Saturday, July 9, 2011

A new review of my novel.

Faces in the Sand
By Richard MacLeod
Copyright 2010
Smashwords Edition
ISBN 978-1-4580-3399-4

Richard MacLeod’s novel of family and love is brimming with well-developed characters, a stirring plot and a thrilling ending.  MacLeod is a gifted writer.  The panorama of feelings and experiences in Faces in the Sand reads as an epic novel – filled with charisma and beauty.  Here, we find inviting characters and vivid descriptions.  There is nothing dry or sluggish about this novel. 

We are quickly immersed within the mind of Portia, a therapist who searches desperately for the true memory of her dying father.  MacLeod deftly reveals the warm longing and devotion of a loving daughter and her desperate search for experiences lost and found.  Her father, like so many others, was a victim of World War II.  After twenty-five years of absence, Portia searches for meaning in their missing relationship.  They had become strangers, absent in a life of warm wishes.  She felt deserted, betrayed and unloved; yet on his deathbed, Portia gently strokes his head, as she would a dearly-loved child.  As she reflects upon her childhood and beyond, MacLeod showers readers with a rich tapestry of descriptions, layering vivid imagery and metaphor adroitly.

MacLeod’s comprehension of psychology is revealed through Portia as she ruminates over the people parading through her life.  It is a tapestry of conceptions; thoughts leading to new ideas, leading to new understanding.  Through the eyes of her patients, Portia, a skilled therapist, explores the same vivid feelings of abandonment, fear and desire that she so desperately desires to work out in her own life.  Through her father’s old friends and a myriad of letters, her father’s idyllic and heroic life pours out to her.  Portia grows through the experience, as do all abandoned children who seek to understand life, love and opportunities lost. 

Revealed through letters from Portia’s father in Faces in the Sand is the agony and abject fear of battle via soldiers in World War II.  MacLeod explores the terror of battle in North Africa and beyond.  But memories became reality and reality fade into conjecture.  The ending is shocking and thrilling.  No one is who they appeared to be.  Reality turns fantasy upside down. 

MacLeod explores the feelings of children whose parents are not who they appear to be.  In this case, the protagonist has a father who becomes larger than life.  Portia’s father is a hero, who deeply loves her, yet fails as a father because of circumstances well beyond his control.  Here is a story of lost love, the terror of war and one child who wishes to pull all of the pieces together. The ending is shocking and penetrating.

Faces in the Sand is a powerful piece of fiction that appeals to everyone who has had a mysterious or lost parent or spouse.  Life is often far from our expectations or understanding.  MacLeod proffers a depth of character penetration within a believable story of war, family, love and lost relationships.  This is a book that will remain with the reader for an eternity.

Charles S. Weinblatt

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Away in the woods.

For the last five days I've been away in the woods. I didn't have a phone, television, internet, radio, or a Big Mac. I didn't care what was happening elsewhere. My world was my campsite next to a small stream, a fly rod, my dog, my wife, and crystal blue mountain air. There was mosquito or two; someone was running a generator after hours; a trailer had a bright light until ten o'clock; and the wind blowing through the trees was a little noisy. I had my morning vanilla latte just to keep things normal. It was peaceful.

On the fourth of July, I went to an old fashioned parade in a town with no stop sign. I've seen the same parade almost every year of my life. It hasn't changed much in one hundred and forty nine years. U.S. Marines marched down the street carrying our flag as it waved in the wind. I thought about our freedom. I thought about what is happening to our country with those that want to do away with our Constitution. I thought of people that are struggling to put food on the table, send their kids to college, and find a job. I thought about the men and women who are in harms way in foreign lands. I thought about the media who have become loud microphones with their own agenda. They were the judge and jury in the Casey Anthony trial, not the twelve people sitting in the jury box. They wanted her tried and hung from the nearest tree. Forget the law. The media found her guilty. It felt more like the Salem Witch Trials. I don't know why Americans were glued to their televisions over this trial. The man running his generator in our campground was watching the trial on his satellite dish. It made me want gag. Most of us would have never known about the trial without the media telling us to watch it. When do we turn it off?

When I got home there was a newspaper on my driveway. The front page was filled with two murders, one suicide, a drive by shooting, and a bank robbery. Someone should invent a newspaper with only good stories, but then maybe no one wants to read that. If only I could have stayed in the woods, the noise would go away.      

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kim Kardashian's butt...

Holy cow! I thought I've seen everything, but this takes the cake for the most narcissistic human being on the planet. Kim Kardashian had her butt x-rayed to prove to the world that she did not have butt implants. WTF? Her Twitter page has something like eight million followers. Why do we care so much about this girl? Our world has lost its mind on religious crazies, wars, human suffering, and the second Great Depression, but we have to endure seeing her displayed in our faces with all the glitter that is not gold. She's a pretty girl and made a lot of money. I'll giver props for that, but come on people. Why do we care if she did or didn't have butt implants? I guess it falls in line with having to watch the Casey Anthony murder trial live on all cable news channels. It's sickening and sad at the spectators we've become. If I see another gold commercial I'm going to throw my shoe at my TV. When do we wake up and realize the more we watch, the more they laugh all the way to the bank? That's my rant for this Saturday morning.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Women grunting in tennis.

I see the folks at Wimbledon are complaining about female tennis players grunting with every shot. I often wonder this myself. It was on my list of things to complain about. They sound like a chorus of exotic birds screaming in the jungle. What I don't know is why they grunt. Golfers don't grunt. Can you imagine Tiger Woods grunting over a putt? Hitters in baseball don't grunt. Even football players don't grunt, unless the air is forced out of them by someone resembling a small pickup truck. Even the male tennis players are quiet compared with the women. Does it make the ball go faster or straighter? Are they taught to grunt when they are young? Do they grunt louder if it's a backhand? What about the serve? I hear men doing this in the gym, but they are usually muscle-bound slobs who carry around a gallon of water in large jugs. They think they are still part ape and grunting attracts females along with their heavily applied cologne. Maybe it makes you stronger or smarter. I wonder if it will work in my office. Instead of whistling while we work, we can grunt while we work. That won't work either. We would sound like the men's room at the tennis stadium after some bad chili. Sorry for the visual. Happy hump day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Foreskin and Goldfish in San Francisco.

San Francisco has done it again. After serious debate, and a ballot measure already on the books banning circumcision, they want to ban goldfish. I wonder if these pinheads, who hold office, have all night benders thinking this stuff up. I love San Francisco. It is a beautiful city, but they once discussed birth control for pigeons. I'm not exactly sure how you do that. Does someone place a little pill into the bird feeder each morning? What happens if they miss a morning? Do they put two pills in the feed the next day? Is there a morning after pill? 

The idea of being circumcised after you have a memory is terrifying. Can you imagine a thirteen year old boy when the Rabbi comes to visit for his Bar Mitzvah? Friends and family gather around, mom is smiling, dad is beaming proud as a peacock, while little Yakov holds his noodle out to be snipped by an old man, with a long beard, wearing a Yamaka. Ouch! Then there's the photo album and video of the event. I wonder if they will serve cake and ice cream. Sorry for the visual.   

Banning goldfish is a different proposition. Someone thinks goldfish are being bred inhumanely, similar to puppy farms (these are the same folks that think circumcising a thirteen year boy is humane.) Hmmm . . . They live in water. How can you treat an animal that lives in water inhumanely? If the water is to hot or cold, they die. No sale. If you don't feed them, they die. No sale. Little kids forget to feed them or change the water, they die. They're fed to other fish in huge aquariums. I'm not trying to callous, but this is a silly. In the ocean, little fish swim by the millions close to one another so they don't get eaten by bigger fish. Then there's Chinatown, which probably has a way of making a goldfish an aphrodisiac or a cure for foot fungus.

This is San Francisco, America's Sodom and Gomorrah, where anything and everything goes, except goldfish, foreskin, and pigeons. I wonder what's next.   

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A guy driving a Bugatti.

I was driving on the freeway today and came up next to a guy in a Bugatti. If you're not familiar with this car it costs about $2 million dollars. Traffic was moving slowly, so he couldn't avoid all the eyes on him wondering what would cause a man to drive a car that essentially raises a middle finger to the rest of us. I know what you're thinking, Rick was jealous. No. I was thinking about pushing the accelerator down on my Honda, with its powerful four cylinder engine, and slamming it into the side of the Bugatti just to see if it dents. It could be made of kryptonite for all I know. The impulse was there. He was flaunting his wealth when most of us struggle to pay our phone bill. My car costs less than his tire. It would have been fun though, film at eleven stuff, but I am relatively sane on Tuesday's and didn't have my camera with me to take photos of his expression as I pummeled his jewels.

The sun is out. Summer is here. Maybe I will see him tomorrow. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A. Weiner . . .

I try to stay away from political rants, but this one needs saying.

Doesn't everyone in the country find the United States Congressman, Anthony Weiner, embarrassing? He's not my representative, but he is representing the United States of America. He needs to resign today, not go into some treatment for his illness. He doesn't suffer from drug or alcohol abuse. He doesn't need a leave of absence, he needs to be fired. He's a sick twisted pervert. He might have had a hard time as kid with the last name of "Weiner", but that doesn't give him a hall pass. The man has no morals and shouldn't be walking the grounds of Congress. He's not a teenager. He's a US Congressman. Not to mention he has a pregnant wife who is an aid the Secretary of State. He has too much time on his hands to think about the unemployment rate, the deficit, three wars, and all the other problems our facing our country. Why can't our elected officials oust him today? Let's give him a permanent leave of absence. No wonder our country is such disarray. We can't hold fools like this accountable. There are three hundred million of us in this country and we need to demand his resignation and the nonsense that continues in the halls of Congress. I know we are all tired of it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My baby graduates from high school today.

My youngest daughter graduates from high school today. It seems like yesterday she was screaming bloody murder after unloading in her diaper. I don’t know where the time went or even how I got to this place. The clock ticks faster and faster with age. I’ve thought about my words of wisdom as she parts from her childhood, but I think my words already are part of her. I couldn’t ask for a better daughter and am proud of the young woman she has become. When she goes to college in the fall I will miss her. What I won't miss is the piles of laundry outside her door, as if she has a maid service. I won’t miss waking to the music of Snoop Dog thumping from her room. I won't miss the extra dents and scratches on the car. Empty potato chip bags and unsealed cereal boxes won’t be in the cupboard. Discarded shoes won’t sit at the bottom of the stairs for me to trip over at night. The washing machine will work normal again. I won’t have to watch another minute of Teenage Moms, The Bad Girls Club, and Jersey Shore. God it will be peaceful, maybe too peaceful.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why do we idolize freaks?

I am struck lately by the absurdity of the freaks plastered all around us in the news, the Internet, and television. They parade around with crazy hair and bazaar body modifications. The world idolizes these circus sideshows flashing their skin, wearing outrageous costumes (sometimes no costumes) simply because they can sing or act, maybe even both, or just because they have a large behind. We throw money at these people like they are gods. Our children watch with mouths agape dreaming of becoming the next Lady Gaga. Ooh . . . isn't she wonderful. We've created a culture of extremes pushing the envelop further and higher. Is there a point where we say no more, when we shun the flunkey with blue hair and yellow teeth? I don't know. Maybe with age there is wisdom. I wish the world would calm down for a minute, where being normal was normal.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cell phone robots. . .

Have you noticed people walking around with their heads down, staring at their palms, as if they were magically reading the future? They look like robots walking down the street, weaving and bobbing, just missing light posts, trashcans, and an occasional bum. They look startled when they realize they just entered an intersection when the red hand on the light was beaming at them. What are these people doing? They're looking at their cell phone. They sit down to eat with their phone on the table so they can't miss an important text or Scrabble opponent's move. Try to have a conversation with these people. They're constantly looking down at their phone. Are they even listening to you? I hear it's the new fad for third graders to have their own phone. The GPS tracks their every move. Mommy needs to know where Junior is at every second. When I grew up the last thing in the world I would have wanted was for my parents to call me. If I had a cell phone, I would have thrown it out of the window of my car while driving down the freeway, listening to Led Zeppelin, at eighty miles an hour. Only the Lord knows what I was doing at sixteen. It was easy to say, "Sorry, I'm late, Dad. I couldn't find a pay phone. I ran out of gas and had to walk to a gas station that was ten miles down the road in a blizzard." Then there's the whole cancer buzz. When my cell phone gets to close to my clock radio it starts to speak in tongues that only an exorcist could cure. I'm sure whatever causes that can't be good for you. What I wonder is what comes next? Phones can't get any smaller, unless you get corneal implants that cause you to see like you were looking through a microscope. I heard they are developing a chip that will hold one million songs on your phone. Has anyone done the math on how long it would take you to listen to every song? Not to mention, buy them. I think you get my point. When do we stop being robots and become human again?

Well . .  . got to go. Someone is ringing. I have a few texts to answer, need to post to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and just crushed someone at Scrabble

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Memorial Day thanks.

While we enjoy a day off from work, have fun at the picnics in the park, the backyard barbecues, and drive home safely from your camping trip. Remember the men and women who are sitting in foxholes on the other side of the world. Give a toast to those who gave their lives so we can be free. Forget the lopsided politicians throwing volleys of epithets at one another to get re-elected. Turn off the talk show hosts who spew venom through the airwaves. We can argue the merits of fighting in three wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya). That's what makes us great. What we can't argue is the sacrifice that is made by the troops and their families who wait with worried breath. I think of my uncle who was taken from his freshman year in college to fight the Germans during World War II. He physically survived, but the mental scars were just as deadly. Think of the soldiers who lined up shoulder to shoulder and marched toward the enemy with bullets flying during the Civil War. Think of the troops at Valley Forge who didn't have proper shoes and died of frostbite, hyperthermia, and starvation.  

Enjoy your hot dog and beer, but say a little prayer for those that made it possible to be free. To the troops, both present and past, thank you for your sacrifice so I can be free.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My guest Author post - check it out!

I recently wrote and article for a fellow book blogger who is also reviewing my novel. You can check out Inga's blog and my article at her site at:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

He is serious this time.

I was just reading the doomsday man, the predictor of the end of the world, the biblical genius who deciphers the word of God, says he was wrong. The world will really end on October 21st. No really, really, really. This time it's for real. No joking. He's not kidding. Just send him some more donations, quit your job, buy some neat tee-shirts and parade around large cities with a sign around your neck stating that you will work for food. Oh sorry . . . wrong bum. Is this guy serious? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion until it hurts someone else. Tell that to the kid who just lost their college fund. The bible says if you touch a pig on the Sabbath the consequences are death by stoning. Nice! I guess we can't play football on Saturday. I know footballs aren't made of pigskin anymore, but you get my point. I guess every kook has his day . . .  or not.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heaven is a fairy story or end of days?

Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist declared that heaven was a "fairy story". He knows this because he has spent his life thinking about the universe. He has concluded that God does not exist. The atheists are cheering him on. I think Hawking has been staring into space so long he's missed the little things, like a butterfly landing on a flower, the eyes of a newborn baby when they open and gaze upon you for the first time, a rainbow, and sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. Maybe in heaven he can get out of that chair and run. You would think he would hope for that. Here are some questions for you Mr. Hawking: Why is mankind the only creature on earth that loves, cries, feels compassion, builds incredible things, hates, and even kills for no reason? Without the concept of heaven or hell, what's the point? If we are just electrical circuits why do anything? For a genius, he's an idiot, and I wish he would keep his comments to physics.   

Then we have the doomsayers who believe the world is about to end this Saturday, May 21st. It is judgment day or the rapture to those more biblical. That's when the good, the meek, and the blessed go directly to heaven. They don't pass "go" or collect $200 (zing!). Everyone else is subject to fire, floods, and brimstone. The teachers of these beliefs arrived at this date (they've been wrong before) through careful analysis of biblical passages. For thousands of years these folks have predicted the end of times. Some even committed suicide to ride a comet (remember Hale-Bop). I guess that didn't work out so well since the real end of times is this weekend. Then we have the Mayan calendar predicting the end of times as December 12, 2012. Has anyone been to Yucatan and seen what is left of the Mayan civilization? Enough said about their genius. 

Just to be on the safe side, you might want to move up anything you want to do this weekend to Friday.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Presidential race. Pop goes the weasel.

I try to not get political here, but I need to rant!

It seems like we just got out of one election and already are filled with media events by hopeful candidates. The same faces keep popping up, over and over, like one of those clown boxes where you turn the wheel and a puppet jumps out at you. "Round and round cobbler's bench the monkey chased the weasel; the monkey thought 'twas all in fun; Pop goes the weasel." I keep hearing it my head every time I see Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Mike Huckabee. I want to stick two fingers down my throat and gag. Donald Trump isn't going to run. Why would he? He is a publicity hound. Sarah Palin. She's not going to run either. She's making $22 million a year now. Are we stuck with this cast of misfits?  I am sick of the constant barrage from radio and television head-bangers (you know who you are) from both parties telling us about the trouble our country is in. Here is some news for you. WE KNOW IT. We feel it every day. Our credit card has a limit. Our gas tanks are empty. Our jobs require us to work. We don't have time to campaign around the country. We would be fired if we used the corporate jet to fly out to see our buddies at Facebook to have dinner.

I read in the newspaper that California is closing 65 state parks. The people who run this state are idiots. People will pay to use the parks. People will pay to camp at the parks. People will pay to see the exhibits. Here's a thought. Charge more. People will pay it. At least the governor axed the new death row at San Quentin that would have cost us $300+ million. Here's thought. Execute them or change their sentence to life without parole. Stop wasting the taxpayer's time and money.

By the way. Survivor finale tonight!  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Carpool lanes . . .

This morning while driving to work I was wondering about carpool lanes. I know what you're thinking. Why would Rick be thinking about the diamond lanes on the freeway when there are so many other things to worry about: Who is the next terrorist on the Navy Seals list (great job fellas'!)? The national debt. Home prices. The Stock Market. The price of gold. The price of gas. The 2012 election (are you kidding?). Taxes. Immigration control. The nuclear meltdown in Japan (have you noticed the media stopped talking about that?). Who is going to win American Idol? Why is Dancing with the Stars so popular? Is Kim Kardashian going to be posing in a bikini today? Who the hell is Coco? And the Jersey Shore in Italy. With all these important issues to fog up my brain, why focus on the carpool lane. Because it irritates me.

During the peak hours of traffic, we take a perfectly good freeway and shrink it by one lane. That's a good idea! What governmenl worm thought this up? Can't the Tea Party do something about it? Can we have the Seals raid their compound? Our liberty is being violated. Am I the only one who thinks the carpool lane is stupid? The premise is that people will carpool to save gas. Have you ever watched the people flying by while you inch forward at a snails pace? Half of them (and we aren't talking about Hybrids) only have one person in the car. The CHP (at $281 per ticket) could put a huge chunk in the state's debt. Just put cop at both ends and have him point to the side of the freeway to receive a fat ticket. While they are at, they can issue another ticket to the people who think holding the cell phone as a speakerphone are not breaking the law. I say we get rid of carpool lanes. Open the freeway up to all of us. If carpoolers want to have their own lane, give it to them between 9:00AM and 3:00PM. They will still feel special and all of us could get to work a bit faster.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Royal Wedding hype . . .

Is it just me or is the Royal Wedding hype just a bit over the top? I realize in Great Britain this is a huge affair. I get it. Their British. They still have a queen and other royal titles held over from the dark ages, as if King Henry VIII were still around. They don't rule the land or remove heads anymore (like Henry did). They simply exist in a huge palace. If you meet the Queen in person, you must curtsy and never touch her. In 1776, we told the King of England to take a royal hike. Now we have to bow and drink tea with our pinkie finger balancing the cup. I hear there are whole classes on meeting with the Queen. Can you imagine what that class is like? I'd go for a regular handshake. If it wasn't for us she'd be speaking German.

I guess girls think it is a fairy tale to marry a prince. This princess had to take a class on how kiss properly in front of a crowd. Hmmm . . . they been together for eight years and even live together. I am guessing they know how to do a lot more than kiss. I wonder if she really knows what she's getting into. Although this prince isn't a frog like his father.

I wish them well, but I don't get the hype.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No sex in space . . .yet

On virtually every news channel the headlines were about the first lady's plane. The pilot had to abort a landing because it flew within three miles of another plane. That was the headline on both conservative and liberal news sites. I'm not kidding. Why is that news? Why do any of us give a rats ass about that?   

One headline states,  "The Russians say there has been no sex in space . . . yet." I was just wondering about the other day. It was at the top of my mind, right along with my mortgage payment, paying for daughters college education, and what I was going to eat for lunch. Yep. It just popped right into my head. I needed to know this. The thought of two cosmonauts have orbital intercourse is something that should make headline news.

We all needed to know what outfit Lyndsey Lohan wore to court. Headline news. Last week we treated to the thoughts about global warming from Charles Manson. You're kidding right? Nope. Headline news. Snooki's weight loss treatment. Headline news. Coco (who the f$%k is Coco) wears tight pants. Headline news. Then there is a 'Don't say the word Gay Bill' that is gaining traction in Tennessee. They want to ban a word that is defined in Webster's as meaning; joyous and lively, merry, happy, and lighthearted. Aren't we getting a little sensitive in a time of three wars, economic chaos, and the royal wedding coming up? I know it's hard to take it all in. But it's headlines news. Then there is the really important news like the first electoral college map of 2012. Can you hear me gagging? Sharon Stone in a bikini. Still gagging.

Great job reporters. Still gagging.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It made me wonder . . .

I saw an old home in Oregon last week, sitting alone, in a green field by side the road. It looked like a giant had pushed it sideways, stretching it in a twisted tilt. Weeds grew like spider webs all over it. The roof bowed from time and weather. Only chips of white paint were visible. The barn behind it was in worse shape. I thought about the people who built the little house after walking for months. They picked this spot to build their dreams. There were no roads, only trails. Only the ghosts of their memory remain. I wanted to stop and take a photo, but we were driving by too fast on the highway. It made me think about times past. Their world was about family, food, shelter, and freedom. Our world is about money, success, fame, loud music, fast cars, big house, bling, I-pods, I-pads, flat screen TV's, reality shows, lottery tickets, computers, Facebook, Twitter, traffic, crime, extremists, taxes, self-interest, Republicans, Democrats, taxes, and constant noise.

Who had it better? Just a thought

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's not funny . . .

Have you read the newspapers lately? The online news services? Left wing or right? There's nothing funny in any of them. Try to find something. Charlie Sheen got laughed off the stage. That would be funny, but he's not. Snooki got paid to speak at Rutgers. That really isn't funny. It's kind of twisted. The phrase "baby bump" has now become common. Donald Trump for President? Gaddafi (correct spelling is a mystery) wants it to stop. Please leave. Jon Gosselin gets a new gig. Who gives a s..t. Congress is bickering over the budget. Isn't that all politicians do?  A hole in a Southwest plane. Now that's not funny. UConn and Butler? The only people who think that is funny bet big Vegas. Arizona may add a $50 tax for smokers and obese. "Please step on the scale so I know how much to tax you for the cigarettes." Huh? Maybe that's a little funny, unless you happen to be the person being weighed.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Faces in the Sand ... excerpt

from ch. 4

My mother stopped collecting things about me when I reached grammar school, about the same time Daddy left. There might be a book of school pictures somewhere, but I can’t recall where. Mama didn’t collect photo albums or even pictures for that matter.
    She always said, “What’s past is past and we shouldn’t dwell on it.” The problem was she didn’t dwell on anything. I always thought she never had time for keeping scrapbooks, always working two or three jobs to support us.
    Once, I came home with a blue ribbon from school earning first prize in a spelling bee in the third grade. I was so proud. The next morning the ribbon was in the trash. Why didn’t she love me? What did I do wrong? Wasn't she proud of me? It hurt me very much. I can still feel the blow today, as if she hit me in the stomach whenever I think of it. She wasn’t a perfectionist. She just didn’t care.
    I tried to be a good daughter and make her proud, but it didn’t matter what I did. I was a burden—a chore that she didn’t need around. I used to think she was mad at me for making Daddy leave. Maybe it was my fault. Now, I use that first place ribbon as a bookmark, reminding myself that I am someone.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cap'n Crunch and Felix the Cat...

I heard a rumor that Cap'n Crunch was going to discontinued. Government agencies, like the IRS, and the United States Weather Bureau, have determined that Cap'n Crunch is not good for you. I wonder how they feel about Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, and Rice Krispies? Why stop at cereals? The little yellow ducks (PEEPS) can't be that nutritious and neither are the little candies that come out of PEZ dispensers. Doesn't Coca-Cola dissolve the dirt and rust off pennies? Don't get me started on HoHo's, Ding Dongs, and Twinkies. McDonalds only had Big Mac's, Quarter Pounder's, regular hamburger's (with or without cheese), fries, and for desert . . . a warm cherry pie. Now, they serve salads, and iced coffee, with the calories on the menu. What's with that?

That brings me to another point: What happened to the cartoon Felix the Cat? The cat with his magic bag of tricks.  Remember him? They took it off the air in the early 80's. The government thought the show was too violent. Our kids now watch educational programs like Teenage Moms, The Jersey Shore, and my personal favorite Bad Girls. They spend hours playing videos games like Grand Theft Auto and Doom while downing Red Bulls. But it's okay. Don't fret. At least they won't be eating sugar cereals.

Leave our Cap'n Crunch alone, and put Felix back on the air.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Faces in the Sand ....excerpt

 When I was ten, I discovered we were poor. Mama came home with tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet. She was so delighted, dancing around our small living room. I think she always wanted to be a dancer. She was in one of her good moods where she opened up all the blinds and played the record player loud. She’d been saving all year to take me.
     We got all dressed up and took a cab to the show. There was a long line outside to get in. The lights on Broadway were so bright. A long black car pulled up to the curb in front of us. A man, wearing a funny hat, stepped out and opened the car door for the people inside. My eyes made contact with a pretty blond girl about my age. She was wearing a beautiful green dress, with shiny sequins all over it, and a red shawl. We looked at each other closely. I ducked behind Mama not wanting the little girl to see my old black coat. I wasn’t sure why I did that. It was the look in her eyes. She was looking down at me. Her family didn’t have to wait in the line. They went right to the front and the doorman let them in.
     Our seats were so high I could barely see the performance. I spotted the girl sitting in a balcony very close to the stage. Mama said they were rich. After that day, I was on a constant look out for these strange people with long cars.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

From my new book . . .

        There is an old fable about a body of water which has miraculous powers. The legend states that anyone who bathed in it would regain their youth. Men sought its discovery from all corners of the globe. Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, searched for the Fountain the Youth in a place he named La Florida. He never found it. He was looking in the wrong place. It's not a fountain or a body of water, but a town where no maps lead. You could call it Eden, Avalon, Shagri-la or El Dorado. The people who live there call it The Village.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Libya, Kim Kardashian, and Snookies Cookies

This morning, while stuck in traffic with the rest of the sheep, I was thinking about Libya and history. Can you imagine: It's June 6, 1944 and our troops have hit the beaches in Normandy. They have no objective. They don't want to kill Hitler. They only want to make sure the Germans are fighting fair against the French resistance. No fly zones are created so the Luftwaffe can't bomb people. We don't know exactly who we are siding with, but it feels like the right thing to do. It's a simple argument. Maybe too simple.

Then, I came home and opened a few online news pages I read each day only to find photos of Kim Kardashian's boobs, only partially exposed (darn), playing with a tiger (not Tiger Woods). She's made a sex tape and been in Playboy. No one is more exposed than her. Haven't we already seen everything? She made $65 million last year. What is it that she does again? Oops. .  Sorry for the tangent. Got off track for a moment. Forgive me. Her photo was in the headline right between NATO taking control of the Libyan thing and "Snookies Cookies in a Skimpy Suit." And let me tell you, her cookies. . .doughy!

Which article do I look at first?  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The world of the idiot.

I was clicking through programs on television and realized we live in the world of the idiot, the half-wit, the cretin, the boob. Young men and women have hoops in their noses, spacers in the ear lobes, piercing in the lips, noses, cheeks, arms, eyebrows, and God knows where else. Tattooed beasts that couldn't stop themselves from covering their bodies. People who split their tongue in half and surgically implant horns in their heads. Musicians who go on rampages. Paparazzi that makes their living off stalking. TV shows dedicated to crime, prison life, drug abuse, and the utterly stupid fill the cable networks. Stars who are famous for getting drunk, getting stoned, cussing, stripping, and making sex tapes. The more extreme the better. How has this become the norm?

We live in the world of the idiot....

Monday, March 21, 2011

The case against Barry Bonds... I don't get it.

The Barry Bonds trial began today. I was thinking back to when he was chasing home run records. Pitchers were afraid of him. He stepped up to the plate and dared them to throw a strike. Fans packed the stadiums and roared when he came to the plate. Kayakers jammed the bay hoping for a ball hit by him. The baseball world was in awe. Now . . . his number is gone from the left field wall. He doesn't exist in the minds of the fans. Why? Maybe he's a jerk. I wouldn't know. Never met the man. Did he take steroids? Probably. Why all the hate? What did he ever do but hit home runs, doubles, triples off the wall, steal bases, drive in runs, and win games? That's why we watched. That's why we paid. The gladiator entered the coliseum with sword in hand ready to slay the opponent. 

Now . . . the government wants their pound of flesh. The prosecutors probably couldn't hit a 100 mph fastball. But, the State of California is broke. They are letting non-violent criminals (real criminals) out of jail. Teachers are losing their jobs and kids can't play sports at their schools anymore. People have no jobs, homes are in foreclosure, cars repossessed. We are broke! This show is costing the taxpayers more than $5 million dollars. What purpose does all this serve?  

I don't get it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday's gym rant

Sunday afternoon's I make time to get my skinny, aging, body into the gym for some much needed exercise. I try and go three or four times a week, usually early in the morning, before work when it's quiet and peaceful and feels more like meditation than working out. Today the gym was rather crowded and as I worked the machines I made some observations.

A rather soft Asian man stacked six 45lb weights on each side of one of the machines. That's 500 lbs. Then he stood in front of the machine stretching with funny motions like he was a dancing chicken. I was curious to how he intended to lift that much weight without snapping his arms in half like matchsticks. He sat down at the ready, took a few deep breaths, and pushed with all his might. The bar moved about two inches and then he came back and did the same motion over again three times. He only lifted it two inches! What the hell was the point of that? There wasn't any girls watching him. Did I also say he wore dark aviator glasses too? Need I say more.

One man looked like a tank with a tight long sleeve shirt on. His neck bulged veins, and I think I saw extra muscles that normal humans don't have. He obviously really, really, really likes the gym. Get a life!

In the corner were a few high school girls who sat and talked the whole time. Daddy was paying their membership and they used it as a house of gossip.

At another machine was "the grunter". With every motion he let out a huge grunt, which could have been interpreted as the passing of wind (fart). His whole body dripped with sweat and he smelled so bad you wondered when was the last time he took a shower. Yuck!

I only make these observations because these people know who they are. They know that they are disturbing to the rest of us who go to try and stay in shape. If you are one of them. Get a clue. Take a shower, wear a muzzle, and lift weights that are suitable for your muscle mass before you snap all your tendons and muscles. The rest of us would appreciate it.

I know. I got off on another tangent.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moon shadow!

The super moon is out, although I can't see it because we are covered in clouds and rain. They say it makes us do crazy things. I was wondering why my little dog was howling at the sky.

The world seems to have gone insane with missiles in the air and destruction everywhere. When does it end? When does it stop? Have we become one of them? Maybe it's all part if the plan.

Moon shadow, moon shadow.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday's muse

Today, I heard on the radio that Charlie Sheen (everyone say yuck!) is doing a concert, or show, or whatever he is going to do, and has sold out in arenas like Madison Square Gardens. All the tickets were sold very quickly for up to $500 per seat. The really strange part is that no one really knows what he is going to do. He could come out on stage and sit in a chair, motionless, smoking a cigarette, while the crowd waits with baited breath for some crazy rant or poem that will spew forth from his lips. Is it that people like to see a train wreck in action, stop to see a car wreck to see if there are any body bags, or to just drool at someone who made $2mil per week acting on a TV show? Somebody please tell me why you would pay $500 to see this loon speak (or not).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Is it just me or is St. Patrick's day the dumbest day ever, except of course if you happen to be Irish, which doesn't make a lot of sense since St. Patrick was British. I read quotes all day on Facebook about drinking green beer at 10:00AM, speaking like a leprechaun, and then a flurry of comments to one up each other. This got me thinking.

Why is our society filled with people who have to be better than everyone or at least try to be? Who has the nicer house, the better car, or the expensive purse and shoes? Who sells the most records? Who can drink the most green beer by lunch?

P. Diddy, or whatever you call him, can't sing. Last week on American Idol he came and strutted his thug self on stage like a pimp on the boulevard and spouted a few words (which he thought was singing) and the fans went crazy. Am I missing something here? Jennifer Lopez can't sing either. She hides her voice behind a techno beat. She's well marketed, and beautiful, which helps. Steven Tyler, he can sing. Luther Vandross, Karen Carpenter, Frank Sinatra (I know I'm dating myself) they could sing. One note and you know it's them. Not sure why I went off of that tangent, but it's my blog.

I guess it's all a gimmick on what they can sell. Did I mention...Snooki is a novelist.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It makes me wonder.

I had to be at an appointment this afternoon. I got a head start in pouring down rain, but as I drove I couldn't remember exactly where it was. I'd only been there once before and I knew the general area. My brain searched and searched. I knew what the building looked like. I think. Finally, after a few wrong turns, a phone call (and a few choice epitaths), I made it just in time to find out that my appointment was yesterday! It's either old age setting in or I'm working too hard.

While on the road there was a man on the radio saying that he could forecast earthquakes and that San Francisco was in for a big one. He couldn't say when, but it had something to with tidal surges, moon positioning, pixie dust, and the way his dog wagged its tail, or some other hocus pocus -- we were in for it. Stating that San Francisco or Los Angeles was in for a big earthquake is kind of like saying that it will snow at Lake Tahoe during the winter. Not a big crystal ball there.

The world does seem a little crazy though. Forgetting the economy for a moment. We have the middle east in constant chaos, which seems to grow worse by the minute. Earthquakes and tsunamis are destroying Japan. People are actually buying iodide tablets to fend off the radiation. Radio hosts are quoting biblical references. End of days? Daniel's timeline? Not that I buy into that stuff, but it sure makes you wonder.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time change and rant for the day

For some reason the time change this year has me dragging. Maybe it's because there is rain still in the air. Global warming? Where? Not here. It seems like this year has been colder than the rest or maybe my memory is just getting a little slower. Who knows?

I heard on the radio that the disaster in Japan is thankfully not causing the stock market to drop much. What? Thousands of people have lost their lives, whole cities are destroyed, nuclear power plants are melting, and some people are only thinking about their precious money.

Here's a typical newscast (doesn't matter what channel): "Maybe ten thousand people have died from the devastation in Japan. Three nuclear power plants are in the process of melting down. President Obama states that the United States will help anyway it can. Now reporting on a closer front. The DOW was only off by 51 points--and here is Johnny with your weather."

Well - that is my rant for the day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

That wasn't too hard

Okay. The basic blog is completed and my journey into blogging begins. My novel is being edited for the umpteenth time by someone more in the know. It is amazing how many times you can read your work and still find little errors.

Starting out.

Today, I take the dive into the pool of bloggers without much knowledge of what I am doing. I guess you can only learn to walk by putting one foot in front of the other before you learn to run. Here I go.