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Anxiety Woman’s reading list: a prescription for wellbeing

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I remember being in the middle of a conversation with a fellow actor in San Francisco. After yammering on as we actors do, he stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “I can’t afford to be around negative people anymore.” Then he walked away. I laugh large laughs in my head today because his conversations about making it big and investing in his latest project remind me of a certain current president of a formerly much admired nation. If you can’t deal with negativity then perhaps you might need an ego reboot.

Sure, I’m a bit negative when it comes to assuaging men’s egos. I also have a tendency to underrate my own cooking but this is a self protective move. If I tell people the brownies are a bit undercooked and have too much salmon extract in them, that means there are more for me.

I’ve been noticing my stress level is creeping up lately. I can’t sleep until 3 am. My dominant forearm is aching while I type this. I’m getting charlie horses at night and now I have “Trigger thumb” where my thumb becomes dislocated as I sleep due to high tension and over use during the day. How do you overuse a thumb? By yanking up one’s pants too many times, securing wheelchairs, pushing wheelchairs, giving a thumbs down to bad movies, riding a bike in winter  desperately trying to get the brakes to work and by cross country skiing.

I am taking a break from the skiing and the biking and decided to catch up on my reading.  My reading choices reflect an inability to move forward with my life. It would take a disaster of great proportions to uproot me from my safety net of friends and activities so that’s what I read about. Besides there is nothing like a disaster book to make you feel like anxiety is a good thing.

I read this one last year when there was very little snow in Alaska. The weather was getting me down but reading this put an end to my complaints.

I just finished reading this. If a recurring reference to a pail of human eyeballs doesn’t put you off then you might enjoy the rest which is equally gory but historically accurate.  There are no big plot surprises as you can see the trajectory right on the cover. And to think I am wary about moving back to the Northeast because of ticks.

Here’s one I got at the library book sale on Friday night, haven’t started it but it was on the shelf marked. “Disasters” so how could I go wrong?

I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I have a difficult time resisting non-fiction with the word, “terrifying” in the sub-title. I hope someday there will be a Trump era history with that word in the title. I find myself feeling much more at home in a Trump presidency than many of my friends who don’t court disaster as doggedly as I do. I, who am oft  the outlier in terms of neuroticism, now appear closer to the mean or average. This is a lucky break for me.

A man named Lance Panzer, no relation to the tank, reviewed it on Amazon.com with the headline, “Makes the Perfect Storm look like a picnic”

Just in case I needed a different sort of input, I made my way over to Title Wave to  cash out my credit before the March 15th deadline. Look what I found!

Product Details

They have two more copies if you want one!

This is how I put my life in perspective. I may have no direction. The leader of my  country may be inherently unstable but at least I am not on a plane with snakes.  If you have any film or reading recommendations, please leave them in the comments.

 

 

My life as a snob

Yes, I am lonely at times but I will die with my unspoken standards held high.  We all have unreasonable expectations, some of us are just more unreasonable than others.  Let us speak of our discerning palate before we die of emotional hunger.

Humor

I would love to be a humor omnivore but alas I am not. I have been known to laugh at talking animals but that is an unhealthy weakness. Here is an example of the level of humor I would like my friends and I to share, were it possible, on a daily basis.

I will never be so funny.  Maybe I would if I were undead, or surrounded by like minded people or undead people. It is a shame to have such high standards. I don’t know what I would do if a person did not find this film funny. I might shed a tear at their shallow sensitivities and allow for their simple delight in Transformers. I might have to move very far away from them before I barfed.

I also find comedy that addresses racial and political issues funny as long as it is not on a fake news show. Please stop this trite setup. I know it is a money maker which is loved by millions as was Mad Magazine and The Three Stooges. I confess that this dislike might arise because I would prefer anyone but a white man to deliver my comedy. Now my prejudices are revealed and my advice will be discredited and discarded. Oops, it almost always is anyway.

Dessert

I hate boxed brownie mix. It’s the Pringles of dessert.  I have met brownies that were overpriced, salty, gritty, hard and then there are the unfathomable “cake like” brownies.  No one loves a hybrid. Eat cake if you want cake!  There are many good brownies in Anchorage. George and Deb at Side Street Café have a good gluten free one. If you want to be sure of quality I instruct you to look for The Illusions label. Illusions is a wholesale bakery in Spenard which sells the highest quality of moist brownie-ness to retailers in the Anchorage area.

So you don’t live in Anchorage? How about this?

It was enormous!

It was enormous!

This I had in Paris. I shared it with my sister but just barely.  Giant raspberry macarons have not hit Alaska yet but there are many ripe berries poking out in the alley up the street from me. They are fair game as far as I am concerned. Raspberries look like little crowns because they are the king of berries. Strawberries and blueberries are so weirdly large and bland when cultivated. I suppose fresh home grown ones are okay. Even a frozen raspberry is a gift from God. If you doubt what I say, visit The Holocaust Memorial in Boston where you will find this.

A tribute to love and to life

A tribute to love and to life

and to a raspberry.

I don’t care for dark chocolate. I am not that kind of a snob. I am a shaky snob and the higher the cacao content, the more I shake and the less I sleep. I don’t like coffee for the same reason. Drink whatever beer you want. I do not judge as it means nothing to me.

Writing

I enjoy the occasional Viking in Ireland novel or Icelandic murder mystery but really one can not beat existential or post-apocalyptic fiction. I can not fathom why The Road was an Oprah’s book club choice. Was she high? I don’t believe Oprah and I read the same books.  She may have some choices that were not necessarily mass marketed. We may actually have more in common than our love of bright colors and lack of desire for matrimony.

I do not like fancy decorative writing about birds or the desert. I want something that is less fine and detailed, something that has character not bouquet.  I may have a mediocre mind but I want to see some angst sans literary musings on anything less than the suffering of humanity. Do not try to uplift me with your American Sniper or your Unbroken heroes.  They are just that, heroes. I want to hear about you and me and the other broken snobs of the world.  That should be my new name for a book club.

Theatre 

I get lonelier by the minute. I like theatre, but I can’t see plays for which I auditioned  and did not get cast. Sorry, I am an actor and I am insane.  I have given up on  ever seeing Wicked but still embrace the possibility of seeing Hamilton. As a mediocre actor, I am accepting of mediocre acting. I can not stand poor direction.  I figure a good cook should be able to produce a good meal even If they have slightly withered produce or a tough piece of meat. If you put yourself in charge then don’t blame the vegetables! I do not care to see Arsenic and Old Lace again or even hear its name spoken, please.

Music

I prefer popular music that is not about love. I despise love unless it is broken. I am single. I like broken people. I don’t trust unbroken ones. But I repeat myself. I like happy songs as long as the people aren’t in love. If you like love songs, I look down on you. You believe in magic and probably have visited Disneyland. I will not. I am a vampire who can not tolerate the sun and has many roommates. We have turned away from and are turned away from Disneyland.  These people I live with are men. They  force me at times to listen to their musical choices which I can not fathom without a shot of testosterone to ease the translation. They let their musical tastes define them. I let my distaste for all define me. I embrace diversity of taste only because I find it  so entertaining and challenging. I like real drag queens but I can not enjoy The Rocky Horror Picture Show no matter how hard I try. Its sad. They have auditions so often.

I’m sure you’re a snob about something if not about everything like I am. Let me know in the comments so I can laugh with/at you.

Anxiety woman peruses The NY Times for possible birthday gifts

I could have scanned the ad inserts from Fred Meyers and J C Penney in the local rag, The Alaska Dispatch, but this was much more depressing, right up my alley. My birthday comes but once a year and this is a marvelous way to prepare. Find all the expensive rubbish you don’t need and vow not to buy it, nor receive it.  It’s like vowing never to marry, you may actually be fighting off the offers.  So without ado, here’s my non-wish list.

Upscale serenity

Upscale serenity

 

 Just say NO to Meditation Bells

These things are crazy! Are all Buddhists nuts or just The rich American ones?  These look like the bells that the Altar boys rang in Catholic Church when we said “Body of Christ.” Did Jesus/Buddha really like tinkly bells and bling? Perhaps just the priests?  Isn’t a diamond studded meditation bell a little like a diamond studded social security card? I never understood the diamond studded crosses either. What would Jesus wear?

 

Instead get me chocolate

 

 

Respect lost? Priceless!

Respect lost? Priceless!

 

No, I do not want  “One more day in Vegas

= one more STD, one more night searching for my room in a vast sea of what looks like corridors of a state penitentiary,  one more false expectation that I will meet the love of my life and he won’t have a drink and a cigarette in his hand.

Instead see above

 

And it is the path more travelled by

And it is the path more traveled by

 

NO! NOT Another Inspirational handbook for changing my life/the world. If I was able to help myself, don’t you think I would have done so by now? Do I still believe that helping others is going to make me happy? That maneuver gets old quickly. Why are we put on this world? Only God know, so don’t over think it. That’s my new Golden Rule.

I can’t handle any more advice on how to get a man, get a job or get happy. I have chocolate for the last one and I think it may work for the other two if just I got more creative. I’m aware that escaping into chocolate won’t save the world since there are people who are actually allergic to it just like  they are to gluten and exercise . I am also aware that most people change the world without ever knowing it,  getting paid for, or publishing about it.

This particular book, “A Path Appears,” is universally liked by both movie stars and mystics.  Should there be a shortage, I will be doing my part by doing without it.  I am more likely to change the world by making a complete fool of myself and creating a bit of  unintentional laughter in my wake.  One more piece of information on how to be more effective in my life might fire up the overdoing, people pleasing urges which have already almost brought me to ruin. Please stop the presses, and the facebook game apps (available tie in with  sister book, “Half The Sky.”)

 

NO.   NO.   NO! to gigantic metallic accessories!

Hope you got your matching dental grilles

Hope you got your matching dental grilles

I love glitter  because it is not gold. These cameras are not as funny as the Flavor Flav clocks. No they are more like golden tennis rackets or golf clubs presented to winners at the country club tournament.  How would I know? I don’t know. I’m making this all up because I have issues and need to complain about something.

 

These are classy, if you have the record to pull them off.

These are classy, if you have the record to pull them off.

I haven’t been to jail so I don’t think I would look right walking around with an electronic ankle bracelet or gigantic lock and chain just for fun. They look tiny here but the effect is something like observing a smiling extra in Twelve Years a Slave.

 

Here is an entire outfit I don’t want or need. Do you?

Never sit on the grass wearing white!

Never sit on the grass wearing white!

The coat is made of white plastic so perhaps that is why the model looks so uncomfortable. She can wipe that clean but the $4000 skirt can not touch the ground.   I have an idea for a TV series. Sr. Bertrille, The Flying Nun, crash lands during a hurricane. She winds up an unwilling contestant on Survivor. Would you vote her off the island and bring on the wrath of God?

 

I still have lots to read of this Sunday’s NY Times  so there are plenty more things to not want. I have my paper, and that will be recycled, eventually.

Happy birthday to me!

 

 

 

Lean in, breathe, buy me, bite me

sheryl

Is that really a cross in the background?

What an annoying book. It sat at Barnes and Nobles on a shelf of bestselling annoying books. I had come to read it for free, so as not to have to lien in.  No, it was not Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, a huge volume with more recipes than she could have possibly made in her 40 some odd years with two children a film career and strict workout schedule. No, it was not Dr. Phil’s new how to LIVE your life book. He has intervened in too many lives, ( I was home sick and saw the little screaming teenager being hauled off to rehab and thought, wow he probably didn’t want to include that scene but had to because it showed the depth of the issue.) No, it wasn’t David Sedaris’s new book “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” which I actually bought so I could savor it after I finish writing this.

It was as you might have ambitiously guessed Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, a book about cooking without body fat or anything much to say.  No, It’s a fine example of a book about marketing oneself. The book, like similar volumes written by Madonna has various tie ins, platitudes and a simple upbeat message that will make you want to power up your inner Android.  Warning you may need a support group, to take over the world but she’s got that all mapped out for you.  All proceeds from your purchase today go to charity so you and she can feel nice about your ambitions. I, on the other hand will go on feeling badly because I really am not nice and can not even pretend to be.

I won’t be Leaning In  anytime soon. I don’t need permission to be successful. I need to learn how to write better and so does she.  I wish I had brought a calculator to total the cliches in the first few chapters. I know it’s not a rigorous study of power just a sincere marketing scam but I was expecting something maybe on the level of Vogue. She does include over 50 pages of footnotes and stuff in the back which, if you count them, makes the book longer than a single issue of Vogue. ( I would have to check about a double issue.)

I was drawn to the book after hearing her speak on 60 Minutes. My ambitions in life are so similar to hers. I want love, power, prestige.  I have the will to lead.  I can get people to follow me over a cliff but that doesn’t make it right.  She and Mark Zuckerberg will have their domain and I will have mine. Mine does not require the same set of instructions. The primary technique I embrace is called “winging it.”  I will probably make more brownies than both of them and Gwyneth Paltrow. We will all die and turn into dust.  I probably think more about this than all of them as well.

My motto in life, which you can get for free right now on this blog and none of the money will go to charity is – chill and enjoy. I’ve spent too much of my life trying hard, attending support groups, sitting at the table, standing on the table, working, networking. Now it’s time to watch TV.

Sheryl reminds me that I have a responsibility to claim my seat at the table of power. Other women are depending on me.  Are there really people out there who like managing people or managing funds? I never understood the lure of Magic Cards either, you had to buy all these packs in order to beat other people but someone else made all the money.  I will be making ice cream and fun. I will be sabotaging myself using my wardrobe and my lack of emotional control. Isn’t there a cute picture of The Dalai Lama going around Facebook right now saying the world doesn’t need any more successful people? He’s really going to hate me because I am damn successful at so many things. None of them make much money but don’t get in f*” ing way while I’m doin’ them.

I am obviously not the demographic Sheryl is speaking to. She is speaking to you gals who were number one in your class, who have kids and have a career and all the people who wanted to. I just want to start reading my David Sedaris. He is one crazy cat and I hang on his every word. Lean in  a bit and listen to what the outsiders have to say and then you might learn something but watch out, we bite.

2012 Academy Awards, a mostly not malicious tribute

Just in time to help you decide if you really want to spend several hours watching Billy Crystal and the Hollywood royalty basking in their own reflective aura. Here’s a little video meditation on the Oscar program which I have created. Unfortunately, I am still working out the kinks in the recording process so brace your ears. I get a little loud, no awards for soundtrack this year I’m afraid. If you don’t see a Youtube screen, just  click on the letters below.

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