editing my life

This week I feel like I’m flying on one wing.  Seven days of fruitless, never-ending circles flapping about on a single wing. 

Work has been overwhelmingly busy which … in the big scheme of things like The Sick Economy … is a good thing. 

I know, I know. 

STOPYERCOMPLAINING.

However.

I’ve also been crawling into bed much too late.  Okay, fine.  I know I’m being dramatic.  However, those that know me are well aware that I don’t function at peak capacity … or even marginally close … without my requisite 7 hours of sleep. 

Alright.  8 hours.  

Geesh.  I only lied because the truth seems so … well … lame.  And weak.  Awfully, embarrassingly weak.  The past several nights I’ve averaged about 5.327658 hours of sleep.  But hey.  Who’s counting?

Whining shall end about … NOW.

Anyhoo.

I’ve attempted to peck out a blog on no less than three separate occasions the past few days.  Ultimately, when my brain ceased spinning a cohesive yarn, I shoved all of my Jon & Kate Plus 8 ramblings into Ye Olde Draft Folder.  The blogs haven’t seen the light of day since.

Pitiful.

Or.  Maybe not so much for those who are more than a bit weary of that drama.  After re-reading those drafts, I’ve deduced that I have nothing even remotely profound to say on the Pennsylvania couple’s situation that hasn’t already been hashed and re-hashed since the Divorce Announcement episode that aired on Monday.

Nada. I got nada.  So I’ll spare you the torture.

Today, I’m taking the route of Mrs. Lazy Blogger.  I’m going to simply present y’all with yet another Good Reading Recommendation. 

Dum dum dum duuuuuum.

I know y’all will thank me some day. 

Y’all mark my words.

One of my favorite Life-As-it-Relates-to-God authors is Donald Miller. Me loves Donald Miller.  He completes me.

Alright.  Maybe that’s a bit extreme.  But.  I love his easy, ‘real and honest’ style of writing.  His simple … yet intricately complex … grasp on the topic of faith.  Whenever I finish one of his books I sigh contently.  And smile.  And think, ya’ll know we make it so much harder than it has to be.

We do.

As I anxiously await the September 22nd release … let the countdown reflect 3 months now… of Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Echo in the Bone’, I began trolling for information on my other favorite authors, hoping for something good I could get into my hands in less than 90 excruciatingly painful days.

And.

I see Donald Miller has another book soon-to-be-released.  Yes. In September.  I can see already September is going to be a pretty special month, folks. 

Ohmymymy … it is.

The praises of Donald Miller, author of ‘Searching for God Knows What’and ‘Blue Like Jazz’, should be shouted from the rooftops.

Hear ye, hear ye. 

So.  To get a little flavor of Donald Miller’s writing style, below I’ve snipped an excerpt from his upcoming book … 

‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: 
What I Learned While Editing My Life’
.

 

Not all the scenes in my life have been pleasant though, and I’m not sure what God means with the hard things.  I haven’t had a lot of hard things happen, not like you see on the news, and the hard memories I’ve had seem like random experiences too.

When I was nine, for instance, I ran away from home.  I ran as far as the field across the street where I hid in the tall grass.  My mother turned on the porch light and got in the car and drove to McDonalds and brought back a happy meal.  When she got out of the car, she held the bag high enough I could see it over the weeds.  I followed the bag down the walkway to the door and it shone under the porch light before it went into the house. I lasted another ten minutes.  I sat quietly at the table and ate the hamburger while my mother sat on the couch and watched television. Neither of us said anything. I don’t know why I remember that scene, but I did.  And I remember going to bed feeling like a failure, like a kid who wasn’t able to run away from home.

I dig Donald Miller. 

Because he talks to me.  And not at me.  Because he tells a story, winding it the fabric of faith so you can see it and feel it … and understand it.  And because his writings always make me take a deeper look into my own faith.

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summer reading

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. 

~James Bryce~

 

It’s June and I am officially one-for-three in my quest for Summer Reading Badges.  A few false literary starts, one very enjoyable book completely finished, and one-quarter of the way through Book Choice #3. 

Hooray for me.  

Based on my blog writings of late, I’ll betcha y’all thought
my only friend was Mr. Tel Evision, eh? 

C’mon.  Tell the truth.

Oh, friends. I’m so multi-faceted I even scare myself sometimes.

Ahem.

Anyhoo.

I started ‘Julia’s Chocolates’ (Cathy Lamb) and then tossed it.  Literally.  Tossed a brand-new book.  Shameful, I know.  Especially when there are starving readers all over the world.

However. 

In my defense, I knew I would never work up the want nor energy to finish such an disastrously inane book.  And that would be inane with a capital ‘I’.  ‘Julia’s Chocolates’ started out feeling like ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ which I loved.  Where it all started slipping into Bad Reading for me was when the main character shows up at her Aunt Lydia’s house. 

The house is pink. 

Okay.  For the sake of argument, let’s assume pink is a basic color we all understand.  Pink flowers. Pink piglets. Pepto Bismol is pink.  Apparently lacking those objects as reference, the author proceeds to describe the pink house as the same color as You Know What And I’m Not Going to Say It Here.  

I’m not prude.  Really.  I’m not.

But.  Let’s get real.  I can’t imagine ever describing a color as an intimate female body part.  The point of the verbiage eludes me.  It wasn’t even shocking so much as … well …unnecessary? 

Then.

When I tripped into the women’s meeting with Aunt Lydia, Owner of Pink House, and a lengthy diatribe of the ‘Breast Power Psychic Night’ she lost me.  Totally lost me.  I couldn’t decide if the plot was simply cheesey or just stupid.  I have officially deemed it both.

And rid myself of the clutter.

So.

Onto a happier note.

did finish ‘Blue Shoe’ (Anne Lamott) last week, and delved next into ‘The Bean Trees’ (Barbara Kingsolver).

Loved ‘Blue Shoe’.

Love love LOVE  ‘The Bean Trees’.

What follows is a brief overview ‘The Bean Trees’.  Because, quite frankly, I am rather worthless when it comes to writing a book synopsis from scratch.  Plus. Nothing I write would be as succinct as what the publisher could dream up anyway.

I’m just bein’ real.

The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver’s debut novel follows the gritty, outspoken Taylor Greer, who leaves her native Kentucky to head west. She becomes mother to an abandoned baby and, when her jalopy dies in Tucson, is forced to work in a tire garage and to room with a young, battered divorcee who also has a little girl. With sisterly counsel and personal honesty, the two face their painful lot (told in ponderous detail). The blue-collar setting, described vibrantly, often turns violent, with baby beatings, street brawls, and drug busts. Despite the hurt and rage, themes of love and nurturing emerge.

 

Kingsolver’s writing style in the ‘The Bean Trees’ vacillates chapter-to-chapter between the first-person voice of Taylor Greer and third person of Lou Ann; a truly captivating read.  The characters feel real and earthy, the story not one of merely building the plot to an ending point, but the savory telling of a story that takes the reader on a deeply involved journey of life.

My first introduction to the author Barbara Kingsolver was her novel, ‘The Poisonwood Bible’.  I bought it many (read: very many) years ago and never finished it.   I gave up simply because it was overly dark and depressing, layer upon layer of Life Mired in Calamity. 

Well.  It was on Oprah’s Book Club list.  If that doesn’t tell y’all something, I’d suggest you take a plow through some of her book club recommendations.  Every author emits engaging prose.  But.  Every Book a Tragedy De Jour.

DEPRESSING.

However.

As I’m so fond of ‘The Bean Trees’,  I just might give ‘The Poisonwood Bible’ another whirl.  I really might. I may need Happy Pills to get through it. But I’ll take one for the team.

when good tv goes bad

I do believe my TiVo has gone rogue.  Although in fairness, I also suspect that the Bad TV Program Schedule Updater Person needs to be held equally culpable in the matter.  Someone should get a good, old-fashioned punch in the chops.

WHYIOUGHTA

I set up my TiVo scheduling every few weeks as TiVo has the ability to ‘see’ future programming within a two-week time frame.  Unfortunately.  What TiVo is not smart enough to catch is when programming changes once it’s been scheduled to record.

Sometimes what you ultimately end up recording instead of what you really wanted to see is something you’ve already seen (read:  total bummer), something terribly ridiculous (read:  an infomercial featuring Montel Williams hawking a blending contraption), or something that if you watch it, will render you sleepless for the next week.

Which is, as one might imagine, A Very Bad Thing.

So. 

Rule #1, Page 3 of Television Viewing Handbook

“Thou shalt not watch programs that one did
not intend to record in the first place.”  

Ever.

Case in point.
I record quite a bit on the National Geographic channel.  Well.  That would actually be ‘Nat Gee-oh’ for all y’all cool, hip hop explorers.  I’m so not kidding.  That’s how they advertise it.   ‘Next on Nat Gee-oh …’ 

Break it down.  Brown-chicken-brown-cow.

Say it fast. You’ll get it.

Anyhoo.

Huang, Chinas Elephant Man, with his surgeon.

Partial photo of Huang, China's 'Elephant Man', with his surgeon.

I checked my TiVo playlist the other day expecting to find something on elephants or volcanos or puppies on Nat Gee-oh and instead unearth the most ghastly program I do believe I’ve ever seen.  Really.  Folks, there are some things that just should never see the light of day.

And lest you think I’m a terribly uncaring person, let me state for the record, I have the utmost sympathy for ‘China’s Elephant Man’. 

Seriously. I do

He seems like an awfully nice man in an unbearable situation.

However.

I am not exaggerating one itty-bitty iota when I tell you I cannot even post a photo of Huang from the program because it’s so unnerving.  Boggles the mind.  Go ahead.  Google it.  But be forewarned you should not be simultaneously partaking of your lunch when y’all go poking around for a peek.

That’s the only warning y’all are gonna get.

Don’t ask me why I actually watched portions of  ‘China’s Elephant Man’.  I have no good answer other than morbid curiousity.  Honestly?  It kept me awake for two nights after.

Then.

A&E got into a little program shuffling of their own and I ended up with two half-hour episodes of their new program ‘Hammer Time’.  Yes, MC Hammer of the ‘Can’t Touch This’ era.  Okay.  I liked MC Hammer in the day.  Not a fan per se, but hey … he’s kinda catchy.

A&E’s ‘Hammer Time’ is anything but catchy.  What a yawner.  A big fat piehole-gaping yawner.  Please take a moment to refer back to Rule #1 … never watch programs you didn’t intend to record. 

Stanley Burrell aka MC Hammer seems like an attentive family guy.  Four (five?) kids, a live-in teenage nephew, and longtime wife whose name has eluded me.  Mmm. Not so memorable. 

Sadly?  They’re all normal.  Not exactly a clever recipe for edge-of-your-seat reality television.

First episode we take a trip about Ye Olde House with Hammer and spend five minutes of valuable airtime searching for his lost cell phone.

Then.  We watch Hammer update Twitter via new-found cell phone. 

Momentary pause while I take a shot of whiskey to get through the next 10 minutes.
That being said, I will give the man credit.  He is one rippin’ typist. 
Can’t touch that.

Beyond that, I got nuttin’. 

Well.  Other than ten minutes of the family spring cleaning.

Mercymeohmy, willyalookatthat.  Hammer’s famous baggy pants, replete with Bedazzled jacket, are miraculously ‘discovered’ in the back of the closet during said cleaning.  Insert five more minutes of painfully uncomfortable viewing while Hammer and wife turn mushy over fond memories.

Oh.  And then in the whole mess there was some contrived studio dancing with Cousin Marvin, the sweaty Barry White clone.  And.  Well.  Gosh, if there was more to that initial episode, it has dribbled right back out of my head. 

Oh yes. 

Engaging.
All the errant program recording of late almost makes the current painfully awkward episodes of ‘Jon & Kate Plus 8’ seem Walton-ish charming. 
I said almost.  

let me ‘splain

this is how you find me

this is how you find me

My goodness.  Sometimes blogging is amusing to the inth degree.  Conversely, maybe I’m just overly tired this evening and getting a wee bit on the punchy side.  I logged into WordPress to do some tidying up of my blog and while mucking about, I checked the statistics for ‘Top Searches’.

I’m sorry.  But folks. 

When did I ever mention ‘wife hooks up with stud’ in my blogging?

I mean, REALLY.

I may have thought it.  But never once did I put it in writing.

NOT ONCE.

Well.  Unless, of course, Russell Crowe is leaking our love letters to the press.

Shameful, Russ … ya big stud, you.

Anyhoo. 

James Frain as Thomas Cromwell, The Tudors.  The ultimate poster child for Bad Handler of Said King.

James Frain as Thomas Cromwell, 'The Tudors'. The ultimate poster child for 'Bad Handler of Said King'.

Since the phrase ‘I am not well handled’ has risen repeatedly (read:  daily) as a top search phrase that leads visitors to my blog I feel a sense of obligation to further ‘splain it.

‘I am not well handled’ was a phrase spoken … or screamed in the face of … Thomas Cromwell by Henry VIII regarding the Anne of Cleves’ debacle.   It was also used …  historically intact … in an episode of Showtime’s ‘The Tudors’.  I’m going to take an educated guess and assume that’s why it keeps showing up in the searches.

Lots of people must be watching ‘The Tudors’. 

Alert the media.  Showtime should be overjoyed with the news.

So.  Long story short.

Henry was bethrothed to be married to Anne of Cleves whom he liked ‘not much’.  Make that … liked VERY, VERY NOT MUCH.  Thomas Cromwell, Henry’s Chief Minister, orchestrated the betrothal of Henry and Anne of Cleves, bringing her to court as Henry’s intended fourth wife, sight unseen. 

On a random side note, I often wonder if there was a point that Cromwell himself thought he might be a bit out over his skis on this one?

Umm. Yeah.

So.  No one is permitted to see Anne of Cleves until she arrives on English soil.  And then she wears a veil.  I don’t know.  Methinks that would be a ginormous red flag.

And as we all know from numerous historical accounts,  Henry was on the south side of apalled with what he saw … and apparently, so the story goes, smelled …  Anne.

Henry went on a tirade in which he uttered the infamous words, ‘I am not well handled!’ to his Chief Minister. 

Meaning. 

Cromwell, ya coconut, ya really screwed up this one.  I trusted you.  You were to bring me a royal beauty.  You brought me the ‘Flanders mare’.  Y’all are so gonna get fired.  Or executed. 

Simple translation:  Cromwell did not perform his duties to the king’s satisfaction.  Henry felt he was not ‘well handled’.

And yes.  Eventually, Cromwell was executed by the king. 

I’m surprised Cromwell’s last words to the king before he lost his melon were not,
‘I am not well handled!’

if we are the body

But if we are the body
Why aren’t His arms reaching?
Why aren’t His hands healing?
Why aren’t His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren’t His feet going?
Why is His love not showing
them there is a way?

~Casting Crowns~

What started as a casual conversation at the office today, blossomed into a story I feel mightily compelled to share. 

Well.

Because it’s just so dadgum cool. 

Several months ago youngest son found a $5 bill in the school hallway.  He took the cabbage to the school office and handed it over to the principal who praised him profusely for his deed.

Since that time, he has consistently found more ‘lost’ money.  Sometimes a penny or two on the sidewalk.  Sometimes a dime in the grocery aisle.  This week he found $1. 

A dollar bill. How often do you stumble over paper money? 

I mean, really.

He was ecstatic.  Because to a 9-year old, $1 can mean alot.  And since it was not where it could be returned to anyone, he got to keep it.  Youngest son firmly believes that because he did the good deed of turning in the $5 initially, that God is smiling on him saying, ‘Good job!  Here ya go!’

And.  Well.  I’m not going to dispute that.

So.

This morning in casual conversation about kids I told a co-worker the story.  Surprisingly, he thought it was awfully foolish for youngest son to have turned the $5 over to the principal in the first place. 

‘What’s the principal going to do with it?!  Pocket it, that’s what!’.

Harumph.

I told him that that may very well be the case, but it was more important that youngest son did the ‘right thing’ even if the recipient didn’t ultimately have the same good intentions.

Who knows.  I didn’t see the principal walking around with a Starbucks latte that afternoon paid for with ill-gotten gains.

But.  Sure.

Who knows.

Anyhoo.

The conversation took a left turn onto the topic of giving money to homeless panhandlers.  He was seriously appalled that anyone was so snookered as to give money to homeless people.  In fact, the conversation escalated to the point that he was getting rather pissed off about the ‘lazy, alcoholic, drug-taking homeless people who should just learn to help themselves and stop asking for handouts.’

GETAJOB.

Ironically this co-worker is a really good guy. 

He is. 

To say I was really surprised at how vehemently opposed he was to giving a buck or two to someone who was down on their luck is an understatement.  It was the usual, ‘If you give someone money they’re going to drink it away … blah blah blah.’

My position is that if you do something with the right intention, a good heart … should it matter to you what happens once that gift leaves your hands?  

I told him you help in the way that you can, the manner in which your conscience leads you too.  And, heck, if you don’t want to give people cash to fund their bad habits, you could always buy a few bucks worth of fast-food gift cards to hand out when approached.  I don’t recall them selling beer or weed at McDonald’s lately. 

He then asked me if I’ve ever been to a Detroit Tiger’s baseball game and witnessed the bevy of homeless people there begging for money after the game.  He asked me is it right to help only one if you can’t help them all? 

Good question.

In response, I asked him if he was walking by a pool where 10 people were drowning and he knew you couldn’t save them all … could he still walk by and let them all drown?  

Nope. 

You do what you can do.  You’d save the ones you could.

A second co-worker (bless his heart) stepped up and said, ‘Yeah.  And what if those 10 people jumped into the pool knowing they couldn’t swim.  Would you say, ‘Hey, sucks to be you.  Ya knew you couldn’t swim, ya knucklehead.  Poor decision on your part, now you’re in quite a pickle, aren’t you?!’

Nope. 

You wouldn’t stand there questioning why the person was drowning.  How perhaps his poor judgement bought him a trip to the bottom of the pool.

You’d help them.  You just would.

Sometimes people are homeless because of addictions.  Sometimes mental illness.  And, of course, sometimes because they are too lazy to get work and it’s easier to beg. Sometimes people are homeless because of very poor (ongoing) choices in life.

Absolutely.

However.

In our current economy I am often reminded of how very fragile life is for all of us every time I see an unemployed worker step in the front door of the office looking for a job and we have to tell them, ‘I’m sorry, but we even have some of our people on layoff right now.’  I think about it every time I watch the news or read the newspaper about the economy, about people losing their homes and living in their cars. 

In case y’all haven’t noticed … it’s a scary world we’re living in right now. 

We are all just one breath away from something that could turn our lives completely upside down. 

And in that vein, it would behoove us to remember how many times we turn away from those in need when we have something we can give.

So.

Co-worker left for an appointment shortly after our heated discussion.  An hour later, I get an email from his Blackberry.

Honestly?  It made me teary-eyed when I read it.
      

I give up.  All of that conversation this morning must have been for a reason.  Just getting off 94 at Rawsonville, there was a homeless man (and there is not normally one there) standing in the driving rain, with a “homeless please help” sign.

 Gave him a couple bucks. Couldn’t drive past.

 

Told you.  Way cool, eh?

outwit, outlast, outplay

As a family, we have a long-standing tradition of watching CBS’s ‘Survivor’ together.  Because … well maybe we just don’t have anything better to do on Thursday nights. 

Please don’t feel sorry for us.  We feel pitiful enough.

So.

Some seasons of Survivor are better than others.  And sometimes, some seasons of Survivor … 

Wait.  Just for grins, say that 10 times fast.

EDITOR?  WHEREISMYEDITOR?!

Oh.  That would me be.

Anyhoo.

Sometimes we don’t even watch the Survivor finale show because the last two or three blockheads that made it through the 40-day ordeal don’t deserve the million dollar prize.  We are passive protesters.  I’m quite certain that Mark Burnett is feeling our viewing absence in a very painful way.

Although.

Some seasons are really engaging.  And every season we sit in the comfort of our living room, wiping pizza crumbs off our faces, and ruminate on how we’d play the game.  What would be my shtick? 

After 9 seasons, I’ve determined I would be labeled as The Gullible One Who Talks Too Much and would probably get voted off … ohgosh … maybe in the span of the first three tribal councils.  And that would probably be stretching it.  My biggest fear would be getting voted off first.

Ouch.

Think of the stigma.  People you don’t even know … people you’ve just met 24 hours prior … develop such an aversion to you in that short amount of time that they elect to send you home as the worst of 15 other people who they don’t know any better than they know you.

AWKWARD.

And in the reunion shows, who ever remembers the First Person Voted Off?  Hmm. I suppose that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

After 9 seasons, I’ve come to the realization that I could never apply, much less accept an invitation, to be a contestant on Survivor.   As much as I love the show, it’s just not a good fit.  Truly.

My Top 5 Reasons …

Reason #5
I hate to sweat.  Loathe, abhor, detest perspiration.  I hate the feeling of being sweaty, coupled with being dirty.  Because y’all know in the 9 seasons they’ve aired Survivor, I haven’t seen a single episode with an air conditioner in the shelter, nor anyone get too cozy with a bar of anything even remotely resembling soap.  

Further. 

I’m pretty dadgum sure it’s offensive to your own snoot to be hanging about with an agglomeration of other people who are in the same unhygienic predicament. 

It’s rather amusing to watch the episodes where they bring the contestants’ family members in for a night at the camp.  You can just see the change in demeanor as the family member gets closer to their over-ripe loved one.

First comes the blubbering and tears, then outstretched arms as they stumble across the savannah.

‘Girl, I have so missed you … you are lookin’ … ‘ 

Ten feet away, arms go rigid. Smile freezes into a grimace.  One sniff. 

If they’re brave, two.

‘Yeah.  Umm.  How’s it going?’ 

Hand shake.  Cameras pan away as family member covertly wipes contaminated hand off in disgust.

I swear.  It happens every season.

Reason #4
I get very cranky if I don’t sleep well.  REALLY CRANKY.  No blankets.  No pillows. Wild animals lurking in the dark.  Bugs and slugs.  Laying on a painfully-hard bamboo platform with other stinky, unwashed people I know significantly less than I know my Tim Horton’s drive-thru lady. 

I just shuddered at the thought.

Ewww.  

And. 

This circumstance would be greatly compounded by the fact I wear ear plugs to get to sleep.  Y’all have to know know that on Survivor if you wear ear plugs … all your ‘friends’ are gonna be talking about you behind your back.  Heck.  They talk about you when you’re awake and fully alert.  It’s be a pow-wow of epic proportions if you would accommodate them by willfully blocking your own auditory senses.  Nightly.

Maybe that could be my shtick? I could be The Accommodating One.  Hmm.  Worth a deeper ponder I suppose.

Reason #3
I’d get too awfully emotional if people promised me something … and then back stabbed me.  Just bein’ real.  I would make alliances too quickly.  I’d buy into what I was told every time (read:  sucker).  At Tribal Council I’d be the first one to say, ‘BUT YOU TOLD ME … FILLINTHEBLANK!?’.  And then they would laugh.  They’d stop laughing of course, when I took the flint and set their hair on fire. 

It’s all fun and games until someone loses their fur. 

Reason #2
I’m vastly uncoordinated.

Folks, I simply cannot stress this enough. 

When I was of the pre-kindergarten age, I broke my pinky finger at the grocery store by pointing with the small digit through the crack of the freezer door.  Said door shut … with my pinky in the hinge.  What I was doing pointing with my pinky finger totally escapes me.  Perhaps I thought I was a wee British child rehearsing for the afternoon tea party. 

Perhaps I was just stupid. 

Evidence it all started when I was very young.

Anyway.

Several years later, I proceeded to break my ankle while running at the art museum. You know.  All that clutter they keep about and the generally unsafe conditions of an art museum.  Terribly hazardous.
 
Then we won’t even go into the multitude of times I’ve driven mini-bikes, three-wheelers … blah blah blah … into the side of barns, water towers, concrete steps.  Stationery things that don’t necessarily have the ability to jump in front of you.

Uncoordinated.

While all the Survivor challenges do not necessarily demand coordination … puzzles, for instance. Puzzles I could do.  They don’t do enough puzzles on Survivor. 

They so don’t.

But flashes of how it would all go down at the challenges when one tribe is lopsided and they are asked to ‘sit one member out’ makes me physically quiver.

‘Jeff, we’ll sit Lisa out.’   

Shocker.

Jeff Probst would flash his million-dollar smile and kindly remind the Ornery Tribe People they can’t sit out the same person in back-to-back challenges, or conversely, every challenge.  My Ornery Tribe People would look at each other with a knowing eye and I’d be the next Evictee  De Jour.

Reason #1
And the number one reason I won’t appear on Survivor …

Y’all look the worst you can possibly look in your life.  No make-up.  Beastly hair.  Y’all are sleep deprived, starving, terribly rancid, and emotionally high-strung (read:  full-gallop hysterical) because ya’ll know everyone is talking about you and being all mean-like. 

And they film it. 

Then.

Broadcast it weekly in front of millions of people.

Oh sure.  Sign me up for that safari.

ding

Methinks my van needs help. 

My check engine light has been on and off periodically since January.  Curiously, it didn’t turn itself on until the metal flap in the channel where I fill my gas tank came up missing.  I did the ‘Key Dance’ that I read about online and came up with an error diagnostic code in my odometer space. 

Did y’all know you could do that?  

Mercy me. I sure as heck didn’t. 

And.  It must be some sort of a Super Classified Secret because it’s no where to be found in the helpful (cough) Chrysler owner’s manual. 

Anyway.

Called the dealership with the code that, according to several websites, indicates it’s some sort of ’emissions sensor issue’.  The service manager asked me if the check engine light was flashing.  Negatory.  He asked if the van was running ‘rough’.  Runs just fine, thankyouverramuch.

He then asked me if the light stayed on all the time.  Umm.  Nope, it’ll go off sometimes when I fill up the tank.  And sometimes it’ll stay off for long periods of time (read:  several weeks). 

Furthermore.

Sometimes what trips it to turn on is when I hit a bump in the road.

It’s a very technical problem, you see.

Curiously the service manager told me I could (one) either bring the van in for them to check it out or (two) simply wait until it starts flashing which would indicate something serious. 

I’m so not kidding. 

Let me get this straight.  You’re actually telling me it’s okay to drive with my check engine light on? You are the dealership.  You are a trained technician.

Okay.  I could roll with that.

When the check engine light starts flashing, I’ll give you a jingle. 

PS:  Yes, I do know the other light means I need gas. 
That was in the owner’s manual.