Two Surprising Gifts
April, 2005, LOS ANGELES -- Early in the month of April, I'm always reminded of the approach of my birthday by the arrival of the first birthday card. Then, the birthday e-mails start up. These begin mounting, coming from all over the country and, in fact, from all parts of the world, until there is no way of ignoring the fact. I'm about to age again. On April 20, my age and birthday are announced to the world by the media - newspapers, radio, and television. The phone starts ringing with cheery congratulatory calls.
Thank you, to all my friends and fans for your good wishes. I appreciate your happy greetings. I am a year older and happier for it. I have reached that point in life when, instead of trying to avoid birthdays, I rejoice in them and hope to collect as many as I can. My grandmother was a great collector. She collected 105 of them!
This year, I received two wonderful and completely unexpected birthday presents. One is the publication of my autobiography, "To the Stars," in Japanese translation. It originally came out in 1994 in English and in 1997 in German. I had always hoped that it might be published in Japanese as well. I had talked to many Japan-based publishers with New York offices - all to no avail. I had almost given up on that dream. Then, last year, out of the clear blue sky, I got a phone call from Japan informing me that "To the Stars" was in the process of being translated into Japanese and would be out in the bookstores of Japan in April. Two weeks before my birthday, a copy of the book arrived hot off the press.
What a fantastic birthday present it was! The cover has an updated photo of me in a jet-black turtleneck shirt. The title is "Hoshi ni Mukatte," which translates as "toward the stars." The photos inside are the same ones as in "To the Stars" but, alas, I can't read the words. I speak Japanese fluently but reading and writing that language is something else. I will be flying to Japan in late May for a book signing tour in Tokyo and Kyoto. "Hoshi ni Mukatte" now has its proud place in my bookshelf alongside "To the Stars" and "Zu den Sternen," the German version. In the U.S., for those who read Japanese or collect all things Star Trek, "Hoshi ni Mukatte" will be available at the museum bookstore of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
The second surprise birthday present came via another phone call - this one from the Producing Artistic Director of the East West Players, Tim Dang. He had been trying to secure the rights to Sir Peter Shaffer's powerful, award-winning drama "Equus" for some time. Alec McCowen had starred in the original production in London at the National Theater. On Broadway, it starred Anthony Hopkins, then Tony Perkins, and finally, my Star Trek colleague, Leonard Nimoy. In the film version, the great Richard Burton played the lead. Tim told me he had finally succeeded in securing the rights to "Equus" and that he would like to have me play the lead role. I was stunned!
The part of Martin Dysart, the psychiatrist who deals with a severely disturbed boy who commits a horrific act, is a role that I had secretly wished for, ever since I first saw the play in England. What a terrific and completely unexpected gift this was! I didn't hem and haw. Once I checked the dates on my calendar to make sure I was clear, I leaped at the offer. This would be a challenging and such a fulfilling opportunity. I won't be going into rehearsals until September but I've already begun working on the script. I can't wait to really get started working with the other actors. "Equus" opens at the East West Players on October 26 and runs through November. I hope you might be able to join us for the gala opening night in Los Angeles. If you can't, then do try to catch a performance sometime during our run. And, do come backstage to say hello and tell me what you think of my two surprising birthday presents.
Just like snowflakes, no two people's daily routines are exactly the same, because everyone has different things going on in their lives, as well as different things that are important to them.
For this reason, people who rise early in the morning also have all sorts of reasons for why they're racing the sun.
Redditor That_Late_Bloomer asked:
"People who wake up at 5am daily, why?"
To Avoid Traffic
"By 6:30 AM, there is already gridlock on the way to work. I go in early and get off early, beating the rush hour traffic both ways."
The Four-Legged Alarm Clock
"My cat politely lays on my neck until I wake up…"
The 9-to-5 Woes
"My job is an hour away, and I still need about an hour to cry in the shower."
Unable to Sleep
"Do you think I’m doing this on purpose?"
"You and me both. It's either lying in bed angry because I can't sleep or just getting up. I usually choose to get up."
"On my days off, I get up between 5:00 and 6:00 AM, so I can skate as the sun rises and the heat isn't intolerable. It's a great way to center myself."
More Candles, Earlier to Rise
"Age. As a teenager, I could sleep all weekend. From about 30, I never needed an alarm clock as I would always wake up before I needed to. At around 40, I started waking up around 6:30, and it gets earlier every year."
"I'm now almost 60 and am generally awake around 4:30 and up and running by 5:00 regardless of how late I go to bed."
"If this trend continues, I will be getting up before I've gone to bed. There are times, like weekends, when I wish I could sleep in, but overall, I enjoy being up early. Sunrise, coffee, and peace are nice."
"I’m a light sleeper and naturally wake up from light. Also, once I’m awake, it’s very difficult for me to fall back to sleep."
"Can’t help it. I naturally wake up around then. I like it tbh, everyone else is mostly asleep too so it’s a peaceful way to enjoy a coffee and wake up at your pace."
"This is so true. Early morning is really the best time of day, most people aren't up and about then. The night people have gone to bed, and the day people haven't woken up yet. Perfect."
"Upvote for quiet. Even if others are up, most don't need to talk much. Traffic is calmer. Even the weather takes a break in the early hours (mostly)."
"Smoothness of the early morning."
"Workout before work."
"Yep, a 5:30 workout class before the day starts is the only way I seem to be able to tackle exercise, work, and kids successfully in one day."
"Having kids is fun, but I love being a mom and have a great partner. It’s just getting everything done while having kids that’s hard. What once was a two-step process to leave the house is now 42 steps and someone’s randomly crying."
Getting Ready for School
"K I D S."
"I'm legitimately surprised how far down I had to scroll for this."
"My kids actually sleep in pretty late, but on school days, sometimes I wake up at 5:30 so I can get the house to myself before I need to wake them up."
To Watch the Sunrise
"The way I brew my coffee and make a morning smoothie takes a bit of time, and I like to watch the sun rise."
"I get up at 5:30. I can have most of my day done by 8:00 AM when normal people get up, meaning I can get things done a lot quicker since nobody else is about to interrupt or distract."
"On days off, I do the same. The gym is dead, Starbucks is dead, and I can have all my housework, etc., done by 8:00 AM when I have breakfast and then the day is mine to do whatever I want."
"I put endless stock in peace, everything is peaceful at 6:00 AM nothing is peaceful at 9:30."
In the Job Description
"I’m a barista. I make other people coffee before I can have coffee."
Me Time First
"I, like many people, typically have to be at work around 8:00 AM. If I wake up at 5:00 AM, I'm able to give MYSELF time before I give it to my employer."
"Before I even step out the door to go to work, I have time to read, make a nice breakfast, exercise, and maybe work on a personal project for a bit. It honestly just puts me in a better mood going into the day."
Listening to Their Circadian Rhythm
"For whatever reason, it’s easier for me to wake up REALLY early in the morning (3:00 AM to 6:00 AM) than later on in the morning."
"If I wake up at 5:00 AM, I have time to catch my breath and move slowly into the day, and I generally am buzzing with energy by 6:00 AM. If I wake up at 7:00 AM, especially in the summer when it’s already light out, I feel behind, stressed, etc., and that just makes me lay in bed longer."
"Knowing this, about three years ago, I started working at a bakery where shifts start at 4:00 and 5:30 AM. It’s always funny to me how some of my coworkers, while present and doing their jobs, clearly aren’t fully awake until 8:00 or 9:00 AM, whereas I on the other hand am talking a mile a minute the second I get in the door and I haven’t even had coffee yet."
"It’s also funny because even as a really little kid, I had a reputation of being able to sleep forever. I slept until 2:00 PM as a teenager most weekends if my parents didn’t notice. I think my internal rhythm is just off, but waking up super early is the only thing between me getting up and living my life and languishing depressed in bed all day."
While some people may absolutely despise rising early in the morning, others greatly value their time before the sun rises, or they feel like there's no other choice.
Either way, this is a great reminder that everyone's day looks different, based on what they've got going on in their lives, as well as what they value most.
When we feel we have been wronged by someone, we tend to think the worst of them.
But the concept of what is evil depends on the individual and their level of tolerance.
So what is pure evil then?
It's not always about demons. Because the truth is, humans are capable of doing some of the worst things imaginable.
Curious to hear about strangers' experiences with sinister forces around us, Redditor ThatOneDude44444 asked:
"Who do you believe is literally evil?"
Those who prey on the weak and vulnerable are some of the worst kinds of people out there.
"I knew a guy who retired from an investment firm before he was 40. I inquired if I could get a job at the firm. He told me 'if you can look a woman in the eyes, who’s scrubbed floors all her life, and tell her that you can quadruple her life savings by investing in a stock you know is worthless. Then you could work there' I felt sleazy just listening to him. I lost all respect for him. He preyed on poor desperate people, and ruined their lives, so he could retire in his 30s. I found out from a friend that the investment firm was a boiler room fly-by-night scam. Everyone who worked there was taken out in handcuffs."
"Health insurance denying treatments that your doctors have personally recommended."
"Health insurance companies insisting that you try other treatments first, or insisting that you work with in-network doctors who can't be seen for 6-8 months, intentionally delaying your proper treatment. It's f'king murder as far as I'm concerned."
"I could keep listing ways that the health insurance industry is pure evil."
Where Is The Care In Medicare?
"My mother was just diagnosed with a very serious condition that if not treated will make her go blind, her insurance is refusing to pay for her treatment. She’s 73 and will now owe 1500 usd each month so that she doesn’t go blind despite having Medicare. This is our system."
And there are those who are the devil incarnate.
The Moors Murders
"Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. The tape recording of one of their young victims crying for her mum while being tortured is awful. They refused to say where they buried Keith Bennett and that boy's poor mum died without knowing where he was. I hope they are forever being tortured in Hell."
The Torture Mother
"Gertrude Baniszewski, the 'caregiver' of Sylvia Likens. Her story still gives me chills."
"I barely made it through that story it was so, so horrendous. And our f'king legal system did barely anything to the heinous b*tch Gertrude and her evil daughter."
The fact that an individual can be solely responsible for a major national crisis is unthinkable.
But here we are, and several people came forward to share their stories.
Origin Of The Opioid Crisis
"Richard Sackler specifically would be the more correct answer in my opinion. The rest of them are greedy and borderline sociopathic sure, but I think few of them truly understood the ramifications of what Richard was orchestrating. Richard intentionally orchestrated the opioid epidemic and he knew exactly what he was doing and what the outcome would be. He banked the future of his company on creating a legion of opiate addicts that had no idea they were becoming opiate addicts. That is evil."
Victim Speaks Out
"I am a victim of this f'ker. Slipped a disk and was prescribed Oxycontin 2 40mgs a day. Within 6 months I was upped to 80mgs 3 times a day. That's the equivalent of 48 5mg percocet. I'm still struggling and this happened in the late 90s."
Time For Commiserating
"I’m so sorry to hear that that happened to you and that the effects are lingering 3ish decades later; that’s a significant period of time/portion of your life."
"I would like to also let you know that I am victim of this f'ker/family, but in the opposite way. I have had 2 discs in my neck collapse, I have had 2 spinal surgeries, I am in intractable pain. And all I can get is Rx ibuprofen or aleve or other NSAIDs that don’t touch the pain and can cause kidney and liver damage at the dosages I’m being prescribed. I’ve gotten to try every treatment EXCEPT opiates: surgeries, injections, lidocaine patches, antidepressants, nerve medication, massage, yoga, acupuncture, physical therapy, prolotherapy, and plasma rich protein treatment. The one time I asked for low dose opiates (like a single 5 mg Percocet as needed - not 48 daily), I was discharged from the pain management practice immediately for 'drug seeking'. And they’re the biggest practice in my state."
"Further, in the intervening time between my 2 surgeries (before I knew I needed the second surgery as my second disc had collapsed), I presented to the ER in intractable pain with physiological indicators like elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Not only was I not given any pain medication at all (not even toradol, an NSAID), I was also urine drug tested and told that even though I had no drugs in my system that I 'didn’t deserve' any medication and was wasting their time when they could be saving someone else’s life."
"We are BOTH victims of the Sackler family and the opiate prescription practices that led to what’s being called the 'opiate epidemic'. I am not trying to invalidate your experience (and I hope that comes through). I am just trying to show people reading these comments my side of the coin too. I see you u/bucklebee1. And I validate you. And I send you nothing but the best."– caboozalicious
Anyone who is capable of taking another life without even a hint of remorse doesn't deserve the title of being human.
They are purely evil.
And what's terrifying is that we don't really know the capabilities of most people until they snap.
It's a sad truth that just about all women find their bodies objectified or, for better or worse, the unwanted subject of conversation.
One of the many reasons why too many women are self-conscious about their bodies and suffer from sometimes crippling body image issues.
More often than not, women often find themselves most self-conscious about a part of their body or appearance most people will never notice, or even see.
But much to their surprise, sometimes it is that very thing they hate most about themselves that others might find most beautiful about them.
"Men of Reddit, what is something women hate about their bodies that you actually love?"
"Everything that has to do with getting older."
"When my wife and I got married, we were obviously younger and in our 20s."
"Although never thin, I was more slender."
"My wife, 5’9 and legs for days and just banging body."
"I’m not as thin (same as her) we have two kids, and I find her sexier now more than ever."
"In our almost decade together, we have slept on a floor, used change for gas and had our electricity turned off 3-4 times for non payment."
"She’s my Ride or Die."
"She has more of a tummy now, bigger boobs, maybe doesn’t shave like she used to or wear skimpy lingerie outfits randomly."
"I wouldn’t trade it for the world."
"We have grown older together and I honestly couldn’t find anything in this world that still turns me on as the certain way my wife runs her fingers down my back or how she looks naked."
"And it’s because she’s mine."
"Not in a possessive sexist way."
"But in a, I’m the luckiest guy in the world that this beautiful human wants to spend the rest of their life with me (and have sex with me)."
"Hopefully this isn’t too long winded."
"Long story short…..girls spend tons of time worrying about getting older."
"Age isn’t always a detractor."- Ok_Animator_9218
Sometimes being "cheeky' pays off.
"My ex-girlfriend always complained about the size of her cheeks and how she looked like Quico (a character from an old Mexican TV series)."
"For me she looked gorgeous, I loved to kiss and caress her cute round face."- Raul_H2000
Presumably, He's Also One Of The Only People Who Sees Them
"My wife was very self-conscious about her inverted nipples, but I adore them."- nsfbc
Beauty Truly Does Come From Within
"A bit longer than others, but I have a full story to tell which might help someone."
"A few years ago, my lady got a breast cancer."
"We live in a country with high level medical facilities, and the doctor told us at the very first meeting that we were here to heal, no reason to think otherwise."
"But her cancer is genetic."
"It means if she kept her breasts, her risk of having a new cancer would be very high."
"So it's clear for both of us, she got a mastectomy."
"She now has no breast anymore."
"She just has two big scars on the chest."
"On her side, she f*cking hates her body."
"She is scared as hell to wear anything that could reveal her scars."
"She also got some weight during the treatment, and she is pissed at that too."
"But I f*cking love her."
"I choose to love with this woman, and it does not matter if she had lost her breasts, her legs or her face, I will still love her."
"I will fricking love those scars until my dying breath, because, to me, it means she survived."- Vitrebreaker
"Adds character and makes paying attention to each one a separate adventure."- Inevitable_Shift1365
"Probably a lot of stuff but something in particular is like minor 'imperfections' or whatever you would call them."
"A woman I used to work with had a thing where it was like her teeth didn't quite line up like normal (I think maybe a mild crossbite) and I found it weirdly attractive."- tasteful_tomfoolery
They're Easier To Appreciate When You Don't Have To Deal With Them Yourself...
"My wife’s boobs."
"She hates them with a passion and I cannot figure out why."
"They are perfect."- Reddit
Androgyny Is A Wonderful Thing
"I love sleepy, set-back bedroom eyes."
"And I love boyish clothes on girls."
"I also like when a woman has a deeper voice."
"God it’s hot."- Slurpydurpy711
You Never Know What Turns Them On...
"I was always very insecure about my hip dips until my boyfriend told me he loved them."
"I was standing in front of him one day and he just said 'I love the way your hips go in a little there, it makes your butt so cute, it's my favorite' and I was shocked, honestly."
"I used to spend hours watching videos about how to exercise them away, creams that would fill them in, and other ridiculous horsesh*t that would never work."
"He's somehow found every insecurity I have and told me how attractive it is before he ever even knew I was insecure."- trash_bin_84
Getting A Little Scientific
"Maybe a little too clinical or intimate for this thread but I really appreciate unique labia and I find it absolutely heartbreaking that there is so much widespread insecurity about this that there are cosmetic surgeries to 'fix' 'imperfect' labia."
"Past girlfriends and flings who had more prominent or 'unconventional' labia were dreadfully insecure about it and some went as far as to be absolutely astounded that I’d compliment them during/after sex because a past partner hated it or was very cruel and callous about it."
"One of the most pernicious and evil beauty/porn standards out there."
"As long as hygiene is well-accounted for, there’s no such thing as a labia and vulva that are better or worse than any others."
"It’s not ever crossed my mind to compare or critique what’s down there and I always speak out about this when my friends say some stupid or insensitive sh*t."- e-co-terrorist
And Always Handle Them With Love...
"They're called love handles for a reason."- devilthedankdawg
It's very easy to think ill of ourselves, particularly in the judging eyes of others.
But we were given our bodies and appearance for a reason.
And if we embrace all that is unique about us, chances are all others will find that beautiful.
People Over 50 Share The Things Young People Don't Know That Could Help Them
Reaching 50 is a life goal.
Getting to that milestone is something we should all aim for.
So many years, so much life lived.
Which means there is so much story to tell.
Who can't help but look back and advise about how to do it better?
Redditor h-gotfred wanted to hear from the over 50 crowd, so they asked:
"To you Redditors aged 50+, what's something you genuinely believe young people haven't realized yet, but could enrich their lives or positively impact their outlook on life?"
There is so much to know about life.
And we have to age to learn it.
So let's chat...
Be Happyjust married love GIFGiphy
"Marriage/relationships should be fun, and happy. Life is hard, things get tough. Find someone that makes the tough times easier, not harder."
"Piggybacking off this and saying, even the happiest marriages get into arguments. It's not a reason to leave."
"Not everything that you disagree with deserves an argument. Pick your battles and let trivial things slide."
"To echo this: Not everyone you disagree with is 'wrong.' They are simply operating with different information. You can disagree with someone on an issue and still value the person. Don't let one issue define your entire relationship with another person."
"If you die, your employer will have your job posted before you are buried. Remember that when making work/life choices."
"I started my career at corporate headquarters for a large insurance company. I was doing GREAT, but I just didn’t like the industry. I applied for a job at a major university and someone took a chance on me and gave me the position (transitioning from for-profit to non-profit is notoriously hard)."
"I made less money over the course of my career certainly but I wasn’t on poverty wages by any means. But I remember about 5 years in, one of my old VPs was in town and we got together. His comment was 'We miss you, but you look so much happier, the psychic income is showing.' Insightful guy."
"2 things I will be eternally grateful to my grandfather for instilling in me..."
"Failure is not an end state unless it is where you choose to stop. He loved to quote that line by Churchill whenever something didn't work out for me, Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."
"Honesty is the most powerful tool you can use to define yourself. Admit your mistake, frankly and honestly. The truth always comes out in the end no matter how big or small and it doesn't get better with age. You can give back something you steal, and you can help those you hurt but once they brand you a liar, it's all you will ever be."
Be QuietGolden Girls Rose GIF by TV LandGiphy
"Unless you don't mind hearing EEEEEEEEEEEE like all the time day and night, use hearing protection in loud situations. Tinnitus is a bi*ch."
Take care of your ears.
One of life's greatest lessons!!!
Live by the Moonbart simpson maggie GIFGiphy
"I just had a quick look at my 50-year-old upper chest, frequently exposed to the sun in my youth, and compared it to my 50-year-old belly, which has always been clothed and covered (I have never liked two-piece swimsuits). What a difference!"
"Take a genuine interest in what other people have to say, ask them follow-up questions about their passions in life. Don’t just talk about yourself, or wait for your turn to talk. That’s how you have a conversation, and build a relationship."
"Sometimes you gotta be careful with that. Pay attention if the other person is doing that too, it's important for you to share about your life. It can be kind of lonely when you know so much about your friends, but they don't know about you."
Practice makes Perfect
"Every skill takes determined practice to master. I see my young friends/relatives try and give up on so many things because 'they weren't very good at it.' If you keep doing that, you'll never be very good at anything."
"I love cooking - and find it easy and relaxing. I have hit a point where I can make several dishes that I can honestly say are far superior to what I could get at a restaurant. I love delighting my family and friends with what I cook."
"But the truth is - I've prepared thousands of dishes. I've practiced for 40+ years. I have f**ked up every single type of food there is at least once. I've burnt things. I've undercooked chicken. I failed to emulsify things that should have been emulsified. I forgot to set the timer. I've added too much salt. I chopped when I should have torn. I did all of the wrong things at some point. And because of all of these things, I can walk into any kitchen and make something delicious."
"I’d say invest in your health by regularly exercising. My wife got me into running when we were in our twenties, and it has been a big part of our lives ever since (I’m 63). Nothing crazy, no marathons, we don’t time ourselves or follow a strict training plan, we just pick a route, go at our own pace, and have fun. We still go 3-4 miles, 3-4x per week."
"I also started working out at the gym 3x a week with free weights in my 30s, and have been doing it ever since. I’m no Schwarzenegger, believe me, but I can still work around the house, move furniture, shovel snow and have fun tossing a ball around with the kids without injuring or exhausting myself. Between aerobic fitness and weights, I’ve been able to stay remarkably healthy my entire adult life, knock on wood. It’s also been great for my mental health and managing stress."
"You don’t have to go nuts and set unreasonably strict requirements for exercise goals or diet that a normal person can’t possibly maintain - just do the best you can, make exercising a few times per week a habit, eat a reasonable diet (avoid fried stuff, eat fruit and veggies, lay off the sweets), and 40 years later you’ll really thank yourself, believe me!"
Plan AheadMake It Rain Money GIF by yvngswagGiphy
"Debt can really ruin your life. If you want to take on a lot of it, make sure you have a good plan and run it by a lot of smart people first."
Debt. Everyone should learn about avoiding debt as early as possible.
This whole list should be taught in Universities.