Thursday, December 1, 2011

When It Rains…

…it pours, right?  Too many things are going wrong in my life at one time!  Today I felt like if one more thing went wrong, I might be reduced to tears and forced to go home and hide in my bed.

But not everything is wrong around here.  Like this beautiful candlelight, for example.

December Candlelight

And those sweet little kids in the photos behind the candle.  The baby, my nephew Devin, turned one on Monday.  I can’t wait to see both of them in a few weeks.

But this week, this very week, has been less than awesome.  Normally, when I write an Up/Down (+/-) list, I start with the good stuff and then I don’t have much to say for the bad stuff.  This week is different.  For example:

* My kitchen has ants.  ANTS!  Normally I’m pretty relaxed about bugs, but not this time.  They showed up on Thanksgiving, I think, and I’ve been smooshing them ever since.  And I find them cuddled together in an ant-mass in the strangest places: under a sponge, in my coffeepot.  Yes, IN MY COFFEEPOT.  It was so gross but also fascinating, as far as animal behavior goes.  It made me think of the aggregation pheromone that fruit flies release, which helps other fruit flies find them.  I wondered if ants might do the same thing, and a colleague at work confirmed that ants do release an aggregation pheromone.  Fascinating!  That explains why I found hundreds of them in and crawling on my coffeepot.

Animal behavior aside, I’m so tired of the ants.  I hope the pest control people are able to take care of this problem because I am seriously outnumbered by the ants.  Damn exponential insect reproduction.

* My computer has a trojan, which is mostly just a pain in the butt: unwanted popups, computer freezing, slow processing time.  But I’m worried it could destroy my machine, so I consulted a tech-savvy friend, who recommended Sophos/Webroot (thanks, Andy).  Wish me luck as I attempt to heal my pathogen-ridden computer.

* And then of course, there is the on-going stress of trying to cope with work and planning for an uncertain future.  I’m so happy tomorrow is Friday and I’m working at home this weekend.  At least I get the luxury of my couch while analyzing data or writing my paper!

Whew!  That’s my Down list, and while it’s only three items, they’ve been sucking the joy out of my life.  But today, while feeling grumpy about everything that’s going wrong, I forced myself to think of some good things, something worth remembering, such as:

* A colleague lending me his super-sharp forceps for my dissections.  Good tools make lab life so much easier!  I even managed not to damage his forceps, which is kind of amazing because I am a klutz.  Matt can confirm this for you—but I think he’s lucky I haven’t accidentally given him a black eye.

* Rediscovering Monna McDiarmid’s blog.  I “met” Monna a few years back and have perused her blog occasionally ever since.  She and her partner recently moved from Bangkok to Japan, so her blog has been ripe with new Japan moments and some nostalgia for Bangkok.  Here are two posts I especially like: Preparing for the Flood and Dreaming of R&R in Bangkok.

* “Winterizing” my summer dresses from Five Bamboo.  I wish I had a photo of my outfit from today, but let’s just say that a cowl-necked top is a sundress’s best friend in winter.  Its pretty color and lovely layers add interest and warmth to sleeveless dresses.  (If you’re curious, the cowl-necked top I wear all the time is shown here.  It’s useful for hiding, turtle-like, on especially bad days.)

* Gillian Welch.  Matt introduced me to this amazing musician, and bless his heart for it.  I’ve been listening to her newest CD, The Harrow & the Harvest, at home—it’s haunting and beautiful and dark and honest.  You can listen to the whole album here.

* And finally, tomorrow is Friday.  Can I get a hell yeah?  I thought so.

Happy weekend, dear readers.  I hope to be back here on Sunday with something for you to read.  Thanks for sticking around, even when I’m a bummer.


JD @ said...

Oh Fridays, how wonderful they are. If you need some life inspiration, I have been enjoying a poem by Edgar Guest (The Poet Laurete of Michigan). It is titled "See it Through." Here is the link:

Raquelita said...

You, my dear, are never a bummer, even though ants in your home and computer problems are definitely bummers. I hope they aren't fire ants, at least! Hopefully, they'll be gone soon and the computer virus will be too!

Monna McDiarmid said...

Hey Rose-Anne!

It's great to re-connect with you in cyber-space; it was really lovely of you to mention my blog. Thanks for your generosity.


Unknown said...

ew, good luck with the critters, in the kitchen and your computer! But, I'm even happier that you had so many ups in the list :)

Unknown said...

JD, the poem is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it--I may have cried just a little. Sniffle!

Aw, thank you, Raquelita. I'm so glad the computer is fixed now and the ants are (mostly) gone. Hurray for problem-solving!

Monna, you are most welcome. I love reading about your thoughts and adventures. Cheers to you!

Thanks, Shannon! Me too.