Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Universe was testing my patience.

I have never been a patient person.



However, I have found that even at this age (I prefer the term "seasoned" rather than "mature"), I am capable of learning.

This week, the family plan on our phone contract was due to expire. So, Son O'Mine and I discussed this and decided to form a smaller "family plan" with just the two of us. Since our phones were both due for upgrades, we took a spin to Best Buy last Saturday to test drive some smart phones (our previous phones were semi-smart).

Like Johns at the Bunny Ranch, we looked them all over, and he decided on the Iphone, while my heart was taken with the Samsung Galaxy. OK, decision made.

Next we headed over to the Verizon store where we originally set up  the family plan two years ago. The day after a new Iphone release, it was understandably busy - so we waited - patiently.

When it was our turn, we were told they cannot change the plan there. We have to call a special secret phone number - actually my ex had to call since he was the only authorized user on the account. And - he had to call with me in the room - he would release our two numbers at which point I had to grab the phone from him, claim those two numbers and set up my new account. If not, we would most likely lose our numbers.

Could they make this more difficult?

You want what?
Well, the ex was at a football game. Over FroYo, Son O'Mine and I decided that we'd just go back to Best Buy and upgrade our phones - we still had a week to straighten out the service plan.

Back to Best Buy we went - chose our phones, and the girl began to enter all the data into her computer. Over, and Over, and Over again. Apparently, the Verizon database was trying to upgrade three phones instead of only two and it kept giving her errors. So she called over a manager (Megan - my new BFF) and she began the process again.  She called Verizon on her cell phone for assistance. She shut down the computer and restarted. Called Verizon again. We all moved across the store to the Customer Service computer and began again. Called again. At this point, she was speaking to a Supervisor at Verizon who couldn't help. The Sup eventually disconnected the call and would accept no further calls. (Have I mentioned that Verizon has hands-down the absolute WORST customer service in the world?)

How badly do you want that phone?

So... after 3 1/2 hours, and a valiant effort by Megan, we left Best Buy - with our old phones. Three and a half hours in which I did not swear, I did not raise my voice, I did not lose my shit.

You're welcome, Best Buy. 

Sunday morning, Son O'Mine took his father hostage and we called Verizon's special secret phone number to release - claim - the rogue phone numbers. Done.

Back to Best Buy we went, Megan actually met us at the door and we began the process all over again. As she was ringing it up, I saw her eyes widen - Sweet Mother of God, what now???

She leaned over the counter and whispered to me - "Your phone just went on sale this minute - for half price!!"

I can only believe that this was the Universe's way of rewarding me for not having a melt-down the day before. Or perhaps it was because Thursday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day and it was a test of my "Argggggggggh" reflex.



I was unBearably patient - and it paid off.

Go figure.




Sunday, March 16, 2014

A sighting in Connecticut


"It might seem crazy what I'm about to say."

So the other day, a strange, nondescript gray minivan pulled into my driveway. Since I wasn't expecting anyone and our neighborhood is infested with Jehovah's Witnesses, I did what any normal, mature adult would do.
I slipped into Ninja mode, dropped to the floor and crawled under the windowsill to scope it out.
The van had no signage on it, so that narrowed it down - either someone looking for directions or Jesus was off the leash again.
From my vantage point under the window, I saw a skinny dude with a tall hat and a neon green vest get out of the van and jog up my front walk.
As I stumbled to the front door, I heard a *thump* on the porch.  I opened the door just as he jumped back into the van and drove away.
I opened the door and looked down and that's when the magnitude of what I'd just witnessed hit me. 


Drone Droppings
That's right. 

I had just seen with my own two eyes, the mysterious and elusive Amazon Drone! 

This is epic. This is the technological equivalent of Bigfoot, Yeti and the Chupacabra. This is like the Terminator only better.

They took something that originally looks like this:



Prototype

And they camouflaged it to look like this:

Happy Drone

So keep your eyes peeled and listen for the clapping.  You just might spot him too.





This has all the makings of a blockbuster reality show.  I need to organize a drone-tracking team.

"I hear claaaaaaaaaapping..."



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Faking Football No More




For the past 30 years I faked football.

You see, I married into a family that enjoys sports. Correction: they do not enjoy sports, they obsess over sports. In all those years, I can't recall more than a handful of conversations that didn't revolve around football, softball, baseball, basketball or someotherkindofball. And those conversations that were about other topics quickly turned into a sports analogy followed by "did you see that game...?"

And we're back to sports.

So I learned to fake it.

When my 9 year old son played football it was relatively easy to fake it. There are very specific rules that Moms of football players must follow.

  • Once he has the uniform on absolutely no touching. Don't fix his hair, don't tuck his jersey in and under no circumstances do you tie his shoelaces. 
  • Absolutely no public displays of affection.
  • Refrain from vaulting over the other spectators to jack up the kid who tackled your baby. 
At this stage, you don't need to know the rules of the game, you only need to learn the Mom dance:
  • Keep your eyes on your own kid at all times 
  • When he falls down - you stand up.
  • When he gets up - you sit down. 
And that's all you need to know to be a successful football Mom. 

Luckily for me, when he hit high school, Son O'Mine's focus turned to Art School and I no longer had to do the Mom dance every Sunday afternoon. 

Unfortunately, his father did not lose interest. Coaching became his obsession. And I do mean obsession.  All football, all day, all week, all year round.  And the Coach's wife isn't just watching one kid - no, she's expected to remember every kid, his number, what position he plays, his life history, his shoe size and what he had for breakfast.  Sweet Mother of God, now I had to actually pay attention to the game. And as soon as the game was over, he would recap every friggin' minute of the game in excruciating detail.  In our home, there was no such thing as football season. As soon as the last game was over, he would be working 24/7 planning plays and recruiting players for the next year. 

I think it's some bizarre genetic brain mutation  - This man could recall with perfect clarity, every play of every game he'd ever seen or played in the past 50 years, yet he could never remember where the hell he left his glasses. Go figure.

This year, I did not watch one football game all year. Not from the bleachers or the couch, live or televised. Not interested, don't care. Really, Really don't care.


But tomorrow,  I will be watching a bowl game - The Puppy Bowl. Penguin cheerleaders, puppy tailgaters, kitty half-time. It doesn't get any better than that. 




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You'll never believe what I saw this weekend...

Trick or Treat!
So this past Saturday, Son O'Mine and I went on a bus trip to Salem, MA.  It's something we've talked about for a while now, and the scheduling finally worked so we could make it happen. So for those of you who've considered going, here are some tips:

  1. If you're going for the first time, the Saturday before Halloween is probably not the best idea unless you enjoy waiting in line for everything. 
  2. For first timers, a bus trip is the way to go. There is a shit-ton of traffic in and around Salem so hop on the bus, bring your NOOK or tablet and chill. It took us about 45 minutes to travel a few miles from the town line to where the action was. 
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. You will do a lot of walking. And some of the sidewalks are wonky, wavy brick so leave the heels at home. 
  4. Buy the discount exhibit ticket combo (Pirate Museum, Witch Village, Wax Museum, etc). Once you go through one of them, you're bound to want more. Save a buck or two.  (FYI - I am a self-professed weenie when it comes to gory scary things, so if I can emerge without trauma, so can your 7 year old)
  5.  Each exhibit has its own gift shop - almost all carry the same touristy junk. The most interesting booty was found in the artisan tents set up in front of the Peabody. If you appreciate hand-made jewelry (I do) you'll find some beautiful pieces (I did) and you can chat with the artists. 
  6. Don't be afraid to wander. It's pretty easy to find your way around the town and sometimes you have the most interesting adventures when you stray from the path. 
Son O'Mine and I had a great lunch at a bar called "In a Pig's Eye" on Derby Street.  It's a bit of a walk, but worth the trip. And on the way back, we passed this place:

'Nuff said
Tell me you could pass this place and *not* take a picture.  I dare you. It's not every day you see one of these in neon. And we passed another one on the way out of town.

Apparently it's a chain.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Let go or be dragged"




When I was a child, I lost all of the people closest to me within the space of one year.  Consequently, I've always had a difficult time letting go of people.  Even those who were toxic and hurtful and damaging. I clung to them fiercely because my biggest fear was being left alone.
Over the past several weeks I have reconnected with some old friends that I'd lost touch with.  They reminded me that my personhood isn't lost, she's simply been buried for a long time. 

The Me I once was

Yes, that was me at age 26. She was an individual - a person. She was bright and loving and strong and wild and brave. Most of all, she was fearless.  And I miss her.

I see now that what I once believed was a safety net, was actually an anchor dragging me down.  Because I was too afraid to let go.

So this is me... letting go. 

It may take me a while to dig my way out, but I intend to fly.