Snoopy letter make me rich and famous

I put an hour and a half of today into the Write-a-thon, though I had to use most of my lunch hour to do it. It was the most interesting part of my work day, that’s for sure!

“Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?” (Tim Burton)

I’ve been writing most of my life; at least since I was 12, when my sixth-grade English teacher gave us a writing assignment every Friday. I’d been reading like crazy, but I don’t remember trying to write anything before Mr. Gray made us do it. Some Fridays he had a topic and some Fridays he said the sky was the limit; the only rules were that you had to finish in a set period of time and then you had to read what you’d written in front of the class. That last part might’ve been voluntary.

Most of what I wrote was about my family. My sister, who was 4, was the frequent star, but my brother, parents, and grandparents all made an appearance. The stories often had a science-fictional bent, but I didn’t realize they were funny until the first time I read my work out loud. Turns out, my family is hilarious, and without being taught I somehow knew just which details to use and how to use them to get those laughs.

Of course, if my family was truly dysfunctional, I would’ve written Angela’s Ashes by now. Instead they’re merely aggravating.* This places me closer to Erma Bombeck and Phyllis Diller than to Chelsea Handler or David Sedaris. Or the guy I just read about who’s a recovering meth addict who’s written a novel about meth addicts and zombies fighting for world domination. But my family gave me my start, and though it’s taken me years to figure out what this start has meant, it’s the only one I’ve got.

“It took me my whole life to learn what not to play.” (Dizzy Gillespie)

* Certain parties who are married to me might offer a different perspective.

Random Pick of the Day
Deodato, Prelude (1972)
Brazillian child-prodigy keyboardist Eumir Deodato (why wasn’t I born with an awesome name like that?) can play just about anything he feels like playing. His jazz-fusion records are a mixed lot, though I’ll take his Top 40 hit “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” over anything by Weather Report or Chick Corea.

Prelude shines when Deodato brings on his guitarist, John Tropea, a man who can play jazz and imitate Santana, Jimmy Page, and some funky Motown. They shortened “2001” sufficiently to fit on a 45 by removing Tropea’s 4-minute solo. “2001” will live forever; “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” and “September 13” are pretty good. The band’s cover of Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” is inferior to Frank Zappa’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask.”

Random Pan of the Day
2 Live Crew, As Nasty As They Wanna Be (1989)
They want to have sex. Big deal. I want to have sex. I don’t think this is scary at all. (Shut up!) If this music was a latex toy, it’d be the one at the bottom of the bargain bin the day after Christmas.


  1. “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” over anything by Weather Report?


  2. Laurel says:

    I enjoyed the Gerald Durrell reference (always loved that title) and the great quotation from D. Gillespie as well as the revelations regarding your personal history. All of this is helping me recover from the greatest regret of my life, not attending the Paul McCartney concert last Friday, apparently the show of the century(ies) (last and current).

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