Red is for sunsets
And planets and Feb 14.
My eye disagrees.
You know how some people in your life are crap-magnets? No matter what they do, crap is just attracted to them? They swirl in it, stew in it, and at times, seem to relish their unique ability to survive it…?

I am a pink-eye magnet. Find another parent out there right now suffering from it when none of their children have it. Go on, try. I bet you won’t find one.

I’m not sure why this attraction exists. I tend to be from hardy stock, don’t get sick very often, am able to withstand discomfort, etc. etc. (Any laughing you hear right now would be my husband, hysterical at the thought that I’m hardy; don’t listen to him.) But if there is conjunctivitis anywhere near me, say within a 2 mile radius of my current position, it seeks me out.

I could feel it coming on this afternoon. At one point, in the middle of a meeting with someone, I stopped abruptly.

“Is my eye red?” I asked.

“Yes…” she said tentatively…

“Hmmm. I think I have pink eye.” The meeting ended soon after that.

When I lived in England, and contracted this malady, our local GP prescribed the requisite medicine, but then said, in an offhanded way, “You know, just wash your eye with shampoo. That will cure it.” Really? I started to dismiss this piece of advice as slightly ludicrous at worst, and at best driven by socialized medicine’s desire to keep costs down. However, that night, in a strange moment of dread mixed with curiosity sprinkled with repressed mad-scientist tendencies, I tried it.

It hurt like shit. Tear free shampoos (yes, I grabbed the kids’ bottle) is NOT pain-free. Especially if you don’t lather it up and instead simply smear it undiluted into your eyes. My eyes, which seconds earlier had thought me a benevolent hostess, now screamed obscenities at me and tried desperately to beat a hasty retreat only to be betrayed by my brain which wouldn’t get out of the way.  I went to bed convinced I had blinded myself…

And yet… the next morning I was cured. Well I’ll be damned, it worked. And I have used this cure every time I feel pink eye coming on. I have passed this idea on to others, who ponder the concept for a moment before turning slowly away. And sure enough, the next day, they return to tell me how they did it and how it worked.

So tonight, once the kids were in bed, I turned to my trusty cure.  Just a little bit of shampoo, lathered up nicely (this, I found, is a crucial requirement for this cure to move beyond medieval standards), and swished it confidently into both eyes.

Holy crap on a cracker! I forgot my new H&S shampoo has some tingle-y ingredient in it — is it menthol?!? — and that ingredient does not, repeat DOES NOT, agree with my eyes. I continued on — in for a penny, in for a pound — rinsed, and then toweled off.  A return to the mirror revealed two of the angriest eyes I have ever seen. And now, nearly an hour later, they are still pissed at me.  Blinking is rough. The infected eye is throwing off more goop than you can imagine. The healthy eye feels like it is now goop-ing up too.   Could it be my great remedy has gone terribly wrong? Have I damaged myself permanently? I take it as a positive sign that I can see clearly enough to type, but am concerned for what I may find tomorrow.

Stay tuned. The pink eye was fairly far advanced when I washed, perhaps so far gone that my lather approach will fail. Perhaps the offending ingredient is a slow-acting blinding agent… All I know is that I’m not sure working in the office will be a smart idea tomorrow…

Post script. Do not, under any circumstances, Google “pink eye” and click on images. Not only will you be disgusted, you will be amazed at the sheer number of people who have taken pictures of themselves or their kids and posted the image in a searchable location. I was looking for a fun, laughable image to include in this post — in a feeble attempt to increase my odds of being Freshly Pressed — and have come away deciding that an image is not the way to go…

Here’s to Nepal, Estonia, The Universe and Bacteria

Perspective: best viewed
through wine’s last drops, the obits,
or your kids’ kisses.

The unthinkable happened yesterday. In my blog-world of words mixed with ego, stats matter. One of my first posts brought that to life and got me early readership. And since then, no matter how blasé I may seem about the relevance of stats on my feelings as a blogger, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that on those days readership is present (meaning anyone clicks through), my writing ego jumps up and down in glee.

Yesterday I had zero hits. Nuthin’. Not a single person in the entire web surfing universe made it to my page. Framed that way, it is one of the most depressing facts to see stated in black in white that exists.

But today I was saved by someone from Nepal. Yes, Nepal.

Image from Wikipedia. That green bit is Nepal.

Just a few hits today, driven by someone in a country that is 7,790 miles away by air.  This takes the thought that I am just one small drop in the ocean of online content, and turns it on its ear. Someone from Nepal read my blog. How is that possible? (Ok, they found it because they did a search on men’s magazines; let’s not go there… but they clicked.) How random that someone from a country I couldn’t name the capital of in a multiple choice test (it is Kathmandu) visited my blog. Let’s be clear, I seriously doubt my blog was their intended target when the searched, but you know what? They clicked more than once — how cool is that.

It causes me to recall that I’ve had other global visitors, from places so far away and different from me, that again, my small place in the world feels less and less remote. Estonia stopped by one day and was my only visitor.  Lebanon, Barbados and the Syrian Arab Republic have had single visitors, among other small countries halfway around the world.

As a result, I can’t decide if this is a big world or a small one. On the big world side sits facts such as: a) the global population (6.9 billion), b) the biomass, or mass of living organisms, of bacteria roughly equals the weight of 50 million blue whales. (eww); c) if you compress the life span of Earth to 24 hours, humans start at 11:58:43pm, 1 minute and 17 seconds from where we are now and d) the perspective of us relative to the size of the universe (this last link is really, really cool, I mean depressing, I mean cool).

On the small world side sits facts such as: a) someone from Nepal now knows who Family Haikus is; b) I sat next to someone on a plane once who knew the minister who performed my wedding ceremony (we were nowhere near Georgia at the time); c) I’m two degrees of separation from Elton John and thus three degrees from the Queen of England; and d) I am the center (or very near to) of the universe for my children.

I think I’ll just fall back on one of my favorite sayings, taught to me by my friend Shelly: Make it an “and”, not an “or.”  Look at the world as an “and”. It is big and small. I can have zero view days and someone from flipping Nepal can find me.  My life span is but a flash in the overall march of time and the time spent today in a tickle fight with my kids made time stand still and them feel like nothing else mattered.

So here’s to zero view days. May they happen again and may I get Freshly Pressed soon…

The Wet Spot

Irony and luck
Make odd bedfellows, content
to just make me smile.


I have been trying to figure out the right way to capture how I’m feeling right now, a mere 4 days after being Freshly Pressed. Lot’s of stock phrases occur to me: The Morning After, My 15 Minutes are Up, etc, etc. But the one phrase that keeps coming back in my mind is “The Wet Spot”. (Let me pause here to apologize to my parents although I’m not entirely sure they read this.)

Why? Well this past Monday I experienced a blog-asm*. That is the only way to describe what it felt like to me to be featured in Freshly Pressed. An amazing high at my luck (it was like the quarterback asked me to the prom!). A joyful feeling that left me smiling for hours on end. I was distracted, consumed, enraptured by the experience.

But all good blog-asms must end. And when they do, you are left in the wet spot. This isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. Good things previously happened if there is a wet spot for you to occupy. But it can be a little cool (obsessing over the critical comments that echoed my own insecurities) and a little uncomfortable (holy crap batman, will I ever write anything as entertaining again?). And you aren’t quite sure what to do now that it’s over. Pretend it never happened? Worry it will never happen again? Become obsessed with your new followers and their comments?  Worried you aren’t reciprocating enough? Worried your non-literary spouse will leave you if you mention the word ‘blog’ again?

All of these worries share the wet spot with you, there’s no escaping that. So what to do? Roll over. Get over it. It will dry. Life goes on. Hope the memories will remain, bright and happy.

With an analogy such as this, there are clearly many avenues of further parallels that I am leaving unexplored, one in particular is the obvious question: do my new stats have a phallic look to them? Perhaps… But I run the risk of this post veering too close to the “God I hope my work friends never read this” path if I continue with that. So instead, I’ll say that my new stats are giving me a peace sign – two fingers side by side, with the ring finger and pinky knuckled over next to them. That works for me. That’s what a typical blog-asm does for me anyway…

So to the 9300 views and the resulting likes and followers and comment-ers, I say with deep gratitude, thank you. It was really good for me.


*After writing this I googled the word blog-asm and realized that I’m hardly the first to use this phrase, but when I wrote it I thought it was funny as crap, so I’m keeping it. Apologies to any trademarks, copyrights, etc etc.

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