Conflicting Medical Advice
An Interruption at TGB – Day 2

An Interruption at TGB - Day 1

category_bug_journal2.gif You know, there are not only days you shouldn't get out of bed; sometimes there are whole weeks. This has been one of them. Being sick (I'm recovered now and thank you all for the get well wishes), a foot of snow from which to dig out my car while I was sick and then a mechanical computer malfunction so expensive to fix that it was smarter to buy a new laptop.

Which I have done. I had forgotten in the intervening years since the last purchase how much there is to do to get a new machine into usable shape:

  • configuring internet access, wireless network and router, etc.

  • downloading and installing security software

  • waiting interminably for Windows updates to install

  • downloading browsers, email program, financial software, other necessary programs

  • installing said programs and software

  • transferring data from the old computer needed for those programs to function the way I want

  • eventually transferring all document and image files

  • redoing about half of the above when glitches arise or I screw up

I'm nowhere near finished which is why there is no Elder News today and will be no Elder Music tomorrow and who knows what Monday will bring. I've been functioning on my Eee pc which is not ideal. I love it for the mobility around the house and away from home when I am willing to do two-finger typing. But for full-time, all-day use – it's too hard to work this way.

So now that you've indulged my public whine-and-whimper, here's a golden oldie you might like. There will be another on Sunday and maybe on Monday. New posts at The Elder Storytelling Place may also be delayed next week.

Some people think I’m Shirley MacLaine. Well, not lately, but there was a time – a period of several years in the 1980s and 1990s - when I was regularly approached for autographs and no amount of denial on my part would convince people – mostly tourists - that I wasn’t Ms. MacLaine.

It happened frequently enough that I’d sometimes stare at myself in the bathroom mirror, turning my head this way and that, trying to catch a glimpse of what others saw. Maybe it was something similar in the set of our jaws or the shape of our eyes. Or a mannerism I am unaware of. I couldn’t be sure, but a lot of other people had no doubt.

There is a certain kind of woman they seem to breed only in Queens, New York. They dress in bright, bold colors – all worn together in the same outfit - and they have that accent (think Fran Drescher in The Nanny). You can see – and definitely hear – them coming for ten city blocks. Invariably, they are brash, loud, smart as whips and devastatingly funny.

I had a friend like that in the mid-1990s. Carol and I worked together in midtown Manhattan and on one cold, winter day, we avoided the nasty weather by making our way underground through the labyrinth of shops below Rockefeller Center toward a favorite restaurant.

Wading through knots of noontime tourists consulting their maps as we turned a corner, I saw a woman eying me in a way I had come to know well; I was about to be accosted for an autograph.

Sure enough. With her friends in tow, she rushed over, grabbed my arm and gushed: “I am your biggest fan ever. I’ve seen every movie you ever made. You…”

I interrupted. “I know you think I’m Shirley MacLaine, but I’m not.”

“Don’t you try to fool me, Shirley,” said the woman wagging her finger. “I’m your biggest fan and I know Shirley MacLaine when I see her.”

Now a crowd was gathering as the name Shirley MacLaine was passed from one to another and people dug in their bags and pockets for paper and pen.

“Please, ma’am,” I said. “You’re mistaken. I’m not Shirley MacLaine. I just happen to look a little like her. But I’m not her…”

The woman, quite firm about it, continued to insist that I was Shirley MacLaine and nothing I said could dissuade her.

As I tried to resist taking her notepad and pen for the autograph she wanted, Carol elbowed me and in her loudest, Queens whine said, “Oh, Shirley, just sign the autograph. We’re going to be late.”

Of course, Carol was right - a perfect solution I'd been too thick to think up for myself. I signed Shirley MacLaine's name, leaving the woman happy in her belief that she had met a movie star while visiting New York City and freeing Carol and me to get on with our lunch.

From that day forward, taking my cue from Carol of Queens’ sharp elbow and sharper wit, I signed autographs as graciously as I could when asked (until I apparently stopped looking like Ms. MacLaine a few years later) and hoped, should she ever find out, that she wouldn’t mind.


My husband/techie claims that when he had to do the same things to our new computers I regularly appeared behind him with variarions of "Are you done yet?"..."Can I use it yet?"..."is it ready?"...

The last couple of new Macs included connect new to old and it transfers everything to the new without any settings. New works fine. If any glitch, make appointment at genius bar at Apple Store and they fix it for free.

Maybe you should have signed Shirley MacLaine (aka Ronni Bennett)....LOL

Hehehehehe ... "Shirley," huh? My last name was once the same as a famous crooner so I was often asked if I was related. Once in Pennys long ago, a saleswoman twittered, "Ooh, are you his daughter-in-law?" I couldn't resist ... "Why,yes," the devil made me say and I gave her an autograph!

It's in the eyes, Ronni!

I thought she looked great on the Oscars, far better than Sophia Loren, because Shirley looks like she has accepted her old age with grace and living it fully. I don't imagine it's easy to do that in her world but I admired her for it.

Dear Ronni - what I know about computers fits a thimble and yesterday I discovered I was suppossed to defrag mine...whatever that means. So I did it and still have no clue if anything is going to work better. I was once on a cruise and people kept calling me Bette Midler. It got to the point that I answered to it...very cute. So Shirley - what's nu????

I don't look like anyone famous, but I am approached from time to time by people who are certain they know me. I even had to show one guy who 'worked with me' my driver's license to convince him I was NOT who he thought I was. It has happened so often that I just sigh...
I too have a new computer --- what a pain to set up, etc., etc.
Best of luck with health and computer tech.

I'm so glad your better, Ronni. I know what a pain (no pun intended) it is to be alone when you're sick. That's the only time I mind, but then I wish I had a 'gofer' to bring me soup and 7 UP.

Of course, everyone who reads my blog knows how I get asked, "Are you related to Kevin?" when they hear that my last name is Costner. Once in a while it comes in handy. I should try using it for reservations. ;).

Ronni, sorry to find out you haven't been well! Hope you're on the mend.

That is a cute story. Thanks for sharing.

Maybe Shirley stopped looking like you! ;-)

Beautiful! I think I can picture it.

I've had people think I was Stevie Nicks, till I cut my hair. One day long ago (before the scissors met my locks) friends and I had a fun evening pretending I WAS her, they were my bodyguards as we went out and about the town.

I actually get the Shirley Maclaine comparison too believe it or not, not because of my looks, but because of my complete openness in speaking about metaphysical subjects.

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