Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Help Me Name the Twins

The other morning I woke up with a humungous floater in my left eye. Not a speck floating ON my eye, but something inside. A bit of research told me that it could be a sign of a detached retina or broken blood vessel, so it was off to the eye doc. He dilated my eyes and looked in the back and found that there was nothing serious going on – just aging. As he said, at my age I won’t need much change in my eyeglass prescription, but I am now more likely to experience diseases of the eye. Gee, thanks! I also have the start of cataracts.

The eye ball is filled with gelatinous material, and as we age this stuff dries up just like the rest of our once-juicy bodies. My floaters are pieces of this material that have come loose and now are doing an endless ballet in my eye. Since there’s nothing torn there’s nothing to fix, so I need to become friends with my floaters. If I am going to have a relationship with these things they need names, so I am asking for your help!

There are two pieces, but they move together, so I am assuming they are twins. Fraternal twins – one piece looks like a thread and the other is like a bit of fuzz. Any suggestions? I have no prizes to award, just the honor of knowing you have helped me make friends with my decrepitude. Oh, and a bit of advice: Not a good idea to drive when your eyes are dilated.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Road Annoyance

It’s no surprise that cars turn ordinary people into jerks. Present company excluded, of course. I see a lot of morons in the course of the day, and most of them are on either side of me on the freeway. Yesterday I saw a car cruisin’ down the road with its trunk open – and there was nothing in the trunk! Either the person that had been trapped in there managed to escape, or the driver accidentally pushed the release button. Either way, he needed to pull over and close it, because there was no way he could see out the back window.

Last night was cold, and if you left your car outside overnight it was frosty this morning. A car almost ran into me because the driver had not cleaned his windows. Superman might have x-ray vision but you don’t, and you can’t see out of foggy windows!

I have issues with SUVs. This is a sensitive subject, because several members of my family drive SUVs. I know they are all considerate and would never think of parking in a space marked “compact,” because they know that, while their vehicles might be compact length-wise, they are wide boys! A compact space is usually shorter AND narrower than a regular one. I have had to climb into my car from the passenger side many times after finding that an SUV has pulled into a compact space only millimeters from my driver’s door. As a 62 year old woman with bad knees, hoisting myself over the gearshift is not easy!

My most recent SUV issue is the manufacturer’s fault. SUVs are high up off the ground – a lot higher than a regular car such as the one I drive. I’m also short. At night when an SUV is behind me, the headlights shine right into my rear-view mirror exactly at my eye level, effectively blinding me. Yeah, I can flip the switch to angle my mirror down, but that reduces its effectiveness by about 75%. And why should it be my problem anyway? Shouldn’t those headlights be aimed lower? This is really a safety issue and another instance of short-people discrimination.

I work at an airport, and one of the very few perks I get is free parking. I have an electronic card that I have to tap on a reader to enter and exit the garage. The exit is the same one that the public uses. There are 4 pay lanes. One of them – the only one with the electronic reader – is clearly marked “credit cards only.” Yet people choose that lane without reading the sign and then have to back out because they want to pay with cash. So all of us employees that were lined up behind the moron have to back up to let him out.

And upon entering the garage cars will come to a complete stop after going through the entrance gate. Apparently they will die if they can’t park within 2 feet of the entrance. In a 9-story garage.

Drive safely and considerately!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

The boss has some real oldies on the player today – Sam Cooke, “A Change is Gonna Come,” Tower of Power, “You’re Still a Young Man,” The Dells, “Oh What a Night,” The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes For You,” Gladys Knight, “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Minnie Riperton, “Lovin’ You,” and Peaches & Herb, “Reunited.” It’s the kind of music that makes me feel good to be alive.

There’s a current of electricity in the air today, since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and the start of a four-day weekend for me. Because I am a curmudgeon who hates all holidays, this is surprising. I have always felt that holidays were days when people put on phony smiles and pretend to like everyone (that’s what I do, anyway). As an adult I have always felt like an outsider in my own family. The joy that I felt around holidays and birthdays as a kid has vanished, replaced by cynicism.

Wasn’t it all so great? First off, no school. Four days of lounging in my house, reading books or, when I was older, sleeping late and then hanging out with friends. Four days of no responsibility or obligations, and not even any Sunday School to spoil the weekend. Then the food – turkey, stuffing, cranberries, fancy desserts, and, best of all, leftovers. My dad made the best sandwich of leftover turkey, sliced radishes, cranberry sauce, and Durkee’s spread, which is hard to find now. I got to see aunts and uncles who didn’t live close by. I had the best aunts and uncles who were always up for jokes and games and were superior to parents in that they had no desire to discipline or make me do anything I didn’t want to.

All this goes away when you are an adult and all the aunts and uncles are gone and there’s no one to play with or cook for you. There’s no play at all, and if you want to eat you have to do your own cooking. Responsibilities and obligations do not take the weekend off. You can ignore them for a few days but they will be right back in plain view, bigger and uglier, on Monday.

But the old music is taking me back to those childhood Thanksgiving weekends when the possibilities glittered like sun on snow.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stop the Stink!

Hey Lady! Your perfume stinks like a possum that crawled under the house and died. Sorry to be so blunt, but right now the stench is snaking into my olfactory system and bombarding the inside of my nose with tiny daggers of smell and burning my eyes like tear gas. My juicy, perfectly-cooked steak, which I was thoroughly enjoying in this fine restaurant before you sat down at the next table, now tastes like your perfume. Didja bathe in that crap? Wash your clothes in it? The only possible explanation for your outrageous, wanton, liberal use of such a malodorous scent is that you, yourself, have no sense of smell. Or else, your continued use of that foully reeking miasma has chemically cauterized the nerve endings in your own nose. Now I can’t even sit and enjoy dessert and a chat with my husband – I gotta get outta here now! And I know I will have a headache by the time I get home. Thanks for ruining a nice evening.

Restaurants: you need a no-stinking section.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Asked in the Airport

I work in an airport, and the comments I have heard over the years astound me. Either people become totally brainless when they travel, or they are innately stupid. Nothing else could explain these:

“Where can my dog go to the bathroom?”

“Who will get me from my house to the subway station?”

“What flight did my brother come in on?”

“My ticket says my flight leaves at 2215. Is that morning or evening?”

“I have a ticket to Salt Lake City, and I’m sitting at the gate, and I see there’s a flight to Indianapolis at the next gate. I’d rather go there. Can I just go through that door?”

“My chain saw will fit in the overhead compartment, but they’re telling me I can’t carry it on board.”

“Instead of paying for my ticket can I just donate that amount to the Red Cross?”

“Do I need a passport to fly to Hawaii?”

“Can I drive to Hawaii?”

“Can I find out who has the seat next to me?”

“Where’s level 3?” Me: You’re on level 3. “I wanted to get to level 3.” (Shakes head and walks away)

“I left my leather jacket in the cab. You’re going to have to get it for me.”

Sadly, these are all true.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Politics, politics, politics

I am so glad the election is over. In the end it doesn’t really matter who wins – they are all ego maniacs looking to win approval because daddy never gave them any. OK, there are a few who are probably altruistic – the Kennedys were, and Al Gore. And I used to admire Jimmy Carter until he went all anti-Semitic on me. The best part of the election being over is no more of those oversized postcards touting some candidate or proposition clogging my mailbox. And no more robo-calls! Yesterday, election day, three automated calls for one of the candidates came in the afternoon just minutes apart. A desperate waste of money that could have fed hungry children.

Politically I am (WARNING! WARNING!) pretty liberal. I was going to do a whole rant, but, thinking it over, decided not to. I’m willing to share the recesses of my emotional state and the failings of my body, but politics seems like too much of a hot topic. Eating El Camino is a no-foaming-at-the-mouth blog.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baseball been bery, bery good to me

Yay, the Giants won the World Series. I admit to getting caught up in the excitement only during the playoffs. I used to love baseball, as a kid. During the summer there was always a game on TV or the radio, and that special sound, the hum of a stadium full of fans, was part of the texture of my childhood. Baseball is perfect for childhood, when the days seem endless and your life seems to stretch out into infinity. But at some point, probably around 1965, I suddenly realized that life just wasn’t long enough to sit through a scoreless game between the Cubs and the (pre-miracle) Mets.

I continued, however, to admire the idea of baseball – as a contest between worthy competitors, as a metaphor for the hero’s journey, as a symbol for the pure innocence that once was America. And I love baseball novels – The Natural, of course, and The Great American Novel and Bang the Drum Slowly, plus ones you might not have heard of, like The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and The Universal Baseball Association, J. Waugh, Prop. Sadly, the reality of modern baseball did not keep pace with the ideal. When I saw the new and improved Mark McGwire I wondered why no one seemed to be commenting on his Popeye arms. Forearms like that do not happen naturally outside of cartoons! And now critics are calling this baseball’s steroid era.

So I watched the World Series on TV, and boy, those commentators do not shut up! Since we can see what’s going on they feel they have to fill the silence with meaningless statistics. My dad used to turn off the sound on the TV and listen to the game on the radio, and I understand why. Radio broadcasters paint a picture of what’s going on, and it’s beautiful and poetic, plus they get excited: “The count is 0-and-2 and here comes the pitch, a high fastball, and Mays leans into it, and it’s back, back, back, it’s bye-bye baby!”

That was baseball.