Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Dad Bought Some New Fangled Phones

Much to the dismay of AT&T employees all over the southern states, my Dad and Stepmom bought iPhones and an iPad. This will obviously be providing endless enjoyment to everyone that comes into contact with them for the remainder of all time. Except, that is, for said AT&T employees.


Soon after their purchase, we decided to FaceTime, knowing they would love to see the grandkids via their new ringie dingies.  


The fact that these are referred to as "smart phones" should have been our first clue that our family could not pull this off.


Here's how it went down:

First, I called his phone. No answer.  


Which was weird, because we had just discussed the fact that I would be calling.

Soon I received a call from my stepmother's iPhone instead.  


My dad explained that his phone was not working.  
I asked what was wrong and he said: This damn woman keeps talking to me when she's not supposed to. 


A little probing and we figured out he meant Siri.  Apparently my father feels that Siri is mouthy and out of line.  

So we began talking.  And I began taking pictures.  

It was like walking down a cinematic road, the way he called up memories of terrifying movies.

For a long time, my dad looked like the man behind the curtain from Wizard of Oz.






Then he moved onto his Blair Witch Project impersonation with a lot of shaking of the camera and weird angles as he walked around his house while talking. 

We had long conversations with my dad's finger.


My favorite part came when we asked him if he would go out onto the balcony and show us the view of the beach.  


My dad walked out to the balcony, looked at the beach and kept his phone facing him.  
Then he said, "There, can you see it?".  

Just because you are looking at it with your eyeballs, does not mean we see it.
For my stepmom's sake, I'm hoping he grasps this a little bit better soon.  


Because when I see her this summer, I plan on teaching her how to FaceTime my Dad from another room, simply to ask him to bring her something like a slice of cheese or a tissue. Or to tell him vital celebrity gossip, like the fact that Whitney Houston died.


My husband really loves when I FaceTime him from our bedroom for that stuff.  


Just ask him.

*A small follow up: Shortly after these events took place, my dad actually traded in his phone for a less chatty version of Siri. We all know this does not exist, therefore it was simply the matter of him wearing down some poor AT&T guy that just wanted him out of the store that badly.*  




Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer: A Time for Learning. Duh

Welcome!  

If you are visiting via the lovely Julie Gardner, we are happy to have you here at Fond of the Silliness.  You will find that around these parts we like sarcasm, silliness and have a tendency towards irreverence.  Also phrases like "Christ on a bike" can pop up where you least expect them.



When you enter the blogging world, you will undoubtedly fall in love with someone else's writing.  If you are very lucky, you get to actually become friends with the person who writes the words.  And if you are very, very lucky, you find your new blogging friend turns out to have the same qualities that you loved in their words.   

That is how I see my friend,  Julie Gardner, from By Any Other Name.  

Have I mentioned that she was chosen as one of BlogHer Voices of The Year?  

Julie holds a place in my heart, because from her I've learned the fact that I don't blog everyday does not mean I am not great at blogging.  It means that I want to write when it moves me, which she's assured me is just fine.  And while it may hold me back from a certain status as a blogger, it will keep my writing the way that I want it to be.  

Julie has graciously agreed to guest post here on my little blog.  

Thank you, Julie.  I'm so glad that today we can call you silly. 

You are going to want to read more of Julie's work, so please visit her website By Any Other Name and follow her on Twitter here.

If you are visiting, you may want to check out these posts to get a better taste for Fond of the Silliness:  


Here she is folks:



Summer: A Time for Learning. Duh.


People, have you checked your calendars lately? It’s June 18th.  And you know what that means, don’t you?



We’re just two short days away from the official start of summer! 



Yes, as the days stretch longer and the kids finish school, we’re about to gain hours and days and weeks and months of free time to enjoy the spoils of the season.


We’ll go to the beach and the park. Invite friends over to swim. Ride bikes and feed the ducks at that lake behind the library. We’ll actually go inside the library.

Probably.

Because of course we’ll be reading a lot. Like Dostoyevsky. Or something even more literarily literary.  
50 Shades of Grey, perhaps. I hear it’s a trilogy. Or a threesome. Or something like that.

Anyway.

I should basically be done with all of these activities by Thursday. 

And at that point, the leftover cake I baked for my son’s promotion to high school will be gone. 

(Oh, who am I kidding? I finished it last night.)

Either way, the truth of the matter is this:

Books and ducks and threesomes can keep a girl occupied for only so long. 

And what’s the next step toward a summer jam-packed with fun?

That’s right. Television. 

Duh.

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a TV in my bedroom so gathering around the tube meant family bonding. (Stop laughing. It did.)

Every day we sat on the great-room couch watching Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart; or Soap and M*A*S*H* and Barney Miller, with a cat or a bowl of ice cream (sometimes both) in our laps.

These were good times, believe me. The best. 

Which is what I want for my kids, naturally. And I’m pretty sure those shows continue to air on TVland or some other earnest station dedicated to nostalgia. 

Still. In my old age I’ve gotten more high-brow. Not “PBS high-brow.” Oh no. 

A woman only needs one tote bag when carting stale bread across town to chuck at mallards.

So lately we’ve begun watching TLC. You know. The Learning Channel. 

Because learning is good. 

(You may quote me.)

Take Toddlers & Tiaras, a delightful train wreck in which pageant moms shout “Get it girl!” at their four-year-olds who parade around stage dressed like Julia Roberts’ hooker character in Pretty Woman
Literally.

From this my 13-year-old daughter has learned I’m not a total idiot. And when she gushes, “Thanks for not spray-tanning me Mom,” it’s pretty much music to my ears.

After watching Sister Wives, my 15-year-old son has learned that the challenge of juggling multiple spouses and houses and kids (oh my!) is perhaps not worth the fringe benefits. Ahem. Or amen. 

Or both of those things.

Indeed.

And we’ve all gotten sucked into My Strange Addiction where viewers learn America is the land of the free and the home of the depraved.

It’s easier to feel better about your own habit of spooning Breyer’s Rocky Road directly into your mouth from the carton when they’re profiling a guy who licks the bottom of his bird’s cage. 

Or some lady who eats the cushions off her sofa.

I mean, we’re just sitting on ours. So yeah. I guess we’re doing okay.

Then there’s Cake Boss (yum) and LA Ink (ouch) and a few other shows in which people can’t stop bearing children either one at a time or in litters.

But I don’t judge.

After all, these programs foster discussions about choices and self-control and ohmygod we’re just trying to make it through summer without having to read Crime and Punishment again.

So.

If the flat screen’s what does it for us? I say, “Get it Girl!”

I mean, “Carry on!”

Because I really liked Barney Miller. And when my kids are grown, I want them to have equally great memories of their own childhoods. 

Featuring televisions and cats and ice cream in our laps.

Except without the cats. Because Bill claims he’s allergic and we put up with this limitation on account of we love him.

Still. The man better not turn up lactose intolerant. Or that weak link will be voted out of the family. 

Immediately.