Posts Tagged ‘random observations’

Things I do instead of writing

Friday, August 7th, 2009
You would think I would notice that the first two words in the title of this book are "Joseph" and "Smith" but nooooo....

You would think I would notice that the first two words in the title of this book are "Joseph" and "Smith" but nooooo....

So I was on Amazon.com placing an order for a few gifts, and at the bottom of the pages (below the reviews which I was reading, and thankfully so, as I was intrigued by this book called ‘Rough Rolling Stone’ because it had all these great reviews, but as I read the reviews, I started to learn that the book was not about The Rolling Stones, but about Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons. And I guess it’s a good Joseph Smith book, as things go, and if you’re looking for that kind of reading.

That reminds me: This is akin to the time that I was supposed to be buying some kind of Buddhism or meditation book for someone and instead bought them a book of lesbian poetry [with the same title]. I felt bad because the lady had probably never sold a single copy of her lesbian poetry, and it had finally happened…and here I was returning it a few days later. And she may have had a full-on lady beard in the photo. I can’t quite remember. I do know that I took this kind of odd class once when I was getting my psychology degree, and was deep in the throes of ‘anything for credits toward my degree’ [which is how I ended up in a different class called 'The Prison as a Classroom' where we actually WENT TO A HIGH SECURITY PRISON!!! WTF?] and the teacher had us read all these lesbian [not homosexual. Just lesbian. And NOT The Color Purple. Just lame stuff that her friends must have written or something.] books about the first time and falling in love and being overweight [I think the class was about being overweight, come to think of it. Something like size and image. Or body image and size or something like that. As you can imagine, it had attracted some ladies of considerable size, and I stuck out like a sore thumb]. So anyway, my point here is that I do very clearly remember that on the back of the this one novel – which contained some very awkward and highly detailed love scenes – was a photo of the author and the way the light hit her was just tragic. She had a serious lady beard going on. I kept thinking WHY would you put that photo where other people can see it??? Or maybe in her country that’s considered hot?

(more…)

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Some thoughts on nature

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Not all nature, actually. Just bugs.

Not even all bugs, in fact. Just vespidae.

You see, part of my process for getting through this book (and writing anywhere from ten to sixteen pages a day) is that I go outside and lay in the sun. I am such a big fan of our solar system’s star, that just being outside soaking up its heat is reward in itself (hopefully the reward stays a reward and doesn’t decide to punish me with a nice case of melanoma. On the upside, I’m one of those people who tans like a fiend and almost never burns. The summer I was 18, I went to Florida for a couple months. When I got home, I was so dark my high school boyfriend didn’t know who I was when I showed up at his door, and later compared me to ‘Pocahontas.” This would make sense if I was Latina or something, but I’m actually [as you may already know] half Irish, quarter Czech, and quarter Lithuanian…so go figure).

Anyway, the second upside of the whole outside lounge chair sunbathing writing thing is that I can’t get wifi out there. If writing a novel has one nemesis, it is the evil known as the Internet: Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Wikipedia, online window shopping (I have no money, so I’m reduced to filling a shopping basket with things I would like…and then abandoning it. Considering how many clothes I already have, this is actually a win/win/win situation for me, my wallet, and my closet.) Anyway, when I’m outside I can’t f-ck around.

Something like this is hanging under pretty much every surface within a ten-mile radius of my house.

Something like this is hanging under pretty much every surface within a ten-mile radius of my house.

On the other hand, nature poses its own unique challenge to my daily task (minus weekends when I do not write, lest I lose my mind).

Specifically, wasps.

Paper wasps, to be exact.

I know this, because I spent last summer thinking they were yellow jackets, and killing them on sight. And then for some reason, I suddenly felt bad about that. And, considering the rampant pet death/disappearance in my life, I also developed an issue with all the Raid or related bug poisons.

So anyway, I ended up getting on my old buddy – The Internets – and learned that my primary foe is not yellow jackets (who build their nests underground and are in the neighborhood, but not a particular problem in my yard) but paper wasps. Paper wasps make these delicate nests that (when you beat them down with a tennis racquet) are wildly intricate and seem to be made of a grayish paper. Moreover, they’re not completely nonfunctional and vile pests like yellow jackets (which are totally useless and in a category occupied in my mind by cockroaches, silverfish, and the aliens from Alien.)

The paper wasps are here because they’re eating caterpillar, flies, and beetle larvae, and they are here because many of my neighbors have backyards that I refer to as ‘weed farms.’ So the insects are here for the weeds, and the wasps are here for the insect. Voila. The circle of life.

Thus, because I try to be respectful of such circles of life, this year I am on a campaign to let the paper wasps live. And they are not just living, they are THRIVING. Which, at long last, brings me to the lament behind this post: Now, when I sit outside for an hour or so every day as a reward during the final hour or two of book writing, I find myself covered in wasps.

And I do mean covered.

Seriously.

They walk all over me.

And it’s light and itchy in that vague way a stray hair or house fly walking on you is…but it’s a WASP.

Here's another one. They're bee-ish...but they're not bees. Wasps don't pollinate.

Here's another one. They're bee-ish...but they're not bees. Wasps don't pollinate.

So everything I’ve read says they’re not aggressive (and I would generally agree), but they are ridiculously fascinated by me. Or just trying to intimidate me. Or something.

And then I worry that they might just spontaneously sting me just for sport or just because I’m there or smell weird or just because they can.

And it’s not the pain of the sting (and make no mistake. The stings hurt. I’ve been stung three times this summer), it’s the five days of itching that accompany it. The itching is so intense that I have woken up more than once having scratched myself until I bled. The itching is UNREAL.

And thus, my thought on nature is that it sucks.

You try to be nice to the wasps, and in return they walk all over you.

Ain’t it always the way?

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Jesus should’ve been so lucky

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

And by Jesus, I mean Jesus…like the Hispanic name.

And speaking of which, I have a vivid memory which comes to me once in a while of being ten or eleven years old and in Manhattan with my dad, my brother, and my dad’s girlfriend at the time, (and maybe her awful son. If so, I’ve blocked him out of my memory. Poor kid. He really was a train wreck, and at this age I feel empathetic. However, when we were all the same age, my brother and I just thought he was an insufferable jerk. [He was.])

So anyway, we’re in Manhattan and in some kind of establishment selling kitschy gifts and there was a big display of New York license plate keychains, and I thought MAYBE I could find one with ‘Vanessa’ on it.

Sufficed to say, in the early 80′s – the emergent time for Vanessa Williams and Vanessa Huxtable – there was no Vanessa ANYTHING. I spent my whole early childhood being asked, “Were you named after Vanessa Redgrave?”  and even though I had absolutely no idea who that was, I would always say, “Yes.”

So anyway, I was frustrated at (yet again) not finding a single Vanessa trinket and ran across a keychain that said ‘Jesus’ and I remember being outrageously annoyed that they would make a Jesus (not knowing, again about ‘Jesus’ as in the Spanish version, so I mean Jesuschristo) keychain and not a Vanessa.

I mean the LORD gets a keychain, but I don’t!?!?!

(and is it any wonder I now write a self-indulgent and self-important blog? Not so much.)

But I digress…

I’m worn out on book writing (and yet bearing down on my 8/7 finish date. Yay me!), and received the following from a good friend. We spent all day together Sunday, so she is well-aware of my recent…um…adventure.

Which makes this all the funnier.

Water or Wine

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine.. and those who don’t.

As Ben Franklin said:

In wine there is wisdom,
in beer there is freedom,
in water there is bacteria.


In a number of carefully controlled trials,
scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli,

(E. coli) – bacteria  found in feces.

In other words, we are consuming
1 kilo of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when
drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, scotch, vodka, whisky or other liquor), because alcohol has to go through a purification
process of distilling, filtering and/or fermenting.


Remember:

Water = Poop,        Wine = Health .

Therefore, it’s better to drink wine and talk stupid,
than to drink water and be full of sh*t
.

Touche.

And pass the tequila…

(and enjoy the random font-size craziness, because – as usual – I have absolutely no idea why that happens or how to fix it.)

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Not cool, North Korea. Not cool.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Dear Kim Jong-il,

Please put down the crack pipe or the opium pipe or the freebasing spoon or whatever the hell you have going on over there and listen to me for a second.

Word on the street is you’re gearing up to bomb Hawaii.

Are you completely out of  your damn mind?

Did you eat some kimchi that had turned and now you’re lost in a perpetual hallucination?
Hawaii!? Seriously?

I’m sorry. That was probably a bit harsh. Let me start over and catch you up here: Hawaii is part of America. A part which, historically, we get a bit sensitive about when someone decides to bomb it. Do the words ‘Pearl Harbor’ mean anything to you?

No?

What about a little something called Hiroshima?

Because - and I’m not condoning this sort of behavior, but – it’s arguable to say that Hiroshima happened because Pearl Harbor happened.

I’m hoping you can read between the lines here… 

If not, let me break it down for you: Fire a missle at Hawaii and get a nuke dropped on your @ss.

It’s pretty much that simple.

 

Who would ever doubt that a man of such obvious physical prowess was a golf superstar?

Who would ever doubt that a man of such obvious physical prowess was a golf superstar?

Moreover, Hawaii is by far one of the top-five best states we have. It’s tropical, lush, warm, and beachy. And it’s native peoples are one of the only ones with some balls. When the Spanish Conquistadors or whomever came and tried to claim it for themselves, the Hawaiians more or less executed them on the spot.  And rightly so.

If only Geronimo had been so bold.

 

Regardless, they’re still native peoples and they’re still getting the shaft from the U.S. government and the occasional haole and they really don’t need your guff too.

Plus, at least one of the islands of Hawaii (Kauai) has tons and tons of roosters. You like roosters, right?

Or is it only dog that gets your salivary glands going?

Never fear, like any good island, there are plenty of mongrel dogs there too.

 

Moreover, I understand you’re a huge film buff, your favorites being – what’s that you say? – AMERICAN MOVIES. Yeah, I hate to break it to you, but Friday the 13th and Rambo are American movies. So, by the way, are Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jordan. Americans, that is. Americans who possibly live on or vacation in Hawaii and who you may accidentally bomb to kingdom come.

So you crazy Dear Leader, you, why don’t you go back to kidnapping local directors and actresses and forcing them to make films for you and put these crazy ‘bomb Hawaii’ plans aside for a while? Or make a movies about it? Or just go play some golf and shoot four or five holes-in-one as you reportedly do every time you play.

Too bad you had to be a crazy dictator, because even Tiger Woods hasn’t got game like that…

In conclusion, lest you think that I’m so different and there’s no reason to listen to me, let me assure you that my birth, too, was foretold by a swallow and heralded by the appearance of a double rainbow over the mountain and a new star in the heavens. So you can trust me. Minus the dog-eating and kidnapping, insane military anarchy plans, and ugly outfits, we’re two of a kind.

 

Thanks for listening!
Vanessa

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Some stuff on my mind

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Okay, bear with me here.

Okay, trying that again. I had a brief moment of panic that I had used the wrong bear. I hadn’t, but you just can’t be too careful. I would hate to suggest to you loyal blog followers that we get naked. Party naked! Read blogs naked! Boo-rah! 

 Bare with me! Bare it all! Bloggers gone wild!

***Chastely brushing down my petticoat and fourteen layers of bloomers and aprons and chastity belts and all other appropriate chastely stuff***

All together on the same poster. The confusion intensifies. WTF?

All together on the same poster. The confusion intensifies. WTF?

So anyway, I have this  conundrum which has recently resurfaced in my mind and I struggle to articulate in a way that doesn’t sound simultaneously manic  and retarded, and yet still drives me nuts.

 

 

It goes like this: When I was a kid, I was aware of  (but did not enjoy) the Pink Panther cartoons. The Pink Panther, at least as far as I understood/understand it, was a cartoon about a panther that was tall and lean and pink and walked like a man and perhaps solved mysteries and hung around with an actual human being (albeit a cartoon. You know what I meant.) who was a solid foot shorter than him and suspicious-looking and possibly Russian or citizen of another  Cold War nation and wore a tightly wrapped trenchcoat (which is perhaps redundant?)

At the same time, I was aware of a movie of the same name featuring actual (non-cartoon) human beings who talked funny (a.k.a. British accent)  and a theme song that went something like “Da-dum, da-dum, da dum da dum da dum da dum da DAAAAAA da-da-da-dum….” (I could go on, but I realize the da dums aren’t really hacking it nor nearly so compelling as me singing for you. Speaking of which, it occurs to me: What a terrible way to venture onto YouTube. Imagine [to our mutual horror],  me singing the Pink Panther theme while staring blankly at the camera imbedded in my laptop. Perhaps while a barely perceptible but still present stream of drool trickles out of my mouth? And as I think about Elvis and why he loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and whether or not that would actually taste good.)

So to get to the point: What WAS this!?!?

How can two distinct and separate Pink Panthers exist in the same time-space continuum? Doesn’t that violate some kind of law of physics?

Or were they related?

Or the same thing?

And if so, what does a cartoon panther have to do with two guys solving crimes or whatever it was/ is the Pink Panther movies are about?

And why release them at the same time?

Was this meant to confuse young, impressionable children such as myself, forever tainting their understanding of panthers and private dicks and insulation and the color pink? (And re-reading this, I recognize that it could be taken out of context and if you are doing that, then shame on you, you filthy pervert.)

 

 And in a related note, today I realized that the guy who played Young Frankenstein in (you guessed it) Young Frankenstein is the exact, same actor who played the dad on Everybody Loves Raymond. I, personally, do not and did not love Raymond, but I am somehow astounded by this strange and unexpected coincidence (is this the right word? Probrably not. How about revelation?) Wow.

Color me stupefied.

Last but not least, a not so private message to Geico: Isn’t it time to give up the Cave Man thing?
Is there anyone on earth who isn’t over it?

Word on the street is that newborn babies arrive with an innate sense of ‘anti-Geico caveman gimmick.’

Not judging, just sayin’…

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