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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, September 22

A Stupid Day

Have you ever had one of those days when nearly everything that happens to you pisses you off? Well, my Tuesday was one of those days. I’m not really an irascible man, not an old grump as so many of my fellow Sun City Westers are. But from the moment I got up and went to work at Stardust to the moment when I could finally heave a sigh and get the hell out of there, everything irritated me. And early afternoon we decided to watch two shows I’d saved from Monday, the beginning of the new season.

The Event had gotten more hype than any other show of the upcoming pilots. It looked like something I’d really like. But then reality. Talk about writers trying to out-lose Lost. But at least Lost didn’t go to such lengths to confuse its audience, at least not right away. To illustrate, the opening of The Event begins in the present, with a young man (Jason Ritter) boarding a commercial airplane, but he is obviously nervous about something. And we see a black SUV racing to the airport, then somehow getting onto the runway to try to stop the plane from taking off. Flash back to eight days earlier, when the young man and his girlfriend are about to go on a cruise with her parents wishing them bon voyage. They cruise. Young man goes scuba diving without girlfriend, and when he returns to the ship he can’t find her. They have no listing for either of them on this cruise. Flash back to seven days earlier, when some unnamed killers shoot and apparently kill the girl’s parents and little sister. Flash thirteen months earlier to the president of the U.S. (Blair Underwood) speaking with his advisors, saying he must meet the 97 someones his advisors keep advising him not to see, the someones supposedly kept hidden away and incarcerated (aliens, political prisoners?). Flash forward to the plane where the young man has somehow gotten a gun aboard and is trying to get into the pilot’s cabin. Flash back thirteen months when the president is taken to a snowy Alaska where the strange 97 are being held. Flash forward to a setting on a tropical beach where the president is going to introduce the public to Sophia, the woman acting as leader of the strange 97. Suddenly the security guards get a call about an approaching airliner. They hurry the president and his guest away but stop to watch the plane from about four miles away as it seems to be heading directly at them. The wind mysteriously comes up and is rocking the trees and blowing everything around. The plane then turns into a bluish blob just before it was to crash into the beach scene. Sophia breathes to the president, “They saved us.” End of pilot. Stupid. Mondays from now on will remain uneventful for us.

Maybe the second show I’d saved would save the day. Wrong. Chase was another heavily hyped action hour starring Kelli Giddish as U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, or “Boots” to her fellow marshals. The opening scene has her giving chase to an obvious bad guy. They race through Houston, up town, down town, through a herd of bulls being driven down one of the streets (why?), through a rodeo ring as cowboys are riding broncos. She catches up with him after what seemed like ten minutes and ten miles . . . not even breaking a sweat or breathing hard. Just another day in the life of Boots. Okay, we gave The Event the whole hour to lose us; we gave Chase the opening ten minutes. Stupid. We won’t be chasing after Chase on Mondays.

Thank God, I thought, at least we have the opening of Glee. Understand, this show is one of my all-time favorites, a bit wacky, especially with Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) doing her nastiness to the Glee Club, but the music was sensational. The writers for the second season must have felt they needed to out-wacky the first season. So they introduced a huge, masculine woman as football coach, one of the Cheerios girls with a boob job, a tiny new girl from the Philippines who can sing up a storm but who threatens Rachel’s position in the Glee Club, a new male student who auditions for glee club but in a close-up scene of him and the other male members they all seem to be wearing cupiedoll lipstick (why?). Stupid. But Rachel (Lea Michel) saves the show by concluding with “What I’d Do for Love.” Oh, please, writers, don’t screw up this show.

Even the opener for NCIS was confusingly stupid. Apparently all the writers of shows either opening a new season or premiering a new show felt compelled to make them as action-filled and confusing as they could make them.

We went to bed at 9:00. I felt like I was leaving the Twilight Zone and couldn’t wait to close my eyes, hoping to get to a better day the next morning.

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