Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Had a Dream
I woke up screaming, but I didn't know why! I was consumed with terror. I opened my eyes and saw nothing to warrant my panic. I was in a small, well-lit room, perhaps a hotel room. The furniture had that unremarkable, but not unpleasing, sterile look I associate with inexpensive hotels. I was lying on my back, on the floor. I sat up slowly, feeling a bit dizzy, but otherwise okay. The clock on the nightstand said 8:30. The last thing I could remember was sitting in the L.A. airport, waiting for my plane to Shanghai. Had I been shangaied? No, it couldn't be, or I would be in the hold of a ship, not on the floor of a hotel.
I stood up carefully, my head throbbing. I walked to the window and, with fear welling up in my chest, I pulled open the heavy drapes. The window looked out onto a courtyard that was dominated by a large, flaming pit. It was looked like a typical hotel courtyard, which ordinarily would have a swimming pool as its centerpiece. But instead of blue water in the "pool," there were red flames leaping into the air. People were sitting around on deck chairs and beach towels, and now and then one of them would stand up and walk to the edge of the fire pool and dive in. I could see several people in the shallow end, laughing and talking as the flames licked their skin and smoke puffed from their burning hair.
Something was dreadfully wrong. I crawled back into bed and resolved to never, ever again eat jolokia peppers right before bedtime.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"No one can get to the phone right now, so please leave a message." BEEP!

What do you mean, no one can get to the phone right now? You live ALONE! You don't even have a cat! Just say YOU can't get to the phone, dammit!

No, of course I didn't actually say those words out loud. But I was so irritated by the message that I almost forgot why I called. Oh yeah, now I remember...dinner...I have to invite her to dinner, because we're having Nick over, and it's uncomfortable having an odd number of people around the table. Especially when they're all odd, which we are. An even number of odd people evens things out, softens the edges. So, I leave a message.

"Hi Suzy. How're you doin'? I'm sorry you can't get to the phone right now, because I have an important message for you. Can you join us for dinner Sat...BEEP!"

Shit! Well, she'll call back and I'll fill in the details then. And she DID call back, but of course I was outside shoveling snow at the time, and couldn't hear the phone, or anything else except my non-stop cursing of everything about life in miserable, goddamned Pennsylvania. When I went back into the house to defrost my fingers, I saw the blinking light on the telephone.

"Zelda? When is the dinner? You didn't say. I can't answer if I don't know when it is. Call me."

So I called her again. "No one can get to the phone right now..."

"Suzy, where the hell are you? Pick up the goddamned phone! The dinner's on Sat..." BEEP!

Shit! I'd send her a goddamned letter, but there'd probably be a message in her mailbox saying, "No one can get to the mailbox right now." I'm going to cancel the whole thing! I'll just call Nick and tell him we'll do it some other time.
"Hi! This is Nick. I can't get the phone right now, so please leave a message."

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I've got NEWS for you geniuses in the news media - Michael Jackson is dead!

D - E - A - D....DEAD

Why am I still being subjected to photos of his poor, old, bleached, re-formed, de-formed, make--upped pseudo face?
If I have to see photos of men every time I pick up a magazine or turn on the computer, let it be photos of LIVING men, preferably MANLY men, muscly, square-jawed, natural men. If they happen to be singers, let them be singers with deep, manly voices, not trembly falsettos.

And if and when any of them dies,give them no more than a week of tribute, and move on. Make room for the living, and stop making me dwell on my own mortality.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Pat, Pat, Pat

All the recent fuss about increased airport securtity reminded me of what happened to me a few years ago, shortly after that goofball "shoe bomber" was apprehended. I was going to fly from Baltimore to L.A. and was waiting to board the plane at a terminal in BWI. I had passed through the scanning booth with no problems that I knew of and sat down in the crowded waiting area. A nice-looking young man was sitting a couple seats down from me. I couldn't help but notice that he was engrossed in "reading" a girlie magazine of some sort. Suddenly, a person from behind the counter approached the young man and whispered something to him. They both turned to look at me and the young man stood up. First, he carefully placed his magazine, open to the place he had been perusing, face down on the seat of his chair. Then he pulled a scanning wand from his belt and spoke to me. He told me that he had been instructed to scan me and that I should step over to the side of the waiting area. I was dumbfounded! I had no idea why I had been selected, but I followed orders. He told me to hold my arms out from my sides while he slid that wand over my body. Picture this! A middle-aged woman, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, standing spread-eagled in front of a whole waiting area full of people, while a young man runs a wand over, under and all around her whole body. And then! A pat-down. Fortunately for both of us, he didn't "pat" any private parts. If he had, he would have met some serious resistance from Zelda the kung-fu-fighter. When he failed to find anything suspicious, he dismissed me and went back to his seat and his Hustler magazine.

I found a seat on the opposite side of the room and felt thankful that I had remembered to remove my diaphragm before going to the airport.