Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My First Date ? -Ugh, Yes, I Remember It Well......

The wonderful, brilliant guy named  Joe at "Cranky Old Man"  has posted a lovely blog describing his first date and it conjured up memories of my own first date call them bittersweet  would be a lie....there was nothing sweet about them and unfortunately I recall it all too vividly.  On the other hand, it wasn't really was just not what you would call a success.  You will see why below as I expound on the subject.   By the way, I offer up my sincere thanks to Joe for inspiring me to emerge from my fetal position under the blankets and take to blogging again.

Well, first, I think I must have been about 10 or 11 years old which is pretty young to begin dating I admit.  And it is not that I was some hot to trot 11 year old who had boys lining up at the door. Quite the opposite, in fact.  I was fat, unlovely, shy to a ridiculous degree.  Not date material at all.  When confronted, one on one, with a boy, my mind would go blank, my tongue would freeze to the roof of my mouth and my muscles, too, would cease to function.  You could not differentiate me from a statue or a department store dummy except that my expression would not be as lively as either of those objects......think wide staring panic stricken eyes punctuating a complete expressionless face sort of like a snowman with coal eyes and no mouth or nose applied yet.  The only time this condition did not apply would be when I was engaging in some kind of sports activity and then I would perform like a nearly normal person.  Consequently, it came to pass that one day while roller skating with Arthur Silver, a boy who lived around the corner on Carpenter Street, I happened to mention that on Saturdays I generally went to a Roller Rink in Upper Darby, whereupon he suggested that he might like to join me at this activity on the next Saturday.....would that be OK.  (uttered very offhand and casual like because none of us had acquired any social skills as yet.)  I agreed, equally casually, and we made a pact to carry out this racy plan ......well I like to think of it as a date.  Wow!  The week passed in a blur and I alternated between exhilaration and terror, both states causing me to wet my bloomers frequently and then, before I was quite ready, it was Saturday.

Since discussing the details had been beyond either of our abilities, I assumed that Arthur would show up at my door around noon and we would then take the street car and the subway and arrive at the rink at about 12:30 or 1.  Hours were from noon to 4 or 5 as I recall.  Noon came and went.  So did 1 o'clock.  Oy!  I was being stood up.  Overwhelming waves of both indignation and relief swept over me.  I stopped wetting my bloomers. I was pondering whether to go off on my own when suddenly, from around the corner a red-faced, perspiring Arthur came trotting and arrived, gaspingon my doorstep.  It seems he had failed to tell me that he had a violin lesson every Saturday and could not be available before 2 at the earliest.  By this time it was after 2 but there were still a few hours left and I decided I would forgive him and we would make the trip.  Not very much meaningful conversation ensued because He was ashamed and too shy to talk much and I was both indignant and terrified and too shy to talk much, but I figured that when we got to the rink and started skating, what with the blaring organ music and the whirring of wheels on the beautiful hardwood floor not much conversation would be required.

Finally, we arrived, gasping and perspiring, and were greeted by the keeper of the door with a horrible pronouncement.  Admission denied!  Dress code was skirts for females (that was OK......slacks had not yet been invented) and jackets and ties for males.  Jackets?  Ties??  What was this, a Prom?  I doubt if Arthur owned either because he hadn't even had his Bar Mitzvah yet.  The rules were sure different back then, weren't they?  To say we were devastated would be the understatement of the year.  We slunk away like two petty criminals and rode home in silence......parted with nothing more than a feeble wave of the hand and, sadly,  never tried that again. 

I wish I could say that my next real date came out better, but if anything, it was worse.  The guy I used to beat regularly at Ping Pong asked me to a party  later the same year, and in a moment of madness I accepted.  If there were anyone in West Philadelphia who was more tongue-tied, insecure and awkward around the opposite sex than me, it was Nicky.  What could either of us have been thinking?  Obviously NOT thinking.  Anyway, I can barely stand to recall THAT wretched occasion, but I do remember that neither of us were able to utter more than 4 or 5 words the entire evening, except for the worst moment of the night when Nick managed to stutter, "Would you like to dance?"  and I groaningly replied, "I'm sorry I don't know how."  Thunk!


Is there anyone out there brave or foolish enough to ask me out?  Please think very carefully before replying.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Score = Blogger 235,975 - Lo 0 (that's Zero)

I have just located a stash of my photos in Windows Photo Gallery, a place I did not know to look for them.  I am hoping that I can convince Blogger to download them onto the page.  Here I go.....wish me luck.

Ho boy!  Well,  I did not exactly find the file, but I did find the photo I just added to it today so I am somewhat encouraged.  I will never understand why one program can find a certain file and another program cannot.  This computer must file things away as badly as I do.....sigh.

This pic is of a kitten named Leo Lynxie #2517, a precious critter rescued  by the wonderful rescue place called The Cat House On the Kings......that is on Kings Highway in Parlieu CA near Fresno.  I was recently perusing their newsletter and saw a column of orphans they were hoping to find sponsors for and when I saw this photo I melted and totally self-destructed.  I am now the proud long distance foster mom of Leo.......he taps my bank account quarterly for his upkeep.  I begged this photo today and am weakening rapidly.   I am dying to get my hands on him and cuddle him.   I am wondering if perhaps I could borrow him for a while if Gussie would permit.  (I somehow doubt that last part).  But oh, how tempting.  Maybe I could appeal to her more generous nature, wherever that might be located in that furry, selfish, demanding, beloved beast......

Perhaps I will simply have to go up there and visit him.  They say they have an accommodation they can rent me if I want to drown myself in cats (about 700 I think) for a day and nite.  Ah, heaven.  I have said I cannot travel anymore, but I may make an exception in this case.  I have been wanting to check the place out anyway because I am planning to include them in my bequests list as well as subsidize them to adopt my crazy feral kitty, Baskin, when I am gone. usual I seem to have been carried away by trivia.......though in all honesty, I can never call Leo Lynxie 2517 trivia.

Actually, I had not planned to blog tonite....I was simply conducting an experiment to see if I could access those photos, and as of now, the jury is still out on that.  More tests and scrabbling at the edges of things to try to pry open that which remains sealed against me are in order, but I don't feel like scrabbling right now so I will just meander around in the corners of my brain a bit.

And now for something completely different,  (Oh, how I miss Monty Python ....and for that matter, Benny Hill).  (Did I ever reveal that I am an Anglophile?.....well, now you know.  But nevermind that now)

I have steadfastly refused to sully my robes by being dragged into the nasty mess that are all things political.  However, I just stumbled upon the MOST fascinating article and feel strangely impelled to pass it on, since it appears to me to have a total ring of truth about it......not that truth, forgodssake,  has any place in politics, of course.  Anyway, as I was saying, apparently there have  been dozens of studies done trying to figure out the differences between Democrats and Republicans aside from so called ideologies..  Recently a number of studies have tried to analyze the differences in the brains of members of both parties and I am going to fling some excerpts at you.t I am not......I can't.  I was just trying to transfer some notes I made in a draft to this page via the highlight and copy method and find that I sure as hell can highlight, but damned if I can  copy.  I am now faced with two dreadful choices, both unacceptable.  I can delete the above 2 paragraphs and lose them because I do not know how to copy them, or I can leave you poor souls hanging till I  get help in correcting my ignorance and ineptness.  Eeeny meeny I don't know.  I guess I am just going to have to sacrifice you guys........probably one or more of you can instruct me as to how to solve my problem.  I think Florence, my caregiver, knows, but she is off til Monday.  Sob.

I do promise to dish up the rest it as soon as I can so please do not hate me too much.
Gawd, I feel stupid!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Watch Out ---The Dragon Can Bite

Now I have to warn you all that this is an experiment.

I have been struggling with my new speech recognition system for weeks now and making very little progress until today..... At least I thought I was making progress.... I'm not so sure now. For one thing, I have to learn to not speak when I see the wrong thing printed because it just exacerbates the problem. I have pages of unintelligible text that are downright funny if you can stop crying long enough to laugh. But I have learned one very interesting thing..... The fault is not all with this system – – – part of it is my responsibility. Naturally, it's very difficult if not impossible to learn that fact even after you have accepted it. But I'm working on it, folks. We'll see how this comes out.

The program in case you're interested, is called Dragon speech recognition 11.5 – – of course, that should've been capitalized – – – but I forgot to say oh whoops... What I mean is I forgot to say "capital". Sigh! Oh well, we will stagger onward and see where this leads us.  I am totally convinced that if I were not so damned stubborn I would never have made it this far in life......of course, I wouldn't have gotten into so much trouble either.

Actually, I feel like we are doing quite well now – – – in fact I am amazed at the progress we've made since this afternoon when the following excepts are  an example of what we produced :

no that's wrong
The spell word.  No..  Space is.  Harry and the Harry and know that's nowhere near what is left....  Oh God.
I'm still trying to  teach you know to Isabel "all up up up up up up ..........        baby am speaking too slowly 
(up,, up, up is what it writes when I laugh)


What am I going to do with you?   OK.  Let's proceed. never mind     Are you getting bored with this too?    shit.   very good can you write shit      no.  I just tried to teach you a new word.  You were supposed to have...........  Because the word was "shit".  Why didn't you learn to say shit.  Does that mean that you have not learned learned to lose a ship ..............oy

           50 What am I going to do with you?  better.  OK.  Let's proceed.  Do you do better when I  speak slowly.....  Apparently so aknown sentence that.  Apparently not. We were doing so well and then you went crazy.  How am I supposed to know when you're OK and when you're losing your mind.  Excellent.  Then we will keep trying.  I can dictateno no no no no till the cows cm home if you will inlearn from it.  Is that what I'm going to have to do?  Apparently.  Thank you.  You're welcome.  Ugh.  I think I may grow to hate you........."

 I just added some phrases and words to the vocabulary list. Let's see if they worked. Undo that okay. Damn damn damn! You don't have to write everything out.
Why can't I get the box to spell word? shitpissfuck. Oh boy! Can we do that again? Shitpissfuck! Fantastic.  Shitpissfuck, shitpissfuck.  By George, I think she's got it.

Well, I think you got the picture now. As a matter of fact, I have deleted its some of the most obnoxious but perhaps the most laugh=provoking portions of the afternoon exercises. Suffice it to say, that both Dragon and I have improved a lot since just three o'clock this afternoon. I strongly suspect that Dragon may be smarter than I am and may learn faster and better but that's okay. I love servants who are smart. I wonder if I can teach it to clean the cat boxes      where is that damned     ?  question mark? A H. Space space       there it is.     Sigh.

 Well, I didn't say there was no room for improvement.....

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Agony (and Ecstasy) of Da Feet

For years now I have grumbled and fretted about the time when I would need someone to wipe my chin (and, worse yet,  my ass).   Happily, that dreaded moment has not arrived quite yet but....I have just recently discovered that there is another similar threat which has indeed come upon me.........the inability to trim my own damned toenails.  And don't for a minute think that it is because I cannot reach them.  Nay, I am still able to bend over and put my palms flat on the ground while not bending my knees even  smidgeon.....the problem is that I can't see well enough do the silly task.  Well, you might have those wonderful caregivers now......why not get one of them to do it.  Sure, smarty, don't you think I thought of that myself?  Trouble is, they are not ALLOWED to approach your person with any even slightly sharp instrument for fear of wounding you.  Its a RULE. 
Consequently, I have recently  been scraping and defacing my parquet floors with toenails my cat would be proud to own.   No friends are able or available to enlist for this dubious task and it is simply too expensive to fly my cousin down from Portland, Ore. to do service on my toes every few weeks. Don't you dare laugh........this is serious stuff.   I was totally flummoxed by this problem till Ann, my lovely Wednesday and Saturday caregiver, said, "Lois, why don't you let me take you for a pedicure?" 

Now, I realize that this idea probably occurred to most of you about six lines back, but you have no idea of the horror and other mixed emotions which swept over me at those words.  I have never had a pedicure.  I have never wanted a pedicure.  To me, pedicures represent the quintessence of sinful, slothful self-indulgence.  In fact, I have always looked down my nose with disdain, disgust and general loathing  at those shallow women who frivolously waste their own or their husbands' money on such things.  I am not sure just where, in the hierarchy of loathsome lacks this indulgence falls......somewhere above being able to assemble and wire your own lamps but possibly below the ability to change a tire.  (I always hated that).

Anyway, it took me several weeks of mulling to realize that I was being the nearly perfect idiot about this......a pedicure was the perfect solution to my problem and I did not even have to dig out my Groucho Marx shame was involved here..........I am actually disabled!  So, last Wednesday my trusty Ann and I went forth to her Pedicurist and it was, to say the least, a fascinating experience.  

Who knew?

From the moment I settled into the chair and plunged my feet into the lovely, warm bubbling water I realized that I had been wrong, wrong, wrong.  This was not an indulgence, it was a practically a necessity.  And when the giggling little oriental expert (she thought it was funny that I had managed to get so old without ever having had a pedicure) asked me if I would like the chair to massage my back while she worked, I knew that I was lost.  When the chair's fingers (yes, fingers......what else can you call them) began to make their way up and down my aching back it was all I could do to keep from losing control and uttering one of my orgasmic moans (usually reserved for the perfect Stuffed Portobello Mushroom or Lox and Cream Cheese on an Onion Bagel).  Meanwhile, amazing things were happening at the ends of my feet and I was only vaguely aware that my toes had been transformed until my little Foot Angel asked me how I liked the nail polish I had chosen. feet were gorgeous!  It was like when Ronald Reagan removed Jane Wyman's ugly black rimmed glasses in the movie "Brother Rat" circa 1937) and revealed her to be the beauty that she really was.    Those sturdy, dependable much abused pedal extremities finally were permitted to come into their own. 

I still cannot stop looking at them and wiggling those lovely enameled toes at myself.  As Lee Wiley sang in one of my favorite songs.............

."What a dunce I was before......
What a break, for Heaven's sake,
How long has this been going on?"