The True Lies of 2017

Because the left dominates the news media, the entertainment media and academia, Americans are swimming — actually, drowning — in an ocean of lies.

Here are a few examples:

America is racist.

America oppresses its minorities.

America oppresses women.

Universities have a culture of rape.

There are more than two genders.

All cultures are morally and culturally equal.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were caused, or made more intense, by global warming.

Israel is the villain in the Middle East conflict.

Western civilization is a euphemism for “white supremacy.”

I must credit Dennis Prager for the above. I can’t watch or read 99% of news without at least one of the previous lies and sweeping generalizations being perpetrated.

We do not live in a racist oppressive society with the exception of the (Beyond comprehension!) 1984 styled Thought and Speech Police. It is not 1760, 1860 or 1960!

Israel is bombed and terrorized almost daily, simply because it is THERE and it is Jewish. Never makes it out of the Jerusalem Post. That is true.

Nature designed almost all biological species as male and female.

Sorry, but it was white European men that made many/most of the first advances in science and technology. Wow, I just said “sorry” as if I had anything to do with it AND this is somehow a bad thing! Western civilization derives mostly from Europe where the people are white. This somehow makes it equal to white supremacy?

Minorities are oppressed? Uh… Barack Obama. Oprah Winfrey and all the thugs/nice minority people that play sports and make recordings and reap millions of dollars. By the way, JEWS are a minority, but get no PC cred because they supposedly run an Apartheid country where they torture the poor Palestinians. Lie.

Among other things, I pray for sanity, logic and the end of extreme political correctness today, Yom Kippur. Please.

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California Dooming

If California leaves the union, I will leave my long time home. Sure, I like weed and psychedelic music and blues festivals and the beach and gay people whether they marry or not as long as they are not assholes. But this f**king home state of mine is polluted, overpopulated, traffic choked, taxed to the trachea, a political minefield filled with thought-police, and it is ruined really already.

Yet the people in power think we need to invite MORE and MORE and MORE people here. Especially if they are a “hated/disenfranchised” class of people according to the “illuminati” president haters.

Oh yes– another thing– there will be a bad earthquake and a bad drought again soon enough no doubt.

On another note, the following personalities need to retire NOW and quit spewing their annoying, pompous, arrogant and smug elitist opinions: SFJ, NPF, BFH, FEW BFO JBF HCF. These are the celebs and politicos that just need to go away. I’m done with them and their backwards logic and the unfettered PCness that they so fashionably spew.

But they DO have the RIGHT to speak as annoying as they are….

 

YOM KIPPUR 5777: A NEW BLANK DOCUMENT

YOM KIPPUR IS CAREFULLY DESIGNED TO BRING US CLOSE TO DEATH, MAYBE NOT LITERALLY, BUT AS IT SHUNS THE PRACTICES OF THE LIVING–EATING, DRINKING, WEARING COLORFUL CLOTHING AND LEATHER, HAVING SEX, DANCING–WE ARE LEFT WITH PRAYER, MEDITATION, SUPPLICATION, MAYBE EVEN DESPERATION. WE COME FACE TO FACE WITH MORTALITY.

IN YOGA, WE “CHECK IN” WITH OURSELVES, SET AN INTENTION, EXPERIENCE EACH MOMENT AND FINALLY COME TO AN EMPTINESS AND REST IN A “CORPSE POSE”—“SHAVASANA” (SHAV POSE?). IT’S LIKE A MINI YOM KIPPUR. HOWEVER, ON YOM KIPPUR ALL INTENTIONS ARE NOT SET; THEY ACTUALLY BECOME NULL AND VOID AS OF THE DECLARATION OF KOL NIDREI.

YOM KIPPUR CREATES PURE, CLEAN EMPTINESS.

EMPTINESS ALLOWS POSSIBILITY. WE ARE REMINDED THAT ONE OF THOSE POSSIBILITIES IS DEATH, BUT ALSO THERE ARE POSSIBILITIES FOR GOODNESS—REPENTANCE, PRAYER, CHARITY, RIGHTEOUS ACTS.

NOTHING IS PROMISED ON YOM KIPPUR. IT IS ALL A BIG QUESTION. TO PARAPHRASE FROM SIX FEET UNDER, IF YOU THINK LIFE IS A MACHINE WHERE YOU PUT IN VIRTUE AND RECEIVE FULLFILMENT AND HAPPINESS, YOU ARE MISTAKEN.

EVEN THE MOST ORTHODOX HALACHIC JEWS WILL DIE IN ONE YEAR, ON ONE DAY, ONE HOUR, ONE MINUTE, THAT THEY DO NOT CHOOSE ALONG WITH THE REST OF US SINNERS. YOM KIPPUR IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER, THE GREAT BALANCER FOR ALL HUMANITY.

 

The Other N-Word or Ugly Confessions About My SIL

The other “N word” I am talking about is NARCISSIST. The poison that infiltrated my life four years ago is mostly forgiven (thanks yoga) but not forgotten and will certainly never quite go away. Here is some catharsis.

Four to five years ago, when my father started that final spiral to the grave in the last year of his life, something went wrong almost every day. His diabetes was out of control. He fell three or four times. He hurt his knee and was in bad pain. He couldn’t or wouldn’t take his meds properly. He ate poorly. He drank soda and alcohol. His blood sugar was dangerously high. His blood sugar was dangerously low. He was hallucinating. He had surgery for diverticulitis. He slept much of the day. He could not sleep at night. He was housebound. He could not see much due to advanced macular degeneration. He couldn’t hear well. This eliminated his last pleasures, reading and watching TV. He had peripheral neuropathy. He had dementia. He talked to my dead mother and a strange cat illusion that sat on the couch in his house. His speech filter was gone. At times he cursed openly and discussed sex and his resentment of other races in front of anyone. He said he did not believe in God. He endured an interminable week of delirium when he hadn’t a clue where he was in time or space, combined with strong hallucinations and hellish rage. He was rolling downhill fast and I was getting lots of phone calls from his helpers and hospitals and doctors. Scene set.

Enter Lisa, SIL to the rescue! She took control. Oh yes she did! She set up some old man group home for him to go to or a nursing/assisted living home of some sort. She decided his pharmacy needed to be changed so it was closer to HER house, even though I was the one managing his meds and setting up his doses for him.

Dad was so far gone by the assisted living discussion, he could not understand why his (henpecked) son and DIL wanted him out of HIS OWN COMFORTABLE COOTY RIDDEN BOOK FILLED HOME (that happened as well to be in a very desirable neighborhood). Lisa’s plan backfired. Old “Pops” as they called him (still don’t know why) was not cooperating. He was irritated, upset and confused. (They didn’t know why–ha) DEMENTIA. Duh.

Was it “Pops'” interests she had at heart? No. He was simply getting in the way of HER F-list celebrity lifestyle of world travel, cocktails, professional ball games, gourmet food, and 5-star hotels. Oh yes, and being some sort of PTA royalty. And managing her “superstar” kids’ high school athletic “careers.” She wanted as much stuff and “accomplishment” as she could get and and could broadcast on Facebook.

The week of my father’s impending death came five weeks after the epic group home showdown that failed. He took a nap on the anniversary of my mother’s death and just did not wake up right. I had gone to get his painkillers at the pharmacy (that Lisa changed to without asking) and showed up in the afternoon. He wouldn’t wake up, but he was alive. I called 911. His blood sugar was ultra low, but when the paramedics shot him up with sugar, he only moaned and cried. He was ready to go I think. He went off in an ambulance again and got stabilized in the hospital yet again.

Once a day or two went by and the hospital staff knew LISA was in charge, my brother announced that he had to leave town ON BUSINESS. OK that happens. He is the only wage earner in his family. But two hours later on THAT Sunday night, Lisa broadcast on Facebook that they were “taking a break from the Dad drama” at BOX SEATS AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL, WINE GLASSES IN HAND! My father was on his DEATHBED and they knew it. Fine. They had prepaid tickets maybe. BUT ADVERTISE YOUR SPECIAL EVENING ON FB? WTF?? My brother made no mention of this as part of his business trip. (Shame?)

Superwoman SIL made sure to call nurses FIRST THING every morning once again ensuring that they knew that SHE was in charge and handling it. The fact I AM my father’s first born child and blood relative had no effect on Lisa, who treated me like the dumb little sister. That week she was speaking in her usual patronizingly friendly way with the nurses and doctors–calling them by their first names and ingratiating herself etc. (barf)  She referred to my DYING FATHER as “AN ANGRY NASTY MAN” right in front of me and staff. I ran from the room crying. This man was a kind, funny, responsible, offbeat man WITH DEMENTIA you f**ks! When I had a question for a doctor, she shut me down saying “THE DOCTOR DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THAT!” You see, she was in a big hurry to get my “nasty” father in the ground apparently. Quicker to the inheritance? Annoyed at all the party time and PTA heroism she was missing?

She started “handling everything–calling relatives without asking (BUT NOT ALL OF THEM–I got to figure that one out later by myself–thanks Lisa!). I couldn’t keep track of it all as she hurried everything. We had come to the hospice discussion. Of course Lisa had already picked out a company SHE KNEW and made an appointment without my input.  Of course I was the only authorized person to sign the paperwork as my brother was still out of town.

Finally, I grew a backbone and told all nurses and doctors were not to speak with Lisa anymore! If she had any rights to ANY info it would come from me or my brother. SHE WOULD NO LONGER BE FIRST IN LINE. No staff people even knew I was Dad’s first born blood relative next of kin! WTF??! Oops I guess I was pretty upset at the time. Lisa offered ME no direct comfort, only organization and affair handling.

To put the cherry on top of my dad’s final hospital stay, she wanted to plan the FUNERAL before he was dead! (Thankfully it was prepaid.) However, despite the fact my dad was a converted Jew, he had never given up his love of bacon and sausage. Lisa, not realizing that family members who usually do the funeral attending and correct Jewish rites would be many of the ones coming to the funeral at the Jewish cemetery. She was planning a “tribute” bacon and sausage table at the funeral reception in a kind (and less religious) relative’s Jewish home! WTF??? Yet the breathtaking narcissism of Lisa told her that she was doing something creative, meaningful and thoughtful and couldn’t understand why we weren’t all bowing down to her efficiency and brilliance for “handling” it all!!!

While my brother was still away on business, I got endlessly long texts from her that were too detailed to address in my rather upset state. Once again they really were pleas for congratulations and plaudits. F**k that and f**k her! My brother planned to visit Dad immediately after arriving at the airport which was fairly close to the house. He blew off visiting for a whole day despite the fact Dad was now in hospice and he hadn’t seen him for a week!

As my dad lay in his living room in the hospice bed, we had visitors come round to say goodbye. I even took advantage of the non-denominational chaplain provided by the hospice company, since my brother had left Judaism for all intents and purposes. My sister-like cousin returned from her trip to NYC. I had back up.

One day I arrived at the hospice house to find Lisa ordering around staff and asking questions that DIDN’T MATTER in her usual rapid fire manner, because you see SHE WAS IN CHARGE. “Who bought the food?” “What is this?” “Why are we out of toilet paper.” “Who’s going to buy the toilet paper?” When she found out I had invited a relative over as well as the chaplain, a pall came over her and my brother’s faces. They took off to get toilet paper, bought it, THEN DEPOSITED IT NEXT TO THE MAILBOX AND TOOK OFF WITHOUT SPEAKING TO ANYONE! WTF?? No longer in control of the situation and forced to be around a Jewish relative scared them away? I still don’t get that one.

Four days of hospice and my dad died peacefully. He lay in state in the living room until the funeral home could pick him up. We now appropriately had funeral discussions. Lisa, soundly defeated on the bacon idea, did not want to pull her kids out of school for ONE F**KING DAY FOR THEIR GRANDPA’S FUNERAL!! But the previous year, she pulled them out for an entire WEEK of school to go to IRELAND TO HER NIECE’S ROMANTIC EXPENSIVE EUROPEAN IRISH CASTLE WEDDING AND GENERAL PUB HOPPING!! To narcissistic Lisa, the Facebook fodder would be worth the kids missing a whole week of school!

Additionally, she wanted to hold the funeral on the eve of a BIG HOLY JEWISH HOLIDAY. WTF?? Who does that? Also, it would delay the funeral which should not be delayed in Jewish tradition. SHE did NOT get to control this decision and was pissed.

Despite all the sturm and drang, the funeral went smoothly enough. My father is still dead four years later. His house is now a rental shared by my brother and me. My brother even grew a pair back and seems to recognize the virulence and negative power of his wife’s narcissism.

Today, I am cordial to her, but she is not welcome in my life anymore. (Not that she would want to be–I am not a catch for her  social climbing connections) I don’t even see my brother’s family more than once or twice a year. Even years ago when we were friendly, SHE picked family get together dates and times, SHE judged my family’s choices. SHE called my children “losers” to my face as she is a mean drunk. SHE criticized my lack of furnishings. SHE got too drunk and barfed on my bathroom rug and tried to hide the whole thing. There are many events I now see as a means to feed her narcissism. Everything was about what was in it for HER. Even at family events and receptions, she made sure she went home with every single bit of cheap Chinese swag offered per person!

All this living the “lives of the rich and famous” has made her today quite overweight, mean looking and borderline alcoholic or maybe even a functioning alcoholic. She used to be sweet, pretty and thoughtful. Or so it seemed. Her marriage launched her dream (stay at home mom with luxury demands) life. And yes, she is a textbook NARCISSIST. And I refuse to feed the beast.

 

 

 

Shana Tova with a Side of Guilt: My Sermon for Today

It is 5775. (year I was born + graduated HS) It is Rosh Hashanah. My male family members are not into it, while I can listen to Streisand sing Avinu Malkeinu over and over. I even enjoy listening to the old, old chazanim sing in my grandfather’s Hebrew. However, this holiday has for most of my life been about my lack of community and guilt. Even bringing up my children as Jews didn’t kick me over the guilt.

For that, I can thank my mom, who really wasn’t into it herself, struggling to force some Jew in us–afternoon Hebrew school, Confirmation classes, visiting Orthodox relatives as much as possible, some attempt at keeping a Kosher home within the temptations and cheapness of great American processed food products purchased with Cash-offs, and yes–true love and respect for the “real” Jews in the family. Her own guilt from marrying not one but two non-Jews (the first one a deep dark family secret) and running away from them and their old world Yiddish ways still shone through by the 6os even though she didn’t want it to.

When those High Holiday Tickets arrived in the mail, a feeling of dread came over me and my brother. Where were the services? Would they at least be at a hotel? How many days of school would I miss? I never wanted to explain or showcase my own Jewish heritage to my schoolmates. Would I at least get a new dress or some new shoes? How many endless hours would have to be spent sitting-standing-sitting-standing at shul? My dad looked so pathetic too, forced to drag out his tallis and yarmulka and Machzor and sit there looking like a devout Jew while he really just liked the choir at our Conservative synagogue.

A Jew he became only out of love for Mom. Otherwise, he leaned agnostic while enjoying some Jesus hymns from his youth, Gregorian Chant and big Catholic pipe organ music. He also like sitar music. Like him, my religion is Nature and Music really. I guess that makes me a Pagan and Cultural Jew. Anyway, back to the GUILT.

Then along comes the worst “holiday” of the year: Yom Kippur. No, our family did not celebrate Shabbos at shul or build our own Sukkah or have people over for a Seder, ever. That stuff was ALL riding on the tailcoat of the W’s. BUT when Yom Kippur’s observance came around, my mom was so tense, brittle, guilt-ridden and dreadful (literally) that we all felt it. We ate our “last” meal at 4:00 pm, right after school. Then we went to Kol Nidre. It’s beauty escaped me at the time. Then we went home to a noiseless dark house, with the exception of Yahrzeit candles, and went to bed. In the morning, there was no water or food, only getting dressed and going to shul with a headache that would get worse as the hours slowly ticked by. Tick. Tick. Tick. Mom didn’t “require” us to go to the Neila service, so we just stayed home and read read read. Darkness would never seem to come. Finally, finally, around 7:30 we would get Sara Lee and frozen reconstituted orange juice and Excedrin for Dad. News radio for Mom. Then it was off to LA for bagels and cream cheese and cookies at Aunt T’s. The men would build some of the Sukkah. (This starts the new year off with a mitzvah)

To sum up: Mom Brand Judaism = Guilt while Aunt Brand Judaism = Warmth and Goodness. I couldn’t pick my parents. I now see why I have been so conflicted about High Holidays my whole life. It is no wonder. I was born into the conflict!

Of course, decades later, I perpetrated that same guilt about the High Holidays on my own family. Get out your tallit. What are you wearing? We’re going to be late. No you can’t eat now. No you can’t watch TV now. and on and on. Of course all that tension inflicted on them didn’t work. Neither G. and I come from immediate families that were deeply religious and belonged to an organized congregation without coersion. Nothing, even a legit Jewish marriage and two Bar Mitzvot stuck.

That leaves this holiday for myself. Maybe that’s right anyway. Quit worrying about other people’s perceived faults. I should  examine my own life. To maybe set examples. To do mitzvot whether consciously or not. To make space literally and figuratively for the coming year by removing bad toxins, resentments, anger, bad habits and have space available for good things to come in like love, health, wealth, peace, patience, willingness to take on something new. All these centuries, the Jews had it down! All this time the High Holiday philosophy paralleled the American yoga fad! Who knew? That’s another sermon for another day. (of Awe)

Oh I was Born a Rambling Woman…

Four years ago today, George was in an almost immobilizing bicycle accident. Thank God he went back to running.

Enjoying summer. Getting my adults BOTH into college, but lots of annoying admin with that.

Watched the entire Breaking Bad series in a week! I have time for yoga and Zumba and Jcise and laundry and cleaning and gardening and sleeping.

Took family vacay to Arizona, Utah and Colorado, and more vacays to come. I have a piece of Taliesin West red painted concrete in my possession. Saw Monument Valley and Beaver Creek too.

Tisha B’Av is on the same day as Obama’s birthday. People have to come to their senses about Israel’s right to defend herself, damn it! Paula Burton, my one time favorite Jcise instructor who was a real dancer just died of pancreatic cancer at age 51. I was IN Scottsdale at the time of her demise. So sad. No obit anywhere.

People I like get cancer and die: Paula B., Shirley B., Kunio while people I dislike are fine–Bill Handel, Star Jones and HER.