Sparks in my ears and hope in my heart


The other day, I was walking to the bus, listening to my iPod. All of a sudden, I felt a shock. IN MY EAR. And then, another shock, IN MY OTHER EAR. All at once, I was experiencing pain, and when I ripped the earbuds out of my ears, THEY WERE SPARKING. As I am not willing to put flame initiators anywhere on my body, especially in my ear canal, I headed for the Apple store.

I walked in the door, and a very hip, very trendy, very hot-jeaned girl with an electronic clipboard enthusiastically said, “How can I help you?”

“My earbuds are sparking. I know, I know – bizarre. Can I get new ones?”

The girl looked at me and asked, “Like, Apple ones?”

Stop it, sister. You did not just ask that.

“Yes. Yes, Apple earbuds.” From the Apple store that we are standing in.

“Sure – they’re over there.” She pointed me in the direction of the (yes, Apple) earbuds.

I walked over and took a look: $29. But shouldn’t my earbuds be covered under AppleCare? Especially if they are shooting explosive volts into my very sensitive ears?

No. No, they are not.

Now, let’s review. I have not had income since September 10. I have not been shopping since I left Seattle; I have spent money on gas and experiences, but have basically given up the acquisition of “new things.” For a girl who loves expensive clothes and good wine and all sorts of pretty things, this has been a great challenge. But I am learning to be content, and realizing that I have plenty of clothes to choose from already, and trying to be creative and resourceful. I make coffee at home. I have created a window valance out of a shawl. I am cutting back on my washcloth usage so I don’t have to do laundry as often.

But when things that I already have are being taken away from me? That is not at all a part of the plan.

I no longer have earbuds.

I dropped my camera on Friday night, and now it’s a lost cause. The camera repairman said that I might as well just buy a new camera, as it would cost just as much to repair it as it would to start afresh. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t take pictures. I am suddenly camera-less.

I returned from Seattle to Nashville, and found my suitcase zipper broken (aaaand it sliced open my hand).

I’m almost out of my favorite perfume.

And of course, the Honda remains one breakdown away from ultimate extinction. The muffler is hanging pretty low these days.

Which is why I am desperately curious to know: is this rumor of an extra $600 on my tax return true? Can anyone tell me? Am I getting an extra $600 back? Are we ALL? I don’t speak financial words. Just tell me, yes or no: is God choosing to bail me out via George W. Bush?

I believe in miracles.



  1. MJ on January 28, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    whoa whoa whoa… an extra $600?? I have not heard of this. How have I not heard of this?

  2. luke on January 28, 2008 at 7:37 PM

    yeah it’s for anyone under the 30,000 dollar bracket, automatic 600 back. file quickly!

  3. Greg on January 28, 2008 at 7:50 PM

    It hasn’t passed Congress yet, but it supposed to be $600. It isn’t tied in with your tax returns though, it’ll be a separate check in May or June. Cross your fingers…

  4. Allie, Dearest on January 28, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    I have extra earbuds from my old iPod in a drawer around here, if you want them.

    I’m hoping for a tax break, for sure.

    I’m out of mascara, almost out of moisturizer and I’ve started the Dave Ramsey plan, the Total Money Makeover. Which wouldn’t help you until you have an income, really–but I know the feeling of “I really can’t buy extra groceries this week, so I’ll stick to rice and beans, thanks.”

    Aww, girl.

  5. Ashlee on January 29, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Annie! want a care package?? give me your address.

  6. bec on January 29, 2008 at 7:54 AM

    just sue them like a good american girl. then you’ll have 600 dollars AND some earbuds.

  7. Jeremy Parsons on January 29, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    Note to future presidents: to raise your approval rating, simply “shell it out.” Even people from Seattle get stoked! I can almost see the “I love Dubya” bumper stickers cruising around ballard.

    Oh wait, no i can’t.

  8. MJ on January 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    UNDER the 30,000 bracket?

    I protest. cause I may not be under, but I’m sure broke a** poor. I got BILLS!

  9. Marie on January 29, 2008 at 6:33 PM

    This I CAN speak on.

    Greg is right – the bill has not yet passed in congress. It’s up for vote within the month as far as I understand.

    Also, from what I understand, here is the deal: all single-income households earning under 75K/year will recieve a %600 check. Dual income households, filing jointly will recieve twice that, a $1200 check. But only if they file jointly. Each child is ‘worth’ an additional $300. The total number lessens on a sliding scale with income – so, the more you make above and beyond 75K as a single family household, the less you’ll get.

    Though this looks like a great coup for the young/single/etc.s of America, what we need to realize is that it’s a propaganda item disguised as a big fat party in the form of a check. We will not see our social security, and we will not see anything beyond this $600 – IF it even passes.

    I believe that this is an attempt in vain to avoid a potential recession (again, POTENTIAL – not imminent)- and I am very concerned. I think we all should be. This will amount to billions of dollars in total.

    The NY times has a great article on it, and a simple search will bring up several blog forums that have discussed it as well.

    Sorry for the long comment, darling!

  10. Marie on January 29, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    I realize I just rained on your parade. And for that, I am sorry.

    If it’s any consolation – my earbuds broke too (sad face) – I even had to go to Radio Shack for new ones. RADIO SHACK! Blasphemy.

  11. My name is Annie. on January 29, 2008 at 10:13 PM

    Marie, you’re a genius. And even though it’s raining on my parade, I value your insights. I believe you. Thankfully, last night’s State of the Union was the last one we’ll hear from G-Dub.

    $600 would still be great, though.

    I’ll now do some more research. :)

  12. Marie on January 30, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Happy to help! This is an odd proposal and I have a feeling that it came less from President Bush and more from Nancy Pelosi.

    I’ll do some more research and get back to you with what I hear. All in all, looks like we’ve got some $ coming our way! Little do they know, I’ll be putting mine straight into stocks! So, there.

  13. stacy on January 30, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    Hi there Annie, Stacy here (upres fcm).

    That $600? It’s not coming until June at the earliest.

    It’ll likely pass though (that’s the good news).

    Sorry to hear about the earbuds, that blows!

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