August 8th, 2002


Payment Due

Don Forsling, host of the "Morning Report" show on WOI-fm, has a real wicked sense of humor. Today's thought for the day was a warning. "He who fails to pay his exorcist risks repossession."

Resonates in my family. I'm sure he meant it as a humorous piece of fluff, but...

Remember, this is the same guy whose parting words at 7 am on 9/11 were:

Philosophers have long debated whether or not there is a Hell.

But, is there a Heck?

"Sure," says one prominent theologian and wag. "It's for people who don't believe in Gosh."

Response to an Anti-TV Rant

I got chosen by the Nielson people to keep a log of my TV viewing from 8/1 to 8/7.

"But, I don't watch TV!" I protested.

"That's okay," the lady responded. "It makes the survey more balanced."

So they sent the stuff.

"How many TV sets in the house?" asked one survey question. Pause in thought while I counted. "Do computer monitors count?" This is harder than it seems. How can one person living alone who does NOT watch commercial TV explain having four TV's?

Yes, I have a TV antenna. I got it the summer I took a college course that broadcast a 30 minute TV segment at 7 am on Sunday mornings. I have many good friends who would have let me watch my show -- but none who are consistent early risers...especially on a Sunday morning. That would be a bit much. I did not ask it of them.

I broke down and got an antenna, mounting it on a FENCE POST. I didn't want a hole in my roof that would leak rain like happened around the antenna on the old house -- I had one heck of a time getting that thing down due to the steep pitch of the top of the roof, and never did get a good enough repair job on the roof to keep things from leaking. So it goes.

I haven't watched commercial TV for most of the last 26 years. I really can't say that I've missed it. Who has time??? If I came home and turned it on, that was ALL that got done, no matter how dumb what I was watching turned out to be...

If one is that compulsive, one had best locate the "off" button and USE IT.

The "one" I am referring to is ME. The sentence just sounds awkward in first person. Maybe my subconscious doesn't want to believe something that bad about myself...that I am too weak on a daily basis to watch one thing and shut it off.

I know I am still that way... I spent the night in a motel recently, took my novel along to edit, and turned on the TV. Went to bed way, way late, overly tired, and only got two pages edited. Did I watch anything worth while? Nope. I saw "Starship Troopers," based on a Robert Heinlein book I dearly loved, but the show was gratuitously gory and DUMB. The show that followed was so bad I can't even remember the name or the plot, but I stayed up when I needed to be sharp the next day, watched it until the end credits rolled...

Don't get me wrong -- I love movies, GOOD movies. I love studying how the filmmaker's art goes... what makes the poignant moment really grip the viewer, but I want some substance...

Which leads me back to the four TV thing -- One cool, big monitor on my G-4 so I can edit movies properly using my Mac G-4 and Final Cut Pro... One in the computer room hooked to the scanner and printer, which are too old to link to the G-4, and two little 13 inchers to see what the finished product will look like. They are in the living room, hooked to a VCR, the new digital video camera (oh, do I love THAT one, even though I really should have paid down credit card bills, not bought it...) and the G-4. I have now managed to get an "editing suite" with enough horsepower to really edit...

I feel the Pandemonium Horse Opera coming on big time. Begun inauspiciously in 1986 and still on the drawing board... Oh, well.

I guess I love these long spun out projects. Parts of the novel are from 11th grade... It always bothered me that I could not write fiction. I once Aced a fiction writing class without ever devolving into fiction. The teacher told me I had a WILD IMAGINATION... (which I do, but it was NOT in use in the presentations she'd seen.) I also have a rather WEIRD life, and not always by choice. I sure could have done without last night's chapter in the family soap opera!

I always thought my first book would be My Horses Call Me Mommy, but just by living life, I've reached the point where I CAN write fiction. Summer Circles is fiction... some elements woven in are real, but the whole thing is about as fictionalized as they come. It certainly bears no resemblance to MY life... LOL.

Sno Cone

Once I went out with GV, a new guy whom I really liked.  We'd been at a week long National Championship Pinto horse show, and everything by then was dirty and dusty except for one white blouse.

Thoughtfully, he gave me time to change into it, and we set off.

The show grounds were in downtown Detroit, which smelled like a cesspool.  The heat was horrendous. Passing a sno cone place, he offered and I accepted, getting a grape.  Just holding the ice felt great -- a relief from the heat.

Leaving the show grounds, we hit a speed bump, and the nice grape sno cone plopped onto the white blouse in the worst possible spot for one who was trying to be COOL... my shelf.

Again he was thoughtful... taking me to his camper, which had a sink with running water.  After he snuck me into the back door without encountering anyone else before I'd had a chance to repair the damage, he wandered around to the fireside while I got cleaned up.

As I scrubbed the blouse in the dark, I looked through the camper window at mutual friends talking and laughing in the dusk around the fire, which is a nice touch, but on a night already so hot, WHY LIGHT A FIRE???

But one of his friends, not knowing he was "attached" for the evening, had him drop off some of the kids to swim in another fellow's motel's pool, after discovering that was where we were going for dinner.  (Why they would think he'd go there alone is beyond me... none of us went to places that up town without being part of a group...)

So two tykes got into the back of the truck.  He was embarrassed to have them, but, that is one of the dangers of being a nice guy.  Unsure if I would be successful with the stain, he could hardly drag me around to the campfire, even if that would have immediately gotten the children withdrawn without having to ask it...  A dilemma.

Knowing from unfortunate experience that the blouse would be see through until it dried, I settled in for a long, lonely problem about drying out, the heat took care of that.  I slipped out, hoping in the light the stain was as gone as it had appeared in the dark of the camper.

The blouse passed muster, so we went into the really swank restaurant; the kids pealed off and joined the sons of the motel room owners and hit the pool -- date back on course.

We finished our meal and were ready to head to the dance floor...  Not.

The pool had closed.  Two wet boys tracked across the swank carpet right to our table, followed by an ever so politely correct head waiter with an AGENDA.  He wanted them OUT...  He assumed they were our children...

George was blond, as was the smaller boy.  I was brunette, as was the elder...  Looking them over, I realized that with a normal life, they were young enough to really BE our children...