Friday, November 22, 2013

The Day the Innocence Died

What more can I add to the conversation?  Probably nothing, really.  BUT it is the defining moment in my life and everyone's life of a certain age.  I think that I am the cutoff.  I was four years old. I was watching Pete and Gladys with my Mom, sitting on the coach in our den.  It was a series in syndication, but to me it was first run.  A short lived series starring the great Harry Morgan.  I couldn't tell you what station we were watching. I couldn't tell you who broke in with the news, but the day President Kennedy was assassinated is a defining moment in all of our lives.  Things changed immediately.  Innocence was lost.  Now, clearly in all these decades we have romanticized what could have been.  The conspiracy theorists are still around.  No matter, the tragedy looms large for 50 years.  

50 Years?  It doesn't feel that long ago.  The memories so real and vivid.  Of course, this week there have been so many conversations, news clips, analysis that it does come sweeping back into the frontal lobe. I have been teary all week.  It gets me every time seeing John John salute the coffin.  Every time.  The eyewitness stories of Jackie Kennedy's heroics and grace has been repeated all week.  How at such a young age she was able to think forward, think legacy, think future is astonishing.  I know all the tales of JFK's infidelities, but like many women before her and women after, there still seemed to be an undeniable love. She protected him fiercely in life and in death.  The stories are all over the channels this week.  

How different would our lives have been if the President had lived?  It's anyone's guess.  There's no way of even knowing. Stephen King took a stab at it.  He wrote a fantastic yarn called, 11/22/63.  It is a great read and though it's fiction does give some pause for thought.  President Kennedy and the Camelot years have been so idealized that maybe he would have been no better than all the many other Presidents that have led this country, but due to the one second in Dallas on November 22, 1963 we will never know.  The great tragedy of my generation.  The defining moment, only to be followed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.  The heartbreak began for generations of Americans that day and broke our rose colored glasses.  Take a moment to remember and share where you were or what you were doing when you heard the news of the President's been shot.  

​Sidebars: Hard to be lighthearted today but a few things to note.  Survivor proves week in and week out the more you speak, the faster you're gone.  Every time.  It's ridiculous and probably a good life lesson.  Covert Affairs finished its season last night and finally came to a conclusion, thankfully. Maybe next season can go back to its origins. Grey's Anatomy is going to take on OCD, but don't understand how it develops in a person over 40.  Hope they address that.  Re-watched The Hunger Games yesterday and going to see Catching Fire today.  All ready for that.  Today is the home opener for our Varsity Basketball season.  Go Dragons!  Please share your memory of November 22, 1963. 

Please re-post, re-tweet, or forward to a friend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Thanksgivikkah

A once in a lifetime event is occurring on Thanksgiving.  Chanukah and Thanksgiving are overlapping.  The next time that they will overlap again on November 28th will be in the year 79811!! Chanukah begins a week from tonight for 8 nights.  It is a modest but beautiful celebration of miracles in the Jewish religion.  It is not a big holiday but has gotten bigger and more materialistic over the years to compete or keep up with all that goes with Christmas.  

Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly have made lots of noise about the assault on Christmas.  Sarah Palin has a new book about it so the talk has gotten louder again.  Well, it is that time of year for the discussion.  Is it offensive to wish a non-Christian Merry Christmas?  It's not an easy answer.  Maybe offensive is too strong a word, but if you are wishing someone something for them or for yourself makes a difference.  I distinctly remember getting Christmas cards that were quite religious and feeling nothing; odd.  Particularly, when I was an adult business owner.  It was a battle every year about what kind of "holiday" card to send out.  Thirty years ago, most of the prettiest cards were also among the most religious, so we would have to put them back on the shelf.  Things have changed an awful lot with the more politically correct "Happy Holiday" cards.  There are far more choices.  

So let me go back to why you are sending out cards?  Why you are wishing someone a happy ______________?  If you are doing it for yourself, then have at it.  Don't care about the other and send religious cards or wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  BUT if you are trying to reach out to others to truly wish them a happy ________ then wishing someone a Happy Holiday is the way to go.  It's not about you, is it?  Look, if I sent out Happy Chanukah cards to everyone it would be weird.  Many receivers would feel nothing, feel offended, think, huh?  

So war on Christmas?  I don't think so.  Look around you.  Everywhere you look it's Christmas decorations.  Christmas sales.  Christmas trees.  There is a shelf or two for Chanukah because I live in New York City.  There are no shelves in the Manhattan store for any other religions.  No Kwanzaa.  No Diwali.  No place for Atheists. In America, if you aren't Christian, you are reminded of it everyday, but particularly from November to January.  Hopefully wishing everyone a generic Happy Holiday becomes a more inclusive salutation.  So, again, war on Christmas? I think and hope that we are becoming more sensitive to all our differences and honoring them.

Sidebars:  The Good Wife was a better episode, though the random blonde woman that keeps showing up for sex with Will at the office and while he's on the phone at home is so aggravating.  Unprofessional  to the core and unnecessary to the storyline. Dancing With the Stars is getting down to the finals.  What is curious is that Bill Engvall keeps getting saved by the Southern voters.  All these other better dancers have been going home week after week.  He's still there.  The show will definitely have a problem if he wins.  He's a nice man, trying really hard, but pales in comparison to Amber Riley, Jack Osborne, and Corbin Bleu.  (side-side bar:  They said that Corbin Bleu was accepted to Stanford pre-med at the same time he was cast in High School musical.  Wow!). The Voice is down to the top 8.  It's getting harder and harder and I can actually say that anyone can win.  I have my favorite, but it's been a very talented season.  Amazing how many great singers there are in America.  How many is too many?  Tonight, Law and Order: SVU and Nashville.  Enjoy!

Please re-post, re-tweet or forward to a friend.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Affordable Care or Not

So, the Republicans are dancing in the streets of D.C. and all over their districts.  Mitch McConnell's war from the outset of President Barack Obama's presidency is finally showing blood.  They can taste it.  At all cost, no matter whether truths or falsehoods.  

I am going to get myself into complex waters by taking this on but the truth is if Congress would work how it is supposed to work, none of this hell storm would be happening on the ACA website.  Congress is supposed to pass laws, then, and this is the very important piece, then tweak it and perfect it.  Our Representatives go into committees to make sure that the law that was passed, no matter the law, will be refined and improved.  That is the job of our lawmakers.  All of our lawmakers.  Sometimes we may not like the laws that get passed, but that's how democracy works.  

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as the Republicans coined, could have worked far more smoothly than it has so far if all the elected lawmakers read, studied, and proposed improvements.  That wasn't what was good for the re-elections.  Their interests were always self-interests.  That the constituents don't get that and keep re-electing the good-for-nothing politicians that don't suffer one tiny bit.  They didn't suffer when they shut down the government. They have a fantastic health plan for life, which is in itself ludicrous.  We, the People, have made being a Senator or Congressman the cushiest job in America.  The lawmakers should not be living the good life, while Americans suffer.  Their hypocrisy is nauseating.  Their outrage over the problems with the roll out and the perceived out and out lie from the President is incredibly ingenuous.  They wanted it to be a failure from the get go.  Why not be honest about it?  You can see the drool trickling out of Darryl Issa's mouth.  They are all gnawing on the bones.  

The only honest statement made was from Mitch McConnell on President Obama's election night.  Since then, lies and more lies, hypocrisy running rampant.  Wake up!  No citizen is winning, not a one.

Sidebars:  It was great to see JFK's grandson at Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's swearing in ceremony.  He's handsome and hope that he takes the mantle and contributes to the future. The Voice still is charging on through the ratings and entertainment.  Dancing With the Stars is down.  I wish they weren't opposite each other.  The Biggest Loser only being an hour is the best improvement of the television season.  Watching Survivor for the first time from the beginning. They got me with the premise of teaming with a loved one.  It hasn't been as juicy as I thought, but hanging in until the end.  I think a lot of shows have jumped the shark; pushing the lines of believability: The Good Wife, The Mentalist, Revenge, Homeland, Covert Affairs, White Collar, to name a few.
The X Factor has turned all their judges into the nicest bunch of critics ever.  Even Simon Cowell has Paula Abdul disease.  

Please re-post, re-tweet or forward to a friend.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


My mind has been in a swirl and a little numb.  I know, how can it be both? But things are happening around me and all over the world which are making it more difficult to make complete sentences.  Reading the newspapers is bleak both locally and internationally.  Entertainment hasn't been thrilling recently to help take my mind off the darkness that exists.  

I recommended to my daughter to go ice skating at Bryant Park with her friend.  A beautiful area during the holiday/winter season.  The ice skating is free but the rental costs are great.  The snack costs are high, so "free" is relative.  Still cheaper than Wollman Rink in Central Park and probably cheaper than Rockefeller Plaza rink, but it ends up being a very pricey outing. They went, spent too much, had moderate fun.  That was Friday night.  Saturday night, the lead story was a shooting at the rink.  Seriously?  Why do I have to keep hearing about shootings?  Why can't we see that it's not just mentally ill people with guns? It's too many people with guns.  Another rude reality in an otherwise blissful location.  Ugh!

Watched Matt Lauer interview Sarah Palin the other morning.  It was a disgrace.  Did NBC get so shaken by Reince Prebus' threats of boycotting NBC over the Hilary Clinton movie, which has since been cancelled, that they just ask softball questions?  Matt Lauer let her say anything whether or not it was fact or fiction.  It was cozy and flirty.  Very uncomfortable to watch if you expect the Today Show to be a "news" program. I have hung in with them in the morning, but if they want to know what's wrong with the show, just put the Lauer/Palin interview on a loop.  I can't imagine George Stephanopoulis letting an interviewee get away with the crap that was spewing from Sarah Palin's mouth.  I'm not even sure why she even gets air time outside of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck.  If she weren't a beauty, she'd be nowhere.  She is not getting by on her brains.  Ugh!

Sunday night, November 10th, was the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.  Another day in history which is getting lost in footnotes, but it is one of the most defining days of the Nazi rise against the Jews.  There were many witnesses reporting what they saw.  Attention might have gone up, but not for long.  30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps, homes and businesses owned by Jews were ransacked and destroyed, Synagogues were burned and destroyed, and approximately 100 Jews were killed. Kristallnacht named for all the shattered window glass all over the streets.  The crime?  Being Jewish.  The young people don't know about so much of this event, much less the continuing brutalization to follow.  As the last few Jews to have witnessed the Nazi atrocities are dying, it becomes even more important for parents, clergy, and teachers to tell the history.  It shouldn't be up to the Jewish community alone.

And I can't end without acknowledging the people of the Philippines. The catastrophic event by the cyclone seems so far away and unimaginable.  Interesting that there hasn't been a huge outcry to donate….

Our first snow in NYC. That's all I got right now.  Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guns, Guns, Everywhere

It's a song that keeps getting sung.  It's the song that should be banned.  It's the song that should never have been written, but guns have taken over this country in the worst way.  The NRA controls D.C., clearly.  If you speak for common sense gun reform, they spend millions of dollar to take you out in the next election.  Their silence is disgraceful and abnormal.  Okay, well, normal for today's Republicans, but not for regular folk.  Regular people that are thoughtful and open minded can disagree, criticize, and compromise.  Not these guys.  Did you hear the deafening silence from anyone in the Republican party after the shoot out at LAX Friday?  I know, I should expect nothing more, but these are elected officials and all they worry about are their own jobs. It's unfathomable that John Boehner can't give an inch.  He can't stand up and say something has to give.  We can't keep having these gun toting males go into our public venues and kill people.  The NRA and the right wing      extremists have to see that their philosophy is not working.  There were armed guards at LAX, didn't stop anything.  Now, they probably will want the TSA officers to be locked and loaded.  That's their answer for everything. 

Monday night in the East coast, our sense of commerce, capitalism, and safety was challenged again when breaking news reported there was a male carrying a long gun, maybe an AK47 through the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, NJ!!!!!!!!  In the largest mall in the East, maybe only second to the Mall of America, a mad man terrorized the citizens/shoppers.  People heard gun shots, ran for stores and their cars.  The police presence was vast and fast.  The reports came in sporadically.  It was shocking and painful.  We are on the cusp of the most important season for retailers and a young man in camos and helmet shows up to shake everyone up.  Thankfully, he shot himself and terrorized many, but no one else lost their life or was shot.  BUT how can you feel comfortable going to packed malls with this hanging over your head?  Why can't the leadership in Washington, D.C. denounce this violence and behavior?  Oh, yes, that's right, they'll be voted out of office.  That's the most important point.  Your job. Your safety.  Not the millions of Americans that enjoy shopping and spending.  Buying presents, going to movies, lunch, dinner.  That's not as important as your job in D.C.

You, people, you do-nothing politicians, are the lowest of the low.  Narcissistic.  Not interested in all.  Interested in a few.  You, sirs, are poor excuses for humans and men.  It's not on the women of the Senate and the Congress. They don't have the numbers yet. (Though without the  women in the Senate and the women in Congress, the government might still be shut down). I really can't believe that I have to keep addressing this.  There must be something else to talk about, but with every gun event, the outrage and impotence grows.

Sidebars:  Homeland continues to gain momentum.  We haven't had to go back to Caracas, so the storyline has been good.  The Good Wife, oy, don't get me started.  I may have to go off another day, but they may have to change the name soon.  The Blacklist was good but interrupted by the shooting in Jersey last night, so didn't get to see Robert Sean Leonard's climax.  The Voice went to live shows and always enjoy the singing.  Tonight, more Voice.  Also, it's voting day in NYC.  We have two people running for Mayor of the greatest city and neither choice is good.  It won't be up to my vote.  The Democratic candidate is supposed to win in a landslide.  I did vote.  I always exercise my constitutional right to vote.  It's very important to me even when I feel less than enthusiastic.
Enjoy your Tuesday!

Please re-post, re-tweet, or forward to a friend.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Money Shouldn't Matter

I wonder how many smart, thoughtful, compassionate people would run for elected office if money wasn't the issue, but it is.  Even before the Citizens United issue was supported by the Supreme Court, money has been plaguing politics for decades.  Do you remember when Michael Huffington spent tens of millions running for Governor of California, only to be defeated?  What about EBay's Meg Whitman?  Another multi-millionaire funding her own campaign.  She lost.  BUT what about the people that are valuable people in our communities?  They don't have a chance anymore.  With the flood of PAC money, it isn't possible.  Isn't that against what the United States of America should stand for?  

Again, I always say I am a very pragmatic, practical, common sense person.  Off the top of my head one of the few "regular" folk in recent-ish memory is Representative Carolyn McCarthy from Long Island.  She was swept into office after she lost her husband and her son was paralyzed by a mad man shooting indiscriminately on the Long Island Rail Road.  She didn't have tons of money.  She had a vision for the country and her constituents carried her to D.C.  She has been re-elected now multiple times.  McCarthy never had a political desire before she lived through a tragedy. She was a regular person.  Isn't that who we should have in Congress?  Isn't that the original intent of our Founding Fathers?  Wasn't that the difference between Congress and the Senate?  Maybe I have it wrong.  The way it's going…without money you can't get in.  If the DNC and the RNC doesn't back you, sorry the gates are locked shut.  

I love politics.  I have a great deal of passion for this country and where I would like it to go.  It's not on the path I would choose, but my only avenue is here.  Even if I wanted to give up my life for D.C., there's no way to get in.  It's money and whom you know.  We wonder why we are where we are?  Money has absolutely corrupted and destroyed democracy.  The hypocrisy of many has disillusioned the masses.  We are in a very bad way.  Do I see an end to all of this in the near future?  No.  I have a friend whose son wants to be in politics.  I hope that by the time he gets rolling, he can change the world again.  I just want campaign finance reform before that day so we can get the young, bright, and strong to lead our country.

Sidebars:  Scandal and Covert Affairs are teetering on the absurd.  They better get it back because there is only so much suspension of disbelief to go around.  Went to see a wonderful Broadway show in previews, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.  It is clever and smart.  There is no over the top production values, just a fun, entertaining show. No stars, just great talent.  The incredible Jefferson Mays does it again.  I actually am going to try to support Broadway shows without star names.  Maybe if they are successful, producers will get the hint.  There is so much incredible talent in NYC and we need to support them!  Halloween has come and gone.  Went out, bought too much candy, and for the very first time in NYC apartment living…no one came to the door.  So sad.  :-( .TGIF.  Enjoy your weekend wherever you go.

Please re-post, re-tweet, or forward to a friend.