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May 31, 2016
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In My Humble Opinion

Much ado about nothing

Yeah, it’s been pretty quiet around here for the last two weeks. Even though I was seriously looking forward to a little downtime, it didn’t take long for me to go stir crazy spending so much of it at home during the break from my hectic schedule that falls between Christmas and New Year’s. Oh, sure, I had big plans: clean out some closets, put the holiday decorations away, send out some “thank yous” and scrub the house from top to bottom before breaking down and making some resolutions. So far, I’ve accomplished none of this, but I did manage to unplug the dog’s pink, metallic tree.  Read more

May the force be with you

I’d like to personally thank George Lucas, J.J. Abrams and the entire cast and crew of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for making my holiday a little brighter. Fear not—no spoilers here, but I’m grateful that my doctor gave me the go-ahead to get out of bed and be among people, without fear of infecting an entire theater full of fans, in order that I might carry on a long-standing tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day. And, by choosing “Star Wars,” I feel like a kid again.  Read more

It’s beginning to look a lot like Xanax

Well, maybe not, but the “popular” drug—which is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders and depression (www.drugs.com)—is on my fantasy Christmas wish list. The truth is, that because of my health issues, I’m (ironically) not allowed to take the majority of prescription drugs, so am left to my own defenses when it comes to “holiday depression”—which is, indeed, a thing. Naturally, I try to make light of it, laughter being the “best medicine” and all, and more often than not, it works.  Read more

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Every year, I look forward to hearing the 1958 holiday classic, written by Johnny Marks and made famous by Brenda Lee, and by the time holiday season is in full swing, I can’t get it out of my head. Ironically, Marks was Jewish but specialized in Christmas songs, including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” but it was the lyrics to “Rockin’” that reverberated as I traversed the Upper Delaware River region over the last few days in search of holiday spirit.  Read more

Sensory overload

Wow, man—it’s a little crazy out there. With the holiday season in full swing, I’ve been running around like a festive headless chicken, doing my best to take in as many of the events exploding throughout the Upper Delaware River region as humanly possible, while attempting to retain a semblance of sanity. Maintaining composure has never been my strong suit, and keeping up with the Wonder Dog is a full-time job in itself.  Read more

Never say never

The older I get, the more these pithy little sayings prove to have validity. As a youngster, I often scoffed at the adults, who seemed to have a never-ending arsenal of finger-wagging pearls of wisdom. Normally, I’m curious enough to research the origins, but this one yielded pages of song lyrics from Justin Bieber’s playlist, which stopped me dead in my tracks. Clearly, he borrowed the expression from somewhere (does he have original thought?) so I skipped that step and just glanced at the pretty pictures, Bieber-style.  Read more

You can choose your friends…

But, as Harper (“To Kill A Mockingbird”) Lee once famously said, “You can’t choose your family.” As Thanksgiving approaches, this ever-so-slightly paraphrased sentiment rings true for many of us, as we choose with whom to break bread on turkey day. For me, it’s my family of friends, who have made a conscious decision to spend time with me (and I them) rather than getting together out of a sense of familial duty, based on bloodline, which often has no bearing on whether we actually like each other or not.  Read more

Fish and Visitors

According to Benjamin Franklin, both “stink after three days” (www.ushistory.org), and he very well may have been right. I tested Franklin’s hypotheses over the summer when my family visited for more than the allotted days, but somehow they managed to stand the test of time. Still, when I venture outside of the Upper Delaware River region (which is very rare) I try not to overstay my welcome, rather than risk emanating effluvia (look it up!) myself.  Read more

If I could turn back time…

Well, even if I could, I’m not sure that I would, but every once in a while, it sure is fun to revisit the past. One such opportunity arose last weekend in the form of the Bethel Theatre Works (BTW) production of “Vaudeville in the Catskills-Swings into the Sixties.” The company’s artistic director, Victoria V. Leighton, has been inviting me to their productions for a few years now, but busy bee that I am, this was my first opportunity to take in one of the shows.  Read more

Funny, he doesn’t look flu-ish…

There, I said it. That old chestnut has popped up repeatedly as I ride out the horrible (I mean horrible) cold that descended several days ago and (as of this writing) still clings to me, as I shake, rattle and try to roll with it. My bones hurt, my eyes hurt and, if I had my druthers, I’d hurt the one who gave it to me to begin with. More often than not, it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact moment when one has been exposed to germs that can take down the bravest of souls, but in this case, I’m well aware of where and when this nightmare started.  Read more

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