Dancin’ with the Scars
By Les Goldberg
While you are making giant strides to actually act upon your New Year resolutions, there is a tendency to feel twinges of guilt when some of them seem to fall by the wayside during the first few weeks and months. Your guilt might even lead to depressing and negative thoughts.
What’s the solution? Try laughing.
Get your hands on a relatively new book, Dancin’ Schmancin’ with the Scars: Finding the Humor No Matter What!, by author and celebrity award-winning humorist Jan Marshall, a Laguna Hills resident and founder of the International Humor and Healing Institute. Her resume includes hosting her own TV series and appearances on hundreds of TV and radio shows, and she was a regular on the popular “Steve Allen Show.”
The book is about, as she says, “Graying and Giggling in the age of Googling.”
The book runs the gamut of humorous scenarios, from weight loss to senior romance, from how to stop smoking to cold remedies. It is truly a barrel of laughs. Here is a little taste of how the Marshall plan works to tickle your funny bone:
“Never deny any type of emotional pain or it will show up elsewhere on the body or in a car crash or other mishaps.”
On “girth control,” her mind tries to negotiate a truce with her body: “MIND: How about no more scolding? I won’t remind you a moment on your lips is forever on your hips, thighs and chins, both of them. And I promise not to say you are a bad person when you finish the kid’s leftover dinner each night…” BODY: Good. Because the more you yelled, the worse I felt, and the worse I felt the more I ate. I am convinced you are sincere in your wish to reach a lasting ‘sveltness.’ Let’s celebrate with a brief interruption in our talks and order pizza.”
On clutter: “While I have a place for everything, I do not really know where that place is. I long for the day when every item in the universe has its own beeper that I can click on to appear in the room that I am in.”
On car mechanics, Marshall describes her visit to a car repair shop:
Mechanic: “Well it really hurts me to tell you this, Miss,” said the mechanic, “but you have diminishing pressure. You appear to have corrosion around your terminals and obviously your condenser is shot to hell.”
Marshall: “I thought he was terribly rude and wondered why he didn’t also mention my weight gain while he was insulting me.” Then, she asked, “What about the car?”
Life hasn’t always been a bowl of cherries for Marshall. She’s had her share of pits, but she continues to follow her “mission statement”:
“Humor as a universal language promotes rapport among individuals. It has the potential, along with art, athletics and music, in creating a liaison between people, perhaps the ultimate common denominator. Through shared laughter we will bring about our global purpose of caring for one another.”
One of Marshall’s greatest fans throughout the years is Phyllis Diller, pioneer stand-up comedienne, who said: “Jan’s writing is so full of humor and zest for living. Her book literally sings.”
Heritage Pointe Honorees
While these seniors may not be famous, Heritage Pointe honored them for their yeoman service on April 30.
Recipients of 100-hour pins:
Carrie Chotiner, Jane Fischel, Judy Glass, Marilyn Grant, Karen Meltz, Kathy Metzger, Linda Meysjebs, Ellen Brooks
Recipients of 1000-plus hours awards:
Marlene Mitnick (7000), Elaine Rosenberg (2500),
Barbara Lebovitz (2000), Dr. Joseph Lebovitz (1800),
Gloria Friedman (1000), Roz Robbins (1000),
David Friedman (1000)
Heritage Pointe, the Jewish senior residence in Mission Viejo, also honored 75 community volunteers and 30 in-house (resident) volunteers for their service through 2013. The program included refreshments and a piano performance by Chris Winn.
An Unorthodox Romance
A new novel by Orange County’s Brenda Barrie has just been published by Gray Matter Imprints of Irvine. An Unorthodox Romance is Barrie’s third contemporary Jewish novel, featuring some of the same characters who appeared in her earlier works, The Binding and The Rabbi’s Husband.
The Binding is about three men who are the sons of Holocaust survivors. The Rabbi’s Husband addresses the concerns of women rabbis working in a profession that was exclusively male for such a long time. An Unorthodox Romance, which begins and ends right here in Orange County, is set mainly in Israel and concerns the inequities affecting marriage in Israel.
“I didn’t set out to write ‘issue novels,’” says the author, “but to tell a good story.” Barrie is quick to point out that hers is not a novel about agunot, “chained women” whose husbands will not issue them a religious divorce according to Jewish Law.
Barrie, originally from Canada, has lived and worked in the professional Jewish community for Federations, synagogues and other Jewish organizations in her hometowns of Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Baltimore and now Orange County.
Barrie’s book was officially launched late in April in Winnipeg where her books have always topped the best seller list and where her children and many of her grandchildren live. There was also a U.S. launch in Minneapolis, and there will be another launch in May in Orange County.
Brenda Barrie and her husband, Sid Bursten, live in Laguna Woods, Calif.