Notebook – February 23, 2000
I swear: I don't remember seeing anything on the package about disfiguring injuries or bleeding.
This week started innocently enough, with a meal consisting of
cheeseburger Hot Pockets, chips, and Pepsi. I bit into the second
pocket, and a laser beam of hot cheese flew onto my lower lip. Of
course, I had my hands full (pocket in one hand, Pepsi in the other –
talk about bad timing), so I couldn't immediately grab the glob off my
mouth and throw it away. Just a split second was all it took to cause
horrendous pain and screaming. On second thought, maybe I threw that
pocket on the table instead of dropping it.
It hasn't stopped bleeding since. Well, OK, the bleeding hasn't
been continuous – I probably wouldn't be typing this right now if that
was the case – but I have this rather large, red, circular mark on the
corner of my lower lip that starts to bleed every time I use my mouth.
In case you've never noticed, you use your mouth a lot: talking,
eating, laughing, brushing your teeth, grinning, swearing at the
heavens because you burned your mouth. In other words, this thing is
IRRITATING and FRUSTRATING, in capital letters. Medicine is pretty much
out because the injury is on my mouth and I don't feel like eating
medication right now. So it's a week of pressure via paper towels and
Blistex. I don't really want to talk, so don't call me. And don't even
dare send me a funny e-mail.
So let me get this straight. The multi-millionaire guy turns out
to be kind of a creep, the bride had to sign a pre-nup, the marriage
can be annulled, and both the groom and bride are having problems
handling all of it…and people are SURPRISED?!? What did you expect?
This isn't Jack and Rose in love on the Titanic. MMM (Mr.
Multi-Millionaire) and TMMM (the Temporary Mrs. Multi-Millionaire) met,
kissed passionately, got married, and left for a honeymoon, all in the
span of about 3 minutes.
This wasn't one of those multi-millionaire's you hear about that
advertise for a wife or put the word out that they are looking for a
life long companion. This was a FOX production from the get-go. THEY
picked this guy from a bunch of multi-millionaires (in this case, the
term "multi" is used loosely), checked his background (sort of), and
put on the show. This guy is a publicity hound, period. He's a stand-up
comic, and a quick check on the Internet Movie Database shows he
wrote/starred in a couple of those "Killer Tomato" movies several years
back. As for the bride…what did she think this was all about? What
did she think would happen? Controversy? An annullment? Close scrutiny
by the media? People laughing? That's what she got. Did she do it for
the publicity and prizes, or did she actually think that this
arrangment would work out some how? I can't believe the latter. But
either way, it doesn't make her look good at all.
I bet the other 49 potential brides are breathing sighs of relief.
Notebook – February 14, 2000
What can you say about a weekend that includes the deaths of both Charles Schulz and (confirmed) Samantha Mulder?
I don't care what anyone says: the fact that Charles Schulz passes away
on the eve of his last "Peanuts" strip is not some "gee, isn't that
weird" coincidence. I think there's a direct connection. He often said
that the strip was his life. And now we know he meant that literally. I
guess I'm speaking rather spirtually here, something I don't usually
do. But there's something about the two events happening at the same
He was one of my heroes. Not just because he did something he
enjoyed and was immensely successful at it (though that alone is
inspiring). But he just seemed to live his life right. I think you can
learn a lot about someone from their work, whether it's writing,
painting, or doing a cartoon. Schulz once said in an interview that he
was "just a cartoonist," and never studied philosophy or psychology.
Maybe not, but that fact that "Peanuts" contained so many of these
elements, and not in a preachy, forced way, means that Schulz knew
Yes, he will be missed, but there's something about the timing of his passing that feels so…right. If you know what I mean.
So, Mulder's sister really is dead, and she visits him as a ghost? OK, I'll buy that. The dreamy ghost scenes took some getting used to (The X-Files
usually goes for the creepy or the terror-filled), but it was nice
touch at the end. And, for once, the writers didn't jerk us around.
This really was a sort of closure, and I'm just darn glad that her
disappearance really was alien/government/CSM related, and not some
other explanation sprung on us after so many seasons. Though one
question: did she grow up with Jeffrey Spender in that community? Then
why didn't he mention this to Mulder and Scully?
By the way, I'm officially ready for the winter to be over. I
love the snow and the cold and the feeling in the air. But I get to a
point where I just want it all to be gone, and the ground to be free of
white and the temperature to rise. But it's not an anti-winter thing;
in August I'm sick of the heat and humidity and yearn for the crisp air
of fall, my favorite season. It's probably good that I live in New
England, where different seasons and varied weather are guaranteed.
Things change quickly, and often.
It's still winter, but right now it's almost 50 degrees and
raining. Mulder is at peace. Charles Schulz is gone. Like I said,
Notebook – February 9, 2000
One of these days I'm going to go to the supermarket, and nothing is going to happen.
On my frequent trips to get groceries, I've seen many things: arguments
between an irate customer and the store manager, shoppers eating food
before paying for it, accidents in the parking lot, birds flying around
inside above the soup aisle. And, without fail, something bizarre
always occurs at the checkout: my discount card won't work, the cash
register will malfunction, the power will go out (one time the power
went out and they had to use – and I'm not kidding – hand cranks), or
scary, ignorant people in line behind me or directly in front of me
will buy one apple and pay with a check, or buy 35 cartons of ice cream
and try to go through the express line ("hey, it's all one item!").
Once I even saw a woman burst into flames and explode.
Well, actually, no. But that day is coming, I just know it.
My latest adventure happened in the aisle of chips and mayo
(sounds like a new cop show: "I'm Chips, He's Mayo"). I was pushing my
cart down the aisle, alone except for a gentleman in front of me that
looked like every shady drug dealer on Miami Vice.
He approached me with a bottle of vinegar, filling the air with the
smell of tequila. He pointed to the picture of the bottle.
"Chicken?" he said in a foreign accent. He pointed to the chicken on the plate in the picture.
"Yes," I replied. He pointed again.
"Yes." He pointed a third time.
He then paused dramatically, got a concerned look on his face, and put his hands up in frustration.
"Why?" he asked. I honestly did not know. Was this some sort of existential test he was giving me?
"Um, I don't really use vinegar," was my lame response. He
smiled, and nodded as if he understood my refusal to use vinegar, then
stumbled down the aisle, heading right for another unsuspecting
customer pushing a cart. Perhaps she knew why?
You may have noticed a few new additions to the site. I've added
a weekly poll which will probably turn out to be biweekly. Nothing
important, of course. No political poll questions like: "if you are a
Reagan democrat and a compassionate conservative with Reform Party
agenda, and it's 45 degrees and the economy is good and your
conditioner is working just right, would you be most likely to vote for
McCain or Bush?"
OK, I'm rambling. Here's a new column on New Words For The 21st Century. Maybe we can get them into the next edition of Webster's.