BRING BACK BELL BOTTOMS – Marilyn Armstrong

Mostly, I miss the pants. The big wide bell bottoms were the most flattering jeans I ever had. They made my legs look longer and my hips narrower.

From the year my son was born — 1969 — and for the next few years, fashion and I were simpatico.

It was the hippiest of times … and I was as much as a hippy as I would ever be.

I was young. I wore big bell bottoms. The  patchwork jeans were my favorites, although at the end of the day. I looked like I had been sitting on a waffle iron.

My shirts had fringes. Purple fringes.

96-BabyOandMe-HPI wore granny glasses with rose-tinted lenses. My hair was cut in a shag. I had my baby in a sling on my hip, a Leica on my shoulder and a song in my heart (probably the Beatles). That was a good as it got for me.

I miss the clothing. I really miss the Leica.

Mostly, I want my bell bottoms back!

COZY MORNING

Garry was up early because he has a medical thing today. He wanted the extra time to have coffee, for showering and all that morning stuff. I lolled in bed for an extra hour, mostly because that’s how long it takes me to get my back functioning.

I’ve gotten pretty good at untangling myself. It’s all about positioning, taking the pill I sometimes don’t want to take, but if I take it, the day goes a lot better than if I don’t … and slowly stretching until things are more or less mobile. My back has been in poor shape since I was a teenager. I had my big surgery on it when I was just 19 and time hasn’t been kind to the bones.

Time generally isn’t kind to bones. Arthritis seems to be universal for damaged joints, whether broken by accident or surgically renovated … and often, just “because.”

Mine are a mess both because of surgery — and “just because.” Arthritis is not a special issue at our age. It’s not a matter of “if,” but more like “how bad” and “how much does it affect you.” It wasn’t too bad this morning. I slept on my back and generally, if I make myself sleep on my back, I wake up more mobile than sleeping on my side, which I find a lot more natural. My back doesn’t agree. There’s not much point in arguing with my spine. It always wins.

So we are off. Garry is getting a CATscan of his head to make sure he has all the requisite pieces for a cochlear implant. Then, in another few weeks, the first doctor’s appointment with the cochlear audiologist, then after that, the surgeons. This stuff takes a lot more time than people think it will.

When you have an emergency, everything happens in a hurry, but when you have choices to make, it takes time. And of course, it’s winter, so everything takes more time. Christmas vacations chop December into pieces and the hangovers from New Year’s take care of early January.

I remember waiting for my heart surgery. First, they hustled me along. Urgent, urgent, urgent … but they delayed it three-times. I had to delay it once because I had pneumonia. Heavy coughing doesn’t go well with heart surgery. It took — in total — more than three months between determining I needed the surgery and actually having the surgeon and me both available at the same time. Emergencies came up and for a heart surgeon, they are always first. Heart surgeons live on emergency schedules. By the time I actually got into the hospital, I was an emergency. You can’t always tell from testing alone — and that’s something everyone needs to remember.

This surgery for Garry isn’t an emergency, but it is not optional, either. It needs to be done. Hearing aids won’t work for him anymore, so it is this or a gradual  and close to total loss of hearing for him. He needs his hearing back. I need it back, too, though I wonder what it will be like knowing he really can hear me. I won’t be able to mutter under my breath all the time!

Our granddaughter sent me a note last night suggesting  we should have Garry run for president … because we know Garry could fix everything. I’m pretty sure Garry doesn’t think he could fix everything, but sometimes, I wonder. He’s been a pretty good fixer over the years — and even when he can’t fix stuff, he’s very good at getting everyone to CALM DOWN. In the process, he may be leaning towards madness, but you’d never know it to look at him.

A man with a poker face like that should have played poker. What a waste!

I’ll be back later, but not with more news. They never tell you anything at radiology. You have to wait for the doctor to officially tell you. Eventually, news will follow but do not hold your breath!

DUBIOUS GOVERNMENT – WHEN YOU AREN’T SURE IF YOU HAVE ONE

DUBIOUS – an adjective about which you may hold much conjecturing.


Dubious is an adjective — as in hesitating or doubting — not to be relied upon. It also means suspect as in “extremely dubious assumptions.” Add it that suspicious, untrustworthy, unreliable, questionable and just for kicks, morally suspect.

That would pretty much sum up our government these days. I’ve been assured by others that their government is no less dubious or morally suspect than ours, but I defy any government to be more hugely, gigantically, and outrageously dubious that the current American version. Australia may have lost more than half its governing body because (it turns out) they weren’t actually Australians — and Canada may have significant doubts about what Trudeau is really doing “up there,” but for pure blowhard untrustworthiness and morally suspicious behavior, it would be hard to top The Big Donald.

He sort of has it all wrapped up. When he talks, it’s not merely double-talk. It’s also blatheringly meaningless random words strung together without a subject, object, verb … or an end. Not not to mention illiterate, but I think I can safely say that our president is the most illiterate guy to ever hold high office, at least in the past two or three centuries. He is also suspicious, suspect, untrustworthy, unreliable, questionable and I think we’ve passed “morally suspect” and moved on to degenerate.

Anyone want to argue the point?

So while the rest of the you may indeed be in trouble, I defy any country anywhere to be in worse trouble than we are. Your governments may be crap, but ours is crappier.

Just saying. Among the dubious, we are the most absolutely potentially terrifyingly dubious of all. Yay America!

POPULARITY

ONLINE POPULARITY


This has been an exceptional year for SERENDIPITY. As of today — October 1, 2017 — we have gotten more views for this year than for any previous year. Having other writers helped — and especially, it has helped me.

Moreover, this has been a strange year. A difficult, frightening year for many Americans. More people are online, all looking to make sense of a world we thought we knew. Looking for answers to questions we never imagined we could have.

I want to thank you — all you writers and readers who visit me even when I’m not having a sublime, artistic day. Some days, I know I’m’ pretty lame. I’m pretty sure this is one of them. My head is spinning with ideas, but none of them are congealing into something coherent. There are times when not writing is the best thing I can do.

I’ll leave it here. It has been a great year. Yesterday was the best day of September and the entire year has been exceptional, start to finish.

I’ve been trying to pull back enough so I have more time to take pictures and write. Which also means I have less time to read everyone else’s stuff.  I feel bad about that. If I could stretch my days an extra 10 hours, I’m sure I could get it all done, but until time becomes more elastic, I’m stuck with the standard 24 hours, some of which I have to give over to sleep. Even though I hate wasting all that time.

You make the days light up and give my world meaning.

As long as the computer keeps chugging along and the WiFi pumps through the wires, I’m with you.

A LITTLE BIT OF MACRO GOES A LONGISH WAY

FOCUS


Garry has a lot of trouble getting very close to things, then shooting them. With a camera.

I’m pretty sure this has something to do with more than 40 years in film and videotape where getting too close was unflattering and unless the camera had the right lens, blurry.

Yesterday, we spent a little time working on getting close to flowers and shooting tight with a macro lens. He got the message, but I’m not sure he is quite ready for that level of intimacy with anything in a lens.

While teaching him how to use the macro feature on the 12-50 mm Olympus lens, I got some pictures of Garry, too.

WHEN THIS INFINITY IS BIGGER THAN THAT ONE

FINITE RESOURCES IN AN INFINITY OF UNIVERSES

College was not, as it turned out, particularly useful for practical stuff. Although I learned a reasonable amount, it had a tendency to be the kind of thing that makes great conversation while playing Trivial Pursuit rather than  while trying to figure our your household budget for the month.

Consider the subject of infinite sets. I am not a mathematician. I’m okay with arithmetic and I can figure out a basic, algebraic equation if you give me enough time and scratch paper … but otherwise? Unless it’s part of a computer language, I’m at a loss.


Finite versus infinite sets. Equipotent sets. Countable sets. Example!

I remember infinite sets because it was similar to trying to understand time travel.

An infinite set is any combination of numbers that has not end. There are lots and lots of them. All positive numbers, like: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 … and obviously, you can keep counting until the moon turns blue and the world is exhausted.

But what about an infinite set of all negative AND positive numbers, so that they go backward forever into the minuses as well and forward into the positives. Forever and a day. With no end. That would be twice as big as all positive number … but equally infinite.

There can be infinite sets of only numbers which divide by three or cardinal number and any bizarre combination of fractions. They are all infinite, but some are bigger than other.


Finite and infinite sets. Two sets have the same cardinality when there is bijective function associating them. Cardinality is is reflexive, symmetric and transitive. Countable sets: set of all integers, set of even numbers, positive rationals (Cantor diagonalization) Set of real numbers between 0 and 1 has same cardinality as set of all reals. Computability of functions.

How can one infinity be bigger than another infinity? Apparently universes are sort of like that and now, my brain is due for explosion because I can’t keep this kind of information in there.

Our personal numeric world consists of shockingly finite numbers. That’s one of the amazing parts of retirement. You have what you have and you will never have more, unless you hit the lottery or have an extremely rich relative planning to die and leave his fortune behind for you. Retirement income just “IS.” It won’t get bigger. Retirement income pretty much stays the same while the world trundles on. Life and the universe may be infinite, sort of, but retirement income is not.

It’s just a thought to ponder. If you feel like pondering.

REVELATION? MORE LIKE (FINALLY) SUMMER!!

The weather — suddenly, the way things happen locally — turned warm and sunny today. I’m itching to get outside and shoot some pictures, but my husband made a date with someone (he’s late and I wonder if he’ll even make it) so I don’t know if it’s going to happen. But we are moving — finally — into summer weather and I’m itchy to be outside. So I guess this is when I realize that I’m going to write a little less.

My writing crew has moved to summer mode. The Curley’s are out on their boat. Rich is off on vacations. Garry is just being Garry. We aren’t going anywhere — I wish we were, but the money isn’t there. Nonetheless, we aren’t glued to our keyboards.

Is this the revelation of summer? It IS summer. Time to do something . I think I’ll pick up a camera and see what’s going on outside!

We got sprayed again and the past few days of rain may finally have (I hope, I hope) moved us past caterpillars and into some good days, though it will be too hot for comfort before I swirl around twice.

Next time I see you, I hope I will have pictures!