Thursday, October 30, 2003

"Someday I'll fly, someday I'll soar ..."

The pumpkin seeds are roasting as I type this. Only I think I may have had the oven temp too high, because as I gave them a stir they seemed a bit blackened already. Whatevah.

I carved a very very cool jack-o-lantern this afternoon ... he looks like a skeleton face. I also hung a ghost from the tree by my front door, and threw some very old spider webs(found in my old box o' Halloween stuff) all around the front door. BOO!

Last weekend I caught the newest "Halloween" movie ... "H20" ... with Josh Hartnett playing Laurie Strode's son. Loved it. Loved the first "Halloween" movie even more. To me, that Michael Myers music is even creepier than "Tubular Bells". Skeeery!


Brandy is coming to watch Survivor with me tonight, and since she's had a bad cold thing going all week, I decided to make a pot of chicken noodle goodness for her. I'll begin the chopping very soon.

Jimmy is also coming in tonight ... earlier than usual. I'm going to set the VCR just in case the ride from the airport interrupts my Rupert Time.

I've had a super nice day off from work ... made even nicer by the manager's phone call telling me to come in at noon tomorrow, instead of the ungodly 7 AM. Whoo hoo! Apparently there was a delay in the "deadly fumes" in the store today, so we get to start later tomorrow. Oh yeah.


Time to chop the veggies. Carry on.


Outside My House:
High: 71
Low: 40
(That is NOT Halloween weather.)


Thought For Today:
Laurie Strode: "Was that the boogyman?"
Dr. Loomis: "As a matter of fact... it was!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

"Hey Britney ..."

So yeah, I changed jobs again. It occured to me, after speaking with Adam on the phone yesterday, that I had neglected to update my ever-changing job status with all the important people in my life. Some knew, some didn't. No offense. :-)

Last week, I was invited to attend a job orientation with B1g L0ts ... and I accepted. The other job, which was supposed to be so fulfilling emotionally since I was "helping people" was really nothing more than "Maid". And hell, I've done that for 25 years. Nothing against being a maid, it's an honest day's work for many ... just wasn't for moi, ya see.

The manager at BL said that the first 2 or 3 weeks on the job would be backbreaking, sweaty, and miserable since we'd be "building" the store. I started at 7 AM on Monday, and he was not lying. We started with a completely empty space of (my estimate) 60,000 sq. ft. The first day there was much talk like "Are you sure that's not too heavy for you? ... Let's get the guys to lift these, ladies." On Tuesday that flew out the window. We start the minute we hit the door, have two measly 15-minute breaks, and one half-hour lunch break. Parts of my body scream, others go numb. But I'll be damned if I don't keep on going. I'm lifting and placing heavy metal shelves, I'm painting, I'm pinching the beejesus out of my fingers ... I'm sort of surprising myself. I didn't know I had it in me. Still though, by the time I pull into my garage around 4 PM, it's all I can do to get out of the car.

We have tomorrow off since toxic fumes are scheduled, but I'll be back on Friday. That's if my legs and feet cooperate.

Today I had to stifle a smirky laugh when the District Manager, during our end-of-day pep talk, said, "This is going to be a classy, top of the line B1g L0ts! The talk of Greenville!"

I'm thinking it was the paint fumes ... poor man.


Still haven't carved that silly jack-o-lantern. I guess it'll get done sometime tomorrow. Or not.


Adam wrote me an e-mail to tell me that I'm getting an Outkast CD for Christmas. And all I've got to say to that is: "Woohooo!" :-)

Love to both my kiddos ... thinking of you so often you wouldn't believe it.


Outside My House Today:
High: 71
Low: 47


Thought For Today:
"If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead." (Johnny Carson)

Saturday, October 25, 2003

"Hey ya ..."

Today was Football Day at my house. And I was all alone too. Lucky for me, the game was so exciting I hardly noticed.

Clemson - 36
North Carolina - 28

Hate that the defense gave up so many rushing yards, but now my heart belongs to Derrick Hamilton. He took a kickoff return and ran with it. I'm talking the whole field. Touchdown. 100 yards. Awesome! I'm glowing orange. :-)


Daylight Saving Time ends tonight. I love the feeling of setting the clocks back one hour. Feels like "free time".


Never got around to carving my jack-o-lantern today ... maybe tomorrow. So, what have you been up to?


Outside My House:
High: 67
Low: 43
Sunny, with clouds increasing in the afternoon


Thought For Today:
"C-L-E-M-S-O-N T-I-G-E-Rrrr-S!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

"It's been a bad day, please don't take our picture ..."

For over a year now, I use the Internet while sitting in my comfy chair, with my feet propped up on an ottoman, with a laptop computer on ... you guessed it, my lap. My sister Laura let me use her laptop after I whined like a 2-year-old about not getting one for Christmas. At the time, she had a desktop computer, and this thing was just gathering dust. Since then, I have used almost all the life this poor little Hewlett Packard had in it. I tripped over a cord one night, and broke something in the plug thingee ... and now the power cord is taped into the back. And the battery is deader than a doornail, so it has to be plugged in at all times.

Sister Laura lost her desktop in a lightening strike several months ago, and has had the good manners never to ask for this one back. And I've had the bad manners to never offer it. Yeah, I'm ashamed. One of the reasons is, I was mortified that I had broken the darn thing, and didn't want her find out. I guess I was thinking that one day soon, the laptop fairy would leave TWO new laptops under my pillow ... one for me and one for her.

Well anyway, yesterday as I was reading some e-mail, I heard a new and strange clicking noise from deep within this old, battered laptop. And we all know that's never going to turn out to be a good thing. I'm thinking that, very soon now, I'll be updating this journal from upstairs at the computer desk, instead of my comfy chair. Easy come, easy go.

I do hope Laura still loves me.


Stolen from someone else's journal ... because I can't think of anything to write about:

A - Act your age: I'm 44, but I feel at least 20 years younger (at least in my head)

B - Boyfriend: Haven't had one of those since 1976

C - Chore you hate: Cleaning bathrooms

D - Dad's name: Chuck

E - Essential make up item: Lipstick

F - Favorite actor: John Travolta / Tom Hanks (it's a tie)

G - Gold or silver: Gold, it's outdated and so am I

H – Height: 5’10"

I - Instruments you play: A little piano, but 30 years ago I could play the flute, the oboe, and the bassoon

J - Job title: Housewife / Job Changer

K – Kids: Two, and have I mentioned how much I adore them?

L - Living arrangements: A gray 2-story house in South Carolina, with my traveling husband and our slightly unstable kitty cat

M - Mom's name: Mary Frances

N - Number of people you've slept with: I guess this means SLEPT with ... so my answer is one

O - Overnight hospital stays: Around 6, I think ... 2 breast episodes (plus a zillion hospital visits so various strangers could stare at my boobs that weren't overnight), 2 childbirths, 1 ankle surgery, and 1 week-long gallbladder nightmare

P - Phobia: I have issues with snakes, deep water, clowns, and midgets.

Q - Quote you like: "Too soon old, too late smart." (my daddy)

R - Religious affiliation: I was raised in the Lutheran Church, but I now I am in a constant state of wondering. I pray to God. And I hope I'm heard.

S - Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 half-brother and 1 half-sister

T - Time you wake up: Lately it's around 8:30, because I tend to stay awake later when I'm in the house alone.

U - Unique habit: Dreaming of the day I'm not fat anymore, but doing nothing to get myself there

V - Vegetable you refuse to eat: Brussel sprouts ... I was forced to eat them when I was a kid, and manoman, just the memory makes me gag.

W - Worst habit: Carbohydrates

X - X-rays you've had: ankle (broken), foot (kicked the refrigerator), chest (to make sure I'm not a walking TB bomb), digestive system (to find out why I was in pain and throwing up), mammograms, and teeth

Y - Yummy food you make: Chicken soup, carrot cake, turkey dressing, scrambled egg sandwiches

Z - Zodiac Sign: Aries, the hard-headed ram


Outside My House:
High: 76
Low: 54


Thought For Today:
"Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving."

Sunday, October 19, 2003

"You should never have to bury your own babies ..."

Quiet Sunday.

Emilie is home with me for a long weekend ... Fall Break at Clemson. We ran a couple of errands yesterday afternoon, and rented some movies. We had a late bite to eat at California Dreaming, and came home to change into PJ's and watch Saturday Night Live. She's had a stressful time of it lately, and well ... so have I. We both were ready for bed pretty quick.


The funeral yesterday, and the events leading up to it, have been in my thoughts almost constantly. I think it may very well be the saddest thing I've ever seen ... her casket being wheeled out of the chapel, followed by her mom and her older sister, holding onto each other with tears streaming down their faces. Her father walked behind them, with his mother by his side ... all of them looking as though they'd never smile again. I can't imagine how they will find the strength to make it through the coming days and months. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Her 21st birthday. Today.

I hope I never forget this feeling I have of being incredibly lucky and blessed. Nothing can compare to the pain of losing a child. My heart breaks for every parent who has lived through it.


Don't know what today has in store ... I just hope there are some smiles involved.


Outside My House:
High: 75
Low: 48


Thought For Today:
"Time it was and what a time it was it was...
a time of innocence, a time of confidences
long ago it must be
I have a photograph, preserve your memories
its all that's left you." (Simon & Garfunkel)

Friday, October 17, 2003

"Hold on to yourself, for this is gonna hurt like hell ..."

Friday Five

1. Name five things in your refrigerator. milk, teeth-whitening gel, apples, leftover baked beans, and a huge chunk o' cheddar

2. Name five things in your freezer. popcorn shrimp, black bananas, bread, brats, chicken

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink. new sponge, Electrosol 2in1 Tabs, garbage can, Clorox Disenfecting Wipes, Ajax Dishwashing Liquid

4. Name five things around your computer. Right this moment: TV remote, my purse, calendar, a pen, a phone book

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet. Nyquil, Excedrin Migraine, Benadryl, thermometer, old prescriptions


Well, that silly Friday Five suited me just fine. No brain work. This week has been about as crappy as a week should have the nerve to be. No details today though, because I'm drained. Truly. I promise I'll record the details for posterity's sake a few days from now.


Jimmy is flying in this afternoon for a 24-hour-stay, due to some of this week's stress. We have a funeral to attend tomorrow. I can't even express in words how sick it makes me feel to order flowers for the funeral service of a 20-year-old young woman. Senseless is what it is. I think we can all agree that the sudden death of young person can put all the trivial problems in our lives in fast and proper perspective.

As much as I worry and cry and want things to be different in my Emilie's life ... she's alive. She's here in this world and I can talk to her and see her anytime I feel like it. No matter how much I miss having Adam upstairs every day, he's still a phone call away. I can still tell both my kids how much I love them.

Melissa's family can't.

My husband and I are both feeling quite shell-shocked ... the daughter of his friend and co-worker, and a high-school classmate of Emilie's ... this one hits very close to home. As close to home as I hope it ever gets.


Thought For Today:
"Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless." (Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky)

Monday, October 13, 2003

"Is there anyone out there?..."

Yikes, it's early. I just drove Jimmy to the airport for his Monday morning flight west. He won't be back home until Halloween. Neither of us slept well last night. I watched an old Dracula movie last night, and turned the TV off a little past 11 PM ...finally fell asleep around 1:30 AM. I woke around 3 AM, then heard his alarm at 4:30. Been awake since then. He said he kept waking, worried that he'd sleep through the alarm and miss his flight. Ugh.


The weekend flew by, but was fun.

Saturday, we went down to Clemson early. The rain was coming down, as it usually is on tailgating days. Kickoff was at noon, and by that time, the rain was gone. The clouds hung around, and the breezes were cool, but after all was said and done, the day was a good one for football. Clemson won in overtime against 25th-ranked Virginia! The final score was 30-27 ... whoo hoo!

Sunday was spent doing laundry (me) and mowing grass (him). I made some pumpkin muffins that I forgot to make for tailgating. Yeah, that day was pretty boring.


This morning I will be at my new job at 8 AM. I haven't talked this one to death, because frankly I'm tired of all my job drama. I decided to quit CVS and go with this one because it feels more in line with my personalty, and it's going to allow me to feel like I'm "making a difference" in someone's life. Also it pays a few nickles more than CVS did.

Anyway, I'm employed by a company that contracts with mostly elderly people who need in-home, non-medical care. The clients I will be working with are a married couple who need help with meal preparation and getting dressed. They want someone 5 mornings a week ... so I'll be there every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Of course, today I'm nervous. Hopefully they will be kind and adorable, and happy to have me in their home. *sigh*


I won't comment too much on last week's "Survivor", since Brandy hasn't seen it yet ... but damn, I'm starting to believe Rupert could be a tribe all by himself! And he'd STILL win all the challenges.


I just saw a news snippet on a new drug used in the treatment of OCD. The brand name was Topamax, I think. This afternoon, I'll be looking for more info on that.


Better go put my face on so I can be out the door in an hour. Hope all of you have a really good Monday.

Thought For Today:
"Never miss a good chance to shut up."

Thursday, October 09, 2003

"I wished I could have stood where you would have been proud ..."

Have you heard the new Dixie Chicks' song "Top Of The World"? It stops me in my tracks every time I hear it played. I think they are so very talented. Oh, and just so you know ... I think Natalie Maines has the right to say whatever the hell she wants to say. If her words hurt your conservative ears so much that you can't bear to ever listen to her incredibly talented voice ever again ... well, you're a dumbass.

Tomorrow, they are performing in Charlotte with The Indigo Girls. And y'all know how I feel about those Indigo Girls. I'll just stay home and play my cd's, I guess.

So that song ... "Top Of The World" ... when I hear it, I sit very still and try to figure out just what I'm feeling. I think it has a lot to do with wondering "what if" and then feeling lots of regret. And then I feel really sad because the feeling of "I caused it" surfaces. "It" meaning every problem my children will ever have to deal with.

Hard to explain, but lately I've been wondering what I could have done differently so that my daughter could have gone through high school and college without the burden of her mental illness. Sometimes I cry and beg God to make me sick ... so that she can be well. He's not listening.

'Cause everyone's singing
We just wanna be heard
Disappearing everyday without so much as a word somehow
Wanna grab a hold of that little song bird
Take her for a ride to the top of the world right now
To the top of the world


I guess I'm in one of those moods today. I feel useless and sad, like there's nothing to look forward to and my job is pointless, and hell, no one likes me. The rational side of me (which is a tiny little freckle on my pinky toe) whispers that I need an anti-depressant, but it's hard to hear it from that far away. Plus I've never really liked that toe anyway.


Plan For Today:

Vacuum the living room and the foyer
Clean the kitchen floor
Put clean sheets on the bed
Pay bills
Meet with new employer at 2 PM
Go see Bubba the Cat
Watch Survivor
Pick Jimmy up at the airport


New employer, you ask? Why yes, thank you. More later, after I get the details.


If Bubba the Cat doesn't come out from under Brandy's bed today, well ... there's not much I can do. Brandy's been in Arizona all week, and I've been visiting Bubba every day to make sure he's OK. Only he's very good at ignoring me. Even when I showed up with a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. The good part is that I know he's coming out when I'm not there, since the litter box is used, and he's eating and drinking. I must be very scary.


Big Survivor Rumor:

I heard that the first few people voted out -- like the first six or so (the "pre-jury" folks, if you will) -- are being kept on a third island, under only slightly better conditions. At some point in the near future they will have a competition and the winner will get to rejoin the game even though they have been voted out.


If it's true, I'll scream with glee. If it's not true, I'll continue to be the freak who has such a boring life that she believes Big Survivor Rumors.


Thought For Today:
"Embrace this moment. Remember. We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." (Tool) Thanks Adam, for the correct lyrics.:-)

Monday, October 06, 2003

"Could you look me in the eye and tell me that you're happy now? ..."

Aww. Green Day is singing "Good Riddance" on my TV right now, and guess who I'm thinking of? ((((((Emilie)))))) <-- That was a big ole hug from your Mama. I hope it makes you happy to know that, for time and forever, when I hear a Green Day song I will think of my lovely daughter. :-)

In other music news, I'm so glad to see REM again. Michael Stipe is cooler than most.

Also, I want Justin Timberlake for Christmas.


The Weekend Report:

Adam and Brandy came over to watch the Clemson-Maryland game with me. Maryland won, 21 to 7. And I learned about some freaky college football rule where if the player gets run out of bounds, he can actually run back in to catch the ball and make a touchdown. Sounds fishy to me, does it to you?

After that, we ate some brats I bought at Sam's Club. Won't be doing that again, since these brats shrunk to half their original size during the cooking process. Brandy had lots to do in preparation for her trip to Arizona this week, so they left after our meal.

I was looking forward to the season premier of "Saturday Night Live" because, well ... I have no life, and I love SNL like that. Jack Black was the host, and JOHN MAYER (who whom I adore) was going to sing twice. I got my pj's on, and settled back into my pillows and featherbed to enjoy the festivities. When Jack introduced John, I heard the opening chords to "Bigger Than My Body" (my new favorite song) ... and I passed out. I'm not kidding you, I was snoring before John the cutie even sang the first chorus. I think we'll file that under "How To Determine If You're Elderly". Maybe I can catch it during the reruns. :-(

Next Saturday, I will be napping ALL day if I have to ... Justin Timberlake is host AND musical guest. What a guy. Oh wait, I can't be napping all day next Saturday. We're making plans to tailgate at the Clemson game next week. Oh well, I'll set the damn VCR if I have to. Aging bites, in case you were wondering.

Sunday was quiet. I bought the paper and read every word. I watched "About Schmidt" with Jack Nicholson. Liked it pretty much, even though it made me even more depressed about aging.


Cloudy skies all day today ... I can't believe it's the 2nd week of October. I saw several houses already decorated for Halloween. I love Halloween, and I've bought a new cd to play out an upstairs window this year ... all spooky sounds like chains rattling and scary moans, knives being sharpened and spooky footsteps. Bwa-hahahaha!

After saying that I love it, I have to admit I have a few negative feelings about this controversial holiday. It's unsafe for little ones to be running around in a cumbersome flammable costume, with both hands busy with flashlight, Reese's Pieces, and plastic bucket. There are freaks out there! People can't drive! AAY-EEEEE! Children who appear to be 15 years old come to my door with dingy pillowcases held out and demand candy in voices that changed years ago. I swear to God this is true ... a few years back, I opened the door to a couple of teenage boys, and one of them opened his long coat to show me his stuff. Yeah, THAT stuff. Like I hadn't seen anything like that before. Kids today. Hell, I ought to just hand out cigarettes.

But every year, at least one teeny tiny little girl comes to the door dressed as a fairy princess and I about burst into tears. Yeah, I love Halloween.

Every October, I always wish we lived in a house that was scary looking. I'd love to live in a big Victorian for Halloween, with cobwebs draped on all the trees and shrubs. I'd also love to live in a day and age that I could give out real food, like cupcakes and caramel apples and popcorn balls. The paranoia of today ruins every bit of my fun. Sigh.


Thought For Today:
"The mind is like a parachute; it works much better when it's open."

Friday, October 03, 2003

"Sometimes I find it's better to be somebody else ..."

I had to be at work at 8 AM today. And at 6:30 AM, the temperature in my bedroom was hovering somewhere near 55 degrees. Lord. I thought about shutting the windows last night, but apparently that wasn't enough. It's no fun shivering at 6:30 AM.

Worked so hard, putting away all those stupid drugs. I was whooped at 1 PM when they let me out of there.


Last night, I was invited to eat dinner and watch "Survivor" and "CSI" with Brandy at her super-clean and lovely apartment. What a nice idea THAT was. :-) I also got to meet her new roommate, Bubba. Bubba is a huuuuge, gorgeous kitty that Brandy got from her Aunt. He's got almost the same coloring as Hayley does, but his fur is abundant and so very soft ... he feels like a bunny rabbit. Bubba is cool, very laid back and sweet.


We weren't really surprised to see Lillian get voted off last night. We had talked beforehand, and decided that if Morgan lost, she'd be the one to go. But after seeing how little Darrah does around the camp, we decided Morgan is a bunch of dumbasses for getting rid of Lill.

And now after calling the Morgans dumbasses, I do need to say that I feel sorry for them, because it's got to be so demoralizing to keep losing all the time!

I continue to ADORE Rupert.

I wish that crazy show came on every single night.


Friday Five

1. What vehicle do you drive? A white '95 Toyota Avalon

2. How long have you had it? Since it rolled off the showroom floor in June, 1995

3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle? After the car I drove before this one (a Dodge Caravan), the obvious answer is that the Avalon runs.

4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle? Last December, I backed into a crappy cement light pole, and scratched up the back bumper. That, and the wind noise ... that's always been bad. Oh, and the damn 3-CD changer. It's a royal piece o' poo.

5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now? For years, my dream car has been a BMW 750. White would be nice, with tan leather interior. If I had to buy something UNDER $75,000 I'd just get a brand new Avalon. It's a really nice car.


I've been putting off dusting and vacuuming downstairs for so many days, it's now official. I AM the Queen of Procrastination.


Clemson plays Maryland tomorrow at 3:30 PM. I think it's on ABC this week, so I'll be watching through my fingers ... hoping and praying for a WIN! Go Tigers!


Thought For Today:
"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." (Drew Carey)

Thursday, October 02, 2003

"Don't let your life pass you by, weep not for the memories ..."

Today my younger sister Kay is 43 years old. To use a favorite phrase of Emilie's ... "What the hell?" If Kay is forty-freekin-three, when am I going to grow up?!? I always thought that by the time we were THIS old, we'd feel "grown". Not so. I'm beginning to suspect that's one of my problems ... in my head, I'm still about 19 years old. And my body has gone on without me.

Anyhoo, Happy Birthday Grubby. I love you. Don't you wish we could go back to about 1963 and start all over again? If I could go back and do things smarter, these things would be different:

1. I wouldn't fight with you so much. What was gained by all those hours of arguing? Nuttin, honey.

2. I wouldn't laugh when you chopped your Skipper's hair off to her chin, and then she looked like crap.

3. I wouldn't roll my eyes when you draped that damn gum wrapper chain around your orange room.

4. I wouldn't be so jealous when you bought your first car.

5. I would "play cars" with you MORE than we did the first time around. Lord, I loved that. I'm thinking we might be the only little girls in the WORLD that used "One Life To Live" as the plot-line to playing cars. Heh.

And these are some of the things I'd re-live in exactly the same way:

1. I'd still hate taking a bath with you in 1967.

2. I'd still think you were weird for saving your baby teeth in that little box.

3. I'd still resent you for going off to school every morning in Villa Rica, when I was having so many emotional problems and couldn't get myself out the door.

4. I'd still think you were a brat for poking your fingernails in the styrofoam head of the Christmas angel to make her a face.

5. I'd still be forever grateful that I always had somebody to play with, to talk to, to BE with ... forever grateful that I had a sister.

When we were little girls, we had no clue what life had in store for us. No idea that we'd both be married by the age of 20; that we'd both have a baby boy, and then a baby girl; that we'd live parallel lives until your divorce. We had no clue that you'd lose your mind and marry that 2nd strange man. ;-)

If we had a peek, back then, at the lives we'd be living in 2003, it's possible we'd be unwilling to leave 1963. Remember 1963? It wasn't all good, oh hell no. But we had a Mama at home, cooking our dinners every night and taking care of our every need. We had a Daddy who loved us, no doubt. We were safe, and we knew it. We were lucky girls.

But reality means that we can't pick a year and stay there (although God knows I've tried with my clothing and make-up style). Time moves on, and we have no choice but to move along with the SOB. Here we are ... two middle-aged sisters - one married, one single, whose children are grown (or almost grown, ahem Beth!). We've gone to our Father's funeral. We've dealt with health problems and husband problems and weight problems and children problems and money problems. And through all of it, we've been there for each other. We've lived through it all together. Thank God.

Happy 43rd, Kaydee. Sister. Friend.


Thought For Today:
"Don't let aging get you down ... it's too hard to get back up."