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. 


Monday, December 17, 2012


Let me wish you all a very happy holiday season.  And for those who take umbrage at those of us who maintain the right not to list each holiday individually, let me say that if you care to do it, then by all means, do it.  I like lumping and will continue to do so.  BTW, what happened to Kwanza?

I will be taking a holiday break from insisting you be interested in my thoughts and opinions. I'll see you after the New Year if I don't see you before in my dreams.

With high hopes for us all in 2013,

Monday, December 10, 2012


It’s the time of year when movie screenings become part of one’s scheduled daily life.  You’re either going to one or RSVPing for one.  Last night (12/05/12) it was the Life of Pi, an extraordinary film that works your heart, brain and spirituality.  It’s a film that feeds as much as it extracts feelings both latent and surface.  And it almost sears your eyes with all of its beauty.
We arrived early at the ArcLight in Hollywood.  My husband and I were meeting our dear friends, two sisters we’ve known for over 35 years.  These were the two pains in the asses who led me into this bog of blogging with their insistence.  We’d been actresses together and friends off and on until recently when “on” became the only accepted norm.

It was the first time I’d being seeing Noodle, the affectionate name for Nancy, since she’d undergone a series of intensive surgeries meant to clear her of an invasive form of skin cancer.  On her face.  The agonizing process took days.  The iPhone updates from Mimi, her devoted sister, were dramatic and graphic.  I didn’t have to be there because I was.  The endless waiting while someone you love is undergoing cutting, scraping, and suturing must have been another kind of agony.  It’s the agony of empathy which is often heightened by imaginings and fears for a loved one.  I wondered at the courage of everyone – the terrified patient and the terrified waiters.  But I didn’t wonder at what Noodle might look like afterwards.  Mimi’s calls were detailed and in her details, a picture materialized in my head.  My horror at the image was calmed by the confidence I have in plastic surgery, the panacea to overcoming the reality of age for most of my aging friends…and me.  And then there are the miracles they perform for those who have met with various and tragic facial and bodily injuries.
“Mady, she has no nose,” Mimi said, bracing her emotions.

“Listen,” I said, “there are magicians and there are plastic surgeons and I know one who’s both.”

It was with those and other running thoughts in mind that I waited for the arrival of Mimi and Noodle while keeping our places in line.  How would I react if indeed I was about to see The Phantom of the Opera without her mask?  Could I look her in the eyes when clearly my eyes wanted to wander to the wound?  If I hugged her, would I hurt her?   Would I say the right thing?  Would I….

“There they are,” my husband said, looking in the direction of the parking structure at the far end of the ArcLight Plaza.
They approached.  I gulped in anticipation.  Mimi was the first to arrive to hugs.   Right behind with some (I thought) trepidation, Noodle walked up to us with a beautiful smile and a face that showed little or no evidence of the impact it had just recently gone through.
“Noodle, you look amazing,” I cried out in relief.

“It’s make-up.  Lots of make-up,” Noodle replied with humor and a smile.

I looked at Mimi behind me and she gave me that Mimi face of trust her, it’s make-up.

We chatted for a while until the line moved into the theater.  As per Mimi’s prior warnings (as she was seeing it for the second time), I knew then that the Life of Pi was going to evoke all the emotions out of me that I’d expected Noodle’s face would. 

Drained and awed, we exited the theater and planned to meet at a restaurant near Larchmont and Melrose. We sat at a corner table and talked till the table tops were cleared but for the newly placed chairs signalling to us to get our asses gone. And as I looked at Noodle, her makeup mostly absorbed by the passing hours, I still saw beauty but with more visible signs of having been victorious over seemingly insurmountable odds. And winning. I saw the human spirit which often finds itself searching for courage to survive through seemingly insurmountable odds and winning in ways that are often not normally by choice.

Monday, December 3, 2012


"Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, even health." 
Psychology Today

It's my consensus that the world is populated by addicts.  There's reason to think that each one of us is addicted to something.  And when one considers that there's much on this planet with which to become addicted, then it seems so.  Let’s begin with the A’s:
Aerosol Sniffing

And that’s just the A’s.  Want a B?
Body Building

How about some C’s:

Not to mention:
Drugs – legal and illegal
Eating disorders
Over achieving
People pleasing
Sexual deviation
The above is not a complete list.  

I’m sure if I were to ask you if you knew anyone who was addicted to some substance or activity, my response would be in the affirmative.  Personally, I know at this moment at least a dozen or more friends/relatives who can be considered addicts with addictions that are either in denial, full out mode or are in different stages of recovery.  Right now, I have an adult family member who since the age of 14 years old has been addicted to prescription drugs and is just now in rehab for the longest she has allowed herself to be.  The family holds hope that success will be hers.

Some time ago, I was in a conversation with a friend who is an alcoholic.  Somehow, during this conversation, I made one of the more brainless comments I’ve ever made. 

“Seems like everyone is addicted to something,” I said and continued with award winning arrogance.  “I’m not addicted to anything.”

Ain’t that a pile of denial.  And I’ll spare you the Egypt joke.  I will say one thing in defense of myself, I really believed what I said when I said it until days later.  It was then that smug statement hit me hard.  WTF!  Did I say that?  Did I really?  Jesus, how could I have said something so stupid.

And so in the light of truth and new awareness, this is my personal list of adequate addictions in alphabetical order:
Applause/Attention - an inherited trait.
Cleanliness – promoted and enabled by my mother.
Internet – promoted and enabled by Microsoft.
Order – also promoted and enabled by my mother.
Perfectionism – also promoted and enabled by my mother.
Picking - identified by my always well-manicured, 91 year old Aunt Yvette.
Television – promoted and enabled by myself.
Truth – promoted and enabled by the general lack of it.

Though I am thankful that I don’t have a substance addiction, the ones I suffer are debilitating to me.  I've even created a new disorder (or so I think) called Compulsive Order Disorder - aka COD - for not being able to cope with things not being in a place I put them and insensitively moved by others.   Perfectionism is the mother of all my fears.  I believe that everything I do must be perfect and I fear some lurking authority, real or imagined, judging me if it isn't.  And so in the process of writing this post, I go over it over and over again until fear is relegated to a room somewhere in my brain.  Then fear escapes and muddles me again so I again find myself editing.  And you know what…I always find something I didn’t find the last time.  It’s exhausting and I never feel like I’m finished.