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First, a quick update on Lickety, who is sitting on my lap as I type this.

He’s slowing down a bit these days but his heart is still pure Lickety.

He still loves to eat his breakfast and dinner, loves to sit on laps, and loves to announce when it’s time for his favorite snack of cream cheese.

So yes, his cancer is making him weaker by the day, but he’s still able to jump up on his favorite couch cushion and still able to be annoying. So he’s still 100% Lickety.

In other cat news, I was cat-sitting my neighbor’s herd of three kitten siblings who are UNBEARABLY CUTE. The all love water, so when I was filling up their water bowl and they heard the kitchen faucet go on, they all did this:

 

 

YOU ARE WELCOME.

Now, back to our regular programming.

I have not listened or watched much of the impeachment trial in the Senate because although the Democrats have put on a brilliant and water-tight case, we all know that the Republican fucks will vote Not Guilty. So it’s just too demoralizing to get involved, and my morale is in too precarious a condition to hear GOP voice.

Thank you, everyone for your feedback re: facelifts last week. I haven’t gotten one yet, but I haven’t decided NOT to get one yet, either. I was too busy being miserable.

After I blogged last week about how shitty it feels to be 64, I laid down on the couch and had a good cry, the kind where you sob as if your dog died and, in fact, I haven’t cried like that since my dog died. Also I was having a really bad hair day, letting a short ‘do’ grow out and it’s at an in-between frowzy stage so basically I look a lot like The Duchess of Cornwall these days…

She’s probably a nice lady and is good at talking dirty to Prince Charles and we support that but I’d rather look like Diana.

… which would make anyone feel suicidal so I stayed on the couch feeling dog-less and Cornwallish for the rest of the afternoon. When Top Cat came home from work I burst into tears again and for a man who has never seen me cry like that, he was a real champ. He gave me a big long hug and a huge martini, and I sat in the kitchen and watched while he made me a homemade pizza, my go-to cure for whatever ails me. I tried to help, but while chopping onions I cut myself very badly and since then, I have changed the bandaids on the wound without looking at it because it makes me sick to see blood so that has given me another good think about whether I’m woman enough for a facelift.

Dear Reader Pat commented last week that I should be grateful to get old because it’s a condition denied to many, but when your parents told you to eat your damn broccoli because there were starving people in Africa, did that make you suddenly love broccoli?

Dear Reader Leslie had some good words about owning your face, with a shout-out to Georgia Okeefe, who went au natural ’til her death at the age of 200. Wait. She was only 98. She justy looked 200. No sunscreen back then. Georgia Okeefe was 64 in 1951 and I tried to find a photo of her, but all I could come up with is this one, taken when she was 44:

Well, she can get away with that because she’s Georgia Okeefe, but I’m a lowly watercolorist** (see asterisk below) and I like lipstick and tamed eyebrows and will probably wear makeup until I drop dead.

BUT, while I might get a facelift, I can be like like Georgia in that I will never dye my hair. I’m a stickler about that. How can we make gray hair chic and cool if many of us still cover it up? So let’s Stay the Gray!! Who’s with me?!

Me with my dog that died in 2013. I’m 57. Boogie Girl was not a cuddler. I want to wear my hair long again, no matter how many months I have to look like the Duchess of Cornwall to get there.

Next item on the agenda: I’m all for a stint in the local rehab (Thanks, Dear Reader Penny! I could use a 30-day vacation!). However, my BFF has lung cancer and when she’s having a bad day and she calls me up and says Get over here, I’m opening a bottle of pinot and we’re binge watching Grace and Frankie, I gotta be there for my girl. But I’ll keep the rehab suggestion in my back pocket, in case I decide not to get a facelift and want to look years younger by being BORING.

Dear Reader Alex reminded me that a possible side effect of getting a facelift is dying on the operating table and I like a girl who can bring on the morbid. Alex, You Are My People, and I thank you.

Alex reminds me that I could also bite the dust from falling down the stairs in my house. I could hand in my lunch bucket while picking out produce at the Piggly Wiggly.  The next time I drink a huge martini and chop onions and slice open a blood vessel, it might be a carotid and BOOM I’m on the wrong side of the grass. You never know.

But the odds are good that I’ll survive a facelift.

Besides, I can’t die because I’m with Dear Reader Marilyn: We aren’t hopping on the last rattler until we see Trump hounded out of office and all the Trump waste product children shamed, jailed, and destitute. Including Barron.

Dear Reader Melissa goes further and seeks for divine intervention that will get rid of Mike Pence to boot and make Nancy Pelosi, the great Speaker of the House and next in line of succession, the President of the United States, and you know who’s had a facelift and is no weak-willed conformist to soul-destroying standards of  beauty?

NANCY FUCKING PELOSI.

I rest my case.

**Dear Readers Adrienne and Jeanie wonder when I will paint again. To tell the truth, I only started painting because I had books to illustrate. I’m not the kind of painter who does it for my own enjoyment because unless I’m illustrating something, I can’t think of things to paint. So here’s what: if you, Adrienne, and you, Jeanie, and anyone else, has a request for something they would like to challenge me to paint, I will be happy to consider it. Those old watercolor tutorials were fun to do and I’m looking to add more fun into my life.

Lastly, my Dryanuary lasted all last year’s week and I would have been totally miserable if I had not taken the excellent suggestion of Dear Readers Jeanie and Mae and read Pachinko. What a fabulous book! It’2 485 pages and it kept me busy all week! Who knew that I, Vivian Hater-of-Novels Swift, would devour 485 pages and wish for 485 pages more? Of a novel??? I am grateful to you, ladies, for bringing that sweet misery to me. It was a gloriously terrible reading experience and if you’ve read the book, you know what I mean. Thank you.

Well, it’s Friday and Top Cat needs company for his end-of-the-work-week cocktail hour and I love Top Cat and it’s sad to drink alone**, so I’ll be on the verge of rehab again tonight. Don’t hate me because I’m a good wife.

** It’s actually not sad to drink alone. I’ve done it plenty and every time, I’ve wondered why everyone thinks it’s sad. But I’m also very OK eating alone in restaurants and going to the movies alone so, there’s a pattern there. I can’t stand people.

I hope all of you readers will ignore the impeachment, take a break from the wildfires, push all thoughts of Megxit or Brexit out of your minds, and enjoy your Friday evening — and this, the funniest thing that I found on the internet this week:

Still makes me laugh.

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones.

XXOO

And, oh yeah. Fuck Trump. (Dedicated to Kate, who left a long and heartfelt comment about the lifting of faces last week. Thank you.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So this is how my Dryanuary is going:

Last Saturday was so mild here on the north shore of Long Island that Top Cat and I took his convertible with the top down to our favorite beach and we did our belated Winter Solstice Happiness ceremony. That’s not ginger ale in my glass. You can’t toast the Winter Solstice with ginger ale. Duh.

Yesterday was my birthday and I was for sure NOT going to spend the day sober so, again, my cup did not runneth over with ginger ale.

Two out of seven ain’t bad. Although I could use me some of this today:

The famous Korean Hangover Soup, which everyone in Korea has their own special recipe for. The fact that they have such a thing is, to me, more proof that it must be a shit load of fun being Korean.

Lately, it has not been a ton of fun being me. I do not like getting old, nope, not one bit, and I don’t have a single good thing to say about it. Even if Trump were to die tomorrow, the fact is that the future would still look bleak for yours truly. In a mere six years I will be 70 and that’s if I’m LUCKY. I mean, what can suck worse than that? It’s a wonder that I’m not mainlining vodka 24/7.

But I’m not going to whine about it here. I’m here today to tell you a story.

I have a friend who for the last five years has been complaining about her weight. She’s about 70 – 100 pounds too heavy for her height and when we get together she usually complains about how everything makes her feel terrible about her body and she’ll say to me, It must be so nice to  be skinny.

Some of you readers might remember that six years ago I changed my diet (I stopped eating cake and potato chips for dinner) and started going to the gym and I lost 30 pounds. This is a picture of Fat Me:

This is me, 30 pounds lighter:

I prefer 30-pounds-lighter me.

Well, this time when my friend said something to me about being thin, I said to her, I have to admit, it’s awesome. She wasn’t expecting that.

I told her that if she really wants to get rid of the extra weight, she deserves to experience for herself the difference it would make in her life. I said that we’re all going to die but nobody should die never knowing what it would feel like to be her best self. (I’m not saying that say friend is not her best self now; in fact, she has a great career that I envy. But she is ALWAYS talking about her weight and I know it’s an issue that makes her unhappy.)

I told her that if she can’t diet, for god’s sake get the gastric bypass surgery. I always say that if you have a problem that money will solve, SPEND THE MONEY.

She made an appointment with a gastroenterologist the next day.

I listened to my own advise about solving the best-self problems that money will solve and I made an appointment with a plastic surgeon to talk about getting a facelift.

Yes, I did.

The hardest part about talking with a plastic surgeon about getting a facelift is when he makes you hold a mirror up to your face and you have to tell him what don’t like. These days, I don’t look at myself in the mirror much, and I keep the drapes drawn in my house because light is not my friend. In the plastic surgeon’s office, the lights were really bright, and the mirror was really big.

Turns out that my brow line is still pretty good and he’ll leave that alone, but he will lift my eyes and the bottom half of my face and tighten my neck. It will cost $19,000.

Saying you’re going to get a face lift, and getting a face lift require two different mind sets and I’m still working on the latter. It’s also a lot of money, but do you really want to bargain-shop a face lift? (The answer is No.)

I would look a while lot better with a tighter face, but it’s surgery, with cutting and stitches and recovery time, and I am a huge coward when it comes to pain, although I was told that the pain will be minimal. Minimal compared to what, I don’t know. But then I think about turning 70, and how much better I will look at 70 if I get a face lift now (have you seen Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in Grace & Frankie???) and I feel like getting it done tomorrow, which makes me a bit queasy because of the cutting and the stitches.

And then I think about turning 70 and things get ugly. Entropy, our sun going all red giant, the end of all life, the pointlessness of it all. The usual.

Since the universe is going to deny me ever having a Korean husband (on account of the one that I already have who I like quite a lot), the least it can do is let me have a face lift, right?

Please let me know if you have had work done, and your advise.

On a related topic (the topic being Stuff That I Think About When I’m Not Thinking About Dying or Koreans), there’s this:

 

 

International climate change activist Greta Thunberg has a new, affectionate honor. The charismatic activist has had a “gritting” truck named after her in Scotland: “Gritter Thunberg.”

Naming trucks that clear snow and spread abrasives in Scotland is popular, with contests for the most clever name, and Greta’s was chosen by school kids. Some previous winners include “Spreaddy Mercury,” “Gritney Spears,” “Sir Salter Scott,” “Brad Grit,” and “Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.”

Awwwwwww, that’s really cute. Thumbs up, Scotland.

And now for the regularly scheduled Fuck Trump and All Republicans programming:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes. I might loathe getting another year older, but it means a lot to know that you’re rooting for me to have a few minutes of joy on a dark, dark day.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

 

 

 

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This is dedicated to Dear Readers Thea and John, who took The Rock for a spin in Southern California last month. You can read all about their adventures and the latest fascinating incidents in my molehill life in a post that immediately follows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s my first great life lesson of 2020 that I want to share with you: you and your best friend can’t drink three bottles of champagne by yourselves.

Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Also, you can’t. Because what you’ll end up with the next morning is one empty champagne bottle under the living room couch, one half-empty bottle left behind in the cat food bin when you were scooping out kibble for the kitties at some point in the evening, and another bottle that was half-full when you put it in the freezer to keep cold but forgot about so it exploded overnight and now it’s pretty much empty, but your freezer is full of champagne slurpee. It’s a waste of decent champagne, is what I’m saying.

The truth is, you can’t throw back like it’s 1993, and that’s OK.

That was Sunday when my BFF and I conducted our experiment with the bubbly time-travel juice. New Year’s Eve was Tuesday, which necessitated a follow-up investigation into the psycho-temporal effects of blanc-de-blancs fermentation, and Wednesday was New Year’s Day when we said Fuck it, let’s do bourbon shots.

Yesterday I woke up bright-eyed and full of reverence for the miracle of a morning-after without consequences and was good to go, but then our side of the street lost internet. In addition, it was raining. So I sat around and wondered if life was worth living.

In despair, I tried to read a book.

My BFF knows I’m hot for pretty much anyone anything Korean these days so she got us a novel about Korea to read together:

It begins with a 6-page prelude in the third person, then the real story begins in a first-person narration which I presume will carry us to the end of the book. By the third sentence the first-person narrator is taking a crap in a latrine in 1938. Her bowl movement goes on for seven sentences.

At that point, I wanted to personally shit on the book.

But I soldiered on for 36 more pages, and then I called my BFF and asked, Are we really going to read about turds?

She has a theory that the disgusting crapping sequence will be shown to be artistically necessary later in the plot (she has faith in literary fiction) and we agreed to keep reading, but not today. I’d had enough.

So I picked up the other book in my life:

This is a wonderful story about a woman who went to art school at age 64, eventually getting a master’s degree at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design when she was, I guess, 70. Before I continue, I want to assure you that Nell Painter is a thoughtful and deep-thinking writer and her book is a pleasure…sort of…to read.

What I dislike about her story is the stuff about art. If you ever wondered why artists have to go to art school, this book explains why; it seems that, these days, artists have to spend years in art school in order to un-learn an inherent instinct for beauty because, these days, beauty is the death of “art”.

Once you understand that beauty is banal, you then spend years learning that only wimps make figurative art, and only illustrators *sneer* care about making a gorgeous surface. If you can make something ugly, and do it poorly, then you have what it takes to make it in the Art World.

I don’t get it, but it’s instructive to have all that explained by such a smart and dedicated lady. I appreciate her sincerity and her quest to rage against the dying of the light…but her work stinks. It’s very art-schooly. Don’t tell her I said that because I’m probably wrong, and she does have an MFA.

The good thing is that I’m on page 155 and no one has taken a dump yet, so yeah, that’s a +.

Speaking of me sounding off about art, a Dear Reader emailed me last week because she remembered that, once upon a time, I did a blog post about Illustration v. Art, and could I find it for her and I said yeah, I kind of remember that. This is all I’ve found so far, and I think it’s lame, but I’ll keep looking, Vicki.

 

Have a great weekend, my fierce Dear Ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just when you think he can’t bring any more shame to the office of the President of the United States, Trump tweets a photoshopped image of his head air-brushed onto Sylvester Stallone/Rocky Balboa’s body:

So let’s see how that went over.

And then there’s this for the mic drop:

I won’t blog today because we had a big Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA and Top Cat and I had people over and I am all talked out. But I’ve been saving stuff for you.

Enjoy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog it up this weekend, Dear Readers. See you next week.

 

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There’s an “app” called Waterlogue that will take your photographs and turn them into watercolors:

 I have a similar app, called My Own Two Hands.

Photograph (taken by myself):

Watercolor by My Own Two Hands:

It’s been another terrible week in TrumpWorld and if I have to think another thought about the Republican shits who are trying to ID the Whistleblower because they are the shittiest shit stains to ever park their fat asses in Congress…I will go crazy. So let’s pretend that we live in normal times, and let’s look at how My Own Two Hands take photographs and turn them into watercolor illustrations.

Let’s Go!

Now I’ve got to run, because I’m on a secret mission to have a ton of fun in some place that is not the north shore of Long Island, and I will tell you all about it next week.

Meantime, Welcome back to Oz Kirra; thank you for all your input on the dangers of installing a new OS on an unsuspecting computer; and yeah, I think that post card from last week might have been — dare I say it — “art”.

Oh, and meantime, Fuck Trump and all his little and subsidiary Trumps.

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. We will get through this. We will.

 

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I am very bored these days.

Now, like you, I too have intermittent moments of grand fun and occasions of wild existential validation. Just this week, after pouring through family records, I made the phone call that helped a distant cousin conclude her five-year search to find her birth mother. It was very cool. And the next day, I saw someone trip and fall at the grocery store and had a right good laugh. Fun times.

But, at the end of the day, when the sun goes down on these dwindling hours of light and warmth and I’m being the most truthful with myself, I am bored, oh, so, so bored with myself.

It certainly doesn’t help that this country gets uglier, stupider, and trumpier every day. Every. Goddam. Day. Just ask the Kurds.

So I’ve been watching a lot of television lately, as that’s the place where I live my best life. I’m researching  all the exciting  television ways of not boring myself to death.

To start, from what I’ve watched on the teevee, life is more interesting if you are a genius. Plus, if you are a genius with a terrible personality, life practically throws itself at you and rolls over so you can tickle its belly, or vice-versa, I’m getting lost in the metaphor.

Fighting crime also seems to be a good way of keeping boredom at bay. My research indicates that if you’re an adrenalin junkie or you want to become one, you owe it to yourself to join a Homicide squad… people who kill people are terribly exciting to be around. As for fighting crime while you’re a genius. . . 

or some kind of supernatural being?

Off the charts non-boredom.

Alternately, being a criminal mastermind is an equally good way of fighting ennui. White collar only.

I’ve observed that all lawyers lead non-stop eventful lives.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

But not judges.  Judge Judy looks awfully bored, every day.

One sure way of never being bored is to be a billionaire. Bonus: Being very, very rich appears to make you very witty, as well as bad. BI’m sure I don’t have to tell you that being bad is never boring.

Also, it seems that being royalty means you never have to lie in bed all day, staring at the ceiling, wondering Why? Why is the most interesting thing I have to do all day is laundry? (Because you don’t do laundry, you have subjects do your laundry.)

Being a beautiful 25-year old woman is a sure way to always have the most interesting things to do, places to go, people to meet, but I didn’t need TV to tell me that.

Lastly, the top way for having a life worth living is to do it in only 30 or 60-minute episodes.

So, what can I check off the TV Tips For Not Dying of Boredom List?

Well. I’m not a genius, and I don’t want to fight crime (because of the germs, but I might re- consider if there’s a guarantee of seeing ghosts).

I’m too tired to go to law school, and if I knew how to have a billion dollars I would have made it — or married it — by now. My only claim to royalty is through my next lifetime and I’m hoping for the House of Windsor but with my luck, I’ll probably be re-incarnated into the House of Saud. And it’s about 40 years too late for me to be a beautiful 25-year old.

Lastly, I honestly don’t know if, for at least one half hour episode a day, I can manage to find life — plain ordinary predictable full-laundry-hamper life — worth my time. I Am Capital-B Bored.

But there is an awful lot of outstanding teevee these days.

Such as, Tom Ellis getting out of a pool.

I’m so happy to be living in the era of 24/7 streaming.

Helen Mirren at the premiere of her new film about Catherine the Great on October 17 in LA because some days we could all use a little Dame Helen and this is one of those days.

You know, some days I start typing here and I have no idea where I’ll end up.

This train of thought started with a phone call I got on Monday from a resident of a town here on the north shore of Long Island. This woman had stopped in at the charity used-book store that I manage as a fund-raising endeavor for our local library and well, she had some ideas about how I could be doing a better job at it.

I have a new thing, now, when I get annoying phone calls from idiots: I yell at them for a minute or two and then I say, “This conversation is over” and I hang up.

On this day, however, in addition to being really pissed off by this caller, I found myself being equally pissed off by the poor quality of people I get to be pissed off at. If I had a more interesting life I would be yelling at much smarter people about things much more important than how to run a charity used-book store, for fuck’s sake.

I’ve been down in the dumps ever since.

I really, really need to find more interesting things to do with my life.

Oh, well. Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. May all your annoyances be the most interesting annoyances you’ve ever had.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These are my next door neighbors (left to right) Penelope, Antoinette, and Pork Chop. I am riding herd on them while their parents are at the beach. I am finding it difficult to tear myself away from their cuteness.

Also, I’m in a very bad mood. I am not voting for anyone who was on stage on the second night of the Democratic Circular Firing Squad (except for Joe, who I hope doesn’t run) because if criticizing Barak Obama and Bill Clinton is the only way a candidate can think of “standing out” then here’s my big F.U.

So I’m taking a kitten break today, Dear Readers. Let’s meet up on Tuesday, when I have something more positive to say.

I’ll also have more kitten pictures!

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It’s hot here on the north shore of Long Island. HOT.

And it’s the Fourth of July, and we have a four-day holiday weekend, and I am feeling lazy.

So let’s all take a day off and let’s all soak in the Summer and let’s all laugh at the little man in the White House who has to throw himself a big parade.

I’ll see you here in one week!

 

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