Tag Archives: elderly

Strangers in Good Company – Octagenarian chick flick


Hi readers.  One hell of a fine movie streaming on Netflix.

Strangers in Good Company 1990PG 100 minutes, Eight elderly women are left stranded in the wilderness with only their wits, their memories and eventually some roasted frogs’ legs to sustain them. More Info, Starring: Alice Diabo, Constance Garneau, Director: Cynthia Scott
A nun, a lesbian, a grandmother or three, artist, birdwatcher, farm girl.  They talk about life, death, love, fear, war and death again as they struggle to catch fish, frogs, find sustenance in the wilderness long enough to survive.
*****, Five Stars is how I rate this movie, how tickled I am to have overcome my male prejudices against chick flicks and watched it.

Sure I’m poor, but I came by it honest.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The 20-30 people down at my physical therapy are surprisingly homogenous and I’m not saying anything about sexual preferences.  We’re all white, all but three are men, and all but two are above the age of 60.  The nurses, also are all white, but their ages cover a spread from around 30 to a cautious guess of 60.

So when I asked one of the nurses, “Where do you keep all your ethnics?” while she was taking g my blood pressure it seemed an obvious question.  An expression of surprise crossed her face and she flinched, or sort of jumped, then her eyes scanned the room and the people on all the machines. 

What do you mean?”   Seemed more of an accusation than question.

Hey, we all look alike in here.  Everyone here seems to be old, male, white and other than me, well-to-do.  All except me are fairly unpleasing to the eye.  Don’t people with skin pigment get cardiac problems?”  I was just wising off.  I already knew Olathe’s an affluent community and area.   But watching her facial reactions kept me at it.

 Anyway, the old guy at the NUSTEP machine next to me felt the need to set me straight when she went on to other matters.  “We’re not all well to do!”  He ground his teeth a bit.  “I used to be but I lost it all in 401Ks.”  His face was reddening and the blood vessels on his bald scalp were becoming visible.

Sure I’m poor.  But I got that way through honest hard work, good credit, bad marriages, and trusting the 401K people.  Not like these people who got born into it and didn’t get out because of shiftless laziness and rotten attitude.”  I finished my time about then and just grinned.  Couldn’t think of anything to say.

Damn I love that Physical Therapy at Olathe Hospital.  I’m going to be sorry when it runs out.

Old Jules


Stick’em Up

My favorite manip of one of Jeanne’s art pieces

Hi readers.

The email forwards are telling me you fine, upstanding citizens are giving serious thought to electing a vice-king who’s committed to robbing me of the only financial resource I’ve got:  my Social Security pension check.  Paid in by me longer than most of you’ve been alive, by me and matched by those paying me.

Hokay.  For myself, I honestly don’t give much of a damn.  I’ve lived long enough and hard enough to be confident I can survive as long as I need to.  It ain’t a big deal in that regard.

But I’ve got four cats here depending on me to buy food for them.  Cats I value higher than I value the lives of the multitudes of folks who are venal enough, stingy enough, or indifferent enough to tacitly or actively select candidates who don’t give a damn about my cats.

All over this country there are people in similar circumstances, probably placing a higher value on the continuation of their own lives than I do, depending on those SS checks monthly to pay the rent, the mortgage, buy food for themselves.  People who paid in, and their employers paid in on the promise there’d be an eventual return when the cows all came home.

Those people grew up in a different time with an entirely different set of values than exist today.  They aren’t as accustomed being pushed around and bullied as the folks who’d help rob them might wish.

I don’t know how they’ll react if you rob them.  I don’t even know how I’ll personally react.  But I will tell you this:

Back me into a corner and take away my livelihood, force me to kill my cats as an alternative to having them starve, and a different man will come out the other end.  A man who has not a damned thing to lose other than his life, which there probably ain’t a lot left of anyway.

So do whatever you damned well please, vote in whatever greedy animal you wish to do your robbing chores.  But keep in mind there’s a piece of the population out there you’re deliberately and calculatedly choosing to back into corners without gaining a damned thing for yourselves except smug satisfaction.

And the folks you plan on doing it to are tougher than you, smarter than you, potentially one-hell-of-a-lot meaner than you, and almost certainly won’t take kindly to being mugged.

You don’t have the imagination to care, but life has a way of providing what the imagination doesn’t supply.

Old Jules

Spark and Tinder for the Next Country Music Wave

Morning readers.  I’m obliged you came by for a read this morning.

A while back while I was in Kerrville I was in one of the huge office supply stores that have driven all the locally owned ones out of business.  I was nosing around looking at things when I glanced at a guy, a woman and a clerk studying copiers or fax machines. 

“Small world!”  I mutters to myself.  The male customer part of the trio was a face a decade older than one I’d known too well almost a decade ago.  A guy named Tony Wossname.  Once a motel manager in Grants, New Mexico.  A man I’d been blessed to observe through the lens of the darkest side of his character. 

I changed positions in the store, moving place to place studying this later model of a man who could spot desperate need for a job when he saw it and derived a lot of pleasure out of making it as painful and difficult for the desparee as his power allowed.

After I discovered I couldn’t get any other job in Grants, New Mexico following Y2K I went to work in a motel off the Interstate, graveyard shift, as a night clerk for a while.  Besides giving me almost enough money to pay rent, utilities, and buy a little carefully selected grub, the job showed me a side of humanity I wasn’t familiar with.  And it gave me a lot of time to think about what I observed.

One of the things Tony liked about being a motel manager was his radio in the locked office the 11-7 shift clerk couldn’t access.  The radio had no speakers in the office, nor in his apartment beside it, but it did have speakers in the lobby where he couldn’t hear it.

What kind of music do you like?” Tony’d asked me conversationally during the job interview.

I like any good music.”  I shrugged, recognizing a management school tactic for getting the applicant to relax.

So do I.  But there’s some on the air these days I can’t stand.”  He scowled and shook his head.  “I hate that RAP stuff.”

I just don’t listen to the radio much.  I like older music, mostly.  The modern CW swill could probably drive me nuts.”

He had what he wanted and changed the subject, now that I was all relaxed.

I got the job, which included two lobby speakers tuned to a modern CW station, 11 pm to 7 am with the volume control and station selector behind a locked door.

I did a lot of writing on those shifts while trying to stay sane.  Here’s one night of inspiration about modern country music:

3:30 AM

Hearing this country music station wailing all night so many nights has caused me to realize what’s changed in country music. It used to encompass a fairly wide range of fairly lowbrow experiences and sentiments. Love, cheating, drinking, bull riding, hound dogs, mama, trains, trucks, car wrecks, dead friends, being broke, dreams of something or another, hopes, losses, resentment, pride of accomplishment, prison, cows, land, and clothing. Now it’s nothing but drooling whining love songs. Wonder what the hell that means?

Probably  means females are picking all the hits, buying all the records, and the men who dance lockstep with them are also females.   Something’s definitely changed, in any case.  There are still Guy Clarks out there, still Prines, still Tom Russells, still Willies and Merles. That just ain’t getting hit records.

Maybe the baby boomers lost something after their quadruple bypasses. Ever heard of a woman getting bypass surgery? I haven’t.

Maybe ten years from now we’ll be hearing country songs about bypasses and prostate cancer- about Winnebagos, casinos, golf, medicare—about grandkids wanting to  put him/her in a nursing home- about hearing aids and false teeth, thick toenails and sagging skin.

If so, it will be an improvement, and I, for one, look forward to it.   Maybe tonight I’ll write the off-the-charts hit CW song for 2012. 

Cheatin’ a Broken Heart

Westbound on the Interstate
Out on the Great Divide
Our Winnie overheated
So we pulled off on the side

The sagebrush and the red rock buttes
Invoked our reverie
While the engine cooled I thought about
My bypass surgery.

You can have your diabetes
Talk about your brand of “C”
But when heat waves blur the red rock
I’ll take bypass surgery

We’ll be turning south at Flagstaff
For the fairways to the south
Where my third ex-wife will meet us
With the grandkids and her mouth

Those two eggs up on whiskey toast
Home fries on the side
She always made for breakfast
Were my downfall and her pride

We’ll take the brats along with us
And camp somewhere below
The international boundary
Buying meds in Mexico

‘Cause it’s not the margaritas
Nor the senoritas sweet
It’s the discount pharmaceuticals
That tug these flattened feet

Now the engine’s finished cooling
And the wheels begin to roll
And there ain’t no bloody stool
In the RV commode bowl

You can have your diabetes
Talk about your brand of “C”
But when heat waves blur the red rock
I’ll take bypass surgery

So here I am, 2012 coming on strong and fast.  The lyrics for the big hit for the year already written, the New CW Wave craze all mapped and ready to take off.

Gotta find a musician.

Remember where you heard it first.

Old Jules