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.

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:

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Deviant Double Standard

I find the subject of what other people do with their genitals to be a big snore, but be sure to wake me when mine are involved. If it's up to me homosexuals of all genders can be proud every day and get married to each other and change body parts and wear lace panties or combat boots or lace panties with combat boots til the cows come home, I don't give a shit, and I've got more than a few longtime gay friends and several family members to prove it. But while I personally feel no animosity towards gays or lesbians, still it bugs me that people who do not feel as I do, who are in fact deeply bothered by the mere thought of people of the same gender engaging in sexual activity, or even getting married to one another, are not afforded the same tolerance we are all urged to extend to those seeking to live an alternative lifestyle. Not at all, in fact they are run out of town on a rail, if such a thing happens anymore.

Today on Facebook I saw a negative comment, one of roughly a billion posted by Democrats, about Indiana's Governor Mike Pence, just named Donald Trump's running mate. The person called Pence "a walking bag of shit." The comment naturally received scores of "likes." I did a little sleuthing and found that the person who wrote that is a transgender or transsexual or cross-dressing homosexual woman or man, all or some of the above I wasn't sure from the pictures. Just imagine if a straight person dared to call him or her a "walking bag of shit."

America is supposedly a "melting pot" of colors and creeds and religions, a haven of free speech and thus free thought, yet we're all supposed to feel exactly the same way about certain social issues or look out! Some personal opinions are allowed, like about who makes the best potato chips -- I say Wise-- and which kind of antacid works best (Pepto-Bismol) and others aren't, and you'd better know the story about the latter or you'll be sorry.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Lemming Brain

Nun letting loose with a Hula Hoop.
Why is it that people are ready to hop on every passing bandwagon like it's exactly the thing they have been waiting for all their lives? The latest one is a child's video game, yet adults everywhere are losing sleep over Pokemon Go (with an accent mark over the E in Pokemon but I can't figure out how to get it in this font), something they play on their cell phones instead of doing other things like working or, as I mentioned, sleeping.

I have been reading about the fad ad nauseum for the last few days and I still can't understand what would make normal adults become involved in such nonsense, many of them running around outside late at night in their pajamas, other than what I think of as the "lemming response." A lemming is defined in the Urban Dictionary as, "A member of a crowd with no originality or voice of his own. One who speaks or repeats only what he has been told. A tool. A cretin."

Another example of the lemming mentality is a new app called Prisma that takes normal photographs and alters them to look like paintings. This is the latest tool, the results of which will be showing up in the Facebook profile pictures of all your friends very soon, trust me. (I almost did it but stopped myself in the nick.)

Fads have been around since the beginning of time, like for example fire, surely the granddaddy of all fads. After the first caveman came up with it you can bet all the rest of them wanted some. Then along came the wheel, which was certainly an overnight success; I'm only guessing since I was not around for its inception. But I was for the Hula Hoop, which I thought was stupid even then and I was only like ten years old when the craze swept the country in the late 1950s. At the height of it, more than 50,000 hoops per day were manufactured by the Wham-o toy company in California. The hoops traveled the globe, eventually dying out in the 1980s, but not before everyone and their Aunt Tillie (see photo) had given one a whirl.

And for what? Oh yeah, fun. Most passing fads are just plain dumb and net nothing useful for anyone except the manufacturer, who becomes an overnight billionaire. I just wish I could think up one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Friends Without Benefits

We've all heard the term, "friends with benefits." But what about the other kind, the ones without benefits, and I don't just mean in the bedroom, I mean anywhere. We get together with good intentions and leave feeling like we wasted our time. The older I get, the less I am able to tolerate those relationships.

Over the years I have enjoyed many friendships with people where the give and take was equal, sort of like riding a seesaw; sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, but it's pretty evenly distributed and both of you are happy. But imagine a seesaw where you are always on the bottom, just sitting there, your butt in the dirt. Or else maybe you're the one stuck on top, legs dangling, unable to get off. Some friendships feel that way.

You know the kind: the other person is always talking about their problems, their happiness, their hopes and dreams, their family, their neuroses, or their whatever, while you sit there like an unpaid shrink, listening, always listening, and of course counseling, always counseling. Usually these friendships die a natural death. There's no funeral or memorial service, just a few unreturned phone calls or anemic texts about getting together "soon," but soon never comes.

I had one of those die recently. The result is that I eat out less since the only substantive benefit of a one-way friendship is that you get to go to lunch or dinner with someone. If I could just conquer my fear of eating in a restaurant alone, the world would be my oyster.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Clock is Ticking

"The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali

I am stunned when I think back to how much time I have wasted in my life.

For example, my entire first marriage (which if you include all the years we dated adds up to about fifteen) has netted me nothing but a very occasional email from my former brother-in-law, a great guy to be sure but still I'm positive he won't be at my funeral.

Not that I want a funeral but you get the point.

So with the clock ticking ever louder, I am determined to make every minute count. Like this one right now, which  if I stop and think about it is being wasted writing this blog, unless somebody out there reading it gets what I'm saying and is inspired to make today meaningful.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Freedom from Wanting

With yet another shooting somewhere earlier today -- I already forgot where it was but three people died -- things are bad all over. At times like these, I find that moving the furniture helps. Today I tackled the living room, pushing several heavy pieces to new places and ending up adjacent to different tables and lamps. It didn't change the world but it made me feel like I was doing something more important than just having fun.

Not that having fun is so bad, it's just that it seems to be the focus of so many people, at least in America if you're not a homeless heroin addict. The pressure to "have a good time" has spoiled many an otherwise perfectly nice day for me. Not certain why this is so, I was gladdened to hear a podcast of a spiritual talk about how desire poisons much of everyday life, driving us to be our worst selves rather than our best selves. According to this particular Buddhist educator, when we eliminate desire we free ourselves to be happy. I'm eager to give that a try.

In fact, having no substantial food in the house and also no inclination to go to the supermarket at this late hour, I'll use that line of thinking on my husband when he comes home from work wanting dinner, something he has his heart set on most nights. Maybe the couch being in a new place will be enough.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Big Problems and Little Problems

A dock on Tangier Island, Virginia after a nor'easter blew through.

So many people have it so much worse than I do, it's amazing that I can feel so sorry for myself most of the time. Even our pettiest problems seem huge to us when they're our biggest problem of the moment. For example, yesterday while I was out and about taking pictures, I was bitten on the neck by some sort of horrid insect, most likely one of those black flies so common to Maine. I brushed it away and only later when I touched the spot because it had started to bother me did I discover that the damn thing had actually drawn blood, and more than just a little.

The bite continues to ruin my life, or at least my Sunday, much as it ruined my sleep last night. This morning I dragged myself to the bathroom mirror to inspect the situation and discovered it is not good. As I write this the affected area is red and throbbing and I fear it will do me great harm, possibly bringing about paralysis or death. Seriously. I made coffee and greedily drank it, hoping it was not my last cup.

But then I opened the magazine section of today's New York Times and read an article about Tangier Island, a tiny slip of land 16 miles from the mainland in the Chesapeake Bay that is currently home to about 450 Virginians, most of the inhabitants having fled by now since the place is slowly sinking into the surrounding waters and will surely be completely gone by 2050. Families of "watermen," as they call fishermen, have lived there for centuries, raising their children and burying their dead. But now, what with all the melting ice caps and resulting rising sea levels, Tangier is slipping away. Backyards are wetlands as the waters continue to encroach, inch by inch and year by year. The remaining inhabitants are literally stuck there since nobody will buy their homes and so they have no money with which to leave.

The plight of the Tangier Islanders certainly puts my bug bite in perspective. Although, to be honest, even though an entire community is destined for extinction, with houses and history and the graves of loved ones slowly being swallowed by the sea, my neck still hurts, and now it is beginning to itch. I've already tried calamine lotion and Benadryl cream. Funny how that is.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Little Vacation

I am scheduled for surgery on the morning of the first of August and will spend that day and night in a private room in the hospital. I have been dreading this until now, when I suddenly realized that it will be the only time I will see no commercials or advertisements for anything. I am quite excited about this little vacation from the constant deluge of BUY THIS RIGHT NOW! CALL THIS NUMBER 201-876-4554 THAT'S 201-876-4554 AGAIN THAT NUMBER IS 201-876-4554! CALL IN THE NEXT SIXTEEN MINUTES AND WE'LL GIVE YOU ANOTHER ONE ABSOLUTELY FREE! CALL TODAY, CALL RIGHT NOW, GO ONLINE, SEND YOUR CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PRICES WILL NEVER BE LOWER.....

Should be pretty cool.

Is Sweat Sexy?

My husband has volunteered to be a judge at a CrossFit competition today and he wants me to go with him and watch. He says it will be fun. I say watching other people exercise does not seem like fun to me and that I don't even find my own exercising fun, but at least I get something out of it. I point out that I have been to his gym and the place smells overwhelmingly like sweat and rubber, mostly sweat. We then get into a minor argument about whether or not the smell of sweat is pleasant or unpleasant. Mitch goes so far as to say that "sweat is sexy," whereas I find it appalling. (Conversations like these make me think that lesbians are onto something, but then Mitch points out that many of those people signed up for the competition are in fact lesbians.)

While I am admittedly clueless about many things and thus open to persuasion, I remain convinced that the smell of sweat is gross and disgusting. I can still recall (like he's in the room) the permeating B.O. exuding from of one of my former bosses at The Washington Times who shall remain nameless but is now a prominent and oft-quoted conservative magazine editor, big-time New York newspaper columnist, former presidential speechwriter and author of several books on politics. I'd bet the farm that despite his professional success he still reeks, so I must conclude that the stench of sweat, at least among men, isn't considered a negative.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Our Broken Country

How odd that in the eight years since the election of our first back president, with our first black First Lady and their two black daughters living in the White House, race relations in America between blacks and whites have gone steadily downhill, culminating in the shooting ambush last night of eleven white police officers, five of them fatally, by a twenty-five-year-old black Army veteran who had served in Afghanistan. Micah Johnson was reportedly "upset" over the recent police killings of two black men in other American cities and wanted to "kill white police officers."

You showed them, Micah. Now maybe someone could show Barack Obama how to be a black leader for his people. Obama immediately appeared behind a podium somewhere in Poland and blamed this tragedy on our gun laws, but uttered not a word about how racism is running rampant and getting worse every day.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Scary Stuff on Capitol Hill

Screen shot of today's hearing on Clinton's crimes.
I'm glad it's daytime because I'm watching a really scary movie on TV right now. Oh wait, it's not a movie, it's a real life hearing on Capitol Hill about Hillary Clinton's allegedly illegal doings during her tenure as Secretary of State. FBI Director James Comey is being questioned about his day-old decision to let her get away with breaking the law without so much as a slap on the wrist. All the Democrats are defending her as being merely clueless and unsophisticated with technology (like that's a good thing) while all the Republicans are insisting she was smart enough to know she was doing a bad thing.

In case you've been in a coma, a few years back Clinton operated a private email server in the basement of her home while she was serving in the cabinet of the United States, sending and receiving classified emails on it. Lowering the aleady low Clinton bar, she then denied she did so, having her team of lawyers delete and destroy the most egregious messages (30,000 of them gone!) before turning it all over for inspection once that situation was discovered. She still insists on it all being perfectly acceptable, and now the director of the FBI concurs that it's not so bad, really. We the pathetic public can only imagine how many laws will be ignored when she occupies the highest office in the land.

Clearly this is no longer a democracy we live in. Perhaps, as a dear friend of mine cleverly suggested, it is more accurate to call it a Clintocracy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Same Time Next Year: Picture It

What's so great about Hillary again? I forget, if I ever knew. But somehow she is poised to become our next president, the first to actually use a product called Poise. Granted, I don't know this for a fact, but she seems like the type who would wet her pants when she cackles that horrible cackle, which explains all the pantsuits with the long jackets for extra coverage. (Hey, all you folks who wanted a female president: get used to it!)

Okay, admittedly that was a low blow. But many thinking folks believe Hillary deserves nothing higher. Yet the FBI head has determined that she was not criminal in her negligence, simply "extremely careless with the nation's secrets." He added, "any reasonable person" in her position should have known that "the sensitive material involved merited greater security." Which is better than being called a criminal for sure, but still, is carelessness a quality we want in our leader?  And how about reasonable? Having given up on honesty long ago, I still had my heart set on reasonable as one of the qualities of the person we put in charge of everything.

Admit it, the White House circa 2017 looks grim. Picture it: There's Hillary, peeing in her designer pants and forgetting where she put things, like her glasses and those darned top-secret documents about Iran's nuclear bombs, running round screaming "Where's my hot sauce?" (She apparently loves hot sauce and always has some with her, especially when she is going out for soul food with all of her black rapper friends.) Meanwhile, high on Viagra, doddering old Bill is on the loose, chasing some witless young intern up and down the halls of the West Wing and finally trapping her in the butler's pantry, while Chelsea, the two grandchildren and their toys are spread out in the Oval Office, the adorable toddlers smearing peanut butter all over the Presidential Seal rug.

There's certainly a dog and some half-chewed pig ears somewhere.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Foolproof World News Diet

It's easy: You simply lose your appetite!
Finally, a diet that works. It's easy, with no weighing, measuring or special eating plans, no need to keep food diaries or attend weekly meetings. No diet pills or drinks, no stomach stapling or surgery. The Foolproof World News Diet (FWND) works like magic! Simply prepare your meals as usual, then sit down at the table with today's paper open to the news section and begin eating. Sure, you'll take few bites at the start, but the cumulative effect of worldwide carnage and destruction is guaranteed to kill your appetite, saving you thousands of calories each week when done properly at every meal.

In the example shown at right, my perusal of this morning's Wall Street Journal caused half my breakfast to remain uneaten. Starting with two strawberries, two dried prunes and an English muffin with almond butter (385 calories), I became nauseated by the time I reached the photo at the bottom of the page showing the gleeful murderers cradling their rifles and sporting their tablecloth hats, thus leaving approximately 175 calories on the table.

Completely free (except for the cost of the newspapers), the revolutionary FWND works with any major metropolitan daily and all types of foods! In fact, if it doesn't help you drop ten pounds in a month then my name isn't Marie Osmond.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy, Healthy Holiday

Patriotic Oatmeal

Happy Fourth of July, whatever that means. Different things to different people, I suppose. For my young friend Luke Robertson it means he is now thirty-one years old as today is his birthday. (Happy Birthday Luke!) For many others it is an opportunity to barbecue meats and save money on purchases. One ad I saw summed it up perfectly: "Happy 4th! Light the grill and enjoy 25% off at SPEEDO.USA." Honestly, having quite recently purchased a new bathing suit from Speedo at full price, I was somewhat annoyed to learn that if I had just waited a week I could have saved a bundle.

Besides that, what the holiday brings up for me for me is a sad memory: it's the day after my grandfather died, forty-eight years ago. I'll never forget it because that was the only time I was alone with someone when they died. And since he was Jewish, and the Jews insist on burying their dead within 24 hours, it was problematic that all the funeral people were off the next day, it being July 4th, so Grandpa was a day late getting to Heaven. This must have upset him as he always took pride in his punctuality.

But that's just me. Determined to cheer up and celebrate Independence Day appropriately in some small way, I dumped some blueberries and strawberries into my bowl of oatmeal this morning and got that whole red, white and blue thing going. Besides being patriotic it was extremely healthy, berries being high in antioxidants and oatmeal loaded with calcium and potassium.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Trouble in the Barnyard

Some days the Wall Street Journal gets it right, and today is one of those days. Two separate articles reveal the ridiculous lemming mentality of a certain type of person, often a Democrat but not always since there must be some who think for themselves. (My nephew-by-marriage Keith is clearly one of those, and I'd love to hear what he thinks of this.)

President of the food co-op had no comment.
A herd of holier-than-thou hippies who belong to the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn, NY are butting heads over whether or not to carry certain foods, not because of their nutritional value but because the companies behind those foods may hold political views and engage in practices that are deemed incorrect by the sheeplike lefties who graze there. It's gotten so bad that several longtime members have been banned for airing opposing views at a recent co-op meeting. I can just see them all now, the women decked out in their Birkenstocks and schlumpy dresses, the men in flip-flops and with long grey pony tails but bald on top, and of course all of them sporting Bernie buttons.

At issue was whether to carry SodaStream sparkling beverages since the company, based in Israel, once operated a now-defunct plant in the West Bank. These are the very same folks who think GMOs are bad for you, despite the fact that there is not one speck of evidence, scientific or otherwise, that they are, and in fact the only evidence that exists is that GMOs are healthier. The following is from today's WSJ Opinion page:

"Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans and animals from their consumption." - Letter sent to the Greenpeace environmental group and signed by more than 100 Nobel laureates and announced at a news conference yesterday