Tag Archives: from the desk of coot

LOL and the art of financial planning

Our retirement funds are only down 25%! We beat the market! Yay! Warren, look out. I will be the next secretary of the treasury. Or the navy. I always thought that would be fun. We are taking stock of our positions watching “Baby Mama” on OnDemand tonight. Mr. H is likely headed to a new job one of these days, so WTF do I do with the workplace-dependent retirement accounts? Roll lint and moths into an IRA with same brokerage and purchase exact same shares as 401(k), lie down with a hot water bottle and wait 30 years? I think that will work nicely. You got a better idea?

Now, my father ruined worrying about global financial crises for me twenty years ago, so please excuse my flippancy. It was 1987, and we were sitting in a McDonald’s, not too long after the October crash, and he said “You know, you’re not going to be able to eat hamburgers soon.” As I gummed my microwaved 49 cent burger, he went on to rail about what luxury I enjoyed, and how all this would come to a screeching halt, leaving us shooting claim jumpers in the streets and trading gold teeth for bread. We could lose our house, we could, oh hell, I forget the rest of the list. Trading cigarettes figured in at some point. I couldn’t eat without feeling nauseated for months. Now DEEP SHIT appears to be is HERE, and I am thrilled that I don’t have to worry anymore.

Oh! Oh! We were supposed to worry about nuclear power too.

I bet he’s gleefully grating Krugerrands to pay for groceries with gold dust. And hey, if it really turns out to be that bad, I’m going to move in with him and let my kid wake him up at 6 a.m. every. single. day.

I write Andy Rooney’s best stuff

OMG! Target double-charged me for something, and I did not notice. This is what I get for being so super rich that I do not care what things cost. Er, this is what I get for shopping with a Tasmanian devil and blindly clawing at the “AMT OK” button. So I was all bitches, give me back my $40, and we played a round of “Well, where’s the item you are returning?” Not returning, there is nothing to return (how EXISTENTIAL). I am keeping the one thing I did want. It is at my house kthx. “Well, why didn’t you bring it in?” Why, indeed, when I am keeping it. So they were all “Oh we do not believe you. This is clearly an elaborate ruse to defraud us out of $39.99 so you can go buy crack.” At last the sullen millenial or whatever we call college students now allowed that the security guy was back from lunch and could review the tape of the transaction. That $39.99 went right back on my titanium card. You better believe it. YOU KIDS TODAY.

Then I got my new glasses prescription filled, and everyone in the world got 22% less attractive now that I can actually see. Oh no!

I also bought a turtleneck.

I had a surprisingly good experience with Verizon Wireless the other day. I called, someone answered, and changed the thing I wanted changed. How pleasant! And unlike the rest of Verizon. I didn’t even have to shout “HUMAN! HUMAN!” at the automated system.

I lost a sippy cup at airport security because it contained water instead of the allowed juice. Oh, the ethical dilemma! I “declared” my cup as suggested, but then when asked what was in it, I forgot to could not tell a lie and admitted it was water. I asked if they could dump the water for me, and they said they could not open containers because a container might contain something hazardous to a screener. Fair enough, but then how on earth can you enforce the juice rule if you never see what’s in the cup? If I said “This kerosene jug is juice for my ybab,” they would take me at my word? They gave me the option to take my bags, ybab, and the friendly sky cap sherpaing the carseat back through security to empty the cup myself, and I said “Oh no, you keep it! I insist. Look, it has a ladybug on it!” And then they dumped the potentially hazardous material in a trash can six inches away from the screener. Oh well, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and there are nothing but big thinkers at the Department of Homeland Security. Also: no one asked to see i.d. for my ybab. Note to evildoers: free pass if you are under 36 inches tall!

MarthaStewart.com ruined my dinner by not seamlessly porting over all my recipe bookmarks after their redesign. I tried making “This page no longer exists. You will be redirected to the home page in ten seconds,” and it totally sucked. Mr. H felt I used to maybe put in milk before I put in the oven, but neither of us could really remember. I’d complain about this, but they still provide no discernible way to reach a human. What really gets me is that I bet the Web staff sit around in meetings patting each other on the back about how they have a 100% decrease in Web site complaints. I am going to disconnect my phone and email addresses to achieve the same goal!

I am sure many other taxing things have recently happened to me, and I will be sure to return and recount them in detail as painful as the initial experience. Caring is sharing! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go invest in gold and trip a skateboarder.

The 7 habits of really useful engines

Someone in my household has an affinity for a certain telenovela about trains with ghastly faces. These trains are bossed around by a man wearing spats and a top hat no matter the time of day, and the trains are quite concerned with his approval. In the episode we watched the other day, a train named Henry insists he simply will not work in the rain. So Sir Topham Hatt bricks the motherf*cker up in the tunnel where he stopped, all Cask of Amontillado style. And the train is all “Whatever, it’s Britney, bitch,” but Sir Hatt really means it. He disrupts an entire railway line out of pure cold spite, and eventually Henry gets all rusty and infested with spiders. If only they taught such techniques in the business school of today.

With optional trunk liner, but since you are a pig, you will need it

Yesterday saw the Vomitola-Mr. H family inexplicably oafing into a decision, as is our custom. We went out to look at cars since our lease was up in a few weeks, and we came home with something without spiders living in the side mirrors. Our salesperson basically threw himself on the ground and grabbed our ankles and refused to let us leave, and we were swayed by not having to take our filthy old car to get detailed and a lease end inspection. A. Ybab picked all the raisins out of a cookie and pasted them all over the backseat just the day before.

We easily picked out a car, which went something like “This one has wheels. Ooh, grey? Hey, I like grey. The colorblind can enjoy it too.” Then the tedious negotiations started. My father fancies himself a car negotiator, and he will walk in and say “I will pay you no more than $10,000 for a car!” and they will say “OK, you can have this one with windows that don’t even open,” and he will say “Sold.” Or he will walk out in a huff and sulk for days. Living with the insane is delightfully unpredictable. I prefer the Socratic approach.

“Here’s our best offer,” says The Hair.

“Do you feel that I appear mentally challenged, or as some of the less couth among us might say, retarded?”

“Well, it’s a great car, you really like it. I want to put you in the car you love.”

“Actually, I like far cheaper cars too! Do you like Hyundais?”

“OK, what if I could do….THIS [underlines number with flourish]?”

“What if you could fly?”

“Well, how about….THIS?”

“Do you like your life?”

In the meantime, Mr. H sits off to the side and looks disapproving and says things like “I’d really like to sleep on this. We should go.” Then we finally arrived at a number ten squillion dollars lower than the original price and lower than what I was prepared to pay anyway. Of course “the other guy” had to come out and “remember” the special incentive I asked for twenty minutes earlier. We are starving and dehydrated at this point, and A. Ybab has befouled her unmentionables. “Fine, make it all go away,” we wailed.

Then we came home and obsessively used the internet to determine that we could have spent $4 less at a dealership in Tulsa. Blast! Do you like your life?

You can light a candle, or you can keep pissing in the dark

Historically, I am really good at pissing in the dark. When I was infested with child, I would stumble into the bathroom at 3AM each night with my eyes closed and still manage to find the toilet. I wasn’t even awake, I don’t think. But in a bold break with tradition, I just ripped up my right shift key and took the waffle bit out from under it, rather than learn to shift with my left pinky finger. I mean, that was going OK, but I am older and just not adaptable anymore. Take me out back and shoot me.

My dad said that bit about the candle when we were on the phone a few weeks ago, and that sentiment is of course fraught with hilarity given my genetic background of half-assed solutions. My first phrase was probably “jury rig.” If you ever say “jerry-rig” to me, I will cut you. It’s just not right. There was some great meaning to what mine papa was saying, but I chose to ignore it and have a “Family Guy”-style mental diversion picturing Peter Griffin decked out in a periwig like Elton John, singing about pissing up a rope on a candle in the wind.

Recently, Mr. H overheard the following exchange at work and was trying to impart how “Family Guy” it was.

“So this lady who’s on maternity leave brings her baby in to show it off, and all the women are all ‘Ahhhhhhh, baby, ahhhhhh!’ and then they leave, and these two biddies on the other side of wall from me are quiet for a minute. And then one says ‘He’s all boy.’ And the other one says ‘Oh, yeah.'”

And I said “And then the second one took a sip of coffee? And it there was a really awkward long silence as they both looked at each other?”

“Yes!” he said. “Exactly.”

I am so glad we have the medium of television so as to better understand each other.

If I drink that, I’ll just have to pee again

Casa Vomitola survived a visit from ybab’s grandparents. We sat around. We fell asleep mid-conversation. We stared into space and refused entertainment and liquids. We made arrangements very, very complicated. We mean well. We always mean well.

In other news, my accountant died. This is very sad, and this is not allowed! I require eternal dedication from my professional services providers. I have no idea where to send my receipts now. Maybe this is a sign that the lord doesn’t want me to file taxes anyway.

Also, my hairstylist has the nerve to be on vacation! I am thisclose to cutting my own bangs. I am quite good at it thanks to Allure Magazine, but she will still be mad if I do. Well, don’t go on vacation then! Await my whim, universe.

Who’s Counting: In the can

Point of clarification: I did not invent a new character. Lambchop is a real person, with a favorite color, day of the week underwear, and a snazzy hair-do. This is more than many of you can say! She has left us for New York, however. Watch the news.

Whoa, busy week. I had to rub rump steak all over the railings in the park by my house to draw the nesting yellow jackets over to meet the skateboarders. That went very well, I must say. Get offa my (public) lawn! I don’t want to be one of those people that lives life as a series of “If I could just… things would be better” moments. If I have to potentially kill annoying teenagers, by gum, I’m going to do it, not just whine about it. I have a plummeting property value to consider. Action, always.

No but seeeeriously. We live in a bee beard. There are wasp nests all over the outside of the house. The little buggers burrowed into one of the window frames, so I can hear them in the wall. A man came with some leftover Agent Orange, and now I don’t hear them. I also can’t breathe or move my left arm. If I could just move my left arm….

What color is your time machine?

I phoned my arents-pay to let them know that my petite imp is locomoting on her hands and knees. My male arent-pay said, “Have you noticed that most green cars are driven by black people?” I asked him how this color preference affected him personally. He feels that people are simply not observant enough of minor details. But then he couldn’t tell me what color car “the orientals” drive. Observant my ass!

Then we had a lengthy chat about stepping out of the Matrix. I asked him to please let me know if he figured it out, as long as it didn’t involve a mail away kit from the back of a photocopied newsletter. So he will leave my refrigerator door open as a sign from the fourth dimension, as there’s a chance he might not be able to re-enter the Matrix once he figures out how to exit. The Matrix is tougher than Lollapalooza.

In other news, I am soliciting ideas for time-consuming projects that can be completed in the comfort of one’s invisible-bug-infested split level home.

Let meee get this straight

I’ve really got nothing. Normally this does not stop me from typing and typing and typing with abandon, but there is a first time for everything!

I could tell you: we saw some dogs.

I could tell you: Morgellons is really what happens when a “subject” rejects the attempted infestation by black ops-developed bio warfare nano fibers, which would love to get in there and replace your DNA with their own. You have to watch out for the gold-tipped one because it contains a camera. I heard this. You don’t want to know. Oh, the coverup is vast. Don’t let Big Pharma know I told you, or the Illuminati will be on me like white on rice.

I could tell you: there are people in this world who have sent rockets into space, but these same people cannot enjoy foreign cuisines or resist buying quack medicine.

Slow and low

I just spent the weekend on my knees, and boy are my arms tired! Finish what needs to be finished, says Mercury, and I say well mayhap the floor was not scrubbed since the last Mercury retrogade yes OK. Haha, not what you thought. Not at all.

The light on the ice floe outside is blinding. SRSLY.

It is time for the collecting of thoughts and the airing of grievances, which can only mean I am about to test out my exorbitant new co-pay and go back to the shrink. I want goals! I want to leave myself Post-Its saying “no being a shit.” I want to tell other people “No being a victim.” And “Genealogy will save us all. Can I also interest you in something even more tedious, like scrapbooking?” I found out my last name was originally spelled with a lot more vowels and diacritical marks. Who’s critical? Not me.