These Types of Movies Rock!

 

In 1962, Sophia Loren won the Best Actress Oscar in “Two Women”…In 1965, “Shelley Winters” took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “A Patch of Blue“.  Both movies were tackling issues that a lot of writers will not touch on any longer–or if they do, they do something stupid when writing it (and/or putting the cast together–like they did with “The Women” in 2008) and it crashes on the remake. Both “Two Women” and “A Patch of Blue” were somewhat ahead of their time, I think, but were important to film history itself.

This movie rivets viewers even 52 years after it’s release…

One of the most important films of the era, “A Patch of Blue” tackles racism, abuse, alcoholism in such a way it made one think back then. This film was definitely ahead of its time in many respects. It was well before the on air kiss of Captain Kirk and Uhura on “Star Trek, too…No they don’t kiss here, but it’s obvious that these characters had some type of feelings toward each other.

I feel the same way about “Chariots of Fire”.  The reason that movie has  had so much staying power over 30 years time is that there is a universal issue it tackles that has absolutely nothing to do with religious faith of some sort, but more to the point of being true to one’s self despite what society tries to dictate.  In short,  Eric Liddel and Harold Abrahams had huge sets of cojones and did not compromise on what they stood for, period.

Ben Cross and Ian Charleson portrayed them well.  It took equal amounts of cojones to even take the parts given what society says of that sort of thing now. After reading what Ben Cross did to prepare for that role, I am convinced that he and Charleson are the other two reasons that movie will have staying power for another 30 years in film history.  Argue with me all you want, but you won’t change my mind or the minds of the fans who watch these types of films again and again. The themes are timeless and universal–and that is what is severely lacking in what is being put out today in Hollywood, so they try to remake EVERYTHING.  They need to get back to some original thought and scrap the damned remakes altogether–especially when it comes to classic movies like these.

One of the best movies in 30 years–and it has new life in it again…

Instead of tossing us bones like they would to a dog, Hollywood needs to start putting some meat out there–and NO I’M NOT talking about eye candy…I’m talking about using seasoned actors and actresses that can REALLY ACT.  It doesn’t matter if they are older–I want to be able to believe if someone is going to play a murderer, then I want that actor/actress to play said murderer well enough that I’ll believe he/she IS THE CHARACTER and is about to bolt through that screen to kill my ass!  The late Jack Palance had a knack for this–in fact he was so good, he scared a fellow cast mate once.  I believe strongly that Hollywood is going to suffer some backlash if it doesn’t stop this constant marketing to teens, ‘tweens, and those who love the bloody “chick flicks”.  Baby boomers outnumber the other audiences and they are tired of this trend, I think.  I know I definitely am.  Of the movies I’ve seen in the past year and a half, “The Help” is the best one so far.

If someone were to build competing film studios in other states that marketed to my age bracket, they would make a killing because people in those states would invest in a good film. They say non-attendance in theaters is why films are made to cater to the youthful market. That is crap in my book. If they would market to us and the entire families we have, they’d make more money.  I think that for every teen that will go to a flick, there are 3 adults that will go if the movie is worth a damn. If not, they simply leave the kids to their own devices while they use Redbox, VOD, or PPV.

There are few actors and actresses that can pull of that wonderful feat of letting that character breathe through them to the extent that it seems real.  Ben Cross, Melissa Leo, Gary Cairns II, Jessica Chastain, Dallas Bryce Howard, Glenn Close and Zachary Quinto are among that number. Just a note here:  I hated the Dark Shadows remake–totally detested it, but that kid Gulliver McGrath is going to have a good career ahead of him…Even as young as he is, he is totally believable in character.   Michele Pfeiffer also did well in that film.  They were the only good things about that fiasco.

Write from the Head or Write from the Heart?

This was a question I got two days ago…It is difficult to answer but it depends on A) what you are writing, B) they type of audience your intending it for and C) whether any damned good will come of it–but if it makes you feel a hell of a lot better, then the answer to C) is “HELL YES!” regardless…

When you write from the “head” it is my opinion that you are going for the academia audience–the well-traveled and educated audience and/or the elitists in the movie or publishing industries.  When trying to appeal to this crowd, they are usually looking at what will sell and what makes sense TO THEM.  Again, that is my opinion. The thing to bear in mind is that whatever makes sense TO THEM might make less sense to “Joe Public“.  That is why the a lot of indie projects get respect…They buck the system altogether in many ways.  The same is true of the music industry, I think.

NOW for writing from the heart…IF it feels write to you regardless of what those in the above crowd think AND  if it helps you or someone else who reads it, then it was worth putting forth the energy to begin with.  Now what makes sense to this crowd–which is usually going to be your “JOE PUBLIC” crowd, may NOT make sense to the above crowd…Get it?

The average public will take some C4 and common sense smashing into reality over the new age philosophy any day of the week.  Do not get me wrong, I am not knocking the writers in that movement that inspired me, but I am saying that what works for YOU may be different. There is nothing wrong with watching movies like “Letters to God“, “The Help” and such…However some people will NEVER get into such movies because they were raised to think differently and on a different level.  It doesn’t mean that one audience is above the other either. However every REAL coin is two-sided.  Every person has more than one dimension also.

Now comes the big bitch word:  “REALITY“…Are you trying to write to sell? Then you need to get into writer’s workshops and such.  Take college English classes too…Believe it or not, it does help.  If nothing else, you will learn very quickly how to make a logical thought stick or a new term memorable…My personal favorite that I coined is the “closet exhibitionist“.  This is the person who is too afraid to be themselves, go into acting or whatever, and yet dreams of being a public figure…He or she often pretends to be a famous person that he or she looks up to, or acts out parts of their favorite movies.  Others play air guitar without ever learning how to play the real thing and then kick themselves when they are older for not doing so.

Believe me that condition is very real…I should know.  For the first time in 25 years, I sang publicly last night…I was quite well received and so was my son–who I did one duet with.  Not that we’ll ever make it big but I was not kidding when I said a certain Facebook page changed my life.  I had to build up to this point. I left singing for reasons which I will keep to myself, and I refused to take more theater classes…I probably should have done it, but I had some rather strange ideas about “the establishment’ back then and felt that I was better off being a recluse.

Anyway, to the person who asked, this is from my heart…25 years ago I let my head rule and not all jackasses have long ears…Figure it out and decide for yourself where your destiny lies, but don’t let anything keep you from it–not even those who mean well…Why?  Let’s just say JOB had 3 good friends.  Get my drift?

Have a great week!   If you have time, you might consider watching “Chariots of Fire” with Ben Cross…Talk about 2 sides of a coin…You have two men running for two different reasons…Figure it out…What are you writing for? Who are you writing it for? Find your reason and then run the ink well dry dammit! I WISH I watched this when it came out…I might have not had a 25+ year case of posterior cranial rectumitis, if you know what I mean…

Have a link on me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmj4lU0sra0&feature=related

1981

1981…A banner year, I think…I escaped from pri– I mean–er–I graduated from High School and left  home. “Chariots of Fire” came out and I ended up skipping it, which is probably the worst mistake I made that year.  I also decided after entering college in the fall that Theater Arts is not my cup of tea.  I did well in Theater Appreciation and Film Criticism–but detested the latter class.   I would take a course called “American Women Playwrights” year later that was a total blast!  However, after reading Wendy Wasserstein‘s work, I’ll never look at the Washington Monument in the same way ever again!  Luckily, my employers always let me have all the time off I needed because I worked my ass off and showed up for work!  I rarely call in sick.  If I”m throwing up, that is the one thing I cannot deal with so THEN I will call in.

I was also working two jobs.  I was a housekeeper by day and a part-time waitress by night.  I also attended classes on certain evenings.  I slept when it was possible.  I decided that what traumatized me about Film Criticism was that our professor always honed in on the technical aspects, but had his own idea of how characters should be presented.  After getting roughly introduced to a seven shot six-shooter during a scene in an old western film, I went into a shock from which I never recovered.

When I took Music Appreciation–it was much better.  We were taught about the beauty of each genre and didn’t have to listen to the faulting of others or how they composed.   It was during this time that I marched in the Macy’s Parade in NYC.  I had never been outside of the  small town in which I was raised to go to such a place and it was an entirely different world…

I remember walking toward Madison Square Garden the night before the parade.  Earth, Wind and Fire were playing and we seemed to be walking, as a group through the “gauntlet”.  There was a line of gang members on one side of the street and the policemen on horseback where on the other.  One of my fellow drummers made the comment, “Hey, I’m gonna get some New York pot! I hear it’s better than what we have in TX.”  The band director heard him and told him to get quiet.  All the while I was thinking, “What a jack-ass!”  I was sure we were going to end up in the middle of a brawl and there were many more of them than there were of us.  On top of that, we were wearing our blue and white band uniforms with the white cowboy hats…We looked pretty damned stupid and the band director wouldn’t let us go change. That pissed me off.

We made it past the gauntlet and went to the Empire State Building.  It was here that I discovered that I suffer from claustrophobia.  I hate elevators–and it was made worse when the elevator got stuck on the 72nd floor and lurched.  I did something I had never done.  I hyperventilated.  Well hell! I’d never been out of TX, so after this I started wishing I was back on the ground.  Once we got to the top, the smog was rolling in. It burned my eyes, but that was okay because it’s part of the game when there.  I was looking at the setting sun.  It was almost like being on a mountain–only it was man-made.  I was enjoying the view when someone said–“Time to go!” and once again, I had to get on the elevator…”I will never get on one of these again if I can avoid it.”  I told the band director…He thought I was joking until we went to the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty the morning after Thanksgiving.  We did hit Macy’s first, though.  Loved that!

I also remember seeing steam coming up through manhole covers–like on television.  I remembered seeing so much hustle and bustle and wondered what it would be like to be in the square and see the news go across the marquis…I got to see that too.  I also got to go to the Radio City Music Hall and see the Rockettes during the Christmas pageant.  They used live animals in it.  I wonder if they still do…I wanted to catch a Broadway production but never got to see one–or the ballet…As I always say, “Maybe someday…”

The band director said upon arriving at the WTC, “Tina, it will be alright–it’s not the same elevator.  C’mon! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“I have only one lifetime to enjoy.  I’ll wait here, Mr. Jones.  I’ll be alright.” I told him as I pulled out a book and sat on a bench.  A police officer heard us talking and was asking where I was from and such.  When I told him I was from Texas he said, “You guys are sure friendly down there!  I know we can get kind of rude around here, but we don’t mean to sound that way.”

“I haven’t met anyone that has been rude to me yet.” I told him.  He laughed and said, “You must have great luck!”

I asked him if he’d ever been to Texas and he said, “I was stationed at Dyess A.F.B 15 years ago! I married my wife there!  Loved it!  We’re moving back when I retire next year!”

He hung around a few more minutes and ran off some guy that was trying to ask for money.  I read my book–and strangely enough I remember the title of it:  “Essays of Elia“–Charles Lamb.  I love that book…That man was very wise.

After they got through at the WTC, we headed for the Statue of Liberty.    Then I stumbled across phobia #2…Water…I am a weak swimmer and the boats were clear bottomed.  Then I saw something less frightening–Russian subs a few miles off since it was such a clear and beautiful day!  I took pictures but don’t know what happened to them.  To me that was somewhat historical–and hysterical.  It is funny to me that I don’t mind swimming in the ocean, but if I’m on a boat–I do not dig it, man! I do not  know why.

I always thought the paranoia Russians had of us then was ridiculous.  A few of them need to visit TX and steer clear of the public schools…If they hang out with adults, they will lighten up really quick and find out that we understand far more than “…the law of the gun and the bomb bay door…” as a writer for the Pravda stated years later.  I answered him by stating that if that were true, Russians would be speaking English because Harry Truman would have let General George S. Patton hand them their asses on a platter and that they should be grateful that some Americans are much more open and accepting of others than some people of other cultures are of us.   They actually allowed the comment and I was shocked at that.

Anyway, I survived the boat ride and sat on another bench and saw another phenomenon…A kid, that couldn’t have been more than five using vernacular that would make a sailor blush in the presence of her mother.  I moved to another bench because the parent didn’t even correct the child.  I know this much,  had I said something like that, I would have been a Lifebuoy connoisseur–after my mother and father both spanked my ass.  I grew up in an era where if we disrespected a teacher, we got it from our parents when we got home and if we were screwing up in the neighborhood–sometimes a neighbor known to us would wear our asses out–then our parents got their turn…Sorry but it’s true.  I learned really quickly that if I had to go cut a switch, it better not be a little, flimsy green one because those hurt worse!  Back in those days, the village did help raise the kid without sticking their noses in other people’s business.

I really didn’t have to spank my boys.  I gave them a look, and they lined right out.  I also discovered the taking away Ninja Turtles and gaming systems made them think they died and went to hell and their crying and such reminded me of when I got spanked! Seriously!  I didn’t let them have internet or anything like that until they were older teenagers. To me that is a luxury and not a necessity.  Kids need to play outside, play fetch with a dog or go to camp out in the back yard or something instead of vegetating in front of the TV 24/7.  I didn’t do it, and neither did my kids–until they got older and on their own for the most part.   My favorite thing was to take blankets at home or Grannie’s house and make hideouts–especially if I couldn’t go outside in bad weather.  It seems like every kid I know now has a freaking PS3 or a Wii…If I had another kid–NO WAY!  That would NOT happen.  Being sedentary like that is not good for kids and I knew that years ago.  We went to parks, beaches, and hiked in the mountains when my boys were little. I’ll do the same with my grandkids if I am ever-blessed with any–I can promise you that!

If I do become a grandparent, they will know the difference between a sparrow and a finch.  They’ll get to see the fireflies and make wishes after seeing shooting stars on a camp out.  In short, they will appreciate nature when I’m through with them. LOL!

Anyway I did take pictures of the Statue and went inside…I just didn’t go up it.  I wish now that I made myself do it, but maybe someday I’ll get another chance to conquer that fear too.   I did stand on the shore and look out over the water and realized that this is the first time I had been by the ocean that I can remember, and can remember the sound of the gravelly sand beneath my feet.  I also remember hearing horns from the boats that were going back and forth.    I actually touched my finger to the water and tasted it just to see if it was salty like people said all those years.  I wouldn’t dare do that now, but was only 19 then.  In fact, it was my 19th birthday.   That evening, I broke away from the crowd and went into St. Patrick’s Cathedral to enjoy some quiet.  I could actually feel at ease and do some reflecting.  I then sneaked back to my room at the Plaza Hotel and wasn’t even missed!  I remember the pretzel vendor on the corner across the street and made sure to buy one of those!  They were so good!  I’d love to visit there again!  I also visited an Italian Restaurant near the WTC that I loved–but refused to go up the WTC.

Another memory I have of New York City is when we went to a Chinese Restaurant.  There was a Thai couple there asking us questions about Texas because they had heard bad things about it and were concerned about going there.   They told us that there were Indians shooting at us and such and that they were told never to go there.  They were afraid of the Indians!  To preface what I am about to say, they have a great sense of humor because they learned that there is one fundamental art that Texans have mastered…We know how to bullshit and bullshit well!  At 19 I had mastered it.  I listened very intently to their concerns and assured them that they should take a camera and not worry because they would be witnessing such a phenomenon to write home about…They said, “That really happens there?” I said, “Sure, that’s why we have armored Greyhound buses down there!”   My God…I think they were getting discouraged until I said, “Look, seriously, it was a joke.  It’s nothing like that.”  They laughed at that point and were quite relieved that I was joking.

They then asked me about places to go, at which point I referred them to Austin…Austin does not roll up the sidewalks and turn out the lights at 5 p.m.  I love the theaters that show foreign films down there and I love going to museums–but haven’t been able to do that or go to plays much in years.  I’ll be able to do so again.  It’s a matter of time.  However I do have one regret, and that is missing this movie:

If I HAD seen it, I’d have known who this guy is:

LMAO…Biggest, most  inspirational film of that year and I skipped it to blow $100 at the Mall of Abilene!

HOWEVER, I almost forgot to mention the most important event to poetry lovers and writers  in 1981…It was the fact that Edna St. Vincent Millay got her own stamp!  Heh…Heh…Heh…  Have a great day!

The Facebook Page that turned me around…

The weekend is coming and I know a big change is coming for me as well.  I can’t say “what” or “how” I know–but this feeling is never wrong!  I started working for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 2006.  I went there because I wanted to make a difference and since I have left it, I’ve been told that I have, so leaving it made me feel a  lot better about my decision to leave it.  When I became a supervisor it wasn’t long before I saw problems with the pecking order on my unit.  Therefore, I have no regrets. 

When I was younger, I hid in my room a lot.  I didn’t go out as a teenager much (if at all) and when in college, I wasn’t that much of a social creature either.  What made me that way is a long story which I won’t go into, but I avoided theaters and concerts for the most part.  I did watch old movies with my father or my mom…To me those films represented an era that I could only ever dream of being a part of.  My childhood was a rather turbulent one, which I won’t detail here–but it led to my attitude.

I was keeping company with my teachers more than my peers because, quite frankly,  kids my age drove me nuts.  I could not see the logic in some of the stuff that went on as far as my peers go.  Besides I hated cliques with a purple passion.  Therefore, I kept few friends and I trusted very few people.  I don’t get invitations to class reunions either because I became more free with my opinions. I do not think anyone is better than anyone else, but I detested how they formed cliques and treated others who weren’t “pretty” or “athletic”–and was quick to let them know it…  

I was also bullied quite a few times.  Once by a coach who made a comment about how women don’t “usually go around shooting themselves because they don’t want to mess up their looks”.  The whole class waited for my reaction since I had just come back after missing school due to my stepmother committing suicide when I was 14.  I damned near quit school then.  Had my dad been less stubborn about wanting me to finish, I would have quit rather than deal with anymore BS. They said this coach was out-of-town and such so he just wasn’t informed,  but he worked for DPS in a neighboring county–where her body was found–so I find it hard to believe to this day sometimes.  However, me being me, I dropped it and took the high road–literally.  I picked up my pen and furiously created more worlds and killed more bullies there than anyone would ever want to know about.  I also ended up in the counselor’s office for things I’d pull or write…

I goto picked on all through school and took the high road. One day a boy in the Junior class saw me writing furiously and asked me “Who are you going to kill today?”  Look at this pic below…I swear it’s how I looked only I had black eyeliner on too…I simply looked at him rather coldly and said, “I dunno…Maybe you.”  Five minutes later I was in the counselor’s office again.  He laughed because he knew I made that kid sweat bullets.  He also saw through my front and knew it was my way of telling them all to screw off.  Anyway here’s the pic:

Now picture this: JET BLACK hair, dark red lipstick, black eyeliner and eyebrows--and the Uma Thurman "I'm gonna kick your ass look" and you'll have my look from 1980 when my Dad wasn't watching...

 

And people I grew up with  wonder WHY he didn’t like for me to go around ANYWHERE when payday hit!  In 1981, he wouldn’t even let me go see “Chariots of Fire” so like a bonehead, I sneaked out at 8 o’clock–when he  passed out…I went to the mall of Abilene and blew my paycheck on clothes and he never noticed.  I stayed pissed for three years because he wouldn’t let me go see the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” or “The Sex Pistols” too…AC/DC was definitely out of the question…To him, they were all devil worshippers…Hmm…I was a devil myself when I got mad back then.  Read the bullying blogs about what a few girls and I had to deal with and how we stopped that problem for us…

I wasn’t a violent kid, but I knew when and how to fight back.  I stayed reclusive for years.  I went to church and went home.  I didn’t go to theaters or anything for a very long time after graduation.  I may have went once or twice in the 80’s and once in the 90’s.  I hated “Star Wars” but loved “The Wrath of Khan“.  In fact I think in the late 80’s or early 90’s I saw “Pet Cemetary” at the insistence of my ex.  I never went again after that unless nagged and for those I slept through them and pissed my sister off.  I love her but I hated theaters.  They are just too damned loud most of the time.  Now I carry cotton to put in my ears.  I can hear it in normal mode then…Here are a couple of stills from the best damned movies from the 70’s that I did go to AND liked:

You can't say crap about the 1970's without mentioning "Billy Jack"...This trilogy had a lot to do with my outlook later on...He STOOD for something good!

                                                                                    

And this one was simply FREAKING FUNNY!

 

Well as I said, I skipped Chariots of Fire in 1981–the year I graduated from High School.  I went to college and marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City that year.  It was also when I got to go to Radio City Music Hall and see what was behind the Christmas pageant backstage–live animals and such.  I then realized that the trip was for the sponsors and not us…We were told that we had to go to some other attraction.  I said, “Screw that! I’ve been up since 3 a.m., marched that parade route in 18 degree weather twice and have been out all damned day! I’m going back to the hotel first chance I get!”  I ducked away from my group near the hotel and started to double back.  I bought a pretzel and asked a woman where I could find a place where it was nice and quiet.  She pointed to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I promise you I stayed in that slice of Heaven for an hour.  I missed my hiding place on the roof of the garage where I could stare up at the stars and just simply wind down.  I was also very, very tired.

I went to the hotel and went to my room and crashed.  None of the chaperones or the band director realized I wasn’t there.  😀  I got back home 3 days later and was relieved to be there.  Shopping at Macy’s and such was fun, but I just wanted to go home.  My birthday was November 25 and I wasn’t home for that either.  After that–I went right back to recluse mode.  One might think I’d have enjoyed that experience being out in “the world” for once, but I still feared dealing with crowds and such–and made myself go.  I was pressured to sing in choir too and hated that.  I don’t know why, because they liked it, but not me.  I almost ran off that year to California  to join a punk rock band. 

Instead I went through 2 bad marriages, had 3 kids, got a degree, etc…I also became worse when it came to being reclusive.  I trusted no one–especially NON family members.   In 2006 I went to work at a prison…Strangely enough, I felt “safe” there.  Why I do not know.  I had a knack for calming offenders down and dealing with some BS.  But I realized after becoming a sergeant and a failed relationship that I was slipping back into my recluse mode.  I wouldn’t even go home when I was off.  I hated being around people. I still have trouble with it.  My sister and my mother can’t understand it, but my Grandmother did. I told her EVERYTHING…Now she was gone. 

Anyway I got bored to shit one night.  I was going bat shit crazy at 3 a.m.–working out and such.  I got to thinking about things I used to watch when I was a kid and started surfing the internet.  I came across hulu.com and Adam-12…I got a kick out of watching that.  Then I started playing around looking for more shows I watched when I was a kid.  I saw “Dark Shadows” on there.  I didn’t realize I’d clicked on a remake, and almost started to surf again, until I realized the first episode was a movie.   I couldn’t freaking believe it!  This show was DAMNED good!  Then I started paying attention to the cast in it…I noticed an actor named “Ben Cross”. 

I talked to an old classmate on Facebook and asked her if she ever heard of this guy–like a dumbass.  She said, “That’s the guy in “Chariots of Fire”–you know, that movie our group went to see at graduation and your dad wouldn’t let you go so you decided to be a shithead and go to Abilene without us?”  My first response was “The What of the What?” because I called her while I was half-awake.

“Oh…Yeah…I remember now.”  I told her.  I only preferred older movies until I saw this.  I felt–and still feel it was well acted and such and it reminded me of other stuff I would watch–even though I wanted to kick Angelique’s ass–and always did–even when I watched the original in kindergarten.  I viewed her as a bully. I still do.  Ben made Barnabas bad ass!  As much as I loved Jonathan Frid as a kid–I really liked how he made his version of the vampire a bit more realistic. 

From there a chain reaction began.  I later found his Facebook page.  Then I saw a link to a site on his page that said “flaurena” and started getting jewelry from there.  It didn’t click that this was his daughter at first, but she made pieces (custom pieces) for me that reminded me of where I came from.  I began looking into my family tree and my Native American heritage as a result.  Hell I think she probably knows more about what I’m thinking than I do when I get her to make pieces for me!  Here is picture of one of them:

Well I can't rotate it, but take note of the circle and the feathers...Then the colors. I wear this when I go to the mountain to meditate a lot too...

I promise you it is much prettier in life than in pictures.  Sorry I can’t rotate the thing!
 
I quit my job at the prison as I said earlier and returned to teaching in 2010, but I also buy a lot of  Ben’s work.  The brat pack really didn’t do much for me, but I know if I had gone to COF then, I would have liked it.  I have a much more positive view of the world now–and am much better for it.  I also found my purpose.  If it had not been for finding that link on hulu.com, I would still be in recluse mode–shutting out the world.  I get out more now and explore things now.  It’s as if I am enjoying a life now I couldn’t seem to get when I was younger–but I am much better for it.  I am also a lot wiser. 
 
More importantly, I picked up a pen again–but I am not using it to escape from the world and kill off the bullies, I am using it to try to make a difference as these small things have made in my life.  I am grateful that they are around, and I am grateful to my teachers because they have been in my corner all these years and I never realized it until I began talking to them.  They gave to me.  It’s time for me to give back.   And these two people were the ones that helped me get my head out of my ass after all these years and start doing something different with my life.  If you are in a rut now, I hope you find your way out too…Have a great weekend!
 
I really am grateful to have come across them…Sometimes I call them the “father-daughter tag team”…LOL 
 
 

That father-daughter tag team I get a kick out of!

 
 
My next goal is to get to Peru or Costa Rica–whichever I can get to first!