Posts Tagged ‘aging

16
Sep
19

A Fatal Choice -Which Do You Choose?-

***

Let’s say you enter this life and have two choices of how to live.

A) You survive until you are 60 to 110 years old but are doomed to die from a plague sweeping the planet which ultimately touches nearly every person like mold on pumpkins. Your life expectancy is a blend of genetics and whatever man-made products you put into yourself which keep you going as long as you can…as well as bringing you down in the end.

B) You sign a contract or invest in the necessary equipment (sort of like paying for college and all that goes with it to get a degree) to transfer your “doomed” human identity into a machine supplied by a monopolizing company already spreading its financial cloak of dominance over the planet. However many years and however you live those years as a human being are inconsequential; as you will join the collective hive/mind of billions of other robots who bought into this “life insurance plan.”

Which would you choose?

Or, do the prospects of both make you wish you were never born?

[More on that philosophy in a near-future post.]

Just answer the question. Don’t LIKE or star this for later and forget about it or pass it on. And, if it’s not too much trouble, explain your answer/decision; what makes you choose that path?

14
Aug
19

The Older Man at the Dating Carnival

****

So, there I was, a middle-aged man at what is essentially a carnival, surrounded by families, couples and a zoological encyclopedia of younger women often traveling in small packs like wild gazelles.

I found myself longing and looking at the young gazelles…and then feeling completely out of sorts and out of place. Had I indulged my youthful thoughts, I’d later admonish myself for acting like some pedophile. I look around, trying to spot the older cheetahs, the cougars and elephants…and I can’t see anything other than mothers, wives and grandmas. I feel completely out of place with attachment to nothing other than the family I accompany, and even that is sketchy attachment, like a loose tooth waiting to pop out of a kid’s mouth. I am adrift in the sea of human connectivity. And, being so lost, I had almost no interest in being among the crowd.

Part of me wanted to blink my eyes and storm right back to the car or even hike all the way home. Part of me was lingering like a child insistant on getting a balloon or toy before he goes home. I came to sample new foods and help my nephews have fun and be safe. I could only manage the babysitting duty. The food (and mingling, if I had that nerve) just couldn’t fit itself into my abilities; the heat and crowding didn’t help.

Some day, you’ll find me in a National Geographic special on human nature and see the lone, hungry outsider who can’t seem to find a mate or make many decisions. He will be tortured by constant references to Taylor Swift (whose name kept popping up at said carnival as if the phone was ringing for me to take some kind of action I did not know).
[What am I to do, Tay? They’re playing your song. They’re naming pigs after you. They have your “swag” for sale. The days of Hannah Montana and the first wave of Spice Girls didn’t generate as much attention. Suddenly, you’re everywhere…and I feel like I am nowhere. I don’t want a Taylor Swift sundae or Cotton Cand-Tay. I want to *savor* the real thing.]

Sorry, readers, for bringing her into yet another blog post. But, it happened for a reason. Of that, I am certain. I’m just not sure why.

11
Apr
18

Like a Sad Puppy Looking Out the Window

***

No.  You’re not going to find any sad but cute puppy pictures here.  Go clog your storage drives elsewhere.

I’m just expressing how I feel at the moment…at this stage in my life.  And, just to let you know, I’m going to get a bit long-winded; so get comfy and prepare yourself for some heavy paragraphs if you care to read.  But, if you want a more intimate look at the real me, this is about as close as you get without making the effort to reach out and connect via the pathways I provide.  I may repeat a few things from previous posts.

I feel like time is slipping away while I struggle to stand and get moving.  I hear about neighbors I don’t socialize with regularly, finding out their kids have already married and bought houses when it seems like only a few years ago they were kids playing in the backyard.  Have I actually reached THAT age?  Am I already the gray-haired elder who talks about the little ones being taller than I remember?

I’m not particularly physically handicapped.  But, I feel emotionally and mentally challenged…crippled.  I feel starved and deprived of good energies that I’d assume propel other people into action.

If someone says I just lack motivation, what does that mean?  I should be whipped like a slave?  I should throw myself in front of a bus or hit my head against a wall til I get the picture?  I just need to take more risks, more chances?  I’m not charitable enough?  I’m not “hungry” enough?  Exactly what direction should I move in to be doing this life right?  [No.  Don’t answer that one.  There are way too many people doling out answers they think are right, already.]

It’s sad to say, too, but I look forward to and sometimes rely upon emails to communicate.  I used to turn to the landline telephone.  But, reaching people isn’t always as easy, anymore, now that there are “options” and more things to distract people (rather than connect them).  I don’t mind leaving a message if I know I’ll get a response.  But, I don’t want to be the guy calling at “a bad time” and feeling like I am expecting the person to be my therapist while they are wondering when I’ll stop gabbing because they have “more important” things to do (that I could/should be doing myself).  Often enough, talking on the phone makes me feel worse, later, than I do composing a letter or email (which, for me, often turns out as long or longer than some letters I used to write).

So, when I finally do get an email or offer to email, I perk my head up a little and might even pant before responding as soon as possible.  Sometimes, I go out of my way, give it more time than most would, really try to make it into something special, something personal and considerate.  Over the years, I’ve realized that usually smells of desperation and is not–as often as I’d like–appreciated.

I try to be patient with others, particularly when they say they are sorry they cannot respond sooner/more often.  I say, “Oh, that’s okay.  You’re busy.  Take your time.”  And, then what happens?  I don’t hear from these people for weeks, months…  And, well, if it goes past a year, I pretty much assume our connection is dead.   [One sad, lonely dog, looking too hard for attention over here.]

“Back in the day,” (heh) you might write to a pen pal and wait a year for a response.  But, you were not considering that pen pal anything more than a seasonal visitor like the Easter Bunny or Kris Kringle.  You didn’t expect much from a pen pal and were grateful, hopefully, when they felt thoughtful enough to send a treat or souvenir.

I don’t look for pen pals at this stage of my life.  If my “circle” was that fulfilling but too local to satisfy my explorative interests, I might look for a stranger overseas to tell me tales.  But, these days, you don’t need a pen pal for that.  You can find people like that online!…in places like this one!  And, if they are friendly enough, you can exchange dialogue!  Isn’t that nice?  [Not that there’s much dialogue going around from what I can see.  More often, I see “award” notices, strangely worded/ignored comments from faceless strangers, brief words of vague sympathy and plenty of “snapshot” responses (the LIKES and the FOLLOWS) which are void of warmth.]

My timing and my low level of comfort with mingling are also terrible.  It seems I am always inside when others are taking walks outside.  [Again, the sad puppy looking out the windows.]  And, even if I cross paths with someone while walking, I’m in no way comfortable striking up a conversation.

For one, I don’t want to come off like an intrusion or misunderstood threat.  I don’t want to take away from the exercise or interaction someone else may be having with their exercise group/companion(s) (while I am almost always alone).  If they only have so much time to exercise, why try to or expect them to stop and gab as long as I may?

Secondly, or rather, additionally in regards to general discomfort, I am not comfortable talking on a walk or in public for more than a minute or two because I know my skin is thin and that I will break the dam wide open if given a chance.  And, the last thing I want is to get loud or breakdown among passersby who are likely to turn their heads and very quickly add to my discomfort.  What’s wrong with him?  Do you really want to know?  [Not to mention all the concerns I’d have of being rejected or “judged” for expressing or hearing something that disturbs one of us.]

What I really would like is to meet someone on a walk or online (or somewhere far more comfortable, wherever that is) and spark a conversation but take it somewhere more private so I don’t expose my “ills,” my concerns, my woes, my heavier thoughts to more people than necessary, especially to people you don’t know who are capable of doing things with your output that might shock and/or upset you.

And, I think that’s what I’ve been doing and striving to do since the internet began.  [I am pretty sure I’ve discussed my experiences with making contacts online elsewhere in my posts.  I just don’t feel like linking or repeating.  And, hey, if you really need to know, you just ask.]

I don’t or can’t expect someone I just met to welcome me into their home or car (and that doesn’t sound too smart to begin with, anyway). I really don’t know where to go to make this happen.  Nor do I have any bright idea or motivation to make myself more comfortable.  It’s one thing when you have a friend or “wingman” with you.  It’s a whole other to feel as fragile as I do and try to go it alone.  I mean, I am sure people do it and have done it.  And, if it comes down to it, I’ll figure out a way.  But, time is passing by so quickly, and I am still spinning my tires.

It sure would be nice if more people reached out to me, too.  Ya know?  I feel worse thinking the world is only going to get better if I make it better for myself (and others).  For all the stories I read of people making things happen, starting businesses and such, I don’t see people reaching out to me.  I keep getting the feeling like I’m different and have to do the leg work for others.  They might have tons of offers or be going through applications/resumes like some location seeking employees.  But, I remain the lone applicant just hoping to make a dent, to get my foot in a door.  [Stop looking like that, sad puppy man!]

Am I just living in some TV show or video game?  Is this just a 4D world in which I have the controller to make things happen?  Have I been so bewildered by the simulations that I forgot I am Player One?

Some would say I just need to get busy or be busier with my life.  When you’re busy, you don’t think as much (about these things).  And, while that may be true, do I want to busy myself with work that does nothing other than feed the careless, wasteful impulses of others (just because someone chooses to make a business of that, because someone convinced them this was profitable) or work for someone who sells a lie built around fear/doubt?

Oh, sure, I could get very busy.  I could not make any money and devote my life to charity because the world sure needs plenty of help.  But, I am terribly afraid of my social and general anxieties getting in the way, of ending up penniless and dependent upon some system I don’t necessarily understand or like.  It’s not like I would be good at balancing charity with doing everything I need to support myself.  I’d more likely give my all and wind up with nothing…or give so little that I feel like a cheapskate/miser.  It is all a bit too risky for me.  [Yet, charity sounds better than some alternatives.]

Sigh.  Woof!

 

 

 

 

10
Apr
18

How Do You Address Aging with Parents Who Are?

***

Touchy subject.

I have parents who are “getting up there” who are first experiencing some of the major setbacks of aging, those setbacks that make anyone else concerned for their ability to function and safety.  And, on top of that, my parents are that proud, self-sufficient sort that think they’ll be superheroes all their lives, not willing to admit or aware they are aging.  They don’t often ask for help even when they clearly need it.  And, if you try to help, you have to be ready to be judged inferior to their standards and be corrected on how to do the tasks you’re trying to help them finish with your own intelligence.

They don’t want to hear, “You’re getting old enough, now, that you may not be able to do that, yourself, anymore.”

So, how do you discuss with these parents your concern for them losing the ability to do what they’re used to doing themselves?

26
Feb
16

20 Years of Personal History with Pokemon

*****

You’ll have to excuse me. In my haste to grab a piece of Pokemon mania surrounding the 20th anniversary, I downloaded some weird auto-correct system which occasionally interjects the names of creatures from the games.

I thought I’d take this time to share a bit of my history with Pokemon. [Prepare to “geek out” with me.]

* I first read an ARTICUNO about the novel release of two exclusive versions and collections of pokemon as Game Boy games so long ago, I forget the year. [Or, were they simply listed as portable games?]

* Then, around OCTILLERY 1998, I discovered the American/English version of the (Indigo League) cartoon series. On the plus side, I feel like a JIGGLYPUFF when I think of the artwork and CHARMELEON characters, including the protagonists. [Pokemon sucked me in just like Mega Man. I used to spend afternoons and evenings, after school, flipping through game manuals just to ponder the different robots and invent some of my own.]

The creatures alone are thought-provoking. Then you add the human characters who come with so many stories of their own. I was instantly swept away with the idea of three friends being free to travel around the world and experience so much just because they decided to catch and train wild animals, pursuing small tokens of achievement from what are classified as gyms (more like martial arts dojos).

Occasionally, a female character’s anime hair color turns me off. Gary, Professor Oak’s grandson, can be annoying. Clefairy is very annoying. Kadabra, Hypno and Jynx are a tad unsettling. I do TYROGUE of SEAKING the “heroes” ZAPDOS primary Team Rocket members over and over. Butch has a voice that makes eyes water. And, I do not need to see James dress like a girl/woman.

* In 1999, I risked being late for MACHOP just to fetch toys from Burger KINGLER. I can’t tell you how MANKEY times I made a RAPIDASH over there just to punch back into work, KOFFING and WEEZING. There were so MANKEY toys to collect, you couldn’t PIKACHU which one(s) you wanted. You just took your CHANCEYS. Maybe you had a few minutes and a nice cashier who’d let you fondle packs to check for familiar shapes.

* I remember one of the managers at my workplace voicing a strong hatred for the “evils” of Pokemon (essentially the part about humans forcing animals to fight each other). And, while I initially let his concerns fly over my SKITTY head, I gradually agreed with him. The fighting aspects are corrupting (of minds), promoting violence and cruelty to other animals. In a way, Pokemon is bullying glamorized by a colorful, whimsical package. It takes hold of you like cigarettes, an innocent social/stress-relieving drug until you turn hostile/defensive from withdrawal or suffer internally. [More on this, later.]

* I went a bit CRAWDAUNT with collecting; I’ll admit. [But, I won’t list everything I bought.] It started to feel like a sickness when I was GULPIN several Happy Meals (instead of just asking to buy the toys separately) and searching Blockbuster Video shops for “exclusive” items. Some items I could easily part with while others I suspect may stick to my hands. I wonder if the soundtrack from the show had any sway over my judgment. [There’s that Viridian City song in my head, again.]

* When the Gold and Silver (Johto) editions of the game were about to debut (before I had seen any Pokedex additions), I drew up an assortment of creatures I was thinking about submitting to the game company. When I saw the new line-up already had a Hoothoot, Noctowl and Totodile, I GHASTLY. They were in my sketchbook (under different names and slightly different in appearance). I am fairly sure I could pinpoint other creatures in the official listings that resemble my sketches. I know at least one frog strongly resembles one of the elemental lot I drew, mimicking the various forms of Eevee. [I chalk it up to two people having the same ideas.]

* By 2004, I was packing my obsessions away and looking abroad for adventure. I had to hide my Pokemon just to grow up and get outside my box for a while! So, I donned my Indigo Leag–er, fedora-ish hat and boarded a plane to Spain. When I NIDORAN into a BELLOSSOM, I knew I was in trouble. The strong winds made it double, leaving me quite devastated, at times. I sure felt like Brock on that trip, ogling so many pretty faces but never quite connecting with any of them. I tried to maintain Ash’s fiery enthusiasm, staying “on the road to Viridian City.” [“Come on; let’s go.”] Instead, I suffered similar setbacks from his short-sighted ambition/observation skills. And, when the time to return home drew near, I was more than a little Misty.

* Pokemon kinda DRIFTLOON off the TV radar over time. The last plot I recall involved May and Max (in the Johto series). Along came Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh and many others which distracted me from asking questions up until 2008 with the TV signal change and–was it 2012?–when Saturday morning cartoons became a thing of broadcast-TV past. [Of course, anyone with cable or internet TV would not notice. They’d just shrug at my dismay as if a feather grazed their SHELDER.]

*In 2014, while babysitting for my sister, cable TV allowed me to introduce the original cartoon series to my nephew, keeping the volume down to a WHISMUR so I wouldn’t wake his brothers. At the time, I was curbing BELDUM during naps, playing a few of the old Game Boy games and one I had yet to play. And, while I had no interest in explaining the fighting aspects to him, I did enjoy discussing the characters. Since then, we’ve had moments of creativity in which we either draw our favorites or craft new characters.

*As of 2015, I’ve been able to introduce three nephews to the characters and some non-violent games found online. When word of the 20th anniversary reached my computer screen, I felt renewed enthusiasm.

Then, I saw the promo for Pokemon Go, the new project for 2016.

If you haven’t seen the video, I suggest you check it out. I cannot imagine grown people running around cities with “smart phones,” trying to catch holographic Pokemon in motion (as they magically appear) and/or gathering to “flash mob” Mewtwo. Actually, I can imagine idiots dodging work and causing traffic hazards/disasters with such foolishness. But, isn’t there a better way to advance/enjoy the craze?

And, again, why all of the fighting requirements? Game Freak/Pokemon, take a page from the Yokai Watch book. In that anime/cartoon series, the protagonist collects ghosts in various ways, rarely if ever resorting to violence. It’s about using his head instead of claws, teeth and laser beams. The Pokemon cartoons HAVE shifted focus from fighting with the Orange Island League, for example, using carnival-like challenges to earn gym badges. That’s much nicer than beating another animal senseless with deadly weapons/powers (though the fatal aspect is reduced to “fainting”).

Do not backtrack by promoting battles, again. Respect your lovely creations. Well, most of them, anyway. Some of these newer pokemon are a bit of a stretch in terms of sensible creatures. [If someone could explain the “mythology,” I’d be grateful.]

Hey! By working through my more serious feelings on the subject, I seem to have beaten the auto-correct system! I haven’t seen a single MISSING NO. since I went POLIWHIRL about the negative aspects.

[Awe; crud.]

To all the other Pokemon fans who read this post:

May you continue to be inspired and delighted by the characters. May you cosplay and craft to your hearts’ delight. But, should anyone coax you to battle, turn them down; walk away. And, save yourself a lifetime of gaming by observing pokemon around you in nature. Stop the pet abuse. The world doesn’t need more strays.

Sincerely,
Writingbolt

18
Dec
15

So, This Is Aging…

*****

As the new year swiftly approaches (those of us who calculate time by the sun), I reflect on the past one and come to this conclusion, tweaking the lyrics of a holiday song.  [I am sure at least some of you know it.]

andsothisis-craptactular-aging-specs-flies-pileofcrap_1080x600-ap1J

So, this is aging…
And, what have you done?
Another year over.
Another has just begun.
A very lousy winter…
Had a break in the rear.
It wasn’t a good one…
Just to make that quite clear.
Spring and summer dragged on…
As recovery tested all.
And, just as the leaves fell…
I took another fall.
A very depressing birthday…
Was swiftly drawing near.
I hoped it would be a good one…
Without snow this year.
And, so it happened.
The sky was gray but flake-free.
I should have been happy.
Instead, I sank in misery.
Now, don’t let your chin fall.
And, send me no “sorries.”
I’ve been here before, ya know.
And, next year, I’ll have more stories.
And, so this is aginnnnnng…
Have a happy new yearrrrr…
Let’s hope it’s a good onnnne…
Without any fearrrr…

Writingbolt’s adaptation of a familiar Christmas tune. 12-13-2015

11
Nov
15

Eye Think Eye Am Going to Cry

*****

The hits keep coming.

So, I’ve been having trouble reading off and on for a few months, I think.  Every so often, I see double or have trouble focusing.  I usually chalk it up to overuse and try to take more breaks to rest my eyes.

I can’t remember exactly when I had my last eye exam, but I was told I would need a weaker prescription (which sounded odd) until I MIGHT need bifocals in a few years.

Now, I wake up this morning, and, as I am sitting at the PC, I find my eyes crossing a bit as they have been the past few days…or maybe weeks?  I am not sure.  I tried putting one hand over each eye as a test.  My left eye is clear…but the right is a bit blurry.  And, as I lower my right eyelid, I notice a dark oval.  I looked in a mirror and could see a yellow area near the top of the iris.

Please, don’t tell me…

But, if you reader(s) know what this means, do tell your diagnosis and any suggestions of how to remedy the problem (preferably without surgery).

I am really racking up the problems this year…and it’s bringing me down to the breaking point.  It’s really hard getting up every morning and feeling like socializing with anyone.  I feel hideous.




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