Why, Howard?

Teacher, mentor, friend, and philosopher Howard Stein died two years ago today at the age of 90 — and I still miss him every day — and yet his death strangely seems so far in the past as to be unrecognizable. Because of all the surgical procedures he had at the end of his life, Howard would often refer to himself as the “Frankenstein Monster” held together with stitches and sealing wax.

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Curse of Old Men: More Creepy than Funny

Unlike women, as men age, there’s a tendency to stigmatize our awful attempts at humor by branding us “creepy” or “perverted” or “just gross.”  Plant an unfunny line on a 20-year-old guy and a teenaged woman might giggle, while the same line said by a guy over 60, to the same young teen, begets the world breaking apart as the whole tone and timbre of the conversation changes to a perceived perversion.

Why is that?

Is there always some sort of unspoken sexual underpinning to every male-to-female interaction that cannot be denied or generationally negotiated?  Why doesn’t the curse cut the opposite way against older women who are labeled creepy and perverted in the same condition?

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My Almost Mom (For Ann)

by Nancy McDaniel

Not my mother
Nor my stepmother
Nor even an official godmother
But my “almost mom”
Who has loved me for over 60 years
I’m an “almost sister” to her two sons
For those same 60 years.

Maybe better than a “real” mom
Because we are first of all friends
I can talk to her more honestly and openly
Than I could to any of my “other” moms

Laughing over silly mistakes
That we each make
Or things we both forget
Helping each other with projects
Reminiscing about old recipes, old parties
And funny stories from 50 years ago:

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Suspended in Terracotta

The house stands square and proud, tenaciously clinging to the last vestiges of dignity it once owned. The once vivid rose-coloured paintwork, now weather worn, peels to reveal aging stonework below.

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Hoping to Find Answers in the Silence of My Growing Dementia

I have reached a moment in my life when my various mental functions seem to have gone south, or at least are heading in that direction. At going on seventy-seven years old, many of my old abilities of past celebration have indeed deserted me. As a member of a small writers group, I am faced once a month, with an “assignment” to fulfill. It has become something of a difficult task of late. It is, however nothing I find discouraging in any way. And so last December I decided to tempt fate and go where what remaining creativity would take me. The subject of the assignment was something like “Humphrey Bogart revisited.”

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Male Menopause Limps into Your Life

We know if you’re a man — you’re already dying of prostate cancer — but the more recent news-that-makes-us-go-limp from the BBC — is that if you’re male, you also stand a 2 percent chance of going through your own sort of “menopause.”

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Faith in the Dying

The newspaper is dead.  It’s only a matter of moments before we start wiping up the blood and burning the bits of leftover pulp to ash.  We have absolutely zero sympathy for a medium that denied their own end and propagated the memes of the demise of their profitability.

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