Sunday, November 7, 2010

Unbelievable!

"Sometimes, you just have to bow to the absurd." - Jean-Luc Piccard (Star Trek fictional character).

I don’t even know where to begin this bizarre tale.

About a year or so ago, we started hearing tales of a neighbor gone batty that lives a few doors down from my grandpa. Apparently he had his dogs kill a few of the neighborhood dogs. Also, he liked to stare at his chubby neighbor as she swam in her pool, and spray his water hose into her yard.

Then he started following women in the neighborhood to the store, the gym, their work. Wherever. He even tried to run one off the road. In short, 5 out of the 8 neighbors that live on my grandpa’s street have restraining orders against this guy.

Somehow this guy, who doesn’t appear to have a job and dresses like a bum, was able to hire the best defense lawyer in town.

Well, after just a little research, it was easy to figure out how this guy could afford the attorney…

He is the brother of a well known star!

A star that has had his own difficulties with the law over the years!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dream Interpretation

Some dreams are rather easy to interpret.

Try your hand at this one...

I dreamt that my athletic club decided to kill members who either weren't coming or weren't meeting their fitness goals. They led them into a field and executed them by firing squad. Why? Because these members were making the club look bad.

It doesn't take much to figure out that the dream is telling me to get my ass back to the gym!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Black Hole

Yes, I'm talking about the internet.

Sometimes I wonder if it has really made life any easier. Why? Settle in for a spell and learn about my magical jouney down the yellow toner road.

First, I had to sign onto my credit card's website. After locating the link (which was moved. again.) I had to sign onto the rewards site. I then had to locate my items among the thousands of retailers on said rewards site. Finally, I selected a random cheap retailer, was transferred to their site, found my products, set up an account (good thing I have a book to keep all my accounts and passwords organized! I've heard that there are online services that can do that for you, but what if I forgot that password?) 45 minutes into my task I had finally ordered 4 boxes of toner, 1 in each color. 45 minutes of my life, gone.

Damn!

Now my shoulders are stiff, my right foot is asleep, I have to pee and I've suffered through 3 really bad dog farts as he sleeps (which is also why my right foot is asleep, he is on it).

Hopefully it will be another year before I run out of toner, but the next time it happens I'm going to bite the bullet, get in the car and venture off to Walmart, Office Max or some other chain store so I can be rewarded with blank stares from high school floor workers who end up telling me that they're sold out of my toner and suggesting I order from their website.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tarantula

Another poem, inspired by a tarantula that crossed my path during a recent hike. One Native American interpretation of a Tarantula's symbolism is "Grandmother"...


Tarantula

Grandmother Spider appears
And speaks to my heart
“Take care of yourself
And keep up your art.”

“Ok, I will,”
I promise her spirit.
But something distracts me
That sound, did you hear it?

I forgot to write it down,
The idea that I had.
The one that was golden
And now I am mad.

But, laundry is full
And beds are unmade.
I’ll remember it soon
When I rest in the shade.

Where’d the time go?
It’s already tonight.
The clock hands are spinning
And nothing is right.

A new day has come,
What was I thinking?
Yesterday’s idea but
A ship that is sinking.

The dishes are dirty
The dog needs to eat.
The kids are out playing
I make the house neat.

Another day gone
And another one yet
Another, another
How many do I get?

What was that idea?
The one that was gold?
I can’t recall it now
I guess I’m getting old.

One day I can’t move
In a box in the ground
Too busy to breathe
There is no more sound.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Common Sense

Random thought...

Why do they call it "common sense", when it really isn't all that common?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why Do Things Have To Change?

When something works well, why is it human nature to go and change it (then complain that it doesn't work well anymore). Are we just looking for something to complain about?

I used to looove McDonald's chocolate milkshakes when I was younger. They used to have little icy chunks of goodness in them, and they tasted like dairy Heaven. But, about 15 years ago they changed the recipe, God knows why, and now they make them with something that coats your tongue like a layer of lacquer paint. It's gross. I've seen them poured out on parking lot asphalt and they still look like a "milkshake". They keep the consistency. Why? What have they added to make this pseudo dairy impersonator - plastic?

In the 15 or so years since they changed my beloved shake recipe, I have moved on to Dairy Queen's version. It's edible and I can count on it tasting the same no matter what Dairy Queen I go to.

But, I really miss my McDonald's shakes, even 15 years later. Wendy's better never change their Frosty recipe!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Art Theft

Below is an article I wrote a few years back about the fascinating world of Art Theft:


The year was 1911, the setting – Paris. A man walks out of The Louvre with a woman hidden under his overcoat. A very famous woman, in fact, The Mona Lisa herself. Over the next two years she would remain missing, and doubts of her recovery mounted every day. Many people would fall under the eye of suspicion, including Pablo Picasso who was brought in for questioning and later released (I would love to read a transcript of that one, wouldn’t you?). During her absence, she became more famous than ever. In fact, it was her theft that catapulted her to her current place as the most famous painting in the world.

Did the man who smuggled her away under his overcoat know that his act would lead to her rise in fame? Probably not. His intentions were purely patriotic. See, he was an employee of the museum, Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian, who believed that The Mona Lisa belonged back in Italy, not in France. He was captured when he tried to sell her to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. His punishment? Only a few months in jail. As a matter of fact he was hailed as a patriot in Italy. As a result of her temporary absence and resulting rise to fame, the Mona Lisa now resides under bullet proof glass in her permanent home, The Louvre, appreciated by thousands of art lovers who gaze upon her haunting smile each year.

Not every story of art theft has a happy ending, and many pieces will never be seen again. Art theft is big business, big enough that the FBI has a special task force assigned to manage it, the Art Crime Team. Their website lists current art theft news, as well as tips on how to secure your own collection. They maintain a National Stolen Art File, which tracks and catalogues art and artifacts reported missing in the United States. The agency also works closely with Interpol in the recovery of international art and artifacts. Most recently the agency has been working to recover items that were looted form the Iraq Museum at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a good amount of pieces have been successfully located and returned.

Why is there a problem with art theft? There are many different reasons. Art is sometimes used as collateral for drugs and weapons by more unsavory individuals and groups. Art is stolen as a political statement, such as the case with Mona Lisa. Art is also stolen as a statement towards the art itself, or about it, as was the case with the Iraq Museum. Art thieves can be brilliant masterminds, deadly criminals, or acivists for a cause. Each case is as individual and diverse as the piece that was stolen.

There is no question that art theft will continue as long as there is art in the world.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Time for another poem...

Split Personality

Dreams that I hold dear
Of moving forward, without fear,
Are extinguished by the light of day
Something has obviously gone astray.

Where is the person that I used to be?
Who is this stranger that is now me?
I cannot pinpoint the day or the hour,
But the old me's been killed by a higher power.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Driving down the freeway in the middle of the night

Sometimes a song captures exactly how you are feeling at a certain point in time, almost as if by magic. Music is nourishment to the heart and soul.

Timely lyrics to a song (by Papa Roach) that came on the radio as I was driving tonight...

"I tear my heart open, I sow myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And my scars remind me that the past is real
I tear my heart open just to feel

Drunk and I'm feeling down
And I just wanna be alone
I'm pissed cause you came around
Why don't you just go home
Cause you channel all your pain
And I can't help you fix yourself
You're making me insane
All I can say is

I tear my heart open, I sow myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And our scars remind us that the past is real
I tear my heart open just to feel

I tried to help you once
Against my own advice
I saw you going down
But you never realized
That you're drowning in the water
So I offered you my hand
Compassion is in my nature
Tonight is our last stand

I tear my heart open, I sow myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And our scars remind us that the past is real
I tear my heart open just to feel

I'm drunk and I'm feeling down
And I just wanna be alone
You shouldn't ever come around
Why don't you just go home?
Cause you're drowning in the water
And I tried to grab your hand
And I left my heart open
But you didn't understand
But you didn't understand
Go fix yourself

I can't help you fix yourself
But at least I can say I tried
I'm sorry but I gotta move on with my own life
I can't help you fix yourself
But at least I can say I tried
I'm sorry but I gotta move on with my own life

I tear my heart open, I sow myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And our scars remind us that the past is real
I tear my heart open just to feel"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Woods

No light but the moon
Illuminating my way.
Trees embrace me
There is nothing to say.

A rustle to my left
Should cause alarm
But my breath is steady
There’s nothing to harm.

A moment of peace
When everything is known.
Mysteries unveiled
Destinies shown.

Orion guards the scene
From his post in the sky.
Fragile human and demi-God
Alone, him and I.

There’s no better classroom
Than the woods at night.
Only when fear is conquered
Comes the gift of sight.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Sad Obituary

On a recent vacation I came across an obituary in the local newspaper of a small agricultural town between point a and point b. It was for a 98 year old woman who stared back at me, smiling through glasses in a neat and tidy flower print shirt. But, as I read her story, I read between the lines and it made me incredibly sad.

She had been born in a town only 15 miles or so from the same one in which she died. She had six children who also lived in the same town, along with ten grandchildren in the same town, and great-grandchildren.

I realize that my reaction was filtered through my own experiences and therfore may or may not have been a fair assumption of her life. But, I still couldn't help but think...

What made her stay rooted?

Was she truly happy, or had she convinced herself that she was?

Why had her children never left, or her grandchildren?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog Confessional...

Odd things that fascinate me, in no particular order:

The lives of Truckers. They are kind of like modern day Pony Express riders, only they have more horses under their asses. Whenever I pass a trucker, I can't help but wonder what his (or her!) little 'man/woman cave' in the back of their cab looks like. Is it tastefully decorated, with clean linens and grooming utensils carefully packed away in a bag to cart into a truck stop shower? Or, is it a stench filled festering pocket of dandruff and sloughed skin cells, used condoms (or, ew, 'used' tube socks), with linens that haven't been washed for 2 years? Or, worse yet, is there some poor soul chained up against their will just praying for some passing driver to somehow sense their turmoil and alert the authorities? These are just a few of the things I ponder when I see a trucker on the road.

I am also fascinated with Trailer Parks. They are such interesting snippets of Americana. Like the great philosopher Forrest Gump said - "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." Well, the same goes for Trailer Parks. You could be venturing into a neighborhood worthy of being the set for the Forth Sequel to "The Hills Have Eyes", or you could be venturing into a neighborhood full of Easter egg colored trailers, each with tidy little astroturf yards with friendly Garden Gnomes peering at you from every nook. Yes, you never know what you're going to get with Trailer Parks, and that's why they fascinate me.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Too many voices in my head...

David and Lauren
Michael and Elle
Aiden and Elizabeth
Aaron and Kate

Yes, these are all the heros/heroines in the books I am writing.

David and Lauren Book I is almost done!

David and Lauren Book II is on it's way to being done.

Michael and Elle is almost done.

Aiden and Elizabeth is planned.

Aaron and Kate is in it's infancy.

I am contantly being nagged by each of these personalities about their stories. David will interrupt my shower with dialogue. Elizabeth will pout at me while I'm driving, wondering why I haven't spent any time with her for a few days.

Of course, if this were all literally happening to me, you could call the looney bin. But, I am trying to illustrate the way a writer's mind works. It's in constant motion. I cannot shut it off. With every trip to the store, or every play of a song, I am wondering "What if..."

What if Aiden worked in another city? What if Elizabeth were married to the zoo Vet? What if Aaron has a handicap (I always thing men with canes are sexy - I mean young men, of course!)? What if Kate didn't win the drawing?

I owe it to my characters to see their stories through to their happy endings. They have become my friends.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Vacation of a Lifetime

Recently, life gave me the opprotunity to go on an awesome vacation to Edinburgh, London, and Paris! It was a wonderful thing, but, I am not going to blog about that vacation. Sorry.

I am here to discuss a psychological phenomenon that seems to be spreading like an epidemic! I call it "Linear Living." My definition : Linear Living occurs when a person has lost all sense of magic and hope.

LLers are the folks who, upon hearing you are going on, oh I dunno, a Mexican Cruise, say "That's the vacation of a Lifetime!" To me, that implies that one can only (should only?) take that particular vacation once. Why? Who made those rules? I used a Mexican Cruise as an example because they really are not that expensive, and with the right planning almost anyone can take one, or two, or a dozen.

But, it is this kind of mentality that completely befuddles me. I use vacation as an example, but it is deeper than that.

It's your neighbor who goes grocery shopping in her pajamas then goes home, curls her hair and watches TV.

It's your aunt who thinks you are crazy for eating sushi but refuses to even try it herself.

It's your best friend, maybe, who saves and saves, and waits and waits, then finds that she's forgotten what she was saving for, let alone what she was waiting for.

The TIME IS NOW! DO IT!

Live like there's no tomorrow, because - there isn't! It's always a day away!