Friday, July 31, 2009

The Twinkle-Light Years

Had a lovely surprise call from a dear friend earlier this week and we made dinner plans for yesterday evening. We live miles apart and she calls when she is in town. The restaurant we chose had closed so we met at a nearby hole-in-the-wall Chinese establishment (low on cost and ambiance but good food). It survives more on Take-out rather than Eat-in customers and we ended up having the dining area to ourselves. We spent our time eating and catching up on what's happening in our lives and attitudes. Our discussed health (ours and others), economic status, news of mutual friends, and the current and future state of TV and radio programming...

Health- we both are dealing with serious health issues and are trying to maintain, if unable to improve, our current level of wellness. We are also keeping a close eye on changes in the state of health care provision (private medical insurance as well as Medicare and Medicaid availability and cost).

Economic status- both of us are are living on limited income and with increased out-go. We currently have cars that give us independence; however, we may have to give up this convenience sooner than later... not because we are becoming unable to drive, but due to the cost of repairs and maintenance. And the cost of our housing continues to increase while our income is static... what to do... what to do?

Mutual friends- we met years ago (serendipity, again) and although we can't meet often, it's always a joy to be together when we can. She updates me on people I had met through her and I update her on news of my family (no, I didn't have pictures... I'm a ba-a-ad grandma).

The state of radio and TV programming- my friend's career was in theater so she is more cognisant of the state of entertainment than I. During the past few weeks, we each have had "What?!" moments while listening to NPR. We each heard glaring, jarring errors and misnomers that appeared due to lack of research, and possibly, just maybe, the lack of age and experience of the announcers (sigh). If we can't trust NPR, then who...? On TV, the sound level of advertisements is still way louder than that of the program being broadcast, even though this continues to be denied by broadcasters. We also have noticed that the difference in volume has become even more evident since the change to digital signals. Program content on TV has become so youth-oriented that we now find ourselves with fewer things to watch even as the number of channels available increases. My friend noted that the audience that TV is trying to reach is out and about, not sitting in front of the Tube. The increasing older contingent of the population is becoming the audience; why isn't programming being placed for them? I told her "Follow the money"... the advertising budget rules the roost. (But, if the younger ones are not in front of the TV, how and why do producers think their ads will reach their target? Think cell phones that have become miniature PC-TVs, so pervasive that finding a cell phone that just makes calls in virtually impossible.)

Attitudes- we have each reached the decision to eliminate worry from our lives (more successfully some days than others). Worry changes nothing. It effects only our state of being and wastes time that we can spend on more creative and satisfying thoughts and actions.

The sky had darkened and storm clouds were moving across the sky, so we left the restaurant and said our farewells in the parking lot, during which my friend mentioned 'the twilight of our years.' She said she felt her years weren't going to be twilight but rather 'twinkle light' years. I told her I love twinkle lights. As we both have experiences that seem just a trifle off the norm, we decided to embrace our twinkle light lives. We'll also continue caring for and sharing with each other and we'll get together again as soon as we can. Twink, twink.

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