A Few Rando Snippets

  • Came up with a life hack today that I am honestly angry I hadn’t thought of before, and am quite sure everyone but me knew about.  I have long made extra coffee in the morning pot with the sole purpose of pouring it into a decanter to be enjoyed iced, midday.  While I have been doing this forever, I had noted that, even after adding a little milk and a little brown sugar, it was not quite as delicious as I would have hoped.  So, yesterday, in a moment of brilliance, I added brown sugar (more on that in a moment) to the hot coffee as I poured it into the decanter.  Let’s just say: today I enjoyed the best-iced coffee ever.   (Brown sugar in coffee and/or tea is a game-changer.  Try it.  You are welcome.)
  • Yesterday I went to the market to do a decent-sized shopping.  As I entered the store, mask firmly in place, I (aggressively) wiped down the cart with the sopping wet disinfectant wipes at the front of the store.  Midway through my shopping, I was busy being horrified by how many calories (I already knew the sodium count)  are in the tasty rice packages when an older (than me) man put both his hands – which were attached to his arms, which were attached to his shoulders, which were super close to his unmasked mouth – and moved my cart.  Note: he could easily have gone around it, argh. With a sigh I said (and I swear I wasn’t bitchy about it, sweet and cute maybe, but not bitchy), “Aw, I wish you hadn’t done that.”  To which he replied (in a not so sweet or cute tone), “You dumb bitch, you want my antibodies”  Geez, and um, no I don’t want anything from you.  And I am pretty sure you didn’t vote for Biden.  Just sayin’.
  • I called my orthopedist’s office yesterday inquiring as to whether my doc takes care of ankles. Over the years,  I have seen her for shoulder (Dx: tendonitis), elbow (Dx: tennis elbow), and wrist (Dx: carpal tunnel) issues.  I have also sent my stepson to her with a broken wrist and my husband with a broken leg.  In writing this I realize that we appear to be accident-prone.  Well, the kid and hubs are, I am just unlucky. Anyway. the woman answering the phone replied that it all depended upon what the issue was – for those who are getting confused, we are back to my ankle issues.  I then told her that I was told last week by my podiatrist – who I finally made an appointment with after about 6 months of feeling that if I stepped justtherightorwrongasthecasemaybeway my ankle would snap – that I have bone spurs, cartilage erosion, and joint separation in my ankle for which, he noted, there is no cure.  He did, however, shoot a needle filled with Cortisone into the top of my foot where it meets the ankle.  That was super fun.  (And also begs the question: if there is no cure why are you shooting me up?)  When I explained the diagnosis to the woman at my orthopedist’s office I summarized it by saying, “basically, my ankle is totally fucked up.”  She laughed for what I am pretty sure was the first time all day. Or maybe ever. Mission accomplished.  I love to make people laugh. But, alas, she only does simple fractures…none of this complicated mess.  Crap, I was hoping for a different Dx.
  • Going back to last week, you know, when I went to my podiatrist for what I thought was a foot problem (duh, that’s what podiatrists treat) which turned out, as you have learned, is actually an ankle issue.  After he told me there was no cure, yet still shoved a needle into the only area of my body with zero fat, he also informed me that I need to wear not only an ankle brace (which for some insane reason only comes in black…with a large white logo imprinted on the back) but (and this part nearly made me vomit) I have to ditch most of my shoes.  For the first time ever in my life, I can honestly say that I need new shoes which, I loathe to share, is not nearly as awesome as it sounds.  Some of my actual Google searches:
  • Orthopedic shoes for women 
  • Orthopedic shoes for women that are cute
  • Cute orthopedic shoes for women that are not ugly
  • Orthopedic shoes for women under 80 
  • Shoes that are not really orthopedic but can pass as being so
  • Cute shoes that are good for your feet
  • Podiatrist recommended shoes
  • Shoes that can accommodate orthotics 
  • Women’s shoes that don’t make my feet look like Herman Munster
  • Comfortable shoes that are not Life Stride, Easy anything or have Ortho in the name

And guess what?: not one of them yielded a shoe I would ever wear.  Until now, I guess.  So goodbye to my six (it may be more) pairs of favorite and well-loved Birkies.  It was a good run.  See you on the other side. Note: the photo is in black and white because that’s what old folks – like me, apparently – are used to. Insert downtrodden face here.

  • Last night I decided to make a huge pan of roasted vegetables.  My recipe is simple: chop up said veggies (zucchini, red, yellow, and orange peppers, onion, and broccoli), mix with coconut aminos (basically fancy soy sauce), and roast for 30 minutes in a 425° oven.  Easy, right?  Not so fast.  I open the cabinet to retrieve said sauce only to have the brand new bottle ($8 bottle to be more precise) come jumping out, landing on the lazy Susan holding five glass jars filled with pretzels, red licorice (because black licorce is poison), trail mix, Kedem cookies, and Chex Mix (don’t judge – I like snacks).  The bottom of the bottle sheared off (strangely there were exactly zero shards of glass) and dumped the contents, the sticky contents, that is, all over everything.  The dark brown, sticky sauce was fucking’ everywhere.  When I finally finished cleaning it up an hour or so later, I very aggressively chopped the hell out of those vegetables.  Then I felt better.  And, they were delicious.

  • Speaking of food, this past weekend was my wedding anniversary.  “Let’s go to Chinatown and get dumplings!” I suggested to my groom.  He might have grumbled a little but I assuaged his reluctance by promising him that if we couldn’t find parking on the street we would move on.  And, because I have incredible parking karma, we, within moments, found a spot.  Score.  Then, instead of going to one of the two restaurants we frequent, we opted to be two wild and crazy kids and try somewhere new.  We entered Great Taste (the name did not over-sell) and commenced ordering.  The waitress, who spoke exactly no English, handed us a laminated sheet with photos of all the dumplings, subliminally luring us into ordering new stuff.  And a lot of it. As we were finishing up our dumpling-fest, a couple who looked to be about our age (and were definitely the only other non-Chinese people in the place) sat down at the table behind us.  My husband overheard them asking one another if there might be a dumpling cheat seat. Since we had sufficiently stuffed ourselves, he handed them ours.  It seemed the right thing to do.  And then we got to chatting.  Of course we did. Here’s what we learned:

  • They were in town for the weekend, savoring the last few days before their youngest (of four) returned home from overnight camp (aka the days of “how can he be coming home already, didn’t he just leave?!) (Please tell me I am not the only parent who felt that way, you know, back in the day when my kids went away for camp.)
  • He and I grew up in the same town
  • He is exactly the same age as one of my brothers
  • He and that brother were in the same class at the same high school
  • He has an older brother the same age as my other brother
  • And a sister my age
  • We also went to the same junior high school (now called middle school)(I still call it junior high)
  • Our families went to the same synagogue
  • We knew no fewer than 50 people in common (all of whom, shocker, are Jewish)
  • He and my brothers went to the same summer camp…at the same time
  • Yet we did not know one another.
  • How is that even possible?

The next day, one friend posted a link to an article about why it is good to talk to strangers. Another friend tagged me with the comment,  “this is you @julielevinson”.  Yes, yes it is. 

Thank you for indulging me by following some of the silliness I have been up to lately.  And remember: if it’s not a good time, it’s a good story.

11 thoughts on “A Few Rando Snippets

  1. Hi Julie,

    Try the Barn for attractive good-for-your-feet shoes, and the staff can direct you to specific shoes for specific issues. Best of luck.

    Robin

  2. I also love talking with strangers- Yesterday at the start of my yoga class I heard a young woman tell someone she was leaving for college next week. Being nosy, I asked where she was going. Turns out she’s going to be a 1st year at UMiami where my daughter goes. I suggested we talk after class and I’d give her tips and my daughter’s number.
    We were having such a nice conversation after class that I told her I’d give her my number too in case her parents had any questions.
    When I asked for her name, my mind starting doing cartwheels. Her last name was the same as my step-brothers (who were my stepbrothers from age 9-11). I asked if she was related- and yes, yes she is- she’s the daughter of one of my former step-brothers. Does that make her my ex-step-niece?
    I started to cry which is what I do in situations like this. She was so excited by the connection and said we were meant to meet that day. I told her that I knew her before she was in preschool!
    Background: After 25-30 years of not seeing the stepbrothers, my sister and I and the 2 stepbrothers all landed in MetroWest and had our kids at the same Jewish preschool.
    So it’s always worth talking to strangers- you never know if your father was maybe previously married to their grandmother- in this case, yes he was!

  3. I’m sorry for your foot problems and empathize over the loss of your shoes. I’ve had 7 surgeries on my feet in the last 5 years (3 on one, 4 on the other), all basically arthritis related. I wore a walking boot on one foot for a year, and that was the last time I got to wear a high heel. Like you, I’m having to buy new shoes. Also like you, my initial thought was oh HELL no, I’m too young to wear ugly orthopedic shoes! (I just turned 58.) But there are some good ones out there. Taos sneakers are good and come in a variety of colors. I’m also wearing a lot of little boots (I will not call them booties!) They can have just enough of a heel that they look good but don’t hurt (or no heel) and have built in arch support and a heel cup. Look on Amazon under Comfortable shoes (you can always send them back). We also have stores called As The Shoe Fits and The Walking Company, both online. Cute, even sexy shoes are out there. You just have to look and be patient. I still have all my heels — and I have a lot! I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them and hope that one day I might get to wear them. Never say never! Good luck!

    • I am just hoping that I can still wear my Blundstone boots….which I literally wore every single day last winter! I am confident I will persevre and find shoes that are acceptable! Thanks for the empathy!

  4. Love your stories! I have to wear orthotics in my shoes. I have good luck with sketchers, check out the brand Aboe, the store the walking company, and walking around DSW or Famous footwear looking for cute shoes with cushy feeling inners.

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