Thursday, March 31, 2011

Look At Me Now

The Hills Are A-Jive

My flogging whip is absolutely warn-out. Could it be that I’m experiencing politico fatigue? The “talking heads” and the politicians themselves are losing their appeal – to me. The word games on both ends are beginning to sound shrill when at least a few once sounded authentically driven by passion.

I’ve heard enough from all sides of the so-called political spectrum on what is wrong with everyone else’s opinion that a strange form of ennui has crept over me. As with too many others in the world, it is easy to become inured of/by/from the political gamesmanship, loose lips, angry voices, whining, accusing, that goes on-and-on-and-on. In other words - would everyone just STFU for a day?

Well, I've been turning the news on TV off - a lot - lately.

Despite very valid, important issues that are on many a nation’s plate of late, disaster/politico/TMI fatigue is inevitable. Why else has a missing cobra become a Twitter celeb? Or the Kar-Cash-Ins become "celebrities." I know I'm not alone in this state of "who cares"?

In the spirit of lightening-up, I’ll wax quasi-literarily on nothing beyond a surface complaint or two; pat my little flogging whip on its triple-lashed end for having done a good job for the past 5 months, and send it to Cool Whip Spa for a few days. After all, Floggy Whip needs to cool off from time-to-time with an anti-bacterial scrub mixed with a leather-handle-mani-pedi-polish.

Spring is here – in the States, at least. Aside from the warm and sunny Jasmine-in-the-air fragrance, I’d know it from the sound of someone hammering or buzz-sawing on something somewhere nearby. And so it begins in the hills of Hollywood where lilacs bloom, little birdies sing, and squirrels bop and climb around in the trees.

One can visualize an early Disney animation with butterflies fluttering beautifully as a faerie twinkles and swirls around it dropping copious amounts of their special dust into an almost hallucinogenic spectrum of rich colours. 

In your dreams if you live in my neighborhood nestled into a canyon with most of the houses within mere yards of each other as if the surroundings were of a city street with lots of trees and curvy roads than a hillside retreat! Man, it’s been noisy around here for quite some time. It was quieter in the area where I once spent six months in Manhattan on the West Side at 88th & Riverside Drive than it has been here – for me and a few neighbours.

Imagine that! Manhattan – in my brief experience as a resident – was quieter than LA! The loudest noise I ever heard in the neighborhood was the occasional car alarm. And a week prior to my departure, the sound of crashing glass tinkling down into an alley below the 6th floor abode in which I resided where, unbeknownst to me at that very moment, a woman was flinging herself out of her 7th floor apartment window. True. It didn’t end well. I was a tad rattled. (OMG! OMG! There's a BODY down there! )

But here in the “glamorous” Hollywood Hills, home construction, renovation, fire hazard brush and tree clearing, odd power outages, DWP-required upgrades and a continually barking very disturbed dog with partially absent owners oblivious to a corner of their neighborhood rising up against their arrogant behaviour until public court and private legal action had to be taken, it has been more city than country. 

Yes, it’s peaceful in these here hills…at 3:00 A.M. Unless, that is, Chris Brown is your neighbour:

(Not one of mine, thank God!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Snakes On the Brain

Holy snakes! Yes, I’m writing about the only truly funny thing going on in the news this week – the missing-from-the-Bronx-Zoo Egyptian Cobra presumably roaming New York with a Twitter following of over 150,000. One news anchor mentioned that even she doesn’t have that many Tweetie followers. Hearing that admission made me feel so much better about my two followers, but then, I’ve barely tweeted more than a glib “Check this out” a few times, so……

It’s refreshing when everyone gets together to pass the time pretending to be a highly poisonous snake in the big city, especially when there are already snakes slithering through the streets in human form just waiting to rise up in a creepy hissing puff of venom. Joking about it is the best way to deal with snake anxiety, don’t you think? I’m serious about the funny part. Really.

Chances are that the sneaky little snake is coiled-up somewhere warm on the zoo’s premises. Cobra “experts” have been interviewed to assure the public that the snake is not likely to attack anyone unless it’s “scared” or “frightened” – or hungry. That information is so reassuring. I’m sure a snake on the slither wouldn’t be one bit freaked-out if a hapless wanderer accidentally stepped near its latest hiding place….

So, New Yorker’s, never fear…you are the ones who can scare the heck out of the snake if you don’t make any fast moves. Right. As if I’d be perfectly calm and clear-headed with a puffed-up cobra staring me in the face  – eye to eye. Yeah, I would just stay still and not exude enormous amounts of “fear energy” because someone told me the snake has poor eyesight/low vision and only strikes if the blur in front of it moves. That too is terribly reassuring. How does one just walk away from something that attacks movement?

But, as the “experts” say, there is no cause for panic. Simply don your snake charmer self with nerves of steel if you live in the city and walk a lot. But then, who says there can’t be “Snakes On a Train”? Those NY subways platforms and train interiors can be semi-dark and warm. Just ask all of the other snakes who have lurked within the dank environments over the years – particularly those who snuck out of the cracks and into the street named “Wall.”

For details:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twist and Shout

Twist and Pout Redux

Well, wouldn’t you know it? Large amounts of radiation have been found in the soil surrounding Japan’s never-ending nuclear reactor meltdown at Fukushima Dai-Ichi. Wow! What did the "experts" expect? And this is news? Next thing they will be telling the world is that radiation levels floating into the American Southwest are "harmless." Oh, right…"they” have already said so.

Does this mean no one needs to worry about toxic fumes from cars, trucks, trains and planes, coal, and power plants? Should America just hold its collective nose and dump the EPA as several well-placed GOPers have suggested? If it’s okay to breathe radiation in small doses every day, then hey, let’s get back to the way it was without environmental protection and choke our way into oblivion. Might as well as the saber rattling continues in the U.S. to turn back time and dump unions, legal abortions, government-run heath care (i.e.; Medicare), and anything else that provides freedom of speech (unions), freedom of decision (women’s rights), freedom to be reimbursed for contributions to one’s retirement (Social Security), etc.

I know. This story is getting old. The problem is that it’s only just begun. We have an election coming up with a group of bitter losers from the last presidential election who can’t stand the fact that not only did a Democrat win, but a man of colour who is a Democrat with a father from Kenya and a mother who hailed from Kansas where, when no one was looking, Barack Obama magically appeared from out of a tornado without a U.S. birth certificate to wave in everyone’s face when he would one day become President of the United States after living in Oz and catching a ride in that big house with Dorothy and Toto on their return.

Let me be perfectly clear (heh heh) – I’m not writing that all Tea Party/GOPer’s are racist. I’m writing that some are – and some are not. But, if those who say it isn’t race that has brought about the twist and shout of “The Birther’s” constant pout, then why has this issue continued to be a focal point of the opposition party’s talking points? I can only surmise that it is a clever below-the-radar way in which to constantly remind those of confused or skeptical mind that it’s not a true “White House” any more.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Reading the news headlines this morning made me laugh rather than weep for a change.

It’s a rich read if you don’t follow the details....

Journalist Stuffed In A Closet By Joe Biden’s Staff Gets An Apology

Female Protesters Forced to Take 'Virginity Test' In Egypt 

Charlie Sheen Calls Denise Richards A ‘Vile Dog Thief’  

Christina Aguilera & Boyfriend Make Out In Backseat Of Car 

Man In Prison for Taking a Liar Loan 

Box Office: 'Sucker Punch' no match for 'Wimpy Kid'  

Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's Sweetheart Deal  

Barry Bonds' ex-mistress testifies he threatened to cut her head off  

Italy Erupts In Outrage Over ‘Jersey Shore'
Mel Gibson Goes Clubbing

The last headline conjures a vision of Gibson in a loin cloth holding a splinter-filled club to beat the crap out of anyone within a few yards of the caveman, doesn’t it? Crazed eyes, Braveheart matted hair and happy-coloured war paint. I don’t care that Jodie Foster will “always love” him. I don’t, and that’s all that matters in my vast world of vapid opinions.

If you’re up for it, choose your fav headline and post the first thought that pops into your head. Or send an email to the non-linked email address at the top of the page. The winner gets to grin all day long.

And yes, locating those headlines was how I spent my morning. Ouch!

Headlines Courtesy of: The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Celebuzz, TMZ

Sunday, March 27, 2011



This morning I decided to watch Fox News’ Sunday program in full because, you know, CNN and NBC and other networks are focusing way too much on Libya and Syria, and I needed more than strong tea to begin my day.

I’d rather hear slams against “Obamacare” and more innuendoes regarding Barack Obama’s birth certificate because, you know, those discussions are far more important than world peace/stability or finding ways to create those ever-illusive jobs than anything else to fix a struggling economy. I find the time spent listening to complainers who do nothing else than bash the current administration a refreshing waste of my wakeup routine.

I have a question that has been asked very seldom. Is Chris Wallace really the son of Mike Wallace? Honest. What happened to Chris? Could his defection into faux news be the initial cause of Mike Wallace’s public admission of depression?

In other news, I was MIA yesterday with nary a stop-by to post a music video. Other than an issue with one of my eyes, I was remiss in checking in. This is a daily blog, after all, with no pinch-hitter to fill in when I’m otherwise occupied. I had to call in sick to myself to have a day off. Following that stressful experience, I was too busy bumping into walls and blurring my vision with steroid eye drops to think clearly.

The culprit of the malaise must have been my attempt to read the New York Times obit on Elizabeth Taylor. Reading such tiny print must have triggered a chronic, complicated eye condition. It’s been ages since I have read an actual newspaper. A tactile experience indeed. Memories of days past when print ink made one’s hands a tad dirty and print-shop aromatic felt like I was touching a relic from another time.

The obit was extraordinary, by the way. Let’s hope it will be a while before the NYT’s has to print another gigantic tribute to a legend from any milieu that tempts my old-time feelings to read anything that isn’t on a screen of one sort or another.

What has become of many of us who once chose real books, paper-based news, non-digital photos over computer downloads/kindles, etc.? Not only has age changed former habits, but the trend toward battery/electronic-based reading of everything from fiction to editorial opinion is both easy and poignant.

With the exception of Manhattan, does anyone cozy-up on Sunday mornings with their local newspapers while having coffee and a bagel or Danish anymore? It requires having the time and patience to cull through pages upon pages of information and advertisements while folding and unfolding pertinent sections of interest. How exhausting!

It’s simpler to click through websites with one flash of a finger, isn’t it? For one who chose to only write her journals and letters with high-end ink cartridge calligraphy pens, the shift to keyboards/pads has been too smooth. What happened to the person who related to feather pens, parchment, wax-enclosed and crested correspondence?

I don’t send real cards for holidays and birthday greetings anymore, either. I send eCards. At one time choosing the most unique hand-made card to send to a special friend or relative was one of my signature communication styles. Now, the inside of a card shop is as foreign to me as wearing a veil over my face in public.

Hey! That’s a great idea for those who aren’t ageing gracefully and have not yet sold their face to fillers and surgery. If only the women of the West would get on board with Middle East tradition! Or, if only women of a certain age anywhere could allow their newly discovered post-menopause facial hair to grow out into the mustaches and beards men use to cover their sagging jowls and wrinkled upper lips! Take that, plastic surgery!

Mother Nature again shows her testy side as humans age by removing half of the hair on men’s heads and putting it in their ears and noses, and on the chins and upper lips of women. Yuck, I tell ya’. Yuck!

Now, where was this post going? Odd transition - from Fox News to the hair on one’s chinny-chin-chin. In retrospect, the connection might not be that far off. One day one of their hosts might huff and puff too much and blow the whole network down.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sorry-Sorry Blight

Twas a week of quiet drama throughout most of the world, other than the rumbling gunfire in Libya, now Syria, Thailand’s Myanmar-based 7.4 earthquake, increasing radiation leaks from from Japan’s Fukushima #3 reactor, Charlie Sheen’s man-kiss on Jimmy Kimmel, the breathtaking news that Lindsay Lohan plans to remove “Lohan” from her name to join the ranks of the infamous “one-name” wonders such as Cher, Madonna…and, of course, the ultimate Drama Queen reaction to Elizabeth Taylor’s death by Zsa Zsa Gabor who had to be rushed to the hospital due to high blood pressure upon hearing the news of Miss Taylor’s demise because Miss Gabor fears she will be next to meet the Grim Reaper – without her jewels, no doubt.

I must say that Zsa Zsa’s freak-out has some merit if one believes the common myth that celebrity deaths come in 3’s – which is what sent the ailing example of Hollywood indulgence into a tizzy. Well then, if Zsa Zsa could not upstage Taylor in life, she still couldn’t do it in the wake of her death, either. No one really noticed as she was in and out of the ER within hours.

Oh, and then there was Chris Brown’s flip-out in his dressing room at ABC’s Good Morning America following too many ”Why did you beat-up Rihanna” questions from his interviewer. Gosh! I wish I could throw a chair through a window like he did and not end up in jail and strut shirtless out on the street from the scene of my anger mismanagement to show the world how much I’ve been pumping-up my tat’s.

Well, no tat’s on me - and women aren’t allowed to prance around shirtless unless paid to do so in steamy little clubs and hotel rooms. Chris must have done something right because ABC reportedly would love to welcome him back to the show whenever he’d like to toss another blunt object against a glass window.

It was also a week of the usual apologies by anyone in the public "eye" who tweeted or bleated obnoxious comments. The apology syndrome is becoming so commonplace I doubt that anyone actually pays attention at this point.

The words, “I’m sorry” have less and less meaning when almost anyone can say, write, or do crappy things because that’s how they really feel as long as they explain their shame of having caused someone a bit of pain. Between politicians and celebrities, there are are a lot of people who have trouble with communication. "I misspoke,” sayeth one. “I flubbed my words,” said another. “I didn’t mean it that way.” “My words were taken out of context but I apologize for….”

Can I do that next time I feel like being a true arse? Can I tweet a lot of heinous remarks about a person I don’t like if I promise to be humble and sad the next day about my inability to control my rage or foolishness? I can tell you, aside from ranting, there are times I’d love to ram a chair or baseball bat against a glass window – but then, no doubt someone would call the police and before I knew it a gruff hand would be pushing my head down while shoving me into the backseat of a police car.

Do you think I could get out of the mess if I simply said, “Oh, I’m so sorry I called you a pig.” Naw, I wouldn’t, cuz I don’t have my own TV show as does a certain piglet who apparently is smug over his recent weight loss and felt the need to tweet a nasty remark about Kirstie Alley because she’s not anorexic and can actually dance.

Oh well. All is not lost. Nice people and events do happen. Next month the world will toss aside all the fighting and smiting when Prince William and Kate Middleton place rings on each other’s golden fingers. Best of all, there will be a Kate Middleton doll on the market just in time for the Pauper’s Ball.

And don’t you dare bring Ken to the party. Barbie would be very upset and then we’ll have six more years of another love triangle to buzz about now that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston’s tabloid saga is growing thinner than the hair on a certain someone’s wig-covered greasy balding head.

I'm Sorry

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Shilling Fields

Republicans are running around chasing their tails in an attempt to locate a potential presidential candidate who could ensure an Obama one-term presidency. Quaint, isn’t it? The choices are underwhelming as well as laughable. This time around Donald Trump would like everyone to believe he’s for real. Now he’s a “Birther” rather than a “jerker.”

Can you imagine Mr. Trump ruining, er, running the US of A? That thing he calls his hair would curl into an unrecognizable swirl the moment he would open the classified/private Intel all presidents receive when they begin their work  in the Oval Office.

Naw, don’t think he’s up for the job despite how much he has in common with wealthy dictators across the globe. Too many fights would occur during cabinet meetings and echoes of “You’re fired” would be a weekly refrain. Stay in the Bored, uh, Board Room, Mr. Trump. That’s where you belong. Besides, I hear the East Wing of the White House isn’t as plush as what you’re used to inhabiting. Too much history for one with decorating tastes of the nouveau riche.

Then there is the ever-sane in her own mind Michele Bachmann who announced today that she will make the decision to run for office (or not) by June. I won’t hold my breath on this one. She is way too Right of the Right to be taken seriously. So, how about good ole Newt Gingrich who holds family values close to his overly puffed-up chest. I just love how he has always danced around dumping divorce papers on his cancer-stricken then-wife as she sat in a hospital bed. His excuse? In his own words he claims he made mistakes because he is “too patriotic.”

Well then, if massive insensitivity is a form of patriotism no wonder Congress has become a seething snake pit over the last two years – more than usual.

There’s Mitt Romney. Nice looking. Articulate. Problem there is his own wise decision while Governor of Massachusetts to provide a functioning public health care system that was an example for what President Obama has signed into law, albeit with varying elements. Romney can back away from the similarities all he wants, but that is a sticking point in his potential candidacy. Try to get out of that one, sir.

Then there’s Sarah Palin. Hahahahahah! According to the “polls” she’s barely blipping on anyone’s radar these days. Just stay in Alaska, sweetie, and count your gold and silver.

There are others in the mix, but from how it looks to the general voting public in this early prediction cycle, the characters involved to date do not impress or exude more than the ability to raise money rather than raise the limping spirits of a GOP in disarray.

Hmmm. For this “Progressive” all of the above is a very promising sign that 2012 may bring a second term for our current president who is doing more behind-the-scenes to stabilize an increasingly unstable national and international pile of cow dung than his detractors will admit. After all, Newt yelled about why the U.S. hadn’t intervened in Libya’s war on their citizens, and then, true to the GOP’s MO with anything Obama does, immediately reversed his complaints when the U.S. finally intervened.

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a true adult as my president, not a sand-box bully or a reactive head case such as Bachmann, dealing with more issues of importance than at any other time in modern history.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sandpiper

(Kleenex Alert)

Wasn’t She Iconic?

When a legend passes, the masses pause to either silently send a prayer or absorb the reality that everyone has their expiration date. Such a comment may sound cold or callous. Not so in this case. Just the daunting truth. With Elizabeth Taylor, one has to admit that she was indeed a cat with nine lives – and then some. This cat knew how to handle that hot tin roof.

Rather than feel sad for the death of Dame Elizabeth this morning, I want to celebrate her full, rich, troubled, exciting, lusty life. What a movie star she was! What a saucy lady-broad! She could keep up at the bar stool with the likes of Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole. She could accept and love many of Hollywood’s closeted hunks when others turned away, hoping that Rock would end up with a real Doris Day.

She was The Real Thing of Hollywood legend: The diamonds, marriages, scandals, yachts, addiction, rehab, gowns – the classic image of tabloid and silver screen glamour. AND she could ACT! AND she was the first public figure to take action on AIDS activism. Bravo! Such a wakeup call to the public changed not only the perception of AIDS, but also influenced political decisions. Ronald Reagan’s attitude toward HIV was greatly affected by her unrelenting focus on educating him, as well as his wife Nancy, on the disease, which, in turn, caused Mrs. Reagan to influence her physician brother in Miss Taylor’s crusade against mass ignorance. A second Bravo!

Beyond news reports, I’ve always heard that she was a wonderful mother. How many times has anyone seen pictures of her 4 children over the years? That’s right. You have to think about it and realize that it has been years and years. She deftly shielded her children from PR exposure, unlike the child parades of her peers “in the day” and what is now in place with several high profile families whose only purpose with their children, it seems, is the latest photo-op for one publication or another’s cover.

In fact, so rare were pictures of her children that the only time I was ever in the same room with one, I had a sincere “Be still my heart” moment. I didn’t know who the gorgeous human specimen with the eyes of Elizabeth Taylor and long black hair was when he opened the door of a room I was in and walked toward me with a piercing stare.

Holy sheet – who is this guy? After a moment, the visual comparison and a whisper in my ear from a friend put it together. Ohhhhh. It’s Michael Wilding, Jr. No wonder…those eyes…that black, black hair! He had certainly been keeping a low profile, although I can’t imagine anyone passing him on the street without least with how he looked at that time.

I have no idea what he looks like now – it was over twenty years ago – and he was married. Sigh. But my point is that with one or two photo exceptions, exploitation on both sides – from Miss Taylor or her children – didn’t exist.

So, now it’s time to bid farewell to one of the last of the golden stars of an era long gone. Raise a glass, a flask, a diamond, a caring eye – whatever suits your fancy – and toast Our Lady of The Hey-Days!

May your star continue to shine bright in the center of the starry-starry heavenly klieg-lights.

R.I.P. - dear Elizabeth.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Idle Nonsense

With an overload of disaster-war-based news flooding my brain, it might be a perfect time for a vacation from it all and go off to an exotic land for sun and fun. Or go on a cruise. Um, mebe not a cruise. People become ill and the trip is ruined. Nix that. How about a pristine white beach where one stretches out under a beaming sun? That would be Hawaii. Nope. Not gonna go there for now.

How about an island in the Caribbean? Nope. Too many hurricanes and drunk tourists sipping on cocktail blends that cause nausea the second I see those little umbrellas bobbing over the glass…not to ignore the gaudy shirts and sandaled feet that a pedicurist wouldn’t treat.

Okay. How about Florida? Nah. Way too much humidity going on down there for me. I’d have to shower 5 times a day and change clothes too many times. And most of my once-loved beaches have receded into a mere sand box. Key West might be nice, but there’s only one route in and out if you’re driving and not flying or sailing….kinda makes me feel a bit claustrophobic.

What about Brazil? Too loud and festive for a calm vacation. Mexico? Me no likey drug cartels and the tap water. You still need to shower in that stuff and I’d forget to close my mouth while singing, so…that’s out.

There are other options, of course. For an adventure, rather than lovely beaches, there’s always New Zealand and Australia. Oooops. I think they’re still digging out from under their recent floods and earthquakes. I don’t know for certain, as their plight has fallen off the news grid in light of the “new” news, but I don’t like to spend much time in planes, and those 12+ hour flights fill me with dread.

Oh, I know! Italy would be nice, right? A little jaunt into Tuscany would be lovely. Thus far I haven’t found anything to deter me from that destination, but give me time and I’ll surely find an excuse not to go there right now.

France? Not a bad idea...but I like Monaco better. Monte Carlo-based fun requires one to have a gigantic yacht to retreat to after a day of gross indulgence. I don’t have a yacht, nor do my friends. Poor me. Paris, then? Harumph. Shopping in Paris is more like trudging through Rodeo Drive on a very busy day. I can do that within 15 minutes of my home, so why go for that reason? Another option bites the dust.

Okay. I’ll just stay home for my vacation. The way the weather is playing out around the world, I can experience floods, a few rumbling quakes, power outages, not-very-heavily-radiated food and falling trees with a dash of abject paranoia in the comfort of my own little world. Not only that, but my local food/grocery delivery outlet works just as well as room service in a fine hotel any day.

And the driver’s tip is totally reasonable….

Monday, March 21, 2011


Holy Smoke!

Now what? Smoke from Japan’s  #3 reactor at Fukushima has sent workers running anywhere but there. Again I’ll write, “It if ain’t one problem it’s another.” I know, everyone’s been shaking their heads at this latest nudge into non-sports-related reality.

It isn’t a surprise to learn that the food supply in Japan has traces of radiation. What is a bit harrowing is what has been said about radiation: "Please do not overreact, and act calmly," Chief Cabinet spokesman Yukio Edano said in the government's most recent announcement to ease public concerns. "Even if you eat contaminated vegetables several times, it will not harm your health at all."

Okay. I have an idea. The Devil Who Would Love To Wear Prada, Ann Coulter, was quoted last week by saying, in essence, that a little bit of radiation is good for us. Well then, Miss Colder than Greenland, be my guest as the first American to have a radioactive dinner when the next fast boat from Japan reaches U.S. shores. In fact, why not offer yourself as a radiation tester? Then we will be able to see you coming through your constant mental darkness covered in a radiated glow. Not that we need a heads-up because you make sure everyone knows the Gloater is on another PR binge.

Enough of that snake rattle.

So…. The U.S. and several allies are on a “Humanitarian Mission” in Libya? Hmmm. I’m feeling a sense of déjà vu on this one, are you? What exactly is the purpose of bombing Libya’s military machinery beyond saving the lives of innocent Libyan citizens?  What does everyone expect Gaddafi to do? Run and hide like Saddam Hussein following the devastation to Iraq’s infrastructure as well as their military forces? “We” (supposedly) aren’t attempting to aid a regime change? Does anyone believe Gaddafi is going to sit back and ask for forgiveness?

Sure he will. Just like Chuck Lorre of CBS’s Two and a Half Men is going to ever speak to Charlie Sheen again -- and vice versa – now that Les Moonves of CBS has decided that bringing the Wicked Warlock of what appears to be the now-defunct “Sober Valley Lodge” back to the show is the wisest move to make following Charlie’s latest break? Can you believe that? It’s true – according to RadarOnline.

Please! Even my mother who once loved Charlie and his show no longer wants to look at that gaunt and bug-eyed face ever again. There certainly is no biz like ho-biz, which is precisely what CBS/WB is beginning to look like with this pathetic idea. Sure, a few major Ka-Chings would pay the bills with high ratings on what would be a heavily hyped “Charlie returns” episode….beyond that? I think Charlie should stick with making Warlock/Winning/Duh T-shirts and get his arse over to Haiti where his madness may provide comic relief in the streets of grief.

Better still, send Charlie to Libya where he and Gaddafi can team-up for a really cool webby-stream of rolling eyes, rambling speech and all boundary breaches. It will be a smashing success titled Two Men Of a Kind Who Have Lost Their Minds. Charlie will continue to smoke on camera, and Gaddafi will finally reveal WTF he’s been doing in Libya for the past 40 years.

In the Dark

The Dark Side of Lights-Out

The last line of yesterday’s post was slightly prophetic as within an hour of writing “while it lasts”, the heavens opened wide in my area of the state; winds blew trees at half-mast, and the power went out in my neighborhood with a silent “see ya’ later.”

I’ve been through numerous power outages, torrential rain storms, a few earthquakes. My MO is normally calm and clear-headed in emergencies. In fact, sensing that something was “in the air” beyond the weather forecaster’s heralding of a weekend storm, I checked the household and car-based emergency kits as I do once a year to replenish dead batteries, upgrade other items as needed….

While doing so, a few gaps in preparedness were noticed, but as they were minor (I thought), the missing items were written on a list for future purchase. Overall I felt reasonably prepared for almost anything other than the end of the world. 

Hah! The Organized Organizer had a rude awakening when the house went dark this time. The new flashlight was not where it was supposed to be. The other flashlights in the house needed new batteries. The battery-powered table lamp’s bulb wasn’t working. Half of the supposedly new and still wrapped in plastic D and C batteries were low on juice. A once very well-stocked shelf of candles was almost empty. Lots of votive candles and holders, but not the paraffin candles that one needs for lengthy periods of power outage.

The emergency kits have candles, of course, but not large enough to light more than a tiny space for perhaps a day at the most. And all the kits have flashlights. It was what was in the house and not functioning that brought the grimace of surprise.

And, most of all for someone like me who loathes being out of touch with the news, every radio station I thought could be depended on for local news were broadcasting sports events. That realization was the zinger. If there are sports events going on when trees fall on power lines; when hillsides are burying homes, then good luck getting information unless you have other communication devices.

Cell phones/Androids/Blackberry’s, et al, are helpful if they are completely charged. Satellite TV isn’t helpful when the wind knocks your dish off the roof. I don’t have a power generator at the moment – that was one of the “missing” items I wrote on the “To Do” list.

Lesson learned? Double check those batteries; don’t assume all of your equipment is functioning when it has been a few years since you last turned on the portable lamp (or something similar). Ropes, hammers, first aid kits are important items for your home and kits….but so is light and information.

All is well today despite more rain, less wind. My high-powered flashlight is back where it was “supposed” to be, and despite a plethora of AA and AAA batteries and votive candles, a trek to the store to fill those gaps is best done sooner than later.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Sundries

Have you watched any of the Sunday news programs today?

B-O-R-I-N-G. Talk-talk-talk. Justify, justify, justify. Blame, blame, blame. Shame, shame, shame on all of them for being so very predictable, lightweight, basically not terribly informative. Granted, what can most of the pundits and guests say about Libya without appearing to be in agreement with Gaddafi’s military tactics against “his” people?

What more can be said regarding nuclear reactors other than any country using them is endangering their populace and/or behaving with responsibility by conducting routine checks on their safety, willingly shutting down reactors that aren’t reacting very efficiently. Or that Fukushima Dai-Ichi will be shuttered when it has ceased to burp its last radioactive gasp? Wow. Such a decision must have been painful.

Not that I expected brilliant commentary on either subjects. In fact, I didn’t expect anything and that is precisely what I received as a viewer = nothing.

Why watch those programs, then? Well, I do try to be aware of the news and views of those in authority (or the last-minute replacements when a touted guest suddenly cancels). If you watched any of the programs and learned something new, then good for you. Otherwise, many of you may have avoided the morning sleeping pills and chose, instead, to watch guys in funny-looking outfits skate around ice-covered rinks with their little sticks digging ditches into the ice via their dangerously sharp skating spikes.

Or, it’s all about basketball for others. Now that’s a sport to which I can relate. Bounce the ball, toss it to a team member, dodge and duck and toss it up into the air in hopes it will land inside the knitted layer of the hoop in a gratifying whoosh. Instant gratification! My kind of game. I’m an American, after all, and getting a result within minutes is what we’re all about these days, isn’t it?

Heaven forbid any of us have to wait for more than a few minutes in a line anywhere for any reason without pouting. The “End of Days” won’t be fun over here, I tell ya’. Modern America isn’t used to standing in lines for bread – only for heavily hyped blockbuster films and concerts. In truth, I’m one of the worst offenders and have always been so. But then, I don’t like to stand still for very long because I become very cranky. Just ask my mother about my temper tantrum's when we would go shopping for clothes when I was young.

Standing at a clothing rack for longer than a minute would make me very tired and irritable and she would have to take me to a lovely lunch in the store’s linen-covered tabled tea rooms to shut me up. Perhaps all I wanted was the food rather than the blazer…..

But I digress – again. And will continue to do so.

It’s raining in California today. Heavy at times. Unusual for the season. The forecast is that the damp weather will carry on for a while. And it’s all my fault if you ask my cat. That’s correct. I am the responsible party for what happens outside on the balcony.

My little friend looks out the glass door where strange beads of water land in grand splatters across her playground and turns to me with a very irked expression in her yellow eyes, then bellows at me in a whine that is accusing.

If she could talk, she’d be saying “Why are you doing this to me? Don’t you know I need my morning stroll? Cut it out – NOW!”

I shrug and respond, “Yes, sweetie. It’s raining and I have nothing to do with it.”

“Oh yes you do” her next yowl implies. Then she rolls over and looks up at me with pleading eyes. “Then pet me and I’ll be quiet,” she “tells” me. And I do. And she is quiet. For a moment.

The next request from my feline friend is to turn up the heat so that she may roll over on the floor heating vent and block all heat from reaching me on the other side of the room.

And so it goes.

At least we have heat, a home, and no aircraft firing missiles into our neighborhood. Or a shattered city in ruins with radiation infesting the food supply.

We are blessed – for now – and will enjoy our Sunday while it lasts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Oh Land

Following this tune is an array of new artists/music 
(via a playlist compiled by YouTube)


In the Clear?

Well, now that the nuclear meltdown in Japan is supposedly in the "stabilizing" phase, let's turn our collective attention to bombing Libya.

Actually, I'd rather not.

Let's have another music play day - focusing on different genre's.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Air That I Breathe

Deflection Detection

As the morning sun shines through the trees and my tea steeps into something dark and wonderful to then be stepped-on by raw sugar and cream, the news of the day is oddly different than the week’s moment-by-moment coverage of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in Japan. Suddenly, Muammmar Gaddafi has risen from the sidelines. Oh, riiiight. That uprising is still alive, although Gaddafi has decided to call off the random slaughter of Libya’s citizens under UN pressure. Interesting.
Waiting patiently for further details on the little tidbit that the nuclear plant’s radiation leakage “is getting worse and is up to a dangerous Level 5” -- a mere 2 levels away from Chernobyl’s top-of-the-leak-sweeps of 7 -- I remain on the news channel. Okaayyyy. Tell me more.
Nope. Donald Trump’s supposed run for the presidency is trumping the conversation. “Is he really the best the GOP can do for 2012?” baffled pundits ask with nary a hint of sarcasm.
Channel change. I tune in just as a reporter says ”….this devastating situation in Japan.” I hang in, hoping for a few more facts. Wrong. Next is a story on Saudi Arabia: “King Abdullah announced today that he would provide billions of dollars in handouts for his people and would boost his security apparatus in a renewed effort to shield his country from the unrest that has rocked the Arab world.”
Wow! Smart King, eh? Bribes can work when you’re talking billions. I think I live in the wrong country. Per Reuters, “Amongst a wave of new spending, the decrees outlined a boost in welfare benefits, bonuses for public sector workers, including the army, and a massive drive to build new housing.”  Hmmmm. Sounds a bit Socialist to me. You know, paying public workers higher wages and assisting the poor.
Pre-commercial tease: “Coming up, radiation levels expected to reach the Pacific Northwest and sections of California may be higher than first reported.” Now we’re on to the news I want to know.
Quick channel change to another news outlet during the other channel’s commercial break. What? Charlie Sheen is in New York! Soooooo? The Warlock hasn’t dropped from view. Er, yes he has, I think to myself as I once again change the channel back to where the latest radiation news was teased.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

California Girls

Beach Boys, Jack Benny, Bob Hope

Out On a Limb-Bah-Hum-Bug

Concerning “toxic waste” - have you seen this atrocity?

It IS an “atrocity.” Other than my belief in Freedom of Speech, it’s becoming more than offensive that this waste of sperm is one of the most successful ($$$$) radio talk show hosts in the United States. If he doesn’t shut up soon, the “United States” may become further dis-United – IF one is to believe that the sentiments expressed in Mr. Greed-Egregious’ daily incendiary remarks are honestly the feelings of a majority, rather than a jaded, cynical minority.

This is “entertainment” radio? The Clown does his racist, base-ist-parlays into a microphone and there is an audience laughing along with him? Sick. It’s just sick. Laughing via satire with political and celebrity targets is not on the same level as making fun of people with illnesses -Michael J. Fox - or any survivors and/or refugees of natural and man-made disasters. Period.

All right. I’ve given this Mean-Machine enough of my time. I hope those from elsewhere grasp that many decent, thoughtful, conscious, people do NOT agree with such disgraceful rhetoric…which, in my vernacular, is akin to “heretic.”

On to other uplifting subjects.

I guess it’s time to reevaluate and stock my earthquake kits. “They” say that the U.S. West Coast will be hit with a quake this month. It’s not enough to consider a radiation migration, is it? In truth, a few of the main earthquake fault lines in California rank as low as 47th on the scale of catastrophic damage to one and all. The fault lines in the east and Midwest will cause more damage based on non-earthquake-ready buildings and populace.

Now, whose fault is that?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Ironic, isn’t it, that the one U.S. network news reporter in Japan I mentioned in yesterday’s post as the most sanguine of them all, is the one who actually had a valid reason to be afraid?

Mr. Holt is radioactive!

I knew there was something sizzling around that man! He’s “hot” in more ways than one. Perhaps the glow he exuded the other evening during his report was, in truth, the crackling of uranium and friends emanating from his body. Or at least from his shoes, bouncing up to his face, highlighting that nifty scarf.

Shall we flog nuclear energy and the future of disintegrating, older plants worldwide that leak radiation EVERY DAY under “normal” circumstances? Sure. Why not? The endangered Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant is 40 years old. Kinda like an old car that requires constant maintenance, is potentially unreliable in an emergency - prone to untimely breakdowns when hit with bad weather.

Here is my opinion on nuclear power anywhere: Stop it! Find another way. Get real.

Anything so toxic as nuclear power isn’t worth a possible massive contamination of any country. Build them anywhere - on a fault, away from a fault or towns and heavily populated cities - and it remains an unsafe source of energy. No place to dump the waste. Yadadada. Bad idea. Boo. Hiss.

If we’re going to continue to pollute the world, then let’s revisit the past for hints to the future: Native American Indian smoke signals were effective. The worst thing that could happen if their fires went awry was – a fire.

That’s all she wrote – today.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Where oh where did my sense of humour go? I’ve been checking under the bed, in closets, as well as in the refrigerator next to the organic vegetables (too serious) - to no avail. My humour is playing perverse games with me. One minute I feel a quiet chortle slipping out from under the cloak of my furrowed brow, but the sound of laughter fades as it makes an attempt to break through the face mask I’m wearing to stave off the first whiff of radiation we have been told will soon hit the shores on the West Coast of America.

I’m prepared for the onslaught, I tell ya’. A mask may not be necessary in my case. I’m so full of radiation from the hundreds of x-rays my body has been through in my life that the glow once thought to be the inner goodness of my being is simply my personal radiation fallout.

Let’s take a look at those who are in closer range than the West Coast is to the nuclear reactor explosions in Japan. What can be said/written other than caring, empathetic words to all in that lovely country who are affected by the disasters of late? Nothing funny about what they are going through, is there? Nor is there anything to flog beyond the obvious: nuclear power plants.

Where the focus of a bit of wry black humour can be found in the midst of sorrow and deep concern is on the expressions of several reporters on the ground trying to look professional when you know that of all of the disaster's they have covered, they would rather be anywhere else but there - in the vicinity of testy nuclear reactors. Probably another reason why Anderson Cooper decided to evacuate the disaster site on Monday.

Poor Anderson. Wherever he goes to cover the news these days still comes across as if he’s being assaulted by Kathy Griffin on another Times Square New Year’s Eve romp. What is his choice? Watching Kathy toss his $$$$$$ glasses to the crowd and trying to remove his clothes; being whacked upside his silver fox head in Egypt, or now, in Japan, where he might feel vulnerable without Hazmat gear. Manhattan with Kathy may win out. Then again, Kathy can be rather radioactive at times….

Last night while watching local and national news, I noticed a strain on the faces of many seasoned reporters. A well-respected local newsman covering the story was stumbling over his words – completely out of character – and each shot of him with darkness in the distance reminded me of what a kid looks like when they’ve been sent to the corner of the room based on bad behaviour. His body language said “I want to get out of this place, what did I do to deserve this assignment?” Whoa. Such a vision and listen caught my attention. Made me feel really safe and secure, for sure.

But hey, I told myself, he’s not used to this kind of coverage, so it might be best to ignore his obvious fright. Moments later, Ann Curry’s story of the devastation and how she brought a family together via a pleading tweet popped into view. Oh my. Ann’s hair was all awry and she looked a tad jumpy. The smooth tone of her comforting “all is well” reporting voice had gone up several octaves. Gulp.

Surfing around other networks, a similar tone is heard when reporter’s are asked by their news anchors (who are sitting safely in Manhattan studios), “How are you doing? This must be a difficult time filled with tension for all.” Staring through sleep-deprived reporter’s eyes with as much poise as they can present, the answers by many pro's have been fairly consistent:

Words:"We’re doing all we can…”
Visual: Arched eyebrows, strained confidence.
Words: “For now, no one knows what’s next but we’re on safe ground and doing well.”
Visual: Clears throat, briefly looks away from camera to the ground.
Words: “Considering that the aftershocks continue to rattle the nerves of Japanese citizens left homeless from the disaster, people are calm.” 
(Wavering voice, scared-sheetless eyes.)

Bravo to the brave reporters from all countries who dare to walk into the cracks of history. Just try to look a bit more like NBC’s Lester Holt whose on-camera steady tone and fabulous natty garb with stylish scarves conveys a savoir faire attitude as if he’s on his way to a lovely evening at the local sushi bar. Now that’s an encouraging sign.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Private Eyes

The News - Unmasked

Regarding yesterday’s post on the news-media's projected damage, etc., of a future earthquake on the west coast, I’d like to answer questions that have been directed my way to explain why my attitude toward news coverage of specific issues appears either naïve or jaded. A walk down one of my career history lanes may provide a clue or two.

Before I start, know that I do understand why news outlets go into prediction mode when the topic is relevant. Anyone who lives in an earthquake zone knows how fragile life can be living on or near a precipice of fracture. It’s the way in which some “news” is handled or not from which I have learned to lift an eyebrow at what is covered and why, and what is not covered – and why.

"If it bleeds, it leads" is a classic quote on how sensationalistic and/or hollow, basic news coverage can be.

My first job in TV was as an “Investigative Researcher” in the news department at the local PBS station during the late 70’s. I would often be sent out into the field to gather as much information as was necessary to build a strong investigative story. Several of my assignments were fascinating in the classic cloak-and-dagger milieu.

I lurked in alleys in downtown LA outside of alleged Mafia-run clothing manufacturing “sweat-shops” in the “Garment District” to gain proof of the exploitation and use of illegal immigrants as unwilling worker-slaves. Wandering around the back doors of the shops, taking pictures of “suspicious activity,” was fun. Super-Sleuth me loved the intrigue.

A defining moment in the shift from a wide-eyed info-gathering enthusiast to a WTF mode about how superficial news coverage can be, came into play while investigating the Iranian Students Society/Association (ISS/ISA) protesters who were students at U.S. colleges railing against the oppressive, brutal regime of the “Shah of Iran” (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi). The students demonstrated on college campus’s across the nation, always cloaked from view by wearing paper bags over their heads to avoid recognition that could – in the end – lead to the punishment (or death) of their relatives back home.

It was a paranoid and trying time for the students and their families. Most of the news coverage of the protests were brief and visual, rather than substantive. My mission, via the Executive Producer of the news program, was to delve further into the issue; gain information from any protesting Iranian student willing to talk with me “off the record” concerning what life was really like in Iran; listen/digest their horror stories of alleged U.S.-Iran cooperation to intimidate Iranian students from telling the world the truth about tortures and other atrocities aimed against Iranian citizens by their own government.

Armed with spiral notebooks and a tape recorder (remember them?), I would meet with a few brave ISS/ISA members in coffee shops/funky diners off-campus of UCLA and USC where long discussions-interviews ensued, and manila file folders full of “secret” information were slipped to me under the sticky diner’s tables to be taken back to the station to copy and return to the student at our next encounter.

After a month of the clandestine meetings, I had procured very damning evidence of Iran’s frightening regime, and was quite eager to have the full story exposed on our news program. The Executive Producer was thrilled with what had been gleaned, and arranged a meeting with the News Director before taping the segment so that she ("News Director") could have input for all on how to handle the story. With a strong background in investigative TV journalism, expectations were high among the staff that she would realize what a scoop she had on her hands, and be excited to produce what other’s would not.

Off to the meeting went several producers and me. Holding file folders of the copied materials in hand, I recited the background info from my notebook of interviews and clues. When finished, the room was deathly silent as all eyes were on our Director. Rocking back and forth in her leather executive chair, she looked directly into my eyes, sighed, and with a casual "thank you” expression, blurted, “Oh hell, all I want to know is why they wear those damn bags over their heads.”


Note: In 1979, the Shah was ousted from power partially due to the relentless outcry of Iranian students (who used varying names of their organizations throughout the years).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Let It Be

Prediction Affliction

Don’t you love it when news sources immediately jump on dire predictions for specific earthquake-vulnerable areas in the U.S. when another country, following their disruptive eruption, has/have yet to assess their own earthquake-ridden statistical hells?

We (here in the U.S.) won’t allow the focus to remain on the current crisis; instead, our channeling-the-future talking-heads must remind those who live in fault-laden mazes to be told what the estimated impending earthquake in the viewer’s environment might be in the next 30 years in magnitude, consequences/ramifications, to “inform” all what may befall their blissful daily routines and smack ‘em into psychological smithereens. 

Earthquake preparedness is important. If you live in an area prone to quakes, it would be foolish not to have an emergency plan: first aid and food kits, evacuation bags, and so on. However, is it necessary for the media coverage of each quake to spill into frightening prediction territory?

What’s your point, news producers and weather forecasters? If I listened to you I’d be packing my bags right now and sending my worldly items to the safest location where I may flee whilst wrapped in shuddering paranoia lest I end up floating in the Pacific Ocean or crumpled at the bottom of the hill on which I live should the soil steadying my abode be cracked into copious pieces of odious debris during another enraged Mother Nature killing spree.

Reminders are helpful, no doubt. Specific predictions, embedded mental images of potential mass carnage, is an “information” route I don’t believe is necessary to take in assessing a future quake. Let’s focus, instead, on the current crisis in Japan; learn what we can, aid where it’s possible, and then move forward with continuing to retrofit buildings to save lives. That appears to be all one can do if leaving the area is not an option.

Hey media people - thanks for the tremor-ies.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Everything Must Change

A Siren’s Gong

If it ain’t one thing it’s another. Today, the 5th largest earthquake ever recorded rattled Japan to its core at the magnitude of 8.9, sending an estimated thousands to their deaths, and tsunami warnings that continue to raise the hair on the back of the necks of Hawaii and U.S. West Coast inhabitants. Mother Nature is at it again. Who or what set her off this time around?

Methinks she grew tired of mankind getting all of the attention for destruction in Libya and elsewhere, and definitely had enough of a certain Warlock in California sucking all the air out of the news, and chose to remind us one more time that she is in charge, she is #winning, and don’t anyone forget it! You can’t if you live in areas where sirens are blasting their warning songs.

Humbling to view nature’s destruction, isn’t it? We may focus on wars, seemingly unfair political machinations, the latest hits and disses on celebrities, but nothing will ever compare to the ground literally moving under one’s feet or mile-high waves of water enveloping everything in its sight/path/route/view. Mother Nature will always have the last word. She’s stubborn that way….

Except when it involves the ageing process of this guy:

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What is Prince doing (or not) to look so young at the age of – what is it now – 53? Yes, he does look a bit older than he did in the ‘80’s, but hey – he’s looks velly, velly good. Did he make a deal with the Prince of Darkness or something? I’m beginning to believe in Vampires. He may not be drinking Tiger’s Blood, but he sure looks like he’s been drinking from someone’s Fountain of Youth. He and Mother Nature must have made a pact of sorts. He won’t make waves with new recordings to party until it’s 2099, and thus she won’t tell gravity to rip his face apart.

What else is happening? Not much beyond what I’ve already written today and yesterday and the day before…

A summation of the week would be redundant, which is another reason why I chose to slip Prince into the mix. The above picture was taken at the 2011 NAACP Image Awards held on March 4, an often over-looked by mainstream media’s news cycles event.

In addition, it crossed my fevered mind to insert an unexpected visual into the post just to distract from the never-ending round of distressing, depressing news. (Well, perhaps seeing how little Prince has barely aged may cause a few of you to run from the mirror in horror and out to the corner drug dealer or liquor store for an elixir or more.)

Yes, I’m rather silly (or banal) at the moment. Following yesterday’s rather baffling post on the U.S. Constitution and Wisconsin’s slight-of-hand trick, as well as another natural disaster, I’m in the mood to be light as the feathers in my Down comforter. How about you?

Let’s all take a collective deep breath and carry on with our lives and party or knit or whatever fits your schick until it’s at least dinner or sighing/crying time.

Bon Aperitif!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We're Not Gonna Take It

It's the Greedy, Stupid

Regarding the reportedly illegal ram-rod of injustice in Wisconsin last night (see any news website or newspaper or TV news program for details), I have a question: had it been a Democratic Governor, assembly, senate, how would those who are applauding the temporary outcome feel or behave? After all, the “fiscal” excuse for the bill to cut state employee union collective bargaining/negotiating was removed from the “law” that was passed. It was never, ever about a budget deficit; it was and is a direct attack against unions. Clear and simple. And devious. Not to ignore “UN-American.”

One Conservative argument is that unions are not mentioned in the Constitution. Has anyone read the Constitution lately?

This is the Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure Domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The above is quite broad with language, isn’t it? Anyone could make their case on what each word actually means; however, I believe the point of the Constitution is clear: everyone residing in America has the right to be living a full and good life without dictatorial or noble rule or the shackles of following one religion (as further specified in the body of the law of the land).

In reading the actual Constitution and its numerous amendments, the arguments over how the Constitution doesn’t mention unions or universal health care, etc. is foolish at best. Almost anything in the Constitution can be amended by Congress, and has been. Women and African Americans can vote...are the classic examples.

Where does it say that churches and charities are where one should go for assistance if needed – which GOPer's usually point to as replacements for government-funded entities like healthcare.... *ahem*....which is another topic completely, nor is there a specific rule of government to create safety nets for the “downtrodden.”  The interpretation goes both ways…and, again, the language is broad. A President is allowed, by law, to enact whatever is necessary to ensure the well-being (“welfare”) of U.S. inhabitants. I haven’t read a thing in the Constitution that suggests otherwise.

So, what’s wrong with Social Security when working Americans have paid into it? What’s wrong with a group of workers gathering together to allow a representative to ensure that they are treated with respect and have a “say” in how their work is protected and enacted? Unions are like having an agent or attorney to assist you in negotiating details of a business arrangement.

There is usually a bit of rumbling on both ends along the way, but in the end a compromise (contract) has been reached (signed). Easy concept/example, isn't it? No biggie, guys. Everyone deserves help if they want and/or need it. That is what a union does.

For years Republican and Democratic presidents and governors have allowed unions to exist. Now we have a serious threat to one group’s freedom of speech per the slippery actions of a brazen power-obsessed Governor who allowed his legislature to tip-toe around the overall law of Quorums.

What exactly is a “Quorum”? Per any dictionary, it is “the number of members required to be present for business to be legally conducted.”

What is Wisconsin’s law on a Quorum? 

Senate Rule 15. Roll call, quorum. Before proceeding to business, the roll of the members shall be called, and the names of those present and those absent shall be entered on the journal. A majority of the membership presently serving must be present to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business; a smaller number, however, can adjourn; and may compel the attendance of absent members. When any roll call discloses the lack of a quorum, no further business may be conducted until a quorum is obtained, but the members present may take measures to procure a quorum or may adjourn.

How did the Republican Senate pull their dastardly little trick to strip collective bargaining last night?  Wisconsin requires a 2/3 quorum for budget votes. By tossing-out a BUDGETARY element to the vote, the primary purpose of all of this mess was achieved. You can bet the legal argument will be that the law passed last night is legal based on that lovely omission.
A trend is growing among GOP Governors in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan…. It is a design to privatize almost everything from our public works systems to ensure that Big Biz will get the contracts once held by unions and thus, satisfy those who will benefit the most from such changes in the system.
Which means, once again in the mantra, more money going to the wealthy; less money to those who keep the grocery stores and other businesses alive. More foreclosures; homelessness; increased illness due to lack of money for health prevention and urgent medical attention. Hello to the latest 3rd World Country = the US of A.
If one is to follow the overall spirit of the Constitution, then it seems to me that what is rearing an ugly mood in this country against anti-union, anti-decent government reps, could be a slap by these so-called “Patriots” at key words in the Preamble: the “welfare” – “prosperity” – of the nation (not just a privileged few – isn’t that why the pilgrims/founders left England). It’s not quite treason, but it’s beginning to feel a lot like a lack of clear-headed reason.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

They Don't Care About Us

March Badness

Hey there – the “rest of the world” reading this blog – we’re all very happy here in the US of A right now. Nothing makes us smile more than losing our right to organize, negotiate…you know, be “American.”

A few links of note: (Posted only for the Michigan info – clearly Wisconsin DIDN’T win 24 hours after this program aired on Tuesday evening.)

To be diss-continued….

A Fevered Pitch

In yesterday’s post I asked a general question regarding whether or not astrological influences have had an effect on the recent emergence of the masses and various individuals from out of the closet of festering anger or ills. Checking into several astrologer’s predictions, most reputable sources indicate that there is a planetary influence afoot that does cause more than the usual mass uprisings that result in changes of leadership on a large scale.

The same influences also affect the earth, creating massive weather disruptions, increased earthquake activity, and locusts to swarm over your homes and to land on your car if it’s not parked in a garage. Nix the last part; retain the rest. The credible part of what I read is that many of the sources wrote of these conditions last year – well before anyone could have imagined what happened in Egypt and what is now in action in Libya.

Nevertheless, I was unable to find a decent planetary breakdown in the time available to me for research. Until I dig further, as well as consult a few astrologers I know, suffice to say I may be on to something - but, if so, what does it really mean? I had a thought and a feeling; shared it in a post, and promptly began to feel the onset of some kind of “bug” that sent me to bed, off the computer, and into the dregs of TV rerun-land until I fell asleep with the TV blasting away until the wee hours.

Could it be that this little bug has been hiding-out within my system for months and decided to wave hello now because of the insinuated nefarious planetary influences of the moment? Of course I’m joking.

Apparently I have a bit of a fever. I’ll use that as an excuse for weak humour, placing a disclaimer here that anything else I write today should be taken with a mound of vitamin C, D, chicken soup, Zinc, weak herbal tea and warm clothes.

I could try other forms of medicine such as Charlie Sheen’s Tiger Blood, but I’m leery of showing-up at his gate for fear that he’d let me in and pay all of my debts, turn me into the Madam of his Goddesses, and make me watch his web stream meltdown without the ability to grab his sad arse and haul it out to the on-call ambulance to place him in a 72-hour lock-down for his own safety.

I don’t believe what is happening to this man can go on unabated without damage to more than his obviously already damaged brain for more than a few hours – or days. Intervention hasn’t worked. I think it may be time for a Black Ops effort to crash that lad’s sorry pad. We may be a society/world of voyeurs with respect to watching dramatic trainwrecks in motion, but I’d like to think most of us do not want to turn into vultures.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blame It On the Stars

It seems as if a force as strong as an intense hurricane has jumped into the 2011 arena and is shaking the Tree of Life until all of the rotten fruit, dead branches, and browning leaves are falling to the ground with regularity.

It’s not quite spring, and yet the first months of the year have been all about cleaning house. And if no one planned an early Spring Cleaning, forces beyond our mortal selves appear to be shoving the world and a few of its high profile inhabitants into shedding a super flashlight beam into the dirty, cluttered corners of their world for all to see.

How can anyone ignore the seeming “coincidence” of once-suppressed emotions of frustration, mass anger, individual mental illness/addiction/afflictions that are at critical mass? I’m not talking Mother Nature and the typical political rants. A Pandora’s Box of karma, previously ignored and/or hidden desires, fires, geyser’s, are spouting out into earth’s atmosphere like a vast container of super quality fireworks. Fascinating to watch; dangerous to be near when the fuse is lit.

It’s not just the Warlock-Adonis-Winning-Duh or Gaddafi  - or the very, very unusual long-term stand-offs in Wisconsin and additional unrest going on in the U.S. This post also concerns a trend I’ve been watching in the lives of people who live far away from the cameras of public interest.

To clarify, I realize that “life” moves in cycles - as does nature’s seasons. I “get” that truth: sheet happens for a while, and then, if fortunate, the plumber arrives and all the pipes are fixed and life flows on for a while without a hitch. 

But something’s different right now. It’s as if skeletons long shoved into crowded closets of shame or blame have been raided by things that go bump in the night and one awakens to see the gnarly truths on disheveled display spread out on the floor in blinding daylight. Ugly stuff, indeed! Or, for some people, a positive wakeup reminder that it’s time to remove the denial blinders.

To what am I referring beyond the obvious examples? Bizarre actions, reactions and extremely strange behaviour has been rising to the surface in supposedly enlightened individuals. Professionals in their craft have been on the verge of unlike-them breakdowns; once-reliable people have bolted from responsibilities citing suicidal feelings in the middle of a project; horrendous accidents have disfigured those whose work depends on how they look. And these are stories I’ve simply heard about people in the lives of people in my life.

Looking at what may be causing various parts of the world and individuals to suddenly unleash the demons or festering anger at continued oppression and injustice during the same time period, or others who have been slapped with a huge wave of un-wanted reality, I’ve felt that there may be more to it than the typical response of “it’s just the sign of the times.”

Your life might be easy, wonderful…and you don’t relate to what you may deem as “negativity” in the atmosphere. Perhaps your personal life is steady and not tainted by the whoosh of odd cosmic energy, but it’s no coincidence that there is a different hue to the colour of the lid of Pandora’s Box this time around. And thus I’ve looked to astrology to learn what is going on with planetary alignments which could be stimulating the hidden to come out into the open.

You may not believe in astrology. You might find such a focus a quasi-superstitious belief of people whose feet rarely touch the ground. All right then. You have your attitude about it and I have mine. Just humour me for a moment on the possibility that Astrology IS a Science. Within "Science" are mystical, logical, mathematical, illogical, unexplainable, forces yet to be fully discovered and advanced. Each day brings new discoveries in that realm.

"Sensing" things is not a Science, although we know what has been said about "women's intuition." Combining astrology with intuition, there is an intuitive beeping within my inner radar that suggests what we are witnessing has a great deal to do with planetary influences - not the "End of Days"

To explain why I feel this way, adding the astrological influences, would take too much time today. So...more will come on this subject – tomorrow – unless Michele Bachmann makes yet another rambling statement against the Obama administration as “gangsters.” Then I’ll have to post her picture and write snarky remarks about that little hypocritical tart.

Oh, be still my bleeping heart.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Strolling Along


Look out! Mama Grizzly is on the trail of comedienne Kathy Griffin following Griffin's target practice at Mama's cuddly little darlin' Bristol. The very idea that a comic might take a few shots (er, bad word there), have Bristol in the crosshairs (uh, wow, it's not easy to be PC. Let's just call Bristol the focus of a joke or ten from Kathy's spit-wit) - at Mama's girl is just too much for Mama Grrrr to bear. (OMG!)

For Gawd's sake, it was bad enough that Kathy went out on a few heavily publicized "dates" with Bristol's ex, Levi Johnson. Wow! That musta been quite a whack on Sarah's - er, Bristol's smile! Bristol Palin is a private person, you know. A mother ("out of wedlock" - attention Mr. Huckabee); not a newborn TV and radio public personality. She's off limits, Kathy! Doncha know better than to piss off someone who shoots Moose for sport? You're so tiny it's totally unfair! Mama'd just stomp on you with her combat boots and be done with it.

Uh, Sarah, now that your Fox News allies are losing ground in the ratings wars on TV and radio, don't you have something better to espouse to the world than whining over Kathy Griffin who insults everyone and everything with a glee you may never experience while you practice the art of deflection on your own shortcomings? So, what exactly did Kathy say that has you in a dizzy tizzy?

Kathy has been weighing-in on Bristol's weight issues, and crossed a line by commenting on 16 year-old Willow Palin as a joke replacement for Sarah and Bristol. Well, that part wasn't terribly bright, but thus far I haven't heard any Willow jokes. What I have read/heard is Senior Palin suggesting that Kathy drop by Alaska for a duel of some sort...if I correctly read between-the-lines of the quote (just give it a Google and you'll read all about it).

Young children of public figures need not become fodder for a quick laugh, thus I understand part of Palin's concern. The thing is, though, when you step out on that gory political stage and shoot incomprehensible stupidities from your hip like you did over the weekend saying that Obama is "inexperienced" (as if you and your lot have handled your own public service positions with brilliant decisions) your skin has to grow a layer or two, which, thus far, appears to be made out of melting snow.

Writing of mothers, just for Monday flogging fun, I thought a picture of The Happiest Mother In the World, Katie Homes, would be fitting as an attention grabber. She does protect her little Suri with the fringe on the top of her gowns, but life within the Halls of Tomitology have brought barely a sincere smile from Katie since more than a silent birth descended on her once pretty mouth.

Hey Kathy G! It's time to get back to your snark on the Cruise-Control. At 5, Suri is still using a pacifier. Methinks Tom puts one in Katie's mouth too - when no one is looking - except at their marriage contract.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Vivaldi - Spring

Sunday's Slumber

In honour of Sunday, I'll spare everyone further Charlie Sheen news as he appears to be doing a perfect job of boring everyone into a stupor with his live webstream Sheen's Korner that is desperately in need of writers.

In addition, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich's ill-advised anti-Obama incorrect jabs at his "Kenyan childhood," remain equally mind-numbing and not worth a flog.

Let's all take a deep breath and brace ourselves for what is certain to be another peculiar news week.

A few more music vid's and off go I to write sweet things on FB to a few talented friends I haven't seen in a few years. I hope they can handle the sugar. I'm so full of the stuff I have to pass it around before getting back to sucking on lemons tomorrow.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

'Tis Done

So, how was your experience going from musical turds/absurbs to the hazy daze of someone's hallucinating stupor in music today? Hey, not me. I have the papers to prove my body's pure fluids.

Remember the wisdom of George Ade (Who???): One never can tell from the sidewalk just what the view is to some one on the inside, looking out.

I promise I'll stop vicariously sipping Tiger's Blood into my veins tomorrow. 

Look & Listen

Harden My Heart

After All

Lose Yourself (uncencored)


'Ello. If you just popped-in to read something and now find yourself vexed or perplexed to see nothing but YouTube music vid's, you aren't hallucinating, nor are you in the wrong place.

Today TDFB is sending a plethora of non-connected music out into cyberspece. Most of the videos don't have a strong visual element. The music is the point. No matter what the genre'.

Have fun!

Let's Fall In Love


Miss You

Feeling Good

Pretty Girl Rock

Saturday's Lighten' Up

Good Day To Play

Following the creepy (previous) video message at how unstable a lot of those headline stealers in political and celebrity news have been all week, it feels - to me - that writing-talk can be a sensory overload every day, so why not spend today and tonight (or the morning wherever you are) checking in a few times throughout the hours to carry on with a Saturday music show?

The vid's will have very little to do with post subjects - just a fun way to spend the day. Old and new tunes.

New vid's will go up approx once an hour...or faster if my day traps me into full-on computer servitude.

Shauna Z

Friday, March 4, 2011

Inside the Minds Of the Week's Creeps

Week Of the Crazy

I’ve figured it out. In order to succeed in this world of escalating technological marvels, one must be absolutely out of one’s mind and, at the same time, have enough of a mind left to utilize all communication outlets to gain mass attention. Aside from a mega TV and radio interview blitz, Tiger Blood Adonis Hero Charlie Sheen set a Twitter record that made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Wow! Hey Charlie, if you’re rolling on your adrenaline without help, then you bee’s a winnin’ kind of guy despite your intense crazed eyes.

In 25 hours, and 17 seconds, his Tweety-bird followers flew into cyber Charlie Space at the rate of 1,287,825 (as of last count via The Huffington Post ) on Thursday evening PST. I’m beginning to think this weird freak is onto something temporarily neat. But, that’s this week. We shall see how it tweets in the future’s reality sutures. Meanwhile, horrendous death threats/suggestions of violence toward both mothers of his children continue to make it into the noise of TV, internet and actual paper-based headlines.

Brrr. Kinda creepy stuff. But never fear, he remains a figure of fascination for those who can’t get enough of his madness. Sirius/XM Satellite radio will launch a Charlie Sheen Channel for this weekend – only. It will be a quickie, just like one might imagine an actual carnal encounter would be like with someone who can’t see straight.

A full summation of the week is, well – weak, in my opinion. I can only submit a brief overview of the serious news. Mother Nature decided to sit back and let the tides ebb and flow as they do without sending thousands to their graves or into caves of sanctuary from ill winds and unruly gyrations on terra firma. She looked down at Libya and must have decided that the earth had been sullied enough by her bad moods and chose to leave it to Gaddafi and fiends to play out her dark side. And Gaddafi is doing a bang-up job of it as he allows more citizens to feel the brunt of bombs.

Writing of bombs, the Academy Awards were roundly dissed for its increasing banality with the exception of the Bob Hope moment and Billy Crystal’s emergence from behind the curtain of the scared-snared-bared-bored past/present hosts. I did applaud the set and Anne Hathaway, and I will stand by those opinions. Nevertheless, one element/aspect I didn’t mention is how I miss the way it “used to be” when I was a child and the “Oscars” were oozing of glamour and coy mystique (no matter how false it was in reality, the illusion was grand).

I ask those who are not aware of how “it used to be” to view any footage you can find of the days when the Red Carpet was not overrun by hoards of press foaming at the mic’s for a moment of $$$$ - and when being a movie star did not necessarily equate with becoming a wax museum artifact posing every two seconds for yet another camera. It was Army Archerd of Variety holding court with the stars, asking questions about films, not designers.

Gowns and tux’s are lovely to see, but when did fashion become the ever-focused passion of a program devoted to those who excel in films  – not runway frills. Who are you wearing? Yawn. Wouldn’t you love it if someone answered truthfully? Hey, I’m wearing my faux smile until I can get the hell out of here and go home and get out of this harness, for &*^%$’s sake!

Something positive ripped from the sidelines happened: the week brought the attack on teachers in America into stronger focus as various news outlets began to question the hypocrisy of the GOPer’s who do not consider an income of over $250,000 to be “rich” enough to be hit with tax increases, whereas the very same people believe that an average income of $40-50,000 with benefits is more than enough for those who teach children how to function in the world. In fact, according to those who are advocating educational cuts, teachers must be slackers because they work only 9 months out of the year.

In line with yesterday’s post regarding how the U.S. news media lacks in-depth reporting, I find the fact that Jon Stewart, a comedienne, appears to be leading the charge to defend teachers’ rights far more than any other popular TV host. I learned more about how teacher’s have been shafted based on an insightful interview with former Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch who was a guest on his program last night. When it falls to the shoulders of The Daily Show to bring this important debate into focus, I want to send Jon a kiss and mail a dead fish to everyone else.

I could go on…but the week is not over - thus, I’ll back away from further flogs and let the Universe do the talking…after Mike Huckabee stops blasting the engaged Natalie Portman for being pregnant “out of wedlock” when it was only a short while ago when he praised a 16-year-old for having her baby rather than an abortion.