Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Ridiculous Nook Meltdown

I haven’t written in a while. My excuses are numerous, but my main raison d’(not) etre is that times have been genuinely cruddy. The high point of my weekend was eating an entire pumpkin and then performing an autobiographical-cabaret-number on my sister’s message machine. She was at a party with friends and I was in my flannel pjs singing lyrics like, “Hey there, little sister. I don’t want to get a blister from all the times I’ve called you and you haven’t called me back. I kind of miss yer, little sister. Did you watch tv today? Cause I did.” Oh, to be young and to be alive. Someday, I’ll write down my pitiful grievances, but not today, mostly because they would make me seem highly petty and incredibly stupid. Basically, the last few weeks have been a blur, and not the good kind.
We’ll jump to today. My dad (who really is a wonderful dad) recently gave me his nook. Turns out, he prefers real books and he is also the most generous of men. I have to say this because it’s true and also because I’m not going to look so hot in a few seconds.
I had been reading some blogs about autoimmune disorders (it was that kind of weekend) and I discovered these self-help books targeted towards unhappy people with thyroid disorders. I was reading up on Amazon about how these books had changed the lives of dozens of sluggish people and I just thought to myself, “I MUST read these books. I must read them now. I know...NOOK!”
I grabbed my old Barnes & Noble gift certificates from two Christmases ago. Now, was the time. This was my moment.
I went on to B & N, created an account, and bought the books faster than you can say “impulse purchase.” Then, I tried to transfer the books to the Nook and they wouldn’t go. They would NOT go. I started to panic, just a little.
Me: Dad, I bought these important books and now I can’t load them on the Nook. They won’t take. They won’t hold. They won’t latch on. They’re not thriving. They like won’t imprint or echo or pass through to the other side. So,I guess what I’m asking is should I just press the nook up to the computer screen? Or do I use a cord? Or a USB? Or do they just wirelessly register across the room into the nook? Like they naturally swallows. Should I open a window or a door? Or do I need to create another account to load from my account to your account? Should I turn everything off? Or should I turn everything on? Should I turn it off and then on really fast? Or should I push both the on and the off buttons at the same time? Or, should I move it in a figure 8 motion? Should I give it space or time? Because I could take a walk and check back in. Should I blow the entry port for dust? Because I already did that. Twice.
Dad: I don’t know. I just always buy the books on the nook.
Me: I didn’t know that was an option.
Dad: Yup. I have no idea what you should do now.

(Maren runs down hallway sobbing and clutching the Nook)
5 hours later...after searching Google with key terms like:
-Trouble downloading ebook from B & N site to Nook
-Trouble transferring ebook purchase to Nook
-Trouble downloading stupid ebook to the   stupid Nook
-The many ways Nooks suck and how to fix them
-Oprah is a know-it-all
-I hate the!
-I hate the Nook...and I hate my
-I hate
I finally figured it out and it was really stupid and I had to hop through more hoops than a cat in a cat circus. In nook-speak, my file had the wrong name. So,I re-named it: “ihatenook.epub.”  Yes, I had a complete break down over the fact that I wasn’t able to download digital books about stress management and read them off a magic tablet.  But, I was finally able to download the books ironically entitled You Can Heal Your Life and You Can Create an Exceptional Life. I think I already have. I am a wackadoo. That is life and it’ll get better and it’s already pretty good.
I started reading the introduction to one of the books and it’s talking about how our minds create drama and conflict and I’m thinking, “Mmmmm...I don’t know anyone like that...”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Smorgasbord Monday

Good Monday to you all! I cannot wait to share some of the internet gems I stumbled upon over the last week. Let's begin!

(via ritzybee)
I love both the style and the sentiment of this work of art created by artist Becky Murphy. She even does custom wood I know what I'm getting everyone for Christmas. Somebody grab me my saw!
(via google images)
Julia Child was and is the embodiment of sheer fearless joy. In many ways she reminds me of my Grandma Glenna (a ballsy dame if ever there was one). I recently re-watched Julie & Julia. I wasn't crazy about it when I saw it at the theatre, but once at home, I just fast forwarded through all the modern bits and focused on vintage Julia. Voila! It was the best movie ever. So when I saw this post, "10 Career Lessons by Julia Child," I knew I had to share it with you. Bon appetit!

Last, but absolutely not-least, we have "Lily's Disneyland Surprise." This little lady is turning 6 and she's about to find out that she's going to Disneyland. I love everything about this video, but my favorite part has to be when she gets so excited that she forgets when her birthday is. Seriously, Disney should use this as an ad. WATCH and DELIGHT:

I think we could all take a lesson from Lily and get crying-excited once in a while. So, here's to a Monday filled with childish-chef-tree-wisdom and maybe a few happy tears.

Friday, October 7, 2011

How to Write a "To Do" List

I do not pretend to be the world’s greatest list-maker, but I do claim to be on the short-list of the world’s greatest list-makers. I come from a long line of list makers. I make “To Do” lists and “To Don’t” lists. Since I was a little girl I have made lists. 
This would be a prototypical list from a six-year old me:

  1. Wake up
  2. Grow new teeth
  3. Don't brush the teeth I've got (they're going to fall out anyways)
  4. Travel Extensively
  5. Learn how to read
As I got older, I wrote more lists.
This would be a prototypical list from a sixteen-year old me:
  1. Wake up
  2. Grow boobs
  3. Climb a mountain
  4. Become a more authentic human being who has boobs and can climb a mountain
  5. Make a mixed cd with the theme “mountains”
You get the picture. Yes, I usually start my lists with “wake up,” because I figure that everyday this is one goal (barring any unforeseen comas) that I can achieve. So, the other day, when I was sitting at McDonald’s enjoying my daily ice cream cone-meditation-time, I wrote a list. I think that it might very well be my favorite list of all time (right next to the Bill of Rights).
Here it goes...

(This was not written on March 7-13...I just like to relive the past by recycling)



I write lists because I love the idea that my days can be filled with possibility. We are our lists. We are our goals. Don’t get me wrong. Lists can also be for chores, grocery trips, and the day-to-day mechanics of life. But, we can and should insert ourselves between the items. “Pick up the dry cleaning,” and “Pay bills,” but don’t forget to add in a little space for “Dance,” or “Perfect your imitation of Daniel Day Lewis.” Our lists, like our lives, should be filled with the ordinary wonderfulness of losing teeth, growing boobs, and waking up.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Smorgasbord Monday

Poor Monday, always a source of new week-itis. Let's change all that. Shall we?

via google images

"Climb up, gerranium!" There are some things that you just can't un-see. Once they get in, they get in. On A Clear Day You Can See Forever is one of those things. It may be one of the most influential films of my childhood and perhaps my favorite musical about reincarnation (because there are so many:) The movie was made in 1970 and was very very loosely based on the stage musical of the same name. Lyrics are by Alan Jay Lerner (of My Fair Lady fame). Yes, it was directed by the genius Vincente Minelli. Yes, it stars Barbra Streisand as a flower serenading psychic. Yes, you should fast forward through any scene with Yves Montand. That French man poodle. 

Anyhoo, this opening number just sets the perfect creepy-1960s-joyful-exuberance needed to welcome any Monday. Warning these images will stick with you and as an adult you may find yourself skipping through random gardens and singing "R.S.V.P. Peonies..."

"Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here"

From flower-singing to webcam working. Esther and Bruce Huffman are senior citizens living at the Hillside Retirement Community in McMinnville, Oregon. They are also instant viral video sensations. I LOVE this couple. Watch it. They honestly have no idea the camera is on.

Apparently, texting can be humorous. It can be especially humorous when you get your parents involved. Check out I spent an hour on this site yesterday and couldn't stop laughing. On a side note: my mom has never texted me. But I did once receive a text pic from dad of a giant crow...

Have a great Monday, everyone. May it be filled with texting-web-cam-flowerpot-grandparents!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


This spider is the size of a rotisserie chicken: that was my first thought. 

Back it up. I was walking down the hallway to my bedroom, when I made the mistake of looking up. A SPIDER stared back at me. But, this was no typical spider. This was a SPIDER so big that I think it might have had an undiagnosed thyroid condition. This was a SPIDER so big that it could have moonlighted as an ottoman. This was a SPIDER so big that I'm pretty sure it had grown up eating steak and babies.

I have no choice but to kill you: that was my second thought.

I want to go on record. I'm not normally bothered by bugs. With the exception of having seen the trailer for Arachnaphobia at a sensitive age, bugs have never been a phobia of mine. Eels, yes. Spiders, no. Also, I'm opposed to the death penalty and generally this does extend to insects. But, there was just something about this SPIDER. It was huge and it knew where I slept. It couldn't be allowed to live. But, how should I proceed?

I couldn't just smash it. It would leave a mark the size of Lake Michigan on the ceiling. Yes, I would have to use a tool of some sort. A magazine, a magazine would be perfect for sweeping it off the ceiling. Then, then I would have to crush it. It was the only way. But, what to crush it with? 

I searched through my piles of reading material. I didn't want to use a book I liked. I couldn't use a book that had some function or utility. So, I settled on the most entirely worthless book in my personal library- The Pocket Monologue Book For Women. This book consists of monologues written for the discerning actress who dreams of reciting speeches about scrunchies, menstrual cycles, and men who won't commit.

Scene of the Crime

I grabbed my Pottery Barn catalogue in one hand and the monologue book in the other. I jumped up and with a flicking gesture reminiscent of a tennis serve shot the SPIDER across the hall. I swear the thing caught air. It sailed like a furry frisby and landed with a thud. It turned and glared at me. Then, we danced. Oh, yes. We danced. Lunge to the left. Lunge to the right. "You shall not pass!" I cried as I plopped the pocket guide down on insect opponent. With a primal scream, I stepped on the pocket book. The sound that emanated was that of a giant chewing chicken bones. Then came the silence.

I gave SPIDER a burial at sea and flushed it down the toilet. For a moment, I felt calm. Then I remembered the lyrics from the well-known-arachnid-ditty:

The its bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout

Now, the thing not only knows where I sleep, but also where I do other things as well…I sit and I wait. Till we meet again, old friend. Till we meet again.