Sunday, March 31, 2013

I'm a morning person.

Did you know that people really do have biological rhythms which define us as morning people or night people? Neuroscientists have discovered some fascinating differences in how our brains are wired.

For one thing, night people apparently get stronger and more energetic as evening grows late. We morning people tend to hit our peak well before noon and then our energy and brain functions level off until drowsiness overtakes us just after the evening meal.

On the other hand, morning people are supposedly happier than night people! Who would have guessed that? I always suspected there was a party starting just as I was going to bed. That's apparently a large part of the problem for you owls. One study calls it "social jet lag," a disruption of circadian rhythms caused when you stay up late but are forced by responsibilities to get up early the next morning whether you want to or not.

(And by the way, your grumpiness really puts a damper on our bubbly morning effervescence. Try to keep it to yourself, okay?)

Here's one final scientific finding that supports everything we've long believed: the older we get almost all of us become morning people even if we were night people when we were younger.

Does this sound a bit suspicious to you? I believe the science but the more I read I keep coming back to a physical reality that circadian studies just don't seem to support.

I'm tired because I'm old. I wake up at four or five a.m. because I fell asleep in front of the TV ten hours ago.

Stick that in your MRI and smoke it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Our little guy

I've been calling him, "Twirp" but I have to stop.

We found this Yorkie just over a week ago in a pet adoption center at the Dallas Irish Festival. He's eight years-old. The adoption agency told us he was a "surrender", meaning the people who owned him gave him up voluntarily. I suppose there are a thousand reasons you might give up a precious, loving companion but I can't think of even one.

His name was Fonzie, but we didn't care for that. So, after a couple of days of trying out different monikers we finally settled on a name that had belonged to Sharmayne's dog and fit him perfectly. We decided to call him, Gizmo.

He's a five pound bag of bones, too skinny, and he has bad breath. But he came with very official veterinary papers assuring us that he is healthy and has been through the gamut of examinations, procedures and vaccinations needed to offer a healthy animal for adoption.

Yesterday we took him to our vet for a checkup and to find out why he's so skinny. The staff cooed and pampered him, gave us some meds just in case he has a vile creature living inside his gut and feasting on the food we provide.

Gizmo. Not "Twirp", even though he keeps annoying the cat and confounding Carolann and me.

He's very well house-trained. He eats everything he can get his mouth on but for now he's still a bag of bones.

Gizmo looks at us intently with big, mysterious eyes.

He sleeps between Carolann and me. When we're at work we talk on the phone about how he's adapting and whether he and the cat, Cora, will learn to put up with each other.

We give Lady special attention now that Cricket is gone and she's the reluctant queen of our hearts. But Gizmo is finding room in there.

Our baby girl is gone and can never be replaced.

Still, it's nice to know that our hearts are big enough for a skinny bag of bones with bad breath and big, Margaret Keane eyes.

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