Monday, March 30, 2015

Mother's Little Helper

I am currently 68 years old. Surely if I left it alone, my hair would be gray by now. But I don't leave it alone, I color it. This is a very un-Zen practice, since to be enlightened I must forget about "me" and just Be One With The Universe. Although that does sound nice, and honestly I am dying for some inner peace and to that end have started engaging in daily meditation, I make this exception for several reasons.

It has little to do with looking younger, since I look older every day despite my hair color. That's because I am older every day, just like everyone else, although admittedly "gray-haired old lady" sounds worse than "red-haired old lady" or "old blonde." Mainly I do it because it's fun: New hair is just about the only thing I can do for little money and with immediate results to keep me interested in that face in the mirror.

Lately I have toyed with the possibility of going natural, since the one color I have not yet had is gray. But I'm just not ready.

So it's now time to choose a new color since my current shade is faded and drab. If I were younger I might go with green or magenta or blue, or maybe even hodgepodge (see photo). But I am after all 68 and so will once again choose something "hair-colored." Mick Jagger said it best: What a drag it is getting old.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


A few months back there was a big to-do over this film about a planned assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The fear was that its release would set off World War Three. At the time I paid little attention since fart jokes are not my thing. Somehow an international fracas was avoided and the movie slunk quietly off to Netflix, which is where I found it last night. Call me madcap but I loved it, laughing all the way, and really, what else is a comedy for? Admittedly the script is gross and off-color, so if you're squeamish about bodily orifices and/ or sexual innuendo, steer clear. Then too, there are a few fingers bitten off and a lot of fake blood around that, but simply covering your eyes works there. Otherwise, this fable about a pair of loony guys who end up working for the CIA is a non-stop hoot.

If this picture offends you, do NOT see the movie!
The plot is clever: Dave Skylark (James Franco), a late-night TV host sick of doing celebrity puff pieces, and his longtime producer pal Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen), decide they want more respect from their peers, those rarefied souls who work for the likes of "60 Minutes."  So when they hear that North Korea's leader is a huge fan of their show they decide to fly to Pyongyang and interview him, thus wowing the world with their brilliant expose of the real Kim. After announcing the upcoming interview on-air, the duo is visited by two CIA agents who recruit them to "take out" the crazy dictator. ("You mean take him out to dinner?" asks the clueless Rapoport.)

The proceedings are admittedly slapstick and exceedingly adolescent, but the whole thing works. Franco is flat-out hysterical, much better at comedy than drama. The actor who plays Kim (Randall Park) could be elected immediately, if they have elections over there, since he's perfect for the job. And Rogen, who also wrote the story and produced the film, is clearly a comic genius of his generation. In addition to the stars, a memorable cameo from Eminen and great supporting performances from everyone involved make this a worthy cinematic adventure, despite what all the snooty critics said.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Buyer's Remorse

Can one see things too clearly?
Before my recent cataract surgery I couldn't see anything very far away but could count the legs on a centipede, should that ever become necessary and if I were not so afraid of bugs. After the surgery I can see from here to Texas but couldn't remove a splinter from my own finger (not that I would since I always let them just sit there and fester) since I can't even see my own finger. As for eyeglasses, which I have worn since age 13 and supposedly would no longer require, I still need them, but not all the time; just for eating and reading and working on a computer and grocery shopping and paying bills and shaving my legs and cutting my hair and, well, you get the point. Pretty much everything but seeing to Texas.

What did happen was my eye doctor and my optometrist each made a lot of money. Both are likable chaps and I hold no grudges against them. It's just that I wonder how many of those "necessary" surgeries are only necessary for the doctor performing them. Had I left my cataracts in place, gradually my vision would have grown dimmer as I age. But maybe that's not so bad, considering what I see when I look in the mirror these days. One thing can be said for sure: cataract surgery does not decrease wrinkles.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pill-popping Atheists Unite

I heard we are getting more snow tomorrow and now I'm sort of depressed. I'm starting to feel like crashing a plane loaded with 150 innocent people into the side of a mountain. The thing is, I don't have an airplane, don't know how to fly one if I did, and am not a Muslim terrorist. I'm just a nice Jewish girl from Long Island. I guess I'll just take one of my anti-anxiety pills, go for a brisk walk in the fresh air and not kill anybody instead.

(Translated from a German website this morning: All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of “radical”, ie. devout Muslims, or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder.)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Those Nutty Arabs!

Last night I returned from a short vacation to find a message on my home phone from an Arab-sounding man who said his name was Officer Roy Martin and I had better "call back right away or you will suffer the consequences, and may God help you." He said he was from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that he had received several complaints against my name and unless I called back immediately I was going to be in very big trouble. And another "may God help you."

Naturally I called back at the number he left, which is (646) 583-1335 in case you want the bizarre experience yourself. Alas, Mr. Martin was in a meeting but would return my call shortly. Two hours later I called again, and again Mr. Martin was in a meeting with "the authorities." I asked which authorities, and was told they were the "big authorities" by the Arab-sounding man who could barely speak English. I asked what this was about and who they were. He said they were "the Federal Bureau of the Investigating of the Internal Revenue" and that I had many mistakes on my tax return and they would subpoena me and seize my property at my home address, which he repeated so I'd know he knew it. I asked if they were located in Manhattan and he said no, that they were in New York City. I asked if he had ever heard the word Manhattan and he skirted the issue, asking instead, "Why you talk to me this way like I am your friend or family, I will have you arrested!"

I try to like those folks, really I do, but what with the beheadings and the stoning of women and the chopping off of body parts and the bombings and the burning people alive and of course 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo and ISIS and now this, I just don't. I can't. Maybe it's racist of me or maybe I'm just smart. Either way, sue me, but don't count on getting much since all my property is about to be seized.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's to Like About Flying?

I am on an airplane this minute. It sucks so bad I want to document it so that when I am off, if I ever feel unhappy I can read this and remind myself what true Hell is and then feel better about whatever is going on right then.

There are two babies on board. One has not stopped screaming since we were boarding three hours ago. Really. What is wrong with his parents? Are they really his parents? Maybe he is being abducted, because I took my baby on a cross-country flight when he was three months old and he cried for like ten minutes but I was prepared to make him happy and so he shut right up.

There is turbulence of course. There is no movie, even though the flight is five hours long. There is no food, no pillows, no nothing but the screaming of the baby. There he goes again.

Making matters worse, there was a huge plane crash in Europe yesterday. No survivors. I learned this on the way to the airport today. Why does everything happen to me?

Now I have to go to the bathroom but I am in a window seat. What a hassle getting there, and so little reward.

Climate Change

Today I will go back into a little tube and fly across the sky to where most of my belongings are stashed. My cats, my clothes, my furniture, my art are all in a house in Maine where it is still winter and cold and mean-spirited. But vacation is over and one cannot live in a fantasy permanently. I am leaving blooming flowers and warm sun. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will once again be buffeted by cold winds and surrounded by glaring snow and ice when I wake up tomorrow morning.

They say it is brutal here in Arizona for five months of the year, with temperatures as high as 120 or even 130 degrees. That you can't even go outside. You have to stay in air-conditioning. I take comfort in that.