In Becoming Alice you found out that Ilse became Alice in the 20th Century, not only in name, but also as an American person. Fast forward just a bit. Well no, fast forward a long way in years all the way into the 21st Century. That same Alice who was such a fish out of water and struggled to fit into the American landscape, is now trying to catch up to the technological demands of the 21st Century.
Yesterday I spend most of the morning trying to replace an ink cartridge in my printer. I’ve done those replacements before. No big deal, I thought. The trouble arose out of the fact that I purchased a new printer that not only prints, but is a fax machine, telephone, and has internet access capabilities. I haven’t checked whether it also will brush my teeth in the morning. I only wanted a printer. Period. Nothing else. There is no such animal on the market.
Never mind, I’ll just use the printer and send off those first ten pages of my new work to someone whose judgement I trust and who would give me an honest critique. I purchased a double cartridge, not wanting to be bothered so often. God, but they are expensive. I digested the price. Writing is really important to me and proceeded to install it.
I lifted the top from the printer and the ink cartridge carrier came into full view. Piece of cake, I thought. I removed the old one and installed the new one. The printer/fax/telephone/computer told me it didn’t recognize any of the red, blue, yellow, and black cartidges. I hadn’t even touched the color inks.
I’m not without any technological knowledge altogether, so I turned the printer/fax/telephone/computer off and unplugged it from the socket. Replugged it, turned it on, and the same message came up. I went to the handbook. There is no information about “how to replace an ink cartidge.”
Long story short: It took me two and a half more hours to notice that in installing the new black cartridge the other three colors popped out of their place by 1/16th of an inch. I needed to reinstall all four colors to make the @#$%&* work. Sigh!
Being a writer in the 21st Century is not for sissies!
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Posted in Culture, tagged humor, Superstitions on June 25, 2011 |
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I was walking my dog down a country road the other day and spotted a dime ahead of me. It must have had many cars drive over it since it no longer shined and the features of the head of FDR had been somewhat obliterated. “Never mind,” I thought. “How nice for me. I shall have good luck.” I picked it up and put it in my pocket for safekeeping until I could transfer it to my purse. I would not put it in my wallet to spend, but loose in the bag’s bottom where it would continue to bring me luck.
Later I thought about what a stupid thing I was doing. I am not superstitious at all. I am this left-brained person who is strongly reality based, don’t believe in myths, omens, legends, and even have trouble with religions. I don’t worry about black cats crossing the path in front of me. I like cats of any color and I don’t believe the cat knows that he/she might have such powers. I don’t walk under ladders because I’m afraid a can of paint, a brick, or a pale of water might fall on my head. I don’t worry about breaking the symbolic Holy Trinity and bringing bad luck to me and my family. I don’t nail a horseshoe over the threhhold of any door at my house; I think they are for horses and playing a game of pitching horseshoes.
I don’t rub a rabbit’s foot or cross my fingers when I wish for something. I drive my car and get on an airplane on Friday, the thirteenth whenever that happens. And when someone speaks of their good fortune and ends with, “Knock on wood,” I think what does that have to do with anything.
However, I once watched my dad grab a button on his jacket when two nuns crossed his path. He explained with a straight face that was to insure good luck. Why veryone knew that in the Ukraine. I don’t see nuns very often; so many of them wear street clothes now. But whenever I do see one, I intinctively grab a button. Daddy said so. Therefore it must be true.
And we all know for a fact that whenever I wash my car, it will rain the next day.
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Posted in blogging, Writing, tagged Blogs, humor, Writing on December 19, 2010 |
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Christmas is about a week away now and I am still trying to stop reeling from all I have to do. Lucky for me I live in southern California and it has been raining non-stop for days and the forecast is for more rain in the coming week. I am thrilled. I don’t like driving the freeways in the rain, especially since I just heard on the news that the accident and fatality rate has quadrupled over the weekend. So I am at my computer catching up on just about everyone and everything.
During the overload period just prior to this week, a period when I also needed time to move from one home to another, I had almost forgotten that I write a blog, namely a WordPress Blog.
Then, out of the blue, I received a Comment! The email from WordPress announcing this comment reminded me that I, in fact, write one. I love writing this blog and I love receiving comments, but I get very few of those and I must wait a long time from one to another. It matters not. It is the writing I really enjoy doing.
Then, about ten minutes ago, I got a comment. And it was a comment on a blog I’d written quite a long time ago. It reminded me that the blog world goes on even without me and even when I haven’t added my thoughts to it. I am so gratified to know that, that I even took time out to tell all of you how important a comment can be.
And, as soon as I get through rewriting the story I’m working on the umpteenth time, I shall write a blog about rewriting. Come on back and read it … then write me a comment!
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I’m moving out of a home I’ve lived in for thirty-six years. There is no rush to get out of the house since it hasn’t sold yet, but I am doing the job in bits and pieces so that I won’t be overwhelmed when the final date of occupancy is upon me. Being a pack rat by nature, I am disposing of boxes and boxes of items that are going directly to the Goodwill Industries every week. I have left the hardest part of dismantling my house for last, i.e. is going through all the pictures we have taken, and even pictures our parents have taken over the years, and getting rid of them. There are pictures everywhere: in drawers, in albums stuck in bookcases, and in boxes on the top shelves of closets that haven’t been touched in years. This project may just take the rest of my life to complete.
While going through this exercise, I’ve looked at pictures of various family members and I was struck by how much they say about that persons’ personality. There is the gentleman who is seen over and over in swim trunks or other athletic attire showing off what is obviously a well sculptured body. When fully dressed he is seen in the company of one or more young women. He works hard to impress others that he is someone special, maybe a little too hard.
The most telling characteristic of all is the smile, or the absence of a smile. There is my aunt in one picture after another with either a scowl on her face or with her chin lifted upward in an attempt to look aristocratic. There is my Uncle Jack smiling in every picture. He never said a cross word about anyone, thought everyone in the world liked him, and in fact, they did. Pictures of my mom and dad back in Vienna are serious, first because they had no money and second because they were busy trying to escape from Nazi persecution. Not until they were in America did I find any pictures of them showing their teeth in a broad smile. By that time mom was able to purchase a fox fir stole around her shoulders to show off her good fortune. As to my mother-in-law, not one smiling picture, not as a young woman, a young bride, a well-to-do-middle-aged woman, or a comfortable older woman, even while catered to by a caring husband. No comment.
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This blog was going to be on an entirely different subject today until I heard the morning news. I usually have Good Morning America on while I stumble toward my first cup of caffeinated coffee and listen to the rundown of the world’s problems while I get my wits about me. The producers of this show usually break up the serious matters on the world stage with some lighter fare. This morning human interest segment dealt with the story about how an octipus was used to correctly predict the winners of a semi-final soccer match in South Africa. Today they called upon a Dachshund puppy to pick the winner of the upcoming final soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands. This puppy was to pick one of two clearly marked dog bowls filled with puppy chow, each sporting the flag of their respective countries, for his morning’s snack. When left to go to one of the bowls, thus picking the winner, he avoided both of them and went toward someone in the audience. My feeling exactly … when it comes to soccer matches.
Several of the following news items were of a serious nature and then that series was broken up by a segment dealing with “the vampire craze.” Bingo!! Didn’t I just write a blog about that? With a street full of screaming teenage girls as a backdrop, the announcer told us the new vampire phenomenon is biting your loved ones neck to show the depth of your love. The more love one feels, the deeper the bite he inflicts … to the point of drawing bood. Give me a break!
Perhaps I shouldn’t be so judgemental. I remember the days of “necking” and proudly sporting “hickies” at school. Perhaps we just didn’t love one another as much as today’s kids. However! Our announcer added this activity should not be taken on lightly. The possibility exists for contracting HIV, hepatits, etc. or serious infections requiring hospitalizations.
It all leaves me asking, “what next?”
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My husband and I like to get Net Flix DVDs of movies. He loves historical fiction and war stories. I like most everything, but especially true stories. Somehow they have a special meaning for me. And I am so impressed with other authors who write about their own true life stories without cleaning them up to be acceptable to other family members or who pad them with dramatic occurances that didn’t ever happen in order to juice them up.
This weekend we saw a Net Flix of “Changeling” which was directed by Clint eastwood and starred Angelina Jolie. Great stuff and all true!! Also we went into Ventura to the Rubicon Theater to see a local production of ”Fiddler on the Roof.” There were no big stars in it and I don’t know who directed it and it was so-o-o-o good. They did have four dancers in it that I knew must have been professionals. Later I found out that three of them indeed were professional, but the fourth one was a 16 year old high school boy who never had a dance lesson. Wow!!
But then I got to thinking about the fiddler story itself. It was not a true story about any individual family. It was a true story about a zillion Jewish families who lived in Russia or the Ukraine who most decidedly lived that story. It was the universal story of the persecuted Jew and his struggle to survive … not too different from the story of Becoming Alice. And it also depicted the adjustments that had to be made and the humor that found its way into their lives.
Great stuff!!! Go to see it if you’re anywhere around. You’ll love it.
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