I was going to get one of those light boxes for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but the only local place that seems to stock it charges $250.  I’ve seen the same thing online for less, but I don’t order things online, so I just put off getting it.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Anyway, now it’s at the point where not only are the days much shorter, but it’s been cloudy almost every day as well.  Really, not a good combination.


I had the brilliant (HA!) idea to purchase, instead, one of those “full spectrum” lights marketed to crafters, which I am, and which cost much less- $59.99 on sale at the big-box craft store.   It’s supposed to be the closest thing to natural light (even though it’s a fluorescent bulb; it’s counterintuitive). I thought, I’ll put it by the bed, turn it on when my alarm goes off, and it will be like beautiful morning sunshine pouring in like in one of those fake decorating magazines!    OK, well, it puts off kind of an off-putting cool light.  Not really super-appealing.  Neither my conscious nor my sub-conscious mind is fooled.


This morning Jack- who loves those curly fluorescent bulbs and has replaced every fixture with them- was getting ready and I saw a nice golden light radiating from his closet.  I thought, you hypocrite!  “What kind of bulb do you have in there?” I mumbled (I don’t have to work until 11 today).  He was kind of embarrassed.  “There are two.  The regular kind.”  Maybe that’s the secret?  Just regular, old, electricity-wasting round incandescent bulbs.  What an idea.  (Get it?  Idea?  Like, you know, the light bulb lit up over my head in the graphic novel of my life.)


I had just been thinking it’s been a really long time since I got a Free Panty coupon from VS in the mail.  I thought it was a victim of the “bad economy.”  Then lo and behold, their rather pornographic flyer (for Jack?) came in the mail with- you got it- a coupon for a Free Panty.  It always makes me think of Free Mumia for some reason.


So I went, picked out a Panty, and realized that I had dropped the coupon in one of the drawers I was pawing through.  Drat.  So I had to go back and dig through all the previously-dug-through drawers again (ha! drawers!), eliciting the concern of one of the sales staff (that store location is plagued by bra and panty theives who steal by the hundreds).  When I told her what had happened, she said “I’ll keep an eye out.”  Dammit, I got a coupon for a free panty, and I was not going to leave without it.   Although, finding the coupon would have been like Christmas morning for someone else.  But I found it.


I finally got to the front of the line with my booty (ha!!  booty!) and was told, no free colors except for black, white, pink, or nude.  Back to the search…I discovered that the VS “nude” shade has gotten darker.  Now, I am all for a rainbow of God’s skin colors, which to me means, how about more than one “nude” shade?  I am pretty pasty, but my ass is not chalk-white.  The previous “nude” shade suited me fine.  But, I really can’t complain too much, since it was, after all, free.


Got to the front of the line again.  “Is that ALL?”  I really don’t like sales clerks.  “Yes, that is all.”   Whatever.  So I scored my Free Panty!  (Although, with all the hassle involved, that Free Panty was hardly free.)

I will never forget that one scene from ER where Dr Green lays dying, his daughter at his bedside, as he gives her his final advice.  “Be generous,” he gasps.  I love that scene.  Sometimes, when I am feeling stingy, Dr Green’s voice replays in my head, admonishing me.


It reminds me of a Bible passage we studied in church a few weeks ago.  The passage (Second Corinthians 8:1-6) was thus:


1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. 6So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”


It’s a great passage.   “See that you also excel in this grace of giving,” writes the Apostle Paul.  In other words, “be generous.”

I got a notice in the mail letting me know that if I opened up a new CD at the bank, they would give me $25.

I walked into the bank confidently. I knew exactly what I wanted.

I handed it to the teller, saying
“I have this piece of paper here that says you’re going to give me money.”


She looked at me with absolute terror before apparently realizing that I was not about to hold hostages.   Later it was funny.  At that moment it was not.  I did get the CD though.

Every time I open up the microwave- every time, and I use it often- there is a particular small plate in there– conveniently left by Jack– containing incriminating hot-dog residue.  (He has a penchant for cheap, HFCS-containing, penis-shaped meat.  Whoever thought of this idea?)  I think that every cell in his entire body is made of hot dog molecules.  Could be worse, I guess.

I heard this commercial on the radio the other day, and was astounded by its ridiculousness: it was a conversation that contained the phrase “A diamond that says who you are to each other without saying a word.”

What?  Jack is a man of few words, but neither he nor I would never think a diamond could convey anything at all about what we are to each other:  lovers (in every sense),  best friends, confidants.  He knows me better than I know myself.  We trust each other implicitly.  Diamonds?  What do they say- “I paid some huge amount of money for very poor people in Africa to risk their lives to find you a tiny thing that looks vaguely like broken glass, and that you could easily lose in a public restroom if you bother to wash your hands after using the toilet?”

In fact, I got this email after I tried to help find a coworker’s briefly lost engagement albatross:

  “I promptly found it the same day, but appreciate the look out. I probably would be dead at my husband’s hand if I actually had truly lost it.”  Really?  Dead, huh?  I wrote back: “That is the definition of irony.”  Which it is.  An expression of love, now?  I just don’t see it.  I never got an engagement ring.  I didn’t want one.  Eleven years later, I don’t regret not having one, either.  Ask me again in another eleven years.  The answer will be the same.

Last winter, while on two separate walks, I found $40 just blowing down the street- two $20 bills.  One was on a day when an unexpected warm spell melted snowbanks with a suddenness that can probably only happen in crazy-weathered Wisconsin, so who knows how many months prior the person had lost it?  I gave it to Jack- it was filthy.  He didn’t mind a bit.

The other one was blowing down the street downtown, like the magic CGI feather in Forrest Gump.  It could have come from anywhere.  I bought drinks with it.  I helped the economy.