Thursday, July 29, 2010

Exile On Main Street

The summer Mr. Anderson got arrested for molesting one of his fifth grade students named Brandy, Angela Dawn drove the Chicken Express delivery on through the streets of Mineral Wells every night as if it were an ambulance except that instead of flashing lights, a big rubber chicken had been fastened to the hood. People took the huge flapping chicken as a warning sign to get out of the way as Angela Dawn blared Exile On Main Street, a tape that had belonged to her dad Charles.

Angela Dawn had trained to be a lifeguard with her friend Em earlier that summer. During practice, she’d mostly laid on the backboard, a paralyzed victim amid the chaos of those trying to be careful with her as they did not know what her injuries were. She and Em passed the test, but didn’t get hired even though the manager, a middle-aged divorced ex-cop with three kids spent a lot of his time harassing them and telling Em, a pretty neurotic brunette who was working on a poetry cycle titled Irrational Fears, if she wanted to be a stepmother.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cocktail Hour
Documentary suggestion: Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday To Mark, Happy Birthday To Mark

As you can see, Baby Grouchie has put down the shot glass for the time being to enjoy some good literature written by Detroit's own Mark Durfee, better known to some as The Walking Man. I threatened Mark with singing, but alas, he'll have to settle for a Coney date in the near future! I don't sing to anyone I like. Not without a lot of alcohol. A lot. Like a near fatal dose. Singing for me is bad. Mark, however, is good. Better than good actually. Here's to another wonderful year, xo, PD

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Virtual Detroit

Hi everyone -- here's some pictures of my beloved Detroit. And speaking of, my dear Mark is having his 25th birthday tomorrow. Yes, the walking man has hit his mid-twenties. I'll have a special birthday blog for tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Working Class Dog

The first concert I ever went to was Rick Springfield, his Working Class Dog tour. Oh that it could be something cool like the Stones. But alas it was Rick during his Jessie's Girl phase. I didn't realize it at the time, but old Rick was a plot maniac --"Jessie is a friend,yeah, I know he's been a good friend of mine/ But lately something's changed that ain't hard to define/ Jessie's got himself a girl and I want to make her mine." Yeah, there it is, folks -- the ever elusive plot points! I went with my friend Melissa and her mother and we sat in the nosebleed section where a man passed us a joint. Melissa's mother had gone to sit in the lobby and procure us Working Class Dog! t-shirts with Rick's phase superimposed over a dog wearing a tie so she was spared this horror of the evil weed. Melissa and I were in the seventh grade and had not a clue how to smoke. So instead we borrowed his binoculars where tiny Rick became oh so slightly larger and therefore more real.

I saw a lot of concerts after that, but Rick stayed with me. Maybe it was his role on General Hospital, maybe seeing Adrian Belew in a small club in Texas wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Folks, there was no air-conditioning and it was August. King Crimson is great, but not that great. Living Colour put on an excellent show, and I did see the Stones Steel Wheels tour, which all my friends were calling the Wheelchair Tour. I still have the t-shirt from ever so long ago. As for Jessie's Girl, it stands the test of time and weirdly influenced the note pattern of contemporary Christian music in the eighties, something I'm guessing Mr. Springfield didn't plan. He did play himself recently on Californication which was something to see. Church, he said, when Charlie's wife asked him to go make out to his own records with her. Church, indeed.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you want to truly understand something, try to change it." Kurt Lewin

Cocktail Hour
Any good end of summer reads?

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crazy Water!

Here's another novel excerpt -- still plugging away and will have some new exciting material on the Mel Gibson scandal Monday. Kidding . . . As always, thanks for reading!

“God, our sisters. Higgins' new victim is a youth minister at the Church of the Nazarene. I hope he has all his teeth.” Hank calls his sister Higgins for reasons no one knows. Fuck, the whole town has a series of names and nicknames and connections that would challenge the smartest linguists. For years we’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book on a fictional version of it titled Crazy Water! after the hospital in which Hank was born. Born blind during a freak spring snowstorm in Texas, let’s face it -- he kind of had to learn to play the blues. That’s one card I played while advocating for this visit -- let’s do some research for The Book. The time is right for a book on small towns, I said. Think Last Picture Show meets Blue Velvet.

Years before Hank was born, Crazy Water was a spa, the slogan Drink Yourself To Health. They sold Crazy Water for medicinal uses to tourists who stayed at the Baker, the mammoth hotel in the middle of town that had its heyday in the 30s when celebrities came to take the cure which turned out to be water loaded with lithium. Now every few years, some optimist buys The Baker in hopes of turning it into a thriving business. The Baker always turns out to be a white elephant that can’t be tamed no matter how many pictures the Mineral Wells Index printed of the hapless new owners cutting ribbons on its gothic steps. Now for nine dollars, you can take a sleeping bag and camp in the halls, the rooms being mostly condemned.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground." G K Chesterton

Cocktail Hour
Series premiere of Mad Men tonight -- Don Draper returns!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

You've Lost That Loving Feeling

Thanks for the feedback on bookstores. No need to feel guilty about e-books or on-line publishing -- I stick to my advice, JR! But I do love love love bookstores and John Kings in Detroit and Ferndale are two branches of the most exceptional bookstore I have ever shopped. I'm not a huge fan of the boring chains that threaten to gobble them. If you have a minute and some extra money, please support your local used/independent bookstore. End of PSA.

So it's Friday, the summer, it's hot, I'm tired. I've gone all week without sleeping much and now the inevitable lethargy has set into my bones like some wicked drug. But I do have a Friday question and this one is for both genders, although it may apply more to the ladies than the fellows. Have you ever had a situation where your feelings about a friend have changed so dramatically that it's hard for you to stay friends with that person? I love my friends for their pilgrim souls and my friends know who they are, but I understand that situations/career changes/religious differences/ children/no children, can change how you feel about someone. How do you handle it?

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You can always tell a real friend: when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job." Laurence J. Peter

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: The Kids Are All Right

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday! Checking email tomorrow -- so prepare to be answered if you have questions! Next week, prepare for a review of JR's new work!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

John King Books

Here's an article about John King's Books, one of my favorite stores ever! Go buy books, wherever you are!

John King slashes prices to keep bookstores alive

The Detroit News

The rise of the digital book has prompted one of the city's last independent bookstore operators, John K. King, to promote cutthroat pricing in an attempt to keep alive his two satellite used bookstores.

Signs declaring "Everything Must Go" or "Every Book Must Go" are displayed in the storefront windows of John King Books North in Ferndale and the Big Bookstore near Wayne State University, which King says is Detroit's oldest continuously operating bookstore. The stores have always sold cheap used books, with prices today as low as 50 cents apiece. Last month the stores started a 20 percent discount on any sale of more than $10.

"If we don't move the entire inventory in a fairly quick time -- a couple months -- then I don't know what I will do," King said.

He hopes the lower prices will drive higher sales volumes, generating the revenue he needs to stay in business.

Cheap prices used to be the niche of used book stores like King's, but digital books -- also known as e-books -- have begun cutting into the new and used book business.

E-books are books consumers can read online or through increasingly popular electronic reader devices such as Amazon's Kindle, Apple Computer Inc.'s iPad or Borders Group Inc.'s Kobo.

Most new e-books sell for $9.99, but some top $20. Many older books are priced at $7.99, and classics in the public domain, such as Herman Melville's 1851 book "Moby Dick," can be free.

On Monday, Inc. said it sold more e-books than paper books in the second quarter. The Internet retailer attributed the spike to reducing the price of the Kindle e-reader to $189 from $259. Selling more e-readers creates more demand for digital books.

"First it's the Amazon stuff, the state's bad economy and now all this e-book hype," King said as he stood in front of his Ferndale store on Woodward Avenue.

There is too much hype about e-books replacing real books in the immediate future, said Alberto Greco, a marketing professor at Fordham University in New York who studies the book publishing industry.

"But it will have profound impact throughout the industry," Greco said.

While the digital revolution has endangered King's satellite stores, he is not considering closing his flagship facility, John K. King Used and Rare Books on West Lafayette Boulevard in downtown Detroit. Customers can browse through 1 million books in two adjacent buildings, one a former glove factory and the other once home to Otis Elevator Inc.'s Detroit offices. King has operated there for 27 years.

The downtown store is less threatened by the e-book boom because it still does solid business selling rare and used books. Plus, additional revenue comes from providing parking for events at Joe Louis Arena and King recently renting the facility for a movie shoot.

Selling a bookstore's entire inventory is a big task. King's Ferndale store alone has 60,000 books, magazines, maps and other items. The Big Bookstore has 10,000 items. The two stores represent about 6 percent of King's overall sales.

"At the moment, the Big Bookstore has negligible sales," King said. The store is just a few blocks away from a Barnes & Noble store, which has a café, music and apparel section, at Wayne State. King has operated the Big Bookstore, which first opened as a bookstore in the 1930s, and the Ferndale store for 22 years.

Since putting up the "Everything Must Go" signs, store traffic has doubled.

"In terms of sales, now some days are OK and possibly good," Ferndale store manager Jason Schusterbauer said. "Before, most days were just bad for a couple months."

King said the deep discounts will last for at least another month before he decides what to do.

"What I can't stand is the free pass the e-books are getting," King said. "Like they are the greatest things and they have no negative aspect. Besides the closing of bookstores like mine, what about the toxic nature of those devices? Books are biodegradable."

Initial research shows the devices are adding to the growing problem of "e-waste," said Gregory Keoleian, co-director of the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Systems.

E-waste refers to electronic devices that are not recycled properly and end up in U.S. landfills or in developing countries, where they often are dissembled in unsafe conditions, Keoleian said. The devices contain elements that can be harmful, he said.

An online e-book purchase cannot replace the unique charm of shopping in quirky stores like King's. Last week, when summer storms knocked out the power in the Ferndale store, the staff gave customers candles to light their way amid tall, long rows and overflowing bins of used books. Janet Nordmore was among them. She chatted for a while with the staff and King, then searched for the 10 books on her list.

She found none of them. But something in the Michigan history section prompted her to sit on the wooden floor and delve into the book by candlelight.

"Why would you give up the community feel?" of a bookstore, said Nordmore of Huntington Woods. "Some things were not meant to be plastic and completely about efficiency."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Listen, See

Charles and Heff -- thanks for the laughs today! Yes, I am incorporating horror elements into the novel and God knows, there was nothing scarier than those MC Hammer pants. I don't know why those became popular -- nothing worse, nothing worse!

I think the worst advice I ever got about writing was that you can spend too much time and "ruin" it. You can take bad advice, certainly, you can lose interest and lose heart, but no one should fear going deeper into the work. I think most of my writing life I suffered from advice that was too vague for me -- things like, Plot is desire. Really? I desire a Dr. Pepper. This is not a plot. Or it could be, but I need more exact advice. And I'm working on it. My plot, like Snoopy's, is thickening. Tomorrow, I'm going to list some books to help people who are struggling like me with the whole "telling a structured story" thing.

The best thing I do when I write is actually see. I get away from the deadening mundane horror of the every day, the ways in which I go through one rote task to another. It requires two things that we sometimes forget to do: listening and seeing. Oh we listen if listening means waiting for our turn to speak. We seldom see what we don't already know. But alas, the world, lustrous and new, awaits our attention.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach." Winston Churchill

Cocktail Hour
Looking forward to the new Woody Allen -- You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Suicide Is Painless

Here's another novel excerpt -- and yes, I agree with Heff -- it's not that complicated! But hell, what do we women have to jaw on and on about if we don't pretend you guys have hidden depths? Ha! Back at you tomorrow!

“At least it’s an update from MASH,” I say, the one song I learned on the recorder during Music Appreciation class. I feel certain nobody was appreciating my impassioned instrumental with a particularly lively squeak on the “suicide is painless” part.

Along comes Paul Randall, a friend of Hank’s from his Boy Scout days. Paul still has the chronic acne of his youth, a condition that conspires to keep him unattractive. He dated a truly homely girl named Rena whom the other students in their super sensitive helpful way called Rhino, and he married her.

“Hey, my man,” Paul says to Hank, sticking out his hand for a high five, leaving me staring. Paul was never a my man, high five kind of guy. What next? Will he be referring to Hank as the “master blaster?”

Instead of engaging in conversation, I watch the girls on the field kick and twirl, the song reminding me of being married, in particular the brief period of my marriage where Andrew sewed his own pants to look like MC Hammer’s drawers. God, that was a dark time.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." William James

Cocktail Hour
Still working on a couple of summer movie reviews -- has anyone seen The Kids Are All Right?

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday! Congratulations to my dear Rob on his new marriage! Check out the pictures at his wonderful blog, Rob's Fob, connected under More Poison.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What Men Want

Hey guys -- I haven't had time to take pictures for about a month, so here's an old one of me and the lovely Stacey from the vaults.

Got into a conversation the other day about what men want. Oh my. We already know what women want based on the Mel Gibson movie of the same name, right? Mel Gibson, that prize! Am I the only woman who didn't like Mel before all these tapes came out and find him more interesting now than he ever was on screen? He bored me in all his movies; now he sounds absolutely psychotic which is a change. But back to the menfolk. It's a broad topic, of course. But here's another take on the old question -- Men don't want to be your best friend. I think there's something bad about the contemporary age that has demystified romance. Your best friend can waste two good hours twirling around Target, looking for Snoopy paper towels. Your best friend can debate about clothes, concealer (I like the Dior, but it's so expensive! Maybe the Sephora brand one will work .. . ), and if the Entertainment Tonight guy who interviews the latest dumpee of Jake The Bachelor is really enjoying himself (Look, he's eating this shit up!)

Men don't want this in romance. Men, of course, all want different things based on who they are. No need to generalize. But I'm guessing some things are a given just like certain word combinations inspire fear -- maintenance chemotherapy, permanent make-up, dinner theater, confirmed bachelor, common-law wife, destination wedding. I'm guessing that it might be a good thing to not treat your beloved like your bff. Any comments on where this tendency comes from or other thoughts?

Michelle's Spell of the Day
Movie suggestion: Cyrus review tomorrow -- see it!

Cocktail Hour
Check out the Cornell West interview in Playboy -- the always excellent Brother West is brilliant and funny as always.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mineral Wells from the Air

Hi everyone -- thanks for all the kind words about Sissy Lynn. Here's another view of Mineral Wells. I've been working on a rewrite of a book set in my hometown, so the postcards help. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Happy And Long Life Of Sissy Lynn

Hi everyone -- thanks for all the good thoughts for Sissy Lynn, my sister's cute little dog, pictured above in a couple of her favorite spots. She has died after a very long and happy life. She provided much solace for my mother through the worst of her illness toward the end of her life, came to Michigan with Dad and Beth to visit me by car, flew on planes (her one and only experience with doggie Valium which left her hyper on the plane, asleep as soon as she got to her destination), and road to Sonic more times than I can count. Rest in peace, sweet Sissy Lynn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Creepy Objects Of My Own Choosing

Have been working steadily in the doldrums of summer. Summer, weirdly, is a good time for writing in some ways given that there's so much sunshine that one (meaning me) desires to be inside. Away from skin damage, heat stroke, and afflictions of all kinds. Which brings me to the above picture. This lovely piece of art hung in my first writing space, an "office" connected to Daddy's garage. With no heating or cooling, the room acted as a furnace, keeping the hot side hot and the cool side cool. There wasn't much to recommend it as inspirational except that it was more private than the rest of the house, primarily because nobody wanted to spend very long in that room. This ancient warrior was one of the less creepy decorations.

So what's your writing space like? Does it matter where you work? I have spent a long time filling mine with talismans of good luck and creepy objects of my own choosing. But I find I can work anywhere, even with a million distractions. For some reason, I don't get into the complete silence thing. So tell me your secrets. Back tomorrow!

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness." Publilius Syrus

Cocktail Hour
Check out Jim's great chapbook for sale at Motor City Burning Press! I'll be doing a review of it soon.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Miracle Waters of Mineral Wells

Hi everyone -- thanks so much for all the supportive comments on the novel. Still revising, but feel as if I"m much closer to the finish line. And keep sending good thoughts to Sissy Lynn -- she's still alive, but still very ill. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pink Is The New Birthday!

Happy birthday to Trent, creator of the fabulous Pink Is The New Blog! Here we are, not so many years ago, at a party in Ann Arbor.

Novel excerpt of the day -- back tomorrow with cocktails!

“It seems like a real drag to actually have people over for a massage. Cleaning the house, setting fresh towels in the bathroom,” Amber says. She’s going through a second childhood, having been denied a first by Mother’s fragile psyche. When I got married oh so many years ago, Mother made me swear I wouldn’t have a baby. “You want to ruin your life, that’s a good way to do it.” On that point, Hank and Mother found common ground. Hank often says that the perfect woman would have no kids, no cats, no red hair, and not love for Disney. His first serious girlfriend had two sons, three cats, and bright red dreadlocks. She, however, did not like Disney.

“She massaged me a little before y’all got here,” Johnny said.

“You’re supposed to be drinking water to flush out your toxins,” Amber said. “all that is in you has to come out or it will give you a massive headache.”

“This fancy shit really is better than what Amy serves during her fat meetings.
Damn, it goes down easy.”

I offer some to Johnny, but he declines, sticking with his bottle of Jack. “I prefer to wash out my toxins with whiskey. What the fuck is a fat meeting?”

Hank and I explain that Amy is the president of the Philadelphia chapter of NAFA, the National Organization for Fat Acceptance. She takes her role as spokesperson seriously. I once saw her on ABC news, talking about how people would make mooing sounds at her as she went for her daily walk. “What I want to tell people is that I’m fine, I’m just fat.” This line along with a shot of Amy looking off into the distance served as the close for the segment.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Sometimes a mattress is just a mattress." Ray Drecker, Hung

Cocktail Hour
Hung episode this Sunday -- best ever!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

Welcome to Mineral Wells

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Jodi!

Happy birthday to my wonderful friend Jodi of The J Spot! To one of the most gorgeous, funniest, wisest people I know. Many happy days, my dear . . . Pictured is the lovely Jodi and my sister, also known as Good Tiny. Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

To Give Or Not To Give

Another novel excerpt before the weekend cocktail secrets revealed. Thanks for reading!

“We walk toward the picnic table with nametags. Tabby Chestnut sits with a smile plastered on her face. She’s wearing huge shoulder pads that make me wonder if she’s updated her wardrobe since we graduated. In high school, Hank called her Most Likely To Bitchslap Her Parents For Giving Her A Stupid Name.

“Are these really necessary?” Hank asks. “Don’t we know everyone already?”

“It’s our way of keeping track of who has paid,” Tabby says. “I see that M has paid everything for you both of you.” Tabby hands us blank nametags which is going to be a field day for Hank, no doubt. “Are you two an item or is Em still trolling the senior citizens dances for love?”
“Ha ha,” I say.
“Well, you are welcome to dig in,” Tabby says, smiling for real now. “The buffet is serve yourself.”

Still thin, I note to Hank about Tabby’s appearance. It’s a variation on a game we used to play on car trips which was before we passed an eighteen-wheeler, we would guess if the trucker was fat or thin.

“Still pinched. God, she has virtually no lips.” Hank looks at the line in front of us.

“Why don’t you find us a place to roost while I fill our plates. What do you want?” I ask

“A lot of everything,” Hank says. “Did not get near enough last night to keep me going now.”

I give my purse to Hank and on his arm it resembles an old-fashioned doctor’s bag bulging with instruments. And to think I looked hours to find it at TJ Maxx and plunked down almost a hundred dollars for it, even discounted to a third of its price. I look at my outfit to make sure there are no stains, a dress I often wear in Detroit in the summer -- black with think straps that criss cross over the shoulders. I hoped it didn’t look like I was trying too hard. When I got voted Most Studious twenty years ago, I wore my shortest black mini-skirt for the picture while I held a Time magazine in front of me bearing the headline, To Give Or Not To Give. Somehow no one objected.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Do not judge men by mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy." Edward Chapin

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: Cyrus (brilliant movie! Will be doing a review soon . . .)

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Cure For Summer

Lest you think I've been running ten miles a day and eating dry toast this summer, I present to you these lovely cocktails. I'm planning on making a video (I know, I've been promising, but now for sure.) Any of these concoctions you'd like to see made?

Also, thanks for all thoughts and prayers for Sissy Lynn. She is still hanging on. Never let it be said she isn't tough! Happy Thursday to all!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My Favorite Season

Another quick scene from the novel. Tomorrow it's a fun post, all cocktails, all the time, in anticipation of the weekend.

I look into the cracked mirror, seven years of bad luck bisecting my face, making me look how I feel. The bathroom has no ceiling so dead leaves litter the floor, making me even more paranoid about snakes. Ah, fall, my favorite season, all dying trees and sharpened pencils and hope. Not this.

“Hey Em,” says Robin. I did not expect to see her here and am somewhat surprised she is alive. In high school, she’d come to honor’s English class, tripping on LSD and tell me about the night before when she woke up naked next to her car, no memory of what happened. She has one blue eye, one green, like a cat.

“You look like you’re seeing a ghost. Yes, I’m still alive,” she says, as if reading my mind. “So what’s going on?”

“Just taking a break,” I say. I look around to make sure there are no snakes. If anyone could bring them out of hiding, it’s Shiva the Destroyer.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"It is better to be in chains with friends, than to be in a garden with strangers."
-Persian Proverb

Cocktail Hour
Pictures of summer cocktail galore tomorrow.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Sissy Lynn news -- she's still alive today. Thanks so much for all prayers and good thoughts and good luck to Chris' dog who is in surgery!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Sissy Lynn

My sister's dog, Sissy Lynn (picture above with Baby Grouchie) is very ill right now. Regular readers know her from various pictures and videos. I'm having a hard time focusing on writing right now, so I'm posting an excerpt from the novel on which I'm working. Please send all good thoughts and prayers Sissy's way! I will keep you updated.

excerpt from How To Own and Operate A Haunted House (new and improved version!)

“I wouldn’t get too close to a cranky old blind man,” Hank says, giving her his cheek. He’s dressed in a ratty sleeveless black t-shirt and jeans. It’s been his standard uniform since our freshman year in college. He doesn’t wear a Scruples card in his hat anymore, but I don’t miss it. Easy enough to tell if Hank’s mood tends more toward the pitchfork or halo.

Amber has fluffy gold hair like out of a fairytale and we look almost nothing alike. I’m dark-haired with pail skin and she looks as wholesome as a Laura Ashley ad.

“Hello darling,” Johnny says, imitating Conway Twitty and hugging me.

Amber hates to wash dishes, so she sets out paper plates for the feast. I pull the bottle of champagne from my luggage and stick it in the freezer. We should start our weekend off right -- drink ourselves to health.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." St. Francis of Assisi

Cocktail Hour
Working on some new potions . . .

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday! For some reasons unknown to me, not all the comments have appeared on the last two posts. I'm hoping this doesn't happen again, but I didn't want anyone to think I had erased anyone's comment!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy Fourth!

It's another holiday weekend, one that seems to bring out the worst kind of craziness in people. Heat, misery, booze, firecrackers and my rather unkind wish that the dipshits down the street who feel the need to shoot guns and fireworks at three in the morning might injure, well, a delicate appendage, are all par for the course. While I respect the meaning of the day, I choose not to grill, see fireworks displays, or wear red, white, and or blue. I don't look good in any of those colors and vanity prevents this simple display of patriotism. Plus, I'm way too worried about where Lebron will play next year. Please, King James, consider Detroit! We will treat you right. All hail, King James!

Even so, I feel the need to take a moment and imagine not having what we often take for granted. Freedom to write what I want, dress how I want, act as I want. A lot of us spend 364 days a year complaining about our country which is wonderful -- we're free to do so. So I take this weekend off from all that and give thanks to our troops, to the activists, even to the souls that somehow manage to be politicians. We get so stuck in our opinions which are constantly reinforced in this technological age where we can stay in a protected bubble where we are never challenged to see the world in any other way except those in which we are comfortable. The best poetry advice I ever received applies here -- Look closely. Stop acting as if you have seen it all. Enjoy the moment.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Freedom lies in being bold.” Robert Frost

Cocktail Hour
Fourth plans?

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday! Many prayers go out to Joni Eareckson Tada in her recovery from surgery to remove breast cancer. While not always agreeing with her politically, I have had absolute admiration for Joni since reading her first memoir, Joni, as a child and find her subsequent works to be eloquent, refreshing, and inspiring. Get well, Joni!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Holiday Weekend

Hey guys -- sorry about the absence. Have been a bit under the weather and will return tomorrow with a portion of How To Own And Operate A Haunted House, the extended dance mix. I've decided on a new framing device, and it's been a lot of fun to write. I'd also like to extend wishes for the happiest birthday ever to the always lovely Laura Benedict, author of Calling Mr. Lonelyhearts and keeper of the always fun Handbasket linked under my More Poison section. Happy birthday, gorgeous!