Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful For


A Thanksgiving Poem

There are so many things I’m thankful for.

Happy, bright-colored memories
Raucous laughter with friends
Peaceful moments on my porch

Lingering walks on sunny days
Blue skies and clouds at sunset
Calm ocean waves easing onto sandy shores

The unexpected birth of clever ideas
Wisdom-laden insights
The play of words upon the page

So much more than I can give account for

So many wonderful things I am

Happy Thanksgiving from The Chipper Muse!

Copyright © 2010 by Michele Chiappetta.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lit Twit (Literary Twitter)

Welcome to the mind of The Chipper Muse. I was on Twitter last night, and for some reason, I wondered this: If famous literary characters were alive today and on Twitter, what would they be tweeting about?

Naturally, I immediately thought the idea was hilarious. Possibilities are endless. Here are just a few ideas, in 140 characters or less (as Twitter rules demand). See if you can name them all. If not, there’s an answer key below.

Finally sighted whale. It’s white. Maybe can finally kill it and get back to Beantown for some chowder, beer, and women!

Whew! Wild party last night. Tons of crashers, but D- never showed. Got to chat with neighbor from Midwest. Nice guy, but kind of naïve.

I hate my uncle! I hate my mother! I hate everyone in this stupid castle! Oh, and my Dad’s ghost is haunting me. Sigh.

If I drink the drugged water, I’m going to be a freak. But I’ll also rule the universe. Hmm…

Everyone else wondering about hounds, as though it’s some big mystery. Not! It’s a cinch. Like being in elementary school.

I don’t care how old I am. I still look d—n good in this wedding dress!

Is it just me, or do I look like a bug today?

Where did I put that honey?

I can’t believe all these egg recalls. How am I supposed to make my favorite breakfast?

Jane! Jaaane!

What is up with my aunt? She keeps trying to change my clothes and cut my hair. She calls it civilized. I call it prison!

Man, my foot is killing me today! What’s up with that?

Answer key:

1. Ishmael, Moby Dick 2. Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby 3. Hamlet 4. Paul Atreides, Dune 5. Sherlock Holmes, Hound of the Baskervilles 6. Miss Havisham, Great Expectations 7. Gregor Samsa, The Metamorphosis 8. Winnie the Pooh 9. Sam I Am, Green Eggs and Ham 10. Tarzan 11. Huck Finn 12. Achilles, The Iliad

Thanks for playing! Feel free to add your lit twits in the comments section. I'd love to read them.

Copyright © 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Robots Will Never Rule the World

If you’re the average person, you never worry about robots taking over the world. Because you’re normal.

But if you’re a science fiction/fantasy/horror fan, particularly the obsessed kind, you worry about questions like this all the time. When will robots take over the world? When will aliens like the Borg or the Bugs show up in our air space to destroy humanity for no apparent reason? When will everyone realize that vampires/werewolves/ghosts/clones of William Shatner are real and living among us? It’s never an issue of “if,” only of “when.”

So when Hollywood recently announced that Steven Spielberg was making a movie called Robopocalypse, sci-fi fans everywhere squealed in delight. Not only do we finally get to see Spielberg meld his love for sci-fi and war movies (after which I assume he will finally be able to die happy, having achieved his greatest goal in filmmaking: Saving Private E.T.). But we also get to have paranoid discussions of how computers are taking over our lives, when they will become self-aware, and what they will do to us when they realize we’ve been using them to surf naughty sites and do simple math because we’re too lazy to do it ourselves.

But I want to reassure you. No matter how many times you’ve seen Terminator, no matter how much you fear your car will become possessed like Christine… Technology will never take over the world and destroy humans.

How do I know this?

Simple. Robots are essentially walking, talking computers. And computers are stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Case in point: I went to the store the other day. When the clerk rang up the M&Ms I bought, the computer spit out a coupon for me. Was the coupon for M&Ms? Of course not. The coupons that the cash register spits out are never related to products I actually buy, or brands I use often. They are always a suggestion for something else. Something I never use. Something I don’t want.

The other day, the store computer recommended I buy Raisinets next time. Because they’re healthier. (Thanks, computer health Nazis.) I know this computer isn’t smart, because I didn’t just buy chocolate. I also bought maxi pads. Because (sorry, guys) it was that time of the month for me. And as any human with a brain knows, you never, never, never mess with a woman during her time of the month when she wants chocolate. You just leave her alone.

Trust me. If that dumb cash register computer isn’t smart enough to know this about half the human population, then it isn’t smart over to take over the world in my lifetime.

So, we can all relax and face our future with confidence. And enjoy Robopocalypse without fear… unless Spielberg drops out and James Cameron or M. Night Shaymalan takes over the director’s seat. Then it’s time to run for the hills.


Extra Bonus: In case you want to survive a robot apocalypse, there's a website for that:

Copyright (c) 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The World Series It's Not

Highly charged moments. Dramatic back-and-forth struggles. Scores counted. Highs and lows. Bragging, showing off, and trash-talking. Proud winners. Sore and dejected losers. Vows that things are going to be different next time.

No, I’m not talking about the World Series. I’m talking about yesterday’s elections.

I care about our elections as much as the next person. In fact, there’s a 50-50 chance I care more than the next person, because the average turnout for elections in our country is typically 50% or less.

That’s not the only way I’m different, because I don’t just vote. I also try to base my vote on my best assessment of something that many voters never talk about.

Not issues. Not political affiliation. Not age, or gender, or color. Not popularity.
I’m talking about character.

Let’s be real. Politicians of any ilk have the potential to abuse their power, be irresponsible, fail to show up for votes, appease their party more than addressing the needs of their constituents, and otherwise do the things that make them…well, you know…politicians.

I don’t care whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. You can still lie. I don’t care if you’re for or against abortion or gun rights or fiscal responsibility if I can’t count on you to fulfill your office with wisdom, diligence, right motivation, and class.

A politician of character is like any other person of character. Such people respect others, do their best, act with humility, exercise passion with discipline and discernment…

Such people are hard to find. Yet they are exactly the ones I trust the most to represent me. Not Republicans. Not Democrats. Not Independents. Not Christians. Not non-Christians. Not career politicians. Not Tea Party-ers. People of character.

Many Americans will rejoice over the latest election results. As though it is the end of the World Series and they can go home celebrating. But government is not a game. And it’s not over. We don’t win until the people we’ve just elected actually prove themselves with wise actions.

I’m watching and waiting. We’ll see, won’t we?

Copyright (c) 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.