Plugging In: A Short Story Of Computer Angst & Good Intentions Gone Bad

AS YOU MAY RECALL when last we met I was distraught about what I believed to be the demise of my precious desktop computer, Cora.

However, I was wrong about Cora.  Allow me to explain.

You see, Zen-Den decided to help me by unplugging my phone charger from my computer and instead plugging it into the surge protector strip that is on the floor behind the desk on which Cora sits.

He did this so that the round phone charger could sit on the desktop farther away from the round stone coaster on which I put my beverage whilst typing on Cora. There was concern, well-founded, that I’d accidentally, absent-mindedly use the round phone charger as my coaster, thereby ruining the charger.

Nice thought, good intentions.

• • •

THEN Z-D AMSCRAYED OFF to Colorado where he did Important Work Things leaving me with what seemed to be a dead computer sitting on the top of my desk.  I, of course, did all the requisite things one does when one’s computer appears to have given up the ghost.

I double-checked that everything was plugged in.  I banged on the keyboard.  I checked the mouse battery.  I turned the surge protector strip on and off.

I swore. I begged. I prayed.

And I texted Zen-Den who told me to do that which I’d already done, and that he’d look at Cora when he got back home at the end of the week.

Which he did.

But here’s the thing, when Z-D had added the phone charger plug to the surge protector strip, he moved all the plugs around on the strip to make them fit, not knowing there was a defective outlet on the strip.

Thus he inadvertently plugged Cora into an outlet that sent no electricity to her, so she did not work for me.  However, when he repositioned her plug on the surge protector strip, she came to life.  Like a miracle.

And there was joy in the land.

Huzzah, huzzah.

All of which brings me to the fact that I’m back to blogging, properly plugged in, happily engaging with Cora, and ready to share my own brand of flapdoodle & twaddle here.


In Which I Grumble Upon Learning My Husband’s Ringtone For Me

My cell phone, which is a flip phone and about 10 years old [don’t judge], has decided to stop me from writing or receiving texts.

Thus it came to be that instead of texting my husband, which is how we usually communicate, I phoned Zen-Den– and learned a little something about what he really thinks of me.

• • •

Him: Hey it’s you! Forgot what your ringtone was.

Me: Yep, can’t text, so must call.  What’s my ringtone?

Him: Some organ music.

Me: Like from the movie The Big Chill?  You can’t always get what you want… I’m what you need?!

Him: No, that’s not it…

Me: Like a church organ playing Amazing Grace? How sweet the sound… I’m your honey?!

Him: No, that’s not it either…

Me: Well, what is it then?

Him: It’s organ music like you’d hear at the intermission of a hockey game while the Zamboni man resurfaces the ice in the rink.

Me: Huh? THAT’S WHAT YOU’VE GOT ON YOUR PHONE FOR ME?!!  You’ve got an iPhone that lets you download about eleven gazillion plus seven songs, and that’s what you pick for me?

Him: Uh huh. It was easy to find and put on the phone.

Me: So besides being useful for cleaning floors, I’m easy– AND NOT WORTH THE EFFORT TO FIND A BETTER SONG FOR MY RINGTONE.  That’s what you’re saying?!!

Him: Yes?

Me: I see. Now I know. Okay then.

Him: Well what do you want me to put on there for you? Black Sabbath?

• • •

That’s when I let the topic drop because I wanted Zen-Den to do something for me, and in that moment it didn’t seem to be in my best interest to press the issue.

However, this is a different moment.

And I’ve been thinking about Zen-Den’s ringtone for moi, which I believe is entirely wrong. In many ways. On lots of levels.

In other words, I don’t like it.

• • •

All of this leads to my question of the day, which is:

Given your druthers, what ringtone song do you prefer to represent you on someone else’s phone?

I need a few suggestions here.  A marriage hangs in the balance.

• • •

An Impasse Whilst Wicker Furniture Shopping + A Short Quiz


Zen-Den and I have been researching online and shopping around town for wicker furniture to replace the sad stuff that’s in our screened-in porch now.

Currently, our furniture is a country look with a Band-aid beige wicker frame, tufted parchment-colored cushions + old floral pillows.

It’s ugly.  It’s worn out.  And its days are numbered.

So now in an effort to upgrade the furniture and to continue transforming this house into a home, we’re faced with yet another expensive decorating decision.

~ ~ • ~ ~

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Example of traditional country-style wicker furniture that we now have and may buy again. [source]

~ ~ • ~ ~


HIS IDEA:  “This may sound boring, but we could buy the exact same pieces of furniture again, only this time in dark brown wicker with off-white cushions.”

MY [1st] IDEA:  “We could buy the same country-style furniture, but in different pieces, in a warm medium brownish wicker with subtly patterned cushions– coordinating floral and stripes, perhaps.”

HIS IDEA: “This may sound boring, but we could buy the exact same pieces of furniture again, only this time in dark brown wicker with off-white cushions.”

MY [2nd] IDEA:  “We could replace the existing furniture with the same pieces, only this time get a light gray wicker frame with medium to dark-toned blue cushions that wouldn’t show the dirt.”

HIS IDEA:  “This may sound boring, but we could buy the exact same pieces of furniture again, only this time in dark brown wicker with off-white cushions.”

MY [3rd] IDEA:  “We could go with a completely different frame, one that is more modern & linear.  Then we could get a nut-brown wicker with ecru + tan striped cushions.  Plus two new matching end tables in the same wicker with glass on top.”

HIS IDEA:  “This may sound boring, but we could buy the exact same pieces of furniture again, only this time in dark brown wicker with off-white cushions.”

~ ~ • ~ ~

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Example of more up-to-date, linear wicker furniture that we might buy this time. [source]

~ ~ • ~ ~


  1. What do you think that Zen-Den wants the new furniture to look like?
  2. Which of the two people involved in this decision has the most creative ideas?
  3. If you were to place money on it, which person do you believe will make the final decision about the furniture that we buy?

~ ~ • ~ ~

[Hello FTC!  Please note that there’s no monetary &/or other compensation involved regarding our preference for this brand of furniture.  Considering how pricey this furniture is, would that it were so, but that ain’t gonna happen.  Hoping that all is well with you, FTC.  Long time no see.]  

In Which We Learn The Secret To Longevity According To My Husband

~ An early morning conversation between husband [HIM] & wife [ME] that took place in our bathroom ~

HIM:  { stepping out of the shower, drying off, looking in my direction }  You look pretty.

ME:  { awake for less than 15 seconds, standing in front of the mirror, looking at the crazy mess that is my curly hair pre-styling }  Huh?

HIM:  { hanging up his towel }  Your hair looks pretty like that.

ME:  { wondering why I am being forced to converse before my first cup of coffee }  Huh!

HIM:  { looking into the mirror, starting to comb his straight wet hair }  I know that you think that I’m being facetious when I say that you look pretty, but I’m not.

ME:  { using a scrunchie, pulling the top portion of my bobbed hair up into a vertical straggly looking ponytail-esque style good enough for going downstairs to get a cup of coffee }  Huh.

HIM:  { applying shaving cream to his face, looking like Father Time }  And do you know why I’m not being facetious when I say that you look pretty?  It’s because…

ME:  { distracted while searching for my eyeglasses }  What?

HIM:  { looking into the mirror, starting to shave his face while chuckling at his supposed cleverness }  …I don’t know what “facetious” means, so I can’t be saying anything facetious.

ME:  { finally realizing that I’m going to have to talk to him because he’s so full of it }  So if you don’t know what a word means when you use it, then when a doctor tells you that you have some sort of disease that you’ve never heard of, you won’t have it because you don’t know what it is?!!!

HIM:  { stopping mid-shave, looking at me, pontificating upon his brilliance }  Yep.  That’s it exactly.  That’s how I’m going to live to be one hundred: if I don’t know what it is, I can’t get it.  Ignorance is the key to good health.

ME:  { putting on my slippers, leaving the bathroom in search of coffee }  Well then, you’ve nailed that ignorance part.  Enjoy your long life.  I hope you and your second wife will be happy together.

~ The End ~

Faith, Trust & Puzzle Dust

WHILE working on a jigsaw puzzle with her husband, she was asked whether or not she had got all the puzzle pieces with blue on them together into one pile.

She replied: Yes.

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 10.20.45 AM

WHEN it was pointed out to her that there were about 20 more puzzle pieces with blue on them that she had not put into the pile, she thought hard about this.

Then she said: Some is like All, only Less– and Easier.

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 10.20.22 AM

AND then, having faith that she had explained herself clearly, she walked away from the dining room table, trusting that she had done her bit for this project.  Needing to put distance between herself and those 1000 dusty puzzle pieces.  Wondering why she said that she’d help with this stupid puzzle to begin with.

[Images of puzzle from Jig Zone.  This particular puzzle is here.]

The Lighter Side Of Marital Miscommunication

We were watching a football game on TV.  And by we were watching I mean Zen-Den was watching the football game and commercials, while I was looking through a stack of home decor catalogues… and aware that a game was on TV.

In one of the catalogues I saw an outdoor small table with two chairs that at first struck me as something that we might want.  The table and chair were made of metal but looked like twigs had been put together in such a way as to create a table and chairs.  Very chic.  I thought that they might work on our deck over against one wall for me to use at noontime when I’m eating lunch by myself.

So I started to show Z-D the photo of the small table with two chairs, but in mid-show I decided that I didn’t like the table and two chairs after all.

Z-D wasn’t really paying much attention to what I was doing.  No surprise there.  Instead he was staring at a commercial for Cialis— and as with all commercials for Cialis the serious male announcer voice was telling us very important information.

TV commercial:  “Blah, blah, blah… When the moment is right, will you be ready?”

Me, referring to the photo in the catalogue:  “That’d make nervous if I had to look at it very much.”

Z-D, thinking that I’m watching the TV commercial:  “Why?”

Me, staring at the photo:  “Because pieces of it stick out funny.”

Z-D, still thinking that I’m talking about the topic of the TV commercial:  “Why would you care about that?  That’s not your problem.”

Me, getting ready to turn the page in the catalogue:  “Because I’d have to sit on it and that’d be uncomfortable.”

Z-D, finally paying attention to me:  “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?”

Me, handing him the catalogue with the photo:  “This chair that looks like it’s made of twigs.  Why?  What’d you think I was talking about?”

Z-D, dissolving into laughter: “The commercial on TV for ED.  I thought you were watching it.”

Me, indignant then realizing what I’d just said:  “No, of course I wasn’t watching that… HEY WAIT A MINUTE.  You thought I was talking about THAT?”

Z-D, staring at me in amazement:  “Yep.  And you were darned funny, too.”