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Thursday, November 6, 2014


Everyone says that one of the benefits of cruise travel is that you can unwind, forget your problems and lose all your stresses.  While I have no problems and had little stress to lose, there is a kind of deep relaxation that pervades your system here, all the more enhanced by almost continued inebriation.

I learned that you can request bottles of alcohol for your room, at no cost.  So I got a White Label scotch, not those dainty plastic bottles, but a whole liter.  I requested a red wine, and a Cabernet Sauvignon came from Paso Robles, the latest, newest wine hot spot in California.  More than half a century ago when I traveled between Stanford and Los Angeles on Highway 101, I always drove through the dusty town of Paso Robles.  Never once stopped.  Now, this is the desired location for wineries, especially Petite Syrahs.
Asked for a bottle of Japanese beer, and soon came a six-pack of Sapporo.  Now I can get drunk in my room and minimize banging around in the hallways and falling.  Walking around on a ship is now a greater challenge.

But I nevertheless decided to walk a mile or two or three on the promenade, and take my pulse and blood pressure to see if my pressure dropped if my pulse rate went up.  On Day Three I only walked a mile and a half and my pulse rate never went past 85, so my blood pressure never dropped below 130/85, and, in fact generally rests at a rather high 155/90.  Must cut back alcohol.

Lunch today on my veranda was a hot dog with chile and French fries.

One of the lectures today was by Herb Keyser on “The Life and Music of Judy Garland.”  What a life:
  • She was not quite 5 feet tall, and as an adult weighed from 180 pounds to less than 90.
  • She went to the school at Metro Goldwyn Mayer with Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Elizabeth Taylor, and was considered the ugly duckling.

  • But she could sing:

  • She was provided sleeping pills and amphetamines by the studio and got addicted.
  •  Had a terrible personal life, 
    • owing hundreds of thousands to the IRS 
    • suffered through horrible relationships
    • was an alcoholic
    • her father was gay
    • she married five times, three husbands were gay, including Vincent Minnelli, who directed her in Meet Me in St. Louis and was responsible for their daughter, Liza Minnelli.
    • She became a camp figure and gay icon, with death in 1969 inspiring the Stonewall riots, beginning the Gay Liberation movement, with the rainbow flag from "Over the Rainbow" symbolizing the effort.
    • The number is not certain, but Juju Gaga probably attempted to commit suicide at least half a dozen times. 
    • She passed away at the age of 47 in 1969, with anorexia and sleeping pills being mostly responsible.

    Dinner tonight was caviar, two soups and salad.  I skipped the entrĂ©e.

    The vodka was Russian and the red wine California.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average, again, broke an all-time record, up 70 to 17,554.  Wall Street must like Republicans.


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