Now that I am in my 40s, I prefer a good night’s rest to just about anything else, with the exception, maybe, of a really good meal.
As such, I usually decline social engagements, but enjoy myself when I actually decide to attend one. Whenever I’m at a social mixer, however, the host invariably offers me some sort of alcoholic refreshment.
Usually, I just toss my head back in a carefree way and laugh maniacally, kind of like Fox’s Glenn Beck. Then I say something along the lines of “The last time I had margaritas I ended up in a dumpster in Cleveland!”
The line from “Friends” aside, a dumpster in Cleveland isn’t too far from the truth.
The reason I don’t imbibe is because I am one of those people who don’t handle their liquor very well.
A few years ago on New Year’s Eve, I was at the home of a coworker for a social mixer between the people she worked with and the people her husband worked with. We all had a couple of drinks and some Jell-o shots, which are basically cubes of gelatin made with vodka instead of water.
Long story short, I became extremely inebriated, as well as the (imagined) life of the party. I ended up singing some 80s songs wearing only my underwear and had to be taken home. Once in the comfort of my own home, I continued to drink whatever alcoholic beverages were available and passed out.
The next morning I awakened with the shopping channel on the television and my credit card on the coffee table. Not being able to cobble two thoughts together at that moment, I quickly forgot the matter and continued with the task of sobering up.
Two days later, when the fax machine showed up, I realized what took place during those drunken hours.
For a few years after that, I would do an occasional reenactment of that night, but the scene would vary slightly. Suffice it to say that I opened my front door in the nude often enough that I no longer had to worry about door-to-door salesman or the Jehovah’s Witnesses coming by.
My house was blacklisted.
Before I got behind the wheel and killed somebody, I decided that maybe alcohol was not for me. I’m not one of those born-again Christian type folks who think that nobody should drink ever.
In fact, I am in awe of the men and women who have a glass of wine or cocktail with dinner and can set the glass down when they are finished, especially if it was just one glass, and even more so if they didn’t finish its contents.
I am just not one of those people who can do that.
There is a certain freedom in choosing not to drink. On the very rare occasion I get pulled over by the police for whatever reason, I don’t have to worry about sobriety tests or what my blood-alcohol level is; if a loved one calls me in the middle of the night and needs me, I don’t miss the phone call like I would if I was passed out; and I don’t wake up in the morning wondering what the hell I did the night before.
After that night of partying without my pants at my coworker’s home, New Year’s Eve has lost a lot of its allure.
I made one exception to going out on New Year’s Eve when we rang in the year 2000.
That night I huddled in the park in downtown Eugene, Ore., shivering with my friends as we waited for a fireworks display to erupt, signaling the start of the new millennia.
It was a great fanfare, but what was really fun was watching the people around me. Eugene is a Mecca for the displaced hippies of the 60s, even if they were born decades afterward, and for many of them, ringing in the new year meant getting high on who knows what and dancing in the streets with each other.
As a woman nearby undulated in a very free-form sort of way, beckoning to would-be lovers with a rainbow of scarves, I caught myself being judgmental of her lifestyle, her dependency on marijuana for a good time.
And then I stopped those thoughts as I remembered the last time I drank margaritas, I ended up in a dumpster in Cleveland.
Now that I am in my 40s, I prefer a good night’s rest to just about anything else, with the exception, maybe, of a really good meal.
I think that sexuality is far more fluid than most are able to grasp. Everyone wants to define themselves in one camp or the other and both sides of the coin are guilty of failing to realize that sexuality is more than just a physical attraction. The truth is that most people reside in some grey area between the two worlds.
Danny Roberts in an interview with Jen Memmolo on NewNowNext.
“Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.” ~ Confucious
The world is run by children.
It’s something I notice from time to time, but I usually don’t dwell on it. Last week, however, I was on vacation in San Francisco and if there is one place where there is an abundance of young, beautiful people, it’s in a city like S.F.
If I spent my vacation on the beach, or at a nightclub, I could understand a higher per capita of youth, but I don’t. I mostly spend my time visiting friends and relatives and trying out food I can’t get in the midwest: French cuisine, Japanese cuisine, dim sum, fresh seafood and sushi are my favorites. Heck, even the pizza is better on the west coast.
No matter where I went, though, I was surrounded by young, attractive youth. Who has the energy to run a high-scale restaurant? Certainly not somebody in his late 40s. In fact, I met the chef at a top notch San Francisco restaurant and he is a mere 32.
Even riding on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the ratio of young people to middle aged people was in their favor.
Am I bemoaning growing older? Maybe. I have always sailed by on the notion that age is just a number, and certainly I don’t mentally feel older than anyone else, but my body can’t always keep pace with the lifestyle I enjoyed 20 years ago.
I used to have dreams of living in San Francisco. In my heart of hearts, I never planned on actually moving there, but in the last couple of years I have had the epiphany at this point in my life I am too old to live there.
A vibrant city needs young blood to keep it fresh and inviting. Besides, there are way too many steep hills to walk up and down and what used to be a 12 hour day in the city for me is now a five or six hour day.
In the bay area, when folks get a little older, they usually have more money than they did as youth and so they move, preferring to live in houses in the peninsula (cities like San Mateo, San Carlos, Belmont, etc.) than in tiny apartments in the city.
When I was getting on the small “puddle jumper” to come back to my home in the midwest, these two young guys wearing smart looking suits walked confidently over to the airplane. I looked on as they finished their candy necklaces and juice boxes and then watched in horror as they climbed into the cockpit.
They were the pilot and the co-pilot.
What’s more, they were quite good at their jobs, driving home the fact the world is really run by youth and perhaps it’s a good thing.
At least with young pilots, you know they have good vision and aren’t likely to crash the plane due to cataracts or botched lasik surgery.
This commercial features a guy striking a conversation with an attractive woman by a pool. When he asks her if she would like a drink to celebrate his purchase of a Kindle Paperwhite, she tells him that her husband is getting her one.
It turns out she is not the only one with a husband.
When I was a teenager, a friend of mine taught me some basic sign language [his sister was deaf]. Since then, I have been fascinated by people who are skilled in Sign. More recently I discovered there are quite a number of videos on YouTube where people are signing to music, creating their own videos and their own versions of popular videos.
Like this one, which is one of my favorites.
Growing up in Oregon, when I heard this jingle, I knew Christmas was just around the corner:
“There’s a special kind of feeling in the air,
A time for pleasant words and company
The ones who really care
A time for warming fires
and singing children’s choirs
and sharing special moments with those who really care.
Merry Christmas from Payless
The tune was, of course, for PayLess Drug Stores Northwest. PayLess Drug Stores was the largest independently owned and operated drug store chain in the United States. It became a wholly owned unit of Kmart in 1985, as part of the Kmart expansion program created by CEO Joseph Antonini.
Another subsidiary of Kmart during that same time frame was Waldenbooks.
In 1986, there were 225 PayLess stores. By 1990 PayLess operated in nine western states.
In 1994 Leonard Green & Partners, purchased PayLess Drug Stores. Green’s group already owned Thrifty Corporation, which it had purchased from Pacific Enterprises in 1992. The Green partnership merged the companies, and Thrifty PayLess was born.
At the time of the merger, Green and Partners’ company, TCH Corporation, was renamed Thrifty PayLess Holdings, Inc. with Thrifty operating 495 stores, PayLess operating 543 stores.
In 1996, Rite Aid acquired Thrifty and PayLess stores from Thrifty Payless Holdings. By 1998, the PayLess Drug name was absorbed into the Rite Aid brand and PayLess Drugs, a northwest company name since 1919, was defunct.
Currently, a new Payless Drugs, using a similar logo to the prior PayLess, operates as a long-term healthcare pharmacy but does not operate retail stores.
One of Nebraska’s State Senators, Bill Avery, would like to put a tax on soda.
Avery’s bill, LB753, would take away the exemption on soda that allows it be be classified as food, therefore making it a taxable item. The money raised through the taxing of soda, estimated to be between $10 million and $25 million, depending on sources you read, would go toward the prevention of childhood obesity.
Currently soda is being named the culprit behind our nation’s propensity toward being overweight, not the fact that we are a sedentary society. I included the senators who will be voting on this bill among those sedentary folk.
My problem with LB753 is that it’s a tax disguised to look like a solution to our state’s weight issues. The theory is that by taxing soft drinks, youth will be dissuaded from buying soft drinks. For those who choose to pay the extra few cents for their bubbly drinks will supply the state with money that can be used (theoretically) toward educating our youth to make better choices.
I am not going to suggest that soda, by any stretch of the imagination, is a food. But think about this: Assuming that taxing soda does slow down its consumption by kids, what will be the next tax target?
Why not tax candy bars? Potato chips? Those items are just empty calories, too, and mostly lack nutritional value.
Our we so stupid as a society that we need a tax, or a government program, to be saved from ourselves?
Here is an example of taxes and fines not making much difference in curtailing bad behavior:
Nebraska also implemented a seat belt law a few years ago, making it unlawful to drive without proper passenger restraints. The law made it a ‘secondary’ offense, meaning you had to be pulled over for another reason, before they could slap you with a ticket for the seat belt issue.
The seat belt fine is $25.
Legislators want to now change that law to make it a primary offense so that when officers see you driving without your seat belts, you can be pulled over and ticketed immediately.
Statistics in Nebraska show that people aren’t buckling up in appreciable numbers. In fact, in the nearby community where I work, barely more than half of all drivers buckle up.
The threat of a fine isn’t curtailing bad driving habits, so why would a few cents added onto a soda change anyone’s thinking?
Fess up, Avery. You weren’t really thinking about Nebraska’s youth when you introduced LB753. You really wanted some revenue to throw toward a social program that a few of your constituents suggested would ‘be a good idea.’
These are the parents who not only don’t want their kids to drink soda, they don’t want anyone else’s kids to be able to have it, either. It would be unconstitutional to just outlaw carbonated beverages, so they attempt to turn it into a societal evil and place a “sin tax” on it.
At best, Sen. Avery, this makes you look like you cater to the ‘moral minority.’ At worst it makes it look like you want to hurt the beverage industry in Nebraska.
Which of those two guys do you want to be?
Happy New Year!
I often hear old folks complain because the younger adults in the community aren’t involved in clubs and civic organizations like they were in the past.
Then they shake their heads and make a sorrow-filled comment about the youth of today and how things ‘used’ to be.
I’ve got news for the people in these groups.
You are the reason your numbers are dwindling.
Before I begin, I should note that “old” doesn’t necessarily mean old-age, it could apply to anyone who has been in the hierarchy of an organization for a period of time.
Whenever I have attempted to join an established group, I have always been made to feel welcome. I chip in, do my part and since I recognize that I am not the ball of fire I was in my 20s, I know these men and women aren’t the balls of fire they were twenty years ago, either, so I put in a little extra effort, since I am younger, to make up for their dwindling enthusiasm.
Isn’t that how these clubs got going? Enthusiastic people wanting to make a difference in their communities?
And the older folks love the energy and effort…as long as it’s only labor I am supplying. When it comes time to give input on what needs to be done, or how we can better manage or group, the old-timers don’t want advice.
It’s their way or the highway, or what I like to call, “The Sacred Cow” syndrome. They’re stuck in their ways.
The way the group did things back in the 40s, 50s and 60s should be good enough for the current age, don’t you agree?
Well, no. If that methodology was working, you wouldn’t be looking at a dying organization now, would you?
But you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. There is a reason that expression exists and it’s because it’s based on a universal truth. Old dogs are capable of learning something new, they just don’t want to do it or they are convinced their way is better and they don’t need to learn anything new.
At the point where I learn an organization will never be anything or any better other than what it already is, that’s when I cut my losses and move on, as I suspect most other “new” people do, too.
Then the word gets around: If you have ideas, you are not welcome.
And yet the old order wonders, “Why don’t people join clubs like they used to?”
I imagine there are some folks out there that will be offended by this essay. To that I say, “Good.” Maybe it will give them something to consider the next time they are tempted to utter the phrase, “We have always done it this way.”
I am not claiming my ideas are always brilliant. Some of them are turkeys, as a matter of fact. But if you’re not occasionally failing, that indicates you aren’t trying anything new.
I am not alone with this idea.
Once I was sitting in at a church service and a visiting pastor made the same remark to the congregation at the end of his sermon.
He told the group that if they didn’t change their old routines, done in rote, and regain their joy, they would find themselves with a dying organization because the young people weren’t going to come to a depressing church every Sunday.
That statement was more than five years ago. Since then, that church has lost its regular pastor and has not had a new one since, instead relying on substitutes each Sunday.
The church membership?
The numbers are the lowest they have been in decades.
The “old order” blames it on the fact they don’t have a pastor. Sure, that might be part of it, but they most likely don’t have a pastor because the church has a bad rep in the area.
The dwindling congregation can be explained by these three things:
The old members are dying off; new members aren’t coming to the church because it’s depressing as are the people and the church can’t get a pastor because no one wants a vanishing congregation.
Is the old way a better way?
Sadly, the old order is probably still saying, “Yes. It’s always worked in the past.”