Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Answers - part 2

Kathleen asks:

1. If you had to choose between the gift of flight or the gift of reading a persons mind, what would you choose and why?

Flight. Definitely!  I fly a lot in my dreams and it's so much fun.  I'd love to fly anywhere, with the birds, and see what they see.  I imagine it would be great exercise too.  To read another's mind would be redundant.  We're not separate from each other.  So whatever someone else is thinking, changes are real good that I've had those thoughts.  It's what we do with those thoughts that makes us unique.


2. What is one thing that defines you?

One thing that defines me.  I hate labels.  But I think a sign of peace defines part of what I really choose to believe and how I try to act.  Not higher than anyone or thing.  Equal.  Respect.  Forgiveness.  Understanding.  Compassion.  It helps me to see an "enemy" from their perspective.  I don't believe people intend to be mean.  It comes from fear.  So fighting back would be adding to the fear.  Sometimes it's hard to explain or express in words.  Especially because I'm not without fear.  I strive to live a way of peace.  Peace is a way of being.  That's how I try to see myself and others.


3. What is the one thing you have to do before you die? (Not to be morbid!!!)

Not morbid at all.  I dunno.  Maybe star in my own sitcom.  [that ought to keep me alive for a long, long time!]

* * * * *

Barbie asks:

1. Who or What has been the one True Love of your Life?

Oh boy.  This one could get me in some trouble.  But, of the non-human species, my loyalty goes to Hunny.  As hers is with me.  She's the only day-to-day relationship I've had for the longest period of time - 10 years in October.  She's put up with a lot of shit over the years.  And still, she loves the heck outta me!  I'm learning a lot from her.

2. Who or What is your ultimate musical inspiration?

For a long time I didn't have a musical inspiration in the form of music.  My life, my journals, therapy, friends have all contributed to my inspiration.

Over the last ten years, there have been a few key musical players who have inspired me in one way or another:  Indigo Girls (for their harmonies and truth-speak). Ani DiFranco (for her strength and guitar playing). And of course, Jason Mraz (for expanding lyrical boundaries and his light, free spirit and down-to-earth realness).  But I'm not a die-hard fan of anyone really.  I respect their art and thank them for sharing their creations.

3. Ass or Grass? Noone Rides for Free, LOL :o

Ha! Not even a cash option?  This one was tough. :P

* * * * *

Coy asks:

1. what is your most important creative dream?

Only one most important creative dream?  Well, honestly, at this moment, I'm struggling with what's important and what's a distraction.  Nothing feels overly important or driving.  When I'm playing music and singing, that feels most important.  When I'm writing or journaling, that feels most important.  When I'm working with dogs, that feels most important.  I guess it would make sense to say my most important creative dream is to create every moment.  Treat every moment like it's the most valuable - because it is.  [easy to say, harder to do]


2. Who do you turn to most often for support of that dream?

I guess that would be myself.  I rely on friends to support me in my decisions.  But I'm at a loss for a muse lately.  Big topic these past few months.


3. When your dream happens to get stuck, as dreams sometimes do ... what helps to inspire you to get unstuck?

I'm not sure.  I'm still trying to figure this one out.

Many dreams have been stuck for a long time.  I guess they get un-stuck when they're ready to be physically manifested.  Or, when I'm ready to make that happen.  I'd like to say I read all the affirmations I've written on good days, to get me through the tough days.  That seems most helpful.  But, most often, I forget.

In retrospect, I see that allowing those stuck-dream-moments to just be, without fighting them, it usually turns out to be a honing period.  The ebb and flow of things.  Perhaps I'm in ebb-overdrive.  If so, I should be really excited about what's to come! ;)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Answers - part 1

Questions Answered.  Part One of I-don't-know-how-many.

Donna in Texas asks:

1. Do you stay in touch with any actors you stared with in wings??If so whom?

Hey no fair, this is two questions.  But since one is contingent on the other, I'll answer. ;) 

For the record, I didn't "star" on Wings.  It's fine by me if you wanna think that - but I was at the bottom of the rankings, below paper shredder and floor sweeper.  I was an extra.  I had a recurring background role in 5 episodes.  There wasn't much time or opportunity to get to know the cast.  I did, however, watch some of the guys kick it, hackey-sack-style, with some extras.  The young male stars of the show were really cool.  [that leaves out that one guy who was kind of a jerk.]  I wonder what the guys would say if I call 'em up:  Hey, remember me?  Sure you do.  I held your passenger schedule.  Yeah, so, what's up? 


2. What made you decide to be a Dog Walker?

Good question.  Truthfully, Hunny made me decide to be a dog walker.  If it weren't for her, I might still be job-hopping in an endless pool of temps.  In which case, this journal might've been called Journey to Pieces!  Thank god for Hunny.  She got me out.

It certainly wasn't my first choice.  When I first got a glimpse of what a dog walker even was, I was like, "Who would wanna do that for a living?"  A year later, it turned out to be me.  That was 1996.  Aside from a 6-month hiatus and a 2-year slow-to-get-back-into-the-swing-of-things, I've been doing this full time.  I love what I do.  I'm grateful.


3. What is one thing in life you dreamed about doing and once you got to do it you were disappointed that it turned out not to be what you thought it would be?

Another good question.  Hmmm...I've been thinking about this question all week.  I can't think of a single thing.  I don't recall many disappointments that I haven't resolved.  Everything is a necessary step toward the next step.  So, maybe I was destined to be disappointed with something and that's why I'm happy doing another thing today.  That's an honest answer.  But I'm not shutting the book on this one.  If I think of something I'll post it!


Andrea asks:

1. Post your favorite healthy smoothie recipe, step-by-step. Leave no ingredient unturned!

Technically, this one isn't a question.  Could be disqualified.  But what the hell...
I don't have a favorite smoothie recipe.  And the ones I love are made for me at Juice It Up or some other smoothie bar.  So let's go with this one:

1/3 fresh organic carrot juice
1/3 fresh organic bananas
1/3 organic nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt - Oh wait.  You said healthy.  Okay, make that unfrozen nonfat plain yogurt.
1 tablespoon of Dr. Schulze SuperFood.
Blend to your heart's content.
Drink slowly - and smile.


2. What's your guess on why the caged bird sings?

Geez, I could write a whole book about this.  Oh wait.

My actual guess:  to remember and give voice to the beauty (truth) within, no matter how life appears on the outside.


3. Describe your favorite L.A. haunt without actually naming it.

Why, Hollywood Blvd, of course!  (why, I'm kidding, of course.)

I don't know if I have one.  Do I?  I'll choose something.  This may be cheating, since it's practically all-inclusive.  This is a place I try to avoid during the summer months.  Too hot and crowded.  My favorite time to go is during the week in late fall.  Not too cold and not too crowded.  Lots of festive lights to enjoy then too.  I can run there for a gift during a quick break in the day.  Sometimes I stay for hours on end, thinking about buying lots but I usually leave with a full stomach and coffee to top off the night.  I don't go as often as when I lived a mile down the street.  I miss the convenience of its location.  Now, driving and parking take that much more effort.

Checking in...

I promise to get to answering all the questions you asked.

* * * * *

I've been swamped with work - in a good way, you know.  Although they are not regular/every day clients, I took five new dogs to the park last week.  Trial run. Last-minute help. Overnight clients.  That kind of thing.  Very fun.  But also a lot of work to introduce new dogs all the time.  Keeps me on my toes.

* * * * *

I've been on the Dr. Schulze intestinal cleanse for almost two weeks.  Since I had started the Body Ecology Diet during that first week, it was a pretty easy transition.  I was a little surprised to find that the Superfood is delicious.  Even the black intestinal cleanse powder doesn't have a taste.  Added to juice, it tastes like...juice. Hm. Figure that.

Anyway, Schulze has a jojoba and tea tree oil tincture for eczema (and other skin ailments).  I started with that and supplemented with Cetaphil hand cream.  Amazing difference in less than a week.

Then I saw the dermatologist last Thursday.  She confirmed, "yes, eczema" and prescribed a bunch of stuff I haven't taken yet.  I'm afraid.  Antibiotics to prevent infection, Antihistamine for whatever allergen is aggravating my hands and a topical steroid cream.  As much as I hated to, I used the cream (she gave me samples).  That, plus the Schulze tincture and hand cream alone are doing the trick.  Well, and my "clean" diet.  Oh, and I wear work gloves when dealing with dogs now.  Makes leash-pullers way easier to deal with.

I'd say my hands are about 85% better.  Maybe even 90%.  Let's pray it continues on this path.

I actually played my guitar the other day with hardly any pain.  A few trouble spots - but band-aids helped.  Felt great to play and sing.

Speaking of...I'm considering booking some small shows.  I almost went to an old standby open mic last week.  But didn't.  Maybe this week.  Or next.

* * * * *

Last night I went to a huge benefit for my friend Rocki who has been fighting (and beating) cancer.  There must've been at least 300 people there.  Old friends.  New friends.  Silent auction.  Food.  DJ.  Art.  Drinks.  Everything was donated.  Very successful event.

Everyone I had a conversation with asked me, "So how's your music going?"  Even those I haven't seen in 6 or 7 years.  That was back when I was performing and doing open mics 2 or 3 times a week.  The first person who asked me about it caught me off guard.  Sort of knocking me back into a part of my life that I've drifted from.  I thought, Oh yeah, I'm a musician too.  By the end of the night I had a standardized answer.

* * * * *

Otis' human mom is in the hospital for a month.  She's has cancer.  She's doing well (we talked yesterday) but because her treatment requires a highly sterile environment, she can't see Otis till she gets home.  It's heartbreaking.  Understandable.

She asked if I could walk him yesterday.  Happy to.  Even more exciting was meeting her brother's dog, Kobe. (she refers to Kobe as Otis' brother.)  I got to walk both of them.  How adorable are they?!  I sent her these pictures.  Wishing her wellness.

* * * * *

Okay, off to walk more doggies.  I hope to get at least some of the questions answered by the end of today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Current TV

Hot off the press...

Al Gore started a cable television channel. It's called Current TV.

We just discovered that Current's website accepted my friend David's spec. commercial.  The one he wrote, shot, directed, produced and edited all on his Mac - before the last election. [a seriously talented guy]  Many of you have already seen it.  It's been linked on my sidebar (Loupix TV) for-like-ever.

The commercial is called Al G. Identity Theft Victim.  It's a play on those Citibank Identity Theft Victim commercials.  It's witty and smart.  [Two of my favorite words.]

You can see it here.

Cool right?

Okay.

Here's where you come in...

If the commercial gets enough greenlights (votes), they'll play it on TV.

So take a moment [right now, before you forget] and go watch the commercial, Al G. Identity Theft Victim, and give it a greenlight.

And don't forget to spread the word!

You may have to sign up to Greenlight it.  I did it.  Took less than 30 seconds.  Totally worth the cause.  It's up to you - watch the commercial and decide for yourself.  HereGo do it.  Now.

WATCH THE COMMERCIAL

GIVE IT A GREENLIGHT

Tell your friends.  Tell your family.  Tell your enemies.  Tell everyone.  ;)

 

disclaimer: remember, this is my backyard. If there's something you don't like here, take it to your own backyard.  play nice.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Ask Me Anything

Let's Play A Game!

Link-hopping during a random blog-jog, I came across this fun entry.  And since I've been a little hard up for writing material - plus I've been struck with an energy bug keeping me physically active - I thought this might be fun!


The game:  ASK ME ANYTHING

Here's how we play:

- Ask me 3 questions. Any 3, no matter how personal, private or random.
- I have to answer them honestly. I have to answer them all.
- In turn, you post this message in your own blog or journal and you have to answer the questions that are asked of you.


Questions must be submitted in the comments thread of this entry, no later than 9 PM (PDT) tomorrow night - Monday, 8/22.

I'll do my best to post answers by the end of the week.

Have fun!  Happy Sunday!

 

[rules of the game taken directly from Feministe] 

var sc_project=363581; var sc_partition=1; var sc_security=""; free web stats

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dog Walking Biz Woes

I just spent an hour trying to justify raising my rates after three years of not raising them.  In my mind and in life, I don't need justification.  It's justifiable to raise rates every year.  The industry standard has well-surpassed my highest paying clients.  And many of my clients are paying 50% less than that.  I have a few on sliding scale and that won't change but their rates will increase.

Still, it's nerve-wracking!  I get all anxious and uptight about the business side of the business.

It's easy to tell a potential client what my rates are.  But for some reason, I'm still trigger-shy when it comes to asking existing clients to pay regular rates.  I've only raised rates of current clients once in my career as a dogwalker. [probably a disgrace to dogwalkers everywhere.]

When I first started walking dogs for a living* my rates were laughable.  But that's what one does as a novice with a start-up business.  I was happy enough to be doing what I loved. 

One of my first clients - a young couple - strong-armed me into dropping my (laughable) rates plus giving them Friday's free, just because they booked me all week. 

I worked hard for them.  Their dog was high-maintenance, high-strung, stubborn and strong.  I went out of my way to make sure he was getting the best treatment.  I cleaned up after him when he would destroy things in the kitchen.  I gave him a little extra time if I had it because he was alone all day.  I loved him but he was a lot of fricken work for forty bucks a week!   No holiday bonuses.  No "thanks" from the couple.  Hardly a word.  Most of the time it didn't bother me.  I needed the work.

Meanwhile, their three-story condo in primo Santa Monica was being remodeled.  Up went a wide screen tv, a full-on surround sound stereo system, game consoles, workout equipment, leather furniture, patio furniture (and that was just on the top floor).  There was crystal, china, heavy dark wood, art, etc.  Stuff I couldn't be bothered with.  But every week they had something big, new and shiny moving in.

So, after a year of walking their difficult dog at a ridiculous rate, I raised their rates.  I figured thedeal we had was worth the start-up for the first year and it seemed they were in a better place financially and could afford the regular rates.

My mistake.

The wife of this yuppy team had a screaming fit, "You can't just do that!  You can't say your rates are one thing and then change them."  I was stunned.  Even though by this time I had a steadily growing clientele, I was afraid to lose this client.  Forty bucks was forty bucks.  It was my worst nightmare:  What if this was the beginning of the demise of my business?  What if I'm really not worth my regular rates?  Will I have enough money to buy food?  I need this client.  I need the money.  I can't live without...

Bullshit!

It was that moment when I realized my worth.  And I was ready to let them go.  She couldn't communicate her justifications with me.  So she put her sales-boy husband on the phone (the one who made the original deal with me). 

Too late.  I'm over you.

I wasn't interested in his pleas.  He tried all his sales tactics (an industry I had just come from).  I turned down all of his "deals I couldn't refuse" and respectfully wished him luck finding another dogwalker.

Immediately there was a sense of relief.  Calmness.  I didn't realize it, but I had been holding on to that client out of fear.  Once I let go of the fear, it didn't matter what they said, did or wanted. 

Sure I lost part of my income but that was chump change compared to the self-respect and self-worth I had gained.  Plus it freed time and space in my group for new clients who were happy to pay my regular rates.  And I was way less strung out.  The group even calmed down.  Life was fun again.  Work was fun.

Until it wasn't anymore - and I went on hiatus.

 

* I started walking dogs professionally in the fall of 1996.  Within a year I had a full schedule with regular clients.  After five years of ups and downs (mostly ups) I was feeling a little burned out.  I took a break for six months from January - July 2001.  When I returned to the field, the market was saturated with new, untrained dogwalkers, charging almost twice what I was making.  It took two years to rebuild the business.  And the market keeps growing.  It's a competitive field.  That's why I stick with my colleagues and try to charge the same rates.  There's plenty to go around.  Without each other, some of us wouldn't have work.  Most of my clients are referrals - many from other dogwalkers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Screenwriting tools and tips

So, you know I'm dabbling in screenwriting.  Have been for most of my life.  Just dabbling.  Always interested.  Never fully dove in.  A few unfinished pieces.  One finished piece that needs lots of work.  Makes sense, given how I am.  A screenplay can take years to write.  For some, it takes months.  I'm easily distracted.  So in my case, it's years-to-never.

I've been reading some great blogs on the art of screenwriting, developing, the industry, etc.  Some are written by aspiring writers.  Some are written by accomplished writers.  All are valuable. 

The Screenwriting Life by Warren Leonard is one I particularly like.  He seems genuinely supportive of newbies like me.  In a recent entry he gave his personal version of step-by-step screenwriting tips.  What is needed and what is not.

I'm thrilled to find that, of the three main books he suggests, I have all three in my personal library.  So what's stopping me?  Nothing, except for the fear of finding out after a year of writing that my idea sucks. 

Luckily I found entries about how to avoid such tragedy.  Basically, have a kick ass idea.  Okay then.  Back to the drawing board.  

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hunny pic

Hunny-pic for Vince.

Not feeling so great today.  Headachy and flu-like.  But not.

I started cleaning up my diet yesterday.  No chocolate for two days now.  Still drinking coffee.  Gotta take that one slow.  We loaded our fridge and cabinets with good eats.  Organic fruits & veggies, flax oil, kefir, yogurt, chicken.  It makes me feel better just to have this stuff.  I was surprised by the lack of organic produce at the farmer's market yesterday.  We did most of our shopping at the Co-Op.

Anyway, that's probably why I'm feeling a little off, physically.  It usually takes a few days to get through the rough spots of detox.

My hands have been in a lot of pain this weekend.  I made an appointment to see a dermatologist.  The soonest she can see me is the 25th.  Even then, I'm double-booked.  It could entail a lot of waiting.  I think it is a better option than waiting till her next available appointment on September 8th.

I owe so many friends emails, phone calls and visits.  I just can't do it when I'm in such pain.  More like total discomfort.  So, if you're one who's waiting on contact from me, please know I'm thinking of you.  I'll write/call/visit when I comfortably can.

peace to all

Friday, August 12, 2005

Gas Prices Gone Wilder!

Same gas station, one week later (this afternoon).  I did not get gas here.  I pulled in long enough to snap a photo and wave to the lonely servicemen sitting on the stoop.

This is ridiculous.

Every other gas station I passed, was at least $.20 less.  The lowest grade of unleaded varied a bit but every station posted their 'high performance' gas at $2.99 - and nine-tenths of course.

It'll be interesting to see if this gas station blows the three-dollar mark for regular unleaded by next Friday.

The lowest I saw today was $2.71.  I was so busy looking at signs that I neglected to buy gas.  Probably not such a smart move.  Who knows what prices will be over the weekend.

It's past time to raise my dog walking rates.  This ought to be fun. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Gas Prices Gone Wild

These were prices at a Culver City gas station last Friday afternoon.  I was on empty.  I had to stop.

Two-ninety-nine and nine-tenths.  Which really means three dollars for high performance.  Oh and don't get me started on the BS grade levels.  It all comes from the same pump.  It's all the same gas.  Besides, we're all paying way too much for gas and we're all just a little pissed off.

Except, it seems, for the woman driving this car.  She actually pulled into the FULL SERVE lane.

Here we see the driver's shoulder in the front seat.  And there's the full service she receives.

Worth it?

I dunno.

I spent my savings on a grande vanilla latte, splurged with an added shot of espresso, tipped the guy for service with a smile, and used the rest to fill the meter at my next stop.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

works

Feeling a little more creative this week.  Not sure where it'll lead.  I'm just here for the ride.

* * * * *

Saw my dentist today.  She finished work on one tooth we started a while ago.  This was our last hope to avoid a root canal.   I haven't had any problems with this tooth since she put the temporary filling/buildup in three months ago.  She's excited.  So I'm assuming it's working.

So far, all the work that other dentist did (the one who messed up. the one who kept drilling when I was in pain. the one who wouldn't listen to me. etc.) has needed to be reworked.  And all the rework has been flawless!  I really like this dentist.  She's in the same office and I've made it clear that I never want to see that other dentist ever again.

Today's work finalized what should have only taken one hour to begin with.  Let's see... that other dentist first drilled too close to my nerve.  Then she filled the cavity with silver (mercury).  As she was rushing in and out of the room (not paying attention) the mercury leaked into my mouth and down my throat (not a pleasant taste).  So she blamed me for that, pried my mouth open, and rushed to fill it again.  I was on my way out of the chair when an assistant told her she filled my tooth with the wrong substance.  So she removed that and filled it with the white filling.  [Mind you, this was all in one sitting.  So I'm sure I don't have to mention the ache in my jaw - and the rage in my eyes.]

That's just the mistake she made on one tooth. 

Next up: the jaw/tooth pain I've been experiencing.  My current dentist (the one I love) said it's probably due to the filling on the back tooth (a job that other dentist did).  Today my lovely dentist drilled it down a tiny bit.  If I'm still having pain by next week, she said we'll have to do the same thing we did to today's tooth (remove the filling, put in a temporary filling as a solid base and then fill with permanent filling).

Blah blah blah...who cares?

* * * * *

Work is light this week.  So I've been spending more time at the dogparkwith the group.  Not on purpose - my dogwalker pals have shown up later than we all planned each day.  [strangely, I've been on time.]  I can't bring myself to leave when they arrive.  Our dogs play well together.  We're like one big happy family.

Sometimes that works to my advantage.  Having been there almost two hours today, I met a woman with a rambunctious puppy.  She said she was at wits end with his energy. 

Long story short:  She's considering giving him up for adoption unless she can get him to calm down in the house. 

Enter: The dogwalker. 

At first she was thinking about hiring me for training sessions (which could still very well happen).  But after hearing her plight, (she travels. she has kids. she's busy.) it made more sense to suggest daily dogpark visits. 

We're starting next Monday.

I have two weeks to get this dog to show some improvement.  Otherwise, she may give up on him.  She wants to keep him because her kids and husband love him.  And deep down, she does too.  She's just frustrated with his ... puppy-ness.  [I've been there!]

He just needs an outlet to release all that puppy energy - a good romp in the park with some buddies, a rugged hike, whatever suits his style.  Then he needs some "basic training" to know his place in the pack (he can't be alpha).  Finally, he will need consistency.  As a dogwalker, I can provide some consistency at the very least.  As a dogwalker/trainer I can help create the house pet her family was hoping for.

On her way out the woman said, "He doesn't listen to us."  I replied, "Oh, he'll listen to me!"

I know, famous last words ... Wish me luck!

* * * * *

Seriously, how many times did I use a form of the word work in this entry?  Unintentional, I assure you.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Time Flies

Okay, here's the deal.  I had a burst of creative energy last week.  I still have those projects in my tickler file.  But I've kinda been feeling sluggish and unmotivated.  I have great intentions to do at least one thing creative or productive every day but when I get home, I lose all interest. 

A major contributor: My hands.  They've gotten worse.  I haven't mentioned it in a long time because I am just sick of it.  I'm trying one more prescription before I break down and visit a dermatologist.  I'd have gone sooner if I had insurance.  Oh, that's another thing, my insurance ran out and I had to reapply as an individual/self-employed person.  Finances aren't so lucrative at the moment, so I've been putting it off.

Anyway, without going into too much gory detail, my hands are itchy, swollen, sore, raw and burning.  Sometimes they feel bruised.  Sometimes they feel like they're on fire.  It's painful to hold a pen.  I tear skin trying to open a bottle of Gatorade.  The worst: leashes.  Gloves help but still, ouch.  There's no relief - except for a mega dose of Advil and a nap to sleep it off.  And that's only temporary.

It's amazing how much pain contributes to (hinders) creativity.

Another complaint (look out):  Pain in my mouth.  I'm not sure if it's my tooth, my jaw or my ear but damn!  Once or twice a day I get this sudden overwhelming pain on the lower right side of my jaw.  My dentist checked it last week - with X-rays even - and couldn't find a source.  She drilled my oversized crown down, thinking that was causing irritation.  I thought it helped - till the weekend.  I walk around holding the side of my face like I've been assaulted.  I see the dentist tomorrow.  Hopefully she'll have another idea.

For now, Advil helps that too.  I just took some.

That's what happens.  I've been writing.  I've started entries to post but have gotten sideswiped by pain so much that I have to lay down.

I can feel it coming now...

So before I get too sideswiped, I should post this.

I'll be back.  I just really wanted to check in.

...

Hey, I'm back.  That wasn't too long (30 minutes or so).  I'm determined to get an entry in.

Moving along...

To keep myself entertained, I've watched a bunch of movies.  I'm really getting my money's worth from Netflix (finally).

I loved The Laramie Project and Miracle

A few I really liked:  8 Mile, Million Dollar Baby, The Italian Job, Dazed and Confused

Some I knew I liked but was reminded why:  Fame, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Slums of Beverly Hills, Parenthood

Some I couldn't get through:  Vera Drake, Torchsong Trilogy, Crash -1985. (rented the wrong movie), My Life As A Dog (subtitles. if I wanted to read, I'd buy the book.)

A surprise favorite is A Clockwork Orange.  I've been afraid to watch it because I had accidentally seen it when I was twelve or so.  I was babysitting and the family had that movie box channel (way before cable).  What was it called?  Starcase?  Showcase?  ... Anyway, for those familiar with this now-classic movie, you know it contains violent and disturbing scenes.  It was late at night.  I was babysitting.  I was terrified.  It freaked me out so much that I've been afraid to revisit it. 

Now that I'm an adult and can understand the context of the movie, I think it's really well done.  Enough to possibly want to buy it.  I'm even interested in reading the original book (with the lost ending that never made the movie).  See that?  I walked through the fear and it turned out not to be so bad after all.

Note:  just did a Google search on "Starcase" and found some info.  That, mixed with my own memory, equals this:  In Boston, there were two tv channels dedicated as pay-channels.  We had to get a descrambler box for each channel.  One channel was called STARCASE.  That's the one the family had.  Another channel was called PREVIEW.  We had Preview (I still remember the jingle when a movie was about to start:  previeeeww...feature-film!)  In between movie features, they would play music videos.  They played a lot of Pat Benatar - only two videos that I recall (before MTV remember).  That's where I saw Airplane! and Fame about a hundred times.  And Children of the Corn and Little Darlings.  Ahh,good times.

Other things keeping me entertained - ESPN. [I know, right?]

I forgot how much I love this month on ESPN.  The X-Games were last weekend (right here in LA).  I watched as much as I could on TV but missed a few of the events I love.  Luckily reruns are on all week.

Next week is the Little League World Series.  I don't know what it is, but the 11-year-old boy in me comes out strong in August.  My two favorite sports events - all in one month!

I spent the day with some Yakkies this weekend.  We drove up the coast, ate seafood, drove up more of the coast, drank Starbucks, drove back here and drank wine.  It felt good to connect in person with the girls.  I'm missing Carol.  When are you coming to LA?

Well, I guess that's it for now.  I hope to write daily.  But you know me, my goals and desires change with the wind.

P.S.  Our air conditioner was installed last week - when I say installed, I mean installed.  They cut the through the wall in the living room and made the A/C a permanent feature.  So it doesn't take up any window space.  And it's much more comfortable in here.  Yay.  Hunny's very happy too!  Makes a huge difference.

P.P.S.  Sorry for the lack of linkage.  I've gotta post now or this could end up in word-heaven with the other unfinished posts.