From the monthly archives: October 2012

You think I’m going to be all old school about this Lance Armstrong thing — it’s about the fairness of competition and the lying, blah blah blah? Well, I’m not. Lance Armstrong is a win-or-die sociopath freak show, without a doubt, but I’m over the hypocrisy of outmoded laws of competition that prohibit the use of steroids. It’s been pervasive in sports for more than a quarter of a century, starting with Arnold and his Mr. Universe days.

Seriously, people.

Everyone keeps it on the down-low because it’s illegal in professional competition, but everyone, EVERYONE, is doing it. Why don’t we just come out with it already? Imagine the data to be gleaned with the truth of its use. We’d have twenty-five years of “lab mice” to examine, and that’s just the retired NFL players!

I purchased a series of B-12 injections from Groupon last year and ended up at a hormone and steroid dispensary disquised as a weight-loss, health clinic. There was a lot of we offer Human Growth Hormone, with a description of eternal life and wink. There were signed framed pictures of famous people and athletes on the wall. “How do you think they stay so young looking,” the practitioner said, and gave me a fistful departing literature with a price-list that went into the thousands. The side-effects? Once you end the “therapy” you turn to dust as quick as the portrait of Dorian Gray converts into a nightmare. The continuance of the drugs demanded forever, until death do you part.

Sounds like a deal with the Devil, huh? Well, Lance Armstrong made it, as did all those busted Olympians, the football and baseball players, the body builders who now look like disintegrating negatives of themselves, all loose-skinned and craggy.

I hate the hypocrisy. This whole Lance Armstrong scandal may finally rattle the cages of professional sports enough to cause them to embrace the truth and use steroids for what we all really want — some mutant Gladiators to entertain us blood-thirsty Romans before the fall. At the very least, let’s get some FDA approval and legal research going so I can have supple skin and toned muscles on the cheap into my next century of life.

Pam Alster, former stand-up comedienne, Lifetime TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her novel debut Robin’s Blue available everywhere November 1st. www.pamalster.com Find her on Facebook and Twitter @plexigirl.

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              I don’t remember Mommy dying, only the finned taillights of my father’s car pulling away from Nana’s curb, the smell of skinless paprika chicken baking in the kitchen, the chime of a grandfather clock. Fragments: Up, Up and Away by the 5th Dimension, Chanel No. 5, a guitar. Mommy’s death marked the passing of my happiness but since I learned early that people didn’t respond well to gloom, I achieved an astounding ruse of lightheartedness.

             Saying my mother died of complications due to infectious pneumonia became like saying my name was Robin Elizabeth Daniels. It was my moniker, like being born in Philadelphia, October 25th 1962, like being the skinny, funny one of the two Daniels girls, like having a stepmother who didn’t attendPTA meetings. It wasn’t the grief that fell like a curtain over the face of the recipient of this information, it wasn’t my daily incubus of suffering to bare, it wasn’t my mother, the floating apparition, who haunted my waking hours, because her image faded with each day that passed. Pictures. I have them. Flat perfect squares of color –a diaper clad toddler at the beach, a woman kissing her, holding her with one hand, a bucket in the other, my sister Melanie in the background splashing knee-high in the breakers.

             Daddy didn’t talk about my mother; he didn’t not talk about her either. She was the pervasive sidestepped presence. Melanie and I only spoke about her in private. For me it was because I didn’t want to bring our desolation out for inspection, but for my sister, I think it was because she kept her grief like a polished trophy for herself and never trusted Daddy to share in it. She involved me in remembrances as a sounding board, not as a confidante, I’m certain. But it wasn’t like Daddy ever referred to Mommy in any of the ways I’d seen in movies or on TV when a mother has died, like “You remind me of her,” or “She lit up every room she entered,” or “She loved the rain.” Instead, she was a constant vaporous tableau, mentioned randomly, thoughtlessly and regrettably at once in the same breath.

            And I assumed that because Daddy lived instead of Mommy, he loved me unconditionally despite his absence, his anger, and my striking resemblance to the woman who’d forsaken him.

Available in Paperback and on Kindle November 1st.

 

Pam Alster, former stand-up comedienne, Lifetime TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her debut novel Robin’s Blue available everywhere November 1st. www.pamalster.com Find her on Facebook and Twitter @plexigirl.

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If your over the glut of celeb bios & you’re hungry for some epic literary fiction, Pam Alster ‘s Robin’s Blue available November 1st from Plexigirl Publishing.

Pam Alster, former stand-up comedienne, Lifetime TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her forthcoming debut novel Robin’s Blue. Like her on Facebook andTwitter @plexigirl. www.pamalster.com

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NPR (National Public Radio), full of dry statistics and straight up news. Not much flash, but real information. Every item today was about progress. Yes, progress.

Newspapers –The Times-Picayune, the Durango Herald, I think I even heard that the Syracuse Post Standard are cutting their publishing week and opting for the less-expensive online route. Public schools are moving toward digital text books with interactive features. All reasons for the publishing houses to be in terror of losing the entire industry.

Then were topics being tossed around for the Presidential debate aired tonight from Colorado. Job creation. Our unused fossil fuels. How we need to expand our own national resources. The deficit.

As a now middle-aged woman, I grew up with TV dinners, astronauts and Motown. A baby during the civil rights era, I came of age through the denial of the ERA, the sexual revolution, the onset of AIDS and drug addiction. It’s astounding to see the wheels of seismic evolution rolling.

I don’t know much but it seems obvious that the time is now for us Americans to re-set our way of thinking. We have to molt from the consumerism trap and educate our emerging work force to support the structure of our future economy. Older workers, laid-off employees must be re-educated our for the digital age –software engineers and programmers instead of structural engineers. Science for renewables instead of coal-mining, data input to reduce paper and the current backlog of accessible information. Solar and renewables instead of our ridiculous addiction to oil. Putting people into jobs that re-invest in our infrastructure and mass transit. Removing ourselves from this perpetual state of war that we can no longer afford –not just in dollars but in morale and the damage to the returning veterans, their families and communities. Transition from a country of mass incarceration with changes in drug laws and the move toward rehabilitation and treatment. Family planning, instead controlling women’s bodies by crying piety or shaming them. In general, pushing forward, not back.

This is the message I want to hear before election day. I’m over the geezer retoric — job creation, energy independence (meaning let’s open Artic drilling), no new taxes, global warming is a hoax, down with Socialism. How about drop the political divisive issues and float something we can all get behind like when Kennedy inspired our nation to go to the moon? I know, fluff, right? But it worked.

As a member of the generation that is now “minding the store,” my hope is that we can rise toward innovation, pride in accomplishment and working together for the common good. It’s not Socialism, it’s smart.

My brother-in-law, a Capital Hill insider, says before any real change can happen (and I paraphrase), that a bunch of old men will have to go the way of the dinosaur. Bummer. Let’s hope for our kids that we will choose to transform sooner than later.

Pam Alster, former stand-up comedienne, Lifetime TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her novel Robin’s Blue available everywhere November 1st. www.pamalster.com Find her on Facebook and Twitter @plexigirl.

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