Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 4 Best and 3 Worst Sweeteners

The 4 Best and 3 Worst Sweeteners to Have in Your Kitchen
By Leah Zerbe,

At this point, it's common knowledge that high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugar are bad for us. But given all the marketing hype behind different "natural" alternatives, it's hard to know which ones really are the best sweeteners. Complicating matters, new studies, like one just published in the journal Cancer Research, are finding that fructose, a sugar found in high-fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, and, in small amounts, even in fruit, actually feeds some cancers. But don't give up apples and oranges, or even honey, based on a single study. "Natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables—things like berries, green apples, grapefruit, kiwi—are needed to feed beneficial microflora in the gut for a healthy immune system," explains Donna Gates, who led the movement to bring stevia, a natural sweetener, into this country more than a decade ago. "That's why nature put a little bit of sugar in fruits and vegetables. It keeps the ecosystem alive in us," she says, adding that the small amounts of fructose in fruits and vegetables are balanced with minerals, vitamins, and other vital nutrients. "Our body reads it differently," she notes.Fruits and vegetables provide a perfect sugar fix, but when you're in need of a sweetener to add to iced tea, baked goods, or anything else, make sure you know the difference between the good guys and bad guys of the sweetener world. (Some of the not-so-sweet details could leave you gagging.)

Assess your diabetes risk In 5 mnutes.

Bad Guy #1: Aspartame

There's conflicting evidence regarding the safety of aspartame, a common chemical sweetener used in diet soda and other low-cal or low-sugar goods, but some people report headaches or generally feeling unwell after ingesting anything containing the chemical. To make life easier for everyone, this is one instance where you may want to follow the "better safe than sorry" principle. That's because a University of Liverpool test-tube study found that when mixed with a common food color ingredient, aspartame actually became toxic to brain cells. Making matters worse, aspartame is used in many diet sodas, and studies have found drinking diet soda may increase your risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Also of concern with aspartame, researchers have found that one harmful breakdown product is formaldehyde. Sweet? We don't think so.

Bad Guy #2: Agave

While your health food store likely stocks agave sweeteners, it may be best to keep them out of your cart. Many agave nectars consist of 70 to 80 percent fructose—that's more than what's found in high-fructose corn syrup! If you don't want to give up agave, look for types that contain no more than 30 to 40 percent fructose, recommends Christine Gerbstadt, MD, PhD, RD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Agave is also very heavily processed in an extremely energy-intensive manner that's similar to the way corn is converted into high-fructose corn syrup.

Bad Guy #3: Sucralose

While sucralose, better known by its brand name, Splenda, may originate with sugar, the end product is anything but natural. It's processed using chlorine, and researchers are finding that the artificial sweetener is passing through our bodies and winding up in wastewater treatment plants, where it can't be broken down. Tests in Norway and Sweden found sucralose in surface water released downstream from treatment discharge sites. Scientists worry it could change organisms' feeding habits and interfere with photosynthesis, putting the entire food chain at risk. The chemically derived artificial sweetener acesulfame K (sold under the brand name Sunett) was also detected in treated wastewater and tap water.

The European Fat Tax: Should we try it?.

Good Guy #1: Stevia

"We need to be off of sugar, but we need good alternatives, and stevia is the safest sweetener there is, period," says Gates, who coauthored The Stevia Cookbook: Cooking with Nature's Calorie-Free Sweetener (Avery Trade, 2004). All types of stevia are extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant, but some forms taste better than others, says Gates. People tend to overuse powders, in which the sweetness is really concentrated, so if you've tried powders in the past and didn't like them, try liquid forms, explains Gates, who helped develop a liquid stevia sweetener product. Stevia contains zero calories, but its one downfall is that it doesn't work well for baking. Expect to see more stevia on store shelves, as Coke and Pepsi got the green light to use Truvia (a sweetener made in part from stevia) starting later this year.

Good Guy #2: Sugar alcohols

Popular sugar alcohol sweeteners include xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol, natural sweeteners made through a fermentation process of corn or sugar cane. They contain fewer calories than sweeteners like pure sugar and honey, but more than stevia. They also leave a cooling sensation in the mouth, and have been found to prevent cavities, explains Dr. Gerbstadt. Just don't overdo it—too much can cause GI distress.

Good Guy #3: Organic, raw local honey

While honey does boast higher fructose levels, it also contains a bounty of cancer-defending antioxidants, and local honey has been said to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Don't limit raw honey's use to your tea, either. Use it to speed healing on burns, and as a natural antiseptic on cuts and scrapes. Honey also has a low glycemic index, so adding it to your tea or yogurt won't lead to energy-busting blood sugar drops later in the day.

Good Guy #4: Blackstrap molasses

Although heavy on the calorie content, blackstrap is rich in iron, potassium, and calcium, making it a healthier choice than nutritionally defunct artificial sweeteners or even regular refined sugar, despite the fact that blackstrap and refined sugar both come from sugar cane. (Dr. Gerbstadt says calorie-containing sweeteners are not recommended for people with diabetes.) We like the organic, Fair Trade Certified version of blackstrap molasses from Wholesome Sweeteners.

10 Ways to Prevent a Stroke

10 Ways to Prevent a Stroke By Stephanie Trelogan, senior editor

Learn how to reduce your risk of having a stroke.
97% Helpful 27 Comments Save Save Print E-Mail Share:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is the number one cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Over the course of a lifetime, stroke affects an estimated four out of five families. Although these statistics sound dire, take heart: With these strategies, you can help your parents reduce their risk -- and reduce your own at the same time.

Control blood pressure.
High blood pressure means a high risk of stroke. If one of your parents has been diagnosed with prehypertension (120/80 to 139/89) or hypertension (140/90 mm Hg or higher), his blood pressure should be treated. The doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications, but your parent's blood pressure needs regular monitoring. Although it can be a bit tricky to use, an inexpensive manual cuff (starting at about $12 at your local drugstore) is a great way to monitor blood pressure at home. But if you can't get the hang of using it, you may want to consider investing in a blood pressure machine, which is a bit more expensive (between $70 and $150); it's also available at your local drugstore.

Manage stress and depression.
A parent's emotional and psychological state can have a very real effect on his physical health. Minimizing stress, anger, and depression is an important aspect of maintaining good cardiovascular health and avoiding a stroke. If your parent lives by himself, he may feel disconnected and alone. Even if your parents still have each other, sitting around the house can lead to boredom and unhappiness. Help your parents get out, make new friends, or simply engage in stimulating activities. Their local church or community center is an excellent place to connect with other seniors.

Perhaps your parent is already a social butterfly but still seems to be having difficulty with his mood. Encourage him to try these stress-busting strategies:

Cut back on caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
Try meditation or yoga.
Play relaxing music.
Go for a walk outdoors.
If you've tried everything and still feel concerned about your parent's mood, talk to his doctor. Depression is a serious but treatable illness.

Reduce the risk of blood clots.
Ask your parents' doctor about medications that can reduce their risk of developing blood clots. The most commonly recommended medication is aspirin, which is inexpensive and can be taken at a low dose (81 milligrams is the usual recommended dose). If your parents have other medical issues, the doctor may prescribe a more potent drug.

Control other medical conditions.
If your parents have atrial fibrillation (an abnormal rhythm involving the upper two chambers of the heart), diabetes, heart valve disease, or vascular disease, they have a much greater risk of stroke. These medical conditions require careful management. Make sure their doctor knows about any such conditions and is treating them appropriately.

Talk to the doctor about medications that might increase your parents' risk.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), rosiglitazone (for diabetes), and COX-2 inhibitors (for controlling arthritis pain) are all examples of medications that may increase your parents' risk of stroke. Review their medications with their doctor and ask if there are less risky alternatives.

Know the early warning signs and seek treatment to prevent a stroke.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one out of three people who have a transient ischemic attack (TIA) will suffer an acute stroke. Signs of a TIA, or ministroke, include:

Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg -- especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing out of one or both eyes

Sudden difficulty walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness

For more detailed information, see What You Should Know About TIA If Your Parents Are at Risk for a Stroke. If you think your parent has suffered a TIA, notify his doctor right away so that he can be treated.

Keep "bad" cholesterol levels low.
One of the major risk factors for stroke is a high bloodstream level of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. Ideally, your parent's total cholesterol should be no more than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) and no more than five times the level of HDL or "good" cholesterol; his LDL levels should be below 70 mg/dL. Make sure his cholesterol levels are checked regularly and treated if necessary. Following a low-fat diet and exercising regularly may help, but it might not be enough. If his cholesterol levels don't respond to lifestyle changes, his doctor may prescribe medication.

Follow a heart-healthy diet.
The best diet for preventing stroke is the one recommended by the American Heart Association. Choose a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, lean meats, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.Your parent should limit intake of fat (total fat between 25 and 35 percent of daily calories, saturated fat less than 7 percent, and trans fat less than 1 percent), cholesterol (less than 200 milligrams per day if LDL levels are high, less than 300 milligrams per day if they aren't), and sodium (less than 1,500 milligrams per day for high blood pressure, less than 2,300 milligrams per day otherwise). Your mother should consume no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, your father no more than two. And they should each eat 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber every day.

Encourage regular exercise.
Exercise is essential for general cardiovascular health and is key to preventing a stroke. But how much exercise is enough? The Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association recommend accumulating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week on most days. This doesn't mean your parents need to do half an hour of aerobics five days a week; instead, you can encourage short bursts of activity throughout the day. Just parking farther away from the store and walking the extra distance, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can quickly add up. But before your parents begin any exercise program, they should talk to their doctor about any restrictions they might have.

Help them stop smoking.
Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke. If your parents or anyone who lives in their home smokes, quitting is essential to good health. Just living with a smoker increases the risk of stroke by almost 30 percent. But recognize that stopping smoking isn't easy. Here are a few ways you can help:

Ask your parents what they think would make it easier for them. They may have suggestions you haven't thought of.

Encourage them to talk about their feelings and what they're going through. Smoking may be a comforting lifelong habit; let them mourn a little.

You may be tempted to nag or yell if they slip up, but it's more effective to remind them that you love them no matter what. Be positive and encouraging -- and vent your frustration to a friend instead.

Help them avoid situations that trigger the desire for a smoke. If they're used to enjoying a cigarette after meals, try going for a short walk outside instead.
Be understanding as they go through withdrawal symptoms. Try not to take it personally if they're especially irritable, short-tempered, and tired.

Quit smoking yourself. If you must smoke, don't smoke around your parents. Not only will it make quitting more difficult for them, but the secondhand smoke will increase their risk of heart attack.

If your parents find it too difficult to quit on their own, talk to their doctor. Nicotine replacement therapy, support groups, and counseling may all be helpful.

5 Foods That Can Trigger a Stroke

Few things feel more terrifying and random than a stroke, which can strike without warning. And fear of stroke -- when a blood vessel in or leading to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot, starving brain cells of oxygen and nutrients -- is well founded. After all, stroke is the number-three killer in the U.S., affecting more than 700,000 people each year. Here are five foods that cause the damage that leads to stroke.

1. Crackers, chips, and store-bought pastries and baked goods

Muffins, doughnuts, chips, crackers, and many other baked goods are high in trans fats, which are hydrogenated oils popular with commercial bakeries because they stay solid at room temperature, so the products don't require refrigeration. Also listed on labels as "partially hydrogenated" or hydrogenated oils, trans fats are found in all kinds of snack foods, frozen foods, and baked goods, including salad dressings, microwave popcorn, stuffing mixes, frozen tater tots and French fries, cake mixes, and whipped toppings. They're also what makes margarine stay in a solid cube. The worst offenders are fried fast foods such as onion rings, French fries, and fried chicken.

Why it's bad
For years scientists have known trans fats are dangerous artery-blockers, upping the concentrations of lipids and bad cholesterol in the blood and lowering good cholesterol. Now we can add stroke to the list of dangers. This year researchers at the University of North Carolina found that women who ate 7 grams of trans fat each day -- about the amount in two doughnuts or half a serving of French fries -- had 30 percent more strokes (the ischemic type, caused by blocked blood flow to the brain) than women who ate just 1 gram a day. Another recent study, also in women, found that trans fats promoted inflammation and higher levels of C-reactive protein, which have been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

What to do
Aim to limit trans fats to no more than 1 or 2 grams a day -- and preferably none. Avoid fast-food French fries and other fried menu items and study packaged food labels closely. Even better, bake your own cookies, cakes, and other snacks. When you can't, search out "health-food" alternative snacks, such as Terra brand potato chips and traditional whole grain crackers such as those made by Finn, Wasa, AkMak, Ryvita, and Lavasch.

2. Smoked and processed meats

Whether your weakness is pastrami, sausage, hot dogs, bacon, or a smoked turkey sandwich, the word from the experts is: Watch out.

Why it's bad
Smoked and processed meats are nasty contributors to stroke risk in two ways: The preserving processes leave them packed with sodium, but even worse are the preservatives used to keep processed meats from going bad. Sodium nitrate and nitrite have been shown by researchers to directly damage blood vessels, causing arteries to harden and narrow. And of course damaged, overly narrow blood vessels are exactly what you don't want if you fear stroke.

Many studies have linked processed meats to coronary artery disease (CAD); one meta-analysis in the journal Circulation calculated a 42-percent increase in coronary heart disease for those who eat one serving of processed meat a day. Stroke is not the only concern for salami fans; cancer journals have reported numerous studies in the past few years showing that consumption of cured and smoked meats is linked with increased risk of diabetes and higher incidences of numerous types of cancer, including leukemia.

What to do
If a smoked turkey or ham sandwich is your lunch of choice, try to vary your diet, switching to tuna, peanut butter, or other choices several days a week. Or cook turkey and chicken yourself and slice it thin for sandwiches.

How to Tell if Someone Is Having a Stroke

3. Diet soda

Although replacing sugary drinks with diet soda seems like a smart solution for keeping weight down -- a heart-healthy goal -- it turns out diet soda is likely a major bad guy when it comes to stroke.

Why it's bad
People who drink a diet soda a day may up their stroke risk by 48 percent. A Columbia University study presented at the American Stroke Association's 2011 International Stroke Conference followed 2,500 people ages 40 and older and found that daily diet soda drinkers had 60 percent more strokes, heart attacks, and coronary artery disease than those who didn't drink diet soda. Researchers don't know exactly how diet soda ups stroke risk -- and are following up with further studies -- but nutritionists are cautioning anyone concerned about stroke to cut out diet soda pop.

What to do
Substitute more water for soda in your daily diet. It's the healthiest thirst-quencher by far, researchers say. If you don't like water, try lemonade, iced tea, or juice.

4. Red meat

This winter, when the respected journal Stroke published a study showing that women who consumed a large portion of red meat each day had a 42-percent higher incidence of stroke, it got nutrition experts talking. The information that red meat, with its high saturated fat content, isn't healthy for those looking to prevent heart disease and stroke wasn't exactly news. But the percentage increase (almost 50 percent!) was both startling and solid; the researchers arrived at their finding after following 35,000 Swedish women for ten years.

Why it's bad
Researchers have long known that the saturated fat in red meat raises the risk of stroke and heart disease by gradually clogging arteries with a buildup of protein plaques. Now it turns out that hemoglobin, the ingredient that gives red meat its high iron content, may pose a specific danger when it comes to stroke. Researchers are investigating whether blood becomes thicker and more viscous as a result of the consumption of so-called heme iron, specifically upping the chance of strokes.

What to do
Aim to substitute more poultry -- particularly white meat -- and fish, which are low in heme iron, for red meat. Also, choose the heart-healthiest sources of protein whenever you can, especially beans, legumes, nuts, tofu, and nonfat dairy.

5. Canned soup and prepared foods

Whether it's canned soup, canned spaghetti, or healthy-sounding frozen dinners, prepared foods and mixes rely on sodium to increase flavor and make processed foods taste fresher. Canned soup is cited by nutritionists as the worst offender; one can of canned chicken noodle soup contains more than 1,100 mg of sodium, while many other varieties, from clam chowder to simple tomato, have between 450 and 800 mg per serving. Compare that to the American Heart and Stroke Association's recommendation of less than1,500 mg of sodium daily and you'll see the problem. In fact, a nutritionist-led campaign, the National Salt Reduction Initiative, calls on food companies to reduce the salt content in canned soup and other products by 20 percent in the next two years.

Why it's bad
Salt, or sodium as it's called on food labels, directly affects stroke risk. In one recent study, people who consumed more than 4,000 mg of sodium daily had more than double the risk of stroke compared to those who ate 2,000 mg or less. Yet the Centers for Disease Control estimate that most Americans eat close to 3,500 mg of sodium per day. Studies show that sodium raises blood pressure, the primary causative factor for stroke. And be warned: Sodium wears many tricky disguises, which allow it to hide in all sorts of foods that we don't necessarily think of as salty. Some common, safe-sounding ingredients that really mean salt:

•Baking soda

•Baking powder

•MSG (monosodium glutamate)

•Disodium phosphate

•Sodium alginate

What to do
Make your own homemade soups and entrees, then freeze individual serving-sized portions. Buy low-sodium varieties, but read labels carefully, since not all products marked "low sodium" live up to that promise.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top of the Heap...

9/4/11- "The Top Of -The Heap" by Marty Schwartz & M. Asinoff – (his idea – 95% me).

Guess what! You know how joy, love, people & security are measured in money & success is the “best perfume”? Well, guess what! I'm "drenched" in it…And “reeking"! I just got a great job…as a garbage man! Yes! …A garbage man! That isn't just a “huge aspiration” in places like N.Y.C... It's a “major status symbol” a “blue-collar, accountant!”

George Romero’s (horror film- maker) dad told him to start-working on his pension early: be a-garbage man when he finished h.s. He knew actors & athletes make $$ & being a garbage man isn’t him.

That’s ok as it’s me & I'm happy! I made it! Now I can afford to look & act- like a “real, big- shot! Hell”, now I –can- afford- to- hang- out- in- night-clubs on- weekends & tell- babes I'm “connected”. Women like “bad boys”. We’re exciting.
So- what if- I -get a “little creative” with reality? They'll “buy” it when they see my- big, wad of bills & Gold Chains. I won't tell them I'll be picking-up trash, Monday, or the Lincoln’s my dad's. You see I grew up on the streets & never was, or pretended to be book smart. Although I worked very hard on my “MFBH: Masters” in Football, Baseball & Hockey! I guess I glorify actors & athletes like many Americans.
Want to know something? My smart pals still working fear being let-go. So they furlough two days a month (work free=10% pay cut) while unemployment rises, management gets TARP & Million $ bonuses. And California officials got new Caddys &
Lexus with unlimited, usage, despite Six-Billon–dollar -Deficit.

Big shots take care of themselves in gov’t., & business. It took from 1789–1992 to ratify the 27th Amendment limiting Congressional pay raises.

Management wants more profit every quarter. So corporations are in merger "mania" & outsourcing. You are lucky to get severance pay & a reference. Not that references matter. There are no jobs. Auto plants are closing. GM now stands for Government Motors.

People delete degrees from their resumes cause - they’re over qualified. It’s no wonder they quit job hunting & owe Visa their “third born”, despite finishing- college.

The rich get richer, the poor, poorer & the middle class “beat down.” The poverty rate’s climbing along with the deficit.
We got a tax rebate. And it’s-income you are re-taxed on! That should be illegal! At
least muggers -use- guns & knives!

Despite Billions in TARP $ banks foreclosed @ “warp speed” because people can’t get a job & need second mortgage to pay a foreclosure lawyer. Scrape together your life savings to buy your dream home from foreclosure sale & banks can dupe you with someone’s secondary mortgage & are busting: gov’t.- lawsuits-over bad mortgages were
moved to US court.

The economy made thrifty, college grads move back home. They can’t support their pets, much less themselves. And oscillate between demoralization, depression, emasculation, frustration & indignation. A job’s a big part of- who-guys are, especially pros.

The new Republican Congress will cut the deficit / taxes & de-fund health care. Unfortunately, they’re “in –bed” with big business who outsource & want youngsters. So middle- aged people are –not- much- better- off- career wise.
If you were 50+ companies gave early retirement bonuses. Now they just dump you, indifferent to the fact society’s youth obsessed & you have better odds on Moses’ encore than getting a job.

People can’t buy new cars @ 0% for six years & employee discounts.
Lucky we live longer as- they’ll be paying their master…card till they’re 99 cause- interest rates jump if you’re late, or miss a payment.

Retirement’s “mission impossible”: the govt. cut Medicare / SS & finds new taxes / owes China Billions / harasses motorists in a blackout to pay interest on exploding deficit. Although I must balance my budget the govt. just prints more $ & international companies only loyalty is $. They shift profits overseas to avoid taxes / raise profits. President Bush helped them by cutting their taxes during war.
It’s hard to believe growing up in the 60’s my dad was a mechanic, supported ma, four kids & subsidized his ma & uncle. We- had a house & car. And all he owed was a mortgage. He just had-a- h. s. diploma & did it on about $200 a week…gross! I can’t support my pet on that.

If the Labor Dept. says costs rose, the Stock Market plummets! People aren’t assets to nurture anymore. We’re disposable “appliances” / expenses to cut. Downsizing’s the “buzz word” of the 80’s & 90’s & outsourcing’s the new Millennium’s.

Companies exploit international students, needy immigrants, part-timers, temps, independent contractors, go overseas, etc. And have accountants double as advisors to find very creative ways to inflate stock prices & “reinvent” math: 1+ 1= anything u want…until “big brother busts” you. It’s- ok: fines are a business expense.
When the stock market collapses, “Uncle Sam” bails- you-out- for-Billions, you still get huge bonuses / take fancy, vacations on tax $. It’s “Heaven”… if the public doesn’t threaten to kill you.

Today there are so few employees left & so much work there's no lunch, raise, bonus, or profit sharing. People must do two or three- jobs & work o.t. free to save the company money. Gripe = fired.
NYS elected Cuomo, despite his work @ Housing & Urban Development being major contributor to the housing crises: pushing mortgages to the poor who couldn’t afford them.

The govt. does it too: Post Office hires for their “special”: no holiday pay & after 89 days you go. So you don't get benefits. If you're good, they rehire you a day later for another 89 & it restarts. They “cry” the “blues,” raise postage etc. to ensure “big shots’”’ bonuses & raises! How do Fed Ex, UPS, etc. make it?
The govt. say unemployment's down. Not how many took big pay cuts, are p/t, or temp & excludes energy & food. If we didn’t have to drive & eat daily it wouldn’t be so absurd. It reminds me of an old boss: he said I’m promoted…in position only = no raise.

I often quote an expression I heard as a great reply to things like that: lawnmower. I can’t lend u mine for any absurd reason. I lol while people seek a link. Then ask connection? There is none. One excuse is as good as another.

Anyway, I'm no economist. But wonder how people who lose their jobs can afford to buy homes & cars? And what happens if those who aren't let- go, fear they're next, so they don't? This doesn't seem like a- plan for long-term success. That’s why the government’s bailing out the auto industry & banks & driving interest rates down. Banks won’t lend or pay interest. Yet executives take fancy –business- trips, spend thousands redecorating their offices, get huge bonuses, etc. on tax $.

While Henry Ford was anti Semitic/ pro Nazi knew it’s-good business to give his men a raise so they could buy a Model T! His great, grandson, Bill was CEO & couldn’t, despite closing -plants & firing 35K cause labor pays for management’s ineptness & the Japanese beat us @ our own “game”: thinking long- term: making compacts. Alan Mulally helped it live without TARP $, unlike gov’t.-Motors, & Chrysler.

Luckily, I don't have to worry. I've got good pay & benefits. I should- be “cloned” cause they can put a man on the Moon & a robot on Mars, but they still need me to collect trash! That's job security! Maybe I’m smarter than my successful pals: I can retire in 20 years at half pay! I I’d teach, if it didn’t cost thousands to get degrees so drug-addicted / evil / “possessed”/ sadistic / uncivilized / unloved / unwanted / violent / kids & parents can assault, curse & threaten me. + I must spend hundreds on supplies cause the city cutback. I don’t think so. No- one bothers garbage men. We’re not crazy. We don't go- “postal”.

Besides, education's a paradox today: a Bachelor's Degree equals a high school diploma 20 years ago. You need college for most jobs & people assume if you went you're smart. Unfortunately, there are so many doctors & lawyers it's "degree inflation". Many people work so hard & borrow a small fortune to be one, yet can't get a job making enough to repay their loans because paralegals & physician’s assistants earn a fraction of their salary because all a P. A needs-is a B.S. to examine patients & write scripts.

President Clintons said there are too many doctors. So Uncle Sam paid hospitals not to hire any. Now Oboma’s bent on imposing socialized health care on us & making premiums rise. Many blacks say if you criticize him you are racist. I dislike Hillary cause she wants to recognize Hamas & other Arab terrorists. The only colors I care about are Blue, Red, White, Green, Gold, Silver, & Pink (sex).

Employers begrudge you a life / are “vampires”/ want to “own” your heart / soul. They “settle for body & mind.” Companies cut workers pay, health care & pension, make them work @ home, rob ½ their pension to keep their job, then dump them to save severance pay when they hit 50 & hire a temp, p / t, or outsource for less. There are-so many unemployed, college grads, employers are picky. The longer you are unemployed & older you are the harder it is to get a job. Yet “big shots” get larger raises / retention bonuses every year, even if the company loses $. What’s wrong with that?

Maybe I'm wrong, but as I see it, if we're not world-leader in technology in the new millennium, we will be in trash pick-up! Who needs college? I'm "King of the- Hill"! I reached the "top of the garbage heap" without it! And I graduated high school with a D average! Talk about irony!


9/2/11-TV/R Writing - Professor Andy Meppen - (ALL ME) - ROSEANNE - CONCEPT (Story)

Jackie's pregnant again, but she and Fred have been divorced for months. He loves her and their son Andy and wants to reconcile, but she's does not. Her family likes him & pressures her to reunite and he woos her into it.

SCENE 1: Jackie's late for work. Beverly notices Jackie's "glowing", deduces she's pregnant & confronts her in front of Rosanne, Becky & Darlene. Jackie denies it at first. SCENE 2: Becky & Darlene tease her over whose it is. Jackie tells Fred @ lunch. SCENE 3: Mark, Fred & Dan come in. She prepared Fred's favorite lunch. She tries to tell him, but can't. SCENE 4: Rosanne tells Dan & he congratulates them before she can stop him. Fred asks why. Dan walks away sheepishly, embarrassed & apologizing. SCENE 5: Rosanne yells at Dan it was supposed to be a secret. He says she didn't tell him. SCENE 6: Rosanne yells she was getting to it. But was watching to- see Fred's reaction. SCENE 7: Jackie tells Fred. He's happy & assumes they'll remarry, but notices Jackie's reaction. She admits she's unsure. Fred's upset, yells at Jackie & seeks Rosanne's aid. Beverly starts laying a guilt trip on Jackie, criticizing her for screwing up her life again & swears Freud's right: everything is your mom's fault. Then she asks where she went wrong. Rosanne jokes about breaking men in. She says it took years to mold Dan & her daughters explain how well they've become.
SCENE 1: Jackie tells everyone to butt out & walks out crying. SCENE 2: Beverly tries to understand Jackie & tells Rosanne to talk to her. SCENE 3: Rosanne, Becky & Bev teach Fred how to romance her. SCENE 4: Fred, Mark & Dan come in for lunch. We learn Fred’s been coming in daily to bring Jackie flowers, candy, perfume, & love poems. SCENE 5: Today's their anniversary & he brought a beautiful card, flowers, candy, perfume & a very, sexy nightgown. She admits she still loves him & wants to reunite.

JACKIE (On Stage) (obviously nervous)
Fred, remember when u dropped Andy off, we had pizza for dinner & sex for desert?
FRED (O.S.) (smirking)
How can I forget? Best desert I ever had! What about it? Wanna- do-it again? We can skip the pizza & go right to desert.

JACKIE (O.S.) (hesitatingly & looking down)
I don't know how to tell you but… I'm pregnant.

FRED (O.S.) (very happy)
Wow...! That's great! How long have you known? The father's always the last to know these things.
Fred, it's not so great. I just found out. I didn't tell anyone. Mom figured it out. She said I "glow". I haven't decided what to do yet.

FRED (On Stage) (obviously upset)
What do you mean!?... You can't be serious?... You aren't considering abortion?... Are you?

JACKIE (O.S.) (defensively)
I told you...I don't know!...I haven't decided...Maybe...Besides, it's my body. I can do anything I want...I don't need anyone’s permission.

FRED (O.S.) (walks across the room and upset)
Rosanne, she's your sister. Talk to her, tell her she's nuts!

ROSANNE (O.S.) (sarcastically)
I swear she’s adopted o r there was a mix up at the hospital: Ma said it’s my fault: I asked her & God for a baby sis.

BEVERLY (O.S.) (Shaking her head in sadness)
What's wrong with u Jackie? I never thought I'd live long enough to see u settle down & have a family. You finally find a nice guy who loves you. And he has a job! That's more that most of your boyfriends. Why u let him go I’ll never know.

JACKIE (O.S.) (glaring angrily)
Butt out, old woman! This is none of your business!

BEVERLY (O.S.) (glaring back)
Like it or not I'm your mom & u are my kid...That makes you my business.

JACKIE (O.S.) (angry and eyes bulging)
Don't remind me! I want- to forget. I'm hoping I was adopted! I wrote to Santa for a new family when I was 5... I'm still waiting.

BEVERLY (O.S.) (sighing)
Freud was right:... Everything's your mom's fault... Where’d I go wrong?

JACKIE (O.S.) (rolling her eyes in annoyance)
Look out...! Here it comes again...

BEVERLY (O.S.) (sobbing lightly)
27 1/2 hours…! 27 1/2 hours, I was in labor with u... Do- you know that Jackie..?...And for what...?

JACKIE (O.S.) (annoyed and angry)
I knew it...! I knew it... I told you, didn't I...?

BEVERLY (O.S.) (sarcastically)
Maybe I should've breast fed u when u-were- a baby Jackie... Is that it...? Where’d I go wrong...?

FRED (O.S.) (to Jackie)
We have a son... Doesn't that mean anything? We can work it out. Think about it. Don't do anything hasty. That's all I ask.
You know. He's got a point.

JACKIE (O.S.) (depressed and whining)
I know... It's just marriage isn't all I expected... He’d make a great wife. He cooks. I can hear his ma: he’s a victim: I threw myself @ him! He couldn’t help falling to temptation! I lured him with a home- cooked- meal. Then slipped-on a silk, nightie, dragged him into bed, tore- his-clothes-off & raped him. He was too ashamed & embarrassed to tell. I made him feel so cheap & dirty. Then winked, smiled knowingly & blew him a kiss. The poor boy’s- traumatized & needs therapy.

Roseanne (O.S.)
You’re funny. Think he’d teach Dan to cook? I‘m terrible& hate it.

Jackie (O.S.)
I’m serious, Roseanne! You’ve NO-clue what he’s like to live with. He’s so anal I nicknamed him Mr. Flexible. Feminine too: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. He’s comical & cinematic without trying. I asked him to bring something home. He said no because he got special skin cream that‘s-too heavy to carry at once. So he takes some daily cause his bag gets too heavy & makes him unbalanced.

Roseanne (O.S.)
You’re kidding? He’s an amateur, body builder.

Jackie (O.S.)
Yea, that’s why he adds grams of protein, except Tues: junk food night: Soy Cheese pizza & organic, pie. Monday’s Melrose -Place. He concentrates. There’s a test. He wants a Masters in Melrose Place, to go with Associates in Dallas & Bachelors in Dynasty. He’s certifiable & so-me. Everyone is. He’s ahead of his time, at least a generation ahead of the curve. When his friend, Al asked if I have single pals, he thought it was for him. It’s a love triangle: we love same guy: him: he loves him & I love him. He “married” himself! Y do u think Al painted help me on MY shoes @ our wedding? He’s a male lesbian. He’s a woman trapped in a man’s body. So he’ likes women. He can’t help it. He’s born than way. U can’t fight genetics. I should’ve known. It all makes sense now. Am I a lesbian too? Is that why I pick Mr. Wrong?
ROSANNE (O.S.) (laughing)
Come on. U made that up. Next you’ll say he needs 2 hours a day to foliate his skin, you need meds & booze to cope, click your heels 3X while chanting I want to go home.

Jackie (O.S.)
I wish. Everything must be just so. He’s Mr. Clean. A blue shirt must be on a blue hanger. His movie collection’s alphabetized. The toilet bowl passed a white, glove test. When we eat out he brings utensils & dishes. In the Navy he told the guys he’s annoyed his shoes were moved. They nailed them to the floor. Imagine his reaction when he realized. I wish I was there.

I LOL when the phone rang off the hook cause Al distributed fliers: Fredwina’s Italian Restaurant: Northern Cuisine a specialty, closed Mondays for Melrose Place. U - were-mad.

U thought he’d send a Valentine’s stripper to work. So u watched the clock all day. @ lunch-u flew to the cafeteria & back to chase her. Did the guys lol when chocolate cherries came? I loved the card: hot babe on the cover with provocative look saying I bet I know what u want when the ice cream & cake are gone. The inside said a nap!

I lol when Al’s friend called to say she’s personnel & firing u for gossiping. U were scared & denied it. She said liar. Your cherry & shopping photos are funny. U taking off work for Tom with the books to deliver 1000 books tomorrow cause u got a message on the machine is unbelievable. Why didn’t u know u never had an American Express card?
Fred (still defensive) (O.S.)
You portray me as a cross between Martha Stewart & the Rain Man. I’m not that bad & no one’s perfect, u-know, Jackie? Just because I wash my $ & letter & # my socks: L & R 1, 2, 3,, etc. to keep the pairs together & wrap hot dogs individually…

Jackie (O.S.)
No! You’re worse: say- thinking dept’s closed. If that’s not enough u-LIVE for gossip: say it’s a hobby. It’s an obsession! Mrs. Goldberg called u a Yunt-terr & slapped u. She said it’s a busy-body. U always- want- whole story, full report, all the details, A-Z. If I leave anything out u say I went from B to E, want to know about c & d & I make u bust: say there’s a fight, not who. U like- all the- gossip. So- u -go -to everyone for theirs & give yours. + u-are always so whiney, & fussy: coffee’ can’t be more than 20 minutes old or milk won’t swirl right. U can tell & always say it’s not easy. You’re not as young as u used to be. That’s for sure. And gullible: Al said he’d mess our-room & u went NUTS. I peed-when-he said he’d put cellophane on the toilet seat, short-sheet the bed, flip spread upside down & color laces l & r over & under, pillow-case inside out, rearrange-dresser draws, unfold/refold clothes differently. U were-livid when he said he’d un-bundle socks-mix colors-turn them inside out & re-bundle. We lol @ u yelling: “U-don’t-do these things! It aint right! I wouldn’t do it to u! U like to make me bust!!” How about when u said I won’t let him in & he said I would if he came to say hi. U added, I’d let him in the kitchen, if he went to the bedroom I’d say let’s go. Come on. Out. There’s the door. U BLEW when he said he’d say it’s a gag, he’s taking photos for guys @ work. How red were u when u yelled at him u wish he wasn’t bigger than u! You’d give him a good kick in the ass!
Fred (O.S.)
It’s NOT funny, Jackie! .

Jackie (O.S.)
Yes it is! I CAN’T decide your funniest- line. Is it don’t- do me NO favors, Mr.! U-know me: I’m a shaky, guy. U said you’re like a woman: get-your period! Maybe it’s when u had a fit in a club. And yelled at Al, What r u talking about!? They got no room! There’s no place for u to stay! They only got 1 bedroom! They’re never home! They work different shifts! I HOWLED. Every time I stopped & saw how red u-were I restarted. He asked y u are so excited. U said, “What the Hell do-u want from her?! What the hell do-u bring her into this?! What the hell does she have to do with this!? I LOL. He just asked if your sister & her boyfriend would adopt him. U nearly had a coronary.

I lol when Al told everyone in the bar u are Pee Wee Herman: busted watching dirty movie & doing what u shouldn’t cause u forgot to lock the door. U bugged when Ken, the bartender mentioned it. U said “It’s NOT true! U gotta believe me! Never happened! Al made it up!”… When Ken asked u wouldn’t lie? U got red & said NO! I wouldn’t! I SWEAR. He looked u in the eye with that dead pan, poker face & said 11th commandment says thou shalt not lie to the bartender. U stammered I wouldn’t! I swear! He said that’s a cardinal rule. U said u-know! Yes! He said ok, I’ll believe u this time. U stuttered thank u! Bless u! & said Al lied. U didn’t come out cause-u were busy @ work. He asked Ken if it was him would he admit it or create story & deny it. It was hysterical! The next week he said u forgot to pull down the shade & were on the ground floor.

Fred (O.S.)
You wouldn’t laugh if you were me. So I never use the same umbrella twice. Big deal.

Jackie (Criticizing) (O.S.)
I’m not gullible. U- move- in -it. How about when Al said he sent pizzas to a friend because he was mad the guy married his ex’s sister? U believed he was arrested for breaking the groom’s nose. U-were up till 10, WAY past your bedtime, to call the guy for the whole story.

Then Al convinced u, he’d crash the wedding dressed as a bum? U got there early for a good seat &- were-riveted on the door every time it opened. It was a dilemma: u wanted to see a show, yet didn’t want to see wedding ruined.

I love it when u comb & slick your hair & he blows on it. U -dig-your nails into the bar & must fix it.

Thanksgiving was a riot: Al called & u said it’s just us, u made chicken & salad. He said great I’ll be over in an hour. U freaked: what do-u mean?! U only made enough for us & he said don’t worry. We’ll make it enough.

U even dreamed he came over during dinner & u said we’re eating. He said yea, I brought desert. U awoke screaming no!

Once u were lol in your sleep, awoke & said u dreamt he couldn’t climb in ground floor window & left mad.

I’ll NEVER stop laughing over Princess-phone: one summer- night I called. U said it’s-hot. & want to lie down with the a/c. I said get a phone in there. U said u can’t: only 1 jack & it’s for that. I said it’s broken. U said it’s for show. I said u can still get another. U said no, only–1 jack & u need it for that one. It was Abbott & Costello: “Who’s on First.” I didn’t marry u for your phone. U got it the divorce settlement. I see why your dad calls u cement head & refuge & your brother asked if u were reading the paper or just looking @ pictures. We lol when u stared blankly, said u are reading & wondered what’s funny.

Funny part is u can’t make this stuff up if u wanted to. Truth isn’t just stranger than fiction, it’s funnier than Seinfeld. No one has that much imagination, except God. U can bet He’s up there laughing His ass off.

Roseanne (O.S.)
You know what your problem is Jackie? U never had a relationship this long. U- need- to learn how to break men in. They're like new shoes: ... They don’t just come the way you want them, you know.. ? First we let them chase us. Then we “catch” them: we’re “fishermen: cast our line.” Once he’s hooked we “reel” him “slowly” till he’s “dangling, helplessly.” We’re also “hunters”: we get their man hood - in our “sight.” Then they’re ours. We’re artists, bakers, contractors, missionaries & sculptors: see men as blank canvas, bag of flour, run down house, on a mission: save them from themselves, lump of clay & material awaiting our vision to transform them into masterpieces.
JACKIE (O.S.) (eyes bulging)
What the HELL are you talking about, Rosanne?!... Have you completely lost your mind!?... You've been eating your own cooking again, haven't you? Remember how sick you got last time?...

ROSANNE (O.S.) (smirking)
U don’t get -It: I spent years making Dan the way I like him... a Stepford man. I’m like Yoda said in Star Wars: educate-him in the ways of the force...” Remember we’re Alpha females…on steroids! Hear us roar! ? When I leave him & Fido alone I say no girls or parties while I’m out.

I love Brando in Guys & Dolls: he asked Sinatra’s fiancĂ© "Is he’s who u love & want to marry or what can u make of him... Men are material we tailor...." Right, Dan?

DAN (O.S.) (nodding and smiling)
That's right, dear.

ROSANNE (O.S.) (grinning)
What did I teach you to say, Dan?

DAN (O.S.)
Yes, dear...No dear... Whatever you say... You're the boss...

ROSANNE (O.S.) (chuckling)
See I told you Jackie...It took years to train him. I started on the first date. We met in a bank: He was depositing & I was withdrawing. And that's the way it's been ever since. The trick’s deluding them into thinking they have a say & head the house. Then swap their pants for a dress. Occasionally they act out. U let them talk, say-suggest when ordering. Then make him an offer he can’t refuse…. They fall in line fast if they want sex. They’ll do anything for it, even sit up & beg. + he -appeases me cause when I’m mad he faces the Wrath of Kahn. Like when I wanted to move & he didn’t. We moved. U see, as women we belong to the international fraternity of sister hood. Those of us with brothers, husbands & sons are obliged to prep them for marriage. Watch this: who's the boss in our house, Dan?

DAN (O.S.) (proudly)
I am, dear!

ROSANNE (O.S.) (smiling)
Who gave you permission to say so?

DAN (O.S.) (sheepishly nodding)
You did, dear.

ROSANNE (O.S.) (smiling)
I taught Becky & Darlene the same thing... They've got Mark & David trained real good... Right girls?

BECKY (O.S.) (nodding and smiling)
Oh yeah, absolutely. I taught Mark the 3 Step Program: yes dear, no dear & I’m sorry, dear. He’s the head & I’m the neck. The head goes where the neck tells it.

DARLENE (O.S.) (nodding & grinning widely)
When David & I first started dating I'd say jump. And he jumped... Now he asks how high...? Marriage vows are LAST rights for men. We’re like Borg on Star Trek: assimilate. Resistance is futile. They ALWAYS have the last 2 words…yes, dear.

JACKIE (O.S.) (starring in disbelief)
You're ALL NUTS...! Do you know that!? You – sound like they’re aliens we conquer & want me to try that!?

ROSANNE (O.S.) (grinning ear to ear)
Yoda said it, “U don’t try. You-do, or u don’t...” + u- don't know what u are- missing... Occasionally he forgets who’s the boss & gets the crazy idea to “grow a pair”. So I revoke privileges. That “fixes” him, quick. We've been happily married for 26 years...Right Dan?

DAN (O.S.) (nodding)
Yes dear... Whatever you say... You're the boss... My sole purpose in life is to please you... You're every wish is my command...

JACKIE (O.S.) (whining)
This is serious Roseanne. What am I gonna do?

ROSANNE (O.S.) (Seriously & sarcastically)
I can't tell u what to do. It's your life...He loves you & Andy. That's more than many can say. U could do worse. The Goldberg's like him. They said he's a min-sche. I think it's Jewish. I don't know what it means. But they're nice. I bet their daughter's training D.J. already. He went to a sad-duree last week. Whatever-that is. He said it was nice & brought home crackers & a beanie. He called them Matzoth & Yumm-ull-kerr. Heck maybe he'll marry her. We could learn from them: their “men” are trained: they have 2 bosses: their wife & God…in that order. And never leave the toilet seat up. They pee sitting. A down toilet seat’s the secret to happy marriage. Besides they have to be: Jewish men are fixed way before marriage: they circumcise them as babies cause-they’re too small to object. I bet they’ll invent a way for men get a period & give birth. That’d be neat! Men should have slots in the back of their heads for a hand & ATM, strings & a remote.

BEVERLY (O.S.) (calmly suggesting)
Jackie. It would be nice for the baby to have a brother or sister to play with.

JACKIE (O.S.) (leering angrily)
No it wouldn't... It might look like u..!. Wouldn't that be a nightmare on any street?

BEVERLY (O.S.) (smiling)
Ha, ha..!. Very- funny....Make all the jokes u want, it's not going to change a thing...
ROSANNE (O.S.) (chuckling)
Hey you know she may be on to something there mom...We've been pretty lucky so far... Jackie & me- look like dad, my kids look like Dan & Andy like Fred. We wouldn't want to press our luck.

BEVERLY (O.S.) (smiling to Rosanne & Jackie)
Mock me all u want. One day u two will be just like me. What will u say then...?

JACKIE (O.S.) (eyes bulging & yelling)

Oh God, I hope that never happens! If I do I hope someone will put out of my misery.

ROSANNE (O.S.) (smiling)
Boy wouldn't that be a kick in the head?... I wonder if God has a sense of humor...?

Jackie (O.S.) (sarcastically)
He must! He made us, didn’t He? If that’s not proof enough, nothing is.

A Day I’ll Never Forget

A Day I’ll Never Forget By M. Asinoff & Jack Simony 8/26/11 - His idea-95% me.

It was a typical, Monday, in July, except on this one the home for retarded adults I work in was going- Canoeing. Yes, retarded. So I'm politically incorrect. What can I say? The Devil makes me do it. (If it was good enough for Flip Wilson, RIP it was good enough for me.) Anyway, I was a bit worried because they can't swim. But I'll get back to that.

Meanwhile, we were deciding who'd drive when I got a brain-storm. (I get them sometimes. Unfortunately, they don't always work as well as they sound at first). But I bet my friend, Irene the guys would beat the girls there, anyway. She was reluctant. But I made her an offer she couldn't refuse…

It took two hours to get there & hear they made it in one because she got directions. I knew I made a wrong turn five miles back…But I was too “macho” to stop for directions…So I “followed my ego”…& drove around… It’s a “guy, thing”. Irene did a parody on Abbott & Costello’s Hot Dog & Mustard routine with maps.

Anyway, we were enjoying a b.b.q. Then I heard a big splash & someone scream, "Oh, my God...! Al fell in the water!!!..."
Instantly, my worst fears were reality…! My heart-was-racing…! I told Jeff this was a bad idea.... But he wouldn’t listen.... He said he’s the- boss, I worry too much & chuckled... I looked around. EVERYONE was frozen with fear & shock...
I knew someone had to do something.... FAST...! So I jumped in... I was TERRIFIED he'd drown…! It was ALL I could think of…! I don’t think I ever swam so hard in my life...Luckily, I was captain of my college, swim-team for two years, or I probably would've been more scared out of my mind than I was...

My mom and coach will be so glad to hear they were right: all those laps really did pay-off. I'll have to call the coach... Call!...Yes!...I just remembered my cell phone's-in the car...

They can call 911 while I give him mouth-to-mouth, I thought... Lucky, I know CPR... God, I hope I reach him in time... I never thought I’d hate being so right before... It's so over rated sometimes.

Al’s family will sue...! I read about something like this...! The family sued for Millions & the home went under...!

Many of the residents came here. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to us...! It'd be a real shame...! What- would- they do...!? Where would they go...!? God, I hope they won’t have to worry about that! I’ll reach Al in time!

Then finally...after a few minutes that seemed like eternity, I reached someone!.. I figured it was Al & was so relieved...! I hope it’s him & I’m in time… I took a big, lunge forward, reached out & grabbed a foot…! A foot…!? Huh…That's weird… How’d I get a foot...?

Oh God..! Oh, God…! I hope he didn’t fall & hit his head on a rock…! PLEASE, God..! Let it be Irene’s…! PLEASE. God…! I’ll NEVER, EVER ask you for anything, ever again! I SWEAR! I know I said that before! But I mean it this time!... I swear! I’ll NEVER ask for anything as long as I live! Promise!

Al’s nice. He didn’t do anything wrong! He doesn’t deserve to die!
He’s still young. So what if he’s retarded. (There I go again: being politically incorrect. Mentally- challenged. If only Irene could hear me being politically correct. She’d be happy & say there’s hope for me yet.) Come on, God, you know Al’s happy & doesn‘t deserve to die! Please, God!... Please let it be Irene’s foot!... Please let her have dived in after me & catching her breath while looking to see if Al surfaced...! I hope Al doesn’t panic or cramp...! He treads water…! I think…! I hope! If he drowns I’ll never forgive myself for not trying to persuade Jeff harder...!

That’s it: I’m out of breath!... I must get some air or my lungs will burst & they'll be fishing me out too!...That's all we need...I can see the headline counselor drowns trying to save retarded, adult!... (They’ll say I was politically incorrect, too. Not what I want to be remembered for or in my eulogy)!
I’m more out of shape than I realized…I gotta quit smoking... I can’t believe I started again...I did it to look cool in front of Irene...I was so proud of myself for quitting “cold-turkey” a year ago...

Mom’s right: some guys will do anything to impress a babe... especially a “hot”, one, like Irene.... Mom was a gal once...before she married dad...That’s how she got him…She knows we jocks don’t think with our heads...

Hey, I’m a jock...That’s cool...We’re “chick magnets”...I don’t have to smoke to look “cool” for Irene...
I can get any, gal I want... I can just hear mom saying I told you so... She loves being right... It's a mom, “thing”.

Plus cigarettes are $11 a pack, for Heaven’s sake!...At least muggers use guns & knives & don’t insult or try to play you with crap like it’s for your own good...I prefer a hug & kiss when getting it...I’m-funny that way...

O.k., that’s it...! I can’t hold my breath anymore... I swear my lungs will explode in a minute….

I better surface... While I get some air I can see if whoever’s foot I grabbed found Al & he’s okay...

So I surfaced.... You won’t believe whose foot it was... When I tell you you’ll swear I played you...

I didn’t!... I swear!...I’d NEVER even think of it! That’s not the kind of thing you kid about….Even I have boundaries… Believe it, or not. When I surfaced & looked-up Al was standing there...! That's right…! Standing…!

I could not believe it…! I still swear it was all a bad dream, a scene from a B horror movie, a commercial or Youtube video!...It’s surreal!...I’m bleary from oxygen deprivation or something, I thought!...It can’t be…! I must be hallucinating!... The lack of oxygen & heat must be making me delirious!...So I rubbed my eyes again... when I opened them he was standing there… laughing, hysterically...!

So was everyone else...! Can u imagine the look on my face when I realized the water was five-feet?... Boy was I embarrassed… & soaked in mud.

Irene thought it was hysterical... So I chased her & tried to rub mud on her. She took photos & threatened-to-blackmail me by posting them on Facebook & joking, the Devil “makes” her do it... She dubbed it -a “Jack Moment” haunting me & back to “bite me in the ass”... I told her the hurricane’s named for her & lol. She was not amused. I “wonder” why?

“Jack Moment's" a line I coined... it's- “cousin” to the “Kodak Moment”... It’s when I make-someone... usually a chic... turn three…or more… shades of magenta.... (Three’s-my -lucky, #)...

I did it to an ex, publicly... I don’t get mad or even. I get ahead. It was payback for being selfish: leaving me before mid-terms & having my book….So I couldn’t study... During Gay Pride Parade I said they're sick….And any guy wanting to see all of me…desperately needs shock therapy!... I don't even want to see it! ...I- shower in the dark… There’s- a lot of me to love…And none of it’s pretty! Trust me.
She lol & said she didn't blame me...if she were me she would too...I'm not very pretty when dressed.

So I asked if she wanted to know a secret…just between us…

Still lol…rather, smugly…& obviously quite, pleased with herself… she asked what?
I publicly, announced there was a time…not long ago… when she thought I was pretty…enough to hug & kiss…amongst several other things... while wearing nothing...but contacts!...

Boy...that was a “Jack Moment”...! I'll never, ever forget it…as long as I live...! I had no clue a person could turn so many shades of magenta. She turned them all...three times! (I told you it’s my lucky, #).

She made me appreciate irony: when she left I’d have “sold my soul to Satan” to retrieve her. Now I can’t quit thanking God she left. She did me a favor! When I think we went “all natural” it scares me! My pop’s right: God looks out for fools & idiots. The thought of a “mini me” running around is a “nightmare on any street!” (What’s life if you can’t lol @ yourself? Humor’s a circuit breaker to save your sanity. Lol & the-world’s-with- you. When you are troubled you learn the small letters ly added to friend make a big-difference.

Anyway, we split into couples & Irene rode with me…She lol over my "rescue" & said we had such fun, why not extend it? After all I’m on a "lucky streak”…& should keep it going at Atlantic City. I agreed. So we went to my house, I showered & changed.
Irene wanted to drive. But proving once again macho’s “incurable”, & some guys never learn, I drove. (I knew the way). At least I have “stones.” Most guys “swap their jeans for a dress long” before they say I do.

Once a couple forms he’s on a “short leash” & single pals = the “anti Christ”. After marriage guys ask how high”… A pal even changed his last name. Husbands go to baby showers, dept. stores & restaurants now have diaper changing tables in the men’s room, for God’s sake!... What the Hell’s the world coming to?...Before you know we’ll pee “sitting”! Guys say they’re happy & “omit that their wives say they are. And they better say so or what’s left of their manhood will “hang”- from their woman’s “rear view mirror & key chains”, taken to work to show all the girls & help prep single ones for marriage.”

“Luckily”, I have my kid, sister, Ann. She a “typical” woman: “little general”: suggests (tells) what & when to do, eat, feel, say, think & wear. Sometimes I salute her when she orders me. She saw me on- line, late & told me go to bed. She thinks she’s my big, sis. It’s a “miracle” I got this far without her. “Lucky” I have her to “think” for me now. It was a “job & ½” backing her down from orders. I faced “The Wrath of Khan”, for calling- her-a “soccer-mom”, asking her if she wants to carve slots in back of my head for an ATM & her hand, make me a “Stepford Man” strings, writing-a hilarious, parody about her-suggestions & saying the Devil makes her do it. Being Flip Wilson was in character as “Geraldine” when he blamed the Devil it works for women too.

I posted the “Suggestions” on my Google Blog under a “pen name”: mrmitch06 She- was-not amused by it & said she’d quit suggesting. She did… for a whole day…believe it or not!

It was like the little boy next door giving his ma “agida”. I told him when I was small my pop & grandma, RIP said they got me on sale in Macy’s & would look for the receipt to return me. He replied, “No mommy!...I’ll be good!...I’ll be good!...I promise!...I’ll be good!...” His ma almost bled from biting her lip so hard. He was good... for a whole day!...It was a miracle!

Ann denied trying to “prep me for marriage” (“fix”). It’s a “sisterhood thing:” they‘re a “global fraternity”. Those with brothers & sons are “morally obligated to do all they can to educate / train” us in the “ways of the force:” when dating their gals “say, jump. And they do… After marriage guys “ask how high”.

I asked if my girlfriends didn’t “fix” me with love & sex how- will- she? I told her women are “aspiring artists, bakers, missionaries sent by God to save us from ourselves, sculptors, tailors,” etc. They “see” men as a “blank -canvas, lump of clay, roll of material, house to remodel & sack of flour crying out” for their “vision” to “transform” us into a “show piece.”

I saw Guys & Dolls. It was made in the 50s. It proves people don’t change & this is not new. In it Brando, RIP asked Sinatra’s fiancĂ© an insightful, penetrating question: “Is he who you love & want to marry or what you can make of him? The last thing a guy wants to be is a piece of dress material tailored into whatever husbands look like that year.”

Ann’s an “Alpha” female. So I decided she wasn’t letting go & I must do something drastic. Since I had nothing to lose I went for “broke”: I knew she’d be pissed & hoped it’d be @ her place. So I said,”Last time I looked incest was still taboo. So you have nothing to offer me as incentive to change.” I bet you’re wondering if she got mad. Does a bear shit in the woods? Boy did she get mad… as expected. Luckily it was @ her place as hoped. So mission accomplished.

Anyway, we got to AC. Irene's some dancer, so we “whirled around” the floor. Before we knew it two-hours "flew”-by & I felt like gambling. We're here already, I told myself. How can you come here & not gamble, I asked Irene? Since we're by the Roulette Table it seemed like as good a place as any to start.

Before I knew it I blew 75 bucks!...I still had a $25 chip left…And was determined to go home either rich or –broke…nothing in between!…”No guts, no glory!”...It’s “another single, guy, thing”… To married, men it’s a “faint memory”…

The casino was crowded. But I didn't care...I wasn't going to let a little thing like that get in between me & the Jackpot. After seeing me lose 75 bucks & now about to risk my last 25…Irene said I'm a typical bachelor: more macho than brains...Then she picked up the chip & walked off...
At that moment the wheel stopped...I won't say where...I'll let you guess.... I will say we hit my “Jack Pot” later… And when all was said and done, it was a day we'll never forget...