Tuesday, July 31, 2007

But the sun still shines and my car is somehow increasing its gas mileage

Last night, I had the pleasure of dealing with lots of horrible music, due to the fact that I spent an hour on hold with two separate companies. And lest you think I mean an hour all together, let me assure you that I mean an hour with company #1, then an hour with company #2. Company #2 is my cable company, and I'm sure that if they had been around in Dante's day, cable companies would have their very own cesspool in hell. Because I try to maintain an appearance of quasi-ladylike qualities (purely for my mother's sake), I'm not going to do a play by play. Last night, I actually felt the need to drink a little straight vodka before I could deal with them again. After I talked to the first person - we didn't get along so well - I was on hold for 45 minutes before I talked to the second person. The glass of wine that I forced myself to sip much more slowly than normal returned my manners. (In case you want to know why I was almost rude: The last time I talked to their customer service, I was told that when I called again - notice, they KNEW I'd have to call again - I should immediately ask to speak to a floor supervisor. This really ticked off the woman who answered the phone, and she made me go through my whole saga anyway, even though I TOLD her the instructions I'd received. Then she made me listen to their crappy music for 45 minutes. But I ended up getting a good chunk off my cable bill.) On the phone last night, I was assured that I would not have to be home today for the tech to come out. Today, the cable tech came out, but because I wasn't home, he left a note telling me I needed to reschedule. This is the second time IN A ROW that this has happened. I called back this afternoon, and spoke to a guy with a sense of humor. I made him laugh, put on a Southern Belle accent for him (only half fake) , told him he was my favorite phone rep so far (he doesn't have a lot of competition), and assured him that I would totally go out with him if we lived in the same country (well, not really). In return, he supposedly rescheduled a tech to come out tomorrow. And he cancelled the rest of my next cable bill. I almost felt like I should describe the black lacy bra I was wearing to show him that I was sincere in my appreciation, but then realized I'd have to charge him for a conversation like that. And I'm not set up as a small business. Yet. By the time I got home, my throat was swelling up to a level that - gasp! - made it uncomfortable to talk. I think all of the deep breaths and teeth clenching and holding in the rage last night infected my throat. An hour ago, I started getting the paper-thin-skin, now-I'm-chilly-now-I'm-sweating, please-dear-husband-don't-make-me-turn-down-your-love-tonight feeling that indicated a fever. Being a mature, responsible adult, I didn't move for a while. It's the closest thing to a, um, chemical experience I'm gonna have, so I figured I might as well enjoy it. Then I realized that since I clean out the litter box on a regular basis and worry about how many vegetables I eat in a day, I can no longer pretend to enjoy anything close to an illegal chemical experience. So, because I was miserable, I took my temp (it was 100.8, Mom) and then took some meds. As for how my gas mileage has increased - from 25 mpg to hovering just over and under 30 - over the past four months when it's now July in Alabama and the AC runs full blast 100% of the time...maybe that's supposed to make up for the fact that I'm acting like an adult? I guess I'd rather do that then tequila shots. But the tequila shots were fun as hell while they lasted.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I found this buried somewhere and realized that in my post-London fog, I never posted it. Because I'm so brilliant at this blogging thing that I guess I assume things will just magically appear on the page when I want them to. Oh, and here's the link to the London pics on Flickr. Our last night in London, we treated ourselves to a Medieval Banquet. The basic premise is that if you give them an obscenely ludicrous amount of money, they will give you four courses of food, a few dancing girls, some men prancing around with swords, and all-you-can-drink-beer and wine. What's not to love? It was like a family night that was tailor-made for us. First, we're going to clarify the all-you-can-drink aspect. Because if you know anything about me, you know that when I saw that printed on the ad, I pulled The Professor's American Express out of his back pocket without asking any questions such as "Honey, is it ok if I use your credit card?" Or "Exactly what kind of beer and wine are we talking about?" Or even "Does anyone else want to do this?". I'm not sure what they did to the beer. I'm not sure that the wine even had alcohol in it. The beer came out of a tap and into a pitcher that was shared by the table. The wine just kept appearing in glass jugs. The beer tasted better - and went better with the meal - so that's what I drank. Our cups were small, but I had plenty. The first pitcher was kind of flat, so we drank it quickly to get a fresh one (there were 12 of us at the table, about 4 or 5 drinking the beer). It was better - but I swear they were serving the Non-alcoholic version. Which is probably a good thing, because if I had to watch the dancing girls whirling around and around and around while I was drunk, I probably would've ended up under the table. Best lines: The only other American at the table was some guy from Way Up North (which would excuse him for his lack of manners, if I were in a charitable mood. I wasn't). When the paté was served on a trencher with some crusty bread, his only comment was: "Liverworst! I haven't had that in years! Where's the mustard?" StepSon, upon being asked why he was watching the servers so intently: "I'm pretty sure those shirts are supposed to fall off at some point." Me, to the guy sitting next to my StepSon: "Your girlfriend is drunk and puking in the bathroom and she wants to talk to you." It was a great night.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why do I still go to a Catholic Church?

This Pope is really pissing me off.
Here's the latest of his crazinesses:


Basically, he's edging back towards the old teaching that only Catholics are going to make it to heaven. Did they dig this man out of a hunk of ice frozen from the 3rd century or something?

One of my favorite quotes: "But it is fundamental to any kind of dialogue that the participants are clear about their own identity."

Translation: "Before we talk to you...you...non-Catholics we need to make sure you understand that you are ALL inferior."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Because you should never be too far from your iPod

I give you this, and invite you to all the bad, tasteless jokes you can think of. Because if anything ever screamed out "please make a tasteless joke about me, preferably one that inlcudes references to horrible bodily functions", this is it.
And if you just have to have one (yes, Uncle, I'm talking to you), here's the Amazon link. And I don't want to know about it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

It was the perfect suburban childhood.

Three girls, with one little brother to torment as much as possible. A mom who cooked dinner every night – and it tasted good. A dad who could fix ANYTHING. A pool in the backyard. A back deck with a couple of cats to play with. What more could we want? And then they said they were shaking things up a bit. Because, you know, in the mid-Eighties, raising four kids and sending them to Catholic schools on a single income just isn’t exciting enough. So we were told that we’d have a little brother or sister. I don’t think they found out what it was going to be beforehand. I remember my brother praying for a boy. I remember at least one of my sisters being a little grossed out at the thought of my parents having a child “at their age”. I remember almost nothing of what I thought about the whole affair. Knowing me, I had opinions, but I don’t remember consciously thinking about it. Since I was eight, and the only two things my world consisted of in the summer months were the pool and my books, I probably thought it would be something to keep my mom from telling me that I needed to clean my room (leaving me more time to re-read the Little House books for the eighteen-gazillionth time). And then…he was there. I do remember holding him in the hospital. And losing my heart. Maybe it’s not fair to my other brother and sisters – but I only really got to know them as adults, after all. But the baby…I’ve know him his whole life. He wasn’t mine at first. I had no idea what to do with him. But my sisters did. So I watched while they changed his diaper, and fed him, and played with him. And I consciously copied them. After all, if they could do it, I thought that meant I could too. Their ten year advantage meant little to me. Although I’m sure it meant a lot to my mother every time I tried to pick him up and she envisioned me dropping him on the brick fireplace. I remember him curling his fingers in his hair while he fell asleep. Or mine, if he was curled up on my shoulder. I remember the day he started fussing on the living room floor. All three of us sisters moved immediately to “the baby”. And my saintly mother lost patience and demanded that we “LEAVE THE BABY ALONE!” so that he could learn to walk. “I am NOT,” she declared, “carrying him on my hip to his first day of kindergarten!” And then four years later, he really was mine to play with. Every day. The sisters were gone. We moved away. He was “my baby”. Which was all fine and dandy with him…until I yelled that at one of his baseball games. In front of his friends. Who all watched his face turn red. I was informed later that I am NOT – repeat NOT – ever allowed to call him that in public again. Oops. It’s a few years later. He turns 21 today. I think if he’s truly exhausted, he still pulls at his hair when he’s tired. I still call him “my baby” from time to time. And God help us, he can legally do the things I did when I was 21.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

You never knew MSNBC could be so life-fullfilling

Apparently, I'm worthy of being a US Citizen. Thank you MSNBC, for asking questions that I could get 100% correct. Can I have some kind of certificate that says "Approved by MSNBC as being worthy to be a citizen of the United States of Dick & George"? Hmm...no certificate, but they did give one of those handy sets of result ranges, like the kind you see in Cosmo when you're answering questions as to the liklihood of your husband getting it on with your best friend while you're gone to visit your aging grandmother. Since I don't have an aging grandmother, Cosmo has taught me not to worry about the Professor and the best friend hooking up. Because if they did, the non-existent aging grandmother would be the least of my worries. The most of my worries would be how many bottles of cheap vodka Alabama legally allows you to buy at one time. I'm willing to bet that the legal limit is far less than it would take to erase that picture from my mind. And in case you're wondering, here's what MSNBC says about my prospects of being an American citizen: "85-100% correct: Welcome to the United States! (And, truth be told, you know more about this great land than most Americans.)" So, not only do I get to be proud of the fact that I know how many representatives we have (and no, I won't tell you - take the quiz, get it wrong, and they'll give you the answers), but I also get to say that I probably - according to MSNBC, mind you, I would never say such a boastful thing on my own - know more about this country than you do. And really, if I can't find fullfillment in the fact that MSNBC told me that I know more about something than millions of people whom I'll never meet, then I just don't know if life would be worth it any more.