Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Everyone Can Use a Little Help

This morning I saw my shrink, who is not really a shrink but a cognitive therapist with an LCSW degree. She was very helpful years ago when I was in the middle of a crisis I now forget, so I have continued seeing her since I don't know anyone mentally healthier than myself who would listen to my complaining for free. Then there is my acupuncturist who has done wonders in just a few weeks in getting my internal organs back on track, including lowering my blood pressure and avoiding a stroke by doing something with my energy levels I don't pretend to understand. Besides seeing him, I recently added a weekly double dose of yoga to help control my anxiety, stretch my muscles, increase my core strength and get more in touch with my body.

I have assembled this team of experts at considerable cost to counteract the craziness that goes on all around me and over which I have no control. I'd say they are all doing a pretty good job since I'm still functioning while many others, far younger, have already kicked the bucket, some by their own hand.

A larger team will surely become necessary if Donald Trump becomes president in 2016, which I can now see happening since the very fact that he is running and with a strong following seemed impossible in the past. Even if he loses and some other joker wins, based on those running at the moment I'm pretty sure I will have to expand my payroll considerably. These days, even on a beautiful one like today, the road is filled with dangerous land mines. You simply can't go it alone.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Choose Chocolates

Some people act all sweet and smiley on the outside and fool everyone into thinking they are actually that way through and through, even when they are more like a cactus on the inside, not the least bit charitable and thinking only of themselves 24/7. Others can be brutally honest and prickly on the outside, but inside are like a box of mushy chocolates, doing things for others without hesitation or reward. It can take years to figure out who's who, but once you do it will change your life for the better. The secret is to pay close attention, since the last thing you want is a false friend.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Film Review: K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS


Never one to embrace modern times, I have serious disdain for Twitter, despise that inscrutable hashtag and repeatedly drop my iPhone in the toilet, an obvious Freudian slip. But I absolutely love Netflix. I would marry it if that were permitted, but alas it is still illegal in this country to marry inanimate objects and/or concepts, although surely that day is not far off.

Last night, in the comfort of my own home and with a cat on my lap, I watched an incredible movie that I just might have to see again today. K2: The Siren of the Himalayas is a 2014 documentary about a climbing expedition on that famous mountain, second in height to Mt. Everest but first in danger and technical difficulty among all other mountains on earth. While newbies and novices with enough cash are constantly ferried up Everest like kids getting towed up the local sledding hill in winter, even the best of the best international alpinists, an elite group if there ever was one, fail to summit K2 year after year.


"I liked it. You really got a sense for what 
it was like on the mountain. You could imagine the 
people falling 5,000 feet to their death."
                   --Mitch Rouda

This film gives a thrilling up-close and personal account of a team attempting to summit K2 in 2009, just a year after a horrific jumble of accidents on the mountain that killed 11 climbers. Still, off they go, spending months traveling in Pakistan just to get to the bottom of the beautiful beast, the starting point of their dangerous, 60-day pursuit of pain, hardship, fatigue and possible death (statistically, one in four die trying), all to avoid the boredom of the everyday and experience life "focused on the moment." Many of them regard the trek as a form of "walking meditation."

Aided by stunning cinematography and interspersed with a good bit of history about earlier expeditions, the film is immediately infectious. It's hard not to be envious of these intrepid climbers who at the very least have found something to live for, even if they die for it. I was jealous, wishing I could join them even as I concluded they were all downright nutty. Still, if movies are supposed to transport us to a different time and place, and hopefully teach us a few lessons on the way, K2 achieves that brilliantly. Like most documentaries it was hardly seen by anyone when it played in theaters for a short time, but now Netflix will bring it right to your TV or laptop for a small fee. Go there.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hardy Har Har


"Doctor, something's wrong! I'm shrinking!"
"Take it easy sir, you'll just have to be a little patient."

How many performance artists does it take to change a light bulb?
I don't know, I left at intermission.

This duck walks into a drugstore and says, "Gimme some Chapstick-- and put it on my bill."

What do you say to a hitchhiker with one leg?
"Hop in."

Did you hear about the two antennas that got married? The wedding was terrible but the reception was great.

What has four legs and one arm?
A Rottweiler.

If the black box survives a plane crash, why isn't the whole plane made out of the stuff?

Two penguins are standing on an iceberg. One penguin says to the other, "You look like you're wearing a tuxedo." The other penguin replies, "So who says I'm not?"

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work?
A stick.

Before You Say "I Do"

Please don't conclude that I don't love my husband, but I sure don't see why all the gays are so happy they can get married. Sure, they want and deserve the same legal rights and financial perks as anyone else, but the rest of the deal is dubious at best. For example, you always have that same person there all the time. And if they have annoying habits, which can surface after a given amount of time, like to pick a number at random say 28 years, those habits can get pretty damn annoying.

You have to discuss everything, like the color of new carpeting in your bedroom. And if they want to go out on a sunny afternoon because "it's such a beautiful day" but you want to stay inside just because that's what you feel like doing, somehow you are letting your partner down. And if they call out someone's name in their sleep and you ask them about it and they say they don't know anyone by that name, it's somewhat troubling if you are married whereas if it were just some one-night stand you wouldn't care at all.

These things must be considered.

Just saying.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Another First Lady Contender

Next Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will formally announce his intention of running for president in 2016, the 14th Republican to do so. So far all he has done is informally announce it. I'm not sure what the difference is, or why he is bothering since he does not have a prayer of getting the nomination, but whatever. Anyway, his wife missed being included in yesterday's pictorial roundup of potential First Ladies, should Hillary Clinton fail to win the coveted crown.  To keep current, here she is:

Mrs. Christie

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Still Irreplaceable


Two legendary talents gave the world unforgettable music. And now we have .... Taylor Swift?