April 30, 2010

Conversations in the Garden

My neighbor said the oddest thing to me tonight. She said I was graceful.

(Quit laughing, family)
I took a moment to envision myself as a graceful person and came up empty. Even my potent imagination, fed a steady diet of Dr Seuss, couldn't summon the picture. This. Is. Me.

When the doctor handed out an MS diagnosis, his sticky fingers managed to pickpocket my balance. I miss it dearly and found, sadly, that while informercials offer an unholy host of useless items, they've yet to advertise Balance in a Box ($19.99 and your firstborn, plus shipping).

I eventually tuned back into my neighbor's kind and utterly undeserved praise and learned she was speaking about a different sort of grace. Which is good since she herself has witnessed my unusual, unplanned and entirely uncoordinated flailings down the steps. She thinks I have 'the package.' I've got it all together.

(Stop snorting, family)

Naturally, I had to scoff, pointing out the bad teeth, severe scoliosis and that pesky MS, (plus the early gray, the lack of mate, offspring or desirable... endowments) Yup. I've got it together. Yet this doesn't deter her from elevating me to pageant queen status. Because I appear to be satisfied, she tells me. I have problems, like everyone else on the planet, but they don't seem to get me down. And seemingly lend me a floating, Zen-like movement that even the constant stumbling can't ruin. She envies me.

Yikes. But in the end (and after much consideration) I suppose there's something to it. Despite all the woes, I am rather content. And apparently it shows up as grace. It means quite a lot that someone who doesn't know me well finds in the outer appearance something that speaks to the inner pieces. It makes me glad to know I'm conveying positivity without opening my mouth.

Maybe I can be a ballerina yet!

April 25, 2010

Confessions of an Addict...

Hello, my name is Zaedah (sorta) and I write fan fiction. I have been an addict for years and I am confessing for the good of my soul. And also to gripe.

For those out of the loop on this worldwide phenomenon, fan fiction is the blatant stealing of someone else's characters for the purpose of bending them to your will. Let's face it, how many times has your favorite show either jumped the shark or created unbearably slow or unfulfilling storylines. Fan fiction is our way of setting right these wrongs. I write original works too, but fanfic is a great venue for stretching one's craft with unusual premises, unique genres and receiving simultaneous feedback.

Of course, it's also (in my selfish opinion) the highest form of flattery to the TV gods. We like the characters so much that we pilfer them and make them live in new and exciting ways. For no money and less prestige. I enjoy this so much that for the last few years, I've also served as a beta for other writers. A beta is what we spiffy internet folks call editors who, like fanfic writers, make zero bucks for the effort.

My gripe?

I take the art seriously, spending time that I should use to work on my tan to instead plop in front of my computer (which I don't do enough in my ten-hour work day). Lately, I've helped a few new writers who are, to be excruciatingly polite, novices and, to be utterly rude, deficient. I used to blame texting, which teaches us to squeeze whole ideas into as few letters as possible. Now, I'm shifting the guilt to the Word Verification box. You know the one. Many bloggers require readers to suffer these boxes when leaving a comment. Many websites use them to verify payments. And the words used are in no way actual words, unless you're a new fanfic writer, in which case you're sending me whole paragraphs filled with the following (taken from actual word verification boxes)...

ancedn, suptill, tratoxi, sesse, volodebu, matouff, mighhobi, crocizat, busaggr, diosogy, oushili, kyrreo, lasich. Do you want more? I've got more!

How are the impressionable youths of our society supposed to develop brains sophisticated enough to produce works of literary art when they spend their days typing the above nonsense? It makes one's eyes cross just looking at them. I tried to ponder possible definitions for this sampling of words but my brain melted and I had pour it back in.

Still gelatinous I'm afraid, but it won't stop me from writing my fanfic!

April 18, 2010

The point of a weekend...

Lesson number 12 on the point of a weekend. Pencils ready...

The point of a weekend is to spend more money on pet food than your own life-sustaining groceries.

The point of a weekend is to pay $14 a ticket to view a 3D movie (remake) with little 3D while they smash your childhood gorgon memories to bits. Poor Perseus.

The point of a weekend is to spend most of your tax refund on... wait for it... bills.

The point of a weekend is to help your father buy a printer that does not (I repeat does NOT) come with the necessary cables to actually hook it up. Said cable costs more than the printer.

The point of a weekend is to listen to said father speak on our proud heritage and be impressed that the fairly shy man can stand before a room and win it over. Every time.

The point of a weekend is to buy a round trip ticket from Philly to Fresno because... well, because I CAN!!!

The preceding is the incomplete list of one weekend's events. Do not attempt without proper safety gear.

April 11, 2010

My name is Pollen and I'm a Registered Sneeze Offender

Above is a secret Pollen Anonymous therapy session in progress.

Pollen is a group of lonely spores who really need a date. Fortunately, all the pollen in the charted galaxy have chosen my backyard to accumulate, propagate and disperse. This saves the rest of humanity from the ill-effects of having the party and band gazebo shoved up one's nose. I'm taking the hit for all of you.

Applause not required.

I'd advise the populace to buy stock in Advil and Kleenex, as I'm personally cleaning store shelves of said items and arming myself for battle...

April 4, 2010

It's okay to bite their marshmallowy heads off...

I love Peeps. Anyone who knows me (which is unfortunate for some) will tell you that my Easter basket must contain the following items:

Peeps (yellow)...
Peeps (blue)...
Coconut eggs...
Peeps (green)...
and also Peeps (pink)

I, like many who need more hobbies, like them stale. Yes, open the packaging and let'um bathe in that wondrously firming air, that's the way to enjoy a Peep. However, despite the fact that I have two containers of Peeps percolating in the fresh oxygen, a bag of goldfish (thanks mom!) and will feast upon my egg shortly, I shall not forget the purpose of the day. And no, it's not to see what the multi-colored, Peep sugar coating does to my tongue.

It is, quite frankly, this...

April 3, 2010

Oh happy day... I get to be counted.

Like most Americans who check their mailbox once a decade, I eventually noticed the little form in my cluttered box. It's time to join the masses and get census-ed!


It was, as the sole resident in my apparently too-fascinating-to-be-missed house, a fairly short form to complete. I had only to answer about myself, a relatively simple request. But I fear my place in the universe still eludes me.

Is it bad that I lied on question # 4?

They want my phone number in case 'we don't understand an answer.' Considering they're multiple choice, what's not to understand? Plus, I'm thinking... telelmarketers are bad enough, so why give the US Government permission to text me at all hours? Don't get me wrong, I like Obama, but I don't need him to call me at 3 am for my opinion on foreign policy. My views on Israel/Palastine relations get fuzzy without enough beauty sleep.

Having debated whether to use a write-in option for gender and listing my age as negative two, I finally mailed the little beast, which will ensure local funding and appropriate seats in Congress. Thus my life is made infinitely better in ten short questions because they now know that I rent...

April 2, 2010


There comes a time when we must put away the 70's lounge-act costume, but that time is NOT now. Not when she, I mean he, can fill it with such... sass.

Note devilishly coordinated converse-to-bag combo, hearkening to bag lady, or... bag dude, fashions.

Don't hate, ladies. It's okay to be in awe of the striking manner with which he carries the ensemble.

April 1, 2010

The Dates That Matter-ish

It's either a sign of spinsterhood or muddled near-middle age when today is a memorable day in the mental calendar in my head.

I struggle mightily to maintain a clear record of birthdays in my family. Having eight nieces and nephews is a challenge worthy of Einstein's impressive brain. Even my own birthday has been known to sneak up on me (which has NOTHING to do with the fact that additional digits are less welcome... much). But, this is the ultimate sign that a cat chick can become a crazy ol' cat lady with the speed of one simple memory skill;

Today is Zazu's fifteenth birthday.

The moment my rebellious eyes opened this morning, I congratulated him on another year of life, hand-feeding him treats at six am (because I'm dedicated) and serving up exquisite moist food for dinner (not that I've sampled it to know its quality). I remembered, before the sun rose no less, that today was meaningful. Zazu himself opted not to weigh in on his advanced age. Or mine, as forgetting dates is now part of the daily cycle.

Of course, April Fool's Day isn't difficult to remember when your cat is the feline equivalent of Cujo. The day was made for him. Look Zaedah, here's an eight week old, sweet and fluffy bundle of kitten joy...

.... who bites and scratches and hisses and has been known to take on giant dogs without flinching a whisker. Yes, April Fools indeed. The miracle is not that he's still healthy, but that he hasn't eaten me alive yet. Nonetheless, Happy Birthday Zazu. You may be sinister but I wouldn't change a thing.