Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Your Head Syndrome

I have a problem. A delusion, if you will. I call it In My Head Syndrome. You see, in my head, I can do things. Things I can’t do in reality. It’s kind of like when you decide to paint a room (or finish a craft project or organize a closet), and as you are planning it (in your head), you think, “This will be a breeze. I’ll be done by lunchtime and then I’ll have the whole day to lay on the couch watching old 90210 reruns and eating bon-bons get other things done.” And then you start painting and you think, “Hmmm…this is taking a little longer than I expected.” And then hours and hours go by and you are not even close to being done and you’re getting pissed off because your couch and Kelly’s drug problem and a box of bon-bons your other chores are waiting and you can’t believe you ever thought you could get it done by lunchtime.

If this (or something similar) has ever happened to you, you are afflicted with In My Head Syndrome.

In My Head Syndrome tends to affect us older folks more than the younger set. It’s not that younger folks are more in touch with reality, it’s just that they may have fewer responsibilities getting in the way of getting things done. Or they have more free time to work with. Or – and this is the big one – their bodies haven’t betrayed them like ours have.

Now, I mentioned bodies betraying us and you might be wondering what that has to do with painting or crafting or organizing. But you see – the biggest and most dangerous symptoms of In My Head Syndrome are physical. In the most severe cases, the results can be physically painful. Both severe and mild cases are emotionally painful.

In case I have any young people reading who don’t think In My Head Syndrome affects them, let me offer you some proof that it does. Remember when you went to your second cousin’s wedding and your parents started dancing. The way parents dance? In My Head Syndrome. And remember when your uncle went sled-riding with you and crashed into a creek and just laid there for a while? In My Head Syndrome. And I KNOW you remember your ninth birthday party when your mom and aunt decided to show off their ballroom moves and fell into the TV in front of all your friends? You guessed it - In My Head Syndrome. See – these examples were emotionally painful, although not so much for the afflicted person, but those around them – so like it or not, YOU are affected by In My Head Syndrome.

The severe cases can be very painful. I know this from experience. I was much more athletic growing up (which admittedly isn’t saying much. A cactus is more athletic than I am now). I took gymnastics from the time I was four through high school. I was a diver all through high school and two years of college. And even though it’s been years and many pounds, I am apparently still under the impression that I can do a back handspring or a full-twisting 1 ½ back dive. Now I’m sure this won’t be as much of a surprise to you as it was to me, but: I cannot.

Certain things can cause In My Head Syndrome to flare up – taking the kids to gymnastics/baton/etc, looking at old photos & videos , class reunions, alcohol, and many more. Right now, there is a serious In My Head Syndrome epidemic due to the Winter Olympics. If you are anything like, you will watch the ski-jumping and luge and half-pipe and think to yourself, “That looks easy. I could so do that!”

And like me, you would most likely be wrong. Because In My Head Syndrome means that you are way faster, stronger, smarter, more graceful, more motivated, cooler and more awesome IN YOUR HEAD than you are in reality.

Sadly, there is no cure.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good Afternoon. Not Greyhound Speaking.

This is a conversation that I have every single day that I am in the office. In fact, most days I have it many times:


“Good Morning, Awesome Company, can I help you?”

“Yeah, what time is the bus to Cleveland?”

“I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number”

“Oh. I need the bus schedules number. Give that to me”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. You have called the wrong number.”

“This isn’t Greyhound?”

“No, I’m sorry, it’s not.”

“Well, then, who is it?”

“Awesome Company.”


“Awesome Company”

“And you can’t tell me when to get the bus to Cleveland?”

“No, I’m sorry. We don’t have anything to do with Greyhound.”

“Well, are you involved in travel at all?”


“Is this 1-800-XXX-XXXX?”




“Well, can you transfer me to the right person?”

“No. Like I said, we aren’t affiliated with Greyhound at all. You’ll have to recheck the number and try again.”

“Hmmm. . .”

“OK. Sorry I can’t help you. You have a nice day anyway.”

“So you can’t help me with the bus?”


“Do you know who could?”

“Well, Greyhound, I assume. Which we are not. You’ll have to call the correct number for that”

“Do you have that number?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t”

“OK, then. . .bye”


40 seconds later. . .


“Good Morning, Awesome Company. Can I help you?”

WHO is it, now?”

“Awesome Company.”


“Awesome Company.”

“You’re not Greyhound?”



This happens approximately eleventy-seventeen times a day. Now, I don’t mind wrong numbers. It happens to the best of us. But when you call, and I say the company’s name when I answer and said name is not Greyhound? You can pretty much assume that YOU HAVE NOT REACHED GREYHOUND!!!!!!

Asking “Is this Greyhound” fifteen times will not change anything. I will be much less friendly after the first time and we will still be NOT GREYHOUND. Please try to understand this. It would mean so much to me if you would learn that unless I answer the phone with, “Good Morning. Greyhound”, that I don’t know when the bus to Cleveland leaves. And I don’t know what to do about lost luggage. And I don’t know the price of a roundtrip ticket to Detroit. And we are NOT GREYHOUND!

If you don’t cut it out, I’m going to have to start answering your questions, even though I don’t have a clue. I’ll give you the wrong times, the wrong prices and maybe start taking credit card numbers. Then I’ll jump on my one-way bus ride to Hell. But I’ll enjoy the ride.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

16 Days

Hello? Tap tap. Is this thing on?

Yeah – I’ve pretty much been MIA for way too long around here. Work has been so insane lately that after spending 15 or 26 hours attached to this computer, the last thing I want to do is be attached to it for even a minute more. And then the snowmageddon came and I was trapped in this house with my entire delightful and not at all annoying family and even if I wanted to update, I am surrounded by several not at all nosy people who are not at all looking over my shoulder.

OK, that is a total lie – first off – I don’t care how delightful these people actually are - being cooped up with them for 24 hours a day for an entire week can turn even the most delightful family into a bunch of rabid wolverines. Wolverines who won’t let you do a damned thing without asking you 11,000 questions, or climbing on you, or fighting with each other (I know – I said “each other” implying that I am not involved with the fighting, but I have two words for that: Friendly Fire), or – my personal favorite – looking over my shoulder to see what I am doing. In fact, there is one particular member of my delightful family who will go as far as to pretend to want tohug his mother in order to stick his nosy nose into her computer screen and see what she is reading and/or writing. But that particular member shall remain unnamed.

And now, as if I haven’t been sucking at blogging anyway, I am faced with the biggest obstacle of all to getting anydamnthing done – The Olympics. The Olympics make it impossible for me to do anything, except scour the television, internet, & newspapers for any Olympic-related thing I can find.

There is something about the Olympics that is absolutely irresistible to me – despite the fact that you would never see me watching any of this stuff any other time of year (or years, in this case). I’ve always been fascinated by the Olympics. As a kid, I imagined being there as an athlete. Now, I have the very different experience of seeing it though a parent’s eyes – I get choked up for every single athlete – I see their parent there and cry as if they were my own. I get excited and cheer for sports I have never even seen before – it doesn’t matter, I’m rooting for someone – anyone - everyone.

There’s something so basic about the Olympics – even in the very commercialized version we’re seeing these days. Once you look past the labels on the helmets and the seemingly ten-thousand Olympic-themed commercials, at the heart of the Olympics lies spirit and youth and hopes and dreams and despite being a competition between countries, you see friendship and camaraderie. Athletes supporting each other. Fans from all nations cheering for athletes from other – because they’re the “home” team; because they’re the underdog; because they’re just so damned amazing that they deserve nothing less.

So that’s what I’ll be doing for the next couple of weeks, watching sports I’d otherwise never watch. Not only watching, but cheering. And not only cheering, but giving a shit. And then it will be over and I’ll go back to hating ice skating and not knowing short track from long track and not really caring. Until the next Olympics rolls around and I’m hypnotized all over again.

Though I’ll admit, the magic hasn’t quite spread to ice dancing. You can keep that shit.


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Monday, February 1, 2010

It's All Downhill From Here

It started earlier this year – I noticed that when faced with teeny tiny print, it seemed like my eyes took a couple seconds to focus. It wasn’t a big deal, though – after a split second, I could see just fine. Then in October, I took Hedge out to dinner for her birthday. The restaurant was dim and when they brought the menus, Hedge and I looked at them, then looked at each other and laughed – we’re old, haha, we can’t see, heehee. It was funny at the time – a joke (this may have something to do with the mojitos).

Then just after the first of the year, I got the plague flu and found myself camped out on the couch with tea and blankets and approximately 15 different over-the-counter medications. All of which have teeny, tiny print. I laid there on my deathbed sickbed and tried to figure out if I needed one pill or two, if I could take it again in four hours or six. And I couldn’t. I seriously could not read the backs of those pill bottles. But I wrote it off as the lighting – it was dim in the room. Yeah – that’s it.

Earlier this month, I got a new cell phone. I love it especially because I can check my email and catch up on twitter, etc when I don’t feel like pulling the laptop out. I would sit here for hours in the evening, reading emails and blogs while I watched TV. And then suddenly I couldn’t see the teeny tiny words anymore. And I DO mean suddenly – as in one day I could see it just fine and the next, I couldn’t.

As I sat here in shock that my eyes could fail me so quickly, I noticed that my aunt had left a pair of reading glasses on my coffee table.


I thought about it, then rejected it. I do NOT need reading glasses. Then about an hour later, I tried again. And still, I couldn’t see it. And I thought, well, maybe. Maybe I’ll just try them, so I can prove that they are too much, that I won’t be able to see with them ON. I don’t need reading glasses.

I think we all know where this is going, don’t we?

I put those glasses on and I swear, I heard angels singing. It was like the heavens opened up and bestowed on me PERFECT VISION.

Sigh. It's all downhill from here.

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