Friday, March 25, 2011

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf 4G

(Note: this was in perfect screenplay format, but you can't do that in HTML without really screwing things up and driving yourself crazy.)

*Four-Letter Word AlertTM The words are original to the movie. Sorry, Mom.


(MARTHA and GEORGE walk into the living room of their small home, Martha smoking a cigarette. She walks over to the wall and turns on the lights, pulling off her coat, which falls to the floor. George picks up the coat. Martha drags on her cigarette.)


"What a dump."

Martha taps George on the arm as he places her coat over the back of a chair.


"Hey what's that from?"

Martha puts on a pseudo-British accent, waving the cigarette in her hand around as she speaks.


"How would I know."

George walks to the kitchen. Martha follows.


"Oh, come on, what's it from? You know."

Martha drags on the cigarette again as she follows George.




"What's it from, for Chrissake?"

George pushes the kitchen door open as Martha continues to follow him.


"What's what from?"


"I just told you. I just did it. (in a pseudo-British accent) What a dump. Huh? What's that from?"

George opens the refrigerator looking for something to eat.


"I haven't the faintest idea."

Martha pushes George's shoulder moving him out of the way.


"Dumb. Dumb."

Martha begins rummaging in the refrigerator.


"Some damn Bette Davis picture of some goddamn Warner Brothers epic."

George removes his suit jacket and hangs it on the back of a chair.


"If you know that much about it, why don't you just Google it?"

Martha closes the refrigerator door and pulls her cell phone from the pocket of her dress.


"Ha, good idea."

Using her thumbs, she types some words into the keypad.


"Beyond the Forest. Look it's on YouTube!"

George and Martha watch the screen of Martha's cell.


"I remember that movie now."


"Oh, crap!"




"I invited that boring couple over for after-party drinks. You know, the math professor and that mousy homefry of his."


"Homefry? You mean the one with no hips?"


"That's the one. "


"He's in biology, not math. I'm too tired for company at this hour. E-mail him at NickD at UES dot edu and tell him the kid has a fever."

Martha giggles.


"Good one! But Nick's new, isn't he? You sure he downloaded the app for the school's e-mail system."


"He was complaining about it at the party. "

Martha thumbs more words into the keypad then sets the phone on the kitchen table and takes a seat. George pours himself a drink and also sits down. Martha puts out her cigarette and then lights another one. The cell intones a single note.


"He says they were thinking of calling it a night, too. Maybe another time."


"Thank God. I'm going to finish this Scotch and turn in."


"Could I have a sip?"



George passes the glass to Martha.

Camera fades to black.

(The End)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'll Cry [Foul] If I Want To: Etiquette and Social Networking

I really don't have time for this, so I'll make it short. (Just so you know, I've learned the hard way that if inspiration crawls in your lap, you'd better give it a cuddle before it reverts to its old aloof self and reconvenes on its duty to shred your curtains. And, yes, I live with cats.)

I'm on spring break which means I'm cleaning the house as if I were expecting an international delegation. After this week, I'll have only one and a half months to get caught up on grading and finish teaching classes in addition to observing tutors and pre-tutors in the Writing Center. Not a lot of time in the scheme of things, so the house must finally, irrevocably, be in order. I've been rewarding myself for getting things done by peeking at Facebook now and then.

The other night I checked out an exchange between two mutual friends, part of a group that hangs out together, as in face-to-face, fairly frequently. There's a reason: we share the same values, political stance, and profession. We're the loathsome liberals everyone should fear, so naturally, we get along well. Somewhere near the end of the conversation I was following between these two friends, someone I don't know posted a statement I all too immediately recognized as Tea Party drivel, part of their tactics to ensure their voice is heard over all others so that it seems they represent the majority (Look it up on, if you don't believe me, or go to one of their sites, if you don't believe Wikipedia. They openly admit it.)

-->Begin slight digression. I get a bit irritated by people who hijack my Facebook wall, no matter the reason. I've had people plan get-togethers I couldn't attend on my wall: "Uh, hello, ever heard of wall-to-wall or e-mail? Because if I can't come, I probably don't want to hear about the fun y'all are going to have without me." I've had friends who fundamentally agree get into arguments over miniscule semantic problems: "Please stop, you're making me sad." I've had others take the topic of conversation into wholly other universes without so much as employing the old Monty Python segue, "And now for something completely different..." with a vaudevillian swing of the elbows from side-to-side. In these cases, I want to ask, "How about posting that on your own status updates? Because you do have your own, you know that, right?"<--End slight digression. But this situation seemed like a hijacking of much more momentous proportions to me, so I commented, "This is what the 'hide,' 'unfriend,' and 'block' features on Facebook are all about." Oh, and I might have said something about censorship being the right of the person who has to read a bunch of crap they don't agree with. (Okay, I was acting a bit of a provocateur myself. I know, you're thinking, "What, Sans? No. Never.") Anyhoo, the Tea Partier then tried to provoke me with some statement along the lines of "You're going to shut me down just because I say something you disagree with instead of engaging me in public debate." Well, he isn't my friend, so I couldn't shut him down. I could, however, ignore him, which is what I did, turning off my computer and turning in for the night. I woke the next day thinking about what had transpired and why this hijack perturbed me more than others I had witnessed (besides the fact the perpetrator was obviously a Tea Party troll).

Not to confuse metaphors, but my Facebook wall is my party--as in a social gathering at my house--not as in a political affiliation. I may have invited you to it; more likely you invited yourself (because I don't often friend people), and I agreed to let you attend. That does not give you the right to get shit-faced drunk, become obnoxious, spill your drink all over my antique furniture (in the form of your political invective), and insult my other friends. If you do that, guess what? I'll ask you to leave because my party is NOT your public forum.

As a matter of fact, I find this whole idea of "just engaging in public debate" disingenuous. When people say that what they really mean is "Here, come closer so I can beat you over the head with my opinion, which I stupidly believe will end in your total agreement with everything I say because my rhetorical prowess is just that good." Uh, no, actually, it isn't. And, besides, we all know I'll agree with you when pigs sprout wings and start offering private international flights at incredibly reduced rates.

The only way this is really going to end is with the cops being called. So why bother going there? If you disagree with something someone says at my, or anyone else's party, why not try to be polite to your host and avoid getting embroiled in a pointless argument that's just going to spoil the mood and break the party up?

If you want to "engage in public debate" either run for office or have a party at your house, on your wall, and I promise I won't attend.

BTW, all comments are moderated because it's my party and I'll moderate it if I want to.

Photo courtesy GarryKnight via Flickr

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crown of Thorns

People around the Interwebz (okay, I exaggerate--this sentence should start, "My Facebook friends"--we haven't made it to LOLCats yet) are squeeing about the thing pictured to the left and calling it "cute."

I call it two things: "Lucky To Be Alive" and "Evil Incarnate."

It's lucky to be alive (technically "it" is a "he," but I'm mad at it right now and refuse to personify it with any dignity) because it chewed three quarters of the way through the power cord of the very netbook I'm typing on right now. Even if the netbook is unplugged, the power cord is ALWAYS plugged in, so I know that must have been quite a shock. I only wish I had been here to witness the ensuing melee because it would have been payback for all the traumas inflicted upon me by this creature everyone calls "cute."

That's just one of the many things its done to risk its life and my sanity, but I'm posting today to discuss its alter ego: Evil Incarnate.

Evil has lots of old tricks--biting my hand when I pick it up, biting my shoulder when I pick it up, biting my toes if they dare peak out of the bed covers. And when I say "bite," I'm not talking about a little love nip, like the kind our other cat occasionally gives. No, I'm talking "this-cat-had-better-have-a-rabies-shot-every-year-or-there's-going-to-be-trouble" biting. It draws blood, in other words. Every time. It's serious about something; I just wish I knew what. I mean, really, what has it got against my toes? Not to mention the fact that I now, unexpectedly, have to buy a new power cord for my netbook, after dropping a huge dime on a digital SLR camera and starter lens.

Evil now has a new trick. Every night I go to bed, Evil creeps up and wraps itself around my head so that its front paws are touching my right ear and, its back paws, my left (I'm a back sleeper). This kitty crown would be convenient because it certainly keeps me warm. There's only one problem: I'm slightly allergic to cats. Having one that close to my nose means I'm going to become congested which, in turn, means that I will need to play a little of what I call "nostril tag."

Begin Tangent--->I can't take pseudoephedrine because I have generalized anxiety disorder, and I don't need to be taking anything that will make me feel the least bit weird. So, I've developed a number of techniques to deal with congestion that don't require medication. "Nostril Tag" is one of them. You know how when your right nostril gets stopped up, you can turn over onto your left side and get a little relief from the congestion until it settles into your left nostril, and then you can turn over on your right side to repeat the process? If you didn't, at least you do now. I have another tricking for relieving congestion altogether, but this tangent is going long, and, BTW, it does not involve acupressure, so if you want to know the technique, leave a comment.)<----End Tangent

Anyhoo, this nighttime tiara of mine induces my allergies, so I need to deploy "Operation Nostril Tag." Except for one problem. Every time I try to turn over, my crown of Evil bites the shit out of my right ear, digs its front claws into my head, and does the bunny hop on my skull with its back claws. If you find that cute, I suggest you Google "BDSM" and "furries" because you're clearly into something I'm not. (And yes, that is my flagrant, and by now generic, attempt at pushing this URL up in the Google rankings; I had to find a way to work it in somehow).

So it looks like Evil will be sleeping alone from now on because, while I've always wanted to be queen, I'm not selling my soul or enduring everlasting punishment for it.