Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Password paranoia

After my most recent brush with death (computer death, that is) I discovered something: I had been too trusting of a mysterious benefactor who I assumed was Microsoft. Every time I entered a login/password combination anywhere, Microsoft (or whoever - I don't want to wrongfully accuse anyone) thoughtfully offered to remember it for me. Wasn't that nice? And since I am, above all else, very very lazy, the idea of not having to type things appealed to me.

After my cousin changed my computer setup to get rid of the overwhelming viruses, I confessed my secret shame, and asked if maybe I needed to think up new passwords. He smacked his head at my stupidity (as perhaps you are doing) and told me in his most patient stupid-person voice that it might be wise to get some new ones in place. How was I to know that my laziness represented a serious and naive breach in security? So I quickly, and rather paranoidly, established a whole new set of extremely complicated passwords with random numbers, punctuation, and varied capitalization. I wrote them all down on a note card and hid it behind one of my many hanging pictures where only the cast of CSI could find it. I was feeling all smug about my new impenetrable security until I went to visit my parents. Suddenly, I realized the problem with a password so complicated that no one could memorize it: After about 20 tries, I couldn't check my email for the life of me (not to mention my facebook account or the ol' blog).

Now I have such mixed feelings about the whole affair. On the one hand, to go back to my tried and true all-purpose password would be ridiculous. Before you know it, some bot would be sending virus or porn emails to everyone in my address folder from me, and then what would my bishop think of me? On the other hand, perhaps having a password so complicated that even M.C. Escher would think it was over the top is a bit much. After all, how can I blog all my inner-most thoughts if I can't log in?

Woe is me indeed. What is a girl with a terrible memory to do in this age of hackers and virusi?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Wow, what a month. I'm sorry to neglect you, dear bloggie. So many things happening! So little time for writing!

First, there were the viruses. I feel like there is something inherently weak in me. It lets animals and small children know that I'm a pushover who can easily be broken by sad, big eyes. It calls to pranksters who know that I'm gullible. And it extends to my computer somehow, making it susceptible to those obnoxious virusi that exist to torment the computer illiterate. In this instance, by the time my poor cousin Lane was done fixing things, he had to switch me from Windows to Linux because I had been inundated with links to sites like "youporn," "nudetube," and "porntube" (they really go in for originality, don't they?). In the end, my computer was be-Linuxed and renamed "USSInvincible." But I still have the feeling that somewhere a hacker is developing a special virus for Linux software, just because they can sense my weakness.

Then, once my computer was usable again, I got called by the census to go out of town! Where was I going? Far away exotic places maybe? Perhaps I would be put up in the finest of hotels on the government's dime? Even better! I got to go to Kanab, UT and stay in the crusty, rusty Bob Bon Inn (motto: your presence here is kind of inconvenient). Surprisingly, my work in this tiny town kept me there for 9 days, mostly because I was visiting vacant vacation homes. When the economy is depressed, rustic multi-million dollar cabins are the first thing to go.

When at last I was home again, and when my parents had just delivered the fabulous Mattie to me for dog-sitting (because I was supposed to have nothing better to do), I was once again called out for censustizing. This time I headed to the slightly less tiny Cedar City, UT where I would be staying in a MUCH nicer hotel (chosen specifically because they allowed dogs - score one for me!) - only to be sent home after two days. WHY, FATE? I shouldn't complain, though. Mattie managed to trash the hotel room after 2 hours. I shudder to thing what she could have accomplished in 9 days!

So now, I'm home again. Searching for a job to fill my empty hours. Hopefully, I'll be back on track with meaningless blog entries in no time. Talk to you later, blog!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The brotherhood of awesome vehicles

I recently accompanied my brother and father on a motorcycle ride. And by "accompanied" I mean, of course, that I rode behind; safely ensconced in a metal frame, doors, and glass windows to protect me from wind, bugs, and other cars. While I sat in smug comfort watching the lads waver at every gust of wind, and noting their bug smeared jackets, I also noted something else: every time they passed another motorcyclist each rider would extend an arm with two fingers outstretched in some kind of casual salute to being awesome.

In an instant I flashed back to high school when I was priveleged to drive, for a brief time, the king of rugged and manly cars - the CJ-7. Oh sure, it only got about 5 miles to the gallon, I almost needed a boost to get in, there were rust spots all over the floor, and it perpetually smelled like gas; BUT it was the coolest! It even almost won me "best car" in my senior yearbook (I lost to a vintage VW minibus).

Really, it was the coolest.

Even better, my friend Mike who drove a [pansy] Jeep Wrangler told me that I could now be let into the secret club of Jeep drivers, which was celebrated by a two fingered wave - the Jeep Wave (in my case, the Southern version). At first I was skeptical. Being susceptible to pranks as I am, I thought he was mocking me. He scoffed and told me that other Jeep drivers probably thought I was a snob, so I paid attention and noticed that it was true! I was getting the "we're too cool to wave a real wave, so we'll just throw out a couple of fingers to acknowledge that you are also cool" wave from every other jeep I passed.

This simple wave gave me a sense of being part of something bigger than myself; the Brotherhood of Awesome Vehicles.

When the CJ-7 finally gave up the ghost (after a passenger put his foot through the floor), gone was my membership ticket to the club. Much as I love my Passat - much as I love being able to drive faster than 50 mph, and not having to hike my skirt up to my thighs to climb in after church, or having to use my foot to turn on the high beams at night - it sadly is nowhere near awesome enough to usher me back into the fold.

It's almost enough to make me want to don only leather, get some tattoos, grow a beard, and climb on a hog. But only if I can look this cool while doing it:

Hahaha, biker "chick." But seriously, someone call the ASPCA.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can I have it??

All my life I've wanted to be both funny and an actress so that I could do this kind of thing and make people laugh until they wet their pants:

I don't think that's too much to ask. Alas, for all my efforts the most success I've found was in the form of winning "Best Actress" in a ward talent show (humorously made out to Susan Krebs). I'll just have to stick to sharing hilarious videos instead of starring in them. C'est la vie, n'est-ce pas?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Car Santa

I was walking across a large parking lot one day after wearily wending my way in the name of the Census, when my eye was caught by something out of the ordinary. I turned to see what had grabbed my attention and noticed a young gentleman with a large plastic bag over his shoulder. At first I assumed he was taking out the trash, but he was zig-zagging between cars on his way. I thought that perhaps he was OCD or something, and was unable to go in a straight line. Then I noticed there didn't seem to be a dumpster anywhere in the direction he was heading, so I payed even closer attention. I realized that he was grabbing at car doors as he passed, and I thought maybe he was going to drive to wherever the dumpster was and kept trying to get in the wrong car (not that I do that all the time or anything), but he didn't get in any of them, he just kept trying new doors.

For one last fleeting moment my bewildered brain struggled with what I was seeing:
a man in a doo rag,

with a plastic garbage bag over one shoulder,

systematically tugging at car handles only to move on upon finding them locked.

Finally my brain put it all together. Clearly the only reasonable explanation for this strange sight was that I'd caught a rare glimpse of the elusive Car Santa Claus, going from car to car leaving little presents for all the good girls and boys. So be sure to leave your doors unlocked, because you never know when he'll be headed your way!

PS - If you were wondering, after watching this for a bit I went into the main office and reported Car Santa lest his actions prove to be less than worthy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Helpful hints from the US Government

I was recently hired as an employee of the US Census Bureau, which was awesome as I don't even want to say how low on cash I was running.
My bank account looked a little like this.

But despite the relief of a cash-inflow, the job itself combines all the prestige of a door-to-door salesman with the respect of a substitute gym teacher. It also generates about as much excitement as a snail parade. Therefore, it has been vital throughout the "censutizing" process (that's a real word, I swear) to find ways to amuse myself; starting with mocking my training materials.

I spent 4 days in intense training, and included in that training were some vital safety tips from the government. These were hilarious mostly because a person reading them was forced to imagine that someone, at some point, actually found themselves in these situations. Just like the amusing HOT warnings on all McDonald's coffee cups, these safety tips must have their origins somewhere. So I'm going to write a few of them here and let your imaginations do the rest.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes. These shoes may come in handy should there be a need to run.
  • Be cautious when riding elevators. If you are suspicious of another passenger, wait for the next car.
  • As you walk towards your vehicle, scan beneath the vehicle for persons waiting to charge out at your ankles.
  • Although some pets may be friendly, not all are friendly to strangers. Put something between you and a dog, such as a bag.
  • If confronted by a dog, be submissive but do not run. If you run, the animal might try to knock you to the ground.

I do realize, of course, that this list could be taken from the hilarious to the horrifying depending on how you look at it. It isn't so much the concepts that I'm amused by (being eaten alive by dogs is a fear of mine second only to being eaten alive by sharks), it's more the careful wording. How, I ask you, could someone hiding beneath your low rider car be waiting to "charge" your ankles? Are we talking about some sort of Chucky-like living doll that hides under cars waiting to pounce? That's what I instantly imagine: some type of tiny person in a tiny tank preparing to charge.

And what about someone waiting for an elevator would make you suspicious enough to wait for the next car, and what excuse would you use? I imagine some mean looking bully standing loitering in a lobby, and as I notice him I veer away from the elevator mumbling something about being in the wrong building because I don't want him to steal my lunch money.

As for the dog issue, how exactly do you show a dog that you're submissive - roll over on your back?? Again, my vivid imagination springs to life, picturing me grabbing a nearby child to use as a shield per my government issued instructions while I repeatedly tell the dog that it's the boss of me.

While I would never want to learn just how valuable this information is (what if I actually need to use my running shoes to escape?), I can't help but be grateful for it now because of the giggles it has brought to me. Thanks, US Government, for looking out for my well-being in the funniest way I can imagine.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gullibility and universal balance

Dear friends,

I wanted to write a really hilarious April Fool's post - one that would have you reeling in shock, and then rolling your eyes at your own gullibility in falling for it. But it turns out that, sadly, I do not have the prankster gene. Instead I have the complete opposite: what is known in scientific circles as "the sucker" gene.

For instance, when I was a young lass, my aunt and uncle kindly invited me on a trip with them to Myrtle Beach. I was thrilled because I had never been to the ocean before, and I wanted to leap through the waves like some sort of freakish dolphin-human hybrid. Then, my sisters got to me. They told me (snickering behind their hands) that it was shark season at the beach, and that if I set even one toe in the water I might as well lather myself up in ketchup and mustard and set sail in a giant hot dog bun for the sharks to gobble. Thus it was that no matter how hard my uncle tried to convince me that there were no sharks longer than 18 inches anywhere near the beach, I refused to swim in any body of water larger than the hotel pool (which, considering all the little kids peeing in it, was probably far more dangerous).

How I spent my summer vacation, by Susan.

All my life I've been easy prey for those of twisted minds who would seek out the simple and trusting for their own nefarious plans. Even when I try to be untrusting, I still inevitably give in to the evil logic used by people who are capable of pranking. If I was famous it would be me crying to my mom on the phone while Ashton Kutcher's hired hands "repossessed" my favorite guitars, instead of Justin Timberlake (incidentally, while that is the only episode of Pranked I have ever watched, it is also my favorite).

"Mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Ashton's being mean to meeeeee!"

I've pondered about this problem. How is it that in the same family there can be two such devious masterminds as my sisters, and *me*? I finally realized that it all has to do with cosmic balance. In order for the universe to properly exist without blowing up, there must be yin and yang, black and white, good and bad, pranker and prankee.

So, long story short: the reason that I didn't try and trick anyone with a brilliant April Fool's joke is that if I were to be successful, the universe itself might explode. You're all welcome.