Blame it on the cooler weather, the Halloween decorations in the stores, or just my gloomy disposition of late, but I have a slight preoccupation with TV shows dealing with paranormal activity. Thanks to Hulu, I’ve been watching episodes of “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Hunters International.” Those are my favorites. I even clicked over to catch “Ghost Hunters Academy” — I would be an excellent investigator! (At least in my mind I would. In reality, I’d probably high-tail it outta there at the first squeaky door. I mean, these people are in strange places. In the dark. Trying to communicate with the other side. Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkkk!)
I watched one clip from “Ghost Adventurer” (or “Ghost Adventures,” one of the two) and immediately didn’t like that one. The main guy is overly dramatic. A bug flew toward the light and hit him on the arm and he swore it was the hand of a ghost. Please. It was clearly a bug. I have no idea if this paranormal stuff is legit, but don’t do the hard sell and try to tell me a bug is some spectral hand. With my intelligence insulted, I haven’t watched anymore clips from that show.
Instead I moved on to “Celebrity Paranormal Project.” I’ve watched only one episode, the pilot. I love the history behind these haunted places, and the concept of putting people in them out in the middle of nowhere, without even a crew — my, oh my it was almost more than I could bear. And some of the celebs really got creeped out, which really creeped me out. There’s no way in heck you could make me go into some abandoned building by myself. Maybe I’m especially macabre, but if I were a celebrity, I would be freaked out wondering if someone wasn’t shooting a snuff film starring me! The downside of this show was that some effects were added, darkness rolled in, a shadow ran across the screen. Sure it’s embellished, and in my opinion it would have been stronger without that. The embellishments cheapened it when it was scary enough as it was. I may eventually revisit this show and catch a few more episodes, but for now I’ve moved on.
My latest fixation is “Paranormal State.” This is a group of college kids doing the same sort of thing as “Ghost Hunters.” It’s entertaining. Not as much historical background as Ghost Hunters, but it’s also a shorter show. The really scary thing is that there are some 22 full episodes on Hulu, which translates into hours of TV watching should I choose to indulge, and this weekend I have. It’s Saturday, my son’s with his dad this weekend, I’ve cleaned house, I’ve done laundry, I bathed the dog, I ran some errands . . . and then I’ve watched 8 episodes of “Paranormal State.” My phone just rang and I just about jumped out of my chair. I think it’s safe to say I should call it a night. And I might have to sleep with the light on.
Life is a funny/amazing/complex/convoluted/wonderful thing. A gal I work with has gone on maternity leave and could very well at this very moment be laboring to deliver her baby girl. I told her the other day that I wasn’t sure what it had been like for her, but it seems like her pregnancy has flown by. And now baby girl is on her way. Such exciting news and I’m so happy for her. This is the 2nd child for her and her husband. They have a toddler also, so once her 12 weeks maternity leave is up, she’ll be returning to work just two days a week. I have to admit a slight pang of jealousy. Not about the two day a week work week, but yes that would be lovely too, but I remember those days at home with my son. Such fond memories. I’m so thankful to have my son, but I always thought I would have more children. It hasn’t worked out that way, and there are moments when I grieve for what could have been.
Then reality smacks me in the face with a reminder to be grateful for all I have. I work for an insurance company and today one of the groups I handle notified us of the sudden, unexpected death of an employee who wasn’t even 40 years old. I started gathering the necessary paperwork for her family to file a claim on her life insurance, and the enrollment form she had signed was dated exactly one year before the day she died. To the day. It gave me chills.
We have no guarantees. Babies are born, people die. That’s every day’s business. When we’re born a few people rejoice; when we die a few people grieve, but in either scenario the world keeps moving. I guess the big decision is, How do you choose to fill the in between?
That must be the case since the new artwork that was installed in the office building where I work is photographs of dead grass. Foxtails & Indian grass. Up close. Brown. Just the thing to liven up the gray hallway. Not.
I can say with conviction that I prefer photos of flowers, blooms, green grass or trees, sunshine, sandy beaches, or even abstract art — just not this dead stuff. I even like the occasional photo of snow on tress or a lonely cabin at the edge of the woods. Or ice on the lake. But I’m partial to color. Vivid colors. Cheery colors.
I’m no art expert, nor am I a psychologist but I can’t help but wonder what psychological impact this will have on everyone who walks by. Gray walls and dead grass. Not to mention these new photos are located in the basement level of our building, referred to in a more lively way as the “garden” level. Now that we have dead grass in the below ground “garden” level, I think we can safely refer to it as the “compost” level, don’t you think?
Filed under art, working mom
This evening my son and I went on a walk, a really long walk. He was on his bike, and I walked our dog. We were gone for an hour and a half or two hours. He’s such an outdoorsy boy. Tonight I got to see what a big, compassionate heart he has.
We were on our way back home when he told me he was going to ride ahead and then come back. He got too far ahead of me though, and I couldn’t see him, but I finally caught up with him and I could see his chin quivering. My first thought was that he must’ve fallen off his bike. I asked what was wrong and he said he saw a dead bird. We had seen a dead bird when we were walking to the park earlier, so I assumed that’s what it was.
Later, back at our house just before he was going to bed, he said he saw a big black bird pecking on a smaller bird and the smaller bird was bleeding. He tried to shoo the black bird, but it kept coming back, so he searched around for something to throw at it. When he came back and threw a stick at the black bird, he said the injured bird died right in front of him. He cried. He was so upset, and said it reminded him of Ollie, one our cats, when he died about a year ago.
My sweet little son. So heartbroken over the loss of that small little life. So tender-hearted that even the pain of a little bird makes him grieve. It’s a small ripple, but life is altered when you realize the nearness of death. As a parent, it’s hard to see my child hurting, but at the same time, I’m proud of his compassion & caring.
Flowers for the little bird