A humorous look at finding the Fountain of Youth: at the health club


Two years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution  to exercise every day  and it’s stuck. Why? I like the high! It gets the blood to my head, releases endorphins. Half-way through I start feeling marvelous.

I look at exercise as an alternative to the FDA’s solution,  pills.

I had to find my own way until  I figured out a routine that suited me.

Seeking the Fountain of Youth at the high-priced Health Club

I’d been doing swimming aerobics at the health club pool for a while, but I thought, why not try for the heavy-duty exercise, the land exercise. Why not try a personal training group?

The first step was signing a contract, and handing over my credit card.

An extra $15o.00 plus monthly membership gave me entry into the newly formed group.

The second step was evaluating my fitness

The next day I headed up to the gym to get my fitness tested. I had to wear headgear that looked like a scuba mask to check my oxygen level on the treadmill. I carefully placed a little gizmo into my bra to record my heartbeat.

When I started by walking as fast as I could, the heart gizmo did not read my heartbeat. I went several times to a back room to put this heart monitor  closer to my heart and aging, sagging bosoms, but to no avail.

” I have another appointment coming, and you’ll just have to try tomorrow,” said the sheepish, red-faced  trainer who was about 19.

I  slowly limped out of the gym, thinking I was already a failure at land based exercise.

The next day, the gym manager, a shapely muscled 24-year old woman, figured out another way to detect my pulse. She read it off the machine somehow, or just made the whole thing up. I was glad to find out I wasn’t heartless or clinically dead.

Joining the personal training class

The next day I showed up bright and early to attend my first class. It was a variety of women of all persuasions. I was the oldest, but I wasn’t the heaviest! They all were running on the treadmills, so I joined them.

Then, the trainer rounded us all up to start our real exercise session.

The affable trainer, Greg, running the session was like a friendly drill sergeant. I furiously rowed on a rowing machine,  rapidly bounced a rubber ball off the wall,  held a plank position, and startled the entire gym when I awkwardly released the weights on a machine and sounded a loud clang.

The worst was the stair-stepper

I would only recommend the stair-stepper for people trying to get information out of a terrorist. They just have to make the thing automatically go really fast. I seriously feared for my life while on this contraption. As my heart began to jump out of my chest, I yelled,” How do I stop this damn thing.” After finding the emergency stop, I thankfully climbed off.

I did last about three months, and I did attempt things I thought I could never do again, like 100 sit ups, burpees, planks and push ups. My stomach was shrinking. I was proud of myself, but I wasn’t  looking forward to the personal training sessions. After a while,  I arrived later and later . Finally,  I didn’t come at all.

So after spending extra money, and torturing myself, I discontinued my contract.

What I needed to do was accept my age and have fun! 

I decided to try things like bike spinning, Zumba dancing, yoga,  running on the elliptical ( while I watch TV with my headphones), and lifting weights with Silver Sneaker (Medicare sponsored) exercise groups.

I also bike ride with my husband, take long walks in the woods, get down on the floor with my grandson and play like a two-year old.

To be truthful, I was never admired for my svelte figure. But I do believe the Fountain of Youth resides within yourself. The right exercise for you, and attitude are important parts of it.

I do have great blood pressure, and an athletic pulse. I have a lot of energy and feel great. Okay, I’m not at an ideal weight, but it’s been worse.

Taking those extra steps makes it possible not to keep 30 or 40 pills organized.

10 of my pet peeves



1. One-upmanship

These are the people who always do better than you do. Before you finish a sentence, they are competing with you.

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2. Dishonesty

When I see something that doesn’t belong to me, I try to find the rightful owner. Some people do believe this: “If someone is stupid or careless enough to leave something out, they deserve to lose it.” People these days even steal things like your identity.

Your fault for letting me steal it?

3. Boasters

I hate people who go around boasting about themselves, their kids, etc. Oh, my child is so beautiful, smart, and popular. The irony of that whole thing is that those bragging parents usually have kids who are beautiful, smart and popular.

I am so great!

4. Unfairness

Life ain’t fair. Why can’t I get used to this reality. Equality? Nope

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5. Really, really, white teeth

Back a few years ago, your teeth could get a little yellow when you got older. Now, we have to bleach our teeth? I guess I got to get with it a little more. I’m already using white tooth rinse. It doesn’t taste that great. But, since I have crowns all over the place, I better whiten those jewels.

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6. Pressure to look young

Watch any of those old movies from the 30’s and 40’s. The parents looked older than their children!

Remember when mothers and fathers looked realistic?

7. Complainers

Nobody is interested in your aches and pains.  Nobody wants to be around a Debby Downer. Take 2 aspirin and don’t call me in the morning.

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8. Bullies

Now only do they bully in person: they do it online. I remember when some people said some bad things about me in something called a slam book. I’m glad I’m not a kid now. I still remember this and it was 52 years ago give or take a year. And thanks to the “friend” who showed it to me.

Teh precurrser to cyber bullying

9. Name callers

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Whoever thought that one up must have been delusional.

Cyber bullying

10. Presidential Campaigns

Wake me up when it’s  past the 2016 election. I’m just worried that someone who reflects some of my pet peeves might become president.

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What do you think? Do you share any of my pet peeves?

Trying to come into the 21st century: Machinery and technology hate me. Why oh why?


English: , 2002, hammers a nail during work at...

English: , 2002, hammers a nail during work at a Habitat for Humanity house in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am really trying, but it’s hard! I just got a new Ipad and this is the Ipad application. I am getting dizzy looking at all the stuff you can do with the Ipad. Music, books, and aps, etc. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted an Ipad. I load aps, free of course, but then I am bewildered by them. I added some Facebook thing, and I absolutely didn’t know what to do with it. Group chat? I tried it, but then I located ancient messages I sent people years ago. I’ve had a Mac for years, but I still don’t feel like I really understand it.

I live with a guy who keeps stuff going forever. We really have dial phones in our family room, two of them. You can’t dial out, but you can talk on them. He says, “he can hear on them.” It’s true they are comfy around the ear.

He has an Acer computer he bought 5 years ago, and it works perfectly for him. He is what I call a machine person. He has a relationship with inanimate objects. This makes it impossible for us to get rid of old objects. He keeps them going and going and going.

I don’t feel in control of inanimate objects

Me, on the other hand, I’m not so successful. I break something looking at it. I wouldn’t dare go without an insurance policy on any new item because I know it will eventually break. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this new screen I am currently staring at suddenly started to shatter. Without me doing a thing.

I tried working on Habitat for Humanity. They allowed me to hammer two boards together, but ended up taking them apart, and they told me to do something else. I was able to take the floor apart. I must say I couldn’t wait until quitting time. On the other hand some young girl was using the wood-cutter with expertise. So, it’s not a girl thing.

What is simpler than painting a wall? I usually get more paint on me than anything else.

I can spell and feel like I have some control over words. I guess we all have our strong points. Unfortunately, in this world today, inanimate objects are more important than spelling. So, I will keep trying to conquer the techno world, or at least have a general idea of what’s going on!

I’ve never used the Ipad on WordPress. I will see how it all comes out!

Not that good—I had to edit it on the Mama computer. Sigh……..

Technology going too fast for a girl born in 1950


Oh good grief, now they’re selling google glasses. Now everyone will be walking around asking themselves questions. It’s bad enough when they’re going down the street talking to unseen people.

Who knew this would ever happen. We won’t need friends anymore. We’ll have glasses.

Only $1,600 a pop.

My husband has phones in our home from the 1960’s. He is a person who keeps things going for

Samsung to Launch Smart Feature Phone “REX Ser...

Samsung to Launch Smart Feature Phone “REX Series” in Emerging Markets (Photo credit: samsungtomorrow)

years at a time. This, I suppose, is rare these days.

I, on the other hand, would like a smart phone. I keep finding ones that trump the other ones, so I can’t make a decision. I am walking around with an ancient Verizon dumb phone. It’s a couple of years old, and I don’t have a contract on it. I hate those contracts.

I found a Samsun that has 13 pixels, so now I want that one. I don’t even know what a pixel really is, but I know the picture on the camera is a lot nicer.

I couldn’t wait to get my Macbook, but now at 4 years old it’s getting old.

Naturally, I want a pair of those glasses.

I guess I just want to feel like I belong in the 21st century. Can a woman raised in the 20th century adapt to modern times?

What do you think?

I’ve been out of touch with some TV and it’s probably a good thing! Yuck


no-cable-tv

no-cable-tv (Photo credit: hjl)

Some of the TV shows on cable television are shocking. I started watching some tonight while I tried to crochet. I figured I could listen and figure out what I was doing at the same time. It really didn’t work.  I ended up ripping out my crocheting, but I realized TV has come a long way. A long way downwards.

I won’t pretend I don’t watch TV, and  that some of my choices aren’t  terrific.  I seem to like competitions and weight shows.  I am a regular viewer of Jon Stewart and the Colbert show.  I used to watch the news shows, but they are just people repeating the same things over and over. The news isn’t too good lately anyway.  Talk about a rehash fest.  It’s nothing like the newscasters of old who actually seemed qualified  to comment on the World’s events.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Tonight, I listened to Kim and  whoever Khardasian live in Miami.  They eat at fancy restaurants, and run around being famous.  I won’t even tell you what they were discussing on the show tonight. It was too gross.

The husband of one of the sisters seems as dumb as a box of rocks. However, I guess he’s smart enough to live with the Khardasian’s and just play. He doesn’t seem to have a job or anything like that. He also was harassing his girlfriend (a Khardasian)  because she weighed 115 pounds instead of 95. She hadn’t taken off her “baby weight” yet. Yes, they have two children, of course, they’re not married.  I am guessing they deserve each other.

I know the Khardasians are wildly popular and have tons of followers on Twitter. Why is this? They are attractive girls, but exactly what do they do?  I guess their show gives the viewers a chance to pretend they’re famous for doing absolutely nothing. What would it be like to have all that money?

I realized that I must be out of touch with society if this is what is going on in real life. Are people really acting like this?  This TV watching was even worse than the Fox channel which I didn’t think was possible.

Then I watched ( and listened) to  some other disgusting shows. They weren’t trying to be reality shows.  Writers actually write this stuff. Are they high on drugs or drunk when they do this?

All they were talking about was sex. How to do it, and who to do it with, what positions to use. They also loved describing body parts. It reminded me of a sophisticated version of sixth grade jokes.  I didn’t get much of a story going on here. Many of the characters were shallow, superficial, and not very likable.

I didn’t get any inspiring type of messages, or positive feelings.
One of the shows I do  watch is “Shameless”, but some of the stuff is getting to rank for me. I will probably keep watching it because there is enough good acting  going on to keep me interested. They do touch on some issues.  Some of the story lines turn me off. (An Indian with a sexual perversion problem, a daughter using her mother to help her have a baby.) Maybe I’m missing something.

Am I just getting old, or has the morality of society really gone down the tubes. It doesn’t seem that we can get much lower than this.

I’m thinking maybe I’d be better off without TV.   But, like many people, I am addicted.  I guess that makes me no better than Kim and her sister taking Miami or whatever they were supposed to be doing.

What do you think about TV?

Silence is golden: 10 pet peeves about cell phones: Any additions?


Cell phones and smart phones are really fun.  I rely on my cell phone as much as anyone else. The only reason I haven’t gotten a smart phone yet is because I don’t want to pay the extra dollars for it. I am also afraid I will become one of those people who I am complaining about in this post. Constantly looking down at my phone, or using it when it’s really inappropriate. I think it’s rude when people prefer their phone to me. .

Here are 10 places I wish people wouldn’t use their phones

1. Movie theater:  I am there to enjoy the movie. I find the light from your phone very
distracting. If you want to stay in your own little world, stay home, rent a video and don’t
put on your freaking phone. There is a reason they run that cute little feature before the movie starts about keeping your phone shut off!

2. Dressing room: Don’t talk on your phone in the next dressing room over when I am trying on clothes. It is depressing enough for me to be looking at myself in the full-length murder. It is annoying to be taking off my shoes, pulling up pants that don’t really fit me, and getting frustrated with the price of everything. I don’t need to hear your personal conversations. I don’t want to hear your arguing with someone on the phone or discussing a matter that requires  professional counseling.

3. Gym: This is especially directed to personal trainers or class instructors. . I may be old, but I’m not stupid. I see you with that phone that you think is hidden, playing games, or checking your email. (while I’m working my fanny off.).

4. Restaurants:  When I am enjoying a meal I paid for I don’t need to hear you talking in 3 volumes up to someone.

5. Traffic: Don’t talk on your phone while driving. People are really risking getting in an accident.  Don’t text. Everyone knows this by now, but they still do it.

6.  Nature path : When I am walking in the woods by myself, the last thing I want to hear is somebody yelling on top of their lungs on their phone. I prefer the sounds of the birds and the wind rusting the leaves of the trees.

7. Library:  I used to like to go to the library to browse and get some peace and quiet. Now, people are allowed to talk on their phones, and I can’t do a thing about it.

8. Public Restrooms:  Can’t I even do “my business: in peace. Can’t you wait until you’ve flushed the toilet?

9. Play or live concert:  I can’t believe the amount of phones that appear in the dark at these events where I’m paying big bucks.

10. Looking for a tenth one. Any suggestions? Comments would be appreciated.

I know I might as well get used to it because things aren’t going to change any time soon. People have to be constantly entertained. It almost seems like they’re afraid to be alone, even for a few minutes. That’s life in the 21st century.  What do you think?  Agree or disagree?

Dental work bites your pocketbook: Why is it so expensive?


Cover of "My Dentist"

Cover of My Dentist

I have always had good health, and I am really grateful for that. But, one part of my body seems to be falling apart, my teeth. Maybe human’s weren’t meant to live as long as they do now-a-days. It seems like teeth go before the rest of our bodies.

My teeth have never been wonderful. When the tooth fairy was giving out teeth,  she must have given me the second-rate ones. Maybe she knew I wasn’t ever going to be rich and famous and didn’t need to be photographed. It might also have something to do with the inheritance I got from both my mother and grandmother. They both owned dentures which they faithfully soaked in Polident every night. Dental Implants, which stay in your mouth permanently, are an improvement.

To clarify, I am constantly brushing and flossing my teeth. I have said aloud to anyone who was listening, “I no longer have to take care of children, but I always have my teeth to keep me busy.”  I guess I’d be completely toothless now, if I didn’t do that. I know people without teeth, and it’s not a pretty picture. People shouldn’t have to go around looking like that because they’re financially strapped.

In my sixties my teeth have become very high maintenance.

When I was a kid, I went to a dentist who was continually putting silver cavities in my mouth. One time when a new dentist drilled my tooth I complained about the way the Novocaine felt. So, he let me go without it. I would  not recommend this. I will never complain about Novocaine again.

The silver cavities have been replaced with beautiful white ones because the original ones only last so long .Now, I need crowns on my teeth.  A crown protects your nub of a tooth. ( The dentist files down your tooth to fit the crown.) A guess they call them crowns because they’re about as expensive as the one of the  English  crown jewels. (Okay, I’m exaggerating.)

Unfortunately, I lost 2 teeth in the past couple of  years.  I was going to a dentist who was having some  emotional problems,  and he told me not to worry about my teeth that were  slightly wiggling and a little mushy.  I should’ve known better, but I listened to him.

By the time I got to a good dentist, it was too late.  I had to get them pulled by a fancy periodontist in a fancy office.  It was a surreal experience.

Cover of "Cast Away (Widescreen Edition)&...

Cover of Cast Away (Widescreen Edition)

mainly, because I used to have dreams that my teeth were falling out. When the periodontist was pulling out my tooth I must have  had the look of  panic on my face. He said, “at least I’m not taking off your arm.” This put it in the proper perspective.

If that wasn’t bad enough, he later did surgery on 3/4 of my mouth. He opened up my gums and got all the gunk out, then he sewed them back up.   It only hurt when he put those 3 fancy shots of Novocaine in my gums.  He did this surgery that was supposed to “save my teeth.” He even called to see how I was doing the next day. I found that amazing. How many doctor’s call you to see if you’re still alive?  I finally understand what being long-in-the-tooth means. More gum then tooth, and you’re getting up there in years.

It worked for a while, but  time is marching on. Not only am I now “long in the tooth”  but some of my teeth are just not going to last. I have a feeling there are more crowns in my future.

I visit the dentist every 3 months, and the periodontist on the alternate 3 months. These are like my closest friends now. No offense to them, but I’d rather be socializing with other people.

The crowns are so fancy that each of these majestic coverings is going to cost me over $1.000.00.a piece. Yes, I do have Dental insurance, but it doesn’t pay for the whole crown. Only 25%. Does that mean they only care about  1/4 of my tooth.

I think the dental profession is getting away with overcharging all of us.

 I personally know elderly people who will not get the replacement teeth because it’s just too expensive. This doesn’t seem right to me. Isn’t there something undignified about going around with your teeth missing? Besides, you can’t do much else when your past 90, but eat.

To be fair I’m glad we have dentists, periodontists, and dental hygienists
My dentist is so good that my kids still use him when they come to visit. He’s a very nice guy, and I don’t think he would be overcharging if he didn’t have to. I’m wondering if it’s the dental labs.

There’s nothing worse than a bad toothache. Remember Tom Hanks in that movie, Cast Away; he was deserted on an island and had to pull his own tooth out. I could feel his pain.

Why is it so expensive?

Don’t they know that times are tough? Does it really cost thousands of dollars to make those fancy crowns and implants? How much do they make on each sale?

Am I just a whiner? Is the cost justified? Tell me about your experiences.

“Parental Guidance”: Movie Review” Nobody makes me laugh like Billy Crystal!


Do you think Billy Crystal is hilarious? Then, go see Parental Guidance. I both laughed and cried during this movie. But, nobody makes me laugh like Billy Crystal. He plays Arte Decker, an over-the-hill baseball announcer, who has been fired for being old and out of touch with the newest generation.  There were some poignant moments in this movie interspersed with all the laughs.

I laughed a lot more than I cried. Bette Midler plays Crystal’s adoring put-together wife (Diane) who sees the chance to babysit their three grandchildren as another opportunity to win their grandchildren’s love. Currently, their photo is pushed aside on the mantle because the “other grandparents” take center stage.

Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) is  their only daughter  who is married to Phil Simmons (Tom Everett Scott) he’s handsome, understanding and smart.  He’s a gadget computer guy who’s completely made their house user friendly.  Crystal’s awkwardness around all this stuff felt familiar to me.

Alice and Phil direct the parents on their modern child rearing methods. Use positive reinforcement and don’t ever say no. “We let them ‘use their words and make choices.” says Tomei.

The three kids are adorable, but they have their problems. The oldest girl, Harper, (Bailee Madison)  is too serious,  the middle child, Turner, (Joshua Rush)  has a stutter, and the littlest guy, Barker (Kyle Harrison Breikopf)   has an imaginary friend. They all play straight guys to Billy Crystal. He’s great with them, especially Barker, but there is a moment in the film when Turner steals the movie.
There are a few slap-stick gags that are old, familiar and predictable, but they still work.

Crystal does one scene by himself that I found particularly touching. You’ll have to see the movie because I don’t want to ruin it.

What I was glad to see were all the kids, mostly preteens or early teens,  in the movie theater. A clean-cut movie with no monsters, guns and violence. They seemed to be enjoying it too.

If you’re looking for depth, there isn’t a whole lot in this movie. But, if you’re looking for laughter, you’ll find it here.  And if you’re trying to reconcile your place in the universe, it’s reassuring to know you’re in the same age category as Midler and Crystal.

Do you agree with my review? Comments are welcomed.

 

Downton Abbey makes an American splash in newest series debut: A review


I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I tuned into Downton Abbey on PBS. This British series actually held my attention. It was a combination of the good acting, intrigue and fantastic costumes.

The show is about the interplay between the aristocracy and their servants. The family is the Crawley Family. According to Wikipedia , “ The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the Edwardian and post-Edwardian era — with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.

In the opening episode of Season 2,  they were all really worried that their huge old mansion would have to be sold because  Lord Grantham, owner of the estate, made a bad investment in a railroad.  The time is now 1920.

Despite the fact that Lord Grantham is about to lose everything, he throws a huge audacious wedding for his daughter and fiance.   She drove to the church in a horse-driven  carriage.  To make matters worse, her soon-to-be husband has suddenly inherited a pile of money that he refuses to use to salvage her family’s mansion.

Maggie Smith, a seasoned British actress, plays the main English grandmamma Violet Crawley. On this episode, she clashed with the American grandmamma, Martha Levinson, played by  Shirley MacLaine. They couldn’t find better actresses to play these parts. Smith was properly snobby, and MacLaine played an inappropriate loud American who says what’s on her mind. Maclaine is finally showing her age despite her obvious plastic surgery. Smith has let herself age. I think she looks more real.( They’re both the same age in real life, 78.)

Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine in English series, Downton Abbey.

Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine in English series, Downton Abbey.

The servants live downstairs, and help the aristocracy dress and feed themselves. (They put the food on their plates). The higher class has to get dressed for dinner, and the servants also have to wear proper servant’s attire. There is all kinds of drama going on between the servants.  In this episode one of  daughters brought home her Irish husband who used to be the chauffeur.

I also liked seeing Elizabeth McGovern, mother, Cora Crawley,  who I haven’t see since she played a teenager in Ordinary People in 1980. Luckily, she still looks pretty good . She’s not that old.

The acting was so good that I will catch up on it next week on Sunday night on PBS at 9:00.

According to Reuters,  I’m not the only one who tuned in because it scored a record 7.9 million viewers for public broadcasting.  This quadrupled the average ratings for a premiere episode. The show is also nominated for some Golden Globe awards.

It just goes to show you, that Americans love gossip about the English, even if it’s make-believe. Besides, we all like to see filthy rich people squirm. (Unless your filthy rich too).

Did you watch the opening show of this season?  What did you think? Did you stay tuned the whole time? Why do you think this show is so popular with American audiences?