Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To Write or Not to Write

How much ego does one have to have to write about themselves?  I never thought of myself as necessarily egomaniacal, but on the other hand sometimes I think I'm pretty cool.  I'm not sure that means I have a big ego though because just when I start to think "yeah I'm alright," I get a big case of self conscious or someone knocks me back to reality.  It could be anyone, it could be on purpose, it could be completely accidental.  And whenever it happens, I think of something my dad said to me once.  I went to my parents house after work that day.   I felt like a million bucks.  I loved my outfit, I loved my hair, I felt so good and it showed.  When I was leaving work that day and walking to my car a man stopped me and said, "excuse me, but are you a model?"  And I thought I already felt good!   Validated.  It was fantastic.  Then I got to my parents house and, still reveling in how good I felt I told them what the man said to me.  My dad's response, in complete seriousness was, "Was he blind?"  That's all it took to undo the good feeling I had all day.

Three words.  That's all it took.   It happens fast, that trip from the top of the world to the bottom of the shit pile.  Maybe a few words like my dad's do it.  Maybe an email complaint I get because someone doesn't agree with my opinion.   Maybe a sideways glance in the mirror at the wrong angle.  And then I wonder, why would anyone want to read anything I have to say?  Who the fuck am I?  What makes my stories any more interesting than anyone else's?   Well, maybe they aren't.  But there is one thing I always am when I write... true to me.  If you haven't liked a post or more, that's OK.  I can only be true to me.  I learned a long time ago that you cannot please everyone so don't even try.  And I don't.  Instead I keep these words in mind that someone I care about told me, "If you write it, you own it.  It's yours."  Once I do that, it's out there, no going back, no regrets.  I own it, for better or for worse.

And so again I wonder, why am I writing this blog?  When I started it I was inspired by several things.  One was friends illness that woke me up to the fact that at any time your life can change drastically without warning.  If that happened to me, what's my legacy?  And now that I think about that again, is a blog with my goofy stories a legacy?  I guess it is, in some odd way.   My other inspiration was a friend with a writing talent that moves me and evokes feelings in me when I read something he wrote.  Moved in a good way, or in a bad way, it doesn't matter.  Being moved does.  When someone can do that with written word, it's pretty special.  I didn't fancy that I could do that, but I wanted to try.  And something really amazing happened.  I love what I'm doing here.  I love my voice.  I love what I have to say.  I love having a place to say it.  I hope you do too.  And I thank those two special people for inspiring me in two completely different ways.

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Dr. Seuss

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I have had an AMC website since November, 1998.  It's a long time and I modestly say it's one of the best AMC sites on the net.  You don't keep readership and longevity if your site is crap.  But as such, a lot of people tend to think you're their buddy and come to expect things from you.  I've had countless people ask me where I get my information or want more than what I post.  I've had people who want to work for me, I've had people who want to be partners.  None of these people had anything to offer me in return for what I would be giving them. Nothing.  They just wanted or thought it would be fun.  Well, it is fun most of the time, but I don't do all the work so I can just hand it over to other people.  Most people realize this and are very understanding.  And then there's Flee.

It started out innocently enough back in 2002.  I was on AOL Instant Messenger back then and people would IM me quite often with questions about AMC.  It's a role I've always been OK with.  Flee was one of these people.  But he soon turned bothersome, relentlessly asking me where my information came from, how he could also get it or if he could work for me.  But the main question over and over and over again was "where do you get your information?"  I gave him my usual two responses, the nicer, "Through the years I worked very hard to cultivate sources.  I have several places and people I get information from," and for the ones who keep asking after that answer,  "I can tell you but then I'd have to kill you."  These answers were never enough for Flee.  He just kept asking.  And I tried to be kind, telling him that even my closest friends don't know where I get information and they are people I trust.  He insisted that I could trust him, begging me to let him prove it to me.  How?  I don't know.  He told me his name, where he lives, what school he went to, etc.  Believing that all this information would suddenly make him my AMC confidante.  And it didn't stop there.  He begged me, daily, for a chance to be the one I could trust with all my secrets.  I repeatedly said no, and the more I said no, the more abusive he got and the angrier I got.  Whenever I told him to "fuck off" or "leave me the hell alone" or anything he threatened to post everything I said on my message board so my "fans" could see what I was really like.  Here's a little clip:

Flee:   lets let the people decide
Me:    oh a threat!
Flee:   on your message board
Me:    go on
Flee:   OK give me a sec
Me:    do it,  watch me ban you. cuz I can. easily
Flee:   ban me?
Me:    you think I'm going to let you trash me on my own board and not ban your ass?
Flee:   you think I shouldn't tell everybody all the nasty things you have said to me???
Me:    is it someone else's business?
Flee:   well its hurtful
Me:    and just what nasty things have I said to you anyway?
Flee:   well you have hurt my oh so immature 19 year old self many times
Me:    I'm fucking hurt by people every damn day of my life you little shit!!!
Flee:   little shit now huh
Me:    do you think I go off and blab it all over fucking creation
Flee:   well all I ever wanted was to be friends and you act like I am asking you to cut off brad pitts penis
Me:    what the hell does that mean?

Yeah, I was pissed.  He never shut up.  He became so bothersome that I blocked him.  But a Flee cannot be gotten rid of that easily.  He just got a new screen name and started again.  The same idiotic behavior, the same threats to tell my message board how mean I am, the same begging to be trusted and given information about AMC.  The dude was really really crazy.   And it got even worse.  He claimed I was so mean to him that he was going to log off and commit suicide.  And then, a day later he had three or four of his friends IM me and ask me if I had talked to Flee yet that day and that they had heard something terrible happened to him.  I ignored all the messages, but they all eventually told me he was dead, and that he had killed himself the night before after he spoke to me.  It was, of course, a big fat lie.  Flee thought he was teaching me a lesson.

He and all his friends and all the other names of his that I knew of were permanently blocked.  I blocked his email address from my email.  I blocked his screen name and email address from my message board.  But alas, none of these things are fool proof and Flee certainly was a fool.  He would use different screen names and email addresses to sign up on the message board and he'd post really creepy messages like... "Why hello there Lalia, did you really think you could get rid of me that easily?"  I'd delete and block everything he signed up with but I could not block his IP, which would make it a done deal.  He was on AOL and when you block an AOL IP, you block many many people, not just one.  So I had to make due with blocking him each time he came back.  And it never worked completely.  He kept trying to talk to other members of the message board in an effort to get them to talk to me on his behalf.  This went on for two years!

It was clear I needed help here.  My pleas to AOL to remove him went on deaf ears.  I wasn't an AOL subscriber, I just used their freebie chat app so they didn't give a shit about my complaints.  So I went to my friend C.  She is my cyber guru and has helped me with countless problems on the internet, with computers and with crazy people.  So I asked her how I could get rid of this guy once and for all.  I told her everything I knew about him since he told me a lot about himself in an effort to win my trust.  And through our research on Flee, we found a picture of him on his college's website and immediately honed in on the fact that the dude had one eyebrow.  Not a unibrow, he was actually missing one.  Nice look.   C had a plan and told me to relax, she'd take care of it.  This is a woman I trust and I did relax and waited to hear how things went.

C started to IM him.  He didn't really seem to put together, at first, that C was my friend.  She chit chatted with him a little and then when he got comfortable with a random person IMing him, she was able to convince him to show her a picture of himself and found out that he had one eyebrow because the other mysteriously fell out.  Yes, it just fell out!  We suspected he either had the mange or ringworm.

So it went on for a few days, and C would IM him and say hilarious things like "Hey, how's the brow?" and he would just chat with her.  And she'd ask him crazy stuff like, "Hey, have you ever had head cheese?" and inevitably he would have no idea what she's talking about.  She went on to explain to him what headcheese is, "well, let me explain it, first you find a small woodland animal in the forest and then you kill them (fox/rabbit preferably), then you dress them (Just like Ed Gein field dressed Bernice Worden) and you scrape out the insides of the head and mold it together to make a block of spongy stuff... which you slather onto melba toast, it's tres delicioso."  And most of the time he would just laugh at her or pretend he knew what she was talking about.

And then she went in for the kill, here's a little bit of what C did to him:
C: I was thinking, do you like to sew?  Do you have a dog named precious?
Flee: no
C: I do. I have a poodle named Precious.
Flee: cool
C: I love to get naked, tuck my peepee between my legs and dance around naked in front of a video camera.  you'd make a great coat, darling, such white smooth skin think we can meet up?
Flee: your peepee?
C: yes, I have a penis. I'm pre op.  didn't I tell you this?
Flee: nah
C: oh yes.  i love skinny little white boys.  taste like keebler club crackers           
Flee:  OK you are crazy.  later 
C: me crazy?  hahahahahah.  roflicious.  WWF ROFLMANIA
C: goodbye my friend. I will dream of you in a well
Flee: who the fuck are you
C: Jamie Gumb, Private Investigator
Flee: LOL how did you get my screename
C: I grow special Death Moths
Flee: you are obsessed with silence of the lambs
C: I told you that already, can't you remember things? Do you do drugs? Drugs are bad...mmmkay.   Kittens everywhere have appealing eyes.  TURKEY WOMBAT!
He took off after that but she wasn't through with him, oh no, she wasn't!   But he was actually getting scared.  She continued to IM him with Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs references and he got more and more freaked out.   She told him to rub the lotion on his skin.  She told him to "put the lotion in the fucking basket!"  She was as relentless with him as he was with me and finally he was so freaked out that he was afraid that she was going to try and kill him.  To which she replied with her absolute best line ever and complete tour de force, "I never said I wanted to kill you, I said you'd make a great purse." 

And after that, I was never ever again bothered by Flee and I am forever in C's debt for ridding me of that insect!   There's never a dull moment in the land of soaps or it's fans!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stupidest. Question. Ever.

I get asked a lot of dumb questions as a webmistress for a soap opera site.  Seriously dumb questions.  But this one, this one was so incredibly stupid that I kept it because I knew someday I would have to relay it.  It's the absolute truth, this truly happened back in April of 2003.

A new poster came to my message board and this was the first and last post they made.  It was so serious.  The poster was truly troubled by this dilemma (typos are hers, I kept them intact) 

One question about last night's episode.
The scenes at BJ's Laurie and Joni were at the bar and Jack and Opal were having a chat at his table.
First sixth: scene starts with Laurie and Joni berating the fact that Jamie brought home a hooker  and Holly was right in back of them interupting there little talk to them, freeze then cut to Jack and Opal's talk.  You can clearly see the back of Holly when the camera was on Jack.
The next sixth came up and first of all, I think Opal and Jack switched seats then they switched over to Laurie and Joni getting all weird as they realize that Holly heard them and their little argument ensued.
My problem is that it should have been jack, opal - then laurie joni holly after then the opposite in the next chunk.  Both groups were in the same place?  Did L-J-H just freeze when Jack Opal had their little argument, what did Holly say to them while the camera was on Jack?
This is something that bothers me about soaps.

I'll wait until you're done laughing before I point out how many things are wrong with this post.

We can start with the crappy spelling.  In addition to that is the horrible grammar.  Besides that, I don't have any idea what "berating the fact" means.  Was the fact misbehaving?  Did it need a time out?  And then First sixth?  Next sixth?  What the fuck is that?

Do I even have to go to the crux of this question?  She wanted to know why we miss out on parts of fictional characters conversations when they aren't on camera.  It's so ridiculously absurd that I wonder how this poor woman ever makes it through a day on her own.  She could clearly see them talking in the background.  What are they saying!?

But I'm nice, far too nice sometimes, and because she was so serious and so bothered by all this, I answered her in as nice a way as I possibly could.
What happens is, because the scenes take place at the same place, they are actually going on at the same time.  We cannot watch two scenes at the same time, so in essence they are frozen until we get back to them.  We don't miss anything, as "what is being said while the camera isn't on them," because since they aren't real, in real time, having a real conversation, the conversation waits for the camera to come back to the them so we can see everything that is being said.

The whole thing reminds me of this: