Saturday, September 25, 2010

Inverse (or is it converse?)

Following up on irritations, for a breath of fresh air, some things that make me happy:

* The obvious: My husband and daughter, chocolate, friends, family

* British Television: I wish we still had satellite TV so I could watch BBC America again. Instead, I must make do with PBS. On Thursday nights, the programming involves series from the UK. My favorite is New Tricks, which is the only police show that I watch. If you haven't seen it, you should. OK, I probably like it because one of the guys reminds me of my dad, but it is quite hilarious at times. Currently, they're airing Doc Martin - also very entertaining. It's about a former surgeon who has PTSD and can't stand the sight of blood, thus retiring to Cornwall (? I think) to be a local doctor. He's got no social skills and is highly irritable. I'm also a fan of Inspector Lewis (oh look! another cop show! Guess I only like British cop shows).

* Cool fall weather: When it gets chilly at night, but stays warm during the days, I love it. I can wear flip flops and cardigans (but generally not together). I can wear clothes from all seasons. I wish the days weren't getting shorter, but it's one of those side effects you can't escape.

* Cardigans and flip flops (see above)

* Sour cream, which I am only thinking of because we are out and have been for 2 weeks. This interrupts my consumption of baked potatoes, quesadillas, and tacos. Guess who's going to the grocery store tomorrow?

* Our landscaping: It attracts copious amounts of butterflies and colorful birds. Did you know that hummingbirds are not very bright? Twice, they've flown into our garage and have gotten in they cannot figure out how to get out of the garage. They fly up to the ceiling and crash against it for half an hour or more. The first one finally was able to find his way out when I closed the garage door a bit - he could fly over the door, but there was a space to get outside. The second one...well, he did something - I'm not sure what - and knocked himself silly. He was laying on the floor of the garage. My husband was trying to roll him into a dustpan to pick him up and put him someplace safe. Did you know hummingbirds make noise? I didn't until my husband tried to roll him into the dustpan. If you've ever heard a hawk's cry - it's just like that, only tiny. Very strange. Anyway, the hummingbird was placed into the tomato planter to recover and within about 5 minutes had taken off again.

* And finally, the sponsor of this post - one thing that always makes me happy whether I participate or not: Nap time!

What are you finding pleasant today?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


* Why do online retailers make me fill out all of my information before giving me a total price? Don't they know that shopping involves inspecting the merchandise, checking the price, and then deciding if I want to purchase? Shopping does not involve giving out my personal information. If I can't easily find the price without filling out some annoying form, I am unlikely to purchase anything.

* Who would have thought that fantasy overpowers practicality in a crime lab? My job today has involved trying to steer people away from what ifs and towards what is. It's incredibly frustrating - the what ifs create work that can be completely unnecessary.

* Why is my internet service going in and out on a clear, calm night? There's no rain in the area, no wind, no lightning...and yet my internet has been intermittent all evening. I would call and complain but the cable company insists on making me travel through menu after menu to prove that I'm not the problem. I know the internet is down. I know it's not my wireless router. I know it's not my computer or my modem. There is no signal. Also, I can't call them because my phone does not work inside my house, which leads me to...

* Why doesn't my phone work inside my house? My last phone worked. There are towers close by. For that matter, the phone doesn't work in my neighborhood. I'm between 2 major highways and 2 major state routes in a suburban area. I should have an excellent signal. And the phone company says "We don't guarantee that phones will work inside buildings," and "Your house must just be too well-built." I suspect that Crack.berries are just not very good at the phone portion of their operational abilities.

* Why do I watch the news? Finding out that there is a stand-off involving local police, state police, and the FBI in the town where my workplace is located does not bode well for tomorrow. All I want to know is...will it be hot or will it be raining? On the plus side, the news announced that the above mentioned work fantasy may disappear by tomorrow. That's good news for a change.

All these irritants must mean that I'm overtired and it's bed time...or maybe I'm just in training to be crotchety old person. If it's the latter, I am going to be a champ!

What's irritating you lately?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Talking about death

My in-laws' dog died. She was 12 or 13 and went into a fairly rapid decline, and then she was gone. She was a fixture in their house, and my daughter was quite fond of her - even if the feelings were not exactly returned.

Nineteen years ago this month, my dad died after a long, painful illness (Rhuematoid Arthritis) which led to complication after complication.

My daughter is almost 4, which means that a) she notices things like missing dogs, b) she's busy exploring family relationships, and c) she spends her days with many little boys who like to play superhero and kill bad guys. With this combination, I find myself having to deal with questions about death. A lot.

I'm fairly comfortable discussing death - it's the natural order of things - but my husband is not. He tends to change the subject, and was prepared to ignore the death of his parents' dog. His parents had the same intent. But, my daughter asked me where the dog was, and I answered. I told her that the dog got old, got sick, and died, and she wasn't around any more. She was asking questions (why did she get old, why did she get sick, etc.) that were making everyone else uncomfortable, and I finally mumbled something about going to play in heaven, and that was the end of the conversation.

Our vacation this year was a trip to see my family. We had a great time - we went to the pool, to the beach, to the farm...all the things I did when I was a kid. But this led to an exploration of my family, who my daughter doesn't see as often as she sees her father's family. We had a long discussion of why my daddy was dead...which I'm not sure she quite understood. But, it was about the same story as the dog. He got old, he got sick, and then he died.

My girl is not at all traumatized by death. She has asked several times why my daddy is dead. She asks why the dog is dead. She hasn't quite connected that death with the "killing" that she's doing when she's pretending to be a superhero. It will become clear to her eventually, I suppose.

Meanwhile, she also discovered the teddy bear that I've had since I was born. She is a huge lover of stuffed animals, so she desperately covets that bear. I told her she could have it when I was dead. She likes to ask me from time to time - "I can have that bear when you're dead?" It freaks my husband out a little.