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.