My Life, Uncategorized, Writing

This Week

This week sped by at high speed and I am not sure why. I didn’t do anything special or anticipate anything upcoming. I have been writing, and working on a story that may or may not ever be shown to the public.

When I start writing, the world slips by me reasonably quickly. I get a good thought going and all of sudden I realize that I have been typing for four hours straight and my arthritic knees and hips are screaming for movement.

The first thing to do is create a well-thought-out strategy for getting out of my chair. Once I am verticle, I wait a few seconds to make sure my knees and hips will actually hold me up. Then, cane in hand, I make a few tottering steps toward the bathroom, usually.

It never fails to amaze me that I can get so into what I am writing that I am able to ignore basic bodily needs, such as a bathroom break or getting something to drink. For a time, I can ignore sore hips and aching knees.

But, this week I wrote nearly 20,000 words. *Pats self on the back.*

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Blog Entries, retirement, Writing

Distracted Blogging

I get distracted very easily. Every shiny thing that comes my way captures my attention. For example, a pop-up on my PC, a notification on my watch, a text message from an advertiser.

I have a ton of distracting things on my desk like a calendar with pretty pictures, a wooden doll, a cobalt glass elephant, an iron wood duck, a magnifying glass, ever changing pictures on my PC background, journals for various reasons.

The journals are each specific to a task:

  • One for random thoughts
  • One for Bible Verses that catch my eye
  • One for Korean words and phrases to increase my knowledge of the language that I currently learning to speak
  • An old Journal that is filled with random lists

Getting distracted by a journal is never a problem, however. I sometimes find myself writing pages and pages of interesting thoughts.

But, because I am retired, what am I distracting myself from? Boredom? Vacuuming the carpets? Folding the clean laundry? Unloading the dishwasher? Are these tasks really so relevant that they must be completed on a particular timetable?

You would think that with all of these fascinating task to complete that I would never be bored and always have something to blog about. Today, the air is cool and fresh, the flowers of spring are just starting to bloom, the sky is dotted with fluffy clouds. Maybe I need to forget everything and just go outside and let the wind play with my hair.

Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash
Humor, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Cause and Effect

I went to a doctor yesterday to find out why my hip is hurting. I have been dealing with this for a couple of months and I finally decided that maybe I needed some professional help because people are getting tired of hearing my involuntary pterodactyl screech every time I stand up or sit down. Plus, I have finally gotten really grouchy about this whole my-life-would-be-great-if-I-didn’t-have-hips routine I go through every day.

I have been dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis for quite sometime and I assumed that the hippy pain was because of that. Exercise makes my joints feel better, but exercise is a delicate balancing act of doing just enough to feel better. One leg lift too many and I am in more agony for 3-4 days. Therefore, off to a doctor to find out what can be done.

Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz on Unsplash

Meanwhile, back in the gym… I have been “babying” my hip and now my knees have started to hurt. Somehow, I find it difficult to see how my situation has improved.

Hence, my visit to the doctor–Dr. Eye-Candy if you are interested, because I firmly believe if one must visit a doctor, then visit a very pretty one and Dr. Eye-Candy is so very pretty. Dr. Candy tells me my knees hurting is because of normal wear and tear. Okay. But what about my hip?

Dr. Candy says, “You have arthritis, but what you don’t have is any cartilage left. Your bones are scraping together. However, we can’t do a hip replacement until you have lost about 5000 pounds. Just sayin'”

Me: What has caused this unfortunate cartilage losing episode?

Dr. Candy: Normal wear and tear. Your hip pain is normal.

Me: You have got to be kidding me. It is not normal for someone to scream in agony when they sit and normal to scream in agony again when they stand up? I mean, I have been waiting to see you for nearly forty-five minutes and plenty of people stood up and sat down and there was barely any screaming at all.

Dr. Eye-Candy:…..

Me: So, how is this normal?

Dr: It is normal for someone with RA (rheumatoid arthritis).

Me: So, what do we do?

Dr: Eventually, hip replacement, but not until you lose 50,000 pounds.

Me: It went from 5000 pounds to 50,000? That’ll take more than a minute. What do I do in the meantime? Screech in agony on a regular basis?

Dr: No. We can give you cortisone injections. But cortisone injections will make you gain weight.

Me: Kinda going in the wrong direction there, Doc.

Dr: Really, it will make you feel better… we think.

Me:…..

Dr: All we have to do it stick a big needle in your hip…

Me: Now wait just a cotton picking minute. How can sticking a big needle in my hip make it feel better?

Dr: It just will.

OK. Maybe he isn’t big on explanations, but he certainly is pretty to look at. Also, he is fun to argue with. These young pretty doctors have no clue and are totally lost when they encounter a fully mature adult female. So, instead of sticking a big needle in my hip, and after much debate and forced explanations, I opted for a change in oral medication.

Now, we wait.

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Blog List, Writing

Writing Music List

Music is a big part of my life. I have theme music for ust about every activity. The play lists on my phone include:

Photo by weston m on Unsplash
  • Writing
  • Dancing
  • Housework
  • Driving
  • Playtime
  • Cruising

Plus playlist of specific artists such as:

  • David Arkenstone
  • Paul Hardcastle
  • Tears for Fears
  • BTS
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Hiroshima
  • Miracle of Sound
  • Pentatonix

Obviously, I have very eclectic taste in music. I will listen to any genre as long as the singers are good and the melody moves me in some way.

My Writing Music playlist gets a lot of use. I find inspiration in listening to:

  • Star Trek OST (The reboot version)
  • David Arkenstone — Atlantis
  • George Winston — Summer
  • Down to the Bone — Supercharged Album
  • Ian Anderson — Divinities
  • Paul Hardcastle — The Chill Lounge
  • The Rippingtons — Taos Album
  • Taliesin Orchestra — Forbidden Forest
  • The Space Orchestra
  • David Arkenstone — Songs Inspired by Middle Earth

This play list could give you something new to write to if you are looking for inspiration in Music.

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Humor, Writing

How to Effectively Argue

This is the funniest thing I have read recently and it is extremely valuable information, as in, I wish I had known about this when I was a teenager. Or even better, I wish I had known this when my kids were teenagers.

Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

How to argue effectively
By Dave Barry
And not by Stuart J. Williams, Attorney at Law
I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me. You too can win arguments. Simply follow these rules:

Drink liquor.
Suppose you are at a party and some hotshot intellectual is expounding on the economy of Peru, a subject you know nothing about. If you’re drinking some health-fanatic drink like grapefruit juice, you’ll hang back, afraid to display your ignorance, while the hotshot enthralls your date. But if you drink several large martinis, you’ll discover you have STRONG VIEWS about the Peruvian economy. You’ll be a WEALTH of information. You’ll argue forcefully, offering searing insights and possibly upsetting furniture. People will be impressed. Some may leave the room.

Make things up.
Suppose, in the Peruvian economy argument, you are trying to prove that Peruvians are underpaid, a position you base solely on the fact that YOU are underpaid, and you’ll be damned if you’re going to let a bunch of Peruvians be better off. DON’T say: “I think Peruvians are underpaid.” Say instead: “The average Peruvian’s salary in 1981 dollars adjusted for the revised tax base is $1,452.81 per annum, which is $836.07 before the mean gross poverty level.”

NOTE: Always make up exact figures.
If an opponent asks you where you got your information, make THAT up too. Say: “This information comes from Dr. Hovel T. Moon’s study for the Buford Commission published on May 9, 1982. Didn’t you read it?” Say this in the same tone of voice you would use to say, “You left your soiled underwear in my bathroom.”

Use meaningless but weighty-sounding words and phrases.
Memorize this list:

Let me put it this way
In terms of
Vis-a-vis
Per se
As it were
Qua
Ipso facto
Ergo
So to speak

You should also memorize some Latin abbreviations such as “Q.E.D.”, “e.g.”, and “i.e.” These are all short for “I speak Latin, and you don’t.” Here’s how to use these words and phrases. Suppose you want to say, “Peruvians would like to order appetizers more often, but they don’t have enough money.”

You never win arguments talking like that. But you WILL win if you say, “Let me put it this way. In terms of appetizers vis-a-vis Peruvians qua Peruvians, they would like to order them more often, so to speak, but they do not have enough money per se, as it were. Ergo, ipso facto, case closed. Q.E.D.”

Only a fool would challenge that statement.

Use snappy and irrelevant comebacks.
You need an arsenal of all-purpose irrelevant phrases to fire back at your opponents when they make valid points. The best are:

You’re begging the question.
You’re being defensive.
Don’t compare apples to oranges.
What are your parameters?

This last one is especially valuable. Nobody (other than engineers and policy wonks) has the vaguest idea what “parameters” means.

Don’t forget the classic: YOU’RE SO LINEAR.

Here’s how to use your comebacks:

You say: As Abraham Lincoln said in 1873…
Your opponent says: Lincoln died in 1865.
You say: You’re begging the question.
You say: Liberians, like most Asians…
Your opponent says: Liberia is in Africa.
You say: You’re being defensive.
You say: Since the discovery of the incandescent light bulb…
Your opponent says: The light bulb is an invention.
You say: Well DUH!

Compare your opponent to Adolf Hitler.
This is your heavy artillery, for when your opponent is obviously right and you are spectacularly wrong. Bring Hitler up subtly. Say, “That sounds suspiciously like something Adolf Hitler might say,” or “You certainly do remind me of Adolf Hitler.”

Borrowed from HERE
retirement, Writing

Turning Back the Hands of Time

Today, I am going to an in-person meeting with some close friends. IN-PERSON. With people.

I have been essentially a recluse, a shut-in, a hermit for the past two years. Covid 19 gave me permission to stay home and hide from the world and from this deadly disease.

I ventured out long enough to get vaccinated and get a vaccination booster shot. Covid still lingers in our midst, so the in-person meeting will be held with everyone wearing masks. Inside

Our group and our leadership wants to ensure that everyone is safe and no one inadvertently gets infected with this disease. Handwashing. Distancing. No shaking hands. Careful planning to ensure everyone’s safety.

I will follow the rules simply because I believe in them. I hid from the disease for 2 years and it is time to go out and see if the world has changed significantly. If it has changed radically, I may be like the ground-hog and go back into hiding.

Blog Entries, Blog List, Writing

My Life in a List

I make a lot of lists. I make lists to tell me where my lists are.

  • To-do lists
  • Password lists
  • Grocery lists
  • Things I want to buy other than groceries

The list goes on and on. (See what I did there?)

Photo by WanderLabs on Unsplash

This list is an update of my list so far. I do this about once a year and then re-read it later. Here goes:

  • I am now fully retired and not working for the man any longer. Just me and my retirement, plus income from 2 room-mates.
  • There is no way I am going to sell my house and move to parts-unknown because I could make a profit. It would not be enough for me to live out the rest of my life, so I will stay in my humble home and get my mortgage paid down and then live here for just the cost of insurance and taxes.
  • I sold my car and have found that to be liberating in the extreme. I am without a car payment, car insurance payments, maintenance costs. I can have my groceries delivers and Amazon is my favorite place to shop. If I have to leave my house, I have options: Friends or Uber.
  • My brother who lived with me for the better part of 12 years died 2 years ago, just after the COVID-19 lockdown. But, I have two roommates now and we three get on famously. They are 2 ladies who are near to my age and we share history and philosophy.
  • I have a good friend who mows my grass and takes care of any household maintenance issue that crop up.
  • I have fallen in love with K-Dramas and K-Pop music. Who knew that would happen at my age. But, realistically, the BTS boys– Bangtan Sonyeondan — can SING. They are also known as the Bangtan Boys or Bangtan Boyscouts.
  • Before I make any list, THIS:
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Blog List, retirement, Writing

Drunk Call

I admit that I am getting older and am beyond retirement age. Further, most of my friends are also getting older and beyond retirement age.

It has been a very long time since I was drunk called by anyone in the middle of the night. At 8:00 PM last evening my phone rang. Just as a side note, when you are my age, 8:00 PM is the middle of the night. My neighbor who is a 76 year old spinster called me, drunk as a lord, and the conversation went something like this…

Neighbor: I haven’t heard from you in a while. Are you still above the dirt?

Me: Obviously, since I answered the phone. I waved at you two days ago when you were dragging dog food out of your car plus, a rescue vehicle hasn’t shown up at my front door recently. Figure it out.

Neighbor: That was you? I couldn’t figure out who was waving at me from your front porch.

Me: Who else would it have been? Are you drunk?

Neighbor: Well, this is only my second bottle of wine.

Me: That’s what I thought, although I mentally underestimated the amount of wine you have actually consumed. What’s on your mind?

Neighbor: I just called to tell you I am going out of town for a few days.

Me: I’m not watching your dogs!

Neighbor: That’s harsh.

Me: I have told you before, I am not watching your dogs. Its not that I think your dogs are bad or anything, but they smell like dogs. I don’t like dogs. Anybody’s dogs. Not just yours.

Neighbor: I found someone to watch my dogs. If you see a thirty year old blond woman going in and out of my house, she is the one who is watching the dogs. Oh, I am selling my house.

Me: Really?

Neighbor: Yeah. Our neighbor just sold hers and got nearly $300,000 for her tiny place. I figure I can get at least that much for mine. I have the best looking yard in the neighborhood.

Me: You have been saying you are going sell and move for the past 8 years that I know of.

Neighbor: I mean it, this time. I’ll miss talking to you.

Me: I am still not watching your dogs.

Neighbor: Dammit.

Photo by Akshar Dave 🪁 on Unsplash

Blast From the Past, Blog Entries, Writing

Not Another Kitty Litter Post!

Talking to one of my kids on the phone:

Me: You know there was a time when there was no kitty litter. Everyone had to use shredded up newspaper in a carboard box. No fancy plastic kitty litter boxes, either. Tin foil wrapped over a box. And shredded newspaper.

Kid: Wow. And I bet you had to walk to school in ten feet of snow. Uphill. Both ways.

Me: Actually, I grew up in Florida. Only five feet of snow… and hurricanes. I had to walk to school during hurricanes in ten feet of raging water.

Kid: Uphill?

Me: Yeah. Both ways. You should try that. Walking uphill when there is a torrent coming down the hill.

Kid: What’s that got to do with kitty litter? I told you I needed to buy kitty litter and you start telling me about the good old days.

Me: It was the ultimate in recycling. People got rid of old newspapers at the same time as they filled their litter box. That was before kitty litter was invented.

Kid: I think kitty litter was discovered, not invented.

Me: Discovered? There were prospectors panning for kitty litter in California rivers?

Kid: That isn’t what I meant.

Me: Kitty litter was invented. Back in 1948 by Ed Lowe. He is famous for it. I mean the only thing noteworthy the guy ever did was inventing kitty litter. He invented the name “Kitty Litter” and it has stuck. He was worth about a half billion dollars when he died.

Kid: How do you know this stuff?

Me: I must have read it somewhere.

Kid: Well, as I said earlier, I am hanging up so I can go to the store to buy some kitty litter.

Me: But, now you know more about kitty litter than anyone else.

Kid: Except for you. It was a question on Jeopardy, wasn’t it?

Me: In the Category of Kitty Litter, Alex, for a thousand dollars…

Kid: No, that would be in the category of stuff only KayFour knows for a thousand dollars.

Me: You got me.

Kid: And to add insult to injury, you are going to blog about this.

Me: I hadn’t thought of it… until NOW.

Kid: Just don’t mention my name.

Photo by Litter Robot on Unsplash