Monthly Archives: January 2012

Twice Upon a Time

I recently attended the off-Broadway stage version of a wonderful little film entitled ‘Once.’ Usually it works the other way around with books or plays then made into movies, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This movie holds great sentimental value with me, so I wanted the play to be ‘right.’

As it so happens, ‘Once’ was the last movie Mark was to ever see. We hadn’t been to a movie in many months, but some aggressive treatment in June boosted his energy for several weeks and we decided to see a movie on that rainy July 4th. I possess a very date-driven mind and every July 4th is a reminder of a significant ‘last’ in our waning time. But what a moment it’s become since I learned to value and honor the past while looking forward.

Mark once played in bands as a young man, so he really enjoyed the CD recording scenes which reminded him of his own record-cutting experience. He was genuinely happy to have reconnected to one of our much-loved pre-cancer activities, a Spectrum film and the best damned movie snacks ever known to the movie-going public. The first time I went back there without him, I cried the whole way home. But I continued going and cried a little less over time because it’s still a place I love to go with people I care about. There’s just something about connecting in cinematic shadows to emotion, time and place that should be shared…even better, when there’s an arm around your shoulder.

So that Saturday, I drove over two hours with my new love to see how the play held up from the film…which it did. I love the songs all over again and seeing the show with someone who continues to enhance my life when I least expected it makes this whole middle-aged crazy thing a pretty good gig.

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Me And My Big Mouth

I enjoy writing, but I’d rather see the results in print whether creating my employer’s Annual Report or entertaining people here. Public-speaking isn’t quite my bag, so even getting up in front of the Shack Attack crowd is out of my comfort zone. And damned if I don’t still cry every year!

So I don’t know what I was thinking when I volunteered to speak on behalf of the HopeClub cancer support clubhouse at American Cancer Society events.  Writing about something for which you have passion is a no-brainer. Getting up in front of people to deliver the words, not so much.

But there I was in front of 25 people who didn’t know me [except for my one-man support network] describing how Cancer tried to kick my butt, but how I won’t let it. I spoke of people who might not have a support network for their emotional well-being if it weren’t for HopeClub. I spoke of my own experiences pre-October 2007, and how my association with the clubhouse continues to evolve. I spoke of Mark’s example that continues to inspire people to live not as if one were dying, but as if living is the only thing that matters. I spoke of people I’ve met thru a negative thing who make my life positive in many ways, whether eating good stuff in the big red clubhouse kitchen or running 26.2 miles because we can do this…and because we’re just a little bit crazy, in sort of a good way, from cancer.

If success were to be measured in sniffles, then it seems as though I accomplished goal. The ‘standing O’ at the end shook me a bit, but the strong arms waiting for me at my seat put everything to right. I must have hit the mark because ACS wants me for other events, and I’m already editing my speech. You might just have to cue the orchestra to get me off the stage like on awards shows now that I’m becoming accustomed to the limelight.

Robert Frost once wrote, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” Bring it on, Cancer, ya got nuthin’.


Dating For Dummies

I know I’m feeling negative tonight for good reason that has absolutely nothing to do with my personal life (which is going gangbusters!), but I just want to punch this Patti chick in the face:

However, I am a pacifist at heart…and I don’t like the idea of hurting my hand so I can’t work out.

On the other hand, perhaps if I’d followed Patti’s advice a few years ago, it wouldn’t have taken me three years to hit paydirt in the dating world. But also on the other hand, some of my best posts have been ‘Bitter With Baggage’ and I would hate to have deprived my readership of such great entertainment.


You Might Be An Aging Hipster…

The Urban Dictionary defines Hipster as “One who possesses tastes, social attitudes and opinions deemed cool by the cool. The Hipster walks among the masses in daily life but is not a part of them, and shuns or reduces to kitsch anything held dear by the mainstream.”

While this is a difficult species to be found in the NYS Capital Region unless connected to a college campus, some of us over 40 trudge a less conventional path to the golden years.

To whit, I offer the following Field Guide to Hipster Moms/Dads:

~If your closet has enough black to sustain multiple mono-chromatic outfits without repeating any items over a week, you might be an aging hipster. Bonus points awarded to those who own Chuck Taylor sneakers and a leather jacket, especially of the vintage variety, and have sported black manicures.

~If you know the difference between Ryan Adams and Bryan Adams (and the ironic fact that they have the same birthday), you might be an aging hipster. Bonus points awarded to those who know which band Morrissey fronted and who Robert Smith is. 

~If you’ve had dinner on the Lower East Side and brunch in the East Village, you might be an aging hipster. Bonus points awarded to those who can get there by subway rather than taxi and have paid homage to Joe Strummer.

~If you’ve seen at least one concert in the past year which was not a reunion tour of the Bon Jovi or Journey ilk, you might be an aging hipster. Bonus points awarded for preferring club shows versus arena venues.

~If you got pierced or inked before your kids, you might be an aging hipster. Bonus points awarded to those who’ve done these activities with their kids.

Q: How many hipsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

 A: It’s such a cool number, you’ve probably never heard of it.

~Tragically Hipster Mom