Real Genius

The other week I went to a certain tech store– you know the one where they like to call themselves Geniuses, which, the nerve of that place. The only person who should be allowed to announce themselves a Genius is Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius, as far as I am concerned. Anyway, I went in there to pick up a case for my tablet that I had ordered ahead of time. As per usual in Geniusland, it was packed like a goddamn beehive. I found someone who could help me, told them I was there to pick something up, they went in the back, and I waited. I stood off to the side, looking around at nothing in particular. Almost immediately, I noticed this man who was walking around, and the way he was doing it seemed weird to me. It was subtle, but the thing that I noticed about him was that he wasn’t really being mesmerized by any of the displays of shiny things to play with on the tables. Rather, he was strolling around, his eyes scanning the room. Back and forth, he looked. Not like he had lost track of his honey. Like he was making note of people. Scan, scan, scan, back and forth. Hmmm, I thought. I wonder if that dude is up to something. So I said, to some rando standing next to me, who happened to be a Genius: “Hmmm, I wonder if that dude is up to something.” And the Genius said “what dude?” and I said “the dude in the orange shirt.” And as I was saying the dude in the orange shirt, I shit you not, the dude in the orange shirt walked to the back of the store near where the Genius and I were standing, took a box of something (fancy headphones, maybe?) and started to make his way to the front, quickly but not frantically. “I think he’s stealing that.” The Genius says “where?” and I say “the dude in the orange shirt walking toward the door” and the Genius says “I don’t see him.” And boom, Orange Shirt walked right out the door. No sooner had he done this, but about 10 seconds later, another dude who I am guessing was a plainclothes security person, had followed him out and caught Orange Shirt by the scruff of his shirt and steered his rumpus back into the store. This scruff-grabber kept a hold of this guy from the sidewalk outside, through the length of the store and into the back staff area. From the moment I said “hmmm, I wonder if that dude is up to something” to him taking the item out to him getting dragged back in and into the back, not one other person crammed into that store seemed to notice a thing, even the Genius next to me. It was like some shit out of the Matrix happened and I felt like I was the only one who saw it.

I think this means one or more of the following things:

  • I am Sherlock Holmes
  • I dreamed the whole thing because my regular life is too damn boring*
  • Crimes are going down two feet away from us at all times but we are all a bunch of distracted bing bongs too busy looking at shiny objects
  • The dude next to me was clearly not a Genius (or maybe just colorblind) because he could not see that bright orange shirt
  • I feel like wearing a bright orange shirt while committing theft in the middle of 200 sardines is a bad idea

*most likely

This song is too romantic for this story, but it’s called Orange Shirt and it’s a jam, so deal with it.

Cell phone war

My phone has been telling me for many months that it would like to retire, please. It told me on numerous occasions that it would much rather be sipping mint juleps in a cell phone condo in Boca Raton instead of slaving away for me in soggy Seattle, texting my friends for me and making sure I keep up with Jenny Slate on Twitter. I ignored my cell phone for a long time on this point, not filing the paperwork and such, until it couldn’t take my shit anymore and started going on strike. You want to listen to your dumb podcast while on your way to your dumb bourgie brunch, lady? it said. Well, I feel like playing you the Sound of Silence and I’m not talking about Simon and funking Garfunkel. It shut down constantly. It stopped letting me text certain people most of the time, and stopped letting me text other people ever again. I had a whole text conversation with Alli and Map, but I couldn’t text Map, so I would text Alli and tell her to please pass the text on to Map, and she put up with that bee ess and didn’t tell me to retire my goddamn phone already.

Day before yesterday, my phone just closed up shop for good. Incoming business was still functioning but it put a gag order on my saying anything to anyone or looking anything up. This meant that people were trying to contact me, and I could see that, but I was unable to respond in any way, therefore making me look like a royal buttmunch who ignores people who are speaking directly to me. Game recognize game, cell phone.

This is how I came to be in a phone store near my work yesterday, forlornly looking for a new phone because my old phone clearly hates my guts. I walked in, and even though I knew what I was there to buy exactly, I milled about the store, because that’s what you do in tech stores now since they no longer believe in having clear queues that one gets in for service (get off my lawn, tech stores!). A woman with a tech store polo shirt on, a tablet, and an earpiece came over and asked me what I needed, and I told her I would like to buy a phone, please. She said someone would be with me in a moment, and then left me to mill about some more. But before she left me, she stopped short and said: “I love your skirt” in a very abrupt sort of way, as if surprised by the love of my skirt. As if the love of my skirt were a surprise party for her and had jumped out from behind a credenza to startle her. “Thank you!” I said back. She hovered for a minute, looking hard at the skirt. “I…well. I really love it,” she said again. And then she walked off. You guys, my skirt made her flustered with its awesomeness. My skirt made her breathless with delight. I am the fashionista of the year! I milled about for a while longer. I looked at the phones, and I went over to the tablets. I looked at the readers. I walked the perimeter of the whole store in my awesome skirt. Finally, I decided to sit on a bench and wait. I walked to the bench, and before I sat down, I smoothed my skirt down, front and back.

The hem of the back of my skirt was tucked up under itself, is the thing.

Ok, ok, ok, let’s just make something clear. My ass was not hanging OUT of the tucked skirt. But it was on the border of hanging out. Like, my butt was Tijuana! Which means that that lady was not loving my skirt. That lady was surprised by the fact that she could almost see my fundament running free in her store. Apparently, “I love your skirt!” is code.

Am I wrong to think that she should have told me outright that my trunk junk was on the edge? Am I asking too much that this be an assumed part of basic customer service? I’m just saying, that if her polo shirt would have been dangerously askew in some way, I would have helped a sister out.

I also don’t think it is weird that I feel somehow that my old cell phone was behind this whole situation. That phone hated my guts, people.

Mr Telephone Man, by New Edition

Cold gray Januar-ay

The thermometer says it’s not really that cold, but my body disagrees. It feels colder than the thermometer says. I know, talking about the weather is ceaselessly entertaining. I have been trying not to hole up in my house too much. To that end, I did the following.

1. Brunched out with pals twice.
2. Shopped (ok I just went and touched the clothes) at Horseshoe.
3. Supported Biogirl’s pie problem by tagging along with her to A La Mode.
4. Did some rounds around Green Lake.
5. “Helped” Nordic Boy plant a new terrarium (hey, I watched him with waves of encouragement emanating out of me. That’s totally helping).
6. Ok, I’m not going to lie there was also lots of holing up and staying in, but effort was made.

Hello Talbots, and you too Chico’s

Mom: I stopped over at Christopher and Banks this morning, but I didn’t find anything.
Me: What store is that again?
Mom: Christopher and Banks.
Me: I’ve never been there. What is it? Clothes?
Mom: You’ve never heard of it?
Me: I’ve heard of it, but there isn’t one here in Seattle I think. Other than maybe in the malls, and I don’t go to the mall much. What kind of stuff do they have?
Mom: Oh you know. Clothes for older ladies. Like us.
Me: (silence as I slowly digest that my septuagenarian mother has now put me in her age category)
Me: Oh.
Mom: (back pedal, back pedal!) I just mean, it’s not for teenagers. That’s all I mean.
Me: Got it.

I guess it’s time for me to stop thinking Ann Taylor is too old for me.


After the boots of summer have gone

Monday. Blah. Here’s my list of what’s in my brain today.

1. I kind of want to do NaBloPoMoBloJoHo (I just like to add that last part on there because I am juvenile), and started to do it last week, but that didn’t last very long. I guess I am still trying, if it even makes sense to do that. Just set your expectations way way low on that one though. Dial it all the way down.

2. The weather has turned. The best we can hope for is some blue sky every once in a while, but we know those days are numbered as well. This weekend, Nordic Boy started wearing his winter work boots while doing up his carpentry rigamarole in his shop. “The days for summer boots are gone,” he said. Then we sang the chorus of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” with the words “boots of summer” inserted, because that’s how we do around here.

3. I have a new phone. I now need a new phone holder thing. I am having trouble finding one that meets my own personal design specifications. I came back from a shopping trip and Nordic Boy asked me if I found a phone case, and I said I didn’t see any that I liked, and he said “I think we’re starting up another pencil cup situation here.” Because I spent three years looking for a pencil cup that met my aesthetic needs. And I never found one. So I just decided that I didn’t need a pencil cup. And Nordic Boy never once said to me “IT IS JUST A PENCIL CUP GET OVER IT.” Because he knows a battle that can’t be won, plus he is nice to me like, all the time. Anyway, maybe I can just be really careful with my new phone?

4. I spent part of my weekend browsing some stores for wintery clothes. I have trouble with wintery clothes, mainly because I am not a fan of bulk, but I am also not a fan of being cold. My solution to this problem has been to just wear summer/spring/fall clothes which solves the bulk issue but doesn’t solve the being cold issue. Between this and the pencil cup thing and the phone case thing I really find myself unbearable sometimes. It does save me money though, since impulse buying is sort of out.

5. Biogirl and I had a full on therapy session over the weekend about the remakes of Dirty Dancing and Footloose. In the conversation the following phrase was said: “YOU SIR, are no Kevin Bacon!” I think we can all adopt that phrase in a multitude of situations.

6. Biogirl, who has been coveting the Norm-in-Cheers status of “regular” for many years, finally got her wish at the brunch joint we frequent. We go there almost weekly, so it’s about bloody time they recognize us. They knew her name! And what she wanted to order! It was a grand day in her life. I was glad to be there to witness.

7. We had dinner with our friends HVDM and her husband J. Afterward, we came over to my house and played Outburst. I was seriously off my game and this was evidenced by the following. I could not name all ten Robert Redford movies on the dang card, and I couldn’t name off ten Shakespeare plays. What the eff, me? I might as well have forgotten the alphabet as far as I am concerned.

8. I finally signed up for pinterest. Let me know if you’re on it too and I’ll follow you.

9. It was Alli’s birthday yesterday. There are a few things that make me feel melancholy around this time of year, and not being there for Alli’s birthday is always one of them. We always did birthday shenanigans when we were kids! How dare she grow up and move away! Wait, that was me that moved away. I hate it when I have to blame myself for my own whining.

10. YOU SIR are no Kevin Bacon! I just wanted to say that again.

I seriously did NOT just do that

Hey you guys, I figured out how to make my heart stop and my stomach feel barfy and horrible, just from stress! Want to hear about it?

I have many potential stressors in my life, as does everyone. Lucky for me, I don’t have a stressy constitution, just naturally. The daily stuff like bad traffic or rude people or getting a bad night’s sleep? Piece of cake. The things that cause me the most stress in my life are the Biggies. Like when I was pretty sure that I was going to get laid off last year. But the stress of that sort of thing was not a heart-pounding, barfy sort of stress. I think it was because that shit (waiting for the news) went on and on and on, for months. I just couldn’t sustain barfy for that long. The stress was more an impending sense of doom in the back of my mind at all times. Still stressful and probably not healthy, but I never felt like I was going to pass out or anything. Same with family members going through Big Health stuff. Again, it goes on for months and sometimes years, so the stress gets stretched out.

So this morning I was getting ready for work, and all of a sudden I had this thought: where the mothereffer is my new camera? My gorgeous, lovely, brand new, super expensive very generous gift that I got not two weeks ago?

And I looked around, and didn’t see it, and then the barfy feelings became SERIOUS, y’all. I mean, really. It was ACUTE PUKEY.

I asked Nordic Boy if he’d seen it. He said nope. Then we proceeded to tear our house apart. It was like a police raid up in there. I went outside in my pajamas and looked in the trunk of my car. We looked in every closet, every room, every shelf.

Here’s the thing about my house. It’s small. And we don’t have very much stuff. Which means that it’s kind of impossible to misplace things. If it’s not pretty much immediately apparent, then it’s just not there.


I retraced my steps. Tried to remember the last time I took it out. Tried not to think about the fact that Nordic Boy and my parents forked over a lot of scratch for something that I promptly lost in a matter of days.

Here is my recipe for panic: an extravagant item, bought by other people, for me, a bonafide cheapskate, and I misplace it. TORTURE.

I know I had it in my house on Saturday night. And I think I took it with me to a restaurant on Sunday. I’m calling the restaurant when it opens today and PLEASE BABY JEBUS make my camera be there. Because if I really truly lost that thing?



At the Mac make-up counter.*

Saleslady who looks like Katy Perry: Can I help you with something?
Me: I was just trying to decide between these two colors. Charcoal or dark brown. I just can’t decide which one to try. (Holding the samples next to my skin) What do you think?
Katy Perry: Well, that depends on what you want to use it for.
Me: Yes, how do you mean?
Katy Perry: Well, it depends on whether you want grey. Or brown.

She said that to me without a STITCH of sarcasm, people.

Me: Ok, yes. Thanks.

So I just wanted to pass along that piece of advice to you, if you ever are trying to decide between choice A and choice B. You should make that decision based on one thing and that thing is: whether you want the choice to be A, or whether you want it to be B. It’s so unhelpful, it sort of rounds a bend somewhere and becomes helpful again.

Don’t thank me, thank Katy.

* The Mac makeup counter is really not a counter. I ask you, what is with this new fangled retail model where there is no counter and no way to line up anywhere? Mac make up, Apple, AT&T, what is going on? Do you want chaos, is that what you want? What’s a grandma like me supposed to THINK?

Whipped His Hair

Well, it has been a little over a week since I decidedly proclaimed to Rejoin the World.

Come on everyone, don your annoying Sarah Palin voice and say: “how’s that workin’ out for ya?”

Well, I’ll tell you. The efforts have been valiant. Let’s start out with the positives. I successfully got my hair did. Never mind that the person who does my hair has apparently decided to give me the most boring haircut of all times. Still, it is cut. Did it put a spring back into my step as a good haircut can? Not so much. It’s a boring step, not a springy one. And it’s making me want to break up with my haircutter. So, I guess I get a C-plus on that.

I went to a dance show last weekend. Contemporary 4 at PNB. It was pretty good. Not knock your socks off good, but sometimes I need to just calm down about everything needing to knock my socks off. My socks can stay on and I can still enjoy myself. Which I did. And yay, I dressed up, got out of the house, saw some friends, saw some art. That’s my happy place. So I felt pretty good about that. Then this weekend I went to see Alvin Ailey, which was off the frigging chain. So much so that it can make me say things like off the frigging chain.

Also, I no longer fall asleep every night at 9pm, only to wake up the next morning still tired. Now I stay up until a grownup hour, and do things. This feels like the biggest accomplishment of all. How sad is that?

You know, I thought my list of positives would be longer. Shite. I feel like I am coming out of the loop I was in where I went to work, ate, slept, thought about work, repeat. And I am, I know I am. But my list up there needs beefing up. What is a list of positives without beef?

So, update on Rejoining the World stands at: Needing More Beef.

Silliness seems to have re-entered my life though, which makes me feel more like me than I have been lately. For instance, yesterday we were at the store, waiting in line, and there was this kid who was maybe 13-years-old, and he had a really long, really impressive mullet hairdo. The front was really short, and the back was really long, like maybe down to the center of his back. And super lush and thick. If you’re going to go mullet, then hallelujah, do it up, son. At least you don’t have a snoozefest going on on your head like I got. Anyway, he was being sort of hyper, as 13-year-olds can be, and he started to run through the store without really thinking ahead about where he was running or how to best go amok in a store. He whipped his head around as he started to run and his mullet swung around and whipped him in the face (insert Willow Smith reference here) and went exactly across his eyes and he couldn’t see but AT ALL, and so that made him trip and he sort of flew through the air, forward, mullet across his eyes with his hands outstretched like a blindfolded-mullet-kid-Superman, and he crashed onto the floor and it was specTACular. He jumped up immediately and kept running, and Nordic Boy turned to me to catch my eye to see if I had seen this, and I turned to him in the exact same moment and we conked our noggins together hard in our excitement over hairblinded Superman and simultaneously said “OW!” and grabbed our respective heads and then giggled as inconspicuous as we could.

This all happened in the span of about 10 seconds. Head whip, mullet mask, trippy trip, Superman, kiss the floor, jump up, run, skull smack, tee hee hee. You could not have choreographed it to be more poetic. Eat your heart out, Alvin Ailey.

Onward to another week, all. Hope it’s a good one!

Shop It Up, Shoppy

I often wake up in the morning with a random earworm in my head. Does that happen to everyone? Mine are so strange- they are of songs I haven’t heard lately or barely know sometimes. One time last week I woke up with the theme song to Family Feud in my head. Makes me wonder what the hell I was dreaming about. Hopefully it wasn’t that I was making out with Richard Dawson. Now there was a dude who could not keep his lips to hisself.
This morning, I woke up with a mash-up of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus and “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. This is odd because if there is one thing I am not, it’s born to run, and also I don’t recall that I have ever really “moved my hips like yeah.” But there you go.


One time, Biogirl and I were walking down the street, and we saw this car that had a giant American flag painted all along the body. It also had a smaller flag flying off its radio antenna, and various flag stickers on its bumper. Biogirl said in an encouraging way: “Wow! Flag it up, Flaggy!” and I about died laughing. Just that she named the person Flaggy was funny enough, but it was also how she said it. You probably had to be there, but it was hilarious.

Ever since that time, we have re-used this awesome phrase. It can pertain to anything, not just flags. If I spend too much time reading, she might say “Read it up, Reedy!” or if her house looks particularly sparkly I’ll say “Cleaned it up, Cleany!” We enjoy ourselves. It’s good times.

I had a friend at work who always had at least three bags with her at all times. Her purse, her lunch bag, and a tote bag full of books (librarians are huge on the tote bag usage), plus maybe another bag for good measure. One day I said to her: “bag it up, Baggy!” She was good peoples so she laughed at my unfunny funny, and the next few times I saw her, she would try to recreate this moment, only she could never remember how to say it.

“Hey bagley! Have a bag!” she would say. Or “Baggo book me up!” Or “Baggy times, Baggola!”

Whenever I talk about bags, I think about her. Bagopolis, McBagger!

Remember when I said that I was in search of a new work bag? One that needed to have compartments, look stylish-yet-work-appropriate, and not be a pain in the ass to carry on the bus? Well I have looked high and low. I have looked at Etsy until my eyes wanted to pop out, and gone to every store I can think of. After all of this I am pained to say that my original statement still stands, and that statement was (allow me to paraphrase myself): CURRENT PURSES SUCK DONKEY DINGUS.

I did find one bag. Just the one. The price was more than I wanted to spend, so even though I yearned to take it and run (baby I was born to ruuuuuun), I held off and kept looking. How many hours is reasonable to look for a stinking bag? Why do I do this to myself? What is wrong with me? IT IS JUST A BAG.

Finally, I decided that time is also valuable and since I am a big old freak and won’t be able to deign to buy a less-than-perfect bag (go ahead and roll your eyes at me because I so deserve that) I should go ahead and buy the one I want. Which I did.

The bag that I bought is two things.

1. It is a diaper bag.

2. It is for dads.

I don’t have diapers (for myself or anyone else), and I am not a mom, let alone a dad, so this bag was double not-made-for-me. But I love it.

I ordered the thing on Friday. And since that time, whenever there is a silence in our household, I say the following:

“I wonder when my new bag will get here?”

The first 3 times I said this, Nordic Boy played along and made a guess. “Ima say Thursday. I bet it’s here by Thursday.” Then, he stopped answering. Smart man. He knows futility when he see it. This morning, I checked my email to find that the bag people have given me a tracking number so I can follow my bag’s progress toward my waiting bosom. “I HAVE A TRACKING NUMBER!” I said as we left the house this morning. “THANK GOD,” said my man.

Thank God, roughly translated, just might mean ok shut up now. If I spoke Sickobagese, which I don’t.

In case you are wondering, my bag is now in Bloomington, California. I know you were wondering.

Yay!  Bag it up, baggy!