JB has returned from hiking over 40 miles through glorious Rogue River wilderness and I am caught between paging through his photos and wishing with every element of my being to do the same trip sometime soon because oh my god the wild beauty of this part of the world—and peering with horror at his Spam-burger’d feet and thinking well maybe we could just raft it instead.

It was rough being on my own with the kids, particularly since Dylan seems to have entered a clingy stage that is in equal parts adorable and annoying as all fuck. All weekend long he crawled in my lap and turned around and around like a dog trying to mash its bed into submission. He walked behind me with his head stuffed against the back of my thighs, fiercely gripping my pants and half-dragging them to the floor. If I left the room, he staggered frantically after me, moaning and howling. At one point I found myself in the bathroom trying to take care of business in private, only to have Dylan collapse in tears on the other side of the closed door. Then Riley barged in, took one look at me, and announced I was doing it wrong because I forgot to push my penis down.

In addition to the clinginess, Dylan’s obsessed with pictures of farm animals and his favorite activity in the world is to sit on my lap with his chewed-up copy of Old MacDonald Had a Cerebral Event And Thus the Repetition or whatever it is while I flip the pages and he provides the color commentary. “Moo. Baa. COCK-A-LOO.”

This is a nice little bonding pursuit but truth be told there are only so many hours I can spend looking at photos of sheep before I start wondering just how many Advil Liqui-Gels a person needs to consume to put themselves into a coma, so in lieu of decent weather that would allow us to escape to the playground, I let the kids watch a fair amount of TV this weekend. Hey, say what you will about children’s programming, if Yo Gabba Gabba lets me take a whiz in peace, I’m all for it.

It was about an hour before naptime yesterday—a prime TV-zombification time period if ever there was one—when the television and DVD player mysteriously stopped working. Since I am a resourceful woman with creative problem solving skills, the first thing I did was rush to the computer and post the equivalent of Edvard Munch’s The Scream on Twitter. At first I waited, foot tapping, for someone to magically appear and fix my broken appliance, but no dice. Dammit. I went and peered into the entrail-like mess of cords behind the entertainment center, but it was like the time the toilet backed up and I opened up the tank: like, what the fuck am I even looking at, here?

I opened up Twitter again and someone mentioned checking the circuit breakers so I ran out to the garage and pulled open what I thought was the electrical thingie but was actually the panel for our water heater. I eventually found the circuit board but realized I didn’t know what I was looking for: would one of the little switches be holding up a sign that said “THIS BE’S WHY YOUR TV DON’T WORK”? I flipped some things at random, then went back inside, where the microwave clock was beeping and the printer was making its ponderous starting-up noises but the TV was still off and now Dylan was wailing because I’d left the house for .5 seconds and Riley was yelling “MAYBE DADDY NEEDS TO FIX IT” and I was like “DADDY IS AN ASSWIPE FOR RIGGING THE WORLD’S MOST COMPLICATED TV SYSTEM THEN RUNNING OFF ON SOME SAUSAGE-FEST MAN HIKE”.

Eventually, somehow, I randomly smashed a button titled “Switched Outlets” on some unknown piece of equipment and like that, everything turned back on. I guess this component protects all the other stuff from power surges or some such thing, but all I know is, it has a stupid dickwad button that makes everything stop working if a small child pushes it.

So it was right after the whole TV debacle that I got both kids ready for naps, tucked them into bed, strolled back out to the living room, fired up my computer and casually hit the “Update WordPress” link in my blog. Instantly, my whole website broke. With an audible snapping sound.

I won’t even detail all the clusterfuckery of getting the site fixed, except that I eventually paid my web hosting company $150 to help me restore it which did no good whatsoever and finally my friend Jon came through like a goddamned knight in shining blog-armor, but holy crap, I felt like some demented version of King Midas, where everything I touched turned to steaming piles of unresponsive technology.

The microwave clock still isn’t working. I have no idea how to reset it. Luckily, JB is home now, so I can probably offload that task. He owes me one, after all.


43 Responses to “Doing it wrong”

  1. Anonymous on September 7th, 2009 1:56 pm

    I am so lucky that my husband hasn’t got a technical bone in his body, because I am the one who controls how our various electronic devices are hooked up and controlled. Bwahahaha!

    However, that does mean that I am the one who gets to fix it when something goes horribly wrong.

  2. Heather C on September 7th, 2009 1:57 pm

    Duh, speaking of horribly wrong, my cookies didn’t work. That first comment is from me!

  3. AndreAnna on September 7th, 2009 1:57 pm

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand cue when I would have cried and handed the kids their portable DVD player while I went to the bathroom to lie in the tub while sucking heartily on a Skor bar because surely, with the man gone and the TV broken, THERE IS NO HOPE.

    Ahem. I mean, yeah, I so would have troubleshooted as well as you did.

  4. Belle on September 7th, 2009 2:02 pm

    Technological malfunctions are The Worst because they make you cry and then they make you cry for crying over technology. Or is that just me?

  5. Lesley on September 7th, 2009 2:08 pm

    What you must work on now: getting a refund for that $150, and spending it at the Spa.

  6. bill on September 7th, 2009 2:10 pm

    At first, I read that as “peeing with horror at…” and I wondered ‘How does one pee with horror?’


  7. beach on September 7th, 2009 2:51 pm

    Girl he owes you more than one!

  8. Tony on September 7th, 2009 3:16 pm

    I’m sure if you total up what it would cost to replace all the equipment that could be fried due to a power surge, you’ll learn to deal with the button that shouts “Attention all toddlers, please push me”.

  9. clarabella on September 7th, 2009 3:17 pm

    I second Lesley. And glad to see it looking back to normal.

  10. Gigi on September 7th, 2009 3:24 pm

    I died laughing when you were informed that you were “doing” it wrong!!! Even little boys have that tendency to think “little woman, if you’d do it the way I tell you. . .”

    But I am definitely in the camp where I am the technological genius in my house. And genius I am not.

    But kudos to you for getting it straight.

    The microwave – ehhh; don’t worry about it. Everyone uses the stove clock my house because the microwave is always wrong.

  11. Maria on September 7th, 2009 3:26 pm

    I think it was my husband who mentioned the circuit breaker. The back of our entertainment center looks a hell of a lot like yours. I have no wish to go there…it is territory that I dream not of.

  12. Daisy on September 7th, 2009 4:17 pm

    I kayaked the Rogue River about 5 years ago- did a 3 day guided trip (I’d never kayaked before, these were the inflatable ones that you fall out of instead of drown in when you can’t flip it back over) and it was the best. trip. ever. Let me say that again: BEST. TRIP. EVER. There was a raft w/ all the food in case you got tired of paddling, guides led you the whole way and scooped you out of the water when you fell in, there was a huge lunch on a beach every afternoon and we semi-camped in cabins every night where the guides prepared awesome food, handed out beers, built campfires for s’mores & playing cards for poker. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was- we saw bald eagles, black bears with baby cubs, deer and all sorts of fish jumping around. Spectacular. My 70 year old grandfather also highly recommends it, along with my 50 year old adventure-thrill-seeking-father if that gives you any idea how awesome it was.

  13. tanya on September 7th, 2009 4:25 pm

    Mercury. I’m telling you. Way to pull through like a champ.

  14. susie on September 7th, 2009 4:27 pm

    My fiance loves wires and buttons, and I have this sense of impending doom about my future technology issues… he just hooked up some complicated receiver crap to our big shiny television, and now multiple remotes and prayers are necessary to get the damn thing on and making noise. AND we got more expensive cable to go with it. So now we are paying more for a tv I’m too impatient (read: stupid) to use. I’ve stopped watching tv in favor of … anything else, really. So I guess that’s kind of a bonus?

  15. Tony on September 7th, 2009 4:31 pm

    JB, I think you just found a perfect place to hide all your porn….under the wires behind the entertainment center. As good as an electromagnetic lock safe.

  16. Kristi on September 7th, 2009 4:46 pm

    He owes you more than one.

  17. jill on September 7th, 2009 4:51 pm

    Linda, I’ve been a loyal reader for years but never comment- until now- this was all too familiar. We live on the Rogue and my husband leaves for his annual rafting trip each spring down the canyon. Total sausage fest. Can’t beat the scenery. I’ve hiked it and love that too. Hope you put it on your list. You should go buy a new pair of shoes…you’ve earned them:)

  18. AW on September 7th, 2009 4:58 pm

    My mom loves to tell me about how, when I was little and she committed the intolerable sin of going to the bathroom, she would inevitably hear a little questioning wail of “mooooooooooommy?” outside the bathroom door, followed by tiny fingers repeatedly sweeping under the door crack in an attempt at contact.

  19. Kami Lewis Levin on September 7th, 2009 4:59 pm

    clusterfuckery! HAHAHAHA! That whole scene must have been incredibly stressful. I’m so sorry! Hope you had some ice cream and a few glasses of wine subsequently.

  20. nonsoccermom on September 7th, 2009 6:56 pm

    I nearly died laughing at “Old MacDonald Had A Cerebral Event And Thus the Repetition”. I’m still laughing and probably will continue to do so well into tomorrow.

    Man, what a stressful weekend. You are no doubt very glad THAT is over with. I kept seeing your Twitter updates and getting stressed out for you.

    If I remember correctly, right around four years old was when I had to stop letting my son in the bathroom while I was in there. I seem to remember him making a similar comment right around that age and quite frankly he was getting a little too…curious.

  21. Alex on September 7th, 2009 11:47 pm

    Loved the tapping the foot reference.

  22. Lesley on September 8th, 2009 2:24 am

    Saw your tweet about the end of The Wire. A couple of recommendations if you haven’t seen them.

    Damages – seasons 1 and 2 (3 is pending). Great cast, great acting, great plot. Loads of suspense.

    Breaking Bad – seasons 1 and 2 (don’t know if it’s available on DVD but this is a great show). Also on hiatus.

  23. Lesley on September 8th, 2009 2:28 am

    Btw, if you liked The Wire, you might enjoy Homicide: Life on the Killing Streets

    It’s non-fiction by David Simon when he was a crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun and the inspiration for The Wire. I found I couldn’t put it down. He’s as good a writer as he is a producer.

  24. Cookie on September 8th, 2009 4:17 am

    I would be lost sometimes without the TV to entertain my children. However, we often pop in DVDs for them and the DVD player was floor level, which meant that Nick loved to push the button to open the door, take out the DVD and then try to stick things in there. So we bought an small all-in-one TV and put it in their playroom out of Nick’s reach. We set it up this weekend and now we can just lock them up, er I mean, turn on their TV and not be bothered, er now they can play and watch TV in the same place.

  25. Chris on September 8th, 2009 6:36 am

    I’m so relieved that I’m not the only one that wants to stick a knife is my head after reading the same Dora book over and over again. Seriously? “This be’s why your TV won’t work” button? I would have looked for that one too ;)

    I’m so glad I found your site, the after effects of the Dooce blowup – love it!

  26. claire on September 8th, 2009 6:37 am

    If it makes you feel any better, it looks like whatever happened with your WordPress made it so that your entire post is showing up in Google Reader again – not in snippets like it had been. So… i guess there’s a plus?

  27. Amy M. on September 8th, 2009 6:55 am

    I hear you on the electronics. I was home last week with the swine flu & my washer mysteriously went on strike. With a vomiting 15 month old! Ack!

    My aforementioned little one is finally getting curious about her 3-yo brother’s dangly bits in the bathtub. Sigh.

  28. MyHormonesMadeMeDoIt on September 8th, 2009 8:18 am

    This is exactly why I hate technology (almost) as much as I love it. At least JB knows how to do things like fix the clock on the microwave, the scariest thing in my house is that I am the one who knows more, which is like nothing.

  29. Artemisia on September 8th, 2009 9:52 am

    It seems all technology-related contraptions in the house go berserk when A. is out hunting for six days straight. I usually sit in silence for about five of those days. Silent, as in not as nearly as eloquently or as funny as you do deal with the situation. Just, in silence.

  30. Heather on September 8th, 2009 9:59 am

    A teeny, tiny part of me feels bad that I’m laughing so hard at your awful experience.

    A teeny, tiny part…

  31. Kathy on September 8th, 2009 10:12 am

    That must be how my husband feels when I’m out on his day off! Except he’s the technical genius. Also the killer of icky bugs.

  32. Kelly on September 8th, 2009 12:04 pm

    Oh dear God in heaven.

    And this?

    Is how I know I am not yet ready for children.

  33. Ian on September 8th, 2009 2:15 pm

    I’m surprised that after your Tweet BestBuy didn’t send over a Geek Squad guy to fix the problem… How many followers do you need to get any service around here anyway?

  34. Meggish on September 8th, 2009 8:37 pm

    My mom calls that the Secretariat Touch: When everything you come into contact with turns immediately to horse poo. (Wait, can I say “horse shit” on the internet?) Mm mm!

  35. Frannie on September 9th, 2009 6:56 am

    Not saying Geek Squad is bad, but our experience has been awful. I’m not a fan of passing the buck kind of companies. Anyway, we had our tv “fixed” after a month or so of them coming in, not doing anything, two weeks later, changing the whole LCD panel. Lo, this morning I turn the tv on and pretty fuschia/purple line vertically on the left side. Already warned husband of impending “opportunities”.

  36. Violet on September 9th, 2009 7:26 am

    I feel your technological pain. I’ve been having the same problem at work – and I work in IT! But every computer I work on freezes, every program I use crashes. I’m suddenly cursed with the ability to make every computer hate me. And I’m pretty sure it’s making me a little unpopular at work, too. :) Most likely, now that JB is home, you won’t have another problem until he’s out of town again.

  37. Smileen on September 9th, 2009 7:57 am

    Ok so this has nothing to do with anything in this post, but I figured out who you look like, IMHO – Kristin Cavallari!

  38. victoria on September 9th, 2009 10:04 am

    On another note — and I know you didn’t ask for free assvice — all my hiking blister woes disappeared forever when I discovered Asolo AFX boots. Worn with liner socks as well as wool socks, my Asolos (pronounced “oslos”) needed no breaking in and never left so much as a little hot spot on my feet. The days when we had to wear our hiking boots walking around the city for weeks before a trip to make sure they’re broken in are over.

  39. tara on September 9th, 2009 12:13 pm

    well shoot, i was just about to comment but dangit, the baby has awoken.

  40. Brenda on September 10th, 2009 4:24 am

    I am so glad to hear you talking about Dylan’s clinginess and horse fetish! Maggie is a couple of days younger and EXACTLY the same! Friends of ours have a horse barn, and they’ve been “kind” enough to let her ride a couple of horses, and now that’s all she talks about.

    And the clinging–I can’t even walk from the living room to the kitchen (still in view of the living room, mind you) without howls of protest. Last night, she got so upset she threw up all over the place because I wouldn’t pick her up right! that! second! Ugh.

    It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  41. katie on September 11th, 2009 1:10 pm

    totally unrelated to the topic….but you look like mira sorvino…just saw a pic of her on a website.

  42. XAЛAШKA on December 21st, 2009 9:19 pm

    Прикольно. Подпишусь-ка я на РСС пожалуй. :)

  43. Альфред on December 27th, 2009 3:10 pm

    Я практически случайно зашел на этот сайт, но вот обосновался тут надолго. Задержался, потому что все очень интересно. Обязательно скажу о вас всем своим друзьям.

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