Park Adventures

Posted August 5, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

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Even when I had Younger Eyes, I was never particularly adventuresome.   I might ride a particularly frightening roller coaster when pressed by my friends or try white water rafting in the Colorado river.   But there was no skydiving or bungie jumping, even though there was a part of me that wondered what it would be like.   In my forties, I ran 13 marathons and participated in a dozen triathlons … I guess hanging on for the last few miles of 26.2 … or swimming in high surf half a mile off the shore at seven in the morning with hundreds of other exercise-nuts qualifies as an adventure.   But now that I’m in my seventies, my adventures are more passive … and they usually take place at Yorba Regional Park where I spend an inordinate amount of my time.  While spotting a particularly fat ground squirrel or seeing a newly hatched baby bluebird might not bring the burst of adrenaline true adventurers crave, they are exactly the what this old curmudgeon craves.   Septuagenarians need endorphins, not adrenaline.

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Yellow Stickies

Posted August 3, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: writing and blogging

Tags: , , , ,

I have a whole folder of stories I wrote in my I’m Going to Be an Author days.   My brother gave me the idea of publishing a few of my favorites here on Older Eyes.  This light-hearted romance is perhaps my favorite.

stickiesThe first one flutters like a wounded yellow butterfly from the medicine cabinet door and lands face down at the edge of the sink.   I eye it unenthusiastically as I scrape the lather from my cheek, debating whether or not to nudge it into the bowl, letting the steaming water and the dollops of shaving cream wash away whatever ink is hidden on the other side.   Ten-to-one, it says paint the hallway before Thanksgiving, or maybe clean the garage.   Why the hell can’t she just ask instead of leaving these God-damned notes everywhere?   I’ve heard her answer often enough to play it back in my head without asking.

“If I just ask, you’ll forget, and I’ll have to ask again.   Then, you’ll say I’m nagging!”

Shit, I think as I dry my jowls with the pink floral towel taken from an ornate brass ring next to me.   If she finds the towel crumpled next to the sink, she’ll say, How many times do I have to ask you not to use the decorator towels?    I try to fold it into a neat rectangle over the ring the way she does, with the embroidered primrose perfectly centered, but I know I’m caught.   With a sigh, I pick up the yellow Post-It and stick it back on the corner of the mirror, but without my glasses, the words are a blur.   Her meticulous block printing comes into focus when I step back… I am just where I’m meant to be in my life !!!!   The four emphatic exclamation points float like red balloons beneath the words.   “Oh, oh,” I say to myself, “she’s wandering the self-help section of Barnes and Noble again.” Read the rest of this post »

Artsy-Fartsy

Posted July 30, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: movies

Tags: , , ,

artsyMy wife, Muri, and I see a lot of movies.  So many, in fact that a trip to our local Redbox is almost never fruitful.  Yes, there is an occasional really-dumb science fiction flick that Muri refused to see but that’s about it.  Netflix and Amazon Prime are relegated to rerunning favorites only.   And here in the midst of summer, our prolific movie-going often leaves us little choice in the local theaters for a Date Night film.  We pretty quickly pick off the films-with-a-brain like The Big Sick, Dunkirk and Baby Driver and a fewminion high-quality animated films like Despicable Me 3 (I love minions!). It only takes a few over-blown superhero epics and space fantasies for us to have had our fill of CGI special effects and crash-bang mayhem.

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Smog Check Hell

Posted July 22, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: curmudgeonly rants

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2007smog No one would ever accuse me of being an environmentalist but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it when measures imposed by our government successfully improve the environment around me.   When we moved to California in 1971, there were days when the smog tinted the air brown, it hurt the eyes to go outside and the simple act of breathing burned the lungs.   In the car-obsessed L.A. metropolitan area, automobile exhaust was the primary cause of such days, and … although having to have my car smog certified every two years is a pain … the smog check program has dramatically improved the air here in Socal.   As I sit here in the park on a sultry summer day, the air around me is colorless and the sky is blue. Read the rest of this post »

Tops, Drawers and Doors

Posted July 21, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: humor

Tags: , , ,

Neat_NotMy wife, Muri, likes things neat and clean. Older Eyes, not so much, which is why I have a private office with a door that remains mostly closed.  When Muri comes to my office to talk, I can tell, she tries not to look around to the debris of several days work … plus empty soda cans, coffee cups and miscellaneous papers … scattered around on my table and desk.  Sometimes the floor.  I try to do better in the rest of the house, but I admit, it never meets Muri’s goals for me.   When I’m busy … meaning I’m doing something I’m interested in, things with a lower priority slip past my attention.  I think to some degree it’s a guy thing, although I certainly know neatnik guys.  And guys much messier than I am.   Muri tells me, I don’t know anyone who leaves things open as much as you do.  What do I leave open?  Tops, Drawers and Doors, mainly.  When I think about it, she has lived with one man for most of her life, so how would she know anyone else?

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Independence (To)Day

Posted July 4, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

photostudio_1499193749123Last Saturday night, my wife and I attended Stadium of Fire, an Independence Day extravagana sponsored by the America’s Freedom Festival at LaVell Edwards Stadium on the campus of BYU.   It was a grand celebration of patriotism, featuring a skydiving team trailing an American Flag, a flyover during the presentation of the colors and a stirring National Anthem by a 14 year old singer from The Voice.60,000 people recited the Pledge of Allegiance, something an old guy so far from grammar school rarely gets to do any more.  I have to admit, I photostudio_1499193693175teared up.  I consider myself a patriot, you see.   There were two country music acts, a comedian and several dance routines, each dedicated to our servicemen with the voiciferous support of the crowd.    And there was an unbelievable fireworks show set to that most American of music, Rock and Roll, as well as an assortment of patriotic tunes. Between Saturday and today, Independence Day, evenings have been punctuated with explosions and aerial displays, delighting the kids but scaring the crap oout of the dogs.  You see, fireworks are legal here in Utah where we are spending the 4th with our grandkids.

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ABCD … LGBT

Posted June 26, 2017 by oldereyes
Categories: opinion

Tags: ,

prejudiiceWhen I was a teenager, my Mom and I had a discussion about prejudice and racism, in particular.  I don’t remember what precipitated such a discussion but it was likely news of some atrocity that had taken place in the South toward Negros.  That was the proper name back then.   My Mom told me that by the time I was her age, there would be no more racism because all the races would have intermarried, creating a single race.  Little did I know then how far her prediction would fall from the truth but it remains a fond memory of the kind of woman my mother was.  A few years later, I would join the first interracial fraternity at the University of Connecticut where I’d have the life-changing experience of talking civil rights as the only white guy in a room of African Amercan (by then, the proper term) brothers. At college, I would meet a pretty Jewish girl who would become my wife and I’d study the world’s religions (against the advice of my pastor, by the way).  I’d like to say I graduated without any prejudices but in a world full of ethnic and religious slurs, it is all too easy to reach for one in my head, even if I don’t say it. And of course, there were new prejudices to deal with as life went on, ones that were at least tacitly acceptable in my young adulthood. Read the rest of this post »