a friend who has several successful French restaurants but my Coq Au Vin is always inedible.  Especially if I try to make it in a crockpot.  So I really don’t understand how being in close proximity to someone who can cook a particular ethnic food, can give you the expertise to cook that food.

But that’s Rita.  She still seems as big and as larger-than-life as she ever did.  And funny. She’s very, very funny.  I’m a little sad I didn’t get to know her better in High School, but happy that I’ve found her friendship now.

 

 

I’m 100% Italiano!

Non posso credere a tutti che hai appena detto a Robin, sono isterica che ride! Lmfao! Puttanesca! Puttana!

Vedo che non mettete latte nel tuo polpette che faccio con la mia e ho imparato da una signora molto di italiano antico della porta accanto a me! Buona notte Susie ti amo! 

(I have Google Translate on my computer, too, Rita.)

December 6, 2016 at 10:18pm

 

 

Oh yeah! And I’m Swedish too! Want me to speak in Swedish?😜

December 6, 2016 at 10:22pm

(Ikea)

I guess math wasn’t Rita’s best subject, but you always need friends who make you laugh, and if Rita wants to be all ethnicities at different times, that’s ok with me.  The world needs more big, larger-than-life, funny and colorful people like Rita.

 

KATHRYN BISHOP ….. as Herself

Mi Casa es Su Casa

Mi Casa es Su Casa

There is no friend like and old friend and aside from some even older friends, Kathryn is my oldest and best.

We met when I worked for her on some production or another.  She had a production company that she owned with her husband, Randy.  I liked Randy a lot, except to work with.  She wound up not liking him to work with or as a husband, because they divorced a few years later. Still, they had a very cordial relationship through all the years afterwards.  Randy just passed away but he spent his last days in her home, where she and their son cared for him.  Family, no matter what, has always been important to her.

As a matter of fact, she’s like a sister to me, which is good thing for me and maybe not so good for her, because I have stayed at Kathryn’s house quite a bit during our years as friends.  And when I say “stayed”, I mean lived there and when I say “quite a bit”, I mean years.

I don’t know why she still likes me.

She left Film Production to go into Real Estate, another great love of hers.  She’s very good at it, and helped me get out of the Little House from Hell and into this nice house in Burbank, where I now live.

I think she worked so hard on my behalf because she was a little nervous I would end up back on her couch.  During the last month in the little house from hell, it was a distinct possibility.

She’s a whiz with contracts and is kind and patient with all of her clients.  Real Estate is a difficult business, with a lot of moving parts, so her background in film gave her a great foundation.  Nothing has more moving parts than film, except maybe the military, which is what being part of a film crew can be like, except for the killing. Film crews aren’t allowed to do that. Union rules or something like that.

One of her other great loves and a great quirk, is clothing.  I don’t think she has thrown or given anything away since she was 20.  I don’t want to be rude, but that was a while ago.   She tells me that if she waits long enough, it comes back into fashion and she’s right.  It does and she looks great in it, again.  And again.  And again.

She has a lot of clothes. A lot. Sometimes, if she has run out of closet space, she will give me a bag to go through for myself.  I haven’t had to buy anything new in 20 years and if we are out shopping together, I tell her I like something she is trying on, even if I don’t, because I want it and I know in time it might wind up in that bag she gives me.

Now that she knows that, I know she won’t like me anymore.

She’s now looking for a new house for herself, so if anyone knows of a house for sale that has a bedroom with a private bath and 30 or 40 closets, let me know and I’ll pass the info along.

Oh, and it doesn’t need a kitchen.  At all.  But that’s another quirk for another day.

luxury-clothing-closet

 

 

Peter Sanchez ….. As Himself

Temple U

I’ve known Peter for a long time.  Maybe about 20 years.  We met at our neighborhood dog park, when I had my first dog, Willie, a big black Lab and my second dog, Frankie a Shepard mix.   Peter always had bearded collies and they were well behaved, unlike all my animals, which are all slightly crazy. Maybe a little more than slightly.

Peter is has a very big heart.  He became very active in his community and always – ALWAYS – tries to the right thing, often with a lot of success.

I’ve gotten to know him and his family very well over the years.  I love his Mom, Mary, who is called Mickie.  She was in a movie I wrote and directed and also some of the commercials I directed.  She is very funny, mostly because she doesn’t think she is.

Peter also was in a few of my productions.  When he first moved to Los Angeles, he took acting classes.  Ostensibly, he told me, to meet people.

But I know different.

Peter really wants to be an actor and he would be very good at it.

This past year we went to an annual Christmas Party hosted by a very talented working actress friend of ours, named Lorna Scott.  It’s always fun because the guests are mostly all actors and very lively.  In a discussion outside by the fire pit, a number of her actor friends told Peter –  they swore -that they knew that Peter was an actor and that they had not only seen him onscreen, but had run into him at some casting sections.

Peter told them he was in the Insurance Business and when they asked me for confirmation, I just made one of those faces, so they didn’t believe him.

That was kind of fun, because I think Peter would be a great actor.  Right now, he is working on a very fun idea for a reality show for one of the HGVT type channels.  I hope he keeps working on it because it’s a great idea and he would be good at it.

t6.1.11 Bob King -- kingJUNK0603c2 -- A couch and other miscellaneous were out on the curb outside a house along East 4th Street Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: t6.1.11 Bob King — kingJUNK0603c2

Peter has 2 quirks that make him interesting.  The big one is that he always needs a lot of time to think about things, like going to the movies or out to dinner or a party.  You have to give him at least a week to think about it.  Sometimes I call him up to ask him to do something that night just to make him crazy.

The second thing is that he never returns phone calls or texts.  Hardly ever.  He rarely initiates them either.  It had crossed my mind that he just doesn’t answer my calls or texts, but whenever I need him, he is always there.  Of course, maybe that is why he doesn’t return my calls or texts. Or call or text me.  I always have something going on that requires some kind of assistance.

He ran for a local public office a few years ago.  He would have made a good Councilman, but I’m sure it would have driven him over the edge, had he won.  Most people who want to do real good in the world shouldn’t run for any kind of office.   Politics is a lot like Hollywood and given the choice I think Peter would be happier as an actor than a politician.  Or maybe he could just play one on TV.  That would be the best of both worlds.

 

ROYAN…… AS HERSELF

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I’m not going to tell you Royan’s last name because she was somewhat offended by my post about the tiny trailer that I had written.

That’s a problem when you have a friend who is a writer.  Sooner or later your name is going to appear in print somewhere.  When she called me on it I told her I take no prisoners and make no apologies, and frankly, at this point, I don’t on both counts, but I certainly don’t want to hurt her feelings because she has been very kind to me over the years.

When I told her I was going to turn this into a movie, she said she wanted to be in it, but didn’t want her name used.   So I won’t.  But I would definitely get Shirley MacLaine to play her, although knowing the politics of both ladies, that might not be the best idea.

I always thought Royan was the daughter of Roy Rogers because she owns the horse ranch where my horse lives, and hopefully will still live, after I’ve finished writing this and if she reads it.   I thought that’s where the Roy part of her name came from.

She isn’t but she is the daughter of someone else who was famous on TV once upon a time.

I always thought of her as the Queen of Shadow Hills, along with her husband who had more grace, charm and honor than Cary Grant.  He was also as handsome.  He’s gone now and is very much missed.  They made quite a couple.

The ranch they built together is like a 5 star hotel for horses.  They have 4 excellent men taking care of some 50 horses and with Royan at the helm, the place runs like clockwork and the horse owners have peace of mind that their 1000 lb pets are extremely well taken care of.  It’s by far the most beautiful of all the boarding facilities in the area.  The landscaping is lush and she even has a pool that she allows the boarders to use.   I wish she would put one in for the horses, but I guess that’s a lot to ask.   They have a gigantic pasture on the side of the mountain and most all of the horses go out to play every day after breakfast and then the ranch hands bring them all in for dinner.

I wish someone would do that for me.

Royan is a little quirky too.  Once she sent me an email to tell me that I had been spelling her name wrong on the emails I had sent her.  I corrected it but I didn’t correct her about the spelling of my name, which she had been spelling wrong for years.  A rose by any other name…

I was extremely grateful she allowed me the use of the tiny trailer and very sorry it didn’t work out the way my Pinterest dreams had led me to believe they would.   I’m sorry she took my description so hard, but the truth is that every time I think of the first time I stepped foot in that trailer and looked around, all I do is laugh.

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Pinterest Dreams

And if a friend can make you laugh, even inadvertently, that’s a good friend.