Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
This is JUST my opinion, I have absolutely no way of knowing exactly what will happen - EVEN if I do have some sketchy sort of insider connection to the lot in Harry Potter's world.
I think the big thrill, the finish, the death, the tragedy will be none other than RON WEASLEY - why do I think this? Well, for one he's expendable. He's been very good thus far, he's been both informative and entertaining, but he's never been the star, he's never been the show-stopper. He's been a slight hero from time to time, he's had good timing, good connection, great skills at nearly everything that Harry is good at, but that's not enough. I think the boy DIES.
I also think that Neville Longbottom was suppose to be the wizard that survived Voldemort's wrath the night he permanently marked Harry and killed his parents. That's another one of my insane beliefs, or rather what I would have done if I had written the plots myself. We all know I didn't have a thing to do with any of the stories, developments or productions - other than the time(s) the company personnel approached me about my dog being in the 4th movie, the Goblet of Fire. Thing is, if Ron dies in Book 7 will they continue to make the last two movies? I think yes. I think they will, and I think they should. Afterall - people die - life goes on at Hogwarts. More books are sold, more tickets sold, more licensures for products ranging from toothbrushes to backpacks, clothing, toys, and other memorabilia...it makes a great splash when a headliner dies - sort of makes you want to run out and buy all the things with his image plastered on it so that you were the really true and devoted fan.
Yes, I think a WEASLEY bites it this time. I thought about Mom, and I thought about Dad. Too obvious and not that much of an impact. The twins could bring in a few tears, Ginny too - she'd be missed - but RON, there's the ticket! Spectacular death too, please! Let's see him crash from 1000 feet in the air on a Quiddach broom - or better, falling from the Bell Tower trying to reach out and grab his owl before it has a chance to alert Voldemort of Harry's plan! YES! that would do. Maybe he could somehow land in the pond and be swallowed up whole by the Merpeople - they could make him one of them, and he wouldn't have to completely die -just you know...go away.
Oh, but Laura! Poor POOOR Laura - she cried the second I suggested it. This is exactly why it would make great sense to oust the boy. Laura has been in love with Rupert Michael Grint since the very moment his little red tuffed head showed up on screen. The years have passed with her fantasies involving little Grints following she and Rupert through Piccadilly Square on their way to take in a museum, a concert, or simply walking back home from a wonderful day on picnic with her man! Rupert, her star is just about to rise, you may think about it buddy! You could die in Book 7, relax - take off 6-7 years and watch Laura's singing career skyrocket! Good plan - well, we'll have to see what Rowling has planned won't we?
July 21, midnight - the dog will be on the road with Laura and Ozzfest but I will be at Barnes and Noble buying the book. I know, I'm a dork - but dorks have more fun. We live longer, and we smile when no one else has a reason to. DORKS unite! Fly Harry!!
Friday, May 25, 2007
If you know me you know I love Gary, and if you know I love Gary - well, you know I think he resembles a turtle! (Hey, a really really cute turtle! I like the shelled masters of battle!) She smiles because there's not a damn thing he can do about her feelings or the name calling.
On this Memorial Day I wanted to thank the men and women wearing GREEN and of course, I can't forget those wearing white or blue, or dusty brown, and in some cases - black, but you can't see them, they're not really there - but I wish to thank them anyway. I passed by a car this morning with a bumpersticker that was camouflaged - it read "You can't see me flipping you off" and yes, I laughed; sort of reminded me of the way most of our soldiers would be if they could let down their guards for a second and tell the truth about what's going on in the world as a whole. NEVERTHELESS, we are at war, we are in this, and we have men and women out there standing their ground - standing for us, you, and for me. We simply must appreciate that fact.
Sinise is out there this week, has been for a couple of weeks now, in Blackhawks, tanks, on the ground, in the tents, visiting and thanking the uniformed armed forces from every branch he can get his arms around. I like to think that he wouldn't mind squeezing a couple of extra soldiers for me, and if he can - kiss a few! I love kissing soldiers - and since I'm here and not there, he can complete this mission if he will. Give them a big fat wet one for me Gary Alan! Thanks.
You have to admit, that straight mouth of his, his permanently perked brow, the green body armor - and now that hat! He's from the Galapagos Islands for Pete's sake - he even turns his hands in when does his push ups....just like a...well, OK OK...I'll let it go. Thank you Army. Thank you Marines. Thank you Navy. Thank you Air Force, and thank you Coast Guards, National Guards, reserves, and prior service personnel with a big, huge, and personal THANKS to my baby boy Reuben, Pvt. Stringfellow of Ft. Wainwright, Alaska - You can't see me saluting you, but I do - and I will.
Happy Memorial Day to you - and Gary, thank you my friend. You are the ambassador we need today. Hooah!
I wrote a poem once, and even published it in a book, wherein I mention the fact that a writer's pen is cursed. We have to write. We have to express, we don't get out of it. When we dream we dream in fluid blue or black inkened stains: rubbing and scratching words into thin air, we sometimes see words forming out of clouds on a stormy gray overcast sky, and often we see words being created through the movement of waterworks in our dreams...fascinating!
I didn't have a thing to do today and my maternal parental unit asked me what I was going to do with myself, having the entire day without a single obligation -- this doesn't happen often, and it scared me just a bit that she somehow knew of my schedule...but she is my mother. I answered that I would be at the university, in my office (commons area of the library, 4th floor) working on working. What that really means is: I would be searching the internet for places to submit my resume, my DVD of me speaking recently at a Victim's Rights Week seminar, and I would be applying for visiting professorships throughout the WORLD - lovely isn't it? I can actually go all over the world now, not just stay in my own backyard - gotta love education!
If speaking publicly is what I have been doing through amateur mic night, sales or teaching, then I have over 25 years experience. I can stand in front of thousands of faces without fear because I ATE MY FEAR in the 80's when I was forced to do improvisational comedy at various clubs in Hollywood to pay for rent! I was always behind in my debts, always spending too much, and since singing for my dinner was out of the question, I simply smiled, added a pause, a little timing to a joke, and I was hot! They kept asking me to come back, and I did. This led to that, and here I am, over 25 years later standing (sometimes sitting) and speaking and making a living all over the world - hopefully! If England answers my call, my plead, my beg - PLEASE!!
Most of the time I am asked to speak to groups of people who need inspiration, encouragement, uplifting. I have spoken at hospitals, military bases, schools, and in public forums such as stadiums full of women who have been victims of domestic abuse. But, to tell you the truth, it would be my honor and privilege to teach through the power of positive speaking on topics of furthering one's education. If we're going to change the world through our immigration policies, or foreign market policies, and our short or long term goals of reaching each and every kid through public education - we need to be educated about the very system we are working with and through at this time. There are reasons roadblocks and impasses occur! In a word: Budget.
It is my goal to teach at Hogwarts, and if I cannot do this, I wish to speak publicly on the topic of education at Oxford. WOW - lofty doesn't quite cut it at this point, that's a damn good goal to have, and one that may well be within my reach THANK YOU Jesus! I can actually say that this particular goal just might happen. A little time, a little pause, a little prayer, a little application - and a lot of patience waiting on the right person to phone or e-mail me to ask me to do what I love to do - talk.
What a rush!
Books. I have dozens of rejection letters and e-mails now, having the capability to thwart one's ideas and dreams through a new medium - I read them from time to time and I thank God for them actually. The rejections drive me to the point that I don't stop asking. Someone will be the one, someday will be the day, somewhere will be the right place, and when it happens - peace! Well, not for me. I don't stop working. I think I will - I always say I will, then I look for a college that will hire me for a semester as a visting professor and I write, teach, laugh, and travel just to have something to do, and someone to do it with. When you're the teacher the students all but have to follow you around the campus if you ask them to. I've made students explain art to me, take me through builidings they like on their campus. I've even had them vie for a position of who gets to buy me coffee at the university's closest Starbucks....that one's my favorite.
Rejection is something I saw a great deal of in the business world too. I sold insurance. Still do. Damn, I do a lot of stuff don't I? I teach, I write, I speak, I sell - something tells me I need to take a break - not today, maybe Monday! In the insurance business, or probably most sales positions, the rejection is more or less an objection. If I had the right come back, or the perfect follow up that may explain a benefit, or clarify a cloudy image for a client - BAM! Sales Heaven! That's when you get the referrals too. Same thing goes for the student/teacher rejection. We both do it. I tell kids all the time to do their work over again, not realizing they may take it as a rejection. Actually, I've not had many examples of actually rejecting a kid - just a re-do. I have t say re-do's are the best thing in the world. You're not saying yes, but you're not saying no. Just do it again, this time with a bit more focus or giddyup to it!
Can a rejection be the end? Sure. People can totally freak when they get turned down or turned away. Maybe it took everything they had in the first place to drum up the courage to ask a question, or to show their work to someone - only to be hit in the heart, the soul with a big, fat, ugly "I don't like it", or "That's stupid". Wouldn't it be hilarious if the business world did that to us too? I write in a proposal for a film and the director's assistant tells me exactly what he/she thinks - I could counter with "You know what? You suck!" But that only makes me feel better, it doesn't heal the hurt.
Rejection doesn't have to be the end-all, it can be the beginning. It can be the middle. It can be the upside-down-seeing-it-from-another-angle kind of thought too. It happens all the time, my books get turned down, but my readers love it. What's up with that. I'm praised constantly by my students, but the Dean bitches? I don't get it. So, I've decided - rejection is a creation or a manifestation of the other-guy's point of view, not mine. My (or your's if you're following my thought process) idea is awesome. I wouldn't have offered it up for review if it wasn't...the only thing I need to do now, since the other guy thought otherwise - is to re-do. Mix it up. Keep going...push, pull, plug, and plunk it down again.
Wow - there really isn't anything new under the Sun is there? I've just asked you to be persistant next time. Don't take no. MAKE the yes!
I've decided, or rather, I decided a while back - that the boobies are the first on my hit list of things to get rid of once I have the time, money, effort, and abilities to do so. I've been exercising like a monkey in a new jungle - but nothing seems to deplete these giants. There must be a way. According to the doctors, they are only large deposits of fat collected in millions of cells, that if trained properly will someday deminish. I have not seen the result if this therory is correct. I've dieted, I've prayed, I've strapped them down, I've cursed them both in public and in private when and where I can say things to them I would never say in the general populous. (They must be defeated at all costs!)
Laura (18, pretty, tall, thin, virtually boob-less) laughs at me. She says she wants to go to the doctor, have them remove my boobies and give them to her - but what she doesn't know is that she would be cursing them too. They just don't stand up to what is expected of them, I guess. They sit there, non performing idiots that they are, and they absolutely refuse to obey even the slightest command of staying somewhat obscure. Sure, I do actually sell more insurance to men I suppose - but that is NOT the point. If it were possible I would will them now, sort of like a living will, to whomever wanted them - but maybe not my daughter, because I don't really ever want to see them again. They've overstayed their welcome as far as I'm concerned.
My plan (and please, don't tell them if you stare into them) is to have them go the bye-bye way sometime this summer, maybe in July when I take vacation. Maybe when no one's looking. Maybe when the doctors are happy, tan, and needing a little cash to pay off that new boat they saw the other doctors fishing on - yes, the plan is good. I pass by size medium blouses and taunt my chest with the cold hard facts that soon I'll be sporting THIS shirt, ha! They laugh - "We'll stick out! We'll not comply. We won't fit on purpose, and you'll look stupid." They try to warn me, but what they don't know is that there is a way to move them around, fold this over here, pull that over there, and sew it all up again - and I win!
All I have to do is sell 2, 248 more books my big, bobbly, wiggly-wobbling friends - and you are SO GONE! (Smiles - counts the sales daily)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I had NO idea that the picture in the state's largest paper was a picture of the Putnam City Pirates. Being in their practice clothes, there were no mascot logos, no symbols of the school, and even though each helmet had the players' individual numbers, it would have been impossible for me to have read the number 63 on the helmet without using a magnifying glass - but I did catch something very familiar in the turn, the curve of the arm of the boy whose helmet I did examine closer, and found the helmet to bear the number 63. This was my son's arm. I felt odd about it.
I tell you that to tell you this. Yesterday, May 23, 2007, I walked into Starbucks at Danforth and Sante Fe in Edmond, Oklahoma - MY Starbucks, if you will. There on the stand where they sell the various newspapers for the day was a stack of New York Times - with a photo of a group of boys all wearing virtually the same thing - Army fatigues. There in the crowd of men, all hunkering down to avoid a sand storm, and to assist an injured Iraqi soldier, I saw the bend, the bow, the squat, the form - of what could have been my baby boy. It wasn't of course. My son is in Alaska, driving tanks and preparing to defend us when the time comes - but an overwhelming feeling hit me about this ONE soldier. He wasn't my Reuben, but he was someone's son. The others didn't affect me, just the one that so closely resembled my son - it was over a minute before the manager came up to me, wrapped her arm around me and took the paper from my hands - tears were falling all over Page One from my nearly-always-nonmascaraed eyes.
"Jude, he's OK. He's in Alaska. That's not him." She tried to console me, and usually I don't get that emotional over a picture of a group of men who just happen to be in the Army, or in this case, in war. The thought of my son's curve, his arm, his union in that collective high-five flooded over me - this boy, this baby boy belonging to another mother out there, somewhere - deserved a tear, he deserved a prayer, they all did. He just happened to be the one whose butt, back and thighs looked like my own son's when he was so often positioned on the gridiron about ready to strike the quarterback for the opposing team.
My hero is in the field today. He could be a she. She could be a he. They are one. Defending me.
My painstaking plans to find the right condo include interviewing my poor realtor who you know, if you've been reading my blogs, is not legally allowed to give me information regarding demographics of certain neighborhoods in the areas that I will be investigating. Not that it would cut out so much of my search and put me that much closer to knowing where I want to live, but she's sticking to her guns and not giving me much information. Some would ask me why I don't just find another agent - simple - I like her. She's honest, and she's trustworthy. If she would compromise for me, she would compromise for the seller too - I'll just find a way to verbally dance around my question. If me being an English professor can't use words to my advantage - I must have wasted that money educating myself.
Sheridan! River North! Good strong words? I just ask that question. Hey, what do you think about the River North district? She's all "Oh, that's a lovely area to think about. It's safe, it has great shopping, close to cabs, buses, the El, and you know, it has a Starbucks just around the corner from the SIXTY-THIRTY building." That's it...see, I managed to get the information drug out of her without having to say "Is the 6030 building safe and free of violent crimes?" It has a STARBUCKS around the corner. Being the dutiful Starbucks customer that I am, I can now call the manager of the store and ask her/him about the builiding and it's occupants! SEE! I knew it wouldn't be that difficult.
The word "Quiet" comes to mind too, when I think about buying my own condo in Chicago. I'm not into quiet - I prefer traffic, people, sirens, hustle, and movement down below me. I want a feeling of being somewhere where the air is full of sound and smells that capture my attention and hold me in its arms at night, rocking me to sleep with the very music, the soul of the city. I'd much rather live in New York City but need to be centrally located for my work - all of my work. I have 10 jobs I think. At least 4.
What is it now that I do? Oh, I sell insurance, I write books, I teach online, and I work up ideas for non-profits that will benefit other non-profits. I have to do something when I'm not thinking of things to do - did I tell you I was an overachiever? Cursed really - but it's a way of life for me. Gotta move, gotta think, gotta work, gotta live. Oh, and I'm learning how to play the guitar too, something to stir the passions in my heart as well as my body.
Nothing quiet about me really. There will be plenty of time for quiet when I'm in Heaven - except I'll be chasing Maurice Gibb around for the first 100 years or so....smiling the entire time.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Looks like there are 2 girls and 1 boy. They're named: Pablo, Carmen, and Venus. No doubt my girls would change their names if we did end up adopting them. Wouldn't that just be a kick in the pants to own more than one 2-legged dog? Can you see us walking our dogs? We'd be fun to watch - waddling and skipping down the street or at the park. If the babies were anything like Faith, and I think they are I've seen video, they'd be running and jumping in no time. Faith only took 2-3 months to learn what it took to stand upright all the time. Being Chihuahas these dogs would have such a greater advantage! Faster, lighter, they'd be able to run and play upright in no time. BREAKING hearts and melting souls wherever they went.
Laura's begging me to write to the organization to see if we can adopt them. OK, OK, I'll write. I'll see if the NSAL is crazy enough to let me have them. We'd surely give them a beautiful and full life, that's for sure. The poor things would probably be put in purses and carted around most of the time. Laura and Caity have been fostering Chihuahuas for a couple of years and everytime we get a new one they baby the poor thing to the point of spoiling it so badly no one wants it - that's probably their evil and deceitful plan.....to collect Chihuahuas! They could be worse, they could be peddling or doing drugs - I'll take little varments over cocaine.
There's just something about a Chihuahua in the first place that captures you - the face, the bark, the way they nuzzle you one second and bite your toes the next - something odd about that breed - and now the brats (my girls) want me to KEEP three of them, without front legs. When they play boardgames they try to one-up their brother too; this would be a show-stopper! "What cute puppies you have - OH MY GOSH, they don't have front legs!" Well, we're used to that sort of thing I guess - what's another 3 mouths to feed, backs to pet, bodies to bathe, and collars to buy - since we're with Dublin Dog the collar issue would be the least of our worries.
OK Laura, I asked! It's up to God now. (Please God, find another sucker - I've met my quota!) Smiles - knowing she'd be the first to say yes if given the opportunity!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Check out these GORGEOUS (and versatile) collars. Faith is going to be the new Spokes Dog for Dublin Dog! Oh, we couldn't be happier.
We met the owner of Dublin Dogs (Jason Watson) at the Great Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida - you remember, the day Faith was lost at the airport and CNN came out to film our reunion? Well, turns out that God was really watching over Faith and I guess she had a little Irish LUCK too, because soon after the show we were asked to be the spokes people/dog for the company! Oh, and they're so pretty.
The collars (Jason can tell you more, but I'll give it a go) are 100% rubber, washable, durable. They never scrape, crack, break, or stain - and you know what - they look new years after they've been worn. Dogs that go fishing, swimming, climbing up banks, and chasing geese through mud holes (like Faith) come out completely nasty - but you just wipe the Dublin Dog collar off with a little soap and water and it's perfect again! I'm telling you, there's no better product; except maybe wings - that would be cool - I could wind her up and let her fly across the pond - - give her a more even playing field for the geese that way!
Seriously - we can't wait to show off her collars when they come in. We're getting her a completely new summer wardrobe, and in the fall maybe we'll find a plaid collar for those school daze visits. She's going to need a camoflaged collar for the military stations, and the sherbet collars are perfect for running around in Florida - which we seem to do quite often. Only in Florida can you find a pink house with a teal roof and a big yellow window pane! Gotta love the colors.
Thanks Jason... We can't wait to show off your duds dude! You can find Dublin Dog collars easily by googling, or just going to the website - http://www.dublindog.com (It's under construction, but you can see most of the new lines!)
I decided to get back into sales again after a couple of years of being absent in the field. The ONLY reason I went back to selling is because at this point and time I have to make a few ends come together while I'm working out the get-rich-quick thing. I've been working on it for years, and am convinced that my statute of limitations has run out on so many of the things I've tried in the past. Sales just seems to kick in, and I seem to be a natural - at least I think I am, which can be benificial when closing a deal. My problem is, and has always been, I'm not a conformist. I don't do the sales call like 99% of the others. When I hear a sales agent giving canned schpiel I want to throw myself through the receiver, grab them by the throat and scream "HEY, I'm human, talk to me...don't read to me, ask me real questions, feed me something interesting so I'll bite at whatever it is you're peddling." Hell, no wonder people hang up, I HANG UP when I get that call!
I spent 45 minutes on the phone today doing grunt work for a guy who thinks that following the script will get his office into a better productivity margin. The poor office went from 12 agents last year to 2 1/2 this year and that's before you count the fact that one of them has already told me that he's leaving just as soon as he's licensed in another state. Something isn't working for that office - four managers in as many years - can't be the company, must be the approach. What is it they say "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"...couldn't be more true. So, after my 45 minutes I handed the manager a stack of 15 leads - I managed SOMEHOW to drum up. He said they were useless because I hadn't used the script, and he couldn't send his REAL agents out to do a sales pitch or presentation because he wasn't sure of what I had said. FAIR ENOUGH.
I went. I drove my happy butt out to the first appointment - introduced myself, and we talked for about an hour actually about everything under the big, bright, sun EXCEPT Medicare supplements, and long term care. I don't talk about what I sell - I sell it. After an hour of getting to know the man, going through his kitchen to find cream for MY coffee, and asking him for the remote so I could change the channel and see what Palestine had decided to do with their free time today - I pulled out my application - well, his application. I filled it out, asking questions about his health, going over the costs of nursing homes vs. stay-at-home care, and I even joked about having him sign over his house, dog, and johnboat to me so he could qualify for a lower premium. NO, I didn't sign the contract because I'm not appointed with the company yet - but you know what; tomorrow morning when the boss drinks his orange juice, he'll have another Plan J in his pocket as well as a full premium long term care policy for a man aged 71, about $311.75 a month after all is said and sealed.
Diamonds come in many many shapes, sizes, qualities, and colors - ME, well - I may be rough, but I'm good enough to shine the way I was made. By the way, I decided NOT to work for that company afterall. I don't need the training - I need to talk my way into a few more houses and do what I do - befriend, and then BE the friend. I don't know about other agents, but I still remember the names of the kids of the people I sold to over two decades ago - and I wonder if they remember me.
Mavericks are OK when you understand them.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
So, I'm selling life, health, and accident insurance again. This time (without mentioning the company's name) I'll say I'm wearing green again. I'll be out in the field talking to farmers again, and maybe this time if I'm asked to deliver a baby cow I won't flinch...been there, done that, did you say you were going to take out a whole life policy to cover the entire family Mr. Jones? AWESOME! Where's that hefer? Nothing beats selling insurance, nothing in sales that is. I couldn't think of a "funner" way to make money and to get to know your country neighbors.
Actually, my plan doesn't actually include staying in the rural areas for long. My goal is to be a manager of a large metroplexed office maybe in Dallas or Chicago - I'm thinking condo downtown with a mortgage so high I would have fainted to think about it last year. My goal to work in the big city is something new, but something I think I'm ready for. With my books being published soon by a REAL publisher, my dog being sponsored and doing her thing with my daughter in tow - I'm free to seek the things I've wanted to find for years but couldn't because the kids were too young and needed me .... freedom at last! Freedom at last! I'm going to the big city and I'm not looking back!
July 20-24 I'll be in Chicago, checking it out to see if I'd like to try a slice of life's pie that I've only read about. I'm online constantly looking up highrise condos with all-glass fronts up near the River North section - something overlooking Lake Michigan, with a lobby, a gym, an indoor pool, a doorman, and the guarantee that I won't be able to afford a second bedroom for the girls - believe it or not, that appeals to me. I'll be able to get leather furniture, glass accents, and OHHHHH, I can get the frames I want, and the lamps - the lamps I CHOOSE! Somedays dreams can simply over take me.
The first week of August I'll be in Dallas - Big D. Yes, I'll be going to Ozzfest to see my daughter and pet my dog - or see my dog and pet my daughter, I don't really know which. But it will also be a time for me to check out the layout of that big city, and find an overpriced highrise that allows dogs like Matrix, and find out if they're going to charge me extra for keeping my kids there. I hope they do. It would give me the excuse to pay their rent(s) in Oklahoma - so they can go to college and LEAVE ME ALONE like the independent almost-adult people I grew them up to be...no, I'm not mean. I'll let them buy me dinner from time to time, and I'll even invite them over for holidays - I'm nice that way.
Dallas? Chicago? Some place I can jump on a plane and go home if they absolutely can't go another minute without me. Some place where I can eat in different restaurants, wearing really cool, flashy, clothes, and not feel like a stand out. You just can't do that in Oklahoma City. I want to tip the guy carrying out my groceries - except no one carries out your groceries anymore and if you tip someone here they stare at you open-eyed and drop jawed! I'm a tipper! I think big city and I always have - I'm telling you, I think I'm a Vanderbilt. Stringfellows live in places with triple digit populations and landmarks like "The big red barn", or the "pond up a ways". When a Stringfellow dies they get buried in the city and everyone wonders where they came from - no one knew they were there; and they wouldn't BE THERE in the city cemetary if digging a hole in the backyard and throwing a body in it weren't still illegal!
I love my family name. I kept it actually when I married, only surrendering it after an error when my ex and I bought a house together. I couldn't wait to get the name back after I dug a hole and threw him in it - don't tell anyone! So, I have a plan! Keeping my Vanderbiltness a secret and making it on the Stringfellow ticket - I'm going to the big city soon, and I'm going to stare out the big glass windows and drink a blush wine toast to the newness. If the doorbell rings, and I hear the girls fighting in the hallway over whether or not they found me - I may giggle a little before I take the fire escape!
It's a good plan.
I found a stack of Christmas and holiday cards from years back - found them today when I was trying to rework the puzzle that I call my storage unit - ever do that? You get one, put all the big things in first, things you don't need. You add the boxes later. Big heavy boxes on the bottom, but not too big - because you can't lift them. Medium sized heavier boxes are best. Then somehow you get the smaller heavier boxes to fit, and the larger, medium, smaller boxes that are either rectangular or unable to be taped up, they go on top of those - and before you know it, you're working a jigsaw - worse than the freakin' Rubic's Cube to figure out. Oh, but my darlings were PERFECT with the markers - they were absolutely amazing.
I found a box marked with 81 different titles. I swear to God, I'm not lying - Laura listed the contents of the entire box: ALL OVER THE BOX. So, I pull it out, it reads: Crayons, pencils, lense case, 6-Lego things, paint tube thingy, pens, and dictionary. It continued to explain that Christmas bows, a battery charger, and a box of dominoes was also inside. Must have been the one box I would have called "MISC". Leave it to Laura - but you know what, if I want my dictionary I'll remember it is in THAT box. The box behind THAT box was the box marked "Stupid cards that we don't need but Mom keeps anyway". Why are my kids so mean? I don't want to throw out little cards given to me by my dead aunts, my new and old friends, my co-workers who I may someday remember. I don't want to chunk them just because they're 11 or 12 years old. I have an original drawing from Wayne Coyne in that box! Yeah, that's right, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips baby, drew me a card for Christmas - The Flaming Lips rule! (telling me to throw out cards, to hell with that!)
So, every once in a while when we're out and about the city of Edmond, and have nothing else to do - we go by the storage unit and visit our stuff. You know, make sure the floods of May didn't overtake the boxes, making sure the rats and cockroaches aren't making permanent homes in our photo box, or worse - my pretty curtain box. I have a pretty curtain box, and then I have the ugly curtain box. Caity's title. It was her way of letting me know she didn't agree with my purchases. Why don't I just put her in a box and write all over it "Nothing in this box, nothing to see - just a big, mean, nasty, folded up kid with her tongue sticking out at me!" Why? Well, because we went to the zoo today to waste a little time, and she jumped over a really scary fence to save a kid that was just about to take a header into the sealions' domicile - that's her - that's my Caity. One minute I'm ready to stuff her in a hole, the next I'm crying with my heart about to bust from pride.
When I got to the storage unit I pulled out the box that said "Kids School Stuff" and I dug through it a little. Caity and Laura looked at me. I found what I was looking for almost instantly. You pack a box yourself, and you have that luck sometimes. There in the middle of the seemingly messy mix of moments from a decade or more of grades and little momentos that again, I couldn't bear to part with - was the award Caity won in the 3rd grade for bravery. She had told the teacher about a boy who brought a knife to school. It just seemed appropriate to get into the box and get out her little medal. I tried to straighten out the little red and blue ribbons so I could pen it onto her shirt today. She laughed at me, but she wore it all the rest of the day. What a neat little brat - and then, it was off to Tuesday Morning. Some days are just good like that!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
This is what LOVE looks like
This U.S. Army soldier is passing out school supplies to kids in Iraq. This is due in part because of the organiztional skills and love of Gary Sinise and author Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit) who founded Operation Iraqi Children.
As most of you know, anyone who reads my blogs on a daily - or as the title reflects, almost daily; you already know that I am completely in love with Gary Sinise. Not in love like he's the best actor in the world, or that I want to rip his clothes off - just the real kind of love that deeply affects a person's heart when she (I) try really hard to think of something else - anything else, but can't choose what my heart will do. I love - it's eternal, can't help it, I deal with it.
There is a way to help my soul however - and I found this out while I was dreaming. YES, of course, I was sitting on top of Gary in the dream, but that has NOTHING to do with the concept that was bourne from the dream itself. I decided to act on the dream's sublevel development. I decided to create a means to help Operation Iraqi Children without Gary's presence. He doesn't have to be there all the time - dreams are good. He can live his own life, have his own existance - you know - the way he would anyway - and I can do something that actually might make a difference in the lives of thousands.
I'm an aggressive person - you know that. I decide to do something and it gets done. I rarely wait on anyone to assist me. I believe there are two types of dreamers: those who think about what they dreamed, and those who make their dreams come alive. I'm the latter. I decided to call the parole officers in the county I live. I asked them to work with me in order to get this dream to wings. I want them to give me the names of 100 kids that will be serving community service soon - 100 hours or so. The kids (mainly boys, but girls can mow lawns too) will be mowing lawns to create good will. They will be mowing lawns for people who will pledge money to the OIC through envelopes I provide. The envelopes will have pictures of my son (a U.S. Army Soldier) standing with an Iraqi kid - one like the kids the other U.S. Armed Forces pass out supplies to. Reuben is in Alaska now, but he'll be in Israel, Iraqi, or Iran before too long.
With Oklahoma County behind me I know I can reach 10-12 other Oklahoma counties. I am working now with counties in Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri - we have great lawns. I'm working also with counties in Central Florida, because the Southwest region will not have any lawn work in the winters, but the Southern states will. I want this to be an all-year event, year after year. If we ever stop passing out supplies in Iraq - we can pass out supplies somewhere else. My hope is that many thousands, if not millions of lives will be changed. I can't be there when my baby boy goes to the Middle East, but as a teacher, he knows my love is inside EVERY package he or his buddies hands to a kid - smiling, he can feel my heart smiling right back at him.
Call it what you may - I only actually stalk Gary in the dead of night - when even I'm not aware of the real world - drifting in and out of happy-places....coming up with ideas that can change the world.
MY GOD, I love this picture!
So, I'm in Orlando, Florida looking for a Starbucks, which I might add - is not as easy as looking for one in Manhattan! I finally find it - but I had to go on the Universal Walk to do it. It wasn't the one in the picture, but it was upstairs, and to date, it was the first Starbucks I ever went to that was upstairs. This photo of course, looks more like what I would (or will) find when I visit Hogwarts this Summer. Can't wait.
Starbucks has me by the throat - and this also means they have me by the purse. I spend more or less the same amount of money a day on drinks as I do on gasoline - you do the math. I'm broke. I drive to Starbucks to fill up, and then to the 7-11. There's NO WAY I'm missing out on my drink just because my car needs a refreshment. I'll freakin' walk to the mall before I go without my cappucino. Oh, but now - now, Starbucks has gone too far. Yes, they're doing it. They're pulling out the stops. Putting orange, raspberry, blackberry, whatever berry or flavor you want in your mocha - which I guess they did anyway with their Christmas specialty the Peppermint Mocha.....damn them! The new Orange Creme Mocha comes in the standards, the hot, the cold, the frozen, the blended, the coffee based - tall, grande, venti. (I watched this morning as man ordered a small, and I laughed. We laugh. Starbucks addicts. We laugh.)
To be honest - today was my first attempt at falling in love with the Orange Creme Mocha. I live in Edmond for a while still - maybe until October, so I went to MY store at Santa Fe and Danforth. I let Naoma and Rachal have a shot at making the virgin OCM - DANG....they know their stuff. They knew they had me before I waltzed in. I don't walk, I glide into Starbucks. I float. I know I'm gone - I know I'm captive. Why fight it? I have a really good machine at home too, and yes, I do make myself the various drinks that I can pay outrageous prices for at the store. I make one every morning before I leave - and because NO ONE is there to stop me, I put 4 shots of espresso in my cup......ha! You thought I was using cocaine - wrong, coffee my friend, coffee....same effect - no police.
Naoma stared at me as I stared at her. "What are you doing in MY store?" I asked her. She belongs in the rival store of 2nd and Bauman in Edmond. I go there when I see a few firefighters sitting outside on their plaza - that store has the best looking clientele in the city of Edmond being right across the street from the firehouse! "Making you an Orange Creme Mocha" she bantered - I was shot! Shot through the heart - penetrated by her words - captivated by the very thought of the mix - mocha, orange, creme.....fine. $3.90 - not a problem. I'll just do without lunch - we have to make choices in our lives. We have to set priorities. I could actually, if I thought about it - go on a Starbucks diet. 3 drinks a day - cost about the same as I would pay if I were on Jenny Craig or Nutrasystem - sure...why not. With all the money I'm saving by NOT paying for gas, I can walk 5-10 miles a day and do this thing right.
To date I have been to 278 stores across the nation. I have many, many, more to go. I smile when I think about it.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I was inside this cab when I saw this huge white guy with a chef's cap wanting to share my fare - I punched the back of the seat and screamed "Let him in, I have so much to tell him", but the driver wasn't from America and he took off like a flash in the pan!
What you DO NOT KNOW, but I will tell you, is that my poor children, especially Ruby, have been subjected to my double talk, my fun-punning of the English language for too many of their young years. They were RAISED on my abilities to use words - for them, it has been pure torture. For me, it has been a challenge to come up with more words and more double meanings that can be contributed to my on-going obsession with the baker himself, Mr. Pop n' Fresh Pillsbury! (This one's for you Reu)
When I first meet Pop n' Fresh, he was no more than a pasty. His father, a sourdough from Long Island, and his mother, a rather prominent ladyfinger calling herself "E.Clair" were simply too delicious not to marry. They found each other sufficatingly delightful...making little Pop was never a question, it was a matter of perfect timing, perfect settings - everything had to ROLL just right. When it did he was such a little muffin! I couldn't keep my eyes off of him, and wanted only to take him home and keep him TOASTY in my kitchen. He's lived with me for years and he has one job - to torment my kids.
I remember the first joke my little friend told my son. "Hey Reuben", Pop n' Fresh called from the pantry "What's my dad do for a living?" There was no answer from the scared little boy trying hard to hide from the white image of a half-baked cook - "He's a cobbler!" Hahahahahaha, came the high-pitched laugh from the kitchen. Hahahahaha, he continued as he told another joke. "Hey Reuben" and he waited, but still no answer. "Why am I only 6 inches tall?" Pause - wait for it "I have a little shortening going on inside of me!" Hahahahaha
OH, I can see my boy's older eyes rolling now, but at age 4 he was a puddle of water in the livingroom - I would take my little 6 inch rubber guy out of the pantry and hide him under Reuben's pillow at night sometimes. He'd find him and I'd hear the baker flying into the wall with a thud! "Don't hurt me" I'd call out to Reuben in the night in the best Pop n' Fresh voice I could custard-up! "I can pay you a ransom in the morning, right now I'm a little short on DOUGH" and then he'd throw the poor toy out the window! I'd find him in the morning all marked up with magic marker, death signs covering his body. Its no wonder my son is as tough as he is today - can you imagine having to deal with this sick twisted piece of wheatgluten for years?
Well, all I have to say is this: Reuben, if you die in the WAR - Pop n' Fresh is coming to the funeral my friend, and he's going to do his best to get a RISE out of you. You'll TURN OVER in your grave from what he has to say to you for all the times you thought you BEAT him - you'll GLAZE over with embarrassment when he's finished...oh, Reuben just one more thing - what do they call Fort Wainwright in the heat of August? BAKED ALASKA!!! Gotcha!
I do worry about him when he says things like "Well Mom, I'm going into the artillary field for a few days and I don't think they'll let me call you. Sgt. So-and-So will call you if I die and you'll get a bunch of money." That always sends red flags up in my head - NO, wait, what are you saying boy? They're setting you out into the real field with real guns and real bullets? Who are these people? Do they realize you're my only son? Do you realize that real bullets make big holes in a person if shot directly into them? He's going to stop telling me his day to day schedule if I don't stop freaking out. Last week it was "Hi Mom, I love you - oh, guess what, I got knocked off my tank and thought I broke my ankle, but didn't. I'm OK - the guy I landed on is still in the hospital though." So, I woke up the next day thinking I was imagining it - all was well. Boy's OK...surely, the other guy calls his mom in the middle of the night and gurgles to her that he's been flattened and is currently in the base hosptial being treated for broken bones and suffocation.
My daughters aren't any better - we believe in the direct approach when it comes to information. They let me know straight up what's going on, but I will say that Reuben's a little more lax about it. He never seems to understand the impact his words, and in some cases his body actually has on people. Caity and I went to dinner last night at the Olive Garden. She wanted a few more bread sticks so she asked the waiter for them. He came up to us, and she made an overt movement with her head, cocking it to the side and saying outloud "He has a nice butt!" He was still standing there. She smiled. He blushed. He left. I grabbed a breadstick and shook my head. Laura's a bit more considerate. When I took her to the mall Sunday, (took Caity too, and the two of them serenaded me throughout the entire mall, dancing around me, singing and kissing my face and head over and over again - everyone knew I was THEIR mother on my 21st Mother's Day.) and she (Laura) put on a maternity shirt - for giggles. "Mom, there's something you should know" was her only comment - if it hadn't been so funny I would have broke down in tears. (Mary holds the record for having the ONLY virgin birth)
So, there you go - Mom's worry - we do that. We think people are coming out from nowhere to steal our kids, and then some days we go behind buildings and stones just looking for people who could possibly give us a break for a few days - they could take them, maybe call with a reasonable ransom request - I could set up a payment plan with them and visit the kids from time to time. Does it work that way? No? Fine! Now that they can almost feed themselves, I think it may be time to let them try walking alone at the mall - what am I saying? That'll never happen - they love embarrassing me too much.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
"Hey, that's cool!" He said, "I can call you tomorrow too!" and of course, he did. I beat him to the punch this time - I wasn't asleep. I had been out partying with my good girls Niki and Kimi - hey, it just dawned on me, all of us have 4-letter names. We're so cool - Jude, Niki, Kimi, yeah - we're awesome. Anyway, we were eating hand-made pizzas at Cafe' Bauer, which, if you know the owners can stay open all night - and we were drinking good cheap wine, dancing, running around the house in our expensive underwear - HAHAHAHA, I'm laughing because I know the truth, but I want you to think we're hot. "Good Morning Baby Boy!" I said to my son, and I explained to him why I wasn't my ordinarily sleeping, kind-of-out-of-it Momself. He wanted to fly home and drive me to the house to tuck me in. Moms aren't suppose to be dancing with anyone at 2:00 a.m. - but he conceded that the girls were at least girls, and we were harmless unless we all turned at once on poor Chef Eric, who from time to time dons a little french maid's outfit to throw our pizza - he skipped this costume event last night, choosing rather a t-shirt and shorts for the appropriate 85 degree weather - yes, at 2:00 a.m. it was that hot in Oklahoma.
Mother's Day is on Sunday from now on! I wanted you, the readers to understand that it would be made official probably, and that CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, all of the great networks, FOX, everyone, would be talking about it. Wait til next year you'll see - it'll be on a Sunday then too! My son was only mistaken this ONE time - and he's good because he actually wanted to call me again. He's like that....infact, he calls so often that I wonder sometimes if he has much to do during war time - he got his underwear stolen the other day, and a couple of pairs of pants. I told him it had to be the Russians! There's NO WAY another U.S. Army soldier would intentionally steal from a fellow brother. He thinks maybe the kid is shell-shocked, has snow-blinding from his Alaskan horizons - but NO WAY would a REAL U.S. Army soldier do something like that - unless: Reuben out pugled them, out ran them, out marched and out shot them, and they just wanted to see him running around the base all fuming and screaming - I would have put them in the freezer for a couple of hours personally.
To my son - I LOVE YOU! Go drive that tank Boy! Be the victorious protector you have always been, and know this - and I MEAN it - you, my baby baby sweetness of a man, are the reason I was able to celebrate MOTHER's Day each and every single day for over 3 and 1/2 years. YOU are my first. YOU are my heart. Call me anytime, anywhere, I will never refuse your love. Hooah!
To my daughters - PRECIOUS and beautiful little girls of 18 and nearly 17 years - joy comes not only in the morning with you, but always. You have enriched my soul, have lifted me, and have given me the power, the strength, the drive to be the person God Himself intended me to be. Without you there would be a void without hope. I love you both - and will forever.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Have I ever been so stupid? Oh, HECK YEAH! I am certainly sure that if I had to think of the things I've said to or about someone's faith, their race, their world views, or their culture - my dissertation titled "Multiculturalism in American Education" would be thrown out without review! We're all idiots, we all say really, really, ignorant things. I just thank GOD that I haven't said it on air, and that NO ONE cares who I am - if someone cared, I would be swimming my way out of the Hudson for something I tripped over my tongue for last November when I visited my adopted city of NYC - I think I was on Broadway talking to an African American woman, a friend of mine now, and I said something so ethnic, so culturally rude, that when I found her staring at me in shock I was glad it was SHOCK and not SHAME...I hadn't back peddled like that in years.
So, what to do with Sharpton? Hell, what to do with Richards, Gibson, any of us? FORGIVE - but do it when we deserve it. When and if we're sorry - like most of us are when we realize that our personal lives, our environment, our upbringing, our engrained nature has relaxed inappropriately, and we make ourselves appear less or sound less of the person we wish we were, and more of the person we have so far evolved to. We keep trying....hopefully, peddling, and peddling, but maybe next time it won't have to be backwards - huh? Can we pray about that and believe it for a second? Saying we're wrong is hard - but lying about it only makes it worse.
Christians - follow Christ people. We're NOT Christ, we can't be. Cut us a little slack sometimes, you may find us pretty handy in case of a prayer need someday. (It's rumored we have a direct line you know.....to GOD Himself.)
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I am actually not sure how much information I can give you about this concert event considering I signed a confidentiality statement with Brown Gravy Entertainment yesterday. (Hi Bryce!) What I can tell you is that the GREAT and Legendary Ozzy Osbourne will be hosting his annual Ozzfest (2007) beginning the second week of July and going through August. There will be over 20 dates and they are traveling in the usual manner - by bus.
The really cool thing about Ozzfest this year is that a very very special guest star will be attached to the WORLD FAMOUS and FABULOUS Brothers Grim Side Show! The side show is a group of extremely talented actors and performers who do more than just the average stage performances that you may expect from the retro age circuses of the 20th Century. Look up the Brothers Grim online and see some of the most incredible people you've every seen! You won't believe your eyes! Faith is not a member per se, she is a special guest, she appears with the side show on occasions and is always happy to do so. She loves Bryce, the manager, and will follow him to NYC! Wait, she's already followed him to NYC! (Hi Ken - Ken went too)
Faith may be a part of the reality show that will be picked up soon by a major network which will feature the side show as a real television event! You haven't seen anything until you see this show believe me - Survivor, Big Brother, none of the reality shows you've EVER seen can come close to touching the strange and bizzare acts you'll witness - and they're real - they really are real! The bus should be the most extreme place my dog or my daughter Laura has ever actually been - and to be locked up for 55 days or more with these people - well, I'm sure they'll never be the same - they'll be better! I bet Laura's singing career takes off too - she'll have a captive audience who may want to kill her by the time they pull into Denver, but hey, she's been in karate for a year or so - she can take them!
I'm sure you'll see more advertising about Faith joining the troupe with Ozzfest this year. Bryce has gone out of his way to make her (and Laura) feel as comfortable as possible. I just hope the poor residents on the bus can put up with Laura's pop music and Faith's constant whining "Are we there yet?" - "Are we there yet?" You think your kids are bad - please, that dog is the worst! She can fly great - no problems even when we land - a little yawn to pop the ears and she's good to go. I wonder though what Bryce was thinking when he suggested the bus as a means of transportation - he may wish he'd flown the mutt in for each show. Go to Ozzfest if it comes to your state and/or city. I won't devulge any dates or places, I don' t know if I can, but you can look it up online!!! Have fun and oh yeah, rock on! (I'm laughing, you can't see it, but I'm like totally falling out of my chair laughing over that one!)
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Faith is just one of those really talented dogs you see - she can make EVERYONE happy - screamer bands, no problem. She can do it! Her function is really cool too. She's a Special Guest with the Brothers Grim Side Show, a world famous performance group with the retrospective flavor of the original side shows from the faires of the turn of the century. They're amazing! Faith and Laura (and maybe Caity) will be available in the side show tent before the gigs to have their pictures taken with the audience - one at a time of course, but to express that Faith isn't always about seeing people in hospitals, schools, and military bases. She can love on ANYONE who is willing to be loved.
Wow - to think, my little girl may be screaming soon from the stage in front of thousands and thousands of people. Brings a tear...but I'm not sure if the tear will be for joy or utter shock when I see what Bryce has found for her to wear! I may just close my eyes and tell her I love her! I love you! I love you Laura.