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Three score and ten or more

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where is Al Gore when you need him

This is South Georgia.  This is October.  If we are having Global Warming, why did I wake up this morning to find frost on my windshield, and a couple of plants that I would ordinarily move indoors in late November are frost bitten.  If we are going to have Global Warming, I want Al Gore to ship some of it to South Georgia so we can have a normal sunshiny warm autumn.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes Coothood Sucks

In order to clarify the title, I could remind folks of some of the eternal organ recitals that have come into these columns as I kvetched about Janet's surgeries, my surgeries, neuropathies, strokes and all these types of things.  This is nature and, up to this time, except for brief exceptions I have still gloried in the advantages of coothood.  (People hold the door for you, you get handicapped parking, senior discounts at the movies and restaurants,etc.)

Tonight I am depressed about coothood.  I have to explain this a little as well.  All my life I have been a singer.  I have sung in and even directed community choirs, regional choirs, church choirs, and sung leading roles in the odd musical play.  I have even sung in a couple of operas.  I often  get asked to sing at funerals. and never turn anyone down if I can get to the church on time (some funeral directors have been nonplussed because I sing free of charge, which I guess is not always true.)  I just love to sing.

When I have sung in choirs it has often been my smug self satisfied pleasure to offer to sing either Bass or Tenor which ever was needed (and to do so).  As a Bass I have usually been one of the section leaders, the guy who gets the part figured out early and well, and that those who are unsure can listen to or follow. (As a tenor, I have often been one of the followers).

I just came home from our community choir rehearsal.  We are singing Vivaldi's Gloria and a couple of Christmas carols in a program at the University that will include the local Junior or children's choir and the University Singers (singing their own stuff, of course.)

Age has withered my ability to do the job.  I work on the music at home until I feel that I have it conquered, then go to rehearsal and just can't keep it together.  I do fairly well on the notes but as far as the tempos are concerned it is like I have forgotten how to count.  I have not only become one of the "followers", but I have become one of the singers to whom the director gives Loooong Looks, followed by a resigned shake of the head or shrug, as if he knows that it is hopeless.

Singing has become a lot less fun, and I suspect that this may be the last year I will do any serious choir singing. I am depressed.  At least Janet won't shake her head at me as I sing to her at bedtime.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Home again, Home again, Jiggedy Jig.

Well we had a good trip to Washington; grand daughter Aubrey was excellent as Oliver, grandson Brett was also excellent as Mr. Bumble and granddaughter Laura stole most of the scenes she was in as a member of the chorus.  I was pleased that she didn't steal scenes by upstaging or any of the tools we coots recall.  She just stole scenes by being the most precise dancer, intense onlooker, and generally by being way above par.

At the same time, grandson Kurt was doing very well at both nose guard and offensive tackle on his eighth grade football team, as we cheered, yelled, and generally made fools of ourselves on the sidelines.  I loved playing on defense in football.  I was always generally incompetent at anything that required hand eye coordination, but football gave me the opportunity to do well just by running into people and throwing them on the ground.



I have always liked to shop in the Vancouver/Portland area but the new regulations on baggage make it a waste of time to buy anything unless it will fit the grandkids or their parents.

The trip out was relatively pleasant since the planes weren't heavily loaded and Janet was able to stretch out and rest for much of the journey.  Going home was a little hellacious since the planes were jammed and  we were all sandwiched between each other and the guy next to Jan on the first leg was an over sized cigar smoker, and cigar smokers don't have to be actively smoking to make "sharing the air" a bit difficult.  If she had told me, I could have traded places with her , but she didn't say a word.   Jan has developed a new symptom (of what, I don't know) but periodically she begins to , as she says it, burp.  She doesn't actually burp.  It is more of a spasm of the diaphragm and esophagus (sort of like Hiccups, only multiplied in strength by ten. She only had a couple of sessions of this while we were in Washington, but they each set her back in spades.  The only session we had of this on the trip was in the Dallas airport.  It would have been interesting, if she had had this on the plane.  I can imagine seeing  the face of anyone sitting by her on the plane if it had affected her then..  We took a late flight, and got into Jacksonville Florida at about eleven PM and still had a three hour drive to get home. We should have just stayed overnight in JAX, but we drove on home. finally getting home well after 3:00 AM.  We crashed and didn't really function at all .  When we awoke and checked the answering machine we discovered that I had missed an appointment with the neurosurgeon (actually he called to cancel it because he had to leave town.) who is trying to keep my back and my neuropathy from completely crippling me; as well as an appointment with the eye doctor at the Medical College of Georgia who is treating my glaucoma.

(Ain't being an old coot fun?  You get to meet new people with such a variety of new skills.)

We had three things scheduled shortly after our return.  1. The church was holding a celebration for the three couples in our congregation who have been married for fifty years. 2. The young lady at our cardiologist's office had found an appointment with a vascular surgeon at Emory University Hospital  to evaluate Jan's symptoms.  The first two opinions were so different, one who felt she should have been operated on almost immediately, but he didn't feel he was up to the challenge, and the other from the surgeon in Houston who studied her tests and feels that there is no hurry, we should wait another six months and see what happens.  This guy was to examine her and see which one, if either, we should believe.  and 3.  We now have an appointment with a gastroenterologist to check her liver because the first vascular doctor observed that there are lesions on her liver which could be malignant.  I hope this doctor will also check on the chest spasms because they are getting to be a real problem

Well, the triple Golden Wedding celebration occurred just three days after we got home.  It was a really lovely experience.  They had a big wedding cake with a top for each of the couples.  In turn, we each cut our little cake and fed a bit of it to our respective spouses (should that be "spice"?).  Of course my oldest son came up an "reminded" my dear one that it didn't count if you didn't squish a piece of pie on your spouses mouth.  Janet, wanting to be kosher grabbed a hunk of pie and squished me.  None of the other couples were interest, so I stood there alone with cake on my face.  The refreshments were wonderful.  My oldest son, who is an artist with a charcoal smoker and some wood chips had smoked a small turkey and a boneless pork loin which were sliced as delicious mini sandwich ingredients.  Others had provided a wide variety of other foods and desserts and a good time was had by all.

Janet and I had been asked to do a performance that we had done in other venues earlier, reading love poetry from sonnets to a song from Fiddler on the Roof concluding with "our song" Our Love is Here to Stay though instead of me singing it to Jan, my daughter sang it to us.  I am inserting some pictures here, including the wedding picture and some pictures of activities.


Wedding picture 2 All three couples at the Golden Party  Dick and Jan and cake



I feed herThat's what happens to coots that get eager

We share performing picture 2


That pretty well covers it.  We are performing in the last picture and it wasn't until we were well into the second selection before Janet realized that she had left her shoes under a chair near the wall ;->

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Friday I was driving around Vancouver (or Camas) Washington (I was lost) and was listening to some uncritical lady hosting Fresh Air or one of the other CNN daily blither shows, interview Bill Mahr and his producer about an up coming film called The Religionists. As Mahr told some "humorous stories about how he managed to get thrown out of the Vatican, but not before he succeeded in getting some of the officials at the Vatican to concede that the scriptures weren't literally true but that "the masses need their myths.",I was struck (not the first time) with the total bigotry of Mahr. His bigotry is not limited to those who are different races or ethnic groups or political groups or genders, his bigotry is almost total. He obviously considers EVERYONE who is not a total clone of Mahr himself to be an inferior being. The total effect of his sneering, self righteous, patronization of anyone listening except the all too adapting and pandering hostess, and perhaps one of his former co-hosts of Politically Incorrect, was a demonstration of an ego that is well past clinically obese. According to him, anyone who has faith in anything, especially anything spiritual is an idiot, a brainwashed victim or a self deluding fool. I would be tempted to say something like "Talk about self delusion" (My real thoughts) except that he is not totally SELF deluded. He makes a living "entertaining" those who could convince themselves that they are not part of "idiot" class. I am sure that, in private, they especially are considered to be gullible idiots, but they are HIS gullible idiotsl Who knows? There might be enough of them around to make his film profitable? I'll never know if it is as cheaply vicious as he made it sound, because theatre tickets cost money. If it is not financially successful it will be successful to Mahr because the attention he is getting is like another fifteen course meal for his obese ego.