It Does a Body Good

imagesJanuary 27, 2011 – Quick! Name a sound more appealing than a baby’s laughter.

I don’t think you can.

Laughter is important both mentally and physically, whether you are a child or an adult, because it instantly improves your mood. It also works your abs, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts your immune system, and reduces pain by releasing endorphins.

It’s documented that people who have a positive outlook on life—those who tend to laugh freely—are better equipped to fight disease. Like crying, laughter also releases pent-up emotions, and brings more oxygen into the body, which makes the Joni Mitchell lyric ring true… “Laughing and crying, it’s the same release.”

A wise man once said, “We don’t stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.” Here’s a little something to keep you young.



Both sides now

cloudsApril 22, 2016 – I never tried out for the debate team in high school or became a lawyer.

If I had done either, chances are I would have said to my opponent, “You make a good point,” and then begin to doubt my view because I can be swayed by a good argument. It’s not that I don’t have strong opinions or consider myself wishy-washy, but rather that I’m opened minded and willing to admit there may be more than one answer to a problem. That sounds better, right?

You can imagine how difficult that style of thinking can be when serving on a jury, and when I lived in Philadelphia, that happened often. I considered myself a professional juror back then, serving on a murder trial that had me sequestered for two weeks, a drug trafficking trial, a rape trial and a civil trial, all within the span of about six years. The last one ended in a hung jury and since then I’ve moved outside of the city limits. Both of these issues keep me on the ‘do not select’ list these days.

I wonder what it is that makes me the perfect juror. The court bailiff on the murder trial said to me one night, “I was in the room when they picked you.” He said it with such intrigue like he wanted me to ask why, but when I did he wouldn’t say.

So, why am I rambling on about this? Because it’s Earth Day—the movement that began in 1970 and focused a spotlight on environmental issues—and I’m still confused about this issue. While I’m not a tree-hugging, Green Peace member, I was affected by the commercial of the Native American male with a tear running down his cheek in the 1970s when he took in the pollution in the U.S. Also, one of my pet peeves is littering, especially when one throws something out of his or her car window.

When it comes to global warming, fracking, nuclear power and any other environmental issue argued  about today, I’m less sure. I do believe we should do our best to protect the earth because some environmental issues have to be fabricated by humans, but I’m uncertain it is as grim as the Al Gores and Michal Moore’s of the world claim.

Do I wish I held a stronger position? Perhaps, but when I research global warming, there is so much contradictory information that I don’t know what to hold onto. Therefore, logic must come into play—and it places me right in the middle, just as it does with politics and other debatable issues.

Perhaps Joni Mitchell described my dilemma best:

“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow
it’s cloud illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all.”

Let’s all try to respect mother earth with our actions today and in the future. A little effort on everyone’s part makes a huge difference. At the very least we’ll leave a more beautiful planet for future generations to enjoy.

Happy Earth Day.

Belated wishes to a true gem

Carly%20Simon-6June 28, 2013 – Earlier this week, on June 25, 2013, Carly Simon, an icon in music over the last 50 years, turned 68.

I’ve listened to this great singer/songwriter all of my life. Simon’s lyrics make me feel more emotion than any other female in the business (although Joni Mitchell is a close second), and her music, from the early days through today, never grows old. The warm, rich tones of her vocals may have become raspier with age, but somehow that makes me adore her even more.

Through the years, I’ve read many books about her life, some of the material unauthorized, although she has wisely said that if you want to know more about me, just listen to my lyrics. I’ve also had the honor of seeing her live twice, a remarkable fete considering she suffers from terrible stage fright and rarely tours. That led me to believe I knew a lot about the public persona of my favorite female performer. However, a quick google search had me  stumbling upon a few things I never knew, and that surprise me.

In 1995, for example, Simon attended a Joni Mitchell concert at a small New York club. Nothing strange about that, but rumor has it she got into a tussle with Pretender’s lead singer Chrissie Hynde during the show. Witnesses claim that a drunken Hynde disrupted a nearby Simon with shouts of “I love you Joni” and loud clapping during the performance, and when Simon asked her to quiet down, Hynde punched and choked her. Hynde’s publicist said Hynde actually hugged her, playfully choked her “in a loving way”, and told Simon she loved her, too. Either way, it would have been something interesting to witness.

I also discovered she recently sang a duet with opera great Placido Domingo. They joined forces to sing “The Last Night of the World” from “Miss Saigon”. How beautiful is that?

Simon has been rewarded for her career in music with several Grammys, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar. She was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1994, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. She also found a lucrative second career as a children’s author with five books to her credit.

Here she is singing her modern anthem, “Happy Birthday”.

Happy belated birthday, Carly! Thank you for sharing your remarkable talent with all of us.

Ten quotable lines from ten great songs

September 14, 2012 – In keeping with the rhythm of top ten lists and quotes from Wednesday’s posting, here are 10 pretty awesome song lyrics that can stand alone as inspirational quotes.

Can you guess what songs they are from?

10. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” — John Lennon

9. “Watch out, you may get what you’re after.” — David Byrne

8. “Laughing and crying, it’s the same release.” — Joni Mitchell

7. “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” — Jimmy Buffett

6. “I’ve seen the bottom, and I’ve been on top, but mostly I’ve lived in between.” — Dan Fogelberg

5. “I am I said, to no one there, and no one heard at all not even the chair.” — Neil Diamond

4. “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.” — Simon and Garfunkel

3. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” –– Bob Marley

2. “I wish that for just one time you could be inside my shoes; then you’d know what a drag it is to see you.” — Bob Dylan

1. “Carve your number on my wall and maybe you will get a call from me.” — The Beatles (George Harrison)