Tag Archives: charming

French Kiss First, Introductions Later.


Welcome to California.

golden_gate_bridge

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

If all your contact with the outside world is mass media, or, say, you’re an alien from space, seeking information about earth, and your research dart on the globe hit the USA, and you began, sensibly enough, with mass media –you would surely presume the only places IN America were…

New York, and California.

Because EVERYTHING on television, in movies, etc., is located in: you guessed it. NY or CA.

Naturally, when the opportunity flung itself like a blob of goo to head west with my two daughters to the flipside of mainland America, I figured: hmm? Why not see life as the extraterrestrials – I mean, Californians – do?

I kid, I KID.

Actually, this time I DO kid, because if you happen to be reading this…

WAIT.

Don’t you just HATE when writers write: “If you happen to be reading this?

Talk about “author intrusion,”* which, of course, I’m doing now in a MAJOR way, but for some reason, I am egomaniacal enough – or feel strongly enough about this point – to have the nerve to think I can get away with it.

Duh. Of COURSE you happen to be reading this; if you WEREN’T reading this, you wouldn’t be READING this: the author’s SENTENCE that says, so very stupidly, “if you happen to be reading this.”

Why THANK you, Captain OBVIOUS.

(How do you spell “AAUGHHH?”)

I can’t STAND it when people don’t give other people the credit for the most BASIC intelligence. Or when they refuse to exhibit the most basic intelligence of their own, and simply swallow and regurgitate clichés.

Sorry. That’s just not thinking “out of the box.”

(That’s a joke. I am SO hoping you all got that….)

::-::-::

Anyway, tirade over, now that I’ve “intruded,” my job as a writer now is to suck you so hard back into the work that you forget about me again. So: forget me, move on without me, save yourselves….

To get back to Californians: if you’ve been wondering where all the nice people in the world have gone; if you’ve lost your faith in humanity, you’ve been betrayed, you can’t seem to find a kind soul in a cold-hearted world, no matter where you look…

<can you hear the swelling orchestral strings…?>

Get your ass to northern California.

InvaderZimWthoutStripesSomeone, I don’t know who – Invader Zim?

…has scooped them all up in a giant net and deposited them HERE.

Of course, the New Yorker in me wants to warn you: I’ve only been here a few weeks, so they COULD be putting on an devastatingly good show (California, Hollywood, Oscar…), and I SHOULD keep checking my back for knives…

But honestly, if these folks aren’t genuinely nice, then I’ve landed where Ira Levin got his idea for The Stepford Wives, because everybody – and I do mean everybody – walks around with a light step, a friendly smile, and an open outlook.

This is either the Cosmic Galactic Nexus of Benevolence, or these folks are gobsmackingly realistic test robots for Disneyland’s newest animatronic attraction.

They’re cheerful and concerned for others in a state with a bigger unemployment problem and more housing foreclosures than New York.

And, unlike New York – and particularly unlike, say…oooh, I dunno, GEORGIA, they are warm and inviting to strangers. Even strangers who come from scary and disreputable places like New York. No one here has prejudged us at all.

oscar-wilde-ph

Oscar Wilde

(At least not to our faces, where it counts. As far as I’m concerned, I’m with Oscar Wilde. Let people say whatever they want behind my back; I’ll worry when they STOP talking.)

These folks are even charming and positive in an area located less than – well, my guess would be, less then twelve inches from the Sun.

I can’t seem to figure it out. We aren’t any closer to the equator (although maybe we’re WAYYYY higher. As in, we’re astronauts. Californunauts.)

When they say “sunny California,” they aren’t just whistling Dixie.

(Side note: having made a side trip on the way to visit family in Rocky Plains, Georgia, I know what I’m talking about when I say “Dixie,” too.)

The sun is so strong here I carry a bottle of water around with me nearly everywhere I go, wishing I could haul a tank around, like someone on oxygen. I never realized what a deliciously humid state New York actually was.

oldwomanSomeone PLEASE let me know what moisturizing cream I need. I’m going to look about 45 years old in about 45 minutes. In another 45, I’ll look 90. As it is, the jar that used to last me six months is half gone.

In fact, Californians are SO friendly, that in a recent trip to a music store (I was rescuing a guitar I’d discovered that had been criminally abused) I got to joking with the owner, who began to tease me – and then somehow, things got a little weird.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably caught on: I’m not someone you want to DARE.

Play chicken with me? You’re pretty much guaranteed two totaled cars.

So when I jokingly said: “Well, then, I’ll just have to get one big, fat, sloppy kiss,” never in a million years thinking he would take me up on it – for no one in their right mind in New York would take that phrase as ANYTHING but, er, symbolic, when the music store owner said something along the lines of me not having the nerve…

… Well, what could I do? Apparently, he was calling my bluff – or thought I was bluffing. I had my entire state’s reputation to defend.

It was only later, perusing my copy of The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual, that I remembered that those of us with a little too much tomboy in them have to be wary of dares and the like, and that boys will steal kisses when they can, particularly from impulsive redheads.

So I called his bluff back, and dashed over boldly right behind his workspace, again, never dreaming his own oncoming car would not swerve.

Yet swerve he did NOT, and put his arms around me, and kissed me like Bogart kissed Bergman in Casablanca.

Yipes.

Careful to keep my New York cool, I then shook his hand and said:

“How do you do? I’m Elizabeth. And your name is?”

“Larry,” he said. “Welcome to California.”

::-::-::-::-::-::

Author Intrusion (also sometimes called, literarily, “authorial intrusion” – I don’t know why they like the extra two syllables, but professors sometimes do…) is explained nicely here, at about.com:

Have you ever read a book where the author suddenly jolted you out of the storyline with a comment that just doesn’t flow with the rest of the work? That’s an authorial intrusion. Sometimes it works, but only when it’s done by a master storyteller/writer.

Authorial intrusions are of substantial length (not just a brief aside in a novel) and they are addressed to you (the reader).

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Tweets to the Tweet: Tank You, Twitterers, for the Twittergasm.


Follow me on Twitter.

Tweety Bird Tweeting Twitter

Tweety Bird Tweeting Twitter

For those yet new to Twitter, let me start by introducing a word that I desperately hope makes it into the Oxford English Dictionary as soon as possible: “twittergasm.” Coined by a woman I’ve paged through but can no longer find, thanks to the proliferation of “tweets” on my Twitter page, I find the term charming and titillating – and perfect to describe the feeling you get when something you read on Twitter really works for you.

 

If you haven’t heard of Twitter, then stop reading this right now and turn instead to the page of this blog titled: “Elizabeth Williams Bushey is making fun of you.”

Maybe you’ve heard of Twitter, though, and you just pretend at parties and other gatherings that you know what it’s all about – you know, the same way that you pretend that you know what “CPU” and “RAM” means when people who DO know what it means talk to you about it. You get that faux-confident head bobble, like “yeah, man, I know…”

Maybe you even have a MySpace, but your only friend is Tom. (If you don’t get that, see above: “Elizabeth Bushey is making fun of you.”)

Then again, maybe in reaction to your ignorance, you’ve taken a pretend stand against all this “dang” technology, and protested that all this “social media” really “keeps us apart.”

Maybe you lumber up on top of a soapbox and proselytize for the days of old, when people had to proselytize from real soapboxes, on real streets, hassling flesh-and-blood passers-by, getting arrested by flesh-and-blood police officers.

You poor thing. If you haven’t gotten the hang of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, etc., you’re missing out on some cool opportunities to expand your network of some very cool people you’d otherwise never in a million years meet.

For instance, I just did a “virtual” school visit with a sixth-grade class in Alabama. I’m in New York, but I was able to answer all their questions, see their sweet faces, and play my guitar and sing for them – all from my studio at home. We used Skype, and it cost us nothing. And it was easy – for the teacher, and for me. (I pretty much just sat there, worked in between classes, and waited for the “calls.”)

Via Facebook, I’ve connected with some old college buddies that I haven’t talked to in years.

Via Gmail’s new video conferencing, I can see and speak with people – just like Judy Jetson – instead of devouring minutes on my cell phone.

Coolest of all: I’ve been struggling my ass off to build two sites using an open source technology called Joomla. Everyone in the known universe, every page I’ve Googled, says how easy it is. Somehow, though, despite changing web hosts, even, I haven’t been able to get it to work. Which is weird – since although I can’t do everything really well, the one thing I DO do pretty well is build web sites, and work with software. No matter how many times I installed and reinstalled it, at least one major thing went wrong.

As in, REALLY wrong. Like: the registration page would fail. Something particularly catastrophic like that.

So I called an old friend of mine up – she’s the web diva at a college, and I used to be, which is how we met – only now I’m an artist, and she’s now a SUPER diva. She listened compassionately to my problem, and went straight to Twitter. She has something like seventeen bazillion fans following her on Twitter.

Within the hour, I had at least four or five experts offering me help. People who didn’t even know her personally – let alone ME. I hooked up with this TERRIFICALLY fun guy – who has a charming gift for cussing, which totally works for me. Never would have met him without Twitter.

Talk about Twittergasm.

Talk about social media.

If you haven’t gotten on board yet – you’re gonna miss the train. Wave, though, from the platform. We’ll miss you!

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