Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Luck Be Damned!

Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.” ~R.E. Shay

Bad luck has had its way with me the last few months. It seems like every time we climb one hurdle another pops up. This past weekend was no different and convinced me more than ever how much it sucks being a muggle.
My husband and I moved back to our hometown to start over after a punch in the gut and a scare of the pocket book. We’re selling our house, which in this market is good times let me tell ya. Every now and then we need to head back to Utah to make sure it’s still standing and weed the flower beds (weed barriers are actually just a weed blankey and don’t do anything but keep weeds nice and snuggly).
My daughter just turned eight and we thought it would be great to have one last birthday shindig with her friends. So, I rushed home from work on Friday, fixed dinner, vacuumed, packed, tended to my very sick husband and then loaded the kids for a trip home. We had a late start so by the time we made it half way it was getting dark.
As I climbed the steepest grade, my husband’s truck started bouncing a bit—vibrating. I wasn’t sure what the heck was up, other than the road to Utah is always marred by construction. I pulled into the rest stop and looked over the tires, then popped the hood. Red—my husband’s beastly truck—is a pain in my ass most of the time. It’s old, it makes noises that it shouldn’t, and it burns oil. After spending ten minutes trying to open the hood, I checked the oil. It was fine. Checking oil is the extent of my car expertise, so I wrangled my two young kids back in Red and made my way to the summit of the pass.
It was a bit rough still. Something was wrong and it was getting darker. Ten minutes later Red swerved to the side. I pulled over and checked the tires—they were fine. I eased back on the road, ready to take the next exit, when a load pop rattled the truck and my kids.
I called my husband back in Idaho. He had a crazy ear infection which knocked his equilibrium outta whack and couldn’t make the trip with us. He called me a tow truck and despite being told to stay in bed, made his way toward us. I didn’t want him to drive, but we were stranded, and my daughter had fourteen kids RSVP’d for the next day.
Marvin the tow truck driver made it about forty minutes and two pees in the weeds later. My kids thought he was the coolest thing since Super Mario Galaxy 2, but I couldn’t help but wonder how Marvin’s eyebrows grew perfectly arched as they were—not a hair out of line, trimmed to girly perfection.
Apparently, the tread to the rear tire came loose and pulled the exhaust through the wheel well. Marvin was going to have to heat up the exhaust and melt a pipe to something and then do something else to something and then he’d give us a “jingle” when he got ‘er done on Saturday—after my daughter’s party.
Manicured Marvin took us to the motel and we scored the last of two rooms. We had one queen bed for four people. I called my husband to tell him the room number and to check up on him. He was sipping on coffee and focusing on the road, trying his best not to move his head too much or he’d get dizzy.
I felt like shit. I should have taken my car, but I wanted to load the back with some of our belongings. The last time my husband drove Red that far the radiator hoses burst. I was an idiot for trusting her. I knew something was going to happen: I sensed it before the trip even started.
“I hate your truck,” I said to my husband.
“It’s not . . . Hey, why is that guy braking?”
I tried and tried to reach my husband. What just happened? Is he okay? This was getting worse by the minute. I hate Red. I hate that we had to move. I hate . . . everything.
Ten long arse minutes later, my husband called. He was fine. We just got cut off. (Hey Verizon, no I can’t hear you now!)
We made it to our house the next day. Marvin was going to fix the truck and everything was going to be okay. Except that we had to leave right after the party because my husband was scheduled for Sunday.
To sum up this really, really long story the party went well, we got Red and made it home. 
My luck continued to stink on Monday when I lost half of my final test for my new job. Yay, me!
I think in the writing world, luck plays a big part. I’ve read some pretty crappy books, while really good ones sit in a drawer for ten years waiting to be discovered. (I think Matterhorn took thiryty years and it is highly praised). I want to know what you guys think as far as luck goes. Are some of us just lucky? And are others tested more than they should be?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Laptop Lovin'

Last night, after I finished loading the dishes , I went to park my butt on the couch to watch a bit of Harry Potter with the fam when my husband blurted out, “Did you just stroke your laptop?” 

“Did I what?” I sat down and rolled my eyes. I heard him, but I needed time to summon up a great comeback. We’ve played this game before—the ‘you’re always on the computer game.’ I usually lose this game. 

“You stroked your laptop,” he repeated with even more complacency. 

It took a second and then it hit me. When I had stumbled over my husband’s feet to sit next to him, I reached over and swept my hand across my laptop. A love pat? No. I was checking to see if it had cooled down. 

So yes, I stroked my laptop. I don’t love love my laptop. I wouldn’t stroke it in a loving way. I don’t think about its warmth on my legs and the wonderful click-clacking sound as my fingers scramble over the keys when we’re apart. I don’t. 

Okay, maybe I do. 

I love my laptop. It is the one thing that is mine; the one thing that I do just for me. I write, blog, and critique manuscripts every day. So I do spend a lot of time on my computer and get a ton of flack from my husband. 

Perhaps one day, when all this writing business pays off, he’ll be less inclined to reach for absurdities just to rattle me, or point out that my lovin’ feelings for the inanimate aren’t normal. 

Funny thing, though, right after the “stroking” incident I went upstairs to take a bath. It took all of five minutes before I heard a knock, knock, knock on the door with my kids on the other side, screaming to get in. Another couple of minutes later, the cat reached her paw under the door and started howling. There’s never a dull or quiet moment in a mother’s day; so, I say let me stroke my laptop. As long as mama’s happy . . . right? 

Have you stroked your laptop today?