September 26, 2005

I’ve found a new time waster.

Our newspaper started running the Sudoku puzzle, which I’ve been eying but not trying because it looked like too much of a pain in the ass. Have you seen this one? It’s a grid of blank boxes and some numbers that you fill so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. You solve the puzzle with reasoning and logic; even though it’s all numbers, there’s no math involved.

The puzzle taunted me everyday as I read the nearby comics and advice columns. Finally my pride got the better of me and I started playing around with it as S. and I finished our lunch one day. I looked over the grids, evaluating any spots that might be a good starting point and trying to figure out what strategy you use to play this game.

Twenty minutes later, the dishes still on the table and lunch fixings all over the counter, I moved to the couch in the next room with the puzzle and my mechanical pencil. As I made progress and some of the boxes were now filled with numbers or notes to myself, it became too late to turn back. Even when I got stuck and it seemed impossible to finish, I’d already spent too much time on it, so I refused to quit.

Finally, I figured it out—it all came together. All the boxes were filled and I said to the paper, under my breath so little S. wouldn’t hear me, “Take that, [insert bad word].” And now I can’t stop playing.

(my first one)

September 19, 2005

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
-Mark Twain

There are certain minor annoyances in life that, while easy enough to fix, you just can’t be bothered. Well, you’re bothered all right, but not enough to take action. Then one day it’s time.

We refer to our only upstairs phone as the “sh!t phone”. When it rings and you’re not quite sure if you can make it downstairs in time, you’re screwed. You answer and at best, you’re stuck in the master bedroom, tethered to the bedside table. At worst, the phone cord slips out, disconnecting you from the caller, mid-conversation.

The s%#* phone started out loved, a wedding gift that we registered for and received. That was more than twelve years ago though. Maybe you’ve noticed how phone technology has changed over the last decade?

Yet we put up with the phone and its shenanigans for a long time. That phone has been given more chances than Charlie Sheen. But it never redeemed itself.

A few things occurred recently—none particularly compelling—that made us finally say, “Enough.” Time for a trip to the store to find a replacement. Of course, K. doesn’t need prodding to shop for electronic equipment, but we’re talking about a wife-sanctioned purchase, which I’m sure makes for more relaxing shopping.

And so the s%@* phone’s time is up and we’re ready to begin our irritation-free life. That is, if we can continue to ignore the other things around here that need addressing. One thing at a time.

September 12, 2005
Quotes of the Week

There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on.
Robert Byrne

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
Oscar Wilde

If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth

There is no such thing as "fun for the whole family."
Jerry Seinfeld

The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you'll grow out of it.
Doris Day

P.S. Share a good one if you’ve got one!

September 06, 2005
We Will Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program Shortly

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be a pain.
-Maya Angelou

I will not again mention to my family how annoying it is to have this cold, which lasted all through the long weekend and remains today. See? I’m happily sipping coffee and blowing my nose, la la la, everything’s great.