Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Plastic Lotus

Reality is like a diamond. It’s hard, cold, clear and expensive. I, for one, have had enough. The time has come for the cubic zirconium version of reality.

Yep, you got it. We’re going back to Vegas, baby! The land of the plastic lotus eaters or the plastic land of lotus eaters; take your pick. Both are true.

Hopefully I’ll have a funny story for you when it’s over. Cross your fingers and behave yourselves in the meantime, my darlings. I will miss you all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Same Again, Bartender

People tell me things. I mean things that wouldn’t come up in normal conversation. The most extreme example is the telephone operator who wanted marital advice. Yes, she worked for the phone company and I had called on phone company business. No, I have no idea how the conversation got personal. It just did. It always does. I know more about my plumber after one visit than the friend who referred him does, and he’s known him for years.

Richard enjoys it. I know he’s grinning right now (despite his car troubles) because he’s been there when it happened and it amuses the hell out of him. Robert is just used to it. It’s what I do.

It happened again today. I was soloing in my back-up gym. One of the employees (i.e. someone who should have known better) stopped my workout to talk. I could have avoided it, as I could have avoided all the other conversations, but I didn’t.

Bartenders, taxi drivers, receptionists – they all get it. But they’re a captive audience, and like the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” they cannot choose but to hear. I can choose. Maybe that’s why it happens.

I don’t believe much, but I believe that if you can help someone then you are morally obligated to try. Like today, with the gym bimbo. I know information that would help him if he understood it. I don’t think he did, but I did my best to explain.

This is old news to those who have been with Scarycookies from the beginning, and big hugs to you for that. For the rest of you, don’t bother looking up “True Confessions” in the blog archives, because it’s just more of the same. But if you do go back and read it, the good news is that I not only forgot the incident but luckily I’ve forgotten the doctor’s name. That’s “happily ever after” enough.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cosmopolitan & Dumber

I’ve just been offended by an advertisement. I’m not talking about something on TV or the ubiquitous pop-ups that infest the Interwebs like zits on a juicer in pre-judging. (Some jokes I tell just for me, apparently. Thank you, Whit Haydn.)

No, this insult was personal. Today’s mail contained a renewal notice for Cosmopolitan magazine. Renewal, mind you. I would subscribe to the Weekly World News before I’d even deign to look at the cover of Cosmo in the check-out, or order a cosmo in a bar for that matter.

Feh! Feh and phooey.

So they think they can fool me into “renewing” a magazine I would never touch while conscious. How dumb do they think I am? Oh, right. By definition, they think I’m dumb enough to read Cosmo. That says it all.

And if you do read it, and would like to defend it, please feel free. I’d be interested to hear what you have to say. The last time I opened that magazine was in the late 70s, and Marabel Morgan (don’t ask how I remembered that name, maybe it’s some kind of feminist PTSD) was yammering that a woman should greet her husband wearing nothing but Saran Wrap™ to get his mojo rising after a hard day at work.

I just read this to Robert who said, “But the quizzes are fun!” Sigh. I do NOT want to know.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Now & Now & 5 Minutes From Now

“Live in the moment” -- that’s easy to say, but it can’t be done. I blame technology. (Surprise!) We’ve multitasked ourselves into mental shrapnel, deluding ourselves that we are not only functional, but efficient.

Clichés are clichés for a reason. I’ve read enough Zen (a shelf-full, third up from the bottom in the bookcase closest to the door of the blue room, feel free to browse) to know that there is value in now-ness. “Now” is a wonderful place, I should go there sometime. It sounds lovely and pretty and mountain-lake-in-the-summertime-Alps-y.

Who among us would get out of bed in the morning if we weren’t thinking about what we have to do that day? Besides pee, come on, I’m trying to be serious here. We have conversations in our heads before we even get there. We’re always one step ahead of ourselves. We call it “having goals” but it’s really just a way of getting past tedium.

As I sit here, listening to my Loud Neighbors have conversations that sound like arguments, choosing to live five minutes from now when I’ll have gotten up and walked away, seems like wisdom.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Posthumous Happy Birthday

Had my father lived, he would be 89 tomorrow. He didn’t, obviously. He died in 1993. Since then, I’ve learned how death really changes a person.

My father was an interesting and difficult man. He played football in the Rose Bowl. After World War II he met Errol Flynn backstage at a nightclub in Paris. He had a sneaky method of forcing his car into the next lane even if the person didn’t want to let him in. He taught me how, and I try to use this knowledge with great responsibility.

But, since his death, my father’s life has been retroactively subsumed by one short phase of it. He was a Marine. He was at Pearl Harbor, and then later, Guadalcanal. I have his medals. I was named after a high school buddy of his, a man I met only once, a genial guy named Carroll who survived the Bataan Death March. I knew my father named me but I didn’t make that connection until after he died.

That’s part of how death changes people. My father didn’t speak of his time in the service. He gave me his copy of Guadalcanal Diary signed by everyone in his platoon (which is mentioned in the book) on condition that I promise never to read it. I never have.

Despite his posture, his nobility and his temper, when he was alive I never thought of him as a Marine. Now, in retrospect, that surprises me because despite our complicated relationship and the variety of my memories, I rarely think of him as anything else. In that sense and in so many others, his death also changed me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Irony Bored

Wednesday night, I was in the kitchen and missed a call because the phone was on my desk. Thursday night, it was the reverse. It’s only ironic because I made sure to bring the phone into the kitchen with me lest I miss a call, and then forgot to take it back.

My beloved E.F. Benson used “irony”, “sarcasm” and “wit” almost interchangeably. As a result, I came late to the Morissette-inspired harangue. Don’t we have enough to worry about without having someone like me jump down our throats because we said “ironic” when “serendipitous” or “coincidental” would have been more apt?

Ironically, there will be no rant. Even I am bored with this topic.