Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Au revoir, Pet Peeve Wednesday

One of my pet peeves, it turns out, is pet peeves. I realized as I tried putting together a peeve post for today that I sound way too much like Andy Rooney, which means I’ve descended into “cranky old man” territory, and I really don’t want to be perceived that way. Plenty of things bother me, for sure, but I wouldn’t want you to get the impression that I handle them with anything but a zen-like calm these days.

Instead I’ll ease out of this trap by telling you what I’ve been thinking about this week. First of all, I’ve been thinking that it really is just about time for spring to arrive. Usually it’s here by now, late April. And though we’ve got plenty of flowers a’bloomin’ and more rainless days than a month ago, the chill’s there in the mornings and nights and we still haven’t been able to eat dinner outside. The seasonal stream that runs near our house is flowing like the angry Styx, emptying into a pond that should have dried up already. Climate change is upon us, I guess, which means both that the great California drought is over and that we can expect life to be different from now on. It’ll probably be a summer from hell, just to keep us on our toes.

And I’m thinking of dentistry too, because I don’t have insurance and I hear that I need an expensive thing done in my mouth that prompted me to get a second opinion today. I don’t mean to offend any dentists out there, but like so many pros these days they strike me as entrepreneurs as much as oral caretakers, so you always have to exercise caveat emptor on the off-chance that they just bought a new Porsche or have a balloon payment coming up. I hate to be cynical.

And I’ve been thinking of how to get all my weed whacking done before our fire-safe inspection in a couple of weeks. This involves me getting out there on a steep hillside with my trusty Black & Decker and trying to mow down foot-high grasses and gnarly blackberry vines and poison oak and various tree seedlings without tumbling backward into the seasonal stream that shouldn’t be there. I think I can.

And I’ve been thinking about my mom, who is 81, and whose cataract surgery on one eye was botched by an entrepreneur eye man who told her she can get used to anything, not all of these turn out perfectly. The second eye man to look at her said, “I can’t believe what he did to you!” She’s been happy with the new colors she’s been seeing but is afraid to drive with blurry vision. The second eye man took out four stitches that had been left in there for months.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about, because I’ve been reading about, the nature of the universe and how it’s a temporary thing either way. Either it’s going to expand itself into nothingness, or it’s going to stop expanding and blow back in on itself. Trillions of years will go by, but who’s counting? Still, things matter. Things matter down here on our scale. People in pain. Small flashes of beauty. Kindnesses. Love. Seems like we should make the best of things while we’re walking the planet.

Spring is here.

8 comments on “Au revoir, Pet Peeve Wednesday

  1. cinthiaritchie
    April 26, 2017

    Nice post, Kev. I especially love: “Still, things matter. Things matter down here on our scale. People in pain. Small flashes of beauty. Kindnesses. Love. Seems like we should make the best of things while we’re walking the planet.”

    So beautifully said.

    P.S. I don’t have dental insurance either, sigh, sigh, but go to the cheapo clinic for cleanings. So far (fingers and toes crossed) I haven’t needed anything major done but it’s only time. Good luck on your procedure. Dental work sucks. Also sucks about your mom’s eye surgery. Hope it all turns out for her.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 26, 2017

      Thanks, Cinthia. A moment of clarity.

      Luckily I dodged the dental bullet and I’m reprieved for a year. Yay! I have great hopes for Mom, who’s finally seeing a good doc. Life can pay dividends sometimes. 😉

  2. kingmidget
    April 26, 2017

    I bet those weeds and grasses and blackberry vines are about ten times higher and thicker this year than they have been in past years.

    As for the cataract surgery for your mom. Hope things end up OK. A few years ago, I had a detached retina. The retina specialist repaired it. At the time I was doing a lot of running. I asked him if he thought it would be okay if I kept running — wondering if the jarring, up and down movement while running might cause further problems. He said “I wouldn’t if I was you.” That doc then left my HMO and I saw another specialist for a couple of follow-up appointments. I asked that doc if I could keep running, telling him what doctor #1 had said. His response … “well if that’s true, we didn’t do our job. Go run. You’ll be fine.”

    I’ve learned over the years that medicine of all types is nothing more than a guessing game. It’s not a science. Not even close to it.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 26, 2017

      You’re right, Mark. The growth is radioactive!

      You’re so right about medicine. I know from a doc friend of ours that “the art of medicine” is just that, an art and not a science. In fact, they’re using computers more and more to remove the human component. Oh joy.

  3. Audrey Driscoll
    April 26, 2017

    I’m actually enjoying the cool, slow spring, after last year’s hot one. But it’s amazing how stuff grows, especially stuff you don’t want.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 27, 2017

      I imagine you’ve had even more rain than we have. It may be ending down here soon: we’ll see 84 F within a week.

      • Audrey Driscoll
        April 27, 2017

        84F! That’s 29C — July weather for us (except last year, when we had a couple of days that warm in April). Cool CA won’t be very. 😀

      • Kevin Brennan
        April 27, 2017

        Yep, we’ll be seeing 84/85 round about next Wednesday. Gotta find my shorts!

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