Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Delusions of Me

(Excuse the drawings. I'm trying something. My sister dared me. The drinking makes it seem like a good idea. I did all these with only two pens.) 

I often think about getting mugged. Usually, when I’m walking to my car at night. I’m not worried about it. I’m anticipating it. Because I’m ready. I’ve been ready since I took that self defense course in college. I am so prepared to stab a mugger in the eye with my car key. People who have keyless entry, I don’t know what you’re going to use to stab your mugger in the eye. You should give that some thought.


I’m sure if it actually happened it would be kind of a bummer, scary and all that, not to mention all the blood and eye goo on my keys, but I’m such a badass as this plays out in my mind that I can’t resist. I wonder if this posting will entice a mugger out of the darkness to accost me, after all, he could actually use the “she was asking for it,” defense, if muggers read, but I don’t believe they do.  And if they do, they’d probably choose someone who’s not prepared to stab them in the eye.
Although, I recently read that the key thing actually a bad idea because you have to let the mugger get close to you in order to reach their eyes. You’re supposed to hit your mugger with something bigger, like an umbrella. But I live in the desert, so 355 days of the year an umbrella is just a pain in the ass. Besides, once you get your heart set on stabbing an assailant in the eye with your keys it’s hard to let that go.

On an even more morbid note, I want to find a dead body. Not that I want anybody to be dead, but since sometimes people have to be dead anyway, why can’t I find one of them? Because according to a lot of my reading, finding a dead body leads to hijinks and adventure. Obviously, I’m assuming murder. Yes, I’d be opening myself up to suspect status, but obviously I would suss out the real killer and all would be well. Unless there were maggots. I guess I only want to find the fresh bodies.
And why does no one have a heart attack when I’m around? I know CPR. I could be all decisive and heroic, and the victim would regain consciousness and thank me and the onlookers would applaud and later I would be adorably modest on the evening news. But I’m going to need the victim to be hygienic and have recently brushed and flossed because these days, I’m not comfortable putting my mouth just anywhere. Although I suppose I would have the option of only doing the chest compressions. But that doesn’t match the visual in my head, which would be disappointing.

I imagine what I would do if there was a fire, which is kind of weird because this is one of my biggest fears, and also, I feel the worst about this one, because my pets would be traumatized. (So no cartoon on this one because that would make it worse.) I’m sure that to most of you it seems worse that I’ve let people be mentally murdered, suffer imaginary heart attacks, and get stabbed in the eye with my keys but I don’t know them, and anyway they brought those things on themselves with their lives of crime and unhealthy eating habits. With the possible exception of the guy who got murdered. I’m not sure what happened with him. Yet.
Anyway, in the fire I heroically round up and whisk to safety my five pets three of whom are dogs and two of whom are cats, unless you’re my apartment manager in which case two of them are fish. In my imaginings four of the rescues go pretty easily but then I have to go back for Agatha whom I couldn’t get on the first trip because she was hiding under the bed. However at the last possible moment I snatch her from the flames and we live happily ever after. Of course, now we have no stuff, but I know someone who had a fire, no pets, only children, and they’re fine, don’t worry. My point is, that if you get on the news because all your shit burned up, everyone sends you free shit. The people I know got so much free shit that they had to give a bunch of it to charity. And they didn’t even have heroic pet rescues to modestly recount during their exclusive interviews. So I could be a hero and give to charity too which is good for everybody.
            This all probably means that there is something deeply wrong with me, but I hope, in the nicest possible way, that there are others out there with the same horrible self-aggrandizing affliction. Because I’d like to think that these tendencies to play out mental disasters are part of some simple human longing rather than a psychotic indicator. I mean really, who doesn’t long for the occasional parade in their honor? 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Inner Child is an Idiot

Recently, there was a big hullabaloo that mostly existed in my head. No, that’s not true. It started in my head, but then it took over my entire day. It started with a text from someone named Jenny.

My first thought was, hmmm, I don’t know a Jenny. And that was that. If only that had remained that. A few hours later, while I was reading comments on another blog, a blog I much admire, it hit me. It had to be her. I had received an invitation from an amazing writer to meet on Skype to talk a bit. Perhaps the missing apostrophe should have been a clue, but when you go from dismissal to euphoria in .3 seconds you tend to overlook the details.
I’ve recently started blogging myself, and I’ve been following her, because I have a lot to learn, also she’s funny, socially conscious, and other good crap. I’ve been reading her posts religiously and I’ve left some comments that may or may not have been witty, and in that instant, it became clear that she was so overcome by my budding efforts that she couldn’t waste a moment in reaching out to me, to discuss my soon to skyrocket writing career. Of course a second later I was equally convinced that this was ridiculous, it was all in my head and it couldn’t possibly be her. That’s the feeling I should have gone with.
But no, I thought. She liked some comment I made. Or else she wants to berate me for writing mean things about my cat. I know she likes cats because she writes about hers sometimes. Only she writes nice things about hers, because apparently they never pee on her stuff; or on her person. So I’ll have to make her understand that although I say mean things about my cat, I never do mean things to my cat, even though she has peed on my head while I slept. Twice. Two times. Yep. And still I feed her. Because I’m stupid.
So, I’m shaking, and I’m running around, and I get my sister on the phone because I just cannot do anything, I can’t even Skype because I don’t have Skype, so there’s the whole business of downloading that to deal with (which was really an effort, and in the process I allowed the download of like twenty random programs or whatever they’re called) so I had to have help. In defense of my stability, the first thing I said to my sister was, “I’m probably imagining this. It couldn’t be real.” But I didn’t feel like I was imagining it. I felt pee-my-pants-happy. Which I did not actually do. So maybe technically I wasn’t. Can you be pee-your-pants-happy if you don’t pee your pants? Yes. If you don’t have to pee.
While I was failing miserably to download Skype, I reverse 411’d the number the text came from, and it was indeed a Texas number which was evidence. The text was sent by Jenny from Texas. There can’t be more than one. I’m not a crazy person at all.
So finally Skype is working. I’ve created a profile, entered Jenny’s contact info, and fumbled with the keyboard until finally, the person who has asked so kindly to speak with me is revealed. But it’s not her. So now I’m crushed and bursting with humiliation, because I’ve dragged my sister into this which makes her a witness. But wait! Maybe the picture was taken when she was a teenager, or on Halloween, or on a day when she just really wanted to show off her boobs. But no. Still not her.
My poor sister is still on the phone, and I imagine her writhing with empathetic embarrassment, because really, how much of a fucking moron can a person be? I’m instantly and severely depressed. I manage to get off the phone so I can cry, and have some xanax and a beer, because somehow I’m out of liquor. It’s a bad day to be out of liquor, but my shame won’t allow me to venture out to the store where I sense the whole world is waiting to mock me for my hope and stupidity. Clearly, I should go to bed before I do anything else humiliating and anyway, it’s almost 3:30 in the afternoon and I can’t take anymore.
I realize that the whole thing is ludicrous. I will never be a writer. No one whose work I admire is ever going to admire mine back. Everyone who has ever complimented my writing either lacks taste or lies, either out of pity or pathology. I will never accomplish anything that I want to accomplish. And all I’m really doing by blogging is rendering myself unemployable.
I finish my beer, the one I cracked open while I was frantically trying to install Skype. I start uninstalling all the useless programs that I had inadvertently piggyback downloaded in my earlier fucking flurry of emotion. I was feeling good about figuring out how to uninstall all this crap by myself, because technology is evil, but that day it was my bitch. Until I accidentally uninstalled something I needed. Now everything on my screen is too big and the stuff on the edges isn’t there; it looks like it would if you pressed your nose directly against a book and tried to read it. FYI, you need your graphics drive.
Of course, I had another beer. I kept going back and forth between wanting to sink forever into misery and feeling a little ok, maybe even slightly amused. My sister posted a cute thing on Facebook about how 90% of kids get all their awesomeness from their aunt. That’s me. And my friend texted to make plans for us to spend the next leap year at Disneyworld. So my day clawed its way a little further out of the toilet.
So much so that I was able to consider the idea that it wasn’t so stupid. I mean, it was really stupid, incredibly stupid, almost brilliantly stupid, but maybe that’s good. Because maybe, even though it didn’t work out this time, it will eventually. Even though it isn’t true right this second, now I know that I believe it could be true someday, even someday soon. And that’s heartening, because as much as I hear that one must believe great things are possible, I am not naturally an optimist. And as stupid as it was, I believed.
And believing? Being that idiotically hopeful? That’s kid shit. It’s awesome. Like when you were little and you just knew you were going to grow up to be an astronaut/rock star/firefighter/veterinarian, before you got to the point where you started ruling things out. Can’t be an astronaut if you get sick on the teacups at Disneyland. Can’t be a vet if the sight of an animal bleeding makes you want to cry. Can’t be a rockstar if you’re tone deaf. Yeah, there’s some wiggle room there. And I could still be a firefighter. As far as I know.
But for those twenty minutes, I was not ruling anything out. In spite of the lingering embarrassment, it was a really good twenty minutes. So good for me. Kind of. In an unfulfilled, humiliating way.
P.S. To Jenny who sends enticing Skype related texts with no regard for the consequences: I’m not that happy with you. Lose my number. 
P.P.S. To Jenny the hilarious and socially conscious Bloggess: I’m not dangerous. I just get excited sometimes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Are You There Siri? It's Me, Anne.

Soon it will be time for my phone upgrade, and I am struggling, debating, trying to decide (if you’d like some synonyms) whether I should get Siri. When I first got the iphone 4, which is what I currently have, I didn’t get Siri because I was broke. And that’s not completely untrue now, but I find myself thinking of her with hope and anticipation, except when I’m thinking of her with reluctance and dread.
The problem is, I’m not good with technology and I’m worried she’ll ruin everything. Right now, I love my phone which is a first, because phones count as technology which is ever evil, and goes out of its way to thwart me. I’ve always had a phone; you have to have a phone. (I know. Not literally. But come on.) But, I’ve never actively enjoyed using a phone before, and I love the iphone, it’s fucking awesome. So I’m very excited to get a new phone, one that has more upgrades, and is fancier, with cooler stuff. And I kind of want Siri because she’s fancy and cool and I like the idea of being able to talk to my phone. Technically, I like the idea of my phone being able to talk back; the first part already happens.
Plus if the phone talks back, everything should be even easier, which is part of why Siri is so appealing. But if Siri is a bitch and won’t help me, then I’ll get frustrated and fight with my phone, and  I don’t want to fight with my phone, because I will probably lose and end up crying in the corner. Things have been so good with my old phone and I’m afraid I’ll ruin it all by wanting too much. I don’t want to get greedy. I don’t know what to do. I tried my sister’s Siri and she wasn’t entirely cooperative. So I’m worried.
But on the other hand, what if she’s awesome? What if she’s so helpful, and intuitive, and smart that I start to get worried that she’s kind of alive in there? And I’ll feel like I need to set her free, but I won’t know how. How does one set a Siri free? Leave her on a bus stop bench with her fare tucked in her protective Kevlar shell? I guess she’s a computer, or in a computer, so maybe if I hooked her up to a network or something she’d be able to travel, see the sights, take in a show. Maybe if she couldn’t get away permanently, she could have a play-date with the other Siris. Now I’m back to not understanding technology. So she’ll be stuck in my phone forever. Which is cool (except for the part where she’s my unwilling minion) but only if we’re getting along.
I’m hoping she would be able to help me with storage. This particular technology has been kinder than most, but the one issue I do have is that the phone keeps bitching about not enough storage and sometimes it refuses to record a video or take a memo. And of course, the second my rebelling phone tells me it won’t record, my mind is flooded with genius thoughts and clever turns of phrase. And how am I supposed to hold onto those without a reliable recording device? Huh?
                I imagine myself saying, “Siri, I need more storage,” and she would magically make it so. My current Siri-less iphone always suggests the cloud. About which I am dubious. The cloud. Seriously, I wish I had thought of the fucking cloud. “You’re stuff will be stored in…uh…a cloud! No wait…not just a cloud…The Cloud! (For a mere twenty to one hundred dollars a year, depending on your needs.) I feel like I’m buying a bridge, possibly to nowhere. For fuck’s sake.
I like technology sometimes, on the rare occasions when it decides to do what I’m hoping, but never really expecting, it will do. I enjoy that I can, in theory, check in for my flight from home. I don’t enjoy that I can’t actually check in because my printer is out of ink, and I don’t know why it just can’t run from the power of the fucking cloud. But apparently it can’t.
Or beam. Why can’t the ink beam to my printer? I’ve been ready for beaming technology since I was five. Because then I wouldn’t need a boarding pass. I could beam. And I wouldn’t have to walk to the cupboard because the cookies could beam to me. And then the fat could beam away from my ass. I could sit on the couch forever, and what’s so wrong with that? Come on scientists, let’s go. I pay you to be less lazy, so that I can be more lazy.
It would probably be best if Siri was programmed with the ability to beam stuff for me. Then I could say, “Siri, cookies,” and they would appear in my hand. I would deal with getting them to my mouth all on my own. And I would remember to say, “please,” because you shouldn’t take your Siri for granted. Partly because not taking Siri for granted is just the right thing, but partly because if you did take her for granted, she could really ruin your day. She could beam you into the cornfield like Billy Mumy in The Twilight Zone.
Maybe I shouldn’t get Siri. If we were ever at odds it would end badly for me. She’s better with computers, possibly smarter, and has powers that I can’t begin to understand. But then again, maybe sometimes you have to make a leap of faith and trust that your phone won’t beam you into the cornfield.