The cat, the pole and the book


Beautiful Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, CO
This has nothing to do with my blog, I just like the picture.
We visited in August.

First, today’s cat story.

I don’t have a great one this time, although I easily could have if I got a video of Cookie the other day. The cats enjoy a 3-level carpeted tower overlooking the woods. The tower sits in our family room, in immediate view as you enter our home. I never thought I’d have a cat tower in such a visible place, but my desire to see those little fur balls overshadows my desire to impress people with my decorating.

Cookie, like most cats, gets upset if you touch his back paws. He also isn’t always in the mood for pets, but he’s faced with a conundrum when this happens. He doesn’t want to leave his tower but he also wants the harassment to stop. So, he does what any reasonable cat would do. He takes his head and hides it behind the pole, thinking we’ll forget he’s there. I’ve taken a picture of the pole, without Cookie, so you can imagine it. It would have been much better if I had a video of Cookie doing this, but for now this will have to do. Every time I get my phone he stops hiding, knowing potential payments from YouTube are at stake.

towerI know this picture needs to be rotated, but I can’t figure out how to do it in wordpress. This is one of the reasons I am an unpaid writer.

Now, today’s post.

I’ve read many times successful blogs have a focus. You should concentrate on one thing, which in my case could be cats, Disney, book reviews, fibromyalgia, client service, or dead presidents. But, I am all over the place because I accept my blog will never be a big hit. I am never going to have a social media following other than a few faithful friends, and people who marked me as unfollow in Facebook, but didn’t have the heart to unfriend me. I feel okay saying that, since you know they aren’t reading this anyway.

In the spirit of being all over the place, today’s blog is a review of 2 books:

Based on a True Story, possibly by Norm MacDonald
Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction, by ABC’s 20/20 anchor, Elizabeth Vargas.

As usual, I got both at the library and didn’t drop Bailey’s on either this time!

I have always loved Norm MacDonald and thought if I met him in real life, we’d get along. Even if I was single, I don’t think we’d date, because I am not 20 years younger than him. That’s the minimum when you are in Hollywood or a man over 40.

I heard Howard Stern’s interview with Norm about his book*, and couldn’t wait to get a hold of it. What I didn’t know is that everything interesting, was talked about in that interview. Literally, everything. The rest of the book was semi-funny fake stories, that you weren’t sure were fake until you read the entire chapter. And even then, you weren’t always sure. There were several pages written by a supposed ghost rider that I thought were really cool, until the stuff he wrote got even weirder and he killed himself. The character was completely fake, just like many of the other people in the book, making it hard to know what part was memoir and what part was comedy. I don’t even know who wrote the book.  I think it’s sad that Norm, a guy who has been in the business for decades, didn’t feel he had enough life experience to actually write a memoir.

The best chapter in Based on a True Story was Norm’s favorite jokes on Saturday Night Live’s weekend update. But I found one I liked even better on his Wikipedia page. It followed the announcement that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were divorcing. “She’s more of a stay-at-home type, and he’s more of a homosexual pedophile”. Oh I know, I’m horrible….

Later Felicia (meaning Norm).


Now to Elizabeth Vargas. First let me say, this bitch looks great for 54! I am not saying she’s 54 in this picture, but she pretty much looks the same today.


I heard a couple years ago that Elizabeth entered rehab for alcoholism for the second time. I was surprised.  She never seemed like someone who would be blacked out on a park bench; but she was. That day, and many others, Elizabeth found herself in the hospital, being treated for alcohol poisoning.

As someone who drinks infrequently, it’s hard for me to understand how someone can be compelled to drink, despite the harm it is causing them and their family. I know in my brain, that alcoholism is an illness, not unlike cancer or heart disease. But, in my heart I found myself getting angry at Elizabeth when she talked about her illness, and the neglect it caused her family. Elizabeth says she was self-medicating a life-long anxiety and panic disorder, which when you hear her life story was understandable. She went through an incredible amount of anxiety each time she went on air, but you’ve never know it watching 20/20 or any of the times she hosted ABC World News Tonight.

Elizabeth’s ex-husband comes out sounding very much like a jerk, which made me curious. What would he say, if given the chance to write his own book? I wondered if he’d look back and think he was wrong to be angry at Elizabeth. That he’d wish he supported her more and brought the kids to visit her in rehab. I also found it annoying how Elizabeth kept mentioning how she was the sole earner, requiring her to be away from her kids continually and to leave rehab before she was ready. Elizabeth’s ex is a Grammy winning songwriter and performer (Marc Cohn). He was on tour for part of the time Elizabeth was battling alcoholism. Therefore, the constant reference to her being the only breadwinner seemed odd. While she probably did have to work the hours she did, traveling internationally, it’s likely this was only to keep her lifestyle, which may have been unnecessary and/or unrealistic. Then again, being a news anchor and walking out of a trailer in Jersey is probably not realistic either.

Of the 2 books, Elizabeth’s was by far the most interesting and well written. It’s a must-read for anyone who seeks to better understand alcoholism and the challenges those battling it face. I am glad I read it and feel that Elizabeth did a great service in writing it. I hope that she likes cats, because that would make me feel really good about recommending her book.

*My husband can’t believe I listen to Stern. He thinks it’s tasteless and crass. Every Time he turns it on, that’s exactly what’s happening on the show. But, I’ve assured him the News with Robin and Stern’s interviews are really good, and that it’s not weird I listen to the show. Truthfully, I can’t stand the wack packers or the phoney phone calls. That’s when I turn on Dr. Laura, another show he can’t stand.












One thought on “The cat, the pole and the book

  1. Thank you, Northville Mom. I’ll add the Vargas book to my giant heap of great books I’d love but will likely never have the attention span to read. Still. It’s fun to know I’ll never run out of book I should read. Love your blog!


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