April 2005 Archives

I wrote that long title because I'm avoiding other Issues.

From the how-to be a writer books in my collection I gather that it's usually the other way around: Writers sometimes resort to doing other things, things that are normally far more heinous to do to oneself than having to will fiction out of thin air, just to avoid writing. This condition sounds really terrible, because some of those poor, tortured, masochistic souls will even do... GASP!... the laundry!!!! instead of their writing.

So I suppose my last slender hope of ever becoming a real, authentic A*U*T*H*O*R has just evaporated, because I can't even get the procrastinating right! (Well... at least not in this case.) You see, when I procrastinate writing I honestly don't feel the need to cover it up with productivity. (How else do you think I manage 206 hours' of television per week? WHADOYOUMEAN THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE?!? The fact that there is only 168 hours in a week, you say? Well, that just makes my weekly television viewing achievements all the more remarkable, doesn't it?)

And I've almost forgotten that the reverse was possible... until last night.

Let me explain: The boy has been out of town since last week.

He finally came back at midnight last night.

Unfortunately he walked into a disastrous house... looks as if a tornado's twirled through here.

Alas, despite the funky weather we've been having these past few days, nothing more serious than me has hit the place.

You see, I really did have every intention of cleaning the house for (and before!) his return, honestly I did!

I even tackled the job with an unusual amount of enthusiasm. And that word right there, the one that says "enthusiasm"; that alone is a sure sign that my career of unemployment and television viewing, however impressive, has officially driven me into the flailing arms of delirium.

So I cleaned, but being the focused, highly disciplined creature that I am (stop laughing like that! You'll wrinkle!), I got side-tracked and started unpacking closets.

But instead of doing it like I suspect a normal person would (which means none of you will be able to tell me either, har har) - possibly one closet/room at a time, I suppose - I became possessed by the eager Spring Cleaning Fairy (she's a manic depressive who's stopped taking her lithium because it 'stifles her creativity and besides, she's been feeling MUCH more balanced these days, thankyouverymuch', and so she happened to breeze through here during the peak of one of her maniacal highs. Unfortunately her high was brief) and before I knew it, every cupboard, cabinet, closet... had its contents strewn on the floor.

The sight was overwhelming to my sensitive self... It's a war zone: a gigantic explosion of clothes, papers, food (yes, I got my paws on and in the kitchen cupboards too) EVERYWHERE.

What's even funnier... when the boy called me from the road last night to
tell me that he was on his way, and before I even had a chance to warn
him about my "little" on-going project, he informed me in a very
wistful tone (and this will speak volumes and will give you a big hint
as to the kind of housekeeper I normally am): "By the way, I dreamed
that I came home to a clean house."

Oh, how I laughed!

Hey, at least I had the best of intentions! Pity that I decided to
take a coffee break just as I had thrown everything on the floor, though.
'Cause as soon as I sat down with the coffee, I grew very, very tired. The fairy had vanished and she'd taken my strength and will with her, the cow.

I finally devoured a path out of the kitchen (which, in this house, is
better known as The Coffee Maker's Private Quaters) and now I'm going to rest my weary head on a stack of how-to be a writer books.

Hopefully, when I wake up later today, I'll be a real writer. And hopefully, by then, the boy's dream of a clean house will have miraculously come true as well!

In honour of Earth Day, I've written the following bad poem.

Today is supposed to be filled with mirth
As we say: “Happy Earth Day, Mother Earth!”
So I promise not to be a naysayer
And point out the hole in the ozone layer
Or how Bush is going to drill for oil
Right in the middle of the arctic soil
(One would think that he, with a surname like “Bush”
Would give environmental issues a push)
And I refuse to tell you ‘bout urban sprawl
Or its land devouring friend, the shopping mall
I also won’t tell you about SUV’s
Or the rainforests’ fast disappearing trees
Won’t breathe a word about carbon monoxide
Or lead, or smoke, or soot, or sulfur dioxide
No, I will not mention the disgrace
Done to you by the human race
Instead I’ll wish you a Happy Earth Day
And say thanks for allowing us humans to stay

When the holy smokestack finally coughed up a new Pope on Tuesday ("Holy Smoke! There's new Pope!" is what I chanted out loud, repeatedly, for the rest of that day... much to the boy's annoyance), it gave me hope.

No, I'm not Catholic, so it didn't give me that "we have a new leader" sort of hope. My motives, as per usual, were and are far more selfish and secular. But no, not because I wagered a bet on who the new Pope was going to be, and proceeded to win that bet. Even if I had placed a bet, my money would not have been on Ratzinger anyway. I would've backed the guy from Nigeria. You know, African loyalty and all that.

That said, my newfound hope DOES stem from Ratzinger's election. You see, as soon as I heard that he managed to get himself a new and very important gig two weeks after his 77th birthday, my own hopes dared to soar a bit. So much so, that I promptly went outside to pull my ambition and my dreams from the gutter, where it's been buried under piles of leaves and mud since my thirtieth birthday last year.

As all (three) of you know, I've been searching for gainful (is there any other kind? If so, please let me know immediately!) employment since... well, since before I began writing on this blog last year. My quest for employment (or destiny, as I prefer to call it, because "work" sounds very unappealing and tedious) has not been successful.

Perhaps I've been too forthcoming about my lack of marketable skills (or my lack of a Pink Card, but that's another story), or my laziness, or my procrastination, or the fact that my ability to communicate in English (or my version thereof) vanishes between 8 in the morning and noon. (Yes, Natalie, I really am NOT a morning person!)

(Or is it my fondness of parentheses?)

Or perhaps nobody in the greater Washington, D.C. - Baltimore metropolitan area really is hiring right now, and isn't planning to hire anyone in the next few years either.

Whatever the reasons, I still don't have a job, and so I've been losing hope, thinking that maybe thirty really IS too old to still want to be an ingenue and a wunderkind.

But not anymore! If the Catholics can be as indiscriminate (except when it comes to gays, abortion, ordaining women, birth control, etc... but hey, at least there's no age discrimination!) as to hire someone who is 77 to be their equivalent of a corporate CEO, complete with perks like the Papal apartment (it has a BALCONY, with a stunning view), a fully stocked wardrobe (with all those hats!) the Swiss bodyguards, the various Pope mobiles and drivers, and world travel without a passport, then really, someone will surely find it in his/her generous wallet... I mean, HEART!... to put 30-year old me on their pay-roll. ('Cause really, even though it says 1974 on my birth certicate, I assure you that my maturity level can easily compete with that of any two-year old!)

So, danke, Your Holiness Benedict XVI, for making me feel positively wet behind the ears again! Good luck with your new destiny, and thanks for giving me hope that I'll have one of my own some day.

Ransom Note

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Two of the gorgeous gals I was in the play with last year recently left their shoes at my house. Now, this wouldn't have been such a problem if my feet were oh... say... TEN SIZES SMALLER and SIX INCHES NARROWER!

As it is, these dainty lil' leather mules and shiny slingbacks with their stacked heels serve as a mocking reminder of just how abnormal I am! (See why I prefer how-to books over shoes? Books don't give my already-gnarly toes blisters. Books don't make me fall flat on my face. Well... unless I pile them up on the floor... but that's another story. But most importantly, books never make my big feet feel even bigger. Books don't mock me with their gorgeous covers only to humiliate me when I page through them. No, books never make me feel and look as if I have hippo feet!)

Today, I sent them this ransom note:

Girls,

I have your shoes. The ransom is a bottle of wine and yet another long evening in my company within the next week. Only then will they be returned to you, unscuffed.

Don't bother getting the American fashion police involved. Because once they find out that I'm from South Africa, it won't be difficult to convince them that the fact that I'm wearing any clothes at all (even if is ill-fitting factory rejects from the clearance racks at T.J. Maxx, Marshall's and Ross*) and not just prance around in my freckles and a few strategically placed animal skins, is a great personal accomplishment and a step towards civilization.

I know how precious these shoes are to you, but if you don't respond... well, let's just say that 'time wounds all heels'!

Regards,
Big Foot.

Blogging for Books

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The following story is an entry for this month's Blogging for Books, as always graciously hosted by the Zero Boss.

"We like to think of ourselves as nice people. Yet even the nicest person can engage in cruel, vindictive, or just plain mean behavior.

For this Blogging for Books, write about the meanest thing you have ever done - either to another person or to yourself. (Topic idea credit: Jenorama)"

Slapty bum!

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Ladies and Gentleman, I have FINALLY arrived!

No, no... I haven't left town. Or the house. And no, I haven't gotten a job or a Green Card either. (Damn, suddenly I'm starting to feel bummed out.)

But before you dismiss me with an impatient click of the mouse to move onto the sites of other, far more interesting bloggers who actually have jobs, and lives, and the ability to write and tell you about it all in a captivating, eloquent way, please humour me (as usual) and read on.

Yesterday afternoon, as I was wading through the spam in my inbox (or should I just go ahead and call it a spambox? Because that's all I seem to be receiving nowadays) and deleting it... lo' and behold! I actually stumbled onto a REAL e-mail, an e-mail written especially for me by a guy named Josh (Hello, Josh!). And what Josh wrote me made me absolutely giddy with delight!

Here's what Josh wrote:

Just this past week, while going about my usual day-to-night-to-day business of alternating between the couch, the fridge, the bed and this here computer chair (not necessarily in that order), I acquired a new personal hero to add to my collection.

Just like that, without even leaving the house!

Well, to be completely honest: Typical of most modern-day hero-acquisitions, Yahoo! and Google helped me out.

You see, I was checking my Yahoo! e-mail (because like any semi-civilized person, I have an array of e-mail accounts. Anything to further complicate and clutter my life with! Besides, I'm telling you, having to remember two-hundred different passwords is a good way to jog the old memory and keep it in shape) when I skimmed the news headlines on the Yahoo! homepage.

My eye roamed across the line-up. All the usual suspects were present: The Michael Jackson trial; the war in Iraq...

I was just about to click away from the page when I saw another headline.

"Clickety-click."

Two clicks of the mouse later, and I knew that I had found myself a new hero to add to my collection.

In case you're wondering where I've been (or even in case you're not wondering where I've been. Not that I've been anywhere, mind you, I just like to fantasize that you think about my whereabouts at all times. Which, yes, I realise, sounds very tragic and desperate indeed), I haven't been blogging because the clocks have thrown me off.

Yes, the clocks.

The clocks in the U.S. jumped ahead by one hour on Sunday morning at 2, so I've been asleep for the past three days to try and make up for that lost hour.

My biorhythm is a fragile thing. In fact, I've told you before how I have no rhythm at all, and sadly, that lack of rhythm affects my biorhythm too. So twice a year, when Daylight Saving Time begins and ends, my entire schedule derails and for three months following the time change, I find myself craving lunch at 4 (a.m.) and dinner at 11 in the morning.

I solve this problem by simply eating all the time.

Daylight Saving Time is just one of the many things I find strange about living in the United States. (And yes, I realise that it's practiced in a lot of other countries too, but I've only lived in one of the countries that adhere to it, and that's here in the U.S.) That and the fact that those elusive entities called Green Cards are actually pink, but I'll talk more about that ONE DAY WHEN/IF I FINALLY GET MINE!!!!!! (Pardon my shouting. It's a touchy subject.)

You see, in South Africa we don't have Daylight Saving Time. It's a good thing too, because if someone did decide to implement it there, I think there's a great possibility that South Africans who are as biorhythmically challenged as I am would probably demand overtime wages after showing up for work hours late. As it is, African Time is a dimension all its own. So it's best not to add to or subtract from it!

Back to Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.: As if it's not enough to live in a country where there are already so many different time zones (see why I've not dared to take my biorhythm and venture off the east coast yet?), someone decided that it would be a really great idea to confuse people like me even further by throwing in this twice annual ritual of setting your clock one hour fast in the spring and then moving it back again in the fall.

Americans have to remind themselves which season goes with which time change by memorising this little phrase: "Spring forward, fall back." (Personally I think "Spring back, fall forward" is far more poetic what with the alliteration and all, but don't mind me.)

Now, although it's admittedly quite tiresome to lose one hour of sleep, I don't actually mind the springing forward in spring part all THAT much. The extra sunshine makes me giddy with delight and it appears to have the same positive effect on most other people too.

It's that hour of daylight we lose in the fall, when the days are already getting noticeably shorter and we suddenly, all at once, lose another full hour of daylight due to the end of DST... THAT is when I want to gnaw my wrists off!

I see that I'm not the only one who has this love/hate relationship with DST. For example, in Indiana (a state which already has two time zones to begin with), some counties adhere to DST and others do not, and the issue is up for debate at their state legislature again.

I think DST should become a matter of personal preference, like religion. People who choose to gain an hour in the afternoon/early evening in the spring (when the days are getting longer anyway), and then to speed up sunset in the fall, should be allowed to stick to DST. (I do realise that moving the clock an hour back in the fall means that people who get up at 7 or 8 in the morning do not have to get up before sunrise, but since I'm officially NOT a morning person, this little bonus is wasted on me, and so I'd much rather take my extra hour of daylight on an autumn afternoon, thankyouverymuch.)

The rest of us who do not wish to move our clocks in the spring should be allowed to take that extra hour and save it in a vault somewhere until we feel ready to use it. Like, say, in the autumn, when you can reverse the process by "falling forward" and sticking the extra hour onto your day. Imagine how envious those spring savers will feel in October when their sun sets at 4:30 in the afternoon and yours only a full hour later! (Don't get argumentative and tell me about what logistical nightmares this will create in the work force. I don't care about logistics! Besides, since when have you ever taken me for the logical type?)

If you don't want to move your clock at all, you should be allowed to take your hours and spend it on a bonus vacation day.

Or you could simply move to Arizona or Hawaii, where residents are blissfully free of the burdens and confusion of DST.

In the mean time, please excuse me? It's 3 a.m., which means it's almost time for lunch!

Pre-Update Update: Never mind the next Update... my very own web goddess Emily has saved my butt yet again! In my enthusiasm to block a few spammer trackbacks, I inadvertently blocked the whole civilized world from commenting as well. Sorry folks! Comment away (please?)! And Emily: THANK YOU.

Update: Something is terribly wrong. I can't even comment on my own site anymore! Anyone who is an expert on MT Blacklist, please extend a helping hand! I'm so desperate I've even considered deleting my entire blacklist, but then I look at my referrer page and see all the awful sites that have been trying to leave their spam and I just dread the thought of having to start from scratch and deleting all the smut that is sure to be left here if I unblock them all. HEEEELP, please!?!

She tried sending me a comment on my limesick post, but apparently some mysterious entity decided that she was a spammer.

I say "mysterious entity," because from the thirty minutes (at LEAST) a day I spent deleting friendly invitations to purchase potions and lotions to enhance and enlarge body parts I don't possess or already have enough of; or invitations to view families who love each other so much that their family trees go straight up; or invitations to view pictures of animals and people that... let's just say that it gives the term 'heavy petting' a whole new and nasty definition... So considering all of these things, it doesn't even feel as if I HAVE a spam blocker to begin with!

It's happened a few times before that precious real bloggers who wanted to comment were inadvertently blocked by my Spam Police. And my readers and commenters ARE precious because they're a rather rare commodity and should be protected and preserved at all cost, because man I LOVE my 'peanut gallery' and hearing what they have to say, even though they've proven to be a very disobedient lot. You see, I've ordered them (several times!) to please try and refrain from being funnier than the author - yeah, wishful thinking, I know - but they just can't seem to help it. (That's why, if you're new to this website and you want to be highly entertained, read the archives. But not of what I have written: read the comments!)

But back to the Spam Police. I know I'm not the most tech savvy person in the world (hahahaha, yes, I'm soo understated!), but I'm really puzzled. I don't understand why they seem to be looking the other way (or are they on their coffee-and-doughnuts-break?) when my comments and trackbacks get spammed at least a hundred times per hour by those sick sites whose names rhyme with 'feast and iality' and 'invest'; but when my legitimate and very welcome readers try to comment, they suddenly drop their doughnuts, dust off their Spam Police uniforms and whip out their weapons.

UPDATE: I've just taken a break to read a few other sites, and it turns out that today's Birthday Girl (who is no fool, by the way, despite having a birthday on this day) apparently tried to comment on my April Fool's Day post, but surprise surprise... she was blocked. Oh, but whadoyouknow: I've just been invited SEVERAL TIMES to a site where I can purchase prescription meds without the necessary doctor's note!

GAAAAH! Please help! I try to vigilantly block the spammers as soon as they strike, but I am very careful not to accidentally block any real readers/commenters in the process. I've just double-checked my blacklist and I can't spot anyone on there who shouldn't be there (I could've overlooked someone in my haste though). Helen and Kat are definitely not on there though!

This isn't the first time I've had the problem where people e-mailed me saying that they've been blocked. As far as I can remember, it's happened to her and her, but those problems eventually sorted themselves out, because I never did anything about it - I couldn't, because I didn't know WHAT to do, very much like now - and soon after they started commenting again without any further problems.

Oh, and I've just remembered: A while back she tried to comment on this post. She e-mailed me her comment and right fool that I am, I tried posting the comment on her behalf... UNDER HER NAME. (I TOLD you that today was invented for people like me!) And then I completely forgot about it until now. I'm soooo sorry Kimberly! Here, to try and make up for my idiocy, is your comment, even though it's probably a month after the fact! I'm sure your views haven't changed yet:

I tried to leave a comment, and was rejected because it thought I was a spammer. I was trying to post this to your post about Williams's song:

Okay, I am a Christian conservative that loves James Dobson's radio
program and the books that he has written.

However, there is only so far that you can go before you look like a fool. He did cross that line with the whole SpongeBob thing. As did
Falwell (who should never be let to speak in public) with Tinky Winky.

I know that President Bush was re-elected, moral values was high on the
list of the things voters who voted for him were concerned about (me,
included). However, just because that is so doesn't mean you can run
rampant and go around censoring things all over the place. We are the
U.S. and we do have a constitution. Basically, I think people on the
right and the left who are politically correct or looking to squelch
free speech should get thee over thyself.

I would have enjoyed William's song I bet. I like tongue in cheek stuff
and have a wicked sense of humor (one I often have to repent over).


And Kat, here's your excellent limesick limerick now for all the world (that is, if the world has a population of three) to see. I'm posting it here, even though it's so much funnier and better than mine. But *sigh* I'll let it slide this once because of the brutality you've suffered at the hands of my Spam Police. (If they keep this up I'm going to confiscate their badges!)

Here's what Kat wrote:

Ack, I tried to post this comment, but your spambot wouldn't let me! I guess
it didn't like my limerick...lol

Poor girl!
Feel better soon...

There once was a girl named Red
who was a lil sick in the head
She called it the flu
and cried out boo-hoo!
so we told her to go back to bed.

Thanks again, Kat! And you know what, I've been so upset about the Spam Police brutality taken out on my readers that I've completely forgotten about my flu!

Anyway, if anyone has any advice for me on how to curb the spammers without blocking any legitimate readers/commenters, PLEASE let me know?

And now that I have your attention...

Please humour me (as usual) and read the following out loud.

White, white, white, white, white, white, white, white, white, white, white, white, white.

(No I assure you… I haven’t gone completely off my rocker… well, all right, perhaps a little, but my insanity occurred shortly after birth. So really, it’s been so long I can almost be considered sane. Like I said, humour me a little. There IS method to my madness today.)

So, as we were saying out loud: White, white, white, white, white…

Now, answer this question: What does a cow drink? Scroll down to the end (but return immediately to read the rest of my labour!) for the correct answer… but know this, if you said



















about
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!)

online


comments
  • 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]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: Be a bit like serving drinks at AA?... [go]
  • 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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