Monkeys…Cheaper than an iPhone

If you’ve been following me on Facebook lately, you’ll know that I’ve been whining complaining gnashing my teeth in an angry rage expounding on the issues surrounding a certain wedding that we had to not only attend, but actively participate in it. I once had photographic evidence of this fiasco in my phone, but then I was forbidden to share the photos so I deleted them to make room for a video of a wombat who appears to be dancing to Gangnam Style. And as odd as it seems–considering my whole world is usually all about me–I wasn’t the one who suffered the most at this wedding.

You might actually be thinking of my autistic child who suffered greatly at this event, but even then, you’d be partly incorrect. Oh she suffered, but I’m pleasantly repulsed to say that she really wasn’t aware of too much happening around her at the event. She had a full-size bag of kettle chips in hand, her headphones with her playlist going, and flip flops on her feet for most of it, so she did pretty well, considering.

The real victim in the whole thing was my older child, and by older I mean the one who will legally be allowed to drive a car in our state within the next three months. She somehow got lumped into a category of wedding party participant known affectionately as “junior bridesmaid.” For those uninitiated in the world of completely stupid and over-the-top celebrations, a junior bridesmaid is someone who can’t yet rock the strapless taffeta nightmare you inflicted on all your best friends from college and someone you can’t legally invite to the bachelorette party, but who is way too old and too tall to be your flower girl. My daughter was the oldest of the junior bridesmaids… they went down to six years old.

Yes, she got to wear the “little girl” dress. It was not only hideous, it was highly inappropriate for her advanced age. There is brief photographic evidence HERE. Before you comment, please know that I’m the one who took the picture and the one who zipped her up, so I’m 100% certain it’s not on backwards or inside out. It’s just…that…ugly.

And I have to say I’m tremendously proud of my kid. She looked stupid and she was humiliated, but she did it. She also did it while being a bigger grownup than I would have been about it. Hell, she was a bigger grownup than I was about it and I didn’t have to wear it! I kept photos of it in my phone for a while to show random strangers in elevators how horrible it looked. My kid shed a tear or two, then sucked it up and got the job done. Notice how I stopped just short of using the phrase, “Close your eyes and think of England.”

My husband and I decided that Kiddo the Elder deserved some kind of reward for her stellar putting-up-with-it-ness, so we offered her a kind of crappy second-hand gift. Since as a full-time writer I’m technically my own company, I could get myself a new tax-deductible iPhone for work and give her my two-year-old model, which would be leaps and bounds better than the six-year-old hand-me-down semi-smartphone she’s been using. And I have to say, she was mildly pleased by the suggestion, which wasn’t quite the reaction I was expecting from someone who’d just been told she could have an outdated piece of technology with a crack in the corner of the screen as her reward for spending ten hours of her life dressed as a sister wife in front of a thousand people.

Then I get this email from her (which was amazing because I didn’t think her crappy phone would make phone calls anymore, let alone send an email):

“Dear Mommy, I really do want a new phone, but I was thinking that I could just keep my old phone and you could keep yours, and we could use that money to get a tiny monkey instead. It would wear diapers and not go to the bathroom in the house, and it could help you get stuff off of tall shelves while I’m at school (unless the principal says I can bring it to school). It can also legally make you a drink and bring it to you, which I am not allowed to do. By law.”

She raised several hostage negotiator-level great points, but I still felt compelled to reply:

“No, a monkey will eat our faces while we sleep.”

Six hours later (it took her that long to type this), she replied:

“No, it won’t. We’ll leave meat out on the counter for it so that it will go for the meat instead.”

Sound logic, but I didn’t love the thought of raw meat sitting on my counter top while a lesser primate hunched over it, feasting on it in the dead of the night. I had to answer:

“What if YOU were the one to get the new iPhone and I kept my old one?”

She’d planned this well, like a little behind-the-scenes Lannister cousin:

“Monkeys are cheaper than iPhones.”

ME: “Only from black market monkey dealers, and the quality on those is for crap. And speaking of crap, guess what else monkeys like to do?”

HER: “They don’t fling their poo, you saw that on Madagascar.” (Italics mine, her phone won’t do that.)

ME: “The answer is NO! You’re getting an iPHONE!”

So yes, that’s how we had to put our collective foot down and force our teenager to take a piece of technology that retails for slightly more than double the price of my first car. Luckily, the first thing she did was drop it while trying to turn it on, thereby soothing my guilt over giving her a used phone as compensation for a pretty wretched day. No monkeys were acquired or harmed in the development of this blog post, and now new smartphones were smashed on the kitchen tile. In other news, I’m having the best time with Siri.

 

You Can Lead a Turkey to Water but You Can’t Keep It From Looking Up and Drowning

Yup. It’s turkey season. No, not the time of year when we sit in our lawn and watch morons go by. The time of year when we dress like morons…

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and sit in the woods…

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and watch absolutely nothing go by except lots of poop…

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while we make turkey gobbling noises for no apparent reason. It turns out my husband and I were striking our turkey calls and waiting for a response, only to discover back at the car that we were actually answering each others’ calls. I never said we were good at this. I did find at least one turkey though, but I bet it’s gonna be a tough bird.

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Goldfish Are Assholes

See, it’s not enough that goldfish swim in circles all day in an effort to mesmerize your innocent children then inexplicably die while they watch. No, that would be bad enough. I can trump that with a goldfish who decided to live.

My autistic daughter got an aquarium for her birthday because she loves checking out all the fish whenever we go to the store. She could stand for hours and look at these things, so we thought, “Hey! I know! She’ll love an aquarium of her own!” (IMPORTANT NOTE: the fact that she’s autistic has absolutely nothing to do with goldfish being assholes, and it really has no bearing on this story…it was really just to make you feel really horrible about what our goldfish did to us. Keep reading.)

We set up the aquarium and waited the appropriate amount of time before purchasing fish, giving the water a chance to decrudify before introducing living creatures into it. Then it was time to head to the store. After steering her well away from the $30 fish (Yes, there are fish that cost $30 at the pet store. If I ever pay that much money for a fish, I’d better be eating it paired with a 100-year-old wine, and Hugh Jackman had better be feeding it to me naked.), we found the moderately priced goldfish. I didn’t want to look like a cheapskate and go for the 38-cent fish, since I could feel people staring at me. I just knew they were judging me for being really, really cheap and buying my poor kid the fish equivalent of two-buck chuck. I sprung for three of the dollar fish, and we were outta there.

One of those cheap little suckers has turned on me, though. One of our orange fish has turned mostly black, starting with its fins and tail and now creeping up its body. It’s really a cool-looking mottled color, like a calico cat, but therein lies the problem: my kids have decided I let the fish die of neglect and replaced it with a different fish. Not only that, it really looks like I didn’t even bother trying to get a similar breed of fish, let alone buy an exact replica.

I tried looking up this phenomenon on the internet just to prove my innocence, but there is surprisingly little in the way of scholarly veterinary journal articles on illnesses affecting cheap goldfish. I’m starting to wish I had actually flushed the little crap head down the toilet since I’m being accused of killing him anyway. As it stands, I’m keeping a running tab of goldfish expenditures so I can either take it off my taxes or make sure I don’t reach the threshold where icthysacide becomes a felony.

I Know What You’re Doing, China, and It’s Not Going to Work

Per my previous post about how much I really adore getting free crap in the mail (even if the sender expects me to go to the trouble of telling all of you about it), a strange phenomenon has occurred: other people have jumped on the “send Lorca free crap” bandwagon. But there’s a catch…none of it works.

Screw you, free crap sender.

I was sent a smartwatch to review, only I’m actually far smarter than this watch. My Dachshund is smarter than this watch, which is an incredible feat considering my Dachshund is actually dumber than the paperweight on my desk. Since the smartwatch doesn’t work, the paperweight is smarter than the watch, too. I swear this is what algebra looks like if you try to apply it to real-world situations.

I told the smartwatch people, “Hey, I’m all for helping out my fellow man, so before I tell the whole internet how stupid your smartwatch is (I didn’t bring up the Dachshund yet), I just want you to know that it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t connect to my phone, it doesn’t alert me to things happening around me, and it doesn’t actually keep time because the hands aren’t really on there that tight.”

They apologized and sent me another one.

It had a human hair stuck to the watch face, underneath the glass. Yes, in one of those places that makes it irretrievable unless you void the warranty by breaking the glass. My OCD and germaphobia kicked in big time on that one.

And it still doesn’t connect to my phone.

Then another company decided they could trump the stupid smartwatch by sending me their “smartband.” Guess what a smartband is? It’s a smartwatch that is too stupid to tell time. Yes, this doohickey has to be worn alongside your watch if you want to know what time it is AND be told all kinds of important things like “your phone is ringing.” Why would I wear a band to tell me my phone is ringing? If I have the ringer turned off on the phone for some reason, then I probably won’t take any immediate action if it starts ringing. Can’t bother people in a movie theater with the ringing of a phone, but I can bother them by having a conversation on that phone?

Oh…and the smartband doesn’t connect to my phone.

But my writer brain has figured out what’s actually going on here. China (yes, the entire country) is mailing me cheap pieces of crap with a sinister plot in mind. Once all the pieces of the puzzle combine in my house, they’re going to morph into a Transformers-type robomonster and begin the first phase of US domination.

Sure…tell me you weren’t already thinking the same thing.

Luckily, all these pieces of crap are dumber than the Dachshund, so even if they do combine and turn into some giant robot, they won’t be able to work the doorknob. We’re all safe.

I Like to Think my Kid Does This When She’s Grounded

This is amazing, awe-inspiring, and fuzzy, wrapped into one enlightening tour through the history of music. All I can say is she’s a genius, and she likes to sing about her carpet. Somebody clean it, please.

All Hail the Internet of Things

The internet of things is already taking over my house, as evidenced by the fact that I just called out an apology to my Roomba when I heard it struggling over a piece of laundry I’d left in the floor. You’ll be glad to know the Roomba and my bra both survived the altercation.

But when a great little company with a crowdsourced product offered me (me, of all people!) the chance to test out one of their products and write about it, there was no way I was turning it down. First, I love free stuff, no matter how awesome or stupid. Second, from the lovely description in the email, I knew I had to have this thing because the potential for messing with my husband’s mind is endless. Third, I just like being important enough for companies to send me free shit.

This little gadget is called IvyLink, and it’s a smartoutlet, which right away is probably too smart for me and therefore out of my league. But when I learned that I could control this outlet–and therefore anything I plug into it–from my phone, there was no way I could NOT use it. Yes, you plug this adapter in your regular wall socket and you can turn it on and off from the free app you download to your phone. I’m sure the fantastic people who designed it were envisioning a better world where city apartment dwellers don’t have to leave their air conditioners or heaters on while they’re not home, but can instead get the temperature moving as they head back to the house. I’m sure there are irrigation considerations, so we don’t have to leave sprinkler systems on a timer and water the crops (or the golf course, my personal pet peeve) in the rain just because that’s how the system is set up; no, you can activate it from your app now. Went out to run some errands and took longer than you thought? No more walking into a dark house since you can activate the lamp you keep plugged into this thing before you even reach your drive way.

Or…OR…you could plug the TV into it and randomly turn the thing on and off from another room in the house, leaving your husband bewildered and misdirecting all blame away from you since you weren’t in the room. You could turn the bedside lamp on and off while seemingly texting your friend or checking Facebook. But those baby steps into keeping the man guessing are child’s play, nay, amateur hour.

I plugged the treadmill into this handy little device.

On. Off. THUD. On. Off. THUD. On. Off. THUD.

Before you leave nasty comments, remember that he totally had it coming for bodily injury grievances that I won’t go into here. But if this type of revenge is right up your alley (or if you’re a do-gooder who would use this gadget for the betterment of society), the folks who sent it to me would love you to check it out.

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I Gave My 4-Year-Old Nephew a Drum Set for Christmas

NOTE OF CAUTION: This is a tale of two nephews. The story doesn’t make sense to begin with, but it makes even less sense if you think I’m talking about the same nephew.

Now, you read that title and you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, Lorca, you’re a bitch,” or, “What has your sister ever done to you?” and you’re actually right on both of those points, but that’s not the case here. My sister was totally on board with this plan, and I happened to have an extra drum set lying around that he would love, complete with two–count ‘em, TWO–cymbals! The best part is she now gets to foster his musical creativity (an hour away from where I happen to live) and my kid no longer owns a drum set. It’s a win in every direction.

But ah, the karma gods of Christmas got me back. My closest living nephew, a young man who is decidedly not a little boy and therefore has evolved past the loud-Christmas-gift stage, unwrapped a present last night from some other hopefully well-intentioned person in the room, and took off down the hall with delight to go put it to good use.

When he came back, I stopped dead in my tracks, certain that a gift I’d bought my husband had been broken on the trip over to my in-laws’ house. The room filled with a horrible, eye-watering scent that caused tiny flames to erupt inside my nostrils. I was certain the expensive doe urine I’d bought him for an upcoming hunting trip (that’s a story for another blog post) had leaked out of its tiny bottle and was at that very moment filling the room with noxious fumes.

No, someone had given my teenaged nephew… AXE BODY SPRAY.

My darling nephew had doused himself in this concoction under the mistaken impression that it would be a good idea, or possibly because he thought the commercials were true and half-naked women would throw themselves through the front window like a team of Black Ops, so attracted by his smell that they couldn’t keep their hands off him. That’s the only version that makes sense, since no one in the room wanted him to smell like anything other than Ivory soap and appropriate amounts of deodorant. Well, except for the yuletide jerk who was fulfilling some dish-best-served-cold against the nephew’s parents for something they’d done, something horrible on par with clubbing baby seals.

It’s possible that it was his own parents who bought it at his request, but there are times when a parent has to look around and think, “I know that’s what he really wants, but it’s not a good idea.” Trust me on this…that’s how I came to own the damn drum set in the first place.