Coffee heat rising

Death by 1000 tiny annoyances


One of Harvey‘s “wings” snapped off, probably in an encounter with the loose drain lid that the Leslie’s guy didn’t bolt on correctly. This part is connected to a set of plastic posts on a larger, moving part. These posts sheared away, meaning both parts will have to be replaced. Annoyance factor (scale of 1 to 5): 5. Dollar factor (scale of $ to $$$$$): $$$

The palm trees need to be trimmed; they’re dropping gunk into the pool and clogging the system. While he’s here, Gerardo the Yard Dude will want to clean up the yard, too, a job I’ve been putting off because I can’t afford it. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $$$$

I lost the neat little container the Humane Society gave me to hold plastic doggy-poop bags. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $

One of the surviving Trader Joe orchids so outgrew its pot that I had to repot it. Not wanting to spring for a new bag of planting medium, decided to substitute some of the tree bark from around the rose beds. Time will tell whether this works or kills the plant. Annoyance factor: 2. Dollar factor: 0

Made a giant pitcher of sun tea yesterday afternoon. Brought it in and found a passle of ants swimming in it. More trotting around the outside. Who knew ants like tea? Had to throw it out—it was my favorite jasmine tea from Cost Plus. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $

Lost my favorite nail brush. It was cheap, but haven’t seen one like it, with really stiff bristles, in years. Stupid expensive wooden nail brush from L’Occitane (what was I thinking when I bought that?) has soft squishy bristles, useless for getting garden dirt out from beneath nails. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $+

Pool growing new species of algae on south wall. Changing out the water made no difference. Need to shock-treat today. Annoyance factor: 4. Dollar factor: $$

Check from client dragged in late, after I’d taken the other checks that have been languishing in a folder up to the credit union. Now have to make a special gas-guzzling trip to deposit this one. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: 0

Other client dropped 70 pages of copy on me yesterday, begging me to assess structural changes and needing it back instantaneously. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: –$$$$$, for the $500 I intend to charge him for this project.

This meant I can’t go to church this morning, because I’ll have to work all day on that thing. Again. Annoyance factor: 5 . Dollar factor: 0

Need to load updated annoying Microsoft Office into the iMac, having discovered that the a new version of Word for Mac is slightly less cryptic and so slightly less annoying than the PC version. Annoyance factor: 8. Dollar factor: 0

Bathtub faucet has developed a slow leak; that needs to be fixed. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $$$$

Can’t afford $75 for five sessions of corgi agility training. Annoyance factor: 3. Dollar factor: 0

Can’t afford $200 adoption fee for cute little male corgi. Annoyance factor: 2. Dollar factor: 0, assuming I keep a grip on my sanity.

Had to pay handyman out of stash of paper dollars, set aside for survival over the summer. Annoyance factor: 1. Dollar factor: $

Handyman figured out the reason the folding closet doors are out of whack is that when I hung the one-pound (or less) bag of deodorizing stones on the knob, it pulled the cheesy louvred thing out of true. His repair attempt didn’t work. Eventually the doors will have to be replaced. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $$$$

Handyman and I suspect the reason Satan installed the cheesy louvred folding doors instead of the more standard solid doors, which are still on the market, is that the closet door openings in this 1971 house are no longer standard, meaning the opening will have to be rebuilt if the cheesy doors are to be replaced. Annoyance factor: 25. Dollar factor: $$$$$

Unmanageable digital thermostat, which really doesn’t work with heat pump, needs to be replaced; otherwise power bill will run over $300 in July, August. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $$$$

Dog, blowing her winter coat, had a shedding frenzy after yesterday’s bath. Dog dunes are piling up against the walls. Must stop what I’m doing to vacuum floors. Annoyance factor: 2. Dollar factor: 0

No one is saying when I’m supposed to be paid the alleged honorarium for developing the online course in magazine writing. Without it, I go $500 to $1,000 into the hole between now and the time fall semester starts. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $$$$$, potentially

My hair needs to be cut. Can’t afford it in this budget cycle; with palm tree trimming coming up, won’t be able to afford it in the next month, either. Annoyance factor: 4. Dollar factor: $$

Quack has ordered me to spend half the day at the Mayo tomorrow, getting X-rayed and consulting over continuing pain from shoulder dislocation. First time I’ve used the Social Security pushmi-pullyu and so don’t know what it will cost. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: $, I hope.

Plan to insert voice narrative into existing PowerPoint presentation to adapt for online course didn’t work. Presentation too complex. Major headache, huge amount of time wasted trying to figure out how to do this and why it wouldn’t work. Annoyance factor: 15. Dollar factor, 0

Struggling to find time to work on two fall sections but can’t seem to break free enough hours in the days. Whole issue is much more time-consuming than anticipated. Annoyance factor: 5. Dollar factor: hard to calculate; most of this time is unpaid labor.

Need to get a new AC guy in for the spring (now summer) inspection of the rooftop unit. Can’t afford that, either. Annoyance factor: 3. Dollar factor: $$$

Total annoyance factor: 130. Total dollar factor: $$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$ $ One hundred thirty to thirty-six. Apparently ire cannot be measured in dollars.

Is there any question why I need a night guard to keep me from grinding my teeth down to stubs and wrecking the joints in my jaw? That reminds me:

Need new night guard, the old one having been rendered nearly useless by the new crown: Annoyance factor: 30. Dollar factor: $$$$$

Lyssa, Goddess of Rage


Steaming phase, Castle Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Mila Zinkova, GNU Free Documentation License
Lyssa, Goddess of Rage, from an Athenian krater, ca. 5th century BC. Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

8 thoughts on “Death by 1000 tiny annoyances”

  1. re the late check – why not mail in the deposit, thereby reducing the annoyance factor & saving gas?

    And in the too little, too late department – my dad always told us to never hang stuff on interior doors, as the hingest aren’t built to withstand the added weight. That includes all those nifty over-the-door hangars, sorters, towel racks, etc.

    We have a houseful of interior & exterior doors that are not standard sizes, so I feel your pain on that issue.

    From reading your posts over the last few months, may I suggest putting up a notice at the college that you need help with minor repairs around the house? Fixing a minor leaky faucet, checking a balky closet door, etc., shouldn’t be $$$$ issues, & I’ll bet there are students who’d like to pick up a few bucks. You might even be able to find a dog trainer that way.

    • @ Ellentann: great idea about the college. Hard to know which ones are competent, but I guess you could ask for references.

      I tried mailing checks to the credit union. They “disappeared” for three weeks! On the day that I had started to call the several companies that had written checks to ask them to stop payment, the CU magically found two of them; next day the third surfaced. One of them was from AdSense, which has no customer service that I’ve been able to find and no way to ask for a stop payment. You have to tell them the check was lost in the mail, which is was not, and then they will send a new check, but it’ll be two months before you see it. I had endorsed it and sent it to the CU; obviously, if it cleared after AdSense had sent a new check (which, as it develops, it certainly would have!), Google would have concluded that I was trying to scam them and canceled my AdSense account.

  2. I also like to “collect” checks from my freelance clients and take them all at once, but one invariably comes in the mail after I’ve made the trip. The bank is not terribly far away, so when I head out that way again, I stop in, although the extra trip pains me.

    Interesting about the interior doors not being standard sizes — our home was built ~1950 and I’d like to replace the doors eventually, but now you’ve got me wondering whether the openings are compatible as-is.

  3. @ Rainy-Day Saver: These are folding doors, rather than regular hinged doors of the sort you see in many 1950s houses. I think a regular door can be cut down from a larger size. The issue is sliding and folding doors.

  4. Wow…I wish I could read your blog from work since I wish I could’ve seen this sooner. I’m so sorry for all the frustrating stuff! I’m sure everybody has similar annoyances, but wouldn’t it be so nice to have just a couple of weeks with no real issues that have to be dealt with?

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