Oct 29, 2009

Poor Mr. Webster

The computer age is an amazing time to live, especially if you are a writer. You have everything you could possibly need at your finger tips. You can research. You can thesaur. You can define. You can even have some human contact on social networking sites.

But, one can become too dependent on one's computer, and someone obviously has.

Which leads to the purpose of this post.

I was working - I really was - but I had another window open. And in the loafing window I used the word Viagra (the details are not pertinent to this discussion) and my browser (which has a spell check feature) highlightedViagra in red.

I right-clicked. I don't know why - I did automatically, but while I was clicking it was registering that it would be highlighted because it's not a word.

I am so naive.

Not only was it there, my spell check was chastising me for not capitalizing it.

There is a joke here. It escapes me, but there is definitely a joke here.

In any case, I cannot help but wonder what poor old Mr. Webster would have to say.

addendum - I am aware thesaur is not a word - if you want to get technical about it. Any writer, however, will tell you it is an action (and it is unfortunate that there are no cardiovascular benefits). So if Pfizer can make up a word and it ends up on my browser's spell check, I feel comfortable taking some artistic license.

Oct 26, 2009

Nothing To Eat or Drink After Midnight


     Excuse me - yes, hi. May I have another johnnie, please? No thank you, you needn't hold it.
     Two things going on here:

     1. The hospitals have been hiring military personnel (who specialize in the mental preparation policies employed at boot camp) to consult on hospital atmosphere and its influence on patient cooperation.
     2. "Going Green" - If Al Gore were in front of me right now I'd slap him so hard Tipper would fall down.

     Then it was lunchtime. Preface. I cannot abide dairy, anything white, or covered in a sauce in a hospital. It's just wrong, and I think --maybe I'm just paranoid--but I think this has been included on my health records to empower health care providers in their psychological warfare.
    So, enter the tray-bearing orderly. Smiling. Not at me, I discover, but in the anticipatory excitement which thrills deviants. He sets the domed tray down, adjusts my bed, he even plumps my pillows (I realize now this is part of his ritual and each step in said ritual brings climactic delight and must be adhered to precisely).
    Finally ready, and watching my face carefully, he whips the dome off with a dramatic flourish.
    He is rewarded. My plate bears an unidentified meat (undoubtedly from OR) congealing in a white sauce (similar in appearance to a sebaceous body fluid).
     I slam the dome back down, my mouth filling with sweet saliva that's unswallowable. Not if I were 8 days into a hunger strike.
     Did I mention the tapioca? Again, looks like drainage. And, all heart healthy, of course. Little hearts dance perversely all over the menu.
     The orderly, sated and smiling, backs out the door.

Oct 24, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty

I feed the birds and Thomas kills them. I have some guilt about this.

A therapist would diagnose our relationship as unhealthy. Pathological, even. There are control issues and periods of violence.

We have a game he plays. When he's bored, he twangs the screen with a blood-stained claw. I drop everything and rush open it in a pathetic attempt to spare the screen. He waits for me to open the door, and then gives me a disdainful look indicating I took too long and now he doesn't want to come in after all.  He turns his back and saunters away. We both know he'll wait until my hands are wet or otherwise engaged to do it again.  We both know that's a dead screen standing.  

He's a bastard and he has been since the day I brought him home. I said I "found" him. And I did - in a litter of kittens that was advertised in Uncle Henry's weekly periodical classified section of Free for the Taking. Thomas delights in lording this dark secret over my head.

I'd envisioned taking home a sweet little kitten to cuddle but that was not meant to be. His own mother was frightened of him. He's that mean. Even as a baby he had little use for those that serve him.

I'm looking at him even as I write this. He's asleep on the back of  a chair. I long to go over and squeeeeeze him but know better. I take a photograph instead, and the flash disturbs his postprandial slumber (some poor creature, identifiable only by its gallbladder, has recently suffered a torturous death). He opens one eye, sees me, and then closes it, dismissing me.
No one likes to be dismissed.  I get his cat carrier from the garage and set it on the kitchen floor with purposeful clamor. I open the wire door slowly, working the creaky hinges much like a musician caresses her instrument. It achieves the desired effect. He opens both eyes, gets to his feet in spritely fashion and makes a hasty retreat upstairs -all the while maintaining eye contact in manufactured bravado.

Victory is mine. Paige 1 Thomas 0

Two can play at this game, old man.

Oct 4, 2009

The Clarity of Childhood

     Jimmies, dropped in wanton abandon, stick to the knob of my car stereo. Evidence of debauchery, discovered by one of my discerning and disapproving children. From the backseat.
     I am amused (and envious) of the ability of children to quickly assess their surroundings, process small details, and reach concrete, confident conclusions.
     You, the reader, will wonder at my grudging admiration. You, the reader, are unable to appreciate the distracting and complex environment this child mentally waded through before discerning the minute difference of her surroundings.
     Said evidence was present in a very large vehicle that has been neglected for at least a month.
     Said evidence, in the front seats alone, shared space with a colorful array of mail on the dashboard, a console full of grubby change, lipstick, pens, ferry tickets, keys, iPod buds with tangled cords, sunglasses, a pair of earrings, an emery board, USB storage, a mouth guard, phone and charging cord, and garden clippers.
     Said evidence had been present for less than 24 hours.
     Simply amazing.
     In the process of reaching our maturity, adults develop a significant survival skill. We shut things out. We become adept at dismissing unnecessary details in our immediate environment. Much like a computer, our brains have many programs running, and some must run in the background in a limited capacity. Subconsciously, the user relies upon a system admin. This admin arbitrarily culls out unnecessary information that would slow down necessary processes.
     Children enjoy a freedom from the restraints of the system admin. The clarity, the razor-sharp senses aiding their abilities to assess their environment - it's a wondrous ability.  On  occasion I mourn its passing.
     Yet, life is a trade-off, and one certainty assuages my envy of their mental clarity and capacity. Children cannot stop for an ice cream *just because they feel like it*.
For my darling daughters. Mummy loves you.

Oct 1, 2009

Happy October 1rst

Fall isn't really my favorite season. I think it would be if I lived somewhere warmer, but in Maine the overwhelming feeling is one of dread. Winter is coming, days are shorter, colder, and muddy.

That being said, there are things I love about Autumn in New England. The crisp cleanliness in the air, apples, storms, fires, and Halloween.

I adore Halloween, and I got my first feel of it last night. I happened to be out at dusk, and it was magical. The sky was gray and ominous, a few of the first leaves to fall were swirling through the air, and a lone crow watched me balefully from the top of a dead tree - it was good.

I almost thought I caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure disappearing into the darkness.

Cracked headstones, flitting shadows, creaking stairs, dead flowers, sputtering candles.......do enjoy the magic of this season. Play some creepy organ music (I like Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor), go for a walk at night, use candles, and tell ghost stories. Happy Halloween.