dimanche 8 janvier 2012

Don't call it a man cave, you cave man!

Apparently, the expression is as passé as baby bump. When I moved back to the United States, I discovered this strange thing called a man cave. It seems the American male needs his own space in the family home, where he can hang out with other males, play music, drink beer and emit strange bodily noises without a care in the world. I don't think they have those in France, not yet anyway. I'm sure man caves will soon be furieusement tendance, given the fascination with all new and trendy things American. I will never forget the first time I saw an SUV in Paris (called a quatre-quatre) with Paris plates. Ugh! Then there was the sudden appearance of small decals that said "bébé à bord". Double ugh! The most depressing day was the one where I saw an SUV with a "bébé à bord" decal. Utter despair!

But I digress. As I was saying, American men have and apparently need man caves. For Xmas, Hub got his man cave. But we're not calling it that and it isn't off limits to girls like me. How else do you expect it to stay relatively clean? We're calling it the Music Room, because we have decided to store our guitars and amps in there. I may bring my bongos down. We still need to buy a decent microphone and are currently auditioning back-up singers. No talent required. You just have to promise not to call it a man cave.

vendredi 6 janvier 2012

Glorious gadgetry

Okay, so it has been awhile. Haven't you ever heard of the holiday season? I don't know about you, but I tend to get overbooked and overtired just at the time of year my body and brain shut down in unison, demanding an extended period of hibernation. Can you blame them? It is dark most of the time.

That's what really hit me this year: the seemingly sudden (though actually gradual) lack of daylight hours for stuff like going outside, walking Neko, etc. You wake up, it's dark. You drag your ass out of bed at 6 am to deal with work issues, and it's dark. You look outside and it's raining. And kind of dark. You feel like you need to keep indoor lights on all day, as a stay against the impending gloom that surrounds you.

This is where Gadget Number One comes in. Hub got me an iPad for Xmas, delivered in early December. With an iPad, you can comfortably check your emails and comfortably respond without getting up. Coffee in bed! With dark chocolate! And darkness all around! So much more commode than an iPhone. You can actually read what you are typing and pretty much press on the key you want. The iPad does a lot more stuff too, which I'll know more about once I've read the iPad manual I bought for Hub.

Vitamins are also critical at this time of year, which is where Gadget Number Two comes in: a Vitamix! This incredible machine can pulverize anything, probably including body parts. Attention! Don't operate while drunk or groggy or preoccupied. I discovered this the hard way. I wasn't drunk, but it was early and I was groggy. I also had a bad cold. I wanted a green smoothie bad. I followed the instructions in the book to the letter. Order of ingredients, check. Amounts, check. A vitamix has an on/off button (right side) and a high/variable speed button (left side). In the middle, there is a speed dial. One to ten, then hit high. So I did that. It was not until I got up towards ten that I realized I had forgotten to put the top on. What tipped me off was the green vomity looking stuff flying everywhere, sticking to cupboards. You've seen The Exorcist, right? A focused, non-groggy person would have done what? Well, probably turn the on/off switch to off, real quick like. But what do I do? I see the top and decide to put it on, real quick like. The problem with this response - well there are many but let's mention this one only - is that the top has two parts and if they aren't locked together, one of them will pop off. It is the plug. It popped right off and met the blade. The smell of burning was not far behind. Then and only then did I turn off the Vitamix. But it was too late. A part known as the "drive socket" had pretty much melted. That's where the burned smell came from.

I did a lame-ass test and came to the conclusion the motor was f*cked. I called Hub, who probably could not see that my tail was between my legs, identifying myself as "The Loser". He said it could just be a part and maybe one of the guys in his shop could fix it. Long story short, I isolated the part, we tested the motor - still working - and I ordered the part online. To ensure free delivery of the part, I bought myself a new pair of slippers. I'll skip the rest of the story. The Vitamix, which retails for more than 500 dollars and comes with a 7-year warranty that does not cover groggy idiocy, is now working again. It shakes a bit, but so do I early in the morning.

The moral of the story is that I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but this year I did. I have resolved to strive for mindfulness, in particular when operating expensive and possibly dangerous home appliances that turn kale and chard into green liquid.

And that's all there is to it.

Bonne année à tous!

The little guy that melted