Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tongue-Kissing My Fears

(Some people simply embrace their fears, but I'm not coy.)

Fear of the Day #1: Technology
I'm not exactly afraid of technology — not like my mom, who still won't deposit money in an ATM because who really knows where it goes? — but I also don't embrace it and assume that any new thing is (a) an improvement or (b) something I must have. Husband and I are exact opposites in this regard, I should add. But I'm still reading books made of paper, my phone is just a phone, and I own a hefty collection of both LPs and movies on VHS. I do love and adore my computer, but as a tool for work and quick communication; I don't think of it as an entertainment device. The idea of carrying it around with me (i.e., a laptop) . . . is mostly confusing. Why would I want to do this?

I would say that I'm wary rather than scared, and I do hate the learning curve. And if it's at all complicated, I lose patience extremely quickly.

So for these reasons, when my beloved pal Zan suggested that I get on Skype so that we could do zumba together, I did not exactly . . . cheer.

A. I have to figure out Skype.
B. I have to figure out Skype on an unfamiliar computer, since I would have to do this in the basement, where the kids' computers are. (My computer is in the dining room; no space for zumba. Alas.)

But I gave it my very best shot today, I truly did. I figured out what ancient version I needed to download to run on my daughter's ancient computer ("ancient" being a relative term in Computer World, another reason I dislike and resent new stuff), I got it all downloaded, I found Zan in the Skype Contacts and added her to my Address Book, I pressed the icon with the green phone receiver on it to call her . . . and the computer said, SHE DOESN'T EXIST, YOU MORON. Or something like that.

It took an hour of my life just to get this far today. I will look at it again tomorrow, but it may be a no go.

However, the point is: I DID IT. I took on something that I was truly dreading, and I FACED IT. Even though it didn't work. Not the point! Let's focus, people!

Fear of the Day #2: Getting Back Into Exercise / Walking on Snow and Ice
For the past few days I've been muttering under my breath, mutter mutter, about my exercise-naggy friends Zan and Good Neighbor Anne who are all in my face about just do it already, mutter mutter, don't they know how busy my life is??????

And then I thought: Dude. Did you invite all your bestys to read your blog so they could say, Oh, Lady C, how amazing you are — every decision you make is flawless! perfect! Or did you invite them to, yes, give you pep talks but also hold your feet to the fire on those days when you are being a big weenie??

I am very good at tests, and I would like you to know that I got a perfect score on this question.

This morning I had to go to a memorial service, and when I got home the weather was so pleasant, almost balmy! I decided that I might chance an outdoor walk, even though there are still piles of snow everywhere and no guarantee of clear sidewalks. But first I had to do my chores, of course, and then I got caught up in the Skype thing, and by the time I was finally ready to walk, it was close to 4 p.m. and a decided chill had entered the air.

I wavered.

But my darling daughter gave me a hug and said, "I think you should go for it. If it's too cold, come home," and that turned the tide. I slipped into the red-and-black snazzy jogging suit that Mrs. Cynicletary gave me a couple of months ago; it's a tad snugger but still fits fine and it kept me very warm. I felt like Charlie's middle-aged, voluptuous Angel; I decided that my Angel name is Holly St. John and when we go undercover I will pose as a chef/aesthetician — so, like, when the other Angels pretend to be prostitutes, I will do their nails and make them all parfaits.

Anyway! I went for my walk, and it wasn't till Nurse Kathy's house (close to a mile) before I felt fully warmed up (and I did have to walk in the street a few times — lazy non-shoveling neighbors, mutter mutter), and my arthritic knee started whimpering in the midst of the second third and I thought about wrapping up early . . . but I caught a third wind (listening to "Amphetamine" helped) and went for it! I walked the entire 2.3 miles and felt great.

Tomorrow I will either walk again (weather-dependent) or try my new treadmill strategy. And then:

A Return to Fear of the Day #1: Technology

I will take a (last) look at Skype, and I will try out the Bluetooth device that Zan sent me.

And That's Enough Fear-Kissing, If You Ask Me

I made a kick-ass dinner tonight, Italian sausage and red grapes from Molly W's Orangette blog (and she says the recipe was inspired by Matthew Amster-Burton, whose wife is one of my pallies!) and roasted potatoes and braised greens, and for dessert I made a banana cake with Trader Joe's Cookie Butter (tastes like a gingersnap with the texture of peanut butter) between the layers and frosted it with white cream-cheese frosting, and we ate it warm from the oven, oooohhh mama.

Time for a hot shower and a good book.*


—Lady C

* OK, I guess I do have one more Fear of the Day and that's: Self-Publishing. I don't want to do it, I'm terrified of all the work involved. But my friend Mary Rowen just self-published her wonderful book Living By Ear (it is REALLY good, and I promise I'm not just saying that; I don't love all her stuff but I loved this a lot. Check out my review on Amazon!) and is having a truly groovy experience. Definitely food for thought, I'll say that.


  1. Good Neighbor AnneMarch 3, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Yay! Exercising is better than listening to nagging friends! Thank goodness, because SOME of us don't actually need to be engaged in more nagging in our lives! ;) ALSO, some pals enjoy complimenting you on your beautiful emerging thinner self WAY MORE than nagging! Big hugs and congrats on taking that walk!! Yay for you!!!

    1. You are a true and beautiful friend, and I appreciate ALL of your cheerleading efforts! Sometimes the team needs a kick in the pants, that's all. :)

      Next winter I need to take four zumba classes. My basement gym is *clearly* not the answer! Yesterday's walk was lots of fun and felt great - I'm looking forward to another one today. The sun is shining so far...

  2. I'm glad you went for it! Skype is not bad - if you need a comprehensive tutorial, let me know. I've set them up for my professors.


    1. Ah, I fear my operating system is just too old. I tried logging in the next day and was told that I HAD TO upgrade, but my operating system won't support the required upgrade. Enough! Done.

      If I *needed* Skype I would figure out how to do it -- but I don't, so I won't. For now, anyway. But thank you for the lovely offer - I appreciate the support!