Friday, March 07, 2008

Patrick Swayze: Sad But Hopful

Having experienced the sudden diagnosis and death from pancreatic cancer of someone very, very close to me... the headlines scare the bjeebers out of me. Pancreatic cancer is deadly. By the time my loved one became aware, it was far too late.

I'm hopeful that
Patrick Swayze will be the exception to the rule. From this blog to God's Ears. I pray it so.

I'm not so much an admirer of his work, but I'm a huge fan of Patrick. In the interviews I've seen, he seems totally Texan, totally humble and genuine... and just himself. I'm a big fan of loyalty, and he's been with his wife, Lisa Niemi, since she began taking dance lessons (she... at age 15) with Patrick's mom. And they married in 1975.

I also live in Oak Forest, the neighborhood in Houston, Texas, where he was raised. I pass, regularly, by the schools he attended. Many people who grew up here, now choose to live here. It was a place of humble beginnings, and I think it's reflected in Patrick's character.

He and Lisa are in my prayers. God has a plan and it's not for us to question. We can only pray.

American Idol: My Top 12

I'm mostly ok with the top 12, but last night was a teensy bit sad for me.

First, I hated to see Asia'h go home because I just feel so much for what she's been through these last few months. She lost her father just days before her audition... and I liken that to own experience of getting licensed shortly after my Dad passed away. Song selection or performance aside, I was staunchly in her corner. She's got terrific talent.

And second, I hated to see Danny (Danjaya) Noriega cut. I agree, his performances paled in comparison to the others... but I will miss the head roll and learning new lingo. I will forever remember him for his spirit, and for teaching me the terms... "TMTH" and my personal favorite... "ISH". I'll miss him.

So... here's my personal ranking of the top 12. Play along and let's see if I have my finger on the pulse of America. (That would be a first!).

  1. David Archuleta (Imagine... the kid is only 17!)
  2. David Cook (he's really tied for first place with me, dawg... this guy is awesome).
  3. Jason Castro (rockin' Rockwall, Texas!)
  4. David Hernandez (ffn images aside, this guy is a performer!)
  5. Syesha Mercado (love the spirit, the personality and how she rolled with the punches)
  6. Brooke White (reminds me of someone I know, genuine and true)
  7. Michael Johns (great performer, but I think... too much like he's imitating someone else)
  8. Amanda Overmyer (I think she's sincere and would make a great friend, but is maybe too stylized)
  9. Ramiele Mulabay (She's got a voice bigger than her body, but I'm not crazy about her performance)
  10. Chikezie Ezy (I really, really like him. And I like the way he supported Danny last night. I just think his soul is too old for this particular competition. He's got great pipes though... Dawg)
  11. Kristy Lee Cook (She should never have sold the horse. One, I'm traumatized by that story, and two... Simon is right. Her performances are forgettable.)
  12. Carly Smithson (I'll admit it. I'm shallow. If I was blind and/or blind folded, she might rank higher, but I can't get past the tats and greasy hair. HDTV sucks sometimes).

I had some difficulty with placement in the lower eight. I'm still not sure if I got that right.

Lisa Marie's Unhappy Announcement

Lisa Marie... married and pregnant???

I haven't spent a lot of energy thinking about her, but maybe this news story puts to rest the last thought I had.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mary Lammy, My Yellow Lamb Pinata

Yes, this is a pink pony. Mine was a yellow lamb.

She was brought home to me, in preparation for a birthday party. I, along with my closest friends had banged the heck out of a red, white and blue star on the 4th of July... and Mama and Daddy thought such an activity would be perfect for my big day.

There was one thing they forgot.

And that's the sentimentality of their daughter, who had consuming empathy for all creatures and a multitude of inanimate objects.

The first thing I did was name her. It was obvious to me that she was a "she", but I vascillated over whether she was "Mary" or "Lammy". (Remind me to tell you about my favorite stuffed animal whose name is 'Deery'. For the time being, I'll let you guess what animal he actually is). I was nothing, if not clever.

Needless to say, Mary Lammy was put away safely on the big day, and I would have gladly been hung from a tree limb and pounded with a stick to protect my precious ewe.

Mary Lammy was moved carefully in Mama's car, along with all of my treasures too delicate to pack, from my pre- to post- fourth grade home.

She lived a comfortable life in my second floor flat (bedroom) for many years, before finding her way into the guest flat (bedroom). As teenagers, you see, we each needed our personal space.

Several years after my father passed from this life, with Mama in a long term care facility, and when we were clearing that home of all its furnishings, its memories, its treasures... I found Mary Lammy in the closet of the guest bedroom. Clearly, after I left home, Mother had felt comfortable in exiling her, and while I might have felt slightly offended, I found comfort in the fact that she hadn't thrown the old gal out.

The day was emotional for me, more emotional than I can begin to describe.

I had limited space... in the truck I had rented, as well as the tiny townhouse and storage unit with which I had been forced to 'make do' (because of other losses, 'nother story, 'nother day).

And I had limited time. I won't go into the reasons, because it is a source of real contention and pain. They are reasons with which I have come to terms and accepted. And I have forgiven the other parties involved. So I shan't say more than... I was in a huge hurry.

And there was Mary Lammy. What to do, what to do... I struggled. Today, I'm sad to say that I left her behind, because today, for whatever crazy reason, she's on my mind... and I miss her.

I cried every one of the 155 miles home that day, and for many days of many years thereafter. I left a lot of myself behind that day. Today I'm grateful that I can recall, with fondness, a tiny portion of that self, my former life.

While 'googling' the internet, hoping to find a yellow lamb pinata... I encountered the pink pony, who shares similar eyes and the same size and build... though, Mary Lammy's legs were straight as boards. I'll admit... if my searches had yielded even a remote facsimile, she would be on her way to me... express shipping. I can only assume that she would then either reside in my toy/memory/exercise room... or occupy a place of honor in the guest bedroom!

Welcomed Childhood Memories

I went through an extended period of overwhelming stress, and frankly, clinical depression, in the 90's. It was a time of great, almost uninmaginable loss. And in the process, I lost a lot of the memories that I had previously treasured.

Sobbing on my therapist's couch, I mourned that there were so many moments of my past that I couldn't force my mind to retrieve. Likening my situation to post traumatic stress disorder, she assured me that these memories would return. I can't tell you how much I wanted them. I needed them to remind myself how truly I had been blessed.

Many have now returned. Many have not. In quiet moments of reflection, I often dig and scratch at the journal of my mind, trying to remember the joys of life, pre-1992. I rarely succeed.

Those I do recall, I consider souvenirs. And I give words to them, so they'll never be lost again.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Respect is a Mirror

It is.

In a perfect world, we would all respect each other equally. And I guess, in the end, we do.

I think it's next to impossible to respect and honor someone who doesn't return the courtesy.

My observation is that those that don't respect others, those that don't follow the golden rule, fit into certain categories:
  1. The young and immature, as their cognitive reasoning hasn't yet developed to the extent that they can fully understand their place in the world, much less have empathy toward others.
  2. The truly ignorant, and this is a tiny, tiny group.
  3. Those developmentally stunted, self absorbed individuals who mask their feelings of inferiority with actions of self entitlement and superiority over others.

It's easy to understand those in the first group, and it is incumbent on parents and other role models to model appropriate behaviors. That said, it's difficult to understand and tolerate this sort of immaturity in a 30 year old.

Ignorance breeds ignorance and is to an extent, forgiven. And thanks to the opportunities that our Good Lord continues to provide, more and more people are overcoming these circumstances.

My primary issue, this evening, is with the self absorbed. I'm growing a wee bit tired of continuing molly coddling, justifications, cheer leading and, frankly, babysitting.

With every act of disrespect, disregard and dismissal, I lose an ounce of my own respect in return. And while, as a matter of my own personal eithics, I won't stoop to that level... I WILL eventually disconnect and cease to deal with the irrationalities, excuses and temper tantrums.

It's just fact. My life is way too valuable to me to spend any time in relationships that don't work for either of us.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Project GHB: What exactly is GHB?

Straight from Project GHB, what you don't know might kill you:

GHB: Gamma hydroxy butyrate or Gamma hydroxybutyric acid, Sodium Oxybate

Made From:
gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide - basically it is degreasing solvent or floor stripper mixed with drain cleaner. When GBL or BD or products containing them are ingested, GHB is produced in the body, that is why we refer extensively to GBL and BD products on these pages.

Street Names for GHB: GHB, "G" (most common), Gamma-OH, Liquid E, Fantasy, Georgia Home Boy, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy (is not ecstasy), Scoop, Water, Everclear, Great Hormones at Bedtime, GBH, Soap, Easy Lay, Salty Water, G-Riffick, Cherry Meth, and Organic Quaalude, Jib.

GHB Precursors (analogs): (They turn into GHB in your body) GBL, BD, Blue Nitro, Revivarant, Renewtrient, GAMMA-BUTYROLACTONE, Revitalize Plus, Serenity, Enliven, GHRE, SomatoPro, NRG3, Thunder Nectar and Weight Belt Cleaner, Invigorate, Firewater, Verv, and more.

Description: A clear liquid. Looks just like water. Can be mistaken for water because it is usually found in a small (30ml) clear plastic bottle, a water bottle, or even Gatorade bottles, which contains several doses. One quick taste, and you'll know it's not water. Not as common, but also found as a white powder. In fact powder use is on the rise!

Effects: Intoxication, increased energy, happiness, talking, desire to socialize, feeling affectionate and playful, mild disinhibition, sensuality, enhanced sexual experience, muscle relaxation, loss of coordination due to loss of muscle tone, possible nausea, difficulty concentrating, loss of gag reflex.

Many people have bad reactions. These can include nausea, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, amnesia, vomiting, loss of muscle control, respiratory problems, loss of consciousness, being conscious but unable to move, and death- Especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs.

Effects of large doses: Disinhibition, sedation, desire to sleep, rambling incoherent speech, giddiness, silliness, difficulty thinking, slurred speech, passing out, and death. Here's one scenario:
While You Were Sleeping - Online Presentation of GHB Dangers***WARNING - if your friend passes out, always seek medical attention immediately, no matter what anyone else tells you.

Effects of overdose: Sleep or deep sedation from which you cannot be awakened by any means for about three hours, and in many cases, death. Passing out while on GHB is sometimes called carpeting out, scooping out, or throwing down.

Center for Disease Control: "GBL is an industrial and household solvent of acrylate polymers, and unintentional poisonings have been reported ... It also is marketed as a dietary supplement at health food stores and on the World-Wide Web under several trade names. Although labeled as dietary supplements, GBL-containing products are illegally marketed, unapproved new drugs that have been involved in .... reports of adverse events..."

EMEDICINE: "GHB is readily manufactured from its precursor, gamma-butyrolactone (also known as 2(3h)-furanone dihydro or GBL). GBL is a solvent found in floor cleaning products, nail polish and super glue removers. Saponification of the lactone with sodium hydroxide in the form of lye results in nearly quantitative conversion. This method is not without its drawbacks however; there are several case reports of caustic alkali ingestion from undissolved lye. GBL also undergoes conversion into GBH in vivo (by an unknown mechanism) and, accordingly, is associated with many of the same symptoms." click their link for more.

Natalee Holloway: Case Solved

Nobody has ever covered the disappearance of Natalee Holloway more thoroughly than Scared Monkeys, and it appears as though the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel may indeed provide some closure for Natalee's family.

My instinct has never waivered. Out of respect for Natalee's family and fear of recrimination of those that have no conscience, I don't think I've ever publically stated it.

In general, however, I believe her death to be accidental but due to a lethal mixture of alcohol and GHB. I've never believed that her death occurred at the beach, so I'll leave the location to your own imagination. I will say, though, that I don't find the fact that the Kalpoes drove Joran and Natalee by Joran's house... as a minor detail.

As for other behavior that I find shady and incriminating? Let's just say "family". And let there be no mistake... I'm not talking about Natalee's.

We shall see.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rev Run Message: Mastery

"Good morning. Are you a giver???? Do you have money or does money have you? Can you live without that morning cup of coffee, cigarette etc ? (Remember) What you can walk away from, YOU HAVE MASTERED. What you can't walk away from has mastered you. He who loves the least controls the relationship! God is Love Rev Run"


How powerful is that statement?

There are at least three messages in this statement.

Future posts will explore Rev's theories about the blessings of giving and the power of control. For now, l want to concentrate on mastery:

"What you can walk away from, you have mastered. What you can't walk away from has mastered you."

So elementary. So true. So difficult to do.

And yet, just the challenge I need to square off against my demons.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Stephen + Lauren = Who Knows???!

Rumors ... abound. And what does the end of year connection between Lauren Conrad and Stephen Colletti mean for the new year?

As the faithful know, I've already cast my vote.

[Insert all of yoiur comments about how reality tv isn't real... and how I should get and/or concentrate on my own life.]

Just sayin'... IMHO, they make a great couple.

Pictured are Lauren, Lo and Audrina at LAX in Las Vegas, courtesy of Gossip Girls,

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dear Santa... I've been pretty good! I've had little time to be bad!

I know I'm late in writing, but here's my Christmas list:

1. Unfailing health for Miss C and me. If you can only provide it for one, I pick Miss C.

2. Fitness.

3. Will power. Strength. Commitment.

4. Companionship. Continuing and new.

5. Happiness.

6. Contentment, because there's a difference between happiness and contentment.

7. Energy. Energy to enjoy all that comes my way.

8. Time. More than anything, time. Time with Miss C. Time to enjoy all my blessings.

And if your sleigh isn't too full...