Sunday, August 30, 2009


I downloaded this song from iTunes this week:

I am amazed that I still know all the words - what - 30 years later? I'm fascinated by the fact that there is a place in my brain where the lyrics to this song reside. There are neurons buried somewhere in that soft gray mass in my head, which have been so deeply imprinted by this song that even though I rarely access the memory, it is still there in full. A cascade of synapses fire, sleepy neural pathways awaken and these silly lyrics pour out of my mouth. I am in awe of that power.

But I am also mystified by how variable and unreliable memory can be. Beth just told me about the time that she came to visit me while I was at college in New York. I have absolutely NO memory of that. NONE. She says that she has pictures of me in my dorm room. I remember my dorm room, but don't remember Beth ever being there. She remembers that we went sightseeing together and saw the Empire State Building. If you asked me if I had ever been to the Empire State Building, I would have told you no. Even though Beth filled in some of the details of her visit, I can not conjure up a single thread of a memory about it.

So strange. So random. I suppose every memory is a miracle.

I hope when I am 96 and sitting in my nursing home chair, that I bust out this song and all the staff look at me funny. (And then probably increase my meds.)

Said a hip, hop, hippy to the hippy to hip hip a-hoppin' you don't stop rockin' to the bang bang boogie said up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie-bee.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Party Pooper

Gross discussion of bodily functions below. If you can't handle it, stop reading.

Should a person be worried if her (kinda loose) poop this morning was a bright red color?

Not if she drank a huge glass of beet juice last night.

This happened to me this morning. When I noticed it, I started to think, "What the...." and then I remembered the beet juice.

Actually it was orange/beet juice but the orange flavor was nowhere to be found. Beets just take over everything. Like some obnoxious guest at a party who hijacks every conversation and has to be the center of attention the whole time.

I'm roasting a bunch of vegetables in the oven right now, including beets.

The beets had better not ruin the party.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A good night

It's not always crazy or difficult or heartbreaking when I volunteer. It seems that I tend to write about the times that frustrate me. Probably because it is a good way to vent those feelings.

This past Friday was a good night with an interesting group of kids. Ages ranged from 3 to 6. They all seemed rather well adjusted and relaxed. They played really well together - very few episodes of squabbling, grabbing of toys or acting out. It was nice.

I played dolls with a 5-year-old who was a great Mommy. Tucked her dolls in with blankets and then grabbed a play purse and said, "I'm going out for a while. You watch them and I'll be back in a little bit." She walked around the playroom in a very determined way, like she was really intent on getting some errands done. When she got back, I gave her the report that all of the babies were good while she was out.

The fire alarm went off in the building while we were in the playroom. A piercing, high-pitched alarm that forces you to leave because it makes you feel like your brain is going to melt. Everyone was extremely calm and all the children walked quietly out of the building with staff shepherding them along. One of the staff counted the kids twice as we headed for the door. Not one kid got freaked out by the squealing alarm and flashing lights.

They have a big plastic stroller outside, with seats for six. Six kids got strapped in and two others just held hands with us. The stroller would be used to move the children quickly if there were a real emergency. We stood outside the building for a few minutes until someone determined that it had been a false alarm and we all went back inside. I was impressed by how calm all of the children remained throughout the whole thing. I think six of them were quite disappointed that they didn't actually get to take a ride in the big, plastic stroller.

Overall, it was a good night and I had fun.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Things NOT to do while driving

1. Talk on your cell phone.

2. Text on your cell phone. (It is amazing to me that laws have to be created for this one.)

3. Stare at your digital odometer when it shows 99,999 miles because you want to see it change to 100,000 miles.

I have done #1 on rare occasions. Yes, that's right. I'll admit it. But I choose not to do it on a regular basis. No phone call is worth the distraction. If I were the preeminent emergency brain surgery expert who had to take calls from other doctors attempting to save lives - then MAYBE. Maybe I would take a call while driving.

If I ever attempted to do #2, you would be reading about the horrible crash that I would inevitably cause after making that colossally stupid decision.

I did #3. My beautiful 2001 Prius has hit 100,000. On my lunch break from work, I knew it was about to happen. I really did stare at the odometer a bit too much, drove slower than I usually do and was a potential menace on the roads. But I did see it change to 100,000!

I never understood people who get emotionally attached to cars. A car should just be basic transportation. It gets you from one place to another. That's it.

But I have to say that I love my Prius. I love its dark green color. I love its compactness. I love how quiet it is when it runs only on battery power. If anything happened to it, I would be sad. I'd have to grieve for a while. And I'd miss it. I hope it lasts another 100,000 miles.