Friday, November 30, 2007

What Scorpio Wants - She Gets

Earlier in the year I posted a blog about Scorpio Women and how we always get what we want and someone (someone foolish I might add) wrote to me and challenged my reasoning. To this man, this very fine and uniquely positioned man in my life, I say this: I am a woman first, therefore, throw all reason out. I am a Scorpio woman secondly - duck! (She smiles as he stepped away slowly in a flirtatious Piscean retreat!)

When a woman has her mind set it would be an idiot's move to try and stop her. Even our our holy scriptures tell us it is better to dwell on the top of the roof than inside the house with an angry woman. Have you not been on the barrel end of the stare of a woman who either wants you so badly you're about to melt, or she hates you so badly you're about to melt? Either way - you melt. The only difference is where you will be doing that act itself. Location, location, location! Will it be in her bedroom, twisted among the sheets, or will it be on the bar stool all night alone with other loners who made the same mistakes? Women simply do two things gentlemen: First we rock the cradle, then we rule the world.

Caesar had a wife. He knew back in the day the importance of keeping her out of politics - it was HIS order that held voting to men and even the order deciding NOT to educate the women in Rome for only ONE reason - we rule the world. Sure, we let men live in it, work in it, play in it, even crave us and please us -- but it is our world to rock. Try living without a woman, she can do the time without you - or have you never actually thought that one out? Sorry to be the bearer of truth.

Now, let's get back to the Scorpio Woman versus all 11 other zodiac femme. It's not that we're the end all, or that we are the only champions of the world - no, that's not it. We simply have a bit more zeal, a bit more tenacity, a bit more I'll-get-it-because-I-want-it sort of thought process from the beginning and it's usually something she was born with, not learned. There are those really rare exceptions who were born on October 27, 1965, but we'll not get into that right now. A Scorpio Woman is more likely to face you and tell you exactly what she wants. You hear her, you know she's not blinking, her voice is clear, and you realize you don't have many options. That's how the power is instilled. There are other ways. She decides she wants something, she writes it down, perhaps blogs about it, and then she goes about her day reading, researching, planning, scheming, determining, and engineering every single minute detail of the capture, the conquer, the quest - until it's hers. There is no try with Scorpio. There is do.

Oh, I do apologize if these words seem harsh, uneasy, or even unbelievable to you - you're allowed to shake your head, just don't turn your back if she's smiling (without blinking)it could be your personal education.

The Waiting Game - The Vince Vaughn Issue

( owns the rights to this picture of Vince Vaughn)

WAY BACK in the spring of 2007 I think, Sebastian Mansicalco, a Chicago native and comedian, decided to put a defaming, ugly, nasty, meaningless, and in my opinion cheap-shot YouTube online with damaging and potential hurtful statements and presentation of my dog Faith's image and reputation. He also defamed and/or damaged my reputation or my character, and I decided I wasn't going to allow it. I was going to get to the bottom of the situation and do the right thing by making this guy ante-up and either compensate us for said damages or (and) make him aware of the fact that there are legal ramifications when you release such material to the general public....enter the Vince Vaughn factor.

Turns out that Sebastian Maniscalco is a part of the well known, and sometimes funny show called the Vince Vaughn Wild West Comedy Tour or something very similar to that name. Vince is the producer/owner of the materials being presented and apparently decided to do a little film about a 30-day, 30-show event that more or less ended up being a documentary of the events that took place during the 30 days of filming. There were clips of the men who performed on stage; both backstage and on stage. There was the obligatory toilet shots, and the farting shots I know, funny man stuff - and yes, there was the bit about a little handicapped dog named Faith that went around the world making people happy, showing off her courage, showing her wait, the clip didn't do that - it portrayed her as being really ugly, fearful, unattractive, unapproachable, and worse - useless. Mansicalco thought it was funny, and I guess Vince did too, he added it in the film I'm told, and was paid handsomely as well.

I contacted my attorney because I didn't want to sue anyone. I still don't want to sue anyone. I want the record set straight and other-than-A-listers have a hard time setting things straight in public. I want Faith's name, reputation, character, and mission to be uplifted not shot down. I want my work, my efforts, and my sacrifices in this endeavor to be reasonably understood, not misguided, and if big names like Vince Vaughn allow little people like me to be made fun of, or worse, to allow military and/or disabled dogs to be bullied on stage - well, I think my attorney (Debra Opri) should know about it. I called her. She and I agreed that no one should be sued. We're not out to make tons of money off of Vaughn, we could have made money from film offers which may or may not have been diminished from having seen or heard Maniscalco's bit. We won't know the damage or the extent of the damage - how could we?

Let me make it perfectly clear: I love Vince Vaughn's work. I think he's a very patriotic man, a very good actor, and a wonderful person at heart. That's why I was so surprised when he allowed Faith, because of her military work, to be made fun of for what, a laugh? Vince Vaughn performs for the USO!

What we want, what I want, is an apology for one thing; a recognition that you just don't use or sell low-brow, uncouth humor to bully anyone just to get a laugh. Would this man have stood on that stage and berated disabled children? Would he have openly and overtly said what he said about disabled soldiers returning from the war? Call me biased...but it wasn't funny. Any laugh from the audience was manufactured. They realized they were being filmed for a movie perhaps, so they laughed. Wouldn't you laugh if you were being prodded to do so by assistants with signs, reminding you that you're being filmed for a documentary film produced by Vince, laugh, clap! (I'm just sayin')

Faith is an honorary SGT in the United States Army. She was commissioned out of Ft. Lewis in 2006. She travels throughout the states and now the world, meeting and greeting troops who have been injured, and/or are returning from war. She meets and greets soldiers on base, at hospitals, at airports, etc. She's been recognized in more than 200 countries for her work, and she's been honored by more than 100 newspapers, trade papers and magazines with NOT ONE of them belittling her, downgrading her, bullying her, or making fun of her looks, moves, actions, or persona...that happened on Vince Vaughn's stage by a virtually unknown comedian who had flopped over and over again with comedy routines designed to cut others down to build himself up - we've watched more of his work and found this to be his gig, his deal. I get it, he can't fill the footsteps of my dog so he goes after her? (OK pardon me, that was a personal thing to say, but it's true. Faith is phenomenal)

The waiting game is this: I was told by the Vaughn camp through my attorney, that an apology was on the way, we'd be on air with Vince, he'd make it all right -- that was a few weeks ago, the very DAY the writer's strike occurred. We were unable to get on shows we were working on, and it ended up being a fiasco of attempts after that because Vaughn showed up on the Ellen Show without writers, this and that happened, we were put on the back burner, then the holidays - what next? We get buried in Christmas cheer, shopping, and what not? Maybe Fred Clause has the answer? Maybe we're not A-list enough to deserve the responsible treatment at this time. That's OK...I'm a Scorpio woman. I will wait. I will certainly wait. I won't forget mind you, not for a second, but I will wait.

Bottom line: I was called to do a job; train the puppy and tell the world her story of her courage, her strength, her abilities to overcome anything - and you know what...I'm going to do just that. I don't need the A-list to validate me or what I do. If it took that we would all be in trouble just waiting on the popular boys and girls to tell everyone else who's in and who's out. I think not.

Wave the Pyrate's flag my dear - - smile, and wait.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

300th Blog - You Gotta Pick Something Cool

(CBS-TV Photo)

It's just a landmark, but a great one! 300th blog on the, it has to be something really awesome right? Or, it could just be a great picture of a great man in a great city, and it inspires me to think great thoughts....OK, fantasies. If my manager and my agent weren't constantly monitoring me by reading these blogs, I'd probably say more - you and I would both get a little grin out of it.

I'm an existentialist. Do you know what that is? I am someone who asks deep and meaningful (others say meaningless) questions that sometimes have answers and sometimes they don't have answers. I mention it only because I have a question to ask you. You think about it, really think about it, write me and let me know - or just write and tell a journal your answer. Here it goes: Say you're in a city that just makes your heart explode. You can't get it out of your head, it's everywhere. Say the smells of that city, the view, the skyline, everything repeats over and over in your head both at night when you're dreaming and during the day. Every time someone says the name of the city you jump. Every time someone mentions a building, or a street that you recognize as being in THAT city, your heart skips a beat...your eyes smile, and your face (without assistance) curls up in a big grin. Would you move to that city?

Henry James the pragmatic philosopher would argue that the only reason to move to the city would be commerce, relations or familial connection. He would state the obvious and logical thought process behind any decision should be. David Hume, on the other hand, being a more pleasure-driven philosopher, would argue that one may or may not choose a city, like a pair of shoes, or a coat that fits well, simply because one can, one looks good in it, one feels empowered by it, or one simply decides to. I'm an existentialist - I ask questions. Some of these questions have answers some don't.

What if that city, that exploding, exciting, charismatic, and cell-invigorating city was a man? Final question? What do you do when the man and the city co-exist in the same space at the same time? Wow! I love Chicago. Every hair on its head, every glance of its lake green eyes - every straight-lined smile carved by the El, every smell of its breath. I love Chicago.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It Can't Be a Spider Bite Because ...

If it were a spider bite I would probably be really dead or somehow worse. I'd be vomiting, I'd be rolling out of my bed in delirium. I'd have a monster sized hole in my right (back) cheek that, although it has a big black spot in the middle of it, it would be sunken in and not threatening to protrude like the red, burning, hard to the touch golf-ball under the skin that it is. Because not going to the doctor after a spider bite can be the last defiant act of your life. YES, I'm talking about a boil people. To be honest, I don't really know how long (exactly) that I can sit at this computer and write about it either. Besides, I killed the spider I saw in my room last week...he's dead! DEAD! Maybe he had brothers?

If you are a religious person, if you are a spiritual person, if you have any type of compassion for your fellow man, woman, or child - please say kind and effective prayers for me....and my bum. Especially me, because my bum has actually decided to separate from my body, do the hostile take over thing, and using the one form of ammunition I didn't see coming - the boil; I am about to suffer unnecessarily for the next 10-14 days according to the WebMD, and every other database I could research. I simply hate going to a doctor. I went 17 years ago - that didn't work out so well for me, I had to bring Caity home.

OH, I'm not a complete loser. I set a time frame for this most inconvenient visitor. I told my butt that if it didn't come back to reason, give up the covert mound of pus and just be the butt it is suppose to be, I would see to it personally that a DOCTOR of real training would not only VIEW it, he/she would LANCE it if he/she had to, and I didn't care how much pain I had to inflict on it - that is, my butt. Talking to one's backside has never really gotten any one person any real results, but I do so hate to go to the doctors for things that are either embarrassing, expensive, or out and out silly - like boils, hangnails, a cough, a little cut -- if I can find a home remedy, save myself that co-pay (I don't have co-pays, I just said that. I'm in the higher percentage of those who DON'T have insurance per se. I'm winging it!)I gave my bum 10 days from today....let the countdown begin.

Naturally, because I'm careful about hygiene and I use more Lysol in my house than anyone I know, I wanted to know how the STAPH attacked me in the first place. You would be bowled over to find out the most common ways a person gets a big, fat, ugly, nasty, in the skin, can't-get-that-follicle-quite-open-far-enough-to-sprout-a-hair BOIL - - I know I was. I virtually sleep with anti-bacterial blankets (Faith does)and I was simply flattened to hear that someones NOSE slime could have passed the bacteria to me...nose slime? I'm a mother, there will be nose slime this time of year on everything - hence the Lysol, but did you know the SNEEZE the simple sneeze can literally and figuratively kick your butt?

Most boils are follicle related, hairs can't come out, they get infected. The INFECTED part is the sneeze part. You (me in this case) inhale breath/air that has air-borne nose slime and it gets into your blood stream, cruising it's way through your body and then...because it's the curse of ADAM - - you die! If you don't die you get boils....THERE. God, is in my opinion, hilarious! Could You be a little funnier God? No, I'm not challenging You, I love you! Thank You actually for the experience, now I know a little tiny bit of what the enemies of Israel felt back in the day, and I have to say....I am 100% pro Israel. Go God! Go God!

Prognosis: lots of hot baths, lots of ibuprofen, lots of prayers, and lots of smirking because I just can't smile that straight right now!

Solution: Keep the Lysol handy, but wash those hands if you get the sneeze treatment in public or in private....nose slime is a killer!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Best BEST BESTTTTT Friend Jeanie

OK, so there you go, my best friend and my son. Two of my favorite most wonderful people in the world. If my girls were in the picture, you'd have all 4 of my favorite most wonderful people. Look at that woman! Doesn't she make you sick to think that she looks that good at HER age? Please, we met in high school 30 years ago...she was....1 at the time. I have no problem admitting my own 46 years, but I'm not about to squeal on Jeanie and tell you that she graduated before way, I wouldn't do that to her. She's my bestest best best friend, and well, I'm jealous as heck is what I am.

So, when you know someone for 30 years you start thinking about some of 300+ concerts you've seen together, or the gazillion rock stars you've met together, and you think about the trips to the State Fair, football games; both high school and college - but we laughed this weekend over the 138 jobs that I've lost since we've met and the 3 I think she's actually had for all this time. You can see we're perfect for each other in terms of being friends because she stabilizes me and I give her a living entertainment package. If she doesn't call me every week she's bound to miss out on something life changing...seriously, mine or hers, but it will be changing.

I was the maid of honor at her wedding, and she was the matron of honor at mine. We both hated her first husband, and we both hated my first husband too. See how that works? She married well the 2nd time though, we both love him....and me, well, I have no intention of getting married again (except for you know who, and even then I'd be compromising my lifestyle, and giving up things I'm not all that sure I'd like to give up, I mean - I'm an independent thinker, a maverick at times and even if Gary were to ask I'd have to think....3 full seconds before nodding my speechless head.) She'd approve, she thinks turtles are worth saving, and she likes the fact that he's employed. One of us would have to be I guess.

I think Jeanie's favorite "I-Got-Fired-Again" quote from me was when I worked for a grocery store. I was Oklahoma City's FIRST girl-sacker. They didn't even call me a female, I was a girl in 1977. Anyway, the funny thing is, at 16, it wasn't anywhere near my first job. I left and when she asked me about THIS employer and why it didn't work out, I simply said "It was a mutual agreement between the two of us that I should no longer be working for the establishment." Even then I used longer sentences to explain myself than I needed to. By 16 I had been fired a least 4 or 5 times. I always had a great excuse too, but she's always liked that one, so when I can I pull it out and I explain myself first by expressing the's an ice breaker.

I've been fired for walking in on my boss when I shouldn't have. I've been fired for showing up a day late. I've been fired for doing too good of a job in fact, and they called it working myself out of employment. I just couldn't pace myself, and ended up doing a bang-up-you-gotta-go job after a week or so. One of my favorite firing stories was when I worked at a nursing home. I was young, going to high school and thought I was naturally going to be off for the arch rival football game. No, I was not let off, I was scheduled, and I was scheduled to show up an hour before the game started. Something about people needing to be fed on time every day. I quit. I wasn't fired. I was officially fired when I walked out, this place didn't let a person quit - if they fired you they didn't have to bring you back.

Jeanie understands me. She understands that football games are always (then and now) a top priority. I rescheduled my wedding day folks! We got married on a bye week. No, I'm serious. I don't joke about OU football. Jeanie gets that, and if it means that every year she's forced to go out and buy new OU t-shirts, hoodies, and stuff, or if she has to drink a beer with me at the pub and scream obscenities at the guys wearing other than Crimson, so be it. Besides being perfect every fall, she's a Cancer, I'm a Scorpio. If she was a guy I could marry her I guess, but she's already married, and Darren being an Aquarius would never go for the threesome thing.

There you have it. MY BEST friend in the world......forever! I love you! (Oh, and don't worry about the Big 12, we got that!)

Sticky Business!

This is Mr. Stick. Go ahead, try and out do the dirty, nasty, and even juvenile comments my friend Jeanie and I have already conjured about my new best man. You can't do it....we are the reining champions of really raunchy things that over 40-year old women say about inanimate objects. But, please, if you think you can bring raise the bar, so to speak, go for it.

Mr. Stick is my new dancing partner. Like any other relationship this one was not love at first sight. First, I had to pick him out, then have him cut to size. You can somewhat see where I'm going with the analogies can't you? OK, well, he needed a bit dressing up after surgery, so I bought him a seriously beautiful coat (6 coats actually) of classic oak. A classic coat always looks good on a man. Mr. Stick lacks height, but he all wood. NO, I didn't just say that..... Let me continue.

After dressing Mr. Stick, sanding him down a few times I repeated my brutal and yet gentle nurturing act for several days while I talked to him, getting to know him, and letting him know that I would be the dominant one in this meaningful, and very important to my physical needs relationship.

You see, I NEED Mr. Stick. He's going to help me get the body that the ball only began. So, with this exercise thing becoming my new(er) obsession, the power of positive thinking not being quite enough to remove the fat around my torso - Mr. Stick was a clear choice. (Not really, I was going to do the mounted barre on the wall thing, and I bought the necessary hardware, but after holding Mr. Stick in my hands as long as I did, and after personally pouring my strength and love into him, I decided against making him immobile.)

I saw a movie over the weekend and there were a bunch of Army guys running and jumping up and down with their rifles...gave me an idea. If I can do a 30-minute regiment with Mr. Stick daily, every single day, I bet I could breathe better, dance longer, and even start rekindling the old feelings I had as a cheerleader/spirit clown from waaaayyyy back in the day. (Translation: I was thin then)

It may sound really silly, but I sat down on the end of my bed and I had a real conversation with the guy. "What do you think Stick, can you go 30 minutes a day with me?" He was speechless! To this day, through all the twirling, swirling, over the head, around the shoulders, and yes...helicopter moves, he hasn't complained one single time. I have. I wasn't quite paying complete attention during Journey's "After the Fall" and I totally slammed Mr. Stick down on my left big toe. OUCHHHH.....I think he feels he got the last laugh on that one, but I was determined not to cry in front him or the dogs. I thanked him. I bowed, I thanked my new friend for his continued support as well as the creativity in my dance; a good man is always silent in the bedroom, and he should inspire you from time to time. I don't know about breaking your toes, but again, it was my fault.

So, there you have it. I have a new friend - thin, strong, beautiful, great color actually, and he is - can I say it with a straight face - the right size for what I need him to do. (She so totally went there! Please, I'm blushing.)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stand Like Waite - Hold Your Ground

Oklahomans don't have much of a problem making a stand and then digging their (our) heels in really deeply to let themselves and the rest of the freaking world know EXACTLY where they stand. I wasn't surprised when my publicist asked me to write a book about my opinions. I felt it coming. We'd had discussions over and over again covering topics the polite people say you should never have - not in public anyway. Does Starbucks count as being all that public? Fine! I don't think I have to warn you, my opinions are MINE. I came upon them all by myself, sharing them won't hurt me one bit - no extra charge. (Not now, wait until the book is out, then you'll have to pay for them! LOL)

If you know anything about the Civil War and the way it ended you'll know the South came out on the south of it so to speak. Oklahoma had a very unique position in that we were officially a neutral territory - Indian territory, and since Native Americans weren't considered real Americans, they didn't count - or did they? I'm not Native American -- something I regret. I would be if I could go back and do something about it. I would be a Cherokee I think. They're the ones with the pretty cheek bones, and they had Stand Waite! Now, there's a man of history to be admired. Did you know that there's NEVER been another full blooded Native American General? He was it! He was the LAST, the very very very last General to surrender to the Union. He was from the Indian Territory, but before he was in Oklahoma (land wise) he was from Florida - - a very southern man.

Well, Stand made a stand. He proved to everyone that you have to sometimes wait it out to be sure, absolutely sure that all has been done - his dogmatic behavior lives today in many of us who call this land ours. I'm one of his biggest fans I think. Sometimes forced to do what he did not want to do. Sometimes given the opportunity to make the decisions - when he was able to, he told the children of the areas he would go to that they were to be proud no matter what the outcome of the great war, they were to stay in their belief that we would be healed as a nation...he also believed in one God; and he was seen in public discussing His existence. He questioned why anyone else would question it.

There is another man I like to quote from time to time; though most think the adage came from a country western song - - Alexander Hamilton told members of Congress that "If we stand for nothing we will fall for anything". I'm not sure those words were the reason he made it on the $10 bill, but they may have gotten him shot! Nevertheless, I would rather die standing for my heart's pull than falling over it. I do know what my motto, if I had one, would be: "Let your yes be yes, and your no be no" - you know who said that! (Hint: died for me and you, too.)

I'm about to write a book about my feelings, my points of view, my opinions, my thoughts, and MY ideas - if I need to place a warning or a disclaimer in the front of it for the weak of souls I will -- but I will not, I cannot back off what I think to be honest, truth, or right. Don't ask me to, you won't like me much after that. Like the great Native American Warrior/General - I will wait you out. I will NOT surrender without being forced. This is a good thing. You'll never NOT know where you stand with me; and just in case you're wondering - yeah, I'm still going to love you even if we disagree. You have the right to be as wrong as you want to be! Hahahaha

Did I mention I was a bit conceited at times too? (Truth! Not making that up) If only we were all this honest. Can you imagine? Voting wouldn't be half as difficult and court rooms wouldn't be so full.

I Don't Get the Whole Bathtub in the Meadow Thing

I watch the news, I watch the games, I watch just about any and everything a man would watch so it's no wonder I also get to watch the commercials about erectile dysfunction, prostrate problems, and the world's best condoms....which, if I had a reason to know I'd just call my buddy John and ask him straight out (no pun intended) and he could completely freak out for two reasons. First, he'd wonder why I was asking him, since he's as celibate as I am, and 2nd, he'd freak out because he thinks he's going to NOT be celibate before me. I should ask him just to see his face!

Anyway, I watch the news, I watch football, basketball, baseball, and sometimes because my son sits on me and holds my face up so I have to see it, I watch the caged ultimate fighters; listening to my son grunt and scream like an animal for about 2 minutes until he realizes he's killing his only mother, and gets off of me, giving me time to grab the remote and switch the channel back to CSI-NY, something far less violent!

During these shows the marketing audience seemingly is male-dominant. I have to sit through "Viva Viagra" commercials, and I get that one. I do. Fun, dancing, having the time of your life, but I don't get the Cialis commercials that always end up with two people (usually with silly grins on their faces) in their separate bathtubs in the meadows, out in the backyard, around the corner, someday we'll even see a Cialis commercial with bath tub dwellers in the middle of the business district in NYC, or on board a 747 headed doesn't usually contain itself to the fields anymore. Besides, who filled these bath tubs up with water? WHO? Where did they get the water? IF they did manage to carry the water they'd be too tired for sex. IF the bath tubs actually had water in them the water would get cold, and we ALL KNOW what happens to a man in cold THAT where the Cialis comes in?

Forget the meadow. Give me a high rise (no pun intended) view with Chicago's or NYC's skyline in sight. I don't need matching tubs...give me just ONE hot bath or shower in a fine hotel anytime. Give me (and Gary) a loofa with creamy body wash, and a little tray near the bed stocked with a bottle of wine, a couple of glasses, and Michael Buble on repeat in the CD changer. I don't' need much...hopefully he won't either. (oops, did I say that?)

MP3 Expert

About a year ago my son got himself a really cool iPod for Christmas, and that set in motion the NEED for me to purchase a few LIKE MP3 players for all the other children in my life. You know how that goes - one gets something the others think they need it. I didn't buy his MP3 player. I wouldn't have spent that kind of money on one, not when I know you can get them online through Ebay for pennies on the dollar. I'm not cheap, really, I'm not. I'm part Scottish. I believe in tradition to a degree, and well - OK...I'm a single parent raising a bunch of kids. I try what I can to put 1/2 smiles on my children's faces.

I remember I victoriously won a 2 gb blue iPod look alike for a drastically reduced price. It arrived, but it wasn't what I paid for. In fact it was only a 128K device, and held only 40 songs, nothing close to the 500+ songs the seller promised...don't worry, I got my money back. I believe in capitalism, I believe in online commerce, and I bought another player from the guy(s) who had first "accidentally" sent me the wrong device. They even let me keep the 128 player...I couldn't give it away, apparently they could. I bought a 2nd player, another 2 GB and my luck continued. I got another 128 in the mail. Someone wasn't paying attention to the previous address or the previous name. After another round of writing and another round of oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I'm-really-that-stupid discussions with myself, I got another 2 GB MP3 player in the mail....yes I did! I win.

You can imagine my delight and my contorted face when I went to a different Ebay seller and purchased a third, I said 3rd, 2 GB player, a little iPod look alike, the little square looking nano type - and YES, YES, they did it again! I now own 3 very low capacity MP3 players with 40 different songs on each one of them. I am in the process of screaming through the e-mails at these guy(s) hoping for a similar result, you know, the player I actually spent $60 on. I don't think $60 is too much for a 2GB, but it is too much for the 128. If you think about it, I'm getting all these other players for nothing. If they let me keep it I can donate them all to a school for prizes, but they'd have to go to a preschool - - kindergartners would figure it out too fast "HEY! This this only holds 40 songs! What's up with that?"

I guess I could stop being so cheap and just go out and get an iPod. I could do that, but where's the challenge? It would end up working the first time, and it would be easy to download, easy to maintain, and even come with insurance....please, I get a lot of pleasure copying the same 40 songs to the playlists only to find out that the 41st song is overload - - that's when I figure out I can't trust my buyer's mind. That's when I get it...when the media player tells me that the song "May Not Fit" think? It either will, or it won't. I think my media player is a Liberal. With a Conservative media player I would get a completely different message, something like "Not Recommended for Children", or "You Ran Out of Space Already, Did You THINK You Could Get More for Your Buck?"

I could keep you posted as to whether or not I actually DO get the MP3 player that I paid for, but I bet you're already pretty bored with my little nonsense story. I don't live a life full of too much excitement - I could tell you about the nearly naked girl I saw chasing the geese into the pond this morning, but if I'd believe me. I fed her breakfast soon afterwards and did the Mom thing. She was almost appreciative, but stated she's 17 and fully capable of pouring her own milk. I guess she didn't hear the part of my lecture about not going outside without her clothes on. The geese had little smiles on their beaks.

Matrix and Technology

My dog Matrix is rarely discussed in public due to the fame of my other dog Faith. However, I have to tell you, as this picture truly proves, Matrix is by far a more techy-dog. He's into all sorts of things that Faith takes for granted. For instance, Matrix will actually help me make cookies; volunteering to test taste the batter, licking the bowl clean, and often times, before I get a chance to possibly poison myself Matrix is there to taste the finished product - - to be certain I'll be OK.

Matrix has been spotted wearing night vision goggles, and one can only assume its because he goes out at night to protect us from the geese in the pond. He sings when I take my bath just to entertain me, and he is always the first one of us in bed at night because he understands the importance of a good rest. Faith simply posts herself under the bed from daybreak to midnight and for a few hours of the night will keep us company on top of the bed. She will sometimes allow Matrix a sneak under the bed from time to time if he's got something to share, but the instant it has been shared she'll kick him out promptly!

When Faith and I travel it is Matrix that keeps the house warm by adjusting the thermostat, and he's so able-bodied that he doesn't even need the Nanny that I leave with him, he could probably open the door and let himself out. It's nice of him however to allow her to think that she is needed and when I ask her each time how he's been - - the answer is always the same. "He was perfect!" Of course he's perfect, he's a weenie dog! What could be more perfect that a weenie dog? As you can see from the photo, Matrix is quite intelligent, often looking over my shoulder when I read - not just to get me to pet him, but to actually learn something about whatever it is that I'm reading. If I stop reading (petting) he nudges me to let me know I have. I can even put the book down if I want, as long as my hands continue to read. He's fully capable to gleaning information from the written word through the movement of my fingers! That's an incredible dog!

I'll tell you this story, then I must go to the store and get bottled water. This morning Matrix and I were laying around watching Nebraska and Colorado beat up on each other on an icy cold field on television. I heard him whisper ever so slightly that he'd like a good cup of hot cocoa. When I explained to him that dogs aren't suppose to have chocolate he suggested that I use soy milk and carob powder, which he KNEW I had hidden in the back of the cupboard from last Christmas. Since we both knew that carob powder doesn't go bad that quickly - I made the cocoa! It was awesome. The dog is simply .... well, perfect. Check out his camo-collar from Dublin Dog. Is he not the epitome of high fashion?

A Birthday to be Thankful

(Pictured are: David P., Reuben, Toni, and Frank)

Thanksgiving was not just a day to get together with family and friends, or a day to over eat and under-exercise, no, it was also my 46th birthday. I'm not the least bit shy about saying exactly how old I am because I'm so gosh-darn beautiful that something like a little age is never going to get in my way! Don't you love over-confident people?

Well, for my birthday - and actually days before, I was given the best(est) present a mom can get. I was sitting at church minding my own business. I do that most of the time when I'm in God's house, but sometimes I do open my mouth and let the controversy fly. I do that to see if anyone is awake you know. I was there, I was minding my own business. Now, I did know that this was Thanksgiving Sunday and I was actually anticipating a friend of my son's who would be coming to Oklahoma City from Ft. Hood in Texas JUST to be with me because he (being Reuben's close friend in Alaska, and having been able to visit his family) was coming up to stay with me for a day and be my "son" for the day. It was the next best thing to having my own baby boy in my arms.

Our class secretary asked us to welcome a member of the Armed Forced who would be sharing the day with the Stringfellow family, and he stated that the man would be leading us in prayer. I turned around, and MY SON REUBEN walked into the room! YES!!! MY BABY BOY! If I had followed my dream, my heart, I would have known. Even on the way to the church I told the girls I had a dream and I felt that Reuben was truly with us today. HE WAS! Laura knew about the surprise, Caity was taken back as much as I was. I jumped up from my couch seat (our church is cool that way) and I nearly tackled my baby. I did get lipstick on his newly pressed Dress Greens and I know I probably got mascara everywhere...I was doing a bit of the teary-eyed thing too. I was holding MY BABY!! I hadn't seen him in 9 months. I told him later that there was only one other time that I expected to see him and had to wait 9 months!

He was just as beautiful this time as he was last time. I have pictures. Well, the hard part came the next four days. We had to keep his presence a secret as he went around the city literally faking out everyone he knew! He'd call them on his cell when they were in restaurants, at home, even at the vet's office. He'd pretend to be in Alaska, just calling to say hello - and then he'd walk into their office, over to their table, etc.....freaking everyone out! Screams of joy and very loud laughter all over the place! REUBEN really does mean "It's a Boy!" and he is just such a boy at times. A really really loving and good boy, but a boy!

Thanksgiving, my birthday, was fantastic. Not being able to blog about him coming was hard to do. My sister or my mother, or maybe someone who knew them would have been able to tell them he was in town and therefore ruin the surprise. MY surprise was equalled by my sister Linda. She was just staring out Grandma's window, thinking about a day when we would all be together, he called her, he talked to her, then he said "Turn around Aunt Linda" and she was all over him then! Squeeeeeezzzzing and hugging and I think she left an imprint of her nails in his back through his sweater! She was crying and crying, and then she let go and began hugging him all over again! She loves her nephew. Grandma wasn't as funny as Pop. My Dad was literally 2 feet from Reuben, with his back turned, talking to him and asking him if he was going to have enough food for Thanksgiving. I was staring at my dad, telling him to turn around - when he did he just stood there facing my son with the phone still at his ear. He was still talking cell to cell to my son! It was pretty funny, it really was.

So, after a few more relatives, a few more friends, I think he's all surprised out. I thought about having his friend come up from Texas to surprise him...then I found out he was LYING to me about Clark in the first place. He's not from Texas, he's from Iowa! Now, I have to ask you, would it be against any federal laws if I pulled off my belt and spanked a United States Army Private?

Last year I was in New York City on November 22, hugging Jesse L. Martin on my 45th birthday. (I do treat myself right!) This year I was holding my three children in Edmond, Oklahoma. Given the choice? I'd take my three in Chicago any time. Hahahaha

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Big Time Announcement!

Yes, it's true: I'm writing ANOTHER book. This one is so tight...well, they all are, you know...awesome, but this one will be 27 of my own opinions. I feel that in these days of complete political correctness that the world needs honesty, truth, and just a bit of irreverent talking - PC has kept us all liars, omissions rather than commissions. We don't say what we want to, we don't want to lose our jobs, hurt others, and well, that's a good thing. We shouldn't HURT others, but we certainly shouldn't NOT say what we think either. Now, there are rules, there should be. Tell the truth without calling names is one of those rules. I intend on doing that. I will put my heart and mind on the line, and I'll possibly get into areas that may or may not be popular; but they are areas that need to be discussed.

Since Glenn Beck, Dr. Phil, Oprah, and other really open people have decided to tell the truth - and get paid for it, I thought I would too. You never know, someone out there just may agree with me. I bet they do. In fact, I'm so sure that millions and millions of you agree with me, that you'll be surprised to know that you could write the same things and I'd probably buy your book too.

I asked my daughter Caity to write out the same book, telling the world the same 27 opinions, and that would give the world a really good comparison into what the world of parents vs. kids thinks. People who really wanted to know would have to buy both books in order to really check it out, and hey - we'd both make out huh? Caity told me she wasn't much of a writer - see, we are already disagreeing! She's incredible. I've read her work. She makes ME think, and that's not the easiest thing to do. I usually think I have the best opinion out there - - for my own kid to bring up the eye brow...that's saying something. I made her! Thank God we disagree, can you imagine how boring life would be if we all agreed? Isn't it written somewhere that kids have to fight with their parents to survive? If it is written I'm sure the author disagreed in the first place with their parent and decided to write that fact out! (or maybe, that person didn't disagree, and the parent thought it was odd, so THEY wrote it out!) That makes me think!

Anyway, the book should be finished by summer and published by this time next year. Fun! Fun! Let the world rejoice....another book about ramblings.....YES!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oklahoma Rising! 100 Years Strong!

I must have cried my eyes out tonight about a dozen times during the Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular - and NO, not because we weren't asked to be a part of the show...I pouted over that, but didn't actually shed any water. I cried and cried when the Miss Americas (5 out of the 6 crowned in our state) introduced the men and women of our Oklahoma National Guard - and I continued to cry during Toby Keith's "American Soldier". I couldn't take it. I jumped up, grabbed my son's official Army portrait, and I squeezed it. I wrapped my arms around the frame, and I just bawled like a baby - - and then I called him during the song. I called him to thank him for being an American Soldier. I called him to thank him for protecting me. I called him to hear his beautiful hard-to-understand-at-times screaming/laugh and I called to tell him that I made the RIGHT choice to raise my son, and my daughters in the great state of Oklahoma.

Work takes us everywhere. We fly from one coast to the other, and we drive for miles in every direction possible to get to military stations, bases, hospitals, children's homes, and schools always to do the same thing - kiss, hug, and love on the folks right here in America who have been so wonderful and so courageous. Sometimes people stop me, they ask me what keeps me going. They ask me how I can get up and drive, get up and fly to another city, they ask me how I can say the same things, answer the same questions, and pray the same prayers. I tell them it's the Oklahoma Standard. We set that standard many many years ago, and it made its mark permanent at the time of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah (Federal) building in 1995 - - the Oklahoma Standard: You just DO it, and you DO it right, setting the example because everyone needs to believe that someone will do what they're suppose to do when they're suppose to do it.

My kids got so tired of me saying this, but I would say "You do it because I said you'll do it, and I said you'll do it - because it's the right thing to do!" My students heard me say that, and they'd come back with "Ms. Stringfellow, you're so mean to us, but I guess that only means you love us." That's right. Oklahomans are the hardest people to please, but the easiest people to work side by side with. We'll get in there, we'll work and work until it's done. We'll keep working when it's finished just to be sure it doesn't come undone! I like the words to the Jimmy Webb song that he and Vince Gill sang tonight at the near close of the show. "Oklahoma Rising" is the title - go ahead, look it made me cry too, because we are the sons and daughters of the west, and we are (and have been) rising up to be the best. I'm proud to be an Okie, so if you're going to call me one, well, you better say it LOUD - Sooner born, Sooner bred, and well it was worth calling my son during the "American Soldier", because if I do anything at all before I die - I want my kids to know, no matter where I am in this world when I die - - I'm Sooner dead. Bury me here, in the crimson clay.

Theodore Roosevelt said it in 1905 when he came to this land hunting coyotes with "Catch-em Alive" Jack Abernathy; he said "The people of Oklahoma don't give a damn about what others do or say, as long as what they do and say is right." In 1898 during the Spanish American War more Oklahomans volunteered to help than from any other territory or state in the union, or the frontier. In 1995, you saw our resolve when we refused to let the terrorists tear us down, or squash our spirit - you saw our EAGLE fly that day, you saw it again when we were among the first to volunteer to help the great people of New York in 2001, and the victims of hurricanes along the Gulf.

I may leave our state for commerce, I may need to be away - but for the rest of eternity when someone looks over their shoulder to see me dance, I'll be in Boomer Sooner Crimson & Creme, and probably being a little louder than most because of it.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy 100th Birthday OKLAHOMA!

On April 22, 1889 the middle portion of our state was opened up at the exact minute of NOON - it was opened to anyone and everyone who could, if they had the heart to do it, stake a claim and get their claim to the make-shift office in the center of the middle section, the city was called Guthrie. April 22, 1889 is often mistaken in history as being the real birthdate of the 46th State, but it is not. That day goes down in history as the Opening of the Unassigned Lands - Pioneer Day is what we call it here in Oklahoma.

November 16, 1907 found Guthrie, Oklahoma bustling, full of people, full of celebration, new buildings and crowded streets as they welcomed the visiting President of the United States, Mr. Theodore Roosevelt! That day marked the day that Roosevelt wrote Oklahoma into the Union as the 46th state, and Guthrie was our state capital...for a little while. If you're from Texas you may never know the trouble it took to get the capital seal moved to Oklahoma City, and you may never understand that being called a Sooner was a bad thing - back then...not now!

If I could take a minute to list a few real Oklahomans that have made a difference in our state, you'd be surprised who I'd pick. Oh, I'd name the famous ones; Toby, Rita, Garth, Vince, Carrie, The Flaming Lips, The All American Rejects, Color Me Badd, and about a million other singers. You can't name off famous Oklahomans without mentioning Shannon Miller, Shannon Lucid, Paul Harvey, James Garner, Ben Johnson, or Wilma Mankiller, but did you have any idea that Tony Randall and Brad Pitt were Oklahomans? Did you know Troy Aikman of the Dallas Cowboys was an Okie? (Just as Sam Bradford is!) Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, and of course, Jim Thorpe, so you can see that Shannon Miller is among the best when you say "Oklahoma athletes"; and that's without having to mention all the college athletes who have brought our state several National Championships. Yes, we're rich in that part of American History.

Don't forget - Oklahoma has only been around 100 years - we've had good guys and bad guys (and girls) coming through to make their mark: Bonnie and Clyde were from Oklahoma, Belle Starr, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bill Doolin, Bill Dalton, and we can't possibly forget Elmer McCurdy, but he wasn't born in Oklahoma like Native America folk hero and/or legendary criminal (depends on how you look at it) Ned Christie. We had the lawmen too, most of the really famous lawmen were born elsewhere, but called Oklahoma home; men like Chris Madson, Bill Tilghman, Heck Thomas, and Oh, my favorite, Mr. Temple Houston!

Yes, Oklahoma is one rich and enterprising state, that's for sure. I'd say we rally any other state when it comes to bold, enterprising, stand-up-and-fight-em-til-the-end kind of maverick citizens. We're like that. We Okies are a crude, but beautiful breed for sure. We'll wait until the very last seconds to get into the storm shelters during a tornado just to compare this one with the last one. It's true, we do that. We vy for parking spots in the shade no matter how far we have to walk, and yes, you'll see us screaming our collective, impassioned guts out at each other over whether it should be crimson and creme or orange and black on any given matter about any given subject on each and every day...but that's just us. Don't think another 100 years is going to resolve anything relating to that issue - that one started before statehood; with the run of 1889.

Oh, I almost forgot - Oklahoma is the home state of the WORLD's ONLY bipedal dog that just happens to be famous as well as inspirational. She embodies everything necessary to be an Okie. She's strong, courageous, outstanding in her field, she's unique, charasmatic, striking in both appearance and memorable. Am I upset that she wasn't invited to appear on stage with the others - well, to be honest -- yes, but since she doesn't know she's a mirale dog, and since she's got work to do tomorrow with some really cool soldiers at the airport - I'll let it slide. However, at the bicentienal, someone had better mention her being from Edmond, Oklahoma! It's only fitting.

MY Home Depot

Right now MY Home Depot is off of 59th and North May in Oklahoma City. I think it is number 3902. I'm not sure - but when I get to Lincoln Park (Chicago), I will be shopping and/or part time living at the 2-story Home Depot pictured up above. I just can't wait. I know what you're thinking - she's a girl! GET OVER IT. I like football too, and I can (if I have to) drink a beer. I can do the Depot! In fact, my kids know now that if they can't find me at Starbucks, they can probably check out HD and I'll be on the Paint, Home Appliances, or the Lawn & Garden section. TODAY however, I was in lumber.

I decided (because I'm that way) to put up a little barre, like a ballet barre, but not that professional, not as large either. I just needed a barre to do squats, stretches, and strength exercises on. I could buy a prepackaged barre from a company online, or I could (say it with me) "Do it Myself" at the Home Depot. So, I went down the road to Starbucks, picked up a cup, and headed on over to the lumber department. It took Alex and I about 15 minutes to figure out exactly what I wanted, and then he got a call from the Pro-Desk. After a minute of being left alone in that massive beautiful store, I had made a few other decisions as well.

By the time I left, poor Alex (hails from Detroit and is making a special trip to Chicago to see the 2-story building) had been commissioned by me to cut 4 pieces of cheap ply wood to use as backings for several bookshelves I have that need support. He had picked out the stain, my sandpaper, and the screws I'm going to need for my unprofessional wall-mounts for the barre. He had also met my friend Valerie (nee Bridges) who used to be a cheerleader when I was a spirit clown at the Mayfield Junior High School in 1977. She was perky, I was perky, we were both having wood cut, and picking out projects for the weekend. It's cooling down, and I think women just like to fix things when the weather changes.

This weekend I will be sanding, staining, rebuilding, and stocking my new/old bookshelves. I'll hang my really pretty (already sanded and first-coated stained) barre, and I'll be picking out a new hinge for my gate. I don't like the one I have now. I did pick out a new lock to keep it shut and make it THAT much harder for my girls to just step back into the house! (They steal my food. They steal my TOFU they're so lazy and won't take themselves to the store. They took my less than what normal people consider decent that's lazy)

The Home Depot in Lincoln Park is soooo pretty. I assume the lumber and millworks is on the ground floor, and all the hardware, little things, probably paint is upstairs. You could have your appliances upstairs because I'm sure there's a big freight elevator in the back too - look at me, I'm dreaming...just dreaming. I could spend hours and hours JUST in the Lawn & Garden section. Oh, but I don't have a lawn or a garden, never let that stop you! Never let someone push you out of the heavy-equipment department just because you live in an apartment. There are fewer things more beautiful than a riding lawn mower with a cup holder.

Can't wait to move to Lincoln Park! My condo will be 100% new, which means I won't need a thing from the Depot, but that only means I save money while I browse!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bigenho For A Little While Longer


When we can't afford to buy our United States Army soldiers REAL beds to sleep in, and when we have to resort to building them little car beds to help them live 24/7 on the field, whether they are awake or in dreamland, we have got to rethink the way we are spending the millions and billions of dollars given to us to protect and outfit our guardians....may I have an "Amen!"

For a little while longer this woman's name is Laura Bigenho. You can see from her pajamas that she is an enlisted U.S. Army soldier. She happens to be serving overseas in the sandy, but constantly-falling-temperature country of Iraq. Although Alan Jackson can't tell you the difference between Iran and Iraq, Laura Bigenho's actual job as a journalist is to do exactly that! I believe if you were, as I am, on her mailing list, you too would be able to know the latest, and the greatest that comes out of this Army post. I'd tell you where she is exactly, but the shame of you seeing more of those little car beds would put me in an early grave.

Laura, and some of her fellow soldiers, have taken it upon themselves to live positively in some of the most unpopular and often negative times. They are often seen (caught if you will) praying to GOD, and asking for HIS help, in order to bring sense and order to their mission - - dare we admit that this brave, unmoved, strong, and courageous woman actually invokes the name of Jesus on a daily basis? Are we to believe that she actually believes that by doing so her work, her life, her love, her full existence will be enhanced? Come to think of it, I had a really good prayer this morning which left me feeling both relaxed and secure for the rest of the day - maybe she's onto something!

America! World Audience! Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing this very moment, you too can rest, and feel secure because THIS WOMAN (and nearly a million men and women just like her, but probably taller) are out in the world protecting you! They are the reason we sing "Land of the free, and home of the brave!" Hooah!

(How was that Laura, over the top, maybe ...just right? Oh, I forgot to mention Marcus.)

America! World Audience! Laura is engaged to another one of those nearly million men and or women who look like, act like, dress like, and fight like her...he's a guy, and he's considerably taller. His name is Marcus Levering, and I don't think he would mind me telling you that his little car bed is yellow!

Love you guys! Thanks for the prayers! I feel them. Have some of mine!

I Love November

My Grandpa Edwards was born in November, and so was I. We had that. I miss him ever time I think about the fact that no one can buy me cordial cherries, and have it mean the same as when he did. He hid a dollar under the bottom row, and he ate the first cherry, EVERY TIME. This is a little girl's poem to my Grandpa's memory. Intended to be sweet, and without much fuss.

A Man I Know and Knew

I knew a man who had one leg
He had one leg to stand on
He had two arms, this man I knew
A chest that his heart could pound on

He had a head with white ringed hair
Hair from ear to ear
No hair on the very top
His eyes were crystal clear

What a nose! It stood out so
His mouth was just as large
His teeth he bought, he had two sets
He rode in Daddy’s car

This man I knew went away
Away to be with Jesus
So far away – I can’t be close
One day I’ll hold them both

I know a man who has two legs
He has two arms just waiting
Waiting for me to meet him where
His chest and heart are heaving

He has a head of hair I’m sure
With ears that still stick out
His nose is sure to be as big
As it ever was

I know a man whose teeth are real
Who never rides in cars
I know a man whose prayers I feel
I love you so, Grandpa.

Ernest Rivers Edwards
November 19, 1890 – July 5, 1982

Victor Victorious!

Isn't he pretty? Oh, wait - he's a man, you can't say pretty! Isn't he handsome! I met Victor online through MySpace about 2 years ago probably. He wrote to me when he saw that I was a teacher, and we have been having intelligent and very heartwarming discussions and talks ever since.

One of the things about MySpace is that it always gets the bad end of the deal on TV and in newspapers. People talk constantly about the sex offenders, the haters, and the deceptive people on MySpace. Hey, I'm on MySpace, and so are great and wonderful people like Victor. Victor is a student in Nigeria who has suffered far more interruption of his education due to the conditions of his country than any one American student would ever suffer. Heck, the American kids think that if a professor is late for class that gives them the right to complain or leave the session! Please! I think there actually a little unspoken rule that you wait 5 minutes for a regular teacher and 10 for a PhD. At least they have to wait for me when I'm getting my water, or going to the little girl's room. Victor walked miles and miles just to go to school, and he was patient and waited for a very long time (many times) for there to be a lesson at all.

When I think of Victor in Nigeria, having to work harder than we do, having to wait longer, having to pray that his mail even comes to him before it is opened by officials or anyone who feels they have the right, I am floored by his smile, and his energy. He is always bubbling over online. He always has the kindest of words, and I know why - he was raised in suffering. He was brought up knowing that everything is temporary and he really doesn't know what can happen to it, to those he loves, to the world he knows - he is gracious, he is sweet, he is gentle, and he is honest. That's one of the things I found to be profoundly different between the students I am familiar with here in our country, and the students I encounter from Chad, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, and the West Coast of Africa - - for them, study is everything! To learn is both a gift and a privilege. Oh, to have that attitude from every one of my students, I would still be teaching. They'd have to pull me out of the class kicking and screaming.

Thank you Victor for your heart and soul. Thank you for loving the world enough to be a part of its global community, to reach out to a teacher in America, and to become her African son! (Kiss your mom for me, as you always do when you see her. She is so proud of her baby boy, as I am of my own.)

No Matter What Your Politics - Love Them

PFC Reuben Stringfellow (top photo)

Cpl Kory D. Wiens and Mine Dog Cooper (bottom photo)

When I think about what energy goes in on BOTH sides of the issue of war, I am always confronted with one question: What about the troops? What do you, those who are opposed to the war, feel for the men and women, who because they promised they would go, and because they are ordered to do so - protect us? What do we FEEL? It's not a question of what do we do. We don't ever DO enough. We can't give them enough protection to continue protecting us. We can't and don't pray enough, but we can sure try. What do we FEEL?

When we're feeling, when we're emitting energy to the universe, the world, the community, the people, we are showing our emotions. We are demonstrating our true heart. You can be pro-peace and pro-troop at the same time. You can be anti-war and love the guys and girls wearing the uniform, holding the gun, watching the corners, using their skills, training, knowledge, and experience to keep themselves, their commanders, their units, and all of us as safe as they can. There will be accidents. There will be complications, and there will be death, sorrow, and hurt. In my heart in my soul I hold the heroes of our times to be as gallant and as brave as in any other time. They are truly to be honored and remembered correctly.

Before I had kids I used to throw out this really selfish statement. I'd say "I don't salute generals", and for me that meant that I didn't take orders. It was my arrogant, cocky way of saying I stood on my own two feet, and I was fully capable to do so. I don't believe I could have been any further off the mark than I was during that time of my life. Give me the lowest ranking man or woman in the service, and you will see me standing straight, my eyes looking forward, my back and hips in place, and you can bet your heart I've got my hand out to shake their hand, to thank them, and I wouldn't dream of saluting them now because I don't believe I have deserved that honor. I do salute my son, but not in public. He has to correct me every time I do it. (with that smile of his. "Mom, you're such a dork!")

The picture at the top of this blog is that of Cpl Kory Wiens. He is a 20 year old man. He will never be 21. He was killed in Iraq by an IED while he and his dog Cooper, a full blooded Labrador, were on mission. Their destroyed bodies were found close by each other, and they were returned to the Wien family in Dallas, Oregon. Their bodies were cremated and then buried together in a single small grave. For that I say thank you to the Wiens family. Now, I won't blog about every young soldier that surrenders his or her life for us, but this one was a little special to me. If you set my son's picture next to that of Cpl Kory Wiens, you'll see that they resemble each other. Faith, my precious U.S. Army SGT dog, is part Labrador, so this story is especially close to my heart.

We can't pray enough, we can't do enough, but we can love enough. We can stop fighting over the fact that we're fighting - - we can be pro-peace rather than anti-war. I've said it before and it warrants me saying it again: To positively live, you must live positively. Thank you - - is not enough. I love you! I truly truly LOVE you. Come home when you can.

Army Journalist Laura Bigenho wrote an article about Cpl. Wiens and Cooper months before they were killed. Here is that link. Thank you Laura! :

Monday, November 12, 2007


Sometimes you have a very very relaxing day and all you do all day is, drink in the day, let the sun hit your face, let the wind blow through your hair, and you chase geese. Seventeen is a great age some days.

I got up the nerve to spy on my kid today, and where that can bring me the strangest of awarenesses that maybe I did or didn't want to know - today was wonderful. You can see she was having the best time of it with about 40 or 50 flapping birds that reside just outside our apartments. We live in a little neighborhood of buildings that resemble townhouses, but once you walk through the front doors of one you realize you're in the foyer of four separate apartments. My girls live very close to me, and that's good...but sometimes they're a little too quiet - - you know what I mean. I can do the dumb-mom game, and just bring over a batch of cookies, stare into their rooms and count their toes, or I can go through the front door with both mom-barrels loaded, asking questions and prenatally demanding answers. Today I did neither.

Today I walked out the back gate, it made the metallic squeal that alerts the neighbors that I'm doing so, and they all pop their heads up to see where I'm going - - they love to spy on me as much as I love to spy on them. Today my baby girl was outside feeding the wild Canada Geese (the ones we used to call Canadian Geese, but someone corrected us, now didn't they?) and she was playing with them, chasing them, catching them, even petting them, and they didn't really seem to mind all that much. If they knew what the dead beaver knew about this imp they may change their beakish minds -- Caity can be so gentle and for that I am grateful. She would never harm an animal; but she would cut them up and dissect any dead one - in a heart beat!

Some of the geese were trying to establish their domination with each other, mounting and biting, doing the goose and gander dance when Caity Baby decided to interrupt their lives for a few hours. She was outside with them for several hours, and one has to ask - why wasn't she working today? Whose paying her rent, what did she do for lunch, did she remember to take out her laundry or is it still in the washer? Most of the time I would have walked right up and questioned her, but not today -- today was a day to hang back, use the telephoto lens and surprise her with 5x7 black and white photos framed on her wall when she came home from going to the mall with her sister!

Sarah's Flat Stanley!

It is NOT every day (well, nearly every day) that Faith gets to meet a big time celebrity, but today was one of those days. We were just hanging out around the apartment, when from across the pond in the back yard we heard Faith's new little fan club calling to us. She is often recognized by local beautiful people, so we waved and we called back and forth over the water to say hello to our new friends. I decided that I would take Faith over to the office building where her little group worked at a real live urology clinic. We were a little confused when we entered the building on the 2nd floor, but this is Oklahoma - we just let it roll!

Inside the urology clinic we met two of the sweetest ladies out there. I know one of them is Sheila, but I forgot to get the other woman's name. I do however know her little niece's name - it's SARAH. Sarah had previously made a little Flat Stanley doll for her class project, and her Flat Stanley had been visiting the clinic with her aunt for a little while. The idea behind Flat Stanleys are to have the dolls visit various places, have their individual pictures taken while visiting, and the student (Sarah) then writes up an essay about the adventures of her particular Flat Stanley!

Wow! To be in the presence of such a world-renown doll! It was awesome. We were honored and pleased to have Faith's picture taken with Sarah's Flat Stanley, and you can tell from the smile on Flat Stanley's face that he was equally thrilled to be with Faith. Faith even sniffed his little body and accepted him as a new friend. Maybe Sarah's Flat Stanley will be the hit of the classroom now that he's met Faith!

For more information about getting your school or students into the fun, just Google it! You'll find a new friend and fun like you've never imagined. Flat Stanley goes EVERYWHERE!

First Day of Freedom!

What to do? What to do? Well, the first thing to do is to explain the creepy dreams I had this weekend -- all stemming from the decision I made on Friday to quit my job as a customer service representative for an independent Farmers Insurance agent in Edmond, Oklahoma. The only reason I even considered working again, outside the house, and outside of writing, is because of the pledged revenue I lost over the summer and late spring. It wasn't coming in, there didn't look like another way to make ends meet, and even though that situation turned out, I was on the hook working for a man who really wasn't quite ready to be a manager or a boss.

When I quit Friday, and made it official Saturday, I began having a few strange but creative dreams all reflecting my decision, my feelings, my inhibitions of being on my own again fully - but I have been on my own for years. I know where my feet are, and through prayer and work I always land on them. Sometimes the impact hurts, but I do land well enough. The first dreams I had revealed snakes, two of them, yellow, one bigger than the other, and the larger one was coming after me. I picked up Faith (my dog) and I ran from it. My daughter Laura, who has never been afraid of any snake, picked up the yellow snake and she scolded it. Go Laura! Go Laura! It began spitting venom out of it's fangs, but not at anything, just out and everywhere. The poison didn't hit anyone or anything important.

The 2nd yellow snake wasn't scary at all, but in the path. He was OK, shorter, friendly, and just there. He wasn't trying to attack, he wasn't trying to do anything. Just there. I let him pass by and I continued talking to Laura about the first one. Thanking her for picking it up....she said I was welcome, she loved me, and that was that. So, I went online and found the meaning. The first ugly mean snake was my former connection to Corporate America. Strong, forceful, spitting, and making all sorts of scary sounds. It was controlling, and it was selfish, wanting to be the ONLY one, and it was doing its best to attack me. I was saved by a girl that loved me. She spoke directly to it, and told it I was not for hire. I loved that. The 2nd snake, a more gentle creature was my future employment. Fatter, thicker, more content, and just a happy easy-going little guy - writer...authorship!

Last night I dreamed of tornadoes! Oh, the wind! I could see from my very high rise apartment that the wind was on NW Expressway going west. That's the direction and the area of the city where I grew up. I was absolutely spared and safe from all the harm the wind was doing. I was completely OK. It was twisting and disrupting everything, but not me. All the changes were being made to the past, all the changes were being made in my heart, not my future, not my desires to be me. I have overcome them, I have gotten past them, very high up in the air above the scene, so that what I see is gone already - I just need to let it go. So today is my first real day of freedom.

What big plans do you think I have? I think I'll clean my apartment, pop out the vacuum (new machine! can't wait) and just clean. Prepare the new me. Just get it all lined out...and of course drive to Starbucks in the middle of the day, and just sit down for as long as I want to, and drink a quad-shot cappuccino while I read a book!

Viva la Freedom! There are several dream analysis sites online. I use about 4 of them to make the best determinations about my dreams. Because each of us experiences life differently, it is best to ask yourself very direct questions while making the interpretations. Never assume the site master is always correct. They are YOUR dreams.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Veterans Day

November 11, 2007 - Happy Veterans Day to every single man and every single woman who has served in the Armed Forces. I don't believe that Veterans Day is to be only focused on the soldiers who have died or given up their lives in the line of fire. I believe a Veteran is anyone who has ever taken an oath, worn a uniform, worked and/or lived as an Armed Forces soldier. THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

Of course, I have a few of my personal favorite Veterans. My father Reuben Stringfellow was in the Navy, and proudly served during the Korean War. He was (and is still) an electrician. He served on a ship, but said he really never got off of it to do much in the way of combat -- I suppose that's a great thing, he is THAT GUY that kept the communication lines open. After he served in the U.S. Navy my dad met my mom, they married, had four children, and he spent 30 years practicing and perfecting his electrical skills working as a Regional Wire Tech for Western Union.

My uncle Marvin Humphrey was in the Air Force, he was in World War II, and I have very little information about what his mission was, but I know this; he dropped food in Berlin during those times of starvation, and that makes him a hero in my heart.

My uncle Bill Stringfellow was also in the Air Force, too tall to fly he flew anyway! Something like my son, he just SAID he was shorter in order to do the job. He also served during the Korean War, and after he left the service he became a lineman for the county - we used to tease him and say that Glen Campbell sang about him. He resided in Denver.

My former employer the Hon. Edward H. Moler, another Air Force pilot too tall to fly! He served during World War II, and he did so as a flight scout. In 1999 Mr. Moler brought his really cool binoculars to the office and from the 28th floor of the building we worked in, I could literally see President Clinton giving a speech several city blocks away - - that was cool until a Blackhawk hovered over our building outside our window and the passenger soldier asked me to put them down! OK, yes sir, you betcha! ....please step away from the window! Yes...of course.

There is a woman in there too: Spc. and/or SGT Laura Bigenho of Ft. Lewis, (Seattle) Washington. Currently serving in Iraq! Currently making out with another beautiful soldier, just doing her duty, keeping the man warm - tough assignment, but you know, good work if you can get it. That soldier is a ninja, I can't possibly give up his assignment! Rumor has it the two of have been found holding hands and giggling behind sand dunes! Come on, I thought it was suppose to be all work over there. Seriously, Laura is a journalist, I have no idea what Levering does, but he's out there doing it! Thank you.

My FAVORITE Veteran? Oh, you don't even have to ask. Baby Boy Reuben Andrew! PFC Reuben Andrew Stringfellow of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Top notch, handsome, fast, clever, full of spunk and energy - capable and able to be anywhere at anytime, doing anything he's asked...why? Because he's perfect! Oh, OK...he's not exactly, not 100% perfect - - but damn close! He's my son!

I should mention my dog too! Faith is an honorarily commissioned SGT in the U.S. Army, and she's out there making everyone of the soldiers she meets to know we love them! Love them. LOVE THEM.

Happy Veterans Day! BIG SMILES!! LOVE TO YOU ALL.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


For the past 5 maybe 6 months (whose really counting) I worked for an independent insurance agent in Edmond, Oklahoma - don't worry I won't say his name. I don't want to give him even the slightest reason to feel that he has a right to do ANYTHING remotely resembling action. Who am I kidding - I was the ONLY thing in the office with any action. When I got there he was on his way out, the district office asked him to hire me to keep his name on the books. I had been retired. I wasn't selling insurance, but had decided that since American had lost my dog, and I had lost quite a bit of revenue, but I would use the next few months to keep the bills paid - and for me, well - that meant selling or marketing in the insurance business, as it was something I was not only good at (great, actually) but it was something that brought in enough money to keep the kids in their Keds. You know what I mean.

Well, I went into this guy's sad little office; without pictures, without proper furniture, without bookshelves, supplies, or even the right office equipment. He had actually JUST purchased a new computer, but the man hadn't even thought about a virus protector that would be compatible. The new equipment wasn't about to work with his old lines, so power cords were needed, as were printers, a fax, scanner, even an all-in-one, but trying to get this poor kid (26 years immature) to pay for anything he needed was like pulling out all of his teeth - - he wasn't into it exactly. He'd rather pay $350 on a set of golf clubs than improve the office. Young men make this mistake. I understand.

Let's just say that he wasn't ready to run an office, and I wasn't ready to babysit him. We'll leave it at that. Now, the big bad plan is to wake up at 8:00 like I normally do, get the coffee I normally get, and do the exercises that I do every day. The difference is, I'll do the exercises a little longer after I actually relax with my coffee, after I sit up in the bed a while and pray. I'll breathe a bit more, I'll kiss the dogs, and write in my journal more. The result should be good. It's my birthday in about two weeks - I want to have five pounds off my body by then, I want to be running in place for 30-40 minutes. I want to be lifting my weights better, stretching further, eating better, and drinking the water I drank before I went to work for the's as if I set my clock to another person's time, not mine.

It's already working out for me. I've taken a little mini-vacation this weekend. I'm thinking very positive thoughts, and look what happend - Ohio State lost to Illinois! I love Illinois, Chicago just happens to be inside of Illinois! What a great plan! So, that means the BCS will place Oklahoma a little higher, and who knows, we may end up playing Kansas for the Big 12, beating them of course, and if LSU can lose to someone over the next two weeks, Oklahoma could end up playing Oregon for the National Championship - and THAT'S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. We'll see if we get "Ducked" again! I've been asked before if Fall is my favorite season, but I have to be honest - Football Season is my favorite season!

In honor of the GREAT Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma's 100 year centential, I say "Good bye corporate America! Hello authorship!" (Embrace your life!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

National Enquirer Called Me Again

Hello....may I help you? I was minding my own business when a freelance writer for the National Enquirer called me yesterday evening to ask me a few things about the situation brewing with Faith and the so-far unnamed famous actor that we will be working with in order to restore order. Since the magazine has successfully found a business associate of mine who will tell names, and answer some of the questions surrounding the situation, I thought it best to go ahead and do my best, in my blog, to say the things I would like to say, just in case it gets a little fuzzy in the magazine. Since it's no longer a secret, and it will be out there, there are a few things that need to be straight from me. I'll do the best I can.

Here goes: I have hired Debra Opri to settle a matter between myself and Mr. Vince Vaughn, as Vince is the one I feel (and I believe Opri feels) is ultimately responsible for any damages that could have been caused when one of his employed comedians, Sebastian Mansicalco made some very inappropriate and even illegal (opinion) statements about my dog. Vince is a wonderful man, a great actor, and an advocate for the Armed Forces. It wasn't because of his acting career, his fame, or his fortune that I choose NOT to say who he was - it was his involvement with our troops. I am a troop-lover, a troop-mother, and I refuse to degrade, harm, or interfere with the way things are handled in the military. I simply won't get in their way. If I thought that asking Opri to sue Vince would be harmful to the military, I wouldn't do it. It is NOT in any way connected to the military, unless you consider that what Sebastian did could have a definite NEGATIVE affect on what we do for and with the military. THAT point must be made clear.

Because my dog was commissioned as a SGT in the Army, because Vince goes on USO tours, because I believe him to be a dedicated and true supporter of the troops, I was holding his name and therefore his involvement closer to the chest. Now, because the National Enquirer is asking business associates what happened, I feel it is actually better for me to explain it than to rely on the hearsay or secondhand stories that could be heard. The one man (a good man) that I know will be interviewed was with Faith and I in Chicago last month when a CBS television producer or director approached us and specifically asked how the "Vince Vaughn" thing was coming, if it had any impact on the "series" I was suppose to be in, and if there was anything he could do to help.

Well, that was a surprise to me! I knew Vince's involvement, and I had hired an attorney to handle it. I didn't know, and still don't have all the names I need, that we were definitely given a series part, or a movie part, as others have suggested. It has been tossed around, but this guy made it more evident that he was at one of the shows Maniscalco performed. He was in touch with Vaughn, or made it seem as if he was, because he knew what was going on with us. He also knew that I had hired a high profile attorney. Now, how did he know this? I don't know, but the point is, I wanted to keep it under wraps as long as possible since Vince's movie Fred Claus was coming out and I didn't want that to be soured in any way. Looks fun, looks like one of those movies where he is first the bad guy, the irresponsible guy, then makes up, or changes the perspective a bit to save the day. (Wait, that's sort of like what happened with us. He could be considered irresponsible for allowing the bit to be played not only on YouTube, but in a movie that was sold to a Canadian based studio, and then realized that it wasn't the best thing to do when I found out about it, and he got his money back, and decided to do the right thing. Except now we're being told that he may try to sell it to another buyer for more....where's the part where he turns good in the end?)

I want the whole thing to end well. I want it to be played out well enough that Vince is the good guy, that Faith is portrayed as she should be; gentle, loving, kind, and courageous. I want her to be in series, commercials, movies, wherever she is suppose to be without anyone stepping on her plans by making inappropriate statements of defamation. I want this to be a good story, not a gossip story. There is a way - - and that is for the truth to be told. Maybe it's a good thing that the National Enquirer asked me to tell my side. I refused because I'm with Opri, and I didn't want her to think I was being a publicity hound (no pun intended on the hound statement). I want the facts to be facts, my yes to be yes, my no to be no, and for the proper decisions to be made.

Were we hurt financially? Without a doubt. How badly? We'll never know. What to do? Let Opri handle that part of it. I would like the apology, yes, but more importantly, I want the standing. Faith is a U.S. Army (honorary) SGT and she is as proud of that as I am for her. We are 100% behind our troops, and we won't let anyone or anything degrade that fact. Lawyers are awesome! I love mine. Just found out she's from NY originally. That accent of hers came out this morning before she had her first cup of coffee! Hahahaha...

We'll take care of this! God is awesome. Vince, I love you man! I truly do. Do the right thing by Faith; she would accept you and Sebastian no matter what, do the right thing. (I love saying this..."Have your people call my people". It's so cliche, but fun. They're actually not even my people, they're Faith's.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

CBS, Animal Planet, They All Want My Dog!

Here's how today went: I got up on time, did the exercises, took the shower, got to work on time. Then I realized that my phone was at home, probably on the kitchen cabinet next to the B-12 I was trying to force open when the bottle opened and little pills flew everywhere. So, I reversed the car, turned it around, got back on the highway and tooled it on home to pick up the phone. Just before I reached the actual highway I noticed I was out of gas...good thing to note before you get on the freeway right? So, I pull into the nearest Shell, pick up a couple or three Powerball tickets (God, if I win this is truly going to be a better story to blog about tomorrow) and I got the gas.

After arriving home I found two men in my kitchen pulling my oven away from the wall - and yes, they were eating the cookies I had made for them the night before. You see, my oven went out on me and the maintenance men at my apartment complex are the best! They replaced the old oven with a brand new one, but it didn't heat either! They decided to test it again and again by having me bake them some cookies to see exactly how long that would take! What should have been 15 minutes at 375 degrees took 1 hour at 200 or less....that's why they were in the kitchen this morning. I literally came around the living room corner when a big man's arm reached up from NO WHERE and handed me my cell - "You forgot this!" He said. I thanked him and just as I did, the phone rang. It was my agent.

Mike Maguire calls me a lot these days to say this company, that company, this group, or that group is wanting to film my dog for the holidays. I understand that, and I love that! It was just a great timing thing that I happened to walk through the door at that minute and catch this particular call because it was CBS! I love CBS...they're the ones who bring me CSI, CSI-Miami, CSI-NYC, NCIS....Cold Case, Without a Trace - is it just me? Am I really that starved for forensic/sick/twisted drama? Probably. They also have Animal Planet! It was the call we knew would eventually come...Animal Planet wants me to film my dog for their End of the Year show, the best of the best pets, and you know...that means Faith! She's awesome!!!

Faith has been nominated so very often for shows like this because she just gives and gives. She's always happy, always up, always wagging her tail and her tongue and just wanting to be a part of everyone's holiday and every day life! She's such a pretty little girl too, and she's got something about her that makes people want to reach out and hug her. In fact, a great many people do exactly that. We don't mind. She doesn't always cotton up to men, but she's getting better...the maintenance men are her best friends now, they throw her milk bones from under the sink now, and they reach in my refrigerator and find her cheese too. You'd have to see these two, they could take it on the road - - great timing!

So, I rushed back to work, made calls, got the mail out, did the work-thing for a couple of hours and then rushed back home. I needed a new battery charger for my SONY Handicam 8mm, and that wasn't easy to find - but it was found. I am currently charging the little battery, and in no time I'll be outside taking shots of the mutt running up and down the lawn and along the pond where she is seen on a daily basis chasing geese, ducks, we even had an otter that she lives to play with. He/She isn't quite sure what to think of Faith nosing around the den, but Faith loves to look! Soon you'll see the special, probably at the end of the year - Best of 2007, that sort of thing. We're also getting ready for an Oklahoma Centennial Celebration with Faith and a few others - wonderful Oklahomans who are helping our great state commemorate 100 years of statehood this next week. November 16, 1907 to November 16, 2007...too bad Teddy Roosevelt can't be here for the anniversary - he signed us into statehood that afternoon.

Well, gotta scoot, the dog and her public are waiting. I'm the cameraman/woman on this one. I'll let Laura and Caity be seen on the show...I did mention to the producer Scott Day of CBS that he had to do me this one favor: He had to put us on an episode of CSI-NY....if for no other reason I'd love to see Faith walking into the lab and just freak the bajeebies out of the crew! She's table height when she stands up, perhaps she could help Hawkes do an autopsy! WOOF!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Smarter Than the Average Blogger Bears!

You guys are smart! You fellow-bloggers that is. I guess we're not on strike since we are continuing to blog, but then again, not many of us are being paid for our works huh? I can tell from the e-mails and the phone calls I'm receiving that some of you are putting two and two together.

Last July I blogged on my site about Sebastian Maniscalco and his faux-paux with the very public miscommunication about my dog Faith. I mentioned that I would be seeking legal counsel, and I did. I blogged a couple of days ago about Debra Opri being said legal counsel, and she's fantastic! She's wonderful in fact. I couldn't have asked for a better person to represent me. She loves dogs, she loves people, she's open and honest. I think honestly, that I we're in the best of hands. Well, there you bloggers go; reading between the lines, watching the Maniscalco YouTube, and deriving from what it says that the man being held responsible for the basis of the suit (pending) is a well-named actor other than Sebastian Maniscalco - - you've done all that you can do to make me say his name, but I don't think that matters.

Saying his name doesn't (or won't) change matters. He has agreed to apologize to us, which is better toward good will -- don't you think? I'll let the attorneys handle the names, and the reputations. There's no need to even worry about it. When TMZ called me this evening to confirm the NAME of the man involved, I directed them to speak with Debra. They went so far as to say that on the YouTube there is a definite name mentioned, that Sebastian Maniscalco was directly involved with "X" man, and they wanted to know YES or NO if this was the man I hold in such high esteem that although I may have to file a suit against him, I choose not to say his name. I'm sure Debra's number is listed....I'll smile from behind my monitor, and know that I'm in the best hands possible.

An alliance will be made - - I believe in this. As for Hollywood, names, gossips, and rumors, here's one: Faith is going to be in a movie soon, and you wouldn't believe who her leading man will be!!! Oh, dare I tease? Giggles.

NOT ON STRIKE - But I Would Be

If I were employed as a Hollywood or news writer, a member of a union, I suppose I would be on strike like the rest of them. I don't look too bad in red, so I'd be able to afford the spiffy tee-shirt too. That's cool when you think about it: "I went on STRIKE and I got this lovely T-shirt too!" could be the slogan.

I like the ads for the Lions for Lambs promos, "Behind Every Big Story, Behind Every Closed Door... IS THE TRUTH." It should read "Behind EVERY Big Story, Behind Every Teeny Tiny Story, Behind Everything that anyone on stage actually says - is the WRITER". I wrote to my attorney today in response to her asking me to be patient about being on the Ellen Show, which I'm sure we will be soon - I can be patient. I can wait for the writers to get their salaries, their residuals, I can do that. I'm a writer! I do get what they're saying. The fact that Leno, Letterman, Conan, Colbert, any of the talk show hosts (even my I-Can't-Wait-To-Dance-With-Her Ellen) needs a writer or two before they open their mouths on stage. However, I've seen the commercials, Ellen can write some pretty funny stuff on her own!

I went on strike once, but it only lasted through my lunch hour. It was a teacher's strike, and just like the writers, it won't last very long. We alllllllwaaaaaysss get what we want. We're teachers! No one wants to trade us jobs. Same with the writers; no one wants to put their best pens forward. I would, but I'm not about to be a scab. I was called this morning, someone asked me to join the new union, and I thought about it since I'm not an actual member of the Writers Guild of America. Took me about 3 seconds....before I smiled and said "No Thanks". I believe in the strike. It won't be another 22 week strike like it was in 1988 - I bet within a week we see the writers wearing blue, green, yellow, pink, even a little periwinkle again. Out with the red - off with the t-shirts...some of them need to keep them on as long as possible, but we won't go there.

Wouldn't it be great to see the actors in CSI-NY having to come up with their own lines? Mac Taylor (forgive me Gary)knows a bit more about everything there is to know about everything - more so than his counterpart perhaps. I'd love to see Gary just look Melena in the eyes and say "I don't know, haven't got a damn clue about what that chemical does, what it's used for, where it comes from...Danny, what do you think?" That would be hilarious, but not as Mac-like as Mac Taylor, that boy knows the wing ratio of the African Swallow in flight (little Monty Python humour). want to make a mark in this world, say the right things, have the right image, look good and sound good on stage and in front of people? You can do what I do, WRITE IT YOURSELF....or you could give in and pay the people what they want. It's just money! Hey Hollywood, you're not making it without the writers, no way, not gonna the money! Have your people call my people...we'll talk once this is over.