Weekend Update: Laugh Lines vs. Worry Lines

My Dear Friends,

Laugh Lines or worry lines? This is not a difficult choice for me. 

However, Guys, I am telling you, the “what if” scenarios about the virus are wreaking havoc in my un and subconscious mind.   For me in the midst of any stress the antidote has always been humor. 

And I have tried to make that available.  I use my cell phone to go to Youtube and find the comedians from my generations that make me laugh. You can ask me later who my favorite oldies are. Netflix, Amazon, and Home Box Office display the young comics in their one man/woman shows.  Yes, of course, there is the generational issue of what is funny to me and what is funny to a millennial being very different.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate some of the humor of the present comic set. 

And I am a pretty far out there lady as to spouting my own four letter words.  But for me, in comedy,  back up the colorful language with some clever situational and character and cross generation descriptions.  Early Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Dick Gregory, Chris Rock, Robin Williams and today, Wanda Sykes… fantastic!! 

All to say, I know where to go when I want a laugh from my favorite olden funny people – YouTube!  However there was a bit of a problem.  My stress level is always on the rise at night after I’ve gone to bed.  I am awakened by yet another “what if” Titanic-sinking-scenario.  So I grab my cell phone go to YouTube to play my funny people. So what’s my problem?

Lying in bed, even with good pillowing, watching that small screen for any length of time, gives me a backache and a neckache and a handache.  Handache??  Of course!  I recently put an ad on Craig’s list and in the classifieds for a nighttime cell phone holder.  No one has applied.

And then, TA-DA!  A miracle happened.  I was notified that YouTube would be the electronic venue for the National Theatre of London’s brilliant and generous gift to the world of 5 of their past productions for a week at a clip.  The first to be One Man, Two Guvnors with James Corden.  A production I saw in London 7 years ago.  Sooo funny. I needed to see it. I had to see it.  Just what the world ordered up, right?  OMG! Could I do it? Could I sit in front of my computer for two and a half hours ORRRRRRRRR…. could I find a way to put YouTube on my television??  I only use my television to stream movies and favorite present day tv shows (yes, I am a Schitt’s Creek die hard).  I asked myself, “Self!“ I said, “Is it possible that I can install the YouTube App on my television to see this London production?” (Ghostly spirituals begin…)

I couldn’t believe it! (Mahalia Jackson sings) I, of the most electronically challenged, actually thought to ask that question? What was happening? This virus, this quarantine, this sanitizing and washing must have stimulated a part of my brain that hasn’t seen light for all of my 86 years. 

It worked!  I did it! And I laughed and a light was seen that lifted me from the darkness. (Begin the Mormon Tabernacle Choir music) AMEN!!  Next time I awake with heart pounding and visions of disasters, I can get up, go to my comfortable chair, even stop and make a cup of tea and watch my oldies and goodies.

For what it’s worth, I pass it onto you.  And if any of you want to say to me, “What’s wrong with you. I’ve been doing this for years.”   DON’T !

Stay Well. Love, Sally-Jane ❤️

P.S. I thank everyone who contributes to my laugh lines by sending these.

And finally, something for the spirit and the soul:

My Weekend Update: A Laugh A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

My Dear Family and Friends,

As we all wait, some patiently most not so, (I’m in the latter category) for science to discover the vaccine that will rid us of this very dangerous and contagious virus and for our quarantines to begin to show a down turn of the spread,  I have found myself sinking under the avalanche of virus related electronic transmissions.  And as if these statistics and charts are not enough to affect me, friends are sending me the very sad stories that come with this trail of sickness and death. 

I have always been what my nearest and dearest say lovingly, overemotional.  It is the trademark of the neurotic.  I cry at supermarket openings.   

It’s not just the virus that is contagious.  It is the mood and spirit of us humans that is very catching.

And yesterday, in response to my being glued to my electronic  instruments of torture, my blood pressure spiked.  Ahhhh, I get it.  I was stressing myself out. 

Cease and Desist!!

There are things I can’t fix, like finding toilet paper!  Toilet paper????

But I can fix my own mounting stress and if you will allow me, if any of this resonates with you, help you with yours.

Over the past weeks, friends and family have been sending me humorous cartoons, videos, and the like.

When I need to, and I find I need to more often as the quarantine continues, I go to one or two of my videos or cartoons and there is an immediate relief and release of my tension.


I have not yet decided where to spend Easter, whether in the bedroom or in the living room…”

I have put together my antidote for stress.  A compendium (I just love that word) of what makes me laugh.   

Join me in SHAKING THE BLUES AWAY…

Love ~ Sally-Jane





The Cuomo Brothers
https://twitter.com/thunderrmuffinn/status/1242273378893025282



Italian Mayors losing it as people violating #Covid19 quarantine.
https://twitter.com/protectheflames/status/1241696164782669824


And don’t every forget… music doth soothe the savage beast…

Finally, an explanation of the Coronavirus and why it is so different…. this is an important read.

Dear Friends,

This was sent to me by a friend and for those who still don’t understand the exponential characteristic of this virus (believe me, it has taken me a long time to “get” it… a Ms. Stubborn-Know-It-All… that’s me) it is a simple and clear explanation of why we should shut down until the curve turns the other way.  Please self distance and stay safe.

Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this to others who don’t understand… It has to do with RNA sequencing…. i.e. genetics.


Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year… you get immunity two ways… through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.


Novel viruses, come from animals…. the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once one of these animal viruses mutates and starts to transfer from animals to humans… then it’s a problem. Why? 

Because we have no natural or acquired immunity. The RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so we can’t fight it off.


Now…. sometimes the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human. For years its only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human… once that happens..we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, thats what decides how contagious, or how deadly, it’s gonna be..


H1N1 was deadly…. but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.

Fast forward.


Now, here comes this Coronavirus… it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long… but one day, at an animal market in Wuhan China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person… But here is the scary part…. in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”.

This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity) took off like a rocket. And this was because humans have no known immunity… doctors have no known medicines for it. And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus changed itself in such a way that it causes great damage to human lungs.

That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1 or any other type of influenza…. this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater…And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain s, and strain L…. which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.

We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.


Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed… (honestly… I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation…

And let me end by saying…. right now it’s hitting older folks harder… but this genome is so slippery… if it mutates again (and it will) who is to say, what it will do next.


Be smart folks… acting like you’re unafraid is so not sexy right now.

#flattenthecurve. Stay home folks… and share this to those that just are not catching on.

Source: Kymberli Dawn, Nurse in Oakland California

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. Self-distancing is the most helpful and unselfish thing we can do.  Anyone who is offended by this necessary safety measure not only doesn’t get it… but worse than that THEY CAN’T COUNT.

Toilet Paper??? Really???

Bob Moran | Telegraph

My Dear Friends,

If you have a computer you have already received many emails concerning the whys and wherefores and how-tos of the coronavirus.

I’ve put together my own list with my own introductions to my nearest and dearest. I am sure there will be much duplication.

I think of these emails as the trajectory, the progression, if you will, of my own very late awareness of the virus. And what it means to me and my loved  ones and even not to just my loved ones but to all humans everywhere. Yes, even those politicians and leaders who refused to lead us into global awareness as to what was happening.  I do not wish anyone ILL. However, it is important to see how the world is leaderless… Oh, yes, there are health workers, and disease agencies that are tirelessly working to correct the politicians-of-every-nation’s inability to gather globally to stem the tide of this virulent virus.

Borders closed. Countries in lockdown. I ask myself. Is that what had to happen before attention was paid?

I do not think you have to be brilliant. I am not. It is now the middle of March and I don’t know all the facts (I truly don’t think anyone ever will) but the Chinese Government began talking about the Corona Virus in the beginning of January. The first reports I ignored. After all, no leader anywhere, except China was saying anything. From my perspective, China is very far away. I keep forgetting. We are all globally connected. In today’s world, Wuhan is next door to Brooklyn.

In this forwarded mélange of advice, take what you want and leave the rest.


1. Important New Dispatch:Dr. Jordan Shlain Reporting From the Front Lines

This article, makes a lot of sense to me…

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:

https://tincture.io/dispatch-3-dr-shlain-reporting-from-the-front-lines-a86bca27847b


2. Coronavirus: Deserted Italian street rings out with song as people lean out of windows to sing together during lockdown

Cry if you must…but don’t just stand there…isolate! 

Watch the Video


3. Not Another Recipe…

To my nearest and dearest – Yes, another recipe for continued good health. And if you do nothing else do like it says and keep lubricated. (Take your mind out of the gutter) and drink water. That’ll teach that virulent virus to bugger off.

And always remember. Love will keep us together as long as you don’t touch me…


4. 👆🏼That Widely Circulated List of COVID-19 Tips Is a Hoax

Ok. That does it! No more advice! There’s too much hysteria and panic which looks for answers that just aren’t there. Hey, guys, there’s no magic bullet! Use you common sense until a leader comes along that can lead us out of the wilderness or through the parting of the Red Sea.

Remember when we had leaders who told the truth and in dire circumstances such as we are experiencing now could be there to support, encourage and help? I wish one and all good health as we try to chart a course to safety. 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://www.lamag.com/article/coronavirus-hoax-stanford


5. Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

So, I lied! Here’s one more from me to youse. It’s because it kind of explains where I am in thought.

I’m already limited by age and its attendant physical limitations and now I’m being asked to be limited voluntarily in terms of social engagement. I think it requires a major life rethink for me (change my behavior) and if you will help me, I am sure I can do it.

Using numbers paralyzes me. Statistical charts don’t really make a lot of sense to me. But with this article I finally understood what it is that I can do.

READ FULL ARTICLE WITH CHARTS HERE: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca


MY CONCLUSION:

Now that you are on information overload let me wish you well on your life journey.

I think if we are careful we can survive and most importantly I think there are some very profound life lessons to learn.

There’s been a great deal said about the human condition. Not all of it very positive.  

The worst is the tale of toilet paper. Toilet paper? Really! I never thought toilet paper would be the arbiter of what makes for a civilized society. Who knew?????

I do not want to be thought of as a bleeding heart sentimental fool (all of which admittedly I am), but what an opportunity this presents for us to go beyond the base (toilet paper, really?) human condition into an atmosphere of service and caring and, yes, love.

Of course, I could be writing this because I am vulnerable and if they decide to take us elder vulnerables and put us on ice floes that take us out to sea never to return (of course, because of global warming – which of course “does not exist” – there are no more ice floes).  

Here is where I harken back to inspired leadership.

Two Presidents and their speechifying come to mind. Historically flawed, like all of us, they understood the need and the desire to help their citizens aspire to a higher code of conduct. 

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Ask not what your country can do for you.  But what you can do for your country.”

~ John F. Kennedy

Right???? Of course, right!   

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. Without humor, with or without the virus… we’re dead!

A Young Artist In and Of and By and For the Modern World

My Dear Friends,

When was it???   

Historically, logically even, enlightenment followed the Dark Ages.  First the Dark Ages after which follows the Age of Enlightenment… dark and then light… get it?!

I’m not talking about those kind of ages… eras… I am talking chronological ages.  Like I’m 86. Really????  Reallly!!!! That kind of age. 

I am at the age/stage when occasionally I actually peek out of my navel long enough to think – as the song of the same name goes, what’s going to happen,  AFTER I’M GONE.  Listen my  friends, since 2016,  I don’t hold too much hope for the last and coming years.

How many times have we heard these phrases?

The children are the hope of the future.

We will create a better world for our children.

 The  Children shall lead us out of the dark into the light.

How is that possible?

Leading the future towards a better world is out of the question. The children sit, walk, ride, bounce with their faces glued to their electronic instruments.

I think we would  call that the blind leading the blind. So am I just another olden person intolerant of the youngen person.

My granddaughter Ellie Maza is 18 and a budding artist. She is bothered by the direction the world seems to be taking her and her “bother” takes the form of collages, photographs, recycled furniture and clothing depicting a world gone mad in its excesses.

I shall stop here and simply exhibit her photographs for your perusal.



I am inspired by her depiction of the world going mad. She is young. She is witness to the excess. She notes it to help others to see it. If enough people see it, might it curb our appetites and slow the disintegration.

What do you think????

Love, Sally-Jane

A Movie You Must See and a Question You Can’t Ask

My dear friends,

Pedro Almodovar has a new movie:  Pain and Glory.

DO NOT MISS IT.  I repeat. DO NOT MISS IT.

If you find yourself whirling in the what feels like an endless cycle of your existentialness (don’t look it up it’s my word).

If your aging process is moving too fast, giving you physical grief so much so that you have lost count on the doctor visits. 

If your HIGH ANXIETY  wakes you in the middle of the night so your only recourse is to pop a pill or call a friend that you haven’t called before to senior-sit with you as you try to calm down.

And if you avoid any questions about what you are working on or if you baldly lie about your latest project, you need this movie.

My whole olden being is engaged in finding that which will engage my creative juices.  You know what I mean… something that will make use of my still active and engaged mental equipment however saddled with a more rapidly aging body.

Of late, I have been exposed to what I would call coincidental “bashert” (the wonderful Yiddish word for destiny).  The most recent examples being Almodovar’s new movie, wherein a famous director of past great movies is hobbled by aging health issues and loss of his muse.  Welcome to The Club!

Another is an article in The New Yorker by John McPhee, Tabula Rusa in which he is writing what I call “mini memories”, one of which includes a story about a luncheon with Thornton Wilder. 

At this luncheon, a very brash and slightly callow youth of a writer (McPhee) dares to ask Wilder who is 66 at the time (an age that McPhee thought geriatric) what he is presently working on. Politely, Wilder tells him he is cataloguing the plays of Lope de Vega.  McPhee thought and then asked Wilder, “Why would anyone want to do that?” The silence at the table was deafening. In fury, Wilder exclaimed. “Young man, do not ever question the purpose of scholarship.”  My translation:  Do not ever ask an artist what he is working on .

McPhee who is 88 now knows that those plays were serving to extend Thornton Wilder’s life.  It was a project meant not to end.

I was led to that article and to the Almodovar movie because it is exactly what I needed to read and see.

I need my own Lope de Vega and my own muse restored. I think I’ll stop with the excuses and all the other blocks I put in my path towards my next creative move. The major hurdle I face is finding like minded younger and older artists who know what I am talking about and finding a way to support each other in our quests. I think when you are younger by the nature of your youthful strength you go it alone. I believe the artists journey is singular and lonely.

Norman Rockwell’s Triple Self

 I do not think my discovering that older artists and their quest for relevancy (because really isn’t that what it’s all about…I’M STILL HERE!) is accidental.

Like I said before, I am experiencing coincidental beshart (love that word)…

If any of this makes any sense to you, I’d love to hear from you… if not, have another cup of tea and a fabulous day.

And don’t forget to see Pain and Glory….

Right?  Of course, right!!!!

Love, Sally-Jane ♥️

P.S.

Recently, I received a book from Amazon that I did not order: The Flight From Truth by Jean-Francois Revel

No note as to who it was from… I love surprises… but I want to thank whoever did the deed.

And that is not possible… curiosity killed the cat… If it is one of youse who did it… take pity and tell me.

Puleeeze… ❤️

THIS IS THE WORST CONGRESS EVER!!! (NOT BY A LONG SHOT!)

As the impeachment moves into the Senate this is what I am hearing more and more. Now if you will all sing along with me to a song written by Burt Bachrach made famous by Dionne Warwick… ready?

🎵WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, SWEET LOVE…🎵

..and some perspective for goodness sake, and some history wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

Not that this Congress would win any medals in the “for the good of the country and its people which I have taken an oath to serve” department. They have been singularly obstructive and divisive and wholly partisan.  

However, this is not the first time and since Congress is made up of human beings (although I think on an individual basis that is debatable), it will not be the last time that we have a self-serving partisan Senate. 

I am hoping that what I am about to share with you will give you the hope we need to carry on and remember, “This too shall pass.”

Let me take you back to 1776, the first Continental Congress, the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Only 13 colonies. Each colony a kingdom unto itself. Divided geographically and culturally, coming together only in common cause to separate from their Mother Country, England.

The Declaration of Independence, written and approved by the delegates, aka Congressmen, was their Declaration of War against England.  A war because of the selfish, partisanship, and venality of its members would have surely been lost and the United States today would still belong to England.  And don’t think for a minute that today the English think we would be far better if we had not separated. It’s a very love/hate relationship… sibling rivalry. But that is another subject.  

Back to Congress almost losing the Revolutionary war. Our history lessons gave us the Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, Nathan Hale, The Founding Fathers, etc. But did you know that each of the colonies, to the point of almost losing the war, played the same unpatriotic game of  partisan politics. 

Did you know that George Washington had to play along with these political games and placate this Congress to try and pay his soldiers, organize his staff and select his generals to fight a war against the largest most highly trained military machine of its day?  That his position as General of The Revolutionary Army was not at all assured? Each of the New England colonies had a favorite son they wanted nominated to take over for General Washington. He had a rag tag army not getting paid and he did not have this Congress’s full support.  The new United States of America stood on the brink of doom if the Congress had had their way.

If you want to know how the Revolution was saved from this self serving obstreperous Continental Congress then you must go to the library or your favorite book store and read Nathaniel Philbrick’s book, Valiant Ambition.

As the absurdity of, dare I call it… The Impeachment Process continues – and really what it should be called is the… You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours Tango (a little lower please), reading this book offers a perspective we desperately need.   

The Union that brought forth this nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, was saved.

Let us hope it not too late for this expanded Union today.

Right?  Of Course, right!! 

American Health Care, aka KAFKA KARE

My Friends,

Everyone knows, it is de rigueur not to get sick between Christmas and New Year. Now tell me something I don’t know. As someone who lives alone even with help,  eventually they go home and as luck would have it, take vacation days right after Christmas through New Years Eve.

I really tried to be brave. We all know I come from a long line of mother martyrs. I was all right.  Nothing is wrong with me.  I even start singing…

The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar…

By the time New Years Eve rolled around, I was finished with Tiny Tim and James Stewart and Edmund Gwen and Margaret O’Brien (and just to throw in a name to struggle to identify) Guy Lombardo. For the first time I understood the full meaning of BAH HUMBUG!

A few days before Christmas, I had returned to Florida from a brief and fabulous family holiday in New York. I was wiped out. I thought a few days of feet up would fill the bill. It didn’t. I was only more tired. After Christmas, I was no better and even more fatigued.

I called my Florida Doctor which I discovered is as much an oxymoron as Florida Health Kare. She was unavailable until January 2 and I was referred to the Urgent Care Center and so began my Kafkaesque journey, which I have written as a play…

Kafka Kare

A Play by: Dr. Mother Martyr Heit

Scene 1

Urgent Care Center Waiting Room, Florida. New Year’s Eve. The last day of the year every person who doesn’t have health insurance in Ft. Lauderdale is waiting in the waiting room.

While at home trying to figure out what she was dying from, Mother Martyr Heit had spend days assuring her daughters by phone that all she needed was to rest. After all hadn’t they just enjoyed a brief and fabulous family holiday in New York? OK, maybe rest and a blood test.

Dr. Mother Martyr Heit (DrMMH):

Excuse me, how long will I have to wait?

Receptionist:

About 3 hours, give or take.

Scene 2

Urgent Care Center Waiting Room, Florida. New Year’s Eve – 6 hours later.

Receptionist:

            Ms. Heit?

Scene 3

Urgent Care Center Exam Room.

Nurse:

            First, I’m going to take your blood pressure.

Dr. Mother Martyr Heit (DrMMH):

Of course, look all I really want is a blood test.  The menu outside says I can have one for $120.

Nurse:

            I have to take your blood pressure again.

DrMMH:

            Sure. And then can I get a blood test?

Nurse

            I have to call the Doctor. Your blood pressure is 200 over 110.

DrMMH

            That is high!  All the more reason to give me a blood test, right???

Nurse leaves.

Scene 4

Urgent Care Center Exam Room, Florida.

Doctor Enters and introduces himself.

Doctor:

I am going to take your blood pressure!

DrMMH:

OK.  But I think if you give me a blood test we shall discover what is going on!  Don’t you?

Doctor:

 It’s very high! 

DrMMH:

 So everyone says!  How about the blood test?

Doctor:

 Oh, I can’t do that!

DrMMH:

 What???  Why not??

Doctor:

Well, you already have a doctor!  And we have to wait for her to give the order to give you any medication or tests!

DrMMH:

My doctor will not be back until January 2nd !  It’s December 31st!  Is it all right with you if I walk out with that number on my blood pressure???

Doctor:

Our policy is if you have a doctor she has to order the tests for you!

DrMMH:

So, let me understand this!  I have blood pressure that could cause a heart    attack or stroke and you are not going to do anything to help me.

Doctor:

Madam, you can insult me all you want but that is this urgent care’s policy.

DrMMH:

Doctor, let me tell you, if I was insulting you, you would know it! I am simply and absolutely incredulous that you call your policy “health care”!

Doctor:

You can go to the Emergency Room at the hospital.

DrMMH:

I’m not sure I have another 6 hours to wait! This is just too Kafkaesque!!

Doctor:

 Oh, is that the name of your Dr.?

Dr. Mother Martyr Heit calls Uber. Goes home. Takes a valium.  Her blood pressure comes down.  She goes to sleep, hibernating until her doctor returns Jan. 2.

The End

The end of the play but not the end of Kafka Kare in Florida.

When my doctor returned I called with my blood pressure reading and she told me to come in.  She gave me a very inclusive blood test and urine test.  A major infection, some antibiotics and on the road to recovery.

“The sadder but wiser girl am I.”

I have already told this story a few times. No one raises an eyebrow. 

“What’s your problem, SJ?  You’re in Florida”

Last time I looked Florida was part of the U.S.A.  What happened to make the US Healthcare System the star of the third world?

Dr. Kafkaesque is alive and well in the United States.

Love, Sally-Jane

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

IF I HAD THE POWER…

I would provide everyone… and I mean everyone with immediate access to the movie, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.

Listen, my friends I had to force myself to go and see it. Even after my daughter Lori made a special call to convince me to go. I put her recommendation into the back seat of my mind. I loved the recent Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor. What more was the movie going to show me? Nothing I did not already know. Right?

Wrong!

I was soooo wrong. It has nothing and everything to do with Mr. Rogers. And even though reviews have been very positive, from my point of view, none of the reviews touched on why today, more than at any other time in this world, everyone needs to see this movie.

Let me try to write how I experienced as I watched the movie unfold.
From the opening, before the credits, a “lego-set “of a residential area of a nameless city (although if you know Pittsburgh, you recognize the three bridges that cross two rivers or is it three… I forget) and suddenly Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers walks into the set and begins to do the Mr. Rogers opening.

Miniature sets used in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

But, it is different from the one he usually does in his show as he introduces a picture board of different characters… most of whom you know from his show and one who you did not know, the writer who under duress and in anger has been assigned to do a profile on Mr. Rogers. From that very first moment, I was captured, captivated, you name it. I was had. The mystery, and it is a mystery of a plot unraveled.

A little background: I am in Florida. It was a rainy day. Perfect afternoon for the movies. And perhaps a dozen others thought the same thing. And from that very same beginning moment, this small audience breathed as one. I mean it. We all inhaled at the same time. We exhaled at the same time. No one moved a muscle… no popcorn munching. No slurping. No candy wrappers. We were all suspended in the one hour and 59 minutes of this movie.

Now I am not going into any more detail about the movie. You want to know how this story unfolds. Go to your movie house. I know it is playing there now.

By the end of the film, as the credits rolled, this small audience in a darkened theatre released their breath and applauded as if they were in a live show.

Why? They were moved. The cathartic emotional release of all was palpable. We had all, together, been part of an experience where anger and bile were transformed into love and forgiveness; released into the stratosphere by the catalyst of a vulnerable and fallible human named Fred Rogers.

What are you doing still sitting reading this? Get up. Get out. Get transformed.

Love, Sally-Jane

Live Opera at the Movies v. Live Opera at the MET

My Friends,

Ok, here I go again having to swear off never saying never. I have always shouted loud enough for all to hear (didn’t need a microphone) that going to the live performances of the opera at a movie house just didn’t cut it. But here I am in sunny Florida (Sorry my Northern friends) and missing several desperate-to-see operas. 

Well I get an announcement that Philip Glass’s opera, Akhnaten is coming to a local movie house Live in HD from the MET. Well I shortened my snobby nose, swallowed my boastful pride and bought a ticket. It was to begin at 1 pm and finish at 4:45 pm.

I alerted my friend Diana who dropped me off to be on call as I was pretty sure it would have to be brilliant to keep me in my seat all that time. Guess what? It kept me glued to my seat except for intermission bathroom breaks. 

My dear friends it was and is brilliant! I’m not sure it fits being labeled an 
opera. It belongs to a new category of music and song and story and dance and juggling. 

It is classical. It is history. It is dramatic. The music is as otherworldly as Glass usually is, but it is completely in sync with this era of an Egyptian ruler who created a new religion. A monotheistic one that worshipped The Sun God. Versailles came after the pyramids right?? Of course right!!

I had a perfectly gorgeous New York Cultural afternoon. The camera even gave me shots of NYC and the interior of the opera house. Of course, as I sat in my shorts and t-shirt I was not unaware of the winter clothing of the audience. They had my full sympathy. I am grateful to have been able to see an opera on my wish list. 

However… that being said…
For me it will never replace the live experience. I am not overly thrilled with all the interviews they use to fill the intermissions. It breaks mood. 
But Lynn (you are right) and all, I was and am grateful I was able to see it. And look forward to seeing Wozzek in January. 

If anyone wants to come to Florida to go to the opera Live at the Met at the movies, let me know and I’ll get an extra ticket. Sorry no popcorn 🍿But how about a soupçon of caviar? I drink it all day!!!

Love, Sally-Jane

Post Script…

My dear friends, I greet you this year at this time of the year and ask you to spread the joy.  We could either focus on the negatives as the media, social and otherwise appear to do, or take this opportunity to go to the Spa of Life to share the elixir of peace and goodwill to one and all.

I don’t care what you think or what you believe as long as it is in and with LOVE it will help in healing the world.

I have this funny feeling that this is the American Year of Denial.

Think about it…

If we deny the troublemakers and naysayers and fearful their usual space in our heads, I predict we are going to have a great holiday.

Right???  Of course, right!!!