Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our @#$%& -ing land line

When we moved to Buckley two years ago, this may sound weird, but there was no voice mail option here for our phone. We did get a hand-me-down answering machine from my cousin, which, of course, either never worked right or was never checked -- I can't remember which. I was tempted to not even get a land line, but decided to go ahead and get one so that people locally could call us without long distance charges (which is pretty much moot anyway, since everyone has a cell phone). Plus, I needed the land line for TiVo, which I would rather not EVER AGAIN live without. Also, Samantha is 7 and won't be getting her own cell phone for a few more years. She does stay by herself now and then, an hour here or there when I run to the grocery store or when Alex and I want to watch the baseball game at her school and it's cold and Sam would rather stay home. So I even have the home phone listed on my cell phone caller ID as Samantha.

We have one working land line phone in the kitchen and one hands free phone in the bonus room which may or may not be charged on any given day. I don't have a phone in my office since I use my cell phone for everything. When we first moved here, the only people who EVER used the land line were my mom and my aunt. I've finally got them both out of this habit, but there is the occasional kid from Sam's school that will use it, also. The point is that when that phone rings, I know that it's NEVER going to be someone I want to talk to, so I RARELY jump up to answer it. But the thing can ring for as much as nine or ten rings, given that there isn't an answering machine or voice mail. The computer-generated calls don't know the difference and will LET IT RING. So ultimately I do end up answering.

My question is this. What makes companies, people, WHOEVER, think that I would be more likely to go ahead and get DirectTV or vote for Darcy Burner, or ANYONE for that matter, or finally get that credit card coverage for when I am disabled, if they CALL ME AT HOME VIA A COMPUTER-GENERATED CALL? I pick up the phone and there's always a pause, then it's "Hello, this is Lisa with DirectTV" -- CLICK. That's the most recent bane of my existence. That and the election stuff. Okay, at least Obama has live people right there, which is actually better than the computer call, I think. Except that I can hang right up on the computer call. I've actually considered waiting the DirectTV one out so that I can get a live person and tell them NEVER TO CALL ME EVER AGAIN.

The other night I got a live person, the Obama people again, this time asking for Eric, who happened to be sitting right there. Normally I run interference, but this time I asked him if he wanted to take the call. HE DID. MY HUSBAND VOLUNTARILY SPOKE ON THE PHONE, even knowing it wasn't one of his friends calling to whine about the Seahawks or invite him to a football game or a new fantasy league, whatever. The Obama people, by the way, are pretty good, not taking up too much time, just short and sweet, which I so appreciate. But watching Eric take that call made me think maybe I'm just being bitchy by hating the land line calls so much. But seeing as how I'm the only one that even usually answers the phone, maybe not.

The computer-generated calls remind me of those emails I used to get maybe two years ago that would say one thing in the subject line, and when you opened the email, it would change quickly to an ad for viagra. It used to actually drive me to the line of mental instability. Who was the genius who thought that if they could get me, SOMEHOW, to GLANCE at an ad for viagra, that I would magically all of a sudden realize I needed some? I mean, I even responded to more than one of those emails, knowing I probably wouldn't get an answer, but asking anyway if this "trickery" actually ever boosted sales.

I do have a TiVo and thus am able to fast-forward through most of the commercials. But I find that if I need something new, I'll figure it out eventually. I don't need to be tricked or CALLED over and over again. And FYI, if it's a live person that's calling me, I am much more likely to stay on the line and listen to their spiel instead of just hanging up, just to be polite.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween watercolor

by Samantha Van Gogh

Friday, October 24, 2008

WAHOO!!! - via text messaging

This is Jana's view of events yesterday, when the Flathead Girls' soccer team (coached by my brother-in-law) beat the enemy from the north end of town for the THIRD time this season. Here is how I got it, via text message:

Jana: Starting to feel like vomiting.

Me: Go home.

Jana: I mean about the game.

Me: &*#$. I've been oblivious. Way to remind me. When does it start?

Jana: 16 minutes.

Me: I just watched the rise of the witnesses ep.

Me: Trying to distract you. Are they playing at home?

Jana: Yes, Flathead is hosting.

Me: Flathead rules.

Me: What's the score?

Jana: Hasn't started yet.

Jana: Half time, FHS 1 - GHS 0

Me: Yee-ha!

Jana: It is only half time.

Me: Sorry... But I have faith.

Jana: You are the best.

Me: I am the best.

Jana: Yes, you are.

Me: I know. That's what I said.

Me: Update?

Jana: Overtime.

Jana: Second overtime.

Jana: A bunch of the Braves football team is here. I want to ask Brock to go rip down the Wolfpack sign if we win.

Jana: F@#K!!!!!

(At this point, driving in my car with Alex, Samantha and Alex's friend Mackenzie, I gasped, causing Alex to ask, What? Did they score? To which I responded, I think so. To which she asked me, Well, what did she say? Not wanting to read it aloud in front of her friend, I handed her the phone. She read aloud, Overtime, Second overtime, F-word. Hm, it does sound like they scored.)

Me: What?

Jana: Shootout.

Me: We hate shootouts.

Me: So did no one score or both score in OT?

Jana: WE WON!!

I know maybe it's lame, especially since I haven't been to high school in more than 20 years, but when the new high school opened up across town, IN THE LAND OF GATED COMMUNITIES, WITH ITS AWARD-WINNING ARCHITECTURE AND ITS ORIGINAL, COMPOSED-ESPECIALLY-FOR-THEM SCHOOL SONG, we all barfed a little. There has been A LOT of drama associated with last year, the first year of dueling high schools, all of which I've heard of extensively first-hand from my sister. This win meant that Flathead goes to State, Glacier does not. So for one more year, Flathead may now be the ghetto inner-town school, but we are going to State and they're not. Ha ha.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn portrait

My sister manages to get some really cute fall photos every year of her kids, so I decided I better give it a go here. Montana hardly gets any really red leaves, but we've got some amazing spots just locally that are vibrant red. And while Jana's kids are very adept at posing, I was lucky to get just the one good shot. Plus she isn't dealing with a teenager who has prior social engagements to get to!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bones Paranoia

Along with catching up on Supernatural, I also decided to start at the beginning and catch up on the series Bones, which is about a forensic anthropologist and her team of "squints" (science geeks). This show was every bit as addicting as Supernatural, just not as scary. Brennan is the main scientist who looks at a set of bones from a crime scene and can tell you almost everything there is to know about the victim. She also has a team that works with her and one of them is this particulate guy, Hodgins. He will pick off the tiniest piece of lint and tell you exactly where this person was killed or exactly what this person did for a living and where, stuff like that. I'm sure if I knew more about this stuff, I may not think it's so amazing, but I know nothing, so to me it's almost magic.

This week I took two deps in a case I had worked on earlier here. It was all about the boxed lunches. This time I was the reporter in the big conference room, which aside from the fact that I didn't have a window to watch all the telephone workers from, turned out to be a huge bonus otherwise. This company that we were working at, which was the company being sued, brought in Starbucks coffee every morning and scones. Then they had their boxed lunches, which I got to eat both days, which were GREAT. I was taking the dep of the CEO of the company, who was totally cute. He and I were chatting the first day in the middle of the afternoon break. I was giving him a hard time because they didn't bring in afternoon snacks for us, when he told me they did have a masseuse on staff if I wanted a massage the next day during lunch. I sort of giggled. The next day before lunch, he asked me if I still wanted a massage, so I went ahead and got one. I mean, if this guy asked me if I wanted to work there, I'd probably be hard-pressed to find a reason not to. It was that impressive.

Anyway, the first day I was eating my boxed lunch, a pear and blue cheese salad. Seeing as how I still have my cold and my nose was, you guessed it, almost all the way plugged up, and seeing as how I was alone anyway, I was eating with my mouth wide open, simply oinking down my salad. I can't breath if my mouth is shut, and there was no one there to watch, so what the hell. Plus I had an errand to run, so I felt like I was in a huge hurry. I'm not really sure how it happened, but at one point I heard a snap and I looked down and saw that I had snipped the tip of my plastic fork. I felt around in my mouth, but couldn't find it. I'm not kidding you, the first thought in my mind was to ponder what the crew on Bones would say about that little plastic tip, should they be trying to figure out, from my remains, how I died. I'm sure they would ascribe a much greater significance to that plastic fork tip than that I was eating with my mouth open because of my cold and bit through the fork.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Supernatural Life Lessons

Last summer while I was in Montana, I made up my mind to use my T.V. "down time" to do something productive. Jana happens to own Seasons 1 and 2 of one of her favorite shows, Supernatural. I decided to start at the beginning and catch up in time to watch it in realtime this fall. While, granted, this picture aptly illustrates the main reason, I feel confident in saying, that most people watch the show, it is a truly creepy show. I am a few short hours away from being all caught up. But it has been a bumpy ride. The Season 2 dvds, for some reason, had little to no sound when played on my computer, so I basically had to watch the whole season while laying on my bed. Drag. But I feel I have gleaned some important life lessons, which I will share with you all here:

If you are ever alone in your car and your radio starts flickering in and out, either just pull over and cry or pull out the silver knife you have started carrying since watching Supernatural. You will be needing it.

If it's 1:00 in the morning and you are leaving the garage and your table power saw keeps turning on by itself, DO NOT GO INVESTIGATE. Leave that sucker running and get the hell out of there.

Every now and then I think it might have been cool to live alone, you know, get a good job and a cool apartment (before marriage and kids). Then I watch an episode of Supernatural where a woman jogs alone at night, sees a pirate ship, then is murdered in her shower. Living with my family in Buckley is not so bad. Except jogging, NO, especially at night by myself. And no more showers...

And just because it was so funny, I will forever dream of the day I can use the line Dean used while he was playing poker in prison (and winning some serious cigarettes), that it was "like picking low-hanging fruit." That Dean!

Supernatural seriously rules.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Me, minus the athletic part

You know how when you're watching a basketball game, there's always that guy at the end of the bench whose mouth is hanging open wide, catching flies? That's me, minus the athletic tank-top-wearing part. Just the mouth breathing because my nose is so plugged up part. Due to my unfortunate history of nose drops abuse (you all thought that episode of The King of Queens where Arthur is having a nose drop addiction problem was a joke - ha) I simply REFUSE to take them during the day. No sense adding more pain to the nose drop withdrawal I'm going to have to go through already when this cold is over, from using them just at night. Whenever I get a cold like this, I can't help myself, but one of my first worries is ALWAYS "What if I were to be kidnapped and the kidnappers tried to put tape over my mouth? I would DIE because I can't breath through my nose. Do they even think of these things? Why aren't they ever addressed in those procedural crime dramas on T.V.? It would be helpful and ease my mind a little if I had SOME clue as to what to do in that situation. Not that I get all my worldly "how to survive this situation" advice from T.V., mind you. Oh, and not that I'm seriously worried that I could be in any imminent kidnapping danger. You just never know.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Week of Snot

So this week STARTED out okay. Monday, nothing too big. Tuesday, I got up EXTRA early, as I had to drive to Port Orchard, which is about 50 miles away, only to discover that "that calendar had been canceled a while ago." Uh, thanks for updating ME. Then I had an afternoon in Tacoma at 2:00, so I moseyed around and basically wasted time until then.

Wednesday I went to my new dentist to have a filling redone. That went okay. As my cheek was becoming less and less numb, I realized I was definitely coming down with something. It was kind of hard to tell because I lost my voice three weeks ago and it hasn't been all the way back since then. But by maybe 6:00, I felt like crap. Luckily, my Thursday all-day job in Port Orchard canceled. I say luckily because of the sickness, because I could really use the money...

Thursday I discovered that one of my soccer players had broken her wrist and wouldn't be playing on Saturday. I have another player who I think isn't going to be there either. That means I'll be left with four little girls, one of which will run over to me on the sidelines to tell me she is cold or her finger hurts and can she come out, and one of which is my daughter who will simply burst into tears. Seeing as how, maybe 80 percent of the time, when she cries she will also VOMIT, this is extremely inconvenient. If it rains, consider me screwed ALL THE WAY AROUND. Suck balls. (There is a funny story about "Suck balls", but suffice it to say, I'd get in trouble if I posted it.)

So today I felt even sicker than yesterday. I'm trying to get the transcript that was due on Wednesday done when Alex texts me that one of her brackets on her braces is loose. I spent the next half hour researching what we should do, this being our first experience with all things braces, only to discover we should do nothing, suck it up, and call them next week.

I manage to make it back to my transcript, whereupon Samantha, who has today off, comes down to get new batteries in the remote for the big-screen T.V. Now, anyone who has a big-screen can probably sympathize with me here. There are three remotes, and if I want to do something besides watch basic television, I have to ask my daughter to help. When we first got it, I'm sure it was six months before I ever even tried to turn it on if I was home alone. We recently discovered that you can use the Comcast remote to do the jobs one of the other remotes was doing, which has only confused certain members of this household MORE, not less. I put Sam on the track that I thought would help and went back to work.

Soon she comes back down crying, The T.V. won't do anything now! I just get this sick feeling. That T.V. is less than three years old. I cannot fathom dragging it out of the house to a shop to get it repaired, or paying someone to come here to fix it. I drag my sorry sniveling ass upstairs and start to push random buttons and random remotes, which all do nothing. Finally I call Comcast. The lady, who was very nice, had me go right up to the cable box and press the power button. VOILA! I would have cried were it not for the donkey-sounding laughter I was busy with since my voice is still ragged and unable to emit my normally twinkling musical laughter. She assured me it was all right and that I wasn't the first to make that mistake. Thanks, but I think I'm going back to bed.

It's just ALL too much today. Now if only my new comforter would come in the mail, I'd stay there all weekend, except for the soccer games and the three birthday celebrations I have to attend to this weekend. HELP. I actually have to mention my new comforter. I'm so excited. It was a lighter color than I wanted, but we are in a king-sized bed using a queen-sized comforter, which barely stretches to the edges of the bed. Since I'm the cheap one who doesn't want to spend the money on a new comforter, I usually let him have most of the one we have. I've been on The Company Store website over and over and over all summer and fall, waiting for the best deal. Finally I found one on eBay, from TCS, only $114 less than I would have paid from TCS. It wasn't the right color, but I was laying up in bed one night debating when it hit me, I'd be paying $55 for a $169 comforter. Screw the color. I jumped out of bed and raced down to my computer and purchased said comforter. Think how great it would have been to have gotten it the first day I was sick. Oh, well.

Hopefully next week won't suck balls.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Well, today my baby turned 7. She's been SO excited, for like a week now. It's got to be weird to be that excited for your birthday. I even pointed out that it's not like she gets to vote or see R-rated movies or drink. It's just 7. We don't have a party planned -- sort of like last year, I think we'll end up doing a Halloween party right before Halloween. She doesn't really like cake, so we made shortbread cookies that she took to school. I did make mini-cupcakes (yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting - the only kind either of my girls like) that I had planned that she would take to pick up Alex from soccer so she could give them to the soccer girls. But I thought soccer was over at 7:30, and Alex called me at 7:15 to find out where I was. Soccer was over at 7:00, so the team was already gone when I got there. Plus, after Samantha opened her Guitar Hero Aerosmith, she really didn't want to go pick up her sister from soccer. So we took the cupcakes over to the neighbors because the last thing this family needs is to be saddled with, like, 80 mini cupcakes...