Tuesday, August 28, 2012

we interrupt this political campaign to go to the other most annoying thing in my life

which as you all know is my father.   Due to his deteriorating sight he has become much more dependent on me to provide his information and entertainment.  I know that he would rather be doing this himself and that he hates having to ask me to do these things.  I know that I feel terrible for him and I have been doing research and consulting with low vision specialists to find tools and equipment that will make his life easier.  I know that I am doing everything and more than can reasonably be expected.  That is everyone that is reasonable, and that does not include my father.

I have been getting him books on tape, actually books on CD and MP3 books, so that he has some entertainment besides the television, which, thankfully, he can still sort-of watch. (He can definitely hear it since he keeps the volume at ear-splitting levels at all times, even when he has his hearing aids in.)  I've selected some books for him and provided them in all kinds of formats - CD's for his CD player, I've gotten him an MP3 player for some of the other books so he can sit in a room other than where the CD player is located, and I've managed to put up a home media server so he can actually selected and listen to books from his TV.  I spend about 4 hours each day doing little things for him, or just sitting around waiting for instructions from him.  I also visit the library almost daily to get new books because he goes through them so fast.  I don't believe he actually listens to them for content but he seems to be enjoy them nonetheless.  But, he only wants books about New York City in the time period when he was growing up.  I understand why enjoys them so much, but does he understand that 1) there are limited books on tape about that time period, and 2) I spend half my waking hours researching said books, and 3) even when I find one that is in the catalog of audio books at county library, it is not available at my local library and I have to wait for them to transfer it to me?  NO.  He wants what he wants and he wants it now.  And when I fail to produce I am made to feel like I've let him down and that the six other books that I've painstakingly selected are not acceptable.

So if any of you have suggestions for books and authors who write about New York City, the Bronx, or even Brooklyn, the history of New York, or any time period about New York other than post 9/11, please let me know.  I'm getting pretty desperate.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

At least Jonas grew up!

I Was A Teenage Objectivist! | The New Republic

This article was written by one of my daughter's dearest friends.  They were great friends through high school, even through their numerous spats, and continue to be best friends to this day.  If you read the article note that one of the "two girls in my AP English class" was my daughter and the other was her best friend.

Jonas grew out of his teenage fascination with objectivism although if you read his resume you'd think he was a prime candidate to be a wealthy, conservative, me-me-me kind of person.  Attended prestigious college and graduate schools;  editor of every college and graduate school publication that counted; got a highly prized and highly paid position following his pricey education;  tall, handsome, funny - the whole package.  He should be running for office on his looks alone.  But he is most importantly a nice and thoughtful person. 

If only Romney and Ryan would also grow up.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I went to college in one of those ubiquitious small mid-western church related liberal arts colleges.  How I ended up there is its own story but I was there in southeast Ohio for four years where we did all those standard rural college things like having parties in the cow pastures.  Actually, after I got over the first shock of being in a town with literally one gas station, one pharmacy, one barber shop, a dry-cleaners, and the co-op which was a combination grocery and anything else you may need hiding in there someplace store (think general store of old), I actually learned to like it. This was the late '60s and things were exploding all over the place.  We were not immune from those news stories.  Although we didn't have television (the only tv I remember was in the student union where we all gathered when they read out the draft lottery numbers.)  we did read newpapers and magazines in the library. I remember having to have a signup sheet for the Washington Post and the New York Times.

I met very nice people who came from mostly Ohio, Pennsylvania and, for some reason I still don't understand, New Jersey. We all had similar economic backgrounds which was very lower to middle middle-class. Our parents worked hard and had saved money to get us to college and we all had some kind of job to help pay our bills (I had the best job on earth as the language lab attendant on FRIDAY afternoons. Do you know how many people showed up at the language lab on Friday afternoon? Exactly zero. So I basically got paid to do homework.)

I am not good at keeping up with people and in those days it was harder than now. You had to write letters as phone calls were expensive, and I left Ohio on graduation day never to return.  I have made contact with a couple of people through facebook and now I lurk on other former classmates facebook pages.  So far I haven't found anyone who is not politically very liberal and I have a sense of wonder and almost awe regarding that.

Is it that we were forming our political conscience during the Vietnam War?  or that we received  strong ethical foundations? (I hesitate to say moral because that has been co-opted by bigots.)  Or was it that we were part of a strong middle class background and we understood the advantages we had been given and were grateful and wanted to do our pay back by doing good for others?  By any measure we did not attend a "liberal" school but of everyone I've stalked we are all very liberal.  I hope that the school is still managing to instill a social conscience in their students.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Becoming a biker chick

After a number of times around our condo parking lot I decided that I would never get the courage to actually go out on a street with my new little scooter.  Going 10 mph in a straight line is one thing, going 35 mph in traffic and needing to make turns was quite another. So I signed up for the motorcycle safety course that is required for all motorcycle drivers in the state of Florida. I'm not required to have the class because my little scooter is only 49 cc (whatever that means. I think it means can only go slow.) but it is recommended and I think that is the only way I'll get the courage to actually leave the parking lot.

I did my first classroom session last night and I've done my homework and my first driving portion is tomorrow at 7 am - get up at 5 am, leave for location at 6 am, start learning to bike at 7 am!  I've bought some cute boots (required) at JC Penney, and I've pulled together a some jeans, a jacket, and some gardening gloves.  They will have a helmet and a scooter for me at the location.  At least I hope they have a scooter because I really don't want to have to learn to ride a motorcycle.

The people in my class run the gamut of the young kid who is learning to ride, the young adult who just moved here and had to sell his car to get the money to move so now is getting a motorcycle for cheap transportation, to the older guys who rode when they were young and are now looking for that youthful adventure again. There is one other woman whose husband rides a motorcycle and wants her to have her own so she doesn't just look at the back of his head on their trips. 

So I have class all day tomorrow and Sunday.  By Sunday night I'll either be listing my scooter on craigslist or I'll be buying an expensive helmet and taking to the streets!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Great fun! Now I need to learn how to turn corners. If I could just go straight forever I'd be fine.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Getting ready to go to the beach

We hadn't planned to go to the beach this summer as things were very busy and schedules kept shifting.  Finally, we found a weekend that Husband was available so we booked flights for a quick trip. He'll be there for the weekend and I'll stay for two weeks.   As much as I hate to admit it I think that two weeks is going to be my new beach trip length.   No more four and five weekers will be possible because now that my father doesn't drive I need to be around for the errands etc.  As Husband pointed out I can just make more short trips but that does get expensive.  Oh well.  It will all work out fine and I'm getting an unexpected trip now.

We have some friends joining us from Miami for the weekend.  They are bringing me a very, very cool motor scooter!  It's an old Honda scooter, looks like a Vespa, that their kids used in high school and college.  Now that no one is using it they wanted it out of the garage.  Can you just picture me tooling around on an orange motor scooter?  This will be so cool.  I guess I will need to get some sort of helmet as I may fall off at least once or twice as I'm learning to ride it.  But it just suits my beach fantasy..... Pictures will follow.

Now I must go find the phone number of the shutter repairman as one of our guests has over-rolled the storm shutter (for the second time!) and I need to have it fixed while I'm there.  It is stuck in the up position which is good when I"m there but not so good with some tropical weather forming in the Atlantic.