Browsing "Getting old and stuff"
Sep 11, 2011 - 9/11, Aging Baby Boomers, Blue Dog    Comments Off

Enough already with the WTC 9/11 Festivities

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Some of us want to forget

We lived in a small commuter town 10 miles from the WTC, so we were there, or nearby. I watched it unfold on a TV screen with my young daughter, wondering how to tell her that Daddy was probably dead, because nobody a block away could possibly be alive after those buildings went down. He didn’t die, but we know dozens who did die—and we had to deal with the consequences.

My husband was smoking a cigarette outside the American Stock Exchange, a half-block away, when the first plane hit. He was a Floor Governor and had to stay to sweep the building of people. They were told to stay in the building, but when the second tower collapsed they were sent into the streets, running for their lives. He never was quite the same again. Curiously, he developed kidney cancer soon afterwards. He’s currently pushing 60, on unemployment with no prospects—and no medical insurance.

We lost our businesses, our home, our marriage and our family. We don’t want to be reminded by fresh-faced “Proud Americans” who use “Never Forget” as a “Me Too” rallying cry. We have to forget to move forward.

And, as long as I’m on the subject, where were all these breast-beaters when we needed help? I made many calls to the dozens of “Survivors of 9/11″ charities that sprung up afterwards. Every one offered me a list of referrals to other ‘services’ that offered me referrals to—well, you get the point.

dollars to iraq
An armed guard poses beside pallets of $100 bills in Baghdad.

Money to bomb Iraq and Afghanistan? Yep. $12 billion to ship on pallets to Iraq to ‘fund’ Iraqi ministries and US contractors? Yep yep. Money for a parade to haul a hunk of steel from NYC to Milwuakee, Wisconsin (where no one died in 9/11) ? Yeppers.

Money for the living who involuntarily paid the ultimate price? Um, not so much.

Current pictures of the WTC site rebuilding from my June trip to NYC here.

Aug 10, 2011 - Aging Baby Boomers, Changing your life    Comments Off

Art therapy: Doodles from the crazy house

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Sharpie drawings July 2011

“You can’t have sharp objects in the crazy house. Sharpies are okay, but no pencils, pens or pointy things. Hours are spent sitting on hard chairs waiting for lunch or 3:00–whichever comes first. The nurses talk at you, but the earnest grad students are horrendously annoying–lecturing about ‘coping strategies”, “stress reduction” and –get this–”boredom”. I had a few Sharpie markers, my brain and my trusty 5 x 7 sketch pad to keep my mind from exploding. “

From Crazy House Series — Sharpie doodles, posted by Annie Alpert on 8/09/2011 (11 items)

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Oct 10, 2010 - Getting old and stuff, parents, Wisconsin    Comments Off

JC Penny broke my mom’s heart!

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jcpenny logo

For 35 years my 80 year old Mom has been a devoted shopper at the JC Penny Outlet store on Silver Spring Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

They announced that they are closing soon and are having a “Closing Sale”. My Mom said “It just breaks my heart”–which breaks my heart to hear.

My personal taste is not JC Penny, and the outlet store is a collection of left over crap, factory seconds and polyester knockoffs–but to my Mombo the Outlet Center was a haven of low prices and ultra-returnability she could count on. The company is hurting, apparently. JC Penny closed their catalog distribution center in Milwaukee in 2002, and are planning to close their JCP Logistics branch along with the outlet center December 2010. They tried to get back on the fashion radar by opening a new store in New York City–but what about the midwest heartland that built their business, starting with James Cash Penny in 1902 Missouri?

As my ultra-conservative, Republican-faithful mom said today, “What’s wrong with Milwaukee that all the department stores are leaving?”