Why We Should All Read the Writings of ANY Public Figure…

If you want to know what any public figure is about, read their writings. Read the books they wrote themselves. Those reveal the content of their character. If you have not read those, then don’t criticize those who have. To refuse to check out a person’s own words means that one is willing to remain willfully ignorant. They are willing to be used for that person’s gain. It doesn’t matter if that person is a political figure, entertainer or journalist. Those words that were put into print define them. It is those who choose to stay willfully blind who refuse to read them–or listen to them if they are available on audio. If they are upset with YOU for doing so, then it is because they don’t want to see the truth, but to live in their own Utopian delusion whatever that may be.

I have a nasty habit of calling writers on the carpet when they contradict themselves as well. We all should all be doing this if we are paying attention.

Signing Off for Now…

I am going through a period of self-reflection at this moment.  It is something that I must do on my own.  I will still passionately speak out against school bullying and such and continue posting the “Centuries Under the Moon” blogs as requested.  However, I will not be socializing much as of late. I will not be traveling much until the weather is warmer.

I suppose that I feel bad because I am so blunt when I post things.  I cannot lie and I have to post what I honestly feel at the time my fingers go nuts over the keyboard. Evidently some people that I hang out with have decided that they cannot handle my opinion of life which is this:  It is what you make it.  Your decisions will land you either in a hotbed of bull or they will enable you to grow and branch out.  Those who stand by me will see this, but those who choose not to do so should at least do me the courtesy of telling me what their issue is and we can try to resolve it, or they will find themselves by the wayside in my life.

Once again I have cut three friends off who were very close to me because I overheard them saying things to others that should have been addressed with me.  At least I gave them the courtesy of telling them face to face.  NO, I wasn’t mean about it.  I just said that right now I feel like I’m related to Job and he had three good friends didn’t he? Then again, Job’s three good friends DID tell him what they thought face to face–probably because they felt enough love for the man to express their thoughts–even if they were wrong–if they existed at all, that is–so believe what you will.

I accept people as they are.  I don’t try to change them. To me that is the greatest gift one can give to a friend because it is an unconditional form of love.  A part of me loves to make people laugh. I love it when some people make me think–as Lauren Cross has done more than once.  I also love it when people have enough respect to speak their minds.

As for my writing, I free-write.  I speak my mind.  When it comes to mind, and it isn’t spoken, it will pour out through my pen, or the keyboard.  Writing was the only refuge I had growing up.  I used it to take care of business–whether it be creating characters to kill off that reminded me of the bullies I dealt with, or to try to put something positive to reach others–like the writing and the anti-bullying blogs are meant to do.  I will make a video for YouTube very soon as far as the bullying issue.  I had one completed and the bloody computer crashed and wiped out my media.

As I have said before to others, it is better to be proactive than reactive.  Either act or don’t complain about those that are doing nothing because they became complacent with the status-quo.  If you are not part of a solution, you are part of a problem. Period.  We have enough problems in this country to clean up without looking into any other country’s back yard–seriously.

As for the economy, I only have a little sliver–it’s called a paycheck.  I work my fanny off and live from paycheck to paycheck right now because I choose to.  I could go back into corrections–but why do that when working in that field almost turned me into a witch from hell riding a broom with a hemi attached to it?  Seriously. It took a while for me to get back to something close to normal again.

Quite frankly, I would be just peachy if good ol’ Uncle Sam would quit trying to take more of my sliver of the cake (Ben Cross brought this to mind when he made a post over the holidays about the “Fat Cats” paying their fair share…)  When I say sliver, I am talking about making less than $25K a year.  I manage–period.  I may not be among the Hollywood élite, but I am quite content with my little sliver.  That brings me to my next point.  I didn’t understand what the Occupy Movements were about FULLY until a good person named Christopher Pennock took the time and had the patience to point a few things out on his own FB page.  He’s a pretty cool guy…He played Jeb Hawkes on the original Dark Shadows series when I was a kid. Check out both Ben’s and Christopher’s page…Then go check out George Takei‘s page on FB…Now Mr. Takei will blow your mind with his humor, that’s for sure! He makes great points with it.

I will add this about Christopher Pennock though, while there are times he does get upset and go off a bit, he is honest and straight up.  I respect him for that.  Now if my friends I cut off were half the person with grace that he is, they would still be in my social circle. Sad thing is, I’ve known them for years.  This man is 68-years-old, and took rubber bullets and tear gas to fight for what he believes in during these protests. I admire that.  I don’t know of any other actor that braved it lately and he’s had a hip replacement!  Any of you who stand by the protesters should drop in on his page and give him some encouragement.

These protesters are not just out there to protest about the Wall St. “Fat Cats” as they are labelled.  They are also protesting corruption in the government–that government that wants to take more from those that only have a little sliver–no pensions, etc…while the “Fat Cats” still have loopholes. If this offends my friends who have known me for over 25 years that are IN the GOP and I am NOT–sorry it bothers you. It doesn’t bother me.  I have to stand where my conscience can be clear. At least I won’t lose sleep over it.

I also am wondering about this other dilemma I am going through…It is in the form of the question, “Why is it that nobody can ever be content with what they have?”  The Sheryl Crow song says it best, “…It’s not having what you want–It’s wanting what you’ve got.”  from Soak Up the Sun. I am asking that about our government right  now.  They always want more and the people get less. At least that is how it looks from this working class woman’s perspective.

I do not trust politicians regardless of party.  To me it comes down to this formula:  Honest + Politician = Oxymoron .  First you have the “Tea Party” in the GOP…If they take charge, I’m not so sure that they will “turn back the clock” as much as they would STOP the damned thing altogether.  Then you have the far left–which wants to roll out people like biscuit dough and make them all perfect–“one size fits all citizens” of whatever they want to call this nation, order, etc…  Free thinkers will suffer under the absolute rule of either one.  It is as if George Carlin had a point when he said that “The politicians are only there to make you think you have a choice”.   Do we really?  I wonder.

I am certain of one thing. Either party will use the artists and dreamers to their advantage and then toss them by the wayside when finished.  I do not trust them.  Indie is the way to go whether one is a musician or in film, I think. Why?  Those guys are more in tune with the desires of an audience than those with major recording labels and those in Hollywood are.  To me, to not go Indie is too much of a gamble.  Ask any musician who had to let someone else have rights to their music for 30 years…Some retirement plan, right?   I agree that scripts are probably better in the Indie market for the actors and such, too.

Anyway, if you think I’m off base here, then please feel free to tell me. It doesn’t bother me.  All of my life I will be learning and you may be the one to help me make more sense of all this crap going on that we call “life”…Know what I mean?  Feel free to send me a message on FB or email me if you like.  I’ll get to it as soon as I return from my cave.  Tune in whenever…Same bat time…Same bat channel…I’m riding off on the broom now! Goodnight…I close with 4 great links here:

http://www.fizgiggery.com/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000464385450   “That’s to Mr. Pennock’s page”

https://www.facebook.com/actorbencross

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gary-Cairns-II/33836534032   This guy is one of the coolest guy’s around…And he was in “Mad World”–a movie which really addresses the bullying issue, and that is the issue closest to my heart right now…

 

May 2012 bring all of you blessings!

 

From me to you…

I hope that you all have a wonderful, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Joyous New Year!  It was with humility and grace that I got through 2011…It is probably how I will get through 2012, with another year of going to my mountain, changes coming along the way, and the blessing of becoming a grandparent. 

I know that for some of my friends there will be change and that good things are going to come to many of them…It’s just a gut feeling I have! 

Take care and enjoy your time with your friends and your families!  They are precious!

Reflections

Well, another year is all but gone and I am spending some time reflecting on my life and was transported back to one moment.  This was a time in my life where I was busy raising a family, and trying to find some purpose for my existence on this planet–that is, when I wasn’t raising hell over how self-centered people of my generation were and refusing to come out of my rabbit hole long enough to let anyone prove me wrong.  I literally was reclusive. I refused to go to theaters…Refused to go to concerts–with the exception of Duran Duran‘s for the simple fact that I liked how they had the balls to push the envelope and piss people off–e.g.–“Girls on Film“:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gudEttJlw3s  )  and don’t worry…This is the clean version.  I also like “Girl Panic” because if the critics are going to trash a Duran Duran video–it’s because they came up with something original and new that pisses ’em off all over again. I love it that the band has the cojones to keep pissing them off too.  Why? I’m not a musical purist.

Now it is 27 years later.  The world has drastically changed–and not for the better, really.  Too many people  do not mind their own business, too many countries are sticking their noses where it shouldn’t–ours included.  Some of the problems we saw from the 80’s on have only intensified.  Financial institutions are charging people to have access to THEIR OWN MONEY, which to me = theft.  Too many companies are charging exorbitant fees for using debit cards to pay a bill ($15-25 to make a payment using one is stupid!) and then whining if you say anything about it being “wrong”.

We see more people losing their homes while the political parties are too busy pointing fingers at each other, God, the unions, the weather and–well, you get the picture, I think.  Americans are not content to be simply Americans and unite behind a single cause–which that cause should be freedom from the corruption we see going on in the financial institutions and in the government. Oh NO! Everyone wants their own flags, holidays, and observance thereof.   IT is there. All sides know it but don’t want to face the fact that ALL parties are in on this crap because in the end, they want to be in charge of it!

They thrive on this division only I didn’t see this back in 1984.  This isn’t about left, right or any of that. It is about the very fact that as Americans we no longer unite long enough to accomplish anything.  Yet in one moment in 1984, I was given one glimpse of hope for us all as the human race, and it was when I saw this video and what the artists were doing!  For once a group stood united and brought a little change about in the world–or should I say in MY world?  That group was Band Aid.  Every artist in here and in the later edition which was made in 2010 were being genuine and it showed.

And in 1984, for one moment, I was reminded maybe the world isn’t such a bad place to take part in after all. Here is that video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5cX_ncZLls&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLEDA92BA6B09038AC

Later, I went back into my “rabbit hole” and stayed there until I decided to get my head out of my dark spot and grow up! That was in 2008. Do I regret that? No. Why? Because everything I have come to learn since I came back out in 2008 has put me right where I need to be WHEN I need to be there.  I believe that there is a Renaissance rather than an outright Revolution on the horizon.  People are learning.  This world is not like what I grew up in, and everyone in generations before has passed that bit of news to the next generation in line!  Being that I am going to be a grandmother–I suspect I’ll do the same thing! Have a great week!

The Great White Alligator of Baines Parrish, Louisiana… (Part 1)

You’re right…There is no such place in your world, but in the world of a little girl named Felicia Mitchell, it is very real.  And to her, it is where she lives with her mother, Annie and her Grandmother Ida.   As the smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins permeates through the walls at 6 a.m. one morning, six-year-old Felicia goes across her room to her dresser where she looks at a picture of the father she never knew, right after tossing aside the Winnie the Pooh comforter.

“Daddy, I know you can’t come back, so I wished for a new daddy for Christmas. If it makes you cry I’m sorry, but Mama is lonely and I want to know what it is like to have a daddy of my own.  Grandma says you will never come back and that you’re in Heaven and Mama gets all upset over that, but I think she’s right. Maybe someday I’ll get to meet you, but I think for now, I’m going to go look for the white gator…Big Bear says if I see the white gator, my wish will come true, so I’m gonna go by the pond to see if I just catch a glimpse of him.  Big Bear says sometimes I might see him in a dream and he’s not a bad gator either.  He doesn’t eat people and he has no teeth! He just shows up to let people know things are going to be okay. I hope you are okay where you are. Later, Daddy! Oh and by the way, Mama got me Winnie the Pooh stuff for my room and my walls are now white instead of that dark blue you liked. I hope you don’t mind but it was just too dark in here for me!”

Her father, Michael has been missing in action since Felicia was six months old.  Although Ida felt that Annie should divorce, she refused.  Annie felt that somehow, someway, he was alive somewhere.  However today, she was about to have all hopes shattered.

With that being said, Felicia hastily put on her clean jeans and a sweater and went into the kitchen where her grandmother was sitting in the breakfast nook, enjoying a cup of coffee and her cigarette.  Her salt and pepper hair was tied back and no one would guess that she is already almost 60.  She looks as though she’s 40.  Like her daughter, Annie, men fawn over her too.  She spilled a little coffee on her brand new pink robe and looked up to see Felicia’s blonde curls headed right past her–so she refrained from uttering her usual vernacular.

“Child, where are you going at this hour?” she asked Felicia.

“Just to the edge of the pond to see if the white alligator is there.” she said as she looked into her grandmother’s green eyes.

“Alright but stay on this side of the yard where I can see ‘ya.” she said.

“Yes ma’am.” Felicia said as she went out the back door and walked to the edge of the pond.  When she looked at the ground, Ida could tell how disappointed she was.

“Are you going to tell her that there is no alligator?” Annie asked as she entered the kitchen in a mini robe and a pink teddy.

“No. I won’t hurt that child by shattering any hope she has.  She never tells what she wishes for, either.  Just let it be Anna. And don’t tell her Santa don’t exist either or I’ll go postal on your ass!” Ida said.

“I wouldn’t do that to her, Mother.” Annie assured her as she tied back her blonde hair and sat across from her in the booth.

Felicia slowly re-entered the kitchen and went to the booth and sat down quietly.

“No gator?” Ida asked.

Felicia shook her head, “I won’t give up though!”

“Good! That’s the spirit! Now what are we gonna do today?” Ida asked.

“Mama said we are all going to the park for a picnic!” Felicia beamed.

“That’s right!” Ida said.

“And we are having a special picnic! Remember why?” Annie asked.

“Today would be Daddy’s birthday?” Felicia said.

“That’s right and we are going to tell some stories about him so you’ll know more about him!” Ida told her.

“Mama,” Felicia began, “Who is that guy that moved into Billie’s old house?”

“I didn’t know anyone moved in there Felicia!” Annie told her.

“He did! He’s an older guy and he talks funny! I asked him where he’s from and he said Birmingham but he don’t talk like no one I ever saw before. I told him he talks funny and he laughed at me! That’s when he said he’s from England.” she said.

“You shouldn’t say things about how people talk. It’s not polite.” Ida said firmly.

“But he does talk funny!,” Felicia protested, “And he doesn’t know anything about cars like Grandpa did either!”

“What on Earth do you mean?” Annie asked.

“HE keeps calling a hood a “bonnet”! I may be only six but a bonnet is what some girls wear on their heads at Easter! I let him know it too and he laughed at me again!” Felicia said.

Both women laughed then Ida told Felicia, “Well just be nice. They just use different words for different things, that’s all.  You have a cousin who is going to school there.  Go wash your hands and get ready for breakfast.”

“Yes Ma’am.”  she said as she left the table.

“Looks like we have a new neighbor you should go meet, Mama!” Annie said as she raised an eyebrow.

“Don’t even think about it Annie!,” Ida warned, “I KNOW that look!”

The rest of the day was going normally until about 10 a.m.   Then there was a knock at the door.  Felicia answered it.  There were two men at the door. One was a priest and one was in an Army uniform.  “Hello, little girl.  Is your mommy home?” the man in the uniform asked.

“Yeah…Somewhere…MAMA!” she yelled.

“What is your name Little Girl?” the priest asked.

“Felicia Mitchell.” she said.  The two men then looked at each other but said nothing.

Annie entered wearing jeans and a sweater.  The minute she saw them she put her arms around Felicia and then knelt to eye level. “Felicia, go get Mama, now. Please.” she said.

“What’s wrong, Mama?”  Felicia asked.

“Just go get Mama. Go now.” she directed calmly.

“Yes Ma’am.”  Felicia said as she went upstairs to Ida’s room.  Ida’s door was open and she was brushing her hair.  She too  was already in a sweater and jeans.

“Grandma. Mama needs you downstairs.  There are two guys down there who–”

Then Annie screamed “Noooooooo! It’s not true! It’s not true!”

As Ida entered Annie collapsed from the Chaplain’s arms into her arms.  As Felicia watched–not fully understanding what was going on, she knew that it was something really, really bad for her mother to break down like that.

The men stayed for a while and Felicia went to her room.  She didn’t want to be down there at that point.  A bit later Annie entered her room and directed her to sit next to her on the bed.

“Felicia,” she began tearfully, “I have some news to share and it isn’t good.”

“What mama?” Felicia asked.

“Your daddy is not coming home.  He was killed in Iraq.  They didn’t find this out until a few weeks ago and he is being brought back here so that we can say goodbye to him.  I will be making funeral arrangements tomorrow.”  she told her.

“Grandma told me a long time ago that she thought he was in Heaven.  I’m sorry Mama. I wish I could remember him.” Felicia told her.

“You don’t remember him but when we look at you–we know he is still around.  He lives right there.” she said as she pointed to Felicia’s chest.  She then took the child into her arms and softly wept as she held her.  Felicia didn’t really understand death, but she wanted her mother to feel better so she simply hugged her back and sat in her lap quietly as Annie rocked her back and forth.

Later, after the two men left with some paperwork Annie signed, the three sat in the kitchen and ate quietly.

“Felicia,” Ida asked, “How are you feeling? You do understand what happened don’t you?”

“I think so Grandma.  Daddy’s never coming home.  It’s sad, but I don’t remember him, Grandma.” she said.

“It’s alright, Felicia. We know.,” her mother began, “Over the next few days a lot of family members will be here.  Your grandparents from Hawaii will be here too, and they’ll be so glad to see you.  They came last year, remember?”

“Yes Mama. I remember.  They gave me that picture of Daddy and his trinket box.” she said.

“That’s right–the one with your daddy’s baseball card collection is in the attic too.  He loved baseball just like you do.” Annie said.

“And that little necklace you have that he sent you from Iraq is in the trinket box.  You should  wear that to the service, okay?” Ida said.

“I’ll wear it but it won’t break will it?” Felicia asked worried that the chain would break.

“No. I had it fixed a month ago. It will be fine.” Ida said.

End of Part One

Reflections on Today’s World, and Becoming a Grandparent

Well, I just celebrated my 49th birthday on 11/25.  Two of my sons, Kevin and Brian went with me to the club and it was great!  We had a party and such.  Now for the wilder part of the day. I opened a present the my son and his girlfriend gave to me.  I thought it was a gag because it was a pregnancy test!  Kevin said, “Mom…Just read it man!”  I looked at it and it said “positive”.   I looked at him and his girlfriend and they told me that I am going to be a grandmother.

I think it’s not really overwhelming me yet, but it is overwhelming my son, Kevin.  He’s still taking in the “I’m going to be a dad.” bit. I admit this inspires me to work on clearly defining, organizing my goals and moving forward with plans at a better pace than what I have been.

I do know this much, this woman will never be a “rocking chair grannie“. I’m too head strong for that. I know this much, I am the last person a school wants to encounter if I am the alternate person to pick up my grandchild from school, or the one who is on the list to help care for the child and I end up having to deal with some administrator who says that bullying is just something kids have to deal with and they should get used to it.

Schools are not prisons.  To me that is the same thing as when an officer in a prison tells an offender who has been assaulted, “Well, you shouldn’t have come to prison.”  Well excuse me but public schools are the only institutions that are MANDATORY for anyone who has never broken a law–e.g:  OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN,  so that is the LAST comment any teacher or administrator had better make in my presence.

If the system wants to treat these children like little offenders (which is what this amounts to) then they should be held accountable for deliberate indifference when a child gets assaulted and/or killed on school property if it can be shown that there was an ongoing problem and it was NOT addressed effectively.  IF the legal departments are the ones creating the problem by tying the administrators hands and threatening to not represent them if THEY don’t agree with discipline methods–then the district should be able to fire them and hire independent attorneys.

The same holds true if the bullied child commits suicide and the school KNEW there was a problem and failed to act.  If they are held liable for not reporting child abuse/neglect, then they should be held to the same standard when they allow children to be terrorized on their own territory.   They may be part of the government machine–but they should not be above the law by any standard.

See what is happening here? My grandson or granddaughter is not even on the planet yet and I am already concerned for the future of that child. At least I’ll get some days where I can color and teach him/her how to do a dream board.   I know that when I’m around, I’ll shelter that child from as much as I can and so will Kevin and his beautiful girlfriend, Daphne…She is one tough mama and she will not fail to protect her young!

Now I think it is time that she and my son get pics of themselves together with her other 3 kids…For one, they call me grandma anyway and for two, they are part of this family.   THAT’S what they should do–GET FAMILY PICTURES!

I am also starting to do some more soul-searching again…It’s almost like the same thing I did when I was having Eric (my oldest son) who was born on my 20th birthday…I guess this means I need to take a considerably less “charged” tone with my blogs too.  However, it will be very, very difficult when talking about bullying because I am so vehemently passionate about it.

However, pursuing one’s dreams is very important also. I want to impart to this grandchild that only he or she can choose the greatest path for himself/herself in life but it is important to make decisions one can live with and sleep with at night because nobody will walk in those shoes but him or her.

If there is one lesson I have learned in my life, it is that it is one thing to put your dreams on hold–but another to let them die.  Nobody should ever to the latter because that is when that word called “regret” haunts one until the end of their days because they always wonder what might have been.  I really believe now that I can have my dream.  I won’t share what that dream is here, but I know it will one day come true.

I will also be giving that book “The Alchemist” to Daphne’s oldest son, “Jabez” when he gets older.  I think that will open that boy’s eyes to a lot of things.  The Universe has really blessed me, but I’ve got $10 in my pocket that says I am one of the few that has learned to be content with what I now have for the simple fact that I definitely know that a good change is coming.  I can feel it and it will be good for me when it comes.  I also think that this is true for some friends of mine and I am usually not wrong when I feel it this strongly.  2012 is going to be a great year for a few of my friends! I feel it!

Take care and have a great week! This was one Thanksgiving Holiday for which I am expressing a lot more gratitude to the Universe!

Gratitude for All Things Remembered this Thanksgiving…

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Keep on dancing while you're at it!

With this Thanksgiving Holiday rapidly approaching I have had to sit down and reflect on all the things which I have been thankful for.  I go up to my mountain when I can to express this to God (and you can call that force what you like–that is what I know it to be because it’s easier for everyone to comprehend) and take in whatever lessons that entity decides to impart to me at that time.  I have been truly blessed with mild weather this week and will go up  there again in a few hours.

The Universe is so infinite, yet people constantly try to say that one day all of that will end as will all life forms on this planet. I do not believe that for a minute.  I believe life will continue in cycles.  I believe it will be shaken, altered, stirred, beaten down, pressed into a new shape, or simply allowed to continue to slowly evolve into something none of us could have ever imagined in over 500-1000 years time.  Whether we witness it or not is anyone’s guess.

Sometimes during this time of year, I truly miss my father, my Grannie Ainsworth and other relatives who have passed.  I am grateful for them having been in my path because I know that somewhere in the back of my brain lies that wisdom and with that they all imparted to me.  It is this time of year I also remember some things that made me chuckle a time or two as a child.

Today I want to talk about my Grandpa, Elton J. O’Neill.  He passed away in 1987 while I was living in King  City, CA.  I will never forget how mad someone got when they found out that he showed me how to play 5 card stud and I was beating most at it.  I haven’t played in years, so I’ve forgotten much of what he taught me, but this is a man who had an  interesting  history of his own.

At one time he was a caddy for some of the best golfers and ran pool halls and domino halls, which were big business in those days.  He enjoyed playing dominoes and such until he could no longer do so.

There were times during the Great Depression that he and my grandmother (Mary) would pick potatoes (or cotton) and such to get by.  Grandpa told me more than once that he stole chickens to feed the family once in a while and would take a little money to buy vanilla extract.  Why?  IF there wasn’t a still around, that is how many people would get drunk in those days.

I also remember a story my father told me about how when he was 9 years old he got caught smoking in the boys bathroom and got his fanny worn out by the principal.

I have one interesting memory of my own.  Please bear in mind that my Grandpa O’Neill could not see very well.  It was around 1976 or 77 and one day, my father decided to go to Abilene to see if he could find some yard sales to find stuff in.  We all loaded up in Dad‘s new “Minnie Winnie”–which was a small Winnebago and headed out.  To this day, I also remember Uncle Jackie (my dad’s older brother) being there also.  I believe it was either right before or right after Thanksgiving–not sure of the exact date.

We had just passed Cisco, TX and there was a hill up to the right which had a nativity scene on it.  It looked real–especially at a distance and with snow on the ground (as there was on this day).  My grandpa took a look out the window and squinted at it very hard.  Suddenly he said rather loudly, “Look at those hippies up there! Those fools are gonna freeze to death!”  We got a kick out of it.

Then of course I miss my Grannie Ainsworth who sometimes danced a jig and played harmonica.  I remember eating in “shifts” as what I call “the herd” came over! There were often 30+ people over there during the holidays and when we got finished eating at one grandparent’s house, we’d let it settle and then go to the other ones!  I truly miss the porcupine meatballs and the chocolate pies as my sister reminded me of one day. Disclaimer:  For those who never heard of those meatballs, they are made from beef–not porcupine meat!  I got a laugh out of being asked about that once!

I also have fond memories of Young School.  Despite being bullied there are two things that I do not think any former student will disagree with me about and that is the fact that they had the best home-made rolls and fresh vegetables and fruit there was!   And we always bought extra chocolate milk (well most of us did anyway).  I also remember that there were bats, but I loved going into the auditorium.  To this day I remember the swamp coolers, the wood flooring, and the smell of the rolls as they were cooking every morning.

For having all the wonderful people in my life I did have I was truly blessed, and even those who cause adversity in my life blessed me in the end.  Without their existence I would not be who I am or where I am today.  For those in my life now, I am also truly thankful!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with  your families, and may you all have more wonderful experiences to come your way in the years ahead!

Just adding this because it is beautiful...

I Hate Politics…Really…Can You Tell?

There are some things in this world I do not understand.  I am not gay, but I don’t care who marries who and who sleeps with who. It is simply not my business.  Now I know the crowd who attends church every Sunday without fail are going to slam me for saying that, but it is true.  It is NOT my business or anyone else’s–not the church’s, not the government’s, etc…WHY does EVERY bleeding thing have to be legislated in this country according to the whims of those who are only trying to control the rest of the population via their leaders and lobbyists? The problem is that people who go out against gay marriage are NOT minding their own business but trying to force their will on another segment of the population.  There are some in that camp that will argue that it is the “left-wing-commie-loving-“whoevers” (their words–not mine)” that are trying to force their agenda on them.

I say that government–instead of taking sides in the issue should shut them all up and simply pass a federal amendment that will require one state to honor another state’s civil laws about marriage and such and then leave it the hell alone.  That way each state can legalize what they want and other states have to honor it.  Here’s the catch:  The legalization of marijuana will need separate attention. I don’t smoke marijuana…In fact I don’t smoke at all, but I am not offended by what others do…Why?  AGAIN:  IT is THEIR business.

I didn’t go around playing “Tap door, run!” like others did either…However instead of it being labeled the harmless prank as it is, many have decided to label it “criminal mischief“…All of  these laws are designed to meet ONE end, folks…That end is to gain revenue.  The fines collected and such would blow your minds. However, we do have to give to the $400K+ retirement package for the presidents when out of office…Then there are those congressmen/women who exempt themselves from legislation they pass wanting to force a medical care package down the throats of Americans as well as tax the hell out of them further.  First off, Congress should pass NO LAWS that they and their families are NOT subject to.  Their families shouldn’t get a college education on MY DIME when others who clearly deserve it cannot get aid to go themselves.    Most only DREAM of going to college because of state cuts.

THAT is a whole new topic for another post.  Both parties are contributing to the problems–they say government can’t run…Yeah right…Pay me only $150,000 a year with a 1 week vacation per year, good health insurance and a decent 401K, and I’LL RUN FOR PREZ in 2012! Don’t pay for my kids college either!  Don’t pay me the $450K a year when out of office either–($70K would be plenty) and definitely do not build a “library” for me.  I need no monument when people are hungry in this country! I’ll pay into SS (which all federal employees should do–including government members)! First piece of legislation I pass will be to return the Black Hills to the Lakota over a 10 year timetable.  Then I’ll  pass a “Mind Your Own Damned Business” law…That will mean people can marry who they want, and BY GOD, I’ll push to legalize marijuana for private use.  People who abuse law enforcement to harass their neighbors will get stiff fines and so will the exes who stalk their former lovers/exes, etc…There will be jail time for claims proven to be false and deliberately made too…How is that for a start?

Also for “crimes” that are really harmful to NOBODY that juveniles would commit–such as “Tap Door, run!”–NO FINES whatsoever…Make ’em do 40 hours of community service and write a 5000 word essay on why they shouldn’t break curfew  if they disturb someone’s beauty sleep! I’ve seen that penalty work on MANY kids.  I hate politics because it is all about the ALMIGHTY BUCK folks! Pure and simple!

This is a Film You Need to Check Out! I’ll Tell You Why…

I have a lot of respect for the Indie film market because those in it reach out to wide audiences of every race, religion, creed, etc…Often the cast and crew give of their time to help those in need.  This is about one such group who have put their energy into a new film.  Right now they are raising money to get the film marketed, but 10% will go to Schools on Wheels, an organization that is making a difference in the lives of homeless students in Los Angeles.  I had never heard of Schools on Wheels prior to this film, but I am hoping that these pop up all over the place, because they are very much-needed!

Here is a link to School on Wheels here:  http://www.schoolonwheels.org/  and they are worth checking out!

The name of the film is called “Lost in a Crowd”.  Aside from being a pretty darned good movie, they are donating 10% of any money used to promote the film to School on Wheels!  You can check out the trailer and such here:   http://www.indiegogo.com/LIAC    This film  also marks the directorial début of Micah Cohen!  Also here is a partial list of the cast: Timothy Ryan Cole, Luke Albright,  David L. Murphy, Gary Cairns and Marta McGonagle.    I really wish these guys the best as they have put a lot of hard work and dedication into this project!

Have a great week!

Tina

The World of Indie Films…And Why They WORK~!

This is a matter of opinion so I am really not concerned with who agrees with me since I am simply an audience member who is NOT part of the academy that LOVES  independent films.  Indie films do work and are gaining a wider audience. Has anyone ever asked why this is? I have.  The reason they are gaining status and are respected–even if low-budget–is that they are perceived to not be part of the Hollywood produced, high-budget, politically correct celluloid productions that seem to be irritating the hell out of everyone at this point.  They hype around such productions is irritating audiences as well when they get into a theater to see a much-anticipated film only to be highly disappointed.

There is a trend in major Hollywood productions as of late to keep putting out sequels upon sequels (E.G.–Pirates of the Caribbean) and such.  Now there is “Footloose” and “The Thing” which are remakes–and a “Dirty Dancing” remake is in the works from what I hear.  If Hollywood cannot come up with original ideas, they need new blood running the place and that’s all I have to say on that.  While some of these films do well, and are actually good, they only draw into the theaters for short terms due to VOD and rapid DVD releases.  This is not good for the studios or the actors/actresses so I don’t know why the hell they engage in this type of marketing.

They should not make these available for satellite for at least 90 days after release–and no vinyl productions for as long.  This is, to me, a form of “suicide marketing”.  Films can do better at the box office if they simply held off on making them available to the redistribution markets for at least 90 days.  I am not an actor either, but this damned form of marketing has done more damage to the acting profession and the studios than any type of thing I’ve noticed…That is, unless the name “Depp” is attached to it.

In either case, unless it’s a good Indie film, I wait for the bloody dvd.   The only movies I will buy a ticket for are those that are recommended by certain people I keep an eye on.  I saw “The Conspirator” and it is Oscar material.  I saw “The Help”. It is also.  I expect several to come from the latter.  However, when I notice how actors bring a role to life–that is what keeps me buying tickets to see their movies.  I loved “Red” and I loved the 2009 “Star Trek”.  The roles in those were played in a way that were believable enough to enjoy–and there weren’t a lot of eye candy models/actors/actresses  pretending they knew how to act.   I was pretty well burned  out on theaters in the late 70’s because of all the bullshit movies that were coming out–with a FEW exceptions.

IN THE 70’s–the Billy Jack movies got my attention.    The movie had real points to be made.  Now Mark Wahlberg has the rights to the story.  IF he is smart, he will not pull a Johnny Depp and take the lead part himself.  When an actor buys the rights to something so they can star in it and put their own spin on it–a lot of everyday people out here call it “Drew Berrymore Syndrome”.  Buy the rights and you’re the star of it–and it is not always for the best, either.  Believe me if people were more in touch with the audiences and less concerned with the thoughts of the academy, they would knock this crap off too.

If I were Wahlberg, I would take a strong look at Alex O’Loughlin (Hawaii 5-0)…He has just the cool to pull that role off…If you saw the episode at the end where Patti Duke and Peter Fonda co-starred, then you KNOW what I’m talking about. Purists will say, well  he’s an Aussie…Well you know what? WHO gives a rat’s ass where he was born and/or raised?  That guy can act and he can give that part justice!  I don’t see critics in an uproar when Rick Springfield plays and American so what the hell is wrong with this guy playing a man who is part Indian? I have no problem with that and I am part Comanche Indian.

Now if Wahlberg ditches the cheesy music and the football yoga references and such, fine.  The story can still work anyway–but whoever he has to play Billy Jack is going to have to have the same “cool” that Tom Laughlin has and he’s going to have to NOT pick some well-known beautiful older actress to play Jean. No offense but 90% of the eye candy actresses could never bring  justice to her character either.  If I were going to pick anyone for Jean, I’d narrow it down to Jessica Chastain OR Bryce Dallas Howard.

Right now, the only guy I can see playing Billy is O’Loughlin.  AND I would strongly consider a lesser known actor for Bernard too.  Gary Cairns does come to mind here.  The problem is, they need to make Bernard evil as hell and have him be a bit more intelligent–period!  He was portrayed as an aloof dunce in the original and I think the story line would be better served if he were made to look evil or at least FULL of angst.  He also needs to be articulate, intelligent and crazy like a damned fox!

Now for Bernard’s dad, the sheriff and the governor–I’d say just be careful…Pick actors known for playing some pretty mean bastards there…For Bernard’s dad, I’d see about getting Christopher Pennock.  If it were up to me, I’d pick Ben Cross to play the prosecutor or the leader of the military operation–if they put the trial in.  That scene where one of the military men lays down the rifle and joins on the side of the Freedom School spoke volumes to me.  I’d re-write it to where whoever Cross plays if in the military aspect of it, is the first one to lay the rifle down and move toward the students to join them. I have not forgotten Kent State yet, but if they do put this in rather than do a sequel, then this would rock–totally. I am all about the symbolic gesture when it comes to what SHOULD have been.

Part of the appeal for the Billy Jack movies was that there were people who were of Native American descent in the cast as well.  I would strongly urge Wahlberg to reach out to those communities and get Dennis Quaid involved with this somehow.  The man has a vast knowledge about Native American culture and can help steer Wahlberg in the right direction with this.  This movie also pointed out a lot of social injustices that were taking place.  Some of those still are–such as the slaughtering of horses by the government. These social issues that are still ever-present are things that Wahlberg, if he can get Quaid to help, can truly capitalize on by bringing attention to the fact that these issues are not fixed–not by a long shot.

I want to finish here on a lighter note by saying that there is an Independent Film out that is going to make some serious money for Sean Penn.  It is called “This Must Be the Place”.  Check it out here:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440345/   This film has already snagged an award at Cannes, if I’m not mistaken!  This looks like it is one of Penn’s best roles in a while now!

I am telling you these independent film makers and the actors who choose to work for them will be better off in the long run for it!  The creative potential and the freedom within that industry is tremendous in that market!  I don’t even have to be in the field to see that the indie film is only going to grow–much to the dismay of its competition in Hollywood!

Indie films work because many are in touch with their audiences–which is something a lot of the major studios in Hollywood tend to ignore.  The indie market is on the rise.  I can assure you all of that!  I hope you enjoyed my runaway thought train on this as well.  I just feel that as a viewing member of a discriminating audience the loves intelligent story-lines, that I needed to play around with this a bit!