All Her Suicides Are Fake

One of the best things about this time of year is the early sunrises. I might think otherwise if I ever slept in, but I’m up super early most mornings so it’s a non-issue. Sometimes I’m out walking, like today. The sun was just cresting the eastern horizon on my final circuit through the park, lighting up the clouds in shades of cotton candy pink and fiery orange, and it stopped me in my tracks.

sunrise

I’ve only got 45 more PNW sunrises to enjoy, so I’m going to make an effort to see as many of ’em as I can.


Are you familiar with the concept of synchronicity? I’m not talking about the 1983 album by The Police (though “King of Pain” is a great song), but rather, the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” is a great example. It is said to sync up perfectly with “The Wizard of Oz.” The band claims it’s purely coincidental, but I’m not so sure. I’ve watched them simultaneously and they really do seem to be interconnected. I’m fascinated by this stuff, because synchronicity seems to be a recurring theme in my life. I notice it all the time.

Most often these episodes are music-related. Like, for instance, I’ll be listening to The White Stripes (“I’m thinking about my doorbell/When ya gonna ring it, when you going to ring it”) and then the doorbell will ring. Things of that nature.

Saturday was an especially synchronicity-heavy day.

At one point I was scrolling through Instagram, and at the exact moment I was looking at a post from a friend named Michelle, the song playing on my phone mentioned a woman named Michelle. Earlier in the day, I was packing, and had just grabbed a Lumineers CD. At the very moment I was putting it in the box, I heard the Lumineers playing from the other room. The crazy thing is, I never listen to CDs anymore. My entire collection is packed away in a plastic tub and buried somewhere in the garage. I happened to have this one and only CD in the bedroom because it was a gift I hadn’t gotten to putting away yet.

But the universe was saving the strangest thing of all for the end of the evening. My parents are in South Africa on that safari, remember? Tara and I went over to their house to borrow their grill and barbecue some baby back ribs. We had already made several trips in and out their front door and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. So imagine my surprise when I opened the door again to grab something from my car and saw – sitting on the welcome mat, in plain sight – a freakin’ animal cracker.

Let that sink in for a moment. MY PARENTS ARE ON AN AFRICAN SAFARI HALF A WORLD AWAY AND THERE IS SUDDENLY AN ANIMAL CRACKER ON THEIR FRONT PORCH THAT WAS NOT THERE BEFORE.

I’m sure of that. The welcome mat is black, the animal cracker was white. I spotted it immediately when I opened the door.

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The mystery animal cracker.

And, though I’m not proud to admit this, I nearly screamed. Because honestly, it freaked me out like nobody’s business. Even Tara, who is far more rational than I am, could offer no logical explanation. In recounting this story earlier, somebody suggested, well, a crow flying by could have dropped it.

Sure. I suppose that’s possible. Or would be if the welcome mat wasn’t located beneath a covered porch.

Another weird coincidence in a long string of them, or something more? I’m not even going to hazard a guess.

I am curious, though: does this sort of thing ever happen to you?

Countdown: 45 Days

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Ode to the Red Envelope

Yesterday I stopped by the clinic before work for a blood draw in anticipation of my annual checkup next week. Because they did not open until 8:00 and I had to fast, I took my time getting ready in the morning. Took a brisk walk and was treated to a spectacular sunrise. People are always asking me why I get up so damned early rather than sleeping in.

This is why, folks.

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In any case, I got there promptly when they opened, and was in and out in about 10 minutes. When the nurse stuck a needle in my vein she exclaimed, “Good news – you have blood!” I laughed politely, even though I’m pretty sure this is the exact same thing, the nurse who took my blood last year said. Word for word, even though it was a completely different person. Which makes me wonder if there’s a Making Small Talk With Patients course that’s a prerequisite for graduation from nursing school. I’ll have to ask my mom, who is a retired RN.

Then the nurse mentioned the lab work includes a cholesterol check, and without missing a beat, urged me to get an Egg McMuffin after my blood draw because I had been fasting and she said it would really hit the spot. I found that sort of funny and ironic. Then again, my doctor is a big fan of diet soda – he once extolled the virtues of Diet Coke to me and seemed to pooh-pooh the idea that aspartame is bad for you, so I wonder sometimes whether this clinic is on the up-and-up.

Not that it matters. Next week’s appointment will be my last one with these guys, barring an unforeseen case of the bubonic plague or something.

Knock on wood.


When I got to work I was swept up in a conversation with the web developers, which is weird because my interactions with them are typically pretty limited. They code, and I make sure modifiers aren’t dangling. We run in different circles. What happened was, I was walking by and decided to be a smartass by pretending to crash their meeting. Only they insisted I stay and wanted my input on a question, so the joke ended up being on me. The question was an interesting one, though: they wanted to know what type of technological innovation I am resistant toward. So I thought about it for a minute and  answered, streaming.

Not music streaming so much. I’m Team Spotify all the way. I refer instead to video streaming, which I tend to abhor.

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This is still my life.

I explained that I still have an old school Netflix DVD subscription, and dropping those red envelopes into the mailbox is a time-honored Monday morning tradition to this day. They regarded me with equal parts compassion and amusement. One of the guys said, “They still make those?!” I’m not sure whether he was referring to Netflix DVD subscriptions or DVDs themselves, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard that.

I don’t know what to say, other than, watching TV on a laptop (or god forbid, a phone) just feels weird to me. The screen is too small, the volume’s too low. It delegitimizes the whole experience. To be fair, I do have a Netflix streaming subscription as well, and a smart TV, and just this week I’ve been streaming a WWII documentary, so I’m not completely out of touch with the modern world. I just prefer the old ways, which makes me sound like a grandpa. Whatever.

Don’t even get me started on how much I miss Hollywood Video…

Countdown: 107 Days