Life Goes Fast and Sunday Open Thread

It's Sunday and site traffic will be down today, so I'm going to go off-topic and self-indulgent.

With Steve Gillard's untimely passing and the 40 year anniversary of the release of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper, I've been contemplating today how fast life goes. And how much we change physically over time, but in many other respects, stay the same .

As my eye doctor would say when he's testing my vision, "Better now? Better then?" And just like I usually tell him, I can't tell.

I'd be curious to see how other bloggers and commenters have evolved over time. Here's me:

Now I'm off to see my mother (who at 84, has really changed over time) and will be back in time for the New Hampshire Democrats Debate and the Sopranos.

This is an open thread, feel free to discuss what you want.

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    Fawk the Yankees (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Johnbo on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 03:01:56 PM EST
    If you want to curse the Yankees like a real New Yorker, it's "fawk the fawking Yankees".

    Yes, the fawk is necessary (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 03:58:03 PM EST
    I had to delete a wonderful comment about Steve because the commenter ended it with profanity.  Here's the wonderful part.  I think it was by desertswind:

    I saw the news posted on TPM this morning and I cried out loud. And then I wimpered like a baby for someone I've never met.

    Steve was so reliable. A real fighter. A real blood-boiler. One of the good guys. He could be funny as hell, too, couldn't he?

    He never ever moaned about his health. Hell, he never even mentioned it in passing. I had no idea and, from comments left on his blog when he went into hospital in February, I realized I wasn't the only regular who had no idea.

    What a smart guy. What an interesting read: Iraq, American history, the military, local and US politics, food, drink, music.

    I'll miss him dearly.

    desertwind (none / 0) (#16)
    by desertwind on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 06:33:48 PM EST
    I wondered if I should leave that out! Please accept my apologies, Jeralyn. I should've been more mindful of your policy.

    Steve hated the Yankees. That phrase was an in-joke on the News Blog and it became a sort of mantra as longtime readers  tried to will him well.


    Yes But (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 10:36:57 PM EST
    A true Yankee hater would never say f*ck, they would say


    Keep the photos coming (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 10:30:20 PM EST
    So many of you have been commenting here for years. It's great to see what you look like.

    Life Comes At You Fast (As the Ad Says) (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dulcinea on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 02:23:38 PM EST
    Jeralyn, I had an eye appointment a few weeks ago and the doctor asked what I was there for.  That confused me but I gather it was all about my advanced years.  I left thinking that perhaps after a certain age I need only go to be told how my cataracts are progressing.

    And he didn't understand my hesitation in answering "Better then, better now?"

    Old age is definitely for the young.

    change your optometrist (none / 0) (#14)
    by Sailor on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 05:06:12 PM EST
    If he really asked what you were there for he shouldn't be practicing. If all you need are checkups, see your dentist 2x a year and see your MD and OD once a year.

    Some diseases, (e.g. hypertension, diabetes), first manifest themselves in the blood vessels of the retina long before they are apparent in the body. As with AMD & glaucoma, early diagnosis is crucial to being able to manage them thru diet and lifestyle changes. Late stage diagnosis can mean a lifetime of drugs and/or surgery.

    Getting old is hell ... but it generally beats the alternative.


    Thank you, Sailor. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Dulcinea on Mon Jun 04, 2007 at 12:16:32 PM EST
    I still don't know what to make of an ophthamologist whose practice encompasses "Diseases and Surgery of the Eye" asking a senior citizen the purpose of her visit.  I would like to think it was simply a bad question.  Before he examined my eyes--and he spent some time doing that--he talked about cataracts and a few other things which would have been more beneficial for me after, or during, the examination.  I left with a slight change to my prescription for glasses, samples of eye drops for dry eye, and the question of how I would know when I should have the next eye exam to avoid the consequences you describe.

    Frankly, I'm blessed with good health and, at some risk I recognize, have given up on all recommended medical routines except for regular visits to my dentist.  A long story....

    It sounds like you are a medical doctor.  If so, I'm guessing you are a great one.


    Nope, not an MD (none / 0) (#29)
    by Sailor on Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 01:21:31 PM EST
    I work in optometric research and help design and program scanning laser opthalmoscopes that will make diagnosing eye diseases easier, better and less expensive.

    My eye doctor is a child (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zeno on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 02:53:46 PM EST
    My current pair of eyeglasses was prescribed by an optometrist who proudly displayed on his office wall a diploma bearing a 21st century date. Oy! The kids have taken over. He was brisk but friendly, and very professional. Still, he looked like he was playing dress-up with Daddy's office gear and it was very difficult for me to take him seriously. My vision remains rather good and requires minimal correction, but I pine for the days when I didn't have glasses at all (a happy estate that persisted into my forties).

    I think now I should find my knit shawl and sit in my rocker for a spell.

    Sail on you crazy diamond (none / 0) (#4)
    by Johnbo on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 02:59:35 PM EST
    Jeralyn, we should all age so gracefully.

    i turn 60 in december (none / 0) (#5)
    by profmarcus on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 02:59:46 PM EST
    thanks for the opportunity to sound off on a larger topic, either now or soon to be important to all of us...

    it's absolutely astounding to me how fast time has passed... i graduated from h.s. in colo. springs in 1965, at the beginning of the hippie/vietnam era, started college, got academically bounced for the study habits i'd never developed in h.s. (i was smart enough that i never HAD to study) and an unhealthy fondness for beer, spent 2 yrs. and 10 months in the army (which included 18 months in vietnam), returned to school, completed undergraduate and graduate school, married, raised three kids, and am now a grandparent to two more... and those are only the most mundane facts...

    in many ways, i am a totally different person now than i was... in fact, i have gone through a series of transformations that leave even me amazed... physically, i am very much the same person i have always been, with the most obvious signs of aging now showing up in the head and neck (balding, sagging, wrinkles, the usual)... but my mental and emotional landscape now is hard to compare to what it was... extraordinarily difficult life experiences have no doubt necessitated such changes, but, i have to say, i have more happiness and serenity right now than i ever believed it possible for me to have, and, for that, i am profoundly grateful... i wouldn't turn back the clock for anything...

    And, yes, I DO take it personally

    and, of course, (none / 0) (#6)
    by desertwind on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 03:01:24 PM EST
    there's the nursing of my husband's hernia surgery to remind me of how darn old we are now.

    Aging mothers (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 03:13:43 PM EST
    Jerri - Considering that she's where you got half your genes, I'll bet your mother was a beauty, and remains one at 84, as does mine at the same age.

    The joys of aging (none / 0) (#9)
    by HK on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 03:47:49 PM EST
    I'll come clean straight away and admit that I'm 32 years old and so some of you may well consider me unqualified to comment on aging...however, I never felt comfortable with my peers when I was young, never fitted in with any crowd, so for me getting older is a joy.  One of the best things about getting older is getting to know yourself and not feeling like you should be dressing a certain way, listening to certain music or spending your time doing the same things as everyone else.  I don't think I was ever fashionable, but now I don't care.  I don't own a pair of jeans because I don't find them comfortable, I have an eclectic taste in music, but rarely listen to anything in the charts and when I go into a bar, I don't feel obliged to order something fluorescent coloured in a bottle.  And I get the feeling that forging my own path instead of trying to follow someone elses is something that will give me more and more satisfaction as time goes by.  On the down side, everyone in my family suffers from poor joints - me included - and I know that will get worse as I get older, but my grandmother is 84 next month and copes marvellously.  And she has great skin, so fingers crossed I got that from her too :0)

    I remember a couple of years back someone asking my father on his birthday how he felt about getting old.  He replied that he felt it was better than the alternative.

    Evolving? (none / 0) (#11)
    by mcjoan on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 03:59:14 PM EST
    Not much, it seems. Hopefully there's been more inward than outward evolution for me.

    Having just spent a week with my folks, celebrating Dad's 77th and his successful cataract surgery reinforces the whole march of time issue.

    And Steve at 41. Having recently lost a family member way too young, at 49, already had me in a carpe diem mode. Steve really reinforces that.

    great photos, Joan (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 04:01:23 PM EST
    You look positively serene in the latest one!  Thanks for posting those.

    Being in Montana (none / 0) (#13)
    by mcjoan on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 04:02:29 PM EST
    always has that effect on me.

    Thanks for this thread. It fit my mood today perfectly.


    mcjoan (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 08:14:11 PM EST
    had me in a carpe diem mode.

    I think I am the oldest one here. And since old people always want to think age and wisdom are the same (they aren't) let me say that I have few regrets for what I did.

    I have many more for what I did not do.


    et al, but especially HK (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 05:44:23 PM EST
    The joys of aging??

    Children, trust me. The only thing that is worse, is to not age. And yes, that is a cliche.

    But I have seen people who are 75 who are younger than some who are 45...

    I unearthed an old high school picture a while ago (none / 0) (#17)
    by Linkmeister on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 06:56:18 PM EST
    and scanned it into Flickr here.

    That's me on the right in 1967 or 1968.  Trust me, I've never looked that good again.

    I don't know how to avoid (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 07:54:39 PM EST
    looking older than I did in the sixties and seventies, and I don't have any photos of me from back then. I turn 55 later this year, still have 90% of my hair, mostly it's original color, still weigh about the same as I did in my early twenties, and never had any never any major illnesses - which I usually attribute to smoking for 42 years. I just try not to burst into flames.

    I pretty sure I've managed to retain my sense of humor too, but I'm not so sure about my mind sometimes - mostly from asking people variations on "what the hell are you doing that for?" - and my neck occasionally gets sore from shaking my head in incredulity.

    All in all, so far life has been a rather amazing and often hilarious experience, and it gets better and more amazing all the time. I have no reason to think that won't continue, but something will get me eventually I suppose. I hope I'm still lucid enough to experience that too, and that there is some good music playing at the time.

    The only photo I have that I can link to is from 5 years ago, and I look about the same now.

    But I do try to avoid "seeing" older. :>)

    Probably my favorite song (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 08:08:58 PM EST
    is Call Me The Breeze by J.J. Cale.  Lynyrd Skynyrd did a great version of it too.

    Edger (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 08:25:21 PM EST
    I have no reason to think that won't continue, but something will get me eventually I suppose.

    Tust me, it will.

    Death is personal. When you look it in the eye you will see yourself.


    It will. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 08:30:37 PM EST
    It's happened before. ;-)

    Eric A (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 09:16:49 PM EST