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geezerI announce my surrender to the inevitable. I can no longer avoid the truth.

Ich bin ein Geezer.

I am old and eccentric. It is the only explanation for the fact that I am untouched by Michael Jackson’s death and cannot understand why it is still at the top of the news cycle. He was OK until he just got weird.

I must be a geezer, because while I’m sorry that Billy Mays is dead, I am grateful that I won’t have to listen to him shouting any longer. Louder does not mean, “more believable.”

Only a geezer would like to choke that little prick who does the Free Credit Report.Com ads. As a geezer, I would probably get away with it.

Being a geezer explains why most actors under the age of 30 look alike to me and are equally forgettable.

We geezers don’t  give a rip about who marries whom, as long as we don’t have to buy a gift and attend the reception.

Geezers do not watch romantic comedies. We know from experience that “romance” and “comedy” rarely occur together in real life. Usually it’s “romance” then “mind-numbing ennui” followed by the sweet release of dementia.

Popular culture is mostly a yawn to me yet is thrust in my face at nearly every turn. Therefore, what I cannot change, I must embrace. Not only will I embrace it, I will grab it, grope it, and squeeze it. I will wear my pants up to my armpits, held in place with suspenders and a belt. I will  let hair sprout from my ears, wear plaid shirts with a bow tie, and yell at those kids to stay off my lawn.

And if it takes me longer to pee than it used to, well that’s just part of geezing.  I’ll bet it takes Mick Jagger longer, too.

Jerri Nielsen FitzGeraldDr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald who while stationed in Antarctica discovered that she had breast cancer, died Tuesday at age 57, finally succumbing to the cancer she developed in 1999. You may recall that she was the only  medical officer at a South Pole research station, unable to get treatment for months until the Antarctic weather cleared for her to be taken for treatment. She performed her biopsy and essentially treated herself for eight months using emailed instructions, makeshift equipment and supplies dropped by plane. After her return to the states she underwent treatment and her cancer went into remission until 2005.

There’s little to say other than you have to admire her unequaled courage and resilience a woman facing the terrifying prospect of dying on the other side of the world, away from family and friends, watching her life ebb away.

We should be so brave and we should be so grateful that we have her example to emulate.

No BrainLiberty University, Jerry Fallwell’s monument to anti-intellectualism, is about 2 hours and 120 years from Richmond, the capital of an increasingly progressive state.  LibU recently denied official recognition to the student Democrat Club because by their very existence they support the Democratic Party’s platform that includes support for gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose, plus a few less egregious issues. Perhaps their most worst offense was their support for candidate Obama, seen by many as the antithesis of Christian conservatism.

Now the club and the university are negotiating what the club can do to receive official recognition, which would guarantee access to meeting space, space that the Republican club needs not worry about having. Reportedly, the club must refrain from endorsing any candidate, which largely neutralizes the point of having a club associated with a political party. Chancellor Jerry, Jr. has said, “If the candidate happened to be in favor of abortion and same-sex marriage, then we would like to see some kind of disclaimer,” Falwell said. “There’s some debate back and forth on how that disclaimer would be worded.”

How would that disclaimer read? “The Student Democratic Club of Liberty University seeks the re-election of Candidate Jones except for her support for gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose, her rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act and her endorsement of socialist values. If that’s OK with the LU Administration. We guess.”
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DoctorI’ve finally discovered research which supports my contention that I need to take a vacation at least every other week.

Westman M. & , Eden D. (1997).  Effects of a respite from work on burnout: vacation relief and fade-out. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(4), 516-527. From the abstract: “…burnout returned part way toward its prevacation level by 3 days after the vacation and all the way by 3 weeks after the vacation.”  Briefly, the positive benefits of taking a vacation staved off burnout from 3 days to 3 weeks.

This means that the psychological benefits of taking a vacation fade at roughly the same rate as one’s tan. Having an all-over tan may delay the return of burnout somewhat, but that has not been fully investigated. I’m considering submitting a research proposal to the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, and Oprah Winfrey to fully study the issue of tan-fade and the onset of burnout.

If you’re interested in being a subject for this study, please leave a comment and let me know what tropical destination you’re willing to travel to for science. Remember, this is for science. Science. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

SXM1The end of a vacation is always a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, you hope you’ve wrung every drop of fun and relaxation out of each waking hour. On the other hand, you’re ready to get back to familiar territory: your home, your dogs, your bed, your stuff. Your bills. Your overgrown lawn. Your job.

Recovering from our toasting on the Tiko Tiko, we were unsure whether we wanted to spend one last day at Club O. Our uncertainty lasted perhaps 10 minutes. But first, a trip to Maho Bay and the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill. We visited the Sonesta Bay Resort. It seemed to be focused on high roller types. We are not high rollers. In fact, if there’s such a thing as a low roller, that would be us. Moving on to the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill was slightly a better fit, but only marginally. The chief attraction is the proximity to the runway at Princess Julianna Airport. Otherwise, it was a Carib and time to move on.
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SXM1The Tiko Tiko cruise, originally scheduled for Wednesday, happened on Thursday. We joined two other couples, Gerhard and Leah from Holland and Gene and Annette from Dallas. Philippe, the captain, welcomed us aboard and we headed for Tintemarre, a small island only a few miles away. After dropping anchor we swam ashore and Philippe brought our belongings to the beach in his dinghy. He erected three yellow umbrellas, the universal symbol of sun worshipping. We put on our snorkel gear and explored the rocks around the island. Not a lot of coral, but many interesting fish, none large enough to eat us, which is reassuring. Annette asks why we never hear reports of sharks in Saint Martin. None of us have the answer but I find myself looking just a bit more carefully while under water.
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Our plan to sail on the Tiko Tiko fell through when not enough people signed up for today’s cruise. No problem–Captain Philippe rescheduled us for the next day and he already has enough guests so we’re on.

SXM1We headed for Grand Case, the reputed gastronomic capital of Saint Martin and only a few miles from our villa. There must be three dozen small French and Italian restaurants, all with good reputations (and prices to match), but we are hunting for a different trophy: the Talk of the Town Too, a lolo. “Lolo” means “locally owned, locally operated,” a name that does not do TTT justice. Lolos are mom ‘n’ pop street cafes. No frills, no table cloths, no perky waitresses, just basic, tasty food.
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SXM1Pinel Island is a tiny island a mile or so from SXM, accessible only by ferry unless you have your own boat. Ours being 2,000 miles away, the ferry is our only option. Other tourists show up at the dock at Cul de Sac and at 10:00 we all clamber aboard for the 5 minute trip. Upon arrival a beach boy (yes, that’s what they’re called) begins collecting money from people as they choose their beach chairs and umbrellas. Not surprisingly, we choose the chairs furthest from everyone else. Not surprisingly, we are immediately joined by a family with three girls, two of whom are busy bickering with each other. They turn out to be nice kids. Not so the hooligans behind us. OK, they were normal too. Just be normal over there, please. Thank you very much.
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