Conversations Part 5

My mom:[picks up a plastic gallon of iced tea]. Want to know the limits of how much I can lift? This is pretty much it. Here, hold this.

Me: [takes gallon]

Mom: That is as much as I can lift. Holding it, I can feel it pulling my shoulder muscles. [She starts to walk off. I follow.]

Me: Was this a ploy to get me to carry your iced tea?

Mom: It was a ploy for me to not carry it.

Me: What’s the difference?

Mom: It’s all about me.

I’m Just Mad About Saffron

Achievement Unlocked: Own a Second Car

Because I’m lazy and haven’t taken pictures yet, here are pictures of the car from the dealer’s website:



She’s a 2009 Chevy Aveo5, standard transmission, and YELLOW. I named her Saffron because the partner-in-crime kept singing “Mellow Yellow”. Also, it’s kind of a Firefly reference (and in my head, I’ve already referred to the car as YoSafBridge more than once). Our other car is Jumper One/Puddlejumper in a Stargate Atlantis tribute. Yeah, I tend to name things after science fiction things. My Kindle is The Hitchhiker’s Guide. My old notebook was TARDIS. My cat Owen is named after Owen Harper of Torchwood. Luke the Cat is Luke Skywalker.

I have never claimed to not be a nerd. Now I’m a nerd with a bright yeller stick-shift Chevy.

Who’s Gonna Drive you Home Tonight?

The partner-in-crime has been working a weird schedule lately: 2pm to 6 or 7pm. This is awkward because my work schedule is 8:30 to 5:00.

On the days he works until 6 I just hang around work, getting ahead on weekly/monthly reports, or tinkering with forms that I use daily. Sometimes I work on documents that explain my batshit forms, should I ever be away from work at a time when reports are needed (I intentionally schedule my time off to avoid this because my forms really are batshit and even with instructions I think I’m the only one who really “gets” them. But that might be vanity).

On the days he works until 7, my mom picks me up. We have dinner. Maybe we shop a little. We hang out. I love my mom. She’s my best friend and she’s awesome and I really enjoy it. I don’t know if she’s exactly thrilled to still be playing taxi service to her kid — she probably though I outgrew that decades ago — but I’m pretty sure she likes me so she doesn’t hate it. And hey, restaurant dinner.

On the days he doesn’t start until 2, he has to get up at 7:30 with me, get dressed, drive me to work, and then go home again. Then he typically goes back to bed for a few hours before starting his regular day. It’s annoying because he’s been staying awake later than me most nights because he’s off-schedule and it’d be much better for everyone if he just slept in.

Anyhow, because of the increasing frequency of the boy’s late-day work schedule and the fact that in the spring he will (hopefully) be going back to college to work on his bachelor’s degree, we decided that it’s time to consider a second car. And by “we” I mean “mom and I” because the boy is not a car person.

Depending on the result of a visit to a dealership on Saturday, I may have a car. I’ve talked to my insurance agent. It’s not TERRIBLE. It’s not fantastic, but it’s tolerable. But it still depends on the total price of the car. I’ve got a hard limit on what I can afford and the dealer wasn’t exactly pleased with it. So we’ll see. If not.. I’ve got a reasonable idea of the insurance cost now, and hopefully a lot of other dealerships that have something within my price range.

Fingers crossed.

a little exit music, if you please

Chillin’ (Cats are Jerks)

Got email from the partner-in-crime. It says:

When I got home from dropping you off, guess who was just chillin on top of the fridge?

I wrote back “Charlotte?” and as I pressed send, my very first thought was “I really hope it wasn’t the dog.”

It wasn’t. It was Charlotte. Because cats are jerks and she’s figured out that’s where the dry cat food is stored.

Overheard in Dundalk, Maryland

The Dundalk Heritage Festival was this weekend. The partner-in-crime was working the community college booth so today I went with him. When we got there, volunteers were putting straw down on the really muddy spots from yesterday’s rain.

One kid, maybe about eight, watched us walk in with our cups from Dunkin’ Donuts. He said to his mom “Can I go get a coffee?”

Mom: Yeah. No.

Kid: Can I go look around?

Mom: Yes, but take your brother and both of you stick with your grandfather. Don’t get separated. And don’t bring back anything breathing!

Kid: What about grandpa?!

That kid’s gonna be OK

May was a Busy Month

Good grief. An entire month gone.

We had riots, hot weather, the end of the semester AND the end of the partner-in-crime’s first phase of college education. He is a college graduate with an AA degree! The actual graduation ceremony is Sunday, but we’re not going. It’s “only” his Associate’s Degree, and it’s going to be hot out. Also, there are volunteer hours to be kept, laundry to be done, and groceries to be got. Sometimes you have to be a grown-up and not go to the party, you know?

The dog goes to the groomer tomorrow and we’re going to try to see Mad Max: Fury Road while he’s getting prettified. I say “try to” but we probably won’t have trouble getting tickets since most of the fuss has died down a little. I can’t remember the last time we actually went to a movie theatre to see a film. Most of my movie-watching has been me, Netflix, and a whole lot of one-and-two-star-rated horror movies.

Ages ago, for my “birthday” my mom got me a super telephoto lens. It requires me to learn to use my camera in Manual mode, and I’m still working on that. The panda-brain has some recall of f-stops and film speeds left over from film classes in the early 90s, but getting those memories out of storage is tricky.

It’s not so much a “mind palace” as it is a “mind basement that flooded once or twice, is poorly lit, and has stuff packed in boxes and trunks and plastic bags, and maybe stacked up like a losing game of Tetris, and possibly has rats living in it, and absolutely spiders, and oh God don’t let that be a centipede!”

Conversations – Part 4

We’re driving to work. “Walking on Sunshine” is on the radio.

The Partner-in-crime: I’m walking on reindeer.

Me: Isn’t that difficult?

The Partner-in-crime: Yep. All those antler things.

Me: All that moving.

The Partner-in-crime: The constant chewing.

Me: I think that’s cows.

The Partner-in-crime: Maybe I don’t know reindeer.

Your Last Browsing Session Closed Unexpectedly

We’ve been forced to switch to Internet Explorer 9 at work and it’s been Hell for me. For reasons unknown the browser is constantly locking up. I spend more time looking at messages that say “(not responding)” and “Close Browser?” than I do working. It’s frustrating and it makes me want to cry.

I don’t cry. That’s just how bad this has gotten.

Since this is a work requirement there isn’t a lot I can do about it, except pester the poor helpdesk folks and keep sending them the lengthy error messages that show up in the “more information” section every time I have to force the browser to shut down just so I can restart it again.

What’s really irritating is the “you can’t save this until you finish it” things I sometimes find myself doing. There have been a few things I’ve done four or five times because IE9 kept locking up unexpectedly.

I’m also noticing a weird lag when I type things into forms in IE9. I can type at my normal speed and then watch the letters come up on the screen. It’s a lot like my 1200 baud days (kids, ask your grandparents). It also makes for some interesting toypos becyause I usually know when I’ve makde them and have already backspaced over them to fix them, but the keyboard doesn’t understand and the corrections get all weird and misplaced. See the first part of that sentence for an example.

Nameless Horses (Conversations Part 3)

The Partner-in-Crime: Have you ever been to the desert?

Me: Are you kidding? I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to get out of the rain.

Him: That’s stupid. A horse with no name. I’d have to name him.

Me: You couldn’t call him just Horse?

Him: Stanley.

Me: What if his name was Horse?

Him: Couldn’t do it.

Me: The other horses would make fun of him. “Hey, Horse. This guy can’t even get your name right!”

Him: Nope.

Me: What if his name really was ‘A Horse With No Name’? They give racing horses strange names like that.”

Him: Isn’t it time you went to work?