Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Right Approach

November 20, 2014

Some medical trivia for you: “Because I want to test for that brown belt, and I’m in a time crunch, here” is NOT considered a good reason for postponing surgery; but “I have non-refundable plane tickets” IS.

I guess you just have to find the right approach.

Make It Real

November 20, 2104

I was watching an episode of “Hawaii Five O” while I was in some physical discomfort; and I decided that torture scenes are much more effective when you’re actually feeling pain yourself.

Maybe that will be the next thing in movies—currently they’re working with seats that move during scenes of upheaval; and I think that long ago I read something about experimenting with smells (or maybe I made that up).

If people got poked or zapped during the torture scenes, they might think inflicting pain was less cool, and hence the demand for those scenes might drop, and our level of civilization might increase.

(Just think how much less amused the Romans would have been if the lions had gotten to jump into the stands instead of just killing the gladiators.)

Just a thought.

Light Reading

November 29, 2014

If you’re tired of reading meaningful books (I never read any, so I wouldn’t know), read Hallelujah Train by Bill Gulick. It’s just good fun.

(Note to HJ at I didn’t steal your idea; I was thinking of this post this morning before I ever read your post. I guess we’re just on the same wavelength—again.)

Skin Care

November 14, 2014

Have noticed that my skin is getting that dry look that so many women who are trying to stay thin get. I used to speculate that it was either because they were stressed, or that eliminating fat in their diets by drinking skim milk and not eating butter could affect their skin.

The thing is, I don’t know if my skin is getting dry because I’m going easy on the dairy (temporarily) or because it’s a result of being sick.

I need some volunteers to let me know how eating full-fat dairy affects their skin. If I’m right, the dairy industry and the cosmetics industry can square off over whose product REALLY helps keep your skin moist. That oughta be good!

(Think of all the studies that could be funded by one side or the other. And if they pay the study participants, the effect on the economy could be tremendous!)

Blue Christmas

November 14, 2014

The radio that starts the Christmas songs in November started them today.

The first song I heard was the one from Band Aid: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Started listing in my head all the gloomy Christmas songs there are. There’s actually a pretty fair number!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans and Other Special People

November 11, 2014

I once had a neighbor, an elderly man, whom I mainly saw when he was out mowing his lawn or using his snowblower. He'd always be smoking a cigar, because his wife wouldn't let him smoke in the house. We'd smile and wave, and that would be that.

One day I was at the local history museum, and saw an article about Frank. Seems he had been a Commando in World War II. (If you don't know what the Commandos did, look it up. They were a pretty impressive bunch of guys.) He was taken prisoner, escaped from a German POW camp that had a hellish commandant, returned to action and was captured again. He was sent to a different camp; but it was run by the same horrible man. I can't even imagine what his feelings were.

The thing is, Frank didn't brag. As far as I knew, he was just a nice guy whose wife wouldn't let him smoke cigars in the house.

A lot of people, not just veterans, do amazing things that they don't talk about. So the next time you find yourself next to a stranger, treat him or her as if they have done something wonderful.

Who knows? Maybe they have.

That Science Fiction Stuff is Real

November 11, 2014

I have conclusive proof that force fields really do exist:

There is apparently one around every wastebasket and laundry hamper in my house, judging by all the stuff lying just outside the baskets!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Nice Turn of Phrase

November 1, 2014

I coined the phrase “Aggressively boring” yesterday. I was referring to my wardrobe, but it occurred to me that it might be useful for other situations, too.

I’ve listened to speakers who were aggressively boring; some decorating styles are aggressively boring; and, although I never saw it, I understand that “The English Patient” might have fallen into that category as well.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Will the REAL Superhero Please Stand Up?

October 16, 2014

I’m sure I’m not the only person to mention that Thor has a hammer, Iron Man has a suit, Superman has all kinds of powers, and Batman has his gadgets…But Black Widow only has her brains and her athletic ability. 

Who is the REAL superhero?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Can I Get a Do-over?

October 13, 2014

I've decided I've lived my life backwards. I should have done what our high school valedictorian did.

After she graduated she worked itinerant jobs in California and various places, THEN she went to college and grad school, and then got a job.

If you’re not concerned with having a secure home and paying the rent, it actually makes more sense to travel while you’re young. Then you can spend your older years sitting behind a desk, resting your aching joints and paying off the credit card bills.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Critic With A Side of Crab

October 11, 2014

Who was the curmudgeon who only gave "The Hundred Foot Journey" two stars? (The movie, if you haven't seen it, is about two competing restaurants 100 feet apart, and the young man who wants to improve his chef skills by working at them both.)

Not only did I stay awake for the entire movie—which means the makers did something right; but I would see it again, which is even more rare.

Give that critic one star.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Scared Can You Get?

October 7, 2014

I keep reading books where the heroine gets into a dangerous situation, and gets scared, and her heart is pounding and her mouth is dry, and I wonder: Have any of the authors who write about it ever really been scared?

I mean really scared. The kind of scared where your heart isn’t beating fast; it’s beating one stroke at a time. Slam. Slam. And it’s not just your heart beating; after every slam you can actually feel the blood squirt from your heart into the blood vessels. Slam. Squirt. Slam. Squirt.

It’s actually an interesting feeling. Even standing petrified I thought, “Huh. I wouldn’t mind feeling this in a different situation.”

And then your heart tips over, and the blood spills out…Another weird sensation.

And then you realize that you can’t breathe. And the reason you can’t breathe is that your heart is no longer slamming in your chest, it has moved to your throat. Seriously, something the size of your fist is in your throat, and you can’t breathe. I’d heard the expression, “Her heart was in her mouth,” but I never knew it felt like that literally.

But before you choke completely, your heart shrinks and goes back where it belongs, and you can breathe again. And if you’re lucky, the danger goes away.

Anyway, I wonder if the authors who write so glibly about fear have ever really been afraid?

Sorry to give you 2 dark posts in a row. I don’t know what brought this on. Maybe writing about the Holocaust, and thinking of “Schindler’s List,” where someone is hiding from the Nazis who are rounding up everybody in the neighborhood to take them to the camps, and wondering if people in that situation felt like this. And then reading 2 books in a row where the heroine is afraid, and wondering how their reactions would have been described if the authors had ever really been afraid themselves.