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Let's Whine About Lack Of Wine, Shall We?


I don't know whether I've ever mentioned this on my blog before, but I think I have.

The state of Pennsylvania has the most fakakta (Yiddish for: silly or ridiculous) regulations on alcohol, which they have been slowly changing over the past year and a half by permitting it to be sold in grocery stores (but only wine and beer). However, it used to be that by law, you could only purchase alcohol in wine and spirit stores that closed promptly at 7 PM.

Which is beyond bizarre to me having lived in Florida for 20 years, where you can literally purchase alcohol anywhere and at anytime--a grocery store, a convenient store, a gas station, or even a drug store like Walgreens.

So when I moved back here in 2001, I couldn't grasp the fact that alcohol in PA wasn't more conveniently available because this state, and specifically the city of Philadelphia, is very heavy into drinking. And when I say heavy, I mean H.E.A.V.Y. In fact, that's one of Philadelphia's sacred vocational occupations - alcohol consumption. That's why alcoholics migrate here, because their addiction is not only accepted, but strongly encouraged. The happiest you will ever see this city is on Friday late afternoon when Happy Hour begins, which by the way, continues until late Sunday evening. Here in Philly they don't just have Happy Hour, they have something that's called: Happy All-Throughout-The-Weekend-And-Seven-Days-A-Week Hour.

Lessons From The Theater, Thankfulness, And Images Of Renewal And Hope


-Lessons From The Theater

I will forever be grateful for the many years I spent as an actor in the theater because acting (and specifically stage acting), taught me so much about rejection and survival. It also taught me how to adjust and adapt to not only performing onstage, but how to adjust and adapt to life in general.

Theater is such a valuable life-teacher in that no matter how much you prepare and plan (rehearse) for something, anything can happen to disrupt those preparations and plans. Stage acting, like life, can be altered in a split second. So it teaches you how to think on your feet and adjust quickly because theater happens in real time. There is no such thing as a "retake" like there is in film. You have to take whatever happens and keep moving forward in the moment until you get back on track because when you perform live, shit can and will happen.

But you eventually learn how to adapt to those things when they do happen. Very much like we all have to do in life.

Additionally, theater teaches you a lot about fear and uncertainty.

For as long as I did theater, and for as much as I loved doing it, I never got to a point where I didn't experience stage fright. I don't care how long I was in the run of a show, minutes before I had to go onstage I became riddled with fear. Also, in the theater, there is always the uncertainty of when you'll be landing your next job. You can be working for six months in a hit show, and then suddenly be out of work for the next four months. So, it teaches you how to ride the financial waves of life and adapt.

Theater taught me that it's okay to have fears and uncertainties, as long as I walk through them.

Staying Positive, And Taking Time To Laugh


One of the most valuable things I've learned from my own life is that when I can't control something, the only other alternative is to embrace it and look for the gemstones.

And by that I mean, looking for the wealth within each and every experience.

At first the wealth might not be visible to me, but eventually I do find it.

In the past I've shared several posts about the power that comes from embracing challenging experiences. And I truly believe that. And not simply because it just sounds good. I believe that because I have lived it. I've embraced some pretty scary and challenging things that have come my way because I had no other choice. But in doing so, I discovered the value.

I am not going to talk about all the panic, fear, and inconvenience that's going on not only here in the USA, but all over the world, because there are enough people talking about that. What I'm going to share here today is how I'm staying positive.

Let me start by saying that I am far from naive to what's going on at the moment. Nor am I in denial. What I am saying, though, is that I have a choice in how I perceive it and how I experience it.

Contrary to most of America, I'm not self-isolating in my apartment day and night, avoiding the rest of the population. I'm definitely abiding by all public health precautions, absolutely, but I am not freaking out or paranoid about being outdoors or indoors with other people.

Highlighting The Amazing Images of Photographer: Steve McCurry


You know, to be honest, I can't recall exactly how I discovered the amazing talent of photographer, Steve McCurry. But when I did...I immediately knew that I wanted to feature him on my blog and share some of his truly remarkable images.

And ironically enough, after doing some research on McCurry, I discovered that he was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and went to Penn State University.

Here are some fascinating facts I discovered about this very gifted man:

-Steve McCurry is an American photographer, freelancer and photojournalist. His photo "Afghan Girl", of a girl with piercing green eyes, has appeared on the cover of National Geographic several times.

-He originally planned to study cinematography and filmmaking, but instead gained a degree in theater arts and graduated in 1974. He became interested in photography when he started taking pictures for the Penn State newspaper The Daily Collegian.

-After a year working in India, McCurry traveled to northern Pakistan where he met two Afghans who told him about the war across the border in Afghanistan.

-His career was launched when, disguised in Afghani garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled areas of Afghanistan just before the Soviet invasion. "As soon as I crossed the border, I came across about 40 houses and a few schools that were just bombed out," he says. He left with rolls of film sewn into his turban and stuffed in his socks and underwear. Those images were subsequently published by The New York Times.