BLAINESWORLD #1103 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Kiesa Kay: I do not know if this might be a topic for Blaine’s World, but I sure hope this wonderful musician, Patrick Sky, gets the support he needs. He’s given so much talent to the world, as has his wife, poet, fiddler, and guitarist Cathy Sky. … To read more about him (and to help support his new challenge with Parkinson’s), please click:

(2) Bonnie Sibner: Another Actress Steps Forward Accusing Tom Hanks of Being Nice

(3) Tee Gerardi: Good read… Thanks for your effort 🙂



Section 12A, NC events

(1) Barrie Barton: PechaKucha Night AVL is BACK! This is your chance to experience some of the MOST INCREDIBLE people and stories, on stage, for ONE NIGHT ONLY! And for only $8?!?!

Friday, December 1 at 7:30 PM – 9 PM GROVE HOUSE11 Grove St, Asheville, NC
Ticket Information:

PechaKucha means “chit-chat” in Japanese, and four nights a year, it’s where Ashevillians gets together to share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps, and passions. Don’t tell them we said it, but it’s like a TED Talk……but MORE FUN.

If you’ve been, you know it’s a blast. If you haven’t…you’re missing out. We can’t wait to see you at the Grove House for PechaKucha Night on December 1st!

If you have questions, email!

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Section 12B, PA/NJ events

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BLAINESWORLD #1102 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Sharon Goodman: Can you resend your top 100 favorite movie list … please?

Response: Sure! … If anybody else would like to get a copy, please send an email to: and put FAVORITES in the subject line.

(2) Scott Treadway: Actors say rude audiences are destroying Broadway



(5) It’s Your Fault People Always Misunderstand You

(6) This Is How to Be the Most Interesting Person in Any Conversation, According to Science



(9) Delores Chalmers: Dear Family & Friends,

Several months ago, I embarked on a journey that would not only lift my own spirits, but more importantly help save someone’s life. This journey is called Team In Training (TNT). Team In Training is the signature fundraising campaign for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) which is dedicated to battling blood cancers.  Through Team In Training, I have been preparing myself to do a full marathon (26.2 miles) Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah MarathonI took on this tough physical challenge because it pales in comparison to the physical challenges of battling blood cancers. Throughout our season we have been introduced to our Honored Heroes like Kelly, a young lady who is a blood cancer survivor and has inspired me to keep training and fundraising.  I have learned that the money I am asking you to donate will go towards finding new cures, assisting patients who are dealing with the financial struggles of their disease, and help LLS lobby for better care and coverage of blood cancer patients. When I complete the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon on November 4, 2017, I will be doing the race in honor/memory of my aunt and other honored heroes; as well as in the memory of countless others who lost their battle with these terrible diseases.

My race is a few months away and that is why I am emailing you today. I am asking for your help in reaching my goal of raising $4000.00 towards the fight against blood cancers. I am asking you to consider LLS as your charity of choice this year for your charitable gift. It is not too late, simply go to my webpage (link below) or mail check and make a donation towards helping save someone’s life! Thank you in advance for your help and keep checking my website for updates about the race.

PS. To help support my team, please click:



Section 12A, NC events

(1) Mike Martinelli: Hey Blaine, an you help me push this? The general manager at the Carolina Cinemark was able to get this here when it wasn’t scheduled. I would like to see support for this from Asheville, especially the theater community.

On November 16 only, enjoy the holiday spectacle of Irving Berlin‘s Holiday Inn: The Broadway Musical, and get a free three-month subscription to BroadwayHD with your ticket! More information about the complimentary subscription will be available at the cinema event.

For Asheville tickets, please click:

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(2) Stephen A. Gonya: LOVE LETTERS by A.R. Gurney,  staring Wanda Taylor and Stephen A. Gonya, can be seen on November 17 & 18 at 7:30pm and November 19 at 2pm at FEICHTER STUDIO (at HART). This romantic Tale was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and Spans a lifetime all told through the correspondence of its two characters. Tickets are just $10. The HART number is 828.456.6322.

(3) Marci Bernstein: Do you believe in the power of a mentor? Would you love to help local kids and families grow stronger? That’s what this night is all about! Both Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC and Attic Salt Theatre Company are organizations that mentor local youth. We need your help to keep our programs going strong so we can reach as many young people and families as possible.

Join us for a night of food, drink and stories that will tickle your funny bone and warm your heart. This is a special, one-time event benefiting both Attic Salt and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Tickets must be purchased in advance – don’t get closed out from getting yours.

November 17, 2017
Drinks and light food at 6:30pm; show starts at 7:00pm
at Attic Salt Theatre Arts Space

2002 Riverside Drive, Studio 42-0
$50 includes nibbles, drinks and performance
Tickets available at
Facebook Event


Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(1) At Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College:

Note: Above won’t work to get tickets. You need to click this link:

(2) At Actors’ Net of Bucks County:

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BLAINESWORLD #1101 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2 

(1) Bill Lewis: Have you ever seen the movie Mirrors with Kiefer Sutherland?  I’m watching it right now and it’s scaring the shit out of me.  Very tense. … I do recommend the movie.

(2) Michaeleen Lee: I like the idea of saying “Make it a great day,” instead of just “Have a great day.”

(3) Bray Creech: Great weekly email as usual and thank you kindly for highlighting my Citizen Times column. You are a great example of “always stay interested” and “always stay positive.” And thank you for all the theatre you support here in WNC.

(4) Kier Klepzig: Shake Up Your Wardrobe With Crocheted Men’s Shorts

(5) Mike Martinelli: LBJ *** 1/2

One of the best films I have seen this year.Excellent performances by Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Jason Lee as LBJ and Ladybird Johnson.

The true story how Lyndon B Johnson worked and fought his way through the Senate to become the 36th president of the US. Disliked by the Kennedy’s especially Bobby this biography makes you think did LBJ have anything to do with the death of JFK.Johnson even though made the hero of getting civial rights passed was actually trying to stop JFK from bringing it up for vote and how JFK and Bobby fought him. LBJ was definately a tough rude and foul mouthed.

Other then seeing All The Way the Tony Award winning Broadway play I knew nothing really about LBJ because I was to young to remember much about him. So far there is no award buzz for this film or the performances but there definitely should be for best actor, supporting actor and actress and best cast ensemble at SAG.


Section 12A, NC events

(1) Lora Ristau: Greetings!

As some of you may know, our friend and fellow theatre volunteer, Carole Saich, is going through a stressful time. With winter and the Holidays fast approaching, we’d like to lift her up and help relieve some of that stress. I know most of us aren’t in a position to give monetarily, but we do have loads of talent! AND HCT has generously donated their E-center, Second Stage for a ‘Coffee Shop Cabaret’ where the proceeds from the suggested donations will go to our dear friend. The performance will be held Sunday evening, November 19th exact time TBA. This will be an informal cabaret night with hot coca, coffee, cookies/baked goods, appetizers, and spirits (sold through HCT). Please consider donating your talents and a small amount of your time to helping us show Carole how much this theatre community appreciates and cares about her. Below are different areas available for volunteering, there are options for many different levels of involvement.

Performance Based Volunteers:
The show will run approximately an hour and a half with each performance lasting up to 8 minutes.
This is an anything goes cabaret, so you may perform in any style you’d like; a scene, monologue, poems, storytelling, singing (MT or non-MT music), a perfect place to test out an audition package or two in front of an audience.
You can sign up alone, or with others, but you will be responsible for choosing and rehearsing your own group.
Non-Performance Based Volunteers:
Set-up: Help set up tables and chairs before show.
Food Preparation: Do you have a favorite dish you love to show off? Please consider donating a batch to sell during the show.
Food and Drink: Collect donations and assist people with food and beverages before and during the show. This will be available the whole show so a few people to take shifts would help with this task.
Clean-Up: All who can help for a half hour after the show to clean up, please do.
Publicity: Putting up a couple flyers or passing the info on to people who may be interested in volunteering or attending the show.

Please Respond to with the area of volunteering you are interested in. Beyond helping a good friend of ours, this will be a great time to get together and kick off the Holiday Season!

Hope to hear from you all!

(2) Judith Loniak:

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Section 12B, PA/NJ event

Gayle Crist:

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BLAINESWORLD #1100 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Mike Denny: Thanks Blaine! I saw that article [“For Your Brain’s Sake, Keep Moving”]. You’re obviously living up to that one. I feel boring when I read your blog. lol. … Don’t think I’ve said my mother passed away from Alzheimer’s about 3 yrs ago and lost my father right after Christmas last year. He just ran out of steam and passed very peacefully. He was 92. … Still visiting Bucks by the way. But the business has changed. Have another year or two and will think about another business.  … Enjoying the mild fall weather here in Philly area. I’m sure it’s beautiful in Asheville.

(2) Marty Sutton: Interesting issue, BG.  You gotta love Betty White!

(3) Mark Beloyan: This is my girlfriend’s webpage and Facebook page. Please share with all your friends.
Me Too No More
The Me Too No More group is here to provide a safe place to provide support for you to share your story as a victim/survivor of abuse
On Facebook:


(5) Trissa King: Just saw the movie “Lucky” at the Grail Moviehouse!! WONDERFUL movie, with Harry Dean Stanton in the title role.


Section 12A, NC events

(1) Mike  Yow:

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(2) Chelsea St. John Wade: Arsenic & Old Lace, presented by Theatre Veritas

November 16th, 17th, and 18th
Thursday and Friday 7pm
Saturday 2pm

Adults $10 Students $8 Children $5

The Colonial Theater
53 Park Street
Canton, NC 28716

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(3) Paula Hanke: 2 Upcoming Concerts for YOU!!

1. A revival of the show we created a few years back, this time focusing on the lives of Brazil’s treasured female vocalists who successfully collaborated with the brilliant Antonio Carlos Jobim: Elis Regina, Astrud Gilberto and Leila Pinheiro to name a few.

I’m so happy to be accompanied once again by Michael Jefry Stevens, Frank Southecorvo, Zack Page and Ben Bjorlie.

**Call 828-669-0816 to be placed on the advance reserved list for the reduced price.

**Tickets will be available soon at

2. Peggy & Paula
Winter Solstice/Holiday House Concert

December 17 (TBD afternoon/early evening)
Fletcher, NC
$35pc or $60 Couple.

We will provide FOOD, COCKTAILS and the ENTERTAINMENT!

*To raise $$ for our gofundme project-next phase:
creating our LLC partnership and recording ‘Love Is A Rose’ EP

*Plus……a % of proceeds will go to ‘United For Puerto Rico’.

For Tickets either:
1) Email us at
Put ‘I Want to Attend the Holiday House Concert’ in the subject line. And we will respond with details of house concert and where to send check or paypal payment
2) Donate $35 (single) or
$60 (for2)
and we’ll get back to you with the details!!!

(4) Judith Loniak: Please join me for the Opening Reception for our Peaceful Appalachians 11th Annual Juried Group Exhibit, which will be Saturday, November 4th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The show is at the Green Sage Cafe, Westgate — 70 Westgate Pky. Asheville, North Carolina. We hope you will join us to enjoy our member’s images.

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Section 12B, PA/NJ event




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BLAINESWORLD #1099 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2

59 Glorious Gratitudes*

by Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW

Tomorrow is my 59th birthday. It not only doesn’t freak me out to be getting closer to 60, but it delights me to consider all the blessings that have come along with nearly six decades on the planet (this time around, at least) and maybe a wee bit of wisdom. I made a list of 59 things I am grateful for.

Fifty- Nine Glorious Gratitudes
1. Family
2. Friends
3. Health
4. A beautiful cozy home
5. The Muse who inspires me
6. My Jeep that gets me where I need to go
7. Work that I love
8. Cuddle Party
9. Free Hugs
10. Laughter Yoga
11. Love
12. Sex
13. Yoga
14. Meditation
15. Drumming
16. Dancing
17. Music
18. Books
19. Writing
20. Nature
21. The gym
22. Animals
23. That I am becoming more outspoken
24. Travel
25. Abundance in all forms
26. Social media that keeps me connected to the world
27. Chocolate
28. My memories
29. That I learn from my history without making it my destiny
30. Being able to channel ideas in written and spoken form
31. Persistence
32. That I face each day with grace
33. Forgiveness
34. Compassion
35. That I am a powerful manna-fester, sometimes at the speed of thought
36. I am learning to ask for what I want and am willing to receive it
37. Adventures
38. My increased willingness to be vulnerable
39. My playful nature
40. My resilience
41. My ability to uplift myself when I am down in the dumps
42. Ancestors
43. That I am a love spreader and life lifter
44. My spiritual connection
45. The overlapping soul circles in my life
46. My left of center tree-hugging hippie sensibilities
47. The generosity of people in my life
48. My ability to connect with kindred spirits every day
49. My computer
50. The love of my life who is on his way
51. Friends who call me on my shit when they need to
52.Those who encourage me
53. Pedicures
54. Time at the gym
55. Messages from the Other Side
56. The venues and publications that invite me to write for them
57. WXPN (my favorite radio station)
58. Serendipity and wonderful surprises
59. Every day miracles

Oh, and that meme with the elephant, bird, and quote was another of those miracles. After a friend created it for me a few years back, it went on a worldwide whirlwind tour and on my birthday three years ago, it landed on Julian Lennon’s Facebook page. How cool is that?

I was reminded this morning that I share a birthday with Paul Simon. Both he and I are Still Crazy After All These Years.

Note: To listen to the above song, please click:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Sharon Lewis: I love the Netflix sitcom ‘Schitts Creek’ starring Eugene Levy.

(2) Sunny Ruble: Heh Blaine, so glad you had such a phenomenal time at your 50th!  For me, going to past HS reunions has been like twilight zone, with the “kids” you remember so well from then, being so changed and “elderly” (nice way to put it, right?) … just seems so surreal.

The concert was the best ever… I will have a DVD I can share with you later!Thanks for putting in the picture of us all at the concert… and we all did thumbs up in your honor!!!

(3) Jack Bowen: Thank you for posting about the advanced directive. I spent many years in my professional life providing services to LTC facilities, so that I can relate to the author’s experience and conclusions. This is part of the most difficult [however necessary] conversation we all should be having with our families! Yours is a life well lived!

(4) Linda McClean: That’s cool, Blaine. I had my 50th high school reunion last October. Time is flying on by!Hugs to you and Cynthia.

(5) Ange Maffei: Still a handsome man–both inside and out. 

(6) Mark Beloyan: Silly thought. The baby doesn’t have the right or chance to defend itself.  Everyone not already a criminal can own a gun to defend themselves. If you didn’t know, you have to go to class to get a concealed weapons license, pass a shooting test and a criminal background check.  Unlike abortion, the parent can perform safe sex and birth control practices, unlike a victim in a robbery, rape or assault. You can be assaulted with a hammer, knife, pipe or even fists  … bigger guys (versus smaller guys) beat you with their fists and your only defense might be a gun. 


Section 12A, NC events


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(2) Dakota Mann:

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October 13,14 & 15, 20, 21 & 22, 27, 28 & 29, 2017 (9 performances)

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Sundays at 3 PM

Written by John Fuller
Directed by Bob Stacy
Produced by Lauren Day

Based on the story by Mark Twain, this is the tale of a young engineer just out of college (the Yankee), who is experimenting at home with all kinds of mechanical devices and whimsically expresses the wish that he could invent a time machine. He unexpectedly gets his wish when he is knocked out by one of his own experiments and awakens in the Court of King Arthur, where Merlin immediately dislikes him.

55 East Jordan St.
Brevard, NC 28712
(828) 884-2587

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Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(1) Amy McKenna: Savor Bucks County features an amazing sampling of delicious savory foods, beverages and excellent desserts from caterers and restaurants in the Bucks County and surrounding areas.

Over 20 vendors, including:

Andale Latino Grill Andale Latino Grill
Brio Tuscan Grill Brio Tuscan Grille
Corporate Source Catering Corporate Source Catering
Dave & Buster’s Dave & Buster’s
DiAntonio’s Catering DiAntonio’s Catering
El Barrio Cantina & Tequila Bar El Barrio Cantina & Tequila Bar
Got Wine? Got wine ?
Historic King George II Inn King George Inn
Joseph’s Premier Events & Catering Joseph’s Premier Catering
M.E.I. Catering M.E.I. Catering
Muscle Maker Grill Muscle Maker Grill Langhorne
Steam Pub Steam Pub
Village Catering Premier Philadelphia Catering Village Catering

A great evening of food, fun and networking. One exhibitor will be given the 5 Star Award for Savory and one for Sweets for receiving the most votes from our attendees.

For tickets, please click:

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EVENT: IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE: ActorsNET launches its 22nd season with a stunning new adaptation by Tony Taccone and Bennet S. Cohen of Sinclair Lewis’ satirical drama, It Can’t Happen Here. Writing in the 1930s, Lewis, an acclaimed socially conscious author, adapted his best-selling novel of the same name into a play as a warning. His message? Do not elect a fascist to the American presidency. This play imagines the dire consequences had Franklin Delano Roosevelt been defeated in his bid for a third term. Elected instead is pseudo-populist “Buzz” Windrip, who initiates martial law, prompting many to flee the country and/or join resistance movements. Co-directed by Joe Doyle and Andrena Wishnie. Co-starring Tom Stevenson and Kyla Donnelly. Also starring (alphabetically) James “Jim” Cordingley, John Helmke, Gina Rose Hermans, Tim Irvine, Olivier Leroux, Jessica Mousley, Marco Newton, Ed Patton, Jack Petzko, R.O. Scott, D.J. Tomalin & Hayley Rubins-Topoleski. Featuring (alphabetically) Francesca Arco, Sean Costello, Joe Doyle, Dee Hamilton, Bonnie Kapenstein, Griffin Kemp, Katie Marra, Rick J. Speer and Ellen Wisnosky. Stage managed by Francesca Arco and Katie Marra. Set and costume design by Cheryl Doyle. Lighting design and operation by Andrena Wishnie of Morrisville. Sound design by Joe Doyle. Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.

SHOW DATES: Oct. 13 – 29, 2017. (Nine performances only)

TIMES: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m.

PLACE: The Heritage Center Theatre, 635 North Delmorr Avenue (Route 32), Morrisville, PA – near the Calhoun Street Bridge.

ADMISSION: $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+), $15 for WHYY cardholders and students. Parental discretion advised. Group rates available for ten or more.

TO RESERVE: Call the nonprofit Actors’ NET at 215-295-3694 or email

ON THE INTERNET: The Company’s website is Social networking includes Facebook page — “ActorsNET, AKA Actors’ NET of Bucks County” — and Twitter name @actorsnet.

COMING NEXT: Weekends, Dec. 1 – 17, ActorsNET presents the regional premiere of Bo Wilson’s comedy, THE CHARITABLE SISTERHOOD CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR – a comic romp about the theft of a baby Jesus from a crèche, which causes ladies from feuding southern church groups to unite and present a Christmas show. Directed by Joe Doyle. Starring Virginia Barrie, Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski and more.

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BLAINESWORLD #1098 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Bray Creech: Glad you liked The Glass Menagerie at HART. Thanks for the review. I’m going to try and catch it myself.

(2) Amy Joy Suben: 6 Ways to Invite Spirituality Into Your Life

(3) Walter Beals: The underground tank of my oil heater in my house has apparently gotten a leak in it and a bunch of water has gotten into it. I found out it’s going to cost me about $1600 to replace. I was just informed by my bank that my $1600 loan request was denied.

From upcoming juggling gigs and teaching fees, I have about half the money I need. SO, I need to make money so that I can have oil heat in my home this winter!

So… I’m running a special!! I will cast your face for $60! My normal cost for casting a face is $100. Performers! You need a cast of your face!

PLEASE SHARE THIS with your performer friends or anyone you know who is interested in having their face (or any body part for that matter) cast and replicated in ultra-cal 30 plaster!


PS from Blaine: We’ve also had Walter cast our hands, as well as the hands of friends. This makes for a unique gift.

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Section 11, Thought for the day

What if I get dementia?
by Dr. Jeff Sneider*

As a physician who has worked at nursing homes for decades I have watched many patients go through the natural life cycle of Alzheimer’s type dementia. I have seen healthy patients scared about the future. I have seen families struggle with decisions. I have seen caregivers, including doctors and nurses, conflicted about withholding treatment or applying treatment. I have wondered, what would I do if it were me?

As I have aged, I have become aware that my memory is not as good as it once was. I forget names at a rapid rate. I sometimes can’t find words. My typing has become more prone to error. My hand shakes a bit. What if I get Alzheimer’s? What if I can’t take care of myself? What if I can’t recognize my wife, my children or my friends and I can’t remember who I am? How would I want to be treated?

Before answering the question, I have to share some of my assumptions with you about life, and medical care, about pain and suffering, and about dying.

I know that I will die, though I feel much the same as Woody Allen, who said, “I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” That is a joke, of course. As someone who has practiced meditation, I do want to be there, if possible, when dying, except in cases of trauma where sedation is necessary. Interestingly, the person with Alzheimer’s is not there at the end, everyone else is there for you.

There is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s, or most forms of dementia, once the damage has been done and brain function has been lost. You can’t get it back.

<i style=”color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, FreeSans, sans-serif; font-size: 14.8500003814697px; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 20.7900009155273px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 1; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);”>Alzheimer’s is a specific form of dementia, and the two terms are often used interchangeably, but are not the same. You can get dementia from Alzheimer’s, from drinking too much alcohol, from a series of strokes, from brain injury due to trauma, from infections like encephalitis, from poisons like nerve gas, and so on. Anything that damages the brain can cause dementia.

Alzheimer’s is a specific progressive disease affecting more than the brain. In addition to the dreaded loss of memory, inability to recognize people and confusion about language, and orientation to themselves, their surroundings and other people, people with advanced Alzheimer’s type dementia can’t dress or feed themselves, can’t clean themselves after they go to the bathroom, can’t walk, and often can’t swallow. It is not just that they “forget” how to feed themselves or clean up after a bowel movement, there is a real physical loss of function, like the ability to swallow, that has nothing to do with memory. The progress of the disease covers many different body systems and is inexorable.

Many people maintain their social skills long after the memory has started to slip. A person with no memory for people or recent events can still be pleasant, carry on a coherent conversation and seem to be functioning normally as long as pointed and specific questions are not asked. We will often declare that such people are not competent to make decisions about their own medical care, even though they can tell you how they feel on any given day, or what they want. The ability to understand abstract ideas like “what to do if x,y, or z happens” is lost.

Behavior associated with poor memory, like getting lost, forgetting people and events, seems to come and go, especially in the first few years. It is not unusual for family members to wonder if they are “faking” memory loss because some days are so much better than others. They are not faking.

Personality can change drastically. The nice grandmother can suddenly start swearing like a sailor. The grumpy grandpa can become pleasant and placid. Paranoia, possessiveness, fear of anything new and aggressive behavior can also develop in people who were previously nice and calm.

Currently available medications purport to slow the progression of the disease, and they do, but not much. The drugs are expensive, may have side effects, and it is difficult to tell if they are working in any given patient. Once someone has advanced disease, requiring full support for all activities of daily living, lacking awareness of their surroundings and visitors, there is no point in continuing the drugs, but discontinuing the drugs may cause an acceleration of the downwards course of the disease.

People with Alzheimer’s don’t die from Alzheimer’s, exactly. Like other people with advanced dementia they often die from malnutrition that leads to infections which lead to death. Pneumonia due to choking on food or secretions is a common pathway to death. Urinary tract infections that lead to kidney infections and blood infections are common causes of death. Skin breakdown leading to widespread or deep skin infection is a common and often particularly painful way to go. A broken hip from a fall can lead to a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot to the lung) and death. Any other cause of death, from cancer to heart attack can intervene as well and might be difficult to diagnose and impossible to predict.

(Remember I am giving you my opinion here from personal observation and study.) Death by starvation, especially when the person starving has no hunger and no awareness of their own difficulties, is a painless way to go. A feeding tube in a person who can’t swallow because of dementia, does not prolong life. A patient can still aspirate and die of pneumonia after a feeding tube is in place. Feeding tubes are not usually recommended for patients with Alzheimer’s who cannot swallow safely.

I am amazed by the love and care demonstrated by family members, nurses and other staff in nursing homes and day care centers towards patients with advanced dementia. At the Jewish Home of CNY we have repeatedly taken patients who were thought to be dying, some even on hospice care, and helped them to survive for many years. Our nurses and aids keep people clean and dressed and well fed years after the person has stopped bathing, dressing or feeding themselves.

Nursing home care is very expensive. The majority of the budget for the State of New York is for Medicaid and the majority of Medicaid’s budget is spent on nursing home care. Doctors get less than 4% of the Medicaid budget.

The truth is that no matter how dedicated a family is there is often a point at which caring for an individual with advanced dementia exceeds the ability of the family to cope. In the best cases families proactively look for solutions such as long-term care institutions. In the worst cases, the person with dementia has to break a hip or get skin breakdown, sepsis or pneumonia and end up in the hospital before the family realizes that they can no longer meet the patient’s needs.

There is tremendous guilt in family members who feel that they are expected to care for their mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother or sister when they get sick. Words like “I never want to be in a nursing home” or “I’ll never let you go to a nursing home” have often been spoken. Such promises create unrealistic expectations and more guilt. I never want to be in a nursing home. I never want to be in a car accident. I never want to break a bone. My wishes may not always be fulfilled when I am trying to determine a future that I can’t understand or control. I accept that and don’t blame my family for what happens.

People have often not given clear advance directives about how they want to be treated should they become incapacitated, leaving their families to guess what they would have wanted. Most family members have to think what they themselves would want, not what their loved one would have wanted, because there is just not enough information.

In New York State we are fortunate to have the ability to state our advanced directives to our friends and family and to our eventual caregivers, doctors, nurses and institutions about how we want to be treated if we become ill. These advance directives, made by a person of sound mind and confirmed by a physician and witnesses should be legally binding. The sudden appearance of a relative from another state (usually Texas or California) who has a different idea about how to do things should not change the care plan if advanced directives are in place.

Doctors and nursing home administrators are very risk averse and don’t want to take chances. If advanced directives are not clear, even if families are not threatening to sue, the unfortunate patient will suffer the results. In the absence of advanced directives, medical care can be like a freight train: slow to start but very difficult to stop. Doctors and administrators can’t decide not to treat someone. Only a patients clear advance directives or a firm and strong courageous family member can do it, and only if the entire family agrees.

The worst thing that can happen to a patient with advanced dementia, in my opinion, is the intervention of aggressive medical care, with intensive care being the worst of the worst. Needle sticks, uncomfortable and dangerous tests, strange environments, sleep deprivation, dangerous medications and the ever present risk of medical errors makes hospitalization and intensive care very dangerous and uncomfortable for patient and family alike.

The comments above reflect my beliefs, based on years of observation. These are the assumptions I am using to determine how I want to be treated if I should ever develop dementia. You may have your own set of assumptions, but unless you have extensive years of medical training and experience in geriatrics, I would suggest that my assumptions are good ones to start with. At any rate, these assumptions plus an understanding of the world derived from the study of Buddhism, especially Zen, have given me comfort with change, uncertainty and the inevitable “unsatisfactoriness” of life. All of this informs my feelings about how I would want to be treated if I developed advanced dementia, and it is very different from how most of my patients with dementia are treated.

Let’s start with the extreme example and work backwards. Not all of the following factors need to be present, but if I am in a nursing home suffering the end stage of dementia; if I don’t recognize my wife or my kids; if I don’t know where I am; if I am having trouble eating and need to be fed; if I am having trouble swallowing; if I am having trouble walking and need to be in a wheelchair; if I am often confused and sometimes uncomfortable emotionally or physically; if I sometimes get restless or combative with my caregivers because I don’t understand what is going on; if I sundown; if I am at risk for falling –  if many or most of these qualities are present then I think the instructions for my caregivers should be clear: keep me comfortable, do not do any routine medical tests, give me only those medications necessary to keep me comfortable physically, and allow a natural death. If you think I have a urinary tract infection, do not check a urine sample. Don’t do any blood tests. Do not prescribe antibiotics. Under no circumstances send me to a hospital. If I have pneumonia, give me oxygen, morphine if necessary but no antibiotics. Pretend that I am at home and it is 1850, but don’t let the doctors bleed me or cup me! Do not over sedate me. There is a tendency to think people are suffering at the end of life even when they are simply dying. I do not want to be sedated unless it is necessary to protect myself or others from harm. In today’s terms, using a MOLST form, I would be DNR, DNI, no feeding tube, no IV, no antibiotics, no hospitalization, comfort measures only.

The difficult decisions usually start before the patient reaches the scenario above. There are usually several hospitalizations for complicated bladder or kidney infections, pneumonia from choking on secretions or food, possibly a broken bone, even a broken hip. The patient with dementia can be treated through such emergencies, can tolerate hip surgery, and then go to a nursing home for “rehab” or long term care if the family can’t handle it any more.

Working backward from the extreme scenario, I see that there is not much difference. When I get to the point where my physician feels that I cannot make my own decisions any more because of dementia, my advance directives should be those listed above. DNR, DNI, no feeding tube, no IV medications or fluids, no antibiotics, no hospitalization, comfort measures only. Minimize sedation unless I am a danger to myself or others. Stop doing tests. Stop drawing blood. Stop all unnecessary medications and treat only to keep me comfortable. Do not treat to prolong my life.

Pretend I am that old Indian chief in Little Big Man, who said, “It is a good day to die.”  He just went to the top of the mountain to lie down and wait for it. We don’t need a doctor to die. Since we have no control over when and where it will happen, we have to be patient, enjoy the time we have, and live on. I would prefer to have my family by my side at home, or in a nursing home, rather than a hospital ICU. I realize that I may not have that choice, or that ending. As Yoda once said, “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” In that case I will take what comes, but if dementia is in my future and my family is struggling with decisions about my care, above are my directives. I know they will be followed.

* Reprinted with Dr. Sneider’s gracious permission from his blog:


Section 12A, NC events

(1) Nathan Singer: “Put out the Light, and then, Put out the Light.”

Montford Park Players & Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective presents…

by William Shakespeare
Adapted & Directed by Scott Keel

November 3 – 19 (Fri – Sat) at 7:30PM and (Sun) at 2:30PM
Tickets are FREE, with suggested donation of $10-15 per person. Reservations can be made either online ( ) or on the phone (828-254-5146).

20 Commerce Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Features: Stephanie Hickling-Beckman, Trinity Smith-Keel, Ian Patrick Mendes, Jon Stockdale, Devyn Ray, Jason Williams, Sonia D’Andrea, Phillipe Andre Coquet, John Preston Mendenhall, and Daniel Henry

Designs: Deanna Braine, Rachel Gordon, Katy Hudson, Victoria Smith, Kristi DeVille, Sean David Robinson, Rodney Smith, Scott Keel, and Nathan Singer

Set in Venice, Othello the Moor (Stephanie Hickling-Beckman), a noble black general in the Venetian army, has secretly married a beautiful white woman, Desdemona (Trinity Smith-Keel), the daughter of a prominent senator, Brabantio (Phillipe Andre Coquet). Upon discovery of their marriage, Desdemona is disowned, and the two make their way to Othello’s station in Cyprus, where a heated naval battle against the Turkish forces is under way.

Meanwhile, Iago (Ian Patrick Mendes), Othello’s trusted enisgn, harbours a secret jealousy and resentment towards her and lieutenant Cassio (Jon Stockdale), whom recently recieved a grand promotion to second in command. Intent on revenge, Iago hatches a devious plan to frame Cassio, undermine Othello and Desdemona’s love, and wreak havoc on the isle of Cyprus. Touching on themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance, Othello truly is one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies.

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(2) Waylon Wood in ST. NICHOLAS at 35below. For tickets, please click:


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Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(1) Glenn Burd: The Plumstead Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting, Monday, October 16, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Speaker: Florence Cook

Meeting Place: Plumstead Township Office 5186 Stump Road Plumsteadville PA

(2) At Actors’ NET of Bucks County:

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BLAINESWORLD #1096 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Alyson Miller-Greenfield: My friend Melita Kraus is traveling all the way from Croatia for her art opening in Brooklyn! Friends – please get the dates on your calendar and SHARE THIS POST with your east coast kindreds!

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(2) Sharon Lewis: Would you be comfortable encouraging your many BLAINESWORLD fans to “like” Deep River on Facebook?

Response: For sure! Sharon’s group rocks. See for yourself by clicking–and then liking–the following link:

(3) Elizabeth Pou: I enjoyed reading the analysis of the health un-care bill currently proposed.   Thanks for including that. 

(4) Dan Becker: I would love to see this kind of info in all your newsletters. Maybe you could create a new section of info on issues.

(5) Jessica Curry-Ellison: Love the newsletter. I love the puns, too.

(6) Mike Martinelli: [with a review of a film currently in theatres] STRONGER *** 1/2

Jake Gyllenhaal gives one of his best performances since Brokeback Mountain in the true story of Jeff Bauman who lost both his legs in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Jeff who is trying to patch up his relationship with girlfriend Erin (played by Tatiana Maslany) tries to prove himself by committing to show up at the marathon to supporter. Jeff lives with his alcoholic mother, (played by Miranda Richardson who gives a brilliant performance.) which makes his personality non commital. So after several breakups with Erin, he decides to prove himself by showing up at the marathon. Unfortunately, he was right next to one of the bombers, which did enable him to help the FBI find the brothers responsible for this. The real life Jeff Bauman had an amazing sense of humor for a man who lost both his legs. He also was very humble and had to interest in becoming the hero they made him. He also very much like his mom turns to the bottle. When faced with being told he is going to be a father Jeff runs because he doesn’t believe he is fit to be a father with no legs.

The story is intense, funny at times and does have a sweet happy ending.

Look for Jake Gyllenhaal and Miranda Richardson to receive Golden Globe, SAG and OSscar nomination in 2018.

(7) Bill Lewis: Just finished watching a really good movie: Passengers with Anne Hathaway.

(8)  Herb Spiegl: The most popular restaurants in every state (and Washington, D.C.)


Note: Make sure you see New Jersey … and what’s written about Herb’s favorite place. (And one of mine, too.)


Section 12A, NC events

(1) T.J. Shimeld: In October, Celebrate National Magic Week & Disability Employment Awareness Month at The Vanishing Wheelchair’s Little Theatre

The Vanishing Wheelchair is the embodiment of both these national celebrated times of the month of October.

The Vanishing Wheelchair Little Theatre is the permanent home of the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity for people with disabilities, The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc. The Little Theatre at 175 Weaverville Highway, Suite K, in Asheville is the venue for several magic and variety shows for the public and is available for private functions and parties. A special production of “Magic, Mirth & Meaning,” a family-friendly, hour-long production that features story tellers, singers, jugglers, and magicians, will be held on October 21 at 3 p.m. The show is free, with donations accepted.

The show is a perfect way to celebrate the month of October as the nation celebrates the role people with disabilities have in our workforce and country. The United States Department of Labor explains: “Reflecting the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation.’ Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.”

The last week in October is the time of year to celebrate the art of magic. The Society of American Magician’s Web site delves into the history of National Magic Week: “In the summer of 1927, less than one year after the death of Harry Houdini, a “Houdini Day” was established. […] A friend of the Houdini’s requested and obtained permission from Mrs. Houdini to proclaim October 31st [the day Houdini died] as National Magic Day in honor of Harry Houdini. A plan was formulated to celebrate this day by having free magic performances for shut-ins and the handicapped, who would otherwise not be able to go out and enjoy a show.”

The show “Magic, Mirth & Meaning” features numerous talents of people with disabilities and those who wish to help them. At any given show, an audience may see singing, story telling, and of course magic. The show appeared and disappeared for several years since the non-profit’s founding on November 24, 2010. On February 20, 2013 the show began appearing in Asheville on a monthly basis, finding its stride at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

The Vanishing Wheelchair has used the proceeds from the events it hosts to launch “All Things Possible” to teach skills in performing, painting, photography, music, crafts, writing, and wood working to people with disabilities. These workshops are available to other non-profits to share with their clientele and will be conducted at the 175 Weaverville Highway location. Eventually the non-profit wishes to expand to establish a universally accessible hands-on museum for children to explore the arts and sciences at which people with disabilities can work and continue to learn these skills.

Come support and see what The Vanishing Wheelchair is all about. Tickets may be available at the door, but advanced reservations are strongly encouraged since seating is limited. Purchase tickets online at, or contact Magic Central, 175 Weaverville Highway, Suite L, Asheville, North Carolina 28804, or call 828-645-2941.

For more information contact T.J. Shimeld at, 1129 Allman Ridge Road, Morganton, North Carolina 28655. Call 828-443-8414.

(2) Dean Jones:

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(3) Tracey Johnston-Crum:

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Section 12B, PA/NJ event

Let the Games Begin in ‘Sleuth’ at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre Oct. 6 to 15

West Windsor, N.J. – Excitement and suspense await as the award-winning Maurer Productions OnStage (MPO) presents Anthony Shaffer’s “Sleuth” at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre Fridays, October 6 and 13 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, October 7 and 14 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, October 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCCs West Windsor Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on October 6.

With all the ingredients of a top-notch thriller, “Sleuth” keeps the audience guessing as the plot twists and turns. The action centers around two characters, Andrew Wyke, a successful crime writer who lives in a grand country manor, and his wife’s lover, Milo. Andrew likes playing dangerous games, especially when they involve his wife’s ambitious, young paramour, but it turns out that Milo is a highly worthy opponent. Fueled by jealousy and generational conflict, the plot also works as an elaborate parody of the Agatha Christie genre of country house thriller.

“Sleuth” was a hit on Broadway, earning the 1971 Tony Award for Best Play. It was adapted into film three times – in 1972, 2007 and 2014.

The cast features George Hartpence of New Hope, Pa., as Andrew Wyke; Dan Keyser of Bridgewater as Milo Tindle; Phillip Farrar of Morristown as Inspector Doppler; Harold K. Newman of Mahwah as Detective Sergeant Tarrant; and Roger Purnell of Wayne as Police Constable Higgs.

The show is directed by Diana Gilman Maurer, co-founder of MPO with her husband, John M. Maurer. The Maurers are the show’s co-producers. Other members of the production team include Master Carpenter Jeff Cantor, Lighting Designer M. Kitty Getlik, and Sound Designer Judi Parrish. Costumes are by Anthony Remer and the stage manager is Stacy Maurer.

Maurer notes that Sleuth offers complex character studies that deliver until the very end. “Another neat thing about this production is that Mr. Hartpence played Milo Tindal 13 years ago, so now he’s come full circle,” she said.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 students and children. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

Pictured (below): George Hartpence, left,  and Dan Keyser.

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