Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And the Oscar Goes To...

Roger...for Best Prat-Fall Causing Maximum Damage.

Yeah, he fell and no, he is not hurt. Some newish friends invited us round to dinner and the Oscars and we went. Within minutes, I could tell that these friends would not be paying sufficient reverence to the Oscar moment and so I rooted around on their TV cabinet and found the remote...thus controlling everything we would see and the volume at which we would hear it that evening. While I am a bit embarrassed at my forward behavior now, at the time it felt right. My forward behavior and Roger's prat-fall can be attributed to the drinks. These folks don't ask you if you want a gin and tonic. They make up drinks, as in, here's a cachaca, vodka, pineapple juice and pear vodka drink on the rocks. I thank them, drink it and then steal the remote and stuff. Roger says thanks, drinks it and asks for another.

For me, the Oscars is not just about "okay if I had that much money and could afford a personal trainer/hairdresser/masseuse/makeup guru/someone to tell me what colors work with my skin tone I would NOT be wearing that dress/that hair/that makeup/that jewelry" but also about catching the subtle glances between exes...the minutae...that's what I love. That and those dancers behind the screen. That I loved. Loved.

We had a fabulous meal...the husband at this house of drinks, he's a chef-calibre cook. So, okay, the night is about the Oscars AND the food. I get it. But do we have to eat 18 feet away and around the corner from the TV and why (my husband asks) does the TV have to be so loud. I shoot him a look that says shutthefuckupandatleastletmelistentotheoscarsifican'twatch'emokay? So, the Oscars are starting to wind down and Roger and our host are in another room and the host is sharing his collection of single malt whiskies with Roger and I'm still controlling the remote and the show and then all of a sudden there is this whoop of laughter, then a crash, then silence, then confused chattering. This is what happened. Roger is sitting on a sort of delicate looking bar stool. The host makes him laugh by telling him that when he travels to out of the way places, like up the Yangtze, he takes his own toilet. This causes Roger to lose it, pitch backwards on the barstool, catch himself before he hits the floor (I think), but by doing so he literally almost picks up and throws a custom-made chair (custom-made as in made for only these people at great expense) at a coffee table whereupon it crashes into a two-foot wide ceramic bowl, bought at a gallery in Turkey (no doubt at great expense), an original in other words, and shatters (not exactly shatters, but breaks) it into a few big pieces and some tiny slivers, thereby (hey, I know this stuff, I watch The Antiques Roadshow) sucks every bit of value out of said bowl.

Tomorrow I will take the multi-pieced bowl to a porcelain restorer in Los Angeles where, first estimate, for at least several hundred dollars they will sort of be able to restore it to almost its former glory. The chair will be taken to its maker next week where hopefully it will be fixed as good as new.

Roger doesn't remember if he was tipped back on two legs on the stool when all this happened because he knows if he remembers and shares that with me, I will go ballistic. Let's just pretend the stools are wobbly and he was caught off-balance. uh huh...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dell Schmell

I've always been a fan of Apple. I got my first one in the mid 80s and I couldn't get enough of it. It had an endearing little handhold in the top and once I even took it on a trip to Washington, DC. I'm trying hard to remember the case I had for it and am coming up empty, but I seem to remember it was more a dust cover sort of thing rather than a protective shell. One thing I'm sure of is that I looked like a complete moron hauling that thing with me. The only reason I'm even mentioning that ridiculous episode in my computer life is to demonstrate my continuing idiocy and love affair with computers. And so on Saturday, when my Dell notebook slid off my favorite Christmas present I was heartbroken, but more than that I was just so pissed off at my complete lack of forethought. My grandchildren had just arrived and I was in a rush to move it out of Baby Sophie's way and just wasn't careful enough. It slid off the computer stand in slow motion, landing on the external wireless card (again, stupid...why do I have a computer with an external wireless card...why?). Maybe landing on the wireless card and breaking the delicate little internal connector pins was a good thing? That's what took the initial brunt of the fall and after I ran around the house waving my hands in the air and silently screaming NO NO NO NO NO (didn't want the babies to get completely freaked by Weird Nana), I turned the computer on and...it worked. It worked. All except for the internet connection.

Now we get to my hate affair with Dell. I called them. Okay, I called 'Jennifer and Jason' in Mumbai. They patiently explained to me just how much a fix would cost and how the wireless card slot is connected to the motherboard and how they would send DSL straight to my door with a special box in which my computer would be lovingly cradled on its journey to a place (probably China) where it would be fixed and good as new for, oh, let's see...$859. I called more Dell people, one of whom, Scott, was in the States. After asking Jennifer and Jason to stop trying to speak with an exaggerated Fargo accent, I told Scott to stop being so snippy. Oh yeah, I was in a good space and Dell was helping me get to a better one. You will never get anywhere with Dell if you tell their people to stop being snippy and to stop talking Fargo. Nowhere. Fast.

So then I called my beloved computer consultant, my son-in-law, Matt. He knew all about the problems I was having and I know could sense my near hysteria. He told me what to do and I did it. I went to Best Buy and for $39.99 bought a Wireless G USB Network Adaptor, came home, plugged it into the back of my computer and I have wireless again. I still have my old motherboard and she is most cooperative. I didn't send my computer to Dell and most likely, I will never even consider calling them again. What I will do, when I next drop it on its head is mourn my coordination and then go out and buy a Mac.

Okay, I'm back and I'm online, but now I'm going back to watching something that is making me feel smarter by the minute (and I particularly need to feel this just now). I'm gonna go learn more about this idiot who was making big news when we were in Australia in November. Oh yeah, Sex, Drugs and Jesus. Bring it on, baby. It's all on this show and if it doesn't scare you, then you're a lot stronger than I. Alexandra Pelosi shows such restraint.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Dumb, dumb, dumb

I dropped my computer on its head and now the fucking motherboard is fucked and, apparently, so am I for a little while since Dell is NOT coming through with the service people I need.



Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?

Well, she could and she did and just typing did instead of does makes me so sad. Molly died from breast cancer yesterday. She started her cancer fight in 1999 with some good years between her initial diagnosis and ultimate death. I'm sorry to say (cancer) can kill you, but it doesn't make you a better person, she said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News in September of last year, the same month cancer claimed her friend former Gov. Ann Richards. Amen.

What else did Molly have to say? In addition to naming our current President Shrub, here are a few of her bon mots.

Even I felt sorry for Richard Nixon when he left; there's nothing you can do about being born liberal - fish gotta swim and hearts gotta bleed, she wrote in a column included in her 1998 collection, "You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You."

A couple of weeks ago, Molly wrote this about the Iraq War. Her pain obviously didn't get in the way of her biting commentary on the war.

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war,
Ivins wrote in the Jan. 11 column. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!

The trouble with blaming powerless people is that although it's not nearly as scary as blaming the powerful, it does miss the point, she wrote in a 1997 column. Poor people do not shut down factories ... Poor people didn't decide to use 'contract employees' because they cost less and don't get any benefits.

Naturally, when it comes to voting, we in Texas are accustomed to discerning that fine hair's-breadth worth of difference that makes one hopeless dipstick slightly less awful than the other. But it does raise the question: Why bother? she wrote in a 2002 column.

I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.

Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.

Good thing we've still got politics in Texas - finest form of free entertainment ever invented.

In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose.

Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant - it tends to get worse.

Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel - it's vulgar.

Former President Clinton had this to say about Molly in an Austin speech last year. He praised Molly as someone who was"good when she praised me and who was painfully good when she criticized me."