Friday, February 15, 2019

I Had a Great Title for This Post, But Now I Can't Remember What It Was!

I used to have a photographic memory. Now, if I don't write things down, they're gone in a minute. Seriously. I must be getting old.

Oh, wait a minute. I am!

 
For the past couple of weeks,  Collin and I have been taking part in a contest held by one of our local TV stations: An Apple a Day. At first, I couldn't figure it out. The prize is an Apple watch. But surely they aren't giving away an Apple watch every day for three weeks. Those things aren't cheap.

Besides, I haven't yet seen any winners named.

Anyway, every morning (early), the word of the day is given. Participants enter the word via the station's app. I get the task of being up early enough to get the word and write it down so Collin and I can both enter it later.

This morning, I was up early, had the TV on, ready to go. I remember the word being announced. I remember writing it down...at least I thought I did. A little later, I discovered I hadn't written it down.

And I couldn't remember the word.

I recalled everything so clearly, up to writing down the word. How could that have happened? What was the word?

One of the things I did recall was that it had been mentioned that the Words of the Day were all types of apples. (That means I got one of the previous words wrong. It was Honeycrisp, not Buttercrisp!)

I Googled "types of apples."  Maybe, I reasoned, looking at a list would trigger my memory. My neurologist told me I'm not suffering from memory loss, I'm just very easily distracted. I learned to deliberate pay attention to what I'm doing so I'd remember.  It beats showering three times in one day because I "forgot."

I went down the list, looking for a name that might sound familiar. It wasn't a common name, like Granny Smith or Gala. I never knew there were so many types of apples....

Cortland! It was Cortland!


Friday, February 8, 2019

Coming Attractions: Do You or Don't You?

Do you go to the movies, or do you wait for new releases to be available on Blu-Ray or streaming?

 
My friend and fellow author Christiane Heggan posted on her Facebook page this morning about why she doesn't go to the movies anymore. One of her reasons is the distraction caused by cellphones. We don't have that problem where I live. Turn your phone on during the movie and you'll be going home early--as in before the movie is over. And no, management will not refund your ticket price.

It helps to go to early showings. The tickets are cheaper and the theater isn't crowded.  Collin and I rarely go to evening showings.

 
The second reason Christiane gave is the movies themselves: too somber, too serious--message movies. I agree with her. I don't like movies that are too dark, too serious. Actors see them as art. I don't go to the movies for art. I go to be entertained. I go for fun. I want to laugh. I want to grip my seat until my knuckles go white. I want to have a good time.

Collin and I go to the cinema to see superhero movies. Or Minions. Back in 2012, we attended a fifteen-hour Marvel Movie Marathon--all six of the movies released prior to The Avengers, which was shown at midnight. It was crowded, it was fun...but I doubt I'd ever do it again. I'm old. My days of staying up all night ended a long time ago. 




The last time Collin and I were at the cinema, it was for Aquaman. Next up: Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. Action and laughs guaranteed--except for Avengers:  Infinity War. Loved the movie, hated the ending. It was depressing.

If I want to be depressed, I'll watch the news. It doesn't get more depressing than that.


Friday, February 1, 2019

Whatever Happened to Spring and Autumn?

These days, it seems we have only two seasons: summer and winter.


I'll never forget the snowstorm of 1982. I'd been in the hospital for eye surgery and had been released the day before--just in time to take Collin to the ER because one of our village idiots had failed to make sure the basement door was actually closed and he fell down the stairs. He had a broken collarbone. Said village idiot almost got a broken neck for her stupidity.

A few days after the "blizzard," Dad had to dig our car out so Mom could go to the grocery store. After she left, he finished clearing the spot off so it would be easier for her to park when she got back.


This was taken about a block from our place.
Photos: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


He'd just gotten finished when another car approached. The woman driving was determined to park there. "I just spent an hour clearing this off for my wife," he told her. The woman was still determined to park there. She thought she could wait him out. She was in her car, her heater was on. No way could he outlast her, right?

She had no idea. Dad was almost seventy, taking meds for hypertension and heart disease, but he ran on sheer stubbornness. He would have willingly frozen to death before he let her park there after all the work he did.

She finally gave up.

Postscript: I just paid my annual domain registration fee, so figured I'd better post something. Maybe once a week, a "best of" sort of thing--if I can find some "best of" stuff. Scammers and spammers aside, I'm just not seeing the traffic here these days to make the crap I had to go through just to post this one. (That would be a blog post in itself!) I'm doing everything on my Facebook pages these days. Hope you'll check them out, if you haven't already. I'm seeing much more traffic there.

Norma Beishir
The International Intruder
(the latter is a joint effort from William Kendall, Collin Beishir and me)


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Snitchbit, Jiffy Boob and Murphy's Law of Meteorology

Friday was one of those days.

The week started off well enough. I got a free Fitbit, part of my insurance provider's wellness offerings. The first thing it told me is that I'm seriously sleep-deprived. It's worse than I thought. I'm getting three or four hours a night. That's what Trump is said to be getting, and look at the mental mess he is.




Collin dubbed it Snitchbit, because had my doctor checked it, she would have known what I'm not doing. (She didn't, but I still got a lecture.)

He and I both had doctor appointments on Friday. I also had to go to Jiffy Boob, aka the mammography department, for my annual torture. (Actually, it's not so bad as we get older. The girls start to droop anyway and don't get squeezed as much by a monstrosity I'm convinced was designed by the Marquis de Sade.)

I was so sure I could navigate my walker into the small Jiffy Boob dressing rooms--I got stuck in there. The technician had to help me get out. For a while there, I thought the Jaws of Life might be needed.

Once I was freed from the dressing room, it didn't take long to get things done. Our appointments with our primary care doctor were scheduled for afternoon, so we headed over to Boston Market for lunch. Major snowfall was expected, so we had requested to be on the wait list for earlier appointments. Just as we were about to eat, the call came. Could we get back over to the medical building right away? It seemed the weather forecast had prompted some patients to reschedule their appointments, and we could be seen right away.

We were in the doctor's office when the snow started. Things went downhill fast from there. What's normally a half-hour drive home took two hours. We avoided the interstates, expecting everyone to be looking for the most direct routes, but as it turned out, the side roads were just as popular. Visibility was poor. Conditions were so bad, at least one of the interstates was closed. There were stories on the evening news of commuters stuck on the road far longer than we had been. Some ended up sleeping in their cars or in booths at a local restaurant. Motels and tow trucks did a booming business that night.


Photos: KMOV

At least we had our dinner ready to eat--with a bit of warming. The lunch we didn't get to eat at Boston Market was still delicious, hours later. If only we'd had time to stop at the grocery store....




Friday, January 4, 2019

GOODBYE, 2018! I'D LIKE TO SAY IT'S BEEN FUN, BUT....

Happy 2019! I'm getting off to a great start. I've already missed posting once this week (if I'm going to maintain any kind of schedule).

Here we are at the end of another year. It's been ten years since I've published anything new. Okay, it's been ten years since I've written anything new. I used to write first drafts in longhand. Arthritis put an end to that. Typing, even on my phone, is not always a breeze--what the heck is that spasm (or whatever it is) in my right hand all about? I learned to dictate--now I have intermittent speech issues. I guess even a very minor stroke can cause all kinds of trouble. 

 
So, am I ever going to publish another book? Time will tell. The ideas are in there. Getting them out is the problem. 

In March, Collin will turn 40. As if I didn't feel old enough already! But I look at him and I can't even imagine my life without him. He's my baby--though when I tell him he'll still be my baby when he's 80, his response is, "When I'm 80, you'll be dead."

He's never going to be a diplomat.

He's my baby, my son, my best friend. Good thing he's good at all the things I suck at, like managing the money, determining the right insurance to buy, etc. He can figure out what I'm trying to say even when I'm getting the words mixed up. It makes life around our house so much easier. 

I'm going to be another year older in August. Didn't need to be reminded of that! I have over 30 years to go to get my mug on one of those Smuckers jars on the Today show. Wow...that seems like such a long time.

Maybe I'm not so old, after all!

Monday, December 31, 2018

When Taco Bell Doesn't Open On Time

This one was originally posted on Facebook over a month ago....

11/23/18: It's been a busy week. Yesterday, I challenged Collin's former employer on their Facebook page for firing him without a valid cause after seeing their "one big happy family/flexible job" posts (their response came much faster than expected--we'll see if anything actually comes of it). Then I gave Metro the feedback they requested on their Metro Gateway card, which is supposed to make using public transportation more convenient. It doesn't. To reload the cards, riders must go to their store downtown or one of their Metrolink stations--neither of which is anywhere near where we live. And I wouldn't use Metrolink if they paid me to ride it. Guess who's never going to be asked for feedback ever again?


Now, Taco Bell is in the ol' crosshairs. Don't get me wrong--I love Taco Bell. But it's really, really frustrating when we order one black bean burrito, one Fritos burrito and three bean burritos and discover, after we get home, that none of the burritos are labeled. We had to cut them open to tell which was which.

Is it too much trouble to put a sticker on them or something?

This is the same Taco Bell I used to frequent when I was still allowed to go out alone. I'd get there early. It was supposed to open at 9:30. I'd call them. 

"What time do you open?"

"9:30."

"No, you don't. I'm outside your door and it's still locked."

"Hold on."

Then they changed their opening time to 10:00. Same thing.

"What time do you open?"

"10:00."

"No, you don't. I'm outside your door and it's still locked."

Pause. Then, in a muffled but frustrated voice:

"Didn't anybody unlock that @!$$#%* door?"

WHAT ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IS THIS?

I worked downtown for the eight years between college and selling my first novel. I knew my way around--I could find anything downtown.

In the years since, I've spent little time down there. St. Louis Center is gone and Union Station isn't what it used to be. There are restaurants everywhere, so why go all the way downtown to eat?


Back in the late '70s-early '80s, it was mostly businesses, hotels, retail and yes, restaurants. Today, some of those big office buildings are apartment buildings. Apartment buildings? People actually live there?

Collin and I had to go downtown yesterday. For all my complaining about Metro's new reloadable fare cards not being the convenience they're supposed to be, I was the first to receive their new card for seniors and disabled riders (half-price fares). 

Now to nag them into online reloading.

Anyway, Collin and I got downtown early--early in that we didn't have to be at Metro until 2:00, not early in that the Metro driver was ten minutes late and almost caused me to fall off the bus (she didn't pull all the way to the curb and didn't lower the bus for my walker).

Great start. Not.

We stopped for lunch at Planet Sub. The subs are good, the chili's good and the big cookies are very good.

At Metro, we were told the process would take about twenty minutes. True. Most of that was spent trying to take my photo for the back of the card (for a minute there, I thought I broke it).

Afterward, we still had an hour to kill before we could get the express bus home. The ride from our place to Metro had taken ninety minutes, and taking a walker aboard had not been easy, so we opted to take the commuter express that would only take twenty minutes.

We found a little hole-in-the-wall donut shop that has some huge, delicious donuts. We didn't find the CVS we were looking for, at least not where we were looking. And we found it surprisingly difficult to find a public restroom. I remember a time when they were everywhere downtown. What happened?

I'm now thinking of writing a guide for travelers--city guides to public restrooms, complete with ratings.