When we spoke a year ago (see our November 23, 2005 installment), Hazelwood seventh-grade teacher and former Filipino beauty queen Udis Lord had just finished writing her sixth book. Now comes word that she's completed two more, Dr. Lord's Development of Supernatural Power: A Guide on How to Develop the Sixth Sense and Dr. Lord's Understanding Alchemical Symbolism in Dreams. Last week the author took precious time out of her busy schedule to discuss her latest accomplishments.
Unreal: Wow. Eight books in one year! Do you ever sleep?
Lord: I sleep fifteen minutes at a time. I'm like a machine.
Do you still plan on writing 25 books in total?
At least that many. I'm almost finished with my ninth book. It's about my native ancestors in the Philippines, the Kapampangan tribe. The title of the book in English translates to From the Lion to the Tiger, I Am Not Afraid. It's from a famous quotation, because my people were known to fight lions, tigers and soldiers in hand-to-hand combat.
We're no animal scientist, but do lions live in the Philippines?
I don't know. Maybe they were once there. It's a very old quotation.
Your book on developing a sixth sense is your seventh book. Did you consider making it your sixth book, or did you not see that one coming?
It came out of dreams I had of my grandfather. I never met him, but I had these visions of an old man whose head was cloudy, like it was covered in Saran Wrap. I started to study the ancient Greeks, quantum-theory physics and hermetic principles. Suddenly all these visions and dreams made sense. Like different animal symbolism in dreams.
We recently had a dream that the house was on fire and our dog woke us up barking. What do you think the dog was trying to tell us?
Fire symbolizes a change or a renewal. Your dog was waking you up because he was loyal to you.
Will your next books also focus on the supernatural?
I think so. There's so much I still want to understand. For example, I'm really interested in destiny. I recently tested out some numerology and it indicated that I was destined to be a writer, teacher and fight for the downtrodden. It also said when I died I'd be renowned and famous.
Fiddle Me This
Seitz inlays a small design into the back of every instrument he makes, and as he finished this one, he thought of how his client was a baseball fan.
So Seitz decided to add "a little artistic touch": The violin got an outline of home plate and a mother-of-pearl baseball.
"He's a baseball nut," Seitz explains when we stop by his Loughborough Avenue store in south St. Louis for a gander at the violin.
"Here's the beast," Seitz says, pointing to the instrument, which was hanging from the hook on a wall.
Did he consider inlaying a Cardinals logo?
"No. The entrepreneur is actually a Yankees fan."
Seitz, who has been making violins for more than 25 years, says he has received some odd requests over the years, like the customer who asked him to make a violin out of wood from Carondelet Park.
The strangest request, he says, came from a woman who said she wanted her DNA preserved on the back of her instrument. Seitz carved three circles, then the woman came to his workshop, pricked her finger and dripped blood onto them.
"It was just for fun," says Seitz, then pauses, perhaps in light of the perplexed expression on Unreal's face.
"I mean, it was fun for her," he says, then revises his thought.
"It was a riot, actually."
This week's Commontary comes from Chuck Schneider of Florissant, who was none too happy with Major League Baseball's solution to the Great Rain-Out of October 25.
I hate to rain on anyone's parade, especially the Cardinals', but I'm one of several thousand individuals who were cheated out of seeing the Cardinals win the World Series because of Major League Baseball's decision to switch tickets for Games 4 and 5. After buying tickets SPECIFICALLY to see the Cardinals clinch the series, Bud Selig decided I should be punished because Game 4 was rained out and this was supposedly for my own good.
The rationale behind the decision that some individuals would be inconvenienced by doing the right thing and postponing the entire schedule, seems to imply that it's easier to get tickets to the first home-field World Series clincher in 24 years than it is to get a babysitter or to extend a stay one more night in a hotel! Why don't you let US make that decision? If it's too inconvenient, THEN I will sell my ticket! While I'm sorry that the patrons of Game 4 had to sit and drink beer for three hours before the game was called, that is no reason why Game 5 ticket holders should be made to pay the price. I am outraged that everyone seems to think that the Game 5 ticket holders were just fine and dandy with this arrangement and they should shut up and just be happy that they got to go to A World Series game period.
I guess I will sit here and bide my time for another 24 years and hope I get another chance to see a game like Friday's, but in the meantime, if there are any lawyers out there wanting to file a class-action suit against MLB for damages give me a call.
Ever get the urge to jump up and ____ this damn town? Tell Unreal about it! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Blog O' the Week
About the blogger: "Although I had my children as a teenager, I have a BA in Art History and an MA in History and Museum Studies."
Recent Highlight (October 18): Last night, I moved back to my mom's. I'm sure the moment I walked in the door, my grandmother sat straight up in bed, elbowed my papa in the ribs and said, "Melissa just moved back home, right this very minute."
I not so much moved back as I took an overnight bag and two kids, stayed twelve hours and came home.
We are yes, moving in with my mother but partially living at our home due to work/school issues. Two nights a week we're just sleeping at our normal house with Mike, it's easier on the kids because of the next morning and it is hopefully good for talking and reconnecting. We hope it will help anyway. That, and therapy. I hate therapists. Please tell me you're not all therapists.
Tonight, we'll be home again and then Thursday we'll attempt to get the ball moving by hauling crap over there and buying a big girl bed for me. Don't tell me if living partially at our house is a bad idea, because I'm really just going to stick my fingers in my ears and recite Dante until you cry.
An unexpected feature of moving back home is that apparently, my mom lives with her boyfriend most of the time, the super creepy one, which means I just landed myself a lovely three-bedroom house free and clear a lot of nights. Score. This is most fabulous but when you pull into someone else's garage and they aren't home, even if you grew up in that house, it still feels weird.
With no grande dame around, the boys and I immediately set about cluttering up her clean home. There were towels strewn around (which I washed, dried, and folded by this morning), dishes dirtied (washed and put away), clothes thrown carelessly willy-nilly (removed from the floor), and beds all asunder (made).
When all was said and done, I realized that I do not know how to hook up my laptop with her dial-up internet access. That's right, mom has dial-up.
It hurt, people. It hurt.
Know of an Unreal-worthy local blog?
Send the URL to email@example.com.