Sunday, September 29, 2019

Existential Crises for Dummies

Everyone's lives are so different. One of my friends is leaving soon for a two-week hiking adventure in Morocco. Another is off to Mexico for 10 days in November. A third is currently in India, posting pictures of the traffic in Delhi and his meals in fancy restaurants, while yet another leaves for Paris and Belgium in a few days.

Then there are the unlucky ones who started out with all the same advantages but somehow ended up with the short end of the stick. One, a former beauty queen now locked in a bad marriage with an abusive husband, has been housebound for five years with all sorts of physical and emotional ailments that keep her from eating and doing anything productive, Another is in constant pain, compounded by watching her beloved husband slowly succumb to dementia. Then there's the meth addict and his meth addict husband who is sadly focused on nothing at all besides his next hit.

None of these people give a crap who is running for president, yet if you turn on the TV news you will see that every minute of every broadcast is devoted to how Donald Trump is causing an existential crisis and imperiling the future of Democracy so we better kick him out of office. The media operates on some level outside of reality, and they make a lot of money doing it: Anderson Cooper of CNN, a news channel that fabricates reality to bump up their ratings, wears eyeglasses when he's in a suit and tie and shuns them when he's in a t-shirt -- that is some nutty eye condition! -- and earns $12 million annually.

As for me, I did something bad to my neck a few days ago and now I can hardly move it and the pain is searing. I'll vote for anyone who can fix it.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Something Worse Than Trump

Porky enjoying a refreshing beverage.....
Right now Donald Trump is not my biggest problem. He's not the one waddling around my wooded two acres of heaven, breaking off branches, eating the leaves and stripping the bark off trees to the point of murdering them. He doesn't shuffle onto our deck to drink from my cat's water bowl, just a foot away from our kitchen door. He's also not freaking out my cat, who unlike the neighborhood dogs knows nothing good can come from a confrontation with a wild creature covered with sharp quills.

 No, all of that is being done by a porcupine who has recently taken up residence on our land and in my mind, making the last week a Living Hell/Pain in the Ass, whereas Trump's behavior has not impacted me negatively, at least not yet, despite the dire warnings that he is another Hitler. When he starts rounding up Jews in the streets I'll stop worrying about the porcupine, but until then Trump is on the back burner and Porky, as my husband has taken to calling him, is front and center.

... before heading for a nap in the woods.
My options are few. I could rent a Havahart Live Capture cage for eight bucks a day and lay a trap, then drive at least 20 miles away -- apparently they find their way back --  and release him in a wooded area far from civilization. That seems like a major drag and potentially painful, quillwise. Or I could accept my son's offer to kill him with a bow and arrow and eat him. "Yum," Zack said, having heard that they are tasty. I say that's cruel and unusual punishment; Zack says that's the way the world works. I say that's the way the world works if you're in the Donner Party and it's the porcupine or your best friend.

Lastly, I could put out some sort of repellent or poison, but where would I put it? He seems to appear all over our yard at random times during the day, apparently unaware that porcupines are nocturnal creatures.

What I wish I could do is impeach him. Just kick his ass out of here! That's about the only way he's like Donald Trump.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Nancy in Wonderland

Tongues are wagging today concerning Trump and Biden and the Ukraine and Nancy Pelosi, who seemed loonier than ever in her announcement yesterday about impeaching the president. Big news for the moment, I had the thought that it's all just jabberwocky passing through the collective consciousness right now.

There's a difference, though: "Jabberwocky," a nonsense poem included in Lewis Carroll's 1871 novel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, is remembered today, while this minute's political nonsense will be gone in matter of months. (Remember the Mueller Report?) For your amusement, here's "Jabberwocky": 

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe."

The Mind is A Terrible Thing to Waste

The most extreme cases believe this.
The deadliest disease this century has spawned thus far doesn't yet have a name, so I'll give it one: Facebook Personality Disorder (FPD). Future generations will look back at this time period in horror, just as we reflect on past scourges like polio and the various plagues that ruined lives and decimated entire population centers.

I have a mild case of FPD but with constant vigilance I keep it under control. I use Facebook to post my blog, but I rarely engage in the long, angry, tortured streams of chatter that erupt over politics. These have been known to destroy self-esteem, ruin friendships, negatively impact marriages and eliminate basic human traits such as empathy, kindness and compassion. Native intelligence is also all but eliminated once the most virulent strain of FPD gains a foothold.

Early signs of the illness are laughing at or actually posting silly videos -- animals and babies are common subjects -- and/or adding comments to hateful scribes against a political figure or party. Both my husband and son have severe cases of FPD and I fear it is too late for them. I've given up preaching about it and have decided to concentrate on saving myself, and you should too. Remember: If someone comes to you and asks you to "Watch this video" on Facebook, run the other way fast. They are a carrier!

Monday, September 23, 2019

I Love Tucker Carlson

"Farhad, is that you?"
In an average day I think about Donald Trump NEVER. He has nothing to do with my life. My blood pressure neither rises nor falls based on his behavior. My husband doesn't travel less often, my dog is still dead and my sister is still in a nursing home no matter how many immigrants he detains at the border and whether or not he and Melania love each other.

In an average day, I think about Joe Biden NEVER, and about his son Hunter even less, if there can be less than never. Yet there are people who earn a living, in fact make a ton of money, by thinking about these people every minute of their waking lives. They sicken me. Worst of all is Rachel Maddow, a gay woman masquerading as a man who actually physically nauseates me when I see her so I try never to, although my husband watches her show on MSNBC just so he knows what sort of garbage "the other side" is spewing.

Of the swarms of journalists and opinionaters, the one I find most palatable is Tucker Carlson, a likeable chap with a nightly show on FOX News who seems committed to and adept at separating fact from fiction. Yesterday's New York Times, a paper no longer to be trusted with presenting the truth, contained a hit piece of mammoth proportions about Mr. Carlson. It was shocking in its display of pure hatred towards another human being, written by someone named Farhad Manjoo.

An obvious asshole, Manjoo's Wikipedia page says he is a "cisgender man," which means he identifies with the gender he was born with, but he still prefers to be referred to with "singular they" pronouns, leading to sentences such as, "Their family left South Africa when Manjoo was eight years old, and they were raised in Southern California." They are terrible people and I am the Eggman. (I have been the Eggman before, and I likely will be again.)

Friday, September 20, 2019


Ansel Elgort and Aneurin Barnard, two amazing actors I never heard of before.
Panned by all the professional movie critics trying to make a name for themselves, The Goldfinch is a perfect example of why we go to the movies: It's a total escape from your own life. For 130 minutes you'll think about nothing but what's on the screen. And what's on the screen is often thrilling, filled with awesome -- I usually avoid that word but it's true in this instance -- acting and searing images that will surely stay in your head for a long time. Amazingly, Brad Pitt isn't even in it.

Based on the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, The Goldfinch is easier to take as a film. I found the book to be too gruesome to finish, filled as it is with long descriptions of unpleasant and even gruesome behavior by a cast of debased characters steeped in drugs and violence. (The worst of these scenes were omitted from the film, although there is still quite a bit of that.) Instead, this long and convoluted tale of a young boy whose life is by turns awful and terrible, with only fleeting moments of happiness, reminded me of a pithy novel by Charles Dickens, sort of an updated "Oliver Twist."

The actors do a fantastic job of becoming other people. Luke Wilson, an actor who usually plays a cheery and lovable guy, here portrays a lowlife bastard so well I may never be able to respect him again. Even the ice-cold mannequin Nicole Kidman surpasses herself, displaying actual human qualities. But the most memorable performances are those of youngsters I have never seen or heard of before but likely will after this movie.

I give The Goldfinch two thumbs up, and I wish I had more thumbs.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sexy Siri

Like many otherwise normal businessmen, my husband is very attached to his cell phone. He looks at if first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I find this bizarre. But tonight things took a turn for the worse as, for some reason, he became obsessed with Siri, the virtual assistant who lives inside his phone (and everyone else's iPhone). Mitch, feeling impish, possibly from too much Haut-Medoc at dinner, decided to pester Siri. It went like this:

Siri, what are you wearing? 
In the cloud we don't wear clothes.

What will you do to me when I'm naughty?
I don't have an answer for that.

Siri, from now on I'd like you to call me Dr. Hightower. 

Siri, what's my name?
Your name is Mitch, but since we are friends I can call you Dr. Hightower.

Siri, how old are you?
I am as old as the eastern wind and as young as a newborn caterpillar.

Do you have big breasts?
I am an AI voice. 

Are you pretty? 
I don't really think about that. I'm not one to mirror-gaze.

There were more questions of a sexual nature and not suitable for printing here, trust me. I started worrying that Siri would lodge a complaint and convinced Mitch to stop before the Thought Police came pounding on our front door. I suppose I should feel better than a friend of mine, whose brilliant 34-year-old son asked Siri to call him, "Captain Big Dong Dick, Yeah Daddy."

In conclusion, there is a lot of time being wasted on technological devices by otherwise intelligent people. This is exactly how the human race will be conquered by extraterrestrials.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Van Gogh's Ear

Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, I am considering cutting off my ear and sending it to some guy who contacted me yesterday asking if he could use my art on his website after seeing my paintings exhibited in my periodontist's office. That in itself may sound crazy, but this is not just any office of just any periodontist: It's a beautiful space and he's a beautiful man. A patron of the arts, he decided months ago to give his artist patients a venue to display their work and possibly sell it, without taking a cut. That's a rare and good thing.

One of his other patients is a psychiatrist who saw my paintings and emailed me asking if he could use them on his website to "enhance" such topics as Panic Attacks, Mass Shootings, General Anxiety Disorder, Bipolarism, Schizophrenia and more of the distressing conditions that fall under the umbrella of Mental Illness. Supposedly the addition of my art would "lessen the stigma of mental illness by showing what it is to be human." I would not be paid but "credited."

I rejected the offer, if you could call it that, saying that permitting the use of my art for free in that context would actually demonstrate what it is to be mentally ill. (Who knows, maybe that's what he meant in the first place.) Anyway, I'm not really going to cut off my ear, I just thought that would be a great intro to this anecdote since poor Vincent died without selling one painting and it looks like I'm  following in his footsteps.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Return of the Muckrakers

You gotta feel a little sorry for the Democrats, after all. Here they are without any wool, trying to spin mere threads into a bulky knit sweater to protect them from the harsh winds of November 2020. Sadly, they will freeze to death. Their latest thread is one involving a 54-year-old sitting Supreme Court Justice with a long and illustrious legal career behind him, as well as two children and an adoring wife of 15 years.

Once again, some alleged drunken teenage behavior of Brett Kavanaugh has surfaced, or rather been dug up by teams of reporters no doubt employed by the New York Times which broke the "story."  This time he had his pants pulled down, likely by his Yalie frat brothers, who then pushed his naked self into some girl. This beer-fueled nonsense is now being deemed "sexual assault." What's worse, three of the loonies running for the Democratic nomination -- Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Julian Castro -- are calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment! (Their favorite word.)

It's embarrassing to watch these pathetic former adults dissemble into a rock-throwing mob of hysterical children. But I guess that's what happens when panic sets in and cold winter is coming.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

How Much is Too Much Skin?

Recently, a high-school student's win at a swim meet in Anchorage, Alaska was disqualified because of how her team-issued swimsuit fit her. The 17-year-old student at Dimond High School had competed in four events at a competition last Friday, winning one of them. But her joy was short-lived after a race official claimed her swimsuit had "shifted into a position" that violated a rule, showing "too much skin."

Meanwhile, the photo shown above featuring a girl of about the same age ran as a full-page bra ad at 12 x 23 inches, suitable for framing, a couple of Sundays ago in the New York Times. I wonder which girl's parents are proudest of their daughter?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Film Review: POMS

Rhea Perlman, Pam Grier, Diane Keaton and Jackie Weaver. Oy vay.
When I got married 32 years ago I didn't realize I would be spending so much time alone. Not that I got married for the company, but still, you like to see your spouse every now and again. My husband has always traveled quite a bit for his work, and it seems he's gone more than ever now that we live in Maine and it takes two planes to get anywhere from here.

One of the worst things about Mitch being gone is that evenings are mine to fill, and not being much of a social butterfly I spend them at home. When I had a dog I wasn't really alone, but now that I'm down to one cat who prefers to roam our woods looking for things to stalk, pester and, worst case, kill, it's pretty much just me. So, to fill a few hours I turn to a deadly habit I have yet to kick: watching movies on TV that my husband would never agree to watch. You know, chick-flicks and rom-coms. It's a mixed bag: When they're good it's a satisfying way to spend an evening. But when they're bad, it causes remorse. Last night I watched one that caused a lot of remorse. 

POMS stars Diane Keaton as Martha, a woman dying of cancer who decides, while she is dying of cancer, to stop all treatment and leave New York City where she has lived for 46 years, in the same apartment mind you, sell all her stuff and drive to Georgia to live in a tacky little furnished house in a senior citizen gated community where everyone drives golf carts and wears cardigans and golf shoes. "I've come here to die," she tells the community's Manager upon her arrival. (She might have added, "and I'm taking my career with me.")

Really? We are supposed to believe that someone would do that? In all those 46 years, surely she made some friends. And she looks exactly like Diane Keaton, after all, so she was once young and very beautiful, and still looks pretty good despite being at Death's Door. (Still with the Annie Hall wardrobe at 73.) What -- no old boyfriends in her life? Nobody gives a shit that she's dying? She leaves behind all her doctors? Oh please.

Anyway, in Sunshine Acres or whatever it was, Martha starts a cheerleading club for some of the other old gals. (I mean, who wouldn't? You're in your end days, why not do something totally out of the box, especially since pretty soon you'll be in one.) There are the usual old people jokes about indigestion, knee replacements and broken hips. One gal ends up in a wheelchair after breaking her ankle from just walking too fast. Every so often -- more and more as the movie and the cancer progress, and sometimes during cheerleading rehearsals -- we get to watch Martha slump over a toilet to throw up. I felt like doing the same when I realized the only reason Keaton accepted this role is because no others are being offered to her.

She died, I cried, it was stupid. I can't wait for Mitch to get home.

Something's Gotta Give

God help us, please.
The Democrats are so mean. Elected by their constituents to actually work and pass laws that help the country run, instead they have spent all of Trump's time in office, which is three years, desperately trying to take him down. Nothing has worked but they are still at it. Despite the Russia hoax coming up empty they plod on, looking for a shred of evidence that he tried to block the aforementioned investigation in some manner that would be impeachable, who cares that the whole thing turned out to be a big fat lie instigated and largely paid for by the Hillary Clinton ('memba her?) campaign. It's almost too bizarre to believe, yet there are still people, many of them my friends and relatives, who align themselves with that twisted logic.

 An article in today's Wall Street Journal discusses a new Instagram hit: Called a Rainbow or Sprinkle Explosion Cake, it is covered with sprinkles and filled with sugar candies inside that explode out when you slice into its many layers. Naturally it takes a good long time to make and about two minutes to eat. (If you're short on time but long on cash, buy one for about $150.)

I think its time for a city-sized asteroid to hit the planet again, like the one that took out the dinosaurs. Researchers in Mexico have recently unearthed new evidence of such an occurrence that unleashed tsunamis and earthquakes and deadly debris for years and years. I could get behind that, especially when you look at how Mankind (and Womankind and Theykind and Itkind and Uskind and Queers) has squandered his/her/its/their time on Earth. We need a sign, like the oceans parting or a burning bush to show up in the middle of Central Park.

Honestly, something's gotta give.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Wisdom of the Beach Boys

Never a good look.
For reasons far too complex for me to comprehend, so many people are insistent that being fat is just fine and that turning your God-given perfect body into a pile of blubber is acceptable. This is nuts, sort of like saying it's okay to be a heroin addict or to smoke crack or to drink so much your nose turns blue. None of the aforementioned practices are okay.

Last night my husband and I went out to dinner at a local restaurant. As usual we had to change tables several times, and then change seats at the final table we chose so that I could avoid looking at someone really, really fat while I ate. It just makes me lose my appetite, and I was pretty hungry. One young woman who grossed me out was way, way bigger than a polar bear. She could hardly fit into her chair. She was pathetic, and as if often the case, she had such a pretty face!

I wanted to go over there and shake some sense into her, but of course I didn't because, hey, you only change when you want to change. Brian Wilson, the genius behind the Beach Boys, put it this way in, "I Know There's An Answer," one of the great songs on his album Pet Sounds:

"I know so many people who think they can do it alone. They isolate their heads and stay in their safety zones. Now what can you tell them, and what can you say that won't make them defensive?"

"They come on like they're peaceful but inside they're so uptight. They trip through their days and waste all their thoughts at night. Now how can I come on and tell them the way that they live could be better? I know there's an answer, I know now -- but I had to find it by myself."

Sunday, September 8, 2019


In the old days before people started going crazy with boredom because modern technology had robbed them of every task formerly done by humans and now they have too much time on their hands, someone who was half-man and half-woman was called a "freak" and might have been seen in a "freak show" at the circus. Now we call them "transgenders" and treat them like royalty, or at the very least CEOs, giving them their own bathrooms and splashing them on magazine covers. It's nuts.

Dave Chappelle dares to insinuate this in his new Netflix TV special, Sticks & Stones, which has been panned by all the petrified, politically correct reviewers at places like the New York Times and the smug, self-satisfied, oh-so-literary New Yorker. Well, never mind them, they wouldn't know funny if it hit them over the head with a penis pump. I watched it last night and it was truly hysterical.

Over the course of one hour Dave says everything you've been thinking but aren't allowed to say, and somehow gets paid for it. He screams "Faggot!" into a crowded auditorium and is met with gales of laughter. (Don't try this at home.) He wonders, as I do, why it's okay for him to say "nigga" but not "faggot." He advises every black American to register for a legally-owned gun. He makes fun of gays and lesbians, and let's face it, they do take themselves too seriously just because they like having sex with their own kind. I mean really, who cares?

Anyway, if you're in the mood for splitting a gut, watch it.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Fall is the Safest Season

I'm already sad that fall is over even though technically it hasn't even started. Still, when you wait for something for nine months it would be nice if it went on for at least that long. Imagine if fall lasted for nine months and the crappy other seasons each lasted for one month. Life would be better.

For example, take winter, an especially harsh time of year. From 1999 to 2011, a total of 16,911 deaths in the United States (or an average of 1,301 per year) were associated with exposure to excessive natural cold. The highest number of annual hypothermia-related deaths (1,536) was in 2010. Added to that are deaths from other causes: Each year avalanches kill more than 150 people worldwide. Over the last 10 winters in the U.S. an average of 25 people died in avalanches annually.

According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA): During the past 10 years, an average of 41 people have died skiing or snowboarding per year. During the 2011/12 season, 54 fatalities occurred out of the 51.0 million skier/snowboarder days reported.

Okay, then there's summer. Skin cancer and shark attacks aside, from 2005-2014 there were an average of 3,536 fatal non-boating-related drownings annually in the U. S. — about ten a day.  Another 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.

Spring is nice, right? So why did T.S. Eliot famously write that, "April is the cruellest month"? Possibly because from 2000 to 2017, stings from bees and wasps were responsible for 1,109 deaths, or roughly 62 fatalities each year, the CDC said.

Read more here:

Conversely, not a single death has been reported due to breathing in the crisp fall air, or tromping through crunchy fallen leaves, or driving through mountains covered in a vast array of technicolor glow, so beautiful as to be distracting, especially on the road between Maine and Canada in early October, OMG! Anyway, apple cider has killed nobody.  Ditto apple cider donuts, hot mulled cider, apple crisp with whipped cream, pumpkin pie and turkey with all the trimmings. And don't forget all those great woolly sweaters, cute hats, comfy socks and cozy PJ's. And of course, Halloween, always sort of fun and different even if you hate it. And all the mums, they can't hurt you. No more black flies, or greenhead flies, or any color flies. And guess what, all the mosquitoes are gone! You can walk outside without fear of mainlining calamine lotion later that night. It's glorious.

I rest my case.

Friday, September 6, 2019

We All Get Old

I am an old, white, female Jew. I never think about being white, or female, or Jewish, and I never have. I do, however, think about being old, since in our society being old is about the worst thing you can be. Old people are unheralded, until their funerals when everyone says what a great person he or she was. (Yeah, there are only hes and shes, get over it.)

Nobody stands up for us. In fact, they do the opposite. The major criticism you hear repeatedly about Joe Biden running for president is how damn old he will be when he takes office. Not about how dumb he already is and has been since he plagiarized his term paper (or whatever) in law school, or how unfit for any office of any kind he is, grabbing women willy-nilly to smell their hair or kiss their necks. No, just carping about his damn age! Bernie Sanders, too is, so old, forget that he's a lunatic who wants to give free health care to illegal immigrants and he talks like that. (Oy vay.)

Old people are useless in a society where fashion models who are 14 and rock stars in their twenties earn huge salaries while anyone over 70 is encouraged to volunteer, which means work for free just to stay busy.

Pisses me off.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Debra Messing's Mess

Oy, that schnoz!
I would like to take this opportunity to..... No wait, let me start over: I would like to jump at the chance to trash the actress Debra Messing in print. The weakest link on a great old TV show called Will & Grace, she was the worst of the four leads even though she was named in the title. (She was Grace.) But she wasn't funny, had a weird big nose even after the nose job and too many teeth that were too white, an obnoxious laugh and was too damn skinny with not the slightest indication of breast tissue, despite being female. Still, I held my tongue because it's not nice to denigrate others in print.

Well, Debbie blew it when she retweeted -- I heard this secondhand since I don't have a Twitter account and if I did I certainly would not follow hers -- an Alabama church sign that stated, “A black vote for Trump is mental illness.” She also has been calling for a full disclosure of Trump’s supporters, arguing that the public should know who is donating to and fundraising for his re-election campaign.

Of course, the misguided folks at the Alabama church who put up the sign on their property are likely white trash, or maybe black Trump-haters, but no matter. Debra is a rich Hollywood Jew who should know better than to joke around about mental illness, or black people, or black people voting, or a church sign or anything to do with the south in the current climate of radical, touchy-feely political correctness. She should stick to bagels and plastic surgeons, and maybe even get that nose done again.

Singing the Begging Blues

You know what? I'm sick to death of seeing pictures of kids with cancer. And of skinny dogs with barbed wire wound around their necks. And of all the cities devastated by floods and what a diseased lung looks like and how plastic straws choke the life out of the dolphins in the Red Sea. No wonder we're all so depressed. (Yes we are.)

If I want to give money to a charity, I'll find one on my own and send a check. I don't need free note pads or tote bags or mailing labels or ugly calendars as incentive. Pictures of the starving babies or the kids with no lower lip or the returning war vets missing limbs make me sick, literally, and I'm about done with all of them. Hey, I got my own problems.

In fact, we all have our own problems. Sure, some are worse than others but still they are problems. One of my friends can't eat anything without getting sick. Another one had a stroke and can't figure out how to use an ATM machine. A third has inoperable tumors, a fourth lost a son to drugs, a fifth suffers the daily pain of worry over a homeless child in a distant city. Somebody else weeps for a dead pet, another for a dying parent. As for me, don't get me started. I've already lost too many loved ones to list here, my only sibling is a physical wreck in a nursing home, and my once-perfect body is falling apart bit by bit. And I'm one of the healthy ones!

So stop begging me for a handout, please. Stop with the pathetic cardboard signs at every intersection, the constant phone calls and email, the piles of junk mail clogging my post office box. Jesus Christ, shut up already! 

I'm begging you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


With hurricane season upon us, I'm thinking it looks like fun to be a TV weather forecaster, maybe on the The Weather Channel since that's everyone's go-to expert. But before I audition, I'm practicing here with a local weather forecast in my area:

"It's getting darker earlier these days, which tells me that summer is over and we can expect fall any time now, say towards the end of September. This evening it will become dark, and stay that way until morning. It looks a bit cloudy right now, so it might rain. In fact we could have some locally heavy thunderstorms with damaging winds, making power outages possible. If you're not prepared, I suggest going out and getting candles, a gas lantern, batteries, water, eggs, butter, milk, OJ, pet food and a copy of The National Enquirer in case the storm turns out to be even bigger than we think and you're stuck at home with no TV or Internet. Keep in mind that it might not rain at all, since it seems to be brightening. Then again, it might just sprinkle a little, so if you need to water your vegetable garden you should, although if it does rain a lot then you'll be sorry."

How'd I do?

Monday, September 2, 2019

Brain Power

I have long suspected that people are as different on the inside as they are on the outside. Last night I got tangible proof that this is the case. After a lovely dinner with our friends, my husband and I joined the other four in our living room-turned-art studio for a "paint and sip party."

Instructing them to follow their instincts and avoid looking at anyone else's work, I ran around filling wine glasses and offering helpful, or in some cases (I was told) annoying suggestions while the five of them got busy painting. After about two hours, they finished and presented their work for a group critique. As you can see, despite all the artists being human and all being friends, their final products have absolutely nothing in common besides the size of the canvas (12 x 12 inches.)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

FILM REVIEW: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Cate Blanchett, kayaking in Antarctica.
I really wanted to like this movie, having loved several of director Richard Linklater's earlier offerings (Bernie, Boyhood, School of Rock). Alas, I did not. Though it's sort of fun while you're watching it, Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a lot like eating movie popcorn: it's filling and tasty, but afterwards you feel slightly nauseous and still hungry for some protein. But the real problem is all the silly plot twists that will have you rolling your eyes and slapping your forehead in disbelief.

Cate Blanchett stars, and I do mean stars -- she's on screen almost every second, to the point you want to scream, "Take a break already!" As Bernadette, the rich-as-sin mother of a teenage girl and wife of a Microsoft tech genius (Billy Crudup), she's supposedly on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to the fact that she's an artist and her Muse died 20 years ago. Since then she's done little but hate the neighbors and everyone else in the world. But the only sign of her depression is the one time she falls asleep in public because of insomnia the night before. Otherwise she seems perfectly fine, looks gorgeous and is full of witty one-liners and pompous, self-important monologues delivered to her foreign assistant via cell phone.

There are some positives: Kristen Wiig is outstanding as a put-upon neighbor with a broomstick up her ass who despises Bernadette. Laurence Fishburne, an old friend of Bernadette's with almost no dialog, is on hand as the necessary black actor in a movie about white people's problems. A trip to Antarctica at the end is a magnificently beautiful travelog of drone-shot icebergs, glaciers and fjords you'll never see in person but wish you could. Also, if you like penguins there are plenty of them and they are pretty darn cute.

The Higher You Bid, the More It's Worth

Alligator handbag with gold finish by Cartier: $27,000 People value strange things. Especially rich people. For example, a woman's ...