Sunday, February 28, 2016

Coming Down the Other Side

I don't know how old I'll be when I die, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to last until I'm 104.

I have most likely crested the hill long since.

Signs of my descent:

I find that I talk to myself with startling frequency, and, worse, I am getting lax about doing it when other people are around. People are starting to notice. So far it's nothing revealing. "I think I'll have a slice of pizza," as I poke around in the fridge, forgetting Jack has just walked in, home from school. But what if some of my crazier thoughts start falling out of my brain and coming out of my mouth?

I am forgetting things more often. I had to teach a class the other day without my reading glasses. I asked the class not to pay attention to me as I read an excerpt from a book, holding it in my hand stretched out as far as possible. And then I had to turn around and drive all the way back to campus to retrieve my phone that I'd left on the desk in the front of the room. I realized it after I'd gotten almost all the way to my other job, twenty minutes from campus.

I have realized that no one truly knows what the heck they are doing, including and especially myself. At least not the whole of it. And sometimes not even the bits and pieces. I've realized there aren't any actual grownups anywhere who have it all figured out.

This is simultaneously freeing and unsettling.

I'm feeling good about the freeing part, though.

On the way down, I've discovered I give fewer and fewer effs. I don't even really care anymore that I have to wear reading glasses. Except when I don't have them. And even then, I discover I'm okay with long arms and good lighting.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


I've mentioned this before. I don't know if I experience synchronicity more than usual or if I just tend to notice it a lot. Here are three of my recent favorites:

The time a friend dropped by with a present - a copy of Eric Carle's classic Pancakes, Pancakes! - at the exact moment I was cooking a, wait for it, pancake!

The time I bought a fabulous handbag woven from river grass at the gift shop of the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, and the next day I saw someone post in a Facebook forum that she was looking for a new purse, something unusual. The forum has members from all over the world, but I clicked on her name anyway just to see if she lived anywhere near Charlotte, NC, so I could recommend the river grass bags. What were the chances? She actually lived in Charlotte!

The time I was teaching a new class of inmates at the jail and there were two guys who went by Tony and one by Anthony. I reminisced about the old Prince spaghetti ad where the mom yells out of the window in an old apartment in the North End of Boston for her son Anthony, who comes running home because he knows it's Wednesday and Wednesday is Prince spaghetti day. Later that day, a high school friend happened to post about Prince spaghetti day on Facebook and a bunch of us reminisced together.

That was a pretty run of the mill synchronicity for me.

Then it got a little spooky.

The very next day news broke in the Boston Globe that the actress who played Anthony's mother in that Prince spaghetti ad had passed away. Dead.

A synchronicity trifecta.

We are all connected, people.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Twelve Days Going On Forever

At least that's what it feels like.

Twelve days of--how can I say it delicately?--respiratory ailment. With no end in sight. Ugh.

Foggy head, failing voice, awful fatigue, plentiful phlegm.

(I may be fighting to function, but at least my facility for alliteration hasn't faded!)

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Keeping My Eye on the Ball

When I was growing up, we had a really crappy black and white television. Really. It was so bad that twice our house was broken into and twice the thieves left the television behind.

I remember sometimes a football game would be on, and I would watch the fuzzy screen and wonder how anyone could tell where the ball actually was at any given time.

Somehow I failed to become a fan.

I realized the other day just how much I don't pay attention to football when a team called the Texans was playing Kansas City on a big screen while we were having lunch at Culvers.

"The Texans?" I said. "What city are they in?"

"Houston," said Roger.

"Houston? Isn't that the Oilers?"

When I googled, I discovered the Oilers moved to Tennessee all the way back in 1999 and became the Titans. That's the same year Jack was born. He's almost 17.

I got sucked into following (though not actually watching) the playoffs this year because both the Patriots and the Panthers had a shot at making it to the Super Bowl and my Facebook feed was on fire!

The final four: the Patriots, the Broncos, the Panthers, the Cardinals. The Patriots didn't make it. Neither did the Cardinals.

"The Cardinals?" I thought. "Aren't they a baseball team?"

A little more googling.

"Ah, no. I'm confusing them with the Orioles."

I'll be rooting for the Panthers tomorrow. Hope they hit a lot of home runs!