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Roseanne & John: The AARP Interview

February 16, 2018

Good news: The trademark irreverent and straight-talking humor of Roseanne Barr remains in full throttle – perhaps more so, at the age of 65. And two decades of extraordinary movie success hasn’t affected John Goodman‘s deep connection, both personally, and on screen, with Roseanne. In the new issue of America’s most-read magazine, one of the most beloved blue-collar TV couples offer perspective and sensibility on the present stage of their lives. “I really appreciate the fact that AARP didn’t ask me to do their nude centerfold this issue,” deadpanned Barr.

Returning to their iconic starring roles – after two decades – heading the Conner clan in Roseanne, Barr and Goodman display a relaxed sense of themselves while bitingly funny in a circumspective interview with AARP The Magazine (ATM). In an age when sitcom “grownups” look more and more like college kids, the return of good ol’ Roseanne and Dan is a reminder that the funny bone doesn’t go numb at age 50. The Conners are now making sense of selfies, medical marijuana and rising health care costs and the growing divide between the superrich and the rest of us.

Following the run of the original Roseanne, Barr pursued whatever interested her, including a run for President, hosting a reality show and a stint as a Snickers pitchwoman, to name a few things. Barr now lives with her partner of 15 years on a 46-acre macadamia farm in Hawaii, near many of her children and grandkids. She says she and her boyfriend don’t fight or argue much. “We learned that we need that energy for things like climbing stairs, chewing and getting off the toilet.” Goodman has appeared and received critical acclaim for a number of roles in TV and film, including The West Wing, The Artist and a frequent host of Saturday Night Live. He’s also given up alcohol and lost 100 pounds. Said Goodman, “I used to play harmonica and sing a little bit. But after I got sober, I realized that I actually have no talent.”

Roseanne’s return to ABC premieres March 27 with the original cast. “It’s like being home again,” Barr said. “Yeah,” said Goodman, “I think we know what’s really important now—lunch.”

The following are excerpts from ATM’s February/March 2018 cover story featuring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, available in homes starting February and available online now at www.aarp.org/magazine/.

On tackling tough issues on Roseanne:

RB: “…hate-triotism. We need to stop letting ourselves be herded into these two hostile camps. We have to come together and place the blame where it really belongs—on people who exercise.” “…Hey, man, at this age, I try to focus on the things I love, like humor, naps—and not dying.”

On being a grandma:

RB: “I swear and stuff—everything their parents don’t want me to do, I like to do. We get in the pool and have squirt gun fights… My grandkids know how to grow their own food, too, and that’s what I wanted them to know more than anything—how not to be dependent…I thought I made all the statements I wanted to make as a comic… as a grandparent, I realize there’s way more to say, like watching how your kids raise their kids. That’s a big part of the reboot, and it’s a big part of my life, too. They’re just so dependent on technology, and it’s all different. They talk a whole different language, y’know?”

On being a father:

JG: “I have a daughter that I worried about for a while. She grew up with an alcoholic father until she was in high school. But things are great now. They’re probably a lot better than I thought they would turn out. When you’re younger, you don’t know yourself that well. I’ve maybe not learned a lot, but I’ve learned to appreciate things that I should have before.”

On their advancing years:

RB: “There’s an upside to the creaks and pains of age… It forced me to slow down, which is good. If you fight your body as it ages, you’re not gonna win.” “…You can still be kinda hot at 65, in your own mind.”

JG: “I’ve got bionic parts now (in reference to his set of titanium knees). You live through enough and survive, you have to make peace with your flaws and your broken pieces.”

On taking stock of life:

RB: “…I’ve carved a lot of the chaos out of my life. Now it’s more relaxed.”

JG: “I started looking back fondly and realized how lucky I had been—and I really feel that now.”

On his dramatic weight loss:

JG: “It was basically just portion control…I was just shoving everything into my mouth. But I don’t want to be an example to anybody when the weight comes thundering back on—when I start eating Crisco out of the can with a spoon and a side of confectioners’ sugar.”

On working on the Roseanne reboot:

RB: “Every day, I pinch myself and wonder, Is this the most fun in the world or the onset of dementia?”

JG: “Although it’s harder because I’m older. Daddy gets tired; Daddy gets a headache and can’t remember his lines sometimes…I thought for some reason I was expert on humor when I was younger. I don’t have to work so hard to be funny now.”

Health Humor

Limping Along as the Amazon Queen

January 4, 2018

I am an Amazon Queen. Please note that I did not say that I am THE Amazon Queen because I have a feeling that title belongs to a lot of us out there on the front lines of online buying, my niece for one!

According to nChannel, “The desire for instant access and fast turnaround, 24/7, will be the norm by 2026, driven in particular by millennials (born approximately 1980–95) and also by Generation Z consumers (born approximately 1996–2010)…..On average, Millennials now make 54% of purchases online versus 49% of non-Millennials.” https://www.nchannel.com/blog/ecommerce-stats-trends-online-shopping/

This is not surprising to me since I do ninety percent or more of my shopping online. Hence my title of Amazon Queen! I even order my groceries online, again through an Amazon service called Prime Now. I do that even though I have discovered that both Prime Now and Google Express raise the prices they charge for items ordered online versus what is available in the physical stores, (which is Sprouts through Prime Now and Costco through Google Express). They also do not offer a full selection of what you can get in the stores.

What they do offer though is convenience and strangely enough a better way for me to budget my grocery bills. I am an impulse buyer when I shop in the stores, but online I have a budget and I stick to it.

As someone who was responsible for shopping for our building’s supplies and special events, I used to spend a lot of time walking around both Costco and Smart & Final. Also lifting and loading heavy cans and bags of coffee, sugar, creamer, etc. In the spring of last year that changed and someone else is now doing the heavy lifting.

Which brings me finally to my point. I used to get a lot of exercise shopping! Now I have one of those fit walker kind of watches and I am embarrassed to look at how few steps I take daily. I have to make myself schedule times to walk around and get my stupid steps! Sigh…..balance in life is difficult!

Health Humor Life

Becoming a Classic

January 3, 2018
FF-Cobra-blue

Have you ever driven a classic car? Admired a classic design? Stepped into a classic pair of jeans?

Janie Bryant, Mad Men‘s costume designer has this to say about being classic: “The clothing women wore in the ‘60s was made so differently from what we buy today. Its details, fabrics, construction — each piece was a labor of love. And the result was something iconic and classic, something inspired. Which is actually a pretty good metaphor for aging with grace: It takes time to create something beautiful.”

Who we are, our sense of self, even our bodies are an expression of the lives that we lead. The nice thing is that we can change our style. We can be inspired and we can age with grace.

Take a look at this article from OWN and HUFFPOST. There are some great tips on how to become your classic self. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/16/aging-well-tips_n_3569417.html

I plan on taking two or three and getting to work. Let’s see, my choices:

“Breathe” (I have a cold so that is more difficult than you would think!)

“Stand and sit up straight” also goes towards better breathing.

“Stay in the game” is more difficult when you don’t feel well, but dammit I have stuff to do!

And lastly for now,

“Think like a guy”.

Now don’t kill me for this ladies, but guys swagger. It doesn’t matter how old, ugly or poor they are they still think that they have the right to rule at least their little part of the world and that they have something that women want. It puzzles me sometimes, but I think I would like to try swaggering, just to see what it feels like! That’s what I need today, a classic swagger!

Humor Life Practicalities of Living

The Pursuit of Geekdom

January 2, 2018

I have decided to call this year for myself the “Year of the Geek”. I have always been a closet geek and even when I was a little girl I enjoyed playing with the toys that my brother got more than my own. (Did anyone else out there have that ugly bubble hair-do Barbie? I was so happy when some bully threw her on the roof!) In juxtaposition, my brother got this awesome circuit board thing that you could build a radio on. Much more interesting!

Anyway, in pursuit of my geekdom, I have signed up to take some courses at Lynda.com and also have been buying Kindle books like crazy to inspire creative thinking, “What is Your Dangerous Idea? Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable” by John Brockman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_Your_Dangerous_Idea%3F and “Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics_of_the_Future by Michio Kaku are just a few.

I also ran across this website this morning and thought it looked interesting. I love TED talks but never thought to look specifically for ones that were aging-related. Check out the link, you might find something to interest you. https://www.ted.com/topics/aging

The point for me is to never stop learning. Keeping my mind engaged and active not only makes for more interesting conversations but also makes me feel like I am keeping my brain healthy. Since it looks like I will be working in some capacity until what my doctor has promised me could be the ripe age of 95 if I will only do what he tells me, then all the new geeky stuff I learn should translate into employment opportunities. Who knows? In my next role, I might be a programmer…..or a romance writer because after all, a woman can’t live on geekdom alone!

Health Humor Life

Keep Those New Year Resolutions Coming!

January 1, 2018

To celebrate the New Year, the Los Angeles Jewish Home has produced an inspiring new video featuring seniors sharing their resolutions. The resolutions vary widely, with some focused on exercising more, stopping smoking, making new friends, or finding ways to control their anger. Nearly all, however, share at least one resolution in common: to live in the moment.

Most of the residents of the Jewish Home have discovered the key to longevity is living in the moment—and enjoying it. This optimistic outlook is embraced by the centenarian and near-centenarian residents of the Home.

Could such an optimistic outlook lead to a longer life? According to a series of studies from the U.S. and Europe, the answer is yes. Optimism helps people cope with disease and recover from surgery. A positive outlook also has a positive impact on overall health and longevity.

To view this new video from the Jewish Home, please visit http://www.lajh.org/news/videos/new-years-resolutions-from-our-jewish-home-residents.

Says Molly Forrest, CEO-President of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, “Seniors at the Jewish Home inspire us with their desire to improve their lives and the lives of others. We wish them all the best in 2018.”

Founded in 1912, the non-profit Los Angeles Jewish Home is among the largest providers of senior healthcare services in Los Angeles. Through its innovative Connections to Care® program, each year thousands of seniors benefit from the Home’s community-based and in-residence programs. Community-based programs include: A Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE); hospice; home health; palliative medicine; community clinics; short-term rehabilitation; and acute psychiatric care. Our Reseda campuses serve seniors with options for independent living, residential care, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care. The Home’s Gonda Healthy Aging Westside Campus in Playa Vista offers independent living and access to assisted living and memory care, if needed. Further information regarding the Jewish Home can be found online at www.lajh.orgor by calling 818.757-4407.

Humor Life Practicalities of Living

How I Roll

August 2, 2016

My sister is an excellent employee. She always rises to the top in whatever company she works for and has had the benefit of some excellent corporate training programs. I on the other hand, have not!

The last really corporate job that I held was with Pacific Bell where I was a cord board telephone operator, so that should tell you that it was a significant amount of time ago. I can also tell you that we didn’t have as much fun on the job as Lily Tomlin, with her “one ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy” nasal snickering had on hers. However, I did learn a skill on this job that has served me well on every adventure that I have had since. Pacific Bell called it “overlapping”, today we call it multitasking.

Now Larry Kim from Inc.Com said, “Multitasking makes it much more difficult to organize thoughts and filter out irrelevant information, and it reduces the efficiency and quality of our work.” (You can read his story here: http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/why-multi-tasking-is-killing-your-brain.html.) While I agree with him to a certain extent, I have to say for much of my life I have worked multiple jobs at the same time and done a good job on each, which certainly required me to be able to nimbly multitask. I don’t mean to sound sexist but I think women are more genetically programmed to multitask, especially mothers (not that I am one)!

So what have I been doing you ask? Well, for the last eight years I have worked as a publisher for an online magazine that caters to crew in the entertainment industry, you know, the people who handle the lighting, (what they heck is a best boy anyway?), make all those snazzy special and visual effects, etc. Loved that job, but it paid bupkis, so at the same time I was and still am a bookkeeper for an interesting and funny lady writer/producer from Austrailia and I also am an on-site manager for an active senior building. I  have a few other irons in the fire at the moment that I am exploring, but I am sure you will hear more about those later.

My sister, I know, worries about me and she occasionally makes suggestions about the idea of going corporate again and finding a more “stable” job, but she knows me and knows that I like having lots of variety in my life. I’m pretty sure I would expire from boredom doing the same thing Monday through Friday, eight to five.

So this is how I roll and since I don’t have a golden parachute or even a big balloon to retire with, I figure I will be rolling this way until I die! As I once heard Ester Hicks of Law of Attraction fame say, I plan on being “happy, healthy, happy, healthy, happy, healthy, happy, healthy, happy, healthy (got the picture yet?), happy, healthy DEAD! I think that is the way to go! By the way, there are years more of happy, healthy there, I just thought it would drive both you and I crazy if I wrote them all out!

Humor Life

Lovely Words

July 19, 2016

I have always loved to read. I used to be a disobedient child and hide under my covers at night with a purloined flashlight so I could read my books of fairy tales. I read the backs of cereal boxes at breakfast, gum wrappers and newspapers, whatever was at hand. It didn’t matter what as long as I had words to read.

Words have taken me on visits to fantastic lands, exploring outer space, being amazed by Greek myths, struggling with old English in Shakespeare, through the classics and trashy bodice rippers. I’ve loved them all. They have shared wonder, sadness, mystery, horror, compassion, how-to’s and why-not’s and made me happy.

Along the way, all this reading gave me a fascination with words. Oh, the sounds they make rolling around in my head! I remember when someone first described me as voluptuous and I looked up the word, I was so excited to be something other than fat! And robust, another wonderful word that jumps off the tongue. Obstinate, durable, ephemeral, conciliate, intimacy, endearment all words just begging to be used in sentences.

And then I started learning other languages! Oh my goodness, more words to learn and use. The other day, I freaked out my brother-in-law when he was teasing me in the car. He had a drink or three in him for the 4th of July and he was poking me and telling me crazy stories. He finally poked once too often and I turned around and shouted at him, “No toca mi cuerpo!” (don’t touch my body in Spanish). He flew back into the corner of the car with a horrified look on his face and I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. Now where did I get those words? I don’t know, a novella perhaps? All I can tell you is that they rolled off my tongue with authority and they sounded good! At least to me, my brother-in-law may still be having nightmares about them!

Today I was reading an article in The New Yorker and the writer, Peter Schjeldahl, used the phrase “He skimmed, without disturbing, quotidian splendors.” I had two thoughts reading this sentence, the first was that it was a lovely sentence and the second that I had no idea what “quotidian” meant. Using my buddy Google to look it up, I was tickled to read that the word means “ordinary or everyday especially when mundane” and I thought how wonderful it was that a word that meant ordinary and mundane could be used to make such a beautiful sentence. If you would like to read the full article it is linked here: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/finding-solace-in-henri-matisses-nice

 

Humor Life

New Beginnings at Any Age

July 12, 2016

I recently had a come-to-Jesus moment when I realized that I had in some mysterious way turned 60 years old. How did that happen? Yesterday I was celebrating my 40th birthday with a margarita and some kind of chocolate cake!

So, partly in a response to the wake-up call that I better get my butt in gear if I wanted to reach the goals that I have and not need to eat cat food when I “retire”, I left a job I loved and had poured blood, sweat and tears into for eight years and stepped out into the wide world on my own again.

Of course, this decision was helped along by the fact that I was basically running the business for a man who wasn’t paying me, but also was forged by the inescapable realization that it was time to stop running other people’s businesses and run my own.

Changing Your Future At Any Age

Changing Your Future At Any Age

Do I know what that is yet? No. Do I have ideas? Hell yeah! This is one of them.

I thought other people might come to appreciate watching me have a life crisis at 60 and be inspired by the fact that there is still enough life left at this age to have one!

So, going forward I plan to share here the ups and downs of making a new life, one that I hope will indeed put me on the road to indulgent aging.

But I warn you, I have lots of different interests, so you may find a hodge-podge of stuff to read here. I hope you find it enjoyable and maybe even a little inspiring.

Humor

The Urge to Merge

September 21, 2015

Yesterday one of the senior ladies in my building congratulated me on my new boyfriend. She is a roguish lady in her eighties who had once told me that she was surprised to find herself with “the urge to merge” again and was looking for a new boyfriend.

Always Go For The Younger Ones

Urge - Man
Photo by Tavis Beck on Unsplash

She told me that she knew my new boyfriend was tall, handsome and younger than I and congratulated me on my wisdom in finding such a prize. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, always go for the young ones. That’s what I do!”

Never Lose The Urge to Hunt

Beautiful White Tiger
Photo by Saptarshi Ghosh on Unsplash

I tried to tell her that my supposed new boyfriend was a happily married, gay coworker, but though her libido is intact her hearing is not, so she walked away with a pleased smile, leaving me to wonder why at 25 years her junior, I lacked not the “urge to merge” but the urge to hunt.