December 16, 2020

envelopes, a new best friend, overdue adult beverage, a trick on Curly

I attempted to print envelopes Saturday night despite my growing awareness that everything this season is just going to take me LONGER than necessary.

I congratulated my '19-self for being so stinking clever. I saved the mail merge file with instructions:  ADDRESSES 2019 JUST ADD RECEIPIENT LIST FROM COMPUTER FINISH AND SEND. Country Mouse (reference from last post, in case you are confused) was acting all techie and shit.  

My printer wouldn't print. It finally printed 6 of 215 envelopes after hours of me trying to coax it to do its job. Then it kept telling me:  'out of paper.' Telling the computer I was printing on envelope-sized paper wasn't enough. The sensitive printer insisted I change the settings on the actual printer. Still wouldn't work. What. The. Hell. Naughty words launched from my mouth faster than you could say this is almost as bad as buying a phone at Walmart. 

Coach tried to help. He craned his neck to look in the printer. Um, there he found not one BUT TWO PENS in the spot where the paper feeds. Oops. We unplugged. Cleaned nozzles. Realigned. Begged. Cussed (just me, not Coach). Nothing. I called stores, tried to find someone who could help, asked about inventory. The little old lady who fixed it a few months ago in the shop out of her garage answered her phone at 8 pm on a Saturday night and tried to talk me down. 

It would print nothing. Normal paper or envelopes. Guessing using it as pen storage was unwise. 

Tank:  Let's all take a stack and write the addresses on the envelopes. 

That would be confusing - who is writing which ones. Plus I sometimes make last minute adjustments, and hello poor penmanship.  DON'T WRITE ON THAT!  (that's our family's favorite all time clip. It's like 10 seconds) Besides, the mail merge WORKED. A small Christmas miracle. It'd kill me to not use it. 

I checked printer inventory online at area stores. It was Saturday night, places were closed. Then a Target  (not our nearby Target, of course) claimed to have one. I called. They had two. I got ready to leave. Coach had retreated to the family room to watch football with Ed and Tank. He had that WHO-DID-I-MARRY expression on his face. 


Well, sure you can ask Ed, but since you're a man I don't suppose you know what it means to make a list during the holiday season and to hope to wake up without the same shit on that list. My house doesn't have ONE SINGLE decoration up yet. Unless you count lights outside that look slightly better than the way Coach usually does them. (And we all rejoiced).

As a general rule in a printer emergency one should only shop for a new device at a store that sells alcohol. Skip Best Buy. I grabbed a Brother printer vs the Epson that I already have, and hit the booze isle. I bought me some Mike's Hard Lemonade and Ed/Coach some beer. I cannot remember when I last drank an alcoholic beverage. What is with that? It's a flipping pandemic, woman. This is about survival. Bottoms up. 
My cart.
I headed to the store at 8:20 pm. 45 minutes later I was home and a wilted Coach and a perky Mom-bought-me-beer Ed were setting it up. I did the self-checkout and the dang printer still had an alarm on it when I got home. When we cut the alarm off the box, the thing started beeping like crazy. No, we did NOT sneak over and leave it on Mary Ann's front porch - tempting as that was. Instead, Ed took it out on the front porch and beat the snot out of it.
Result of Ed's smashing. Coach in
background reading instructions. 
Someone needs to be responsible.
"Hey neighbors! Nothing to see here. Just appears that we stole something, but I swear we didn't."

Coach moaned that this was going to take forever to setup, but then a guy in the football game, they were taking breaks to go watch, took an opponent's shoe and chucked it 20 yards down the field. I always say, there's nothing like an unprecedented football shoe tossing to keep the I'M-AFRAID-OF-MY-CRAZY-WIFE-WHO-MIGHT-THROW-OUR-PRINTER-OUT-THE-FRONT-WINDOW mood from getting too heavy. 

They enjoyed their beers and the setup really didn't take that long, plus they enjoyed grilling me about how I got a printer out of a store while it was still wearing an alarm. It was only $153, was an alarm necessary? I have the receipt to prove I bought it, in case you're wondering. 

I considered using my new purchase and returning it the next day, but I LOVE IT. My new best friend. My envelopes were printed by 10:30 pm. I knew something was going to run amuck when I bought my Epson printer a few years ago and specifically selected the one with print cartridges that never run out. That ended well. Print cartridges are still plenty full. Score one for Epson's marketing team.  

Curly and Reggie were at their friends' house for the tale end of the PRINT-MY-ENVLOPES-OR-DIE-TRYING drama. When they got home, I was in the study typing away on my blog and occasionally filling the paper tray with more envelopes. I felt all warm and delighted with my Brother printer, running smooth as silk. Guzzling my first Mike's in FOREVER was not hurting. 

The smashed up alarm was in the kitchen. Curly asked what it was. Coach told a tall tale.

Coach in a loud whisper:  Well Mommy was so mad that her printer broke (which Curly already witnessed) that she went to Staples and stole a printer. She was like "it isn't right that my printer broke, so I deserve a new one."

From my spot in the study I decided to play along. 

I conjured up my recently utilized angry voice and shouted:  Coach, I wasn't going to tell Curly that. WHY'D YOU TELL HER? Just forget Daddy told you, Curly. My damn printer shouldn't have broken. 

Coach burst out laughing a minute later. He said Curly's face was all kinds of horrified. Even Mini fell for it, briefly. 

Glass of Mike's hard, black cherry. 
Nothing like a little alcohol and the hum of a new printer to lead to bad parental choices. Anyone else struggle with mail merges and printers? They switch off for me:  mail merge works, printer sucks. Next year I'll lead with Mike's. Maybe I should save THAT message in my document title. 


Beth Cotell said...

That was your FIRST alcoholic drink since the pandemic began??? Alcohol has been keeping me going since March! :)

Glad you got your new printer and got those dang envelopes printed! Check that off your list!

Suzanne said...

Our printer has ALSO stopped printing. My husband and i got it to work from our phones long enough to print out a practice sheet of addresses (to make sure they were aligned correctly to fit on the labels) and then it refused to print ANYTHING. So I took our address list and labels to the FedEx store and had them print it for me. Cost 78 cents! Of course, our printer is still broken...

Kari said...

I haven't had a printer that works since I began homeschooling Ella two years ago. What does that tell you about the kind of homeschooling mom that I am? It literally sits in the storage area of the basement and looks like those big a** computers from the 80s. We have to essentially put it on a cart and drag it to an outlet to plug it in. I'm lazy so I just tell Ella, YOU REMEMBER THIS, RIGHT? Sure, Mom! Can I go on my phone now?

I never knew Mike's made that flavor! I used to drink Mike's Hard Lemonade all the time years ago. The joke was, "Mike's Hard" because my husband's name is Mike. Hardy har. ;)

See, this is why I am glad I blog. To know that other decent human beings have broken printers and day drink. Not that you were day drinking but I wouldn't judge you if you did.

Ernie said...

Beth - Not my first pandemic drink, but one of my only ones. I had a few drinks at our time-stamped entry grad party in August and in June I had a few drinks at my sister in law's house. So much stress with Laddie and a few other things plus the yummy factor of Mike's Hard Lemonade - could be a slippery slope.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - I called Staples and FedEx to see if they could print my envelopes if I brought them over and emailed them my list, but they said their machines would not print on envelopes. Seriously!

Ernie said...

Kari - Why in this day and age must printers be so troublesome? They aren't that expensive at least. I feel like I need to just budget to buy a new printer every year rather than replace ink cartridges or mess with broken parts.

This is the first time that I thought about the name of my favorite drink: Mike's Hard. Um, that hadn't occurred to me before.

Not opposed to day drinking, but the families I sit for might object. ;) Today a new family started - they were supposed to start Nov. 5th. The twin babies are here today, so 9 mo old baby twins, 5 mo old baby that I still need to figure out and a 2 year old whose like "Wait where am I?" - if ever I was going to day drink . . . today be it!

Suz said...

Don't you love it when you get all sorts of smart and leave yourself a note for the NEXT TIME because YOU KNOW you will have issues if not. WRITE THE NOTE FOR NEXT YEAR.

I love the DON'T WRITE ON THAT. I must send to my children. I watched it 3x; that poor kid.

I'm laughing at it all...the alarm, the Mikes, the hum of the printer making you all sorts of happy and sassy. I wish we could have seen the girls faces when the tall tale was told. As if YOU the angel would ever do anything wrong.

*Knock on wood, I've not had printer problems this year*
But, still waiting on USPS to deliver my Christmas cards that were supposed to be here on FRIDAY and hello, it's WEDNESDAY. Not that I'm mad or anything...

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes to embedding message/instructions into the title of my documents. Next year's message might be: Grab a Mike's hard before you start.

"Don't write on that" was first heard here on one of those links to funny video moments. We died. My kids recently started saying it again to mimic me whenever I start to tell them 'don't' (insert anything), complete with that mom's accent. I was so excited when I found that short clip to use here.

It was quite the Saturday night. I just texted Coach because this is the day 25 yrs ago he asked me to marry him - quite sure he doesn't remember. I think Sat night he might've been rethinking that. ;)

Your cards! I hope they come today. If not, I highly recommend Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Kara said...

Home printers are the worst. I've never tried printing directly on envelopes. I use the fun holiday mailing labels and have an address stamp. But, no cards this year, because I just don't want to and the kids aren't motivated at all either.

Charlie said...

Hahaha glad to see you’re finishing the year strong Ernie! I so love your posts they really make me laugh! I’ve bought printers for my daughter and niece and I HATE setting up new printers, so I hope to have a less exciting printer experience than you. Also - wow 215 Christmas cards! I definitely don’t know that many people!

Gigi said...

I used to print directly on the envelopes (at work - never at home). But lately, I print to clear labels - easy peasy. Also, mail merge works with labels.

Ernie said...

Kara- I've had some success printing on envelopes and they look awesome. I have a good deal of experience troubleshooting but this made no sense.

Ernie said...

Charlie - I must admit that I do not know how to set up a printer - thankfully, that duty falls to Coach. Glad my misery made you laugh. ;)

Some of the cards we send are to my parents' friends, and after all these years I don't want anyone to feel bad if we don't send them. Coach's side has lots of aunts and uncles. My side does not. Weird for being Irish. I send to my sister and brother in law's parents, old neighbors, some of Coach's former employees. I feel bad cutting people who have been clear about how much they look forward to the poem every year.

Ernie said...

Gigi - Now that I know it CAN be done, I get really focused on printing directly to my envelopes. Labels seems like one more step - BUT, if I'm going to lose my mind in the process - maybe that one extra step is not worth it.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Printer issues are so frustrating! Reminds me of the movie Office Space!

Ernie said...

Nicole - I just never know if my printer is going to act up or actually print. It looks all lit up and ready to go, then pfftt. Nothing. That is a hilarious movie.

Bibliomama said...

I'm not a big drinker, but not a teetotaler by any stretch, but for much of the pandemic I drank less than usual. I was so anxious and upset all the time, and the thought of feeling that way plus being tipsy seemed like it would be worse, not better. For some people having a drink makes them feel better, but I think I already have to feel good to have a drink. I remember the cottage party where my former housemate brought me Mike's Hard Lemonade for the first time, though, and that stuff was GOOD.

Ernie said...

Ali - I used to sometimes have Mike's Hard Lemonade in my fridge. I'd see one in there middle of the day and think YUM! Then I'd remember, NO - that is not something I can drink middle of the day. So tempting, just because they are so dang tasty.