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Saturday, August 1, 2015


One of my top ten favorite movies of all time is “When Harry Met Sally”.  It is worth noting that I have MAJOR problems with every other Nora Ephron movie ever made, but this one has resonated with me from the first time I saw it.  And I’ve seen it many times since. 

So, do you know the scene where Harry and Sally are shopping for a housewarming gift for Jess and Marie at The Sharper Image and Harry tries on the pith helmet with the fan?  At first he jokes “Call off the search”, but finally concludes “Why is this necessary in life?”  I love this movie like ants love a sugar trail, but THAT is the line and moment that sticks in my head above all others.  Not Sally’s (awesome) fake orgasm, not Harry’s (absurd) theory that men and women can’t be friends, not Sally’s (hilarious) monologue about the days of the week underwear…

“Why is this necessary in life?”  Probably because this is the sentence that is running through my head a full 90% of the time anymore.   “Why is this necessary in life?” applies to the Apple watch but oh, so much more! 

A lot of delightful, intelligent people might want to argue with me about the “usefulness” of our (IMHO) total overkill in the technology department, but I stand firm that if the settlers made their way across this great country of ours without reliable maps, you can make your way to a restaurant without the use of GPS.  This is why we have BRAINS, people!!! 

Truthfully, my stubborn refusal to use GPS to find anything is not coincidentally linked to the higher-than-average percentage of times I find myself getting lost; but as I like to say, I’ve never been so lost that I’m not where I want to be right now.  I have made some great discoveries while lost!  Btw, maps, signs, memory and the position of the sun in the sky can work wonders in figuring out which direction you should head in, and they have all directed me here today. 

Another technological “advance” I don’t understand:  “High Definition” TV.  I think this is an elaborate ruse, ala the Emperor’s new clothes, designed to trick us into buying new televisions when our old ones worked just fine.  I really can’t see any difference; and even if I could, quite frankly I don’t need to feel as if “The Walking Dead” are ACTUALLY in the living room with me.  I like them safely trapped in my TV, where they belong.
Speaking of TV, a friend pointed out the other day that TV signals used to be FREE.  That’s right, programming was paid for by advertisers (or viewers like you, if we were talking PBS) and we got it beamed into our house for the price of mounting an antenna on our roof.  There were so damned many good shows, too!!!   Now I pay over a 100 bucks a month for a bunch of crap I don’t watch. 

For a long time you could pay for cable OR have your free antenna programming, but then someone decided that EVERYBODY should have to pay money to watch TV, so we all do.  And PBS STILL needs viewers like you to send them additional cash???  I look at 98% of what is on the air today and ask “Why is this necessary in life?” 

Seriously, my 10 year old is TOTALLY into “Gilligan’s Island” reruns right now; you might be concerned that he isn't watching something educational, but all I can think is:   SMART KID.  Back when TV was free, they really knew how to entertain us.  I have no interest in watching people compete to make the best pie, sing the best, marry for money, have so many kids that they are a circus side show, swap wives or price other people’s junk. 

LIFE IS SHORT.  Do yourself a favor and stare at a wall.

That scene in Harry and Sally is fun because they are shopping in one of those “for the person who has everything” kind of stores (Case in point:  Jess and Marie have a wagon wheel coffee table!  Briefly.) , so everything in it is kind of useless and whimsical.  I NOW FEEL THAT WAY IN ALMOST EVERY STORE THAT ISN’T FULL OF FOOD.  And I even find a lot of food useless and whimsical. 

Remember when everybody was freaking out because they were going to STOP making TWINKIES???  Newsflash:  TWINKIES SUCK.  The cake part has the taste and consistency of supersaturated play-doh and the stuff inside is like Crisco whipped with sugar.  People were up in arms out of nostalgia, not culinary preference.  But if we don’t feed our kids Twinkies, they will never be nostalgic for them and an unhealthy tide will be turned around.  Twinkies are not necessary in life. 

I have to admit, I like to go into the type of place my son and I call “junk stores”  AKA Big Lots,  Ross, etc…basically anyplace that sells the remainders that could NOT BE SOLD ANYWHERE ELSE.  You could do an anthropological study of those shops.  In a country where we have entire stores dedicated to yummy smelling candles, video games and paper calendars, there is still ACTUALLY stuff that has been deemed useless by the majority.  It totally fascinates me.
You know what else is not necessary in life?  A lot of the head games we play with ourselves.  For example, if your neighbor has so much disposable income that he buys himself a pith helmet with a fan, you might find yourself thinking “I wish I had a pith helmet with a fan” or at least “I wish I had so much money that I could throw it away on useless junk like that”…but the reason so many of us don’t have “enough” money is that we have been convinced to buy a lot of stuff that is not necessary in life. 

People are constantly replacing things (Phones! TV’s!  Computers! Cars!) that still work perfectly well because there is some new gadget or bling out there and that pull of consumerism is just so damned strong.  We have closets full of clothes but keep buying more to keep up with “fashion”; it’s 2015 and people are still spending money on CIGARETTES? 

 How about roombas?  Are we as a nation so over-exercised that we can’t push a vacuum around?  Digital picture frames?  WTF?   FitBits?  WTF???  ANYTHING they sell on HSN?  OMG, SERIOUSLY WTF???  We spend money on things we don’t really need, we spend time with people we don’t really like, we spend hours worrying over things we have NO CONTROL over…WHY IS ANY OF THIS NECESSARY IN LIFE?  I’m just sayin.’


  1. For the record, HD programming really DOES look like the person, tree, animal or whatever is right there in front of you. Totally awesome when watching Blue Planet ... probably not so awesome while watching the Walking Dead.

  2. Look, lady, I discovered roasted jalapeño Kind bars at Ross recently and went back yesterday to find/buy the last 2 boxes. ;) Otherwise, as usual, nice piece!