Monday, October 31, 2016

Boo Humbug

You want scary? Try this: This year 300,000 tons of Halloween candy has been sold. Including the cost of costumes, the total spending by Americans on this vapid "holiday" is 8.4 billion dollars!

In just about every way possible Halloween sucks, yet millions of parents and childless adults schlep to grocery stores to buy bags of packaged shit for the innocent children who look to them for guidance, creating a lifelong addiction to sugar while fattening their little tummies, not to mention the wallets of all those corporate executives.

Having perpetuated this empty ritual for most of my life I am now remorseful, abashed and ashamed. But it's never too late to make a change for the better, and so this year I shall leave the porch light off and keep my beautiful pumpkin intact. I wish everyone else would too so we can all move on and possibly even evolve.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Smarten Up Before It's Too Late

Yesterday one of the most intelligent people I know admitted on Facebook that he had "accidentally watched" part of a Donald Trump speech but luckily not the whole thing. And he's not alone. I have heard too many times from hardened Democrats that they would never watch FOX News and instead stay tuned to CNN, or that they only read the New York Times because everything else is biased.

Ha! That reminds me of my old friend Nancy who said she didn't have to bother reading any newspaper at all since her husband read the Times every morning and told her what to think. (FYI, Nancy and I parted company years ago.) This behavior signifies either craziness or laziness and explains the continued popularity of those conniving Clinton carpetbaggers.

Don't be a Nancy. Find out for yourself before it's too late.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Boo, I'm Scared

Admit it: This year, Election Day promises to be scarier than Halloween. On November 8 Americans will choose their next leader, after which things can only get scarier no matter which crazed lunatic wins. Yes, you heard me. Want proof? Let's recap:

Hillary is a serial liar, unable to separate truth from fiction. A string of scandals darkens her past, making her deeply mistrusted by almost everyone. Her closest confidant, right-hand person, bosom buddy and the vice-chair of her 2016 campaign is a woman thirty years her junior named Huma Mahmood Abedin, an odd choice at best. Huma was born in America but lived in Saudi Arabia from the age of two until her college years, during which she was the associate editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. (Hey, we report, you decide.) She is still married to a disgusting sexual pervert who texts pictures of his erect penis to young girls, the very penis used to father their child. Meanwhile, Hillary's husband is the accused rapist and lifelong philanderer Bill Clinton. The two of them have earned billions together in all sorts of questionable ways and continue their faux-charity-marriage-business, by all accounts never sleeping under the same roof at any of their mansions. Hillary is 69 years old and not in great health. (On Coumadin for life.)

Her opponent Donald Trump is a blunt, immature, vulgar businessman who has made millions by cheating the system at every turn. A former reality TV star, he seems intent on winning the White House to further enlarge his legend rather than to help anyone else. Trump, like every politician I have ever heard of, lies whenever it's convenient, then denies he ever said it. He is widely known for his adolescent sexual proclivities and out-sized lust. Donald is 70 years old and seems robust but is quite overweight and could likely keel over any minute.

This Halloween I am definitely keeping the porch light off.

Friday, October 28, 2016

What About Bill?

I just don't get it. All the Democrats, most especially Hillary Clinton, are having cows over Donald Trump's supposed mistreatment of women. He says bad things about them! He kisses them without consent! He's lewd, crude and vulgar! He called a Miss Universe contestant fat! He once even said his own daughter was hot! He is disgusting!!!!

Is this our future First Lady?
Then there's Bill Clinton. Back in the day, when he was the sitting Governor of Arkansas and then the sitting President of the United States, he mistreated women on a grand scale. He was lewd, crude and vulgar! He was accused of rape by more than one woman, admitted to a lengthy extra-marital affair with another, and willingly paid a settlement of $850,000 to someone else who accused him of using her as a prostitute on his whim! Then there was the occasion of his sexual relations, which he swore he did not have but later admitted to, with a young White House intern. But is Bill considered to be disgusting? No, not at all, in fact he is truly worshiped by each and every Democrat and has been named the most respected president of the last 25 years!!!!

Oh. My. God.

17 Traits of An Empath

Growing up, my parents always referred to me as "The Princess and the Pea." This was due to my extreme sensitivity which they found exasperating. The nickname came from a story by Hans Christian Andersen in which a princess was unable to fall asleep on a pile of twenty mattresses with just a tiny pea underneath the bottom one. While I was never that bad I was damn close, and my ultra-sensitivity was apparently enough to drive my mother crazy; she developed early-onset Alzheimer's at age 57 and died at 62.

As an adult I am currently engaged in driving my husband crazy, although let's face it, he was halfway there when we met. Still, I walk around the house turning off all the lights because of the glare, complain that cashmere blankets are scratchy, insist that the furnace is making an odd hum that's not right, dump out a new bottle of wine that tastes "off" or declare that something in the refrigerator smells "funny," none of which he can detect.

I always thought I was nuts because seeing a dog locked inside a parked car (Man's Best Friend, ha!) brings tears to my eyes, making a simple trip to the supermarket fraught with danger. Ditto reading the newspaper. But recently I have come to find out I am not crazy, I am simply hyper-empathic, or an "empath." Sort of a human sponge, I feel too much and there's nothing I can do about. Following are the most common traits of an empath; who knows, you might be one too.
Soul Survivor: Feels less stressed when alone.

Leave Me Alone: In close relationships, requires distance and periods of solitude.

Ouch!: Highly sensitive to sounds, smells, bright lights and the feel of certain fabrics.

I'm So Tired: Often suffers with fatigue and feels drained following social interactions.

Whatever You Want: In relationships or friendships, feels that the needs of others trump their own. Agrees to things they don't want to do to please others.

What Was Your Name Again?:  Connects very quickly and deeply with total strangers.

Let Me Help: Drawn to people who are who are ill or have been victimized in some way, wanting to heal them or make their world better.

        Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire: Instinctively knows when someone is lying.

What's Really Going On?: Unable to take things at face value, they are constantly searching for  answers that might explain the situation.

That Poor Doggie!: Connects strongly with the animal kingdom and identifies with their emotional and physical pains.

Let Me Out:  Are most at peace when spending time in nature.
Did You Say Something?: Easily distracted when doing things they don’t enjoy, they zone out in situations where the mind is not stimulated.

I'm Not Going There:  Crowded places like sports arenas, large concert venues and shopping malls cause anxiety and require downtime following excursions to such venues.

Not A Party Animal: Struggle to relax and enjoy themselves groups unless they are extremely comfortable with those surrounding them.

        Artsy-Fartsy:  Creative and highly imaginative. Writing, art, music, dance, building and design   are pastimes they are passionate about and happiest doing.

       Neat Freak: Prefers living space to be clutter-free and minimalistic, believing that chaotic  surroundings make for chaotic minds.

       Tell Me Everything: Often used as a sounding board or dumping ground by those seeking to  unload their problems.




Thursday, October 27, 2016

Buy My Mittens?

With the ongoing revelations that our probable next president is even more of a lying, scheming, conniving criminal than we already thought but nobody cares because she has a vagina and so that makes it all okay, I am officially over politics. I am also over artificial thrill-seeking, not that I was ever really into it, after reading about the four adults killed on a relatively innocuous water ride at an Australian amusement park called Dreamworld (hah!), going to the movies when there's plenty of decent stuff on Netflix, smoking pot (always a disappointment), shopping in a real store as opposed to simply ordering everything from Amazon, schlepping around Europe drinking lattes and looking at antiquities, watching Louis C.K. videos since now all he does is talk about having sex, and all forms of dessert. Thus I am currently in the market for new things to do.

I am considering taking up knitting although I've been there, done that after my first marriage ended and it was pretty boring, although less so than the marriage. Still, knitters seem so content. It keeps your hands busy and you get such nice things at the end, things you can use, not just hang on the walls. Who knows, maybe people will buy my mittens.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No-Brain Food

When you take food out of your life, and by food I mean exciting, delicious, complicated food, the kind that made Anthony Bourdain, who I happen to dislike a lot, a big celebrity, you find you have a lot more free time. One reason is that it puts a dent in your social life, if you had any to begin with. Everyone always wants to meet for lunch or brunch or dinner. How about we get together and just take a walk with no food involved? Why must eating be the center of everything? Enough already with the restaurants!

On the other hand, now that I am doing this Whole30 diet, there are no thoughts in my head other than what to eat and when to eat it. For breakfast today (and yesterday and the day before that) I had a banana and a few walnuts and a handful of blueberries. That was nice, but now I'm wondering what to have for lunch. Or I might even have a snack before lunch, that is totally allowed. Call me madcap but I just might do it. And then there's dinner, naturally, which I am supposed to be having with friends but I'd better check the menu at that place and see if it's Whole30 compliant.

Anyway, I've been really good with no cheating except I have weighed myself even though the rules strictly forbid it and I have lost a pound since I started and also feel better in general. That's good, but I might also be getting dumber. It will be interesting to see what I write about over the next few weeks as my brain cells get thinner.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dressing for Success

Despite the existence of a retail clothing chain called Forever 21, an article in yesterday's increasingly annoying Wall Street Journal discussed the burning issue of how women past the age of 40 should start "dressing their age." Since I am well past 40 this caught my attention, and I wondered just what I should wear that would be acceptable to all those people I don't know and will never meet who constitute the public and who may be offended by the sight of me in clothing deemed "too young."

A burka made of gummi bears: definitely too young!

What is too young, anyway? (And of course, "Sez who?") Certainly those adorable "onesies" and  footed pajamas and bunny slippers would fall into that category, although I am pretty sure you can sleep in whatever you want. But as for outdoor wear, I am unsure and would hate to offend. This is one of those problems they avoid in Islamic countries with the enforced burkas on women, making life so much easier. So maybe they're not all wrong after all. (Sadly I can't see that trend catching on here, although admit it: Haven't you seen lots of women out there in shorts and tank tops who you wished were wearing a burka instead?)

At bottom is the unstated fact that dressing young gets attention, forcing any onlookers to actually see an old person. This is unpleasant for anyone young who doesn't want to be reminded of the fact that they are inevitably headed in that direction. Thus old people are supposed to try as hard as they can to be invisible. No bright colors! No short skirts displaying wobbly knees or sagging skin! And certainly no low-cut anything, since breasts must be perky and inflated to matter at all!

I am going to the dentist this morning and plan on wearing jeans and a sweater with a polka-dotted scarf. I just hope those dots aren't too loud for my age, because the last person you want to offend is your dentist, at least while he's working on your few remaining teeth.

Monday, October 24, 2016

30 Days to a Whole New Me

It's been three years since I took control of anything, least of all my life, instead allowing myself to be buffeted about by the winds of change. But enough is enough as the saying goes, and so half an hour ago I embarked once again on The Whole 30, a healthy eating program that promises to slim me down, rev me up and uncover my best self. If this all happens in a month just by giving up sugar, dairy, grains, wheat, oats, cereal, alcohol and legumes, and not weighing myself daily, I say it's a small price to pay.

This decision comes after four days of eating mindlessly while out of town visiting dear friends who fed us very well, and a few restaurant meals high on the salt/butter content. And flying First Class round-trip didn't help, what with the flight attendant coming by every fifteen minutes with a variety of ultra-fattening goodies I grabbed by the handful, hoping their consumption would make me forget I was locked inside a tube hurtling across the sky. (Yes, I have heard that flying is the safest form of travel, but still I find it disconcerting when the seat in front of me is emblazoned with the words, YOUR SEAT CUSHION CAN BE USED AS A FLOTATION DEVICE. You almost never see that in a car or a bus or train.) So sure, I'll have another bag of that salty-sweet spicy popcorn, and a couple of those chocolate-chip cookies and some nuts too, thanks.

While there are plenty of nay-sayers out there who debunk this program as, well, as bunk, I have five pairs of jeans, two of them never worn, waiting patiently in my closet cheering me on. I'm doing it for them. And of course to meet my best self; that sounds good too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Who's In Your Basket?

Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose basket of deplorables is huge and filled with half the citizens of America (see photo), mine is very small. Teeny, in fact; there are just two people in it, and I'm pretty sure you can guess their names.

One of them is female, a pathological liar who wouldn't know the truth if it smacked her in her grinning ear-to-ear Botoxed face. She says one thing to the rich and something else to the poor, pandering all the while to those oh-so-important LGBTs like they're gonna save us from ISIS and all-out war with Russia. Just one of her thousands of mannish pantsuits could probably feed a family in Haiti for a month. (And FYI, she owes the people of Haiti "big time," according to a friend in the know who witnessed her "charitable foundation's" botched "help" firsthand years ago.)

The other is also a pathological liar --pretty much all politicians are -- who says some good things among all the atrocious things, but the atrocious things far outweigh the good ones. He has the temperament of an adolescent boy which makes him popular in our very immature society wherein people eat pizza and have breadsticks as a side dish and cinnamon buns for dessert. He's funny, but for the wrong reasons. (Except for Rosie O'Donnell.) Worst of all, I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to be president anyway and never has, so what a waste of our time.

So who's in your basket?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Some Emails Are Worth Sharing

I am pretty excited! I just received the email shown above and I couldn't be prouder. I am going to complete their short order form and go for it! I have always wanted to be an icon, and now I'll have the chance! I have also always wanted to brand myself, but it sounded so painful I would never do it. But I guess now there's another kind of branding that doesn't involve a hot iron, and I'm ready to find out all about it.

I just wonder how these people found my name. It must be from this blog, since all the other things I do -- like research a cure for cancer and feed the poor in under-developed countries and create new apps for the iPhone -- are done under my pseudonym, with a whole other email address on my private server in the basement. (That's one of the things I have in common with Hillary Clinton.)

Anyway, most of my emails are fairly mundane, but this is one I wanted to share with all of my loyal readers. I can't wait to inspire women with my story.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sympathy for the Devil

This makes as much sense as hating Donald Trump.

Somewhere deep inside the soul, if they have one, or perhaps underneath the beating heart, if they have one, of every smug, self-satisfied Democrat, a snide little voice is surely screaming, "Come on, let's go jump on the I Hate Donald Trump bandwagon! After all, everyone's doing it! Maybe that will make me feel better about myself."

You get my point. These days the thing to do is hate Donald Trump.  And not just hate him, but hate him with every fiber of your being. He is the Devil. Pure evil. As Babu Bhatt would say, wagging his finger, "He is bad man. A very, very bad man." (Seinfeld fans get this.)

But surely there must be a few lone Democrats out there who do not hate Donald Trump. That doesn't mean they endorse him, only that they still have warm blood running through their veins and can see the human being inside the suit, under the "orange hair" that they all like to mock, who shares some of the same qualities we all possess, and who might even be deserving of a teaspoon of our compassion.

Instead, they all pile on. It's like that fad back in the 1950's of stuffing as many people inside a phone booth as could fit. (The record was 25; no telling how many were Democrats.) It was dumb, stupid, moronic, pointless and dangerous, yet quite popular among those brainless baboons known as human beings. So too is trashing Donald Trump. Hate him in private if you want, but can't you just shut up about it and vote for someone else? Jesus Christ, people, how about a little sympathy for the devil?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Beware The New York Times! (No Joke)

Last night my husband and I were transfixed by a gripping 2004 documentary on Netflix called The Witness, which deals with the 1964 true crime story of Kitty Genovese, a 28-year-old bar manager in the affluent Queens, New York neighborhood of Kew Gardens. She often worked until two or three in the morning. One night she returned home, parked her car in her usual spot in front of her apartment building, and was raped and stabbed to death by a man whose stated motive was that he was "looking for a girl to kill" that night. The reason it stayed in the headlines, turning Kitty's 15 minutes of fame into 50 years, was a front-page story in the New York Times claiming that 38 of her neighbors had witnessed the ongoing crime for a full half-hour, gaping out of their nearby apartment windows as if they were watching a play down below, and not one of them did a thing to stop it.

Kitty Genovese: A household name overnight.
I was 18 years old at the time, living just twenty minutes from the crime scene and about to go off to college. The story blew my already fragile nervous system to smithereens and added to my inherent distrust of just about anyone and everyone. Fortunately, owing to the callousness of youth I forgot about it soon enough, still I always believed the premise that nobody gives a damn about you unless they are family, and sometimes not even then.

So I was further blown away by this movie, which explains in detail through the obsessive detective work of Kitty's surviving younger brother, William Genovese, that not all was as reported by the newspapers and in the many, many TV specials and a couple of books devoted to the murder. It turns out that nobody watched it happen, but some people were awakened by screams. Several of them did call the police. One man yelled out his window and the assailant ran off, only to return soon after to finish the deed. Another woman, a close friend of Kitty's, ran downstairs to her aid, but it was too late. Kitty died in her friend's arms.

We learn from interviews William conducts with several of the editors who worked at the Times back then, as well as a leading TV news anchor of the day, that the story was more compelling -- meaning sold more papers -- when it was "tweaked" a bit. (You know, like all that stuff about Donald Trump sexually assaulting women.) It's a great movie, by the way, with an always-interesting look at life in a simpler time and a harrowing audio reenactment of the crime you will not soon forget. In the not-dying-in-vain department, Kitty's death was the catalyst for the 911 Emergency System we have today.

If Cows Were People

On some days I wish I were a cow. Not a big fat lady but a real cow. There is a tribe of Belted Galloways living in our neighborhood just about one mile from my house, and I drive by them daily. Seeing them always brightens my mood, especially on gloomy afternoons when their broad white middles exude a festive DayGlo quality.

There are about twenty-five of them, give or take a few, and they are always hanging out together, eating or sleeping in the sun. When it rains they congregate under the nearby trees. Recently they welcomed about seven or eight babies, who are of course too cute for words. Tourists, and even the local residents, are forever pulling over to the side of the road to take their picture.

Sadly we must assume they are not all that bright, which is why most of them end up as hamburgers. I try not to think of this, but according to Wikipedia, "Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality marbled beef, although they are sometimes milked and purchased to adorn pastures due to their striking appearance."

I'm hoping my neighbors fall into the latter category.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Primal Times Ahead

If you somehow got lost alone in the forest armed with nothing at all but your wits, could you survive? As night fell and the temperature dipped below freezing, could you start a fire? Would you know what foods were available all around you that you could safely eat? 

My answers to the preceding questions are no, no and no. This is troubling since I live in Maine and there are tons of forests here, one even right behind my own home. And while I can't imagine the scenario where I end up alone in the woods, it could happen. Which is why I admire today's younger generation, who for their own reasons, not least of which is mistrust in the future of a screwed-up society not of their making, have focused on living naturally on the planet, as God intended. (Yes I said God, but you can substitute another appropriate word if you can think of one.)

My own son is one of those forward-thinking urban foragers who could get by if need be without supermarkets or restaurants or electricity or even a book of matches, and for that alone I am very proud of him. Zack now gives classes on these skills, sharing his broad knowledge with city folk who are clueless about surviving without their cell phones fully-charged. I sure hope he's nearby when the End comes, say after Trump is elected next month. (Or Hillary.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

We, the Huddled Masses

In 1883, the American poet Emma Lazarus wrote "The New Colossus" for an art auction aimed at funding construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Twenty years later her sonnet was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal's lower level. Since then her words have been used many times, mostly by politicians (JFK and Obama to name a couple) looking for soaring rhetoric to describe the glories of life in these United States, particularly the second stanza which reads:

     “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” 

Maybe we should move the Statue of Liberty from New York Harbor since, let's be honest, it ain't working here, considering all the homeless in every American city. I for one have been a tempest-tossed huddled mass yearning to be free for most of my adult life, and looking around I see I have plenty of company. 

News flash: None of us are free! We are constantly fed lies by the media, and I don't just mean Brian Williams I mean all of them. And by our politicians like Hillary Clinton who claimed she dodged sniper fire in Bosnia but oops it was just a young girl who kissed her.  And by large corporations like Samsung with their exploding cell phones and VW with their phony emissions controls. We mustn't leave out Donald Trump who claims the latest allegations of his sexual misconduct by a reporter from People magazine couldn't have happened because they were in a "very public area with people all around," when it actually took place in a private bedroom and nobody was a witness.  

Then there's the idea cooked up by a series of politicians way back in the early 1900s, including Herbert Hoover and continuing up through Obama, with a lot of help along the way from the National Association of Realtors, that signing on to a lifetime of mortgage payments and getting stuck in one place for your whole life constitutes "The American Dream," along with a full-time job for your entire productive years with weekends off for good behavior. The final piece of the happiness pie according to those people behind the curtain controlling the messages we, the huddled masses, receive is that marriage and family are necessary for true happiness. (Just ask the Menendez brothers about that one since you can't ask their parents.)

No wonder antidepressant prescriptions are up, along with addictions to drugs and alcohol: We are all the huddled masses. The antidote: Put down the cell phone, turn off the TV and grab a book (or two or three) on Buddhism and meditation. Join a yoga class, go for a run, walk outside and breathe the fresh air. Try thinking for yourself for a few days and soon enough you'll stop huddling and stand up straight.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Unfair and Off-Balance News

The biggest mystery of all the ones percolating today (the ominous "Clinton Death List" not least among them) is the persistent myth that FOX News is crazily biased while other news outlets are not. This lie is instantly dispelled when you sit down and watch all the major purveyors of news in turn.

Case in point: Last night I channel-surfed between CNN, FOX and MSNBC. Over on CNN the lineup of "expert" panelists sat ready to weigh in on heavy subjects, like did Donald Trump ever kiss a woman without her consent and if so, how disgusting. They gossiped back and forth like schoolgirls about this for a long while, and finally anchor Anderson Cooper changed the subject, promising that after a commercial break they would return to tackle the pithy subject of a new batch of Hillary Clinton's emails just dispatched by WikiLeaks.

Over on FOX they were already talking about those emails: Another panel of "experts" were analyzing the content, divulging who said what to whom, and considering if and how they reflected on Clinton herself. Some of it was pretty damning stuff, with critical comments directed towards Catholicism calling it a "a middle ages dictatorship," a sarcastic demand for a check for six million dollars from a Saudi sheik to get a verbal "thank you" from the Clinton Foundation, and a suggestion for Hillary to include something aimed at "those needy Latinos" in an upcoming speech.

Assuming they were now on it over at CNN, I switched back and found that their coverage of Hillary's leaked emails consisted of showing video of Donald Trump trash-talking about them at one of his rallies earlier in the day. Peering over his designer glasses, Anderson intoned that Donald had a lot to say about those leaked emails and was using them as a battering ram against Clinton. The rest of the panelists piled on in agreement: that mean old Donald! The whole story took about three minutes of air time and included not one thing about the content of the emails.

Meanwhile over at MSNBC -- the station that idiotically hired Brian "Liar-liar-pants-on-fire" Williams to somehow report the news truthfully -- a young, well-coifed unknown female whose name was followed by the words "Democratic Strategist" said that really, the content of the emails did not matter, but rather it was how they got leaked that mattered more. Was it the Russians and did Trump do it? Probably, the snarky anchor whose name escapes me concluded. And that was pretty much it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Go Ahead, Be A Party Pooper!

I have never liked parties, be they large or small, although certainly the smaller the better. Somehow, large groups of people elicit bad behavior from all participants. This is likely so they will be noticed in a crowd, or maybe because they won't. Either way, I steer clear of them whenever possible. That explains why I never had a wedding either time I tied the knot. (That, and remembering when my cousin got married in a huge, very fancy affair, and as she walked down the aisle a guest who had over-imbibed during the preceding cocktail hour leaned over and vomited in her path just as Betsy approached that very spot.)

So it's no surprise that I despise our creaky, leaky two-party system of government. As far as I'm concerned you can take the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and launch them into orbit, letting them piss and moan at one another somewhere out in the Milky Way. It's sickening to watch it for even one more second. We deserve better! Vote for who you want, not against who you don't want!  Screw them both and write in your dream leader! (No, that does not mean I am in favor of sexually assaulting the candidates, although if Donald Trump said it, it would.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Rise of the Monster Party

Knowing he can't win I have decided to vote for Donald Trump, if only to separate myself from the pack of feral wolves vociferously tearing at his flesh, despite the fact that his adorable 10-year-old son sees and hears all. And despite the fact that Donald really isn't very bad when compared to the sins of every past womanizing president, the worst of course being Bill Clinton who is poised to once again chase women around the hallowed halls of the White House, with JFK, FDR, and Thomas Jefferson (father of six children with Sally Hemings, one of his slaves at Monticello) vying for second place. And don't get me started on that hallowed drunkard Senator Ted Kennedy, who full-out killed a young woman, leaving her in a watery grave for nine hours before telling anyone, yet he received only a two-month suspended jail sentence and was re-elected and treated as a wise Party Elder and virtual God by the Democrats until his alcohol-soaked body finally gave out.

Trump is now and has been for months relentlessly hounded by a hungry press desperate for any and every morsel of scandal. Packs of reporters from the once esteemed and now lowly New York Times are literally tasked with finding dirt on the man. This was admitted by the paper's Public Editor in last Sunday's paper who openly bemoans the fact that they didn't start their witch hunt sooner, allowing the competitive Washington Post to unearth more scum about Trump earlier in the season, but still boasts: "Using a SWAT team of investigative reporters, the Times this year has gone after both Trump and his emissaries." (Just think about it: a SWAT team of reporters!)

Written in 1948, Shirley Jackson's seminal short story, "The Lottery" tackles the very phenomenon we see playing out today. The citizens of a small town in middle America select one person each year to stone to death in a public square. It is literally stunning in its spot-on depiction of that age-old topic: Man's Inhumanity to Man. This year the winning ticket goes to Donald Trump, allowing every single Democrat and many Republicans to instantly feel better about him or herself simply by loudly declaring how despicable the man is. But let's all remember: He is a man and not a monster. The true monsters are those holier-than-thou members of the media who have apparently created their own very powerful political party.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Somewhere Else Must Be Better

While many childhood memories of my parents have faded, I remember both of them constantly telling me how great America is and how lucky I was to be born here, as they too were. I also remember, sometime during my rebellious teen years, asking them how they could be so sure since neither one had ever lived anywhere else. In fact, the older I got the more I wondered about life "somewhere else."

Now I'm a lot older and I'm still wondering, especially after watching last night's televised train wreck called a "debate" between the two sorry candidates vying to occupy the White House and fly around the world in their own private airborne hotel whenever they damn well please. It was hard to tell who was nuttier: Trump lumbering around the stage like a demented bear just waking up after months of hibernation or Hillary with that snarky grin behaving like Nurse Ratched on way too much Valium.

I hear Norway and Switzerland are nice.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Down With Political Incorrectness!

A blatant example of poor taste aimed at dogs.
Thank God for all those dedicated liberals who wake up each day and stay glued to FOX News, looking for examples of political incorrectness. Where would we be without them? Still, they do miss things from time to time. For example, years ago The Band had a hit, one of the few songs of theirs I liked, called "Up On Cripple Creek."  Dammit, that's just plain wrong and disrespectful! The song is rife with political incorrectness and should be addressed since their music lives on today. Do we want our young people hearing these words and getting all triggered? (Fortunately they no longer have to tolerate Huckleberry Finn in schools since all copies have likely been burned by now, along with Tom Sawyer and Gone With the Wind.) 

Besides the awful "crippled," the word "drunkard" is also offensive and should be replaced with "person suffering from the disease of alcoholism." I am also not thrilled with the use of "nag" in the next to the last paragraph; how about "senior steed"?  Here are the new lyrics: 

Up On Physically Challenged Creek

When I get off of this mountain
You know where I want to go
Straight down the Mississippi River
To the Gulf of Mexico
To Lake George, Louisiana
Little Bessie, girl that I once knew
And she told me just to come on by
If there's anything she could do

Up on Physically Challenged Creek she sends me
If I spring a leak she mends me
I don't have to speak she defends me
A person suffering from the disease of alcoholism's dream if I ever did see one
Good luck had just stung me

To the race track I did go
She bet on one horse to win
And I bet on another to show
Odds were in my favor
I had him five to one
When that senior steed came around the track
Sure enough we had won

Up on Physically Challenged Creek she sends me
If I spring a leak she mends me
I don't have to speak she defends me
A person suffering from the disease of alcoholism's dream if I ever did see one

There. Now isn't that better?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The I of the Storm

I should be embarrassed to admit this but since nothing embarrasses me, except maybe being seen naked in public which has never happened so I'm only guessing, I'll say it: I'm jealous of all those people who live in the path of Matthew, the powerful Category 4 hurricane currently dominating the news, eclipsing even Hillary and Donald. (Thank God.) They, and by "they" I mean the hurricane-preparers, are living 100% in the here and now. For this very minute, and this one, and the next one too, and all the ones after that, they are concerned only with survival. There's no time for playing Candy Crush Saga or tweeting inconsequential nonsense. Suddenly, and just for today perhaps, their lives demand their full attention. They are busy being here now.

I am not busy being here now since my survival seems assured for the time being, at least for this morning.  I have food and shelter and water and toilet paper and lack only sleep since I was up until three in the morning worrying about the state of the world, the melting ice caps and the dying bees and the last indigenous tribes coming out of the Brazilian rain forest for a documentary on Netflix, whereas if I lived in Florida I would have knocked myself out moving all the outdoor furniture inside and boarding up the windows and stocking up on generators and flashlights and jerky before finally hunkering down and getting a good night's sleep.

So the hurricane is coming. Sure there are clouds, lots of them, but each one has that promised silver lining, which just might make it all worth it in the end. Now if the saying were, "Every cloud has a burlap lining," that would be a bummer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Horrible Vice-Presidential Debate

So the pretty Spanish lady asks the first question, "What makes you prepared to take over if necessary?" and neither one of them answers the question. Kaine goes first and talks about how great Hillary is and then goes into how much Trump sucks. Pence finally gets around to saying that he has a lifetime of experience growing up in a small town. Tim Kaine is busy writing. He always looks like he is wearing PJ's even when he is in a suit.  They both have their little American flag pins on their lapels.

Next question for Kaine: "Why don't people trust Hillary?" He says Hillary has had the passion to serve since she was a kid, completely ignoring the question! Now Pence is writing while Kaine is telling us Hillary's resume like we never heard of her before. Oops, he is now trashing Donald Trump -- this is how he is using his time? Now he's talking about how Trump said Obama was not born in the United States! Oy vay, how can he do this, isn't he embarrassed?

Now the nice lady asks Pence why people don't like Trump, and he answers that Hillary fucked up the whole world as Secretary of State. I guess this is how this is going to go the whole time. Uh oh, Tim Kaine interrupted, loudly. This is making me cringe.

Tim has on a red tie and Pence has a blue tie, sort of funny isn't that the opposite of the whole red state blue state thing? Kaine is interrupting again! I hate him.  He looks like a bulldog, but a bulldog in pajamas. All they are doing is trashing each other's person! God please save us save us all, they are like little kids on the playground.

Now Tim is raising his voice! It's crazy, it's out of control, Tim just said "Guess what." He is a child. But yet he looks like an old man. Funny! Pence is at least handsome. The poor Spanish lady. Now she's talking about how black people get stopped more by the police. Duh, really? I can't watch anymore and it's only been twenty-five minutes.

Stuck in the Closet

Each morning when I get dressed I hear snickering from one side of my closet. That's where all my skinny pants hang out. I can't fit into about five pairs of jeans, two of them never even worn. I bought them on a day when I hadn't eaten breakfast, and though they were a tad snug I told myself I'd lose a few pounds and they would fit great. Wrong. Instead I gained a few and now they are simply out of the question, stuck in the closet forever, or until I stop eating ice cream when I'm sad, which is unlikely considering so many things, including but not limited to which lying egomaniac wins next month. Still I keep them because I'm determined they'll fit me again. Someday.

There's also hear grumbling coming from the other end of the closet. That's where my former fat clothes live, and they are pissed. Along with a couple of dresses there's that expensive black cashmere coat, perfect for going to the symphony or to a funeral. It looks ridiculous on me now, more like a bathrobe than anything else. Fortunately I haven't needed it since moving to Maine as the only funeral I have attended was in the summer. As for the symphony, people wear jeans and flip-flips to everything in America's Vacationland, including funerals I found out.

The loudest noise comes from the shoes lining the closet floor and dispensing a cacophony of boos, taunts and bitter complaints over not being worn despite how attractive they are, how very supportive, and how much better than the $27.00 plastic Crocs I have sported since the snows melted last May. I assure them that winter is coming so at least the boots will soon have their day in the sun. Well, you know, their day. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

We Report, You Decide: Democracy or Idiocracy?

How much is too much?
Tomorrow night at exactly 7 pm PT you can see the classic 2006 cult film Idiocracy, airing for one night only "on the platform of your choice," whatever that means. It will also play in select theaters around the country, again just on October 4. So what, you ask? Well, the prophetic film about a future run by the dummies in the country is sort of turning, or already has turned depending on your own IQ, into reality, and you might want to check it out for some pointers.

One example of the downward dive of the intelligentsia can be seen in the New York Times Magazine circa two days ago. Back in the day that worthy publication was my reason for getting out of bed on a Sunday. The articles were brilliant, the topics high-falutin' and the crossword puzzle was taxing and sometimes impossible to complete. Not so anymore; my husband and I finished the most recent puzzle in record time, and without even cheating. Even worse is some of the information contained within that magazine's drastically over-designed covers. Following is a sample:

Page 27: A feature called "Tip" tackles the thorny problem of How to Walk in High Heels, seriously dispensing such advice as, "Start with the right shoes. Thicker heels are easier. You can't stand in eight-inch stilettos comfortably for as long as you can in chunky-heeled boots. Stand up straight, spend some time practicing, don't obsess over mechanics..." Blah, blah, blah.

Page 24: A weekly Q and A column called "The Ethicist" which purports to address genuine problems regarding ethics ponders a question from a woman whose husband drinks a 12-pack of Mountain Dew every few days. She thinks that's excessive and wonders if it is.

Page 10: A graphic chart accompanies the following paragraph: 
"Dear Reader: Are You Keeping Up With the Kardashians? Every week the magazine publishes the results of a study conducted online in June by The New York Time's research-and-analytics department, reflecting the opinions of 2,563 subscribers who choose to participate. This week's question: How many Kardashians can you name?"

I rest my case. Don't forget: tomorrow night at 7 PT. (That's 10 on the East Coast.)

You Gotta Be You

One of the perks of aging -- and I say one of the perks hoping there are more I have yet to discover but fearing there may not be -- is that I am finally old enough to stop thinking about what I should be doing in order to make myself more tolerable to others and instead just do what feels right. I'm pretty sure this is true for everyone who is not in dire straits and has the basics like food and shelter covered.

For example, my husband often suggests I find some activities that get me out of the house and interacting with others. Until quite recently I bought his line of thinking and, not wanting to live my life incorrectly, have sought ways to widen my social circle. But hey, guess what: I don't want to. In fact, the wider it gets, the worse I feel.

For most of my life I have judged my natural reclusiveness to be wrong behavior, thinking I should get out there and congregate like everyone else, or at least all the normal people. But what is considered to be normal congregation in this society these days goes against my very nature. And really, it's not crazy at all; there was even a hit song about it back in 1968 sung by Sammy Davis, Jr. who I never liked even a little (his glass eye was too distracting), which is why I paid no attention to it. Then too, I was only 22 at the time and the last person I wanted to be was myself. But now I do. (At last.)

I Gotta Be Me
Whether I'm right or whether I'm wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I've gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won't give up this dream
Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won't settle down, won't settle for less
As long as there's a chance that I can have it all

I'll go it alone, that's how it must be
I can't be right for somebody else
If I'm not right for me
I gotta be free, I've gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I've gotta be me

Lyrics by Walter Marks

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Go Your Own Way

Where is our unbiased press that delivers the facts in a clear and concise manner, allowing us to come to our own conclusions? Nowhere, that's where. It seems that at every turn there is verbiage (often churlish like today's column in The New York Times by Maureen Dowd) intended to shove the obviously slanted agenda of a particular publication down our collective throats. In fact, the whole news section of the Times, for several weeks now, has been rife with rigmarole aimed at discrediting Donald Trump and the Republicans who support him, culminating in today's pandering lead editorial printed in Spanish(!) to win over Latino voters.

Okay, we get it: the Times thinks Hillary is better. Still, this former First Lady who mercilessly trashed all the women her sexually deviant husband harassed and possibly raped, this former New York Senator who moved to a state where she had never lived to get herself elected, this former Secretary of State who ignored her own ambassador's repeated urgent requests for increased security with dire consequences, all the while overseeing a secret email server in her own home's basement, is not without her own long list of flaws, scandals and misdeeds.

What's a voter to do? I say forget about both of these miscreants and write in the person you wish could be president. I'm going with Governor John Kasich. (Sure he's boring, but couldn't we all do with a little boring right now?)