The absurd, the unbelievable, the unthinkable, and the fishy

My deep need to express my point of view on current events comes in spurts. Sometimes I only go a few days, beating down my personal judgments; sometimes, I can last a whole week or two, absent but paying attention. I reckon people don’t always want my opinion. I imagine it can divide a room — which might be a good thing because I hear diversity is the new black.

(There is absurd irony in that last sentence that is unintentional)

But things are going on (some new things, some old things) that I just can’t figure out. They are mind-boggling-keep-me-up-at-night things that I can only not talk about for so long. So here we go – a list of 10 (in no particular order, although I did purposely save one for last … don’t rush ahead …):

1. Bill Gates is dimming the sun. The man is off his rocker. Where do I begin? Shouldn’t the globe get to vote on this? And when I get to the poll (because of mail-in ballots), you can bet your butt I’ll oppose geoengineering. He’s crossing a line. A really, really, dangerous line. A show of hands of approval for Gates to turn down the sun better only show Gates’ hands. If yours goes up, I’m coming for you. I want you to look me in the eye when you tell me why we should let this man spray a bunch of particles into the stratosphere. Our world is not a science experiment.

2When did we move past Cuomo? What happened to the coverage of the nursing home deaths’ investigation? I want to know the results of said investigation, or is the goodfella too hot for being taken down? I’ve not heard a peep. And, while we’re discussing Mr. Cuomo, where are all the feminists? The #MeToo’ers? What, they pick and choose which victims to back and which predators to crucify? Hashtag bleepbleepbleep. You all are letting these poor women down. You’re letting me down.

3. Let’s not move past Cuomo. I heard Cuomo wants to give more than $15,000 to undocumented immigrants affected by the pandemic, ultimately benefitting around 300,000 people in the state of New York that lost their jobs during the pandemic. WHAT? First, they’re undocumented. They are breaking the law. They are not law-abiding. They are criminals. Maybe hard-working criminals, but criminals nonetheless, and $15,000 is not pocket change. Second, there are more than 19 million people in the state. While I don’t imagine all 19 million have lost work, I did find this article that says 1 million jobs were lost due to Covid. And until they ban math, this means an additional 700,000 law-abiding New Yorkers lost their jobs. Where is their money?

4. Did you know the Dalai Lama’s family lives in Bloomington, IN? I am flabbergasted. I have a client that said he sold them a house. This makes me smile for absolutely no reason.

5. Where is the outrage? Oh wait, look at his mug shot. Got it. Thanks. For the record, five of the six people killed were children. All five of the children were under the age of 10. Don’t know the whole story – what the grown-ups were into (or not into), but it doesn’t change the fact that five children were murdered. Who decided this wasn’t a story worthy of the media?

6. Pronouns. I’m seriously confused about this. I know it is a substitute for a noun or a noun phrase, but how is it … how do we say … how exactly is it used as a person? Serious question. If I’m writing a letter to Robert, and Robert identifies as he/him/his, how do I start my letter? Dear, He. And how does he sign his letters? Sincerely, Him. And then there is “his.” Can you imagine being in a meeting and announcing, “His’ report is late.” “Whose?” “His.” This is Abbott & Costello, ya’ll.

7. Marketing tactics because they think we’re dumb? Literally, this is the oldest trick in the book – cutting the price by five dollars or five cents because marketers believe “it’s more appealing” to the consumer. For instance, this camera. Bringing it under the $7,000 mark by five bucks isn’t an incentive. Try selling it straight up at $7,000 on the product merits – not to mention the brilliant co-collaborators that designed the camera. If I can afford $6,995 for a camera, I can afford $7,000. Just a crap marketing ploy that annoys me.

—These last three are big ones for me. I gotta take a break before I write them up. You should take a break before you read them. I get hot and heavy, and you might want to prepare…

8. A defining difference between the right and the left. The right is all talk, no action. The left is no talk, all action.

One reason our country is in a state of mess is not that the left talked for years, “Oh, hey, we need to take over the country and remake it. How should we do this? Let’s put this on the agenda for the next session.” No. They acted. None of what is happening should be thought of as “outlandish and impossible.” They acted. They got into our schools. They got into our tech companies. They got into the media. They didn’t discuss their ideas about how to infiltrate. They infiltrated. The right, on the other hand, talks.

For Instance, voter IDs.

We all know (we do all know, right??) that showing ID to cast your vote is the ONLY way to vote. While the left wants to say half of the country is suppressed because they don’t have ID, obviously the thing to do is get people IDs, not do away with ID requirements.

Here’s an example showing how the left is acting. HR 1. This is a bill that every citizen needs to read right now. And then read more. And more. And more. See what they’re doing.

Here’s an example showing how the right is talking. I’ve listened to several podcasts (conservatives) that discuss the fabulous idea “let’s get these people IDs.”

It’s. a. podcast.

It’s someone sitting in a studio with a microphone talking about the solution to the problem-of-the-day (because tomorrow they’ll talk about Woke Culture. And on Friday, it’ll be about the MLB. Then it’s on to the border crisis. Then Hunter.).

Where is legislation? Where is funding?

Did you know nonprofits have been working on getting the homeless population IDs for years? Phoenix Rescue Mission drives around the streets and talks to these people. What do you need? An ID is keeping you from getting a job? Getting a place to stay? A bank account? A car? All you need is an ID and you can make fundamental changes? Phoenix Rescue Mission has contacted Records Departments all across the country, tracking down birth certificates; they’ve stood in line at the DMV for hours; they’ve paid the fees. Small, struggling nonprofits have been trying to do this on their own for years.

Conservatives talk in news cycles. They don’t do a whole lot of anything else to enact change. If these podcasters/senators/representatives would pick the issue they’re passionate about and stop podcasting (although their platform is the starting point) and start organizing, maybe we might have a chance of survival. Instead, they spout off “solutions.” Solutions that are hard for an average everyday Joe to organize into an impactful movement – especially if they live in New York legally and lost their job a year ago. OK, I’m facetious. But If these conservatives would drop their microphones and start organizing groups instead of directing their listeners, “help people get IDs,” well, that’s the real come-up. I could go on, but rather, I’ll move on.

9. No amendment to the Constitution is absolute. Is this true? I honestly don’t know. I think I’ll be crushed if I find out it is. Really diving into this statement, though, and it seems to me that nearly all of the Bill of Rights come with restrictions and limitations. Here’s where I’d rather have the truth than some grand-standing conservative bash the statement purely because Biden said it. This is important. It’s not life-changing, but it sure is mind-blowing.

Aaaand… we come to the hottest topic for me. Before I get into #10, I want to say I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am not. I don’t think. Maybe. Probably not. But, oh, maybe. A few weeks ago, I had a client send me content that included a link to their “website.” Turns out the link took me to a Russian landing page. For a hot minute, I thought I opened a portal between Russian Intelligence and USA Today. Once I came out of the dark corner in my closet and removed the foil from my windows, I contacted the legal department. That’s as far as my “conspiracy” theories have ever gone… until Esther.

10. Are there two Biden’s walking among us? Esther conspires there are. She sends me images of who she thinks are two different Biden’s. She insists the one that was sworn in is different than the one we see on the screen today. Here’s the latest picture she sent me. It was taken 3 days apart. If you take a serious look at it, there are a few marked differences. His nose. His ears. Hairline. Eyes. Even the double chin is off. Bags under the eyes don’t match. I’ve watched Biden on TV, and at times his skin is thin and ghostly-white. Other times, it looks like he’s gotten a total dose of natural vitamin D. And his eyes – sometimes they’re blue… regular. Sometimes they’re black (and beady). I don’t know; this makes both my head and my stomach hurt.

Can you imagine? I don’t want to. To think dimming the sun shocked me!

Jumping off tables

The woman with bushy hair was staring at me.

We were sitting on opposite sides of the room, and while she was sizing up my bloody lip, I was scrutinizing the general state of her hair. It was severely overgrown, wooly, and I’m positive she had shards of an age-old butterfly clip entangled in the dark heap. If it wasn’t a butterfly clip, then it was most definitely a tree branch or stick.

In my mind, she wasn’t young enough to have this level of unkempt hair. She also wasn’t young enough to wear such achingly bright shorts. But here she was, a woman of about forty sitting in front of me, an unrecognizable curl pattern to her mane and glaring red shorts that were screaming, “Look at me!”

             “So I suppose you want to ask me what happened to my lip.”

             “Yes, dear. Were you punched?”

(Oh, she has a British accent! I was not expecting this. British people are usually a bit more … tidier … no?)

I was about to say ‘yes and give her a grand story about a bloody and ruthless fistfight. Maybe a vengeance mission that includes swollen faces and the taste of blood. Or a grudge match that ends with spectators shouting, “SHE’S ALIVE!” (Floating a tall tale comes easy to me.)

Instead, I gave her the truth.

             “I jumped off a table.”  


At age 53, a change is clearly taking place.

Let’s be honest, most people don’t envision 53-year old women jumping off picnic tables or vaulting over common obstacles in the park. They don’t picture these ‘aged’ women hurdling structures by running, vaulting, jumping, climbing, and rolling. Or moving along ledges, scaling buildings without ladders, or leaping between rooftops. Getting down on all fours to pass over, under, through, and around the environment — urban or natural — for sport or otherwise? Probably not. 

Young men on YouTube, however, with incredible acrobatic athleticism, yes. Safely and efficiently, I might add. But I think the general perception is that 53-year old women count daily steps and apply ice packs to flaring tendonitis. Maybe they hold Downward Dog or Tree Pose for 10 breaths. And they might suit up for weekly aqua aerobics (to nail that breaststroke).

But 53-year old me is wholly embracing “park play” and jumping off picnic tables, hanging from monkey bars, practicing cartwheels in the grass – bloodying my own lip in the process – and bragging about it to the first urgent care technician that looks my way.

             “I got this at the park. Yeah, you see, I was jumping off this table… It’s part of my parkour training. Do you know what parkour is? Helloooo? Cindy? That’s what your name tag says, right, Cindy? So I bloodied my lip doing parkour…”

             “Cindy?”


My parkour training is less impressive and less splashy than those splendidly dangerous, flying seventeen-year-olds on YouTube.

cat hang that tears open the calluses on my hands; a quadrupedal walk (also known as a beast crawl) performed forward and backward that scares the beans out of me when done on a ledge, and a walking climb-up that bruises my shins, over and over and over again is as intense as it gets. I also hop rocks and bushes. And don’t forget picnic tables. I leap off picnic tables.

It’s all primer. My goal? This, minus most of the tricking because.

By parkour’s very nature, it encourages adaptability, exploration, self-reliance, health, creativity, and mental fortitude. All attributes any 53-year old woman strives for, no? Taking your body through full ranges of motion, matching strength + flexibility + stability, and connecting your breath + rhythm. Talk about feeling free to be as strong, joyful, peaceful, warrior-like, secure, sexy, silly, playful as you desire. Achieving strength at every angle. (Bloody lip, optional.)


I think I can say with a fair degree of certainty that my journey, as accidental as it is, is just starting to pick up steam.

More and more, I believe the Buddha had it right: pretty much all of our struggles, from frustrations to anxiety, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry, all stem from the same thing — being too tightly attached to something.

When we’re worried or upset, it’s because we are tightly attached to how we want things to be. When we’re frustrated with someone, it’s because we’re attached to how we want them to be. And when we hesitate or delay, we are attached to things being easy. And so on.

OK, if you agree being too attached, clinging too tightly, is the cause of our struggles … then the answer is simple, right? Drop the attachments. Reconcile attachment. Let that B—go.

Easier said than done.

Fact: I was attached to a specific gym routine. Every Monday, I lifted shoulders. Tuesday was back. Wednesday was chest. Thursday was legs. This four-day split ran on repeat for several years. Eventually, I realized I was only expressing one of my physical abilities, or bio-motor abilities if you will.

(Before I get too deep into this story, I need to tell you that I’m really terrible at parkour. But instead of being discouraged, I’m like, wow, I’ve spent the better part of my adult life working on my body. Yet, I have very little ability to use my body. So even though I’m sucking at parkour, I’m enjoying it. The skill acquisition really inspires me. I love the concept of training-to-last. I also love that I’m experiencing all these different kinds of sensations (and even bruises)).

Weight training is quite linear. It’s “these are my very almost completely sagittal plane movements or isometrics, and I’m not moving at a lot of joint-variation angles.” On the other hand, parkour is really about flow and the transference of energy and creating direction – or momentum.

I’ve been attached to static, linear, push/pull, feet hip-width apart and planted on the floor.

Parkour is a scary 180.

So what makes me think I can do parkour – or any sort of freerunning – without killing myself (or breaking bones or shedding more blood)?

The concept of Dharma – Buddhist doctrine – teaches us that everything is a manifestation of our own mind. We think there is an objective world outside, and there is a subjective world inside. And we believe the so-called objective reality of the world is something distinct from our consciousness. Still, it is only the object of our consciousness. It is our consciousness. That’s the hardest thing to understand and a primary obstacle for us and for science. So if I’m “attached” to weight training being what “exercise” looks like, if this is the perception I’ve created, why can’t I create a new perception? One that involves me sprinting over pony walls and sailing through crawl spaces?

Buddhism offers the example of a river. We see a river and call it one name, but the water is not the same water; it’s constantly changing. You cannot swim twice in the same river, and it is not the same person who goes into the river. Tomorrow it will not be “you” who goes into that river. You will have changed, just like the river constantly changes. How mind-blowing is this?

If things are things because I perceive them to be, then I will perceive jumping off tables as something 53-year old women do.

And also… bushy-haired Brits can wear red shorts.

P.S. Once you realize perception underpins everything you think, do, believe, know, or love, then you just found a new way of seeing. Congratulations!