Fashion, Flair and Pizzazz

I was reminiscing with a dear old friend today about our childhood days when we were thirteen and fourteen without a care in the world. We had no idea what lied ahead: sorrow, joy, pain, exultation, grief and unexpected happiness and delights.

No, we had other things on our minds–important things. We didn’t waste our hours in front of monitors playing video games or texting people until our fingers wanted to drop. We busied ourselves in front of our mirrors. Meet the first (and best) fashionistas. That word hadn’t even been invented yet.

We experimented with lip colors. There was a shade called Tangee back then that was all the rage. I guess Tangee was a take on tangerine. It was considered the hottest color of the day.

All cosmetics were high on our list of beautification items, but just as important was the sweater we planned to wear to the weekly Friday night dance. And if one of us happened to have enough money to buy a new sweater, we would all troop over to the avenue (malls hadn’t been invented yet either) to lend encouragement and opinions. First and foremost it had to feel soft, it had to be the right color of course, and it had to be snug without being obviously snug, but just snug enough. The amount of snugness was very important.

An entire weekend could be spent on these undertakings. Each one of us endeavored to be the best we could be. We meant to be a smash hit as we walked into the dance.

Jump forward many years and try to imagine my dismay to have two gorgeous daughters who never felt the need to wear any makeup–never tried to enhance their beauty. They belonged to the all-natural group.

I still can’t comprehend a generation who thinks it’s okay to wear plaid with checks.

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Published in: on April 12, 2015 at 10:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting For the Ages

I can’t believe this, but I’m actually losing about a pound a week on my laid-back diet!

So, I’m going to stick to it for a while and get used to:

  1. Drinking no soda
  2. Not taking that detour to pick up a donut
  3. Eating sugar-free candy and watching the calorie count on them even though they have no sugar
  4. Making good choices about what I snack on
  5. Not ordering those oily wraps
  6. Limiting my cheese intake
  7. Eating more vegetables and fruits
  8. Not ordering fried food. This one is the hardest one for me, but I’m trying.

If you have any questions about the diet, see my eight preceding posts and good luck to you.

Published in: on February 10, 2015 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting – Step #8

Eat more vegetables. Ordinarily I would turn up my nose to this statement, but I have discovered “Steam In Bag” veggies.

The truth is I don’t mind eating vegetables, but opening up a frozen bag of veggies and then preparing them in a pot or in a microwave-safe container–well some days that’s just too much darn work. But now enter Steam In Bag vegetables. (If only they would make them in single packets for those of us who eat alone.) I suppose that’s too much to wish for.

Anyway, last night I had a homemade burger (no bun) and I surrounded it with vegetables: green beans, broccoli and mixed. It was good, but most of all it was filling. And with no carbs.

Then I retired early (with no snacking before bedtime).

Published in: on January 20, 2015 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting – Step #7

cheeses

Okay–this is going to be a problem because I love, love love cheese. All types of cheeses: hard cheese, soft, spreadable, blue cheese dressing and the grated cheese I sprinkle on my spaghetti. (another bad habit I must break.) But first things first. What am I going to do about cheese?

Well, I’ll start with the cheese I dont like–any fat-free product. Not only do they taste bad, I can’t believe they’re good for you. So, they’re already banned from my body.

Grated parmesan is only 22 calories a tablespoon. I like the sound of that. One slice of American cheese is 79 calories. Swiss is 70 calories per slice. Gorgonzola is the cheese used in blue cheese dressing–it’s a bad 99 calories per ounce.

Since I know it would be fruitless to even attempt to give up cheese entirely, I’m going to try modifying. For instance, I won’t slather an entire ounce of dressing on my salad and I’ll only use one slice of cheese in a sandwich.

And now to the ace up my sleeve–lately I’ve been eating Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Original. One wedge of this delicious cheese is only 50 calories.

Breaking habits is a process. I’m doing my best.

Published in: on January 19, 2015 at 8:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting – Step #6

Mistakes that are easy to make:

  1. I’ve suggested in one of my earlier posts that diet sodas must be cut out, but I’ve just learned something that you should know in case you are having a hard time cutting them out of your diet–here it is. The food coloring in diet soda comes from coal-tar. Ugh!
  2. Here’s something I would’ve never guessed. Those wraps that I order thinking they’re less calories and therefore good for me. Do you know why they are so easy to wrap?  Because they’re loaded with oil to make them pliable.

So, my step #6 is stop ordering those wraps! (I’ve already cut out the diet soda.)

Published in: on January 12, 2015 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting – Step #5

This is something I learned from my doctor. Some people, no matter how hard they try, cannot completely stop eating at nighttime–that’s me. Once I sit down to watch TV, the munching commences. Here’s what he suggested.

It’s probably the crunch that I like, so instead of something like pretzels, try eating dill gherkin pickles–0 calories. I can eat as many as I want. Add to that midget carrots and the crunch should be satisfied. It sounds like a pretty good idea to me except I know I’m still going to want some pretzels. Here’s my solution. I put about four pretzels alongside the plate. I count them out so that I don’t eat out of the bag.

Therefore, I’m cutting back on the carbs, and I’m eating things that are good for me.

Also, I’ve been going to bed a little earlier than usual. Less time for eating. So far I’m doing pretty good.

Published in: on January 9, 2015 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting – Step #4

Okay, I feel we have come to a crucial point in our diet–“Real Food.”

I’m not going to pussyfoot around any longer. I’m going to face the fact that I eat too many fried foods: French fries, Southern fried chicken, fried okra. Whaaaaat? You don’t like fried okra? Well, whatever. Fried foods is one habit I most definitely must break.

But, as always, this is going to remain a laid-back diet, therefore, although I’m going to swear off fried foods, I’m leaving the door open a smidge. If I can manage to forgo fried food for an entire week, I’ll allow myself one serving at the end of a triumphant week. That way I won’t feel like I’m totally denying myself food that I love; but I must remember this is also food that is bad for me.

Gosh, I can feel the pounds melting off me already.

Published in: on October 6, 2014 at 11:16 pm  Comments (2)  
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Dieting – Step #3

Okay, it’s time to take a good look at my candy obsession. Obviously, the sugar-free candy idea took a nosedive (see earlier post dated 9/1/14), so it’s time to get serious.

First, if you’re really into candy like I am, you already know this is going to be painful, definitely not easy. But I promised myself this diet would be stress-free, so here’s my new approach to the situation. I will give up candy BUT I will allow myself to eat a portion of dark chocolate every day.

Why dark chocolate? Kristin Kirkpatrick, manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, recommends that:

…  her clients eat one ounce of dark chocolate a day, since that’s an amount proven to show benefits but not big enough to load you down with sugar and fat. One ounce is roughly one square of a thick bar or one-and-a-half squares of a thin bar. Chocolate has been associated with heart health, with earlier studies suggesting it helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-healthy-excuse-to-eat-dark-chocolate-2013-08-28

Well, if Ms. Kirkpatrick says it’s okay then I’m good. It’s gonna be hard but I’m putting Mary Janes and my Mike & Ikes on the “no-no list.”

Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting – Step #2

We need a goal. Goal-setting is very important when it’s vital to accomplish something.

I think the reason why some people fail when they are dieting is because they set the goal too high. There should be several little goals that are doable with a little effort. So, in my case, I must decide how many pounds I want to lose and how long do I have to lose them.

Here’s an idea from Paige Waehner on How To Set Weight Loss Goals

… set a reasonable weight loss goal for yourself. You can base your goals on any number of factors, but a great place to start would be the general recommendations set out by the American College of Sports Medicine which are 5-10% of body weight or one to two pounds per week. … http://exercise.about.com/od/weightloss/a/weightlossgoals.htm

So, the way I see it – we need a long-term goal and a short-term goal.

My long-term goal is to look and feel better in my clothes.

My short term goal will be as Paige suggests to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week. How hard can that be? I’ve already cut out donuts and soda. Next week, I’ll add a new food to my “no-no list.”

Published in: on September 22, 2014 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dieting – Step #1

I’ve decided I’m going to take a slow approach to this diet. Therefore, Step #1–Give up drinking soda–all soda–Regular and Sugar-Free.

My thinking is if I ease myself into a diet, there’s a good chance when I get to Step #10 I won’t even notice I’m on a diet because I’ve been giving up a little at a time.

In case you think I picked something easy to give up, be advised that right now, if you looked in my refrigerator you would find: 2 cans of Bargs Root Beer, 1 Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and 1 Shasta Orange Soda. Obviously, I’m a soda fiend. But that stops today.

And as for sugar-free soda, read what David Thorpe had to say about it all the way back in 2010.

In the case of diet soda there are no calories, but the chemicals you are drinking trick the body into believing it’s eating something sweet.

One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners is Aspartame (just check your ingredients). This little bad boy will actually prevent your body from producing serotonin (responsible for controlling appetite amongst other things).

And what does your body do when it is suffering from low serotonin levels? It tells your body to go and get some of the foods that it knows will stimulate the release of the chemical.

And guess what, this just happens to be the waistline expanding, high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich, processed “junk” foods that every dieter fears!

So there you have it; sugar free soda is encouraging your cravings for junk food. Bad news.

So, HALT! No Soda – Step #1.
Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Donut Confession

chocolate donut

I was riding past Dunkin’ Donuts last week and I succumbed. The chocolate frosted donuts enticed me into the drive-thru. “Curse those drive-thrus.” They make it so easy to be bad.

I figured, it was only one donut. How bad could that be? (270 calories, FYI)

I ordered my donut through the evil speaker. When I got up to the window I decided I should get a cup of water since I knew the donut wasn’t going to make it all the way home and I would probably get thirsty.

I asked, “Could I have a cup of water?”

The attendant turned to her computer and added $.27 to my order.

I said, “You’re charging me for water?”

Her reply. “Company policy.”

My reply. “I won’t pay for water.”

She shrugged, took the charge off and handed me my donut. (no water.)

What she didn’t know was she had handed me my last Dunkin’ Donut…ever!

Published in: on September 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sugar-Free Candy

Yum, I thought, this is going to work out really good. I’ll satisfy my sweet tooth, but I’ll fake it out with some sugar-free candy and let me tell you, that Russel Stover sugar-free chocolate is to die for.

It’s readily available in the supermarket. I decided this was going to be terrific for me because the doctor told me recently to cut out all sugar and carbs. So I figured I’d make my doctor happy and lose a little weight while assuaging my chocolate craving.

Wrong! Last week I gave that bag a closer look and guess what it said, “Not a Weight Loss Product.” And I’ve been eating that candy like there’s no tomorrow.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Published in: on September 1, 2014 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Kitchen Diet Tip

kitchen-50s

Here;s a tip that originated back in the 60s. My mother closed her kitchen between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., depending on when we finished eating our dinner and washing the dishes.

I mean she literally closed the kitchen, same as a restaurant. No food went out of her kitchen unless it was something “dry.” She went as far as drying the sink with her dishtowel, and that spigot never got turned on again until breakfast. Really!

She figured her job was done. The evening hours were for rest and relaxation.

Consequently, eating was kept to a minimum. Any utensils you might need to use were a “no-no” since they’d have to be rinsed in the sink. Think about it. There were no microwaves, so you couldn’t pop popcorn. Fruit was an option and I remember I ate a lot of pretzels (even then I think I was addicted to carbohydrates). But funny thing–I don’t remember being hungry because I was busy doing homework or talking on the phone or watching TV.

Thinking back–I wasn’t eating in the evenings. And I was skinny!

It wasn’t until I got to high school and began to stuff my mouth with a lot of junk food at lunchtime that I started putting on a few pounds.

Published in: on August 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Diet–Less Bad Food, More Good Food

I’ve been thinking…what was I doing differently back when I was skinny.

Looking back, I know I ate some carbs, but without really thinking about it, I did actually eat a little better and (and this is big), I didn’t eat out as often. I cooked! And I think that’s how I monitored what I ate a little better.

The thing about eating in restaurants all the time is although your good intentions are spot-on and you walk into the restaurant thinking you will order something healthy, once you take a look at that menu, all can be lost. (and often is) And even if you stick to your guns and order a salad or some other healthy selections, beautiful bread is brought to the table with that scrumptious sweet butter and you’re pretty much vanquished.

I always say to myself one slice of bread with butter won’t hurt, but then I only use half a pat of butter and I feel obliged to spread the remaining butter on a second slice of bread, especially if it’s warm and crusty. That wouldn’t happen if I were in my own kitchen.

I know you’re thinking, it’s easier to go out and let someone else take charge of the cooking. But I think there are some kitchen tricks we can try and stay in at least two or three evenings and satisfy ourselves with a great meal.

Next week I’ll explore that possibility.

Published in: on August 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Small Town, USA – Part 5

One of the differences between living in a big city as opposed to living in a small town is the types of crimes that are committed.

A city may have murders and kidnappings and bank robberies; a town has its share of petty robberies but murders may not have caught up to the small town yet., There is a big difference in the conduct of the citizens though.

Big city people check all their locks before going to sleep. Townspeople just hope for the best. Maybe it’s because big-time violence hasn’t arrived yet. Here is a sample of the type of crimes being perpetrated in my town.

Two weeks ago, a thief stole a bunch of lawn sprinkling heads from a nursery garden. Tell me what kind of person says to himself, “What can I steal tonight? Oh, I know, I’ll steal me some sprinkling heads.”

A couple of months ago, someone broke into a pickup truck. There were all sorts of safety equipment and a satellite radio among other pricey things, but the thief must have been thirsty because all he took was a can of soda and two AA batteries. Sorry, I can’t explain the batteries. We have some really quirky thieves.

The biggest theft that I can remember was a missing car, however the guy left his keys in the ignition and the car door unlocked. Oops. But that isn’t as uncommon as you would think.

Lots of people leave their car doors unlocked. It must be force of habit when you’ve grown up in a small town. The thing is while they were playing in the schoolyard, and graduating from high school and later raising a family, their small town grew up with them. It was a smaller town back then.

Times they are a-changin’.

 

Published in: on August 11, 2014 at 10:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Small Town USA – Part 4

I tell you more crazy things happen in my supermarket at the deli counter. I guess it’s because aside from twiddling your thumbs while waiting for your number to be called, there’s nothing much to do, well except people-watch which I confess I’m prone to–a lot.

For instance, last week I found myself staring at a mature woman, okay very, very old woman, standing a few feet away from me. I stared because I never (no exaggeration) saw a woman’s face with so many channels of wrinkles before. My guess is she had spent a lot of days in the sun and it had taken an awful toll. But that wasn’t the most striking thing about her.

The thing is, she had taken great pains to put a full face of make-up on. And it was beautifully done. I know because I was a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant for ten years way back when. As a matter of fact, because I spent  time as a consultant, I rarely leave the house without some kind of make-up on myself: lipstick, blush and sometimes eyebrow pencil. This particular day, I was spruced up pretty good.

I hadn’t noticed her looking at me, but she must have because she leaned toward me and said, “I like your make-up. It’s perfect for you.”

I responded, “I was just thinking the same thing about you.”

She smiled and said, “Well, I’d say we’re both still kickin’ it.” She chuckled as she walked toward the produce department.

These are the wonderfully unexpected things that happen in a small town.

Published in: on August 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Small Town, USA–Part 3

It appears that everyone in a small town talks more, at least that’s how it seems to me. I have more conversations at the deli counter than I ever had in the big, bad city.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the city and there are still things about it that I miss, but small towns, although microcosms of a large city’s population, the inhabitants are hellbent on holding conversations.

For example, last week I ordered some low-sodium boiled ham (I’m on a health kick. It will probably last a few more weeks.) Anyway, this lady standing next to me hears my order and she asks if I had ever tried Rosemary Ham. Who ever heard of Rosemary Ham? I don’t even remember seeing it in the display case, but sure enough when she orders it, the girl behind the counter doesn’t question her.

Oh, and by the way, I don’t know if they do this in every small town, but ours always offers the customer a taste before slicing off the order. Maybe they think everyone enters the store famished–who knows. So this lady gestures toward me and asks the girl to give me a slice too since I’ve never tasted Rosemary Ham. (Everyone in the deli area hears her request, but none of them looks surprised or for that matter bent-out-of-shape because we are holding things up while I get my all-important taste.)

I obediently take my slice and thank the girl. My new best friend has another piece of interesting news to relate. If I go to the bakery department, they sell the most delicious Rosemary Bread. She advises me to make a sandwich using this bread and to add cheddar cheese and mayo. She assures me that I will be in heaven.

Now, you think this is where I’m going to end by poo-pooing the whole episode don’t you, but I’m here to tell you, the woman knew what she was talking about. I wonder if her name was Rosemary?

Published in: on July 28, 2014 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Small Town, USA–Part 2

What’s the first thing you learn when you live in a big city or anywhere for that matter–don’t tell anyone where you live!

So what do you think my reaction might have been when I met a man in the produce department of the supermarket and he asked, “Where do you live?”

We had been having a perfectly mundane conversation about the weather and how so many of the streets were flooded while we stood beside a display of eggplants. All of a sudden he veered off and asked me where I lived. I almost picked up one of the eggplants to smash  it over his head when I glanced at his face. He didn’t look like an aging lothario, so although my hand continued to rest on an eggplant, I stopped and gave my course of action some further thought.

You see, my town’s streets are divided alphabetically.  It occurred to me that he might be innocently asking what section I lived in, especially when he followed up his first question with, “I live in the E Section.”

Easing my hand off the eggplant, I smiled and answered, “I live in the Z Section.”

“Oh, nice area,” he remarked. “I have a friend who lives over there.”

Our conversation ended shortly after. Poor man had no idea he could have been tomorrow’s headline–Man Massacred With a Big, Juicy Eggplant By a Crazed Woman in the Produce Department.

Published in: on July 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Small Town, USA – Part 1

If you want to experience a tiny touch of culture shock, move from a large, bustling city to a quiet, bucolic town. Be warned though, the adjustment can be tough for a while. I don’t wish to make the changes sound like bad things, but it takes some getting used to when you’re least expecting little surprises.

For instance “rush hour.”

Recently, while driving home with a visiting friend after a day of shopping, she began to laugh hysterically for no reason. I asked her, “What on earth are you laughing at?”

She replied by pointing to the clock on my dashboard–it read 5:30. “This is your rush hour!” she exclaimed.

I looked around. There were about a dozen other cars on the road.

My friend still works in the city and has to drive to and from work on a crowded highway that I too was once well acquainted with. I giggled with her. Rush hour was no longer a  part of my life experience, but I remembered the first time I encountered this small town rush hour.

I was delirious too.

Published in: on July 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Do You Remember Your Dreams?

If I were asked, “Do you dream?” My answer would be “no.”

But the absolute truth is, once in a great while I dream. Now keep in mind, it is a scientific fact that everyone dreams, but I could go for years without dreaming. (at least I don’t remember dreaming.)

The thing is, when I do recall a dream, it is a certain type of dream. It’s always about water and someone is always drowning. It’s the kind of dream that I don’t want to think about–it’s sort of frightening.

That is why when anyone asks, “Do you dream?” I answer, “no.”

(but I do wonder what the dream means. why is it a similar dream each time?)

Published in: on July 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ella Fitzgerald and The Latin Casino

Ella Fitgerald

I belonged to a card club and I didn’t want to go to her show, but the majority ruled. That’s how I happened to attend a concert starring Ella Fitzgerald.

At the very least, I knew I would enjoy a nice dinner, since The Latin Casino served a pretty decent meal. What I wasn’t expecting was an out-of-this-world show. Ella turned out to be exciting–a stellar entertainer. Her voice rang out straight from her heart and her audience could feel the very essence of her music.

What made me think of Miss Fitzgerald today? I don’t know.

She is no more. Neither is The Latin Casino in New Jersey. But those were the days!

Published in: on June 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm  Comments (2)  
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The Healing Properties of Amber

Amber Jewelry

Whenever I think I’m coming down with a cold, I run to my jewelry box and take out every piece of amber I own. That would be two rings, an amber brooch on a silver chain and a bracelet with a dangling amber charm. One of my daughters even asks to borrow my necklace whenever she feels a stuffy nose coming on.

I know it doesn’t make any sense. After all amber is nothing more than fossilized tree resin, but I’m in good company when it comes to believing amber has strong healing powers. The Egyptians, Phoenicians and the Greeks were among the ancient cultures  that valued amber, and many American Indian Shamans wore the stone for protection and for enhancement of their healing abilities.

Although it’s healing properties have never been validated by any scientific study, some crystal practitioners believe amber can draw out negative energy. I don’t know about you, but I’m good with that. I’m still going to sprint for my amber whenever I’m feeling low.

amber’s healing properties have not been validated by any scientific study, some crystal practitioners believe that amber’s electromagnetic properties have the ability to draw disease from the body through detoxification and can relieve physical pain by drawing out the negative energy.Read more : http://www.ehow.com/list_7279661_properties-amber-stone.html
Although amber’s healing properties have not been validated by any scientific study, some crystal practitioners believe that amber’s electromagnetic properties have the ability to draw disease from the body through detoxification and can relieve physical pain by drawing out the negative energyRead more : http://www.ehow.com/list_7279661_properties-amber-stone.html
Although amber’s healing properties have not been validated by any scientific study, some crystal practitioners believe that amber’s electromagnetic properties have the ability to draw disease from the body through detoxification and can relieve physical pain by drawing out the negative energyRead more : http://www.ehow.com/list_7279661_properties-amber-stone.html
Published in: on June 23, 2014 at 2:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Interview – Sometimes The Truth Doesn’t Hurt

I needed a job. The one I had turned suddenly sour with the arrival of my new boss. I decided to send out resumes, as many as I could, but the job openings were slim.

In desperation, I concluded that I would be forced to send one to a legal firm that was looking for a legal secretary. The thing is, I swore I would never work for lawyers. My quite outspoken opinion of them was they’re stuffy and in love with themselves. They think they’re superior to all other humans and they have no sense of humor. In short, I would die before working for a another attorney especially since my new supreme being was the definition of mean and despicable. The fact that I already worked in a legal department for a large corporation was a total fluke, but that’s another story altogether.

Anyway, I decided that if– on the off chance– I landed an interview, I’d go and practice my interviewing skills because it had been years since I sat through an actual interview. When I received a call from the law office to set an appointment, I wondered what it would be like to go in completely unrehearsed and give off-the-cuff answers. In other words what you see is what you get.

So, that’s what I did. To my surprise, I met two very nice attorneys. They met the “real” me, not a person trying hard to land a job. That same day I was informed that I had the position if I wanted it.

I was extremely happy there for many years.

Published in: on June 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Veggie Cheese and Skim Milk

 

Steak on a grill

Doesn’t that sound delicious–veggie cheese and skim milk?

My daughter keeps telling me I should lose weight. (I know that without her constantly mentioning it to me in “not so subtle” ways.) The thing is, I don’t want to eat food that doesn’t taste good. C’mon–veggie cheese?

Well, okay, I have tried those Sargento sticks of cheese. They’re not too atrocious. And I’ve even given Laughing Cow spreadable cheeses a whirl, but to tell you the truth, I’m not laughing.

And don’t get me started on skim milk. Why even drink it–it’s colored water–so why not just drink water?

I’ve heard all the bugabaloo hype to get more exercise, change my eating habits and wolf down those vegetables. Yesterday the doctor actually told me I shouldn’t be having my glass of orange juice in the morning because it’s 91% carbohydrates. I’m not kidding. Nothing is sacred. Even orange juice is taboo.

I’m getting tired of seeing photos of women who look emaciated and being brainwashed into believing that they are visions of beauty. Marilyn Monroe’s body was beautiful. And she didn’t look like she was wasting away. Why are woman so eager to believe the propaganda that they have to be skinny like models in order to be beautiful?

I’ll tell you why. Because they’re being told it’s healthy and if it’s healthy, it must be good. So, if you’re buying into the skinny-minnie theory, keep drinking that “milk” and eating that other product that is laughingly marked “cheese.”

I’m going to grill my steak now. It’s not a vegetable, but I promise to eat in moderation. That’s my key word “moderation.”

Published in: on June 9, 2014 at 11:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I Cried This Morning

It wasn’t a feminine dab your misty eyes sort of cry, it was a full-on blow your nose and pull yourself together cry. I like to watch Sunday Morning on TV every week. Sometimes I don’t get to it until Monday night, but this week, with a cup of tea on hand, I watched the program on Sunday.

One of the stories dealt with Melvin, an Alzheimer sufferer. He’s had no memory for three years now, but it was the day before Mother’s Day and he decided to go for a walk …  unaccompanied. Of course as soon as that was discovered, the  police were summoned. They found Melvin about two miles from home attempting to buy a bunch of roses for his wife because he remembered that’s what he did  every year of his marriage on Mother’s Day.

It appears the Alzheimer disease robs you of your memory, but sometimes your instinct kicks in and you get to hand your wife a bouquet of roses once more as you did in days of old.

That’s what started my waterfall of tears. Perhaps because my mother suffered with the same affliction–I don’t know, but I thought I had cried enough to last me two months when they hit me with a segment on the last Bee Gee brother–Barry Gibb.

I loved the Bee Gees. I don’t think there was a song they ever recorded that I didn’t like. Anyway, Barry, he’s the one with the falsetto singing voice, is going on tour for the first time without his brothers, Morris and Robin. Well, that was it! Listening to that story and to their music again reopened the floodgates.

Believe me, I had a rough morning and I haven’t even touched on the Vietnam segment.

 

 

 

Published in: on June 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sheldon’s Folder Board

Several years ago, when I first saw Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory, folding his clothes with the first folder board I’d ever seen, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. I thought, could anyone be that ADD that their t-shirts had to conform in size to one another?

Then a short time later, I noticed the boards cropping up in several other places besides Sheldon’s laundry room. The home shopping networks started hawking the boards and there were some for sale on ebay.

I got to thinking, maybe it would be nice to have t-shirts and nightgowns stacked neatly one upon the other. Think of all the extra space it would create.

Okay, I broke under the pressure. I ordered one from ebay. I haven’t used it yet, but any day now I’ll be a “closet” Sheldon groupie (’cause I don’t intend to own up to my weakness to anyone).

Published in: on May 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Die! Leaving No Trace

Last week, while at lunch with two friends, the subject of mothers came up. It seems none of our mothers left much behind (in the way of writing) for us to remember them by. No cute little anecdotes or places visited or stories–well unless you want to include a telephone book.

Carolyn’s mother actually left behind a long, slim book containing her friends’ phone numbers. What makes the book unique, in addition to its shape, is the short scribblings she wrote next to each person’s name. Sometimes personality traits, sometimes a particular food that person loved–things like that. So when Carolyn is thinking about her mother and she’d like to feel close to her, she reaches for that book in the drawer of her night table and she reads the pages for the hundredth time. That’s all there is.

My own mother didn’t do much better. The only thing I have are a few recipes that my mom wrote out that I luckily stuck into a three-ring binder along with other recipes. Just seeing her handwriting is soothing to me. It makes her real, but those recipes are all I’ve got.

I ask, no sometimes I actually beg, people to write stuff in a notebook. The answer I almost always receive in reply is, “I’m not a writer.” Geez! Give me a break! Can you talk? Then you can write, for pity’s sake.

Do you really want to die and leave no trace?

Published in: on May 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Puffed-Up Phlebotomist

I had to get my blood drawn last week and I’m a “hard stick.” A hard stick is a person who has terrible veins and it’s hard to draw blood out of them.

So, the first thing I say when I’m escorted to the blood-draw cubicle is, “I’m a hard stick and you probably will only be able to draw blood from the veins on my hand.”

Now this nurse believes she is better than all the rest who have gone before her. “Let me look at your arm anyway.”

I extend my arm.

“There’s a perfectly good one,” she says and she proceeds to stick me three times before giving up and blaming me for her failure. “You bent your arm, so I’m going to have to go to your hand. Why did you flinch?”

“Because you hurt me.”

“Well, that jerking made your arm bend. Most people don’t flinch.”

I find that hard to believe, but I don’t respond because she’s the one holding the needle.

She continues to excuse her failure. “You probably didn’t drink enough water this morning. Next time you come in, make sure you drink water. It helps to plump up your veins.”

Finally, after patting herself on the back for managing to get four tubes of blood from my uncooperative veins, I leave.

The end of the story is, I’ve been walking around with a purple bruise the size of a half-dollar on my arm where I received three unnecessary jabs from that puffed-up phlebotomist.

Published in: on May 12, 2014 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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1959 Chevy Impala Convertible

Can you believe I used to own and drive one of these?

A 1959 white Chevy convertible with red interior. It was sweet! Mine didn’t sport an Elvis tag, but everything else looked the same.

A car like that spoils you for every other car that comes into your life, especially when you had no idea that the cars in your future would all be shaped like cereal boxes.

Oh, well. I just wanted a few minutes to reminisce about a honey of a car.

Published in: on May 5, 2014 at 10:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Call the Midwife

I don’t know who comes up with these titles, but the powers-that-be could surely have come up with something better than Call the Midwife..

I happen to be a long-time viewer of PBS television. Like everyone else I’ve talked to, I watch Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, but I seem to be the only one tuned in to Call the Midwife. Oh, I wonder why? What a dowdy, uninviting, uncomfortable title!

And it’s a shame because it’s a really good show. It’s based on the lives of real people. But more importantly, it can actually make me cry. I’m talking blow your nose crying. Not that I’m a big fan of crying, but no other program on TV moves me to tears.

I don’t giggle (well, I confess sometimes Graham Norton has me rolling in my seat), but for the most part I don’t laugh or cry easily.

Call the Midwife just happens to touch me where it sometimes hurts. If you’re not watching, you should be. Give it a whirl.

Published in: on April 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Blue Horizon – Ali vs Sonny Liston

 

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve watched a fight match on TV and only a single time I’ve seen one up close and personal.

First the TV. Most of the fights I’ve watched were less than spectacular except for the Ali vs Sonny Liston fight back in the 60s. There was so much hype centering around how bad Ali would be beat by Liston, that if you were a breathing human being (even if you’d never watched a fight before), this match had a macabre way of drawing you in. So, like thousands of other Americans, I tuned in that night. I even popped a bowl of popcorn, believing I would be stuck in front of the TV for a while.

About five minutes in, Liston went down–for the count! I hadn’t even put a dent in the popcorn. It was a stunner of a fight. I just sat in front of the TV staring at it, as if there could be some mistake. But no, Ali had taken down the giant and it had been spectacular to watch.

That fight didn’t transform me into a fight fan, but back in the 70s, the Blue Horizon Boxing Club was a popular local venue where Philadelphians went to see up-and-coming young boxers fight. My sister (who was a big boxing fan) had been begging me for weeks to accompany her to a boxing match down at the Horizon. I finally agreed.

The crowded lobby, before the doors opened to admit the fans, was like a raucous party. By the time we entered the boxing arena, we were friends with several of the regulars who made sure we were close to the action in the ring, second row seats to be precise. In those days, Blue Horizon spectators could practically sit in the ring with the fighters. It wasn’t a huge place like it is today.

Anyway, the fights began. Sweat mixed with blood was sprayed on the people seated close to the ring. As I mentioned, my sister and I were in a second row seat.

My sister loved, loved, loved it. I was nauseated throughout, but the guys who felt sure they had introduced us to the greatest sport in Philly, if not in the world, were so excited for us that I dared not go to the restroom to throw-up my dinner.

Worst night of my life? No, mostly because those Blue Horizon boxing fans were so enthusiastic about their sport and thank goodness we met them, because I didn’t have to accompany my sister to the Horizon ever again. She had a new group of friends who met her there for several more matches while I sat comfortably at home reading a book or watching Charlie’s Angels.

Published in: on April 28, 2014 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Lincoln Tunnel

I don’t use the Lincoln Tunnel on a daily basis, but for those of you who do, this might not surprise you. But believe me, it scared the living beejeebies out of me! Up until “tunnel time,” I was enjoying my day, looking forward to seeing a matinee show on Broadway followed by a four-inch-high pastrami sandwich at my favorite New York City deli.

Normally I have no problem with the tunnel. I’ve passed through it on many other occasions because I love NYC and I visit from PA often. So, on this particular day, I sat chatting with my friend while gazing out the window. I have no idea why I thought looking out the window was a good idea because the only thing you can see is wall–large expanses of wall. Now that’s not so bad if all you see is wall but when you see leaking wall and you’re riding in a tunnel, it’s time to panic!

This is how the conversation inside the car sounded.

“Omigod this tunnel is leaking.”

“Stop smacking me. You want to get me into an accident?”

“In a minute it’s not going to matter because we’ll be crushed by the force of the river.”

My friend glanced over at my side of the tunnel wall. “Omigod the tunnel is leaking.”

“No kidding. Get us out of here.”

“Where do you think I can go? Maybe fly over all these cars?”

I took a moment to look inside some of those cars. No one seemed to be as terror-stricken as we were. Hadn’t they noticed the water? I wanted to scream. Then I looked out the window again to make sure the tunnel wasn’t cracking open. That’s when I saw the man and his mop. A few seconds later, I saw a man with a hose.

It took a minute to sink in, but I finally realized the tunnel was getting a bath.

How irritating! Couldn’t they put up a sign at the entrance telling travelers to expect to see water but to relax, it’s nothing to worry about? I could have had a heart attack. Worse still, my friend could’ve had one, then where would we be? Our car would’ve crashed into the wall of the tunnel and started a real honest-to-goodness leak.

Just think of the horror!

Published in: on April 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Philadelphia Airport

Have you ever been to the Philadelphia. Airport? It’s huge!

Can you believe I remember when it was a big (as opposed to huge) airport and there were rocking chairs on the roof so you could sit and watch the planes come in and take off. My friends, both guys and girls, would pile into a car, whichever one happened to have enough gas to get us to the airport and back, and when we got there, we’d buy a coke out of the vending machine (cokes came in green glass bottles) and head up to the roof. Summer and spring nights didn’t get much better than a night high up in the sky seeing the planes going and coming.

Another highlight of spending time at the airport–going down to watch the people who had just landed. You could get up close and personal back then. No terrorist threats. We’d try and guess which couples were crazy in love, which ones were married and who was probably coming for a visit.

It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but it was great fun.

Rocking chairs on the roof of the Philadelphia Airport! Can you believe it?

Published in: on October 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Clippy the Paperclip

Clippy the PaperclipDo you remember Clippy?

Jimmy Fallon mentioned him the other night in his monologue. And I got to wondering just when did Clippy disappear from Microsoft Word and from my life. Not that I’m complaining because he was nothing but a distraction.

Every time I started to type a letter, he’d pop up and ask “Do you want to type a letter?” Duh!? I ended up deleting him constantly until I figured out how to make him evaporate permanently. But like many things in life, once they are gone it’s too late to think maybe you sort of miss them–just a little.

Mmm, goodby forever, Clippy.

Published in: on October 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Croquet–The Wicked Version

For two glorious summers in the early 70s, every time I had a barbeque for friends, we got into the habit of setting up nine wickets and two stakes in my backyard and we played a wicked game of croquet. I say wicked, because that’s the only word I can think of to describe the mayhem. The USCA (United States Croquet Assoc.) would’ve never approved.

The truth is, I had the perfect yard to set up a croquet course. It was long, about 100 feet and about 50 feet wide–perfect for croquet, except for one small detail. Running completely across the width of the yard, was a rolling hill. I’m not too good with measurements, but I’d say it was a foot and a half high.

Trying to get a ball successfully up or down that hill while at the same time trying to aim your ball through a wicket was, as I mentioned, wicked. That first Saturday, when husbands and boyfriends, who were inside playing cards, heard the raucous commotion coming from the backyard and realized at once that the ladies weren’t playing an ordinary game of croquet, they issued the challenge–guys against gals. Once that happened, as you can imagine, the game became even crazier.

Oh, to relive those sunny afternoons when icy beers flowed, and the burgers and hot dogs tasted so, so good.

Published in: on September 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dead Body in the Living Room

Mrs. Dollarton’s body was in the living room. She was my friend, or rather, she was my friend Bobby’s mother.

It was the 50s. I used to knock on their door and ask if Bobby was going to come out. On days when he was running an errand, like walking to the grocery store or something, Mrs. Dollarton would stop whatever she was doing and sit with me on the top step of the porch. She talked to me like I was a grown-up. I guess that’s what I liked best of all about her. But she was awfully pretty, too.

Then suddenly she was dead. Her body was laid out in Bobby’s living room. That’s what they did back in the 50s, can you believe it? And I went to see her one last time.

There were so many people milling around. No one noticed me come in and walk up to her casket. I kind-of remember her reddish hair, but time may have skewed my memory. Anyway, I wanted to touch her, but I wasn’t sure if you were allowed, so I just stood and looked at her and wished her alive. I don’t know how long I stared at her, mesmerized how alive she looked, but I knew she would never sit up and smile at me ever again.

I walked back to my house and climbed the stairs to my bedroom. I picked up the pillow on my bed and used it to muffle my hysterical cries.

I don’t remember if I said, “Sorry” to my friend, Bobby.

Published in: on August 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Solar Eclipse

Tonight there will be a Full Solar Eclipse/New Moon. It will be the last one of 2012.

If you believe, as some people do, that the planets are lining up so that they will be in complete alignment by 12/12/12–the Solstice– then tonight is the evening that you should stop for a time and think about your intentions.

What! Intentions? What the heck does that mean?

It is time to open yourself to all possibilities. It may sound insane, but try it anyway, especially if life, this year, has beaten you down. Don’t worry, no one is looking. There is no one to stop you, but you.

So, let’s get started. I personally am going to send out my intention to heal myself. I AM going to feel better overall.

Yours might go something like this. Ask that all that has been done against you, now will bless you in the fullness of time. Your intention will be to create your new life and shake off all things that have troubled you through the year.

That’s a short explanation of what your intention should be tonight. Some will just take a moment to relish the smell of the roses. but do stop to at least take an honest look at your life–take stock.

Make your intention.

Published in: on November 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm  Comments (1)  
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Forlida Election Fiasco

The lines to vote are outrageous!

Any state that doesn’t have early voting is probably wondering what the state of Florida is bellyaching about. After all, Florida has more than a week to get out and vote.

No place have I read about the 10 Amendments that Florida citizens must vote on. That’s right! The Florida Legislature has bogged down Florida’s voters by adding 10, count them, 10 Amendments to the State Constitution on an Election Year Ballot. In addition, most of the 10 Amendments are so cunningly couched in legalese that people are finding them hard to understand, let alone to make an informed decision on them.

Congratulations Florida Legislators. You’ve successfully mangled, manhandled and misused your power to keep the voters away from the voting booths. It was dastardly, but quite effective.

Published in: on November 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Entitlements

I’m going to say it one more time–people who have given a portion of their hard-earned money over a lifetime are entitled to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. No one is looking for a handout! They’re called entitlements because people are entitled to receive a little (and it is a little) bit back for their hard work.

Social Security does not contribute to the deficit, period. It is a trust fund. It has nothing to do with the budget or the deficit. In spite of Congress raiding this trust fund over the years, a fund which incidentally should be untouchable, according to AARP, the fund is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2023.

Just as the baby boomers are becoming eligible to collect, remember they represent the large working class that contributed to the fund while they worked. Those surplus funds were invested in U.S. Treasury bonds. If anything, the boomers contributed even more for the welfare of our nation just by their sheer numbers. The government should keep its promise to retirees, just as it would to any other investors.

Published in: on October 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Olympic Team USA – Made in China

When you see your Team USA march in the Opening Ceremony in London, they, of course, will be proudly carrying the United States flag, but they will be wearing, from head to toe, uniforms Made In China. Doesn’t that get your patriotic juices flowing?

Are you asking why the United States Olympic Committee had to outsource our athletes outfits to China? Evidently, someone beat you to the punch with that question. Part of the Committee’s official response is “…”Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors…”

Does that mean the Sponsors chose China?

This is just too outrageous. Even the Democrats and Republicans in Congress have finally found something they can agree on.  What a disgrace!

 

Published in: on July 13, 2012 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

The Gypsy’s Promise

I finished writing a book.

The funny part is, it was never supposed to be completed.

The thing is, I fleshed out a couple of characters who became the basis of my first five chapters. Then the urge to actually complete the book passed and I moved on to writing other things.

But after the fifth chapter was done, the book sorta called me back and then the characters took on lives of their own. Before I realized it, there was a sixth, a seventh and an eighth chapter. I laid the book aside again for a while–months if I remember  correctly. But I kept being lured back to the unfinished manuscript.

Before I knew it, there were over 70,000 words written and I found myself composing an Epilogue.

It probably sounds like the hard work has been done, but actually the hard work has just begun–revisions and more revisions. That’s where the book stands until I deem it worthy to be sent to an agent. If I’m lucky, some day you’ll see The Gypsy’s Promise on a shelf in your favorite bookstore, or on Amazon as an eBook.

Wish me luck.

Published in: on July 8, 2012 at 2:28 am  Leave a Comment  

10 Recent Books I Have Read and Loved

  1. Stealing the Dragon by Tim Maleeny (suspense intrigue thriller)
  2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (sort of a historical memoir)
  3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (historical romantic time travel) My favorites in this series were the first and the second, Dragonfly in Amber
  4. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin (fantasy) This entire series is not to be missed.
  5. The Other Bolelyn Girl by Philippa Gregory Don’t think history, think a really fine read.
  6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer Now if you DO like a little (history) mixed in with your (humor), try this book on for size. The entire book is written in letters. Sounds boring doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s not.
  7. If you love Renoir, then you will love Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. (fictionalized biography) It’s not a book about his entire life, but instead covers the period during which he was painting the luncheon masterpiece, one of his most recognizable  works.
  8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (thriller) You’ve never known a character like Lisbeth Salander.
  9. Bloodsworn: Bound by Magic by Kathy Lane (fantasy romance suspense) What more can I say?
  10. If you’ve never read a Janet Evanovich book, run to the nearest bookstore or tiptoe to Amazon.com and start off with One for the Money If you like human, colorful, (laugh out loud) characters, you’ll love her books. Easy reading, don’t be expecting Pride and Prejudice. These are just fun books in a series.
Published in: on January 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm  Comments (4)  

Diet – 2012 New Tricks

The most popular New Year’s Resolution year after year? Try to lose weight.

Here’s the newest suggestion that has come down the pike for the year 2012 and I’m going to give it a whirl since it has to do with carbohydrates. And I love my carbs.

Eat your three meals, as usual, but don’t eat any carbohydrates with your dinner. That means you can eat a sandwich for lunch with actual bread and you can have a slice of toast for breakfast with an egg or two.

At dinner, fill up on proteins and veggies. If you start with a salad or a beef vegetable soup, for instance, you will feel quite full without potatoes, etc. with your main meal.

For your sweet tooth, later in the evening, raid the freezer and munch on a sugarless fudgesicle.

If it’s salt you crave, crank up the microwave and pop a single serving of popcorn. I know technically that is considered a carbohydrate, but what harm can an itty-bit of popcorn do if it assuages your hunger?

Of course, one of the other ways to lose weight that’s being touted loudly is to eat five or six small meals throughout the day. Maybe that works for some people, but personally, that means I’d have to think about food all day long. To tell you the truth, I get busy and forget to eat all those tiny meals, so that doesn’t work for me.

The bottom line–there’s no panacea. It’s still about eating less and exercising more, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try new ways of taking off the weight.

Published in: on January 11, 2012 at 1:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Footloose – Kevin Bacon vs Kenny Wormaid

No one could ever fill Kevin Bacon’s boots, but Kenny Wormaid gave it a royal, good try. The new Footloose is more athletic and possibly more energetic than the original 1984 flick, but again Kevin takes home the bacon. There is no way to remake an iconic film. Footloose is one of those.

The movie was entertaining, though. And cowboy hats off to Miles Teller (Willard). He added his own brand of humor. The scenes showing him trying to learn how to dance and then finally conquering the moves were so, so enjoyable.

Too bad they didn’t show more of the famous red boots. But the music was still phenomenal.

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Project Runway

Is anyone else getting bored with Project Runway? The designers don’t seem to be as talented as they have been in past seasons. There definitely should have been more excitement for that challenge where they teamed up with a school art class. There was so much inspiration there from the young artists, but the same lackluster array of clothes was trotted out. Pitiful!

When I think of “Runway,” I think of glamor and extraordinary fashion. I want to see some gowns and cocktail dresses coming down the runway, not tailored pants and jackets constantly. What fun is there in that?

The avant-garde challenge should have been evening wear.

There should be a different red carpet challenge every season. Let’s see the difference between a Grammy Awards red carpet as opposed to what we might see on Oscar night.

With so many Hollywood-type events to choose from, the best they could come up with was the Nina Garcia challenge? I have never seen Nina wear anything electrifying, and why in the world would I want to see her in clothes she would wear to work?

And the challenges themselves are getting old and stale. Okay, making a garment from stuff you can buy in a pet store was fun the first couple of times, but come-on! And then to put one designer down for using umbrella material, while rewarding the designer using fleece wasn’t even a fair assessment of the project, especially when the guy who made a dress out of birdseed was the clear winner.

And by the way, the bully in the playroom should’ve been kicked off the show, not one of his victims. But, oops, I forgot–the ratings. Maybe people are looking forward to more hysterics and mood swings. I, for one, would like to see more “out of the box” design and less drama.

Tomato, Tomahto

Whichever way you say it, you haven’t eaten a really good tomato in a very long time–well, unless you are growing your own or buying from a farmers market. However, you are eating really, really pretty tomatoes: bright red, no blemishes, smooth skin, firm to the touch, perfect green stem. Too bad they’re red rocks with little or no juice inside.

photo from

Every year, it gets harder and harder to find an awful looking, ugly tomato–the ones that are grown to taste good, not look good.

photo from

If you find one, don’t expect it to be bright red. Sometimes they’re more orange. And don’t bother to look for a perfect stem sticking out of its misshapen body, because there probably isn’t one.

If you’ve ever bent over and picked a tomato direct from the plant, you’ll know the minute you hold this ugly baby in the palm of your hand that it’s been sun-drenched and grown outside and maybe it hasn’t even been sprayed with “who knows what.”

So, the next time you pass the tomatoes in your supermarket, try to figure out why you don’t see those hideous looking tomatoes in the store anymore. Are we so enamored of beauty that our food has to look gorgeous, while real taste suffers?

Oh, well. Pretty is “in.”  So, I won’t even get started on our pretty, pretty red beef, or our pearly white eggs, or …

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 2:27 am  Comments (2)  

Harry Potter

80% of the time, Hollywood does a lousy job of translating a wonderful book to the screen, but Harry never disappointed. I read all the books. I’ve seen all the movies.

And The Deathly Hallows doesnt  miss a beat. Action galore. Magic sublime.

Over 1,000 people showed up at our theater for Friday’s midnight show – over half dressed as one of the characters. For a small town, that must be some kind of record. Balloons and crepe paper festooned the lobby. Everyone partied like there was no tomorrow. And maybe there isn’t.

It’s quite a letdown to know that there will be no future books or movies to look forward to. The fantasy world of Harry, Hermione and Ron has reached its expiration date. What a bummer, but what a fantastic ride!

Published in: on July 16, 2011 at 5:52 am  Leave a Comment  

On to New Heights

NASA Photo

Rockets!   Shuttles!   They were glorious. They were exciting.

First manned flight. First man on the moon. Maybe some day first woman on Mars.

If you’re old enough, you’ll recall Sputnik, the first Russian satellite to be put into orbit back in 1957. Sputnik’s launch started the Space Age Race.

Sputnik

We’ve come a long way since ’57. Space was all the rage back then. I remember my prom’s theme was Starlight Melody. I was in charge of creating little sputniks, which we hung high from the ceiling surrounded by yards and yards of blue tulle. We danced under the stars, the skies, the moon and those tiny, glittering sputniks. Fun times.

Over–for now.

On to new heights!

Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thomas Jefferson Said

Evidently, Tom knew what he was talking about!

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered… I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson

Chubby Checkers

Who would’ve guessed that out of all the shows I’ve seen in my lifetime, Chubby Checker’s concert would take first prize? I didn’t think anyone could possibly displace the double bill of the fantastic Tina Turner and the inimitable Joe Cocker, but there it is. Chubby Checker skyrocketed.

His show didn’t begin with an announcer’s usual warnings, “There will be no flash pictures allowed during the show” and “Turn off all cell phones.”  Once the show started, I understood why. Because if a cell phone rang, no one would’ve heard it anyway.

Only one prior statement was made–“Chubby will be available in the lobby after the show to sign autographs and say hello.”

Then his band walked out, took their places and the sax player walked up to the mic and simply said, “Chubby Checker.”

Chubby walked out onto the stage and proceeded to sing non-stop for an hour and a half. He embraced the audience and they embraced him back.

By the mid-point of his concert, it became obvious he needed no back-up singers or performers, because his audience filled the bill. People were dancing in the aisles, standing at their seats dancing and those who couldn’t get out of their seats were dancing in their seats.

Whenever he sang a song that came complete with its own dance, he’d shout, “If you know how to do the Pony, come on up.” People of all ages went up to the stage and danced. At one point, he had over 20 women onstage teaching them how to do the Fly. Toward the end of the show, he had 20+ men on stage doing the Twist.

He encouraged people to sing and since everyone in that audience knew the lyrics, everyone in that audience sang. He didn’t just perform his own songs, he sang songs that were well-loved in the 60’s. Songs by Little Richard, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, and so many more I couldn’t keep track.  He sang Blue Suede Shoes and he didn’t massacre it. He did Elvis proud.

At other concerts I’ve attended, when a recognizable song is about to begin, there is a hushed sort of “ahhh” that permeates the audience. At this concert, every time Chubby started to sing, people screamed their approval.

Senior teenagers! It was a night to reminisce, to do things we hadn’t done in many years. Some folks who climbed up on stage had to be helped up the steps. In one case, a man actually used a cane to get up on stage to join the rest of the guys.

Inhibitions be damned! Everyone was a kid again.

Many people stayed to talk to Chubby after the show and get his autograph. Some held old 33 1/3 record albums for him to autograph. Others just wanted to tell him what he meant to them when they were growing up.

I was there well over an hour and there were still people waiting to talk to him. They took pictures of him with their cell phones. He was gracious, never rushed anyone, and he signed every autograph requested.

It was a party!

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