Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Getting old may be an adventure for some folks and I’ve had a few days here and there where it seemed to be an interesting occupation. This isn’t one of those. This is one of the ‘Life Sucks and Aging Sucks Worse’ times.

There is a Me stuck in among the wrinkles and pains that is still happy and excited and full of life but it is getting more and more buried in the reality of becoming old. My brain can no longer keep up with technology or economics or politics. Looking around at the world it doesn’t even want to try. My attitude is more frequently sour and my expectations more often grim.

I’ve lived a lifetime of depression but denied the possibility that I was depressed. Slather enough denial on it and it doesn’t exist, right? I can be bright and cheery, see? Watch me laugh. See my clever jokes. As long as there is company the sadness can be ignored and when I am alone I’ll just look elsewhere and think about something else. The depression doesn’t go away but it can be managed.

And year after year it is harder to laugh it off. The laugh gets thinner. The tears get closer to the surface.

The thick shell of my life has gotten a lot less sturdy. There are cracks. Things are leaking out. I’m crying more often. Laughing less. There are more days when I think about not getting out of bed.

I could handle depression without old age. I think I could handle old age without depression. Having both seems to be losing the battle with both. And it sucks.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dangling from the Cliff

Why is it that television series feel the need to end every season with a cliffhanger? It is bad enough that it has become the convention to rope several episodes together with a continuing peril. Now the writers add an end of season wait-until-next-season-for-the-answer mega drama. It has become a mega-cliche.

Perhaps it is a bow to the short attention span generation. They glance up from the latest tweet and if nobody on the tube is in peril of dismemberment and death their brains go into lock-down. I can’t imagine this group watching a Jane Austen movie or following the machinations of Hercule Poirot. There has to be car chases and plenty of visible gore to hold them.

It is hard to remember that once upon a time the audience was loyal to the characters. We’d return the next season, after the three month summer hiatus, to spend time with people we liked. I have a hard time wanting to resume watching a series when the intervening time has been crammed with manufactured angst.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Social Greetings

There are days when responding to the friendly greeting “Hi, how are you today?” becomes somewhat of a challenge. This person-to-person nicety is a convention that is meant more as a hello than as a request for information. It is like a wave of the hand or a nod of the head - an I see you/You see me sort of thing. And on those aforementioned days I have to fight the urge to ignore the game and take the greeting and words seriously.

How am I? 

I’ve been a whole lot better. I didn’t sleep well. The neighbor’s dog was barking when I went to bed and that irritated me enough to make it hard to get to sleep. I tossed and turned. Sometimes it feels like the mattress is made of rocks. I woke with my neck muscles in a knot and my spine out of alignment. The arthritis in my knees is really bad and my sinuses are hating the spring pollens. There is a stack of bills on the table that need to be paid and a huge pile of laundry to do and I haven’t the energy for either one. I’m angry about littering. And fracking. And ODOT increasing the speed limit through my town. I’m worried about wildfires and the drought we’re headed into here. and…

What I actually say…

Okay, and you?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I think the cartoonist must have visited during winter. Or spring. Or summer. Or autumn if it he drove up the coast.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

“You’re Kidding!

An exclamation that has me grinding my teeth. You’re kidding! 

An exclamation I’ve used in the past and will probably use again. You’re kidding!

An exclamation that seems like surprise but also calls into question the veracity and reliability of the person who elicits it. You’re kidding!

Himself and I watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS. You’re kidding!

Several times in every show the expert gives an opinion on the price of some antique and the owner of said antique replies with: You’re kidding!

No, they’re not. It is their job to give an informed appraisal. You’re kidding!

May I suggest that “Thank you!” or “Wow, that’s great!” would be better responses? You’re kidding!

No. I’m not.

Monday, May 5, 2014


I read a study once that said that most little girls go through a stage where they love horses and little boys have a similar stage where they fixate on dinosaurs. That might have been just our generation. Later ones have seemed more Barbie dolls and Match-box cars and then My Little Pony and Transformers.

But this is about me and about horses. When I went through that stage as a kid my mother indulged me with annual trips to the Grand National. I saw rodeo. I saw performing horses. We would go horse-back riding on weekends at a ranch outside of town. My interest in being around horses faded as was replaced by rock music and movie stars. The overall interest in horses remained though it stayed mostly with film.

Horse movies: Conversation with an online pal made me aware of the number of them I’ve watched and enjoyed. The first one I recall was Florian with Robert Young. The Lippizaner stallions were amazingly trained and wonderfully graceful. The ‘airs above the ground’ were the beginning of my love of watching dressage.

Horse movies: The typed conversation led to a list of them. The Horse Whisperer. War Horse. Seabiscuit. And Secretariat. I’ve seen that one a dozen times - maybe more. National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor and Micky Rooney and a more recent International Velvet. Dreamer.

Of course I read Black Beauty. I watched My Friend Flicka, Fury, and Mr. Ed on television. And even today I will turn to one of the channels on satellite TV that carries shows about horse training.

I don’t own a horse and actually feel intimidated close to such a large animal. Buddy, the horse next door comes for the occasional visit and a snack on our lawn - I keep my distance. But part of me remains that little girl, fascinated by and loving HORSES.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Today’s Theme Song(s)

Himself and I were reminiscing about old TV show theme songs this morning. It started with the theme from “77 Sunset Strip”. I could recall the melody easily enough but Himself went on to sing the words and we were off down Memory Lane.

At one point I countered with the theme from “Mr. Ed.”  Remember that one? It is one of the few where I still know the lyrics.

He had me totally beat with the tune and words to the theme from “My Mother the Car”. What kind of person even watched that show much less recalls the music? Himself does. The man’s memory flabbergasts me.

And I’ll be listening to him warbling lyrics the rest of the day. He just wandered through the room singing “Gilligan’s Island.” What will be next?

He’s threatening me with “F-Troop”!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Right Aid…(or wrong?)

A local pharmacy recently became part of a large conglomerate. One could expect that the prescription service would improve or at least not take a nosedive? One would be wrong.

I called in a renewal on 2 scripts for myself, and another 3 for Himself. Because of the corporate change I actually talked to a human being. Offered a choice of picking the meds up morning or afternoon I chose afternoon and was told they would be ready after 2pm.

Today, after 2 pm, Himself went to the pharmacy. He stood in line and waited. When his turn arrived he was told No, your prescriptions aren’t ready. Come back in half an hour.

Forty minutes later, shorter line this time, and One of the prescriptions can’t be fully filled since we are out of the drug. Come back next week. This, by the way, is a very common heart med - nothing exotic or hard to find.

And no, I don’t feel we got right aid at all.

Friday, May 2, 2014

How It Works - Or Doesn’t?

Our tiny community had a lesson in bureaucratic thinking yesterday. We came together to listen to a state highway representative explain why the speed limit through much our town had been raised. The limit had been set at 40mph from one end of town to the other - not that great a distance really.

The speed through larger towns north and south of us goes down to 30mph for much longer distances, A local who felt that a bit slower would be wise here had contacted the highway department with a request for a similar speed limit through our town.

The highway folks did a study. In less than a week, during a non-representative period of traffic, they came to a conclusion.

Based on previous studies that travelers will ignore signs anyway, the bureaucrats have shortened the length of the slower speed zone we had. Traffic now can travel at 55 mph past our library, a community church, and a pre-school. Essentially they did exactly the opposite of what was requested and what our entire community wants.

This is an example of “DUH!” thinking, all backed up by rules and scientific studies - but devoid of sense.