Monday, December 24, 2012

I Feel Pretty

“I just love your boots”, one of our Lower-Level Female Producers commented to one of our Executive Producers.  “But how can you stand all day in that high of a heel?” the LLFP wondered in a state of bewilderment as our Set Dec guy surreptitiously slid a Director’s chair behind the EP allowing her to plop down comfortably.

“Thanks!  They’re so comfortable” the EP cooed, lifting her legs to model her footwear.  “They only cost me $1,500.00”.
(I’m sorry, wait, WHAT?)

And generally invisible as I am to the Powers That Be, crouching in the shadows as per the status quo, I stifled a nearly audible “Pfft!” (as well as a “you gotta be kidding me” eye-roll), at the absolutely asinine scenario unfolding before me.
“These are ostrich leather, and I swear, I can be on my feet for hours on end and not even notice!” the EP added, easing her wealthy ass out of one chair and onto another (also scooted in quietly by our Set Dec guy) in a different set on stage.

Frankly, for me, the whole nauseating conversation just further emphasized the word “rich” in “ostrich”.
But I couldn’t deny the fact that something had touched a nerve.

And sitting at home that night with a cocktail, mindless TV noise in the background to keep me company, and logging onto the poot, my homepage welcomed me with an advertisement from

They DO offer free shipping both ways, and I AM a Stand-In by title, and I SHOULD own comfortable shoes for my job, and what harm could it POSSIBLY do, to “window shop” for my upcoming birthday?  Right?
And having overcome my initial fear of Uggs and the stigma that I should be blonde, twenty-something and anorexic with a Chihuahua in my purse in order to wear their products in Hollywood, I clicked on my favorite Cardys and paid (with my debit card) for a pair of boots in a festive “sugar plum” color.

After all, how could a single hit of the drug known as “on-line shopping” cause any real damage?  I’d successfully received my Zappos box the next day, and with the resolute constitution of my strong Capricorn will, had set the carton aside so as to look forward to something to open on my birthday!
Logging onto the poot the next evening however, I found myself sucked in once again...

There they were, disturbingly beautiful motorcycle-style calf-high boots, but unlike any I had ever seen before.  I confess, I must’ve stared and drooled at the expensive leather boots for at least five minutes, as suddenly a pop-up window appeared, and a sales agent wanted to know if I needed assistance in the on-line chat box.
“There are no customer reviews.  Can you tell me about the sizing?” I typed, unaccustomed to European standards, and feeling very much like a toddler caught with my hand in the cookie jar.

“No problem!  They are brand new to the Fall line, so let me check with the company” the agent responded helpfully.
I suspect it was less than a minute before I whipped out my debit card, and once again made the purchase.  There was no problem!  If the boots didn’t fit properly, the whole process would be nothing more than having a friend print out a return label and money sent back into my bank account!

And receiving my second Zappos carton, I made the Executive Decision to try them on (if only for a boost of self-esteem) and absolute reassurance that I CLEARLY did NOT deserve to possess genuine leather boots with a studded ankle buckle and a stripe up the back apparently made of some (faux cow?) fur, that filtered ever-so elegantly down towards the back of the two inch heel...
After all, God knows, I had stood in for my Gorgeous Actress in our first episode of this particular season, wherein, to properly set up a camera shot, I was required to don her puffy-ball sexy “Zsa Zsa Gabor-esque” house slippers, which gave me immediate vertigo (as well as cause for concern from our Guest Director as to why I was clinging to the wall and my fellow Stand-In for balance).  But as the script designated me to kick off the shoes irritably, I did so, to the best of my ability, delighted to be earthbound once again!

And thus, with trepidation, I slid on my birthday purchase.
Lumbering around the bat-cave in my expensive boots and pajamas (yes, ever-so glamorous), I needed to make sure that my investment was indeed a horrible mistake.

The boots were a whim.  They were a tad over $200.00!  They were totally out of my league.  I wasn’t Cinderella in glass slippers eager to meet my Prince at the Royal Ball; just a humble servant in the world of television production; a mere cog on a sit-com pulling the weight of the pumpkin carriage.

Trotting gleefully around the bat-cave like a lunatic, re-enacting Lily Tomlin’s twisted fantasy of singing to animated fauna and chirping birdies ala “Snow White” in the classic 1980 film Nine to Five, I was one with Nature and The Universe!

I’d found a company that makes shoes and boots in a Fair Trade Market, and with a wire transfer from EDD that I’d totally forgotten about from my last hiatus, I opted for just ONE last on-line window shopping experiment at Zappos for my birthday.
And scanning the company name that had created the world’s-bestest-most-comfiest-motorcycle-boots-whatever-lived, I found myself drooling once again.

Also brand new to Zappos, also premiering for the first time this season, and already completely sold out, I took a deep breath and contemplated just exactly what nerve our EP’s dead ostrich had stepped on earlier; and more specifically, what emotional need was I trying to fill?
Did I really require the extravagance of one more pair of well-crafted boots?

Well, YES!
Did I have the right to spend my hard-earned money thusly?

Well, YES!
And did I dare to log on to the company’s home web-site in Spain, purchase the ankle boots (I’m not a wine drinker, but the color is either Burgundy or Merlot) from in-house, which as I live in the United States, offered free international shipping as well as no sales tax???

No, that would be absolutely absurd...
And with one click, I ordered imported boots from Spain!!! 

I must say that as my subconscious was only vaguely aware of my cyclical online shopping addiction, my pea-brain refused to acknowledge any psychological issues, as I could absolutely justify every single purchase.  Even my family and friends were cheering me on, as I’m notoriously cheap!
But it wasn’t until our Set Dec guy “called me out” as we had a ciggy together outside of the stage, that my pea-brain started putting two and two together.

“You seem to be dancing from foot to foot, to your own tune” he noted.
And there I was, without a doubt, feeling the coziness of the pads in my motorcycle booties, seeking contentment in kneading pseudo “kitty cookies” with my own itty bitty (well, size 8 and ½) paws.

Indeed, the nerve that had been so painfully stomped upon earlier had clearly manifested itself; especially relative to the purchase of Christmas cards which I needed to hand-write and mail to my family back in the Mid-West; cards that I always signed from me, as well as from my heroic feline sidekick, Pretty.
But, uch!  Emotionally, I was stuck!  Every time I pulled out the cards, I immediately burst into tears!

You see, for the last seventeen years, I’ve laid on my bed in my pajamas in December, sprawled out amongst all manner of cards, envelopes, labels, a printed book of addresses, Holiday stamps, various colored pens; and with repeated tender goading, nudging, and delicately scooping up my beloved kitty who took GREAT pleasure in stomping all over everything in her personal desire to “help”, I would finally finish my cards with true joy in my heart, filled with the Spirit of Christmas!
Yet day after day this December, the stationery supplies sat woefully unattended to, as cheery holiday greetings flooded my snail mail box (including one lovely sentiment from my Great Aunt, who didn’t know about Pretty’s passing, and who had addressed the envelope to BOTH of us)... 

Meanwhile, the spool of red, green and white ribbons that Pretty used to bat around, playfully chase and upon catching, floss her (remaining) teeth with, sat sadly un-slobbered on, and un-scissored into their usual festive curlicues; gift-wrap tissue paper lay unnervingly pristinely crinkle-free; and even the resilient roll of Scotch tape sitting directly on the carpet looked forlorn as it seemed to have lost its willpower to persevere, as not a single black cat-hair clung to its inate stickiness...
But truth is, out of the two choices of all the displaced resentment in the world towards a wealthy (albeit not particularly self-aware) EP; or drinking the Kool-Aid myth that buying “things” would make me feel better, neither of the two provided any viable long-term solution.

And sucky as it sounded, I realized I had to yank my own ostrich head out of the sand, face the pain and breathe.

Quite surprisingly, I found that hand-writing the Christmas cards seemed to be somewhat therapeutic!  I’d managed to incorporate a small message in the final sentiments:
“Much love, Penny.  (And the Christmas Spirit of Pretty, who lovingly shedded on, and walked all over my cards for 17 years!)” -– a mere “footnote” (if you will!) to some; a fond remembrance to many, and a positively necessary “step” for me.

Finishing up a few gifts for some of my co-workers last week, I spied amongst the Holiday trimmings at Target, a most delightful Pirate Wench Nutcracker statuette.  Ooh, she had a black velvet skirt!  Ooh, and she had a skull and crossbones painted on her!  Ooh, and she was wielding a hearty pirate sword! 

And like a wide-eyed little girl, I picked the bestest one out of the crowd of dollies, brought her home, played with her hair to get it just right with her bangs out of her face (good grief, even away from work, I’m concerned about proper lighting???), and planting her on my window sill to admire my ever-so Christmassy purchase, I made yet one more startling discovery about my psyche...
I’m absolutely TERRIFIED of NUTCRACKERS!!!  (Insert Hitchcock-ian “Reet! Reet! Reet!” noises from the shower scene in the movie Psycho!)

Hey, nothing like a little Christmas terror to bitch-slap me into the Holiday Spirit!!!
Oh, but wait, kind readers, the Universe hadn’t quite completed its task...!

Opening my snail mail that evening, my heart was warmed by more well-wishing seasonal greetings from family and friends, all of whom had seemed to go out of their way and chosen elegant cards! 
(With glitter...!)

Pit-a-patting my hands together to slough off some gold dusting from one of my Aunts, I opened the next envelope which lovingly embraced me with a smattering of silver flecks; and trying to delicately tweeze open the third with a thumb and a forefinger, I mindlessly rubbed my chin as red and green sparkles bedazzled my hands, face and bedding.
OK!  OK!  Alright already!  Melancholy is certainly permitted during the holidays, but clearly The Universe had had enough of my woefulness, and had essentially glittered me up like a Christmas tree!  Point taken!  Yeesh!

Yet in a most surprising twist of Fate (and perhaps a Cosmic nod toward my warped sense of humor?), I’d accidently overlooked an envelope from my friends Scott and Troy, who own and operate “Dearly Departed – The Tragical History Tour”.
Please do enjoy their unique creativity:


Moderately petrified, gently assimilating the Holiday Spirit and slowly working up the courage to take the next few steps all by myself (in imported boots!),
~Sugar Plum P 

P.S.  As I’m obviously not the only person to lose a Loved One this year, my heart truly goes out to each and every one of you who are walking in the same shoes this Holiday Season, as you cope with the sadness and loss.  I wish you comfort and peace.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

How to Make an Entrance!

The hilarious Harvey Korman and brilliant comedic genius Carol Burnett,
 spoofing "Norma Desmond" from the 1950 film, Sunset Boulevard.
My Epic Production
With the luxury of having our scripts emailed to the Crew over the weekend, I sat happily in my pajamas, leisurely preparing for work.  By definition, our Director for the week was “new” to us, but as he’s also our Editor, we all know each other and are well-versed in each other’s talents.  At the very least, I could be certain that as soon as he read the script; he’d already be making cutting choices early in the week! 

And as I finished my own homework, I was delighted that the only possible worst case scenario on Monday would be getting the timing right for an uncast Guest Actor who only had two lines.  Her cue followed what was sure to be a roar from the Audience, so making a mental note that I’d have to do a bit of “kerfuffling”; I set the alarm for 6:30am and went to sleep without a care.
4:30am. Wide awake...  (Hmm...)

Deciding that The Universe didn’t wish to jar me noisily from my cozy slumber on a drizzly morning, I snuggled into my pillow and watched the news as early rising commuters plowed into each other all over the freeways, causing massive traffic delays, as the year-round-tanned Weatherman tracked “STORM WATCH” as well as one fourth of an inch of terribly dangerous misting!
Good grief.

Blissfully for me however, my path to employment is ridiculously short, but even so, it only made common sense to leave the house a little early.  And donning a baseball cap, arriving to work with extra time on my hands (thank goodness, as I was re-routed to the farthest parking structure in order to accommodate 300 Dancers, who were apparently hired for a Holiday Extravaganza episode of something – and, ya know, God FORBID those ATHLETIC people have to WALK, FFS), I eventually strolled onto my stage for my first hearty breakfast after a two week hiatus.

With a hefty chunk of rehearsal accomplished before we broke for lunch, I wandered back to Craft Services, and mentioned to my friend JB that I was feeling a wee bit loopy.  I assumed it was due to waking up so early – a cruel Act of Mother Nature that often occurs to her – and foregoing the entrees at the moment, I opted for a brownie as an appetizer to raise my blood sugar level.
Unfortunately, three bites into the lovely baked yumminess, I started to feel a tad warm and queasy, and completely out of character, I actually threw away the brownie.  (I know!  WTF?)

But hey, it wasn’t anything a bit of chilly weather couldn’t cure, right?

Stepping outside into the brisk air, finding an abandoned chair next to the stage, I squealed in joy as two of my favorite fellow Stand-Ins, Lori and Christi approached down the midway for hugs!  And for the short amount of time we got to spend chick-chatting, I felt absolutely great!  Christi had even brought me a book of short stories she thought I might enjoy!
Unfortunately however, walking back on stage to put said gifted book into my backpack, my queasiness returned as I could feel my face flushing.  Luckily, the Cast were doing some Publicity in their dressing rooms which lengthened our half hour lunch, which also ensured that I had a few minutes more to sit invisibly in the Audience seating.

But as my Gorgeous Actress emerged onto the set, I plucked up my script and began my usual scamper onto the stage.
I remember my co-worker James was in the midst of telling me something, but I couldn’t quite follow what he was saying as we walked together...

I think I made it as far as the proscenium of the third set on stage before putting my hand up in a helpless “you don’t want to see this” shooing-away gesture.
Yes, kind readers, in all of my glamorous Hollywood experiences, I now have the Distinct displeasure of adding to my resume, the highly unfortunate Dishonor of planting my face into a trash can, clutching dearly for life, and regurgitating my stomach contents in front of my skeleton Crew.

Not surprisingly, the next few minutes were a wee bit blurry...

From beneath the small cover of my baseball cap and watery eyes, I saw feet scurrying, heard a Director’s chair dragged behind me, had paper towels, bottled water, a wet compress and Ginger Ale offered with a cup and a straw, was offered a shorter seat, was rubbed comfortingly on the back a few times, and distinctly heard someone demand the Lot Medic to the stage.  And stupidly trying to hold my scarf and studio ID behind my neck (hey, I’ve EARNED that badge!!!) I pawed blindly for the roll of paper towels with one hand.  “Here ya go, sweetie” someone in sneakers immediately placed one in my clutches.
Good Heavens!

I’d suddenly become the center scene of some sort of Cecile B. DeMille-esque Feature Film with “A Cast of Thousands!”  I don’t think I even received that much attention the first time I barfed on my parents as an infant! 
And maybe seconds (?) later, I heard the soothing voice of the Studio Nurse Tammi (whom I’ve known for decades) who had barreled to the stage (as she does!) ask me if I was OK and exactly what had happened.

“Queasy.  Skipped lunch.  Got all sweaty. Threw up” I think I said, wiping snot off of my face with a shaky clump of tissues.  “Do I feel feverish?” I wondered, since I was sweating profusely – mostly from the horrifically humiliating scenario happening all around me as more and more shoes gathered around the train wreck. (Which, ya know, is everyone’s heart’s desire to have an audience at that moment.)
“Let me check”, she smiled, stuffing something cold on the back of my neck in my scarf and offering me a shot of Pepto-Bismol as she searched her medical case.  “Hmm...  I think I only have rectal thermometers in here...” she mused sadly.

“WHAT???” I panicked, already embarrassed beyond belief.
“I’m kidding, Pen!” she laughed.  “But that’s a good sign that it’s probably nothing serious.  Open your mouth, and give me a finger to monitor your heart rate.”

(Ooh, if I didn’t love her, she’d have gotten the middle finger!)

With Tammi’s report complete to the ADs that my vitals were fine, she left it to their discretion as to whether or not to send me home (unless of course I regurgitated again.)
But by the sheer kindness of my ADs, not only did they release me, but they had also devised various plans to get me home should I be unable to drive myself.

(Believe me; the offers were tempting and UNBELIEVABLY appreciated!)
But I was bound and determined to retain at least one ounce of my dignity!

“Well, at least take these with you, if you’re going to drive yourself” Tammi insisted, plopping some items into my possession.

Remembering that I’d had to park at the “North” Structure that morning, I must say that I was comforted to have been so well taken care of, as I made it PRECISELY to the closer bathroom facility, wherein whatever wayward existing anomaly in my system suddenly decided to attempt its journey “South”.  (Oh, the irony!)
(Ah, yes, an awesome job of maintaining my dignity.)

Eventually scooting over Laurel Canyon like a bat outta hell, Cecilia (my ’97 Toyota) couldn’t get me home fast enough to peel off my clothes and allow me to whimper in cold chills as I pulled the blankets up to my chin.

With incredibly sore muscles that (I’m guessing) only bulimic Supermodels use, I eventually sat up a few hours later on the edge of my bed weakly, and wondered what the heck was spilling over the brim of my already weighty purse.
Oooh!  There was the cold thingie that Tammi had stuffed into my scarf!

Oh, and how thoughtful!  Belly-helper packets! 

Yet little did I know, Christmas came early this year...


“Kerfuffling” at my utter lack of ability to find the words of gratitude to properly THANK EVERYONE, who took a moment to help or comfort me, please know that every single effort was DEEPLY APPRECIATED.

My Epic Production – The Sequel
Having banked approximately 19 hours of sleep on our day off (a personal record!), I awoke relatively refreshed and ready for a simple day of rehearsal.  Granted, I was still a bit achy and weak from lack of sustenance, but my tasks would consist of nothing more than sitting, watching, laughing and taking notes.  Our run-thru was at 2:30pm and I would easily be home by 4pm!

My tummy had passed its morning beta-test successfully, as three saltines were deemed “acceptable”, yet my hands seemed a tad shaky (most noticeably when I sat down in front of the mirror to apply eyeliner – well, Hello, Chriss Angel!).  Oh, but that would soon be quelled with breakfast!

As happily predicted, Wednesday was indeed easy-peasy!  Not wanting to push my limits, yet hungry for some kind of bland food in the belly, I actually nibbled two small blueberry pancakes sans butter or maple syrup.  (Life good!) 
And whilst I love the taco day catering we get now and again for lunch, I limited my intake to some rice and nacho chips.  (Life great!) 

And gearing up for our run-thru, I joyfully picked up my plate of remaining chips like popcorn at the movies in the darkness of the Audience seating, popped one greasy triangle in my mouth, stood up for a better view, grabbed the safety railings that meet at the corner, and with proper balance that braced my back muscles, hurled my lunch into yet another trash can.  (Life cruel!)

“Go HOME Penny” my First AD nodded sympathetically, as our Stage PA promptly brought me tissues and water after confirming that I didn’t require the assistance Nurse Tammi. 

I must say, this past week taught me a much needed lesson about my control issues. 
I’ve never been one to take a sick day and miss a paycheck, nor have I ever allowed myself not to try to excel to the best of my abilities whatever the situation.

But sometimes, you just have to let go and take care of YOU.
With humble gratitude to our Set PA, my ADs, our Set Dec, Props, Scripty, a fellow SI friend and Dimmer Board Op who all had the unfortunate experience of witnessing my “big splash in Hollywood” but wanted to make sure I was okay, THANK YOU.

Thanks also to our Crew who day-play on so many different shows, for noticing my absence after a weary fourteen-hour camera blocking day, and who all hoped I was feeling better!
And special thanks to my friend Tara for standing-in for me as a Stand-In for my Gorgeous Actress yesterday and today.  Whilst I’m 100% recovered, what an absolute JOY to return to work with a hearty appetite, and the meager “burden” of literally SITTING, in two simple scenes for Actresses who were not our Leading Lady!!!

Back on my feed, descending my staircase to the stage, and ready for my close-up next week, Mr. DeMille,
~Comeback Queen P  :)


Sunday, December 2, 2012


"The Rebellious Slave" ~ Michelangelo (circa 1513)

I can’t lie...  It took at least two women and more than six men to get me there.
Personally, I found the entire experience extremely exhausting and humiliating, as I don’t speak the lingo, nor did I have ONE IOTA of a desire to engage in their decadent lifestyle. 

But what choice did I have if I needed immediate gratification?
Sure, the somewhat anonymous on-line chats had goaded me, prompted me, and ultimately challenged me to face my fears, but nothing could’ve truly prepared me for the real deal...

And yes, fictional “Agent Jared” could’ve come to my house for about a hundred bucks depending on my “special needs”, but if he required “additional hardware”, well, that would definitely cost extra...
So with a brave face, I applied some make-up, donned my favorite motorcycle boots and took a walk on the wild side into the local Sado-Masochistic Dungeon.

“Can I help you?” the Best Buy sales associate wondered as I stood like a startled deer in headlights amongst the throngs of Holiday shopping traffic.

“Uh” I think I blathered submissively.
“What is it that I can do for you?” he continued coaxing me, as well-rehearsed on-line chatter vulgarly filtered down from my pea-brain and apparently eventually spilled out of my mouth.  “No problem!” he smiled, pointing me to the Computer Center.

“Hi!  How may I assist you today?” the next sales associate wondered as the unspeakable, vile vocabulary (repugnant to my virgin ears!), attempted to form in the back of my throat.

“What’s that?” he frowned curiously, pushing his glasses further onto his face.
And steeling myself, I uttered the following foul words to an innocent, pimply faced teenager, who was some mother’s joy and didn’t deserve to hear such profanity:  “I apparently NEED a router and an Ethernet cable” I uttered shamefully. 

(Oh, the HORROR!!!)
“Got it.  Give me one minute!” he smiled professionally as I stood resolutely clinging to a pole next to the cashier’s machine whilst my Best Buy friend traipsed from aisle to aisle.  “This should take care of your issues” he beamed, scanning one item into the computer.

And with the impending swipe of a Debit Card, I’d almost joined the Dark Side...

“There’s got to be a ‘safety’ word” I thought to myself, having caught up on over a month of Criminal Minds and CSI (and yeah, a pantload of episodes of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, who ALWAYS has a safety word!)
“What could it be?  What could it be?” I fretted, fearful of adopting a completely new lifestyle without any real guidance other than on-line chats with the Geek Squad and TiVo Support.

“Hmm... ‘Banana’?” I wondered.  (No, that just seemed creepy.)  “Gryffindor?”  (No, that might actually excite the Harry Potter fans in the Dungeon.)  No, the safety word would have to be something completely innocuous...  But what could it be?
My DVR was threatening me that my land line was incapable of downloading the newest software, and all program guide info would completely disappear after 3pm that afternoon; leaving me feeling hopeless that on my last week of hiatus, I’d be Christopher Columbus sailing into the dark abyss off the edge of the map!!!  

And after all the hard work that I’d put into our sit-com, I would end up missing the Season Premiere??? 

But then, like a lightning bolt from The Universe, the ‘safety’ word(s) came to me.  Yes!  I had a strategy!!!
“Well, as I explained”, the Best Buy associate continued (he'd been talking while all of the previous inner dialogue had been spinning in my head?), “all you need to do is unplug the cord from your DSL to your computer, and the wireless router will give you four more ports.  So just plug the cable that comes with THIS router into your modem.”

“I’m sorry, one more time please?” I winced, feeling very much like Charlie Brown in school unable to understand his teacher.
“See, this router has its own cable.  So, that replaces your DSL cable from your computer and modem, which makes the wireless connection you need to download the software update from TiVo, which seems to be too large of a file to access through your land line” he explained ever-so helpfully. 

(“Whanh whanh whanh whanh waa...” Charlie Brown’s teacher continued as my eyes began to glaze over.)
“Does that make sense to you?” the most patient human being whatever lived asked.

“So... nothing gets plugged into the TiVo box?” I seriously tried to follow his logic which was flying right over my hair spray.  “I just buy this Wireless router, and then I have WiFi?” I wondered, completely lost in an unfamiliar Dungeon whose Captor’s language I do not speak.
“Oh, no!” he laughed.  “That’s a COMPLETELY different system configuration” he explained. 

(Seriously, was I being “Punk’d”?)
“Well then, won’t I also need the Ethernet cable?” I pawed at my chin thoughtfully, hearkening back to all of the on-line chat advice.

“How far away is your modem from your DVR?” Best Buy guy wondered.
“Maybe twenty feet?” I offered (imagining myself splayed on the floor, battling the forever lurking Dust Bunny Brigade and just what fresh hell THAT was going to turn into.)

“OK!  I gotcha covered!” he beamed, having scampered away and retrieving a 25 foot Ethernet cable.  “Will that be cash or charge?”
And with the impending swipe of my Debit Card once again, I’d almost joined the Dark Side...

Yes, kind readers, it was time for the safety word.

“Post-it Note” I crossed my arms and nodded confidently.  (OK, so I may never be a big-time Dominatrix in the dark belly of the underworld known as “technology”, but by golly, I wasn’t paying one red cent (pardon the pun!) without knowing FOR SURE what the heck I was doing!)
“I’m sorry, what?” the friendly sales associate shook his head in confusion.

“I apologize for being so stupid” I threw my hands up in the air, “but can you just write down on a Post-it Note EXACTLY what I need to do when I get home?”
“Do we have Post-it Notes here?” he wondered to his fellow co-worker.

“Why would we have those when there’s email?”
“Um...  Back in a sec!” my heroic sales clerk trotted off to a back room office, returned with pen and paper in hand, and took the time to jot down systematically the process that I needed to follow.  :)

I must say, I’ve learned a lot this week!

#1.  I really kind of horribly suck at asking for technological help when I need it.  At the age of eleven or so, I could hack computer codes and figure out how to win the games back then!  (Of course now, I’m lucky if I can answer my cell phone within five rings before accidentally dropping it.)
#2.  Whilst the words “Post-it Note” may not be an escape everywhere you travel, I can almost guarantee it will at least momentarily stop a Genius in its tracks.

#3.  A router and an Ethernet cable will indeed allow you to download software that a land line cannot handle.  (Just be prepared and wear long-sleeved gloves, because it can be really dust-bunny icky!)
And as my new electronic friends introduced themselves to each other in my Sanctuary, they configured, negotiated, and eventually learned to speak each other’s language.  (Just what language that is, I’ll never understand...)

Oh, my Universe almost made sense!!!
They were communicating!  They were bonding!  They were... suddenly disconnected?

“How may I assist you?” the supportive TiVo agent wanted to know in yet another one of my painfully bothersome on-line chats.

“I purchased everything I needed today, and I’m certain I followed the manual” I typed into the box.
“Do me a favor” he responded.  “Unplug the Ethernet cord, and plug it back in.  You should see a green light and a blinking yellow light.”

Hunh...  Wouldja look at that?!?! 

Spending the night safely in my bed, curled up in a fetal position and positively terrified to touch anything until downloading is complete with my new “wireless” system...  (See below:)

A slave to my TiVo,
~Your most humble friend, Penny

p.s. “Thank You!” to all at Tivo/Support and the Geek Squad for putting up with my ignorance, and for your patience with me!  (Please don’t computer-remotely take over my blog!  I know you have the power!!!  :D  )