Wednesday, November 26, 2014

                             It’s All About That Aux, ‘Bout That Aux, ‘Bout that Aux

Mr. Wonderful and I were on the road. 

Me:   Our friend, Owen, told me that he plugs his I-phone into his car on his way to Raleigh every week, and he can listen to anything on his phone. I think we should consider canceling the Sirius Radio and save the $200 a year it’s costing us. I don’t really listen to it anyway.

Mr. Wonderful:  I don’t know anything about the i-phone in the car.

Me:  I don’t either, but I am going to try it. If I put my earphone plug into some outlet, it should let me play my Pandora. Hmm. Do you know where the plug thingy is?

Mr. Wonderful:  I think the car came with two of them. One is in that compartment there, and the other is in this box next to my elbow.

Me:  Hmm. I don’t know if this will work. The headphones aren’t even plugged into my phone.

Mr. Wonderful:  Let’s push this thing that says Aux. 

Me:  Good idea.

Mr. Wonderful:  Omg. What music is that?

Me:  That’s the album I just downloaded from I-Tunes after I finally remembered my password that I’ve changed umpteen times.

Mr. Wonderful:  Wait a minute. It’s playing all by itself. I think it’s the blue tooth. 

Me:  What? It has nothing to do with the phone or the earplugs?

Mr. Wonderful:  Wow. That is a really great album. I want to try this too.

Me:  Oh, no.

Mr. Wonderful:  Omg. It is playing my music that I downloaded on my computer. There’s 17 albums on there. It is playing Mark Knopfler. Hmm. Now it’s playing Michale Bublé. It’s skipping around. You don’t mind, do you?

Me: No, this is awesome. 

Mr. Wonderful:  Hmmm. I like this one.

Me:  That one sucks. Let me get this straight. I discover this fabulous technology, and all my songs from my computer won’t play, but all of yours do? wft? This means I have to listen to your music for the next 700 miles?
Mr. Wonderful:  What’s wrong with my music?

Me:  Other than the fact that it was recorded in 1924, nothing.

Mr. Wonderful:  Here is Michael Bublé.

Me:  Oh, joy. He sounds like Frank Sinatra, my mother’s heart throb.
How do you skip that piece? Oh, look, here’s a “SKIP” button. (pushes it)
Wow, it worked! All you do is push this, look! 

Mr. Wonderful:   Who knew?  And you want to listen to whom? “All about that” what?

Me:  Bass, not treble, bass. Where’ve you been? Do I need to translate for you? 
 Anyway, what we don’t know is whether this counts toward our data. I don’t know why we were so cheap that we only got 2 jigs.

Mr. Wonderful:  Yeah, that’s right. We could really get screwed if this is taking up mega giggle bites.

Me:  I need to text our daughter. She will know.

Mr. Wonderful:  Yeah, right. She will, but will she be able to explain it to us in language we will understand?

Me:  I doubt it. She will ramble about sinkin’ and stuff. Goes right over my head. I keep tellin’ you, we need a resident seven-year-old, but no, you won’t listen.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

     There are various theories about who invented what we know today as our modern shower. The shower may have been conceived based on the waterfall. The Greeks were given credit, but the French have also tried to lay claim to its origins. I really don’t give a damn who invented it, as they are undoubtedly dead by now. All I can say is this person was an effen genius. He may have planned to offer the shower as an hygienic method of keeping us clean and free from germs; but I am here to tell you it’s much more than that. A shower is a catharsis. A shower is a spiritual experience. A shower cures anything that ails you. 

     No matter what mood I am in, a hot shower will refresh and make me look at my world anew. Whoever invented it was kind enough not to offer mirrored walls, although I imagine that Kim Kardashian might enjoy that feature. That could have squelched the whole deal. To stand and let water hot, warm or whatever suits your birthday suit pour over your body and stimulate or calm every nerve ending still pulsing--this is a wonderful thing.

     Mr. Wonderful thinks in the shower. He can go in there with a huge problem, and he comes out with the answer to the problem and four of mine. I meditate in the shower. I close my eyes, count my blessings and let the hot water wash away all my angst.
Some people sing in the shower. Most of them did not pass the audition to Mr. Brown’s Glee Club at Ferndale High, but they have a great time in there singing off key.

       Whoever you are, Mr. Shower, Mr. Pulsing Water Genius, Mr. Let-It-Go, thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

                                                             2014 A.D.   

     A few weeks ago, one of my close friends asked me, “Are those all your own teeth?” Omg. I was so dumbfounded, I began to laugh. I said, “What? Are you kidding?” We both laughed, but then I got to thinking. When has anyone every asked me such a question? Surely not when I was 30 or 40 or even 50. I guess this is the sign of aging: having all your own teeth. I am proud to say my father had all of his until he died at age 93, but my Mom’s floated in a plastic cup when I was a teenager.

     There are many things about aging that are depressing and demoralizing, but the good news is this: if you are standing up, breathing, able to utter a sentence using your own tongue and incisors, you are youthful. Now there’s a concept. People are amazed that I can walk in four inch heels. I am amazed they can balance in flats. People are stunned that I work out with weights and can get out of bed without aches and pains. Some people think it’s incredible that I drove to Europe and traveled alone for three weeks sans Mr. Wonderful. Well, in my AD (Age Denial) therapy, this is all good news: maybe I’m not as old as I thought. 

     I remember when I was in my forties, I thought my grandparents were ancient. My maternal grandmother was still working in an “old folks home” as an RN at age eighty something, so I do recall being amazed at her stamina. When she told me that the most amazing thing in her lifetime was seeing an airplane fly into the sky, I thought, “Wow, Grandma, you are really old.” But what I didn’t realize was the outer cover tells nothing about the inner person. Just because she was wrinkled didn’t mean she was past her prime. Just because she didn’t speak loudly and wasn’t animated didn’t mean she didn’t feel things deeply and find things funny. 

     As my father aged, he began to hunch over a bit. That made him look much older than he was. He was a tall, handsome man with gorgeous wavy white hair, and he danced like Fred Astaire until he was well into his 80s. His golf scored never varied more than 3-5 strokes from the time he was 60 until he stopped playing when he was close to 90. A 45 for nine holes wasn’t bad for an “old guy.” I would surely take that.
My father modeled youth. He not only danced and played golf, he played the piano and the guitar, he traveled with his sweetheart until well into his 80s, and he never stopped being silly. He wasn’t one to sit around and talk about how the world was going to hell. He focused on what sit com he would watch after golf while he ate his ice cream cone.

     My mother didn’t have time to age. Cancer took her from us at age 73. She was still partying right up to the end inviting friends to come visit while the oxygen tank sat next to her stilettoed feet. 

     I am learning about the aging process as I live it. I find that my attitude is what ages me most, and I must constantly try to focus on the positive rather than compare the negative to what used to be. What helps most is seeing the world through the eyes of a child, putting on my silly lens when I am frustrated, picking up those ten-pound weights no matter how unmotivated I feel and remembering that every minute counts no matter how I look. Right now, I am going to go brush my own teeth.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


    Je me sens souvent coupable. Non, je n’ai rien fait de terrible, mais c’est quelquefois ce que je n’ai pas fait qui me rend mal à l’aise. 

     Quand j’étais prof, je m’inquiétais que je n’ai pas fait assez d’attention à un étudiant qui en avait besoin. Je m’inquiétais que je ne savais pas assez. Je m’inquiétais que les autres profs étaient plus doués que moi. Je m’inquiétais que je travaillais trop, donc je ne faisais pas assez d’attention à mes propres enfants. 

     Après mon divorce, je m’inquiétais que je serais toute seule le reste de ma vie. Je m’inquiétais que je n’étais pas assez belle, assez intelligente, assez réussite pour trouver un homme. Je m’inquiétais de ne pas être contente sans un homme. (Pas vrai) Je m’inquiétais quand je ne m’inquiétais pas.

     Il y a huit ans, j’ai fait la retraite. Tout le monde veut vivre la belle vie de liberté, loisir et luxe de la retraite. Mais, quelle surprise--je m’inquiète toujours. Je m’inquiète de ne pas accomplir assez tous les jours. Je m’inquiète de la vieillesse. Je m’inquiète que le monde oublie les gens plus agés que 55. Je m’inquiète que je devrais faire quelque chose d’important chaque minute ou bien je suis sans valeur.  Il y a toujours beaucoup de choses à faire, mais je m’inquiète que ce qu’il y a ne m’intéresse pas.

     Un psycholgoue m’a dit il y a des années que la culpabilité est l’émotion la plus inutile et écrasante. Je le sais. Je le sais, Mais ce que je sais et ce que je me sens ne sont pas d’accord. 

     J’ai pris la décision de faire ces choses sans être coupable:

  1. Lire un roman pendant la journée
  2. Regarder une émission à la télé
  3. Rester dans une chaise sans rien faire
  4. Faire une sieste
  5. Laisser mes papiers sur mon bureau 
  6. Laisser la vaisselle dans l’évier
  7. Ne pas faire le lit
  8. Passer une demi-heure au téléphone
  9. Ne pas préparer le dîner
  10. Ne pas nettoyer la maison

     Je ne vais pas m’inquiéter si je ne les fais pas. Il se peut que je n’aie pas bien conjugé le verbe s’inquiéter, mais je ne vais pas m’en occuper.   J’ai accompli assez. Je suis assez. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


     Every morning, I take my breakfast tray up to my “nest” and turn on the news. I have tried all different stations and have determined that I prefer hearing the horrific stories reported  by Robin Meade who at least smiles in between them and who laughs at the absurd human interest tales. 

     This morning’s news included the beheading of an American journalist, the impending race riot in Ferguson, Missouri, people stabbed to death in a synagogue in Jerusalem, and the frightening rise of terrorism over the past year. Now how’s that for starting your day? Mr. Wonderful says I shouldn’t watch the news at all. He prefers to read about it in the local paper. What’s the difference; it’s the same news.

     If you don’t read or watch the news, you are uninformed. If you do, you’re subject to anxiety and paranoia. Some choice.

     I am thinking seriously of starting my day with cartoons and saving the news for 6:00 with Brian Williams. At least, he’s cute, and he always closes his broadcast with an upbeat story of someone doing good somewhere. 

     The good news is, despite historic low temperatures and frost on the ferns, the sun is shining, and I can go back to bed. Here I come, pillow. Please send me some happy dreams. 

                                                 Thanks, Al. I needed that!

      I was one of those people who always felt ashamed that I wasn’t invited to belong to Mensa. One day, however, an extremely astute educator, Howard Gardner, American psychologist and Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, came out with the theory of “Multiple Intelligence.” One purpose of his findings was to educate teachers about how to teach to different kinds of intelligences--not just the super-smartie-left-brainers. As a former teacher, I was thrilled to discover this information on more than one level. First, I realized that I am one of those with a different combination of intelligences--not just the left brain kind. I was comforted to find that my musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and emotional intelligences had some value, and they are crucial to the way I learn and, ultimately, to the way I teach. Secondly, I found that by targeting in each of my students the specific intelligence of the nine he identifies, I was able to construct lessons that would address these various categories, and students could learn in the unique way specific to their needs.  

     Everyone knows that Big Al up there wasn’t the best student. I am not sure I could have carried on an “intelligent” conversation with someone with hair like that, but I think he was very wise.

Monday, November 17, 2014



Every day we make choices. Those choices dictate how we react to their consequences. What choices will you make today that could have a lasting impact on you or those around you? Here are mine:

  1. Workout or take nap
  2. Girls Night Out Dinner:  Order a glass of wine or sip water
  3. Attend Pilates class or Millenial Seminar at the university
  4. Wash hair or wear beret
  5. Practice my speech or read my novel
  6. Practice my piano or watch last night’s The Good Wife
  7. Order shoes online or use money to help poor family
  8. Venture out in ugly rain or stay home and relax
  9. Clean house or watch the Today show
  10. Meditate or work on Great American Novel