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Head Butting Without the Fun

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”

- Emo Phillips

Today’s big event was the rehearsal dinner.

Being…

1. A man.
2. A husband to a sister of the bride
3. Pretty much told what to do and when…

… I was rather low on the importance and responsibility pole and as such, didn’t really rate to be at the actual rehearsal. So Carrie ran off to the rehearsal and I was to take the kids later on to the BBQ that served as the rehearsal dinner.

All this really meant is another couple of hours gawking at the Montana countryside.

Paul The Fiancé, grew up here in the middle of the Montana outback and his father, a cowboy if you have ever seen one, insisted on BBQing bison burgers.

Yes, they were having buffalo burgers. I was eating buffalo.

First goat in Saudi Arabia and now this.

Is there any other exotic animal anyone wants me to eat? I’m up for unicorn if I have any takers.

I won’t do Spamalope though. That’s just gross.

We got there and I met a whole bunch of people I didn’t know and whose name I would forget almost immediately. I had forgotten that I was wearing a jacket that had “MARINES” sprawled on the back and I guess the word had gotten around that Carrie’s husband was a newly-retired Marine.

So I was “The Marine” as everyone seemed to know me as.

Hey, Marine, have you tried the mermaid links?

I got my bison burger and had my fill of buffalo for the day decade before settling down over by the campfire where the smoke made a direct bee-line for my eyeballs. Follows beauty, my ass.

We were all sitting around not doing much and it looked like it was winding down to a stare-fest until someone pulled out a bucket of boche balls. (I don’t know how to spell hat and am too lazy to look it up so live with it.)

Within a few minutes, the family on the bride’s side (my wife’s family), was doing what they did best: turning a simple game into a loud, obnoxious cross between Boche Ball in the Thunderdome and Combat Rugby.

I think Paul’s family wondered what they were getting into.

We had fun but I think we might have actually raised the dead. Decomposed heads popping out of the ground yelling “HEY, CAN YOU KEEP IT DOWN A LITTLE? CRIMINY!”

We didn’t.

After we yelled ourselves hoarse, we bid Paul’s family farewell and returned to the cabin. I was looking forward to just getting things in order, maybe get a little reading in, and lay in my bed listening to feet and chair legs until the wee hours of the morning.

Sleep?

Yeah, right.

I was downstairs and then needed my Kindle which I had left upstairs. As I trotted out of my downstairs bedroom heading for the stairs, this is what was happening in my head…

…need my Kindle….I should turn down my iPhone that I left blaring in the bedroom… I will be right back down…I might get distracted…. I don’t want to be accused of making a lot of noise since I’m in a general piss about everyone else making noise… OK, yeah, I should turn around and take care …

BAM!!!!!!

I was halfway up the stairs and when I turned around, I smashed my head HARD against the corner portion of the house that was hanging down in the stairwell. Normally, my head would easily clear this but if I trotted and unluckily was on the upswing while going under that corner…

BAM!!!

The sheetrocked corner dug into my scalp about 4 inches long on the right top portion of my skull.

And stopped me dead.

I HEARD the collision inside and outside of my head. I nailed it really hard and the pain almost stole my consciousness.

My hand shot up to my head to press down what can only be described as a rising ridge like you see in the cartoons when a big bump rises. I could feel it rise under my pressing fingers. Luckily, I did not break skin and was not bleeding, amazingly.

Along with that reaction was my various explorations of the word “FUCK.”

I think I covered most of the major variations and made up a few new ones I was quite proud of.

I went back to my sound chamber and sat there until I got my wits about me, making sure I was not bleeding. Once my watering eyes were dry enough, I went upstairs and hoped to God no one would engage me in any conversation.

I spent the rest of the night like I knew I would: listening to deafening noise above me until the middle of the night but I also had the extra bonus of a bumpin’ headache to rival the gods.

I’ve had worse days.

But I’ve had better.

Free Advice for Today: “When you smash your head hard, make sure there are no little ones to listen to the aftermath.”

- Jason Grose

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Shhhhh!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.”

- Wilson Mizner

As you have read, last night, or should I say, “This morning,” I was treated to a soundsplosion until 1:30 AM. The owls were hooting.

This morning, the eagles were up.

So here is what I was facing. Adults were up right above my head until the wee hours while the kids slept, getting ready for their early morning rambunctiousness. Then the adults got to sleep in while the rested kiddies decided to pick up where the parents left off a few hours earlier in the kitchen.

The result, a very unhappy Jason.

I desperately grasped on to the possibility of making up some sleep with a nap during the day but when that opportunity came, the adults and kids were not tag-teaming like they did last night and this morning.

Oh no, the adults were upstairs in the kitchen, making my room sound remarkably like it was caving in while the kids were just outside my door yelling at the top of their lungs and playing video games.

And yet it was still a huge mystery when I didn’t want to go to the lake today.

First of all, it was cold and looked like it was going to rain.

Second, I was sleep deprived and more than a little pissed off.

Third, you give me a choice between going to a cold lake and staying in a huge cabin alone with peace, quiet, my Kindle, Gert, and a netbook?

I stayed home for about a half-dozen peaceful hours alone in a huge cabin on a Montana hill looking over a monstrous lake and mountains in the background.

Ba…..

LISS!!!!!!!!!!!!

I read,

I surfed.

I blogged.

I emailed.

I napped.

I showered.

I shaved.

OK, to round out the old saying, I’ll admit, I shit.

In peace. All alone. Without a relative banging on the door, elephanting around upstairs, or without a small child crying or a dog yipping in the background.

I think I’m figuring this out.

Small doses and breaks for “Jason time” are very necessary. I thought I had all the “Jason time” I could ever want in the last year but now I see, there is a balance that needs to be achieved.

And today helped even things out a little.

Free Advice for Today: “Take time to be alone with peace and quiet.”

- Jason Grose

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Buffalo Girls Do NOT Go Round The Outside

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web…. Now even my cat has its own page.”

- Bill Clinton

Today was the day we had to get up early. That’s how we kind of labeled it but it should have been “The Day We Got To See The Buffalo.”

Being lazy-asses, all around though, it was the early part that took first billing. I mean, come on, we had to leave by 7:45!!!

Note that I refuse to use military time any more. If you can’t figure out that means “in the morning” then you don’t deserve to breathe. Go kill yourself now, please.

So, 7:45 for 17 people to leave means we had to be up at …. well, by some estimates, it should have been 6:00. But with me having to somewhat self-sufficient teenagers, it meant about 7:00 for me.

I am starting to see some advantage at having a 15 and 17-year-old instead of the toddlers that the other adults are chasing around here endlessly. How mine survived without me, you know, killing them, might be one of life’s big mysteries.

With minimal drama (note, I didn’t say NO drama!), we all made it out the door and into our respective cars. It would take a couple of hours to get out there but before that, we stopped at a grocery store to buy supplies. Of course the ladies were in charge of this and we men did what we do best in these situations: nodded in agreement and got coffee for ourselves.

Of particular humorous note: I saw a rather rough looking young lady get out of a car in the parking lot of the grocery store with a shirt that read:

“If you can read this, the bitch fell off.”

I had seen these before and it took me a second to realize the wrongness, other than the obvious of what not to wear in public. It was supposed to be worn by her dirtbag baby-daddy. Her’s was supposed to read “I am the bitch who fell off” which I’ve also seen with amusement.

We met up with my sis-in-law and her fiancé who would guide us out to his family’s ranch.

Miles and miles and miles of beautiful Montana scenery. Monotonous, yes. Beautiful, absolutely.

The ladies had planned out the whole day, of course. It consisted of getting a tour of the ranch, complete with artesian wells that bubbled out the most tasteless water you will ever put in your mouth. I mean that in a good way.

We had lunch (sandwiches that were made that morning which created such drama that I will not explain, but trust me, the Sandwich Drama was epic) and then split into two groups.

My group got to get in the bed of a truck and head out to see the bison.

A quick explanation here: bison and buffalo are the same thing, sort of. I asked about this and got some kind of explanation that I think I can say with confidence that they are the same. There seemed to be some cloudy area concerning the naming convention and I really wanted them to just say, yes, they are the same.

Is THAT animal that YOU call “bison” what WE would general call a “buffalo?”

“Sort of.”

OK, now you are messing with me.

It’s a friggin’ buffalo, OK? OK, that’s settled.

We drove out to the range for about 15 minutes and it was a scene right out of a Marlboro commercial. In fact, Marlboro has actually come out and photographed ads out here. Not hard to see why.

When we got to where the buffalo were (or were they bison?), Paul the Fiancé got out, grabbed a bag of feed which consisted of what appeared to me to be corks, and spread them in a semi-circle around the car.

“Here, buffalo!”

Really?

That’s how you get buffalo to come?

OK.

Before long, they wandered over to the truck and I found myself literally within feet of some of the ugliest, biggest bastards I have ever seen. I can say with confidence that I have never been this close to a real buffalo and unless I’m repressing some memory, it might be the first time I had ever even SEEN a live buffalo.

And there they were, a few feet away, grunting, shitting, and pissing right in front of me.

Do you know what animal a buffalo sounds like?

If you said cow, you totally screwed up.

For those of you that guessed “pig,” give yourself a feed cork prize.

Even though there were little kids in the bed of the truck with me and these enormous beasts could have rolled the truck like a toy, I was not scared. Not even when one of the bulls chased around some of the others (for the reason I can only guess as “being a dick”), and one of them hit the side of the truck, rocking the entire one-ton pick-up like it was a Yugo.

One of my nephews thought this was a prime time to crawl through the rear window and spend the rest of the visit in the cab.

We learned a lot about buffaloes from Paul as we stood there and gawked at the great beasts. To me, it seems that the bulls’ heads were disproportionate to their size, despite their size being in the “friggin’ huge” category.

Some of my general observations:

- Ugly
- Smelly,
- Willing to drop enormous mounds of shit and rivers of piss
- Like eating corks
- Animals I would not to have been on even ground with without a vehicle for perceived safety

OK, meeting buffalo up close and in person: box checked. Cool.

When we got back, we got our shot at riding horses while the other group got to come out and gawk at the buffalo.

I got to ride Zippy.

(not me but my sister-in-law from the famous “Don’t Look At My Junk” pic)

Yes, the horses name was Zippy and I don’t think the bastard liked me much. My wife made the suggestion that I should ride it, I assume based solely on the fact that SHE rode it. Every time I was around this horse, it seems to sway its head and I had to watch it or be clocked.

But I rode it (I don’t know if it was male or female so it’s an “It”) and was surprised how much my minimal horseback riding in Saudi helped me out. I actually looked and felt rather comfortable on top of the horse, as opposed to my brother-in-law Scott who was experiencing his first time on a horse.

Or should I say, the first time he got to get his nuts grated across a saddle and/or having them crushed between his body weight and the saddle while trotting.

There I was with my Australian bush hat on…

… (thanks, Kate and Russ! I bet you never thought your gift would end up making me look like a cowboy in Montana!) and looking at home on Zippy. I look back, and I see Scott hunched over with both hands on the saddle, and being bounced up and down directly on his testicles.

I couldn’t help but laugh until I had nearly the same stomach pains I’m sure Scott was experiencing.

Ride ‘em cowboy!!!

When it was time to go (and Scott carried his crushed man-onions in a Dixie Cup), we all gathered our kids, which, again, was a lot easier for me than others..

“Alex, Steph, ready?”

That’s about all it took.

We were going to hit a place called Huckleberry Inn which begged the question “What the f#%$# is a huckleberry?” I asked as much on my Facebook after taking a mobile pic with Gert and uploading it.

I wonder if huckleberries are like snozberries from Willy Wonka:

The snozberries taste like snozzberries”
“Snozberries? Who ever heard of a snozberry?”
“We are the music makers, and We are the dreamers of dreams.

It ended up that it didn’t matter because they were closed so we all ended up at Pizza Hut.

17 people.

One Pizza Hut.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the service sucked, it took forever, and I ended up eating way too much when it eventually came.

In fact the FIRST time I had to go to the counter to get my root beer refilled, the fat guy just took my cup and filled ‘er on up.

You may think it was cruel to call him “the fat guy” but this was not the guy who just let himself go a bit and packed on a few pounds. This guy was of mega-proportions. He rivaled some of the buffalo I saw today.

Fat people would look at this guy and say “whoa.”

We’re talking “in need of intervention.” If that dude don’t get some help, he won’t see 30.

Anyway, the reason I bring up the refill situation is because the SECOND time I went up to get a root beer fill up (I was thirsty after a day out on the ranch, podna’), the pixie girl took a pitcher and filled it up part way to pour in my cup, explaining that for health reasons, they couldn’t push used cups up against the dispenser.

Seems Big Boy didn’t hear that part at Pizza Hut orientation.

By the time we got back to the cabin, everyone was tired. This didn’t keep anyone but me to consider doing something about that, like something crazy, like, going to bed.

Everyone else thought it was a good time to stay up, play games, and talk.

I am not of that mind so I went to sleep.

Or tried to.

I made a discovery tonight:

- the room we are staying in is directly below the kitchen.
- this room was an add-on
- when they added on, they didn’t insulate it very well

The net effect was that it sounds like a hockey game is being played right above you and even tapping feet and scooting chairs are magnified to an obnoxious degree.

At 1:30 (that’s A.M. folks!), they were having their fun while I, on the other hand, was downstairs in the sound chamber.

And that is not the “no-sound” chamber.

Quite the opposite.

And I was not happy.

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t weigh 400 pounds.”

- Jason Grose

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A Quick Flathead Lake Swim

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations.”

- Walter Bagehot

We are going to be here in Montana for a week and the question was asked, “What are you going to do for a week?

The answer: “Whatever our wives tells us we are doing.”

We have 5 families which means we have 5 wives to hammer out the details of each day.

And five husbands to say “OK” when briefed on the day’s activities.

Today, there was nothing much but to enjoy the cabin and chill. Now THAT’S a plan I can get behind!

We did manage to make it down to the beach for a swim.

The lake, which we can see from the back of the cabin, is called Flathead Lake. I was told that it is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. I don’t know why this demarcation is the gold standard but you always hear it but it is. Is there a bigger one east?

Don’t know but I bet Gert could tell me (the new name for my iPhone.)

This lake is like 60 miles long. So, yeah, big.

But the name always gets me. If you have ever read any of the Earth Child books (“Clan of the Cave Bear” being the first), you will recognize the word “flathead” as a very derogatory term the non-cavemen types called the cavepeople in the story.

So it cracks me up to see the name everywhere around here: Flathead Store, Flathead Rentals, etc. It would be like seeing “Wetback” everywhere.

Not cool, obviously.

We went down to Flathead Lake (tee hee), and took all the kids. I didn’t waste any time and peeled my shirt, ran down the wooden dock, and jumped in without as much as putting a toe in first.

It.

Was.

Glacial.

So, now that my testicles were residing somewhere near my Adam’s Apple, I swam helter skelter to the dock and climbed out.

Not too bad” I lied to my assembled family members. Screw ‘em, let them discover the insta-freeze of jumping in glacier water.

The kids did so but didn’t mind so much because as every parent knows, kids are somehow impervious to sub-zero water, or at least enough to jump back into it after explaining just how cold it is.

We all took turns jumping in for the camera and have the pics to prove it. You can see the set at my Flickr site:

One pic of note, my sis-in-law decided that a cheerleading pose was necessary but in the end, it didn’t quite turn out as expected.

My niece’s reaction to seeing this pic: “Oh my.”

Well said, Maddie.

Free Advice for Today: “Always jump in a body of water first and without feeling it.”

- Jason Grose

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Is That A Big Sky Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks.”

- Steve Martin

Somehow I got the days mixed up and I’m too confused to go back and change it so I’m getting back on track right now, hence the two “Sunday” posts. Yet another reason not to get behind. Blog in real time, Grose, would ya?!

You would think that after a week of traveling around the entire western United States that the last thing I’d want to do is another 9 hours going to Montana.

But a couple of things soothed this seemingly painful concept:

1. I was going to Montana to see some of the most scenic views the US have to offer.

2. I was going for the purpose of seeing the last of my wife’s siblings hitch the marriage knot.

3. I have just finished a year of solitary confinement in Saudi Arabia so seeing gorgeous Americana coming at me through my windshield is no problem whatsoever.

4. My brother-in-law Scott was riding with us so we joked, laughed, and sang Beastie Boys songs the entire way.

Let’s forget for just a moment that Chuck’s Donuts is not open on Sundays. I was not too happy to see the closed sign as we pulled up. With me being on sorta-vacation (I should try to get a job soon, I guess), I am losing track of the days and had no idea it was Sunday.

But that doesn’t matter, a donut shop should be open from zero-stupid thirty until at least noon every friggin’ day to include Christmas! It’s your lot in life, dammit!

This did not sway us from visiting the local Starbucks where I figured I would get me my triple shot marble mocha macchiato and a starter donut since we made plans to hit the Krispy Kreme on I-90.

I know, but it was vacation.

By the time we made it to the KK, I got my first view of Fatburger and I also got to use my iPhone camera-to-Facebook functionality for the first time.

Open the FB app, choose the camera icon, click, type in a comment, and post. It was that easy.

For those of you that didn’t understand my comment, I said “Did you know you can fly a Fatburger when you’re way out west (CHECK IT!!)” and it refers to a Beastie Boys line. I never even know Fatburger existed and thought they were talking about a fat woman.

To be fair, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for the Beastie Boys.

For lunch, we made it to Spokane where we DIDN’T visit Shannon Squared (a friend who married a guy with the same first name so she is, no shit, Shannon Shannon). We will probably stop in on the way back but we were too busy with a couple of other things.

First, there was Taco Hell. What’s better than donuts and Starbucks for breakfast? Why, loading up with Taco Ass for lunch. I mean, it’s not like three adults and two teens were locked up in a car for 9 hours or anything.

It was also about this time I had a conversation with Carrie about the insurance for Gert (my new name for my iPhone). I had opted out of the $15 per month highway robbery but now I think it’s a necessary evil. If I Jason-Stupefy Gert, it’s going to be almost $800 hateful dollars to replace.

So right there in Taco Butt, I looked up the nearest Best Buy and called. All I had to do was bring it in and they would take care of it.

So I hopped back on Gert (OK, I am going to have to watch how I refer to her and how I throw out verbs, I see), and used the map function to lead us the way there.

And it worked.

Beautifully.

Oh, Gert, you are a wonder.

Unfortunately, not even Gert could help the fact that it was 7 miles out of our way and through approximately 10,000 stop lights.

We finally made it and the process was mostly painless and it occurred to me that they had succeeded in making me feel GOOD about paying them $15 a month.

Bastards.

The salesman did tell me that one of the best things about the plan I bought is that they replace the rechargeable battery for free when it stops holding a charge. He said it was worth it just for that.

Yeah, your daddy is paying for it, isn’t he Skippy?

The only thing it doesn’t cover is lost or theft so I could, in theory, throw it down right in front of them, stomp on it like it defiled my sister, and they would have to replace it right there.

(Gert, not my sister.)

I decided not to test this theory.

In fact, it would be quite possible that I would be outside, throw it on the ground, it would bounce, and ricochet right into a bed of a passing truck which would, of course, drive away immediately.

Aaaaaaand, scene!

Carrie drove the rest of the way and we made it in to Montana by dinner time. We drove up to a cabin. A BIG cabin.

It was absolutely gorgeous. The only problem was that it was all locked up and no one was here. We looked around until we called someone to tell us where the key was and as we let ourselves in, we got the full effect of where we would be staying for a week.

Here is how it goes: my sister-in-law is getting married and she spent quite a few years doing missionary work here (this is where the school/base is for the missionary organization) and eventually met her fiancé. He wanted to get married here so the full brunt of Carrie’s family are heading to this small town for the ceremony.

Well, it so happens that Michelle (the bride) knew some people that owned this ginormous cabin with 5 rooms and they offered it up for all of us to use for the week. We have a total of 17 people living in this monstrous cabin for a week.

The weird thing is, it’s someone’s home. Second home, but still a home with all kinds of homey things, mostly decorated with antiques. And we don’t even know these people so the weirdness factor is high.

Within the first few minutes, we saw a deer wandering around out back, an eagle’s nest with a big, badass bald eagle looking at us, and then there was all the dead stuffed deer and elk heads all over the wall.

It always looks to me that they rammed the backside of the wall, busted through, and got stuck. In fact, If I ever decided to mount a dead mammal on my wall, I would have the rest of it stuffed too and put it on the wall on the other side.

But that’s just me.

Michelle had made little signs for each door to indicate who got what room. We found ours downstairs. In the downstairs kitchen.

Yes, a kitchen.

With a bed.

But it’s big and has a lot of outlets for my gadgetry even if I have to brush my teeth in a kitchen sink.

We dumped our luggage and headed to the little town for some dinner. We were one of the first to arrive and no one was around so we went to the only open restaurant we could find.

I use the term “restaurant” very loosely because it was, in fact, a Dairy Queen.

If you are keeping score, yes, that’s donuts and Starbucks for breakfast, Taco Hell for lunch, and now DQ for dinner.

I had the toasted club and some fries.

My body hates me and it has good reason.

But I’m in Montana, in a big cabin, and it’s spectacular.

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t eat junk 3 times a day. Ever.”

- Jason Grose

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Buster Visits the Ghetto

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.”

- Quentin Crisp

I guess it’s time to stop talking about Xena my iPhone and give you all an update on Buster.

But before I do that, did you know that when you get a voice mail on an iPhone, it comes right from the phone itself? It records it right on your iPhone and plays it back to you instead of you dialing into a service. Soooooo cool.

Oh yeah, sorry.

Buster. Right.

Well, he was not doing too well. After the teeth extractions (yes, that’s plural), he didn’t bounce back too well and the infection we thought was causing all his problems actually seemed to get worse.

Moving probably didn’t help much because he seemed lethargic on the road. Plus, his breath smelled like he was snacking on his own butt-muffins.

We called back to the vet and he called in a prescription to the local pharmacy (didn’t realize we could get pet meds at human pharmacies) and the infection in his mouth seemed to get better.

But I think he’s dying. Not like tomorrow but I don’t see more than a year or two with the knucklehead.

Since we’ve been in Seattle, he’s been with my brother. The in-laws are not all that dog-thrilled and since my brother owns a dog of his own (Sam, lazy bag-o-bones), it really hooks us up that he can watch him.

But we are heading out to Montana for a wedding for a week and needed to give Chris some relief so we found a dog-sitter. Today, we had to take him over and see if Buster played well with others.

OK, this is really going to sound elitist but I don’t care. The place we had to go to was called White Center but I will forever refer it to White Trash Center. It is the part of town that brings back too many memories from my childhood with my Dad who didn’t always pick the best areas to habitate.

Some of the tell-tale signs:

- couches for sale in the front yard
- couches for free in the front yard
- fences for every yard
- dogs barking in every yard, mostly pit-bull mixes
- no landscaping anywhere
- yards mostly dirt due to dogs
- motorcycles in most driveways
- multiple beater cars in each house and/or driveway
- bars on all establishment windows
- beer and cigarette sales at local grocery

I was pretty much disgusted and it gave me fresh motivation to get a good job and move into a Stepford neighborhood, thank you very much.

The guy we met was nice enough but again, the neighborhood just turned my stomach and not because I was brought up with a silver spoon in my mouth but quite the opposite. I never wanted to come back here again.

Of course, Buster could give a crap and was happy to meet some other dogs whose butt he could give a sniff-over.

After we dropped Buster off (with the lingering sad look…. Buster, not me. Ok, me), we met up with my brother and ate dinner at Sizzler.

Yes, I know, the second white-trash involvement of the day but I it was nostalgic since our father used to take us to this very same Sizzler by Southcenter since we were kids.

My God, I am becoming at elitist geek. I have my iPhone, my iPod, my netbook, and my Kindle.

COOL!

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t be white trash. If you were, you don’t still have to be.”

- Jason Grose

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Xena, iPhone Warrioress

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “He who hesitates is not only lost, but miles from the next exit.”

- Unknown

So, not much sleep. If you read yesterday’s blog, you know I just got an iPhone and I’ve named her Xena.

Yes, she must have a name and Xena just seemed to fit.

So why is it so cool to have an iPhone? It just is.

All the sliding touchsceen functionality and apps, what is there not to like?

One of the first things I had to do was to fix the contacts. When they imported them from my old phone, things didn’t go all seamless and what not. Since I had put in stuff like “Chris Cell” into the old phone, when it got imported, Xena thought “Cell” was my brother’s last name.

So I had about a hundred people under “C” because she thought they all had the same last name: Cell.

Oh, Xena, your innocence is endearing.

You would think I could just switch the fields all at once but you would be mistaken. I had to go into every contact and change it up which took the better part of the night until 1:30 AM when I called it quits.

I also went through the pain of setting up my email. I thought I’d have to use iTunes but I got around that by using IMAP.

(you non-techies, please avert your gaze)

Basically, I set it up so that Xena would go to my mail server, pull down a copy of whatever email is on there, and show it to me. That way, when I pulled my email down using Outlook on Delzilla, I wouldn’t have problems.

I have read where I can no-shit sync up whatever changes I make on Xena or Delzilla but I don’t know if I’m ready to trust that method. Plus, let’s get this straight:

I have and love more than one iPod.
I have and love my new iPhone
I still loath CrApple in general.
I have a white-hot hatred for iTunes that makes my loathing for CrApple in general look like unchained techno-lust.

But, I might have to cave because the only way to manage any music onto Xena is through iTunes. I’m putting that off for now.

One of the many cool things about Xena is the apps. These are little programs you can download for whatever purposes you can think of. Some cost money but I was told by the salesman that he has never bought any because there are plenty of apps you can download for free.

Some are obvious: Facebook app, Google app, etc.

Some are silly like the buzzer where you can make the sound the TV makes when they cuss. What the BUZZZZZZZZZ

Some are weird like Bump where you launch it and them with the iPhone in your hand, bump fists with another person set up the same way and it exchanges your contact info.

Or Shazam which listens to any sample of music and tells you what song it is, who sang it, what album, and allows you to purchase it on iTunes.

That one actually works, folks.

The map app is cool, plugging into Google Maps and tracks where you are, providing live, instant feedback. You can locate where you are and then ask it where the nearest Starbucks is and it will map it for you.

I’m telling you, it IS that cool and useful.

I can watch full movie trailers and get reviews of any movie out by using the Flickster app. It also tells me when and where it’s playing, even mapping the theater from my current location.

OK, I’m starting to sound like a commercial so I’ll stop.

Just one more: Pandora app. I told it I like Sarah McLachlan (of course) and it streams not only her music to me but also McLachlan-esque offerings like Norah Jones, Alanis, etc. It’s really cool, people. It’s like having your own angst-ridden radio station.

There are about a million other little things that I think are super cool about her but for all of our sakes, I’ll just leave it at that. I’m sure I will be discovering more neat things to share with you as I get to know Xena better.

So now is the part where I share with you all the other things that I accomplished today but the plain truth is that I spent the day huddled over Xena in a geek-fog.

Hey, give me a break, it was like Christmas morning and I don’t feel one bit ashamed that I spent the day in The Matrix.

Like Steve Martin in The Jerk, I am wandering around the house in my bathrobe exclaiming that I don’t need anyone except for this chair and Xena.

Gotta get back to her, catch you later….

Free Advice for Today: “Buy the expensive toilet paper.”

- Jason Grose

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iPhone Birthing Pains

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.”

- Poul Anderson

I didn’t cover my run yesterday, probably because I didn’t run. After the day before that, I was not all that excited about getting back on the road but I knew I needed to. I just needed to ease back into this thing we call running.

And to give myself a little extra push, I used a new piece of motivation: a brand new Camelback. My old one beshat the symbolic bed by suffering through a torn bladder (and we all know how painful that can be). So I clipped off all of the tags and took it out for a spin.

Although it was more for cycling, I liked that it sat up high on my upper back and had lots of pockets despite its small size. The tube was not long enough to go under my right arm so had to sit on my shoulder but this was not as annoying as I initially thought it would be.

I cranked out 5 miles on the trail that runs though the Maple Valley Highway and it was as scenic as you could ever want from a Washington route. A wide running trail through lots of scenic foliage, topped off with a grey sky and cool temps. It ended up being a great run and I even pushed through some rough spots to end with a lack of self-loathing I’ve been missing since I strapped on the running shoes again.

I also had somewhat of an epiphany while I was running. Why don’t I research all of the Best Buys and WalMarts in the area, call them, and see if any of them have iPhones so I could go get one, rather than just waiting until they came in to the nearest Best Buy?

In other words, what the hell was I waiting for?

So when I got home, I fired up the internet and did me some searching. I started calling with the understanding that I would have to summon all of my patience while I worked my way through automated recording hell and less-than-stellar customer service. I would have no one to immediately throat-punch so I had better try to control myself.

Just about every place I called didn’t pick up and those that I did get in touch with a live, breathing human being (which didn’t always guarantee any intelligence whatsoever) informed me that they were out of the iPhone 3GS and didn’t know when they would be getting any in. After a few calls, I pessimistically expected the next nimrod to say they didn’t have any.

My hunt was going badly for the umpteenth day in a row. And I had a line of throat-punched idiots in my wake to prove my point.

This changed when I called the Bellevue Best Buy:

Best Buy Dude: Hello?
Me: Do you have any black 32 GB iPhone 3GS’s in stock?
Best Buy Dude: Let me check
(it was at this point that I fully expected him to come back and tell me no, earning him a mental throat punch)
Best Buy Dude: Yep, I’ll hold one for you.
Me: (rather shocked) How many do you have?
Best Buy Dude: I have 5 so you should be good

He knew I was on the hunt and would get there as soon as possible.

As soon as possible” is a relative term though. The forces that control this reality started to conspire against me at this point. Let me highlight some of the self-inflicted as well as Murphy-esque jackassery I was facing:

1. I had run 5 miles but only ate some eggs for breakfast and thus was nutrient-deficient (read: grumpy).

2. I had lost my RAZR phone last night (read: uber-grumpy)

3. Everyone that could help me with #2 above was busy

So this is the way it played out. I couldn’t find my phone and if you read yesterday’s blog, I only went two places last night so logic states it should be in one of those 2 places.

Logic was out having a smoke.

I needed my old phone so they could transfer my contacts from it to the new iPhone.

Carrie was out shopping with her mom but left me her phone. She would be home in ½ hour to help me look around.

Ang was out but would be home in ½ hour to look for my phone at her house.

Kristine was out and would be home in ½ hour to do the same at her house.

Everyone was ½ hour from being of any help and meanwhile, my precious Bellevue Best Buy iPhone supply was probably being pillaged as the minutes ticked by.

I lasted about 20 minutes in this state and could not wait another second. In a very huffy state, I jumped in my car and decided the RAZR be damned, I was going to get me an iPhone.

Although rather pissy, I was kind of soothed by the knowledge that I was heading in the opposite direction of horrendous southbound Friday afternoon traffic on I-405, also known as “A F$#%@$#%ing Parking Lot.”

A few miles down the road, Carrie called and asked where I was. I calmly explained my situation … OK, I snapped at her and ended up hanging up on her even though nothing about my current situation was her fault. In other words, I was being an ass and it’s par for course, people.

A few minutes later, she called back to inform me that she found my phone: in the deep recesses of the Pilot.

I now had a choice to make. I could continue on my “EFF IT!” attitude or turn around and go get the RAZR so I could get my contacts moved over to my new phone. That would cost me more time, maybe time I didn’t have since I knew the inventory would be going fast.

In the end, I took the next exit, went over the overpass, and got right back on the highway heading back to the in-laws’ house.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand…….. parking lot.

SON.

OF.

A.

………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All I had to do was avoid horrendous southbound Friday afternoon traffic on I-405. I mean, I really didn’t need to be on the road at all so how hard is it to just NOT be out on southbound Friday afternoon traffic on I-405? I mean, if you really concentrate, you can maybe avoid the worst traffic at the worst time at the worst place in Washington, if you try, right? You just have to try NOT to do that….

Not so much.

There I was, sitting in the middle of it thinking, “How….” And then I was too pissed to continue the thought.

After what seemed like forever (I could almost hear the sound of the last iPhone walking out of Best Buy), I got back to the house, grabbed my phone, and grabbed my son so I could use the carpool lane. I’m afraid he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter but I guess the concept of being in the presence of the purchase of an actual iPhone outweighed the reality of being with “Pissed Off Dad.”

We made it to BB and I while I should have been walking on Cloud 9, I was in a rather pessimistic mood. I just KNEW we would get in there and they would be out.

Then I would have to throat-punch every living soul in the store and probably many of the displays even if they didn’t have throats.

Best Buy Dude #20,000: Can I help you?
Me: (trying to sound calm): I want a black 32 GB iPhone 3GS
Best Buy Dude #20,000: OK, do you want some information about …
Me: No, you don’t understand. I WANT a black 32 GB iPhone 3GS.
Best Buy Dude #20,000: Oh, well, …do you have any questions about…
Me: I just called and you said you had 5. I want to buy one.
Best Buy Dude #20,000: OK, sure, you … OK, is this an upgrade?
Me: Nope. New plan.
Best Buy Dude #20,000: OK, let’s do it.

This joker didn’t know who he was dealing with.

He opened the locked cabinet and I saw there was one left and it had a note in front of it. He hesitated and then turned to one of the other BB workers and they had a little conspiratorial discussion and kept looking around. At one point he looked at me and then the other one (obviously in charge) said “Take it.”

I don’t know what that was all about but I think my long-awaited capture of the elusive iPhon-a-lope was temporarily in danger. They obviously chose wisely because if he would have come back and told me they were out, I would have torn that entire store down to the ground with my bare hands and teeth.

I don’t know if you have ever purchased one of these phones but it is not a quick process. There are many long steps and the whole crew seemed distracted, confused, and very busy as people kept coming up and asking every type of question you can imagine. It was like an ADD sufferer’s worst nightmare.

When I mentioned that I wanted some accessories, he took me over to a display where I told him I wanted the scratch screen (you can run your keys across it and it won’t as much as leave a mark) and a case. He seemed taken aback that I knew exactly what I wanted and that I shot out decisions like a General on a battlefield.

I did need some help on which case to get, though. I asked him what he had and he said he wouldn’t recommend the gel case that he has because it rips and showed me the next case HE was going to get for his. It was a hard case that I noted with a touch of irony claimed to be of “military grade.”

I knew it would take a bit of time to put the screen on and I was smart enough to pay the $7.99 to have them do it on top of the $20 it cost for the screen. Can you imagine the aftermath of me screwing that up? Gory to say the least.

The discussion of the plan I was to purchase caused a bit more stress. I had done the math using the AT&T website and figured it was going to be about $75 a month. This included their lowest plan (450 minutes), unlimited data, 1500 texts, and monthly insurance. Chris, my brother, was picking up the $299 for the actual phone so I was on the hook to buy the accessories and then the monthly charges.

Well, it didn’t quite work out like that.

It ended up being just over $100 per month with what I can only figure as every conceivable tax, start-up fee, and add-on charge that I collectively will refer to as “AT&T Being Dicks” charges.

And this mythical $4.99/month AT&T insurance charge on the website was up there with the Yeti, Bigfoot, Atlantis, Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place, and a single Paris Hilton brain cell; in other words, no one could actually verify if it actually existed in this dimension.

What they DID have instead was a $15 per month insurance plan that covered everything but actually losing the damn thing.

$15 a month?

Really?

That’s what I will refer to as “Highway Robbery” and I refused to pay it.

After all that was settled, they needed to fill out the contract on the computer and he started asking me all kinds of questions which included my SSN. When he did that, it must have tripped some kind of security protocol in the system because the computer started asking all kinds of security questions that confused Best Buy Dude #20,000 who had never had to go through this kind of question set with a customer before.

The questions, I guess, were designed to verify if I was who I said I was by asking stuff like the mortgage company I used to sell my house 3 years ago. I had no idea and had to call the wife. It gave us a choice and the last choice was “None of the above” and we guessed at that because neither one of us remembered.

Great, so now I’m being grilled SAT-style and I the outcome of this little quiz determined whether I could get my iPhone or not.

“BUZZZZZ, oh, we’re sorry, that was close but not right, thank you for playing and it looks like Albert Pointdexter there behind you will be going home with the iPhone, please come and try again soon.”

I was informed I had answered the questions right and we could go ahead with the process.

Cool, thanks.

So next, while we waited for what seemed like 5 other cell phones in front of us getting their contacts transferred using their computer designed especially for this purpose, Alex and I just kind of sat there. I was too excited to read the Kindle I brought and kept my eye on the iPhone that was soon to be mine. I was already feeling territorial about it and I had never even held it. Mr. Best Buy Dude #20,000 just kept absentmindedly carrying it around until at one point he handed it to me (before they put the screen on) and I didn’t even want to soil it. I wanted to wait until I could go hog-wild and explore it without fear of getting fingerprints on it.

While we were waiting, they had yet another guy ring us up and when he was done punching in enough information to land the Space Shuttle, he turned to me and said “That will be $70.68.”

I figured the rest of the butt-plunging would be done on the first month’s bill so I handed him my credit card and the transaction was done. But because I can’t leave well enough alone, I had to ask “Isn’t the phone like $300 by itself?”

Utter confusion ensued as he asked the other guy who told him that I was buying the phone along with the accessories and then a mini-argument followed involving who told what to whom and I stood there thinking I may have got away with $300 if I would have just kept my big stupid mouth shut.

They refunded the first charge and rang me up for the full amount.

When they asked me once more for my address, I tried to give them my in-law’s address once again, like I had done maybe a dozen times up to this point, and suddenly, I could not remember if they lived on 145th Ave SE or NE. I was at a complete loss.

I couldn’t accept that this whole purchase could be derailed by me forgetting this detail so I flipped open my RAZR and ….

It was dead.

No juice.

Perfect.

I turned to Alex to have him call on his phone but he had wandered off and was somewhere in the store.

Another perfect timing issue.

When he came back, I asked him to call his mother to get the info.

His phone was dead.

Well played, Murphy, well played.

In the end, he punched up the info from another screen but that didn’t stop me from feeling like an imbecile. I was going to get the iPhone but not without a cost.

There was more waiting and I got a look at the new receipt and noticed that instead of charging me for the $20 scratch screen and the $35 case, they had just rung up two of the scratch screens. Like the total moronic idiot I am, I once again pointed this out before realizing that if I would have just kept my big stupid yap shut, I could have saved $15.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I tried to recover my fumble by saying I didn’t mind that they just charged me for two screens but he said it was an inventory issue and he’d have to fix it.

What an idiot I am.

But when he went to fix it, he just took off the difference so that I got the discount. At first I thought he was just doing me a solid but now I realize, he just didn’t want to run my card through a third time. Or he was afraid I couldn’t remember my address again. Either way, I got the $15 discount and I felt like I had gotten over on The Man. Things were looking up.

They finally transferred my contacts and got the screen on. The Golden Moment was at hand and he gently handed me my iPhone.

It was like a doctor handing over a baby to a new father.

I was in possession of a brand new 32 GB iPhone 3GS.

I think a single tear rolled down my cheek.

I can’t put the case on it until tomorrow in order to let the scratch screen take hold but I could start my learning process. For the rest of the night and until 1:30 AM, I crawled into the world of iPhone and didn’t come up for air until my tricep was twitching from too many hours of fine motor control pushing the touch screen.

I will cover what I discovered tomorrow because for now, I have to get some much-needed sleep.

But I reiterate, I am in possession of my very own 32 GB iPhone 3GS. Not even the salesman had this latest and greatest version. And from personal experience, I am living proof that these suckers are really tough to get.

But I got one.

So it stands to reason….I’m cooler than you.

Free Advice for Today: “Get an iPhone.”

- Jason Grose

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The Hunt Continues

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “I take the view, and always have, that if you cannot say what you are going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book about it.”

- Lord Brabazon

As you have read, I have not been all that successful at hunting down and bagging a 32 GB iPhone 3GS which happens to be the latest and greatest phone in the Universe and thus, I must own one.

Today was no different.

But first, I must mention that I have to stop sleeping in. I guess I’m somewhat on vacation but this 1000 sleep-in thing is getting ridiculous.

And I also guess I should start using civilian time so change that to 10:00 AM. It’s the extra long hair that is throwing me off as of late. I’m close to needing scrunchies.

On today’s agenda, go to the mall with the family, hit the Best Buy to continue the hunt, and have dinner over at some good friends’ house, Ang and Bryan. We’ll go with BrAng for laziness sake.

The mall was Southcenter (yeah, now “Westfield” but like all airline stewardesses are “stewardesses” regardless of gender, Southcenter will ALWAYS be “Southcenter”) and it was good to wander around there. I had been visiting this particular mall since I was a grade-schooler so wandering around as a 40-year-old retiree was somewhat surreal. I had also taken my children trick-or-treating there when they were toddlers and kept reminding them of that as we perused the mall.

They just roll their eyes at me. So I punched them in the throat.

To be completely honest, the mall was just a pitstop to my main intention of getting back on the hunt for the elusive iPhonuasaurus. I had a burger at the food court with my daughter but my thoughts did not wander far from the hunt.

“Yeah, uh huh, teenage angst, yeah….so, um what do you think of the new iPhone?”

Actually, I enjoyed lunch with my family and it was oddly comforting that both my daughter and I ate Johnny Rocket’s burgers, despite her hording all the what I thought were communal onion rings. I got one.

We were in the mall and my wife reminded me that I still needed to get some dress shoes for my upcoming interviews so we made our way over to Macy’s where I figured I could drop maximum coinage on shoes.

You see, here is how I see it: I need pretty high end accessories for my job interviews. First impression and all, you know. I decided long ago I wouldn’t skimp on the threads when it came to looking for a civilian job and that includes shoes so I looked forward to getting some Cole Haan’s on my hooves.

We looked at all of them and I was drawn to the black ones with a separate toe pieces. They were horribly uncomfortable and cost over $150 but they looked really good. I realized they looked a lot like my Corfram dress shoes I wore in the Marine Corps which shouldn’t be too surprising but I also noted that they had absolutely nothing on the bottom of them in the area of grip. I was slipping and sliding all over the carpet in the store and I pictured myself biting it walking into an interview. That would be SWEET!

I’D just get up, brush myself off, and say “Thank you very much for your time” and walk out with what little dignity I could muster. FML.

I had a moment of indecision because I tried on another pair that was less dressy but much more comfortable. In the end, I went for the looks because the Cole Haans really looked good and I thought, well, comfort is the price you pay if you want to stun.

Can I get an amen, high-heeled ladies?

We had to drop $150 bones but again, I believe that everyone should have a high-end version of dress-up for special occasions and securing my future job pretty much defines that category.

That and getting an iPhone, of course.

There was some confusion when the saleswoman rang us up. If we donated $3 to some charity, we got $10 off for every $50 or something or another. I was not into discussing the intricacies of whatever financial pyramid scheme they had going so we told them, yeah, OK, do what you do, whatever, just tell me how much.

I’m such a sweetheart when spending $150 on a pair of shoes that don’t involve running.

With the shoes safely bagged, it was time to go to the main spending spree which was Best Buy to hunt for iPhone-a-lopes.

Me: Do you have any of the new iPhone 3GS’s in stock?
Pixie Best Buy Chick: What size?
Me: 32 GB, of course
Pixie Best Buy Chick: Let me check
(scrunches her face humorously while checking computer)
Pixie Best Buy Chick: No. But it shows that we have a shipment coming in today or tomorrow.
Me: How many are you getting?
Pixie Best Buy Chick: Black or white?
Me: Black
Pixie Best Buy Chick: One of each.
Me: One? Are you serious?
Pixie Best Buy Chick: (stares at me blankly)
Me: (I punch her in the throat)

She gives me a card with a number on it and tells me to call after noon tomorrow to see if it came in.

Great, it really shouldn’t be this dramatic; me vying for a single iPhone and hoping to get to the store and past other obviously less-worthy geekoids to get MY iPhone.

I left thirsty and hungry as my prey once again slipped past me. I punched three Best Buy workers in the throat on the way out.

I had calmed down by the time we got over to BrAng’s house only to discover that both of them had iPhones and their kids had iTouchs.

Throat punches all around.

We had a great dinner and great conversation. The question I keep getting is if it feels weird to be out of the Marine Corps and back home for good. Actually, I don’t know. It feels like we are just home visiting because we have yet to do anything that we wouldn’t normally do if we were here on vacation. We are staying at the in-laws, we are seeing friends, we are somewhat in “vacation” mode, so nothing seems different yet.

We just got back and although we don’t have to squeeze in visits to everyone because we aren’t leaving, we still want to see everyone and thus the illusion continues that we are just back visiting.

After we left BrAng’s house, we stopped by Scott and Kristine’s (Scotine’s?) just as they were putting the kids to bed. Of course, the second I walked in, I announced “THE GROSE’S ARE HERE!” which sent the kids into a hyperglycemic frenzy. So much for getting them to bed.

I brought my Kindle and showed Maddie, my favorite/only niece, that I had downloaded a book for her and let her read some of it. You would think that I bestowed the Dead Sea Scrolls to her. I think I have reestablished my ranking as her favorite uncle, thank you very much.

Kristine’s sister was there visiting along with their mother and they had come over for an hour of peace and quiet. Well, we made sure that didn’t happen and while we were there, it sounded like the circus had come to town. Two little kids and two teenage kids upstairs along with some really loud toys, we were starting to worry about the structural integrity of the house.

So there you have it, another full day of $150 shoes, friends, family, and throat punches. Life continues to be wonderful, post-USMC.

But still, that iPhone mocks me. Pixie Best Buy Chick once again thwarted my attempts to bag my prize but the hunt continues. Oh yes, my precious, the hunt continues.

Free Advice for Today: “Eat communal onion rings quickly and early else young teenage girls will devour them before you get past your first one.”

- Jason Grose

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Bad Runs and iPhone Disappointments

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Quote of the Day: “Nice guys finish last, but we get to sleep in.”

- Evan Davis

I guess the theme lately is “Starting New” and with that, I guess I need to get back on the road and get my running back into some semblance of worthiness so I can actually claim that I am indeed, a runner.

With that in mind, I tried to extend my run from yesterday’s pitiful couple of miles to the Hop-In (the local grocery down the road) to a studlier distance down to the old Taco Bell (names and locations are of my own creation and mean something to me only).

Well, things didn’t go so great. It started off good enough I guess but it wasn’t long before my legs turned to lead and I was doing more walking than running. I was utterly confused because, come on, I’m a runner, right?

It turns out that just calling yourself a runner doesn’t exactly make it true when you have taken a year off.

But I was doing so much treadmill work, push-ups, and crunches … OK, well I guess that doesn’t exactly prep me 100% for running. The truth hurts sometimes. And it sucks.

So the run was pitiful, I felt heavy, slow, weak, and even had spots floating in my vision. Must be the poor diet and severe lack of water as of late.

I got to get this fixed and quick. I can’t let the retirement 30 pounds sneak up on me and I have a lot of races I want to run and while I have been too frightened to actually check, I am pretty sure they are coming up quick.

On the iPhone front, I met my brother after he got off of work so we could go look at iPhones.

For those that don’t know, my brother is going to buy me an iPhone for my retirement gift but I had to wait until I got up to Washington so I could get a Washington number and then there was the detail about being locked into T-Mobile on my current family plan until December that delayed things a bit.

But then through much begging and moping, I got the green light from Carrie that I could go with the individual plan to get the iPhone and then we would switch over the family plan in December when our current contract is up.

Everyone caught up now? Good.

So with the green light, I THOUGHT we were meeting to buy my iPhone while Chris thought we were just looking.

We first went to an ATT store near his house and got caught behind two teenage girls that were “Oh My God” ‘ing there way clear past our patience, waiting for them to cure world hunger with the only ATT employee in the store. After 20 minutes, we were finally asked if we could be helped and I stated my case very succinctly:

“I want an iPhone.”

The fact that here were no actual iPhones nor accessories on any of the walls should have clued me in to the response but as you guessed, I was floored:

“You’re going to have to go to WalMart or Best Buy.”

Now wait. Aren’t you an ATT store? And isn’t ATT the ONLY service that snagged the lucrative iPhone contract? And aren’t iPhones like your most humongous elephant in the tea party that is your flailing business? So wouldn’t it stand to reason that you would have iPhones pouring out of your ass?

Needless to say, they didn’t.

So off we went to find a WalMart which happened to be next to the Godfather’s in Covington.

(For those of you that don’t know, Godfather’s taco pizza is like PCP-laced, crack-filled Krispy Kreme donuts to me and the Covington branch was the only one left in the area.)

Well, I was informed by my brother-in-law that this institution had closed its doors and I had already gone through most of the grieving steps, but it still stung to see it. I think I’m stuck at step 4 which is “Are you f#%#$%#$ing kidding me you rat-bastard son-of-a-bitch motherf#%#$%#$erS!!!!!!”

Anyway, we got in the WalMart and they didn’t have any of the iPhones I wanted. Is it too much to ask for the iPhone 3GS 32 gigabyte model in black?

Apparently, it is.

They told us to try the ATT store. My brother and I looked at each other, thinking the same thing. I was the one who spoke, though.

“Yeah, they sent us to you.”
“Really?”
“Really.”
“Hm.”

He then suggested we go to Best Buy but the closest one was at Southcenter and Chris was not up for the long ride. It was at this point that we discovered we were on different missions because I was ready to buy and he was ready to look, needing a couple of weeks notice to gather the funds for the purchase.

Things were just working out beautifully all around.

He offered to make it up to me by buying dinner and suggested Mexican food so we headed to a restaurant he knew and we stuffed ourselves with grande platters and more chips and salsa than normal human beings should consume in one sitting. Or five sittings.

We headed back to his house, just sat and watched TV, and hung out with the dogs. Buster is now on antibiotics because he got an infection in his teeth so the pills Chris has to feed him (Chris is watching Buster for us), is almost guaranteed to cause the ass-squirts. Sorry about that, Bro.

So, to sum up, bad run, dissed twice on the iPhone front, stuffed full of free Mexican food, and hanging out with my brother and our dogs.

I guess today was a mixed day but still, it’s great to be home.

Free Advice for Today: “Ask a salesperson if they even have a product you are looking for before waiting behind two teenage girls trying to figure out their cell phone plans.”

- Jason Grose

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