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Showing posts from December, 2016

Legalizing Weed and Other Substances

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After considerable thought (at least five minutes’ worth), I have come to the conclusion that it is a big mistake to legalize any presently controlled substances.  As we have all been told for generations, you start with Weed, and before you know it you are lying in the gutter with glassy, heroin-filled eyes, mumbling to yourself, scaring people and singing Puff the Magic Dragon and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, just before you die in agony from the best high you have ever experienced. Using that same logic, it stands to reason that making extreme pleasure-inducing agents legal will soon result in their becoming commonplace items of ingestion.  Imagine if you will, typical future family interactions:
“Henry, you have put enough cocaine on your cereal.  Leave some for your little sister.”
“Mom!  Johnny won’t share his opium with me.  Make him give me some!”
 “Okay.  I have one coca leaf for each of you.  That’s all you’re getting.  So shut up and stop pestering me.”
“If I told you on…

I Want Christmas! -- Memories

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Okay.  I already told everyone about my stage debut as Innkeeper No. 2 in the St. Joseph’s Elementary School annual Christmas pageant.  If you haven’t already read about it, you can find it here.  I won’t repeat that story again – not that it isn’t a good story, I just don’t want to go through all the trouble and I don’t want to bore you.
I didn’t tell you about the doll house, though.  That was one of those magical Christmases.  I was about 4 or 5 years old.  My parents and I were living in a one-bedroom apartment behind my maternal grandparents’ gas station, on our little town’s Main Street, which was part of a longer highway that extended to nearby towns and to the small city located about three miles away.  It was a noisy, busy highway and my parents and grandparents were always watching to make sure I didn’t venture onto it and get myself run over by some passing idiot driver motorist.  The little apartment was cramped and old.  A few years later, we would move across Main Stree…

Excerpts from my Book, "Opera For People Who Don't Like It"

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Opera For People Who Don't Like It is a drop-dead funny, completely painless look at the art of opera and the people who perform and produce it.  It is beautifully illustrated by the talented comic artist Peter Fay.
It is available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats.
Here are a couple of short excerpts from the book.
From Chapter 4:"Operatic characters don’t die like everyone else. For one thing, they die singing. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I were dying of some awful disease or someone had just stabbed or poisoned me, the last thing I would want to do would be to sing about it. “Somebody call 911!” would be my most likely reaction, provided, of course, that I were capable of making any sound at all. Most likely, I’d just fall back and die and leave the commentary to someone else.

In Act I of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Don Giovanni (Italian for Don Juan – same guy, different language) has just broken into the bedroom of an attractive woman, with the idea…

I Want Christmas, Continued Again

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The Art of Opening Gifts
Like all arts, gift wrapping requires concentration, dedication and talent.  Most of us don’t have that much talent for making something immortal out of fancy colored paper, ribbon and Scotch tape.  Concentration and dedication are not even considered, because we just want to get the whole thing over so we can get on with something more fun, such as watching Christmas movies on Lifetime or eating a lot of cookies.
The other popular Christmas art is opening gifts.  Different people have different techniques for peeling off the layers of paper and ribbon and revealing whatever treasure or dreck is inside.
(A)There is one adult female in every family who sits and looks at a wrapped present and says, “It’s so pretty, I hate to open it.”  Her lack of perspective concerning what is important (the present inside the wrapping) and what is not important (the wrapping) and her hesitance to get on with it make everyone else want to pick her up and shake her like a rattle.