Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Window Into My Home, Part 10

Guy #1 (reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to our son for the seven billionth time)(in a fake WW2 movie German accent): On Sunday, he blitzkrieged through vun nice green leaf, and felt much better. Now he is not hungry anymore, und he is not a little caterpillar either. No! He vas UND GROSSE CATERPILLAR! He build a small house, called the Maginot Line, around himself. He vaited two veeks, bombed his vay out, und he vas a beautiful industrialist!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Window Into My Home, Part 9

Guy #1: Remember when your pregnancy snoring drove me to the couch?

Me: Yeah. I felt really bad about that. That's why when my snoring woke me up, I tried to go to the couch.

Guy #1: Wasn't having my pregnant wife sleeping on the couch.

Me: But I didn't mind! It was actually more comfortable than the bed!

Guy #1: Well, if I had known this key piece of information at the time...

Me: Um, honey, you did. I told you it was more comfortable when you came to get me.

Guy #1: Oh, well, it just sounded like the kind of bullshit you'd say to make me feel better.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another Window Into My Home

Me: You're going to have such great conversations with our son.

Guy #1: What do you mean?

Me: I'm not going to be the one having the porn talk.

Guy #1: "Son, girls don't really like to do that unless you pay them."

Me: Oh, I meant the anime porn. "Son, ever since we bombed Japan, they've been a little messed up."

Guy #1: Did Guy #3 not grieflink you with The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife?

Me: No. I don't click his links anymore.

Guy #1: (sends the link)

Me: Holy smokes!

Guy #1: So don't blame the bombs. Blame the British.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Don't Eavesdrop On My Lunch Pod, Part 23

Me: But you couldn't CALL it "Hustler Online." The great thing about a title like Everquest or Warcraft is that millions of spouses all over the world nod their heads and smile because things aren't obvious. A name like Hustler gives it away.

Guy #1: Leave It To Beaver Online.

Guy #3: "Dear, you were a little hard on the Beaver last night."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Also, Read This

Faster Than Telling Y'all One By One

Me (11:47:42 PM): So, there we are at the ultimate small town America fireworks display. It's ten minutes longer than the DC Mall show. There are hot dogs, Good Humor trucks sponsored by the Lions Club, and a high school girl singing the National Anthem

Me (11:48:09 PM): Only, they've aimed the mortars badly this year, and the entire crowd keeps getting peppered with burning cardboard

Guy #2 (11:48:20 PM): That sounds awesome!

Me (11:48:26 PM): (Friend) gets one fragment in her hair

Guy #2 (11:48:27 PM): I'm not sure if I'm being sarcastic or not.

Me (11:48:44 PM): My sister in law and I both got smacked with giant chunks

Guy #2 (11:48:48 PM): OK if people I know are wounded, it's no longer awesome.

Me (11:49:17 PM): But it's pretty good, still, even up to the point where a grass fire starts next to (other friend)

Me (11:49:25 PM): Bear in mind it rained all afternoon

Me (11:49:33 PM): They had to TRY to get a fire going.

Me (11:49:45 PM): It was a big mortar fragment.

Me (11:50:02 PM): But still, I just put up my umbrella and enjoyed the finale

Me (11:50:06 PM): Which went well

Guy #2 (11:50:02 PM): Didn't anyone notice the flaming debris falling from the sky?

Me (11:50:20 PM): Yeah, but the show didn't stop for whatever reason

Me (11:50:27 PM): But wait, there's more

Me (11:50:34 PM): The last bank of mortars is going

Me (11:50:50 PM): And they'd been doing ground level fountains all night

Me (11:51:11 PM): Then one went off and I thought, fuck, that wasn't a fountain, that one was a half sphere

Me (11:51:19 PM): It was one of the big ones exploding on the ground

Me (11:51:23 PM): Which set off two more

Me (11:51:28 PM): That went into the crowd

Me (11:51:46 PM): Seven injured, only two seriously

Me (11:51:57 PM): They got helicoptered out

Guy #2 (11:52:11 PM): Youch.

Me (11:52:30 PM): I always thought if I were in the front row for something, I'd take pictures and send them to the TV stations

Me (11:52:34 PM): Only I couldn't.

Me (11:52:45 PM): It was a grandmother and a little boy.

Me (11:53:05 PM): We just decided we could let other people rubberneck, and we got the hell away.

Me (11:53:23 PM): Being SHELLED is not as fun as it looks on CNN!

Guy #2 (11:53:34 PM): Well, yes, there's a reason armies use mortars!

Me (11:53:59 PM): The concussion wave does more damage than the burning bits, apparently.

Guy #2 (11:53:59 PM): That sounds criminally negligent.

Me (11:54:16 PM): We'd been going and sitting there for years

Me (11:54:52 PM): We'd never seen fragments at all, it all fell on the soccer field they don't let people sit on.

Me (11:55:33 PM): The only thing I can think of is that the storms caused them to cover the setup with tarps, and removing the tarps fubared their angles

Me (11:56:22 PM): So, the takeaway - I cannot believe we shoot mortars at Iraqi women and children, and I think (friend) is never going to go with me to fireworks again :P

Guy #2 (11:56:49 PM): Well, to be fair the Iraqis shoot a lot more mortars at us now

Me (11:57:22 PM): We don't have civilians in Iraq.

Me (11:57:23 PM): Well

Me (11:57:24 PM): we do

Me (11:57:29 PM): but they're paid to be there

Me (11:58:04 PM): the only American toddler maimed by mortar fire tonight was in Vienna.

Me (11:58:50 PM): VIENNA.

Me (11:59:26 PM): The main street is called MAPLE AVENUE. There's a car show before the volunteer band plays consisting of seven old white guys and their cool cars.

Me (11:59:53 PM): There's a committee that sticks flags on everyone's mailbox.

Me (12:00:10 AM): Norman Rockwell fled this place because the diabetes was gonna kill him.

Guy #2 (12:01:19 AM): explosives can hurt you!

Me (12:01:49 AM): This show is going to get sued out of existence

Me (12:02:07 AM): Vienna is where lawyers go to raise children.

Me (12:03:37 AM): Oh, but there will be lawsuits:

Me (12:05:02 AM): mutter

Me (12:05:29 AM): so what'd you do for the 4th?

Guy #2 (12:05:50 AM): nothing nearly that exciting!

Edit to add: Washington Post update

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tech Support

I often call Tech Support, aka Guy #2, who lives in Texas, whenever I have computer troubles. (I tend to fix my expensive hardware with an assortment of techniques such as The Whack, The Wire Jiggle, The Three Fingered Salute, and occasionally The Stream of Profanity. These things almost always work. I recently expanded my repetoire to include Updating Four Year Old Video Drivers and Typing Error Messages Into Google.) Doing phone support for your semi-literate friend is no picnic, I admit. The conversation includes a lot of riffing through submenus and desperate attempts at remembering old passwords.

The only thing worse than old passwords are old people. Specifically, old people to whom you are related, people you love and do not wish to upset. You cannot get frustrated, because you will fluster them and you'll have to start over. You cannot use new-fangled terms such as "USB," lest you cause their brains to reset. You find yourself saying "thingy" a lot.

This is an actual conversation I had today, with beloved old people located two time zones away:

Old person (using speaker phone): My book isn't working. You said if I went to My Computer I could click on the blue book, only, I don't see it.

Me: Wha?

OP: My picture box. I got the one you said last year, only it's been in a moving box.

Me: OH, the external hard drive. Why do you call it a book?

OP: That's what it said on the box.

Me: Okay. Well, what is it called?

OP: It's Western Digital. You told me!

Me: No problem. Okay. Click on "My Computer" and tell me what you see.

OP: (reads aloud the list of icons, none of which are a blue WD icon)

Me: Okay, look at the book. Is there a light on?

OP: Yes.

Me: Okay, good! That means you've got it plugged in right!

OP: Yay!

Me: There should be two cables coming out of it.

OP: Okay.

Me: Now, is the USB cable seated snugly on the back? And is it plugged into the computer tightly?

OP: I don't know.

Me: Take a look.

(Long pause while old person who cannot get onto her knees summons her slightly more flexible mate. Mate crawls behind desk and announces that the cable is plugged in.)

OP: It's plugged in.

Me: Okaaaaay. This is going to sound silly, but try unplugging the USB cable and plugging it into a different USB port.

OP: What's a USB cable?

Me (successfully does not wail in frustration): Look at the end of the cable; the bit that goes into your computer is kind of flat. All one piece, not pronged like a power plug.

(Long pause while able bodied mate crawls back under the desk. He announces that the cable has two prongs in the end.)

OP: It's got two prongs.

Me (still not yelling, but closing eyes. My own mate is laughing hysterically. HIS old person refuses to use computers): Mom, I want you to pick up the book. How many wires are coming out of the back?

(Long pause.)

OP: One!

Me: You need to find your USB cable. Your book needs two wires, one for power and one for information. You don't have the one for information hooked up.

OP: What's it look like?

Me (wondering how the hell I describe a USB cable without using the words "USB" or "cable"): Look on the back of the book and tell me exactly what you see. Describe the two holes.

OP: One is sort of square. The other one has something round plugged into it.

Me: You're looking for a plastic coated wire that has a square end, only, it's an outie, not an innie.

(OP hangs up, because the search is going to take awhile.)

(Phone rings.)

OP (still on speaker): We found it!

Me: That's awesome, Mom. You put the square end in the square hole, and if you look on the back of the computer, you'll find a flat hole that matches the other end.

(Long pause while this wisdom is repeated to the person on the floor, who can hear me. However, he has been married to the OP for thirty five years and no longer seems to notice anything bizarre. He follows the instructions.)

OP: It worked! The blue book popped up on My Computer!

(General rejoicing.)

OP: Our wireless network doesn't work any more.

Me: I know a guy in Texas...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tweety Was Just Ahead of Her Time