Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meeting Raymond for coffee and Gary's Birthday today!


I just got back from having coffee with Raymond this morning. He said his brother Gary cooked him a steak last night and had been most kind and hospitable. He will be seeing his youngest brother Dan and picking up his stuff (writings) and probably leaving for Utah tomorrow. We had a lot to talk about it. It was very enjoyable. Did I need a pickup! I will be talking more about our conversation as time goes on. We plan to meet again tomorrow. Just as he left he reminded me that it was Gary's birthday today. He had gotten the book I sent him, "The Devinci Code." Here is a photo of Gary I took in LA. He looks very distinguished. He was born in '53 so he is all of 56. Still working very hard, staving off trouble in these hard economic times. Raymond said his house is on the market.



Now I am needing to go have some lunch. I am still recovering from the flu but I am getting better! I saw the freedom fighter I call him yesterday. I told Doc this morning I thought he moved, but I call him the freedom fighter because he may help free me from the alcoholics like him. I feel I am swimming in alcohol sometimes in this place.

Blue calls in his space ship! (Scene 2a)


Blue is calling in his space ship no less. He tells the playwrights they will now be monitored by his ship. To behave normally. So they sit down and try to act like being monitored by a giant space ship is all in a days work. Doc is delighted with his chance to play a role in a life time. Even Colfrey is taken back, wondering if she is to be abducted after all. She begs for more time. She says she would be more comfortable if someone on a horse came for her like her dad than an alien in a space ship, still not knowing what an alien is or where he comes from. Dad and Uncle Deke show up and seem comfortable sharing outer space with extra terrestrials. But they have been alerted that a large space ship is in the immediate area and they need to guard daughter Colfrey a little more. Blue seems to be somewhat of a conquoring barbarian with a lot of power that might cause Colfrey to lose her head.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Horses used to keep me sane


And they probably saved my dad's life, too, many a time. He and my grandfather King were the greatest horsemen I will ever know from a town that fostered many. I loved horses, too, because they had no vices, well to me their faults weren't vices, they weren't that serious. I so needed the sanity of the horse to lend me comfort when I was so worried and upset over my dad's drinking. My dad always had 2 personalities which did not seem to recognize or acknowledge the other, and that can lead to some mighty strange behavior, but our most peaceful times were riding out on the range together in some of the most beautiful country in the world, in southern Utah. He could hardly wait to put me on a horse. He was undoubtedly taking me for rides before I could walk. My sister and me had our own little saddle by the time we were 4 and 3. I always jumped up to go if he asked us if anybody wanted to go somewhere with him on horses. How beautiful and idyllic that all sounds, but there was a dark side to it all I had also experienced since birth. The threat of death hung over the household. Just there. Never going away. My dad was sunk into extreme alcoholism he could not seem to control. You know you are living with the possibility of death when a man drinks as though to kill himself.


The green green pastures of home surrounded by sandrock ledges which drop off into breathtaking canyons to the east and south and climb into the Boulder Mountain on the north. Another name I had for my Grandfather's ranch was Emerald Ranch it was so green. He was such a good farmer and irrigator. He passed those skills on to his son, so my father veered through life, kept alive by enough discipline instilled in him to outrun the grim reaper who took his three brothers in sad ways, suicide, alcohol related death, and incarceration in an insane asylum by TB. I often thought that my family had all the markings of a doomed family out of Faulkner. I was constrained by not really daring to come out and say what I thought was wrong with my father for fifty years, and then the trouble began. I thought since I was five years old that my father was gay. Do you know how hard that is to be in cultures who find this behavior disgusting and unacceptable, a sin and an abomination. Okay so nobody is pleased when some close family member turns out to be gay but there has got to be a better way than biblical authority to handle it. My father would get disgustingly drunk, fall down in gutters, humiliate the family, and all the time I thought he was saying this is how disgusting you would think I was if you knew the truth. I would always send him messages by telepathy, "No Daddy, you are not that disguesting. Please don't commit suicide." Gays are very good at noticing all the signs of what you might be thinking. My father was thought to have eagle eyes, the piercing eye of the predator that missed nothing going on around him!
My dad's mother was a good woman but I don't think she realized what her religious view of homosexuality did to him. He simply could not defend himself. He had no defense, so what did he do, he tried to turn himself inside out. I thought her husband, my grandfather, was gay, too, and she had insisted on marrying him, so she bore some responsibility in the matter. Her father actually disinherited her for doing it. But I don't think he dared tell her in that day and age what his objection to him was. He was a go getter. He made a fine living for them.
My grandmother was not red headed for nothing. Nobody would have dared tell what they thouht, not after she got to be the richest wife in town. I loved my grandmother who was very kind to me. But here she was living in the midst of a bunch of guys not quite normal and never looked closely at them. I could not tell her that I thought my dad was not normal because his best buddy and now hired man had molested me, and I thought they were having an affair. He got jealous because my dad left him home from the party, so I knew he seized on me to get back at my dad. I couldnt fight her, too. I just had to bow to her ignorance.
Doesn't god's love extend to all creatues he has made? He knows what is going to happen to them, and however it happens, they are going to grow up with gay feelings. So there is something wrong with religion that demands all the gays give up sex with each other because that is wrong, and they will not be right with God until they have reconstructed themselves. The heterosexuals will pass with hardly any work expected of them at all in comparison. No wonder all the gays leave religion as soon as possible. Imagine trying to change your sexual orientation. Doesn't sound easy does it?
I just knew my dad could not change. He would never make a woman happy and he never did. So let's see I thought, well let's make a life time study of this phenomena and see what might cause it, gay gene, culture, molestation? Well, possibly I concluded combinations of all three. In the meantime the uncomplicated by comparison horses kept on dancing in my dreams for years.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Down with the flu

But it has been a hellish week at the Westward Ho. Sometimes the inmates of our asylum go on the rampage and there is nothing we can do but try to ride it out and hope they don't kill themselves. I would call it a relapse into their worst nightmare. I have dealt with quite a lot of suicidal males in my life starting with my father. We kept trying to talk him out of it, but his older brother did manage to kill himself. My second husband held me and our little girl hostage all evening while he held a gun to his head threatening to kill himself for hours. He finally got so frustrated with his inability to pull the trigger he went to the door and shot off several rounds. I figured something dramatic and very bad would happen if cops were sent to investigate, but since we were living in a gun town nobody did. He assured me that I was in no danger, but I did not feel safe, and a few months later I sent him on his way for the last time. Suicide is an act of violence and it is going to hurt anyone who is close to this person. I would soon have another child by this man but he was never to see this child but twice while he was growing up.
This man kept asking me for a date in my waitress job at a truck stop. I told him he sounded like a drunk and declined, so the last time he asked me and I said no, he said he had just quit his job as second driver and if I did not go out with him he would just go on ahead a kill himself.
I thought, wow, this man is really desperate, I guess I should take a chance and talk to him a while. He soon went on to other things besides suicide including singing all the songs of Johnny Mathis. He had a high voice and sounded just like him. He could imitate a lot of singers. Sing just like them. He said it was from hours of driving truck, listening to the radio, and entertaining himself by singing along. Well, you know me, I am always trying to discover a star.
This guy was actually one of the biggest extroverts I have ever met. He was also a fighter. The knuckles in his hands were pushed back in from hitting people, and at only 28 years old, his four front teeth had been knocked out. I thought no wonder he wants to kill himself, and a few months later after my father unexpectedly died and left me money I bought him some new dentures. I saw him not long ago and he was still wearing the same dentures. He did go from being a kind of bizzare looking guy, I told him he looked like wolfman, to a pretty good lookng guy. Since he was 7 years younger than I was, I figured he would find all kinds of girlfriends if I bought him those teeth, but I did not let that stop me, and he did find them. Even his first wife called and asked him to come to her and their 2 kids, and he went from a new baby with me back to her who then had a new baby,
This guy had multi problems, and I figured I might have saved him a few times, but I got tired of him rattlng my nerves, and I had to move on.
One's capacity to deal with violence diminishes in time and you are going to withdraw. Knowing that whatever you could do, you have already done, and now it is time to move on.
So I am just trying to get better. Raymond called and said he would be coming in from Los Angeles today or tomorrow. So we should have a good visit. I am excited about my new play series on Youtube. It is more entertaining than it looks. In the next scene Blue brings his space ship in close so they can visit it. But they have to wait for an outlaw and a government agent from Utah to ask to go for a ride. Now mind you these are real people that I knew who had special feelings for my sister LaRae. The outlaw is already dead. He was a frightening character who was so hard on my nerves I had to give him up too. I was not able to dent his criminal mind at all, and that is enough to give up on somebody, or you might land in jail! It could be embarrassing.
I also saw some wonderful news in the paper today. The Arizona Theater Company is doing not one but four new plays this season. This is a first. I plan to write to the director today and suggest he might want to look at "Blue." Think of the publicity he could get doing a new play by an old lady living in the Westward Ho she put on Youtube. Course Theater Companies have to think of their reputations, but this director seems to have broken out into a new freedom mode. So it is worth a try.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Nervous playwrights ask Blue pertinent questions (play reading Scene 1c)


The playwrights all have their fears about extra terrestrials, and Blue does not always reassure them, but ailing sister Colfrey is attracted and that's the important thing.

March roars in like a lion

I had to keep my window open because my airconditioning was off. The fan wasn't enough to cool my apartment most of the time, and when March winds blow and stir up a lot of dust as they did yesterday I am sure to have an allergy attack. I finally went down to find maintenance men. It took 3 of them to discover the breaker had flipped off, of course I did not think of that at all. Zip, I had airconditioning again but it was too late. I sneezed all night and then some. So I look like hell this morning, but I will be on the mend. I used to get allergy attacks so badly when I was somewhere that ragweed and stuff like that grew I would be stuffed up all summer and had to use afrin even to breathe.
Now I am on the 9th floor and can use air conditioning in the allergy season I have gone all spring without even having an attack. Well, I had a doozy last night. Still sneezing.
Another guy died here yesterday I knew, that makes 3 within 2 days. I hope that will stop now for a while. They say death comes in threes.
I will have to nurse my cold now. Bye bye.
Connie, the above wild beasts of the jungle are not lions, but you get my point. Thank you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I am thinking how difficult it is...

sometimes to express what you think. Doc, my partner in creativity, is calm. I left his apartment early and was gone all day. My thoughts were elsewhere all night. But Doc is my friend. He will understand. He might be a little grumpy but I have told him so many times he does not have my heart. So my heart just wanders all over the place at times looking for a home.
Doc is interested in being a star, and he certainly acts like one in this last play reading series we made. He has great talent and he knows it. Good heavens, he had a piano most of his life. He knows what performing is all about. I don't know if any woman could inspire him to quit drinking. I think his capacity to love a woman was seriously compromised with the failure of his first marriage. The savagery of his first wife matches the savagery of her counterpart in abusive husbands. He told me this was the reason he was an alcoholic the first night I talked to him in depth and the reason he could not love a woman. I found out he meant it, but he had gone on developing as a performer and it kept him alive. He took a piano into every marriage, a grand piano yet in the last one. My impression was that he could hardly tolerate her, esecially toward the end, so the piano had to be extra huge and expensive.
If you watch this series, you will notice that there is no real spark going from Doc, the actor, to the woman. It is all acting in his case, but he is pretty credible when he is playing a character with spark. I wonder if a lot of movie actors don't express the strongest love they are capable of in their parts. The Mexican in Blue has spark. Doc would never act that way with a woman. He would not spirit walk to her house, driven by passion.
He would instead just call her on the phone like the super salesman he was, until he got her to do what he wanted her to do. Pay some attention to him. He is selfish that way. But he can always be defeated by a man with spark.
Since spark is so rare at our age, he continues to get lots of attention. Aggression will get you everywhere.
Now I will go down to his apartment this morning and have coffee and a bowl of cereal. And we will talk about all the events of passing interest. Oddly, I believe that if I went out of Doc's life he would find another woman quite easily with his many gifts. She would not get spark, but she would be entertained and healed. He is not Doc for nothing.
Taking a chance on spark is always more risky, fraught with with peril since engaging the whole being in an act of love is the most difficult relationship possible, especially at our age. But I will always gamble on love since life without love is ultimately too boring for me.
I have had a good time with Doc in the interim acting. It has been difficult trying to define just what our relationship is, and why it should not threaten any man with spark. My spirit has always walked to the man with spark.
This play is all about the necessity of being a spirit walker if you are to keep love alive. Which is nothing more essentially than the act of thinking about someone you love. Thinking about someone is the world's most powerful connection. People lose love in their lives just by never thinking about that person, even if he is right there!
Doc was not capable of thinking about a woman. I noticed that right away. I am sure that is how his last three marriages ended. He just was not going to take a chance on love ever again. Which is why I think his alcoholism has become so intractable. He drinks to kill the spark, relentlessly, for years He does not even seem human at this point.
Another man might drink more recklessly than Doc, but he is still healthier if he sobers up. His spark might be damaged, but it will soon recover with determination to survive. I will still be able to reach him with the mere act of spirit walking, whereas I have not been able to reach Doc at all. I noticed that right away, and started to veer away from him. But he is a heck of a lot of fun. Entertaining. All the qualities of a good friend. That is all he has ever tried to be and a star. He likes the playwright in me, the performer. But if I left him, the wrench would not be life threatening, because he is acting with his head not his heart. That poor heart of his. It must barely be pumping, keeping him alive. My passions are far more vigorous than his. They could never find a home with him. So I was gone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

wild horse of death races in the westward ho

today a wild horse
is racing through our halls
nostrils flaring
crazy eyes glaring
teeth bared
slow down death
wait for us to catch up with you
try to touch you
ask you
what sent you mad
you want death
you know that wont help you
only life will fix
whatever gave you this pain
you hate yourself
tomorrow you will be kinder
to your tortured soul
frothing at the mouth
now now try to sleep
but take care you dont
leave us in your drunken state
mistaking death for
mere sweet slumber
dont forget to wake up
wild man
tomorrow life will not be
so hard to take

Bougainvillea lookin' at you! Arizona's finest flower



I went out walking in my new spring blouse ($1) and purple pants along the south wall of the Westward Ho which features the glorious bougainvillea which blooms the year around but never more bounteously than in the spring. Everywhere bougainvillea! What a gift of a flower to man. I am so fond of it.
An old friend's picture was posted on the bulletin wall though. I spoke to Gabrielle in the office and found out Vern died yesterday quite suddenly I always admired Vern, in his seventies, because he had to wear a prothesis after they cut his leg off, I believe from having been torn up in an old war. But he never went to a scooter. And he was very active, too. Well, this might be the best way to go.
Water from a leak in these ancient pipes in here was dripping down into the mail room. Which made me think about my air conditioning and wondered when they were going to get around to fixing it. Plumbing and other maintenance problems keep them hopping, so I will have to wait my turn.
A lovely morning altogether. Hope yours was too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Playwrights wonder whether Extra Terrestrial Blue will even appear, but at last he comes in his startling blue glasses (Scene 1b)


Here is the second part of of Scene one of "Blue" which is 28 minutes long. The last segment of Scene 1 will be uploaded tomorrow.
My sister LaRae in whose honor this play was written is in the photo below in her impressive dark glasses. I wonder what she is doing over there? Wherever she is, I imagine her getting a kick out of these videos. Her daughter just got back from a trip to China and I am sure she felt her mother's presence along the way. Her daughter experienced some risks from would be Chinese bandits seeking to lead them to dark alleys to rob them of their money, passports and cameras. Fortunately they had seen fit to travel with a big rough looking Utah guy who would zoom down and frighten the brazen desperate thieves away. I am sure LaRae felt she had to go along as their guardian angel.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doc and Gerry read E.T. Blue and the Spiritwalkers Convention play Scene 1a written for my ailing sister



Here it is, I think you will get a kick out of this one. Doc plays a Mexican, two hillbillies, Spirit Dad, Spirit Uncle Deke, Playwright son Cal (Raymond) and Blue the extra terrestrial. He was so wound up he did not sleep all night, and finally requested I come down to his apartment at 4 in the morning to finish it up. For pay I gave him a baked potato! For keeping me awake all night, he bought me lunch. I get to play my two sisters as well as myself, a friend, and Raymond's business partner, Cassie. This series will be running quite a while, and it is all done! Please excuse some bobbles. I made Doc do the first one over and was he mad. He thinks he is First Take Jake. Oh yes, I forgot he also plays Jake, a young schizophrenic playwright in son Cal's theater workshop. I am pleased with the new format and getting to do another play.
Raymond taking his play to Los Angeles gave me a bad case of play fever. By the way he posted a new entry a little while ago in his blog on my list, Cowboys and Bohemians, about seeing the sign of the raven and drawing to the end of this magical run in Los Angeles. None of us will ever forget our trips there to participate either.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finishing "Blue" today written to comfort my sister LaRae dying of cancer 20 some years ago: her ghostly cattle run forever in the painting below



LaRae with Mother in this photo, who have both gone to greener pastures. Doc and I read the scenes I wrote today, and we have the first one to redo before I upload this reading to Youtube. You will start seeing this new series tomorrow.
I chatted with Raymond today as he was wheeling down the California freeways. He said they had a full house last night and he thought it was his best night of acting, because he got a lot of different reactions. He says now that he is more sure of the lines he is having more fun with the play, but he says the trouble with a one man show he gets lonely backstage when there is only him. I know what he means. I have to take full advantage of Doc's presence as long as I have got him. He is there to laugh and appreciate my lines and spur me on.
I was so shocked to read that Missy was back in the hospital but I got worried when I read in her blog that she had been experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain, so when her blog malfunctioned and I kept getting Debby I was fearful it had something to do with that. I breathed a sigh of relief when Guido sent me her new link and she seemed to be her usual ebullient git up and go self. Imagine my shock when I saw Call for Support for Missy by Guido this morning and went to her blog to read she was in the hospital with blood clots in the lungs, and cannot even get out of bed, doctors' orders! Now she will have a ways to go before she is well. I think it is so hard for some very active people to slow down.
Also I am posting Capt'n Nancy's blog link on my blog list. She has been seeing Donna who has had a very tough go but is recovering. You will enjoy Nancy's artistic sweet blog. It is obvious she has inherited some of sister Donna's talents. Donna designated Nancy as the one to report on her progress when she went into the hospital.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Niece Cheryl from Utah calls from Phoenix, and Doc acts good


My sister LaRae's daughter Cheryl made a fast trip to Phoenix with her family to see the big league players in preseason training in Phoenix. They are also visiting her BIL and wife who live miles from me. She warned me they had so much coming and going to do, she might not be able to stop by. But we did have a very long chat on the phone that was most fulfilling. We had alot to talk about. I told her about Blue and said I would send her a copy of the play when I was finished.
Doc and I filmed Scene 4 and he was funny as usual, so it was a very productive day. Oh guess what, I was lying bed half asleep, and I saw a sudden dream image of my thermostat. Electricity suddenly flashed from it. I thought, oh oh, I hope something is not going wrong with my thermostat. When I tried to turn it on when morning came, it had blown out. All that goes on is the fan. The numbers have all disappeared leaving this beige colored window. Hey, I have also dreamed about a beige window. I don't know what it will take to get this fixed, but I have to wait to Monday now even to report it. Thank god, it is not 110 degrees, when this happened.
My Youtube video blog hit 7,300 hits today, about 40 in two days, and I was surprised becasue everyone is usually busy celebrating the end of the work week on Friday, and doing laundry and such on Saturday. Bloggers are not posting by the number. I have trained myself to write every day, so I can't be stopped. I may be the only blogger left standing, but I will not stop. You can count on it. I am trying to get a play production date set up for over there. I want to meet a lot of theater people as soon as I get dead. Otherwise I will just ignore my passing until I have actually gone cold. That is my plan. I intend to enjoy life until my last breath.


James Dean has promised to be my producer when I arrive to the great theater in the sky.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Doc works on his 'Blue' character today for the new video series


He brought out those wonderful blue glasses of his you can't see out of. They are perfect for Blue. He uses them to flash blue lights and signal to his space ship. That Doc is an inventive character. I worked very hard revising two scenes. But we did clash like a couple of betas ( in Doc-Rick's picture above). However I could not help but appreciate his originality. Since I met Doc I know that alcoholism is a disease that takes a miracle almost to cure. In fact, "Blue" is full of alcoholics Jessie (me) is trying to save. We are not yet ready to upload to Youtube. We need to practice some more, but with an alcoholic actor practice tends to irritate rather than make better. Depends on how far gone he is.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Doc so aggravated me this morning in our practice session reading "Blue"


But I found out that he could play an alien, a Mexican, Raymond when he was a young playwright, and other wild males so well I could not dump him. He stumbled over this old script I had that was actually 22 years old, so now I see I am going to have to type a new one. He actually likes the variety of the roles, so he is pretty enthusiastic about this play opposed to my plays about 'hillbillies' as he puts it. I play two of my sisters as well as myself, a friend, and a founding member of the Playwrights Work Shop. I am working on this play, see, "Spirit Walkers Convention" and Blue the alien turns up. You will see the first segment of this reading in a few days, when I am sure you will pick up Doc's aggravating qualities. As well as his talent. What can I say? Beggers do not have a whole lot to choose from, especially at my age. I must concentrate on the glass being half full rather than half empty!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dante is sleepy from playing video games all night


We made a video today, but I had to interview Dante lying down. He was too tired to sit up But I am glad he gets to come and visit Grandma's computer every once in while!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol very enjoyable this week!

I loved all the performances on country night American Idol. I thought Megan from Salt Lake sang Walkin' After Midnight as well as anyone I have ever heard sing it. She looked hauntingly beautiful, had been sick, in the hospital, and probably gave every body there the flu. Last week I thought she was quite hokey, but not tonight! Surprisingly I am worried about Scott McIntire from Scottsdale Arizona because although he is good I thought he got outperformed by a number of the others. I loved how the singer who chose a Willie Nelsen signature song, "You are always on my mind," also made it his own interpretation and stood out. I had to agree with Simon about the first singer out I thought would do well in this song category because he sings country. He sang a fast Garth Brooks song and I was relieved when Simon said he couldn't understand a word he said. I thought I was going clear deaf because I did not even know what the song was about. So Megan was my favorite tonight, but I think they have got an especially good crop of singers this year.
But I can't say the same for Dancing with the Stars. They found the worst dancing celebrities I have ever seen. I had to turn it off half way through. Everybody was getting 5's and 6's. I can't imagine why most of these celebrities even agreed to come on the show when surely they knew they could not dance. I thought Maxim, my favorite Russian dancer, performed a miracle getting a good performance out of Denise Richardson who was so petrified her first week I was in pain for her. And that poor cowboy married to Jewel confessed he forgot half of the dance. I think he got a 4 last week, but then he showed his bullriding techniques this week and was actually watchable. Maybe they rushed the show a bit. They should have beat the bushes longer for celebrities that were at least acquainted with tripping the light fantastic. When some famous person on that show says, "I have never danced before" I cringe.
Tomorrow Dan is bringing my grandson Dante to spend the day with me. I am looking forward to it as I am hoping to make another video with him. The poor kid went to California to visit his aunt and another young aunt tipped over an ATV on him. He was still feeling some pain. I hope he's going to be okay.


Dante is cool!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pool, 'The Greatest Game,' and surrounding dramas


I went to the movies today with my son Dan and grandson Dante, which was incidentally (Dante's choice) "Race to Witch Mountain" about two alien kids trying to recover their lost space ship in which 'worm holes,' telepathic communications, government villains, and UFO experts abounded. There was even a UFO convention, so I did not stray far from the subject matter that has been interesting me lately. I, in fact, discussed the David Sereda UFO footage on the video he made about NASA and urged Dan to look at it. I am going to send him the link.

After the movie and lunch, Dan took me to a huge used book store up on Northern and I bought a novel there called "Billy Phelan's Greatest Game" which is about pool. "Legs" and "Ironwood" by William Kennedy are the other two novels included in the same book, which cost me $5, a bargain I thought.
This naturally caused me to think about pool, the game I spent so many years trying to master, and about who ultimately destroyed my fascination and caused me to give up playing.
You have probably guessed it, men, who just could not give respect to a woman playing 'their' game, no matter how devoted and determined.
Pictured above is one of the masters I played with. I call a man a master that you can hardly beat unless you run the table on them. Besides the masters there are a lot of other great pool players just not quite as good. I have known and played with at least 5 masters, and I cannot think of another game where so many great players would be accessible to an ordinary impecunious woman player. I sought them out. I knew where to find them. I wouldn't gamble. I wouldn't drink, but I managed to persuade a lot of men to play with me. The masters hardly ever drink either. They know it will hurt their game. They let the other players get drunk and then they take them for every penny they have got. Pool hustlers!
I earned the name once of Westward Ho pool shark, but then I quit. My heart just wasn't in it anymore. So I bought this novel to see what this writer says about pool. I doubt if his pool dramas are as turgid as mine. I know I could not even get my stories published for pool is a shadow man's game, since for years women were hardly even allowed in pool rooms. And they get bad reputations even now if they hang out in pool bars.
So as in every environment where women do not venture, eventually there is sexual by play between the men. My father loved the game so much that when he built his last new house, he put in a big pool room and purchased a pool table. I had not ever seen him play because of the taboo against women in pool halls, especially in Utah among the Mormons who so frown on drinking and smoking. He didn't have anybody to play with, so I never saw anybody play on his table until my scond husband to be, father of Dan and my daughter Ronda, came into my life. He went crazy when he saw that pool table, and he started teaching me to play. I took to it. I was just so darn frustrated by then about my attempts to play other games.
I loved tennis, but nobody would ever play with me. So I bought a ping pong table and nobody would play with me. But I found out that in every bar men who fancied themselves great pool players hung out. At long last I found some players for a game I was willing to learn if I could just get some action. Thus began my years of hanging out in pool bars. I even used to go to Mexican bars when I was living on the west side and played with a Mexican pool hustler hustler once who acted like I simply could not be allowed to beat him ever, or he would never be able to live it down. I hung out in another pool bar owned by a master and I watched him and another master duel. Great players both of them. The pool bar owner only condescended to play with me once or twice, but the other master gave me lessons everytime he came in, and the one time I ever beat him by running the table he was so proud of me he called it to everyone's attention, but the men kind of shrugged off my triumph. Well, that was the first and practically the last time I ever ran the table. I guess he inspired me in a way nobody else ever did.
I picture Pierre, my last companion, looking down on me and feeling sad because I don't play anymore. He taught me more about playing pool than anybody ever did bcause for four years he insisted that we play pool nearly every single morning. He was also the guy who was the most responsible for me quitting the game. After all that practice he just would not take our game any further. We were going to go try out for the senior Olympics, but he never got around to it. You see he also loved to play poker and gamble. And the master pool player who ran the poker games, too, liked gambling behind closed doors more than he did playing pool in an open room. Things got to the point where I warned Pierre that if he went back to playing poker behind closed doors which he did for months when he was married, we were through. I knew him well enough by then to know he had another personality that came out when he thought he was alone in in a pool room or somewhere playing poker for money. He would get very vulgar, say 'f---" every other word. I accused him of using that kind of language for sexual purposes, causing the other men to get their thrills in more ways than one. I told him I would not put up with kind of infidelity. When he started playing poker again anyway, I felt so strongly about it, I was never intimate with him again. He just shrugged. There was a deep corruption going on there I just could not affect.
He played a few months and talked quite a bit about a guy he liked that had started to play. I knew as soon as I saw him he was the big spark. I made plans to break with him completely when the pain started. And never let up. Until he died less than a year later.
And do you know what? None of his poker playing buddies even called him while he was dying, or came by. Well, see, he was a tough guy who never complained and hated going to doctors, and so he didn't even know he had lung cancer that had spread to his liver, brain, and bones. I think they were all mad at him because he quit playing poker with them and they were out to punish him. They punished him for hanging out the next 9 months with a woman. He only knew for less than a month that he was dying. They found out that he was dying but they still didn't come around. I was the one who accompanied him to the doctors, rubbed his shoulder blade every little while when cancer hit it, and held his hand all day long when he started slipping into a coma. I know he felt sad about how everything turned out.
I was so mad at those guys I didn't go play pool with them for a long time. When I did I got them all told that they made me mad. Pierre never played pool with me once over there. He and the master pool player preferred poker behind close doors where they could talk just as dirty as they wanted to. After I got them all told off, I didn't have the heart to play with them anymore. I was still too mad. Pierre knows he can't blame me.
Doc doesn't even know what sexual interplay between men is all about. He is one of the most innocent men I have ever met. But he's smart. You can talk to him about anything. He is intellectually curious about all human drama, and somewhere along the way he became addicted, but just to alcohol. Alcohol pure and simple.
That's a relief. Oh the alcohol consumption gets to me. But not like that other did. It ruined a beautiful game for me. I dont know if I will ever want to play the game again.

"Daughter of the Saints" a great memoir find about growing up in polygamy

I just had to write about this book as the author of a memoir (not published) called "Daughters of the Shadow Men" because of how much what culture we are born into affects our lives. Dorothy Allred was born to a northern Utah polygamist, a naturepathic doctor and obstretician who delivered hundreds of babies, and when he decided to 'live the principle' after first marrying in the mainstream Mormon church, she was born the daughter of his 4th wife I believe it was out of seven he had for years, before in his old age, he added 9 more! On top of that, Ervil LeBaron, a murderous fundamentalist and polygamist who was always talking about the Mormon principle of blood atonement, only to him murder was justified, sent two wives to kill Rulon Allred who would not come under his leadership ala Warren Jeffs. Dr. Allred would not do it because he regarded Ervil LeBaron as a dangerous psychopath. The wives did succeed in getting past his fierce wife guards in his office and murdered him.
I was reminded so much of the stories my grandmother on my mother's side used to tell about being raised in polygamy 'in the old days' when polygamy was still practiced among all Mormons. Her mother was the third wife and by the time the kids came along, her father was ailing, so her mother had to take in washing, sell quilts, anything she could do to earn money, so they endured utmost poverty. For quite a while they lived the United Order where they turned all their earnings over to the main branch and then were fed in large meeting halls. She was proud of living in the last place in the old Utah that practiced the United Order in a town called Orderville.
Well, Dorothy Allred tells about the hardships the 'polygie' kids had to endure when Utah and Arizona together raided polygamy conclaves and tried to stamp out polygamy altogether in the families where it still flourished. So they had to go on the run for years, and she talks about how many lies they had to tell so her father would not be recognized as a polygamist and be locked up again after serving one term in jail. Of course that did not stop him from practicing polygamy or the principle, so Dorothy is always thinking about how polygamy caused them to have to live differently, lie, and live in fear, why she would not live it when she was grown.
Dorothy is very intelligent as was her father and she explains how women wanted to marry him even when their own husbands were still alive because he was kind and could take care of them better. He was also tall and handsome, so then she says all these wives, having married him, demanded a slice of his time, too. She believes that it was perhaps ego that motivated her father to marry so many women and also she came to realize that in old age it was not lust, but concern for the many he had developed as a doctor that manifested in plural marriage. He was reminded by the other fundamentalist men that Joseph Smith had married many women for these reasons, women who would not even had the joys of marriage without these unions, and that they would not be able to marry more women as easily if he, their leader, did not. So that is how they all sank deeper and deeper into the cycle of taking more and more wives. Warren Jeffs is reputed to have married over 75 women and has 150 kids or so! Dorothy also had 28 brothers and sisters! Imagine needing to interact with that many siblings, and she writes about many of them especially those who did not thrive and came to haunt her, another toll of polygamy. A very enlightening story about what it is really like to be born into polygamy. It could just as easily happened to me as to her, as my grandfather delivered many babies and might have decided to live the principle, too. Instead of that, I was born to a Jack Mormon skeptic and cowboy who instead fell into another secret culture, that of gay married men. And I had to contend with other kinds of secrets and lies while growing up in his household. I wonder if we get the chance to pick who we will be born to, perhaps for a mission, as she is doing to enlighten and teach people about the pitfalls of polygamy as experienced first hand. There are a lot of secret polygamists still around, too!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Extra Terrestrial Blue visits Gerry

Thoughts on an early Sunday morning



I am leaving Doc's 'food fight' drawing up because it may get me in the mood to make my vegan cauliflower-kale stir fry with tofu and red pepper. I am fighting with myself to get me to do it. Ha. The ingredients are all there in my fridge. Ready, set go!
Anymore I tell Doc I must prepare myself psychologically to do about any task. So now if he asks me to do something I don't want to do like walk down to the bank I say I am not psychologically prepared. He is even more bound up than I am and is constantly putting off the date to do anything, especially if it pertains to health. He is in such bad health due to his diet that I am forced to look on him as my friend and acting partner rather than as my love, since every month or so I go off flying in dreams about somebody else. This is frustrating, too.
Doc and I had a long discussion about this a morning or two ago. At my age, up in the seventies, there are very few men left who are healthy enough to inspire dreams about them. And even if they are healthy they will be surrounded by people who are claiming ownership of them. In fact, this is how I started doing telepathy. These men will start doing telepathy in order to get a message across to you that will leave no trail. I call them spirit walkers.
When life becomes a prison they spirit walk, run, fly to escape without leaving the earth. In fact I am Doc's prisoner now and probably will be until one of us dies, so I have to spirit walk from time to tome to escape the onerous effects of his addiction. I am sure he used his addiction to escape his prisons, but that is a bad way to escape, because then you can't escape from it. Not without a great deal of effort which an older man might not be capable of.
My last companion was a man with spark still left in his sixties despite his addiction to alcohol and tobacco as well as painkillers, but I am not sure I could go through again the unpleasantness I had to endure to have a real relationship with him since for a time he was the personification of my dreams. I loved him, but the problem was a lot of other women loved him, too, and a few men. And he had been a serial flirt his whole life. He had flirted with others enough that they felt perfectly justified in being mad about him and ready to claw any woman's eyes out that got closer to him. His ex-wife was the worst. She had divorced him, but I do not believe she ever planned for any other woman to have him since she installed him in a nice apartment in this very complex that she was managing at the time. As long as she was manager she could successfully intimidate any other woman aspiring to take her place in his life. But out of the blue, to her I am sure, she was fired! Psychologically she had not been ready for a divorce when she divorced him. Even though she left the state, she called him on the average of 2 times a week for the three years I was his companion. Each time she would ask him to come back to her. And before the divorce she had threatened to hire someone to kill him in front of a number of residents, so he acted like he was afraid to try to cut her off completely for fear she would still get someone to do it! She knew someone that he thought would do it, too, if she asked him to, a former son-in-law who was suspected of killing her daughter for the insurance money, so he 'owed' her. When I met this SIL I found him so creepy, I thought Pierre's fear of him was justified. I had never met a man that I thought might be capable of cold blooded murder before.
Experiences like that teach you to recognize the ways people try to imprison other people. I thought my last companion was being battered by a violent women. I would even send her telepathic messages when she was making so many public threats to have him killed, "Don't have him killed as I will tell the cops what you threatened and testify to send you to prison." I felt that he still was her prisoner even after she left, because he feared if he cut her off completely she would have him killed. He had to allow her hope. I thought I was running some risk to take up with him, but otherwise I thought he would drink himself to death very shortly and since I thought I was the forerunner in his affections I decided to take the risk. I eventually did become his caretaker when he developed lung cancer and was with him when he died.
I intervened with Doc for the same reason. He was drinking so heavily when I first met him I did not think he could last long without someone to care for him. I feel I have changed his life enough that his drinking slowed down, but he has worn me out with the depth of his addiction. His drinking robs him of the imagination and physicality it takes to love a woman. But he has been and still is such a powerful man I am not capable of enduring a separation from him. I have detached more and more from him, had to, but he can be a mean man with his alcoholic irritability. That comes with the territory. I had to risk becoming a prisoner of his addiction, too, if I got close to him, but I could not make a difference if I didn't.
So I spirit walk for the time being. Practicing for my freedom, for that will come.
Blue, the extra terrestrial, who came when my sister died has come, recognizing my plight. He has great telepathic powers. People are afraid of these beings, just as they are afraid of death. But Blue is only going to make my prison life tolerable and counsel me on when and how I can escape. So I feel relief. Seventy eight, you know you are going to die eventually, not many years left, and so it is not reallysurprising that Blue would put in an appearance. The other name of the play I wrote about him coming to help my sister was "Spirit Walkers Convention." My sister lived for months after this 'convention' in Phoenix. Before she finally took her space journey. I expect to live some time longer, too, as I prepare.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I haven't posted one of Doc's drawings for a long time--


Doc's drawing is entitled by him, "Yes, it was a food fight, you wouldn't want to have been there, as you can see, it was not a pretty site" drawn in (date) I thought it fit the space admirably.
I am happy to report that Lisa of Please Dont Take Life for Granted has posted again after a two week silence. It seems that her daughter and SIL and two kids, Kayden and Andrew, have been staying there, so I found out what my dream was about. Remember, the dream showed the entries disappearing one by one, which of course they did, when Lisa was taken up with playing and interacting with them. Then I saw this kind of beige kind of solid looking smoke filling the space instead. It turns out that her daughter and Kayden both are struggling with a fire phobia they both developed when a house very close to theirs burned down. Her daughter's is so bad that Lisa is trying to get her to seek professional help, but I think that she is also suffering the anxiety over her mom's health as well, as Kayden may be, too, who is very attached to his grandmother I think. Lisa just dotes on him. He is the one who plays the drums with such enthusiasm. He is such an endearing child I have grown very fond of him through watching videos of him and seeing photos. And Andrew the baby is just as adorable. I know Lisa is highly motivated to stick around as long as she can to be with her loved ones, and I hope that she can. Lisa's blog simply will not register her latest entry, so it is necessary to check on her to see if she has posted. Comments and visits mean a lot to her, I know, since she is now hardly able to get out and go anywhere. I also found out today that the other Lisa who writes Life on a Bison Farm has a very sick stepdad, so is not able to post any entries right now, except one to say why she has been silent.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blue, the Extra Terrestrial is back who came when my sister LaRae was leaving the earth over twenty years ago


I remembered tonight my play called "Blue" that I wrote when my sister LaRae came to Phoenix to visit for Thanksgiving. She was bald from having had chemo treatment, and I had this urge to write a play for her. In this play an extra terrestrial named Blue came in a space ship which we all saw parked outside. It was pulsating as UFOs do, and I had the feeling in the back of my mind that this visit was real, that an extra terrestrial really had come to give my sister a message. He appeared in the play bald like my sister, dressed in a brilliant blue body suit, and he told her that he had come to tell her that she would be making the space journey soon, and he was there to help her do it. He said that this was a natural journey that all people take at the end of life. My sister had been told from the very beginning her cancer was terminal and they were only going to be able teo keep her alive so long, so she didn't act shocked.
I really puzzled over that one. I didn't know if extra terrestrials like Blue were the new angels or another breed. Maybe angels with wings did not come any more. Now maybe they came in pulsating space ships.
Blue is probably here now to start preparing me for my space journey. I am looking quite forward to my space ship exodus. I think it will be quite the thrilling ride.
I have always been very telepathic, and used to spend hours writing down people's thoughts as I picked them up. So now I will try to see what Blue says.

BLUE: Yes, I am here because you need me. You need to get ready to go.
GERRY: Well, I know I have to go sometime. Where is my sister LaRae?
BLUE: Oh, she is flying to China with her daughter, Colette. She could not be here tonight, but she gives you her love.
GERRY: You are good friends?
BLUE: Yes, ever since we met in Phoenix.
GERRY: I think it will be very exciting when I launch off, a little bit like going to China. But I am going to have to prepare by listening to the George Noory show I know. I need to know learn as much about space travel as I can. All I can say is that it will be easy for you to pick me up on the 9th floor. I can just step through the window.
BLUE: Don't worry about that. How we pick you up should be the least of your worries. But we will be taking you very fast in that ship you know.
GERRY: Yes, I know. I took the space ride once years ago, when I was 15 and had that darned tonsilectomy. I recall being in a space ship and flying thousands of miles an hour, so fast, to a far away place that I knew was heaven. Then abruptly I was plunged back to earth again and a very sore throat.
BLUE: It obviously wasn't your time to go at the age of 15.
GERRY: Hm. I have been feeling this tremendous interest in flying with the space travelers, the spirit walkers who communicate telepathically. As a matter of fact, all my life, periodically I fly. I need to fly. I can't do without it. I always want flowers around me when I go off flying. After LaRae went back home, I remember dreaming about beautiful flowers, and then we heard she had come out of remission. So we knew her space journey was coming soon. It could not be delayed any longer. But I have just taken these little flights for years. Sometimes I have found talented spirit walkers to fly with me.
SETH: Like me?
GERRY: Oh hi, Seth, like you. I have been flying with you for quite a few years. Blue, Seth and I just meet and start flying. We both love to fly.
BLUE: People make the space journey in all kinds of ways, a little bit at a time, here and there. They practice their flying.
GERRY: Seth is good at telepathy, too. He reads thoughts very well.
BLUE: It is best when the space journey is perfectly natural, like something you have been doing for years.
GERRY: That's what I have been trying to do. I want to make this space journey as easy and natural as my trip to Los Angeles was. Only I will be going up instead of across. I still communicate telepathically with my sister LaRae. I think my kids will be able to communicate with me telepathically quite easily. My sister LaRae is very busy flying around the earth with her family. They are quite the travelers so she always goes with them, on vactions, on church missions, on trips to China.
BLUE: We are trying to get everyone ready to see the space travelers. We want to show ourselves more.
GERRY: I will try to help. I will talk about UFOs.
BLUE: People fear the unknown, so they don't look up. If they looked up at the stars they would see all kinds of sights they don't see now.
GERRY: I will report your visits. I hope they don't make people nervous. Next time, you should bring LaRae along so she can describe how her space journey went. She will be reassuring.
BLUE: Yes, good night now.
GERRY: I am going to post some flowers.

LA Times Review of Bohemian Cowboy good!



Raymond deserves the spotlight once again in my blog with this beautiful review of Bohemian Cowboy in the Los Angeles Times. See link to LA Times on my blog list. Scroll down through several reviews of Culture Monster to find it!

Review: 'Bohemian Cowboy' at Elephant Lab Theater
2:00 PM, March 12, 2009
A cenotaph is a monument erected to a person whose remains are elsewhere. In his one-man show, “Bohemian Cowboy” at the Elephant Lab Theater, Raymond King Shurtz constructs a theatrical cenotaph to his father, Raymond Dean Shurtz, that is as loving as it is unstintingly candid.

In this case, a cenotaph must suffice as memorial. In November 2005, the elder Shurtz parked beside the road and wandered off into the Valley of Fire, a tractless desert some 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. He is presumed dead, but his remains have never been found. “Cowboy” charts Shurtz’s father’s final footsteps, and Shurtz’s own faltering journey toward acceptance.

Shurtz repeatedly refers to his father as a “disappearing specialist.” Cowboy, carpenter and gifted singer, Shurtz’s dad was also a hard-drinking roustabout whose best advice to his son was “Always have a good sleeping bag and a jacket” –- advice that, in the end, did not avail him. And although cancer and dwindling mental powers reduced his stories to a repetitive circularity in his final days, Shurtz was also a born storyteller who could spin a yarn with the best of them.

Like father like son. Tormented by a tale interrupted, the storyteller son, also a talented singer/guitarist, weaves a campfire ghost story with a Bergman-esque overlay. At times, Shurtz relies on specific reminiscences of Proustian exactitude. Most frequently, he ventures into a fantastic dreamscape, accompanied by such traveling companions as Jesus and Hamlet, who have their own lessons to impart.

Matt Maenpaa’s stark set and lighting and Mauricio Yazigi’s original music and sound evoke an Old West that exists only in memory. Under the sensitive direction of Kurt Brungardt, Shurtz’s drama functions as both intensely personal family legacy and surreal picaresque.

-- F. Kathleen Foley

“Bohemian Cowboy,” Elephant Lab Theater, 6324 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Ends March 21. (No performances March 13-14.) $15. (323) 960-7744. Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.

Last night David Sereda caused me the most excitement about what you can do with 'the math' in regard to UFOs I have ever experienced!


Above is an hour long tape I was able to find in which David Sereda discusses the UFO he saw in San Francisco, a mere kid, that started his life long fascination with UFOs and what this knowledge could mean to our age if we weren't so timid about accepting the phenomona.
Last night he was on the George Noory show talking about something I was not able to find a video about, but I loved it. Now pardon me if I make mistakes as I try to give you the gist of what I heard. First of all he said something new about the Sphinx in Egypt I have never heard before. He said he believes they were made by Extra Terrestrials because it has been discovered that not only was the engineering feat required to build them beyond what was done then, but might be beyond what we could do. He says the rounded stones at the end have within them the capacity to be a target of UFO activity from outer space. Let's see how do I explain something i don't understand?
But this was the reason for building the Sphinx, so UFO's could use it in a unique way to get to earth. I must tell my son Dan about this as he reads everything he can find on the Sphinx and has already told me that it was engineered in a very advanced way. David Sereda says that it connects to the star Sarius (sp), the middle star in Orion, and that there is an inscription on the tomb of the Pharaoh buried there about finding safe passage way to Orion. He says the Extra Terrestials had to have a star from which to travel to earth, oh dear, I did not get this very well, but he says that they had to be able to travel far faster than sound or light to be able to get here from such a far away star, and this is how it is done. They travel at telepathic speed! He says the mind sends telepathy instantaneously. I know this is so! Think what it would be to think and be there.
We often hear of telepathy connected to UFOs, them seeming to communicate to frightened earthlings telepathically. David also kept saying that he had proved his theory by 'doing the math.' He says that stones as in the Sphinx can be broken down to geometric figures, and this can get you into the vibrations you could pick up in space, if you did the math, you would be in what he calls harmonic vibrations. He says the reason why Hubble and the other high tech means we have used to detect life in outer space failed to find it is because we are not in high enough frequency. All we will pick up is static if we are in sound or light wave speeds. We have to get in the telepathic range of speed!
That makes sense, he kept saying you do the math, it proves it. Oh my goodness, I am going to have to call up my grandson Jamal who is practically a genius when it comes to math. He reads all this science fiction, and can surely understand this better than I can. But I remember being so bored about the math that was taught to me in high school. I thought math starts with us, we are one and then we are two, if we went back to the basics and started all over again, we could figure out why math is really important. And then we could make it exciting. Well, the idea of it being essential to expanding our knowledge of the universe has always motivated the great mathematicians.
David Sereda thinks it is important. He says that he also talked to a top physicist who knows all about this mode of space travel, but were still not releasing their knowledge and understanding to the public, but David Sereda is talking about what he knows! I am sorry I am not able to retell what he said more accurately. Maybe you have got enough of an idea to look at his video. Remember the name, David Sereda, I have put his video on my sidebar, and other videos related to the same subject are also listed on the site of this video which you will see if you go there via my blog list. Now is the time to look to the stars. Cathy, help, I know that she who writes about the stars so well in the blog DARE TO THINK, could explain better.

Postscript: Better still, a newsletter I subscribed to just came in with a quote from David Sereda:

Scientist and filmmaker David Sereda discussed his latest research on differentials, Zero Point Energy, and the hidden harmonic codes of the universe. "What I've discovered the way the universe is really working is…there are actual precise harmonic codes which are multiple frequencies working in tandem together, kind of like a symphony," he said. These exact dimensions of energies and ratios "produce something that is utterly miraculous and it can lead to anything from antigravity to infinite energy," he continued. Using mathematical calculations, Sereda conducted lab experiments, building a small harmonic set of wave generators which he used with stones. Certain stones, he explained, have the capacity to hold an electrical charge, and he was able to program codes into the stones, such that they could raise a person's electrical current by touching them. These differential harmonic codes could act "as conduits to extract energy out of the zero point field and pull it into the physical dimension," he stated... cont.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I dreamed about Lisa who writes Please Dont Take Life for Granted


Lisa has not posted since Sunday March 1, but in her last entry she reported losing consciousness a couple of times, so I feel very concerned. Last night I dreamed the first dream I have ever had about her. I dreamed that I went to her blog and clicked something to access it, and little square by little square her blog Please Dont Take Life for Granted disappeared and in its place this beautiful kind of beige kind of solid looking smoke appeared. That was all. I wanted to report this dream and ask for all to think of Lisa and pray for her well being. She has shown superhuman courage and strength in writing down an account of her life as her symptoms have slowly weakened her greatly.

Here is my video about a tree hitting me that I did not get to post because so much else happened


Pam, our nurse blogger, is warning us elderly about insisting on doing something that we cant handle when we are tottering. Well, I wasn't exactly tottering when this tree hit me, but I was looking down when I should have been looking up, too. Pam is right, a fall and a broken hip are a high hazard when you are old, so her warning and my warning in this video might be worth a look.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Serial killer puts his mark on Westward Ho resident

I came back from seeing the play in which the question was raised as to whether my ex-husband met with foul play and was killed for the cash he carried, and his body buried in a shallow grave, as someone meeting his description was seen at a gravel pit some miles away. I got back and started watching the trial that had been going on of one of the men accused of being the partner of another man who terrorized us here in Phoenix some months ago by driving around and shooting people at random. They coined the phrase 'recreational killing' and described it as 'fun' to shoot someone who was not expecting it. The one man, dressed in a dapper outfit, was defending himself, trying to prove that when the other killer who was testifying against him said they were out killing people he was off with girlfriends. But the girlfriends have have been testifying this wasn't so and that he terrorized and threatened them, too. The other man is regarded as the pathological killer of the two who interested Dale Hauser so much with his tales of violence that he allowed him to move in with him. Shotgun pellets were found in Dale Hauser's car, but still he sounded so confident and 'normal' I wondered if he would not sway some of the jury as to his innocence.
I gradually found out another man in a wheel chair was afraid he would get off, too, and had appeared in court every day of the trial. I thought the man looked kind of familiar but it wasn't until the reporters started talking more about him when I came back that I realized he was a resident here. He had run for Vice Chair of the tenants orgranization and gave me his campaign pitch. I voted for him and he won, and later the man voted chair resigned and he moved up to chairman. I thought when he was talking to me he seemed like quite a vigorous attractive man, not too old, and I wondered what could have put him in a wheel chair.
Well, it turns out the serial killers did. They shot him at random, and he was paralyzed, but 38 pellets had to be left inside him, and it was thought they had caused a stroke. Now I was hearing on the news that they thought he had another stroke and was in the hospital on the critical list.
I was shocked. I asked around and found out that yes, he had been very ill, but was better now, and hoped to get out of the hospital soon. His mother lives here, too, and she is also in a wheel chair, but her son was only 38 years old when the serial killers ended his normal life, leaving him paralyzed.
Now two more serial killers have gone on the rampage, in Alabama and Germany this time. A bunch more innocent people have been the victims of someone's insane wrath and dark evil urge to kill.
Such murders have become so common none of us know when we will become the victim of random violence. Why? It has always been my belief that we should study these men instead of killing them, because we just know too little about why they snap and start to destroy the lives of people they don't even know so could not have done anything to them. Their acts are grim enough to confound the world and give us nightmares. I am hoping that our resident will see justice done in Dale Hauser's case and can have some peace.

Talking to Raymond about his play, "Bohemian Cowboy"

The most significant thing I did yesterday was to talk to Raymond by phone about the play, and I was able to give my imput and some suggestions about what he might be able to do to strengthen his performance in different places and really start to settle in and enjoy acting in this work he has created.
This is of course what I cannot do with Doc, why I stopped trying to do my plays with him after doing three of them in an improv style on Youtube. I just had to let him run in whatever direction came to him, because his alcoholic impairment keeps him from doing the hard work of fine tuning a performance. He cannot memorize.
Where as when I went to LA I knew I would see a work that was raw and new, but which had been reworked and would become more polished with every performance.
Sunday night I knew Raymond was nervous with the prospect of a reviewer from the Los Angeles Times, likely to be the most difficult critic of all, which kept him from really being able to gauge how well it might have gone. I know from experience that the nervousness from being 'judged' by a theater critic is like no other.
Watching American Idol last night and listening to Simon Cowell rip several of the performers made me realize once again how ferocious a really savage critic can be. Although we have gotten used to him I think Simon Cowell is one of the meanest. He said such devastating things to several of the performers, 'worst performance, 'boring,' 'awkward,' and 'I hated what you were wearing,' that I figured those unlucky mortals will probably be traumatized for life. I think he and the producers think Simon makes the show. Well, maybe for those who would love to see the lions eat the Christians in the arena, he does. Poor Paula Abdul then goes over the top trying to make up for Simon I suppose by promising performers they have a great career ahead of them in show biz, their performance was mind boggling, and she has never in all her years seen anything like it. I thought the criticism last night was a mess, because Simon started off by being so critical of a contestant I think is a great performer by saying he hated what she was wearing. I think he was really saying he hated her figure and she needed to cover it up better, and that is just not acceptable. From that point on I only half way watched the show because he turned me off first thing.
However, I love it when I think I can say something to an actor who is dedicated to his craft like Raymond which will make a light go off in his mind and give him a sense of excitement about how he can make this performance even more dynamic than it already is. Raymond loves Hamlet for example, and during the time when his dad disappeared and when he started writing the play he 'just happened' to see three productions of Hamlet, so the parallels between the ghost of Hamlet's father haunting him, and his own father's haunting him were so striking that he made Hamlet a character in his play, riding beside him as he drove out to the road where his father got his truck stuck and then disappeared, talking to Hamlet about the ghosts of their fathers haunting them, and them unable to rest. Raymond also has an Ophelia in his life who disappears too, compounding his loneliness. I know Raymond loves the words of Shakespeare and I suggested that he show his love for the part with more of a suggestion of performing Hamlet. So that the actor in him comes more to life. He has also written a beautiful song about the death of Ophelia in his life, which he performs very well in the show. A song about loss.
An actor is a finely tuned instrument, and I feel you must respect that if you say anything, so you will not risk throwing him off or in any way attacking his confidence. If you do that, you have defeated your purpose. But I felt Raymond was up when we finished our conversation, looking forward to doing the play again this coming Thursday, and eager to bring out more nuances. Thus a performance can grow more complex and satisfying as the run continues. He is fortunate to be performing it three more weeks, before he heads home and then to Austin, Texas where he is setting up another engagement.
His acting will evolve I know to a thing of beauty, which is why so many of us love theater!

P.S. The saddles above are ones Raymond gathers from their owners every summer for the Festival in Boulder, as he listens to stories of who rode these saddles for a life time, some times. My father's weatherbeaten saddle is in front with his name on it. This is the kind of attention to details that gives Raymond an authentic feel for the characters he creates in his plays. The photo is of my dad on his horse he was riding bareback to tend the water. This was a photo Raymond blew up to show in his play, where he talks about my dad as being his father figure after his own father disappeared with the divorce.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Bohemian Cowboy" plays well for me in LA



After a wonderful time with my 2 older sons in L.A. I can't believe that I have gone there, leaving at 6:15 AM yesterday morning, saw the play last night, and was back home again today by 4:30 pm. But my son Gary was returning home today after spending two days there, so I decided to jump in and come home with him, as I was going to be nearly 9 hours returning home by the bus, when I was only 6 and a half going (my bus driver waas fast!). I am standing in the next photo by my chariot, my son Gary's silver Mazda sports car. I had a lot more leg room in it than on the bus, and good company.

As for the play, it was an event well worth going for. I felt I was seeing my son Raymond regain his health following a rough two years after his father's disappearance. He did not talk about the hip problems that plagued him, but I thought the photos, sounds effects, and music he used to dramatize the story of his dad's well publicized disappearance were very effective. The success of a play was in the details. I also liked the mostly original songs he sang so well I wanted more.
I feel this is a wonderful work in progress and I am curious to see how he will change it as time goes by. I think he is still finding the play, but what he found was pretty darn impressive. He was nervous because tonight the LA Times is coming to review, but reservations are starting to come in, and the run has been extended until Friday the 27th. Saturday the 28th there is going to be an evening of poets reading Bukowski, a show being produced by Linda's son Scott. Linda is scheduled to read. I hope she wiill be well enough to come back.
The sound cues are very important to the play, and must be gotten right. Scot was in charge of them and of running the photo slideshow. I loved all these details that underscored the haunting disappearance. At the time that is all anyone who knew about it could talk about. Where was that man? Had he ran away to a new life? Or worse thought, had he been murdered? He always carried a sizable roll of cash. Or did he just walk across the Valley of Fire to distant low hills until he could walk no more? There has been no clue turn up of what happened. So the mystery remains and that is what the father character in the play tells his son, 'the mystery is his inheritance, that is all he had to give'. In fact, his monthly check continue to come to the bank because he cannot be declared dead for 7 years without a body.
Pam, our nurse blogger, I was going to meet felt ill the next day after a very difficult day on her job as a hospice nurse. She was dealing with another death drama.
I had to come back home so fast I did not get a chance to get her message and call her. I was just glad she was all right, as I began to worry about her out so late at night trying to find the theater which did not look like a theater with its side entrance.
I feel so fulfilled as these two sons from my first marriage with Dean and I were able to talk about the past as we never have before. This play felt like a memorial to Dean, and with us both making a big effort to attend, it felt like we were having the best one we could have. We were rewarded by the healing reunion of our spirits. Raymond also evoked the spirit of my father and his grandfather who was there for him when is dad was not after our divorce.
He called his dad the 'disappearance specialist' and me the 'salvationist' who helped suicidal men in trouble, as I did indeed feel that Dean's death at 74 was far from the tragedy it would have been had he been a lot younger. He started talking about suicide very early in our marriage. He was in trouble. I thought that Raymond took on the job of 'salvationist' after Dean's divorce from his second wife, once again helping him to dispell suicidal thoughts so he could have his dad's company for ten more years, making up for a lot of time lost when Raymond was a child. Tears came to my eyes once or twice, and I saw some on Raymond's cheeks, too. But the service was beautiful. I am sure his dad felt remembered. In the play at the end he tells Raymond through channeling, "You have got to stop looking for me, Raymond." Only now do I think that Raymond really can stop looking in the dreamland of the Valley of Fire for his father, and can now better move on with his life.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Off to California I go


Very early in the morning I plan to be on the trusty Greyhound bus on my way to downtown Los Angeles where my son Raymond will pick me up. My son Gary called yesterday to see if I was still going. I said yes. I did not mention that Doc was not going with me, since Doc is doing everything he can to make my trip easier, including paying for my ticket there, waking me up (if I don't hear my alarm) and accompanying me to the bus station even at 4:45 am. Greater love hath no other man short term. Gary was happy and said that he thought he would leave that evening, so hopefully the two brothers have been reunited in California. I especially urged my son Gary to see the show, as it was his dad, too, who disappeared into the desert. He was just not involved with him as Raymond was in their adult lives. However, he was ten years old when we divorced, so he took it harder than Raymond did. Dean always thought Gary had a good singing voice. I loved his rendition of "I am a child of God." The above photo was taken the year I left Dean. I am with Gary and Raymond in Phoenix.
Gary loves to go to karaoke bars and sing, but construction work does not leave him much time or energy for anything else. He told me once when he was in his late teens that he thought about pursueing a career as a country western singer, but he already had a taste for alcohol, and he said he thought it would be too much temptation for him and he would be better off outdoors and working hard. He has had a very varied and challenging career in construction where he has often acted as a supervisor on all the field jobs for his company, coordinating the work, delivery of supplies, equipment, etc.

I hope the two brothers are together in California as I write.
I also got a welcome call from my sister Linda in San Francisco who sounded happier than I have heard her since she left. She had just found an apartment there she really likes, close enough to the beach you can see the ocean! She is about ten minutes drive from her daughter Carissa's. It is across the street from the zoo. I said oh her grandkids will like that! Apartments are hard to find down there, even though her daughter was going to sign with her, but her son Scott who drove her up there found one on Craig's list, which had just come up, and they rushed down and got it! She says she will have to go down and get signed up at Social Services just as she would have had to do here, and it will be probably a month or more before she can be seen by a doctor.

Here Linda and I are, standing in front of the Beat Museum in San Francisco where Linda gave a reading of her Bukowski poems last year, and displayed some of the 'heads' of poets she has sculptured, including her rather famous one of Bukowski. I think Linda is very happy now that she has made her move, and I wish her a more fulfilling life doing her art work and writing her poetry in beautiful San Francisco! Once she has received the proper medical treatment I am sure she will be on her way!
Here is her review of Bohemian Cowboy: "I saw Cowboys and Bohemians in L.A. last weekend, first by myself and then with family from Utah. I think it is a very powerful piece of work with insights coming from many directions of the feelings between a father and son. The mystery of Hanks disappearance sticks in the mind. I felt all kinds of emotions as Shurtz moved the story forward, including chills up my spine, sad, happy, embarrassed, and I would say almost grateful sometimes. I don't know if I was grateful for good entertainment...good writing or a good performance.
Raymond King Shurtz is my nephew, but I have followed him through numerous plays in Phoenix. His Blue Baby play won the $5000 fellowship award in Phoenix without hardly a word of praise from the local critic. I was so happy to see the wonderful "Pick of the week" review in LA Weekly. He deserves every word and more.
He and his mom lived for a time with me in Silverlake area of L.A. when I was with Charles Bukowski and Raymond was lead actor in the high school play. He still has it and so much more. You need to see for yourself 38 pages of dialog come to life. He is also a fine poet.
Linda King"


News Flash!!! Raymond just posted saying that David Foti who runs the theater complex has asked him to extend the show another week as more press is coming to review! Gary got there and will see the show tonight. See Raymond's blog Cowboys and Bohemians on my blog list and read the latest.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Youtube video commentary on Rule of Conscience law regarding abortion to be struck down



On my blog list you will find the link to a very impressive Youtube video by a Catholic priest on the subject of abortion. He is very eloquent. I am not Catholic but I am open to whatever anyone thinks about such an important issue. I wanted to hear their side of it. The name of his video is "Death Wish Part I."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bush's rule of conscience regarding abortion subject of 30 days public comment before present administration rescinds it


I got this touching graphic from Connie, of Windswept Whispers. Thanks so much, Connie.
I knew this day would not be long in coming, and sure enough the Department of Health and Human Services even though there is yet to be a secretary appointed to pass muster, announced Friday that the rule of conscience that Bush got passed in his waning days in office will be rescinded after a 30 day period of public comment. This means that providers such as the Catholic Church hospitals, doctors, nurses, whoever do not believe in abortion were not required to perform them. This has greatly irked the abortion advocates who seem to see this as a threat to legalized abortion which they deem as totally necessary in our society. So they want these providers to be forced to perform abortions whether they want to or not, or lose obstetrical privileges and so on. The Catholic Church has come out officially saying that their hospitals will not perform abortions even if they have to shut them down!
I am sure that many who think religion is anathema to reason will not care if things go that far. So now who is turning into extremists here? It seems to me that a procedure that requires bloodshed and killing can never be harmless and without consequence in some people's eyes
Churches have been deeply criticized and called dangerous who try to dictate public policy, hence the need for separation of church and state in many people's eyes. But when extremists on either side try to deny what is inherent in their convictions, that is, a question as to whether they are right or not, who is the dictator here?
Nobody on earth is going to tell me that the act of killing the unborn must be a law for our good. Whose good? Certainly not for the good of the child who is being killed, who these believers would not give the right to live once conceived.
The columnist Cal Thomas believes that many pregnant women would change their minds if they were just shown a sonogram of their unborn child before aborting. That too is against the law. In fact for years, Planned Parenthood, the nations biggest provider, has done everything possible to keep any laws from passing that might impede abortion. Is that right?
A right to life governor, Janet Brewer, has succeeded Janet Napolitano, a democrat and believer in pro choice, in Arizona and it is expected that despite a democrat in national office, her regime might succeed in passing such limitations in abortion policy as required notification of parents when underage teens seek abortions. Planned Parenthood has killed any attempts to pass this one restriction for years. Any other surgical procedure requires the notification of parents, except abortion. Is this right?
Years ago, Bryan Howard, head of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, said in the newespaper that parents should not be notified because they might be religious zealots who would prevent the teen from having an abortion, therefore ruining lives. He is on record as saying that all teens who get pregnant should have abortions. This man has been dictating abortion policy in Arizona for years as has Gloria Feldt, head of the national Plannned Parenthood who preceded Bryan Howard as head in Arizona.
So I have been reading what these people have to say in the press for years. Bryan Howard was recently quoted as saying that he is sure Planned Parenthood sponsoring lectures by pro choice advocates in colleges will counteract the harm Governor Brewer might do to the cause of legalized abortion. Jane Fonda was Planned Parenthood's representive who recently spoke at our huge ASU insitution to enthusiastic response according to Howard.
I was interested to read this since I thought that Jane Fonda had joined a Chrisitan Church, so I did not know how she could continue in that capacity and square it with pro choice lectures in universities.
But I know for a fact that universities can become radicalized simply by awarding tenure to extremists. I have come to believe that higher education can have an insidious effect on the young that is not necessarily good, if the young are not in the habit of reasoning about the influences they come across, but just accept whatever any radical says if he or she is 'educated' or has a degree.
When a degree is at stake, people are less apt to question a professor's beliefs. It could hurt their futures. I know this could happen, because I put acquiring my degree on the line by behaving according to conscience. This led to my incarceration in a psych ward, from which I emerged with my health broken, after nearly dying in there under threat of electric shock.
How would you like to be dragged off to a mental institution for questioning university policies? I did not even get very far before I was dealt with very severely.
I went with my consicence because I believe that standing up for beliefs is more important than a college degree. I felt I was fighting extemist attitudes both on the far left and the far right. There is a big resemblence in both factions, in that they want to dictate policy without regard to reason. The Mormon faction was practically overwhelming in Utah at that time, but they did not know how to deal with the left extremists who had infiltrated the university as they do everywhere. These two factions were diametrically opposed in many areas, but they were both dictating to me what I needed to believe in order to get a degree. I had to conform to both! Neither parties could be reasoned with. A Mormon psychiatrist incarcerated me, but a radical in the theater department called him for an appointment. A psychiatrist who I am sure did not believe in either philosophies had the power to give me electric shock therapy against my will. I disputed that I needed it. He could not make up his mind to concede that simple point, since those accused of mental illness at that time could be electric shocked against their will. Was he going to go against that widely accepted policy and get himself in trouble in his command? No, he wasn't, which is why I then had to nearly die to get out of it. Something was wrong with me, I already knew. They did not listen. I told them it would kill me, and so before their eyes I nearly died. Only then did they believe me, and turn me loose, but only after I signed a paper saying that I volunteered to go there myself! An absolute lie.
So I express my conscience when it comes to abortion, over and over. For years. I do not let anybody else dictate to me what I am going to think about something so important. I am not going to call the bloodshed and violence required by abortion as 'necessary' for our society to survive. This I will state in a public forum and will be sending a copy to the White House to be directed to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Herrad

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