Random Neural Firings

the inner workings of a restless creative brain

Twins Secret Language


This has been all over the “Internets” and TV but just in case you missed it:

What if that Really Was Jewel Singing at Your Karaoke Bar?


The guys at FunnyorDie thought it’d be fun/wicked/awesome (!) to send Jewel out to a karaoke bar to sing her own songs.  She’s such a good sport and still seems so down-to-earth. I watched the video while eating breakfast this morning. Now, off to get some work done!


Undercover Karaoke with Jewel from Jewel

You Have Got to be F’in Kidding Me – I Have a Problem with Toyota and It’s Not My Brakes



I am BEYOND flabbergasted right now. I’m also a redhead, with all the attendant cliche-ridden tendencies . . . so feel free to picture flame coming out of my nostrils, unruly curls that look like they could shape shift into sea monsters, and of course, a voice at a decibel level that IS BEYOND HUMAN.

OK? Got the picture? Here’s the story:

My car needed an oxygen sensor. The very nice guys at Toyotechs fixed it. In order to fix it, the battery had to be unplugged and whenever you unplug a battery, it takes a while for the car’s computer to reset. They told me to drive it 30-40 miles before I took the vehicle in to have its emissions tested. (Incidentally, my husband’s oxygen sensor ALSO went out in his BMW and the mechanic told him to drive it 40-100 miles, so apparently, this is “standard” for cars.)

So I drove it the required miles, took it to be tested, and it failed the “readiness” portion which means the computer isn’t ready. It hasn’t re-set yet. Chris drove his car the required miles and it passed. Harumph!

I drove it some more . . . 163 miles in total and took it back in. Again, I got a “readiness fail.” Now, my tags expired last week so I am driving around with expired tags. I did, however, go to the DMV and pay the taxes so I can at least show the cop I am TRYING.

Back to Toyotechs I went. They ran it through their computer and received a set of instructions on exactly what we need to do to re-set the computer. It has to be followed EXACTLY LIKE THIS, in this exact order. Here’s what I have to do — and before you read on — this is for real. THIS IS NOT A JOKE.

1) Drive vehicle at 40-55 mph for approximately 3 minutes (no stopping, no slowing down). No sudden acceleration.

2) Then drive it at 35-45 mph for approximately 7 minutes.

3) Car must have 1/2 – 3/4 tank of gas. No more, no less.

4) Let the car sit overnight or for 8 hours. (No pesky trips to the grocery store or pediatrician visits!)

5) Drive vehicle at approximately 45 mph for about 5 minutes.

6) Drive vehicle at approximately 25 mph for about 15 minutes, and include a minimum of two stops for approximately 30 seconds.

7) Steps 5 and 6 must be completed on smooth roads to minimize fuel sloshing.

8) Let the car cool.

9) Start the car, let it warm up until the engine temp is 167 or higher.

10) Run the engine at 3,000 RPM for about 10 seconds.

11) Allow the engine to idle with the A/C on for 15-50 minutes. (Which is it, Toyota? 15 or 50?)

12) Drive vehicle at 43-56 mph for a period of 3-5 minutes (no more than 5).

13) Let the engine idle for 3-5 minutes.

14) Drive vehicle at 43-56 mph for a period of 3-5 minutes again – but you cannot allow the throttle position to exceed 30% and you must avoid sudden acceleration. (How am I supposed to merge on a highway to get back up to that speed? Anybody?)

15) Let the engine idle again for 3-5 minutes.

16) Pray that the car will now pass.

There are actually more instructions to do with outside temperature (can’t be too hot or cold — like the three little bears, it must be “just right”). . . Joe at Toyotechs printed out the 5-page instructions for me. After I passed out and he revived me (a bit of redheaded exaggeration), I started racing through the possibilities. Where in the hell in Atlanta can I maintain a speed of 43-56 mph, pull over and let it idle, then somehow get back up to that speed WITHOUT ACCELERATING too fast?

Never mind that the Corolla is our only car that can fit a car seat (we can kind of cram one in the back of Chris’ car, but it’s a 2-door and not easy). Besides, he has to go to work, and I have to take the baby in for his 15-month well visit tomorrow, followed by a doctor’s appointment I have to check on my — are you ready — HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. I cannot imagine what is causing that, can you?

Oh wait, maybe it’s the CONDEMNED stove in this lemon house. (Gas company came out Monday and said the stove is causing carbon monoxide to leak.) Landlord is supposed to replace the stove. We’re still waiting.

Or maybe it’s the roaches. Landlord has sprayed but whatever he’s using, it isn’t working. We bug him about it (“bug him,” haha) all the time because we see at least one roach a day. I decided to start emailing him every day with the roach count. I hope I irritate the hell out of him because his irritation at getting daily roach count emails from me is nothing compared to MY IRRITATION AT DEALING WITH FREAKIN’ ROACHES every day.

Anyhow, back to the car. This is how great Joe at Toyotechs is. He said he’ll take my car home tonight and try and do all this. He said he has the advantage of being able to drive around with the computer to see if it passes each step. So now I just have to figure out how to get a car rental and get over there (or have them come pick me up) and get the car seat in there because today, of all days, is a day my nanny has to leave early.

So there you have it. And because you made it all the way through my rant, here’s a cute picture. Even with all this insanity, he makes me smile and keeps me sane. I know you all know what I mean.


Men Are Stupid and Other Life Lessons from Ruthie


This one’s probably going to get me in trouble but here it goes: men are stupid. In my not-so-distant single days, I was obsessing over a loser ex with my friend Ruthie. Exasperated, she gave me the single best bit of dating advice ever: “men are stupid,” she said. A mother of six (!) boys and one grandson, she told me that she loves her boys more than anything, that boys are wonderful, but she said she’s learned that they’re just not that bright. Or deep. We women obsess over what they’re thinking or what they meant when they called or didn’t call. Ruthie told me they don’t mean ANYTHING. They don’t think it through at all, she said. We’re the ones that assign meaning, not them.

He didn’t call when he said he would? Maybe he’s not that into you. Or maybe he’s just stupid. Either way, try to enjoy yourself and size up his character and other things that make him fit to be your life partner. But don’t drive your girlfriends (and me) crazy with the “what does he mean by . . .” conversations. Chances are really good he meant nothing by it.

Funny Facebook Status Update – Back-to-School Edition


I think Adrienne is channeling her inner George Carlin. She asks the profound question:

This is one of the great mysteries…. and since I have a lot of teacher friends, this one is just for you: If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

Funny Facebook Status Update


Another thing that makes you go hmmmm, from my friend Adrienne:

Something I have always wondered…but never asked — Who shuts the door when the bus driver gets off?

The Giggle Monster Strikes


My dad was just here for a quick visit and I swear, the baby CRACKED UP the entire time.  I have video of him squealing in the car till his face turned red, giggling up a storm on the floor, and laughing all through lunch.  It’s the funniest thing.  He doesn’t laugh for me or Christopher very often, but he will go into absolute hysterics for strangers or folks he doesn’t see that much.  It’s great fun taking him out.  The store clerks coo over him and he just starts giggling which makes them coo more, which makes him laugh more . . . anyhow, you get the picture.  Warms my heart.

Forgive the first few seconds of shaky camera work, and see for yourself:

Dad Cracks Him Up from Sherean Malekzadeh on Vimeo.

The Slap Chop – Top Ten Re-Post


Note: this was one of my first posts on the blog and it still cracks me up to watch this video. Since a lot of you are cooking today, I thought it might be appropriate. Think how much easier your life would be if only you had . . . the Slap Chop! 🙂

I was joking around about the Snuggie with a client the other day and he asked if we’d seen the Slap Chop. I had not, but give me 10 seconds and I’ll find it on the web, I told him. So here’s what I’ve learned. The Slap Chop will slap your troubles away. It will make you skinny. You can have chopped up ham, pickles and a boiled egg for an instant breakfast (yummy?). You can slap your nuts.

Just watch.

Speaking of the Snuggie . . . find out how you can host your own Snuggie pub crawl (seriously).

Favorite Posts

 Subscribe via reader

 Subscribe via email

Follow Me on Pinterest