Monday, January 28, 2013

Warning: Subject Matter May ContainObjectionalble or Shocking Material

In which I rant a bit about loss and grief. 

See, I warned you.  But, hey now, don't run away.......I will try to make some of this funny although you may have never considered any of those subjects as having any humor to them.   Perhaps I had better begin by passing along a joke sent to me by my dear friend, Bob Ringwald, Master Jazz Musician, Raconteur, proud Father of Molly  and provider of almost daily smiles via email, godblesshim.   Here's one of his latest offerings.

(even if you have already heard this one, it is still funny,)

The Pickle Slicer

Yossel Zelkovitz worked in a Polish pickle factory.

For many years he had a powerful desire to put his penis in the pickle slicer.

Unable to stand it any longer, he sought professional help from a psychologist.

After six months, the therapist gave up. He advised Yossel to go ahead and do it

or he would probably never have any peace of mind.

The next day he came home from work very early. His wife, Sacha, became alarmed and

wanted to know what had happened.

Yossel tearfully confessed his tormenting desire to put his penis in the pickle slicer.

He went on to explain that today he finally went ahead and did it, and he was immediately


Sacha gasped and ran over to her husband. She quickly yanked down his pants and shorts

only to find a normal, completely intact penis.

She looked up and said, "I don't understand. What about the pickle slicer?"

Yossel replied, "I think she got fired, too." ~~

-Bob Ringwald


And now back to the less acceptable subjects.

Like so many of my thoughts, ideas and convictions, my attitudes toward dealing with loss and grief and guilt are unorthodox and irreverent.  I have cockamamie ideas about loss, and grieving.  And guilt.  I may have to write a whole separate chapter on guilt.  We'll see. For now I will just ramble on the first two.

Recently I have done some grieving of my own over loss of a dear, young member of my  family and also have suffered with some of my beloved blog family who are grieving and I keep wishing I could help those who have lost someone and are in pain.  Unfortunately, it seems that only love and sympathy help a bit..(.and the bringing of hams and casseroles, of course) ....words and suggestions are useless.  What a shame, since I have so many of them.  But it just occurred to me that perhaps they might be helpful to someone who is not in the throes of grief and so I will muse on about some of the most avoided subjects known to mankind (and womankind too.)

Loss......hell, there is so much loss in life.  First you lose your childish innocence, then your virginity, your youthful freshness, your good looks, your ideals, some of your hair, maybe your teeth, your mobility, your marbles, all hope and finally your life.    Bummer.  The only one you don't regret is your virginity.  And you lose your heart a bunch of times, but always get it back, wounded and battered, but take heart (couln't resist) .........with some crazy glue and duct tape you can usually fix that enough for you to go on and lose it again. 

And you lose people you love, some people who you didn't love so much (and maybe did not love at all) but who were important in shaping your life for better or worse and you lose some people without whom you are sure you can't go on living....but you can and you will and you do......somehow.

You might never know it by my outward mostly cheerful demeanor, but I have suffered a lot of losses in my life, a lot of mistreatment and a lot of pain from it all.  But I cannot and never could stand the process of long, drawn-out grieving over each incident.  Like pulling off a bandage fastened to you with sticky tape which you know is going to hurt, I prefer to pull it off all at once, yell one big "OUCH"  and be done with it.  It just hurts for so much longer if you try to do it slowly..  Suffer and get it over with, I say.  Not easy, but a desirable goal. 

I know some people who cling to a particular loss, protect it, fan the flame of pain  and build the  rest of  their lives around it as though it were the life project they were meant for......they even form support groups similar to AA (this is true, honest) where they meet regularly for years with others who have the same mindset and supposedly help each other by exchanging sympathy and memories but actually help more (I think) to  keep the wounds from healing.  I consider this a real  addiction and a shameful self indulgence....endless and excessive mourning does not help the dear departed one bit.  Does it really help the person with the loss?   I dunno.....I can't see how.   I have a theory about it (I have theories about nearly everything, haven't you noticed?)  It seems to me that they are so angry at God for taking their beloved that they don't know what to do with the feeling (unacceptable) so they convert it into a monster grief (acceptable) which they can express openly.  Trouble is, grief will usually diminish in time but rage never does so they are stuck in a very bad place.   Kind of like a life lost over a life lost.  So pitiful.....what a waste.

For me, I have learned that nothing lasts forever. Even the good stuff changes and evolves.  If we can, we should cherish the good while we have it, tolerate the bad until it goes away or we can get rid of it and constantly be grateful for whatever joy we have had and may continue to be blessed with.  .

Oh, more thing.  As far as losing a Lover is concerned, that is totally different.  I guess  am a monster who is incapable of continuing to mourn over the loss of someone who hurts me, uses me, shames me, fails me, abandons, deceives and deserts me.  When my fiancee, my first real,, adult (?) love-of-my-life dumped me 2 inches from the altar when I was 20, I wept bitter tears for a few hours moaning about what would I do without him.  .  Then I suddenly realized what a huge favor he had done both of us by revealing the flaws in our relationship BEFORE we got married.  I heaved a sigh of relief, gathered up all the soggy kleenex and said, "Oh, thank you,  Dick."   (no, no, that was his name).  I then went to sleep trusting that tomorrow would be a  better day and the hole in my heart would heal and, of course, it did.  . As did all of the countless other holes in my heart and wounds of various kinds inflicted over the many years.  I have found that losing something or someone is sometimes so much better than having to keep it and live with it.

  Ho boy, is it ever!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Horrors!  I am totally devastated...........I just lost a draft containing not one but the content for two entire blogs in the blink of an eye and I don't know what I did to cause it to disappear.  I doubt if I can ever recreate what I had written because it was done with particular  passion and fire and was beautiful and somewhat profound if I say so myself.  Sob.

I cannot help but laugh bitterly....I guess my title says it all.  It was a rant on my own private and perhaps peculiar attitude about the way we handle and react to death and the dying process and loss in general.   I think that maybe I have learned something new here  I'll have to think about this a bit.

Meanwhile, if anyone knows of any way to retrieve a lost blog, please, let me know.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall? .....Practice Ain't Gonna Do It

Hello, out there.  For those of you who are eagerly awaiting an audio post, Fuggedaboutit!  Maybe later, but I am not ready yet.

Not that I am not having fun with my internet singing lessons.......... I am indeed enjoying like crazy.  After just 2 lessons my cat now runs from the room as soon as I begin warming up, I have a sore throat from so much unbridled vocalizing and my speaking voice seems to have dropped 2 octaves and increased by 100 decibels.  (not on my wish list at all) My quaver and excessive vibrato are still with me, however.......but I fear that if I continue like this I may end up shattering glass, which in this house could be a huge disaster since I have (over 40 years) systematically knocked out most of the wood and stucco walls and replaced them with glazing.  No, seriously, the first 2 lessons have been fascinating and I am enjoying the process of trying to learn how to relax my throat, care not a whit how I sound and just let go.  I still have 2 lessons to go....(supposed to do one a week) and will then see if  I have achieved any measure of improvement.  Fortunately, my life and my fortune do NOT depend on it.  Better or worse, I will still go around singing to myself and if Gussie doesn't like it........well, too damned bad.  She will have to hire a servant who doesn't sing, that's all there is to it.

But, actually, that is not what has been preoccupying me for the past 4 or 5 days and keeping me from blogging..........I have been engaged in a vile  experiment to discover how much liquid a human being can ingest in the short space of an hour.  In other words....I was undergoing the dreaded prep for a colonoscopy which involves several sessions of having to glug down 16 oz. of the vilest stuff known to man followed immediately by 2 more 16 ounce containers of water.  That feat itself is beyond toleration, but what makes it worse is that 32 ounces of water is not enough to get the wretched taste of the potion out of your mouth so you find yourself drinking yet more water, more chicken broth, more apple juice more of any liquid which is clear, without pulp and is neither red nor purple and incidentally, not alcoholic.  I cannot  believe that a human body can hold so much liquid at once without exploding, but amazingly it appears that it can because I did not.  Explode, that is.

 Anyway, two days of fasting and that abuse took all of my attention........I am not sure but I believe I did not even sing.  My tummy, however, gurgled a lot.  I do know that I accomplished the totally impossible by spending my fasting (clear liquids only) day watching several football games from morning to night and being unable to munch on a single morsel.  Appalling thought, isn't it?  I found it is amazing how much more time there is in a day when one cannot eat......ore perhaps it just seems like that when you are NOT having any fun.     Not sure how helpful that bit of information will be to saving the world, but I will ponder on it in my spare time.  If any of you have some ideas, do let me know.

Anyway, never mind all of that dreck.......I am happy to report that if inner beauty counts for anything, I was found to be not only pristine from epiglotis to my you-know but  with nary a polyp to mar the surface. 

And, the best news is that I was told I never have to endure another such prep or procedure for the rest of my life.   Tenks Gott.

I could just break out singing........ 



Thursday, January 3, 2013

If I Suddenly Burst Into Song, Just Stuff Something in My Mouth....Preferbly Chocolate

Well, I seem to have survived the transition of the years somehow.  Went to bed at around 9pm on New Years Eve, pulled the covers up over my head and only heard a few dim sounds.......either firecrackers going off or gunshots in the vicinity.......if it was the latter, hopefully no one I knew..... and liked.

I slept till almost noon despite Gussie's repeated attempts to get me up beginning around 7.  First the tentative footsteps as she clomps from the foot of the  bed up to where my head is resting and peers nose to nose into my face to see if I am still breathing. If fish breath does not wake me she goes to the next step.  Having decided that I am still alive she paces up and down  beside me trying to decide on the best approach to getting my attention.  Finally she resorts to the old standby, jumping with all four paws onto my tummy and futzing around to find the most comfortable (for her  and painful for me) position. If that does not result in my getting up and staggering into the kitchen to feed her or give her kitty cookies, she settles down for a nap and repeats from step one every 30 minutes until successful.  So far, she has never lost and I have never won this strange duelNothing new about that.   

So, up at noon on 01/01/13 and having satisfied Her Exalted Kittyness for the moment, I was hunched over my coffee (which I brew strong enough to stand the spoon straight up in the cup) when I suddenly remembered something I had done in a weak moment a few nights earlier and it jolted me upright in my chair.  I am not sure I should confess to all this publicly, but, what the hell.......I have been needing something to reestablish my claim to weirdness and this will do as good as anything I can think of.  

In checking  back over my sent emails, I find that I have signed up with an Online Singing Course  to learn how to sing Properly!   Yes you read that correctly.  Who'd believe it........ Lois loves to Sing.

I don't know if I ever told you that I have always loved to sing.......When I was 12 I wanted desperately to be the 4th Andrews Sister (singing harm ony not the lead........I was humble even then). Actually, I have no real voice but I can sing on key and carry a tune,  have a rather wide range and, godonlyknows....I remember all the lyrics for every song written from about 1930 to 1955.  I wander around the house belting out  "April Showers" and "Blue Moon" and other such classics all the time.  The cats are very accepting and non judgmental and even Florence, my caregiver, has more or less gotten used to my breaking into song at odd moments.  I had recently considered joining some sort of chorus, but I realized that was not realistic since I could hardly expect them to congregate at my house and since I cannot get out at night for singing sessions I regretfully gave that idea up.  Obviously, even I do not always know what is going on in the corners of my mind, and apparently the notion has  been simmering on a back burner waiting for a new opportunity.  Which arrived on 12/29 with the word DISCOUNT dangling enticingly in front of it.  You know me with bargains.......

Well, (I am taking a deep breath here).....  an online singing teacher has  been pestering me to take his course for years and tossed a discount in front of me last week and I fell for it.  I have NO idea what I have committed to......I do not own a pitch pipe  nor a metronome nor even a piano.....not sure how he can teach me to sing better via DVD, but if you see a strange video in the middle of one of my posts and hear a hoarse voice singing "My Heart Stood Still" you will be able to laugh along with Florence and the cats.  (Don't worry.....I am only joking....I would not do that to you).  But you can wish me luck. In fact, PLEASE wish me luck.

Now, tell me......could you ever in a gazillion years have guessed that anyone you know would do such a thing or confess to it publicly?  

Shitpissfuck,Hell and Damn....... it has  been a while since I have had to give up roller skating, and a person needs something exciting  to do, especially something you can do sitting down.    Hmmm....I had better get out my old Arthur Godfrey ukulele....I'll bet it needs new strings...........