Givers vs. Takers 2016

In certain situations, we as a species aren’t divided by gender, eye color, ethnicity, social class, religion, education or intellect .  We’re divided into two phyla: those who give and those who take.

I can remember being a taker. It was decades ago before I wizened to the ways of recompense and retribution and how the two aren’t happy until they’ve taken their pound of flesh, gray matter or endorphins. Often times, all at the same time.

I have evolved into a giver who’s rapidly entering murky waters. I can feel the altruism draining from my soul and pooling around my well manicured feet, callous free courtesy of a one 22 year old Na Nguyen who now in Texas “go by name Amber. You got boyfriend????”

I don’t like feeling this way. I am at any given moment, perilously poised on the precipice of the loss of my humanity mainly, but of my patience.. my time, and so much of what’s supposed to make me feel better, makes me feel compromised.

So, I ask a very direct question: who has the bigger problem here? Those who give until the font runs dry or those why helped the dehydration process?

As you ponder that query, I’ll add this to the pile of compost and kindling thatbis thieves composition.  What we are missing in this world are generous givers who don’t care who take and takers heartened by the gesture who have to sometimes say , ‘no thank you’ with as much grace.     There’s a right way to give. There’s a selflessness to it. There’s also a right way to take, by feeling gratitude and expressing it, not necessarily to the giver, but to the situation that made it all possible.

To ‘bless’  the person who had the intention to give and to good tidings to the taker who is  ‘blessed’ to have been on the receiving end at a most critical time.   And yes, timing is everything.

You know, that groovy Ghandi-like/Mother Theresa vibe?   Well, as much as I would love to be content to meditate for days at a time in a 4’x 8’ashram, swatting curry flies, I still like my ‘stuff’. Maybe I give for the wrong reasons and that’s why I could be grappling with all this.  Perhaps I give to the wrong people.   Maybe, I’m not savvy enough to discern real need vs. real greed.

And then again, didn’t I in some way, teach these people how to treat me? Didn’t my ‘never fail’ and dependability rep hammer this home?    Are these questions the last vestiges of my Liberal guilt oozing out?  Or is this a need to be liked? A willingness to pay to be popular? Maybe 25 years ago when Clearasil was part of my daily ritual but not so much now.

I would give because I could and when I saw people with genuine need.   Sometimes, I got ripped off, but it still felt good to give.   It didn’t feel good when my giving and their taking became a conditioned response, as Pavlovian as anything in the books geared for shrinks.  There are those who expect the perks, the extras, the lagniappe, the sussies, if you will.

Which segues to this topic–all  this anti-Trump victory rhetoric is silly.  So yes, what the world news now, Miss Warwick is love sweet love of course, but it also needs a soupçon of behavior modification. The world also needs people who desperately need to learn how to give.  And care.  And stop whining and quit pitting progressive secularists against traditional religiosity..   If someone disagrees fine, express it, but when constitutionally protected protest becomes damaging by rabble out to wreak havoc, I have a real damn problem.   If you’re angry, go protest at the county clerk’s office, buts let’s be honest,  where’s statement in that?    But then again, you can’t break in and haul off newly pilfered  54″ hi/def TVs at a municipal building, can you?

If you have a problem, vote someone in or out of office.  If you’re still not happy move, but don’t destroy.   People who scream and shout for tolerance are often the most intolerant of all people.     People love diversity unless the diverse they revere have diverse thoughts.

Let’s ALL understand just how diverse the basket of deplorables really is!

“I hate Trump. He’s not my president, so that gives me every right to take a trash can and throw it through a window and take whatever I want!”  says the White Kids, the Black  kids, Asian kids, the sensitive Indigo children, And the non voting age kids who were suddenly, conveniently made to feel disenfranchized.   These are the so called SJWs….’social justice warriors ‘.  If  my cypherin’ is correct, the parents of these millennial humps are by and large about ten to 13 years younger than me and I can’t for the life of me understand what kind of control playing with Rainbow Brite and Cabbage Patch Kids had  on these people once they decided to breed.

They grew up to be the parents of these coddled children, they hover over then, padding them physically and verbally, keeping so much life out of their lives.   They even convince the little darlings that they are better than everyone else.   They’re told to have a social conscious that they don’t even understand. These kids grew up with time-outs, and attempts at reasoning (as if THAT’S possible with a two year old). These kids have play dates, no toys in their toys  and  paters  who were fanatically opposed to having their kids vaccinated.   They insisted that their precious kiddoes, more accessories than progeny, were good and kind even when they were  horribly behaved and downright mean.   They were coddled in such ridiculous ways such as being awarded simply for having adrenal glands. There’s no passing, no failing and ultimately no growing up or taking any responsibility.

They’ve learned the lexicon too.  Fat millennial get triggered by seeing thin people, or corn pads or by Tampons, since they’re an absorbent reminder of male patriarchy.   They argue they’re all about Inclusivity, providing the diverse don’t have diverse opinions.  Political inclusivity is impossible, social responsibility only exists on the tiniest of levels and being bullied is reprehensible, but not defending oneself is as well.   Walking away is always taking the high road,  but some situations warrant blowback.  If you learn  to take the occasional metaphorical punch,  learn to give one, too.

That’s why watching these protests make me shake my head like my father did, as  my grandfather did, and like my predecessors, I’ve forgotten what’s it’s like to be young and idealistic.    But even when I was a young idealist, I protested in my own way but I never broke the law.   Because civil disobedience that involved damaging another human or property resulted in an ass whooping at the very least.   I’ve always understood partisan feelings, from knowing a parent liked a sibling better than the other, there were teachers’ pets, better athletes, prettier girls, thinner women and then I got older, I became aware of partisan politics.    Som can we ever be completely inclusive?       No.

But getting back to givers and takers, I aspire to be a better giver; one that can dispense without building of any internal resentment. The world also needs people who know how to take. They need to say please and thank you, and to be gracious without fawning or deifying the giver, WHILE paying their debt by paying it forward.  They must help others when they can.   Fiscally or physically.

I have spent a lifetime giving more to relationships than any relationship ever gave to me, but I broke that habit in recent years.   I’m in the process of learning a way to apply the same restraint in my everyday life, to trust that what I give, from my money to my time will be used as it was adverrtised.   In some ways, I admit this with righteous indignation. I also say it’s an admission fraught with a little regret.

I’ve re-read this and I question when I became so damn jaded.

Thank God I look good in green.

It Was Three Years Ago

But my story, our story goes back even  further.    It was 1999 when we met and at a hair salon of all places.      She invited me back to her home which was warm and big, in comparison to places I’d lived prior to our meeting.

We shared the house with another roommate, but his job required him to be gone  a lot so I bonded with her immediately.    She worked too and her hours were crazy.  I basically stayed home and handled my rsponsibility there but it could be lonely.  We never said anything to each other, but it was understood that we missed each other.  I couldn’t wait for her to walk in the door.   Every time I heard  of the garage door opening, the sound ended the loneliness and signaled the beginning of our time together.   We always greeted each other the same way, no matter if she’d been gone for ten minutes or ten hours.

There were long talks, but I admit I was a much better listener.    We could sit together in the living room for hours.   Sometimes, we sat in comfortable silence, sometimes the TV would be on, other times just music  would play.  She liked soft jazz, which was never a genre of music I liked, but it made her happy, so I never said anything about it.  Friends make those little sacrifices for each other.      Sometimes, she’d make dinner for me and sometimes I’d handle dinner plans, and usually it was,  for a lack of a better term, ‘take out’.   And while we didn’t always have the same taste in cuisine, she was always appreciative of my efforts to prepare a meal for her.

There were issues with our third roommate.    That was a very bad time.  There were things about him that broke her heart, so she decided to move out and asked if I’d come with her.   I did.

We moved into to an apartment, which was smaller than the house we’d lived in but I didn’t mind.  The lack of space didn’t change our routine much, the conversations comtinued as did the long, comfortable silences.     She didn’t work for a while and that saddened and scared her, but I was selfishly glad she stayed home.  We had fun.   We played games and she taught me some special tricks.   That was a tough time in all, but we were closer than ever before.   She finally got a job and our previous routine returned.   We’d say goodbye in the morning and we were both so happy when she’d come home at night.

Then one day, about five years ago, she got a bunch of phone calls one afternoon.   I remember her being both excited and fearful at the same time, She explained that some major life  changes were in store and one them involved moving again.   Her mother, like we all were, was getting older and it was starting to affect her life.   I remember hearing that term ‘affecting her life’.    My roommate had had a nasty car accident several years before we met and I knew she had good days and bad days because of her injuries.   Her pain had gotten worse as the years progressed.   Even  I’d gotten older and was moving slower.

So , we moved from this big city where we’d spent 12 years together, to a smaller town with pretty hills around it.    It was nice and clean and was so different;  quiet less hectic.   We moved into a new house and which we had fun decorating.   She didn’t work, but spent time with her mother and  but when she’d come home,  just like before,  I’d greet her at the door.  I knew that no matter where we lived, no matter where we’d call home in the future, I would always wait for her when she’d come through that door.

We lived in the house for a year before I began to feel strange.  .My usually  voracious appetite  eased to exist and I found myself sleeping more  and moving less, mainly because I hurt all over.   I had all these aches and pains which were hard to explain.   I was trying to keep her from knowing I was having problems, since she was concerned about her mother,  I didn’t want to add to her worries, but the aches and pains were too much to bear and I started losing a lot of weight in a very short time.   Of course she noticed and of course, she insisted  I needed to see a doctor.   I didn’t want  to go but I didn’t have the strength to resist.

I knew what to expect from  the man in the white  coat.  He’d  prod and poke around and invariably, a big needle would be involved, either injecting something in me, or taking something out of me.  I needed a blood test , he said .     As we we’re leaving, the doctor whispered something to my roomate.   Her eyes welled up with tears.  He put a sympathetic hand on her shoulder and said he’d call with the tests results.

He gave me some medicine which made me feel a bit better, but I was still tired and weak.  The doctor finally called, maybe that afternoon…maybe two days later, I don’t  remember, but he told us that I was in late stage kidney failure and the prognosis wasn’t good.   I didn’t have much time left and my roommate and I discussed what few options we had.   Were both so sad, because neither felt like much of an option at all.    We spent the next several days together, talking very little.   She let me keep my head in her lap.    Her touch was constant.  She cried.    I cried too in my own way, but fortunately  for me, the medicine I was given made me even sleepier than usual.  That made the next few days kind of hazy.  I don’t remember much, except for that last night.

She had told me earlier that evening, that we had a very important errand to run the next day.   There was sonething different in tone  of her voice. It was sad , soft and gentle..  She gave me another pill and I went to sleep.

But I woke up later that night feeling worse than I’d ever felt  before and I was so thirsty.   I gathered every ounce of strength I had left to get out of  bed to get some water.  I was only able to take a few steps then I collapsed  and couldn’t get back up.   I could barely move and it was hard to breathe.   I  wanted desperately to  call out to my friend, but I couldn’t make a sound.

I remember my brain being fuzzy but somehow, I was clear about one thing. I wanted her to wake up and come get me.   And you know what?    In the midst of all the pain and confusion, I realized I had one final lesson to learn:   that  running deep in the bonds of unconditional love that flows between true  friends, miracles can happen.      For a reason that could only be deemed as divine, she woke up and called out for me.  I was trying to tell her I was lying helpless on the cold kitchen floor, but I couldn’t make a sound.  She walked in and found me, scooped me up her those arms I’d come to know as home and took me back to bed.  She was crying in these massive sobs that scared me, but I sonehow understood what they meant.    I looked up at  her and our eyes met and she said in between sobs, “God, please take her now, don’t let her suffer any longer!”

I took a few labored breaths and then I went away,.   There was brief blackness, but then I woke up again.   In some ways I left  and in another way, I stayed.  It’s hard to explain, but suddenly there was no more pain, I felt spunky, very much alive but in such a different  way.    I was trying to make her understand that everything was better, but I couldn’t connect with her.     She was holding me, crying, apologizing   for not being there enough, moving around so many times.  She told me how much she loved me….and then she stopped crying, coming to terms to what had happened.  She laid me down on the bed and made some telephone calls.
I remember her saying, “Yes okay, thanks.   I can…uh….I can come right now.”

She  hung up the phone and stood over me.     She gently closed my eyes for the last time,  wrapped me in amy favorite blanket and carried me out to her car.   She kissed my face before telling me we had one last place she had to take me..  But I didn’t want to go, I chose to stay at the place I loved, with her smell that permeated everywhere, I wanted to be with my toys, my treats…I wanted to stay home.  I wanted to stay with her.

But I knew I couldn’t stay.

I’m not sure how I knew, but I understood I’d be moving again, to another place, but this time it would be far, far away and she wouldn’t be allowed to come with me.   But I knew I’d see her again.

And I knew  that the love we shared  was still strong  and would still be just as vast and wondrous when it would be time for her to join me.   And I knew I’d be there to wait for her to come through this very special door, one more time.

She named me Charlotte and I was a Calico colored Norwegian Forest cat who died on this day three years ago .   I was 14 and I was loved  very, very much.






It’s Over

He shall henceforth be known as His Royal Hairness.

I kid. I kid. I offer President Trump my congratulations. His participation in this race was crass, vulgar, thin-skinned, dismissive but overall and probably accidentally brilliant.

Donald, in all his 24k glory, is to be commended for listening intently to what leftist elitists refused to hear. Now, Hillary lost because of Hillary. I could include a laundry list of reasons, but the Painsuit is no longer relevant. I wish her well and thank her for her service, but not all her self service. She needs to go away, stay out of the limelight and try to repair her soul. she was a very arrogant candidate on top of being extremely lackluster candidate. Her missteps helped in her loss, but hardly the only reason. Trump won not because he was some great unifier. He won for his role as a repairman.

Who do you call when your house is in serious disrepair and the address of this house just happens to be 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? The neighbors are angry and frustrated, the Homeowners Association are getting tired of leaving, mailing or physically handing over mandates to the homeowner to fix all the problems. So when you’re at your wits end and the DIY bandaids you tried to make things better failed in every way possibly, you call a repairman.


Don’t be dazzled by his $18,000 Armani suit; underneath that exquisite material are well worn blue jeans and exposed butt crack. Trump can talk to blue collar types, no collar types. People of color, different religions. He can belly up to the bar, pound back a few beers and talk shit with a Teamster about real world issues…the issues in THEIR world. A driver with a family of four and barely scraping by isn’t going to be overly concerned about an iceberg that’s melted a few inches over the past ten years. All you GreenPeaceniks can loathe him because of lack of ecological consciousness, but he wouldn’t care. Feeding his family is his principle concern.

Then, after two beers with Billy Juan LaShawn NormalGuy, he can be dressed in full tuxedo dining at the tony Masa restaurant in NYC, talking to an OPEC minister about the FIFA championship, and be just as comfortable.

He can talk to a police officer and listen to his frustration over the limitations o and dangers of his job. He understands the concerns of the 22 year old Latina who can’t find a job after getting her college sheepskin. There’s the Black man in middle management who wife has Stage 2 breast cancer and his pathetic healthcare coverage is killing them both, hervphydicslly, him spiritually. He spoken to community groups livid about crime. He spoke at length with teachers across the country who are underpaid and so constricted they can’t teach their students how to spell C-O-M-M-O-N C-O-R-E. He met a Vietnam vet who survived countless firefights, only to be fighting for his life on a bureaucratic battlefield with a VA hospital two miles away, He’s shaken hands with steelworkers, miners and energy workers who haven’t work in months. He’s spoken to women as humans who want equal opportunities, but not made to feel like victims because of their gender. This third wave caps feminists women who feel as though we can do snything but can’t do anything because of the patriarchal nonsense. Idiocy.

Trump decimated PC rhetoric. He exposed biased media. The same with sexism, race, and basically turned the GOP on its ear, a wake up call that was long overdue.

Let’s be realistic–repairing is possible, uniting isn’t. Horrific terror attacks and natural disasters bring us together, but it’s always short-lived. To appease some, hev will anger others. So, what he needs to do, is everything. And I mean everything.

He can level the playing field, become the the Great Equalizer on top of Repairman In Chief. He must reduce the distance between the haves and have nots. And no, I’m not talking about socialism of any kind, by he must assist the poor without punishing the rich. He must create access to affordable healthcare that benefits both doctor and patient. If someone doesn’t have healthcare because they can’t afford it due to job less, then Trump needs to create mor jobs. Offer incentives to keep Keep factories here. Help him find s job, with a job comes access to healthcare. Encourage social and cultural progress in the innner city, but no free hand outs, but certainly lend a hand.

Trump can’t unite, there’s too much profit to be made in division, but he can accommodate. Even pacify, when need be. I feel we’ll learn his candor and his skills as a successful CEO are his best traits which will rebuild global confidence and confidence within ourselves as Americans.

Many have said Trump doesn’t have the temperment. Until last night, I don’t think we’ve ever had a president who has ever had the proper temperament. Look how many times salvos were launched in his direction. Trump character assassinations were atop every TV News Director’s show rundown. But he’d handle the situation and come back swinging just as hard. Sun Tsubwould be proud. This was The Art of War meets The Art of The Deal.

Many members of the media said he pandered to his core. Well, for starters his “core” was bigger than anyone imagined and he simply spoke to them as they spoke to him. Anger was replaced with the term pissed. Defeating ISIS became ‘kick their asses’. He called Clinton a criminal and trashed the Democrsticbparty. He was the man for the forgotten American. He had their ear and they gave willingly in terms Hillary Clinton would never understand. She remained elitist and arrogant and spoke in soundbites. After almost 25 years of being in our collective consciousness as Firet Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, she just became too much and at the same time not enough.

The biggest difference I see is that Hillary wanted votes. Trump wanted happier, safer fellow Americans.

‘Twas The Night Before Election Day

And a few took a nap, 40 winks…a siesta, Hillary’s people were tired, but not John Podesta

He is nervous, sweating bullets, as he always should have been.

But he isn’t alone in nervousness, so is Huma Abedin.

Smart girl this Huma, few are keener

But her biggest mistake? Delete button ignorance and Anthony Weiner.

I’m hard pressed to find words to rhyme with man so perplexing.

But I’m comfy with idiot, nutso and a dumb ass caught dick-sexting

As for the emails, Director Comdy says they’re no issue.

Good news for Hillary, who sweat through eight boxes of tissue.

But The Donald doesn’t care—-this stuff he’s still spinning and as a result, some polls now say’s now winning

Trump is no Boy Scout, he has made fun of women

He speaks harshly and rudely and often with venom

She loathes him with and to him she’s hassle

So no matter who wins were sick with an asshole.

And in the end,

So, if Hillary wins, it’ll more of Obama, can we survive the delirium
If Trump is the man, can we deal with a coiff fixed with helium?

Hillary seems two faced and a liar, her integrity is minimal

Trump can be be an ass but at least he’s not a criminal

So, in 48 hours we’ll know the winner, hopefully by Wednesday night’s meatloaf dinner

This is our reality, and it’s not at all pretty,

We’re damned by the outcome, which is woefully shitty.

Out next prez with either be a blustery human hair ball or a lying pant-suited frump.

I’m not nuts about either, but please Lord, let it be Trump.

A Letter To Myself

Dear Laurie At Age 11,

It’s Halloween 2016 and you’re about to read a blogpost that conceptually speaking, has been purloined.  On this spooky day in the 57th year of your life, you’ll casually read an article written by an American female soccer player who helped  her team win a medal with some precious metal content (we’ve never been much on details)  during the recent summer Olympiad.    It is a letter to her seven-year old self.    Hardly a new concept, it’s been done to death, the same with writing one’s own obituary.     Oprah, as you’ll learn, will enter the screen of a TV set near you in the early 80’s and she’ll eventually become the host of her own globally syndicated show.  Eventually, she’ll become something  of a doyenne of all things self-help, self-empowerment and spiritual recovery from the evil that’s creatinh one’s failure to launch.     Give her whatever credence that fits your life needs at the time.    Otherwise, move along and look for your ‘source’ where you can find it, but please, don’t  make the mistake of thinking it can be found in any singular performance or person.   In fact, avoid seeking approval in all forms and learn that everything you really and truly need comes from within.

For example, don’t find yourself needing another person.   Instead, want them–that makes their presence or absence in your life, your option.   Options are powerful.   Appreciate them and never assume they will ever be as easy as A or B, black or white, right or less wrong.   Eliminate degrees of difficulty and avoid all ‘damned if I do, damned if I don’t’ scenarios.  Know your exits and in your 40’s, if none are clearly marked, create them where there are none.    Peace of my mind is worth every dollar you might spend on property damage, literally or figuratively speaking.

Write in your spare  time but major in a science of some sort, when in college.    Broadcasting will only break your heart.   Just to as you enter the early summer of your career, it’ll start its descent to the gallows.    In 1996, a President by the name of Clinton will serve as its executioner.     Oh yeah…he has a wife named Hillary.   They’re both terribly addicted to the limelight, scandal, making lots of money and blaming vast right-wing conspiracies on  everything.   Oh and one more thing:  don’t forget, a savtig  brunette wearing a beret will enter the picture.  She’s a silly, young thing really, with lofty goals that cloud her judgement.  From what I remember, her daddy issues will get her in trouble.    A certain president’s own particular version of daddy issues, will get him into trouble along with her.  Sad scenario for the families involved, but a never ending font of material for comedy writers.   You’ll consider voting for the Clintons when possible just because they’re the gift that keeps on giving.    But I’d strongly advise against that for reasons that will become obvious.

You’re going to fall head over heals in love the first day of Jr. High.  It’ll be the time of your life, Part One.   It would be in your own best interests to employ catch and release tactics involving this young man.    You’ll lose him for the silliest of reasons, but you can keep the memories.  They become fewer and sweeter in time.

Strive for prosperity but be aware that the real prize is satisfaction.

The time of your life Part Two kicks off in the late summer of 1979.   It includes career moves to three different cities.   The years from 1988 through 1995 are for compete recalibration.

This next sentence will seem convoluted at first, but having lived our life, it’ll make sense–never settle, know your limits but defy them every chance you get.  Failure is your best teacher,  pain makes a terrific guidance counselor.   Envy and insecurity can cancel out everything you achieve.   Love yourself in moderation.

The dreaded Kendrick divorce gene continues to wound every generation.   You can do nothing to prevent it from affecting others, but don’t let it taint your view of marriage.   But if you ever choose to couple and you are by no means obligated to do so, find the right guy.   Find a mensch, a man with a moral compass similiar  to yours.   Fight through the doldrums once the romantic goggles are removed.  Love him, but more importantly, like him.    And make damn sure he feels the same about us.

Avoid pilots, long-haired Liberals too scared to take a chance, dreamers who don’t act, actor who don’t dream;  say no to musicians, tennis pros at the club, college jocks and that guy in that bar that one time in that city.

Don’t be afraid to admit you dig yacht rock, treasure real friends, discard place fillers. It’s perfectly okay to be comfortable in your skin.

As for your parents, please do your best to understand they are, were and always will be emotionally incapable of  so many things.  Forgive them early and often.  They’re as wounded as you are and know no better.   They’re victims themselves…of another time, a different generation, embittered and embattled for reasons of which they aren’t aware.   And as for ever acheiving your ideal mother/daughter dynamic?    Ain’t gonna happen, Sister.

That beautifully illustrated scene you saw in that Little Golden Book, the one that moved you at the tender age of five, doesn’t belong to you.    That  lovely and carefully drawn mom and her equally lovely infant and four-year old  girl child, sitting so placidly in the lovely living room on a late afternoon, isn’t your reality.

But the sunset can be.    And as you enter the early autumn of your life, all you need to do is look for it.   Then, look AT  at it through your six year old eyes, youR 24 year old eyes, the peeoers you have at 53….at 57 and beyond, if there’s a beyond.  Understand how fluid its beauty is.   Revel in the time you have with it.   Sunsets have sonething very unique.  They’ll be back within 24 hours.    They have staying power.    Unlike childhood, young love, teen angst, twenty something confusion, absent parents, , pimples, joy, contentment, glory, defeat,  complicated relationships, both personal and professional and bad choices, can  remain with you, should you decide to keep them in your life.     But please, please refrain.

Sunsets require unobstructed views.



You at 57

PS:   Floss more, realize that bread is wonderfully evil, wear sunscreen, endeavor to have a daily BM and be kinder, earlier please.      And a hearty tip of me hat  to “Baby Dear”, published by Little  Golden Books written and illustrated by Esther & Eloise Wilkin, respectively.  (more…)

Ain’t It A Bitch?

The biggest kick in the figs has got to be emotional deflation.

*When you realize the love of your life never existed; when you wake up bored and the boredom doesn’t leave or boredom doesn’t have the decency to allow you to sleep.

*When you hate your job to the point of throwing up….begotten arriving, during the course of the day, or three hours after you’ve gotten home that afternoon.    Doesn’t matter emotions like propelled vomit doesn’t abide by time.

*When you feel powerless when you thought you were so damn powerful.

*When it clicks in your head that your marriage is a mistake;  when you realize someone  you’ve admired for years and years is a shallow hint of who they really are.   You see the facade as the facade.     No one can take away the embarrassment of being fooled by aluminum siding.

*When you realize that little man behind he curtain is really the Great and Powerful Oz.

“Never meet your heroes.”

And if you do, make sure it’s a brief and shallow encounter.   Don’t get to know them.


I met a comedian 20 yea s ago.   It was the mid-90’s and her star was on the rise  She was marketed as the next IT girl in the world of funny.   And funny, she was. The ‘be-flanneled’ aand tattooed Gen-X’ers of the period told me so.   And the mighty advertising dollar gave them that power to know, discern, to mandate.

So, she begs me to attend her gig on the main stage of the big comedy venue in town.   She does 48 minutes of the most perfectly extemporaneous comedy ever  written.   Her execution was flawless, just as it has been on her HBO special and in LA and Chicago and  Montreal.   The red light above the stage attracts her eye; her contractual hint to wrap up, which she does and them cones the payoff.    She swallows the applause like  sustenance.   Adoration equaled adulation.    The organism is short lived, when the performance adrenaline gives way to feelings, real or insgibed.

Instead  of meeting with the club owner or any of her handlers, she walks straight up to me, demanding in no uncertain terms, that I relay to her how funny she was and if I laughed, when I laughed and would I please describe the frequency AND the decibels with which any guffaw might have spewed forth.

Neediness is possibly the most unnatrati e trait in all humanity.   I know–I’ve looked at it in the mirror and stared at it face to face.






AHS Season 6/ Episodes 5 & 6

I’m nuts.   Seriously.

I vowed I wouldn’t write again about the FX series,  American Horror Story, but I’m compelled to do so, in part because I just watched episodes 5 & 6 back to back.  And in the course of a combined 56 minutes of broadcast television, minus the commercials, I’ve had 49 pure WTF? moments.

I should know better than to believe the creative team of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk could ever write and produce a story with a defined beginning , middle and end.   And while this sixth season is the only one since the uber haunted Murder House in the first year.   I couldn’t bear the subsequent four seasons, although I tried.

Asylum lost me as did Coven and last year’s Sideshow or Freaks or whatever the hell it was called, defied what little tolerance I had.     BUT, as a fan of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Daphne the brainiac sleuth-slash-one of the meddling kids from Scooby Doo, I love crime tales.   And when you add a supernatural element to re-enactment shows like Dateline, Lt. Joe Kendra (retired) and others, I’m a sucker.    Season 6 has all those elements with a soupçon of history from colonial America….and did I mention cannibals, lunar phases, horny forest nymphs, knife, axe and torch  wielding villagers with bloodlust, inbred rednecks just a click south of the kind which had hankering for Ned Beatty’s ‘purdy mouth’—with bloodlust,  property disputes, ritual sacrifice for land consecration, a very odd 300 year old house  with no electrical lines attached yet, it has power AND and the inclusion of  network TV weasels who only care about ratings—with bloodlust????

Last night, as I mentioned, I watched two AHS episodes back to back.    At any one given time, it felt like I was watching The Blair WItch, Deliverance, every movie ever adapted from every Nathaniel Hawthorne book ever written, the movie about the Argentine soccer players whose plane crashed in the Andes,  and maybe even Green Acres…with bloodlust.

I’m too exhausted to give you a complete synopsis of both offerings, but I will say this: I’m six episodes into this season; four more than I could stomach in recent years.   Is it  convoluted?    Yes.   Are there stellar performances?   Well, Downton Abbey it ain’t, but the divine Kathy Bates is an acting tour de force.   I smell a second AHS Emmy for La Bates and I hope it’s just enough to someday inspire a drag queen to strut his/her stuff  as Kathy Bates–the Misery years.

i think there are five episodes left.    Maybe four, maybe six more, I don’t know.   But AHS must end so the highly anticipated third season of Fargo can premier on FX in January.    Now THAT  is a well written show deserving of my obnoxious, middle-aged allusions to the ancient and obscure films and cartoons from the 60’s and 70’s….with bloodlust.