Friday, January 31, 2014

Big Brother is Watching

If you've been here awhile, you may remember the audiologist who put my hearing aids into her computer and said "Well, I can't scold you for not wearing them.  You've been using them about 10 hours a day."  I was shocked.  Shocked.  My own little hearing aids are spying on me!  For all we know, they've been relaying my conversations to the FBI.
    And then I received a routine email from the University's research department, with the usual list of studies that are looking for subjects.  It's an interesting way to feel one is doing something useful.  Norm and I helped develop the shingles vaccine some years ago, I've taken part is several other studies, and I'm in one that, as it happens, gives me yearly reassurance that I'm still passing the tests so I don't have Alzheimers.  Blunders or no blunders.  (No, I did not have that eye exam today, and I don't want to talk about it.)
    So when I saw a request for subjects to explore a new treatment for arthritis of the hip, I thought it sounded perfect.  Now pay attention closely.  On the Internet, I was asked five questions:  my name, age, phone number, did I have arthritis in my hip, and had I seen a doctor about it?  THAT WAS ALL.   The screen said someone would call to discuss whether I was eligible for the study, and indeed, a cordial young woman phoned me within a half hour.  She thanked me for volunteering and said unfortunately I don't qualify because I am taking Plavix. 
      Okay, now to today's mail.  A retirement community wishes me a happy birthday, and invites me and a companion to their February birthday luncheon.  With entertainment. 

 It's scary.  Buy hey, who says there's no free lunch? 
      I'll let you know if they serve birthday cake.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What happened to Journalism.

Here's the Syracuse U School of Journalism, where I studied in the 1940s.  This delightful pile, known as Yates Castle, was torn down some time in the 1950s, when I was so busy being a 1950s housewife and mother that I didn't know enough to throw myself in front of the bulldozer.

And here's today's Syracuse University
Newhouse School of Public Communications.   
And that pretty much sums up what's happened to Journalism.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Comedy of Errors

Re previous posting, the one about making a record number of blunders in a single two-hour period:  Son in Vancouver (dlank) immediately commented:   Good one! Now do make a replacement appointment for those eyes...!!!

Having already done that, I took pleasure in answering him by email with a  cryptic 10 am January 17!   
Which brought me an email from daughter-in-law dlank in Milwaukee:   Is this a conversation with David, or something else?
So I’d done it again – mixed up the two dlank addresses and emailed to the wrong one.  Sent her an explanation and an apology: “…and it's ironic,” I wrote, “because the conversation was about blunders altogether.”
And she emailed back: A tad confusing.   If the appt. was rescheduled to the 17th, when was the original appointment that you missed?  The blog implied that you missed an appointment on the 18th.
I answered explaining that the original appointment was indeed on the 17th; I just waited an extra day to post the report.  And then she wrote:  Not to beat a dead horse, but if your original eye appointment was for 10 am, was it just literary license when you posted that you set your cell phone alarm for 12:30 for a 1 pm appointment?  Or was there a calendar problem, as well?
And that’s when I answered  You won't be too surprised that I just noticed we seem to have yet another blunder here.  The original appointment, the one I walked out on, was indeed for 1 pm on the 17th.  The 10 am is for the replacement appointment,  and I meant to email (but typed the wrong date as well as the wrong dlank) -- that it’s for Friday January 31.
 So now, kids, we’ll have ten days of suspense.  Will Edith get it right for the 10 a m appointment a week from Friday?  Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

L'apres-midi d'une old lady

Efficiently set cell phone alarm for 12:30 so left in good time for 1 o’clock eye exam.  Had efficiently looked up location on Mapquest ahead of time just to make sure, yes, it’s off Westfall.  So I efficiently drove right past, on to Brighton-Henrietta Townline Road, couldn't find doctor's office, unpleasantly confused, finally doubled back just in time. 
As I walked in, realized it was the other ophthalmologist I meant to
return to; this one has an associated retail store across the hall and one can’t help wondering about conflict of interest.  But I was already there -- on time -- so wotthehell.
When the receptionist talked in a whisper, realized I wasn't wearing hearing aids. Checked in anyhow, sat down, remembered I hadn’t used tweezers, don’t want someone working that close to my face if possibile chin sprouts.  Cancelled appointment, left.
Drove to Staples, bought printer cartridge and copy paper, while backing out of parking space nearly ran into pedestrian.  Instead of giving me the finger he grinned and said “you left your trunk open, want me to shut it?” 
Stopped at Five Guys for cheeseburger (with onions), did not hear them yell order was ready, just kept sitting there.
Drove home, unloaded, discovered I'd left my purple cane somewhere along the way. Decided that if someone hired me for $35 to drive back and make inquiries in three different locations, I wouldn’t take the job.  So I’ll just buy a new purple cane.
    It’s only 3 pm.  Not sure it qualifies as a Guiness Record, but you’ve got to admit – definitely in the running for Most Blunders in a Single Two-Hour Period.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Call for Help

     I’m still sorting the archives in that bottom drawer-- and I ask you -- how can I throw this out?   

    Norm must have been concentrating on something important and yelled at the kids “Not another word out of you!”
     So an aggrieved child (who shall remain nameless) penned this desperate – but somehow dignified – message.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Ultimate Toe Cover

       Toe Covers – that’s the name Betty MacDonald gave to the useless items she was encouraged to make in the Craft Therapy room at her tuberculosis sanitarium -- and by the way, if you enjoyed The Egg and I, do try her memoir – The Plague and I.
      Years ago neighbor Dottie and I used to compete to see how many items we would not order from the mail-order catalogs.  I remember her pointing to a illustration of paper bags that could be ordered with your child’s name on them – “Why not just crayon the kid’s name on his lunch bag?”  (I’m not sure we had felt markers in those days.)  Too bad Dottie’s not around to enjoy what I ran across today in one of those aimed-at-the-old-folks catalogs.  A definite contender for Most Useless, it says:

Keep your valuable handicap or disabled parking permit safe from rips and tears.  Just slip it into this sturdy plastic sleeve with built-in hanger.  2 for $6.98.
     I looked up some other vendors that offer this unnecessary affair on the Internet.  One boasts that it keeps the permit clean and neat.  Another points out that the permit will hang in clear sight (as opposed to?) Some of the ad copy plays on old folks’ worries.  Keeps your permit from getting lost (how does that work?) so you won’t have to spend time and money on a replacement.
     Another promises to protect from cracks, tears and creases.  These handicap permits, my friends, are made of indestructible heavy plastic.  I doubt if they’d yield to anything short of a chain saw. That sturdy plastic sleeve, on the other hand, could probably be cut with my desk scissors.  It makes the permit hang a couple of inches lower, blocking the windshield even further for those of my cohorts who leave them dangling while driving.
             Which is, by the way, against the law.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Being Young

Yes, I know this blog is supposed to be about Being Old.  But part of being old is cleaning out bottom drawers, and coming upon things that haven't been touched for -- in this case -- almost three-quarters of a century.  I can't believe I wrote this, can't believe I ever put raw feelings down on paper -- it's just not me.  But here's the evidence.  All I can say is, I must have had it bad. Never wrote anything like this again in my life. I won't change a single comma; it's SO 15 years old.

It's 1941, I'm at summer camp. It's still Girls' Camp in July, Boys' Camp in August.  By next summer they'll have to make it co-ed all summer  and hire us as paid counselors, because so many men -- really just boys, I realize now -- will be off to war.   But I digress.

I must have been hard-up for paper, because I wrote this outburst on the backs of the mimeographed camp newspaper--remember mimeograph? So:
Why have I never kept a diary?  It's nice to write down feelings.  I heard somebody say "I hate Her."  I wish I did.  It would be so much easier to hate Her than to like her so much -- it would feel much better.  I always laughed at "schoolgirl crushes" but I guess they're as natural as falling in love later on [note: did I read, some years later, that Freud thought so too?] -- It's a very [note: as a grown-up writer I'd never use the weakening word "very"] confusing feeling to like somebody like this -- especially a girl.  I must remember that feeling of confusion & strangeness -- and it would be a lot better if only I hated her.
This will make a fine short story -- I hope I can describe this emotion after it wears off -- if I feel like smiling at myself now for writing like an adolescent in a "lock & key diary" about a perfect person -- if I amuse myself now -- will I be able to remember how I feel two weeks from now? -- I love to dramatize myself.  This is something else new -- this writing down for no purpose of something that only concerns me -- I'll probably do it often some day -- or is it bad for me?
This is what falling in love will feel like -- I mean, I'll recognize it immediately -- I often wondered if I would.  Falling in love, then, will not entail any desire to do anything more than be near someone -- or is it different from this?
This is what is called a crush!
Edith is a dope!

I doubt if that counselor even knew my name, but yes, Her name comes back to me now and -- who'd have thought it? -- so does that old feeling.  What do you suppose became of her?  She'd be more than 90 now.  She's probably dead.