Month: November 2007

Late adopters

For years, I’ve avoided getting an MP3 player. What on earth for? I said. I’m at home most of the time; have a radio and CD player in the car; don’t have any need for one; why spend money on a useless gadget?

Well, I ran across a 2GB player the other day for $40. What the hey, I thought. I can put workout music on it and not have to blow out the speakers in my spiffy new system. If I don’t like it, I can take it back.

So I bought it, brought it home, charged it up and loaded some tunes on it. Used it for its first workout today and I have only one word to say:


This thing is great. Not too loud, not too soft, no fuzz from bouncing off walls and ceilings and going through doors, and it drowns out the squeaks of the exercise machine. I’m convinced. 🙂 Wheeee!

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Grey fog, grey Friday

I did something this morning that I’ve never done before in my life, something I consider to be both morally reprehensible and socially irresponsible: I went shopping at 5 a.m. at one of the stores that opens at such ungodly hours to suck in frenzied post-Thanksgiving shoppers searching for a good deal, enticing them to spend their hard-earned cash (and even harder-earned plastic) on a plethora of pointless purchases and doo-dads that will be broken or forgotten by the time we change the digit at the end of the year.

Now, I didn’t do this on purpose. It was not a plan. It occurred by default, by desperation. I got absolutely not one single lousy minute of sleep all night last night. When 2:30 a.m. rolled around, then 3:30, then 4, I thought, what the heck, I should go shopping at 5. It’s better than sitting around here screaming because I’m so tired I can hardly breathe but still can’t go to sleep. I was so frustrated and angry by that time I could’ve wrestled a bull to the ground and slit his throat.

So Ms. Dog and I ice-skated up the stairs in pitch black, dug around until we found the windshield scraper, carved a little see-hole, and drove down to Fred Meyer’s, which at least has the advantage of being fairly close (as opposed to the mall, which I avoid on principle anyway).

I was amazed and astounded, in my deep and apparently ineradicable naivete, to see that the parking lot was as full as I’ve ever seen it. At 5 a.m.! Nearly all the shoppers looked as dragged-out and disgruntled as I felt, though I suspect they didn’t have as good a reason. Staggering in a mental fog, unable to think clearly enough to reason out where the stuff I wanted might be when I didn’t find it where I expected it, it took me a while.

The store had added something like three thousand tables piled high with “great gifts” (read: socks, gloves, mittens and hats, and cheap Chinese toys probably dipped in toxic substances) and shoved all the display units closer together so it was impossible to move a cart into an aisle without pivoting it 90 degrees on its hind wheels. I crashed into several units and knocked several things onto the floor thanks to this. Eventually, I found my stuff—milk, sultanas, and tonic water—and went to the checkout line.

Besides having a kid who went through a woman’s entire life history while interminably ringing her up, I couldn’t believe the carts ahead of me. Said woman squeaked, “What?!?” when told her total was $495.79. Well, geez—didn’t she pay any attention when throwing crap in her cart?!? Didn’t she have any kind of list when she went in there, or did she just blindly toss in anything that caught her eye until she couldn’t see over or around the cart? Most of the carts were piled to the ceiling, for that matter. I felt a little odd with my milk, sultanas, tonic water, stretchy little black gloves, and two pairs of wool Columbia socks.

Staggering out the door into the frosty air, I got back home about 6 a.m. and was again surprised at the traffic. No wonder I stay at home and hide under my rock.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, I wrote this whole thing at 6 a.m. and just as I posted it, the bloody machine reset the connection, so it all got lost.  Feh.

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I’m watching “Transformers” and laughing madly, though I don’t think I’m laughing in the places the director intended the audience to laugh. This is hilarious. First off (pay ATTENTION, film world!!!), THERE IS NO NOISE IN SPACE!!! You cannot have a sound wave without an atmosphere!! Get a clue!!

Then there’s the whole conservation of mass law problem, with these relatively little cars and things turning into enormous, skyscraper-sized robot thingies. And it’s frankly a major hoot after all this ridiculous stuff goes on and this serious, grave voice says, “My name . . . is Optimus Prime.” As if it were delivering an address of critical import. A couple of minutes later, it’s saying, “My bad” and wondering what lubricants the dog has deposited on its pseudopods. What a wheeze!

I’m developing a fondness for the little spidery-looking, wiggly silver guy. I don’t recall these things being nearly this much fun when you boys had them (and they were a lot less animated). I’m waiting to see if this thing shows up in the movie.

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Saved by the (telephone) bell

Yesterday, I turned 55. That’s pretty cool. It also qualifies me for the senior citizen discount at IHOP, if nowhere else. Considering I was in the air all day and had close connections (many, many planes), I mostly forgot about it.

A friend picked me up at the airport and didn’t mention it. I called Grandma and she said nothing. No messages on my machine from any of my Loving Sons.

I checked through the mail and found a birthday card—from your dad. (It was funny, too.) That reminded me it was my birthday, and that nobody had remembered, so I called Grandma again.

“Is there anything you’d like to say to me?” I asked.

“Um. . . I don’t think so.”

“Anything at all? Take a look at the calendar. What day is it?”

“I don’t know. Is it Monday or Tuesday?”

“It’s Monday.”

“Monday . . . November, right? November . . . fifth, then. . . . Oh! Oh, it’s your birthday! Happy birthday!”

Great, I had to coach my own mother to tell me happy birthday.

Pretty soon, Snaotheus called. He and KrisDi sang “Happy Birthday” to me (but nobody can prove it, so they don’t have to pay royalties). Whew! Finally, a happy birthday I didn’t have to coach out of someone! How pitiful would it be, if the only person who remembered it was your birthday was your ex-husband?!?

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