Saturday, June 30, 2012


...These are some poems I wrote about three years ago.  I can't remember what prompted them, although I did know a rough-houser named Mickey Purcell who once swung my head into a concrete wall, giving me a concussion...


I find you in the bath,
buried in bubbles,
your eyes skirting the rim of a book
about God’s great reach
and that’s enough.
I don’t bother with disrobing
even though this tie cost
fifty dollars.
Sometimes seconds with you
are more precious than possession
I might have.

One More Thing

Before you go,
you should know the hinges on that door
are ajar,
flapped open like a bear trap ready to
Remember that story you told me
about the boy scout
lost in the woods
who had his leg ripped off at the ankle
because he wasn’t looking where
he was running?
Well, you might want to rethink your exit.

To celebrate his father’s birthday,
in Fourth grade,
Mickey Purcell took a bat to
twenty-seven cars at the school lot.
Exactly twenty-seven.
I was one of the few kids to see it happen,
Mickey swinging sweat and wood,
windshields and mirrors popping
like champagne shrapnel.

Yesterday I saw him in the paper,
twenty-seven himself now,
charged with battery and assault.
The bartender’s face looked like a blackberry pie
someone had stepped in,
and Mickey,
he looked

Thursday, June 28, 2012


…I don’t know why, but I often sabotage my own life.

It must mean I don’t want to be too happy or have that much success.  Maybe I think I don’t deserve them.  I think that’s part of it, sure.  Maybe I get into these ruts where those feelings are accentuated, like having your internal organs sunburned.

It’s two weeks until the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference.  I’ll be meeting some agents.  If my story wins or places second, I’ll be having a private dinner with other agents.  So you’d like I’d be working a lot harder on my unfinished novel, the one that is infinitely more saleable than “House of Rats.”  You’d think I’d be slaving away, have it finished and already proofed a least once.  That’s what most people in my position would do.

Instead, I have written on it in a couple of months.  At least that long.  It’s like college and the night before a final and the cramming and No-Doz begins.  That’s what this is like.

I certainly don’t feel sorry for myself.  I’m actually a little annoyed with myself?  Does that ever happen to you?

I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike.  That’s a poor way to be a productive writer.  I know that.  Writing is like any other job in that you have to show up and do that job even if you don’t feel like it.

I made another mistake of leaving the novel after a crucial scene and not exactly knowing what’s going to happen next.  That was dumb.

But I’m going back to Caleb and Chloe and her dead/drowned twin Claire.  I’m going back there and I’ll figure it out.

Thanks for letting me rant.  I needed that.

…Here are some things for you:

 "We must find time to stop and thank the people who have made a difference in our lives." Dan Zadra

"Why do poets think they can change the world?  The only life I can save is my own." Sherman Alexie

"If successful people have one common trait, it's an utter lack of cynicism. The world owes them nothing. They go out and find what they need without asking for permission; they're driven, talented, and work through negatives by focusing on the positives." Mike Zimmerman

"I have never been a millionaire, but I have enjoyed a great meal, a crackling fire, a glorious sunset, a walk with a friend, a hug from a child, a cup of soup, a kiss behind the ear. There are plenty of life's tiny delights for all of us." Jack Anthony

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


…Today is my birthday and I’m okay with that.  I’m fine with it, in fact.
For all of my life I’ve hated my birthday.  When I was young it was because we were poor and my friends always wanted to know what presents I got and so I would end up lying.
Then later it was just about aging.
Yesterday one of my son’s friends asked me how it felt to be one more year closer to death.  He was being funny, but the question made my mind go there.
Today my best friend sent this note:

…How did we get so fucking old?  How did the past 30 years go by so fast?  How much more we got left?  Yesterday I learned that a lawyer acquaintance of mine suddenly dropped dead.  I just saw him at that Everett trial in March.  He was, um, 53.  Ouch.
Anyway, have an excellent day….

In the old days, I would hear that and jump right in, but maybe I’m getting soft or smart or more optimistic.

What I’ve realized about birthdays is that it’s nice to be noticed and appreciate, even the superficial stuff like Facebook Friends that you don’t even know sending you good wishes.  Even that feels kind of nice. 

I’ve learned that it’s okay to let people celebrate you.  It’s perfectly fine.

…I’m currently reading Matt Potter’s collection, “Vestal Aversion” and “War Dances” by Sherman Alexie and “The Unnamed” by Joshua Ferris and “Ordinary People” for the third time.  Each book is terrific and completely different from each other.  It’s going to be a struggle for me to make it to 100 books this year, but I’ll try.

…I was in the mall today.  There was a record store there.  It made me smile.  Inside they mostly had movies for sale, DVD’s.  They were selling most of them for $5.00.  You can kind of see the writing on the wall.  But I guess that’s okay.  Things change.  Things die and are reborn in different forms or versions, not like reincarnation, but more like the tape replaces the record while the tape is replaced by the IPod, etc.

…I’m going to watch “Crash.”  It’s one of my favorite films and I often find myself thinking about the clever way it tackles stereotypes and racism. 

...Before I go, I’ll leave you with these things I like:

"The essence of intelligence would seem to be in knowing when to think and act quickly, and knowing when to think and act slowly." Robert Sternberg

“All men contain several men inside themselves, and most of bounce from self to the other without ever knowing who we are.” Paul Auster

"I have enjoyed life a lot more by saying 'yes' than by saying 'no.' Richard Branson

"Desperation is the raw material of drastic change."  William Burroughs

"In utter loneliness, the writer tries to explain the inexplicable." Steinbeck

Sunday, June 24, 2012


…A review by Claudia Puig of USA Today sums up the state of film today by zeroing in on the top five grossing movie of last week.
“It hasn’t even been a year since Adam Sandler tortured audiences with ‘Jack and Jill.’  But he’s back with ‘That’s My Boy,’ another bottom-of-the-barrel raunchfest that is bound to make far more money than such sludge could ever deserve.  “That’s My Boy” is puerile, mean-spirited and charmless…It’s beyond bad.”
In one week, Sandler's film took in more than double what the wonderful little indie film "Moonrise Kingdom" has taken in through a month plus.  That's sad and troubling.

…We just came off the weekend.   Here are some things you might or might not know about weekends and men…

51 --Percentage of men who say they live for their Saturdays and Sundays
38 --Percent who still log laptop time for work during those precious week ends
1 in 4 --Number who plan out their weekends a week in advance
214 --Minutes of TV time the average guy logs on a typical weekend
59 --Percent who use weekends to work on household projects
38 --Percent of men who've lied about what they did over the weekend
23 --Percent of men who say they have sex every weekend night
70 -- Number of extra calories men consume on an average weekend day
1 in 3 --Number of men who throw back five or more drinks on a typical weekend night
39 --Percent of men who attend weekend religious services
44 --Percent who say Sunday afternoons tend to bum them out

Here are a few things I like on a Sunday night:

"Are there not... Two points in the adventure of the diver: One -- when a beggar, he prepares to plunge? Two -- when a prince, he rises with his pearl? I plunge!" Robert Browning

"Trials, temptations, disappointments -- all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fibre of a character, but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before." James Buckham

"Who begins too much accomplishes little." German proverb

"Life on the open road is be alone, to have few needs, to be unknown, everywhere a foreigner and at home, and to walk grandly and solitarily in conquest of the world." Isabelle Eberhardt

"All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. " George Orwell

Friday, June 22, 2012


...I'm reading Kim Chinquee again.  She always inspires me to write flash and so I did, I wrote lots and lots of things.
This is one...

  On The Wing

            My mother is afraid for me, but my stepfather says, “If he wants to go, let him.”
            So I’m on the plane alone.  A stewardess with white skin and orange hair keeps leaning around her work station to smile and wink at me.
            The man in the middle seat has gas and smells bad, like cow manure.  He wears a smudged ring and I wonder if he’s someone’s father.
            Where I’m flying to is flat farmland.  Acres of wheat.  Tractors and combines.  In the winter the snows get so deep that locals drive snowmobiles on the streets instead of cars.  I’ve never been, but I know because my blood father wrote me long letters that I’d find torn up in my parent’s trash. 
            When I tell the stewardess I’ll be nine in June, her smile lifts like it’s a hard trick she’s doing.  “I’ve got a daughter just your age.  You’re pretty brave to be flying by yourself.”  I don’t agree, but I don’t say so either.  I just think I’m maybe desperate.
            I saw an old film reel of a man walking across the wing of an airplane as it flew in the sky.  After a while it got boring, but then the clip changed and he was pedaling a unicycle while gigantic gusts threaten to toss him off.  My stepfather called the man a jackass and said, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”
            The stewardess brings me a ginger ale.  The bubbles won’t stop popping over the rim of the plastic glass.  “What are you going to do in North Dakota?”
            I tell her my real father lives there.  I tell her I’ve not seen him in person that I can remember.  I don’t tell her that my stepfather hates me and I hate him back.  I tell her lots of things, except how I’m on this bird and I’m never returning.
            When I look out my window, it’s a wall of white and the clouds have all but sucked up the wing.  I wait for it to reappear, for the world to reorder and make sense of itself again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


…Every day I win a lottery somewhere or someone I don’t know (usually a bad speller and semi-illiterate) decides to give me millions of their dollars.  Below is one I got today.  (Feel free to take the money for yourself.)

Hello Dear,
My name is Rosalind Deters,i am a dying woman who has decided to donate
What i have to you.
I am 59 years old,was diagnosed of cancer about 2 years ago immediately after
The death of my husband,who has left me everything he worked for.
I have been touched by God to donate from what i have inherited from my late
Husband to you for the good work of God,rather than to allow my relatives to
Use my husbands hard earned funds ungodly.
Please pray that the good Lord forgive me my sins.I have asked God to forgive
Me and i know he has because he is a merciful God.I will be going for an
Operation in less than one hour.
I decided to WILL/donate the sum of 3,000,000 Dollars(Three million Dollars)to you
For the good work of the Lord,and also to help the motherless,less priviledged
And assistance of the Widows.
I cannot take any telephone calls at the moment  due to the fact that my relatives
Are around me and my health status.
I have adjusted my WILL and my lawyer is aware that i have changed my WILL,
you and my lawyer will arrange the transfer of the funds from my account to yours
I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly,and please
Use the funds well and always extend the good work to others.
Contact my lawyer (Barrister.Hans Pieter) with this specified and tell him that i have WILLED 3,000,000 Dollars
To you,i have also notified him that i am WILLING that amount to you for a
Specific and good work.I know that i don t know you but i have been directed to
Do this.Thanks and Godbless you.
N.B:I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the task is
accomplished as i don t want anything to jeopardize my last wish.I shall try my
possible best to contact you via email as i don't want my relatives or anybody to
Know because they are around me.
Mrs.Rosalind Deters.
Happy moments,praise God
Difficult moments,seek God
Quiet moments,worship God
Painful moments,trust God
Every moment,thank God.

Monday, June 18, 2012


…Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in.  In some ways it seems longer ago than that.  There have been over 270 books written about it.

…I watched “Hitch” again the other day.  “Hitch” with Will Smith.  It’s such a fun film and despite a couple of cheesy parts, pretty adorable.

…Adele’s album “21” had its 24th week non-consecutive week at #1.  It has sold a grand total of 9.34 million copies since its March 2011 release.

Selling 9.34 million copies today would be akin to selling 27.9 million in the 1980’s.  Today, almost no one even comes close to selling 1 million copies.

…It’s interesting how where you live determines your life and your life’s priorities.

A few months back Hugh Hefner was divorcing his 23 year old bride when the split became bitter over who would get custody of their toy poodle.  (Hefner is 86).

Yesterday I read about a Chinese woman who was dragged into a police van, beaten about her head and legs, driven to a hospital where she was injected with a serum that aborted her fetus.  She was 7 months into term.  In China most families are only allowed to have one child.  The particular woman couldn’t afford the $6,000 fine she faced, thus her ordeal.  The Communist Chinese government, home to the planet’s most populous country, controls its population through heavy fines, threats of violence and regular actual violence.  And, disturbingly, it’s all considered normal.

…Here are a couple of things I like for the new week:

"Someday, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer." Phillip Brooks

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." –Aristotle

“I intend to live forever.  So far, so good.” Stephen Wright

Saturday, June 16, 2012


…A long time ago, I wrote this poem.  It has never been published and has been rejected half a dozen times. 
I don’t know why I wrote it or why I was so angry when I did, but I fell into this place and it came out.
It remains one of my favorites.
Here it is:

               This Is Not a Love Poem

You are in Switzerland noshing patchwork cheese,
buying wristwatches with Andre or Gary.
The sun is gentle and restrained on your faces.
A breeze kicks up enough that your hair flounces around your cheek
while seeding the air
with the honeysuckle notes of your perfume,
and at this moment
on our very planet
there could not be a more lovely creature
than you.

Over here
there’s no yellow brick road
so  I’m heading off to where
the trails are paved with razors pointed topside,
sticking up jaggedly,
a billion blades
of glinting metal teeth.
To get where I need to go
requires more than faith and
means taking a blood bath.

You should be so thrilled.
Perhaps you can toss confetti across your gazpacho
or shoot up the next guy to slip you the finger.

Mind you, this is not a love poem.
Mind yourself
and mine those men with their ceramic smiles
and candy cane eyes,
their Dudley Do-Right jaws as reliable as oxbows.
Take them in the crux of your kiss,
your armpit
or crotch
for all I care.
Crush them like scrawny spiders or
choke them with a designer garrote,
but leave me out of it,
I’m busy.

When I brushed my teeth this morning
they bled inky black, liquid licorice.
I tried gargling with salt water but that did nothing to stem the flow,
the blow as it were,
so the doctor has fitted me with this muzzle thing
and now the only way I’m able to convey how much I hate you
is to type it
like I’m doing right now.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


 …I’m surrounded by policeman.  Over a dozen of them.  Half are wearing hats.  Caps.  In their holsters they have billy clubs and canisters of mace, walkie talkies bigger than bricks, and pistols.  Of course they have those.
These cops are loud, rowdy even.  They don’t want me, though.  Thank God for that.  Most of them are laughing.  The others are pontificating, even pointing a finger while they gesture and talk.
All this is happening at my hometown Starbucks.  When I pulled up a moment ago it looked like Obama had made a campaign stop here.  In the lot are at least seven vehicles.
These cops like their coffee and camaraderie.  They don’t seem so menacing while they’re smiling. Cops are probably taught not to smile when they pull you over or arrest you.
I’m here with half of our city’s police force because my internet isn’t working and hasn’t been for a few days.  It’s the cost of country living, I get that, but it’s still annoying.
There are state troopers, sheriffs, and Snohomish police.  All we’re missing here is the FBI or Canadian Mounties.  Some of the getups are a little silly—the Mountie-styled hats with the wide flat brims in cadet blue no less; lit blue trousers with silk ribbon running down the side of each leg; those same light blue pants tucked into black boots that are nearly knee-high.
And now they’re standing.   It’s like when a flock of geese lift off of the lake, dominating the scene.  These are jolly officers, most a little on the heavy side.  Maybe they’re so happy because they belong to this fraternity or because they’ve just downed a liter of coffee each (it looked that way.)
In any case, I hope they catch some bad guys today.  Not people who speed, but people who sell speed.  I hope they make a difference.  It seems like that’s all we should ever hope for, from each other and from ourselves.

…I like these this morning:

-"I think how one lives is more important than how long one lives. So I don't feel too bad."  Lim Yoon-taek, 32 year old cancer victim

-"Disaster has a way of turning up around prophets." Erica Wright

-"Your imagination is the preview to life's coming attractions." Albert Einstein

Monday, June 11, 2012


…I got some great news.  The other day someone from the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference called to tell me a story I’d written is a finalist in the short story competition.  Out of over 1,000 entries, there are 8 finalists.  The winner is announced at a ceremony during the conference next month here in Seattle.  You don’t get any money, but there is a dinner with a number of agents with the ability to make some important connections. 
So that made me happy.
The story is one I wrote specifically for the contest.  It’s not as dark as my usual stuff and even, I think so anyway, humorous in many places.
We’ll see what happens.  Keep your fingers crossed or me, okay?

...I went to see “Moonrise Kingdom,” the new film by Wes Anderson who also did “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Bottle Rocket,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and others.
You should really see “Moonrise Kingdom.”  The title is odd and a little misleading, but the movie is wonderful.  It’s quirky and imaginative, funny, poignant, surprising with wonderful cinematography and spectacular acting.  Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand are in it, but really the two child actors steal the show.
I laughed and smiled the whole way through and even went, “Ahhh,” a few times.
You will, too.
That photo about is Suzie from the movie.

...Here are a couple of things I like today:

"I really think that if there's any one enemy to human creativity, especially creative writing, it's self-consciousness." Andre Dubus III

"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can transform one million realities." Maya Angelou

Interviewer: "Which is more important: the ideas or the prose?
Kerouac: "Ideas are a dime a dozen."

"The truth is nobody gets over anything."  Martin Amis

Saturday, June 9, 2012


…On Friday I went to Seattle, to Occidental Park, a landmark in the city.  Along with a dozen other writers, I’d been asked to write a piece about some object in the park.  Then a troupe of artisans built structures around the various objects (sculptures, poles, grates, and in my case—trees), laminated the poems and stories, and placed them on podiums.  It was pretty cool and I felt fortunate to be included.
If you’re in the Seattle area, the installment will be up for the next couple of months.

…I try to pay attention, to listen and be aware.  That helps with the writing.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes I just take in random information because—for whatever reason—it’s interesting…

…What's it all mean?  You tell me:

-Edvard Munch's painting, "The Scream" was recently auctioned off for $120 million.

-In their first month out by a traditional publisher, the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series has sold over 3 million copies and all three of the books are at the top of the bestseller list.  I’ve read none of them so I can’t cast an opinion.  It must be astounding to have that kind of success, to go from a hardly-known to such a well-known in such a short amount of time.  I do like some of her take on story-telling:
-“I was lucky to have my readers buy into the fantasy, to have them suspend their disbelief and enjoy it.”
-“Fundamentally, people like a good love story.” E.L. James

-In its report issued Thursday, the climate data center said the average U.S. temperature between March and May was 57.1 degrees, 5.2 degrees above the long-term average from 1901 to 2000.
While May was only the second-warmest on record, it was still in the top third for monthly average temperatures, marking 12 consecutive months with temperatures in that range, said Jake Crouch, a NOAA climate scientist.
"For that to happen 12 times in a row in a random circumstance is one in 540,000," he said.

-The obesity rate is set to hit 42% by 2030.  (yikes.)

-The recent stock market crash has caused investors to yank more than $260 billion (billion) out of the market, even though stocks, collectively, have risen more than 100% since the bear market ended three years ago.  It’s u 25% since October of last year.

-Obama and Romney are in a virtual tie.  If the election were held today, O would win by a hair, 48% to 47%.

-27% of people stash their cash at home in their freezer.  (Really?  Weird.)

-Facebook recently announced that it may allow kids under 13 to create an account under parental supervision.  (As if they're not already doing that without parental supervision.)

-Kids see an average of 16 food and beverage ads per day while watching television

-7% of Americans think it's very likely they'll one day become rich
-21% said it's somewhat likely
-72% said it's not very likely, or not at all likely

-Last week hackers got hold of the passwords for 6.5 million LinkedIn users

-There are five major rollercoasters currently operating in the US that are 88 years old or older (one, Leap-the-Dips) is 110 years old, meaning it was built and installed in the year 1912.

Gang activity is on the rise:
Percentage of US cities reporting gang violence:
2005 --25%
2010 --34%
Overall gang membership (in millions):
2005 --0.8
2010 --1.4
Of the 200 Chicago area murders so far this year (up from 139 at the same point last year), local police say 80% were gang-related.
It's estimated there are 100,000 gang members in that city

-You may not care, but Lindsay Lohan got into another car accident.
I'm a Linds fan.  I still remember her from "Freaky Friday."  I think she has talent.  I know she's in a bad way, but I'm hoping, like Britney, she can find a way to make it back.
In all, Lohan has spent 250 days in rehab, 35 days in home confinement, 67 days on community service, 19 days in court and made six trips to jail.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


...I've been writing a lot.  That old thing where a sentence or word strikes inspiration is back.  Yesterday I wrote 15 stories, albeit some short.  
Here's one... 

                                                                        Life Is Beautiful

            They called her Monkey Face. 

            Boys stuck orange wedges between their mouths and waddled around bowlegged, arms curled as if carrying invisible bed rolls.  Rotten banana peels were often left inside her desk.  Once, she came into class and discovered a crude drawing on the blackboard with the name APE GIRL scrolled above it.

            At the zoo, she saw some.  They were hairy and bark-colored, gloomy-looking or angry.  One tried to snatch her neck through the metal bars.

            She married a man named Eddy.  Her mother was not a fan, but so what?  Eddy called her Queen instead of Monkey Face, sometimes being comical and shouting, “Boungiorno Principessa!” similar to the Italian actor in the film about love and Jews and death.

            Wherever she was, wherever she went, she sought out the unsightly.  Lots of things were soiled or marred, uneven and odd.  To each, she said a silent prayer and sent them a wish.

            After a difficult deliver, the sweaty nurse handed off their baby with relief.

            The new mother studied her newborn’s face.  She bent in beside the infant’s ear and whispered, “Hey there, Beautiful,” and because it was true or wasn’t, the baby cooed back.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


…Today someone asked how old I was and I told them but I added a year to my age and after the amended age was already out in the spoken air it was too late to retrieve it, so for one day I was more mature than I wanted to be, than I ever want to be.

I don’t want to be a year older.  I know I should say rosy things like “Age is just a number” or “Life gets better the older one gets” but, truth be told (and I always tell the truth here), it’s a lot more fun being young when life is and open road.      

I say this having just read Anna Quindlen’s memoir, “Lots of Candles.  Plenty of Cake” where she says younger is not better.  She reports that a Gallup poll of 340,000 people showed unequivocally that we get more content as we age.”

I guess I disagree.

I guess I think there’s a difference between being content and being uninhibitedly spirited.

I’m not saying I’m not happy, because I am.  But I’d start all over at age sixteen again if someone would give me the chance.

I’d do it in a heartbeat.  

...In a few days Angelina Jolie will turn 37.  It seems as if she’s fifty or something.

...Robin Gibb, of the The Bee Gees (they took their name from The Brothers Gibb) died a few weeks ago from a long bout with cancer at the age of 62. I love the Bee Gees and don’t mind if you don’t.      

  …Breaking Bad,” the greatest television show ever, begins its fifth season in July.  You really should watch this.  Get Season 1 on Netflix or get the dvd’s.  You’ll be very happy.

It’s about a Chemistry teacher who has lung cancer and sells meth with a former student.  I know that sounds wacky, but the acting, direction, writing and cinematography are astounding.        

…It’s the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s groundbreaking album “Graceland.”  That’s another thing you should get.  (I’m not steering you wrong here.)            

…The comic book movie “Avengers” has broken all kinds of records.  Its domestic gross topped $523 million in less than four weeks.

“Battleship,” a film based on a board game is hot, too.

“Men in Black 3” about aliens sold $70 million in one week.

Where I live these are the kinds of movies the cinaplexes play, nothing art house.  For that it’s a long drive into the city.

That’s pretty much why I don’t go to the movies anymore.

I’m not a snob, but I have to have a film shake me emotionally and not with special effects.

…This quote says what I can never come up with when people ask me why I don’t write happy things:

"I've been asked why such a happy person like me writes such unsettling dark novels and I think the answer if because it helps me be happy in my real life to explore all the darkness.  I do ruin lives in my novels, but I try not to end them.  I try to give people some sense of hope, though I never have people walking off into the sunset with everything solved." -Caroline Leavitt


Saturday, June 2, 2012


…You probably already know this, but the last week a man ate another man’s face.  Literally ate it.
It was a big news story with everyone talking about it.  I just read the headline and skipped the story.  It seemed too gruesome, and while I’m not the squeamish type, the face-eater’s photo looked really creepy, like a hillbilly version of Charles Manson crossed with Ted Bundy and maybe the Una Bomber.
But then today I was reading the paper and in a tiny part of the news at the very bottom of the page I saw where a Morgan State University student killed his roommate, then ate his heart and part of his brain.  It didn’t get much attention.  I guess people are most interested in things that obviously affect outward physical appearance.

…Lately I’ve been listening to the new B.o.B., the new Springsteen, Young The Giant, Neon Trees, and old Jason Marz.

…Last week some things I learned were these:

-The stock market crashed as the unemployment rate rose for the first time in over a year.
-Interest rates hit an all-time low at 3.78% for a 30 year mortgage (refinance, if you haven’t already.  I am.)
-Safeway and Walmart both sell vibrators.  (Yep, you read that right.)  A Walmart spokesman said, “People are more comfortable than ever about having one.  (Got yours yet?)
-In an attempt to limit sugary-drink portions, and thereby affect obesity, NYC is proposing a law that place a 16-ouce cap on bottled drinks and fountain beverages sold in New York.  A McDonald’s statement said, “Public health issues cannot be effectively addressed through a narrowly focused and misguided ban.”  (They can’t?  Really?)
-President Obama designated the month of June as Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Pride Month.
While listening to Rush Limbaugh this morning, he likened Obama to Hitler.  And this was just for Health Care.  He hadn’t heard about June being GLTG Pride Month.  (I try not to get political here, but Rush is a real hater.  He sounds preposterous so I listen to him now and again to remind myself why I can’t stand the man.)
-Thunderstorms cause pollution.  (Who knew?)
-Video games boost autistic kids. (Makes sense)
-Experts agree: despite the onslaught of texting, spelling is still important when you’re trying to make a good impression.  (Duh)
-28 cities posted their warmest temperatures ever in the month of May.  (No one seems to talk about Global Warming anymore.)
-In a nationwide poll, people said that youths would get a better start with:
25% --$250,000 in cash
71% --A college education
-28 states now have medical marijuana
-I am still a dolt when it comes to Twitter