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Monthly Archives: October 2007

Orlando hasn’t answered my letter yet.

Ordinarily I would understand why, after all he’s an extremely busy hunk and there are lots of losers like me out there vying for his attention. The thing is, I read on one of his fan sites (the same one that admonishes us not to get our hopes up waiting for him to respond to our letters) that he has no upcoming projects. No movies, no stage productions, no commercials, nothing. So shouldn’t he have plenty of time to answer fan mail?

On the above mentioned fan site they said that if we had any questions about fan mail we should feel free to e-mail them and ask. So I e-mailed them and asked, since he doesn’t have any upcoming projects, shouldn’t he have plenty of time to answer fan mail? They haven’t answered me yet either.

To keep myself from feeling too disappointed I trolled around the internet looking for Orlando. As I said, there are many fan sites out there. Unfortunately none of them seem to have the inside scoop on his whereabouts. Nevertheless, some of the sites are quite interesting.

Most of them are just your average, garden variety teeny-bopper sites, but one of them is quite different. This site has very strict guidelines for its members. You have to be over thirteen to join, first of all. And don’t think they won’t be able to tell if you aren’t over thirteen. You have to use proper grammar when posting to the forums. You can’t have a cheesy user name like “Mrs. Bloom” or “iluvsmesomeorlando” or anything like that. You can’t go and post to old, dead forum threads. Most importantly, you can not, under any circumstances, talk about his private life. If you violate any of these rules the consequences will be dire. Now this is my kind of website, let me tell you. You have to have some sense of order in life, after all. I would have started a thread asking if anyone had his phone number, but to tell you the truth I’m fucking scared.

There is another fan site that is pretty much what you’d expect it to be, but it does have a few neat features. One feature is that it has a page where you can send your own Orli-Gram. Basically it’s an e-card that you can send for any occasion. It’s really neat because you can add your special messages and it even has music files that you can attach. They said you could send one to him, which is silly because we already established that he doesn’t have an e-mail address.

Still, I was very excited at the prospect of having a new Christmas Orli-Gram to send to all my friends and well-wishers. I sent one to my friend Pandemonic that said “Have a Good Bloomin’ Day, All My Bloomin’ Love, Wanda.” It turns out she never got it. I sent another one to myself and I received it, but the music didn’t play (I chose “Moon River”).

And to top it all off, I missed Legolas Day (October 25th).  All in all it was a rather disappointing week. I hope I have something more exciting to report next time.  I’m running out of ideas though. 

Oh, do you want to see the Orli-Gram? Here it is:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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I apologize if you’ve read this elsewhere.  I wrote a companion article to it and you can’t have one without the other.  Sorry!

When I was younger I used to think about what it would be like to be a mother. I always knew it would happen one day, even when I wasn’t altogether sure that I wanted to be somebody’s wife. Back then I imagined that my first child would be a girl and that we would be madly in love with each other. There would be none of the mother/daughter angst I had with my own mother, no sir. We’d spend all of our time together painting each other’s toenails, doing each other’s hair and being bestest best friends.

I didn’t exactly get my wish. My first child turned out to be a boy, and while he does worship the ground I walk on we do not paint each others toenails. It took another seven years before I finally got my wish and had a girl to call my very own. Apparently my husband had his own ideas. He’s been plotting against me ever since Janey was born. When she was tiny and used to cry Mr. Rizzuto would run for the hills.“Can you take care of that?” he used to say. “I don’t want her to associate anything bad with me.”When that didn’t work he’d pretend that he was extremely busy with other things until I finally got up and dealt with her.

His plan was successful. Now Janey and her dad have a very exclusive mutual admiration society. My daughter is now 18 months old and for the last several months she’s been “talking.” Her vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds, but there is one word that she just doesn’t want to say: mama.

Naturally her first real word was “daddy,” or “da-ee,” as she puts it. Da-ee was used not only to address the man in question, but also in reference to anything happy or pleasant.

“Da-ee!” she’d say, pointing to the cookie jar.

“Da-ee!” she’d say when it was time for The Wiggles.

She even took to calling me da-ee. I guess she figured I’d know who she meant, so there was no point in learning a new word.

“Da-ee!” she’d say, holding her arms out to me.

“Mommy,” I’d tell her. “My name is mommy.”

“Da-ee.”

“Mommy.”

“Da-ee.”

“Oh, forget it,” I always ended up saying. I usually got tired of the game before she did.

“Why won’t she say my name?” I would ask my husband. “Doesn’t she like me?”

“I don’t know,” he’d answer, smirking. “’Daddy’ is easier to say than ‘mommy‘. Maybe ‘mommy’ is too hard. Why don’t you tell her to call you ‘mama’?

I decided to give it a try. Every time I picked her up I’d point to myself and say “mama.” I’d show her pictures of the two of us and say “mama.” Every sentence I spoke to the kid was punctuated with the word “mama.”

Eventually she learned a bunch of new words. Still, she refused to acknowledge me.

“Do you want some juice, Janey?” I’d ask.

“Joos!” she’d say.

“OK, but can you say ‘mama’?

“Joos,” she’d answer, holding her sippy cup.

“Mama.”

“Shoos,” pointing to her feet.

“That’s right! Those are your shoes. Mama?”

“Daw,” pointing to Puppy R.

“Yes, Puppy is a dog. Mama?”

“Daw,” pointing to Noggin R.

“That’s right, Noggin is also a dog. Puppy is Noggin’s mama. Can you say mama?”

“Bay-bee,” pointing to herself.

“That’s right! You’re the baby. Mama?”

“Day,” pointing to her brother.

“Yep, that’s Damian. Mama?”

“Beep!” poking her belly button.

“Smart girl! Mama?”

“Joos.”

“I’ll get your juice when you say ‘mama.’”

“Joos.”

“Mama.”

“Fiddlesticks.”

“Mama.”

“Antidisestablishmentarianism.”

“Mama!”

“Joos!”

“Oh forget it!”

I started to give up hope. I resigned myself to the fact that she was going to be a daddy’s girl through and through. I told myself it wouldn’t be so bad, at least my son still thinks I walk on water. Besides, one day she’ll get her period and her dad will be nowhere to be found. She’ll be back.

Last week I had a really bad day at work. I came home angry and tired and headed straight for the shower. I was in the bathroom, dripping wet and mumbling to myself about polishing up my resume when a heard a little voice at the bottom of the stairs.

“Mama?”

“What’s wrong baby?” my husband said.

I heard him scoop her up and walk up the stairs with her. The bathroom door opened and I stood there with a towel around me. Janey held out her arms.

“Who’s that?” said Mr. Rizzuto

“Mama,” said Janey, and wrapped herself around me.

I hugged her even harder.

“That’s right,” I said. “Mama.”

Now Janey calls me Mama all the time. In the morning she wakes up and says “Hi Mama!” I come home from work and she says “Hi Mama!” I’m thrilled to pieces. Isn’t she sweet?

The other morning I was dropping her off at the baby sitter’s when we ran into one of her contemporaries. They stood out on the sidewalk for a couple of minutes patting each other on the shoulders.

“Hi!” said the other baby.

“Hi Mama!” said Janey.

Isn’t she sweet.

A bit of explanation about this post….I wrote this on another website about a year ago.  There was a person on the site that went by the name of What Nonsense.  What Nonsense’s avatar was a big, ugly, scary praying mantis.  He (she?) was my inspiration for this rambling. 

I have this thing about praying mantises. They scare the hell out of me.

My mother has a similar fear of snakes. My brother detests snails. My son carries on the tradition–he screams like a girl whenever he sees a spider.

“What nonsense,” Mr. Rizzuto tells me. He‘s a biology teacher. “It makes sense, from an evolutionary perspective, to be afraid of snakes. A snake could kill you. But a praying mantis? That’s just silly.”

It all started when I was about 6 or 7 years old. A big brown praying mantis attached itself to a screen window in my grandparents’ house. My grandfather, who was the smartest person I ever knew, saw everything as a potential learning experience. This was a perfect opportunity.

“Look Kevin, look Wanda,” he said. “It’s a praying mantis.”

Oh dear Lord what the hell is that horrible alien looking monster thing….“They call it a praying mantis because of the way it holds its front legs, as if in prayer.”

Good God please get me out of here kill it kill me something quickly…“It’s against the law to kill a praying mantis. They eat garden pests.”

Oh God Oh God Oh God MOMMIEEEE!!!!For the rest of the day my stupid brother kept telling me that the praying mantis was gone and it was OK to come back into the room. Since I was just a little kid I fell for it about 400 times. My grandfather finally came and told me that it finished its prayers and left. I’ve hated them ever since.

You don’t run into too many praying mantises when you grow up in New York City. The one time I do remember seeing one I stayed awake for hours waiting for it to come and get me. I figured that, theoretically at least, it could have followed me down the street, through the doors of my building, up the elevator, into my apartment and into my bedroom where it would be rubbing its little praying legs together waiting to pounce on me. I was a morbid child.

Now that I’m all grown up I realize what nonsense it is for me to be afraid of the damn things. But that’s what a phobia is after all, an irrational fear. When I was in college I studied animal behavior and I had to learn a lot about insects. I learned some really cool things about praying mantises. Did you know that it’s the only insect that can turn its head all the way around? Here’s another interesting piece of trivia: a praying mantis has an ear in its abdomen. Neat, huh? Yeah. Right.

Who am I kidding? I’ll never get over it. I had a co-worker once that told me a really creepy story about them. She had a friend that had some patio furniture. A praying mantis laid its eggs in the leg of one of the chairs. She moved the chair into the house. Mantises everywhere. And, of course, she couldn’t kill them because they‘re protected. Now if that were me I’d have to be carried out, foaming at the mouth, in a straight jacket. Then I’d have to sell the house.

Say it with me now. What nonsense.

Finding Orlando’s phone number wasn’t going to be easy. I was going to need help so I decided to enlist L.G.

L.G. knows what time it is. She works for me and I’m the best boss in the world. Besides, I just helped her husband update his resume, so if I need someone to take a restraining order for me she‘s the one.

I left a note on L.G.’s desk one evening along with the article about Orlando’s car accident. The number to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles was in the note along with instructions to call him before he had a chance to leave. 

I asked her first thing in the morning if she called.

“Um, yeah. They said he was gone already.” Then she went away.

For the rest of the week I kept reminding her that she had to get in touch with him. My birthday is coming up and if I don’t get what I want I might be hard to live with.

“Does he have a website?” she asked. “Maybe if he has a website I can just send him an e-mail.” I looked into it. He does have several fan sites, but one of them said in no uncertain terms that he did not have an e-mail address. I suppose being pretty takes up too much of his time, you can’t really expect him to have e-mail skills.I printed out the information and left it for L.G. again. The next morning I found this note on my desk:“Sorry! I called Orlando & he said Jessica Simpson won’t let him come 2 NY.”Jessica Simpson. Very amusing. I’m starting to think L.G.’s not really making those phone calls at all.

Clearly no one respects my authority. I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands and write my own fan letter. I’ve never done that before, and since Orlando probably get tons of fan letters and never sees most of it, I was really going to have to put my ass into it.

My first stop was the Orlando Bloom Files . On the contact page they listed the address to his talent agency and a set of perfectly draconian guidelines for sending fan mail. If I wanted an autograph I had to send an envelope big enough for an 8×10 photo. It had to have U.S. postage, or an IRC, whatever the crap that is. If I was lucky enough to get a response, I had to swear, under penalty of severe torture, not to write again unless I wanted to ruin it for all his other fans.

Gawd. Do they give out ration tickets too? Seriously, is this a fan club or the meat line in Soviet Russia? I’m not liking this. Who is he to ask me for 60 cents worth of postage? Isn’t he the millionaire? And aren’t I the one who spent ten dollars and two hours of her life (which I’ll never get back, incidentally) on Kingdom of Heaven? And don’t even get me started on Elizabethtown.

But I digress. I decided to look for help on writing the letter. I Googled “fan mail” and found a lot of information on the subject. There’s also quite a bit of fan mail trivia. For instance, did you know that Marlon Brando once wrote a fan letter to Kukla, Fran and Ollie? I got some good advice too. Here are the highlights:

“Begin your letter by identifying yourself. Your name and age are good starters.”

“Tell the person how much you like his work. Be specific.”

“Do not ask a star to meet you, call you, marry you, etc. Do not use gimmicks or guilt trips.”

“ ‘Hi, my name is obsessed fan and I masturbate daily to your bod!’ isn’t your ideal starter.”

“Conclude by wishing the celebrity the best of luck or telling him how much you look forward to future work.”

Right. OK. Got it. Here’s the first draft of my fan letter:

Dear Orlando,

Hello. My name is Wanda. Never mind how old I am.

I really enjoy your work. My favorite movie was Troy and my favorite part was when you took your drawers off.

I don’t expect you to meet me, call me or marry me but I think you ought to seriously consider buying E-mail for Dummies. Oh, I almost forgot, if you’re available my husband says we can hook up but you only get one shot (no pun intended). And don’t worry, Oprah Winfrey says I’m only fat because I have an old thyroid, and I have a doctor’s appointment later in the week.

What do you like to do for fun? When my husband goes out I like to rent Troy, drink some Mad Dog 20/20 and have sexy time with my hand-held shower scrapbooking.

Best of luck to you. I look forward to seeing you go full monty in your next film.

I remain,

Wanda Rizzuto

You guys let me know if you think it needs anything.

My husband scribbled this on a notepad and slipped it to me. All I could do was roll my eyes.

Lately things have gone missing from my house. That’s not all that unusual given the fact that we have a tween, a toddler and two dogs. At first we lost the baby’s bottle, the cap to our air mattress and a bottle of prescription medicine, all in the space of three or four days. We found the air mattress cap eventually, it was in Janey’s toy box (she can be a little squirrel-like sometimes). After that we just shrugged our shoulders and chalked it up to “one of those things.”

About a week ago something really odd happened. I was getting myself and the baby ready one morning and I was holding her and one of her shoes. She was holding the other shoe. I walked downstairs, sat down, put her shoe on and reached for the one she was holding. It was gone.

Not just sorta gone. Gone. Ceased to exist. I looked everywhere. The last time I had seen it was thirty seconds earlier. I retraced my steps (bathroom-stairs-chair) about three times. I still haven’t found it. You tell me where it went. A few days ago my husband lost his glasses. Now, if you’re one of those people with truly terrible vision you know that you just don’t lose glasses. If I ever lost mine and didn’t have a backup pair of contact lenses I wouldn’t be able to leave my house. My husband has the same problem. Every night he puts his glasses either on the floor next to the bed or on the dresser. But they’re gone. He woke up one morning and they were just not there.That evening he gave me his hypothesis.

“You know,” he said, choosing his words ever so carefully, “someone did die in this house.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” I asked, incredulous.

If you knew my husband you‘d know how ridiculous that statement was. He’s an atheist. Not just any old atheist. You might say he’s Atheist Plus. He’s a confirmed skeptic. He doesn’t just not believe in God, he doesn’t believe in anything that you can’t quantify, measure, explain and verify with a double-blind study. It goes with the territory of being a biologist.

Since I’m a Martin Sheen Catholic, it sometimes makes very interesting conversation around our house. Mr. Rizzuto hasn’t talked me out of being a Catholic, but he has definitely talked me out of believing in ghosts. I used to think idea of ghosts was fascinating. Now I just think it’s silly.

“Well,” he continued, “remember that lady in the picture?” Oh. The lady in the picture.

When we first bought our house a little old man dropped by and told us that it used to belong to his grandmother around the turn of the (20th) century. Apparently she was killed on the street out front when she was hit by a vehicle of some sort. He left us a picture of the house with her standing in front of it. She’s wearing a big flowery hat, the shadow of which obscures her face. She’s also wearing a long white dress with puffy sleeves. Very spooky stuff. I suppose if I were going to nominate anyone to haunt a house it would be her.

“Are you saying that that lady is haunting our house? Are you OF ALL PEOPLE saying we have a ghost?”

“I’m not really saying anything…”

“OK, why would she be haunting the house? She died outside. Shouldn’t she be haunting the street?”

“Well, don’t you thing she’d spend her time trying to get back into the house?”

“So why is she taking our stuff?”

“She’s still pissed off at being run over!”

Duh.

This afternoon Mr. Rizzuto thoroughly cleaned out our bedroom. He even cleaned under the bed. We don’t normally talk about what might be going on under the bed.

“The glasses are not here,” he proclaimed. “They are not in the house.”

“OK,” I said. “Maybe you got up, went to the bathroom, put your glasses down and they fell behind the sink or something.” I was really reaching.

“I’ve never done that before, but you’re probably right.” That’s when he picked up the notepad and wrote me the note.

Whatever. I wasn’t going to sit around and listen to some nonsense about a shoe-stealing ghost. What would the kids think? Kids rely on their parents to keep a cool head at times like these. So I did what any reasonable person would do. I went upstairs, locked myself in the bathroom and said a prayer to St. Jude.

Superstitions. Phooey.