Life Imitates Art

The American Lung Association says Phoenix (which includes Scottsdale, one of the trendiest cities around) is at the top of the list for U.S. cities with the worst dust pollution. Now I already know this because my mother and daughter remind me me of it daily. “Jean, can’t you do something about the air quality? I can hardly breathe,” Gasp, gasp. “See what a hard time I’m having?” Choke, choke. “Why did you move me here if you knew the air was so dirty?: Cough with phlegm. Sigh.

And then from my daughter: “Hello, Mom? The air quality is so poor today and the particulate levels so high, I can’t take the kids out and I have a very important appointment. Can you babysit for a few hours? I know it’s last minute but…” “Lara, is this an emergency? I have my own dentistmammogramhairremovalmymother’spodiatrist appointments today.” “Well, I’ll have a lot of stress if I don’t get my hair cut.”

In reality we can blame our failing environmental grade  on one lone-monitoring station in Pinal County that has skewered the results. However, it doesn’t mitigate the fact that our air is trapped in this Valley and six in 10 Americans breathe unhealthy air, which puts them “at risk for heart attacks, lung disease and premature death.” Norm Edelman says that if we reduce air pollution we can add five months to our life expectancy.

In reality when I was assisting Maury with his latest environmental campaign there was an eco-twit who really liked him. I was very suspicious but  kept myself in check. Imagine my surprise when our controversial governor spoke up at an event this week with the following statement. “If you’d like to follow me around, you can be on my tweeter…with my twits.” And I thought I was the only one worried about an errant twit.

My Mother Thinks She Can Be a Star

There’s a market for everyone in this era of reality TV and bad taste programming (Come on! Have you watched “Jersey Shore” or “The Kardashians”?!). A new cable show aimed to shock and inform, “Sunset Daze,” has inspired my mother to think her life is interesting enough that she should be on the 10-part series even though it deals with pole dancing and guns.  “Jean, I can be just as sophisticated and raunchy as the star, Gail Leibowitz. Just because I haven’t moved to Sun City yet where the show is based doesn’t mean they don’t need the Scottsdale scoop. I might consider dating if it would get me a spot on the show.”

“Mom! Please. Come to your senses. You’ve always been obsessed with privacy. You wouldn’t even let me tell the neighbors my last name growing up. Why would you want to put yourself out there for the whole world to see?”

“Because seniors have a life, too. I think young people should know we’re not just sitting around painting ceramic turkeys and checking our blood pressure. We can be hot and sexy too.”

The thought of it gives me stress. I’ve never wanted my mother’s feet to hurt, but that would be a welcome distraction right now.



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