Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2016

How We Can Turn Our Vitrol Around: I Invite You to Do Something Positive

Enough. Either Trump or Hillary are going to be president. That is a stone cold fact. Stop the ripping the candidates to shreds, as we only hurt ourselves and our children to continue. In doing so, it becomes part of the problem. Then people only complain more. The frenzy and the fear whips up and sanity can't prevail under those circumstances. Do you realize you HURT YOURSELF this way? I am a person of action. I challenge y'all this morning to splash some cold water on yourself or whomever you know who fits this bill and turn it around. Because you can, in this minute. Yep. No excuses. You have total control over everything you do and say and choose, and every single moment gives you that power. USE IT WISELY.  Think past your emotions of the moment. Ask yourself: How do I want to lead my life? What kind of example do I want to be? What legacy do I want to leave?  It all starts with NOW.  If you don't act positively, history shows (with this term being 10x worse), whomev…

Dissolving Cynicism

Topic for discussion: I've been teased repeatedly by someone who actually was among the first to support a cause I have given a lot of my time to. Always little zings about what gain there is for me, or expressing a little judgement if not puzzlement that someone would sacrifice some personal things to do it. I finally "teased" back, asking, "Is it so strange that someone might do something just because it seems the right thing to do?" I saw the realization sink in. I wonder and worry about the effect what has been growing with this toxic election in our faces every day. It has brought out so much divisiveness, not just with what may have been able to once be contained to "Them" but thanks to social media, is obviously between friends, family and neighbors. And we are all hurting from it. That can come out in subtle ways, like not believing without suspicion when you see good being done. Speaking for myself it's personally imperative that…

Eulogy for Albert Joseph

Editors Note: The italics are an intro, the eulogy itself is below the photos.

Sunday, March 30, 2008  

In the early hours of Saturday, March 22, my father passed away, at home, in his own bed, from natural causes. He was not struggling. He didn't cry out or look scared. We didn't know it would be his last day.

He had looked a little more lackluster earlier that evening as my sister was visiting him at our house. Yet his vitals were normal, so he was put to bed. By 3:00 AM his caregivers said he was breathing heavily, so they propped him up on his pillows hoping to create some relief. His pulse was good at 69... And yet, he took one big breath and then, no more. 

Don't we all wish to go under our own roof,  free of wires and tubes! For that much, and that he is no longer in the state that he had been in, I'm very grateful.

Photo by Joannah Merriman

For the previous five years he'd suffered from a multitude of conditions that happen to the body when it gets old. In the fi…

Dusty Hawes

Yesterday another jolt from the universe: the sudden passing of another incredibly special friend: Dusty Haws.

He traveled the world, and was in the Galapagos this week, having a blast with his wife, looking so happy, posting many pictures as he always did. Just Monday I liked his last post saying he was going offline for a few days as they went deeper into the islands. I think he was only in his late 40's.

Dusty and I met in LA when he was college age. I'd put a bookmark in my styling work to write full time for a year or two... and in the land of film dominance, I found I needed to spend time around books and people who read to both fuel my efforts and break the isolation of writing life. I took a pleasant, non-stressful, part time gig at Book Stop in the Beverly Center... and there I met Dusty. We seemed the only two employees who felt if we were going to spend our time at something, we'd do it 110% - regardless of earning only minimum wage. We had book stacking contes…

Teaching Kids

Aw. Warmed my heart to see this. Apparently this is still on the blackboard from when I introduced myself to 4-8 year olds when I was teaching cooking classes to them. We made cupcakes, and sandwiches shaped like squirrels (oh yes we did), made bananas into dolphins (holding grapes like a ball in their mouths), etc. More work than it sounds like but we have fun. I really love teaching kids animal rescue and animal appreciation from time to time there as well.

Photo by Chris Wren

Rest in Peace Muhammad Ali

I was about 16 years old, attending the all-weekend gatherings at the home of Danny Thomas that sprang up every year around the annual St. Jude Children's Research Hospital banquet in LA.

I was at a lunch buffet table in their living room stabbing at some sliced tomatoes (amazing what you remember), and felt a warm breeze on my neck. I looked up - no windows were open, even though it was sunny out. It was an ordinary moment, a tiny detail. I felt it again, then again - and then... I became aware of a presence behind me.

Naturally I turned around and there was Muhammad Ali, square jawed, close clipped hair, looking down at me with intense dark eyes. Then suddenly, he broke into a huge smile. I remember how broad it was, and that his teeth were brilliantly white. He'd been breathing on my neck - and not what that seems to imply...

He was just a prankster. Having seen the way he messed with his opponents in the ring, I realize now it was an honor to be the receiver on the harmles…

The Case for Facebook

Whatever you feel about Facebook, we all pretty much agree the great thing about it is birthdays - the long line of well wishes posted by people from all corners of your life both close and far. It's an unadulterated love bomb, and most write how happily overwhelmed they are to be on the receiving end.

Yesterday I realized that Facebook also becomes a place to share and process our shock and grief. And in doing so brings us all closer and makes it so much easier to bear.

I woke early to the first five posts in my feed saying words my bleary fog hadn't cleared enough to grok: RIP David Bowie. It might be because I have a lot of friends in music and the arts, but as the world woke up, my entire feed became full of Bowie posts - an outpouring of disbelief from people feeling just like me.
That turned to a linear process across the board: surprising stories of personal interactions and his influence, to posting his songs and photos, to reflections on our own lives, how we are spe…