Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trending, Shmending

One of the inanities "trending" on my Facebook page this morning is the fact that country singer Carrie Underwood has shared a video of her 17-month-old son belly-flopping into a swimming pool. Several thoughts came to mind immediately: First, who is Carrie Underwood? Second, should a veritable infant be belly-flopping into a body of water? And last, if my baby belly-flopped into a body of water would I tell the world? (My answers are "I'm not sure," "No," and "Certainly not.")

You may ask, "What does trending mean, anyway?" Of course we all know the word's original meaning, but nowadays it is defined as "to be the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time." So are we to believe that many, many people are talking about Carrie's belly-flopping baby on Facebook? If so, that's scary. I mean it's one thing to gossip about people you don't know and will never meet and whose actions have nothing at all to do with anything that happens in your life if they are running for public office, but a country music singer who isn't Patsy Cline or Willie Nelson?

Instead I wish Facebook could allow us each to have our own "Trending" list that pertains to us and a few friends, or maybe just our husband who is going to be very, very involved and whose life will be severely impacted, extremely limited and dare I say crippled by the fact. Mine would look like this:

You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.
You are having hip replacement surgery next Monday.              
    

  

Monday, July 25, 2016

Democrats for Dummies

Hillary punishes Debbie and offers tips on emailing.
Poor Debbie Whasserface-Shitz. Not only does she have bad hair, but now she has been outed as another ditzy Democratic dingbat who doesn't understand the concept of privacy when it come to emails. Debbie, Debbie, didn't you learn anything from the mistakes made by Hillary's recent hacking and subsequent shellacking? You must never say bad things in emails! That is really the only lesson you need to learn. Now just write that 100 times and then go sit in the corner until they find a job for you that you won't screw up.

Oh but wait, they already found a job for her running Hillary's campaign! That's perfect!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Once Upon a Time in Maine

Recently I attended a storytelling event held at a popular restaurant that also houses a small theater. The show included six "live" storytellers, a reading of a story and two prerecorded pieces, one originally for radio and the other a short film, all for a six dollar entry fee. It was a fun evening despite the fact that only two of the tellers were truly entertaining; the others were boring and the prerecorded stuff was just so-so.

Storytelling predates writing.
Storytelling, an ancient art which predates writing, is like singing or stand-up comedy, the performer baring his or her soul for your consideration, only it's done with the spoken word and no punchlines. There's a beginning, a middle and an end, and your reward for listening is the so-called "moral of the story," a bit of universal wisdom you can use to better yourself. To state it more formally, as is done in Wikipedia: "First is The Setup, describing the Hero's world before the adventure starts. Second is The Confrontation, the Hero's world turned upside down. Third, The Resolution, wherein the Hero survives but is transformed in some way." Apparently this particular crop of Millennials had changed the rules, since only one of them told a story in the traditional sense, and even he forgot to inject it with meaning for anyone but himself. Somewhat disappointed, I chalked it up to generational differences; if you've heard their music you know what I mean.

But the next day I went for a haircut at my new favorite place, the At Last Salon in Brunswick, Maine. Once again the fabulous Denise worked her magic and once again I floated home with a smile on my face instead of sobbing all the way, my traditional post-haircut reaction for most of my life. Denise is a hard-core Millennial with the requisite tattoos and body piercings to prove it. As she cut my hair and threw in some blond highlights she spun several personal stories that had me riveted. One was about an accident she suffered on her motorcycle years ago when she unavoidably hit and killed a deer, her eyes tearing up as she recalled the incident. I too had a lump in my throat as she recounted the experience and realized her storytelling skills were far superior to those of the proclaimed tellers I had paid to see the night before. And hers were free -- not counting the cut and color of course.

Deer: It's what's for dinner.
Storytelling is certainly an acquired art, but so is listening. I suggest you practice the latter ardently since you never know where or when a good story will come your way, and what you'll learn from it. For example, did you know that if you kill a deer on the highway it's yours to take home? Denise demurred, but as she lay on the ground waiting for the ambulance to arrive, a passing Mainer in a pickup truck was happy to claim the carcass, no doubt planning to stock his freezer for the long winter ahead.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tweeting Celebrities


Celebrities famous for no reason make me nauseous and Twitter makes me depressed, so it follows that tweeting celebrities who broadcast their every thought to millions of strangers make me want to kill myself. 
 Or them. 
 I won't do it though. 
 Instead I will go take a shower.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hillary Clinton's a Nazi! Who Knew?


Is Clinton giving the Nazi salute to throngs of her adoring supporters in the photo above? Your guess is as good as mine. (I think not.) Yet scores of deranged Democrats are today avowing that Laura Ingraham, Conservative radio host and a speaker at last night's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, closed her enthusiastic, pro-Trump speech with a "Nazi salute" when she waved goodnight to the crowd. It's nutty! Even Hitler must be spinning in his grave.

Come on people, grow up! We all want the same things in this short time here that we call Life, so why must there be such a poisonous divide between the two parties? While I have many negative thoughts concerning Hillary, mostly that she dresses badly and is a serial liar, I don't think she's a Nazi.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Different Strokes

Yesterday morning when I arrived at the gym for my workout, my trainer was out walking his dog. There was only one other woman there. It was just the two of us. We offered the obligatory greetings and each went about our business, she on the floor doing leg stretches with a thick rubber exercise band and me on the stationary bike, warming up.

Glimpsing her from the corner of my eye, I was struck by our differences. Roughly four decades separated us. I was there to strengthen myself for my upcoming hip surgery, as if anything could prepare one for such an assault on the body, the surgeon slicing me open and somehow extracting my authentic hip joint, nestled in there since birth, replacing it with a steel ball and rod contraption made in a factory somewhere in England. She was there to maintain her already muscular body just for the heck of it, as so many people do these days.

She was quite attractive despite the dubious decisions she had made: Exactly one half of her short hair was bright pink, the other half a brownish purple. She sported a nose ring, a silver ball hovering over one eyebrow and five or six earrings cascading down each earlobe. Her toned arms were covered with several large, colorful tattoos, each with its own complicated story line and including fantastic birds, intricate flowers, a pin-up girl and some heavy black Hebrew writing that appeared to be a complete sentence.

I wondered how her parents felt about her various adornments, imagining how, if she were my daughter, I would likely plotz each time I saw her. She probably wondered how anyone could be as drab as me, with just my two tiny gold earrings and a few blond streaks in my hair. Still, we exchanged a few pleasantries about the weather until our trainer returned with the dog, and the moment passed.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Friendship: The Gift That Keeps on Taking

I can count on the fingers of one hand my true friends, and that's not including the thumb. (According to the Oxford Dictionary, "It's more accurate to describe a thumb as one of five digits that we have on each hand, rather than as a finger.") One of these special people recently suggested our collaborating on a book on the pitfalls of friendship and wondered if it would have any appeal. I'm guessing it would, since the particular poison commonly known as Betrayal and served up by a "friend" has been swallowed by everyone I know at least once, and likely more often than that.

While true friends are scarce, false friends are out there for the taking. Nobody likes to be alone, certainly not in public, and so people are willing to tolerate just about anything to avoid seeming unpopular. I have, in my day, put up with deceit, boredom and downright abuse just for the payoff of sharing a large pizza or seeing the latest blockbuster film. But those were the old days; now that I am entering my eighth decade on Earth I have put a stop to all that nonsense. Besides being sick and tired of bad treatment and no longer interested in pizza, there's now Netflix.

In the interest of research for our book -- working title, What Are Friends For Anyway? -- I'm hoping to hear from anyone who has ever been mistreated by an alleged ally. Send your anecdotes (and suggestions for a better title) to: andreaschamis@gmail.com.