Saturday, August 18, 2012

How You Know That Mom Is Getting Into The Facebook

Okay, Let's Go Classic: From October 10, 2008 (previously unpublished, who even knows why) 

I signed my mom up for Facebook, partly because I want her to be hip and cool and partly because she hates scrapbooking so much. Many women her age scrapbook, and while scrapbooking is beautiful to look at, my mom and I are alike in that we share a mild contempt for anything besides stuffing photos into boxes marked "to go through someday." Or, as Russ and I have taken to saying lately when anything we don't feel like dealing with arises, "Hey, let's let future Russ and Sarah worry about that." It's actually very convenient. I highly recommend letting your future self worry about those ten boxes full of highly flammable photos. Or making wills. Or stocks.

Ha! Stocks being valuable. That's a little October financial humor for you.

To re-continue: My mom loves "the Facebook" and I realize that I signed her up at the exact right time. Because I realized, as all children of Cubs fans must realize at some point, that any social networking site simply becomes another venue for the bizarro-world roller coaster ride that is Cubs fandom. Earlier this month, I received some good natured heckling that involved me living in L.A. as part of the nefarious conspiracy known in Chicago as The Dodgers. This good naturedness was, of course, before the Dodgers finished the Cubs in three games and became, again, the butt of every joke. Once that happened, and in three humiliating games, I made the mistake of joking on my mom's Facebook that now it was time to root for the Dodgers.

Big mistake. Imagine fervent denunciation, so passionately Cubs-centric that there was no time for capital letters, just time for multiple exclamation points!!!! Then, my aunt told me I was breaking my Gramp's heart, rooting for those evil Dodgers. (I'm not sure what makes them so villainous — any insights on that?) Not being able to resist, I made it even worse by joking that Dodgers championship wear was coming their way for Christmas. I think my mom and the extended den of Cubs fans might have had a small stroke upon reading that, explaining the intriguing follow up comment of "aaaaaaaaaaaaa."

I should probably stop torturing Cubs fans. But if they didn't like torture, they wouldn't be Cubs fans.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Towns Are All Alike...

On the rounds of my neighborhood, there are quite a few campaign signs displayed, as Monrovia has its big election in April. And when I say big elections, I suppose what I mean is small-town big elections. Which are the best. Because as much as this past presidential election was hailed as different than the elections of campaigns past, really, when you get down to it, it had much of the same ingredients. Charisma. Scandal. Intrigue. But when it comes to small-town elections, you get all sorts of different ingredients. Local station TV arguments. Possible grand theft allegations. Oh, and much, much better campaign signs.

My favorite? The slogan for a mayoral candidate: "Miracles Can Happen." Also perfect? He doesn't have a website, just a slightly creepy AOL handle.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Attention: All Is Not What It Seems

I recently just had my first real experience with buying porn.

It went something like this: I picked up the book off shelf, self-consciously tucked it under my arm, and tried to find the most sympathetic teenage check-out clerk that I could. My face was hot and red, and I wanted to sink through the cool white tiles beneath me. And when she scanned it, she looked at the cover and smiled up at me, "My friends are all into this, too."

Now my humiliation was on display. And I was going to have to converse about it.

"Oh really? Well, it is very entertaining," was what I said, smiling feebly.

I guess I must look wise, or maybe just like someone who might still be in college, because the checker asked me, "Do you recommend it?"

So I answered honestly and told her that I thought it was horrible writing, not realistic at all, and slightly disturbing.

And she looked at me, then back at the cover, like, then, what the hell is this?

I was actually getting a little sweaty by this point, like some Victorian guy who'd accidentally seen a pantaloon. I admitted that I was reading it in order to write a paper about it. Which was only true in the sense that I was thinking about trying to write a paper about it. But not true in the sense that I had no concrete plans to do anything except read the damn thing from cover to cover when I got home.

The Target check out girl then explained me that her friends had all tried to convince her to go see the movie, but as she put it, "Why would I want to go see a movie about some vampire romance? It sounded lame."

Smart girl. That DOES sound lame.

But I took the book with me when I left anyway. Because once you're in, you're in way too deep.

(More on the shame that is Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series in a bit.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Bad Idea Always Bites Twice

Yesterday, at Petsmart, doing Petsmart kinds of activities (wandering off leash, peeing on the floor knowing someone else would clean it up), I had an inspiration that I would very much like to purchase a fancy mouse. The kind that don't look half as fierce or capable of chewing through limbs as the fancy rats, which, despite being fancy and in a cage, would scare Russ out of the house for good. Because the man cannot hang with anything remotely in the shape, color, or style of what he calls "opossum tail." It could have to do with the sheer number of dead ones he has had to pull out from under our home, but then again, it could stem from the time he cornered a live one, spitting possum juice at him, on our porch. Or, simply his hatred of pay phone cords.

I have no idea why this struck me as an inspiration. Something about tiny wheels, maybe. But being a veteran of overdraft notices, I am not as impulsive as I used to be. As in, I no longer decide to spend 75% of my income on spur-of-the-moment purchases, or as Russ calls them, "Huh..." I did impulsively join and have been paying for it - literally - ever since. Every time I call them to cancel, they somehow talk me into using the stamps I already have, which I never, ever do, and which keeps them drawing a cool $15 out of my account every week. Someday, I will finally convince one of my friends to call for me.

So responsible as can be, I asked the teenage salesgirl if it would be kosher (a term I had to explain to her) to hold one of these fluffy white-and-tan mice, even if I didn't plan on purchasing one. You know, to see how we got along.

We didn't.

There was a point when, if you'd looked from a distance, you would see me, shaking my hand as a fancy white-and-tan mouse hung vertically from it, clamped onto my index finger solely with its fancy teeth. It would've been Chaplinesque, except that my gasps were not silent and the blood was quite red. See evidence. I can only hope that the term "fancy" includes "does not carry rabies or plague."

My flailing caused the teenage boy who'd been shadowing me the whole time - and who would not take the hint to get lost - to actually run away. IN FEAR. Really. I cannot describe how fast he took off, not even if I was capable of drawing a diagram with little motion lines and a cloud reading "poof!" Had it happened earlier, that might've been a point of pride, as in, "Yeah, that's right, you better run, emo bangs." But honestly, it was only the threat of tiny mouse teeth that worked to get rid of him.

Clearly, the best reason ever to own mice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Of All The Stranger-Than-Strange Things to Happen At A Wedding, The "Write Insights" Is Pretty Strange

Out of all the events that took place over Christmas, the strangest, at least to the casual observer, is the fact that one of my aunts got married in the basement of my mom's house in Illinois. Why the basement, you ask? Naturally, she wanted my Grandma, who lives there, to attend. Why does my grandma live in the basement of my mom's house? Well, it's technically not the basement, more like the lower level of a tri-level. But to me, it's down, and anything down is basement. It's not like we have Grandma chained to a cold lead pipe, shivering and surrounded by cat poo. She has her own bathroom and fireplace. She also is pool adjacent, which, I admit, is not of much use when the temperature is hovering around, oh, say, ten below zero. But posh, no?

A word on the cold in the Chicago area, which is so severe, it makes my teeth hurt. Ever been that cold? I don't advise it.

But stranger than even attending a wedding in the lower-rec-room-basement floor of my mom's house was that at the reception, I sat at a table with a man who analyzes handwriting to discover personality, temperament, and quirks. I AM NOT JOKING. He looks at it and sees things, but is quick to correct misperceptions such as my niece Beyonce voiced: "Are you a psychic?" He is not. Nor does he see dead people. He is just a guy who knows that the loop in your y really means that you are either a go-getter on the verge of making it big or gearing up to be the next Jeffrey Dahmer. If any of our y's gave us away, though, our handwriting guru kindly kept that information to himself. But he now knows who to avoid for, basically, ever.

Anyway, he went though my friends Diana and Chris, nailing both of them, through my mom, Beyonce, Russell, and me. I now know things that no one should ever have to know about people seated with them at a wedding reception, no matter how close they are. You might be wondering at this point how well our handwriting guy knew all of us. Answer: Not well. Some, he was meeting and speaking to for the first time. And yet, when it came down to the writing, there we were, apparently, butt naked on paper. I don't know how he got so much out six different versions of "I am truly happy to be here today" and a signature. But he read us all in the most amazing and strange way -- I remember that he said my mom is the bigger influence on me, that I am impatient (the way I write my "r" shows that, somehow), and that I am extremely efficient and planned-out. In other words, I should be planning your next big event.

If you are interested in being fully known (in the handwriting sense) by a relative stranger, I am including a link to Dale Roberts' website, Write Insights. It is truly amazing. I would advise it over marital counseling any day. For a fee, he has you send him samples of your handwriting and then, goes about telling you how your handwriting can or will wreck your career, relationships, or chance of winning Wheel of Fortune.

Go on, do it. You have nothing to lose but any chance of ever sustaining the illusions that keep you sane.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fox News, Here I Come...

...Though I doubt they would have me, after giving my own analysis of what lately happened to the McCain campaign. Ah, well.

Keep in mind: My thoughts were written at the beginning of September, soon after the Republican National Convention, and so, are a bit expired, relevance-wise. But still. Cool, right?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wii Fit Be Damned!

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent...okay, wasted, a bunch of time entering into a contest for a Wii Fit that I had so little chance of winning, I might as well of just put my name on the November presidential ballot. But there are two upsides to all this wasted time. As I was leaving my certain number of comments, which I'm not telling, I stumbled upon another Wii-wanting-to-win-ista who has a blog for mothers and left a comment like, "I'm having the same contest and I've only had 200 entries." So I clicked on the blog and found out it was a parent blog. All you had to do was leave motherly advice about how you, personally, are saving the environment. Not being a mother, but a committed dog owner, I figured this qualified me and so, I entered this contest a few times, with such gems as "Turn off the lights" and "Recycling is really great." Then, as I was leaving more comments on the original site and dreaming of being told I was overweight by the judgmental Wii Fit voice, I came across another contest from another blog that was for some CDs and some homemade peanut brittle. And I was like, what the hey? So I entered that contest, too.

This is yet another reason why online is often better than real life -- you have contests giving away actual desirable prizes, like potentially delicious baked goods, vs. the ten letters I get in the mail everyday that promise "$80 for two hours of your time giving your ideas about how to improve the Los Angeles Times." Not that I ever turn down $80. Like a good whore, I will go anywhere air conditioned in the summer and sit there for as long as I possibly can. Font size, you ask? I've got a treatise on it.

As one of eight contestants, I'm holding out hope that I'll receive the "you've won peanut brittle and CDs!" email someday soon.