Dreams and Schemes: My Decade of Fun in the Sun is a collection of Lopez's most controversial, irreverent, trouble-making, and heart-warming columns. He writes through the eyes of the region and its people, unflinchingly taking on the movers and shakers, and poking about in places where other reporters wouldn’t dare go. This collection offers an entertaining and insightful look into the workings of modern-day life that will delight not only people who know the players and locations well, but will resonate with people anywhere because people, politics, and situation that catch Lopez's eye are universal. Whether read straight through, read at random, or read aloud to share with someone, the columns will amuse and enlighten all readers.
The essays Lopez wrote for the Los Angeles Times about a Julliard-trained musician living on the streets of LA, later made into the film, The Soloist, are among the highlights in this collection of more than 90 previously published columns. "The mysteries of illness are so profound that I still find it impossible to reconcile the poetry with the madness. This is a man I've heard many times carry on incoherent conversations with someone who isn't there, only to then rhapsodize on the structure of a Mozart composition." Lopez also talks politics, often with a snarky bemused tone, making light of, for example, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who, he says, is "going for the Look of the Head of State." He mocks Dick Cheney after the former VP accidentally shoots a friend during a hunting trip ("A Bird in the Hand Beats a Shot in the Tush"). And he visits the town of Bell, Calif., hoping to "speak to the nearly $800,000-a-year city manager, because I was dying to see what such a specimen looks like." With insight, humor and cynicism, Lopez clearly proves that "there's drama in each day, a story on every block."