A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: tips (Page 2 of 2)

In case of emergency…

I’m not ready to die.

True story.

So whenever possible, I like to avoid doing really risky or stupid things.

Most of the time.

This morning, however, I strayed from my usual play-it-safe-routine of coffee with Ann, Matt, and Al, and decided I’d live a little dangerously.

I was going to clean the top of my kitchen cabinets.

I know. Try to contain your jealousy.

Why is cabinet-top-cleaning dangerous? Because it’s greasy and dusty up there and when you are wearing only pa-jay-jays and slippers, you don’t have a lot of breast support or foot traction to nimbly maneuver from one counter top to the other.

More importantly, you’re probably wondering why I was going to tackle this project today of all days.

I mean, it’s the first day my kids all went back to school after winter break, PRAISE JEEEZUS. Even my middle-schooler couldn’t wait to get out of this house today. We were all a little stir crazy and I found myself holding my head in my hands yesterday and saying things to my husband like “Why didn’t we stop after one child?” and “I’m going to go upstairs and cry for a while, m’kay?”

But it’s January, which means it’s National Organization Month, in addition to National Stalking Awareness Month, National Dog Training Month, and National Bath Safety Month. Not making those up. It’s a mad mad world.

Anyway, my friend Lisa turned me onto a Decluttering Calendar that she’s going to follow. It gives specific bite-sized organizing tasks everyday for the whole year.

I thought I’d give it a try with her to see if maybe 2012 is the year I finally get my shit together.

“Declutter the top of your cabinets and dust” was actually the task for January 3rd. Yes, I’m a couple days behind. That’s okay. I’ll make it up later. (I hope.)

So there I was, in my slippers and flannel nightie, precariously perched like a dyslexic owl on the edge of my somewhat slick cooktop while holding a spray bottle, a rag, and a 22 quart copper pot that’s bigger than a prize-winning pumpkin… and it occurred to me, “If I fall, I could die.”

The only person home with me at the time was Bucket Head.

Honest to Pete.

Does this kid look like he’d be any good in a crisis?

In fact, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t even be able to find the phone, much less dial 911 on purpose.

And if by chance, after a bad fall, assuming my giant copper pot didn’t land on my head and crush it like a ripe melon, I was able to drag my broken body to the phone and dial for emergency help, did I really want a crew of hot young paramedics seeing me in my morning glory?

Nope. I did not.

I have my priorities, you know.

Sorry Gracie, my trusty feline sidekick, this task will have to wait until The Gatekeeper gets home. It will be a lot easier with a human partner anyway.

But while I was thinking such morbid thoughts, I decided it would be a good idea to make it easier for a stranger to help me in case of an emergency.

I had read a tip somewhere over the break that if you lock your smart phone with a passcode and there’s an accident, the rescue crew responding to your emergency won’t be able to access your phone’s address book and see who your “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) contact person is.

Oh snap.

That would be bad.

So I made this in Picasa, downloaded it to my iPhone, and saved it as my lock-screen.

You should totally do that too; with your own picture and emergency contact info, of course.

Alrighty kids, let’s be safe out there. And if you can’t be safe, at least put on some clean britches and a little lipstick.

Your friend,


© Copyright 2012, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

The Apple Genius Bar: BYOB (Bring Your Own Boobs)

Today’s Just the Tip Tuesday column is a variety of tips all related to the technical difficulties I’ve been experiencing lately.

1.) If you are a woman and need to go to the Apple Store Genius Bar, wear a low cut top and some lipstick. Go ahead and call me a sexist, but I tutored graduate level statistics at one of our nation’s top technology schools and I know a thing or two about a thing or two. Plain and simple, the field of technology is still dominated by men. In my personal experience, every single time I’ve been to the Apple Store in the past two years, I’ve been enthusiastically greeted at the door by a woman, but assisted with my technology troubles by a heterosexual male who definitely appreciated my extra effort and cleavage. Hey, like Penny from Dirty Dancing says, “Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn’t have given you maracas if He didn’t want you to shake ’em.”

2.) And speaking of those eager male Apple Store employees, it is not a bad idea to rub some VICKS VapoRub onto your upper lip before you go, like forensic pathologists do when dealing with decomposing bodies. The dude who helped me today must be a black belt in Karate, ‘cuz damn, his breath was KICKIN’!

3.) If you must take three children with you into the Apple Store, it’s always a good idea to lay down some rules before you enter the mall. “Hands and feet to yourselves. Library voices. No running. If you break anything, it’s coming out of your savings. And do not bother me while I’m talking to the nice man unless you are bleeding out and cannot wait for life support.” If that’s not your bag, my other favorite strategy is to employ bribery in the form of “If you make good choices, we’ll stop for ice cream.” Up to you.

4.) Just like when you get pulled over for a speeding ticket, crying at the Apple Store Genius Bar is a crapshoot. But I say, it never hurts to try. (Again, speaking to the ladies here.) Worse case scenario, you blow a snot bubble and repel he techie with whom you’re working or someone there calls for a psych consult. But 9 times out of 10, these are really sweet, sometimes stinky guys who don’t want to see you lose 14,000 photos and rupture an artery. Tears may improve the odds of them trying one more supergeeky trick up their sleeve to recover your data. Just make sure you have a pocketpack of tissues with you (always) and waterproof mascara.

5.) Today I was told that on average, today’s hard drives only last three years. Allow me to repeat that for emphasis: THREE. FRICKIN’. YEARS. Or according to Clint at the Apple Store today, “If yer computer is more than 3 years old, yer livin’ on borrowed time!” In the past 18 months, I’ve been to the Apple Genius Bar twice for two different laptops and the verdict was the same both times: “Failed Hard Drive.” Is it a racket? You tell me. Oh sure, them parts be spinning hecka fast, it’s only natch’ral that they get worn out PDQ. But still. It’s not right. The moral of the story? Back up your shit, people, because our computers are designed to fail. It is a vicious cycle called “planned obsolescence.” If this makes you as mad as it makes me, you might want to spend 21 minutes watching this brilliant YouTube video called “The Story of Stuff.” It’s very thought provoking! Consider yourself warned.

This time, I am semi-lucky. I do have a backup of my 14,000 photos on a portable hard drive. The same portable hard drive I bought the very day my other MacBook died and I lost two and a half years worth of Flip videos of little Bucket Head as a baby. That really sucked. But I learned my lesson. Better late than never. How about you? Are you livin’ on borrowed time? What are you and your boobs doing about it?

technologically down but not out,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


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