Monday, March 28, 2011


I know many of you were concerned about my UTI, which is why I'm revisiting the topic. Actually, it's revisiting me.

I woke up this morning at 5:30a. It's baaaccckkk. And once again, I went searching for the clinics number, because of course I couldn't find my receipt from the last visit and I never thought to take a business card. Why should I? I wasn't going to be returning.

I found the number online, which was no easy feat because I couldn't remember the actual name of the clinic. Why should I? I wasn't going to be returning. My urethra had other ideas.

I canceled my evening Pilates classes, which I absolutely abhor doing, but I had no idea how long the line at the clinic (Clinic sounds like a place where you go to illegal and naughty things) was going to be and when I'd be released. That, and I was feeling crappy crap.

The only bright spot in this whole ordeal was driving my Mini Cooper to the clinic. I love my car. Someone in another Mini actually waved at me when we passed. It was like a secret handshake.

And with the purchase of my new Mini, comes a free weekly car wash. I know, I was so excited. And there's usually donuts or cookies and coffee in the reception area. Could my purchase get any better?!

Anyhoo, I arrived at the clinic, signed in and took the last available seat. It was standing room only. At least I brought my Kindle. About five minutes later, I heard a faint, "Dani" coming from the reception area. It couldn't have been me, because there were so many people. And it sort of sounded like Dena. Thirty seconds later, there was another, "Dani?" I moved in a little closer because I still wasn't sure. Great, in addition to a bacteria infested urethra, I'm now losing my hearing.

And then the receptionist screamed, (No joke, it was a scream) and really who could blame her, "Daaannniii?" I jumped up out of my seat and walked over to the receptionist. I felt every eye of everyone sitting in that room, piercing a hole in the back of my head. I was a little embarrassed because now these strangers were going to think that I didn't know my own name, or that I was slow.

The receptionist was holding a pee pee cup in her hand as she read from a piece of paper. And when I say that she had a loud voice, I'm not exaggerating. There's no way that the entire waiting room did not hear the following conversation.

Receptionist: "So, what are you here for? A recheck of your urine. We're going to dip it again and test it."
Me: (Whispering, hoping that she might get the hint) "I guess so."
Receptionist: "Okay," (She turns) "Doctor Rittenberg, you're going to test her urine again? (Remember, she's projecting!) Here's the cup. Use this clean wipe first and then leave it on the other side in the back. They'll test it right away."

She did not just tell me and the listening audience to use the clean wipe. Do I look like I'm four years old? What is wrong with you, woman?!

Me: "Can I wait back there as well?" I didn't want to turn around and face my public. Instead, I wanted to disappear into thin air and reappear in the bathroom.

Receptionist: "You can wait here, or you can wait in the back, I don't care."

I should've asked her to take it down a notch and show some restraint in advertising my business. What I heard was her yelling like a Circus Barker, "Ladies and gentlemen, she's about to pee in a tiny plastic cup. Step right up."

The doctor, once again, confirmed what I had known at 5:30am this morning. She sent me off with another prescription of antibiotics, which I hate taking. The visit was free and this time I left with a business card. You don't have to tell me twice. But if you do, can you whisper it in my ear.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ooh, Ooh, That Smell... I Can Smell That Smell

I volunteer with Meals on Wheels. Well, actually, it's Kosher Meals On Wheels. Aren't I altruistic, fabulous and riotous? I know, I think so too. I began my journey towards sainthood, (or mitzvaland) about two months ago and I love it. I deliver on Monday's and the people that I've met are truly wonderful and they're a constant reminder never to get old! Holy crap, that is not pretty.

I try to spend a few minutes with each of them, talking and basically keeping them company. My benevolence knows no bounds. In any case, I pick up the meals at the JCC (Jewish Community Center) for the gentiles in the crowd. I'm given a cooler that keeps the meals hot-- wait is that an oxymoron-- and a paper bag for milk and other such beverages, and I lay them both in the back seat of my car.

If you read my post, I Am Cool, And So Is My Mini, found here for your convenience,  you would know that I recently got the Mini Cooper. Guess what my sassy new car smells like after tooling around with kosher meals? I'll give you a hint. NOT new car smell. That's right, my brand new Chili Red Mini smells like Potato Kugal and Stuffed Cabbage.

If I was visiting my grandmother (which would be really weird, since she's dead) I'd find it rather comforting. But now I'm driving with a pungent bouquet of Gefilte fish and sardines, wafting around in my car. Now putting up with that is truly a mitzva!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Damn Right, I Believe in Botox

The problem with getting Botox only on your forehead and between your eyebrows and the bridge of the nose, is that it makes every other part of your face look like crap. It accentuates any elasticity challenged areas, because of the collagen deficiency, and that bitch of all bitches, gravity.

However, my forehead looks AMAZING. I had my dermatologist (upper east side doc all the way baby) hit me with a few extra shots on the forehead. I've had lines there since I was twelve. No joke. I'm pretty sure it's from all of the faces that I used to (and still) make.

I remember being in a restaurant a while back with some friends in L.A. and the waitress came over to our table to take our order. When we were done, she looked at me and said, "You made like so many faces in the short time it took me to write down your order." I'm not sure that was a compliment but like I'm want to do, I took it as such. And she probably wasn't used to seeing too many people in L.A. able to make faces.

My friend's husband is very anti plastic surgery; injections, fillers, what have you. In the past she's kept any 'work' that she's done from him because he doesn't understand why she'd want to alter herself. He thinks she's beautiful the way she is, and instead, sees her wanting to make minor cosmetic enhancements, as deep seeded emotional issues, and an inability to accept herself for who she is.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, is pro whatever I want to do to look and feel my best. And lucky for him, Rhinoplasty, and Botox are on my list. I'm not sure who's perspective I like better. On the one hand, I don't make any correlation between changing something that I don't like, with self esteem, self worth, or any other self-ness. Nothing profound here. For me, it's simply not going down without a fight.

On the other hand, I suppose there's a part of me that wishes my boyfriend would say, "You're crazy insane for partaking (he'd never say partaking) in plastic surgery. You're stunning just the way you are." But I'm too much of a realist and, although I believe he thinks that I am stunning, I also know that Botox just makes me stunninger!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

UTI: Unexpected, Tortuous, Inconvenient

I awoke Thursday morning to a UTI (urinary tract infection). I knew something was amiss because the only time I awake at six in the morning, is either for work or catching an early flight to Papau New Guinea. I've had those pesky UTI's before, so I know one when I feel one.

I started the cranberry juice consumption immediately. I had a Pilates client at 9am and thought that I felt well enough to go in, but when I got in the car, I had serious reservations. I decided to push through the pain anyway. Why? Because I'm the girl who walked in new and uncomfortable cowboy boots (with fringe) when I was 16 years old, just so I wouldn't look like a complainer in front of my hot new boyfriend. That particular move brought with it, bloody boots and bloody ankles. Clearly suffering makes me feel alive!

In the middle of my Pilates session, I thought my bladder would explode. No Lululemon Astro Pant was going to be able sop up if I had an accident. (For joke reference please go to I rushed through the last exercise, "Yeah, keep reaching for your toes. That's it. Okay, terrific. Nice job. See you next week." I sprinted to the loo.

When I got home, I desperately tried to locate a doctor, clinic, anyone who would let me pee in a cup, because I didn't have a primary doctor in my new town and it's been over a year since I moved here. Maybe a UTI was just the motivation I needed.

Anyway, the excuses that these offices gave were immense. "The doctor just left." "We can't take new patients." "We don't take your insurance." "Can it wait until Monday?" PLEASE! I just want to urinate in a small plastic cup with my name on it, get a prescription and be on my way.

After an hour and a half of cold calling and googling, I found a family medical center that took walk-ins and my insurance. I was so frustrated and annoyed by the time I got in, that when the nurse asked me to get on the scale to weigh me, I thought I was going to throw a punch. "Why do you need to weigh me?" She said it was necessary if they were going to give me medication. Fine. I kept my clothes on, including my shoes and jacket, which no sane woman would ever do, and I let her weigh me. Wow! That's a big number.

I grabbed my personalized receptacle and went to the little girl's room. Moments later, the doctor, who looked like she had just gotten out of the Brownies, said, "It's a UTI," Shocking.

I asked her about having sex. (No, not with her) and she said she didn't think I should introduce any more bacteria to the area. I smiled, "Yeah, he's done enough of that, right." She... did not smile.

Once again, my uncontrollable need, desire (call it what you will) to turn any and all events into a performance, joke or tag line, simply boggles and confuses. Bud-um-bum.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Am Cool, And So Is My Mini

Sometimes, I just don’t know when to stop. Okay, it’s a little more often than sometimes., and I have to stop trying to be witty at every turn, even when I’m teaching a room full of teenagers. But last night in dance class was not such a time.

The girls came in dragging their feet, complaining of stomach aches, back aches and general malaise. Whatever! I was there to teach, not to listen to the whining of, “Look at me, I’m a ballet dancer, and walk like a duck” teens. They didn’t want to do anything. I was in a quandary. Do I stand up tall, be a teacher and demand rolling like a ball, and single leg knee stretch? Or do I hang back (I’m getting paid regardless) and listen to their very important problems?

We compromised. I put them through their Pilates paces but when I saw the incessant yawning and eyes closing, I decided to stop. And then because I apparently don’t know the difference between a 17 year old and a 40 year old, I asked Carrie what she thought of the Mini Cooper car (I’m getting one tomorrow) She curled her lip and said, “Why, do you have one?” Here’s where I like to practice being coy. “No.” She said, “Oh, I think they’re stupid.” Can a car be stupid? And then a little part of me died because as much as I hate to admit it, I wanted her to be terribly impressed when I told her that I was getting one.

I gave them another abdominal exercise not only to punish Carrie, but to get my head around the fact that she thought the Mini was stupid. Stupid? You’re stupid. The Mini’s are the cutest cars around. There’s a friggin’ Mini culture out there. Mini drivers honk at each another when they pass on the road. Like motorcycle drivers do.

After a few more swan dives I dropped the bomb. “I’m getting the Mini. It’s Chili red, with a white roof and white side mirrors and two white racing stripes on the hood. It’s sassy.” I was smiling and getting all up in Carrie’s face, like a six year old who just got a Malibu Barbie Beach House, AND the Corvette.

Carrie looked at me, “Sassy?” Great, now I have to explain what sassy means. She apologetically said, “I’m sorry.” But I wasn’t impressed. I found my adult nuts and replied (now here’s where I practiced no self control, bordered on inappropriate and was just downright mean) “Carrie, as much as I adore you, you’re not liking the car I’m getting doesn’t really have any impact on my decision making.” Now, if you know me, you’d hear this as non threatening sarcasm, accompanied by a whacky facial expression and think it no big deal. On the other hand, did I mention that these girls are teenagers.

As soon as it came out of my mouth, I felt bad. It was uncalled for but I wasn’t going to give a 2% body fat dancer the satisfaction of thinking that her stupid remark would have any affect on me or my car. For those keeping score at home, yes, I was engaging in a power struggle with a seventeen year old.

And then, just as I was punishing them with Pilates push-ups, Carried blurted, “I just thought you were cooler than that.” I will now be spending the rest of the season, proving to Carrie, that I am cool. I am. I am.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cher Asked, I Tweeted

I'm such a hypocrite. It was only last night, as I was falling asleep, did I utter the following. "Why Tweet? Why use Facebook? What's it all for? To what end? What is it going to accomplish? It's all so overwhelming. What am I keeping up with?" And then this morning, before my coffee was brewed, I went on Twitter.

The first Tweet I saw was from Cher, asking if anyone knew anything about Weilea Maui (Earthquake/Tsunami in case you just crawled out from under a rock) because she has a house and friends there. The Tweet was posted only six seconds earlier. Yes, I thought that I would be the first to respond to her and yes, I thought that she would reply.

I wasn't just any Tweeter. I had spoken to Cher once, on the phone, BT (before Twitter) and this would be a reconnection. Full disclosure: Cher was one in the holy trinity of entertainers that I was obsessed with as a kid. Barbra and Bette were the other two, in case you were wondering.

Years ago, my ex-husband was producing a band, whose lead singer was friends with Chastity (Chaz) Bono and Cher. What were the odds? Soon I was playing the tambourine with Chastity in my apartment and smoking cigarettes on my porch, talking about losing her father. I was dumbstruck, dumbfounded and just plain dumb. How could this be happening? A childhood dream come true. Almost. I still hadn't made contact with Cher.

These friends often went to Cher’s house in Malibu to play Wise and Otherwise (an awesome board game) and most of the time, they'd stay overnight. I'd inevitably get a phone call asking if we could babysit their dog. I’d get mad for the last minute request and they knew I was annoyed. They were also keenly aware of my Cher admiration so they came up with a plan.

I came home from walking my own dog and my ex-husband told me that I had a phone call. He didn't say who. I took my sweet time. I was pissed because there was a hole in the poop bag and I noticed it too late! I picked up the phone.
"Hi, this is Cher."

Sweet baby Jesus. It took three 'who's' to hear her right. She must’ve been talking on a cheap phone. My face crimsoned and my ex started laughing.

I spoke, "I’m going to kill her.”
Cher laughed."Who, Heidi?" I talked to Cher like I was talking to a close friend. I congratulated her on her star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
I could tell that she was smiling, "Yeah, that was cool.”
I said, “I wish I could’ve been there.”
Then she dropped the bomb. “Would you take care of the dog?”
I said, “You know, Heidi's got to plan better."
Cher laughed again.
I said, “Maybe it’s that fucked up Atkins diet she’s on.”
Cher laughed even louder. I told her it was good to talk to her, wished her well and we hung up.

So you see, my expecting her to Tweet me back wasn't that far fetched, was it? I mean she would've remembered my name, right? Yes, it was 13 years ago, what's your point?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Children and Technology: OMG!

My boyfriend's son spent Oscar Sunday with us.

Son- "So, did you ever work on movie sets?"
Me- "Yes I did."
Son- "Did you ever meet any famous people, or celebrities?"
Me- "Sure."
Son- "Like who?"
Me- “Cindy Lauper.”
Son- "Who?"

And curtain.

I barely acknowledged his comment. I was too busy shaking my head and rolling my eyes in judgement. And since there wasn’t a follow up that I would’ve been proud of, like, “Cindy Lauper? Golly gee, Girlfriend Mom, who was she and what were the circumstances in which you met her?” He was over it and me, illustrated by the furious fingering on his iTouch. We moved on.

Actually he moved on. I began contemplating the assault on America's youth by those stupid ass smart phones. Smart? Well, ain’t that ironic, don't you think? Those devices are breeding unintelligent, desensitized Tweens, Pre-teens and Teens. And let's throw in young adults for good measure. I’m around kids now so they’re under my microscope.

I’ve learned that the type of kid using these gadgets has nothing to do with socioeconomics, politics, sophistication (or there lack of) education (or there lack of) or what color their house is. It's an epidemic and it disturbs me. But why does it disturb me? I don’t have kids (that I know about) so why should I care? I believe we’re in this together, living in the same civilized society and we affect each other. So, I care.

I may lose a few of you on this one but I blame the parents. And before you have a conniption, I’m not addressing every single parent out there. You know who I’m talking to. Be honest. Who's buying the iPhone, iPad, iTouch, iPod, Wii, Xbox Kinect, and PSP for their adorable eight year old geniuses? My brother for one. Don’t worry, he’s felt my wrath privately.

Who allows texting at the dinner table or at a restaurant? Who succumbs to the old tried and true, "Yeah, but Jeremy (or Justine) has one. I'll be the only kindergartener who doesn't have an iPad. Why do you hate me?!"

I tried this with my parents. Often. We all did. You know what their response was? "Terrific, ask Justine's parents if they'll adopt you. I'll pack your bags myself and drive you right over."

My brother and I did not get everything we asked for. My parents were willing to have us hate them, rather than giving in every time we asked for something. I respect them for not succumbing to parental peer pressure. Oh, and I did hate them. I think what some parents don’t understand is that, the hatred passes. Saying no to your child can’t be easy, but sometimes you have to be the grown up.

I've heard parents defend their purchases with, "What choice do we have? All the kids have the iPhone and little Joachim (or Josephine) can't be the only ones who don’t." Yes they can. When you take a good hard look at the situation, your decision to get little Chesterfield or Cayenne whatever gadget they HAVE to have, it’s about YOU. It's about your fear of not keeping up with the proverbial Jones's (and who are these people, because they are so culpable) and not wanting to be the bad guy in the eyes of your offspring.

Nut up and say no. Why do you care what Mr. and Mrs. Jones is getting Horatio or Penelope for Hanukkah? As a wise friend once told me, "Keep your eyes on your own paper." And as Elvis sang in his 1969 hit, Clean Up Your Own Backyard: “You tend to your business, I'll tend to mine”

Because really, what message are you sending to your children? What happens when they grow up and get out there in the big bad world and they want something because their college roommate has it? Or one of their co-workers at their first adult job has it? Now they can't afford it because mom and dad are no longer footing the bill. Then what? Where does the ‘I want’, ‘I want’, ‘I have to have’, ‘But I need it’ end?

Having things handed to you every time you ask for it, is instant gratification, and it is never ever lasting. Ever! Anybody who’s experienced this (yours truly) or is the least bit spiritual, knows it's never as fulfilling as earning it. And before you jump down my throat (again) I'm not talking about gifts, or giving on special occasions, or even on a whim. I'm talking about what the consciousness is behind the giving.

What about kids now leading more sedentary lives because they’re playing the Wii, or sexting, or uploading pictures onto Facebook. ADD? ADHD? How can we expect OUR kids to pay attention? Can they carry on conversations without abbreviating words? Can they write using a pen? Can they verbally express themselves without a gadget in their hand?

It’s not an all or nothing, one way or the other proposition. I know this. I care about my boyfriend's kids, who are kind, smart and funny. However, just like I never would’ve believed that watching television hours upon hours (thank you very much MTV premiere 1981) would be bad for me, they can’t possibly understand the affect that their behaviors today might have in their futures.

Therefore, I'm installing some changes in the house when they visit. You see, I don’t have any problem saying no. As a matter of fact, I kind of enjoy it. AND I don’t mind if they hate me, because I know that it’ll pass, and they’ll thank me later.