My Kyoshi Needs To Step Up

Independence Day parade stops to save a man’s life:

Joan Cather has been instructing martial arts students for years. She experienced a first on Sunday when her ATA Martial Arts crew was part of the Bridgeton Fourth of July parade. A fellow instructor, an off-duty area police officer, stopped their float after noticing someone along the parade route in need of medical attention.

“The two of us ran to the gentleman,” Cather said. “My instructor started doing compressions; I was checking for a pulse.”

Cather said they began performing CPR. She said, “When we got there, we know there was no pulse.”

Cather said the CPR worked. The man was breathing again as first responders arrived. A few minutes later, Cather and her fellow instructor stopped their float again. This time they stopped to help a visitor who appeared to be overheated.

Although I am pretty sure that the owner of my dojo would have done the same.

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Movie Report: Soul Plane (2004)

Book coverYou know, in the modern era, and by “modern,” I mean contemporary tribalist era, I am not sure if I should laugh at anything in the film here. I mean, like a lot of humor, the movie plays on types. Stereotypes? Archetypes? Abstractions of people acting in recognizable but exaggerated ways in different situations? That’s been at the root of humor for history, from the city slicker to the rural clown in Shakespeare. But they’re evil, and especially since the types in this film are of different tribes than mine (really, one meta-tribe), it might be evil if I am amused by the urban-anything-for-a-buck almost con man, the oversexed people, the always high guy, or the sassy thirty-something women. Surely if I made a joke playing off these types, I would be evil and blacklisted. The blacklist is the most inclusive space in the modern world, ainna?

At any rate, Kevin Hart wins a lawsuit against an airline with a $100 million verdict. He’s a serial entrepreneur with no luck so far, but he decides he’s going to start his own airline. With the help of his grifting cousin, he starts an airline. A token white family, headed by Tom Arnold, his pretty but annoying girlfriend(?), his daughter on her eighteenth birthday, and his younger son have their flight cancelled, so their airline books them on the next available flight–on Kevin Hart’s airline, where they can be stereotypical white people for the humor. It turns out that the pilot is Snoop Dogg, who might have exaggerated on his resume–he’s afraid of heights–and he’s high all the time. And Kevin Hart’s old flame happens to be on the plane.

So we have various set pieces and various tropes, including gags that vast numbers of people want to have sex with the newly eighteen year old; white women dig black men with large genitalia; young white people embrace the gangsta lifestyle and look silly when they do so; also, Snoop Dog does a lot of drugs. A bit raunchy, but what’s what you get in an unrated comedy from the 21st century. A few amusing bits, and the dramatic climax where Snoop Dogg dies from a drug overdose (which hardly glamorizes drug use, ainna?) and Kevin Hart has to land the plane and wins back his girl is a bit tacked on, but where else could it go?

So: Okay, I suppose, if you have to watch something. But not something I’m likely to watch over and over again, but I own it on DVD just in case.

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I’ve Got Zero Panics To Give

Indian Delta COVID variant is now the DOMINANT strain in the US and makes up more than 50% of all new cases, CDC reveals – and urges the 150M Americans still NOT vaccinated to get their shots

And:

California ‘Epsilon’ Covid variant contains three mutations which could allow the strain to bypass vaccine immunity, study finds

Go get your shots now!!!!! Also, the new strains are immune to the vaccines!!!!

You know, we’ve spent a couple of years being ruled by Twitter and exclamation points. Perhaps it’s just time to step outside and interact with humans.

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Movie Report: The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

Book coverIt has been two years since the boys and I watched the Douglas Fairbanks film The Iron Mask, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit the tale with the more modern (well, to be honest, this film was almost seventy years after the Fairbanks version, so it counts as more modern even though it was twenty-some years ago, old man).

Okay, so how up am I on the Three Musketeers Universe? In addition to watching The Iron Mask, I have mentioned that I read the original novel in 2007 and the tie-in to the 1973/1974 movie versions in 2008 (in addition to seeing the 1973 and 1974 films both in the middle 1990s and probably ten years ago after reading the book). I also have a nice old copy of The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later which I have only picked up and contemplated reading once or twice in the last decade. So pretty good, all things considered.

Apparently, this story comes from the last part of Dumas’ Ten Years Later, although by reading the summary on Wikipedia of the book, I see that it has taken some liberties. “The deux!” you say (keeping with the French theme). Well, yes.

The film takes place after the three musketeers have retired; only D’Artagnon remains in the service as the head of the musketeers. Aramis has become the leader of the Jesuits, a rebellious sect looking out for the hungry. Porthos is pathetic, retired and feeling washed up. Athos has a son, Raoul, who is looking to marry a lovely young woman. The king of France is a bad, bad boy-man whose eye falls upon Raoul’s girl–so the king sends Raoul to the front instead of making him a musketeer (one of the boys commented that it was the story of David and Bathsheba–clever boy to see the allusion!). When Raoul dies, Athos vows revenge on the king and tells D’Artagnon that, if D’Artagnon continues to serve the king, the fourth musketeer will be his enemy as well. Aramis has a plan: There’s a prisoner in an iron mask who looks just like the king–because it’s his twin brother, secretly hidden away from the public eye and then placed in the iron mask in prison when the king ascended. So the three musketeers (Porthos, Athos, and Aramis) plot to put the twin on the throne, and almost get away with it. The big reveal is that D’Artagnon is so loyal to the king because the king (and the twin) are his sons, as he trysted the night away with the Queen when he was the head of her guards.

Spoiler alert: D’Artagnon dies when the king tries to stab his brother, but D’Art steps between, which was the main quibble that my boys had with this film. I don’t think it will spoil my enjoyment of the book, though, as the plot in the book seems to differ quite a bit–it is the third part of a larger book, so some things are hooked into it that the movie disregards completely.

At any rate, a nicely paced adventure film with intrigue, but not of the more modern One Of Us Is The Spy variety. Which was a much more pleasant plot in my humble opinion.

So now the question is, do I continue showing the boys Three Musketeersiana? After all, I do have the 70s versions with Michael York and Charlton Heston. Tune in later to find out!

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Journalist Discovers System Gaming When He Doesn’t Like It

As masking controversy continues, election to recall Nixa Mayor Brian Steele set for November 2:

The lede is the sixth journalistic W (What I Think Of It) before the other five:

In a democracy like the U.S., a small band of committed voters can leverage major public debate, and sometimes change, through ballot petitions.

Apparently, it only took 73 signatures to get the recall on the ballot to recall the mayor who imposed a mask mandate even after the city council voted against it, which led some citizens (at least 73) to get the recall on the ballot in the special election.

As for a small band getting things through passed through ballot initiatives, c’mon, man, don’t you know that’s what the ballot initiative is? Groups of people, often funded by out-of-region money, collect a bunch of signatures to change, often irrevocably, the state constitution or to pass dedicated tax increases for pet projects without elected officials having to answer for establishing funding priorities, and then the secretary of state or local elections official gets them on the ballot schedule according to whether or not the elected official supports the measure–it gets put onto a low turnout election to help the measure pass, as its proponents will be out in force and will outnumber the normal people who vote in every primary and local election or onto a general election to hopefully block the measure, as normal people will dilute the numbers of true believers.

I’ve talked about this phenomenon a couple of times over the years.

It’s strange that a veteran journalist has only noticed it now when it’s a democratic response to an elected official acting unilaterally in a way the journalist presumably supports (and it starts again).

Well, okay, it’s only as strange as a “news” story that starts with a sentence of pure opinion.

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We Definitely Need A Rhyme For This

Man busted with large stash of fireworks in NYC

Kind of like junk on the bunk.

They busted him with the fireworks in the car, so something like got some in the Datsun or levy in the Chevy or bleep in the jeep.

Comparing it with the prices I saw at the fireworks stand yesterday, that’s clearly several thousand dollars’ worth of near-professional quality items.

Since he was busted handing them off to someone else, he was probably trafficking them. Which is good; otherwise, he might be charged with loving America, which some SorosDAs charge as a hate crime.

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Book Report: Asian Crucible The Executioner #209 (1996)

Book coverI read this book on my recent little getaway with my beautiful wife. Well, okay, like all the books I read on the trip, I started reading it at home, but I finished it on the trip, okay? As I was about a chapter or two from completion, it was the first I finished but the last I reported on. And in the intervening days, I almost forgot what it was about except Mack Bolan doing Mack Bolan things.

But, you know what, I remember it: secret forces in the U.S. government are hoping to start a second Vietnam war by faking the return of a military man held POW for twenty-five years and by faking up some border incidents with Laos and Thailand. Bolan goes to Thailand to investigate and discovers rogue elements of the CIA are working with a Chinese Triad involved in drug smuggling to get the war started.

Bang! Boom! Set pieces! Problem resolved.

Not a bad book; one might say it has elements of First Blood Part II blended with a bit of Air America.

Recognizing the influences isn’t a bad thing once one knows that creative works have borrowed, homaged, and ripped off other works forever. It’s only since the RIAAfication and Disneyfication of copyright laws in the United States that it’s gotten risky.

So how many do I have left? Not many in the originals of the series; I might push on to finish those titles this year, safe in the comfort that ABC Books has more. Kind of like the false security I had about Hooked on Books having a huge selection of John D. MacDonald paperbacks. They did, until they no longer did.

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Today I Learned

Richard Marx wrote the song “Dance With My Father” for Luther Vandross.

I thought I had mentioned but apparently have not that this song touched me very deeply when I heard it earlier in the century. I think I heard it first right after my first son was born, so I almost wept not only because I lost my father fairly early in my adulthood, but because I knew that someday I would leave my sons behind, and they would hopefully feel the same about me.

I listen to it at my own risk.

It’s from the 2003 album of the same name.

The article about Richard Marx touts his new memoir coming out, and it sounds kind of appealing. I’ll have to watch for it. Although I don’t tend to go through the show biz books at the church sales, so I’ll likely have to find it at a garage sale. Although I don’t tend to go to garage sales very often. Well, I have enough to read anyway.

See also: Songs of Fatherhood.

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Wait A Minute–It’s A Trap

So I have been pruning my email inbox by unsubscribing from various newsletters. I mean, the Type 1 Diabetes Foundation has sent me several updates a week after I supported a friend in a walkathon a couple years ago–I don’t need that. Companies that I ordered one-off gifts from that somehow ignored the fact that I did not explicitly opt-in to further communications sent me weekly come-ons, as though something I bought my eight year old would appeal to my fifteen year old.

I started clicking the unsubscribe links in them and successfully trimmed the number of emails I receive daily. But when I clicked Unsubscribe on the State Historical Society of Missouri email (I was a member several years ago, but let my membership lapse because the monthly magazine was a little academic for my taste, and I never went to the events.

I got all the invitations, though, and information about programs I wouldn’t participate in or support, so I clicked the Unsubscribe link in it.

And got this email:

Hah! Click to confirm your subscription because you’re unsubscribing.

I did click through it just in case they meant it, but, no, it really is asking you to confirm that you want to subscribe to the mailing list.

Which I did not.

We’ll see if I am unsubscribed or if I have to start marking it as spam.

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Book Report: My Cat Spit McGee by Willie Morris (1999)

Book coverMy goodness, I bought this book thirteen years ago, clearly anticipating a time when I might need to read a book about an animal for a summer reading challenge. I thought I would read a Cleveland Amory book that I’ve got around here somewhere, but I found this one first.

The author is a former editor of Harper’s of some controversy back in the 1960s who then moved back to Mississippi where he became a university professor and eventually wrote several books, one of which (My Dog Skip) was made into a major motion picture.

The book describes how the author, in coming into a second marriage late in life, discovers that his fiancee likes cats, and they’re going to get one. So he thinks about and writes about (a lot) what it would mean for him, a dog person. Then he gets a cat, and that cat’s kitten is Spit McGee who becomes his cat. And they get other cats.

The chapters are about this musing, the lineage of Spit, some adventures with Spit, and whatnot. To be honest, I typed Skip twice in that sentence because the book might have been a bit of a cash-grab trailing the success of the movie and its interest in its book. The dog Skip, the cat Spit, see? But the dog story is about a boy growing up in the south in the olden days (when everything was racist, which is different from now, where everything is racist), and this book is dedicated to a child actor from the film who met Spit McGee when the author brings the cat to the set. The author also takes the cat various places, like his childhood home and his father’s grave. So Spit McGee and this book are also a bit of a story about getting older and life changes there as a bit of subtext. The author actually died in 1999, not long after finishing the book.

And boy howdy, the name-dropping. He lives in Jackson, the state capital, so he’s familiar with pols, including Trent Lott; he mentioned being friends with Eudora Welty; and so on, a bunch (yes, he did meet Cleveland Amory once).

I also had some Mmm-hmm moments about things he drops in. He proposed to his second wife in the Old Senate Caucus room in front of a thousand people. He and his wife buy a stately old home built in 1940. Friends, when this book was written, that home would have been fifty-some years old. Gentle reader, Nogglestead is almost that old. Honormoor in Old Trees would have been forty years old when we lived there. The house in Old Trees was seventy years old when we lived there (although renovated and stripped of its stained glass before we moved in). So the house might have been nice and had Spanish moss draping from the magnolia trees, but it was not that old. Ah, well. I also flagged a couple of extraneous name drops, but most of the names didn’t actually mean anything to me.

So, I dunno, it’s okay as a book, and it’s competently written, but I am not really sure how much it needed to be written nor what it’s goals were.

But I’ve counted it as my True story about an animal entry for the reading challenge even though it’s more about the man than the animal.

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Movie Report: Short Circuit (1986)

Book coverThis film played on Showtime over and over in the mid-to-late 1980s when I was confined in rural spaces and had little to do but to watch the films over and over again, so I have seen it many, many times although not in some decades. It comes from a time when Steve Guttenberg was a bankable star, and I probably wanted to be Steve Guttenberg more than any other character. Smart, funny, a bit self-depricating and fundamentally unserious–I actually have grown up into that and with a beautiful co-star. So I guess the imprinting worked.

At any rate, in this film, robot-looking robots designed for military use put on a demonstration by big wigs. After the demonstration, one is struck by lightning and jumbled; through a comic mishap, it gets taken off the base and starts wandering. It falls in with the owner of a food truck (in the 1980s? What? Food trucks were not invented in 2015?) played by Ally Sheedy. She’s used to taking in strays. The robot, Number 5, seeks input, so it ends up reading all the books she owns and watching all the television it can. Meanwhile, the scientists from the military lab (Guttenberg and Fisher Stevens, soon to be cancelled if not already for playing a stereotypical Indian) look for the robot at the same time as the head of security leads a team to capture it. Eventually, the Guttenberg scientist (who polymathically created and engineered the software and hardware for the robot) decides that the robot has become sentient and tries to keep the company from disassembling Number Five who then fakes his own death to live freely.

So it’s an amusing movie which spawned a Guttenberg-less sequel and fed a number of catch phrases that I might have worked into conversation then and even more recently (“Number Five is alive!”, “No disassemble!”, and “Nice software!” among them).

The film also has supporting characters played by character actors who were all over. Austin Pendleton plays the head of the lab–we last saw him as the bumbling public defender in My Cousin Vinny. G.W. Bailey plays the head of security for the lab, a role he was probably typecast as he played the head of security in Mannequin and the sergeant in the Police Academy movies, most of them with Steve Guttenberg. I am pretty sure if I watched modern movies, I could make similar connections, but honestly, all I see these days are superhero movies (Chris Evans was Captain America and the Human Torch! Ben Affleck was Batman and Daredevil!). Maybe the eighties connections stick with me more because I was young then, and because I watched those films over and over.

I watched the first part of the movie alone last weekend, but my youngest wandered in a little later with a gaming device in his lap to watch, sort of, the last bit of it. After it was over, I apologized that we watched the same movie twice. After all, DARYL has a very similar story: A military project robot that becomes self aware and cute and/or wise-cracking; after faking its own death, it is free to live with its favored humans. Man, the 80s. What an optimistic time to be alive. Except for the threats of hyped nuclear war and the post-apocalyptic settings in an awful lot of movies.

Of course, the film has Ally Sheedy in it, which must have led to a lot of contemporaneous Internet discussions of Ally Sheedy versus Molly Ringwald, but none of us were on the Internet (well, I was not except for some access to Internet email through dial-up BBSes).

Continue reading “Movie Report: Short Circuit (1986)”

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Brian J.’s 2021 Beard Adventure: Ended

I mentioned when reporting on the movie Safe that every couple of years, I decide to grow some facial hair. I mean, it’s the fashion. The same people who mocked Duck Dynasty ten years ago for the long beards have grown them out, followed by the tech trend setters like Jack Dorsey. As I’ve said before, I would believe that the elites were not angling for another Civil Ware again if only they were not growing their beards out for it.

As I said on June 17, I was growing it out. Continue reading “Brian J.’s 2021 Beard Adventure: Ended”

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So, Brian J., How Do You Pack For A Three Day Getaway?

Well, given that I was not thrilled with my reading material that I brought along for my De Soto vacation, to pack for my trip to the resort on the lake at the beginning of the week, I packed eight books, including three that I was in the midst of already:

On the vacation, I finished the three that I was in the middle of reading and a couple of magazines that were a couple of years old. So I had a pleasant blend of things to read, thanks.

And a good, albeit late, trip to pick up some additional reading material.

My beautiful wife tells me about how many books she has on her iPad, but I am still the sort who needs to read the books on paper.

And, most importantly, I had enough that I could pick and choose from so that I would not feel bored nor compelled to simply read the Internet on my iPad.

Mission: ACCOMPLISHED.

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Book Report: Three Comedies by Aristophanes edited by William Arrowsmith (1969)

Book coverI started this book right after listening to Socrates because the audiobook mentioned that the idea of Socrates as a blasphemer probably comes more from the play The Clouds (in this volume) than his actual dialogues with Athenians. Also, it was at the top of the stack which is odd since I bought it three years ago and not recently.

At any rate, the plays are purportedly translated, but really they’re adapted for modern audiences circa 1969–this particular volume was someone’s (presumably) college textbook around the time I was born. The plays have some highlighting, mostly the aforementioned The Clouds, but no dialoguing with the text notes in the margins–that would come later, I guess, as it was quite the thing when I was in school. Or maybe the owner of this textbook thought about as much of it as I did.

As a product of that black age, has illustrations in it that would get a gentleman’s D in elementary school art classes.

I mean, can you imagine living in a time where someone, probably someone well paid in the publishing industry, thought that that would add to the reading experience? How little they thought of the hippies on the college campuses.

As I mentioned, these plays are adapted, not translated. That means that some liberties have been taken with the original text to make them more palatable for 20th century students. For example, a communication from Olympus is given as a telegram; the plays contain some Biblical allusions; and the poems have end rhymes. Although Aristophanes might have done the last of these in the original Greek, it’s likely he did not include the first two unless he was some kind of prophet indeed. With that in mind, it makes it hard to analyze just how many fart and gay sex jokes were in the original to compare it to, say, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 to see if humor in the classics of antiquity was truly as crude as modern works.

At any rate, about the plays:

  • The Birds is about two guys who a la Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King” try to convince the birds that they, the birds, are the real gods and that they, the birds, should set up their own kingdom and have men sacrifice to them instead of the gods. They, the men, hope to be important figures in this new kingdom called Cloudcuckooland (whether that’s the name in the original is unclear). As the birds go along, a whole set of men in grifting occupations (politicians, philosophers, artists) comes along to wet their beaks, so to speak.
  • The Clouds deals with a father who has accrued debts because his son likes high living and owning horses, so he tries to get his son to attend the school of Sokrates next door to learn to be a sophist who can argue his way out of debts. One of the things Sokrates says in the play is that the gods do not exist; instead, it is the clouds that provide everything and are all powerful. When the son does not attend the school, the father tries himself but is not very smart; eventually, the son does attend, learns to argue, and uses that power to upend traditional structures and to be indolent. So, kind of like an actual university education except without the ability to actually argue part. This is the strongest of the three plays.
  • The Wasps, the third play, is translated adapted by someone other than the editor. It pokes fun at old men serving on juries and voting to convict everyone. The son of such a man tries, in a very comic fashion, to keep his father from attending the juries one day, and the father tries to escape from the house in various methods, but is ultimately stymied by the son and the servants/slaves. The other jury members, also old men who speak of their time at wars, come buy to try to free him, but they do not succeed, and finally the son gets the father to stay and to judge things in the household. This has it’s moments, but it’s probably the weakest of the three as it kind of veers off in the end.

So the plays have comic moments, set ups that read well for humor in the play, but of course they’re structured like classical Greek plays (called Old Comedy in the academic) with choruses and with the playwright or an actor portraying him coming out an appealing for the audience to vote for his play for the prize at the drama festival. The choruses and sometimes characters break the fourth wall.

But, again, I am not sure how many of the jokes are kind of retold from the original. The plays name a lot of names with end notes explaining who they were, and it’s a bit troublesome to flip to the back of the book to get the notes about who they are–I would have preferred these as footnotes, but the end notes sometimes ran to paragraphs as the professionals got their profsplaining on.

Also, in a scandal of all scandals, I did not read the introductory material. At all. Sometimes I will wait until the end, reading the original material before reading what I should think of it, but this time I bypassed it entirely because I’m not reading this to write a paper on it, and I don’t need the citations. Am I counting this as a whole book, albeit a single book, in my annual reading total anyway? You bet your bippy. And am I counting The Birds as an animal-based book for the purposes of the Summer Reading Challenge 2021? You bet. I have yet to determine, though, if it’s animals in another country (Cloud Cuckooland) or Featuring Imaginary Creatures. Probably the former, as I might squeeze in a fantasy novel in the coming months.

So: An amusing read if you’re into reading classical literature. Amusing enough for a blend of 2300-year-old and 50-year-old gags. Better than Hot Tub Time Machine 2 anyway.

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The Forgotten Dental Appointments of Brian J.

So I have a dental appointment today. I scheduled it specifically for July 1 because of course I would remember I have a dental appointment on Canada Day. But I’ve not been so diligent in recent years in recalling my dental appointments.

The penultimate penultimate time, that is the appointment before the appointment before last, I almost missed it; it was a ten o’clock appointment, a little later than normal–I usually schedule them after I drop the boys, and now just the youngest, off at the Lutheran school in Springfield so I could drop them and get my teeth rotated while I was in town. It was fortunate that it was a ten o’clock appointment because I dropped the boy off and made it all the way home when I got a reminder text that I had an appointment at 10, which gave me time to get back in town and make the appointment.

My penultimate appointment I actually missed. I mean, I got all the reminders–the office gives me a card that I can lose on my office desk, emails a month in advance, calls on the phone a couple of days before, and a couple of text messages asking me to confirm the appointment. I saw all the reminders with the dates, and I thought Thursday. I was certain I had a dental appointment on Thursday. However, that date fell on Wednesday.

So I got a text message on Wednesday from my dental hygenist. “Hi, this is Nicole at the dental office. You had an appointment scheduled for 9am, and I wanted to ask if everything is okay.” So I called back immediately, apologetic, and got it rescheduled. As an added bonus to my embarrassment, my iPhone picked up the first name in that message and now assumes that this phone number belongs to Nicole. Which means every couple of months, I get calls from Nicole and texts from Nicole saying, “I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!” I have added this as a contact with the dental office name in it, but it still thinks it’s Nicole. Which means I have preemptively explained this to my beautiful wife many, many times. Just like an adulterer would.

So, as I mentioned, I have a dental appointment today. I got a text reminder of it as I was driving back from my getaway this weekend, and I mentioned it to my wife that it was a 10am appointment the next day, and that I would probably need her help to remember it. Because 23 hours is a long time for me to remember things.

So, of course, yesterday afternoon, I was making plans to go to the gym first thing this morning and to do some marketing afterwards. And I held these plans in mind for much of the evening until I remembered I have a dental appointment today.

An 8am dental appointment, I have fortunately re-discovered. I had been scheduling them for 9am to be assured of making it. I mean, I drop my son off at a little before 8am, and the dentist’s office is a couple of minutes away, but I did not want to be detained in traffic and show up a minute late. Which left me with time to kill in town, preferably not drinking copious amounts of coffee and filling my teeth with pastries for Nicole to contend with. However, we recently agreed that it would be okay for me to schedule for 8 and be a couple minutes late sometimes. So it’s been 8am for a couple of visits, yet I forget.

Why do I have so much trouble with the dental appointments?

I think it’s because I’ve gotten accustomed to a calendar of days, not a calendar of dates.

I mean, my weeks tend to be filled with similar goals, tasks, and travels. The gym, the markets, errands, car servicing, transporting kids, blogging, nap, work, martial arts on weekdays; martial arts sometimes on Satudays and chores; and church, nap, chores on Sundays. So the day of the week more determines what I am to do than the date. Which means when I encounter something requiring a specific date, such as a doctor’s appointment, I get a little flummoxed, and if I get it in the wrong day of the week–when I remember it–I can get it wrong with certainty.

Also, the constant barrage of reminders might have the opposite effect, kind of like magazine subscription renewals–you get too many of them, and you miss the important one when your subscription is actually expiring.

Or it could be a character flaw, but let us dismiss that out of hand, gentle reader. I am an Internet blogger; I have no character to be flawed.

So what are the odds that I have spent too much time this morning blogging about dental appointments and miss or are late to one? Better than average.

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