Could it be Prosopagnosia?

Remember back when you were a small child and someone, maybe a parent, perhaps a teacher, assured you that at some point you would discover your God-given talent? I do. And I’m still waiting. It’s not that I’m without any talents, it’s just that none of them seem worth developing.

For example, I still remember a license plate number my California cousins and I memorized when we were pre-teens. We were sitting outside a bank in Porterville, CA, waiting for my uncle to return from making a deposit when a man carrying an honest-to-goodness money bag hurried out of the building. We decided he was robbing the bank and memorized the number on his pickup truck. U19 671. I’m still prepared to testify as an eye witness some 50 years after the fact.

I also know the differences between four stroke and two stroke engines and can describe their respective firing sequences. In addition I can explain baseball’s infield fly rule and the reasoning behind it. And when given a multiple choice test on just about any subject I’m more likely to pass than to fail. Whoopee!

There are a great many more things, though, that I have no talent for. The one that’s driving me crazy right now is my inability to recognize faces, specifically faces of famous people; although, I often joke that I even make Studly Doright wear a name tag when he returns from a lengthy business trip.

I’ve been playing Ellen DeGeneres’s Hot Hands game on my iPhone lately. In this game one must try to call out the names of a succession of celebrities within a limited amount of time. I simply cannot do it. Tom Hanks becomes “Bob, Jim, Um, Rob!” Likewise Madonna becomes “Bob, Jim, Um, Rob?!” So do Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock, and Denzel Washington.

As a result of playing this game I’ve come to believe I have a mild version of a condition know as prosopagnosia.

Prosopagnosia is a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces. Prosopagnosia is also known as face blindness or facial agnosia. The term prosopagnosia comes from the Greek words for “face” and “lack of knowledge.”

Some folks with the condition can’t even recognize their own faces in the mirror! I’m not that bad, but I swear I’m struck dumb when trying to identify any celebrities. Do you think they’d mind wearing name tags just until I get the hang of the game?

All the Kardashians, or as I like to call them, “Bob, Jim, Um, Rob?”

Peace, people!

Saturday Morning Cat

Scout NEEDED me on Saturday morning. She climbed into my lap while I was enjoying a cup of coffee, turned three lazy circles, and then settled onto my chest. I was thoroughly snuggled, head butted, and purred over for at least an hour. She let me kiss her velvety ears and her kitty cat nose. She petted my cheek with one tissue-soft paw. We enjoyed a veritable love fest for many soothing minutes.

I knew Scout would most likely go on to ignore my existence for the rest of the day, such is the nature of felines, so I enjoyed every second of her unfettered affections. Maybe I can book an appointment for another such visit today.

Refuge

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the shore. The waves block out the sun, confuse the sailor. His compass tossed overboard.

He fights the ocean. Struggles with his sails, steering away from rocks and pilings. His strength flags.

Then from nowhere a cove is revealed, a place of refuge, feeling like an old friend, offering sanctuary. He is safe for now.

Be someone’s refuge today. We are all in need.

March Minimalist Challenge: Whatever Happened to Days 28, 29, 30, and 31?

I have a conscience. That probably comes as a surprise to some of my readers, but it’s true. I’ve dropped the ball many times in my life. Often it was because I was afraid my efforts wouldn’t be worthy, other times it was because I once was a world class procrastinator and would fall so far behind in a task that catching up seemed an impossibility. So I didn’t even try.

Often, it was a combination of both, like the year I was in charge of putting together a scrapbook for the president of our women’s group. I became paralyzed by a lack of creativity, a failure to organize, and I never got it done. I’m still embarrassed and ashamed of myself for letting that group down. I’m not proud of my failings. If I could go back in time I’d put together that damned scrapbook, but all I can do going forward is to be a better person.

So when I found myself struggling to keep up with the March Minimalist Challenge, in part due to Studly’s medical issues and my trip to Illinois, I promised myself I’d finish as soon as possible. Day after day I made excuses for myself. After all, it was only a promise to myself. No one else would really care. But, a promise is a promise. And I’m not the same person I was 35 years ago.

On Thursday I kept my promise. I reorganized the cabinets and drawers in all of our bathrooms at Doright Manor and came up with way more than the 118 items needed to satisfy the challenge for days 28, 29, 30, and 31. Inside one pill bottle alone there were 89 pills (I had taken one of the 90 prescribed and suffered terrible side effects).

It’s not an artistic display, and I didn’t try to add alliteration to the post, but by gum, I finished the challenge. I don’t guess the former president of my old club would like a scrapbook filled with my minimalist challenge photos. Definitely not.

Peace, people.

Dark Tower End or Beginning

For the past few months I’ve been traveling through more intertwining worlds than I can name thanks to the genius and imagination of author Stephen King and his Dark Tower series. I’m not a rapid reader, and these books aren’t particularly easy reads, so perhaps it took me a little longer to travel the road of the Gunslinger than it would another reader. Now that I’ve completed the journey, I’m bereft. How will I go on without Roland, Susannah, Eddie, Jake, and Oy? Especially Oy, the billy bumbler.

My son is to blame for insisting I read the series. As a long time Stephen King devotee, I had grimly resisted reading the Dark Tower books. I’m not sure why. I started book one years ago, and I only made it through a few chapters before putting it aside. It didn’t feel like a Stephen King book. I believe at that time I wanted another Carrie, Salem’s Lot, or Christine, and this didn’t fit the bill.

More recently I’d seen the film and wasn’t impressed, but I must tell you the film bears only scant resemblance to the enormous scope of the books. The film was akin to a dry saltine cracker, while the books are a magnificent feast.

In this past year our son, Jason, persisted in cajoling me into reading the series. He fed me little tidbits that he knew I couldn’t resist, such as “Stephen King writes himself into the books,” and “He includes characters from other novels he’s written,” and finally I succumbed. Thank goodness.

Most of my books nowadays are read on Kindle, and books 1-6 were readily available in e-reader format. When I completed book six in the middle of the night, though, and immediately went to the Kindle store to download book VII, it wasn’t available. I had a panic attack. Roland and his intrepid ka tet were in dire circumstances.

I made myself wait until morning to check again on its availability, but I tossed and turned all night. The book still wasn’t available. I called my son.

“Help! I can’t get book VII on my kindle.”

“It’s there,” he said. “I read it on mine.”

“Then why can’t I?” I whined.

He laughed evilly. Kids these days.

I even tweeted Stephen King. “WTF, man! Why can’t I download Dark Tower Book VII on my kindle?”

No response. Argh.

For a week I checked almost constantly on Amazon and finally gave up, broke down, and ordered the physical book. It was HUGE. Seldom do I think about the size of an electronic version book. The space one takes up in my hands never changes. A 35,000 word book feels exactly the same as a 200,000 word book. But this book. Whoa! I felt as though I might as well have begun reading Webster’s unabridged dictionary.

It’s also a first trade edition. Briefly I wondered if it might be worth something more than I paid for it, but knowledgeable friends assured me it was not.

Gamely I plowed through. Ah, the sacrifices I made for these characters: Cramping wrists, having to use a lamp to read by in bed, not being able to tuck the tome into my handbag. Agonizing. But rewarding.

When I finally reached the end I began to cry and couldn’t stop for many minutes, not necessarily because the series has a sad ending–it really doesn’t, but because it was over. No more Roland of Gilead. No more Susannah, or Eddie, or Jake. Mostly though, no more Oy, the billy bumbler. Oh good and faithful Oy. Dammit. I’m crying again.

Peace, people.

P.S. Guess what book is now available on kindle? You guessed it, book 7. Maybe the universe was trying to teach me a lesson in patience.

Studly’s Discovery

As regular readers of Praying for Eyebrowz know, my husband, Studly Doright, has been dealing with a painful sciatic nerve issue. For the past six weeks he has been hobbling around the house, a mere shadow of his normal gregarious self.

While he’s had some relief thanks to epidural injections of steroids and a mixture of medications, my poor Studly is still dealing with a great deal of pain and a severe lack of sleep. I’m in awe that he’s remained even-tempered throughout this ordeal. I’d have been throwing things and cursing a blue streak if our conditions were reversed.

But there have been some bright spots. Studly’s inability to sleep has led him to watch television at all hours of the day and night. That’s how he discovered and then introduced me to The Zoo on the Animal Planet network.

The Zoo is a behind the scenes look at the Bronx Zoo, and it’s an enthralling series. As I write this, a snow leopard named Leo is undergoing a root canal. I’ve also watched a pair of Bengal tigers attempt to mate and a rhinoceros get an ultrasound. I’ve become a huge fan.

My Studly, who isn’t into travel, actually thinks we need to visit the Bronx Zoo sometime in the near future. I’m not going to argue with him, but first we need to fix that sciatica. On the front, we’re probably looking at surgery. Ugh.

In the meantime, here’s a video from The Zoo.

https://www.thewrap.com/animal-planet-zoo-elephants-tuberculosis-tb-grooming-exclusive-video/

Sunday, Boring Sunday

My feet never even left Doright Manor yesterday. I slept in until 9 a.m., had a Kind breakfast bar and a cup of coffee with Irish cream while simultaneously watching MASH reruns and reading The Dark Tower VII. I think I even took a nap. The morning just flowed over and around me like a lazy river.

Studly Doright played golf on Sunday morning after being sidelined for over a month by sciatic pain and returned home in time to enjoy watching the final round of the Masters golf tournament with me. I’m not a golfer, but I grew up watching tournaments on tv with my dad, and watching the Masters is akin to seeing a painting come to life in real time. The beautiful course at Augusta testing the skills of the best players in the world is always a thrill.

Now we plan to spend the evening catching up on The Walking Dead. I’ll drink a glass of wine, or two. Then it’s off to bed. Maybe I’ll be less boring tomorrow.

Peace, people.

Dangerous

Another really fine and thought-provoking piece by Jan Wilberg at redswrap.wordpress.com

Red's Wrap

IMG_4686Anything can happen.

I remember my daughter telling me this. It was after the apartment next to hers in Palm Springs blew up in the middle of the night. She’d been in her new place just a few days, unwittingly moving next door to a meth lab. So it blew up and there was fire and fire trucks and her escape from harm and her call from a phone booth across the street from her apartment.

It was three in the morning when the phone rang. It rang and rang out in the hallway of our old beach house on Lake Superior. It was a phone that sat on a tiny table, the way phones used to do when they functioned as family anchors. I got out of bed, searching for a light I didn’t need, wasting time. Stalling. No one calls at three in the morning to sell…

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Rainy Saturdays, Nudity, and Ukeleles

The best way to deal with an early Saturday morning thunderstorm is to pour a second cup of coffee, add a generous helping of Irish cream, and let the lightning and thunder rage on outside.

I need to take a shower, and I should be doing chores, but the rain is telling me to wait.

One should always listen to the rain. Unless, that is, the rain is telling you to strip naked and run through the neighborhood playing a ukulele. I won’t make THAT mistake again.

Albert Arthur Allen’s “Nude with Ukelele”

Albert Arthur Allen’s “Nude with Ukelele”

Peace, people!