Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Red Alert!

Red is a power color. Most politicians, business people, VIPs walking the red carpet, and the Red Queen know this.

Red is a color of danger. Emergency lights, stop signs, do-not-walk lights, and Satan know this.

And now, researchers at the University of Rochester have concluded a study that finds that men go GAGA over a lady in red. And not only when she is dressed in the color, a picture of a lovely lady framed in a red border apparently also gets the male heart pittering and pattering and opening his wallet to spend lots and lots of money on a date.

Why is this? Well, the researchers surmise that it’s probably related to more primitive biological roots.


You know, humans are related to higher primates, and those primates are really hot for the girls displaying red.

Primates? Red?

Oh. Yeah.

Evolution-wise, humans have given up their monkey ways, but this study points out that -- maybe not so much.

What about gay men? What about color blind men? They weren’t included in the study, so who knows about the primitive urges there.

So, a baboon's bright red butt screams sex. A woman wearing red screams sex.

Alice’s favorite color is blue. She wonders about the screaming there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Morning has Broken

Usually Alice’s sense of smell is the first to awaken in the a.m. Roasted coffee smell. Ummm. Very good. That first cup of coffee? Well It’s just okay, and she is always surprised that the taste is not on par with the smell. But then she does love the smell of freshly mowed grass, and is quite sure that eating a clump of it will not lead her to look for recipes.

Also, they say (you know those vague They people out there who are always saying something) that just smelling coffee is good enough for changing the activity of several genes. Well, okay, this result came from testing rats, but you know.

An interesting odd factoid is that chemical compounds, known as thiols, are found in many things, including coffee. Thiols are also the lovely ingredient in skunk spray. Hmm. Cofee. Skunk spray. Yum.

But Alice’s awakening yesterday morning was not brought about by brewed thiols. It wasn’t her sense of smell that was alert. It was her sense of touch. But there was no cup of java placed into her hands. There were towels. Lots of towels.

An overnight visitor had done something to the bathroom in the middle of the night and an overflowing toilet had drenched the wall-to-wall carpet in the living room. And the owner of the house (TOOTH) had thought it a great idea to take all the towels and throw them on the rug and stomp on them, then take the soaked towels and throw them into the dryer. Step two: repeat the above. Step three: ibidem.

ALICE: But the dryer will take hours to get the towels dry enough and. . .
VISITOR: Don’t worry! This is a good plan.
ALICE: Plan? You call that a plan? We need a professional. Someone who knows how to fix this mess.
TOOTH: You are being very dramatic and it’s really too early for this. What we need is coffee. We’ll take turns stomping on the towels and drying them. It’ll be a useful thing to do. But, actually, I have to go to work so I’ll leave you two to do it.
VISITOR: Well, actually, I have a train to catch this morning so I must beg off.
ALICE: WORK? BEG OFF? Nuh, uh! I’m NOT staying here alone to stomp on towels. Why, it’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever. . .

Alice looked over to the rug and noticed that her footprints were clearly marked in the wet depressions. She noted that she was not flat-footed or high-arched. Which was good.

Thus, by tracking our foot-prints in the sand, we track our own nature in its wayward course, and steal a glance upon it, when it never dreams of being so observed. Such glances always make us wiser.

That’s what Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in a story found in Twice-Told Tales.

“How will I be able to take a shower if ALL the towels are on the floor?”

That’s from wiser Alice .

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Star Struck

No, not the kind that populate the night skies.

And not the kind that congregates in a land far, far, away.

The star that struck the man of the house with the power of incapability is not as jazzy or as razzy as the above.

It can usually be found on the lower left-hand side of an implement that millions use with little or no instruction. Otherwise know as this.

Man of the house (Moth) lives in an apartment building in Washington, DC, which doesn't have a doorman or concierge or even a neighbor who will open the door to visitors. If one decides to stop over for dinner with Moth, one calls on the phone in the foyer, and then Moth has to press "*" and then "9" on his phone in the apartment. A buzzer sounds and the visitor opens the door and is on the way to food, drink, and conviviality.

Except Moth doesn't get it, yet. Though he's lived here for over a year. He can't coordinate the two steps. Sometimes he presses "9" first, then the star symbol. Other times he presses the "pound" key. Just for good measure there are times when he presses "*" then "9" and the "pound" key. It usually ends up that I have to go downstairs and unlock the door. The reason I have to go is because Moth says that since I am only the Visitor of the house (Voth), that chore falls to me.

Moth is not a dull-witted person. Really. He is quite knowledgeable about many things; he gives lectures, he writes, he edits. He. Just. Can't. Or. Won't. Press."*". First.

So his oldest son came to visit. Brilliant man. Thinks, writes, lectures at university. Moth went out to walk the dogs and forgot to take his keys. Again. When he returns, he calls on the phone in the foyer. Oldest son is the only one awake and he answers. Wakes me up because he doesn't know what to do.

"Just press * and then 9."

I doze off.

"It's not working. It's not working! Why the hell is it not working!"

I go downstairs in my pajamas to open the door for Moth and the dogs.

Here's what I think:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Any Road

For a moment, nothing happened.Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

--Douglas Adams

So I read -- again -- that Stephenie Meyer, author of the vampire-centric Twilight series, had had a dream about two people in a meadow murmuring to each other, and then had awakened to type fast, faster, fastest, since she didn't want to forget what she was hearing in her head. Days of hearing the dialogue in her head. Nights of not being able to sleep more than a few hours because like a snooze button on her alarm, words and sentences were beeping every nine minutes or so, and she had to type, type, type.

I had a brilliant idea! I would go to bed early, and fall asleep right away. I would sleep and I would dream. Yes. A plan. That's what I would do. That's what I did. Except it was not early. I did not fall asleep right away. I did not dream. Or maybe I did. *shrugs*

I think the b*tch used hallucina. . . um . . . hallucinati . . . I think she used drugs.

I had a brilliant idea! I would go to the master. You know, Mohammed. Mountain. Etc.

My sister! I would ask her what to take so that I could hear voices in my head speaking in complete sentences with character, plot, rising climax, denouement and all that stuff just waiting for me to process and sit and type, type, type to the nth power.

There was a problem, though. I imagined it would be like this:


: Don't we all.


SIS: Why are you shouting?

ALICE: I NEED . . . drugs. So I can hear the characters in the book I'm going to write murmuring somewhere. Then I can stay up all night typing and in four days I will have a finished and complete book that YOU can read.

SIS: I see. You don't need drugs. You need discipline. You need organization. You need to STOP BOTHERING ME AT WORK. I'm busy. Put down the magazine, get off the email, and WRITE. Do I have to remind you -- again . . .

ALICE: Not about that stupid dog, is it?

: . . . about Marley and Me?

: Maybe I'll write about a vile and wicked sister who is not sympathetic to her sibling's plight!

SIS: That's the spirit! Throw out those ideas! Don't you think that it's nice that you have me in your life as a sounding board?

: I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?

SIS: Stop quoting Douglas Adams.

ALICE: No drugs?

: Not yet.

So, to avoid all that, I'll just not call her. After all, it is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

SIS: Stop quoting Douglas Adams.