…is that you have to remember to read them!

Of late I’ve missed a couple of events because I (ahem) forgot them. They were written down on the calendar, all right. I just neglected to look at the calendar that hangs on a wall in my office.

I used to have Google or iCalendar send me those pesky daily reminders. Didn’t take long for me to learn to erase those things from notice. Eventually quit posting appointments & tasks, because the nagging emails were always such a low priority in the foggy universe that is my attention span. And because they annoyed. I came to hate them.

For someone who grew up in the world of analog writing, a physical calendar with a pretty picture to decorate the wall and pretty little squares in which to scribble reminders works a lot better. It does not nag you. It sits there looking handsome and suggesting, quietly, that you take responsibility to look at the damn calendar yourself. In fact, I just bought a 2015 calendar (“Folk Art”: Costco impulse buy).

But now that I’m old, I’ve also come to understand that unless a Note to Self is taped to the kitchen door, where I’ll see it on the way out to the garage, there’s a very good chance I will. not. remember. That’s because I’ll forget to look at the pretty calendar…

On the kitchen door, eh?

So yesterday I ran by Staples and picked up one of those erasable whiteboards with a generic month painted on it. Yup. And stuck it on the door smack-dab at eye level, where I’ll be forced to LOOK AT IT as I fly out the door.

Now we’ll see how long it takes me to learn to space that, too…

Never, I hope: To avoid that, I’m only entering the most important things that are crucial to remember and unusual events that are so far off-routine that they could be easy to forget. All of the rest of the stuff goes on the paper calendar in the office.

This could be the answer to a growing problem. At a certain point, you can write yourself reminders, but it’s no joke to say you may very well forget to read the reminders. With a calendar right in my face, unavoidably, maybe I’ll notice what I’m supposed to be doing before it’s too late.




FP_roll_with_bowlYesterday I needed to buy some new dog food for the Ruby-Doo, she suffering from allergies and now needing foods whose contents can be verified. I’d discovered that the exceptionally fancy stuff peddled at Whole Foods and PetSmart could be had for much cheaper at the Fry’s Supermarket in Richistan, and had thought after the doctor’s appointment I’d traipse up to Paradise Valley and restock that stuff.

In fact, since the next surgery takes place in a week and we’re running low on dog food in general, what I really wanted to do was buy enough to carry the dogs through to surgery day and about a week beyond it, since I know very well I’m not going to feel like driving around and I’m not going to feel like cooking, grinding, and mixing real food for the dogs. But yesterday I had a lot of errands to run and work to do, and after spending close to two hours chatting with a high-powered oncologist, I really truly did NOT want to drive way to hell and gone to Paradise Valley. There’s a mid-range Fry’s and a PetSmart near the mid-town Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s I frequent, and so I figured I’d run into that Fry’s and see if it carried the coveted dog food. Failing that, I’d check the PetSmart, and failing that, I’d pick up the stuff at the Whole Foods along with the human food items I coveted.

So after bouncing to the three other places I had to go, along about 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. I surfaced in the Fry’s at 20th Street and Camelback.

No. They did not have the fancy rolls of fresh unadulterated dog food.

So I walked across the parking lot to the PetSmart.

They wanted $27.99 per five-pound roll. TWENTY-EIGHT DOLLARS for the same damn thing I’d paid $12.99 for the day before!

Out the door and across the street to the Whole Foods.

Yes, I remember correctly: Whole Foods charges $19.99 for the product. Bought one roll to tide us over, since we were about out.

So today it was out to Tatum and Shea, thereinat to run several more errands. While there, I went into the now-famous Whole Foods on Steroids, where yea verily! We find exactly the same product for $12.99.

Heh. Think of that. We’re looking at prices for the same product, same brand, same amount, that range from $13/package to $20/package to $28/package.

And Petsmart charges $8.00 more than Whole Foods (!!!!!!!) and TWICE AS MUCH as a local grocery store! A pretentious grocery store that gives itself airs and locates itself in Scottsdale, a place where men are millionaires and women think they own the roads.

Petsmart. What a freaking rip-off agency. I will never buy anything there again.

My son buys a fancy kibble for Charley the Golden Retriever. He’s taken to buying it at a tack & feed store, because he gets it for a better price there. But one day when he and I were driving back from the Mayo, we spotted a tony-looking upscale pet boutique in the depths of darkest Richistan. For some reason we decided to stop in — as I recall, there was some exotic item he hoped to find there.

What he found was his fancy kibble: for significantly less than even the tack and feed shop was charging.

So. Look around. And don’t be afraid to look in unlikely spots — the best price may not be had at the most obvious retailers.

Speaking of places that cost your whole paycheck, yesterday at Costco I got gasoline for $2.79 a gallon!!!

A fill-up cost $25 and change.

Haven’t filled up the gas tank for under forty bucks in years.



Another Day, Another Doctor…

October 20, 2014

So this morning came the appointment with the oncologist favored by my gynecologist. You may recall that not one but two docs — my GP and my gynecologist — so worried about my insecurities over the ongoing (painful, disruptive, miserable!!!) treatment of NOT-a-breast-cancer that they felt impelled to refer me to the medical oncologists of […]

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Dog Food: Make It or Buy It?

October 17, 2014

As old-timey FaM readers know, one of my strangest eccentricities is that I cook and feed real, actual FOOD to my dogs, rather than giving them the fake stuff that comes in bags and cans. This came about during the late, great melamine scare, during which we learned that virtually all dog foods, from Walmart’s […]

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Annals of the Floored and Flabbergasted: Back Office Staff Edition

October 15, 2014

This morning I get on the phone to an assistant in the gynecologist’s office, to whom I’m trying to explain, for the THIRD time today (not to her, but to two other folks) that because it looks like I’m headed for a mastectomy, a medical oncologist advised me to consult with a plastic surgeon before […]

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Breast “Cancer” or Not: Another Amazing Adventure in Medical Never-Never Land

October 15, 2014

Okay, so after I had arranged an appointment with the medical oncologist my gynecologist wants me to see for a second opinion about the advisability of further surgical attempts at a successful lumpectomy, Young Dr. Kildare became concerned enough that he unilaterally scheduled an appointment for me with his choice of oncologists. Interesting. I decided […]

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