Betsy Robinson, author of funny literary stories about flawed people, is a perpetual seeker of truth.

From books to music to theater and fine art, from online TV to DVDs, this blog takes a look at current culture through a spiritual perspective — with a touch of humor.

Materials under the "review" tag are a mix of free review copies (books, DVDs, etc.) in exchange for a review, to library copies, to materials and tickets I've paid for.


A Really Bad Hair Day (Feb. 13 blog)

The Art of Collapsing (Feb. 6 blog)

Life is only temporary says Evan Handler (Jan. 28 blog)

The New World of Finance (Jan. 28 blog)

All about growing up in a cult (April 16 blog)

Fierce Giving (Jan. 8 blog)

(Copyright © 2008-2014 Betsy Robinson. All rights reserved)

Notes from a Crusty Seeker

Tulips and a Request for a Slight Alteration

April 15, 2009

Tags: Unemployment, fun, healing

“Here’s the thing,” I seem to be saying. “I really like flowers, but my eyes no longer open enough to fully enjoy their colorful fluorescence because of my gravity-challenged brows. And I think, doctor, I sincerely believe that I should be given an eye job for medicinal purposes — fully paid for by insurance, of course. Don’t you agree?

“Also, in this crummy job market, doctor, I do believe that having plastic surgery on my droopy lids could give me a boost, possibly even taking me off the dole, which would be extremely good for our economy. Speaking of which, is there something in the Stimulus Package for this? Eye stimulation or face stimulation or some kind of orgasmic stimulation to make people of a certain age more attractive or at least employable to those youngsters who are doing the hiring?

“I’m not an aggressive person, doctor. I learned this morning from a P.R. professional that my laid-back-ness and non-aggressive droopy lids are not a particularly good thing. Most people want aggressive people with steely lidless eyes who can multi-task while twittering and social networking. I’m more of your quiet, concentrated workhorse with a sense of humor type, so I think it would be best if you wrote me a prescription for eyelid surgery immediately. I hope my insistence is not too aggressive.

“There was a recent psychological study about how if you meditate on an image, you may temporarily boost your “visuospatial abilities” — which could make me an even better workhorse, while increasing my enjoyment of the garden, therefore adding to my overall health —which you, my dear doctor, know is a medical necessity.

“Another study — which I reported on when I had a job and less droopy lids — says that tomatoes are great for avoiding cancer, and in this photo I have four tomato plants in my bag which I intend to grow illegally — I won’t tell you where. Although I’m not aggressive, I am a very with-it kind of gal who believes in local sustainability and thus I intend to farm.

“I intend to eat my tomatoes, doctor. All of them. But if you will write me a prescription for droopy lid surgery, I will promise to save some for you.

“I will also tell you where the tulips blaze. They’re at the West Side Community Garden on 89th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues in Manhattan, which has been serving the community — without regard to age, gender, sexual preference, HIV or droopy-eye status — since 1973. Many of the gardeners there have many wrinkles. Wrinkled gardeners are swell and generous people. So are the unwrinkled ones — one of whom, by the name of Alison Yobage, took this photo. Starting in June, there will be concerts at the garden. Whether you’re wrinkled or smooth, aggressive or laid back, employed or on the dole, you can come to this garden. Gardeners will accept you however you are. Gardeners rock. Gardeners should run the world!

"Now about that prescription . . .”

Selected Works

Big Moose Prize-winning novel
a funny, sometimes sad, story of negotiating life without a clue

New on Kindle--a funny book for foodies who are committed to self-change through self-awareness
an epistolary memoir ... sort of
A funny and moving little book for anyone who's had a mother or struggled with being human.
anthology of stories and plays
includes Darleen Dances and stories below

1-act play

short story
the problem with worrying about the future

true story
Why I don't believe in death.

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