I Love You, George!

A few days before November 3rd, a friend of mine posted a meme on Facebook – I think it was about voting … or something. I know there were words on it. Or, maybe there weren’t any words. Maybe there were just symbols.

I have no idea. All I vividly remember … is that whatever it said was written on top of a picture of Sam Elliott.

And when I read through the comments, I found that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have the slightest interest in the meme’s message. It could have said “Cure Found For Covid-19,” or even more important, “How To Lose Weight While You Sleep,” but the only thing of interest, according to the MANY comments, was Sam Elliott and the wild crushes everyone seemed to have on him.

I get it. I vividly remember my first crush. It was George Harrison. Since he wasn’t as seemingly popular as Paul, I was pretty sure that I, a skinny, flat-chested 8-year-old, had a chance to marry him. Whereas Paul might be slightly out of my reach.

And now that I’m a not-as-skinny-but-still-flat-chested 64-year-old, I still have crushes on stars and rock legends. Like Ryan Reynolds (but I think that’s only when he’s Deadpool) or Michael B. Jordan, or Colin Firth, or Dan Stevens, or Lee Min Ho. It’s fun. It means nothing. And it’s not like I think anything could possibly come of it.

But … I completely admit there’s a double standard.

If my husband ever commented about how incredibly good looking a movie star was, then somehow I’d be sure that she feels the same way and is fueling up her jet right now to declare her undying love to him. 

Thankfully, I have a husband who loves and understands me (and by understands, I mean indulges) … so while I’m wearing the Itaewon Class tee shirt featuring Park Seo Joon that he bought me for my birthday …

… he’s kind enough to wear his “Giant Acorn Triathlon” tee shirt. 

And that’s why I love my husband so much … and why I will never leave him for Deadpool.

A Very COVID Thanksgiving

Here we are, the Sunday before Thanksgiving 2020, and I still haven’t fully committed to our Thursday plans. There’s no turkey thawing in the fridge, no potatoes already starting to spoil on the counter because I STILL don’t know how to store potatoes, and no boxes of Stove Top Stuffing just waiting to thrill my guests (there are, however, many empty bags of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark that really were bought for Thanksgiving but ended up in my mouth).

I’m confused and not quite ready to act.

Which is exactly how I felt this past week as I started writing this post.

Because every time I started to write something “thankful” about the holiday, I thought about the people who had lost jobs, and worse … lost family to this pandemic. And I wasn’t feeling all that grateful.

BUT THEN I thought about how fortunate we are, and how truly thankful I am for our blessings. And I was back to writing about gratitude.

BUT THEN it was back to how upset I am that my family can’t be together this year, how lonely these past months have felt, and how wonderful it would be to see everyone, to meet my newest great-niece (who is already a year old!), to be with friends we love.

And back and forth and back and forth … you get the picture.

Well, after about eight different drafts (a few therapy sessions, some “CALM” mindfulness practices …. Hell I even found Keano and got her advice), it has come down to this: Thanksgiving 2020 just is confusing. At a time I’m supposed to be thankful, I’m also feeling a little bit guilty because I’m just a little bit pissed too.

So, I’m going to accept that there’s room for gratitude AND frustration this year. That maybe nothing is perfect, but nothing is absolutely horrible either.

And wherever you are, with whomever you’re able to share the holiday, I hope it’s a great one. Next year, everyone is welcome at our house!

Now where’s that bottle of Patron?

I’m Just a Singer on a Sofa

I always wanted to be “a singer in a rock and roll band.” I’ve had more fantasies about being in a band than most Americans have about a final word on the 2020 election. Alas, the one time I was in a band (remember my “Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp” gig?) it turned out that my voice wasn’t quite as up to the challenge as my fantasy was.

That hasn’t stopped me. Put me in a car by myself, and I’m ready for my Vocal Eze throat spray and my sound check. But I never want to take the lead vocal. That’s a hard pass. Just like my girl Melanie M. knows, I’ll take the harmony any day! I’ll be a Pip to your Gladys, 

a Blowfish to your Hootie, 

a Crystal Taliefero to your … well, just about ANYBODY!

But this week, I found a way to combine my need to make sure no one actually HEARS me sing with the excitement of being a part of a “band.” Ladies and gentlemen, introducing “The Sofa Singers.”

The Sofa Singers is a twice-weekly online singing event that brings hundreds of people together from around the world to “spark joy and human connection.” Founded by musician, vocal leader, author, and speaker James Sills as a response to global self-isolation during the Coronavirus outbreak, singers register once a week via Eventbrite then use the free video software Zoom to connect with everyone for 45 minutes of simultaneous singing from the comfort of their own homes.

Thankfully, The Sofa Singers encourages you to “sing as if no-one is listening, because they won’t be.” Due to latency (the delay between video and audio) it’s not possible to synchronize and hear all of the singers at the same time. James therefore gratefully keeps all audio off except for himself and his guitar, while the rest of us belt it out and share the stage with hundreds of fellow singers around the world

So this past Tuesday, I went on my first worldwide tour, joining more than 400 people from around the globe (including the US, Canada, the UK, France, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Brazil, Equator, the Netherlands, and Israel) as we sang “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson Five (and although there were probably a few Michaels among the crowd, I was totally Tito!).

What a great way to get through the pandemic, AND fulfill one of my fantasies. 

Now if I can just find “The Sofa Billionaires” and “The Sofa People with Thin Thighs and No Cellulite,” all my fantasies will be fulfilled.

Just Step Right up on the Scale …

“Okay, just step right up here onto the scale, and let’s get your weight real quick, sweetie.”

No matter how gently those words are uttered, you might as well be saying, “okay, let’s just cram this knife right into your neck real quick, sweetie, and see how fast your blood flows.”

I hate getting weighed at the doctor. Unless I walk in there and specifically ask, “would you mind finding out how much I weigh, because I don’t have a scale, a mirror, 4,000 apps on my phone, or clothes with waistbands anymore, so I just can’t tell on my own,” then PLEASE don’t weigh me. 

Unfortunately, my health care practitioners think this is my first (and only) concern when I visit them. My left arm might be hanging off from a chainsaw injury or I may have passed out in the elevator from a fever, but darn if that scale isn’t going to be my first stop.

I remember the last time I went in for my physical. It was a freezing day in December, let’s say around 4 degrees. As you might expect, I happened to be wearing a tank top … under a sweater, scarf, leggings, pants, socks, shoes, a coat, sunglasses, REALLY heavy earrings, and my wedding band. And I had a surprisingly hefty rubber band in my hair. 

“Okay, just step right up here onto the scale, and let’s get your weight real quick, sweetie” my otherwise very understanding and sympathetic nurse requested. 

“Um, do you want me to take off my coat? Or, maybe everything I have on before I do that? I don’t mind being completely naked in this hallway as long as it will shave an ounce or two off the results” I said, horrified.

“Oh no,” she replied, “that’s fine. We WANT to see just how much you can possibly weigh. According to medical research, if we put you on the scale in the dead of winter and make you look right at the numbers, we can effectively humiliate you enough that you’ll spend the rest of the day beating yourself up, buying diet books on Amazon, and scouring the Internet for weight loss plans. It’s a deal we have with therapists, publishers, and software developers.”

And don’t even think about losing weight when you’re a woman over 55. Instead, you’ll find out that once you get to “that certain age,” it’s nearly impossible to lose weight and keep the weight off. I’ve tried everything, but the real joke was the “Intermittent Fasting” trend that has become so popular.

I tried …

  • the 5:2 diet involves eating normally 5 days of the week while restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 for 2 days of the week,
  • the 16/8 method (fasting every day for 14–16 hours and restricting your daily eating window to 8–10 hours),
  • “Eat Stop Eat” (24-hour fast once or twice per week),
  • alternate-day fasting (you fast every other day),
  • and The Warrior Diet (eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and eating one huge meal at night)

I gained seven pounds.

Now I’m trying the 5:5 intermittent dieting plan.

I eat anything I want for five minutes, then look for something else to eat for five minutes, then eat that for five minutes, etc.

And next time, I’m scheduling my physical for a hot summer day.

How I’m Surviving COVID-19

We all have our coping mechanisms. COVID-19 and the year 2020 have certainly shown us not only HOW we cope during a crisis, but have given each of us a pocket full of tested strategies that we can pull out anytime things get bad – like when the next virus hits, or when an asteroid is heading toward the earth, or when aliens invade the planet, or when locusts overwhelm the environment, or … Tuesday.

But just in case you haven’t been able to store up enough resilience yet, I thought I would share my TOP 5 COVID-19 COPING STRATEGIES. Be sure you get your grain of salt ready …

  1. A husband or significant other who will (pretends to?) listen – this has been a big one for me, because I’ve come up with a LOT of information and possible cures that I want to send to the CDC and the NIH and all of the drug companies. But thankfully I’m able to run them by my husband who very thoughtfully considers them and kindly tells me I might need to do a little more research before I reach out. But I’m thinking I really should remind them of that time-honored cowpox vaccine, in case they haven’t thought about that.
  2. Amazon or other online stores with FREE SHIPPING – it’s Christmas every day!! You can find some really random things like “Soft Scrub In-Tank Toilet Cleaner” for mere pennies, and they also deliver CANDY. Need I say more?
  3. Therapy – the most important thing you can line up during a crisis is a cadre of great therapists. And since you’re so miserable and depressed at first, it really doesn’t matter how much it costs because you know you’re going to die any day now anyway. Win/win. Since March, I’ve tried CBT, EBT, EMDR, therapy pets, Tarot readings, astrologists, The Amazing Kreskin, The Long Island Medium, and Miss Cleo. I’ve improved all the way from “definitely going to die from COVID-19” to “I may not die from COVID-19” but I do, evidently, need to keep my eyes open for an albino squirrel who’s really my deceased grandfather and wants me to know he forgives me.
  4. Below Deck” or other quality reality TV – Yes, I know what a contradiction it is to be brilliant enough to find the cure for COVID-19 AND be addicted to a reality show. But I really do need something to take me away from all of the deep thought that I’m doing all day! Now, in all fairness, I am only bingeing on “Below Deck ” and “Below Deck Mediterranean” because … puhleeease! Anyone who can cure COVID-19 isn’t going to watch “Sailing Yacht.” Sometimes I feel like Captain Lee and Captain Sandy are getting into some tough situations, and I try to tell them what they should do … but my husband once again kindly reminds me they can’t hear me.
  5. Home repair – this is such a great and practical way to spend time. For maximum COVID-19 distraction, be sure you choose project that:
    1. you’ve never done before
    2. will take much longer than you expect it to take
    3. includes a high probability that you will get into a fight with your husband (note: this is an excellent COVID diversion. You may want to consider picking fights just for entertainment.)

In case you haven’t tried any of these strategies yet, I hope you find one or more of them helpful. And maybe, just maybe, we won’t need them sometime soon!

Have an interesting COVID-19 distraction? Be sure to add it here!