Friday, July 17, 2009

Just who is Sam Riddle anyway?

I have Sam Riddle’s phone number stored in my cell phone. I just double-checked after reading the Free Press story about him being arraigned on multiple felony charges in connection with a corruption probe in Detroit.

I have never met anyone like Sam Riddle. But I did meet him.

In fact, I talked to him at least once on his cell phone.

There is no doubt that Flint has a cast of characters, especially in political circles. It isn’t long before even a novice can name the players and the wanna-be players. Don’t ever forget, Flint’s a small town. Anyone who is someone knows everyone. Kevin Bacon’s six degrees is too many in this made-for-tv reality.

And Sam Riddle is in the cast, frequently sauntering in as if he was the lead actor.

Apparently, Sam grew up in Flint, though no one could ever tell me where he lived or what school Sam attended. When I asked why he left Flint, no one knew. No one knew where he moved, where he worked, if he worked, if he was married, if he had any kids. They didn’t know how he made enough money to make regular returns to his alleged hometown, though someone did tell me once they thought he lived in Vegas. I then wondered if he was a professional gambler!

After every single conversation I would have about Sam Riddle, I always had more questions than answers – and I always seemed to be the only one who was interested, or curious, or perhaps stupid enough to care. Everyone else just seemed to accept his presence as an actor in our reality show.

I have to tell you, there is something unmistakably alluring about Sam Riddle, and maybe the interest was fed because of the air of mystery that seemed to surround him. He is tall, good looking, certain to draw attention whenever he entered a room. People always listened to him as he spoke, not because he is necessarily charismatic, but he exuded a confidence, a relaxed style that seemed to put people at ease.

One day, I just stopped asking questions about Sam Riddle.

I was surprised when the always-logical Sam joined the always illogical Williamson camp; horribly disappointed as well. It was then that I considered that Sam’s Flint appearances may have more to do with the color green than warm feelings for his hometown. Regardless, knowing Sam, his political acumen undoubtedly led Williamson to victory.

Sam Riddle apparently is the leading character of many different reality shows, a fete unto itself. The man obviously gets around – and not in an old beat up Buick either. His associations and influence goes well beyond the now cancelled Flint series. Yes, he has close ties with state reps and the Detroit City Council, if not a direct link to Kwame.

There is no doubt that Sam Riddle knows a lot about a lot of people. He won’t go down without a fight, without dragging others down with him.

I’m starting to think the Detroit show may soon turn into a blockbuster movie with none other than Sam Riddle starring in the leading role.

I still don’t know who Sam Riddle is!

But I have his cell number … maybe I should call him and ask…

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Julia Cameron; first entry

I read a book – The Artist’s Way, The Writer’s Way (or was it the Way Artist Write?). I didn’t get very far frankly. Yes, well, I read past the first chapter anyway … Julia Cameron wrote about the importance of journaling … Every morning, before I get out of bed, I should write at least a page of free association – whatever is on my mind. I remember committing myself to the exercise but coming up short since I had picked a not-so-great-time to begin. Try as I might, waking up before the cries of the cribbed beings in the next room thwarted

Today, no cribbed beings and I have some time. The Mother’s Way is giving way to at least that first chapter of Cameron’s admonishments … Well, sorta… I’ve been up for hours. And I am not hand writing in a journal as she suggests. I have to tell you, I can no longer hand-write anything of meaning. Sit me down with a pencil and a clean paper and I … go blank. Even when I push through, I get distracted by the way the pen loops my l’s or end up disliking where I dotted my i. I cannot get past the way the individual letters or words or paragraphs actually look on paper. So forget about what I might have wanted to write (Please note: you should read that last sentence with that Godfatherish accent “Forget about it…) It is ONLY when I sit down with a computer that I can honestly put any thought in sentence form. (No distractions with the letters since they all look exactly the same!) My J-school profs would be proud … as would all my editors from every writing job I have ever had (Though they wouldn’t like me ending that sentence that way!) For years I have merely pounded it out on the computer screen … me, the keys, the thoughts – well, you get the picture.

So Julia, I apologize. I am not the best student, but at least I am trying…

I feel funny doing this ... I just write anything?? ... Hollister is crying. I should let him in. (Lame-O!) Hollister is my dog. His actual name is Samwise Hollister aka Snoop Dog. No, I am not joking. While I am a little embarrassed about the long disjointed name, my embarrassment is quickly replaced with good feelings that everyone in the family got to name him something. David wanted Samwise from the movie Ring Lords (that’s funny!). Isi wanted Hollister, for obvious reasons. Wait, Colt didn’t get a say?? I think DAVID picked the last name also - Snoop Dog though the dog’s rap sounds more like a whine (haha, another funny!!) And, I’m just now realizing, I had no say either. I just wanted everyone to be happy…

Happy … *pauses to feel the breeze, look at the lake*

Happy… Why is that italics coming on??? See, I get distracted by the letters!!! DANG!

Happy … Nothing… I got nothing…

Why is the floorlamp on the table? Oh yes, unfinished puzzle. Wonder if Colt has hurt himself yet at camp? He will … or at least he likely will… He may be a bit more careful or aware now that he was in that ATV accident in Pennsylvania. I knew that ATV accident was going to happen. I hated letting him ride that thing alone. Of course, the last day, I begin to let my guard down, every so slightly, and the kid barrel rolls it! I heard the crash, the screaming, saw him rolling on the ground, ran down to find him completely FREAKED OUT. He was stammering that the wheel rolled over his head. I wasn’t sure I could believe him SINCE HE WASN'T DEAD! Looking closely, the red marks across his face did look a bit like those knobby tires. It was the worst moment of my life … it still scares the be-Jesus out of me to think about it… (What is be-Jesus??) I remember looking in his eyes wondering, honestly wondering, if he would soon be dying of internal injuries or that if he slept, he would never wake up … like that actress who died after falling while skiing on the bunny hill or Billie Mays who hit his head during a rough landing! Neither of those two had an ATV roll over their head!!! (I guess since then they discovered that Billie had a heart attack?) I told Colt to get up – I needed to see if he could, desperately needed to see if he could. He did. And he walked with a limp – no dizziness – to the cabin. David’s brother John is a doctor. He checked him over – and rechecked him over – and said he would be fine. I sat on the couch all night with Colton. I got up in the middle of the night to make sure he was breathing. I would never want to live without him… I hope he is ok now… Should I go look??

No, he’s ok. I bet he is fine…

I’m hungry … what time is it? Do I trust the kitchen clock? It has said 11:20 all day… No, of course not, I trust the computer clock. I love computers. I am so glad I live in this century.

I hate ATVs though.

* Ah, what a beautiful breeze *

Amish people aren’t suppose to have computers, at least I don’t think so. I saw a lot of Amish in Lancaster last week. Fascinating in many ways: they must be continually hot in the summer with their long clothes. Everything is covered. I was thinking that the young girls had it especially bad since they were always in dresses. But then I thought of the boys in the dark pants and long sleeved shirts and black hats...

I don’t think I would make a good Amish ...

We went to an Amish bookstore. The lamps were gas-powered. We stopped at a bake sale. The little girls wouldn’t speak to me – very shy. Food was good. Simple. Maybe the best simple Suzy-Q dessert I've ever had.

David was thinking we should take an Amish buggy ride. After looking around a bit, I decided I would rather stay with our mode of transportation. I couldn't get past the idea that if we crawled up in that box, without windows, and was trotted around Amishville, the Amishers would stand around gawking at the good fortune of the family who caught the not-so-bright "progressives" who paid a handsome fee to be driven around in their buggy. I couldn't shake the image of us being paraded around like circus animals - caged monkeys or the world's tallest white dude, or the fat lady who looks like she has been stuck in the car all day.

I said I think the Amish aren’t suppose to have computers because I saw many interesting things I think they weren't suppose to have. I don't want to be a narc, but one Amish dude was using a cell phone, and it looked like a nice one. As a buggy turned the corner next to us, rather fast I might add, the Amish boy driver was swatting a Monster drink.

I'm just saying!

I’m thinking they have computers stashed. Nice, bright shiny 17-inch MacBook Pros. And that they download songs from iTunes. Better yet, they hit Limewire! (What would an Amish listen to?? Gangster’s Paradise??? Fergie's Glamorous?

(... Ok, not so funny.)

What is funny … funny…?

Camp kids are jumping on the blob, this big air-filled mattress on the lake. I saw Isi out there earlier. Wonder if this is Colton’s group … I hope he doesn’t do it. I don't think he will ... He might ...

Good Lord, I have to go check and see…

I don't think I like journaling...