Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I spoke too soon

"You know, Google is looking for space to open offices in Boston. They haven't found it yet but they're looking."

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mom cedes a tiny bit of ground on Google

I don't take my cell phone into work, and my mother does not have my work number. If she did, she might call me every time she needed to know how to spell something. My mother had my work number a couple of years ago, but the benefit of having moved and therefore changed numbers several times since is that I have moved to a phone number she does not have. She called me once at the old number. The conversation went something like this:

Mom: I sent you an e-mail about a good airfare sale.
A.: I'll check it later, mom-- I have to go, now is really not a good time.
Mom: Well, check your e-mail.
A.: I will but I can't talk now.
Mom: Oh, one more thing...
A.: No! I have to go.
Mom: Okay, but let me just tell you about something I saw on TV...
A.: I HAVE TO GO. I'll call you from home.

Anyway, I got home and checked my messages, and there was one from my mother, going something like:

"Why are you always unable to come to the phone? We want to come visit you for your birthday... well, mainly your father does... anyway, give us a call ASAP."

I had mixed feelings about this, since, last year on my birthday, my mother told me that I was socially overbearing, that therefore my friends didn't like me for me, were just my friends out of politeness, and that she was telling me this because she wanted me to have friends. Nonetheless, I won't have other plans that weekend, and I'll be fairly delirious and jet-lagged, so I'll be better at ignoring things like that.

Anyway, I called her back, told her to go ahead and by the tickets, she said she was leaving to go to a concert, and I went and reserved them for her and sent her the link so she could buy them if she liked the times.

Now, it would be unfair to criticize my mother and/or get annoyed with her if what followed were an issue of technical literacy, but it's more an issue of paying attention, so I feel no shame over my annoyance. I had to log in at the same time and guide her through what she had to click on to find the ticket and get the itinerary. She had to log into my frequent flier account to actually get the ticket (it was the only way I could hold the itinerary), so I have to give her my password. Her reaction was the same as other times I had to give her my password: Why do you have such a complicated password?? Then, this:

"There's more than one itinerary saved here."
"Choose the one with your name on it."
"Okay, now what do I do?"
"Click 'View Itinerary.'"

If I had the time and energy I would convey the interaction in painful detail; instead I'll relay another conversation with my mother, which took place a few days ago:

Mom: When are you leaving on your business trip again?
A.: In about two weeks. Also, I may go for longer than expected... this is still very tentative, but I may also be going to Australia afterward for more work. In that case I'll stay and travel for a couple of weeks. In that case I'd get back the weekend right before my birthday.
Mom: Australia?
A.: It's still very tentative.
Mom: I still think you should work for Google, but I'll admit, that's pretty good.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I smiled, knowingly

This is actually a mom blog about someone else's mom.

I volunteer sometimes; not as much as I would like to. Recently I've been volunteering in the kitchen of a women's shelter that shall remain unnamed and undescribed for security reasons. That volunteer opportunity is organized through local Jewish listserv, for lack of a better term. More on how I got on that listserv later.

Anyway, I was in the kitchen of the shelter, peeling potatoes, when one of the other volunteers answered his phone, which I found annoying. He initially left the kitchen, then came back in half a minute or so later, still on the phone. This is what I heard:

"Mom, I can't talk now."
"Mom, this is not a good time."
"Mom, I'll call you later!"

I smiled, knowingly.


The story of how I got on that listserv is a little embarrassing, but telling it is less painful than studying for my final.

My friend M. and I had previously talked about trying ten-minute dating, just for fun. Back in August, I'd found out about some Jewish speed-dating in celebration of the Jewish version of Valentine's Day, Tu B'Av. It is worth noting that few of the practicing Jews I know have even heard of it. Anyway, it would be a warm summer night on the roof of the Hilton in Dupont Circle; there would be a pool and tango lessons. I thought, "how bad could it be?" One lesson learned: if that thought comes to mind, it can be pretty $%^&ing bad.

I convinced M., who, incidentally, is Catholic, to join me. We thought it would be fun. We thought we'd learn to tango. To our credit, we had the lowest possible expectations in terms of the dating potential part of the evening. Amazingly, the dating potential fell below our expectations.

The event was poorly planned; to make a long story short, the lines to sign up for the tango-speed dating were long as people continued to trickle in, and blocked the dance floor, so prior to the dancing, there was a lot of nervous mingling and dilly dallying. During which a series of guys stopped at the table M. and I had staked out for ourselves, all of which were much older and/or... how should I say this... annoying beyond what you would attribute to someone who's just nervous about talking to a woman. Eventually, the dancing began. I lasted about five minutes, between a crazy woman in a spiky heel who stepped on my foot (and on several others, I'd learned later) and the guy next to me who was taking up too much space. I took M.'s purse so she could dance more freely and sat by the pool to wait for her. It was a beautiful night, so I did enjoy sitting there, but everything about my body language said, "I want to sit here and look at the moon and the city;" nothing about my body language said, "I'd really like someone to talk to/flirt with me, especially someone twice my age." Yet, somehow... well, you get the idea. Anyway, I looked up wearily as someone approached me... he sensed my wariness and said he just wanted to know if I wanted to be on a listserv for Jewish events on the area; I said sure, why not, and now I have a recurring volunteer opportunity, so the evening wasn't a complete waste... but you can be sure I'll stay away from Jewish speed-dating in the future.

Friday, March 2, 2007

It snows in DC

First, the pleasantly surprising news: I received a message from my mother that was absent of the phrase, "it's 9pm on a Friday night-- where on earth could you be?"

When I returned home I called back. The weather came up, she asked whether we were inundated, I said, 'no, we had rain this morning but the afternoon was very sunny and warm.' She asked about whether there was still snow on the ground from Sunday's snowfall. My dad said, "oh, any snow they had couldn't have lasted more than a day." I said, "It lasted about five days."

It would annoy me less if he were just doing it to annoy me. As it were, it annoys me more because he's completely oblivious of why it annoys me.

I am more sick of my Dad's comments about DC weather than I am of ANS coverage, and believe me, I could hardly be more sick of ANS coverage.