Friday, July 29, 2016

My Obituary

Lately it has become popular to write one's own obituary rather than leaving that dubious yet important task up to a total stranger who still works at a newspaper. To that end I am writing mine since you never know when you'll need it:

I was born a poor black child. No wait, that was Steve Martin. Okay, I was born in Brooklyn, NY, which is the coolest thing about me. That's sad if I lived to be 70 and the coolest thing was my birth, but hey, at least that's something.

I have held many jobs, maybe 42 or 43, none of which defined me. I got fired from two of them. The first was at age 17 when I was a sailing counselor at a day camp on Long Island. I took a bunch of kids out and a storm whipped up and we capsized. Nobody drowned but still the camp owner had to do something. The second time was at age 35 when I worked at The Washington Times and slept with a "Moonie" who also happened to be a prominent Managing Editor at the paper married to another "Moonie" he had met for the first time at their wedding ceremony in Madison Square Garden. When word got out the very next day, he was never seen or heard from again. I got booted a few days later. At all my other jobs I did quite well and was a valuable employee.

I married twice and had one child with my second husband, who lasted way longer than the first.

Early in life my favorite color was gray, but then after about age 45 I started to prefer yellow. At the time of my death, my favorite color was definitely yellow.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kicking the Bucket List

My husband is always asking me what's on my bucket list. He does this because I am getting older by the minute ( as we all are but for some reason it is only noticed after a certain age) and he's worried I might kick the proverbial bucket before I have gotten to see whatever it is he imagines I've always wanted to see. To assuage him I try to dream stuff up, but really my list has nothing to do with travel to foreign lands or treks to famous places. Instead it has everything to do with achieving peace of mind, and an airport security line is the last place I expect that will happen.

Meditation cushions come in many colors. Which one gets you to nirvana?

Not long ago I attended a two-day weekend retreat led by a Buddhist teacher. He told us many stories of his quest for enlightenment and had us meditating en masse, which was all very nice but served only to disturb my peace of mind rather than enhance it. There were just too many people sitting cross-legged on their designer meditation cushions for my taste. (Available in many colors, for some reason most people had gone with the purple.) Seems to me a plain old chair works as well, is much more comfortable and is readily available no matter where you are.

So once again, today, right here in my house in Maine, in a plain old chair in the corner of my bedroom, I will seek to check off the only thing on my list. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Feel the Difference

Watching the nauseating lovefest currently unfolding on TV under the banner of the Democratic National Committee in Philadelphia, I finally get the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans: The former live in a dream world of their own making where "love will bring us together," (i.e. Kumbaya), while the latter inhabit the real world where simmering racial hatred and seething terrorism threaten our peace of mind and keep us up at night. (Neither one is comforting.)

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.