Tag Archives: humor

40 Something Me…

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All those things I said would never happen have surreptitiously crept into my peripheral vision and like a Jack in the Box appear with alarming frequency when I least expect it.

Insert blinkered sign flashing “50 Dead Ahead” here.

“How old are you?”

The fluidity, and let’s face it, honesty, with which I used to answer this question is totally gone.

Now, there is a noticeable pause and stutter as my brain grapples its way round to the inevitable mathematical conclusion and issues forth a begrudging reply.

“40 something.”

Short of hot pincers beneath my fingernails, or an official badge, it’s the best response anybody will get from me.

I am a woman after all.

Also? I’m old enough to embrace the wise adage, “A lady never admits her age.”

I think that’s pretty normal. If you’re blessed to live long enough, most of us will reach an age that serves as a mental impasse, we wish to neither discuss, or acknowledge.

For me, that’s 45. The glorious no woman’s land, halfway between sophisticated 40, and fuck it all 50.

What alarms me is the gray area where my age used to reside. Not to mention, the gray hairs.

More often than I care to admit, I pause and calculate my age because, a. I flat out don’t remember it, or b. I think my memory is wrong. This just can’t be.

I spent a whole year telling people I was 43 when I was 44 soooo not on purpose.

That’s not early, onset Alzheimer’s, it’s a very subtle form of mental erasure, a selective memory processing as it were. Mind you, it happened of its own accord and began around 42. Please tell me I’m not the only one with this affliction.

People don’t believe my age, they keep telling me that I look like I’m 30 something.

Cause celebre?

Hell to the no.

Mental circumvention tactics aside, I FEEL my age. Or more aptly, all biological and societal indicators have begun to point North.

It started with the glasses. I was prescribed glasses and in a complete state of denial refused to wear them for a whole year.

Finally, I was forced to face reality because I got tired of squinting at small print on labels and moving things back and forth in a foolish attempt to focus in public places like a moron.

Along came bizarre conversations with my friends about “appropriate” attire for 40 somethings. Seriously?!

I refuse to let anyone tell me what to wear. If I look good enough to rock it, it’s all on the table. Fierceness is ageless! Think Tina Turner ;).

Fast forward to friends calling to inform me that they’re now peri-menopausal. WTF is that? Ok no.

Or, the long minutes of my life that I’ll never get back, standing in Pharmacy aisles staring at the extensive line of products aimed at women of a certain age.

There are so many products for dark spots, wrinkles etc. that it’s nothing short of baffling. I can’t tell you how many aggrieved women I’ve met in these shadowy aisles who look completely stressed out and leave empty handed in disgust and terror.

Oh for the days when I could snatch up any product and bounce. Now, I feel like I need to be a dermatologist to pick the right one. Never mind, the obscene prices. The beauty industry is pimping us out and making a gold mine.

If one more person calls me ma’am I won’t be responsible for what I do. They can have that mess.

Nor, has it escaped my notice that most of my favorite things are now classics. Considering the gray music and movies they’re turning out today that one’s not so bad.

Words have changed in their definition. Jail bait used to mean anyone under 21. At my age, it means anyone under 35. Try as I might, physical attraction still exists but once they start speaking, I’m tripping on how little they know. I can’t help but contemplate the ocean of inexperience that lies between us and the inexorable dwindling of desire is a foregone conclusion.

Gone is my desire for the fast, the quick, the cutting edge new. In it’s place, I find the precious ability to be still and delve deeper.

I know what matters to me now and certainty guides my steps as I pursue joy, knowing fully how transient and important it is.

I savor now, not just gulp lol.

I am more compassionate and wiser in ways that I never imagined and that’s priceless.

I think of all the time I spent trying to find myself, a necessary but arduous and painful task, and I’m happy to settle more comfortably into my 40 something, requires extra care, skin. Truly.

It’s all part of the process. A process that I’m blessed to continue experience unfolding.

Besides, I cant get distracted, I have a bag of pharmaceuticals dragging behind me and it takes all my concentration to hide their bulk behind my miniskirt. ūüėČ

Videos of the Week #7: A Day In History

Ah, yesterday. Isn’t it amazing that a date can shift with meaning based on historical events?

Just think, on January 21, 2011, Newt Gingrich won the Republican South Carolina Primary. On the very same day in 1997, he was fined $300,000 for ethical misconduct. The first Speaker in history to earn that umm distinction. Amazing!

Does yesterday’s vote indicate the collective amnesia of our citizenry, the corrosive effects of time, or the amazing propensity of humans ability to forgive? *Arched eyebrow* Inquiring minds want to know.

jan-21-1997-ethics-sanctions-gingrich-12641213

In the very strange hallways of my mind, the following cartoon has leapt to prominence as a result of yesterday’s election. Three guesses on who The Brain represents and who’s Pinky ;)…

Well, you have to give Newt one thing, he sure is quick on his feet when it comes to slinging mud and tapping into the lizard-like mindset of bigotry and anger that infects many Americans.

Things That Make You Go Hmm #5: A Dying Institution?

Ah well, I used to say I was a die hard romantic. Those days are no more. They died, well, hard. Ba dump bump. It’s a nice way to be but life has a way of stomping on one’s rose colored glasses, I’m just saying lol.

Ashton & Demi are splitting up. Color me, un-surprised, the odds were against them, or so I believe. Thanks to the ever zealous paparazzi, we all knew something was not quite right. Yes, that is the understatement of the year but I’m trying to be subtle.

I know I’m not the only one who watched their relationship unfold with great interest. After all, they were an anomaly. A sixteen year age difference tends to raise eyebrows, especially when the woman is the older of the two. The die hard romantic in me cheered them on with, yeah you know it, zeal. It’s a fantastic thing to break down barriers. Why can’t an older woman draw the undying love of younger man. It happens, rarely, but it happens. The niggling cynic that shares my space said, “Yeah, it may not matter now but how long will it take to matter?” ¬†

Of course, I’m not suggesting that it’s the primary reason for their relationship failure. No one could know that except for them. I am referring to the fact that an age gap between partners that’s not a big deal when you’re in your 30’s is a great deal more problematic in your 40’s. People run around raving things like, “40 is the new 30.” It’s a lovely quip but in our youth dominated society, is it real? Assuming that the age old stereotype is untrue, age brings with it a waning of attractiveness (and Demi has done a helluva defying that), there are other factors at play which are undeniable.

1. There is no such thing as youth serum – say it isn’t so.

I experienced this personally in my late 20’s as my 40 something lover, over our five year haul, slooooowed down. I will leave it to you to fill in the boxes lol. That’s why the men got busy and invented Viagra.

Some nice folks will say sex is irrelevant and I will say they are full of crap. Intimacy is always important, although there are various ways of attaining it, sex remains, in my eyes, up there with the top three. Orgasmic pleasures aside, it brings you closer in way nothing else does, as any good therapist will tell you.

2. “Mind The Gap!”

And no, I’m not talking about the London Underground. So, you will not think that I spend all my time contemplating nocturnal pleasures, the other is mentation. Any honest, analytical person will tell you that there is a mental and experiential gap between decades. This becomes a primary factor in relationships in terms of communication, life path/objectives and likes/dislikes. That’s real and it’s a stumbling block that not many of us can get around. After all, commonalities run neck and neck with attraction in the relationship realm.

With those things in mind, I loved seeing the “Dashton’s” defy the odds and turn all our suppositions on its head but in the end it seems their very human failings trumped all else.

Which leads me to my next query, is it possible for anyone in Hollywood to¬†stay married? I have to wonder. What is it? The lifestyle? The autonomy and financial independence which serves as an equalizer for both partners, negating the basic glue that holds the fabric of many relationships together? The constant groupies willing to throw their panties or briefs at a star? The life of decadence? Egos bigger than life whose demands can never be met? I don’t know but I would have to say that the odds, plus normal relationship issues, are stacked against them.

It seems to me, strictly from observation, that the Hollywood-ese change partners like a game show. Just look, Susan Sarandon and Tim divorced after 23 years. For god sakes, there is a website devoted to that very thing. It will always boggle my mind what one can find on the web.

So, what do you think? Is it just media hype? Are Hollywood stars more prone to relationship breakups than us mere mortals, or are they just victimized? Is marriage a dying institution and are we fighting against the inevitable?

Signed,

A Romantic Cynic

The Battle Of The Pork Chop

Oy! Ever had a day when your head is just bursting with ideas and when you sit down to write you don’t know where to begin? Today is that day for me. I am, however, feeling the need for humor so I will try to put aside all other weighty¬†matters for just one day. I hear you cheering me on :).

There are interesting dynamics that arise out of your relationship status and home life. Married? Single? Same Sex? Weekend Relationship Warrior? Daring Remarried-Divorcee with ever growing extended family? Interracial Hotbed? Embattled Single Parent? Fabulous Fashionista Club Addict and the list goes on. They are usually quite predictable in their joys and triumphs. The fun comes when they are not.

My status¬†is rather simple, it’s just me and¬†my fiance. We are NY transplants who have relocated to the suburbs. It seems like I’ve been here so long but I¬†still miss the fevered pace of NY. Some nights, I am just overcome with boredom and just want to go OUT. Where? Ummm, anywhere that the restaurants don’t start closing at 9 PM during the week. I miss the hum of the streets and being able to go out and hang out with the other nocturnal drones. So, with a somewhat crazed regularity, we jump in the car and race to NY just cause lol. Now that the tolls are $12, I will need to rethink such purposeless, if entertaining,¬†trips.

Examining the dynamics of our home life I have unearthed some interesting things. Since we are childless,¬†unlike many of my friends,¬†I¬†notice that my stories vary wildly¬†from theirs.¬†It would seem that since there are no little ones to look after, scold, or entertain us, we have become ummm regressive in some respects. Case in point…

I have a fierce love of Pork Chops. Yes, I am a Foodie¬†but this tops even gourmet food in my taste lexicon. Well, not lobster with butter which is, bar none, one of the most sensual¬†foods on the planet. My love of pork chops caused¬†one¬†of my nearest and dearest to call me¬†Chuleta¬†back in my 20’s and¬†I wear it proudly! My fiance shares a similar love for them, no doubt based on his Southern upbringing. We indulge in them¬†once a month and there is always some kind of brouhaha. Why? Well, he¬†is a food thief. You know, the kind of person that¬†while cooking skulks in the kitchen and scarfs down any morsel¬†of food they can catch. It makes me crazy and I¬†have abused him roundly – all¬†to no avail. He laughs at me and continues so I now compensate by hiding food as I cook it. Can you imagine?¬† Apparently, his mother also had to deal with this indignity so I understand that I am fighting against what is now an ingrained habit lol.

This week’s menu contained 5 Pork chops. We agreed that the 5th¬†would be split. What then possessed¬†me to creep down to the kitchen, in the black of the night, and devour the chop? I¬†confess that I took great joy in stealthily descending the staircase and giggled maniacally while I ate it. I had a bloated sense of satisfaction that I had¬†gotten AWAY with it and the thought of his face when he went to forage and discovered the thievery = PRICELESS.

He is the early riser and¬†I¬†sleep in whenever possible. He has been known,¬†completely lacking inhibition, to reverse mealtimes and eat last night’s leftovers for breakfast. So, I did not get to¬†witness¬†his ire¬†when he found out what I had done but he left me a reminder¬†– A pork chop bone, picked clean and hanging from a string on the cabinet door. The bone wore a¬†yellow Post-it note that read, “Next time, this could be you.” Just another day at the reindeer games. You can’t make this stuff up!

OMG, I laughed until tears came down my face. Score 1 for The Disgruntled Housewife, as he affectionately calls me. Do I care? Not one wit.

We have similar skirmishes over chips, nuts, crackers, cheese. Take your pick.

This then is what I lovingly refer to as “Walking what is left of our wits..” Which is a line from my all time favorite movie Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?¬†

Hey, it could be worse, we could be taken with alcohol, like Martha and George :).

Things That Make You Go Hmmm #1

Watching¬†NBC Nightly News¬†last night made me wonder why I try to keep abreast of issues in the world. The world’s a friggin mess! What more could they possibly tell me? Of course, I jest…well mostly.

The problem is that there is so little to report which is good and if you pay attention it leaves you scratching your head and mumbling to yourself. Just another clear sign of mental deterioration.

Last night, the always dashing, formerly unflappable and ever articulate Brian Williams (who is really a more intelligent version of Pierce Brosnan) looked beleagured at the camera as he said, “And if that isn’t bad enough…”¬†delivering yet another piece of depressing news.

Right! So if the senior reporters feel that way how can the rest of us keep afloat? I am planning a boycott of the media corporations. Its time that we demand a change in format for the mental health of their viewers. I mean is that really too much to ask? Y’all know they are manipulating it anyway lol.

Imagine my ire when they reported that FEMA is running out of money due to the 66 natural disasters that have occurred so far this year. Its only August, jeezly crow. I imagine what winter will bring and I just want to disconnect all my utilties and go hibernate in the woods. Congress is saying they will find the money to meet the need by ensuring budget cuts are adhered to. OMG I am SO not reassured. Are you laughing and cursing yet?

So, let me get this right… You are going to ensure that cuts for programs that people need¬†during times of economic crisis go through while the billionaires continue yucking it up? Does anybody feel the love? WTF.

Sent from my NOOKcolor

Walk Softly and Carry A Big Stick

I spend way too much time mulling over the continuing decline of US political integrity and morality. In fact, I have become so vociferous that I have begun to sicken myself. I wish to God they would give me LESS to complain about.

Unfortunately, this is not reality. My complaints are caused by a nagging sense of fear which is only relieved by hilarity. It is my only defense against doom. I realize that had I been born at a different time people might well have labeled me a doomcrier. Today, I am an armchair activist. Yeah and? lol.

I mull over our the continuing decline of President Obama. Like many who love him I had great hopes that for the first time in like forever he would make an impact upon the world and live up to his promises.

Naivete¬†or¬†just¬†Idealism? I’m not sure but¬†I stand by my decision to vote for him and the ideals he espoused. I am¬†loathe to¬†criticize him. The same way I imagine that people were loathe to¬†criticize Kennedy even though his moral compass was clearly flawed but we live in different times¬†and clearly Obama’s decriers¬†have no problem spreading their negativity far and wide. Alot of which¬†I believe is unnecessarily harsh and untrue but, and I sigh as I write this, some of it is true. He is rapidly becoming ineffectual and I believe the¬†reason for this is twofold.

1. Quiet as its kept we did him no favors when the midterm elections shifted power to the Republicans. We made it near impossible for him to succeed at his objectives.

2. HIM.

A good leader recognizes the need to shift tactics based upon the situation confronting him. He must be flexible in his attempts to reach his goal. Life experience shows us this so all this business about his¬†lacking it is just noise.¬†Any perceived weakness in today’s political climate has only one sure result, calls for blood harkening back to the Romans.

It pains me to see him continually using the same tactics to work around his enemy. He is a very intelligent man so surely he knows better. He has been accused¬†of not loving politics and my response to that is “What’s to love?” He would have to be¬†blind to not see that¬†taking the high road avails him little in most people’s eyes. Worse than our opinion is the end result. Most of us just want jobs, damn it. We have clothes to buy and moths to feed and bills to be paid. Of course that’s an oversimplification but quality of life for many is rapidly declining and that is not just an opinion, it’s a sobering fact.

Perception is everything and I believe that he is committing one of the worst offenses a leader can make. He is coming across weak.

Why exactly do you think Schwarzenegger (who I revile btw) was voted into office? Strength in a leader can not be undervalued. It is only one of the many qualities required but it is arguably, one of the most important.

Signs of this are everywhere. From the very first cry of “You lie” during his address to the nation to the latest comments of “tar baby” by so called¬†politicians, he has remained silent. Many folks think he is afraid to be¬†perceived as an angry black man and so he uses his intellect as a weapon. That’s great but unfortunately that is not enough. To quote¬†Teddy Roosevelt, he needs to “walk softly and carry a big stick” which is based¬†on a West African proverb.¬† Lop off a few heads, secretly or publicly. Destroy a few people who no doubt deserve it. He is after all the President. This is not church. Politics is dirty and if he really thought that he could join the game and yet remain on a high moral ground he was¬†sadly¬†mistaken.

Would it really be so bad if he played a little dirty and stirred up some fright in the halls of Congress? Indeed it is morally objectionable but drastic times call for… Wouldn’t that serve to make his detractors more cautious and respectful? You betcha.

Face it, most people don’t want to get involved. They just want to be¬†led. Yes, that may be¬†wrong but life, my friends, is often not fair, just or equal. Sometimes, we have shake some trees to¬†get our just desserts¬†or get run over in the process.

Here comes the hilarity…

Amongst other things, this post was inspired¬†by Alternative Rap group, ¬†The Pharcyde. They have had me in stitches since they debuted in 91′. If Obama made the song below¬†his mantra I¬†think he would get the respect he needs to make change. As a bonus,¬†Generation Y and sometimes X would absolutely love him :).

*Warning – Contains Adult Content & Politically Incorrect Language*

I’m 43, or 7. It all depends on your perspective!

On Thursday, I turned 43, or 7.¬†If, like me, you believe that when it gets hairy you should start back at the beginning then 7 will work for you lol. I have not been feeling fluffy about my birthday¬†for the past few weeks and that is sooo not like me. I LOVE birthdays. It’s a day¬†celebrating your existence. What could be bad about that?

Nonetheless,¬†I have been ruminating on days gone by and moaning about that which can’t be¬†recaptured and¬†dreading our nemesis, the unknown. Two short years from 45 WTF!! I guess I have to kiss youth goodbye. Who knows what¬†catastrophic events lurk around the corner? What painful lessons are left to learn? Which body parts will desert me when I least expect it? So speaks the crazy woman who spent $250 on glasses and refused to wear them for a year. Not to mention,¬†what vicious¬†new, grey hairs will spring out in the most visible places seemingly over night. Willful bastards.

If there is one thing that I know how to do really well, it would be worry lol.

I know that women get an unfair shake. Ageism¬†is STILL alive and well and I am conscious that I¬†have reached the age where my biological clock is winding down towards the dreaded Chapter M, I should be¬†having Mammograms and burning my mini-skirts.¬†Depending on who you ask, they¬†are¬†decidedly not de rigueur¬†for my age.¬†My friends now say bizarre things to me like “I don’t generally go out after 10” and others think clubs are a complete waste of time. (Don’t be mad, I love u anyway :))¬†As if listening to some kick azz¬†music at full volume could ever get old. (Ahem, ask me that question in another 25 yrs).¬†I was also told that the Museum of Natural History was a kiddie museum,¬†as if the¬†wonders of the world are only fascinating when one is under 14. Finally, I have also ingested the very sad premise that being sexy is¬†a mere waste of time as if only nubile, young women have closeted¬†the market and the rest of are fakers struggling to keep up.

My response¬†really should have been a loud and resounding “Bullocks”! What a bunch of rot! I am too polite though so I said it in my head. “To each his own” is my personal motto. If there is one thing that I like about the 21st century it would be the rise of individualism and the¬†generally¬†accepted notion that boundaries are truly made only to be broken. Of course, at 43, I can see the negative consequences of this attitude pervading our culture but consider the flip side for a minute and smile.

My perspective,¬†born¬†of¬†21,024,000 minutes¬†allows me to see that¬†a great deal of inner strength is mine merely for the¬†choosing. It is that strength which allows me to chart my course, wear any damn thing I want as long as I look good doing it,¬†go to clubs and concerts and any other nosy, or “infantile” venue for the mere enjoyment¬†of it. I can and do still stay up all night at the drop of a hat, watch TV for hours, read a good book till dawn, drive fast down dark highways with the wind racing through my locs, cheekily¬†wear sunglasses at night (thanks, Corey)¬†and get my groove on when I am stifled by the mundane.

I think of all the trials I’ve made it through and smile that I am still here to tell the tale. I’m so much smarter than I was and my character and spirit, as it unfolds is still quite beautiful to me. I’m nowhere near done yet and my appetite for life is still voracious. The tools in my toolbox are sharpened and oiled as well which is great since in my 20’s I had no box at all, if you get my drift. I still have so much to do and relish in the doing. Sadly, quite of the few of the people I have loved along the way are no longer here to share the journey. I feel that any other attitude would defile their memory.

I was at a restaurant in May, having dinner with a friend and the¬†waiter kept staring and hovering over our table. Finally, he looked at me and said, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be¬†rude, it’s¬†just that you are so full of life it’s beautiful.” That is the nicest compliment I have received to date. That kind of beauty is ageless and hard won.

It is not that I don’t believe that age, in and of itself, poses restrictions. It’s just that the biggest restrictions are imposed by our minds. So, I think it’s better to get my mind right than to become apathetic and accepting before I am really done. Doubtless, my mind and body will have to fight this out but I am up to the struggle :).

Here are some great quotes about aging:

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting  our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the
soul.” ~Samuel Ullman

“Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty – they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.”¬† ~Martin Buxbaum

“I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your¬†annuities.¬† It is the only pleasure I have left.”¬† ~Voltaire

“A man’s age is something impressive, it sums up his life:¬† maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.¬† A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.”¬† ~Antoine de Saint-Exup√©ry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell

“Age is an issue of mind over matter.¬† If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
~Mark Twain

Wishing For The Ground To Open Up? Been there, done that.

I love to chatter and¬†harken back to days gone by, but occasionally things come whizzing through your brain that let you know¬†the present is the best place to be. I had just such a moment the other day when, for some bizarre reason, we were discussing our most embarrassing moments. Why? I can’t really say except that it is sure to provide a moment of hilarity. Beyond that, well…

At barely 20, I was like most young adults, overly enamoured with all things sexual (if such a thing is possible)¬†and continuously looking for a place to get it on. You too? lol. I had a steady boyfriend and it seemed like the very mission of our lives, besides getting money to go clubbing all weekend¬†and buy new clothes. We both lived at home and it seemed we were thwarted at every turn.¬†Then, the Gods threw us a bone and my boyfriend’s mother got a job working for the MTA overnight. Can you say overjoyed?¬†

One drunken night, we were¬†hanging out at his house quite late.¬†You know how time¬†escapes you when you’re in an altered state, but as¬†teens we had very little cognizance of this¬†pertinent fact.¬†We were watching the clock, but since¬†we had pulled it off quite a few times we were quite relaxed.¬†What could go wrong?¬†I always managed to be gone by the time she got home so we had become, dare I say it, confidant of our success and brilliance. Ah, the stupidity of youth. It never occurred to either of us that (a) she might come home early or (b) that we might misjudge the time.

That night,¬†I¬†had sauntered off to the bathroom, naked as the day I was born. Yeah, that’s how relaxed we were.¬†On my way back to the¬† bedroom, I heard¬†the sound of the front door unlocking¬†and I froze.¬†I did the best human imitation of a deer in headlights in the history of mankind and¬†actually turned¬†towards the door.¬†God¬†only knows why I didn’t run. It must have been the shock.¬†Abruptly, my body¬†became one¬†giant wall of flesh that I tried to hide with the classic, defensive,¬†crossed arms posture. Absolutely hopeless. My mouth hung open in what must have¬†looked like complete idiocy and I was rooted to the spot. ROOTED. I could not have moved if you¬†paid me money. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Never again have I felt like that, thank all the Gods and Goddesses.

At that moment, time seemed to move achingly slow but in hindsight, I realize that she barely missed a beat. She turned and locked the door. By this time, my boyfriend heard her, and adding to what I can only attribute to monumental stupidity and protectiveness, came to stand behind me, naked and gawking. We looked at her like she was a ghost. Yet, all she did was look at us with one small smile and walked off to her bedroom.

Her departure, cracked the ice and we scampered back into the bedroom to dress frantically. We looked at each other every so often in silent horror and then she called him. Amazingly, her voice was soft and calm. Not one word was said as he walked me to the door, promising to call me tomorrow.

When I hit the street, the cool morning air blew against my face, drying the sweat of panic.¬†I was subsumed¬†beneath a wave¬†of relief. Good God. I stood¬†grimacing in horror and thought, “Well, it could’ve¬†been worse. Yeah,¬†but HOW??” The phrase In flagrante¬†delicto floated through my head, and¬†that sent me into gales of¬†laughter which is how the taxi driver found me at 4:30 in the morning. He shook his head but if only he knew lol.

No other moment comes close to that on my embarrassment meter and the eerie recollection I have of every moment as it rolls through my mind in slow motion is testimony to it’s effect¬†upon me. As an adult, I applaud her for her complete composure in a moment that surely would have driven most parents bonkers. I later found out that her only comment was to inquire if we were (a) using condoms and (b) to be careful as his little brother was in the house, sleeping of course.¬†Much later, she¬†told him that we were of age and she figured it was better that we were there than getting into trouble elsewhere. Still, we thought she was the COOLEST¬†Mom ever. Even so, I¬†assiduously avoided her for as long as I could and it took the longest time, even though we dated for seven years, for me¬†NOT to blush in her presence. Umm, we¬†moved out shortly after that…

**Names have been excluded to protect the not so innocent.

10 Signs that your Facebook Love affair is Over…

For months now, I have been ruminating about Facebook. No doubt, it was a stellar idea.  You would have to be crazy, or just downright obtuse, not to be agog at the glittering beguilement of the global web and the seductive ease of Facebook.  

Initially, I failed to be dazzled and was somewhat underwhelmed. Pictures, posts and likes, oh my. But in no time at all, I began to get my voyeur on and spent untold hours thinking up people I had disconnected with, staring at their pics and in hysterics over every little post. I will confess to secretly getting a swelled head at my accomplishments, overall fun life and the fabulosity that is me and my friends. Yeah, you do too :).

One day, I woke up and just like a drug addict, what had begun as a little fun had become compulsive and Facebook was clearly my digital addiction of choice. I found myself meandering aimlessly to FB at odd times throughout the day and night. Having access from my Crackberry made it worse, as there I would be in the car screaming to the world about Prince and egads, CHECKING IN. And voila! Before I fully realized what was going down, any errant, aimless and mindlessly hysterical thought had to go in my status. Can you say hooked? 

I can only excuse it as the¬†initial starry eyed¬†falling in love period we all feel¬†at the start of a relationship.¬† All too often, the¬†first things¬†that draw you to a person are the things you just can’t STAND in the end. Or even worse, you simply didn’t notice that they had an inane habit of¬†_ _ _ _. Welcome to my nightmare, the water is warm.¬†

In a fit of fine, feminine pique, I hit Deactivate last week on my personal page. Much to my horror,¬†a panic ensued?!¬†In the blissful silence that followed my explanation, I stuck my toe in the waters and…. Oh goody, I can spend more time on my blog, or look for funding for my business, or work on my novel and make new friends with similar, passionate interests. NICE!!!¬†

10 Signs¬†Your¬†Facebook Love Affair is over….

1.  You too resent the radically disappearing line of privacy in modern life.  Mystique and anticipation have rapidly given way to uninvited, all up in your face, must be on every minute of the day.  In the final analysis, you do NOT wish to be quite so accessible.  

2.  You are suspicious of a world where real time, face to face connections, are being eschewed for digital love.  Is it real or it it a byte between meetings and baby feedings?

3.  You get pissed that certain people ask you if you saw their FB this, or FB that, before actually giving you the low down. Senseless.

Like you, I did not get the memo.¬†I believe it is an indication¬†of¬†the sheep mentality and the amorphous, ever-present ubiquitous They.¬†All¬†my life, I have been in revolt against this mentality and am disgusted that I fell in lock step for so long…

4.¬† You are¬†amazed and disgusted to see Facebook¬†spreading like a cancer through generations and now Corporations¬†have jumped feet first into the fray.¬†No doubt, looking to maximize their advertising dollars and profile your likes and dig into your demographics so they can make ever more profits as the unemployment rate looms at 10% (depending on your race/class, as quiet as that’s kept.). ¬†

Are we really so dumb that we can’t see through this ploy?¬†You’ve been PROFILED. Damn that.¬†¬†

5.¬† You love the Net but have a sneaking suspicion that¬†it’s¬†unparalleled¬†ability to widen your world is only matched by¬†the increased¬†likelihood of meeting freaks and kooks.¬† Some of these you have already passed on. Yet, Facebook gives these same¬†ex-friends and¬†lovers, the ability to find and stalk you.

You are smart enough to realize that not everyone who looks, wonders, farts or fantasizes about you is meant to be in your life.  You have enough kooks in the present, thank you very much, as lovable as they may be. Why intensify the potential for unnecessary drama by reintroducing previously discarded others? 

What? Yeah, I know you are fabulous and you really do want them to get that karmic kick in the azz that they so richly deserve by drooling over what they lost. You want them to know how well you have done without them.  You also are insanely curious to see what loser they ended up with. Resist temptation and give your already overworked brain and your friends a rest. In the natural cycle of life, those that are meant to stay with you DO. Everyone else is just an opening act.

6.¬† You can’t help but notice that Facebook is a breeding ground for attention whores. Everywhere you¬†look, you see signs of the “Dumbing Down of America”. The proliferation of idiotic posts only prove this out.¬†

It’s only with celebrity that people continuously wish to know what you’re doing. We can not ALL be celebrities.¬†Me? Hey, I love you man but the mundaneness of your existence is too similar to mine and it makes my head hurt.¬†I don’t really need yet another unwelcome¬† glimpse into the land of MINDS GONE WRONG.

7.  If you see one more pic of someone with their drunken friends having a complete moment of idiocy that should not have seen the light of any digital camera, let alone be fodder for the unsuspecting masses, you will SCREAM. Or go Post-al about it in your next Facebook status.

8.  You have watched one too many people have public Post-al meltdowns. It starts with maudlin and random posts which blossom into inappropriate rage, comments only they can understand or videos with angry, crazy, crying people. Can you say embarrassing?

This is the very height of self indulgence. Life is not a movie and emotions expressed out of context are very often just NOISE.   

Truth? You have surreptitiously begun deleting the posts of the offenders as you don’t want the embarrassing¬†truth to leak out and you are sick of fielding emails from close friends saying, “Who is that freak on your page? Do you REALLY know them?”¬†Unfriend, unfriend and¬†distance yourself digitally from the madness. ¬†

9.¬†¬† You find yourself humming,¬†America. Home of the Free, Land of the Brave,¬†Place of Conspicuous Consumption.¬†The race to get more friends and/or have the most friends is just silly and pointless. When did it become a sign of prestige? If it’s not a Fan page and you are not a celebrity there is something wrong with having like 800+ friends. Do you really think they all give a damn?

10.  You despise the shallower side that so many people feel free to display on Facebook. To many of us want to walk on the stupid side and while I understand that we need entertainment and diversion from the state of the world today, it really is important to balance your efforts and effect change NOW. Facebook is an ideal tool to do that. Post something meaningful and spread consciousness, encourage thought. A serious post all to often gets the cricket response. Are we really that (a) apathetic (b) uninformed or (c) blissfully ignorant. 

I plan to keep my Facebook business page and my personal networking page for writers and poets etc. I want to connect with like minded¬†people and use my time judiciously. That’s cool and if I see signs of any of the above – I will have to continue to exercise¬†choice and click UNFRIEND.

My Favorite Things – Great Moments in Comedy – Part III

Ok, so if you are looking for intellectualism, please click the back button now. This list is all about making you laugh. They are my top rated comedic memories, comprised mostly of movies but some are standup. I will tell you now that many are politically incorrect, certainly for adults and completely lacking in moral fiber. A lot of classics are in here too since timeless comedy is amongst my faves.

“Have a look and laugh”, which was actually said to my friends and I by an irate, and you guessed it, drunken woman in the hallway of a hotel many moons ago.

What are your faves?

TOP MOVIES

1.  Jerry Lewis РCinderfella

I grew up on Jerry Lewis and still consider him one of the funniest men alive. His goofy humor coupled with the physical expression of idiocy gets me every time. The only person that comes close to him in my book is Jim Carey. They have both got to be just a lil bit touched.

2. ¬†John Cusack – Better Off Dead – “I want my two dollars!!”¬†

I am a product of my generation and there is not one of my friends that does not love and revere this scene. Call it stupid and infantile but it has staying power lol. John Cusack will always be one of my favorites as I have literally watched him grow up on screen. He is the King of B movie 80’s comedy.¬†

Most of Savage Steve’s Holland’s work does not appeal to me but this tale¬†of teenage search for self and romance gone awry, then miraculously right, is¬†too close to truth not to be funny.

3.  Jack Lemmon РThe Out of Towners, 1970

This is an example of Black comedy at its best. Yes, its old but it is still really funny. It’s a cautionary tale on traveling lol. The remake, which was highly anticipated, was a flop in my opinion. Unfortunately,¬†the¬†1999 remake with Steve Martin couldn’t hold a candle to it.¬†

4.  Jane Fonda & Robert Redford РBarefoot in the Park, 1967 

What can I say? I’m just silly and ever since I saw this movie, I can’t forget the ridiculously funny scenes at the end which Jane Fonda and Robert Redford did flawlessly. It is a great old fashioned romantic comedy, the kind written to leave you¬†smiling on the¬†inside.

  

5.  Katherine Hepburn РBringing Up Baby, 1938

I discovered this gem about 2 months ago and thought it was SO silly and funny. The story is improbable but entertaining nonetheless. The performances are classic Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, icons of American cinema. I was gratified that it was a¬†NY Times Critic’s pick.¬†

6.  Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese & Kevin Cline РA Fish Called Wanda

John Cleese had me from his days as Monty Python. Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis never fail to send me into paroxysms of laughter. The stuttering scene in this movie is classic although I couldn’t find a good clip of it. I also love Kline in “In and Out” and who can forget Jamie and Arnold Schwarzenegger¬†in “True Lies”? I have to say I liked Arnold much better as an actor…¬†

7.¬† Jim Carey – The Mask.¬†“I will reveal my croissant. I will spread your pate. I will dip my ladle in your Vichyoisse…”

If you haven’t found a Jim Carey movie that you like, check your pulse. He is an idiot extraordinaire. He is the modern day¬†Jerry Lewis, rivaling his physicality and slapstickesque¬†humor.¬†He shot to fame after SNL and In Living Color which was surely not a surprise. I absolutely loved him in “The Truman Show” and “Liar, Liar”. He went serious on us in “The Number 23” and was surprisingly good but his comedy rules.

“Fun with Dick¬†and Jane” is a¬†comedy that pokes fun at capitalism, corporate denizens and suburban life. Another of Jim Carey’s Best.

8.  The Hangover, 2008

One of the very best comedic depictions in recent memory of the dangers of excess. You’ve got to love it!

9.¬† What happens in Vegas, 2008 “Why? You know Why!”

One of the funniest things in comedy is the depiction of the battle between the sexes and this is no exception. Cameron and Ashton make my B list but this movie is one of their best.

10.  Queen Latifah & Steve Martin РBringing down the House, 2003

The pairing of Queen and Steve in this movie was so successful that you see Hollywood occasionally trying to replicate it. They rarely succeed but they do try lol. Steve Martin is one of America’s funniest men and Queen Latifah, a triple threat, held her own in this VERY funny movie which defies our expectations and made fun of our prejudices.

  

BEST STAND UP

1. ¬†Eddie Murphy –¬†“The Ice cream man is coming”

What happened to Eddie Murphy? I know, he grew up but how sad for us! lol He was ridiculously funny and his standup, no holds barred, rules. When I was coming up, the older generation said he was the natural progression from Richard Pryor. He was just as filthy mouthed and the fact that he could dance and do impersonations so well made him the next King. I have tested it and the mere mention of this skit is enough to make people laugh uncontrollably.

2.  Eddie Murphy РHot Tub

  

3.  Dave Chappelle РClaython Bigsby

Whatever happened to Dave Chappelle. I know some of you are twitching in your seats right now. What an example of corporate fuckery¬†and what a waste for the masses who actual liked humor which made a statement. This is classic Chappelle¬†and it is sure to make you cringe at it’s lack of PC but leave you howling at how incredibly stupid racism and bigotry will always be. ***Adults only.

4.  Richard Pryor РPrison & The N Word

There is not much that can be said about Richard that has not already been said. He was a pioneer of adult comedy and he lit up the 70’s stage with his vulgarity, honesty, pointed comedic skits on racism and personal failures. Clearly, he did not give a damn, and I for one dig that about him. Thanks, Mom!! ***Adults only.

5.  George Carlin РPeople are F** Boring

I dig George. I have a weakness for Black comedy and he epitomizes this. His brash, honest and caustic skits of contemporary issues like religion and politics always made you laugh and pause. One of a kind. ***Adults only.

6.  Gilda Radner РOne Ringy Dingy & The Columbia School of Journalism

When I think of female comedians, the first one to pop into my head is usually Gilda. Her skits on SNL¬†were legendary and she’s another one who could have you laughing spastically¬†if you don’t watch out. Gone to soon. We have alot¬†to thank SNL for, ¬†like the wonderful Tina Fey.

Bonus:

7.¬† ¬†The Honeymooners, “You’re a real riot, Alice. Baby, you’re the greatest. Bang, Zoom…”

I grew up on #7, 8 and 9. This is my nod to classic American comedy and the interesting perspective of life in a simpler time, at least for some. I love Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, they put the F in funny. Ralph is a very interesting combination of the jealous, sexist,¬†insecure, short tempered, loving, hard working¬†and surprisingly bashful male of an age gone by. He laughs at himself and that’s a real plus.

8.   All in the Family

I loved Archie Bunker and Edith. He was a racist, a bigot, a sexist and a homophobe, what’s not to love? I’m still singing the theme song so what does that say about me?

9.¬†¬† I Love Lucy “Do you poop out at parties?”

My all time favorite, red headed, Leo. What a powerhouse she was AND she had great taste in men, flawless comedic timing, no qualms about making a fool of herself, incredibly facile expressions and was a fashionista, go figure. Who can forget the Grape pressing scene or Vitametavegimen?

10.   In Living Color & The Boondocks

You’re on your own….my fingers hurt lol.

Don’t say it, the life you save may be your own!!!

I have been wondering lately who¬†to blame for the slew of platitudes that pepper the English language. There are so many and some are just plain trite. Now I, for one, love a good quote but as a pessimist I take exception to¬†those which have false glissandos of happiness but¬†no real direction. Feel me? Just consider how you feel when on the brink of crisis, or in the throes of some life altering circumstance and some idiot comes to you and says…

1) “God never gives you more than you can handle…” – Says who?¬†The would be medicated as they make their way back to the pharmacy for more drugs. Only they can be¬†so sanguine as to draw comfort from this. Not to be¬†disrepectful but many of us¬†often wish that He, or the fates, would find someone else to test. When one is reeling from the last unanticipated blow it is no consolation that another may come careening out of the dark at you!

2)¬† “It’s got to get worse¬†before it gets better.” Really?¬†Really? Is that¬†REALLY consolation to someone hanging on the precipice? Shoot me now. Will everything be alright if we¬†just duck our heads for the next blow? Or, is the head that just went rolling by a sign that¬†acceptance of trying¬†circumstances is NOT always the way to go. Ok, I know, the point is to persevere even through pain to a distant and unforeseen state of happiness. The pessimist in me wonders why happiness is so fleeting and pain is almost a surety. Nice lol.

3)¬†“You’ve got to roll with the punches.”¬† Ha! Suppose you can’t roll? Suppose your knees are arthritic and the most you can hope for¬†is a feeble bend, then what? Suppose you are just too tired to engage in more scrambling behavior. I guess you are SOL. Game over lol.

4)¬† “You’ve¬†got to count your blessings..” ¬†Well, maybe it’s just me, but I can recall quite clearly in life when the blessings were scarce and mathematically speaking, I was in the negative, so go figure. In other words, the counting gave me little comfort and only made matters worse. You smile as it is said to you, but inside you cringe because that is exactly the point, what blessings you do have are not enough. You’re not BLIND, you can see, even in a state of stress. If we all settled for not enough we would end up with nothing much. In fact, I think I know who we should blame for this one, an elitist rich individual¬†condescending¬†to¬†the lower classes…

And yet, you hear these crappy sentiments ALL the time which is just like tossing a dying man a manual but no actual tools to effect change.¬† So before you utter one of these trite sayings that are really just an excuse to rush over the problem because you don’t know what else to say, stop! The life you save many be your own. You wouldn’t want the already victimized person to rise up and use you as a target, now would you? lol But seriously, people don’t need trite sayings, they need empathy and comfort from those they love. Sometimes, you DON’T have the answer and that’s ok. Sometimes, there is no answer. If you just take a moment to really listen and share in that person’s trial, it can be¬†a godsend. Just be there for me so I know I am not alone.¬†

“How? When will it get better?” “I don’t know when but it will.”

And it does, because¬†life is cyclical and that is about all we are promised…¬†

Signed,

A Hopeful Pessimist

My Favorite Things – Quirks & Sayings – Part I

I have been thinking about my idiosyncracies and have been transfixed with laughter because the list is rather odd.  

1. I have an almost perfect recall of important phone numbers. When I concentrate, I can visualize them. I lost touch with one of my best friends and called her out of the blue after not speaking to her for 16 years. We were both surprised that the number just popped into my head but it happens all the time.

2. I have an eerie recollection of quotes and lines from my favorite movies and other media. Many of them have worked their way into my speech. Some lie in the background, zooming across the landscape of my consciousness at select moments. They are like old friends from which I draw inspiration, laughter, hope, fortitude, or just plain marvel at their veracity or beauty. Some truths are timeless. Still others, are indicative of my generation, culture, race, or gender, exemplifying some of my dearly held beliefs.  Some, like me, are just downright silly. The best of them speak to the human condition and experience. 

3. I am nocturnal¬†and have been known to greet dawn with a good book in hand, bleary¬†eyed and¬†deeply contented. I have been like this since I was a child. ¬†This only changed when I discovered my¬†love of gardening. All¬†my friends were astonished¬†when I started rising with¬†the birds just to tool around¬†the garden because I used to be the person that you couldn’t call before noon.

4. I love old things, furniture, books, music, movies (viva la TCM), architecture and fashion. 

5. I am obsessed with dinosaurs and have a sick fascination with disaster movies although they terrify me as well. 

When I hit #2, I got the idea for a series, my favorite things. It may seem unrelated but your idiosyncracies say a lot about you just like your favorite things. 

What are your quirks and favorite things? What do they say about you?  

P.S – Can I just say that I LOVE Youtube? There is almost nothing you can’t find on there!

 My Favorite Sayings

1.¬†“Never stop fighting until the fight is done.”¬† Kevin Costner, The Untouchables, 1987.

2. “Why? You know why?”¬† The Hangover, 2009.

3.¬†“These are the things that grind my ass to the bone on a daily basis…” Whoppi Goldberg, Live on Broadway, 1980’s.

4. “My eyes are like poached eggs. They run when poked.” – A strange commercial that used to run on WPIX.

5. “…How can people¬†be such a necessary part of your life one day, and simply gone the next?”¬† Threesome, 1994.

6. “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s gonna be a bumpy night.”¬† Bette Davis, All about Eve, 1950.

7. “It’s a Red Letter Day.” Unknown Book.

8. “The World is a Ghetto.” War

9. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7¬†

10. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them¬†drink. Old Proverb.

11. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Unknown author.

12. “Identify the problem and fix it!” 2008 Election, Saturday Night Live

13. “The world is going to hell in a handbasket.” Old phrase, origin unknown.

14. …”Dumb as the day is long.” Author unknown.

15. “Ignorance is bliss.” Thomas Gray, 1742.

16. “Stinking thinking.” – My mother.

17. “Refuse and resist.” New York Activists, Sonia Sanchez, 1987.

¬†18. “Bang, zoom”… The Honeymooners, TV sitcom 1951 – 1955.

Reading is fundamental or is it?

I am a reader. I will read anything, mail, sides of cans, flyers, magazines, pamphlets.¬† Hey, even the small print on commercials is of interest to me and I will sometimes slow down the images in order to read it.¬† Ha!¬† I guess you could call that an obsession with the written word…..Or, you could chalk it up to the successful marketing of the organization called Reading is Fundamental (RIF) .About RIF.¬† I heard the slogan so much as a child that it became deeply embedded for which I am thankful.¬† Sadly,¬†not everyone subscribes to this love of language and literacy,¬†and it is becoming more and more obvious to those of¬†us who DO care.

During my last stint in Corporate America, I noticed that¬†while¬†organizations are addicted to communication, in all forms, they rarely utilize¬†them with any degree of success.¬†¬† I say this because¬†for¬†the millions of emails sent in an average week, less than half of the staff would actually read them.¬† Ask an Exchange administrator about the enormous¬†size of the servers required to hold email communication and enforced purging or subsequent restorals. Hmmm. Inevitably, I would find myself¬†in scores of¬†meetings where people arrived unprepared because they had failed to read the documentation which was sent¬†to them. ¬†Naturally, that made the meeting run longer as time was¬†wasted¬†reiterating the details of the¬†ignored document.¬† The same could be said of emergency meetings. You just knew people had failed to read their Blackberrys or Pagers because they failed to show up, or sauntered in way past the start time.¬†¬†Yes, I am¬†resentful of the electronic leash too, but I guess that’s why they call it work. ¬†

In truth,¬†the belief that¬†people DON’T read what is being disseminated to them is so firmly entrenched that management continually wastes valuable funds¬†on technology promising to make it easier for people to access/read it.¬†Ha! This very human tendency is pandered¬†to by the creation of e-mail blasts, Voicemail blasts and POP messages to VoIP phones.¬† And not surprisingly, a similar¬†phenomenon¬†occurs the higher up you go as it seems¬†upper management never reads, they just skim¬†leaving it to us lesser mortals to explain what they are supposedly too busy to read.¬†¬†I don’t need to underscore the valuable mistakes that are made because of this, i.e. operational mistakes and costly delays all attributed to someone’s failure to read some key piece of information. Go figure!

On the social front, we are pushed¬†to communicate faster and more efficiently by wonderful technological advances but¬†the same phenomenon is at work.¬† Facebook is supposed to put you in touch with people but what if they don’t, yeah you said it, READ.

How many times have you overheard, or had this conversation:

“Did you get my text?”¬† “No, I saw it was you and I just called you back.”

OR

“Did you get my Email?” “Um, no, sorry I’ve been busy today and my mailbox was full of messages. What do you need?”

OR

“Did you get my Voicemail?”¬† “Yeah, I did but I saw your number on the Caller Id and just called you back.” *Listening is apparently on the decline as well.

Or see my Post, get my Poke, or my Flirt etc. etc. etc.  People actually fight about missed messages, return receipts etc. as if the simple act of spoken misunderstandings was not enough.

Technology, for all its wonders, has negatively impacted our attention spans.  What attention span?  Are you still reading lol?   Clearly, there are too many things competing for attention and we get lazier and ever more creative in our attempts to escape these demands.  This is also true of movies, which have been shortened because long durations are iffy, no matter how good the story line is.  I was amazed that Avatar was over 2 hrs. until I factored in the lure of all the fantastic special effects.  Not so, with previous generations, the movies were longer and lacked special effects so the dialogue was riveting. Ah, but the appreciation of great dialogue requires focus.   The same can be said of long or complex documents and books. Less and less people want to read them simply because we are not used to focusing for long periods of time.   We want our information in sound bytes and snippets.  Teenagers have no compunction about telling you this, I am horrified to say.

I have heard this complaint voiced by teachers, parents, authors, psychologists etc.¬† Anyone who is 40+ remembers quite clearly when this behavior was not de rigeur¬†and can see the negative effects that it is having on our society, Generation X in particular.¬† Generation X is most effected because they have never needed to require the balance to incorporate technological aids with in-depth focus.¬† So much of what they see is blinking, bleeping, abbreviated for light, speed and sound.¬† If it doesn’t shift continuously…it is boring. They don’t have to work to get information because it is so readily available, thanks to the Net.¬†

The Millions : Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains.

The birth of the Industrial Age was supposed to give man the ability to work less and enjoy the fruits of his labors LOL. Nope, we are working harder and spending less time with our children which means they spend more time with technology. Yet with all this well documented evidence and discourse,¬†we seem hopeless to do anything about it.¬†¬†It’s so very sad because reading is the key to¬†so many of our life’s¬†endeavors, understanding of self, history and communication with others that it could simply not be anything but¬†fundamental.¬†Even so,¬†the love of literacy and the ability to focus is on the decline…

Read a good book lately? ūüėČ

D.C. tops rankings for USA’s most literate cities – USATODAY.com.

P.S. РIf this was too long for you, you are a member of the anti-RIF movement. Seek help before it is too late.

Out with the Old…

New year, new¬†you. Yeah, right!! Ok, ok, don’t shoot me. I am not being a doom crier, really I am not. I applaud everyone’s efforts at self improvement¬†and¬†have noticed with eerie fascination the onslaught of commercials aimed at our NY eve mindset of self improvement. Marketing genius and hoopla aimed at stealing our hard won¬†dollars. My concern is that NY eve resolutions are made¬†to be broken and the research backs me up. Various statistical sources cite that less than 15% of people on average actually KEEP¬†their resolutions.

But I didn’t need to Google to find this out, I¬†already knew it from¬†my four + decades of¬†experience.¬†Since I am a writer, I have TONS of diary entries and letters to self that prattle on about resolutions and it is that hard evidence which bites me on the ass every time¬†my mind foolishly danced towards resolutions this year. In my opinion, resoltions are like crash diets, you are all excited and committed at the beginning,¬†desperate and starving by the middle and¬†despondent and dejected by the end. Your body, hyped on adrenaline pills or radically reduced rations screams, FEED ME YOU IDIOT as it stubbornly holds on to fat stores for dear life. So, I simply REFUSE to put my critical, overly emotional self, through that this year. Life gave me enough reasons to despair last year and I am NOT¬†putting out my own traps that will leave bloody chinks on my ankles LOL.

I think we can all agree that the desire for self improvement is good and necessary. In fact, I can honestly say that I believe life is a continual process of self improvement for the enlightened and NO resolutions are required. I believe, like many, that self talk has a large effect on how the brain manages information. Some words simply have the power to undo our best intentions and I think resolutions fall under that heading so, in an attempt to be kinder and gentler with myself, I have created a Work in Progress list (WIP). This list contains those things that I plan to work on, until I get it right. No pressure. It may just be a variation on words but it works for me. I am not starting out like gangbusters and jumping headlong into anything. I have given myself permission to move slowly towards my goal, and finally, permission to fail as long as I get back up. My failures are a reflection of me as well as my successes! Do you know how long it took me to learn and accept that? In truth, the only thing I would consider a resolution is the NOT giving up part and I can live with that!

WIP LIST 2011 

1. Working my way to Svelte

Yes, like 65% of Americans, I am overweight. My love of all things oral and cooking are no excuse lol. I am going to do what I have done previously with great success: Cut down on Carbs; Drink More Water: Eat at regular intervals (go figure); Eat healthy snacks and give up Seconds. I will be sad to see them go but jubilant at once again fitting into all the clothes that I can no longer wear. Doing mental visualizations of what it will feel like to run without being out of breath helps too.

2. Kicking it up a Notch

I am committing to walking, just that. I will not make crazed promises to walk 5x a week cause I know it ain’t gonna happen. Just 3x, 20 mins to start.¬†The¬†Art of the Start is everything. Once you get started and see results you are empowered to improve and increase.¬†I am working on lifestyle changes and healthiness because hope floats ;).

3. Mastering my oral addiction

Down with ciggarettes! This has come and gone off my radar SO many times that it is a source of embarassment. One of my good friend’s died this New Year’s Eve at 43. It was a horrible shock. Her demise was, no doubt, quickened by her vices. An evil little voice often whines¬†in my ear¬†that EVERYONE has vices in a desperate attempt to minimize my guilt and establish¬†faulty¬†justifications. I am strangling the voice. I have been scared straight. Four people dying in one year does that to you.

4. Out of my head, onto the paper

I am finishing my first novel. Not starting it, not working on it but finishing it. I am doing marvelously so far, so why jinx it with unnecessary steps?

5. Down with Procrastination

My worst character trait as far as I am concerned. The one that stops me from losing weight, working out, quitting smoking, writing a book, going to a Poetry Jam, finishing my degree, dancing on the edge of deadlines, etc. etc. etc. Next to smoking, I think this will be the hardest so I will start small. I was going to do the post tomorrow but I did it today LOL so it must be working!!!!

This may help you, it helped me. Will Power – Self Discipline: Guidance, Development and Exercises.

Out with the old and in with the new!!

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff & Suburban Snow Madness

It’s the day after Xmas and I am snug as a bug in my warm, ocean blue office, communing with the world via my keyboard. I am blissfully ignoring the blizzard (yeah, that’s right) which¬†is busy painting the world outside in shades of white. It’s all pretty until it’s time to go outside, by God!!

It has been snowing for seven hours and I have already, foolishly, run off to the store and been a victim of “Suburban¬†Snow Madness”. This¬†phenomenon¬†strikes¬†suburbanites¬†at the slightest sign of inclement weather. I have only lived in NJ for ten years.¬†As a native New Yorker, I find this phenomenon quite amusing and long for the days when I lived in NY which is not brought to a screeching halt by a few inches of snow. Oh, for the days of straphanger¬†glory!! I am hear to¬†tell you that there really IS something to be said about the MTA. It¬†runs, snow, sleet or rain be damned!!

But I digress, let’s go back to¬†Suburban¬†Snow Madness. The symptoms are everywhere as¬†grocery stores are overrun with people as if an¬†alien invasion is underway. How could they be out of food one day after Xmas? Hmmm. The Home Depot’s and Lowe’s of the world are enjoying a¬†similar fate as¬†the run on salt and calcium chloride continues. We discovered, much to our horror, that the Snow blower fanatics had already snatched up any reasonably priced blowers and run for the hills. Someone should hang signs on the storefronts for the weary would be shoppers, like myself, “SNOW BLOWERS SOLD OUT – GO HOME AND DIG OUT YOUR SHOVELS.” The roads are littered¬†with accidents caused by¬†the impatient and¬†psychotic drivers. Road rage is in full effect as¬†sane¬†drivers, valuing¬†life and limb, drive at a sedate pace while crazed snow criers screech past them to get¬†to the next store where already over worked staff¬†are¬†tottering on the precipice¬†of exhaustion. The sales people¬†look as if they would like to curse the world out rather than help the circling hordes¬†and can you really blame them? lol.

We braved the early part of the snow to look for a snow blower as the one we had has mysteriously broke. This is our first year of snow removal and such challenges are par for the course. I sigh for the holiday and¬†Fall leaf madness which took us over, delaying¬†preparedness for this eventuality but hey with a staff of two, what’s a girl to do? ūüôā Regroup tomorrow at 5 AM, that’s what. That, God help us, is where we will be when the unsuspecting Home Depot staff in Bergen county¬†groggily¬†open their doors. Bergen county is¬†one of the very few counties left in the States that are subject to the Blue Laws which dictate that only necessary items can be bought and sold on Sundays. Apparently, liquor is a necessary item as the liquor store is ALWAYS open but¬†if you have the foolish urge to purchase anything other than food, car supplies or liquor, you are SOL¬†(Shit out of Luck).

My response to this,¬†after significant rumination and unwelcome angst is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. I would much rather recall yesterday when in typical, holiday culinary splendor, I prepared:

1. Prime Rib Roast Au Poivre

2. Wild Rice

3. Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

4. Mashed Potatoes with Chives

5. Potatoes Au Gratin with Gruyere Cheese & Creme Fraiche

6. Pecan Pie with Orange Zest

7. Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits (a requirement of any self-respecting Southern descendent)

Yesterday, we enjoyed our half¬†decorated, 8′ H, Xmas tree and chillaxed. The tree would be done but in a conspiracy of Murphy like events, all colored lights are dead, leaving us with 900 white lights. 900!!! Ok and can I mention that none of them blink?! NOPE not a one. Apparently, we are¬†victims of false advertising because no amount of bulb replacements would elicit¬†the merest twinkling of lights. Oh and yes, we attempted to purchase more but left sickened and beaten after visiting three, yes three, stores. WTF?! Ok, it’s true, normally this¬†would make me crazy and foul curses would jump, unannounced, from my lips but…but…I am working on reigning it all in, my friends, and going with the flow.

SO! Let it snow, let the tree stand¬†half adorned, let the phone ring off the hook with¬†bill collectors who are disturbed¬†that I underpaid a bill by $4, let the ringing not subside as the business line rings¬†unrelentingly with clients struck by Suburban Snow Madness¬†at the 11th hour. The ringing means money so I suppose there is something in that.¬†As long as I have my love, my cats, my Prime Rib, a glass of rum,¬†pen and paper (in the case of¬†unexpected power outages, God forbid)¬†and my sanity, it’s all good. Today, I will NOT sweat the small stuff because after all “Tomorrow is another day…”.

My thanks to Epicurious.com, Scarlett O’Hara, the delectable Vivian Leigh, the Ubiquitous Murphy and the now deceased Richard Carlson for inspiration. ūüėČ

Read a Book…

WARNING: The link in this post contains graphic language and images.

The link in this post makes me laugh hysterically and cringe at the same time. It is offensive, racist, obnoxious, rude, stupid, insightful, funny¬†and¬†provocative all at the same time. African Americans¬†are profiled¬†in this video but the central theme¬†is¬†applicable to any race. I will make no apologies for my crazy sense of humor or the author’s desire to outrage and offend. I can only say that it tickles and saddens¬†me as more and more people are becoming less literate and worse fail to understand it’s importance. So, have a laugh but¬†give it some thought…¬†

YouTube – Read a Book (Dirty Version).

Whatever happened to class?

Ok, the purpose of this post is not to rag on people, truly. However,¬†there are things in life that make you go hmmm. I saw a commercial this week for the 10 Most Fascinating People with the inimitable Barbara Walters. I had to smile to see Betty White who remains, in my mind, an extremely funny lady that you just can’t help but love. In the commercial¬†Barbara leans in and asks Betty something like “What is sex like after 80?” To which Betty with a snide leer replies, “I guess it’s great, if you can get it.” Or some such drivel.

And there it is, the hook – Sex. We love to hear about it, talk about it, do it and peep, unawares, into the sex life of others.¬†Even giving in to my voyeuristic urges, I thought the commercial¬†was ridiculous and tasteless which of course made me laugh. I believe they call that derision.¬†How appropriate¬†is it to ask an Octogenarian about their sex life? Do they really¬†have a sex life and hell if they do, do you want to know about it? How good can sex be after one is a mass of wrinkles and body aches? It’s inevitable people, the body ages. What happens when the star pitcher is too tired to get up to bat? After you can no longer recognize yourself as sexy in the mirror who the hell wants to talk about sex? Much as I hate to admit it, I can feel the drag of time at¬†40 something and just can’t see, if I am graced to live that long, how I can be¬†a roaring nympho at 80 something. It would be nice but really? So, then I ask myself, “Self, with age comes dignity, right?” And she replies, tongue in cheek, “Not in the 21st century apparently.”

Before that, there was Cher who is plastered¬†everywhere promoting her new movie. I was agog to see her accepting a star or some such nonsense and crouching for the honor. Why, of why, did she look boldly into the camera and say, “If you see a flash of turquoise, it’s just my panties.” Gah! Gross. She looks good but numbers don’t lie. It reminds me of a song from the play Chicago, “Whatever happened to Class?”.¬†¬†Class

That was so classless. Are we in a time warp here? Does she not realize at 60 something that she is not the hot momma she was back in the day? For crying out loud, where is your dignity and why are you flashing people your panties? Is this what you wish them to remember you for even now? I know we are talking about Cher so don’t answer that.

I can understand the media as it is their job to titillate¬†the public and draw our attention. Their methods are increasingly flamboyant and immoral but that’s par for the course in the 21st century. Man is an animal and civilized or no we often fall into idiocy when our baser instincts are engaged. I accept that. I don’t like it but I accept it. But c’mon people as time marches relentlessly on¬†do you really want people thinking about the color of your underwear and what you are doing under the covers? No one says that life after 60 means certain death but surely one rises above our baser instincts to something more refined and grandiose. No?

It stokes the questions I had as a kid. I mean I never really believed that my pubic hair would go gray and am still quite horrified at the thought. That’s what razors are for! What is sexy? How to remain¬†sexy? Is it necessary your whole life to make yourself a succulent tidbit to¬†draw the rapier gaze of other beings? How long does passionate sex last? Can it last? Or, does it give way to deeper, more meaningful things and therefore lose it’s prevalence of place.¬†Will you even still care about sex in your old age?¬†Genitalia ages¬†and although they remain functional¬†they certainly cease¬†to function¬†at maximum¬†capacity. Hey, that’s why they have Viagra.¬†Surely though after a lifetime of seeking, flirting, lusting, chasing, running away, catching and releasing you evolve. Or¬†are we just doomed to be tethered forever to our lust for¬†food, sex and mayhem?¬†

In any case, how much¬†I am still doing the horizontal mambo in my twilight years¬†will be¬†a matter for private fascination. I will not kid myself that the public is in any way¬†titillated by my sex life or lack thereof. Just me,¬†my love, our wrinkles, years of hard won¬†expertise,¬†candlelight¬†and some silken sheets.¬†That’s Class!!!

Would you be quiet, please?!

See that pile growing over there? It’s the pile of my regrets. It has grown steadily, surreptitiously, without my notice over the course of my life. Some people can surge gamely forward and rarely look back. I try to do the same but fear it is not in my nature. In a way, I think that’s all to the good as introspection is the foundation of¬†self-improvement. Other times, I wonder if I would be better turning off my interior recorder and just living in the moment. It is not a question I have answered yet and so I continue to be distracted by the rattling coming from that pile.

You see, the pile refuses to lie quiet, obediently deteriorating under layers of dust. Instead, it shifts and rattles with the bones of the deceased. I am here, do not forget me. I hear their sounds as I go about my daily tasks and catch their stealth like movements out of my peripheral vision. Sighing, I turn once again to contemplate them and like a preening child, they shake off the dust of years to grow strong again in the light of my memory, the warmth of my vision.

I wish. I wish and I wish that I could go back and change some of the things that I have done. Yet, that wish is surely a part of the human condition. 

I wish that I knew some of my decisions would have such far-reaching effects resulting in, at a minimum, a more weighty consideration. Precipitous actions, my friends, are not all they are chalked up to be. I wish to tell my younger self to be patient, be mindful and be true to what you believe. I wish for no regrets you see. Some things once done can never be undone. We hear that phrase over and over again but it really has no meaning until is part of your reality. And oh to take it back, a word here, a slip there, an unkind, selfish act there and oh the pile, see how it grows? And it will never disintegrate. It will never be seen by outside others but it has the strength to rake me over the coals and make me cringe at the stupidity and foolishness of my actions as I did as we all do, tried to find my way.

The remedy seems so simple, so obvious…just let them go. Well, once you bury your regrets and go blithely along your merry way do you also forget the lessons that past mistakes should have taught you?¬†In editing your experience do you lose sight of the things which shape you? It is only the ability to understand my missteps that informs my future self. And surely it is only in my challenges that I comprehend¬†the layers of my ever growing self-definition.

Still I wish I was wiser, better, smarter and then I remember that the only path to greatness lies in risk, occasional stupidity and the inevitability of mistakes. So, I bear up and tell my conscience to be quiet so I can make more room in my consciousness for victories. Victory has a much sweeter sound and it gleams gold in my peripheral vision ;).