carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
To This Day, No One Knows The Plot Of The Terror."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

So, I was going through stuff in my room and I found a bracelet that belonged to my paternal grandmother. She had very gaudy taste in jewelry, but this is one I'm fond of—it's a charm bracelet, with something like Italian charms on it, and it's kind of eccentric. I don't know why it was in my room—I don't keep my jewelry in my room—but there it was, in a small jewelry store box. I took it out and looked at it. Then I set it down on the bed to go back to what I was doing, and it vanished.

No, really. It completely disappeared. It's not on the bed, under the bed, or on the floor next to the bed. If it's gone farther afield, I have no idea how it did this. This happened over a week ago and I've looked for it several times. The box is on the floor, empty.

And Meg had nothing to do with it. He wasn't there when it happened and he's really not that interested in inanimate toys—except string. His favorite toy is the drawstring from an old pair of sweatpants.

On the other hand, when I turned over my mattress the other day, I found Pat's bathrobe. This makes about as much sense as the vanishing bracelet. The bathrobe was in the middle of the bed between the mattress and box spring and either I put it there or somebody who broke into my house did it. (Pat had nothing to do with it. She couldn't have managed it, and even if she could, I've worn the robe since she died.)

So I'm left with wondering why I lifted up the mattress and hid a bathrobe under it.


Maybe it really was one of the people who broke into my house. Maybe it was the Jesus guy.

See, the last time it happened, when I was walking through the house, I stepped on something sharp. It was one of the little spikes that holds Jesus to the crucifix. I only own one crucifix, the one they used when my maternal grandfather died; I've had it ever since. At the time I couldn't locate it, so I thought whoever broke in had stolen the cross but left Jesus, so I assumed it was a Protestant.

But I've since found that crucifix. So now I have an extra Jesus. He's in a pencil cup because I don't know what to do with him. You can't just hang him on a wall without a cross, and making a cross and putting him on it seems wrong. He seems happy with the pencils.

And all my assumptions about whoever broke in have been shattered. Who comes into your house to hide your bathrobe and leave Jesus on the floor to stab you in the foot?


*Jack Nicholson

First Saturday in May

Saturday, 7 May 2016 04:21 pm
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
"He's One Of The Few Scientists In The World Who Can't Subtract."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I just finished watching a documentary on the Beatles post-breakup. It's called "The Beatles: Parting Ways." It was mostly OK—very balanced, pretty dull if you already know all this stuff.

That's not a complaint. You're waiting for the complaint, aren't you? Good, because there is one, or rather, a cry of bafflement.

I understand they couldn't get rights to any of the Beatles' music--I'm being generous and assuming this. And I understand they undoubtedly wanted some music in their movie. But what in the name of God could have made them choose The Animals' We Gotta Get Out of This Place? I admit, I'm not the crazy about the song, but that's really not the point.

The point is, couldn't they just get some cheap ambient music? Because playing a song by a contemporary of the Beatles makes me wonder if they were all that clear about who the Beatles were. Also, since the tone of the whole thing seemed to be directed at an audience whose knowledge of the Beatles consists of hearing some songs on the radio, knowing John Lennon is dead (though possibly not knowing there's any connection between John and the Beatles), and having seen some of A Hard Day's Night one Saturday afternoon (but not knowing what it was). This is an audience who is very likely not to know that what they're hearing is not, in fact, a Beatles' song.

I think a documentary should, at the very least, not confuse and mislead its audience.

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I thought that was going to be the most interesting thing to happen to me today, but that was before the phone call.

It was a withheld number, but I was bored, so I answered it. It was a man who asked me if I had a computer. I asked him what his name was and why he had a withheld number. This startled him. He told me his name (which I promptly forgot), then asked me again if I had a computer. I said yes in a decidedly mocking tone that he ignored. Then he asked me the last time I surfed the web. I told him last night, and he told me that he was a computer expert, and that my computer had downloaded something that was very dangerous.

I said it was very peculiar, the information he had and the information he didn't have. He had my phone number, but he didn't know whether I had a computer or whether I'd been online, but he did know that I'd downloaded something dangerous, and how did he explain that?

And that was when he said the best thing I've heard in I-don't-know-how-long. He told me had permission from the internet to call me—

I interrupted him. "Did you say you have permission from the internet?" I really thought I must have heard wrong.

"Yes, permission from the internet," he continued, as though this was actually something that made sense, "to contact you—"

"Permission from the internet." It was too hilarious not to say again.

Unfortunately, that was when my mother called, so I had to go. I wouldn't have had him much longer anyway, since I was going to ask him just how the internet contacted him to give him permission and who exactly he worked for.

Maybe he works for the internet.


*Sabrina Stuart

Random amusing stuff

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 11:58 pm
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
[Originally posted elsewhere May 27, 2007]

I'm not on anything; I'm just feeling really good for no particular reason. Well, maybe one particular reason: I've gotten a real handle on the WIP [The Roadhouse Blues series], which was a mess just a few days ago. Today it's nearly done, except for some research (what they're having for dinner). [This was a severe over-estimation.]

And today I was doing a little research on flavored lube and I ran across this: Sliquid Swirl flavored lubes

Which I read as Squid Swirl flavored lube. Now, I like calamari as much as the next girl but I wouldn't use squid flavored lube. (Actually, I blame this misreading on my mother and the Detroit Redwings. My mother's a little obsessed with the tradition of fans throwing an octopus on the ice during Redwings playoff games; she's been asking everyone she knows if they know the fans do this. It's pretty hilarious. So naturally I have squid on the brain. So to speak.)

Also there was the commercial for planting more trees in Indiana. They showed various politicians planting trees—well, you know, turning over the first, ceremonial shovelful of dirt before turning the real work over to the real workers—and the voiceover guy talked about how important it is to have lots of trees, how it's good for the environment, and how trees prevent crime—

Wait, what? How do trees prevent crime?

I've seen the commercial again, and they do say that, but they don't explain it. Crime-fighting trees. I keep picturing my chokecherry tree in a cape.

Mishmash

Wednesday, 2 March 2016 07:49 pm
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
[Originally posted elsewhere December 18, 2005]

Five things about today

1) I had a very strange dream last night. I was sitting at a picnic table outside a grade school where a TV station was doing an interview with Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer. I have no idea what I was doing there, but during the whole interview Robert Downey, Jr. was eating vanilla ice cream, and every so often Val Kilmer would surreptitiously flick some onto his face. It happened several times and Robert Downey, Jr. never caught on how it was happening, he thought he was doing it himself, and he kept apologizing for his messy eating. Just before I woke up Val Kilmer smiled at me like, "He's cute, but God is he dumb."

2) I'm watching America's Sweethearts right now because for the last three days I've had Julia Roberts in my head saying, "Kiki! Someone in the universe is smoking, Kiki! Make them stop!" and I have to hear her actually say it again or it will never go away.

3) I'm having a hard time organizing my thinking, so if there's any way Christmas could be postponed a few days, it would really help me out.

4) Earlier there was a mouse taunting me. Really. It was over by the closet door squeaking at me. I'm thinking it was either telling me it wasn't going to go near my traps, or it was demanding I bring it a cookie.

5) It's snowing again.


-:- -:- -:- -:-


[Originally posted elsewhere January 21, 2007]

My mother's car hasn't been starting lately—probably the battery, since it only goes on very short trips unless I need to drive to work. Anyway, she went out yesterday to see if she could get it started.

My phone rings, and it's my mother. She tells me she's out in her car, it won't start, she's talking about what it's doing and not doing. She lives right next door to me, so while we're talking, I'm putting on my coat, and I go out to talk to her. When I reached the car, I said, "I'm right here by the car now."

She looked out the window at me and said into the phone, "I have to go now. My daughter's here."
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
[Originally posted elsewhere May 26, 2006]

When a sign in a store window says "Please use this entrance," it probably refers to the door next to the window, rather than the window itself, even if there doesn't seem to be any other door.

Although having a hot flash while washing your hair in the kitchen sink is definitely opportune (since you can actually fulfill the desire to pour cold water over your head), that doesn't mean you can give in to the desire just stand there in the kitchen running cold water over your head until you get brain freeze. If you do, it will make you late for work.

Old people are mean. No, really. If you're standing in line at the cafeteria, getting three beef Manhattans to go, and the woman behind you goes around you because she isn't getting an entree, you will then be forced to listen to both her and her husband (who is still behind you) complain about how you're in the way, and now what are they going to do, until you start to feel like the old people are going to take you out back and shoot you. (I let him go ahead of me. Did he thank me? No. But he didn't hit me with his cane, so I guess that counts for something.)

It's stupid to cry about things like that.

There are few things in life that cannot be made better by a Sara Lee chocolate cheesecake. (Care to see my collection of aluminum Sara Lee cheesecake pie plates?) Unfortunately, my weight problem is one of those few things.

Naps are good.
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
[Originally posted elsewhere January 23, 2001]


I was out working at the reception desk and a couple of guys came in and were talking about the windows. I didn't understand what they were talking about—it seemed very technical—and all the while they were talking, I was thinking, Oh, these must be the guys who are pretending to be window guys, and I'll just let them go on about their business because, you know, they're window guys, and they're doing it so well, I won't even catch on that they're really casing the place.

Which was disconcerting. And then this family came in, a mother and father and daughter, wanting to know where the children's books are. They were from out of town and were disappointed to find out that the Children's Museum is closed on Mondays, and not too thrilled to find out that this is not, in fact, a library. And the whole time I was talking to them, I had to resist the urge to tell them they were very convincing.

And then I had two more separate people come in wanting to know where the books were, and that's just unprecedented for a one-hour shift at the desk. And the window guys kept walking around, talking technically and pointing at things, and I had to resist the urge to tell them not to bother on my account, and oh, by the way, this is while not actually a library, it is a building owned by the library, and we don't really have anything here anybody would want, so the scam is kind of a waste of time.

But I didn't.

My shift is over, and I'm safely back in my cubicle, away from the people.
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
[Originally posted January 9, 2001]


I was peeling a tangerine this morning because I was feeling guilty (because somebody gave me a whole bag of tangerines and my mother gave me three grapefruits), and what kept going through my head was "Today the pits . . . tomorrow the wrinkles! Sunsweet marches on!" That and a line from a story I wrote about tangerines.

That is, the line is about tangerines. The story isn't.

I wish people wouldn't give me fruit. Except bananas. Because they're phallic, and as a slash writer, I need some phallic in my life.

I wish people would stop giving fruit to my mother, too, because my mother is mean and gives it to me to go bad at my house. (Yes, that's exactly how she says it, too. "Here, take these grapefruit, they can go bad at your house." And what do you say to that? No? If you think the answer is no, you do not know my mother.) So I take them, and after a while they look like they should have William Holden's signature on them. (I'm playing to the audience in my head today, so if you're actually following any of this, you're way ahead of the curve.)

I don't like tangerines, or oranges, or things you have to peel. They're too much work. If I'm going to have apples, I'm going to make applesauce, so I need a bunch. No, wait, that's grapes.

I'm allergic to kiwis, not that anyone has ever given me one.

Grapes are all right. And, actually, I love pears. And I love gooseberries, but when was the last time you saw a gooseberry? Have you ever seen a gooseberry? They're green, pale green, and they used to put them in fruit cocktail and tell them to pretend to be grapes. But the other grapes could always tell.

Plums . . . don't taste like anything. Peaches are nice, and so are nectarines. Peaches are sort of like biting into a small animal. So are kiwis. (The fruit. Obviously biting into a bird would be like biting into an animal; birds are animals.)

(I have no idea what's wrong with me today.)

Anyway. If you're planning on sending me food, please send chocolate. Do not send fruit or I'll just bring it to work and make everybody watch as it shrivels & dies.


ETA: Fuck! It's not William Holden, it's Richard Widmark! Jeeze, what is wrong with me today?
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
"Please Don't Listen To Me. Sometimes I Don't Know What I'm Talking About."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Last night, I dreamed about Tim Shaw** all night. And I mean all night. I'd wake up, turn over, think, "Why the hell am I dreaming about Tim Shaw?" go back to sleep, and dream about him some more!

The only part I remember clearly is that he and Judith Collins** were in love, and he was selling flavored dog bones. He had a company, though I don't know what they did because he was stealing the dog bones—from dogs—repackaging them, and selling them. Judith knew about this and didn't care, but Edward** was very upset (as you know he would be). There was a big argument in the drawing room.

There was also something about a congressional hearing, but I don't know if it was about stolen dog bones or what.

Tim Shaw. I spent my whole weekend watching film noir, and I dream about Tim Shaw. Weird.

(The dog bone part isn't strange; it's Meg's cat food. He scatters his kibble around when he eats, and I was scooping it up and putting it back in his dish right before bed last night. Why I dreamed about it, I don't know. It was hardly the highlight of my day.)

-:- -:- -:- -:-

In real life news, here's the doorstop story.

I was wheeling my mother out of the rehab center, and bemoaning my lack of a doorstop. My mother said, "I use my iron for a doorstop." (It's a cast iron—iron that came from my grandparents' house.)

I said, "Yes, but I don't want to carry that around with me, it's kind of heavy. You'd think I'd be able to make a doorstop."

Then she said, "You could use a big rock."

Which started me laughing. "I don't want to carry a big rock around with me either! What I need is a wedge of some kind!" Which started her laughing.

-:- -:- -:- -:-

A small thought:

I was re-watching Help! again the other day. That movie never fails to make me happy. Anyway, one of my (and Pat's) favorite scenes is when they're at Scotland Yard and the phone rings. The Inspector answers and says it's for The Famous Ringo. And John says, "Hold on, it's them! Only Paul and I know we're here!"

And George says, with quiet disgruntlement, "I know we're here."

I love that moment for its humor and absurdity, but also for its odd poignancy. It seems to encapsulate the whole politics of the Beatles as a group: John believes that only he and Paul know where they are. Of course George and Ringo also know where they are; George protests being left out, while Ringo says nothing because, fuck, he could still be with Rory and the Hurricanes. This is much better. If John wants to think only he and Paul know where they are, so what? That's just John.

*Les Nessman
**a character on Dark Shadows
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
This Particularly Rapid, Unintelligible Patter
Isn't Generally Heard, And If It Is It Doesn't Matter!*


-:- -:- -:-

I don't remember which Robin Cooke book these are from, because it's been a few years. I listened to several, and while the plots were mostly engrossing and believable, my attention was constantly drawn to parsing the sentence structure. How did a man whose writing was so awkward become so successful as a writer? Here are some examples I preserved for posterity. Or, really, you guys.

"How are you feeling?"

"As best as can be expected."

*

His eyes had gone from fully closed to fully open, such that the whites could be seen all around his irises.

[is this translated from some other language?]

*

. . . which Lou insisted on calling the morgue. Although Lou knew that OCME was a lot more than the morgue, and that the actual morgue was only a small part of the operation . . . [because OCME was a lot more than a morgue, though the morgue was there, but there was more to it than that. You see.]

*

. . . he was feeling very rested and happy, as well as wonderfully ignorant of what had occurred the previous evening. ["Man, am I glad I don't know what happened last night!"]

*

He thanked himself for hiring someone as good as Jacqueline . . . [it's good to be grateful to yourself]

*

He dialed Shitoshi's cell phone number, which he'd committed to memory. With an uncomfortable premonition building with each hollow ring, Ben impatiently drummed his fingers on the edge of the desk. When the pre-recorded generic out-going message came on, Ben's premonition was unhappily vindicated. When appropriate, he left a message for Shitoshi to return the call, adding that he had some good news to report. [I could give you twice the information with half the words.]

*

. . . with that accomplished, Ben went into his closet and dragged out his coat. [though it struggled mightily]

After ten rings—which she had actually counted— . . . [explaining how she knew how she knew there were ten]


*The Pirate King, Gilbert & Sullivan
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
It’s Horror. There’s A Monster In It.*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Human beings are the biggest danger to human beings.

Human beings are the biggest danger to the planet earth.

Human beings are the biggest danger to the solar system/galaxy/pretty much everything anywhere.

Aliens are always testing us. The trouble is, we never know what they're testing us for.

Having a chip in your body--anywhere in your body--is a bad thing.

Do not test your new discovery/invention/serum on yourself.

Do not test somebody else's new discovery/invention/serum on yourself.

Don't bring people back from the dead unless you're a doctor and your method has received outside approval.

Don't let anyone turn you into an alien, no matter what the other alternative might be.

Computers aren't the problem. Human beings are the problem.

Cloning people is a bad idea.

Designing robots to be more human is a bad idea.

Designing robots to be more human, then being surprised when they act like humans is just stupid.

Don't let computers run your life, let alone the world.

Don't forget how to read.

Don't accept super powers from aliens.

Don't expect people on other planets not to mind when you go to steal their planet/energy/other stuff.

Don't steal someone else's body--for any reason.

Keep a grapefruit spoon handy; they're good for removing implants.

Do not buy things, or accept gifts, from aliens or people from the future.

Stay in your own time.

And, finally, one meta lesson: don't use the end of the world for your penultimate show. Any idiot knows the end of the world is for the last show.


*(Citation Lost)
(It's frightening how many potential titles on my list would have been appropriate for this post.)

Posted simultaneously on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth.
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
"He Described It As 'Nothing, In The Middle Of Nowhere.' I Knew We'd Like It."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I ran across a tape of episodes of Dark Shadows, and now I'm watching it again.

And so instead of telling you about last week's poetry reading, or the crap going on at work, I'm going to tell you who my new favorite Dark Shadows character is, and why.

It's Sky Rumson.

If the name doesn't ring a bell, it's not surprising. He was only in a handful of episodes, and he wasn't very important. He was married to Angelique in present day, and he was part of the Leviathans (a Lovecraftian-type cult whose Chosen One was an invisible monster with a bad case of asthma and a terrible smell. His human form was portrayed by a Midwich cuckoo-like series of blond boys, culminating in Jeb Hawkes [Christopher Pennock's first role on the show]). But none of that is why Sky Rumson is my favorite character.

Towards the end of the Leviathan arc, Jeb turns Barnabas back into a vampire. Barnabas, in turn, bites Megan, one of the first Leviathans. Eventually she becomes a vampire, and she bites Sky.

On Dark Shadows, one bitten by a vampire falls in the thrall of the vampire. They want nothing but to be with the vampire, to serve them. Usually. (Very often Barnabas's control over his victims just kind of faded out.)

After he's bitten, Sky goes to Barnabas. He knows that Barnabas turned Megan into a vampire, and he wants Barnabas to do something about her because he's spending all his time longing to be with her, he's not getting any work done, and he just can't live like this anymore. He sounds like a man talking to the superintendent of his building about an annoying drip in his bathtub.

I find this hilarious. What the hell kind of thrall is this?


On a completely unrelated note, I've been feeling very uninhibited and a little strange lately. I'm pretty much just staying whatever comes into my head, and if anybody's been offended, they haven't said so in so many words.

Last week I was out at one of the schools, working in their library.** The librarian was off sick, so they had a sub in. He introduced himself—his first name was Richard—and Sarah, the woman I'm working with, said, “Oh, that's a great name! My father's name was Richard!”

I've always found that kind of weird, being bowled over by meeting someone who has the same name as someone in your family. So I said, “I'm not that impressed with your name, I don't have any relatives named Richard. But it's nice to meet you.”

Sarah told him to just ignore me.


Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you some of my latest adventures.


*Lionel Hardcastle
**It's a thing we do, we go out to some of the private schools and indoctrinate them in our system. Our motto is, Resistance is futile.
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
[It isn't so much that I haven't been writing, it's that I haven't been writing very much, and I haven't even been posting what I have been writing. Some of these pieces are months old, and I'm resigned to not finishing them, but I'm going to post them anyway.]

[written April 18, 2012, edits made November 4, 20112]

"A Piece Of Lawn Furniture Fell. All The Way Over."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I talked to a robin the other day.

I was walking around the parking lot and I heard a lot of rustling in some bushes. Then a robin hopped out, and I asked, "Was that you, making all that commotion?"

The robin did not answer.


It isn't that nothing's been going on lately, it's just that I haven't cared much. A couple weeks ago I put up a display of my poetry at Central library. I'm going to take some pictures of the display because I think it looks nice.

I'd gone the day before to buy paper to print the poems out on, and I wanted something kind of sepia-looking, like very old photographs. So I went to Arvey's, which is an office supply place near work.

Pat and I used to go there a lot. We also went to Office Depot a lot. We both loved office supplies.

But Arvey's was special. It was where I bought the special papers I used for Dreams Unwind, my Twin Peaks novel, including the back cover that, unbeknownst to me, was heat sensitive. (It was a kind of sea foam green, and if you put your hand against it, the color would temporarily disappear. I only found this out when I got it out to the car, but it seemed so perfect for Twin Peaks. I don't think the paper still does that.)

Arvey's was also where we bought our wedding invitations, and where we bought envelopes for the cards Pat used to make.

It's closing in a few weeks. It's a real place, and real places are becoming obsolete.


I went out for dinner and to another Unbroken Bones performance on Saturday. I wasn't one of the performers, but I had a nice time. I went with my friend Juli. And Diane and Howard were there. I successfully drove home in the dark, and it was foggy, and Meg was waiting for me.


I'm starting to feel better, probably because spring is moving forward. I'm also making real progress on a very old Wiseguy story that had been languishing for many years. Sometimes I'll just think, "Soon I'll be the person who has finished this enormous project." (And I do mean enormous—I've already got about 53,000 words written, and there are still plot points I have to hit.) And it gives me a lift.


I'm getting tired of people describing their posts about the bad things going on in their lives as "first world problems." How many people on your flist have something other than first world problems"?

Actually, I have a friend who is having what I consider to be a second world problem, although she lives in the US. But when she writes about problems she's having, very often it's about her first world problems. That's because they're all her problems, just like all of my problems are my problems–

Which world category would not having a door that closes properly fall in? (I'm talking about both security and keeping the weather out.) And because that was my most serious problem, should it have been the only one I wrote about?

The reason this upsets me so is that I see it as having a chilling effect on writing about whatever is important to each individual at the moment. If I want to write about receiving two broken discs from NetFlix right in a row, I shouldn't feel like I have to add the caveat of, "I'm sorry this is so trivial, I'm sorry I'm not writing about something more important." And neither should anybody else.


*Alonzo Bodden
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)

“They Just Hang Around.”*



In an effort to embrace spirituality while simultaneously avoiding the dogma that inevitably attaches itself to organized religions (and then proceeds to hump the religion’s leg while proclaiming sex to be the root of all evil), I have embraced The Way of the Kiwi.

What is the Way of the Kiwi?

I don’t know.

Is it the kiwi bird, the fruit called kiwi, or perhaps New Zealanders?

I don’t know.

I don’t pretend to know, and have no wish to know. And no one else knows, either. It's an idea shrouded in perpetual mystery, balanced on the cliff’s edge between being meaningless nonsense and profound silliness.

What does the Way of the Kiwi offer?

A mantra. To follow the Way of the Kiwi, simply close your eyes, empty your mind, and breathe deeply while repeating, “I am following the Way of the Kiwi,” until inner peace envelopes you.**

Yes, that is what the Way of the Kiwi offers: an inner peace that will envelope you. A religion would have to turn you inside out to do that.

What does the Way of the Kiwi ask of you?

Nothing. If you are already part of a religion in which you find some fulfillment, the Way of the Kiwi can be used to supplement that religion. There is no jealous god in the Way of the Kiwi. In fact, there’s no god at all, unless it’s the God who created the universe (if there is a god who created the universe). Belief is not required.

Conversely, if you’re an atheist, that’s fine too. The Way of the Kiwi doesn’t require you to believe in anything. It offers no answers to agnostics. The Way of the Kiwi isn’t about God, it’s about itself.

There are no behavioral strictures. Clothing and hair choices, sexual orientation, relationship with parents, neighbors, and enemies—all are left entirely to the individual. There is no baptism, no sacraments whatsoever. There is no gathering together required, no transubstantiation, no keeping one day apart from the others to rest and/or worship. The Kiwi requires no worship because there really isn’t anything to worship.

There are no dietary requirements, although there is a suggestion. If you feel the need to eat a kiwi, please choose in the following order: 1) the fruit; 2) the bird; 3) a person from New Zealand (only if it’s required for survival). (Obviously if you are a kiwi bird or kiwi fruit, this list would need to be re-ordered.)

Is the Way of the Kiwi a cult?

The Way of the Kiwi is barely an idea. Those who follow it have no time or interest in trying to convert others. I offer this as a way of sharing with my friends, but the Way of the Kiwi is like rain falling from the sky: you are free to walk out into it, and equally free to come in and dry off. And go back out again. Or jump in puddles and twirl your umbrella around like Gene Kelly. Or go out in the sunshine and sit in the shade. It’s all the same thing.

Does the Way of the Kiwi offer eternal salvation?

The Way of the Kiwi offers nothing but a mantra you can use or not use. But followers of the Way of the Kiwi will never come knocking on your door with pamphlets. We don’t have pamphlets. And we mind our own business.

The nebulousness of the Way of the Kiwi cannot be overstated. Although I have used the word "follow," there is really nothing to follow. The Way of the Kiwi is as tangible as an idea you have right before falling asleep, and as constant as the cap to a USB flash drive.


*About kiwis (the bird), from a website I stumbled over.
**It’s not necessary to close your eyes. Breathing deeply is also up to the individual. Emptying your mind is nearly impossible, so you might think about some kind of kiwi, or if not a kiwi, an apricot, or perhaps an emu, or Peter Jackson. Or anything you want, really. Chanting may be done silently, or not at all. Or you can chant something else entirely. “We will—we will—rock you!” is a good chant.
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
Maybe We Invented God So We'd Have Someone To Understand Us.*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Tuesday didn't start off so well. I have a leak in my bathtub faucet, so I keep a bucket under it and when it fills up, I use it to flush the toilet. Tuesday morning when I got up, I found a dead mouse floating in the bucket.

It was very early in the morning—four-fifteen or so—and I wasn't exactly what you'd call awake, so I just stood there for a while, looking at it and trying to figure out what to do. Eventually it dawned on me that I could just pour the bucket into the toilet, mouse and all.

Later, at work, I was reading Nuvo (the local alternative newspaper) and found out that Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead was being produced at a little theater. I didn't get the address or anything because the last day for it was the previous Saturday. The reviewer was disappointed in it, but that doesn't mean much since he doesn't seem to have been familiar with the play; he thought the third act dragged, and blamed this on Tom Stoppard. Anyway, it was moot, and I was disappointed.

Wednesday I listened to a play, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, done by the L. A. Theatre Works (who also did Orson's Shadow, which I saw when I was in New York in '05). I wasn't that crazy about the play itself, but there was something utterly surreal about listening to Rob Morrow as a gay Valley boy. I kept picturing him in short-shorts and a cut-off T-shirt (which I'm sure is not what he was wearing, but it's my imagination and I can do what I want with it). By the way, I can't recommend highly enough the L. A. Theatre Works plays.


Tomorrow I'm going to a wedding shower for my cousin Darby's daughter, Erin. I'm giving her ten dollars and myself a large chocolate shake from Steak 'n' Shake (because there's one right near where the shower is).


I also listened to a book called The God Delusion. I really enjoy books on religion written by atheists. I'm not an atheist myself, but atheists are more objective. They might be trying to convince you there is no God, but they're trying to convince you that across the board, rather than pushing one religion over another.

There was one point the author made that I'd never thought of. If the story of Adam and Eve is not literally true—that is, if eating the forbidden fruit didn't cause original sin to be passed down to humankind, then there was no reason for Jesus to die for our sins.

I'm slowly writing an entry about what I know about Catholicism, but there's what I've learned and what I've experienced and it's kind of messy and disorganized. And it's unlikely to get any less messy and disorganized, though it will get more comprehensive.


Next weekend I'm going to a Moody Blues concert with my cousins Alan and Tony, and my friend Tammy from work. Alan was planning on getting tickets for himself and Tony, then he asked if I wanted to go and I said yes. Then, when he went to buy the tickets, he discovered that it cost a dollar more to buy a four-pack of tickets than to buy three single tickets, so he did, and then he told me if I knew anybody who'd like to go, I should invite them.

I asked my friend Joe, who is sick right now. I keep having conversations with Mona (his sister) where she tells me things as though I know more than I do--she's probably losing track of who she's telling what, as happens when you're relaying the details of a loved one's sickness. Anyway, from what she's said, he has esophageal cancer. This is really, really scary, and I didn't know just how sick he was when I invited him to the concert, but Mona said he was very happy I called to invite him.

Then I was in something of a quandary as to who else to ask, and I decided to do something really different and invite Tammy.

Tammy works at Central library, and she's the one who's responsible for my poetry being displayed last year. Since then we've been emailing on a regular basis. So I decided to ask her to the concert. I'm working at reaching out more, and I think it's working. (I also decided to ask her because I thought she could handle being around Tony. It's an issue.)


Did you know I'm intimidating? My mother told me that the other day. We were talking about Tony and Alan, and how I refuse to back down when I'm talking to them, and that I know how to argue. "They're intimidated by you. We have that in us, I just never use it. But your grandmother did." She also used to burst into tears when she got her feelings hurt. I am very much like her. And from my father, I get just a little bit more detachment, so I can use this talent more effectively.

But I don't think of myself as being intimidating. I mostly think of myself as frivolous and strange. I know I know how to present a reasonable, logical argument, but I'm not used to being taken seriously.

It's nice to know my mother thinks I'm intimidating (though she's not intimidated by me).


*Rod McKuen
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
"Well, It Can't Be Every Day There's A Giant Nickel Outside The Bank."*

-:- -:- -:-

First I ran across Hollywood Homicide (Lou as a cop undercover in drag as a hooker, although that’s not my favorite moment. My favorite moment is Harrison Ford stealing the little girl’s bike and growling at everyone as he rides away on it).

And then I watched Psych from . . . OK, I don’t know when. But he’s a fed who’s apparently never even heard of sensitivity training, since he’s at least bordering on sexually harassing Juliet in a way that was somehow desperate, clueless, and just plain weird.

And add to that, I’ve been listening to a bunch of Twilight Zone episodes that were adapted for radio. If I ever get a chance, I’m going to dope-smack Dennis Etchison one.

He’s the one who wrote the adaptations, which are really weird. They’re almost entirely the exact old shows, redone by other actors. The adapting is mostly adding the kind of things you have to add to make a show that used to be visual make sense in a purely auditory format, and I have no trouble with that. It’s the anachronisms that are getting on my nerves.

He randomly throws in references to home computers and video games, and it just—it makes me want to find Dennis and have sharp words with him. It sounds really stupid.

What does Lou Diamond Phillips have to do with this? you ask. (Oh, yes, you did. Don’t try to deny it!) Well, he’s done some of the episodes.

One of them was the one where the astronaut goes into space and comes home only it’s really a parallel planet where things are almost the same. I liked that one, probably because there was movie with that plot that I saw when I was a kid—only the astronaut in that one was only gone half the time he was supposed to, and things were backwards. But I remember figuring out the plot before the denouement, and feeling quite clever.

The other Lou Diamond Phillips episode is A Kind of Stopwatch. If you don’t remember, it’s the one about the braggart who gets this stopwatch that stops time. Of course he ends up breaking it while time is stopped, which leaves him all alone in the world.

And I swear to God, Lou Diamond Phillips plays him as Woody Woodpecker, laugh and all. It’s really a bizarre thing to hear.

The week is almost over. I’m hoping not to run into Lou Diamond Phillips again.

In non-Lou Diamond Phillips news, I keep getting spam with the subject: "Have you ever wanted to be a cop?" which is mildly amusing—as are the spams that ask if I want to own a casino. The really funny part is, the sender is always Vince-something, XYZ, 123—some combination of numbers and letters. (So far it hasn't been 4587, so I know it's not Vince Terranova.) And even though I know it’s spam, I want to write back and say, “No, Vinnie, I do not want to be a cop! Now quit asking!”


*Alexandra Eames

Reindeer games?

Wednesday, 20 December 2006 06:26 am
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
"Reality Has Absolutely No Place In Our World."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Every morning I drive down Delaware Street, which is a one-way street with a lot of big, old houses on it. (I like one-way streets if I have to drive in the dark.) This year the first house to turn on its Christmas decorations had lights all over, and one of those reindeer that slowly turns its head back and forth. The reindeer was standing on the porch roof, and it looked like a sentry. I was very amused by it.

That went on for a couple of weeks. The guard reindeer even managed to stay put through a big windstorm. Then one morning, it wasn't on the roof anymore. Instead, it was standing on the lawn, and there was another reindeer with it. I, of course, immediately made up a story about how the other reindeer had lured the guard from his post. (You know that line at the end of The Open Window? Romance at short notice was her speciality.? Well, except for the part about using it to drive a person crazy, I've always identified with that. I look at things and see stories. This is the reindeer story.)

Anyway, the next day the sentry was back at his post, and the other reindeer was gone. That was the situation up until yesterday morning.

Yesterday morning, there was no reindeer at all; not on the ground, not on the roof, no place. The reindeer had run off together!

But alas, their love has been thwarted. Today, on the porch of a previously unlit house, there was a reindeer—obviously the one who had lured away the sentry. The reindeer was behind a fence, imprisoned after being captured and returned home!

The sentry reindeer is still AWOL. I'm thinking seriously of driving to work on Christmas, just to see if he comes home.


*Lorelai Gilmore
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
"I've Never Expected Metal Ships."*

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Friday I bought some Christmas stamps. Have you seen the new Christmas stamps? There's something very wrong with these reindeer—the one has antennae, and the other clearly stole those pipes he's making off with. Also, one of the Santas isn't ripe (the green one). Doesn't the post office know you should never pick an unripe Santa?

This is not just my imagination, the thing about the shifty reindeer—the woman who sold them to me pointed it out, too. I'm weird, but I'm not completely alone. (There used to be a link where you could see these stamps, but it's gone now.)

My mother called Saturday morning to tell me she's buying me a dryer for Christmas. I thanked her. She told me she's gotten a dividend check from Prudential for $147, and rather than just give me the money, she'll buy me a dryer. I thanked her. She said she's heard me say many times that I don't have a dryer, but it never really registered before. (Probably because I wasn't saying anything about needing a dryer, just stating a fact. Not that I'm saying I don't want one.) Anyway, we'll go shopping for a dryer soon.

Good, I'd like that.

We talked some more, said goodbye. I did whatever I did on Saturday.

In the evening, she calls back, to tell me she's buying the dryer through my uncle, who works for Sears and will get us a discount. She's spending $400. (Yes, in lieu of giving me $147, she's buying me a $400 dryer. Do I understand this? No, but I'm not complaining.) I said that that sounds good. She's talked to him, the dryer's being delivered on Tuesday. I'm not working Tuesday, right?

Um, yeah, I am, for a while (a while being an undetermined amount of time, since I don't know exactly how long I need to work, how much vacation time I'm short here). Oh, well, then I should call my uncle and talk to him about scheduling the delivery time. And while I'm at it, I should ask him how we're going to pay for this.

OK, sure. I hung up the phone and swore for a while, since I didn't want to have to put on my Little Monica Rose mask and talk to my uncle, it takes so much energy, I feel so foolish. I hate talking to people anyway, and relatives aren't better, they're worse because I'll have to see them again. I can't just make a fool of myself and disappear into the crowd.

Anyway, then I called my uncle and we made the arrangements. They'll be delivering it on Wednesday.

Great, better than Tuesday. I was quite happy, except for the having-to-clean-up-the-basement part, but that's OK.

Later that night, my mother called me again. The delivery day had been changed to Friday (I didn't ask why). That would be better, right? Yeah, sure, why not?

Do I sound unhappy about any of this? I feel like I do, and I'm not—I'm just tired, it's all exhausting, just thinking about strangers coming to my house and everything, even if it's only the basement. I do want a dryer; could they just beam one in? No? I didn't think so.

Also, I think my father has been reincarnated as a cardinal.

Really, there's this cardinal that insists he has to come into my basement. He keeps pecking at the window at the bottom of the stairs. He pecks so loudly, I can hear him when I'm upstairs with the door shut.

My father used to spend a lot of time in my basement.

If I didn't think he'd starve, or one of the cats would get him, I'd let him in. One thing I'd be sure of—he wouldn't be smoking down there this time. But it would be awful if my father was mauled by one of our cats. That would upset me.

Also, when I was searching my bag for the cell phone (don't ask), I found a fortune cookie. "The love of your life will appear in front of you unexpectedly!"

Now, they can't be talking about Pat, because she doesn't get around well enough to "appear" anywhere unexpectedly. And if they're talking about Him . . . well, that would be unexpected. And now that I've been foretold of this, will it really be unexpected? (Yeah, I think it would, since even at my most we-are-one-with-the-universe, I still don't expect dead people to appear in front of me.)

That was my weekend. There were a few other things (like watching The Lemondrop Kid) that I'll write about later, but otherwise, that was about it.


*Jack Bellicec
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
Titles. I Hate Titles.

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Wow. Major high day, probably a combination of Kaluha brownies for breakfast, a serious drop in the humidity (air you can breathe instead of drink! What a concept!), hormones (period? What period? I'm not having my period. That was just a . . . a trial run. Put those tampons away, we'll get back to you when the real period comes! Oh, the joy of menopause!) and music, for a change. I love books on tape, but it's nice not to have somebody else's thoughts in my head for a while. And it's nice to have Arlo singing to me again. (Arlo, and the Partridge Family.)

And, I think maybe having a new venue for my thoughts is getting me kind of jazzed, though it also feels self-indulgent.

Weighty Question of the day: if we aren't to read the Bible for its poetry, is it also wrong to sing gospel music just for the way the music makes one (me) feel? We didn't sing music like this at St. Andrew, although the singing was my favorite part of Mass. For that matter, singing is usually my favorite part of just about anything. If there was a way to sing while eating (you know, without spitting on people), I'd be there. Singing during sex? I probably don't have the breath control for it, and anyway, it would be distracting. But singing in the car is great, driving or riding. I don't sing as much as I want, because I require loud music (to drown myself out) and privacy (so as not to inflict my voice on innocent bystanders).

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