20 August 2016

Trump Takes it Over the Rainbow

During a campaign rally in Topeka, KS, Donald Trump claimed President Obama was directly responsible for the illegal forced deportation of a young farm girl. According to Trump, Dorothy Gale, age 12, was forcibly removed from her house and taken across the border to the hostile land of Oz.

“Failed domestic policies and a struggling economy under the Obama Administration has forced Kansas farmers to remain in Tornado Alley.” Trump told pitchfork wielding supporters.

 “Yes folks, President Obama has allowed terrorist tornadoes to form, and a little girl lost her home and her dog.”
Trump continued, “People said that Dorothy was left alone amongst radical munchkins who are part a dangerous organization known as the Lollipop Guild. I’m hearing they could be a threat to national security and Obama’s doing nothing to stop them.”

“Crooked Hilary and the Clinton Foundation have accepted money from the Emerald City and a mysterious wizard,” Trump went on to say in a blustery manner.

“Both President Obama and Hilary Clinton have allowed hundreds of monkeys to disappear from U.S. zoos. They were secretly transported to Oz where they are given wings and become the terrorist foot soldiers of a corrupt witch sisterhood.”

Trump told his cheering supporters in an attempt to escape captivity and return home, young Dorothy was manipulated by the Wizard of Oz to kill the Wicked Witch of the West – a broom riding radicalized killer.

“After a horrific experience that no one should have to endure, believe me, Dorothy has safely returned to the USA, and she is so happy to be home.” Trump advised the crowd.

In a moment of solidarity for Dorothy, Trump’s supporters chanted “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!”

Trump also stated that Ms. Gale is being treated for Post Traumatic Oz Syndrome. “Folks, due to Obama’s horrible Affordable Care Act, Dorothy struggles daily with finding quality medical attention, but that will change quickly when I’m elected in November,”

“I will make sure that Dorothy has so much health care, she will be tired of healthcare. She will be safe in a country that will not allow illegal munchkins over the rainbow.”

Trump claims that Crooked Hilary paid for an expensive pair of ruby slippers to buy Dorothy’s silence in this national security issue.

“His statements are false and have no substance,” Obama said when questioned about Trump’s speech. “They sound like a fairy tale to me,” he replied.
At his next rally, Trump plans to reveal a huge waste of tax payers’ dollars. He claims he has knowledge of Obama’s top secret executive order to Journey to the Center of the Earth.

07 July 2016

An Egg-Centric Cookout

We’ve just celebrated Independence Day and the grilling days of summer are underway. Millions of Americans celebrate July Fourth with backyard barbeques and continue their outside cooking throughout the season.

30 June 2016

Free the Mind

Quiet the mind and the soul will speak – Ma Jaya Sati

I’ve wanted to learn the art of meditation. Articles I’ve read extoll the virtues of learning to regulate the mind. It helps reduce stress and ease health issues like depression, anxiety and high blood pressure. Plus, Oprah does it so why wouldn’t I want to give it a try?

I read an article that Harvard researchers found meditation does produce beneficial effects in the brain and in the gut. It can help people with symptoms of IBS, IBD, IRS, IDIOT and TRUMP. Finding inner peace and wellness can take you to a much better place – like checking out of the Roach Motel and into the Ritz-Carlton.

With proper instruction, I could become one with the universe. Focus my chi and enjoy my Chai. I needed to find a place to learn the principles of meditation. There are books and phone apps, but I need to learn by participating. I’m a hands-on learner. I have to see it in action or in this case – nonaction.  

I located a yoga/meditation center not far from my home. I couldn’t wait to get into the lotus position, and give my brain a Silkwood shower.  They didn’t have any introductory classes, but I was welcome to attend an ongoing session. I figured if it is transcendental; I could just pick it up through osmosis. My mom always told me my head was a sponge –  hmm, I hope she meant that in a good way.  

I arrived at the center, and was asked to remove my shoes and leave them with a stack of discarded footwear. Already I’m feeling anxiety. I don’t like leaving my personal belongings amongst strangers where I can’t keep on eye on them. Perhaps, I could wear them around my neck or put them on my hands.

This trip into the meditation world was supposed to be an adventure. I had to let go of my worries and hope no one liked my Clarks. The meditation leader greeted me wearing a Buddha t-shirt and a pair of MC Hammer pants. He was crunchy granola, and I was already keeping my distance avoiding a tree hugging embrace.

I entered a dimly lit room with incense burning. A diverse group of individuals were in various postures on the floor. They sat on pillows, leaned on back supports, wrapped themselves in blankets, stretched and maneuvered their legs. I thought I was in a warmup room for Cirque du Soleil.

The session began with everyone closing their eyes as the granola guy softly intoned, “just notice your thoughts and let them go.” I was noticing that I didn’t have a clue how to let anything go and if I wanted to achieve inner silence; he needed to shut up.

It was like walking into a Zumba class and not knowing the routine. I was going left and they were going right. I wasn’t sure when to kick and I was stumbling on everyone’s mantras. There was just my desire to flee the room, grab my lonely shoes and contemplate why I had paid for this nonsense.

I knew I needed a beginner’s explanation of the principles of meditation and how to quiet a very loud, obtrusive, inner voice. No Tibetan chime bowl was going to calm me down unless there was a spiked punch in it.

With some additional research, I did find a yoga studio that was holding a four-week beginners’ meditation class. I guess if you put it out there in the universe it can come flinging back at you. I guess my chakras were in alignment or some metaphysical spirit bought me a lottery ticket.

I excitedly attended my first class. I was ready for the shedding of the shoes and this studio had handy individual cubicles for footwear. Already a step in the right cosmic direction. The instructor, Joann, was a friendly, middle-aged woman who wasn’t wearing a swami outfit. There was no updraft of patchouli – just a pleasant smile.

The room was arranged so each participant had folded blankets and a pillow for support. There were more blankets than a bedding sale at Macy’s. Joann advised the goal was to be comfortable and keep warm. Some people grow cold when in their meditative state. Since I get hot at the slightest temperature increase, I couldn’t imagine needing that many blankets even if I was a Sherpa on a Mount Everest expedition.

The participants settled into their spaces, and our instructor told us of her history with meditation. She had been practicing for many years so we were in experienced hands. She began our orientation with breathing techniques. It’s Lamaze for your mind.

She said we wanted to be “an observer of our thoughts not a participant.” You have to learn to think about not thinking, and I was already thinking about that. We did focused breathing, but I was focusing on everyone else’s breath – from the death rattle behind me to the Darth Vader on my left. I guess you can tell I’m easily distracted.

That was my fear – that I couldn’t concentrate. I asked Joann if there was something else to do besides breathing awareness? There is the general question you can ask yourself to focus – “who am I?” or “who’s distracted?” “who’s annoyed?” etc. I just hoped when she dimmed the lights and everyone relaxed, I wouldn’t be asking “who farted?”

As a starting point, we prepared to meditate for twenty minutes. Joann lit a candle in the middle of the room and said she was turning the lights off. Okay, I’m now going to be in the dark with heavy breathing strangers, and I’m supposed to clear my mind. Oh yeah! That’s going to work just fine.

Joann advised us to relax our faces, our necks and our third eye. Wait…What?? Where is my third eye? My mind was going to some very bizarre places. If I did relax my third eye would it be painful? (Note to self – research location of third eye, and if it needs an exam.)


Only a minute into the meditation and already I was having a conversation in my head. “Breathe, let it Go, who’s distracted?” My mind was swirling with thoughts. I wanted to know what was going on in the dark.  I needed a miner’s hat so I could survey the room. I’d make sure the heavy breathing was from meditation only.

Twenty minutes is a long time to be quiet when you’re a novice. After ten minutes my leg was numb, and I had to ease myself out the of the lotus position without falling over. “Who’s sore? “Who’s flushing the toilet on the other side of the wall?” “Who’s snoring?”

“Who smells like onions?” My inquiring mind wanted to know.

I did have several periods of calm, where I lost awareness of my surroundings. I’m not sure if it was a true meditative state, or if I passed out. Either way it was relaxing. I just need practice and that’s why I’m taking the classes.

Next week we are going to learn a new breathing technique where you alternate between nostrils when inhaling. This should be an interesting practice. I can hardly wait to stick my finger up my nose in the dark. I just hope I don’t poke my third eye out.

09 June 2016

It's Buy the Book

The 68th annual Philadelphia Writer’s’ Conference begins tomorrow, so I’ve been thinking about writers and books. As long as I can remember, I’ve been in love with books. Before I could comprehend a written sentence, my dad would read stories to me. He was very good at acting out the characters and doing voices.  He created my appreciation for the art of good storytelling.

13 May 2016

Search for a Rational Voice

I believe I was born with social anxiety. I know we are supposed to think we’re born with a clean slate, but my slate had a few smudge marks. Probably my first thought after delivery was, “Everyone is looking at me. OMG I’m naked in a room of strangers. Hey, someone get a diaper over here. Don’t look at my folds and creases. God, already I need the Beverly Hills Nursery Diet.”  I had tiny baby hands and you know what that means.