Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Weighty Subject

Is there any worse job than being a leader of people, and by "people" I mean the lowest form of life on Earth in all its so-called deplorableness? (I can't imagine what it might be, except perhaps cleaning out the bathrooms at the Superbowl.) These people of whom I speak are now calling for President Trump to publicly step on a scale and let all the world see how much he weighs because nobody believes the number his doctor gave following last week's presidential physical. To all of them I say, "Screw you, get a life, who cares, and what's it your business?"

Poor Trump (yes, poor Trump) has become everyone's whipping boy. So maybe he's crude, lewd and vulgar, but so what? Amy Schumer is a lot worse and she's the darling of the younger generation, despite being a filthy-mouthed piglet who makes tons of money from saying bad words.

I should be careful; the last time I defended Trump, a friend I had for thirty years told me I was no longer someone she wanted to know, and that was that! (The funny thing is, she was never someone I wanted to know but I kept that to myself since she gave me lots of illustration work at the Washington Post.) My point is, everyone sucks in some way, certainly me. So lay off Trump, he's got way more to worry about besides his weight.

Lose Weight and End Brutal Mousicide

Hey all you tubbies out there struggling to fit into your clothes, here's a solution that worked for me: Have a heart attack! I did just that three and a half months ago and have since lost eight pounds with no effort. This is amazing since I have been trying to slim down for the last thirty years, give or take, with this or that diet, and have never lost more than several pounds that I soon enough gained back.

Okay, don't have a heart attack -- I was just kidding. Still, the only real change to my diet since then is cutting out all dairy. I have not had a speck of cheese, yogurt, or milk since October 1. It turns out that cheese is a major contributor not only to heart disease but to America's obesity problem. It certainly was to mine -- I was a cheese freak! I ate all kinds of it every day, and usually like there was no tomorrow.

So do some research and find out how chomping on cheese may be keeping you from becoming your fittest self. And hey, don't despair: Life without cheese is still beautiful. As for the mice, they actually prefer peanut butter, nuts and seeds.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Death App

According to last Sunday's New York Times, death is now "trending" among people in their 20s and 30s. Big deal! I'm not trying to brag, but we Baby Boomers have it all over those Millennials. Sure they may talk about death, but lots of us are actually doing it, and have been for years.

Noticing the growing vampire/zombie fixation popularized in video games and on TV, two young entrepreneurs, ages 27 and 35, invented the iPhone app WeCroak, the purpose of which is to remind users five times a day that death will eventually come calling. Currently there are more than 9,000 users who each paid 99 cents for the favor, if that's what it is, of receiving random messages like, "Don't forget, you're going to die," and "The grave has no sunny corners."

I don't know about you, but I'm aware pretty much on a daily basis that I will eventually die, and without any help. It's actually hard to forget if you're paying attention. Even if you hide in bed under the covers most of the time and just run out for groceries every so often, chances are something will remind you. (This morning it was a smashed and bloodied squirrel lying in the middle of the road, making me think, "Oh yeah, right. Me, someday.")

Monday, January 15, 2018

Almost Dead in Hawaii

This past weekend a warning was sent to the residents of Hawaii via their cell phones and online and on TV that an incoming enemy missile from North Korea was coming straight towards them, clearly stating "THIS IS NOT A DRILL."  For the following 38 minutes the citizens of that state were on their own as to how to deal with the information. Finally another alert went out, stating that the first one was sent in error and that they weren't going to die after all.

Many of the people rounded up their families and crowded into closets, basements and bathtubs, like that would protect them. I'll tell you right now, I would not want to die in a bathtub, unless it was filled chin-high with warm bubbly water and surrounded by scented candles. I certainly wouldn't want anyone else in there with me. Okay, so maybe Freddie Mercury but he is long dead, and who knows, a bubble bath with him might happen in the afterlife for all I know. (Yes I know he's gay, but I'm very open-minded in that department.)

My husband was deeply disturbed by what happened in Hawaii and spent the weekend hunting down news stories about how the people in Hawaii were spending their last 15 minutes. I asked him what he would do and he said he would call our son to say goodbye and tell him he loves him. I said he already knows you love him and maybe he would rather be with his girlfriend, if he has one -- how would I know, he tells me nothing, but I assume he does because he always does, at least he has since he was about five.

So Mitch asked what I would do, and I thought long and hard and finally said I would drive to the convenience store at the Irving gas station a mile away and purchase a bag of Lay's potato chips and come home and eat the whole bag. (I prefer Wise but they don't carry that brand.) Mitch said the convenience store would likely not be open since what kind of an idiot would go to their job at a gas station convenience store if they thought they were going to die in 15 minutes? I said good point.

So today I went out and bought a bag of Lay's potato chips and stuck it in the back of the cupboard. The clerk said there was a special on and for just a dollar more I could get another bag, but I said there wouldn't be time for two. And so now I'm ready to die, although I may switch out that bag of Lay's for the good stuff. Anyway, bring it on, Kim Jong-un.

Going Beyond Failure

Another day, another day of painting my paintings that hang all over my house, many of them stacked up against each other in closets, a few more living with friends. I'll tell you, it's hard to stay motivated when you're a failure. But what is a failure anyway, and who says that's so bad?

Pretty much everyone knows about Vincent van Gogh not selling any of his paintings during his lifetime, although I recently read he did sell one, and I've sold a lot more than one. (I also read that he did not cut off his entire ear, only part of it, so who knows, maybe he sold a ton of paintings while he was alive. Fake news didn't just start with Trump.) Van Gogh was depressed and psychotic and shot himself at the age of 37, after which his paintings became wildly popular. I have no intention of doing that, but I do wonder if after my death my enormous body of work will finally be recognized as brilliant. (Just in case, I suggest you buy one of my paintings while you still can.)

British author J. K. Rowling was rejected by a dozen publishers before Harry Potter made her a legend. Now you can't touch anything she writes without paying for it, while my books are still free and available online. (And FYI, I've been rejected by way more than a dozen publishers.) So have a look before I burst onto the scene and stop taking your calls.

Rumors persist that Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four, could not read until he was seven, and married his cousin. I have no idea if any of that is true, but I know for a fact that my own son was talking before he was two and reading at age three, so go figure. (He is not at all attracted to his cousin.) Einstein went on to discover something I don't understand but apparently turned out to be the smartest person who ever lived, or maybe by now the second smartest, since by all reports playing video games makes you smarter and there are millions of gamers playing billions of games.

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team for being too short (he was 5'11"). Today he is a fantastically wealthy retired superstar who owns a basketball team, is a motivational speaker, and appears in commercials and on talks shows. My point is, you must never give up. Never! After all, if you do give up and decide you're a failure, then what are you going to do every day? Go shopping and to the movies with your friends?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Apparently Everyone Sucks

Haitian children living in a tent city after the 2010 earthquake.
Here's something you won't hear me say very often: There is an interesting and true article in today's New York Times worthy of reading. It's not smug or precious or preachy, but then again it wasn't written by a staffer. It's about how the scourge of racism has infected everyone in the world. The author suggests, and then illustrates, how each and every one of us is a racist, which is considered a very bad thing to be these days, even worse than being a serial killer or a pederast, no kidding. The conclusion is that the only people who are truly NOT racist are the ones who say they are racist.

So I guess that makes me a racist since I often say I'm not. But I definitely see differences in skin color, and thank God for that since my cataract surgery two years ago cost a pretty penny. In my own defense, racism-wise, I visited Haiti several years ago and did not find it to be a shithole country, or even a s**thole country like President Trump called it. I found the people to be kind and generous and overall fairly happy, despite the fact that starving dogs roamed the streets unless they just laid there dead, and garbage filled the open sewers and the occasional roadside stand had a cat on the barbie. In fact, I loved being in Haiti and felt safer there than I do in half of Chicago, three-quarters of D.C. and all of Baltimore.

Still, apparently we are all racists, beginning with Abe Lincoln who allegedly told all the slaves to go back where they came from, which is ironic because they wouldn't have come here at all if they hadn't been brought here as slaves. So get used to your inherent (and inherited) racism and stop denying it. In fact, embrace it: The more you admit are one, the less of one you are.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Trying My Hand at Poetry

Trying to improve myself, yesterday I bought a book of poetry. I am trying to like poetry, but I don't get it. It seems that all it is is writing sentences in weird ways. For some reason that is supposed to make whatever you say seem deep and profound. Or else what you do is make things rhyme, like that's a good way to spend your time? Personally I think it is all a crock of shit. Anyway, following is a poem I just wrote called I May Be Lactose Intolerant.
I May Be Lactose Intolerant 
By a.j. schamis

Trying to improve myself, yesterday I bought a book of poetry.

I am trying to like poetry. But I don't get it. 
It seems that all it is 
is writing sentences

For some reason 
that is supposed to make whatever you say seem
and profound.

Or else what you do
Is make things rhyme,
Like that's a good way
To spend your time?

Personally I think it 
a crock of shit.