Star Struck

I’ve met a few celebrities over the years, mostly because I’m married to someone who used to be a reporter and whose job it was to talk to people, including a fair number of celebrities.

Eisenstadt's Martha's Vineyard

However, the first celebrity I ever encountered was entirely accidentally. I was working in an office at the Steinway building in New York which is down the street from CBS Studios. It was 1967 and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” was being finished at the studio up the road.

Every lunchtime when I went to get a bite of lunch. There was Sidney Poitier on his way to lunch. He was really tall. I’m short, so tall people — even unknown ones — tend to leave me overawed. And like the cherry on the top of the sundae,  he was so handsome.

We crossed paths at least a dozen time during a three-week period and never once did I have the courage to do more than look yearningly in his direction. Later, I could think of lots of cool stuff I could have or should have said to him. Unfortunately, I didn’t say anything at all. Other people stopped him and asked for autographs or at least to say that they loved his work … but there was now way I would do that. Uh uh. Not me.

The area was crawling with movie stars. One day, at the deli where I ate lunch … which is where everyone ate lunch because it was the only fast lunch place on West 57th street … I found myself sitting next to  George Hamilton who was, 55 years ago, so good-looking he didn’t look quite real. What did I say to him? He was right next to me at the counter, sitting on one of those rotating stools … inches away.

“Pass the ketchup, please?” I squawked. It was the only thing I could think of and there’s a very small chance our hands brushed during the transfer.

A few years later, when Garry and I were seeing each other for what I think was round 2 or 3 of our long courtship (which, I should add, began on 57th street when he was at ABC Network, up the road at Columbus Circle), he took me with him to the première of the “Midway” starring Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda. There was a screening of the movie in the evening; the following morning, we would all attend a brunch where reporters would have opportunities to meet and greet, as well as interview the stars.

I briefly met Henry Fonda, but he wasn’t a chatty kind of guy. Mostly, I was really impressed by his eyebrows. He had eyebrows like wings. If he could have flapped them, his head might have taken off from his shoulders. As it was, he murmured a couple of words and moved on to the next table.

Charlton Heston — in his pre NRA days — was a very different experience. I was surprised he was so unprepossessing. Just a big, pleasant, rather sweet guy who looked exhausted. He went out of his way to be nice to me. Garry later told me that Heston was always very gracious, always making a special effort to not ignore the “little people” who are normally overlooked at these celebrity occasions. 

I remember the interview. He said, as apparently he always did, that he was a very lucky guy and for that reason, his nickname among reporters was “Lucky Chucky.” Mostly I remember that he said the most important thing an actor needs is the ability to sleep on airplanes. It gave me an interesting view of what “the life” was really like. In fact, he didn’t look like he was entirely sure what city he was in. A very tired guy, but a nice one.

In Israel I interviewed a lot of people who were then or later became internationally important, but Israel was different. It was a very small country. It wasn’t unusual to meet important people and important people didn’t act important. Somehow, it didn’t seem like really meeting a celebrity.

When we spent time on Martha’s Vineyard there were a great many famous people of every kind … writers, artists, actors, politicians. There was an unwritten but unbreakable rule on the Vineyard: don’t bug the celebrities. One of the reasons famous people love the Vineyard is because they get to be regular people while they are there. No one mobs them for autographs or stalks them on the beach. We met and got to know Patricia Neal. She and I exchanged gripes about ex- husbands.

And then, Garry did a feature on Lois Maillou-Jones, a well-known artist and Alfred Eisenstadt, my personal favorite photographer, both of whom were receiving Presidential Medals of Honor.

Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You could say that Eisenstadt was the man who taught me photography. He didn’t know he’d taught me. I’d gone to the Vineyard for the first time in 1965. I’d come with my first husband right after we got married … a miniature Honeymoon.  We stayed at the Menemsha Inn, which was where Eisenstadt stayed every summer. Books of his photography, especially photographs of Martha’s Vineyard, were all over the Inn.

I had just gotten my first camera and was about to shoot my first rolls of film. After looking at Eisenstadt’s studies of the Vineyard, I set out to reproduce his pictures. In the course of the week we spent on the island, I found where he had taken each of his landscapes, where he had stood, the position he’s been in to get that particularly perspective. I managed to reproduce almost all of them and come up with a few originals of my own. I was 18 years old. I fell  in love with cameras and photography and have remained so ever since.

To actually meet Alfred Eisenstadt in person was a big deal for me. He was in his early 90s and while far from senile, like most older people he forgot things. Yet, if he looked through a book of his photographs, he could remember what camera he was using, what film he had in the camera, which lens was attached. He could remember the f-stop at which he shot and why he took the particular picture, what had caught his eye.

He literally could remember every pertinent detail of every photograph, many of which had been taken 50 or more years earlier. Before he passed on 5 years later, we got to know Eisie pretty well and I got to spend time with him. He was a good talker. He talked, we listened. I learned.

I feel obliged to point out that not once during any of these encounters did I say a single brilliantly witty thing. Not merely did I not say anything memorable, but I never said much of anything.

I am not normally tongue-tied, but each time I meet a celebrity, especially one I really admire, I can’t say anything. Historically, I just stand there like a stuffed dummy making  gurgling sounds. I did have a bit of a tug of war with Carly Simon over possession of a clearance sale blouse at “Laughing Bear” on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs.  We didn’t talk at all. She pulled. I pulled. She had height on her side; I had grim determination on  mine. I got the blouse. She could have out-talked me, but fortunately for me, no words were required.

Finally, I got to meet President Clinton and family twice. When up close and personal with a U.S. President, most people find they have nothing to say. It’s not only the man; it’s the office, the aura of power that goes with it … and on top of that, William Jefferson Clinton was a big, handsome guy in whose presence I would likely have been awed even if he weren’t the Prez. As it were, I believe I squeaked out “You’re the President; I’m not,” and where that came from, I will never know.

Garry, Me, and Bill

I’ve crossed virtual paths with more than a few authors whose work I greatly admire and done slightly better because it’s Twitter or email so I am cloaked by cyberspace … but it doesn’t help all that much.

It turns out that my behavior is not unusual, that most regular people, in the presence of celebrity and power have one of two reactions: stuttering and/or wordless stupidity, or motor-mouth gushing. I’m not sure which is worse (I apparently tend toward wordless stupidity, no stuttering required), but either makes you look like a moron.

Fortunately, stars are familiar with these reactions. They are aware the effect they have on “civilians” and do not necessarily assume we are babbling idiots or mute. They just assume we are star struck. And that’s what we are. Star struck.

Just once, I’d like to meet someone I admire and find myself able to speak and even have something clever to say … something erudite, witty, memorable.  I live in hope.

 

So many question, so little time …

Bonnie watches the storm - Marilyn Armstrong

Why oh why …

How come I never notice that my glass is empty until I’ve gone and gotten my medications and settled down in front of the television?

Why don’t I realize I have to go to the bathroom until after I settle into the sofa with the dogs? For that matter, how come you don’t notice you have to go until you’ve just passed the last rest stop for the next 40 miles?

Why doesn’t the GPS work in the middle of town or in mall parking lots where you really need it most?

BonnieAndSue

Why don’t I realize I forgot something I want to take on vacation until we are just far enough away from home to make it really inconvenient to go back and get it?

Why don’t I remember why I’m standing in the kitchen at all?

How come the dogs need to sing the hallelujah chorus on the only morning all week I can sleep late?

Why can I only think of a good witticism the day after the party?

Bishop on guard

Why don’t I check to make sure I have enough eggs before I mix the rest of the cake batter? Why didn’t my granddaughter mention she’d used all the eggs? And most of the milk? And the sugar?

Why doesn’t anyone but me ever wash the measuring spoons?

Why do you always find that thing you were looking for after you’ve replaced it?

Why does everyone’s back go out at the same time?

Why are all the bills due on the first of the month?

Life is full of questions without answers.

So many questions, so little time …

Dresden Files: Fool Moon Vol 2, Jim Butcher, Mark Powers & Chase Conley

Dresden FilesFool Moon Vol 2

Jim Butcher, Mark Powers and Chase Conley

Diamond Book Distributors
Publication Date: Mar 12 2013

I grew up in a world where comic books were ubiquitous. I loved them and read a lot of them, though I strongly favored DC over Marvel and had a particular passion for Superman.

I’ve had to do a bit of mental gear-changing to wrap my head around comic books as “graphic novels.” As far as I can tell, these are comic books in all but name. They are more expensive, have much nicer covers, far better bindings, a significantly higher class of illustration and more complex stories to tell. They are also have more pages.

For all that, I look and see a really expensive comic book. It doesn’t mean I don’t buy them. I do. I have an almost complete set of Asterix, several graphic novels by Kim Harrison and the full Tin-Tin series. This kind of thing is not new. It’s been around a while. What’s new is nomenclature, not concept.

All of the preceding is to explain I am familiar with the genre and not saddled with prejudice toward it.

I love the Dresden Files and have read all of the books. This was the first graphic version of Harry Dresden I have seen and the events in the story were familiar and taken from the novel of the same name.

This is part two of a graphic presentation of “Fool Moon.” I didn’t read part one, but I don’t think that’s the issue either. It’s the writing.

I am a Jim Butcher fan. I love the way he writes. I love Harry Dresden, his crazy quirky personality and the strange, wonderful world he lives in.

Much of Jim Butcher’s charm as an author is his cleverness and wit. In the midst of violence and chaos, with blood and death raining down in every direction, Harry has a sense of humor. He is funny, always ready with a wisecrack and a joke . It’s a significant characteristic of his writing and his character. It’s a big part of what makes the books special. The sharpness of the writing makes the stories addictive and great fun to read.

The graphic version seems to have had a humor excision. The wit, puns, literary allusions are gone … leaving violence and gore. Yes, it’s Harry Dresden. It certainly looks like Harry. Everything is beautifully drawn, lots of attention to detail … but the author is MIA.

So, as a big-time Harry Dresden fan, I might buy the book if I got it very cheaply. Otherwise, I would probably skip it. Liking the illustrations — and I do — is fine and dandy, but the words are for me the essence of a book. I dare say I am not alone in this. Readers may like pictures too, but first and foremost, we love words.

I don’t see why the quality of the dialogue could not be improved. I can think of a lot of ways at least some narration could be added. It doesn’t need to be hundreds of pages, just something to make it feel like Jim Butcher played a role in the production. His name is listed as one of the authors, but I don’t feel his magic.

I am sure this book (remember, this is part two of two) will find a niche amongst his many ardent fans of which I count myself as one, but for me, this wasn’t Harry Dresden or Jim Butcher.

I wanted to love this book. It’s not awful. The illustration is classy, if a trifle cluttered, but felt true to the material. From a purely visual point of view, it’s a pretty good representation of Harry Dresden. But as a book — for me — it fell rather flat.

Related articles

When I Could Fly

Do you remember flying? I do.

When I was very young, before I was five, I could fly. I remember clearly. I could close my eyes, think “up in the air” and fly. I never doubted that I could. After I started school, I couldn’t fly any more. The magic went away.

Free Bird

These memories go back at more than 60 years. That’s a lot of years. Memories usually fade, become dim and gauzy over long decades, yet these remain clear. I remember where I was, how I felt, what I saw. How I flew. I have no idea of the physics or the scientific probabilities involved. I just know it happened and have never made an effort to apply scientific analysis to what clearly won’t lend itself to that kind of scrutiny. I could never prove the veracity of my memories.

The Flying Baby

Flying Baby

Normally I’m very logical. If anything, I tend to be overly analytical but I recognize when something defies logic.

I have been touched by the inexplicable several times, leaving our Pastor to ask me if I required a picture ID before accepting that I had been “God-touched.”

Thing is, I never doubted I had been touched, though lacking a picture ID, I can’t say which entity was involved. I have been twice restored to life and issued an explicit (and apparently one-time only)  invitation to dedicate my life to a particular path. At the time of the invitation I was nine months pregnant and could not accept … and no further invitation ever came my way. I wish I could have said yes.

EverOn-MultiLayer-ARTO-300-72

I am not ungrateful to have gotten my life back. I am extremely grateful. I acknowledge were it not for timely intercessions, I would be dead twice-over. When something with the power of life or death pops into your psyche, tells you to go forth and live, asks nothing of you, then departs, it doesn’t allow time for a post-intercession Q & A period.

You couldn’t anyhow because “struck dumb” sums up your verbal abilities of the moment. Anyway, I would have had just one question: “Why me? I’m not so special … so why me?” But you don’t get to ask so you may never have an answer. Maybe there is no answer or none we could understand.

I am far from ungrateful. It’s just that I want to ask for my magic back, even if for only a few minutes. I want to fly, to feel that swoosh of wind as I take off, feel those moments of freedom, of being unbound from the earth.

Do you have memories of flying? I know others remember similar things. Most of us don’t talk about it lest people think we are nuts. I don’t care what anyone thinks, because I remember flying until one day I couldn’t.

And for all these years, I’ve been wondering why the magic went away.

Daily Prompt: My Favorite People, Weird Things and Kismet

How long were we apart? How long. An eternity? Or so it seems. Sometimes it feels like a strange dream I had as it fades in memory and so few people remember the places we lived or the language we spoke.

My home in Jerusalem.

My home in Jerusalem.

From the end of 1978 until August, 1987, I lived in Jerusalem, Israel. It is where I wanted to be and I was there by my own choice. I had wanted travel. I didn’t want to only travel. I wasn’t looking for a long vacation. I wanted to become part of another culture, another world, as different I could manage from the world I knew where I felt I was being swallowed by blandness.

Never did I have great yearnings for fame and fortune, though I wouldn’t have turned either away had they come knocking on my virtual door. But there are those of us who need to not only dream of other places, but experience them directly and apparently, I am one of them. My friends warned me I would suffer from culture shock. “Yes!” I said. I wanted culture shock. I wanted to be smacked in the face by a different lifestyle.

“You’ll be poor.”

My mother stepped in. “Marilyn’s never cared about things very much … she’ll be fine.” I didn’t know she knew that about me.

My friends sang three choruses of “What about me?” and I said “Buy a ticket. Visit.” Only Garry and one other friend … and my ex-husband (yes, we stayed friends until he died in 1993) took me up on the offer.

Garry, now my husband for 22 years (heading to 23) took me to the Four Seasons in New York and told me he’d really miss me and he would write. In all the years since we’ve been married, I’ve never seen him write a letter to anyone,  but he wrote me twice a week, sometimes more, for 9 years. Those letters became a lifeline. I used to call them my fan letters, but when everything seemed to be falling apart around my ears and the life I’d built shattered, there was Garry. No surprise that we hooked up as soon as I got back and were married a few months after my divorce came through. Life take its own time.

And then there was Cherrie, my friend. When I said I was leaving, she said she was too. If I was going to quit Doubleday, she wasn’t going to quit too. We have this parallel life thing going. She wanted Hawaii, wound up in Austin. We completely lost track of each other for all the years I was away.

JerusalemNow, we get to the good parts of the story. When I came back from Israel, I had nothing. A suitcase full of ratty tee shirts … a couple of hundred dollars … and my résumé. It was 1987 and the economy was beginning to move, especially in the Boston area where — coincidentally — Garry lived. Meanwhile, though, I got a job working for Grumman in Bethpage where among other strange and wonderful top-secret and not so secret jobs, I got to work with a bunch of NASA scientists on the design of the satellite catcher. We concluded that an effective satellite catcher had to have no fewer than 3 arms. Ignoring all recommendation, the U.S. government went cheap and made a catcher with 2 arms. It didn’t work. Mainly, as we had said, it wouldn’t catch satellites that were not rotating along a single axis. So, proving why humans have risen to the top of the food chain, our astronauts reached out and grabbed the spinning satellites with their dextrous hands and convenient opposable thumbs and easily caught them. Everything is weightless in space. We didn’t need a machine at all. Oops.

I also discovered we are hunting for anti-matter. Here’s a quoted interchange between Marilyn the Blogger in her incarnation as atomic editor anda  highly place NASA physicist:

Me: “I thought anti-matter was a science fiction thing.”

He: “Oh, no, it’s very real. We want it.”

Me: “And you are sending probes to the ends of the universe to try to collect it?” (Unspoken: “Isn’t that a little bit dangerous? Like, to the world which you might eradicate?”)

He: “Yes. We have several probes seeking it and hopefully they will be able to collect some and bring it back.”

This ranks high in the weird conversations of my lifetime department.

Meanwhile, I had met a couple of people at Grumman and one of them published his own jazz newsletter, telling people what groups were playing where on the Island. He asked me to write some stuff for it. I said “How about an astrology column?” I actually can do astrology, though I don’t anymore for a whole bunch of reasons, but astrology columns are so totally bogus that it’s effectively straight fiction-writing, but people actually believe you (how cool is that?).

75-snowathome-hp-1.jpg

Ed, the guy with the newsletter, left them in pile free in the lobbies of buildings, local delis, and so on. And one day, my friend Cherrie who had returned from Austin and was living with her Mom while I was temporarily abiding in my ex-husband‘s guest room, was walking through the lobby of the building in which she worked and she saw there “The Jazz Ragg” and picked up a couple of copies.

There was a column by Marilyn Tripp. She read it and she said “That has GOT to be Marilyn, whatever her last name is now.” She knew my writing (we had worked together, after all), so she called my ex-husband and it turned out we were living a couple of blocks apart. Yay team. We have never been parted by more than a couple of hundred miles since … and after the Atlantic Ocean, that’s nothing.

By the Blackstone River

As for Garry, we got together, married, bought a house, had our lives fall apart, put our lives back together and now live in the middle of nowhere in an oak woods with many dogs, my son and his family, way more bills than money to pay them, and a legion of aches and pains. In compensation, we also have a really huge television and many computers — 6 on this level and 5 or 6 more downstairs. It’s compensation for destitution.

So although we were apart,Garry and Cherrie and me, we found each other and are busy getting old together. How strange and wonderful to get old with the same people with whom you were first young.

Into The Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond, Kim Harrison

Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond by Kim Harrison

As a matter of personal and very subjective taste, I’m not a fan of short stories even by authors I love. I read them anyway, but  I read too fast to fully engage with them. By the time I get into a story, it’s over. This being Kim Harrison, I made an exception. There are only a few authors for whom I will make this exception: Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Connie Willis, Jasper FForde, James Lee Burke … and a few others.

This is what I would call a  mostly very good collection. I would have been shocked had it been anything less. I don’t love everything this author has written, but even her less-than-best work is far better than most writers … and the older and more mature her work becomes, the better it gets. A few of these stories are exceptional (no I won’t tell you which … you should decide for yourself based on your own taste), but it’s a very mixed bag in terms of style, time and place, “world,” and thus offers a somewhat bumpy ride, as literary excursions go. The material ranges far and wide, making it difficult to judge it as a single book.

Some stories are not new; if you’re a fan, you probably have read them before. If this is your introduction to Kim Harrison, I’m not sure how it will present to you. I’ve been reading her books for a long time and loved them from the first, but I started with one of the early books of The Hollows … and was immediately sucked into that world. This is a different kind of experience, and the worlds in it vary quite a bit. Maybe they would be a good introduction to the world of the Hollows for some people (though not all the stories are from that world). Personally, I’d recommend reading “Dead Witch Walking” first.

It’s more than just a personal preference. I think the novel is a much stronger example of Kim Harrison’s writing. She creates characters that are three-dimensional and complex. In a genre not renowned for fully fleshed out characters, hers really are. In fact, that is one of outstanding literary qualities: her characters are so well-drawn you feel as if you’ve known them for years. They are more than stereotypical non-human urban fantasy “types.” They are people and carry a lot of personal history. I don’t think “Into the Woods” is necessarily representative of her finest work and thus not a fair way to judge the author. But …. to each his or her own.

Of the new material, some stories are clearly “test balloons” for possible new directions after “The Hollows” series is finished. Some of the stories were published previously in other places and forms so fans are likely to have already read them. But — kind of like the prize in the Cracker Jack box — there are a couple of long stories that fill holes in the back stories of earlier books, material that has been hinted at but never explained. If you’re curious, for example, about what Jenks and Trent did while on Trent’s quest to retrieve his daughter, you’ll get the whole story here.

I would have bought any book by Kim Harrison published anyway and this gave me my “fix” while waiting for the release of “Ever After.” “Into the Woods” prevented me from chewing the desk after finishing my third rereading of “Perfect Blood. Today I am at peace knowing I’ll have the book in hand in about two weeks. I was grateful this collection became available when it did. For reasons that I can’t explain, it was a period when all my favorite authors were between releases … and since I’m not a George Martin fan (sorry guys, I tried very hard to like the books but I don’t) and what has turned out to be a very long wait for the final book in Brian Sanderson’s conclusion to Richard Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” epic. Jim Butcher had not yet released “Cold Days,” though he too tossed me a bone via a set of short stories (thank you).

Since the end of November, the books I’ve been waiting for have begun to be released.

“Cold Days” came out (see my review and other Jim Butcher related material), “The Woman Who Died a Lot” was released (Jasper FForde) and between these two, I survived the holidays. Now, “Ever After” will be out on January 22 and in three more days, “A Memory of Light,” the final piece of The Wheel of Time will be here.

Meanwhile, these stories are worth reading, especially if you like short stories. It’s perfect reading for bedtime because you can finish a story before you drift off. I do recommend the book. It’s worth your time.

As so many series I’ve been following wind down, I wonder what will come next, what the authors I love best will serve up to feed my voracious appetite for books. Reading is my nourishment of choice. Believe it or not, I worry about this stuff. Okay, I am a bit odd. But you knew that, right?

View all my reviews

A Happy Place

People talk about favorite things. Usually, they say stuff like “sunshine on a spring morning.” Nice, but intangible. Or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, “My  8 TB gaming PC with 128 gigs of Ram so I can play really cool games.” Get a life.

Of course there always the classics, like “The smell of coffee in the morning” or “Lilacs in May.” Inarguably things worth liking … but not quite what I’m getting at because in truth, everyone loves those things and they should. They are natural beauty, the ordinary pleasures of human life. These exist to be enjoyed, not ignored.  But I’m talking about things that don’t come free for being alive on earth.

Shadows on a path

I very much enjoy my computers. The smell of fresh coffee brewing, bright sunshine on autumn leaves, waterfalls, dogs, horses, cats and days when I can move without a lot of pain are all wonderful. I adore  my husband, love my family even when I want to order a hit on them. But most of all, above all else and with a passion that some might consider slightly unnatural… I love my adjustable bed.

75-bedroom-HP-1

I much do I love it? When I am away from home, I yearn for it. As I try to configure pillows to find some comfortable position on a flat-bed, tears come to my eyes as I think of home, my bedroom, the remote control that lets me adjust the top and bottom angles to suit the condition of my back, legs, lungs and sinuses. With its thick pillowtop natural latex foam rubber mattress, it supports me, yet springs back to itself, unlike the extremely expensive temperwhatic fake foam stuff which quickly flattens and deforms … and makes you sweat too.75-remote-HP-1

When I climb into bed at night, I cannot help but make little moaning sounds of sheer ecstasy. My husband, who didn’t originally get the point, makes the same happy noises. It’s the only place where nothing hurts. The bed has a massage function that’s more vibration than massage, but it’s oddly soothing. Many new adjustables have heating elements.

When we return home from vacations, I feel embraced by my bed. I mean that in the most literal sense. Embraced. Loved. Comforted.

I can adjust it for watching television or messing with my laptop, then lower it for sleep. The mattress is supportive yet giving and has a virtually unlimited lifespan. Rated for 20 years, it may never need to be replaced if you don’t spill stuff on it or actively mistreat it. Natural latex won’t get bedbugs or dust mites. It can’t.

And it is incredibly comfortable and durable. Ours is 12 years old and shows no sign of wear.

Accept no imitations. No matter what the hype, only natural pure latex foam rubber — made from rubber trees, not poly anything — give you this level of comfort. It’s expensive. Very expensive. So are the beds. If you can’t afford the bed, get just the mattress. Even flat, it will be the best mattress you’ve ever owned and possibly the last one you’ll ever need.

75-bedsideMedia-HP-1

The bedroom is my happy place. I have my Kindle on which I can play movies, read books, play audiobooks. I can check my website, email, and play scrabble or solitaire. And, if I need to type something, I have a Dell notepad that has a full-size keyboard by the bed on a lap desk. On the shelf above my bed, Buddha, Ganesha (patron Hindu God of writers), Jesus, Lakshmi and other Gods and Goddesses keep watch.

All prayers are good prayers, though I’m not sure where they go. I’m sure it doesn’t matter what format you use or what language you speak. When people tell me that they know this stuff, I always wonder how they know, if  The One Who Watches has spoken directly to them. He has spoken to me, but never provides specifics or hangs around long enough for me to ask questions. Oh well. Next time I’m dying, I’ll try to have my list ready.

Meanwhile, as close to heaven as I can get is my bed.

You think one of those inflatable number beds is as good? It isn’t. You think Temperpedic is better? Not. There is nothing more comfortable, durable, supportive, or long-lasting than latex foam rubber and nothing more back friendly than an adjustable bed. It has changed our lives. Even if you don’t have anything specifically wrong with you, it’s still the best bed you could have. You’ll never want to get up. I think I’ll go back there now and just lie in it for a while, sighing with satisfaction. My bed.

Oh happy nights of blissful comfort.

Always remember: growing old may be inevitable, but growing up is optional.

75-GrowingUpOptional-HP-1