Tag Archives: dad

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.
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?
Me: OK. Bye. Love you.
Dad: Grumble grumble grumble grump love you bye.



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.
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?
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.
Dad: I found the control center. Is it there?
Me: I don’t know. Is it?
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.



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.
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.

…and a new interspecies friendship is born!

Dumbcat is afraid of men.

Up until recently, he was afraid of EVERYONE. He’d hide when anyone came over. Beeline for the pots and pans cupboard or under the bed or deep inside the couch up where the springs live until the people left. THE PEEPEL MOMMEE! THE PEEPEL! MAEK THE PEEPEL LEEVE OUR HOUWSE!



The only person he could tolerate was my old roommate C., because we lived with her for six years when we first came to town. He’d hide for a bit, but then he’d come out and be headbutty and such.

But men? NO THANK YOU. He’d hear a man’s voice and he was OUT of there. And he wouldn’t come out until the men were gone. When I went to my parents’ camp this summer, he hid every time Dad came to visit, and even when The Nephew came up (but that might have been because The Nephew is a loud little wee one, and he kept saying “Aunt Amy? Where is the cat? So I can HUG HIM?” and Dumbcat made himself very small and invisible in the back corner under the bed in the farthest bedroom and played a game of YOU CANNOT SEE ME because MOMMEE THE SMALL HUMANE WITH LOUED FEETS IS SKARY TO ME.)

Pretty sure The Nephew wanted to hug the BREATH out of Dumbcat.

Pretty sure The Nephew wanted to hug the BREATH out of Dumbcat.

The only man that ever won him over was BFF, and that took DAYS. BFF came to visit for a few days before I moved out of state and by the last day, Dumbcat was sitting on his lap purring. BFF was so pleased. And it is like a visit from a rare butterfly, when Dumbcat comes to sit on your lap, because he’s so damn skittish.

But the past month or so, he’s been really good with people. Three people have come over – Laura, and Cousin S., and friend K. – and he hasn’t run from ANY of them. But they all have ladyparts, of course. Because they’re LADIES. I was so pleased he was letting them pet him, but I just figured, well, he’s getting old, and petting’s petting, but they’re not men, with their low rumbly voices and stompy loud feet.

This weekend, my parents came to visit. They like to visit close to my birthday and take me to lunch. We usually go shopping but this year we didn’t because instead of shopping I got some money to put toward my Most Excellent Adventure in the Land of the Finns fund.  (We’re getting there, kiddos. Almost halfway! 3/4 of the way by the end of the month!) So they came all this way to take me to lunch and then turned around and left. Is that not the sweetest thing? Even though I’m old, they still come to celebrate my birthday with me. Aw, those parents.

So they got here and Dumbcat was on the back of the couch and he didn’t run away from Mom, and she was so happy. And he got some grandma-petting. Then Mom and I went to talk and walk around a little bit and when I came back in the living room I thought Dumbcat would have run off because A MAN IS HEAR MOMMEE A MAN WITH A MAN-VOYCE! but a SHOCKING THING HAD HAPPENED!



Dad was sitting on the couch and Dumbcat was headbutting his legs and hands and Dad was petting him as if he’d never petted an animal before in a weird patting tentative way.


“This cat loves me,” he said. “Maybe he’s not as dumb as I’ve always thought.”

See, Dad hates animals. He can tolerate outdoor dogs as long as they don’t get near him or make any noise, but otherwise, animals are his nemeses. He doesn’t approve of pets and hates animals being in the house because FUR GETS ON THINGS and FUR IS THE WORST and he’s always telling me that Dumbcat will steal my breath and give me cat scratch fever and saying “YOU HAVE GOT TO GET RID OF THAT CAT.” When I was a kid we had beagles (outdoors only) and cats (mostly outdoors only, and not Dad’s choice – we begged him into letting us have them) and that was it. Where I came from, no one knows. No one in my family loves animals like I do.

(SIDE NOTE: I totally wanted to take a photo of this most momentous occasion to document it, but Dad was all, “NO BECAUSE THEN YOU WILL PUT ME ON THE INTERWEBS AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL GET ME” and we had to have a discussion about how, if the government wanted, the government could ALREADY get him, as his car is registered, he pays taxes, he owns a home, etc., and he was all, “BUT THE INTERWEBS! THAT’S HOW THEY GET YOU!” and it was really a losing battle. Once, my brother put a photo of Dad up on the Book of Faces and Dad LOST HIS SHIT. “You make him take that down. MAKE HIM! TAKE THAT! DOWNNNNN! People will KNOW about me! Where I am! WHO I AM! They will COME FOR ME!” so my brother had to take it down and he was so sad. “It had like ten likes!” said my new-to-Facebook brother. “I know, dude, you just kinda gotta roll with the Dad-crazy, it’s a thing,” I replied.)

So Dad and Dumbcat had some loving before we took off for lunch. “This cat hits you with his FACE,” he said.

“Yep. He’s filled with headbutts.”



“I don’t know if I like that, because sometimes his teeth touch you and it’s like he wants to bite your hand all up.”

“Nah. He won’t bite. He only bites when you clip his claws or accidentally when you’re feeding him treats because he’s so excited, and he never REALLY bites. He’s too sweet to bite.”

“I think he might be vicious.”

“He’s not vicious. He’s a good boy.”

Then we tried to leave and Dumbcat leapt up on the couch and purred and I petted him and Dad was all “He doesn’t like you to pet him right now because he’s trying to settle down and take a nap. Don’t torment him” because NOW, APPARENTLY, Dad is all-knowing about what Dumbcat likes best and they are BFFs for all of time.

(Side note: this BFF-ness didn’t stretch too far because when we got to the restaurant he was all, “WOMAN!” [to my mom] “Do you have any of those hand-wipe things? I touched that cat. I COULD HAVE CAT DISEASES. I can’t eat with cat diseases on my HANDS!” and Mom didn’t so he had to go to the bathroom and wash his hands for like ten minutes to get rid of lingering cat-germs.)

When we got back there was some MORE Dad-and-Dumbcat bonding time and awkward petting and it really was the most heartwarming. And once Dad got home and called me to tell me that he was safe and didn’t get hit by a truck on his way home, he was all, “I bet that cat misses me so much” and I was like, “Yes, SO MUCH. So much that he’s sound asleep on my lap, most likely dreaming of his new best friend Grampa.”

This was the best interspecies friend story of all time. And no, I have no idea why Dumbcat is all of a sudden Bravecat and Lovingcat. It’s completely out of character for him, and kind of adorable. It’s like he’s discovered PEEPLE, MOMME! And they can all give him PETTING! And all of them are NIEC PEEPLE! WHERE DID ALL THEESE NIEC PEEPLE COME FROME?

Don’t worry. He’s still the same old Dumbcat, though. He got stuck in his litterbox today somehow and dragged it halfway out of the closet while yowling at it most impressively. THAT’S a new one. Haven’t seen THAT one before.

That’s my good boy.

(Psst, tomorrow is a VERY SPECIAL DAY. Do you all have your party hats and those unrolly party tooter thingys at the ready? Man, I sure hope so. A person with unruly hair and crazy eyes who writes a kooky blog only celebrates her VERY SPECIAL DAY once a year, you know. MAKE IT COUNT, PEOPLE!!!)



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.


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.”)



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.

Cat-wars and roadtrips and sports follies: a day of random goodness, part two

Welcome back, friends! And enemies, I suppose, but I hope none of you are enemies. How distressing would THAT be? I don’t want my enemies reading this. ENEMIES! Be OFF with you!

Yesterday we discussed SOME things, today we will discuss MORE things. I know. I have lots of things to tell you. What can I say, I live a life of excitement and mystery. Except since I tell you all about it, there’s not so much “mystery” as there is “no mystery at all.”

World War Flea

Update on the Newcat/Dumbcat situation: Newcat continually attacks Dumbcat. Dumbcat used to just cower in the corner and make pathetic noises that made my whole heart ache, but he apparently is tired of that, so now he’s standing up for himself and HISSING and SPITTING and BATTING HIS LITTLE ARMS IN RESPONSE. Then I break it up because I’m afraid someone’s going to get hurt. Newcat still loves me and follows me around like a little smitten kitten. The other night, the cats decided to play King of the Mountain. Guess what was the mountain? My hip. Under the covers. In bed. First Dumbcat wanted to sleep with me. Then Newcat decided SHE wanted to sleep with me. So she leapt into the bed. MUCH FIGHTING MUCH HISSING MUCH SPITTING! And I was half-asleep so I said “mrph stop cut it out so tired” and then whoever lost tumbled off the bed and whoever won settled in. It was dark, I’m not sure who was the victor. Then like an hour later, THE LOSER DECIDED TO CHALLENGE THE WINNER TO A REMATCH! So another leap! MORE SPITTING AND MORE HISSING! More me saying “why is what is this stop no please what?” This happened pretty much hourly all night long. Luckily they seem to have discovered a victor because it didn’t happen again the next night.

This obviously exhausts Dumbcat. What a tough life, aw. (Also, that FACE! Isn't he so squishable?)

This obviously exhausts Dumbcat. What a tough life, aw. (Also, that FACE! Isn’t he so squishable?)

Then today I got home from work and they’d knocked everything off the end table and unplugged all the cords for all the things I had plugged in, so apparently they worked together to save electricity or something. I’m not quite sure what happened there. Thanks? I think? Maybe?


Dad’s on his annual pilgrimage to Florida as we speak. He just arrived. He took off Saturday night and arrived this morning. (Well, MONDAY morning for you. I’m writing this days ago. Sorry to break your brain.) He bought a total old-man car for the trip. He’s been driving a really old car that pieces fall off of for the longest time, and FINALLY listened to his daughter and got a new car. Well, it’s not NEW, it’s a little old, but it’s totally a huge silver Buick. I have been picking on him about this for DAYS. “Dad, you have to drive down the middle white line with a car like that at 30 miles per hour on the highway, that’s the rule for cars like that,” I tell him. “NOT FUNNY I AM NOT OLD,” he says.

I found this photo on something called "Classy Cars." Hee! Classy = OLD PERSON CAR.

I found this photo on something called “Classy Cars.” Hee! Classy = OLD PERSON CAR.

Now he is in his condo for the next month. Apparently this condo is decorated in the best of 60s chic and the walls are all mirrored and he said that was scary and when he wakes up in the middle of the night to pee he’s going to think there’s a robber in the house but it’ll really be him. “You could put a positive spin on it and think you’re having a party,” I said. “I HATE PARTIES,” he grumbled.

Not Dad's condo. But probably similar. Look out for robbers!

Not Dad’s condo. But probably similar. Look out for robbers, Dad!

He also told me this story. Background: his brother and his sister-in-law are staying in the next condo (my godparents, Uncle D. and Aunt M.), and his sister and his brother-in-law are staying in the OTHER next condo (my aunt G. and uncle P.) They all went out to happy hour, so I think they might have all been a little tipsy.

Dad: So P. and I went over to get D. and knocked on the door, but no one answered.
Me: OK. Maybe they went out.
Dad: They did not. Their car was in the lot.
Me: Maybe they went for a walk on the beach.
Dad: No. I tried the door and it was unlocked.
Me: Sheesh, homebreaker, way to barge in.
Dad: P. said, “I bet they’re doing it.”
Me: DAD. I do not need to hear about my godparents DOING it.
Dad: People still do it when they’re godparents, Amy.
Dad: That’s not very many times. Why two?
Me: They have two children. Two times. Done done done.
Dad: People who are married do it.
Dad: So when P. said “I bet they’re doing it” we ran away and also were laughing.
Me: You ran away giggling like teenagers?
Dad: Not GIGGLING. We’re not young GIRLS. We were LAUGHING. Like grown-up MEN.
Me: This story makes me laugh. Maybe Aunt M. was in the shower and Uncle D. was out on the patio looking at the ocean.
Dad: Stop pretending they weren’t doing it.

I was looking for something funny related to doing it and this has NOTHING to do with that, except extraneously, but OMG did this make me laugh like a moron.

I was looking for something funny related to doing it and this has NOTHING to do with that, except extraneously, but OMG did this make me laugh like a moron.

Also, Dad had a very funny joke, courtesy of HIS dad, who I sadly never got to meet but I would have loved so much because he was intelligent and very funny. See, Dad was held up in an accident-related traffic jam on the Virginia-North Carolina border. It was a huge accident. 6 people (I think?) died and 70-some were hospitalized because the highway was foggy and people just kept running into each other.

So Dad and I were talking about how if the weather was really bad, is it better to stop if you can’t see? Or is it better to keep going? Because both ways, you’re probably screwed. You stop, someone hits you. You keep going, someone hits you (or you hit someone. Or go off the road. Or hit a sign. Your options are unlimited, really.)

Dad said, “Did I ever tell you the story my dad told me about driving in really bad weather?”

Dad never tells me stories about his father. They make him too sad. So this was very exciting. No, I said, he hadn’t told me that story.

“Well, Dad said that you’re supposed to always keep an eye on the white line in bad weather, or when it’s dark. So you can stay in your lane. It’s your guide. Well, one night, this guy he knew was in bad weather. So he kept his eye on the white line. Kept his eye on the white line for a long time. Until, BAM, he smashed into the back of a truck. It wasn’t a white line. It was a milk truck that had been leaking.”

The moral of the story is, the white line is a nice guide, but also look up once and a while. Or that milk trucks are leaky, maybe.

The moral of the story is, the white line is a nice guide, but also look up once and a while. Or that milk trucks are leaky, maybe.

I laughed. That was a good story.

“I’m pretty sure Dad made that up. But you didn’t interrupt him when he was telling a story. Because he was the best storyteller in the whole world.” Dad was quiet for a minute. “Until you. Now there’s you.”

Then I got sniffly and blamed seasonal allergies.

You’re welcome, Syracuse fans

So remember we talked about my excellent bracket-picking skillzzzzz? As of this point, my brackets are the most busted. I am in last place in the group I’m in to win a gift card (which might mean I have to buy the gift card for the winner – Dad is quite sure that’s how it works, even though I told him I was pretty sure it’s not) and I’m losing to Dad in our group (but we still could both win – I’ve got Louisville to win the whole thing, and he has Syracuse, so it’s still up in the air. So I might be buying him a McDonald’s meal – or I might be getting one bought for ME! Whoo-hoo! Come on, Louisville!)

Hee, I assume this is one of the coaches, but he looks like an orchestra conductor.

Hee, I assume this is one of the coaches, but he looks like an orchestra conductor.

In Jim‘s group, I’m out (I think I’m third-to-last) and Dad can’t win, although he did better than I did. Jim’s doing pretty well but I don’t know if he can win, either. Dad is VERY DISPLEASED he is losing to the guy who is dead to him.

“I think he’s using cyborgs,” he said.

“Cyborgs? What?” I replied.

“All the people we’re playing against in that group, that are beating us: he made them up. They’re not real. They’re cyborgs.”

“They’re half-human, half-robot people?”

No one told me I'd be playing against cyborgs!

No one told me I’d be playing against cyborgs!

“No. They’re IMAGINARY,” Dad said, exasperated.

“Well, if they’re imaginary, they might be CYBER, but I don’t think they’re CYBORG,” I said.

“You make up a lot of words,” Dad said. “Whatever they are, all I know is, that guy is about fifty times more dead to me than he was when we started this. He’s cheating. CHEATING ON BASKETBALL! With CYBORGS!”

Oh, this is bad, Jim. When you decided you were going to create a half-human, half-robot army to cheat at basketball, I don’t think you understood the can of worms you were going to open. SO! MANY! WORMS! JIM!

Jim asked me on Facebook if HE was a cyborg, and I told him no, of course not, as all my internet people are female truck drivers. “Female CYBORG truck driver,” Jim replied.

Touché, Jim. Touché.

Also, I want to extend my warmest “you’re welcome” to the Syracuse fans out there. Because I didn’t choose your team, they have made it to the final four. If I HAD chosen them, they would have lost. Dreadfully. A long time ago. Possibly while holding up a sign saying “Sorry, Amy, you should have known better.” So, Syracuse fans, you are WELCOME. I will take any thank-you gifts you have to offer, such as chocolate, cute pajamas, or CAT TREETZ. (I didn’t type that last one. I think you can guess who did. His name starts with Dumb and ends with cat. Don’t be taking over my keyboard just to get yourself treats, bub.)

There! Whew! Two days of ALL THE THINGS OF RANDOMNESS! Now it is…Wednesday? Yes. Most assuredly Wednesday. Happiest of Wednesdays to you all. You and you and EVEN YOU.

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