My Wyoming Christmas

A Wyoming Christmas — and an opera? I wore my best insulated tinfoil Cowboy hat to see “Les Miserables” Christmas Day and maybe should have seen The Hobbit or Djangles Unchained, instead.

After a third (enough is enough!) family Christmas meal and a birthday party for the two year old — well attended by great grandmothers aged 88 and 90 and the grand nephews 2 and 4 (an interesting combination), I escaped to see one of the first two sold-out very cold Casper, Wyoming Christmas Day showings of the movie “Les Miserables” — and, sadly, dozed through some of it, eyes closed, listening more than watching, and nodding off. (It was the excellent prime rib.) My wise mother declined my invitation to the movie.

Every line in Les Miz was sung: So I guess that makes it an opera? The crowd and chorus scenes were the best, the children singing just terrific. Hugh Jackman was awfully good. A few of the best tunes opened my eyes.

Still, I slept for some of the three hours, arriving exhausted at the grand finale three hours later.

Maybe I will watch it again . . . better rested . . . but I doubt it.

My Philadelphia Muse/opera guru Harriet responded:

“I LOVED Les Miz on stage – couldn’t get enough of it. Of course, with a long show, you get breaks, intermissions. Did they give you an intermission at the movie?

Not quite an opera . . . but certainly a opera populi . . . an opera of the people. But so were many of the operas we know and love today. Whole families would come, bring their meal, and throw food if the performance didn’t live up to their expectations. I suspect some of our Broadway Shows will enter the opera circles in the future.”

And I replied:

“There may have been breaks during my naps.

I suspect the movie had more individual little songs and maybe fewer rousing crowd, chorus and march music, but the sound was really perfect. I understood every word . . . something not likely from the stage over an orchestra.

The previews, interestingly, showed the actors filmed singing “live” — listening to only one piano through ear pieces, so the song-talking followed a melody and was consistent, easy to understand. The orchestra music was added later, words were never drowned out. Some music added to the first part of the movie was a little distracting, at least to me — but it got better.

Look at me: I am an opera “pouli” critic! Of course: I have never heard what they put on stage for comparison.

I noticed the crowded movie theater was very attentive — for the Cowboy State. All seemed awake — bless the dedicated Casper musical/opera lovers. There were lots of school age children present seemingly enthralled, much to my amazement. Many of them, it turns out, had performed in a high school production of Les Miz last winter. I should have gone.

Please go see this version soon. I am interested in your opinion. I will look for bits of the stage version on YouTube.

Looking for airline ticket deals: when is the Philadelphia opera season? Oh, and will Gettysburg and the Barnes’s art museum be open? And the ? . . so much to see and do!

Some but not much snow in this part of Wyoming — yet — but it is getting cold tonight. Santa had a clear warm day to do his stuff. We also played with the horses and all had a good time.

Mom and I toured the decorated homes on icy roads. I continue to wait for the announcement of my sainthood nomination.”


High School Reunion

I want to put a tomb stone — so to speak (sorry about that) — on the nasty rumor that our high school’s ten-year “mega reunion” will cause a hotel room shortage. Plans are afoot to inflate a dome over abandoned Tonkin Football Stadium, with a truck load of Army surplus cots all should be just comfy, weather permitting. Of course, there will be a shuttle running to the prison farm outside of town for wishing to stay there. Prison officials have announced their own reunion event. Riverton will not have a Mega Reunion hotel – motel room gap,” Mega Reunion officials insist. “We got it under control.” Hoards of RHS alumni 1960 – 1970 (and uninvited VIP guests) 1942 – 1956 are expected to descend on our central Wyoming City for the Mega School Reunion according to suspicious news reports. Law enforcement officials issued warnings of a “Grey Dawn” invasion of maroon and white as thousands of former Wolverine senior citizens return to their roots. AARP announced that all reports of elder abuse during the week will be rigorously investigated. The use of loaded weapons will not be authorized police announced. Local authorities threatened to stop the expected large influx of RHS alumni mega reunion senior citizens by cutting off basic food supplies, A & W root beer and pin wheels. Traffic jams resulting from enthusiastic cruisers will be controlled with road blocks. Armed patrols may be needed to restore order. City officials also announced that the sound of sirens will not signal an actual 1960s Soviet attack, but rather a regularly scheduled genuine reenactment imitation 1960s civil defense warning, a cornerstone of the RHS Mega Reunion duck and cover theme. A do you remember when event. Citizens should be prepared. Retired civil defense officials, all wishing to remain anonymous, warn that the creaking and clanking sounds expected in the early grey dawn mega reunion hours will not be actual 1960s era Soviet tanks, but rather approaching swarms of wheelchairs and walkers, eager 1960 – 1970 alums. Temporary housing shortages are expected. Rent control will be in effect. Hotel and motel room price gouging will be prosecuted, tourist officials insisted. “In the event of a genuine housing shortage emergency, we have plans to truck in surplus “Man Camp” dormitories from North Dakota oil fields. Initial temporary supplemental tent housing will be erected on Tonkin field. Critical emergency supplies of A & W Root beer and pin wheels are stock piled in former bomb shelter locations. Hoarding of Betty’s pizza has been outlawed. Law and order will be strictly enforced by a supplemental call-up of former and retired City police officers and Highway Patrolmen. “Dragging main will be strictly controlled.” Wheel chair drag races on 8 mile road are rumored. “We will not allow our town to become another Sturgis warned local church officials. Wheel chair races will not be allowed on Main Street Hill. Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn denied rumors that a new casino hotel complex will be constructed on his 400 acre Wind River site just in time for the RHS Mega Reunion event. “It is to be our 150,000 sq. ft. family summer home,” Wynn insisted. Casino representatives also deny that a moth-balled Israeli aircraft carrier will be converted to a floating hotel casino on Boysen lake in time for mega reunion week. Runs on “Wally The Wolverine” and cheerleading costumes has been reported. Women and children will be ordered to stay off the streets. An ancient football controversy will be settled. Riverton and Lander agree to resume the 1964 football game football called on account of blizzard. Former gridiron heroes are training to replay the game that ended in a tie in 1964. (RHS was undefeated going into that game.) The kicker for Lander went on to become Sheriff was the first elected to First Team All State that year, along with RHS greats Everett Befus and Roger “Chip” Campbell. Chamber of Commerce announced dramatic reunion sales tax revenue increases. The City budget will be balanced. July snow storms are expected. An investigation is expected into the idiots who changed the school colors. Informed officials again stated that “this is not a drill, but an actual mega reunion duck and cover event.” There will be no hotel – motel room gap,” the officials insist. Yours truly runs for governor.



Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was snoring, not even a mouse…

My first try at posting a video to my blog. Unfortunately my iPad WP app does not make this easy, or I do not know what I am doing. I hoped for a picture, the first page of the video to be showing, but it may take the upgraded for fee version to do this. . . hmmm?

Blogging in a Blizzard.

I have been getting a lot of cheerful blog requests to write about “Why I am Grateful This Holiday Season” and “How I Spent The Day After Thanksgiving” (e.g. working on your blog, writing your novel.)” And email continues to pour in about the Kennedy and Lincoln assassination secretes — revealed by carefully folding a twenty dollar bill. The twenty dollar bill origami conspiracy revelations make perfect sense to me. Rose Kennedy was the one who shot Lincoln.

I did get mail from potential pen pals on Match dot com, “Dear Gizmosdad letters”– I just hate it when women break up with me before I have had a fair chance to humiliate myself! The gratuitous slurs cast at my pals Gizmo the Shih Tzu and Riley the doxie and wannabe Antelope hunter — went way too far!

As a matter of fact I did spend the day after writing on my young adult novel. I figure “they” will appreciate the finer points of adult-inspired violence and sex. Writing for the one is pretty much like writing for the other. The problem for me comes in trying to use the words “hook up”, “dude,” “rad” and “like” in every other sentence.

My YA novel is a time travel science fiction story. A young couple from Colorado cross the state line into Wyoming and are immediately transported back in time 100 years. (I know, I know . . . it’s real life.) If my YA novel doesn’t sell the plan is to delete all references to “science” and “fiction” and resubmit to all Democrat and CBS/CNBC associated publishers. My chapter about the Wyoming legislature-authorized aircraft carrier on Flaming Gorge Reservoir in South West Wyo., patrolling in the event of national insurrection, is a sure-fire hit. Of course, the New Republic of Wyoming twenty dollar bills — printing as I write — will become quite handy.

(Please do not respond my blogs unless you have had plenty of sleep, and are in a good mood and/or after taking a couple of large pain pills.)

War on potatoes

The War On Potatoes continues. This would quite illegal in Wyoming.


Seven people found my blog yesterday using those search terms: do not fear potatoes.

Do people really fear potatoes? According to some random seach engine question and answer thingy, there’s not even a word for potato phobia.

The second most asked question about potato fear was this:

I didn’t realize I wrote much about potatoes, and I have no idea how entering those terms would lead a person to my blog. But since you’re here, I want you to know this–

Potatoes make good detectives . . . because they always have their eyes peeled.


Oh–and you shouldn’t fear them. Feel better?

Well you may want to fear that one. That one is definitely not sweet.

I’m hoping now that I’ve mentioned “do not fear potatoes” a number of times, this blog will appear higher in the results for that extremely popular search.

This is why I’m now also…

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A new writers group?

Our Casper College OLI Writing For Pleasure class ends today. The loyal band of eight and instructor Joe have discussed forming a writers group to keep the fun going. The OLI folks say we can be a special interest group and use one of their very small conference rooms. OLI is not comfortable, apparently, with the concept of a “self taught” group, but they also have great difficulties finding writing instructors. So, my plan is to push ahead and hope that most of our classmates continue in the group and that OLI will list us in the course catalog. I am not sure how many writers we have in the Casper, Wyoming area. We shall see. Joe, our instructor, loves science fiction and is teaching an U of W literature class on the subject next semester. He doesn’t want to commit to teaching a writing class but may join us as a group member — and I hope he does. The group will discuss these things this afternoon.

New beginnings

“if you’re not trying new things to some degree all of your life, you will forget what “new” feels like, and “new” feels like failure and misunderstanding and frustration and success and flying and the best dessert you have ever eaten in your life.”

I would like figure out how to credit and maybe link to the blogger who wrote this. This

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