Back to General Silliness…

My husband, the Dear Mr. Demonic, went out of town yesterday. I think he’ll be back today. He’d better be back before the symphony tonight, as we have a date.

I use the opportunity for an empty house to do things I don’t usually do. You know what they say… “when the cat’s away, the mice will play…” Well, I’m guilty as charged.

I used to do crazy stuff while he was away, like paint the bathroom or buy unfinished furniture and finish it. I don’t mind painting small bathrooms, and I really needed that little cupboard that I stained cherry to match my kitchen table. Ah, but that was years ago. My current take on the painting situation is that they have professionals that can do that, and much quicker too. As I get older, I find that I “need” less junk. I used that cupboard to store linens, and now I have decided to give my tablecloths and place mats to the Goodwill. The cupboard followed suit.

My initial plan last night was to knock off a couple thousand words on my novel. I really want to get to the end so I can start editing in earnest. Oh, but how plans can get waylaid…

First, my daughter, the Ms. MiniD, called from California. This call was nice; bubbly, full of news. She was positive, for a change. Of course, she was positive that she needed money, which was one of the purposes of the call. (The major purpose, if you want my opinion.) But it was not all “Mommmmeeeee, I love you Mommy!” which is normally how a call begins if she wants something. (Oh, she wanted banana bread too. I guess that chocolate zucchini cake didn’t sit well with her, although her roommates chowed it down.)

Ms. MiniD also thanked me profusely for sending her David Beckham poster. It’s a monster of a poster from Pottery Barn Teens, and she loves the Becks (or whatever they call him). Then she went into a long launching of how she needs to get a job, and how she hasn’t filled up the gas tank in her car since I left there three weeks ago. I was amazed at her resolve to let her tank go down to fumes before filling up again. Luckily, in California, there is no hint of hurricanes, so their gas prices will stay the same – high. Ours has already gone up 30 cents in anticipation of a storm that hasn’t arrived yet, and we live in the freakin’ Tundra!

I didn’t want to cut my daughter short. After all, I don’t get many happy phone calls from her, so I let her talk about her roommates, her classes, the food at the school, etc. This was a nice bonding experience, but the call cut into my precious computer time.

After the phone call, I got up to stretch my legs and get a glass of wine, when POW! the muscle in my neck (on the right side) spasmed. I had been fearing this happening for a while. It’s happened before, and I can tell when it will happen again. I have to blame my current condition on carrying a huge purse. My doctor says I should stay away from heavy purses, and usually I do. I started carrying this massive tote on my trip to the Left Coast four weeks ago, you know, to have everything handy just in case. After I got home, I neglected to change purses.

Wine and Advil go great together, but the pain was too intense for a long sit-down with the computer. I managed to write a book review that I needed to get out, and that was it. The situation called for another glass of wine, a ThermaCare wrap, and digging the heating pad out of the junk drawer. After a night of sleeping with a rolled up hand towel under my neck, I feel a little better. Not much, but a little.

As for the general silliness, my internet ex-boyfriend (MIB) and still-friend and I participated in some real whacko nuttiness on the instant message the other day. Our conversation took a turn to the weird and funky. We decided to collaborate on a sci-fi fantasy novel set in space. As he is the bona fide scientist, he will provide expertise on the technical aspects, and I will concentrate on the interpersonal. The funny thing is that we live thousands of miles apart and have never met. We plan on never meeting until after the book is published. Maybe not even then.

Two Very Interesting But Time Wasting Applications on Facebook

OK, I admit I am old. I can remember when there were no answering machines, much less cell phones with voice mail, and when only rich people had color TV. I remember when my dad brought the first microwave oven home back in the early 1970s, and when you could easily buy a damned good car for $160. (That’s what I spent on my first one.) If I stretch my memory, I could probably tell you about when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. That was back when it was flat.

But, I’m not that old. One “with-it” thing I did in the last couple of years was to get on Facebook, once they cleared a path through the coeds and college guys. But, no, I didn’t join on my own. I don’t think I could have figured it out.

My son invited me, okay?

At first it was just to keep up with him and his buds at school. Then my daughter joined, and of course I had to spy on her, too. Well, those of you who know me well, know that she got herself into quite a mess over on MySpace when she was 15. I’d rather not delve into the grisly details, but let’s just say she was a bit precocious for her age. A-hem…

Then, of course, some of my online pals joined and it was a party of sorts. A party where I would swoop in but only occasionally and chit chat as I was checking in on the kidlets.

It wasn’t long before MIB (my internet boyfriend) began to invite me to partake of some Facebook games. He’s big into the Knighthood thing, and he spends a lot of time on it as himself and his alter ego. (I’m not sure how that works. I tried having an alter once, but it got to be too confusing for me. Every once in a while, I’ll slip into that personality, but I there is no way I can be both at once.) One of our other mutual friends hangs out there a lot as well.

I couldn’t get Knighthood, but I kick ass at Scrabble. Facebook had a “Scrabulous” game, very much like Scrabble. In fact, they ripped it off so well, that Hasbro had a fit and commenced to sue. Facebook unceremoniously dismantled Scrabulous, without a so much as a head’s up. I was right in the middle of a great game, beating my son, soundly I might add.

In wake of the demise of Scrabulous, I was turned onto a couple of other games. It was slow go at first, but now I can see that if I don’t stop myself soon, I’ll be ready for an intervention, rehab and a 12-step program.

One of the games is PathWords, which is Scrabble on Adderall. I was terrible at it at first, because successful playing requires good peripheral eyesight and a fast draw on the mouse. My eyesight is, well, failing. I have two sets of bifocals, one for reading and the other for computer work/violin. It took a while before I could get used to seeing the entire board instead of concentrating on one word or area. As for the fast draw, I’m pretty quick with a traditional mouse, but slow down with the laptop. I also play (sometimes) while working, and have had to minimize the screen when taking important phone calls. I’m still in the game when I do that, but my score suffers.

The other game is one my son turned me onto. It’s called Kanji Box. For people who know me, they know I am learning Japanese. Sort of. Kanji Box is helpful with the characters, but it has no sounds, which makes relating one symbol to a word rather difficult. Sure you can print out the Kanjis for study, but I find I learn better in the altogether. Kanji Box is a quick drill of assorted Kanji symbols. You have to get 40% to move up. I started at the Grasshopper stage and at 30% I’m still there. Last night, I vowed to get 40%, so I sat online for two hours trying to achieve that. No such luck. The Kanjis are so difficult (like righteous and parliament), I’m wondering if native Japanese even know the terms.

Just think. I used to be addicted to Bejeweled.

Those were the good old days.

An Entirely Strange Dream

Last night was the first time in seventy-two hours that I finally got a decent night’s sleep. I’ve had other things on my mind, including payroll, cabling my house and getting the phone back (a long sad story that ends with the sentence “And that’s why I HATE AT&T!), a power outage at work resulting in loss of a server (it’s still down), my kids in California calling me for this item or that, and other deadlines too numerous to outline here. After all of that, I was spent and really wanted to sleep. So, I drank a half bottle of wine last night, something I don’t usually do, and downed a Tylenol PM.

I can report that I slept well.

However, I did have one entirely strange dream, which I’m going to write down here before I forget:

The set up: As some of you know, I had an “Internet Boyfriend.” I say “had” because even though we are still friendly, he’s no longer MIB. He had a summer filled with a lot of activity and took a short break from here, which was fine by me. Our interactions have been very sparse, considering that we used to chat almost every day.

The dream: I dreamt that MIB was in bed with me last night. The weird thing was that my husband was also in bed. I was sandwiched right in the middle of the two. In my dream, I was dead tired (much like I was really) and really wanted to go to sleep. MIB was to my left, dressed from head to toe in a long nightgown. It wasn’t a girly nightgown, but a plain white one. My husband, on the other side of me, was dressed in what he normally goes to bed in – a tee-shirt and his underwear. That’s what I was wearing too.

MIB was turned toward me, and talking the entire night. It was quite annoying, so I turned away from him and toward my husband and started drifting off. My husband was perturbed at the internet boyfriend in the bed, so he turned away and started twitching, pounding his pillow, and generally making a huge commotion. I couldn’t fall asleep because of it.

I tried to sleep on my back, but I’m not much of a back sleeper. Besides, I had MIB on one side of me talking about this and that, and my husband on the other side rolling around in bed like a mini-earthquake.

And so I drifted off to sleep, but it was a dissatisfying type of sleep. It was like sleeping on a train or airplane or in the hospital. You think and hope and pray you will get some rest, but because other things are going on around you, part of your brain is somewhat alert just in case it has to wake the rest of you in the event of a crash, turbulence or a nurse coming to poke you in the ass with a needle.

Unbelievably, my real sleep went fairly well. When my alarm went off at 6 a.m., I got up, turned it off and went back to sleep so quickly, I didn’t even realize I had done it.

I hope I dream something more soothing tonight.

Requiem for An Internet Boyfriend

[sniff sniff]

I’m sad to report that My Internet Boyfriend is no more. I would link you up, but he has taken down his WordPress blog.

The Internet is a wonderful place where you can meet people. They become your friends in Cyber Life, and sometimes if you’re lucky, in Real Life. I am lucky to have made a good friend in MIB.

I wish I could tell you a juicy tale of how we fought and broke up. That’s not the case. I still like MIB. In fact, we email regularly, although not so regularly these days. That’s because it’s summer time and he has obligations. I have obligations. In fact, I am totally amazed that I even have ten minutes of time to devote to this blog. If you saw my plate, you’d know that it was piled over with things to do. I have so much stuff on my plate, I’m not sure what china pattern is under there.

I wish I could tell you that he died. Well, he didn’t die, really. He died an Internet death, which means he has gone to a better place. NO! Really! I myself have committed web suicide. It was from another site that had a bunch of weirdos in it (some of whom are over here… ha ha ha…) and was time sucking. I made a boatload of cash from the place but it was unsatisfying. I planned my G suicide with panache and style. I don’t miss the place though. I’ve gone on to better things.

Anyway, some of you have been asking me what has happened to MIB. He’s around, but he’s not around.

Since he’s not around, I thought I would take this opportunity to detach myself from him. Only online though.

Now that I’m single again, I think I will take the time to mourn my loss. If any of you would like to add any words of encouragement, please feel free to do so. Or, if you would like to leave a touching eulogy for My Internet Boyfriend, I’m sure he would appreciate your sentiment. Perhaps someone can tape themselves singing “Oh Canada!” and post it here. (Oh. I think I did that before.)

Rest In Peace, Internet Boyfriend.

Ramblings of a Frustrated Matchmaker

Many things have been running through my head in the last few days. This is no different from any other grouping of days, but I thought I would begin this post in this way. I’ve been a deep thinker ever since I can remember, and I can remember back when I was two.

I’ve been thinking of my internet boyfriend, who isn’t a real boyfriend. He’s a boy and a friend, but not a “boyfriend.” There’s no lust involved. If truth be told, I believe him to be a MAN and a friend, but MANfriend sounds a bit unwieldy. I like boyfriend. Which is neither here nor there, because sometimes he thinks he’s a robot. Sometimes he thinks he is other things as well. This amusing bit of chameleon-ness is rather endearing.

Anyway, MIB has a lot on his mind these days, and a lot on his plate (figuratively, not literally) so his attention has been elsewhere. This is okay by me. The lull in silly banter has provided me with an opportunity to add a couple thousand words to my novel. (I’m not a painfully slow writer; I just don’t have eight consecutive hours to write, so I write when I have a half hour or more.)

Another person I know here is a delightfully wonderful person known as David Rochester. I met him on another web site last year, and was immediately drawn into his circle of net-groupies. He writes beautifully, and his mini-essays about himself are told wryly. Usually, I laugh, but it’s not because I’m laughing at him. His posts are told from a point of view that’s both real and humorous. I like him, but he’s not my internet boyfriend. He’s very self-effacing, which I don’t think is deserved. My opinion, of course. Anyone with a mind and heart like his doesn’t need a princely outer covering.

At one point, I think I told him if I were his age and unattached I think I might have to pursue him. This was before I really knew anything about him, except that he writes like an angel. I have since amended that thought. I would have had to have gotten my hooks into him in elementary school for me to be effective.

Then there is my friend, Wanda. She is crushing on Orlando Bloom big time. She’s been following him for months, if not years, for her 15 minutes or 36 seconds of audience with the Great One. Why, I’m not sure. Oh, yes, he’s attractive enough, in a fey sort of way. He doesn’t do anything for me, of course. (Give me Richard Gere any day.) The absolutely horrible thing is that guy seems to be snubbing her. And after she started a mini-web riot with her fan clubs of him. You’d think Orly would give her a call; after all, they’re hanging in the same ‘hood.

The reason for this rambling rose of a post is that I wish I could do something for David and Wanda. (MIB needs no help, and neither do I.) I’ve had some experience as a matchmaker, too. I’d like to place an ad on Craigslist for David, and screen the applicants very carefully. Probably none of them will work out for him, but it would be great entertainment for me. For Wanda, I’d like to put up a billboard in her city. “Dear Orlando Bloom, please see me at http://www.wandarizzuto.com.” If that doesn’t get his attention, I don’t know what will.

Okay, that’s enough ramblings. Back to work now.

Feeling the Love, or Not: A Retrospective

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I should explore that little known emotion known as “love.” What is “love” and why does it persist in this day and age? I mean, to hear some people talk, you’d think Armageddon was just around the bend with the wars and environmental concerns. Plus, socially speaking, I think we’re right where they were just before Rome fell.

Well, I can tell you from personal experience that I still don’t know, and I’ve been testing the waters for years and years now. Either I’m really, really slow, or there are no easy answers.

The first Object of My Attention was probably my father. Dads make excellent O-M-A, especially for small impressionable girls. After that came blond-headed Bradley, a kindergarten cohort. Alas, we said our goodbyes after my father, or the O-M-A #1, was transferred to the south. It was teary. I still remember waving to him, until his little pudgy form was nothing but a speck on the landscape. The years between first grade and fourth grade were pretty much bleak in the Land of Love. Besides, boys had cooties, and I didn’t want to get any.

In fourth grade, my dad got transferred yet again. In my new school, I was known as a brain, and was lumped together with the brainiest boy in my class for many a school project. Fourth grade was the year I was first married, to O-M-A #3, David Parkhill. Our friends rounded us up during recess and performed the ceremony in the school yard. Just for the record, David was not unwilling. We enjoyed a brief honeymoon in the school cafeteria, sharing a dessert bowl of pitted stewed cherries. Ah, those were the days.

After that year, once again, I was sent to another school, this one in the same city, but Catholic, so my circle of friends changed. Catholic school boys are terminally ugly and not very interesting. So, between fifth and seventh grades, when I finally got myself expelled from Catholic school, I had no O-M-A.

Middle school brings on hormonal changes, and I wish that someone had warned me. Since I had no O-M-A, I made up one. It was some kid in church who I didn’t know. I started staring at him. I stared holes into the back of his head, and he subconsciously brushed his neck several times during Mass each Sunday. I pined for the kid, even though for all I know he could have had a voice like a Smurf and he could have smelled like bologna and sweat socks. It didn’t matter to me. I had love, and I needed to direct it somewhere, anywhere.

During high school, I didn’t date anyone in my grade. I dated guys younger than me, and guys older than me, but for some reason, the ones in my general age group seemed, well, like they had cooties. If I could link you up to my high school year book, you’d know what I mean. (I could link you up since it’s posted online, but then most of you would figure out who I really am.) Also, during my senior year in high school, I hatched a plot to make good my escape from my parents. This was done by marrying the first guy I could snag. I was pretty good at that, because it didn’t take me long. Not that I think that’s a good idea, and I wouldn’t recommend lassoing a man to the altar to the young women out there.

My first husband was a Very-Temporary-Object-of-My-Attention, as I was enamored of him for eight brief months. Finally free from my parents, I then found I had to be free from HIM. He was no prize. Extricating myself from him was far easier than escaping from the parents.

After that, I had many, many loves, or what I considered to be loves back then. Now that I’m older, I realize that all of them were “lusts.” I didn’t love any of them. If I did love them, it was only momentary. But it was the 70s, and I think there was a lot of that behavior going on, it wasn’t just me. I was engaged a total of four times. The second time was BRIEF (thank God!), and the third time was LONG (thank God!). I didn’t marry either of those guys (thank God!). My fourth engagement was to my current husband, who I think is the love of my life. We call him my Final-Object-of-My-Affection, or THE END. I’ve said this many times, but if anything happens to him, that’s it. The End. I will not have any more O-M-As because I’m totally tapped out when it comes to doing that again.

F-O-M-A, or Mr. Demonic, has been sick the last two and a half weeks. He tends to contract bronchitis and strep quicker than anyone I know. While he was sick and whining (I mean, suffering), he was not feeling the love at all. Then this week, I became sick (could it have been all of his germiness?), so I was not feeling the love. Now that both of us are properly medicated, today is the first time in a long time that we’ve simultaneously felt the love. I believe one or both of us may “get lucky” tonight. And he doesn’t even have to take me out to dinner to accomplish that!

Of course, in there I have My Internet Boyfriend, but that’s a completely different kind of love. And the love of my friends and children. All of these loves fill in the gaps of F-O-M-A.

Come to think of it, as long as I have somewhere to direct it, I’ll always have the love.

Tied Together Forever By Subway’s BMT

Today, MIB (my internet boyfriend) sent me a short email on the things he was doing today. It was quite newsy and very fun. I like reading about his day, although he probably thinks relating his comings and goings as pretty mundane and ordinary.

MIB told me that he went out to lunch with another lady friend of his. They went to Subway, and had a very nice discussion while enjoying their sandwiches.

I wrote back to comment on some of his email. One thing I really wanted to know was what kind of Subway sandwich he chose. I don’t know why that was important. I personally love Subway, but I usually get the same thing every time, even though there are many delightful combinations there. I always get the BMT on wheat bread, just because it’s a combination of tastes that I really love. (Also, I get lots of veggies on it, because they’ve usually got the crunchiest veggies around.)

I was somewhat surprised when he wrote back to tell me that was exactly the sandwich he had! I mean, I had hoped we shared the same sandwich tastes. We seem to share the same opinions on many things.

Now I feel like we are almost as one. Well, as one as a person can be from over 2,000 miles away.

I’ll forever look at the BMT with renewed love and devotion. Ah….