Monday, June 29, 2015

One important point I missed.

This morning, I was taking a bath and I thought of something I missed in yesterday's post on Dr, Oz, perhaps the most important point of all.   Here it is.  When a group coalesces with the intent of punishing someone who holds an alternative view, especially if that group represents an event approved by the government, it makes Uncle Sam (the government) look thuggish. 

I can take you down.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Something's up in the Land of Oz

There's a gang of ten MD's who are hell bent on discrediting Dr. Oz and getting him kicked off the Columbia University faculty.  They claim that Oz is manifesting an "egregious lack of integrity" and practicing quack medicine and shows "disdain for science (GMO's) and for evidence-based (Big Agra, Big Pharma) medicine."

Dr. Oz was the man who used to bring dried out lungs and disease-ridden livers to Oprah's old show and make her handle them.  He would present the organs as if he were offering her a muffin.  Oprah would eye-roll but played along.  Oprah always hauled out the good doctor  to answer questions we were too embarrassed to ask our own doctor:  malfunctions going on below the waist which are plentiful.  Dr. Oz would lay it all out matter-of-factly and give us a diagram of our plumbing.  He is a mild mannered man in uniform-catalog clothes and a bad haircut.

After a while, Oprah gave Oz his own show just as she had done for Rachel Ray.  Oprah chose these two non threatening regular people with regular faces and bought them shows. They didn't disappoint her.  But now a bunch of doctors signed a letter asking Columbia University to throw Oz off their medical roster.  Is it sour grapes?  Dr. Oz makes money being on television and also makes money being a doctor.  So what?   He is trying to help us, the viewers, have a better experience in this vale of tears.  He uses  normal life situations and puts out mostly good information.  Does he sometimes give air space to "miracle" cures for weight loss? Garcinia Cambogia. Raspberry Ketones..  Sort of.  But the majority of his advice has to do with recognizing serious illness, avoiding serious illness and  swapping bad food and habits for decent food and habits without too much sacrifice.  But the gang of ten isn't focused on green coffee extract for weight loss.  They are focused on "baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops."  Whuck?????  They are mad at Dr. Oz because he has said on the air that GMO food should be labeled for what it is.  Not forbidden.  Just labeled.  It's worth noting that the doctor who signed the letter, Dr. Miller, used to work at the FDA reviewing genetically engineered drugs.  

Are you a GMO?  No. I'm Lutheran.

I would bet the doctors that signed the letter have no qualms about giving their patients expensive drugs that the drug companies tout and probably make people sicker but because they have the imprimatur of the FDA - the laziest and most compromised agency in the govt. -  they are integrity covered.  I have no basis to make this assumption but I will make it anyway.

This is off subject:  once, I bought the green coffee extract pills.  They were 9.99 at CVS.  I took them for two days.  When I didn't lose twenty pounds in those two days, I lost interest.  Here are some typical Dr. Oz attention getters: "Cut your heart attack risk in half by this one simple rule."  The rule is usually to take some baby aspirin daily.  Or "How do you know you are having a stroke?"  A couple of clues are to smile and/or give your address. (By the way, recently they added the tongue as a clue.  If it's listing to one side, not a good sign.)

Anyway, I'm team Oz.  Of all the bad things, he isn't so bad.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Clotted cream, crème fraiche, chagrinned and Andy Warhol

(reposting this from Feb. 21, 2014 because I love Andy Warhol's diaries)
Clotted cream, crème fraiche
Last night a friend brought a dessert that was everything that I find delicious.  First it had lemon in it and also cream and it was all real (home made) no funny stuff.  I think the cream was what the British call clotted.  If you want to sound smart and sophisticated in any conversation just use two phrases.  Even if they make no conversational sense and you are eating a pork chop say, “clotted cream” or “crème fraiche.” Those around you will start re-computing your IQ and EQ.  You can also throw in “chagrinned.”
As for my love of lemon, once I made rice with only lemon juice and no water.  Don’t try this at home because you will get rice gum (it tastes fantastic to a lemon freak but your guests might pause or even leave).  Lemon tends to gelatinize things I found out.  Oh, and by the way, I finally learned something useful from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.  She said that using mustard in salad dressing helps to emulsify the lemon and oil.  I tried it and it is true.  Previously, I couldn’t get the lemon and olive oil to end their stand-off however mustard does the trick.
And Andy Warhol
A person I would be happy to live with full time would be Andy Warhol.  I was reading his diaries as I often do for inspiration and comfort.  I realized that we share the same blurty, ADD, hard to follow thinking process that makes perfect sense to the speaker but annoys and confuses those around us.  Here are a couple of examples from my favorite book The Andy Warhol Diaries.  Andy dictated the diaries every morning to his assistant to keep a record of his activities and the expenses they generated.  His assistant compiled all the entries into the Diaries.
The entry below is from May 22, 1984. 
“Jean Michel came down to the office early.  He was reading his big review in the Voice.  They called him the most promising artist on the scene.  And at least they didn’t mention me and say he shouldn’t be hanging around with me the way the New York Times did.
I opened up one of the boxes in the back that’s being moved and it had ……letters from Ray Johnson the artist and I think my bloodstained clothes from when I was shot.
I realized the reason Tony Shafrazi hasn’t gotten even one of the artists in his gallery into MOMA is because Tony’s the person who defaced Picasso’s Guernica.  But that’s not fair.  Keith Haring isn’t at MOMA.  And they have just one thing of mine, the little Marilyn.  I just hate that.  That bothers me.
Then in the afternoon I went to Doc Cox’s (cab $7) and I protested over the thermometer that they used because it just sits there in water and everybody uses it, it’s not right.  And Rosemary took my blood pressure but I have a feeling they just throw these tests out.  And they have a new heart machine so now I don’t have to run up and down the stairs in the hallway to get my heart going – it’s a big improvement.  And Freddy won’t take your blood if she doesn’t know you.
….After dinner ($120) at Hisae and drinks at Jezebel’s we went over to Stuart Pivar’s because he was having people over and I wanted to learn about art.  I brought a small bronze and Stuart said it was a piece of junk, so tomorrow I’m returning it.”

An Amazon reviewer gave the book one star and commented “Incoherent ramblings for 1,000,000 pages.

They are perfectly coherent to me.

Another one-star review called it “Boring and Self Indulgent.” 
“Warhol's prose is horrible considering the creative mind he posseses (sic). I bought it used (thank God) and was bored to tears reading about taxi rides and what so-and-so was wearing. It was like reading a dreadfully boring gay man's blog. A bio on this character would be much more enlightening and a much less waste of time.”
A wise patient person commented on the bad review and said, “This isn't a bad book, you just weren't sure what to think of it: it confused you, so you don't like it.”

Monday, June 8, 2015

One of those frozen, hectic instants that you just know has a whole happy life attached.

 (I wrote this post three years ago.  I think I was smarter three years ago because this short post is more thoughtful and necessary than some of the drivel I write today.  A snipet of clarity is far better than five paragraphs of whining.  Jennifer Egan's writing is chock full of snipets of clarity therefore, I'm re-posting this)

I've gone nuts over Jennifer Egan. I want to share some of her smartness with you from her novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad

Jennifer:  One of those frozen, hectic instants that you just know has a whole happy life attached. 

Consuelo:  I do know. I've seen many of those moments and I think:  "Oooh, happy life attached."   

Jennifer: “I felt no shame whatsoever in these activities, because I understood what almost no one else seemed to grasp: that there was only an infinitesimal difference, a difference so small that it barely existed except as a figment of the human imagination, between working in a tall green glass building on Park Avenue and collecting litter in a park.  In fact, there may have been no difference at all.

Consuelo: This seems harder to believe but I believe it. Comparisons are all in the internals, after all.

This last revelation can be used to dismantle almost all of the values hogging airspace today that most fail to grasp.  If you study the internals and discount the prevailing agenda, there is almost no difference between telling the truth and lying, between being generous or stingy,  between living a life of virtue or one of sin.  Almost no difference between sin and good works.  There was a book written a long time ago titled, It's All Zoo.  It is all zoo.  Don't take this to mean I'm a pessimist.  The opposite.  I am childishly optimistic.  I expect miracles every day.  There is an abundance of miracles.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

experience therapy

Whenever I have to leave my car at the mechanic, I take the bus home.  The mechanic, who is honest and helpful,  offers a ride but I prefer the bus. Taking the bus is orderly.  You wait on a bench. Sometimes the sun is warm and it feels good to sit and wait even though the bus is always late. There is nothing pressing.  Someone else is going to be in charge.  Once you put your fare in the box, you have no responsibilities.  When the ride begins you are free to scrutinize the passing scene.

One thing, I know.  I'm different from the other passengers. They don't take the bus for experience therapy.  They need the bus to get to their jobs or to a necessary destination. 

The Suffolk County Transit seems to hire eastern European drivers for the East Hampton route.  They begin their sentences with the verb and seldom elaborate.

When I took the bus last Friday, a man came around and gave every rider two dollars as a present.  I shook my head but he pressed the bills on me and it would have been rude to turn him down.  I thought maybe it was like those stories you hear of a millionaire throwing money into a crowd at Christmas.  I didn't want to touch the money because, although I like to ride the bus, I am phobic about touching strangers' hands even in church.  Also, dollar bills are probably one of the premier germ-laden objects along with the handrails in the subway.  The man who gave the money wore madras Bermuda shorts, a pullover with a shirt underneath and  good sneakers. 

The two dollars are still
You will need me one day
on the table. Unfolded.