Apr 012017
 

April 1, 2017 — We’ve known about the three family weddings for a year.  Three of our nephews are getting married this spring, each blessed day six weeks apart.  The first wedding is a week from today. Somehow, it evaded me that I might need to have something to wear to these special family events.  My Beloved bought new Florsheim’s a month ago, so he’s a bit ahead of me.

As aunt and uncle, we have no visible role.  We buy an acceptable gift. We show up and try to stay low key.  This means looking normal, not like a flamboyant Auntie Mame character or Marvin from “Office Space.”

The bride and groom tell everyone the same thing; we want you to be at our wedding.  Don’t worry about the details.  You being there is the most important thing to us.

But we know the underlying message is that we need to stay in the background. Our day is past.  Basically, we want to have a Low Profile. This is difficult because we both possess qualities of each character, well, mostly me.  (Ones of my prized possessions is a red stapler I won from Radio WOWO in 1973.  Sad life.)

My Beloved generally knows how to stay beneath the radar. He looks nice every day, because (unless it is Saturday) he won’t go out in jeans and a sweatshirt. He wears nice slacks and neatly pressed collared shirts (by the dry cleaners, not me) every weekday. (We’re not counting that time we ate the 100 Swiss franc lunch in Lugano when he was wearing his Allis-Chalmers orange sweatshirt from Rural King.  I’m telling you, he’s Ralph Lauren business casual most of the time.)

We rarely dress up. The suits I wore when I worked for a Fortune 100 company are long gone.  Husband has the requisite weddings and funeral suits.  Wednesday night we canvassed his closet and had a “try-on” session.  He was wearing no shirt and Marvin the Martian fancy pants.  Real sexy stuff.

He found three identical blue sports jackets.  Nice for when we summer in the Hamptons.  Seriously, why does he have these?   My theory is that in the last 21 years (that’s as long as we’ve lived in this house), some occasion arose that he needed a blue sports jacket, so  he bought one.  And then another.  And then another.

Then he found five nearly identical suits in dry cleaning bags.  One of the suits had two red Christmas tapers packed in plastic attached to the bag.  Was it a giveaway from the dry cleaners?  Were they in his pockets when he took the jacket in?  We thought we might surprise the bride and groom as we walked up the aisle each carrying a red candle, but realized that would put is in the Being Noticed category.

Four of the five suits fit, and I insisted he put the fifth (a leftover from about twenty years ago) in the Goodwill pile.  He didn’t want to, but I reminded him that having four identical suits that fit qualifies him for a new career as a funeral director.  He’s not really interested in changing careers.  We agreed to find a shirt and tie to match whatever I wore.  This is problematic.

I have nothing to wear.  

Nothing.  I purchased a dress for another nephew’s wedding in 2015, and well, the dress was hideous.  There was also a minor incident with a slip.  A slip is a piece of women’s lingerie from Queen Victoria’s era.  The only other dress I have is my “funeral dress.”  I wore it to my mother’s funeral because my father requested I wear a dress. (I will not be wearing one to his funeral, should he proceed me, as he won’t be there to observe.)  There is something acceptable I can wear to Wedding #3 because it’s colors are black and gold and I happen to own a summery, shimmery black and gold two-piece top with a pair of black summery, shimmery slacks.  This fits into the vision of looking gracious but not overly visible.

I made a trek to the mall today (a place I never ever visit) and found a helpful clerk and found something acceptable and low key.  Now if I remember not to call the groom by his childhood nickname, not carry lighted tapers down the aisle, pull my red stapler out of my purse, and for God’s sake, not dance at the reception, we will be under the radar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 142016
 

Snow White 5May 14, 2016 — Yes, it’s me, Snow White. Do you remember I won an Oscar in 1939? Child star Shirley Temple presented Walt Disney a special Oscar for his first film-length animated feature “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”   Seven small duplicate Oscars accompanied the larger one. The diminutive Oscars were for my dear friends and former roommates,  Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc, Sneezy, and Bashful.

I am the very same Snow White, who starred as a maiden in the Oscar-winning film nearly 80 years ago.

You probably wonder what has happened to my compatriots and me.

Someday my Prince will come.  I found my Prince Charming at the end of the film. We had a wonderful life together. He swept me off my feet,  out of the woods, and into the high rent district. We lived in his paternal grandmother’s castle. His family is noted for longevity.  His grandmother the Queen, his grandfather the Duke, and his father are still alive. His grandmother turned ninety this year. Pity the poor fool who has to wait that long to be king.

I’m no longer living in the castle. My dear one died in an unfortunate accident in the equestrian competition at the 1960 summer Olympics. Charming’s skill as a calvary officer was well known. However,  his dressage horse Hoof Hearted didn’t get the email and threw Charming over a fence. My beloved met an untimely and unfortunate death.

My children (Barry and Vanna) and I initially moved in with my sister Betty.  Our arrangement didn’t last. Betty’s house was overrun with dogs. The children developed severe allergies.

Barry left us a decade ago and is with his father.  Vanna has an excellent, well-paying job. She helps me as much as she can. But, I can’t live with my daughter. Her great room features a huge alphabet board, and worse,  a  shiny, lighted, neon wheel looms over the house and makes noise.

I took a day job at a hospital, and this week we celebrated National Hospital Week. I love my co-workers, so I decided to surprise them and dress in my costume from my first and only movie.

Can you believe that’s a wig in the picture?  Snow White has snow white hair now. I was pleased to find a plus-sized costume on Amazon. Snow may have put on a few pounds since the movie. So, I look like a tugboat in my Princess costume. The film was a long time ago. You should see my former roommates; they’ve gone to pot. Sleepy has marks on his face from staying in bed most of the time. Bashful is whacked out from taking pills for 80 years for Social Anxiety Disorder.

Heigh Ho. Heigh Ho. Where did the heck those boys go? The word dwarf is now politically incorrect, so I’ll just refer to them as little people. Only five of them are alive.  Due to climate change, Sneezy’s allergies worsened, and the little fellow succumbed to COPD years ago.

Doc ripped out my heart. I’m sad to report he committed suicide. His reimbursement rate from Medicare and Medicaid dipped so low he couldn’t pay his overhead. And don’t mention those three ex-wives.

Dopey always enjoyed working with people with his “sales personality.” He’s now the Midwestern Director for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President.

The other four had difficulty finding work and moved to China where they got work as Internet trolls.  We hear Grumpy has a lead on some of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

My grandchildren don’t know about my fame. They see me as a white-haired little old lady who works in a hospital, wears Alfred Dunner, and likes to listen to Tommy Dorsey. Perhaps some things are better left in the past.

Apple, anyone?

 

May 012016
 

HEALTH May 2016 © Senior Wire News Service

A Healthy Age By Amy Abbott

 While we do not know the events that led up to Duke’s illness, medicine tells us that sepsis is of particular risk to older adults. Many of us have compromised immune systems from other disease states. We may not recognize the symptoms.

When television icon Patty Duke died in late March at 69, shocked fans learned her death was caused by sepsis of the intestine. Anyone born in the Eisenhower or Truman administrations grew up watching the iconic star of stage and screen who later became a mental health activist.

From Child Star to Activist

At 16, Duke was the youngest Oscar winner for her 1963 portrayal of Helen Keller aside Anne Bancroft in the film The Miracle Worker. Duke originated the role on Broadway from 1959 to 1961 with Bancroft as teacher Anne Sullivan. Duke also won a Golden Globe for her performance. (Tatum O’Neal stole Duke’s youngest Academy Award winner crown with her honor for Paper Moon in 1973.)

For baby boomers, the characters and theme song of “The Patty Duke Show” still ring in our heads 50 years later. Duke played twins, Patty and Cathy (“when cousins are two of a kind” proclaimed the catchy tune). Patty was frequently in trouble; while Cathy, her cousin from England, was more refined. The show, naturally in black and white, was hokey and we loved it.

The ABC sitcom ran for three seasons and netted Duke an Emmy. For a brief time in 1965, Duke’s pop hit “Don’t Just Stand There” held in the Top Ten hits.

Duke had a long television and film career, with other notables such as Valley of the Dolls, and a turnabout role in a remake of The Miracle Worker as Anne Sullivan in 1979. She won another Emmy for her interpretation of Helen Keller’s acclaimed teacher.

Behind the screen, Duke served as president of the Screen Actors Guild and was a prolific writer. In her 1987 autobiography Call Me Anna, Duke detailed her tumultuous childhood and lifetime battles with bipolar disorder.

Thirty years ago, the discussion of mental illness was not as open or frank as it is today. Duke was ahead of her time with her willingness to discuss a difficult childhood and struggles with mental illness. A second book A Brilliant Madness Living with Maniac Depression Illness, was published in the 1990s.

Duke had three sons and was married to former drill sergeant Michael Pearce at the time of her death. Her former husband and father of two of her sons (one by adoption) was John Astin, an actor noted for his role as Gomez in the television show “The Addams Family.

An Untimely Death by a Lurking Killer

Not yet 70, Duke died at her Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, home of sepsis from a ruptured intestine, according to her online biography. The Mayo Clinic defines sepsis as a “potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight infection trigger inflammation responses throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger changes that may damage multiple organs. Mayo reports that if the disease progresses to “septic shock,” blood pressure may plummet and death may be the result.

While we do not know the events that led up to Duke’s illness, medicine tells us that sepsis is of particular risk to older adults. Many of us have compromised immune systems from other disease states. We may not recognize the symptoms.

Because of her celebrity, the news of Duke’s death by sepsis may increase awareness among seniors. Cleveland, Ohio, NBC-affiliate WKYC reported that Google searches on sepsis increased 800 percent after Duke’s death.

The Sepsis Alliance organization was featured in multiple venues on March 30, the day after Duke’s death as awareness jumped across the country. The article highlighted symptoms that everyone (and especially seniors or those with compromised immune systems) should know. The signs of sepsis are outlined in a fact sheet on the Center for Disease Control website.

S – Shivering, fever, or feeling very cold

E – Extreme pain or general discomfort, as in “worst ever.”

P – Pale or discolored skin

S – Sleepy, difficult to wake up or confused

I – “I feel like I might die.”

S – Shortness of breath

These symptoms together seem grim, but someone with a painful bowel or frequent asthma attacks or another kind of compromised immune system may miss symptoms. Your mindfulness to these symptoms in your own or a loved one’s life may help you avoid the tragedy of an early death, like Duke’s.

Find my books and columns at www.amyabbottwrites.com.

Apr 162016
 

COFFEECUPApril 16, 2016 — My husband is the Love of My Life. But high on the list is coffee.

I love coffee. I love everything about coffee. I love the smell of coffee. I love the feel of coffee on my tongue. I love the sound our coffeemaker makes as the fresh brew gurgles through the filter. I love the sight of my familiar pink and green mug filled to the brim with the sublime medium-roast.  I love the taste of rich, full-bodied coffee, black with no irritating powders or creams.

Most important, I love the things that coffee does for me. Coffee helps me in ways I beyond my ability to spell them out. Here are a few: coffee gets me up and going.  Coffee kills the morning troll that’s been hiding under my side of the bed since I got up to use the bathroom at 2 a.m. The troll that wants to throw a rock at Wretched Morning Breath Spouse when he speaks nicely to the cat before the sun is up.  That troll that makes me swear every day that I’ll never watch “The Today Show” again if Matt and Savannah don’t stop being so effing chipper. The troll that makes me hate every other human being on the planet.  Dr. Phil (and what does he know?) says that the first 15 minutes in the morning are key to a couple’s long-term happiness.

Really?  Before I have my coffee, I would like to clean Dr. Phil’s molars with a rusty meat hook.

Coffee provides the routine I need in my life.  I’m not talking about connecting with my Android calendar.  If I drink my coffee, as  I normally do, between 8 and 8:30 .m., life is glorious and joyous at 9:30 a.m.  Butterflies, Unicorns and fairies appear, and life is good.

We don’t even want to think about what happens when The Editorial We doesn’t get coffee until, say, 10 a.m.  Bad, bad things happen. The earth stops revolving around the sun.

We’re ending a long week. I had four days of meetings either at 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m.  I am not a morning person, despite my mother telling me every day of my childhood that I would magically turn into one someday.  Mom, you’ve been dead for four years.  I’m almost 59 years old.  Never going to happen.

We slept in late today, and I nearly killed the Love of My Life when he made goo-goo eyes at our ancient cat and asked him, “Are you my baby kitty?”

No, he is not your baby kitty. He is eighteen years old and just had diarrhea and threw up in my bathroom.

The cat would probably do a whole lot better if he just drank some coffee with his fish crunchies in the morning.

Crossposted at BlogHer.

 

Apr 092016
 

catfoodThis is my life now.  Never mind I have a busy full-time job, an active secondary writing career, a human family, and a home. Never mind all that.

The complete and entire focus of every free waking minute is caring for and feeding an 18-year-old blind, demented, toothless, deaf, arthritic feline.

About three months ago,  Fala was diagnosed with pancreatitis. And the vet recommended a switch to wet food.  That was a difficult change for the Gray Prince, who loves his “crunchy fish”  as we deem his Acana Pacifica food. Despite having only two teeth, he manages to crunch it from his little red cartoon mousie-covered bowl.

Our kitty sitter, Nan, suggested the Pacifica after she learned we were feeding him bowls of Friskies Original Party Mix.  Offering this high fat snack is the equivalent of feeding your two-year-old child Cheetos for three meals a day.  Salt and fat are yummy.  Are they good for old kitties?  That’s a resounding no.

Since the vet changed Fala to wet food, we’ve been feeding him Lil’ Friskies chicken with gravy (he favors chicken. In younger years, he stealthfully stole the chicken from a plate). He’s been licking the sauce off and leaving the rest.  This behavior cannot continue, or he’ll die. Last night I went on a buying spree at our local pet food store.  The clerk told me they have food for senior cats, but none of them work for a toothless old Tom. She suggested I check out the gourmet food, as well as the kitten chow. The clerk also instructed me to look for cans with the labels, “pate”, and “minced” and “kitten”.   I bought fourteen cans  (mostly gourmet labels, so my total was about $341.)

Sure, he’s worth it.  There’s constant midnight cater walling, hairballs on a newly washed bedspread,  puking on my rug daily, and his timely and odiferous evening constitutional 10 feet from us during “Wheel of Fortune”.  Who wouldn’t want to care for a kitty like this one?

There is this one tiny payoff. His Majesty cuddles  up between us each weeknight as we watch “Perry Mason.” And he purrs and acts as he likes us. A lot.

This morning the Potentate of Pussycats limped to the kitchen for breakfast, “Super Premium Fussy Cat Grain Free Chicken with Egg Formula in Gravy.”  Herman put out the food and immediately the Czar of Catdom started eating. We decided to leave him alone for the first course.  He acts an adolescent; any encouragement means he’ll eschew instead of chew.

His walk is so distinctive and lumbering that I heard him return to the kitchen thirty minutes later. And then a third trip. I grabbed my camera. He heard me.  I think he likes the new food, but God forbid his handlers observe him enjoying himself. Feeding the cat  He turned his back on me and walked away. We might be on to something.  So what if it is the most expensive cat food in the world?  Why else do I work?  I mean, seriously?  Taxes, bills, the occasional vacation?  None of that is as important as catering to the whim of a cat, who in human years, is 89 years old.

And the damn bowl still isn’t empty.

© Amy McVay Abbott, The Raven Lunatic, April 9, 2016

If you are interested in reading more about Fala Jo, buy his book.  You didn’t realize he was a famous feline, did you?  The Many Moods of Fala Jo by Herman and Bernadine Spitzsnogel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 282016
 

characterpic022

March 28, 2016 —  I mistakenly referred to a calculator as an adding machine at work.  Everyone burst into raucous laughter, followed by taunts about my age. Senior moment?  Or generic brain fart?”

Did I conjure up the image of Eustis, the bookkeeper from “It’s a Wonderful Life” from my co-workers?  I doubt that any Gen Xers or Millennials can identify Eustis.  And it’s a black and white film.  Younger people don’t like black and white movies.

Being one of the oldest at my workplace is new for me. I started full-time work in May 1980. This was before the Challenger blew up, before “Tear Down this Wall, Mr. Gorbachev,” before 9/11.  Before diagnostic related groups, Obamacare, electronic medical records, and lung transplants.  Probably before you were born, co-worker. Five years later, I started my first leadership level position in a hospital at age  28, which was (yes, indeedy, 30 years ago. People who have worked thirty plus years say “indeedy.”)   

In 1985,  I sat at the table with the big kids;  I was the only one in my twenties. My co-workers were, at least, fifteen years older than this brunette with long hair, high heels, and eyelids lined with powder blue shadow. We lived in an apartment; my husband was in graduate school.  Our second car was a ’73 VW Beetle.  Our “good car” was an unairconditioned Chevette. All of my leadership team co-workers had homes and sedans or SUVs and kids and mortgages. Grown-ups.

Until my present job,  I was among the youngest on my team. 

The man who hired me in February 2014 was seven or eight years younger; my current boss is somewhere in her early thirties.  My organization has about 120 employees.  I guess that less than ten outrank me in age.

At work, I’m frequently lost in the conversation. I don’t get my co-worker’s jokes, and they certainly don’t get my quips.  They talk about the eighties as ancient history. They see me as a child reading “McGuffey’s Reader” while a boy in overalls sticks my pigtails in an inkwell.  They don’t listen to NPR. They understand nothing of the classics.  

“Never at dusk.”  Steve Martin

“Dave’s not here.”  Cheech

“Nixon’s the One.”  The 1968 Republican National Committee, now known as conservative Democrats

No one at work understands my jokes, literary references, or anything I say.  I used the phrase “a pox on our house” the other day after a series of computer outages.    My colleagues thought I was babbling in gibberish.  

I referred to Mercutio’s triple epithet on the families of “Romeo and Juliet.”  A quick Google search revealed  Mercutio said “plague” a word which any hospital worker should know. One of the sources I used said “pox” was an archaic word not used today. Yes, indeedy.  My co-workers probably don’t believe it, but I wasn’t around in Shakespeare’s time.

(Time for a pop culture reference none of my colleagues will get. They often  call what I say “random.”  Perhaps it’s authentic frontier gibberish, as originated in a 1970s Mel Brooks flick. “I think we’re all grateful to Gabby Johnson, for clearly stating what needed to be said.”  It’s a double entendre.  You can’t get the pop culture reference from the 1970s without knowing who Gabby Hayes is from the thirties and forties. You know, like black and white?)

I don’t  see myself as old.  I don’t feel old. Isn’t sixty the new forty?  Three of my grandparents  looked ancient at sixty (one grandfather died in his early fifties.)  Maybe it was the hats?

A 2015 study surveyed attitudes about aging in Europe.

“Someone who is 60 years old today, I would argue, is middle-aged, but 200 years ago, a 60-year-old would be a very old person.

Dr. Sergei Scherbov, from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, led a joint project with New York’s Stony Brook University, looking at how life expectancy has increased.”

The study, published in the journal “PLOS ONE”, found people across Europe were currently viewwed as “old” when they hit 65.”

So what is Middle Age now?  Remember the old saying Life Begins at Forty?  If you married at 18 or 20 and started a family, you were footloose and fancy-free at forty.  
(Of course, most males had a job for life, and looked forward to a pension at 65, but that’s an entirely different story.)  

We are healthier,  working longer by choice or financial resources, and looking better than our parents or grandparents at the same age.  Perhaps it was the hats?

Or paraphrasing the fake Fernando Lamas said on vintage “Saturday Night Live,”We look mar-veahluss.”

Google it, kiddABACUSos.

Let my co-workers laugh.  They might learn something from me.  And I’ll take it in stride.  Tomorrow I’m taking in my son’s abacus to show them how we cave women used to count in the days before adding machines.  Believe me, I can give it out as well as I can take it. When I drove the company van the other day, I changed all ten pre-sets on the radio to NPR.  That’ll teach ’em.

 

Cross posted on BlogHer.

 

 

Also posted by Senior Wire News Service with some editing, May 2016

 

REFLECTIONS May 2016

The Raven Lunatic

Older than Dirt in My Workplace

By Amy Abbott

They see me as a child reading McGuffey’s Reader while a boy in overalls sticks my pigtails in an inkwell. They don’t listen to NPR. They understand nothing of the classics, and by classics, I mean everything from Steve Martin to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to Beethoven.

I mistakenly referred to a calculator as an adding machine at work where I’m administrative staff in a hospital. Everyone burst into raucous laughter, followed by taunts about my age. Senior moment?

Did I conjure up the image of Eustis, the bookkeeper from “It’s a Wonderful Life” from my co‑workers? I doubt any Gen Xers or Millennials can identify Eustis. Besides, it’s a black and white film. Younger people don’t like black and white movies.

Being one of the oldest at my workplace is new for me. I started full‑time work in May 1980. (Yes, indeedy, 36 years ago. People who have worked four decades say “indeedy.”)

I started before the Challenger blew up, before “Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev,” before 9/11. Before most of my co‑workers drew their first breath. Until my present job, I was among the youngest on my team.

At work, I’m frequently lost in the conversation. I don’t get my co‑worker’s jokes, and they certainly don’t get my quips. They talk about the 80s as ancient history. They see me as a child readingMcGuffey’s Reader while a boy in overalls sticks my pigtails in an inkwell. They don’t listen to NPR. They understand nothing of the classics, and by classics, I mean everything from Steve Martin to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to Beethoven.

No one understands my jokes, literary references, or anything I say. I used the phrase “a pox on our house” the other day after a series of computer outages.  My colleagues thought I was babbling in gibberish.

I referred to Mercutio’s epithet on the families of Romeo and Juliet. A quick Google search revealed Mercutio said “plague” a word which any hospital worker should know. One of the sources I used said “pox” was an archaic term not used today. Yes, indeedy. My co‑workers probably don’t believe it, but I wasn’t around in Shakespeare’s time.

(Time for a pop culture reference none of my colleagues will get. They often call what I say “random.” Perhaps it’s authentic frontier gibberish, as originated in a 1970s Mel Brooks flick “I think we’re all grateful to Gabby Johnson, for clearly stating what needed to be said.” It’s a double entendre. You can’t get the pop culture reference from the 1970s without knowing who Gabby Hayes is from the >30s and >40s. From black and white films, the ones the kids won’t watch?)

I don’t see myself as old. I don’t feel old. Isn’t 60 the new 40? Three of my grandparents looked ancient at 60 (one grandfather died in his early 50s.)

A 2015 study surveyed attitudes about aging in Europe. “Someone who is 60 years old today, I would argue, is middle‑aged, but 200 years ago, a 60‑year‑old would be a very old person.” Dr. Sergei Scherbov, from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, led a joint project with New York’s Stony Brook University, looking at how life expectancy has increased. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found people across Europe were currently viewed as “old” when they hit 65.

So what is middle age now? Remember the old saying “life begins at 40”? If you married at 18 or 20 and started a family, you were footloose and fancy‑free at 40. (Of course, most males had a job for life, and looked forward to a pension at 65, but that’s an entirely different story.)

We are healthier, working longer by choice or financial resources, and looking better than our parents or grandparents at the same age.

Or paraphrasing Billy Crystal as Fernando Lamas said on vintage “Saturday Night Live,”  “We look mar‑veah-luss.”

Let my co‑workers laugh. They might learn something from me. And I’ll take it in stride.

Tomorrow I’m taking in my son’s abacus to show them how we cave women used to count in the days before adding machines.

Believe me, I can give it out as well as I can take it. When I drove the company van the other day, I changed all ten pre‑sets on the radio to NPR. That’ll teach ‘em.

 

 

 

Feb 032016
 

edbadge_FeaturedFebruary 11, 2016.  This post was selected as a Featured Member post at BlogHer.  

Earlier this week I took a Facebook quiz on IQ. My results were astounding. I scored higher than Nicholas Tesla, somewhere in the range of 170. I’m a teacher’s kid, and I was frequently tested as a child. I know that my IQ is nowhere near 170. I think the quiz was reporting my seventh-grade weight.

Now here’s the thing. The fact that I took this stupid quiz makes me think my IQ might be half to a third of what Tesla’s was. You would guess I would see the irony in this. Taking a Facebook quiz is like filling your car with gas, making sure the oil is full, and offering the keys to the guy who just robbed the bank. Sure, go ahead, take a good look at my personal information. Of course, I’m as smart as Tesla.

A November 2015 BBC article showcased the privacy nightmare behind these seemingly innocent issues. Remember the famous Facebook word cloud? Click on this app and words from your Facebook page show up in a cloud. I did it, of course. I was happy to see that “read” and “write” were large words. Perhaps “sucker” should have been a highlight. According to the article, the South Korean company Vonvon pilfered personal data, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, entire friend list, everything you have ever posted on your timeline, photos, hometown, education history and everything you’ve ever liked. Uh huh. And I signed up for this willingly, and I’ve done it before.

burgess meredithIt doesn’t seem hardly worth it. Tonight I took a “what celebrity most resembles you” quiz and I got “Burgess Meredith.” And not even The Penguin Burgess Meredith, no, I got the nerdy librarian from The Twilight Zone.

Yesterday it was “what state is from soul really from?” I got Massachusetts. Seriously, not my beloved home state of Indiana. Yes, I like it here and consider myself a real, true Hoosier. We have our bad points, but I moved away for six years and came back. There were reasons I came back. I also love my secondary home state of Florida where I lived for those six years and spent a lot of my childhood vacations. But, Massachusetts, no way. Sure I like to visit Boston and the Museum of Fine Arts. We’ve sat on the third base line facing the Green Monster at Fenway, and I love the Cape area. But, live there, part of my soul? No way. Can you say 100 plus inches of snow?

The horse, for my Facebook stuff, is most likely out of the barn. Save yourselves! The next time you are tempted by “Who is your evil twin?” run screaming from the room.

© Amy McVay Abbott 2016
Posted on BlogHer at Do you take Facebook quizzes?  You may want to rethink that….

 

 

Dec 202015
 

Seven days until Christmas.  I am well ahead of my usual routine of waiting until Dec. 23.  I purchased a number of gifts today.  I’m not exactly the Grinch, I’m just not organized.

Being late to the party isn’t necessarily negative.  It clears the mind.  Store shelves are somewhat empty so I don’t have to search through huge stacks of inventory.  Husband wants houseslippers.  Great. Sears was out.  Target had one pair in his size . Thankfully.  Or he would be getting Batman mules.

The desired pajama pants were more difficult. He has to have pockets in his pajama bottoms.   Our family refers to pajama bottoms as “fancy pants.”  This name describes many of the p.j.s with cartoon characters or beer labels or some aspect of pop culture or sports.

Nothing says romance like a man in a Mr. Bubble t-shirt and yellow Homer Simpson “Doh” pants.

And there’s a rule.  If he gets three new pairs of fancy pants, he must throw three pairs out.  Even the Goodwill folks reject these wretched, ancient pants that he wears until there’s just the string and some colored flannel hanging off.

Five days before Christmas.  Now we’re getting down to the wire. With a busy week at work,  my time is running out.  Except for Amazon Prime.  God love Amazon Prime.  They’ll be there for me for two or three more days.  Just in case.

Over the weekend, I found my Beloved a new French press for his morning coffee.  He’s broken three of the 100' Xtra Cushion Bubble Wrapexpensive  Starbucks brand crafted by native Americans smoking peyote on a Washington State beach.  This time I moved up to a Mr. Coffee brand at Target.  High cotton for the morning ritual.

He also requested packaging supplies for his Internet business.  I purchased three large rolls of bubble wrap at Staples for him.  A rhetorical question: does one WRAP bubble wrap when it is a gift?

Add three pairs of inexpensive (really inexpensive), black, plastic, wraparound sunglasses to the mix.  He loses them, he sits on them, they fly away. When we first married, I could get ten pairs for ninety-nine cents each at the Marathon station.  Thirty-one years later, we’ve moved on up to the east side with four dollar sunglasses at the Dollar Store.

One surprise: I ordered a Kindle Fire Stick for his TV from Amazon. He likes old movies, so that might be fun.

Bring on the holidays, I am ready!

No spoiler alert. Disclaimer: my Beloved does all the  shopping, for our son, and for the rest of the family. He does all the cooking and most of the shopping for meals.  He made me breakfast in bed this morning.  He is a peach, a gem, and about the best partner a girl can have.  He doesn’t often read my columns, so his holidays and my crass over-consumption for him won’t be revealed until Christmas when I hand him the Macy’s shopping bag filled with his unwrapped gifts.