Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rolling Along


When did I start worrying about things age related? Was it the day I turned forty? Forty-five? Just like everything else that didn’t happen a minute ago, I can’t remember.

For the longest time I be-bopped along styling my hair however I wished, dressing in whatever fashion suited me. If I spied a cute top in the junior section at Penney’s I bought it. These days if I fall in love with a top in the junior section it is either on its way to the dressing room with one of my daughters or I’m on the wrong side of the store.

When did that happen? It snuck up on me with the same insidiousness as my muffin-top. It feels as though my 20-year-old self went to sleep one night and woke up decades later in the body of Rip Van Winkle.

My mom told me once that whenever she saw her image reflected anywhere her first thought was, “Who is that old broad?”

Not very eloquent, but right to the point.

So who is this old broad who is me? When did I become this old broad? And why does the idea of dressing “too young” or wearing my hair “too young” bother me? It goes beyond not wanting to look like an idiot. I think it has to do with my admiration for women who make the transition from Youth to Old Baggerdom gracefully. That’s what I want to do. I want to transition well into my old bagger days. I want to appreciate my wrinkles, even as I try to abolish them with expensive night creams.

So I haven’t answered my initial question, which was: When did I start worrying about this stuff? You know, I don’t think there was a start date, but here I am anyway. Maybe the secret is to quit asking and just roll with it.

I’ll give that a try, just not in the junior department.

Rolling along –
Lisa

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cha Cha Coco-Noise

What’s up with the noise? We spent the Columbus Day weekend in Sarasota, Florida visiting our son, Joey. We enjoyed the heat and the beach, and we ate too much. Perfect, right? I have only one complaint. Nearly every restaurant featured live music and when I say it was loud, I mean thunderous to the point where conversation was impossible. We stopped at a place called Cha Cha Coconuts for lunch where we were forced to scream at each other to be heard over the music. Even the waitress apologized for yelling at us.

I guess that after hours many people inhabit live music restaurants and bars to drink, dance, and flirt with the opposite sex. This does not require scintillating conversation and for many singles I suppose the loud music means they can smile and shake their booty without having to connect on a verbal level. Okay, I get that. But what is the excuse at lunchtime on a Sunday?

Later in the afternoon, hunting a place to have a few drinks and chat, we passed up about five places due to blaring music and finally landed at a little restaurant on Siesta Key called The Hub. The Hub also featured a musician with a guitar, but it was kept at a decibel that allowed for restaurant goers to engage in conversation without using megaphones. I’ll remember The Hub and will go there again. Also, their killer sangria ensures my return. Yum.

Sarasota is not the only guilty city with regard to noisy eating establishments. Atlanta is also a champ. I’m just wondering what the appeal is. I like live music, but I want to be able to converse with the person I am with. Too-loud music inhibits verbal exchange. For someone like my father-in-law, who is 86 and wears hearing aids, these loud music restaurants are not just irritating, they are unpleasant.

I guess if the only negative thing I can say about Sarasota is that they play their music too loud, it must be a pretty terrific city and, well, it really is. I understand why Joey fell in love with Sarasota and chose to call it home. After enjoying two sangrias at The Hub we walked the soft, sandy beach and gloried in a sunset so extraordinary it brought me to tears. Ironically, Sarasota offers the most beautiful music ever to hit my ears. The sound of the surf is a symphony I could listen to forever.

Til next time – Lisa

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ain't For Sissies


Brookwood High School is a sprawling behemoth that educates an estimated 3500 students each year, one of which is my youngest daughter. When prompted to visit the school last week I cringed at the sheer size of the place. A single lunch period at Brookwood services more students than comprised my entire high school graduating class.

My awe at the number of students faded when I walked past the long lunch tables. I found myself in the midst of time travel. There was the popular girl, beautiful and full of life, riveting those around her. Her hair was perfect. Her clothes were perfect. I remember her.

There was the heartthrob, confidence oozing from every pore. He strode toward the trashcan to toss a napkin and he stopped midway to “shoot it in” while his buddies clapped and compared burps. With lashes lowered, girls at a neighboring table eyed him. The girls giggled and blushed when he neared; they needn’t have worried. He ignored them, oblivious to their whispers. I remember him.

When I arrived at the clinic a boy stood talking to the nurse. His curly, unkempt hair screamed for a barber and his green eyes blinked behind Coke-bottle lenses. Inside the boy's mouth a rainbow web of rubber bands stretched taut over braces and enhanced his stutter. He slouched. He will be handsome in a few years, but not today. Today he is a geek. I remember him.

Amazing, isn’t it? The high school social structure is intact and the stereotypes remain. I don’t know if it is a good or a bad thing, though smarter folks than I have done studies on the subject. For my part, I’m glad that high school is thirty years behind me. I was a chorus geek, and proud of it; but wading through the drama and the angst today would exhaust me. Instead of hanging out with friends after school I would have to come home for a nap. And a good stiff drink. (Age has its privileges.)

So a walk through Brookwood High School is akin to a walk down memory lane. It is fun to visit, but I’m happy to embrace my parent status. As I recall, my friends, high school ain’t for sissies.

Til next time –
Lisa

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Held Hostage!


AAaarrgh! I’ve been infected! Not with the dreaded swine flu, but with Windows Police Pro (WPP), a rogue program that wreaks havoc with any computer unfortunate enough to make its acquaintance.

WPP pops up on the computer desktop appearing to be a valid Microsoft Windows anti-virus program. It is not. WPP is a compunapper (yeah, I just made that up) that, quite literally, holds the host computer hostage. WPP shuts down all applications except its own and declares that all apps are infected. How to fix it? Why, you just purchase their software. Nifty set-up, huh?

“But I have a great anti-virus program, firewalls, and malware defenders,” says you.

Yeah, so did I; all updated and patrolling 24/7. This bad boy tromped through it all like a pair of steel Doc Martens. No wonder it has a pseudonym: Scareware.

The internet offers all kinds of advice for getting rid of WPP, but it was over my head. I can’t even decipher the TV remotes, so manipulating the software on my laptop seemed a tad industrious. Mostly, I was terrified of really screwing things up after I read the following posted on a popular anti-virus bulletin board: “WPP can be removed with the proper software if you know what you’re doing; if you don’t know what you’re doing, hire a professional or you could cause even more damage to your computer.”

So, yeah, I forked over the cash to the tech guys at Vision Computers, and thanks to them my beloved laptop is virus-free. They also managed to save all my stuff! It was worth every penny to have my favorite electronic friend well again. This writer needs her keyboard—and word processing program—like a fish needs water. Or Shawn needs Gus. (Any Psych fans out there?)

Beware Windows Police Pro, my friends. It is evil, rotten, mean, and nasty. I’ve been vaccinated, but you know how these viruses are. They just keep mutating.

Til next time –
Lisa