In search of story


On being happy

My California brother sent me a link to a video, “Reading=Happy.” Music by Pherrell Williams. Dancing by librarians, Kiwanians, Rotarians, city council members, pizza delivery guys, Boys and Girls Club, youthful ballerinas, grade school kids. Its purpose: to benefit the Placentia library. Its spirit: infectious, intoxicating, toe-tapping, head-bouncing joie de vivre. Happiness is not an easy thing to define, but we know it when we see it. We know it when we feel it. Obviously readers are deliriously happy people.

What about writers, more specifically, WordPress writers? Even more specifically, WordPress writers with Vista and IE9? And what about the WordPress Happiness Engineers? How happy can they be?

I understand that it is my sorry lot to have Vista with IE9, that my medieval browser is being blamed for the problems uploading images. But why blame the browser? Everything worked smoothly until now. It seems to be something WordPress has done. What’s done cannot be undone? (Thanks, Will.)

WordPress voices exhort me to update my browser. But others warn me not to mess with Vista and IE9. What doth it profit a writer to upload images if she loseth a dozen other computer functions?

WordPress is for writers, yes? Technology is the pen, the tool, the means to an end. I envy the bloggers with technical skills and their dazzling presentations, but it’s the writing that matters. I don’t want to agonize over browsers and other imponderables. I want the “simple” and “easy” that WordPress promised.

My son is now inserting my photos in my posts from his computer. This works but imposing on him does not make me happy.

I cannot imagine the burden of being a Happiness Engineer. I wish each one well and the inspiration to return us to happier uploading. Soon. Please.


Carved in stone

Was this my first mistake? I called them Grandma Bunny and her grandbunnies, and thought they were cuter than Thumper.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

But I might have been wrong. Maybe not so cute. Who knew rabbits could read?

There are two. Naturally. They interrupt my breakfast with their own. One has good instincts and runs when I appear, stalking in dew-slimed slippers, and armed with my morning coffee. (It is good to be afraid of me before I’ve had morning coffee.) The other stares at me until I get close enough for him to smell the coffee. Then he runs. But only far enough to make me walk more. And so incrementally I escort him to the fence, where he stops to throw a humph over his shoulder before he squeezes under and heads off to other smorgasbords.

I surmise he is the one who thinks he is invisible when he flattens himself into the grass. His mama forgot to teach him to pull in those ears. Seriously, rabbit, do you think I can’t see you?

One morning my rabbit check stunned me: they had disguised themselves. Obviously they were on to me. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

But I was on to them. I replaced my apparently delectable painted daisy with a bristly rudbeckia. When I heard the loud puh-TOO-ey the next morning in the pre-dawn dark, I knew I’d had my revenge. Take THAT, wretched rabbit!

Last week there was a rustling in the shadow of the chives. When I approached, a bunny took off. Small enough to hide in the herbs, it nimbly darted among the thickets of zinnias and geraniums as I woefully reflected on this new generation of gluttons. Their revenge on me.

I am now looking for a garden ornament that features a recipe for hasenpfeffer.


The old lady who asked WHY

One day an old lady started a blog. She was nervous but very proud. She was bravely entering an alien world.

Then one day she learned how to put photos in her posts! She was euphoric! Slowly she became less terrified. Not comfortable, mind you, just less terrified.

Then one day her camera changed: the photos were blurry and the colors were not true. She scratched her head. “Why?” she asked.

Then one day she was typing on her keyboard when something clattered on her left. She looked over at her printer — which, by the way, she was not using — and saw a large piece of blue plastic which had not been there a moment before. Again she scratched her head. “Why?” she asked. Immediately there was another clatter, and there lay a cartridge. This time the old lady asked nothing at all, but just sat staring at her fractured printer.

Then one day she tried to insert a photo into a blog post. She’d done it before with no problem. Not this time. “Why?” she asked, with maybe one small tear. She tried again and again. She clicked on everything, learned nothing. Eventually she found her way to theoretical places called Support and Forum, where people spoke in tongues, none of which she understood.

It was hopeless. The blog world — and everything related to it — was obviously incomprehensible.

She knew she was whupped, so she grabbed her pencil and climbed into a time machine. She can be found in 1956 with her Kodak Brownie and steno pad.