TV Gold to Lift the Spirits

During the pandemic I found two new shows that helped kept my spirits up during the turbulent spring weather that often kept me locked inside.  The first I discovered was a special 20th anniversary edition of “Who Wants to be A Millionaire” hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the late night talk show host. Kimmel gleefully asks the questions and jokes with celebrity contestants, with  winnings going to the charity of their choice.

I’ve seen two shows with Eric Stonestreet and Nikki Glaser so far – and it reminded me of the original with Regis Philbin, which I used to watch for awhile in California when it originally launched in the mid-90s.  It is not scheduled to run much longer, but in a statement Kimmel said Philbin “came to him in a dream” and asked him to do the show with the promise of his own necktie collection.  “I had little choice but to say yes,” Kimmel told the media. I’m glad he did. Check ABC for local broadcasts in May.

The second series that lifted my spirits was “The Last Dance,” a documentary on the legendary Chicago Bulls basketball star, Michael Jordan.
The 10-part series was initially scheduled to air in June during the NBA Finals, but ESPN moved up its release after fans begged for it on social media amid the cancellation of the rest of the NBA season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those fans, all of them hungry for substantive athlete-focused entertainment and some of them basketball legends themselves, were very satisfied, according to NBC.  I was too!

The Network writes that “The Last Dance” is partially a product of film dating back to 1997, when Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and head coach Phil Jackson agreed to let an NBA Entertainment film crew follow the team for the season. It features archival footage of the entire span of Jordan’s youth and college career, alongside new interviews with his former teammates, high school and college coaches and former President Barack Obama, whose start in politics in Chicago overlapped with Jordan’s time with the Bulls.

For a few years in the ’90s I worked closely with a Chicago news broadcaster who had moved with her husband to California and continued following her hometown team, introducing me to the power of Jordan’s dominance in basketball. I will never forget it – thanks Sydney Weisman and David Hamlin.  Check ESPN for future listings on May 10 and 17.

I recommend that lovers of great game shows or historic basketball documentaries tune in to both shows this month – it’s a special treat about to disappear!

Meditating During the Pandemic

I discovered meditation in my 20s and it helped me deal with the immense grief and guilt after my father’s death and focus again on creating joy.   During the pandemic, I am so glad that I chose to use the time sheltering at home to sign up for Laughter Meditation for Manifestation.

At the time my creativity was blocked by health issues arising from my hospice work at a nursing home and the resulting grief and complications from severe pneumonia when my relative died.   During the pandemic, I relied on the meditation and constant work online with my coach Pragito Dove and other students to create the joy and faith that made the isolation less formidable.

My contact with family was limited and so I concentrated on manifesting the creativity to continue the work I had almost completed a book proposal about my work in hospice.  That three week meditation set my purpose and now a second three week program called on How to Thrive when Life isn’t going Your Way is finally resulting in a rough draft of the long-stalled writing in my heart.

It is so good to know that even pandemics can’t stop us when we opt for joy and optimism in dangerous times.

Honoring Seniors in Yoga…

One of my neighbors in my Condo development is also an amazing yoga teacher.  Melissa Pini writes about it in Boomer Times & Senior Life and gave me a copy of one of her latest articles on “Yoga for Seniors.”

She writes that teaching yoga to seniors is “one of the most exciting aspects of my teaching practice.”  While I seldom think of myself as a senior – I credit my youthful attitude to my conversion to a healthy lifestyle in my late 20s when I joined the Flatbush Food Coop in Brooklyn —  I still felt honored that she showed so much respect for her older students.  I joined with my friend Bob – and she was always singling us out as special.

In her article, Melissa  further explained  that seniors “are eager to learn, encouraging and share in what I teach without judgement or ego.” Then she adds that there is more for a yoga teacher to know when it comes to teaching a senior student,” including the physical and anatomical ways in which the body ages.”  She concludes that it is important for seniors to find a well-trained teacher who is aware of counterindications of certain yoga postures for seniors and conditions that occur due to aging.

Melissa is no longer teaching yoga regularly in a studio and is focusing on graduate studies.  During the coronavirus crisis, I miss our workouts.

You can find Melissa’s posts at http://www.mapkeysyoga.com

California Dreaming – Tech-wise

There was a time when I worked as communications director for a small Asian American media firm in  California and I actually worked next to the techs and felt pretty  comfortable figuring out what they were doing.  That was long ago and I’ve been happy to leave my computer problems to specialists since.

But recently my HP computer started malfunctioning and the techs I called on insisted my problems had been solved.  Yet when I got it home, I was puzzled about resetting it up.  I was ready to go back when I tried one more time to set it up, and finally persisted through the problems, finding that a few maneuvers solved what had seemed insurmountable.

Amazingly it restored that feeling long ago in California when I took it for granted that I could solve most tech problems.  It may not last long before I am frustrated again by another tech challenge, but it sure felt good!

Kobe Byrant – Gone too Soon

I was an avid Los Angeles Lakers basketball fan in the 90s when I lived in California – so I was stunned by the tragic deaths in a helicopter crash of retired Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant (who was only 41 and building a new career as a storyteller) and his teenage daughter Gianna, eager to follow in her father’s footsteps and active in a youth basketball league. Other passengers also died in the foggy crash yesterday in southern California. Bryant leaves behind his wife and three other daughters. It was unbelievably tragic!

The shock of this unexpected ending inspired me to read a lot of coverage on Bryant and I was particularly moved by Mitch Albom’s front page column in the Detroit Free Press.  He emphasizes how much more Kobe had to share on his new path and that we are left with tragedy instead of the triumph Albom is sure would have marked Kobe’s new endeavors. For more, read Mitch’s column at https://www.freep.com/story/sports/nba/2020/01/26/kobe-bryant-death-mitch-albom/4585619002/

Hoppin’ John for the New Year!

Hoppin’ John is a southern tradition of serving black-eyed peas and collard greens to ensure good luck

for the  New Year.  Because of the weather, I decided to postpone it this year and will celebrate with

friends late.

 

I learned about  Hoppin’ John when I married a Southerner.   My late husband Tim Rpbinson was from

Dora, Alabama and I fell in love with Southern cooking after we met and married in New York.  I had a

mixed heritage of Slovak cooking on my mother’s side and English-Scotch on my Dad’s – so I was open

to adding more traditions.

 

According to Allyson Jones in The History of Hoppin’ John, the first written “receipt” for

Hoppin’ John appeared in “The Carolina Housewife” (1847), written by Charlestonian Sarah Rutledge.

The simple recipe called for one pound of bacon, one pint of peas and one pint of rice cooked in

a single pot.

 

Jones notes that the African roots of the dish can be traced to the antebellum rice culture of the

South Carolina Low country, where peas and rice have been cooked together for centuries.

Tradition dictates that a side of collard greens representing paper money be served with Hoppin’

John to ensure prosperity in the coming year. Several sources also suggest a penny or dime

should be placed under the plate or in the dish itself for additional wealth.

 

I still love to honor this southern tradition now that I am back with family and friends in

Michigan. In fact, my friend Bob, a small town Michigan country boy, is even helping with cooking. The

year 2020 promises a lot of controversy, but Hoppin’ John reminds me that cultures don’t have

to clash.  Happy New Year!

Read more and get the recipe at https://www.history.com/news/hoppin-john-a-new-years-tradition