Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Last Samurai, Grey's Anatomy & Other Stuff

Long time, no post, huh? Been busy...or maybe not in the mood, not sure which...:-) Anyway, enough about me, first thing: I watched The Last Samurai about 2 or 3 years behind everybody else. I must admit, in lieu of Tom Cruise going what appears to be mental lately, I've slipped off his band wagon a bit...the whole Matt Lauer, Brooke Shields thing didn't really work for me. HOWEVER, anybody who knows me at all knows I have an amazing power of forgiveness, and thus is the same with Tom Cruise. I actually think The Last Samurai is possibly the best work he's ever done...if nothing else it's one of the deepest charactors he's ever played. If you've never seen this, give it a watch, it's really good.

On the thumbs down category? 8 Below. That damned Disney...they've been pretty good about not ripping your guts out through your tear ducts with tragic animal stories as of late, but this one sure went back to the old Ol' Yeller, Bambi days of yore. Okay, I must admit, I watched the whole movie and it was very well done, but the STORY, oh my GOD!!!! That's a KIDS story? Come ON! If you haven't seen it, the gist is this scientist guide in Antarctica has a team of 8 sled dogs he is very, very attached to. Circumstances occur that mean the humans have to fly out without the dogs, however with intentions to come back and get them within 24 hours before the storms set in. Since they don't want them to run off, they crank their collars down so they can't get loose and leave them on the chain. Well, of course circumstances work out as such that they can't go back and get them, and the poor frost bitten guide has to live with the fact his dogs are most likely starving to death on a tether in Anarctica with no hope of making it in for 6 months. Not good. Poor guy tries to get back and can't...for several months.

In the meantime, we know that 7 of the 8 got off the chain, however, the old dog gave up and willed himself to die alone in the snow. Another of the 7 falls off a cliff and dies, and the female gets wounded but still lives. Is that brutal enough for you yet? LOL! I snuffled and bawled all the way through it, horrified by several different angles of this story.

Okay, in the end he gets the 6 back before the female dies as well and it's a happy cheerful ending...with the exception of the dead dog frozen in the snow from months previously...that's sort of a buzz kill, but other than THAT it's happy. Geez...I repeat, that's a KIDS movie? Okay...I guess that's why I don't have any kids, because I don't get it. If you want to cry until your guts hurt, well, 8 Below is your movie...if not, leave that one on the shelf and go for Cars instead. :-)

Last thing, Grey's Anatomy sure is everything the buzz makes it out to be. Again my Netflix subscription pays off in my ability to slog through the entire series of DVD just in time to pick up Season 3 on network. Great charactor relationships, great soundtrack and yes, lots and lots of man candy...lots of it. I will have to admit that although I remember Patrick Dempsey as the dork in Can't Buy Me Love, he nonetheless does it for me as McDreamy...and McSteamy isn't hard on the eyes either...not at all.

And, see ya for now!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Several Examples of "CAN"

My nephew Ray Walser had one hell of a football game.

"High school sophomores can't start varsity games, and if they do they can't lead a team of older team mates to a difficult victory".

Really? Go read this article: Ray's Game

Lately I've made some choices in my life that other's are having a difficult time understanding; I quit a long term steady job to pursue a freelance writing endeavor, I've decided to sell my home and move out of the state where I've lived my entire life and into a community where I literally know nobody. Honestly, I don't understand everything I'm doing either, I just know that a voice inside me tells me this is what I should do, and for the first time in a really long time I feel inspired.

Over the course of my long train of decisions, ideas, endeavors I've noticed more and more how I hear what I can't do, why I shouldn't attempt this or that, how I haven't considered what could go wrong in enough depth. I CAN'T sell my house in this stagnant market, "nothing can be done", I CAN'T write a book manuscript about the homeless because it's been done too many times before and nobody will want to read it, I CAN'T move into another state and expect to find a job that will support me in the manner I have visualized because my college education and pending MBA isn't going to make that big of a difference. I CAN'T believe that at 40 I still have time or a chance to experience a lifelong love I've always known was there for me but wasn't quite ready for previously. The people want to know, "Where's my proof?" The only proof I have is a feeling deep down inside.

Since I have no personal doubts about what I'm doing I've been trying to muscle through and keep the faith with myself. The problem is it recently occurred to me that I'm not sure where the folks are who tell me, "You CAN, and you WILL...anything is possible if you want it badly enough". Once upon a time those people seemed to be everywhere, but as of late they've been virtually non-existent. And honestly I will have to admit that many cannots really CAN make things much harder than they need to be.

So from there I pondered, do I tell people what they can't do? I listen to what they tell me they'd like to do, I weigh how much research it sounds like they have put into it, and then I wish them the best. No, I'm not a saint by any measure, but I am NOT a "cannot"...that I can say. So, the thing for folks reading this to consider is, "Are YOU a cannot?" If you are, then you should attempt to contemplate why that is? Why are you telling others what they can't do when it would take the same amount of time to tell them what they can? Is it because you attempted the same thing and it didn't work out for you, therefore you figure it won't work for anybody? Or is it because they are attempting things you wish you had the courage to try so you subconsciously (or consciously) shoot them down to make yourself feel less stagnated? Is what Ray accomplished likely? No. That's not the point, the point is that it's fairly apparent that the part Ray left behind that night are all the reasons why he "cannot" do things, and look what happened.

To end this impromptu sermon by Denise, here's another link about what CAN be done if you don't listen to what everybody else tells you is possible. A friend of mine sent this to me and after reading it I became inspired to make this post. Sports Illustrated Article.

In these times more than ever, everybody can tell themselves in their heads what they doubt they can do, or what they can't; we all seem to be pretty good at that. I believe the kindest thing we can do for each other is to make a point to ENCOURAGE each other, rather than shoot down, and help people do better rather than hold them back via your own worries.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Edge the Cat's Bad Day

This is Edgy "The Edge"....Edgy has had a tough week...I'd been gone at my folk's for a week and left Edge with the sitter. When I came home he had an impressive case of the squirts that he was getting everywhere in my house I'm trying to keep clean and fresh for prospective buyers...So, Edge spent the first night in the puppy's carrier in which he yowled all night. I eventually scooted him into the laundry room where I couldn't hear him yowl. He not only yowled, he dumped his water in the litter box, which created kitty litter paste and then he rolled in it...Edgy was not looking good (or smelling good). I realize I should have kept him in, but I couldn't take it, so he went outside to hopefully clean himself up while he remembered how to make solid terds, not squirts. LOL! Well, every time Edge came in he didn't really look any cleaner...he did leave a terd in the litter box, so that got him off quarantine, but he still looked and smelled terrible. About the 5th time I was watching TV, smelled this horrible smell (again) and realized it was because Edge had walked over to me and wanted to sit in my lap, well, Edge went in the bathtub. To be subtle about it? That is not how Edge was planning on spending his day....He threw a rather impressive fit. I've been at this long enough that no, he didn't win, but I will say he thru an impressive stink, and without scratching or biting me once....he may not smell his best or be very good at hygiene, but when you get right down to it, he is a pretty well mannered guy.

So, this picture is Edge post bathtub...I'm not sure, but I think he's giving me the kitty finger with merely a dirty look...What do you think? (I call that, "The Claw" since kitties don't have fingers....)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Top 10 Things That Make Me Angry

10. WWF. How fucking stupid is it, and even worse, how stupid are the people who watch it? I had to watch 5 minutes while I was waiting for B.G. on the SciFi channel, and this list came to mind. While we are at it, what does WWF even have to DO with SciFi geeks? Seems to me they would be intellectual, scrawny guys who don’t get laid much. Why would they be into wrestling? Extreme Strip Poker, okay…but not wrestling. Made no sense.

9. Coupons in the grocery store line. Okay, coupons are fine, but people who will haggle for 5 or 10 minutes over a nickel REALLY piss me off.

8. Mini van drivers who load up the van with everybody they know and then order food in the drive- thru lane. Not only do I get to wait for them to all decide what they want to eat, but then I get to wait for them to collect the money at the paying window, and I get to wait again for all the food to be gathered up and bagged and handed off. (Mini vans may appear in this countdown several times…) Added bonus? Van full of really FAT people, because then I can assume they are ordering an insane amount of food and the reason they are in the drive thru is because they are too fucking lazy to get out and go inside. Yes, I said FAT, but it’s like the N word and being black, I am one, so I can say it…if you aren’t, you can’t.

7. Businesses that don’t call me back in a reasonable amount of time. Any business I e-mail or contact by phone who doesn’t respond within a few days really chaps my ass.

6. Bad customer service. Period.

5. People who are apparently unaware that the far left lane of the freeway is for passing only. The guy who will sit there oblivious and create a huge backup of traffic really pisses me off. The crème de la crème of this group is the person who will STILL sit there after people manage to pass him one after the other in the center lane…get a CLUE! Oftentimes these drivers are in mini-vans.

4. People who text people from the movies with their annoying glowing LED lights on REALLY chap my ass.

3. People who will talk during concerts…just because the music is loud and they can’t hear themselves doesn’t mean that their constant yammering behind me doesn’t annoy the piss out of me.

2. People who smoke in doorways. In Washington you are technically not supposed to smoke within 25 feet of a public building…not so in Oregon. Once you walk thru the smoke then it sticks to your clothes and YOU smell like smoke. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I used to smoke, but you know what? I don’t now and I REALLY have no desire to smell anybody else’s.

1. And the Number 1 thing that chaps my ass? Hummers and Escalades (and any other insanely large SUV). To me when I see that with 2 people in it, it says, “I have a lot of money, therefore I don’t care what things cost, nor do I feel I have to worry about conserving resources….fuck the war...they'll find more oil somewhere else".

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ask Me About My WEINER!!!!!

This would win my vote for the FUNNIEST trailer bit of the year....I went and saw this movie tonight, and it was actually funnier than I expected. HOWEVER, this bit with the guy in the hotdog suit was definately the BEST part. Kudos to the actor for pulling this off so well!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

John Stewart for President!!!!

As I'm sure it's inspired many people, that new movie with Robin Williams as the comedian who runs for president got me to thinking: John Stewart needs to run for president...I'd vote for him in a second...He should ride the publicity of the upcoming movie and run...could happen. A website where you can sign the petition is at

Sign it...let's see what happens....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Taking Jesus Back

After Bush won the last election, and many of the people I know and associate with were stunned (to put it mildly) that the people actually DID that, a friend of mind made a quote I've never forgotten.

"They won the election by hijacking Jesus!"

As we all know now, that is EXACTLY what they did. The Republicans successfully outcampaigned the Democrats by portraying themselves as "God's people", and the other side was a bunch of liberal gay loving, science creating pagans who were going to all be reponsible for bringing on the next Armageddon. And Bush won.

I was as despondent as anybody....HOWEVER, two years ago on the Grammies I noticed a change: There was some form of "power to the people" or spiritual sense to almost every performance. The highlights were Green Day's performance of Amercian Idiot, which doesn't even beat around the bush on what it has to say, Kanye West's performance which was combined with the Staple Singers and a gospel choir and was intense, to say the least....Most of the performances had something to do with spirituality, hope or in some form Jesus...And I'm of the opinion that the Grammys are not really a "red state" crowd....That's when I noticed a change.

In my little 2 cent opinion, I think that the Religious Right zealots made it so "uncool" to be associated with Faith of any sort that the liberal people have all been "in the closet" from a Faith standpoint for several years. Everybody needs something to believe in, especially these days, but what are you going to do when the number one religion in the United States has somehow become associated with a war most people don't want, and a cabinet most Americans are ashamed of? Thus, the sudden popularity of New Age thinking and more importantly, people ADMITTING they believe that way. Virtually EVERYBODY believes in a higher power of some sort; even a friend of mine who proclaimed herself an Athiest feared "bad karma". I don't want to break it to her, but Karma is a result of a Higher Power making judgement calls....she's not an athiest, but shhhhhh....:-)

My last post was about the series Lost...there are a lot of spiritual messages in there, and a blaring message I'm getting is "instinct over education" works best..."Instinct" in my opinion, is another word for Faith. The show has a huge message, actually MANY of them, and it's wildly popular...I just finished slogging thru the Season 1 DVD set of Battlestar Gallactica. Boy, is that different from the old version I must say...Right away I pegged that the Cylons had obviously been programmed by the Bush cabinet to believe what they were doing is right, the rest of the world are sinners, and there is only one way things are and that is the Cylon way. They had even successfully programmed themselves so that if the body vessel they were in died, the programming would radio wave itself to another recepticle. They'd created "Eternal Life". Initially, the Battlestar Gallactica human survivors were scoffing at the whole angle of higher power and faith...BUT, as the series progressed, a belief set amongst the humans began to surface as well. Towards the end of the season an entire "Biblical story" had been created that was loosely based on the Old Testament, and the crew of Gallactica are following their quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy and find the planet known as Earth. The Gallactica folks are going to survive with "help from God". And the show is wildly popular...

I LOVE that!!! Maybe a lot of it is subconciously, but the new thinkers vs. the old thinkers is becoming a more even battle. It's not that we don't believe in God, it's that we are disgusted with how God's word has been contorted and twisted to serve other's financial and political gains. Most of the decent people I know want nothing to do with that....however, those same people have also realized they are unwilling to give up their belief set in the name of disassociation and are fighting back via the best media: Art. Jesus was hi-jacked, but we've put on the black leotards and the face paint and we've sneaked in and hustled him out of jail in the middle of the night! That's the most hopeful thing EVER!

U2 has been doing this for spirituality despite whether it was cool to express it or not is something they've been masters of. On the Vertigo Tour they sold out EVERY arena they played in minutes...not days, minutes. EVERYWHERE. Name another band in the world that can do that? There isn't one. When The Stones come to PDX, tickets are available for several weeks; when McCartney came, tickets were available for several days...U2 sold out in 10 minutes or less. Why can they do that? The feeling. The U2 fans who have gone to dozens of shows and will go to several performances every tour know exactly what I'm talking about: The feeling. At a U2 show there is a spirituality and a commeraderie amongst the fans that is unlike anything else I've ever felt. Despite what is going on in the world at the time, at a U2 concert you are allowed to feel whatever you'd like without feeling guilty for the pleasure for a couple of hours. THAT is their draw; all the fans out there know exactly what I'm talking about, the folks who have yet to go think I'm dilluded. That's okay. As I mentioned above, there are now a LOT of ways to exercise your belief set through the Arts these days...And that speaks a much brighter picture for the outlook of the world if you ask me.

The message Jesus gave was great, "Do unto others, love each other, turn the other cheek". He was the original hippy, without the tie dye and the joint...And what he had to say WAS good. To quote The Edge, "I'm cool with Jesus's a lot of Christians I have a problem with". Amen brother, Amen....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lost...Possibly the Best Television Show EVER!

Okay, I am an admitted fighter of fads; I was the last one to listen to Alanis Morrissette- Jagged Little Pill and Hootie and the Blowfish-Cracked Rearview, but yes, when I did listen to them I had to say, "Wow! Those are really great albums...where have I been?" I don't get sucked into a lot of the television shows...I'm virtually finished with reality TV; I will still watch the occassional American Idol episode or Rockstar Supernova, but for the most part I've nixed all that as well. I like to watch a couple of the CSIs (Grissom is a god among men so far as I'm concerned...he's that legend we single women are always seeking: the intelligent male. Most of us see that as the Unicorn, the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot: they may exist, but we've never seen them first hand yet...Haven't given up hope though!!!!!), Criminal Minds and Medium...other than that, not much regular TV for me.

So, being a Netflix subscriber I got the season 1 Lost dvd's awhile back...I sat there in my living room for virtually 12 hours straight watching that...Picture me, glassy eyes, slack jawed with a little drool trail running down the side of my mouth; looked like a mental patient on Thorazine...couldn't get enough!!!! Finally Season 2 came out and I just finished watching the last of that last night. What an AMAZING show this is!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is the most hopeful thing I think I've ever seen in my life. I know everybody's take and interpretation on it is different, but what I got from Season 1 is that the show is very much about teaching that we all need to learn to forgive ourselves for our past sins and shortcomings. Also, that we all need to allow ourselves to think outside the box and trust what we feel over what we've been taught. Locke and Jack represent opposites sides of the spectrum on that; Locke has been screwed time and time again for believing in the greater good, yet he is STILL attempting to continue to believe in just that. Jack has a hard time believing in anything that can't be explained by science, yet things keep happening on the island that even he can't completely deny.

Season 2 took us deeper into the charactors: Is Sawyer really a bad guy? No...Sawyer has yet to forgive himself, so he acts as he does to punish himself by being hated by his peers. When Anna Lucia was shot Sawyer showed his true heart: he's a good person. Locke's faith was tested and he called it out: turns out that what Locke believed in all along was NOT a lie and the work he was doing was NOT for naught...Rose could feel that her husband wasn't dead...turned out a season later that Rose was right...Even though everybody thought she was disraught from the crash, seems what Rose's heart told her was true. Mr. Eco is an incredibly interesting charactor as well...I look forward to more of him in season 3.

This show is impossible to describe in a blog post, but I did feel it at least merited an effort. If you haven't seen it before, then you should go rent the DVD's and check it out. I think it's a Love/hate sort of thing...if you don't get hooked on the pilot, the show isn't going to be for you...I don't think you have to let it grow on you, I think it gets you or it doesn't. Well, I'm not easy to get to, but this got me...I recommend it to anybody who questions their own heart or belief set or direction....Maybe anybody who just can't figure out "what next" or "what do I deserve"....I think there's a little bit for everybody in here if you need some personal affirmation. It worked for me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Farewell Crocodile Hunter...You Will Be Missed...

Along with the rest of the world, I was stunned to read that Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter had been killed by a Stingray. Who hasn't immitated Steve on his show picking up some horrible venemous snake and yelling in that thick Aussie accent, "It's the most dangerous snake in the WORLD!!!!! Isn't he a BEAUTE???????!!!" We've all done that.

My first thought when I heard how he'd died? I'll bet if Steve could comment on it, he would say, "Can't ask for a better exit than THAT mate!" He allegedly died peacefully, doing exactly what he loved to do...Although his death is extremely premature and tragic, at the least we can say that he did die on his own terms, doing what he loved to do.

The best of human nature seems to surface in the face of a tragedy; hopefully in this case that will ring true as usual. With Irwin gone, a strong voice of advocacy for the animal kingdom has now been silenced. Hopefully Steve's legacy will be 1,000's of new voices piping up to carry on where he was forced to leave off.

On behalf of the animal kingdom as a whole, I would like to say, "Thanks Steve! You made a difference, and you will be missed."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My Coexist Tattoo...Finally...

Got this Bono inspired tattoo a couple of weeks ago....I don't have my other tattoo posted because I don't want it copied; this one however I think EVERYBODY needs to have one drilled on. Isn't that the most important message: Quit blowing the asses off each other and get along!!!! I think it's a good message.

Bless you Bono!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Be Kind To Canvassers....

Okay, I had an interesting couple of weeks: I attempted doing a little cavass work for the Gifford Pinchot Task Force ( ). It's a great organization doing extremely noble work. The problem is that work requires going door to door and attempting to get people to listen to what you have to say and THEN write you a check to sign up for a membership. Honestly, considering my less than warm reception with door to door people in the past I'd imagine I should be surprised I got as many people to sign up as I did...I did okay. Others on that team do even better, with people routinely giving $50 to $100 at the door. That speaks well for some people I must say.

The downside? The people that listen and the people that give are about 1 in every 30 doors or so...inbetween those givers there can be some REAL S.O.B.'s, if I do say so myself. But the extreme S.O.B.'s aren't even the worst part; the worst part are the people who listen to what you say and then tell you that they appreciate what you are doing, keep it up, but they are not going to join anything like that ever. THOSE are the people who can suck the life right out of you...The final straw for me was a middle aged lady in a nice neighborhood with a brand new BMW in her driveway. She told me that it was her policy not to speak with anybody who comes to her door or calls on her phone for ANY reason; however, she likes what I'm doing and I should keep it up. She went on to add she wasn't going to listen to anything I had to say, but she appreciated me nonetheless......That was my last door as a canvasser. What sort of horse shit is THAT?!!!!

Although I'm no longer going to pound the pavement knocking on doors, what did I learn from this? I will NEVER be rude to somebody who has the courage to come knock on my door with a cause they consider worthy, I will buy candy bars from little kids on fundraisers, and I will even listen to the Mormons...(well, maybe I'll listen to the Mormons)

It's all hard work, and it takes incredible courage to do it. The next time somebody knocks on your door with a cause they want to tell you about, listen to them...if it sounds worthy, give them some money...even if it's just a few bucks. It's not about the money, it's about the courtesy, respect and common decency we should ALL have towards somebody who is working to try and make the planet a better place.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sponsors Needed for the Livestrong Challenge!!!!

I finally did it and signed up to ride in the Livestrong Challenge in Portland, OR on July 30th. What makes this an even greater challenge for me is the fact I'm going rafting the day before...(Please scroll down the blog to the rafting story if you haven't read it previously!!!!). My brother Greg is coming down to my neck of the woods that weekend and we are attempting our own little Biothalon. Okay, Greg is riding 70 and I'm only riding 40, but nevertheless....

I attended last year as a sponsor and this is the photo I got of Lance as he was riding the ride....nice photo considering how quickly I had to snap it.

Anyway, I need sponsors because I HAVE to make $500 to be allowed to ride in the ride at all...if everybody I know gives me $20 I'll make it there easily!!!! Whatever you can see your way clear to donate would be great!

My web address for that event is:

It's a long one, but if you click on the link it should get you there.

Thanks guys!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

And the Silicon Chip Inside Her Head Gets Switched to Overload.....

I don't even have anything to say today...I just REALLY love this photo of Sir Bob Geldof and Bono. Nice picture!

You know, I DID find a really great Bono spot for all you fans out there. It's at Nice spot. Very thorough!

What am I doing as of late? Going to school....Doing a little writing for a couple Veterinary clinics, doing some Mystery shopping (anything you want to know about ANY cell plan I can tell you the details. Been doing a lot of cellular shops as of late) and my main line of work these days is canvassing for the Gifford Pinchot Task Force. Right now we are signing up members and trying to stop an open pit mine from going in up by Mt. St. if THAT area hasn't had enough problems to bounce back from already. If you are interested in reading about the mine and what you can do to help stop them from digging it go check out Good site and I'm happy with the people I'm meeting and what I'm doing. Very grateful for the opportunity to get to try on a lot of things in the name of finding what really is the right fit for me.

I'll think of something to write later!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Some Pictures Really Do Say 1000 Words...

Even I can't think of anything to say about this....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bono's Trek Thru Africa

There's some good podcast interviews on the MSNBC website. Anybody who is interested go check it out the ONE blog here: and there's a link there that will take you to it. Bono's Trek Thru Africa.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Colbert's Burning Bush

I saw little snippets of the Whitehouse Correspondent's Dinner, and I watched both John Steward and The Colbert Report the first broadcast afterwards. Brilliant! All I can say about it actually...I read a quote somewhere that the person who booked Colbert admitted afterwards that he'd never actually SEEN any of Colbert's work prior to booking. That was perhaps a big mistake...Anyway, go look for yourself and all the video is there. The Bush Impersonator was pretty funny as well if you have the time to watch...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

From the Wisdom of Ben Stein...

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary, Sunday, 12/18/05:

Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart:I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important? I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is, either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife. Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young? It's not so bad.

Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away. I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.

I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

Ben Stein

There is an expanded version of this that has been added on to from things picked up on the web since 9-11. If you are interested in reading that, then go to and read the expanded version. What I have here is directly from Ben Stein's website which is

I admittedly used to watch Win Ben Stein's Money when Jimmy Kimmel was his host and I LOVED that show. I was always impressed with just how incredibly smart this man is and I agree with every word he said. Yes, there are zealots, there are athiests and then there are the rest of us who fall somewhere in the middle. I think the latter group of us would like everybody to take a little break on all their attempts at forcing us into making everything perfect for everybody. How 'bout we leave things alone and let individuals pick out the things they like and simply walk past the things they don't? That seems a fairly simple solution to me...but then again, who am I? I'm just one of the people in the middle.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Captain Saxon's Big Adventure; "It's Not That Bad"

As the time draws near for me to yet again book my annual rafting trip on the Deschutes it occurred to me that I needed to document last year's story before embarking on this year's story. Here it goes:

Last year I had separated from my old crowd that used to go rafting together every Summer...I realized I didn't miss those people, but I DID miss the yearly rafting trip. So, why not put together my OWN crew and get back on the river? Couldn't think of a reason so I put it together. As it turned out it was an "All Chick's Boat" with the members being Cam, Teresa, Teresa's mom, Bernie, myself and the last minute add in Karn. Now experience wise I'd been down the river (always with more experienced people than myself) 4 or 5 times, Bernie had gone several times, and Teresa had gone once. Teresa's mom, Cam and Karn were the boat rookies. A side bar about Cam is that I more or less had to talk her into the trip initially because whitewater was something that had always frightened her. She finally decided she NEEDED to go because she needed to conquer her fears; in all honesty I kept expecting her to bail out of the trip up until I saw her parked in my driveway the morning of. Cam didn't bail. I encouraged her by saying, "Thousands of drunk people make it down that river every year; you can too! No worries!"

So, morning of we all managed to rendezvous in Maupin as planned, got our raft, got the cars postioned on both ends of the river and we were ready for launch. I briefed everybody the best I could, and we had paused to look at the big rapids on the way up to the boats so we more or less had a plan, or so we thought. I was in the front left of the boat, Karn was on the front left. First set of rapids weren't too bad; everybody was squealing and giggling in all the right places and stayed in the boat. It was looking good. Then came Boxcar, which is a Class 3 rapid. Alas, we dropped off the top of Boxcar and I watched Karn bounce off the side of the raft and into the water and I watched Teresa go floating past me as well (BUT, her hat was still on, so that's something!). Great, I lost 2 out of 6 on our first major rapid, not good. Oh well, we pulled over to the side and Teresa jumped in. Karn came swimming over from another direction. She said she may have fallen out of the boat, but the guys on the side had given her a beer, so that's something! She told me that she fell out because of me; she'd assumed I was going to tell her to hang on when she needed to...Guess I missed THAT one...I told her in the future if the water is looking frothy and white, hang on irregardless of whether I tell her to or not. :-)

On down the river things went pretty smoothly; we forged thru the smaller rapids and pulled over periodically for the ritualistic passing round of the beer. We were in the part of the river that sported a lot of flat water, which meant we were deep in water fight territory. We were doing battle with several different boats of folks in different spots. One boat in particular fought pretty hard and one of the men from the boat had either fallen in the water or jumped out, I can't remember. He was looking at me and swimming towards me but I thought nothing of it, I figured he just wanted to hang onto the boat for a minute to catch a breather. Wrong. He got close to me and grabbed my life vest with both hands and pulled me out of the boat slicker than shit; I swallowed water and everything, it was a sweet move on his part. As I'm puffing and trying to figure out how I'm going to get back in the boat I told him, "You BASTARD! If I go over Oak Springs without the boat because I couldn't get my fat ass back in the boat, then you and I are going to talk MISTER!" I think he thought I was seriously angry with him and he swam off with his group (later on I saw him again and told him it was a good one, I never saw him coming and he got big points for that maneuver).

Then came Oak Springs. Oak Springs scares me every year. It's the only class 4 rapid on the trip, and it's a bitch to set up correctly for it because of all the rollers right before the rapid, and then what makes it even worse is after you take the drop you have to shoot thru a cravasse in the rocks. 1 of 3 things happens there: you shoot the slot perfectly and look great, OR you scoot up onto the rock shelf and get stuck and look like an asshole, OR you tip your boat over on the ledge, loose all your people and spend the next 20 minutes trying to find your boat, your oars, your crew, etc....When Oak Springs goes well it's fun, when it goes badly it sucks. Here's what happened to us: We'd strategized how we wanted to be positioned and we had our strategy, here it goes; we get in the pre-rollers and Bernie starts yelling, "Stop! We lost Cam". Oh SHIT! Karn and I both yelled, "We CAN'T STOP!!!!! DIG or we're going to go over sideways!!!!!" So, everybody put their backs into it and we managed to go over at a pretty good angle. As soon as we hit the hole I turned around to find Cam and to my horror saw she had grabbed the side of the raft and she was going thru the slot while hanging on the side of the raft. Every once in awhile the raft would bounce against her, smashing her against the rocks and making her go "Oomph!" Every time she went "Oomph!" we're all going, "Ooooooohhhhhh". I was SURE she was getting thrashed and cut up and breaking ribs, legs, etc....I went all the way thru the worst part of that rapid backwards keeping an eye on her. At the shelf Cam belly slid across it (it has about 6 inches of water running over the top of the rocks) still hanging onto the raft and she was going, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!" all the way across it. I was sure she was scraping skin off her legs and stomach in big strips...I was FREAKED for her.

In what seemed to be about an hour after she fell out of the boat (it was probably less than 2 minutes) we got to a spot that was slow enough to pull her back in. While pulling her in then Bernie fell out! I go, "Goddammit Bernie, get back in the BOAT!" Bernie is svelt and athletic and popped back in almost as quickly as she'd popped out. In the same move she continued pulling on Cam and we got her in the boat.

Cam laid on the floor of the boat trying to catch her breath and Karn goes, "You guys! Is somebody going to row because we have some water ahead of us!"

I look up and see a bunch of big rollers coming up. "Come on Cam, get up, we've got water ahead!!!"

Cam tries to get up and then starts yelling, "My arm! My arm!" Her fucking elbow was jammed in the ice chest bar in the middle of the raft. I looked at the water approaching, figured my best impromptu geometry and found the angle to turn her arm in order to get her unwedged, unwedged her, handed her her oar and started rowing.

There was about 5 minutes of tough water before we could even ask her how she was...As soon as we could pull over we took inventory of her injuries, and much to our shock she really didn't have any!!!! Can you believe that? As it turns out she had a couple of small bruises on her arms and on the tops of her toes. She said, "Every time I hit the rocks I heard all of you going 'Ooooohhh!'. I wanted to tell you 'It's not that bad!' but I couldn't catch my breath long enough to tell you that!"

She continued, "When I was sliding across the rocks on my belly I thought I'd lost my swimsuit and my TWAT was hanging out for everybody to didn't hurt, I just was worried about my suit!"

That got us to all look at each other and burst out laughing....She was worried her 'twat' was hanging out....THAT was funny. As a matter of fact, we were all pretty quiet for about the next half hour until one or the other of us would go, "It's not that bad...." and just bust up laughing. That was pretty much the tone of the rest of the trip, "it's not that bad" and then giggling. At the end of the trip the girls thanked me for guiding them down the river. THAT made me laugh...I said, "What do you mean? I lost 5 out of 6 crew members at one point or another. As a matter of fact, the only person I didn't lose was Teresa's 60 yr. old mother!"

At that point Teresa's mom goes, (in a thick Norwegian accent) "You told me to hang on and row. You never told me to fall out of the boat so I DIDN'T!!!!!!!!!"

I don't care who you are...that's funny!

Anyway, when the girls all thanked me for guiding them down the river I had to break it to them; "I wasn't guiding you; I was in the boat for the ride just like the rest of you. If you were under the impression I knew what I was doing, well, that was your first mistake!"

And guess what? That whole crew (with the exception of Teresa's mom) is signed on for the trip this year...gluttons for punishment I suppose. I can't wait either!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

To Express or Not to Express?

A classmate of mine posted an article on what motivates different behaviors and how to interpret that. After I wrote the reply I was pleased with how it turned out so I thought I'd put in on here for some "food for thought".

“In spiritual issues, the currency or medium of exchange is different, but the principle is the same. Love, friendship, respect, admiration are the emotional response of one person to the virtues of another, the spiritual payment given in exchange for the personal, selfish pleasure which one person derives from the virtues of another person’s character.”

(Denise): Interesting quote. Brings to light an interesting conversation I recently had with a colleague. I completely and totally agree with this paragraph. Admiring another human being for some special quality they happen to possess is NEVER a bad thing. I’m of the opinion that’s a huge part of what is wrong with the planet right now; not enough people are willing to acknowledge admiration in ANY form to the person the adoration is directed at. It’s been my experience that people are pretty good at telling OTHER people what they like about a certain human but it’s odd how rarely that compliment actually reaches the person it was directed at. I’ve put much thought into this concept, and I think it’s because society has unwittingly made admiration and heartfelt emotion to be signs of “weakness”. People are so worried about, “What if he thinks this? What if she thinks I meant that? What if they take it the wrong way?” Everybody is SO focused on the “what if” that people are becoming too afraid to actually EVER express anything positive to anybody. It IS considered strength however to lash out, stand outside the circle, “put people in their place” and “remain professional”. The person who can maintain that personality is the person rewarded by society for “strength”. What load of crap is THAT?

Another quote from the article: “…try to imagine an immortal, indestructible robot, an entity which moves and acts, but which cannot be affected by anything..cannot be damaged, injured or destroyed. Such an entity would not be able to have any values; it would have nothing to gain or to lose; it could not regard anything as for or against it. It could have no interests and no goals.”

(Denise): This life form is being presented in the article as a detriment, YET THIS is the persona that is more and more being rewarded in “the corporate world”. The person who “cannot be damaged, injured or destroyed” is the ideal leader in business. In a sense they have to be because there are so many other “robots” trying to knock them out of their chair that only the strongest robot can maintain the seat.

And another quote: “To love is to value. Only a rationally selfish person, a person of self-esteem, is capable of love—because they are the only people capable of holding firm, consistent, uncompromising, un-betrayed values. The people who does not value themselves, cannot value anything or anyone. It is only on the basis of rational selfishness—on the basis of justice—that people can be fit to live together in a free, peaceful, prosperous, benevolent, rational society.”

(Denise): And maybe this is the answer to why people are so afraid to express admiration: They’ve lost the ability to value themselves; they figure they aren’t worthy therefore they have nothing good to offer. Expressing any sort of admiration or adoration would be viewed as a weakness and a character flaw rather than what it was intended to be, a gift to the person it was given to. And in the world today so many people are so trapped in their own tunnel vision that they are less and less likely to notice anybody around them. I can see how a lot of people could fall thru the cracks and start to feel they have no worth whatsoever. I see example after example on Criminal Minds every week. Yes, EXTREME examples, but half the time when they are profiling who they think the criminal is the “feels they aren’t worthy and feel they are invisible” comes up a LOT.

So, go ahead and roll your eyes, but here comes the Bono reference again. A huge reason I believe that band is so popular after 25 years? They sold out every arena they booked shows in for this tour, which was 70 or more dates, and they sold out in MINUTES. And not just in “some cities” but EVERYWHERE. Who else can do that? Nobody. So, why? It’s not so much about music or “that guy’s hot”, but it’s about a “feeling”. I personally am not affiliated with any church, same as Bono I’ve never found one I felt “fit”. BUT when I’m at those shows (I went to 5 on this tour in 3 different cities) it’s about how it makes me feel. For those 2 hours it’s okay to “feel”, and I’m surrounded by other people who know exactly what I mean. Bono can stand there during Pride In The Name of Love and act like he’s throwing handfuls of love that he’s taking from his heart while yelling “LOVE!” every time he does it. THAT is SO cheesy…But when you’re there? You’ll do it right back at him as does everybody around you. For 2 hours you’re allowed to feel and you’re in a crowd of people who feel the same. They have a song called “40” that is the words from Psalm 40 (more or less) that they put to music. The chorus is mostly “How long to sing this song?” At the end of the show the band leaves the stage one by one while the crowd continues to sing the chorus. At one of the shows in Denver EVERYBODY around me was STILL singing those words in the hall, down the escalator and into the parking lot, EVERYBODY. That doesn’t happen anywhere but at a U2 show. Then we all get in our separate cars, go home and lose that feeling by the next morning. I guess what’s important is that it was ever there at all.

So, is Bono weak because he expresses love openly? Is Bono weak because he compliments others? Is Bono weak because he hasn’t affiliated himself with a “team” or “group” of people? LOL! He’s a rock star who’s twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and he was invited to be the President of the World Bank (he turned it down). Somebody in an interview asked him if he were a citizen would he like to be president of the U.S. He said, “No. I don’t want to move into a smaller house…” (The White House IS smaller than his house). All that and he’s doing a pretty good job of motivating the world to help out a continent that has mostly been ignored. His major plea to people? Coexist. Just that simple, yet so seemingly difficult.

To wind this up since it’s so long I’ll say this: No, I’m not implying we all need to be flower children and walk around telling each other, “I love YOU man!” BUT, ponder this: When was the last time you noticed something a co-worker or a colleague did that you felt was something admirable and then actually took the time to tell THEM that? Maybe you’re good at it…I know I’m sure not. I have to consciously remind myself from time to time to take the time to acknowledge. Yes, I run the risk of that person thinking, “Duh…kiss butt”, or “She said something nice, she must WANT me…fat chance” or “What is it she’s trying to get from me?” Something along those lines…Every time I say something kind to somebody I don’t know very well I am risking misinterpretation, as are all of us. But you know what? So what? If I “selfishly made myself feel good by acknowledging the good work or virtues of another” then where is the harm in that? I’m going to choose to follow the example of Bono, rather than “The Donald”. That’s my personal choice of the person I believe I’d like to be.

Once not so long ago I was told by a colleague that everything I say oozes of emotion and that quality is going to be detrimental to my business career. This colleague indicated discomfort with my “style” and requested “professionalism”. Okay, I’m not for everybody, I get that, however initially this nonetheless smashed my feelings. Was I just told that who I am is not acceptable, therefore it would preferential if I projected myself as somebody other than who I am? I think that’s what I was told. And, in the name of “live and let live” I realized I can be who that person needs me to be in order for us to continue to work together…that’s fine. Rather than crawl into a hole telling myself, “Well, I’m not important enough to rate past the co-worker level” I decided to remind myself it’s not my loss, it’s their’s. I can respect their wishes but to their detriment they are never going to “have the pleasure” of getting to know me. I think that’s what we all need to tell ourselves when we’re set back like that; sadly, it’s their loss, because we ALL have something to offer if people just take the time to know us.

One of my favorite movies is Primary Colors. At one point pretty early on Henry and the Governor’s wife are having tea in the kitchen late at night. Henry takes a drink without testing it and burns his mouth. The Gov’s wife tells him, “Haven’t you learned to never drink tea without testing it?”

Henry says, “I guess that’s what experience teaches people; how not to get burned”.

She replies, “Not the best people”.


Friday, April 07, 2006

You're Playing You Now

As I've stated previously, I LOVE good lyrics...I'm painting my guest room today, so I'm listening to the KINK stream on my computer. I've heard this song a million times, but today the lyrics actually got my attention; how deep is THIS? Yes, it's a little dark (or a lot), but it provokes food for thought on a lot of different levels. I edited out a lot of the repetition, but this is the basic gist of it:

Camera One lyrics
Artist - Josh Joplin Group
Album - Useful Music

The sandy haired son of Hollywood
Lost his faith in all that's good
Closed the curtain, unplugged the clock
Hung his clothes on the shower rod
But he never got undressed
And no, he never made a mess
It's funny how life turns out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera One closes in
The soundtrack starts
The scene begins
You're playing you now
You're playing you now
Take a bow
Take a bow
The trophy wife from Palisades
Whose yearbook beauty never fades
Sits and watches the sea fold in
And wonders what might have been
If she could ever have the chance
Would she do it all again?
It's funny how life turns out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera One closes in
The soundtrack starts
The scene begins
You're playing you now
You're playing you now
Take a bow
Take a bow
On the corner
By his streets
He sits in his lawnchair
In the heat Sightseers see
What they want
They're selling star-maps
To the sun
The sunny-haired son of Hollywood
Lost his faith in all that's good
Closed the curtain, unplugged the clock
Hung his clothes on the shower rod
But he didn't get undressed
And no, he didn't seem depressed
It's funny how life turns out
The odds of faith in the face of doubt
Camera One closes in
The soundtrack starts
The scene begins
You're playing you now
You're playing you now
Take a bow
Take a bow

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Come On Al...Take a New Part!

Okay, is it just me, or has Al Pacino been playing the same guy ever since Scent of a Woman? I swear, I love him, but same charactor in every movie; obnoxious burnt out guy on the edge alcoholic who can't keep his mouth shut and manipulates people. He was that charactor blind in S.O.A.W., and hasn't been anybody else ever since. I mean come ON look at DeNiro, everything from Meet the Fockers to crazy schizonphrenic crazy murderer guy...he's playing all sides of the spectrum. But Al, Al, Al...

The cause for my rant is that I just watched Two For the Money. Not a bad movie. Matt McConaughey has his shirt off a LOT in there, and he's been doing a lot of ab work, maybe because of Sahara (I think they are making a sequel...I hope so). He looks so good I literally don't like Penelope Cruz any more because I'm so jealous she's been dating Matt so long. THAT is if Penelope wasn't going out with him "I'd be in there". LOL! Oh well, the answer to my question: "If you could spend the night with ANYBODY you wanted, just one night, who would it be?" Duh...Matt McConaughey would pop out of my mouth without any actual thought pattern being necessary! My sister thought he was hot in Dazed And Confused...okay, even I can't see that....big stretch and the 70's hair did NOT look good on him. BUT he did very much get my attention in A Time To Kill. One of my all time favorite movies and I think it was one of his all time best roles....(and, I've never seen sweat rolling down a man's back seem that sexy to me before, or since for that matter). He's had me around his finger ever since...just can't kick that habit.

Anyway, got sidetracked: Two For the Money, I'd give 2 thumbs up, but my one piece of advice would be, "Come on Al, play a serial killer or a crazy wacky inlaw...mix it up a little bit...You can do it!"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Train Concert Review Amongst Other Things....

I have a rule: Never type and drink. Alas, I tend to break that rule; not a lot but "some". Gonna do that tonight. Do you ever have one of those days/weeks where virtually every emotion you are capable of all happen in the same week? I've been having one of those. I've been stoked because I had one of the coveted Train tickets at the Crystal Ballroom, which is a VERY small venue for such a big band. It's been sold out for weeks and I had a ticket.

So, the day arrives. I went about my day as usual, did my work, worked on school, went to the gym, etc...Went to get dressed for the concert and FLIPPED OUT because the last time I'd had these jeans on they were a lot looser than they are now. How the HELL am I doing this much dieting and working out, yet my ass is getting bigger? That was very depressing...almost didn't go to the concert in lieu of staying home and feeling sorry for myself. But, I'm Denise and we always must move on no matter what. I huffed myself into my jeans and went to the concert. Got there early so I decided on a day like this what better thing to do than fall off the wagon and get good and liquored before going to the concert? Did that. Had many glasses of wine and got good and lubed. Skipped the warm up band and went up in time for Train. It was a general admission concert and it was THE MOST POLITE G.A. crowd I've ever been in. If everybody had decided to push just a little we would have all been 4 feet from the stage; but, nobody did. I ended up stuck behind some blonde Amazon woman who was about 6 feet tall. I tried to organize a push to the front riot but didn't have enough heart in it to really make it happen. I lasted for about 5 songs, decided Train live isn't much different than Train on album so I left, bought a bottle of wine on the way home, got pulled over by Vancouver P.D. (some a-hole stole my '07 sticker off my license plate...bastards...) and I came home. Here I am.

So, what was wrong with the concert? Nothing. I'm involved with another man still: Bono. December 19th was the last N. American date of the Vertigo Tour, I was there and it was as close to God as I feel I ever get. No, Bono isn't God, but I'm pretty sure God comes to watch him sing once in awhile: that concert was one of those nights. So, since that night I've been to Kris Kristofferson, which was good because it was so different (Although I nonetheless left before it was over), and this Train show which I also left before it was over. Gonna take me awhile to get over the last one before I can move onto the next one. To tell you the truth this Train concert would have been okay, but it wasn't a stagette sort of thing; would have been a great date concert. That's where I went wrong; shouldn't have gone by myself. Who knew though? I go most places by myself and it usually works out fine; tonight it didn't. Oh well....

High points that over-ride tonight? Been an interesting week. I'll keep it completely vague so it remains interesting, but here's the crypt: I never like anybody different but I like him; he's with her. I still like the other him as well but he's still with her too plus he's decided he doesn't want to talk to me any more because of she (and him)(and me)...I'm not particularly broken up about either of them because I'm me which doesn't matter since the more things change the more they stay the same. LOL! Make sense? It shouldn't, because it makes sense to ME and that's the whole point. Get it? If you don't then that's good because you shouldn't. :-)

I had a man from the East Coast write me today about my Second Hand Lions Story...he Googled himself onto my site because he was looking for the "what every boy needs to know to be a man" speech and then he allegedly got caught up in all my Bono stories and loved my blog. THAT made my day. A friend who is very active in the blog technology told me awhile back that I'm going at it incorrectly, my blog isn't following the intent of the format and I'm sure I am wrong (in questions of technology he is generally right). However, that man finding my blog, reading it and becoming inspired is EXACTLY why I put it there in the first place. Wrong or not, my own personal mission was accomplished in part today. I like that. Now if my ass had just fit into my pants better and I'd had less A.D.D. at the concert the day would have been perfect. I guess that gives me something to shoot for tomorrow, huh? As Scarlett would say, "Tomorrow is another day". Seems likely that is the case.

I can always hope!

Monday, March 13, 2006

And Now For Some Pink Floyd Lyrics....

I heard Brain Damage and Eclipse on the radio today as I was on the treadmill...I'm a lyric hound and these are some good ones. So, today I decided to post a little excerpt from Dark Side of the Moon.

PS: I just learned this; did you know the entire album is choreographed to sync with the Wizard of Oz? Pretty cool to'll never listen to the album quite the same again. Go to this link and read about it if you're interested...I've seen it and it's incredibly cool.

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon

The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'till I'm sane
You lock the door and throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
"I can't think of anything to say except...I think it's marvellous! HaHaHa!"

All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All that you feel
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All that you save
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy, beg, borrow or steal
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say
All that you eat, everyone you meet
All that you slight, everyone you fight
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Book Is Finished....Know a Literary Agent?

Well, I finally finished my book. The working title is Eleven Years and it's something I started writing right after Beau was put to sleep to make myself feel better at the time. As it turns out there were a lot of things I was able to work out by writing this, and I actually think it's needs some editing and whatnot, but plotwise and charactor wise, in my opinion it's good. This is my synopsis I've been sending out that sort of gives you an idea of the plot:

Eleven Years is a novel about love and relationships between real people, except the story---told from several alternating first-person points of view---is not only told by humans, but several wise animals as well. The story is about living life rather than just floating along with it, understanding the signs that guide you, and most importantly having a little faith in a better tomorrow, no matter WHAT people throw your way.

As the World clicks along forward it seems that people are losing touch with how to express affection for each other; anger comes easily to us but affection doesn’t seem to any more. Where people are showing affection---as the exponential growth rate of the pet industry shows---is to their pets. Why? Maybe in grasping for something to love that never seems to disappoint there is no finer choice than the Animal Kingdom. That said, what if humans aren’t really the wise beings at all; what if mostly unbeknownst to us the animals are actually guiding US?

Eleven Years is the story of half a dozen people and nearly as many animals whose lives in a sense affect each other, even though most of the humans don’t even know each other personally. After Beau the dog initially voices his wisdom on what mankind as a group is doing wrong, the story then begins in Washington State with Deborah and Mark battling to keep a doomed marriage alive. Although everybody around Deb and Mark have no idea why they ever got married in the first place, when you are taken inside each of their personal points-of-view that reason eventually makes itself clear. 1000 miles away in San Francisco Anna and Paul are simultaneously having the same problem. The common link between these two couples is this; although from the outside the problems are obvious, from the inside neither couple can identify the source of their constant discontent. It often takes a sharp blow to one’s lifestyle to kick them into making a change.

One night in the mid-90’s during the beginning of the internet chat boom Paul and Deborah innocently meet online. Neither realize that a relationship that begins in the most unlikely of ways and via the most unlikely of mediums is going to prove to be the most lasting and intense relationship either of them have ever experienced.

Over-seeing the whole story is Beau, the wise Australian shepherd. Beau’s mission is a difficult one; he is not only on Earth to guide Deborah, but he also must find a way to guide Paul THRU Deborah. Not an easy task for a dog who has to try and work around an over-zealous puppy, a constantly upsetting fighting couple, conflict between love for all concerned, and still finding time to chase the UPS man in his spare time! To make things even more difficult Beau knows he only has a mere 11 year lifespan to accomplish such a lofty goal.

This book not only tells how the characters interact with each other, but due to the first person representation each character can also tell you the “why”. Often times I believe “why” a person actually takes a certain action and the “why” perceived by others are often two very, very different things. Beau and his animal support staff do their best to help the humans realize it’s okay to believe in the best rather than the worst and most importantly that love and how it can be expressed takes on many, many forms.

Now I need to find somebody to help me sell it....and time and time again I've heard that "references by acquaintences" is the best way to make that happen. So....if anybody knows somebody who's published a book and might be able to direct me, or if you know anybody in publishing/editing, please let me know. I have more books where this came from, and I'm dying to market it (that's the fun part), however I don't have the money to self-publish at this point so I'm going to have to find a buyer to print it for me. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

My Website is Finished!

For anybody I didn't tell, which seems to be everybody, I've finally got my Freelance business up and going. I got my first 2 paying gigs so now I'm a pro! Yea! Anyway, my website is up so go check it out...amazing what a few pieces of clipart can do to spice something up!

KINK FM 102 is Almost Streaming!

This is the radio station my radio is ALWAYS on and I absolutely love it. The music is hip enough to keep me from getting moldy, but retro enough to not give me a headache. This is a station for "cool grownups". They aren't quite streaming the actual broadcast yet, but it's coming. In the meantime jump on their website and click on Streams. The New Music stream is pretty good...I'm sure accoustic KINK is good as well. I wouldn't recommend Lights Out though...every time I get in my car at 11pm to go somewhere and that's what's on and it sounds like Yanni new age music I always have to ask myself, "Did I die in a car wreck and I'm dead and I don't realize it? Because this sounds like outer realm music to me!"

But, if you like to keep the music going on your computer while you work, check this out...Keep checking in for the actual station stream which I'm sure most of you will really like!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Feeling "Sort Of" Suicidal?

Are you feeling "sort of" suicidal, and you wish you could kick yourself the rest of the way over? Are you thinking you'd like to hate men completely, but you are sort of on the fence? Well, if that's the case, I have the solution for YOU! Rent the Showtime Original Movie of Bastard Out of Carolina on DVD. THAT will kick you the rest of the way towards suicide and you will be cursing weak women and child molesting men as you are making the final cut, or tying that final knot for your "short drop with a quick stop". LOL! I kept waiting for it to work out okay, and it never did....The only redeeming thing about the movie is when the sister, who was the loner mannish woman living out in the woods and never settling down (portrayal of a lesbian woman in the 40's) sees the girl has literally had the meat whipped off her ass, calls in the 4 tough men relatives, shows them the girl's butt and then tells them, "Kill him!" They go out and start kicking the shit out of him while "mannish woman" holds the girl's mother down who is screaming "they're going to kill him!" and trying to go save him. I figured that from there the mother would see the light and things would be okay. Oh no...not to be. Instead she asks the girl if she wants to come home and live with them again "so they can be a family again". She assures the girl that this time she knows he won't hurt her again. The GIRL is the one who actually has some sack and tells her mother she can go back to him but she will not go with her. The girl stays with the Aunt.

Alas, as timing would have it the A-hole shows up at the Aunt's house when the Aunt is of course down at the river fishing. Turns out he beats the crap out of her, breaks her nose and her arm and then proceeds to rape her on the living room floor (did I mention the girl is 12 years old?) The mother shows up, catches him IN THE ACT and ends up sympathizing with him. AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! In the end she chooses the guy over her daughter and leaves her daughter at the Aunt's house to live. I assume she continues living with the child molester. Sweet Jesus! Go to sleep on THAT note. I'm watching some comedy with Dennis Quaid right now so that I don't wake up screaming with nightmares!

Anyway, Bastard Out of Carolina? I give it 2 thumbs down, but a "10" on the depression meter! If you're into feeling like shit buy your own copy and watch it back to back with Schindler's List!


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Who's Qualified to Determine the Definition of "Crazy"?

Yet another random observation...probably not random actually; I think it's been in the back of my mind for awhile and something yesterday brought it to the forefront. There's a girl who's at my gym on Sunday evenings, and I noticed her a couple of weeks ago. What made me notice her is how she works out on the treadmill. She sets it at probably about 5mph, which is running speed, and then she starts out running normally. After about 5 minutes she starts taking these giant leaps forward while throwing her arms over her head every time she jumps. It gets everybody else in the gym gawking at her because jumping on the treadmill makes a fair amount of noise. She'll take about 10 leaps and then step on the sides of the treadmill and take a breather; then she turns it back on and goes at it again in the same pattern. She seems to go for about 20 minutes and then she disappears. Admittedly the distraction rather irritated me the first couple of times she was there, then I didn't give it another thought.

Last night I was in the gym on the treadmill and there she was again. She got up on the treadmill next to me and started organizing her headphones, cd player, etc. She was quietly talking to her self the whole time she was doing this. She dropped her stereo on the floor, and said, "Oops!" to me with a smile and then I realized she wasn't just talking to herself, but rather carrying on a really detailed 2-way conversation by herself. As she dropped the stereo she said, "Whups! Oh, let me help you with that. No thanks, I can get it myself, thanks though. Really, I can help you" and then I couldn't understand her, or more to the point hear her anymore.

Okay, at first I was thinking, "Man, the cheese has slipped off HER cracker!" but later when I was on the rowing machine sort of watching her out of the corner of my eye I started to have the thought of, "Is she really crazy?" Do you ever wonder why there are so many shows like Ghost Whisperer, Joan of Arcadia and Medium that are all becoming so popular? Why are people accepting these shows that wouldn't have previously been so readily accepted?

Another thought I had a few months ago while watching Constantine with Keanu Reeves. Okay, not a high end movie and not an Oscar calliber actor, but for those of you who don't know me very well I can tell you that I'm a strong believer that wisdom can come from ANYWHERE. No matter how unusual or intellectually insignificant that source may be, wisdom and guidance comes from all sorts of odd places. One thing in that particular movie that got my attention was when Constantine was telling about his "curse/gift" he had that enabled him to see deities and demons. He'd had this ability since he was a child. He's explaining this to the female charactor in the movie and he says, "Well, I had this vision that made no sense to anybody, so my parents did what any parents would do; they made it worse". They put him in a mental hospital and gave him shock treatments and really messed him up worse than he was before. And isn't that true? If somebody sincerely had some sort of a gift like that, who would ever believe them? They'd give them meds and keep them gorked for the rest of their lives as mentally ill. I often laugh about the whole, "Jesus is coming back". LOL! Jesus probably already DID and somebody medicated him and locked him up! Announcing that you are Jesus gets you on the mental ward express!

So, back to the girl at the gym: Was she REALLY talking to "herself" or was she talking to somebody none of us can see? There's another guy at the gym who's older and he was rowing next to me and talking quietly to himself the whole time, smiling away. Was he REALLY talking to himself? You know, the thing about these two people? They always are smiling and seem completely content. What does that say? I know there's the saying about "the happy idiot", but most of the world is overworked and overstressed about a whole bunch of bullshit. Their lives are whipping by and they are barely taking the time to acknowledge the good things. My question, who's really in the idiot group in this story? Think about THAT.....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"I'm sick of Bono...and I AM Bono"

Well, one of the blog gods told me my posts are too long for the blog format, so I'm going to try to keep them shorter so I don't look like a rookie.

So, not to post twice about Bono in a row but something I read on another blog today brings up something I've been contemplating: Yes, Bono is SERIOUSLY over-exposed right now, and yes he is saying the same lines and same speeches on virtually every television network and magazine on the planet. I've noticed that too, and even I've stopped reading every word...I still haven't read the entire Time, Man of the Year story yet...just fried on the whole thing. BUT, and here is the big BUT, I get why he's doing it. You know the saying, "Squeaky wheel gets the oil"? Alas, it's generally ONLY the squeaky wheel that gets oiled. He's on his life's mission, and he's making a great deal of headway. The reason he's making so much headway is BECAUSE of how over-exposed he is. Even my DAD has watched an interview with him on television and knows what he's doing and why now. The fans who were already paying attention to everything he said are super sick of him...but we are the people he didn't have to work to hook...we've been there from the beginning. Now he's going after the Jessie Helms, folks like my Dad who only listens to the oldies station, and any other person who normally wouldn't have listened to a word he had to say. Yes, I'm sick of him to an extent with the rest of you, but because I love him and understand WHY he's doing it I'm going to grit my teeth and let him have at it.

Anybody who didn't listen to the prayer breakfast speech that is linked to my last post should listen to it. THERE is his brilliance in action; he's in a room full of the Christian right (by invitation) yet he never gives an inch towards "Okay, today I'm a Christian if it serves my purposes". He sticks right by his guns and never waivers...that takes balls and THAT is why I love him, repetitive or not.

Plus, it looks like the Edge got tired of the shadows and is hitting the Katrina Save the Music thing pretty hard....nice to see him stepping more towards the front. With this album/tour I've noticed that a lot. Good for you Edge!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bono's National Prayer Breakfast Speech

This is a good one. Check it out if you have time. Click on the link below that says "Bono's Speech" and it will take you right to it. Then click on the button that says "play" under the picture and it will play the audio of the speech for you.
Bono's Speech

Friday, February 17, 2006

Beau's Top 10 Snack Weazes

I had a dog named Beau for the better part of 11 years, and he recently died from osteosarcoma in his hind leg. Well, enough time has passed, and I have the new puppy whom I'm actually convinced IS Beau since he was born 4 days after Beau died (but we won't get into that right now) :-) Anyway, Beau was a very good dog with a couple of flaws:

1. He viewed small children as "tasty". Had to watch him pretty closely to make sure he didn't pinch anybody.

2. Beau got too excited in the game during fetch and if a man happened to be throwing Beau would nip him in the ass and then take off after the stick. He was so fast at it that a lot of his victims had to really think about whether they had REALLY just been bitten or not. He never did it to women, just men, and he never tore the meat off anybody, just gave them a little hicky on their butt cheek. Pretty damned funny actually!

3. Beau loved to snack...and since he was smart he was quick at it and did some really great creative snacking. He had some good ones, so I decided to do a Top 10 list of his all time best weases:

Starting at #10. My ex took Beau with him fishing the day before we were going on our vacation to Reno. Martin called me at work in a panic because Beau had found a dead salmon on the beach and had a snack. Problem with that is that he had a piece of fishing line hanging out of his mouth and Martin had no way of knowing what was on the other end. I told him not to pull it for God's sake, and get him in to my work so we could x-ray. He got him there, we x-rayed and it turned out it just had a barrel swivel on the end of the line and no hook. He swallowed the rest of the line and then passed the whole thing...Gave us all a heart attack though.

#9. Lean Treats. It's a dog snack that looks like little pieces of beef in a foil package...very tasty. Well, I don't think I ever actually dolled them out to the dogs, I'm pretty sure every bag that was ever in my possession Beau found, tore apart and ate the contents. We are talking greater than 20 bags. About a week before I had to put him to sleep he found a way to use his weak hind leg and STILL stand up and get the snacks off the dining room table and eat them all. Call it Beau's Last Hurrah!

#8. I love those frosted pink and white Grandma's circus animal cookies. They used to have the giant twin pack at Costco, and I'd bought one. I'd just opened the first bag in the twin pack and then I got a phone call and left the room. 5 minutes later when I came back in the room, nothing but an empty bag, and Beau laying on the end of the couch looking at me like, "What?". Asshole.

#7. The other pack in the twin pack of the Grandmas's circus animal cookies (in the same day). I got that one out and had about 2 cookies, later had to go the bathroom. I come back in, empty bag, Beau looks at me like, "What?" I didn't think he'd do it twice because they were big bags and I figured the first one filled him up. I was wrong.

#6. Entire bottle of Pet Vites (and a little of the bottle as well). He chewed the bottle apart and ate a whole bottle of chewable pet vites. Okay, he probably would have been okay and they would have maybe given him the squirts if I'd just left things as they were. Unfortunately this wasn't very long after the circus cookie thing, I was still pissed about THAT so I swilled him with a good part of a bottle of Hydrogen peroxide. Great emetic for dogs. You are only supposed to give them a couple of tablespoons at a time, but after I thought it out I realized the reaction to overdose would be vomiting, which was my goal anyway. I tipped his nose up and glug, glug, glugged most of the bottle down his throat and held his mouth shut. About 10 minutes later Beau puked, and puked, and puked. In between puking he'd look at me like, "Oh Mama...what did you give me?" and then he'd go at it some more...I'll have to admit I was a non-sympathetic audience and may have even giggled a little bit.

#5. My brother lived with me for a little while. We were planning on having steak for dinner so I had the meat on the counter unthawing. When I got home I had this feeling of "something being amiss". Realized there had been 2 steaks on the counter when I went to work, now there was only one; the big one was missing. Sure enough, chewed up plastic bag on the couch, no steak. Kendrick gets home and I told him, "Beau has something to tell you..." and I pointed at where his steak used to be. Kendrick had just watched life with Eddie Murphy, so he made his best black voice and said, "Maybe I outta eat YO beefsteak..." Beau looked at him like, "What?". It was funny.

#4. I was having dinner guest over for fajitas and I'd bought whole wheat tortillas. I come home, get that feeling of something being amiss...where are the tortillas? Sure enough, in the living room, in front of the TV is the pile of tortillas, neatly unwrapped laying on the floor. They may have even been salvagable if not for the big bite that went thru the entire pile. Just one big bite, nothing more. I didn't even say anything to him, just turned around, picked up my keys and headed to the store to buy more before my guests started arriving. THAT'S how much I loved that dog. :-)

#3. I am one of the freaks of nature who owns a bread machine and actually uses it. I'd just made a new loaf and it was on the counter. I come home after work, "Where's my bread?" No evidence remained except for the completely spotless bread beater that had been baked into the bottom of the loaf...the rest was gone. Oh, and where was the beater? In front of the TV of course.

#2. I had friends over for a barbeque and Tina had made her homemade clam dip. We went outside to play catch for awhile. We come back in and in the clam dip bowl is nothing but a pile of clams in the bottom of the bowl, completely licked clean. Apparently he liked cream cheese and sour cream but didn't like clams. For a moment picture if you will a dog eating dip but pausing to spit out each and every little clam as he's doing it...just picture that for a minute. :-)

#1. And Beau's #1 all time snack weaz? Thanksgiving Day. I'd made a pumpkin pie and had set it on the table at my Mom's house. I left the room for a minute and when I came back in the pie is still there but there is no crust on it anymore...the entire outside crust had been nibbled off all the way around. Picture if you will a dog using his front teeth to gnaw off the edge of a crust while trying not to get any pumpkin in his mouth. I looked at him, looked at the pie and I decided, the hell with it....I took the pie upstairs anyway. Mom goes, "What the HELL happened to the pie???"

I merely said, "I don't know..." and I went in the other room to watch TV.