Monday, December 31, 2007

What medical condition do you have?


"Feminine itching."

"Overactive bladder."

"If you have an erection lasting over four hours..."

"Vaginal dryness."

"I have herpes."

And the latest, heard on TV just this afternoon... "May cause a reduction in semen."

I am so glad these medical catchphrases do not exist on Swiss television.

No kidding

Found printed on the back of the remote control to my grandmother's television:

"Not dishwasher safe."

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy birthday to me!

Today was a good day. I went to see "Atonement" with my dad (at first I couldn't decide whether I liked it or not, but now I've decided that I do). It's set in the 1930s and 40s, and it's about how a girl's lie ruins two people's lives. Then I took a nap, and then we went out for a milkshake before driving through neighborhoods to see Christmas lights. Here are a few of the displays we saw:

A Texas sleigh:

(In case you can't tell, that's a covered wagon the reindeer are pulling):

Our Dallas sports teams:

And a Texas Christmas isn't complete without an armadillo or two:

We also saw what I called a "schizo" house at first. As it turns out, you tune into a radio station and all of the sudden it's not so schizo anymore -- the lights are timed to music! It was very neat.

Overall, a very good birthday.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Home videos

Today we took a roadtrip to go visit my dad. He dug out a bunch of old home movies for me to watch while I was visiting him. (Side note: Oh my goodness! I had such an accent when I was little! I don't sound like that anymore.)

One of the videos was from the Christmas that was three days before I turned five. Now, you have to understand that I surprised the heck out of my parents when I started reading at 18 months of age. So on this Christmas before I turned five, I was quietly taking in all the presents under the tree. Just looking at them and calmly stating what they were, not touching them. Then my father told me to look in my stocking, so I did. When I saw what was in there, I started screaming, "Two new books! Two new books!"

Apparently, they were the best present I got that year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dang fool remote

Yesterday morning I lost the remote control. I tore up my room looking for it. No remote. I tore up my grandmother’s room, the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen. Still no remote. Not even in the fridge.

That made me pretty mad. Our television is really, really old, and it’s not designed for cable. To get cable channels, you have to type them in on the number pad of the remote control. If you punch the channel up and down buttons on the TV, you just get network channels.

We spent the whole day out of the house, so I didn’t think much about it until last night. There was a program I really wanted to watch, so I decided to search for the remote one last time. The last time I’d had it was in bed when I woke up, so I figured it must be in the sheets somewhere. I stripped off the quilt, shook it out, and threw it in the floor. Then I did the same with the blanket, then with the sheet. Still no remote. I shook out the pillows and my teddy bear – still no remote. It wasn’t underneath or behind the bed, either. So I made the bed back up, one layer at a time, and put the pillows and the bear back on top. Then I changed into my pajamas, turned out the light and crawled into bed.

The pillows were uncomfortable, so I reached under them to pull them forward. And what do you know…

…out came the remote.

I swear the remote fairy must have stuck it there.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The best laid plans of mice and men

The other day I spent the whole day going back and forth between my mom’s house and my grandmother’s house. Don’t worry—they live a block apart from each other.

I was making the trips in my grandmother’s car. As I was leaving my mom’s house after the first trip, I realized that I didn’t have the right garage door opener.

I took a stab at it and guessed what the garage code might be. It didn’t work. So I called her and asked her what the code for the garage door was. As it turns out, my guess was right, but even after I tried it again, the garage door still wouldn’t shut.

Mom told me to close the garage door from the inside and leave the house through the back door, leaving it unlocked. Then I could open the backyard gate and get around to the car.

Well, as I was leaving through the back door, I realized that it could be locked from the inside. Not wanting to chance letting criminals in the back door, I chose to lock it.

When I got out into the backyard, though, I couldn’t find the gate. Hoping that I was just a little nearsighted and that there really was a gate, I called my mom again.

“Mom? I’m locked in the backyard and I can’t get out. Where’s the gate?”

She burst into laughter. “Kitty’s locked in the backyard!” she crowed to her coworkers.

Apparently the latch is on the outside of the gate, not the inside.

“You’re gonna have to climb over the fence!” said my mom. “But do it in a hurry, you don’t want the neighbors to call the police!”

“Are you sure that’s the only way out, Mom?”

“Well, there’s a ladder in the shed. But knock it over after you use it – we don’t want thieves to get in through the back yard.”

“Mom. The back door’s locked. They’d be in the same predicament I’m in.”

(Come to think of it… Hello! The latch is on the outside of the gate! All they have to do is flip the latch and they can get in the back yard!)

So I hung up and climbed up the fence on the ladder. I managed to reach down far enough on the outside of the gate to open the latch so I didn’t have to jump down on the other side. I drove back to my grandmother’s house and let myself in the house. Halfway through telling her what had just happened, the phone rang. It was my mom.

“Honey? I just thought of something… You know my garage door opener? The second button on your grandmother’s garage door opener opens my garage…”

These things only happen to me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Too cute

Today I visited my mother's school. She introduced me to her kids and explained that I speak Spanish. "¡Hola!" some of the kids called out. Then she told them that I speak French, too, and some of the other kids said, "Bonjour!" Then she told them that I'm learning German, and one of the girls piped up and said...

"Do you speak English?!"

Cracked me up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The grammar gods

...have finally smiled down upon South Texas grocery stores.

For those of you who don’t know, there is a difference between “fewer” and “less”. “Fewer” is used in reference to countable nouns, and “less” is used in reference to uncountable nouns.

An uncountable noun is something that can’t be counted, like “love” or “rage”. Countable nouns can be counted, like “dogs”. One dog, two dogs, three dogs… you get the picture.

How many times have you gotten into the express checkout lane and seen the sign “10 items or less” over the register? Think about the mini grammar lesson I just gave you. Notice a problem?

So imagine my (pleasant) surprise in HEB last night when I noticed that the signs had been changed to read “10 items or fewer”.

I am probably the only patron of the store who appreciates the change. But it only takes one, right?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

25 hours

That’s how long it took to get from Geneva to San Antonio.

The only person I work with whom I truly dislike was on my transatlantic flight. I saw him get on the plane, but he didn’t see me.

About halfway through the second episode of House on the in-flight entertainment system, my seatmate got up to use the restroom. I decided that I ought to get up and go, too, even though I didn’t really need to yet. I didn’t want to have to wake her up later on.

She and I were waiting in line for the restroom behind a woman and her little girl. The little girl was desperate—she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to make it.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited. The flight attendants had to squeeze past us several times to get up and down the aisle. And the little girl was honestly about to wet herself.

We ended up waiting somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes for the restroom. Just as the woman at the head of the line asked “Who takes this long?!” under her breath, the restroom door opened.

Out came the person I dislike.

He saw me and greeted me warmly. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

Just my luck!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Culture shock

Wheel of Fortune over here depends a lot more on the sex appeal of the model who turns the letters than the US version does. So I really shouldn't be surprised by slightly racier puzzles, but tonight I was.

The category was "énigme à double sens". In this category, the puzzle might be something like "glider or nail", and the correct answer would be "hang". Well, tonight's puzzle was "d'exclamation ou g" and the answer was "point".

I had to go look up "point g" just to make sure it's what I thought it was.

Yup. Your "point g" is your "g spot".

So much for family-friendly entertainment.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rabbit, rabbit

I forgot to say "rabbit, rabbit" when I woke up on this day last year, setting off a two-day string of bad luck that saw me, among other things, fall off my toilet onto the bathroom floor at 6am and fall down in the middle of the street with my hands in my pockets, leading to a hospital stay.

This morning, I remembered to say "rabbit, rabbit". So far, so good.

Happy December 1st, everybody.