(c) Copyright, October, 2009. Barbara Roberts. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
(c) Copyright, October, 2009. Barbara Roberts. All rights reserved.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Aries (Fire sign) The first sign in the Zodiac, you are dynamic and fearless. Other than that you are aggressive with small animals and fussy about the knives in your kitchen. Your life goal is to be an arsonist.
Taurus You love food and are basically fat. Though you are always talking about art and music, your home is a pig pen of Chinese food cartons and old Beatles’ posters. An iron rod is more flexible than you. Most people think you are a stogy and old fashioned.
Gemini (The Twins). Flirty and light hearted, you will never be faithful longer than a month in marriage. Others see you as quick and witty with words, but you can’t remember your mother’s name and are obsessed with your eighth grade speller. You are so scattered, your doctor’s goal for you is to be schizophrenic.
Cancer (The Crab) water sign You cry at sad movies, and people see you as caring, but really you are manipulative and secretive. Though you are heart centered, you can lie easily at a drop of a hat. Your love of sea food causes you to overeat.
Virgo (the virgin) You are a perfectionist who loves rearranging your pots and pans in the kitchen. You remain a virgin because you are so critical of others, no one can stand to be around you. In grade school you could recite the Dewy Decimal system backwards.
Leo (leader) You are a natural leader and guide others so you can take their money. Showy and the ‘emperor with no clothes’ in front of any mirror, you are also an entrepreneur. You are at the same time arrogant and domineering. That’s why you must be self-employed. Otherwise you’d be on welfare.
Libra (the scales) You love balance and harmony, but spend 8 hours at Vons deciding what kind of green tea to buy. You work hard at intimate relationships more than any sign in the Zodiac, because you are basically afraid of the dark and the monster under your bed.
Sagittarius (the archer) You love being independent and alone in nature. Travel excites you because you are having love affairs on your wife. Athletic and sporty, you have a shoe fetish for Reboks.
Capricorn (earthy) You are good with money, and tax collecting becomes you. Though a gourmet cook, you tend to be an alcoholic. You have hidden wealth – others suspect because you never spend any money on their birthday gifts.
Pisces You can inspire deep feelings, emotions and usually guilt in those closest to you. A family person interested in the broader humanity, you gamble at the Indian reservations on a nightly basis to help the Native American “cultural revival.” Scorpio Known for your deep understanding of the Inner world, you know more about drugs than the vice squad. Sexual and commanding, you can either mesmerize the opposite sex or scare the hebegebies out of them. You have the ability to make love to anything that moves.
Aquaries You love the concepts and philosophy of the universal structure, but your friends think you are stupid. Libraries intoxicate you because you enjoy the smell of mold. A natural historian, you dress in Civil War period costumes for dinner. You put books in the freezer instead of vegetables, and your family is starving.
(c) Copyright, Barbara Roberts, Sept. 18, 2008. All rights reserved.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Although he had surrounded himself politically with those who had opposed him and wished for his nation to be open to all men and all views, the president was acutely aware that any political incompetence meant wounded soldiers and dead men. His heart was filled with quiet grieving, and the Great War never left his heart for a moment.
“To even have a healthy son reach adulthood was a miracle of God,” he reflected. “So many epidemics of flu or cases of consumption. Even a body soaked with rain on a wintry day might be lost by nightfall.”
So that some of the city’s young bucks dreamed of the ‘battle cry’ and fighting to prove their manhood angered him deep in his soul. That the young people romanticized war gave him lingering sadness. If only they saw what he had seen. Brothers in battle together – one kneeling over his dying loved one. And no grieving, they say, can compare to a parent who has lost a son. He had Todd, and he knew of the all encompassing love a father could have. Protective and tender at the same time.
And how cruel men and nature could be to the human flesh. Some was Fate. War was choice. He was determined to end the War as quickly as he could. Send just one son home to his Mama - one son who might never have had a chance on the battlefield. It would be worth one son - whole and well.
So much rested on the integrity and capabilities of the men he chose for his Cabinet. His leaders must be of the highest caliber. Strong, fearless and true. They must be understanding of his people, their children, and the future of a great nation. Everything was at stake now. Of the Cabinet he had chosen, some were from different states and had different backgrounds. He liked that about them. He chose them by looking closely at their military records, their letters of accommodation, and by reading their characters. He tried not to miss anything. As president he could not control much, but he could hand-select his men who would make national decisions. That was his job. The destiny of a nation at War depended on it. He must not fail his people.
When he was younger, the Illinois lawyer had met with one obstacle after another. Some eight at least, he reflected. Many elections lost. To others he seemed like a complete failure. But in each political skirmish he had learned to look at people closely and assess their nuances of character So their behavior or decisions would never surprise him. He knew more about some people than they knew about themselves, but he kept his own council. He studied the ancient system of physiognomy (Face Reading). Ten feet from a prospective juror or witness in a trial, he could turn the fate of a legal outcome. Lincoln could laugh and weave a good story with the best of them, but inside he had the instincts of a cougher. He looked at people and saw them unmasked – beyond artifices, fancy verbiage or fine clothes. He would laugh at a child’s story and shun an arrogant general.
One afternoon as his Cabinet assembled in the White House, the sun’s hot fierceness poured through the room. Men were loosening their neck cloths and removing their bulky jackets, wiping their forehead with large white hankies. All stood as Lincoln entered the room. His hands rose palms down to motion them to be seated.
“I understand that today we are reviewing the application for Lt. James Need, who wishes to be Secretary of the Treasury. Will those of you who have letters of accommodation, military files and written testimonials abut him, please step forward.” Lincoln seated himself behind the mahogany desk and opened his right hand to receive the papers.
Letters from Generals, teachers, red wax sealed missives about Lt. McNeed were handed over. The pile was so high that by the time Lincoln had read them all, the sun was setting. The men were eager to get into their carriages and return home to their wives and dinners.
“Well,” Lincoln began, “he seems an ideal candidate form these dossiers. His war record is impeccable, and I can find no fault with anything I have read about this man. Let us meet him now, so we might return to a quiet evening with our families. Bring Lt. James McNeed to me please.”
The side door opened, and the attending army aide ushered a man in uniform into the room. He came to stand directly in front of Abraham Lincoln. The president’s gaze was powerful and searching as he regarded the officer. Lincoln was reviewing McNeed’s facial features, as system called Face Reading, which he had learned when he was a young lawyer. It helped him to accurately read a person’s character. In his mind, Lincoln made note of Lt. McNeed's features: a dimpled chin that was short, a chin which receded back to tuck behind forward thrusting front teeth, an uneven forehead hairline, a tiny, tight mouth (that looked like a man set on a vinegar drink), strange ears which protruded out from his head at odd angles, a mouth that upturned like a joker (but McNeed wasn’t smiling), and a thick unibrow eyebrow. The president reflected that he looked like a rat. And then Lincoln remembered the words of Aristotle, the first great scholar in science of physiognomy: “If you look like an animal, you are it!” (You will have the similar temperament to that animal.)
What was curious about Mr. McNeed, Lincoln thought, was that as he answered each question, his eyes would shift, almost retract visibly. Then, they would become clear and present. It seemed to happen when the questions involved his military record. Lincoln had learned to recognize this eye change as “cloaking,” as he had seen it often in spies of all sorts. The president paced up and down, his head down and reflective before his men.
He made his decision and turned to the group, “Please leave us, Mr. McNeed.”
And after the man disappeared down the corridor, Lincoln turned to the curious Cabinet members and said, “I don’t want this man anywhere close to me.” Lincoln pounded his open flat hand onto his desk as the astonished group gasped and was riveted to attention. “Show me a man who is forty who is not responsible for his face.” With that he pulled in his vest jacket and with long strides left the room.
Weeks later a news bulletin emerged from a Border state with an artist’s rendering of an escaped convict, Walter McNeed, who had been incarcerated for killing his brother, Lt. James McNeed, and stealing his military papers. The murdered brother, Lt. James McNeed had been a valiant soldier, decorated in battle. And for those who studied the facial drawing closely, the man who had stood before Lincoln had been none other than Walter McNeed.
(c) Copyright, Barbara Roberts. September, 2009. All rights reserved.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Jason sighed. If this date were any more of a gold digger, she’d be on his lap taking out his fillings. He really needed to changed his “MatchU4Love” Profile on the “Income” line. Take off the “millionaire” entry. Yes, he owned his own company and was darn proud of it, but perhaps he shouldn’t advertise that on first dates.
Back at his desk, he told Keri, his budget manager, that he’d be in “conference” and went in to reread his “Man on the Go Looking for Independent Woman” Profile title bar. “OK. Got to rework this one,” he mumbled. “I’ll leave the photo - after all, I’m tall, dark, and handsome – and humble.”
After fifty eight dates – women who were tall, short, blonde, brunette, red head, corporate investors, homemakers, childless and with children, rich and poor, he’d reached his limit for even a “man on the go.” Perhaps an image change? Perhaps a lobotomy.
He cleared Keri’s desk as he walked out of the office on his way to lunch. She looked up. Sensitive to every nuance of his walk, she inquired, “Bad day, eh, Jason?” They were attuned to each other not because they were steamy closet lovers at work, but because she was his sister. They’d been competing siblings over cookies and Mom, but now they had settled into harmonious bantering.
“Keri, I’m lost in this dating world. Help me! Help me! You are my only hope,” he did his best impersonation of Princess Leah talking to Obi-Wan. His sister put down her Excel printout and looked into his very blue but sad eyes. “You know I read all the current women’s self-help books,” Keri began in the way only an older sister can totally bore a brother to tears.
He controlled his gag reflex. “SO?” He rolled his eyes indicating if he heard any more feminine psychobabble, he would ask God to reincarnate as a turtle.
“Well, there’s this woman who went on The Tyra Banks Show last month. Her name is Barbara Roberts, and she wrote a book called FACE READING – How to Know Anyone at a Glance. It’s the new way to find romance. Tyra really like her. Look here,” she motioned to an open page from the book. “See, you have these facial features:
Square forehead line
Vertical line above your nose
Good naso-labial lines
So the ones that would be an ideal match for you could be:
Rounded forehead line
Strong jaw and chin
Naso-labial lines that circle around the mouth
Full, balanced lips
“You’ve been ‘looking for love in all the wrong places,’ my little brother. Get off “MatchU4Love,” and stop paying that gypsy at “Cupid will Deliver.”
He immediately confiscated the FACE READING book from her desk, tucked it under his arm and left the office in a far better mood that he’d been in a long time.
It was midnight. He had read the whole book. My face has Patterns. All I need to do is just match the Patterns in my face to the Patterns in her face!
“There might be hope,” and he turned over to face his German Shepard, Massie, who as currently take up half of his bed. “They’ll soon be someone to replace you, my girl.” He gave her an affectionate ear scratching.
Not long after, he was at the airport meeting his client, Phil. The plane was delayed, so he got his Starbuck’s caramel latte and blueberry scone and popped open his newspaper to wait. A woman carrying a laptop approached the seat next to him. Blue silk suit holding a cell phone. He looked over just in time to catch a “HI-nod” and went on reading the local news.
When she finished talking and started adjusting her tea bag in her cup, she tuned to ask, “Waiting for the Phoenix incoming flight?”
“Yep. My client Phil is on it. How abut you?” As they spoke he regarded her closely. She seemed awfully familiar for someone he had never met. Then his mind clicked into the facial feature composite of his “ideal” woman. Cassie. One after one, he counted off their compatible facial features from his list. In his mind he mentally he was begging God for this, but he was trying not to grovel. He was chaffing at the bit to ask if she was single and was practically salivating as he listened to her describe her normal life. When she wanted to know about his life and interests, he was incredulous. By the time Phil walked out of Gate 24, Jason had already planned the wedding and bought his tuxedo.
After he introduced Phil to Cassie, he turned to her. “Here, let me give you my card.” They both said the same thing at the same time. Cassie blushed. He smiled.
As he guided Phil into his office and passed Keri’s desk, Jason gave her the thumbs up-signal and mouthed, “I’ll tell you later.”
Well, Massie and Arnold, Cassie’s German Shepard, became a regular on walks in the park, Friday night movies at home, Saturday picnics and morning coffees. Together they watched the seasons change and laughed and talked through Christmas, Easter and July 4th.
In the Fall Jason turned to Massie before he set his alarm for work, “Massie, it’s time you start sleeping on the floor. Cassie and Arnold are coming to live here.” And he thought he saw Massie smile before she rolled over and started snoring.
© Copyright, July, 2009. Barbara Roberts. All rights reserved. This story cannot be duplicated in any form without my permission. To contact Barbara go to: