Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuna Salad Sandwich Challenge #3: Local.

Today has each of us selecting a local place rumored to have very good tuna salad sandwiches. Tuna. Tuna Salad. Weird, just typing those words makes me feel full. Haha. Tuuuuna. Not something we should really be eating, I think. Poor things, living their lives in the freedom of the sea when BAM caught in a net and they gasp their last breath on the way to our restaurants where we GRIND them up and-

Stacey: I selected A Spot of Tea, a famous place located in Mobile and-

Rob: I'm getting to it. Gotta finish up the introduction after all. Tuna Salad. Tuuuna. There. I'm done. Let's eat tuna AGAIN! WOOOOOOHOOOOO! Brain food! I am psyched!!!

Stacey: Tuna Salad on a croissant with Country Style potatoes: 10.74 with tax. (7.99 sandwich only, 8.79 with tax)

Rob: Tuna Salad "sandwich" with Fries and a Coke: 6.39. 6.95 with tax.

Stacey: As you can see, A Spot Of Tea is a nice place. The atmosphere very pleasant and my guest-

Rob: Billy?

Stacey: I'm sorry. Who?

Rob: Just wondered if you took Free Soup Billy.

Stacey: No, I was accompanied by my lovely sister, known on Twitter as @1meanangel .

Rob: Neat.

Stacey: It was great! Took a while to get there and the sandwich is a bit overpriced for the taste of it, which was just okay. But the staff was friendly and our food arrived in minutes. And the potatoes they served were very good, I liked them better than the sandwich actually.

Rob: Can't wait to see the pics:

Rob: My turn? Okay. Well I went to an out of the way place near the Home Depot and Walmart called Wendy's Old Fashioned. Here is a pic:

Stacey: Wait a minute, that's Wendy's.

Rob: Which is what I said.

Stacey: No, the burger chain!

Rob: Clearly not. Look at the bag. They sell tuna salad sandwiches, not burgers.

Stacey: You had a burger!

Rob: Tuna. Anyway. The tuna was moist and very beefy, the bun fresh and the cheese and bacon a nice compliment to the tuna-ness of the whole burger. The Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt-

Yeah, I've seen the NATIONAL commercial for them.

Rob: I'm surprised our local Wendy's would advertise nationally, but anyway they were nothing special. I don't get the hype. Pics:

Stacey: You suck.

Rob: So what's next? Quiche?

Stacey: Something you don't get tired of eating after 2 days....I'll have to think about it.

Rob: Cool.


Stacey: 5
Rob: 7


Stacey: 4
Rob: 7


Stacey: 6.5
Rob: 6.5

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuna Sandwich Challenge #2: Quizno's.

Today is Quizno's turn. How does THIS national chain do tuna salad? Does their signature "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm." mean anything? Do they fear Jared? I know I do.

Assisting me in the challenge once again is the infamous Stacey and Sons. They tried to ban her but you can't stop her, you can only hope to contain her. Stacey ordered a Large Tuna Salad on Italian Herb Bread. I got a Small on Rosemary Parmesan Bread. I also got a lil cup of banana peppers and another lil cup of horseradish sauce.

Stacey: 6.99 plus tax. 7.69 total.
Rob: 4.99 plus tax. 5.43 total. peppers and horseradish sauce .49 ea. Grand total: 6.48

Stacey: I don't think I had ever been in a Quizno's before. I liked it. Very nice people work there, especially the cute guy who made our sandwich.
Rob: Never been in a Quizno's? Weird. Then again...
Stacey: The Vegetarian thing, yeah. Never thought to go into a sub sandwich shop.
Rob: I get that. So you got the large and split it with your boys.
Stacey: Yes, and it was quite filling. Shared it with Son and both of us liked the sandwich. Son thought it "delicious" after a thoughtful pause. The bread was too toasted for our liking, some of it was blackened. The tuna salad was just okay. Pics:

Rob: It looks pretty good but you didn't mention the soup. I should add the cost into the-
Stacey: Oh the soup was free.
Rob: Free? No, they charge for it.
Stacey: Well Billy didn't charge us for-
Stacey: That was the name on his nametag. He gave us a cup of chicken noodle soup with our sandwich.
Rob: Because?
Stacey: I don't know. I don't go there usually, don't you get soup for free? Like bread sticks at Olive Garden?
Rob: No. That isn't usual.
Stacey: Well B had some and deemed the soup a bit too salty.
Rob: Oh, well that was probably why good ole Billy-
Stacey: But J said it was delicious. Better than the soup one gets at a grocery store even.
Rob: Oh. Cool.
Stacey: We had an enjoyable time.
Rob: Super. Guess I'll go on about mine. The bread was good, Rosemary Parm is nice, the tuna was a bit dry though and, seriously? Free soup?
Stacey: Yes.
Rob: The tomato slices were better than Panera. Overall quite dry. Glad I had the not free horseradish sauce and peppers to moisten it up with since Isabel, the 67 year old who made my sandwich didn't bother to offer me free soup.
Stacey: I didn't eat it.
Rob: Yeah. Anyway, here are the photos of mine:

Stacey: Bread alone; 8.5, tuna brought the whole thing down to 7.
Rob: Dry, 6.

Stacey: 7.5
Rob: 4. (No free soup)

Stacey: 7.5
Rob: 5

Another fun time, yes?
Rob: Yup.
Stacey: What's tomorrow?
Rob: Kinda sick of tuna salad.
Stacey: Ooh we should pick a local place!
Rob: Somewhere they put tuna on a burger maybe.
Stacey: HAHA!
Rob: :/

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuna Salad Sandwich Challenge #1: Panera Bread

I am teaming up with a friend for a series of taste tests. This friend is Stacey and she lives in Southern Alabama. I live in Southern California. So how different would certain foods be two time zones apart? Would one region excel in something the other would not? What about chain eateries versus "mom and pop" places? Not to mention our own personal taste differences. We begin with a sandwich. Not any sandwich, but the tuna salad sandwich. How would Panera Bread prepare it for me in California and for her in Alabama?

Panera Bread Tuna Salad Sandwich

Cost: Stacey; 5.59 plus tax. 6.15 total. Rob; 6.19 total, no tax.

Rob: I was surprised that California, eager to tax virtually everything from water to air to thoughts, DIDN'T tax my sandwich.

Stacey: Weird. Mine was taxed.

Rob: Oh well. Turns out the cost was virtually the same. Let's show yours first.

Stacey: I ordered the tomato basil bread and asked for extra lettuce. The bread was delicious, soft and fresh. I tasted the tomato and basil, yum, but the edges were tough and hard to chew. It might just be the type of bread, but tough edges are not to my liking. Other than that, the sandwich was excellent. Good tuna salad to bread ratio and lots of fresh lettuce, just as I wanted.
Stacey's son: I like the tough bread. The tough bread is to my liking.

Rob: Well it certainly looks hearty. The lettuce appears healthy and fresh.

Stacey: I asked that they leave out tomatoes. The tomato basil bread was delicious and there was really no need for tomatoes.

Rob: I like fresh tomato slices on my sammich.

Stacey: I gave the chips that came with it to my kids.

Stacey's son: They were crisp and good. The chips were good.

Stacey: I liked the big dll pickle spear they included with it.

Rob: Now let's take a look at mine.

Rob: I went with their standard tuna sandwich, no alterations. This meant I got Honey Wheat bread and nothing extra. The bread was soft and fresh, the mayo and mustard perfect. I removed my lettuce as I don't eat it and I eventually had to remove the tomato slices as they were raw. The tuna salad I agree was on the sweet side.

Stacey: When I make it at home I don't make it that sweet, but it was fine.

Rob: I agree, though without the pepper yours had, it was still good and there was a lot of it. You get a lot for the money.

Stacey: I'd like your pickle spear.

Rob: You can't have it.

Stacey's son: Did you like the crust?

Rob: No. Not a fan of crusts.

Stacey's son: I enjoy tough bread.

Rob: So overall a good sandwich.

Stacey: Oh I agree. And I called it in, so there was no wait.

Rob: I didn't call ahead but the wait time was less than 4 minutes.

Taste (1-10)

Stacey: 8
Rob: 7.5

Value (1-10)

Stacey: 6
Rob: 6.5


Stacey: 8
Rob: 7

Final Thoughts:

Stacey: I was full after finishing it and it tasted very good. I think the next sandwich place had better be good in order to compare with this one.

Rob: 6 bucks for a tuna salad sandwich is a bit much but it WAS good and filling. The next place may be Quizno's. See you there.

Stacey: I'll be there!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This Christmas has impressed upon me the need to realize that there is a "reason for the season" as the saying goes. It is about Family, Friends, and, yes, Christ. The following is something I wrote as a guest blog post this past February. I thought I'd let you in on some of my thoughts regarding this life and the one beyond. I enjoy discussions such as these so please engage me if you wish.

Darwinian evolution was an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. However, evolution via random and gradual mutations can’t explain some very complex biological systems. Contrary to Darwinian evolution, it appears (and is widely accepted by scientists), that biology itself shows signs of a “designer.” This deduction is arrived at via design deduce of the physical structure of a system.

Aspects of biology strongly appear to be designed. Even Richard Dawkins says, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” (The Blind Watchmaker 1996, p.1) Dawkins doesn’t believe biological structures were a product of intelligent design, but he admits they “overwhelmingly impress with the appearance of design.”

There are structural obstacles to Darwinian evolution, coupled with physical reasons to think that Darwinian evolution can not do what its proponents claim for it. The structural reasons are “irreducible complexity.”

Irreducible complexity contradicts the premise that evolution could operate slowly and gradually one mutation at a time. An irreducibly complex structure cannot evolve that way, for this simple reason: you have some system and it has a number of parts and they act on each other and they are all necessary for the function to exist. You take away one or more of the parts and the function is no longer present.

Think of it this way, and by example, the mousetrap has various parts: a spring, a wire hammer, a catch, a board that holds it all together. Take away any part and you have a meaningless and purposeless collection of parts. There is no way that it could slowly evolve into that complexity.

Another example is a bacterial flagellum. The flagellum is a whip like propeller that a bacterium spins to move. Any part of the flagellum apparatus, without all the rest, is purposeless. Like a mousetrap without one of its necessary parts, this one would be broken as well.

Critics and militant atheist’s responses to irreducible complexity are wishful thinking. They argue that someday they will be able to explain them by random events and such will contradict the designer postulate. Nevertheless, they continue to make grand Darwinian claims as if this evidence already had been discovered. Such claims are urban legends.

Evolution can explain many things, but not everything.

I believe in multi-verses; worlds without number and without end, each of different degrees of glory and far more glorious than that in which we reside.

How utterly horrible would it be, to believe that Life begins, and has its ending, in this temporal sphere. I believe in an Intelligent Designer. One who has my best interest at heart, if only I have Faith. And yes, my faith has evolved. But that is a discussion for another time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guest Blog Post #5

This blog post is by my very good friend, Stacey. It is about chronic pain, something I know all too well and I thank her for sharing. Follow her on Twitter at @ALHSMommy please.

Sixteen years ago, a man driving a pickup truck ran a red light and changed my life. I had just eased out into the intersection, when he slammed into the driver’s side door of the car I was driving, totaling my sedan. He walked around my car and talked to me while the firemen worked to free me from the wreckage of my car. After the police gave him a ticket for running a red light, he drove his truck away from the scene of the accident, completely uninjured, and I never heard from him again. His name is Jay Pickle and what follows is what I’d like to say to him.

Mr. Pickle, your one moment of careless behavior completely changed the course of my life. Perhaps you never think of that little mistake you made all those years ago. Most of the time, I don’t think about that day, but I deal with the consequences of your action every hour of every day. In the mornings, I get out of bed in pain, barely able to lift my arms or turn my head. I spend the first hour of every day stretching and soaking my body in a tub of hot water to get to the point I can function as a mother. I have all sorts of neat tricks to get me through a day of taking care of my children, too, and I’m very good at multitasking. For example, I can use an ice pack or a TENS unit while reading to my kids. Sure, it takes me twice as long as other mothers to do every little task. Certainly, I have to stop to rest in the middle of chores or lessons, but I still do it all. You ruined my back, but I didn’t allow you to ruin my life.

Yes, I have children, Mr. Pickle. The doctors were able to repair and save my uterus after you damaged it slamming into my car at 40 mph. My first baby was only six months old at the time. I thank God I had just dropped him off with my sister, because the crash completely ruined his car seat. You would have killed my baby. Six hard years later, and after surgery I was able to have another baby. Two years after that, a miracle happened and I had a third child. The doctors never thought that would be possible, but I am strong and determined, and I did it. The third pregnancy stressed my uterus to the point it could no longer be saved and in 2001, I finally gave in and had a hysterectomy. I am happy and fulfilled with the three children I have, but sometimes I get a yearning to have another baby. That will never happen. You took that option away from me.

With each passing year, my spine gets weaker and more deformed. There is a surgical option, but the risks that it could cripple me are too great. I’m not willing to risk it. So, I live in pain, every minute of every day. I no longer remember what it feels like to not be in pain. I give thanks for days when the pain is relatively mild and I use those days to catch up from the ones I spend barely making it through.

I wonder where you are, Mr. Pickle, and what kind of life you have had. I wonder if I ever cross your mind. I wonder if I’ll ever really forgive you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guest Blog Post #4

Here is an insightful and funny piece from Denise Swank. Please enjoy it and you can find her Twitter handle and blog addy at the end of it:

Socially Savvy

Social media is revolutionizing the world. Facebook and Twitter are ways to reach out into the world and connect with target audiences. But what about reaching a closer audience? Like your children?

It's a well known fact teenagers are repulsed at the idea of having an actual conversation. You only have to observe two teens sitting side by side sending each other texts to know this is true. But having a conversation with their mother? Shudder. Yet, we parents need to stay in tuned with our kids, so what are we supposed to do? Tap into their preferred communication technique.

Text messaging.

Lucky for my children, I am social media savvy. (I really want to insert an evil laugh here, yet I will refrain.)

My teens have cell phones, but the rule is if they don’t answer my phone call or text, they better have a REALLY good reason. Like they were driving. Or they were attacked by killer bees. Or they were under general anesthesia donating a kidney to buy my birthday gift.

Last Friday, my 8th grade daughter, Julia, went to the high school football game with friends. I told her to text me when her friend’s mother was bringing them home. What followed was deeply moving, bonding experience between mother and daughter.*

Julia: We’re on our way home

Me: Did you win?

Julia: No, we lost. The other team kicked the ball thru some posts at the end

Me: A field goal?

Julia: You know what a field goal is? Did they have football when you were in school?

Me: Of course. Back in those days we used T Rex bladders for balls. The Brontos' bladders were too big.


Julia: Oh! Abby thought you were funny

Me: See??? I keep telling you I’m funny.

Julia: No, Mom. No

Abby (to me): Ms. Denise you were funny

Julia (to me): Stop you are embarrassing me

Me (to Julia): What about Muffy? All my readers thought she was funny. (flatulent dog from my novel)

Julia: No, Mom

Me: :-P”””

Julia: Huh?

Me: It’s a face! With a tongue hanging out, spitting.

Julia: ?

Me: It’s a VERY sad day when a mother teaches her 13 y/o daughter an emoticon.

Julia: Oh Mom

Abby (to me): that was funny

Julia (to me): MOM!

Me: X-(

Julia: I don’t get it

Me: It’s an angry face. Turn it sideways.

Abby (to me): I see it! That's cool!

Julia (to me): Mom, stop, my friends think you are funny

Me: Oh, the horror! Did you have fun?

Julia: Yeah

Me: Any cute boys?

Julia: MOM! STOP!

(Car pulls into driveway. Julia comes into the house.)

“Now you’ve done it. My friends think you’re cool.” Julia mumbled when she walked in the house.

“Is that a bad thing?”

She gave me a dramatic eye roll as she left the room.

Is there an emoticon for that?

*This text conversation may have been slightly exaggerated for entertainment purposes.

When not tormenting her children, Denise can be found on Twitter as @DeniseMSwank or on very rare occasions, lurking on her own blog

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest Blog Post #3

I am honored to present a heart-felt post by @SuthernGeekette aka Amy. Follow her on Twitter and visit her at

Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day was October 15th prompting me to write this about my own personal experiences.

I think about the children I've lost everyday. I've had two miscarriages. People who have never experienced it sometimes can't comprehend the pain you feel. It is the deepest heartbreak I've ever felt.

My first was over 13 years ago. It was my very first pregnancy. I was about 8 weeks along. I was at work. Without going into graphic detail, suffice it to say, my miscarriage started and I immediately went into denial. My co-workers had to convince me what was happening. I went to the hospital.

Hours later when the ER doctor finally checked me out, he got me in to see the ultrasound technician. She showed me on the screen where the baby had been. I began to cry and shake, coming to terms with what had happened.

She then said, "Wait, you hear that?" I said, "Hear what?" I couldn't hear over my own crying. I took a breath and calmed down. I heard a strange woosh-woosh sound. She smiled at me and said, "That is your OTHER baby's heartbeat." It was the most wonderful sound I had ever heard. In that one moment, I felt grief, love and joy all at the same time.

Seven months later my son was born. He was purple and they had to help him take his first breath but he was alive and healthy. It was a true blessing. And we just celebrated his 13th birthday last week.

The second child that I lost was a lot different. It happened almost nine years after the first. I had been very meticulous about going to the doctor. I had seen my baby on the ultrasound. Looked like a little bean on the screen. I heard that wonderful woosh-woosh sound. They said she had a strong heartbeat. They said she looked good. Everything was fine as far as they could tell. No, they didn't say the baby was a girl, but...I knew she was. I felt it. I was scheduled to come back at 12 weeks. By week 11, I was spotting. I got scared, fast. The doctors worked me in that same day. I went in to get the ultrasound and the technician wouldn't say anything except that she couldn't answer questions. That I would have to talk to my doctor.

Seemed like hours before I got through the rigamarole to finally see my doctor. He told me the baby had died at approximately 10 weeks. I started crying, uncontrollably. He was very patient. He calmed me down enough to talk to me. He explained that it hadn't been anything that I had done. Even though, for some reason, I felt I had. He further explained that sometimes babies just don't develop correctly and that it was probably a breakdown on a cellular level that caused the baby to die. He kept reiterating that it was nothing I had done and for me not to take the blame for something I had no control over. Because I have a bicornuate uterus, it would be too risky to my health to perform a DNC procedure to get the remains of my baby. I would have to let "nature take it's course".

Again, without going into graphic detail, I'll tell you this: that miscarriage took 3weeks to reach completion. Those were the worst 3 weeks of my life. I was motionless as much as possible. I was basically bedridden. My body was slow to finish the miscarriage and my heart broke constantly. Not a moment passed when I wasn't crying and mourning the child I had come to love. I had named her in my mind and in my heart.

She wasn't "just a pregnancy" as I've heard some callous people claim. She was my baby. My child. And I loved her. I still love her and mourn her every moment of every day. She was my Katherine and I miss her deeply.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guest Blog Post #2

The economy continues to affect many of us negatively. The 2nd guest blogger to appear here this week has thoughts on this subject. You may know her as @Lissy_Kuri and she is one of the first people I Followed on Twitter. Please copy my action and Follow her. And help her with a job, if it's within your power.

The American worker is said to be the backbone of our nation. Yet today many go unemployed. Or overworked and underpaid. To say the least, I am one of these workers. Work long hours never get that "pat on the back" and suddenly after working with a company they let me go. No explanations, just goodbye. Is it my fault for having a lack of education, my middle class family told me from when I turned 16, "miha ( daughter ) you need to get a job." Then after graduation, 19, "miha, you need to go to college, but we can't pay for it." Yet I did it, for a little while anyway. Working 40 hours then going to school for 20 was hard. After a while it got expensive. Then my parents said, "miha you need to help with the bills." So there I was, 22, working full time,.going from one dead end job to another, with no end in sight.

This is the fate of many young people today, working at food chains, and other customer service jobs. Not that there is anything wrong with an honest day's work. But at some point your experience is higher than a college degree, then you be come typecast as only working in the retail industry. You find you have to fill out applications and work alongside teenagers. Then wonder how did I get to this point. What other choice do I have, go back to school and get high interest student loans then after I get my degree become part of another problem with having a large debt that I won't be able to be rid of until I'm in my 40's?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guest Blog Post #1

This week's first guest blogger is @1BlondeWonder, as she is known on the Twitters. She has decided to post on a topic I gave to those who were wondering what to blog about; what does Twitter mean to you? She's a lot of fun and I recommend you Follow her immediately:


Twitter means different things to different people. I joined twitter to help take my mind off of a breakup. I needed the distraction, it didn’t make me feel better but it sure kept me occupied. It was strange at first, figuring it all out but it didn’t take long to learn the rules, there really aren’t any. I was fascinated by all these people who were somewhere in the world conversing at the same place and at the same time.

My first twitter friend was April. Even over the internet waves I knew I liked her, cyber chemistry. It wasn’t long before other friends came along. How do you explain twitter to someone who’s never heard of it or ever tried it? It’s a way to connect even when you feel disconnected. They can’t understand how relationships can form, but they do. There are many people who I have met who I would love to meet in real life. I know of several people whose relationships have carried over into the real (outside) world. There’s someone for everyone on twitter, to agree or disagree.

How many celebrities have I talked to? It’s crazy! How else could that ever happen, communicating in real time talking to them about whatever? It doesn’t. It’s a whole new way to connect and you either get it or you don’t. It has opened up a whole new world for me, a place to go when you feel isolated, a place to chat, share ideas, and expand your views. Incredible.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guest Blog Post Details

So you want to rent space here, huh? Got something to say? Want to vent over here, in the corner of the internet where the dustbunnies thrive? Well have at it! It's free of charge and oh so easy to do. Here are the details:

  • Offer open to anyone who has something to say.
  • No minimum or maximum word count.
  • I ask that there be no excessive profanity or sexuality.
  • You may have your post entered as "anonymous"
  • Please have your post to me sometime within the week of October 18th..
  • Submit your post to my email at
  • The sooner the better!

That's it. I eagerly await your nimble and intriguing posts in my email box. Have fun!

Friday, August 13, 2010


The business where I spend my time serving humanity and collecting a huge paycheck has a large parking lot located near one of the main streets that run through my hometown. Hint: it's name is NOT Main St.!! During breaks and lunch periods I spend time in my truck in this very parking lot, listening to classical music, eating healthy salads and concocting snooty lies about the kinds of things I do in my truck during breaks and lunch periods. At least once a week I am approached by beggars. They walk up to the window, wait for me to roll it down and turn down the volume on the local rap station and ask for money, food, or money. Mainly money. Whatever I can spare. Please.

How do you deal with people who approach you asking for spare change? Do you have a no tolerance policy? Do you give every time you are asked? Do you gauge the character of the person asking you before deciding to help?

My truck has a section near the gear shift for change and I keep pennies, nickels, dimes, and, how did you guess? quarters there. I usually reach down and tell whoever that all I have is a quarter. Will this really help someone out? Or does it do more for me by assuaging any guilt over the unfairness of the situation? When I am on lunch and have some spare snack on the seat beside me available, I suppose I could offer it to the individual. "Here, have a Pringles Potato Crisp." doesn't seem like much of a solution. Perhaps keeping a deli sandwich in a cooler for such occassions would be far more fitting. Should I do that?

This blog post was inspired by an incident from yesterday morning that I cannot get to leave my head. At 5:55am a slightly haggard woman approached my truck. It was far too early for this, I thought, and pretended to suddenly find something on the roof of my truck extremely interesting. Through my peripheral vision, I spotted her raising something and, fearing a weapon, I decided to look at her. In her hand was a photo. The color photo showed a large Mexican male, bald, with a bushy mustache, dressed in a sleeveless white T-shirt and white cargo shorts. He was standing near a brick wall with an air of weariness about him. I rolled down my window.

The woman, in English with a slight Spanish accent explained, slowly and without hesitation, that the man in the photo was her husband. They had 4 children together all of whom she was caring for because he was taken to Mexico. She wanted anything I could spare in order to hire a "coyote" who would bring her husband across the border so he could help her feed her children.

Quite a story. I believed her. She appeared earnest. A potato chip probably wouldn't have helped. Nor a sandwich. A quarter then? Her plan seemed to entail quite a cost. Would a dollar be enough? 5 dollars? 10? Or... wait. We are talking illegal immigration here. She wanted me to support, with my money, an act of illegal immigration. But there were children involved, weren't there? This was now an issue of humanity, not law. Right? What would it take for you to walk parking lots before 6am, asking for spare change from whoever you came across? Would you do this without hesitation, for your husband? For your children?

I won't tell you what I did, how I responded. What would you have done?

But here is an odd thing. I am attaching relevance to it that may not be appropriate. Something happened today at lunch break. In my truck, reading the Wall Street Journal, I put the paper down and stared ahead, pondering, not focusing on anything. Motion on the ground outside my window attracted my attention. A small, chubby bird was looking at me. I don't know bird types at all, but let's say it was a wren, because "wren" is a great Scrabble word. This wren hopped closer looking AT me. Waiting.

The damned bird was begging. And not for a quarter or for help in getting her wren husband out of a zoo in Mexico either. I was pretty sure. I cracked the window enough to throw something out at the bird. She hopped away a little. Then looked at the busy street. Then back at me, as if letting me know the coast was clear and to toss out the bit of food or whatever I had to give her. I took a potato chip and tossed it out the window as hard as I could. It curved down to the ground and cracked in two. She looked at me. Hopped over. Looked around, then back at me. She picked up a half in her beak and chewed rather quickly, if it can even be described as chewing". She looked at me again, her little bird face tilted slightly, as if trying to memorize my face. She picked up the other, larger half of the chip and hopped a bit before flying away.

This would be where I tie the two events together. How we are all, man and beast, reliant on one another. How sometimes we need to beg for what we need. Hard times eventually grace us all and no man is an island. We are the world. I am my brother's keeper and all that. No one gets out of this world alone and people NEED people and so on and so forth. But I won't do that. That would be cheesy. If I was being taught something by Someone larger than myself, well, that's not for me to bore YOU with. You get to go through this life in your own skin. And you get to give or not give to beggars as you see fit. And when you are in need they are free to treat you the way they wish.

Maybe when I need help, someone will toss me a potato chip, I will memorize their face, and thank them in my own way.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Overturning Prop 8 is bad for everyone, even Gay Rights Supporters

On August 4th, U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional based on federal constitutional grounds. California "has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions" he said in his 136-page ruling. Vaughn said the ban violated the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and of due process.

More facts:

Proposition 8

Yes 6,838,107 52.3%

No 6,246,463 47.7%

Total votes 13,084,570 100.00%
Voter turnout 79.42%

So here's where the cheers went up, the Gay Rights Supporters, who were crushed when Prop 8 was passed, were now jumping up and down with glee. Supporters of the Proposition were crushed, wondering what happened. Something simple happened. A self-serving creep in black robes decided he would decide what was right. HE would nullify the wishes of nearly 7 million voters by overturning this Proposition. HIS vote was more important than 7 million people. One man, one vote? Not to Judge Walker.

This issue is shrouded by the nature of the subject. Gay Marriage is a hot button issue and emotions tend to get in the way of intellect. Let's remove the issue at hand, or, better yet, reverse it. Say the Proposition was defeated and Gay Marriage was passed in 2008. Now, stick with me here, imagine a heterosexual judge (Judge Vaughn Walker is a homosexual) overturning the decree based on a constitutional something-or-other. NOW are the Gay Rights advocates cheering? Doubtful.

A Proposition goes through tests of constitutionality before it is placed on a ballot. Proposition 8 passed this test. A majority of voters agreed with the stated goals of Proposition 8. This majority voted for its approval yet one person, one judge, decided he would thwart the will of the people. Take the sensitive nature of the Proposition out of the equation. A majority of the populace voted for something and one judge took it upon himself to deny this vote. Is this not a dangerous precedent? Should we not be outraged that one activist judge believes he can alter the vote of nearly 7 million Californians instead of celebrating this particular initiative? What if next time a judge overturns something YOU and the majority of your area voted for fair and square based on some loophole. If you celebrate this single judge's decision then you will have no right to rail against the next judge who places him or herself above the voters.

You see, it doesn't matter what the subject is. My point is that a grave miscarriage of justice happened on August 4th and it is being lost within a debate about whether two men or two women should have a right to get married*. Next up will be a decision by California's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a liberal institution that will, likely, approve of Judge Walker's decision. From there the U.S. Supreme Court will take it on. My prediction is that they will overturn it by a vote of 5-4. This entire circus will have gone on far too long and proven dangerous to our democracy. Try to look past the Gay Rights/Support of Marriage aspect of this situaion. There is a larger point here. Please consider it.

*California is one of the few states in which gay partners are granted all the civil rights of a married couple by the way.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Can baseball be perfected? With my plan, yes it can.

"I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw - until I saw the replay" -Jim Joyce

On June 2nd, in a baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga had a Perfect Game going until the last out of the game when First Base Umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called runner Jason Donald safe after Donald hit a grounder to First Base. Replays showed that Galarraga, covering at first, got the throw from Miguel Cabrera and touched the base a stride ahead of Donald, but Joyce inexplicably called Donald safe. Galarraga retired the next batter for a one-hitter that should have been perfect.

Both men handled the situation with class. The incident is a paragon for sportsmanship. However, let's face it, things need to be changed to make this sort of mistake impossible. I hereby give Major League Baseball permission to use any and all of the following ideas to "perfect" a game that is losing viewers faster than BP is losing market shares.

The human element in baseball is responsible for the blown calls and mistakes. Get rid of them. No more Umpires or Referees. Ditch them.

In their place, use technology. Infrared sensors can be calibrated so that Balls and Strikes can be called with incredible accuracy. Hey, they have it in tennis, right? Well, okay they don't, but they should. I will get around to fixing tennis next week.

In every ballpark install crazy lights on the foul poles. When a ball flies between the poles they light up in whatever team colors of the hitter who hit the home run. If the ball hits the pole and goes foul, no lights. Hit it and it goes fair, LIGHTS!

How about when a runner slides into a base and the ball reaches the mitt/glove of the player covering that base at what appears to be the same time? Sensors in the base and mitt/glove are instantaneously beamed to somewhere and computers do whatever they do and lights or sounds or something go off if the runner is either safe or out. I am an idea man, not a details man. Someone needs to figure out exactly what happens with this one, but you get the idea. SENSORS!

A questionable catch by an outfielder? Did he trap the ball or legitimately catch it? How about sensors in the glove and ball? Some tech company out there specializing in sensors will reap quite a large pile of money if my plan goes through.

I can't think of any other problem that can't be fixed by sensors. And you baseball purists out there; your sport is dying. Attendance is down, kids are watching football and basketball. The games take 3 days to finish. So don't get all huffy about my proposed changes. Your game is decided in ballparks in which the dimensions are not the same, the distances to Left, Right, and Center fields, etc. One league has a Designated Hitter, the other doesn't. The park in Seattle has a frigging HILL in the field, and you're gonna tell me this game is fair? Football and basketball games are played, universally, on fields and courts where the dimensions and rules are always the same. So embrace my sensors. EMBRACE MY SENSORS!

And give the kid, Galarraga, his perfect game. Don't let him be the only player in history to get 28 outs in a single game.

This post was inspired by a conversation I had on the Twitter with @twin2tim a great guy who helped me see the passion he has for the things he loves, baseball and human error being among them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What Would Jesus Be Arrested For?

Much has been made of Arizona's State Law regarding illegal immigration, and its supposed racist undertones. I was amused to find a blog post, to use the loosest terms, regarding the thought that Jesus, were He to have occasion to walk around Arizona today, would find Himself in the back seat of a State Trooper's Cruiser. I thought this to be a piece of fluff however there are those who think this is some mighty deep commentary and cross their arms and sport a smug smile as if, ha HA, well now THAT has been settled, when, truth be told, their ignorant and misplaced analogy simply shows them to be silly at best, and stupid at worst. Below is the poster the blog post references:

The contention is that Jesus looks like an immigrant and would, therefore, be arrested. This is in direct opposition to the Law as written. Police may not pull over or contact any person for looking a certain way. Another violation must be suspected and then and only then may proper identification as a U.S. citizen be asked for.

Jesus would not break the law and would therefore have any papers necessary to be in the country legally. The U.S. border laws are necessary and anyone in the country illegally has committed a crime. Arizona's decision to actually enforce these laws is therefore practical and necessary. Those inserting Jesus Christ into the argument show their ignorance in both how the Son of God operates and how illegal immigration is crippling the economy of the U.S., border states especially.

The post also characterizes the law as "racist" yet no proof is given, in terms of numbers or raw data: typical of an author or authors who only seek to titillate and not educate. The site DOES, however, make yet another claim to scripture, providing a link to another "blog post" wherein Leviticus 19:33-34 is cited and again the smug countenance of the ignoramuses is implied. The verses state as follows:

When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt.

Typical of those who skim the Bible and interpret it to their own purposes, the verses quoted have a different meaning than the authors perhaps intended.

In this instance the word, "alien", or, stranger, is synonymous with the word "ger", which is a term for a non-Jewish person wishing to convert to Judaism. Therefore, from the start, an illegal immigrant being compared to a stranger (ger) is incorrect. A ger wishes to become converted, and when he comes to "live with you" he is taking upon him the laws of the land, unlike the illegal immigrant. A ger must not be mistreated and once converted "living with you" he is to be treated as one of you, as the Naturalization Process that immigrants who wish to abide here legally must do. So we see that the point being made by those who want the Laws regarding Immigration ignored has no basis in the scripture being quoted and, if you ask me, makes the opposite point.

Those concocting this abysmal failure of an analogy should not feel as if they have made a great point but rather that they have revealed their ignorance of both the Law as written and theology 101. I urge them to read the Law. It is not long. It makes sense. And it is far more fun to debate someone who has actually brought some intelligence to the table rather than toss off ineffective analogies that others can see through very easily.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Water Flows At Different Levels

A short story that occurred to me the other night when sleep alluded me. I can't say that I wish to explain any of it. Take it however you wish.

Water Flows At Different Levels

You go awhile not noticing it. A long while and you don’t see it until one day you become aware of some sort of dam that is now one entire side of your house. Maybe not a proper dam, but there’s something there and it is definitely holding something back. You don’t tell anyone about this, you don’t alert anyone to it and since no one else is noticing it, there’s nothing to tell, really, is there?

There’s definitely a pressure behind it. You sense this though it isn’t transparent. You feel it. And one day there is a leak. A small one. You press a finger to it and a clear, cool liquid appears. You taste it and it tastes very good. It makes you smile. Over time the trickle becomes a leak. Soon you are filling a cup with the liquid and it quenches a thirst you had. But it’s getting on the floor. You can clean it easily. No one notices the puddle.

Some days it leaks badly and you’re annoyed. Other times the trickle doesn’t seem adequate. So you take an ice pick to it one day and a lot of the cool water comes out. Too much. You need to stop it before the excess moves from room to room, staining everything. Soon it will be noticeable and the source will be discovered. It is almost too much to clean up. You plug the gap and clean it. Your panic soon leaves you and calmness settles in. No one will notice. And the leak has been taken care of.

Time passes.

Fingers caress the dam. Sweet water trickles again. You touch your lips to it, remembering. Smiling. Wishing you could swim in it. Immerse yourself within.

You are still the only one who senses the pressure there and it doesn’t seem likely to burst, ruining your home. You’re quite certain it won’t. And this comforts you and saddens you both at the same time. But you’re glad it’s there.

At least you think it’s there. After tending to other things you are surprised to find it has vanished. You had come to take the dam as a given, its presence always there to slake your thirst as you wished. Where would it go, after all? You search, fingers sliding over cabinets, appliances, and a wall, but there is nothing more. It is gone. As abruptly as it arrived, it has vanished. You stand there for awhile. Mystified.

Then you turn and walk towards the waterfall that occupies the den. Who needs a trickle when you have always had that waterfall to wash over you? After a time, the dam and its slow trickle is no match for the feelings the cascading water is giving you.

And you forget.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

They Enter The Car

Here's a short story I wrote this past week, finishing it today. I am intrigued by spaces and how we occupy them and how they reoccur sometimes, over and over. Our car is one such space where we spend so much time, yet don't really focus on it. Comments, even anonymous, always appreciated.

They Enter The Car

They enter the car. They enter the car, a family now, he driving, she holding Son. They enter the car, beaming at new life. They enter the car, he smiling and driving, she making faces at the baby in the car seat. They enter the car, toys and trash and stains and crying and yelling. They enter the car, the toddler angry, always angry. They enter the car, he driving, Mother holding baby Daughter. They enter the car, Son being told not to be rough with his sister. They enter the car, a newer one, New Car Smell, two toddler smell. They enter the car, no longer new seeming. McDonald’s fries, hard and cold to the touch, between seats, a ketchup stain on the roof. They enter the car going to school. They enter the car, baseball gear in the back, parts of a Barbie Doll, Lego blocks, candy wrappers, chocolate shake stains on the floor. They enter the car without Son and Daughter, going out, alone. Relief and anticipation jockey for first place in the pantheon of this experience. They enter the car with a box of leftovers from the restaurant placed gently on the backseat. They enter the car, fresh from a play hosted by the local community college; a performer sits in the backseat, the one not occupied by the box of leftover linguini. She chatters on about her role in the play and they listen, eagerly, before they drop her off at her Stepfather’s house. Once alone, they kiss, Mother and Father, pretending it is High School again.
They enter the car for Son’s driving test; he is anxious, but confident. They enter the car, son and Driving Instructor, he obeying most of the traffic laws, and thereby passing. They enter the car, Mother and Son, the latter driving, the former pressing her foot into the bare floorboard, stomping on an imaginary brake pedal, though not at all conscious of her action. They enter the car, Father and Mother, angry at one another for no reason either could specify were they to have to. They enter the car, Son and date, each tingling with excitement as they drive to the party. They enter the car, slightly buzzed, driving a short distance away before parking and clumsily engaging in a sex act. Then, after, they walk along the edge of the woods, holding hands, in the moonlight.
They enter the car, Daughter and three friends; a shiny new laminated Driver’s License in her purse, cell phone in her hand. Girls shrieking, girls yelling, girls giggling, girls texting. Daughter drifts into the lane of oncoming traffic, overcorrects and, tires squealing, the car flips over several times, landing in a field. All girls are hurt, one critically. They enter the car, somberly, the family dressed in black, Daughter arm in splint, to go to Erin’s funeral, as the critical injuries proved fatal. No one has a cell phone in their hand.
They enter the car to see Son’s new place. They enter the car, loaded with Son’s items, to take to his new place. They enter the car to go to Daughter’s wedding. They enter the car to see Son’s new baby boy, their grandchild. They enter the car, with a newly installed car seat for Grandson to sit in. They enter the car with Grandson firmly placed in the car seat, Mother making faces at the baby in the car seat. They enter the car, three grandchildren now, raucous, loud, and pleasant to Mother and Father. They enter the car to take Grandchildren back to Son and Daughter’s respective places, relieved they don’t have to spend all day every day with them. They enter the car, Mother and Father dressed to attend Father’s Retirement Party. Music is low and Mother talks non-stop. Father stares straight ahead, driving, not talking; only thinking of the past.
They enter the car, Father helps Mother into the passenger side of the car, as she is still weak from the chemotherapy. Before the drive is through, the faint smell of vomit is detected and the bag the hospital gave them is half full. They enter the car, Son driving Father to see Mother at the Extended Care Facility, he and Daughter make small talk but Father is silent and solemn. He does not show any particular expression.
They enter a car, Son and his Family. They enter a car, Daughter and her Family. The two cars drive to the funeral parlor, to arrange their parent’s burials. Father passed away in his sleep almost one week after Mother died in the hospital. They enter the car, the long car, the long black car, made especially for one lying in repose, Mother and Father each get one, both followed, slowly, by many other cars, headlights on, though it is daylight. Their destination is the final one for Mother and Father.
The cars change color and form, as do the passengers and drivers, and they leave the cemetery to go to houses, restaurants, and stores, sometimes entire families sometimes alone, and sometimes distracted, they enter the cars.

Friday, January 15, 2010


This is a short story I wrote in the summer of 2008. It is a thinly veiled piece of fiction that illustrates my thoughts and feelings at the time. Any comments, pro or con, would be appreciated.


I awoke slowly, as if I were arising from the depths of darkness to the sunlight. My eyes opened but that was the only movement. I noted the position of my body, my arms and legs seeming at impossible angles yet I was at peace, calm. For the first time in a long time I didn't feel any pain in my stomach. A rare day indeed. I listened for any sounds in the house but couldn't locate any. Just the normal outside sounds, a dog barking, a car speeding through the neighborhood and always the incessant chirping of birds.

There was no one in bed with me. Hadn't been for weeks. My wife separated from me and was sleeping in a guest room so I had the King size bed to myself. It always seemed far too big yet I utilized it. And this morning it also seemed cold though it was summer and the house was warm. It also seemed a little sticky but that didn't register until later.

I arose and tossed the cover off of me. I felt fantastic for some reason. Not to say I was old and achy, but I never felt this good upon awaking. As if I could run a marathon or something. And I wasn't hungry which was odd. I was usually hungry first thing in the morning. I walked around the bed, preparing to open the door to my bedroom when I noticed that there was someone else in the bed. Odd, that. It appeared he was in the same position I was in a few moments ago. This wasn't possible. I was instantly disoriented. It looked as if I hadn't yet woken up. Because I was looking at myself, still asleep. Wasn't I? I was. That was me. I knew myself from the mirror and this guy was that one.

I pinched myself because this had to be a dream. I willed myself awake but nothing happened. I was still staring at my doppelganger. And he had blood coming out of his nose. And a large puke stain near his mouth. It was dried, white, and looked as if it had been there awhile. Ditto the blood. He wasn't moving. He didn't appear to be breathing either.

I was reluctant to go around the bed and touch him but I was still feeling as if this weren't real so I walked over to him and nudged him. I felt for sure he was going to pop up and surprise me but he didn't. I noticed the smell then. Apparently he had crapped himself. Right there in the bed. I lifted the cover and saw the dark brown stain. I replaced the cover and felt his shoulder. His face was now away from me and I felt the icy coldness of him. He was dead. I was dead. If this were indeed me, and I had no other explanation to go on.

I noticed the usual selection of pill bottles on the bedstand. I suffered from a chronic disease and pills were second nature in my life. But one bottle looked like it had come from a different pharmacy. It was opened and empty save for four or five pills. The label said Diazepam (generic for Valium). Did I need Valium for some reason? I couldn't remember. I couldn't remember anything from the previous night come to think of it. I blinked. I folded my arms. This didn't make sense. This guy who was me obviously took an overdose and killed himself. Here was his body, my body, to prove it.

I wasn't afraid, just puzzled. I would have to alert someone.

I went to the bedroom door and tried to open it but failed. I had success in opening doors from an early age, but this time I had obviously missed the knob, because I only gripped air. I redoubled my efforts and was surprised to find my hand go through the knob. My hand was transparent. I couldn't grasp the knob at all. When I tried to push on the door it was as if there was a force field there. I wasn't able to penetrate it. Another door led outside but after trying it, the same result occurred. I was trapped here in this room with my own dead body until someone came to let me out.

My cellphone rang. I saw that it was my soon to be ex-wife and went to pick it up. My hand passed through it. The phone vibrated itself off of the table and onto the floor yet I still couldn't pick it up. Rather than focus on my situation I wondered why I could feel my dead body and the cover upon it yet not the phone or the door. Perhaps whatever related to the outside world was forbidden to me now. There was just me here in this room. And I was going to have to wait until someone opened the door.

It was going to be a long day. Luckily I wasn't hungry. But I was starting to get the creeps being penned up with my own corpse.

The sonorous echoes of distant church bells were barely perceptable but I could indeed make them out. The sound was beautiful. I wasn't able to turn on the radio, television, or computer so the silence in the room was palpable. Perhaps I could have heard the bells any other day had I just been listening closely enough. Time did not seem to drag. I knew someone would discover my body soon enough and until then I was content with sitting in a chair and waiting.

I heard a car pull up outside and opened the drapes to peer out. It was my stepson in his new truck. He entered the house and made some noise, evidently getting some clothes for football practice. I yelled but he did not respond. Soon, he was gone, peeling out of the driveway. I wasn't panicking though. In fact, I wasn't anything. Hungry, tired, thirsty, bored, scared. Nothing. I just...was. I was existing in the moment, perhaps for the first time in my life. It wasn't unpleasant.

My cell rang again. I didn't bother to even look to see who it was as it was a pointless exercise really. Soon after, my wife's car pulled up into the drive. She got out of the car and I could hear her on her cell, but not well enough to make out the words. She entered the front door and I heard her purse and keys hit the table.

She opened the bedroom door and peeked in. "Glenn?", she said. "Are you okay?" She stepped further into the room and I watched her level of concern rise. I stood in front of her, hoping to block her way but as she slowly rounded the bed she passed right through me, as if I were a wisp of smoke. I walked out the bedroom door to her shouts of "Glenn? Glenn!". She started screaming and I could hear the squeaking of the bed as she, presumably, tried to waken me. Something inside me knew I didn't need to be present for this exhibition. There was nothing I could do anyway and it seemed too upsetting to stay around. So I walked through the front door, without thinking about how I did it, and sat on the porch. Later an ambulance and police car arrived. Neighbors came out of their houses. Some of my wife's relatives also came over. I walked over to see them comfort her and watched the ambulance girl roll the cart with my sheet-covered body into the ambulance. She shut the door and the ambulance drove off.

I wondered if I would be drawn with my body but I wasn't. I stayed where I was, in the yard, by myself. Everyone left, including my wife. I was alone again. It was quiet. Only the church bells rang, this time a little louder but no less beautiful.

I no longer noticed time passing by. I imagine a few days passed but it could have just as easily been a few weeks. I noticed a man my wife knew casually making himself at home in what I still considered to be my house. I found myself hanging out on the roof mostly. It seemed more peaceful up there. Since he began spending the night, I didn't enter the house anymore. It was during one of these beautiful Spring evenings tht I heard a whining coming from my backyard. It was my dog, Brock.

How had I missed him? Did I assume that he, like everyone else, would not see me and therefore not even seek him out? I felt bad for my lack of attention to this animal who was my best friend. Assuming he was looking into a kitchen window, crying for a treat, I glanced down at him. He was looking directly at me and wagging his tail.

Brock was a Golden Retriever and received compliments from strangers and friends alike on his doggy good looks since I rescued him from the pound. And now apparently he could see me. I waved at him and his whining increased. I jumped down and went to pet him and slather him with love but we were unable to touch. I was as ghostly and transparent to him as I was to the rest of the world's inhabitants. However, it was quite comical to watch his confusion at trying to lick and play with something that had no substance. We ended up frustrated with one another and I alit back onto the roof, out of his sight, for he was pathetic in his desire to be with me and the confusion this inability entailed.

One night my wife and what I now called her bff began hauling boxes from a shed to a large firepit dug into the backyard. I recognized the boxes as those containing many of my belongings, such as books, college papers, and other items I thought had worth. The bff poured what I believed to be a liberal amount of gasoline onto the pile and my wife lit and tossed a match onto it. A whoof sound, then intense flames. When everything I had owned was burning she cuddled up next to him and they watched the fire. The sun was setting and the scene probably seemed beautiful to them. I was unmoved.

Cars whizzed by on the busy road in front of the house and from my perch on the roof I noticed Brock watching me intently. I glanced from the happy couple to my dog. He seemed preternaturally stoic. He sensed my mood perhaps for he barked, once. Then, like a shot, he bolted towards the gate and with one leap cleared it. I had never seen him do this before, nor had he had the desire, to my knowledge. After landing on the other side he looked at me once again with that odd intensity and ran with haste toward the busy street in front of our house.

My wife noticed him and called out his name, "What are you doing Brock?! Where are you going?!" she yelled. He never looked at her, nor anyone, he simply ran. He ran for the street and seemed to be timing it so that he could inch ahead of a black SUV that was speeding down the road.

I jumped off the roof, screaming, knowing how close this would be and as I ran side by side with my wife, I saw Brock leap into traffic. My wife and I stopped near the curb and heard the screaming tires of the SUV as it attempted to stop. Brock disappeared under the grill of the vehicle and to my amazement was unhurt. Another car coming the other way had stopped along with the SUV and people started exiting their vehicles and milling around. From behind the SUV Brock came trotting towards me, apparently none the worse for wear. He reached me and I petted him, feeling for broken bones but I could feel nothing wong with him. He licked my face with his cool tongue and I hugged him tight. He clearly liked the attention. Then I noticed the crowd of people part slightly so that I had a view of the body of a dog, a dog that had been run over by the SUV. It was Brock.

My wife was crying and the bff was comforting her. The SUV owner was apologizing and the body of Brock was not moving and not pretty to look at. I looked down at my dog, panting and appearing to smile at me. I understood what he had done. The sounds of the traffic began to fade and the church bells pealed, stronger. I turned to face the sound and started walking. Brock easily fell in by my side and we paced gently through fences, trees, and any other earthly obstacles that had been placed in our way. We walked without hurry towards the sound of the bells and did not look back.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Angelica, the Movie, Introduction

With the help of a friend, I came up with the beginning of a screenplay I'd like us to write. Here is the Introduction:


(Cydonia, by Muse begins to play.)

CAMERA PANS down, slowly to a parked car in a driveway, passenger side looking in.


A five year old girl is listening to her mother, who has just started the car.


I forgot something ANGELICA. I'll be right back. Hang on, okay?

MOTHER exits car. ANGELICA looks at the steering wheel. She unhooks her seatbelt and moves over to the Driver's side. She puts the car in Reverse and hits the gas pedal.


From perspective of the hood we see a delighted ANGELICA enjoy the ride as the car screams down the driveway, missing a mailman by a foot. The car crosses the street, jumping a curb and CRASHES into the front of the house opposite ANGELICA's house.


Rather than look scared, ANGELICA is happy looking. Neighbor's begin to mull around and the camera closes in on ANGELICA's face and devilish smile and

Black screen, song ends, TITLE CARD reads, "10 YEARS LATER"


The same scene end on 5 year old ANGELICA is now focusing on 15 year old ANGELICA, devilish smile and all. She is dressed in a cute Devil's outfit, complete with red horns in black hair.

(to STACEY, sister and passenger)

Let's go.

(Buckling in)
How did you get the key?


I made a copy, whatever, let's go. Mom think's we're Trick or Treating.


Won't she miss the car?

ANGELICA puts the car in neutral, it glides silently down the driveway, once in the street the car starts, and she drives away. CAMERA PANS up to see back of the car driving away.

(Voice only)


Monday, January 4, 2010

How to Tweet

I am pretty much considered a Master Tweeter by everyone. My skillz are mad, I tweet unique, and I crush it day after day. It is for this reason I am going to offer up some tips and rules for how to approach Twitter and, perhaps, you can become as awesome as I am. Last night I gave out many of these rules while actually tweeting and they received mixed approval, and 4 Unfollows. But in order to make a good omelette, you must break eggs. Then whip those eggs with a dash of milk, then pour that in a hot pan and fill with cheeses, mushrooms, etc. My point is, omelettes are difficult and so am I. If you've stuck with me, you know I can be an ass. Therefore, if you STILL, RIGHT NOW, think I am seriously TELLING you how to Tweet, then I can't help you. While some of these tips are serious, they are the opinion of the management only and not the views of Twitter in general. Shall we begin?

Your Avatar: This is what everyone learns to see when you Tweet. We learn to recognize your presence by what your av depicts. Put a pic of you in your av. Don't include other people. This is Twitter, not a Family Album. Refrain from putting up artsy pics or animated pics or landscape pics. This is Twitter, not an art gallery. If you are a sports fan, logos are okay, during season and playoffs only. The majority of us are on Twitter to talk to one another, and a face is nice. And NO you are NOT too ugly/fat/weird to fulfill this request. Trust me.

Method: When replying to someone, it is preferable to click on reply rather than to try and type out the user's name. Many Tweets meant for me have gone to @InkPather. And that guy does NOT deserve your time. He's a tatoo artist and has a criminal past, avoid him. Feel free to get creative with HOW you insert someone's name. For instance:

@TwitGirl Hello, how are you today? (Standard usage and most popular)
Hey there @TwitGirl how are you? (Creative usage)
What's up with you @TwitGirl ? (Creative as well)
@TwitGirl Hi you! @ExGirlFriend (By including her at the end of the Tweet, you're just flirting in front of your ex)
@TwitGirl My ex is a douche. She is totally unlike you. She's a whore. @ExGirlFriend (Now WHY would you air this in public? That's just mean. Entertaining, sure, but mean.)

The inclusion of another person in your conversation is always welcome as well. The other night I was included in a conversation because I was added at the end of their Tweets. I do not know why they did this but it was very funny and far easier to follow because they did it. This is almost mandatory when you are talking to someone ABOUT someone else.

The Retweet: This is the place where one method should be employed. I have a preference however, if another were to be chosen and used by everyone I wouldn't mind. Now for this one, I must explain: I use TweetDeck, and I employ the option where I can modify the RT. For those on the web, I don't know that you have that option. And the reason I bring this up only refers to modifying/adding to Retweets.

Commenting before the RT seems counterintuitive, but works best, I think. Adding your comment after the RT can become confusing. For instance:

RT @TwitGirl @InkPather Hello to you you sexy inkman How are you? How are you doll? I am good! Did you hear about @ExGirlFriend?

Now, granted, the 2 people understand each other, but I am not sure where one ends and the other begins. Plus, they are STILL bagging on that poor girl.

RT @InkPather: RT @TwitGirl @InkPather @aplusk Hey you guys:::HI HOW ARE YOU>>No I didn't hear about @ExGirlFriend ~~~I am fine thanks!

Pandemonium. Just start over. Try it my way:

I am stabby. RT @TwitGirl: @InkPather Hi. How are you?


No. I mean a knife. RT @TwitGirl: @InkPather Ooh., U wanna "stab" me with ur u-know-what? RT @InkPather: @Twitgirl I am stabby. RT @TwitGirl: @InkPather Hi how are you?

Really, the only reason to RT is if you are responding to a tweet that occurred some time in the past, to remind the tweetee what you are talking about.

Direct Messages: You're on your own with this one. Do what you like. One caveat: Remember that if they receive email notification that you have DMed them, the recipient will see not your Tweet name, but the name you have entered in the profile info. If, like me, you like to be creative there, remember a first DM to that new person may be seen as "You have a new message from Carlos Spicyweiner". This may or may not be a good thing.

Tweeting In General: Another one where you're on your own. Some people hate Mondays. And Tuesdays. And their work, their life, the weather, what's on TV, the news, etc. Negative tweeting, longterm, isn't recommended. You get a reputation.

Tweet about your grievances, what you are eating, other tweeters, any random thought, the weather, your ex. Give us pictures to look at, links to your blog, links to your videos, links to stuff you like. Quote movies, song lyrics, poetry. Tell a story, pout, start a fight. Or do none of these and lurk. There aren't really any rules I can tell you about regarding this. We all use Twitter differently. We all have different tastes and ingredients to add, like omelettes. I like avocado and bacon in mine, you may like Gruyere and green onion. But we're all here to eat it. Well, except for the Vegans. And people who are allergic to eggs. Admittedly the analogy has broken down. Happy Tweeting.