June 2005 Archives

On Second Thoughts

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Regarding the incident in the bookstore, I suppose I should be grateful that it was just an overzealous Jehovah's Witness ambushing me, and not an overzealous "Hubbard's Witness" like "Doctor" Tomkat* Cruise instead.

For one, I'm sure he would've lectured me for hours because of the bottles and bottles of Ritalin I handed out like candy to all the children who were in my care when I was a nanny. I would've tried to make him understand that I had no choice, because if I hadn't given them the drugs, they would've grown up to behave exactly like he did on Oprah and The Today Show.

On the other hand, in the name of recruiting yet another potential money donour to Scientology, maybe he would've been willing to overlook and even forgive and forget my days as a children's chemist? Perhaps my current plight as an outlawed alien would've won him over?

Maybe he would've looked at all the how-to books in my arms and then his recruitment tactic would've been to butter me up by telling me that he believes in me?

Because, you know, he really DOES believe in aliens.

* Thank you, Salami.

Last night, while browsing the how-to book section at a mega bookstore (yes, Bookstore Diva, your chain, although not your store) and just quietly minding my own business, I was ambushed by an overzealous Jehovah's Witness.

I was polite to him for about five minutes too long. (Chronic politeness is a South African affliction, you see.)

When I eventually managed to flee, and went to find the boy to tell him the whole story, he suggested that we should complain to management so that the guy could be thrown out. As upset as I was, I didn't really think that I had grounds for a complaint. I mean, isn't the very spirit of a bookstore centered around the exchange of ideas and freedom of speech?

The boy argued that what the guy did is a form of harassment. What do you think? Remember though: I was polite to him at first. Also, do you think we could've and should've complained to the store's management?

But, since this has been the third strange encounter that I've had in the past few weeks (stay tuned to the still-in-slow-progress Travelogue to read about the other two) the most important question that remains is: What IS it about me that weirdoes seem to find so incredibly appealing?!?

But just so you know, if your answer to that last question includes the phrase: "Like attracts like," I'll send you a virus!

Yes... your eyes are not deceiving you. That up there really DOES say "DSL."

The boy and I have finally seen the light.

Actually, we're just downright tired of having dial-up at the speed (ha ha! I said "speed" and "dial-up" in the same sentence) of 0.01 kbps (and that .01 is on a GOOD day, I should add!), and everyone else is tired of our phone line always being busy in the hours that it takes me to surf the web every day, so we are finally shopping around for DSL.

But I have barely begun poking around online to see what's on offer and - this should come as no surprise to you - I'm already confused. And y'all KNOW that it doesn't take very much to confuse the likes of me!

So of course, I've decided to enlist your help, oh, ye wise, web-savvy ones!

Here's the thing. Our phone service provider is Verizon. Our dial-up provider is SBC-Yahoo. Boy isn't keen on the idea of transferring all his e-mails from his SBC-Yahoo account (he's had that e-mail for YEARS), so he would like to get SBC DSL. However, we're not sure if we would be able to get SBC DSL with a Verizon phone service. Also, I've read some bad reviews about SBC (while "DSL-HELL" appeals to my sense of rhyme, it does NOT sound good when read by a potential customer in a service review!).

I see that Verizon also has DSL service, but getting that would probably involve a mass exodus of e-mails and e-mail subscriptions of the boy's e-mail account.

But now I've also seen DSL services like Speakeasy (that sounds like my kind of DSL joint! After-hours boozing comes to mind. And fried food. I can already hear the poetry of Langston Hughes as well as jazz tunes on the jukebox...) and the other one that begins with a C (I'm not trying to be funny, I really can't remember and I'm afraid that if I start looking it up, I might get soo lost that I'd never find my way back here again. And no, it isn't Comcast).

Speaking of Comcast. We don't want cable. It's seems very expensive, and besides, Comcast seems to have a monopoly on the Baltimore area, and that, to me, is just wrong.

Oh, and speaking of areas... I see that some DSL providers are not available in certain areas?

Please advise!?

Once again, my beloved blogging benefactress and Web Goddess, the lovely Emily, has bailed me out and saved the day. And now she can also add "Spamenator" (okay, so it's still lame, but I'm still suffering delayed creativity from all the recent spam-attacks on this website) to her list of titles.

Emily has done what no other person has been willing/able to do for this website: She has managed to stop the spammers in their vile little tracks.

I've been under siege lately. When I returned from holiday last week, I returned to 3,000-and-something spam comments and trackbacks in my inbox. It was completely overwhelming, and after a few feeble attempts to delete and blacklist some of it (and just so we're clear, MT-blacklist is not to blame. I've just never figured out how to use it correctly), I did what I do about most of my problems: I ignored it and wished that it would go away all by itself.

And Emily made my wish come true.

She waved her spam-damning magic wand and installed a script which closes the comments on posts that are more than a few days old (so if you have something to say, be quick about it!). What a genius invention!

But that's not all...

She then proceeded to DELETE ALL 3,000 PLUS SPAM COMMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so happy, I'm completely speechless. (Yeah, now you know the secret to shutting me up! Since the spam has now been taken care of, though, something else that would make me REALLY happy, so happy that I'll be quiet, is a Green Card with my name on it. Anyone?)



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I was excited about taking an afternoon flight.

We were going to fly over places that I’d never seen before (except in movies and on television, but we all know that doesn’t really count) and I was looking forward to at least getting a bird’s eye view of these new and – at least to me - undiscovered places.

My hopes of seeing anything from the sky in daylight was almost dashed when we arrived at the airport to an announcement that our take-off was going to be delayed for two hours courtesy of stormy weather brewing somewhere in the direction of our flight.

Luckily for me, the days are longer in June, so when we finally did take off later, the sun was still clinging to the sky.

The boy had graciously offered me the window seat, and he didn’t have to twist my arm very much for me to accept. Before we had even left the ground, I was sitting with my nose pressed to the glass.

But alas, before we had even left the state, a blanket of thick clouds had enveloped the plane. These stubborn clouds didn’t dissipate, even as we climbed to altitude. So about an hour or so later, when the flight attendants asked everyone to draw their window shades for the showing of the in-flight movie, I gave up on the view, pulled the shade down and began reading instead. Up on the small television screens throughout the cabin, several Hilary Swanks were boxing their skinny little arms off.

When drinks were served after the movie, I asked the older man sitting on the other side of the boy if he’d mind if I’d put the shade up again. He looked at me as if I’d just told him to go and sit on the wing. He frowned at me and shook his head in disbelief. I’m still wondering what he thought I’d asked him!

After the shock of his reaction towards me wore off, I decided to take the shaking of his head to mean “No, I don’t mind at all, you charming foreign girl you!” and thus proceeded to open the shade.

Outside, the clouds had vanished, and below, a multi-coloured world was unfurling in the dusk like a giant patchwork quilt. We were flying back in time, chasing the sun, and it was still light outside.

The landscape soon changed. It was as if someone had bunched up the quilt, because the flat plains of earlier were, seemingly all at once, interrupted by rocky, jagged hills, which soon turned into steeper, snowcapped mountains.

I opened the airline magazine and looked at the map, and guessed that we were in the vicinity of Colorado. Until that moment, I had never been further west in the U.S. than Tennessee.

A few hours later we touched down in Phoenix, Arizona.

The sun was also descending; its last rays kissed the surrounding hills, causing them to blush. Beyond the desert, in the distance, the mountains were still as blue as a cloudless day. I suddenly felt sad that I wouldn’t get to set foot on that land, and made a wish that I would be fortunate enough to return there one day.

Flight Risk

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I love flying.

Spam Watch 2005

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Until a minute ago, I was busy writing down all the fond memories I have of my trip to share with you on this here blog, but I've decided to interrupt myself so that I could bring you the following spamtistics (yeah, it's lame. But believe me, if you were being drowned in spam, what little creativity you thought you had would probably be drained out of you too).

Yesterday, Online Pharmacy overtook Online Poker and Roulette in the amount of spam comments left on my site. (If you still think I'm exaggerating, see The Opiniated somewhere to the left of this message.) But keep in mind that you don't see the Trackback Pings that still end up in my inbox.

Right now, my inbox amount stands at 3,379. Out of that, only about 4 are legitimate, wanted messages.

I honestly don't know what to do anymore. (Not that I had much of an inkling before, but still...)

UPDATE: Just in the amount of time that it took me to write this, the amount of spam messages brought my inbox total up to 3,382.

In case you've been wondering why I've been so quiet, or even (and more likely) if you haven't been wondering (then too bad, 'cause I'm going to tell you anyway): I've had an unexpected vacation!

Now you're probably wondering how on earth one can have a vacation when the immigration limbo one has been stuck in for many years and which requires one, by law, to do nothing that could be even loosely defined as work and therefore results in one's life to resemble a continuous vacation anyway, right?

Well, the answer is twofold, yet simple: Firstly I'd tell you that your wonderings are far too verbose and confusing and that you really ought to try and cut it shorter in future.

Secondly, I'd tell you that why, it's all quite simple really! In order to get a vacation from a life spent in perpetual holiday mode, one travels to distant places.

And since I've been in dire need of a vacation from my vacation, I took one.

And I'm planning to tell you all about it in the greatest detail. For now, however, I need a rest.

Because I had NO IDEA that taking a real vacation could make one so tired!

P.S. Returned to a glorious 2,998* e-mails in my comments/trackbacks inbox! Thought I had been Dooceded (can't say "Dooced", because that, of course, means 'to be fired from one's work because of one's weblog.' And not even the likes of me can manage to get fired without actually being employed in the first place, blog or no blog).

So "Dooceded" (pronounce: DOOO- CEEEEEDED) in this case means "becomes overnight blogging sensation, complete with media coverage and thousands of actual readers.")

But alas, my "fanmail" turned out to be just more blasted spam. And in case you've been suspecting me of exaggerating the amount of spam I receive (MOI? EXAGGERATE OR EMBELLISH FACTS?!?!? NEVER EVER EVEEEERRRR!), please refer to the sidebar at the left of these scribblings and see "The Opiniated." I assure you, although I have been known to receive comments from folks with blogging names like "Mice" and "Maison Pants" and "Vit 'n' Madge" and "Claypot" and "Cherryflava" and "Bookstore Diva" and "Pylorns" and "Cooksister" and "Fricative" and "Mikedup" and "Will Type For Food" and "Annika" and "Kim" and "Deeleea" and "Martha" and "Emily" and "Helen" (Okay, so those last six aren't so strange at all, but they're foreign (Martha, darling, you weren't born here, and Helen lives in England now, and Em and Annika, you're from Texas and L.A. respectively, so enough said) and everyone knows that being foreign automatically ups the weirdness factor); I really do NOT have readers named "Party Poker", "Blackjack" or even "Online Pharmacy."

*While I was busy trying to delete the spam, the number of spam mails actually climbed to over 3,000! I give up!

Is it any wonder then that I already feel in need of another vacation?

Never mind my last entry! I think I've found my destiny.

He recently wrote a primer explaining how to be a poet, and since I've never been able to resist a how-to book/blog entry of any kind, I composed the following snode (sonnet and ode and all other forms of poetry thrown into one, even a hint of haiku) and dedicate it to him. (PARTS IN ALL-CAPS ARE MEANT TO BE SHOUTED, preferably in anguish, DURING PERFORMANCE AT THE POETRY JAM. He said to deliver it as if you are speaking to a bunch of five-year olds.)

On an all too black night
You hid from my sight
Behind a Frangipani Tree

I weep, I cry, I mourn

I am an artist, tortured by my art
I've etched YOU into my heart
And now I bleed all over the grocery cart
But even those stains are art
Because it is MY BLOOD from MY VEINS
running through MY body, subtly, beautifully, like trains

The sentences hang between us

Off in mid-air
And we can only stare

The End.

Oh, I think he'll be so flattered and proud and... oh, wait a minute! It was How NOT to write a poem.


So I guess I ought to scratch poet off my list of possible professions.

My list of possible professions:
Pulitzer Prize winner
Model ('Cause Ford Models only accepts Size 6 and a half to Size 8 for their Plus Size Division. Not even my feet are that small. Oh, and they say you have to not be ghastly to look at. Discriminatory bastards!)

Back to the previous entry then to find me a job.

Sorry that I haven't written in a while.

I'm still basking in the glow of receiving an e-mail from a 2005 PULITZER PRIZE WINNER!!!!

Yeah, Connie Schultz and I, we've become thisclose.

WHADOYOUMEAN has she replied to my e-mail yet? Let's not get bogged down by such technicalities, okay? I'm sure we, this blog and I, have been dominating her mind ever since last Saturday.

Besides, I'm sure she's busy.

Walking her dog.

Or giving a speech.

Or writing a column.

Or spending the $10,000 Pulitzer Prize money.

Or out of town.

Or... something.

I'm sure many of you would advise me to stop waiting by the computer, my knuckles white from grasping onto the mouse and clicking on 'Refresh' every five seconds to see if I have a new e-mail. From her.

Some of you might even suggest that I should concentrate on my own writing instead, so that I can maybe win my own Pulitzer Prize one day. Only problem with that suggestion is that, in order to win... or even be ELIGIBLE for a Pulitzer Prize, one actually has to have some talent, you see. And a paying job as a reporter. Or one has to be a published author. Which will require one to be an American citizen. Or at least be a holder of a precious Green Card. And well, we all know that I sadly lack possession of any and all of the above.

You know, all of this has made me think (remarkable that!) about my job prospects and about what to do with my life.

Should I worry that I'm already 30 and don't have it together yet? (Don't bother replying unless your answer is going to be a resounding and reassuring "No, of COURSE you don't have to worry, Red.") I mean, I love the Grandma Moses success story as much as anyone, and although I am quite patient, I really don't want to have to wait quite THAT long to find my destiny.

I can't sell myself. So even if I had wanted to be one (and just so we're clear, I don't), that means even the world's oldest profession is out of the question. I also don't have stamina.

I've always fancied myself to be a bit of a slasher. You know, a slasher? Like so many rich Hollywood types who describe themselves as actors SLASH directors SLASH writers... (But many of them have the wealth and Academy Awards to back up their slasher claims.)

Although, sadly, my type of slashing is probably more similar to those street hustlers you meet who, if you'd ask them what they do for a living (merely to make conversation and NOT to insinuate anything while you fumble for the small change they've just begged from you) would tell you something like: "I guess you can say I'm a musician SLASH beat poet SLASH dancer."

Not to bash those latter types of slashers, but they're just the types that your mom has always warned you about.

And I don't want to be that person your mom has always warned you about.

So, dear readers, what do YOU think I should do for a living?

P.S. And, once you've told me what I should do for a living, I'll use her brilliant cover letter to apply for whatever job it is.

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]
  • 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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