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San Francisco Journalcon photos
How Berkeley Can You Be? Parade

October 21st, 2002

I'm Getting Smarter
I walked into the urologist's office this afternoon at 3:00 for my 3:15 appointment. The receptionist looked at me blankly and said: "Your appointment is Thursday. The doctor is in surgery on Mondays. I took out the appointment card they had given me from my shirt pocket. I've missed two appointments with this doctor in the last two months, gotten the days mixed up. Of all the doctor's appointments I've had in this life and, believe me, I've had many, I cannot remember missing one. Before now.

I'm one of these people who show up on time no matter what. So, after having missed two appointments with this doctor, I got myself into the habit of taping the appointment cards to my kitchen cabinet, the one where I store the various pills I take in the mornings, and enter it into my computer at the office. The card said 3:15, October 24th. Thursday, October 24th. And it wasn't written in some kind of doctor write with a scrunched up 4 you could mistake for a 1. It said 24, clear as a bell.

I could say this is me getting older. The "senior moment" forget someone's name thing. And I've done that, but not very often, not so very often over these last years. I think I'm really more upset down under the covers about this prostate business than I understand and, unless I force myself to pay better attention, I'm going to continue to make these what for me are bizarre mistakes.

My friend MSM said that when she was going through this same thing she'd lived each day fifteen minutes at a time. Break the day into 15 minute segments, each one a task, do this task, followed by that task in fifteen minute (easy to manage, low calorie, good for the figure) bites. I wondered what she was talking about when I heard this, but I realize she's right. Her own two bouts with cancer were under unusually trying circumstances and she was describing to me how she got to appointments on time. You learn.

So I came home instead of returning to the office. About some things I'm getting smarter.

The photograph was taken at the How Berkeley Can You Be? parade. For those of you who are not familiar with the Berkeley City Council, it is famous in the area for making what are considered by some, but obviously not all, to be overly liberal declarations, often on world rather than local issues.