Friday, April 18, 2014

Why are reruns so comforting?

When I come home from work, I turn on the TV and hope that NCIS is showing on USA or Castle is showing on TNT.

Yesterday I was home sick from work and was thrilled to discover a Castle marathon, with a side of NCIS when I didn't like a particular Castle episode.  (There are very few of those, by the way.)

Why are reruns so comforting?

It's not just Castle or NCIS.  I will watch Jeff Dunham on Comedy Central almost every time he is on.  And laugh every time I do.  Or The Incredibles, or The Princess Diaries, or Doctor Who.  I've watched RED, Knight and Day, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith more times than I can count.

There is a comfort in advance knowledge that the show will, or won't, have a happy ending.

There is a release from the responsibility of paying close attention so you won't miss any plot points, and of knowing when your favorite parts will air.

There is pleasure in listening to the favorite conversations of your favorite characters.

It's the same reason I will reread some books over and over.  It's the people in them, their thoughts, hopes, dreams, conversations, and adventures.

I don't know the psychology behind it.  I just know that reruns are welcoming, comforting, and friendly.

I'm grateful to cable television for extending the lives of so many of my favorite programs.

What are your "comfort foods" shows?

Friday, April 11, 2014

What happened to my time management skills?

Something happened to me when I was laid off last year. I had 4+ months of severance and I enjoyed every minute of it.

But I lost my ability to manage my time effectively.

When I worked before, I made it to the gym 4 times a week.  I wrote blog posts 2 or 3 times a week.  I got projects started - and finished.

I can't seem to accomplish any of that now.

Somehow, I've gained an appreciation of doing nothing.

I'll drop everything to play fetch with the dogs or go for a walk.

I'll start a project I know I won't finish until later.  Sometimes much later.

And I've become okay with that.

I don't get nearly as much done as I did.

But I'm enjoying it much, much more.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Don't offer me a better rate when I call to cancel.

I recently discovered that the car insurance I can get through my credit union is half what I was paying to another well-known insurance company.

My former insurance company kept raising the premiums slightly for collision-only insurance on my 15 year old car.

So I was thrilled to get the same coverage for a year from the new insurer.

After the new policy was in place, I called to cancel my former insurance.

"May I ask why you are cancelling?"

"Well, I've found other insurance that is half what I was paying you."

"Let me see if I can get you a better deal with us."

I politely said No, thank you.  But what I was thinking was, Really?

So you are telling me that the price you have been billing me, the price I have been paying, was negotiable?

That if I had complained and threatened to cancel before this, you would have given me a better price?

I had been happy with my former insurer, but now I feel like I was being scammed.

Thanks a lot.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Why should I?

While I am making progress with resisting “should” by ignoring my crazy aunt, I've realized I need more help. 

I've decided I could take it one step farther just by asking Why?

I should take Bogie for a walk.  Why?  Because the exercise is healthy for both of us.  Okay, that’s legitimate. 

I should clean the house.  Why?  It’s dirty.  Really dirty?  Well, it's dusty and there is dog hair on the floor.  So?  So someone will see it and think I am a slob. Am I a slob?  No.  Is anyone going to see the house?  No.  Not legitimate.

I should go to the gym.  Why?  I paid for the membership.  Have I gotten value out of my membership?  Yes.  Do I have other things I’ve paid for and not used.  Yes.  But people will think I am lazy.  Am I lazy?  No.  Do I exercise at home?  Yes.  Not legitimate.

This supplements the crazy aunt theory by helping to pinpoint where the "should" came from.  

Is it logical, like I should get the oil changed in my car.  

Or is it the crazy aunt spouting off saying I should have rock hard abs and be able to dance like the pros on Dancing with the Stars. 

I think this may work for me. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I want to be more like my dogs.

There are some personality traits that my dogs have that I would like to have.

Angel is sweet and loving and never holds a grudge.  If she wakes me too early in the morning and I growl at her, "Go away!", she does.

She doesn't sulk.  She doesn't analyze what she might have done to deserve being yelled at.  She just goes and lies down.

When I am ready to wake up, she comes over to be petted, thrilled that I am awake, with no resentment from earlier.

She doesn't let my mood affect her mood.

Bogie is laid-back, accepting of whatever happens.  If I take him for a walk in the morning, he's happy and excited to go.  If instead of the walk, we go for a ride, that's cool.

If we do neither?  Well, that's okay, too.  His day isn't ruined because his routine has been changed.

He rolls with what happens and finds the good in every situation.

My dogs.  My role models.


Just chillin'


Saturday, March 8, 2014

So well-behaved!

It appears that all of the training and all of the work I have put in with Bogie has paid off.

We were all all the vet the other day.  We sat in the lobby waiting for our turn.

Bogie sat close by me.  Well, actually he sat right on my foot.

Angel laid on the tile floor next to him.

There was no barking.  No pulling on leashes.  No whining.

From the exam room, each dog had to be taken to the back to have blood drawn and toenails trimmed.  The tech said they had behaved very well.

When our visit was over and we cashed out, the clerk said to me. "Your dogs are always so well-behaved."

What pet parent doesn't like to hear that!

Bogie at the vet

Friday, March 7, 2014

I would rather not move again.

My friend just left Arizona to move to Florida.  I helped her pack.  I gave her a hug.  And I sent her on her way, happy that it wasn't me.

I'm not sure I would willingly move again.

I know some people think of it as an adventure.  I have a friend who travels from furnished room to furnished room from city to city with only a back pack containing his belongings.

Me, I like my stuff.  I like my dogs and my books and my comfy bed and my desk.  My glass studio.  My sewing machine.  My tools and work bench.  My stuff.  

I like knowing where to shop and having a doctor I trust.  I like knowing how to get where I am going without getting lost.

I don't want to have to worry about which of my belongings will fit in a van, truck, or pod destined for another location.  I try to keep the accumulation down, but closets and cupboards seem to spontaneously create more things to fill them.

I wasn't born in this house.  I wasn't even born in this state.  I've moved 11 times in my adult life.

But I have been in this house for 16 years.

Eventually, I'll have to move again. I suspect that at some point I will be unable to navigate the stairs.

But until then, I am staying put.