Monday, April 27, 2020

Is "Phone Chat" an App?

I hope you are all holding up, whatever that might look like to you in your world.  Hopefully, you’ll find something chuckle worthy here…

Mo had some excitement in her world early last week.
Mo: Tell dad he can check out the rabid skunk in the backyard.
Momela: Does the skunk have the rabbit or does the rabbit have the skunk?

Frita is working on his “Pandemic Pantry Challenge” (as I like to call it), to get through everything in the pantry, no matter the expiration date.  We can only hope he doesn’t end up in the ER at the end of all of this.  This week, we had two updates.  The first was finishing a hazelnut coffee mate creamer (PS – he doesn’t even like hazelnut coffee mate) which expired in 2010.  (reminiscent of the 2014 creamer story) and later in the week the second update was Mashed Potatoes from ’98!

He also found an old Monday email that he had printed out.  “It’s the one where you took the kids out, and Kyle fell asleep.  Do you know which one I’m talking about?” I asked for a little more info, but I did think it might be time that I let Morgan have coffee ice cream after 10PM.  And after he read it out loud to me, it was indeed that time!

I was chatting with Aunt Audrye, my mother’s eldest sister, who I just adore.  And we were chatting about politics and the pandemic and other cheery subjects. 

Aunt Audrye: These days people talk about everything - even their sex life! Isn’t anything sacred?
Me: I know! Let’s go back to talking about politics and religion!

She also told me if I know of any available old men, I should send them on over.  And when we were saying our good-bye’s she promised to call as soon as she had anything to report on the sex-life front!

Sharon: that is so freaky.
Me: What?
Sharon: I just said your name, but didn't get to finish the statement.
Me: What were you going to say after that?
Sharon: I was just thinking about how you said you weren’t cooking and how sad that is because it’s one of the great joys of being home right now.
Me: Sounds like a lot of dishes but I guess it’s nice that you were thinking about me. I’ll take all the pity I can get.

Speaking of phone calls… if anyone wanted to know what dating is like these days:
TPat:  We can do phone chat or whats app or…
Date: Is phone chat an app?

Claire introduced her children to the VHS tape this week.  Her daughter got upset because she was interrupted, and her little brother wanted to use the TV.
Daughter: Wait! I was watching that!
Claire: Girl, let me show you the beauty of the VHS. (And then showed her that the VHS tape would be in the exact same place if you took it and played it on a different device.)

Claire has also been struggling with her own infestations at her house during this pandemic, but hers required an exterminator.  This reminded me of the story of Mo putting insecticide in the house and then remembering to yell, “Don’t eat anything on the floor!” and immediately heard Kevin spitting something out.   
Claire: My kid will go under the table at a restaurant and have food in his mouth and I’m like, “We did not order that!”

Zach shared this funny video with us: 
And then Dawne responded with: I love fashion! 

Oh, big news! I got my license in the mail so the alcohol scare is over (and also it’s probably good to have valid ID for other reasons.)  Ryan and TPat sent me Harry Potter themed Minnie Mouse ears (they took the chance here that my inner brand manager would hate these, but nope, I love love love the mash up!) Becky brought over a unicorn mask for me and I spent 30 minutes in the rain talking to her (best part of that day!) I also cleared out a corner of my house filled with 3 years of Halo Legendary Crates, and went through some holiday cards, finding this gem from Kathi and Hendrick.  It was complete with actual pictures with little notes on the back of each one.  I read it all over again and it did indeed fill me with joy. Definitely a keeper. 

That actually leads us nicely into the "Flashback" portion of this weeks update.


Kevin asked me to be his sponsor for his Confirmation.  Love that kid!  And while I don’t remember much about the party, I did have these two random notes in my files:
Aiden: Kyle gave me some crackers
Mo: I’m so glad to hear that he shares!   

I really wish I could remember the context to this one…
What should I do with these towels of blood?
You should save that for Halloween

And when I got back from NY, the weekend had a fun road-trip to Walla Walla with Becky in store for me!  Becky is a huge fan of Stephen Amell from Arrow, and he co-owns a winery in Walla Walla – and she got VIP tickets for the opening party.  COUNT ME IN.  It was a super good time, and honestly, as you would expect at an open bar wine tasting event that happened two years ago, the details are fuzzy.  Luckily I took notes, unluckily, I don’t have a ton of back story to help you out…

Barista: Do you want a copy?
Tiffany: Yes. Definitely.
Barista hands Tiffany her receipt.
Tiffany: Oh, no receipt. I thought you asked if I wanted a cup, and I thought, "Yes. I definitely want one of those."

“I don’t know how you do things in Walla Walla but I like my coffee in a cup, weirdos.”

Best line ever: I’ve been roofied

You are wearing a lot of my makeup
Yeah, but I feel like I earned it.

And in 2019, as I was driving home, Stella Adorable, my Fiat, announced that there was something wrong with the engine and went into limp-home mode.  I was very close to the dealer, so I brought her safely there.  The same dude was there who tried to man-splain to me about how headlights work.  I told him the situation and he was like, welp, I can’t help you right now because it was 5:45 and they close at 6.  I was like, alright then, and went back to my car.  The other dude, got off the phone and ran out to me and said I could leave the car there and he gave me a loaner.  The following day, I found out there was about $4k dollars in work that needed to be done.  As you all know, I’m a little bit like Lorelai when it comes to cars, so I immediately looked to see if I could just get the same one.  Only now, they don’t make that car in a convertible with the same color scheme, and if you want the same colors, it cost extra for a special edition.  I gave it a solid 24 hours to scour cars, and decide for the first time since I started driving, I might be okay with 4 doors and for the first time since college, I would not be driving a convertible and got myself a Jeep Renegade.  TBH, I didn’t love it right away, but now that I have put custom white and blue leather seats, and put some Penn State license plate frames on her, she’s pretty cool.

I’ll wrap this up with my favorite haha’s from the week. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

I'm fine. You're fine. We're all fine.

Hi friend!

Every week, my team sends me a list of all the stuff that has happened over the past week and then I put it all together and pass it off as my own work.  The best part of this compilation is that they send hilarious pictures and memes (which I never comment on and then, of course, delete before putting my name on it.)  The emails came in on Monday instead of Friday this week, and they came without a single funny picture.  So I replied with this picture, saying SO PROFESSIONAL.  To which, I received the reply of “Are you flipping us off?” (I was obviously making a point with my  pointer finger.)

My coworker has been growing a mushroom log (who knew that was a thing!?), which he showed off the other day during a meeting.  Consequently, that gave the opening for another co-worker to comment, “You don’t have mushroom on that counter, Nick.” And “Boy, you are one fungi!”

There was a moment, very early in the week, that I thought, “Hey!  What if I’m totally wrong about this whole pandemic thing, and we’re actually allowed out on May 4th!?” So I look at my calendar to see what kind of day May 4th has in store, and I see a calendar invite that just says, “Cher.”  I check my phone, email, teams and find zero clues for when I agreed to see Cher.  So I ask Ryan or Becky if I was maybe going with them?  The answer was negative, but then Ryan tells says, “Oh, this is like that calendar invite I had that covered the length of three days in January and it just said in all caps, CAUTION.”  And he never found out what it was for.  Which now that I think about it, reminds me of Lewis Black. 

Thursday was day 44 of quarantine, and while I thought I was doing really well, that morning I hit a wall, and hit it hard.   I’m proud of how long it took to get here, but here I am anyway.  So, I found some pics from a year or so ago, when Dawne and I could go to the park in the morning.

I have not been sleeping well.  I read it’s been fairly common these days, so I know I’m not alone.  On Thursday, I actually fell asleep by 12:30 which was an accomplishment. But then Percy woke up around 4 because he couldn't breathe. So, I woke up looking for the allergy medicine that the vet gave me last year, and couldn't find it, but gave him a tiny bit of Benadryl and then he needed a snack, and then he promptly fell asleep and I did not.  So I called the vet to get a new prescription which counted as my one adult activity of the day, that was three days ago I still haven’t picked up the prescription.  Dog mom of the year!  Also, while I am not quite talking to my dog as one might think in this situation, I do find myself saying out loud to him and the walls, “I’m fine, you’re fine, we’re all fine.” 

I finally admitted to Dr. Rach that I WebMDed during quarantine.  The first week and a half I was really sick, and working from my couch, and generally sleeping a lot (which might have been closer to 2 and half weeks if we’re going to be honest, and I think we should be.)  And I always sit with my left leg folded under me, and I often sleep on my left side and after nearly three weeks my leg started to hurt so I did what any normal person would do whose best friend is a doctor, I checked WebMD to see if I had bed sores.  And to quote Pheobe the first time she sees Monica kissing Chandler, “my eyes! my eyes!”  I do not have bed sores.  I then I waiting 3 more weeks before I called Dr. Rach and asked her what really might be going on.   Speaking of needing to find a real doctor that I will actually go to…

I do have an amazing eye doctor (Doctor Healey of Healey Vision in Redmond Washington.)  I discovered her years ago at Lens Crafters when I scratched my cornea and she didn’t judge me once.  So, I hunted her down when she got her own practice.  Sure she makes fun of me a little, but I think that’s par for the course.  I am telling this story because she called me about making an appointment which I declined because I am currently a hermit, but she did order me new contacts.  The last time I was in, though, I had an eye exam which was, as humiliating as every other time.  I mean, they take your contacts away and then make you prove that you can’t see anything.  This never makes me feel warm and fuzzy.  Anyway, we finish up the eye exam and she gives me a different brand to try that is a little more moist because my eyes had been drying out on planes and she does one last test to see if my eyes are better with this lens or this lens.  I get super stressed and don’t want to admit that I actually can see better with the extra lens because my eyes haven’t gotten worse since high school.  But I take a deep breath and tell her, forlornly, that yes, indeed, that is better.  And oh yeah, it’s even better with the next lens that she adds and even better with the next.  With a sigh of dejection, I wait for the result and she said, “Well, Tiffany, you are at that age now… where your eye sight gets better so we’ll lower the prescription a bit.”  WHAT!?  News to me! I mean, Momela’s eyes got magically better where she didn’t need glasses at all, but I really did think that was magic and pixie dust.   So, I walked out with my new contacts, and into a movie theater to see Avenger’s Endgame.  And as the last scene unfolds, I start crying and my contact, being super moist, slipped off it’s target area.  I missed the whole emotional scene as I tried to hunt for it around my eyeball.  And back to Acuvue it is!

A couple of weeks ago, Erika told me that her eldest, Toby, wanted to play with his knives, and Erika said, “no, we cannot got to the ER right now. Let’s go for a bike ride.” Fast forward to Erika, sans helmet, falling inexplicably, and cutting her forehead up enough that she needed stitches.  She also didn’t have a phone on her, but luckily the first person on the scene was a friend who calmly stayed with her until Kenny could come and bring her to the ER.  This is when she did exactly what all of us would do, and laser eyed on every possible path for germs.  She ended up being fine, and after 14 days could breathe easy – and also can now ride with a helmet because that’s what I sent her for her birthday. 😊 Then, today, I was pleased to see that Erika was calling me. They have been watching some Mary Poppin’s and said, hey, “Let’s go fly a kite!”  It was a beautiful day, and kids were having fun until my sweet goddaughter, Daphne, ran full speed into a tree, vomiting three times, and they found themselves back at the ER.  Is it too much if I send them each one of those bubble balls for when they need to go out? (And thank goodness, Daphne seems to be just fine, but the 14 day clock has been reset.)

And in other knife aficionado news, back in September, my nephews were helping Stacey’s family clear out her dad’s place, when Patrick happened to see a pretty cool knife in the garage.  He hesitated a bit, but eventually asked if he could have the knife to give to his little brother Kyle for Christmas.  Maureen said that was fine, so Patrick took the knife home.  Then Christmas comes, and goes, and no knife is given.  Eventually, the question is asked, and Patrick explains that, yeah, about that, I lost it.  When asked where he lost saw it, he said the couch.  Sure enough, deep in couch crevices, was the missing gift.  Luckily, this story doesn’t end in a trip to the ER like the story Erika also told me about Toby getting a knife for Christmas. 

We got my mom this power chair that lifts up and down to make it a little easier when she got out the hospital in February.  On Tuesday, they were in the car on the way home from the doctor, and when they got to the pharmacy to get her prescription, they realize the power has gone out.  So, Frita tells Maureen that there is this battery pack for when the power goes out, and I bought a bunch of extra batteries so we don't have to worry.  And my sister was like, “MAN! SHE THINKS OF EVERYTHING!!” and I don’t know why, but that just cracks me up. 

Becky, kindly offered to pick up my uneaten Ritz Bitz and bring them to Hopelink.  I was thrilled because I have made lots of poor decisions when purchasing food and had lots of groceries I could part with.  And added bonus, I got to see Becky, a live human in person from across the parking lot.  She was telling me some fun developments in her marriage, specifically, that there were some things that previously could be ignored and now, perhaps, were going to need to be addressed.  Little things like where one squeezed the toothpaste tube (which I suggested this could be fixed with a second tube?  But maybe that’s too 1% lifestyle.)  Another, fun thing is that Becky prefers to place items intended for the trash, on the kitchen island, near the trash and then periodically, when she feels like walking around to the bin, she will put the trash waiting patiently into its proper home.  Jared, is not a fan of this.  Jared, on the other hand, loves folding up pieces of paper into teeny tiny, origami failures and leaves them strewn about.  This is not Becky’s favorite trait, so she decides one day to dramatically pick up each and every one of the pieces and, with a flourish, place them into her had and thrust the hand with the collection in front of Jared, saying, “I guess I’ll throw these in the trash, shall I?” An hour later, walking into the kitchen and clapping eyes on the island, Jared finally replies to Becky with, “I guess what you really meant was place them next to the trash for later, huh?” Which also reminded me of these two fun clips from Michael McIntyre and Sarah Millican.

Dr. Rach’s kids are a lil young for Harry Potter, but Anderson says, “Maybe when I’m 7 [I’ll read it], Mom.”  Despite this, and his very young age, every once in a while, this kid will say, “Guess what my favorite character is, Mom?” and when she asks who, he’ll snap back, “Nagini.” 

Friday night, I played a lil codenames with Sean’s fam.  I know I’ve said this a hundred times, but Morgan is pure delight. 

Morgan, before giving her team the clue, says very seriously: Now you really have to get into my mind and think like me, Okay? Okay.  Mystical, 5 words.
Jackie: Definitely, Dinosaur. 
Me: Dinosaurs are real!
Jackie: We’re thinking like Morgan now, So…. Dinosaur, Platypus, Centaur.
(the other two were Chest and Hollywood.)

Sean: Benedict for 4.
(I look at the board see revolution and mass and think, whoa, he does not know who is on his team.)
Jackie: Oh, that’s a type of egg so breakfast foods…. Maple, Chick and Link.

Sean: Okay, the clue is Northeast for 4.
Morgan: It has to be Shakespeare!  That’s north east on the map!

When the game was over, I asked: Morgan, I have to know, when you picture a map, do you see Europe in the upper right hand corner?
Morgan: I am going to stop you right there and tell you, I don’t picture a map. 

Which lead to me finding out… did you know that not everyone has an inner monologue?

As you all know, I lived on the compound for many years, and if there is ever an impending snow storm, or late night adventure, or just pure laziness on my part, I slip into old habits. Frankly, the only reason I didn’t hunker down at their house immediately is because I was super sick and didn’t want to get anyone else sick, and then I needed to wait two weeks to make sure I wasn’t contagious, and then I started (okay stayed) super weird and didn’t have any human contact because staying home is really all that I can control in these crazy times. So, I don’t want you to think I take this very very seriously. But as I said, I hit a wall and so I asked D&J if I could come over, maybe jump in vat of chlorine, and generally be with family. And seeing as I had intended to be there the whole time, and I’ve been a hermit, and also likely already had covid, I was allowed to come over (as you can tell this decision was not taken lightly). And yeah, it was basically the best day ever, and Dawne helped me get turn my muppet into a real life bobble head before we jumped in the pool. 

Lastly here are my giggle worthy finds of the week:

And lastly this gem from Shana Dueux

Monday, April 13, 2020

Modern Day Snow White

Did I mention that back on March 1st when I went to order what I needed to be stuck inside I decided that all I really needed was Ritz Bitz crackers, you know because they are like a grilled cheese sandwich without the cooking.  And, because getting groceries was tricky, I had to fill up multiple carts with what I needed and just hope a couple of them arrived at some point.  Eventually, they all arrived, so now I’m sitting with 9 boxes of Ritz Bitz without a single desire to eat a Ritz Bitz.

Here’s something new! I think I might be turning into a modern-day Snow White!
I had a whole loaf of bread get moldy, so I threw it out to my forest friends.  Mostly the crows, but I figured “my” bunny and squirrel might also like a bite to eat.  The following day, the whole loaf was gone.  Two days later, this gansta squirrel comes walking up on the top of the fence to where it meets my window.  I see him disappear from my view and then come back with whole slice of bread and just casually munch on it.  Considering it was my birthday, and I didn’t have whole lot of other company, it was nice to have breakfast buddy – but I do wonder where he stashed it.  Like, am I going to have my gutters cleaned in a couple of months and have to explain why the water isn’t going down the gutter because it’s been blocked by a loaf of honey wheat?

As some of you may know, Crows are super intelligent, and there have been studies where they not only remember faces, but they pass down the knowledge to their descendants of cool humans and not cool humans.  They also sometimes will bring gifts to cool humans.  I tell you this, because after feeding the crows dog food (Ryan told me that has the best nutrition for them), I noticed a couple of peanuts had been left on my fence.  Later, I noticed that a Squirrel and a type of blue jay (blue body, black head, looks like the shape of a cardinal), took the peanut in his mouth – but before flying a way, he flew to the ledge of the window to seemingly show me his gratitude before flying off.  I guess now I have some kind of wild commune going on!

Speaking of day drinking, haha – j/k!, I might be facing a real problem pretty soon because my license expired on my birthday, and my passport expires in June and Amazon needs valid ID to get booze.  And maybe a bigger problem is that of a drinking problem if I drink so much that I run out of Mike’s Hard Lemonade by June. 

My birthday was actually lovely. I called my parents and made them watch me open my presents.  Sean and Stacey got me a nespresso for my birthday, so I have been super wired ever since!  Maureen was so thoughtful got me some replacements for all of the stuff I had to throw out, including a fancy purse – I can’t wait to go somewhere that I need a purse!! And my co-workers all dropped off flowers, and balloons, and Mike’s and a CAKE (which I just ate with a fork for dinner because I can) throughout the day!  At one point, I ran out to get the cake, just excited to see someone in real life even if it was at a respectable distance.  I had done my hair and attempted to dress like Dolores Umbridge… so when I got outside it occurred to me I only really cared about the top half of my body.  Don’t worry, I had pants on. Hogwarts sweatpants, so I was Umbridge working from home.  I also had an epic Zoom Birthday party, lasting nearly 7 hours with about 50 guests stopping by, including the German Fam who was just waking up.  It was fun and lovely to see so many people that I haven’t see in so long!  Here are some of the bits I remember:

Jordan: Do you know what the most popular game played during the stay at home orders?  It’s really fun.  It’s called, “That’s not how you do that.” Most popular amongst couples around the globe! 

Eva: I pulled a classic Eva today.  I got my car washed, but forgot to put the windows up so the baby got covered in soap.  She was screaming while Freddie kept saying, “Please don’t die baby,  I love you.”  I took the bottle of water that Freddie had threw it in her face to clear the soap while I called poison control. 

There was a bit of a scandal when Sean told us that he put a down payment for VW Bus arriving in 2025, mostly because Dawne has been talking about getting one of these for years.  It’s nice to know that their next cars will be matching too.  We then proceeded to ask if the new electric model would have the same amenities as the one we had in the early 80’s.  Like, does it come with heat or do you need to provide your own propane heater that can be placed between the front seats?  And would there be seat belts or would you just bungie cord the baby seat to either side of the vehicle and hope for the best?

In between the time someone would say, “I gotta go! Bye!” and when they actually hung up, Shane would say, “Finally, I thought they would never leave!”

Had a Zoom Easter Egg decorating party on Saturday which was fun.
Me: This is great! I don’t have to share!
Maureen: So… nothing new then.

I don’t want this to add to your thoughts that I might be losing it a bit, but here is my montage of hiding and finding my own Easter basket and Easter eggs… I WAS going to try to get blind drunk and then start hiding, but (and This is the only time I’m going to say this) I’m too old to be risking a hangover, especially if I’m home alone when the drinking happens. 

Easter 2019
I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen that 70’s show.  If you have, you’ve heard Kelso exclaim this same phrase over and over: DAMN JACKIE!  This is relevant to the story, because last year Stacey use the same intonation to respond to her middle daughter – and so obviously, we couldn’t stop responding to her that way all day.   We then asked what would the catch phrase responses be for the other daughters and came up with the following.

Oh my God, Bailey.
Oh, Morgan. 

And the other story I remember from Easter time was Maureen’s house getting a big delivery of Girl Scout cookies and when she returned home at the end of the day they were all gone. 
Kyle: I only ate 2!
Maureen: BOXES!?
Stacey: I don’t know what I would have done in that situation.
Maureen: I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t know what to do in most of my situations.
Jackie: Mom would have grounded us for a month.

Easter Two 2018

Two of my nephews were alter servers at church and when the third (Kevin) went up to the priest to say “Hello, I’m their brother,” the priest said, “Really, You look more like a cousin.”

Also, we have a tradition of not using electronics, music etc from 12-3 on Good Friday and instead we do some chores.  So, Kevin spent that time cleaning all the windows.  On Saturday morning, Patrick said he was woken up by a bird flying into the window to which Kevin exclaimed, “YES!! I cleaned those windows!”

Pat was loading a bunch of firewood into the truck, when my dad and nephew Kyle were driving up the hill.
Frita: Your Dad is there.
Kyle: Let’s duck!

Last week, 2018, we were at the Anderson School (a school that has been converted into a hotel, restaurant, bar, theater and pool… ten min north of where I live), celebrating our birthday’s.  Becky arrived saying, “I told people that I was going out of town… I mean this is Bothell and I live in Redmond.”

Last week, 2019, on April 11th, I was at Penn State with my mom and Julie, winning.  But seriously, though.  Several months before I got a letter to my office of all places telling me that I had won an Outstanding Alumni award, so I immediately texted all my college friends to see if they got the same letter.  I thought maybe it was a scam, so I didn’t think about it, but they got a hold of my parents and before they could, they heard, “Don’t hang up! This isn’t a scam!”   So, they pay for me to come to Penn State and stay at the very fancy Nittany Lion Inn.  Julie, my mom and I were walking to the reception, and must have taking the wrong way because there were a lot of empty banquet halls to pass – which is when Julie said, “This must really be helping you believe that this isn’t a scam.”  Anyway, it totally was real, and I gave a speech right after someone who was getting a life time achievement award for public speaking, to a room full of experts in the field – No pressure!  I might not have been as polished or as impressive as my processor, but I think I got a couple more laughs. 

When we went to dinner, we were told that normally, it’s a bit of a chore to take alumni out – but when they had read about me, they had to do it on a first come, first basis because people were so excited to meet me.  I think this just means that my BA in BS got a work out when I wrote my bio!  After dinner, we grabbed drinks with someone in the alumni association and then Julie and I explored down town.  I am so glad she was with me because I barely remember anything.  The building over CVS where we had our apartment wasn’t even there anymore!  I really really wanted to get a monkey boy – but when we got there and watched them mixing 5 shots of I don’t know what into a pitcher and handed me a straw, I really just wanted the picture.  A young lady next to me was trying to finish hers, and I told her the most wise advice I could pass on which was, “Don’t.”  I remember drinking those with 10 straws while dancing the night away with my favorite strangers.  This experience was a lil different.  We got an Original Sin, too, and I didn’t recognize the adam’s apple without the crowds – well except for the entrance where I remember us having a hard time getting in one night and Sean yelling, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!?” We hit up D. P. Dough, where we found ourselves around our 20 year old people – yes, the patronage was 100% drunk girls hungry and trying to avoid being hung over the next day.  We tried walking through the campus and the only buildings I remember were Willow (Preacher), Spark and the Forum.  Pathetic.  Julie had been there longer and more recently which is my excuse for why she was able to give ME a tour.  While I was there, I found out that Jackie chose UC Berkeley over Penn State.  So, we hit up Berkey Creamery and bought ice cream for everyone but Jackie.  

And more photos and fav funny’s of the week!