Waste of a morning in 20 easy steps

Just a dose of my “business” life so far this morning — a not quite wordless Wednesday.

An ad agency responded to my recent inquiry regarding use of their ads.  They’ve approved me, but I’ve been delaying taking next steps because it involves sitting at the Erstwhile Resident Teen’s dusty computer, signing in to my email there, printing  the agreement document, signing it, scanning it, and then attaching it to an email to send.  No, it’s not exactly rocket science, so outside of being tedious in a I’d-rather-do-anything-else-but-this kind of way, it’s a task easily accomplished, right?

Um, no.

  1. Mobile Me says the PDF is too large.  Uh.  I’ve sent larger with no problema? Figures.
  2. I can’t figure out how to reduce the size of the PDF with STOOPID FREAKING LOUSY ROTTEN Microsoft Vista.  Crap. Crap. Crappidy Crap Crapster.  (You’re picturing Colin Firth in King’s Speech here, but without the far more colorful language).
  3.  So, I decide to use my Gmail account instead, thinking I’m pretty smart even though I’ve had to resort to this before out of desperation.  Please know the two computers are separated by a wall, so it’s always strange.  Ahem.
  4. Right smacking in the middle of writing the email, the wireless keyboard stops working.  No warning.  No blinky lights, or warning messages.  Just.  Out.
  5. I try to reconnect.
  6. I check the status of the keyboard and am not happy to see it’s listed as working just fine.
  7.  I load new batteries.
  8.  I reload new batteries because I can’t see and am not sure they’re loaded properly.
  9. I restart the computer.
  10. TWICE.
  11. Shaking the keyboard has no effect on its function.
  12. I try the “Connect” button on the back of the keyboard, but nada.
  13. Please know that smacking the keyboard with the palms of both hands simultaneously also does not work.
  14. To spare the neighbors and my blood pressure, I take a few trips up and down the stairs emptying trash, doing laundry, entertaining our high-maintenance furry teen-aged feline “daughter” with her string, assorted balls, her catnip baby, and also brush her a few times which makes her extremely happy.
  15.  I shine the floors upstairs with a cleaner that makes them look worse than when I began.
  16. I get another cleaner and give the hairy eyeball treatment to the dusty PC which sits staring blankly on the desk.
  17. I notice how hot it is today already (86 degrees!) and think WTH.  Where was Mr. Sunshine this past summer, hmmm?
  18. I finally give in and decide I’ll either steal the Erstwhile Resident Teen’s printer and install it on my Mac or try to reinstall the one I have attached to my Mac (which stopped working smack in the middle of the Erstwhile Resident Teen’s graduation project over a year ago so only a total idiot would do that, right?)
  19. I look in the mirror to confirm that I meet the qualifications at this point.
  20. Sadly, I glance at the clock and realize I’ve been dicking around with this sh*t for an hour and a half and have accomplished NOTHING.  But the cat’s happy.

You’re laughing, right?


I look at it this way.  Wednesday is the day I have been promising myself to write about something other than food, so I’m thinking this is a swell topic to write about.

I’ll do that before I install the printer.

God I can’t stand crawling under desks.

Getting the mail

I realize with a start that it’s been a while since I’ve been out to get the mail.  A while as in days.  Remnants of past mail piles have been disbursed from their less than attractive spot on the dining room table to the trash and a basket that seems to accumulate that sort of thing as if someday, one of us may actually look through its contents.

I find myself using the floury fingers of hands recently finished kneading pizza dough to count the days before realizing I also have to think about what day of the week it is.  I think it’s Wednesday.  So, it’s been almost a week since I’ve walked across the street to get the mail.  I’ve never counted the steps, but thinking about it now, the distance cannot be more than 20 yards from door to kiosk.  Big yards.  Yards created by huge strides that you imagine are at least three feet long.

The mailbox problem is beyond one of memory.  Not much comes in the mail these days other than the few bills we’ve still not converted to paperless, newsprint advertisements for local markets’ sales, catalogs I need to email companies to stop sending, and requests for donations to charities I can’t begin to imagine are real.  Why bother to get the mail?  The routine — once something looked forward to — is more about whether I’ve got my hair combed, am dressed for the day, and wearing something that won’t draw attention should anyone see me walking those 20 yards.

God forbid.

I might not care if the occasional neighbor or dog walker from around the block was pleasant.  That she smiled or at least nodded without my having to do so first, indicating she was a happy sort, enjoying the day and glad to be out in the sunshine, breathing the fresh air.  But that rarely happens.  The one person in the neighborhood who was friendly and knew everyone, who always stopped to say hello and ask about things has moved, and the quiet cul-de-sac is more quiet than it’s ever been.

I picture our small box in the kiosk and know it’s a toss up:  it’s either crammed full, or a lone slip is sitting inside.  I give in because it’s been so long, picturing the pinched expression on our mail lady’s face —  not exactly the friendly sort — as she works to push yet another day’s mail contents into the small opening of our mailbox, annoyed and thinking about how difficult must it be to collect mail on a daily basis.  I take pity on her and decide that since Wednesday is also the day I’m supposed to remember to pick up the MoH’s shirts at the cleaner, I get dressed.  Sans shoes and sporting a pony that has to be jutting from the back of my head at a 90 degree angle, I venture out the door.  Ever present readers are perched on my head.  A black tank donned, clean for 15 minutes until I brush my floury hands on it.


Luckily I make it to the kiosk without being noticed.  No one is around to take stock of my horribly penciled in eyebrows,  toenails with specks of a summery color clinging to each,  and legs in need of a razor. I unlock the box, relieved it contains our mail instead of a slip requiring that I drive to the post office to collect it.  But the box is stuffed.  It’s so full thanks to a ridiculously sized Restoration Hardware catalog, that I have trouble wedging the mass from the box.  It’s caught on the latch. I try to avoid tearing the contents as I release them, my thoughts lost in the effort.  Suddenly, I notice someone passing directly behind me and turn my eyes to see a slight figured woman, older than myself, cap donned, hair fixed, head down and walking at a rapid pace.  She’s been exercising and has clearly fixed herself up to do that, wearing well-fitted black and white sweats.  But there’s no acknowledgement of me.  No interest in turning her head to allow me to make a self-deprecating comment and share a laugh.


I look down at my heels after she passes, trying to imagine what I must look like from the rear struggling with a mailbox and noticing that it’s been a while since they’ve seen the callous remover I use on them.  I notice the darkened spot on the leg of my comfortable grey bermuda shorts, remembering with a smile the night the MoH and I made fish and chips.  I walk quickly back to the house, head down in determination to get back inside before the car approaching passes.  I bury myself in mail sorting, determined to avoid the pile that is inevitable.  I’ll feign productivity with this inane task instead of doing something I’d rather do so I can think think about why it’s such a challenge to pry myself from the house.