Friday, December 31, 2010

Happiness? What Does It Mean To You

From a Sunday Times section meant for children but applicable to adults as well:

"In recent years, a few books have been published on the subject of happiness – including arguments against simple pleasure and surface-level complacency. What does happiness mean to you?

In an essay in the Sunday Times Book Review, Amy Bloom considers the studies and books that have been published in recent years about the pursuit of happiness, as well as the cynicism about it. She then offers this list: the Fundamentally Sound, Sure-Fire Top Five Components of Happiness: (1) Be in possession of the basics — food, shelter, good health, safety. (2) Get enough sleep. (3) Have relationships that matter to you. (4) Take compassionate care of others and of yourself. (5) Have work or an interest that engages you.
I don’t see how even the most high-minded, cynical or curmudgeonly person could argue with that."

Child or adult one can't really argue about the components of happiness. I would venture to guess that one might add to it and maybe change the order but the five  components listed above couldn't be excluded. Having the components doesn't actually describe what happiness really is, i.e., the experience of being happy. Someone recently asked me if I was happy to which I responded "sure". After we separated I thought about it. Yes I was "happy" but what did that mean to me? Could it be that my definition of "being Happy" differed greatly from my friend's even if we both possessed the five components of happiness?

Many believe happiness is being in the state of some euphoria such as when the person you love finally says they love you also and you are walking on air. When you come down from that cloud and walk on the ground again does that mean you have stopped being happy just because the euphoria has left? The feeling of well being can have a bit of ennui attached to it but just because it may contain boredom doesn't necessarily exclude it from a state of being happy. Does it? Being content with one's lot in life is very good for some but not for others. To those that need vacations, or success after success being content with the five basic components of happiness listed above might lead to a state of unhappiness. Can we be happy with failure, disappointment, and never rising to the heights some seem to attain? Some might maintain it isn't the goal that makes one satisfied with one's lot in life but the experience of attempting rather than the need to achieve.

As far as I am concerned the way to true happiness is to "feel comfortable in one's own skin".  Life's goal should first be to find out who you really are and being comfortable with that knowledge. Shakespeare's, "To Thine own self be true then thou canst be false to any other." or something like that. This is the necessary ingredient. Not accepting one's self is the start of many bad things. However one can't be so self absorbed that every relationship relys only on what your desires may be. To explain further:

Our materialistic society measures success by what one owns or as in sports, how many wins can be acquired. Winning is the only way for in winning one acquires wealth and power. The pyramid gets very narrow at the top. There is room for only the few. What has happened to "...How you play the game is what counts."? What has happened to learning from our failures? What has happened to the reward of just trying?

To know, realize, and accept our shortcomings as well as our attributes leads to happiness. A Priest's homily once explained Christ's call to perfection, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."' as realizing that God's perfection is unattainable but our perfection is not. He went on with the allegory of a large pitcher of water filled to the brim, that is perfection of purpose for that pitcher. The glass, eight ounces, filled to the brim, is perfection for that glass. Both have reached perfection for which they were made but the glass can only provide eight ounces while the pitcher can provide much more.

Therefore to my friend who asked if I was happy I would expand on my answer of "Sure!" by saying I am content by being comfortable in my own skin with my talents and lack of talents, recognizing that there are many things I can't have or do' but I can try and find the things I can do. While attempting new ventures I sure as hell can love the people I meet and live with as well as all the wonders around me like the snows in winter, the budding trees in spring, the beautiful flowers of the summer and the blazing colors of the fall.

Be happy, Live well. Happy New Year! Happy New Day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Different Kind of Christmas Story

December 23 finds the family of Zach and Caitlin at the dinner table with their two children and Zach's father
munching on Pizzas. No cooking since tomorrow, Christmas Eve will be a big gala day or should I say night. Zach came from a large family and they all converge on their household Christmas Eve to exchange presents, eat, drink and catch up but for the most part make merry. Zach's father came to live with them after Zach's mother passed on. Caitlin wasn't so sure this would be a good situation since she regarded his father as a grumpy old man who got worse as he grew older. She really liked Zach's mother and often thought the wrong one went first. She could of seen her living with her mother-in-law, but her father-in-law? When they were discussing this arrangement Zach convinced her he could keep his Dad in tow and "What the hell, at his age this wouldn't last too long!". The last few years proved to be uneventful. Zach's Dad had a sort of perverse humor and sometimes this encouraged Zach to indulge in the same humor, much to Caitlin's chagrin. For the most part everybody was getting along, including his granddaughters who never payed much attention to anyone in the household anyway.They were enjoying their Pizzas and talking about nothing in particular when one of them brought up the loss of their dog, Abba Dabba. Shortly after Zach's father moved in Abba D.,as they called him, who wasn't feeling well but seemed OK for a sixteen old mutt, died. Zach's father was home with his oldest granddaughter and her current flame at the time. Between Zach and his father the remembrance went some thing like this; "The night before Abba D. was showing more life than ever running around and playing. The next day he was just moping around. He disappeared and Zach's father and his granddaughter found him, he was laying on his side with his tongue out, eyes open but not moving. They tried to lift his paw gingerly and it was motionless, just limp.", Abba D. was dead, stone cold dead in the market. When Zach told his part he was rolling over in laughter as he lifted his arm and let his hand droop as he stuck out his tongue to one side and drooled. Zach and his father were rolling over in laughter but Caitlin and her daughters seemed more confused as to what was so funny about losing their beloved Abba D. They finished eating and talked a little more.Then Zach's father bid everyone a good night as he ran and bolted up the stairs to his space to watch whatever sports might be on the air or a good sexy picture before he went to sleep.

Dec. 24, Zach and Caitlin spent this day getting the house in order and arranging for the food that would be served. They enlisted their Daughters, not without a struggle, they succumbed to Caitlin's orders after it became painfully obvious to them that they weren't going to get away with doing nothing this time by screwing up their chores , so they caved and helped. The day was a bright cold  Dec. day and the weather was going to hold up so it looked like every one was going to make it this Christmas Eve, a real houseful. Sometime around 4PM Caitlin asked Zach if he didn't think it strange that that they hadn't seen or heard from Zach's father yet? Zack said you know the old guy has peculiar habits and he's probably tying to get rest so he could over-indulge in wine and food tonight. By 4:30 she was whining that Zach should go and wake him up. Zach, with a sigh said OK and went to wake up his father. "Caitlin" Zach called, "Come up here for a sec.". She said she didn't want to intrude on his father and told Zach to go ahead and get him up. Zach pleaded and she went up. His father was laying in bed on his left side facing the door. Zach pointed out that he thought he looked a little peculiar, his head to one side and his mouth opened with his tongue hanging out on the pillar. "He reminds me of his description of Abba D. when he found him dead.", Zach uttered more to himself than to Caitlin. She was appalled that he would even think such a thing. They approached him, tried to wake him to no avail. Caitlin was getting panicky and Zach lifted up his father's arm which had no life to it and his hand drooped downward, "See just the way he said Abba D.'s paw was.". Caitlin started to cry, "He's dead." she whimpered. Zach said, "Yeah it sure looks that way." Caitlin wanted to call the police but Zach had other ideas. "Look, if we call the cops everything is off for tonight. All the kids, all my brothers and sisters, all upset their Christmas ruined! All the money we spent on the food and drinks; WASTED!!!" Caitlin said she thought he was terrible to even think of the money at this time and she said no matter what he wanted, she was going to call the police. As she started to leave the room Zach called out, "OK, but just remember this is going to blow tomorrow also. This means the big dinner for your folks, Father, Mother, Brothers, Sisters and your Aunts, all cancelled. Your family's Christmas, RUINED! How about that Caitlin?". Caitlin stopped in her tracks, "What are you suggesting?"  Zach was scrambling in his mind, after stalling a bit he suggested that they keep his father in bed, open all the windows and let the cold air keep him from stinking up the place with his dead body. They could lock the door and say that he went out someplace with his new flavor of the month. The heat would be turned up to combat the cold from the upstairs. After the Chrismas dinner, when everybody left THEN they could call the authorities. Caitlin was worried that they could get into trouble but Zach lied that he knew they were legally within their rights and after all it saved Chrismas for almost a hundred people. Caitlin didn't feel quite right about this but she always trusted Zach and even if he was wrong sometimes he was right many times also. On top of everything else she really looked forward to hosting the big Christmas dinner just so she could show her mom and sisters she was capable. So she agreed to the plan. The windows were opened wide and the cold air gushed in. The door was locked. Downstairs they turned up the heat and continued to prepare for the evening of fun and frolic.

Around 7:30PM the crowd began to arrive. Zach really enjoyed these family gatherings. He secretly felt far superior to his siblings and if the truth be told each one of the siblings felt far superior to the other. Growing up in a family largely populated by males where testosterone ran wild causing fierce competitiveness also affected the female members of the family. However, they used their wiles to get the best of the brothers. Having older brothers was a blessing and a curse. Most guys that dated them would never get out of line but many they liked were scared away by the hulking presence of males who let it be known that they would hunt them down if they came on too strong. Within an hour everybody had arrived, siblings with their children and their children's friends. Finally one of the guys asked Zach where, "Where's Pop?", to which Zach explained that Dad had to go out with his "flavor of the month" despite the fact that he really wanted to be with them. This caused a lot of laughter and some snide remarks about their father. One guy started up the stairs and Zach stopped him. "Hey, I just wanted to use Pop's bathroom, yours is full.". Zach thought fast and said that Dad had locked the door and he didn't have a key. Quite a few of the guests complained that it was quite drafty by the stairs and overly warm in other parts of the house. It was suggested that Zach do something about the house's uneven heating. Finally the presents were opened, the food eaten and the drinks drunk and the crowd left around 1AM. The guys had quite a few off colored remarks about their father being with another woman besides their mother. The girls took umbrage with this. From their childhood the guys vied for their mother's attention but the girls were Daddy's little girls and don't think they didn't play that to its fullest. After they left, Caitlin and Zach cleaned up and Caitlin let her fears about Zach's father being upstairs, "waiting". But Zach assured her that after Christmas dinner with her family the proper steps would be taken. So they went to bed tired yet somehow happy as they fell asleep.

Dec. 25, Christmas Day, found Zach and Caitlin's immediate family gathered around the Christmas tree exchanging presents from about 8:30 to 9:30AM when Caitlin declared the exchange time over because they had to get the place shaped up to greet her family for Christmas day celebration. This caused her two daughters to immediately disappear which Caitlin was thankful for since she wanted to talk to Zach about his father's condition. "Zach I could hardly sleep knowing that your father was upstairs in that cold room." Zach responded with a grin he tried to hide, "Honey, he doesn't feel a thing. Just hang on one more day. As soon as your family goes home I promise, we'll take care of  Dad.". So Caitlin busied herself with the preparations trying not to be preoccupied with her father-in-law's condition, so much so that she never realized her daughters managed to stay invisible while she and Zach did everything. Finally around 2PM Caitlin's family descended on their home seemingly all at once.

As with his family Zach felt quite superior to Caitlin's family. However the men in her family were humongous. Her father was the short one at 6'4", her brothers were all taller stretching all the way to almost 7 feet. Therefore Zach kept his superiority feelings quite subdued, "Why roil the waters?" he thought so long ago. He really liked the women in Caitlin's family and thought they were articulate, intelligent and attractive. All in all he enjoyed being with her family even if he felt compelled to keep some of his most provocative thoughts to himself in order to keep peace in the family and not to agitate those really large guys. The women drank wine while the guys had beer except for Caitlin's father who had Scotch Rocks. The meal went well with everyone enjoying the Ham, Turkey and Yams. The desert was sumptuous, Apple Pie with a scoop of the most delicious new ice cream flavor. Caitlin's mom asked where Zach's father was spending his Christmas day and while Caitlin phumferred, Zach said he was over one of his sisters house. Caitlin's father did insist that Zach should have his heating system checked since it was quite cold and drafty by the stairs going upstairs while the other parts of the house was hot and stuffy. Zach did what he always did when his father-in-law insisted he do something, he agreed and said he'd take care of it this coming week. The day was a success. The dinner went well. Everybody was happy and well fed and as quickly as they all appeared they all left around 8PM, all laughing and hugging. Very shortly after they left Caitlin and Zach's two daughters left saying they had a party waiting for them. As they left Caitlin reminded them of their curfew to which they nodded but had no intention of keeping. Finally Zach and Caitlin were alone with Zach's father upstairs.

Caitlin immediately got out the vacuum saying she didn't want the police to enter her house when it was a mess. They cleaned, washed the dishes and got the house ship-shape by 11PM. Caitlin told Zach he could now call the police. Zach hesitated and Caitlin whined that he promised he would take care of this matter as soon as their day was over. Zach put his arms around Caitlin and while he was caressing her he whispered, "Look honey, we are both exhausted. Despite some very trying circumstances this was a great Chrismas Eve and Day, perhaps the best we ever had. If I call the police now we are up until the early morning hours. What difference would it make if we got a good night's sleep then called? We would not only be well rested but we won't have to go to work. We'll probably be off the whole week. A gift I am sure my father would want us to have. So what do you say? Let's go to bed and take care of this slight problem tomorrow?" Caitlin was totally exhausted. She had no fight left in her. She agreed and went to bed without even washing up. As soon as she hit the pillow she was asleep. Zach climbed into bed next to her and slept back to back touching rear-ends which always felt just right to him. As he was drifting into the echo chamber that was between sleep and being awake, he thought; "Even though it cost me a fortune to heat the house these days it was worth it. Almost a hundred people having a real good time enjoying family, laughing and loving. Not bad! And my father never really liked holidays anyway. Just before he dropped into a deep sleep he heard a dog bark, his father's raucous laughter and voice saying, "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Miracle or Co-incidence Fifty-Two Years Apart

It was Wednesday, June 25, 1958. He was next in line waiting to be mustered out of the US Army. He was just under six feet tall and was a strapping One Hundred Seventy pounds. While in the Army they generally referred to him as "Big Lou". Carrying his duffel bag over one shoulder and his Trumpet under his arm he was dressed in his Class A's. Khaki's neatly pressed, cap in regulation upon his head which while not sporting the pompadour that was there two years earlier, he still sported a wave that he liked. The mustering out pay was only a couple of hundred dollars since he was a peace time soldier but it would be enough to get through the month since he was assured of his job starting the next Monday since this was the law. A few bills were a lot in 1958, it would be all he had for his wife and new born first child of only a week old. He was secure in the thought that he would be able to take care of his loved ones and was chomping at the bit to see them. He wanted to hold them both and make them feel secure in his arms. He would be their protector. The guy in front of him was dismissed and the Officer in charge yelled "Next!".

He snapped to and spouted rank, name, and serial number with a snappy salute. The ceremony was settled in a few minutes and he accepted the brand new bills folded so nicely, and his discharge papers. He snapped a salute made a crisp about face left the room and let out a cheer. He was a free man again and in a day he would see his beloved. He was convinced to take a train rather than fly. His mother and wife felt there was a greater possibility of an accident in the air than on the ground. Remember this was 1958. He took a hitch into town where he grabbed a bus to Atlanta where he boarded a train to New York. Secretly he thought the flight of a few hours would be better than the train ride of twenty-four, but why tempt fate. At the Atlanta train depot there was an hour and a half wait for his train. He wandered about the depot getting something to eat and generally wasting time. The announcement came to board the train some fifteen minutes before departure. Boarding the train he selected a window seat and got comfortable. He kept his money in a side pocket ever since the barracks were robbed and his wallet rifled. He was thinking about seeing his son and kissing his wife as he reached into his left side pocket just to get the feel of his money which was going to get them through the month. He reached in and felt nothing. He tried the other pocket, empty. He searched his wallet, nothing. He looked on the floor, under the seat, NOTHING, he panicked. He thought he must of lost it in the depot but the conductor was making the departure announcement. He ran to the conductor and pled with him to hold it up while he checked with the depot. He was dressed in his Class A's and in those days they respected the uniform. The Conductor held the train and summoned two station plains clothes men. They did what they could, checked with lost and found but----NOTHING! Now Big Lou was feeling very small as the train pulled out of Atlanta, in fact he was sweating profusely. He turned around and saw an old couple, remember he was Twenty-Four and upon recollection maybe they weren't so old, maybe mid fifties, and he accused them of finding the money and keeping it. No matter their assurances of innocence, he was unconvinced but short of beating this old guy to death Lou could do nothing. He took refuge between two cars and lit a Lucky Strike and drew in heavily. How could he explain this to his girl, his wife? How could he protect her and his son if he couldn't hold on to the means to providing. Big Lou felt like a little weeny. He then started to pray very deeply, first to St. Jude but since he felt it was lost item it was more in St. Anthony's purview. He lit up his third Lucky when the idea came into his mind to go back and check between the seats. He wasn't sure what this meant. He sheepishly passed the old couple as he sat down and noticed that the seats were covered with protective material. He forced his hand between the seats and pushed them a bit apart. Low and behold there was his money neatly folded being held by a string stretching across the seats. He picked it up and thanked St. Anthony. The apologies to the old couple were accepted. Now he could go home and be the protector he wanted to be and not the wuss he was going to be until St. Anthony  intervened. Fast Forward Fifty-Two years.

We find "Big Lou" standing in line at the local super market waiting to be checked out. Maybe the "Big" part had to be revisited. He was just under five feet ten Inches weighing in at 195 pounds. His cap sitting on his bald head was an old Yankee cap that needed to be turned in but he was sure it was his lucky hat that contributed to many Yankee victories while the losses were the fault of the manager or players. He wasn't dressed in what one would call class A's, maybe class Z's would be more apt, hardly a crease to be found except on his face. He got up to the check out where a girl who he thought was closer to 10 than 20, with purple colored fingernails checked him out. He had purchased some fill-in groceries and the bill came to Fifty-Five Dollars, thirty dollars less than the months rent on their first apartment. She packed the items as he took out his wallet and got his American Express card out ready to give her for payment. His kids, three of which were in their fifties and the others closing in on that age very quickly, now thought he needed protection. He who was the great provider now was the one who needed to be provided for. The check-out girl never seemed to look at him, like he wasn't there. He gave her the card. At least he didn't have to say his Rank, Name and serial number the equivalent was on the card. She handed the card back with the paper that needed his signature which if he signed mickey mouse would have passed through without question. He put the card back into his wallet and put the wallet in his back pocket. Three small bags of groceries felt as heavy as his duffel bag had once. He was on his way out when he heard a gruff voice bellow, "Hey!" which caused him to turn to see if he was the "Hey". There was this youngish guy, maybe middle Fifties, pointing towards the ground at what seemed to be Lou's wallet, "Your's", he bellowed. Sure enough it was. He bent over to pick it up for Lou which I guess was deference to the age differential. Lou thanked him profusely and shook his hand which engulfed Lou's as Lou's used to engulf others. "It will be a merry Christmas for me.", Lou exclaimed as the wallet had the credit cards, licenses and many other things which would take days to take care of. They left the store together and this guy proceeded to give Lou the advice not to carry his wallet in his back pocket. He told the tale of losing his wallet at a movie house and going back the next day and despite the objections of the house's manager he went to the seat he had the previous night and found the wallet in the rear of the seat as he pushed his hand down into the seat. The wallet was hanging on a thread, spread loosely with the thread supporting it.The moral offered was to carry the wallet in the side pants pocket. The moral taken was St. Anthony was reminding Lou that goodness is still around and even though there is nothing to protect or a wife to kiss, there still was purpose. Lou thought to himself that he should have asked that guy if he prayed to St. Anthony before returning to that movie house but he didn't and don't think St. Anthony didn't let Lou know he wasn't happy about that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Something Was Lost Along The Way! Innocence?

A couple of Jewish guys I know always let it be known that they got fountain pens for their Bah Mitzvah. They didn't remember if the girls had anything at all for their Bat Mitzvah. Today they marvel at the fact that both the guys and gals celebrate like it was their weddings. The cost is almost as much as it used to cost for a wedding. The gifts expected are at the level of what past expensive wedding gifts were.

Confirmation celebrations haven't quite reached that level but are getting there and so are the gifts. What is reaching the level of ridiculousness is sweet 16 parties. The girls get dressed up in mini wedding dresses and a hall is rented, music provided and large gifts expected.

The wedding itself has risen to the cost of a year or two or three of an expensive University. Of course the Bride wears white signifying virginity. Pardon me while I guffaw! Come to think of it wasn't the expression "Sweet sixteen and never been kissed."?  Now it's "Sweet sixteen and only had oral sex, so I guess I'm still a virgin."

When my Jewish buddies were Bah Mitzvahed they were considered to be men despite their early ages. They had to take on responsibilities of family and community all for a Fountain Pen, one that held real ink and had a point. Today for far more, I am told that the "men" or "women" are allowed to go back to worrying about their acne and hair and whatever else teenage children obsess over for far more than a fountain pen.

College was a place one went to learn and become aware of the world about us. It would take four years and many acquired a Liberal Arts degree. Graduate school allowed the most gifted to go on to specialized field always with the thought that learning was the goal. The undergraduate was out by 22 and the post graduate by 24. Now the college experience goes on without stopping with many stretching out the experience to the age of 30 or more, and it is not Doctors I am referring to. The cost has mushroomed to such a degree that many parents and students alike are in hock until old age. AND what does the College experience give besides drunken parties, unwed mothers and over age adolescents? With the lure of college being to get a GOOD JOB, that PAYS MUCHO MOOLA, one wonders where all this greed comes from doesn't one? From athletes to financial and economic gurus all that counts is how much money can I make.

We are all so smart these days. Nobody can tell anybody about purity of ideas and caring about the other guy. The theme is "How can I get mine and how fast?". The marriage pact comes later with the idea that if it doesn't work out there's always divorce. When the children are raised with the thought of everything is coming to them how can it be expected that when obligations come their way they run away from them. In life for better counts, for worse is time to bail. The loss of wonder comes from the loss of innocence. This is too bad because the wonder is still there if we only let the innocence stay for awhile.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

He Misses Her The Most When It Gets Coldest

She left him when it became too unbearable to stay. He tried to keep her but he wouldn't be able to give her what she wanted. What she wanted was out there far away from him. She couldn't have both, her freedom to be all she could be and him. She gave it the best try she could but she was restricted and couldn't grow. The fact was she began to regress the longer she stayed. They loved each other deeply. They held hands, laughed or just enjoyed being in each others' company. But in order for her to reach her potential she had to leave.

He came to realize that this had to happen. In fact he knew he had to help her reach the point where she would go and feel no guilt in leaving. His love was that strong that he wanted only what was best for her even if it meant leaving him with a void that could never be filled.

They enjoyed the summer with it's wonderful colors, sweet smelling flowers and long never ending days. They knew the winter was approaching as the leaves on the trees started to change colors and the wind was coming from the north with it's chilling effect. Then in the coldest days she could bear it no longer so she quietly left to reclaim herself and he was left alone. He missed her during the days but the nights were the worst especially the cold winter nights. When they were together he'd wrap his arms around her warm body and together they were warm. Now even though he has woolen blankets the winter nights remain chillingly cold and foreboding. He has some peace and solace knowing she is now complete and happier than he could ever make her. His hope is that he too will find that place so he can be all that he can be also.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Secrets; One Held; One Told; Wrong One Blamed

Things were pretty hectic for Sarah in those days. It seems that people were seeking her out to confide in her. Some wanted her advice. Some wanted to relieve themselves of burdens. Some just wanted to talk. Others had problems that were like an Albatross around their necks and by confiding in Sarah the Albatross would release itself and hang on to Sarah. This was quite a burden, yet Sarah couldn't say no to anyone who sought her presence. She knew from past experiences that deep dark secrets told usually led to a dissolution of the friendship. Once the person revealed the secret there now was at least another who knew of the weakness and the person would shy away from one who knew as much about them as they knew.

There was one family that was going through a particular struggle. Two in-laws were at odds in a bitter family struggle. These two women knew Sarah and befriended her. They used Sarah's broad shoulders to cry on about the family struggles. One of them developed an illness that could be cancer and she panicked. Until the tests had run their course and she had the results she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Sarah was there for her at all times, comforting, listening and crying with her when needed.

The other gal had a deep dark secret that was coming to a head. She would refer to it in a vague sense. As the time for some sort of resolution seemed to draw near she finally revealed this secret with the caveat that Sarah could tell no one, including her husband. Sarah's husband pressured her to tell because he was acting like a Yenta. Sarah was also being pressured by a friend who was actually a Yenta. This Yenta friend knew both of the people involved and was watching the drama from afar. She tried to get Sarah to reveal everything she knew but Sarah stood firm. She was there for both of these women but kept all secrets to herself much to her husband's chagrin.

Then one day the gal with the fear she was going to have cancer got all the results back. The biopsy revealed only a fatty tumor. This person then reverted to her old self and increased her attack upon her in-law. The intensity of hatred was raising so much so that the family's Patriarch had to intervene and chastised both of them but especially the one who had found out she was well. This person formed a new alliance with a neighbor who knew all concerned. Sarah was being shunned.

Suddenly, the gal who had the deep dark secret abruptly stopped talking to Sarah and started avoiding her. Sarah was besides herself. She couldn't understand what she had done to deserve such treatment. Years went by and everything seemed to calm down with the family tolerating each other but never really trusting one another. Then one night when the Yenta previously referred to, was with Sarah, she told her that she found out that the secret had been revealed and Sarah was being blamed for the leak. The Yenta tried to get Sarah to tell her what could be so great that would turn a person's life around but Sarah never relented. Even Sarah's husband tried to get her to share with him, after all weren't they one? As it says in the wedding vows. But Sarah wouldn't budge.

Many years passed and Sarah got very ill and passed away never revealing the secret she was  sworn to hold. The gal with the secret always believed she was betrayed by Sarah and this was like a thorn in her side.
Sometime after Sarah's death the neighbor that revealed the secret, let it be known to some outsiders that the gal who thought she had cancer told her what the secret was. She decided that the sick, now well person, used people like pawns for her own purposes, be it good or evil, and would not say anymore about this matter. The gal with the deep dark secret never heard that it was her own in-law who betrayed her and to this day blames Sarah. Of course the perfidious one is still going about wrecking havoc on all who get in her way of enjoying life. I am sure she will eventually get her just desserts, in this life or the next.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Barack Obama & Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney passed away some years ago but we can still see him yanking on his tie or suit Jacket saying, "I don't get no respect!". He was a funny man who brought great laughter from night clubs, to TV, to movies. Who can not smile when one thinks of "Easy Money" and Caddy Shack and the whole host of Dangerfield's productions. Outlandish, hard to believe but very, very, funny. He came to us too late in life and left too soon at least in the category of performing. I don't think he ever got a star on The Walk of Fame in Hollywood. He was recognized mostly as a genius by his peers, fellow comedians who were as zany as he was. But in life and death he rarely got any respect from those who control the industry. Too bad. Yet at what he did he was great and left a lot of us happier he was with us. He accomplished his purpose, he made us laugh.

Barack Obama I fear is our political Rodney Dangerfield. President Obama is really a genius who is accomplishing much as he tries to get all his promises in place despite opposition from all sides. Obama has unintentionally given us lots of laughs, while he has gotten us through a financial crisis that perhaps could have equaled The Great Depression. He has managed to get a comprehensive health care program covering most Americans. Like Rodney not all of his moves were great success' but he tried. AND like Rodney he gets little respect. Let's look at the present brouhaha. He got a compromise which for the most part benefits the unemployed, the middle class worker among other things. He had to give the upper class what the Republicans wanted in order to get this. Today  we find his own party bashing him. He just don't get no RESPECT. This was pretty funny for Rodney but I don't think it is for Barack. I have a theory about this.
He doesn't get respect because no one is afraid of him. The Republicans, his own party, the Progressive Independents, they all feel the guy in the most powerful office in the world can't hurt them so they bully him. The longer he goes without hurting them the less respect he gets and the less respect he gets the more the country will laugh at him until like Rodney he will be gone, coming to us rather early in the life of a politician and leaving even earlier. He once said in an interview, I am paraphrasing, that he'd rather be a one term President that did good things than a two term President that compromised his beliefs in order to stay in office. If he keeps up his present modis operandi he will accomplish his prophesy.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wiki Leaks and Other Absurdities

The United States is being embarrassed by Wiki Leaks who have come into classified information passed on from a lowly uniformed worker. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The most powerful country in the world is getting its ass kicked by guys like these and no one else is involved? The US must have the worst Intelligence community in the world or there is more to this story than anyone wants to admit.

The President of the United States is acting like Rodney King after the riots asking the Republicans, "Can't we all be friends?". ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The answer is obvious to a schmuck like me. NO! We can't be friends and make nice, nice because you are in power and we want to be. Nothing else matters. But for the record we shall look like we are co-operating while we work on making you a one term President at all costs. Check out the Mitch McConnell quotes.

A commission comes out with a report that says we are on the road to financial ruin unless we cut things like social security, medicare and medicaid. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There are more billionaires in the US while there are more people at the poverty or near poverty level than at any time in its history, yet there is no mention of redistribution of wealth. OOPS! That is a dirty word, after all why should we be concerned with the needy as long as the needy ain't us? They didn't say it but let the rich get richer and screw the common folk. Did you ever notice that bitter financial medicine only seems to affect the middle and poor class? Hey why does a billionaire care if medical costs are expensive? They have enough to make sure they will have enough even with catastrophic illness yet the lower classes get wiped out. By the way George Steinbrenner's death this year saved the family millions in Estate Taxes which come back into effect next year but not if the Republicans have anything to say about it. The lower classes of course aren't affected as much because they have much, much, much, much LESS. Yet the very ones being adversely affected by the Tea Party and the Republicans are the very ones supporting them GO FIGURE!

You can all stop with the office collections for Derek Jeter! The poor guy had to take a pay cut but he'll manage to get by, only Fifty-one MILLION for the next three years. Boy that's tough! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I agree the Yanks didn't play nice with him but have you noticed over the years they very rarely play nice with anyone? Babe Ruth really meant more to the Yanks than any one. He alone drew them in the stands and the stadium was the one HE, THE BABE, really built. When his time came they cut him and never even offered him a VP PR job. Yeah, he got a stone in center field. BUT he came a long way from the incorrigible youth in Baltimore didn't he?  So Derek and Babe did OK. The fans now? The seats cost a fortune. Can one really take his family to a few games without being the beneficent of some corporation? Notice though, the seats are loaded with guys that have much moola! Guys and gals that really never have to worry about cuts in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. They really enjoy their season tickets don't they? And the Game gets richer and richer as do all that are in it, Ballplayers included. We of course should be concerned if they don't make all they can because its America's National Past Time.