January 2020

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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Australia is a big-ass country:

This is how much of Australia is on fire (as of the morning of Thursday, Jan 9):

OK, you probably know that these maps are a bit misleading. The fires are not drawn to scale and the Mercator projection has never been accurate since it was invited in 1569. But still, a LOT of Australia is on fire.

For the record, the USA is 3.797 million square miles and Australia is 2.97 million square miles. The area that has been burned Down Under is 32,4000 square miles, about one-third the size of the American state of Oregon, which is a big-ass state.

These fires are 80% larger than the devastating 2019 California fires and 5,000 sure miles larger than the sickening Amazon fires.

A billion animals have been destroyed. This means that some insects, plants, and animals found only in teeny little bits of Australia may go extinct.

These six babies were rescued in South Australia, and brought into a home in Cudlee Creek, near Adelaide, for safekeeping while their habitat burned:

Koalas are not endangered as a species, but how can you, now that you’ve seen this photo, not want to do something to help all our dear Australian furry, feathered, horned, scaled, and slime-covered fellow creatures?

I recommend donating to fire companies, many of which are 100% staffed by volunteers. The only one that I have found that is easy to navigate for Americans is for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (Sydney is located in NSW), here. $100 Australian is a mere $68 American.

We love you, Australia.

Now for something completely different.

So I go to my gym, as usual, last Monday. WOW! The parking lot is PACKED with cars, and its a traffic jam with people heading into the Hot Yoga studio on one side of my gym and the kick-boxing workout room on the other side. I go into my gym. I have never seen the place so full of people as it was on that day. PACKED.

And then I remember, oh yeah, it’s the first regular get-back-to-normal day of 2020 and everyone who made a resolution to get fit and lose weight is showing up.

The next day, Tuesday,  I go back to my gym, as usual. I find a parking spot near the door — lucky me. I go inside.  AND THE PLACE IS NEARLY EMPTY.

To all you who did a day at the gym and said Fuck it, I’m kinda cute when I’m fluffy, You Are My People.

I get it. Top Cat and I made a pledge to do the Dryanuary this month, when you’re supposed to go the whole month of January without drinking alcohol. Why? Because:

I did Thursday, Jan 2 dry as a bone. Then it was the weekend with long-standing social obligations and I love my drinking buddies yadda yadda yadda so I put off starting Dryanuary in earnest on Monday, Jan 6.

I lasted until Tuesday, Jan 7.

 

Me and alcohol, we’re in a rut. A loving, fun, exciting rut but still, a rut.

I just realized that “rut” is one of those words the starts to sound weird the more you hear yourself say it.

It all started in 2016.

Since my last book was published, Spring of 2016, I haven’t done much writing. I’ve been farting around. Here’s the list:

I got a dog.

I took two college semesters of American Sign Language. Turns out that I don’t really like Deaf Culture so that’s why I never blogged about it.

I got a part-time job at my favorite store, Home Goods, for the holiday season. I thought it would be fun. Nope. I forget; did I blog about that?

I volunteered to run a used book store to benefit the local library here on the north shore of Long Island for two years.

I organized a huge fund-raiser to benefit the local library here on the north shore of Long Island.  Eight months of torture.

I redecorated the house.

I rescued stray cats.

I traveled.

I made castles.

I haven’t been in a good mood for about three years.

I started drinking martinis again.

I had stopped drinking martinis in 2003 for a good reason. And then, in 2018 Top Cat’s kids started having babies and I woke up one day and realized that I’m married to a grandfather.

Well, that took me by surprise.

So I started drinking more martinis.

Anyway, now I’m back on the Dryanuary bandwagon — 2 days so far. Wish me luck

I will need all the strength I have to get through January because I’m going to have my Beatles birthday next week. I turn 64 on the 16th and friends, I am pissed. But let’s discuss this next week, when I have more room to rant.

One of the reasons I had to postpone my Dryanuary this past weekend was because I had to celebrate the return of The Rock to the north shore of Long Island!

Quick recap: The Rock comes from the town of Stromness on the main island of Orkney. I found it there last May when Top Cat and I were in Scotland and if you remember, Top Cat and I pretty much hated the sight of each other the whole time but especially on Orkney.

The Rock is part of a community-wide game being played in Stromness, where painted rocks are hidden around the village and when found, the finders log it in on a Facebook page before re-hiding them. I was given permission to take The Rock home with me to photograph in Times Square and then the darling readers of this blog volunteered to take The Rock around the country.

So far it’s been to Lexington, MA; Southern New Jersey; Lansing, MI; Ann Arbor, MI; Coopersville, MI; Milwaukee, WI; Richland in eastern WA; Portland, OR; and SOCAL (Coronado, CA).

Due to my sending incorrect shipping instructions to The Rock’s wonderful host in SOCAL, Dear Reader Thea sent The Rock back to me and after this hunk of mineral from the Northern Isles and I got through all the Fàilte dhachaidh’s, we had soaked ourselves in scotch and woke up the next morning with matching tattoos and no idea how they got there.

The Rock had a great time in southern California, specifically in Coronado.

Coronado is a California resort city on a peninsula in San Diego Bay.

Hang glider? Para sail? In the talons of a ferruginous hawk making its annual migration from Canada for the Winter?

Coronado is beautiful, the surrounding area is beautiful, the weather is year-round beautiful, so The Rock got the  idea that one can become beautiful simply by being in Coronado.

Give up, Rock. You’ll never be a gem stone no matter how hard you try.

The Rock is Night Owl Rock and Coronado suited him fine..

The Rock was excited to be part of the 48th Annual Parade of Lights:

 

The grand Victorian Hotel del Coronado opened in 1888. The hotel was also home to the first outdoor electric Christmas tree in 1904.

The hotel and the hotel’s beach is where Billy Wilder filmed Some Like It Hot in 1958.

The Rock takes a selfie with Marilyn Monroe.

The Rock does a full-body squeeeeeee in the same sand!:

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

I think The Rock is mocking me because I wrote a book about nine of the most thought-provoking greens in the world and I forgot to include the Botanical Garden in Balboa Park:

I think The Rock is taking notes for a book tentatively titled, I Am My Own Rock Garden.

The Rock contemplates the rockness of life:

The Rock is trying to be an enoghtengd Rock, so (somehow) The Rock convinced these nice people to do a seven-person Uttanasana:

The Rock would have taken a photo of the rare seven-person uttanasana, but The Rock doesn’t have fingers and could not work the iPhone camera. Sad!

Thank you, Dear Readers Thea and John in Coronado, California, for hosting The Rock:

You bring us. . .

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Australia, we love you.

P.S. BTS is releasing a new album on Feb. 21 after a seven-week rollout that includes yet-to-be-announced events in London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and New York. If you know a BTS fan, they are losing their minds right now. Be warned.

 

 

 

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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.

I do hope you were all able to watch my Korean husbands on New Year’s Eve and for Dear Reader Penny, to whom  BTS look like “children”, I have to say. . .

. . . all these guys are in their 40s. It’s just that skin care is very important to Korean men and they know how to moisturize really well.

For Steve and everyone else who is in dire need of help in understanding K-Pop, picture this:

You’ve been on your treadmill for 25 minutes, you’ve hit the two-mile mark, but your legs are getting tired and you’re losing your breath and  you want to quit because you’re over 40 and are the boss of you, but you are still one mile away from your goal which is to look as good in skinny jeans as a hot Korean pop star. What do you do?

You put My Beautiful Hangover on the ear buds and crank it. This will give you a second wind. P.S., it helps to know that although Big Bang is a very famous Korean group, this is them in Japanese.

Monster by EXO will get you over the finish line.

Have a great weekend, my fierce Dear Ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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