Monday, November 28, 2011

Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign: Is It Just Me, Or Is Advertising Hilarious Anymore?

On Sunday we had a mission:  work pants for Rick.  Anyone who thinks that women are picky about pants needs to go shopping with my husband for his Work Jeans.  We went to several stores and he tried on approximately eleventy hundred pairs of jeans in about thirty-two different cuts and sizes and labels, all of which had problems.  I meekly pointed out a few other types, but let me assure you from the charred and smoking stump which used to have my head attached to it that they are not the kind of pants/jeans that he wants to just wear for work!!!  Okay?

As you can imagine from the above, I realized that I some time for myself and wander around a bit to look at...other things in the vicinity.  I spotted this sign in the men's department and got a bit confused.  See what you think: 
Maybe it's just the Mom In Me, but when I see the words Lightweight Training Pants, I think "teaching toddlers how to use the potty." This is further reinforced by the phrase below: "Duo Dry Technology." What are diapers doing in the men's department!?  ("Champion" ones, or no.)  Then I looked at the rack under the sign.

Nope.  Training Pants referred to these--regular old sweatpants.  You know...come to think of it, I never did think to look inside of them to see if they had a little spot for some Depends.

After our ordeal had ended (without pants, it must be noted), Rick rewarded my forebearance with a stop for ice cream.  Nearby was this strange

Why, here you can buy your Hoover and your anaphylaxis! Or, do you open the door and immediately get sucked in to a giant ball of pollen and...oh, I don't know...peanuts?  This store--oh, excuse me, WORLD--suffers from an identity crisis of vast proportions, for if you can see the small sign in the lower left, it helpfully offers "Sewing Machine Repairs & Sales" as well.  (And please, do not ask me what that horrifying thing is on top of the place.  I didn't even notice it until I looked at the photos at home.)

You know, if I had not felt mollified by a little peanut butter, chocolate, and vanilla treat, I might have been really upset that VACUUM & ALLERGY WORLD was closed.  Getting sucked into a vortex after hours of fruitless ManShopping would have capped off my week pretty well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A House Is Made Of Walls And Beams But A Home Is Built With Love And Dreams Screams: Why I Might Be Pureeing Thanksgiving This Year

Thanksgiving 2011.  Above the snowy tablecloth, heads are bowed in gratitude.  One by one, each person speaks a blessing--something for which he or she is thankful this holiday.  It is Nance's turn next.  She lifts her head; her eyes become misty and her lip trembles slightly.  Her hand reaches for a piece of cutlery.  "I...I...I am grateful that my house has not made me kill myself.  Yet."

Why is it that Things go wrong and fall apart in bunches?  Consider:

Monday afternoon, the refrigerator repairman is in my kitchen on his cellphone and my guts are in a knot.  Sunday night, after over two hours of buzzing in two-minute intervals, my side-by-side gave up. So, Rick and I loaded up all our chilly comestibles into laundry baskets and trucked everything to the tiny basement fridge and crammed it in. When I brought home the turkey, I had to use brute force to get it in there.  Mr. Repairman has now made two trips to his truck, each time carrying a wire-sprouting thingamajig.  More on that later.

Earlier this month, my garage door opener...didn't.  I needed to go someplace, pushed our inside button and...nothing. So, I did what everyone would do in this situation.  I pushed it eleventy million times really, really hard and screamed the Eff Word.  Hard to believe, but this did not work.  "Oh, did you simply take your key and go in via the service door?" you may be asking calmly and rationally.  And I would merely answer you with my teeth gritted in kind, "Oh, would that be the service door blocked by Sam's loveseat, some sheet metal, a fishing rod, a bag of fertilizer, and a basket painted with cow spots?  Certainly."  And then, because I am too short and too weak to first reach the lever and then try to pull it hard enough to open the non-functioning door after climbing over all that crap, I found my way to my car and used the button inside of it.  IN THE PITCH-DARK.  BECAUSE...

The electricity in the garage is inexplicably not working either, so there were no lights working inside when the service door blew shut.  That would explain why the pump on the pond also stopped aerating the water, resulting in a fishkill.  Goodbye, Johnny Depp, who we raised from an egg, and Garbo. I will miss you both. Sigh.

Monday, I was also waiting for the chimney sweep. Our fireplace, instead of making our house a toasty, inviting space worthy of a Christmas card, instead renders it a horrific scene worthy of a fire safety film. It belches smoke into the living room as if hoping to turn us all into hams and bacon. At 9:30 he appeared and, for some reason, simply stood on the porch. Period. Then I realized:  he had been ringing the doorbell for a while. The doorbell that had, until today apparently, worked just fine. 

What is happening?  In the past six weeks alone, my computer has refused to acknowledge even a casual relationship with my printer, my car battery completely died, the dual zone wine refrigerator capriciously becomes single zone, and I'm not sure, but I think my crockpot is plotting against me for Christmas Eve.

So, back to The Refrigerator Issue.  But you already know that he didn't have the part on his truck--they never, ever, ever do. And even when The Part comes Tuesday, there's no guarantee that it will fix the problem--something about a relay and a locked-up compressor--but, as Repairman Tim said, it's worth a shot, but, hey! Eight years is what you can expect to get out of refrigerators these days anyway, so it's about right. WHAT?! I wanted to beat someone up! This fridge is a wuss, an eleven hundred dollar, stainless steel, ice and water in the door WUSS.  Its teeny little almond-colored predecessor in the basement is twice its age, half its price, no-frills, and still going strong. WHAT A LOT OF FUCKING BULLSHIT.

But what I said was, "Thank you so much for fitting me in today and tomorrow. I really, really appreciate it.  See you tomorrow."  And then Rick and I went to the appliance store last night to pick out a possible replacement and get the final slot on the delivery list for Tuesday.  Because the way things have been going, we don't want to take any chances.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Art Of Being Nance: We Might Need To Put A Call (Or A Text Message?) Out To Jesus

I find myself singularly uninspired and hugely unmotivated lately.  This leads to massive amounts of Leisuretime Guilt.  It is difficult to reconcile myself with this New Lifestyle.

But I press on.

Mindful as I am with my Tragic Neglect of this space, I will flood it now with a variety of Thingies for your perusal.  Such as:

(-)Yesterday while out on errands, I saw this sign on a church:  NEED A MAKEOVER?  CALL JESUS!  I don't think I'm being deliberately obtuse when I say that I really don't get this exhortation.  Yes, I do infer that it means a spiritual makeover, probably, but why "call" Jesus?  Do I just holler?  Can I punch in 1-800-JESUS on my cellie? Or is there a Latino Clinique representative who rented the sign, maybe? "Oh, Jesus, I don't know. I'm just tired of the same old look. Can we sort of freshen me up a little with a more peachy lip and maybe a moss green eyeliner?"

(-)I am on Day 3 of a Monumentally Huge Headache Of Titanic Proportions.  No idea why.  So...Rick decides to use the leaf blower for eleventy hours.  Clearly, this is Purgatory.  Tomorrow, if my headache is gone, I will be reevaluating my life and considering entering a convent to atone for my (obviously) considerable sins, unless it is too late, in which case I'll say hello to a few folks for you.

(-)What has happened to me?  Some of the following are true! 
1.  I voted for a republican in the last local election.
2.  I own an iPhone.
3.  I have a secret Twitter account.
4.  Ditto Facebook.
5.  I own leggings and wear them in public.
6.  I send text messages.
7.  I ordered beer in a restaurant.
Which of these are you willing to believe of me and shatter all of your Nance Ideals?  Oh, the HORROR, I know!  But I have a good explanation, and you shall have it, for each and every one that is A Fact.

And just so that you can rest easily...

(-)I went on a private tour of the Cleveland Museum of Art this week, with a lovely cocktail party immediately following.  My financial planner and sometime boss (for whom I do some freelance writing) invited Rick and me.  It made me a little ashamed that I had not been there in so long, but renewed my pride in our wonderful museum and its collections. I immediately resolved to drive in one day soon and spend several hours wandering and enjoying the paintings and furniture.  I am not much on sculpture or armor or sarcophagi although there are plenty of those there.  I am also anxious to again prove that I can, indeed, view art and not embarrass myself by crying at it, like I did at the Vermeers in Washington, D.C.

I think I told you about that, didn't I?  Sigh.  (But...his brush hairs were right there and everything!)

This headache...what a bitch.  Send me your drugs. STAT.

Monday, November 07, 2011

I Have Decided To Use My Power For Good (But Just This Once)

As you may recall, last year I was pleased to bring you news of Joan's Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer and its annual benefit.  This worthy cause was founded to honor the life of Joan Scarangello, a writer at NBC News, who fell victim to lung cancer in 2001 despite never having smoked in her 47 years.  In 2010 Brian Williams donated an auction lot of six autographed ties--the reason I got involved--and they ended up selling for about $5000.

(That's a lot of money for ties, especially for the Hermes with the penguins on it. And to think I described it as a faux paisley print--11 February 2010...sigh. Pre-HD, though.)

But it's nowhere near what is needed to combat the Number 1 Killer Cancer in the United States.  This scourge is the world's deadliest cancer; an estimated 157,000 Americans are estimated to die from lung cancer this year - more than colon, breast, and pancreatic cancers combined.

More than 220,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, but only 16% of lung cancer is being diagnosed at its earliest and most curable stage.  Like Joan, sadly, many of its victims are misdiagnosed and the cancer is too far advanced to effect a cure. 

That's why aggressive research and awareness are so desperately necessary. 

To that end, Joan's Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer announces its Strolling Supper with Blues and News, hosted by Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw.  Another silent auction will be held and, while there will be no ties, the slate of offerings is impressive.  Along with a set visit and seat in the Director's chair at The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, it includes:

*Hanging out on-set at The Big Bang Theory, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report
*Autographed memorabilia from Lady Gaga and Santonio Holmes
*Vacations at Costa Rica, Cancun, and Cape Cod
*Vespa scooter in your choice of color
*Designer wares by Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Betsey Johnson
*A Longer Shelf Life:  Your name as a character in a future Sue Grafton novel
               AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

This year, there is also online bidding--it begins November 9th.  Click here to go and see all the items and reserve prices.  That way, you don't have to go to New York; you can just sit at home in your tasteful jammies, pour a glass of Chardonnay, and use your mouse and your credit card to get some early You-Know-What shopping done.  (You didn't hear That Word from me. Not here, not now.)  And then you can bask in the toasty glow of Altruism.  Helped along by the Chard, but whatever.
The Dept. is honored and proud to use its powers on the Interwebs for the Greater Good, even in this small, small way.  For even more information, and a chance for a little bit more of BriWi--you'll recognize the tie, an old favourite of his--you can watch this short viddy:

Thank you.  And, for your handy-dandy convenience, use the clicky graphic at the top of my sidebar anytime to jaunt directly to the Joan's Legacy auction site.  With your help, Joan's Legacy can be a cure.
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