Saturday, November 28, 2009

THAT'S Why...

I've really never been one to worry about my age. Other than the limitations of my body, I have always thought age was 'just a number.' Most of the time I don't mention my age because almost all of the people I 'talk' with online are younger than me--and I don't want to be dismissed as 'that old lady.' ;) So, why have I been so obsessed with my age lately? I finally figured it out: my birthday was coming up. And that day is today. I decided to end my constant age talk with today's post. And now I present you with: Things I Am Older Than and Things That Are Older Than Me.

Things I Am Older Than:
  1. Disneyland
  2. MTV and (basically) every artist that is on there
  3. NASA
  4. CNN
  5. Facebook, Twitter, the internet, Apple, and Microsoft

Things That Are Older Than Me:
  1. CBS (the TV network)
  2. legalized gambling in Las Vegas
  3. the pyramids of Egypt
  4. dirt
  5. the Rolling Stones

And now, for the first time ever online, I will reveal my age. On this day, 28 November 2009, I am celebrating my 55th birthday. I REALLY feel old writing that. :D

(I have a 'hockey version' of this post over at my other blog.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Things Have Changed

With all of the talk about health care and reform, my thoughts will go to health practices of the past more and more. And, of course, my family has been in the middle of some of the weirdest.

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My great-grandmother never learned to speak English. I really don't remember how much she understood, but I usually communicated with her in my limited Finnish, so I'm sure she understood as little as she spoke. As is very common in my family, my GGM had blood pressure issues, so she had to see a doctor on a regular basis. And because none of the local doctors spoke Finn, The Mother had to go with her to her appointments. During one of her physicals, the doctor noticed that GGM didn't have any tonsils. Considering she was born at the end of the 19th century, it was a bit unusual, so the doctor asked when and where did she have the surgery. The Mother translated back that she said she was given turpentine to drink and that she swallowed them because of it. Of course, the doc asked The Mother to ask again, as he was quite aghast at the answer and was sure she didn't understand the question. Upon further questioning, my GGM insisted that she swallowed her tonsils after drinking turpentine. The doctor told The Mother to 'let her believe what she wants.' Actually, turpentine WAS used as a folk remedy for several things--one of which was for sore throats. :)

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Back in the 1950's, one of the secrets many housewives had was their addiction to speed. But then, it wasn't a secret from anyone but the menfolk. The Mother, along with her aunts, cousins, and friends, were all using 'diet pills' on a regular basis. Each of them would go to the nearest Dr Feelgood, get a prescription for amphetamines, and then distribute the pills among the rest of the group. When everyone had gone to one doctor--and it was too soon for them to get another prescription--they would find out through the grapevine who the next liberal doctor was and make their appointments accordingly. This went on for quite some time. The Mother was so wired, that she would be up at 3:00 AM, cleaning the UNDERSIDE of the kitchen table with a toothbrush. One day, The Father had enough and took her pills and flushed them down the toilet. Other than her having a major meltdown, she somehow managed to get through the withdrawal on her own.

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Smoking, of course, is the biggest bug-a-boo to continue to haunt some people. (As an ex-smoker, I would beg everyone NOT to start. However, I feel everyone has a right to smoke if they want and I'm sick and tired of the witch hunt against smokers.) This hatred for smoking hasn't always been the case. After The Mother gave birth to The Brother, her obstetrician pulled out his cigarettes, lit one for himself and one for The Mother, and they shared a quiet moment together. This was in the recovery room of the hospital! Talk about different times. Actually, when I gave birth to The Oldest, smoking was still allowed in our hospital. While I wasn't allowed to smoke in my room, I was able to go to the father's 'waiting room' and smoke to my heart's content.

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When I was in 9th grade, I had plantar warts. I'm not talking one--the entire ball of my foot was covered in them. It was so bad that I was limping. And because we weren't allowed in the school swimming pool if we had plantar warts, I wound up in the doctor's office to have them removed. (I was pleased to not have to swim, but as swimming was a requirement for my phys ed credit, I needed to get back in the pool.) As my infestation was so bad, the doctor could do nothing in his office. At the time--and probably still to this day--the standard way of handling plantar warts was cutting them out. The doctor said to remove the warts from my foot would require surgery and THAT would require removing a good part of the ball of my foot. (Was this true? Who knows.) So, the recommendation was x-ray therapy. (This wasn't such a far-fetched idea. At the time, acne was also taken care of with x-ray therapy.) I went in once a week for a month and got my warts zapped with x-rays. It worked. After a couple of months, the warts just peeled off of my foot--and I suffered no amount of pain because of it. However, I wonder how much damage has been done to my body over the years because of x-rays. Between the chest x-rays I had as a child, the x-ray therapy, my working in a dentist office (where I took x-rays), and all the rest, I'm sure I have been exposed to more than what I should have.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Eh?

Why do I have the feeling that this is something I could read in our newspaper? :D




from failblog.org

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not Always Right

And this story is NOT from the website.


The Youngest works at the Northside Animal Clinic. Down the street from them is McDonald Animal Hospital. Yesterday, the following happened.

A couple walked in with their (obviously new) puppy.

Woman: Hi. We're the Smith's and we have a 2:30 appointment.
Youngest (after checking the schedule): I'm sorry, but you aren't listed. You probably wanted the McDonald Animal Hospital down the street.
Woman (glaring at The Youngest): This IS the McDonald Animal Hospital!
Youngest: *speechless*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Over 15,000

At some point during the last couple of days, the 15,000th visitor came to this blog. And I'm sure, once they read a little while, MOST of them never came back. ;D

Monday, November 16, 2009

In The News

Just a couple of WTF? news stories that I feel compelled to comment on. You have been warned.

I know this isn't particularly NEW news, but with the movie coming out this past weekend, I feel it is timely. The movie 2012 is about the destruction of the world. Beyond that, I don't know much more about it. Landmarks of all kinds are 'shown' to be toppling over, falling apart, etc, etc. This includes religious landmarks such as a Buddhist temple and St Peter's Basilica. What you WON'T find being destroyed in this movie is any Muslim landmark. NONE. And why is that? Because the director was afraid for his life.

Roland Emmerich said:

"Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit," he says. "But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right... we have to all... in the Western world ... think about this. You can actually... let... Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have... a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it's just something which I kind of didn't [think] was [an] important element anyway in the film, so I kind of left it out."

(I'm thinking the word 'not' in the quote where he says "my co-writer...said I will not have a fatwa..." was a slip. Otherwise, the rest of the quote makes next to no sense.)

And conservatives are considered nut cases when we opine that many branches of Islam want to destroy anyone with a different view than they have. But a Hollywood director says he won't 'offend' Muslims for fear he might get killed and the liberals didn't jump all over him. WTF???

Here's the whole story.

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And Barack is off and running in another part of the world once again. It will be interesting to see how long he stays in Washington when he gets back this time. I don't EVER remember a POTUS being out of Washington as much as he is. I guess he wants to get as many of those frequent flyer miles as possible. WTF???

Big News

The Oldest's husband goes deer hunting every year--this is their main source of meat for the winter. (There's no accounting for taste, I guess--I HATE venison.) Anyway, last year my 13-year-old granddaughter went hunting for the first time and got her first buck. Today, we got the call that she got her second buck. Second year hunting and on the second day of hunting season, she got her second deer. What a girl.

Celebrity Sighting

A friend and I went to a restaurant tonight and I had a celebrity sighting--maybe multiple sightings. At least I think I did.

This past week the USOEC (United States Olympic Education Center) at our local university was the site of the speed skating world cup. Speed skaters from all over the world descended on our town to compete in order to get a spot in the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver. I know nothing about speed skating--and I'm not too interested. As far as the winter Olympics are concerned, the only thing I'm waiting to see are the men's and women's hockey competitions. Period. As far as speed skating, the only person I know that competes is Apolo Anton Ohno--but doesn't EVERYONE know him?

(For those who DON'T know, this is Ohno.)




So, back to the story. As my friend and I walked into the restaurant, a group of people walked in ahead of us. They were NOT speaking English and one of the young guys had a jacket on which said 'Latvia' across the back. I'm assuming this was my first celebrity sighting. Shortly after this, another young guy walked into the main dining area and several people began to applaud. I'm assuming this was my second celebrity sighting. He then went and talked to the couple who began the applause and sat down for a bit of a conversation. After this guy left, another one went to the couple's table and greeted them. My third sighting, I guess. The couple was SO excited to meet these young men--and talk to them--that I have the feeling they were a big part of the US Olympic team. And that they did very well this past weekend. I REALLY wish I knew who I saw. I could have been REALLY excited.

Friday, November 13, 2009

WTF??

This isn't very new, but it still confuses me. I usually love commercials that feature animals, but this one is just wrong.



Unless my vet suggested it, I don't think I would be on the lookout for a food for my cat to make her 'poop' better. She does that very well on her own. ;)

Nothing In Moderation

My dear friend Meleah put up a post the other day about her unfortunate and inappropriate use of some ingredients and the consequences. Go here to read the very funny story. This lead me to a story of my own.

Since starting on Enbrel, I have found myself with a cupboard full of creams that I no longer use. One of the medications is called Tazorac. Tazorac is not only used for psoriasis but also for acne, fine lines and wrinkles, and to help skin tone and texture. Considering I am a woman-of-a-certain-age, I figured it would do me good to begin using this regularly. At least it couldn't hurt. So, for the past few months I have been using it on a fairly regular basis until I got the flu, when everything went by the wayside. A few nights ago I decided it was time to get back on schedule with the stuff, so I applied it before going to sleep. The way Tazorac works is almost like a mild chemical peel--and this means that the skin on your face will peel like after a sunburn. Of course, this presents a whole new problem: how to rid your face of the peeling skin. I figured I had the solution when I used an exfoliating sponge to scrub the peeling skin off. WRONG!!! I found that scrubbing at new, tender skin is not a good thing. I managed to scrub right through the top layer of skin--in places--and was left with areas that oozed. AND my face was the color of my Red Wings jersey: stop sign red. I probably would have been better off having a flaky face.

Now, while thinking of this story--and berating myself for being so damn stupid--I realized that I come by my stupidity honestly. My family has the tendency to do nothing in moderation. I think the family motto is "Kill or Cure." And I have stories to back this up.

The Mother has always been one who does nothing in moderation. One day she woke with the beginnings of a cold. By the afternoon, she barely was able to stand, so she needed to do something. While I'm not sure what the reason was, she called our neighbor and explained her situation. Our neighbor told her that he had some homemade wine and if she heated it up and drank it, she could take a nap and feel better in a few hours. She sent The Brother to pick up the more than half-full pint-sized Mason jar of homemade wine. Once she got this jar, she proceeded to pour the ENTIRE amount of wine into a saucepan, heated it, and drank it ALL down in one long gulp. The Mother is a teetotaler and the wine hit her quite hard. She literally CRAWLED the ten feet from the kitchen stove to the living room couch, where she passed out for about four hours. And she felt fine when she woke up. Of course, she could have KILLED herself, but the end justified the means, so all was okay in her mind.

My great-grandfather also believed in kill or cure. Just before he went into the medical care facility, he was pretty much confined to his upstairs bedroom because of rheumatoid arthritis. The Mother went to the house almost daily to help out my great-grandmother in taking care of him and the household. One day he was suffering from a chest cold and had asked The Mother to get him some Troutman's Cough Syrup. I'm not sure how much alcohol was in this stuff, but as a child, I thought it was pretty vile tasting. The Mother brought the bottle of Troutman's--the BIG one, so she wouldn't have to get him another bottle too soon--and a spoon and left it with him. When she was halfway down the stairs, he called for her to come back. When she got to his room, he handed her the spoon and the empty bottle. He had drank it all. He, too, was a teetotaler. He, too, slept it off.

And then we get to my great-aunt. Where do I begin and which story do I tell? How about the time she almost caused her nose to become frostbitten because she kept rubbing it with ice cubes. She did this to 'shrink' the pores. Or the time she caused her feet, up to her ankles bones, to turn brown by soaking in hot water with way too much bleach poured in. THIS she did in order to soften the calluses on her feet. I guess the best example of kill or cure is when she had a chest cold. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) She was feeling poorly and had quite a tightness in her chest, so she figured the best thing to do was to make a mustard plaster, place it on her chest, and lie down for a half hour. Everything worked out well except for the fact that she fell asleep--for several hours. When she finally woke up, her chest was covered in first- and second-degree burns--along with very large blisters all over her breasts. For a week afterward, she couldn't wear a bra and had to pin soft cotton handkerchiefs to the inside of her dress, just so she could continue to do what she needed to. Of course, she didn't see a doctor, but with all of the self-medicating my family did, is this a surprise?

So, as I said, I come by my stupidity honestly. I have had great role models.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More TV Talk

The scheduling of TV show premiers is quite different today than it was years ago. I remember waiting for the fall premier week. All of the new and returning shows would begin in the same week and continue with new episodes till May. Then we would get summer programming: either re-runs or some kind of alternate programming. (Does anyone remember the daily gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Republican and Democrat national conventions every four years? Now THAT was entertaining TV. {sarcasm abounds}) Today, we get new 'seasons' every few weeks all through the year. I'm not too sure whether I like this, or not--but I have learned to adjust. Two new shows will be starting soon and I am anticipating them to become hits.

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The first show I'm waiting for will premier this Sunday on AMC. It is called The Prisoner and is a miniseries reworking of the 1960s British cult hit. Here is what the website has to say about it:

In November, AMC will present The Prisoner miniseries, a reinterpretation of the British 1960s cult hit series that starred and was co-created by Patrick McGoohan.

The Premise : A man, known as Six, finds himself inexplicably trapped in The Village with no memory of how he arrived. As he explores his environment, he discovers that his fellow inhabitants are identified by number instead of name, have no memory of any prior existence, and are under constant surveillance. Not knowing whom to trust, Six is driven by the need to discover the truth behind The Village, the reason for his being there, and most importantly -- how he can escape.

Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ , The Thin Red Line) will play the role of Six; and two-time Oscar nominee Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, The Da Vinci Code) will co-star as Two.


I remember the original series and think that may have been one of the reasons I love sci-fi and fantasy so much. (Of course, the other reason is Star Trek, but we won't go there. ;))


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The second show I can't wait to see is called Men of a Certain Age. It will be on TNT and begins on 7 December. I think one of the reasons I want to see this so much is because Scott Bakula is one of the stars. I have had a crush on him since Quantum Leap--and he is one who seems to get better with age. And this is what the website says about the show:


John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For three men entering the second act of their lives, those words are starting to hit home in TNT’s newest original series, MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE. This wry drama stars Emmy® winner Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), Golden Globe® winner Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: Enterprise) and Emmy winner Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street, TNT’s Salem’s Lot). It marks a return to series television for Romano, who created MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE with Everybody Loves Raymond Emmy winner Mike Royce. The two serve as executive producers, along with Rory Rosegarten and Cary Hoffman.

MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, from TNT Original Productions, is set to debut Monday, Dec. 7, at 10/9c, following an all-new episode of the network’s hit series THE CLOSER. The premiere episode is written by Romano and Royce and directed by two-time Emmy winner Scott Winant (thirtysomething).

MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE explores the unique bonds of male friendship among three men experiencing the changes and challenges of mid-life. They have been best friends since college but now, in their 40s, are navigating through the second act of their lives. Joe (Romano) is a friendly, slightly neurotic, recently separated father of two who had dreams of being a professional golfer. Now he owns and runs a party store. Terry (Bakula) is a laid-back, handsome actor who seems to breeze through life (and women). Lately, he’s spending more time working as a temp than as an actor. And Owen (Braugher) is an overstressed husband and father of three who endures constant criticism from his father, for whom he works as a car salesman.

These friends face very different challenges. Joe, who currently lives in a hotel, tries to connect with his kids and is dipping his toe in the dating pool, while also struggling with the gambling problem that may have ended his marriage. The unmarried Terry scoffs at domestic issues but sometimes wonders if his own single life is all it’s cracked up to be. Owen does everything he can to climb the sales board at his father’s car dealership and keep his cool over the seemingly endless renovation project in the home he can barely afford. Through it all, these men are there for each other when it counts.

I think this will be good--at least it has the potential to be good. Andre Braugher was one of the reasons Homicide: Life on the Street was such a good show.

Monday, November 09, 2009

LOL For Monday


via I Can Has Cheezburger

TV Talk

I don't remember if it was during the first season or just before the second started, but I found the show Mad Men and fell in love! Last night was the third-season finale and WOW!

Mad Men is a show set in the 1960s about an ad agency in New York--and all of the people who work there. I think what got me hooked at first was seeing all of the period clothing and furniture, etc. It is unbelievably well done. It really takes me back to see all of the characters chain-smoking and drinking in their offices. Gone are THOSE days, for sure.

*spoiler alert*

So much happened in the show. The 'big guys' left the ad agency to begin a new one. Betty left for Reno to get a quicky divorce. Joan came back to help start the new agency. Several of the old agency's employees were taken away to the new one. Many, many things happened that I didn't see coming.

While a lot of people feel badly for Betty--and I guess I do, too, in a way--because of Don's behavior (especially his many, many affairs), I can't completely blame him. She is such a stuck-up spoiled rich bitch and has always had an air of superiority when it has come to him. And she REALLY let it come to the surface after she found out his 'real' story. Now, I'm definitely NOT an advocate for violence against women, but I really wanted him to slap her silly last night when he found out about her sneaking around with her new guy. She just acted way too superior and really needs to be taken down a peg or two. When someone talks about a woman being an 'ice princess,' the character of Betty Draper is the perfect example. (And the actress who plays her is brilliant!)

The character of Pete is such a weasel, that I almost wish he would just go away, However, he makes for some great conflict. He is so whiny and sniveling that I can barely stand seeing him on screen. (Again, a great performance by the actor. However, I don't know if I EVER will be able to watch the actor do anything else without cringing.) His wife is playing the part of the 'power behind the man' to perfection.

I think this show is quite an accurate portrayal--to a certain extent--of what was going on with people involved in corporate America in the '60s. With all of the changes going on in the show, I can't wait for the next season to begin.

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My real guilty pleasure--as far as TV shows are concerned--is Sons of Anarchy. It is all about a motorcycle gang and it is now in the middle of its second season. I really think this show taps into my inner sense of always wanting to be a 'bad girl'--even though I always was too afraid to actually BE a bad girl. :)

It is always interesting to see Katey Sagal--aka Peg Bundy--in a serious role. She plays the Queen Bee to perfection--NOBODY craps on her or her family and gets away with it. A very, very tough individual. It is hard to watch her character when she is vulnerable, as she IS so tough--and Sagal is very good. Another interesting casting is Ron Perlman--aka Hellboy and 'Beast' from the TV series Beauty and the Beast. He is Sagal's second husband and the leader of the 'Sons.'

This show deals with a lot of violence and quite a bit of sex. There are times I'm amazed at what I am seeing, as this is NOT on a pay channel. The relationships between the characters is what keeps me going back--and the story lines can be very compelling. While I'm sure this is extremely exaggerated, it is interesting to see the inner workings of a life style I have no experience with. I hope this show is on for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Very Amusing--and Clever

Our next door neighbors used to decorate their house at Christmas. Now, when I say decorate, I mean DECORATE!! They had so many lights on their house/garage, that I said we could read in our living room without turning on our lamps. I always loved what they did and it never bothered me. (The neighbors across the street, however, were not amused. I do think that is why the lights went up every year, just to piss them off. The across-the-street-neighbors find something to complain about ALL. OF. THE. TIME.) Unfortunately, our neighbor developed back problems and had to discontinue decorating. And it has made me very sad--we just don't have the same feel at Christmas anymore.

All of this leads to this picture:


I wish I would have been clever enough to think of this all those years ago. What a fun neighborhood!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

First of The Year

Woke up this morning and the ground was covered with snow. It HAS snowed before this, but nothing has stuck till today. Of course, it is pretty much melted by now, but I think this means I can finally put the can of Raid away for the year.

Fly Swat