Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So, the title is O.F.T.. Want to know what that stands for? Old Farts Travel...

You can sit there and laugh and your younger self can think, "What the Hell is she talking about?" Guaranteed though, some of the "more mature" of the readers will understand and take pity.

Let me enlighten you to the "fun" of old farts travel. You decide you're going somewhere, anywhere, it doesn't make much difference if it's far away or a day trip, the drill is pretty much the same.

You go to bed the night before trying to remember all the stuff you must take for the upcoming trip. If it's a day trip it's not as bad, but gees, if it's a trip that you'll need a suitcase, God help you...

Recently Larry and I went on a Fossil Bus tour (read below if you don't know what that is). We were really in trouble the very first moment of the day we were going on the %^&$ bus. Our bus left the meeting site at 5:30 am. The last time we left that early for something we didn't go to bed the night before knowing full well if we did it wouldn't be a pretty sight for anyone who saw us that early in the morning. We should have remembered that.

Larry has a routine in the morning that CAN NOT BE MODIFIED or else life as we know it will cease to exist. I hear him get up and I pull the covers over my head. I know better than to rise at the same time as he. It's either get up earlier than him, or wait until the coast is clear to get up after him. There is no exception...usually.

His day starts as follows: You hear him swing his legs off the bed with a resounding "THUD!!". Then the expletives start..."Holy #$%^, jesum-h-christo, life sucks, omigod, %^&$#, whatthehell....oh gees, freakin'foot^&%$%, (now mind you this is all before he stands up). Then you hear the movement to the bathroom (it's not's kind of a shuffle with a bunch of expletives thrown in for good measure). The bathroom must have some kind of hidden agenda because the room gets a slap as he walks through the door. I'm still under cover at this point so I'm not sure what's going on, and I'll be damned sure I'm not getting out of my blanket fort to check it out....I know when I'm safe.

After a couple of minutes, I hear the toilet flush (a good sign... there is life and the toilet hasn't been demolished in the morning "hate") then the "clomp, clomp. clomp" sound of heavy footfall down the hallway. Our hallway is short, but honest to God you'd think it was the length of the corridors on the way to "old Sparky" to be electrocuted.

When he gets into the kitchen, he hits the button on the coffee pot...(thank all that's holy for that invention). He ambles into the living room where he drops into his chair...The TV goes on and he waits with half opened eyes until the coffee pot extends its welcomed hand toward him in the form of coffee scent...

OK you have the idea. Now, put all that in your mind and imagine what it's like when you have to be somewhere early in the morning. Do you think the sight is pretty? Do you think it's easy to get out the door in time?

I usually have everything I need in a pile on the table. I take time a day or so before to assemble the necessary items I'll need. No sweat. Larry however, has a different approach. He waits until the last minute to decide he wants something to wear that was stored in the cellar last fall... You get the idea. He has gotten better as he's aged, but there's still something that won't be where he wants it, when he wants it and it will be the worst thing that's ever happened to anyone ever, ever, ever. I don't buy into that, by the way. I go on my merry way getting myself ready.

In the past we could grab stuff, put it into a back pack and be on our way. We had sports cars so we couldn't take much stuff anyway, but we didn't need much. However, times have changed. When we go any place these days we're looking at plastic bags filled with patent meds, lots of patent meds. In the bag (which we have one always at the ready now-you know "grab-n- go") we have: aspirin, ibuprofen, salon pas (stick on liniment pads), tums, q-tips, Maalox, moleskin patches, nail file, tiny scissors, a pillbox (filled with enough meds we can sell on the street for big bucks if we find we need money???why???), eye drops, tucks pads (if you don't know what they're for you're too young to be reading this) and an assortment of other "necessities".

With the bag and at least one change of clothes we're ready, almost, to go. Then there's the I need a jacket? do I need a sweatshirt? What if I spill something on myself, I may need a different shirt, oh gee, if I bring a different shirt, I'll need other pants, should I bring another pair of undies? The list goes on...

When you think everything is correct, you're ready to leave, after you go to the bathroom again... and that dear friends is a shortened version of Old Farts Travel...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm walking on Egg Shells

Have you ever had days when you knew you should have stayed in bed, but were too stupid to listen to yourself? I don't know why I'm asking that, because I know you have had days like the ones I've had lately.

Through no fault of my own, and that's not the usual case, I seem to be in some weird dimension that revels in making my life a living Hell. Since the past weekend I have had some of the strangest things happen to me and all I'm doing is breathing. Honest, all I've done is breathe. I haven't tried to alienate folks, but I have. I haven't tried to hurt myself, physically, but I have. I haven't tried to make people uncomfortable in my presence, but apparently my being alive is enough to put some ill at ease.

Now, maybe some folks would think this weird ability I seem to have attained is a positive asset. Maybe some would think I have control over others just because I'm breathing, but I have to tell you, I'm not crazy about this feeling as though I'm walking on egg shells. For the next few days I'm planning on staying either in my house, or when I do go out, I'm going to keep my mouth shut. Keeping my mouth shut is going to be rough, but I must do it, either that or find a nunnery somewhere I can stay for a while.

I have to go to a funeral tomorrow. A friend passed away unexpectedly, and I sort of wonder if this may be the reason for the strange events of the past few days. I'm not really into the "woo-woo" stuff but I'm beginning to wonder about some of it.

Oh well, one day at a time, I guess.......

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fossil Buses

If you Goggle "Fossil Bus" I think you get some buses doing archaeological research and some video tape of kids on a school bus, although I don't get that one...

The Fossil Buses I'm talking about are neither of those. No, I'm talking about the buses filled with Senior Citizens going on "adventures" to places they don't want to drive to, or can't go on their own, or don't want to go on their own. There's a definite place for these buses, but I have to tell you, it's a mind blower the first time you go on one.

We went down to NY city on one....I saw the trip advertised in the paper. It was inexpensive, going to a place we wanted to go to, and I knew some of the folks on the bus.

The bus trip was organized by a Senior Citizen group and it was...a bit different. I am a Senior Citizen. I know I'm old. I know I don't do things the way I did them in the past, but I don't think I'm quite old enough for Fossil Buses, yet.

I enjoyed the trip. We had a good time but, and you knew there had to be a but, I have a difficult time going on a bus with few folks I know, listening to horror medical stories about colons, gall bladders, lower intestines, stomach, pancreas, prostate, breasts and vaginal discharges. All spoken about with laughter and jokes...

OK, admittedly, these topics were common ground, but honest to God I thought I'd gone through to another dimension and came out in "Hospital-land". You'd think conversations about poop would be discussed quietly, if at all, but not this bunch. There was a discussion on one side of the bus about the best anti-diarrhea meds. On the other side the discussion was about constipation and how eating prunes wasn't the best method to alleviate the problem these days. At the same time I heard all about someones colonoscopy and the polyps that showed up. The answering comment included a dissertation about colostomy bags and where you could get the supplies almost wholesale (I'm shelving that for future reference).

When it wasn't about poop, and all it's facets, the topic morphed into the surgeries they have had, their spouses have had, they were going to have or someone else's surgery. Then it went to the Doctors they had. Who the Docs were. What their specialty was and how many divorces the Docs racked up...

I learned more on that bus trip about my neighbors colons and breasts than I really needed to know. The Docs, well I would've liked to hear more about the divorces and the rest of the gossip I couldn't hear. Next time I'm going to bring one of those ear phone things that make the conversations around you easier to hear... I think I missed some really good tidbits of info...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Why write?

Look, I will admit I like to gamble. I like the adrenaline rush of a winning hand or the sight of the numbers rolling the way I want and I'll admit it, I like the sound of the one armed bandits as they spin. I don't go into a casino with much money, only the amount I'm willing to lose that day.

The problem is, a casino of sorts opened less than 2 miles from my house. Knowing how I like the adrenaline and the sounds, I stayed away at first. Slowly I learned more about the place, so I decided to check it out.

It's one of those normal looking casino places, all glittery, noisy, people bustling around, officials and floor personnel walking the gauntlet of aisles searching for people either in distress or people getting ready to take a sledge hammer to the machines. It wasn't different from any other gambling establishment I've been to.

I've been going on and off since the place opened. I don't go everyday, but I go at least a couple times a month. The most I've ever brought in with me is $50.00, that's big spending to me. I play certain games that make me laugh or I try to figure out how they work. After that I leave.

Every month I get a flyer from the casino. It's as if there's some subliminal message on the page trying to entice me to go more often. Usually the flyer gives me some incentive to go into the place to get free "something". I don't pay for food there since they give me free points if I bring the coupons in that are on the flyer.

I've written before about the people I see in the Casino. The majority are o-l-d. I'll bet the average age in the "neighborhood" casino is 75. Sure, there are others who are younger, but honest most are old, in wheel chairs, those blasted scooters, walkers, with oxygen, canes, braces, you name it.

I have no problem with older folks, Hell, I'm one of them myself, but some of them shouldn't be in there with all those people.... Their sneezing, coughing, choking, grunting as they sit with the glazed over look in their eyes, hitting buttons on a damned machine.

My friends are concerned that I have a "gambling problem". Maybe I do, but I think, like the older folks I see, it's a "boredom" problem. Most of the folks I see in the casino are passing time. That's all. I know all of them want to win that "Big Jackpot in the Sky", but the reality is, if they won it, they'd be back in the casino as soon as they could to hit the buttons on the machine again.

It's time to think about this boredom thing. I need to analyze it...but I'll wait until I get back from the casino........