Newsy McNewserson is Back

•February 8, 2017 • 35 Comments
Yes. Uh, huh. It's me, Newsy. I'm a little busy at the moment. Way behind my deadline. You know what that's like! Okay. So just give me the headline and I'll look into it. He did what? Again?

Yes. Uh, huh. It’s me, Newsy. I’m a little busy at the moment. Way behind my deadline. You know what that’s like. Okay. So just give me the headline and I’ll look into it. He did what? Again? Sheesh! I’ll have to start typing with all my fingers.

Have you had it with:

Fake News?

I knew all this talk about scarcity of organs and stuff was just a ploy to get me to sign away my body for who knows what after I die. I hope They wait until after I'm dead to start harvesting.

I knew all this panic about scarcity of organs and stuff was just a ploy to get me to sign away my body for who knows what after I die. I hope “They” wait until after I’m dead to start harvesting. By the way, that leg looks totally real to me, and the little marks around it make it look absolutely shimmy-ready. Amazing!

Real News?

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A squirrel holding a piece of pizza and a crow engaged in a lengthy chase throughout a neighborhood in Canada. The squirrel can be seen enjoying its slice of pizza on a street in Nova Scotia, as the theiving crow swoops in to swipe the newfound snack out of its grasp. In hopes of defending its meal, the crafty squirrel attempted to hide behind the wheel of a nearby parked car to avoid the lurking crow's beak. Come on! Why can't we all just get along, People...and crows...and squirrels?

Feb. 7 (UPI) — A squirrel holding a piece of pizza and a crow engaged in a lengthy chase throughout a neighborhood in Canada. The squirrel can be seen enjoying its slice of pizza on a street in Nova Scotia, as the theiving crow hovers, waiting to snatch it away. Come on! Why can’t we all just get along, People…and crows…and squirrels?

Bad News?

The game lasts for four hours, and researchers from Cornell University tracked grocery purchases and found the average American will eat more than 6,000 calories by the end of the day. (You’d need to run a marathon to burn off all of those calories off — that’s 26.2 miles.)

The Super Bowl lasts an entire Sunday, right? Researchers from Cornell University tracked grocery purchases and found the average American will eat more than 6,000 calories by the end of the day. You’d need to run a marathon to burn off all of those calories off — that’s 26.2 miles. Did you run a marathon? And running the loop from the couch to the bathroom, the refrigerator, and back to the couch a bunch of times doesn’t really count.

Old News that won’t go away?

I remember the day: Oct. 16, 2016. She said she was retiring from public life. I'm pretty sure she didn't.

I remember the day: Oct. 16, 2016. She said she was retiring from public life. I’m pretty sure she didn’t.

Well, if you’re tired of all that falderal that passes as news, then you’ve landed your beleaguered cursor in the perfect spot.

I’ve been collecting some Portlandia news stories that will hopefully give your frowny/pouty/I-want-to-shouty wrinkles a break by turning them into What-the Shizzle-Sticks-are-those-People-in-Portlandia-Smokin-and-Can-I-Have-Some laugh wrinkles.

Call it whatever fancy-schmancy name you want. I know what "herb" works best for calming you down and helping you sleep.

Call it whatever fancy-schmancy name you want. A miracle herb sure is gaining popularity among aging adults around here. You should see the old-timers in the pot stores around here! Um. Er. I go in there to do my research for reporting purposes only. Once a month.

Ready?

Now I know why so many kids want to grow up to be astronauts. I'm sure Hawaii is just like Mars, minus the ukuleles, of course.

Now I know why so many kids want to grow up to be astronauts. I’m sure Hawaii is just like Mars, minus the ukuleles, of course.

 

I never when to Divinity School, but you'd think "Religious Preference" would be on the application form, right? Maybe there wasn't a "None" box to check.

I never went to Divinity School, but you’d think “Religious Preference” would be on the application form, right? Maybe there wasn’t a “None” box to check. And what’s that shadow, anyway? Could be my thumb or could be…(insert creepy music).

 

Let's make sure that your non-jocks, non-artsy, non-techie teens have a place to hang out after school. Don't worry. They will have supervision; it just may not be in human form.

Let’s make sure that your non-jock, non-artsy, non-techie children have a place to hang out after school. Don’t worry. They will have supervision; it just may not be in human form. They only provide Devil Dogs for snacks, so if your little darling has a gluten allergy, you may want to, I don’t know, introduce them to kiddie biker gang.

 

Empowering our children starts early around these parts. We don't test our wee ones; we let our children be the testers. Next week, they will be taste testers for Hostess.

Empowering our children starts early around these parts. We don’t test our wee ones; we let our children be the testers. Next week, they will be taste testers for Hostess.

 

I'm not sure if this article was meant to help us embrace the driverless car technology, hide keys from our grand or great grandparents, or just scare the beegeebers out of us.

I’m not sure if this article was meant to help us embrace the driverless car technology, hide keys from our grand or great grandparents, or just scare the beegeebers out of us.

 

That's why I live here.

That’s why I live here.

 

That's why I live here. No. Wait. They aren't talking about the good weed. Never mind.

That’s why I live here. No. Wait. They aren’t talking about the good weed. Never mind.

 

Show off.

Show off.

 

I find the conclusions of this study limited. The fact that

I find the conclusions of this study limited. The fact that animals and reptiles fart is completely riveting to me, and I’m an adult (or my advanced age would suggest as much).

 

I’ll keep on the look-out for more Portlandia-type news.

Newsy McNewserson signing off for now.

I've got to get the story on this nice group of herbalists who claim to know how to fix all the world's problems. Exciting stuff, huh?

I’ve got to get the story on this nice group of herbalists who claim to know how to fix all the world’s problems. Exciting stuff, huh?

 

Any off-the-beaten-path news you’d like to share?

Which Came First: Our 45th President or a Very Quaffed Moth?

•January 19, 2017 • 42 Comments

We may not know specific details about our new president’s policies (or finances), but much has been said about his hair.

He’s had his hair a long time, right? I mean, his hair has been styled the same way most of his life.

Hey, you have to work with what you've got...or not got, right?

You have to work with what you’ve got…or not got, right?

Make of that what you will.

But Dr. Vazrick Nazari, an evolutionary biologist and systematist (I think that’s a fictional job). Anyway, he noticed a new species of moth while poking around the basement attic archives of the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California-Davis. Remember, pot is now legal in California, so these types of news stories are likely to surface more frequently.

It's a big day in the research center! We need to have our wits about us. HAHAHAHAHA!

It’s a big day in the research center! We need to have our wits about us. HAHAHAHAHA!

Yes. We’re dealing with something the likes of which no one has ever never seen before (sound familiar?).

The moth has “yellowish white scales” on the top of its head.

Because Dr. Nazari discovered it, he got to name it.

Introducing Neopalpa donaldtrumpi!

Introducing Neopalpa donaldtrumpi!

It’s gets better.

N. donaldtrumpi’s natural habitat is Southern California and…wait for it…Mexico! The poor bugger’s digs are fragile, though, (much like 24 carat gold is soft) and is threatened by people stomping by or “dune-buggy enthusiasts.”

According to the article in my local newspaper (which was from Sarah Larimer of the Washington Post), Trump’s transition team has not responded to Dr. Nazari’s emails about his discovery which was published in the journal ZooKeys, which kind of sounds like a children’s magazine, but it’s probably a fine, reputable publication.

Is it me, or do the have the same expression, too?

Is it me, or do they have the same expression, too?

Hey, don’t blame/thank me! I just report this stuff.

Hey! What about me? I could use some discovery action! How about Aves Melanium

What about me? I could use some discovery action! How about Aves Melanium?

Edumacated Guesses

•January 18, 2017 • 24 Comments

When last we met, I shared the cryptic, terse, stilted, cheerless, eleven-word email response from comedian Gary Gulman to my complimentary, heartfelt, clever, compassionate, disquisition (it’s a real word, People) on my concerns about his mental health.

“Thank you for caring. I’ll be OK. Happy Holidays. Gary”

What does this mean…except for he is grateful, he’ll be fine and he wants me to enjoy the holidays? You know as well as I do as things are never that straightforward.

You don't have to be Einstein to know that this dude is trying be something that he isn't.

You don’t have to be Einstein to know that this dude is trying be something that he isn’t.

So, let’s figure this out.

Just the Facts Ma’am

Fact #1: I’m not a stalker. This is important. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and simply don’t have the energy for that kind of crime. Let’s say I did have the energy. I’ve managed to live 59 years without a rap sheet (police record or rapidly spoken lyrics to awesome syncopation). Stalking is not on my “Bucket List.” Having a “Bucket List” is not on my “Bucket List.”

Um. I could use some help here. I got this stalker. She’s cute and soft, but she’s messing with my image.

Fact #2: Gary spoke openly and at painful lengths during his comedy show about his current struggles with depression (trouble getting out of bed, not having energy for personal grooming, self-medication via comfort food). In other words, he invited me (and the rest of the audience) into his pain. I may have been the only one who accepted his invitation seriously, though.

Fact #3: I’m a Highly Sensitive Person. I have ESR (Emotion Seeking Radar). Just think of Heat Seeking Missiles, only much kinder, less shiny, and less expensive to taxpayers; but just as accurate, fast and potentially damaging. Once deployed, there is no way to stop it (no matter what you’ve seen in Mission Impossible or Chick Flick movies).

Kind of melts your heart, huh? And other important stuff, too...

Kind of melts your heart, huh? And other important stuff, too…

Fact #4: Although exhaustive by no means, I scoured the Internet for any science showing that comedians suffer disproportionately from depression or bipolar disease. I didn’t find anything. Between ten and twenty percent of Americans are depressed (this varies by gender, age, geographic area, and other factors like elections—I made that last part up, but maybe not, we’ll see). When Robin Williams died, a flurry or articles were written about comedy, depression and suicide. The consensus seems to be that comedians “think and cope differently” than the rest of us. Wow! Give those researchers another government grant.

Now, this is a brilliant use of government research funds!

Now, this is a brilliant use of government research funds!

Are you tired of facts? Good. Me, too. Let’s move on to edumacated guesses about what Gary’s message might really mean.

Edumacated Guesses

As a PhD. sociologist, I never liked the definition of a hypothesis as an “educated guess.” It’s oxymoronic.

Or, you know, just plain...

Or, you know, just plain…

I don’t know the meaning of Gary’s message or if Gary even wrote the message. So, I’m just spit-balling here. But, let’s give it a go anyway.

Here are my guesses on the possible meanings of his response.

  1. He meant what he said. Nah. Too boring.
  2. He’s a Jewish comedian. I’m one-quarter Jewish. I know Jewish sarcasm. “Thank you for caring. I’ll be OK. Happy Holidays.” Oy! He should have sent me some aloe vera cream for the burn. If he had been in the room, I would’ve gotten the eyeball roll and the sigh.
  3. He has his manager handle all his “fan mail,” and his manager is not a creative writer.
  4. He forgot he was responding in email, not Twitter. Come on, Gary, with spaces and punctuation, you still had at least 120 more characters of love you could’ve sent me.
  5. He’s intrigued. He made his response purposefully cryptic so I would email him back. His plan? A whole new act based on this weird Portland fan with the email handle “dizzylorna.” It’ll be hilarious! Only I didn’t email him back.
  6. His girlfriend saw the email and stood behind him and watched as he typed the email SHE dictated to him to be sure to end this “thing” between us before it even got going. You know, I have this Scorpio Vibe that I have very little control over.
  7. He was trying out new material on a live audience. Being the consummate professional, he dressed (or dressed down) the part of a depressed person.

Okay. I’m all out of ideas, guesses (educated and otherwise).

Do you have any theories?

Do you care?

I’m only doing this because I’m guessing you’d like to focus on something other than the weather, aging, dieting, aging, writer’s block, aging, politics, aging, or taxes. Or aging.

That’s not completely true, which is to say, that’s false. I’m doing this because I said I would. But I still want to know your edumacated guesses!

1966: Kathleen Breck as the college girl whose severed head is kept alive for experimental purposes, and Dana Andrews as the sinister Nazi scientist Dr Norberg, in a scene from the film 'The Frozen Dead'. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Could you stop staring at me? I’m trying to clear my head from all this talk about aging. I have my whole life a head of me. No body will get in my way. (I know this if off topic, but I couldn’t resist.)

 

 

Did he, or didn’t he?

•January 16, 2017 • 51 Comments

I’m only posting this because I care about you.

You’ve no doubt been:

Waiting...to hear about what happened...to me...or to him...or if the hat make too much of a statement.

Waiting…to hear about what happened to me…or to him…or if my hat is a bit much.

 

wondering (about how things turned out for me, not wondering about inane stuff like if they make a phone the thickness of a potato chip, is it baked or fried?)

Wondering…about how things turned out…for me…or him…or if above-the-waist pants will ever make a comeback.

 

Having difficulty focusing...it's happening now, isn't it?

Having difficulty focusing…it’s happening now, isn’t it?

 

Well, I’m here to end the madness.

After reading this, you can go back to your normal lives. Good luck with that.

After reading this, you can go back to your normal lives. Good luck with that.

Remember the post I did about the comedian, Gary Gulman?

No? Well, click here to refresh your addled brain.

You didn’t click on the link even if you didn’t remember the post, did you? That’s okay. I understand. You’re busy.

Here’s a synopsis.

  • I love Gary’s smart, observational, self-deprecating humor.
  • I saw him perform live in Portland.
  • He seemed depressed.
  • I was worried.
  • I asked my readers if I should contact him to express my concerns.
  • Many of you shared your advice.

I emailed Gary.

I told him I was a fan in the most complimentary way imaginable. Yada yada yada. And then I wrote this:
Back to Portland, you and me. You didn’t see me, but I saw you…a you I wasn’t expecting. Having seen everything you’ve put out there for audience viewing pleasure, my expectations were through the roof. I should have known better. The Buddha says that all suffering begins with expectations. He’s right.
 
Oh, I laughed plenty. No regrets. I’d buy tickets twice as expensive to see you again tomorrow!
 
Here’s the thing…I can’t stop worrying about you. Is that too weird? It’s the material you did on your depression that’s got me concerned.
 
I was laughing along with everyone else, seeing way too much of my former behaviors in many of the examples you were sharing (the leveling off of the ice cream—it’s good to know I’m not alone!). Then something happened as you kept going on with the theme of depression: I felt myself getting sad.
 
What? Sad? At a comedy club with Gary he-da-main-funny-man-in-da-land Gulman as the headliner? I don’t drink (well, okay, water. I drink water) and let’s say edible marijuana is delightful and totally medicinal (like any flavor of brandy for any ailment, according to my grandmother, God rest her soul), so my sadness wasn’t due to inebriation.
 
My sadness, I believe, was because I felt your pain.
 
Either you are so freaking professional and dedicated to your craft that you became depressed to execute that new material to perfection. If so, may I say to you, Sir, Bravo!
 
Or, you were simply being you and sharing your life with strangers. For an hour or so, we all got to laugh. Almost everyone went home and went back to their lives with a sigh and a few comments about a fun evening. And then there’s me who ruminated for two weeks about whether I should contact you or not.
 
This could go one of four ways:
 
  1. Lorna is crazy. Delete. End of her. Now I’m going to go make myself a bowl of cereal. Reading this email was exhausting.
  2. Lorna is sweet, but needs to get a grip because stand-up in a small club is nothing like a Netflix special or appearance on every talk show ever. I’ll have my manager send her a head shot of me with a stamped autograph, that should get her off my case.
  3. Lorna is perceptive and compassionate in addition to being sweet. I’m going to ruminate over what to do about this email. She’ll probably never hear from me, but my intentions were noble.
  4. Lorna is perceptive, compassionate, sweet, and kind of funny. I hope she isn’t considering a career in comedy. It’s not for everyone. I’ll email her pronto to discourage her…but nicely.
 In case you haven’t spent enough time with me, I wrote a blog about you and my dilemma (should I contact you or not?) after seeing your live performance. Here’s the link. You may here this all the time, but I’ve never written to a celebrity before. 
That’s a lie. I wrote to Ellen DeGeneres once. I’m certain she chose Option 1 above.
No matter what, Gary, I believe in you and I remain in awe of your wit, intellect, and courage. Next time you’re in Portland, you probably won’t see me, but I’ll definitely see you!
Always, Lorna
A couple of weeks went by. Then I got this response:
Thank you for caring. I will be OK. Happy Holidays.
Gary

I’m not sure what to make of all this.

I lied. I have some theories. Stay tuned…

Darn that Lorna! She's up to her old tricks again. Or is it that she's just older and trickier? Darn that Lorna!

Darn that Lorna! She’s up to her old tricks again. Or is it that she’s just older and trickier? Darn that Lorna!

Smog is Not the Prob in Portlandia

•December 27, 2016 • 45 Comments
You'd be surprised at the quality menu items in this establishment.

You’d be surprised at the quality menu items in this establishment.

Did you know that Portland is the most vegan-friendly city in the Universe on the Planet in America?

You do now.

Did you know that the health benefits of a vegan diet are too numerous to mention because:

  1. let’s face it, you have the attention span of camera shutter set on “burst mode” because of all the sugar you just consumed.
  2. I have way better things to do than copy and paste an entry from Wikipedia.

Did you know that there are some, oh, interesting consequences to a vegan diet? It’s best if you watch this two-minute video.

Let’s just say:

  1. I’ve been to this restaurant.
  2. I wish I had known about their “special” patio.
  3. Do not attempt vegan or raw food diets without first consulting anyone you love and with whom you wish to maintain a dignified relationship.

Hope this and every day is a happy, healthy, comfortable one!

 
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