Who Pulled the Plug on Cyberspace?

Suddenly, a few weeks back, my Cyber-world disappeared. I was shocked. Where was my bright little screen that connected me to all my cyber-buddies? No blogs, no Facebook, no email, no internet. It was awful. I couldn’t even play Freecell.

Since then my blog has become a clog, and I am not a word plumber. My words have all stuck somewhere in my mind and can’t seem to come out. Help me please. I am spouting word glue! I need some “Brain Draino!” or a bottle of “Liquid Mind Plumber!”

I have decided the only way to clear my mind of word glue is to spew out all my fears at once and then move on. I hope it works. Here goes:

I am afraid of the dire prediction that time will end on December 21, 2012. What if we lose all our electricity and we never get it back? Aloha to the Internet and all our blogs. Can you see us printing them up by hand? (If there’s no electricity, there will be no copiers or printers). If we could print them, we would have to go house to house to distribute them.

We would be the nomads of the world, going from neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, and country to country, handing out our blogs. We would become the news carriers of our areas, but how would we survive? Who would feed us? Where would we sleep?

People would say, “There goes another poor traveling blogger.”

And what if people didn’t like our blogs? Would they stone us or incarcerate us in dungeons? (If so, we will probably be joined by many “D&D gamers” who would finally rejoice that their game had become real.)

The conclusion to this mind drainage is this: Without electricity blogging would be no more. Wanh! (That’s the sound of me crying.)

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My Native Language

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and when I finally moved away to California, the people I met laughed at me.

“You sound like you’re from Pennsyltucky,” they chided.

If you have ever known someone from Pittsburgh you may have noticed that they have an odd accent and some strange sayings. When we grew up we were told to “scrub” our teeth and “red” up our rooms. “Red up” means to pick up all the things that are out of place and put them back where they belong. We “worsched” our clothes instead of washing them like people in other cities! When we picked up the telephone we were answering the “party line,” and we knew the operator by name, and she knew us and all the people on her switchboard.

Although we started in public school, when I was in third grade my sister, Gretchen and I went to Falk School, a private experimental school that encouraged one-on-one contact with the teacher so students could learn at their own pace.

We were driven to school in a taxicab that picked up all the kids from East Pittsburgh who attended the school. There were six of us. The cab driver’s name was George and he was nice but he had a thick Pittsburgh accent. He had trouble saying “Gretchen” and he called her “Garsher.” She didn’t like it, but no matter how hard we tried, no one could teach him to say her name correctly. Soon my sister became, “Garscher, warscher washing machine!” This provided gales of laughter every morning and she didn’t seem to care. She took it well.

One reason she probably didn’t mind was because she had found romance in second grade. There was a boy named Peter in her class who liked her and he invited her to his house a few times. His father was a doctor and a scientist, and when she was there he showed her his laboratory. When she got home she told us all about it at dinner. It turned out that Peter’s father was Jonas Salk, who discovered the cure for polio in 1952. My sister was hobnobbing in second grade!

My life was much less glamorous! One day I dropped my new yoyo in the toilet at school. I was so horrified. I couldn’t believe it was really in there, and stared at it for a long time. I knew I had to take it out, or call one of the teachers and have everyone find out about it. Finally I made myself stick my hand in and grab the yoyo. Oh Yuk! Then I had to throw it away, but the only place to throw it was in the open waste basket. If I threw it there, the girls would recognize it as the wonderful purple yoyo I had shown off so proudly that morning! In the end, I dried it off and wrapped it in paper towels and threw it in the waste basket. Oh, the throes of elementary school!

Do other people have such lurid memories of grade school? What’s your most embarrassing moment? Or were you hobnobbing with the rich and famous?

Photo of the Storm Cloud

The photo below was taken by Kevin Gould on June 29th in La Porte, Indiana. There is a bigger picture of it on http://www.ouramazingplanet.com and it was put on the internet by the language learner.com. The article, written by Andrea Mustain, also contains a video of the storm on radar, showing the cloud as it appeared in space on June 29th. It is amazing and frightening.

Derecho Cloud

The Derecho, Mayhem from the Wild Blue Yonder

We were just sitting down to a quiet meal on Friday, June 29th , and it was pleasant and sunny outside. All of a sudden, the wind started blowing and mayhem descended from the sky.

“I think you better put the umbrella down,” I said to my husband, who was heading to the table with his plate. “It looks like a bad storm is coming.”

Bob ran outside and started wrestling with the umbrella on the patio table, but the wind kicked up so fast he could hardly get it under control. Watching from the sliding glass door, I saw the wind whip around like a madman and then the thunder, lightning and rain came in. When Bob ran over to close the garage doors, he looked like he was going to blow away.

At one point the wind came towards the patio like a fist. It punched in, stopped, and blew the other way. In the time it took Bob to close the garage doors, branches and leaves blew into the garage and covered the floor.

By the time he got back inside, the storm was in full force and blowing torrents of rain and seventy mile-an-hour gusts of wind. Two trees fell down in the back yard. We watched in shock hoping it wasn’t a tornado and praying the roof wouldn’t blow off the house. I haven’t seen wind that strong before, even during a tropical storm in Florida.

Within minutes the power went off. We resigned ourselves to no TV and got out our Coleman camping lantern. I did the dishes right away, because the light was waning and the lantern didn’t help much. The room temperature was not too high that first night, because the storm cooled things off, but the second day it got really hot in our house.

Tomorrow: The Heatwave that Followed.

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them