Saturday, August 18, 2018

Am I Lonely?

Recently I was told that I seemed lonely.  "Me?",  I thought.  "I don't think of myself that way. Am I afraid to admit it?  Hmmm.  I'll have to give this some thought".

I didn't live alone until late into adulthood.  Childhood, schools, marriages, children.  That took up a big chunk. And yes, when it came it was a jolt.  Now, I can't imagine having anyone around all the time.  What about my quiet, my routines, my noises, my preferences?  Could I, would I, rearrange any of it to make space?

But what about love? Companionship?  When his wife died, one man I know immediately attached himself to the widow of his best friend.  So far, so good.  Another friend has been able to insist on part time togetherness.  An understood arrangement. Equally appealing to both.

"There are a lot of witty women on the internet," says another male searcher.  My favorite line:  "I still wear the same size necklace as I did in high school."

Alone is one thing.  Loneliness another.  I'll pause at that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Not So Sweet Candy

Anne, the building manager at my condo, "liked me."  She kept a big jar of candies on her very cluttered desk.  After I took a Butterfinger one day, she began to save them for me. 

I was so grateful to Anne when water damage ruined my bedroom carpeting. When I told her my homeowners insurance didn't cover it (zombie apocalypse?), she said, "Don't worry, I have a discretionary fund.  I'll replace your carpeting out of that."

I was thinking about that fund when reading the letter to all condo owners.  Anne and the assistant manager had been immediately fired for cause, and financial improprieties were being investigated.  Updates to follow.

So, I got the Butterfingers and Anne apparently had sticky fingers.  Sad.

They redecorated the new Manager's office.  She, and the office, are very sleek and professional.  No candy.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Old Age Ugly


No surgery!  No surgery!  Still in a state of euphoria after the orthopaedic doctor recommended other treatments for my very bum knee, I agreed to be fitted for this contraption.  I pick it up next week.
First, Dr. Feelgood gave me a steroid shot.  Walking better already.

I joked with my sports loving friends that my trade value was nil, and now a PED conviction.

The breast cancer industry got it right ... right away. . . with the flood of pink for ladies and the men who love them.  When I asked the knee fitter guy what colors the brace came in, he said black, black and black.

C'mon entrepreneurs.  And, not just for us oldsters.  There was a waiting room full of young, athletic types limping around on their ugly canes and crutches. 

At least my brace will be under the new very wide leg pants I plan to purchase.  Please tell me somewhere, they are still in style.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Cave Boys of Thailand



As one who sat mesmerized watching the Chilean miners ascend from their captivity, I am fervently hoping I'll get to do the same with the soccer team and their coach trapped in the underwater cave.  But oh, the task ahead.

Here's the plan:  divers, who are the most trained and experienced in the world, are going to gather.  They will train the boys to use the equipment to swim under water.  Then, two divers (one on each side) will guide each boy through the narrow and debris infested waters to the surface.

The alternative is to wait underground for months for the water to subside.  I heard this may not even be possible as more flooding may occur at any time.

One of our favorite thought experiments is: "What would we do if visited by another species from outer space? Would we realize that we are all 'earthlings' and greet them as one?"

I love these moments of promise when we seem to be able to come together.  Last time for the miners, this time for the boys.  Maybe the soccer players at the World Cup will send some encouragement.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Closer Look



Having recently studied the brain and human behavior, this story really caught my eye.

A scientist was doing research on the brain hoping to identify common characteristics of sociopaths (especially serial killers).  He mapped his brain and his family's along with the "killer" samples to use in the "control" group.  All of the family group was normal except for one "killer" brain -- his own!

Astonished, he went home to tell his wife.  Her response?  "I'm not surprised."  Then, he went to all of his colleagues and friends:  "You're very smart, organized, witty, a great guy at a party.  When it comes to feeling close to you, sorry."

He thought to himself:  "Well, that's interesting."  And, he then realized, "That's the response of a sociopath, all right."

 He seized on the intelligent approach: "Well, some sociopaths serve society:  Surgeons.  CEO's.  Maybe scientists." Then he researched his ancestry and found several killers among them...including Lizzie Borden!

So now, our scientist is working on what he decided to do with his newfound knowledge:  He studied the characteristics of empathy and is faking it as best as he can.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Truth and Consquences



Remember the good old days when we had the luxury of contemplating the "end of truth"?  When the physicists were telling us that reality is indeed a collaboration between the observed and the observer?  "Not so fast" we now whine.  As we drown in a sea of lies, we cling to our lifeboat called Truth.  "Please, we need to be saved by truth."

Same for the FBI.  We oldsters remember when Hoover was busy unleashing his band of white male clones.  His targets were the "Commies" among us, the protesters, MLK.  Now we celebrate those men, desperate for their investigation to force things back in place.

It's tough being an observer in this upside down world.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Alone or Not



The legal strategy now allowed in sexual predator cases that nailed Bill Cosby and maybe Harvey Weinstein is permitting the testimony of many women in order to establish a "pattern of conduct." Previously, each woman had to stand alone.

I wonder what will happen if these cases reach the Supreme Court.  Just this week, there was a 5 to 4 decision (hello, Neil Gorsuch) depriving employees of the right to band together to fight the bosses' companywide policies.  And, if I understand it right, each employee -- if they want to get hired --
could be forced to agree to arbitration thus blocking them from the courts and the jury system.

So, again if I understand it right, a woman has a better chance of fighting sexual harassment than a woman or a man standing up to employer harassment.

The guys keep their priorities intact, don't they?