Entries Tagged as 'getting older'

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinggetting older

Top ten signs you’re too old to be trick-or-treating tonight

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10. You’re going out with your kids, and their kids, and their kids!

9. It’s been an hour, and the furthest you’ve been able to walk is next door.

8. You ask for high-fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

6. You can remember back to your first Halloween, when all the witches were burned.

5. By the end of the night, you have a treat bag full of restraining orders.

4. You’re continually knocking on your own front door

3. You keep seeing some trick-or-treater dressed up as the Grim Reaper – and you’re the only one who can see him.

2. You have to get your dog to soften up some of the candy by chewing on it first.

1. When people open the door, instead of saying “Trick or treat,” you look confused for a minute, then start singing Good King Wenceslas.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

getting olderThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that age is not “just a number”

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 70: Age simply is not “just a number.” Age is, after, say, twenty-one, the irreversible decline of the mind and body, the ultimate result of which is, in the best of all possible situations, an uncomplicated and peaceful death. But age is, most often, a slow ride on a dirty bus, with sticky floors, among a bunch of stinking strangers to soap, at the end of which we find ourselves befuddled, boxed off from the things and people we love through the loss of vision and hearing and terrified (if we are blessed with the mental capacity to be terrified) by the question of whether our beliefs in an afterlife will prove to have been even remotely true. Age is the arduous road to either oblivion or paradise, but it is not just a number. Age is a walking journey, each step pf which leaves us weaker, more filled with existential anxiety, and looking — if I am being honest — less and less attractive at the waypoint of each birthday. Age is a journey from which there is no return. Age is the turning of the padlock on a cage that will be dropped into an ocean. Age is doom, in the most Anglo-Saxon sense of the word.

Oh, please.  I’m doing you a favor. You can’t rage against “a number. “

The Punishment: Users of the phrase are doomed to learn the truth. This is punishment enough.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning(ish).

all workbooks & writing

Of Time and the Park

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Today was a singularly beautiful day in New York – a sparkling October day in mid-November, sunny, warm, a light breeze – and perfect for a two-hour walk  around the Drive in Central Park. (I used to run it in under an hour, but what the hell.) [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinggetting older

Top ten signs you’re too old to be trick-or-treating

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10. You’re winded, and you haven’t even reached the end of your own driveway yet

9. You accidentally took a Skittle instead of your statin medication

8. After every other house, you have to go home for a pee

7. People keep saying, “Great Betty White mask!” – and you’re not wearing one

6. You’re continually removing your dentures so you can scrape off the caramel

5. You can remember back to your first Halloween, when all the witches were burned

4. You’re continually knocking on your own front door

3. Instead of a candy bar, you ask if they have any adult diapers

2. When people open the door, instead of saying “Trick or treat,” you look confused, then start singing Good King Wenceslas

1. You keep seeing someone dressed up as the Grim Reaper – and you’re the only one who can see him
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

getting olderhealth & medical

Apparently we are all getting very old

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Recently I have been feeling slightly long in the tooth. It was the death of Mrs. Thatcher that did it. Watching the street parties on TV, I couldn’t help but notice how very young the revelers were: most of those idiots had not been born when she stepped down from office. And yet I remembered her resignation as if it were yesterday. Suddenly I realized that I was of a different era, that I was now in the same position as those bores who were always banging on about Woodstock when I was a teenager.

And if Mrs. Thatcher’s resignation is increasingly “ancient history,” then that means some of my other memories must be positively Jurassic. Here, the pop culture index is most telling. 1960s rockers like Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney have always seemed “old” to me, but now even the members of rubbish New Romantic bands from the 1980s are closing in on their pensions. Simon Le Bon will turn 55 later this month, for example. His song “The Reflex” is older now than Elvis Presley’s  [Read more →]

getting oldermusic

If music be the food of nostalgic embarrassment, play on

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At the age of 27, I have an iTunes library that more closely resembles someone who’s already outlived the national average life expectancy. The sections of Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and the three Kings (Albert, Freddie, and B.B.) alone probably comprise something like twelve days of music. God could create the heavens and the earth again and still not be out of the ’60s.

But my digital music collection is just the way I like it. I’ve got everything I love and almost nothing I don’t. Sure, individual songs like  T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” inevitably infiltrate my anti-garbage firewall (read: are added by friends to annoy me), but they’re nothing a “delete” key can’t fix. It’s wonderful. And it’s awful. The digital age has enabled my music library to reflect Current Me, and in a certain way, that’s a real shame for today’s youth.

[Read more →]

creative writinggetting older

A Visit to New York at 38 Years of Age

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I love New York. I’ve been there twice before but it didn’t have the same effect on me then as this most recent visit did. I don’t know–it could possibly have something to do with age and sobriety. I have considerably more of both now than I had then. This time, instead of partying all night, I explored Brooklyn and Manhattan in the daylight hours and attended a college graduation. Both activities caused me to reflect about my younger years and some of the paths not taken in my life. [Read more →]

getting oldersports

Too old to rock and roll, says who…?

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Ok, I’m a smart guy who can be very stupid at times. This is particularly true when it comes to physical limits. I know, for example, that enrolling in the ProAM Bull Riding contest would be a serious mistake. I know that. It would have been a serious mistake 20 years ago and there’s no reason to think it might be a good idea now. I know that   El Capitan is not in my future unless they build an escalator. I’ve figured that out…

So, of course, I made a wise crack to a guy 20 some years younger than I that the Mojave Free Press ought to enter a team for the Barstow Mud Run. Figured a leisurely job across the desert, splash through some forgiving water obstacles and then pick up a T-shirt at the worst case. At the best case, he’d laugh and say no thanks, he had to cover it for the paper. How hard could it be? What could go wrong?

Most things.

Well, the principal architect of that electronic fish wrapper is a guy named Charles Waybright. He’s a nice guy, but he either has a sense of humor more twisted than mine or he’s very stupid. Charles thought it was a great idea. So, there we were, Charles, Bruce Klein and me, surrounded by 1000 or so of like-minded lunatics set to take off across the desert to benefit the Barstow Veterans Home and the Barstow Kiwanis. Both of which are worthy of support for their services to this community which really needs it and more of it. Oh, the guys who bailed on the run so that Charles had to recruit Bruce but volunteered to video the thing and provide coverage for the paper, also bailed. Charles had his lovely wife worried that I might not show or be found and that she would have to pick up the banner. She was prescient enough to be glad to see me. [Read more →]

getting older

My 42nd New Year. (Keep in mind my first year was only 43 days long)

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I’m not going to start this blog with an apology about how rarely I blog. If I were hitting you everyday and apologizing each time, it would not change the fact that I hit you every day, would it? No. So let us just not speak of it at all.

I am one of those people who spends some time reflecting on New Year’s Eve. I don’t want to be. I have tried not to be. No getting around it, I just am. I’m not severe about it. I mean, I’m not kicking myself all night for not being who I thought I would be when I daydreamed in middle school. Much. Mostly, I take a quick inventory and try to motivate myself to go in one direction or another.

The first time I remember really putting any thought into it I was six months past college graduation and waiting tables at Cha Cha Coconuts. [Read more →]

animalsgetting older

Elegy for a fat-assed cat

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There is a dog room and a cat room. The dog room contains stalls and cages built into the walls along with large, wheeled fourplexes for the young and the small. Also in the dog room is an endless peal of barking, howling and scratching. The cat room is more like the section in the old Woolworth’s where they sold the goldfish and parakeets. Basically there are aquaria but with grillwork instead of glass and within the grillwork are tiny mewling bits of fluff, at this time all nameless. Little cards describe them briefly with a guess at their breed and a good estimate of their age which is given in weeks or months. In a dog cage in the cat room there was one enormous middle-aged creature who had already enjoyed a breadth of life far beyond what his cave-cat ancestors could have expected. His name was Arthur. [Read more →]

getting olderthat's what he said, by Frank Wilson

The surprise of old age

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“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.” Thus spake Leo Tolstoy, who made it to 82.

It is hard to disagree, especially if you find yourself, as I do, on the cusp of three score and ten, the so-called Biblical age. Of course, old age is not surprising in the sense that it is unexpected, but rather that it turns out to be so different from what you may have expected. [Read more →]

family & parentinggetting older

Father knows best

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I was probably 9 or 10 years old? I was already working on our family’s vegetable farm full-time in the summer, and my cousins and I were making boxes (this process involves this big, stapler machine — at least for the ones that hold the heavier produce). Anyway, as we were working, we noticed that a baby bird had hopped  under the packing shed. This thing was little — barely could open its eyes — and we were worried that it would get hit by one of the forklifts. So, we found a small box, filled it with those cloth-like paper towels that come in a box (rag-in-a-box, I think it’s called?), and then maneuvered the baby bird into the little refuge we created for it. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinggetting older

Top ten suggested wedding gifts for Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris

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10. A honeymoon bed with handrails

9. A defibrillator

8. A subscription to Penthouse

7. That new STD iPhone app

6. A copy of Kama Sutra for the Infirm

5. A collection of naked TSA photos

4. A tuxedo with a built-in adult diaper

3. A Viagra Pez dispenser

2. A Playboy calendar with only May and December in it

1. A Rascal scooter with a “Just Married” sign and tin cans tied to the back
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzogetting older

Back to honesty: Unaffected self-portraits

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In discussions about art, we babble constantly about “quality” as if it is the determining factor in terms of what is “good” or “bad”. Some say that, for instance, Mozart was a better composer than John Williams could ever be. Or, we might dismiss Norman Rockwell (a mere illustrator) in comparison to, say, a VanGogh. We read a novel, and we nit-pick, saying: Steinbeck is sentimental; Dickens’s plots are too neat. A ballet choreographer might look at kids dancing for change on the street and he might say, “Unsophisticated. That’s not art. It’s ‘pop’ dancing.” But, in the end, what does all of this mean? As I have suggested lots of times, isn’t the measure of art in the way it directly affects us? How important is the “quality” of the work? One can (and I certainly do sometimes) marvel at an artist’s craft, but is great skill necessary for great art? Is skill necessary at all? [Read more →]

all workgetting older

roots & wings

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I just learned that my great Aunt Molly, one of my grandfather’s remaining siblings, passed away yesterday.

It took some time to process this information after I received the phone call from my cousin. I would be lying if I said we were particularly close –- it has easily been a year-and-a-half since the last time I saw her, since her health began to decline and she went into an assisted living center.

But Aunt Molly used to be one of the regulars at the Adult’s table growing up, and a sense of importance and regality surrounded her and the fact that she somehow out-adulted my own parents. I am 27 now, but Aunt Molly always seemed to be the same age: old –- old enough to seem delicate, but never in jeopardy of dying. This though, comes with almost 2 years of decline since the last time I saw her -– between reality and the memories I kept carefully preserved from it. [Read more →]

getting older

Marty Digs: 35 is the new (insert desirable younger age here)

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my favorite week of the year – the start of March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, and my birthday (the 19th). I told my mom last night that if this happened when I didn’t have a child, responsibilities, a mortgage, and graduate school, I would have probably exploded into a fiery ball of beer, blarney, buffalo wings, and brackets. But alas, I am turning 35 years old, and indeed have a child, responsibilities, a mortgage, and graduate school. If I were to explode this year, it would be full of stress, bills, research papers, and a trace amount of beer and buffalo wings. [Read more →]

family & parentinggetting older

I was waiting for a moment, but the moment never came…

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I never thought I’d write a “kids today” blog — especially not in my 2nd blog out for this site. In fact, I had another blog practically written, one I anticipated polishing up once I got home last night until I happened to catch the earlier train  from work and happened to sit next to a group of high school boys so insulting, so incredibly ignorant, that I spent the rest of the commute composing this very blog in my head.

I am familiar with and accept the notion that “boys will be boys” — in fact, I sometimes am willing to let downright not-nice-crassness go because of it (with a blue velvet Virgin Mary perched above the toilet in my guest bathroom, who the hell am I to judge on crass?), but these kids went beyond even my limits. [Read more →]

getting olderthat's what he said, by Frank Wilson

Life looks very strange

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Recently, I found myself thinking of Caterina Valente, a singer who had some hits back in the ’50s. One of those hits was “Jalousie,” by the Danish composer Jacob Gade. This may not be the only tango written by a Dane, but it certainly is the most famous one. In fact, “Jalousie” is one of the most popular songs ever.

I mention this because a few days after Valente’s named popped into my head — for no discernible reason — I happened to hear an instrumental version of “Jalousie” on the radio. [Read more →]

getting older

Thoughts on getting older and maturing

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Well, it’s official.  It has taken me my entire life to get to this moment in time, but as of a week or two ago, I am 30 years old.  A “milestone” birthday.  Seeing the counter roll over to the three decade mark has made me think about my life for a bit, and I’d like to mention one of my reflections.

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getting oldermovies

Leslie Nielsen 1926-2010

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