Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Too Much Imagination?

Around our house, when faced with something unpleasant, we don’t simply say, “I’d rather not.”

We say things like:

“I’d rather take a bullet”


“I’d rather get my teeth drilled”


“I’d rather chew off my own finger”


“I’d rather get my eyeball tattooed.”

(Eyeball tattooing is actually a thing. Blech.)

I guess you could say we have vivid imaginations.

Not sure that’s always a good thing.

Wow, that’s a downer.

Anxious people tend to be more in tune with their bodies, more aware of every sensation … which is why many anxious people have hypochondria. Also, ask any doctor, anxious people can be very difficult to sedate; they fight the medication to stay aware and in control.

It takes an active, perhaps overactive, imagination to look at an innocent mole on your skin and visualize the whole course of terminal melanoma … but (I know) it can be done.

My husband is a big believer in distraction. “If something is worrying you, the best thing is not to think about it,” he says.

Doesn’t that sound a wee bit counter-intuitive to you?

Also impossible?

But when you can manage to do it, it’s true.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Stereotype Is Born

Image courtesy of Teerapun at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I have a thing against white, late-model SUVs.

They seem to be driven by skinny white women talking on their cell phones who block intersections, go at a four-way stop before it is their turn and double-park.

White SUVs are particularly common in Houston. White is currently the most popular car color globally. Sometimes, in traffic, I will feel like I have stumbled into the middle of a parade of ice-cream trucks. (My car is blue, which this article, at least, makes sound like a sophisticated choice. Ha.)

The popularity of SUVs in Houston may seem piggy, but there are actually some good reasons for it. Houston streets flood. And it’s occurred to me that, here, where most people don’t have bus service to bring their kids to school, parents with SUVs, which can seat 7 or 8 kids at a time, might run car pools that create less emissions overall than a car pool of Priuses (which is what I drive and which can only take 4 kids each).

Be that as it may, I still find myself thinking that white, late-model SUVs are driven by the self-important. Hence, the lack of turn-taking. There may be some proof that drivers of expensive, high-status cars do drive more aggressively … though this linked article points out that people who think their Priuses are high-status cars drive like jerks, too. :o(

(I don’t get how you can think a Prius is impressive. When you blow the horn on my car, it sounds like a doggy chew toy.)

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a fascinating article about why people choose to buy SUVs. They feel safer in them, though they are not.

Then, of course, occasionally a white SUV will nicely let me into a lane or whatever – blowing a hole in my theory.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why Do You Think I Got A Dog?

Sometimes, when I see dog-training advice, that’s what I want to ask.

This article, from Petfinder.com, tells you, Going out should not be his for the asking.” Oh, great, so I can’t just let my dog tell me when she needs to pee, I have to keep that schedule in my own head so that I can always be in control, the dominant one.

But I didn’t get a dog so I could have a BDSM relationship, thanks.

I like petting my dog.

I like seeing her personality: how excited she gets about walks, where she wants to go (to the shopping street near us, because she wants to be with people), how she loves her treats.

Sure, like kids, there’s a certain level of behavior she has to have. For dogs, they can’t be aggressive and I am very glad to say that Lola does not pee in the house.

She loves coming when she’s called. She’ll come to other people calling their dogs. She sits. She stays. She “leaves it.” She will heel perfectly – IF she knows you have treats. But she is also a lot like this dog, in my opinion, the best one in the whole competition. Lola has a lot of strong opinions, including that whatever she finds in the garbage is fair game.

Do I have a dog so that I get to make her perfectly obedient? No. What an absurd thought.

I like having a dog because I love my dog and she loves me.

Get out of here with that other crap.