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Monday, September 2, 2013


Ask anyone who knows me and one thing they will say for sure: of all the pastimes available, I will inevitably choose swimming over and above the rest.

To me there is a calm in the water, an overwhelming sense of peace that takes over soon as I step into the waves. And yes, I did watch the movie Jaws, which freaked out a lot of people I know, enough to keep them from swimming in water above their heads. 

Not me. Which is why I've been keeping tabs on Diana Nyad for a bit, fascinated by her several attempts to muscle her way through the waters between Cuba and the Florida Keys. 

Now that's some seriously tricky albeit beautiful water, teeming with things that can cause pain, from jellyfish to well, the aforementioned Jaws.  Let's not forget that Diana's internal body clock is doing some serious ticking as well, way past the age when athletic swimmers would push themselves heavily, never mind trying to set records.

And that she did today, after her fifth attempt, living out an ephemeral dream that carried a whopping physical cost with it, at the ripe age of 64. 

I hit a big birthday this year, won't say what but it will say it socked me like a ton of bricks. I was incredibly dissatisfied with my life, had a job I loathed to put it mildly and enduring a messy, snowy and bitterly cold winter. When I heard Nyad was going to try swimming with the jellies as yet again, everything in my psyche rose up and cheered her on. Me and I figure a whole bunch of people of a certain age who at times are made to feel irrelevant and disposable in this extremely youth oriented U.S. society.

She lived out her dream and made 64 the newest version of a woman's little black dress, eminently wearable and a timeless classic.

Thank you, Diana, because tomorrow a lot of us will again pursue our dream with a lot more vigor, thanks to your example that it's never too late. 

Amen, and hand me my snorkel and swim fins, please.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


A famous quote by the late, great Hunter S. Thompson takes one of those life passage moments and reduces it to the now well known quote, "Buy the ticket, take the ride." In its simplest terms, it means just that -- purchase the admission and go on the journey instead of sitting around thinking about it way too long because the time will zoom right past you as you ponder your navel.

An interesting series of boutiques called "The Island Company" have taken Thompson's notion a step or two further. They took a mantra and made it into t-shirts, or maybe the t-shirts made the words into a mantra, it's possibly reached a point where it's now in the same league as which came first, the chicken or the egg scenario.

All that aside, the shirts are selling like the proverbial hotcakes perhaps because of the sweet appeal of what it says on the back.

Quit your job.

Buy a ticket.
Get a tan.
Fall in love.
Never return.

How many of us in our deepest dreams have conjured up such thoughts? Escapist thoughts aside, the mantra speaks to an even more hidden level than the patently obvious -- in an era when people spend more time in front of some kind of electronic communications device, the need to disconnect and just live is all but forgotten.

Notice it does not mean quit your work, as in the reason or purpose why you are alive -- but instead the job, the job, a nasty three letter word which has few positive connotations, an activity that while it may put food on the table rarely feeds the soul.

What a world it would be if we all found our work, bought a ticket, and took the ride.

Amen, and pass the mustard. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


And that win should be a good day.

But on that so called good day all you end up with is a crappy piece of plastic to put on your desk where it will only catch dust.
And they think that's enough.
Until you say "that's enough" and quit, leaving the plastic dust catcher just where it is because it was not enough, not nearly close enough to being enough.
And that's when the good days really begin, for you.
Amen, and pass me the forms for the exit interview, will you?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Okay, so the photo here does not exactly fit the title. 
It's actually a pic of my feet (wearing swim fins) on my last vacation in the Cayman Islands. Yep, Paradise. And here's the rub -- I used to live there. 
Now I'm living somewhere that is about to get clobbered by what the weather forecasters are saying is the blizzard of the era -- big enough to freak out those who were around for the Blizzard of 78, but that's another story. 
There's a bunch of people I know that are somewhat psyched about this mega-storm, mostly people who really really like cold weather and in particular seem inordinately fond of large quantities of snow. Apparently these are people who don't have to shovel the snow in question, but then again that's another story.
THIS one has a name -- somebody decided to call it Nemo, and at first blush I think a lot of people thought it was christened after the cute little orange and white fish in the cute little orange and white fish movie.
actually think somebody named it after Captain Nemo, particularly since the storm is supposed to clobber an entire section of the country precisely on the birthday of Jules Verne.
You know, the guy who wrote 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea, in which a very peculiar man named Captain Nemo sailed around the globe in this super-submarine that he had built basically so he could avoid the human race.
At this writing, given the option to hunker down and wait for Mother Nature to dump two feet of frozen something or other on me, or else wear the fins in the photo, well, I guess you get the picture.
Amen, and pass the mustard.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway are going home with Golden Globe awards in their respective categories this evening, but that is where the resemblance ends. The two women found themselves in competition with veteran actors whose talents are undeniable: Meryl Streep and Sally Field.

But how they accepted those kudos very publicly showed the world how much of a class act one was, and one definitely was not.  

Lawrence no sooner got on stage when she blurted out, "I beat Meryl!" There was very definitely nervous laughter in the audience, and while Lawrence continued making pithy remarks and some jokes,  there was no doubt in anyone's mind, including possibly hers, that she should not have made that statement.

Within moments of one another, Hathaway accepted her own award, quickly and graciously acknowledging all the other actors in the category, and most notably, the veteran Field, whom she called "a vanguard against typecasting." Hathaway noted that Field had begun with what many considered a lightweight role for a woman actor, and managed to obtain increasingly complex and deep character roles as their careers went forward.

"Because," said Hathaway, "as the girl who started as the Princess of Genovia, I can't tell you how encouraging it was to know that the Flying Nun grew up to be Norma Rae and grew up to be Mama Gump and grew up to be Mary Todd Lincoln."

Anne Hathaway received a Golden Globe tonight. Jennifer Lawrence just laid a golden egg.

Amen, and pass the mustard,