Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pictures From My Phone & Weekly Distractions

Alii, dear strangers. I'm taking off to Guam tonight for the weekend and don't know what my Internet access will be like. So I'm bringing you pictures from my phone and weekly distractions a day early this week.

Apparently a huge typhoon is supposed to hit Palau this weekend while I'm in Guam. Good timing? I'm not sure. This morning when I walked into the office, the librarian I pass every day made me a little concerned:

You're leaving tonight, right?

Yup! Can't wait!

And you come back Monday?

Yes mam!

Oh. You're not gonna make it. [turning back to her computer now like our conversation was over]

I'm not? You think the flight will be cancelled?

No. [then very matter-of-factly] You're gonna die on that flight.

So, strangers, if this is farewell, it's been real. I'll miss you all. Please, someone remember to feed my cats. They're in a storage unit somewhere. I don't know what they eat.

Sand Angel!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Grandma's Status Updates

Guys, I have the best grandmas. Sweet, giving, hysterical, interesting, etc.

One of my grandmas who is in her 80s, Grandma McCann (more commonly known by her gang name, "G-Mac"), was just not meant to live in an age with social media. But bless her heart for trying.

Other than the occasional accidental announcement on Facebook (or, "Face Off," as she commonly refers to it) of something that was supposed to be a secret, her mishaps are usually harmless. And absolutely hysterical.

The main problem is G-Mac's misuse of status updates, which she often mistakes for personal messages. She occasionally posts things that are clearly supposed to be a part of an email to someone or that are a response to a question that someone else may have asked her in an email or on her own Facebook wall. Or on the phone.

I love you, G-Mac. And thanks for always being a good sport amid our teasing.

So today I give you a sampling of some of my favorite G-Mac status updates over the years. Please share your own elderly family members' social media blunders in the comments below.

Drop Off

Good day, dear strangers.

Sometimes bad service doesn't stop me from frequenting a business. Like, when I'm too lazy to change cell phone providers. Or when, like, the food is really really good. I'm sure that I'm not alone in this.

I've been thinking about this topic for a few years--ever since my Uncle Will guided my sister and me to a place we now refer to as "Shigella's."

My mom and her siblings grew up in southern California, basically right on the border of Mexico in a farming town called Brawley. Brawley is in the middle of the hottest desert known to man. People who grew up there should automatically be awarded the Nobel Peace Price and an honorary doctorate from the school of their choice.

Because of its close proximity to the land of tortillas, a venture to Brawley is inevitably accompanied by a trip to Mexico.

On a side note, my sister Krisanda convinced me when I was a child that I was half Mexican. I believed this, and told others, until I was 15 years old.

Yes. 15.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Queen of Colors

I have had so many people ask questions over the last year about one special animal that has captured the hearts of many. And I don't mean that in the way that the Olsen twins captured our hearts in the '90s (gag). I mean it in the way that, like, Satan captures hearts.

The Queen of Colors.

I mentioned her for the first time a year ago in a post about a text exchange over Snuggies. I never thought anyone would read that post or really think it was all that funny. And I especially never thought anyone would pay any attention to my passing reference to the Queen of Colors in one of the text messages I sent to Jane.

But in the days that immediately followed, it became apparent that that was the thing that a lot of people seemed to pay the absolute most attention to.

Since then, many of you have sent me pictures of Queen of Colors look-a-likes and paraphernalia. I have received tons of emails referencing the Q of C and asking questions about her. For some of us in our little Stranger community, the Queen of Colors has become a household name. Something that represents evil hilarity.

But many of you have wondered where on Earth she came from. And I suppose it's because you aren't satisfied with the answer I have given time and time again: straight from Hell. Many of you have also wondered about the infamous "hair" story.

I'm here to answer your questions for you today, and tell you, once and for all, that the Queen of Colors is real and the story is absolutely, positively, true. Well, mostly.

So sit back and enjoy, finally, the story of the Queen of Colors.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pictures From My Phone & Weekly Distractions

I hope your Thanksgiving festivities were everything you hoped they would be and more. Mine were great. And I'm never eating again.

Until next week, strangers. Please enjoy some pictures and weekly distractions.

Standing in front of the results of one billion hours of Thanksgiving cooking. I seriously need to take smiling lessons. They do those, right?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tutoring With Underwear

Did the title draw you in? You think this is going to be a story about how someone tutored someone else through the use of underwear? Well it's not. But you clicked on this so you might as well read it anyway.

I mentioned before that I have an assignment with the mormon youth at church here in Palau. I like to refer to this in a southern accent as "my Christian duties." Mostly this entails me boring them to death 2 times a week. I'm in serious need of ideas for activities to do with a group of 5 to 10 teenage boys . . .

Last Sunday I found out that one of the boys, Scarly, is studying to take the GED this coming spring. This guy is busy working full time, taking care of his family, keeping on top of his studies, and is only 17 years old. He's busy, and, well, I'm not, so I thought I would offer some help.

Hey, do you need any help? I'm happy to do tutoring sessions with you.

No. That's ok.

Seriously, I am happy to help! Do you want to come over!?

No. Thanks though. I got it.

No really. Please. I have all the time in the world! COME OVER TO MY HOUSE! PLEASE?!?! PLEASE COME OVER?!?!?!?! PLEASE!!!??

[Awkward shifty eyes] Um . . . ok. I guess.

I am SO good and getting friends to come over to my house.

Ok, so maybe I was more desperate for company than he was for help. I'm still totally counting this as fulfilling my Christian Duties.

Turkey Emails

Daniel had an idea for a Thanksgiving email prank. I shot off a bunch of emails to different cooking blogs and had a couple respond. The following turned out to be the best exchange. This lady is awesome. You can tell she doesn't really believe this is serious, but she wants to keep responding just in case.

From: June Snapple
To: Cooking Blog
Subject: Did someone say TURKEY!?!? :)

Hey there!

The last 2 years I have tried to do a turkey for my family and it was a total NIGHTMARE! I tried it in the oven one year and tried to deep fry it last year. Both years made a huge mess and the kids were practically traumatized. Am I missing something? Is there some way to ease the struggle a bit?


June Snapple
PTA President

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Panic

Happy Thanksgiving week, strangers. I hope your Thanksgiving goes better than the time in Ukraine when I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner for three other Americans and gave them all food poisoning. It was the deviled eggs. I escaped unscathed because I didn't eat them.

They seemed iffy to me.

Things are trucking along just fine down here on the equator. But I have to let you know, I had my second "I'm living on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean" freak-out a few days ago.

I suppose I should tell you about the first one before I get to the most recent incident. The first one happened the night I got to Palau. It was already dark when we landed. And after going through customs and immigration, I found out that my bag with all of my clothes was lost. We were picked up by a couple of people from the court who drove us through a torrential rain-storm/hurricane/Armageddon and we were dropped off at my apartment, which had only half the boxes we shipped. And the boxes that made it were almost completely destroyed. And the apartment smelled like rotting bodies.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pictures From My Phone & Weekly Distractions

The end of another week is upon us. Today I bring you 5 new pictures from my phone and a few other links to distract you from more important things. Enjoy.

I found this picture in my parents' house right before I left for Palau. This was taken in 2001 when I was in high school. This was one of my better part-down-the-middle days. And, no, that is not a trophy I earned. It was a "team" trophy that I was assigned to take home for the night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Yahoo! Answers IV

I hope it's not too soon, but today I bring you Yahoo! Answers IV. I want to scoop all of these people up and take them home with me. I think my favorite part of this one is that people actually tried to give real answers for question 6. Also, I am officially awarding Ninjai from question 1 the "Tellin' It Like It Is" Award. Congratulations, Ninjai. Join the list of mind-speakers proudly.

Question 1: Am I too old to have children? My husband and I will both be celebrating our 90th birthdays next summer. We are thinking about adopting a baby because everyone needs a home. Is this crazy? My husband has a hard time remembering things, but I'm in pretty good shape and can usually drive a car and we both know how to play a mean game of canasta!

The Joys of Cool Air

An update on the Stormtrooper/Vehicle of Despair air-flow problems: Only moments before I planned to get the president of every country in the world on a conference call all at once to demand that they each declare an international state of emergency, marshal law, and threaten to press their little red buttons to blow up other countries, things took a turn for the better. Good thing I didn't overreact. But it wasn't without some struggle. We (and by we, I mean Daniel) took the Stormtrooper to the local mechanic 461,000 times, give or take, before any progress was made.

I'm still confused about why we had to take it in 461,000 times. Daniel swears it's because the woman at the front desk hates him.

The woman at the front desk HATES me.

Why would she hate you, Daniel?

I have NO idea. I didn't do ANYTHING to her.

Well, what makes you think she "hates" you, then? [And I used finger quotes for "hates" to be clear that I was mocking him].

[And he said this next part like we were little girls in middle school and this woman stole his boyfriend] Every time I go in she's always just like, "blah blah blah" and she's rude and stuff.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Seat Belts & Rotting Bodies

Alii, dear strangers. First, an update on the Stormtrooper/Vehicle of Despair. That thing that I mentioned might happen--the thing that would undoubtedly lead to my death--well it happened. The fourth window stopped working. You know that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail when King Arthur finds that knight and chops each of his limbs off one by one until he's just a torso and head? Well that's basically exactly what happened with the Stormtrooper. Except instead of arms and legs getting chopped off, it was automatic windows that stopped working, one by one. Also, less blood.

Guys, I don't even know how to explain to you what that moment was like when we realized that the fourth window had finally given up the ghost. We casually walked to the car, talking about some important thing, like whether it would even be possible to, without the person's knowledge, perform a surgery on them where you loop the large intestine back up to the throat. We climbed into the Stormtrooper. It was exactly 195 degrees inside that vehicle. We gasped for air as Daniel started the engine. I reached over to push the automatic-window button on the passenger's door, the only window that could still roll down. And, nothing happened.

Our pleasant conversation then turned to this:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hair Salon Emails

One stranger, Emma, referred me to a website of a pretentious hair salon in a big city. The website had a contact email for questions and explained that it would charge extra for any special accommodations. It also made a big deal about being "high-end" and not allowing children into the salon "for any reason." I'll give them props though for having a pretty good, and surprising, sense of humor in the end.

From: Jane
To: Passions Salon
Subject: Special Circumstances

Hi!!! I'm looking for a haircut from a high end salon but I have some special circumstances so I need to find someone who can accommodate them. Willing to pay four times your high end salon rate and refer my friends. Can you help?!

From: Passions Salon
To: Jane
Subject: Special Circumstances

Hi Jane

We would love to serve you! What kind of accommodations do you need?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ice Cream Excessive Portion-aholic

No political rants here today, though I'm definitely feeling a bit reflective this week for all kinds of reasons. Maybe I'll share some thoughts later after I've worked them out. For now, I want to tell you about one problem I've recently admitted to myself. And hopefully, like always, no matter where you are on the emotion-spectrum this week, we can all bond over a few laughs.

A number of months ago I had a very unfortunate experience involving a body fat testing machine, the Bod Pod, through which I discovered that I can probably never be an underwear model. Unless it's for some little-known company that can't afford to pay above minimum wage and sells underwear that focuses on comfort and utility. To blind people.

After that experience I decided that body-image issues are SO last year and that I was just going to be happy being "me." This sounded fine and dandy at first, and tasted really good, too, because of all the Ben & Jerry's. But unfortunately "being me" involves a lot of behavior that is terrible for the pancreas. Not to mention, sometimes irritating to strangers online that I happen to email.

I justified this ice cream mastication in bulk for months on end, sure that I was staying active enough to cancel out any damage I might have been doing to myself and the world around me. Not only was the regularity with which I was eating ice cream increasing, but the portion sizes were big enough to feed The First Eye for the entire month of April (his feeding month).

But it wasn't until Monday that I realized how skewed my idea of the appropriate amount of ice cream had become.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Stormtrooper

Before I got to Palau I bought a pretty inexpensive yet supposedly durable vehicle from a person who was leaving the island. It seemed risky at the time to make a big purchase over the Internet from someone I had never met for a vehicle I had never seen in a country I had never visited. But so did moving to that country without even being able to point it out on the map, so "risk" evidently wasn't much of a deterrent during those times.

The vehicle I purchased, lovingly known as "The Stormtrooper," is a 1997 Suzuki that I'm pretty sure somehow fought in World War II. Note, I did not say it was used in WWII. I mean, it actually fought in the war. This thing is tough. And each of its coconut-inflicted battle wounds looks like it has a story to tell.

I know it doesn't make sense that a 1997 vehicle could fight in a war from the 1940s, but since when do you come here to read about things that make sense?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Massage Emails

A few months ago a stranger, Jared, sent me an ad posted online by a guy we'll call "Paul" looking for an "intimate" massage swap. I emailed him as June and very sadly discovered that I wasn't exactly what he was looking for. Oh well. I'll just have to keep searching.

Ad: Looking for a younger girl to do a massage swap with me. must be attractive. Dont email if your ugly. Im a very attractive man. 35 years old. successful and wealthy. I like to explore intimate massages with people. you massage me, I massage you. You must be available during day.

From: June
To: Paul
Subject: Did you say MaSsAgE?!?

Hi Paul! Saw your ad about a massage swap. I'm very interested and also available during the day! Let me know if you are still interested!