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Thursday
Mar092006

Gallery of the Absurd

vdtaralo_2.jpgWow, I stumbled upon this blog by accident--much to my dee-lite. Hilarious celebrity art (like the lovely Tara Reid here).

Enjoy.

www.galleryoftheabsurd.com

Wednesday
Mar082006

How old is too old? Put on your bifocals and read this.

354943-288209-thumbnail.jpg
Dick "Methuselah" Clark celebrates his 138th birthday
In my twenties I dabbled at writing. Dabbled the way Star Jones dabbled at dieting. I gave myself plenty of time. I’d get to it later, after all––I was young right? I thought, "Robert Heinlein didn’t get a book published until he was thirty-something. And that’s old".

Now I’m thirty-something. 37 to be precise.

The age you actually begin to think about what a gastroenterologist really does. You look at the cholesterol count as if it might matter soon. You wish you’d flossed more in your wild younger years.

So it got me thinking. Am I too old? Has the train of relevance left the station for good? Just look at Christopher Paolini. The guy is basically a fetus with shoes, signing a multi-book deal before his first bout of acne.

But then I remember my hero. Norman Maclean. The man publishes his first book, A River Runs Through It at seventy-freakin’-four year’s old. There’s hope for us all! Because for every Rossini, who wrote The Barber of Seville at 23, there’s Verdi—who wrote Othello at 74 and Falstaff at 80. And for every Dorothy Straight, who was 4 when she wrote How the World Began, there’s Sarah Louise Delaney, the oldest published author whose second book was released when she was 105.

It was titled A Century of Great Sex. Ok, not really, but it was still a big deal.

Monday
Mar062006

Jessica Simpson plans to bare her commodious lexicon

Simpson.jpgParis City Light announced a new power generation facility built at the Père Lachaise Cemetery where Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde is interred. Engineers have hooked up a generator to his casket taking advantage of the dead poet spinning in his grave over Jessica Simpson’s planned book of poetry. The vapid vamp announced her poetic yearnings in this month’s copy of W Magazine.

In related news, MTV Productions have shelved their planned reality show Jessica & Nick: The Divorce. Instead they’ve put production weight behind the new horror-infused reality show Jessica Simpson takes the S.A.T.

(Major props to Vic Correro at Writesville for breaking this latest sign of the Apocalypse).

Friday
Mar032006

Dysfunction runs in the family

Dysfunction.jpgI just finished Reservation Blues. Sherman Alexie, does indeed, rock. His writing shimmers with bittersweet touches of reality–– because he writes fiction based on personal experiences.

With that in mind, what are the stories in your life that you want told? I think every family has character-driven dramas and mysteries worth exploring.

Here are a few skeletons from my familial closet:

1) My biological grandfather was born in China and adopted by Western missionaries. He was given the name George William Ford when he arrived in America. He married my Grandmother (Yin Yin), had one son, and died shortly after. Yin Yin remarried and would never speak of him. And nobody else did either. I don’t know his real name or how he died. I sense that he was a pretty bad guy. It makes for awkward Thanksgiving dinner conversations.

2) I have a cousin in Mainland China that became pregnant for a third time. A big no-no. The penalty was twice her annual salary and an abortion injection. Instead, she had the baby in secret with a midwife––then left the baby girl on the steps of an orphanage. An auntie, who lives in Seattle, arranged to adopt the baby. She paid $20k in adoption fees (and bribes) only to arrive in China for the final pick-up and find the baby missing. She’d been given to another family a week before.

3) My Great Uncle Tommy was sold to another family in China. Not adopted out. Sold. Cha-ching. His family was indescribably poor. His mother later immigrated to the U.S. where she had six other children. Her youngest son, Francis joined the U.S. army before WWII and was a clerk assigned to an air unit in China. It was there that he met a Chinese air force colonel––his older brother. The one sold decades earlier. It took 30 years and a mountain of paperwork, but that retired colonel was finally allowed to travel to the U.S.––to see the rest of his family. I met him in 1979, when I was twelve.

Stories like these are why I love the gritty power of non-fiction. After all, who can’t relate to a dysfunctional family?