Archive for the ‘Journalist’ Category

“Someone is saying terrible things about you,” I supposedly tweeted to my prized list.  And only two people knew what was going on, and yet they were crass enough to blame it on me, as though being a writer, a best-selling one at that, and exploring Social Media Marketing wouldn’t put you on a crash course with this Tech Red Brigade of Do Nothing/Destroy Everything For No Reason At All /and AIN’T WE COOL WITH HIGH SCHOOL BRAINS I heard about all my computing life but chalked up to an urban myth.  Species: Hacktus Despickablis.

I certainly didn’t know what was happening.  Even though passwords wouldn’t work just hours after changing them and people I unfriended would come back. I’d distinctly been put the ringer at some sites.  I blamed a lot of mishaps on not changing my tech for seven years, and a lot for new wave of gadgets I’d bought: all these apps and apples, and some second-hand stuff to help friends out.  For the first time in 35 years of computing, real problems were cropping up everywhere.  And it didn’t help when Apple sent me a letter that I had a bum hard drive and did I mind just bringing it in and wasting $10,000 of work, then spending another 10 on reinstalling all the stuff I needed, but they needed the receipts and installation disks just to prove I laid out the cash–oh,  and sorry the inconvenience? This was the company I thought so much of?

When I first started out with tech, no windows, just DOS, my wondrous Okidata laser printer did something wrong and was sued, but not to me; still, they  compensated me with a lifetime of printing drums, which is what costs a fortune in those things anyway.  Apple bragged that they were going to replace their broken hard drive for FREE. Wow!! Steve Jobs truly is so cold and dead.  I’d love to hire a big big attorney and a big big PR agent and show them that we’re noticing.

I did get all scared for a while and took all this shrink pills BUT in the course of six decades it was only three years, and the rest of the times I was hassling NYC cabbies and insulting Miami muggers.  I’m a nice little girl but don’t mess with me, you know. And I’m a journalist, it’s my nature to be curious.  Which brings me back to my Web 2.0 or 2.5  and the Swollen Brigade Eye Net—the new/old  Internet secret–who are pissing me off  something cruel.

HACKERS.  HACKERS IN MY COMPUTER. ON MY PHONE. IN MY VIDEOS. ON FACEBOOK PHONY PAGES, SOON TO BE ON YOURS.

Did mankind really think that he/she could create something simply positive and in the spirit of evolution without some jealous, mental cases yearning for attention blowing up bridges? And there we were, lambs to the slaughter all linked together downloading/sharing those free apps? music? PDFs? books? RSS feeds?  Didn’t they tell us not to download attachments?   And what about push messages? No one but geeks got that one.  They push right through your door.  They stole my book right off my hard drive.( I have lots of copies dudes!  Fortunately, they’re sorta trapped in a computer right now at least, although one weenie head I recognize from his phony name with a crush lives about 80 miles away (but has no neck). I notice they got to my agent about six months ago,which must be why she looks so sad lately and has withdrawn so much publicity.  For me, it’s just the opposite. A call  for some revenge for these past miserable years. And a healing??  To see how many  geeks really want to win the pretty girl and stand tall.  America is becoming, and good guys/gals officially, a girly scout camp of wimps.

I say, no more. Basta. Look, I’m no idiot by far, I’m not going to wipe them out.  Every time I visit my mirror Facebook page or click on my Viddy, I exponentially multiply the hackers, who think also put on a show of  smoke are mirrors. The count reads 33,000 are after me (BUY MY BOOK here!) but then viewed in another way, it’s only 77.

My friends say to ignore them and obviously can’t  think beyond their next pin image on the board. Just today, Barnes & Noble announced some trouble,  and several other sites just said this week they’re having a problem. Yep, that worked well with Hitler, that ignoring plan. He’ll go away, they’ll  go away, don’t think so! This is what evil does, and it just gets stronger and meaner with these dustballs until we’ll have to nuke them. It’s that Thriving When Good People Do Nothing.

(Excerpt from: LIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Roberta Morgan)

Ernie

It is very hard for me to write this now.

He became my son, and I always told him he was my real little boy, that I had given birth to him, that I always dreamed of having a little boy with red hair named Justin, but it turned out to be Ernest Scott, named after Hemingway and Fitzgerald.  I figured it couldn’t hurt my own skills to have such a handsome prince with those names at my feet.

I was at The Key West Theatre Festival.  Without going into too much tour guide shit, Key West is a totally different place than Miami; you get to it via one straight road which at one point is only road over water.  Takes about four hours.  Key West boasted several thousand people before Miami was even settled and stood with the North during the Civil War. A hang-out for artists in general, both Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams owned houses there.

Most people drink way too much, but it would be a blast to be alive and kickin’ in Key West.

The Key West Theater Fest is ten days long and features plays from groups all up and down the other Keys, like Islamorada, Key Largo, etc.   That year they were almost all, down to the last act of the last play, bad.

But some local society had decided to give me an award for critical writing in poor Mr. Hemingway’s name and some other mixed-up person believed a polydactyl came with it, though that was in debate.

Hemingway had 68 or so polydactyls there, but in reality they were not kept in Key West; I believe he kept them in Cuba, and they only changed the myth to spark Key West tourism and of course, any mention of Castro’s Kingdom was forbidden.

Polydactyls are cats with more than the usual number of toes on each paw.  Some can actually hold pens and scribble.  I was in a room with a bunch of them, but had no intention of bringing a pet (which Brian would never like) four hours home in the pouring rain.

I’ve told this story a million times and now my eyes tear up.

Just as I was about to offer my apologies and I think they were about to withdraw the offer, from behind the couch comes an orange tabby, highly alert, a bit bigger than the other kittens.

He looks right at me and with that telepathy we had for 20 years, says, “Mom! I thought you’d never come.”

Oh, he’s from the street, one of the women says.  He doesn’t have extra toes.  A stray that climbed the wall.  Going to the pound tomorrow.

And I thought.  Where he’ll be put to death.

The cat, who I’ve already named Ernie, grabs my ankle, looks up at me and mind melds: “Did you hear that shit?”

He never complained.  For the whole drive.  I didn’t know to give him water.  I got litter and box, food dish, water bowl, Iams. Guy at the Pet Shop told me. Basic kitty kit. When we got home, he drank and drank and peed, then took a shit.  He clawed the wall to cover it, as if somehow the litter was in the sky.  What did he know? He had been raised an outdoor cat.  And he never learned.  We never cared.

He walked around our fantastic apartment, with a view over the Intercoastal spotted with small Islands all the way to Miami. He covered every room, every corner.  When he was done, he came up to me and rubbed against my legs.  He approved.  That night, he slept under my armpit, and my insomnia went away.

The next day Brian called and I told him the news.  He said we didn’t need a cat.  After all he’d put me through, I had enough.  Besides, I’d found a new love.

“It’s you or the cat for me,” I said.  “So don’t come home if you won’t love him.”

“Well, I won’t love him, certainly.”

The irony of the things we say in life.  Although when they first met, it wasn’t love at first sight.  Ernie and I had been living as husband and wife for ten days.  Then this lunk appears and ignores him with a bad attitude to boot.  Ernie scratched his suitcase.  Brian yelled at him two days later for bending one of his precious medical textbooks.

I don’t know when the change occurred.  But felines rule in a subtle way, and eventually they steal your heart.

Ernie held the page open for my mother’s prayers when my father died.  Ernie needed a pride to rule so we ended up with six cats.  Ernie had a book written about him, and several portraits done of him.  He was smart and feisty, and no cat challenged him.  He cleared the walkway of our complex in California when we took him out.  Ernie ruled by virtue of his confidence and intellect.  He never lost either; well, maybe the former, when he was trying any kind of food to stay with us just one more day.

His only problem was that he was an outdoor cat, and that was not convenient or safe, so in Miami he was confined indoors and made himself quite vocal about it.  In Los Angeles, we had a little garden, so we could take some of them out and watch they didn’t climb the wall.  He did escape one or two times, but we always managed to find him, hearts pounding with true fear.

In this house where I write, Horror House I call it, he finally had his own garden with a pool and he loved it.  He wasn’t allowed out on his own, because it was coyote country, but he got a good hour or two playing, exercising, taking toys out and having fun until he chose to go inside and nap.

He became so affectionate in his older age, and strangely enough, adoring of Brian.  The feeling was mutual.  They’d cuddle up and nudge each other.  He would sleep next to Brian, with his head on the same pillow.

That last week, when Ernie weighed nothing and it hurt to look at him, Brian said to me: “I don’t want to leave for work, because I’m afraid I’ll never see my dear little chap again.”

Well, he didn’t, but I know one thing.  Whenever I regret leaving New York, I realize that if we hadn’t gone to Miami, I would never have had a son named Ernest Scott Morgan.

Are you out there?

Can you hear me?

Can you see me in the dark?