The Painkiller Diaries


Still here :-)

 still pecking away with one hand, almost 3 weeks post shoulder surgery.

‘your arm should be a limp noodle for 6 weeks’ my surgeon admonished me.

limp noodle, limp noodle, limp noodle -my sexy new mantra

I was also forewarned the first days after the procedure would be painful. uh, check…and that recovery from rotator cuff surgery is slow.

I’m not exactly the most patient patient in the world, but I think I’m doing as well as can be expected. many thanks for your emails and kind wishes!

I’ve also discovered there’s an awful lot of people who experience this type of injury at some point, so i thought i might share a few of the things i’ve learned while going through the process.

be forewarned; this is not a pretty post by any means. don’t worry, i’m not going to share my photos or the  surgery DVD i was sent home with ( to think i used to be happy leaving a doctor’s office with a plastic ring and balloon)  i haven’t the stomach to watch my movie yet (i get squeemy if my pierced earrings don’t go through on the first pass) but i’ll let you know if my performance was award-worthy once i do.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 7.24.30 PM

i’m just saying…there’ll be no flowers or shoes and little fashion on this post.

you’ll just have to deal.

herewith then,

10 Tips for being a Successful, Semi-Productive, One-Armed Bandit for 6 Weeks;

*note; a couple of these tips are gender specific. you can decide which ones.

1) let’s get the nitty gritty out of the way first; lest this might not cross your mind, it’s a great idea to wax your underarms to within a centimeter of their lives the night before surgery. you will be unable to shave for at least a few weeks after.

2) a mani-ped the day before is mandatory.

3) invest in a good back scratcher-they’re a life-saver.

4) load up on elastic waisted sweats, p.j.’s and slouchy, easy to put on tops. your arm and shoulder will be big and swollen for several days.  arm-holes will be an issue and surgery = bloating.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 7.13.02 PM5) Channel your inner Julian Schnabel and also get yourself at least one decent set of ‘going out’ pyjamas, just in case you simply must make a social appearance

IMG_7904my ‘street jams’


6) before surgery you should get set up with one of these ice machines that pulse freezing water through a large pad that clamps your arm & shoulder and attaches with velcro bands around your torso.  have a couple of practice sessions before your surgery with whoever will be nursing you during recovery.

ice machineonce you come out of your pain-killer haze, if you’re anything like me,  you’ll start to regard this device with extreme aversion

alien-Don’t. the creature is your friend, and it really does help. it can also be used on knees, thighs, hips, elbows (and possibly faces) so at $195 it’s a good investment.

i warned you this wasn’t going to be pretty.

all men look away now.

 7) one of the hardest things to deal with after surgery is getting dressed, but by the second week i’d devised a pretty genius bra positioning system, even if i do say so myself.

strapless braps. this is how much i love you that i would share this photo of my old M & S strapless bra.

let’s have some trust here people-i don’t want to see this on Pinterest! (at least not credited)

here’s what you do;

a) get a huge t-shirt that pulls on & off easily

b) place the bra (strapless or not, depending on how much you can bear on your shoulder) around your waist over the t-shirt and do it up at the front. if you’ve been suffering from a bad rotator cuff for awhile you’re probably already well versed in doing your bra up like you did in grade school.

c)  pull the t-shirt up with your good hand, very gently, starting from around the chest region. the bra will follow. continue until the bra is in desired location.

d) remove t-shirt over head. voila.

don’t you think i should write instructions for Ikea??

8) buy some slide on hair bands. there is no way, no how you will be able to put your hair up or out of the way yourself for several weeks. it’s impossible.

God bless my male nurse-i love him to pieces and he’s been brilliant, but  he did not miss his calling as a hair dresser.


scrunchieI hand him my scrunchie and it’s like I’ve given him the plans to build Gaudi’s  Sacrada Familia

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 5.12.58 PM

come to think of it, this does resemble one of his loftier follicular efforts :-)

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 5.39.41 PM

9) buy several of these rubber kitchen things you use for taking items out of the oven or getting a grip on tough to open jars.  keep one in the kitchen, bedside (or recliner side), in the shower and one where you apply your makeup. these will allow you to ‘get purchase’ on containers  (including child-proof prescription bottles) from the bottom and open them with your one good hand. just place the bottle on the pad, push down and turn.

I wish i’d discovered this little trick before my Neely O’Hara “Valley of the Dolls” incident one painful, sleep challenged night.

Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls, 1967.

i’m still finding pills on the floor.

When I look at the ‘post op’ list i’d compiled of all the things i was going to do from my recovery recliner I have to laugh.

The early days are attention deficit theatre.  Practice my French? c’est fou! organize photos? don’t be ridicoolus. eat an Elvis inspired deep-fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich while under the influence of pain-killers? Even that never happened.

I crossed virtually nothing off, save watching the first 4 episodes of “Homeland”, two instalments of “The Returned” and I’m half-way through reading “Empty Mansions; the mysterious life of Huguette Clark”

but you know what I did watch a ton of??




10) hellooo…the “Kitchen Cousins” John Colaneri & George Clooney Anthony Carrino

where have I been?  it’s great!

your thoughts?

my favourite thing about the show is that it doesn’t reek of staged, oh-so-faux drama and deadlines. we needn’t name the multiple offenders here…you know who you are.

no, really-that is my favourite thing.

they arrive, they knock down the kitchen, design a new one, build it on time and within budget (in fact i don’t recall budgets even being discussed) and move on, hopefully to a town near you :-)


I couldn’t, in all good conscience, leave you with no pleasant visuals!

how did I end up with men carrying heavy lumber in a ‘post-shoulder surgery tips’ post?

your guess is as good as mine, but it is entitled “The Painkiller Diaries”

it had to eventually go off the rails…

Have a great, healthy & happy week!


ps. many thanks to my great surgeon Dr. Richard Ryu and the cute staff at Elite Physical Therapy in Montecito!

Blast from the past; a fun post on wearing your pyjamas out; Slumber in the Streets


That 70′s Post


Slimmer, Paler, Slim Paley


Me at 14 or 15 yrs. old

I was working in an art gallery/tea house on Sundays and I’m going to say this was taken at the end of a really long day.

(btw, why were all our photos so badly cropped in the 70′s? just wondering…)



Today I’m taking a stroll, or rather a drive, back to the 70′s

to celebrate the release of my dear friend Rita Wilson’s brand new CD

Rita Wilson AM/FM

The album is a fab collection of Rita covering some of her favourite songs from the 60′s & 70′s.

You must get it- it’s fantastic!

and I’m SO not saying that because she’s my friend!


Now we all know Rita as a super talented actor and producer, but I bet it might surprise you to learn she is also a really great singer.

 I know, right? (but I’ll let you in on a little secret- she bites her thumbnails. Quite a lot.)

  Don’t we all feel a little better now?!


Just check her version of “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues” out here;




Rita WilsonPhoto Steven Sebring

..Rita’s song choices will resonate with anyone who grew up, or shall we say ‘passed through’ this era and I can guarantee you’ll be singing along with every song.

This is a definite ‘Embarrass Yourself in the Car’ CD.

Bring it on. Hell, hang some Pukka shells from your dashboard.

Will you ever see those people driving beside you again?  Chances are slim.


I love the premise of the album;

The 60′s “AM” songs are the ones you listened to from the back of the car while your parents were driving;

songs filled with an innocence about what the future held in store for you.

As the 70′s arrived, you’ve shifted to the front seat. You’re driving and controlling the FM station now-and did we work those dials, ladies, or what??!

The  songs become more poignant, the message that love doesn’t always work out begins to resonate because, damn it, HE still hasn’t called…



Slim Paley & friends

Me and my friends in the 70′s. Names will be omitted to spare the not-so-innocent :)

I’m on the far left. I always stuck my tongue out to cover my big bottom lip & overbite.

Man, I loved that long denim jeans skirt.

While we’re on the subject of the 70′s and driving …

I”ll share the story of my mom picking my friends and I up from school and us begging, as usual, to be driven past the house where several of the Cute Older Boys we  swooned over all lived together. The regular drill of course, for any of the ‘Normal’ parents was to drive slowly BY the house, usually throbbing with the bass of Led Zepplin or Pink Floyd, in hopes we might catch a glimpse of a truck being worked on in the drive, perhaps some corkscrew curls haloed in the blue glow of a TV through a open window…

No ‘Normal’ for my mom.

 She pulled INTO the driveway and started honking the horn.

Honestly, we were so traumatised that to this day I don’t remember exactly what happened after that.

Funny Mom.



Watch Rita talking about her first album



and then we’ll drive a little farther, shall we?


Did you steal splashes from your Mom’s “Jean Nate’”?





Did you cry because you were too puny to wear “Big Boy Lees” with the leather patch & have to suffer the humiliation of VINYL patch “Little Boy Lees” like me?



Did you imagine you would look just like Christie Brinkley after a summer weekend of using

“Lemon Go Lightly”


Lemon Go Lightly

only to go back to school on Monday with hair the actual COLOUR of a lemon??




Yardley Pot o' gloss


Did you swoon over your first pot of Yardley’s “Pot O’ Gloss” and can’t you recall that delicious scent even now?

How many pots did you leave in your cut-offs and find melted to the pockets

and how in the hell did we forget so many incriminating things in our cut-offs when the actual pockets hung down longer than the shorts?!)



Love's Baby Soft


Remember what appears now (at least to me) the wildly inappropriate  “Love’s Baby Soft” ad.

Was that girl 9 or 19??  But we LOVED our “Love’s Baby Soft”!


And may we have just a moment

Robert Plant


Robert Plant

or two,

or three, for our Robert Plant posters??


Robert Plant




My favourite models were Lena Kansbod


And Lisa Taylor

How iconic this photo became.  She just looked so…wonderfully American.



Just like Rita!

Rita WilsonPhoto Steven Sebring

I think this song might be my favourite.

Seriously, how can lyrics about a telephone repair man be this romantic and beautiful??!

“And I need you more than want you…and I want you for all time…”  sigh.

Jimmy Webb, the composer of the song is playing the piano on this track-just gorgeous.




Well, I certainly had fun putting this post together. I could have gone on and on.

Do you remember the 70′s as fondly as I do?

I might have to go for a ‘Part II’ in the near future…I mean we didn’t even touch on Disco!

Find “Rita Wilson AM/FM” on Amazon,  Barnes & Noble, and lots of other places.

It would make a great little Mother’s Day gift- have I ever steered you wrong?

and please, don’t forget I’m still in the damn contest so VOTE people! It’s ONE click HERE 


Peace Out