in that, upon returning from thy journeying unto Atlanta, thou deliverest unto us sixteen (16!) 12-packs of Diet Code Red Mountain Dew, like water unto the harsh, parched sands of the driest desert.
Harnessing the healing power of snark
One of my goals this year is to get my fluency back in Spanish. I haven’t had reason to use it since I got sick and had to give up my tutoring business, and I miss having this skill at my fingertips.
To begin with I’ve started watching the daily news on UnivisiÃ³n, and this past week most of the coverage had to do with the Pope’s visit to Mexico. There were processions, and vestments, and incense, and colorful costumes, and crowds as far as the eye could see; we the viewers were spoiled for beautiful scenes.
The camera panned slowly across the congregation as the Pope approached the altar. It stopped on a sea of black-habited nuns, faces reverent and composed as they prepared themselves for the solemn service about to begin.
My attention was caught by one nun in particular who looked as though she was starting to make the sign of the cross. I watched as she slowly, steadily raised her arm…
…to reveal a bright purple iPhone, with which she slowly, steadily snapped a photo of His Holiness and then slowly, steadily returned to her lap.
In the name of the iPad, the Smartphone, and Bluetooth, Amen.
That time when August reached out to smite me in new and tortuous ways.
(Originally published August 14, 2006)
Back in the spring of 1997 when I was driving to meet my husband for a camping trip, my little red Ford Mustang, the car my parents gave me when I turned 17, the car that was completely paid off, began smoking from the steering wheel.
So we took it into the dealership to get serviced, and being the young, inexperienced, newly married twenty-somethings that we were, we accidentally gave off vibes that said, “we might, at some unspecified time in the future, be interested in purchasing a new car,” and thus we became magnetically bonded to a salesman named Rocky, who did not leave our side for the next six hours, until we departed with not just a newly repaired Ford Mustang, but also a new Ford Explorer.
The next day we of course COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT because that was the biggest purchase we had ever made in our lives, and holy cow, what in the world had we just done?! But eventually we calmed down and realized that we could still afford to live in our apartment, and we would not have to stop eating, and everything was just fine.
Fine for us, that is. Apparently, in the Explorer’s mind, our little episode of Buyer’s Remorse was STRIKE ONE against us. [Read more…] about Car Talk
Yesterday the new issue of Popular Mechanics showed up in our mailbox, and our curiosity was immediately piqued by the cover story. So we flipped over to the article, and Mr. Cranky Fibro Girl read out each item while I tallied up our scores.
Things started off well.
OK, so far I am crushing this list.
I felt pretty good about the rest of the “Ages 1-11” skills (ride a bike, hammer a nail, load a dishwasher), although I lost some points on “pitch a tent” and “paddle a canoe” since I’m only riding the coattails of my Eagle Scout husband on those.
Our scores started to diverge once we reached the “Ages 12-17” range of skills, although I can perform the task with the largest font size, which clearly ought to count for some bonus points:
Then we reached the skills one is supposed to acquire in one’s 20s, and here we are really stepping outside my wheelhouse:
Sure. Because my mad Spanish verb conjugating skillz would really come in handy here.
Bwahahahahahahahaha. Not. A. Chance. In. The. World.
My husband was still doing fairly well overall, so feeling pretty confident, we cruised on over to the 30s. And that is where we saw this:
Um, really? Since when is this a must-have skill for the masses? Was I absent the day they taught that in school? And the most important question of all: exactly which audience are they trying to target here?
Because, let’s review. This is Popular Mechanics we’re talking about.
It is not How To Survive Once You Go Off Grid.
It is not Skills You Need To Master In Anticipation Of The Imminent Zombie Apocalypse.
It has nothing to do with hunting or the outdoors.
It is a magazine designed for readers who will salivate over the tear-out, pin-up, glossy centerfold featuring an extensive array of hammers. Along with articles on retro guitar amps, choosing the best hedge trimmers, the new Apple watch, and NASA’s latest sweater for astronauts.
Who is this mythical person they are trying to reach? And is anyone else afraid?
because I am the person that other people text/call/email when they have stories that start like this:
“I wasn’t quite sure who, other than you, could appreciate my experience…”
Here’s the latest one I’ve received.
“I wasn’t quite sure who, other than you, could appreciate my experience this weekend when I left my office to venture out for lunch. About a half a block from my office a new tattoo artist opened to showcase his talent. His store hours are 3PM until midnight which isn’t necessarily unusual except that every other business closes at 5PM. Anyway I ventured out for lunch and weaved my way through all the new accumulation of motorcycles that has recently appeared after 3PM and came across what appeared to be a recent customer who had his head shaved and had a motorcyle helmet tattooed on his entire head. My only regret is that I will not live long enough to see a baldheaded 80 year old little man with that tattoo.”