Damn, damn, damn.........I suspected that this wonderful vehicle called The Blog would have a shortcoming or two. It takes me back in time just like Wild Willie did when he tickled me into being 14 years old again. Now I am about 15 and can hear my Mama's sweet voice nagging me, "Don't forget to write a letter to Grandma and Grandpa..........you are their life......they count on hearing what you are doing.." And of course I did write, every week at least.....not with the quality I have since developed but with much sincerity and dedication.
Now I think about my faithful fans out in cyberspace panting for my next utterance and wring my hands over the fact that another day has gone by without my sating their hunger. Did I need this guilt??? Sigh. Certainly not, but it seems to be hovering overhead in spite of the fact that I already have enough. (Actually, I am happy to be able to report that the truth is, I have cast off almost all of my guilt which had been accumulated under what I discovered were false circumstances.) However, not only do I feel some responsibility to my followers, but I really do enjoy blogging to them so I, too, have been deprived the past few days.
And......today is not going to be much better........sorry about that. I have just spent all of my spare time today learning how my new printer works and coaxing it into printing out my entire Blog so that I can have a hard copy in case the entire cyber world crashes. ( No, no....don't laugh....I know it can happen because I recently spent days trying to email my friend in Devon who has a provider with the unlikely name of "Blueyonder.uk.com" and received my words flung back in my face with the admonition that "Blueyonder does not exist". Today, tenks Gott, Blueyonder was somehow restored to life and my emails went through.....they must have a crash cart for restoring dead internet providers somewhere out there....)
As I was saying, not only did printing my Blog use up all my spare time, it decimated most of a ream of paper. Holy crap......it appears that, unbeknownst to me, I have already written a book ! However, that is not what is keeping me from blogging away. I have been invited to a neighborhood party to ease all of us into the New Year and I must stop at once and go don my gay apparel.......oh dear.....I probably shouldn't have referred to it that way.........what I meant was I have to go shed my comfy nightie and robe (yes, yes, I KNOW it is after 5 pm and I am still in my nightie.....wanna make something of it?) and put on a bra and a velour jogging suit or some such respectable garment. I am looking forward to this party because the host and hostess are clever folk who have requested that we all bring a mystery "white elephant" gift and I have been waiting for about 15 years for this chance.......
I just decided to publish this as a teaser and to issue installment #2 when I return from the party. You will have to wait several hours to find out what my white elephant gift was and how it fared. Bye for now.
Ah, here I am, back from the party, and a lovely one it was. The hosts were my next door neighbors and the guests were a group of neighbors who live either on our block or in the nearby environs.....all within walking distance which is something of a rarity these days and is a situation devoutly to be wished.........really knowing one's neighbors and having a real relationship with them is a wonderful thing which, sadly, went out of fashion somewhere in the 60's I think, and left us much the poorer for its loss. I consider it a blessing and a fantastic bounty to be lucky enough to be surrounded by such wonderful folk........not sure if they feel the same about me, but I hope so.
Anyway, the company was interesting and fun, the food was marvelous thanks to Jen and Nowell, our hosts, and the entertainment of the evening consisted of a White Elephant Game in which everyone was supposed to bring an amusing gift from their "what am I supposed to do with this" closet and we all drew numbers to have the chance to select one of the anonymous unknown-gift parcels. Actually, the rules are very complicated....one is allowed to steal someone else's goody when it is revealed rather than selecting one of your own....... then you get to pick one for the person you just stole from. I was inordinately lucky. I drew number 2 and the person with number 1 got the most wonderful poster showing an incredible portrait of a cat from a Chinese Art Exhibit. Since I have absolutely no wall space left due to my having knocked out most of my walls and installed windows therein and covered every remaining inch of actual wall with art of one kind or another, I needed another thing to hang on my walls like another hole in the head.......oh, shit, it WOULD be a CAT.......naturally, Lois, the Cat Lady of Califa Street and The Acquirer of Random Objects d' Art never lets that stop her so I seized the poster as my own and hid it secretively hoping no one else would covet it. I am not sure if it is a good or a bad thing that no one did and I got to take it home and stack it on the floor of my art hallway which is already 3 deep in things waiting to be hung, but I will worry about that tomorrow.
Meanwhile I watched anxiously as people selected all around MY offering but no one actually chose it till nearly the end. Finally one of the men picked it up and rent the wrappings asunder and, instead of the giggle I was hoping for, I heard a muttered obscenity and a kind of groan. Oh, dear....just what a silly gift needed.......someone with a faulty sense of humor. "What the hell is this?" he exclaimed holding it at arms length as if it were either infectious, poisonous, explosive or evil smelling. Thank heaven my friend, Julie, saved the day by seizing it and plopping it on her head in the most fetching manner and thereby carried the whole incident off without anyone being maimed. The truth is, it WAS an odd item, but I thought that was the whole idea.....anyway, the story is that on a visit to Turkey about 15 years ago I was in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and came upon a red velvet Fez with a gold tassel about a foot long and, for some reason I have never been able to figure out, felt that I HAD to have it. (dun't esk) When I unpacked my suitcase upon arriving home I uttered the same kind of obscenity as the gift recipient and asked myself, "What in the hell were you thinking???" In 15 years I have not been able to come up with an answer to that question nor any good reason to foist it off on anyone I liked (or even someone I didn't like) so the Fez has lived quietly in my goody closet not knowing that its days were numbered, sort of. (On Death Row for 15 years but out of the rain...not too shabby really) I was even too ashamed to give it to a Thrift Shop but here, it seemed to me was the perfect opportunity...........well, I never said my judgment was impeccable, but this was indeed a goof of magnificent proportions. However, Julie took it home happily and claimed she loved it so I guess the story had a happy ending after all........Fez welcomed into a new home and Goody Closet with a vacancy and the most embarrassing item removed from my sight. I guess you might call it a win win situation and something of a miracle besides.
Well, that takes care of my social life for the next week so perhaps I will be able to blog away to everyone's delight and satisfaction.......no guarantees, but, then, life doesn't offer many of those, does it?
The New Yorker covers: July 7 & 13, 2008
8 hours ago