Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can people hear themselves talk?

I’ve heard the saying a million times, “They just like to hear themselves talk.” It’s our passive-aggressive way of pointing out that somebody needs to shut the hell up. Lately, though, I’ve been wondering if people really CAN hear themselves talk. After tonight, I’m convinced that it’s a total misnomer. There is no way people can hear themselves talk, because if they did, I wouldn’t currently want to strangle these four UNC Asheville kids sitting up here in the student lounge. Why am I in the student lounge? Because I get the pleasure of monitoring study hall from 7-9 on Sunday nights – it is one of my many coaching duties that has landed me a stellar paycheck.

So, these kids are playing some card game and I’ve heard, “Fuck you and your four jacks,” like 8 million times. If somebody is getting 4 of anything that many times in a card game, then the other 3 people suck. Bottom line.

A second favorite that I’ve heard is “Let’s go to Scandals and see a Trannie show.” This one is coming from a girl trying to convince her boyfriend to go with her to the show. She has his roommate on her side. Yes, I’ve managed to determine the inter-relationships among the 4 sucky card players. Things are getting more awkward, but this appears to be par for the course with this foursome.

Then, I hear the blue ribbon winner. “Don’t hit me with your calluses, or whatever you want to call those, because they aren’t nails.” WHAT?! That’s just gross. Hitting people with your calluses…I really can’t even comprehend that. It’s one of those phrases that you hear and think, “Wow, I never thought that combination of words would actually be uttered in my lifetime.” It happened though, it really happened.

What a joyful array of comments that are being tossed around the student lounge…I mean, really?

Seriously though, I do not know where UNC Asheville finds these kids. I think that, in order to get in to school here, you have to write that you play Magic on your application. There’s also probably a spot on the application for what Organic (i.e., non-functioning) brand of deodorant you wear, the quantity of weed you smoke (the yes/no question is skipped because it’s a given), and perhaps, what article of clothing you love to wear that makes you unique…which, in reality, isn’t unique at all, but you won’t find that out until you arrive at campus with the other Magic players during Orientation week.

Back to my original point though, I don’t think people actually hear themselves talk. If you don’t believe me, here is some additional evidence that may persuade you otherwise….

(1) People still say "Um" a gazillion times when they give class presentations

(2) One of my players says, "That's Gucci," to describe cool things

(3) Some people just don't shutup...ever...and they don't know who they are

(4) Southern accents still exist

(5) Dick Vitale never knows if anything or anybody is "SERIOUS"

These are all clues that maybe people can’t really hear themselves talk, but if you aren’t convinced yet, just keep in mind that Sarah Palin is still giving speeches.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Helen, not Keller, but with similar senses...

I know everyone has a story about calling Customer Service. Fortunate for you, mine doesn’t involve someone from the Phillipines or India or wherever, because those stories get old. Instead, my story begins and almost ends with Helen, a New Yorker.

I called Charter because my internet wasn’t working – it was connecting to the Network but I couldn’t surf? It had just worked before I went out of town, and I thought that maybe the snow from our global warming Asheville winter had messed something up while I was gone. I pressed “1” for English, tried to enter some account number that I didn’t know, and then proceeded to scream “Agent” at the automated woman whose name I didn’t catch. She kept replying “So, I think I understand what your problem is…” Clearly, she didn’t because I had to scream “Agent” about 3 more times before I heard good ole Helen’s fresh, cheery Big Apple accent. Helen was super nice – we were on a first name basis within a couple of minutes…the start of any great relationship, right?

Helen asked me lots of questions, but basically guided me through the process of unplugging the cable cord from the modem and plugging it directly into my computer…she said that we should bypass the router…I thought that this was odd, because I now had a cable cord that was connecting my computer and the router…so, how the hell was that BYPASSING the router?! But anyway, the internet still didn’t work, obviously. Then, she asked about the lights on my modem, and I told her that the first 3 weren’t flashing.

She quickly replied, “Oh, Lauren, that is not good, not good at all. Let me get a tech.” Sure Helen. She gets back on the phone after like 5 seconds, so I’m guessing “the tech” was snuggled between her inner thighs or something.

Then she says, “You’ve got a modem problem. That’s an old modem Lauren. You’re gonna have to go get a new one.” She also rattled off all these numbers that apparently described the model of my ancient modem…she reads well basically.

I said, “Well, that sucks Helen. Thanks for your help.”

She finished with a chipper, “No problem, Lauren, and tell your stepmom to upgrade you guys to Plus speed.”

I closed with a “Sure thing,” knowing damn well that my internet speed did not need upgrading and I hate that Helen had to try to sell me something at the end of our seemingly genuine relationship.

I hung up the phone feeling dejected, but knowing that I needed the internet BAAAAAD…for blogging, getting season stats, posting pictures of my cute dog, and WEBCAM WEBCAM WEBCAM, my savior. So, I decided to call back just in case Helen maybe missed the class on bypassing the router.

After going through the “1”, “Agent,” “Agent,” “Agent” process, I got Trisha on the phone. I felt a little pang of sadness when Trisha and I became first-name basis buddies so quickly, because it made me feel like mine and Helen’s relationship was so meaningless…but, my eagerness to get internet superseded the sadness, and I pushed forward. While I was explaining my problem to Trisha, I tried to undo all of the juicy goodness that Helen had done during our brief interaction so I could start from scratch. As I was telling Trisha about Helen and the lights on the modem and all that jazz, the Google page magically appeared on my computer screen. I thought it was a trick, so I typed in and saw some Duke Puke player.

That’s when I laughed and said, “Trisha, I don’t think Helen knew what she was talking about.”

Trisha awkwardly responded, “Ok Lauren, what do you mean by that?”

“Well, my internet appears to be functioning normally, the lights are on my modem, and it’s all happening by doing the opposite of what Helen said to do.”

In a very politically correct tone, Trisha announced that she was pleased my internet was working. At this point, I was laughing internally at the whole experience, and decided that I would finish my stellar Customer Service phone call without filtering.

So, I said, “Yeah Trisha, me too. And do me a favor, if you happen to run into Helen, tell her to step up her game.”

Trisha mustered up a half-assed chuckle and said “Have a good night, Lauren.”

I hung up the phone with Talia in the background cackling like it was the first time she had laughed all day – that pretty much means she was heaving. I think it was the best I have ever felt after a Customer Service phone call…and then I lost Mr. Carson for 30 minutes in the pitch black night and fake Asheville blizzard, panicked, and realized that I needed to step up my parenting game. That little shit killed my buzz.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What do kids' games teach us?

I got the idea to write this blog randomly on our road trip to Charleston/Myrtle Beach after playing Trouble with one of our other assistant coaches and her 5 year old son, so here goes :)
Trouble – I was pissed because I was blue and I wanted to be green, but I would have looked like an ass if I beasted the 5-year old for his green pegs, so I graciously accepted blue. I taught the kid to sing Ray Lamontagne “Trouble Trouble Trouble Trouble” during the game every time we sent somebody back to homebase. He thought it was great – I was happy to pass along Ray’s music to a young ear. I came in 3rd place out of 3, was not pleased, and then tried to think about what I learned.
In a nutshell, Trouble teaches you that if you land on top of somebody, you win. And, since immigration is an ongoing and important issue, Trouble ensures that you know that if you keep sending people back to where they come from, you will continue to stay ahead of them.
Hungry Hippos – this game probably has the easiest lesson of any of the kid’s game. It’s a very American game. Put quite simply, If there is limited food, aggressively go after it – the more you eat, the better chance you have of winning.
Chutes and Ladders – It’s difficult for me to comment on what exactly this game teaches, seeing as my parents bought me the bootleg version of the game called “Snakes and Ladders.” When I asked my friend for an idea of what Snakes and Ladders teaches kids, she looked at me like I was ridiculous. It reminded me of the time I got chastised for not knowing what FunFetti was the first week of grad school…my parents really dropped the ball apparently.
Yahtzee – This game is simple….TAKE CHANCES. 4 of a kind is better than 3 of a kind, so if you’re looking for a Mean Girls crew, pull in as many bitches as possible. And lastly, a Full House is good, so make lots of babies.
Sorry – Seeing as the only thing I remember about Sorry is the name of the game, I’m guessing that it teaches you that this is an important word, fo rizzle. It makes me wonder right now how many times we’ve said “Sorry.” This reminds me of our head coach’s comment following the National Anthem in our last game…she said in the huddle, “Do you ever wonder how many times you’ve heard the National Anthem?” I wanted to respond, “Do you ever wonder why we lose so much…perhaps because you ask questions like that in the huddle 1 minute before gametime.” I refrained to avoid losing my nonpaying job.
Candyland – According to Talia, this game teaches you to hang out with fairies….hmmmm.
Life – I used to play this one with my older brother at my Nan and Papa’s as a kid. It was one of my favorites actually. My Nan gave me a picture of Brett and I playing it by the pool…I had my shirt off, so I’m sure Brett was pissed at me, which probably motivated me to speed through life in my sickening plastic car. Looking back, I think the game of Life is just like the cliché life…we should all want to become doctors and make several hundred thousand dollars a year. I guess it taught me to dream big? Nah, stupid game – no good lessons. I’m gonna make a new game: “Life 2” (original I know)…your job options will be Real Housewife of Atlanta or Unemployed…I feel like the average person that would play a board game has a better chance of being one of those two things than a doctor.
Operation – Loud noises are annoying. The End.