Crabby Old Lady and the Internet of Junk



Remember my blog post last week responding to a letter to the editor in The New York Times about a new age-suit? The letter was written by Ann Burack-Weiss who is also the author of recent book, The Lioness in Winter.

Ann and I have been in email touch and she directed me to a guest post titled, Living Bone to Bone she wrote in February for the Columbia University Press blog.

It is so good, so right, so true that it gave me an terrible case of writerly envy. Which means, obviously, that you need to know about it too. Here is an excerpt:

”The Palliative Care experts solemnly drape the Death with Dignity banner over the coffin that awaits us. Get your affairs in order! Have that family conference! Sign those Advance Directives! We comply and here we sit: all papered up and no place to go. At least not yet.

“We listen to the Wellness advocates. Cheerleaders of Successful Aging, they are filled with statistics and inspiring personal stories. Learn a new language! Start a second or third career! Civic engagement! We’ve been there. We’ve done that. And still do. When we’re feeling up to it.

“What no one talks about is the experience of living in the middle stage, the 'bone on bone' stage that occurs somewhere between jazzercise and hospice care. What I want to see is recognition of what it takes to hold our own without the insulating padding that once buffered us from assaults of the outside world.”

That does not begin to give you an inkling of the depth and breadth of this lovely rumination. Go read the whole guest post. You will be glad you did and you will probably print it out for yourself.


Oh my. I can't wait for November. I so enjoy the Harry Potter stories – books and movies – and now there is an extension of them.

Here is a preview trailer of the new movie. It sure doesn't hurt that it stars the great Eddie Redmayne and is set in 1920's New York. The script is written by Harry Potter creator herself, J.K. Rowling, from her 2001 book.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first of a trilogy of films. Find out more here.


Don't laugh. It's important. And you've probably been doing it wrong all your life.


Of course, I am - the internet told me so.

Actually, it's a quiz about New York slang - and I aced it.


They're wrong about me being born there. I am/was a transplant but I knew from age five it was my real home (and it still is). Marian Van Eyk McCain of elderwomanblog sent the quiz. You can take it too at


Last Sunday on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver showed his viewers that the mainstream media hasn't begun to tell us the whole story of Flint, Michigan and the extent of the lead problem in all our 50 states.


After Oliver's evisceration of Congress on lead in the video above, you really do need to see this working model of the U.S. government sent to us by Darlene Costner.

It's complex, makes a lot of noise, is dangerous, needs lots of maintenance and does NOTHING useful.


Everyone here has seen the 1960 horror movie, Psycho, right? Probably more than once. And you undoubtedly remember the infamous Bates House. Here it is with film director, Alfred Hitchcock, on the set.


This year, a massive replica of the home...will be on display to transport visitors back to the ominous setting of this classic horror flick,” reports spoiledNYC.

“The piece was created by British artist Cornelia Parker and is constructed from reclaimed wood taken from an actual barn.”


The house will be on display on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan until 31 October – Halloween. There is a bit more information at the Met Museum website.


Death Valley, California, is the lowest, hottest, driest spot in the northern hemisphere getting, on average, less than three inches of rain per year.

Every now and then, however, the Valley gets more rain that usual and thisis one of those years creating what is called a “superbloom” of wildflowers. Here's a video:


A woman couldn't figure out why she never had any ice, then she shot this video. Clever puppies, these:

* * *

Interesting Stuff is a weekly listing of short takes and links to web items that have caught my attention; some related to aging and some not, some useful and others just for fun.

You are all encouraged to submit items for inclusion. Just click “Contact” at the top of any Time Goes By page to send them. I'm sorry that I won't have time to acknowledge receipt and there is no guarantee of publication. But when I do include them, you will be credited and I will link to your blog IF you include the name of the blog and its URL.


The dog video did it for me this morning! I needed that chuckle. Also, you are so fortunate to have Ann as friend. She's brilliant. Thanks for helping start the w/end, as usual :) Dee

Unbelievably, I, who have spent exactly five days in NYC aced the quiz. I, too, am "100% - You're a True New Yorker". Me thinks the quiz may be rigged.

BTW: Those who think that every way of tying shoes or washing hands that isn't their own is wrong, bug me. Mom always taught me that there was more than one way to skin a cat and I think my Mom was smarter than all of the so-called experts put together! *laughing*

Thanks for adding entertainment to my Saturday morning, Ronni.

As a born and bred New Yorker, I too aced those questions, although I have to admit that I guessed at a couple of them. They may have been neighborhood specific expressions. Like most New Yorker's, I am "Hood-eccentric". That is, I know little of what's going on ten blocks away. Having been born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and worked in Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx remain a mystery to me.

Oh, and Cop Car. If you are skinning cats every day, I think you should wash your hands as often as possible.

Loved Living Bone on Bone. Between spectator and specter myself I fully identify. Recently
watched Lady in the Van and wonder just how much 'acting' was required. Old people have more agility than than we ever imagined. Try loading a walker into a car, helping an elder up even a small flight of stairs, a wheelchair into and out of elevators. . .
And yet it is a cushioned time, a peaceful quiet time where one can determine ones need for food or sleep. I rather like it.

Love you, love TGB, but please, don't feed the "Government is the Problem" beast -- the attacks on Medicare and Social Security feed on anger about government that "does nothing" at great expense. The right has never wavered in its determination to restore government to its "proper" role, which is spelled out in Ayn Rand novels. Don't spread their memes.

Second try. First post disappeared into the ether while I was checking out the "Lioness in Winter." I will find her book, found her post intriguing.

Thank you John Oliver, once again. I'd guess the lead problem is country wide as well. I believe a country that doesn't keep its children in particular, healthy and educated does not have much of a future. I see Portland, OR is making some moves on lead in their water after their recent air pollution finds. Here in Walla Walla we have insufficient filtering on our water system here. It contains Cryptosporidium parvum, a parasite that causes intestinal and respiratory infections. The filtering system needed is said to be 60% completed as of April, 2016.

Great stuff, thanks for sharing.

Loved Ann Burack-Weiss's writing. Thanks for introducing her, Ronni. Have rushed over the and ordered a copy of ~The Lioness in Winter. I've read most of the writers mentioned in the review and I look forward so much to getting into her book.

For what it's worth this former Okie (now Coloradan) scored 100 on the NY test. (I may get run out of town for that!)

Wild flowers in Death Valley. Who'da thunk it? And the dogs? Hey, they're goldens. Smart enough to figure out most anything. I'm sure my Annie would do the same if my icemaker still worked.

Hmmm. I think the NY test may be rigged. Sorry, Ronni, but I aced it too, having only very briefly visited many years ago and guessed a lot on the answers.

Liked the han d washing video. It justifies my fear of hospitals. I once learned that if you sing "Twinkle, twinle little star" all the way through while manipulating your hands in hot water and soap, much as the video demonstrated, you might consider them sufficietly sanitized.

Ann B-W's piece was a welcomed true view of being old-old. It made me tear up in recognition of a bit of my reality post 80. It's a time for taking care of oneself, but also for loving and appreciating aging buddies.

Ann Burack-Weiss's piece tells it the way it is! I've had thoughts about how I'm aging but have not been able to "say" it like she does! Living Bone on Bone, dimming sight, sounds we can't quite catch and needing to rest more often - boy - that's the way it is for me now.

"No longer all we were but still doing the best we can."

Thanks for telling me about Ann - priceless!

Tarzana, what I sing (in my head) while washing my hands is "Happy Birthday to Me!" That's always appropriate, right? I'm allowed to wish myself a happy NEXT birthday any time I feel like it.

As for the "US Government" machine - Rube Goldberg devices like that are pretty much always funny and wonderful. It's possible to look at it and... just admire the crazy persistent ingenuity that has to go into making such a thing work at all.

Which, come to think of it, isn't such a bad way to look at the US Government either, at least once in a while. If only as a break from fuming at it, with John Oliver, for not working well enough!

John Oliver nailed it as usual. What an informative (yet entertaining) report a bout a hugely significant public health matter.

With all the anti-government rhetoric we've heard during the last two presidential campaigns and the current campaign, it's not surprising that absolutely nothing has been done about lead in the water supply in Flint, Michigan.

Ann B-W's article grabs you by the heart and holds you tight.

It is nearly bedtime for me and I am completely exhausted. I just spent the first day out enjoying myself since my last "body meets floor" experience 4-1/2 months ago.

My daughter and I didn't drive to Death Valley to see the desert wildflowers, but to Tucson Botanical Gardens where I viewed the same kind of flowers shown in the video.

S0 it was with joy and a laugh that I rested as I read the Ann Burack-Weiss blog describing the bone on bone years. The laugh came when she said we are past our expiration date. That says it all for me.

P.S. I aced the New York quiz, too, and guessed at most of them. What are the odds?
Originally that video probably came from a web site named Baba-Mail as they have those kind of quizzes all the time and answers usually are very flattering. I take them for fun and I am always "very smart" very perceptive" etc, etc. I ace almost all of them, so I am very suspicious of their quizzes.

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