Bill, complaints, healthcare, law, rants

“Sorry to wake you, darling…”

Those were Bill’s words to me at about 5:00am, as he kissed me goodbye today. He had to drive to Stuttgart again for an overnight business trip. We did a COVID-19 test yesterday, since I’m sick again. It was negative. Bill is feeling alright so far. I don’t know what this bug is. For all I know, my body is catching all the stuff it avoided for the past few years. My sore throat is mostly better now, but I have a stuffy, slightly runny nose, and there’s coughing and occasional sneezing. It’s basically a case of the sniffles.

I still have my tonsils…

It’s really hot here in Germany, which makes me glad we have two portable air conditioners. On the other hand, energy prices are going up, so that may mean I’ll regret making myself comfortable when we get the bill. I didn’t walk the dogs yesterday, because it was so hot, and because I’m sick and don’t want to share it with anyone. Of course, Bill is probably going to share it with his friends in Stuttgart, anyway.

It’s crazy that before June, I couldn’t remember the last time I was sick with a cold. Now, I’ve had two bouts within a month. They’re probably both COVID, but the test isn’t showing that… and I’m not going to keep testing until I get a positive result, unless I’m not getting better. People tell me to keep testing, but why would I want to do that? It’s not like it’s fun, or anything. I may try to do a short walk with the boys today, since they love their walks and the fresh air might do me some good. I don’t usually run into people when we take walks, anyway. And it will give me a chance to see the brand new toilet facility that was erected in our village. 😉

On the bright side, if this is COVID, I’m definitely not super ill. It’s really more of a nuisance than anything else. I don’t feel well, but I’m not deathly ill or even moderately sick. I’m just kind of miserable, and it’s made worse by the heat, and the fact that Bill had to go away again. But he was kind enough to leave me coffee in the jug and a couple of fresh German doughnuts.

Last night, as I was reading more about the state of things in the United States, I commented to Bill that I’m starting to hate men. Then I added, I don’t hate all men… just the ones that have no compassion and espouse misogyny. I’ve been so angry about this Supreme Court decision regarding abortion, and I know it’s only the beginning. I started listing things we should do… like avoiding spending money in states that don’t value women’s healthcare. That means no trips to places like godforsaken Texas, even though I am technically a resident. I hope there’s a mass exodus of smart people from those places. I hope the women there REFUSE to do anything sexual with men, unless they’ve either had a vasectomy, or they are in a loving relationship in which a pregnancy would be welcome. I hope women start suing the hell out of doctors who refuse to give them appropriate medical care when they need an abortion for genuine medical reasons. I hope the men who knock up women start getting sued for child and pregnancy support before the babies are born. I want this decision to be PAINFUL… especially for the men who think it’s a good thing that women are now worth less than their unborn fetuses are. And I hope the Supreme Court Justices who made this decision never see another peaceful day in their miserable lifetimes.

But then I looked at Bill, who is such a kind and loving man, and was actually hurt by a woman who took advantage of being female. I realize that I don’t really hate men. I’m just angry, and I feel helpless. What I really want is fairness and privacy for everybody. And I want things to be less surreal and… horrible. I think another season of The Handmaid’s Tale is about to come out. I’m not sure if I can bear to watch it now, because it’s too close to reality.

It probably doesn’t help matters that I’ve been reading a book about Roe v. Wade. The book is really long, and it’s been slow going trying to get through it, because I fall asleep after a few pages, not because it’s a dull book, but because I literally can’t keep my eyes open. I don’t typically sleep seven or eight hours straight, and I often need a nap in the afternoons, especially if I try to read. It may be time to use Audible, at least until I can get a new contact lens prescription. Last night, I couldn’t even read the instructions on the insert that came with the COVID test. Getting older sucks… except for the fact that I know I’ll never be forced to give birth.

I’m pretty sure this episode of Rachel Maddow’s show was why I got so angry… starting at 13:45. Pregnant women are already being denied proper healthcare because of the fucking imbeciles who want to ban abortion. THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY!

I always recommend Rachel Maddow’s show, because she’s sharp and savvy, and she has a quick wit. But if you are as angry about the overturning of Roe v. Wade as I am, I encourage you to watch from 13:45 and see what’s already happening to women, not even ONE MONTH after the ruling was overturned. And then, if you’re still curious about who will be harmed by these new laws springing up, have a look at this unlocked article from The New York Times about what happens to children who are forced to stay pregnant. It’s definitely not a pretty sight. Ten year olds are not physiologically prepared to have babies. Their bodies simply aren’t ready. These are people who still need booster seats in the car, for God’s sake!

So yeah… I am sick, hot, tired, and ANGRY. And fed up… I feel a little like Mommie Dearest… although, I’m obviously not as happy as she is in this scene. I just wish I was “raging mad” with the flu, so I wouldn’t even have to listen.

I won’t be winning an Oscar for my rantings.

But since Bill isn’t here, and I’m in no shape to do musical stuff, maybe I’ll get started on that satire that’s been rattling around in my head. Especially since now, there’s no “minder” around to make sure I don’t offend anyone.

Standard
celebrities, politics, social media, stupid people

My unfortunate encounter with “Audrey Rose” last night… How horrific!

Last night, I read a news article in The New York Times about why so many “moderate” Republican women have abandoned conservatism for the Democratic Party. It seems that a lot of women who ordinarily identify as moderate or conservative are really upset about the erosion of women’s rights championed by the Republican Party, and they have vowed to stop voting for Republicans. Because I am an American woman who quit voting for Republicans, I decided to comment. To the Times’ question, “Will the abortion debate keep moderate women in the Democrats’ camp?”, I answered thusly:

That’s one major reason why I am done with Republicans. Trump is the biggest reason, though.

I noticed I got a “laughing” reaction. It was from child actress turned lawyer/author/conservative pundit, Susan Swift. I had seen Susan Swift leaving outrageous right wing Facebook comments on a lot of articles posted by The New York Times. I noticed she had a blue check mark, which makes her a “celebrity” or well known person. I figured she was some kind of female Rush Limbaugh acolyte, or something. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to her comments, because I found her rude and snarky, and because I don’t agree with her opinions. I didn’t actually realize Susan Swift was a child actress, though, until I finally looked her up to see why I should care about her opinions, and why she had that blue check mark next to her name.

I was pretty shocked to find out that Susan Swift was in a movie I well remember from my childhood.

Susan Swift was Ivy Templeman in the 1977 horror film, Audrey Rose, when she was 13.

I remember seeing that movie when I was a kid. I most recently watched it when Bill and I were first together, about twenty years ago. I remember getting it from Netflix on DVD and watching it, because I remember seeing it on TV and was kind of haunted by it. Susan Swift was good in Audrey Rose, which also boasted Marsha Mason and Anthony Hopkins in the cast. I mean, Mason and Hopkins are heavy hitting ARTISTS, and Audrey Rose was a pretty decent film. It wasn’t a shitty horror flick, or anything. She’s even been somewhat recently interviewed about her acting career and came across as basically okay there.

I was disappointed when I saw that this former child actress turned right wing political pundit was “laughing” at me for sharing my decidedly unfunny opinion on a random New York Times’ article. I don’t know a lot about Susan Swift, other than she went to law school, became a lawyer and author, and was afforded opportunities that a lot of women before her didn’t have. And apparently, she strongly aligns with a political movement that would like to strip women of their rights and autonomy, and thinks it’s cool that our former president throws tantrums, admires dictators, and brags about sexually harassing and molesting women. What a shitty person she must be. I mean, even if you disagree with someone’s politics, you don’t need to “laugh” at them when they obviously haven’t said anything funny. That’s just disrespectful and rude. Before I looked her up online, I decided to block her. And I posted this:

Blocked Susan Swift, because I have seen her making the rounds. She’s one of Trump’s bullies, who thinks she needs to laugh at people because they understandably don’t want to be led by a pussy grabber who admires dictators and throws tantrums when he loses elections.

Because I wondered why she had that blue check mark by her name, I investigated her acting career, which ended in 1995. She was in a fair amount of stuff back in the day. I did truly enjoy her in Audrey Rose… what a shame that she’s turned into such a creep. I mean, a person can be a conservative and not be a jerk, right? I have conservative friends with whom I don’t discuss politics. We have basic mutual respect. I don’t know Susan Swift at all, and I know she’s a “personality”… but don’t “personalities” get popular because they relate to a lot of people? So basically, Susan Swift relates to a lot of really awful people who enjoy mocking people who have a different world view than she has… as she and her ilk speak of “freedom” from government overreach. Why don’t they see that the government is now trying to reach into the most private and personal aspect of women’s lives? Women make up about half the population!

Over the past a couple of weeks, I have found myself becoming even less tolerant of uncivilized people who feel the need to hurl abuse at others, especially when all they’re doing is respectfully trying to share an opinion. Lately, I’ve been exploring Twitter. I’ve had mixed results with it. Some people on Twitter are hilarious and witty, and it’s fun to read their comments. Others are just incredibly toxic, and they think nothing of insulting people they don’t even know for not sharing their world views. I had to change my settings on Twitter, because I couldn’t deal with the poisonous spew that came forth from Twitter users who lack common decency and decorum. It was giving me a very dystopian and distorted view of my homeland. I’ve been blocking a lot of people on social media who can’t behave decently, especially if they’re strangers.

Anyway, I know that actors and actresses are people too, and one can like an artist’s work and not like them as a person. For years, I’ve loved watching The Brady Bunch, but I had to unfollow Susan Olsen on social media, because I couldn’t take her racist screeds against Muslims and pro Trump rallying cries. And I know I have a lot of former friends and family members who don’t follow me because they don’t want to be exposed to my opinions. At least most of them were decent enough to take action quietly and without mocking or outright abuse. My Uncle Ed is an exception… he actually cussed me out, called me a “liberal nutjob”, and reminded me of some of my dad’s most horrible verbal abuse tirades after one of his frequent benders. I don’t have to abide that from strangers at all, and certainly not from a former child actress turned Republican flunkie.

Standard
condescending twatbags, healthcare, Military, obits, politicians, politics, poor judgment, stupid people

Another Republican politician dies of COVID-19. It’s like watching Darwinism in real time…

Last night, after I played my latest solo project for Bill, I took a gander at the news. There it was… another sad news story about a “freedom fighter” dying of COVID-19, years before her time. This time, the deceased was one of my contemporaries, 46 year old Kelly Ernby, who was a “rising star” in conservative politics in California.

Ms. Ernby was a political newcomer and served as the Deputy District Assistant Attorney in Orange County. Two years ago, she ran for an Orange County state Assembly seat as a Republican candidate, challenging Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon in the primaries. Ernby lost to Dixon, who then lost to Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris.

In spite of losing the election, Ernby remained passionate about politics. Before the pandemic, Ernby was especially riled up about a California state law that tightened immunization rules for children in school. According to the Los Angeles Times, Erby said at the time:

“I don’t think that the government should be involved in mandating what vaccines people are taking,” she said. “I think that’s a decision between doctors and their patients…. If the government is going to mandate vaccines, what else are they going to mandate?”

More recently, Ernby was fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates. On December 4, 2021, Ernby spoke publicly outside the Irvine City Hall against vaccine mandates at a rally organized by a group called Turning Point USA, which has chapters at the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton. The Los Angeles Times reports that the event drew “dozens”… which may be impressive, given it was California.

Ernby, who was the daughter of Navy veterans, said “There’s nothing that matters more than our freedoms right now…” She also compared the vaccine mandates to so-called 1960s era “socialist ideals”, claiming that requiring people to be vaccinated is a violation of their civil rights. I would submit that freedom is totally useless when you’re dead.

I think she should have been paying more attention to what was going on in her own backyard. If she spent any time in Norway, she might have noticed that Europeans, as a whole, are more community minded than Americans are, and less selfish. Also, Norway is not nearly as populated and has a very different medical system. It’s interesting that she was a Republican, but looked favorably at a country with universal healthcare coverage as a model to emulate.

Kelly Ernby, who was unvaccinated, is now dead, and leaves a grieving husband, who has been speaking out against conservative wingnuts who are falsely claiming that his wife died because she was vaccinated. After Ernby’s death was announced, seemingly left-leaning trolls flooded Ernby’s Facebook and Twitter accounts with laughing reactions and mocking comments. They did the same to Ernby’s husband. Mattias Axel Ernby’s social media accounts are now being hammered with comments from people on either side of the spectrum. Lefties are laughing about her death, while right wingers are promoting ridiculous conspiracy theories. It’s a fucking circus and a disgrace.

It’s too bad she wasn’t vaccinated. I have read that Kelly Ernby was a somewhat sensible Republican. She might have done some real good.

I don’t think it’s funny that Kelly Ernby died. I think it’s sad, and it was probably preventable. If she had been vaccinated, she probably wouldn’t have gotten so sick that she died at just 46 years old. I think it’s shameful that such an obviously bright and articulate woman didn’t take COVID-19 seriously enough to save herself and get a safe, effective vaccination. I think it’s sad that her widower now has to deal with Internet assholes who are taking this opportunity to harass him, when they should show him basic respect and leave him alone so he can grieve.

After I read about Kelly Ernby’s unfortunate death, I saw another article run by the Army Times about how the Navy has been blocked from acting against 35 sailors who refused COVID vaccines on “religious grounds”. A federal judge in Texas has granted a primary injunction against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s decision to make COVID vaccines mandatory. Although servicemembers can theoretically refuse to get vaccinated for religious or other grounds, no one who has applied for an exception to policy has been granted the waiver. So Justice Reed O’Connor, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, wrote:

“The Navy servicemembers in this case seek to vindicate the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect… The COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.”

Again, to Judge O’Connor, I would say that freedom is pretty useless when a person is dead. I have never served in the military, but I have been around military folks my whole life. One thing I know is that the people who sued for the right to skip COVID vaccines should probably start looking for new work. I think their careers are over now. Of course, I could be wrong… but I doubt I am. The Army Times continued:

O’Connor wrote that they objected to being vaccinated on four grounds: “opposition to abortion and the use of aborted fetal cell lines in development of the vaccine; belief that modifying one’s body is an affront to the Creator; divine instruction not to receive the vaccine, and opposition to injecting trace amounts of animal cells into one’s body.”

“Plaintiffs’ beliefs about the vaccine are undisputedly sincere, and it is not the role of this court to determine their truthfulness or accuracy,” the judge wrote.

What I do know is that the military depends on the concept of “readiness”, which means that everyone has to be “ready” to deploy anywhere in the world. The last place an unvaccinated person needs to be is on a ship or a submarine, with super tight quarters and no access to medical facilities. We also know that COVID-19 spreads faster than a hooker’s legs. So a COVID positive person on a ship, in a tank, or an airplane, or any of the other tight spots where servicemembers typically operate, would be potentially disastrous.

Vaccines are just part of military and government service life. They were part of my Peace Corps experience, too. I had to get MANY shots to serve in Armenia, and I still came home with a nasty bug that took three courses of very strong antibiotics to get rid of permanently. I don’t know what these sailors have been doing over the course of their careers, but I’d love to know how COVID-19 can be exempted on religious grounds, when they clearly had no issues with the other shots they no doubt had to receive.

I went to the comment section, because I noticed a lot of gleeful laughter and love reactions. Sure enough, the first comment was by a guy who claimed that vaccines don’t work. He based his comment on the fact that vaccinated and boosted people are still getting infected. One lone brave man made a comment challenging him. I decided to chime in too, even though I usually regret communicating with certain military types, because a lot of them are ignorant and don’t appreciate “uppity women” like me. In fact, I noticed that the guy did respond to me, but I chose to ignore him completely, because I was about to go to bed.

What I wrote was that the vaccines are intended to prevent people from getting seriously ill. They are to keep people out of the hospitals so that folks with chronic diseases can still access care and the poor doctors and nurses who have to take care of the sick and dying can get a respite. I will admit I was a little testy in my response, mentioning that people who think they know more than scientists do are DYING, and many of them are pitifully BEGGING for the vaccines before they go. And then I linked the story about Kelly Ernby, who is just the latest Republican “anti-vaxxer victim” who has succumbed to COVID-19.

As much as I dislike it when people behave irresponsibly or ignorantly, I don’t take any pleasure in reading or hearing about people dying of COVID-19, alone, and gasping for breath or waiting to be intubated. I don’t laugh at people who die because they are stubborn or willfully ignorant. I think it’s tragic, and I feel sad for the people left behind when these folks refuse to behave in a sensible, community-minded, responsible manner. And I especially feel sad for the medical personnel who have to stand by, exhausted and defeated, while another one of their patients dies in front of them.

After I wrote my response to the snarky servicemember, who probably answered me in the style of “Slow down there, ‘Dependa'”, it occurred to me that people like Kelly Ernby and her ilk have the LUXURY of speaking out about “optional” vaccines because generations before them did their parts and got vaccinated. Diseases that used to be much deadlier, like polio, smallpox, diphtheria, measles, influenza, cholera, malaria, anthrax, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and so forth, no longer kill as many people as they once did. And so, people like Kelly Ernby have no concept of how terrible communicable diseases can be, and how they can KILL innocent people, or cause permanent disabilities.

A few years ago, before COVID struck, I wrote a post about how a politician was promoting an episode of The Brady Bunch as an example of how “not serious” the measles is. Honestly, some politicians are truly stupid. Ignoring the fact that The Brady Bunch was, in no way, akin to real life, I suggest that anyone who thinks measles can’t be very serious and wants to use a 70s era sitcom as “proof”, first take a look at a 2001 episode of ER called “A Walk in the Woods” for a different perspective on how measles can affect and kill children. Yes, it’s true that many people don’t get that sick from measles, but it can and does make some people very sick and cause premature death. That’s why we’ve had a vaccine against it for so many years.

I’m against government overreach, as a basic rule, but when it comes to communicable diseases, particularly the kinds that are as deadly as COVID has proven to be, I definitely think that one person’s freedom of bodily autonomy ends where another person’s begins. And until COVID mutates to something less harmful, I do agree with vaccine mandates affecting those who can take the shots. It’s a matter of life and death for some people.

And as much as I don’t want to see Republican fringed nutjobs like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert in charge, I also don’t enjoy seeing people die of their own stupidity. I really hope some of these folks wise up and learn a lesson from people like Kelly Ernby. Unfortunately, it takes personal experience to change the hearts and minds of people who can’t see beyond their own pride. Isn’t it interesting that so many Republicans are supposedly devout Christians, but they still haven’t learned a very basic proverb– “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Let’s hope a few Republicans stop applying for Darwin Awards before they go completely extinct.

Standard
modern problems, social media

I look like I have the measles.

Pay close attention to the wording of today’s blog post title, “I look like I have the measles”.

Now, pay close attention to what I am about to write. I look like I have the measles. Notice, I didn’t write that I actually have the measles. I wrote that I look like I have them.

Yesterday morning, right after I woke up, I experienced a pretty violent fit of coughing. This happens sometimes early in the morning, just when I’m getting out of bed. I have cough variant asthma, allergies, and experience occasional gastric reflux. All of these conditions can bring on fits of coughing which sometimes get bad enough that I vomit. When I vomit, often early in the morning, it’s usually before I’ve had anything to eat. Consequently, I sometimes wind up dry heaving, which makes the episodes more violent than they might otherwise be. The fragile capillaries in my face break, and I look flushed and spotty, as if I had the measles. This condition lasts until the bleeding is reabsorbed and the tiny bruises heal.

That is what happened to me yesterday. I was sitting at the table drinking some water when I started coughing. I don’t know if the coughing was caused by asthma, allergies, or acid reflux. It doesn’t actually matter. What matters is what happened after the coughing subsided. Suddenly, I felt that dreaded sick feeling of nausea. I knew I was about to lose the little bit of water I had been drinking as I was waiting for my coffee and had my sudden coughing fit.

Sure enough, I hurled, then retched violently a few times with a completely empty stomach. Next thing I knew, my face was all red, my eyes were bloodshot, and the puking episode was over. I ate breakfast and went on with my day, only with red spots all over my face and neck.

Incidentally, I would not want to have the measles. And yes, I have been vaccinated against it more than once.

I know better than to look at myself in the mirror after one of these spells. I did catch my reflection yesterday afternoon and saw my face with its tiny red polka dots. It reminded me of the way the kids on The Brady Bunch looked during the measles episode. If you watch the episode, you see the children look flushed, with little red spots. I have never actually seen anyone with the measles. Most everyone in my age group was immunized, so I don’t remember any of my friends ever having that particular typical childhood malady.

Having just looked up images of measles versus images of petechiae (which is what I have), I did kind of look like I had the measles yesterday. Or, at least, like I had a whole lot of red freckles. Today, my spots have faded a bit, and I’m feeling okay. But I still look a little spotty. All I can do is wait for the tiny bruises to go away. I’ll be fine in a day or two, until the next time I have to throw up, which could be anytime.

Why am I writing about this today? Well, there are a couple of reasons. One– I am really tired of reading and writing about COVID-19. I’m so tired of it that I find writing about the measles sort of refreshing. Two– I am tired of writing about politics, even though there’s plenty to write about. For instance, I could go off about how Trump buddy Michael Flynn, who was just pardoned for his fuckery, is now calling for Trump to impose martial law and have another election. Seriously? Fuck that guy! The election is over, and TRUMP LOST. Yes, I could rant about that, but I don’t want to today. And three– I want to make a point about people who don’t read carefully. If I was still an English teacher in Armenia, this topic could have made a very interesting lesson for my students. I’ll share it with you readers, instead.

Several people who saw my Facebook post left me comments indicating that they think I have the measles. I never wrote that I have the measles. I wrote that I LOOK LIKE I have the measles. There is a difference. The first person who commented is a nurse. She wisely left me a question mark, which gave me the opportunity to explain what happened. Then she responded appropriately that only time heals bruises caused by vomiting.

However, even after I clarified in the comments what the problem really is, other people still responded as if I had written that I actually have the measles when I only wrote that I “look like” I have them. One person asked me if I had been vaccinated. I responded in the affirmative. At first, I was confused as to why she’d ask me about whether or not I’d had a MMR. Then I realized that she was under the impression that I have the measles, when I had clearly commented that I did not.

This particular issue is not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Some people misunderstood me. But what I’m trying to point out is that people often hastily respond to things without reading carefully. I can certainly understand why that is. People don’t feel like they have the time or inclination to wade through hundreds or thousands of responses, yet they still want to chime in.

However, if the people who commented on this thread had taken another second or two, they would have had a better idea of what was going on. Maybe they wouldn’t have felt it necessary to comment, or they would have responded differently. In this case, it wasn’t important. In other cases, it just might be.

I find the subject of communication very interesting, although I’ll admit that engaging in it can be frustrating. Social media has made it much easier to be a poor communicator. First off, you have the devices themselves. Computers, phones, iPads, and the like are distracting, and many people are constantly skimming, playing games, and reading in a half-assed manner. So even if you’re speaking to someone offline, chances are they are distracted by their phone and will miss about half of what you’re saying to them.

Then there’s the phenomenon of people simply reading headlines or statuses and not reading anything else. This happens all the time on news sites. I’ll stop on a story by The New York Times or the Washington Post, for instance, and the comments sections will be chock full of crap. From spammers to people who reacted to headlines rather than reading, there’s a lot of shit to wade through. And so many people will be taken in by “click bait” and leave an uninformed response. Then, when someone calls them out for not reading what they’re commenting on, they complain about not wanting to pay for a subscription. To that sentiment, I ask, “Do you work for free?”

And then there’s the fact that people are often forming responses in their heads even as someone is speaking or writing. Do you ever notice this when you’re talking to someone in real life? You’ll be having a discussion with them and they’ll interrupt you, which is a sure sign that they weren’t listening to what you were saying in the first place. This happens when I’m talking to Bill. He’s used to being in a fast paced environment with Type A people, many of whom are men. He’s learned that if he wants to get a word in edgewise, he has to be willing to interrupt. I sometimes get exasperated and say, “Will you PLEASE let me finish? When you jump in like that, you’re proving that you’re not even listening and we’re both wasting our breath and valuable time.” To his credit, the last time this happened, I pointed it out, and Bill apologized and realized I was right. It’s a bad habit, but I can understand where it comes from, especially in our hyperactive culture where we’re constantly being bombarded with information.

Or someone you’re communicating with misconstrues your meaning or intent, because they weren’t actively listening to what you were saying. This also happens in written communication. People are eager to wade through quickly, so they miss important nuances– like, for instance, I wrote that I LOOK LIKE I have the measles, but don’t actually have it. So there’s no need to send get well wishes, although maybe I might want to do something about my asthma, allergies, and acid reflux issues so I might stop occasionally vomiting in the morning.

On the other hand, I suppose I could have thought preemptively, and made it clear that I don’t actually have the measles in the original post. Or I could have simply kept this episode entirely to myself, which would probably be the smarter thing to do, anyway. I guess I was just making conversation, which seems to be a lost art in this era of social distancing and online communications. But at least this incident gave me something besides politics and plagues to write about today.

Standard
book reviews, celebrities

Repost: Reposted review of Florence Henderson’s life story…

Yup… this review was reposted on the original blog too, having originally been posted on Epinions.com. I am restoring it to public view for your pleasure, as/is…

I know it’s my third post today, but I just found this book review of Florence Henderson’s life story.  And I want to keep it alive, so I’m reposting it for your perusal.  Hey, at least I learned that despite her encounter with crab lice, Flo is not as earthy as Shirley Jones is.

Florence Henderson shares her life… 

Like so many others, I grew up watching re-runs of The Brady Bunch. And like so many others, I’ve always had sort of a mild obsession with the show. I’ve seen every episode many times and could probably recite lines from each show. Perhaps because of my affinity for all things Brady, I had to read Florence Henderson’s brand new memoirs, Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond.  This book was just released last week. I downloaded it to my Kindle and read it in a matter of days. I have to admit, Florence Henderson has led a remarkable life… one that encompasses so much more than The Brady Bunch. 

Florence Henderson’s humble beginnings

Florence Henderson grew up poor, the youngest of ten kids born on Valentine’s Day 1934 to Elizabeth and Joseph Henderson of Dale, Indiana. Her father was hardworking, but an alcoholic. Her mother was a bit of a free spirit who left her husband when Florence was young. Florence writes that her father called her “Gal” because he often couldn’t remember her name. I guess that’s understandable, given the fact that the man had ten kids and a drinking habit. Florence Henderson grew up Catholic and was very devoted to her faith.

A star is born 

Florence Henderson left Indiana when she was barely 17 years old. She wanted to make it on Broadway and had enrolled in dramatic school. She got lucky early and landed a role in a Broadway show not long after her arrival. That first role led to larger roles, notably Oklahoma!Fanny, and Wish You Were Here. She worked with many Broadway legends, including Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers. Her work took her to both coasts and places in between, like Las Vegas and Chicago. She got roles on stage, in films, and on television, and of course, she also enjoyed a successful singing career. And she’s never been ashamed to do commercials, either. She likens her spots pitching Polident denture cleanser, Tang powdered drink mix, and Wesson cooking oil as 60 second movies with her as the star. Incidentally, Florence Henderson does not use Polident; she is fortunate enough to still have her teeth.

Florence Henderson, wife and mother 

In 1956, Florence Henderson married Ira Bernstein, a man with theater connections. Though Ira Bernstein was Jewish, the couple was able to marry in the Catholic church. They had two sons and two daughters together, though the union wasn’t particularly happy. Florence engaged in several affairs, one of which left her with an unpleasant creepy crawly memento. And Ira wasn’t particularly keen to make the move to Los Angeles, despite his connections in show business. Consequently, he was in New York during the week and flew to L.A. on weekends, leaving Florence to juggle a hectic career and their four children, as well as everything else that comes with family life. 

Fortunately, Florence and Ira were able to part somewhat amicably in 1985, freeing Florence to marry her second husband, Dr. John Kappas, in 1987. Florence and John Kappas were married until his death in September 2002.

Florence Henderson’s dear friends 

Evidently, Florence Henderson has enjoyed the love and companionship of many good friends. A lot of them were show biz friends, but quite a few of them were people who worked for Henderson. In one entertaining chapter, she writes of the many bizarre domestic helpers she went through before she finally found one who was able to stay for the long haul. And her second husband was actually her therapist before they married. Florence Henderson was even best friends with her doctor.

My thoughts 

I was pleasantly surprised by Life Is Not a Stage. I will admit, I haven’t really seen Florence Henderson in anything not Brady related, except for her turn in the classically campy film, Shakes The Clown. But I learned from reading her book that her career has really been long and amazingly successful. And yet, even though she really is a big star, Florence Henderson maintains a very warm tone in her book. It reads as if she’s an old friend, talking about her life. I think my favorite part of the book was the beginning, where Florence writes about her childhood. Her writing made it easy for me to picture her upbringing and I found her stories of her girlhood surprisingly interesting.

Florence Henderson is very candid in her writing and includes some tidbits that aren’t necessarily flattering. There are a couple of things in this book that, for some readers, may verge slightly on oversharing territory; but ever the lady, Henderson very kindly warns sensitive readers and marks off the potentially offensive sections with asterisks. Personally, I didn’t find any of her revelations too offensive.

For those who are curious, yes, there is some dishing about The Brady Bunch. Most of what Henderson writes about her most famous role, however, is not exactly earth shattering news. She references books written by both Barry Williams and Susan Olsen. I did find some of her comments about Robert Reed (Mike Brady) kind of touching. Apparently, the whole “Bunch” still keeps in touch. 

Florence Henderson also writes quite a bit about her experiences with hypnosis. Her second husband, Dr. John Kappas, was an experiened hypnotist and he helped his wife get through some traumas that were holding her back professionally and personally. When Kappas was dying of cancer, he asked Florence to learn how to hypnotize him. She learned the craft and apparently, it’s changed her life and enriched the lives of others.

Henderson includes some photos in her book. I’m happy to report that they were easy to see on my Kindle and the captions were easy to read. 

Overall

I liked Florence Henderson’s book. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Broadway legends, hypnosis, or Florence Henderson’s life. Note: Florence Henderson died on November 24, 2016, several years after I posted this review on Epinions in 2011, and reposted on my original blog in September 2015.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

Standard