Posts Tagged With: The 2000 year old man

Day 2773: Will to live

Will to live, according to Wikipedia, is

a concept developed by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, Will being an irrational “blind incessant impulse without knowledge” that drives instinctive behaviors, causing an endless insatiable striving in human existence, which Nature could not exist without.l

In the 2000 Year Old Man, Mel Brooks seems to answer one of Carl Reiner‘s questions about his incredible longevity with “will to live.”  When Carl Reiner presses further, the 2000 year old man says, “What?  No!  I mean my great doctor, Will Talive.  Dr. William Talive!”

Tomorrow, I’m going to see my great doctor, Dr. Deeb Salem, who will continue to help me live into my later years with my very rare congenital heart condition. It seems that both Dr. Salem (who is older than I am) and I have tremendous will to live.

Now, as I live, I will reveal the inspiration for today’s post:


Yesterday, Michael and I wondered if our late kitty Oscar would still be alive today if we hadn’t given him a “peaceful passing” two weeks ago, because Oscar had such an amazing will to live.

Will you see the will to live in my other photos from yesterday?












One of my readers — puella33 — had the will and the talent to transform one of my previous photographs into this wonderful painting:

Carla's painting

I’m so glad that beautiful painting will live in this blog.

Here is “The Will to Live” by Ben Harper:

Here are the opening lyrics of “The Will to Live” by Ben Harper:

I met a girl whose heart
Was on the right hand side
And upon the left
An angel did reside
They told her mother
That she never would survive
But she kept the rhythm
And is still alive.

I hope you will have the will to leave a comment.

As long as I have the will to live, I will express gratitude for everything, including YOU!


Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2739: No longer

I am no longer President of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, so I am no longer worrying about acting Presidential (although “acting Presidential” no longer has the same meaning it used to).

Carl Reiner is no longer on this earth.

This sentence, at the end of the Wikepedia entry about Carl Reiner, is no longer than 20 words:

Reiner died at his home on June 29, 2020, aged 98, in the company of his family.

This episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, which Carl Reiner wrote, produced, and created, is no longer than 25 minutes:

This 2000-Year-Old Man Routine, co-created by the no-longer-with-us Carl Reiner and the-still-with-us-as-of-this-writing Mel Brooks, is no longer than four minutes:

I am no longer able to say that I never saw that before. It’s been no longer than 55 years that I’ve known Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks as comic geniuses.

Mel Brooks, who describes himself on Twitter as “Writer, Director, Actor, Producer and Failed Dairy Farmer” and who no longer can have dinner every night  with his old friend and co-writer Carl Reiner, posted this no-longer-than-280-character tribute yesterday:

Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment. He created comedy gems like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Jerk, and Where’s Poppa? I met him in 1950 when he joined Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, and we’ve been best friends ever since. I loved him. When we were doing The 2000 Year Old Man together there was no better straight man in the world. So whether he wrote or performed or was just your best friend — nobody could do it better.  He’ll be greatly missed. A tired cliché in times like this, but in Carl Reiner’s case it’s absolutely true. He will be greatly missed.

It took me no longer than a few seconds to find this great photo of Carl Reiner, Annie Reiner, and Mel Brooks that was taken no longer than two days away from Mel Brooks’s 94th birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day:

black lives matter

I hope it is no longer debatable in this country that black lives matter.

I am no longer worried about other people’s incorrect assumptions or my inadvertent miscommunications, like Mel Brooks’s birthday and Carl Reiner’s death day being the same day (which they aren’t — they are one day apart).

This post is no longer focusing on words as I share my images from yesterday:











I am no longer expecting comments but I will welcome any you choose to make.

It takes no longer than one word to express heart-felt gratitude.


Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1298: How to Not Die

As I approach my 1300th consecutive daily post here at WordPress, I am thinking that important topics, for me, include “How to Not Die” both as

  • a blogger and
  • a human being.

How to Not Die  as a blogger could very well include changing the title of this blog from “The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally” to  “How to Not Die.” Don’t you think that new title would

  • attract more readers and
  • be a better representation of my life-long story of figuring out how to not die from heart-related challenges?

Unfortunately, this picture, taken yesterday, proves that my using “How to Not Die” would be a deliberate act of plagiarizing a beloved celebrity and author:

I guess you and I are stuck with the title of this blog, as I look ahead to the next 1300 consecutive daily posts.

How to Not Die, for me, includes getting up and out and taking photos of what’s alive around me, including these:

What music might you choose for a post titled “How to Not Die?”

“Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees?


Please help this blog post not die by leaving a comment, below.

Staying-alive thanks to Mel Brooks, the Bee Gees and everybody else who helps me create this “How to Not Die” blog, including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 826: The difference between tragedy and comedy

I got a paper-cut on my finger three days ago  at work, and it’s been hurting me ever since.

I don’t know if Oscar — or you — can see that cut, but it’s reminding me of this definition of the difference between tragedy  and comedy, from Mel Brooks as The 2000 Year Old Man:

Tragedy is when I get a paper-cut on my finger. It hurts, I’ll run around, I’ll cry, and I’ll go to the hospital.

Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.

Even though I can’t find that particular tragedy/comedy clip right now,  that’s no tragedy, since there’s lots more comedy where that came from :

You can find Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner performing the amazing comedy of The 2000 Year Old Man on YouTube and — I hope — many other places.  It would be a tragedy if those jewels of improvisational comedy ever disappear.

Sometimes, I find it hard to decide what’s tragic and what’s comic, in my life. Sometimes, I laugh to keep from crying or find it all so funny, I cry.

Am I alone in this tragicomedy?

Whatever your thoughts about that or anything else in this post, it wouldn’t be a tragedy if you leave them in a comment, you know.

Here are some photos I took last night, when I was thinking about tragedy and comedy at our local supermarket.


I am hoping that nobody’s so tragically alone that they need a talking mouse like that, just to hear the words, “I like you.”

Here’s a tragedy for me (which may be comical to you):

My most favorite Skinny Cow dessert has tragically  disappeared from the freezer section of my supermarket.   I fear the yummy and low calorie chocolate mousse ganache cones I love  will never, ever return.

If my thoughts turn tragic about that loss or about anything else (like the upcoming surgery for my unusual heart), I’ll just remember this:

Yes, I have survived disco, so I’ll probably survive a whole lot more.

There’s a specific personal tragedy I’d like to transform here, before I end this post. Last week, a doctor I met for the first time said things I found negative, frightening, and tragically hope-diminishing. As I’ve oft written in this blog, negative words and thoughts  can tragically push out the positive.

In the here and now, I resolve to turn that tragedy into comedy.


Well, as I’ve found in individual and group psychotherapy, it’s possible to reduce the power of toxic people by changing your thoughts about them. For example, I could picture that cardiologist as a clown  or as a standup comedian, delivering a routine (rather than delivering dire predictions about my health).

Also, I could turn that personal tragedy into comedy here,  with some jokes about doctors:

“Doctor, you have to help me out!” “Certainly, which way did you come in?”

“Doctor, you’ve taken out my tonsils, my adenoids, my gall bladder, and my appendix, but I still don’t feel well.” “That’s enough out of you!”

“Doctor, my leg hurts! What can I do?” “Limp.”

“Doctor, I’ve hurt my arm in several places.” “Don’t go there any more.”

What’s the difference between God and a doctor?
God doesn’t think He’s a doctor. 

As that last joke reminds me, that doomsday doctor I saw last week is not God. No human being, doctor or otherwise, is psychic about the future. We all have to wait and see what really happens, with all of us.

Maybe I’ll run into this doctor years from now, still looking as good as I do now, and give him some sort of comic gesture.

What do you think that gesture should be?

When you have about 25 minutes for some great comedy, watch this episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show for a perfect suggestion:

(Note: that episode is no longer available on YouTube, perhaps because of the tragedy of Mary Tyler Moore’s death.  The gesture, in “The Critic” episode,  was  a pie in the face.)

Well! I have to go to the hospital now, not because of my paper-cut or any other tragedy, but because I need to get to work.

Here’s what it looks like outside, right now:

Is that a tragedy or a comedy? It might depend on how close it is, to you.

Tragically sincere thanks to Mel Brooks, to Carl Reiner, to the wonderful writers and actors from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to people who live a thousand years or less,  to good doctors, to bunnies of all colors, to skinny cows, and to you — of course! —  for sharing my comedies and tragedies, here and now.

Categories: humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 238: Random Images (paired)

I wasn’t sure what to post about on this Monday morning, so I thought I would do a Random Post. Rather than my usual Random Thoughts, though, this is a post about Random Images. That means I get to include some photos I’ve taken lately, which haven’t appeared in previous posts.

To give this post a wee bit more structure, I am going to post those pictures in pairs — two photos at a time, that have some connection (and differences, of course).

Okay? Let’s get started!

Photo A:


Photo B:


I took these two photos in Harvard Square last month, right before I left for my trip to London and Edinburgh. The connection? The photos show two sides of the same sign, in front of a cafe/restaurant. What did I want to say about this, right now? I’ve been noticing that conversations and attitudes about diet — about what people eat — seem to be “split” lately, between:

  1. Food that is really, really good for you — so health-oriented, with so many restrictions, that I begin to get scared that everything I eat is poisonous except for, maybe, just cool, clear water (and sometimes, a stuffed cabbage), but no, wait! water is a problem, too, especially if it’s in the wrong receptacle, etc. etc., OR
  2. Food that is really, really “bad for you” — so let’s eat that sugar, that fat, all that stuff that’s bad for us, packed as tightly as possible into a single serving, and screw you, diets!!

Next pairing!

Photo A:


Photo B:


These two photos are separated in space and time. The first one was taken during that aforementioned trip to Harvard Square; the second one taken a week or so later, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Similarities? Both involve people dressed up in period costumes, performances, and trying to sell somebody something.

Next pairing!

Photo A:


Photo B:


This is another pairing that was very close in space and time. Our last night in Edinburgh, I noticed these two buildings, a couple of blocks away from each other, that had windows illuminated in one color — green in the first building and purple in the second building. I had never seen anything quite like this, didn’t know how this special effect had been created, and wanted to capture it.

Last pairing, for this blog post!

Photo A:


Photo B:


Similarities? Both photos were taken after I returned home from the trip to Edinburgh, both feature the same domesticated short-haired cat, and both involve a special effect. The difference? In the first one, the photographer intervened in the staging of it; in the second one, she just captured the moment.

That concludes our blog post for today, ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks to Mel Brooks’s 2000 year old man (for the reference to his strict diet of just water and maybe sometimes a stuffed cabbage), to special effects wizards everywhere, to performers and performances both staged and improvised, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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