sixtiestosixties

I was something in the 60s but now I'm just sixty something.

A “SLO” 4th

Hey there folks! Happy Independence Day! Hope it’s a great day for you!

What? You expected horses? Or maybe an elephant?

Sorry about the confusion from the old post from Coronado. I was trying to limit it to FB just for the old pictures. I was reminiscing on how much fun we always had there on the 4th. I always miss Coronado at this time of year.

WordPress updates faster than I write and my widgets are out of whack among other things. I was having great difficulty and spewing many ugly words trying to post those pictures. I accidentally republished the entire blog entry with no explanation of it being a repost. So, if you are a “follower” it found it’s way to your mailbox. So here is my disclaimer: No, I am not in Coronado and the Big Bang Bust in San Diego was in 2012. I understand though that Fort Mill, SC had a fireworks mishap this year. Bound to happen somewhere. The only California debacle so far this year for the 4th was an earthquake. I didn’t feel it. Maybe if I hadn’t been out eating and drinking and laughing so hard with some new friends I might have. It was pretty big. It’s not dark here yet on the west coast though so there is time left for some other fiasco.

It’s hard to believe it has been 7 years since that last 4th of July post. We left San Diego because of the crowds, the traffic and the taxes. And here we are newly back in California on the SLOcoast (so called for San Luis Obispo and the fact that life is a lot slower here). It is a whole different California here except for the taxes. Drive out of our neighborhood and you are in the midst of strawberry fields, flower fields, vineyards, goats, cows, and horses. And newly repurposed farmland growing the latest cash crop. Yep, pot fields. And you know what the Eagles say about the Hotel California? “You can check out but you can never leave.” And thus, here we are again for the third time.

Original owner?

It is much more peaceful here and life is easy. On the other hand, we don’t have these great 4th of July events that draw in 100,000 people. We have a neighborhood parade that has more participants than spectators. Which is still fun. And much more the norm. Here’s how we do it in SLO County.

My neighbors!
Kazoo Bee Doo Bee Doo! The only band available.

There are fireworks tonight down at Pismo Beach. But it’s a crap shoot which will come first. Could be the fireworks or could be the fog. I’m opting for bed. We have already been out twice this week and we are going out again tomorrow. I am having trouble keeping up this SLO pace. Who knew there were so many party animals in these retirement communities?

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Oh Me, Oh My, What a 4th of July!

Does your town do this?

A funny thing happened on the way to the San Diego Big Bay Boom fireworks on the 4th of July. They all went off at once five minutes before the scheduled beginning of the show. The newspapers referred to this as “premature ignition”. I’m not sure how the pyrotechnician feels about this term. Sounds to me like he has a problem and now the whole world knows about it.

Much can go wrong in a day and it can still remain near perfect. Independence Day in Coronado is like that. It’s a day out of a Normal Rockwell painting. Being a Navy town, it’s celebrated with extreme enthusiasm and nothing can really spoil it. The locals decorate more for the 4th than for Christmas and dress proudly (and often outlandishly) in red, white, and blue. Thousands of people cross the bridge to Coronado to participate in the festivities. We invited eight people and a couple of Chihuahuas to add to the fun and moved our cars to the street to reserve parking spaces.

Just for the record, it does rain in California. It rained on our parade. But not enough to dampen the town’s spirit. We still had our bands, horses, canine companions, and lots of military out marching in full regalia. And we had the garbage truck. I’m not sure I get the garbage truck being in the parade but it did have a great big American flag draped across the front. I wondered if it was just trying to get to the other end of town to pick up the dumpsters. You know, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. Traffic can be a problem here .

Leave the car at home.

I’ve already made plans to make the 4th better next year. I think we should cook dinner instead of lunch so we won’t be in a food coma and miss the afternoon concert. I’ll make more deviled eggs and fewer ribs. I’ll do the “bike around the island” or the fun run or something that doesn’t involve eating and drinking. (Although I suspect some of those bikers had knocked back a few,) And I’m counting on San Diego to get it right with the fireworks.

In the end though, it won’t matter what I do. It will be a great day regardless. It isn’t about the parade, fireworks, or food. It isn’t even about the company. It’s about celebrating the privilege of living in America.

How did you wave your flag?

Sempir fi!

Pearl Harbor survivor and parade official.

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Class of ’68 50th Reunion

 

 

Yes! It has come to that! Fifty years since my high school graduation. Which means my sixties are running out and the name of my blog will soon be outdated just like me. The reunion was fantastic! But it was a bit like speed dating when we so wanted to linger and connect on a deeper level. There is a lot to talk about and a lot to share as we view our lives from the other end of our stories.

A decade ago, when I first decided to blog, I envisioned myself writing something profound, meaningful, and full of wisdom. But as I started experimenting I quickly found my voice was sarcastic and snarky. I am not sure whether I lacked wisdom or just couldn’t express it very well. But the humor seemed to work so I stuck with it. Several of my faithful readers told me they were looking forward to reading what I would write about the whole (my God are we really that old!) 50th reunion thing. A few even suggested things that I might consider addressing as they were musing about their own experiences. But their suggestions were serious and universal sentiments and I have never “done serious”. Not publicly anyway. In truth, the reunion was so sweet and so full of love and acceptance in these tumultuous times that I am finding it difficult to be bitchy. So, I am going to attempt to come out from behind my mask, be brave and risk exposing my sensitive side. (Feel free to groan.)

If you are lucky you have had a community of friends, relatives, and neighbors that you grew up with who helped form your life.  And if you are really lucky you have had the opportunity to watch each other’s continued growth into the various stages of adulthood and into old age. For my younger readers (yes I have a few) I advise you to hang onto these people. The older you get the more important it is to stay connected to people who knew your young, beautifully awkward, self-conscious, and often stupid in your individual way, self. The folks who know your story from the beginning and have chosen to remain engaged in your last few chapters. Being with these people brings you back home to your essence and reminds you of how you got to where you are. Some of those memories might be painful but it keeps you real and grounded. It makes you acknowledge your growth (or lack thereof) and reminds you that you truly are not done on this earth until you die.

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This is us at the 25th.

My high school class reunions provided that continuity for me over the years. I come from a small family. And more than one classmate asked me,”So where do you live now?” I have lived in 12 states. Some of them twice. But nowhere have I ever known such a collection of smart, talented, and interesting people as I have known from my hometown. I could write and write about these amazing people except this is a blog and I try to keep it at 750 words. Some, unbeknownst to them, intimidated the hell out of me. We had to take electives in school. I really sucked at things like art and music and I was surrounded by extraordinary talent. Some of my classmates were so intelligent it wasn’t until I finished grad school that I felt like I could have a conversation with them. But reconnecting with these same people over the years has brought me so much happiness hearing all they have accomplished and the joy their pursuits have brought them. I celebrate their lives and their legacy.

Josh of ‘68 showing us he’s still got it.

I have remained in contact with a number of my classmates through the years and have had the same best friend since 2nd grade. But there have also been new friendships forged with people I did not know that well. We share an era of history and culture. Coming together occasionally over the years we found we had more in common than we ever knew. Like the guy who taught me to swing dance. Not 50 years ago in school but 25 years ago at a reunion party. We share a dance or two at every reunion now. Or my “thick as thieves” girl friend from middle school who moved in the 8th grade. I can talk to her today like she never left. There is my scary smart classmate who has become the unofficial proofreader of my blog. I really need one and I am ever so grateful for him!  I have always come away from these gatherings of exceptional people feeling full of energy and hope for the future. When we let go of the fear of giving of ourselves and the even greater fear of receiving from others then a whole new world reveals itself to us. We do this much better at 68 than we did in ’68.

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Best friend since 2nd grade.

There was also an unspoken current of sadness that rippled though the party for those who were missing. Those who have died or were too sick to come. Those whose lives did not live up to expectations. If only they could know our love for them remains within us. And then there is the gratitude for those who came despite some great challenges to see some old classmates who were once just obnoxious adolescents. My friend (and brilliant proofreader) who was in some serious pain with a torn rotator cuff, has always been all too aware of the bigger picture. He told me we should reflect on “proportionality and perspective”. There is great wisdom in those eloquently stated words. So I am shamelessly stealing them.

I am so grateful for all these people. And I am also way over my allotted word count. Maybe my next post will reconsider wisdom. Or maybe I will write about some slut stories I heard for the first time. We’ll have to see. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

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Weed: Coming Soon to a Place Near You

 

 

 

Nine states have now legalized recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in 30 states. Pot is not really my thing so I am not all that excited about it except that I really don’t think smoking a doobie makes you a criminal. I’d rather see jail space reserved for bigger offenses and possibly politicians.  And I will admit that I was happy that my 90 year old father-in- law was given MaryJane milkshakes in his last days. It was partly to give him the munchies since he weighed an estimated 85 pounds in the end. It also helped with the pain and made the Grim Reaper staring him in the face look a lot more like Jesus. I see no reason to deny a saintly old man some physical and spiritual comfort. It was also a lot of fun to call the kids and hear their reaction when I told them, “Hey, Grampa’s doing weed.”

As for my own personal recreational use, I learned back in the sixties that it just puts me to sleep and I miss the party. But just for the hell of it, and because I live in Colorado, I thought it might be worth one more try just in case I’ve been missing out all these years. That, and unlike so many other things from my younger days, it’s still doable. I find it still puts me to sleep. Not a bad thing at this age. The trouble is that while in a marijuana induced sleep I forget to breathe and wake up gasping for breath. I wonder if any sleep centers have looked at grass snickerdoodles as a potential cause of sleep apnea?

What I am enjoying is all the cultural changes that come along with the legalization. I find it highly entertaining. It seems like only yesterday we were all shown clips from”Reefer Madness” in a campaign against any form of use. You remember. Marijuana today and heroin tomorrow. The product has been given a new dignity by losing all its adolescent nicknames and now goes by it’s formal name Cannabis. It has different strains. You can buy organic. It’s like you are buying wine only you will be asked what result you are looking for instead of what you are serving it with.

I opened up my morning newspaper the other day and it had one of those peel and stick attached advertisements on the front that cover up what you are trying to read. They really annoy the crap out of me. The stickies usually advertise useless information like mattress sales which everyone knows are always on sale. Only this one really got my eye. The world of advertising is changing!

Free product inside!

 

And senior discounts!

 

The landscape of the city is also beginning to change. Now along with your local bottle shop you can visit your local bud shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey honey, don’t  forget to pick up some wine and weed for the weekend”

 

If you still think a B&B is a Bed and Breakfast then think again because it just might be a Bud and Breakfast. Yes, there really is such a thing and they are popping up all over. I read the other day that California is really going in big for cannabis hotels. Smoke free laws still apply so instead of smoking areas they now have toking areas. Usually these are just mom and pop places because international hospitality companies don’t want you to skip reading the fine print and consequently get put to death in a foreign country. That would be bad for business.

In another major market, let’s say your pastor decides he needs a new boat and siphons some money off the capital campaign fund to finance it. He explains to his devoted flock that the Lord spoke to him just like Jesse Duplantis. Should this cause you to lose the faith do not despair! You can find new heights in religious experiences at The International Church of Cannabis. They call themselves elevationists. I believe they celebrate a form of high mass.

I really haven’t noticed too much of a downside to this whole thing. I did have to stop going to my favorite pizza place because the staff was always stoned and kept fucking up my pizza. And then there was that time when the valets at a hotel opened their little “office” door and the smoke that poured out gave everyone within 50 yards a hit. I wasn’t so sure I wanted them parking my car. I have come to believe though that only a few of these employees were ever really sober on the job  since I read Kitchen Confidential.  However, legalization does take the guess work out of it.

One word of warning if the new, grown up cannabis plays your town… THIS SHIT IS STRONG! When the salesperson at the dispensary tells you to start with just half a cookie then start with half a cookie! It is not the marijuana of your youth. But it is still cash only.

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How Hot Is it?

How hot is it? So hot I won’t go outside to play. So hot I made my husband buy a fan to help out the AC. So hot I am struggling to find cool (literally) things to do to enjoy the summer I waited for so patiently throughout the winter. So hot Jim Bridenstein is considering the possibility of climate change. So hot I am too lethargic to write anything. It was 105 in Denver this week. I know many of you are suffering under this heat dome the same way so I’ll just say it for you. IT’S TOO FUCKING HOT!!! There. One of my besties says we shouldn’t say “fuck” anymore now that we are old. She said we could pull it off when we were younger and cuter but now it is just kind of pathetic. I expect she’s right but I don’t care how it sounds when it’s 105.

So I have an alternative to writing a whole new post. Did you ever recycle a term paper when you were in school?  I reworked three on The Catcher in the Rye. One for English, one for adolescent psychology and one for a friend who was running out of time. I am already out of time for a June post so I am going to recycle a post from 2013. It’s another one of THOSE (insert word of your choice here) summers. You are all probably too hot to turn on your computer to read it anyway.

Just click on the link and read “Heat wave”.  Keep cool y’all!

https://sixtiestosixties.com/2013/07/18/heat-wave/

 

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Tickets

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Maybe you do lottery tickets. I do ticket lotteries.

Just for a few minutes let’s forget politics, the lack of spring, your grumpy neighbor or whatever else is pissing you off these days. We are all seeking a little enjoyment and a brief escape from the threat of nuclear war. (We’ve already lived through that one.) So why can’t we even get a ticket to a concert or event? Have you tried lately? The frustration begins with logging onto the event website about 10 minutes before tickets go on sale. Or maybe for more adventure you try the old school method of waiting in line for a day or two. Although I think that’s pretty much something even the oldest of the Millennials have passed off to their younger siblings. I’m not sure. Maybe that’s just the line at the Apple store. Anyway, that leaves the rest of us hovering over the keyboard waiting for the clock to strike “now”. You hit “buy tickets” and 5 seconds after sales open there are no decent seats left. How can this be? It looks like Ticketmiser Ticketmaster,  Seat Cheats Geeks and the rest of them have won again and scarfed up all the tickets. Did you know there are computer bots that are able to do this? Even Bruce Springfield is angry because his fans can no longer afford him.

This leaves two options. Stay home or go to the big resale sites and get f***ed over on the price. Just make sure it is a legitimate ‘f*** me over”  site and not a scam where they just steal your money and give you a bogus ticket. This actually happens. Please don’t ask me how I know. But because so many of life’s regrets are the things you could have actually done and didn’t, and since these ticketed experiences are still within reach, I keep trying.

If you were to sign up today to get season tickets for the Denver Broncos it is now estimated to be a  20 year wait list. I don’t even think the bots can get tickets. Greedy fans will resell their tickets on a game by game basis for about four times what they paid for them. And that’s when the team isn’t doing so well. In good times you would have to cough up even more. According to the Denver news, it seems that some ticket holders haven’t actually used their seats for years. They are just opportunists. Or ass****s. You decide. Someone is supposedly looking into this. Since my son has been on the wait list for about 15 years now I am hoping I live long enough for him to get his tickets and take his mama to a game. I believe he loves me enough even for this.

Rockies tickets are easier because they play about a thousand games a season but you still pay through the nose. And then there is the usual lightening, rain and/or hail and a game delay. They never cancel. If they did you could actually use your tickets for the rescheduled game. Last year we bought really $good$ seats for our son’s birthday but we never got there. The game didn’t start until 11pm. A real treat for working fans. I might as well have just burned my money in the front yard. This year I thought we had hit the ticket jackpot. We were invited to an opening day pregame party at a great restaurant near Coors Field with game tickets included. We were so excited! And so thrilled to be a part of this generous party. It snowed. Coldest opening day on record. Game delayed. We went home but since  they did eventually play I guess we were among the lucky ones since we hadn’t actually paid for the tickets.

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And snow!

And who has tried to get tickets to Hamilton?  Did you know Hamilton has a ticket lottery. I downloaded the app and entered every day.

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I guess I’ll just have to read the book.

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We figured since we have moved to Colorado we really need to go to Red Rocks Amphitheater. I mean, it is legendary. Everybody has played there! So we checked this year’s schedule as soon as it was published. Who are all these bands? I must be really getting old. I never heard of any of them. But somebody obviously has because there are no seats available. Finally, I found two seats in the very last row for over $100 a piece for Steve Martin and Martin Short. At least we know who they are. And if it doesn’t lightening, rain and/or hail we can cross Red Rocks off the bucket list.

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Vegas, Baby, Vegas!

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Chinese New Year a la Vegas

We decided, rather spur of the moment, since it got really cold in Colorado and because we couldn’t be assured that Elton John and the two of us would all three make it to his Denver stop on the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, that we should just head to Vegas for the weekend, catch Elton while he is still playing Caesar’s, and warm up a bit while we were there.  I know that was a really long, pressurized sentence but Vegas has a way of bringing out the mania in all of us.

I’m not sure what goes faster in Vegas. Time or money?  And I can’t believe how tired we were when we got back even though nothing happened while we were there that needed to stay there. We didn’t drink that much, eat that much, stay up in the wee hours gambling away our life savings or have marathon sex like most of the people in town. We have kind of passed our expiration date for such excesses but we still had a lot of fun in our comparatively minimalist kind of way.

 

Vegas never fails to assault stimulate your senses. Elton was truly wonderful. But what really offered up entertainment were the weirdos on Fremont Street and the toilet bidet in our hotel bathroom. Americans aren’t accustomed to bidets so we tend to view them as toys. If you ever have an opportunity to play with one don’t be intimidated. But I would suggest having a reasonable amount of privacy until you get the hang of it. It is not as easy as it looks. Like most things, one size doesn’t really fit all. You kind of have to wiggle around a bit and if you move too much the water will squirt all the way up your back. Not to worry though as long as you have something to dry off with. At least it’s warm, clean water from the tap unlike the water in public toilets where the electric eye doesn’t always function correctly. They have a tendency to signal a flushing at the wrong time and spray who knows what all over you before you are finished. And bidets do have their limits. For example, they would be useless in Washington because they are just not big or powerful enough to do a proper job on our elected representatives. I would explain this further but I think you know what I mean.

Bidet controls. Toilet comes with a phone too so everyone knows what you are doing.

 

Fremont, on the other hand, has things you would probably not want to play around with or even approach. It is kind of the side show of the whole Vegas circus. Words do not do these sights justice. Some are so gross I was afraid to take a picture lest my camera explode.  The dress code on Fremont is “pasties casual” (not to be confused with the “pasty casual” look of old white men coming from the snow belt in their shorts and black socks).  You won’t be arrested in Vegas as long as you have pasties on your nipples even if you are ancient and need to sew two potato sacks together for a bra and you are scaring the crap out of every young woman over an A cup about her future. I have never understood the logic nor the inequality of pasties anyway.  This guy isn’t  wearing any.

No pasties. No pasty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other hustlers can be kind of fun. Like you might dare to interact with this guy as long as you carry hand sanitizer just in case. I kind of get where he is coming from.

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Same to you buddy!

 

On the other hand, there is not enough disinfectant in the world to get near this guy.

Chumley’s doppelgänger?

 

Vegas offers all kinds of decadence to go along with the good shows. It also offers cheap flights and nice weather which is sometimes reason enough to go even if Elton isn’t on your bucket list. Have you ever been to Vegas? How was your trip?

 

The amazing Sir Elton 

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New Year’s Resolutions Redux

It is January 2018 and one of the last things I wrote on my “sixtiestosixties” blog was about New Years resolutions for 2014. I wish I had remembered that before I wrote another post for this New Year’s. I can’t say the discovery came as a big surprise since I can’t even remember what I wrote on my grocery list yesterday. But I was disappointed because not only had I written pretty much the same crap four years ago it was much funnier. This is clearly a case of use it or lose it. I am so out of practice. But I realize if I want to continue posting on this blog site I had better get going because “sixtiestosixties” won’t work forever. I’ll be 68 this year which means I’ve only got two years left under this banner and then I will have to come up with a whole new shtick. I am working on a come back.

I can’t believe I wrote about resolutions twice. I hate them. I make the same lame ones every year and  then write about them which is a pretty good indication that not only do I not keep them I don’t even remember what they are. I know I am not alone in this. Why is it that any of us even bother? My theory is it’s fucking January and we all need some hope to make it to spring.

But this year I really did get excited when I saw a suggested resolution from the LA Times reprinted in the Denver Post that I could get behind. (Yes, people, a real newspaper written by real journalists. I am not talking about Facebook shit here.) So I am going to steal the idea and start with it. The resolution? Read more books. This is such a great idea that I am going to try to salvage what little I can from my “Resolutions 2018” draft and just go with it. Let’s consider this a soft reopening. I need the practice.

Resolutions for 2018:

#1 Read more books.

I really love to read but I haven’t been reading as much as I used to. I spend too much time going down the rabbit hole on the internet. My God, does it ever end? I also watch too much Netflix. But I hear so much better with my earbuds and there are no commercials and you don’t have to wait a week to find out what happens. So why wouldn’t I? I also drink wine (or whatever) at dinner time which really helps me get through the evening news that I find totally depressing but the wine also makes me sleepy and I don’t get many pages read before I am snoring away. Reading gives me much more pleasure than libations and certainly more than news so this is really a two-fer.  Because in order to stay up to read I have to skip the wine at dinner (or the vodka or gin or bourbon or whatever). So drinking less just kind of tags along. Maybe then I’ll lose some weight around the middle and…oops!.. never mind. Failed that resolution before. Hopefully, reading will also gives me new ideas.

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Pick one to go with the hat.

 

#2 Publish this blog post before January is over.

This is another reason why I am going ahead with this topic. I don’t have any other ideas at the moment. And, unbelievably to me, it’s been more than three years since I’ve posted. I have managed to move twice but haven’t written a single frickin blog post. What am I waiting for? My obituary? I sometimes get these crazy ideas and think to myself “that would make a great blog post”. Then I click on some stupid shit on the internet and my idea is lost is the midst of garbage. Published garbage that is out there while my garbage is not. So I am going to get organized and reinvent a page out of Marie Kondo’s book. I am going to hold my ideas close to me and if they make me happy I’ll write them down. Otherwise I’ll toss them out of my memory like I normally do with things like passwords and important birthdays. Hopefully this method will work better for me with ideas than with real stuff.

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What was that idea I had last week?

 

#3 Write More

If I keep number #2 then this one is already done. And if I publish just one additional post I will have doubled my output. This will make me so much happier than another dinner with wine in front of the TV hearing about this year’s flu epidemic.

So I have made three resolutions to make me happy. What about you?

 

 

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Swimwear Shopping

sixtiestosixtiesSearch: I was something in the 60s but now I\’m just sixty something.

via Swimwear Shopping.

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