The Fish Bowl of Royal Life

With the advent of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022, the world has been mourning collectively, as the Sovereign gave herself willingly in service, from a young age, sitting on the Throne of the United Kingdom for the longest time in history: some 70 years, from 1952-2022. As I, an American onlooker, but also of English ancestry, knowing exactly from whence came my maternal great grandmother Fannie Krieger Bergner was raised: in Piccadilly, London. I have even had a vision of this great grandmum while visiting the area! But I am prone to such after life spiritual, but pleasant visitations of my ancestors. I regard the visions as a gift therefore.

But there is an aspect of British Royal life that Americans r not privy to knowing: that u don’t have the freedoms of being an ordinary person, as in u cannot go to stores by yourself, and buy whatever it is u want. Or visit your former friends anymore, and u cannot bring them to the Royal residences, unless it is an official function, and then u wouldn’t be invited to, either. So for example, if u r Princess of Wales Catherine, who suffers from extended morning sickness, aka hyperemesis gravidarum, which occurred on all 3 of her prior pregnancies, and u felt like this is enough already! Three heirs to the throne is more than enough…so then u declare to your husband, now the New Prince of Wales, William, that u aren’t bearing any more children, and it is then unseemly to ask someone in the Royal houses that they inhabit, to go get some birth control options…because u cannot go out and get such things yourself…then the only option is to become celibate thereafter, depriving the Prince of his right to sex. And again, it is due to the Fish Bowl life u call home, and its many privations, and denials of freedom.

Over time, as u see in official functions outside Palace walls, u will see a distance between spouses who no longer cohabit happily. And u r enforced into that impenetrable silence that Royal life exacts upon u, and all your children born into that life. No wonder Prince Harry & Meghan Markle left it! They were even unable to get Meghan much needed psychological help/support, counseling, as she drifted down the Rabbit Hole of depression, anxiety, lack of freedom, and knowing that u r merely a vessel to bear children to one of the closer Heirs to the Throne. Because the Royal House must go on, therefore u need a proper marriage and then submit to bearing those children. It is expected of u.

No, Meghan did not know in full what was expected of her. If she did, she would not have married Prince Harry. Who would knowingly give up their freedom and personhood, just to be a baby machine?? And only serve the worthy charitable causes of the Royal Family? OK, that’s probably fine, but the things u give up r way too much…especially for an American woman. No American woman would bear it over her lifetime, being in such circumstances, cut off from emotional sustenance.

Would u willingly give up sex 4 your entire life, after the children r born? And what would that do to your marriage also? Can it survive? Remember, usually the Crown does not grant divorces either, and frowns on them. But in fact 3 of the 4 children of Queen Elizabeth II in fact divorced, and it is no wonder, due to the very shallow Fish Bowl they live in, w the water draining out like life blood…

I wish the Royal Family well, going forward, in the wake of their immense loss. God Save the Queen, and she was worthy of that. I even have a gorgeous emerald ring that I named Queen Elizabeth, because it was lovely, beautiful, and also regal looking. I will have it named thus, even after the Queen has died. May she forever RIP w the Angels, and be at rest w her beloved Prince Phillip.

Not all that glitters is gold, or worth the price Royal life exacts on its inhabitants. Ask Meghan and Harry.

Meeting Rock Stars!

Marsha w The Scorpions, live in Atlantic City, NJ #ScorpionsVIP

So I decided to do a VIP package, as I was going to be in Atlantic City anyway, from 9/1-9/6/2022, and The Scorpions r a heavy metal (mostly) band, while I was on site. And they do rock! Rock Me Like a Hurricane, in fact! Great song that, plus some others too…I studied their catalogue before the show, and found some stuff to like, besides that song. They r from Germany, and others in the VIP Lounge were die hard fans, not like me, a casual onlooker, really, trying them on for size…And we got 2 pictures w the group too, as part of the VIP experience. And hors d’oeuvres, 2 drinks included, plus some VIP swag, not much, but something. And being in the 1st row center was pretty neat too, close up w them, seeing them right in front of your face, albeit in front of an amplifier also, and they r plenty loud! I knew I needed ear plugs, but found no drug stores on my route between Tropicana Hotel and the Borgata that day. A kind security guard gave me a pair of foam plugs, but too late in the concert to make much difference…I did have tinnitus after the show, although only temporary.

The Scorpions have some lovely ballads too, and other rock songs that I had known previously…and I took 3 videos of the show on my new cell phone. Gotta get my copy of their set list also, for my scrapbook. I record all shows, concerts, trips, significant life events all, since my own age 12! I have been scrapbooking since then, maybe actually age 11 when it began. So being 58 now, I have a lot of scrapbooks! In general, I look at my home, and recognize that I own a lot of stuff, over the years…and am fortunate to not have to share space w anyone, as it is a lot! I have a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condominium apartment in New York City, in a nice residential area of this city. Quiet it is, usually. I can sleep like a baby here, and usually do, much unlike my former existence in the Bronx.

Tho it isn’t as I get very worked up at seeing The Boss, or even wonderful Billy Joel, the Scorpions were a good experience overall 4 me, and tho I won’t go again, I am glad I did it this one time. Rock on, my peeps! It was a great day also for Atlantic City as well! I had hit a big jackpot in the casino, and decided not to play anymore, deciding to take the money and run home w it, the next day. Smart move, as it is isn’t worth giving back such a win as that, just to maintain the Gold status on the MGM Rewards card. The Rewards r good tho: I got a Fiore suite for 5 nights at the hotel, plus some fancy eats all comped, AND also a 100 minute Signature massage too, and free access to both indoor and outdoor pools, both used…and my hotel bill is only $30 for that 6 day trip, plus tolls, and gasoline. Not bad for what I got, the 2nd time this year. I went in early May also. And the casinos also gifted me beaucoup slot dollars, freeplay, repeatedly…at Borg and also at Tropicana Hotels. It feels good to be living this life. See me happy?

Marsha w The Scorpions, on 9/5/2022, in A.C.

Pent Up Yearning?

Have u ever seen someone so deprived of something that they very tangibly need? Imagine someone w a plastic bag being held over their heads, starving for oxygen, as the killer tightens the bag around your throat?! Well, very visceral image, that…but not that. Instead, they love someone so desperately, a rock star, not seen in person for over 25 years, whom u revere, who is now getting somewhat older, as u are…and u know that life is finite, and u NEED to see them, up close, singing your favorite hits, but it’s impossible, as your real life doesn’t permit u the freedom of going out to see this rock star, and the kids will be jealous, and lonely in your absence…and u have constraints on that which u may spend $, for necessities, not so much luxury items like platinum seats at a rock concert…very close to the stage, but elevated, so u have an unobstructed view.

Even I who go see Billy Joel at least once annually, sometimes twice, depending on my mood, do not spring for such seats, not usually, as I take people w me, and multiple seats cost substantial dollars, especially these days of on demand pricing, which means the ticket price varies every second, according to fan demand. Recently, I was on the Ticketmaster web site, on a cruise ship in Norway no less, w iffy wifi to see Bruce Springsteen w the E Street Band, next April 2023…and the prices were all over the place, w fees, just 1 ticket mind u, running to $2300…but it was snatched away, and I was successful, at a hard price of $1206 w all fees, in Brooklyn…but I am a die hard fan, and have spent more than this, before, w his run on Broadway, Springsteen on Broadway, in 2017, sitting w celebrities all around us, just before Christmas that year, 2nd row, on the aisle, and he looked at me, repeatedly!!! Priceless. And I got pictures of my meeting him, talking w him, even a chaste cheek kiss, holding hands…all captured! And enlarged in pictures around my lair, my realm of Bruce, my shrine.

But that’s not to say that I don’t also love Billy Joel, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Diana Ross, oodles of performers over the years…who move me, inordinately. So I digress. When u need something really badly, and u get it, it is a sight to behold! The joy is tangible, and communicated effortlessly…u see it in their eyes, and their dancing, their gesticulations! The expressions of rapt joy, of giving something which is really unable to be had, but in one moment, is given, freely! Ahhhh! So this is what love is: to revel in the joy u give 2 another person, who can scarcely believe this has transpired. But it’s only a damned rock concert, ok?!

U thought I meant something else which cannot be had in this life, huh? Oh well. There is an Aerosmith song too: Dream On. Dreams r free after all, and take what u can get. Billy WAS fantastic at MSG on September 24, 2022, and we waited from May 2, 2020 to see him live at this concert, so it was in fact quite pent up. I have been friends w this particular rapt fan, since I was 9 years old! And I am 58 yrs old now. So it’s a lifetime of memories together, although also apart, as we went our separate life ways also. We will always be friends however. And that is sweet also.

COVID Really Kicks Your Ass!

So the day came, as of a minor sore throat, on Tuesday, 17 May, 2022, that felt like a little nothing, really, just slightly off, and I went the next day to go get my COVID booster shot too, my 2nd one, still feeling pretty good. But then night falls, and it’s like The Devil comes in the Night, like a Vampire, and the coughing starts up, a little bit of chills, no real fever to speak of, not even hitting 99 degrees…and I feel tired, really really tired…

And I wait till Thursday morning to allow the incubation of the germ, and juice up my cell phone w the Navica app, scan the QR code, get a live proctor to walk me through the steps of getting an at home COVID antigen rapid test, and lo and behold, close the cover, and start to see almost immediately the 2 lines in the window, indicating POSITIVE TEST!! Sure enough, it is confirmed at the local City MD Urgent Care Center, w a kindly nurse and MD attending me, and my asking for an antiviral med that I have read needs to begin within 5 days of 1st symptoms. And bless the City of NY, they r getting it delivered to me, at no cost even, that night, from a special clearinghouse, straight to my door. 5 days worth of Molnupiravir. It’s amazing what NYC has done for its population in regard to this pandemic, from monoclonal antibodies, to antiviral pills, no cost, free at home testing kits, at several intervals, and even fast PCR testing turnaround time at Laguardia Airport, in case u need testing to travel. And the Test and Trace Corps too, making sure u notify everyone who has been in contact…I started phoning people right away, in order to apprise them, especially my friends who came w me to see Billy Joel in concert on the past Saturday night, which is almost certainly where I caught my disease, at Madison Square Garden, a 20,000 person indoor arena. We were cavalier in our attendance at said event, dancing and singing joyously, without masks on, and lo and behold…So I now need to suffer 4 my choice of blessed freedom. Sigh.

Even tho I have been generally careful throughout the pandemic, u do get fed up w its privations and enforced loneliness, and lack of get togethers w friends and families, and the pervasive fear, economic disruptions, runaway inflation, key good shortages, it is all to do w the pandemic backdrop. From this hellhole springs other pits of tar and pitch to paint u in! Everyone is going mad, and in the USA, they take it out on minorities disproportionately, w guns and hatred, not Guns & Roses. Every single year, epidemic of gun violence, w a fever pitch in the hot summer months particularly, and then the drug addictions, still illegal, w fentanyl mixed in w heroin, and then young people lined up as corpses in the streets of America. What has my country become?! It is moving right, towards Fascism, as Germany did in the 1930’s, but too few remember how it turned out, in the immediate aftermath of World War II. They look at Germany today as another powerhouse nation, prosperous and hardworking, a leader, not in the ashes of WW II…it took a lot to rebuild Germany, Italy and Japan post that war. What is ahead? And the Allies too, took a beating, so much loss. As it goes, I just know I will beat COVID, as I am now quadruple vaxxed, even if I am also a high risk person w some predisposing medical conditions that make me particularly vulnerable.

I am not ready to go yet! Still too much living to do, just after my 58th birthday. Harrumphhh! Update as of 5/21: my 1st good night of sleep last night, because I am using even more drugs now, including Zithromax, Prednisone, Emergen-C over the counter vitamins, in addition to my normal regimen and the Molnupiravir. I am beating this rap! Even as I quarantine w some wonderful chicken noodle soup sent by my friends in a package yesterday, w rolls, cookies, even a soup ladle! The love feels really great too!

Every day stronger too! I put it at 75% now that I can attend a dear niece’s graduation party on Friday night, provided that I am asymptomatic by then, as in no cough, and good oxygenation numbers on my handy pulse oximeter here. Got new N-95 masks delivered too, to protect everyone else from me, when I do venture out of my apartment, say to the mailbox downstairs. I do not expose anyone to this disease, because believe me, it sucks! I breathe in through my N-95 or equivalent KN-95 of today’s ilk…and do not contaminate anyone. I will also thoroughly decontaminate my car and home before I let anyone inside either of them. My 1st concern is 4 the rest of u, not even myself. God save the World! I also got rid of expired medicines here and replaced that which was important to replace. Cleaning house. I have much more energy! The Devil won’t take me! Nope, not having that, ever! There is no Klingon Fekhlar (“Devil”) in my hereafter!

Real Life vs Sci-Fi Adventures

I am an avid sci-fi fan, of several genres, but these days, it’s more Star Trek series on demand, and also on television, even tho I also love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and many others. Things w the whimsy, fantasy genres too, set me off in a positive direction…why, u may ask? Because real life is often less stellar in its conflagration of peoples who refuse to see commonalities, but instead exploit our superficial differences. It is frankly stupid in the extreme to go after people in my home society for having more melanin pigment in their skin, simply because of higher exposure to the sun’s rays, over eons of exposure, as an environmental adaptation, because fair skin burns more easily. Yet here we r: people who r black, brown skinned r still facing horrors of life because the dominant race, which is white, tho not 4 much longer…have demonized our fellow man & woman as “other.” I personally abhor this, as it’s no better than what happened to my people, in an extreme version of hatred, in the ideology we now call Naziism, or Fascism. My people were Jewish, and vilified, to be subjected to a genocide, due to envy of what we appeared to be, in the 1930’s in Europe, when Adolf Hitler rose to power. I personally wasn’t here then, only my own ancestors, who had also fled Europe before that time. I feel for any peoples who r subjugated and vilified in ignorance of what they r, or what others perceive us to be. Thus, nowadays, my heart bleeds for the people of Ukraine, as they r being victimized by an evil man, Vladimir Putin, leader of Russia. The aggression against Ukraine began in the 3rd week of February, and continues to this day, in a war against its people, who merely want to live their own lives in peace. I feel it acutely, their suffering, and their flight to other countries. I have Ukrainian blood running thru me, as identified by 23andme.com.

So I go back to my own science fiction love, as a more diverting subject, that actually brings me joy, because it’s hopeful for the function and survival of humanity, unlike what we have in real life on the ground on Earth today. In Star Trek, we have moved beyond all the petty things, and work together for the betterment of our own species and also in exploration of other societies, in space and benevolence, generally. We r no longer hung up on racial, economic differences, and even looks r less important, in favor of talent, and contributions, hard work that benefits others…a well run machine we have become, and there r also some joys, without regard for what money u have…and your medical care is simply provided, without concern 4 that Almighty Dollar. All life has value! And is treated as such. Very equitable. U can ask for anything u want from a replicator, and get it. Go to a holodeck to recreate a cafe in Paris that u may remember from the past…and meet that long lost girl/guy that u can also replicate as well, as a hologram that has certain abilities that u may desire…sounds good? Again, real life is infinitely worse. U can’t ever go back to that time when u were at a life fork in the road, and take the other path, that u rejected back then. And thus your entire life trajectory altered w that decision. U do not have real access to a God-like deity “Q” who can fix your sorry existence w a snap of his fingers. But if u did…I have a really wild imagination, that is even frequently naughty, and very creative, that puts on black lights, in a dark room, dancing to ABBA, in a mirror, darkly, wearing wild lingerie, furs, hats, heels, anything that gets my guy’s dander up….and then make love over a lazy afternoon…talking about what might have been, but wasn’t, because we had our reasons to not do that, back when it was possible to do. Yup, lots of scenes wander thru my subconscious and I am even aware in waking hours too.

I like to arouse men. Excuse me if it’s uncomfortable. I dislike my own real life, as I have more libido than ought to be allowed in a female of my age. So it is wasteful that men have their own lives in real life, married to people they r sworn to be faithful to, for as long as both shall live…and at this age, there is nary a man available who is free to marry, and if he is, u also wonder why, as in what’s wrong that he couldn’t get someone?? There is usually a reason. What, witness protection program?! Never mind. I have also refused some men also, who even wanted me, for sex, or even more than that, marriage…I have my own internal standards also. Not anyone will do. And so, I spent my life both unwed, and childless, but I do have unprecedented freedom to do as I please. And there is some good to that too. It’s unusual, yes, but I see the angles of life. If I remain as I am, and die this way, my dear friends will divvy up my estate, and it may even change some of their lives 4 the better, as it did mine, when those events occurred, that my father and uncle had passed on. I gained other things of great value from my mother as well, to not leave out her contributions. And if I had adopted a child, my entire estate would have to have gone to that child, and there is danger in that too, to not have a good solid background w which to handle such an event, and guidance, wisdom, education, good financial planning…I had all of that before my inheritance, so I managed it well. Mature I am, as I ponder my sci-fi dream existence, serene, grateful, and still alive on this imperfect Earth.

I will leave a joke from early Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 1, w Security Chief Tasha Yar, who got a germ on board the Enterprise, and was acting a little bit drunk, when she propositioned android Lt. Commander Data, as to his functionality in bed! “I am programmed in a wide variety of pleasure techniques…yes, fully functional!” That was all she needed to pull him into her quarters to test drive him! She was mortified later, when cured of the bug she had. “It never happened,” she told Data afterward, but he never forgot. I am like that too: no one ever forgets me in that way, and I have ruined more than a few men thus. Ahh, at least my share of life stories!

My last question is it a closed list of lovers 4 me? All in the past? Come hither, my lovers. I will be glad to qualify at least one of u.

Reflections of Self: Progeny

It may be trite to say that we r innately bred to procreate, no matter our sexual identity or fluidity thereof, even in today’s mishmash of teaching children in school, from ages 5 to 9, as in kindergarten to 3rd grade, about how we express ourselves in gender identity. This is a recent development in the USA, in defiance of historical norms of what it is to be functioning as a male or female in society. We see the nomenclature as saying “non-binary” and record numbers of older children r embracing the fluidity of being neither sex, as in ambiguous. So now u have to be even more specific as in sexual identity, and have public rest rooms that define not by one’s sexual organs, but rather what sex a person feels he is inwardly. So we have seen non-denominated rest rooms in public, in New York City, that admit people w opposite sex organs even, in the name of the rights and freedom of the “non-binary.”

One can almost see why this group is so misunderstood and even frequently rejected. Do u want your teenage daughter in a high school locker room changing for athletic practice in front of someone who has male genitalia, also stripping? It gets problematic for the girls, the person who has not transitioned, and their respective parents as well. I feel for everyone so encumbered, myself, but I am blissfully free of such considerations, not having had children of my own. But I bring this up as a case in point presently, as a social issue, because my point today is to look at the desire to reproduce, and what effect this has on one’s life meaning, and also when one has accomplished said goal, by having a baby, what does that mean later, as that child grows up, and also becomes an adult…my question today is: R we hard wired to reproduce in order to achieve our own immortality thru our children, and our grandchildren, and so on, as time goes on? Do these succeeding generations extend our own lives by the example we have given, and the values we have taught? Or does each generation move further away from us, in terms of lifestyle and ways of life? Do u feel any connection to your grandparents, or your great grandparents, if u were lucky to know them, at all? And what influence do aunts and uncles or cousins, have, if any? R we unique or just an amalgamation of our own life experiences?

In my own life, an interesting anecdote emerges. My mother had a 1st daughter, out of wedlock, in 1957, and was forced to give up said daughter in adoption, and was to bear the shame and ignominy of having borne said child, the rest of her life, in the eyes of her shamed parents, even tho she managed to marry and bear a 2nd daughter, in the traditional way, which was me. She married her gentleman, and I was borne a respectable 1 year and 4 months later. In those years, it was an outrage to find oneself pregnant and unmarried, effectively abandoned by the father of the child. So my grandparents sent my mother out of the home even, to work in a kind of halfway house, in Staten Island, until her pregnancy came to its conclusion. And she complied w the house rules, and gave that daughter up, having no means of her own to support said child. It was a bitter time for my mother then, at a mere age 21. Many years later, as I was approaching my own 42nd birthday, we made 1st contact w that 1st daughter, mom and me, as she was also searching for us too, finally. Mom had named her Wendy at the hospital, and she had contact w her newborn a mere week before the adoption people whisked her away. For reasons of privacy, we shall refer to this woman as Wendy, even tho that is not her real life name.

We found out that Wendy had had a good life after being adopted, and grew up in Queens, in Bayside, and was also raised w a naturally born brother, to her adoptive parents. She grew up to be many things, of which one could be proud, but she was also gay, and I became this bridge to reconciliation between her and my mother, who was Wendy’s birth mother. My mother had a negative reaction to knowing that she had a natural daughter who was gay, because she felt like that had a reflection on her, in terms of genetics, or whatever it is that confers “ownership” of one’s children, even tho in fact no parent owns their child, but is merely given temporary custody of it by God. So I had to convince my mother that in no way does a child’s sexual identity flow from his or her genes, even tho that may be not entirely true scientifically. The jury’s still out on how much of sexual identity is genetically determined. There is a theory about birth order in boys born to a woman, and each succeeding boy has a greater chance of being gay, but that isn’t applicable here. In any case, I had a more modern take on how to treat an adult child who happens to be gay, and making that not a deal breaker for the relationship. I was successful w both Wendy and my mother, and we had a relationship together, all through those 8 years and 8 months that mom remained alive having both of us as her daughters.

But do u, my reading audience, who r parents, do u feel as if your children r little “Mini-Me” like in the Austin Powers movies? Do u merely want copies of yourself, or if not exact copies, instead some facsimile thereof? Do u feel like u go on infinitely, as long as your progeny hold on to some of your own values and traits, or even if there is some resemblance also? R they your key to the world, even after u have died? And if u get to have and know grandchildren, do they also reflect u, in who they r, and how they act, how they look? Is it primeval to our species to reproduce, and in the absence of it, to be sad, unfulfilled in a major life goal??

But then, there’s the obverse of the life coin too. What of it if your children do not have any kids of their own? Both I and my half sister lived out our lives without either bearing or adopting our own children, so did my parents fail because we did not reproduce?? Similarly, what of the parents who have had children w birth defects, major disabilities, or who had no chance to be considered desirable mates? I know of people who had no chance due to movement disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, craniofacial deformities, many textbooks of disorders that put them out of the running to find a mate, and reproduce…or going back to non-binary sexual identity, does that put them out of the running in order to have a baby? Who will reproduce w someone who is unclear about their own sexuality, or even the organs lined up correctly in order to facilitate that?

Sadly, some non-binary persons find themselves the victims of hatred and wind up killed even, or by suicide, and an over-prevalence of substance abuse disorders, which can become a means of suicide also. They absorb the hatred in society for that which is rejected and foreign. I personally wish people peace, freedom of expression, and tolerance for all. But I also have some semblance of having absorbed the lesson in my own culture that to not have reproduced is to have failed in life. Even if I reject that teaching as antiquated and hateful rhetoric of past generations of my ancestors. I know my life has had meaning even without having done these things. But u cannot escape your deeply held values either. So they coexist in my person.

I will go out of this life as some semblance of my parents, even some of my grandparents too, as in abilities that I have, and recognize that the line ends here. No more of my branches of the family tree. Even if it goes on w cousins I have, for which I am grateful. And some undesirable genetic traits also die w me, and that is a good thing, because I would not have wanted to pass them on either. I love children too much to inflict that on them. I pray for the next generation, that they be blessed and luckier than I have been. Even if I am greatly blessed in some other things as well.

And one final thought too: if your children have become doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, chemists, physicists, or mass murderers, serial rapists, arsonists, kidnappers, terrorists, does that also reflect on u as parents?? Have u provided the environment and seeds by which your children have become what they r?? And many permutations in between: what of the kids who never leave their parents’ home, who fail to grow up, who refuse to take responsibility? Those who had no chance ever because of racism in society, prevalent attitudes, historical incidents that wipe out communities, like war zones, or genocide, or teeming masses of illegal immigrants…many have had no chance from the get go, because of the color of their skin, or their having been born as a minority in a land that has no rights, but instead fascist dictatorship…a million little things go into the mix of a single life lived on Earth. And here I am, graphing out mine in pieces on a blog. Thanks for your time.

I heard on the news on the night of April 26th a real life incident/crime in Bridgeport, Connecticut: an 8 yr old boy who was neighbors w a 6 yr old boy, who had a history of bullying incidents w the younger boy, but who was also not disciplined as to how to stop doing that, a failure of parenting, in my opinion, had now committed a severe crime, an atrocity. The 8 yr old escalated it, by taking in hand a tennis ball soaked in gasoline, drenching the younger boy w the ball, and lit him on fire w a lighter, which resulted in 2nd and 3rd degree burns on the little boy, over his legs and his entire face…and the victimized family have started a GoFundMe, 4 lack of health insurance, and also needing to move away from the bully child who is a criminal now, but also not yet arrested, due to his age. And the parents of this 8 yr old perpetrator r also not being held responsible either! So r these parents responsible for not disciplining their bully child, and how did he become such a child? No child becomes such in a vacuum. But perhaps some sociopathic people start young, and that too can be genetic. My prayers r with the victim and his family. He will never be the same again, as even skin grafting leaves behind disfigurement, and frequently, also disability.

My paternal grandparents, Frieda & Herman.
My maternal grandparents Esther, Harold and my mom Harriett.
The Newmans together: Robert, Julianne, Maria, me, Glenn, Mark & Marilyn.
At our home in Queens, “Wendy,” me and mom Harriett.

Wish List for my 58th Birthday

Desirables on Cameo.com as of 4/9/2022

Actor/Personality/Celebrity/Musician. Price for the Cameo Message

Brent Spiner $299+ (Plus is for other services)

Jeri Ryan 345

Terry O’Quinn 200

Wayne Knight 330 (Newman on Seinfeld!)

Robert Picardo 150

Nana Visitor 100

John deLancie 150

Tim Russ 100

Doug Jones 60

Richard Schiff 249

Jonathan Frakes 300

Hisham Tawfiq 150

Michelle Hurd 50

James Pickens Jr. 300

Gates McFadden 180

Garrett Wang 100

Brad Garrett 450

Kevin McKidd 300

Robert Duncan McNeill 125

Nicole DeBoer 59

Marina Sirtis 150

Emilie deRavin 125

Lee Majors 349

Denise Crosby 100

Anne Wersching 60

Chris Noth 600

Anthony Rapp 75

Ice T 450

Tracie Thoms 50

Evan Evagora 75

Saul Rubinek 175

Connor Trinneer 100

Wilson Cruz 99

Drea deMatteo 350

Anthony Montgomery 99

David Ajala 50

Richard Dreyfuss 699

And last but not least, one of my all time faves in singing:

Dionne Warwick 350

This list is heavy on various Star Trek actors, in several series, but it also contains a smattering of Seinfeld, Lost, The Blacklist, Grey’s Anatomy, The 6 Million Dollar Man, Sex & The City, RENT on Broadway actors/singers, The Sopranos, Jaws, Everybody Loves Raymond…Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Doctor.

John Billingsley & Connor Trinneer on stage.
Nana Visitor, in my only to date experience w cameo.com.

I am told I am hard to buy for, and I suppose this is true. So here u go, a head start, w a month to go before my birthday…even tho I know it’s yes, presumptuous to do this. Forgive me.

Life Wisdom & Admonitions

Having reached a certain age and having taken considerable stock of my health and habits, I have some advice 4 u folks who think that u r too young to think about such things. Remember that every possible day u live could be your last. Keep in mind war-torn Ukraine, and despots who r crazed to even ignite World War III, before u dismiss the possibility. Also, keep in mind weather catastrophic events, even those that have hit near u, or your area, causing loss of life, devastation. Or the lunatic near u who is homeless and has a knife or a gun, or just doesn’t like how u look at him…all of these situations present danger. And even today, endemic COVID-19 1813 deaths on March 9, in the USA alone…take stock and be aware. U need to prepare if u have anyone who really counts on u. To not do so is to abdicate caring about someone, as u can leave and leave a bad legacy 4 your spouse and minor children, if u do nothing. So here is my heart thoughts and having witnessed plenty of devastation in my life already, in these almost 58 years now….

  1. If u r living with someone and r not married, but in a committed relationship, consider whether your joint home is yours, if u don’t have joint deed ownership of the property, or if u rent it. Will u be able to continue occupancy if your partner dies? In fact, in my lifetime, aunt Rae was living w uncle David, and because they were unmarried, the landlord took it upon himself to say that when David died (he had a brain tumor, inoperable), Rae was going to have no leg to stand on in order to continue renting the rent stabilized apartment they shared in Manhattan. So Rae had to get a clergyperson quickly to marry them in order to continue occupancy. Never mind that David was incoherent and unable to give consent to the marriage, it happened anyway, w great embarrassment to those assembled in their apartment, myself among them. Rae continued to live in such apartment until her own death in 1997.
  2. Execute a health care proxy and get consent from whom u intend to designate as your agent to make health care decisions. In the absence of a spouse, or parent, or adult child, u need to designate someone, and think about what u want done or not done, in order to preserve life, or what things r unacceptable 2 u. And write it down, also, w a witness, and preferably by a lawyer, or a/k/a a “living will.” U have to face that u may become incapacitated suddenly, or over time, due to dementia. If u r becoming forgetful as u age, that is your clue that u r approaching the time when u may need such documents and advanced directives. Best to have 2 agents, just in case one is unable to do it 4 u also.
  3. U may also need a general Power of Attorney (POA) to execute in case u cannot pay your bills, due to death, in which case your will and last testament comes into play, or if incapacitated, then your general POA is applicable. U don’t want to have your home in foreclosure or credit rating damaged in case something unexpected happens. U need someone u can trust financially, so cultivate close friends, or scope out trustworthy relatives…hopefully, u won’t need to pay a lawyer in order to do these things at hundreds of dollars per hour…
  4. If u r very isolated, w neither close friends nor family that is trustworthy, then u may need to pay someone in order to assume such duties 4 u. And when that is the case, u may be at risk of losing any assets u may have, as the person will get custodianship over u, and may decimate your hard fought for fortune. So it’s important to be a good person, recognize that no man is an island, and cultivate these caring, committed relationships that r worthy, who will look out 4 your best interests, and not become grifters, thieves, or worse. When that day comes that u realize that no one is committed 2 u, and u have no one to look after u or your best interests, then u recognize that your life has been an utter failure. I only cite karma in my daily teachings.

I know of both friends and family who r in jeopardy currently, and have no one who will look out for their best interests. The person who lives w you, who won’t marry u, is effectively saying that they do not care what happens 2 u after they r gone…even unto homelessness. U have no claim to their apartment or house, and by that date, u may not have any parents to take u in…and u may not have a job, or may have become disabled, living on savings…and your children may be estranged…or u may never have had any. There r a million permutations to personal chaos. I have reminded u today just in case u r living on such a precipice, not confronting same. Get people into your life who buttress your existence, or else u r lost.

One last happy note: my dear friend M. did finally sign up 4 life insurance, because she has a minor child and also a disabled husband. Bravo, M! U took the steed by the horns this time. Next stop is that custody arrangement 4 her child, who is presently 13 yrs old. A last will and testament is necessary. Just to show love and concern. No one knows the day or the hour of their death, so pray, and make preparations, in order to establish control. U can only do that while u still have your wits! And also, have an actuary estimate your life expectancy while u r at it…if u r heavy, smoke, take narcotics, drink to excess, etc…your lifetime is apt to be less than u think. Also, evaluate your stress level as well. Altogether, u can self-estimate given your own parents’ lifetimes and age at death…and extrapolate your own remaining time. And an extra caveat is that COVID is not the last pandemic we shall ever see…and it took many people way before their time would have been, in its absence. Keep that in mind too. And long COVID also caused both cerebral and coronary damages as well as pulmonary, of which we shall see many co-morbidities arise in the intervening years after 2020…and psychiatric is only one of them. It’s way later than most people think.

PREP NOW or else u abdicate control and caring!

Post Vacation Euphoria!

I am still reeling from my experience aboard the latest Star Trek the Cruise V! So in contrast to my normal day to day life it was! I fled my isolation, hibernation, winter cold and wet NYC, where driving is at best a white knuckled adventure of potholes, ice, snow, and when u have a mobility disability, it’s like u need to stay in, a lot. And get delivery. Also, when COVID is raging outside, and u r high risk, u r further encouraged to get triple vaxxed, and also avoid people in close proximity at least. So it’s a lonely time to go forward from Christmas 4 me in NY, after which meeting people who matter is just put off, for several months actually….I only see my doormen on staff, the super, once in a while, my primary care physician, my cleaning lady once a month…and it keeps up, too long…like a glacial pace of watching the calendar move, day by day, until such time as warmth arrives…and as NYC is really too far north in this country, winter can run even from October, in the thirties Fahrenheit, to even as long as early April, when we have even seen snow, from time to time! But u get some days of warmth also, here and there, and a light jacket is all that is needed. I find comfort in beaches and sunshine, especially under this long hibernation, as a human, not a bear. So Star Trek the Cruise is an annual ritual of escape and joy, not only because of warmth, but also the really thriving community of people who share a love of Trek and its values, of inclusion, tolerance, charity encouraged, against bullying, laughter, comradeship, oodles of celebrities, whom u idolize, and u get to see friends from across the country, who gather 4 this fest, all of us afloat together! This year, it ran from Feb. 26 to March 5, 2022, leaving from a new point, Port Canaveral, FL.

Next year, it will be in a new place yet again, from Los Angeles, CA. So I will be the cross country traveler then, but it’s also good, in that I will use the jet lag to get out there faster, get accustomed to Pacific time, and also extend my vacation thereby. So the vacation will run likely two weeks then, in order to feel less physical stress, and more warmth. I am accumulating free miles on my American Airlines account, so I can cash in my miles for that 1st class ticket too. And we will be going to a new set of places too, in ports along the Mexican Riviera: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. All new to me. But it’s not even the destinations that r the draw really: it’s my fellow cruisers, and the celebs, and the nice staff on board the ship, all exemplary! They do what we call cosplay, which is remarkable costuming from many Trek series, and have a judging contest each year, and some folks do get also prosthetic makeup put on, on the cruise, to make them professionally made up aliens. People also do other things, like chimpanzee astronauts, dinosaur suits, really the gamut of sci fi loves….even Spiderman! I like to see the cosplay, and perch myself in a chair w camera in hand. This year, one of my friends won the contest even! Q’s Costume Party is voted on by the crowd, w loudness of cheers.

And the dining! Wow, such good stuff also. Even tho it’s not exactly healthy, as u feel the salt content building up in your lower legs w stiffness, as the cruise goes on…and u feel unmoored post cruise, w sea legs, used to walking differently on board a ship, so that land feels peculiar afterwards. It takes a few days to reaccustom to land. And your skin returns to normal too, as the salt flushes out of your body. I am back to my normal functioning now, a week later after my arrival home, on 3/5. I got sick temporarily post cruise too, w a wicked sore throat, and extending to my right ear, some pain…but it was gone quickly too. Only sick from Sunday to Wed. There was no need for further care, and my self care regimen was miraculously brief. And why not? I am still glowingly happy! Special thx to my CA friends Pauline & Daniel, who went w me to dinner out at Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant on board….and then subsequently sent me a 1st time in life gift: a cameo video personalized 4 me, by celeb Nana Visitor, who was also on the cruise! What a gift that was, to have Nana thank me on their behalf for that dinner, in an emailed video message running 52 seconds! I am still flabbergasted by it actually. And I have a pathetic wish to have some friends do this 4 me again even, it was so thrilling! Cameo.com has hundreds of celebrities on their site, for hire, to do any message u might want, at varying rates of pay, depending on how famous the celebrity is. I am looking into doing this for some of my friends also, in case it might be helpful to them, and as thrilling as my 1st one was, to me! But it can be quite expensive, as the cameo message can run as high as $1000, depending on who u hire. My idols include Star Trek celebrities, of course, but also Dionne Warwick is available on the site too….I Say a Little Prayer….a song w special life significance to me. But God bless all my friends, whether or not I get more cameos. I love them all! They make life worth living in fact. Even in lonely winter in NY.

Happiness can also be a warm puppy, which 2 close friends went and got picked up from a breeder, on March 5, 2022. His name is Milo, and he’s truly adorable, if a little bitty breed, a silky haired terrier. I hope to meet him in person soon, along w my friends, as warmth is arriving slowly to NY. Soon, the furs will go back into storage, 4 refurbishment, and it will be soon to get together again, w the locals. All I have to do is write it out, and watch the calendar move to Daylight Savings Time.

And yes, even took out that black and silver sequin dress for this cruise too! I felt exuberant in celebration!

The Lady Diana Spencer (A/k/a Princess Diana)

I have just finished watching a brilliant film called “Spencer” and it has prompted me to write about this much loved “People’s Princess.” No wonder the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has chosen Ms Kristen Stewart as a nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Bravo! We who r American used to adore the Princess and liken it to a fairy tale life, to be swept up into the arms of the man who would be King someday, Prince Charles. And she had it all, we imagined: the breeding, the exceptional beauty, excellent figure, to have captured the Prince’s fancy! Ahhh, but all that glitters is not gold, as we have observed. We have familiarized ourselves w the damned tabloids, and the paparazzi, even unto death, death in a limousine, by a drunken chauffeur, chased even then in Paris, to her death at a tender age of 36 years…

But Spencer does not deal w the later years. It is a study of a short period when William was about 12 years old as the elder son. And Harry is there too, 2 years younger, and Diana is unraveling in front of the royal family, and the servants r spreading how the Princess is going insane, w self-abuse, including self-cutting, the bulimia, the moods, even looking at horrible dreams, of the past, of Anne Boleyn, contemplating suicide, hatred of the wretchedness of being unwanted, and knowing her husband is getting away w the affair of his heart, while still married to her. It is a veritable destruction of the self, as barbed wires get cut, in a kind of escape to a home she used to have…now boarded up, uninhabited, w a rat the only live thing within. Comparing oneself to a pheasant, so pretty w its feathers, about to be served up as dinner! This is the Diana we see in the film, and it is stark, and melancholy. We can imagine being in a gilded cage, waiting to be guillotined by the rules, the schedules, the unholy monotony of it all, and never an escape!

I think that this performance is worthy of the Oscar, but I have yet to see Penelope Cruz in “Parallel Mothers.” I am reminded of this lousy trait we tend to have, and dislike in ourselves for having it: schadenfreude, which is a joy we get in seeing other people suffer some fate that we begrudge them. As if we r all envious of he who gets things that we cannot. So we want to see them suffer in their situation. No one is entitled to everything after all! And the royal life is wholly apart from any life we live, that is certain. All that art, crowns, servants, Rolls Royces, wheel on the right, fabulous couture, even gigantic pearls upon that dainty neck, so beautiful, rare and yet despised all the same, because Charles gave it to Camilla as well as Diana. At the same time! As if mocking her.

Royal watchers: be sure to eat up this film, as it’s a gobsmacked dessert of rarest fillings and fluff. And u may have a side of schadenfreude w it too, one lump or two. I miss her too, the real Princess. Signed her book placed in Harrod’s at some point after she died, w my condolences to the Royals for their loss. There is a lovely garden in her memory in Hyde Park, London. We visited that too, me and 2 friends, all Americans visiting London, a favorite city. I found myself thinking of Prince Harry, w Meghan his American wife, living in the USA now, w their 2 children, and imagining it is very hard to be Prince Harry, looking at this film, which tho fictional, uses elements from Diana’s life as it actually was, and finding it painful to dissect the trap Diana found herself in, to be tied to basically no one except her sons, and a fired but rehired servant, and they all clamp down on her, like a rat in a trap actually, dour faces w disapproval coming in waves of torment…I feel for Harry. He lives in this country now, and it does differ greatly from the life he had before. And he must find a way to reconcile the history w the truth.

He will not let Meghan suffer the fate that almost befell Diana, from which there was no real escape at one point, but perhaps suicide. May the Princess rest in peace and her descendants find a way to exist within the confines of that gilded cage. And the song by the Boomtown Rats is playing in the background, very apt for this movie, tho not in it: “I Don’t Like Mondays.”