THE MEANING OF LIFE

 

A long time ago, I added the YouTube app to my phone. I did this so that I could go to bed at night, before my husband does, and watch my videos. My videos revolve around the interests near and dear to my heart. I watch

  • Apartment tours. I love apartment tours. However, I only watch tours of apartments in New York and Paris. Any apartments anywhere else, including Dayton, Ohio, hold no interest for me. I do have a pet peeve about these tours, however. I am not interested in what is in these people’s medicine cabinets or cupboards. But there must be a huge crowd of YouTube watchers who are, because most of these folks giving the tours give elaborate details about what beauty products are in there, or which cupboards have pots and which ones plates. I don’t get it. I watch anyway.
  • Pet rescue videos. Heartwarming, cute, and I think they create dopamine, or whatever that hormone is that makes me feel calm and happy.
  • ASMR videos. These are the best. ASMR stands for Autonomous sensory meridian response. Not all people are susceptible to these videos. If you have ever watched Martha Stewart make a craft and gotten chills, you are one of these people. I am one. ASMR videos are of people, mostly women with beautiful manicures, doing things like folding towels, ironing, turning book pages, or other everyday things. But they do them slowly and gracefully. They speak very softly or whisper as they record. These videos are so relaxing and entrancing for those of us who are affected by them. If you are curious, go on YouTube and search for WhispersRed ASMR for an example.
  • I also watch the Physical Therapists and Personal Trainer videos for tips on which exercises to do for my tight Rhomboid muscles.
  • Occasionally, I watch Bloopers.

But here is the TERRIBLE THING: My YouTube app is somehow magically connected to our TV. This has not been a problem previously, but my husband recently discovered YouTube. My God. Suddenly my curated and satisfactory YouTube feed has been contaminated by the stuff my husband watches, and this is horrible! Now, in addition to my wonderful videos, this stuff shows up in my feed

  • Top ten songs you didn’t know were written by Dolly Parton
  • The disturbing paintings of Hieronymus Bosch
  • Great art explained in 15 minutes
  • John Donne poems
  • Sartre
  • Crash Course in Existentialism
  • Epistemology: How do I know?
  • What is consciousness?
  • Randy Travis lyrics

I am just going to stop there, because you certainly get the idea. He has ruined my feed with his search for the meaning of life and country music. Add to it all of his other intellectual YouTube searches, and he has blown studio apartments and towel folding right off my feed.

I told him he has to download his OWN YouTube app onto the television via his phone, but he doesn’t know how to do that. I don’t either.

My bedtimes are no longer so terrific.

But tomorrow, he has an appointment with the Geek Squad to rectify the situation, so that I can go back to my towels once more. Bless all the geeks around the globe; we need their skills. Peace be with you…

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SUMMER QUESTIONS

Why do flies know when the patio door is opened for just a second?

Does Siri mind it when my husband keeps calling her Alexa?

Who eats a single ear of corn on the cob?

Did they really change the name of Cracker Jack to Cracker Jack and Jill?

Why do rubber shoes that look like they are for old ladies cost $295? Geez. Or I should say Yeez.

When will Tom Cruise look his actual age?

Why are grandchildren so full of energy? They don’t eat anything. Get them a burger and fries and they will eat exactly two bites of the burger and four fries. They they run the equivalent of a marathon in the next two hours. This is not a rhetorical question; how do children DO this?

Can anyone come up with a simple explanation of what is the stuff that comes out of fireworks that turns them colors? I Googled that. I didn’t get past the first sentence. So I just told my granddaughter it was a magic spell.

Do you still wear a mask at the grocery?

If you sit on a stray blueberry on your white sofa, how many swear words will you mutter?

How long does it take for you to get over the gut-wrenching sadness when your grandkids leave to go back home to California?

 

 

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HAPPY FOURTH

Don’t be foolish with fireworks. Get plenty of watermelon. Hug everybody, but remember there is still covid, damn it.

Eat as much as you want. Try not to get soused. Wear red, white, and blue, unless you are protesting one of the hundreds of things that need protesting right now.

Don’t forget to shut the door behind you-“Are you trying to air condition the whole outdoors??”

No matter how fun, let THE KIDS do the sparklers!

Don’t worry. Be happy. Just for today, anyway.

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VACAY

We haven’t gone on a trip in over two years. Wait–we did get on a plane to California last Christmas. But that was it.

Now we get to go on a vacation. Yay! So much fun! But the week BEFORE vacation is so busy, I need a vacation just to rest up from getting ready for it. Here is an itemized list of what needs to be done before leaving:

  • Kick husband out of guest bathroom. I have never understood why he uses that one, since we have a perfectly good master bath with two sinks in it. Then, after removing all of his accoutrements (shaver, lotion, nail fungus meds {ugh}, etc.), I have to clean that bathroom. It also has two sinks, a tub, and a floor that I think I washed last Christmas.
  • Move husband out of his “office” and turn that room into a guest room for the California contingent who will be joining us immediately after vacation. Blow up mattresses, room for luggage, etc. Vacuum and dust that room before setting up, so my daughter won’t find the raisins her daughter dropped in the corners the last time they visited.
  • Go to chiropractor, because “What if your back goes out in North Carolina?”
  • Go to CVS for some of those “travel sized” shampoos, lotions, etc. Husband asks “Don’t we have a bunch of those?” Answer: “NO BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T TRAVELED TO ANY MOTELS IN OVER TWO YEARS.”
  • Change all planned wardrobe choices for vacation since weather forecast says it will be in the high 90’s and low 100’s while we are there.
  • Add super strength deodorant to CVS shopping list.
  • Swiff everything five times because Hattie’s cat hair is EVERYWHERE.
  • Consider teeth whitening strips.
  • Move lumbar pillow from my car to my husband’s car.
  • Reply to everyone suggesting audio books for the trip that husband hates audiobooks.
  • Clean the refrigerator, because what if my daughter opens the door and sees the Nutella stain that was left there the last time they were here.
  • Be sure to stock up on raisins. Also “sugar cereal,” because they only get that at Grandma’s house. The cereals that look the most artificial are preferred.
  • Try to sleep at night, because going on vacation is so damn exciting.
  • Don’t forget to take masks, just in case. Pray neither of us gets a covid variant right before we leave.
  • Warn self that the day after everyone is gone, it will be very sad, but I will get over it.

I will be absent from the blog next week. You probably won’t miss me…

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HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?

A  massive heat wave is hitting most of us this week. I cannot fathom how the people in India will survive; many of them won’t. Technology has to save us! But in the meantime, I have some hints for those of us who are privileged enough not to worry about dying from the heat.

Stay very still. This comes from my husband. I, frankly, have never found this to be helpful, although I guess you sweat less staying still than bustling around. But sweat is sweat, and having it soak the back of your shirt as you sit very still is just as bad as having it drip down into your bra when you are emptying the dishwasher.

Drink a lot of water. Sure. So you can create more sweat. I know, hydration is key, but having a glass of water isn’t that cooling, unless you pour it over your head.

Old ladies like me know that having a fan (the kind Southern Belles used to flirt with, not a Dyson) in every room at one’s fingertips is a must. It is so helpful, and if you buy fans in bulk from Amazon, this is an easy feat. Get extra, in case you leave one in a restaurant or drop one on your way out of the library.

Popsicles are another must. Grape and cherry are the best flavors. Chloe’s out rank the Popsicle brand by a landslide. A landslide of popsicles. Save the sticks for your craft projects.

If you live in a place with a deep aquifer, as we do in Dayton, you may take three cool showers a day. If you live in California, God be with you.

Don’t forget to water your potted plants out there on your deck or porch. Every damn day. Or else they will die. And it will be on your conscience for the rest of the summer.

Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon.

It is BOTH THE HEAT AND THE HUMIDITY. I have never lived in Arizona, but come on, hot is hot. Humidity makes things worse, but 110 degrees dry seems just as horrible as 89 degrees muggy.

What is the rule? Wear black, or is white better? I can never remember, so I wear white. And spill either coffee or barbecue sauce on my white shirts, and ruin at least three every summer. So maybe black would be better.

Stay in the house! If you have a pool, stay in there! But don’t forget that your nose is very vulnerable to sunburn, while you are enjoying the cool, clear water. Zinc sunscreen and a hat. I can’t swim. The pool is not where I want to die. So I don’t hang out there. I very much admire women my age who like to go swimming. However, there is not a swimsuit that has ever been made that can make a woman over 65, no matter how slender, look good. Crepey skin, cellulite, and general “old person body” cannot be disguised. And old men in swim trunks? Ugh. Let’s not even consider Speedos–there should be a law against any man over 50 wearing one of those.

Don’t make Sun Tea. It harbors bacteria, apparently. This means boiling water, tea bags, and letting it cool enough to put in the refrigerator. Boiling water? Not advisable. Get Snapple.

Fabrics: cotton and linen, even though wearing linen makes you look as if you have slept in your clothes within five minutes of putting on that gorgeous linen shirt you got from the Gap. There is also a sort of “wicking” fabric that is supposed to keep one cool. I got a golf shirt that wicked. It gave me mega hot flashes. I tore it off my body and gave it to my husband.

Bermuda shorts. Remember madras patchwork ones? I loved those. These days, I wear capri pants, because Bemudas make me look a bit clumpy. Flip flops, but get a pedicure, for heaven’s sake! If you wear prescription sunglasses, here’s a tip: have a pair in your purse and one in your car. Men, wear a lanyard, because nobody thinks men in lanyards look like a granny.

That about wraps it up. I am now  going to go get a bag of frozen peas and wear it on my head for a while.

 

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HOW TO BE INTERESTING

Are you boring? Do you poop out at parties? Don’t have anything to talk about? Want others to talk about you? Spice up your life and your image:

  • Start rolling your r’s.
  • Be enthusiastic about throw pillows. Really enthusiastic.
  • Start a collection. But of unusual things, like pipe cleaners.
  • Paint your kitchen black.
  • Carry bubblegum with you everywhere.
  • Reveal embarrassing secrets.
  • Eat your hot dogs with a knife and fork.
  • Cross your legs at the ankles.
  • Carry a Thesaurus under your arm.
  • Order the cheese plate for dessert.
  • Leash train your cat.
  • Keep chickens.
  • Instead of Shakespeare, quote Anais Nin.
  • Wear a pencil behind your ear. All the time.
  • Button your shirts all the way up.
  • Announce you have to leave the table to “go brush your teeth.”
  • While you are at it, hand out toothbrushes to all your dinner companions.
  • Name your dog Steven.
  • Name your new baby Elon.
  • Place your EpiPen beside your plate at every meal.
  • Get a black dot tattooed on the end of your nose.
  • Put ice cubes in your milk.
  • After someone tells a joke, follow up by reciting a limerick.
  • Learn how to read Tarot cards.
  • Blink SOS in Morse Code at a cocktail party and see if anyone notices.

This should get you started. I have to go now and brush my teeth.

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TERRIBLE WEEK

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HOME

Anywhere you hang your hat. That sounds so easy, a pat answer that used to work, at least for many. But as we see in relentless media, home is here one minute, gone the next. People are now living in shelters, refugee camps, in ditches, basements, wondering if they will see the next day.

In this country, there is a large population of people for whom the word “home” means where they once lived. Folks who live in the streets, who panhandle for a living, or who depend on all sorts of cobbled together social services for their survival. For those of us who have never had to contemplate living this way, it is easy to judge–to think “These people are lazy, probably criminal in some way, addicts, or drunks. They did something to deserve to live like this.” Or as we drive by them, holding their signs asking for help, we feel a fleeting wave of pity and move on to thinking what to have for dinner.

Home is complicated. It is something I have always taken for granted. The places I have lived have always been comfortable, safe, as attractive as I could make them, and most of all, far away from the places where the definition of a “home” meant something very different from mine.

Homes are being taken away by war, by fire, drought, and catastrophes in such great numbers I can’t begin to contemplate. I dread watching the news. This itself reveals how privileged I am. To sit in my designated room for tv watching and be made uncomfortable and sad looking at those who are homeless, fleeing, bombed out, living in the streets?

Let’s do something about it. Here is what I can do at my age and from Dayton, Ohio. Maybe you can join me from your home.

https://give.oxfamamerica.org/

https://www.habitat.org

http://www.lirs.org/ukraine-crisis

http://www.rescue.org

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NADA

What? Another week rolled around and Molly could not come up with a topic for her column? Are you kidding me?

No good news was in the headlines, and the rest of it is so horrible, it isn’t worth thinking about. Recipes? Nope, because husband now thankfully does most of the cooking.

Advice? Tips? Maybe you should still be wearing your mask. Otherwise, nothing there, either. The weather? Warming…

Book lists? Overdone.

Perhaps some podcast recommendations, then? Were You Raised by Wolves is a favorite. But no, not really.

Well, then. One more week, and surely something will come up.

Fingers crossed.

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