Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CBS - SCREWED the Pooch! (Tillman and Ron)


Episode 4 of the Greatest American Dog (Ha!) is in my opinion the LAST episode of the show. You can't expect the audience for next week's show to be kind to you CBS, not after literally throwing out the TALENT and the ONE team that carried the show! Bill and Star are great, but Ron had the remarks that people listened for. Like tonight when he asked Brandy how she even got through the doors of the show, it was priceless. Those remarks are not written for him,his down-to-earth surfer-boy talk is real - that is RON. That's what made the show watchable, and Tillman's good looks, come on!

Tillman is so adorable, so talented, so off the wall GREAT but you didn't even capitalize on his abilities! Why? Hey judges - Teresa used citric acid to make her dog look mean. KICK HER OFF the show for cruelty. Then she lied! Hello - video! Remember when producers asked me to be on the show and I said no? I smelled the controversy. I sensed that you wanted to play it, you wanted to jimmy it. How would they have overlooked Faith's lack of arms if we were expected to swim or shake hands? I can't tell you how happy I am for saying no to money - sure the exposure would have been great, but not at that cost. I won't HURT my dog for it. It never was about the dog now was it? It couldn't have been, otherwise you wouldn't have hired so many TRAINERS.

Another thing. Who paid these judges to open their mouths tonight? They were so inconsistent, so very broad, completely off the topic usually - and given their mightier-than-thou attitudes I won't be surprised to see the record of all records broken this week - millions and millions of would be viewers (Yes, including me) STOP watching. The ONLY thing good about Tillman and Ron going home tonight is that I have that one hour in my life back to trim my nails, wash my hair, pick the neighbor's dog's poop up before I go to bed - - without Tillman and Ron on the show there is no show. CBS, are you listening? Because you don't listen to the viewers, so why should we watch your show? Oh, I remember, Criminal Minds came on after the Greatest American Dog did tonight. That's why people tuned into the last 3 minutes of the show to see the executives of CBS shoot themselves in the foot! Did it hurt? It will next week when Neilsons come out - do yourselves a favor - apologize to us and put Tillman on a regular weekly show so we can see his precious mug over and over the show Surfer Dude and have Ron and Tillman running a skateboarding shop on Venice Beach. It may not be Baywatch, but I'm sure we can convince Tillman to jog in slow motion and let his jowls flop around.

Sorry Ron, sorry Tillman baby...I just had to rant. You guys rock and they know it by now I'm sure. Faith said to tell you guys hi, and we'll be out in L.A. soon enough. We'll stop by and get the mutts together I'm sure. Kiss kiss to Erika and Reef. You got some great guys, I'm sure you're glad they're safe and happy. Feed them well. (Hey Mikey, you thinkin' reality show? I am! Have your people call my people - wait, you are my people! Call me.) LOL

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Six Weeks - A Test

I've done this before. I set a time schedule and I keep a diet plan, a work out plan, and I try to fake out my body to make it think I'm really going somewhere in 90 days or in this case 6 weeks. Once I tried to pretend that I was being asked to film in Europe this time. I didn't want to be the stereo-typical "Fat American" getting off the plane to invade their gentle country. I wanted to be leaner, stronger, more healthy. Well, this time I want to be more equipped mentally than I was last time I tried to bowl myself over with my own mental lies! This time I have a real strategy...a reason.

This is July 27, six weeks from today will be September 14 if my calculations are correct. On September 11, 1992 I weighed 138 pounds. I was healthy and happy - and then I fell at a grocery store when I slipped on a puddle of water. You couldn't make out the water on the floor because of the reflection coming off the floor from the lights above. The floor always looked wet in that particular store, and when I misstepped and hit the ground I knew there was a real problem. I had cracked the base of my neck. I heard it crack! For weeks I was unable to do much at all - the movements so difficult, and of course I was unable to exercise, forbidden to after that due to the nerve damage that was caused. I developed a problem in my hands - I would literally crush glass if I held it because my thumbs contracted and wrapped very tightly over my fingers. There were times that I was locked onto the steering column of my car and had to use my teeth to pry myself off the wheel!

Needless to say there was a significant amount of damage done to my mental state as well as to my physical body. Eventually I gained over 65 pounds and I became very depressed over a period of years - - it didn't help that I was going through a divorce soon after that, my educational path had taken off, and I had to quit the first time I had enrolled due to the accident, then I had to pay back the money my husband had borrowed through my student loans that I didn't know about - and that caused more stress, more injury - do you see a pattern here? I think I call it self-abuse-syndrome. I just pitied myself all day and all the time. I was my own worst enemy with the "I can't" or "it hurts to exercise" - I had EVERY excuse in the book and I sure used them! Until about 18 months ago.

I began asking God to prepare someone for me and to prepare me for someone. I just left it up to God to determine who that would be. I told Him I didn't want 10, I didn't want 5. I didn't even want 2. I just wanted one, and to be honest, it took a great deal of convincing me that I even wanted that one - - but something in me said it was time, or it would be. I knew it would take a while. I had a lot of stuff to unpack...the journey to find me again had been a very very very long trip indeed.

I didn't stare in the mirror and cry - I didn't need to, that video of me and Faith on the Montel Williams Show December 5, 2006 was enough. I think it aired February 20, 2007, but still - 205 pounds? Could that be right? Had I really let that happen? Yes, I really let that happen. I wasn't really all that sad, I didn't feel sad. I felt helpless in some ways, but not sad - in fact with all that was going on with Faith I felt pretty happy - but there was the time I sat down in a seat on the airplane and heard a little girl say to her mother "Why do I have to sit by her, she's fat". Her thin and quick to smile a shy smile mother retorted under her breath to the little girl that she, the little girl, was smaller and we'd all fit better that way. Wow, I was hurt...but it wasn't anybody elses fault but my own. I had been the one to do all the eating and none of the exercising, after all - no one else is inside this skin but me.

So, about 18 months ago I decided that if I was going to be prepared for someone that meant my body had to be presentable. A present in a big box can be cool but I think the smaller more intriguing box would suit me better. In my mind I've always remained a size 8. In the mirror there tends to be a different point of view. Part of the preparing this time will be the fact that I'm approaching September 11, and rather than it becoming a very sad day because of my fall and because of the Twin Towers, I want THIS year to be a better day...a winning day. I may not be 138 pounds by that day, but I can be better off than what I am today at 155. I can't say I'll be a size 8 again, I want to be, and that's a step in the right direction. I've made so many big and wonderful changes this year that I could always use the last twelve months as a time for reflection.

Sometimes I go back through my journals (all 483912 of them) and I find what I was doing exactly 1 year ago. I read things and remember, or I read things and have no idea what I'm talking about, but I was pretty adamant at the time that it was important! One year ago today I gave up fatty foods. If something had more than a few grams of fat in it I didn't eat it. Today it's hard to get me to look at fatty foods - they just aren't attractive. I have NO cravings for them. Same with meat. The desire to eat a burger is just not in me. I don't like the smell of bacon frying anymore, it's not that I'm opposed to it, it's just not interesting to me. Sort of like looking at men that I don't want to actually know - this one is gorgeous, that one is sexy, but I don't care. My heart is set. I can look at a burger, I can look at a rib-eye, not going to eat it. You go ahead, I'm not against that, but it's just not for me anymore.

I won't beat myself up if I'm not 15 pounds lighter in 6 weeks. I won't even cry over it, but I bet I could see myself on camera and not hate myself as much as I did before - and I think I could sit next to anyone and not be offensive. Well, not because of my weight anyway - that's why God invented noise-cancelling headsets. I don't even NOTICE your children much anymore - except for take offs and landings, and while I'm here, and you're there reading - SHUT THEM UP PLEASE...I thought there was a rule about children being in First Class are they even really allowed in First Class? There should be a rule - but that's a blog for my opinion's blog, I get a bit sassy about kids these days...mine are...mine are....OLD!! Hahaha...YES!

Six weeks. I'm eating 5 times a day of course, but little meals. I get the 40-50 grams of fiber in, I drink the 80 ounces of water, 1 cup of coffee if you can believe that, and I also exercise more than 50 minutes a day - thanks to the core stabilizer and the hand weights, tubes, and anything else I can do while watching news and forensic shows - bring on Montel Williams, I can do this! (Oh, he retired? Too bad, I was looking forward to a re-do!)


OK, so I own the rights to LAURA, but Rock Band isn't my logo....or my kid.

Laura has been so cute lately. She's a singer and a songwriter, but she's just now getting really excited about it and showing off in front of strangers that may or may not have any idea that she's been singing for a few years OUT THERE in the big, fat, scary world. She's been to places like Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, and even Dallas and Seattle singing at military bases. She toured with a rock band festival last year but they were metal and she only performed as a side show artist at the set ups. She had fun though. NOW, the crazy woman is out in the supermarket where she works singing and rocking out to people who come through her line if they're not the uptight stuffy types. If she thinks they'll nark on her, or try to get her in trouble with the boss - who by now realizes she's a temporary employee - then she's apt to sing right at the customer when she takes their money! Usually something from Kelly Clarkson, but she and singer/songwriter buddy Wally Cox have a few new things to add to the CDs she's creating.

Like Clint Eastwood making two films from opposing sides of the war, Laura is creating a Japanese CD and an English CD with some of the same cover songs being sung in both languages...isn't that cool. You can actually hear the girl sing at: and hear for yourself, but it wasn't produced professionally - so don't think it's CD quality. (The video, not the songs recorded under the word SONGS - they were recorded professionally. Laura was just screwing around on the video) People like her! She's likable and she's cute too - if I don't say so myself, I mean yeah, I'm biased, but she's really cute. Talent must run in the family - her brother writes, her sister writes and sing - I be honest with you I think Laura is the better singer of any of us - better than me anyway, and God knows she's better than Reuben! I love you son, but you did NOT inherit your father's vocal skills. Reuben's dad actually sang professionally for a while - you'd think he'd have passed a little of that down the pike - but no, the boy sucks. At least he DOES sing though. He's out there.

Laura's agent Mike Maguire is working on her appearances including her singing at several baseball and basketball games this year - not award winning, but you can't beat having 35,000 people listening to you at one time. (18,000 at a basketball game I guess) If they let her she'll do a half-time show or the equivalent to it, can you tell I don't do other sports, I'm calling it a half-time show! Damn, I have football on the brain. 34 more days to kick off! OU baby!

So, Laura just talked me into getting her the Rock Band for the XBox 360, but we didn't have the Xbox either - so I bought that too. I'm one of those sucker parents that really loves hearing my kid sing, so anything to help right - I just bought the machine, got the software, got the microphone and now all I need is the brat - I need the kid! She's about 70 miles away, and I have to wait! I hate waiting! I don't want to wait - so, I called her up, forced her to sing to me on the phone while she's working and people in line jammed right along with us. The manager thought about getting onto her, but my darling turned to him and said "You don't want my mom coming in here and bopping you on the head do you?" (We went to middle school together, and I wasn't very nice to him then, I'm better now.) He let her sing....thanks Matt! I mean, Mr. Bridges!

Have fun at the store singing and dancing little one..I'll go alert the media and get the press releases in order.

The Gray Man!

Formerly known as "Wisteria"

This film may have been released as a DVD or in theatres in 2007, but it was filmed almost entirely in June 2005! My son Reuben is in this movie and I want to see it. It was so funny too, the way he was hired for it. Reuben attended Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City through the Putnam City School District. He was a senior in 2005 and during the month of March, just 8 weeks before he was to graduate, we found out that his counselor had screwed up his credits - - not Reuben, a kid can't do that despite what appears on paper - the counselor has to approve everything a kid picks and chooses. Of course a kid is going to seek the easy route, of course a kid is going to try to get out of the things he or she has to take to graduate if he or she can be an office aide every semester! The office absolutely loved it when Reuben was there - the boy was MADE to run errands. He'd make it a game and time himself as he would blast down the halls literally ramming into people he liked, tackling friends in the name of having-to-get-there! The boy was exciting to say the least. HOWEVER, you can't be an office aide every semester and get credit! That's something his counselor should have put a stop to. So, he didn't qualify to actually graduate in 2005....this was an absolute disaster!

I had already opened my home school for the girls, and they were under a strict curriculum, but I decided to add Reuben as a student for the 1.5 credits he was missing. If I could get him those credits before June 30, 2005, I could see him graduate and he would have a real diploma issued by the home school yes, but it would be official, signed by his principal, me and an officer of the district itself. What to do? OK...I gave the boy an 8-week crash course in POETRY....yes, you heard me, POETRY for 1 full credit. He had to read it, analyze it, write it, research it, and read it out loud to an audience. It wasn't as difficult for him as I first thought, and as a reward for the boy I actually published 4 of his poems in a book I wrote called "Periwinkle" so now he's even a published poet. For a half credit course I thought about Drama since he had failed it in his freshmen year. Same trappings - I would have him read about it, write about it, and maybe put on a little play for me - but then I found out that they were filming WISTERIA, a feature film just 30 miles from where we live. I took him there to WATCH them film - no idea they'd hired him on the spot.

We were watching, just watching, when someone suggested that he fill out the necessary forms and take a head shot just in case the director needed a big country boy for the background. All of the extras in the film were from Oklahoma - it was perfect. Well, they did hire him that day, but not for the role of a town dweller or country boy - he is the "young cop" under credits. He's the taller one, the thicker one, the one tackling the bad guy. He's in about 9 scenes I think, I haven't seen the finished product but we were filming every day for 2 weeks and he used in all of the street scenes as well as the court house scenes. The one I really want to see, but it was edited, was where the director tells Reuben to chase the bad guy (stunt man) and he used the quote "tackle his ass"....OH MY GOSH, did he really say that to a 6A state qualifying high school Defensive End? FLASH! BAM! DOWN!

"OK", said the director, "that was...that was....good. This time, let's give the guy a little more room to try and I don't Could you be a little less aggressive, and maybe not smile so much? You're a cop, he's a bad guy." What can I say, the boy was thinking football. It was hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing, and there's no way I could have approached the director in time to correct his error, he was too far away. I could hear him through a box, but I couldn't even have waved him down - the boy was GONE the second the stunt man broke out of the barn! It took 4 or 5 takes and the stunt man was laughing his butt off with each new and developed try - I just wonder which take they used...and if the boy is smiling or if they finally convinced him that he was a cop rather than a lineman.

So, there he was in the country tackling the man, on the streets holding people back from the court house, in the court house as a guard and opening doors. That much I know. At the time he was filmed Reuben's hair was all the way to his shoulders and the hair/makeup artist was so sure he wouldn't want her to cut off his golden red locks to make him look like the 1929-1935 era New York City beat cop that he was portraying - but he was all over it. "Damn, I just saved myself $15!" was his answer. He didn't have to go get his hair cut! The fact that the role of an extra in this particular film didn't pay a single penny meant NOTHING to Reuben. He was having the time of his life. You should have seen his face when I mentioned that he actually got to eat for free as well - it was catered by the company....WHAT? Oh, that was all she-wrote! "Hell Yeah!" was all I heard for food, chasing people, tackling them in cornfields, beating people up on the streets and driving old Model-T cars? Could it be this much fun and still be legal? You just had to be there.

We were there in the 90 degree weather filming 12-15 hour days. Reuben wore a wool suit the entire time - I know because I was his personal assistant! Can you imagine what that pays if the extra isn't paid anything? He did however, have the best (bar none) personal assistant on the set. Even the stars complained about it. "I wish my mother was here to bring me drinks and wipe my sweat" was a great quote from my good buddy Vyto Ruginis (Star Wars and many drams as well as commercials. Google Vyto!) Yes doesn't everyone wish their personal assistant would run up to them between takes and wipe their sweat, feed them granola bars, give them drinks, and ask them if they need a pee-break? I even straightened his clothes, tied his shoes, and brought him back to the 1930's by removing his wrist watch and telling the director so he could edit accordingly...I'm nice like that.

I want to see this film now. I could care less about the terrible twisted man that it features - gross and disgusting man this Albert Fish. He's literally one of the worst people I have ever read about - not joking. I may only watch it for Vyto's parts and of course the "Young Cop". I swear if they didn't give him credit I'll be all over them....hahaha..not really, but a P.A. has to have their client's back right? Should I get my boy an agent? Suffice it to say, he earned the half credit baking in the sun for weeks filming the movie. I just can't wait to see it!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Smile - Army Smile

It took a great deal of work to get that one-of-a-kind shot of my son NOT smiling.

When I first heard the news that I was going to have a baby I already knew it was going to be a boy. In fact, I had already been told by a real live gypsy years before exactly what kind of boy I was holding in my belly. My family has a history of psychic behavior, much to the chagrin of so many of the overtly religious (I didn't say Christian purposely, because we are all or most of us Christians, but there are some who take the religion part of faith a bit too far) family members - we do have a cousin on my mother's side that makes a living telling fortunes and spinning tales. I wasn't sure I believed a single word she said to me growing up, but she was older and therefore cool - she wore beads and braided hair, she was a true true hippy to say the least, bare feet and all. I loved the girl - but when she told me I would be having a child both out of wedlock and that he would have the spirit of Cowboy-Outlaw Cole Younger - - I was a apprehensive to go to the next family reunion.

Enita was right though - and the proof is in the life of the boy you see in this blog. My baby boy is one of the most daring this-side-of-the-law men you'll ever see. I'm actually quite surprised most of the time that he hasn't been caught skating that thin (ice thin) line of his. He has actually been caught driving a bit wildly, $1508 in speeding tickets alone had to be repaid before he could go to the Army. I know because I had to both pay them and hide him for four days while the warrants went away - can someone please explain a few things to this young man? Cole Younger was the good guy of the bad guys, and he was the one that tried to talk the others out of robbing the banks. He didn't really participate "all that much" and therefore he was given a bit of leniency when it came to sentencing - he got out of prison alive, set off for the new world out West making films, and to this day there hasn't been a cowboy-outlaw type that doesn't use his free form dare-devil racing or riding style - he was a character, all reins free, let the hoss run kind of rider...and yes, my son drives his Stryker tank-types just the same way. He's always out there making trouble, but not all of it on his own, and he does actually try to talk the boys out of most of the really bad stuff. He's the one hanging around the gang at the bar to be the extra set of hands if they're needed - sort of the Buddy-gots-your-back bar-room brawler, not the cocky mouthed one starting the mess. My boy just ends up finishing things...and smiling about it. I get the call and can't understand a single word between the hoots, the breathing, the screaming, and the laughing - - someone got their butt kicked.

Well, that brings us to the picture. It was the first time I had EVER seen my son not smiling in a picture. EVER. How did they accomplish this feat? I know it's the Army, did they threaten him? No, Reuben said after a dozen or so times of trying not to smile, and not quite getting it done - one of the assistants said to him sort of off-the-cuff "Hey, didn't you say you were from Oklahoma?" This was during football season too. In Oklahoma we have 3 seasons a year: Winter, Summer, and Football. The guy tapped the photographer as if to prime him to get ready for the shot.

"Yes, I'm from Oklahoma why?" said Reuben with an interesting quizzical face.

"I just read where your quarterback Sam Bradford came out of the closet. He's gay!"

SNAP! GOT IT! That's the worst thing I'll ever write in one of my blogs, but it was hilarious! Sam is no more gay than Reuben is - but the jolt of the words sent the rage of kinship (they played against each other for years in high school) through my son, and he wanted to shoot someone - but the bottom line is, they got the shot off. I think the guy laughed it off and apologized, but Reuben just shook his head and took his hat off swearing to himself. Sorry Sam, baby we love you and we hope you'll appreciate the boy standing up for you sir...just ignore the bullet holes he shot through the man with his eyes - it was a moment!

Smile - Army Smile. There is a difference. Spirit is EVERYTHING! (one very interesting side note: Cole Younger died late in the night of March 21, 1916. It could very well have been past midnight making it March 22. My son was born March 22, 1986)

Blitz / Rupert LOVE at First Kiss

I'm going to call him Blitz, Caity is going to call him Rupert. Either way - he's the kissing bandit everyone loves.

It wouldn't be fair or right to say that I went out and bought Caity a new puppy to replace her dog Cookie who was murdered last month. You can't replace a soul, you can't replace love. But, I think it would be quite fair to say that I went out and bought Caity a little puppy to ease her pain, to mend her heart, and to help her heal inside and out - - just what the mommy ordered. But, there is a problem. I fell in love immediately, and now I don't know if I can actually give Blitz to Caity if and when she moves out again. This could be a problem.

You see Caity went to San Antonio, TX to be with the whales and dolphins for her 18th birthday and I was thinking of the best way to surprise her when she came home. She kinda sort somewhat thought I might be going out and getting her a puppy, and she'd be sorta somewhat kinda even maybe right, but now I'm hating the fact that I'm feeling like a schmuck because I just don't know if I can surrender this guy when she leaves my house. If I thought about it I'd say I'd much rather have the dog stay for the next 16 years than to have Caity tag along another 6 months. She is the worst roommate in the world - - and the thing is, I'm not really into roommates. I prefer living alone - or well you know, there's that fantasy guy that lives with me, but even he picks up his towels and puts the flushes the toilet. She's disgusting!

Anyway - I went through the ads. Worst thing you can do when you have the money in your pocket, the gas in the car and the time on your hands. Don't go through the'll find one. You'll find 10. You'll go to one and buy them all. You'll bring home a dozen puppies - I know you, well in this case "I know me". I'm laughing because I texted Caity and told her I had a present for her, but that I wasn't sure she could have it - she said "I bet it barks" and I wrote back "only every once in a while, right now he's snoring." Can you imagine? Snoring little Dachshund breath on my leg while I type this very blog. Oh. I'm smitten.

I decided to call him Blitz - that is exactly what he did to my heart. I could have called him Colossal Heart Wrencher but that's a bit much for such a cute dog. Caity wanted a girl. She wanted a black and tan dapple or piebald Dachshund and me being me, I don't really have that color thing worked out in my head when I go look at little faces. I go for the eyes - what are the eyes saying to me? This guy was not the least bit shy about coming to me, he was all over me in a matter of seconds beating the others out of the way - running straight to me and saying in that little puppy way "Hey, there you are. I've been waiting an hour and a half since you called! What took you so long?" That's a good story actually?

I went to Borders Bookstore last night and bought a few things for Caity, but then thought better of it and decided to return the items and use the money to pay for Blitz (who Caity is calling Rupert, I don't know why). I approached the counter, told the clerk what I wanted, but found out that the items I had purchased had been either miscategorized, or the guy that was my cashier last night didn't register it properly - they wanted to give me a gift card. I don't think so! I paid cash I wanted my cash back - show me a breeder that takes Borders gift cards! It took a good half hour and the whole time I'm driving to the place way out in the country in my head - I'm maneuvering through cornfields, passing cattle, counting painted horses trying to get to my little dog faster. It finally happened.

Just south of Boomer Sooner land - Norman, is a town called Purcell, and that's where the baby was. Oh, and here's the really good news. Alice, the lady that breeds the puppies has a few females that will all be spayed this year. She has one more litter coming out of one of the piebald twin dapple black and tan girls she owns and in about 5 more weeks my daughter can start thinking of new names for her new dog, because 6 weeks after that I'm running away with Blitz and she won't be able to find me!! I'll leave a check on the table for Alice, give Caity directions on how to find the breeder and be gone - gone- far away with my new baby puppy. I can't say I'm a bad person for thinking what I'm thinking...I'm "lending" her my dog for a while - sort of a - therapy until she gets her own dog...and her own place.

That would be nice. Wait, I feel a real fantasy coming on...Caity out of my house. That was a good one. That will last me a good week...I'm happy now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Those Stretchy Tube Things

These are from Reebok I think. I didn't take the picture, and I only bought one.

I bought the one in the middle. My thought on that is, I don't want the easy one - I'll do it a few times and give it away. I don't want the hard one, I won't be able to do it and I'll give it away. Something tells me that I'm the Momma Bear in this Goldie Locks story of exercising, and I want the one in the middle! I want the one that will pull a little, hurt a little, be a little bit of a challenge, and then when I've mastered it I can keep it around for a while and just use it while I stand around watching CSI-NY. I don't sit when I watch that show anymore unless I'm sitting on the Reebox silver stud of a horse/ball that I find myself riding. My God my thighs love Mac Taylor! I can be riding along with my eyes on Stella Bonasara and heck, not much happens - a little ride, a little squeeze to keep my balance. But when Mac shows up....giddy up! LOL...I'm only saying that to freak the man out, sorry, hey Gary - did it make you laugh? LOL

The pulling, stretchy tube thing is cool. I think they have a real name, something really close to resistance tube or elastic restrictive bands. I don't know. I just call them the things that don't work well as a jump rope because the handles are too broad and they slide around on you. You have to stand on the bands to get the resistance you need, and you spread your legs to spread your feet, and you pull up on the bands using the handles and you concentrate really really hard on not popping yourself in the face with one side or the other. If you do what I do, and keep a 1/2 glass of wine just on the other side of the stretch you can find the true mark of the word resistance. 30 minutes of working out gives the wine just enough time to breathe and that headache you developed on top of the muscles you're intentionally pulling can use the flow of relief from Mr. Merlot.

Since CSI-NY doesn't come on every night you may have to improvise. I have the DVD set for all seasons, I know exactly what Danny Messer will say to anything that he has to react to - love that man's voice, sends me to the Bronx every time. He's not rally a Manhattan boy to me, he's more gritty. I think of Danny and I want to punch someone - OOOHHHH, yes, kickboxing. I need to start that too. I found that standing in one place (small apartment) can be beneficial for a few reasons. The dogs now realize that there's a Do Not Cross zone in the living room and Matrix will enter the room, jump onto the couch, and make his way through the room without touching the floor. Faith can't do that. She stands at the entry and just sort of waits on me to get finished kicking....pulling...stretching...riding. If I happen to be on my back she gives me a welcoming lick to the eyeball and I have no other alternative than to let her pass. Who can say no to a two-legged dog that really can't fight her way pass you to get to the bowl?

I've decided to join the gym again for a couple of months to kick the heck out of BOB the standing guy that doesn't mind if you hurt him really badly. He loves it. He's basically there for my pleasure - sometimes I imagine the face of the Sgt. Major that took my son into the Army and I just let him have it! Just kidding - I think of Santa Claus for not bringing me the fire truck I asked for when I was 4.
Oh, she went there!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

That 70's Show - Is so "EVEN"

Picture of Ashton being Michael Kelso, I didn't take the picture.

When I watch that 70's Show I can't help but laugh or maybe the proper "OLD" word is chuckle, because they've completely researched some of the really minute details to the point that Kelso can come running up through someones garage and say something so random, but it hits home immediately. If you're young and you don't get it, but your parents are rolling over laughing, the writers have hit their mark - AGAIN.

Kelso comes running through Eric's garage almost late for an event, but he makes his excuse freely (paraphrased, I wasn't listening that closely to be able to say it verbatim) "I would have been here sooner but I was cutting through the Davis' yard when..." and he goes on about what new electrical appliance they had or something. I don't know, but to say "I was cutting through so-and-so's yard". WE DID THAT. We so did that. I'd walk across the street, but then cut through the Willis' yard by opening their gate latch, closing it of course as to not let the dogs out, then I'd cross their back yard - sometimes even look into their back sliding glass door to see if they were cooking, eating, on the phone, in the living room, or not - and I'd jump their back fence (6') in order to make it to 7-11 without having to walk around the blocks to get there. To get to school I could walk the 8 blocks properly, or just jump my own fence, cross over the Hambrick's fence, their yard, go through the circle, and find the latch on the Shuck's fence, open it, go through their yard, jump over whoever lived on the other side of them, I never even their latch and cross the street. There you have it - Apollo Elementary!

My sister just bought a new house in a city that has a lot of backyards abutting one another. When she heard someone in her yard this past weekend it scared her to death. Someone had used the support beams on the other side of her fence to cross into her yard, and they went through without a hitch, opening her gate, and exiting. She immediately went to the pound and got a German Shepherd, then to Target and bought a lock for the gate. Subsequently, on a cute little side note: Andie never jumped the neighbor's fences, and I have no idea why. We were all raised in the same house. Another cute side note: Andie thought her new dog was lonely and got him a playmate today. Now she has two German Shepherds. I think that's funny.

Kelso isn't my favorite character on That 70's Show. I like Hyde. I think I would love to have been given the chance to go back to the 70's and I'd so totally rock Hyde's world - I would. He's awesome. He's the type of guy I always stayed clear of when I was growing up, I would have been right around their age I think, maybe 2 years younger, I don't know, but I was always on the goody-goody side of things - but knowing what I know now - - yeah, he and I would have been in that basement. I'd turn the washing machine and the dryer on at the same time to drown out any noise that he might be making - - I'm serious, he's a least I always seemed to think boys with longer curly freak hair were cute back in the day. Why was I so wrapped up with JOCKS back then - where is that time machine? I have a few more things to jump than just the neighbor's chain links.

Fire's Breath

(Feeling a bit poetic today - this one was written a few years back)

Fire's Breath

I arch my body toward the stars
To feel your hand in touch
To whisper words you cannot hear
But words transformed in love

I reach to hold your firm strong arms
To press you even closer
To hold you fast within my loin
I celebrate my lover

Tonight resounds within my mind
A vision - impressions
Tomorrow's love, soon foretold
With sweet anticipation

Keep me sheltered in your soul
Your thoughts dear - caress
Strength to carry through the day
I wait for you - your presents

It won't be long until we love
Until we kiss impassioned
Fire's breath shines through your eyes
Revealing love - unquestioned

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dream: They Took the Children

Very interesting and strange dream last night. I couldn't get past part of it, most of it played out like a movie as they usually do when I'm dreaming. I don't always have a clean start, sometimes having to guide the dream from when I realize I'm dreaming. Last night was fun, but a bit off center.

Laura called me to let me know that she had been taken. She was younger than her 19 years, maybe 10 or 11. She was being held by a woman who owned "The Beauty Shop" and she gave me the address of 917 Memphis - I'll have to go look that one up. Naturally I went to this place, but not before using the attic as my doorway to get to my own apartment (don't ask) and I found my baby Caity there sleeping. I took her with me to go retrieve her sister. Laura's concern was that I would have to get several facials before they would let her go live with me again. It was sort of a payment plan I guess. Seems there was this woman, and in Laura's case it was the actual owner of the Beauty Shop that had masterminded the scheme for every child that was taken. Laura just happened to be taken by the mastermind. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to handle it, but I went to the shop with both emotional barrels loaded.

When I arrived at the shop to demand my daughter's return a very nicely dressed man took me to the house of the lady who held my daughter Laura captive. Naturally Laura was in bed - she sleeps all day in the real world as well. She sleeps until at least 2:00 p.m. and I wondered if the woman would find this upsetting. She could try as I did for years to get the dead-head up, and then she would be (as I was) subjected to bitching, complaining, moping, moaning, irritated conversation, and even physical acts of throwing things at me - or, were she indeed an intelligent woman who could be capable of masterminding these sorts of plots, let the kid sleep.

Laura's undoing, or the reason the woman surrendered her to me, was not that she slept all the time, it was that she put ROYAL TARTAN sheets and comforters on the bed. The woman was French. Laura's rudeness (for displaying her Celticness) in the face of knowing she was being held was too much for the woman and she allowed a DNA test to prove she was mine before giving her back - but even that was a bit of an elaborate ordeal. The man giving the test was testing two very simple pieces of clothing, but neither of them were Laura's they were Caity's. He was testing Caity's DNA and finding what we all knew he would find, that the subject of his tests was related to, but not the actual girl before him. HELLO..this is Caity! This girl over here, is Laura, and we told you that. He didn't mind. He let her make the decision as to whether she wanted to go home with me or live in the mansion of the woman who owned the Beauty Shop at 917 Memphis. Laura said she would go home with got it...after she woke up.

That was SO Laura. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and Caity asked me if we could go to Subway for lunch. I have no idea what happened to the other kids in town. I just knew my kid would be calling me in a few hours to pick her up and feed her. Oh, and then there was this golf ball that had been broken and sand poured out of it - no idea.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Greatest American Dog - Take Too Far

This blog won't be that long. (hahaha) I wasn't impressed with the show the first week, but promised myself that I would "be there" for Ron and Tillman. Now, as it turns out, I'm being there for Bill and Star as well, seeing how my ex-agent (Hi Mike) now my Advisor Mike is Tillman's agent as well as Star's! I'm telling you, this guy is a no mutt! He's one of those big yellow dogs that lays out on the porch and over by the fire...he knows where the bread and butter are. You think they're just laying there with their eyes closed, tail flipping the flies off right - well, he's listening, he's smelling, he's thinking, he's ready to pounce! Just kidding, I love Mike.

This week on The Greatest American Dog I found myself actually standing up for Beth Joy, who I've been rather critical of personally. I've never really had that much in the way of understanding for people who get their animal's likeness tattooed on their bodies. It's just me, I know - I have 2 tattoos, but I'm just not going to put Faith's face on my leg. First of all, if I did people who know me would say "WHAT? Where's Rover? Where's Christmas!" Yeah...believe it or not, before there was Faith, there were two really, really, really super dogs in my life, and one lives with me right now right along with Faith. I'd look rather silly with 4 dogs' faces on my legs and arms...all mutts...every one of them...perfect pups in their own right. I was saying, I was very proud of Beth Joy for standing up to Wendy. I love Wendy..she's adorable, love her to death, but she overstepped her boundary and thank you Beth Joy! You did the right thing, you were told to take the dog to the new restaurant Bone Appetite...boring and very unoriginal name mind you, but CBS is not known for missing a cute little jab when they can. They're as bad as I am with puns, and I hate that about me, I really do. Thank you Beth Joy for saying it out loud and proud...and I could tell she was scared they were going to kick her off for it too, and Kenji's owner was hoping they would - wasn't she the worst? For those of you who didn't see her abusing her dog over and over (verbally and physically) I wondered why they didn't just ask her to leave during the filming - you know, take your young, foolish smiling self and get off the premises...oh, and leave the dog, you have no business owning one you can't control or one you have to mistreat to just so you can be on television a little longer.

I know, I am really being cynical, but I hate this show! I'd say I won't watch it again, but I have to until Tillman loses - but that's just it, I really hope he doesn't lose. I want to call Ron and ask "Hey Dude, do I really have to watch next week? Tell me, do you lose? I don't want to watch that crap another day." But I know the 2-inch contract he signed prohibits him from spilling it - he can't even hint, and if you know anything about Ron from what you see on TV...he's too cool to say anything. He's too good - I would have been more like Beth Joy " want something else? Do ya? Do ya? Because I'm not finished here! No, I'm not, don't offer my dog food and expect her not to eat it. You act like I trained her or something! Damn, this wasn't suppose to be the Greatest Trained American Dog was it? You invited us to dinner! You didn't feed me! You didn't feed her! ANDDDDDD, no, I can't shake my dog's right paw you morons! She doesn't have a right paw. She doesn't have a left one either!" Probably a good thing Faith and I are just sitting on the couch with Matrix, my perfect perfect dog. I tell him he's perfect because I take Faith all over the world, and he only gets to chase the geese in the backyard.

OK, this week's challenge was a bit more interesting with the BIG HUGE exception of the hand-shaking expectation. Faith would have just stared at me....big puppy eyes maybe even apologizing for not having the arms to shake me with....poor dog. She would have maybe licked me; and that would have been enough. She has the sweetest heart. She would never have complained - - Hahahaa, you don't know my dog! She can't stop complaining when people don't wait on her hand and back paw. She whines like a baby, throws little fits, and even walks off...just walks off. I can see her in that little box and I'm leaning over saying "Yeah, this is stupid I know, but could you please sort of pretend to be" Her response would have been "No, and I'm going home now, where's Mike?" (Look at her on the curb with Mike at the top of this blog. She CAN if she WANTS to jump off the curb, but why SHOULD she when she KNOWS Mike will carry her? Where's Mike? I'm soooo out of here....Mike! Mike!

Again, this was a repeat of last week's show - - Ron carries the show! Bill and Star didn't need to go through what they went through. If you want to really hear an opinionated rant I'll tell you - I'm not beyond thinking that this was a ratings issue. I said it last week, and I say it again - it's a really really good thing I said no, and I'll continue to say no if you're out to use my dogps pain for ratings. I suppose there has to be a first "accident"? Elvis nipping at Tillman - I get that, Elvis is a Jack Russell. But it's just too convenient that Bill was outside at 5:45 a.m. when she was hurt, and they got it on tape. They didn't, I'm sure they had to add to it, edit it, make it up, whatever. It just rankles me to think that they'd stage that after the fact for ratings!

So, that's me - drinking wine, eating cheese and olives screaming at Elana..shaking my head and saying to Matrix that CSI will be on soon, I promise, we just have to get through this again...and again...damn. Mike and I talked, and he asked me if I thought next week's audience would be lower than this weeks? God, I hope so. I hope I'm the last person watching and again, I'm only watching until the T-Ron loses. (torn, I know)

Canadian Geese - Strange Bird


You cant' call them Canadian Geese anymore. Someone up that way took offense, or perhaps it was someone here in Oklahoma who noticed that they don't actually live in Canada, they poop their little green mess right here in the Heartland, so they could and should be called Okie-Geese. I think it's funny to see the masses increase in the area that is my "backyard". I claim it although its a commons area, it's MY backyard you know. The geese are growing in number, and they never leave. They don't vacation - they don't wander. Then my daughter Caity pointed out that they might, but we wouldn't know if they did...they all look the same. So, if 100 or more geese trekked down for the summer and another 100 or so ventured up North no one is going to figure that one out - ever.

I say you can't tell one Canada goose from the next, but they can. I wasn't watching all that closely, but I could sure hear the honking. Honking and blasting of horns going on right behind my head - loud enough to make a girl turn and ask "What are you doing on that pond? STOP!" One goose wasn't happy with another goose and it begs the question - HOW DO YOU KNOW IT WAS HIM? Maybe it was that one over there? They bob and they dive, which is fun to watch. One tawny black mass will go under and then pop up under or behind another one, setting in motion that "Oh, pardon me, I simply didn't realize that was your feathery ass I was coming up under, my bad." Right..good move if you can make it, but again, HOW DO THEY KNOW which butt to pop up under. No wonder the boy geese get a bit bent out of shape. You can see them pointing their wings at the girl goose just in front of them - "HER, she's over there, get her butt, leave mine alone you idiot!"

They make lines. They line up and line up, and follow suit, and get in place as if they have a pecking order - I guess maybe they do. One goose may accidentally get in front of the one he's suppose to be behind and they start at the wing flapping, head butting, bobbing their little mouths open and shut over and over at each other. One group of 10 or so will try to out-line the other group. Calling out something in Goose like "Our line is better than yours" - and just to prove it that it's not, the second group of 10 or more will line up, honk and pass the first group - with that last little guy always struggling to bring up the rear - paddling his little goose butt off to make the train. Makes you wonder - are they really this boring or is it just me waiting for that next gig assignment and I've been reduced to standing at the pond in my backyard staring at the backsides of identical birds that won't leave the premises.

What's really funny, and I should get up at 7:10 in the morning and film this for YouTube, is that around the time that traffic is just beginning to get heavy in the morning, these geese, all of them, come from one side of the street to the other. Crossing over the little runoff that is on both sides of the street so that the pond can flow into the creek which is directly to the East of the backyard pond, it also flows into the creek which is just West of the pond, but a beaver lives there with his den, and the geese stay clear of him. The crane is another story, but we're talking geese for now, so let me get back to it.

When the geese are crossing the street the traffic on both sides must stop. The CITY put up a Duck Crossing sign, which OK,technically we have 11 ducks in the mix, but we have more than 60 geese crossing at that time. NO, you can't just drive through them. People stand outside EVERY DAY watching the crossing, and if you did drive through them and harm even one tiny feather on the big brown beautiful babies, you would be hunted down before you made a block! You'd be turned in, turned out, turned over, and ripped to shreds by all of those who do actually get up at 7:10 in the morning to see this event on a daily. I don't know how the geese (and often the 11 ducks)know when the time is right, but you'd think the drivers would find another route. This is not going to stop.

This past June when the ends of our street were closed off to fix a water main the geese quickly spotted a few suckers on the construction crew. They lost weight giving up their sandwiches...or made more sandwiches and brought them for the geese. City workers don't usually need much of an excuse to stop working. The march of the geese was just another way of putting in a good day's standing around - why not, it pays the same. I have to get a hobby!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Met Billie Letts!

I love Billie Letts!

What Billie doesn't know is that I have been living somewhat parallel to her for years. That's probably why I like her so dang much. I am an English Professor, she is too. She calls herself an instructor because she didn't get the PhD, but she has a Masters in English like I do, and we both taught composition in colleges in Oklahoma. She taught a few more years than I did - I have to give her that. We're both writers, and we both love Tulsa. If someone asks me where I'm from I usually say Edmond, although I was born in Oklahoma City, raised in Bethany, and lived in Tulsa just as long as I lived in Edmond. Tulsa just has a better grip on the cosmopolitan lifestyle I think - Oklahoma City seems more like a laid back cousin to the girl uptown.

I was so excited to find out that Billie's new book "Made in the U.S.A" was on a book signing tour, and both times I meant to bring the book with me to be signed and forgot. I'll have to make a trip to Tulsa when I know she'll be home. Besides, we didn't get our chance to have coffee today and I want to do that too! I'll take the trip up the turnpike soon enough when she returns and we'll just sit and talk. I love this woman.

Now, for those of you who don't readily recognize Billie or her name, shame on you, but nevertheless, she's an author of more than just a few books. She is the best-seller author of "Where the Heart is", and though she is often referred to as the Wal-Mart author, because the store plays a prominent role in at least in two of her best selling books; you may remember her as the mother of the man who wrote "August: Osage County". Tracy Letts is the playwright and author of that and other great stories. "August: Osage County" won so many awards this year it would be impossible to mention them all. It was played both in Chicago at Steppenwolf, and then in NYC by the Chicago company! Billie joked that the "woman who played me in the play deserved a special award for all her gymnastics". I'll have to track him down as well and do my best to get a good picture of myself with him - I love Okies who have come out on top!

I'm not all that happy with my mug on this one. I think I was talking when Caity took it - probably, I do that. I love Billie's smile though. She's just adorable, and she's always funny and fun to be with. Last night when she was giving us a little read from her new book at the Barnes & Noble a lady's cell phone went off in the middle of her speech. Normally, when that happens to me I kind of pause, regroup from the distraction (sometimes giving the person a little smile and nod as if to say "Yes, you should have turned it off") she said out loud "If that calls for me I can't take it right now, I'm a little busy". Perfect answer! I love it, and yes, I'm going to steal it Billie.

Well, I won't go on - Google Ms. Billie Letts. Find out all about her and her beautiful actor husband Dennis (d. 2008) and find out about their love, their travels, their family - and most of all, their devotion to each other. Billie's other books include: Honk & Holler Opening Soon, Shoot the Moon, and now a new novel titled "Made in the U.S.A." is just out, and promises a great deal of success. Look for Billie at book signings, and hug her for me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Love This One

I can't add much to that one.

I remember thinking to myself I need to get a new hobby - kicking people is just getting old and you really can't do it in public anymore without people filming you and getting you in trouble at the school board meetings. This is a bad habit for a teacher anyway. Damn kids! LOL

Actually, I don't like to brag - but OK...I do have great legs for a woman my age, and one of the reasons has to be all the horseback riding, but it could also be a contributing factor that I was in gymnastics forever and ever. I managed to do most of my work with my butt and my legs. I didn't do the bars, the bench, or the beam as well as I did floor. I did so well on the floor because I was one of those new and innovative gymnasts (80's) that didn't use her hands much...I threw myself over and over without the use of my hands into what we call whippits; something like a back-hand spring but you don't actually land on your hands. I kept my hands in a cross on my chest, but others put them to the side. I could do 8 or 9 without a problem - by problem I mean landing on my face.

There was this guy one time - and yes, I was publicly kicking the boy. He jumped me from the side and began pulling on my arm to get me into his car. I'd say he wanted to date me, but I think he wanted to kiss me in private first to see if I would be a bit more submissive. I have authority/response problems when it comes to men sometimes - I just don't give in that often - I have this stubborn thing goin' on. So, he's pulling on me, asking me to get into the car with him. He's pretty adamant about it, but I wasn't playing that day. I kicked him so hard in the upper chest that I broke two of his ribs just below the heart and I swear I thought I killed him. I could have used this bumper sticker on my t-shirt that day! Sorry Mr. Cop, I swear I was just Riverdancing...yep, just practicing for the play officer! He got in the way.

Oh, and there was this other time - speaking of horseback riding. I was on a big horse named Clyde and we were riding along, but he decided to roll with me. That pissed me off. I got out from under him and without thinking I just round-housed him in the mouth! I think he got it. I climbed back on his back (no saddle that day) and just rode the damn horse back to the barn where he belonged. We didn't speak for a while - - sometimes I look at Laura, she's 19 now, and I think "I remember you" talking to myself that is....I remember 19. I remember the angst, the 10 mile a day run/walks and the horses. I remember gymnastics, I remember being in love with John Love and walking 25.6 miles to see him run a 800m dash. (No car that night and I didn't think they'd let me bring the horse to the stadium)

Wow...Bumper Stickers on Facebook. This one brought it back.

Things My Son Does to Scare Me - Do Actually Scare Me

Cute huh? We had long hair together, and now we have shorter hair together - but he's still taller, and probably weighs less than I do at this point now that he's spent the last few weeks in Death Valley, CA in the summer heat, in a tank!

My son gets the last laugh - if it kills him, he has to have the last one. He'll plan something for months and months, just to pull it off perfectly, and then just roll over laughing. He doesn't even care if you douse him with a fully charged fire extinguisher afterwards - which is what I did to him when he got me last time. I was so mad! I don't even remember what that time was, but let me tell you what he did on September 12, 2001. Remember 9/11? Surely you remember that day right? I was staring out the window thinking I can't go to work again, I work on the 28th floor. What if a plane comes through Oklahoma City, what if they do it here too? I was just a bit on the nervous side, and I did not...did NOT need my son screwing with me like he does from time to time. I grounded the boy when he was younger and he climbed out the window and went to the store to buy me a chocolate bar. I thought he had run away and called the police. They found him and brought him back - he was happy he didn't have to walk the mile home...sweet kid. Right.

On the morning of September 12, 2001 - just after the bombings, just after the mayhem, I couldn't find my son. I was scared to death! It was too early for him to have gone to school, it was only 6:00 a.m. We lived in a mid-rise on the 10th floor, and the locks were locked from the inside. The locks on the front door were locked from the inside. You can't get out his window, it only opened 6" or so - a safety thing since we lived above the 2nd floor. He wasn't in his room. He wasn't in my room. He wasn't in the bathroom, and the little living room and kitchen were open. The closets were jammed with boxes, and I was just standing there crying - bawling my eyes out. Reuben! I began to cry out. REUBEN! Oh my God, my baby! Baby! I was really upset and decided I would go out on the balcony, but he couldn't have gotten out and then relocked the doors. I was literally thinking he was abducted by this time....but couldn't get it through my brain because I didn't (and don't) believe in little green men, but I do believe in transporting if God wants to do it!

I sat on the couch and rocked back and forth screaming into a little brown pillow my mother had made for him to sleep with. I was just unnerved....then he came out of the bathroom - a little scared of what might happen. HOW IN THE HELL could I have missed him? I looked! I was in the shower, I was in the tiny bathroom a dozen times. That's just it. When I was in the bathroom he was hiding behind my door. When I went to his room he went to the bathroom. When I went to my room he went back to his room and hid behind the door. This went on for several minutes, and somehow he was able to hold in the gut and not laugh at me.....until I began sobbing so uncontrollably that even Reuben had to stop laughing. "Mommy, I'm sorry" he began, and I just pounded and pounded and pounded on him. He was 15...he could take it.

He decided to cancel school that morning and just hang out with me. I called into work and my boss understood. No one above the 4th floor wanted to go to work anyway downtown. I just sat and rocked on the couch crying and hitting my son, until he had the great idea to go out and get pizza for breakfast. Hot pizza for breakfast? OK, usually it's that's what we did. Damn kid!

Reuben has been used at least a half dozen times now in the Army role playing as the enemy. He's stealth, he's scary stealth, and he's really very good at masterminding these sorts of scare-tactics....spooky scary, and it just kills me. At least I know he's not going to do that one again to me. He pinky-promised and he and I both know you go to HELL if you break one pinky promise! LOL

Men Pissing In My Bathroom Freak me OUT

I was so scared - you have to remember, I live alone and I'm not dating. I don't date. I don't have any reason to - so when I was standing in my kitchen this morning making coffee and heard the VERY distinct sound of a man with a full bladder pissing in my bathroom, lid up I hope, going and going and going - I freaked! I nearly threw the coffee pot to the ground and charged toward the back door. Naturally I had locked it with the bar last night; so there I fighting with that, and trying ever so desperately to save my life - - all the while I'm fumbling with the bar I'm still hearing the man relieving himself. This actually gave me a good feeling because, I validated in my mind, that if he's standing there pissing I have more time to get out - he really had to go! Maybe that's why he somehow broke into my little apartment/condo and found my toilet so useful.

I called for the dogs, I'm literally outside in my jammies this morning calling for my dogs to hurry outside - before he killed them too! That's when it hit me. They weren't barking. My dogs were NOT barking at this unknown man, at this free-spirited person who obviously drank 3 gallons of beer just before making it to my condo! Oh, then the thought came to me that it could be my son surprising me - it would be JUST LIKE him to take a 5 gallon water jug into the bathroom and pour it slowly through a funnel into my toilet to scare me to death...but the dogs would still have barked at him too..I know my dogs.

I came into the house after several unsure minutes. I found what I never expected to find - a large wet puddle in my foyer just under that never-before-unscrewed-door-flap-thing that is hinged to the ceiling. It was leaking, draining really - onto the carpet - naturally missing the tile, of course water was missing the ceramic tile and going through the carpet - I wouldn't have it any other way! So no, no one was standing in my bathroom. No one. Just the AC leaking and freaking me out to the point that I had to go to Starbucks rather than use my coffee pot for fear of dropping it - my hands were shaking. I was thinking "OK, my gun is in the bedroom. I can't get to it without passing the man in the bathroom." Then I was thinking "No, my bullets are in the drawer and my daughter has my keys to that cabinet. I can't get to them, I can't get to anything. Why do I have a gun again? Oh yes to protect me should some MAN come into my house unannounced!"

Well, you can call me paranoid, I don't mind - I would rather be standing outside in my jammies screaming for my dogs to run for their lives than to be married to a man that drinks 3 gallons of beer in the morning and breaks into unsuspecting women's apartments at 7:20 in the morning and pisses in their - hallway. I called maintenance at 9:00 when they came in and told them - they laughed. "We know, we saw it on YouTube" was all Miguel had to say - he teases me like that. I'll be outside writing on my new book (I always have one going) and he'll say "Oh, you can stop. I took photos of your writings and sent them on YouTube, now four authors have that same idea."

I love this place!

Vegetarian with Benefits

Hey - a girl's gotta eat right? (right!) I don't call myself a vegetarian because I do actually eat chicken about once every 10 days or so, and I'll eat a tuna sandwich from time to time. I just gave up the other stuff about 4 months ago and it hasn't been long enough to call myself anything other than healthier. I'm not one of those all the way girls anyway - well, not that it would necessarily be a bad thing to go all the way mind you - I mean, I might! I just might do it, and if I do I don't need anyone judging me on my choices OK? Hahaha...we are still talking food right? OK, anyway, I gave up beef and pork just because I wasn't getting the nutrients I needed but I was getting the bloat, the weight, the poor digestion, not to mention it was eating through my pocketbook! Wow! I have actually saved a lot of money, enough to buy the fruits and vegetables I needed to juice and dice up anyway.

I have another really interesting bit of information to confess too; now remember I'm not a Catholic, so if I confess I am apt to do it openly and you can forgive me if you want to. I found that not eating beef and not eating pork has allowed me to have even more lucid and vivid dreams - if that was even possible! I have colored, story-dreams complete with plot, dialog, starring roles of course belong to a very select few - OK two, but they're really wild now! I love the way I feel in the morning barring the kinks in my neck from the rock-climbing, sky-diving and the criminals I chase down on the streets of New York with Det. Mac...he's hot I have to give chase when I can.

This morning I was pouring my daily 8 ounces of fruit juice (always mixed with prune juice, aloe vera, and usually carrots) I noticed that the normally browny purple colors had all turned more browny brown so I was thinking to myself that my liver should have no problem helping me out a little - it may think it's been liquefied, but I'm just getting too healthy flabby mid section had better start paying attention to the stuff going on in the inside of me because I'm coming after it! I'm calling for a war, and I'm bringing the big guns - - exercise and diet! We're going to do this damnit, we're going to fly the flag, sing the song, and dance the dance!

I never in a million years would have thought that I, Jude Stringfellow, would be considered a vegetarian - with benefits of course, I do the 5-8 ounces of chicken and a little can of tuna you know - I do keep the path open for some sin. I think the best two or three things about going green (red, orange, yellow, you name it) is that you don't have to go all over the supermarket to get what you need. You don't have to rush home and throw them in the frig. The kids don't eat them as quickly, and I save enough money to buy really cheap CDs on Ebay. My iPod has close to 3000 songs downloaded and most of that music came from my 1 cent madness buying online. I will however tell you that my latest music came from the internet! I downloaded (sorry if I'm not allowed to guys) songs from YouTube. I have Tainted Chains 4 songs that they have uploaded, and 3 from the Funeral Chasers. I'm into young punk indy people - always have been, I was one - I just refuse to give up the tag! I'm old, but I rock! Deal with it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Best Friends Love Me


Prune Juice (Sun Sweet Pictured) and The Balance Ball (This one Giam)

I have to say that my butt gets so much of my attention that I really have to ask myself why I'm so biased toward it. I think I should be giving my stomach equal time, and in some ways I am; after all the prune juice I'm drinking is actually causing the belly to decrease but my belly and my bum have an agreement that the waste which is being attracted and called down by the prune juice will actually exit me through the other side...thank God, He's the designer not I.

I have been using the balance ball (mine is silver and made by Reebok) for a chair now rather than using a computer chair. Something I saw in a magazine I think really, but the picture of the ball on those glossy pages was actually a part of a chair, it sat up a little higher - no problem, I just lowered my keyboard. I bounce and roll, sitting a bit off balanced and "unstable" at all times gives me the edge in my exercise program - - I like to throw that in, I like to say that I have an exercise program. It makes me sound like I have all the kinks worked out, and that maybe I have a really good plan to get rid of all this flab while working on my lazier muscle groups. I guess I do, I mean I have a personal trainer at the tips of my fingers when I pick up the phone and call him. I just don't employ him. Truth is my personal trainer employs me! He's Ryan of Annie Pooch Pops and he and his partner Brian are going to be working with me and Faith on the boxes I've shown you in other's that for backward thinking? My personal trainer is available by phone and he pays me! I like that arrangement. Now, if I can just get the butt to cooperate a little faster.

Being from Oklahoma I have always been around horses so sitting on the ball as long as I do makes a lot of sense that way too. I can actually straddle the thing and pretend it's Rebel, shorter of course, a little thinner even, but I can grip him (it) nicely and ride well enough like I used to - imagining of course a trail or two, perhaps a race track if I'm not typing. I've taken to riding the ball when I'm watching television and notice that I stop or slow down just before someone gets hacked or murdered to death. Commercials are nice I time myself and see how fast and how far I can go on my imaginary pony....pretty soon I'll be ready for the Kentucky Derby, me and my thighs too, yes, my thighs are really enjoying this new chair they're not talking to each other nearly as much as they used to.

My son broke his ankle this past winter and when he wrote to his friends at church he explained that "I knew there was a problem when my ankle met my shin for the first time. Although they had actually known of each other for 21 years or more, they had never properly met - they should not have." I think of my thighs in the very same way - mirrored sisters perhaps, not kissing cousins! I don't need that, I don't want that, but speaking of mirrors, I am actually looking forward to the times I catch myself looking at my backside - right now I only glimpse...looking forward to the day I stand there and just love what I see...maybe take myself out on a date I look so hot!

The future is there, the juice is working it's best to help me too. I make my own trail mix, and it rotates often from heavier on the raisins to heavier on the almonds, but there are always nuts, fruits, oats, and chocolate chips in the mix - much like the juices I blend. I can get a bag of carrots, quart of blueberries, six or seven pears, plums, peaches, and/or apples, but there's always going to be a little prune juice and a little Aloe Vera juice in the canister waiting on the remains to be blended in - it's just the way it is. Friends talked me into buying a Rubbermaid BLUE pitcher so they didn't have to see the browny/purple/orange mix in the refrigerator every time they came over and opened it - stay out!

My friends search my frig for the strangest things too; they can't find beef, chicken, cakes, milk, white eggs, bacon, anything really other than loads of vegetables, fruits, jams I just made or curds I bought for the peanut butter I just made...I'm sick I know. I use sesame oil rather than peanut oil, and I use avocado oil rather than corn oil - olive oil is used for salad dressing and oh yes, you'll find six different varieties of olives in the frig, and probably a dozen types of cheese - and wine. If it has fiber in it you can find it in my cupboard - if it doesn't...go to the store and buy it for yourself. The change I made a few months ago is real and its for life, not a day, not a month, not until I get thin, it's who I am and how I eat - and you know what - it hasn't made me any more sane than I wasn't in the first place, but I feel better and I hung the mirror up just in anticipation of the day I stop in front of it.

My best friends love me. They hope the best for me, they know they have a battle to win, a war in fact, one that has been going on for years and years - you can't expect immediate change to take place, but the more troops you use, the more planning and diligent attention given to the details as well as the maintaining of the plans and diligent work - the better the odds. I don't mind gambling a little, not when I'm the prize!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Laine Ciotti's First American Post

She has officially kicked off her site on Blogger (I convinced her it was a good place to blog) and is calling her site: "Erotica is For Good Girls Too" I like that because there are so many writers who write for erotic reasons, be it better money, be it more exploration...whatever the reason. I was happy that my new friend has decided to come out of the proverbial Christian box that I met her in several years ago and have reacquainted myself with her recently. I use the words "Christian Box" because as Christians it is so difficult to explore the parts of our minds and hearts that want to read sensual stories without running into out and out sex stories that involve adulterous liaisons, homosexual encounters, orgy-type writings that for whatever reason get publishers both excited and enraged at the same time. None of the writers I met at the conferences I have been to will own up to what they read or what they write when it comes to erotica. They just don't want the stigma following them, or the nasty looks from people who think they're above thinking of sexual acts either with a lover or someone else's lover.

Laine Ciotti is a real person with real feelings and even she refuses to give her real name because of her publishing connections. Its like the Random Houses will drop her other books if they only knew she wrote from this other point of view. Why is that? I do understand, and actually I empathise with those who feel they can't come out into the open to say "Yes, I think about sex!" I think to myself "Who doesn't think about sex?" It's not only the most natural thing in the world to think about, it happens to be one of the funniest topics too, or it can be.

When I met up with Laine in November 2006 I remember how shy she seemed at the table. She writes novels for a living and most of them are based on true events which take place in the Southern states. (I don't think I'm giving away too much of her identity by saying that). She has a large family and told me that the thought of masturbation was completely out of the question in a house so small and with brothers and sisters milling about the place at all hours. She was forbidden to think of such exploration, and she was rarely forgiven by her best sister/friend when she admitted to having been with herself simply for the wonderment of it. I thought about my own family and no, we didn't talk openly about our bodies. We didn't mention our desires or feelings at the table. I suppose books and films were the only escapes we had to satisfy those curious questions that lived in us but we weren't allowed to ask out loud. It was probably the times and the fact that Alabama was so close to the same belief system as every other Southern state's religious factories; organized institutions where which if you were a member of them you were required to believe exactly as you were told to. I am no longer a member of any church for this one reason myself, but remain just as saved today as I was the day I surrendered my soul to Jesus.

I told Laine that morning when we had breakfast that I applauded her decision to write under an assumed name and thought it best to keep it a secret if she felt she would offend her family or upset the apple carts somewhere down in the glorious South. We can't have apple carts turning cartwheels now can we? She leaned across the little green table we sat at with a priest who happens to be the author of a very funny sexual book about God and sexual practices among His creations, and she said "Father forgive me, I'm about to tell the truth!" I loved that!

Her first blog can be found at: I hope you like it as much as I did. I went straight to the frig and got a glass of wine after reading it and read it again, smiling and laughing just as much as I did the first time. She did it! She actually did it! Congrats Laine (pronounced Lane-E) I'm so very proud of you girl.


No, I actually don't own these two pictures.

My good friends just bought themselves a hookah...for the family! I had to die laughing, that's just not what I would think of as a gift that the kids and I could sit around an enjoy, but I'm sure if I thought about it we probably would. I called them to talk and found out that Niki had been trying to search the internet for ways to load the phunnel bowl on the hookah - correctly. Me, being the closet conservative that I am, would have found a number of health reasons not to allow a hookah in the house when I was at the mall and found a hookah store.The main reason I would never buy the family a contraption like this would be the overall temptation for the need to find a friend on the street with something more interesting to smoke than the Shisha! I've been rolling and smoking Earl Grey tea for years mind you, it smells and tastes remarkably like the "green leafy substance" often written up on police reports after a raid...not sure Earl Grey would taste the same in brownies, but it might be a good joke to pull at a church event! (Oh, I am just so bad....sorry Trudy, I promise, I won't do that! Well, yes I will, but only at John's house, I swear!)

I'm just sitting at my house tonight thinking how fun it would be to have a few cop friends stop by the Bauers and knock really hard on the door in about an hour or so! It would be so much fun to see them scatter around the house, and put their bong up - but the thing is, they're really only smoking the legal stuff - we don't break laws, but Niki would still be running around the house frantic thinking the smoke was somehow going to be grounds enough to put her away for a year or two...maybe I'll call Eric and set it up, he can blow a little Earl Grey just before the cops arrive....I'll video.

I'm forever telling the Bauers to wait and hold off their really good family fights so I can get my Sony out and record it. With their son Eric's mean commerce streak and my eye for good photo angles, we could clean up on the reality show sets on YouTube. I know our sites would be hitting in the millions over and over, and Niki with her Greek ancestry coming out, Big Eric's Boston fisherman's echo - sheer ecstasy in the virtual world...I'd even insight a fight just to get the best of them. It would be several minutes before they realized they'd been set up. Hookahs blowing, smoking up the place, Big Eric wielding his cooking spatula and knives in the air trying to get even ONE word in but having to fight the higher squealing of little tiny Athena over there pulling up the vivid past and how its been a factor in every decision she's ever made and had to live with - - then they'd laugh. They'd both join forces and meet together to stone me....and my camera. I'm sure that part could be edited - unless we're going for the R-rating.

Do you see the tattooed back? That's what I would look like after a few puffs on the hookah! I know I would. I think they say the hookah's smoke is like 10 times stronger than cigars or something. I smoke cigars, I do. I don't mind admitting that. I'm all for a good Pyrate's night of it, rounding out the midnight hour with a few toasts of wine, a little loud hillbilly music (thanks Dwight!) and a good cigar, I do that - but that hookah just ... I don't know, scares me. It looks so devilish. It reminds me of the ancients and their libations as they swear to their gods and ancestors that they'll make a pact to the death to do something remarkable or die trying...or is that just me? I think the whole concept is meant to put one at ease...I'd be the only highly strung hookah blower out there, wondering when the effects were going to hit and if I'd be in control of myself if they did.

I think I almost bought one for my daughter but remembered she had asthma. I thought no, I'll let her die on her own. I won't help - but now give me a good Chablis, maybe a box of rum runners and a dancing pole in the living room. I'm...almost....there - - crank up the stereo, turn out the lights (you don't to actually SEE me on the pole left up to the ears than the eyes at this point) I'm good. Have fun me if you need directions to load the phunnel bowl again, at least I was successful at Googling that.

Spies, Radars, and Ranges! (A Stringfellow History)

Stringfellows have been in the U.S. Army, the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force for years and years, wars and wars. I'm not sure if they've been in the Coast Guard, but I know they've been just about everywhere and on both sides of the big pond for that matter. The name Stringfellow can be traced back many centuries actually, even as far back as the 14th century and was called Strongfellow as well as Stringfellow. The main branch of our name has been categorized, challenged and meticulously researched by my big sister, she's the genealogist in the family - I just gave birth to the last Reuben in a string (no pun intended) of more than 17 of them...that's a lot of Reu. The Civil War hero you see before you in this blog is not a Reuben, but his father was, and his brother was. He is Benjamin Franklin Stringfellow, who was a Confederate Spy and he worked directly under and for J.E.B. Stuart. Stringfellow was from Virginia, and had cousins (Pleasant and Robert Stringfellow) serving in the Union Army, and his own brother was serving in the South.

I've actually stood on a piece of ground just inside the forests at Manassass where both the Union and the Confederate Stringfellows hugged in a brief reunion of sorts before returning to their respective sides to continue a battle that raged - interestingly, I don't believe B.F. Stringfellow made the reunion, he was too busy pretending to be a Union sympathizer and gathering more information for the South, but he is the one credited with the intel as to where the cousins should meet safely to say what could have been a last-goodbye. Not much is known about Frank except that he did survive the war, and moved further south afterwards. He lived his life out with his family, and died a Confederate hero.

My father is a Reuben. He's pictured there - a Navy man, he wired things and still does. He's not much for words, but ask him something about a circuit and he won't shut up! My daddy served on a ship in Korea from 1950-1955. All of his brothers served in that conflict as well. Upon leaving the service he made the fatal and life-sentencing mistake of attending church one Sunday at the Fortieth Street Baptist Church in Oklahoma City where his family lived - we think he meant to attend Crown Heights but got lost and just sat down in the pew - what happened next was history! Mom tripped the man on his way out the door. He was trying to leave before she could have a proper introduction and she had already set her mind to marry him upon seeing the back of his head when she walked into the back of the sanctuary - see, it comes naturally for me. I know what I want and I do what I can. Like her I scheme, I admit it, but I also smile and through that Southern charm so deeply embedded within my spirit and my soul, I usually get what I aim for....with or without the rifle.

Reube is what they called my grandpa, R.J. was his father, and as it goes up the line it must come down the line as well. My father did not name his son Reuben, but I picked it back up. My brother was not old enough to join the military, but my son picked it back up. There has been a Stringfellow in every war - every conflict, and with both pride for my family and my country, I do wish at times that I had volunteered but I was told I was too skinny to join in 1979 when I tried to join - - I got over that problem fast enough, huh? Oh to be too skinny to join today! Now I'm too old and broken...hahaha

I'm not sure who the beautiful marker belongs to, I'm told his father was a Robert whose brother was a Reuben - my sister will have to figure that one out. With the history of our family being able to sneak up and capture, wire things and talk through them, driving over mountains and shooting something a mile away, I think I can safely say that I have a few things to write about...let my pen (or in this case my keyboard) be my weapon of choice. I keep both fairly close 24/7. I may never serve in a real uniform, but my heart is often camouflaged in various shades of red, white, and blue.

Friday, July 11, 2008

5 Second Rule for Coffee

Is there a 5-second rule for coffee like there is for food? I mean, if coffee beans or grounds hit the floor or the sink, can you scoop them up and use them anyway? I've seen people at McDonalds pick up burger patties off the floor and put them back into the bin - hopefully they were fired soon afterwards, but I don't eat at Mc's anymore, so I don't care. I do care...I mean, it's nasty, but I encourage as many as I can to stop eating at fast food restaurants, all of them.

I ask the question about coffee because I grind my own. I buy a pound a week and I seem to be using about a pound a week - just under, and there's that factor of dust coffee that lands on the counter top and in the sink, or on the floor when its early enough and my hand-to-eye coordination if off a bit. Can I just pick it using a clean paper towel and use it? Maybe use the dust that falls and throw out the dust that stays on the towel - the ultimate dirty coffee, not the slightly maybe dirty coffee that was in the middle of the mix that got wiped? I wouldn't think of using a bleach towel wipette, nor would I ask the question if I were scooping it into my maybe not washed morning hands - so the paper towel thing? Its good right?

Is it feasible to think that I wouldn't be serving my dirty coffee to anyone? Not likely..I have surprise guests all the time. I could get a separate little canister for the dust coffee. I could be the only one ever subjected to it - is this even a real issue? Am I really thinking about saving it? OF COURSE I want to save it, it's coffee! It's Starbucks, and it's PIKE PLACE blend! Yes, I want to save it - dust or bean! I want to use it, I want to smother it in water and drink it. I want to bathe in it - not really, I said that for shock value - how are you feeling?

Believe it or not I'm not going to tell you (I'll tell Tim, he deserves to know) whether or not you're drinking 3, 4, 5 second coffee and if you're not offended I won't apologize...I'm only telling Tim because he's new in my life - he was my buddy in the 8th grade (he was in the 9th) we were in off-off-off Broadway stage plays together, and we were incredible! We stopped the show, you know we did....but then we got sent to the principal's office for it, and the rest is just pathetic! Tim is a really cool person some 32 years later....working in Beijing and just really being a neat new old friend. Can't wait to see him in September when he comes back from the Olympics, the dog! (Have fun in China and bring me back a Starbucks mug OK?) If I can just get a few more friends like Tim to round out my middle age crisis of needing to find connections from the past to remember who I am, what I was, where I'm going, and thank God what I am not anymore!!! (But I would like to be skinny as a rail and able to do 15 backhand springs down the hall again, that would be cool.)

OK..back to the coffee, my cereal is suffering while I write this. It's all bran so it'll be crunchy tomorrow no worries. I want more insight to what is moral, what is ethical, what is right on the coffee hitting the floor, counter top or sink issue. Feel free to write me. In my house the floor may be cleaner than the counter! My sink could be the poster child for gnarly at times, and other times smell of Clorox! The sink is out, we'll agree to that now. No cereal, spaghetti, or soy bacteria on my coffee, and certainly no bleach...but the floor? Is that so bad? FINE..I'll throw it really, I swear I will. I'll be more careful when I transfer it, maybe I need a bigger grinder I don't know....I'll throw it out.

Let me go, I have to get up and grind something.