Monday, December 28, 2015

Round and Round I Go

I have had so much difficulty writing these past few months.  So much is going on in the world that I have definitely gotten overwhelmed by it all, and focussing on one subject has been impossible.  It's almost the end of 2015 and we are nearing a clean slate for 2016.  Before we go, I just have a few things I want to ruminate about.  

The first is the all encompassing and media darling, Donald T***p.  It's hard to bear watching.  The things that come out of his mouth and the cheers and applause he gets from his disciples are unsettling and appalling.  Since I live in the world of eternal hope with some dips in depression, I have to believe the likelihood of us inaugurating President T***p are slim to none.  I am going with that premise for this rumination.  Then what?  What does Donald do after he loses the nomination?  How can he pick up the pieces after all he's said and done?  Would I ever give one dime to anything with his name or likeness on it again?  I had already boycotted T***p Tower in New York.  A personal choice, but how can his business associates turn the other cheek?  According to him, some of his best friends are Muslims.  How do they ever break bread with him again?  How do you spend thousands upon thousands to be members of any of his golf courses?  How does the PGA continue to go all in with their prestigious tournaments at any of his courses?  How do you find construction crews to build his next ostentatious tower?  I just can't see him being able to go back as if nothing happened, as if all the things he said didn't have an impact, as if he didn't insult every minority group multiple times, as if, as if, as if.  I can't imagine sitting around the family table with all the extended family, as if.  He has been married to two immigrant wives.  The current wife wasn't a citizen until after they got married.  How can he ever go back?  The Pandora's box is open.  The curtain has been pulled back completely.  How can he ever continue, as if....

On the other side of this, is Hillary Clinton.  I absolutely don't get the hate and the visceral reactions when her name is mentioned.  Many women are the worst haters.  I don't get it.  What did she actually do?  What is her sin?  It feels so anti-woman to me.  Can someone please explain it to me?  She is a thoroughly accomplished woman. She went to Wellesley College and Yale Law School.  She fought for women's issues all her life.  As First Lady, she dared to present a comprehensive health care plan that may have crossed the traditional lines for a First Lady, but she tried and got roundly demonized.  She suffered through public humiliation and thrashing for her husband's dalliances and Congress' unending hearings for everything under the sun.  She stood by her man.  Is that her sin?  She ran for President in 2008 and made some huge campaign errors.  Is that her sin?  She was chosen to be Secretary of State under Barack Obama.  Is that her sin?  I am constantly stunned by the lack of support from so many Democrats.  I don't get it.  If someone could explain to me why she is so hated, I'd appreciate it.  She's done more than most in this world.  I know that polls say she has a trustworthy issue, but they all do in politics, so why does she get so vilified?  I really don't get it.  

What I do know beyond any reasonable doubt, is that the next President of the United States must be a Democrat, and for the three that are running, it really only leaves one.  I know that many people love Bernie Sanders.  I have always admired him, but his socialist views will stop him, even before his Judaism gets realized.  Martin O'Malley is not ready yet.  That leaves Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  It would be amazing to have a woman for President, but even more so, an extremely qualified woman.  There may be 4, I will say that again, 4, Supreme Court appointments during the next Presidency.  For the millennial generation that don't understand what that means, please do your homework.  That is more important that almost anything else anyone says or does.  Those appointments are for life.  Life, you hear that?  You must register to vote. You must take the time in your day when the primary and general elections are held.  OK?  Sigh.  

Okay, and the last thing that has been really sticking in my craw is the great Pete Rose.  The MLB commissioner has continued Pete Rose's baseball ban for life.  It was crushing, but whether you agree or disagree with that decision, it's the total hypocrisy of MLB that kills me.  Pete Rose is banned because he allegedly bet on baseball and still gambles today on sports.  He lives in Las Vegas and it's legal.  He is one of the all time great baseball players to have played the game.  No one argues that.  Robin Manfred, commissioner, didn't like that Pete still gambles and yet, MLB is a huge investor in DraftKings and FanDuel.  Both sites have been called gambling by NY State, Illinois, Nevada and others to follow.  So, let me get this straight Commissioner Manfred, it's not okay to gamble if you're Pete Rose and one of the greatest players ever, but it is okay to invest heavily in websites that promote heavy gambling to keep people interested in your sport?  Maybe we should just go back to steroids for the players to keep people watching. 

Things that I have been ruminating in my head about for weeks now.  I hope that 2016 brings us all a world full of peace, love, and prosperity.  Happy New Year and drink responsibly.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Don't Want Your Prayers!

This umpteenth mass shooting that's still active in this moment, these are the tweets  90 minutes since the news was released from our candidates:

California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!

My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino.

Marco Rubio nothing

Praying for those impacted by the shooting in California today.

Chris Christie nothing*

Carly Fiorina nothing*

Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting.

Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting.

John Kasich nothing*

George Pataki nothing*

Rand Paul nothing*

Rick Santorum nothing*

Lindsey Graham nothing*

* Nothing meaning they are tweeting about other things than this tragedy or they haven't tweeted for awhile....

Monday, November 23, 2015

Can You Hear That Beat?!

Since the tragic terrorist attacks, the Republican candidates have gone over the top crazy.  Where are the educated journalists, Republicans,  and Americans to cry foul?  It's f**king insane what's going on.  The rhetoric is dangerous that's coming out of the mouths of Ben Carson and Donald T***p.  Did you see that T***p riled up a crowd to beat on a black man that was protesting his speech?  Seriously, he encouraged these disciples to attack this man and had no apologies.  If you don't believe me, Google it.  It's appalling.  The anti-refugee speak is idiotic and ill-informed.  They know nothing, but spew venom so easily.  No care about the carnage that they leave in their path.  None, whatsoever.  

Every Republican candidate wants to be Rambo, except Rand Paul.  They want to, talk tough, send soldiers into Syria to "take Isis out," and be the great victor.  Let me make this completely clear to all of you, the only Presidential candidate that served in the military, but didn't see combat...Lindsey Graham.  That's it.  None served. None saw war, carnage, and death.  Only one candidate has children that serve/served...George Pataki (two sons).  Both these men are in the undercard.  They barely get air time.  All the others that are crowing to go into Syria and send troops on the ground, have never seen one second of the military.  Would they send their children?  Grandchildren?  Hell, no.  That's for others to sacrifice, not them.  

Remember President Teddy Roosevelt?  He was a hawk.  He wanted war.  He was ready to send young men into battle.  When his own son was tragically killed in war, he changed his tune.  That loss almost broke him and he wasn't so eager to send more troops into battle.  BUT why did it take his personal loss to change?  Why can't you just see how painful it is for parents to send children into war and receive their dead bodies at home?  I watch tons of movies, I can make believe things without having to actually experience them to know how I feel about different life issues.  President Roosevelt couldn't without suffering an unbearable loss.

So, all these GOP candidates shouting tough talk and wanting to send other people's children into harms way, shame on you!  I don't even understand why there are so many disciples buying all this bullsh*t.  Haven't there been enough injuries and death?  
Let's be specific on the kids but not going to be sacrificed:
Jeb Bush has 3 adult children, 2 sons and 1 daughter (George, Noelle and John, Jr.).  
Ben Carson 3 adult sons (Rhoeyce, Ben Jr., and Murray).
Chris Christie has 4 children that range in age 12-19 (Patrick, Andrew, Bridget, and Sarah).
Ted Cruz has two young daughters (Caroline, 7 and Catherine 4).
Carly Fiorina has two adult step children.
Lindsey Graham has zero.
Mike Huckabee 3 adult children (David, John, and Sarah).
John Kasich has twin 15 year old girls (Emma and Reese).
George Pataki has 4 adult children ( his two sons are serving).
Marco Rubio 4 children (Amanda, Daniella, Anthony, and Dominic).
Rick Santorum has 7 children...SEVEN.
Donald T***p has 5 children (Ivanka, Donald, Eric, Tiffany, and Barron), plus 6 grandchildren.

Between the candidates they have 39 children.  Some may be too young to serve and some may be too old, but do you think any of them would send their own children (other than Pataki) into a bloody and brutal war?  They are sending other people's children to fight their battles.  Do any of them even know what the hell they are talking about?  There are so many lies being sold and told and no one is calling them out.  Carson seems completely uneducated and uninformed.  T***p must be embarrassing Wharton because he keeps fabricating numbers and tales.  Come on, people, why are we so easily led to believe lies and bad information?  We bought it going into the Iraq War and haven't recovered since.  Before you write me and tell me you weren't for the Iraq War and you don't believe the BS, I applaud you, but too many do.  I don't know what has happened to so many that they believe anything.  No one Googles to confirm information.  If you say it with authority and confidence, it's "true."  We all know people like that, but do we want a President to represent us that will say anything?

Where are the news/media people?  I want there to be a fact checker at every debate.  FACTS, people, not opinions.  I want there to be a buzzer, or maybe even a taser, every time a candidate stands up in front of the American people and fabricates information.  I'd like that for those in the audience too.  The debates have become more Gladiator vs. lions in the Coliseum than actual policy and fact.  I can't imagine (not even in the movies) that there could be a President T***p.  I'm not making any declaration that I will move to Canada if that were to happen, but I'd cry.  I'd want to take my Country back.

When you hear the candidates, beating he drums for more war.  Remember whose children are being sent.  They're not theirs or mine.  Are they yours?  

Sidebars:  Plenty of cartoons, satires, verbiage going around Facebook about Thanksgiving and the refugee situation.  Much commentary on who were the first refugees to come to Plymouth Rock.  It certainly wasn't the Native Indians that had thrived here.  It was all the newcomers on the Mayflower.  Some seeking refuge and religious freedom and others searching for adventure.  When your families get together on Thursday to share another turkey day, this year pause and think about how this Country was created, what sacrifices were made, all the bloodshed and victories, to make the United States of America.  We all came from somewhere else.  That's the country that was built.  Let's try to remember that. 
Wishing all a very peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving!  

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Does the SS St. Louis Mean Anything to You?

I have been hesitant to weigh in on the tragic mass murders in Paris.  It strikes straight to the heart.  I saw many postings on Facebook why the world wasn't as upset by the murders in Beirut and Nigeria.  I've thought a lot about that.  I don't think that it is a simple answer.  Partly, I think that so many Americans have been to Paris or seen so many films showing life in Paris that there is a deep connection.  The romanticism of life in gay Paree has been well documented in cinema that we have a true relationship with Paris.  There may also be deep cultural reasons for the complete disregard for Beirut and Nigeria.  The "other."  The Russian plane alleged bombing we can clearly understand.  That story has flowed in and out of our consciousness, but we can relate to the tragedy.

Okay, so now we are five days since the mass terrors in Paris.  The news is still focussed on the lives lost, the hero stories, the investigation and the questions linger on....Now, there's much talk about the Syrian refugees flowing en masse into Europe.  Could a terrorist sneak through?  Well, you don't have to say much more than that to get the USA Republican Governors to declare they're not accepting any Syrian refugees, if they are Muslim.  Wow, how helpful.  How perfectly christian.  Most of these Governors that have declared blockage of taking in any refugees are self-proclaimed Christians.  Well, I have news for you:  A) that isn't a Christian act
B) it's not Constitutional.  Many have stated that we never turn away refugees, but now is the time.  We have to protect ourselves from all the Muslims that want to  come here and kill us.  

I get the fear, but the lack of knowledge and history slaps me in the face.  The Governors refusal feeds the hate, it doesn't help.  AND it isn't true that we never turn away refugees.  May I remind the Governors and all the people that the United States of America wouldn't accept, turned away, and sent a ship load of Jewish refugees back to certain death in 1939.  The SS St. Louis left Germany with about 1000 German Jews trying to escape the Nazis.  They paid all the money they had to board this ship and to find a new life in Cuba.  Cuba wouldn't accept them, so the ship's Captain tried to get the US to let them dock and disembark.  No go. "We have hit our quota of Jews."  So with few supplies left from their cross Atlantic travels and subsequent limbo, this boatload of desperate and terrified German Jews were refused.  What another great moment in American history.  So, Governors, we've refused mothers, daughters, sons, and fathers before.  We've done that.  We know how that ended, don't we?  

Look, I understand that there are concerns, but you can't possibly speak out of both sides of your mouth.  You can't say you are christian and proclaim that you aren't willing to help families and people in desperate need.  It isn't the "American" way or is that all just BS.  Recently, it seems that way.  Leave it to a Presidential election season to bring out all the hate and fear mongering.  Democrat or Republican alike, if you speak out of your ass before knowledge, you are playing right into the hands of all terrorists.  Too bad that you don't flip out when white American males shoot up schools in this country.  Oh, how you segregate and compartmentalize all the hatred.  Where are all the leaders?  We need people all over America to stand up. I know it may be scary, but somehow so many American citizens and leaders have forgotten that we are a Nation of immigrants and refugees.  

My head is swirling with so many thoughts about too many connected topics, but this is a blog and not a tome.  I will end with this.  I love Paris.  I will go again, but I will wait.  I think that we are adjusting to a "new normal." We may always have to be more cautious and more aware forevermore.  This is how the people of Israel have lived since 1948, and they have thrived.  We can too, if we don't let all the fear take us down. 

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Sweet Cruise of Youth

About six months ago, my husband told me he wanted to take this cruise called a Malt Shop Cruise.  It's a week in the Caribbean and every day there are different artists performing: Neil Sedaka, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, and Darlene Love, to name a few.  I am always over the moon to see Neil Sedaka. He never gets old.  Okay, so I said yes.  We were lucky to even get on this cruise and get a cabin.  The day finally arrived. I had no idea what to expect, but from the get go, I could tell we were part of something special.  All the passengers were here to have fun, relive their youth, dance, sing, and party.

Seriously, people, I don't think I can do this justice.  This was one of the most fantastic experiences I've ever had.  There were people from all over, many that had taken all 6 of these chartered cruises.  Many couples were high school sweethearts and still together.  Many women travelled together so they could have fun, fun, fun 'til their Daddy took the T-Bird away.  There were theme nights:  prom night, pajama night, sock hop night, costume night, and more.  Everything went.  All that mattered was the fun.  And boy howdy, everyone was having fun.  It was as if time had stopped and everyone was back in high school again for just that one week. They may have wrinkles, grey hair, and more weight, but you really couldn't tell by all the festivities. 

Unlike most cruises, this cruise had activities all around and about music.  Trivia games were music oriented.  And the concerts...oh my goodness, the concerts.  First night up, Chubby Checker.  He put on a very entertaining show.  Full of energy and twists.  Wouldn't say he was ever a great singer, but his performance level was high.  The audience ate it up.  Screaming, singing along, and twisting.  Night 2:  one of my all time favorites, Neil Sedaka.  I have been seeing him in concert for some 40 years.  He still sounds amazing and you can't go wrong with his songs.  He played for 90 minutes and had the whole room singing and clapping.  Night 3:  Darlene Love.  She looks and sounds fantastic.  She sang many of her hits, though you may not realize that they are her hits.  In the early years, Darlene Love sang the tracks and others got the credit.  Ah, that Phil Spector, what a guy.  Anyway, thanks to the documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom, she finally gets the credit she so richly deserves.  Night 4:  The Brooklyn Reunion which is a combination of three Doo-Wop groups, The Mystics, The Passions, and The Classics.  The audience ate it all up.  Took them back.  Night 5:  Does the name Frankie Avalon mean anything to you?  He looks gorgeous.  It is his own hair and a full head of hair it is.  He sang great, told stories, honored Annette Funicello, Elvis Presley, and more.  Night 6:  Bobby Rydell and Sonny Turner the lead singer from The Platters. First of all, though I knew many of Bobby Rydell's songs, I had zero idea how well he sang.  Gorgeous voice.  He honored Bobby Darrin for a segment, told stories and jokes, sang, and took the audience to its heights.  Lucky for Sonny Turner that he was up first.  As great as he was, I wouldn't want to follow Bobby Rydell.  (Dawned on me, if that's why the high school in Grease is Rydell High. Anyone know?).  Night 7 and the last night:  Little Anthony and the Imperials.  Sigh.  Well, they were good, not great.  They are entertaining, but Anthony has lost a step.  We saw him at Feinstein's in NYC a few years ago and it was basically the same everything.  Okay, so that touches on all the shows at night.

Every day there were Q&A's with the talent.  The room overflowed with people trying to be there in person.  Fortunately they were taped and were shown on closed circuit television all week.  They had special concerts with The Toys, Lou Christie, and Jay and the Americans during the day.  I completely missed Jay and the Americans appeal, but the rest of the passengers flipped and were over the top about  them.  The Toys and Lou Christie much more my speed.  Frankie Avalon and the great DJ/Host/Emcee, Jerry Blavat, did a cooking segment to sell Frankie's new Italian cookbook.  

There was so much more than all of this, but to capture the feeling that filled the air is impossible to convey.  These people were there for the music.  Relive their high school days.  Make new friends.  One woman brought her sister on the cruise because this was her last hurrah, literally.  They had a great time.  And did I mention that all the singers, now just think about this for one second, all of the singers are in their 70's!!!!!!!!!!!  It is astonishing to me how incredible they sounded and how well they looked and moved.  There was some very fancy footwork going on during the concerts.  Jimmy Maddox was the king of the Piano Bar.  People were fighting to find seats in the small bar to hear him play rock and roll, drink, and sing along.  A hugely talented piano player.  Another great way to meet people.

To say that this is just a Malt Shop Cruise, is not doing it justice.  This is a very special fairy dusted cruise on the seas to celebrate life and music.  I don't care what age you are, if you like this period of music, 50's-60's pre British-invasion, this is a cruise not to be missed. How many more times can you see these singers?  Already signed up for next year:  Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons, Dionne Warwick, Ronnie Spector, The Letterman, and many, many more next time.  Come on, people, let's do the twist.

Sidebars:  Well, just think about any other time in music that could bring so many people together.  I think that our children could never have an opportunity like this.  Music today will never live on in the annals of history.  Don't think in 30-40 years, Time-Life could ever put together a Kanye West, Drake, Demi Lovato cruise.  Don't think anything like that could ever happen.  Music today is so processed and synthesized that I don't think in the long view it will last or have the same place in music history.  Now, before you start yelling at me, this name or that name, there will be exceptions, but very few.  Couldn't put together a disco era cruise. First of all, too many are dead, but it wouldn't be the same.  Currently there are Country, Soul, Broadway, and Malt Shop cruises.  There may be others, but that's what I gleaned from others on the ship.  Broadway cruises were the only ones I'd ever heard of before this, and that seemed dull to me.  Rather see the music in context on a Broadway stage.  --  Happy to see that the Gloria Estefan musical, On Your Feet, opened to good/great reviews. Brava.  Loved seeing my former client, Alma Cuervo, getting her due in the reviews as Gloria's Abuela!  This week, catching up on everything I missed last week.  Seeing King Charles III Wednesday matinee.  Many movies to see still, too.  Dying to see Spotlight.  Hope everyone is doing well.  NYC is really having Fall for the first time in years.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Big, Bigger, Monopoly

I am a victim of the Affordable Care Act.  I do not blame the President.  I am glad that so many people have coverage that never did before.  I am a victim of not being part of group coverage.  I do not have an employer, so the choices for me are minimal.  It doesn't matter if I say that I can pay for premium coverage.  I can't get it.  I have to have an employer.  That sucks completely.  I now have the worst medical coverage that I've ever had.  I need to have a referral to see a doctor that before I could see, regardless if they took insurance.  It was on me.  I had to be responsible.  Now, it's not my choice, it's the insurance company.  Not my choice.  

With all the grousing and criticism by Republicans and others all these years about "Obamacare," what would they do?  Ben Carson mentioned getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid while campaigning this week.  That's not going to happen. No one has come up with any suggestion.  Not one.  They just hate the ACA. We can't have universal healthcare.  The insurance companies make too much money.  What would happen to them if we all had Medicare?  Anyone out there know?  From where I sit, we are screwed.  We will never be able to all have quality coverage.  Our system is too big and too corrupt.  

Don't get me started on the pharmaceutical companies.  If I blame President Obama for anything, it's when he made an advance deal with the drug companies a year ahead of any ACA legislation.  I don't understand the grotesque need to make bazillions off the backs of sick people.  Maybe the pharma companies should stop spending so much money on commercial time on television.  Over the past twenty years, the amount of drug ads has increased to an obscene level.  They are promoting drug use for anything that ails you or didn't even exist.  I don't get it.  Take the time to listen to all the list of possible side effects.  Why would anyone take any medication.  The pharmaceutical companies are making us a legally drug dependent country.  Why should they even promote their products?  You actually have to have a disease, an ailment, a problem.  You have to go to a doctor to get any of these prescription drugs so why do I have to hear about erectile dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, bladder issues, restless leg syndrome, and now there's the inappropriate laughing illness?  

Our country is just a basket of hypocrisy.  Nancy Reagan famously championed "just say no" to drugs and now, every time you turn on the TV, they are pushing drugs.  Granted they may not be marijuana, cocaine or speed, but that doesn't mean they aren't potentially as harmful.  AND now, Walgreens is buying Rite Aid.  WOW! Won't that be too big to fail?  Won't that be a monopoly?  That's what we do in America.  We allow so many companies to grow and grow and grow.  The only ones that are happy are the top echelon executives and the shareholders.  It's unnerving.  Look around, people.  We are down to the last few independent pharmacies.  By the time anyone wakes up and realizes another monster has been created, they will all be gone.   

Next time you are watching television, count how many commercials run and what percentage are drug commercials.  It will astound you. I am spewing all over the place, I know, but these issues are huge, complicated, and can't be resolved for all.  Everyone has a position and point of view.  The drug companies are not there to help people, like I thought when I was growing up.  They are there to make money off the very people that need their medicine.  Just look at Martin Shkreli...bought a drug company and raised the cost of each individual pill 5000%.  He did get push back from all corners, so he lowered it some, but he still raised this medication an unconscionable amount. That's where we are people.  I don't have answers, but major frustration.

I long for the days when we were embarrassed and uncomfortable to hear about tampons and sanitary napkins. 

Sidebars:  Wednesday night in NYC.  Torrential rains.  Good night to stay in and watch TV, but what will it be?  There's the often entertaining and informing GOP debate.  Don't forget Game 2 of the World Series between Kansas City Royals and the NY Mets. Mets lost a heartbreaker last night.  Ugh!  Then, there's just regularly scheduled  programs.  What to do?  If you watch the debate, I hope you will post or tweet comments  -- Saw the movie Bridge of Spies and give it two thumbs up.  The quality movies are rolling out fast.  It's so unfortunate that they even release movies the first 9 months of the year.  We have to get through so much mediocrity to get to the "real" movies.  Although there is something to be said that the powers-that-be don't think you can remember to nominate a great movie released in March....How good could it really be then?  Something to think about. -- I'm sure there's more, but my brain is rainy day mush.  Enjoy what ever you choose to do.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015


I don't understand why I find myself the unlikely champion of things Kardashian, but this latest chapter that the family is facing is deeply painful.  For the many that have never seen one episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it isn't always what you expect it is.  There are true and real moments.  None more real than watching the demons rise and take over the beloved NBA star, Lamar Odom.  Yes, before he was married to Khloe Kardashian, he was an All-American high school basketball star from NYC.  He was a star and essential player to one of the Lakers championship teams. 

Through all this success, tragedy wreaked havoc throughout his life.  His mother died when he was a young boy, his father was a drug addict and fought his own demons, he was in a car accident that killed a 15 year old boy, two of his best buddies died within a week of each other from drug-related reasons, and that's all off the top of my head.  He has two children from his first wife.  He married Khloe Kardashian and they were really in love. I know, how can you know what's real, but they were so cute together.  His boyish charm and her twinkling eyes were infectious.  They were the best of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  When Lamar got traded to Dallas, we all felt their pain of moving and the struggles.  We felt their pain of trying to have a baby.  We felt the deep pain when Lamar's Dad tried to get back into his life only to tear him down again and kick him to the curb. We watched Lamar's demons kill their marriage.  She fought for him.  He fought but he was fighting the wrong battle.  The drugs and the self-hate kept winning.  

So laugh or mock me for caring about this, but this part of the Kardashian reality was and is real.  They didn't sugar coat it.  They bravely shared the real struggle of addiction and that love couldn't buoy Lamar.  Khloe and Lamar have been separated for a long time, neither could let go. She tried to move on and maybe that was the BS part for TV viewers, and their divorce may or may not be finalized.  That is a bit vague.  In any case when Khloe heard that Lamar was found unconscious, taken to the hospital, and on life support, she dropped everything and flew to be by his side.  She hasn't left since.  She may be the one to make any medical decisions.  Lamar Odom is a 35 year old man loved by everyone who ever got the chance to know him, fighting to stay alive, and his dark side may win out.  

You may ask, why am I wasting my thoughts on this? Well first of all, I love Lamar from afar.  Loved him as a player, loved him on TV, admired his honesty, and today I read that Scott Van Pelt from ESPN went nasty and ugly on the Kardashians and their place in Lamar's life.  Whatever ugly Van Pelt feels about the Kardashians, I will go out on a limb that he never watched the show or talked to Lamar about his love, Khloe.  It's not the time to be disparaging when they may be losing a family member and loved one.  There's enough pain here, don't add to it.

I want a fairy tale ending here, but don't think it will happen.  I want Lamar to wake up, see the light, fight his demons successfully, and ride off into the sunset with Khloe.  All I can do is keep good thoughts for him.  He deserves so much more happy times.  

#PrayersforLamar always....

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Felt It Then

In 2014 as the Winter Olympics were approaching, Vladimir Putin made homosexuality criminal in any form.  Even thinking about it could get you in trouble.  Anything deemed "gay," was all of a sudden bad.  For a millisecond, our government pondered if the USA should boycott the Olympics or still go?  Of course, you know that we went, but I honestly thought that was a misstep.  A missed opportunity.  Now, I know that the athletes have worked their whole lives to get to the Olympics, but somethings have to be more important.  Human rights would be on the top of the list, but it wasn't.  I presume NBC honchos got to the President and said we had to go.  The International Olympic committee I'm sure pressed hard to keep everything intact, but at what cost?  Seems to me, that one decision, our becoming complicit with Russia on anti gay rights, emboldened Putin.  From my core, I am sure President Putin felt he got one over on the USA.  He got what he wanted.  We rolled over for the sake of peer pressure?  Capitalisim pressure?  Not really sure why.

Our turning a cheek to Putin was a big mistake.  Right after the 2014 Olympics, Putin started his drumbeat and march to take back Crimea and the Ukraine.  Our government seemingly did nothing.  We took "the high road."  Putin is a bully. President Obama is not.  We know that clearly.  Obama is very measured in his words and statements.  Quiet, controlled, and thoughtful. Putin just keeps pushing and pushing.  Longing from his core for the old days of the KGB and the Cold War.  Wanting to be relevant again.  

Putin has insinuated himself into so many conflicts on the other side of where the US sits, that he is definitely not our ally.  Why do we keep trying to pretend that he is.  His encounters and meetings with President Obama couldn't be chillier, even Netanyahu's meetings share more warmth and that's not saying much.  So the two Presidents this week had what many thought was a very positive and productive meeting.  The White House seemed to believe that there were understandings made clear between the two nations.  That lasted maybe the plane ride back to Moscow.  We then come to find that Russia is not trying to take out ISIS in Syria, as we thought, but bolstering the Assad regime.  WTF???!!!  They bombed locations in Syria that not only took out possible rebel fighters and slapped our President in the face.  

Remember when we turned the other cheek?  I think that was a big error.  I really thought it then, but with every step Putin continues to make, we are getting smacked around.  I am sorry to any and all Olympic athletes that get caught in the middle of political fighting, but that, too, has got to be the risk taken.  We have to look at the greater good and for any future International/Global events dig a little deeper, think a little harder.  A Frankenstein was created and we are still paying for that everyday.  

Okay, people, this is my opinion and only my opinion.  If I got things wrong, you can let me know because I am not an international affairs expert, just an armchair quarterback.  I have felt this since the first anti-gay law went into effect in Russia and more for every other Putin aggression since 2014.  

Sidebars:  I have been trying to figure out why Brian Williams, trusted newsman, who was caught in lies as the NBC Nightly News anchor, was given a second chance, but Dr. Nancy Snyderman, medical expert for NBC News and the Today Show, got completely obliterated.  Doesn't seem right.  They both made terrible mistakes: one gets a chance to regain the public's trust and the other went into the witness protection program.  Hmmmmmm. -- Watched Law and Order: SVU last night and hated it.  I got so mad and almost turned it off, but couldn't believe that the writers and producers would let it end the way it was going.  May go down in my annals as the most abhorrent episode in all these years.  The Blacklist starts its new season tonight.  I'm very uncertain if they can keep it going.  Homeland begins again Sunday on Showtime. -- The New York Yankees are really making us sweat it out.  One more win, that's all to get in the playoffs.  The SF Giants are out, so sad, but we did have an unexpectedly good run.  The New York Mets will play the LA Dodgers in the first round of playoffs.  Hoping that the Mets get the home field advantage. -- We are once again being threatened by a hurricane.  Will it hit or won't it?  No one knows.  They just keep creating anxiety.  Preparedness is good, fear is bad. --  On that, I bid adieu until next time.  

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

President Pope

I am not speaking about Olivia Pope from the ABC series, Scandal.  I am referring to the one and only Pope Francis for President of the United States.  Now, I am being tongue and cheek, but over the 5 days that he was in our country, he spoke of global climate change, immigration rights, and, yes, against abortion, among many other hot button issues. He spoke of the golden rule to Congress.  Can you imagine?  In his beautiful, dulcet voice he asked the members of Congress to do unto others....A bit embarrassing, don't you think?  There were even members of Congress that dissed the Pope because they didn't like his perspective on topics.  Seriously?  He's the Pope.  To the Catholic Church isn't he the closest vessel to God?  He is a learned man.  He's no one's uneducated dupe.  He preaches the "real" words of Jesus.  Feed the poor, help the needy, give health insurance for all.  Wow, radical thoughts and beliefs.  How in the world can anyone object to his preaching on these topics?  Shouldn't all people in the role of leader and clergy be preaching the same things?  

I have to admit, I was absolutely smitten with Pope Francis.  I kind of love him.  We don't agree on all things, but we are more aligned than any Republican candidate for President.  He thinks income inequality is a disgrace. He thinks all of us are God's children and he means it.  He, as did St. Francis of Assisi, cherishes the earth and all its living things.  There are things in the Catholic doctrine that I will always disagree with but for the most part, this Pope has taken his oath and Bible seriously.  Every time he saw a child or a disabled person he was drawn to all of them.  He would have stopped for everyone if the security detail and time permitted.  

New Yorkers enjoyed the Pope whether Catholic or not.  Hard to argue with all the love he shared.  I have no idea how he had the energy for all the places he went, people he blessed, and masses he led.  I was tired just watching him on television.  Interesting that so many people from his past reported that he never used to smile, when on this journey he couldn't stop smiling.  

The Pope's visit spread much needed love and acceptance that we have long been missing.  How long will that feeling last?  His message was so potent that House Speaker Boehner decided that he had enough of the insanity.  That's Boehner.  He was at the center of the crazy for awhile and now he was out-crazied in Congress.  He's tired and is out.  Basta!  Enough!  Done! Over and out!.  So now what will happen with Congress?  Who will take over as Speaker?  Remember the devil you know is always better than the devil you don't.  I think it will only get worse.  Even watching some of the Congressional hearings today, the disrespect was flying high.  Is the bloom already off the rose?  Can it happen that fast?  

All I know for sure is that if there was just one Republican candidate that was anything like the Pope, I could listen.  I can't take any of these candidates seriously, but we need to, don't we?  I don't want to keep hearing that T***p won't make it, Carson won't be the nominee, Huckabee, etc. etc. etc.  There will be a Republican nominee at some point. I don't want anyone to underestimate what money can do.  Let's see how it plays out.

Sidebars:  The new Fall TV season is here.  They roll shows out more slowly than when I was a kid, but they are coming.  I've watched two episodes of Blindspot and it's still interesting.  I'm worried about The Blacklist, just from the promos.  It may have jumped the shark.  The Voice is going strong.  Still highly recommend it to watch and hear how many talented singers there are and how fun the judges are.  Amazing Race and Survivor began for season whatever.  Dancing With the Stars is a whole bunch of non-stars and no more Len Goodman judging. -- Baseball season is winding down. NY Mets made it to the division championship for the NL East.  I'm still holding out a bit of hope for the SF Giants and the Yankees.  It all will be decided Sunday.  Great decision that all Sunday games will play at the same time.  Let's see how that works out. -- Trying to get back on the writing horse, but it's difficult.  I appreciate writers more and more. -- Don't forget to be kind to yourself and others.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

I Lost My Joie

I Lost My Joie.  One of my favorite, favorite songs from William Finn, creator of all things Falsetto and I believe cut from the production of Falsettos.  I use it all the time.  It's fitting. It says it all. These days, it's true.  Politics have gotten me dazed and confused.  Depressed a bit.  Watching the Republicans talk stupid over two debates is depleting my spirit.  There isn't a Republican candidate that I could vote for once they start spewing about Planned Parenthood, Women's Rights, Pro-Life, Religion, etc.  The social issues take them out for me.  In today's paper there are Republicans that won't go hear the Pope because of his "leftist" views.  Come on, really?  The Pope??? Leftist???????  Maybe they all have to go back and read the Bible.  So many stand on it, by it, around it, but maybe they should listen to the actual words of Jesus.  Seriously, if they don't like to read...go see Stephen Schwartz' Godspell.  It will give you a great, easy snapshot of Christianity without all those many pages to read.  You can even hum along.  

Did you watch the debate?  I could only watch the first two hours of the primetime debate this week.  Ridiculously too long and fairly empty of any significant content.  Tr**p is a big immature bully on the playground and all the other kids are trying to rise above the fray.  Not much is said.  They all want war.  They all love Israel (of course, not because they love Jewish people, but whatever).  They all hate Obamacare but have never presented any other idea how to cover people with health insurance.  They all hate Hillary Clinton.  The Donald refers to everyone by their first name.  Fiorina refers to him as "Mr. Tr**p."  They try to hold their ground but say nothing.  For over three hours of primetime television, nothing of substance gets presented.  It's the Miss America pageant without the swimsuits.  Actually, I hate to even demean the Miss America pageant, at least they get scholarship money.  

These candidates are all unelectable.  They are caught between a rock and a hard place because to get to the general election, they have to spew so much BS that the party can never win the Presidency again.  The religious right, the NRA, the tea party, all have their claws right between each pair of legs of these candidates.  Hard to know what anyone really believes.  The only one on the primetime stage that has basically been the same year in and year out...Rand Paul.  Like him or hate him, he seems to be true to his beliefs.  Dr. Ben Carson believing in creationism over evolution is mind-boggling.  How is a man of science so ignorant?  He was a pediatric neurologist for goodness sake.  Carly Fiorina's over the top, incorrect plea about abortions and Planned Parenthood funding was disgusting.  The Donald's bullshit connection of vaccines and autism should take him out of the race right now.  After all the doctors have disproven the research from the fully flawed British study that got the "ultra scholar" Jenny McCarthy, turning her Playboy playmate career into a PT Barnum barker, Tr**p has perpetuated the BS again during the debate. Ugh!! Mike Huckabee fortunately didn't speak too much because I have had enough of him from the Kim Davis disgrace.

Let me make it clear again. I firmly believe in the separation of Church and State.  Our Republican candidates get that all confused.  They really think the Bible, Ten Commandments, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence should all be what guides our Country.  No, people.  Please take a civics course again from an atheist professor.  Let him/her set you straight.  You all continue to bastardize what it says that you can't possibly lead.  Mr. Huckabee, you brought civics into the debate, you can be the first to sign up for a crash course.  Of course, as each of you have to drop out of the race, you can spend more time on what our Forefathers so richly and thoughtfully created.  

And again, ladies and gentlemen, without upending the Citizens United decision, democracy is threatened.  The money in politics is destroying the Country that we all love.  Yes, Mr. Tr**p, if you want to make "America Great Again," it's not the immigrants tearing it down, it's the billionaires.

Sidebars: We get at least a month off before the next Republican debate.  The Democrats step up to the podiums mid-October. -- The Emmy's are on Sunday night.  Always makes me feel old and out of it. I haven't gotten into the flow of Netflix or any other off shoot.  I am still old school watching mostly network shows, lots of sports, and news.  Oh well, I'll still be there in front of the TV trying to figure out who all the people are. -- Baseball season is winding down.  The SF Giants aren't out yet, but looking pretty slim that they will be in the post season.  But hey, no one thought that they'd be this great this season, so it's been a great ride.  The NY Mets have been tearing it up.  The NY Yankees are still alive. Football season is fully underway.  Too much, too many games, too many days of the week.  Too much and it's just the beginning. --- If you haven't seen the hilarious video by Ann Pinto McCarney, google it.  For all the parents of college freshman, it will make you laugh.  
TGIF.   So that's it for the Friday before my birthday. Enjoy!!!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015


So, the kids are in college and the empty nest hasn't been empty yet.  My sister came for two weeks.  Helped bridge the gap between their new chapter and mine.  Now, she's gone and I think the reality is really going to sink in.  Everyone has asked how am I doing with the kids away.  I have felt steadfast that I'm good, pretending that they are simply at sleep away camp.  We will see them at Parents' weekend in October, so I can almost really get away with that.  

It's just crazy. The school that our children went to for 13 years started today and we're not there anymore. It's odd. Not wishing that I was still there with them, but it's a huge transition from all these past years.  I see the Facebook photos from friends proudly posting the first day of school photos of their kids marching off to school.  Those days are gone for me.  Don't get me wrong, I'm exceedingly proud, but those photos are in the past.  I remember the first day they went to kindergarten and I was sad that I forgot my camera to take that picture of them starting school.  All these other parents were snapping away and I was running between two different classrooms seeing them off.  I decided that it was an "oh, well."  Living in the moment and capturing the images in my head.  

Now, they are pursuing independent lives.  I am still struggling with my future.  It will be a jagged road.  Nothing linear and clear.  Two steps forward, 5 steps back, and so on.  I do not feel sorry for myself, so no one has to worry about me.  I am one of many parents that have to adjust to an empty nest.  I just wish I had found a passion in addition to my children to help smoothly move me into this new volume, but I didn't.  So, now I sit here, starting over again.  Feels everyone else is on their path.  Trying to stay connected to friends, but without the structure of school, we are scattering every which way.  It's life. It's how it goes.  

The Jewish holidays are almost here and that will be another reminder of having to re-create traditions again.  It will be different, it will be smaller.  It will be, que sera, sera.  In the middle of all that annually, the birthday. More different celebrations.  

Made a few superficial changes:  got a Nespresso machine, drinking a lot more coffee, and got another piercing in my lobe. Still must do more household organization. Say it year in and year out, but this year...I mean it.  :-) 
So until I figure things out, I will struggle and may keep writing. It is a great outlet for me.  So much to say and so much time.

Sidebars:  Had tickets for months to see Hamilton on Broadway.  We got there and found out the star and creator wasn't doing the performance, even though I had reconfirmed with the box office earlier in the week.  We left the theatre and somehow got our money back.  That was my lottery win.  They never give money back if an actor isn't in the show, unless they're "above the title" actors.  So the best laid plans.  Now, struggling to get tickets -- Had the big fun turning Bachelor in Paradise into family viewing.  Not all members participated, but much fun and caused many debates and conversations.  Also, enjoying America's Got Talent and American Ninja Warriors as family gatherings. -- Still rooting loudly and passionately for the San Francisco Giants but looking more and more improbable.  Need Hunter Pence in the lineup. -- US Open tennis is halfway through.  Upsets and victories abound.  Tonight Serena and Venus have to play each other.  Hate that. If it were the finals, fine, but otherwise....-- The new season of The View began today.  I tried it. Not sure I can stick with it, but without doubt, it's great to have Joy Behar back. Stephen Colbert premieres tonight!  Well worth DVRing and giving it a chance. -- Sweltering here, there, and everywhere. Global climate change is a fact. It's not a belief. Enjoy your heat wherever you are.  Shout out to my friend, Holly.  It's her birthday today and no adult I know loves birthdays more than Holly.  

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Friday, August 14, 2015

This Is It

The day that most parents both dread and look forward to is here.  After an incredible 18 years of raising two amazing young people, tomorrow is the day we let them go.  We are off to taking our children to college.  I really can't believe it.  This past week has been anything but easy, but also had some wonderful moments to cherish.  

I've been fighting a cold all week and losing.  My daughter has been sick for a week.  No antibiotic can fix what ails me.  I was told that a cold is your body ready to lose something.  Well, my body might be ready, but I'm not.  Don't get me wrong, I know that this is part of the evolution of child-rearing but the terror that I didn't teach them enough is nagging at me all the time.  It's not a rational thought. It's irrational fear.  It's a very exciting time and I also know that.  Please, don't worry about me. I'm not expressing this for pity or morale boost.  All the parents of college freshman are having many of the same conflicting feelings: nervous, happy, scared, excited.  It's my mantra right now.  

I hear the birds and their babies.  I know that this is mirroring the same cycle.  It is time to let go and pray that I have imparted all the knowledge and wisdom to help them maneuver through life.  This period of life seems much easier for birds.  They encourage them to fly. That's the Mommy bird's job, but oy, it's not easy.  Life is about to change forever.  No more knowing where they are and when they come home.  I have tried to practice that this summer.  It's amusing because our parents never knew where we were.  There were no cell phones.  We managed to grow up in one piece.  Maybe some better than others, but we figured it out.  

I am not the first parent to go through this.  I will not be the last either, but we all go through it both differently and the same. The only thing that may change my evolution is it's two at a time.  It's ripping a bandaid off really quickly.  One huge pain and recovery.  I've been joking that there will be a new river down 3rd Avenue in New York City.  I will be fine.  It will hurt.  It will be quiet.  It will be new.  It will be uncomfortable.  I will survive.  

To all the parents of college freshman, cherish every last second that you can, remember what's important, try to let go of all the small stuff.  How you say goodbye is what they will remember until Thanksgiving.  And freshman, be kind to your parents.  I've always said that it's much more exciting and easier for the ones leaving than the ones staying.  This time we are all going on new adventures.


Friday, August 7, 2015


Watched the entire Republican debate last night.  I am still shaking my head.  I actually needed the commercial breaks to be sick to my stomach.  The candidates stances on women, women's rights to choose, Planned Parenthood, immigration, taxation, Church and State, and so on is so terrifying and disconcerting that I can't see how anyone can support a Republican candidate.  They have gone so far right, including and if you believe him, Donald T***p.  I don't believe for one second that he went from pro-choice to pro-life.  Don't think he cares really either way at all. His saccharine and embarrassing anecdote about his friends that were going to get an abortion and chose not to and ended up raising a fine young person.  Okay, non-sequitur, really.  That's not the point of pro-choice.  I love the nun this week who's been trending with this insightful quote: 
 "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.". --- Sister Joan Chittister, Catholic Nun.  Yes, sister, you are so right! 

Look, it's not that all of these candidates have nothing valid to say, but the overall stance is so backwards.  They want to take us back to the 1950's where women knew their place, minorities knew their place, things seemed simple, God was added to the Pledge of Allegiance, and things were black and white. No gray.  No complicated thoughts.  Honestly, I'm sure it wasn't simple at all in the 50's but thanks to television and movies indelibly imprinted in our memories, it seemed positively pastoral.  

All of these men during the primetime Republican debate, threw out red meat to the base.  I resented the audience and applause and boos.  It made it a sporting match.  Maybe if there was no live audience, the candidates would have to delve more deeply and not throw out sound bites and quips.  The "esteemed" Fox News panel had their moments trying to get the candidates to actually answer the questions asked.  That was novel.  Even if they still didn't, it helped highlight to the audience at home how slippery they all are.  When Ben Carson said he wants to overhaul the tax system to tithing, I almost fell out of my club chair.  T***p hardly answered a direct question, though the panel did hold his feet to the fire when he wouldn't pledge not to run as an Independent.  That was the first question to the candidates.  He got boos.  

The final question the Fox panel asked was a Facebook question from Chase A. Norton, who wanted to know “if any of [the candidates] have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.” I had a visceral reaction to both the question and the answers by the candidates.  I can't bear that we are tearing down the separation between Church and State. That question has no business in government or politics.  That the Fox panel chose not only to use this question but end with it really made me uncomfortable.  

I think we are on a very slippery slope.  Many of the candidates mentioned religious liberty.  What about my religious liberty?  What about yours?  Why is your liberty infringing on mine?  It's unbearable.  It's scary.  If this is the path the Country wants to go down, we really will be in trouble.  It's not inclusive.  It's not liberty.  It's only their "Christian" way.  

Here's the upside to this experience, for two hours I got to forget that my children are going off to college.  

Sidebars:  Summer television has been a great distraction. I've chosen to watch trash and light fare over the much ballyhooed stressful summer series or binge watching those that have won multiple Emmys.  I'm okay with missing out.  The Bachelorette was a ball.  Bachelor in Paradise is filling the trash void perfectly though they are really milking it over two nights.  America's Got Talent and American Ninja Warrior are fun for the whole family.  Having purchased the MLB package, I can be tortured 6 days a week by the San Francisco Giants.  It's been a roller coaster.  Still a lot of season left.  The Yankees and the Mets are doing shockingly great.  Honestly, I can't complain.  No one thought that the Giants or the Yankees would be much of anything this season.  Both teams have given me a lot to root for daily.  On a serious note...I've been struggling with the Iran deal. Trying to figure out what the options are and no one has an answer to that.  If Congress votes it down and there's no deal at all, then what?  People may hate the deal, but without any deal isn't that worse?  I'm not saying I'm for it, but I just can't get the answer either way.  If you've got it, let me know.  It's Friday.  My kids are leaving in 8 days....Eight days a week, I lo-o-o-o-ove you!

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