Pat Benatar at 60

June 28th, 2010
Pat Benatar @ 60
Pat Benatar @ 60

Pat Benatar, what were you thinking?

Pat Benatar, who is 57 y/o, said recently in People Magazine that she couldn’t wait to be 60, “because you get to be ornery and salty.” I wouldn’t think that that is how a 60-year-old woman would want to be described. Or did she mean men, too? That everyone over 60 is ornery and salty? That’s even worse, because 1) it’s not true, and 2) it perpetuates a stereotype based on an untrue premise. (See #1, above).

Then she talks about retiring to Hawaii but also says that she’ll be singing “Heartbreaker” as they are closing her coffin.

I’m confused. Is she retiring or is she going to continue to perform, expecting people to pay to see an ornery and salty woman?

It’s a good thing she’s better at singing than she is at clear thinking.

Really Old People Doing Special Things

May 20th, 2010
Really Old People
Really Old People

Alice Thomas, 79, is the oldest law school grad in Sacramento’s University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law’s 86-year history.

88 y/o Iris Apfel, fashionista and Queen of Style, opens her first exhibit in Oct. at Boston’s Peabody Essex Museum.

Helen Thomas, the uber-journalista who will be 90 in August, and is still AT THE TOP OF HER GAME, writes a spot-on piece in NYT News Service about the public’s obsession with America’s First Lady’s fashion sense from Martha Washington to Jacqueline Kennedy to Mrs. Obama.

Hazel Soares, 94, just graduated from Mills Colege/Oakland with a bachelor’s degree.

Declining to retire

May 3rd, 2010
Now what?
Now what?

Novelist Mary Higgins Clark on NPR’s “Here & Now,” sounding just fine at 82, re: retirement: “What am I going to do, take up bridge?”

There is 72, and then there is 72.

April 22nd, 2010 get lots of sex. get lots of sex.

Jane Fonda was talking about her “frisky” sex life on “Extra” last night. Later, She demonstrated some moves, and she was very impressive. Limber.

Merle Haggard was on today’s “Morning Edition,” and he’s 72, too. Recovering from lung cancer. His voice: it just ain’t the same. Numerous clips of the Hag’s oeuvre were played. At his peak, his voice was powerful, and now it’s wavy, and weaker.

Jane’s just as famous for being healthy as the Hag is for being a hell raiser, so you gotta factor in all that lifestyle, exercise, and diet. But genes count, too, and they are like the Lottery: you won’t know if you‘ve won or lost till they pull the numbers. Same with aging, you don’t know what you’ll be like at 72, till you get there.

Jane won, Merle lost.

I Went to a Fashion Show at a Senior Center…

April 2nd, 2010

Disclaimer: This blog is for Boomers and Zoomers, of which the oldest is 64, but today’s post is about people older than 64. I’m checking out the future.

… and it was really fun. It was like high school assembly: lots of loose, wide ranging energy, and a party feel.

The place looks and feels like high school, too, generic architecture and a lobby with shiny linoleum floors, echo-y halls and women “teachers” running around taking care of everything.

A karaoke version of Dion’s “The Wanderers” was blasting, warming up the overflow crowd. I had a moment of disconnect: did these Really Old People and I actually share a musical heritage?
I associate Dion with jeans, sideburns, and sex, not with lavender polyester pant suits. But that thought lasted but a nano-second because, really, you simply can’t do a bad version of ”The Wanderers” and these “senior citizens” were so into it, clapping to the beat, dancing in place, singing and smiling, accompanied by the unmistakable “din” of the high school cafeteria.

The clothes? Forgettable. The real show was the models who literally danced down the runway a la last year’s You Tube sensation of the bridal partying boogying down the aisle.

The music throbbed and the dancing models fueled wolf whistles and catcalls. Good dancing is sexy at any age and at any weight.

In fact, just like high school, sexuality was lurking all over. It was a great big ball of fun. Good energy trumped age. If it were a color it would be yellow.

It hit me that that’s not the way it’s been with friends who are my age, not for months and months. Often, when I’m with a group, we are sort of serious, puzzled: what’s happening, what’s the “new normal?” Are we OK?

Our Boomer world as we know it is falling apart, the rules changed abruptly and the signposts rearranged, people are frazzled, overworked, retreating physically, yet connecting in cyberspace. If it were a color it would be black.

But at the La Sierra Senior Center Spring Fashion Show on a sunny L.A. day, hundreds of really happy people have figured out how to make it all work right down to end. And all’s right with the world.

Retirement Anyone?

March 22nd, 2010

L.A. Dodgers play-by-play announcer Vin Scully, 82, is starting his 62nd season with the team.

At 103, Eva Zeisel’s still designing home furnishings—her dinnerware line is now available at Crate & Barrel.

Michael Gough, 92, is the voice of the dodo bird in Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton 3-D version that’s out right now.

They make opting out at 65 seem downright wimpy!

Jane Pauley Returns to NBC’s “Today” Show

March 8th, 2010
By PR Newswire
By PR Newswire

Jane Pauley returns as a regular guest to the show she used to host, and from which she was ousted in favor of a younger woman (Deborah Norville, who bombed). At the time, 1989, Jane was 39 and Norville was 31.

Jane will be featured in an AARP sponsored and produced monthly featured called “Your Life Calling with Jane Pauley.” The video looks interesting, but the show’s summary is real gagger:

“Pauley will help millions of Americans age 50+ remain productive, creative and fulfilled as they move through new transitions and new life stages.”

I know she means well, and everybody likes Jane, but when I was, oh, say 52, which is just three years past 49, I don’t think I needed anyone to help me “remain” productive, creative or fulfilled. I had a job, a family, a life, and I STILL DO.

I think she really means people who are over 70.

Tomorrow is her first day. Here the link to the promo video.

Tom Brokaw’s “BOOMER$” on TV Tonight

March 4th, 2010
Everybody Loves Tom!
Everybody Loves Tom!

Tom Brokaw’s big Baby Boom show is on CNBC tonight. Two hours!

Marketing blitz includes a Brokaw interview featured on the front page/Calendar section of today’s L.A. Times.

RE: retirement, Brokaw quotes his colleague Andy Rooney: “Retire from what, life?”

Brokaw, who is 70, says he has “shifted gears,” after leaving his 44-year career at NBC, and that he’s found the right mix of work and pleasure.

“At some time in the future, I’ll probably shift again,” quoted the Times, remarking that he doesn’t see himself sitting on the porch, rocking the day away.

Maybe Brokaw has coined a movement: “Shifting Gears.” Now we don’t “retire,” we “shift gears.”

I like it.