Monday, November 29, 2004

Curious

I don't think this blogsite has the capabilities to post a poll, although I may have missed that feature.

Thinking over the long weekend, between leftover meals, my curiosity was sparked by viewing a couple of book sites. Looking at the bestseller lists I wondered if that was a true indication on what people are reading.

What types of stories or books do you prefer? Do you like hardbound books or is the e-book craze something you find more enjoyable? I would like to know your input. Leave a comment and we can discuss.

For me I prefer reading fiction in the horror or dark genre. I'll occasionally read mainstream fiction if the storyline is catching. I prefer my books in hardbound form. Reading 300 pages on the computer tires my eyes. Plus, I can't drag my PC around everywhere. Electronic devices like laptops and PDAs can, and usually do, fail. With a hardbound book I can carry it anywhere and when I open it I know the words will appear.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

OP Ed #1 Trading Spouses

I wrote that, from time to time, I 'd offer up my own opinion on various subjects, away from the dissecting of characters, plot and story. If I totally dissolve myself in my stories then I fear reality will disappear.

Reality television programs are not my usual choice in entertainment. I feel that most of these programs are loosely based on anything reality based. How many people stranded on an isolated island have to compete for prizes? Is it fathomable for 10 to 12 complete strangers to live together under one roof and have to play silly games for peanut butter? What is the reality of two families swapping mothers without at least a divorce certificate or an agreement of an "open" marriage? Even with the unrealistic plotlines I have fallen into the abyss of addiction with one show in particular, Trading Spouses.

The hook in my jaw was the conflict between different cultures each family poses. The last two episodes, for instance, pitted Jew against Christian and vegan against meat eaters from Louisiana. Funny stuff.

My real interest was with the California vegans and Louisiana mudbugs. I can't wait for the conclusion next week.

This show taught me that the activist is a person who will not bend, no matter what the circumstance. The woman came in the home of the Cajuns and instantly began trying to change their viewpoints. Tell me how an activist from Cali is going to change years of Southern tradition? But she tried and is appalled that the locals are not accepting of her activist views. She must not understand the Southern (especially the Louisiana) culture. Southerners are hospitable, up to a point. That line is crossed when you try to take away their food. Southern cuisine is their very lifeblood. They may try a few "foreign" dishes but, in the end, they will always go back to the boiled crawfish and etoufee. (I'm hungry)

She claimed the vegan diet is much healthier. From the first scenes I could personally dispel that belief. The Cajun wife arrived at the airport in Cali, and expected the man meeting her to at least help her with the luggage. Southern men, by raising, are required by tradition to help any woman. This is called being a gentleman. The Californian husband claimed he couldn't lift the bags. I suspect the mediocre diet had something to do with his weakness.

The Cajun wife said she was going to introduce the party with a favorite dish, gumbo. The Cali man stated that even if there was one ounce of red med in the stew that the entire party would walk away, without even tasting. That attitude seems a little close-minded. At least the Cajuns tried the vegan dishes. I did laugh when the Cajun woman tried to give a group of ladies alligator heads for gifts. Again, funny stuff.

I believe the Cali woman has met her match, and not by on old codger or elder. But from a 12-year-old boy. This kid has spunk and is about to lose his control with this woman. I busted a gut when he looked her in the eyes and said, "You're fired." Classic. Southern man don't need her around, anyhow (Thanks to the great Lynard Skynard for that wonderful line). She should of thought twice before she tried to put her controlling thumb on him. He hasn't quite learned the virtue of quietness. And she did get an earful.

Next weeks episode should be great. It looks, from the preview, that the show is going to dwell on the hypocritical vegan lifestyle. I say hypocritical because the woman preached no harm to animals and then a scene showed her spanking the family dog. Next weeks OP Ed should be good when I discuss the whole craziness of the stance of not killing anything, including bugs and rodents.

Thanksgiving Dinner

The ham was in the oven. Smells of dressing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie wafted through the house. Yellow and orange leaves at the center of the dinner table surrounded red candles. Knocking from the front door stirred my attention. The family arrived. But wait. Peering out over the faces of the hungry crew I saw a long line forming that stretched down my porch, along the driveway and the side of the road where the cedar and oak trees hid the rest. This was not a joyous holiday of ham, turkey and football. This was a nightmare.

Miles and miles of people came in until I suffered a deep panic attack and secluded myself in the bedroom. The room was full. Food covered my bed and dripped down the chins of my guests. It looked like I stumbled on a den of hungry hyenas gnawing on freshly killed game.

In the corner the cat suffered my fate. People invaded her space causing unhappiness. Pissed, in fact. I grabbed my furry friend and exited to the outdoors where the air was cold, damp and nasty. We found a spot where we could shimmy under the house through a crawl space where we could share Thanksgiving dinner with the field mice, possums and mothballs.

After the moist ground soaked my pants and matted her fur we devised a plan to rid our house of the invading varmints that insisted on eating everything including the blue hockey puck size deodorant in my toilet. We talked and she agreed. Most of the work was hers and all I needed to do was hold open the door. Escaping the dungeon we arrived at the front door.
I asked her if she was ready and she meowed in agreement. Ok then.

Opening the door I hurled the cat in with all her claws and teeth exposed. The nine-pound razor blade started the assault. She landed on my father, tattooing his left cheek with her claws. Trickles of blood fell to his shoulder turning his white t-shirt a pale red. He grabbed the cat by the scruff of the neck, her legs extended. She hissed as she became airborne and bounced on a few more patrons, slicing their ears and noses along the way. I looked and saw a remnant of someone's eye dangling from her right front paw. She shook her leg and the eye fell to the floor. From the screams of my little nephew I suspected he was the one with the hole in his head.

People screamed and ran out of the house, tripping on those who fell, breaking hands, arms and legs. Plates flew through the air and a dish of candied yams landed on my sister causing second-degree burns. A pile of scared people gathered on my front lawn, as they would trip on the front step. Within five minutes the house was clear, except for the cat and I.

I picked her up and placed her on the dinner table next to my chair, my rightful spot, at the head of the table. The centerpiece was broke and bits of food and drink stained the tablecloth. Reaching out I picked a juicy turkey leg and placed it before the cat. I put some ham, cooked by now, on my cracked plate. My glass held wine as her glass held milk. I ate and she purred as we listened to the moans outside.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Works in progress

I have a few works in progress as we speak. My latest novel is now on the back of the oven simmering. The ingredients weren't meshing together so the story needed a break. This frees up my time to work on some shorts that periodically bang around in my head.

The latest short came to me as a spammer sent me an E-mail for his service. The question of "what if" reared its ugly head and the story bore legs. I must keep the details in check until the story reaches a solid conclusion. I will say this; my alter ego is a prime player. But which alter ego?

Start of a Dark Journey

This is it. This is the beginning of my long and treacherous journey through the web as seen through my eyes on this blog. My soul is here, viewed by any stranger that happens to cross this page. Some may rejoice at the printed words while others will scoff and scorn. It's no matter. The words will still live here until I grow weary, move the site to my own place or the service fails. Either way, those who follow will have every measure given to them to follow where the words lead.

This journey will take the reader to many interesting places and various characters will show themselves from time to time. And when the weather is just right, I might just pour out my opinion on various topics. The topic will be open.

Until the light shines through the dark tunnel, see you then.