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Let’s see… did you really need to be there?

19 Apr

Image Source: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/91/912e90c02b8f22e482183f1940c9972ed6633bf2ecefd2907920777c81f05f8c.jpg

OK. So here’s something that provided HOURS of comedy fodder to Alan and me during our recent trip to Hawaii. I think it will be categorized as, “guess you had to be there” but I’m willing to test-drive it on an audience before sending it to an early burial. Here goes…

On our flight from Seattle to Honolulu, Alan left his Kindle in the seatback pocket of the airplane. Nevermind that the flight attendants TOLD us to check the seatback pockets for any belongings. I guess Alan was fairly confident that his contained only used napkins and drink stirrers, which would’ve (in hindsight) been about 90% accurate.

Also? He may have been under the influence of a Mai Tai (or ten) when we landed, so some of the instructions were undoubtedly ignored.

Fast forward two days, to our first opportunity to camp out in the sun and read.

“I can’t find my Kindle,” Alan informed me.

Before I could even suggest places for him to look, he said, “I’ve already searched everything and I’m pretty sure I remember tucking it into the seatback pocket on the plane.”

Doh. Fortunately I don’t enjoy reconstructing events to job people’s memories, so I wasn’t miffed.

Alan was somewhat calm about having no reading material, but I knew why: he’d had his Kindle for years and it was both clunky and glitchy, providing more headaches than smiles. He’d been planning to get a new one for some time and had only stalled out of convenience. He might not like not having a book to read on vacation, but he would certainly look forward to replacing his device.

“I bet you can replace it today so you have something to read on vacation,” I suggested – only partly altruistically since I knew Alan would be bored facing the ocean without something to read.

He immediately latched on to the idea, so we did a quick search to see where Kindles were sold. It was a surprisingly short list, made even shorter when you consider retail options on Oahu. We decided to give “Toys ‘R Us” a try since it was on our way from the North Shore to Hawaii Kai.

When we entered the mall, we couldn’t find Toys R Us. That was somewhat surprising since it’s usually large enough to be an anchor store, but we turned our sites to the directory and found that it was a “Toys ‘R Us EXPRESS.” We groaned, knowing that the “express” meant it probably had limited stock.

As we approached it my mental track sounded like playing the game show “Press Your Luck,” where I kept hearing the phrase, “No Whammies, No Whammies, No Whammies, Stop!”

Upon entering, we found one salesperson  – presumably a local high school girl – working the cash register, utterly bored but not looking for an interruption.

And here’s where we enter inside joke territory…

“Excuse me,” I said, hoping to save time. “Do you have any Amazon Kindles?”

She stared at as blankly, her mouth hanging open as if my words had caused her jaw to lock. The only thing that moved were her eyes, which shifted between Alan and me, more slowly than a metronome set for a kindergartener.

After a suspenseful pause (during which Alan and I had both scanned the shelves behind her) she said:

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhm… … … …. …. 

No.

Alan and I looked in opposite directions as we swallowed and nodded our heads, trying to formulate a question that would politely allow us to do our own search for a Kindle without insulting her.

Because clearly, she didn’t even try – she didn’t glance around or ask clarifying questions – she had just stood in place, staring at us before taking one full minute to say no. I’m pretty sure that she was trying to mentally riffle through the filing drawers of her mind to recall if she’d ever seen a Kindle, and was finding that each drawer was shockingly empty, as if she were an Enron employeed and we’d just announced an audit.

Alan beat me to the punch. His diplomatic response (as I stood shaking with quiet laughter) was, “Cool. Can you show me your electronics section then? I might find another reader.”

After fumbling for a key, she zombie-walked three feet to a locked glass door just to the right of the counter, pushing aside a rolling ladder that blocked the way. “See anything?” she asked, gesturing to row after row of LeapFrogs.

My giggling intensified, as I imagined saying, “Sorry – we’re looking for a READER, not for something to help us LEARN to read.”

Fortunately, Alan ignored me and pointed. “Hey, I think that’s an {Amazon Kindle} Fire! Could I take a look at that?”

She obliged, allowing Alan to handle the EXACT ITEM we had come in to purchase – the SAME ONE she had just said they didn’t have in stock – as long as he called it something different.

As she rang him up, we couldn’t even look at each other. We both kept making guttural, “um no” noises, the way she had told him they had no Amazon Kindles for sale. We sounded like a retail version of Slingblade while we checked out, then thoroughly lost it in the car.

For the rest of the trip, it only took one of us saying, “Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… No?” to crack the other person up.

 

 

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Tidbit: Les Mis + Yoga

22 Mar

Image Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/7d/c8/997dc8cd37664e1fbbcc0fcba55f79b0.jpg

In my 10 years regularly practicing yoga, today was a first: I was kicked in the head by the guy on the mat in front of me as we lifted up into Warrior 3. 

All righty then. Here’s to new experiences!

Tattooed (in 100 point cursive font) on his left leg was a quote from Les Mis:

To love another person is to see the face of God.

Fair.

And now he knows what you see when you kick another person: My Face. Slightly less serene than that of God.

Can’t wait to see what he has tattooed on his right leg in our next class.

The vet’s office is a zoo. Almost literally.

1 Sep
I said STOP WEIGHING ME.

I said: STOP. WEIGHING. ME.

Five months ago, I was given a lecture when I took Miss Moneypenny to the vet. “She’s gained two pounds since you owned her. Careful with the treats. Her ideal weight is 10 lbs.” So when we got home, I scaled back her treats. And maybe her dry food a bit. And I may have made a few jokes in her presence about kitty cat fat camp.

In any case, when we went back to the vet a month later, they said, “Yeesh! She’s down to almost nine pounds. We better do a blood test.”

I tried to explain that her weight loss was deliberate, but they were hearing none of that. They did a blood test and called me two days later to say, “It’s as we suspected. Miss Moneypenny has a hyperactive-thyroid. It’s off the charts and you need to put her on medicine now or she’ll waste away.”

Here I thought I was the Jillian Michaels of feline fitness. So much for the Biggest Mewser™ business plan I’d started writing.

I have enough medical fights in my life with my GI Specialist, who is always trying to guilt me into taking medicines I fundamentally disagree with, so when it came to Miss Moneypenny, my response was, “Fine. What do I need to give her?”

Long story short, thirty days after beginning her medicine, we were back at the vet for a follow-up blood test to see if the medicine was effective. I made the mistake of showing up at 6pm on a week night, which is apparently when *everybody* takes their sick pets in. I feel like I can *almost* refer to the waiting room as “literally a zoo” and not be completely deserving of a grammar infraction.

The cast of characters featured a French Bulldog named Lily, a Whippit, a Great Dane named Annie, three other random dogs (beagle, boxer and chihuahua) and a few cats in carriers. Miss Moneypenny hates being in her carrier, which – considering it looks like a gym bag that a mobster might toss in the river – is not completely without reason – but she was surprisingly calm in the midst of the chaos. After screaming at everyone to announce her arrival, she kicked back and took a bath.

Hint: One of these is a falabella.

Hint: One of these is a falabella.

While we were sitting there, a woman showed up with a cute puppy named Teddy, who was to Golden Retrievers what a Falabella is to regular horses. (I’ve included a photo in case you’re too lazy to Google that reference.)

The dog was adorable, but wildly out of control. When his other mother showed up, he was so excited, I watched him scale her like a mountain goat. She was seated in a chair and Teddy was standing on her shoulders, totally wrapped around her  head.

As we waited (and waited) for Miss Moneypenny to get called back, I had ample time to observe Teddy and his lack of discipline. He was on a retractable leash and his owners let it out with abandon. They were lost in conversation so they didn’t notice when Teddy began chewing on a dog wearing a cone, or when he tried to butt-sniff a dog who clearly wasn’t feeling well.

Everyone in the waiting room began exchanging glances. Teddy was undeniably adorable, but his clueless owners were allowing him to be a bit of a nuisance. About this time, Teddy walked to the center of the waiting room and proceeded to take a leak that would do Austin Powers proud. The puddle was not insignificant.

Amazingly, his owners didn’t notice this, despite my repeatedly looking at Teddy, then looking at them. Everyone else in the waiting room was doing the same as we all wondered if we should say something or sit back and see how long it would take them to notice. We silently agreed to go the latter route until a few minutes later, when the pee was flowing along the grout between tiles and was about to soak the bag of one of the women.

“Excuse me,” another (nicer) woman called to her, “You might want to move your bag.”

At this, Teddy’s owner looked down, saw the approaching pee and grabbed her bag up with disgust. Then she traced the stream back to its pool of origin, which by this time had little Teddy paw prints in and out of it. If it were a crime scene, it would be an open-and-shut case.

And yet, she turned to her partner and said, “Oh my God – there’s a whole puddle of pee on the floor. Someone’s dog peed there!”

To which her partner asked, “Do you think it was Teddy?”

Without missing a beat, she said, “No – he went right before we got in the car.”

Let me point out – there were no other dogs remotely near the puddle and the only wet foot prints tracked directly to their dog. Everyone in the waiting room again exchanged wordless glances that – had we been playing charades – would’ve prompted a win for the phrase, “You must be shitting me.”

After sitting there for a few minutes, Teddy’s owner finally said – loudly enough for everyone to hear, “Well, I guess if the owner isn’t going to clean it up, I will.” And she huffed over to the desk and asked for paper towels. Um, thanks for the favor?

Let’s just hope she decides not to ever have a baby. Ever.

Oh – and in case you’re curious, Miss Moneypenny weighed in at 11.8 pounds, which apparently is now great. Whatever.

 

Hey Girl: That’s Not Pretty

30 Apr

Image Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4yDNWlvK6s

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then I apologize in advance: You’ve already had to weather this rant. And yet, it is worth repeating. To make it somewhat more bearable, I’ll try to channel Ryan Gosling. Indulge me.

Hey Girl,

I see you there with your super-firm thighs. Thighs that say “thank you” for attending pilates throughout the week. Thighs that could make Gallagher cry because they can split watermelons like a cashew in a nutcracker.

Those thighs? They got my attention.

But not just because they’re attractive. No.

Girl, I know you’re asking those thighs to do double-duty. That in addition to looking fine stacked up on a pair of Manolo Blahniks, they’re punching the clock doing overtime. Know how I know?

Because of that fine spray of pee all over the toilet seat in your office building’s communal bathroom. That’s right.

I can picture you there, standing like crane ready for construction, feeling the burn as you unburden yourself. 

And Girl, you must be exhausted from that effort. I mean, it is WORK to perch there like a hovercraft.  So no wonder you can’t find the strength to grab a tissue and clean that toilet seat off. Honestly, how could you?

I can’t fault you for that. But Girl, think of all the other ladies whose thighs aren’t as strong, who must sit on that toilet seat to relieve themselves. They end up sitting in a puddle of your pee. And I don’t know if you’ve seen these women, but their reaction to that isn’t one of loving kindness. No, Girl: It’s fury.

They make water cooler jokes about how they’re going to stalk you and hug you and pee on your legs. And these women? They’re a bit off-balance, so I’m concerned they might try. They’ve even gone so far as to use the office printer to make a note to hang in the bathroom, though they got distracted by a box of Girl Scout cookies before locating the tape to hang it. I’m telling you, they’re one step away from psychotic. I’m concerned for you.

But I don’t want to weaken your resolve or your thighs. I’m not proposing something dramatic, like expecting you to – God forbid – wipe the toilet seat after yourself. No, Girl. You’re too precious for that.

I have a better plan: Girl, we gotta work on your aim.

Kisses,

Ryan

I seriously need a balcony.

27 May

Although we’re committed to each other for the long haul, Alan and I maintain separate homes. My place is smack in the heart of DC and surrounded by parks and restaurants and yoga studios and nightlife. His place is in a quiet, professional community in Arlington with a pool and balcony.

We tend to spend more time at my place in the winter (easy to walk to everything, cozy fireplace) and then log our hours at his place from Memorial Day to Labor Day so we can maximize the pool.

I LOVE being outside, so this morning I took a mug of tea and my laptop out on his balcony. And I realized: holy shit, I really need a balcony. It was more entertaining than a seal juggling screaming babies television.

First, at 9:30, I noticed a woman – wearing only a bathing suit – stomping determinedly down the foot path. Without the context of the pool nearby, that would seem totally bizarre. Even so, it still was a bit odd – because the pool doesn’t open until 11am. “Oh honey,” I thought to myself, “You are about to be soooo disappointed. Early bird gets the worm shaft.”

Sure enough. Her pace slowed as she approached the locked gate. She shook it, testing it. Then she shifted her focus to the rule board, where it’s clearly written that the pool opens at 11. Without turning to actually engage another human, I heard her yell, “What time is it??”

I’m not sure whom she expected to answer her, so I wasn’t surprised when she received Radio Silence as a response. I debated yelling back down to her, but I was half concealed by a tree and thought (for her sake) she might want to believe no one had actually noticed her strutting around in a bikini as if she were crazy.

About this time, a young couple appeared on the tennis court directly below me, toting racquets rackets rickets Rockettes? tennis gear. The guy clearly thought he was Hot Shit, as evidenced by his flowing mane of curls (pulled back in a girly-looking headband) and Ray Bans.

Within two minutes of hitting the court, he devised some sort of calisthenics routine for them, which involved running in forward/backward zigzags the entire length of the court.

He demonstrated it for his girlfriend. “Like this,” he called to her, as he ran in a way that looked like he was avoiding sniper fire.

She mirrored his motions and together they covered the length of the court.

“No,” he called again. “Like this.”

And started another demo for her benefit. She gamely joined in, following after him.

After two more rounds – during which he continued to correct her and shout out tips about her form – she finally cried Uncle. “Dude! Are we here to run around or play tennis?”

Good question. He looked startled but nodded and ran to the tube of balls he’d left at one end of the court.

And then I realized why he’d been stalling: Dude could not play tennis. He’d been trying to wear her down with ridiculous drills beforehand. So of course I pulled my chair closer to the railing and began clapping as if I were at Wimbledon any time she scored on him.

Interestingly, they both pretended I wasn’t there. I assume he did it from a sense of shame and she did it to help save her relationship, so I decided not to press it overtly. But I did kept cheering and shouting the score. It gave me a sweet sense of pride to loudly declare, “Love – Love!”

But then I realized I didn’t actually know how to score tennis, so I found myself yelling, “One – Love!” as if I were a stoner worshipping Bob Marley. And at that point I decided just to take a stance on their relationship, so I stopped even trying.

“Douche – Love.”

“Love – Nothing.”

“Loser – Love.”

About this time, Alan (who was inside making coffee) cracked his window and started listening to me.

WHAT, exactly, are you doing?” he asked, seconds later, as he came charging out on the balcony.

I shrugged. “Nothing. Just keeping score.”

And that’s why I might have a career at Wimbledon. Or need my own balcony. Because apparently Alan won’t let me use his any more. Where I come from, we call that Selfish.