brain.r4_lightHere’s a link that I was going to use for my July Rambling except I forgot. OK, I didn’t forget, but it got buried in my e-mails: I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Seniors moments vindicated.

Ever walk into a room, stop halfway in, and wonder why you were that room?

Sure you have.

Or forgotten a word for a few minutes? Even a whole phrase?!

These times are laughingly called “seniors moments” Read the rest of this entry »

trudy.pearlsOne of the truisms of my birth family dynamic was that, as the youngest, “baby” sister Marcia was the only one to move to Charlotte, NC when my parents did in 1974. Leslie and I were both in college in upstate New York, me in New Paltz, Leslie in the hometown of Binghamton. And while both of us stayed in Charlotte briefly, me for four months in 1977, Leslie or a few months a couple years later, neither of us ever became Charlotteans.

Whereas Marcia stayed in Charlotte for most of her life, save for a few months here and there. I remember more than one conversation with Marcia suggesting that she needed to get out of town, or at least out of the parents’ house, when she was in her early twenties. For a lot of reasons, it didn’t happen.

When my father died in 2000, it then became practical for Mom, and Marcia and her then-preteen daughter Alex to continue to live together. This was actually a sweetheart deal for Leslie, by then in San Diego, and me, in Albany. The three of them were all caring for each other. Leslie and/or I could visit periodically, but the day-to-day concerns of our mom was not our problem, because she was being taken care of.

So, it was not until shortly before my mother died in February 2011 that I realized how difficult my mother had become. Mom was a genuinely sweet person – seriously, ask anyone who knew her – but she would hit and occasionally yell, not at people who were strangers, but towards her family, Marcia and Alex. Mom would hide the mail, which became such a problem Marcia had to get a post office box.

Every six months, Mom would receive some cognition test. Her results in June or July of 2010 were within normal range, but the outcome for six months later was far less favorable. Again, I wasn’t aware of this.

At the end, Mom was clearly suffering some sort of dementia. Whether it was Alzheimer’s or something else I don’t know, and never will. And I suppose it doesn’t matter.

What DOES matter is that it was unfortunate that the bulk of the care for her fell on one person. I wish I had known sooner how difficult it had become.

kim-kardashian1There is infotainment in popular culture that I chose not to know, such as just about anything about the Kardashians. I can’t help but know there’s a bunch of sisters, some the daughters of the late OJ Simpson murder trial attorney Robert Kardashian. All their names begin with the letter K. They have (had?) a reality show that must be popular. Kim has a child named North West.

There becomes a time, though, when “everyone’s talking about it.” I was watching this ad for a new game show called Celebrity Name Game, hosted by soon-to-be former late night talk show ringmaster Craig Ferguson. Read the rest of this entry »

Those of you who lived or worked in Albany from 1978 to 1998 might remember this sign, created by the late Raoul Vezina in the window of FantaCo Enterprises, the comic book store/mail order house/publisher/convention organizer at 21 Central Avenue; the sign has been digitally enhanced from the original by artist Bill Anderson. Raoul drew the logo rat for the store, the character eventually dubbed Smilin’ Ed Smiley.

A couple years later, Smilin’ Ed became the star of some comic books published by FantaCo, as well as in strips in Albany’s Metroland magazine and the Comics Buyers Guide. Read the rest of this entry »

voter_IDI’ve been pondering this topic pretty much since I got booted from jury duty on a trial for a police officer who had allegedly been assaulted.

Yes, I DO think being part of the police is inherently much more dangerous than what I do, what most people do. And it’s not just going after the bad guys, such as when two Los Angeles cops were killed during a shooting spree. I found recent cases where they were targeted rather disturbing, such as the New York City cops assaulted by a hatchet-wielding man.

You may have heard about Eric Frein, a survivalist who is accused of shooting and killing a Pennsylvania State Police officer, Bryon Dickson, and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass in an ambush September 12 outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks in Pike County, PA. He has fortunately been captured, seven weeks later. What you may not have read about is the man who was repeatedly mistaken for Frein. His allegation of rough treatment, unfortunately, rang true with me.

I was oddly happy to see a local cop acting badly, and the citizen involved being white. That’s because it removes the racial stereotypes; you’ll still see them in the comments to the video. That cop has resigned. Saratoga County, BTW, is one of the more well-to-do counties in the state, certainly in the Albany metro area.

This will tie in, eventually: a friend sent me an article Texans Slam Voter ID Law: ‘Now That It’s Happened To Me, I’m Devastated’. An “84-year-old grandmother who lives in an assisted-living facility in Austin, Texas, has voted in every major election in her life since she became eligible. But ..she couldn’t get the right identification…” Women who have ID under different names are particularly vulnerable.

“Critics of the law estimated that up to 750,000 people in Texas wouldn’t have sufficient ID and would need to get an election certificate to vote. Yet between June 2013 and the week leading up to Tuesday’s midterms, only 371 certificates had been issued…” Since these IDs are expensive, the purchase of same would amount to a poll tax, which is in violation of the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The linkage here is that people often are oblivious to the wrongs that take place, sometimes under the presumption of legal authority, and believe it’s no big deal, until it affects them personally. My friend was really ticked about this in the voter ID case. I tend to think that it’s just human nature to think a problem is “theirs”, until it becomes “yours.”

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