What Really Grinds My Gears

This incessant heatwave. It has been 110F here in Dallas for several days. It doesn’t cool off at night below 94F. People’s foundations are cracking! (And I don’t mean just their houses!) I water my plants using the sprinkler system and the drip irrigation system every night now, but it isn’t enough with that fireball pounding down on them. We’ve cut back on appliances like the dishwasher and washer between the hours of 3 and 7 PM because the power grid is just about at its limit, and rolling brownouts would be disastrous. My mother is on that oxygen deal and can’t tolerate much heat. Oy!

Jerry Lewis has basically been ousted at MDA. Today they announced he would no longer be National Chairman and wouldn’t be hosting the Telethon. Ouch! I think it is shameful that they threw an old man under the bus like that, someone who built their organization from nothing. I know it hurt his feelings, and I’m going to write a snailmail letter to him in care of his production company in Vegas telling him how much I have enjoyed his work and appreciated his humanitarianism all these years. How dare they, really. I won’t be supporting their organization the way I always have been. I will continue to donate now and then, but not in the dedicated manner that I have in the past. Call me pis*sy. I know that my dear friend’s daughter Stephanie has been somewhat helped by the Vegas office of MDA (she has developed the limb-girdle form of the disease), but it isn’t enough to temper my anger. I’ll continue to concentrate my good wishes on the patients themselves.

(Jerry Lewis has said often that as long as he can draw breath, he’ll be up there and out there for his kids. I know he didn’t voluntarily retire. Now, part of me says that he’s too old to be working like that and ought to sit at home and rest and work on his own projects. But part of me hurts with him at being publicly thrown away. Yow.)

I no longer like LUCKY magazine. Yeah, I know, it was always a thinly veiled marketing machine and sales vehicle. It was always an uber-pimpette. But! It was sort of the descendant of JANE and SASSY magazines, because the editorial was always written as if these writers were your junior high buddies dishing about whatever it was, and you felt “in” while you were reading it. Puerile, eh? But no matter, I enjoyed it. Also, I went to high school with Kim France for the year that she spent in Plano, Texas (if that’s the same Kim, and why wouldn’t it be?) However, the magazine threw her under the bus in January or so (see a pattern here in my rage and anger and angst and etc.?) and changed editors. Got rid of several staff members. Changed the fonts and the layout. And, for me anyway, threw away the charm.

It’s just another magazine like Glamour now. Urk. I’m already boycotting Marie Claire for the nasty remarks they always make about fat people (honestly, we’d like to be thin like you, so why do you hate us so? Constant sniping does not become anyone.) SEVENTEEN magazine jumped the shark around 1971 or so. (It was cool in 1967-68-69-70-71 when I was a little kid. Trust me. We used to get our older cousins’ and sisters’ issues and cut the models out to put on our bulletin boards and save the short stories–they used to publish somewhat literary stories, believe it or not–and keep the makeup tips and cute boys articles right next to our copies of Tiger Beat.)

And I can’t afford an iPad or other tablet. Wanted one to see whether I could get my mother interested in e-mailing her cousins and sharing pictures and video. She talks incessantly (TO ME) about how bored she is and how boring everything is, and I want her to have interests again. She could get on LiveJournal or on other message boards to talk with people about her interests. You know, arthritis and asthma and aches and pains. And cooking, I suppose. And home decorating. And how she had such grand plans for her daughter the fat lazy slob who wants to be a writer but must not be good enough because she never gets anywhere with it. Although she admits her daughter is a pretty fair photographer, but you can’t make any money with that nowadays unless you do weddings, and who needs that pressure?

Perhaps it is just as well that she doesn’t get an iPad and get online.

That might bring the ‘net to its knees.

In other news, the headphones came today! I ordered a pair of Shure headphones that are much higher quality than the ones from the box store, and I’ll see whether they work well on the various stereos we have. The delivery man looked as if he’d been boiled with the lobsters. Good thing heat doesn’t rot headphones the way it does medications in the mail.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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