Tuesday, February 16, 2010


How do people plan their lives? How does one go about it? If life is like a maze, never knowing what will be around any approaching corner, how do you stick to your plan? How do you find your way? Perhaps you hurry through the inevitable wanderings, arterials, and dead ends, since they're easily recognizable as not part of the plan. But what if they newly found path is more entertaining, more magical, more interesting than the path you've already chosen for yourself? Do you throw away your initial plan? Do you write up a new one? Do you throw in the towel or rally against fate or God or the universe? Do you throw your arms up to the sky in defeat or defiance?

How does one go on with life when life doesn't care about your plan?

My aunt once asked me when I was barely in my twenties, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" I answered, "Where did you see yourself ten years ago?"

I've never had a plan. Perhaps, now 40, that was a mistake. But I had dreams. Maybe it's time to start following those instead of simply wandering.

Monday, February 15, 2010

True American History, Part 3

The first two parts can be found here. That was a long time ago.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Things I've Stolen, Part One

I told my dad that when I lived in Santa Clara, I climbed over the fence of the Carmelites across the street from the old house and took a stone frog from their bird bath.

He said, "Good for you! I always wanted to climb in there!"

My dad was proud that I stole from nuns.

(If you're a nun from the Carmelites or a police officer from Santa Clara, this post has been a work of short fiction)

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Dream

I was in some weird refugee camp when a Mexican guy entered the camp and sat by me smiling. A number of versions of him entered and sat down by other people, whispering in their ears. I looked at him quizzically and he said, "Watch this."

An older woman entered the camp and began walking up to the people being whispered to. She'd touch them gently, smiling, and move on. She came to me and took my hand. She began to walk off but before letting go of my hand completely, her smile faltered. She looked concerned and held my hand a bit tighter. She looked down at me and said, "Tell me about your pet."

"My pet?" I said as she said the same thing at the same time, laughing. "He's black and fuzzy?"

"No, tell me about him. He's very affectionate, isn't he?"

"He is. He loves head scratches and when you take your hand away, he'll grab it with his paw and pull it back to him. I call him my familiar. He's very much like me. He's quite aware of his surroundings and quick to learn things to his advantage."

"Is he good or evil?" she asked.

"Hmm? He's good most of the time, I guess. But he can turn on you if he's in the mood. He's not good or evil. He's a cat."

"Would you kill him to save the world?" she asked me seriously.

"No," I told her and she looked sad and moved on.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I am Omega Man

I watched The Omega Man this weekend. As the movie started and Charlton Heston was driving around an empty New York, I thought, "Oh, is this I am Legend?" And then the credits said, 'Based on a story by Richard Matheson', and I thought, "Oh, this is I am Legend!" Of course, being filmed in 1971, it's very unsophisticated: heavy handed on religion, silly bad guys, 70's hair. I did like watching the movie within a movie. Whee. But everything the movie could have been or actually was was lost to me because of one horrible, horrible thing: Charlton Heston's smile. Oh my God! Have his teeth been fused together? Has he ever actually smiled or laughed in his life? When he tried it on-screen, it was as if he couldn't even fake a genuine happy moment. Here is the moment he laughs at his love interest's big joke:

Here was her joke: "Birth control."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Lunchbox

What a nice guy! I don't remember the episode that featured the Picnic with the Cylons.

My cat is staring at me

Stop it. Stop staring at me! Go away. Thank you.