Sunday, March 10, 2019

194 Remembering


Wish I could remember

Oh, my, dear Readers, I wish I could remember more “stuff.” And more names! Some of the things I have forgotten I probably never learned very well in the first place. Much of what I wish I knew “off the top of my head” without muttering or running through the alphabet is probably not really important – except to me and right at that very moment!

I want the recall NOW! Not at 7 a.m. the next morning! I am also much, much better at recognition than recall. Isn’t it embarrassing not to remember names? Sometimes I just look at someone I know and just draw a BLANK!

Here are some examples that I think will make you laugh, or roll your eyes, or wonder what on earth is going on in Glenne’s aging brain.

Dear Husband and I were watching Top Chef and the group was off to Macau. I knew it was somewhere around Hong Kong and Singapore. Maybe? I wasn’t sure. 


Then Dear Husband asked, “Is Singapore a city or a country?” I had to Google Macao, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Singapore is both a city AND a country. How about that! And, yes, there they are - all three.

And every weeknight we watch “Jeopardy.” I am not too bad with the answers, but I really feel sorry for those contestants who are not fast on the buzzer. They know they know – they just didn’t know soon enough. [And so very sad for Alex Trebek!] 

Telephone numbers are the bane of my existence! I can remember my entire AMEX card number plus that little four-digit secret code. I do know what it means: CVV = card verification code. (Dear Husband was a banker for many years.) I can remember my checking account number, too. 

Yet when I look up a phone number I will be unsure of it before I can pick up the phone. Seven numbers--only seven! I wonder whether I am distracted by what the phone call is about or.... Another possibility is that I rely so heavily on the numbers being programmed in my phone. Surprisingly though, my math skills do not seem to have deteriorated. My bank account thanks me.

Words to songs! Pshaw! I used to be able to sing whole songs, now I am lucky to remember a phrase or two. Daughter Mary (snarky comment) reminded me that “our songs” had lots of “doo-wops” and very few lines that were different – lots of repetition - and most were in major keys with the melody line loud and clear. Here is a cut from “At the Hop.” Ah, let's go to the hop:

Let's go to the hop (oh baby)
Let's go to the hop (oh baby)
Let's go to the hop
Come on, let's go to the hop!
Yes, I could and can remember that! Okay, dear daughter, just because you can sing Sondheim, doesn’t follow that I could or can.

I am wondering now whether there is such a thing as “mature age dyslexia?” Is the wonderfully smart genealogist on “Who Do You Think You Are?” named William Henry Gates or Henry William Gates? I think the former but I wouldn’t put any money on it. And what on earth is the name of that lovely older British woman on “The Great British Bake Off?” I have no earthly idea except her first name is Mary. 


And I think about Cher. I never forget her birthday because she and I are EXACTLY the same age!! And I had to “cher” this cartoon with you to remind you of Daylight Savings Time: Punny, huh?




Enough of my complaining for this week. I should go start dinner, but I can’t remember whether the chicken was two days ago or last night. And what on earth is the name of that medicine that is advertised on TV to help memory loss or beginning dementia? Oh, never mind! Its side effects will send you to the E.R. immediately.

Stay warm! 

Wish I were still savvy - Glenne      





Sunday, March 3, 2019

193 What a Gem!




Those of us who remember the days of going to the movies where there was only one screen, and a second movie--if it is was a double feature-- can take a nostalgic trip back in time to the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, N.C.

We took our grandkids recently to the iconic building in the small town not far from where they live. We had not been to a theater like this in years!! It brought back so many memories and created new ones for our seven-year-old and eleven-year-old grandchildren. 


A quick look at the web site of the theater revealed the history of the building. It originally opened in 1936 but was destroyed in a fire in 1942. Luckily, it was rebuilt in 1948 and remains open for everyone to enjoy, boasting it is one of the oldest-single screen movie theaters in continuous operation today. There are others in the country but not many. 

It is probably one of the largest theaters too with more than 900 seats. And guess what, you can still sit in the balcony. Our grandson was especially taken by the balcony which I am sure is the first time he had seen one at the movies.

We regularly take them to the movies when we visit. Our daughter-in-law had told us about this one about 20 minutes away so we decided it was time to take in this nostalgic structure. And since the showing was the Lego Movie II, we knew it would be a hit. Definitely, the $4 ticket price for everyone (shows before 6 p.m.) was a draw.

We often visit the Paris theater in NYC (a single-screen theater with old velvet seats) when we get a chance, but this is closer and more reasonable. Both of these theaters are a little on the shabby side but that adds to the ambiance as you think of how many people have passed through these doors and sat in these seats. Movies have defined us in so many ways and bring the same art to us all whether in large cities or small towns. 

This adventure definitely did not disappoint. The concession stand was very thrifty with a large tub of popcorn for $4 and the service was quick. 


No worry in finding a seat as there were plenty to go around. Forget the large chairs that rock, we were back to the short seats that didn’t move at all. A little stickiness on the floor was to be expected but not a game changer.
The place was packed with many, many children but that is the norm with this type of movie. Everyone behaved as the movie was enthralling.
The ticket booth out front was exactly as we remembered from our past. The marquee and lighting beckoned movie-goers to come on in. There were several showings the day we went so choices were plentiful.

My mind would wander as I sat in this theater so reminiscent of the ones we attended when we were much, much younger. The Logan Theater in Logan, W.Va. opened in 1938 with more than 1,000 seats. It was very similar to the Gem and also had a balcony, but did not manage to stay open as the Gem has. 

In our youth, we often went to movies on Sunday afternoons with siblings, cousins, and friends. The films would run continuously so we never worried about coming in the middle of the movie. We would stay and watch it again or leave during the part playing when we arrived. And no one ran you off when the movie ended. You could stay all day. Fifty cents would buy the ticket, popcorn, soda, and candy.

The only modern amenities at the Gem are the use of credit cards and online ordering of tickets as well as social media including Facebook and Tweeter. 




Otherwise, it is a true blast from the past and definitely worth a visit. Our grandkids loved it and next time want to sit in the balcony.It is a treasure that hopefully will continue operating for many years to come. If you aren’t near Kannapolis, N.C., look up single-screen theaters and maybe you will find one close to you. I hope so--it is worth the visit.

For more info, visit gem-theatre.com

Frances                           

Sunday, February 24, 2019

192 Cleaning peeves


Cleaning Peeves

I have had a few blog postings about pet peeves--such things as earwigs and tissues in the dryer. Cleaning tops my list of irritants that creep into the petty pace of life and greatly annoy me.

As soon as I finish cleaning, the sun shines a certain way and I can see dust on the furniture, litter on the floor, and streaks on the mirrors and windows. Time to put the shade down!

Now I am engaging in annual cleaning--a thorough top-to-bottom job. Yuck!
It reminds me of all the tasks I hate.
















  • Chasing Dust Bunnies. I thought they were so named because they resemble bunnies. But NO! The Secret is Out! They reproduce like rabbits! While you sleep, they are having orgies under the bed!
  • Dust Rattan Furniture. Why did I buy this stuff? I can never tell if it is completely cleaned. 
  • Cleaning Ceiling Fans. I don't like working from a ladder. So I especially hate the fans up on the vaulted ceiling. Two minutes--sure!

  • Cleaning behind the toilet.
I regularly clean toilets but avoid the contortions needed to reach behind them. Then, Ugh!
  • Cleaning shower doors. I wipe down my shower and its door after each use so cleaning it is a breeze. Hubbie, however, cannot be convinced to do the same for his shower or to worry about how it looks.


What works on soap scum? I've tried it all with so-so results.

Tootsie, my Jack Russell, also seems to hate cleaning! She begs me to sit down in "our chair" so she can climb on my lap and stop stressing out. Maybe I'll grab my book and help poor little Tootsie!

Not Cleaning-Savvy Trish








Monday, February 18, 2019

191 Computerless!

WHAT I MISSED WITH NO COMPUTER
FOR THREE WEEKS!

Hello, my friends. I am nearly back to being with my beloved HP built-for-me computer. I think I know why the motherboard is called the “mother” board. 




Without it, you have a great loss in your life. Indeed, it was like losing a family member. Yes, like losing your Mother. Who do I fuss with, exchange stories with, laugh at and with – like a Mother? Just look at all a motherboard does; look at all its parts; look how necessary it is! I am sorry you died, old motherboard.

I now have a new motherboard installed, but in the transfer of one motherboard to another, the built-in audio shorted out. We are now looking at external speakers. [Parenthetically, I suggested that we have a new custom computer built. “Honestly,” said our tech guru, “you don’t need to spend that money.” I wonder? I do wonder?]

Angst! How am I going to stream my favorite shows without sound? Awaiting speakers with longing and trepidation! I hope to heck I can hook them up without a service call from my tech friends (just $85/hr). Thank goodness, Mrs. Maisel is not into season 3 yet. Detective Bosch will just have to wait, but he’s been around for a LONG time. Last night I felt obligated to reality TV – the Bachelor, America’s Got Talent Champions, and reruns of RuPaul season 1. At least, since I worked yesterday and dear husband didn’t, dinner was good!

Now that I have a computer with no sound, I had to have my dear friend Google tell me what I had missed. You may remember I do like “listicles.” Just for fun, the following are the top Google searches for the past three weeks (with my random snarky commentary):


5 Most Searched Words on Google--According to Google


  • FACEBOOK (over 2 million and “they” say it’s in trouble)





  • YOUTUBE (1 million+ and it wants me to subscribe now! What’s with that??)

  • GOOGLE (Bless its heart! Over 900k)



  • GMAIL (must be #1 email -500k+)


  • AMAZON (Surprise! Surprise!)



5 Most Searched Questions on Google


  • WHAT IS MY IP


A unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network (Thanks, Google, for the definition)

  • HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE? (PLEASE DO!)
  • HOW DO I TIE A BOW TIE (is it wedding season??)
  • HOW MANY OUNCES IN A CUP? (if you have a measuring up, it will tell you OR learn “a pint’s a pound the world around” and do a little arithmetic)
  • WHAT’S GOING ON WITH VIRGINIA POLITICS? (What a Great Question!!)


5 Most Popular Candies Purchased--According to Google


  • M&Ms (over 417 mil--did not say what size bag )






  • REESES
  • SNICKERS (15 mil/day)
  • KITKAT/TWIX (a tie)
  • HERSHEY (and we wonder why America is obese!!?)
p.s. I miss NECCO wafers!! (became popular in WWII for GIs as prepackaged rolls were easy to put in overseas gift boxes)



Top Snacks--According to Google


  • POTATO CHIPS


  • OREOS



  • POPCORN
  • COOKIES


  • DORITOS (I hate to choose just one type)



And, finally, according to GOOGLE from Beverage Digest, Feb. 2019: in the cola wars, COKE products have a 17.8% share of the market while Pepsi has an 8.4% share. (Makes sense to me!)

OKAY, that’s all, folks. Waiting for tech support to get some sound on this computer.

Stay warm, Glenne










Sunday, February 10, 2019

190 February's bright spot


A bright spot


In the dreariest of months, a bright spot emerges as the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day takes front and center stage. 

Hearts and flowers and the colors of red and pink are prevalent throughout all forms of advertising as well as in the retail establishments.

If this minor holiday were celebrated any other time of the year, it probably would be a bust, but coming in the middle of winter, it is a beacon in the dark of cold days, long nights, and tons of political discourse.

It doesn’t matter the marital situation, dating stance, or any other love arrangements, it is easy to find someone to honor and celebrate--sister, brother, cousin, neighbor, co-worker, or anyone else in your life. Everyone loves a little Valentine cheer.
Finding the appropriate gift is as easy as walking in a store. Candy, stuffed pillows or any type of animal, real or fake flowers, and cards of all types assault your sense of sight and draw you closer to the edges of the shelves. It is often difficult to make a decision as the choices are numerous.

My advice is to start early and try to make reasonable choices. Costs can be held to a minimum as discount stores offer great values. Who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate on a dreary winter day! 


Whatever your shopping pleasure, make sure to include as many people as you can afford. It will make you feel great and the other person happy.

While the history of the day is full of uncertainties, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it has endured. It is celebrated in many other countries and is a popular day for marriages.

Most of us will never forget exchanging those desirable cards with classmates in our early school days. Elaborate decorations for a cardboard box or heart-shaped envelope were meticulously crafted until each school child had one and was pleased with the outcome. The arrival of the cards was eagerly anticipated as the special day was celebrated with treats of candy, chocolate, and other sweet treats.

One statistic reports that 70 percent of Americans will give chocolate or candy to special people on Feb. 14. 

But the small conversation hearts we all remember so well will be absent this year as the company is having difficulties. Possibly they will be back next year, but there are some look-alikes on the market if you really want the hearts with a message.

There are plenty of options at local malls, downtown stores, and national chains. Whatever your preferences, there is something out there for you and others you want to remember. Just don’t wait until the last minute!!

               Valentine-Savvy Frances






Sunday, February 3, 2019

189 Thrift store volunteer


Confessions of a Thrift Store Volunteer

I have been volunteering once a week for about two months at a thrift shop. It is one that I had frequently visited so I knew I liked the attitudes of the staff and volunteers. Plus they have good stuff!

I have helped at the Winchester Rotary Club Rummage Sale for a number of years so I felt I had an appreciation for the amount of stuff we Americans buy and then discard. Wrong!



Usually, the floor is also
piled high with bags.
On my first day, I was assigned to work with an experienced volunteer, emptying big black garbage bags--a huge stack of them--and sorting out the clothes to keep from the clothes that go into "Done Bags," which go to a clothing recycler. I was amazed at the tremendous amount of clothing to be sorted. The pile never went down--most days it seems to grow even though there could be as many 
as five or six people working at it.



Sisyphus Sorting Clothes


Equally astonishing is the high percentage of clothes that go into the Done Bags. Clothing that is dirty, stained (some very nasty), ripped, tired, badly wrinkled, missing buttons, etc., immediately goes into a Done Bag. I would guess 75% to 95% goes into the Done Bags.


Of course, there are exceptions, such as a clothing retailer cleaning out excess inventory. One day a woman brought in her late husband's entire wardrobe--just out of the washer and dryer and on hangers. 

That story we knew, but other bunches of clothes often lead you to make up stories about the donors. Was it a woman who went from a size 12, to a 14, and then to a 16; or were there multiple family members all with the same taste in clothing? We are always guessing why a single item comes in with the tags still intact. A gift not liked or it didn't fit or match? One of my favorite volunteers, who works five to six days a week at unpacking those endless plastic bags of clothes, often exclaims, "Can you believe someone paid $78 (or some other amount) for THIS?"

I have lost my taste for buying retail. However, my purchases at thrift stores have significantly declined as well. I see so much stuff come in that I have become very picky.

Most of the volunteers also seem that way, but the woman who was my initial trainer takes out bags of stuff each time she works. She may be on her way to being a hoarder!



I also take things out to display in the shop and have helped some people I fear are hoarders. All the bargains--with some marked 50% or 75% off--seem irresistible to some folks, regardless of the utility or quality.


Bins of hats, underwear, belts,
etc., waiting to go out.


Of course, there are also hard-working paid staff members, but the spirit of the volunteers is inspiring. Just like other organizations, there is a least one crotchety volunteer who can be disagreeable. I was told to ignore her. 

But most of the volunteers put in many more hours than I do. They do a lot of kidding but also generously pass out compliments on each other's work. 

        Trish

  



Sunday, January 27, 2019

188 Reality TV


Reality TV

Some years ago--more than I like to image--dear husband and I had numerous conversations about all the “reality tv” shows cropping up. We didn’t think we liked them. 

The banker husband posited that it was a grand plot to save money using local and outdoor sets for free advertising, unknown “regular” people instead of trained, professional actors. 

How could people expose themselves this way? Monitors and cameras on them night and day. Certainly edits of their conversations to make them sound more titillating. What were these people thinking? A way to stardom? A few dollars?
So last week, before the dire death of my motherboard in my computer, thankfully I had pulled up a few Google sites: realityblurred.com, IMDb.com, history.com. 

How long has it been since reality tv has crept into our tv viewing? The following reality shows have been watched off and on over the years. OH MY GOSH!! WE WERE AMAZED at the number of shows we have watched and HOW OLD the shows were. Our thoughts on this tv genre were really wrong! Reality tv is here to stay!

Please take a look at our list--in no chronological order and in no priority order. Just wrote down the names as we remembered them. See which you remember. 



Survivor (this was our first show - liked the host)

American Pickers

The Bachelorette
(still watching)




The Bachelor (still watching)

Duck Dynasty (what a disappoint they turned out to be)

The Kardashians (nope – only one season)
American Idol

Project Runway
(love Tim Gunn)



Dancing with the Stars






Top Chef (tired of Padma) 

RuPaul (he’s become a “phenom”)

America’s Got Talent

Great British Bakeoff (though I can NOT do any of their recipes)

Forensic Files (only in reruns)

Pawn Stars (miss the “Old Man”) 

Hell’s Kitchen (love Gordon)

Dance Moms (in its heyday)

And, of course, (my weekly snarky comment): sometimes we count the news as a reality show!   

Awaiting a New Motherboard     

Savvy Glenne