Keeping Warm in Winter

timothy goodman uniqlo

This is a Timothy Goodman tote bag I snatched up from Uniqlo.

I recommend Uniqlo for winter clothes as well as their collaborations with designers like Goodman.

In New York City the weather veers from minus 2 degrees with the wind chill on a Friday to 52 degrees the following Thursday.

We cannot continue to deny that this fluctuation IS because of climate change.

What can each of us do to keep warm in the Northeast and wherever else it’s cold in the winter?

I recommend buying from Uniqlo their HeatTech thin long-sleeve tee shirts to wear under your shirts and sweaters in the arctic chill.

I own two HeatTech under-layers: one in off white and one in black.

For any of you who are Petite like me in clothing sizes I have good news:

The Uniqlo items might fit you in their regular sizes.

Uniqlo is a Japanese brand that has stores and delivery options in the USA too.

It’s true the Uniqlo clothes fit me in their regular sizes. I haven’t had to alter anything from Uniqlo yet. And I’m a person who has to get Petite clothes hemmed and shortened to boot. So I can vouch for the universality of their sizing if you’re petite.

Their lounge sets are also comfy and warm. They sell cashmere sweaters and have designer clothes collaborations too.

I’ll be wearing my HeatTech under-tee shirts throughout the winter this season.

The Timothy Goodman tote bag actually reads:

“You have to make a lot of stuff before you can make stuff like yourself.”

I endorse that statement. I’ll be 53 in the spring and the view from here is delightful.

I will return in coming blog entries to talking about life during “the change” for women.

Yes, menopause is a fact of older life for those of us who are women.

Wearing layers is the way to peel off outer clothes respectfully when you’re having hot flashes.

Thus: HeatTech to the rescue.

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15 Things I Learned at 52

Style is forever and fashion fades so with this in mind I present 15 Things I Learned at 52:

  1.     Turquoise eye shadow is  not ever a good idea.
  2.      Thirty is the cut-off age for wearing mini skirts.
  3.      Stay away from ripped and torn jeans.
  4.      Mid-rise dark-rinse denim is your new best friend.
  5.      If you wore it the first time it’s not for you the second time around.
  6.      5 or 6 lipsticks total are all you need.
  7.      Only wear red lipstick if it suits you.
  8.      Dark lipstick is not your friend post-40.
  9.      The shoes make the outfit.
  10.      Low-hanging earrings aren’t attractive. (Better a modest stud than a torn earlobe.)
  11.      A woman shouldn’t ever apologize for her existence.
  12.      You should leave the era before it leaves you.
  13.      Wire coat hangers? Of course not.
  14.      Smile more…you’ll feel better.
  15.      Who you are matters more than what you wear.

The Secret to Aging Well

Sometimes a fresh swipe of lipstick can swizzle your mood.

If I can look in the mirror without judgment I’m going to have a better day.

The key is to have the self-confidence to stand tall and shout:

“This is who I am, take me or leave.”

We don’t need critical people in our lives. We don’t need to have other people judge us.

Tony Robbins is quoted to the effect:

“If you judge another person you lose the power to influence them.”

If you judge yourself you give others permission to not like you either.

As a 52-year old woman I strive to be gracious towards others. I act as best I can without judging anyone else for I can’t see inside their heads.

Mid life is the best time to meet new people, do new things, and adopt new beliefs about what’s possible.

To do this we have to let go of the past and re-frame our perception of who we are and who we can become.

Self-neglect is the foolproof way to age yourself faster than the expiration date on a carton of milk.

Liking yourself is the key to changing your life for the better.

I think the key to success at 40 and beyond is to have a restlessness; a desire to “see the world” with a fresh outlook.

Success at mid life involves not getting stuck. It requires weekly exercise of the body and mind and spirit.

The way I see it: to always be moving forward is the goal.

To not remain stuck we must move our bodies and move our minds out of their comfort zones.

That is the secret to aging well.

Making room for others in our hearts and making peace with our imperfections.

This is all part of remaining youthful regardless of our chronological age.

United States Postal Service

I want to give readers a heads up this holiday season about shipping gifts in the mail.

This is my experience. I find it so amusing really only because it’s a well-off person’s dilemma

The two women from the Post Office who talked to me on the telephone were cheerful and helpful. It really helps to use the words please and thank you when you ask for help from another person.

The windup: FedEx lists as “delivered” by the United States Postal Service a package I was supposed to have received three weeks ago.

This package is missing in action.

As I waited on hold for the local person to come on the line a recorded message told me that using the United States Postal Service to ship holiday gifts is the best shipping method.

What? I was waiting to speak with a person about why my package the Postal Service delivered has gone missing.

I find this all so amusing. It’s an American dilemma so I really don’t care about this. It’s not like I’m a Syrian refugee or my life is in danger.

You have to put these kinds of things in perspective. I find it so amusing that a recorded message told me to use the Postal Service to ship holiday gifts. When in fact the Postal Service couldn’t be counted on to actually deliver my package.

I wanted to give my readers this heads up. I think using UPS even if it’s more expensive is the way to go. I’ve used UPS to ship copies of my memoir to people.

Mercury turns Retrograde on December 3 through three weeks of the month.

It won’t be a good time to buy expensive products or electronics or ship things through the mail. I advise shipping any packages out early this week.

It’s said that since Mercury will be Retrograde stores will often be out of stock of items and the selections will be poor.

Consider this blog entry to be a public service announcement.

I would like everyone’s holiday season–regardless of whether you celebrate a holiday–to be hassle-free as best it can be.

Green Party Blues

The Republicon House of Representatives has sped through approving a tax bill which squeezes every last cent out of ordinary Americans.

As a result of the new tax bill being approved the following tax deductions have become forbidden:

You can no longer deduct student loan interest on your tax return. You can no longer deduct mortgage interest on your tax return. You can no longer deduct medical expenses on your tax return. You can no longer deduct adoption costs on your tax return.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. While everyone sleeps and wakes up and goes to school or a job and comes home and cooks dinner:

Our government is passing other laws that nobody knows about that have the potential to harm us.

The famous Karl Marx quote “Religion is the opiate of the people”  is better suited to read: “Government is the opiate of the people.”

I’ve long championed in this blog that our government won’t ever be able to rectify societal ills.

Neither the liberals nor democrats nor republicans nor conservatives are political parties I can endorse. Not at all. Not any one of them can I align with.

Mr. Toupee has stated that “trans” individuals aren’t protected from discrimination via the EEOC–Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law applies to a number of designations of individuals. Yet Mr. Toupee has failed to extend this law to cover “trans” individuals.

We have gone over an abyss and fallen in. Never mind saying we’re at the brink–the brink has long been surpassed. America has fallen and I doubt it can get up. Unless.

Unless each and every one of us heeds the call to do what our government cannot: have each other’s backs, treat each other with compassion and dignity and forgiveness, and give a hand to others who need it.

Realistically, the Green Party has no chance of becoming a mainstream force in the U.S. government. Yet the Green Party is the only one I can align with at this point.

I’ve met a Green Party candidate. He paid for the midnight dinner at a diner that a bunch of us sat at a booth enjoying. This guy is a great man.

When I first met him he was wearing a Shonen Knife T shirt. I told him that I had played that band on my radio show in the 1980s.

I have been told that I need to tame my “over-the-top language” I use in the blog. I’m been told I can’t end each blog entry with a “zinger.” I will try my best to adhere to these new rules.

One bill that might just get passed into law is H.R. 620 which some disability rights activists claim will make it easier for businesses to not have to comply with having wheelchair-accessible entrances and exits to their stores.

If you use a wheelchair you will have to go through hoops if not around in circles to get the businesses to comply with the ADA Act requirement.

I have more I want to write about the state of affairs in society. I hesitate to write about certain things because I don’t want to be complicit in diverting attention from the real issues plaguing U.S. citizens.

At the end of the day I’d rather vote for the guy wearing the Shonen Knife T shirt.

I will talk more in coming blog entries about what I think about things.

I will turn 53 in five months. I still get a kick about writing about a new pedicure.

Yet as I get older I refuse to remain silent on the things that matter to me.

In coming blog entries I will write about life and love and living left of the dial with more zest and zeal.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Change Starts Today

At some point you really have to say:

“This is who I am. Take me as I am–or leave.”

We cannot control what other people think of us.

I’m learning this lesson now.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what people think of us. Seeking their approval is a no-win game.

Thinking you know what another person thinks about you is circular failed logic.

In effect, you’re judging that person without knowing the truth.

As a mental health peer I realize that holding so-called normal people up as valid arbiters of our worth is a form of internalizing the stigma.

Holding anyone else up as a judge in terms of how they view us is also not healthy.

We need to like ourselves first of all and in turn have compassion for other people.

Each of us living on earth is doing the best we can with what we were given.

Change starts today. Often if we want to change our lives we first have to change our minds.

I’ll be 53 in April–in just over 5 months. This is what I’ve learned so far:

Judging people isn’t the way to go. Stereotyping people isn’t the way to go.

The way to go is to understand that those of us living with mental health challenges are worthy friends, lovers, and support folk.

I for one have gotten over thinking that having a so-called normal guy as a boyfriend is the way to go. I’ve given up for good trawling OKCupid for a mate.

I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t have a mental health challenge to truly understand.

We need to seek love companionship and empathy from people who are able to give it.

We can’t expect to change the hearts and minds of people who are stones in how they treat others.

It would be great if people would come to their senses and treat everyone they meet with love.

While we wait for this to happen we can help make it happen by acting on our own to model compassionate behavior.

The older I get I’m trying to make a difference in the world.

I call this ethic placing “service above self.”

Acting with love will show others the benefit of acting with love.

One thing I know: people can change as their circumstances change.

People can become more loving and generous towards other people.

I’ve seen that this is true. It’s entirely possible for another person to wake up.

Change starts today. It starts today for all of us.

We have only today in which to make a difference.

God has given us this day. Let’s use it wisely and for the benefit of everyone.

Wearing a Cross on Halloween

cross halloween

It’s time to fight the hate.

I urge you:

Act with love.

Speak with kindness.

Wear your hijab.

Confirm your sexual identity.

Walk down any street in America.

Wear your cross.

The first time I ever wore this featured cross in the photo out in public was yesterday. It was Halloween in America. Wearing a cross was a brave act considering that a guy driving a truck killed 8 people in my hometown of New York City.

He has been indicted on charges as a terrorist fueled by ISIS propaganda.

Thus it seems strangely bold and daring that I wore a cross out in public yesterday.

As a Christian wearing a cross, I could’ve been targeted.

It feels like a perverse synchronicity (unbeknownst to me on waking in the morning). I had no idea that later in the day a terrorist act would happen.

I had no idea that wearing the cross would have any significance beyond making a fashion statement.

I pray that haters–in society, in the world, wherever they are–come to their senses and choose love instead of bombs and compassion instead of killing.

Right now wearing a cross could’ve gotten me killed. I had no idea that wearing a cross would turn out to be an unwitting political statement.

People come here from other countries to have rights.

Women come here from the Middle East so they can drive a car. Can you imagine not being allowed to drive a car because you’re a woman? In 2017?

This is why good people come here to raise their sons and daughters.

They’re American now and don’t want to be subjected to “guilt-by-association” any more than I do.

New York City is famously touted as “The Greatest City in the World.”

In all my time here (I was born here and still live here and won’t ever leave) I must have interacted personally one-on-one with thousands of Muslim Americans. I’m confident when I say thousands not just hundreds.

We must stand together now in solidarity to tell the haters:

We will not tolerate your crimes against fellow human beings.

We will not condone your hate. We will not live in fear.

We will live together as one human family on earth.

We will uphold the rights of everyone living in America–and I do mean everyone–regardless of color, creed, sexual preference, mental health diagnosis, and any other thing that has historically marked us as different from each other.

Now you see: why I dare to live my life Left of the Dial.

Why I dare to identify with other people who have mental health challenges.

There can be no shame in being who you are. There can be no shame in living and acting true to yourself. There can be no shame for any of us.

New York City is my hometown. Everyone is welcome here.

It particularly saddens me that 5 tourists–college buddies–from South America were killed.