Monday, November 27, 2017

Allow Yourself To Rest

Being nice to others seems to come easier to most of us than being nice to ourselves. It almost seems like we are being selfish if we do something special for ourselves and share what we did with our friends and family. The truth is exactly the opposite. We can become 'tangry.' It is when being tired and angry at the same time happens. This can occur more often than not when we allow ourselves to be sleep deprived. I am using this word from an article that I read by Lisa Van Gemert, called Bringing Napping Back:  A Kindergarten Perspective.

With my background in education, I truly believe that everything we need to know we learn in kindergarten. At least the basics! The rules of life and getting along with others - emotional intelligence, really. This is where the naps come in. Yes, of course when we are infants, our parents put us down for naps throughout the day and slowly wean us from all but an afternoon nap when it is time for us to go off to kindergarten.

Here is where the tricky part comes in to play. We all have different body clocks, therefore the amount of sleep is a bit different for us all. There is a scientific study that gives us guidelines. Most adults need 8 - 10 hours of sleep in order to function on a high performance and productivity level. Children in kindergarten need 10 - 13 hours of sleep. However, legislators are trying more and more to exclude nap times from the classrooms (and I might also add recess times - a future blog?). 

Common sense would tell most people that pounding away at work, work, work without taking breaks is not the smart way to work. Of course, the old adage, that common sense is not very common comes to my mind. Children, as well as adults, first need to take heed and be sure to get enough sleep. This is most definitely the job of the caretakers at home. If this is not allowed in your school, then perhaps parents and teachers together could collaborate for the good of the cause.

We all have heard that there is not enough time in the day to get everything in that needs to be done, both in school and at our jobs. Over-working ourselves is not the answer. Nap times or rest times are a necessity. Recess or break times are just as much a necessity. For highly stressful jobs, mental health days are needed. 

I must admit that I can still be my own worst enemy when I take that afternoon nap. I can think of all the things that I should have done, could have done or that needed to get done and did not. Then, after closing my eyes, breathing slowly and remembering that the world did not come to an end because I did not work on a certain character in my book or the blog did not get published before noon. The house did not come crashing down because the dishwasher was not emptied, the laundry was not washed, dried, hung up or folded, or Christmas decorations did not get put out and about in the house. 

It is true that as we get older, we may notice that our need for rest becomes stronger in order to function at peak performance. I am able to read my body when I do forget and allow myself to be sleep deprived. I must pay closer attention to how I respond to others around me. They aren't responsible for my lack of sleep. Sometimes, it just helps to come out with the truth, so that they are aware of my needs.

Based on a survey from the Pew Research Center, a non partisan fact tank that informs the public about issues and trends shaping America, one third of U.S. adults nap on a typical day. It was also proven that a nap helped all test subjects to remember things better.

Doubting seriously, that all of corporate America is going to allow employees to take off an hour for a nap each day, there still are some basic things that we can do. If you have an hour lunch and are able to munch smaller meals, pre-lunch and post-lunch, then use your lunch time to go out and doze or close your eyes for a while in your car. (Maybe your place of employment has a 'break room' where this could be done?) Think outside the box. Research Google and how they actually have 'Nap Pods' at work.

"The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time but your energy," so states Michael Hyatt. He joins forces with many other famous, public figures such as Churchill, Edison, Rockefeller, LBJ, Reagan, Kennedy, daVinci, Dali, Clinton, Einstein, Thatcher and Eleanor Roosevelt, just to name a few.

Most of them had consistent guidelines, in that they took their nap basically at the same time each day, noting that it gave them their second wind, heightened their sensory perception, restored their alertness, prevented burnout and the medical profession added that it also reduced the risk of heart disease.

Have you shifted your thinking on nap-taking yet? I will end with another Michael Hyatt quote: "People who nap are not lazy. They might be some of the smartest and most productive people you know."

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving, I would like to still wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. After all, we really do celebrate from Thursday through the weekend, basically. We had a quiet non-traditional Thanksgiving on Thursday. We went to the movies for a matinee and then celebrated with a Filet Mignon and flatbread cheese fondue in the evening. Which may or maybe not (probably did) include a bottle of champagne. Delicious. It was the first Thanksgiving that we both sat down to watch the whole Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We decorated a bit and just enjoyed each other's company. 

Today, we will enjoy the company of our daughter and her family for a much more traditional Thanksgiving dinner and celebration. Steve also intends to get Davis over to the Doggie Park, so that he can celebrate as only a puppy can.

Here, I am going to list only a short list of things that I am grateful for:

  • My entire family, from my loving, thoughtful husband to all 4 of our beautiful children and their partners and our special 4 beautiful grandchildren
  • Our special little 63 pound furball
  • The special retirement years that the two of us have planned together
  • Time to have my dreams of writing fulfilled
  • The home that we have put together as a team to make it truly our home
  • Our extended family and friends
  • Positive thoughts and meditation
  • Manicures and Pedicures, Facials and Massages
  • Shanon, our hairdresser
  • Chico's

Just 10  - Hey! What can I say? My list could go to over 100 and I want to enjoy Thanksgiving, just like all of you.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

And the World Goes On

Once upon a time I worked in a school setting. As a child, I went to school and really did not know anything else would possibly be going on other than my world that I was a part of. Staying with that naivete, I decided to go into the field of education. 

Really, it wasn't until I met a very special person who invited me out for lunch on days that I had off and he had to work. The colossal difference was that he was actually allowed to leave the premises, not sign in nor out to go to lunch and could take more than 30 minutes. In fact, he could take time for lunch and then sometimes, we would run into a local store to pick up an item that we needed. Imagine?! Complete an errand in the middle of the day? This blew my mind. It was not the way that my life worked.

Now, I do not want it to sound as if 'they' NEVER let us leave our place of employment. There were in-service days that we were allowed to go out to lunch because there were no students in the building. We were given an hour. Logistics of letting anywhere from 100 - 500 employees out for lunch, giving them one hour to eat and limited restaurants nearby, what are the chances of being back in your seat within the one hour time limit. Sometimes, there was a verbal backlash for slipping in late, or at the very least a raised eyebrow and a disapproving glare.

Interesting, in that I finally learned to try to go to the restaurants that the leaders of the workshops went to so that we would get back at the same time. Just a little trick that usually worked, as long as they went out to eat. Sometimes, they were so dedicated that they packed their lunch and went over their afternoon notes before we returned. (This was not very often, as I believe that they enjoyed getting out almost as much as we did.)

 When the department that was putting on the workshop had the money in their budget, they would have lunch catered so that they avoided the groups coming back in late. I also have to laugh at the 'goody-two-shoes' out there that went to a drive-thru restaurant and brought back their lunch to the workshop to eat. What fun is that? Definitely, I did not fall in that category. Give me the opportunity to escape into the free world for an hour? I am out of there before you can say Jack Robinson.

Since retirement, my husband and I are discovering that we can go out to eat a lunch together and enjoy a (gasp) beer or wine if we desire. Just the other day we were at a Scottish pub. We ordered Fish and Chips and had a pint of Scottish ale (in the middle of the day)! Freedom! Speaking of freedom, I then must share with you that we checked out what matinees we could go see, right then, in the middle of the afternoon. We discovered there were others in the theater and they were not all retirees. I did not interview them to see what kind of work they did. Perhaps they worked nights, or weekends so their days off were during the week.Surely they worked or else won the jackpot because now-a-days going to the movies is not cheap, even a matinee.

My point being is that there is a world out there that keeps going. People are in stores. We have discovered that the stores are so less crowded during the week. We never, ever have to shop on the weekends when there are massive crowds out there. No longer must we wait in long lines. 

Doctor appointments are so easy to make when they don't have to be the first of the day or at the end of the day. We are free to hit the middle of the day. WOW! Same thing with our hairdresser. There is a whole new world out there and we have the power to schedule events in to our plans, not based on any other person's time frame.

For children, they are best kept in the school building getting an education so that they can choose what career they want to work on in their future. All I want to add is that if you do believe your calling is in the field of education, be prepared to give up your freedom of leaving the building during working hours. I suppose there are other jobs that have this mandate, just be aware and prepared. 

There is no such thing as vacation days for a teacher. Everyone knows that they get three months off each June, July and August. The general public does not realize that during June and July there are workshops to attend. School begins for teachers the first week of August where I live, with students arriving the second week. Do the math. Three months? I think not. If a teacher wants to go off-season to the beach or for an overseas trip to see family, then they must use up personal days (2 a year) or lie and use sick days. 

In all fairness, teaching can be so very rewarding, as long as you go into it with full awareness of what you will be facing. I would never discourage anyone from going in the field of education. What I would suggest is to weigh the pros and cons by interviewing others who are in the field (hopefully those who seem to be successful and enjoy their jobs) so that you can determine if it is for you. It just may be the "World For You."

Friday, November 17, 2017

Irrational Fears?

There are many of us who have irrational fears. Just so that you know, it took all I had within me to post these 5 pictures of probably my top five irrational fears. And, these are just pictures. It truly makes me cringe. 

Let me begin by sharing my experiences with these 5 scary critters. Let's just start with the snake. Really, lucky for me at this point, I have not had a real live, totally me alone experience with one or more snakes. However, when moving day came, I was out on the patio with the moving company workers when one of them picked up a large potted plant and a snake came out. He screamed so loudly, that it caused me to scream and all I saw was the end of the snake slithering off away from us. Obviously, this young man was not fond of snakes any more than I was. This was my one and only encounter, probably because I do not tend to put my hands or feet in places where snakes or who knows what could be lurking. (Including the pool filters at clean up time.)

Next, I will move on to cockroaches. As an adult, at one point, I lived in the North as a transplant Southerner. All of my time in the South, I had not encountered roaches in our home or inside buildings. The school that I was working at had these horrible things in a supply closet. When the door was opened they scurried up the walls and across the floor. Never again did I go in the supply closet. I either requested something that I needed or I just went out to buy it myself. Have you ever stepped on one? No way! The custodian went in the closet when she heard my scream and started stomping on them. Oh my! That crunching sound did me in as badly as actually seeing them alive. Also, I was informed that these were not cockroaches, but water bugs. Baloney! Water bugs look somewhat like cockroaches but live in water. There was NO water in that supply closet.

It seems the two places that I have observed roaches the most were in two schools that I have worked, one in the North and one in the South. I quickly learned that in my office in the South, many times no one would be around so I kept a can of Aqua Net Hair Spray in my drawer. When I saw one, I sprayed it until it was in a pool of hard to hold hairspray.  It froze him up. Then I would call the custodian to sweep him away. We were not to have insecticides in the building. This worked so much better in my opinion because not only did it kill the 6 legged nasty things, the room smelled pretty, as well.

Spiders! What can I say? We have a company that comes out to spray for termites and anything else. The technician comes in and sprays the baseboards and for no extra charge, if I see any spiders before his next quarterly visit, all I have to do is call. Believe me, I do. This man is a saint. Why? Because, he never makes fun of my fear of these things. One morning, I woke up to a spider bite on my forehead. It looked horrible and actually, if you look hard enough, you can still see the remains. Concealer works well now. For about three months, nothing concealed it. I sprayed in our bedroom every single night. I had sticky traps all throughout our bedroom. Yes, they would get stuck on the traps. Some little ones, but mostly fairly large wood spiders. So gross!

In our home in Pennsylvania, we had a basement. Almost all homes up there have basements. One time there was a problem with mice getting in the basement. My husband at that time set traps and took care of it. It really was yucky to think about mice in our house, but I consoled myself with the fact that I did not go in the basement. It was a scary place to me anyway. 

Then one morning, I woke up and was making the bed when what did I discover? Along the nightstands on both sides of the bed? Mouse droppings. This was two floors up from the basement. Those horrible creatures were now in my living space. That was the final straw. This is when I knew that I was irrational, and I would do it again. I showed my former husband and he said that he would take care of it with traps. Oh no, no, no! I was not sleeping next to traps going off in the night, much less putting my head down on a pillow where one could run over my pillow and me where I was sleeping. I did what any SANE person would do. I packed my bag and moved into the Holiday Inn until it was proven that the mice had been taken care of, never to return. One child wanted to come with me and one wanted to stay with his Dad. There was no evidence of mice in their rooms, so I agreed to this. It took one full week! I don't know what was done exactly, all I know and all I cared about was the fact that they were now gone and did not seem to be returning. I felt safe.

Now for the big story. It was not until the other day when a friend reminded me of this story. On Facebook, a music teacher posted that a soprano in a New York opera hit a high note that no one had ever hit before. My good friend, replied that she begged to differ because she remembered the day that I had hit that note when a rat from the pipes in the open ceilings above me (open due to remodeling of the school) fell down at my feet, broke its back and was just laying dead two feet from me. 

In record time, I let out a scream that was heard throughout the entire school. I watched as teachers up and down the hallways were poking their heads out of their classroom doors to see what was that sound. I had a walkie-talkie radio and was trying to call the custodian, the office, just anyone at all, however, I was so terrified that nothing I said made any sense at all. In fact, the office could not imagine who got hold of the radio and was making this nonsense talk on it. The front secretary made her way running down the hallway to me and got me in my office and seated. 

Actually, she called the school nurse to come over to help get me calm. To say that I was a basket case would be an understatement. To this day, I remember my neck being massaged, being told to 
breathe in/out slowly. They called the other administrator, who was out of the building at a meeting and his suggestion was to just send me home for the rest of the day. I will say that he shared with me that after having the conversation with the secretary and nurse and realizing that I was going to be okay  -  he began laughing out loud. This of course, made the whole room full of administrators ask what was going on and so the story goes. 

There is karma and I do so strongly believe what goes around will come around. I had no idea that this very large man was terrified of mice. I don't have a problem with anyone being terrified of mice. However, when he was in his office a few months later after my rat incident, I walked in to watch him literally jump straight up in the air to land on his desk to avoid having this one mouse run over his feet. I so wish that I had a camera, but alas, I did not. All I could do was share this story with others, just as he had shared my story. Fair play!

Now, with all of the above irrational fears shared with you, my readers...I will share one more little secret. My novel that I am working on has a few great stories of three women, of three generations, dealing with mice in their new home. Whether or not if you are against or for guns, once you read a part of my book, you will see that there are some people who should not ever be allowed a gun, my dear, wonderful, irrational Mother would be one of them. 

My irrational trait on some things came through the DNA. Luckily, I believe that the symptoms did calm down some because never, ever have I had someone take the phone from my hands to stop me from calling 911 about a mouse in the house. Nor have I held a gun to try to shoot one inside the house. As if she had the shooting ability to hit something that small, even if her hands were not trembling? 

Let's just all be aware that many of us have fears about one thing or another. It has been said that there are two kinds of fears; rational and irrational - or in simple terms, fears that make sense and fears that don't. This definition was taken partly from one of the Lemony Snicket series.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Things I Learned From My Grandparents

Grandparents are very special in a child's life. Every moment of time that one can spend with them becomes even more special. I was very lucky to have one of my Grandmothers through some of my adult years, and even become a very active Great-Grandmother to my son and daughter.

Her husband, my Grandfather, did not get that special time and bonding with my two children before he passed away. I will say this: he was determined to stay on this Earth until my son was born and he was able to see and hold him before he passed. I knew that as soon as it was safe for me to fly with a very young toddler daughter and a new baby son, that we must get on that plane bound for Memphis. That picture of him holding my son is priceless. It was only a couple of months later that we returned for his Memorial service.

My relationship with my Grandparents was very special, indeed. My brother and I grew up with our Mom in my Grandparent's home. As far as I knew, as a child, this was the way it was supposed to be. It surely worked out for us. We always had a loving adult at home with us, while growing up. The three of them worked their schedules out to be sure of that.

Let me start with the fact that yes, it seemed to be a true saying that characteristics/traits seem to skip a generation. I believe that some of it is the fact that our Grandparents are much more tolerant and patient than our parents. Just my take on my own situation. 

My Grandmother was the kindest and most patient person that I have ever known. She was one of the best cooks that I have been around. I watched and learned. When I was old enough, she gave me the little jobs to do, like stirring or reading the directions to her. This was funny in one way, in that my Grandmother never went by directions or measurements. If I asked her how do you make cornbread, she would say that she takes a bit of this and a handful of that, stirs it up, checks to see if it needs another egg or a drip or two of milk or water...
How did she do that?

Before she became too ill to cook any more, I sat with her when she was cooking and wrote some of my guesses of how much of each ingredient that she used while cooking some of my favorite meals. When I was living one thousand miles away and in charge of making a Thanksgiving dinner for 13 family members I pleaded with her to write out her directions of what she did to prepare for such a possible catastrophe. 

How in the world did she magically have all of the food ready to serve at the right time? I still have the autumn leaf stationery that she used to write out specifically what she prepared and did the night before, such as make the cornbread, tear up the bread and slice the onions and celery for it sit overnight with sage and pepper in a big covered dish. Somehow, with all of my years of watching her do this, as well as helping her, and having her write out in her own words of adding a bit of this and a handful of that I pulled it off. Really, much to many of my former in-laws surprise. (and even my own)

Cooking is not the only thing that I learned from my Grandmother. She taught me the importance of always doing, acting, and looking my best. How to shop for upcoming events at all different stores. Sometimes the upscale stores and yes, even the bargain basement stores. There was a time and place for everything.

I watched her interactions with others and how she treated other people with her kindness and generosity. She was the person that attracted other people to her by her warmth and charm. I hope that I learned and have become even half of what she always was to others.

Decorating was another specialty of hers that I watched and learned. None of these things were school learned  -  they were from her own good taste and abilities and willingness to try. There was one thing that she tried to share with me that just did not take. She, nor my Home Economics teacher, could do one thing to help me in sewing. This was sewing by hand with a needle and thread or with a machine. The only thing that I was good for was to thread the needle for her. No problem there. After that, sewing , basting by hand or using a machine was pathetic by the time I finished. If you looked at a row of buttons on a shirt, you would be able to spot the one that had come off and was sewn back on by me. TRUE!

My Mom was just not interested in any of these skills. Maybe that is not totally the truth. She was deep in study with going back to college and building a career so that she would be able to become financially stable to take care of two children. 

As two adults, my Mom and I were like two different peas from basically the same pod. She decided one year that she was going to cook the Thanksgiving meal. I saw disaster red SOS flags going up, especially when she washed the turkey and I caught out of the side of my eye that she had placed the whole turkey in the roasting pan without taking out the neck bone, liver, heart, and any of the other lovely items stuffed in the back end of the turkey. When I pointed this out to her, all I got was a great big, "Ewwwww! You mean that I must put my hand in there?" From that point on, I made the dinner. She wasn't even sure if she ever wanted to eat turkey again and was wondering, I am sure, if there were other foods that had "secrets" going on that she should or should not know about. In all fairness, she could scramble up some mean eggs and grill some fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches. 

My Grandmother had the softest skin ever, even as she aged. She talked to me about the importance of a good moisturizer in order to stay young looking. Of course, it did not hurt that she never gave out her real age, not even to my Grandfather. I caught on to that trick very easily. I even confuse myself on what exactly is my real age? My make up counter is full of all different kinds of moisturizers which I use generously.

When I had grandchildren of my own, and even with my own two children, I had a skill that I learned from my Grandmother; telling a story at bedtime or making up words to a lullaby while rocking an infant to sleep. Usually it mesmerized them. I loved having a book read to me, however, there was something so powerful to be able to close my eyes, hear my Grandmother's soft voice telling me a story. It could be a made up story or Goldilocks and the Three Bears told over and over again. 

On the other hand, there was my Grandfather. Most definitely, in dealing with his grandchildren, he had such a gentle way of teaching us. Being a Supervisor at a large Industrial plant, this was not his way at work to handle certain workers. I had witnessed that once or twice when in the car with him when he had to stop by to handle a work problem. 

Definitely, at home, teaching his skills was gender based. Not that he meant for it to be, it was just that I had not one single interest of learning how to make a motor run or what all of his amazing tools would do. My brother did and he learned well from a master of all trades. 

The one thing that I learned early is to not ever ask for too much because if I had asked for the Moon, my Grandfather would have found a way to get it for me in his own way. Some kids on my block had their store bought skateboards or pair of stilts. Not me! I had handcrafted toys. They meant so much to me. My only wish would be that I still had them. I have no idea what happened to them. I am sure that they were tossed as as outgrew them. What a pity!

Having tea parties with my Grandmother gave me my creativity in make-believe. After all, I had make-believe friends when I was little and now, as a writer, I still have make-believe friends. I just hope that my Grandchildren will remember something special that this Grandmother taught to them. 

My husband has a huge love of books, jokes and music. Speaking for him, I know that this is something that he would love to be passed on to all of our grandchildren and one way that he would love to be remembered for teaching.

We all have our special talents to share. Grandchildren are there to share these talents with so that they will grow up and think back on their time with us.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Full Moons and Such

After years of working with children in a school setting, I have always been under the belief that the whole school building went a bit squirrely when there was a full moon. Ask any teacher and I would be willing to bet 99% would agree. The same thing goes for police officers and workers in emergency rooms of hospitals.

The truth is, this simply can't be proven. Scientists have tried in many ways to prove or disprove this theory. The fact is that we all are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy in buying into this notion. The one common denominator is that humans do, as a whole, get a few minutes less sleep on full moon nights. Why? Perhaps because it is brighter or just the fact that we are aware of it. 

It may be easier to understand where scientists are coming from when they want to sweep this unproven fact under the rug if we look at some other superstitions that are out there:

  • you landed the job that you wanted because you wore your lucky shoes (do you think maybe it was not the shoes but your confidence and knowledge that helped you land the job?) 
  • you had a black cat walk in front of you and later that day you were involved in an accident (do you think that maybe you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe you or the other person were not paying close attention instead of the cat causing the accident?)
  • you were walking down the sidewalk and found yourself having to walk under a ladder to get by only to discover later that you had a ticket on your car (do you believe that the police officer watched who walked under the ladder and ran off to issue a ticket on that owner's car or maybe you did park illegally?)
Actually, we all need to bust out of our thought processing of good luck vs bad luck. There are way too many variables that are mixed in the pot of luck.
Because one thing happened to us when there was a full moon, a black cat or a ladder, it is now in our sub-conscious that this means bad luck. It is our perception, which becomes our reality.

The full moon was popularized by the myth of the werewolf. The word lunatic, according to scientists has nothing to do with the lunar effect. There is no proven correlation between human behavior and the full moon, only miniscule data at best. Even so, there are some statistics that I found from the scientist, Dr. Karl, stating that 40% of the general public and 80% of health professionals/teachers/ believe the full moon does indeed have an effect on human behavior.

When I was still working in a school, I did my own little study. I must say that on full moon days, for the most part, I had a few more discipline issues to deal with in my office. However, with the help of technology, I was able to easily graph the number of discipline issues on any given day and there were days that were higher than full moon days and there were sometimes full moon days that were much lower than other days. Oh comes back to those variables...
  • Was it full moon on Halloween?
  • Are the children on a sugar high?
  • Did we as the staff get enough sleep?
  • Are our tolerance levels lowered because we are aware there is a full moon?
...and the list goes on. Perhaps we should consider that a full moon is both illusive and mysterious, who doesn't like a little mystery in life?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time ended this past weekend. Time to fall back, as the saying goes. On one hand, doesn't it sound good? Get an extra hour of sleep. Oh no! It does not work quite that easily. There are a number of factors to work into this event.

Let me begin with the fact that this concept actually was a proposal about a change in sleep schedules made by Ben Franklin back in the 1700's, when he wrote an essay titled, "An Economical Project" based on his new invention. It was not until the 1800's that William Willett from London wrote a paper called, "Waste of Daylight"  that the thought of changing times during the summer time had been considered. 

Here in the United States, it was not until 1942 that the hour change took place in each time zone, which was then called 'War Time.' I really did not realize that it has been declared, then repealed, then organized yet again. Apparently, any state that has two time zones within the state may opt out of DST. There has been talk of other states wanting to do the same in recent times.

Let's examine some facts. The so-called main reason for DST was to make better use of daylight and to be more energy efficient. My argument is whether it is darker in the mornings or the evenings, electricity is going to be used, one way or another. Energy conservation is merely a rationalization. According to the U.S Department of Transportation, only 1% each day of energy is saved. By the way, this study was done back in 1975. (long before energy efficient appliances had been invented) Also, consider that most people arise before the sun rises, therefore using energy to get ready for their day. One way or another, day or night, energy is going to be consumed.

Another interesting fact is that crime was down 13% during DST because of it remaining daylight longer. Again, this study was done a number of years ago, and with the way crimes are committed more and more in broad daylight, not sure if this would hold true today?

Once the dust is settled on all of the studies, let's just forget about those. Let's focus on what it does to us as human beings living through these time changes of Spring Ahead and Fall Back. Apparently, according to scientists in lab studies, it takes our body clocks up to 10 weeks to recover from the time change. When we lose that extra daylight in the evening, more people suffer from a depression due to lack of light. Tiredness sets in from the playing around with the time. This truly affects pets and children. They can't tell time and their bodies still wake and sleep at the time they were accustomed to before the magic hour of switching the times.

There are many places where children still walk to school, only once the Fall Back takes place, they are walking to school in the dark or standing at the bus stops in the total darkness. Is this safe? (Of course, my other theory is that it is not a good idea for school to start at 7:00 A.M. and buses to pick up children at 5:45, as they do in my neighborhood.)  That is insane!

Every year there seems to be more and more talk of getting rid of these time changes. Just bring the petition to me and I will gladly sign it. Better yet? I will research how to get a petition started to have a vote on doing away with this archaic law. Do I hear an, "AMEN?"

Friday, November 3, 2017

Me, Myself, and I

The exact date that my "change in how I looked at going to large crowd events " happened, I could not tell you. I used to adore big crowds, in fact, the more, the merrier. As I have aged, perhaps, I have become less tolerant of being seated elbow to elbow with total strangers. Then add in their talking during the events and using their cell phones? It is just too much for me to deal with and enjoy the movie or concert anymore. 

Luckily, for my husband and I, we have discovered a wonderful movie theater that shows most of the movies that we wish to see on the big screen.It is small and intimate with seating that is not on top of one another. There are very wide arm rests between the seats, and only 6 seats in a row for the most part. Positively, there is no way someone behind you can place their feet on the back of your chair to annoy you, unless perhaps they are NBA professionals that are 7 ft. tall. 

We have seen most of our movies at this movie studio and so far the other viewers are all courteous. Most every other place has not been like this. Talking and texting for the most part, or taking over the arm rests, leg space or kicking the back of my chair is my usual complaint. Only once, did we witness a fight break out with security being called in to haul the miscreants away. Some of the other patrons were yelling out to urge the fighters to continue on and I can tell you that it was quite scary. Needless to say, this venue is no longer in operation. 

Let's move on to another issue for me,which is attending concerts with very small seats and leg space. It seems to never fail that one of us gets a seat beside a very large person, who not only takes up their space but part of ours also. Example: last night a very polite man was seated to my right. He could have been an NFL professional based on his size. I must say that he was very nice and continued to apologize for taking up so much room. He had to stand up in order for others to pass to gain access to their seats, even though our row was one with wider leg space. 

There are three other venues in our city that we go to for plays and concerts and the two of us know which seating is best suited for leg space. Most
large cities have  a sports arena that doubles for a performance space for top selling artists. When this happens you have a few choices:  
1. Skip it and enjoy the cd/dvd in your own home.
2. Have priority seating before the major public so that you can have a good seat, albeit on top of each other along with everyone standing and waving arms while singing along.
3. Get the nosebleed section and take a pair of binoculars.

 My husband and I have been lucky enough to see most all of the great performers that we have wanted to see. The ones that come along now tend to play in smaller venues where we know the rows or box seats to get. (That still doesn't always take care of the person sitting beside you, yet it is better than not seeing artists that we want to see and hear.)

The truth of the matter is (and this is a bit hard for me to actually admit) that some of the performers that we love to go and see are as unknown to the Gen X, Gen Y and millennials as their favorite performers are to us, for the most part. That (to quote Bruce Hornsby) is just the way it is. I find it hard to explain who Michael McDonald  or Crosby, Stills and Nash is to some of the younger generation. Really? Just as I am sure that they are amazed that I have never heard of some of their number one artists.

The one outstanding piece of news that I have noticed is that when it is truly good music it transcends through generations. Once introduced to a good sound, you are sold on it.