Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Not Even Remotely Interested

After several days of below-freezing temperatures, we here in western Pennsylvania have gotten some lovely snow today. I can call it "lovely snow" because I had absolutely nowhere to go today, so I didn't have to venture out in it in my white 1989 Ford Escort, which surely would have spun me all over the road. Note To Self: Never go driving in the snow in a tiny white car because, if you spin out and crash, no one will ever find you in the snowbank. This is a good strategy.

I have not really heard from my parents since the deep freeze began last weekend. In my weaker moments, I picture them frozen solid in their house, having forgotten to have a furnace put in. I picture my mother, cold and solid as an ice cube, standing next to the coffee table with a Swiffer cloth in her hand (which is also frozen stiff but which still picks up dirt, amazingly enough), frozen in mid-dust. In my mind's eyes, my father is frozen while putting out the trash, since my mother insists he put out the trash every time a new trash molecule hits a trash can in any room of the house. You never know when company will come over. We can't have them thinking we generate trash at any point during the day.

I try to remember that they spent most of their lives in Pennsylvania, and that my father actually plowed snow for a living during this kind of weather before they retired in 1994. Still, it is easy to worry about them now that they are within shouting distance rather than living it up in sunny Las Vegas. Then again, Las Vegas got snow this past week too, so I guess they could have just as easily frozen to death out in the desert.

Now there's a happy thought for me to start the day with.

Today, while stuck at home, I did some freelance work, badgered the girls into doing their Saxon math, and plotted out THE PEN IS MIGHTIER in Power Structure (my writing software, which makes me feel important when I use it, but also a little silly). The funny thing about using Power Structure is that you can print out various plot points or character sketches as you type them up. Well, okay, that by itself isn't all that hilarious, but trust me, the next part is. I saved the file with an abbreviated version of the working title of the novel and, when I printed out the character sketch of the main character, it put the file name at the bottom of each page. However, because it ran together as one word, the file name became "PENISMIGHTIER." Yes, go ahead and read that again, a little more slowly this time. Yes, it's really the name of the file. No, I didn't really think of it in terms of what it looks like once you take the spaces out from between the words. I innocently and naively named it in a way I thought I would remember and associate with the name of the work in progress. Turns out I'll likely be remembering this title for entirely different reasons.

And now I'm rethinking the entire plot too.

Wayne is downstairs in Electronic Geek Heaven: sitting in his La-Z-Boy recliner, feet up, new laptop on his, well, lap, of course, remote control inches away from his right hand. He's watching something on either the History Channel or the Discovery Channel or possibly the Learning Channel. Frankly, I get them all confused now that they've become virtually interchangeable. They all play the same sorts of shows, really. On any given night, when I say the four stupidest words in the history of womankind ("Watch whatever you want"), I find myself sitting in front of a retrospective history of the paper clip, or perhaps a building show where a bunch of men from Alabama reconstruct motorcycles out of old Budweiser cans and toilet seats from outhouses in the county.

"We're behind schedule on Joe-Bob's commodocycle, and we'll have to take short cuts in order to get it done in time for the contest in three days. I weld the seat lid to the carburetor and hope for the best. Meanwhile, Billy has gone and run a nail gun up through his nose ... again ... and we're forced to lose another two hours taking him to the Urgi-Care in Buckland County to have his sideburns sewed back on straight."

I mean, is it any wonder I bought a word processor to use on the couch when this kind of stuff is staring me in the face? How many times do I want to watch Modern Marvels do a series on why a suspension bridge works without everyone falling off, or a one-hour special on the history of a submarine that crashed and killed everyone on board when one tiny part busted off, all because no one had watched the show on the history of the paper clip?

Those were rhetorical questions. Do not answer them. There are no correct answers.

We have very eclectic tastes when it comes to watching television. On any given week, we go from watching the Steelers on the weekend, to whatever new series HBO is playing on Sunday nights, to Survivor (a true favorite for both of us), to old movies for me and the "build something from aluminum foil and toothpicks" shows for Wayne. My tastes seem fairly normal, but I'm waiting for the day when Wayne starts taking notes during one of those foil-and-toothpick shows. If he starts making trips to the Home Depot and talking about remodeling the bathroom, I'm outta here.

And I'm taking the remote control with me.

Wait, I just remembered that we have ten spare universal remotes, all programmed to work with this TV in case the other nine all break in the same millisecond.

Curses. Foiled again.



Blogger Christie said...

hey you have a great site. check out mine sometime

11:54 PM  
Blogger Me said...

I checked out your blog, Christie, and, to be honest, I have absolutely no clue how you got here or why you didn't run screaming from the room once you saw the first multi-syllabic word. Thanks for the link, though.

12:15 AM  

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