Friday, October 22, 2010

The adventure continues...the Southern Swing

It's a chilly, brilliant autumn day here, but I will soon be basking in 80 degree weather down South.  Gary and I are off on yet another adventure. This one is 10 days, 1000+ miles, 5 rounds of golf, 8 historical sites (civil war and civil rights), and  4 music meccas (Elvis and Mississippi Delta Blues Trail)

We had invited Gary's sister and her husband, who wisely declined.  "Not our kind of vacation," they said. "We like to go to a resort, play golf, relax, eat a nice dinner and then get up the next day and do it all over again."  I can see their point. Who wants to play golf at 7:30am and then jump in the car to ride 150 miles, so you can arrive at the next historic site before closing time? 

Relax?  What does that have to do with vacation?

If we want to relax, we can just sit at home on the deck!

I'm not complaining, really. (but it always makes a better story if you do!)  I've always liked our sense of adventure, starting with our European honeymoon which was originally booked for 3 cities: Paris, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.  After the first five glorious days in Paris, we started looking at the map and noticed that Switzerland was awfully close, Germany beckoned and Norway with its wondrous fjords was a quick boat ride away.  We ended up with 7 countries in 18 days. Not quite like the 1969 movie "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium", but you've gotta love that title.
Bell bottom blues in Amsterdam 1973

Suspicious looking guy on the train to Versailles

So we arrive tonight in New Orleans and then continue on Sunday to Mississippi, Alabama and Memphis, Tennnesse, with a quick jaunt over to Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas before snaking our way up the Mississippi Delta trail and returning to Memphis. 

Wish us luck!  I'll try to keep you posted, but I'm not bringing the laptop. Then I had a radical idea--should we go "off the grid" for 10 days?  It's not something anyone does anymore and it just might be fun to be lost in America. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Memories like the corners of my mind…

Barbra sang it. I live it. Everyday. No, not the poignant, water-colored memories of The Way We Were, but the prosaic, fleeting, forgetful memories of everyday living, a half remembered phrase, someone’s name on the tip of my tongue.  A letter usually comes to me—is my mind’s filing cabinet better organized than my cluttered office? Her name was... started with an S and had an L in it? Or did it start with an L and have an S in it? I go through the alphabet, as if doing a crossword.  Sally, SaraLee,  Selma, Shayla, Shiloh,  Sharleen,  Shirley. That’s it!  Whew! Shirley, Shirley bo-perly, banana fanana fo-perly,fee fi mo-merly. Shirley

Sometimes I start a sentence and I see a word, like a horse in the Kentucky Derby, rounding the far clubhouse turn and pounding the turf to cross the finish the sentence line in time. The mud is flying, other words moving up threatening to obscure the finish and steal the ending for my word.  Did you notice I speak in longer sentences these days?

She: It’s a long story, I just don’t like her.
Me:  So maybe you don’t like her because of her background; she didn’t come from money, but wants it now. She’s just a ____ ______(hooves are thundering, but still at the final turn). So I improvise: You know, someone who is ambitious, wants more, wants to move up the ladder, join the in crowd, be in society, be a --ta da-- SOCIAL CLIMBER.

I shout it out like I’ve just buzzed into Jeopardy and I’m beating out ___ _______, that little blonde guy who won a million dollars, my mom loved him,  he was from Oklahoma, worked in I.T.  KEN JENNINGS!

Won $25.Million and has a blog now, too:
It’ s most embarrassing when it’s a simple word that eludes you like plunger or scooter.  It gets you thinking about the existential nature of that object.  If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound? If you can’t identify a simple plunger, does that diminish the plungerosity of that simple tool?  OK, maybe too early in the morning for this discussion.
Misplacing objects is a whole other scenario.  My normal multitasking day goes like this: Morning breakfast, reading the paper the old fashioned way, sun coming in the window, enjoying my coffee, nice and relaxed. Then it starts:  Where is my phone, my keys, my sunglasses. Track down the usual suspects, phone in handbag, on charging stand, dresser, car or left in the pocket of whatever I wore yesterday. And that was…what? Which jeans, jacket, sweater, gym clothes?
Simplify! If you have less stuff, you’ll lose less stuff and have less stuff to go through to find your lost stuff. So if you see me in the same jeans, sweatshirt and jacket every single day, don’t be alarmed. I’m not homeless, just putting the new system  in place.

Sticky Notes:  little reminders everywhere so I know what  I have to do today and checklist for going out the door.  The only problem with sticky notes is they proliferate, reminding me of that old commercial for that labeling system with the cute name where you could easily print out labels and actor has them all over his body and  face—the label maker…. P-TOUCH!  A friend suggested using a notebook instead, so I carry a little book, but sometimes I lose that, too.

The silver lining is I’m not alone in this.  Gary and I sometimes play the alphabet litany/jeopardy search game together, piecing together our separate memory fragments to get to the Eureka moment of the right word,  place, movie, book or name.  I commiserated recently with two good friends over dinner. What had happened to us? I was glad it wasn’t just a side effect of my chemo treatments, aka “chemo brain”. It afflicted us all, so seemed to be more a consequence of  “aging”—such a nasty word.

What about our parents’ generation?   Did they have this much trouble?  Have we been duped into thinking we could really multitask and now our brains are rebelling and paying us back?
Back to basics: what about that game you played as a kid—pat your head and rub your stomach, then switch and rub your head and pat your stomach. It took a lot of concentration and  I remember collapsing in  laughter.
For now I’m limiting my multitasking to walking and chewing gum and that seems to be working. Now let me just find my keys and I'm out the door...

Friday, October 8, 2010

As autumn follows summer

Welcome to the Autumn of Ginny, the sequel to my successful Summer of Eric 2010 blog. Many people told me how much they enjoyed SOE2010, so I decided to plunge in and continue. The SOE reported my 9 day, 4000 mile cross country trip from New Jersey to San Francisco via North Dakota with my sons. Now a trip like that is bound to be interesting and made for great blog material. As for this blog about my life and musings-- maybe not so much. We'll see how it goes!

Not the K's I know

The other night at dinner, husband Gary and I discussed a most unlikely topic: that other K family, the Kardashians. While waiting for a haircut, with no Sports Illustrated or Golf magazine in sight, Gary had picked up US magazine and was now a fount of information on Kim, Khloe and Kourtney.  (How about that nice alliteration and fanciful spelling?)

Did you know, I questioned my daughter later that night, that:
  • Me:   Their father was O.J. Simpson's lawyer?
  • Beth: Yes
  • Me:   Their stepfather is Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic Decathalete?                     
  • Beth: Yes
  • Me:   They've been on the air an incredible 3 years and have set records for most watched show? 
  • Beth: Yes, Mom, where have you been?
Apparently, not following one of the most popular reality shows. The idea of becoming immersed in the lives and high times of these tv made celebrities is appalling to me. Who cares what they do? Whereas, I'm sure all readers will be fascinated by every detail of my life. Should I start with my unfortunate sex tape that launched my career, my appearance on Dancing with the Stars, my rumored plastic surgery and botox, my dabbling in tatoos or my clothing boutiques?  Oh, wait a minute, that's all about that other K woman. 

Seriously, I'll probably start with Tuesday Movie Day, my passion for reading (two reading groups!), my involvement with a terrific non profit breast cancer org, with a few chosen rants on medical care and always a celebration of life in the slow lane.  You're fortunate that I have no grandchildren--yet.   So, is blogging about your own mundane life even more appalling?  I choose not to take an instant poll on that one.

Moral of the story: Before you get on your high horse, all huffy and self righteous about celebrity seeking junkies, examine your own motivation!

I've examined mine and Andy Warhol may have really been onto something when he said "in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."   Note the uncanny resemblance in these pictures, especially the eyes, nose and mouth.  Imagine me with dark eyebrows:

Andy Warhol and me circa 1977