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Tag Archives: conversations

Life as a wanted woman

This is the story of how I became Public Enemy #1.

Ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration: I think probably I’m lower on the list. Maybe Public Enemy #14, or something.

And a warning: just so you know, I am apparently a very suspicious character, and there’s a good chance, just in reading this, you might be exposing yourself to radical thoughts and ideas. I wouldn’t want to get anyone involved in whatever I’ve gotten myself into, so you have been warned! Turn back now!

Ok, what? You’re still here? You’re very brave. Total bravery points for you. Ding ding!

Here we go! The story of a social miscreant. One bad apple, if you will. And that bad apple is ME. (Can I be a Granny Smith? I really like those.)

On Wednesday afternoon, I noticed my wifi wasn’t working. Well, it was KIND of working, but not well. So I thought maybe it was just one of those things and I thought I’d check it that night when I got home. (It was working fine in the office, so I knew it was just my house.)

Now, I work nights and weekends, so I get home between 12:30am-1:15am most weeknights. I’ve gotten used to it. No worries. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. (I’ve always been a night owl. I’m ok with it. I love that I get to sleep in.)

When I got home, it still wasn’t working, and my cable company (good old Time Warner, voted least likely to satisfy anyone in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction index) has 24-hour customer service (that should probably be in sarcasm-quotes – “customer service.”) I wasn’t SO tired, so I thought I’d call them. I do so rely on my wifi.

First, I talked to…oh, I don’t remember anyone’s names. Let’s say Ben. I explained what was up to Ben. Ben kept me on the phone for about 45 minutes, trying this and that. One of the things he tried, fo no reason I could ascertain, was to reset my cable box. My cable has nothing to do with my wifi, other than the same company charges me an exorbitant charge to have them. When my cable box came back online, it was 4 hours off. So it said it was 5-something am. I don’t know why, either.

Ben was at a loss, and said “I guess the problem is that you’re going to have to have a code input into your modem, and I can’t do that, so I’m going to transfer you to someone the next level up.” At this point, I was exhausted and annoyed, but not SO mad.

Then I got transferred to…again, who knows what his name was. Claude. We’ll call him Claude. Claude looked over my file and said, “What did you and Maria discuss when she called you on December 20?”

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I didn’t speak to anyone named Maria from your company on December 20. I haven’t spoken to anyone in your company since August, when you screwed up my move so prodigiously that I have discounted services and free HBO from your company for the next two years.”

(Side note: this is a true story. I have deeply discounted Time Warner services and free HBO for two years because the company so deeply botched my move from Albany to Watertown that it took two full weeks to get things up and running here again. I don’t like being screwed with, and I made my displeasure very vocally known. They replied with discounts. I kind of wanted them to flog themselves in Public Square while crying “I HAVE FORGOTTEN THE FACE OF MY FATHER,” but you take what you can get, I suppose.)

“No,” replied Claude, “it says here you spoke to Maria on December 20 and she marked your account for suspicious activity.”

“OK, there are a lot of things here to reply to,” I said. “First, as I said, I haven’t spoken to anyone at your company since August, maybe early September. Second, ‘suspicious activity’? What does that mean?”

“Well…um…you know…suspicious…like…activity that is…suspicious…and indicates the user and their account need to be flagged…” he said, very carefully.

“Sir, are you telling me this Maria person thinks I’m a terrorist?” I asked Claude.

“We don’t like to use the word ‘terrorist,'” he replied.

“But are you SAYING Maria thinks I’m a terrorist?” I said.

“We really don’t like to refer to people in this situation as ‘terrorists,'” he said, very nervously.

“Um. OK. So you think I’m a terrorist, then, but you’re just using ‘suspicious activity’ instead. OK. Well. That’s fantastic. Claude, how exactly do I get off this watch list that Maria seems to have put me on?”

“I can’t take you off this list. Maria should have discussed your options with you when she talked to you.”

“And, as earlier mentioned, this conversation with Maria never occurred.”

“It’s all really strange,” said Claude. “Usually, there are detailed notes saying what exactly occured with the suspect. But all I have here is that Maria flagged your account, talked to you, and her phone number and extension are here. She wrote ‘December 20’ and a shut-off date of today.”

“Well, this suspect would like to know her options, Claude. Could you let me know if I get a phone call, or will I be read my Miranda rights, or…”

Claude wasn’t amused.

Eventually, Claude told me he would MOST DILIGENTLY continue working on the problem while I slept (and if I believed that, he probably had a bridge in Brooklyn he wanted to sell me, and I have always wanted to own real estate) and gave me a number BOTH for his supervisor the next day, and for the mysterious Maria. He also assured me that this wasn’t done in error; I was most definitely on some sort of watch list and a suspect in something. But he didn’t like to use the term “terrorist.” No, no, no. Well, who does? It’s such a loaded term.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

So I slept, and the next day I awoke to many messages from my friends (yes, of course I told Facebook I was a potential terrorist, wouldn’t you?) either saying “what?” or “ha ha!” or, my favorite, “I KNEW IT!”

First, I called Maria. Surprise! Maria’s phone went directly to voicemail.

Then I called the supervisor, who was very rude once he reviewed my file. “There’s nothing I can do until you talk to Maria,” said the supervisor. “Maria will call you back.”

Now. I used to work a phone-based job; I know it’s the worst when people get mad at the operator when it’s not their fault. But Time Warner makes it really, really hard to be Miss Merry Sunshine. They hold the area in a total monopoly and just don’t care about their customers. Oh, you have no internet? Yeah, you have to keep paying for that, but we’ll fix it when we get around to it. Oh, your cable’s broken? Same deal.

“I’m sure she will, but it doesn’t seem a priority to her. I need the internet in my home; I use it for my job. My job at a newspaper. We’ve written quite a few articles recently about Time Warner and its low customer satisfaction rating and the alternatives people have in the area. I’ll want to talk to Maria to get to the bottom of this; I think they’ll find it very interesting over there that one of their employees was flagged for potential terrorist activities, don’t you?”

Rude McSnotterson got very quiet, and said, “I’ll have Maria call you back.”

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

I waited half an hour, then I called the Land of Maria and got her voicemail again. This time I was tricky. I waited on the line and got transferred to the first available agent in Marialand. I explained my situation to him; he, again, told me I had to talk to Maria. He then checked and saw Maria was “out of the office…yeah, there’s no indication when she’ll return” (MARIA IS TOTALLY CIA, RIGHT?) and he was able to input this secret code to get my wifi back online. I guess he didn’t think I was a terrorist, I don’t know. Or maybe he doesn’t love MERKA! as much as Maria does.

Then he realized that both my modem and my cable box had blown up. Yes, that’s the technical term: “blown up.” So I’d have to take them to the Time Warner store and swap them out. “So,” I said, “first this mysterious Maria puts me on a watchlist, then both my cable box and my modem choose this exact day to blow up?”

He agreed, what are the odds? Hmm.

So. Off to the cable company. In blizzard white-out conditions. (Yeah, I had to run some other errands anyway…but I was pretty pissed I had to go all the way over there on the slipperiest roads ever to swap out boxes that just 24 hours ago were working fine. Even the sassy lady I like in the office over there was all, “BOTH stopped working? Girl, who’d YOU piss off?” I wanted to tell her Homeland Security, but I wisely kept my mouth shut.)

Then I almost died getting groceries and random other things (but DUDE did I get some clearance deals at the drugstore…sorry, sorry, tangent) and got home. Reinstalled everything. Crossed my fingers.

Nope. Nothing worked. Not the cable box, not the modem.

Called the help line again. This time, I got my man Dwayne. I don’t remember if this was his name, but he was from Maine and that rhymes. Dwayne had the most prodigious cold, and kept apologizing for his coughing. I apologized for being a terrorist, but I don’t think he was amused. He was polite enough, though; I didn’t even snap at him once.

Dwayne got my cable working. There was a dicey moment where the only channels I was getting were The Weather Channel, every sports channel known to man, and all the home shopping networks. I was all, “Dwayne, THIS WILL NOT STAND” and Dwayne agreed and set things to rights. Even with a cold, Dwayne was damn good at his job.

So, cable’s up and running. However, the modem? STILL FRIED. Come to find out, I have TWO MODEMS. The other one was what one of the millions of people told me was my router, so I didn’t bring it to swap it out. It was the second router that “blew up.” I looked outside. WORSE white out. Nope.

One of the people I’d talked to in the wee hours had a tech coming to my house Friday between 11-12, so I told Dwayne, “can you make sure the tech coming Friday brings a new modem?” and Dwayne said, “oh, I hate to add bad news to your bad news, but there’s no tech scheduled for Friday.”

WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER AT TIME WARNER.

Dwayne set up a tech for me for Friday afternoon who will be bringing me a modem in the NEXT snowstorm (we’re predicted to get 36″ by the end of the day on Saturday, and we already have 24″ or so on the ground from our last storm. Yeah, Watertown is…intense. The man on the news just said an “Alberta Clipper” is headed our way. AN ALBERTA CLIPPER! Well, what do you know about that? That’s like a ship FULL of snow, right? LOOK OUT!)

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

In the meantime, Dwayne and I figured out that I could hook up an Ethernet cable to my modem and I could have internet again. AND I DO. Only it’s crazy-slow. But it’s only until tomorrow. I can handle that.

So. Here’s my mystery.

Why, exactly, am I a terrorist?

This mysterious Maria wrote I’d been flagged December 20. So what was I doing December 20? (I think it only matters what I was doing online, right? That’s what Maria seems to have taken objection to?)

It was a Saturday. So I was at work from 9:30am-8pm. (Yes, I have crazy weekend hours.)

I wrote two emails; one talking about a song I’d heard that I liked, one talking about a possible job for a friend to keep an eye on. (It probably bears mentioning that both of these emails were to people outside of the country. Dad’s quite sure that’s why I’m a terrorist. I have all these “Communist” friends, you see.) I wrote one Facebook message, to someone I used to work with, just checking in. I posted on Facebook about someone in my office listening to something that sounded very much like porn on his work computer (but it probably wasn’t…right? Urgh. DON’T DO THAT AT WORK.) Became Facebook friends with someone at work (but he’s like this all-American guy. He’s totally not terroristy.) Posted a bunch of things to our work Facebook account and work Twitter account, but if she’s going to call me a terrorist for reporting local news, I think probably something’s wrong here. Did one internet search – for my paper I work for, in the morning. (I have to post one post before I get in in the morning, which is why I did that.)

That was all I did ALL DAY online. Most of the day I was at work, so I wasn’t even using this account, and usually on the weekends when I get home, I’m wiped out and can barely do anything online (and hardly want to – so tired. And have been online all day, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is be MORE online.)

So, let’s guess, ladies and gentlemen. Dad thinks it’s my very shady ties to foreign countries that have made this woman flag me. Also, the blogging; he’s sure I’m on a government watch list for bloggery. (And it bears mentioning that my friend Chris tried to visit my blog on Wednesday and was told he could not, because it had “adult content.” Hee! “Doctor Who” was MUCH too adult for his computer!) What do YOU think has been my big transgression?

I suppose she could have flagged me for something I’d done BEFORE December 20, but what made December 20, a day I worked a 10.5 hour shift and came home and crashed because I had to be back at work the next morning at 9:30am, the day she decided I was Bonnie (or maybe Clyde?) And why did it take them almost three weeks to stop my subversive activities? I could have been doing ANYTHING in those three weeks. Causing a ruckus. Fomenting a revolution. Staging a sit-in.

I kind of feel like Arlo Guthrie in “Alice’s Restaurant.” I feel like maybe I’m going to be arrested for littering and this Maria person is Officer Obie.

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin'?

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin’?

Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. I plan on calling our girl Maria a few more times in the next couple of weeks, see what’s going on. Would really like a glimpse into the world of Maria and how she internetually profiles those of us who are very terrory terror suspects.

UPDATE: I HAVE SPOKEN TO MARIA!

Sadly, the answer (which I have to wonder about) is a total letdown.

Maria actually picked up her phone right away, and when I said, “Hi, Maria, it’s me! Amy! Why’m I a terrorist, yo?” she looked into it and asked me to spell my name about 47 times and finally said, “Oh, I SEE” and I said, “you DO?” and she said my account number was one away from someone else with my exact name who lives on the east coast, and THAT Amy is a TOTAL TERRORIST! (No, ok, fine, she didn’t say that, she said that person was “the real problem.”) So my account was accidentally flagged. “But I don’t know why all of your boxes blew up,” she said. “I had nothing to do with that.”

“So that was a coincidence, this all happened at the same time?” I said.

“Ha ha!” said Maria. “Yes, just a total coincidence!”

I don’t know how much of that I believe.

Also, the tech was here. I have wifi again, and my cable’s fine, but he unhooked a bunch of other things like DVD players and such and now I can’t figure out how to hook them back up and I have a call in for him to come back, but nope. No one’s coming. So that’s nice, then. Thanks, Time Warner!

I guess now the moral of this story is, don’t have the same name as anyone else, and don’t be a very terroristy terrorist, and if you have an option to choose another cable company, I’d say choose anyone but Time Warner. Unless you like torture. I mean, who am I to judge, right?

Sayonara, my little jellybeans.

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Troubleshooting and chatting it up with Amy’s Dad

Dad’s in Florida. He’s in his condo by the ocean for two full months. He left at the beginning of January and has been there, therefore, for most of the month.

Dad is bored out of his skull.

His people don’t arrive until February (my aunt and uncle, his sister and brother-in-law, are arriving then, and his cousin is visiting then, and I think he’s going to visit another cousin then – yes, my entire family has become a flock of snowbirds) so Dad’s been hanging out at buffets and the American Legion (do NOT ask him if they’ve given him a fez; he’ll just yell “THEY DON’T WEAR FEZZES!”) and walking on the beach and getting scratchers at the 7-11 and – best of all – calling me up at all hours to tell me things. Or texting me. Or emailing me weird links, like “You should read this good site, do you know about this?” and it’s MSN.

Dad said he's not doing well on the scratchers this year, and therefore I will no longer have an inheritance. Oh, well, I wasn't betting on one, anyway.

Dad said he’s not doing well on the scratchers this year, and therefore I will no longer have an inheritance. Oh, well, I wasn’t betting on one, anyway.

So I thought you would enjoy a glimpse into the type of conversation Dad and I have been having lately. You like such things, right? Right.

Oh, a thing you need to know for this to make sense…

Dad bought a laptop so he could take advantage of the free wifi in the condo. Dad’s never had a laptop before. Or high-speed internet. It’s like Dad was released into a very big playground. Or the ocean. Without a lifevest. Or a map, to completely muddle this metaphor.

So, I had the day off today. I had car work to get done, which got done a lot sooner than planned (also, goodbye, savings! sniff), so I used the day to do all of my usual after-work errands like grocery shopping and laundry and such, so I don’t have to do them after work this week. I was PROACTIVE! And when I got home Dad sent me an email to call him RIGHT AWAY so I did. (Dad + boredom + high speed internet = lots of email, you guys.)

So of course I called him. It’s a day off. Lots of time to talk to Dad.

Me: Hey, old man. What’s up?
Dad: Stop calling me that.
Me: Fine. Howdy, young lady, what’s shakin’?
Dad: Not at all better.
Me: But funnier.
Dad: Not really. I have a computer question.
Me: I will answer that!
Dad: You broke my computer.
Me: That’s more an accusation than a question.
Dad: Remember you made me put that antivirus on here?
Me: Yes, so you didn’t get viruses and no one stole your identity.

Oh, Dad would HATE this.

Oh, Dad would HATE this.

Dad: It gave me a virus.
Me: The antivirus gave you a virus. No, I don’t think that’s how that works.
Dad: No! True story! Ever since I bought it, the computer keeps shutting down if I walk away for ten minutes.
Me: Huh. That’s weird. Did you change any settings?
Dad: What does that mean, settings. No. I put on this virusy virus thing.
Me: Well, go into the settings of Norton and see if one of them says “sleep settings” or “power saver” or something.
Dad: That is SMART. Where are Norton settings.
Me: I don’t know, I’ve never needed that. Click on Norton? It’s probably at the bottom of the screen or something.
Dad: It WAS! You’re good at this.
Me: Yeah, I’m totally an IT guru.
Dad: It says I need to sign into Norton.
Me: Sign into Norton, then.
Dad: It says I don’t know my password.
Me: Do you know your password?
Dad: No.
Me: Did you write down your password when you signed up?
Dad: I did but I wrote it down wrong.
Me: Well, that’s unhelpful.
Dad: There’s something to click if I forgot my password! Should I click that?
Me: Yep.
Dad: This is exciting.
Me: SO exciting.

Look at my excited face. LOOK AT IT!

Look at my excited face. LOOK AT IT!

Dad: I am resetting my password now.
Me: Maybe use the one you wrote down, then you already have it written down.
Dad: Man, you are really good.
Me: Yeah, I’ve got brains to spare.
Dad: SOMETHING IS WRONG! SOMETHING IS WRONG!
Me: Uh-oh. What’s wrong, jellybean.
Dad: It sent me a reset link and then I reset it and then it said it was wrong AGAIN.
Me: OK, well, there’s something wonky with Norton. Try again tomorrow.
Dad: That’s not a solution.
Me: Turn the computer on and off?
Dad: That is also not a solution.
Me: Oh, it surely is. Turning things on and off fixes more than you know.
Dad: I’m just going to give up now and go watch television and think about how terrible my life is.
Me: Do you want me to try to talk you through the computer settings and see if those somehow got screwed up?
Dad: No. I HAVE TO GO NOW.
Me: OK. Bye. Love you.
Dad: Grumble grumble grumble grump love you bye.

TWO MINUTES LATER!

THE PHONE RINGS!

Me: Yo, s’up, Pops.
Dad: I got into Norton.
Me: How’d you do that?
Dad: Don’t even know.
Me: Fair enough.
Dad: What do I do now?
Me: I don’t know. Let me ask the internet.
Dad: How does the internet know about my computer problems?
Me: Because the government’s watching you.
Dad: I KNEW IT!
Me: Foolish. Because other people often have the same problems you do, if you Google problems, they can help you.
Dad: But then the government knows you’re having a problem.
Me: *sigh* Yes, there’s always that. Oh, ok, here. Someone had the same problem. I’m going to talk you through how to fix this, ok?
Dad: STOP TALKING SO FAST.
Me: I wasn’t…ok. FIRST. CLICK. ON. NORTON.
Dad: Well, if you talk slow, I just feel stupid.

(Eventually I talked Dad through clicking some boxes and unclicking some other boxes and setting some things. This took a very, very long time. Pretend there’s a musical montage here, or something.)

Dad: Is this even going to work?
Me: I don’t know. I’m not there. Try going to your desktop and changing your power saver settings there, too.
Dad: What’s a desktop?
Me: Like, if you turn on the computer, before you open the internet. On my computer, it’s where I have that big picture of The Nephew scowling because I love his attitude.
Dad: I don’t have this on a desk, though, it’s on a table.
Me: NOT THAT KIND OF DESKTOP.
Dad: I found the control center. Is it there?
Me: I don’t know. Is it?
Dad: THIS IS SO HARD.
Me: It would be easier if you were HERE and I could SEE the computer, yes. Yes, it would.
Dad: Your brother just sent me gibberish email.
Me: What does that mean?
Dad: He sent me an email that said “IDK what a good price is.” What is IDK.
Me: I don’t know.
Dad: Should I look it up online? Did he make a mistake?
Me: Oh, this is like an old comedy routine. No. It MEANS I don’t know. IDK equals I don’t know.
Dad: Why didn’t he write I don’t know?
Me: It’s textspeak.
Dad: But it’s an email.
Me: Yeah. It’s a thing people do.
Dad: You should write a whole thing out and not confuse your father, is what I think.
Me: Write him back and say LOL.
Dad: I will not say LOL.
Me: Ooh, say YOLO.
Dad: I DO NOT SAY YOLO. Is my computer fixed?
Me: I guess you’ll see the next time you don’t use it for ten minutes in a row.
Dad: If Norton ruined my computer I’m going to call them up and yell at them.
Me: Oh, they’ll like that a lot, I think. You’ll be very popular.
Dad: Your governor hates me.
Me: What? Is this related to what we’ve been talking about at all? I think I have conversational whiplash.
Dad: No. Look up what your governor said now. He wants to kick me out of our state.
Me: Shush, I like our governor. He’s all gruff and cranky and passionate about things and I think if you make him mad he’d either punch you in an alley or shoot you in the face.

SO MAD!

SO MAD!

Dad: LOOK IT UP.
Me: Oh, so he said extreme conservatives don’t belong in New York State. Huh.
Dad: I’d like to have him come upstate and say that! WE WOULD TROMP HIM!
Me: I don’t know. He seems pretty badass. He might punch or shoot you. Or give you a really dirty look.
Dad: When he runs for president you’d vote for him.
Me: Is he the Democratic candicate in this scenario?
Dad: Well, duh.
Me: Then yes, I’ll vote for him.
Dad: Who are you. WHO ARE YOU. I am so disgusted.
Me: I am going to watch television now, and write a blog post. Are you good?
Dad: Yes. Don’t tell the internet where I live.
Me: I won’t.
Dad: Or put up photos of me.
Me: Nope. Won’t.
Dad: Or tell them what I like to say or do or wear.
Me: OK. Noted.
Dad: THAT IS HOW THEY GET YOU.
Me: Yes. I’m sure it is. Go play on the beach, bub.
Dad: I might call you later.
Me: OK. I might answer.
Dad: GOOD. You SHOULD answer! If I call you ALWAYS should!

Don’t worry, interwebs, Dad will have friends to play with soon. Only a few more days. I think he will manage to retain most of his mental stability with people to interact with. Hopefully, anyway. I mean…

Crap. Gotta go. Phone’s ringing.


This week, I didn’t go to Oz, but I did go bowling, so…win, I guess?

It’s been quite a week, right? I don’t know what’s been going on in your part of the world, but here, it’s UTTER CRAZYTOWN.

So this week kind of kicked my ass six different ways, and then a seventh for good measure. SO MUCH ASS-KICKERY. But now it is the weekend. Well, kind of the weekend. I still have one more day of work and THEN I get my one day off. Watch out, one day off! I’m coming for you!

So here was my week in a nutshell. Ready for the craziness? I know you are. It’s going to be the most exciting.

So at the beginning of the week, I had TWO FULL DAYS OFF! I spent one of those two days cleaning the house. Not JUST cleaning. DEEP-cleaning. SEVEN FULL HOURS of cleaning. I threw away – are you ready for this? – SEVEN BAGS OF GARBAGE. Don’t ask too many questions about how exactly I had seven full bags of garbage in a very small place. NO, I am not a hoarder. I just haven’t done a huge purge in a while. Sometimes you just need to get rid of shit, you know?

Casualities in the great cleaning of 2013 = my lava lamp, which FLEW OFF THE TABLE and COMMITTED SUICIDE ON THE RUG (or maybe I smacked it with my hip, I never said I was graceful) and then all the lava juice started leaking out and I don’t know if that’s poison or not, so I had to throw it away. Sigh. Goodbye, purple lava lamp, you were just too cool for me. Also, I blew up my brand-new vaccuum, but my mom assures me that I didn’t really blow it up, I just probably clogged up the filters and I need to clean them and all will be well. I did find one of my favorite necklaces that I thought was lost to the ages; I didn’t, however, find a missing letter that I’ve been looking for, which was disheartening. Who knows where that ended up. Dumbcat hid for most of the day because there was just too much going on for him and things smelled like citrus. He HATES things that smell like citrus. Citrus makes him make cranky faces. Once I was done and he realized I’d found a lot of his favorite toys under the couch, though, he was VERY pleased. (And randomly, today, he somehow found a way to put one of those toys on the bookcase? I have no idea how he got that there. It was a feat of wonder.)

Then the OTHER day off, I did NOTHING. Well, no. I did lots of things, but they were all very relaxy. I wrote, I read, I watched television, I played on the internet, I ate a lot of popsicles. Oh, and also snowcones. I totally bought a snowcone maker. SUMMER YOU WILL NOT CONQUER ME THIS YEAR! Well, no. It’s not really a snowcone maker. It’s a shaved ice maker. Which is LIKE a snowcone maker only the ice is a lot finer. And I got delicious snowcone juice. But I think snowcone juice makers need to step it up for those of us who want things that are sugar-free because we don’t just want cherry and fruit punch flavors. I randomly found a blue raspberry flavor at Bed Bath and Beyond but SERIOUSLY, people, there are a BILLION flavors that are sugary, GET WITH IT, YO.

Seriously, best purchase ever.

Seriously, best purchase ever.

Anyway, my shaved ice maker is the best thing ever. It makes a gigantic bowl of shaved ice and then you dump all the flavoring over it and it is the MOST DELICIOUS and also the most cooling. It was a very good purchase. I don’t regret it in the least.

(Oh, I was shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond because I had to buy a bridal shower gift. Were you aware that when someone gets married you get them a shower gift AND a wedding gift? This is the best scam ever. I’m going to marry Dumbcat just for the gifts. Can I do that? You guys will give me gifts, right? TWO TIMES THE GIFTS? Anyway, I bought a good shower gift and then also bought myself some things like snowcone juice and a new Pyrex measuring cup since I dropped mine in the sink and glass went EVERYWHERE and I’m still finding it in random places and I go to use it at least once a week and curse the day I was born clumsy.)

Oh, measuring cup, I miss you. Why are you so shattery?

Oh, measuring cup, I miss you. Why are you so shattery?

OK, so anyway, then the week happened. Work was busy, blah blah blah, and there’s this thing happening that I can’t talk about because chicken-counting so I’ll just say it’s a thing that’s equal parts scary and exciting and leave it at that, and if you want to cross your fingers for me, or whatever you do to pass along the good vibes, it’d be appreciated.

THEN, ready for this? I don’t know if you are, because it’s terrible-awesome-scary.

WE HAD TWO TORNADOES!

Real photo of a real tornado here! Whoo!

Real photo of a real tornado here! Whoo!

Is that really how the plural of tornado is spelled? Goodness, that looks terrible. But then again, so does “tornados” and the internet says either are right but both look like I’m illiterate.

On Wednesday, the weathermen started creaming themselves. First they were all “thunderstorms coming, y’all.” Then they were all “SEVERE thunderstorms!” Then they started running around like weirdos. “POSSIBLE FLASH FLOODS!” “ZOMG MAYBE A TORNADO!!!!”

I thought they were full of shit. We never get tornadoes.

We totally got TWO tornadoes.

I went grocery shopping – no rain. No thunder. Nothing. Bleh. Got home. Put away the groceries. Called Mom and Dad. Dad was all, “It’s raining there!” (Dad always believes the weather channel rather than me.) “No, it’s not, Dad,” I said. “IT SAYS IT IS!” said Dad. I assured him I was actually IN the weather and there was NO RAIN. He sounded skeptical.

Then. THEN! Out of NOWHERE! BAM WENT THE THUNDER! WHOOSH WENT THE WIND! My phone made the emergency broadcast noise and told me to STAY IN THE HOUSE FLASH FLOODS ARE A’COMIN’! (Phones do that? Good grief, that scared the bejeebers out of me.)

We had about 45 minutes or so of the craziest storm ever. The windows rattled. I planted some things and put them on the porch this past weekend and one of them just blew RIGHT off the porch and down onto the lawn. It was a casualty of FORCES OF NATURE! No strawberries from THAT pot! I forgot the window was open in the bedroom and when I ran in to close it the curtains were SOAKED! The power went on and off and on and off! Dumbcat freaked out and attached himself to my leg!

Then everything settled down and I ventured out onto the porch and everything was weirdly golden outside and some aluminum came off one of my neighbors’ buildings and hit their car but other than the flying pot of strawberries, all was well here.

However, we actually had two tornadoes in the area (one picked up a man and THREW HIM THREW THE WALL OF A BUILDING!) and so many trees were down and someone on Facebook reported (so take it with a grain of salt) 25,000 people were without power when it was done. On my drives to and from work the past couple of days, I’ve seen lines down, a ton of National Grid trucks, and, in one case, a tree in the middle of someone’s roof.

Look at this! Seriously, that was one whopper of a storm, you guys.

Look at this! Seriously, that was one whopper of a storm, you guys.

As long as I’m safe, I’m totally invigorated by crazy weather. And other than being afraid I was going to lose ALL my plants I’d just planted from my porch, I was safe. Dumbcat didn’t think he was, but he was. Silly boy. I will not let the twister take you to Oz.

Then, FINALLY, on Thursday night, the whole office (give or take half of the office) went bowling. I like bowling, but I’m not very good at it. Dad tried to teach me how to bowl when I was younger and he yelled “FOLLOW THROUGH!” so loud I got upset and left the bowling  alley and sat in the car until they were done. (Dad says, “You always say I was yelling at you. You just weren’t listening, so I had to talk LOUDLY.”)

FOLLOW THROUGH!!!

FOLLOW THROUGH!!!

I was, as expected, not very good. We bowled two…what are they called, sets? Frames? I don’t even know. There were four of us on the team and we got to bowl two complete times twice. Sets, I think, but I could be wrong. The first time I didn’t do terribly and got two strikes and two spares and then totally got to bowl in the special bonus round at the end. (“That’s just the tenth frame,” Dad said. “No, the special bonus round! No one else got to! Because I got a strike, I got to go again!” “Yes. That’s the TENTH FRAME, that’s how that WORKS,” said Dad. “Well, no one else got to do it. It was therefore a bonus, and SPECIAL,” I said. This made Dad laugh until he choked a little. Dad used to be in a league. He has awards and everything.) I ended up in second place with a 113 which I think is very respectable since I don’t know that I’ve ever broken 100 before. I tried to take a photo but the screen was too bright so it didn’t work. The SECOND time I apparently broke my arm and every time I bowled it went to the left and I got a 76 which I think is what kids get who need those bumpers in the gutters. I told Dad I lost that round to make everyone else feel better. He agreed that was very nice of me.

I was telling Dad about bowling and he got VERY upset. Why? Because of this.

Me: So the lanes tell you how fast you’re bowling.
Dad: What? No they don’t.
Me: Yes they do. The screen says how many miles per hour you’re throwing the ball. A. was the winner of that. He threw it 20 miles per hour.
Dad: Is that all? I think I could throw it MORE than that.
Me: OK. Anyway, he was all, “I want to beat my record!” so he had one pin standing, and he just PITCHED that ball, because he didn’t think he had any chance of knocking down that one pin anyway. And guess what happened?
Dad: I can’t even guess. He killed someone.
Me: That’s a very terrible guess.
Dad: I told you I couldn’t even guess.
Me: His ball went in the gutter at the very end, and then POPPED OUT and knocked down the pin. SPARE!
Dad: No, that doesn’t count. That’s not a spare. Once the ball goes in the gutter, you’re done. He cheated.
Me: No, it is. The computer said it was.
Dad: What computer? You brought a computer?
Me: NO, Dad. The computer over the LANE. That keeps SCORE for you.


Dad: Wait. Wait a minute. What? Something that keeps SCORE for you? No. YOU keep score. With a pencil and paper.
Me: Where would you even GET a pencil and paper?
Dad: They give it to you with the shoes.
Me: No, they just give you the shoes. This isn’t 1977. A computer keeps score for you now. You put your name in it and it tracks your score. No one even KNOWS how to keep score anymore.
Dad: I can’t believe this. I. CAN. NOT. BELIEVE. THIS. I am never bowling again. I would bring my own pencil and paper and keep score. This is RIDICULOUS.
Me: Dad, I don’t think anyone’s kept score for themselves since…well, the last time I kept score for myself was probably the early 90s. That’s like 20 years ago.
Dad: I can’t believe this. WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO?
Me: It’s the relentless march of progress. You can’t stop it. It even comes to bowling alleys. There are also strobe lights and they play Katy Perry songs while you bowl.
Dad: I AM SO MAD RIGHT NOW. Who the hell is Katy Perry.

Now I am going to bed so I can deal with the billions of “MY AIR CONDITIONER IS BROKEN” and “WE HAVE NO POWER” calls I’m bound to get at work tomorrow. Happy Saturday, people of the bloggiverse. Hopefully you are somewhere a little cooler than here, where it is in the nineties. THE NINETIES. In MAY. Well, it’s June now, but it was in the nineties this week, and this week was May. I find this as upsetting as Dad finds computerized bowling.


Eark? What’s an eark?

It was a very long day off for me today. You would THINK that would involve more loafing, but really I did a million billion things. I even made a LIST of things to do. And have checked off almost everything on the list. A couple things fell through the cracks but I try not to beat myself up too much about such a thing. I’m too old to hate on myself.

Let’s talk about technology, shall we? In particular: Facebook. And: Amy’s Brother.

Now, Amy’s Brother does not get discussed much here because Amy’s Brother is not a fan of the interwebs. Or of technology. Amy’s Brother likes things like four-wheelers and the woods and hunting for furry animals with guns. (Or also feathery animals. When it comes to shooting things, fur or feathers! We do not discriminate.) Amy’s Brother is also quite intelligent, however, and knows many large words and watches intelligent television. So I guess he’s kind of like an enigma.

This is how much Amy's Brother trusts the interwebs. Meaning: zero.

This is how much Amy’s Brother trusts the interwebs. Meaning: zero.

Amy’s Brother never had a cellphone. Well, he DID, but that was a long time ago. When he moved to my parents’ town, he got rid of the cell phone. I think he might have had a Tracfone that didn’t text. We don’t talk much. Not out of hatred, just because we don’t. We live very different lives.

About a month ago, my dad sent me an email saying “your brother wants your number am i allowd to give it to him or do you thikn he is a kiler?” (I might have made up some of of those misspellings. But Dad does not use a lot of capital letters in email. I think he’s saving them for a rainy day.) See, for a while, Dad was giving my phone number or email address to everyone in the land, including SOME OF MY DIREST ENEMIES. So we had a serious talk called, “Dad, you have to ask before you just give out my personal information; I need to know I’m not going to get a phone call I dread in my house, which is my safe place. It’s why I have an unlisted number.” Dad actually LISTENED to me for once (I think that’s because I used my MOST SERIOUS VOICE) and has been very careful (some might say overly careful) ever since. So yes, he emailed me to ask if it was ok to give my number to my only sibling.

"Who gave you this number? Who? DAD! STOP GIVING MY NUMBER TO CREEPERS!"

“Who gave you this number? Who? DAD! STOP GIVING MY NUMBER TO CREEPERS!”

I said, “yes, here’s my cell number and email address he can use, but why would he want my number, doesn’t he have it?” and what he wanted was my CELL PHONE NUMBER. What? Why?

“your borther has texting now on his celphone” said Dad.

So a few days passed and I got a random text with a photo of my brother standing on a stump with a gun and a wolf near him? So I texted back and said, “I’m going to hope this is you, bro, otherwise someone’s sending me photos of you with a wild animal” and when I asked my dad, “Um. Why’s there a wolf?” Dad explained that my brother has a friend with a pet wolf. I find that suspect. I like wolves so so much, but I don’t think they’re pets any more than crocodiles or tigers are pets. Stop thinking wild animals are pets, yo.

Right after this photo was taken, this wolf ate this woman's face. Probably. I'd guess, anyway.

Right after this photo was taken, this wolf ate this woman’s face. Probably. I’d guess, anyway.

But Amy’s Brother did not text me back but then my dad said, “Your brother’s been trying to email you but YOU GAVE US A FALSE EMAIL” and I said “Why would I give you a false email address?” and Dad said “I DO NOT KNOW” and then come to find out that what my brother thought was a “1” was a lowercase “l” and then Dad yelled at me for trying to trick people. You know. As I do.

Mostly after the yelling stopped I said, “WHEN DID MY BROTHER GET EMAIL?”

Apparently he got a LAPTOP recently and HAS EMAIL NOW. Good gracious.

So I convinced Dad to give me my brother’s email address so I could email HIM first so I DID and then I waited and waited and then he finally wrote back but it was a very short email and then he said “this very short electronic transmission took me 35 minutes to type” and that made me laugh.

Amy’s Brother is not the best at emailing. He only wrote to me one time.

But THEN, the other morning when I woke UP, I had a notification on my phone.

“Amy’s Brother added you as a friend on Facebook.”

HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HELL?

HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HELL?

WHAT IS THIS BLACK MAGIC? My brother HATES Facebook. And you know what he thinks of the Internet People. He thinks you are all rapists. Or people with one hand. RAPISTS OR PEOPLE WITH ONE HAND!

So I friended my brother. Of course I did. Who doesn’t friend their brother?

Then I realized, yay, photos of The Nephew I hadn’t seen! Then I realized, oh, those photos and everything on his timeline is public so ALL THE RAPISTS WITH ONE HAND ARE LOOKING AT THE NEPHEW RIGHT NOW!

(I’m weird about Facebook privacy settings. I lock my shit down. I’m even weird about commenting on public pages, because then everyone can see you. I know. Leave me alone.)

This is the creepiest thing I have ever seen.

This is the creepiest thing I have ever seen.

So I emailed my brother. “Dear brother. Listen to your sister and mark everything friends only or at least friends of friends because right now you have everything public and that means pervs. I don’t think you want that. I love your face.”

Apparently his friend who got him on Facebook was all “PSHAW!” so he was going to leave it alone until my mom and dad were all “LISTEN TO YOUR SISTER SHE LIVES ON THE INTERNET!” so he actually called my phone and left me a voicemail all “Apparently we need to talk about privacy settings? Because I don’t know what that means. So call me when you get home. But not now. I am going to sleep now. Because I was up all night on the internet.”

Hee! It sucked him in. SUCKED! HIM! IN!

So I called him when I got home. Now this is kind of groundbreaking because my brother and I have talked on the phone probably 10 times in our LIVES. I know some of you people are super-close to your siblings. I am not. It is a sad point in my life. So I was kind of as nervous as if it was a blind date. But, you know, without the naughtytalk.

So we talked – and I am not kidding – for AN HOUR AND A HALF. I had to eat dinner while we were on the phone. It wasn’t all about the Book of Faces. We talked about The Nephew and my brother’s life and all the things. It was actually kind of nice. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I might have gotten a little emotional. Because I like having a sibling. I’d like it even more if I talked to him more like people do.

So we FINALLY got to the Facebook stuff. Things I told my brother:

  • how to set all his future posts to “friends only”
  • how to retroactively set his posts and photos to “friends only”
  • how to block people, if he needs to do so

His response to these things:

  • Good
  • Good
  • Why would I block anyone? I can’t imagine that would ever be a thing I would need to do. (Aw, little brother. You live in such a happy rainbow land. I wish I was there with you. I have QUITE a block list going on.)

My most laughy moment happened when I was trying to explain to him the difference between “public” and “private.”

Me: So if your post has a little Earth at the bottom, it’s public, but if it has a little man, or a man with a man over his shoulder, it’s friends or friends of friends.

EARK!

EARK!

Brother: What’s an Eark?
Me: An Earth? It’s…I don’t know. An Earth. You know. Earth?
Brother: Eark?
Me: Earth? Like the planet? We live on? Planet Earth?
Brother: OH. EARTH.
Me: What the hell did you think I was saying?
Brother: Eark.
Me: Why would I say Eark? Eark isn’t even a word.
Brother: I thought it was like the sound a car makes if you brake too hard. EARK!
Me: Yes. Facebook puts a photo of you braking too hard next to their posts that everyone can see. Because that makes a lot of sense.

Also, added bonus content: what Amy’s Brother thinks of Facebook!

“Facebook is confusing. But also awesome. I have like ONE HUNDRED FRIENDS. I am friends with people from COLLEGE and SCHOOL and from when I lived out WEST and ALL THE PEOPLE. And I am TALKING to the people! And they are talking to me! But it takes up a lot of TIME. You have to approve all the friend requests. And answer everyone’s comments. And post a lot of photos. And look at things people have on their pages. How do you people keep up with all of this?”

I told him after a while, you learn to ignore it most of the time, and it’s really only super-exciting for the first couple months or so. After that, it’s just a thing you have, like a phone, or the clap.

“What do you do about all the emails?” my brother asked.

“What emails?”

“The millions of emails Facebook sends you. I can’t even find my REAL email because I have like 100 emails from Facebook. How do you deal with this?”

“I turned off the email function.”

Get outta here, emails.

Get outta here, emails.

“YOU CAN DO THAT?!”

So I then taught him how to do that. He was pleased.

“How many friends do YOU have?” Brother asked.

“I don’t let anyone see that. I don’t feel it’s anyone’s business.”

“I’m not anyone. Do you have more or less than me?”

“More right now. But at the rate you’re going, you’ll beat me soon.”

“You’ve been on Facebook forever. Why don’t you have more friends?”

“Because I mostly hate people?”

“Oh. Well, that makes sense, I suppose.”

Then we got off the phone and he called me a little later VERY UPSET because even though he followed my directions to the letter, his photos were still showing up to his friend who has “a number of secret accounts that no one knows about in other people’s names.”

“Well, first, tell him that’s totally shady and ask him why he’s being a creeper. And second, what photos are showing up?”

We ascertained it was the photos he had used for his profile and cover photo, and I explained those were ALWAYS public, and everything else was fine.

“How do I make it so no one sees what you wrote on my wall and people can’t ‘like’ what you wrote?”

“You can’t. That’s just Facebook.”

“What? PEOPLE CAN SEE ALL OF THIS?”

“OMG, yes. You didn’t know that?”

“I thought it was like MAIL.”

“Heh, no. If you want mail, you click on that little cartoon bubble in the middle left up there.”

“Oh, someone sent me a message in there, but I didn’t know why she didn’t just write it on my wall.”

“Because she wanted it to be private and she knows how Facebook works.”

“Ah,” said my brother, who may be finally understanding that, for once, his big sister is a handy resource for something.

He also gave me the following VERY EXPLICIT WARNING:

“Some people are friends on Facebook with people they don’t even KNOW! Can you imagine? Isn’t that CRAZY? If you were ever friends with anyone like that, you should unfriend them. Because you don’t know. They could be KILLERS.”

I looked up "internet killers" on image search and this came up and I've been laughing for like twenty minutes.

I looked up “internet killers” on image search and this came up and I’ve been laughing for like twenty minutes.

“So if I haven’t met them, I don’t know them?”

“Yes, of course.”

“If I unfriended all the people I haven’t met, I’d have like half the friend list. And I know those people just fine. And sometimes I meet them and they’re lovely. I met my friend from Finland in New York City last month.”

“That doesn’t make sense. He’s in FINLAND and was in NEW YORK CITY? Something doesn’t add up here.”

“He was in New York for business. People do such things.”

Brother was skeptical. “Dad says you are GOING to Finland.”

“Yep. Going there next summer.”

“Hmm. Well, I guess maybe SOME of them aren’t killers.”

He didn’t sound like he believed it, though.

SO! This has been a very event-filled week. Amy’s Brother has discovered the interwebs! I told him it was only a matter of time before he started tweeting and blogging and Instagramming and he said “I would ask what’s wrong with you but I’ve known you a long time and I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that.” I didn’t ask what that meant.

So, if anyone asks you if pigs flew this week, you can say yes. Yes, they did. I know. It’s hard to believe, but the future has caught up to my brother. Now, if we could only get Amy’s Dad off dialup…

…OK, I guess some of those pigs are still grounded. You can’t expect MIRACLES, people.

(Psst, the calendar informs me today is Eark Day. HAPPY EARK DAY. If you’re going to stop quickly, be sure the roadway is not slippery or you could slide into someone. What? What’s that? It’s EARTH Day? Oh. Dammit. Nevermind. Recycle or something. Carry on.)


I propose Happy Hour be renamed Confusing Conversation Hour after this.

Actual excerpt from an email to sj Saturday evening:

I’m debating whether or not to blog Drunken Amy’s Dad Stories, which have the subtitles of “Amy’s Dad Talks about Ecstasy” and “Amy’s Dad Discusses Penis Sizes in Various Countries” and “Amy’s Dad Saw a UFO over the Ocean Talking to Whales, Maybe” and “Amy’s Dad Thinks All the Hollywood Stars Live in the White House Right Now for Some Reason” and “Amy’s Dad Went to an Island but When Amy Questioned That, He Yelled, ‘It Was Just the Name of the Store, Not a Real Island, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU TONIGHT?'”

Obviously, my debate ended with the devil on my shoulder shouting down the angel on my OTHER shoulder.

I should backtrack a little or this isn’t going to make sense.

Dad’s in Florida until the end of the month. His cousin P. (my second cousin) is staying with him until Monday. I love P. She is one of the most intelligent people I know. She’s also HYSTERICAL. She makes me laugh until I cry. She also listens with her whole self when you’re talking to her. And gives the most thoughtful advice. She’s kind of the best.

So P. is staying with Dad for the week in his swinging mirrored condo. Apparently this means they go out for happy hour a lot, and he calls me late and is…a tad overserved. And says “IS THIS SO LATE FOR CALLING YOU?” and it’s not like it’s 1am, it’s like 10pm, so that’s not SO late. Then he tells me that P. has FORCED him, AGAIN, to go out for drinks, and what a bad influence she is, and in the background she is saying, “NO ONE FORCED YOU TO GO OUT YOU GRUMPY SO AND SO.” They get along very well. She doesn’t put up with his nonsense. And she makes him laugh the hardest. Didn’t I tell you she was kind of the best? She totally is.

So tonight he was supposed to call me at 6:30, but, no. And then I called him at 9. Not home. (SIDE NOTE! He’s staying at a condo and the owner’s name is Bob…something, I don’t even remember. I make up things when I can’t remember. Let’s say Bob McGillicutty. So my caller ID, when he calls, says “Bob McGillicutty.” And when I answer, I say, “Well! Hello, Bob!” or “Bob! Why are you calling so late?” or “Bob! I could totally be dead and you wouldn’t even know because you’re calling me like 4 hours late.” And he always laughs and says, “Bob here!” in a cheerful tone every time. Hee, “Bob here” is my new favorite.)

So he called me at a little after 10. And Dad had been imbibing with P. And also with Aunt G. and Uncle P.

“AMY!” Dad (also known as Bob) said. “Did you know that there are some places where after a certain time, LADIES DRINK FREE?”

What's a ladys? Is it like someone's name? Like Gladys? Does Gladys drink free?

What’s a ladys? Is it like someone’s name? Like Gladys? Does Gladys drink free? Is it a type of drink? Like a Long Island Iced Tea or something? This is a perplexing sign.

“I’ve heard of such things,” I said solemnly. “I have never attended one, because there tend to be people there. People who are drinking. And that leads to people who are shovey and way too loud, and someone usually spills cheap beer on your nice purse.”

“I had to pay. I am not a lady. But G. and P. did not have to pay! LADIES DRINK FREE!”

“You should have worn a muumuu. Maybe you could have had free drinks.”

“NO. I AM A MAN PERSON WHO WEARS NO MUUMUUS,” said Drunken Dad.

Apparently Homer is not a man-person.

Apparently Homer is not a man-person.

So, since sj exhorted me to PLEASE PLEASE blog about what Drunken Dad says about the state of the world, I bring you excerpts from our conversation. Perhaps you will be as confused as I was. It’s ok. It was a confusing phone call.

AMY’S DRUNKEN DAD SAW A UFO OVER THE OCEAN, MAYBE

Dad: P. and I saw a UFO.
Me: What? You did? Where did you see this?
Dad: Over the ocean. She didn’t even take a picture, can you imagine?
Me: You saw a UFO. Over the ocean? What did it do? How do you know it wasn’t a plane? Sometimes they’re planes.
Dad: NO. It was ROUND and then it ZIPPED and LIGHTS WENT ALL AROUND and then it DISAPPEARED.

Ooh, look, Dad, I found a photo for you!

Ooh, look, Dad, I found a photo for you!

Me: Well. That does sound like an alien encounter, for sure.
Dad: If we had a photo, we could send it to that guy you watch on TV.
Me: What guy do I watch on TV that likes aliens?
Dad: That guy that you call a douche.
Me: The Ghost Douche?


Dad: Yes, that one. We would be famous.
Me: Well, the flaw in your plan is that he investigates ghosts? So probably wouldn’t care about UFOs.
Dad: Also, remember that time he thought he was possessed by a girl ghost? Do you think he would think he was possessed by an alien?
Me: Yes. Probably a girl alien.
Dad: I wouldn’t like to watch that.
Me: No one would. Ooh, maybe the UFO was talking to whales, because they’re so intelligent.
Dad: That’s what the government wants you to believe.
Me: That whales are intelligent or that UFOs would talk to them or that UFOs are over the ocean?
Dad: Yes.

AMY’S DRUNKEN DAD DISCUSSES KIDS TODAY AND THEIR DRUG USE

Dad: Today we went to buy teeshirts and the best mother ever bought a teeshirt for her daughter.
Me: OK. That’s nice, right?
Dad: You know all the things. You will know about this.
Me: I don’t even know half of the things, but go ahead. What do I know?
Dad: The teeshirt said “Molly is my homegirl.” CAN YOU IMAGINE? (In the background, P. is saying, “MOLLY IS MY HOMEGIRL!” in a jolly fashion. I love her.)


Me: No. Who’s Molly? Molly Weasley? I’d wear that.


Dad: Weasel? No. MOLLY, Amy!
Me: I don’t know what that means. Who’s Molly?
Dad: AMY!
Me: I don’t…is there something I’m missing here?
Dad: SHE BOUGHT IT FOR HER CHILD!
(I quickly Googled what this meant; it’s apparently a thing with the kids today and some sort of rap lyric referring to ecstasy.)
Me: So P. bought this for her daughter? That seems unlike her. Did J. want that shirt? (SIDE NOTE: J. is my most wonderful third cousin, who I want to adopt. She is a junior in high school and is just utter sunshine. She has a giggle that fills you up with carbonated fizzies. She’s one of my favorite humans.)
Dad: P. has iron balls. She said, “What is Molly?” TO STRANGERS! In the STORE! And no one would tell her.
Me: She bought a shirt but didn’t know what it meant? How did she even know J. wanted it? I don’t think J. does ecstasy. She’s perfection. She wouldn’t do that.
Dad: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW.
Me: I guess I am just confused why P. would buy her daughter a drug shirt? Isn’t she mad you’re talking about her right now? I can hear her right there in the room with you.
Dad: P. didn’t buy a drug shirt!
Me: What? Who are we talking about, then?
Dad: Some WOMAN! At the store! Not P.!
Me: This conversation is as confusing as talking to Gramma when she says “the old guy came to visit me” and that could refer to, like, anyone she knows, and she expects you to psychically know who she means.
Dad: It makes perfect sense to me. Is there something wrong with you tonight?
Me: I’m beginning to wonder.
Dad: Did you know people make drugs in their houses and sometimes the houses explode? P. read that on the internet.

Ka-BOOM. Goodbye, house.

Ka-BOOM. Goodbye, house.

Me: Yes. Not ecstasy, though, I don’t think. That’s meth. That’s a whole different thing.
Dad: Why do you know about meth?
Me: Well, you know me. I run with a shady crew. Always exploding their meth labs.
Dad: I KNEW IT!

AMY’S DRUNKEN DAD DISCUSSES PENIS SIZES IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES

Dad: So what are you doing tonight?
Me: It’s like 10:30. I think I’m doing exactly what I’ll be doing for the rest of the night: nothing. I’m tired.
Dad: Good. If you go out that’s when the killers get you.
Me: I have to write a blog about penis sizes in various countries.
Dad: (chokes on something he’s drinking) I think I heard you incorrectly.
Me: I have this map of penis sizes in various countries and I’m pretty sure I need to blog about it but I haven’t decided how to do it yet.


Dad: Who tells their father something like this?
Me: I do. I do something like that. Don’t you find that fascinating? Someone took the time to make this map.
Dad: That is porn.
Me: No. There aren’t PHOTOS of the penises. Just a map with colors on it saying who has the biggest penises.
Dad: P. could find that map on her phone, you know. She’s very good with that phone.
Me: People with smartphones often are. Plus the phones are very smart. Hence the name. Did you know Canada has larger penises than America?
Dad: No. I didn’t want to know that. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s not true.
Me: I’m pretty sure it is. This seems like a very sciency map.
Dad: It’s probably because of the government.
Me: Our lack of penis size is a government conspiracy? Wow, this is wide-reaching, this conspiracy. Also, I’m very excited about my trip to Finland next year, because they are ALSO better than America, penis-size-wise, so you know I’m bound to totally have a very good time.
Dad: I don’t think you tell your father such things. Also, that’s not why you’re going to the land of Finns.
Me: No, but it’s like an interesting perk I’ve just discovered right now. China and India lose. This must make them so sad.
Dad: Are we still talking about this?
Me: Yes. It is SCIENCE! Science is INTERESTING! And AWESOME!


Dad: I hope you didn’t tell your mother about this. You cannot talk to you mother about things like this.
Me: NO. I don’t mention penises to Mom. When I do she starts muttering prayers under her breath. I worry she’s going to get a young priest and an old priest and they’re going to show up at my door for an impromptu exorcism. NICE YOUNG LADIES DON’T TALK ABOUT DING-DONGS, AMY!
Dad: No one ever said you were nice. Your mother knows you’re not nice. It’s the bane of her existence. However, I like it the most. Wait til I tell P. what you are talking about. She is not going to believe this.
Me: I think she’ll find it hilarious. She loves me. I make her laugh. Plus, I think she’ll want to look it up because it’s good to be prepared.
Dad: I don’t want to think about either you or P. being prepared for such a thing in random countries. WE ARE CHANGING THE SUBJECT NOW.
Me: Fine, but I’m just saying, if you ever want to send me to Venezuela, that seems to be the place to go. Yowza.
Dad: STOP TALKING STOP TALKING.

AMY’S DRUNKEN DAD THINKS ALL HOLLYWOOD STARS LIVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE FOR SOME REASON

Dad: Did you see what your President did now?
Me: Oh, it’s hard to tell. What now?
Dad: He sent that guy to Cuba, but if we went to Cuba, we’d be arrested.
Me: Oh, that guy. Of course. If I ask what guy, are you going to yell at me?
Dad: Some rippety rapper. (The internet tells me it was Jay-Z and he and Beyoncé went there for their anniversary? I could research this more but I don’t even care that much. Unless it’s Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” I don’t care at all.)

Aw, how cute are they? Like a little honeymooning couple. With the little polo shirt and the tropical-print dress. ADORABLE.

Aw, how cute are they? Like a little vacationing couple. With the little polo shirt and the tropical-print dress. ADORABLE.

Me: OK, then.
Dad: The White House belongs to US and now all the people in Hollywood live there.
Me: I don’t…huh. What?
Dad: Why when I tell you a thing do you never believe me?
Me: Mostly because the things you tell me sound like crazytalk.
Dad: IT IS TRUE THE REAL NEWS TOLD ME ABOUT THIS.
Me: Uh-huh. The real news told you that all the Hollywood stars live in the White House with the president.
Dad: YES.
Me: Do you think maybe that’s an exaggeration?
Dad: NO.
Me: I think maybe he knows some Hollywood people and maybe some have visited.
Dad: THAT IS OUR HOUSE.
Me: Actually, that’s the President’s house, and I think he’s allowed to have houseguests if he pleases. I’m sure Ronald Reagan had Hollywood people visit. And I’m MORE than sure JFK did.

SIGH SO PRETTY BOTH SO PRETTY

SIGH SO PRETTY BOTH SO PRETTY

Dad: IT IS OUR HOUSE.
Me: Nah. We have houses. Mine’s here and it has cats in it; yours is there and it’s got trees in the backyard. We don’t need the president’s house.
Dad: If you keep your head in the sand about these things eventually you’re going to suffocate.
Me: I’ll put a straw in the sand like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I’ll be fine.
Dad: RIDICULOUS YOU ARE RIDICULOUS.

AMY’S DAD GETS ANGRY BECAUSE HE IS BEING VAGUE

Dad: When we were at (mumble mumble) island today, P. spent way too much money. I wouldn’t do that.
Amy: How come when I was there, we didn’t go to an island?
Dad: What? There are no islands.
Amy: I’m pretty sure, even though you were being a Mumble Mumblerton, you just said you went to an island.
Dad: THAT IS THE NAME OF THE SOUVENIR SHOP. Seriously, are you ok? You’re not getting it tonight. Do you have a head injury?
Amy: Yes. This is most definitely my fault for being slow on the uptake. Maybe the cats stole my breath when I was sleeping last night.
Dad: I keep TELLING you those cats are going to steal your breath. They’re killer cats. You never listen to me and soon it will be too late. BECAUSE YOU WILL BE DEAD. WITH NO BREATH.

Soon P. will be on her way back to the lovely Capital District of New York State (she lives about half an hour from me) and Dad will be ALL ALONE so his liver can detox, I suppose. I think our phone conversations will be quieter. Much less shouting. Fewer non-sequiturs. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Drunken Dad! I will miss you and your shoutery. I raise my store-brand sugar-free fruit-punch to you. And pour some out for my dead homiez, yo. That’s what I learned you do by watching rippety rappers who live in the White House. See, Dad? I totally learn things from watching teevee. I’m not even a disappointment.


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