Welcome to Camp Strange!

Thank you for vis­it­ing Camp Strange, my lit­tle cor­ner of the online world. This site con­tains a col­lec­tion of some of the sto­ries I have writ­ten over the past 6 years since I first began blog­ging at the now-defunct Beauty Dish, as well as new sto­ries. You can read some of my fun­ni­est Avon Lady sto­ries, tales from Las Vegas, New Mex­ico, and eclec­tic Star Trek-esque expe­ri­ences I have had with my two sons.

A Love Letter to Star Trek

This is too soon to write this. I should wait a few months, maybe a year, take time and cof­fee and dreams and let it fin­ish whirling around my neural net. But Star Trek is all about the tem­po­ral anom­alies so here I sit. One year and a cou­ple months ago, on Star Date something-or-other, my

Data’s Dog

Data, Star Trek: The Next Gen­er­a­tion’s android sci­ence offi­cer, shared his star­ship quar­ters with a sleek cat named Spot. Data wanted to be human, wanted to under­stand what makes some of us choose choco­late over vanilla, what makes us gig­gle when tick­led, the strange and etheric con­nec­tions that tie our species together. A cat’s fiercely


When my youngest son, Mar­tin, chased gap-toothed girls through a dusty school­yard, he car­ried a tiny Star Trek shut­tle­craft in the front pocket of his jeans. “Vroooooooooom! Ba-ba-ba-ba-bing! Bing!” The shut­tle­craft — tor­pe­dos armed and ready — made the noise of a boy’s pursed lips. It flew grace­ful arcs, one hand over head, around body, swooped


Sun­day morn­ing I packed one of those paper gro­cery bags with blood oranges from my back­yard tree, a hand­ful of shelled wal­nuts in a plas­tic bag­gie, a few cans of good gin­ger ale, a bag of home­made corn chips, a pack­age of fig cook­ies, and I stuck it in the back of my van. I

This Old House

I’m work­ing on the This Old House issue of my regional arts mag­a­zine, and in the process of writ­ing a story on pen­i­ten­tiary tiles, I began to think about my adopted home town, Las Vegas, New Mex­ico.… ——- My home­town in New Eng­land held a node on the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary road. Most of the towns­peo­ple —

I Come in Peace

A man called my cell phone. I didn’t catch the call, heard the ring as the shower pelted me with heat and hope. He left a short mes­sage, just a macho first name and tele­phone num­ber. I stood in the bath­room, heat pour­ing from my hands, dialed his num­ber. “Hi! Is this Rocco? This is

The Day Scotty Saved the Future

James Doohan died yes­ter­day. My two young boys would tell you he played “Scotty” on the Star Trek orig­i­nal series. They would tell you he ruled the Engi­neer­ing depart­ment, car­ried more brains and guts than tools, and knew how to mas­sage life into fad­ing dilithium crys­tals. They would tell you how he saved the Enter­prise

The Saddest Song in the World

I met Cat Woman through a mys­te­ri­ous man dur­ing one of my kamikaze door-to-door Avon mis­sions. He stood on the cor­ner of the two most expen­sive streets in town, a tas­seled leather woman’s bag slung over his right shoul­der. He wore slim pin-striped denim slacks and over-pursed lips as if he were kiss­ing an old

The earth beneath our lonely feet

I bor­rowed my son’s Green Day CD this morn­ing, stuck it in my old warped sil­ver walk­man, lis­tened as I hiked up hill, up hill, up hill to the crest of my town where the rich peo­ple live, where Kilt Man lives. I dropped Avon brochures here and there, thought about my son, 17, and