Thursday, September 15, 2011

Caller ID

So this is weird: I keep getting hang-ups on my cell phone from a restricted number. My home line already has anonymous call rejection to keep the telemarketers at bay, but this seems different. Whoever's calling me, they're making a point of hearing me say hello, then sighing and hanging up. Like yesterday, they called when I was at the gym but I didn't answer, so they called back later in the afternoon, apparently hell bent on hanging up on me.

Not sure if I should be flattered or creeped out. Whichever the case, I checked online, and it looks like Verizon charges a fee for anonymous call rejection. Thriftmonger that I am, I'm like, Nuh uh. Not another fee. Adding my kids' cell phone lines to the bill has been painful enough (especially when they don't charge their cell phones or allow them to go missing) without yet another random fee.

Anyway, for now, I'll field the calls. But what kind of obsessive writer would I be if I didn't have multiple theories at the ready regarding who said caller might be?

1. An ex-boyfriend. Ha! Yeah, right. If you've been reading along here, you'll know that no guy in his right mind would want a piece of this action. My life's way too much of a circus, more headache than excitement. Plus this theory assumes I haven't burned all bridges with my exes in a fit rationalized along the lines of going big or going home. Guess which one I've traditionally chosen? So it's kind of narcissistic to even consider this possibility.

2. Someone I've called the cops on. But how would they get my number? Guess it'd be easy enough with all the internet searches available, but still--how would they even know my name? Plus, if whatever they were doing was out of line enough that I felt compelled to call the cops on them, they've inherently got way more drama in their lives than needs to be added to by crank-calling one of their tattlers, so this just doesn't make sense. Chalk this theory up to paranoia.

3. A friend's kid or husband. Ew. Just ew. Although the calls have come during school hours, and I don't know anyone who lets their kid block their cell phone number. But still. Ew.

4. Someone I gave a card to at a writer's conference. To this one, all I have to say is, Why not say hi? I'm friendly enough. If I gave you a card, I'm not going to say, No way! I'm not answering, should you ask me a question. Sure, I might say no if you ask me to read your 500-page manuscript, but that's no reason to preemptively hang up on me.

Maybe I should put just my email address on my cards. I don't know. I have to print new ones for New York in January, so maybe this is the time to review what's on there. Or maybe giving out "business" cards is useless, since I already have an agent and any editor who wants me to contact them is going to give me their email address, not the other way around. So what do you think? Do you put your phone number(s) on your cards?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Power's Back On

Did anyone even know San Diego was without power yesterday? I guess two high-voltage, high-transmission lines were cut, stranding San Diego Gas & Electric customers from southern Orange County to northern Baja California, then eastward out to Arizona without power. An unusually hot, humid week (that one week a year we wish we had air conditioning), hopefully no one had any serious health consequences out in the Imperial Valley, where it gets *really* hot.

Anyway, yeah, it sucks not having power, but I was surprised how well we got along without it. Our stove and water heater use natural gas, and we've clung to our land line telephone and even have one last old-school telephone in the house. Not the case for most of our friends and neighbors. Another thing we had that a lot of people didn't (surprisingly): a battery-powered radio. Maybe those of you in other sections of the country are like, Duh! But out here in Southern California, it's shocking how reliant the majority of our population is on grid-transmission electricity. It was such an event out here that all schools in San Diego county are closed today, even though the power went back on roundabout two in the morning.

What about where you live? Does this sound like crazy talk? Is the rest of the country better prepared for an emergency than we are? With the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 coming up this weekend, you can bet the conspiracy theories on our bizarre, massive power outage were flying fast and free. But what if something did happen? Would we be ready?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why Am I Not Surprised?

So my plans to write like a crazy woman starting last Tuesday? The crazy part, I've got down, but the writing, not so much. I keep hoping the time will come, but then it doesn't. Actually, I did seize a little bit of time last Thursday and Friday, but then I wound up mostly revising, not really getting into new material. Maybe because my life has been busy with new material. Like, did I mention my middle child started middle school? Each day brings a new surprise. I'll delete this post later, so his antics aren't forever memorialized, but here's a little taste of what's been going on:

Tuesday - He growls at several teachers, throws a crumpled piece of paper at another, then gets kicked out of class about 30 seconds into yet another class for making squawking noises.

Wednesday - Growls at fewer teachers but animal noises still abound. Teachers enforce seating charts to ensure he and his best friend have been separated in the classes they have together. Both now sit near "a bunch of nerds" or "a kid who doesn't speak any English."

Thursday - After school, he films his 12-year-old best friend DRIVING his mom's Expedition over a (no longer operable) toy car. When he gets home, he creates an alternate gmail address so he can get around our parental controls and post said video on YouTube.

Friday - Trying to impress his buddies, my son jumps into the custodian's golf-cart-esque vehicle and attempts to drive. He gets it in reverse but can't figure out how to put it back in drive before the custodian yells at him to get the hell off his cart.

Tuesday - Because of the holiday, my son was able to keep his library movies an extra day. However, he forgot to return them until after school, causing him to almost miss his bus home. Afraid the bus was about to leave, he jumps in the side door Emergency Exit, causing the bus driver (who's a very patient man) to yell at him about never opening those doors unless the bus has crashed or is in a similarly dire circumstance.

Ah, Wednesday. Do I dare ask, "What next?" At least I don't have as many errands to run today. I'm looking forward to sneaking in some writing.