After Effects of Self-Isolation!

Same old – Same old!

They say that this self-isolation may last another month or more and that is fine with me if it keeps everyone safe and may assist the coronavirus run its course.

Of course, that will mean I need to put my brain in gear and come up with more material to share with everyone. Not an easy task but a fun one. It would also appear that the longer one is in self-isolation – the wilder and crazier one’s imagination might be.

So, I got to thinking – seeing that we have been cooped up for so long and haven’t been out to restaurants and/or shopping,  (for many of us it has been over two months now), what wild and crazy things would I like to do once we get the go ahead to be around other humans again. By the way, before leaving the house, I would stick a banana in my pocket (I’ll come back to this later).

Below are just a few of the wild and crazy things I might be prone to do.

They say that public bathrooms are places we should avoid but if necessary, we need to be extremely careful when frequenting them. Seeing so many wild and crazy things one can do in a public bathroom, I couldn’t resist sharing some of the shenanigans I might concoct when visiting same. Come take a walk with me on the wild side as we visit a bathroom or two. Having been cooped up so long – who would blame me, were I to – while visiting a public bathroom:

Make loud groans after I entered the stall and then drop a cantaloupe in the toilet and sigh in relief.

Or

Upon seeing that one of the stalls was occupied, I could enter the one next to it and after smearing chocolate on my hands, reach under the other occupied stall and ask for toilet paper.

Or

One more wild and wacky thing I could do when in a public toilet is I could pass a note under the door next to me saying, “They’re onto us. We need to go.”

Let us leave public bathrooms and go to a shopping mall.

When visiting a furniture store, I would love to hide in a wardrobe and when someone opens the door scream, “Welcome to Narnia”.

Upon leaving the furniture store, I  could just linger outside the store for a moment waiting for that one customer who always needs to know the time and when they ask me if I know what time it is, say yes and walk away.

As we all know, people are constantly on their cell phones no matter where they are, at the mall, restaurants, and wherever. Not wanting to be different and trying so hard to fit in, I could call someone and when they answer I would just tell them that I can’t talk right now.

Okay, you’re still in the mall but you see this electronic store across the way. Time to bring out the banana I mentioned earlier. I would go into the electronic store and handing the banana to the clerk, I would say: “I want to upgrade this to an apple.”

Okay time to leave the mall but before I leave, just to have more fun, I would linger around the exit and as people pass me, I would stop random individuals, show them my ID, and say, “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?”

What’s that you are saying – he needs to get out! I agree, but not just yet. I’m having too much fun enjoying Groundhog Day! Stay safe.

Until next time!

P.M.A.

How can I tell what I think until I see what I say? – E. M. Forster

Crazy times!

Lately I have not been myself and I am sure it is due to this crazy coronavirus, our period of self-isolation, as well as our current political situation. I am thinking that quite a few Americans today are feeling the same way.

My desire to watch TV has waned and while I join my wife and watch a show  every so often, I can tell my mind is not with it unless it is a terrific movie or television show that has a good plot to it.

As far as my wannabe reading habits go – I started a short mystery novel May 5th of this year (Sunshine Hunter by Maddie Cochere) and I am still only about two-thirds through it. It appears I only feel like reading it twice a week.

I try my best to post short funny quips on Facebook every day, but even that has become more of a chore versus something fun to do. But I need to take my own advice – Positive Mental Attitude! Watch for this below.

So, getting back to the reason I opened this piece with a saying associated with E.M. Forster.   

My goal is that by the end of this post we all will be laughing because as the quote states “I cannot tell what I think until I see what I say” and my goal is to say nothing but stuff that will make us both laugh. Fair enough!

I have decided that what it all boils down to is “attitude” and I am determined to have P.M.A. by the time this piece is written. And for those of you that wonder what it is I am talking about, here goes:

Positive Mental Attitude

I am determined to turn things around and be more Positive, and while many of my friends have already told me this, I am also going to be more Mental (Okay, you can stop laughing now – I know I am mental). Last, but not least, you all know I have Attitude! There you have it – A good Positive Mental Attitude is what will get us through this time of our lives.

Positive thinking

One other thing we need to keep in mind as we get older is:

With old age comes “Multi-Tasking”:

We can: Laugh, Cough, Sneeze, Fart, and Pee – and are you ready for this– we can do it all at the same time.

Ah – Old Age!

Another thing I noticed now that I am truly considered old, experts say that caffeine is bad for us, fat is bad for us, sugar is bad for us, and guess what – we cannot worry about it because, well, they say worry is bad for us as well.

We only live once!

Sorry, not done yet. With all that is going on in the world today, did you ever think about running away? I did but the sad part about that idea is that I’m so afraid that by the time I put my teeth in, my glasses on, and find my keys, I’ll have forgotten why I’m going! And let’s not even get into where I might be going!

Where are my dentures?

Is it true I will turn 80 later this year? Wow! There is something about soon becoming 80 years of age. It seems the older we get, the more we think about various things. One of the things I think about is the possibility of my needing some type of operation in the future. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of the operation doesn’t really scare me. What does scare me is waking up after the operation and having the doctor tell me that everything went well … Short pause. But! There is that darn but as he continues his talk with me, and says: Oh, one other thing I need to tell you: “The digital medical records were hacked and mixed up, so we won’t charge you for the C-Section!”

What did you just say?

Okay, I am coming to the end of this post. So what do we do?

We have to look at life as though it is a camera: We need to just focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot!

Just one more shot!

Hope this post brought a smile to your face.

Until next time!

Reflection

It baffles me how one’s mind can go off on some wild and crazy adventure when confined to their home as we have been doing under our Governor’s “stay at home” order, but occasionally I do allow it to happen. Were we to ask why the “stay at home” order, not that the news hasn’t been informing us of it 24/7, we would be told it is to “flatten the curve” of this dreaded disease we are all facing now called Covid-19.

Believe me when I say that I am, in no way making fun of this serious, deadly disease. On the contrary, I do my best to think up ways to cope with it via humor, hence the statement “go off on some wild and crazy adventure”.

The entire time we have been in sort of a “lockdown” type scenario I have had time to revisit some of the books I read way back when. Back then – reading was either required by our teachers or it was something fun we enjoyed doing to get away from it all.

Not knowing what our world will be like when this whole pandemic thing is over, I am reminded of a book authored by Aldous Huxley entitled “Brave New World.” That is what we seem to be going through at the moment and my educated guess is that once – how shall I put this – the curve is flattened – well, it might just be a brave new world we will have to become familiar with.

Seeing that most senior citizens are not considered essential workers, my guess is that it is safe to assume that most of us have been “hunkering down”, if you will, within the confines of our own homes. In doing so, we are probably trying our darnedest to determine what to do with our time. After all, there are only so many “Honey-Dos” or “Projects” that kept being put on the back burner that can be done.

Part of my 24/7 “hunkering down” time has been trying my best to write humorous posts to share with you all.

While I have not as yet gone over to the Dark Side (Darth Vader) I ask you to take a walk with me as we peer in on a scenario that might just be one that we will either go through in the near future or one we may have already experienced.

And so it begins:

It is 2:30 a.m. Friday morning, the sky is clear with no stars in the sky and all is quiet on this little unknown street that many living in the community still have difficulty trying to find when need be. If you look carefully, you can still see the moon high in the sky.

Is that light I see within the kitchen window of Unit # 252? One would think that at this hour of the night everyone would be sleeping, everyone apparently, except a certain person at # 252.

Be quiet as you carefully slip up to the house and peer through the window.

Sitting at the kitchen table with the light shining dimly above him, sits a retired underwriting manager with writing journal wide open on the table in front of him, pen in hand, as he appears to be writing his life story.

As you take this picture in, you notice how he is dressed, a raggedly T-shirt, and a pair of old torn grey sweatpants. Looking at his appearance you cannot tell if he is Oscar from the Odd Couple or Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies.

Watching as he apparently strains to think up the next sentence or entry he wants to write, your guess is that his eyes are bloodshot from lack of sleep. Looking at his hair you notice it is so tangled up even a rat tail comb would have problems combing it. From the wrinkles seen in these so-called pajamas, one could only assume that they haven’t seen the inside of a washing machine in some time which then begs the question, when did he possibly shower last?

Sitting besides the journal on the table is a coffee cup and what appears to be a few Ginger Snaps. Is it any wonder with this type of diet at 2:30 a.m. he is still awake?

You think to yourself, is this what most seniors look like at 2:30 a.m. during this time of self-isolation because if it is, it is truly a sad sight. You think “my situation” is so much better.

But hold on, he stopped writing for a moment, adjusted his eye glasses and looks up across the table where his mate might sit when they have breakfast every day and slowly his reflection appears in the mirror of the china closet.

Wait, I know those glasses! Is that a picture of me, my wife, and our children on the shelf? Could it be?

Is that my reflection I see?

Humor Keeps Us Balanced

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

What are some of the words that come to mind as we sit here in our homes practicing self-isolation? Well, if we let them, one can certainly come up with quite a few and most of them would have negative connotations.

I thought about this the other evening when I had a bit too much time on my hands. Rather than write a post with negative connotations, I have reversed my train of thinking, and using the words that came to mind switched this to a positive post. Hope the article does not disappoint.

Words that crossed my mind were:  Anxiety; Frustration; Scared; Thought; Alone; Future and Worry to name just a few.

So how does one take on the task of viewing what many would consider words with negative connotations into a positive blog post. Well, first thing I did was to look up the definitions of each of these words to get a better perspective as to how they relate to our current situation and I am referring to the pandemic and our self-isolation.  I then added my thoughts as to how I would think about that particular word.

Anxiety: Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. But, what am I a mind reader? How do I know what is about to come? I don’t so what’s the problem?  

Frustration: Frustration is the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of an inability to change or achieve something. Okay, we all know that we do not have the ability to change or achieve something different especially when it comes to this pandemic we are experiencing – so why am I frustrated? I cannot change it. Case closed! Doing the best we can is all we can hope for.

Scared: Scared is being thrown into or being in a state of fear, fright, or panic. And, being scared is going to change anything? Duh, suck it up buttercup, can’t change it, so why be scared? Do whatever you can to avoid the problem and take all the necessary precautions.

Thought: The action or process of thinking. Hmmm, this one took a bit of thinking – but ah, the Dalai Lama came through:

“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama

One thing we should keep uppermost in our minds during this time is the power of “Positive thinking!” Negative thinking will only bring you down. Stay positive – you’ll feel better for it.

Alone: Alone or separated from others; isolated. This brought to mind yet another a quote, one by Robin Williams: “I used to think the worst thing in the world was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.” Such is not the case cause we are all in this together

Future: The future is the period of time that will come after the present, or the things that will happen then! When I think about the future – I am reminded of a quote by Abraham Lincoln who said: “The best thing about the future is it comes one day at a time.” One day at a time, folks, one day at a time!

 Worry: Worry is to allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Oh, have I got the solution to the word Worry – As a matter of fact the solution is in the form of a wooden plaque I have hanging in my office which reads:

“Why Worry?”

There are only two things to worry about – either you are well or you are sick. If you are well, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you are sick, there are two things to worry about. Either you will get well or you will die. If you get well there is nothing to worry about. If you die there are only two things to worry about – either you will go to Heaven or Hell. If you go to Heaven there is nothing to worry about. But if you go to Hell, you’ll be so damn busy shaking hands with friends, you won’t have time to worry!

Enough of my frivolity. We are all human. True these are scary times and the words I just made fun of can cause us to take pause and drift into a negative state of mind. It will take time for things to get back to normal and who knows what the new normal will even look like? But we have to hope that all will turn around, maybe not as soon as we would hope it would, but turn around it will.

Let’s face it, we are all human. My way of coping and to get me through most days without even thinking about any of these words, is to turn to humor.  

I think John Cleese said it best when he said:
Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy. – John Cleese

Let me end this post with but another quote:

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs – jolted by every pebble in the road. – Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman

Let us not make this a bumpy ride, keep smiling and know that this too shall pass! Stay safe my friends.

Until next time!

Elementary, my dear Watson!

In this time of the Coronavirus lockdown I find myself watching a bit more television than I would care to. One of our favorite shows is entitled: “Elementary” which for those of you not familiar with the show is about Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Watson.

Set in modern times, “Watson” is female, the location is New York City versus the original version where Watson is a male with both he and Holmes living and working in London, England. But the show is entertaining, holds our interest, and thus enables us to take our minds off what is happening in the world around us at least for a short period of time.

Seeing that I have been known to have a hard time concentrating on one thing at a time, while watching this show my old grey cells formed a question in my head: How did the phrase: “Elementary, my dear Watson!” come about?   

It didn’t take much research to learn that the saying evolved over the years. Looking over some of Doyle’s own writings (apparently I am not the first to pose this question), it appears that there is only but one bit of dialog that comes closest to matching this famous Holmesian signature phrase. It can be found within The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (a collection of eleven short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).

I am referring to an exchange between Holmes and Dr. Watson in the short story entitled: “The Crooked Man”:  

“I see that you are professionally rather busy just now,” said he, glancing very keenly across at me. ”Yes, I’ve had a busy day,” I answered. “It may seem very foolish in your eyes,” I added, “but really I don’t know how you deduced it.”

Holmes chuckled to himself.

“I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Watson,” said he. “When your round is a short one you walk, and when it is a long one you use a hansom. As I perceive that your boots, although used, are by no means dirty, I cannot doubt that you are at present busy enough to justify the hansom.”

“Excellent!” I cried.

“Elementary,” said he.

Other than the above, there is no other time when such a phrase was uttered by the fictional detective.

So there you have it. Things that are elementary are simple or not very advanced as one might relate to elementary school or if you enjoy reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s adventures of Sherlock Holmes one might just refer to the famous line, “Elementary, my dear Watson!”

Until next time!