Friday, April 17, 2009


Before Christmas I was walking around a store, pleasantly paying no particular attention to anything around me while gossiping on my trusted (red) Motorola Razr. Suddenly everything went blue. There it was: the dreaded Bootloader screen. It might as well said, "Your phone has been completely wiped of all software, memory, contacts, and use capabilities. Proceed to your nearest US Cellular where you will quickly become more enraged than you ever thought was possible."

I was told there was nothing they could do. The phone was dead. The only option was a new phone.... B U T - - - my contract wasn't up yet, so a new phone isn't allowed. Huh?! I only had a couple weeks to go, so I decided to forego modern accessibility & convenience and spend the next few weeks roughing it sans cell.

When my self-imposed sentence was up I gleefully skipped all the way to US Cellular: "Howdy-ho, Lovely People of the Cell Gods! I am here to joyfully pick out my new phone!" Forty-five minutes later I was passively acknowledged and, well, I guess they would classify it as "assisted" me in picking out a phone. I chose a new-and-improved RAZR. Oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy! I was excited!

That excitment lasted about three days when the piece of crap ticked me off so bad I stomped back into my local US Cellular store quite unhappy. Prepared with my list of complaints - ranging from random psychotic outbursts such as "while sitting on the table it will suddenly flip through volume control settings as if controlled by some other force" and "the phone is completely unable to recognize any button I happen to be pushing. I can't make calls, receive calls, write texts, receive texts, etc." and "it doesn't seem to hold a charge."

Phone Guru #1 nodded her head knowingly, "Ah, yes - there's a software problem with this model." phew. At least they knew about it. I tossed over my ID, filled out forms, waiting while they gathered up a loaner phone, waited some more while it sounded like they were hosting a party in the back and was just about ready to leave when the Guru announced, "oh, yeah - your ID actually expired - so I can't use that. You'll have to show me a valid ID first."

I scrambled through my purse. Went out and scoured through my car. Nothing. Called Big V: "Please see if you can find my ID. I must have given it to you to hold when we were at the bar."

"When were we at the bar?"

"I don't know - a month ago? Six weeks? Just check your pockets..."

Big V could not find the valid ID. Nor could I when I went home... still clutching the crappy phone. There was only one thing to do. Get a new ID, which would take some time (since we all know the Gasping Task Master won't allow me a minute off work). But eventually I became the proud owner of a valid ID. (I won't get into the frustration of having a non-working phone while I waited.)

So the ID was valid. The crappy phone turned over. The loaner phone was MINE! Allowing me a few glorious weeks filled with unlimited text messages & internet wanderings. Life was so good!

And then I got the call: My phone was back from the Repair Gods. Time to turn the loaner in. I was sad to see it go, but like all good things, it must come to an end.

Although it was noted that only "charge was fixed, software reinstalled" I vowed to stay positive. My phone was shiney and sparkly and, well, it looked new... wait. It was new. Anyway, off I went, tra-la-la-ing on my way.

Three hours later I was ready to slam the phone against the nearest brick wall and take the $150 hit to break my relationship with US Cellular.

The crappy phone is still crappy. My weekend shall begin with yet another visit to my local US Cellular store where I will most surely endure the blank stares of the people in charge of my cellular happiness.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hidden Talents

I think everyone has a talent. Yes, everyone. Sometimes they're not as obvious as the ability to belt out the National Anthem without making people cringe, or painting works of art with your toes... sometimes talents lie hidden underneath, ready to be unearthed, discovered, revealed to the world.

I happen to have an insane unconscious skill of matching my underwear to whatever color shirt I'm wearing. Now, you may not consider it a talent - I mean, really, how hard is it to match, you might ask. So let me give you some background.

(1) I rarely, if ever, 'decide' my outfit prior to stepping into it.
(2) I usually get dressed in a darkened room (not because I'm uncomfortable with my body, but because I'm usually sleep-dressing and don't want the light to bother my eyes).
(3) I'm usually running at least 15 minutes behind schedule, so there's no time to dawdle picking out the perfect panties to match the shirt I choose.

And yet...

I rush the kids in the car, speed to drop them off at school, scream into the parking lot to make it look like I've been busy working for the past hour before my boss waltzes in. Somewhere around 10:00 I need a break so to the bathroom I go.

The bathroom in our office is unique in that a large mirror is mounted allowing the, well, "Go-er" a clear view of, well, everything. (I have checked to ensure this is not a one-way mirror. Too much CSI, you might say, but one can never be too careful.)

In the past two weeks I've surprised and amazed myself many times with my coordination skill. Orange shirt - Orange panties with flowers! Spring green sweater - woah! GREEN UNDIES! Pale pink button down - there they are: pink. And pale.

I continue to amaze myself with this wonderful talent I have discovered... (let's face it, there's not much else to look forward to around this office.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

AWARENESS: Living in the moment

How guilty I am of this... I have been taught to believe that strong, independent women can do it all. We multi-task. We get things done!

I check emails while holding a conversation on the phone. Matthew starts talking to me and I walk away to check the mailbox (I can still hear him, I tell myself, but I need to see if there is any mail I need to attend to). I keep calculating checkbook balances while Dotter tells me something - some story, she's cute, happy, with such a sweet smile, and I wonder what her story was about. The Jellybean is telling me about the new girl at school who brags about smoking, I know it's a learning moment, but dinner needs to be made so I interupt and ask her to please take out the large, glass casserole dish on the bottom shelf, "Go on," I say. "I'm listening."

But I know that I'm not. I'm not listening at all. I'm juggling. My mind is whirling a thousand miles an hour with checklists: Dotter needs to take a shower. When was the last time she flossed her teeth. Shoot - I gotta make that eye appointment soon. Did I give her lunch money? The Bean needs to clean her room - the cleaning lady comes tomorrow and she won't be able to vacuum. I saw ants in the sunroom; I've got to pick up some ant poison. Maybe I should try those 'stakes' outside too. Did Matthew pay for those plane tickets? He needs to find someone to watch the dog while we're gone. The Bean will be at my mom's when we're gone so maybe she can feed the dog and take it out. That will work out good....

Meanwhile, during the time I'm locked in this dance with the thoughts in my head planning, preparing, organizing - all my loved ones are trying to share with me. Trying to show me who they are, trying to invite me into their worlds.

So, what happens when tragedy strikes? The last thing Dotter said to me? I don't know... I can picture her face, the way she folded her hands under her chin when she laid her head on the table, smiling up at me with laughing eyes. She was so proud - of something....