Tag Archives: aging

Understanding: sometimes difficult to achieve

My wife was baking muffins and was out of baking soda and wanted to know what she could use instead. I have no idea, and in fact, have confused baking soda with baking powder. I do know, once upon a time, I used one instead of the other in making pancakes, took one bite of the bitter batter concoction and threw them out.

Found this website, Baking Soda Substitutes, which reads: “For each 1 teaspoon baking soda in the recipe, substitute 4 teaspoons of double acting baking powder.” It worked well!

But I still don’t have a deep understanding of what each of them does. And I suppose I don’t care enough to learn.
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Sometimes I use words or phrases people don’t understand.

I wrote to one friend, “I namechecked you in my last blog post.” And I had to explain that namecheck merely meant that I mentioned her. “The Peter, Paul and Mary song I Dig Rock & Roll Music namechecks the Mamas & the Papas and the Beatles and Donovan.”

She, BTW, sent me a link to this Louis CK video, Older People are Smarter. Which they are, BTW, but younger people often don’t understand this. She was concerned I might find it profane. Interestingly, no. I wouldn’t USE the language, but hearing the language didn’t bother me (and it might bother you, or not.).

To another friend, I said something was a PITA, and she asked what THAT meant. I wrote back, “Pain In The Butt.”

There was this third example I can’t remember presently, and they all happened within a 24-hour period. The overriding point is that sometimes I think I’m being clear, yet I feel misunderstood. I suspect all of us feel that way some of the time.

I was telling a friend a story about an incident, and my friend interrupts, “Oh, you told that story.” Except that I hadn’t, because this iteration had a different (and more annoying) twist to it.

The new old movies

McMurphy from Cuckoo's Nest
That Jaquandor fellow did this exercise: “For me, when I think of an ‘old movie’, my brain always defaults to Casablanca, which by the time of my awareness of its existence, had become a venerable classic movie. Now, when I was born, Casablanca was 29 years old. So here is a list of films that, as of this year, are as old as my brain’s canonical ‘old movie’.”

My problem is that my default ‘old’ movie was The African Queen (1951), only two years before I was born, because I saw it long afterwards. So the list generated would be too recent. I thought of 1939, but I’ve seen The Wizard of Oz so often, not to mention variations on it, it’s still new. So I finally decided on Birth of a Nation (1915); now that’s an old film.

1953-1915=38. 2013-38=1975

These are the movies of 1975, as old today as Birth of a Nation was when I was born:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Tommy
Nashville
Love and Death
The Stepford Wives
Shampoo
Jaws
Dog Day Afternoon

Lots more, of course, but these jumped out at me as films that either reflected the era, or are timeless classics. And the latter two I’ve never seen.

The difference between turning 50 and turning 60

When I turned 50, I could think, “Maybe I still have another half a lifetime left.” After all, the number of centenarians in the United States has been growing. Willard Scott, with whom I share a birthday, BTW, still announces the birthdays of those over 100 on NBC-TV’s TODAY show, as far as I know.

Now that I am 60, though, I have to acknowledge that I’m not going to live another 60 years, even if I move to Azerbaijan and start eating yogurt soup. (And if I’m wrong, which one of you is going to write to correct me?)

I note this, not with melancholy or dismay, but with a certain resolve not to waste my time with X or Y. I’ve already done a fair job in that I’ve largely stopped caring about the negative things people who aren’t friends and family say. It’s not that I won’t complain about them, and in fact, I’m even more likely to do so, probably in this blog; it’s that the anger and frustration don’t consume me, as they once did.

Once upon a time, every March 8 (the day after my birthday), I would play a particular Paul Simon tune. The lyric started:
Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line
I should be depressed
My life’s a mess
But I’m having a good time

I played that song annually for 20 years or more. I should get back to doing that again.

Have a Good Time – Paul Simon