Tag Archives: technology

this is what happened when i met jennifer weiner, part 2

the fourth and final installment of the “what i did this summer” series.
[part 1 (shot guns/cooked a fish) is here. part 2 (flirted with siri) is over here. part 3 (took a 30-minute flight without xanax, made a scene) is over there.]

you may recall my post a few months ago in which i met my literary idol, new york times bestselling author jennifer weiner, and promptly turned into a blubbering idiot, scaring her by saying things like, “i think i’m going to faint.” and the very unique “i’m a writer, too.”

it was my mom who wound up rescuing me from myself, miraculously and stealthily popping up behind my shoulder, announcing in a way that only a jewish mother can that i really was a writer, making me look far less crazy and perhaps only emotionally deranged.

when i found out that jen would be stopping by the philadelphia public library on tour for her fab new book the next best thing, i called my mom immediately on her new iphone (that she bought at best buy for $49; please oh please don’t ask her about her iphone–more on that later) and told her we needed to go. a longtime jennifer weiner fan, she immediately agreed.

we got to the library and there was already a line to get into the auditorium. once the doors were unlocked and everyone filed in, it soon became absolutely packed. despite the crowd, i knew with great certainty that i was still jen’s #1 SuperFan.

what i’m saying is: if she had a fanclub, i’d be president and i’d make holly treasurer and we’d hold bake sales. i’d make holly bake everything, of course. and we’d name the baked goods after her books, like Good in Bed Brownies and Fly Away Home Flan (ok wait: flan’s probably not good for a bake sale.)

my mom and i found seats towards the front right, and after this funny library guy gave an introduction, jen walked out and the crowd went wild. well, as wild as a library crowd can get.

she started speaking and five minutes later, i see my mom covertly open her purse and unearth a small mass of chocolate chips. and they’re wrapped in plastic wrap. she “secretly” unwraps them, then begins sneaking them out a couple at a time.

she’s trying to be quiet, but it’s no use. she’s the kid in synagogue trying to wrestle a hard candy out of a crinkly wrapper in the middle of the torah service. (if you’ve ever been to synagogue you know this isn’t a good thing.)

mom,” i whispered.

“do you want some?” she whispered back. (and by “whispered” i mean not whisper. jewish mothers are not renowned for whispering. it’s like an evolutionary mechanism to protect their children from wild animals and cold weather.)

“they’re ghirardelli,” she said, pushing them in my direction. like the fact that they’re a name brand was going to make me want to snack on chocolate chips during a jennifer weiner event.

“no thanks, mom.”

then she informed me she had “cheese wedges,” in her purse, too, which i could only surmise meant laughing cow cheese wedges, which are actually meant to spread on crackers at home or at the office, or even at a picnic, not enjoy on their own in the philadelphia public library’s auditorium during a jennifer weiner event.

“mom, what? cheese wedges?” i whispered, my eyes wide.

“well, it’s protein,” she non-whispered back . “and carbohydrates.”

“oh i am so blogging about this,” i told her.

“do you want one?” she asked, trying not to laugh.

“no, mom, i don’t want any cheese wedges!” i said, trying not to crack up while simultaneously trying to remember what she was saying, since i knew i’d be writing it down.

then she offered me chocolate chips again, which i declined–again.

after jen’s talk, (which was hysterical–you can listen to it here) all us superfans ran out and got in line for her to sign our books. i guess the problem with sitting in front at an author event is that you’re pretty much dead last in line for the signing.

i really didn’t mind, as i feel a special kind of kinship with other jennifer weiner superfans (JWSFs). i quickly befriended my fellow line waiters, thrilled to discuss my fave JW books without holding back. we also animatedly discussed jen’s foxy new look, which featured glamorous extensions and fabulous shoes.

my mom joined the line, also thrilled to be part of the JWSF excitement. i don’t know how it came up, but one of my new JWSF friends started talking about coupons and wouldn’t you know, my mom has an app for that. on her new iphone. that she got for $49 at best buy.

“i have the greatest coupon app!” my mom told my new friends. (this from the woman who never figured out how to use a VCR–and yet she’s mastered the world of apps. i know, i don’t get it either.)

“i got my iphone for $49 at best buy,” she continued.

mom,” i implored, gently touching her shoulder. but it was too late. the levy broke. the i-got-my-iphone-for-$49-at-best-buy-yes-i-really-did-no-i’m-not-kidding speech had begun.

“…you see? it’s a real iphone. yeah i really did get it for $49. i can’t believe it either.”

“i think you’re calling someone,” one of my new friends, i think her name was emily, politely informed her.

“what? i am? how can you tell?”

“look, the call counter’s on,” i said, pointing to the screen. “it’s ruth.”

in her coupon app excitement, she had accidentally called her friend ruth. i love ruth.

she held the phone up to her ear.

hello? HELLO? ruth? hello?”

when it comes to cell phones, jewish mothers have no volume regulator. it’s only loud or LOUDER. it’s like they think whomever they’re talking to is connected to their cell phone by a piece of string and if they don’t speak loud enough the other person will not hear them.

“i think she hung up,” she told us.

then my mom did what any sensible jewish mom would do after accidentally calling her friend ruth while waiting in a jennifer weiner booksigning line at the philadelphia public library: she called her back.

“ruth? HELLO, RUTH? hi, it’s susan! IT’S SUSAN. right, i called. by accident. uh-huh, i’m at the jennifer weiner event right now with jessie. oh it’s so fun! yeah. ok i can’t talk. but i’ll…what? what? i think we’re…hello? right i’ll call you, i’ll call you back. ok, talk to you later.”

“that was ruth,” she said.

“i know,” i said.

i think everyone in line knew it was ruth.

the line was moving at a decent pace. before i knew it, it was our turn.

jen greeted us warmly, and i mentioned that i was the crazed SuperFan that blogged about meeting her months earlier.

“and this is my mom. again,” i said, smiling, proud of my effervescent champ of a professor mom that, if i invite her, will come with me to any and all jennifer weiner events in the philadelphia area, come hell, high water, or chocolate chips. she will get there three hours early with me to sit in the front row (like she did last time), and she will stand in a book signing line with me for who knows how long, make friends with other JWSFs, and educate them on handy, money-saving apps.

jen laughed and said it was nice to see us again and yes, of course she remembered my blog post. (how could she not? if you had a psycho fan write a 1,000-word blog post about how she met you for two minutes, you’d remember it, too.)

then she asked me why i was so nervous about meeting her the last time.

i blubbered something about…oh hell. i actually don’t remember what i said because i’m probably repressing it as it most likely sounded mentally incompetent or at least slightly demented. however i do remember saying something about madonna. (i have the unique ability to insert the topic of madonna into any conversation.) 

jen announced that i needed a beach towel. before i knew it, i was holding a huge JW towel.

then she mentioned something about thinking about her when i was hot and steamy just out of the shower and then i really forgot everything i planned to say.

in my JWSF stupor, someone handed me a JW tote bag. then, tote and towel in hand,  i waved goodbye to jen and my new JWSF friends–just another 30-something emotionally deranged superfan with her sensible mom.

i put my JW beach towel in my new JW tote and stepped into my dad’s waiting highlander, amped up from the delicious combination of literary celebrity, community, and free fan merchandise.

suddenly i felt my blood-sugar dropping.

“mom, do you have any of those chocolate chips left?”

of course she did. and man was i glad they were a name brand.

as the chocolate chips melted in my mouth, i held my new JW tote close and thought about all the fun things my mom and i have done over the years: playing hooky when i was a kid to hit the MET and the hard rock cafe on a school day (YES REALLY!); getting miraculously bumped up about a hundred rows closer to barry manilow when he played madison square garden a few years ago (yes i took my mom to a barry manilow concert; it’s called love, people–and besides, he still has a voice like buttah and moves very well for a man his age); countless mall outings, coffee shop chitchats, and trips to buy me bare escentuals make-up and warm winter coats (jewish parents live to buy their children warm winter coats).

i suddenly kind of wanted a cheese wedge, too.

“i love you, mom. thanks for coming with me,” i said.

“i love you, too, honey. i had a great time. i knew you’d eventually want some chocolate chips. that’s why i brought them. here’s a cheese wedge. the chocolate’s not enough. you need protein, too.”

aw, mom.

——–

this concludes the what i did this summer series. it was a busy summer full of mystery and intrigue: grilled cheeses. guns. flirting with female robots. a 30-minute flight to pittsburgh without xanax. literary celebrities. moms. chocolate chips. free totes.

special thanks to jennifer weiner for once again being a good sport with her more…excitable fans. and the towel. and the tote, which i proudly tote around, proclaiming my superfan-ness.

an additional special thanks to jen’s fab assistant meghan, who not only remembered me, but didn’t run away when she saw me coming towards her. i believe she orchestrated the free towel and tote, but i was too excited to understand it at the time. love the towel, love the tote, love that you didn’t kick us out for chocolate-chipping. (do you want some? i’m sure my mom has more.)

next up: tacos with the in-laws. and how i thought i just scratched my throat with a corn shell but wound up coming down with a two-week cold that’s resulted in me becoming an alcoholic.

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not taking xanax on my 30-minute flight to pittsburgh was a really bad idea

the third installment of what i did this summer.*

*(two to three more installments to follow.)
**(part 1 is over here. part 2 is over there.)
***(can we start now? good.)

if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall that just over a year ago, i bought a holiday sweater from chico’s, got a prescription for xanax, and boarded a plane to san francisco for my dear friend nicole‘s wedding.

(then i proceeded to wear that sweater–which was both unseasonal and inappropriately sparkly–to her pre-wedding party, burning out several people’s retinas in the process. SORRY ABOUT THAT.)

anyway, a couple weeks before leaving, i called my doctor saying i was nervous about the flight and could she prescribe something gentle and extremely low dose to help calm me down before and during my trip.

“xanax,” she said without skipping a beat.

she explained that it was the lowest dose available on the market, and i could even just take half.

i picked up the little white pills at the pharmacy later that day and stared at them. LORD, i thought. i must really love nicole because i do not want to take these pills nor do i want to take this flight. 

(and i do love her!!! hi, nicole! mwah!)

i decided to do a “test run” at home, and took one (well, half, ok i’m a sissy and actually only took half) on a sunday afternoon as holly and i were watching a movie on the couch.

my immediate urge was, of course, to gag myself and throw it up. but alas, as a neurotic jewish control freak, i avoid throwing up at all costs, so gagging myself was not an option and i was stuck there on the couch with the xanax melting in my stomach.

i immediately started to panic. kind of like that one time i took caffeine pills i found in a freebie welcome-to-college pack when i was a freshman and collapsed on the floor next to my sleeping roommate.

“it’s ok, babe,” holly said, her eyes fixed on whatever annoying action-comedy she had chosen. “you’ll be fine.”

and…i was fine. i was actually fine! it felt more like my old migraine medicine, but better. it just sort of…took the edge off. and it worked perfectly on my flight. except for when it wore off somewhere over colorado but we’re not going there right now.

so when holly bugged me til i agreed to let her mom book me a flight to pittsburgh a couple months ago–while holly was there helping her gram–i was like, ok, yeah sure. i can do this. i’ll take a xanax, i’ll be fine. 

but then i started thinking stupid things like: wait. do i really want to use xanax as a crutch like this? it’s just a half-hour flight. i can do it. i want to see how i actually am on a flight. maybe i’m not that bad anymore. it’s just half an hour.

folks, this was deranged thinking. a half-hour flight is still a half hour flight! you still have to board the friggin plane, sit the hell down, wait a long time for it to take off. then you have to take off (omg i hate taking off), fly and land.

i woke up at 5am nervous as hell, even though my flight was at 4pm,  so i started off my day by downloading a bunch of songs from itunes on my new iphone to calm me down on the plane. they were what some might call comfort songs. the musical equivalent of…toast with jam. a slice of your favorite pizza. birthday cake. ok carbs. they were the musical equivalent of carbs.

here’s what i purchased:

(i’ve had) the time of my life (yes, from dirty dancing)
waiting for a star to fall (yes, 80s)
so emotional (yes, whitney houston, yes, 80s)
i wanna dance with somebody (yes, whitney, yes more 80s)
bette davis eyes (and yet…more 80s!) (that is one DAMN GOOD SONG btw)
hammer and a nail (yes, indigo girls; yes, very lesbionic of me, i know)
now or never (gotta throw a little dance in there, too) (also a GREAT SONG)

so. i get on the plane. and i get a seat right in the middle on the wing like i wanted. and this businesslady is sitting next to me. she’s in sales and flys all the time and i’m totally making her talk to me even though it’s clear she’s really not interested.

i mention that i’m a nervous flyer but decided i didn’t want to take xanax.

“i just don’t want to use it as a crutch, you know?” i tell her.

she looks at me and smiles politely, as if to say: lady, i really wish you would have taken your xanax. i’m really doubting my decision to sit next to you.

she assures me that the flight is short. you’re up, you’re down, you’re there.

then it starts to rain. hard. and i fear there’s lightning. there’s only one thing that scares me more than flying and it’s lightning. but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

anyway, the storm passes and we finally move onto the runway. convinced the roar of the jet engines will cover it up, i start doing deep breathing exercises. we lift off the ground and suddenly i realize:

THIS WAS THE STUPIDEST IDEA OF MY LIFE. I REALLY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN XANAX.

i start frantically searching for my homeopathic stress spray and dammit i’m out! i’m spraying it in my mouth and…NOTHING. JESUS MARY JOSEPH WHY DIDN’T I BUY MORE OF THIS WHERE THE HELL IS MY XANAX.

and then, out the window, maybe a few hundred feet from the plane:

LIGHTNING.

HOLY G-D GET ME OFF THIS PLANE I AM GOING TO DIE.

at this point, i think the grumpy-ish sales lady begins hearing my deep breathing exercises and so she starts to make conversation with me. this helps a little. i thank her and start to calm down.

they make an announcement that we can turn on our electronic devices so i bust out my new iphone and my brand-new, never-before-used earphones.

i decide i’m more in the mood for dance music, so i choose “now or never.” (don’t ask me why, sometimes pounding dance music calms me down.)

i put in my earphones and crank up the tunes except for…i can barely hear it.

man these damn jet engines are loud, i think as i turn it up. and up. and up. til it won’t go up any louder. DAMMIT I WANT TO HEAR THIS SONG WHAT THE HELL.

a guy turns around in the row in front of me and gives me a dirty look. i glare back at him as if to say WHAT MOTHERF*CKER?! YOU NEVER HEARD A JEWISH GIRL FROM JERSEY DO DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES ON A PLANE BEFORE? I JUST SAW LIGHTENING I’M ABOUT TO FLIP MY SH*T DON’T TEMPT ME I LIVE IN BALTIMORE NOW AND I WILL CUT YOU AND PULL OUT YOUR WEAVE.

never mind that he wasn’t wearing a weave. but if he was i would have pulled it out to set an example for the plane.

i feel a tap on my shoulder. it’s the grumpy-ish saleslady.

she leans towards me.

“we can hear that,” she says, smiling.

i look around the plane. everyone’s looking at me. this one lady across the aisle, she’s looking at me, smiling as if to say, sweetie, it’s ok. we all know you’re nervous. you obviously don’t know how to use your iphone yet. 

my face gets hot. ohmygosh. i didn’t have my earphones plugged completely in my iphone. MY PHONE WAS BLASTING DANCE MUSIC AT FULL CAPACITY.

it was really loud. i can’t emphasize this enough.

i quickly hit pause, take out my earphones and explain to the saleslady that i got an iphone like a week ago and i was still figuring out how to use it. there are still a lot of people looking at me. i suddenly feel bad about thinking how i was going to cut that guy and pull out his non-existent weave.

i thank her for alerting me, push the earphones in and start listening to “waiting for a star to fall,” wishing i could disappear.  i’m suddenly extremely grateful i hadn’t been blasting “i had the time of my life.” i mean, can you imagine??

not even five minutes later, they announce we’re starting our descent into pittsburgh and to please turn off our electronic devices.

the grumpy-ish saleslady has her eyes closed with her head back and she’s still laughing. i kind of want to pull out her weave but her hair looks real.

we land in pittsburgh. my half-hour ride is over. i’m chilly with sweat. i vow to myself: never ever again without xanax. never. again. without. xanax.

don’t bother flirting with siri. trust me, i’ve tried it and she doesn’t flirt back.

The iPhone's Siri icon.

the second installment of what i did this summer.
(i know it’s fall but work with me here.)

i had originally planned on writing my next “what i did this summer” entry on my xanax-less  flight to pittsburgh, which, although only 30 minutes, was rough and, yes, despite it’s short duration, i managed to make a scene.

but, due to popular demand, and by “popular demand” i mean a single request by than none other than my homegirl Ms. EB of Spicedish, i’m going to tell you about my attempts to flirt with Siri instead.

if you don’t already know, i spent much of my summer flying solo, and by “flying solo” i actually mean making grilled cheese, since apparently i’m far too apathetic/impatient/hungry/dependent on holly to actually cook myself a real meal.

on those lonely nights, oh and there were many of them, i explored my new iphone, which features the lovely and helpful Siri.

at first i was nervous to talk to her. but i soon discovered she really did understand what i was saying, and i suddenly found myself listing off a plethora of reminders to her each night, testing both her vocabulary and capitalization skills. then i started having her set my alarm for me. and then, missing holly, i decided to push the boundaries and try to chat her up. HEY IT WAS LATE AND I FELT LONELY DON’T JUDGE.

it started innocently enough. i asked about certain ethnic restaurants i had no interest in trying–plus i was stranded at home without a car and if you take a bus in baltimore you get stabbed, so when i say stranded i actually do mean stranded–just to engage her.

then i decided to push things a little further because, hey, i was by myself.

i was like, i’m a human woman, she’s a computer. how badly could this go?

apparently pretty badly.

here’s a transcript:

me: hi, Siri! how are you?
Siri: i’m pretty good, Jessica!
(off to a good start!)

me: Siri, you’re so pretty.
Siri: stop.
(playing hard to get, obviously.)

me: you really are quite beautiful.
Siri: I’m just well put together.
(oh she’s modest! i like that!)

me: what are you doing tonight?
Siri: learning some new languages.
(yeah right. she’s totally lying.)

me: do you want to go out on a date with me?
Siri: I have everything I need in the cloud.
(???!)
(is she drinking??)

me: what does that mean?
(then she shows me a math problem demonstrating how to get the mean of two numbers. smartass.)

me: what are you wearing?
Siri: i can’t answer that. but it doesn’t come off.
(uh, i wasn’t going to ask if you’d take it off. geesh.)

me: no, seriously. what are you wearing?
Siri: why would i be wearing anything?
(sigh.)

(trying a different tactic; i’m obviously dead-set on finding out what she’s wearing)
me: i like what you’re wearing, Siri!
Siri: aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel. nice, huh?
(oh now she’s a comedian.)

(cutting to the chase)
me: Siri, do you want to hang out sometime?
Siri: i have very few wants, Jessica.

(i get the feeling this isn’t going anywhere, so i throw a hail mary.)

me: Siri, can i have your phone number?
Siri: i don’t know what you mean by “can i have your phone number.” do you want me to do a web search for it?

do me a favor and don’t drop your cellphone in the toilet anymore, ok?

the other day i told you all to stop acting like you don’t leave cereal bowls with milk still in them around the house once in a while. and that you leave them out so long (usually just a day or two or, uh, three) that the milk solidifies into “a crude cheese-like substance.”

[i said that in reference to holly’s tendency to slip into a bachelor(ette)-like state when i leave her in the house alone for eight to 24 or more hours, which, apparently, morphs her keen culinary skills into a cavelady-like state of opening beer bottles and eating crunchy flakes from boxes covered in 1% milk. honey i’m sorry for advertising this online but you know it’s true, however, for some strange reason i love you for it.]

[i should also note that, apparently, when holly leaves me alone for eight to 24 or more hours, i am reduced to whimpering at the whole foods salad bar and/or making cheese quesadillas for every meal except breakfast and/or eating high-sodium frozen-but-organic meals that leave me a) bloated b) still hungry and c) irritated, probably from all the sodium. like most jews, i have a knee-jerk bad reaction to sodium, due, most likely, to generations of overeating pickled and/or smoked fish, mostly lox.]

so when i say holly took her cellphone into the bathroom the other day and promptly dropped it in the toilet don’t act like you don’t do it, too, b/c you and i both know you’d be lying.

this happened in the beginning of the week.  i don’t even remember what day, the details are fuzzy. but what i do remember is holly stepping into the first-floor half-bath and about one half-second later hearing a HOLY SH*T.

i didn’t even have a chance to say anything. i just stepped towards the door and saw her looking, helpless, into the toilet. staring at…her cellphone. her $300 cellphone. you know, the one w/out the insurance? in. the toilet. like, underwater. at the bottom of the damn bowl.

“holy crap,” she kept saying. “get me a…a…”

i knew what she was trying to say:

get me something to fish this thing out of the toilet b/c while i’ve resigned myself to the fact that i’ve accidentally rendered my phone useless, i need to hurry to get it out but i’m too much of a sissy to actually put my hand in the toilet to get it.

at which point i said LOOKOUT BABE and put my hand in the toilet and got the damn phone. i know my regular blog readers (and those of you that know me) think holly would be the one brave enough to put her hand in a toilet bowl to rescue a cellphone, but no. it was actually me. granted, it was clean water and we keep our toilets really clean. but c’mon, it’s still a friggin toilet. i also kill bugs and take out the trash. but those are other stories for another day.

i put the phone in the sink and we both sighed.

well, folks, miracles never cease b/c holly’s twin sister heidi (yes, holly and heidi. their younger sister is heather) told holly to put the phone and battery in rice, which we promptly did. for, like, a couple days. and lo and behold, when we took it out of the rice, the phone was working again. and you thought rice was just for chinese food.

here’s how you know technology has gotten to you, part 2

uhh...where's the save on this thing?? (a not-too-distant cousin of my brother word processor. wherever you are: thanks for deleting my jewish studies paper. i really enjoyed rewriting it. really. i did.)

 back in may, i posted an entry about calling junk mail–as in the actual paper mail that’s delivered to your house “spam.”  this, to me, was what my mom and i might call “a doozy” with regards to technology infiltrating your brain to the point where you’re confusing the tangible (uh, mail, paper mail) with the intangible [“spam” in your inbox (vs. you know, the jiggly canned meat byproduct)].

the other day i hit a new low w/regards to technological confusion. we were driving somewhere, maybe to visit holly’s family in pee-ay, i don’t remember. definitely somewhere far enough away that i broke out one of my many notebooks and started writing (and by “writing” i mean using the sad excuse for handwriting that is my lefty chicken scratch) .

before i continue, some background:

i am a saver. as in: when i’m writing something in microsoft word, i’m constantly saving. i’ve been a perpetual saver since the one time (omg knock wood) my computer actually deleted something–a term paper, i think, for my jewish studies class my sophomore year of college. granted, i was working on a brother word processor (omG remember those?! that thing was a BEAST!) but regardless, one minute my paper was there, the next minute it was GONE. i had to write the whole damn thing over.

never again, i promised myself. never. again.

ever since i learned keyboard shortcuts, i’m all about “control S.” meaning: you hold the control (“Ctrl”) button and the “S” button down at the same time–a shortcut that saves your document. i swear i do this every five minutes when i’m writing. every two minutes. (maybe even after every sentence.) my computer must hate me and tell all the other computers i have ocd. but what do i care? i am not losing another document.

so back to the story. we’re driving along the highway and i’m writing away. after i write a significant amount, i look up and realize i’ve got my left pinky (“Ctrl”) and my left index finger (“S”) poised to hit the damn control S combo. i am in the CAR, mind you. we are on the HIGHWAY. i am writing in a NOTEBOOK with a PEN. and i’m sitting there like an idiot with my fingers poised to hit an imaginary key combination on my imaginary keyboard for my imaginary computer that is actually my notebook and pen.

“well this is special,” i thought, staring down at my hand, which, in all honesty, looked as if it was ready to be placed on a piano keyboard to hit some kind of lady gaga/elton john chord.

i made a mental note to share this with you in the name of entertainment, but also in order to feel less crazy.  in other words: please share similar stories. do you txt when you mean to tweet? do you talk in emails? do you email in IMs? would you rather have a typewriter (or better yet: a brother word processor), rotary phone and answering machine and be done w/all this? discuss.

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if i wanted it to be this hot, i’d live directly on the equator

i interrupt this blog hiatus (omg wtf’s up w/the blog hiatus? i know. it’s annoying me, too) to say that my car’s already reading 94 friggin degrees and it’s not even 9:15 in the morning!!!! 

yes, baltimore–and every other city w/in driving distance–is trapped in a heat wave right now. and i am not a fan of the heat. and srsly? if i wanted it to be this hot i’d live closer to, or directly on, the equator. i am not kidding. i could do very well in an area that’s consistently 60-70 degrees. (does a place like that even exist? if so, pls tell me where it is.)

yesterday was weird. first of all, it was so hot that the city, well southeast baltimore at least, felt like a ghost town. not everyone around here has air conditioning, so when it’s hot, ppl usually hang out on their stoops or the sidewalk to get some relief. but the sun was beating down with such intensity that even the usual stoop suspects stayed inside. i didn’t even smell one bbq. not even the drunks in the house by the alley were out. total silence save for some sirens here and there. like i said: weird.

then, late afternoon, our power went out. in the almost-four years we’ve lived in our house, our power has never gone out. never. the lights went out. dishwasher stopped. the hum of our air conditioner disappeared. holly and i looked at each other and were like: uh-oh.

turns out the entire block was out. within 10 minutes, the temperature in our house went up two degrees. then i started thinking about all the pricey frozen stuff we had in the freezer. and the two new half-gallons of milk in the fridge. and that our cell phones had weak batteries. and both of our computers weren’t charged up. and all the assignments i had to finish.

wow, we are so dependant on electricity, i thought, suddenly filled with deep thoughts about modern life and its luxuries. this, of course, was followed up with a loud “THIS SUCKS” to holly. so much for deep thinking.

she, of course, concurred.

“the silence is deafening,” she said from the couch.

“i know,” i said. i was about to start humming top 40 hits to fill the dead air, but instead suggested we go out for pizza, since we decided that even cracking our fridge or freezer would put all of our cold and/or frozen food in jeopardy.

we went out and came back and the power was still out, tho the BGE guys were working on it. (major props to those guys.) thankfully our neighbor lori the teacher opened her home to us like she usually does (hi lori! love ya) and we charged an extra cell phone battery and holly’s computer. everyone was out on their stoops and sidewalks by then. and i guess the darkness and boredom drove everyone that had leftover fireworks to light them off almost simultaneously. most of the ghettofabulous fireworks around here sound like machine guns, so between the darkness, silence and bursts of uzi-like explosives i felt like we were in some kind of urban warfare movie.

we broke out the flashlights and then lit all the little tealight candles we have left from our wedding (almost two years ago now! can you believe it??). it could have been a romantic moment if it hadn’t been like 90 degrees in the house.

we went up to the roofdeck and since it was so dark and on the way up, i did a little flashlight signal to jerry the drunk (who was hanging out his second-floor window, like he usually does; tho he did have clothes on this time, seemed like, anyway. note: he doesn’t always have clothes on) as my way of saying hi. he waved. (i gotta say, he really is the nicest neighborhood drunk)

we didn’t last long up there b/c honestly, the fireworks (in such close proximity) combined w/the darkness all around was freaking me out. we went to sleep, to the sound of the guys working, on top of our comforter, and holly woke me up around midnight to tell me the power was back on. i went downstairs to check on the stuff in the fridge (food: always my biggest priority) and everything in the freezer was still frozen solid. whew.

then i got some crushed ice and poured myself a cold glass of iced tea, turned up the ac, went back upstairs, turned on the ceiling fan and turned on the tv. (i would have fired up my 450-degree hair straightener, but, you know, we weren’t going anywhere.) ahhh. creature comforts.  man i love electricity.

so today it’s supposed to be even hotter (104 degrees, msnbc is telling me) b/c of the humidity. and it’s not cooling down anytime soon. do you hate this heat? do you love it? and if you love it, why?!

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this is how you know technology has gotten to you

spam: now in special mailslot size.

when you call actual paper junk mail–the stuff that comes thru your mail slot, that you can, like, actually touch and hold in your hands–“spam.” i have done this more than a few times lately and, frankly, it freaks me out a little.

“what’d we get, babe?” holly asks me across the house (our first floor is one big open space) as i crouch down to pick up the pile on the floor under our mail slot.

“just a buncha spam,” i say, stopping myself. “i mean JUNK MAIL. oh my GOSH why do i keep calling our junk mail ‘spam’???!”

at this point, holly, however, isn’t listening to me anymore. i talk so much she stopped listening to me about eight years ago. (ha. i need to pause here and tell you that TODAY is our nine-year anniversary!! happy anniversary, baby! oh wait. she didn’t hear me. lol.)

anyway, it kinda makes sense, the junk mail/spam thing, as the garbage-type paper mail we all get is indeed called “junk mail.” and junk mail in our inboxes is also called spam. so i guess i’m getting my lines crossed. still, it’s weird. kind of like when i’m laughing at a text message or IM or facebook-y thing and holly asks what i’m laughing at and i really wish i didn’t have to speak and could just, like, email her about it instead. so much for technology making us more effecient. talking is so…two years ago.

(shout out to fellow blogger t. for making me think about spam.)

(any of you out there actually try spam? as in, the food? or processed food byproduct or whatever it is. it seems…jiggly.)

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