Where I Want to Be

It’s been a long road.
So many days have gone by.
There are times I will always remember,
And I still have the old pictures.
I’m sitting here thinking
How I’d like to be there again.

When I was a kid we had a house
At the end of Big Buck Lane.
The world wasn’t much more
Than our neighborhood,
But that was all we needed.
In the spring and summertime
We’d ride our bikes where we wanted,
As long as we stayed within our limits.
It was just three short streets,
But I had felt free.

I want to be there again.

Sometimes we’d sit on the grass
By the basement window
And listen to mom and dad’s
Band practice after sunset.
And I remember playing basketball
On the patio beside the deck.
We had no hoop to shoot for,
But still we managed to score.
Life wasn’t always easy,
But I had felt at peace.

I want to be there again.

It was a time when I was pure at heart
And life was new and full of adventure.
The trails in the woods were haunted war paths
And the sandpit had buried treasure.

Our weapons were cap guns
And plastic bows and arrows.
Sometimes swords and knives
Were the juicer choice.
Before Nintendo came into our home
And motorcycles were what we rode,
Before we got into bigger things,
That’s where I want to be.

I want to be there again.

Kiss, Live, At My House

Dreamt that the band Kiss was preforming a concert inside my house. They set up stage in the office, there were the lights, the huge speakers and everything. The living room was set up with rows of seats facing the office. There were a lot of people here. I didn’t make much of an observation of the audience, but I think it was at least a thousand people. How all this fit in my house, I have no clue. Somehow the house was just roomier, though the rooms didn’t look like they expanded much.

It being my house, I was free to go anywhere I wanted, including the stage. Why was Kiss playing a concert in my house? The dream pixies allowed me to understand that Kiss was playing here because someone I know knows the band, though it was never made clear who that someone was, nor was it made clear the details of the agreement between me and the band. It was clear that I had some say about things, but I pretty much just stayed out of everyone’s way and let them do their thing.

After the concert, the band went up to the attic, which had been transformed into a dressing room. After a while I went up there. There were some people standing around, a table with food on it and a bunch of stuff lying around, like guitars and other things you’d expect to see in a rock star’s backstage room. I walked up to one of the band members and asked if he’d be interested in autographing an old Kiss album that I had somewhere. He gestured over his shoulder at some things leaning against the wall and said he already autographed a bunch of stuff for me. And then he said something else that I couldn’t make out. So, I did that thing I always do when someone says something I didn’t hear. I pointed at my ear and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t hear very well.” He rolled his eyes and walked away. I got embarrassed and began beating myself up.

Weird dream. I’m not even a Kiss fan. I like their music, but that’s as far as it goes.

The Pound

Last night I dreamt that I was about to get rid of Buddy, my cat. I don’t know why I had to get rid of him; the fuzzy little dream pixies hadn’t casted enough magic dust to make that part clear. I carried him out of the house to a waiting car. But, as I was putting him in the car, I asked the driver where we were taking him. The driver replied, “The pound.” To that I said, “No, I’ll keep him until I find someone who wants him.” And carrying Buddy, I turned away from the car and went back in the house.

When I woke up, a spark went off in my head and I had the inspiration for a new blog entry.

~The Pound~

(Intro-out, fade-in with an old Snoop Dogg tune where he’s rapping about smoking a joint and how his mind is on his money while his money is on his mind, and bow wow wow, yippy yo, yippy yay.)

When discussing the pound around our pets, instead of saying the actual word “pound”, it’s probably better to spell it out every time you need to use the word. Just say P-O-U-N-D instead of “pound”. This is important because if our pets know what  we’re talking about, they might get the shivers, or at the very least, they might give us their big ole sad eye looks that say “Don’tchu wuv me anymore?”

I know of more than a few people who have taken pets to the pound over the last several years. There are various reasons why they might choose to do this. They might not be able to afford the pet, they might not have time to take care of the pet, they might feel the pet is too much trouble or they might just decide they don’t want the pet anymore. There’s probably a hundred different reasons why someone might decide to take their pet to the pound, or the animal shelter, as the pound is more commonly called these days.

I’ve given up on telling people why it’s probably not the best idea to take their pets to the pound. I gave up, because first, no one listens to me, and second, because I found that giving such advice makes people mad. So, I’ve started keeping my mouth shut and I try not to think too much about the situation.

Every time I hear that someone took their pet to the pound, I feel a pang in my heart. The thing that really gets to me is the pet had a home, a family. The pet was comfortable, and then one day the pet finds himself in a not very comfortable setting, with lots of other animals, some that are probably not friendly. On top of that, the pet is probably scared as well as heartbroken because his owners took him to the pound and left him there.

Yeah, I know some of you are sneering and rolling your eyes. Because you know the shelter will find a good home for the dog or cat you left in their care. In many cases, I’m sure the shelters do what they can, but the pound is not a paradise full of happy dogs and cats and people waltzing by the pens adopting pets by the minute. Shelters often have too many animals in their care, too few workers to take care of the animals, and too few people coming in looking to adopt a new pet.

If you have a pet that you want to get rid of, try to find a new home for him. I know this can be hard, but I’m sure you’ll eventually find someone to take the pet.

(Fade-out, Snoop Dogg: “Bow wow wow, yippy yo, yippy yay. The sounds of a dog brings me to another day….”)

Orchid Carousals, by Lucy A. Snyder – with Kaysee Renee Robichaud

2Lucy A. Snyder, along with Kaysee Renee Robichaud, mixes science fiction, fantasy and erotica in the recently released  collection Orchid Carousals.

These are erotica stories, but don’t confuse them with outright porn. Most of them have something built around the scenes where sex happens. To me, they are more like romantic stories with sexual scenes that are stronger than what is in most romantic stories. I have no complaints.

The Image of Christ

972170_10151843606207288_1763934232_nFirst off, I’m not writing this with the intention of offending anyone, though I imagine some people will be offended. My main goal here is to provoke thoughts and discussion, though my blog entries never generate much discussion and I’m not really expecting any. Also, it’s just another thing that I’m inspired to write about. Writing is what I do. When I feel inspired to write about something, I usually write about it.

Okay, so, the picture in the upper left corner shows the Lord Savior Jesus Christ flipping the bird. How nice. Now, mind you, this blog entry is not directed at Christians. I want anyone, Christian or not, to read this, think about it, discuss it, etc. But because this image, minus the middle finger, is a Christian icon, I think this entry will speak more to Christians than to non-Christians. And the question I’m asking here would probably be better answered by Christians, since it’s their icon.

My question is, why is this picture offensive to Christians? Whoa, hold on there. Yes, I know, some Christians are not offended by this picture, and I’m one of them. Some even find it pretty funny. But there are some who are bothered by it. Whether they’re bothered a lot or a little, it doesn’t matter. That it bothers them at all is what I’m wondering about.

Sure, the gesture can be offensive to some. But, I think the thing that really gets to Christians is that it’s Jesus making this offensive gesture. It’s like this picture is a violation of something sacred. Kind of like disturbing an Indian burial ground. It makes people mad.

But why feel that this picture is a mockery of your savior? That’s not even Jesus. Come on, you know that’s not Jesus. You do. All those paintings that are in homes or in churches, they’re not of Jesus and you know it. The paintings of the long haired, bearded guy with the exceptionally handsome face and kind eyes were first created hundreds of years after Jesus supposedly lived. No one knows what he looked like. The bible doesn’t give a clear description of him. So, what we have is an image that someone created to give us a visual of what they decided Jesus should look like. We make this image a holy icon, some people even pray to it.

I’m a Christian. I believe Jesus really did exist. Whether he was really the son of God, I don’t know. But I like to think he was connected to God in a way that the rest of us could never be. He inspired people to live better and to care for each other. I think Jesus is worthy of all the worship he gets whether he was really a son of God or not, because he is an excellent example to live by. Some other time, in another blog entry, I’ll explain what I feel God is, and maybe go on a bit more about my thoughts on Jesus and all that. But not here, that’ll derail the topic too much.

So, I’m a Christian, but I don’t understand a lot of other Christians. A lot of Christians just don’t make sense.

Why is this picture offensive to Christians?

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

untitledjjhI have seen The Lord of the Rings movies, but I haven’t read the books yet. Because I know The Lord of the Rings story began with The Hobbit, I decided to read that first. The Hobbit is a children’s book, but it’s quite fine for adults. Adventurous and entertaining. Bilbo Baggins is the star character. In The Hobbit he is much younger than he was in The Lord of the Rings. Gandalf is there too.

In The Hobbit, Bilbo meets Gandalf for the first time, along with a group of dwarves. Gandalf and the dwarves talk Bilbo into leaving his quiet, peaceful home and coming with them on an adventure through the wild lands to the mountain where the dwarves’ ancestors once lived. There is a dragon guarding a heap of gold that the dwarves want to reclaim and they promise to give Bilbo a share. The journey is long and dangerous. Along the way they encounter trolls, goblins, giant spiders, things like that.

It’s a strange world and there’s lots of singing. Most important, we find out how Bilbo came by the magic ring that is the cause of so much trouble in The Lord of the Rings. So, if you ever wondered about that, The Hobbit is the book to read.

Goodbye, José Valverde

Well, ouch. I was really hoping to see José Valverde back with Detroit, at least for one more season or what’s left of this season. But the word came in today. Yesterday Valverde met with the team officials and it was decided that he would be released from his contract. All on good terms, no hard feelings, it sounds like. So, this means Valverde is no longer with the Tigers or their Triple-A league, where he had been the last couple months.

No one knows what he plans to do now, but he is at that age where he could be retiring from baseball and I imagine that’s what he will do. Though he might be able to sign with another team. We’ll just have to see what he does.

He’ll be missed. He was a great closer.

Tigers in Cleveland

Man, I love baseball. During baseball season, there’s a game on almost every day and it can get boring after so many games. But I continue to have the TV on the Tigers when they’re playing. Tonight’s game was another game that reminded me why I love baseball so much.

I imagine the team had some unpleasant thoughts going through their heads today. Jhonny Peralta is off the roster for the next fifty games due to drug usage and I’m sure his teammates are not happy with him. Today was the first day of his suspension. Peralta is a valuable player. I hope he’s allowed to resume his career with the Tigers when his suspension ends. I feel a degree of disappointment, even a little betrayed. I hope he learned a lesson and that he never uses drugs again. I’m not going to call for his head or banishment, or whatever, because although I’m disappointed, I recognize that he is human and humans are flawed creatures who make mistakes. You who would throw stones at him ought to look at yourself. You’re probably not squeaky clean either.

Whether it had anything to do with Peralta’s suspension or not, the Tigers were having a tough game. Zeros for every inning while the Indians had a run in the second inning and another in the forth. I was worried that they would finish the game with nine zeros, and then Prince Fielder made it home in the ninth inning. But the score was still 1-2. The Tigers were not out of the woods until Alex Avila hit the home run, bringing the score to 4-2. Everything changed. The team was happily celebrating. If Peralta’s suspension wounded their spirits, it seemed they overcame their wounds in the ninth inning.

When the Tigers took the field in the bottom of the ninth, Joaquin Benoit kept the bases clean and my faith in him is restored.

It was a beautiful game.

That’s why I love baseball.

Papa Grande

I know, José Valverde is 35 years old, right about the age when professional athletics could be making plans for retirement. I know he had not done so well the last couple seasons and that he had spent most of this season in the Triple A League. He was called up for a stint with the Tigers when the closer they assigned to replace him couldn’t get the job done, but then they sent him back down when it later turned out that he didn’t have what they wanted.

But here’s the thing, I think they need him. I think they’ve needed him ever since they sent him down to work on his pitching. This is just my opinion and I’m far from being an expert, but it seems to me that every other closer Jim Leyland put on the mound had not done as well as Valverde had. Today Leyland went through three different pitchers in the ninth inning and all of them damn near blew the game. They’re lucky those fly balls didn’t leave the field. The White Sox might have caught up otherwise.

Valverde might never get his top game back, but I think he’s the best man for the job. I think they need to call him back up and keep him on until he either retires or they find a worthy replacement.

Matt Tuiasosopo

Who is that guy? I was asking myself this question when I saw the home run that put the Tigers ahead of the White Sox in the second inning of today’s game. It wasn’t Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Andy Dirks or Jhonny Peralta. In fact, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen this guy before. I don’t miss many games, but there are some players who I’m not familiar with. I spent a few minutes staring at the TV, trying to get a glimpse of the back of his jersey. The best I could get was a side angle that revealed the first three letters of his last name, Tui.

I got on the computer and went to Tigers.com to have a look at the team’s roster. There he was under the list of outfielders. Matt Tuiasosopo. But who is Matt Tuiasosopo? I googled his name to see what else I could find out about him.

Turns out he’d been playing in the minors for a while and was called up after an impressive Spring Training season this year, and I see he just came off of a fifteen day disability. That was a nice home run he hit today and I expect to see more of them. It’s too bad the Tigers didn’t win, but there’s plenty of more games to play before the season ends.