Katrina's On-line Journal, Dec 1-20th

By Popular Demand
December 26th, 2000, 11:30am PST

Joe's Wedding Album

December 22, 2000, 10:47am PST


Hello, hello, hello!  I’m back and eager to get Eye On Soaps back on a roll again after the holidays.  I have a lot of cool ideas that have been seeping in amongst the chaos and I can’t wait to get them in place.  You’re going to love it! 

The wedding was (*ah!*) so beautiful.  I’m so glad I only have to pay for something like that once (one daughter, five sons = strategic planning) and I’m so glad I got to just sit on the sidelines for this one to watch and learn.  It was absolutely magnificent.  In Victoria, Canada, where we were, I guess that secular-type people tend to have their weddings performed by a Commissioner of Weddings (an excellent idea and tremendously cool job, I’m sure) and also hold them in restaurants.  I’d not heard of this, but it’s a great idea reception-wise.  This restaurant was called Bodego and was very classy.  The place was all dark wood interior, nice fireplace, overhead balcony with a staircase on each side (which is where the ceremony itself took place) with seating below (where we, the eager viewers) were.  Delena, my daughter (8) was stunning as the ring bearer and Eric (my husband, the best man and Joe’s best friend) and my son, Joe were breathtaking in their tuxes.  Those guys sure do clean up nice.  Sandra is what I would call a normal sized person, meaning size 14-16, and she had the most beautiful gown I’ve seen in a while.  In fact, here is the link so that you can see the gown at least, if you are interested: http://www.palomablanca.com/PBD2preview.html .  What I love about this designer is not only that s/he runs a Diva collection with all these awesome dresses that skinny chicks can not buy.  I hate to sound sniffy and picked on and discriminated against, but after 8 years of being fat (not that I consider size 14-16 fat) and suffering through endless cabbage roses and puffed sleeves that skinny designers insist fat people fester to wear, it’s nice to see decent, pretty clothing designed for normal sized to fluffy-sized people.  So much of the cool stuff out there requires that you be a stick to look at all decent in it.  Sandra was totally dazzling.  Joe was so handsome.  The décor was perfect.  The ceremony was exceptionally well written (and you know I’m a stickler for good writing – I hate sloppy work).  The food was OUTstanding, right down the the WHITE (yum) chocolate candies at the door.  The cake I made was a work of art.  The only down side was that the guests, the adult guests were a bunch of hooligans!  The tables were decorated seasonally with holly and these idiots commenced to throwing the berries at one another (we’re talking 50-year-olds, not 20-year-olds) while the pictures were being taken!  My EIGHT-YEAR-OLD daughter leaned in and said, “Mommy, why are these people throwing things?”  We were seated at tables and even with the bridal aisle between me and the other row of tables, there was a wave of old man b.o. funk blanketing my area from the next table and I thought my eyes were going to bleed and my throat seize up from it.  Speaking of eyes and liquid, on the way to the ceremony, Eric asked me, “You aren’t going to cry or anything, are you?” and looked at my suspiciously.  I rolled my eyes and said something like, “ANYway…No, I’m not going to cry?  What kind of sap do you think I am?”  Words to die (or cry) by because OF COURSE the second Joe and Eric were perched on the balcony awaiting the arrival of the bridal party, I was blubbering my idiot eyes out and didn’t stop until the reception.  I cried for my baby being all grown up.  I cried for how enchantedly happy he was.  I cried for how beautiful SHE was.  I cried for how handsome my hubby is.  I cried because *I* never got a cool, expensive, Goddessy wedding.  I cried because Nathan was ripping my clothes off me to try and nurse.  Thank God I didn’t wear mascara.  Nathan had decided it was nursey time partway through the ceremony and had been ripping my clothes off me basically.  There was not an appropriate time to whip one out presented, so I managed to stave him off with sips of water (don’t panic, the kid is 14-months-old, so I’m not starving a newborn or anything). 

After the meal, the kids were fed and sated and Eric was outside toking nasty clove cigarettes with Joe (they both officially quit, but called amnesty for the vacation.  I told them no problem, but to fully expect that I was going to be eating like a herd of cattle and not to anticipate a diet to be anywhere in sight – I honored that goal magnificently, I must say), so I decided to go up on the balcony area and say hello to Sandra’s college friends.  They had a kind of beat-nicky look to them that drew me and it was better than hanging out with the stinky old man and my little ones.  I commissioned one of Sandra’s folks to keep an eye on Nathan and Dylan (Delena was doing her own thing) and made good my escape.  On the way up, Sandra’s sister stopped me for some pictures with the bride and I gladly consented.  Normally, I hate having my picture taken, but it was such a happy occasion and I had my updo going on, so I figured why not.  After picture, I went up and talked to the beatniks for a while and they were lovely people.  We jived a bit and as I was getting ready to go rescue my kids, I noticed that my ENTIRE BRA WAS EXPOSED ON THE LEFT SIDE FROM NATHAN’S BREASTFEEDING ATTACK SOMETHING LIKE AN HOUR EARLIER.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph!!  I wondered why the beatniks had been eyeballing me like an escaped mental patient and shit!!  The pictures!!  Oh well, smile and get past it.  I did.  The rest of the night was nice.  We left to take the boys home around 9 because they were exhausted.  Delena went back with Eric and they shared a few dances, Daddy and Daughter-style, then came home.  I had the kiddies asleep by then, so Eric and I had a cuddle and got ready to leave the next day.  The trip was exactly what I expected:  4 hours of sleepy, quiet kids.  Unfortunately it takes 18 hours to drive from Vancouver (where the Victoria ferry dumps us off) to Sacramento and these kids were d-o-n-e done.  It was sheer hell.  We finally dragged in like beaten ally cats at 5pm Monday after leaving out at noon on Sunday.  Of course, we landed off the freeway into going home traffic and had start and stop for the last hour, but at least it was in OUR town.  It is so good to be home, I may never leave.  I PROMISE to actually write about the show again today or tomorrow.  I certainly didn’t didn’t do a single drop of Christmas shopping before I left, so I’m throwing together gifts right and left at the last minute, plus I'm still basking in the glow of having seen my sweetie son.  Love all of ya and will see you soon!

December 16, 2000  2:33pm

Katrina Update

Greetings, Everyone, from wedding central.  WHAT an experience this has been!  First was the trip from Sacramento to Victoria, Canada.  We have a Dodge Intrepid, so we knew all three kids would fit in the back seat logistically speaking. Delena and Dylan must both have windows because they are pukers, so the windows were up and down the entire way.  I don’t know WHAT map Eric used to tell him that Vancouver is 7 hundre something miles from Sacramento, but he was certain that we would make it in ten hours.  (Pssst  Don’t believe that.  It’s a lie.)  I’m thinking he must have gotten some “as an unladen crow flies” distance thing going on or something because ten hours, fourteen pee stops, and ten to twenty arguments later, we were somewhere in Oregon looking for a motel.  (Psssst.  Don’t EVER think you will just pull over and nap at a rest stop when you have kids in the car.)  Eighteen hours of driving (about 6 hours of sleeping in said hotel) and an hour and a half on a ferry later, we finally made it to Victoria.  Victoria, Canada is a very lovely place and I’m told it’s even nicer in the summer.  It was very cold and, like Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA, no matter where you walk or how, it’s always uphill.  It was a great joy to see my son Joe (who designed EOS) again since it had been since July.  : (  He’s my oldest and my sweet bambino and I love him to pieces.  We have this weird symbiosis thing going to and when he’s not around, I feel a big hole in my uterus where my baby Joe used to be.  It was also great to see Sandra, his intended.  She’s a wonderful person and I love her tremendously and respect her not only for having the good taste to adore my son, but also for being like me in a lot of ways.  Freud was such a genius (to continue the weird Freudianism, my 18-year-old son is engaged to a girl named Katrina…go figure).  We had decided that in order to optimize time together during their chaotic, pre-wedding madness, that we would stay with them in their three room apartment.  The baby and I would take the day bed in the living room and Eric, Delena and Dylan would camp out on the floor. (Pssst.  I’ll bet you can already see where this is going).   Poor Sandra has been a basket case with all the wedding madness.  Joe is going nuts trying to keep things clean (white carpet, need I say more?) and I’m going nuts trying to help him.  Eric is his usual kick back self and doesn’t really see what all the hoopla is about.  So here we are a week into the ordeal which has been grueling on everyone concerned.  Eric and Joe are BESTEST friends and are up all night watching DVD’s, imbibing and talking deep talk (in the same room where we're sleeping).  They finally turn in around 2-3am.  My kids are up around 5am, loaded for bear and open for business.    Eric tries to sleep in while I try to keep three kids quiet in that same room (Pssst.  Evidently the squishy earplugs are quite effective because he sure manages to stay asleep!) until around 10-11, then he and Joe go out to "run errands.Every day it seems one of them has an “errand” to run.  They are gone for 3-4 hours minimum.  The new daughter-in-law was only able to wrangle one day off work (yesterday, the day before the wedding), so she hasn’t been around much and I've missed her, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!  When I fussed to Eric that I was spending my “vacation” cleaning house manically, watching kids endlessly and doing pretty much the same things I did at home, while he slept, kicked back with his friend and did nothing, he had the poor judgment to fire back, “Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you can neglect your kids and be a slob!”  (!!)  a-hem.  You know, under those circumstances especially, you just can’t apologize enough for barking out something like that.  His face went ashen and he knew he was damned the second he said it.  If he’d been fifteen years younger, he would have clapped his hands over his mouth and vainly attempted to reel the words back in.  He has been (Psst.  Reference Stanley Kuberick’s “The Shining” starring Jack Nicholson for this classic movie reference) “corrected.”  The kids are totally stir crazy and buzzed from the wedding tension, the "dad's lost his mind and his judgment" tension and the difficulty sleeping from Joe and Eric playing DVD's all night.  

Yesterday, I made the wedding cake and it really turned out magnificently if I do say so myself.  I was worried because my hands are shaky from not sleeping much.  The wedding colors are green and burgundy and I was a little nervous about using the dark colors on a wedding cake, but other than the red icing tasting like dog mess (Pssst.  That’s always the case, so try to avoid using red icing) it is a work of art.  That was about five hours of blissful swearing. 

Today is the actual wedding day.  Daughter-in-law went to her mom’s house for the night to get that “don’t see the bride before the wedding” effect.  Delena (8) and I spent the morning in a beauty salon with the other bridal women (bride, bride’s mom, bride’s two sisters) getting “up-do’s.”  Being po’folk, I’d never had an “up-do” before, but I’s sho’ nuff gots me one now!!”  I have so much hardware in my head that I’m picking up radio stations in Indonesia.  I asked her not to foo-foo me out too much (everyone else has a brigade of sausage curls, but I hung up my Good Ship Lollypop shoes many years ago) and the gal did a pretty nice job of keeping it cool.  There are pin curls all over the back and some classy slides on the side, so now I just have to worry about maintaining it (Psst.  Did I bring a shirt that opens down the front for easy removal over an “up-do” or did I bring all pull overs?  You’ve got it!  All pull overs) until the wedding hits at 6pm.  Thanks to that goddess on earth, Delta Burke (Pssst.  All fat women should worship at her altar), I found a very decent dress to wear, so I’m glad I waiting until I got up here to shop for it.  Fortunately, it’s all stuff I can wear again later.  I’m not into spending hoards of money on clothes and even less into spending hoards of money on clothes I can never wear again.  I’m more of a thrift shop woman.  Delena looks darling in her curls and will make a great flower girl. 

So tonight is the night and tomorrow we get to begin the trek back home.  It will be so wonderful to get back to my (new) own house.  I’ve been able to catch very few episodes of my wonderful shows and miss them terribly.  I’ve kept up with the transcription page (Psssst.  if you haven’t checked out Laura’s Transcripts, they are a godsend.  Go to our Hall of Fame links page and have a click!) and recaps, so I think I’m up to date.  I’ll be thrilled to be back in my little closet office pecking away.  

Wish me luck in marrying off my boy and having everyone make it down I-5 in one piece.  Has Katrina done ANY of her Christmas shopping?  Is there a tree or any other decoration up?  (Pssst.  That would be “no.”)  Life moved in three phases in November and December of this year:  The Move, The Trip and now Christmas.  No phase was allowed to overlap.  Of course, it snowed in Victoria last night, so today we are fighting the ice and slush and snow and nast (Pssst.  There are VERY good reasons why I live in California) to get anything done.  Yuck. 

I’ll be back at the helm next week and writing up all of the great moments of the shows.  In the meantime, it’s back to Mother-of-the-Groom duties! 

Loving YOU,

December7, 2000, 2:38pm 

That’s more like it.  Yesterday’s episode was like slipping into a hot, sudsy tub after a hard day’s work.  The ONLY irritating metaphoric phone to ring while I was languishing was that horrible tęte-ŕ-tęte between Elizabeth and Lucky, which, had it been a phone call, would no doubt have ended up along the lines of, “You hang up first.”  “No, you hang up first.”  “I can’t, I love you too much.”  “But one of us has to hang up.  You hang up.”  “No, you hang up…”  (eyes rolling)  I was on the edge of my teeth as they yammered on with, “I’m dropping everything, tee hee.”  “That’s nothing!  I’m running into trees!  Titter titter.”  “I can’t focus on the real world!  Giggle giggle!”  “I think you’ve brainwashed me!  Hahahahaha.”  Yack.

Before getting into the really good stuff, I was thinking about the whole hyperprotective birth control, STD stance and once I managed to get past the week long public service announcement, I realized I was quite glad Elizabeth did buy the industrial strength variety pack of condoms because last I heard, birth control pills need more than forty-five minutes to raise the hormonal values sufficiently to suppress ovulation.  I am, despite the ignorant assertions of many who have judged me, a big proponent of birth control.  It is AMAZING how nasty people get when you have a number of children.  (Note: Big personal tangent coming.  If it bores you, skip to the next paragraph which is back into GH)  When I was pregnant with my 5th, because I look young for my age, people would often ask if it was my first.  When I would reply that it was my 5th, there were very few people who responded with something positive like, “How wonderful!  Boys, girls or both?”  More often, the response was a look of horror, followed by some asinine remark like, “Haven’t figured out what causes it yet, have you?” or “Haven’t you heard of BIRTH CONTROL?” or my personal favorite, “You must be from breeding stock.”  I am amazed at the disdain people have for those who do not conform to the 2.3 children standard.  I have six children and I am thrilled by each and every one of them.  Such wonderful people to have come into my life!  Granted, a couple of my children were surprises (which I prefer to the word “accidents”) and came despite birth control measures.  For the record, just because you become pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean that you were irresponsible.  My first was the only one that I could ID as being out of my own denial.  I really believed the lie of “it can’t happen to me.”  I was sixteen and it happened, what can I say?  My first husband and I then married, planned our next beautiful baby and were ecstatic when we learned he was coming.  My third was a surprise that resulted from a crazy vacation (one in which an extra week in August somehow threw my rhythm method out of rhythm) when we left Guam and were en route to Holloman AFB in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  Immediately upon arrival at the base, my hubby scheduled and had a vasectomy and we learned that we were pregnant soon afterward.  Yep, it was a surprise and we had to get used to the idea, but he was such a blessing and, 18 years later, still is.  My only daughter arrived during my one venture into post-divorce carnality despite the use of a condom and a Today sponge on the last day of my period.  I was super careful and there was no biological reason why I should have conceived that one time in about three years that I had sex, but I did and there she was.  With Fate’s magnificent timing, of course I learned I was pregnant after I had delivered the heart-rending speech about having made a mistake by jumping into a rebound relationship, after the relationship had ended and after we had parted ways, so I had her on my own.  Despite all the options that were available, I made a choice and it was a challenge, but a pleasure to have her.  She is still a little doll.  OK, a big doll, she’s 8 going on 28.  My other two little boys were love children from my magnificent current husband.  He was a very young man (I have aged him many years since I met him : Ţ) who had never had children of his own and I had no hesitation in doing that for him.  We can afford our children and they are the light of our lives.  It has amazed me how negative people are about a big family.  Having two generations of children is certainly interesting and never boring.  They are now 22, 20, 18, 8, 3 and 14 months.  Lord knows I’m done now because Mama is tired, but it has been and continues to be a wondrous experience being a mom. 

Back on track, Elizabeth and Lucky must have read every manual in print because their oh so choreographed love fest looked nothing like any of the first times I’ve heard about, which, rather than a Bon Jovi ballad is soundtracked by such love words as, “Is it in?” “Ow!” “Are you through yet?” “You want me to what?” and “Ew.”  I also doubt that Liz would have been walking with such grace.  I believe that, regardless of how much I convinced myself it didn’t matter, I still wanted Lucky the First to be the one who snatched (hmm, bad choice of words…sorry) Miss Lizzie’s most precious gift away from her.  If only JJ could have beamed in for that one scene, then been gone again.  I would have been even more pleased about that than if our first site of NuLucky had been OldLucky. 

Now, on to the truly great stuff from yesterday.  You know EXACTLY what I’m going to sigh heavily about:  Helena and Stef.  What poetry in motion!  What talent!  What intensity.  THIS is the GH I have known and loved for so long.  What a WEIRD and complex dynamic between the two of them.  Was there ONE second when Helena had a stir of feelings for her son?  I think so!  In fact, this whole scene motivated me to write a Spotlight Focus on Helena and her mothering woes.  It was originally going to be included in this column, but it made the column HUGE, so has its own page which you can get to by clicking here.  Whip out the Dr Pepper and popcorn because Katrina’s pulling up a comfy chair for this one!  Yesterday, the interplay between these two dramatic geniuses was beyond delicious. 

Delicious continued into another scene that can be summed up into two word:  GO ZANDER!!  I swear, the powers that be would do well to heed my advice from a few posts ago and keep Michael Saucedo (Juan) and Chad Brannon (Zander) out of the same scenes.  It’s like watching a high school drama student pair up against Al Pacino.  I am not vapid.  I can see that Emily and Zander are being set up to be the next Luke and Laura.  The formula is almost identical and with two actors as talented as Brannon and Amber Tamblyn (Emily), who knows?  They just might pull it off.  Whatever “it” is, Brannon has “it.”  I have admitted on many occasions that I am not always comfortable integrating new characters into “my” GH.  I’m even more irritated when I’m asked to incorporate new characters into a major storyline.  This one slipped in as easy as a hand into a glove (no OJ jokes, please) and reminds me of the viewer-friendly integration of A Martinez in the role of Roy DiLucca.  If all new characters could be introduced with the ease and grace of these two (and, bluntly, carried the talent that they possess), I’d have no trouble with new faces.  Brannon has the smile, the eyes, the timing and the delivery of a class act and FINALLY Tamblyn has someone of her own caliber to motivate her talent to a higher place.  The scene in the visitation room yesterday was riveting and Michael Saucedo fought valiantly to hold his own with these two heavy hitters.  I got past the ludicrousness of Juan being allowed to just waltz into the room by saying, “Taggert is my guardian” long enough to appreciate the beauty of the actor interplay.  To sum up:  Buh-Bye, Juan.  Buh-Bye. 

I figure we are down to two options with Bobbie:  Brain Cloud or Menopause.  I’m still praying the writers will go with a realistic approach and go into the “M” word, which is seldom dealt with on soaps.  It was briefly introduced on One Life to Live when Nora Buchanan was diagnosed as being peri-menopausal, then promptly set about conceiving a baby.  I’d like to see a full-scale examination of the experience.  You’re old, Bobbie.  Surprise!  Now we can un-reverse-SORAS Lucas to age 11 or so where he’s supposed to be and perhaps jettison this bizarre feeling of time displacement.  In fact, if we ever chose to live in the real world with real time, AJ would only be 21, Jason would be 19, and Maxie would only be 10.  Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say. 

I’m watching the scene right now between Laura and Carly about the decorating of the business area. “That’s enough, Carly!”?  Give me a break, Miss High and Mighty!!  I’m getting a little sick of Laura and her attitude.  She says she wants to make it on her own by herself, but she is taking a company that Scott is giving to her and using Sonny’s money to fund it.  That’s doing it on her own?  Gimme a break!  Carly is supposed to be a partner in this and so far, Laura has consulted her on exactly nothing.  I really don’t think that 2% entitles her to exclusive decision making status.  I think Carly has a very legitimate gripe and I hope Sonny one day gets around to defending her. 

You know, watching Helena and Luke together makes me wish they really would get together and just knock one out.  On that happy note… 

Wish me luck.  My oldest son is getting married, so I’m off to Canada for a little over a week.  THAT part should be wonderful (*sigh*  I love her.  She’s exactly like me, a Freudian masterpiece), but 14 hours there and 14 hours back with three kiddies in a car should be an experience, especially with two out of three being proven pukers!  Ah, Canada!  The beach!  REAL fish and chips!  Sitting up with my son and daughter-in-law laughing until our sides hurt!  A beautiful wedding!  I’ve had one vacation (to Oregon, which turned out to be a DISASTER of being stranded in a dead 69 VW bus in Redding) a year ago last Memorial Day - ever try to rent a car to get home on Memorial Day?) prior to this since 1995 and this is a welcome break from the madness.  I’ll be back in a little over a week!




The Nike company sure said a mouthful with that one!  Now if they would just say it to the people of Port Charles.  I'm ready to feed Lucky and Elizabeth Spanish Fly, duct-tape them together with every appropriate body part appropriately tucked, throw them into a hot tub and have it be done.  I appreciated the public service announcement on the birth control and AIDS prevention at first.  It's getting a bit tiresome having it continually discussed, however.  Need I go into the pubescent tee-hee approach to this as well with the guys and the girls sequestered off in their respective corners giggling like Paxil-loaded hyenas?  Never mind that we're talking about actors that are nearly forty-years-old pretending to be teens.  This has got to be the longest foreplay in history.  The next question I have is why we don't go into lengthy discussions about condoms, sexual history, AIDS testing and birth control pills whenever Bobbie and Roy or Felicia and Luke hit the sack?  I suppose it's because these are young people having sex and there's the big myth that if a young person sees Elizabeth and Lucky being careful that they will be careful, even if all these other people just throw down whenever and where ever.  I don't remember seeing Bobbie tear into a condom package on the hospital board room table or the floor of Kelly's. 

Welcome home, Stef!!  May the games begin!!

More later.  Take care all.


December 2nd 2000  3:06PST

OK, Masses, Prepare to Be Educated

For all of you who are already aware of this info, I apologize for the waste of your computer screen.  Consider it a worthy investment if even one person who didn’t know before, is enlightened.

I want to share the following letter with you.  I received it from a very, very dear friend who lives in Colorado and has been my real life bud (not just cyber) for almost ten years now.  She is very sweet and loving and knows not the malice she propagates: 

    What Would You Do~ 

What would you do if every time you fell in love you had to say good~bye?  

What would you do if every time you wanted someone they would never be     there?  

What would you do, if you best friend died tomorrow and you never got to tell them how you felt?  

What would you do if you loved someone more than ever and you couldn't       have them? 

Some people love, and some people leave us before their time. 

But I want to tell you I love you, and you are my true friend. 

If I died tomorrow, you would be in my heart.   

Would I be in yours?  

If you care about the person that sent this to you then you will send it back.  

Please send this to all your friends.   

Remember.....  To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” 

So can you see my dilemma?  First of all, I do not, DO NOT, log onto the computer and open my inbox to be depressed.  I try to avoid depressing stuff in a totally Pollyanna, freakishly smurfish way.  Secondly, if I don’t send this back to sweet Valiree, then I’m a jerk because “If [I} care about the person that sent this to [me] then [I] will send it back.  Well, crap.  The thing is, I’m NOT going to send it back and this kind of emotional, internet blackmail really pisses me off.  I get probably 5-6 of these things a day from my dear friends who want to tell me they wuv me (OK, that part is cool, but damn!) without realizing that they have fallen victim to a plot to bog down the internet with floods of letters.  That’s just THIS breed of the bandwidth eating scam.  To debunk the net for all you gullibles out there, I am going to break it off to you straight out and simple.  You may feel inclined to scoff or what-if this to death, but just trust me and understand that what I’m telling you is the truth.

The letters like the one above, as well as the ones with “friendship roses,” Pooh Bears, angels, etc. created from letters of the alphabet that push your guilt buttons by saying, “Send this to forty people you love within the next ten minutes or they’ll know you don’t really love them” are all a scam to get loving net-mongers to slow down the internet by tying up bandwidth with frivolous e-mails. If everyone refused to send these things out, it would be like all Australians jumping at one time: the internet would tip on its axis, but in a good way.  You would be amazed at how much faster the net would fly.  Why would someone do this?  Just for the power kick of it.  It’s for the same reason people create viruses:  because they can.

The Hawaiian Tiki God who bring good luck if you forward it to a million friends but bad luck if you delete it (One person deleted it and was hit by a truck ten minutes later!!!!) and the other chain e-mails that threaten and intimidate you into sending them on are the same pox with a different scab. 

To further the breakdown of illusion, here are a few other net urban myths debunked:

AOL, Microsoft, Victoria’s Secret and all the other companies sited in various letters quite literally have no way to count the number of e-mails you send out and have absolutely no intention of sending you $247.50 for every one you send.  It doesn’t matter how many forwards are on the letter you get saying, “I just got my check today!!!  This is for real!!”  It’s not. Stop doing this straight away and may God have mercy on your soul if you sheepishly type, “Oh well!  What the heck!  I need the money, tee-hee!” on the top of this beast before you send it. 

There is no little kid anywhere whose dying (usually spelled “dieing”)wish is to receive a million e-mails before their aplastic anemia whisks them away to heaven.  The Make a Wish foundation does not play this game.  This scam usually is a revenge tactic in which some evildoer writes this heart-wrenching letter directing the well wishes to the e-mail account of his victim.  When the thousands of letters pour into the sorry bastard’s account, at worst, the server could crash, at best, his e-mail account will lock up tighter than Aunt Sally’s pursed lips.  This also is a way of again, eating up a lot of bandwidth for frivolous crap.

The Taco Bell Dog is not going to run across your screen and do something cute just because you forward a bunch of e-mails to your pals. 

Here is one unique letter that I received:

“You may find this letter a bit pathetic, but I am desperate and decided to try this approach.  I recently lost my job and am having an increasingly difficult time paying my bills and taking care of my two children.  I am fearful of what may happen if I do not get a new job soon.  I am hoping that you can find it in your heart to possibly send me whatever you find appropriate, to temporarily help until I get a new job.. A dollar bill or even some spare change would help. Believe me, this is very difficult and embarrassing for me, but I am desperate. Please send whatever you can to: [gives snail mail address] You have no idea of how much I appreciate this.  If for any reason this letter has offended you, please ignore it.  I apologize.”
So not only do we have to deal with being accosted in the Safeway parking lot, now we have bums on the net as well. This person probably hit enough soft hearts that s/he bought a nice house and is living off the grid, kicking back in a net-financed Jacuzzi and smoking a fat doobie, wondering if it will work again in a year when all the money is spent. Sure it will.

Mind you, by having a public e-mail address, I already get more Spam than Armour will ever manufacture.  “University Diplomas, Like, Now,” “Hot Steaming Teen Sex,” “Find Out Anything About Anyone!” hit my box about 50 times a day.  Those little web spiders sure do their job.  My favorite is “Fifty Thousand Fresh E-mail Addresses!!”  Yeah, and I’m sure mine is in there.

The worst are the horrible warnings that fly around the net about children being murdered to ship drugs across the Mexican border in their bodies and other lovely tidbits that I’m not particularly hoping to see when I open my inbox.  There are just some things I don’t want to know.

For myself personally, I don’t care for heartwarming or feel good (or worse, feel BAD) things that people send around.  “I was at a party, I thought I’d have some fun, My friend made me take a drink and then another one.  We went to get more alcohol and hit a truck of nuns.  I didn’t want to kill anyone, just wanted to have some funs!  I didn’t want to drink and drive, but my bad friend made me do it. I’m sorry mom, I’m going to die, I wish I could help you through it.”  Again, not the stuff I’m looking for in my inbox. 

I also get really sick of e-mails that start out as a really spooky or nice story and end up with the last paragraph being an attempt to proselytize for the Christian Church or any other organization.  I just got one recently from a dear net friend who sent this totally bitchin’ story about a couple who are driving on a deserted road, see a bedraggled woman flagging them down, car accident, my husband’s dead please save by baby, the guy goes down to save the baby, where’s the mother? She followed you down, he gets down there and the mother is seat-belted into the car long dead.  Whoa.  Goosebumps.  But then it’s followed by, “If you believe in the Almighty and that miracles like these can truly happen, send this to your friends.  If you don't send it, nothing will happen, only that some people won't be able to know the greatness of the Lord.”  Alrighty then. Couldn’t just let a cool story be a cool story.  Had to turn it into a commercial for God. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I love getting cool stuff from people.  I’ve gotten some seriously funny stuff that cracked me up and that really makes my day.  I have to admit, I’ve probably seen more Florida ballots than the people counting them, but most were pretty fun.  The best jokes I’ve ever heard were forwards from the net and for those, I am truly grateful (see previous post…should have added that).  I just am fed up with the ones designed to make me feel frightened or sad or guilty or any of those other bummer feelings.  Let me wear my rose colored glasses in peace and remember that this is the same person who has never seen the movie Old Yeller because I heard it had a bummer ending.  I don’t go looking for those kinds of feelings.  I’ve had them come to me by natural attrition more than enough in my life.

So here I’ve rambled forever about an off-topic subject, but these items are all pretty close to my heart.  Please don’t be afraid to send things to me now.  I always welcome mail from my readers.  But with me and everyone else you regularly mail, be selective and send the choices stuff.  Don’t send something because you are being falsely intimidated by the though of not being someone’s friend if they don’t get the smiley face made from &’s back within an hour.  Don’t buy into the bad luck theory either.  Your luck comes from you, not the Hawaiian Tiki God.  Now forward this column to ten of your friends and Andreas will run across your screen naked. 

Rant off.

E-mail Katrina

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