• This Just In…

    Before I begin, I want to warn readers that this column will not have a dour end. It’s uncharacteristically hopeful. If you were counting on my usual close, I apologize in advance. On the upside, if I never return to my gloomy ways, you’ll know why.

    In science news: A few weeks ago, scientists in Europe grew fake beef in a test tube, formed it into a patty, stuck in a bun and got one of their own to eat the thing. Really. I can’t make that up. It really happened. No word on whether there was a line of scientists lined up to be the first person to eat man-made meat grown from stem cells. The cost of manufacturing this single burger was reportedly more than $300,000.

    So I guess that means the price of a Happy Meal is going up slightly.

    In entertainment news: Lindsay Lohan is making her semi-annual drive to improve her public image. This time, she sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a chat about her career, her issues and her habit of running over paparazzi. Lohan once again used her moment in the spotlight to let the world know she had only taken cocaine 10 to 15 times. Considering her penchant for shoplifting, I suppose the operative word is “taken”. She didn’t say how many times cocaine had been purchased or given to her.

    In her defense, Lohan has every right to invent any statistic she wants about her drug use. Conservatives are still trying to convince people that global warming is a hoax. The Vatican is spinning its own yarns regarding sexual abuse. And I am still telling myself that those 10 year-old jeans buried in the closet are going to fit some day. We all lie.

    Also in entertainment news: I’ve just found out that Syfy, the masterminds behind “Sharknado,” is preparing to unclench its creative sphincter and air another fishy disaster movie called “Ghost Shark.” I think the title says about all you need to know about the writing, acting and character development – the real victims of this project. They are all swallowed whole by tasteless TV executives who have cleverly disguised themselves as a dead fish. In fact, maybe it’s best to not call these disaster movies but rather movie disasters.

    I know there are talks of a second “Sharknado,” and God only knows how many of these derivative shark movies are now in the hopper courtesy of social media followers who found it amusing to promote the hell out of the original for a couple of weeks. And yes. I’m guilty of being one of the millions who cracked jokes and ultimately created a viral buzz worth millions of dollars in PR.

    So who’s ultimately to blame for the pipeline filled with meaningless dreck, void of substance? Is it the TV executives who are charged with creating content that generates revenue? Or the public that watches and talks about it? Both if you ask me. It’s a vicious cycle. We get more of what we consume. And since we as a society are getting dimmer by the day, I’d say we are headed towards a series of lowbrow movies starring Cookie Monster as the anti-hero who devours small towns across the Midwest. On the upside, he might rid the world of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    In travel news: I am taking a few days off next week and going on an adventure I have been talking about since 1997. For six days, I’m going to see what it’s like to live the life I’ve been dreaming of for the last 16 years.

    When I originally asked for the time off from work, I had intended to make my semi-annual motorcycle trek up the coast. But as luck would have it, my lower back has been hurting, which meant that before I could sit on a motorcycle for six hours a day I’d need the help of a healer to work on the problem that has recurred on and off for about 30 years.

    This time, instead of just ridding myself of the pain, I sought a healer who specializes in Quantum Energetics to work on the programming within my life that has been the source of my physical pain. In doing so, I faced some realities about my life and why the central base of support for my body was stressed.

    A long discovery session about the personal lies I perpetuate within my own life ultimately led to a basic idea of what my life should look like. Simple. Creative. Collaborative. Prosperous. And filled with freedom. Who doesn’t, right?

    Unfortunately, like many people, I’ve treated that ideal like some far-fetched notion I’ve had to work for and earn instead of something I could actually create. As a result, I’ve languished in careers that peripherally incorporate writing and keep me safe and snug in a pair of golden handcuffs. In these times where people struggle to make ends meet, I know I have been extremely fortunate to pay my bills, stay out of debt and afford some great motorcycles to ride around on Highway 1.

    But those things are distractions, keeping me from the real deal. So it occurred to me, I could use my vacation time the way I always do, or test drive the existence I have been pining for all these years.

    So next week, I’ll do what I once thought was just a pipe dream. I’ll wake up. Spend an hour exercising. Dedicate three to five hours to continue writing the book I’ve got under construction. Spend some time focusing on other endeavors that I never seem to have time to do. Enjoy dinner. And do it again.

    Simplicity. Creativity. Prosperity. Freedom.

    This is my chance to let the universe see, in concrete terms, how I would like to live. This is me, manifesting my destiny.

    I wonder what the world would be like if everyone got the chance to do that for six days? Perhaps we wouldn’t use nerve gas on our brothers. We wouldn’t scream at each other on the road. We might care more about our planet. We might take that next evolutionary step.

    I will probably have some free time to ponder those things.

    Oh. And it goes without saying… if anyone in Hollywood needs someone to write the Cookie Monster TV movie, I’m available.

    For this week, I’m over and out.

      • Terri Connett

      • August 23, 2013 at 8:35 am
      • Reply

      Fabulous column, as always! Have a great writing vacation!

    • Have a joyous time on your home adventure.I am sure you will be able to write about it when you return. I await your insight.

      • Carolyn Wyler

      • August 24, 2013 at 4:11 am
      • Reply

      I agree with Terri, Fabulous as always. Write on!

    • “Truthfully, I’m still stunned…It’s almost beyond belief…it does seem to have had a strange impact upon the average moviegoer. And it’s still going on…The Post [who else?] emailed me a shot of a dead shark that someone stashed aboard a New York City subway train. They wanted a comment. I guess I’m the go-to shark-guy now. I don’t know what to say about it – except that it’s great the way it’s caught on. Nobody could have ever guessed what the response would be…I mean, we were just having a lot of fun with the concept. That fact that this insanity is worldwide is so outrageous. One of the very first interviews I did was with The Today Show in Australia…They hadn’t even seen it yet – but they had picked up on the whole Twitter frenzy that had started here [it has since aired; my friends from Telegraph Point, NSW, are so happy]. It’s funny, but I thought when it exploded like that, ‘Oh, well this is cool’ figuring that our fifteen minutes would be up by the next day…especially when the Zimmerman verdict – you know, REAL news – came out. But – no – it just kept on going. I’ve given up trying to particularly explain it or frankly, even understand it.

    • “I thought life could not get any more complete and then I saw it,” said a tweet from Lee J.

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