Thunderstorms, Pixar, and Coupons…brought to you by my new robot. Yeah, you read that right.

It’s raining outside, and in the movies, that means something important is happening to me.

Well, not me personally. Unless you’re watching the unreleased version of my life, Brave Teacup Penguins: The Lindsay Hunter story. It did pretty well at Sundance, but American audiences aren’t ready for it yet. They said it was too boring, and my flagrant product placement for Dirt Cheap Stores was distracting.

Anyways, Andrew isn’t napping for beans today, it’s thundering outside, Thomas is watching The Great British Baking Show, and I’m holed up in our room because I don’t feel well. Please join me in praying that it’s nothing, cuz I have a busy week coming up.

This was a week of small victories, and I’m going to appreciate those with the help of my new robot friend. That’s right, a robot is helping me write this post. Since the keyboard on the iPad decided we should see other people for awhile, I’ve had to resort to extreme measures—the voice thing that transcribes what you say! It was more sophisticated than I expected, and after updating my novel about werewolves, sasquatches, anthropologists and Arkansas, I figured it could help me on the blog.

Victory number 1: Coupon Master Training

Since my least-read post this summer, the Jedi Master and the Coupon Master, I’ve been slowly saving pennies with the help of a bunch of websites and apps. Then, on a night where I couldn’t sleep, I finally decided to make a shopping list and do a bunch of math. The result was that I have begun super couponing. My goal is to be one of those women who end up having the store owe them five dollars. Because that can happen, you know. I’ve seen it on TLC. So far I think it’s going well, and we’re getting a lot of cereal for not that much money. This is good because Thomas and I have cereal for dessert a lot. Now, it involves arithmetic and fractions and percentages, because you don’t want to buy anything you don’t have at least two offers for. And only some stores will let you use more than one Coupon per item. Also, sometimes the H-E-B brand is still cheaper. But we’re eating healthy and we’re getting our money’s worth, and I think I’m going to keep at it for a while.

Victory number 2: House Cleaning

It turns out, there are a lot of coupons for paper towels. So now that I’m stocked up in paper goods, there’s no excuse not to clean things. And the good thing about cleaning, or maybe it isn’t so good, is that once you get started you don’t really want to stop. So this afternoon, while Thom was at Taco Bell, I looked up in the mirror to see myself scrubbing the faucet with a toothbrush. It looks less like Hoarders live here now.

(Wow, this robot really gets me. I just meant hoarders the plural noun, and he/she capitalized it! He/she is aware of my love for the show!)

Victory number 3: Passable Spanish 

Have any of you guys seen that movie Coco? I watched it when I had a stomach virus a few weeks ago. My full critique of the film is pretty complicated, but for the purposes of this post let’s just say I liked it and wanted to know more about the making of the movie. So I clicked on an article about it, without realizing the article would be in Spanish. I don’t remember how I missed that. But the point is, I read the article anyway, and understood like 80% of it! Yay! I still can’t watch Spanish language tv, but I know that the Pixar animators went to Mexico to be inspired by the architecture! And now I wish I’d watched Coco on the plane from Ireland instead of Legally Blonde. (Actually, everyone around me seemed to be watching that Shape of Water movie. So it’s like I saw it four times. It made me…uncomfortable.)

Victory number 4: writing something people will read

Thank you guys for bearing with me the last few weeks, sending me encouraging messages, and generally putting up with my emotions. This is the best blah blah.

(No, robot. This is the best Blob ever, not the best blah blah.)

(Maybe I’m accepting this to steadily.)

(No, voice activated keyboard, That was the ‘too” spelling, not the “to”.

Maybe the robots are doing this on purpose so we don’t notice when they take over. If and when they do, it may be more like having C-3PO in charge than the chillingly pragmatic HAL or the sleekly smug Siri. Seriously, I cleaned up the transcript of this thing when I was done, because most of the lines were filled with homophones and arguments between me and the computer about spelling.)

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