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As I borrow the tag line from AGEMARCH.org and the founder, Barbara Rose Brooker, #AgeMagnificently, I challenge you to become the best YOU. By becoming the best versions of ourselves we allow ourselves to be open to the opinions of others and dialogue rather than argue or fight! We are all products of our environment, we bring to the table not only cultural differences but the interpretations of the culture we have (and are) experiencing.
My Jewish upbringing as a Conservative Jew is not necessarily the same as another who may identify as the same. Growing up my parent’s kept a Kosher home, however, on Pizza nights we all sat around eating Pepperoni Pizza off Paper Plates because my parents created their personal interpretation of the Kosher Laws. However, my Baube and Zayde would have said we were creating a ‘SHANDAH’ or a SCANDAL!
Whether my parents were right or wrong in the eyes of my maternal grandparents, they chose to create their version of keeping kosher.
Today we are living in a global society full of tags – we all need a tag line to be identified and often the tag lines do not give us enough information. They are often like sound bites that do not give us the whole story. However, #AgeMagnificently provides us a picture that with AGE comes Magnificent if we choose it.
To be magnificent means to be “admirable in action; displaying great power or opulence, especially in building, way of living, and munificence. Magnificent(adj) grand in appearance; exhibiting grandeur or splendor; splendid’ pompous.” However, leaving out pompous, we can be admirable in our actions if we accept that all people are created with goodness, some may need a little more guidance than others. Opulence does not necessarily reflect wealth but the rich and kindness of one’s personality. We can all build a world of fairness that will lead to the growth of FAIRNESS! We can walk straight and tall with our heads held high without stick our noses in the air, avoiding the truth. Facing the truth is not easy but no one said that change was easy!
If we age magnificently from birth we will no longer be judged by a number, a color, gender, sexual preference, or no preference. Our religion will be accepted and our traditions will not be frowned upon. We will be the BEST of OUR BEST while lending a hand to someone who may appear to be different. It is time to accept differences and come together.
It is time to make a Change – Do it!
Forty-nine years ago, I said I do for the first time. On that Sunday afternoon, I honestly thought this was a forever marriage – although as I waited behind closed doors to walk down the aisle, I had second thoughts “it was too late” to change my mind. I was more concerned about what my parents would say and how I could explain this to anyone, even myself. So, I walked down the aisle, sobbing on my father’s arm as my future husband was waiting for me with his parents.
In Yiddish, if this is your destiny, it is said to be, beshert. Sadly, this marriage was not meant to last. We went into it caring for each other and trying to please our parents by finding a Jewish Mate. His parents never liked me, and my parents never felt a connection with him.
However, if not for that day in 1971, we would not share our son, and Steve is the icing on the cake.
We eventually found our soulmates, and despite the early years of anxiety and tension between us, we moved on, putting the past behind us and enjoying the lives we detoured and created. We both celebrated 36 years of marriage to our soulmates this year.
The reason I am sharing this story today is to let you know that even when we think we are on the right road, it is possible to take several turns that will lead you in a new direction.
The direction you choose to take may create changes for others in your path and but it should be by personal choice to live our best lives. Too often, we try to please others, hoping that it will reflect on us, creating an aurora of happiness. However, making someone happy does not always make you happy, it may happen in love songs and movies, but it does not always relate to real life!
Forty-nine years ago, today, I had no idea what my future looked like. I knew I was saying “I Do,” but I was too young and naive to understand what that would mean as time moved forward. However, today with hindsight, I can look at the years that have passed and know that I am where I should be today. I have matured in becoming an authentic version of myself.
June 23, 2020
THE DAY THE MLB OWNERS AND TEAMS AGREED TO PLAY!
“Major League Baseball’s owners have approved a restart plan for MLB and, in keeping with the acrimony and suspicion between management and the players we’ve seen for the past three months, sent it as more or less an ultimatum to the players association. But it does mean the sport is coming back.”
I have always enjoyed the game of baseball. I grew up in Detroit and my introduction to baseball was the Detroit Tigers. Although we didn’t go to many games back in the day my Father either listened to the game on his AM Radio or we watched in on our Black & White TV. During my teens, we lived in Minneapolis and I felt like a trader rooting for the Minnesota Twins, but Harmon Killebrew played for them and my dad’s name was Harmon, so became loyal to them only to feel torn when in 1968 we moved back to the home of the Tigers.
During my lifetime, I have lived in cities with other teams such as the Phillies, the Reds, and the Indians! My first introduction to the Indians was in the late eighties or early nineties when they were still playing at Municipal Stadium. My husband and I were invited by one of his clients to attend a game and party in a Logue. Well everyone else partied (assuming the Indians would lose which was their pattern at that time,) I sat and watched the game rooting for the home team.
In 1994 as I traveled for business one night when I called home, my youngest son Alex who as 4 years old at the time informed me he was watching the Oreos on TV and he couldn’t talk to me. After he hung up on me very abruptly I called back and his father told me that Alex was mesmerized by the baseball game and was intently watching it. That was the beginning of true love in our home! Ever since the summer evening, Alex has gravitated and absorbed the game that it is difficult not to enjoy his love for the purity of the sport.
COVID19 has hit us all hard and baseball not starting on time in March has been difficult on many (but it is very apparent here in our home.) You see Alex always wanted to play baseball and despite the lessons he took and his knowledge of the game past and present, some obstacles (COACHES) stood in his way. However, his dream has always been to work for the Cleveland Indians. Two years ago that dream came true and although he is working his way through the system for him it’s not just working because when he is at Progressive Field he feels complete!
However, this horrible virus has meant he is out of work along with many others working for Major League team, however, he plans on returning when the opportunity avails itself. Now that an agreement has been met he is all smiling because he will at minimum be able to follow his team and the sport he loves. I too am smiling again because despite being from Detroit, and once rooting for Twins, Phillies, and Reds, my love and devotion go out to the Cleveland Indians.
I don’t want to wish the summer away but I cannot wait till they take the field at the end of July so I can, “Root, Root, Root for MY HOME TEAM. GO INDIANS!
First they came for the communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller
Saturday, May 2, 2020
It Should be Kentucky Derby Day
It’s another Saturday in this new Pandemic World. I am fortunate to have somewhat of a schedule for newclevelandradio.net during the week, recording and preparing podcasts. However, most weekends seem to zap me of energy as the days drag on with little to do. However, today is different. My husband and I did some closet cleaning in the studio/office this morning as we are attempting to do some reorganization. Now if you have ever been in the home studio I will tell you that my husband is a pack-rat, not a hoarder. I think we have three or four end of life computers in the closet and one set out in the room. As my hubby would say, you never know we just may need parts from one to fix another. Did I mention parts that go back to a Commodore 64? If you have no idea what that is, you are very young indeed.
Additionally, I have two podcasts today and both should be fun and interesting. The first is with Just4theSpellofIt.com, lead by Gary Moss my big brother. Isn’t it interesting that we call an older sibling our big brother or sister, and the truth is I am as tall as he is or maybe taller? Gary’s podcast is all about words and Scrabble™, yet the techniques he uses teaches and creates to become a better Scrabble™ player, any one of us can use to become better at anything we want to achieve. The second is with Rick Bolton, musician extraordinaire.
Currently, I am trying to achieve patience with the #StaySafe #StayAtHome orders. I agree with the orders and I would rather be safe and struggle financially than get this horrid virus and possibly die. I understand the need to get back to work, earn a living, and feel accomplished at the end of the day, but COVID19 has invaded us and it will linger and combust again in the Fall.
Earlier today I posted ion Facebook that I feel like I am in a time warp, that each day is the same, nothing changes, and yet the slogan #WEAREINTHISTOGETHER continues to play through the media. Together but alone and that is what is warping my senses. I need to chill and breathe and make it to the tomorrow and the many days after that when it is safer to spin out of this feeling.
Have a Happy!
An open letter to my niece Sue (and to all of you too.)
Life is not fair you say, and at times I must agree with you but there are somethings we are responsible for in keeping the deck clean and cutting it fairly. Sue, your zayde used to remind us when we complained of kvetched (no I am not insinuating you are,) that we have to choices in life to live or to die. The luckier we are to live through the SHIT STORMS provides us with wisdom to make tomorrow (or today) a better day.
COVID19 is nondiscriminatory, although if you ask the male or Afro-American segments of this global pandemic they might disagree. However, we have seen the very young as well as the geriatric community become infected, and most recover but millions are still dying. All we can do to survive is to follow the #STAYATHOME rules, #WASH_OUR_HANDS, #WEAR_A_MASK, so we stay out of harm’s way.
You are one of the lucky ones. I know MS is not a “walk in the park” immune disorder. However, you have fought it with all your might and we are blessed you are still here to shout and scream about life not being fair. As the mother of twins both born on the spectrum, you have given them life beyond birth. You believe in their strengths and they have developed into young adults who we can all be proud of. It has not been easy for you or them but nothing in life that comes easy reaps the rewards. Your loving husband Joe also has medical ailments that put him at high risk for the virus. Although we may not remind you of our concern and love is not to say we are unaware and non-caring. However, as he follows the protocol we know that is all you and he can do at this time.
When I say you are lucky, you found a sister, best friend with Liz who is a second mom to your children. Often when we get divorced like the two of us, it is not common to hear that both moms are friends. But you with your heart of gold found the good in Liz and she in you. I truly admire the two of you for the relationship you have. Both you and Liz have made the lives of your children better for it. I can’t thank her enough for helping both Wylie and Hayley transition through this as she did. You are one blended family!
Another lucky star or stars in your life is finding your birth family and developing a relationship with them. Not everyone is as blessed to find their birth parents and siblings but you have and you all embraced each other when often the opposite is the result. The parents who raised you encouraged you to follow the path to seek your birthright and now you have a circle of life embracing you. (I could go into what seems like Millions of Friends, but that for another time.)
However, yesterday, when Liz tested positive for COVID19, life felt unfair and you lashed out at those who don’t want to believe in the FACTS of this insidious disease. I applaud you for telling people how sad, frustrated, and anxious you feel! When this hits close to home especially to a front line worker (Liz is a nurse,) it seems even more unfair. However, we have no control and all we can do is feed Liz positive vibes, keep her family (her daughter, the twins, and her husband,) in our special prayers and thoughts. As a cancer survivor, she is at a higher risk, but as a survivor, she has the will and stamina to get well again!
Isn’t it time for all of us to wisen up and realize if we do not prepare for the worst when it happens, and it will, we will be blown away in the wind. The devastation from COVID19 could have been so much less if some in our government would have had the BALLS to get involved in stopping or slowing down the spread of this horrific disease. However, DJT did not, he, in fact, called in “Fake News.” Now we are living and struggling with the fallout.
To Sue and All, we cannot allow this to define us, we must define ourselves and become the best of our best. That includes taking all the safety precautions to keep ourselves and others safe. I ask you to keep Liz, and all the VICTIMS of this VIRUS close to your hearts and let our energies help to send healing powers.
I am adding Liz to my list of those I know who have recovered because, #IBelieve
Like many of you, I did not expect that hunkering down would be easy, but I also did not expect my emotions to rise and fall numerous times during the day. However, my reality is more like living on a teeter-totter than a roller coast. When something sends me to the top, I feel my heart beating extra fast, numbness in my dangling feet, and tension in my arms as I hold on with a fear of heights and falling. Yet, when I lower myself and touch the ground, I feel as if I am being pushed down as my knees sink into my chest, and my head leans down, almost in a fetal position…
This is not how I expected to spend the Spring of 2020. As summer 2019 came to an end, I was making some positive life changes beginning with working out every day, developing better eating habits while finding an inner peace that helped strengthen my relationships, new and old. And then, one day, I hurt my knee, and the best-laid plans of this ‘chick’ changed overnight. Instead of working out, I was attending Physical Therapy. The weight loss and physical changes that I had made began to diminish and try as I may keep that positive attitude; it teased me with bouts of anxiety and depression.
2020 was to be the year to get my new bionic knee (total knee replacement) and return to daily workouts and redeveloping my positive plan. If you have been following my journey, you will know that I had surgery seven weeks ago, and yet I am not as recovered as I would have thought I should be or planned to be. I am having excessive nerve type pain in my knee to my ankle, and I am walking with a limp, which is throwing off my whole right-side, causing aches and pains. I think this discomfort is noticed more due to the limitations of the STAY AT HOME and BE SAFE PLAN.
This pandemic has touched all of us, and for some, it includes the loss of a parent, child, friend, or relation of someone you know. Trying to do what is right is simple, but it can feel painful, both physically and emotionally. The physical pain comes from the change in our routines, and that affects our emotional state as well. If you are like my family and me some days, you get inspired, and you do something active like cleaning out a drawer, reading a book, baking, or planting a garden.
Whatever it is, it most likely makes you feel accomplished, and that, in turn, raises your endorphins, increasing your wellness state.
It may not be easy to do something each day to provide this endorphin rush and try as I may do so, I find I am napping and vegging out, losing time to nothingness. Some nothingness is good for us, but too much can be infectious. It is not unusual for us to feel like we are riding the waves, and the rush may make us feel physically ill. However, we each have this opportunity to turn it into that “aha” moment. We can do something that erases the ills and leads us to health.
This pandemic time will end when it is supposed to end. We can do our part now to stay well, so when that day comes, we will walk out with pride and confidence for a better tomorrow.
From my Ferris
Living here in PA, we have tons of folks who are just eeking by – paycheck to paycheck – surviving on tips and the good nature of people; they work in Restaurants and Bars; as servers and bar folks and chefs and sous chefs and wait trailers.
Places we frequent: like Bar Louis and 403 Broad, The Dimmick and John’s of Arthur Avenue (Pizza and Pasta) Chris & Ginas and Faltes and the WaterWheel Cafe just to name a few local places that will be closed because of coronavirus.
In Jersey, we’ve all fallen madly crazy ass in love with the Layton Hotel.
Most of these places and the folks who work there are going to suffer greatly; they’ll be doing take-out only – NO SERVICE – just pickups; a few will deliver within a certain mile range (Layton Hotel will deliver within 15 miles from their restaurant, so you’re good to go in Dingmans) and they need our support.
PLEASE, SUPPORT THESE RESTAURANTS! And leave tips for ANYONE who has served you; handed you your food.
- For many, this is their only source of income.
- Order from them. They will make sumptuous meals and be thrilled you called and came and smiled.
- You can grab their menus on FaceBook, on Open Table or google them.
- Please, these folks don’t only offer up meals, they offer up kindness.
Okay, so, I’m sitting here reading a bunch of my own writing that’s in a folder on my computer that says: GROOVY WRITING because, you know, quarantining, and this writing is a few years old… and so, I open the folder and I start reading – and WHOA is me – this really charming funny weird as all fuck animated series PILOT that I wrote a few years back – OF MICE AND MENSCHES: ANIMALS IN GROUP THERAPY and yes, it’s registered with the WGA, so no stealing this idea, and I’m thinking: wow, this shoulda gotten made into a series, yeah, this shoulda gotten made… and now I’m getting comfy on the couch and I’m re-reading this little novella – that’s in the same folder – that I wrote a while back, a sexy little love story – and thinking….yeah, this shoulda been published and …. okay, stop the presses: holy fuck – holy fuck – I just got a text from my very favorite bartender who just texted: ALL RESTAURANTS are closing in Pennsylvania as of right now. And right now is RIGHT NOW, which means no Bar Louis, which means I need a Xanax.
I love you all.
Hold tight, stay safe, fall in love with YOUR MAGIC; fall in love with the words that you write, that pour outta you onto the page, fall in love with your creativity, your talent, your sexy crazy ass art, fall in love with your beauty, fall in love with the music you make & the dances you choreograph and the photos you take and the poems and the prose and the plays and the movies you create… and mostly, mostly fall madly head-over-heels in love with your own badass gorgeous messy life.
(Amy I love being a BADASS)
2/6/20 Message from Amy:
Today, Teresa Stack & I begin our glorious Podcast journey… on REDEMPTION…which, yes, is coming soon! Thank you Karen Moss Hale!
We will have great guests on the show.
I am a firm believer that our mistakes can become our mission, that poison can be turned to medicine, that our scars are indeed our stardust & our blemishes are in fact our beauty marks. And no, I don’t believe all folks can be redeemed, but I do believe, with every fiber in me, that humans, and no, not all humans, can take their worst moments, their worst experiences and use those moments and experiences to inspire and encourage and enlighten others. I believe that through and through. We, humans, are capable of so much greatness and beauty. That our pain can help us understand another heart, that our failures make us stand taller so we become more determined, that our heartbreak can teach us how to love ourselves first and foremost and yes, become more compassionate. I believe that who I am in this world – who I am today – was born out of many mistakes, many fuck-ups, many fuck-downs, much pain, much heartbreak, and heartache; the bits and pieces, the edgy and the frayed, the lessons learned, the wrong turns, the one night stands, getting lost got me found. And getting found filled me with compassion and passion, determination and much beauty, and all of that makes me quite extraordinary. I imagine the very same for you.
So, today, love yourself more.
See the beauty in your life.
Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worthy.
You are worthy.
So very worthy.