Posts tagged Aging

Things about Mary Travers

Growing up, I was never a kid who sat in their room staring at the ceiling while listening to music and feeling the lyrics deep in my soul. To be honest, I just didn’t care about music all that much.  I was the anti-teenager in that respect.  Sure, I liked random teen-centric angsty stuff from the early 2000’s (punk/emo stuff like the Ataris, New Found Glory), and went to Warped Tour a couple of times, but… I also dug U2… and Frank Sinatra… and Jump, Little Children. And I went to Lillith Fair.  Really, I tended to (and still do) like songs over bands.

But there was always Peter, Paul, and Mary.

Thanks to my parents, who were teenagers of the late 50s/60s, I grew up going to Peter, Paul, and Mary concerts every summer for as long as I can remember.  My parents actually wanted to get married to Noel Paul Stookey’s “The Wedding Song” but the priest wouldn’t let them (damn Catholic dogma).  PP&M was a constant on the radio in our house and there was always the annual trip to meet up with my godparents’ family on a warm summer night to sit on the lawn at Ravinia (always near the dog statue), and listen to PP&M.

Peter, Paul and Mary shaped my childhood. My social justice roots started early, I suppose.  I still cry when I listen to “Home is Where the Heart Is”… because… well, I’m supercool like that, I suppose.

On September 16th, 2009, Mary died due to complications of treatment for leukemia.  Her passing had more coverage than I’d expect, but still relatively little.

The rest of the world had their foundations rocked when MJ died. To be honest, I couldn’t have cared less.  But Mary Travers?  Mary Travers dying seems to have officially signaled the end of my childhood.

Anything I can think to say is sappy and two weeks overdue at this point.  But, basically… thanks, Mary, for being a huge part of shaping who I am.

(Wanted to find a different video, but I can’t find it on youtube, and Leaving on a Jet Plane is bad assed, so… this’ll do.)

10/4/09 ETA: Found the video I was looking for – I Have a Song to Sing, O!

This song is, I suppose, one of their lesser known ones, but definitely flitted through my house growing up. No idea which album it’s on, but I love it and recently rediscovered it while stalking down youtube videos of PP&M since hearing the news about Mary


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Things I am willing to beg for

After a year and a half, I’m willing to beg.  Please make my head stop hurting.  It’s gotten so much worse in the last few months. Please make it stop. I’m so sick of this.

MRI results in 24 hours. I don’t know if I’m hoping for it to show nothing (meaning “asymptomatic migraines” since I fit the right gender and age bill (stupid getting older)), or something worse so I know I’m not totally insane being freaked out by the intense ickyness that’s been attacking my head increasingly over the last year and a half.

Plus, in the past week I have learned though that migraine meds make me nauseous, and don’t really help with the squeezing pain.

So there’s that.

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Things that make me not-so-much “angry” as much as “sad”

Setting: Office, sunny Monday afternoon.

Miguel: Incompetent oaf
Me: Diligent office worker with currently less-than-diligent knee, which is bandaged and propped up on desk


Miguel:  Oh, hey, I see your knee is wrapped up and elevated there, what happened?

Me: I was playing volleyball last Thursday, I sprained my MCL in my left knee.

Miguel: Oh, wow, that’s what I hurt, too!

Me: Yeah, you mean with your 5th Workers’ Comp claim injury? When you jumped off the truck?

Miguel: Yeah, that’s the one.  So did you go get it checked out?

Me: Yup. I went to the hospital and got it checked out that night. They said that I sprained my MCL and probably pulled my hamstrings, too.  I pinched something on that side when I came down and it was pretty painful.

Miguel:  Wow, I’m surprised you can put your leg stretched up like that after only a couple of days; I couldn’t do that.

Me: Well, didn’t you tear your MCL?

Miguel: Uuuh, well, the doctor said that it’s only a  really small, tiny tear actually.

Me: Uh, wait, didn’t you miss like, 3 or 4 weeks of work because of that?

Miguel: Well, yeah, ‘cuz I had to get an MRI done and stuff.

Me: But if it’s a small MCL tear that doesn’t need surgery, that usually only takes about 2 weeks to heal,?  Err… I thought?  Well. Um, oookaaayy… well, yeah, usually a sprain is not as bad as a tear though, so I guess I got off easy.

Miguel: But you said it hurt, like, a lot, right? Wow, I still can’t believe your leg is able to stretch and bend like that.

Me: Well.. uh, yeah.  I mean, I had crutches for a few days, and I’m still icing and elevating it, but I’m trying to make sure it doesn’t get too stiff and then bending it when I can. You know.

Miguel: Still, wow.  I couldn’t stretch like that when my knee was hurt.

Me: Well, firstly, different injuries. Secondly, you couldn’t stretch like that before your damn injury.

Miguel: Huh?  Well, I’m doing rehab on it now, but… I guess no rehab for you?

Me: No, not really… I’m just trying to be smart about using it.

Miguel: And you’re at work?

Me: Yes,  because you see, some people can put a brace on their knee AND work at the same time.  I guess I’m just really talented, huh?

Miguel: I guess. It sucks though, I haven’t gotten paid yet for my time missed.

Me: That does suck… but it’s because you have barely tried to contact the Workers’ Comp people because you think someone else will do it for you… even though Sienna has told you about 37 times that you need to call them yourself and take care of it because they need confirmation.  But you haven’t done that yet.

Miguel: Durrr?  Sorry, I missed that.  I was spinning in circles and  ran into a wall. I think I need to go file another Workers’ Comp claim.

Me: Well, you can’t, because our coverage got cancelled thanks to your 5 damn claims.

Miguel: [long pause]  Nooooooooooooo!!!! What will I do when I stupidly injure myself from now on!?!

Me: Quit and file for Disability, once more screwing the system meant to protect you?

Miguel: Heeeeeey now…



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Things your knee should not naturally do

I discovered last night that –  apparently – while landing after an attack in volleyball your lower leg isn’t supposed to roll outward away from your body while your knee stays straight. This causes a lot of pain and hospital visiting and a lack of ability to play sports for multiple weeks.

Things your knee should not naturally do

Things your knee should not naturally do


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My Murtaugh List

A recent episode of How I Met Your Mother explored the idea of what they called “The Murtaugh List,” or rather, a list of things you are officially too old to do (named in honor of Det. Murtaugh in the Leathal Weapon movies).

As Americans are wont to do, I often jokingly bemoan my own aging process.  I am the youngest in my family and have always had (at least) an extra 4 smug years of youth on my siblings to my advantage, but I have recently begun to discover that those 4 years don’t provide a Carte-Blanche-fountain-of-youth. Tonight I have discovered what must be my first pathetic submission to my own Murtaugh List: Climbing 15 ft. fences.

Now, when I was growing up, you could not get me away from heights – trees, stairs, roofs, walls, fences. You name it, I probably climbed it. Looking back as a semi-adult, I cringe for how much I must have terrified my mom.  We had a tree house in the back yard, and a perfect maple tree in front, and I climbed as far up both those as humanly possible.  I have vivid memories of camping and scoping out the highest trees to climb with my cousin. Add onto this all that I was also a gymnast for many years, which led to much swinging and acrobatic activity from 40+ft up.

Apparently I have officially reached the age where I am afraid of falling.  Naivety no longer loans me his cloak of ignorance.

I am aware that I am no longer as flexible, agile, fast, or as overall strong as I was when I was 12.  That’s fine.  If you are, it probably means that it is in some way, shape, or form your job to stay that way.  I’m fine with it though, I’ve matured and grown in other ways.

At the same time, sometimes the patheticness of my own age-based-limitations makes me angry.

Tonight I was annoying the neighborhood by hitting a volleyball against the wall of the school across the street from me.  There’s a large parking lot, so I figured I’d be safe, avoid cars, and not make too much trouble.  Fast forward to 30 minutes later when all of the sudden after a funny bounce off the wall, I pop the ball too far up, and my beautiful, [somewhat] new volleyball floats up… up… and up…

… onto the roof of the first floor landing.

After a few not-so-muttered curses, I realize there are 2 fire escapes which could possibly lead me up onto the roof, but one is closed in by 15 ft metal walls (?), and the other is surrounded by a 15 ft metal fence.  I’d have to somehow scale one of these two walls and then climb onto the fire escape to even have a chance at getting onto the roof.  Realizing I have no chance with the metal wall unless I somehow obtain a large trampoline and a lot of glue, I take my chances with the fence.

And fail.  Multiple times.

In my slight defense, it’s not a traditional chain link fence.  The diamonds of the metal links are much more oblong and are not malleable to the width of your shoe’s toe, and therefore properly wedging yourself in there isn’t as easy.

Sort of like this... only taller

Sort of like this... only taller

(I did recently climbed a fence from 15 ft above the ground to get onto a dam, but that really only involved sideways movement and hanging over a long fall to rocks. There was little upwards motion involved, and a metal bar at the bottom on which to place your feet.)

On the other hand, my upper body strength is apparently non-existent, and therefore I realize I could wax excuses until the cows come home, but they would be merely a conduit to a silver lining/ego-mollify-er.

By my fifth attempt, I had actually learned a bit: I found a traffic horse and dragged it over so I had a good 4 ft platform off the ground before I had to tackle the fence.  I actually made it so that I was able to grab the top bar of the fence with my right arm, and could have hoisted myself up and onto the fire escape.

But damn that stupid age thing.

All I could see were visions of myself hoisting over the fence, onto the fire escape… and then awkwardly finding myself stuck.  Or trying to get down and falling and hitting my head on the asphalt. Or having the cops called on my ass because some neighbor thought I was breaking into the school. Because you know that shit would happen, and then I’d be on the next episode of America’s Dumbest People.

And thus, with much sadness in my creaky heart, climbing 15 ft. fences became the first on my very own Murtaugh List.

Sigh. I’m gettin’ too old for this shit.

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