Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sister Linda moves as far as LA and sees the play

Linda's son Scott came and with the help of my son Dan loaded what belongings they could in my sister Linda's van and a u-haul trailer they rented, and Scott drove her as far as LA. He is helping with the play, so they were going to stay there for the weekend before making the last leg of the journey to SF. Today they will be joined by Linda's daughter, Carissa, who is flying in from SF to meet with Utah relatives coming to see the play tonight.
Linda has reported on the family site that if she tried to lift much of anything, she suffered, but said she saw the play and enjoyed it. She left her dogs in care of her companion, Leo, who is still living in her house, but it has gone into foreclosure. What a wrench tis was for her to leave her house, quite a lot of her belongings and art work, books, as well as her dogs, and her male companion of 4 years, to move to SF, but she is going to look after her two grandchildren after school, until their busy parents can get home from their jobs We are hoping she will eventually get all the red tape taken care of, and acquires medicaid or whatever it is called in California, so she can have an MRI of her back at the request of a specialist. Looks like that is going to be required now as she continues to have numb hands. After trying to lift things she has decided that possibly the problem does originate in her back.
I am still recovering from the strain I got breaking my fall with my left arm. My elbow is very sore which hit the hardest and suffered a bad scrape as well as a bruise. I can tell you I have been watching myself ever since that fall when I walk out and about as I did to the Farmer's market this morning. I purchased some delicious looking wheatberry bread, vine ripened tomatoes, fresh turnips, beets and onions. I do love the Farmer's Market where the produce is the very freshest anywhere! The temerature is expected to reach 86 degrees here this weekend, a really warm spell. Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali important book for women to read about brutality toward women among Islamic Fundamentalists

I don't know if you will remember the incident in the news where a Muslim woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born in Somalia who had been elected to parliment in Holland made a ten minute film called "Submission 1" with the help of a Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh. She started receiving death threats as the result of this film about how Muslim women must submit to men and be brutalized even because it is part of the religion, so men feel more justified in doing it. She thought that Theo's life was in danger, too, but he refused to think anyone would actually kill him due to making a ten minute film on this subject, but a Moroccan man did, cutting a hole in his throat and leaving a letter addressed to Ayaan over the wrong she had done to single out Muslim men as wife abusers. In fact, Ayaan had even accused the Prophet Mohammad of being a pedofile because he allowed himself to be married to a six year old child and consummated the marriage when the child was 9. Of course this idea was so inflammatory that once it came out, Ayaan had to stay in hiding practically non stop. I don't know that the furore has died down even yet. I remember reading about her a great deal for quite some time after the murder occurred.
Her citizenship as a refugee in Holland was even revoked for lying on her application, so she was soon a woman without a country. She did come to America where this book was published, and I think you will be shocked at the life she had to live in several countries and the courage she showed in emerging from the shadows where so many Muslim women stay because of the philosophy of complete submission to the men. She was especially incensed because beating was so common among Islamic Fundamentalists that not only did the men beat and sometimes kill their wives and daughters for infractions but her mother beat her regularly, I mean really badly. Her grandmother saw to it that she and her sisters were 'cut' even though her father did not believe in the mutilation of the clitorus to keep women more pure and virginal for men. I am telling you, sometimes this book was hard to take, but I could not stop reading it. I practically wore my eyes out in one day it was so compelling an indictment of those who do not respect women's rights even to live should they assert themselves and their own ideas a little too strongly. I am glad this brave woman is still alive to tell her tale.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"LOOK HOW COOL BLOG" AWARD given me by Lisa of Please Dont Take Life For Granted

You will see the award on my sidebar, which came to me via Lisa, which is why I treasure it and took it home and found out how to upload it to my sidebar. She got the award from Sugar, and you will note I have added Sugar to my blog list as she performs some very needed functions in blogland such as keeping track of those who need support along with Guido and Jeannette. So I have contacted her several times when I thught someone needed immediate attention and support because of some unexpected trauma in their lives or sudden illness.
I just read Lisa's blog which I have been reading since I started blogging on AOL back three years ago. I was shaken by one entry this morning which covered the loss of more functions we all take for granted, but I could not get over how she continues to record these events, as I think people can learn a lot about illness from her blog, the purpose that she has stated many times is her reason for writing it.
I am supposed to list 8 more Look How Cool Blogs, along with receiving this award, and I have to put Lisa's blog at the top of the list, urging everyone to visit her at least every few days to give her cheer and acknowledgement of her continuing bravery in surviving and blogging!
I love another Lisa's blog, too, which is Life on a Bison Farm. It always cheers me up and those bison activities delight me. Check out my blog list!
I would be amiss if I did not mention my son Raymond's blog Cowboys and Bohemians which has taken blogging in a unique direction. Raymond is blogging in Los Angeles about putting up a new play, which just recently got reviewed and was the pick of the week by the L.A. Weekly. (see my blog list) How can you get any more cool than that? The photo below I call Yellowed by Time, and is a picture of Raymond's dad and me. Raymond writes of his relationship with his dad and me in the play, and his dad's disappearance into the vast desert, never to return.

I am really enjoying reading Vagabond Journeys which is a new blog for me, which I found through my son's blog, because DB has been in theater, and his experience is pretty compelling as revealed in his blog. I enjoy his very literary writing a lot!
Kelli's blog, Thoughts of a Sober White Women is an old favorite I have been reading a long time as well as Pam's blog, Times of My Life which I can't list here since it is private. These two are great bloggers who really cheer me up, and I am even hoping to meet up with Pam in Los Angeles for the first time when I go to see my son's play, as she lives in Bellflower, not too far from the theater location.
Oh I got to read Missie's Upside Down World every day, as well as Joyce's who used to write Treasure Chest of Life, which name she has changed when she went private.
And Nelishia's Fire and Reign. Nelishia has been a very sensitive and caring commenter since the beginning of my blogging on AOL. Right now she is quiet, and I am concerned, but am giving her lots of time to recover, as I know she is one of the busiest people I know and has health problems.
I cannot stop without mentioning my dear Paula's Country Tales. I have a great fondness for this blog since it always takes me back to my country past and my life with the cows and the horses. And I love Paula's sense of humor. Oh, I can't stop. I think I am on 9 now and I know I am leaving out someone's blog I really enjoy. But these 9 come to mind so I have to put them down! Bloggers always need encouragement to keep on blogging. I know. Thank you, Lisa.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Doc and I discuss the tenants meeting where war is always apt to erupt!

I went to talk to both tenants involved in the meeting last night!

And I believe that I had a spirited but successful discussion with both of them as we argued the pros and cons of what one had proposed about buying the building. I will be writing as I can about some of the issues we discussed to do with tenant living in this complex. I just wanted to add this important post script to an entry I wrote below this one that might otherwise seem too inflammatory and negative to them after the meeting last night.

What is required to get along where we live and feel good about life?

I have been pondering that question more this last few days, due to an event that very recently transpired. I live in this large complex (in the photo) that was once a fine luxury hotel built back in 1928 which eventually aged to the point that owners sold it to people who transformed it into a HUD complex for retired seniors and disabled. Their present contract with HUD still has 27 or so years to run, during which time it can't be sold to anyone else for other purposes. So many buildings have since been built downtown to house people I do not expect it to be anything else but a HUD complex for years to come.
I love it because it has a large pool where I can exercise every summer despite the raging 110 degree heat in Phoenix. I also like the ambience of a building with such a long history of people activity. I feel many ghosts of the past roaming here along with the present tenants.
I have at different times during the ten years I have lived here involved myself in resident activities including participation in tenant organizations from time to time. I have always thought that the biggest difficulty the residents have in making these activities work is getting along with each other! It seems that many come to live in here not exactly programmed to see eye to eye with anybody else. I don't know why that is, I only know that the results have been a great many squabbles over just about anything that was proposed we do, until I would weary of fighting and withdraw.
So the other night a poster was put up on my floor and also on my door inviting me to a meeting being called to talk about the idea of tenants buying the building so they could run it in a more pleasing manner, apparently, than our management is doing. Well, tenants might understand tenants' viewpoints better, but it takes getting along to have a successful tenants organization let alone do anything so far out as buy the building. And at a time when credit is frozen and hardly anyone is able to buy anything when the banks aren't lending.
The tenant who called the meeting, a long time participator in tenants affairs, said he had been asked what board would not be voted out that would have to be responsible? He said oh a permanent board would be appointed that could not be voted out! I thought what? How?
One lady interrupted almost before he could get anything else said that she thought this was a ridiculous idea, and she was so indignant she could not be persuaded to let anybody else have their say, and kept interrupting and getting louder and louder. Soon both the man proposing the idea of buying the building and another supporter were exchanging gentle shouts with her, and I finally interrupted, said that when I saw this poster I thought it was mainly designed to let management know for the nth time that tenants were not happy with her management, even if we did not manage to buy the building, and I walked out. I have been heartily objecting for some time to poster wars of a negative nature being posted on our bulletin boards. That is simply carrying tenant war too far, I think, making all of us participants by being unable to avoid reading them. This poster announcing the meeting with such a sensational proposal as buying the bulding seemed more of the same. Not practical. Not realistic, but capable of giving management another little sting. And maybe some satisfaction achieved. (Petty)
In order to get my opinion in there I felt forced to raise my voice which upset me all the rest of the night and yesterday. I am sure elevated my blood pressure. And made me feel more isolated than ever in here, which I don't like.
I maintain that the tenants who proposed this idea which brought out quite a gathering to the ballroom were being more emotional than reasonable and got back an emotional backlash almost immediately.
Buying the building is such an unlikely possibility in this day and age, considering the difficulties the billionaires are experiencing that it is hardly even worth proposing, considering that such proposal could have a negative effect. To think a group of tenants such as we could buy this building is just too absurd, viewing how we get along. They maintained this had been done in Salt Lake and Texas, back in the dark ages I would assume. Not recently I am sure.
I might add that I also don't hate the management here. And I think any clashes tenants have had with this present management are probably as much their fault as managements, if it got ugly. I consider this complex to be quite well run, and I have lived in a lot of apartment complexes that weren't. But the manager is a woman, and the tenants who have clashed with her the most in recent years I see as mainly being men who have a problem with authority, let alone woman authority. I don't feel I am respected by these men either, or I would not be sitting on the sidelines most of the time when it comes to tenants' affairs because the battles are too heated for me. I have invariably clashed with some male tenant who tried to shout me down when we disagreed. I am 78 years old, unable to hold my own very long in a shouting match with men 20 to 30 years younger. As soon as people start shouting, I am forced to withdraw or pay for the drain on my energy with several down days.
If men interested in tenant affairs cannot hold on to their tempers and respect the opinions of others, I see little hope of us getting together to do anything successfully. Reason flies out the window when emotions get hot. What do you think?

Monday, February 23, 2009

News flash: L.A. critic's review of "Bohemian Cowboy," good!

Raymond called excited and was reading me some of the review on line. He said the paper, the L.A. Weekly, would be out soon, and he thought his play would be pick of the week! He said there was not a glitch in the review. He had to go but is sending me the link so I can read it online, too, but I just could not wait to share the news, as this means a lot in picking up more viewers as well as adding to the lustre of the play. In fact those who want to see it better reserve. I told him to reserve me two seats on Saturday, March the 7th. Every family member I called was not at home, except one son, Dan, who thought that was good news and was excited for Raymond. He has written a number of screen plays, too, so he knows what a good review means.
As soon as I find the review I will add it to this entry. Oh joy!

Later: Here is the review from the L.A. Weekly stage reviews:

"BOHEMIAN COWBOY is this week's Pick of the Week

Crossing the Center Line
A father heads into the desert, never to return

By Steven Leigh Morris

The original title of Raymond King Shurtz's one-man show was The Gospel of Irony ― which would have been a particularly ironic title, had it stuck, since there's not a trace of irony in Shurtz's unwaveringly sincere family memoir, now called Bohemian Cowboy. It's all hinged to his efforts to understand the mystery of his father's disappearance three years ago. The elder Shurtz drove six miles into the Nevada desert in his pickup, got out and, evidently, started walking. And now the younger Shurtz is trying to fathom whether this was suicide, or homicide and just some freak turn of events. The older man was not the best of fathers, his son explains through shards of poignant stories that are as compassionate as they are in gracefully written, and spoken. And the father was feeling some humiliation from the physical aftereffects of treatments for a form of cancer not specified in the play. The uncredited set contains raw wood slabs of some nondescript interior; when not showing family photographs, an overhead video monitor frames the action with an image of the boundless Mojave. Under Kurt Brungardt's tender direction, background sounds to Shurtz's fantastical mystery tour to the scene of his father's disappearance include howling wind, the rat-tat-tat of search-and-rescue helicopters. The father was a musician, and Shurtz juxtaposes his saga with moving ballads from his memory, as well as his own original compositions. Near the beginning, Shurtz quotes William Styron saying that depression is the inability to grieve. Shurtz's performance is, indeed, an elegy, a theater-poem of Styron-esque insight and elegance. He describes his playwright mother as a poet, while his father was merely "poetical." He meets Jesus in the desert, a figure "with ebony eyes and crooked teeth," while Hamlet accompanies him for some of the drive across the expanse. Hamlet, he says, does not care for Shurtz's song honoring Ophelia. Shurtz performs all this with gentle, wistful intelligence while avoiding the morose or the melodramatic. Through this deeply personal story of fathers and sons, and marriages gone awry, Shurtz has stumbled onto a romantic allegory, not only for a man lost in the wilderness but for a country, dangerously tipsy, swerving over the broken center line of an open road, as though between nostalgia and despondency. Overhead, the canopy of stars remains, as ever, oblivious. Elephant Lab Theatre, 6324 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m. (no perfs March 13-14); through March 21. (323) 960-7744. A Theatre 4S Production"

P.S. See L.A. News link on my blog list Also see the link to Raymond's blog on my blog list, Cowboys and Bohemians, where he has blogged about the whole experience!

Sister Ann receives warning of danger

Ann had just been reading a book by John Edwards, one of America's famous mediums, called "Crossing Over," which our niece Cheryl had given her. She was talking to Cheryl on the phone about a book project and she said that somethng very odd happened. She felt and even saw in her mind what seemed like a bolt of lightning. It went into her computer as she was talking and then she thought it went through my sister LaRae who has been dead over 20 years, who seemed to be right there, and from there it went into her ex-husband Vernon, who is still alive, Cheryl's father. Ann said she did not want to say anything to Cheryl right then, but she decided to heed John Edward's instructions to share these experiences in order to give them validity.
So she went to the family site after she hung up and wrote down what had transpired. And then she asked Cheryl if anything was going on with her dad, had something happened to him very recently?
Well, folks, it had not happened yet! Later, I am not sure how long, Cheryl came on the family site and said a few hours after my sister Ann posted this entry, her dad Vernon was in a car wreck. It disabled his car so that he could not drive it, he was shaken up and upset because he had not seen the vehicle he hit, but did not seem to be seriously hurt.
I thought that this psychic pickup was real and undoubtedly happened because my sister Ann was so in tune at the moment with all the people involved. I do not think we can get these advanced warnings unless we remain open and aware and always concerned about the safety and well being of those around us. Ann could not stop the event from happening, but her sensing danger would give comfort to Cheryl and Colette, Vernon's daughters, conveying to them, that no, they were not alone. The mother they have missed so many years was close by and watching over them, and had once again made contact, as she has done many other times when a family member is in crisis.
My sister Linda has had many dreams about her, since her crisis with her back and her numb hands has begun. She said when I talked to her yesterday that our sister LaRae spoke to her very strongly in a dream and said, "Leave now, go as fast as you can." Moving to San Francisco right now seems to be the fastest way she can get seen by a specialist since she has been advised that she would have to wait up to 45 days here to get on medicaid and see a specialist. If she moves to San Francisco she will be under the watchful eye of her daughter who I am sure will be able to help her to get this seen about. She said she had a very bad night just from trying to pack, but her son Scott is coming today from Los Angeles to drive her van. She will need a bed in back she said because there is no way she can sit up all that way. People with serious problems like this are having a tough time right now getting seen in a timely manner. I just hope that she gets to San Francisco within the next few days without serious mishap and is soon seen there. I fear that surgery will be her only alternative, as she is not recovering.
I am recovering from my fall well and was able to walk to the library yesterday with a load of books to return. Walking keeps the body strong, so I realized I needed to get going again as soon as possible. It is the best protection from gaining more weight there is. I told Doc yesterday it is very hard for me to hold my weight in check when he is not holding his drinking in check. I spend too many hours alone, while still attached to him. I am unable to spend more time with him because of his drinking. He is just too irritable.
I am going to Los Angeles with him if for no other reason than that he volunteered and I need someone to accompany me. He realizes this is going to be a test of his strength and is already worrying some about his drinking. He said he would not be carrying his thermos on the bus, but I am afraid he will go into withdrawal if he doesn't. He really wants to get out of this constriction on his life alcohol imposes. I know he is excited by the magnitude of what Raymond has been able to do sober, which he could not do. Without sobriety and good health habits, there is no way in the world Raymond could have gone to Los Angeles and staged his play. No way! I think Doc is impressed. He could disdain what happens in Utah, but Raymond going to Los Angeles was a step that he had to admire in spite of himself.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Doc says he will accompany me to Los Angeles to see Raymond's play

I was worried about my proposed trip to Los Angeles as my son Dan's hours have been cut so drastically on his job, due to the economy turn down here in Arizona, he cannot afford to go. My son Gary is taking a girlfriend and only has two seats, but I did not want to horn in on his mini-vacation, he takes so little time off. He has had to work weekends to make sure all the jobs get done right, so the construction company he works for stays afloat. Work is hard to come by right now. I hope he will find the time to go. My daughter Ronda starts her first nursing job Monday, and is committed to so many different things this coming month, she could find no way to leave.
That left me to go by bus or plane by myself. I just could not get too excited about a trip alone. Doc could see I was depressed so he said he would accompany me to Los Angeles! By plane or bus, whatever we decide. He has a healthy bank account for a poor guy, he is so frugal, so I thought well, this is a trip I would take with him. I did not want to take him to Utah, as he might not be able to handle so many family members on a trip, but he is quite enthusiastic about a trip to Los Angeles where he has even lived before for a few months. He is comfortable with cities, being from St. Louis, but not with the country.
He is going to take the camera and tripod and hopes to film some of the play if Raymond is willing or at least something of Raymond. He has promised to keep his mouth shut and behave himself during the play. So now I have perked up and feel better. I am not saying that such a trip won't have its ups and downs, but I am willing to take a chance in order to get to Los Angeles to see the play!
Oh Raymond called and said audiences have not been too big, but they have been enthusiastic. The man responsible for the grant money to do it was there opening night and he was very pleased with the progress of this play as a performance piece that could be done in other towns and cities. He called me after the play last night and said it was another good night.
I was excited because a whole van of Utah people are going to drive to Los Angeles next weekend to see the play, including my sister Margie and several nieces, a husband or two. I think my sister Linda will also see it then if she is able, as she plans to go as far as Los Angeles in the first segment of her move to San Francisco.
I am thinking about a weekend in March.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My forehead hit a tree trunk while out walking and I fell down and rolled into the street!

Fortunately no cars were coming in the lane, and a gentlemen stopped and helped me up. I did not think I broke anything so I declined a ride somewhere and continued to walk down the street. If anything was to blame I was looking down as I walked down a sidewalk which I have traversed many tines, instead of straight ahead and had no idea a split trunk of a tree was leaning way out in the sidewalk. I hit it so hard I knew I could not stay on my feet even though I pedalled backwards desperately striving for balance. Nor after I started going down, could I keep from rolling off the sidewalk into the street! My purse went way out there. Let's see, I scraped my elbow, and stort of strained that one arm and shoulder which I used to break my fall. I thanked god I have been carrying so many packages for years on my walks that my arms were strong.
The city streets are hazardous, and you do have to keep your eyes peeled at all times for unexpected hazards like raised sidewalks! Oh and these brick roadways--before I got used to my walking path, I nearly fell down twice over the same raised brick. I am mighty careful now when I walk on cobbled streets and sidewalks. But I just did not expect that damned tree to be leaning way out in the pathway! I felt like calling the city and telling them to cut that hazard to walkers down, but doubted if anybody else was going to miss seeing it entirely, practically knocking themselves out.
I decided not to tell Doc today that I fell down. We had been talking for weeks about my sister Linda's bad fall and hitting her head on the edge of a sidewalk, wondering if this might have pinched a nerve in her back and caused her hands to start going numb. And congratulating ourselves on our great nimbleness and ability to keep on our feet even when practically tottering. She still has not been able to get to a specialist and get her numb hands checked out She also says now she might have twinged her back swinging a pick to break up hard ground and put in a garden, but I tell you right now I don't do pick and shovel. But this fall has convincd me I had better quit carrying quite so many groceries at a time. And make more trips. Although I was carrying nothing to speak of when I fell.
I told my daughter when I happened to be talking to her, and she was alarmed, but she told me I was better off to keep walking anyway, than to quit, or my muscles would atrophy for sure. I know that. So I will try to look for big trees in my pathway. I have vowed I will rise my eyes from time to time to see what is up as well as what is down!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gerry and Doc Barcelona, Woody Allen style

I brought Woody Allen's "Vicky Christina Barcelona" home yesterday, and oddly enough, it reminded me of aspects of Doc's and my life together. Like the characters in this movie, I am always seeking completion, and might go to bizarre lengths to make all my dreams come true. Like Woody, Doc is willing to analyze my character for hours on camera. Time and again I knock on the door only to hear my own voice inside as Doc watches one of the many movies he has made of me pontificating or in some cases even verbally abusing him. He has given these home movies all their own names. For example yesterday he was watching "F-U-N." I have no idea what that's about as I can't stand to watch myself over and over again as he can. I no longer feel he is that devoted to me. He is just devoted to the woman he sees on camera with a movie he has made which he feels shows his genius in questioning me and bringing out the shrew in me, or whatever he was aiming for. Doesn't that sound like Woody Allen? So here is a sample of our lives with an unexpected twist that will be sure to make you smile at least a little bit.

Thank you, Connie, for this horsey interpretation of Doc's character! See Windswept Whispers on my blog list.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Catching up

Connie sent me this snag featuring James Dean. I don't know if she knew that he came a number of times after he passed over to give me messages and to make sure that I stayed safe on a trip. I figured that he found me through my psychic abilities to pick up messages from the dead. To that extent I have been somewhat of a medium my whole life, but knew I did not have the capabilities to be a working one.
I was just reading another memoir by an English medium who happened to have been a policeman for many years. One of the ways that he found out he was gifted was when he was quite young, in high school I think it was, he met up with a kid he thought was kind of strange, but he hung around, and so one day he decided to introduce him to another friend. The friend just laughed and said something he didn't quite understand. He introduced this kid to still another friend, and this one said something to this effect, "Your idea of a joke, right, introducing me to a friend who isn't there!" He finally realized from what the other one said that he had not seen this kid either, that neither one of his friends saw him because he was a spirit!
I have never heard of an experience quite like this, but some people's psychic gifts manifest in strange ways, very often with seeing a spirit in their younger years.
I was listening to the George Mooney show the other night and someone came on and told him about a dream of the future he had. I wanted so badly to get on the phone and call George because I have had so many dreams of the future. Years ago James Dean came and gave me a message as I was drivng down a road in Los Vegas where I lived for a short time. I was even wide awake and James Dean spoke in my ear and said, "There is going to be a death in governmental circles, a man in his forties, a theatrical personality." I thought oh, this must be bad for him to come and tell me when I am awake, but for the life of me I could not think who this could be, because I don't think I could fathom at that time that someone would assassinate President Kennedy. This message came in late August, and I had this dream on my mind until President Kennedy was killed in November.
James Dean went on to other activities after a few years and so did I.
My sister Linda has been dreaming non stop about her ailment and what could be wrong. I have never seen anyone dream as much as she does. She is the dreamer in the family, more so than I am. She seems to think in dreams.
Last night I had a dream that someone waa wearing a red, white, and blue necklace that was designed in the form of a choker, that is it lay close to the neck in this almost magical beaded design that could change form right on the neck. President Obama is to speak today at Dobson High School to address the severe economic problems in Arizona where foreclosures are so high. So I think this necklace kind of represents his visit of hope to our citizens who certainly need it, who have lost jobs and homes.
Linda is resigned to losing her home as she can't afford the bills of keeping her home up either with an injury and inability to find and hold a job. She has decided to go to California, as her daughter has called her and told her she is already lookng for an apartment for her, and will fly down to LA to see my son Raymond's play so she can drive her back to SF.
Linda also told me this morning that she remembered she wielded a pick and shovel a couple of months or so ago when she was putting in a little garden! The ground was very hard and she remembers hitting a rock with the pick and causing her back to twinge. She thinks that after that she started with the numbness in her hands. She thinks that she was too hard on her body for her age, thinking she could do pick and shovel. I said, yes, especially, when you aren't doing it on a regular basis. How many people have attempted to do something they are not used to with bad results, like shoveling a ton of snow? She nounded pretty cheerful this morning, saying she could probably work through all the red tape to see a specialist in Calif, as fast as she could here, since the budget has been severely cut to the Department of Economic Security.
I am very concerned about all the people starting to hurt who have been laid off. I know that has to be a top priority in the months to come. As soon as any knd of work stimulus package comes, Arizona has plenty of highways, etc, that have been neglected for years.
One good note, after ten years of drought, Roosevelt Lake is reported to be more full than it has been in 98 years! Could that be? They are going to have to let the Salt River flow again. A lot of moisture must have come down just this winter. Joy! Now if it just doesn't flood!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sister Linda has a bad night...

Linda is still struggling with the numbness in her hands but became more alarmed when she tried to pack some boxes, took the dogs for a walk yesterday, and experienced numbness in both hands clear to her elbows all last night. She said the numbness finally seemed to be receding some, but we are encouraging her now to clear the way here to get to the bottom of this frightening ailment, rather than trying to move to her daughter's next week. I think she can get in faster to see someone here. She is also dropping things and falling down frequently. She will have to apply to AHHCCS as she has no money other than her social security since she has not been able to think of working. She was going to her daughter's to tend her grandkids a few hours in the day which she thought she could do. Now I am afraid she must put that on hold.
I was also upset to learn that Joyce whose blog used to be called Treasure Chest Full of Life is very worried about her daughter who is still recovering from surgery on her foot. A cold has turned into pneumonia and she is asking for emergency prayers for her.
I am so happy that Missy of Missy's Upside Down World seems to be recovering in timely fashion from her knee surgery.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sister LaRae's forest

The above painting is one of my sister LaRae's. She passed over 20 years ago. But her paintings live on to remind us of her.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The movie "Doubt" starring Meryl Streep deals with suspected pedofiles

Before the academy awards next Sunday I decided to see some of the movies and talk about them if I thought I could relate with my issues. Oscar nominee Meryl Streep's performance in a rather unsympathetic part is still so powerful she is a good reason for seeing it. I also thought it was good in that it dealt with all the complications of suspecting molestation, with the very real possibility of being wrong, which I think happens in this movie. I think the nun accuses the priest of a serious crime which I don't think he committed. He may have been a priest with a gay orientation, but that does not mean that his gestures of affection toward boys meant that he was a pedofile. He denied the charges, but that accusation is so damning that he decides he has to leave that parrish before she ruins his career as a priest completely. At any rate, he was going to be miserable there locked in war with her over every little thing he does. Wow! That's enough drama for anyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feelings rule the heart

I would have said no if I could

I battled with you

I said I am done

with this bizarre situation

you said no

passions rule

I said no

but I was not able to hold out

which you knew would happen

you had your way

and left satisfied

with so little

but I did feel better

I was able to go on

with this bizarre situation

thinkng it would get better some time

I dont ask or expect

that we be together

when someone elses needs intervene

we are essentially very civilized

if our being together upsets people

we will refrain

we will trust

that considering everyones feelings

is best when you are old

and the kids are all here

and the hearts blood does not pulse

as it used to

we can wait

for what seems like

forever if necessary

until this passion

can be allowed to burn

without scorching those

who are warmed by

our more robust fires


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Son Raymond opening his play, "Bohemian Cowboy" in Los Angeles

Raymond sings songs he wrote for his singing sessions with his dad who lived with him a few months nearly every winter in the last ten years of his life. He writes his thoughts about his dad disappearing into the desert above Los Vegas on the turn off to the Valley of Fire. It has been over 3 years now and his dad has never been seen again, even though at the time, a big search even using dogs was made. Raymond will be talking about his mother, too, and his grandfather who was the great cowboy in his ancestory as was his great grandfather, too, who homesteaded his first ranch in Salt Gulch, a valley below Hell's Backbone. Raymond had dreams of being a working cowboy that did not pan out because performing was in his blood. So he became a bohemian cowboy instead!
The photo above is Hell's Backbone Bridge in the beautiful Utah country where Raymond goes every summer. He and his dad used to meet in Boulder for some real country singing sessions under the stars.
See my blog list for more information on the theater and the tickets.

I thought you might like to see bougainvillea in February in Phoenix

The bougainvillea looks more beautiful out front than it will any other time of the year, which seems unbelievable considering a winter storm dropped 2 feet of snow in the Arizona high country this past two days. This is a state of many contrasts. I am just trying to cheer all of you up in the cold climes where the weather is still unrelenting, stormy and COLD.

12 year old girl composes and delivers a speech to her class on abortion

I could not help but be very impressed with this young girl's perceptions and I think you will be, too! A good friend sent me this link. Thank you!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Milk" a film about the assassination of a gay activist politician is also a message of hope

I came out of "Milk" actually feeling elated with such an achievement in film making. This story leaps into harsh reality the minute it opens and does not depart from it in my opinion. It is so strong that it kind of dwarfs all the other films I have seen this year that are contenders for honors. This film is the best picture of the year in my opnion, and I can't imagine a subject more difficult than the story of how gay activist Harvey Milk runs for city supervisor in San Francisco over and over until he is finally elected to the highest political office a gay had achieved at that time in the US. I also did not know that Harvey Milk fought a law that was proposed and had passed in Florida, Witchita, and other places, that would have gotten all known and suspected gays fired from jobs as school teachers, social workers where they interacted with children in California. Thanks to his activist efforts and debates, the law did not pass.
How unfair that kind of legislation seems to me as I had grown up with teachers I felt absolutely had to hide their sexual orientation in order to keep their jobs in a judgmental society. In other words, in order to be school teachers they were forced to lie their whole lives. My dad was a rancher, and he felt he had to lie. What a dreadful world that is when people must lie to please the religious dogmatic who are citing their authority as biblical. I have never thought that anyone could help what they felt sexually whether they inherited or developed those feelings along the way. They could not change their feelings, but I always thought that ignorant and unreasonable people were demanding that they do. This area has always been such a loaded minefield for society, where it is so easy to condemn without having ever walked in those shoes.
Yes, I would be the first to say that we must protect the children from predators whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, but if homosexuals are forced to lie to keep their jobs that is branding all gays a danger to the children which is simply not so. And all we will get from such policies is more people who have to make a living feeling forced to hide their sexual orientation, the same results that have usually always prevailed in backward societies, in my opinion. Because some people are always going to be homosexual, so these people will only be made to feel like outsiders, moral lepers you might say. Without just cause! The way to protect our children is through honesty from all, open debate, knowledge, acceptance, and civil disagreement.
Harvey Milk kept exhorting the gays to come out, to be honest about who they were no matter the fallout. He insisted that society needed to be able to accept the gays right to life, a place in society, so they could exist without having to lie. I got mad again at Anita Bryant in the film as I did back then when she did so much damage to gay rights in the name of biblical authority. Too much unreasonable condemnation of all gays can turn religion ugly, as it did in Dan White, a right wing supervisor, who eventually shot both the mayor and Harvey Milk after they had been too successful with the gay rights agenda. The worst part of it is he was only given a short sentence for manslaughter and served only two years. He punished himself far worse by eventually committing suicide.
It is always unsettling to have to accept that a parent, a child, relative, a friend, someone does not march to the same drummer as we 'normal' people do. I always thought that my father was a gift from God to me to study and try to understand and tolerate. I was close enough to him to perceive strengths as well as faults and failings. I did not have homosexual feelings but because of him I became the friend of tortured souls I met who struggle with these issues their whole lives, feeling condemned before people even knew them.
Harvey Milk cries out that out of his six relationships, five committed suicide. And he was due for still another suicide in his life when his partner when he was elected eventually killed himself, too. I felt that suicidal was my father's middle name.
This is a great movie. It seems to me almost a miracle that a story this complex has been told on film so well. Sean Penn has done his very best work to date in my opinion, earning his own right to be called a great activist.

Friday, February 6, 2009

With the opening of Bohemian Cowboy in LA coming up, my mind is on theater!

Here is my official cardinal shirt, and now that the Arizona Cardinals have made themselves known to the world of football in fine fashion I am thinking how the theater world might do the same. My son Raymond and I have both spent years and years trying to open the doors of theater to local playwrights, and have not succeeded it would seem at this point, since there are no new plays by local playwrights making a stir. But what has happened is that Raymond has taken all the experience he garnered doing new plays by all local playwrights to Los Angeles with him to stage one of his own new plays. Now that has got to catch the attention of everyone, even those who have not been believers in the idea that in order to rejuvenate theater, local stars must be developed, local issues addressed, in short theater needs to become personal and next door, and therefore perhaps not to be missed!
Raymond, despite not being recognized in the press here for years, will carry his Arizona history with him and the theater voice he developed here just may startle the world. Raymond would always try to do the impossible, causing some to think he bordered on the edge of insane. What a tightrope you have to walk to write and perform in a theater piece, bringing it to fruition with a professional sheen. I am so excited by the biggest project he has ever tackled.
The last big play he wrote and produced in Phoenix was Blue Baby which turned out to be too big for the main theater critic in Arizona to handle He did not attend it both times it was produced so therefore had a good excuse not to write about it. It is a landmark play dealing with homosexual assault and rape in the jail system, plus it addressed many more issues in a kind of a memoir and this play even developed somewhat of a cult following despite hardly any critics attending or writing about it. Perhaps they were uncomfortable with the subject matter, who knows, but why? If it is your job to cover theater, you are not doing it when you discriminate, when you black ball a playwright for personal reasons. If a powerful newspaper critic is against you, no other theater company is apt to do your work, since publicity has always been a ncessity for the success of a new play especially which has no built in reputation to help it succeed.
The Arizona State Theater Company is doing Raisin in the Sun which is a very powerful play and I have seen a number of versions of it. That's just it. It is about as safe a choice of a play by a black playwright that you could choose to do. Obviously there is considerable risk to doing new work by local playwrights, but I will tell you what, if you don't take those risks, your theater will never come alie as it could with new work. You will miss the biggest excitement there is to be had in doing theater. All because you knew you had to tackle so many obstacles. Audiences can be arrogant and judgmental. And they will punish you severely if they think you are trying to foist an inferior play on them by someone who does not know what they are doing. Well, Raymond has had to earn his laurels as a playwright.
So now I think all of Phoenix's theater world is looking to see what happens with his great venture in LA, as many know him and have followed his career here for years. They can't help themselves. They have to look.
What will LA theater patrons say about him? Raymond to me has become like a white knight of theater going on a crusade on behalf of all the playwrights in the world. The cowboy is riding his imaginary steed a long way to the promised land. We all can't help but get excited about that. I know him. I know he can ride, he can fight, he can battle, and he can win the hearts of the people. He is a natural born actor who has made himself the conduit for his work. For what he can do.
So I sense magic happening in that dark theater during these last days. The lights are going to come on and a miracle will happen once again on stage. A theater audience will be beguiled once again. A new playwright will be born! Once again.
We cannot always rely on the old ones, who have made it. Their work loses vitality with age. We must have new voices to speak for our times. The old must show respect for the new.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sister Linda struggles with frightening ailment, foreclosure, and no money for co-pays!

Whitley Strieber talking about UFOs can take you somewhere you have never been before!

Whitley Strieber was on George Noory's show last night and listening to those two discuss UFOs is my idea of surreal. Whitley is so matter of fact about his 'close encounters' complete with implants that you can't help but be convinced of his authenticity. (At least I can't) He talked about the implant he now has in his ear, which not too long ago moved further down into his ear then back up again, annoying him so intensely he wanted to go have it out, which is no small undertaking, since the doctor who specializes in doing this that he would want is so booked up taking out implants that seeing him even for Whitley Striber may not be easy. I think this doctor is named Lear and he has operated on at least 15 people to remove these implants. I heard him one night describing how everything in a patient's home was magnetized, even plastic spoons. He says this common for people who have implants, and then he described the strange material these implants can be made of. Whitley and George Noony were talking about that last night, and when they took calls a man said that he had two implants come out of his body which looked like glass.
Whitley says he is angry because it so hard to convince many that this really happens. If they saw an x-ray of the implant still in his body, they would still be disbelieving. He says some people have been very cruel and denigrating of him over his experiences. I do think that if people have not experienced a UFO encounter it is very hard for them to take serious all the 'proof' in the world.
Both Whitley and George Noory think that if the US would disclose all their information on UFO sightings here, etc, as other countries are doing, this would go a long ways in giving credibility to the UFO phenomenon.
He said something that really struck home to me, that now in such a depressing time, we really need to realize that there are beings among us who have been coming for years who seem to want to reveal to us a technology way beyond ours. They must get frustrated with our determination to see nothing and believe nothing no matter what displays they put on of their power and how many people see it.
I went to Whitley's web site which is: and read about a huge sighting in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia in which a big UFO seemingly crashed. Thousands witnessed the sighting and it was seen as far away as Kuwait, but it was not reported at all in our country. See, we don't believe nothin'.
Just as their hour of taking calls drew to a close a man called who said he was in the military and he disclosed info about the crashing of a UFO where beings from outer space were seen hurt and being loaded into another craft, something like that, only he asked to speak to George off the air as he said he could go no further in what he said because of the United State's no disclosure policy. Now they are hoping that Obama will favor open disclosure which will make it much easier, Whitley said, for people like him to be believed. Not only will we not pay any attention to these scarey beings from outer space but we abuse those people who have had close encounters like Whitley! I know people denigrate him and question his ability to tell the truth about anything. I have heard them.
I know it is because of the fear we feel trying to wrap our minds around such a phenomenon. Whitley has written very convincingly about this fear, too. He experienced it. He said that if someone had told him a year before he had a close encounter this would happen, he would have laughed in their faces, so he understands people's skepticism, but it is not good to torture people who insist they have had a close encounter. I feel that some of these encounters might be mental aberrations, but not all of them. There is just too much proof if you read all the material available to think all these people who see UFOs are deluded. Well, it was a fascinating evening. Whitley and Art Bell are on Saturday night with Dreamland. I often miss this one show a week but I am up for Coast to Coost with the fascinating and accessible George Noory all during the week. What I love about George Noory is that he never puts anybody down, even when it is obvious they are half demented. He is kind and respectful. Which is why people love him. He finds what is valuable in people's insights, and to him the unknown are as important as the famous.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Raymond called last night

Raymond took time out from his busy rehearsal schedule to touch base last night. We talked about theater productions going on in Phoenix which happened to be mostly plays by black playwrights. Artistic director David Ira Goldstein of the Arizona State Theater Company is featuring Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, which is possibly the most famous play ever written by a black playwright, a woman yet! He could not have known that we would have a black president when he chose to do this play. Due to a bus that came up missing I did not get to the Black Theater to see their hip hop musical based on a Shakespeare play. Another theater company iCollaborative is also featuring a play by a black playwright in the Herberger this week.
I wish all these people were as excited as I am about Raymond, who has been part of the theater scene here for over 20 years, taking an original play to Los Angeles to perform in a theater in West Hollywood. We talked a long time about the play which he said probably features his father's disappearance more than anything, but he reminded me of how many times his father would disappear while living with him when something major was going to happen. He disappeared twice just before the opening of a new play by Raymond, adding to his stress, as he had to try to find him. I remember once he was missing for around 10 days here in Phoenix before he finally called. Raymond was taking a photo of him around to local bars where he disappeared to see if anyone had seen this man? There was always tension and worry that he would stay lost. Well, finally he did, just as Raymond was going through hip replacement surgery! Disappearing at critical times might have something to do with him not being able to take the worry and the stress that Raymond was feeling.
And then we talked about how many people become disappearing artists. In fact, disappearing into the shadows figures in my blog title which is why I called it Daughters of the Shadow Men. My dad's disappearing act was highly successful for the most part, but he did not plan on me being so observant that I detected the life he was living in the shadows. I felt constrained to keep his secrets for many years for fear of the wrath from him and disbelief from others I might encounter if I attempted to tell.
So Raymond and I concluded that maybe we are a society of disappearing artists. I do think that if anyone is different there is tremendous pressure on them to keep secret what might disturb those who demand conformity.
I think a playwright must always surface their inner life for a play to have significance and meaning. A risk has to be taken to lay all the facts out there, to bare one's soul so to speak. Raymond who has always wanted to be a singer is doing seven of his original songs in the play at appropriate moments to reveal character. It is sometimes a terrible risk to write and sing songs if you have not been deemed as talented in this area as in others. What a risk! To expose whatever talent you have to be judged! But I am all for tearing down all the barriers put up to keep people from expressing themselves musically 'because they are not good enough.' Dean, Raymond's dad, never encouraged me to sing a speck. I was there to applaud, but he did put up with his son who was more talented than I am, but not as talented as he was, musically. This guy could harmonize with anyone. But I thought his idea of constricting people hurt him worse than it did anybody. He had been raised to judge the singing of others quite severely, and this critical attitude ate away at his own confidence, so that he did not want to take the risk of being judged. He stopped singing for the most part rather than be judged as he judged others. So it will be very interesting to see how the audience judges Raymond efforts to write monologues, act, write songs, and sing! A formidable challenge. Can he pull it off? As my sister Ann said, for this kind of venture you have to have nerves of steel. And you have to understand risk that stops just short of excess, which means you must revise to the bone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Archangel Michael once helped me to keep my father from murdering my mother

A photo of my father around the age this incident took place.
I was listening last night to my favorite talk radio host, George Noory who had a clairavoyant on whose last name is Virtue. Their subject was angels, and I heard her say that the Archangel Michael is the most powerful angel in charge of earth, and anyone can instantly call for his help as he has the power to lock into everyone. I got very excited and wanted to call in and tell the story of how this angel helped me so much one time. First I was told that he was my father's special guardian angel and then years later I learned that my father had held his thirty thirty rifle on my mother for 30 minutes all the time threatening to kill her. I knew if ever there was a time to call on his guardian angel for help this was the time. I immediately asked for the Archangel Michael who rsponded instantly to my call for help as though he had been waiting for it. I asked him to please travel in the spirit to my father with me while I talked to him every night. I was just sure that if we did not intervene he would murder my mother. I told the angel that I could not call my father and talk to him. He would be too furious at my mother for telling us about the murderous threat. So with the angel by my side, I would go in spirit and talk to my father urgently for sometimes up to two hours! I would tell him all the reasons why he needed to keep control over his rage. Every night for two months, I would go with the Angel and to my father's bedside, and once again make contact with his tortured spirit. The prsence of this great angel gave me inspiration about what to say all those nights. Sometimes I would be too tired to stay long, but I did not miss a night in going to try to intervene. I did not dare!
Finally after two months of these nightly visits I felt the danger had eased enough for me to return to normalcy. The peak of my father's fury had reached its zenith, and once his anger cooled, I did not think he would again so lose control of himself as to seize his rifle which I also knew to have a hair trigger. I knew this great angel had known that this murder would be very bad for many people, affecting members of the family for years which was why he had responded to the urgency in my call for help.
To this day I have hardly heard anybody talk about the Archangel Michael until last night. So I wanted to bear witness here about what this great angel did for me, my father and mother, and our family.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Empty heart

It is time to decorate for Valentine's Day, so thank you Connie, for the Special Lady creation above (horses are okay, because they are running) but today I can only contemplate my empty heart. Yes, I would like to feel that I was loved and was in love, but I am not. You cannot be in love with a man with a giant alcohol addiction. He has only got room for it and it comes first. Doc is a beautiful looking man for a 71year old and has a great sense of humor, but I can see the wreck that he is, and others probably can, too. I am his friend. I know he might go down hill fast if it were not for me, but he is only able to connect to me like a wisp, a shadow. There is no heat in his embrace. I don't know how he keeps from just blowing away, so much of him is not there. But that is reality.
As I have made my way through many blogs I have been happy for women that I think are fortunate to have beautiful and loving relationships with a husband. One thing concerns me, however, and I hope that I don't offend anyone when I say this, because my purpose is to try to fend off heart break that comes with addiction. I grew up with country cooking where many a farm woman delighted in making the best and tastiest meals for her husband. Unfortunately even for the women, country cooking is tasty and addictive. So much of it is designed to please the palate, loaded with butter, sugar, etc. In the early days women were engaged in so many hard tasks like gardening, bottling, carrying water to wash clothes, that many of them lived pretty long lives in spite of their 'good' food, and the men were even more physically active and not where they could 'piece' so they stayed healthy, too. But the more modern conveniences country women acquired, the more unhealthy they got!
And that included me who went to the city where I vowed I would never bottle again and did not. I didn't garden either, but I was still very attached to country cooking. And that my friends has been so hard to give up. Because tasty food is apt to put on weight. In desperation, I finally became a full fledged vegan and in one fell swoop cut out a lot of delicious but fattening dangerous foods. I judge my weight by how I fit in my clothes, and I have not gotten out of my clothes for 20 years or more even though I came dangerously close a few times, and when I feel my zippers easy to zip I am escatic because I know I am losing instead of gaining. So the battle goes on. Believe me, weight gain at an older age is so dangerous I cannot emphasize that enough. It affects everything, your joints, your back, your blood pressure, your resistence to germs.
And some ladies who are mostly doing the cooking for husbands and other household members are affecting their health too by what they cook. So I implore everyone to examine closely what you eat, what you cook, what you like, and see if you are contributing to food addiction, yours as well as others. I would cut out desserts immediately. Do not ever cook your family dessert, and don't keep any in the house. No icecream, cookies, nothing like that. Because not only are desserts fattening but the sugar can be lethal for older people susceptible to diabetes.
Chips or soft drinks, no. The only way I am going to buy chips if I can't resist them, is one little package around 99c so when they are gone there are no more to munch on. In the past I have bought one popcycle if I craved icecream enough.
Doc is an enabler of sorts. He buys chips and icecream, but he has almost gone to being a vegan I have affected him so much with my dishes. Now he is slow cooking a lot of beans and eperimenting with different ingredients in his soup. He buys those cursed chile' limon chips whenever they are on sale. Doc delights if he can break down your resistence to bad things. He feels he is being good to you because he naturally believes that everyone should indulge themselves in an addiction if they want to. He threw all the rules about restraint and good health out the window a long time ago. So associating with him poses some dangers as everyone's addiction poses some danger to someone close who might be even more affected.
Here in Arizona everyone went on a giant chips, pizza, beer, pop binge with the Superbowl. Great excuse, so guess what the guys on the field got all the exercise and us home watching it ate everything we weren't supposed to and got fatter. That has always been my objection to watching other people do sports. You got to do in order to benefit. Just watching is dangerous! Cause we sit and we eat!

Valentine no no! Connie, thank you, this snag perfectly illustrates my point. Holiday treats feed our cravings, give us an excuse. Right?

Laying the groundwork with Dante...

All during Dante's visit with me during which he kept his video games going, I insisted on talking to him about a lot of subjects, telling him he needed to think about these issues in order to become a good video partner.
Actually I was very surprised that his mind was quite open and he expressed some emotions as we went along, as this was the first time I have actually discussed my issues with him, especially to do with legalized abortion and politics and such, but I think he is realizing that with his teen years he is old enough to get involved, so he is listening. His first video has already garnered 44 hits on my video blog. See my channel on the bloglist on Youtube. It is gerryking40. So I decided to upload one more that we did. I could not fully get his attention on a longer one, so I told him the next time he came we had to do some videos first with no distractions, before he could even go to the computer. He always acts as though he just does not get enough computer time, so he comes to my house to do some catching up, knowing if that is what he really wants to do, I won't curb him. As I tell him on the second video dealing with his obssession with video games I have my way of limiting the frequency of his visits. He never noticed as he expects to spend most of his time with his dad doing stuff with him. He takes him to do fun things like play paintball and to the movies and so on. His dad is always buying books for him as Dante has developed his taste for books his dad likes, science fiction and such. Before Dan started writing movie scripts he was always writing science and fanstasy fiction.
When I went down to Doc's this morning he had denigrating things to say about the two Dante videos as well as some shorter ones Dante filmed of himself playing his video game. Dante told me a kid he knows did this and got a bunch of hits on Youtube. But after I saw it, I told him I did not think it was a good enough video to put on Youtube. But I think Doc was stricken with feelings of jealousy, so could not bite a nasty tongue. I got very mad at him as I said that he, Doc, refused to take the first step in being able to interact with my family, which is stop being a drunk. So he subsided. I must say Dante was more alert than he is when it comes to issues and was doing more and better thinking than Doc does who cannot be convinced how much his constant boozing hurts his problem solving. He usually just settles for being the court jester. Doc knew very well I was right, but he raises doubts in my mind about his attitudes when he talks like that. He is probably too judgmental when he is sober, too, especially when it comes to young minds.
You can't be too critical of the young as it hurts their just emerging confidence in themselves, which is one reason I put the kabosh to Doc interacting with my family. I think Doc gets very bored with his isolation, but that is his choice. I also went home not long after we started watching the football game together, as he always has to make sure I know that sports events are not his thing. He has more intellectual pursuits. While I have always thought that going out for sports was just a healthy thing to do and can only give a thinker more stamina and vigor.
I even discussed the lost boys of Sudan with Dante as I had just read a novel called What is the What by Dave Eggers about the horrible treatment in southern Sudan of these boys who started walking in the thousands first to Ethiopa and then finally to a UN refuge camp in Kenya. The United States finally agreed to take some of these boys here, some of whom came to Phoenix. And guess what the Circle K in downtown Phoenix where Dante and I go all the time has employed several of these 'lost' boys of Sudan from time to time. There is one working there now. I have got so I can recognize them since I also have a grandson whose father was from Sudan, but he comes from the northern big city of Khartoum, and the Khartoum Sudanese with their Arabic blood looked down on the southern Sudanese who lived mostly in small villages and without the Arabic blood were darker. It was the same old thing even there of lighter being better than darker. So after the British left without separating the two areas into different countries because the northern faction promised peace, a bad ruler broke that promise and was encouraged his soldiers to go into southern Sudan to loot and steal and even to enslave some of the people. They burned villages and many of the walking lost boys died of starvation, exhaustion, wild animals, drowning, etc. Many countries protested. The boy in the novel finds out later that his mother and dad and some of his family survived the slaughter, but it had been so many years since he was seperated he did not go back. Besides he did not have the money, as people soon forgot them in the US where he came as they might a new toy and they began to think that no one really cared about the lost boys of Sudan. The life of a refugee is never easy.
So when Dante comes again in a month or so, we will be making more videos. And we will cover such subjects. Doc is talking about rehab again but I will believe that when I see it. I also asked Dante if he wanted to go to Los Angeles with his dad and me to see his Uncle Raymond's new play, Bohemian Cowboy. He was enthusiastic, so I will buy the tickets for the three of us. I think it will be March before Dan can find a date for us to go. Dante can see the play and visit an aunt Stephanie he has over there. He has stayed with her in the summers many times. She is a saint. She is his grandfather's sister who was murdered when his mother was 6 years old, so Stephanie has always tried to make up for his absence from the world.

Dante's obssession with video games


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