Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No rehab for stupidity......

I've learned that years do not equal understanding. At all.

The chalkboard of events that make no sense, are illogical, incomprehensible, and well, let's face it, just plain stupid seems to grow every day. Here I thought some magic genie would start riding on my shoulder at some point (the shoulder that hurts all the time) and whisper words of wisdom in my ear. I was wrong....again.

And some of these things can set me off on a rant with little provocation, probably because they have been so persistently puerile that a mere whiff of them can provoke me in an instant. I know, I know.....what good does it do to get upset? None, but it feels good anyway, doesn't it?

You're trying to figure out what some of my favorites are, aren't you? Maybe they are yours, too.

Why, oh, WHY do I have to wait...and wait....and wait at a red left turn arrow, when all I can see coming toward me is three or more lanes of NOTHING? Is it because there are so many people who learned to drive by playing video games that they can't be trusted to understand that when we actually hit a real car people get hurt? Idiots, in other words, have caused our "traffic engineers" to treat us all that way.

Alert! to all those nefarious persons who seek to destroy. (I started to use the "T" word, but you can get in trouble these days, with guys in black suits showing up on your front lawn if you're not careful.) Anyway, start looking for 75+ year olds to carry your tools of destruction for you. The TSA announced, loud and clear recently, that they had relaxed the rules for older folks at airport security checkpoints. This is equivalent to me taking out an ad with my address in it before I leave on a 2 week vacation. How nice for the bad guys......

Do I really trust a scientific community that studies the sexual frustration of fruit flies?? REALLY??

And, surely we all understand by now that we're supposed to "wait for the tone" to leave a message on someone's voice mail, much less "simply hang up" when we're done? I think we've got it by now, even old geezers like me.

I don't get high, but sometimes I wish I did. That way, when I messed up in life I would have an excuse.
But right now there's no rehab for stupidity.
Chris Rock

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hotel rooms by the hour....

Here's a silly question: How many hours are really in a day? I know as we get older it seems that they fly by, faster and faster, as we march to that day (there's that word again) when it won't matter any more. I'm not trying to be morbid here.....the "day" issue is bugging me.

Oh....you want to know why it's gotten under my skin? Well, you know me: I'm about to share that with you!

It seems that in hotels and other such places, a "day" is defined by some strange calculation that has to do with cleaning rooms or something. Towels washed, maybe? But NOT with accomodating guests who might want to stay an actual DAY in that lovely place.

Recently I was calling around, trying to find a room for an upcoming wedding in another city. Which starts at 5 PM. Now stay with me here: I am driving for about 2 hours to get there and would like to check in, shower, dress, get made up, (which, let's face it, takes longer as we age, right?), and catch my breath before we head off to a location that is unknown to me. So, age having provided me some wisdom, I leave time to get lost and then find my way to the wedding venue, park (you never know what that's going to be like, either), and to the right location for the wedding INSIDE the venue. (We all know how big some of those places are. You can walk forever just to find a bathroom.)

Check in times ran from 3 PM to 6 PM. Yep, 6 PM. Oh, no problem, I told my mother. They'll let us check in earlier to get ready if we only explain the situation. Wrong. They didn't care. "Sorry, we can't guarantee that any rooms will be cleaned any earlier from the night before."  Really?

Especially considering that check out time at that same hotel is 11 AM.

So, let's count: Check out time is 11, check in time is 4. That gives them 5 HOURS to turn that facility around, and yes, I understand that some of them are huge. HIRE MORE STAFF! Who are you in business for....your housekeeping staff or, God forbid, your customers??

Which leaves a 19 hour day for the customer who pays a "DAILY RATE" for that room. And that's just using the hours I've indicated above. The one that really blew my mind was the 6 PM check in time, with a noon check out.  And that was a Bed & Breakfast with 6 rooms total! That's 6 full hours subtracted from the length of a day's stay. Even if the innkeeper has to clean all 6 by herself, I could do it in 6 hours. And those of you who actually know me know that would be a painful sight.....but I COULD do it if it meant paying customers on the other end of the agony.

I guess one solution would be for all hotels to charge by the hour, just like some of those, well, you know.....

So, how many hours ARE there in a day? There are 24...unless you enter a time warp of hotel accomodations. Then they suck some of them right out of you at the front desk upon check in.

Time is making fools of us again. ~J.K. Rowling

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stymied, stumped, perplexed......

I'm stymied.  Perplexed.  Stumped, in other words.

You would think that by the time one reaches 60+ that just about everything that can happen would have by now....wouldn't you?

You would be wrong, my young friends. After all, that's why this series of revelations was started many months ago: To enlighten younger people about the vagaries of getting older, especially in a society that affords little respect to age (unless it's bourbon or wine, but that's a story for another day).

Without implicating those who have wandered innocently into my life, I must admit that I'm in a quandry right now. The "scratching my head, tossing a coin, asking the uninvolved for advice, even reading tea leaves" brand of dilemma of a sort that I have never encountered. Or at least I haven't for a very long time.

I guess if we embrace the designation of "Active Masters" (instead of  "the aged" or "senior citizen"), we are keeping ourselves smack in the middle of the flow of life, instead of sitting in a rocking chair gathering cobwebs until the hearse shows up. And life is messy, no matter at what age it is flowing around you.

And sometimes you get drenched, whether you are 16, 36, or 63. It's messy, that's for sure. There will be rocks hidden under the surface.

But I'll take a little disarray or a scraped knee over creaking boredom on my front porch any day.

Youth, large, lusty, loving Youth, full of grace, force, fascination.
Do you know that Old Age may come after you with
equal grace, force, fascination?Walt Whitman

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Getting comfortable.....

We're not a comfortable couple, never have been.

A bit stand off-ish.

We just don't understand one another. Maybe there's even a little fear involved. Certainly not the basis for a healthy relationship.

But last week we took a step to learn more about one another, and I must admit, we're much more comfortable in each other's presence.

Guns and me.....who would have thought?

But in order to shoot a hand gun, my "thing I had never done before" for February, I was required to take the NRA Basic Pistol Safety Course, a two hour session that forced us to become acquainted on an intimate level: the parts of a gun, how it operates, how to keep our sights straight, where not to point it (at anything you don't intend to destroy), and how to take care of one another. All relationships are built on these things, it seems to me.

At the end of the second hour sitting in a chair, I was getting antsy, ready to get my hands on my partner in a real way. So, off to the range we went, ear muffs, goggles, pistols and semiautomatics. My instructor finally got us together, and I have to admit, the lessons helped. We made beautiful music together.

There is now less fear and more understanding, essentials for any relationship. Do I plan on moving in with my new companion? No, we're still a little hesitant around each other, and it's probably best that we live apart. But it was great fun for a one-day stand, and the whole experience supported the axiom that knowledge is power. I am not going to run out and apply for a permit to carry a gun, but I know I would feel more comfortable with a weapon in my house if I change my mind.

Thanks for my instructor, Ed Blaker, who was patient and kind to this liberal who showed up on his doorstep without much notice on a Sunday. (The fact that he kissed my hand has absolutely nothing to do with it.)

And, Jack...thank you for, well, you know. You saved my February adventure when we had to go to Plan B!

 ”The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.”
~Patrick Henry