Archive for April, 2007

plant care

Our first of April deep freeze, which came after most plants started leafing out, ended up killing a lot of my stuff, man.  And by stuff I don’t mean my pot garden.  By stuff I mean my pretty plants – spireas, hydrangeas, peonies, roses.  This necessitated a restocking trip to Lowe’s yesterday, where I spent way too much money.  The hydrangeas I bought 4 years ago, which died this year, had never bloomed.   Leaves galores, but no pretty pink or blue flowers.  I don’t know why, but I’m leaning towards blaming the plants for being faulty as opposed to blaming my lack of expertise. 

Yesterday, a lady stopped me at Lowes to consult me on my hydrangea purchase because she was trying them for the first time.  I know my hydrangea stuff – add aluminum to the soil for blue flowers, take it away for pink flowers.  Flowers buds grow from the previous year’s canes.  I know ALL about hydrangeas. After verbally exhausting my vast supply of knowledge I noticed  that the lady wasn’t even listening anymore and I realized that I probably sounded like a person with Asperger’s who is fixated on hydrangeas.  I ended the conversation by telling her that in spite of my vast knowledge, my hydrageas had never bloomed. 

She was sure impressed.  Oh yeah baby.

Anyway, $105.00 later, I brought all my stuff home.  Now I have to plant all this crap.  And to think I was just this close to buying into the global warming crisis.  Thanks a lot Al Gore.

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it’s such a burden being right all the time…

An AP news story 4/25/07 confirms that the February bomb attack in Afghanistan was targeted for Cheney, and that Osama Bin Laden was behind it.

Of course, they haven’t reported the rest of the story.  Have they?

just another tuesday in paradise

Not much going on in the life of observant these days except the usual change-in-weather migraine and too many strange, complicated dreams of my own which have kept me from sleeping soundly.  The other night I had a dream that I was about to go onstage to sing the lead in a musical, but right before I went on someone told me “you know, you really don’t sing very well.”  Of course after I went onstage, I felt really embarrassed and self-conscious.  Oh, and I also had to dance.  

Segue to another scene where I have an empty coffee cup that contained two tickets to a concert to see an African drum ensemble.  I was really excited to have the tickets to this concert, which was to be in August in Cameroon, until I realized that I’d now have to get myself to Cameroon and find a place to stay.  More anxiety.

Segue to a construction site where a body of a murdered young woman has just been unearthed.  She had been missing for several years.  Somehow this woman started explaining to me that her murderer had cut off her feet – “I tried to run, away from him, then I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere.  I looked down and my feet were gone.  Then he killed me.”

So that was just one night’s dreams.  Welcome to my world.

……………………………………………

Two funny things I heard this weekend:

  1. A commercial for an eye specialist:  “We think about retinas all day long so you don’t have to.”     They think about retinas ALL DAY LONG.  Amazing.
  2. A conversation I overheard at the Blockbuster between a mom and her 14-year old son: 

Mom:  “No, that’s not an appropriate movie either, son.”
Son:  “Well what about this one?  It’s Christian.  It only has violence in it.”

OK, yeah.

 Oh, and one other thing – although I don’t watch Dancing With the Stars, I fervently hope that Heather Mills’ leg falls off during one of her dances, because I think that would be an awesome event.  I think it almost did once, but I want it to fall completely off.   I know it’s perverse and sick, but perverse and sick is my middle name (revisit the 3rd part of above dream if you have your doubts).

God, the Devil, and David Sedaris

Last Friday night my friend, Leslie and I went out.  We’d had tickets to see David Sedaris since last December, when Leslie had called me at work from her car phone after hearing on NPR about David’s upcoming April appearance in Kansas City.   “We’ve got to go!” she insisted.  “Can you get the tickets now?”

“Now?” I said.  “Like in right now?  On the internet?”

“Yes!  Get them now!”

Leslie had recently lost her beloved mother in a tragic car accident in September and had been having a difficult time, especially during the recent Christmas holiday.  The sudden loss, without the opportunity to say goodbye, had left Leslie with the kind of regrets most daughters have when their mothers are so suddenly taken – regrets about petty differences and unfinished business, unresolved feelings and the knowledge that you should have been a better daughter.  In the receiving line at her mother’s visitation, Leslie hugged me tight, and with tears in her eyes whispered, “Appreciate your mother now, while you have her.  Cherish her, don’t fight, be glad she’s here.”  

I’ve tried a lot harder since then, believe me.  Now, whenever I try to explain some kind simple computer procedure to my mom (which I already know she won’t understand), and I can feel the tension headache start to throb in my temples, I try not to snip at her.  I really, really try.  And whenever she calls me in the middle of my busy work day and just keeps going on and on and on, I really try to end the call as nicely as possible even though I just want to shout, “I know you’re just sitting at home in your little retiree world, drinking your tea without a care , but SOME OF US HAVE TO WORK, OK?”  I try, I really do.

Leslie already knew how much I adore David Sedaris – it’s one of the many things we share  – along with being smoking buddies who love to laugh, cut up, drink, and be outrageous  – so I was more than happy to order the tickets right then.  Plus, it was good to hear excitement in her voice again.   I had last seen her a couple of weeks earlier at a Christmas party.  After a few too many drinks, our conversation turned to her mother, and her anger towards the driver of the other vehicle who had caused the wreck.   Our crying was inevitable of course – Two drunk women + seriously sad conversation = Two drunk women crying.  So I was definitely glad that Les was excited about the show.

We went out for dinner,  had a couple of drinks and some great conversation.  We got to the theater early enough to get a drink at the bar, and just as we were getting settled for some pre-show people-watching, Les looked at me earnestly and said, “I’m gonna tell you something and I don’t want you to think I’m crazy, OK?” 

“OK” I said.

“Well, you know how hard things have been with mom gone & all?  I had this dream about her the other night that was really, really great.  I dreamed that she came to see me and I was so happy.  I said, ‘Mom, where have you been?  I’m so sad and I miss you so much.’  And my mom said ‘Girl, I’ve been in heaven, and in heaven you get the choice of eating desserts or talking to your loved ones, and you know how much I love sweets!  Plus you don’t have to worry about getting fat here so I just eat dessert all the time!’  So then I said ‘What about God?  What’s God like?’  and she said ‘Oh, you won’t believe it, sweetie – God is two and a half feet tall!  And let me tell you, he DOES NOT like to have that pointed out to him.’  Then I said ‘Well what about Hell?  Is it really hot and everything?’ and she said ‘Well, I don’t know about hell, but the devil walks around here all the time, and you won’t believe this – he looks like John Belushi!'”

Then she said “Isn’t that a GREAT dream?”   I finally managed to stop laughing long enough to agree that yes, it was absolutely a great dream.   Les went on to say that after she woke up, she felt a lot better about things, which is understandable.  I’m still trying to get a mental picture of a 2-foot tall God and a John Belushi impersonator as the devil, but the part about getting to eat dessert all the time is definitely making me rethink my atheism. 

The rest of the evening was good:  David Sedaris was hilariously funny, there were a lot of people for Les and & I to make fun of, and the weather was absolutely perfect.   I’m glad she made that call way back in December to insist we buy tickets right then.  But most of all I’m glad to see she’s healing from the terrible, terrible loss she’s suffered – through laughter, and through wonderful dreams of her mother.

anna nicole just won’t go away

Anna Nicole Smith died on February 8, 2007, so she’s been deceased for 10 weeks now. 

Entertainment Tonight airs weeknights here right after the 6:00pm news. 

 I try not to watch Entertainment Tonight, preferring to watch a Seinfeld episode instead.  In my opinion, Seinfeld features the only stars I’m interested in seeing, however, I occasionally see the lead story on ET if I’m not quick enough to switch the channel. 

Of course, it was normal to see Anna Nicole lead stories on ET right after she died.  She was a star, don’tcha know?  And then there was the whole autopsy and burial fiasco which seemed to go on for weeks. 

At first, we didn’t notice it, and now I wish we had kept track, because I swear that the lead story on ET has been some manifestation of the ANS story every night for the last 10 weeks.  Lately, Dannilynne (or whatever her name is) is leading – but it’s still an ANS story if you ask me.  This brat wouldn’t even be famous if her mother hadn’t been such a big invented phenomenon/golddigger “star.”  A couple of weeks ago, as a joke, Ken and I started trying to guess what the lead ET story would be. 

“Anna Nicole Smith!” I’d say.  “Aw, you’re probably right,” Ken would reply. 

And every night, it’s been ANS or Dannilynn, or Larry Birkhead, or Howard K Stern, or her white trash no count momma, or her white trash no count step-sister, or the coroner, or the doctor who prescribed her drugs, etc, etc, etc.   I keep hoping that SURELY BY NOW the story would be stale – but noooo.   

 On Monday, after the VT shootings, I thought they’d say something about that tragedy although it’s not really entertainment news – just to show some humanity, you know?

Oh hell no.   Dannilynne led yet again. 

Tonight’s lead story?  You guessed it!  Fresh from the ET website –
Larry Birkhead’s surprise attack on tabloid rumors, and Virgie tonight on ET!    (and in case you were wondering, Virgie is ANS’s no count white trash mamma).

And thus we start week 11 since ANS died.  How much longer can the madness continue?  Stay tuned.

…………………………………………………………………………….. 

On another note, I’ll be going to see David Sedaris read Friday night.  If you don’t know who he is, you’re missing the best humorous essayist on the planet – in my humble opinion.  Yes, he’s even funnier than me, but hell – he writes for a living.  I guess if I had to write like my life depended on it, I’d be a helluva lot better than THIS, believe me.   Anyway, the only thing better than reading David’s essays are hearing him read them himself.  If he wasn’t gay, I’d consider throwing my phone number (or my panties) onstage.  Check out some of his New Yorker pieces.  You won’t be disappointed.

in which I take on a second (and third life) part 2

I took a minute to mourn the passing of Kali Taurog, the freaky dancing avatar, as I deleted the account for her, then eagerly moved on to creating a more exciting character in Second Life – not unlike a fickle high school girl who dumps the president of the chess club for someone less socially embarrassing.  My new name was now Jezebel Boucher.   Jezebel Boucher.    A great, slutty southern name, which I hoped would inspire thoughts of flowing dresses, mint juleps and Bette Davis feistiness.   Now, if only my avatar could smoke…

This time I vow that Jezebel Boucher will distinguish herself from Kali Taurog by following 3 simple rules. 

Rule #1:  Be more fun! 
Rule #2:  Be more outgoing! 
Rule #3:  Be chattier! 

I had no idea what a difference a name could make.   Right off the bat, on Orientation Island, two female avatars approached me, crowding into what I would consider my personal space, which kind of pissed me off, forcing me to break both rules #1 and #2 right away.

“Hey Jez.  What’s shakin’?”
“Yeah Jez. What cha doin?  Huh, Huh?” 
“What are you, stuck up or something?”

Wanting for all the world to yell “Nappy Headed Hos!” as I ran away, I decided the political climate was too explosive for that. “Bugger off.”  I replied, totally abandoning my Southern charm for British snobbery. These girls seemed just a tad too cheeky to me.

“Hey Jezzie, we’re sorry. We just wanted to know how to go somewhere different.”
Ah, an apology. That was much better.
“Well sugah, you’ll eventually get a pop-up window giving you options for different places to go.” I replied as I teleported off, feeling smug in my vast knowledge of Second Life protocol, and proud to have finally gotten the courage to chat.

My next stop was Freebie Island where I hoped to pick up something interesting for my avatar. And there it was, a place to get a free car. A free Indy Car! Score! As I’m looking over the car, kicking the tires and whatnot, a dragon avatar approached me. What is it about my personal space that people just can’t seem to stay out of it? This dragon-thing kept sneaking up on me and following me, kind of like when my ex-husband turned stalker after we separated.  Creepy.

“Uh, what are you anyway?” I asked
“A Dragon!” it replied, seemingly proud of the fact.
“Hmmm.”  It was the only thing I could think of saying to a dragon stalker at the time.

At that point, the Dragon guy gets into a car and starts stalking me on wheels.   What the fuck? Abandoning the free cars, I fly away to another part of the island, hoping to give the dragon the slip.  But before I know it, here comes he comes again, driving his car right towards me, smack into my avatar. If this had been real life, he would have smashed poor Jezebel like a cartoon character run over by a steam roller. What nerve!  It appears that  EVERYONE in Second Life has the finesse of George Bush about to liberate a soverign nation.  I’m getting the hell out of here. 

The next day is Sunday.  Ken is at church, probably praying for my atheist, Second Life, southern gothic soul.    Me?  I’m signing on to 2nd Life to visit the one of the XXX rated rooms.   For research purposes only.  Swear.

I’ve always had a real-life hankerin’ to do something this perverse, but having no guts to do it live, I figure Second Life will have to do. Besides, it fits in with Rule #2, to be More Outgoing!  I pop into Rocco’s Room! for some XXX Action!

As I shake off the fog of recent teleportation through space and time, the first thing I notice in Rocco’s Room is that there are a lot of naked avatars. Hmmm, apparently I’m not the only one doing some blog research on a Sunday morning. The next thing I notice is that some of the male avatars are sporting giant, erect penises. I know these things aren’t part of the free, standard equipment in Second Life, which leads me to the conclusion that these penises were purchased. Imagine. Someone actually spent money to deck their naked avatar out with a large, erect, cartoon penis.  Me? I’m satisfied with my new syiphlike body.  Who needs bigger tits when you’ve got great legs?

Rocco’s Place is thick with places where an avatar can strike a sexual pose for simulated sex action. Females sit here. Males sit here. Instant fucking. It’s totally weird, especially with the sound effects:

“Oh, oh, give it to me baby.  Oh, yes, yes.”  I’m half expecting Rick James to show up any minute with some coke and an entourage.  

Amazingly, everyone is too busy having virtual sex to chat.  After admiring the spanking bench and the various cages and restraining devices, and watching two guys get it on, I’ve had enough.  In fact, I feel  like taking a shower and going to church. 

My foray into Second Life is over,  at least for now. I haven’t actually deleted my account yet, so if you happen to run into Jezebel Boucher, be nice.  And don’t expect her to follow you to a XXX rated orgy room.  She’s really not that kind of girl.  Really.

in which I take on a second (and third) life… (part 1)

Second Life , an online 3-D virtual world, is in the air; I kept getting whiffs of it all last week.  It seemed to be popping up in internet news everywhere and after reading an ariticle in PC World, I decided to try it out for myself.  Logging into the Second Life website, I created my first free avatar – Kali Taurog, girl next door.  As a brand-new new avatar, the first place you’re sent is Orientation Island, where you learn how to drive a car, fly, and change your clothes.  All helpful tasks one needs to know in Second Life.  Once done with the basics, I decided to change my look, and after dressing myself in a nice pair of pants and a pretty shirt, and donning the glasses that I was given for free, I realized, ironically, that I looked a lot like myself in real life, except with a much better body.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but familiarity is always comforting, at least to me, and I definitely liked having smaller thighs and better hair. 

I was now ready for the real Second Life world, where you can travel to different islands.  Or at least I thought I was ready.  Kali teleported her bad self to a popular spot where there was a discotheque.  People were dancing, the music was loud,  and I wanted to dance, too.  Now, in Second Life, you’re supposed to have a dancing script in your inventory which makes your avatar dance, so I tried it.  Right click dancing animation, click on avatar – nothing happened.   Try again.  Nothing.  Kali just stands there in her conservative clothing and glasses, looking like – well, pretty much like I’d look at a real life disco without the benefit of alcohol or club drugs.   OK, fine, so I won’t dance.  I decide to explore the “island” by flying, which is really fun and a lot easier than walking everywhere.  Basically, after a little exploration, I find there’s absolutely nothing you can do except dance and buy more clothes with money that I’m too cheap to purchase ($25.00 real American dollars for $1000 Linden bucks).  Just like in real life, I’m a miser that hates to shop.

The only other thing you can do in Second Life besides dance and shop, is chat with other avatars.  Chatting isn’t a skill I excel at, and I don’t feel comfortable chatting – in person or online.  So far, nobody has tried to chat me up, mainly because I’m flying everywhere and ignoring the other avatars.  I figure avoidance is the key.  Hey, I watch To Catch a Predator, and who knows what kind of perverse shit some of these avatars have in mind? 

I teleport around to some different places and find the same thing everywhere – dancing, shopping, chatting.  And I still couldn’t dance.  At one point, I found a nice little cabin that nobody seemed to be interested in, and I could finally relax and sit down to think. Since it seemed like such a nice, quiet spot, I decide to bookmark it so I can teleport back there if I get lost.   Good thing.

I decided to visit one last place before I called it a night – another dance spot. And lo and behold, I find a “dance machine”, guaranteed to make you dance.  Cool.  OK, right click, accept animation.  Voila! I’m dancing!  All by myself!  In the middle of a room where no one else is dancing!   Not only am I dancing, I’m dancing like Elaine in the Seinfeld episode where she makes a total fool out of herself by flailing her arms and legs wildly about.  Oh.  My.  God.   I have to stop, but how?  I click wildly, trying to stop dancing, but I can’t make it stop.  At all.  Meanwhile, other avatars start showing up and they’re all kind of gathered about, probably thinking it’s some kind of Second Life freak show. 

elaine_benes044.jpg
Yes, the scene looked remarkably like this one from Seinfeld

 “OK,  time to fly”, I think, hoping that will stop the dancing.   Amazingly, my avatar continues to dance while flying.  Now I’m just flailing my arms and legs around in flight.  This is getting ridiculous.  Quick, teleport back to the cabin where no one can see me dance.  Or hear me screaming.    After a few minutes, it’s obvious I can’t spend the rest of my Second Life as a crazy dancing person.   It’s time to delete my persona and start over.

Tomorrow:  A new life as Jezebel Boucher, who manages not to dance at all.