Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Well folks, summer on Cape Cod is lovely, and we've been having a thoroughly terrific time of it.  Even I have not been especially grumpy, which is really something considering all the summer things I usually find to be grumpy about.  Heat, humidity, crowds, mosquitoes, relentless searing sun, blah blah blah.  There has been all that, but for whatever reason none of it has bothered me overmuch. 

We've been to baseball games, town band concerts, and the County Fair; to birthday parties, family gatherings, and reading group meetings.  We've swum in the tidal creek, the lake, the ocean, and various pools. We rode bikes in the town parade on the Fourth of July.  We've had a steady stream of guests, and were even sad to see some of them go.  We've had lettuce, peas and beans from the garden, cookouts, campfires and s'mores in the backyard and at the beach, and picnics at the Cape Cod Canal, where we watch the boats go by as we eat our dinner. We caught the tail end of the World Cup and dreamed of stretching the word "vuvuzelas" across two triple word score squares. 

Oh all right, that last was just me.

Just this week, I have noticed that the girls are starting to get on each other's nerves earlier in the day than usual.  That I'm feeling less inspired to mow different patterns into the front lawn, and more inclined to flip off tailgating assholes from New York and Connecticut (New Jersey seems underrepresented this year) than move aside for them. 

I know I am nowhere near the end of my rope yet, but I can sense it starting to fray.  Hopefully a total unraveling can be avoided altogether, or will at least hold off until Mr. Sandy is back in town.  He is intensely, if not frantically (though I just heard him actually swear) preparing for a research cruise, and will shortly be away for a couple of weeks.  My shopping list for before his departure consists of non-drowsy formula Dramamine for him, red wine for me.

Stay tuned.

How's your summer going?

Monday, July 26, 2010


Today it was the ballad part of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Specifically, the lyrics "I don't wanna die... I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all..." which have always upset me for some reason, ever since I first heard the song as a kid. I must have had some kind of disturbing dream to have those lines on endless loop for most of the morning. Not a good feeling.

Anyway, video:

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Been a while since I subjected you all to my Song of the Day -- that song that somehow manages to be stuck in my head before my eyes are even open in the morning.  Some days don't have one, but a lot do, which seems strange to me since I don't go to sleep or wake up to the radio or anything like that, and sometimes I can't remember when I even last heard the song outside my own head.

Anyway, today: 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forgive me for saying so, and I know it's a small thing, but there's got to be a better way.

For the record, I'm well aware that in the great scheme of things, this is not a big deal; that there are more important things worth complaining about; and that I'm truly, profoundly grateful for my and my family's good health.  That said:

Is it just me, or does it seem like every time you go to a doctor's office these days, you have to fill out a new form with your name, address, social security number, birthdate, emergency contact, insurance information, etc. etc.?  I'm not talking about visiting a new doctor for the first time. I'm talking about practices where I've been a patient for years -- in one case, over a decade -- and every year when I go for my exam, they hand me a clipboard with a few pages of forms on it, and tell me to just have a seat and fill this out.

Yes, I know that medical information privacy policies change and that the office needs a current signature attesting that, look, they gave it to me, see? and if I don't know what it says, I have no one to blame but myself, right?  Right, fine. Give me the new signature sheet, and I'll sign it.

And yes, of course people's addresses, insurance providers, and names do change. I've moved and changed jobs a fair bit myself, and my name has changed three times. Still, these things do sometimes remain the same from one year to the next, no? The date of my birth, in particular, is immutable. I know this, because I'm having no luck muting it.

Oh, office managers, I know the potential for efficiency is there.  Consider the nifty little ink stamp you use to save us writing a mere two words when making out the check for our co-payment. So why can't we patients just review the forms your files already contain, and make changes if any are necessary?

Fellow patients, don't bother asking this question, no matter how friendly you are.  They can't have that.  Just take the clipboard, shut up, and start writing, bitch, because... well, because maybe they're "going to a new system"!  or maybe they don't know why it has to be that way but an innovative thought might kill them on the spot!  or maybe they're conducting a long-term handwriting analysis, which, by the way, YOU WOULD KNOW ABOUT if you'd read the privacy policy!  or maybe they just bloody well feel like having new forms, and in any case, anything they make you fill out is NOTHING compared to what THEY have to do, so JUST. TAKE. A. SEAT.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Bean and the No Good Very Bad Naptime

My girls are 7 and 6 and still have "naps."  They don't sleep at nap time -- haven't for years -- but it's just an hour in the afternoon during which they go to their rooms and read or play quietly by themselves.  They each have a phone in their closet that can buzz the other one (it doesn't work for anything else; it's just a sister-to-sister intercom Mr. Sandy rigged up because he is the Best Daddy in the Universe), so sometimes they sit in their closets and talk to each other.  The idea is just to get them some quiet down time each day.  Some days they need it more than others.

Yesterday, the Bean was out of sorts by afternoon.  We'd had friends visiting us for several fun-filled days, and they'd left that morning, so she was let down and tired.  She couldn't sleep at nap time, but couldn't leave the Peanut alone either.  I had to go upstairs and scold her for banging on her sister's door.  "Knock it off," I said. "WHY DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT ME AT ALL?" she screamed.  Sigh.  I left that unanswered, except to say we'd talk later -- clearly, nothing was going to come of pursuing it then -- and came back downstairs.  When it was time for her to come down, she presented me with a list:

tired (but not sleepy)
wanting to go down stairs
left out
and uncomfortable
and last of all; annoying

We fixed hungry and thirsty right away, and a lot of the other stuff just went away.  We talked about how not being allowed to bang things doesn't mean she isn't cared for, but she knew that -- just needed to scream something, I guess.

I like the negative emotion inventory.  Kind of a mature thing to do, I think.