Tag Archives: postaweek

Praise the Baby Unicorns; I’m Back

21 Aug

Hey, look at that; I’m up and running again.

That’s right.  Up and running.  I have conquered the deep, dark, World-of-Warcraft-desiring darkness, recovered my files, and upgraded my computer.  Like a champ.

Forgive the big pat on my own back; it’s just that I’m pretty stoked that this all worked out.  Partly because I seriously needed my old files and I’m praising baby unicorns they’re back and partly because I recovered my old hard drive by myself, with no help from the Geek Squad.  And I’m pretty jazzed about that.

It was just about the time that I began to publicly mourn the loss of my large-screen computer on Facebook via my tiny-screened phone that my brother, a Software Engineer, called me to diagnose the problem.  He assured me that not only could my hard drive be retrieved, but that I could retrieve it.  He told me it would make a great Lollipop Tuesday.

Gets me every time.

If you’re one of the new subscribers in these parts (hello dumplings!), you can direct yourself to the “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” tab at the top of the bloggy-blog.  If you’re one of my not-so-new subscribers, why didn’t you tell me it had been ages since my last Lollipop Tuesday?!  I haven’t tried anything new and scary in my life for months.  MONTHS!  Do you realize what’s happened to me? I’m frightened.  I’m not going outside as often.  I’m starting to lose faith in my ability to do the crazy.  So let’s make a pact: I will begin to do Lollipop Tuesdays more regularlary and if I don’t, you will harass me.

It’s a free harass pass.  Enjoy.

So from here on, I will catalogue my recovery of my hard drive for anyone who cares, doesn’t believe I did it, or happens to have a Dell Inspiron N5030.  Because they tend to hit the crapper after a year and a half and if you own one and it hasn’t crapped out yet, FOR THE LOVE OF BABY UNICORNS, BACK UP YOUR FILES.

Okay.  Everyone who doesn’t want to be bored: see you next week.  Everyone else: operation hard drive retrieval commencing.

Once upon a Lollipop Tuesday past, I needed to install Internet at my apartment but didn’t want to pay the $100+ for someone else to do it.  I was concerned that I would fail mostly because my brain isn’t really wired for things mathematical and logical.  My brain is wired for finger paint and mocking people in my head and neuroses of all shapes and kinds.   But I sucked it up, read the manual, and after sporting a very furrowed brow for a very long time, was happy to report success, a functioning Internet, and a lot of money saved.

I would have happily just taken my computer to the Geek Squad or a local computer guru to have them take care of things for me.  I was prepared to sell my body if necessary to get my old files out of the death trap Inspiron.  But I was quoted a flat fee of $100 to just bring it in and apparently, I wasn’t prepared to do that.  I’m protective of my George Washingtons and I was determined to not pay someone solely because they are smarter than me.  So my brother sent me the manual for my computer which I brought up on Dave’s iPad, and I dove in.

iPad right, Inspiron from hell left, signature Mr. Bubble pajama pants center.

 

The manual said something or other about “What You Will Need”, and I noted a small Phillips Head and Flat Head screwdriver were in the mix.  But I really only had an eyeglass repair kit with a tiny little Flat Head screwdriver and figured it would have to just be my MVP. 

After nearly stripping the second screw to little bits and bending the “Flat Head” eyeglass screwdriver into “Corkscrew Head” I was unconvinced, and a trip to Lowe’s was in order.

I hate Lowe’s. There is nothing there that excites me.  It’s all work and fixtures and tools and saws.  It smells like lawn chemicals and all I can think of when I enter is the hours and hours I would try to entertain myself in the lighting aisle while my father tried to find something or other to fix a leak or a squeak or a rattle in the house.

Apparently my unwillingness to pay someone for being smarter than me is genetic.

 

they’re beauuuuuutiful

But to Lowe’s I went.  I spent much longer than I wanted in the tools aisle and found a beautiful tiny screwdriver set that could conquer any laptop fears I had.  For twelve dollars, I was back in business.  

As it turns out, dismantling a laptop is a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Basically, there’s a big panel hiding under the keyboard that has everything (including the keyboard) plugged into it.  That board is secured to the bottom of the laptop with a ton of screws.  Unscrew the pieces, dismantle the pieces one by one until you get to the hard drive, and boom: done.

It sounds easy in theory but by the time I got to the whole “remove the speaker cable” portion of the manual I got really confused.  The picture didn’t look like mine and it wasn’t obvious how to locate  the cable on my own.  So I began to hunt for a YouTube video to help me through.  It was then that the heavens opened and blessed me with a video that showed me that everything I had done up until that point was silly.  My step-by-step digging down to the hard drive of my computer was one way to do it, but the better way was to just take out every single screw from the bottom of the laptop, flip her over, and pull up on the palm rest.  In the model of laptop I had, the hard drive was hiding right at the edge of the panel and I could wriggle my sausage fingers inside to retrieve it.  (The video is here if you were reading this hoping for a tutorial).

That big empty spot is where I yoinked the hard drive from. It looks kind of scandalous just peeking in like that.

And boom: hard drive procured.   I sent a pic of it to my brother, who told me what apparatus I needed to pull the files and for $30 dollars at Best Buy, I was so close to sweet restoration.

While I was there, basking in the fact that I had saved $50 or more doing the task on my own, I had to invest in a new laptop.  Appartently the old one was at risk of having a few more parts hit the pooper on me soon and I didn’t want to risk all this work only to find that a few weeks later, it was all for naught.  So I found something reliable and affordable to upload my files to.   I was a little worried at first because I was alone in Best Buy and when employees spot a chick in the laptop aisle, they swarm.  Not because I’m attractive; because they think I’m stupid.

when I asked the Sales Manager where I could find a SATA to USB converter cable, she said she didn’t know what I was talking about. I felt like a computer god.

 

After running back and forth between two aisles of laptops and taking pictures of their tags to compare specs and send to my brother for his approval, I had aquired a sales member named Emmanuel.  He was not, however, there to save me.  He was there to talk down to me and try to talk me into a $1000 computer.  I explained to him that I didn’t need his help and that I knew what I wanted.  He proceeded to quiz me on what makes a battery lose its charge, what the difference between an AMD and an i3 processor was, and a myriad of other things I had already boned up on via my brother before I entered the store.  Apparently he saw my display of knowledge as a challenge and continued to harass me until he could find something I didn’t know.  Finally, I explained that I know what I’m doing, that I “do my own repairs” and that I had a hard drive with me at that very moment that I had retrieved in the AM.

sweet, sweet success.

 

As it turns out, Best Buy associates treat you completely different when you tell them you have a hard drive in your pocket.

Emmanual retired to the center kiosk, I found the Sales Manager to let her know I’d like a laptop locked in the bin, and for Emmanuel to stop harassing poor, lonely women in their 20s who are hunting a decent computer.  I went home triumphant.

All things worked as promised and I’m now up and running on my brand new laptop with all my old files, and a dismantled old laptop in my bedroom just begging to be sold for parts to make up the cost of the one I’m typing on.  And I feel like a king among men.  My finger paint brain figured out something technical and computer-y and didn’t melt into a big pile of goo.  That’s success if I’ve ever heard it.

So hey: thanks folks, for reading this long and rather boring account, for offering condolences last week as I mourned the loss of everything digital, and for your offers to come into the World of Warcraft and pull me out should I seek refuge there.  In case that ever becomes a real fear again, I’m a night elf hunter and I’ll be found on Shattered Hand.

I’m back up and running.  Stay tuned next week for a brand spankin’ new Lollipop Tuesday.  Get excited.

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The Day the Music Died

15 Aug

20120815-224750.jpg

Tonight I fired up my laptop to be greeted by 7 distinct, loud beeps. Beeps of certain death. Beeps of destruction. Beeps of inescapable doom.

It has passed on.

Well technically it may not have passed on. Using my handy
dandy phone, from which I’m currently posting (thanks WordPress wizards!), I discovered that when the screen is unable to display its beauty to you, your computer will communicate error codes through sound and lights. You will then have to use another computer to decode this alien language and attempt repairs. Seven beeps on my beloved laptop means processor failure. Supposedly, I may be able to replace this. Supposedly.

If I can sell my body enough times to pay for it.

Apparently my computer doesn’t care that I have all the notes for the show I’m currently directing on it. It doesn’t care that I owe people things this week. It doesn’t care that I’m just a poor, lone blogger in need of a full size screen and a real physical keyboard to get me through my life and musings.

It’s an asshole.

So I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’m afraid I may have brought this on myself. Perhaps I spoke too loudly this evening about how I couldn’t think of anything to write. Yes – perhaps my laptop does really care and in fact loves me so much that it has given the greatest form of sacrifice: its life.

No but seriously: this is a problem. I’m doing things. Important things. Even if I lost my files but still had a computer I could at least recover after long hours of labor. But we don’t have another computer. Dave’s laptop went the way of the dodo long ago and we don’t keep a desktop in the house because of my addiction.

For those of you unfamiliar, I am a reformed World of Warcraft addict. I relapsed once and thereafter procured a laptop that is incapable of supporting the game so that if I ever relapsed again I would have to justify the purchase of an entirely new computer. So far, this method has kept me clean. It’s been a long while since I’ve sat in my Mr. Bubble pajama pants, 5 days unshowered, gnawing on leftover pizza that I kept under my bed so I wouldn’t have to go downstairs to the refrigerator.

But being that I am unable to continue with my life as it currently stands without procuring a new processor or a new computer, I am in serious danger of relapse. After all, once I start selling my body for here money to replace it and I’ve been fired from all my gigs for failure to meet deadlines and all my job opportunities go out the window because I’m unable to properly respond, I will have nothing in my life worth looking forward to except trekking through the world of Azeroth again. And I’ll have all that dirty money from prostitution to help me procure a new desktop to go back there.

There, people respect me. I accomplish things. My life doesn’t ever come to a screaming vault because an inanimate object fails to perform its innate duties. My character and inventory and life is all waiting there for me just as I left it. Glorious and untouched.

So this could be it, folks. This is the end of my productivity, my slight bit of a checking account, and life as I know it. I am dead to the world. Should I awaken, it may be in the World of Warcraft.

Peace be with you all. It’s been a swell run.*

Do These Olympics Make Me Look Fat?

9 Aug

It’s Thursday.  It’s not Wednesday.  Just in case you were wondering man, Jackie posted today – is it WEDNESDAY?! the answer is no.   Not it is not.  It is Thursday, and Jackie failed to post on Wednesday.

I spent the day telling myself I didn’t care.  But that was a big fat lie.  I totally care.  Because here I am on a Thursday, posting.  I just have this nagging feeling that missing a week will throw the entire rest of the year of weekly posting off balance and I shall never, ever recover.  Or maybe you won’t.  This is really about you.  And how much I love you.  Squishy hugs for everyone.  

Okay, now moving on to more pressing matters.

I think it’s really great that as a society we have begun to question the unrealistic body images that constantly affront us in magazines, in movies, and during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show each year.  More and more often, I’m seeing links to entertaining pages that feature poorly photoshopped celebrities and supermodels.  I don’t know about you but when I come to and find my sausage fingers stuck inside another empty sleeve of Oreos, I like to nurse my wounds by clicking through pages images of accidentally airbrushed-away limbs and before-shot monsterpig faces.

And now I think it’s time to speak out against the unrealistic body images that have been bombarding us for almost two weeks.  You know what I’m talking about.

The Olympics.

My television has done nothing but hurl unrealistic expectations at me every day for the past two weeks with scantily clad men and women that are so perfectly chiseled that in the slow motion playback, the only things that jiggle are their cheeks It’s preposterous.  Not one single female athlete’s arms jiggle when they wave to the audience in celebration.    And have you seen the women sprinters? Not only are they perfectly sculpted examples of human perfection, but they even manage to have well-placed hair! Hair that stays put after rocketing down the track at alarming speeds. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!  Even the freakish doll monsters that are synchronized swimmers have hair and makeup that sticks on through several minutes of exercising completely underwater.

I can’t get  mine to stay on after the sweat I break while brushing my teeth.

When’s the last time a candid shot of you emphasized your rock hard goddess abs?

The ultimate slap in my fat face was the ESPN body issue featuring naked Olympians and national athletes.  Some of them are in the midst of performing their sport.  Surfers from an underwater shot, rowers pinned on the side of the boat and mid-stroke, ball players gearing up to take a shot – and all of them are perfect. Your humiliation will know no bounds.

This is worse than supermodel fixation.  Much worse.  At least when I open a magazine and see fashion models glaring at me with their smokey eyes, I can coax my love handles into calming down by reminding myself that I could always look like that too if I stopped eating.  But when I’m faced with the chiseled abs and well-shaped thighs of an Olympian, I have no solace.  These people haven’t had dessert in two years.  They train 8 hours a day every day.  They eat the same things constantly.  They have someone whose job is solely to make sure that they’re beautiful, flawless, perfectly sculpted examples of human athletic achievement.

All I have is my cats.  And when I took them to the vet last week, I was scolded for their obesity. 

Even my cats are lard asses.  I would make a terrible trainer.

Hobbes’ inevitable future

Luckily it’s almost over.  In just a few short days, the Olympics will go into hiding for another four years.  Of course, we’ll have to deal with the winter Olympics in just two, but in the winter I can console myself with the improbability of my becoming a speed skater and vats of crock pot comfort foods. 

For now, I must stay strong; they’re almost done.   Maybe I should start with small steps.  Like looking up those outstanding waterproof hair and makeup products.

Or investing in a cat treadmill. ♣

Everyone Please Stop Getting Married and Having Babies

1 Aug

I envisioned a lot of things for my twenties.  I pictured myself being a super cool adult.  I somehow thought that paying my own bills would be awesome.  I imagined I’d be in the best shape of my life.

These things haven’t exactly come to fruition.

You know what I hadn’t imagined?  Everyone I know getting married and having babies all at once.  …Or the invention of Facebook.  

I am constantly bombarded with announcements of love and adoration and procreation.   Which is lovely, in a way.  The Book of Faces has ensured that when I run into someone I haven’t seen since we shared Algebra class, my jaw doesn’t drop to the floor at the size of their stomach.  Or the train of munchkins behind them.  Or the size of their ring.  And since my face tends to immediately barf my thoughts, this has been a source of great salvation.

As happy as I am for all these folks and their hitch-getting and their baby-making, my wallet is getting seriously ravaged.  

Of course I’m glad for them.  Really, it’s a lovely milestone in their lives.  It’s just unfortunate that their milestones cost me so much of my hard-earned American dollars.  Do you realize how many days I have to sit at a desk typing to pay off just one friend’s marriage?! Too many, folks.  Far too many. 

I’ve gotta take off work.  I’ve gotta get a hotel.   I’ve gotta get an outfit.  I’ve gotta pay for gas.  I’ve gotta get a gift.  I’ve gotta hold my empty wallet in my hand as I cry in the hotel shower.

We need to get a handle on this.  My Facebook news feed is blowing up with pictures of fingers sporting rings and pictures of babies still in the womb (which is a post in itself,  mind you).  Every status update is a hit to my bank account and a day of my life spoken for.  We all hit the 20’s at the same time and we’re all racing to avoid a life of cat-filled spinsterdom. I get it.  I fully support it.  I just wish I didn’t have to pay for it. With the number of wedding gifts and baby shower sprinkles I’ve purchased, I could have backpacked through Europe by now.  

Maybe we should just all agree to not get each other anything.  I’m pretty sure we’re all just throwing the same money around and around anyway.  With so many invitations in a year, I can’t even attend them all.  And while that should mean that I save money, social etiquette dictates that if I opt not to attend, the pressure to purchase a gift is only heightened.  That doesn’t even make any sense.  

So I have a proposal of my own; let’s stop buying each other crap.  Let’s just save our money to buy ourselves the things on our registry instead of asking other people to buy those things.  Doesn’t that make lots of sense?  Then again, the gift is the cheapest portion of the wedding excursions.  Its the driving and the hotel-staying that does me in.  Maybe everyone can just get married in a closer proximity to me.  Or maybe everyone can get married at free camping grounds.  Or just revert to immediate family only. That’s probably best.  Let’s do that.

Except start after I get married – because I’ve already invested in folks and I want that money back y’all. 

Jackie the Housewife

25 Jul

This is our fridge magnet. True story.

Today Dave suggested that we move the cat food bowls around the house every once in a while so that we can force them to scavenge for food and thereby “prepare them for the oncoming apocalypse”.

I complied.  I didn’t really have a choice; he was very serious about it.  It felt like a dealbreaker.  And I really don’t want to be the girl that he left because she wouldn’t get over a little Apocalypse Training for the cats.  However, I’m also a little worried that now that I’ve opened the door to the beginning stages of this, he’ll start to get even more serious about their training program. 

First it’s hiding food dishes around the house, next it’s cats knifing me when I come home from work. 

Maybe I don’t have anything to worry about though – I tried to rouse Hobbes with the laser pointer today and he gave me the finger.   I don’t think even the fear of the apocalypse could get him to stop sleeping in the tub all day.  I’ve been meaning to talk to him about his attitude lately.

Anyway, I’m off work this week and I’m trying to spend some of the time teaching the cats  a lesson in productivity.  The theme of my workshop is that just because you’re not employed, doesn’t mean you can’t contribute.  I’m demonstrating a myriad of behaviors I’m hoping they’ll mimic in my absence when I go back to work.   Today, for example, I cleaned the house and did the dishes and made cookies and deviled eggs. 

What I wouldn’t give to have my cat hand me a deviled egg when I get home instead of knifing me. 

They aren’t really taking to my demonstrations, but I’m hoping that soon my messages will get through. I’m like the Jane Goodall of cats.  They’ll come around.

As it turns out I really like being home, aside from Hobbes’ foul behavior.  I really don’t mind dropping things off to be dry cleaned or getting the cats appointments (health pre-screenings for the training), or putting together furniture, cleaning the house, and making dinner.  I think I might really be cut out for this domestic thing.  Hell, I’d start a garden if I had a lawn.

It makes sense, I guess – I’ve always preferred staying indoors in the evening; now that I can be indoors in the morning too, I’m at my peak. It’s only been three days and Dave’s got this look in his eye like he’s afraid I’ve taken to it so much that will never return to work again.   And that could be entirely possible because I feel fantastic.  So to help him agree that it’s a good idea, I’m making him delicious dinners and keeping him from lifting a finger around the apartment.   I think if I can fit in a puppy and a garden, I’ve got myself a good hard sell.

It’s so wonderful to be able to get things done that have been on the back burner forever as low-priority items.  After a while, those things nag at me for so long that they become part of the baggage I carry around all the time.  And this week has been dedicated to ticking those off the list one by one.   I am infinite.

I started to feel so great this week that I realized I should be spending this time doing *all* the things I’ve ever wanted to do and recalled my curiosity for hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Then I remembered that I still have rehearsal at night and every weekend until November is booked (Note to self: add Appalachian Trail to back burner.  Also Note to self: why are you always so busy?).

I also have quite a bit of Lollipop Tuesday hunting to do, as it’s been quite some time since I’ve tried some newfangled adventure.  I’m afraid it’s been so long that if I don’t do one soon I’ll revert back into a cranky old coot.   Of course, finding new ventures is difficult when I get to be home all day in heels and a housedress, showing Dave how good of an idea it is for me to not work. 

Perhaps tomorrow my only goal should be to go outside.  It will hurt, but it will be good for me.  I’ll report back next week.  

Pray for me out there.  I hear the Apocalypse is coming. 

A Day in the Life of a Postal Worker’s Wife

18 Jul

You can find anything on the Interwebz. Even a chipmunk delivering mail to foreign lands. Also, if you have any knowledge pertaining to what the hell this says, please inform me.

Dave is a mailman.

Did we cover this? Have we covered this?  I think not.  This happened some time ago; once a week just isn’t enough.  Stay a while, have some tea.

So Dave is a mailman.  He delivers letters to people and is given a paycheck in return.  He’s a professional courier pigeon.  

Believe it or not, it makes complete and total sense that Dave should join the United States Postal Service because the USPS has haunted me for my entire life.  It’s true.  My father worked there, my brother worked there, and my mother is still an employee of 13 years.  She’s probably due to go postal soon.  I don’t think anyone actually retires in the post office; they just lose their minds, go to jail because they stole all the mail and buried it in their backyard, or both.  

I even worked there.  For a day.  Apparently my family is of good letter carrying stock.  Dave’s and my offspring will be mail marines with all that raging postal blood coursing through their veins.

Honestly, I don’t understand how it all happened.  All I really remember is that the application was just the most awful thing I can imagine doing.   Applications drive me insane in the first place but this monster is the ugliest there is.  It asks you where you’ve lived and who’s lived with you.  For your entire life. 

That’s particularly hard for me, not just because I hate applications, but because I’ve moved 13 times.  And I’ve cohabitated with a lot of people (in a non slutty way).   I have a tendency to exaggerate, but that one has been fact checked by the United States Postal Service, folks; that’s real.

So somehow I managed to not set the paper on fire before I completed it and I handed it in and I was hired.  I ordered my uniform.  I got all nervous for my first day.  And then they called me the morning I was supposed to go and told me that the position was actually no longer open and they didn’t need the extra help and thanked me for my time.

The Postal Service isn’t a very organized lot, despite having the most detailed map to our country.

It was a complete waste of two weeks of my life.   The t-shirt was all I had left.  I kept it, much to Dave’s dismay.  When I wear it casually, he has a visceral reaction.   I guess it’s like him buying a t-shirt that says “Hi Jackie! How was your boss today?!” … I can understand why it might upset him.

There are lots of things about Dave being a mailman that amuse me.  One is that he’s a particularly attractive man and he finds that he gets hit on by a lot of middle-aged ladies who are home waiting for the mail.  The other is that his entire world is now shaped by the mail service.   It’s impossible to perform a task for 10 hours a day and not have it fundamentally shape you as a person.  And though Dave tends to leave his work at work, there are still days he’ll come home with the mail in his hand and say “Honey, you’re failing your duties as a mail recipient”.  He gets worked up when I forget to get the mail.

And he’s for realsies.

Then he sees it’s all Presorted Standard mail and rips it up with raucous laughter. 

For those of you who don’t come from a long line of good postal stock, Presorted Standard is a class of mail that is basically reserved for paid advertising.  When you look to the upper right of an envelope you receive in the mail, if it says Presorted Standard, you can just throw it out.  That’s a piece of mail that a company has paid money to have the Postal Service send to you without you asking.  It’s how they make the bulk of their money so mailmen are stuck delivering these unwanted pieces of garbage to every single person on their routes, just to have them throw it directly in the trash.  

Of course, that’s a big monumental waste of time so Dave would much prefer to bury the Presorted Standard  mail in our front yard and be carted off to the loony bin.  But he comes from good stock, so he delivers it all.  And when he comes home to find that I’ve left a nugget of Presorted Standard beauty for him in the mailbox, ripping up his own junk mail is a welcome bit of catharsis. 

He’s also losing weight faster than any normal human being could possibly match.  Apparently carrying over 50 pounds on your back while you walk up and down stairs and hills for several hours a day in intense heat is quite the Ab Blast.  

Obviously, I’m cleaning up my diet to counterbalance.  I can’t let myself be the fat one.  I just can’t.

Anyway, that’s all.  You already know I quit my job (so I can live off my handsome mail carrier).  And hey, I’m not allowed to blog about work because I could be fired, but Dave’s job is fair game, right?

Maybe I’ll change my blog to be a day in the life of a postal worker’s wife.  

That sounds like a shot straight to the top of the famous farm. 

In This, the Passing of My First Life Quarter

11 Jul

I’m right there with ya, kid.

I am writing this post in the last hours of my 25th year.  It is the end of my first quarter-century;  I have completed one fourth of my supposed long and happy triple-digit life.

I am enduring this home stretch with a set of very troll-like eyebrows.

You see, I’m doing this thing for my birthday called destressing.  I’ve spent this past week preparing for a day of complete and total self-indulgent bliss.  I start with getting my hair done, progress to getting my brows “designed” and then get a long, lovely massage.

That’s right, I said “brow design”.  Apparently that’s a thing.   This entire time I’ve been walking around with normal human eyebrows and thinking it’s socially acceptable but it’s not.  They need to be expertly crafted.  Doing so will change the way people look at my face, perceive my hairstyle, and receive my opinion in large groups.

That’s what I’ve convinced myself of, anyway. My 26th year is going to be an expertly crafted Year of the Brow.  There’s only one catch.  In order to properly have your brows “designed”, you have to grow them out.  Like, stop tweezing them altogether for 6-8 weeks.  

I’m a generally fuzzy human being.  No brow maintenance has been difficult for me. In the midst of my neglect, my eyebrows have taken on a life of their own.  I have almost no discernible arch remaining and tiny hairs are sprinting away to my hairline in fear of what may become of them.  

I’m spending the last hours of my 25th year as a common troll.

Aside from tomorrow morning signifying the beginning of The Year of the Brow, it will also be a day for complete and total relaxati0n.  To prepare, I woke up at 5:30 this morning and worked until this post was complete.  Because I’m at a point in my life where I can’t actually take a day off unless I’m going to agree to not sleep another day to make up for it.

I think that’s called adulthood.

Anyway, I’ve been celebrating my day of stresslessness by slowly eradicating awful, stress-inducing things from my life.   Today I even cleaned out my refrigerator and cupboards so that they didn’t sneak up on me in a week and cause a stroke.

I also quit my job.

You like how I just threw that in there?  All casual and whatnot with the fridge and the cupboards.

I am indeed headed to a spa tomorrow as a birthday celebration.  But the real gift I gave myself is walking away from a death-inducing job.  I’m so tickled I might pee myself during the spa celebration just thinking about it.

I would have much preferred to write about all the details surrounding that bundle of joy, but we’re not in the early 90’s anymore, kids.  If I’m going to write about my job, I’m going to have to put it in a tell-all book that will be ravishing enough to make millions – because I’ll never work again.  And I’m just not that confident in my following yet.

So hey: Happy Birthday to me.  I’m overtired, unemployed, and I look like a troll.

Sounds like I’m just a skip and a jump away from 30. 

Therapeutic Cat-Washing

27 Jun

Yesterday I was so upset at the world that I washed my cat.

I think it had something to do with working a ten hour day and having my boss call me the moment I left the office.  Twice in a row.  And then text me seven times.  Right in a row.

There is something about the beeping that my phone makes upon a new text delivery that I am unable to check that feels like a hamster is nibbling at my insides.  When I know it’s my boss and I’m behind the wheel and helpless to know what the emergency is that inspires her to plague me so, that hamster gets upgraded to a gerbil.  And by the time I got to the grocery store, called her, handled said emergency, drove home, unpacked everything, changed my clothes, and saw that the house was a mess beyond livability, I would have had a more relaxing evening had I just set myself on fire and run out of my office building before it all started.

But I didn’t.  So instead, I took my cat for a walk.

Hobbes is an interesting creature of habit.  Once upon a time, Dave had a pang of guilt about man’s domestication of felines and their tendency to remove their manhood once domesticated.  And so to give Hobbes a taste of loveliness, he took him to the park, where I sang him a lively rendition of “A Whole New World”.   Ever since, when Dave gets home from work, Hobbes paws and meows at the front door until we either let him out or shoot him.

We don’t have a gun.

So since I was at my wit’s end and wanted a breath of fresh air anyway, I decided to kill two cats with one walk and bring Hobbes into the great wide open.  He doesn’t require a leash because all he does is roll around on the concrete like he’s on ecstasy and the concrete is neon silk.  The neighbors tend to stare.

And while Hobbes was relishing the highlights of neon and softness in the sidewalk, I sat beside him stewing about all the work I had to do that evening and how I really just wanted to play video games and eat cookies.   I imagined the carpet that needed to be vacuumed several days ago and the cat litter that I just scooped this morning that already needed to be scooped and the dusting, dishwashing, counter-cleaning and general exhaustion that was about to ensue.  It burned like a fiery pit of filth in my stomach, right beside the once-gnawing gerbil.

That’s when Hobbes’ ecstasy binge led him to a soft pile of dirt and he began to roll in a frenzy, overtaken by the spirit of a chinchilla.

He rolled and rolled.  I’d venture to say it was the happiest moment of his life to date.  It may have even made up for the fact that his ancestors had been torn from the tundra and domesticated into prissy little eunuchs.  

But I was not happy.  My mind was chock full of filthy things needing to be cleaned and even if I did every single one of them, my E-crazed chinchilla was just going to deposit a sack of black dust all over my living room anyway.  And since I had nothing inanimate near me on which to take out my sometimes compulsive cleaning habit, I instead grabbed the offender by the scruff of his neck and the tub of his tummy and carted him to the bathroom.

I think this is where I did the most harm.  Hobbes loves the bathroom.  He loves the sink and the tub and the perfectly Hobbes-sized carpet I apparently bought for him.  He loves the shower curtain and the occasional drip from the tub’s faucet.  He lives like a king in that sacred room.  But he doesn’t like water.  I know this because when, in my fury, I splattered the water all over his dirty behind, his eyes turned to saucers, his tail went stick straight, and he engaged every fiber of his being into actively escaping the porcelain death trap I had set for him.

But I’m a human.  And humans trump cats.  Hence the domesticated nutsack-stealing.

I rinsed about a half pound of black dust and dander down my tub before I started to worry I’d genuinely give him a heart attack so I turned off the water and convinced myself he was clean enough. I smothered him in a towel and then made a note to do a load of laundry because I had just used my last clean towel on my cat.

Freshly toweled cats are hilarious, angry little things.  I highly recommend it on a rough day.

I followed up the traumatic session with a gentle brushing, which was actually in my favor more than his but he’s too stupid to know the difference between a proper petting and a wire brush.  Another point for the humans.  I then nursed the wounds he’d inflicted that, due to my nerdy cat allergies, had swollen to look like boils all over my skin.  Point for the cats.

But I felt better.  I had cleaned something.  Not just that – I had cleaned something that fought back – and I had won.  I mean, I tend to take out my stress on my dirty apartment from time to time, but that’s just a hurricane of cleaning that ends in my sweat and tears.  This! This was fantastic.  Five minutes of cat cleaning and I’m good to go.  I can dust a little, vacuum a little, pick up a few cups and be done.  The filthiest thing in my apartment had already been conquered and it was now so upset at the violation that it was cleaning itself. Perfection.

Therapeutic Cat-washing, folks: I highly recommend it. 

Flurries and Furries

20 Jun

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a blender.

Okay, I know – I’ve had a blender for a while.  That’s what you’re thinking.  Because obviously you’ve read every single one of my posts and you know that one time, in the year of The Jackie Blog postaday 2011 super festival, Jackie posted about wanting a blender.  And you’re right; I got one.  I called it The Blender of Shame and when I brought it home, I was disappointed that for 20 American dollars, you cannot buy a blender that will uniformly chip and blend ice.

The Blender of Shame post was March 9, 2011; over a year ago.  My blender hasn’t done anything since.   For a year, I’ve thought about things I could do with a good blender:  frappaccinos, alcoholic milkshakes, smoothies and protein shakes of all kinds.  And I wept.

But yesterday I found myself at Target.   But yesterday, I went to Target for a blender.  And while in the blender aisle (there’s an entire AISLE OF THEM), I stared at varying price levels with a multitude of claims.  And because I was upset that I had been duped into a terrible blender a year prior, I bought the most ridiculous one there even though it was a terrible financial decision.  I told myself that it would pay for itself in avoided Starbucks trips and in the number of times I will repeatedly buy crappy blenders until one day I give up and just buy expensive ones anyway.

It’s called the Ninja.  It claims to turn ice into powder, which, at first seems just a bit intense.  But I was mad, so I liked it. I set it up the very moment I got it home.

Actually, once I took it out of the box, I ran into my living room and tried to get my black cat to go in it so I could take a picture of her being a ninja in a Ninja box.

I lead a very exciting life.

I say all this to say: this blender is amazing.  It scares the bejeezus out of me.  Right before I touch the speed button, I get this little rush to my chest because I kind of feel like the blades will somehow whip themselves through the blender lid, into the sky, and directly toward my face.  That, and I’m excited about a good smoothie.  

I’ve already made three smoothie concoctions in only two days.  I think Dave is afraid that I’m going to make dinner and throw it into a blender out of enthusiasm.  And he’d probably try it too.

He’s a good man.

Anyway, I’m telling you about my blender today because I actually want to be telling you that I experienced a fantastical Lollipop Tuesday by going to the Furry Convention held in Pittsburgh this past week.   But I can’t tell you that because it didn’t dawn on me until they were packing up that I should have dressed like a kitten and run down to the convention center to do some insider reporting.

Furries, by the way, are folks who are so into animals that they dress like them.  Sometimes they even act like them.  Some go so far as to copulate when in costume or to never even take off the costume at all.  Here’s a picture for full effect:

 I remember a friend of mine who worked in a hotel downtown reminiscing about the troubles of furries in the hotel.  One furry in particular, deemed it prudent to use the hotel floor as a litter box and did not, in fact, clean up after himself. 

itself.

the furry’s self.

Not all of them do that.  I like to think of those folks as furry extremists.  They can also be people who just like a certain character so much that they associate themselves with it or like to dress up as it.  I love it when the Furry Convention is in town because it’s nice to run into a random raccoon in my favorite restaurant or see a family of small rodents downtown.  Life should always be fun like that.  I also like it because it significantly increases my chances of getting to explain to my boss what a furry is when she asks.

She did.  It was excellent.

But aside from all that, I am genuinely disappointed in myself.  I can’t imagine the absolute wave of inspiration that would wash over me the moment I step foot into that convention center.  It would have been glorious.  But I’m an idiot and by the time it occurred to me, they were packing away their tails and ears. 

Unless they were hardcore.  Then they just walked home or became strays I guess.

Anyway, it would have been easy and wonderful and instead it wasn’t and so instead I wrote about my blender.  And I vowed that next year I would have to continue the blog because by golly I’m not going to rest until I cover a furry convention.

Mark my words. 

How to Drive, Chapter 3

13 Jun

I would like to take a moment to address a woman I met in an intersection this week.  Let’s call her Patty.

You see, I would have addressed Patty in the moment but I was unable to.  I was too busy trying to avoid the mountain of metal she was commandeering so that I didn’t die a painful, car-to-the-head death.  I suppose after I narrowly avoided said mountain of metal, I could have mentioned it but I was too taken aback by the ridiculous face she made, which looked somewhat like this:

Well, that’ s my face doing an impression of her face and poorly cropping it.

This is me.

Also poorly cropped. And in a Yoshi go-kart.  I’m disappointed that this image is not representative of my actual vehicle.

I digress.

Somehow though I was following the rules of good American citizenship and driving according to the details laid out in my Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual, this woman seemed to think that it was my fault she was going to hit me.  And since I never caught up to her to hurdle insults and a driver’s manual through her window, she’ll never know the error of her ways.  In fact, she probably went home to tell her boyfriend all about the idiot she almost collided with in the intersection.

I don’t like fibbers.  And I don’t like to miss teaching opportunities.  I don’t really think I can go on with my life having not taken the time to do my part in educating America.  And though  Patty is probably going to drive around like a moron the rest of her life unenlightened and all her boyfriends are going to think she has terrible luck on the road, it is my mission here on The Jackie Blog to ensure all my readers are not Pattys. So here I give you:

How to turn onto a multi-laned intersection:

Chapter 3 of “Learning to Drive” from the PA Driver’s Manual. Seriously.

Now, the fact that this information is free and distributed both online and in print may surprise you if you’re a Patty.  It’s okay.  Take your time settling in.  That’s a lot of words and a tiny picture.  Let me poorly crop and color it for you.

That’s her in pink in the Birdo cart.  That’s me in green in the Yoshi cart.  This is the way it was supposed to go.  Patty and Jackie want to go west on this lovely roadway, they both have a green light, and so to avoid collision while keeping traffic moving and getting everyone where they need to go, people turn into the same lane in the position as the one they are leaving.  I’m in the left lane.  When I turn, I stay in the left lane.  Patty is in the right lane.  When she turns, she is supposed to remain in the right lane.

However, because Patty is, well, a Patty, she thinks that once you get one tire into an intersection, you enter a portal where you’re randomly assigned a new lane based on how you feel that day.  But she didn’t enter a portal.  She was still in reality, where her car was dangerously close to colliding with mine.   And for what was almost my parting image from this world, I was given with this charming face blaming me for my supposed error:

She also exaggerated mouthing the words “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?!”  She even mouthed the punctuation.  I saw it.

Regarding a left turn in an intersection, the DMV text states “By always turning into the lane closest to the centerline, you also avoid interfering with traffic coming from the opposite direction making a right turn onto the same street.”  It should actually read: “By always turning into the lane closest to the centerline, you also avoid interfering with traffic coming from the opposite direction making a right turn onto the same street. But stay alert for those who consider the intersection to be a sort of ‘portal’ wherein their brains are scrambled and they are randomly dispensed into a lane of their mind’s assignment.

So hey: if you’re a Patty, please reread this until you’re sure you’ve got it down.  In fact, just reread the whole manual. If you’re THE Patty – welcome to The Jackie Blog; please email me a picture of your face so I can make this more historically accurate.  Please also give your keys to the nearest licensed adult and donate your car to them. If you’re not a Patty at all, please consider sharing this with someone who is.  

It will make the world a better place and may one day make me famous enough to afford a Yoshi go-kart. 

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