Sonnet to Johnny Depp

Español: Johnny-depp

Image via Wikipedia

Shall I compare thee to Gerard Butler?
Thou art more yummy and more versatile;
Harsh critics pan Gerard’s roles more and more,
And high profits elude him still a while.

Sometimes too weird the star of Brad Pitt shines,
And steady has his skin’s complexion dimmed,
And sexiness does all too soon decline,
Especially when beards remain untrimmed.

But thy eternal fresh face does not fade,
Which frankly freaks me out a little bit,
No wrinkles do thy perfect face invade,
nor senility cloud thy clever wit.

So long as movies play for eyes to see,
So long my ticket stubs belong to thee.

Little blind girl and the magician’s apprentice

CC Image courtesy of nuanc on Flickr

Once upon a time, a friend of mine took a course in magic tricks, and she liked to practice on me.  Magic, it transpires, is an extremely visual art, and the practice sessions could get a little interesting–for instance:

Friend:  Pick a card, any card.  (Little Blind Girl picks a card.) Don’t show me what it is.  Turn it over.  Now put it back in the deck.  (LBG puts card back in deck, friend shuffles enthusiastically.)  Now!  (Friend turns over top card on deck)  Is this your card?

Little Blind Girl:  I don’t know.  Is it?

Friend:  (stares at card, then at LBG.)  I have no idea.  Didn’t you look when you turned it over?

LBG:  Sure.

Friend:  So what did you see?

LBG:  A blurry white piece of paper.

Friend:  (pause)  OK.  Um.  Next on the list is…never mind.

LBG:  What?

Friend:  Three card monte.

LBG:  Huh.  Yeah, talk about guessing blind.

Friend:  You know, when I make jokes like that, you hit me.

LBG:  I’m spirited.

Friend:  You’re a nutcase.

LBG:  What’s next?

Friend:  Let’s see.  (consults lesson) I’m going to make a card vanish.  I’m taking a card from the deck, no particular card, nothing special about it.  I’ll put it here on this table in front of me, pass my hands over without touching the card, and over again–and it’s gone!

LBG:  Gone from where?

Friend:  The table!

LBG:  Is it?

Friend:  You know, you take all the fun out of misdirection.

I’m pretty sure I was not the reason my friend gave up on her dreams of a career in magic. I think she’s an accountant now.  So, you know, making good use of the lessons in misdirection after all.  Still, I’ll always be curious about what would have happened if we had gotten to the trick about sawing a lady in half.  I really think I would have noticed that one.

The results of fashion hubris

Where'd I Leave My Sunglasses

CC Image courtesy of Thomas Hawk on Flickr

This is what happens when blind girls try to be cool:

I recently went on a second date with a guy, my first second date in quite a while.  He’s tall, and I picture him as dark and handsome, and he has a great voice, so all is well thus far.  He asked where I wanted to go, and I said “Anywhere where I can wear flats,” so he took me to a meditation seminar.  Promisinger and promisinger.  Then, after the meditation seminar, we went out for extremely unhealthy food and mocked the seminar presenter mercilessly.  Could it get any better?  Yes, yes it could.

He dropped me off–at my door, after leading me up the steps because he knows I’m legally blind (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I walk those steps every day of my life and could walk them if I were completely blind).  It wasn’t until then, at the end of the date, that I realized that I was actually wearing two different kinds of shoes!  And I’d been going on and on about what a relief it was to wear flats!  All afternoon!  I tempted the wrath of the fashion gods with my hubristic desire for comfort, and this was the result.

I exclaimed in dismay.  He, bless him, laughed and said…well, on second thought, I’m not going to tell you what he said.  Or what he did, because this isn’t that kind of blog.  But it made up for the blind equivalent of realizing I had spinach on my teeth all evening.  And there will be a third date because, let me tell you, he’s looking very good to me right now.

Operation Black Friday

So we’ve all seen the headlines about what may have been the craziest Black Friday in history:  pepper spray, smash-and-grab, bloody fights with shoplifters.  Now, of course, it would be nice if we could all be civilized and remember that wanting to buy a crate of X-box consoles is not really provocation for physical violence, no matter how good the price. But this is America, and that’s a bit pie in the sky, isn’t it?  So I have a different idea:  instead of trying to fight it, just go with it.

Hear me out:  we’ve already got a really cool spec-ops name for it:  Operation Black Friday.  Stores will coordinate the exact opening times for the front doors, perhaps using those cool head-set thingies to communicate about the anticipated onslaught and their sales associates’ readiness capacity.  They’ll go to radio silence just before midnight, and the store managers will be doing those hand-signal things to the associate managers to direct them on the field.  Shoppers will come prepared for battle, wearing night-vision goggles looted during a previous Black Friday (spoils of war?) and decked out in protective gear.  I’d recommend stopping short of using tasers, as has been suggested, but again–this is America.

We could have training classes leading up to it, covering tactics, hand-to-hand combat, and comparison shopping under siege.  What a great form of exercise, and with self-defense built right in!  We would truly be the most feared nation on earth; imagine attackers plotting against us, spying and doing recon, and then reporting back to their leaders that all Americans over the age of sixteen know how to render an assailant unconscious using only a USB cable and a value pack of men’s underwear.  We’d be the new Sparta!  Those who are left at home would tell the valiant warriors, “Come back with Modern Warfare 3 or on it!”

I think this could be a turning point in our history.  Black Friday is not for the faint of heart.  Navy SEALS are taxed to their limits.  We’ve got untapped potential, here, people.  Let’s not waste it.

Mea culpa, with cartoons

Now that I’ve started blogging, I think I’m starting to understand what high school was like for my friends.  Because I was legally blind back in high school, too, I couldn’t see all the hideous changes everyone’s bodies were going through.  I couldn’t tell that my lab partner had big ears or that the head cheerleader’s hair was frizzy that day or that the President of the student body had gorgeous eyes.  I could tell a few things about myself, but I’m grateful to have been spared the gorier details.  My friends, though, would obsess over every little thing:  is that a zit?  My jeans are too short.  What is going on with her hair?  Do you think he likes me?  I wanted to slap them, but I loved them, so I didn’t.  I just told them they were wonderful, because they were.

I did laugh at my guy friends when their voices started to change, though, ’cause when you’ve got super-sensitive hearing, that sh*t’s hilarious.

Now that I’ve been blogging for a few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with my stats.  How many people have visited my site?  How many comments do I have?  Why hasn’t anyone “liked” this post?  Should I leave a comment on this other blog?  Are my posts too long?  I seriously want to slap myself.  I’ve been in the game less than a month, and I’m feeling unpopular because I don’t have as many hits as other blogs that have been going for over a year.  Like I shouldn’t be massively flattered that total strangers have visited, “liked” what they saw, and left comments, especially once I see how awesome their sites are compared to mine.  The popular kids “like” me!  It’s a quantifiable fact.

But then there’s the dark side of blogging: the seduction of commenting in anonymity.  I’ve gotten nothing but cheers and support in my comments, which makes me think either my blog attracts really cool people or I’m not posting about anything very interesting.  No reason it can’t be both, I guess.  On some of the blogs I visit, though, there can be some really vicious comments, ones that I didn’t think people would have made face to face until I remembered high school.  There was nothing wrong with my hearing back then, and I remember being shocked by some of the things that would come out of people’s mouths, just like I’m appalled by some of the comments I read on other blogs.  I would self-righteously prim up my mouth, scroll down, and congratulate myself on not being like that.

Until I left one of those comments.

I’m not going to go into the details.  I recently left a comment on a blog I follow that was substantially less than positive.  To my utter horror, the blogger responded and had clearly been hurt by what I had to say.  Dismay!  Consternation!  My new-found blogging power has Gone To My Head!  I promptly responded with a Public Groveling and timidly extended the Olive Branch Of Recommenting, which the blogger graciously accepted.

So I’m wondering at this point if I’ve turned into those people I avoided in high school, who said the nasty things and didn’t have the wonderful friends?  If I have, please find some way to slap me.  I don’t give a rat’s hind quarters if my ears are too big or my jeans are too short, or even if my posts are too long, but I’m not in this to hurt anyone.  Mock with abandon, yes, but not just tee off and be nasty.  With election issues heating up lately, I think the news media has pretty much got that covered.  I’ll leave it to the professionals.

Thanksgiving: definitely my favorite holiday

I think it’s about the coolest thing I’ve ever heard that we have a national day of thanksgiving.  I also think it’s about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen that visual aids have advanced enough that I can now read all of these blogs and write my own.  I’m grateful for all the random readers who’ve left comments or liked my posts.  I’m grateful that I can then go and read their blogs and comment, or respond to their comments here, and have dialogues with people all around the country.  It’s amazing to me, and such a gift.  And I’m grateful for all the people who read my blog because they know me and love me, and who patiently read through all the posts because they know how much fun I have writing them.  Thanks to all of you.  You’re the best things in my life.

I can’t think of a better way to illustrate how this holiday brings people together and to show what I’m grateful for right now than to link to the blog that got me thinking I could write a blog.  It’s written by an Australian who lives in California, who presumably did not grow up fighting about who got to wear the Indian (sorry, Native American) costume and who had to be a Pilgrim.  Still, he takes the day to say thank you and to tell us what an awesome country we have.    How would I ever have even known he said that without all these blogs we keep?  Check him out, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Adopt a Little Blind Girl

Free to good home:  one Little Blind Girl, lightly used.  This rare and exotic breed is known for its endearing clutziness, comically mis-matched clothing, and inconveniently good hearing.  This particular Little Blind Girl is fully housebroken and ready for show.  Her skills include running in four-inch heels, applying makeup with her eyes closed, and finding creative ways to reach the highest shelf.  As with most Little Blind Girls, her diet consists primarily of raw foods, though this specimen has mastered the art of boiling an egg and has demonstrated prodigious skills with the microwave.

Prospective owners must demonstrate their ability to care for a Little Blind Girl, including extensive first-aid skills and the ability to get condiment stains out of dry-clean only clothing.  All applicants must show proof of ownership of a high-end stereo system and be trained to handle the occasional tantrum when the Little Blind Girl gets a new toy but can’t read the assembly instructions written in 6-point font.

Little Blind Girls are well-known for their easy-going attitudes regarding what channel of television to watch, though they can develop attachments to certain actors if seen before their vision problems set in.  This Little Blind Girl will insist on watching anything with Johnny Depp.  Should a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon come on the air, do not attempt to get between the Little Blind Girl and the screen unless properly attired in protective gear.  Simply supply her with popcorn and Milk Duds, check on her at commercial breaks, and wait for the marathon to end, at which point the Little Blind Girl will resume her normal behavior patterns.  She is very loving and affectionate and would be a good addition to any home.  Except one with small children, which she will not see and may possibly step on.  Please leave a comment if interested.

Little blind girl vs. the smoke detectors

Remember when I posted about my apartment?  I mentioned in that post that my apartment has cathedral ceilings: it makes changing bulbs for the recessed lighting a little tricky, but I manage.  So what do I come to find out but that the smoke detectors, which are my, the tenant’s, responsibility to maintain, are located right up there next to the ceiling!  Two of them!  One of them cunningly located at the very highest point of my ever-rising sloping wall!  Good joke, Management, very funny.  And I find this out when?  When they start going off and won’t stop because the batteries are running low, of course.

Now, I want to be clear about this:  little blind girls and ladders do not mix.  I can about manage a stepladder to reach the cabinet that some genius put right above the refrigerator (really? really?), but anything more and the world gets so fuzzy that I might as well be standing in a cloud, one step away from falling thousands of feet to a gruesome and very messy end.  So the smoke detectors were beeping and I ascertained that there was, in fact, no fire, no smoke, no alarm test, no nothing, definitely low batteries, and it was, naturally, Friday evening, right after Management packed up and left for the weekend.

It being Friday evening, I’d stopped for supplies on the way home, and by supplies I mean beer.  So I broke into the supplies and paced back and forth, sucking down the beer and trying to locate the smoke detectors which, until that evening, I had never thought to look for.  Having found them, and upon realizing I had no way to reach them, I assessed the situation, chugged the rest of the beer and started immediately upon another.  And here we come upon one of the magical properties of beer:  it can help you out of seemingly impossible situations.   As I slumped on the kitchen floor, clutching my bottle, both smoke detectors going full blast, an idea came to me.  Yes!  This will work!  There is nothing at all wrong with this idea!  Beer, you’re the best.

My fabulous plan entailed me, all 105 legally blind pounds of me, pushing my 5-drawer bureau across my apartment, over to my hallway, and using my stepladder to climb on top of it to reach the first smoke detector.  I then, and this is where it gets good, pushed the bureau back across the apartment over to my built-in wardrobe, put a small stool on the bureau, and used my stepladder to climb onto the bureau, then onto the stool, then onto the top of my wardrobe, from which I could just reach the highest smoke detector situated twenty feet above the floor.  There is no way I could have done this sober.  I distinctly remember the stool wobbling on my way down.  But I did it and I climbed back down, stumbled over to the couch and collapsed.  And had another beer.

The adrenaline has long since worn off by now, as has the alcohol.  But I still have my bureau wedged in between my bed and the wardrobe, and I can’t get it out because a) it’s at a really bad angle and 2) I weigh 105 pounds!  What was I thinking?  It may just have to stay that way for a while.  On the upside, I’ll be ready to go the next time the batteries in my smoke detector run low.

Why little blind girls don’t travel much

A CTA Brown Line train leaving the Madison/Wab...

Image via Wikipedia

With the holidays coming up, my friends are all talking about their travel plans.  Me, I’m staying put for various reasons, but I keep thinking about the time I wanted to see my father for his sixtieth birthday.  Now, I don’t drive, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, and I live in a fairly rural area without mass transit or a train station.  My father lives a couple of hours away near a Major Metropolis, too far away for a taxi.  So what is a little blind girl to do?

Well, hey, there’s this bus that runs from our town to a neighboring town that has a train station.  Would I be able to take this bus to that town and catch a train to somewhere near my dad?  From what I heard, the train only hit that town about once a month.  I’d have better luck riding there on a cow.  Plenty of those around.  But wait!  The train was leaving in the middle of the afternoon on the actual day my father turned sixty; perfect!  So I’ve got it all planned out:  taxi ride to the bus stop, bus to the train station, train to Major Metropolis, mass transit to a stop near my father’s house, and then my stepmother can pick me up and give me a 5-minute ride to surprise my father for his birthday.  And it will only take four hours!  That’s only twice the amount of time it would take to get there if I could drive!  It’s the little things in life.

Now, I really should have seen this next part coming.  The day came; I took off work and was waiting for the train, for which I had already purchased a ticket.  Clutching said ticket and two forms of identification, I waited, waited, waited…checked on the train status…the train was expected to be an hour late.  Sigh, call stepmother, let her know.  I waited, waited, waited…checked on the train status again…the train was expected to be three hours late.  Panic, call stepmother, eat lots of junk food.  This is what I do when I’m upset.  By rights, I should weigh four hundred pounds.  Finally, three and a half hours late, the train pulled into the station.  I threw myself on board before anyone had a chance to leave me behind, curled up in my seat, and thumped my head softly against the window.  There’s probably a scientific explanation for why that seems to help with stress.  Maybe to give you a physical explanation for the pounding in your head? But I was on my way.

Glitch #2:  Fare cards were required for mass transit.  Crap.  What, seriously?  You don’t take credit cards?  Detour to ATM for cash withdrawal and fare card purchase.  Pounding in head near critical levels.

I arrived at Major Metropolis a mere six hours after leaving home, exhausted, wrinkled, and thoroughly fed up with my fellow human beings, especially the ones in the travel industry.  My stepmother had been delaying dinner and attempting to keep my father from getting suspicious, but even stepmothers can only be so devious.  She snuck out on a pretext, snatched me up, and bundled me back to the house driving at what seemed significantly higher than the speed limit, but I couldn’t be sure because it had gotten dark out by then, despite my having left before noon.

By the time I showed up on my father’s doorstep that night, I’d taken a taxi, a bus, a train, mass transit, and bummed a ride from family.  I felt like I should have thrown in a canoe trip somewhere, just to complete the list.  You know the stress most people get from traveling?  Yeah.  Multiply that by about fifty thousand.  So I rummaged through my bag, pulled out my father’s slightly squashed present, walked through the door, and said “Surprise!” to my darling dad.  And you know what?  He was really surprised and really happy, and it all became worth it right then.  It wasn’t until I smelled dinner that I remembered that I’d only eaten a banana, a muffin, and five pounds of sugar over the course of the day.  In retrospect, maybe not the best diet while traveling.

So remember me when you travel during the holidays, you lucky b*stards.  When you’re in your comfortable cars and planes and going straight from point A to point B, think of me.  And all you guys who have to travel from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles to eventually get to Atlanta, I feel you.  And bring painkillers, because it’s going to start hurting after a while when you’re banging your head against the window.  Oh, and go easy on the sugar.  Trust me on this.