I remember going through the usual litany of cleansers, toners, and gadgets when I was a teenager (maybe less than some girls, since I didn’t learn how to be a girl myself until about 17). I started with Clean and Clear, moved on to Neutrogena, and then cast it ruthlessly aside for Biore, more particularly, their Pore Strips. Amazing!
But these days…a funny thing has started happening. The commercials that make me sit up and pay attention, or the things I’d want to buy, are being sold by older women. The endless parade of Disney Channel prodigies, starlets, and pop stars that probably would have sent me scampering to the chemist’s shelves for the products they were endorsing in my youth…are children, babies! I wouldn’t let them sell me cement, much less something to put on my face!
“It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire when you live next door.”
– Publilius Syrus
Those of you who remember this little fiend, will be happy to know that he has departed for grimmer and more diabolic realms. Alternatively, you will be saddened to know that he has been replaced with something far, far worse:
Our new upstairs neighbors.
Not only do they fight, constantly, at the top of their lungs, specifically at ridiculous hours of the the night, but they are also completely incapable of walking. No, no. They stomp. Which makes our ceiling shake. And they throw parties with loud friends in which they, as far as we can tell, practice riverdancing. Or dropping bowling balls.
The other night, when we were watching a movie, we heard the door above us slam and moments later the light fixture started rattling around.
“Ah good,” J. said, “Lord and Lady Stompington are home.”
Obviously all this PBS watching is starting to rub off on him!
“Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about Rock’n’Roll.”
– Shigeru Miyamoto
Last Friday, J. and I headed north to the city to play with Angel and her husband Hotty. Both of the men lived/worked in Korea at some point and converted their respective wives to the cuisine so we went to Angel’s favorite restaurant, got ice cream, and retired to their basement flat to play Rock Band.
Growing up we didn’t have gaming systems and to this day they remain verboten at Chez Parents, so I have never developed the necessary finger-eye coordination and thumb dexterity required by video games. My gaming experience was limited to watching Peregrine playing Final Fantasy back in the day, and trying Spyro The Dragon (exactly two times) while babysitting. And since I didn’t know what the point of the game was or how to achieve it, I mostly just scampered around whatever level I was on blowing fire and falling off things into oblivion while evil signs flashed “GAME OVER,” or something of the sort.
So, Beatles Rock Band went about as I expected. They started me on the drums which was manageable on the easiest level, but still confusing as I couldn’t get the timing of my whacks on the drum set vs. the scrolling instructions right until J. told me to ignore it and go along with the beat instead (oOOOoohhhh. Rhythm. Right).
At some point I graduated to guitar and luckily we set it to “impossible to fail” because I proceeded to slaughter the music. Then I got really ambitious and went from “Easy” to “Medium” and discovered my lack of hand-eye coordination is not just limited to sports. And I must be mildly dyslexic because for the life of me I couldn’t manage to match my fingers with their assigned keys, much less with the dots of color that wouldn’t stop rolling towards me. And chords! Impossible!
I think I’ll be settling back into video game retirement now, thanks.
“So…we’re not eating out again until after, approximately, the birth of our third child.”
Indy, though a blessed luxury after four years without a car, does come with a certain amount of wear and tear. She’s 12 years old and I’m increasingly of the opinion her previous owner didn’t love her as I do.
We came back from Christmas to find her battery (the one she came with: a secondhand, refurbished one at that!) had died. J.’s parents had generously bought us a new one for a Christmas present but when they were bringing her back to life, the mechanic said we should keep an eye on our timing belt because it was obviously old and cracked. Also a mount and filter needed to be replaced (thanks, Indy’s negligent previous owner).
So, when I took her in to get her oil changed yesterday, I batted my eyelashes and asked the mechanics if they could pretty please also check the belts for me because I was ever so worried about them (no charge!). Unfortunately I went to pick her up I got some scary news. Both the timing and driving belts seemed to be in immediate danger of molecular disintegration. And even a non-tech type like me knows that when those go, the entire car goes. They recommended immediate replacement but as it was already late afternoon and as it was going to be “at least a half day job,” they said the earliest they would be able to do it was today.
This morning I drove J. to school and then to the shop to be there when they opened at 8am thinking that, as they said it would be a half day thing and they are first come first serve, everything would be done by noon and I could go into work after lunch. I dropped Indy off and then walked the half mile home.
I’d just got to the door when I realized I’d turned all of my keys over to the mechanics and was locked out, and our landlord would be no help because J. and I had just changed the bolt lock. Sigh. I trudged back to the shop, sheepishly asked for my keys and headed back home grumbling. My grumbling increased exponentially forty minutes later when the shop called to explain that the water pump attached to the belt was leaking everywhere and needed to be fixed as well. Don’t worry, I didn’t let them charge me double labor.
The rest of the day I spent checking my phone every ten minutes to see if the shop had called. I did five loads of laundry, scrubbed the kitchen counters and floor, and cleaned our room. I rang Susie every two hours to update her and explain that I was still fully planning on coming into work, until about 3 when I became resigned to my fate. I watched two full movies on AMC while I folded clothes, as well as part of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. I’d gone verifiably stir crazy by 11. When I began looking around the flat and thinking of decorating ideas I realized I’d reached a Stepford Level of Battiness. They called at 4:50 to say they had finished.
Praise be to Jupiter, Odin, and Quetzalcoatl that we have a Pell Grant to cover tuition and a fat tax return on its way (hurrah for being young, poor, at university, newly married, and living on a tiny income!), as well the fact that we like to save money for just such circumstances. It’s a steep bill buts it’s cheaper than a new car! I’m glad we’ve got the means and common sense to take care of ourselves, I just wish it wasn’t so bloody expensive sometimes.
The downside: $800.00 and an even larger pile of work on my desk tomorrow.
The upside: three day work week and clean laundry.
“‘So, I’m like, a new student? And I like need a parking permit? Do I like, get that like here?'”
“Wow. You are scary good at that voice…”
-C., mocking the freshman, TenFour being scared
Seriously! Do these girls only speak in questions, or do they just naturally intone upwards at the end of sentences? I am getting emails sans punctuation, sans capitalization, sans everything! Numbers used as letters, emoticons, and oh the misspellings. How exactly did they get into university, one might inquire?
Listening to them talk as they walk across campus is mind-numbing. Between slang and poor grammar, you can barely understand what they’re saying. The word “like” features heavily, conjunctions do not (I’m looking at you, Venice, as a English and grammar teacher to correct this is your rising seventh graders)
These kids even dress badly, attempted Vogue meets train wreck (and not Vivienne Westwood style, either). They don’t read signs that direct them where to go on campus. They get in an unbelievable amount of car wrecks. Their bikes get impounded when they chain them to “Please Lock Your Bike On A Rack Or It Will Be Impounded” signs. They can’t make eye contact because they’re texting incessantly.
To these kids, the Berlin Wall has only existed in history text books!