Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's That Time of Year ...

We're gettin' ready again to head north to Stratford, Ontario, for their amazing theater festival. This will be our fifteenth consecutive year up there (always the 1st week in August), and we will be seeing eleven plays in six days.

Many things to love: we park the car on Monday afternoon when we arrive--and don't drive again until the following Sunday when we head for home (everything is "walkable"); we see almost uniformly excellent productions (four by the Bard--I'll blog about all throughout the week); we get to forget a lot of our Ohio hassles (including health); we think--foolishly--that this will go on forever ...

There are preparations--finding passports (making sure they're current), arranging for mail and newspapers to stop, packing etc.

But this year, a truly annoying task: updating our "older" (a kind word, no?) laptop to take with us. Joyce writes on a desktop here at home, but we keep an "older" laptop around for our travels (I use another laptop exclusively), and this year the "older" one has lain around too long without sufficient affection and attention.

Yesterday, I booted it up (for the first time in months) and was greeted with the message that there were 134 updates from Windows (that took a bit of a while). Oh, and then I also had to update the anti-virus software, Microsoft Office (those took a bigger bit of a while), and right now it's decided to update to Windows 10 from whatever pre-lapsarian version of Windows had been "performing" for us before. Results:

My temper is fragile.

My psychological stability is more fragile.

My self-image is most fragile of all.
(Can you tell there have been ... "issues" with all of this?)

Oh well. Dotage and all.

I've been thinking, though: Despite all this hassle and anxiety and frustration and fury, wouldn't it be nice if you and I could just download some updates for our bodies and minds? Maybe walk in front of some sort of scanner that will quickly list our "needs"; then into another room where some machine out of Star Trek or whatever will provide the necessary updates.

I have more than a few that I could tell you about--everything from a gimpy* knee to, oh, some lifelong weight issues, to some more dire Dyer issues involving health.

"Wouldn't it be loverly?" asked Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. You bet your bippy.**


*The Oxford English Dictionary traces gimpy American, about 1925. Says the source is unknown--but that it might come from gammy, an expression in northern England:

 b. colloq. (orig. Eng. regional (north. and north-west.)). Esp. of a limb or joint: misshapen or crooked; (more generally) not functioning properly through deformity or injury; disabled. Cf. game adj.2
1861   Manch. Weekly Times 19 Oct. 6/4   Plaintiff said that Lockwood had a ‘gammy’ leg. Witness asked her how he got it.
1862   C. C. Robinson Dial. Leeds & Neighbourhood 310   ‘A gammy neck’ (when stiff).
1866   Ipswich Jrnl. 15 Dec. (Suppl.) 3/3   He was walking leaning on another gentleman as if he had got a kind of a ‘gammy’ foot.
1917   H. H. Richardson Fortunes Richard Mahony I. iii. ix. 301   Some'ow, Polly, I can't picture myself dragging a husband with a gammy leg always at my heels.
1938   G. Greene Brighton Rock vii. viii. 343   One leg was gammy, he moved it with a mechanism worked from his pocket.
1984   Times 20 Oct. 2/2   A gammy knee prevented me from running.
2007   K. James Greater Share of Honour 406   I'm not doing a lot with this gammy arm stopping me from doing any digging.

** The OED traces bippy back to Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968) and says it probably is a form of butt or behind.

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