Life Lesson 10,143: Internet Service Providers Are Better at Revenge Than You

Or: That One Time I Really Regretted Scheduling Something in Advance

Because I have been spoiled by technology and first world niceties, I get to work from home a lot. This is just the absolute best thing, y’all.

Hard at Work

Do you not awkwardly stick your tongue out while typing? Is that not a thing?

Except that it means I have to spend all day on my at-home Internet connection. Which I used to think was really great – all fast and shiny and responsive – before I started working from home.


The Fastest Internet

Like this! So fast! So shiny!

It is not fast and shiny and responsive, guys. And it slowly got slower and slower and slower…for two years.*
*Which is definitely why I didn’t blog for two years. Definitely. Not because of laziness or forgetfulness. It’s all the Internet’s fault, I swear.

So I did what any reasonable person would do. I stole all of my husband’s** account information so that I could be the boss of the Internet connection in our house, and called my ISP.***
**Oh, yeah, I totally got married in the past two years. Was that not mentioned? 
***This stands for “Internet Service Provider.” It is a nice way to say “company I give all my money to.” 

Politestest Mad

Eyelashes illustrate how delightfully polite I was. The first seventeen times.

Things did not improve. I called, and called again. Promises were made and routers were reset. I defended my ability to turn things off and then on again.

Slightly mad at Phone

There are an unreasonable amount of ink dots on this set of Post-its.

Nothing got better.

Polite Mad

Eventually all of my polite eyelashes fell out.

Not even a little bit.

Slow Internet

Don’t pretend that you don’t have a “the Internet is being slow” face.

Finally, it was time for serious action. Finally, it was time for me to break up with my ISP. I didn’t want to be a heartless monster, but I did want my Internet to work. You know, so I could work.

So I made a plan, and set up a start date for a different ISP to come and give me all the Internet.

I didn’t want to be too harsh on my current ISP, though. I wanted to give them some warning. So I called and told them the bad news. We could no longer be together, as of next Monday. But we needed to stay together until then, because it was currently Wednesday, and I still had work to do. We could still be together for six days, so they had time to fill the hole I left with another valued customer. My ISP cried softly****, but honored my wishes.
****Spent a lot of time trying to up-sell me other things like phone service and TV.

Why oh Why

Oh wait…

Or rather, they turned my Internet off immediately. In the middle of a work day. Ten minutes before a meeting.

It clearly must have been a mistake. So I called them.


Very calmly. I called them very, very calmly.

This, of course, marking the 37th***** call I had made to them in the past six months.
*****This is the actual number of times. Not an exaggeration.


This was no simple accident made by customer service, it turned out. They’d burned their bridges. They’d salted the earth. They’d somehow backdated my end-of-service date to be two months ago. They couldn’t re-open my account…so if I wanted Internet (for the next six days), I needed to open a new account.

I had no choice. If I didn’t accept their terms, I couldn’t work. So I opened this new account, amidst promises that the service would be instantly restored and better than ever before, and I could cancel my account in six days and get all my money back.

Angry Internet

ISPs: Not really good at fixing things.

Thus, my slow Internet was restored. And six days later, I once again called and broke up with my ISP, and followed all their post-breakup instructions.

And I have spent the last eight months calling my ISP to assure them that yes, I have indeed broken up with them, with both accounts, and I do not in fact owe them any money.

I am still getting bills.

And that is how I learned that ISPs are much, much better at revenge than I am.

I’m Not Prone To Hyperbole*, but in Any Other Era, I Would Probably be Dead

Or: Why the Wand Thingie in the Shower is the Greatest Invention in the World

*Yes, yes I am. Don’t let me lie to you like that.

It occurs to me on a remarkably regular basis that if I was living in another era (say, for example, Victorian times, when “pants” was a dirty word and people wore clothes with eighteen billion heavy layers), I would not survive, much less thrive. I’m a product of The Future, and I love it here.**

**Even though I’m still mysteriously lacking my flying car. I’m waiting, Google.

Don’t worry. I have a helpful example to share with you to demonstrate my very limited technological-survival time range.

We’ve previously discussed that I am not a morning person. I love sleeping with a deep, abiding passion, and I view the morning sun as my arch nemesis. Things are even worse when I have to get up before the sun has started to peek over the horizon.

Curtains are the best invention

For the purposes of this demonstration, let’s pretend that I don’t have blackout curtains that deny the sun the ability to enter my bedroom. Let’s pretend together.

If I have to get up before the sun, I’m forced to acknowledge that morning is not the sun’s fault, and that really ruins my arch-nemesis-hating.

On the other hand, we all know who the true enemy is in the morning:

The alarm clock is evil

Yes. Early O’clock is a legitimate time. My alarm clock declares it to be so every morning.

You’re not fooling anyone by pretending to be helpful, Alarm Clock.


Nothing gets the adrenaline going in the morning quite like the sound of my alarm clock. It probably also doubles as an impending nuclear war alert.

The morning is a confusing time for me, which probably just highlights the fact that in the days of cavemen and super-predators, I would have been a delicious morning meal.

Confused in the morning

I also sound like a zombie when I walk. And look like one. I really don’t know what happens to my hair when I sleep.

My general level of morning awareness hovers right between “completely oblivious” and “just awake enough to not walk into things.”


This is an accurate depiction of my morning in-the-shower pose.

Which is incidentally low enough on the awareness scale to be completely confused when the shower does not automagically turn on. I mean, this is The Future, right?

The shower does not know you want to be clean

Ok, we should probably invent me-sensing showers before we invent flying cars. Get on it, Google.

Eventually, though, I successfully manage to both turn the shower on and hurl soap at myself.

Drawing soapy hair is hard.

This is as close as the Internet will ever get to seeing me in the shower. You’re all welcome.

On this one fateful day that we’re discussing, however, I discovered that my lack of awareness in the morning had delivered me into the grasp of a horrifying nightmare.

Dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun...

This is how you end up with soap in your eyes at 5:30 in the morning.

The most terrifying, horrifying thing that can happen to a girl in the shower outside of a Hitchcock film:



In any other time period, this would have been the end of me***. This enthusiastic insect was sharing the tiny box of a shower with me. And guys. GUYS. He’d been there the. Whole. Time.

***Seriously. No hyperbole or exaggeration at all. At. All.

And my boyfriend says it makes me look very pretty.

This is my grown-up tough-girl face.

Since my first survival technique is “close your eyes tightly and pretend you are still sleeping, and then it will be a dream,” this could have been a very dangerous situation. Then, however, something occurred to me. Something important. Something life-saving.

Down the drain!

You’re feeling bad for the bug, aren’t you?
Don’t let him trick you. You can’t trust anything with more than four legs, and he had like, 80.

It occurred to me that the inventors of my modern shower had already thought through this situation. They’d invented the perfect bug-removal device.****

****DO NOT GOOGLE “Uses for shower wand.” THE INTERNET IS WRONG. It is for killing bugs.

Otherwise I'd be dead

The future has all the best murdery devices

So, you see, without the tools of the future, I’d be food for all SORTS of horrible creatures.*****

*****Like itty bitty insects. Which are the most dangerous kind.

(P.S. – Hi Internet. I missed you. Please still read my blog. <3)

Life Lesson: Sometimes It Is Best to Let People Focus

Life Lesson 7,252: It is not, actually, a good idea to annoy your mechanic.

Last week, I was responsible. I took my car to the mechanic BEFORE I went on my road trip.
Sometimes it happens. Like sometimes, you win at craps, and sometimes your dogs steal your pickup truck, go on a joy ride, and crash into a river. Life is wacky.

I do not recommend hugging your car

Hugging my car is how I know when it needs to be washed.

And then I went on a road trip.


I never will. Journey. I never, ever will.

Everything was going fine. I had snacks. I had drinks. I had several layers of clothing on for various temperatures I may encounter. I’d filled up my car with gas and hit the road at a completely reasonable hour.** The drive was going well, when suddenly I encountered an obstacle: The teeny tiny bump created by a seam in the highway.
**Exactly 1 hour after I’d been planning to leave. Which is why I can’t have nice things.

Man, many miles

This gentle bump was really a completely normal road seam on the highway, many miles between exits. This is an important fact.

This should not have been a problem.

It's hard to make happy car-dance hands when something is wrong

I have carefully transcribed the exact noises for your pleasure.

But it was. It was a very noisy problem.

Convinced I was doomed with a flat, I drove on to the nearest exit.*** I coasted into the first gas station I spotted.
***The state of Virginia doesn’t believe in highway shoulders. They do believe in ditches and trees, though. Thanks, Virginia!

It really was in the middle of nowhere

My car looks more ridiculous every time I draw it.

I was on a mission to make it to my destination, so there was no time to call AAA.**** So I suited up for car work:
****Confession: There was totally time. But I wanted to fix it. Because I didn’t get to play with my car and change my own oil.

Of course I keep my car repair headgear in the car. It's the best place for it.

Of course I keep my car repair headgear in the car. It’s the best place for it.

I’d just gotten to work when I heard the Voice of the South speak to me.*****
*****Ok. It wasn’t the Voice of the South. It was a guy in overalls. And no shirt. It was the Voice of the Awkward Southern Stereotype. But that doesn’t sound as important.

Any time I can't see someone speaking to me, I pretend I'm being addressed by ghosts.

Any time I can’t see someone speaking to me, I pretend I’m being addressed by ghosts.

I was charmed by a spontaneous offer for help. It looked like the world was full of wonderful people! But I wanted to fix it myself, and I could see the problem. so I thanked him.

I don't make these things up, people.

I don’t make these things up, people.

It took a second for his words to filter through my ears.

Surely I have misheard this.

Surely I have misheard this.

Apparently the mysterious occurrence of a female-person working on a car attracted more fine and upstanding people with opinions.

I had sharp tools. These are brave men, my friends. Very brave.

I had sharp tools. These are brave men, my friends. Very brave.

This is how my brain reacted:

Grrr, Argh.

Deliverance Country: Don’t stop there. It’s more dangerous than bat country

Then the engine shield******, which had been improperly reattached and was dragging on the ground*******, came loose from the last broken bolt.
******The large plastic piece that is attached to the fenders and front bumper on some cars, beneath the engine.
*******And smacking into my tires. And picking up road litter. And giving me a panic attack.



I felt compelled to show off my victory to my new found audience.

Strangers in Deliverance Country are a little perplexed by grown women who say "Tah DAAAHHH"

Strangers in Deliverance Country are a little perplexed by grown women who say “Tah DAAAHHH”

But I still didn’t want to stick around.******** So I was back on the road before any more lady-lessons were forthcoming.
********I’ve SEEN that movie.

If you sing this song by yourself, you never have to say "no you can't!" You just get to chant "Yes I can Yes I can!" over and over again.

If you sing this song by yourself, you never have to say “no you can’t!” You just get to chant “Yes I can Yes I can!” over and over again.

And then a terrible thought occurred to me.

(I'm not being accusatory here, people. He realized he still had 3/4 of the bolts in the shop when I called him to ask about this.)

(I’m not being accusatory here, people. He realized he still had 3/4 of the bolts in the shop when I called him to ask about this.)

And so a terrible life lesson was learned.



Don’t distract your mechanic or you’ll end up in Deliverance Country with a broken car.

(Also, I’m sorry for not posting yesterday. As an apology, please accept this news that Oscar Mayer is now selling Lunchables for adults.)

Life Lesson: Morning People Will Probably Eventually Rule the Whole World

Life Lesson #6,120: Do not get dressed in the dark. Even if it’s only dark because it’s cloudy outside and you’re too lazy to turn on the light.

That is how you discover your shirt is inside out. At work. At 10:00 in the morning. After two meetings. With the C-level executives* in your office.
*CEO. COO. CFO. C-More-Important-Than-I-Will-Ever-Be-O.

I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person. I was not a bright, chipper small child up with the sun. I was not even a person before noon during my teen years. In my 20s, I continue to bodily drag myself out of bed before the hour of 9:00 in the morning. Maybe by the time I’m 50, I’ll have a healthy relationship with dawn, but right now, we’re mortal enemies.


Closing the curtains doesn’t even help. I still know it’s there.

But every now and then**, I have to drag myself out of bed on a cloudy, rainy or snowy morning. This is a strange blessing and curse all rolled into one. For one thing, the sun is forced to refrain from taunting me, due to being locked behind the shelter of clouds. But, on the other hand, it’s still blissfully dim and all I want to do is stay in bed. So getting ready becomes even more difficult.
**Sporadically and spontaneously and generally on the most inconvenient days, because I live in the South.

As has been mentioned previously, I work in a proper corporate business office, where I am expected to wear proper corporate business attire. There are skirts and heels and fancy shirts and dressy sweaters and other things I have had to spend a bunch of money on to ensure that I look appropriate and good at my job.


Of course stars and sparkles appear when I successfully get dressed in the morning. Does this not happen for you?

I am successfully good at accomplishing other morning activities (showering, hair brushing, makeup) in a lit bathroom that has bribed me into awareness with promises of hot water. But no amount of wardrobe budget and steamy showers can spare me the horrors that come with getting dressed in the dark.


Selecting the proper attire in a dark closet clearly requires a lot of finesse.

I have a tendency to select items at random and fling them out of the closet onto my bed, signifying that they are destined to be part of the day’s outfit. Lots of these items are black, because I am a champion at color-coordinating. After other preparations are complete, I tend to hurl these clothing options onto myself, achieving a successful dressed state.


It’s hard to see the stars and sparkles in the dark.

However, some mornings***, I am not quite so successful. Apparently.
***Like THIS morning.

Some mornings, not all of the clothes go on the right way. And without the supervision of the blindingly bright, evil dawn sun, there’s no chance to catch the devious, inside-out shirt until well after I’ve left the apartment.

You know, until after I’ve finished my second meeting of the morning.

I need more coffee for this nonsense

It was not subtly inside out either, guys. There were tags and seams and possibly the opposite side of shirt-decorations visible.

So in other words, guys: Happy Tuesday. I hope your clothes are on the right way.

Life Lesson: It’s Really Hard to Remember Certain Life Lessons

Life Lesson #417, #1,361, #4, 215, and #7,521: Do not watch scary movies right before bed.*

*Please add one “, you total idiot.” For each subsequent time this life lesson is learned.

In short, I am a total idiot.

When I was a child, I was scared of a ridiculous number of things. Spiders, every insect in the world (including lightening bugs, which is an unfortunate fear for a child living in New Jersey), every single Scary Stories book, Dr. Teeth from The Muppets…They all got under my skin**. This was a problematic condition for a girl who has an older brother and who lived in close proximity to four rowdy (and fun) male cousins.***

**In the context of my childhood nightmares, this is a completely literal statement.
***Who all were definitely not afraid of picking up spiders and using them as projectiles.

Don;t worry. I love Dr. Teeth's bohemian zen now that I am an adult

This is a really terrifying face when you are very small and afraid of being eaten.
Click for Source, which is a super amazing Muppet-focused blog.

I was, however, deeply in love with classic vampires**** and bats. Because, you know, those are healthy obsessions for a child of seven. By the time I was a teenager, I decided that since I clearly was not scared of SOME things that should be scary, I could obviously get over all my fears and be queen of the scary things.*****

****Real vampires never sparkle and totally intend to eat you, but not in a terrifying cannibal way. Cannibalism is a total deal breaker.
*****Why yes, I was goth as a teenager. How did you guess?

I decided I was tougher than tough, and impervious to traditionally scary things. I read horror novels by the bushel******. I daydreamed about how adorable I thought monsters were and how we would totally be friends in real life. I watched every Hellraiser, Alien movie, Friday the 13th, and Halloween movie I could get my hands on.

******Bushels clearly being the most standard unit of measurement for mass quantities of books.

Terrible, terrible survival instincts. GO ALIENS.

It occurs to me that the less coffee I’ve had before randomly drawing stick figures, the weirder my pigtails look.
Also, teenagers have terrible survival instincts.

And promptly relearned a lesson I had learned as a small child: Watching horror movies right before bed leads to horrifying night terrors.

But nevermind that, because suddenly it was time for college. And in college, watching scary movies late at night is a staple of alcohol-fueled idiocy and attempted dates.  Life lesson relearned. Twice.

And now we come to my mid-late 20s.****** Nestled in the soft bosom of adulthood, I am confident in the fact that there are no monsters under my bed. Nothing lives in my closet, waiting to jump out and eat me. There is no serial killer behind the door. My life is remarkably safe.

******Never to be confused with the ACTUAL late 20s, which is 29. Which I am not. Mid-late 20s is totally still young.

So, secure in this knowledge, I settled in to watch The Conjuring late at night, on a work night, by myself, with all the lights off.

I am not so good at great ideas.

Yeah. Nothing could go wrong watching this alone in the dark late at night.

And promptly spent the rest of the night wide awake, certain that invisible-demon-monster-witches had all died in my (built in 2008) apartment complex, and my cat was going to try to kill me if I fell asleep.*******

*******This has pretty much nothing to do with the plot, so don’t worry. No spoilers. You can still watch this alone and in the dark.

Life lesson relearned. Again and again and again.

In other news, this is a real place:


My life was incomplete before I knew there were whole rooms dedicated to trampolines.

So, there’s still hope and joy in the world.