Monday, September 28, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Downside

Every so often I feel like "Middle-Age Cranky" puts a false face on me. I'm generally a positive, upbeat person; that's probably why the aggravations of life seem bigger to me: I don't generally focus on them, until it's time to post here.

In fact, every so often something sweet will happen and I'll want to write about it, but then I realize I'd be violating my published persona as a certified grouch, misanthrope, and pessimist.

Take the change of seasons. I love the fall, for so many reasons. As a change of pace, I thought about documenting those reasons. But then I realized there was a downside to every single one of them.

Upside: The NFL Season Launches
Marrying an Oakland Raiders’ fan has given me a much deeper appreciation for football, as has TiVo, because we can fast forward through the timeouts and the blathering. At the beginning of the NFL season, optimism about the 49ers’ and Raiders’ playoff hopes is at its highest.

Downside: The College Football Season Launches
My spouse has also developed an abiding love of college football, which makes me a football widower on both Saturday and Sunday. I can barely keep track of the players on my favorite professional teams in this era of free agency, much less the college players. And I don't care whether Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer serenade Carrot Top all night long.

Upside: The New TV Season
After a summer of re-runs, I’m ready for new stories. We’re a big fan of Jerry Bruckheimer’s procedurals (CSI: Anywhere, Cold Case) and NCIS.

Downside: The New TV Season
There are two problems here. First, the Netflix DVDs tend to sit unwatched for weeks on end. Second, my spouse loves the dancing shows. I'm okay with the dancing, but I despise shrieking. This means I have to stifle the urge to strangle 1) Mary Murphy on So You Think You Can Dance and 2) the entire audience of Dancing With The Stars.

Upside: Cooler Temperatures
There is a wonderful county park not far from us with extensive hiking trails. The cooler temperatures of autumn and its rolling trails make it a perfect place to hike, without the summer swarms of visitors.

Downside: Cooler Temperatures
Fall brings different kinds of swarms to the park: an unbelievable number of both flies (there is a working farm in the middle of the park) and cross-country runners from local high schools. Neither the flies nor the runners seem to understand English.

Upside: Halloween
I love Halloween. Not for what it has become — an opportunity for teen-agers to roam looking to score candy, but as a remnant of childhood and waiting anxiously for darkness to come so children can roam the streets and still feel safe.

Downside: Halloween
Halloween is also the unofficial launch of the holiday candy season, a celebration I am trying to forego this season. 'Tis better to give than receive, so I'm trying to shed pounds rather than receive them. Somewhere there are Milky Way bars with my name on them, and I'd just as soon they didn't find out where I live.

Upside: Getting Dark Earlier
I thought about this a lot. There is no upside to it getting dark earlier.

Downside: Getting Dark Earlier
Daylight savings time used to occur each year on the weekend nearest my birthday and my half-birthday. Then they moved it, so it's harder to remember when to change the clocks. Besides, it's an antediluvian throwback to an agrarian culture that doesn't exist any more.

Oh, my. I guess I really am cranky.


  1. "I'm generally a positive, upbeat person." Really now? I think you're confusing yourself with your twin. Again.

  2. Monica is a Raiders fan? Are you kidding me? ~Justin