Color Me Bad

No, not the 90s boy band, but I sure did love them. Instead, let’s do a little learning, shall we? I was reading and I read something that I had to look up. At this point, I honestly don’t remember what it was. But I stopped reading and looked it up, which made me click on a link, which lead to another and another and another. And somehow, in the midst of all this, I ended up reading about manias, paraphilias and phobias. Basically, psychological terms for things that can be wrong with people.

Interesting, but heady, stuff, to be sure. So I read through these lists and was just sort of boggled by the whole thing. I mean, I’m a pretty educated person, but the sheer volume of things I didn’t know is kind of frightening. I guess knowing what I don’t know is part of my education, but that’s another story.

For instance, did you know that oniomania is an obsession with shopping? Or mottephobia is a fear of moths? I mean, that’s interesting. But then I saw a few that blew my mind. Now, I’ve long known of triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13. While being afraid of numbers is not something I get, I do understand the irrationality that is attached to that particular number. But, tetraphobia? Fear of the number four? What’s wrong with 4? Or how about hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia? Fear of the number 666. No, I’m not kidding. At this point, I’m more concerned about sesquipedalophobia, the fear of large words. (Seriously, even I couldn’t make this up.)

The thing that blew my mind, though was stumbling across porphyrophobia. The fear of the color purple. Purple! Aside from the fact it is my favorite color, I don’t understand. What is it that scares you? Color just is. It doesn’t do anything. How can it be scary? It’s like being scared of a piece of wood. Hylophobia. Nope, not kidding.

But then I kept looking and found.

Colorphobia – fear of color

Erythrophobia – fear of color red (also used for fear of blushing)

Chrysophobia – fear of color orange

Xanthophobia – fear of color yellow

Chlorophobia – fear of color green

Cyanophobia – fear of color blue

Porphyrophobia – fear of color purple

Leukophobia – fear of color white

Melanophobia – fear of color black

and, of course,

Iridophobia – fear of rainbows

All these years and suddenly my fear of chartreuse feels validated. I wonder what that would be. Since it’s a mix of yellow and green I’m leaning toward Xanthochlorophobia. I mean, come on.

Language, though, it’s a beautiful thing. Even if people are nutso, the words we’ve created never cease to marvel. And that’s how I abandoned my book for an hour of reading about strange words and writing this blog. Someday, if I ever write my book, expect one of my characters to suffer from a crazy fear, like koumpounophobia. Fear of buttons.

In the meantime, I’m more of a porphromaniac. One obsessed with purple. And a bibliomaniac. Obsessed with books. Perhaps even a logophile, obsessor of words. And that, my friends, is our very first TYNKYNK (for my new readers, that is Things You Never Knew You Never Knew, for weird stuff I like to teach on this blog) for 2016. I hope you learned something.

 

Happy NEW Year!

Welcome to 2016!

It’s hard for me to believe I let half a year go by without blogging. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, not to me. But I’m assuming the posts don’t lie. I still think about blogging all the time, I find that I still compose posts in my head, I think I just let it get out of control.

I was trying to blog about everything in my life and it started to become a challenge, and then I fell behind and it became more challenging, eventually I think it just became so overwhelming, it was actually easier NOT to post anything.

I don’t want it to be that way. I like blogging, I like writing down my thoughts and feelings for the future. I love recording the books I read and having a space to talk about that. No one reads the same things as I do, so I hardly ever have a chance to talk about them, so I like that this is a space for me to clarify my feelings.

What I don’t need is a place to write account logs of everything I do in my life. I take photos (and post them on IG, but that’s a whole other thing) and I don’t need this to be a living record of how I spend my time. Life’s too short for that. Memories are meant to be made, not recorded. I want to step back some from the personal and focus on the things that appeal to me.

That’s my goal for this year. Simplify. I know people do that, they choose a word to embody a goal. That’s not me, I don’t do resolutions and all that crap, but as I’ve pondered this new year, the past year, my life, I keep coming up with that. I started this past year at Christmas and it felt great. I have projects and plans for my home and I’m excited to start them. And now my blog. I want to get back on track and I want to simplify. Don’t expect me to write every day. Don’t expect long posts about birthday parties or weekend adventures. Don’t expect. Just read, if you like, appreciate if that’s your thing, or stop, if it isn’t working for you. I don’t do it for you, I do it for me.

And for me, this is about simplicity. Welcome 2016, it’s simply wonderful to meet you.

Wondering…

I have many blogs in the hopper that will be coming soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to pop in to ask a question.

Why is it, when we’re driving we assume that anyone honking must be honking at us?

This morning I was driving to work, a guy was driving the opposite direction and honked, I looked, and he waved. I waved back, obviously. Then I started wondering, “who was that?” And I glanced in my rearview to see him pull over to talk to the guy walking down the sidewalk. Clearly, that’s who he was waving at.

Whoops. Narcissistic, much? But for some reason, you hear that honk and immediately assume it’s for you.

Why is that?

Query of the day.

Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. April 30 is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. At my previous place of employment, I used to do celebrations of poetry, readings in the library and kept a basket of poems out for people to put in their pockets on that day. Lots of promotion of poetry as a literary art form. I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I am a huge poetry fan, but I am a fan of expression and encourage art and literary expression in all forms.

This year, I am not celebrating these events, but I am interested in sharing a little something with you. I stumbled across a poem from a listserv I follow and I enjoyed it. I will reprint it here and you can be sure I’ll have it in my pocket on April 30.

In the Library

by Charles Sivic

There’s a book called

“A Dictionary of Angels.”

No one has opened it in fifty years,

I know, because when I did,

The covers creaked, the pages

Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful

As species of flies.

The sky at dusk

Used to be thick with them.

You had to wave both arms

Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining

Through the tall windows.

The library is a quiet place.

Angels and gods huddled

In dark unopened books.

The great secret lies

On some shelf Miss Jones

Passes every day on her rounds.

She’s very tall, so she keeps

Her head tipped as if listening.

The books are whispering.

I hear nothing, but she does.

And that is your poem for April. Hope you enjoyed it, I think it beautiful. Feel free to share a poem on your own blog in honor of this month and link back to it in the comments.

200

As of today, I now have 200 unique followers to this little blog of mine. Thank you, to all who choose to follow and read about my life and, well, my reading habits. I’m grateful to you for your support and your interest.

If you keep reading, I’ll keep blogging. Guaranteed.

Conversation with Arionna

I am very behind on blogging, but I want to commit this before I forget.

Saturday, she and I were playing with an interactive map, she is learning her states. We would select them and then talk about the state, I’d tell her if I’d been there and what I know about it. We got to the state of Oklahoma…

Arionna: Have you been there?

Me: No, but I’d like to go there.

Arionna: Why, what is it like there?

Me: I don’t know, but that is where Christian Kane is from.

Arionna: Oh! That’s your friend, you should go visit him!

Me: I’d really, really like that. (smiling hugely) Do you know who else is from Oklahoma?

Arionna: No, who?

Me: Blake Shelton

Arionna: I know him, he’s on The Voice!

And pop culture wins again. Also, even young children know Christian Kane is my friend. So, there’s a memory I’d love to cherish.

Keeps on Giving

If you know me personally, you know I’ve been sick. Since Thanksgiving. That’s a long, long, time of being sick. It was dragging my ass through my December teaching, feeling poor for the holidays, not being productive because I haven’t felt right. It’s been tough. I powered through and still did things, including all my holiday celebrations, but I wasn’t my usual sparkling self. People kept saying to me, go to the doctor. But I don’t. I’m not a doctor person. And a cold is viral, there isn’t anything a doctor can do. But it wouldn’t quit, it wouldn’t go away.

2014 ended rough for me, my mom being so sick and having surgery, then me getting sick, then my aunt was diagnosed with cancer, and Kelly found out she needed surgery, and Mindy learned her collapsed lung will always be partially collapsed, and suddenly I blinked and went from August to December.

When the new year hit, I was actually relieved. I felt like things would have to start trending upward. And they have, sort of. Kelly had her surgery and while it didn’t go perfect, she is recovering and will be fine. My aunt had surgery to help with her cancer and it went very well. Now we have to hope this is the start of a healing process for her. My mom is scheduled to have her reattachment surgery in February, earlier than expected, so this is great news.

But I’m still sick. My ribs have been sore for a while now from all this coughing. Then Saturday hit and things went sideways. I got a flat tire on my car. I’m blessed that my dad took care of it for me, even though it still cost me $120. Then I coughed so hard my back spasmed and I couldn’t move. But luckily my sister had pain medication to help me get through. We finally saw my nephew Simon for Christmas and got to spend some much needed time with him. Sunday I wasn’t really feeling better. And my house was a disaster. Literally a mess in every room and I still hadn’t taken down my Christmas decor. The tree, yes, but not the decorations. But I was in such pain I couldn’t move. I called in sick to work for Monday and then I was sitting in my chair in my living room and I started crying. I was in pain, feeling poorly, and feeling overwhelmed. Everything just got to me, all at once.

Finally, I took a deep breath (which hurt) and starting talking to myself. Out loud, yes, but sometimes it helps to hear the words. I told myself it was okay, there really weren’t that many problems, and the mess was something I could easily fix once I felt better. I reminded myself that while this was a thing, I’m generally healthy, I have a good job, a good family, wonderful friends, and while we have had our share of problems, we are all still here. (Side note to mention this has been on my mind often because when my mom was sick, I worried she might die and it scared me, and with all the health scares for my loved ones…then Kelly just learned that a close friend of hers, her husband unexpectedly died at the age of 43. I know it can happen so it has been on my mind.) But the people I love are still here.

Monday, after another night of barely sleeping, I called to get a doctor’s appointment. Of course, I couldn’t get in for a week. So I looked up urgent care and they opened at 1:00pm. I got ready and headed over and was there at the stroke of 1. I got right in and had an exam, where I learned I am actually much sicker than I realized. I have a sinus infection and bronchitis. Far more than just a cold. It started as a cold, but developed into these other things at some point. I also have sprained my ribs from coughing. Fortunately, I have not fractured my ribs, so that is a bright spot. I got medication (though it took me 90 minutes at the pharmacy, grrr) and headed home to my messy, messy house to recover. I took my pills on Monday and they knocked me out. Asleep before 9pm. I woke up once during the night, took another dose and slept until 10 am Tuesday morning. Luckily I had already told my boss I wasn’t coming in on Tuesday.

I relaxed and recovered for most of Tuesday. I read a new book. It felt good, I haven’t felt like reading at all since I’ve been sick. I actually forced myself to read a few books in December, but otherwise, no interest. Then, about 7pm last night, I felt like myself. Not completely recovered, but better. So I got up and tackled my house. I put all my Christmas stuff away. I broke down the boxes in the corner that had been taunting me since Christmas. I gave homes to all my new Christmas gifts. I organized a cupboard in my kitchen that needed it. I did my dishes. I handwashed several items that wouldn’t fit. I cleaned my counters off completely. I ran three loads of laundry. I got everything back in order.

When I went to bed last night, I slept, deeply, soundly, and dreamlessly, for the first time in weeks. I finally felt as though I had turned the corner. I was up this morning to my clean house, ready to tackle the day and head back in to work. I hopped out of the shower, dried off, and used the toilet, then headed into the bedroom to dress. Suddenly I heard a sound I shouldn’t have been hearing. Running water. Did I not turn the shower off all the way? I went in to check and….stepped into a mess. My toilet was overflowing. Dirty water running everywhere. My bathroom is bordered by carpet, so I grabbed clean towels from the closet and built dams. I called my dad to find out what to do. He talked me through it and okay. I then called work to tell them I would be late and set about taking care of yet another mess. And it was a mess.

But now it isn’t. I got it fixed and cleaned up and threw in a whole load of dirty towels in the wash before I left for work. I also jumped back in the shower to rinse off and wash my feet. Gross.

When all is said and done, this has been a pretty awful week for me and many people I love. Yet, here I sit, blogging, not to tell you how rotten it was, but to tell you how lucky I feel. Life will always throw messes and challenges at us and we have to learn to deal and try not to get overwhelmed by it. At the end of the day, what matters is the people we love. If you still have everyone you love and they are, healthy (mostly) and happy, then it’s all going to be just fine. And if you don’t, if you lost someone, then it’s heartbreaking and horrible, but you still have all the moments that you shared with them. You still have the memories, good and bad, because for whatever time you had, you got to love them. So I’m happy and blessed with the people I love.

I don’t do resolutions in my life, but I notice a lot of bloggers choose words to help define their year. I don’t do that either, but this year, if I had to, I’d choose love. I’d choose to be happy and blessed with all of the life in my life and let that be my focus for 2015 and every year beyond.