Grandma's Week In Electronic Hell
Sunday - (10:00am) Left Cleveland for the Allegheny wilderness in New York and Pennsylvania; left Grandma instructions for updating site with mini-posts. (10:30am) Grandma accidentally closes instruction file for posts, freaks out, closes all windows monitoring the Paypal donation account, E-mail, My Yahoo Refresh Request; and Blogger Dashboard. (3:00pm) Set up tent in pouring rain, make mental note to self to either purchase raingear or camp in the fucking desert next time. (7:00pm) Grandma goes to Hollywood Video in Aurora, Oh. to rent Sid Meier's Pirates. (7:30pm) Grandma fucking hates Sid Meier's Pirates.
Monday - (12:00pm) I wake up in the god damn forest. It's late, I don't care- it's a vacation god dammit. I wonder to myself how Grandma is doing with the site. (4:00pm) Grandma buys World Championship Poker for XBox from Best Buy in Cuyahoga Falls, Oh. (11:30pm) Grandma is addicted to World Championship Poker.
Tuesday - Maintained a sentry post at the campsite guarding from a thieving raccoon the family nicknames "Sly Cooper" for about 12 hours. No one sleeps. The raccoon begins to test our perimeter's weaknesses, plotting for night two of "Operation Annoy The Stupid Campers." The day is lost in a fog of thick insomnia. One of the proudest moments of my life occurs in Bradford, PA, a surprisingly nice little mountain college town with cheap gas and cheaper cigarettes. While walking through the Tops grocery store, I overhear two flannel wearing, student looking dudes say "Yeah, man- she's got a fucking website with VIDEOS man, it's fucking hilarious, she's like 80 or whatever and she plays Devil May Cry. I saw it on MetaFilter, dude- it's the shit!" I leave the store with a big stupid grin on my face and the world feels just a bit smaller. To you two guys in Bradford, you made this little blogger's day.
Wednesday - Ally's cell phone miraculously receives service in the middle of nowhere. Grandma leaves the following panicked voicemail: "Tim, call me as soon as you get this this morning, um....I'm sorry hun, I think I fucked up the site- everything's gone. ......call me!" I return the call to find that Grandma has not posted for two days and has received to spam e-mails informing her that the Paypal account and the Blogger account had been closed for suspicious reasons and that she could get access back if only she entered in her bank information, social security number, pin number for ATM, etc.,..... I calm her down and ask her if she actually responded with any information. She replies "No! I'm not fucking stupid, Tim!" I talk her through posting three days worth of SMAGGS material and tell her it's no big deal. She tells me the eBay auction for the Fatal Frame II / Camera bundle is up to $60.00 and that there have been more donations. Everything goes from being really shitty to really cool and the sky is beautiful. (11:30pm) Sly Cooper returns to feast on hot dog buns. We hate Sly Cooper.
Thursday - I call Grandma to talk her though the next post but she says she says she already has it done. We all go hiking down a mountain and almost kill ourselves wheezing and breathing heavy like we just swam the English Channel. Upon reaching the top we all sit down and triumphantly light a delicious Marlboro cigarette. I make a note of the irony and move on. Mom sees a black bear near the road leading to our camp. No one sleeps.
Friday - Grandma plays Poker on XBox Live for the first time. When I come home Saturday she remains signed in as "OGHC." I just hope she's slept. We take the canoe and the kayak out on to the Allegheny Reservoir, which resembles a Scottish Loch. Ally loses a shoe, Mom outruns a thunderstorm by paddling harder than her arms should for about a kilometer. A crazy redneck in a country store tells us there is a tornado watch for the area that night, and we all head out a mile into the woods to our campsite expecting the worst. Kenny and Bobby play their SP's to pass the time and we learn that the game "Bullshit" is best played with Gin.
Saturday - We return home. The eBay auction closes at an extremely nice $71.00 donation; and there are more donations to the Great Grandma Camera Campaign. This week we've had some great mentions from some fantastic blogs and the eBay auction got some attention for adding to the "Haunted Item" category history of eBay, right up there with the cheese sandwich. Grandma gives me a big hug when I get home and tells me she's played a few games this week she wants me to tell me about. Tomorrow those stories will be your stories; the posts are coming. Tonight brings the immaculate sort of sleep that can only come from hours of hiking, driving and a week of telling children to "stop touching the goddamn porcupine."
It's good to be back.