Baby Boomer Moments

Just so you know: I am on the YOUNG end of the Baby Boomer Generation.

Moment #1:

An article in the July/August 2010 issue of More magazine headlined “What’s That Noise? How to Stop Your Body from Making Such a Ruckus” comforted me somewhat in regard to my recent symphony of creaking joints. What’s that you’re trying to tell me, right knee? Oh, now the left knee wants to be heard. Wait a sec — there must be seven or eight vertebrae in my lower back adding to the noise. A friend and I were joking about it the other day and settled on the word “decrepitude” to describe what’s happening to our bones. Great word.

Anyway, the article says creaking joints are nothing to worry about as long as they are not causing you pain or inflammation or limited range of motion. It’s probably just tired tendons and loose ligaments. Take glucosamine and get a life.

Moment #2

Any Baby Boomers out there who spent a lot of their teen years babysitting? And after tucking in your little charges did you watch old black-and-white movies on TV because that was all there was to do? I did, and developed an appreciation of ’50s-’60s classics while I was at it. So I would like to pause for a moment to memorialize Tony Curtis, who passed away today at 85. I must have watched “Houdini” (1953) and “The Great Impostor” (1961) a number of times. What a presence he was on screen. A couple years ago, I read and enjoyed his autobiography. And one more thing, “Spartacus!” (1960)

Moment #3

The cast of “Glee” is a more popular act on the Billboard Top 100 than the Beatles, according to an AP story today. It’s based on how many times a non-solo act has appeared on the charts, and it’s Glee cast, 75, the Beatles, 71. Part of me wants to say, “No way any musical group should be allowed to displace the Beatles!” But “Glee” is a great show and its singers are incredibly talented. A few of their remakes of classic pop and rock are almost as good as the originals. I wonder if the show will do an episode of Beatles hits soon. This week featured Chris Colfer with a somber rendition of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Music changes, but the Beatles live on — somehow.

Moment #4

Speaking of the Beatles, John Lennon would have turned 70 on Oct. 9. He shared the birthday with his son Sean, who turned 35. That’s right — 35. A photo of him in Vanity Fair shows Sean to look very much the mix of his parents. “I never wanted to be famous; I only wanted to be a musician,” he told the magazine. And he is.

Moment #5

Watching a PBS special on highlights of The Ed Sullivan Show, I saw that clip of Herman’s Hermits singing “Mrs. Brown” for the umpteenth time (my first fave group as a teenybopper) and decided that Justin Bieber is the Peter Noone of 2010. To wit: a long, overstyled haircut that girls want to touch, a sweet voice, a smile that charms. I hear screaming ….

Moment #6

I’m supposed to be at the movies — a New York Times article says so. “Graying Audience Returns to Movies” reports attendance at the cineplex is up 67 percent among older moviegoers in recent years vs. 1995. Baby boomers and seniors are no longer once-a-year audiences for blockbusters like “Titanic.” Why? The article explains that newer movies are beginning to emphasize wit and storytelling over action and special effects. Also, cineplexes are getting plusher, with better seating and refreshments and generally more bang for the buck. The drive for movies that skew young started in the late ’70s with Star Wars and may now have peaked, leaving more room for intelligent fare. Aging action stars like Stallone, Willis and Cage still have box office appeal and movie vehicles are being created for them (such as “Red”). I still like a lot of the older actors, but sometimes it’s more interesting to see the fresh faces emerge and grow. And there’s such a thing as Judi Dench overload.

Moment #7

Watching CBS News on Sunday morning makes me feel ancient and I try to avoid it; but sometimes I get roped in by my husband into watching a segment. So the other morning I learned that baby boomers such as myself have — through surveys — designated the age at which they could be termed “old.” And that would be … drumroll … 72.

Moment #8

My local classic rock radio station says The Zombies are on a 50th anniversary tour. Yes, 50th.Their self-titled album containing “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No” was released in 1965. I’m not sure about the math — close enough. And they just released a new single.

Moment #9

I don’t know whether to be morose or overjoyed that I found the blog “How Not to Act Old” by well-known writer Pamela Redmond Satran. Now that I’ve passed one of those milestone birthdays, “old” is too close for comfort. But I do know that I had better follow all of her funny instructions. A recent one is “Don’t Read Mass Market Paperbacks,” the ones with the trite displays of bare chests, guns, shadows, bosoms and oversized serif type. Instead, read Franzen, Egan, Atkinson, etc. Real writers, yeah! We’re too young to settle for drivel!

Moment 10

New data show that Baby Boomers form the largest segment of the work force, partly because we are living longer and working longer. Uncertainty about the economy makes us hesitant to retire. I am all for staying active to stay young. The problem is that we are not making room for Millennials and Generation Y, who will have a hard time catching up to the American Dream. Can’t we all just have a good job?


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