Less TV, more Life

It would be radical to say I’m giving up on television. I beg to differ. Now with a billion channels there’s something good to watch on TV, but it’s not what you think.

I’m a person who was raised on television. I’ve seen just about every show and every incarnation of story line, that nearly every TV show has become repetitive.

I was watching a movie called Headline Shooter yesterday. The film was made in 1933. The topics and tragedies it covered were just as gory as what is common fodder on today’s hit TV series. Yes death and destruction sells.

Every kind of human depravity grabs the attention of the masses on television and in books. Lately movies have seemed rather flat too. It seems every movie I see uses the same pattern of manipulating emotion in ways that have disenfranchised me to the point where they no longer thrill. Sorry, but the spectacle of special effects is wearing thin as well.

I used to watch TV to be amused and entertained. But being amused and entertained is easy on Facebook and in social media. Also, the news can be pretty entertaining. Some people can be so stupid that you can laugh at them in disgust, or hang your head down and cry. But it is human nature to ignore reality and history, so stupid people continue to proliferate in their heinous acts.

The world’s human tragedy is played out in the newspapers and on social media moment by moment. Television shows are just a faint mirroring of the human condition. So easily forgettable. A quaint escape and a huge waste of time.

In the future I think entertainment will be found in more practical ways than just sitting in idleness glued to a screen.

Human tastes are changing. People are longing to connect to past experiences and friends they’ve lost touched with.

I predict an Entertainment Revolution. I think we are getting sick of being made sick by sick people. But then I could be wrong. It seems sickos never go out of style. People like to watch other people suffer as long as it’s not them. The drama, the tragedy, the sex and violence, an entertainment history that goes back to ancient times, is replayed over and over again in TV and movies because that is what people like.

For me, I like to laugh. I like to see the beauty happiness and romance of life. You can keep it’s dirty underbelly, thank you very much. Reality to me is better than a watered-down rendition of it or grotesque cinema verite.

Tired and disgusted

Normally in November the weather is gray and yucky like this picture

I should be very happy. The weather today was not all gray and depressing as it normally is in November. In fact, it got up to 72 degrees, or  22.222 degrees Celsius.

Seeing a hearse outside Domino’s Pizza Parlor just makes me wonder about being overworked

But when you burn the candle at both ends, it doesn’t take a mighty straw to break the camel’s back.

I have so many balls in the air lately, sleep is just an interruption. When I really find myself fast asleep, then it’s time to get up and take care of the diabetic Pomeranian, and take the dogs out to wee.

Not only that, the two dogs have taken it upon themselves to be my alarm clock x 2. They bark their heads off when they want me to get out of bed on their timetable.

I have dyspraxia so it’s hard enough to finally go to sleep at night, and then to have to get up prematurely, it’s really awful.

One of the dogs loves to jump on the bed and jump on me. He tries to get me to get up by jumping up and down and barking on me. The other dog, who is visually challenged, just barks and barks to get me up.

The weird thing is that they go to bed when I go to bed, but they’re up before the dawn ready to go and run. So lately my life has just been so sleep-deprived. Tonight I’m going to try to go to bed a little sooner. Yet because of my  projects and work, no housework  has been done and yet it’s really piling up like crazy.

It’s awful when there’s no food in the fridge, dirty dishes in the sink and no one to do all the work except yourself.

I’m seriously considering hiring some help. But I hate it when people come over and see the mess, and also people seem to intrude in my life when I don’t want them here. I need to just develop some really good habits which I plan to do, so I can just do it all myself.

Everybody seems to be working very hard lately. It’s like when it rains it pours.

Then again there’s other people that just don’t want to have to work so they just don’t come in or they call in sick and then someone else has to carry the extra load.

You can be tired in many different ways, and usually all those ways at one time.

I’m trying to look at the bright side of things right now. There are good things coming. I know. I will just try to gather my strength, any way I can. I will try and get more sleep, not do anything tonight, except close my eyes and go to bed. If I can’t sleep, then I will get up and do some cleaning. But I think I know I’ll be able to sleep because sleeping is better and easier than having to face a sink full of dirty dishes. Nevertheless, my truck is full of groceries, I just got back from the store, now I have to put everything away and take care of my diabetic Pomeranian. The Merry-Go-Round doesn’t quit.

 I will find the strength, now that I have unloaded on my blog. It’s better to be too busy than bored. I’m no longer bored, just tired.

This diabetic Pomeranian is very feisty in the early morning hours

The Sound of Music comes to my doorstep

Debbie Turner speaks to a large crowd about her role in the Sound of Music

Tonight I took the trek up the hill to Martin Luther College in the town I live in.
I had just returned home from work and had eaten some supper and was ready to recline, until the buzzing on my SmartWatch told me I needed to be up at Martin Luther College at 8pm because an actress from the Robert Wise hit movie, by the name of Debbie Turner was going to talk about her role in “The Sound of Music.”
Growing up as I did in Toronto in the Inner City, I was a very lonely and neglected child and I found my escape in music and in musicals.
Walking home tonight, I fell into that reverie, the lines of the song from Sunset Boulevard sang in my head, we taught the world new ways to dream. That is Hollywood for you. 

There is a resurgence and a resurrection of interest in the old movies. In fact, I’m leaving to another Turner Classic Movie Cruise in about a week. This will be my 5th Turner Classic Movie Cruise and I will see Jerry Lewis, Kim Novak, Michael York, Leslie Caron, Lucie Arnaz jr., among others. 

I’ve been on cruises where I’ve seen other stars such as Shirley Jones, Mickey Rooney, Theodore Bikel, Eva Marie Saint, Angie Dickinson, Richard Wagner, Lou Gossett jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Harold Lloyd, Ruta Lee, Jane Powell, and Margaret O’Brien, who are just a few that come to mind.
Listening to Debbie Turner talk about her experiences playing Marta in The Sound of Music told me a lot about the way Hollywood used to be. The so-called lesser players were paid much less back then. The things classic movie actors and actresses have to bank on now, is the keen interest Baby Boomers along with their children have in old Hollywood. Sadly, old Hollywood, is as recent as the eighties and nineties not just the thirties and forties.

I grew up very lonely with LP’s teaching me all the lyrics to all the famous musicals from West Side Story to The Sound of Music and others in between. The curse I had was that my rhythm was poor. I have perfect pitch but not perfect rhythm, that came later with training. My husband has natural rhythm but not natural perfect pitch so we’re a perfect match.

Nevertheless, Hollywood has put its imprint on me as well as millions of others.

While kids of today may have never seen a Judy Garland film they have heard of her, just like I have heard of Rin Tin Tin, but I’ve never seen him in a movie.

So when I go on the Disney Fantasy and see  Jerry Lewis for the first time for real, it will probably be just as startling and uplifting as when I saw Shirley Jones for real on the Disney Magic. I grew up watching Jerry Lewis films. In fact he was my role model for a spell. I was a crazy zany over-the-top teenager, every once in awhile, after watching one of those movies because I was yearning for a role model, even though people thought I was nuts.

I was in Oklahoma playing the lead role as Laurie in junior high school. I was unable to talk to Shirley Jones on the ship, but I was able to listen to her speak about herself and her past and I was duly disillusioned.

Did you know she was pregnant when she was playing in the movie, The Music Man? Finding out about these Stars close up and real, they were not like in my imagination at all.

How desperately I really wanted to be a part of Hollywood, is unfathomable. 

I imagined being a movie star would mean being perfect and being happy all the time. 

In college, they said you don’t want to meet your heroes or idols because they would surely disappoint you. For a while I was reading the biographies of Barbara Streisand and all the other movie stars that I was emulating. 

I had a chance to be in a couple of local television commercials and I learned about waiting. I hated waiting for the lighting and all that. I didn’t like being part of an ensemble either. I used to sing in a choir and I hated every second of it. I wanted to be the star.

So here I am today as a radio announcer, happy as can be with two dogs to take care of and a wonderful husband who loves me. Who could ask for anything more?

In another vein, so often I heard actors and actresses say they wound up being movie stars out of dumb luck.

Perhaps it was dumb luck that prevented me from going to Hollywood and becoming an actress. Perhaps I was too dumb to qualify. I’m glad of that. I’m glad to be where I am today.

In my dreams I’m an Academy Award winner

The Why and Whatever

My dog Cole nearly broke my finger again freaking out after a squirrel he espied on our walk this morning. 

We were walking along  and he saw a squirrel dash up a tree. Although I had my two dogs on leashes, my dog Cole went crazy when he saw the squirrel. 

He yanked so hard he made me let go of the leash. Cole can run really fast, but the squirrel was already safe on a high branch by the time Cole reached the tree.

My other dog, an old Pomeranian named Pixie is visually-impaired. She takes a more circumspect view of life. Squirrels are invisible to her.

I call my two dogs The Why and Whatever. 

Pixie is The Why. When I call her to come to me she will not come unless there’s a reason. Her belly and her taste buds are her main motivator. However she does get excited when it’s time for her walk. She will come to me to put her leash on her to go out. She’s a dog who lives by way of a purpose and a plan. She is efficient and doesn’t do anything without good cause.

My Poodle named Cole is Whatever. He generally comes to me when I call him. 

He does not need a reason to obey me

He will cuddle up to me and sit by me for hours on end, and enjoys hanging around for whatever.

Cole does not have to have a reason for anything. 

Like Pixie he certainly can be bribed, but he does not need a bribe to listen to me.

As for me, I tend to be a daydreamer, and reactive. I am like my dog Cole.

I like to do things for whatever the reason. I don’t always have to have a reason for everything I do.

Nevertheless, sometimes it’s good to be like Pixie. It’s good to be motivated by purpose. Why do something if you get nothing in return?

Then again, if you buy a bunch of flowers and give them to a friend for whatever, for no reason, there doesn’t always have to be a reason, if for nothing more than it makes others happy.

It’s good to remember, just because, is okay.

Psych yourself up or out?

Sometimes, during conversations my husband and I try to remember the name of some famous person. It seems in the same instant I allude to the actor or actress, for example, Angela Lansbury, or Rex Harrison, we both for the life of us cannot remember their name. We psych each other out that way, perhaps by trying too hard to think.
I often psych myself out of doing necessary work such as dieting or cleaning up the house. I meditate so hard on it that I lose every inkling of motivation.

Nevertheless, there are times when I’m really psyched up. Especially if it’s to go somewhere exciting and fun.

So do you psych yourself out, or do you psych yourself up? It’s better to psych yourself up. Get psyched, but don’t get psyched out! 🙂

Good stories

When I went to college I had about 530 credits when I graduated. The reason was because I took so many different classes, such as the history of science fiction, physical anatomy, musical theater class, sailing, horseback riding, how to write the novel, plus a full load of courses within a double major of music and English!
Nobody was as curious as me. I was interested in everything and I had a keen hunger for knowledge!

One take away I got from my English class, from my celebrated professor, Prof.Terry Davis, was that one should write about what they know about. 

I tried writing a bad fictional account of a speakeasy in the Roaring Twenties, with hackneyed characters and I was rightfully criticized. 

Then I wrote a story about being teased by my sister, when I was growing up in Toronto taking the ferry to Centre Island. The professor gave me encouraging praise after reading my true account.

I also wrote a factual story about an elderly family member who didn’t want to have to pay for a plot, so he buried his deceased wife himself, in an undisclosed secluded spot, in the country .

I titled the story, A decent burial. 

The maxim is true, write about what you know.

I watched a travel show about the Orient Express last night. I found out why Agatha Christie was inspired to write the story, Murder on the Orient Express. It was because of the actual incident where a person was found murdered on the train while she was traveling from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient Express. She was one of those disgruntled passengers who was stranded on the train in the snow bank, and had to wait for days until the train had to be dug out to continue on to their destination.

Often the best writing is born from suffering, and also from real life experience!

Why work?

Teaching kids music is fun work!

The simple answer is, someone has to pay the bills!

Some people don’t like to work. They don’t understand that if they don’t work, someone else has to pay for them.
It seems, nowadays, we live in a society where people hate work.

Nevertheless, there are many benefits that come from even part-time work. If people get jobs, they can contribute to society in a positive manner and they get many benefits as well.

Other people prefer to be freeloaders, and have other family members or the employed work very hard to keep them in selfish comfort.

Everybody needs a job. Especially, if it contributes to self-sufficiency. When one person has to carry the load of financial responsibility for lazy people, it makes it very hard for that person. It’s pretty unfair, in my opinion. Especially when the worker bearing the brunt of all the hard work, begins to grow old, and feels the pain of long hours.

The maxim, those who do not want to work should not eat, is pretty harsh. Maybe it should just read, those who want to work, deserve to eat.

Find meaning in work by doing meaningful work