Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, we're talking about our favorite author sites, and I promise I'll get to that in a minute.

But first, what the heck time is it?

It’s a semi-annual (does that mean twice a year? Or is it biennial?) struggle. My brain simply will not handle it. Spring forward, fall back, yes, I understand that part. Every fall and spring we change the clocks here on the east coast in order to—what? Make it lighter in the morning and darker sooner? Whatever. I just can’t comprehend it.

My brain has fogged over this issue for years. I once anchored the weekend news in Atlanta, where we also switched to daylight savings. (Or something.) The weather guy turned to me on the anchor desk, and said, all serious, “Remember, Hank, this is the night the time changes.”

I looked at him, narrowing my eyes. “Well, actually.” I said. “The time doesn’t really change. The time stays the same. It’s a continuum, and the time just keeps relentlessly going. But WE change. We change the clocks. But the time, well, that stays the same.”

The next Monday I got called into the General Manager’s office. What was that time stuff all about? he asked. He was not happy. I tried to explain the time continuum to him, but he did not care.

“Listen,” he said. “That was ridiculous.”

(And then he said, and I promise you this is a direct quote.) “You’re gonna have to practice your ad libs.”

It’s not just the clock change thing that flummoxes me. It’s time zones.

There was the time my cat was at the vet. I was supposed to call the vet by 6 pm to get the update on Lola’s condition. But there had been breaking news, and by the time I was off the air, it was past 6.

Rats, I thought. I’ve missed talking to the vet. But then, I realized I had a solution. I thought “My boyfriend is in California. And there it’s only 3 pm! So HE could call!”

It took me a few moments to realize the flaw in that.

And now , today, we change the clocks. At least, some of them. I’m even more completely confused, because the automatic clocks, the ones connected to the computer and the cable TV, change themselves. (Don’t they? What time is it now, anyway?) The battery-operated one in my bathroom and the antiquated one on the oven, I have to change myself.

But then there was the year that my husband changed all the clocks. But I didn’t know that. So I decided to change them, too. Which I did. So that made us two hours off. Behind. Or ahead. Or maybe we were the same.

I have no idea.

Is this a problem of Einsteinian proportions? Or is it just me?

************I promised author sites.

 Ah, yes, The Lipstick Chronicles. http://www.thelipstickchronicles.blogspot.com/
 Jungle Red Writers. http://www.jungleredwriters.com/  And Femmes Fatales. http://femmesfatales.typepad.com/
   I say this, not only because they are powerhouse sites with amamzing authors, but because I am lucky enough to be part of them.  And if you check them out--I'll give away a free book from among the commenters! Just mention the Girlfriends...see all the perks you get from being here?

Other faves:

http://1stturningpoint.com/?page_id=7   Terrific and smart promo tips

http://meanderingsandmuses.blogspot.com/  Everyone who's anyone in mystery and thriller world.

There are SO many more--which ones do YOU love?

(And oh! PEROOZAL!  Listen, anyone who is an author, you MUST check this out.  http://www.peroozal.com/  Getting in on the ground floor is a must--it's still in beta testing. Check it out, email me. You'll love it.)


  1. I'd laughed at this one. I actually love Fall Back. The effect of that extra hour seems to saty with me at least a week.

  2. Thanks to you, I have now got a Chicago earworm that should last me the whole day.

  3. Ha ha ha, Hank, I love this . . . and I would have been right with you on the whole time continuum thing. My most confusing time change was the weekend we were springing forward and we were out of town visiting friends in a different time zone. I simply gave up on knowing what time it was at all--and just figured it was always 5:00.

  4. Oh, Judy, good way to handle it. I kept saying to Jonathan--should I be MORE tired? Or less tired? And Karin, I agree. Althoguh it's REALLY dark here now.

    And in a new "book" I'm "writing" it's November in Boston, and so I have to make sure to deal with how dark it is at 4:30.

    Sorry Lauren. They sai if you sing "Jingle Bell Rock" the earworm will go away. Maybe that's another blog for another day.

  5. "You're going to have to practice your ad-libs." Oh my, that's priceless.

    But you were so right, and I'm sure your viewers were all (or some, at any rate--I hope *some* right-thinking people watch TV) nodding in agreement.

    Now I have to ask, why did you just put "book" and "writing" in quotation marks? Is this a secret code and I didn't get the key memo? xx

  6. Oh, Therese...yeah, it's just--my new book doesn't feel real enough yet. Something like that.

    But you know, yes. I 'll own it. Writing my new book. HAH.

    And I'm giving Souvenir as a prize at Crimebake this weekend!

  7. Oh, I so agree. It causes more problems than it solves, especially if you have a tendency to spend your day alone with a laptop. We changed our clocks everywhere, except the sunroom, where I write. At 1:30 yesterday, I looked up, jumped up, and started running around the house doing all the things I should do well before one. An hour or so later I arrived at my son's school, realizing I was about an hour early to pick him up (:

  8. I loved that you thought of having your boyfriend call the vet because it was the RIGHT time where he was! Reminds me of the time I tried the diet that says don't eat a thing after 6PM... By day two I realized that somewhere on the planet it was still not 6 so I just kept eating. God bless different time zones! Great post. Good to know I'm not alone in the grrrrrrrrrrrrrr what time is it dept?

  9. Hank, it's amazing to me that your big heart fits inside your tiny self.

  10. So funny, Hank. I decided I love standard time - this year I couldn't reconcile losing that extra hour over the summer and I was glad to get it back. Somehow I feel more rested. But my stomach is still on Daylight Savings Time - hungry at 11 and 5.

    Worse for me is remembering what day it is - I always feel like today is the same day as the scene I'm writing. So for me, right now, I'm thinking it's Sunday night instead of - wait, I know I know this - Tuesday.

  11. Don't confuse me, Rochelle! Waaaaaay too easy to do...

  12. Hank, your philosophical explanation of the relativity of time was waay too intellectual for weekend news. :) =:-D Especially the 11 o'clock. :)

    One of our so-called atomic (makes me wonder if I should be afraid of it?) clocks hasn't re-set yet, so I'm still an hour off when I look at it. The thing is driving me bonkers. Especially since I'm timing medication doses from it.

    Maybe that's why I'm so buzzed ...

  13. OH, Rhonda..yeah, I've gotta watch what I say on the news. I learned. Sort of.

    ANd careful of that clock thing. But you only have to worry if you start glowing. sxoxo

  14. I'm so happy someone as smart as you gets flummoxed by the time change! Every time we switch the clocks I have to concentrate so hard on figuring out whether I gain or lose an hour that my brain starts to smoke. You'd think after all these decades on the planet ...

    Also, thanks for the links!! Can't wait to check out peroozal.

  15. Sign me up for this one! I HATE the time change. I've been thinking about moving to one of the states that doesn't do the change. Maybe I could get Vermont to stop changing time? We could start with my time and move outward.

    I suppose people would find that too confusing - cross the townline and the time changes? I'd vote yes on a bill that abolished the whole thing.

    I should be feeling rested because of the extra hour sleep, but no. The change discombobulates me.

  16. AH...running late...or am I early??
    Yes, you all, contact me about Peroozal. You'll love it!