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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Living Embalmed

 At first I thought maybe the producers were pulling a well-timed Weekend at Bernie's gag for the American public's entertainment. But then I detected Billy Crystal's eyes moving voluntarily. I got up close to my television screen and watched without blinking so I could be sure it wasn't my imagination. And I saw it! His lips move slightly.

Billy Crystal was apparently trapped somewhere inside his own body, only able to project his voice. It was like he was in one those bad dreams where the dreamer tries and tries to take action or yell out but is inexplicably paralyzed. He wanted to make the audience laugh, but he was powerless to move a muscle to match his facial expressions to his punchlines.

I do believe Billy Crystal has gone overboard on the Botox. Maybe he ordered a DIY kit on-line to do some self-administered touch-up before the Academy Awards. Or he got mixed up with one of those Hollywood hucksters promising to preserve youthful appearance. Or he's pre-planned and pre-paid his funeral and decided to go ahead and collect on the embalming.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Dream is Over

When a 10 year-old arrives at the breakfast table unable to eat bacon, one of the essential four food groups - the other three being butter, chocolate and spirits - it might be time to quit talking politics. Election years, with constant campaign commercials, poll reports, automated phone intrusions, and solicitations for funds take a toll on us all. The pandering and propaganda exhaust otherwise hardy Americans and beat weaker ones into postures of submission and ignorance. Why should we not expect politics to also affect the innocent bystanders, the children?

And if someone refuses bacon, it's a clear sign that she's in need of an intervention. So I put her through the rigors of intense questioning, beginning with, "If you aren't going to eat your bacon, can I have it?"

But what she told me next was chilling indeed. She had a dream last night. She dreamed the government seized our house and took all of our food. Not bad guys, not the bogey man, not the characters in most kids' worst nightmares, but our government.

Because the government took our house and our food, we all grew very, very hungry, prompting her resourceful father to declare, "We're eating the cat." Despite the child's protestations, impotent as they always are in nightmares, we did. That meal did not satiate us, though; I suppose the cat didn't amount to much meat shared among six people.

In the dream her father's anxiety over our plight escalated to unimaginable proportions. In desperation and fear of starvation, he announced that we had to eat our dog. Naturally, this distressed the child and stimulated thrashing and screaming and vociferous dissent.

We ate the dog anyway; everyone except the dreamer herself who elected to go hungry in opposition.

"It's okay," I comforted her, between bites of her bacon. "The dream is over." Saying the words, however, sent apprehensive tingles down my spine.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Cat Got My Tongue

At a recent speaking engagement, I shared a short excerpt from my book, If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny. The video camera didn't capture audio well, so turn up your speakers:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 April A to Z Blog Challenge

Registration for the 2012 April A to Z Blog Challenge opened on January 30th, and as of yesterday when I signed up there were already over 400 bloggers committed to the annual challenge.

The A to Z Challenge is not for the faint of heart. Lots of bloggers dropped by the wayside last year as the month wore on and they realized they'd taken on more than they could do. It's tough. It's rigorous. But it is oh so much fun!

Last year I blogged through an alphabet of literary devices, giving explanations of each, examples from literature, and then my own example. Each day, my own demonstration of the use of the literary device du jour built on a story thread that ran from A to Z. All of this resulted in a Kindle book:

Though I have been pondering the A to Z Challenge, dare I say, since November, I still have not decided how to approach it this year. I've got lots of ideas bumping around upstairs, though, and by March 31st, one will filter down through my fingertips and poise itself to enter the blogosphere.

Meanwhile, I'm stocking up on snacks and survival supplies.

Think you're ready for the challenge? Sign up today!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine's Day Duress

Okay guys. It's February 1st. Today is the day you start orchestrating the pre-Valentine's Day break-up. It must be complete by February 13th to avoid romantic let-down. Be gentle about it, though, because you're going to want to get back together until the day before her birthday.

For those of you who can stomach neither Valentine's Day nor a garish break-up to avoid the issue, some ideas to help you get it right this year:
1) Chocolates and diamonds never fail to please. Do note the emphasis on and.
2) A self-composed love poem from the heart, included in the box with the chocolates and diamonds, will melt her.
3) A live quartet harmonizing Love Me Tender or The Way You Look Tonight, while you present your precious with the package containing the self-composed poem stashed with the chocolates and diamonds, will really wow her.

If you're not all-in on the chocolates and diamonds, however, it'd be best for you to find a way to "take time off" or "see other people" or "slow things down" or "figure some things out" for Valentine's Day.