Saturday, July 26, 2008

Should Have Stayed in Bed

Yesterday kind of sucked. It started with a battle with Cricket (the cellphone people) and ended with Danny having to pull yet another person out of an overturned vehicle (no, not me. No, we weren't in a car accident. )

Since we now live out in the boonies there is no cable service, and thus, no internets. Satellite is crazy expensive, so we've been looking into using a cellphone service for wireless internet, and decided to give Cricket a try. As we were driving to the store Danny told me that they have armed security guards there.
Me: Why??
Danny: Because of the fights that break out. And people trying to attack the salespeople.
Me: Geez, I've gotten mad at my cellphone company in the past, but that's just silly.

We show up, and sure enough there's an armed guard. We buy our modem, are reassured "5 easy steps to install. Super easy." and drive home.

And then the fun ensues.

The program won't recognize that we've inserted the modem into the USB port. I call the help line.
Automated menu: Please enter the phone number for the modem.
Me: What phone number? There's no phone number!
Danny: Try the account number
Me: Enters account number
Automated menu: Wrong.
Me, pushing random options until I get to a human.
Human: I need the phone number for the modem.
Me: There's no phone number!
Human: It's the number on your receipt that looks like a phone number.
Me: There's. No. Phone. Number.
Human: Oh, well I can't help you without the phone number.

I call the store.
Me: The program doesn't recognize the modem, called help desk, need phone number for modem please.
Salesperson: Did you put the CD into the computer?
Me: Yes.
Salesperson: So, click the little picture of the modem on the computer to open the program.
Me: I have done all that. I will call the help line, but I need the phone number.
Salesperson: You don't have the phone number?
Me: No.
Salesperson: It's the number on your receipt. The phone number.
Me: There's no phone number on my receipt.
Salesperson: There should be.
Salesperson, muffled, talking to other incompetant salesperson: Dude! You have to put the phone number on the receipt! *Arguing continues for ten minutes while I wait*
Salesperson: Okay, here's the phone number.

Calling the help desk, and confidently entering the phone number.
Automated menu: That number is not valid.
I begin the random button pushing and get to a human. She fortunately, is very nice. Unfortunately, after an hour of starting, shutting down, restarting, shutting down, and cussing, we realize that it cannot work on our computer.

We return the modem.
Danny: We need to return this modem. It doesn't work on our computer.
Salesperson: Really?
Danny: Yes.
Salesperson calls over other salesperson. They plug it into their computer. It works.
Salesperson: It works.
Danny: Yes, on your computer. But not on our computer. We need to return it.
Salesperson: Did you put the CD in the computer?
Danny: Yes.
Salesperson 2: Hey! Look up that Youtube video I was telling you about!
Salesperson 1: Dude! Sweet!
They spend ten minutes watching a youtube video on our modem. Other salespeople come over to watch it. When it's done, the salesperson returns.
Salesperson: It works on our computer.
Danny: It does not work on our computer. It is of no use to us. We need to return this modem.
Salesperson: Did you put the CD in the computer?
Me: I'm begining to understand the need for the security guards.

Plus, on the way to the store, already fuming about the modem, the two people in front of us get into a car accident and one of the cars flips over. The other one takes off. Danny and some other guys have to pull the woman, covered in blood, out of the car. This is the second time he has had to do this- when I got into a car accident last year he had to pull the woman and her child from the other car out as well. He's getting good at it. I sit with her and try to keep pressure on her hand which has a huge gash in it, while Danny pours water on the car, which has started to smoke. Meanwhile the other car that took off apparently ran into a second car, parked, and the guy ran off. But someone got his license plate number, thank goodness.

All in all, a very bizarre and crappy day. But it did remind me that while I may still not have access to the internet, at least I'm alive.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pup and Circumstance

Guess who graduated from begining obedience school today! It was a stressful final exam- we had a scavenger hunt around the store and had to have Siva do her various commands that she learned at each stop. I wasn't expecting to get worked up over it, but Danny and I both suddenly became very competitive, mainly because we couldn't let the twitchy chihuahua win the prize over our brilliant puppy. So there we were, both sweating and clutching pieces of hotdog, saying "Sit! Sit! Sit!" in increasingly shrill and desperate voices. Siva wanted none of it. She didn't like our treats, she didn't want to sit, and she didn't like being dragged away from every interesting smell she encountered in the store. Eventually we finished, and split the prize between us and the chihuahua. We were all exhausted.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dark Night

We braved the crowds to see Dark Night (wait, is it dark knight? dark night? crap. I'm a moron.) on opening day yesterday. It wasn't actually as insane getting in as we were expecting. Even though there were seemingly thousands of people in line ahead of us, Zac and Danny's plan to charge the suited manager guarding the door, and Teresa and my plan of crying and talking about our periods/imminent pregnancies went unneeded.

To my disappointment, there was only one kook dressed up like Batman in the theater. When I saw the first Star Wars in the theatre a forty year old Luke Skywalker was having a light saber battle with a five year old Darth Vader before the movie. All of the previews looked pretty entertaining, except for the movie adaptation "of the best graphic novel ever in the history of everything" by the dude who did the last movie adaptation of the other "best graphic novel in the history of everything". That preview involved stylized shots of hot women with quasi-seductive but generally just bizarre sounding stripper names (Silken Floss??? Sounds like a thong that doubles as a dental hygiene device) saying dirty double entendres in artificially seductive voices. Danny and Zac were, needless to say, already making plans to go see that one.

The movie was excellent. I am generally impatient of 2 1/2 hour long movies because generally it just means the director was too conceited to edit his work, but in this case it totally needed to be as long as it was. Not surprisingly it was a very, umm, "dark" movie, but had enough humor to keep you from getting totally overwhelmed. Heath Ledger did an amazing job. Amazing. I would be saying that even if he hadn't died. He was creepy and funny and weirdly likable but totally fucked up. And the make-up artist who did his face should win an Oscar too.

The only two issues I had with the movie were with Christian Bale and Maggie Gyllenhal (or however it's spelled). Now, Christian Bale is yummy, I am the first to admit it. I swooned all through Captain Corelli's Mandolin, with the ridiculous plot and Nick Cage's laughably ridiculous Italian accent all because of Christian Bale with a full beard. I think he was even a bad guy and ends up raping someone, or killing someone, or kicking a puppy, but it didn't matter. Shirtless and bearded? I'm done. But there's something about the lower half of Bale's face that bothers me (hence the beard requirement). It's a little too anal retentive looking, or too prissy, or trying to hard. And in Batman you generally only get to see the lower half of his face under the Bat Mask, which is truly a shame. And his Bat Man voice is awful. It's like a caricature of a tormented super hero voice- all gravely and deep, but slightly nasal like he can't breath very well under the Bat Mask. It was very distracting.

My problem with Maggie was two-fold. She had dark circles under her eyes which made her look like she was an overworked housewife, rather than the beautiful childhood love of Bruce Wayne. And she never really got upset in the movie, just exasperated. Your fiance is going to jail? Your childhood love may be giving up being Batman for you? Pretty much everyone in Gotham City is being killed by a deranged clown? All she could manage was a disappointed frown and a furrowed brow. Even when SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT she was about to die it seemed more like she had discovered an accident on her rug by her new puppy. Irritated, but not the end of the world.

Other than that, excellent. I give it two thumbs up. And there was a preview for the next Terminator movie with Christian Bale, and guess what? Bearded. I'm so there.

EDIT: It's Knight. Durrr.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why I Need To Hire a Butler Whose Sole Purpose Is To Deliver Me Coffee In Bed to Prevent Me From Causing Grievous Harm to Myself Or Others

10 am: Wake up
10:15 am: Put bagel in toaster
10:30 am: Realize toaster is not turned on.
10:40 am: Realize house is filled with smoke and bagel is black.
10:50 am: After airing out house, put new bagel in toaster
11:10: Realize house is filled with smoke, and second bagel is black.
11:20: Drive to Starbucks before more damage is done.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Prepare for Mush

With all of my kvetching about being an old married woman, I am continually reminded of all of the reasons my husband is an amazing person, and the perfect person for me. Thus

Reasons Why I Love My Husband *gag*

1. He has the same juvenile sense of humor I do, and if I say something outrageously politically incorrect he will laugh.

2. As soon as I begin to fume about something that he has/has not done he will somehow sense it, and I will come home to a home cooked dinner and a clean house.

3. Whenever I get up in the middle of the night he asks if I'm okay

4. He will get up early to take my parents to the airport so that I don't have to.

5. He gets me flowers "just because" and always tries to get me my favorite kind.

6. Periodically he will say something that proves that he is actually listening when I talk about work.

7. When I first met him I was in the process of an extremely messy break-up with a very nasty person. Danny put up with my indecisiveness, generally freaking out-ness, and abuse from the nasty ex.

8. He told me that a relationship should be fun, and shouldn't be work. While all relationships are work, he proved to me that it should be mutual, and should be outweighed by fun.

9. He does everything he can to make my life less stressful, which is challenging because I get stressed out by almost everything.

10. He encourages me to be independent and to have my own interests and friends.

11. He can fix or build anything. Literally. Nuclear reactor? No problem. Currently he's planning on an invisible edge pool and an elevated deck for our house.

12. He has gone from refusing to eat anything unusual to willingly going to an Afghani restaurant with me. If I could only get him to eat seafood....

He is the steady rock that keeps me from flying off into space, the one who puts things in perspective and keeps me as sane as I can conceivably be. Being married isn't that bad. Being married to him is the best thing I could have done.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Alter Ego

I've had a secret desire for a that frightens me, and yet thrills me at the same time.

I want to join the Tucson Roller Derby. I want to be a Derby Girl.

I went to one of their matches a while ago, and was captivated. Maybe it was the nachos, the beer swilling crowd, or the idea of skating around a rink wearing an adorable kickass outfit to hoardes of cheering fans holding posters of my derby alter-ego name. Whatever it was, I was hooked.

Until I went to the next match and saw a girl get punched in the face. I've never been punched in the face, and I'm pretty sure I would cry if I did. And then I logged on to their website and saw pictures of grinning, bloodied faces and enormous swollen bruises.

I am not a competitive person. At least, not physically. Put me in a battle of wits and I will beat you to the ground with my mind, or if I'm losing I will at least cuss you out vociferously. But I still have flashbacks of PE classes...we did those relay races where each person on the team had to run down the court, shoot a basket, and then run back and pass the ball to the next person. You know how there was always that one sad kid standing miserably under the basket, desperately heaving the ball at the basket and watching it fly off into space, nowhere near the net while everyone on all the other teams sit at the other end of the court muttering epithets? That sad kid was me. My parents had to have a conference with the PE teacher because of my overwhelming kickball related anxiety. When I found out we were going to be playing softball in middle school I didn't sleep for a week.

But recently I've been having the urge to join a sports team. Initially it was the company softball team, but I can't throw, catch, or bat so I don't think I'd be much of an asset. But roller derby? When I was a kid I literally spent whole summers rollerblading. Rollerblading in a circle which is essentially what roller derby is. That, and pushing other girls. I have a bit of an edge in that too- I have a much larger, stronger husband who I regularly try to tackle to the ground. Granted, I don't think you are allowed to bite your opponents in roller derby, but still.

Plus, with roller derby you have an alter ego. You get a clever double entendre name that you go by. It's like being a superhero!

Anyway, they have a meet and greet coming up, and I'm going to go. I think.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Am-ur-ca Day!

I've noticed that "Dubya" Bush pronounces America in the above fashion. It's truly charming, the idea that the president of our country can't actually pronounce it.

Our 4th was low key, but entertaining. We were planning on driving up to Phoenix and re-celebrating our one year anniversary, but my friend Jenny decided to come into town unexpectedly. So, we played host for the weekend. It was fun having her, but she's gotten a wee bit OCD since the last time I saw her. Before she drove down she announced to us, "make sure you clean the bathroom". My own mother knows not to say this to me, because it means that she will be spending her weekend peeing in the bushes or staying in a hotel. Danny quickly hung up the phone before she could hear the epithets being screamed in the background. On Saturday Jenny decided that our clean bathroom was not actually clean enough, and spent four hours scrubbing it with clorox. I found it insulting, but Danny physically restrained me in another room because he is all about the free labor.

Thursday night we stayed home and, well, drank. Actually Danny and our friend Jaime drank. An entire bottle of tequila. Jaime is a big beer drinker, but put some actual liquor in front of him and he passes out after his second martini. In this case he began screaming beligerantly, and then curled up like a baby on our couch. The next morning we took him out for breakfast, and showed him pictures of the penis we drew on his forehead when he was passed out. The penis that was still on his forehead in the restaurant. Jaime has since quit drinking.

On the fourth we had Dos de Azucar and Batman over, along with Danny's life partner, Phill. We had some margaritas and decided to build a bonfire in our empty koi pond/hot tub. We disposed of some old wooden doors and a dead tree from the backyard, then enjoyed the inferno. I also had a rave of one to that old nineties pseudo-techno song "Blue" by Eiffel 65. That was my favorite song in high school with the exception of the "We Like To Party" song, which was my theme song. Yeah for itunes and the ability to download crappy songs that you loved in tenth grade.

Saturday we did what has apparently become a Saturday tradition for us: going to Cup Cafe at Club Congress for a late dinner and cocktails, then on to the World Famous Golden Nugget for shuffleboard. This time we played against some very effeminate Hispanic guys who were much better players than I was, and more tolerant of my cussing them out than the last group. I failed to mention last time that across from the World Famous Golden Nugget is some store that has handpainted signs on the side entrance: "Look! We've caught you on camera now!" I'm not sure who they were catching, but so far they've been mooned by myself, Phill and Jaime twice. And hopefully the gay Mexicans if they listened to my instructions as we were leaving the bar Saturday night.


Names people call our dog because apparently "Siva" (SEEE-VAAA) is too difficult:

I haven't heard She-Ra yet, but I will shake that person's hand when I do.

We have been taking Siva (Sheba, Sheila, etc) to obedience school led by a passive aggressive puppy-nazi. Now, I realize that dog owners can be a little hyper-sensitive about criticism of their doggy parenting style, but this woman would ruffle anyone's feathers.

Our first day I mentioned that Siva was an outdoor dog. An outdoor dog when we are not home. As in, I don't keep my 45 lb puppy locked in a crate during the day when we have a large backyard she can run around in. The puppy-nazi blinked at me (she has a bizarre way of blinking very emphatically. I keep feeling like offering her eye drops) and gave me a lecture about how "outdoor dogs" never get enough attention. She painted a heart rending picture of Siva sitting at the backdoor, silently weeping as we frolic just out of her reach inside the house. My proverbial hackles started to rise, because Siva has an air conditioned dog house and a kiddie pool just for her in the backyard, and most of the time if we are in the house she is standing in her pool trying to catch imaginary fish. When she's not inside. With us.

For the next several sessions she managed to work in mentions of the plight of "outdoor dogs" in each lesson. Barking problem? Can't be fixed if she's an outdoor dog, because she's constantly distracted by the "traffic" she sees in the yard. Except we have two acres and the only traffic Siva sees are the lizards walking along the back wall. Housetraining problem? Can't be fixed if she's an outdoor dog because we can't monitor her when she pees.

Unfortunately Siva is the most well behaved and the smartest dog in the class. Our other classmates are a father and son team with an old and giant shepherd who spends the entire class period trying to eat Siva, and a mother-daughter team with a terrified chihuahua who doesn't do anything but tremble and look petrified. This meant that after the first few class periods the puppy-nazi couldn't deny that she was a healthy, well behaved dog despite the fact that her owners are neglectful bastards.

The irritating thing is that I'm always very polite, even when it's through gritted teeth. However, Danny and I like to call the daughter of the chihuahua owner Slutty McBitcherson (or Bitchy McSlutterson). Her wardrobe of choice are Britney style shorts that are so short the pockets hang out, a black lingerie style tank top, and a hot pink bra hanging out the top. And she's 13. She spends most of the class inflicting that particular brand of middle school angst that makes everyone want to separate the 13 and 14 year olds onto an island until they finish puberty:
Mother: Sit, doggy.
SMcB: That is not how you SAY it!! God! You're soooo dumb!

Because of this hopeful turn of events the puppy-nazi has decided that maybe we aren't the pond scum she originally took us for. So she treats me to stories about her therapy dog, who she routinely describes as being the dumbest dog on the planet.

PupNaz: Now I'll bring Penny out to show you how to do this next command. Although Penny's really bad at it. She's really kind of dumb, actually"
Yesterday she tried to show me how she could get her dog to "shake" by staring at her. What followed was ten minutes of watching her blink emphatically at her dog while the dog stared back at her, clueless. What Penny is good at is looking at her trainer empathetically while her trainer makes passive aggressive complaints:
PupNaz: No one showed up last week for class.
Me: I'm so sorry, with the holiday we totally forgot.
PupNaz: That's okay. Everyone was on vacation. But I don't get any vacations do I Penny?
Penny: Stares at her sympathetically and waits for treats
Me: Swallows a mouthful of bile and grits teeth to nubs.

But Siva has learned "sit", "stay", and a variety of other useful things. And she loves the class. She gets treats constantly for an hour and then all the employees at the store descend on her and rub her tummy. She's like the Paris Hilton of Petsmart. If Paris Hilton liked tummy rubs.