December 2004 Archives


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Remember those 15 minutes of fame I was so worked up about the day before yesterday?

Good news is, my 15 minutes are all still intact.

Bad news is: Turns out that even though I have a face suitable for radio, I apparently don't have the voice for it.

Yes, I was cut from the segment. Do they even 'cut' you in radio though? What's the correct jargon for such a heart-wrenching and cruel act?

Well, if they don't "cut" you in radio, then let's just say that I was taped over, or whatever else those radio editors do to those fools like me who never make it onto the air.

If I sound awfully sorry for myself, it's 'cause I am. Bringing shame to the family name like this! (All my relatives were gathered 'round the stereo today in great anticipation of my international radio debut. To make matters worse (if that's even possible), the segment in question was saved until the very last fraction of the hour-long show. So my poor family had to sit through the ENTIRE show before discovering that I was... if not cut, can I say erased?)

I begged my mom to tell everyone that I had just played a little joke on them all; that I was never really going to be on the radio in the first place and that I had just wanted to make them get up at the crack of dawn on their vacation because I thought it would be funny.

But even if she would've told them that, I don't know how I would've explained the fact that I happened to know exactly what the topic of that particular segment was going to be!

Oh, the humiliation!

Anyway, so never mind what video did to the radio star. Radio avenged itself early this morning by snuffing out Red's star before it even had the opportunity to dimly twinkle.

And to add even further insult to injury?

"Fame! I'm gonna live foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeever, I'm gonna learn how to fly. FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME..!"

No, you have NOT stumbled back into time and right onto an 80's Music Hit Parade (Would it even be humanly possible to step 'onto' an 80's Hit Parade? Because duh, of course one can step back in time. I do it whenever I run into trouble - which is often - by simply jumping into my bed and assuming fetal position).

The reason for my little manic outburst into song is this: Just after midnight this morning, I was interviewed by a reporter from the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation... I'm writing it out in a desperate attempt to lend even more Importance to this story) for an Afrikaans radio station.

Stop laughing! I'm serious!

My prospective notoriety has nothing to do with this blog. Alas, no... although I've heard about people becoming famous for their ability to sing really badly (think William Hung from American Idol), I'm not aware of fame doled out to those of us (me) who manage to slaughter language and the art of writing. If they do, I'm sure I'll be eligible for that and DON'T YOU DARE TELL ME THAT I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH AT WRITING BADLY TO BE AWARDED A PRIZE FOR IT!!!!

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Why on earth the station decided to interview me.

I don't really know either, since it was about my plans for New Year's Eve, and well, I'm such a social butterfly (which is why I'm at this computer at 10:33 in the evening) I don't even HAVE plans for Friday evening.

So I did what I do really well (although not quite as well as writing badly), and I lied. To a reporter. While I was being recorded. During my radio interview. Which is going to be heard by all of South Africa on Friday morning. (Well, at least all South Africans who happen to be tuned in at that exact moment to that exact Afrikaans radio station.)

And I was nervous (since I was lying and all) so I talked reallyreallyfastlikethis and then I became quite breathless butIkeptongoinganyway*gasp*likethis, so I don't remember exactly what I said, except that I talked a lot about sub zero temperatures and spectacular fireworks and lots of fun and dancing and being popular with lots of friends (I TOLD you I was lying) who never leave me high and dry on New Year's Eve when they all go off to exotic and warm places to do exotic and warm things.

And then she asked me about my New Year's resolutions and I told her something lame like: "My New Year's resolution is not to make any New Year's resolutions since I always break them before I even start."


I TOLD you it was lame.

Oh, well. To quote that crazy chick Lady Macbeth: "What 'tis done cannot be undone." Or something like that.

Anyway, I've always been told that I have a face for radio.

So the one question now weighing heavily on my mind is one I'd like to address to Andy Warhol:

I know this falls under the you-had-to-be-there category, but I still can't resist sharing.

After studying West Africa on a map, I held out a box of Macaroons and asked the boy: "Would you like to have a Cameroon?"

He is STILL teasing me. Small things, me dear, small things...

Then, on Christmas day we were over at a friend's house. She poured my drink into a beautiful new wine glass, handed it to me and said: "These are so delicate, they really shouldn't be washed in the microwave."

Yeah, okay, so you really had to have been there, but believe me, after sampling a variety of potent potables, it was hysterically funny.

The back of our house looks down the length of an alley way. (Yes, we also don't know what the neighbourhood planners were thinking.)

Last night at about 11, a police helicopter started buzzing over this part of the neighbourhood. They were flying really low, causing all the windows to rattle and my cheeks to wobble, and they were shining their search light up and down the alley and into all of our yards.

Being naturally nosy interested to learn more about my surroundings, I peered out the window to see if I could possibly spot something that the police with their gigantic probing search light might miss. Awfully considerate and helpful of me, wasn't it?

I performed this selfless civic duty until police cars and vans started slowly coming up the alley which, as I've already told you, leads directly towards our house.

Suddenly I was gripped by an irrational but overwhelming fear, and I thought to myself: "Red, you're toast. They've finally found you!"

I wasn't exactly sure what I had done that would cause such a massive police search, but I felt really guilty about whatever it could've been.

So I drew the shades and turned off the lights and performed my final act of bravery for the evening:

I really hope that you are all doing/feeling/looking much better than this today:

before xmas final.jpg

To be continued...

Remember how I was telling you about my sleep deprivation due to the blinding Christmas lights in the neighbourhood?

One would think that I would be used to it by now, because in my previous neighbourhood, I also found myself caught in a perpetual twilight zone from Thanksgiving until after New Year's.

In fact, one of my former neighbours was the Nazi of year round decorating.

I interrupt your regular holiday programming to bring you the following:

By now you've all probably heard about this silly woman in Texas who shelled out $50,000 to have her dearly departed cat cloned.

Yes, indeed: when Nick Senior's nine lives expired after 17 years, his heart-broken human mama simply couldn't let go. So instead of donating the $50,000 to an animal shelter in Nick's name, or adopting another cat in need of a good home, she approached the Genetics Savings and Clone company (please have a moment of silence for that brilliant play on words) with some of Nick's DNA to manufacture another cat in Nick's image.

copy cat.jpg I may be cute, but I sure did cost an arm and a leg.

Just in time for Christmas, St. Nick delivered the very expensive kitten to the woman two weeks ago. She was ecstatic, saying the cat is identical to Nick in looks and personality.

In a blinding display of originality, she decided to name the kitten... what else? Nick Jr.

Personally, I would've called him... what else? Copy Cat.

Okay, I know I've been quiet, but I've been making Christmas cards.

It sure took me a long time to make Christmas cards, you say? Well, I bet it would've taken you just as long if YOU were hanging upside down.

Plus, I'm a forgetful procrastinator, and that's never a good combination of traits for one person to posse... Hang on. I'll finish this in a minute.

(An hour passes.)

Point taken?

Wait... what point again?

Okay, okay... just sort of kidding. Forgive me, I've only just now managed to get a hang of typing while hanging upside down. And as you can probably tell, the only thing that has been steadily draining through my ear canals is my brain.

Anyway, back to the time-consuming upside-down crafting of the Christmas cards.

Yes, I do indeed try to make cards - "try" being the operative word here. I'm not really any good at it, but it's something that I've been doing year after year for as long as I can remember. Besides, my family pretends to like it when they receive homemade cards from me, so I consider it part of my holiday duty and tradition to make cards and send it to all of my relatives.

One year, however, my homemade Christmas cards managed to cause quite a scandal within my family. And I didn't even draw my own likeness on it!

Oh, no... my unfortunate choice for cover art was considered to be a little bit worse than my face. Just a little bit, mind, but still...

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Cures for Ears

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Here's some unsound medical advice.

I received it from a friend who isn't a doctor (which is where I usually turn for medical advice, but only after exhausting my other resource for health and well-being from index to glossary: the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia) so you may want to take out a life insurance policy before you try it.

With so much serious authority in his tone, he must've been telling the truth, he told me the following:

One recent day – I must’ve been looking the other way – Christmas arrived as quietly and as understated as a John Waters movie on the street in Baltimore where I live.

Well, actually, since you’ve come to expect the factual journalism that I’ve been known to display on this blog (why the sudden outburst of hysterical laughter?), it is my duty to come clean: Christmas really arrived in a blinding burst of flashing lights and with an army of inflated Santas and a herd of mechanical reindeer and flags and bows and tinsel and gigantic candy canes that glow in the dark and tons of other potential fire hazards (Bah HUMBUG!), about a week before Thanksgiving.

But I’ve been sick. And before I became ill, I was startled by all the lights. You know, like the proverbial deer in the Christmas lights? So I’ve been frozen by this hypnotic glare, unable to write and tell you about it sooner. (It’s your choice, factual journalism or up-to-the-millisecond-but-hopelessly-lacking updates. I’m sure that you’ve already learned from watching the news and reading most papers that you most certainly can NOT have both.)

So we have been enveloped in permanent twilight ever since the arrival of Christmas. Dark nights have become a thing of the past, and therefore, so has sleeping.

But maybe the inability to sleep is not such a bad thing. Well, this light-induced insomnia might have a lot to do with my slow recovery, but I think even if I WAS able to sleep, I would’ve fought it with all my might.

You see, those mechanical reindeer and the way their wired eyeless heads seem to follow my every move as I stumble to and from the house at night absolutely FREAK ME OUT, especially after a few too many sips of eggnog. It’s a nightmare just begging to happen, and should I dare to doze off, I just KNOW that those wires will spring to life a la Chucky and chase me down the streets of Baltimore and pounce on me and tie me up with strings of Christmas lights…

I'm alive.

Still congested in every single head cavity (even in my mouth, which is stuffed with comfort food. Does that count?), but there is some life left in me yet.

Just wanted to surface quickly and thank you all for your well-wishes and for the attempts at sending soup.

Of course, I realized in retrospect that I never would've been able to receive the soup in time for it to still be hot, because I have dial-up.

And I think you'll agree: that awful fact alone is more than enough to make ANYBODY ill.


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Still sick. Please send soup.

Actually, even sympathy will do.

xoxo Pale Red.

After experiencing a strange type of popping sound in my right ear for the past few weeks (and not just whenever I shake my head anymore) and dealing with it in the same way I deal with all my problems (in other words: ignoring it), I woke up with a tremendous ear ache yesterday.

So yes, it's probably an ear infection. At least that's the diagnosis issued by my personal physician, the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia. And who am I to argue with such authority?

However, one very important question not answered by that otherwise all-knowing publication, is this:

'Tis Such Cruelty...

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... That people are unable to hear the true sound of their own voices, leaving them to believe - with a belief as steadfast as a child's faith - that they sound just as good as Oprah when they speak, and, more importantly, that they can SING.

Not only that. They believe they can really sing.

So they do what any reasonable person who believe they are really good at singing (and they have to be good at it, because they enjoy it just SO much) would do, and so they sing. (And in some instances, some of them even audition for American Idol.)

They sing with enthusiasm. All the time. And almost everywhere.

Except... in the shower.

Because some people don't like to get shampoo and soap suds in their big mouths, see. So therefore the shower is the only place where some people shut up.

Until one day, when those same people decided to postpone a hair wash until a later, post-exercise shower.

So right there in the shower, without the risk of eating shampoo suds - and while keeping a close eye on the soap suds - some people started lustily belting out a song.

A few bars into the song, a faint but horrendous sound was detected. Someone was trying to sing along in a most awful voice! The neighbour? Yes, quite possibly the neighbour. The walls are extremely thin in some people's homes after all.

So some people kept right on singing, deciding to repeat the song for the benefit of the poor soul who was trying so hard to sing along and failing sooo miserably.

About half way through the third repetition of the song, the shower was finished and the water was turned off.

As soon as the noise of running water stopped the realisation set in:

Did you know that some bathrooms, although small, has quite an echo..?

There was never any neighbour singing along!

Thus, after getting a vague but very disturbing idea of what my voice really sounds like to other people, I vowed to NEVER OPEN MY MOUTH AGAIN. I was left feeling so humiliated by my own echo that I decided to discontinue ALL forms of oral communication, effective immediately.

After all, Helen Keller got along quite well without speaking.

UPDATE: Surprise, surprise: I'm no Helen Keller. And so my self imposed vow of silence lasted about all of five seconds.

Camera Obscura

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Something always goes terribly wrong between those loaded moments of aiming and shooting.

Subjects are barely captured before they're ruthlessly beheaded, or their limbs abruptly but painfully severed...

It's not a pretty picture.

Geek Streak Ends

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I'm a little sad.

After winning 74 times in a ROW and raking in a total record-shattering amount of $2,520,700, he finally lost last night.

Yeah, yeah, mock me all you like, but I am in awe of anyone who is able to do something really well. (Actually, I'm quite easily impressed, so even moderate talent is highly regarded by me.) And watching Ken in action on that quiz show was quite remarkable.

I know he's a bit of a geek (I love geeks, though!), but he was such a gentleman throughout his time on the show.

And last night, when he lost to Nancy Zerg, a realtor from California, he bowed out with his usual good humour and grace.

Goodbye Ken Jennings! "Jeopardy!" just won't be the same without you, and I can't wait to see you on next year's Tournament of the Champs, when you will continue to kick quiz show arse.

is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Terra: YES! Wait... you didn't think that I would be this possessed to post for NO REASON, did ya???... [go]
  • Terra.Shield : OH! ... [go]
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  • Marco Author Profile Page: I personally think it is a mindset that has been cultivated over the years, and one, if not stemmed,... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Ms. Crazy Cat Lady Pants!!! Squeeeee! Sooo good to see you! (I thought NO ONE was bothering to read ... [go]
  • Ms. Pants : Kitties don't get enough credit sometimes. (All times, if you ask me, but I'm a Crazy Cat Lady.)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Hey Tamara! I know, right?? That is a tough act to follow indeed. I adored that dentist. He used to ... [go]
  • Tamara Tipton : Well, I am not sure how any dentist could live up to that standard! LOL! I hope your appointment was... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: I'm really really glad that I'm not the only one, Po! Sometimes I drive myself mad with all the what... [go]
  • Po : Those questions run through my heads for various times in my life too, that is for sure!... [go]
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