When I was a child, people often asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I think they found it comical when I said that I wanted to be a college professor like my father. Har-dee-har-har. “Why, she’s a real cutie, Les,” they’d slap my dad on the back. “You’d better watch out – she’ll take your job someday soon.”

Yeah. As if.


Then, when I was older, we’d have to write essays about people we admired. Can you imagine kids today having to do that? I feel bad for them. I’m sure the selections would all be pop stars or actors. There was a time I wanted to be Gloria Steinem. And then Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Briefly, in college, I aspired to be Georgia O’Keeffe, but then I decided the lonely life of a painter was not for me. Or more accurately, a blunt instructor told me I’d never make a living as an artist, so I’d better look for something else to do where I had “actual talent.” He said that just before he told me I couldn’t major in Art, even though I’d taken all the prerequisites for three years. I’d have to start over in a new field.

Yeah. As if.


So I danced, for several years. I wasn’t bad. Not good enough to go on a stage, but I did read a lot about the prima ballerinas that one was supposed to admire. I really wanted to emulate Mikhail Baryshnikov – flying and jumping around with pure abandon. Not many roles for female dancers doing that, except where I ended up. In the circus.

Flying through the air on a trapeze is exhilarating – until I fell from 50 feet without a net. Landed on the clown car.

Back to the discussion of heroes and aspirations. Can a young man become an astronaut if that’s who he admires in grammar school? Sure, if he studies and has a passion (and aptitude) for the science required to achieve that goal. Right? But what if he wants to become rich and famous, like Justin Timberlake or Lebron James? Hard work and passion can get him to a certain point, but what are the odds that he could break into the music business and become a success, or be chosen to play for an NBA team? What I mean is, are those goals realistic? Not to be too judgmental – well, all right, I’m going there – but think about how many athletes and musicians are positive role models. If a kid aspires to be “just like Mike,” what exactly does that mean?

I’m trying to stay away from politics in this blog, but I think the childish, vindictive, and unstable occupant of the White House has done nothing but harm to the national psyche. What do we think its long-term effect is going to be on the youth who are taking it all in – the lying, the thuggish bullying, and the narcissism? I hope that no child chooses to write “When I grow up I want to be Just Like DT” (I won’t write out his name).

I hope they aspire to be much better people than that.

Migraines, Verticality, the Cure

Tantalizing title, no? If only it was more than a report from the headache wars. Fond memories of curling up under a table in the NY Police Dept, trying to block the light, asking for an Excedrin or a bullet. Tossing my cookies on Ty’s foot was the highlight of that day, I’ll tell you.

Spending time vertically, and not in an enjoyable sense, makes space for serious pondering. Is the ice pick in the side of my head visible to anyone else? How many hours of my life have been lost to pain in the brain? Am I having an aneurism?

One popular treatment is Botox injection – and they say it makes you look younger, too. With my luck, I’d end up with a third ear growing from my forehead. Pass.

I’m developing a plan that involves radical stress reduction: yoga practice, daily meditation, quality time with my cat, and reducing caffeine consumption. That last one may be impossible. Who am I kidding? They’re all impossible, but I’m going to bite the bullet and see what happens!

Following the Turkey Tracks

So sorry for my unexcused absence last week…The holiday was a teensy bit more stressful than usual, what with this new boyfriend thing. Hard to navigate, you know? It was much easier when it was just Dad and I – we’d get a large pizza and a bunch of movies and lounge around the house stuffing ourselves all afternoon. Without the football or tryptophan nonsense. I’d head out with my friends after everyone surfaced and we’d go to someone’s house to dance and drink beer. Those were the days. Now, Ty and I had a giant fight about whether it was appropriate for me to meet his parents for the first time on a holiday. Apparently, not. So generations of college kids who arrived home with boy- or girlfriend in tow were breaking some kind of Emily Post rule. Either that, or Det. Friday is hiding something from me. And, since I am becoming such an excellent sleuth, I believe that is the real story here.

So, I hope your turkey was great, your football was fun, and your family did not fight. Let’s see what the next holiday has to bring us!

Incandescent Anger

flamesI’m not what you would call a political person. I don’t read the newspapers, except for the Arts section, although on Sunday I will read other parts of the paper. I don’t watch the news much and I’m ashamed of my spotty voting record.

All of that changed last week, when I saw the testimony of a spoiled frat boy – someone that anyone who’s ever attended a college with Greek houses could recognize in an instant – exclaiming about how hard he worked in college, and that no one had the right to question what he did when he was there. Especially not some woman, years later. Oh, and, yeah, he went to church a lot.  Had to throw that in to satisfy the Evangelical donors.

David by Michelangelo

Never mind what he wrote in his calendar (and where the hell did THAT come from?), about the “ralphing” and the “brewskis” and the falling down drunkscapades. What college girl hasn’t found herself cornered by one of those slobbering “bros?” Yuck. And yet, and yet, his brothers will rise to his defense because, by God, if someone could come and accuse one of them “after all these years,” then they are all in danger of being exposed. And yes, I mean that literally. (And it won’t be pretty, will it? Can someone find a fig leaf?) Every man in this country is shrinking in his boxers at the prospect of some broad from his past coming to accuse him of assault or worse. I can imagine them all lying in bed, trying to remember…. Sweet!

I don’t understand why anyone would believe someone like Brett. Haven’t we all seen enough of his friend in the White House to know that these guys lie as a matter of course; it’s just what they do, because they are the ones in power, and the people asking the questions have no power to make them stopA thoughtful person could not listen to the testimony of those two people to the Judiciary Committee and come away with anything less than rage. It’s a screaming, impotent rage: that the men in this country don’t get it, and it’s time for women to rise up and stoke the fires of their anger. Keep your goddamn hands off our bodies unless and until you are invited. Or else there will be hell to pay.

#cassietellsthetruth #womensangerandmensdenials #standandbecounted