Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Surprises (good and bad)

Abby says:

This has been an odd summer, to say the least. I experienced many "surprising" things. Some were big. Some were small. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were significant, and some were incredibly trivial. Here are my top 5.

1) After 8 months of illnesses, we put my dad into a nursing home last month and watched incredible the sadness he and my mom suffered being torn apart. After 58 years of marriage, I cannot imagine what that is like. It was gut wrenching for me, and I doubted my decision many times, so I cannot imagine what it is like for them. My mom has reluctantly agreed to move to the same facility in independent living, however, the "independent" portion is yet to be determined. I did not see this one coming. It hit me like a freight train.

2) I discovered a new book genre I now like because of a favorite author. Jennifer Sturman, one of my favorite mystery writers, recently published another book. But, it was not her regular who-done-it page turner, rather, a young adult mystery with fresh, lively characters and a great twist. Even if you're not a young adult, check out "And Then Everything Unraveled". Great surprise, Jennifer!

3) I took a much-needed reprieve and landed in Santa Monica at the beach for 5 sunny days. I "pooled" with a couple members of James Cameron's ("Titanic", "Aliens") production team. It made for surprising and interesting conversation about the movie biz and his upcoming film, "Avatar".

4) I discovered TV show "Gossip Girl". When I was studying for finals, I needed a stress outlet each night when I could not sleep. Nothing was on the tube! So I rented a few season one discs to try it out. That turned into all of season one, season two and a total addiction to the series. It must be my love of anything New York City (where the show takes place) whether it's meaningful or meaningless.

5) I unexpectedly connected with several people from my past. Some go as far back as grade school (that darn Facebook is addicting!). Some are from my competitive swimming past (amazing how you cross paths later in your adult life). Some are people from a past career that I was never close to -- and never dreamed I'd hear from again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Annoying Stuff

Sheri says:
Some days bring more things to annoy you than others. Abby has had a lot of those kinds of days lately so she suggested this post be about all of those things -- large and small -- that can send you over the edge. Or, at a minimum, keep you teetering there.

My list of things that are annoying me right now are:
Waiting. Whether it's a follow-up decision about a job or a back and forth document exchange regarding my divorce, I seem to spend a lot of time in anticipation of something. Patience is not a virtue I have.

Conversations Between People who are Supposed to be Helping Customers. I cannot believe how many conversations I am forced to endure as I attempt to make a purchase.

Aches & Pains. I'm not talking about anything really serious. I'm talking about the little aches in the joints that remind me I'm not 20.

Ignorance. For some reason, I am running into a lot of ignorant people. These are not people who are striving for knowledge -- these are people who are intolerably ignorant and proud of it.

Insomnia. Maybe I've never been the best sleeper but it's getting worse when I am tense or stressed. (Why couldn't I be one of those people who can sleep all the time when they get depressed or tense?)

In all seriousness, I know I live a pretty blessed life. But sometimes it feels good to throw a few darts at the annoying things.

Abby says:
We recently moved my dad to a retirement facility, so pretty much every little thing is annoying me due to tension and high stress.

Curb-side smokers. Get a room! (just kidding). My office is located in a building with physician practices. It's ironic and unhealthy to see their employees standing at the entrance puffing years off their life.

Indiana grammar. As we covered in the last post, this makes my skin crawl. "Irregardless" is not a word. "For all intensive purposes" is not a correct phrase. "Ain't" ain't acceptable no matter where you live.

Text driving. I cannot believe how many people (not just the youngsters) I see driving and texting every day. We all know it's distracting and dangerous.

Younger women calling me "hon". I find this mostly with waitresses in uniform. What is it with "what can I get for you hon"? Especially when she is young enough to be my "hon".

Men I don't know calling me honey or sweetie. This is even worse. Ick. I am amazed how often this still happens in the business world. Maybe I should try it on them and see what happens.

Prejudice. I still witness this, and it amazes me. I grew up with friends of various religions who had different skin colors than I. That's what makes the world go 'round, so it hurts to see people are still judgmental.

Cars with deafening, loud booming radios. This just screams "look at me everyone."