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Friday, March 30, 2007

Feeling Old

I just glanced at the date in the upper right corner of my screen and had a moment of doubt as to whether March has 30 or 31 days.  Without thinking I started counting on my knuckles... you know, that trick where all the months that land on top of the knuckles have 31 days and the ones in the valleys between the knuckles have 30 (or less, in the case of Feb.). 

What am I, a nine year old... or a doddering idiot??? [warning: That was a rhetorical question]

I think there is something seriously wrong with me.  I mean, who can't keep track of the same twelve months that roll around year after year (G-d knows, at my age I've had enough practice)?

Now that I think about it, I have other senile habits as well... like singing the ABC song (or the Hebrew equivalent) quietly to myself while looking up a name in the phone book.

Man, I hope my kids pick a good nursing home for me.

Posted by David Bogner on March 30, 2007 | Permalink


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Heh....I looked at the calendar on my computer just a little while ago, wondering the same thing. I have a monthly report due at the end of each month.

And I'm four years younger than you. Remember, it's not the age, it's the mileage.


Posted by: K Newman | Mar 30, 2007 9:44:32 AM

Ummm.... I hate to remind you, but as I am 5 years younger than you, the likelihood is 'tis I who shall pick out your nursing home......

Kinda makes you wanna be nice to me, no?!

Just sayin'....

Posted by: zahava | Mar 30, 2007 11:20:53 AM

what about the fail-safe, "30 days has september, april, june and november"??? It even rhymes! works for me every time!

Posted by: nrg | Mar 30, 2007 11:35:02 AM

Your last line about the home...it must be the season, because yesterday my oldest (13) mentioned that she loves her house and wants to live here when she gets married. I asked if she planned to relegate her parents to the basement, and she way-too-easily quipped "No, the kids have to play down there - we'll just put you in a home."

Oh, restraint, restraint...

Posted by: yonah | Mar 30, 2007 11:40:57 AM

Don't worry - I'm 34 and still use (and point in the air) 'Never Eat Shredded Wheat' for north, south east west and 'Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain' for the colours of the rainbow!

Posted by: ploop | Mar 30, 2007 11:41:22 AM

Don't even ask how I felt when a "youngster" (she was probably in her early 20's) asked me recently who I was listening to on my MP3, and she said:

"Neil Young, who are they?"

Posted by: dfb1968 | Mar 30, 2007 11:42:30 AM

How about "My Best Girl Has Every New Car Possible" for the countries in Central America?? We all have our little tricks...

Posted by: nrg | Mar 30, 2007 12:31:50 PM

Hey, don't feel bad- I always use the above-mentioned "30 days hath September.." trick. Never heard of the knuckle trick before!

I feel old whenever I tell my kids that when I was little, there was no computer (well, not widely used in the home, anyway) or internet. They just look at me with a mixture of shock and pity.

Posted by: RR | Mar 30, 2007 12:34:06 PM

Iron and magnesium. :)
Or get your metabolism up by joining in the annual house cleaning... :)

Posted by: Account Deleted | Mar 30, 2007 12:38:56 PM

just to wish you and yours Chag Sameasch.

your entry reminded me of my son saying to me when quite young. Be nice to me Mum, one day I am going to choose your old age home.

Posted by: yaffa glass | Mar 30, 2007 2:54:55 PM

I gotta do the rhyme each month. :(

That's the problem with learning something mnemonically when you are young. You get stuck with it for life.

Posted by: JoeSettler | Mar 30, 2007 3:06:24 PM

I didn't know that trick about the knuckles. Now if I can just remember the order of the months, I'll be set. :)

Posted by: The Misanthrope | Mar 30, 2007 3:37:16 PM

Never heard of the knuckle thing either... but I'm loving that your lovely wife will be picking out the home! [yes, i know, as I'm older than you, i'm just BEGGING for an obnoxious comment from you! go ahead! And a happy passover to you, too!]

Posted by: val | Mar 30, 2007 4:07:08 PM

I use "Roy G Biv" for the colors of the rainbow. I don't use anything for the lengths of the months and still have to look at a calendar every time. I didn't even know the order of the months until high school. Seriously.

One nice thing about getting old is that I've got my son listening to Queen and Rush and the Beatles, so if I'm becoming an old fogie at least I'm passing on my old fogie ways to a new generation. Oh, and he's a religious Jew; that's also pretty old. That's even older than Clearance Clearwater Revival.

Happy Peshach to all the Bogners!!!

a.: "iron and mangesium"? What are you trying to do, pick him up with a magnet?

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Mar 30, 2007 4:19:15 PM

I always used that "30th days hath September" song too, but I never heard the knuckles trick before. Cool! It reminds me of the way to find the product of 9 and any 1-digit number ("N"), which I first saw in the movie "Stand and Deliver":
- Hold up both hands with all ten fingers up.
- Going left to right, count N fingers and bend down the Nth one. E.g., if N is 7 you'll bend down the index finger on your right hand.
- The product of N x 9 will be a two-digit number shown by the number of fingers to the left and right of the one you put down. So in this example, you'll have six fingers to the left of the break and three to the right - giving the number 63, which is 7x9! Cool, huh?

Posted by: Elie Rosenfeld | Mar 30, 2007 4:45:03 PM

I never knew about the knuckle thing. I use "30 days hath September...". I hear there are nice nursing homes in Netanya :)
Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: Sara K | Mar 30, 2007 5:02:26 PM

Man, I hope my kids pick a good nursing home for me.Man, I hope my kids pick a good nursing home for me.

I have been privileged to enjoy reading your blog for just a little less than three years now. It has been a great experience and I am honored to have partaken of your wisdom.

So now I would like to give back something to you and yours.

I'd be happy to lead a team of your readers in selecting a nice home for you to dodder about in.

Not only will this save Zahava and the kids a little stress, but it will make great blog fodder.

Whaddaya think? ;)

Posted by: Jack | Mar 30, 2007 6:32:53 PM

Anyone ever use 'My Dear Aunt Sally' for the order of arithmetic operations?

Posted by: dov weinstock | Mar 30, 2007 6:34:16 PM

Erm, some of us younger folk also have trouble with simple information like this. Let's not even get into forgetting names...

Posted by: tnspr569 | Mar 30, 2007 6:55:29 PM

I've always used the alphabet song and the other ones - Thirty days hast September, My Dear Aunt Sal, Roy G Biv, and Mary Visits Every Monday Stays Just Until Noon, Period. (For that every important listing of planets - or things formerly known as planets.) I use the spelling ones too (I before E...). I wouldn't worry about the nursing home yet. :-)

Posted by: Leah Guildenstern | Mar 30, 2007 7:09:32 PM

Hi Trep,

Don't worry, we all date ourselves and use "lessons learned" from an older time once in awhile.


Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | Mar 30, 2007 7:43:34 PM

Yes, the knuckles is a sign of senility. "Thirty days has September.." is the mark of an intellectual, such as myself (you can actually see my lips moving. I too had to do it this morning to figure out March).
The worst thing for me is when I need to use a mnemonic from medical school to remember something perfectly simple. Most of them are not so "clean." You can't say in front of the patient "Two zebras bit my c-". I can't even write it on the internet.
Chag Kasher vesameach to all you Bogners from all us Stiefels

Posted by: Jersey Boy | Mar 30, 2007 7:56:15 PM

And aren't you glad we sprang ahead to daylight savings time on Thursday night? Not to worry, we'll fall back in the autumn.

Oh come on, David, we all have our little mnemonic crutches. Don't beat yourself up.

Posted by: jennifer | Apr 1, 2007 12:30:27 AM

Hm... i'm only 24 and i do that. Wonder what my excuse is? ;-)

As far as mnemonic devices, i'll always know how to classify a species thanks to my high school biology teacher: "Kinky People Often Find Good Sex" equals the Latin organism labelings: "Kingdom, Phylum, Order, Family, Genus, Species".

Posted by: mercurial scribe | Apr 1, 2007 4:45:40 AM

My husband was teaching the poem to our 2nd grader when I showed her the knuckle trick, which she thought was much cooler. My husband said he'd never seen it before. I guess it depends who you had for 1st grade.

Right now my daughter seems to be learning everything in songs. My 5 year olds can do the shevatim and parshios in Bereshis and Shmos, but they have to start at the beginning and they have to sing ;-). My 85 year old mother does the poem for the months.

Posted by: Anne | Apr 1, 2007 7:39:06 AM

I use the knuckle method myself. If I didn't, I would have had 31 days in April.

As for your kids picking out a nursing home for you, at least you have kids. Otherwise you might end up in an orphanage. ??

Posted by: Tim | Apr 5, 2007 1:14:03 AM

I do the knuckle thing too and I can't alphabetize something without saying at least PART of the alphabet out loud to get it straight in my head.

No worries... you aren't home bound yet!

Posted by: jg | Apr 5, 2007 7:53:46 AM

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