Thursday, June 23, 2016

Products I considered buying instead of using my frequent flyer points for a hotel because I was on hold for 43 minutes.

Huh! Lookit this! You can get Godiva chocolates with your points! And just dark chocolate - that's a nice touch. Classy-like.

Thank you for holding. A vacation consultant will be with you momentarily. We truly appreciate your patience and look forward to helping you with your vacation plans.
Well, I don't have a Grumpy Cat scarf/hat combo. It looks warm. And it's on sale! It's not a look an adult woman could or should really rock. But speaking of rock ... the Muzak has shifted from nondescript crap to "Roll With It" by Steve Winwood. I hope they paid him a lot of money. I now equate this song with depression.
OMG. Now we're talking! This is the chicken coop / Brady Bunch house / Barbie house of my dreams! I have no desire to have chickens, but we could play Brady Bunch Barbies with this! It could be what happens when the Barbies move to the farm. Barbies meet "The Brady Bunch" meet "Green Acres." I am brilliant.

We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls. We apologize for the extended wait time. Please stay on the line and one of our customer service representatives will be with you as soon as possible.
You can get a 3D printer with frequent flyer miles? This is insane! I still own a VCR!

I'm starting to feel mildly homicidal. I've been on hold forever, and one of the two "thanks for holding" messages plays not every minute, but every 30 seconds. It's too much. It's taunting me. I think it might be lying. What if my call isn't important? What if all the vacation specialists are on a smoke break, hanging out behind the building and laughing at my on-hold plight?
Lil' Frankfurter would really love this. I shouldn't encourage his "no walking ever" dreams, lest he end up on some "My 600-pound Dachshund" special on TLC wherein he is removed from our home via crane, but ...

Ah, Southwest. You are indeed the Greyhound of the skies, yet I cannot quit you. Your people are so nice and your credit card gives me a gajillion miles. Miles I want to use to book a hotel. If only you'd answer your damned phone.
This is AWESOME! I need this car! Look at these girls - they're like Thelma and Louise without all the death! The pain in my heart isn't due to Southwest Rapid Rewards - it's because I don't have a Power Wheels Ford Mustang with a sticker of the Frozen characters on the hood. My life is a lie!

Thank you for holding. Our vacation consultants are mocking your pain. We truly appreciate your patience and look forward to completely ruining your vacation plans by keeping you on hold forever.
If I use my points for this pool toy, my husband would be forced to install a pool in our backyard, right? Right? Then I wouldn't need a hotel, because I would never leave my house.

After all the frequent flyer miles-based suffering I've been through, I deserve a pool complete with a Pirate Island Adventure Set. I'm only calling Southwest because the website ate my points and then it took 72 hours to get them refunded and I'm not about to spoon-feed the website my hard-earned points again. No sirree. No. I don't have time to be on the phone because I need to be out in the yard, plotting out where our pool will go. I hope there's no ancient burial ground in our yard like in "Poltergeist." That movie totally traumatized my brother. I bet he wouldn't have been so upset if we'd had a Pirate Island Adventure Set.

Actually, I could really use a new electric toothbrush. Periodontal health is so important.

We are currently high. We apologize for the extended wait time. Please stay on the line and ... I forget what we're supposed to do.

Epilogue: After a mere 43 minutes, a very nice man booked my hotel. I was so taken aback by an actual human on the line that my initial communication was in the form of grunts. However, I managed to elocute my rewards number and get the hotel booked. I am appreciative, even if my mental health took a hit.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why I should be your next elementary school commencement speaker.

Now that I'm an ancient 41, I firmly believe that I know nothing. Also? I'm super excited to give advice.

You might see a problem here, but I think an advice giver who thinks they know everything is way more dangerous. At least I'm all, "Ehh, take it with a grain of salt, buuut ..."

This attitude might be the reason why yet another graduation season has passed without me being asked to give a commencement speech. Couple that with the fact that I'm on year 23 of not being asked to prom, and it's been a rough few months.

But commencement speeches. I tend to be drawn to them in May and June each year, wondering if some celebrity is going to impart a bit of wisdom that would change my outlook. Mostly, I'm just entertained. And I like to pretend that every spring is a fresh start, so it's like I'm a new graduate every year.

Again, maybe this "new grad" mindset is hindering my chances of being asked to be a graduation speaker. After all, I was one of four speakers at my high school graduation when I was, in fact, a new grad. Even while I was giving the speech, I knew I was bombing. To be fair, there's not much audience engagement in a jam-packed gymnasium that isn't air conditioned. But still.

I think I'm a better candidate for speaking at an elementary school graduation. Let me tell you why.

When I was in high school, a handful of us were asked to speak to sixth-grade classes. It was towards the end of the school year, and we were tasked with answering questions about moving to the junior high. We were also supposed to empower the sixth graders and have an anti-drug message. The program was through DARE, and there was a cop supervising the whole shebang.

I was with one or two other high school kids speaking to the classroom taught by my grandparents' next-door neighbor. He was a low-key guy, and you could tell his classroom was similarly low-key.

My compatriots and I spoke about making new friends at the junior high and what it was like moving from class to class. Then, somebody raised their hand and asked if we had been nervous going into seventh grade.

This is where I jumped in and regaled all the kids, their teacher, and the DARE cop with my tale of woe about my seventh-grade locker.
Do you feel the tension?
See, I had never operated a combination lock before. And for the duration of the summer of 1987, I was obsessed and panicked about opening my locker at the junior high. I had a reoccurring dream that I'd get to the junior high on the first day of school, and I'd find my locker just fine. But I wouldn't be able to open it. And then, the bell would ring, and I'd be late for class. Then, I'd realize I was nekkid and I had to walk home.

Now, I like to believe that the kids who heard this were relieved. "Ah, it's not just me!" I was bringing honesty and authenticity to their worlds! But I don't remember their faces. Instead, I remember DARE officer putting his head down on a desk. Like he couldn't believe this was his life and he had to deal with these shenanigans and, if anything, I was a spreading the message of using drugs because DEAR GOD, KIDS, JUST DON'T BE LIKE HER.

My parents were horrified by this story. My grandma kind of shook her head, but I like to think she thought it was funny.

I was honest. And if I'm still being honest? I still have that dream about twice a year.

So, I'm just gonna put this out there: If your school needs an elementary school graduation speaker, call me. Obviously, I will tell it like it is.

Also, I am willing to be paid in cake.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mouse Scourge, Part II: The Reckoning.

Don't even try to tell me I shouldn't write B movies. Check out that title - clearly, I have the gift.

So, I know you've been waiting with baited breath to hear how the whole there-was-a-mouse-in-the-kitchen-so-I-covered-everything-in-blood thing went down.

Well, I set the hardcore traps that my dad gave me. You know, the ones that you can only get at the farm and home store? Yeah. They are serious.

So, I set the two traps. Sadly, they didn't go off immediately. Instead, my rodent antagonist had decided to mess with me. I kept everything out of my kitchen drawers and then kind of forgot about it. I had to emotionally distance myself from the whole mouse/kitchen situation. It was just too much.

That night, I woke up because so help me Oprah, someone broke into our house. I could hear him (or her - no judging) sneaking around downstairs. I woke my exhausted, finally asleep husband and we both remained in bed, stiff with adrenaline coursing through our veins. I wondered when My Guy was going to grab his softball bat and if I shouldn't just go ahead and call 911.

After a minute of listening, My Guy said, "It's the mousetrap." Then, he rolled over and went back to sleep.

He abandoned me.

But, considering that I was then unable to sleep for the next three hours, I can say definitively that we were not burgled. And examining the trap the next day showed ... no mouse. Just tiny little claw marks in the trap's peanut butter.

Basically, the mouse had gotten a little bit trapped, made a whole lotta noise, and then escaped.

I set the trap again.

That night, no noises. Or maybe we were burgled but the dudes (or dudettes - no judging) were really quiet and with the house in such disarray, I didn't notice anything missing.

But turns out, there were no noises because the trap did its job. Inside my bread drawer was a dead mouse approximately the size of a Honda.
That was the good news. The bad news was that I was home alone.

I immediately shut the drawer with the dead mouse in it and started walking around my house, clapping purposefully. Like a pep squad girl who is a little bit off. I was clapping because hurray, we caught the mouse! And I was clapping because oh no, we caught the mouse and now we have to do something with it, and by "we" I mean "me" and I am completely freaked out.

See, the trouble with the really nice traps from the farm and home is that you can only get them at the farm and home. And there isn't a farm and home anywhere near me because I'm a fool and moved to the city, away from such places. These were hardcore traps, not the kind that you could just throw away without a second thought. There were traps of country folk. Folk who could kill a snake with a shovel and not think twice. (Hi, Melissa!)

I thought twice. I thought three and four times about what I was going to do about that dead mouse.

Then, I realized it was Saturday. My Guy was just out gallivanting around. He would be home within an hour. An hour wasn't enough time for there to be a noticeable increase in dead-mouse decay.

The carcass could wait. I could delegate. Because I am a leader and a strong woman and in no way would need to turn in my feminism membership card simply because I asked my life partner to complete a specific task in our home.

And so it was.

He made the Honda-sized mouse go away. I let scalding water run over the empty but certainly reusable trap. Order was restored.

In case you're wondering, no, I'm not going to become an exterminator.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

In which I douse my home in blood.

Remember that time that a mouse leapt out of my silverware drawer and up my leg? Weren't those some good, good times?

Well, after a several-month hiatus ... guess who's back!
Oh, look. It's a mouse on vacation in my kitchen. How adorable. And tropical.

I didn't actually see the mouse this time. But I saw his handiwork. And by "handiwork," I mean "copious amounts of poo." Because so help me Oprah, that rodent from hell pooped all in my silverware drawer, my towel drawer, all amongst my aluminum foils and Ziplocs, in my bread drawer, and, of course, on both levels of my lazy susan.

Maybe he was experiencing some sort of gastrointestinal distress. Or maybe he was just a jerk.

Guess who spent an entire morning cleaning and Clorox-wiping the bejesus out of her kitchen?

I tried to be zen about it. I mean, I will never be one of those ladies with muck in the bottom of their drawers because the mouse never stays away long enough for any muck to accumulate. And isn't it kind of exercise to remove all the drawers from the cabinets and wipe down every surface within 50 feet?

Well, I was zen, and I was malicious. Because I fished out the mouse traps my dad gave me and set them up immediately. You know, just in case the mouse was brazen enough to come back while I was cleaning.

So, I wiped down every canned good and our store of extra condiments. I went through a good number of Clorox wipes. And then I realized that there was red stuff on the wipe in my hand. I must have gotten ketchup on myself somehow. I wiped stuff down some more.

And then, I realized it wasn't ketchup. It was blood. At some point, I had sliced open my fingertip, probably on the broken countertop that we've been meaning to replace for five years. The bleach probably numbed the pain, because upon further inspection, more than a few of the used wipes had blood on them. I had literally wiped blood all over my kitchen, its cabinets and drawers.

My eyes rolled into the back of my head as I considered doing another round of Clorox wiping to get rid of the blood.

And then? Then, I decided to let it be. Let the blood be a warning to any rodent vagrants wandering 'round these parts. We here do not take kindly to mice, and we are ready to spill blood - BLOOD! - to combat you. And rest assured, the blood will eventually be yours.

I also channeled kind of a Tommy Lee Jones / Sam Elliott / Josh Brolin hybrid badass cowboy while working this out in my mind. It just felt right.

So, I refrained from deblooding the kitchen. So far, the mouse hasn't come back. Coincidence? I'll let you decide.