Monday: “Dum di dum, doot di doot di dum de dum, just twiddling my thumbs here, yessiree, dum di la la, tra la la la lolly.”
Tuesday: “OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD MY HAIR IS ATROCIOUS THIS IS TERRIBLE THIS IS HORRIBLE THIS IS INSUFFERABLE I CANNOT LIVE LIKE THIS.”
How these things happen so quickly I do not understand. One day everything’s fine, next day I have made a mortal enemy with my bangs and I will not rest till I have won vengeance or died trying.
Immediately following my vow, I called Hairdresser Jeff. I do mean immediately. (“Hi, I’ve got a call number here, can you point me in the direction of the biographies?” “Sorry. No. I’ve got to call my hairdresser RIGHT NOW. It’s an emergency.”)
So I called HD Jeff as soon as I could. Got home from work, got distracted from my feud with my hair, and went to sleep. When I woke, my cell phone showed that I’d missed the call. It was Jeff calling to confirm my appointment, though I didn’t realize this immediately, as the display showed me some digits rather than a name.
Hairdresser Jeff is the most important contact in my phone, edging out my workplace and my vet and 911. (Mom and Dad don’t count. I have their phone number memorized.) So why didn’t his identity show up on my cell?
It’s a new phone, that’s why. Verizon sent me a new phone that I neither want nor need. I haven’t got around to re-entering my phone numbers, though I did at least set the ringtone. When my cellphone rings, it sounds like a telephone ringing. I’m so retro I’m trendy. It’s amazing, really.
The Verizon website helpfully instructed me on how to import my phone numbers from my old cell to my new cell, except actually it wasn’t helpful at all, because it requires internet access, which I specifically declined to activate on my phone. I puzzled the hell out of the Verizon lady on the phone, I’m afraid. I kept saying no to things. No, I don’t want wireless. No, I don’t want texting. No, I don’t want a camera.
“I’m sorry,” I said. I felt the need to apologize to her. “I’m a Luddite.”
“I… nevermind. Just send me your crappiest phone, please.”
It arrived in the mail some weeks ago, at which point I chucked the box in the middle of the living room floor and promptly forgot about it. The box would have continued serving as a kitty fort indefinitely, perhaps forever, had I not received an email from Verizon instructing me to either activate the phone or pay a $160 fee.
Ya know, when I get stuff from other stores, the places don’t penalize me for not using my purchases. Take the cheesecloth Mom got me last spring. The grocery store didn’t come demanding payment for my tardiness in opening the package. I only got around to that last week, when I was making palak paneer, which was scandalously easy. Here’s how you make the cheese part of it:
1. Boil milk
2. Remove milk from heat. Squeeze a lemon over it.
3. Dig around in the curdling milk for the lemon seeds you didn’t mean to drop
4. Rummage around the house till you find the cheesecloth Mom got you for your last birthday. Because the milk needs to sit for ten minutes, drag out this process. Should come naturally anyway. (Hint: It’s not on the desk, nor in the bedroom bureau, nor in the weird pile next to the couch, the one with those embarrassing photos of when you were a kid. Try looking under the kitchen sink.)
5. Pour the milk into the cheesecloth.
6. Read for an hour.
7. Between chapters, look at pictures of cute kittens on the internet.
8. Extract cheese from cheesecloth.
The phone, fortunately, was not the only package to come by mail lately. Just yesterday I received a book from my friend Kaite in Missouri. It’s a bound magazine, actually, called Granta, with this issue-specific title:
….and with this sticky note from Kaite:
“Saw this cover and thought of you”
…and with this cover:
I am inordinately pleased.
I am not sure whether I will read the contents of the magazine. Normally I avoid short fiction and short nonfiction, but hey, it’s an interesting topic, and if we can judge a book by its cover, the writing is going to be awesome. Except for Dave Eggers, the contributors are unfamiliar to me, but then again my name is unfamiliar to most people and I fully expect them to read my writing. Regardless, I am pleased to have an easy way to continue the pictorial theme of Naked Ladies.