Sunday, November 30, 2014


There is an increasing level of hate that appears to be infecting an increasing number of civilized societies.  Or what seems to be known as civilized societies by definition.  It is a hate that is pouring out like molten lava from an angry, very angry volcano.  It is killing men.  It is killing women.  And it is killing children.  It is killing all forms of life without even the merest display of remorse.  And as bodies fall lifeless, I wonder where the sanctimonious are.  I wonder where the religious leaders are.  I wonder where religion is.  And then I realize that it is religion all over again at the core of this hate even as it preaches love, morality and ethics in its sanctified halls.  Those sanctified halls built with the money of believers tithing as if every contribution will forgive all their transgressions throughout the past week.  Walk into these halls and you'll be transfixed by crucified Christs, entombed Talmuds, crosses, stars, crescents and all manner of religious symbols and accoutrement meant to captivate your reverence to an unseen god. 

Where is this god who never appears but in paintings and in marble and whose voice is never heard?  Why does not this god break his silence and tell humanity to stop in that deep, resounding, bellowing, intense manner we expect? Instead, the believers get an apathetic god’s silence.  I can’t help thinking of the resemblance of this god to the silent parents of today’s undisciplined and destructive kids acting out in the most negative ways their entry into adulthood.

I was born a Jew.  I was raised as a Jew, though loosely enough not to infringe on my ability to think.  I believed then there was a loving and forgiving god who listened to my prayers and, if I was good, would grant me my wishes.  Sometimes.  I rarely went to our temple and only on High Holy Days, if then, with my mother, grandmother and aunt.  The men chose other activities less religious like playing gin around a pool reflecting the Miami Beach sun on to their already too tan, sweaty skin.  I was touched by the meanings of the prayers and bought into the rising voices and spirit of the congregation.  I wanted to believe.  Until, I could not.

I knew what God sounded like.  He sounded like John Huston.  What did he look like, I wondered until the night I no longer wondered.  I remember as a child of 10 or so, I stayed over at my best friend’s brownstone on West 103rd Street in New York City.  Neither of us ever fell asleep quickly and often not until her mother angrily called out an order to shut up.  We tried as the silence fell around us.  My mind usually did flip flops at this time, a habit which still plagues my ability to fall asleep.  And this night was not any different as I shot up in bed with a revelation.  A fearsome revelation.

“Carol, I know what God looks like.”

“You’re nuts.  My mom’s going to kill us.  Go to sleep,” Carol whispered.

“God looks like an embryo,” I persisted, announcing with a controlled fear of having knowledge I'd be better without.

The second after the last word was uttered, a fear overcame me.  I was sure that I had just unearthed a secret of such proportion that my life would have to be ended by some mysterious force sent down from above and now on its way to fulfill its mission.

“How did you figure out something so stupid?” Carol whispered.

“Okay, it’s said that we are created in God’s image, right?” I answered, knowing my life was about to end.

“Right,” Carol parroted.

“Well, then?  There it is.  When we’re first created we’re an embryo.  There!  You have it.”

Both of us lay awake all night, fearing the dread of retribution from not an embryo, but The Embryo.

Every creak and every noise that old brownstone emitted was a sign our lives were about to end.

I had figured out what God looked like.  How could I believe in a god that looked like an embryo or a shmoo.  For those of you who are not aquainted with shmoos, they were popular cartoon characters created by the amazing political cartoonist Al Capp and provided great joy for both children and adults.

But I continued to believe anyway.  My beloved grandmother believed.  My beloved mother believed.  My idolized aunt believed.  But as my grandmother and, many years later, my mother passed so did my beliefs.  When my grandmother died, it was the first time I had lost a human being that I loved dearly and the first time my heart broke into pieces, leaving it permanently scarred.  When my mother died at 69 years of age after suffering the cruel and torturous effects of cancer and the cold and inhumane medical treatment given her, I remember the feeling of numbness and aloneness and desperation to escape.  I remember finding a wall into which I wanted to melt and disappear.  Instead, I found a corner which I attempted to wedge my way into in an effort to become that corner if I could. I found myself slipping down on weak legs into a huddle of flesh.  It was that day God died for me.  It was that day that God evaporated and disappeared like I wanted to do.  It was that day that I was reborn Motherless & Godless.

They say that once you heal from a devastating event, in this case the death of my mother, your anger at God is rationalized away and your belief returns and is often more intense than before.  Not in my case.  As time passed and the healing progressed, my belief in that god never returned.  It was like an epiphany, but not of the spiritual kind.  It was a release and a new sense of awareness and freedom that seemed to envelop me.  Though I must admit there were times that I feared being confronted by that god’s anger upon announcing to friends, who persisted in talking about their reverence, that I was an atheist.

I still think of that god I abandoned long ago.  I still ask why during this world’s upheaval hasn’t the Judeo-Christian God shown himself.  To which I get from believers the same Pavlovian response they always give to similar questions: “Haven’t you ever believed in anything you can’t see?  God works in mysterious ways.  He doesn’t have to show himself.”  Well, far from convincing me of the presence of their god, that response just pisses me off as just another religious gimmick of avoidance.  Have I believed in something I could not see since my conversion to atheism?  Yes!  I believe my mother is present and that she hears me talk to her.  And that she delights in my lighting a candle for her on the anniversary of her death, not forgetting to put a red rose nearby.  My mother loved red roses.  And she loved unicorns and for her, I also believe in them.  I haven’t seen one lately, but my hope is I will.  I also believe in the possibility of superior alien life somewhere in the vast universe and beyond and yet I have never seen any.  I hope I do for in seeing one, I will be assured that the species I had no choice in being part of and have so little respect for is not as superior as is thought. 

Every day, I am flooded with the news that envelops the internet.  Between Yahoo, The New York Times, Twitter, CNN, and our inconceivably inane local news, I feel like I am being buried alive.  Each grain of dirt joining other grains of dirt falling on my chest stopping me from breathing and only allowing gasps of my despair and perhaps a muddy tear falling down my cheek.  I see stories of such depths of depravity and evil, I can only think where is that unseen god so many have so much belief in?  Why is he allowing so many to suffer, to die, to wander homeless and afraid?  Is his keeping his unyielding mysterious ways so important to him?  Is it more important than alleviating his creations’ suffering?  Does he condone the seeking his imagined love and his protection in flagrantly expensive houses of worship?  Is he pleased by the annual dues paid in order to show him reverence?  Does he not want to shout his anger?  For surely he would not condone this.  Is this not a protection racket kept enriched by bribery?  If you give, you will be saved.  If you give, you will be forgiven.  If you give, you will get good seats for the High Holy Day services and maybe that new car. 

What is so bewildering is the denial by so many of the hypocrisy of religion.  There is in almost every religion divisiveness by race, class, wealth, politics, and all manner of separation within the same denomination.  These are not only acceptable but often promoted by the clergy and parishioners.  Then there are the 7 Deadly Sins of lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, wrath, envy, and pride.  And though they are sermonized against, they are kept alive and nourished by a human propensity for self-indulgence and more hypocrisy.  Did I forget to mention gossip...and adultery?  With all of this delinquent behavior, one would think that this god would be much pissed, pissed enough to come out of hiding and announce in that announcer voice: “Enough!  Give me your cell phones and go to your rooms.”

I do think of when I am aged and suffering infirmities and looking at death in the face.  I wonder if my steadfast disbelief in a god and in religion will hold.  Will the fear of the darkness and unknown about to unfold consume me so that I will fall back on the early rituals of so many years ago; the rituals that consisted of hoping that the god I grew up believing in was there to lead me safely through the unknown and/or perhaps answering my request for a painless death and/or giving me just a little more time?  I am hoping not.  I am hoping that my rational thought that brought me to my present belief will hold true and that the human courage we all have that blooms during times of fear and uncertainty will be enough to see me through.  I am hoping above all that my life was lived decently and with care and with a minimum of judgement on those whom I loved so that my passage is traveled well.  And for that, I need only believe in the strength of my heart.

By the way, my capitalizing or not capitalizing the "G" in the word god changed as did my belief.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


“Whaddya want?”  Stephen, then boyfriend, asked anticipating my birthday.

“I wanna spend the afternoon horseback riding and picnicking under a tree.”

Two friends and I drove up to a rundown house on a small spread just outside of Los Angeles.  To the left, a rusty pickup sat on browning grass; to the right, two bored horses stood in a corral.  The pickup got my attention.  Tied to the driver side mirror was a dark bay mare shimmering in the sun like chocolate brown quartz, her mane and tail black as onyx, her compact body that of an American Quarter.  She was calm as I cupped her velvet chin in my hands and brought her nose up to mine.  I marveled at the fragrance of her breath, grassy and warm.  Then I saw the birthday card hanging from her halter.

Nothing is remembered about the card but the recognizable handwriting inside.  “She’s yours.”   I looked at the landowner, searching his weathered cowboy face.  He nodded a yep-she’s–yours nod.  I looked at my friends who smiled a yep-she’s-yours smile.

“She’s mine?” I whispered not wanting to spook the possibility.  “Really, I can ride her anytime, really?”

I was reined in by Vicki’s impatience.

“Really!  Let’s ride!”

We rode all day.  Coco was quirky as it turned out.  Letting her out on a straight path and oblivious to an oncoming sharp left, she spontaneously took it in full gallop.  That I wasn't riding air that first day was a sign of real cowgirl status, in my opinion.  Attempting to stroke her between her ears, she’d jerk her head back, the first time catching me in the teeth.  A result of macho cowboy discipline, I imagined.  She once galloped from one end of a wire fenced run to the other where I breathlessly stood hoping she would stop short.  She ran right into the fence catching her leg through an opening.  She panicked trying to extricate herself.  Heart racing, I lamely assisted in guiding her weighty leg out.  She suffered a gash necessitating vet visits and all-consuming TLC.

An actress, I often avoided or arrived at auditions smelling horsey.  It must’ve been my contagious elation for work came.  When there was none, I was applying medication, changing wraps and massaging Coco’s leg.  I was currying, brushing, combing, toweling, picking the debris out of her hoofs and walking her as she healed.  I was cleaning tack and inhaling leather and leather oil.
I was on a continual sensory high.  My agents loved me, Stephen spoiled me, my cat adored me and Coco was finally ready to ride.

It was bright and cool – perfect weather.  Led from her stall, I backed Coco into the grooming and saddling area where two posts were provided to cross tie her.  She was groomed till she looked show worthy.  With a beard and hair growing out of her ears?  Hardly!  I got my clipper.  Beard gone.  Improvement.  I grabbed a stool.  Ears were next.  I aimed the clipper.  Cross ties allowing, she jerked her head back.  I massaged the clipper up her neck which she liked and again aimed for her ear.  She jerked her head back again, moving her body away from my hand used for balance.  I fell off the stool and under her.  Was it a kick?  Was it the fall?  I don’t know, but the result was catastrophic.

Escaping from under a horse’s hooves is like trying to escape from under a weed whacker.  When I finally crawled half way out, I saw three men approach.  They pulled me free.  I told them my leg might be hurt.  Two created a cross armed seat and the third placed me in it.  Secure, I looked down as my right knee gave way with an audible snap making the same left angle that Coco made that first day I rode her.
“Put me down!”

They carefully lowered me.

I put my good left leg under my mangled right leg for support.  The memory of pain is indelible even now as is the emergency room of Burbank’s Saint Joseph Medical Center.
It took three surgeries, endless physical therapy, a knee that is cosmetically unacceptable and a reversal in the trajectory of a promising career.

I never rode Coco again.  I never blamed Coco ever.  The fault was mine, the Brooklyn girl with dreams of being a cowgirl.

A friend took over selling Coco to a family he said would care for her.  I never believed him.  I have nightmares to this day mingled with the memories of her smells: a bouquet of sweet breath, sweat, the leather of her saddles and the hay and oats and horse manure. 

And I have a picture of her in the height of the California sun dancing like a wild spirit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

ANOTHER DAY - A stab at poetry

The grey blue color of winter skies,
And woolen clothes hiding flaccid thighs;
Of stop and go and pump and grind ‘em,
Of shallow youth and callous mayhem;
Of guns like coins in pockets hidden,
In yards of schools where once forbidden;
Jackhammers drilling and corporate shilling,
The waters flowing with toxins killing;
Of shedding off the skin of daylight,
And stresses making heart and lips tight;

Of flipped on switches birthing squares yellow,
The lives beyond seeking moments mellow;
Of calls from strangers with garbage to sell,
In hours of respite where persons dwell;
Of times despairing and sound bites swearing,
That life is ending and no one’s caring,
While night time shadows in bedrooms massing.
Yet one more day in a life that’s passing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


“Do you have children?” I’m always asked by new acquaintances as if having them was the prerequisite for a future friendship.

“No!” I always answer with an exclamation point and then offer up the response to what I sense is a sympathetic look.

“It was by choice not by a physical precondition,” I add which usually rests the subject. 

It was in a conversation with my friend, Mimi, who is also childless, that I was reminded of another response that those of us who are voluntarily without receive:  "You were smart."  For some reason, this response astounds me and I return it with a smile and, finally, a change of subject.

Smart had nothing to do with it.  I just never wanted any.  Not that I don’t like children.  I do.  I really do.  And I wonder at those who don’t.  On the other hand, I have pushed the limits of anger management when parents let their kids act like unrestricted, entitled, head-banging brats. 

There was never the desire to procreate.  To show the world I live in that I could be the ultimate woman by getting pregnant and delivering to society the perfect little me or combination little me and impregnator was never a goal.  And there was never that clock ticking that I hear so many women talk about or read about.  The only clock that determines what I do is the digital clock on my bed side table or cell phone.  And as there is no amusing game app called Babies with Friends, I remain thankfully childless.  Well, no app could make me pregnant at this time in my life anyway.

There was also the approximate nine months of incubation before the little angel was born that never attracted me.  There were times when I envied the illusion of beauty that a pregnant woman engendered in loved ones.  Though I assume it is just that, an illusion.  I just imagine the nine months of feeling like I’ve gluttonously eaten more than my healthy share and wanting to give out a good belch to relieve myself. 

Then there’s the water breaking and the pushing and the pain and the screaming and the prize being delivered.  Then there are the relieved smiles on loved ones’ faces that the prize has all the acceptable fingers and toes and is not suffering from some syndrome or something.  And the photos and the congratulations and the sleepless nights and the dirty diapers and the sitters and the planning for their education before they form their first word.  And then there are the sacrifices to be made – or should be made – to raise that child to meet their potential.  Ah, the sacrifices.

Sacrifices!  I never felt I could undertake those; make the commitment to give up that which seemed more vital to my happiness.  And yet I had a champion role model to learn how – my mother.  That she went to the edge of sacrificing her true potential to help me meet mine was my undoing as a potential mother and her potential as a fulfilled woman.  There wasn’t a chance that I would want to give up what she gave up for me.  There wasn’t a chance that I could be or want to be so selfless or full of love for her child as she was.  There wasn’t a chance that I’d give up my dreams as she did.

At this point, you’re thinking:  Madly is a cold hearted woman without a vagina and accompanying accoutrement.  And thusly I was also born without the ability to nurture.  And I’m thinking:  You’d be wrong.  And I have a witness list – available on request - to prove you’re wrong.  I declare that I have the ability to nurture.  

I love animals.  I am able to love them more than I can love humans.  They elicit a nurturing impulse in me which is felt towards humans less often.  Is it because animals are voiceless?  Defenseless against human transgression?  Made dependent because of human need or greed?  Is it because it’s not a societal expectation to love animals as we love ourselves?  Is it because humans have disappointed me so often in friendship and in love and in trust?  Is it because animals never have?

That said I now make the case for my nurturing abilities.  It was many years ago when my home had an open door for anything resembling a feline.  There were always two, or three or more cats decorating my home with their silence and grace.  And there was also the random foster or rescue that needed all the TLC a human could offer to send it on its way to a permanent home.  This brings to mind Peter, a Siamese mix male kitten who was rescued with his siblings and mom from under a Thai restaurant.  The mom was ferociously feral and so fixed and released and the kits were adopted but for one – Peter.  This blue eyed, angel faced, seal pointed boy suffered a raging case of Ringworm and a neurological problem affecting his balance.  He was nursed and loved until he found his forever mom who loved him as she would’ve had he been a human child.  By the way, Peter presented challenges upon his release - as it turned out prematurely - by the vet on assurances that his Ringworm was cured.  Soon after arriving at my home, Peter innocently spread it to two out of three of my cats and, with a few scares, to myself.  This turned out to be a chapter in sacrifice as my life turned into an extended medical drama with my bathroom as my ICU.
Let me not forget to mention the rescue of a cat with end stage liver disease.  This little tortie, who was found roaming in obvious great discomfort in front of a friend’s duplex one block over was not going to go it alone.  She wasn’t easy to impress and fought like hell to avoid me.  But I was in my Super Hero “I can’t be hurt” mode and she was mine.  Again, my bathroom became an ICU.  She passed with care and love as all creatures deserve.

And the healthy fosters who became well socialized lovers who found carefully examined families.  And my own kits – a word oddly resembling the word kids – who could not have gotten better care and more love.  And how that love often broke my heart as they left me because they could no longer live their lives without suffering.  And how I look at their carefully taken photos as evidence that nurturing is a cross species ability.  And I remember what my adored granny used to say to me which was repeated by my very much missed and loved mom:  “When I come back, I want to come back as your kit.”  And, you know what?  They did.

There is one more thought before I finish.  I don't suggest that I don't honor those women who brought children into this world and provided a future for it.  I do. I sometimes even envy those who bore children and sacrificed and loved them and raised them to be beautiful and productive, rational and sensitive adults.  I look at some and think what it might've taken from me to do the same.  But at day's end, there is the confidence that I made the right decision and my 17 year old cat, Dolly, nods in agreement.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Have you noticed there’s been a proliferation of semi if not totally unimportant days that we now put on our calendars to celebrate with beer and pretzels, chicken wings and bean salad?  How about bagels and lox?  Or, tacos?

We grow up looking forward to days like Thanksgiving and Christmas because school is out, the cooking scents of turkey and pie fill our nostrils and life seems full of rewards of carefully wrapped packages if we’re good.  But there are holidays when all is needed is a trip to the card shop and a salute to Hallmark, which, by the way, I think has a war room filled with holiday starved, underpaid, lonely and really nice people whose job it is just to create holidays worth a Hallmark card.  And if you're even partially as obsessed with this subject as I've become, click: 

Now, consider the following holidays, all which exist, that must have been on a Hallmark meeting schedule:

Note:  Please be advised to check on the accuracy of the dates as “holidays can land on a specific day of the year, be tied to a certain day of the week in a certain month or follow other calendar systems like the Lunar Calendar as per Wikipedia.  I'll be using Lunar Year 2013 as my guide.  This ain’t easy, folks, and I'll not be held responsible for any cards you buy in error.  


January 4th, National Trivia Day.  Talk about trivial. I always said we take things too seriously.  Actually, I take things too seriously.  And it’s time I celebrated taking trivial things not so seriously.  
January 12th, National Pharmacists Day.  Well, I’m not going to get into this one as my husband’s father used to be a pharmacist.  But, if we’re to be fair, shouldn’t we give medical marijuana distributors equal honors? 

January 24th, Belly Laugh Day.  Seriously!  It’s right there on the Internet.  Of all the unnecessary holidays, this is the one I find most worth celebrating.  Think for a moment.  Think of the greeting card: Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Barak Obama bent over in uncontrolled hysterical laughter, a glass of tea in their hands and streams of tea running out of their nose uncontrollably.  Inside, the words: “Agreement reached on Israeli settlements but liquids will no longer be served at meetings.”


February 2nd, Groundhog Day.
 The scientific community has debunked the reasons for this holiday as hogwash and, as a non scientist, I agree.  Also, as an animal lover I must align myself with the animal rights community and protest the exploitation and humiliation that's visited on the chosen groundhog (known as Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary aka Phil) annually for no reason but to bring business into Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  It seems that’s a good enough reason in a capitalistic society.

February 8th, Boy Scout Day.  Okay, I’ve got a beef with this one for moral reasons.  It's now generally known that they bar atheists and gays.  As I'm one who has found atheism more to my liking and have friended and loved gays, I'm taking the privilege of throwing this day out of consideration for a Hallmark card. Are you listening, Hallmark?

February 9th, Bagel and Lox Day.  Had I known about this holiday sooner, I would've observed it religiously.  From now on, it'll be celebrated by a nice holiday brunch with a side of cream cheese, onions, and sour pickles.


March 12th, Girl Scouts Day.  Well, they do sell cookies.

March 30th, Doctor’s Day.  Okay, what I want to know is when they’re not in the office because they’re in surgery, or going to conferences in Hawaii, are they out celebrating Doctor’s Day?


April 1st, April Fool’s Day.  If anyone buys a card for this day, this day then clearly speaks for itself.  Actually, though it’s not a national holiday, I do think it should be…and a working one.  The holiday should last throughout our Congress’s scheduled sessions.  You know, when they’re not out on a real national holiday or taking a break from their tedious and laborious work.  And just so that this post isn't all fun and games, I just went to Wikipedia and found some April Fool’s Day trivia and I quote: “The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392).”

April 9th, Name Yourself Day.  Is Tammin Sursok taken?     


May 9th, Lost Sock Memorial Day.  I hate this day as it brings up very sad memories.


June 19th, Juneteenth Day.  And I’m not even kidding.  I certainly want to be in on this Hallmark creative meeting.

July 1st, Canada Day.  I suggest to David Letterman’s writers, if they haven’t already, to do a 10 Reasons To Celebrate Canada Day because I can’t think of a one other than they are better neighbors than some of mine.

July 14th, Bastille Day.  I, for one, am against celebrating Bastille Day - which as an American, I’m not obligated to do - because this was the beginning of the end for Queen Marie Antoinette, to whom I owe my longing for living in excess.

This is what I'm talking about.


August 1st, Girlfriends Day.  The ability for one to practice friendship is truly a tribute to human interaction considering all the interactive dysfunction there is out there.  This is a worthy card buying day.  

August 4th, Sisters Day.  And Sister’s Day is certainly worth a card.  I don’t have any siblings and have had times when I yearned for one or several.  In this, the value of friendship comes to mind as an alternative to the lack of parental production.  As for the brothers out there, your day is August 9th.   

August 19th, National Aviation Day.  As I hate to travel, comments on this day will be short.  When they lower the excessive air travel ticket prices and start serving peanuts and pretzels again, I might change my mind.  Enough said.  No card!


September 16th, Stepfamily Day.  And as a suggestion to same gender families, if there isn’t one already, I say get on grabbing a day for Same Gender Family Day.  365 may seem like a big number, but in contrast to the national deficit, it’s nothing.

September 27th, Native American Day.  It was impossible to validate the date as this day isn't even celebrated in all states and the ones which do celebrate it celebrate it on different days.  I find this troubling in light of our country’s actions.  And in deference to our fellow citizens, this is a day for which I personally would like to make a card.  Off subject, let me say that many of my relatives and friends know I don’t often buy cards.  I started making them myself when I decided that shopping for a relevant card to celebrate an occasion was driving me mad with frustration and awe at the amount of unremarkable sentiment and humor that was available.  Now, back on subject, consider what the white invaders, Columbus - it is rumored - among them, did to the indigenous people they found upon stepping onto this new territory and up until this day when the first Native American Indian opened their first gambling casino.  I think, in the least, they deserve a real national day.  And a card created by me.  Perhaps it would feature a tribe of really white, blond and braided, blue-eyed folks in leather, feathers and beads on a shore watching the landing of a really red skinned, black haired, brown-eyed guy in a heavy, blousy, belted tunic, tights and a Flying Nun hat followed by his crewmen.  Inside the words as spoken by the red-skinned fellow in the Flying Nun hat and not with the permission of Hal David who wrote them: 

Promises, promises
I'm all through with promises, promises now
I don't know how I got the nerve to walk out
If I shout, remember I feel free
Now I can look at myself and be proud
I'm laughing out loud


October 7th, Madly’s Birth Day.  Give me a little room here.  I think it’s only right that after conceiving and then writing this nonsense, that I be given a day.  And I wish at this time to thank my mother for conceiving me.  I try to live my life well, have no prison record, vote in every election and love animals to distraction.  Of course, I'd have to share this day with June Allyson, Simon Cowell, Yo-Yo Ma, Joy Behar, Vladimir Putin, Desmond Tutu and many more which I'd do joyfully.  I hereby claim rights to October 7th and will accept any and all commercial greeting cards for which I thank you in advance.

October 9th, Leif Erickson Day.  No comment but to say that there’s already a Christopher Columbus Day and I don’t wish to rock the boats on which they came.

October 14th, Columbus Day.  Stay with me here.  Maybe we can recycle the American Indian Day card for this holiday.  Now this is an idea that could very possibly get me an executive job at Hallmark, which, by the way, is a family owned company.  I’m sure they would be delighted with the creative cost savings.

October 16th, Boss’s Day.  I've a faint recollection that there may actually be a Hallmark Boss’s Day card already published.  I imagine, however, during our recent catastrophic recession, the card was pulled from the shelves to be used at a time when personal finances would allow for such an important expenditure.

October 19th, Sweetest Day.  No comment as I’ve been advised to stay away from sweets.


November 15th, Sadie Hawkins Day.  Women should march to make this a national holiday and at the same time honor Al Capp, cartoonist and political satirist.  It's of no importance that Sadie didn’t exist but in the tales about Li’l Abner and Dogpath, USA.  What’s important is she preceded the Woman’s Liberation Movement in throwing off the manacles of passivity in a quest for marital commitment.  This girl deserves a Hallmark card.


Very little to be said about this month as all the days that are holidays do not deserve to be toyed with by me.  Except for:

December 26th, Federal day off for Christmas.  I thought Federal employees had been off all year.

In conclusion, there seems to be an effort to celebrate not only that which is merited but that which is not.  We seem to be a country of folks who like to celebrate even the most inane activities and achievements with little or no regard for reason.  I, myself, like to eat and in that regard, I like days celebrating food.  I was delirious about finding out there was a Bagels and Lox Day.  And in my research, I found that there are several food holidays.  Even a National Taco Day celebrated October 4th.  And at this time, I’d like to make a suggestion:  Move Taco Day to be celebrated the following day after the worthy holiday of Cinco de Mayo.  Imagine two days of tacos and boilermakers.  Are you listening, Hallmark? 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Don’t you wonder at the arrogance of humanity and the way they swagger over this planet with self-importance?  Don’t you wonder at the ignorant blindness of many who claim to be humans with the ability to formulate and navigate?  Don’t you just wonder?  I do.

I am astounded by the blinders many of us wear in an attempt to make our lives more personally livable.  We close our eyes against our lies and denials all the while building up barriers so that we don’t have to face the obvious.  And we buy self-help books to rearrange what took many of our parents the vital first years of our lives to derange. 

We fill our lives with things - those material things that are bought with our sweat and debt to feel more worthy yet in the end they prove to be worthless.  We go shoulder to shoulder, grabbing and pushing for that sale item that will make us feel better than we do as we try to keep up with those who already have it and still feel like crap.

We lust after famous labels to advertise our value and yet we do so without compensation therefore belittling our value.  Oddly, we fail to see that the only ones getting compensated are the famous names on the labels whose value becomes enriched. 

We seek protective warmth in the pelts of the cruelly killed when there are humane and fashionable alternatives of equal protection.  It’s in the end really a shallow pursuit of fashion and elitist insensitivity to the suffering of countless animals whose lives end in agony.  And yet the wearer is still cold in appearance and in defiance to the crime.

“The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.” - Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958

We seek food to fill our stomachs from the bodies of farm animals that are treated like insentient product without a life but for what we have provided.  And what we have provided is an assembly line of living creatures exterminated after lives lived in tight cages, crates, and cement floors.  We stretch the necks of geese to daily force feed them for just one highly valued organ that is eaten by only a minority of shallow, self-proclaimed foodies who spread it on bread before reminding themselves of their diets or high cholesterol and sending the rest back. 

We love the landscape of our country and hoot and holler about the superiority of its beauty to any other country, yet we frack into it and cement onto it.  We allow the erection of billboards on every corner and graffiti public transportation with even more advertising.  We deface our mountains and sacrifice our wildlife with the building of communities lived in by those who wished for or insisted on a “view.”  It becomes the untenable conflict of wildlife and their natural means of survival versus the human wild life who deny their own destructive and predatory status.

“The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago...had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.” - Havelock Ellis,The Dance of Life, 1923

We join churches and change religions as if they were social clubs and so might be.  We are pulled in by the beauty of stained glass windows strategically allowing in the spiritual light and are entranced by the religious icons meant to welcome us like committees.  We join to belong to a group and are met by standards that are meant to be kept whether we agree or not so as not to be ostracized.  And we tithe for being allowed to belong and for the very thing that should be free – belief.

Lighthouses are more helpful then churches.” — Benjamin Franklin,  author, printer, political theoristpoliticianpostmaster, scientist, musician, inventor,satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat

We social network like Prairie Dogs, counting hundreds/thousands as our friends.  Facebook and Twitter providing us a sense of knowing and being known.  And yet, no one calls and Saturday nights and New Years are spent glued to a computer screen social networking making more friends.

For those who claim to live the life of enlightenment; to whom none of the references made above apply, I say get an agent and write a book.  I probably won’t read it because I despise self-help books by authors I’ve no reason to think are any more enlightened than I am. 

“I do believe in self-help.” – Clint Eastwood, actor, director and man who talks to a chair.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

AULD LANG SYNE (lyrics & sing along video included)

Bemoaning this past year would be an insult to those whose lives are lived in war torn cities, live out of cardboard boxes, eat out of restaurant trash bins, have no medical care for lack of insurance, and spend holidays at feeding halls out of the suspect generosity of a self-conscious society.  And yet I still feel like I need to bemoan.

I look at the oncoming New Year like a woman who has been told by her plastic surgeon that she can’t just have her neck done.  It’s the whole bag, old bag, or nothing.  That just because the clock ticks down from 2012 to 2013, the reality is nothing will change but the last two numbers of the year.  And that if change is what is wanted, the inebriated voice in one’s head should be singing “the whole bag, old bag, or nothing, dear, in days of auld lang syne.”  Just changing the year is not going to make even a tad of difference.  If you ache for change, the New Year is just an interruption, a line in the sand, a change of an appointment calendar, or the annoyance of remembering to put 2013 on your checks instead of 2012.  That if change is what you expect, it will take more than a few verses of Auld Land Syne sung off note into a glass of bubbly.  It will take moving on, leaving a comfort level of sameness.  Then there is the denial that while hankering for change, the fantasy of the way things are will alter by hanging in.

Whatever you decide for your New Year of 2013, change or maintenance of the same, I offer you wishes of as much happiness as you desire and as much change as you’re brave enough to dare.  And for those who can’t remember the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, I invite you to print out the ones below as exactly lifted from The Huffington Post.  For those who have a tin ear, I've included a video from It's a Wonderful Life which should get you singing along.

Auld Lang Syne

by Robert Burns  

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet, 
for auld lang syne. 
And surely you'll buy your pint cup! 
and surely I'll buy mine! 
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, 
for auld lang syne. 

We two have run about the slopes, 
and picked the daisies fine; 
But we've wandered many a weary foot, 
since auld lang syne. 

We two have paddled in the stream, 
from morning sun till dine; 
But seas between us broad have roared 
since auld lang syne. 

And there's a hand my trusty friend! 
And give us a hand o' thine! 
And we'll take a right good-will draught, 
for auld lang syne.