Happiness Makes a Dull Blog

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Beatles fans, feel free to sing the title of this blog post to the melody of “Happiness is a Warm Gun”. You’re welcome.

As you can tell from the date of my last post, it’s been awhile since I mused about anything. I’ve realized something about myself during this time. It’s difficult for me to blog if I’m not either amused or annoyed at something. Sure, there are exceptions, like the death of my cat, Dini. That was neither amusing nor annoying. It was just plain sad and awful.

On the whole, my blog posts focus on things that make me laugh or make me livid. Pick a post, any post and see for yourself. This is not to say that I’ve been in some Zen-like “Om-y” blissful state. It’s just that in the face of bombings, political shenanigans or natural disasters, it’s hard to justify a tirade about yet another annoying television commercial or the actions of some attention-whoring celebrity.

The most shocking development of all is that I’ve been, well, happy. As I write that, I want to lower my voice and glance furtively over my shoulder. Any of my friends who read this blog could tell the rest of you that happiness is not a natural place for me to visit… kind of like Las Vegas or anywhere tropical.

I won’t go into the specifics of why I’m happier than usual. A girl has to maintain some mystery, after all. Sure, I constantly worry about money and needing more work, but overall, I wake up looking forward to each day instead of moaning like Glum in the Gulliver’s Travels cartoons from the late 1960s:

This is a new feeling for me and it’s throwing me off my game. I’ve often thought that being happy would pose a dilemma for me in terms of my writing and now it’s not just existential, coffee table conversation. It’s really happening! So, since I don’t want to stop being happy, I have to figure out how to conjure up some of my usual angst, woe or cynical snarkiness without turning into some unfortunate lovechild of Sylvia Plath and Bill Maher. Holy Love Connection from Hell, Batman! I think the eHarmony dude’s head just exploded.

R.I.P., Darling Dini

Pensive Dini

It was a month yesterday since I had to make the painful decision to put my 13 year-old cat Dini to sleep. She’d been battling some intestinal and other issues for awhile, but nothing that ever made me think that she wouldn’t be around for quite a long time. The weekend before I took her into the vet, she was listless and spending a lot of time alone. This wasn’t Dini. Dini was the most lovable cat I ever met. She adored being held, kissed and loved. She was not standoffish at all.

So, when I brought her in on that Monday, she had lost even more weight, was dehydrated and running a temperature. As the doctor was examining her, he discovered a mass between her kidneys that wasn’t there on her last visit in November. The x-ray showed just how large this mass was and the doctor suspected that it was an intestinal tumor. At her age, surgery would be risky and not guaranteed to be successful.

I knew what I had to do and it was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever gone through. I petted her, talked to her and kissed her as the doctor administered the shot. A day hasn’t gone by that I don’t think about her, cry over the loss of her or expect to see her. Christmas will be especially hard because Dini loved lying under the Christmas tree.

From the minute I brought the tree up from under the house after Thanksgiving to when I took it down in January, Dini could be found under it rolling around on her back or batting a low-hanging ornament. This last Christmas, I literally had to block her from going under the tree while I was still putting it together. She actually put her paws up on my shoulder and tried to muscle her way past me. Here you can see her with Bella from a couple years ago.

Bella & Dini

Dini was born in the neighbor’s backyard. One day I spotted about four kittens jumping through the grass and plants as their mother looked on. Then, they were gone. Months later, one of the kittens came back. As soon as I could, I caught her and got her fixed. She got her name while recovering at the vet’s. Somehow when one of the assistants had the cage door open, Dini wiggled out and was lost in the office for a week. They left food out and eventually found her. The unnamed cat now had a proper name: Houdini, named after the famous magician.

She remained an outside cat for about a year until I was brave enough to try to introduce her to Bella. After a short time of Bella’s hissing, Dini settled in. She and Bella were sisters for the next 12 years.

I was really worried about Bella after Dini died. Would she get depressed? Would she stop eating? Luckily, her appetite has been very good and she seems okay. Sometimes it seems like she’s looking for Dini, but I’ve tried to give her a lot of extra love and attention.

People have asked me if I’ll get another cat, and I don’t think so. Bella is 15 years old and I hope that she lives a long time, but after she’s gone, I don’t plan on getting another pet. It’s too painful. I’ll content myself with loving other people’s pets. So, to all of you animal lovers out there, hold and kiss your babies even more. You never know when it will be the last time.

Rest in Peace, Dini. You were the best girl. I love you and miss you so much.

Just Like Yesterday

Two events this weekend remind me that sometimes things that happened a long time ago feel like they took place just yesterday. The first of these events occurred exactly 22 years ago today. On February 2, 1991, my Dad died of a heart attack. He was 56 years old and I was 25. This is a picture of us a little less than two years before at my graduation from San Francisco State University. At the time this picture was taken, he was newly sober and we were repairing our relationship. I was re-discovering the man that my mother said she married and the man that I had almost forgotten. This was the man who taught me to throw a baseball, to swing a bat and the man who took me to Giants games at the spur of the moment on a random school night, if my homework was done.

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I had missed that man for too many years, but in the short time between 1989 and 1991, all the hurt and anger dissolved and we were enjoying each other’s company again. Needless to say, his death was quite a shock to both my mother and me. But, I’m so grateful for those two years. At least I didn’t have anger and guilt on top of my grief. He was okay. We were okay.

The second event is the appearance on Sunday of my hometown San Francisco Forty Niners in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994. When I think of the Forty Niners, I also think of my Dad. When my Dad was watching a game, it sounded like five guys were in the room. I can clearly hear him yelling every time the offense tried to run a sweep and they failed or when Joe Montana connected with Freddie Solomon or Jerry Rice on a long pass. He hated most television announcers aside from Pat Summerall and John Madden. If Pat and John weren’t doing the game, he’d turn off the sound and listen to the great Lon Simmons on the radio.

Dad would often take part in football pools. I remember answering the phone many times and hearing the clink of bar glasses as some guy in a raspy voice would quickly ask, “Is Frank there?” And I, being a smart ass like my Dad, would say, “Dad! It’s Jimmy the Icepick for you!” He didn’t win very often but one year he won this Forty Niners jacket. He wore it all the time and I’ve kept it in the hall closet ever since he died.

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My Dad died the week after the 1991 Super Bowl in which the New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills. I didn’t know he had won money until he was dying in my arms. As we were waiting for the fire department and ambulance to arrive, my Dad was going in and out of consciousness and I was trying to keep him calm. My mother was a nervous wreck in the kitchen, asking if we’d need money at the hospital. Somehow my Dad heard her and whispered to me, “Money. Envelope. Desk.” He had just picked up his winnings the day before.

I thanked him and told him not to worry about us. He got very quiet and when the paramedics arrived and I moved out of the way, I knew he was gone. His face had turned gray and he wasn’t responding. He was declared dead an hour later at the hospital.

There hasn’t been a day over the past 22 years that I haven’t thought about him. I often wonder what he’d think of the current state of politics or how I’ve turned out. And I miss him every day, today and tomorrow especially. Maybe I’ll take the jacket out of the closet and slip it on for good luck on Sunday.

So Dad? If you have any pull up there, see what you can do about a Niners victory, okay?

Signs of the Apocalypse…I Mean, Aging

It’s a new year and many of us have once again written down resolutions to accomplish all the things we failed to achieve last year, the last five years, oh, Hell, EVER! But this isn’t a blog post about that. But, what I am going to talk about is related to time and how it passes. Today, my dear readers, I’m going to share with you a few of the ways that I’ve discovered that despite my protestations to the contrary, I am aging.

Oh sure, I’m hyper-conscious about my age at two specific points in the year: my birthday and New Year’s Eve. The former because, well, it’s a tangible marker in time glaring at you in black and white telling you just how old you are, and the latter because emotionally it reminds you with the infernal resolutions exercise, just how little you accomplished over the last year.

Recently, a couple of events triggered my realization that I’m just not as young as I used to be, so I decided to compose a list of the signs of aging. Are you ready?

You think of your past as the “good old days”:

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Admit it. You used to roll your eyes when you’d hear your parents wax nostalgic about their high school years. This was especially true if you were currently going through the high school equivalent of Lord of the Flies. Until recently, I looked back at the years 1979-1983 as the worst four years of my life. They were full of backstabbing, clique-conscious Catholic schoolgirls, ill-fated attempts to feel attracted to, and attractive for, boys and trying in vain to find that group of friends with whom you did and shared everything. Does this sound like an episode of Happy Days to you?

Imagine my surprise when I recently discussed these points with a new friend in the same matter-of-fact way as I did when voicing my disappointment when Pat Benatar went “soft” with synthesizers in the mid-80s or my ill-fated perm of 1982, which arose from my desire to look like Stevie Nicks. What had happened to me? Did I forget the pain of being the butt of teasing on the tennis team or feeling inferior because I lived in the “wrong” neighborhood and I didn’t have my own charge card at Nordstrom at the age of 16?

No. The answer was time. While my high school years were difficult, they were easy compared to the stress and angst of adulthood. Mean girls have nothing on death, money problems, health problems and career derailments. Bring on those “bad old/good old days”!

Your high school years are fodder for nostalgia: 

This goes hand-in-hand with the “good old days” phenomenon. It’s a moment that happens after about age 35 when you hear music you danced badly to in high school on the “classic rock” or “oldies” radio station. At first it shocks you, then it makes you angry and then you settle into self-righteousness.

The shock happens because you’ve managed to delude yourself that indeed high school wasn’t really that long ago. You’ve been able to do this by perhaps not going to any high school reunions, not keeping in touch with anyone from that time in your life or avoiding pictures of yourself with that tragic big hair, or the leg warmers. Hearing the Go-Gos singing “We Got the Beat” as the DJ discusses the possibility of their “reunion” tour snaps you out of your delusion.

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Then comes the anger. How dare your formative years be resigned to the cornball niche of nostalgia/oldies! Wasn’t that the realm of the tiresome, self-absorbed baby boomers who were always professing their generation as the most important, the most influential? The idea of being lumped in with those whiners was appalling! It was the fault of our youth-obsessed culture. These kids today.

Uh oh. You actually said the three words that make you know you’re not a kid anymore: THESE. KIDS. TODAY. You have now moved into…

Self-righteousness. Yes, indeed, my friends. You now have become as annoying as the baby boomers. You compare your music to the crap that the kids listen to now. All the music you thought you were too cool for back in the 80s (I’m looking at you, Spandau Ballet and Tears for Fears), now rates a teary sing-along by you when it comes on the radio. You scoff at the inability of young people to entertain themselves without aid of cell phones, videogames, iPads and the like. Don’t even get you started on writing out your high school papers on typewriters! Oh, the humanity!

You gauge the aging process by how often you need to color your hair: 

Now, the tangible signs of aging begin to appear. It’s one thing to have an existential crisis over music and television before cable. When you first see those grey hairs sprouting out of your head, it’s getting serious.

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I remember when my mother first started going grey. She asked me if she should start coloring it and I was adamant that she “age naturally and gracefully”.  The poor dear took the advice of a teenager. Luckily for her, though, her grey hairs have come in nicely and evenly, not like some women who get that shock of grey down the center of their hairline making them look like skunks a la Cruella Deville.

 

I wasn’t going to take that chance. In my late 30s, my stylist suggested highlights to “freshen up” my look. I think that’s code for “How can I tell her she’s getting old?” This worked for a couple of years and then she said, “You may want to start coloring if you don’t want to see the greys. They’re coming.” Like the fear of communists or aliens in the 1950s, I “ducked and covered” (i.e., ducked into the salon and covered those damn grey hairs). Currently, I only duck and cover every 7-8 weeks. My goal is to keep that schedule until I’m at least 50. So I have less than two years and counting.

You now need reading glasses: 

I’ve been nearsighted since I was 11 so I’m used to wearing glasses and contacts. But, I used to pride myself on being able to read the most minuscule print sans any assistance. Well, that has changed. I find myself teary-eyed and squinting if I try to read without aid of glasses or contacts and even with them, I’m now doing an excellent trombone imitation with my right arm in an attempt to achieve the right distance at which to read something.
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So, I shouldn’t have been shocked when my ophthalmologist gently suggested that perhaps I could use some “help” with a new prescription. This “help” came in the form of a “progressive bifocal” lens. Yes, bifocals. A word I only associated with old people. I think of bifocals the same way I think of those old hearing aid horns. They are the domain of the old. I have yet to fill the prescription, but my arm is getting quite tired of the trombone action and besides, if Brooke Shields can shill for Foster Grant and she’s my age, maybe it’s not so bad?

 

 

You wake up with mysterious pains: 

Remember when your body was practically rubber? You could stay up all night, sleep in the most contorted positions and wake up feeling fine? Well, those days are over. A couple days before Thanksgiving, I went to bed without any aches and pains but a mere six or so hours later, I woke up with my knee killing me! It wasn’t swollen but it hurt like Hell. It was stiff and tight and it pained me to walk up and down stairs and to stand for too long.

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What had happened while I was asleep? Did I sleepwalk and fall? No. Was I engaged in some tricky Kama Sutra move with some hot, young number? Ha. In my dreams. No, all I did was sleep. It’s now over a month and my knee still hurts. It’s better than it was but it’s not normal. I now understand when old people get together and discuss their ailments. It’s not because they have nothing better to discuss. It’s because they can’t believe this has happened to them. They used to be fine and then, bam! Mystery ailment.

 

So, to all of my fellow late baby boomers/early Gen Xers, I feel your pain, literally and figuratively. You are not alone and you are not crazy. You’re just aging. We can fight it with all the creams, dyes, hair plugs and Botox that we want but we can’t stop it. But, doesn’t that story of The Picture of Dorian Gray resonate with you more than when you read it back in high school?

 

 

 

 

Oh, Christmas Tree

This is my Christmas tree. It’s a 7 foot, artificial, pre-lit number that I’ve had for about three years. Growing up, we always had real trees. And while I miss them, I like the fact that I can put my tree up after Thanksgiving and it looks just as beautiful past the New Year. No saggy, dry branches or shedding needles. To get the smell of the tree, I buy a real wreath and hang it on the back of the front door. Voilà!

I’m a bit of a snob about Christmas trees, decorations and the like, so it wasn’t an easy decision to go with an artificial tree. I used to scoff at people with who had them. I used to say it was like having “a Bobble head Jesus in the manger”. It just wasn’t right. Now, I just make myself an eggnog, sit on the couch and revel in my excellent taste in ornaments.

Now, let’s talk about ornaments. I’m very picky. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I never liked the idea of having a tree-trimming party because I knew that I’d probably hate most of the ornaments that people brought me and even if I liked some of them, I knew I’d end up re-arranging them properly after everyone left. It’s much too stressful to smile at the tacky “Surfin’ Santa” ornament and exclaim, “I love it!” Then you have to put it up every year because you know that friend will look for it next Christmas. It’s much easier to buy your own ornaments.

You may be asking just what my ornament and decorating rules are. Excellent question. Thank you for playing along. Feel free to adopt these for yourself if you’re so inclined.

1. Stick with classic, old fashioned ornaments

For me, this is Victorian. Among my collection I have porcelain Santa faces, Tiny Tim holding a plum pudding, assorted angels and an antique bird.

There are none of the following on my tree: Disney figurines, folk art animals, cats on skateboards, Santa engaging in any un-Santa like behavior (i.e., surfing, riding a motorcycle, doing the hula, etc.)

2. Ornaments must rest securely and perfectly on a branch

This means that there is enough room below the ornament for it to hang as it was intended. No forcing an ornament into a space where it ends up resting on the branch below. That will not do. You must have a mix of long and short ornaments to make sure proper placement can be achieved.

3. Minimize the number of ornament sets

In essence, try to buy more individual ornaments instead of those boxes of identical green balls, red stars and silver bells. I admit to having some of these sets, but each year I cut down as I buy more individual ornaments. If you must use ornament sets, be sure to space them out around the tree and for goodness sake, don’t put two of the same set next to each other!

4. Don’t skimp on the back of the tree

Yes, I know it may face a wall or a window, but true Christmas tree connoisseurs will look at the back of your tree and judge it just as much as they’re judging the front of your tree. So be sure to decorate it just as seriously as the front. And don’t try hiding the ugly ornaments back there. We see them.

5. Take your time with decorating

This is where that artificial tree helps out. This year’s tree took me about three days to properly decorate. Part of the reason is because I’m getting older and I get exhausted and crankier much faster. But mainly it’s because I want to take care with each ornament and find the right spot for it. It’s not just for show that I do this. It’s because each ornament holds a memory for me.

 

 

 

When I hold this rocking horse, I remember when I bought it at Harrod’s when I was in England in 1990.

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of my few concessions to a non-traditional ornament. I made this bell out of a milk carton in kindergarten. It reminds me of my teacher, Mrs. Schmale and how sweet she was to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This crocheted Santa was made by an old German lady named Mrs. Mockel who lived across the street from me when I was a child. Her daughter and son-in-law owned the corner grocery store. It reminds me of all the great neighbors who helped shape me into the person I am today.

Perhaps the old-fashioned theme of my tree is about more than the types of ornaments I display. It’s about what those ornaments represent. They remind me of the past, whether that was my own past growing up in the 1960s and 1970s or a time when ancestors of mine decorated their trees with candles instead of lights and utilized whatever materials  were available or popular at the time.

So, if you’re celebrating Christmas and are starting to trim your tree, be sure to enjoy it and make the tree your own. What do you want it to express to the world? It doesn’t have to be like mine (although it would do my ego good). It just has to bring you joy when you look at it.

May your hooks be strong, your branches be firm and your memories be pleasant. I wish you the happiest of holidays, Surfin’ Santa or not.

All Roads Lead To…?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I was a freshman in high school when I first read Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”. While finding it interesting, I can’t say that it evoked much feeling in me. Then again at the age of 14, I hadn’t found myself at a crossroads requiring a decision that would affect the rest of my life. Throughout the years, I’ve re-read this poem many times and it has conjured up a myriad of feelings depending upon where I found myself in my life and how I felt about where I was.

Sometimes I thought that I had taken that less traveled road and I was proud of myself for that. Fast-forward to another moment in time, and that less traveled road found me feeling lonely and isolated. Then there were all the times that I felt like I had traveled the well-worn path along with the masses and that belief left me feeling bored and not at all unique.

Recently I began to ask a different question when thinking about this poem and the proverbial “road not taken”. What if there are no un-taken roads? What if we manage to take each of the roads instead of choosing only one? How is that possible? It may be possible if the theory of parallel lives is true.

For a long time I’ve sensed that there is more to our existence and reality than what we can gather from our five senses. It has seemed to me that our relatively short time here on Earth, even if you live to an old age, is minuscule compared to the age of the universe. Why, then, would we only have 40, 50, 80 years of consciousness and then either nothing or an eternity of bliss or anguish? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Therefore, I’ve thought that the idea of reincarnation makes sense. I tend to believe that we keep learning and growing after our life on Earth ends. Whether that means coming back to Earth or learning some other way, I don’t know. I just know that I don’t believe in a “one-shot, you’re in Heaven, Hell or nothingness” approach to the afterlife.

Even this has not completely satisfied me when I think about all the “missed” opportunities within one lifetime. So, what if whenever we come to one of those “fork in the road” decisions, one part of us chooses one path and somewhere in a parallel universe, the other one of us goes down the other path? Paths then fork again and again with parallel lives having all kinds of experiences all benefiting the enlightenment of the soul.

Have you ever wondered how your life would have been different had you made a different decision? What if you had chosen this person instead of that one? What if you had majored in college in something you really wanted instead of what you thought would get you a job? What if? What if?”

What if the only choice is which lifetime you consciously remember?

Talking to Trees and Other Life Forms

I’ve been told that I can talk to a tree and get it to talk back to me. In my experience, oaks think they’re all wise and enlightened but for my money, it’s the redwood that is the king of the forest. Redwoods possess a quiet confidence that comes from knowing that they’re truly badasses. But I digress.

I chalk up my non-shyness to three things: being a Leo, being part Irish, and being part Italian. (The German part of me only kicks in with my love of order and things running on time.) If you were to ask me to name which qualities I like most about myself (aside from my sparkling wit, magnanimous nature and my humility, of course), an outgoing personality and an unquenchable curiosity would be those qualities.

I was reminded twice in the last week of how grateful I am to be a curious people-person.  The latest was yesterday while waiting for my mother at the doctor’s office. As usual, I started a conversation with the person next to me. He was an older man and we started off by talking about the score of the Giants game. (It was scoreless at the time.) I found out that his name was Angelo, that he grew up in North Beach and that he went to Galileo High School. I told him that I was from the Mission, that my parents went to Mission High School and that I went to Catholic schools.

Then his wife came out into the waiting room and we got to talking. I told her where I had gone to grammar school and to high school. As I mentioned the name of my high school, St. Rose Academy, a woman waiting at the front desk turned around and it was my Godmother. Not only that, my Godmother knew the people to whom I was talking! They lived in the same neighborhood.  It is a very small world indeed.

This is the kind of experience I’ve always had as a fourth-generation San Franciscan. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to since natives are a vanishing breed, and that saddens me. But, I just keep being open to new people and conversations.

This brings me to messages that both my mother and I received on our answering machines earlier this week. A man with a heavy Boston accent named Charlie called and was looking for a Frank Rutterman. He mentioned sports and something about a reunion. Mom ignored her message but then I got the same call.

It isn’t often that Mom or I get a call for my father since he’s been dead since 1991. But since this guy Charlie asked for Frank, I thought that perhaps he just mispronounced the last name and he was some old baseball buddy of my father’s. So, I figured, what the hell, I’ll give him a call back.

After some initial suspicion from Charlie’s wife as to my identity and why I was calling, Charlie got on the phone. Alas, he’s about 10 years younger than my Dad and the Frank he was looking for didn’t play baseball. He ran track. It seemed that Charlie’s track team was being inducted into the some Massachusetts state Hall of Fame or something and he’s been trying to locate some of his old teammates.

Once we knew that my Frank and his Frank weren’t the same guys, he asked me about my Dad. I told him that my Dad played baseball and that Ted Williams was his favorite player. Charlie then told me that he had a 1956 Ted Williams baseball card that was worth about $8,000. I told him that I grew up loving the Red Sox because of my Dad and that I only wish Dad had lived long enough to go to Fenway Park with me when I lived in Massachusetts.

Charlie and I talked for another 15 minutes or so. I wished him luck on finding his Frank and he thanked me for calling him back. He said that I sounded like a “helluva girl” and that he really enjoyed our conversation.

When I hung up, I quietly thanked my Dad for not only introducing me to the joy of baseball, but also for encouraging me to be friendly and to get to know people. If he hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of sharing a little bit of him with Charlie from Wakefield. Thanks, Dad.

 

For Whom?

It’s been almost a month since my last blog post and frankly, I haven’t been inspired to write about anything. Part of my lack of passion has to do with life just getting in the way. I was sick for three weeks, I was helping Mom after yet another surgery and dealing with a sick cat and tests and medications. Yes, I do lead a busy, glamorous life.

During this time of writing inactivity, it got me to thinking about why I have a blog. For whom am I writing anyway? Of course, the primary person for whom I write is myself. But lately, it seems that the only people who comprise my reading audience are myself and my friend and fellow blogger, Adele Uddo. I’ve told Adele this many times, but knowing that she not only reads my blog but takes time to comment means so much. Writing is a solitary act and it feels even more so when you sense that no one is paying attention or gives a damn.

A more self-confident, evolved human being wouldn’t care if anyone else was reading, let alone enjoying, his or her words. Alas, I’m not that person. I try to be entertaining when writing these blog posts and I think that on the whole, I do a pretty good job. But, I find it hard to muster up enthusiasm to be witty or wise when, aside from Adele, I feel like I only hear crickets in response.

Don’t get me wrong. The purpose of this post isn’t to guilt anyone into leaving a comment. I just wanted to talk a little bit about what’s going through my head and why you haven’t seen posts from me. Will I continue with this blog? Who knows. What I do know is that I need to want to write it for myself more than I do at this moment.

Help Wanted (But Not Yours)

You may have heard that media spectacle Kim Kardashian has expressed interest in running for mayor of Glendale, California. (Note to Kim:  Glendale doesn’t elect a mayor. City Council Members are elected and the mayoral position rotates among the council. But don’t let rules and facts stop you, girl.)

What did Glendale ever do to deserve this? One of my best friends lives in Glendale and it’s a nice enough place. But, Kim’s political aspirations got me thinking about famous people and the professions they should never attempt. Here are a few from my list:

Mitt Romney:                                        Humane Society spokesman

Alec Baldwin:                                        Anger management specialist

John Edwards:                                     Marriage counselor

Newt Gingrich:                                     Hospice volunteer

Joe Lieberman:                                    Motivational speaker

Marcus and Michele Bachmann:       Dancing with the Stars contestants

Kirk Cameron:                                      Inter-faith liaison to gay community

Bill Maher:                                            Director of Christmas and Easter pageants

Rush Limbaugh:                                  Sexual harassment seminar speaker

Mel Gibson:                                          Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

I’m sure you have plenty of your own suggestions for those poor, bored politicians and celebrities. There is one guy who is in bit of trouble for all the money he spent on a Las Vegas conference, among other things. Jeffrey Neely is an official with the Government Services Administration (the “GSA”) and the apparent organizer of the $823,000 Las Vegas conference.

‘Ol Jeff pleaded the 5th before a House committee and it doesn’t take a genius to know that he’s going to be out of a job soon. But with his skills, I see a rosy future as an event planner. Kim Kardashian’s inauguration party won’t happen on its own, after all.

Sex After Kids

Is there sex after kids? I’m not the most qualified person to answer that question because (a) I don’t have kids, and (b) Sex? I vaguely remember what that is. Luckily for you, you don’t have to rely on your humble blogger for all of your post-baby sex information. I could pretend to be hip and say, “There’s an app for that” but who am I kidding? I’m terminally un-hip. I’ll just tell you that there’s a movie for that.

The movie is called, aptly enough, Sex After Kids, and it springs from the mind of Canadian writer/director, Jeremy LaLonde. Jeremy has assembled a cast that will be well-known to Canadian viewers. Included among the cast are three actors, Zoie Palmer, Kris Holden-Ried and Paul Amos, who appear in the hit Canadian television series, Lost Girl, which is also airing in the United States on Syfy and around the world.

A fund raising campaign is underway via Indiegogo to help make this film a reality. The campaign runs until Friday, April 13th. Here’s one of the trailers to give you an idea about what you’ll see:

If you value independent film, please think about contributing whatever you can. If you can’t make a financial contribution, share the links with friends and family and spread the word through any social media sites you use.

You don’t need to have kids (or even like them very much, frankly) in order to support this film. I support this film because I like smart, intelligent comedies and those can be hard to find. Kind of like my sex life. But that’s another story and not one that will be made into any kind of movie.