Heloise’s Helpful Hints

March 27, 2008 at 12:43 pm (Uncategorized)

Here’s one.  When you’re pushing a cart in the busy parking lot of a supermarket, and it’s dark out, and you’re talking on the phone, even if you have the intelligence of a cucumber, do not blindly cut across the lane ignoring the car that has more than half backed out of its space and has to slam on the brakes not to smash you into pulp.  The nice young woman who is driving the car and trying not to hit you has a harder job when you’re an idiot.  Plus, she’d rather not scratch up her new car as a result of the stupidity of others.

Sheesh.  Now I feel bad for insulting cucumbers.


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People Whose Lives Are Different Than Mine

March 26, 2008 at 9:19 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday, I watched someone buying airplanes.  Seriously.  He had all this literature about airplanes spread out on the table and kept leaving to make phone calls about hangars.


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The Universe Says, “Seriously, Read This Book”

March 24, 2008 at 11:31 am (Uncategorized)

Back in December (I know it was December, because I was in NYC with Mel to see Grease with the Danny/Sandy cast by that goofy reality show, You’re the One That I Want…side note: remind me to talk about how Grease has a dubious moral message one day).

That sentence went on a tangent.  Let’s try again.

Back in December, I was in NYC and talking with Avery about our screenplay, which was in it’s extreme infancy stages.  We were still at the point where we were talking about character ideas and “moments” of emotional struggle that we wanted to try to work in.  He mentioned this book, called Nine Princes In Amber, by Roger Zelazny, as having a particular example of a moment he admired.  As time went on, he mentioned the book a few more times and said he thought it was one I should read, because it does some interesting things with storytelling and character development that we should work into our screenplay.

A little over a week ago, I got a package in the mail with Nine Princes In Amber and nothing else.  Avery had sent it to me.  He said I should read it right away.

On Saturday, I finally got around to opening it.  I was standing at the Davis Square T station reading the first chapter, and a guy comes up beside me and says, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to bother you, but do you like that book?”

Me: “I’m only on page 10.  But, you know, those ten pages have been interesting.”

Him: “Oh, sorry to bother you.”

Me: “Wait.  Why?”

Him: “I was just wondering what you thought of it.”

Me: “What did you think of it?”

Him: “I’d rather not say.  You should experience it for yourself.  Do you like SciFi?”

At this point, I explained that I didn’t, particularly, but that I’m writing this screenplay with a friend that has a strong SciFi element, and the friend recommended this book as one I should read to help understand where he’s coming from.  Then,

Him: “Well, that book is very stylized SciFi, but if you’re interested in storytelling and character development, I think you’ll enjoy it.”

I blinked at him.  Who was this guy?  I thanked him, and the train arrived, and we moved on with our lives.

I have a strange theory that it might have been Avery in disguise.  Either that, or the Universe taking me by the shoulders and saying, “Seriously.  Read this book.”

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Let me transcribe it with this feather dipped in ink on a piece of papyrus…

March 20, 2008 at 11:35 am (Uncategorized)

Receptionist: Hello, Business, May I help you?

Me: Yes, may I speak with Attorney, please.

Receptionist: Attorney is in a meeting.  May I take a message?

Me: Actually, if you could just put me through to her voicemail, that would be great.

Receptionist: There is no voicemail.  I could take a message though.

Me: Really?

Receptionist: Really.

Last I checked, it was 2008.  I ask you.  What kind of a legitimate business does not have voice mail for its high-level professional employees? 

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Word of the Day: Toolbox

March 19, 2008 at 4:51 pm (Uncategorized)

Toolbox: those men you have dated who would fit the definition of a “tool.”

 As in, “even within my own toolbox, this guy is way worse.”

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“And then the next day, you’re all right again?”

March 19, 2008 at 1:23 pm (Uncategorized)

So I know two posts in one day isn’t normal, and don’t get too excited because I won’t be making a habit of it.  This just deserves comment.

I somehow lost a day…or am living a day twice, or something.  All day today I’m thinking it’s Thursday.  I woke up and wore the clothes I need to wear for meetings on Thursday (darn, now I have to find something else to wear tomorrow).  I got to work on some items that need doing on Thursday.  I thought I was supposed to go to this lunch at noon, which is on Thursday.  Actually, that’s how I figured out what was going on: I knocked on my work-neighbor’s door to find out if she was ready to go down to the lunch.  She was very confused.  A few minutes later, she comes in to tell me the lunch is tomorrow, not today.  At which point, I said:

Me: “Wait.  What’s today?”

Her: “Wednesday.”

Me: “Really?”

Her: “I’m quite positive.  It’s Wednesday.”

Me: “Why do I keep thinking it’s Thursday?”

Her: Shrug.

Why does that happen?  Did I have a dream last night in which I went through Wednesday, like you do sometimes where you dream you’ve gotten out of bed and gotten showered and dressed and left for work, only to have the alarm go off and realize you’ve still got to do all that?

Anyway.  My brain still keeps insisting it’s Thursday.  Not sure what to do about that.

Bonus points if you can identify who said the title quote and in what context.

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Coincidental Madness

March 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized)

Coincidence of the week:

I just joined a for-fun March Madness Brackets pool.  The yahoo system wanted me to name my bracket…I can never think of a good name.  This time, I picked “Bracket No. 9” in deference to last week’s NY Gubernatorial Debacle.

Turns out, I was ninth person to join the group, so my bracket was, in fact, Bracket No. 9.

Clearly, this means I’m going to sweep the whole thing.  You all can congratulate me now.

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Nice waiting with you…

March 17, 2008 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized)

Today I was up in Portland, ME for a deposition.  It’s such a pretty little town.  And friendly. 

Often, in an unfamiliar town, I will wait for the walk signals (as opposed to when I’m in Boston or Providence and just go when I see an opening), in case the town has a thing about jaywalking.  I’ll also take my cue from other pedestrians, however.

So I’m standing at this stoplight, and there’s a guy standing next to me.  Cute in an unassuming sort of way, probably late 20s or early 30s.  There aren’t a lot of cars (it’s Portland, remember?) and I’m wondering if I should just walk.  Guy makes no move.  I tentatively take a half step, to the edge of the curb, and still he stays.  So I waited.

Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer.  NO ONE was coming.  So I shot him a look out of the corner of my eye, and said, “I’m just going to go.”

He looks over and smiles and says, “I’m with you.”  And we cross.

Feeling sort of foolish, I said, “I’m never sure what the custom is when I’m in a new place.  I’m here from Boston and there, I would have just gone, about two minutes earlier, but I wasn’t sure if people did that here.”

So we walk.  Now we’re awkwardly walking along the sidewalk beside each other.  After a moment, he asks what brings me up from Boston.  We chat.  A couple of blocks later, we reach the parking garage where my car is stashed.  He says, with a brilliant smile, “It was nice waiting to cross the street with you.”

It made me smile.

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Thank you, Captain Logic. Now go away.

March 14, 2008 at 11:00 am (Uncategorized)

Said to me yesterday, when I was making a clean, logical argument: “No, no.  We are in Alternate Earth.  Please do not try to bring rationality into this.  You’ll just injure yourself.”

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Coincidence: Jo-incidence with a C

March 13, 2008 at 10:18 am (Uncategorized)

Once upon a bunch of years ago when I was a freshman in college, I read The Celestine Prophecy, which was a rage at the time.  I no longer remember anything about it except one thing: to start on the path of enlightenment, the first step is to notice the coincidences happening all around you.  For whatever reason, I kind of liked that and it stuck with me.  Coincidences are one of those funny little “what is up with the universe” things that make me think.

What could explain coincidences?  Well, the random nature of the world, perhaps.  You have this many people going about their business, some are bound to have the same idea at the same time.  I don’t know statistics, but I bet that someone could work out some logical explanation for coincidences based on statistics.

Or maybe it’s selective attention.  That can’t explain all coincidences, but it can explain why, as soon as I bought my Honda CR-V, I notice them all over the place.  Or why you notice people talking about an old movie you just saw.

Maybe there’s something else…but in the meantime, coincidences are fun to notice.  So here’s the coincidence of the week:

This weekend, I was sitting around in the TV room of the Silas Griffith with Avery, talking about our screenplay (what else is new?), or maybe my latest fiction project.  He told me about this book he had read, to illustrate a point.  A little while later, I mentioned this other book (which I haven’t yet read), and couldn’t remember the name of, to illustrate a completely different point. 

When I got back to Boston, I looked for the book I had mentioned, and sent the name and author to Avery.  Coincidentally, it’s by the same author as the book he had referenced, is in fact in the same series by that author, and is on his shelf waiting to be read.


That’s the sound of the universe falling in sync.

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