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Computing by candlelight

Seems like a contradiction in terms, doesn't it? And yet, that is exactly what I'm doing. Laptop batteries. Gotta love 'em.

The power went out during a thunderstorm some two hours ago. The lightning struck extremely close, close enough to scare the hell out of me and everyone else I spoke to about it. And moments later, the power died. So I got out my Menorah and my Chanukah candles and then later went outside to talk to and hang with the neighbors.

We also got torrential rains that caused the worst flood I've seen since I moved in. It spread to the parking lot of the old age home behind my building. I was calling it "Lake Tino" in honor of our landlord. That was actually the second flood of the day. There was another one at 5, right as I was getting home from work. One minute I could walk through the parking lot, the next minute my work shoes were getting soaked.

I'd pity the poor people whose cars got flooded, but they had plenty of warning signs and chose to ignore them. I heard one of them trying in vain to start a car just ten minutes ago.

I should probably just go to bed early. I'm tired enough. But I think I'll take care of business first. I can't watch TV, and reading by flashlight is a pain.

Ooh. Just had to put more candles in the Menorah so I could see the keyboard. Gotta love the irony.

Not my Other Half

If anyone managed to watch the entire first show of NBC's The Other Half and not want to throw up, please send me email. I taped it this morning because I was curious. This evening, I could only manage five minutes. I found it to be the most patronizing, condescending, aggravating, insulting load of bullshit I have seen in years. The qualifications of the hosts are astonishingly low even for television standards. Let's see, there's Dick Clark, a TV host and producer who has a picture getting older in his attic. There's a plastic surgeon. Yeah, he knows women because he operates on them. The fact that he's black probably has nothing to do with his being chosen. There's the Latino guy from Saved By The Bell, who is obviously there for his heartthrob looks and smile. And then there's Danny Bonaduce, who as a talk show host actually is the most qualified to be on a talk show.

In the first five minutes, Dick Clark told us the purpose of the show is to get inside women's heads, and then maybe help us understand where men are coming from. Dick. (No, I meant it as his name.) Dick--dude--Alan Alda did it long before you, and you're making Alan Alda look macho. Oh, and Dick--(name again, not an insult)--none of you has any qualifications that make me think you might know what you're talking about.


Okay, that was the insult.--MAY



A hundred blogs, a little of this and a dash of that

Yesterday's blog was the 100th blog that I've written since I started writing these blogs. I thought this one was going to be 100, but I was off by a day. I like the fact that the subject was a good one. Positive things are good things. Or was that being redundant? A keen grasp of the obvious, as a long-missed fellow Montclarion editor used to say.

I picked up the first issue of The Montclarion while I was on campus yesterday. It's amusing. I kept my comments to myself, but Lord, would I love to call them up and suggest they add a copy editor or three. And maybe someone to teach the news editor how to write a lead. Three paragraphs into a page one story, and she just barely starts telling you what it's about.


Okay, the result of letting Tig outside was just as I was hoping it wouldn't be: Fleas. I've been seeing him scratch himself a bit more often in the last week or so, and learned from my neighbor that September and October are prime flea months, so today, I went to the vet's and got the flea stuff that is some kind of oil that you have to--and this is the funny part--put on the cat's neck above its shoulderblades, where it can't reach to lick it off. The funny part, of course, is that they want you to get it on the cat's skin, not the fur. I often wonder what kind of morons write these instructions, and what kind of cats they use to experiment on, because neither Tig nor Gracie were willing to stand there calmly while I poured gunk on the skin of their necks, and as a result, both have huge oily patches on the fur on the back of their necks. I can only imagine that they test things like this out on stuffed cats, because I can't imagine any other kind of cat standing still for it. Luckily I only have to do this once a month.

But I'm still locking them both out of my bedroom tonight. Tig's gotten in the habit of wrapping himself around my head to sleep. I don't need fleas, thank you.


Kids are a hoot. Today was my neighbor's ten-year-old's birthday party. He invited lots of people, and it was held at an outdoor pool at some club, so I got to see about twenty fifth-graders and various other kids in their natural habitat for a few hours this afternoon. I had a lot of fun entertaining the troops by telling them what was really in chocolate mousse cake (those moose are so big, ya know?), then launched into my buffalo wings story. I was also greatly amused at their reaction when, after eating lunch, one of them wanted to go swimming and his buddies all told him that he couldn't because he'd get cramps because the 30 minutes weren't up. I told them that was an old wives' tale, and that you can't get muscle cramps from swimming after eating. You get muscle cramps from overexertion, generally. Then I had to explain what "old wives' tale" meant. But I think they didn't truly believe me until about an hour later, after they were out drying off between swims, and I asked them if anyone had gotten cramps.

I think there are going to be a bunch of pissed-off parents the next time those kids go swimming without waiting the 30 minutes. I can hear them now. "There was this lady at James' party who said that was an old wives' tale!" "We went swimming at Jame's party before the 30 minutes were up and we didn't get cramps!"

I just love starting revolutions. I told James' 12-year-old cousin that she and her girlfriends have the power to get the boys to stop wearing those ugly, baggy clothes. Just whup 'em upside the head and tell them to dress better, I said. She insisted they'd never listen. "You have no idea the kind of power you have over boys," I told her. It'll sink in. Just give it time.

They really have to keep me away from kids. My ideas are dangerous. I love it.--MAY