Laments About My Adventures

Speaking of My “Impending” Death

I'd Rather Not, Thank You

Speaking of my impending death

Remember the old Art Linkletter bit – “Kids Say the Darndest Things?” Well, recently a young friend of mine had the darndest conversation with me about – in his estimation – my seemingly impending death!

And it all came about because of that old adage, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Read more

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Emails. Evites. Emojis. Oh, My.

3 out of 4 Online Americans Emoji. Not Me

Emails. Evites. Emojis. Oh, My

Two decades ago, in a time way before emojis, my mother refused to get a CD player. After switching from 78-rpm to 33 1/3-rpm records; from cassette to 8-track tapes; from mono to stereophonic to quadrophonic sound, she was done. CDs were, in her words, “one change too much.”

I know how she feels. These days, as a middle-aged Luddite, I’m always one techno-trend behind, always late to the latest social media party.

I only signed on the Facebook last year, and now that I’m finally getting the hang of it, scandal has erupted and many of my friends are leaving it. I have a Twitter account, but I don’t give a tweet about it. Instagram’s a mystery and Pinterest just doesn’t hold my interest.

What can I say? All right, I’ll say it. I’m anti-emoji! Read more

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In Belgium, They Just Convicted a Man for Sexism

I Call That a Good Start

In Belgium, a man was convicted of sexism

In Belgium, they just convicted a man of sexism. It’s true.

For the first time since a law was passed four years ago, a criminal court there convicted a man of “sexism in the public space.” The Belgians were a little slow on implementation, but still the conviction is something.

The man was fined almost $4,000 for verbally abusing a female police officer who tried to question him after he was seen jaywalking.

Viewed through the lens of the #MeToo movement and through the soul of every woman who has suffered an unwelcome catcall and stare while walking down the street, this development is welcome indeed.

Yet, somehow this law makes me dream even bigger. I long to legislate boorish behavior across a wide spectrum of issues in all sorts of public spaces. Read more

If Mother Nature Calls, I’m Out

You Take the High Road, I'll Take a Taxi

If Mother Nature Calls, I'm Out

Some people like the outdoors. Some people like roughing it. Some people I ain’t. If Mother Nature calls, I’m out.

Born in New York City, my idea of roughing it is taking the subway instead of a cab. Brought up in Las Vegas, my idea of the outdoors is the time it takes to move from the air-conditioned house to the air-conditioned car. Yes, as the joke goes, roughing it means staying at a Holiday Inn.

Now Handsome Hubby (HH), a rugged, outdoorsy type, accepts these facts (some might say limitations) about me. Early in our dating days I had told him the harrowing tale of my one and only sojourn with Mom Nature. It was really more a word-to-the-wise there’s-a-moral-to this-tale than anything else.

Happily, HH was a good listener. He has never suggested we go camping in 30-plus years of marriage. Although when we married, he planned our honeymoon for Yosemite National Park.

“You’re taking our sister camping?” my brothers asked aghast. Read more

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Hunger Games, Restaurant Edition

It's My Dinner Out and I'll Cry If Want To

Hunger Games, Restaurant version

Eating out used to be special. It used to be fun. Now it’s noisy, crowded, pricy, and pretentious. It’s more hunger games, the restaurant edition, than fun and games.

Where to begin my list of dine out don’t likes? I know … at the front door. Read more

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The Great Couch Quest

Will We Find a Sofa or Sadness?

The Great Couch Quest

Some quest for El Dorado; some for the Fountain of Youth. Still others seek world peace or an end to poverty. Well, good for them.

Handsome Hubby and I have our own noble quest. We search for something of beauty; something that will bring joy to family and friends. We seek a couch, comfy and chic.

We have pursued our noble quest for ten months so far, and so far, we have met only hardship, dashed hopes, scorn, and failure.

Seemingly simple you might think to buy a living room sofa, one that’s soothing and sleek … and somewhat affordable. And also, ideally, delivered before the End of Days or, at least, before the next round of holidays and birthday celebrations. But simple it is not. Read more

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To Facebook Friend or Not to Friend?

Late to the Social Media Party

To Friend or Not to Friend

“This year, for the first time, more than half of the US population will use Facebook.”

So proclaimed a recent report, but it is, of course, already outdated. It was outdated, in fact, one minute after it was published, because at that very moment I signed onto Facebook for the first time.

I know. I was late to the social media party. I resisted for a long time. My generation was raised to be more private. Communications were personal, one-on-one. To me, Facebook seemed a return to the days of multi-user party telephone lines, when the operator—and anybody and their mother—could and would listen in.

For years, I prided myself on standing apart from Facebook nation. “It’s for the kids.” “I’m too busy.” I even resisted the beguiling thought of using it to “spy” on my children, and boy, was that tempting!

But now I have succumbed, succumbed in a big way. Although I must be honest. The reason, initially, wasn’t social, but Read more

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Fitness Lovers Bare All

Middle-aged Women Run ... for Cover

It’s not too late, fitness lovers. Still want to make good on that New Year’s resolution to get in shape in 2018, but hate the chic club scene, where all the cool girls and guys promenade, point, and flex their muscles and the latest fab workout clothes?

Well, for those of you wanting to shake up their exercise routine and scene, I’ve got a recommendation. Here’s the skinny … and yes, I do mean the skinny. There’s a gym offering workouts without clothes. Yes, disrobed, in the raw, bare-assed naked. Read more

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Bugs Bug Me in the Air … and in Print

New Year's Resolutions for my Beloved New York Times

Bugs Bug Me in the Air and in Print

I don’t mean to bug anyone, but some issues have been troubling me for a long time. So, in hopes of redress, I’m sending this letter to the new publisher of  The New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger.

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your ascension to the helm of the Gray Lady. What a terrific promotion, one that comes at such a critical time for The New York Times and our nation.

As a lifelong subscriber, I wish you the best of success. In addition, I would like to offer a few suggestions, call them New Year’s resolutions, you might consider implementing ASAP.

Before I begin, do you mind if I call the paper “The?”  I feel we should be on a first-name basis since I’ve been reading The since, well, since I was old enough to read. My family always subscribed to The even when we lived out West and had to have the paper mailed to us in the dark ages before regional printing presses and the Internet.

Turning first to the Tuesday Science Section: Let me preface my remarks by affirming: I believe in evolution. I believe in vaccinations. I believe climate change is real.

That said, I must speak out on behalf of a neglected group of readers who—each week—are cruelly assaulted by your Sci-editors. Read more

News, Gratitude, and Good Wishes

News, Gratitude and Good Wishes for a Happy New Year

Dear Middle-aged Muddlers,

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve got exciting news to share with you. Muddling through Middle Age has just been named one of the “Top 100 Humor Blogs and Websites on the Web.”

 

Thank you so very much for making this designation happen. Your chuckles, good cheer, and punctuation corrections make my Muddling labors so much fun.

Handsome Hubby and I wish you and your family health, happiness, and an abundance of laughter in 2018.

With appreciation and affection,
Karen