Slow walkers, horses, and autocorrect.

Slow walkers — I have an opinion

Ah, slow walkers. Those delightful time-wasters. Promoters of Lollygagging. Directors of Dawdling. Helping all of us to enjoy each footfall ever so much more because we get to take each step      that     much      slower          oh       for          the               love            of             all                               that                    is                  sane and good will you please put some habanero in that pace? I mean I just wrote a novel up here, established a new business then sold it, birthed and raised a litter of children, sent them through college, grad school, and I’m now in the nursing home watching their progeny debate over whether to call me Grandma, Meemaw, or Salty (GOOD GRIEF! Oh please, Salty, Salty, SALTY!!) and I’m getting a touch impatient with your inability to keep up with my seriously slowed-to-accommodate-you stride, my dearest walking buddy!

It’s hard to manage the concrete-booted when you’re in a crowded area. You have to constantly adjust your gait to avoid cuddling someone’s butt (never appropriate), giving someone a flat (never appreciated), or spending time in someone’s hair (never doubt this is possible). I love the squirrel types. [Ed. Note: Sarcasm, folks.] There’s no accommodating the erratic slow walkers. You just have to be prepared to react quickly. They’ll be leisurely meandering one way, lull you with some deceleration and, without any warning, turn back and walk into your face. There’s got to be management of paths, people. Ascertain whether you have freedom to move before, you know, plowing people down. I had one woman do this to me a week ago. I was all prepared to give her a look of scorn, but she walked into my face and kept on walking, arms pumping with real purpose and a blank stare on her face. So, I just removed my body from her cold embrace and walked in a new direction, as far from her as possible, completely puzzled. I pinched myself, because civility dictated that I not pinch her, to see if I was dreaming. I wasn’t. I did a pulse check to see if I was still alive. I was. Weird. I’ve seen kids move like that, but they have an ice cream cone in their hand, and we can all relate to that. It’s ICE CREAM!

I was talking to my brother about these soul-killers, and he has stories to tell as well. Like me, he’s interested in walking at a pace a touch faster than the 0 mph a slow walker aims to achieve. It probably explains why we do well when we go places together. We must have stride symmetry. I’m positive that’s a thing. Also, alliteration. As we were commiserating about the turtle people, he brought up the problem of having to determine where your speed-challenged companion is before you can make a turn. And we both immediately thought of horses. You know, with those crazy eyes? Horses must never have this problem. They’d totally know whether Lassitude on the Left is too close and they’ll have to signal before executing a louie. Which is why they’re so great in races. Dang. I see Loaded Leg$$$ is coming up on the left. UGH, look at that smirk! I can’t even with that. I can still win this if I ignore that ass. CURSE these creepy eyes freakishly placed on the side of my head like a Halloween nightmare that you don’t have to wait until Halloween to be spooked by! Wait, do they have those eye things (blinders, blinkers, or winkers) on during races? Google, help me. Wait, no. It’s a rabbit hole, I suspect. Got no time for that. This is a blog post and I need to knock these bad boys out fast to make the voices in my head shut up. [Ed. Note: Yes. I’m back. Just wanted to let you know she doesn’t really hear voices. Stand down.]

Autocorrect megalomania

What is up with autocorrect? My brother and I have both noticed a turn for the Pol Pot. OK. That’s my analogy, not his. I’m positive it’s offensive, so don’t blame him.

But he’s had his complaints about autocorrect. Witness:

“Sorry honking” is what I do for fun now. Actually, “Sorry, not sorry honking” is more accurate.

A post shared by Greg Garner (@mistergarner) on

And so do I. I’ve had issues with autocorrect for a long time. It’s a stealthy beast to be sure. Just making subtle little odd edits that I don’t notice and suddenly I just look like a total dumbass when I’m not even a dumbass at that moment in time. Witness:

Notice the subtle shift from VMFA to VFMA. That wasn’t what I typed. Really. Then the delightful shift from can to can’t. Stupid, autocorrect. Totally different meaning. I just updated to the new iOS. I’m not sure what’s going on with the latest aggressive stance my autocorrect has adopted with that release, but I’m not a fan. At. All. For example, autocorrect defaults to “Its” instead of “It’s” which is ridiculous because the second is the more common. It puts random spaces in words while I’m typing and automagically transforms them into two new words. Two new words that often make it past my quick text verification and get sent to people. People who are quite obviously confused. It’s maddening. I’ll have something all typed out with re-corrections to autocorrect’s unhelpful corrections made, and I’ll send it only to discover autocorrect has gone behind me again to thwart me, thereby making me look like a fool. Look, autocorrect, I need exactly zero help in that arena. I am a fool. I don’t need you assisting me in that endeavor to make me look like a double fool. I guess I could just turn it off. You people with your sensible suggestions. Le sigh…

The Cheeto’s identity crisis

Cheeto’s Puffs vs. Crunchy. Attention: Cheeto’s Puffs. Form a line and head to your destruction. Why even do you exist? You are nasty and must eradicate yourselves immediately. Go. Now. You heard me. Cheeto’s Crunchy? You may stay. Also, this cat clearly killed it in the screen test. You’re the best thing going, Lt. Paul Furman (AKA Lou).
[Ed. Note: Alternate spelling: Pawl]

ICYMI: YIPPEE-KI-AY. And I just realized I had a Huey Lewis and the News reference in the old post title. Apropros, Steph.

I have a wee addiction to ye olde tech. And by wee, I mean giant. And by tech, I mean anything that requires a manual that I could have written but would certainly not be caught dead reading. And off we go.

It’s hip to be square. Right? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Published on May 31, 2013

I’m pathetically dependent on my cell phone.  It’s so bad I take it on walks with me. Which is a damn good thing. Look, I captured this picture of a dead snake that I was able to send to Matthew for no purpose whatsoever. I didn’t even need him to identify it. I mean it’s a snake. That is black. Ergo, it’s a black snake. Case closed. (Slightly interesting aside: A very intelligent fellow decided it was a copperhead. I decided that fellow was totally high and moved briskly right along past him while applauding his highness during prime daylight hours. Well done, sir, well done! You know dude was moving quickly to snack attack mode, and I did NOT want to be there for a possible snake consumption.)

If I hadn’t had the phone with me on the walk? Well, I don’t think I need to spell it out for you how tragic it would be if Matthew was unable to receive that pedestrian picture of a dead snake.

The other day I drove without my phone due to an incident with a large takeout cup filled with water too big to fit into my car cupholder + my insistence that I needed to exit the premises of an establishment immediately + the unfortunate location of my phone in a nice container device in my console.

I riced my phone (because I’m not a former scout member who has bags of silica laying around the house for just this type of emergency) and was forced to old school it until the damn thing dried out. You’d think I reinvented the pioneer days and roughing it with the way I acted all tough and YIPPEE-KI-AYing it  all over my 3-mile radius while blasting my Puddle of Mudd/Seether/Alice in Chains playlist with my wrist at the top of the steering wheel and my right arm all reclined and shit on the armrest because I was driving around without the safety net of my cell phone. So, if I had a flat tire? I was totally going to have to flag down someone. Or walk all the way to a business establishment. All the way. Across the street. Since I was never farther away than that in my travels on that trip. Total badass, y’all. I wish I looked exactly like this.

However, I looked like this.

I will NEVER be cool. Damn, that stings.

NOTE: Betty White actually is cool. So, how’s that for bitter irony?

ICYMI: This one was a favorite of mine because the dude’s website that inspired it is pure hilarity!!

So, the ICYMIs continue. No, not because I’m lazy. Mostly, not because I’m lazy. Maybe a teeny, tiny bit because I’m lazy. Why are you still focusing on whether or not I’m lazy? You have to move on. You are obsessed. You should probably see someone about your problem.

Sweet Baby Jesus! Tell me this isn’t true!

Published on July 26, 2013

This dude is so freaking funny. I have worked my way through his entire blog. And I got to his beard maintenance post… No, funny people, I don’t need to maintain MY beard, wankers. Sorry for calling you wankers. You hurt my feelings and I retaliated like a small child. I was wrong. Stop giggling about the beard maintenance though. For real. I can still hear you snickering. Anyway, I was hee hawing my way through the post when I got to the alarming allusion that we unwittingly swallow like 8 freaking spiders over the course of our lifetime!!!! WHAT!!!!!! And I began hyperventilating. So, I had to begin meditating which is when I remembered that I’ve never meditated. I’ve always thought it would be something I’d like to learn how to do because, duh, I’m a little high-strung, but I’ve never done it. At least successfully. So, I tried it for like 8 seconds. ohm ohm ohm OHM MY GOD 8 FREAKING SPIDERSSSSS!!!!! And I remembered that my friend google would be able to help me here. And lo and behold. Oh, thank you Snopes! No, of course I wasn’t gullible enough to believe it. heh heh heh ahem It’s just that I’m a teensy bit squeamish about the ingestion of bugs of any nature. I can’t even watch it on tv without having to suppress a gag reflex at a particularly gratuitous shot. I congratulate myself on not losing my shit when I accidentally ingest a gnat. I internally slap an enthusiastic high five with myself and very very quietly yet audibly whisper, “You go, girl!” because I can never pull that off as I’m a total nerd but feel that it must be said. Outwardly, I’m all whatever. That was no big thing. But internally, I’m throwing a parade for myself. If I happen to find something in my food that shouldn’t be in my food, I immediately SHUT DOWN ALL CONSUMPTION. I have to restrain myself from shutting down consumption of all food everywhere around me. Oh, the times I’ve fought the urge to stand up on the table and declare loudly, “People, I feel I must tell you that I found a hair in my pasta. Yes, that’s right. A. hair. in. my. pasta. You should be scanning as I speak looking for stray non-food items on your plate. If it is not a utensil, you must immediately cease chewing, spit out all food particles in your mouth, and take a stand. We will later discuss whether or not we need to retreat to the restrooms to regurgitate our full meals. Oh, hello there. Thank you for taking a stand with me, small child. I see you have identified….wait. That’s your tooth. Did you just lose your tooth during dinner, dear? Well, congratulations! That’s awfully nice and yet not quite what I’m looking for here. Stand down, small child. You may return to your meal.” So, you see when I play out the scenario in my head why I haven’t taken a stand. You’re welcome fellow diners. Also, Matthew has quizzed me time and time again on whether or not it’s actually my hair. At least 10% of the time, I feel that he has a point. And I’m usually quite pissed that he’s poked a straight pin in my bubble of righteous indignation. So, reason #2 that you won’t see a youtube of me playing out this scene. Of course, reason #3 is the threat of someone capturing all of this and putting it up on youtube.

My blog is two years old today + a month and change. I’m pretty awesome about keeping up with dates.

To celebrate my blogversary, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite posts. You know, the ones I actually am not embarrassed about? Or the ones I actually re-read from time to time. I’ll highlight these little ICYMIs interspersed between new content with a title letting you know it’s repurposed. Hmmm, repurposed doesn’t make it sound very good, does it. It sounds awfully close to regurgitated and I KNOW that’s not good because I’ve been looking at an awful lot of regurgitated material lately. What? Oh. My dog’s stomach has been having some disagreements with her consumed food. So, her stomach has rejected the contents most heinously, and my dog and I are left staring at each other dejectedly while I gather the items I need to rid the house of the mess. Anyway, these posts aren’t like these stomach contents at all. They are quite the opposite. They are the little gems of this website. Or “gems” if you will. I’m not creating art here. But they are the best of what’s here. At least in my view. So, my first highlight is this one. It’s about saliva. Cool, huh? Yeah, it’s a weird topic. But the post represents this site so well, how could I not let it be the first re-post?

Lubrication is my middle name

First published: April 8, 2014

Made you look, huh? When I say lubrication, I’m speaking specifically of saliva because I’m an overenthusiastic producer of said substance. For example, I recently went to the dentist to get a crown done. Small segue. Do you think the teeth who sport crowns are lording it over the other teeth? (Hee. “Lording it” scores me at least half a point, right?) Are they all, “I have a crown. I’m tooth royalty. You are merely a tooth. But I? I am so freaking special that I wear a crown atop my enamel.” Or do you think that’s what the tooth says while the other teeth roll their eyes and respond, “Dude, the reason you have a crown is because you have a crack or something and are therefore damaged goods. You needed a crown to do your work for you and also to protect you from the rot. Because you are a sucky, shitty excuse for a tooth. So, shut it.” Anyway, I digress. As usual.

So, my tongue did its seductive tongue dance thing that it always does at my dental visits, and this time got burned. Literally. Stupid tongue. Drills get hot, you fool. Just stay put in the back of the mouth and keep out of the way of the dental tools as they go about their business. As my dentist and the hygienist neared the end of the process, it was time to put that gel stuff in that makes the impression for the permanent crown. It takes 5+ minutes to set, so they tell you to hang around and do your thing. Well, I was quite dismayed to discover that my thing appeared to be the alarming overproduction of saliva. I had to get up and retire to the restroom, and I was elated to discover that the timing of my restroom break was fortuitous as my mouth began leaking saliva at the rate of a fully-engaged faucet. Obviously the novocaine made my lips a little less proficient in the art of keeping things inside my mouth, but even that fact can’t account for the sheer volume of what I was producing. It was an amazing sight to behold. I stood there in front of the mirror and just watched the never-ending stream of saliva gush rapidly into the sink while wondering how in the hell I was going to actually complete my bathroom business. I didn’t have a drip cup to use or a spittoon to place beside the toilet allowing me to pee (sorry for the overshare, but it got real really fast, people!), so I just advised my bladder to put on her big girl panties and wait for the gel to be removed from my mouth. I grabbed a huge wad of paper towels, positioned them under my mouth to stem the tide of saliva, and high-tailed it back to the examination room terrified that someone would see the river flowing from my mouth. (I know you think I’m exaggerating here. It’s understandable based on the name of my website, but let me assure you that I’m telling it to you straight. I’m obviously a freak of nature, and also would clearly win in any strange sort of saliva skirmish. I, therefore, challenge each and every one of you to a saliva duel. Location and time TBD.)

When I returned to the room, I wetly mentioned that I was producing a lot of saliva. The hygienist said, “That’s why I handed you the tissue.” People, the tissue that she handed me was drenched before I even got it up to my mouth. I think it took one look at the saliva waterfall and knew it was no match for that type of saturation and resigned on sight. I had dispatched with that piece of nastiness in the restroom while frantically grabbing one paper towel after another. So, I just smiled sheepishly at her while nodding, and continued to look away lest the horror that was my saliva situation make itself known. I mean, seriously, a tissue? What I needed was a bath towel. Or, even better, a pail.

It reminded me that I’m not exactly a stranger to saliva situations. When I was pregnant with my first child, I went through two weeks where the taste and texture of my saliva was unbearable to me, and I carried around a spit cup, or tiny spittoon, where I would “delicately” spit my saliva every time there was enough in my mouth to dispose of. So classy. I contemplated stashing a giant wad of Bubble Yum (don’t make me sad and tell me BY is no longer available in the gum aisle) in my cheek so I could tell people that I had taken up the chaw, but people aren’t so much with that practice when you are carting around a fetus as it’s not good for the baby. So I just tried to hide what I was doing and take extra trips to the room of rest so I could do my thing probably causing folks to suspect a drug addiction. I think the truth would have been harder to swallow. Again with a pun. I apologize. Anyway, I was incredibly annoyed, of course, but oddly amused to suffer one of the stranger pregnancy woes because that is how I roll. I’m nothing if not off, or odd, or strange. Pick your favorite synonym for weird. Since I’m already eccentric, I’ve got a terrific headstart on my old woman persona.

(Bi=Success, Uni=Failure) Prefixes are there for a reason, people.

I really participate fully in my dreams. When that giant lion appears and roars to signal that the feature is about to start, I’m all in, baby. (I just indicated that my nocturnal playground is run by MGM. That’s extremely unsettling. I’ve relinquished all creative control to a third party. P.S. This is not true. My crazy, lovable—she-made-me-type-that—brain is running the show.) Anyway, as I was saying, I am an all-the-way-in participant in my dreams. Therefore, I am a strong believer that I can count my dream experiences as 60% real-life experiences. Although, I do use a sliding scale for reasons that should be obvious. I wing it based on dream content. If it’s a scary dream, I might adjust down so as not to tempt fate and move that percentage baby right on down to 0% with a nervous “Heh, that was so totally unrealistic. Axes are, like, NEVER used. It’s so 80’s. No self-respecting murderer would ever wield an axe. Heh. Good one, brain.” And then I would travel directly to Anna’s sunny yellow room, plop myself immediately onto the floor in the Lotus position (I have no idea what that position is, but I bet it involves pretzeling my legs up, and I can totally do that shit.), and begin to do meditation-like activities (I have no idea what that would look like either, but I bet they involve closing my eyes, and duh, I DO sleep like a freaking champion, so I sure think I could accomplish that. Plus, isn’t there some heavy breathing? Well, I’ve been known to exercise, so I’m positive I can reenact my breathing at the end of the exercising and grasping onto whatever is nearby while panting just to remain upright, and….wait. Scratch the second part with the grasping at things to retain my balance. I’m on the floor in a pretzel shape. It’s all good.) I’ve had 75% real-life experiences with certain people of a famous nature. Hi, Clive Owen and Jon Hamm! We went on a camping trip a year ago. Obviously, I adjusted the sliding scale on that one. Obviously. It might be closer to 85% if you’re expecting me to be totally honest with you. Let it go, will you? The other night I had a scintillating dream whereby my family had acquired a second toaster to devote to gluten-free bread items. It was a difficult decision to make, but I left the slider at 60% for that dream. Geez brain, what a ridiculous dream, and how wasteful! I’ll toast the damn bread in the oven if I absolutely must, but I really haven’t missed the toast enough to justify the purchase of another stupid toaster and then dream about it like it’s just that awesome. Priorities, you gelatinous monster.

So, last night’s dream involved my first foray on a unicycle, and I can tell you that I’m glad I went ahead and experienced this first in a dream. I didn’t recognize any of the spectators, so that prevented me a LOT of embarrassment. Surprisingly, I got up on that unicycle and handled it like a pro. Pro-ish. Like an amateur. Not like a first-timer. Like a first-timer, but not like a baby. There. That’s something to celebrate. There’s a local magician who does amazing things while on a unicycle. My prowess on the unicycle had exactly nothing in common with his. However, I was eventually able to remain upright and move from one place to another. And then there was this one part of the dream where I was able to balance on the unicycle without moving anywhere. This is the point in any dream where you know things are about to turn. You know that point. When things have gone from improbable to impossible? Yeah, things took a turn. And fast. Suddenly, there was a downhill situation impossible for me to avoid because I was at the top (the very peak) of a mountain I had not climbed to justify my descent. No, I didn’t take a minute to rejoice in the fact that I hadn’t had to make that climb on a UNICYCLE. I took a minute to watch my life flash before me because the descent was very similar to one you might take with a parachute attached to your back after a planned disembarkation from a plane. But my brain pushed me (I felt her gelatinous mass do it!), and off I went. Very fortunately, I lost the ability to pilot the unicycle immediately. And just as quickly woke up. I really didn’t want to participate in that dream any longer. However, I’m counting this as my first, and clearly last, unicycle experience. If someone asks me if I’ve ever been on a unicycle, I’ll answer, “Yes, 60%.”

Do I invoice the USPS for this?

Here’s the thing. Typically, when I go on vacation, I arrange a reciprocal agreement with my fabulous neighbors whereby they retrieve my mail for me while my family is away, and I retrieve their mail for them while they’re away. And we hand each other stacks of accumulated mail upon each other’s return along with the exchange of pleasantries. It’s really quite fabulous since they are the best people in the world, and I don’t get a chance to see them nearly enough. This time I failed to get all of that worked out in advance because I lack follow through. Which means that on one fine, sunny day, I “over-the-fenced” the details of our vacation to my poor neighbor who was just trying to get some yard work done and verified the timeframe for theirs. I promptly forgot the dates of theirs and whether or not the overlap of our vacations (which I do remember there being) was surmountable or not. So, I decided to give the ol’ USPS a whirl. They hold mail, you know. Or at least they claim to. There has GOT to be some sort of really really fine print somewhere that was formatted with white text/white background, italic, 1 pt. which explained the extremely squirrelly things they expect of you in return for holding your mail while you vacation. So, I didn’t see it as I was clearly not meant to. Anyway, I think they have some sort of reciprocal (where SOMEONE doesn’t understand what the word reciprocal MEANS) arrangement going on that I wasn’t privy to when I signed up for this service. To wit, I went on the website and entered my hold mail information and put it all out of my mind. I got back to find that my mail was there as well as another family’s – all bound up with a rubber band including that family’s hold mail notice with a future date on it and an address inconvenient to me. CERTAINLY NOT NEXT DOOR! HOW RUDE!!! So, I assumed that the USPS was trying to tell me something. In exchange for holding my mail, I was to deliver this “tidy” little bundle of mail to my “neighbor” at the designated date in the future. Well, I should tell you I was quite discouraged to find out I had been giving busy work upon my return from vacation. After all, I had to get back to reality. Wasn’t that ENOUGH to have on my plate? I ask you. I didn’t see any note that indicated that I would be reimbursed for my time/services. Or that this was some sort of reciprocal agreement with my new “neighbor” friend. Or even a polite thanks for the assistance. Nope. Just a bundled stack of mail with the hold start and end dates and the address. Nothing else. So, I dutifully delivered the mail today, and now I’m starting to wonder when I became an errand runner for the USPS. Because I’d like to put a stop to that pronto.

uspsmailhold