Book Review: How To Survive Anything – The Life Story of David and Yetta Kane

HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING – The Life Story of David and Yetta Kane

My grandchild has been reading to me from a new book by Yetta and David Kane. They are a nice Californian Jewish couple from the old country, a little younger than Harry and me, who decided to share their life story for the benefit of posterity and for us busybodies.

I like this book! I am interested in hearing about what life was like for Jews in the country, because I always lived in a city. And it is so cute that he lived in Boyle Heights (very Jewish) and she lived in the Fairfax District (very American). I find that it’s pleasant to read about a happy couple just doing their thing. If you like stories about real people in love, I think you will enjoy this book.

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Ask Grandma Anything: My Mom is A Mean Narcissist

Dear Cutie,

I have had a volatile relationship with my mother for as long as I can remember. She constantly tells me I am fat, harps on my weight and looks, and makes quips at my expense at family functions.  

I cannot talk directly to my mother about our problems; she laughs in my face and calls me “oversensitive”.

Recently I discovered that my mother may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I am not sure if you are familiar with this disorder, but from what I have read, it cannot be fixed because the person does not think anything is wrong with them (YOU are the problem).

I am tired of feeling like everything is my fault. I say “sorry” all the time, even when I didn’t do anything. I want  to go therapy, but I have no idea how I would even be able to afford it.  I cannot not move out yet; I am still saving money to do so. She is my worst nightmare. What do I do?

Abandoned Daughter

Dear Abandoned Daughter,

Are you familiar with Al-anon? This is a wonderful, free program for learning how to cope with the difficult people in your life, even if they are not alcoholics. If you have never been to a meeting, I suggest you check it out. If it is not for you, then no harm done. 

In general, it is very difficult to deal with people who don’t know where they end and where you begin. You are your mother’s daughter, but you are also an independent person. You deserve to be treated with respect. And boundaries really are the way to go. You have to be firm when you let people know how you want to be treated, and what the consequences will be if they do not listen. If you join Al-anon, it will teach you how to react to someone who lacks proper boundaries, and teach you how to set your own. You can also pick up useful skills by reading self-help books.

You are going in the right direction by asking for help. Please know that you do not have to be held hostage emotionally by your mother any more. Good luck to you! 


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Ask Grandma Anything: Scared To Talk To Grandma

Dear Grandma Cutie,  

Growing up I’ve lived far away from my grandma, but there’s a certain issue — a big issue — that I really need to talk to her about. If I did, my dad is going to be very disappointed in me and if I didn’t that will lead to even worse consequences — I’m talking prison!
Please tell me what to do, even though I’m shy to ask grandma. Or should I do what every 14-year old teen does, sit down and watch the problem spin and wind it itself up.

Feeling Alone

Dear Feeling Alone,

This sounds like a very serious situation. If you are worried about talking to your grandma, maybe you can talk to another adult in your life, like a family friend or a counselor at school. There are also telephone help lines where you can ask for help without identifying yourself.

Your instincts are probably right. And it is a good idea to get help when you feel you need it. 

There is a time and a place for sitting back and letting a situation work itself out. But usually we know when it is time to ask someone older and wiser for their perspective. I know you will do the right thing, and that your problem will get smaller when you share it.

Good luck to you. 

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Restaurant Review: Bob’s Coffee & Donuts in Farmers Market

Bob’s Coffee and Donuts is a Los Angeles staple. If you are in the mood for an apple fitter, then you must make your way over to the Farmers Market. Nothing else will do!

Have you been to the Farmers Market on Fairfax? It’s famous. I started taking my loved ones to the Farmers Market soon after it opened in the 1930s, and now my loved ones take me there.

And everyone loves eating at the Farmers Market because each person can get whatever he or she wants. French crepes, Chinese noodles, Mexican tacos or American food at Dupar’s.

But the one thing that everyone always agrees on is apple fritters from Bob’s. Even if  you are full from dinner you have to try them, and you have to take a few home for the next day. 

An apple fritter is like a donut, but more sophisticated. Donuts don’t have fruit in them, but apple fritters do. Don’t be fooled by their weird and lumpy shape: apple fritters are wonderful. But they are not an everyday kind of thing. In fact, I call them do-nots instead of donuts. But if you are moderate like me on an everyday basis, then you can afford to indulge once in a while. So, enjoy your apple fritter, and the lively atmosphere of the original Los Angeles Farmers Market!
See this review and Cutie’s other dining adventures at Yelp:
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Ask Grandma Anything: Once You Have A Crush, Then What?

Dear Grandma Cutie,

I saw you on YouTube and I had a thought of what I could ask you. I understand that you have a lot of questions to answer, however I need your help nevertheless. Like every young woman, I am developing a crush on a young man. How can I tell him this or express the way I feel in a “normal” way?

Nervously Fond

Dear Nervously Fond,

A crush is so exciting! I’m so glad you asked for my advice. 

First of all, there is no such thing as “normal.” But there is natural, and natural may be different for each one of us. Think of how you can show him how you feel in a way that feels right for you. Don’t worry about grand gestures. Real life isn’t like the movies, nor should it be. 

Follow your heart and you won’t go wrong. 


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