Friday, September 30, 2016

Who You Callin' Deplorable?

Are you in here?
It's stunning that a candidate running for President of the United States considers the people who don't support her to be "deplorable," as Hillary Clinton said not long ago. And not only are they simply deplorable, which means "shockingly bad in quality" and "deserving of condemnation," but the whole wretched lot of them are somehow together in some sort of basket, be it a trash basket or a waste basket or some other kind, implying that each and every one of them is a "basket case," which is defined as "a person or thing regarded as useless or unable to cope."

Wow! So Hillary thinks that fully half the country she so desperately wants to rule is populated by drooling, brainless illiterates. Just how will she treat them? Will there be rehab centers for all the deplorable basket cases who supported Trump? Will they be rounded up and put in internment camps like F.D.R. -- the sitting Democratic president -- did to those of Japanese descent during World War Two? (Sixty-two percent of those folks were American citizens.) Exactly how will she remedy the situation? Perhaps forced tutoring, a.k.a. brainwashing sessions?

Being semi-deplorable myself, since while I'm not an actual Trump supporter I agree with many of the kernels contained inside his bombast, I'm kind of looking forward to how our First Woman President (ta-da!) handles the whole thing when she plops her fat fanny down behind the desk in the Ovary Office. Oops, I mean Ovum Office. Dammit, I mean Ovule Office. Forgive me, Oval Office.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fear of Democrats

She is SO scary!

Keeping in mind that the following list was compiled before Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for president, here are the Top Ten Fears of Americans:

Flying
Public Speaking
Heights
The Dark
Intimacy
Death
Failure
Rejection 
Spiders
Commitment

According to a 2014 Washington Post article, "Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans to have a fear of clowns. They are also significantly more likely to fear bugs, snakes and other animals, as well as blood and needles. Democrats are slightly more likely to be afraid of ghosts." This may possibly explain why they support Hillary; they want a Mommy to protect them.

Although I am registered as an Independent, still I like clowns, which is not to imply that I am fearless. In fact quite the opposite; I am riddled with fears and actually have been diagnosed with GAD, which stands for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a condition characterized by "persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things." Yup, I've definitely got it. Here's my personal Top Ten -- no kidding: 

Bees
Cancer
Driving in Snow
Thunderstorms
Home Invasions
Food Poisoning
ISIS
Mosquito Bites
Democrats
Hillary Clinton

 



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bad Kitty

I am not a violent person. I have never struck anyone, or hurt anyone physically in any way. I can't even kill bugs, except when I am so compelled in order to save my own life -- like when a bee is harassing me and I'm allergic to bees so I find a telephone book and smash it down on top of the pathetic creature. Then I cry and feel shitty about it for like half an hour. So I was shocked to read in today's Wall Street Journal that by letting my adorable cat go outdoors I am actually complicit in the murder of birds and mice and possibly little froggies, and am actually messing with the tapestry of life. Apparently, "life on Earth is a complex tapestry in which each species represents a single thread. Outdoor cats threaten that tapestry." Who knew?

Just yesterday Lurch gifted me with a dead chipmunk. He left it right next to the hot tub so I'd be sure to see it. I was bereft. I wasn't sure whether the deceased was Chip or Dale since they look so alike, at least from a distance, but he was certainly adorable, laid out nicely as if an undertaker had prepared the body. His little eyes were open. I was sick about it, but what's a mother to do? The cat wants out and I'm surely not going to keep him imprisoned in my house for his whole life, even if he does have eight more, or who knows, this might be his ninth. So I remain an accomplice; sue me.

Pete Marra, the author of Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, writes that cats kill birds and we need birds, so his solution is "the targeted killing of felines." That's just dumb; what about the damn tapestry? It would be missing the cat thread, which doesn't seem any better than a missing bird thread if you ask me. At least cats don't poop on your car's windshield while you're driving, which is really annoying and possibly dangerous.

Monday, September 26, 2016

From Maine to California

With many of the tourists finally cleared out, things have been pretty quiet in our little town of Freeport. Actually things are always quiet here, as they are in the entire state of Maine, which is why I stay put despite the depressing lack of even one Jewish deli. (Just forget about sinking your teeth into a real bagel, and don't even think about lox or pastrami.) On the plus side we've had no shootings, no riots and not even one exploding dumpster. And of course there's all that lobster. It's quite nice, even though things can get boring until the snows come, which should be any day now.

My big excitement last week was driving twelve miles to Brunswick for a haircut, my first solo outing after hip surgery last month. It sounds silly but it was a pretty big deal to me, having spent the last seven weeks all but housebound watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix and taking walks around the neighborhood. Two hours with Denise was just what I needed. Besides styling and coloring my hair exactly how I like it, she radiates an unruffled calm like few people I have ever known. As she snipped away my dead ends, she told me about her recent trip with her husband to Los Angeles.

It started out with appallingly long lines at the airport car rental office, insufferable for a couple of Mainers accustomed to no lines anywhere, for anything, except maybe an ice cream cone in mid-August at the Classic Custard out on Route 1. After waiting two hours on two different lines they finally got a car, not the one they had reserved but the only one available. They piled their luggage in and took off, immediately encountering that famous LA freeway traffic. Once again they were stunned, wondering if some sort of calamity had occurred. But no, it was just a normal Thursday evening.

Wrapping bits of tin foil into my hair for blond highlights, Denise went on to describe their day in Venice Beach as "disappointing." There were only three guys working out in front of the storied Muscle Beach gym and none of them were even remotely built. As for those zany tattooed roller skaters she had seen pictured in National Geographic and in every single travel magazine, there were none in evidence. Mostly what was in evidence were piles of trash along the boardwalk and homeless people slumped in doorways. And trinket shops.

Not going in for all the Hollywood hype they avoided Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. (Having been to those places myself years ago I assured her that was a smart decision.) Instead they spent a day at Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement park in Buena Vista with rides, shows and a variety of other wholesome attractions. Denise reported all of this in her usual even tone, assuring me as she led me over to the shampoo sink that California was fun but four days were quite enough. I'm thinking she won't be going back anytime soon.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ghosts

My mother with her parents, long ago and far away.
It's that time again. I already have several pumpkins and yesterday I saw a huge display of Halloween candy and costumes in the supermarket. That got me thinking about ghosts.

My grandfather.
My maternal grandfather was the coolest person I ever met. He was the oldest of 13 children. They all survived the Hitler years and came safely to this country from Poland. Some of them may have died before I was old enough to know them, or maybe they lived far away, but the others were always around, showing up for all the Jewish holidays, wedding and funerals. Occasionally I am reminded of them, and although they loomed large during my childhood, they left very little imprint. Here's what I recall:

Aunt Harriet was a loon. She never married, living alone somewhere in Brooklyn and commuting by subway to her job as office manager for an accounting firm in lower Manhattan. She collected (stole) rubber bands and red and blue colored pencils from her office, which she then distributed as gifts to all of the cousins at Hanukah. She did this every year, as if we needed more by then. The pencils were held together with the rubber bands. She often wore a hat with a giant rhinestone flower on it and a veil that came halfway down her face, keeping it on even indoors like some sort of fading movie star.

Uncle Ruby was the hippest of all the uncles. He was very short, had a gold tooth in front and was a snappy dresser. Many of his suits were striped. Reminiscent of the actor James Cagney or maybe Mickey Rooney, he always seemed ready to break into a soft-shoe dance routine. His wife, Aunt Rose, was stone-faced, half a foot taller and a total bitch. Nobody like her, including Uncle Ruby. He was very affectionate and always had funny stories to tell, whereas Rose was most comfortable scolding someone or discussing the family's latest cancer victim. (There was always at least one actively dying.)

Ghostly Aunt Rose
Aunt Sylvia was "the baby," although she never looked like anything but an old lady to me. She was sweet and sort of dumb. Her husband was Uncle Lefty, and although he surely had a different real name that's what everyone called him. He may have been smart but I always thought he was a simpleton, possibly because he allowed people to call him "Lefty." Aunt Sylvia smiled a lot and did little more to distinguish herself. In conversation, my mother always called her "a saint."

Uncle Benny was a fast-talker and most likely a gambler. He definitely did something illegal and was always very well-dressed. His wife was stylish and good-looking and all the cousins loved her. A true favorite at holiday gatherings, Ethel wore her bleached blonde hair in an upswept do, usually with a colorful scarf worked into it. She seemed slightly foreign, like from another country, maybe Mongolia or someplace with gypsies, but I never knew where. I adored her and thus was always a gypsy at Halloween, inspired by Aunt Ethel.

Uncle Morris and The Twins, Aunt Beverly and the other one, possibly Lucille -- I never remembered her name but I think she was one of the cancer victims --  weren't around much. I'm thinking they lived in California. They showed up every few years for some must-see wedding or funeral.

Of course they're all dead now, as are my parents. I wish ghosts were real; I'd love to hang out with them.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The High Cost of Supplies

Last month I spent 36 hours at Portland's Maine Medical Center, considered to be one of the best hospitals around these parts, some might even argue the best. When the bill detailing the charges for that blurry day-and-a-half showed up, I found it oddly mysterious. It certainly does not call a spade "a spade," and leaves me wondering about the difference between "Medications" and "Physical Medicine." And just what were those "Miscellaneous Professional Services"? Could that be when the nurse helped me to the bathroom or brought me an extra blanket?

Fortunately I will not have to pay the entire bill, having health insurance, but still part of it falls into my lap, or actually my husband's lap since he makes the real money around here. (I'm still waiting for the lousy $87.50, after the gallery's cut, from the sale of my last painting.) The hospital's Mystery Charges are listed below, leaving me to guess exactly what cost what:
One of the "supplies."

Surgical Fee for Total Hip Arthoplasty: $2,989.00
Miscellaneous Professional Services: $652.50
Recovery Room: $544.50
Medications: $439.56
Pharmacy Service: $349.29
Pharmacy Service: $1,019.43
Physical Medicine: $619.00
X-Ray: $183.00
Laboratory Service: $140.00
Semi-private Room: $1,775.00
Operating Room Service: $4,686.00
Supplies: $16,960.00
Supplies: $1,612.71
Anesthesia Service: $1,015.00 

Funny thing is, I was only charged for a semi-private room but I actually had a private room; who knows what that would have cost! This got me wondering if there were any other errors, but I'm not going down that road. My new hip (see photo) seems to work and that's that.






Thursday, September 22, 2016

Me Myself and I


Looking at pictures on Facebook of so many people, some of them actual friends of mine, out partying and having fun, naturally I wonder what's wrong with me since I do almost none of that, spending most of my time alone when my husband is out of town (which he is quite often), reading books on meditation or trying and failing to really meditate, doing laundry and shopping for groceries, cleaning the house when it's absolutely necessary, watching the chaos of the outside world on television, making art almost nobody will ever see, writing this blog or some silly little thing for pay or weeping about the fact that I spend so much of my time alone.

But then I remember that really I'm all I've got in the end and so it's important to develop a good relationship with myself, and that while having fun with others is all fine and good, enjoying my own company is better.

And then I feel better.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How Not to Get Shot by a Cop

Sad but true, another black man has been shot in the street, this time by a member of the Charlotte, North Carolina police force who happened to be black as well. The dead man was allegedly holding a gun and pointing it at the cop, refusing to put it down after several requests. His family says he was holding a book, not a gun, yet no book was found in the aftermath of the shooting.

I do not mean to make light of such a serious subject, merely to pass along some learned wisdom. I have never been shot by a cop and I think it's because I have always followed these two rules:
1. Never point a gun at a cop.
2. Do not buy books shaped like guns.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The White House Glue Factory

Besides the fact that I cannot correctly fill in all the states on a map of America and have no idea which Middle Eastern countries, if any, we are still friends with, I could never be President. One big stumbling block is that I lack the drive; my "get up and go" got up and went --  years ago. And all that shaking hands with strangers is out of the question; too many germs.

But the real trouble is age. Between my vacillating blood pressure and my fake titanium hip, plus that nightly dose of Miralax, I'm just too damned old, something my son (who I am no longer speaking to) took to reminding me of far too often. Still, being the same age as Donald Trump and just a year older than Hillary, if I wanted to run, I could. This despite the fact that most businesses in the private sector and many government agencies demand retirement at sixty-five. The Constitution has no such end date, stating only that a candidate for president be at least thirty-five. The two currently vying for the job as Leader of the Free World are both several years older.

Considering that by the time the average person enters their sixth decade their memories are weakening, arteries are hardening and various internal organs and external body parts have begun to deteriorate, I personally would sleep better at night if someone more vigorous than I were at the helm. (Also if my husband didn't snore, but that's another blog post.)





Monday, September 19, 2016

Try Being Nice


I woke up this morning still alive and for that I am truly grateful. After the necessary intake of coffee, orange juice and fish oil I turned on my computer and found that a total stranger had sent me a message. Understanding that to read it involved risk, I decided to go for it and was immediately sorry. It concerned a review I had posted online for the movie Sully. I hadn't much cared for the film and said so. As anyone who has ever read one of my movie reviews can attest, they don't follow the formula of who's in it, what's the plot, who directed, blah, blah, blah; there are plenty of those out there already. Instead I report what, for me, stood out, and do it in a stream of consciousness sort of way.

Many people have told me they find my reviews helpful, telling them what they want to know without telling too much. But this particular guy wrote: "No offense, but that was a shitty review." I responded by saying that I did take offense, and wondered why he couldn't simply have written, "I don't agree, I enjoyed the film very much. Sorry you didn't." Or something like that. Why resort to nasty gutter talk so quickly?

It's funny when people start out by saying "No offense," and then go on to say something offensive, as if by saying "No offense" first you will actually not take offense. It doesn't work. For example: "No offense but you are stupid." "No offense but that dress makes you look like a whale." "No offense but that is one ugly baby you've got there." 

People are in so much pain, I'm guessing. That's why they plant bombs in dumpsters on the streets of a big city, and stab people at random in a shopping mall, and tell complete strangers they suck, as if hurting others will somehow alleviate their own pain. Of course it doesn't work. The next time you're angry at someone, try being nicer to yourself. Go for a run or eat a bowl of oatmeal. Just don't lash out at someone else and expect to feel better. Hurting other living things is never a good course of action, unless it's a mosquito and then all bets are off.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Film Review: SULLY

Actor-turned-director Clint Eastwood created this surprisingly bland recounting of the 2009 airplane disaster dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson," which IMHO would have been a much better title. (Sully is the nickname of the pilot. Imagine if his name had been Goldstein.) The story of the commercial airliner with two failed engines that landed on the Hudson River in the middle of January and yet all 155 people on board survived sounds like it would be a real nail-biter. Instead it was more of a nail-filer, and if I'd brought a bottle of polish with me I might have done a full manicure.

Pilot and co-pilot answer questions from the NTSB.
Tom Hanks sleepwalks through the title role. Laura Linney plays his distraught wife, with far too much screen time considering she's only seen on the phone with her husband, saying things like "I love you" and "I can't hear you." Aaron Eckhart is excellent as the co-pilot and has the movie's one and only funny line, and trust me, it's not all that funny. The Hudson River plays itself, and it looks beautiful and much grander than you realize when you're walking around midtown Manhattan.

Be forewarned: With very little screaming or hysteria among the passengers, Sully barely registers on the Disaster Movie Richter scale. The actual plane crash, or water landing to be more accurate, is over so quickly that we are shown it repeatedly in case we missed it the first time: It's in a couple of Sully's dreams, and his thoughts as he runs through the streets of New York, and in flashbacks, so that's four times right there.

The most interesting aspect of Sully is seeing how the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) undertook an investigation and held a hearing to discover what really happened, so we get a chance to see our government in action. Well, not exactly action since it's just a bunch of dry bureaucrats sitting behind microphones, but it's enlightening all the same.



Shining a Light on Hillary's Dark Past


Strange but true, the fact that Hillary Clinton is female has a lot of people, mostly other women, all excited for her to become  president. But she's such a liar, she might even be lying about that. (Maybe that's why Bill fools around.)

Love her or hate her, you've got to admit it: Hillary lies. To understand just how much and when it first started, get your hands on today's Wall Street Journal where op-ed writer Peggy Noonan revisits an early scandal that reveals Hillary Clinton's true criminal nature. It is a must read for anyone who plans to vote in this year's election. Buy a hard copy or read it online at http://nation.foxnews.com/2016/09/16/noonan-hillary-has-been-reinforcing-impression-shes-untrustworthy-1993.

Here's just a taste:

"The question came up this week at a political panel: Why don’t people like Hillary Clinton?
Why do they always believe the worst? Why, when some supposed scandal breaks and someone says she’s hiding something, do people, including many of her supporters, assume it’s true?

"The answer is that Mrs. Clinton has been in America’s national life for a quarter-century, and in that time people watched, observed and got an impression of her character.

"If you give the prompt “Clinton scandal” to someone under 30, they might say “emails,” or Benghazi” or “Clinton Foundation,” or now “health questions.” But for those who are older, whose memories encompass the Clinton era, the scandals stretch back further, all the way to her beginnings as a national figure."



Friday, September 16, 2016

If Trump Wins, I'll Sue

The families of the 9/11 victims are planning to sue the Saudi Arabian government for the loss of their loved ones. Sounds nutty, but apparently not everyone thinks so and thus they are going forward with it. This led me to consider suing Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic Party for not finding a better candidate than Hillary Clinton, should Trump win in November. I mean come on, how hard is it to beat a businessman with a big mouth who has never held any public office? My life will surely be impacted by a Trump administration, most probably negatively, and I think someone should pay!

Based on some recent high-profile settlements, I am hoping for several million dollars. After all, that second-string news babe Gretchen Carlson was awarded $20 million for enduring the horror of sexual harassment. Imagine being told "You are hot" and "I want to have sex with you" day after day, all while you are dressed like a career prostitute. That must have stung.

Then there is the family of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old black woman who was stopped by police in Texas for failing to signal while changing lanes, like nobody ever does that. In fact, raise your hand if you haven't. (I thought so.) Sandra was arrested because of her bad attitude, then taken to jail where she died three days later. Her family just won $1.9 million in a wrongful death suit. The incident was caught on a police dash-cam video; if only the cops had told Sandra that while she failed to signal she looked really hot, perhaps her family could have gotten more. (Like $18.1 million more.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Get Your Own Life

Some people actually think this is not Hillary!
I live in Maine. Naturally my life is pretty dull. I have few friends here, my husband travels for his job frequently and as a freelance writer and artist I don't work outside the home. My grown son is gone and since having hip surgery six weeks ago I no longer go to my gym or swimming at the Y for the time being, so I interact with few people every day, if any -- don't even think about neighbors. (See first sentence.) Still, even with all this time alone, and including the occasional glass of wine or puff of pot, I have never once thought that Hillary Clinton has a body double.

Apparently there are people out there who do. I heard one lady on a talk radio show insisting that the Hillary who exited her daughter's apartment building the day she collapsed and was rushed there was NOT REALLY HILLARY! Apparently some other woman who looks like her went to Chelsea's apartment and changed into her clothes and exited looking and feeling great! Googling this preposterousness, I found that many people out there agree.

Admit it: we all need to focus a lot less on this silliness regarding politics and get our own lives. Do you have one?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tag, You're "It"

Just when you thought modern life could not get any more ridiculous, inane, insane and superficial, the Faculty Senate Gender Inclusive Task Force at Vanderbilt University (a private research school in Nashville, Tennessee founded in 1873) comes out, and I do mean comes out, with a poster detailing the school's commitment to gender inclusion:

When introducing yourself, offer your name and pronouns, even to familiar colleagues and students. For example, "My pronouns are they/them/theirs. May I ask yours?" and "I'm Steve and I use he/him/his pronouns. What should I call you?"

It goes on to suggest that students include their pronouns in their email signature, and if they make a mistake and refer to someone with the wrong pronoun, to graciously accept correction and apologize. And by the way, to hell with the English language: When a transgender, or even just a mildly confused straight person, is coming to dinner, it's perfectly fine to say, "They will sit here," even though "they" is just one person.

Since reading that me have been wracking our brain trying to think of which pronouns it want to use and have finally settled on It, That and These. Please try to remember because, after all, the world revolves around me.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hillary's Pants on Fire Again


Hillary Clinton has pneumonia, we are told. So right away we know that she does not have pneumonia, since just last week we were told she has seasonal allergies. Anyone who has been paying attention and seen her cough up half a lung from time to time knows it is deeply embedded in the Clinton DNA to lie. (Does the statement, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" ring a bell?) So besides her pants constantly being on fire (she being a pathological liar), what is wrong with her really, and does it even matter to us?

Considering the fact that the public didn't know that FDR was in a wheelchair for much of his time in office, I'd say no. Still, these are questions to ponder and perhaps even answer with the help of Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and for all we know Dr. Dre. Personally I don't care about the health of any president nearly as much as my own health and that of my husband, son and close friends, and right now since things are pretty good with all of us that's good enough for me. Don't like the lying, though.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

All Psyched Out

In my younger years I really believed there were people who could help me be happier, feel better about my life, or life in general, and basically repair all my broken places through talk, talk, talk.  For many of those years my best friend thought the same thing and the two of us would compare notes on all the shrinks we saw over the course of our ten-year-long friendship. We both thought shrinks were the answer, and whenever I had my doubts Mary would remind me, usually while we were binge-eating donuts on a dateless Saturday night, that my life was a mess and I needed help getting it right. I always agreed heartily, and after trying several I settled on one guy who I quickly determined to be The Smartest Man in the World and saw him on and off for twenty years.  Whenever my life started to spiral downward he picked me right up and got me going in the right direction.


When he suddenly died in a mysterious way while still relatively young, I was devastated. How could I go on without my spiritual advisor, my life tutor and the brilliant guru who always had all the answers? I needed to learn more about him and so started doing some digging, begging several people who knew him personally for information about the events leading up to his tragic death. They were quite cooperative, to my later chagrin, and let me in on a little secret I never knew for all those twenty-five years: My Knight in Shining Armor was a debilitated alcoholic and had been for the whole time I had been seeking his advice on how to live. Each time he told me he was taking a month off to go to Italy or France or Hawaii he was really headed to the Mayo Clinic or the Betty Ford Hazelden Institute to dry out and try to get sober.

More recently, feeling blue for reasons I could not pinpoint, I sought the help of a therapist after having abstained for many years. He was a nice enough chap and seemed quite sharp, offering helpful insights right off the bat about how to get the most out of life. I returned weekly for about a month. But then one day, having lingered near his office after a session talking on my cell phone, I saw him come out and scurry a few blocks away, looking over his shoulder from time to time as he got into a car and drove off, then returning and parking in a different spot nearby. I asked him about it the following week and he said he always did that because his neighborhood was zoned for two hours of free parking, and so he had to move his car every two hours between patients or risk getting a ticket. He did this every work day from nine to five in all sorts of weather, and in Maine that's saying a mouthful come winter. I mentioned the parking garage a few blocks away and he said it was too expensive.

So really, when you think about it, we are all pretty much on our own.






Saturday, September 10, 2016

Life in the Meadow

Kids today, and by kids I mean all those people under the age of about forty who are wondering "what to do with my life," spend an inordinate amount of time wondering what to do with their lives instead of just doing their lives. I find this frustrating to watch, especially as someone who never had such questions. Never thinking I had a "purpose," my life goal has always been to enjoy each day, not hurting anyone else and not getting killed doing it.

Here's a tip: Considering yourself a blade of grass in a vast meadow makes life much easier to manage. Instead of wondering what to do to make its existence "meaningful," a blade of grass just grows, taking nourishment from the sun, bathing in the rain and watching out for the lawnmower that comes by every so often. Try it.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Out of Step


My conclusion after many decades of living, and most recently reading comments on social media and watching CNN, is that there is something drastically, deeply and devastatingly wrong with me. I'm different than my peers in many ways, and though I don't like it one bit I am unable to change things no matter how hard I try. Some of the ways include but are not limited to:

I do not hate Ann Coulter. In fact I think she is quite pretty, extremely intelligent and often very funny, whereas I have nothing nice to say about Oprah Winfrey and have never understood her huge appeal. 

I can't fathom why any women would wear gigantic dangling earrings, pointy stiletto heels and clingy, low-cut polyester dresses unless they are seeking attention from men, but then when they get it they claim to be victims of sexual harassment and sue.

I think Jenifer Aniston is a fine actress, Sarah Jessica Parker is beautiful, and Anjelina Jolie is downright unattractive, being too skinny and silly with those puffy lips.

I never considered it weird that Woody Allen married Soon-Yi, and I never believed he abused his only child with Mia Farrow, who by the way is a major nutcase if you ask me.

I despise the Clintons whereas I adore the entire Bush family. (Well, not Jeb so much but I still think he's okay.)

I don't want to take a cruise to the Caribbean or anywhere else. Worse, I have never been to any Caribbean island, or to Costa Rica or Mexico or any rain forest anywhere, mostly because I hate insects and humidity.

I still haven't read any Harry Potter books, seriously abhor yoga and find tattoos ugly. 

I have never binge-watched (or even regular-watched) even one episode of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Orange is The New Black, House of Cards, Star Trek, Downton Abbey, The Wire, or Game of Thrones and have no desire to do so.

I never liked the music of The Grateful Dead.

Even though I am Jewish I have never been to Israel and although I wish I wanted to go I don't really. 

I do not like lobster one bit which would be no big deal but I live in Maine where loving lobster is akin to believing in God, which by the way I do. (At least that.)

Maybe I'm crazy or maybe I just need new peers. I wish I knew which.




Thursday, September 8, 2016

There's A Pill for That

Taking the drug Coumadin, a blood thinner, for six weeks following my hip surgery has been a bit of a drag, but it's almost over for me, unlike Hillary Clinton who is on it for life. (Oy, the poor woman.) The worst part of the regimen is having your blood tested twice a week to make sure the drug is at the correct level; too little and you could suffer a blood clot, too much and you could bleed out from a minor kitchen mishap.

The last time I had my blood tested my doctor decided it was time to run a few other tests as well, and a few days later I received a call from the receptionist in his office reporting the results. She said my "bad" cholesterol (LDL) was too high, but since my "good" cholesterol (HDL) was really low it almost balanced it out, making my total cholesterol only two points above the ideal. Still, she said, the doctor recommended I begin taking a drug to rectify the situation.

I balked, something I need to do more and more lately, pointing out that since I already take three different medications for blood pressure plus the Coumadin, I would rather not add another pill to my daily swallow. Besides, couldn't the problem be handled through diet and exercise? After all, since my surgery I had been instructed to avoid all green, leafy veggies because of their interference with the blood thinner, and had hardly gotten a lick of exercise besides a few anemic walks around the neighborhood and some leg exercises to strengthen the muscles around my brand new hip. Couldn't this couch-potato lifestyle account for the sudden rise in my cholesterol?

The receptionist admitted that she didn't know but suggested that I schedule a consultation with a nutritionist to get me on track with my eating, obviously forgetting about the existence of the Internet and books. Then later that day a friend called and recounted her own story of getting high cholesterol results. She said she was warned by her sister, a nurse, that the very people who do the blood tests for cholesterol are the same ones who manufacture the drugs prescribed for controlling it.

We report, you decide.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pity Poor Hillary

Getting to be President of the United States demands ceaseless energy and overwhelming vitality, and once you win the prize things only get worse. Since both candidates from the major political parties currently running are my age (give or take a few months) and one of them is female, naturally I'm interested in how they can withstand the non-stop demands of the office since personally I have experienced a lessening of that pumping stream of adrenaline necessary to get out there and compete as if it matters in the final analysis.

Concerning Hillary, the media on all sides is abuzz about her increasing coughing jags, posing questions like: Is she healthy enough to lead?  Does she have a horrible disease or just a frog in her throat from yelling all the time? If elected, will she die in office? And while the wear and tear of the presidency impacts all genders, I wonder more about what sort of woman of granny age wants to be president anyway? Wouldn't you have to be slightly nuts to run in the first place? Just think of all the things you'll have to give up, or else risk reading about in the news the next day:

Being seen in a bathing suit
Sleeping late
Getting up in the middle of the night and driving yourself to Denny's for a waffle
Hanging out all day in your PJs
Forgoing makeup
Watching trashy movies on Lifetime TV
Having too many cocktails in public
Smoking pot (God forbid a million times)
Hanging out online
Long solitary walks
Solitary anything
Playing Candy Crush Saga
Pigging out on pizza
Changing your hair color on a whim
Gardening in your backyard
Reading crappy novels
Staying home on snow days

In return you get to be surrounded by a group of burly men with guns at all times. You are constantly criticized, inspected and wrongly accused by everyone in the world except maybe your closest family members, although that is certainly not a given, and perhaps a close friend or two if you still have time for any. Your health rattles the stock market. You are photographed in bad lighting at inopportune moments and from unflattering angles. You have to attend several meetings every day and have fattening lunches and dinners on most nights, always surrounded by people who all want a piece of you. Your words are parsed, your showers are woefully short and the time spent getting dressed, having your hair done and fixing your face far exceeds the likes of Kim Kardashian and her sisters.

Poor Hillary. I hope she loses and gets to spend more time with her grandchildren and take care of that awful cough.







Saturday, September 3, 2016

Perfect Nonsense

The perfect Susan.
I'll be honest: Seventy is not my perfect age. In fact, it is nobody's perfect age except for actress Susan Sarandon, who is also seventy and is currently starring in a TV commercial for an anti-aging face cream in which she coos, "I'm at my perfect age," peeking through flowing diaphanous fabric like that damn scarf that killed Isadora Duncan and gazing flirtatiously up into the camera --up is always the best angle for old people -- behind God knows how many forgiving camera filters.

Susan is certainly no stranger to plastic surgery, having gone under the knife many times. As an unabashed fan she has had obvious breast enhancement, liposuction under the eyes and chin, and proclaims she still has "much more surgery planned" to maintain and enhance her beauty. This is perfection? I would like to go on record saying that the need for surgery, elective or otherwise, is no hallmark of perfection. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The perfect age is when you bound out of bed limber as a ballerina instead of like The Tin Man in need of a lube job, when you don't need one pill to get your insides working smoothly and then another one to make them stop working too smoothly, and you don't know the names of any surgeons at all except the ones on Grey's Anatomy. The perfect age is when you can forget your body entirely and just enjoy the day, flitting around weightlessly like a hummingbird. And honestly that does not happen at seventy, despite how rich you are.

The real Susan.
Make no mistake, at seventy you can still be happy, you can still look good, and you can still enjoy life. But it is not by any stretch of any imagination the perfect age except for maybe Susan Sarandon, especially on those days when she cashes those big fat checks from L'Oreal.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Beware of Old Ladies With Money to Burn

News Flash: Social media is fleecing old ladies out of their life savings! Or so we are to believe. Yesterday I read about an 84-year-old woman who sent a stranger she met through Match.com $120,000 for him to have some sort of medical procedure. She had never met the man in person but somehow, after months of texting and emailing, they were "in love." Turns out he was a phony and she never saw him or her money again.

Then today I read about a 66-year-old widow who sent $60,000 to a total stranger with a fabricated identity and photo "of a fit outdoorsman." She met "Ken" a year ago after he sent her a Friend request "out of the blue" on Facebook. Now she's broke and Ken is nowhere to be found.

The U. S. Army Criminal Investigation Command reports receiving "hundreds of allegations a month" from people who were scammed on social or dating websites by someone claiming to be a U.S. soldier. Obviously the problem is not Internet scammers but rather stupid old ladies. Who knows what they'll do next.