Monday, August 30, 2010

Poetry In Plain Sight - Ms. Kelly

It was a good day. The powerful heat retreated and I was able to reassemble bits and pieces of myself. The road is long but I can see that it is going somewhere.

I get freaked out when I can't see the road. It is time for another installment of Poetry in Plain Sight. The Southern California poetry community is diverse, once you get away from the Hollywood side of the fence.

There are a mixture of people that you will not see on Hulu or cable television.

Our voices are no less important.

We are here.

We love.

We ache.

This is a poem called Empty.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Health Insurance Workshop for Artists At The Armory

For those in the Pasadena, CA area and are of the artistic persuasion you might want to consider attending a free workshop called Health Insurance 101. I don't know much more about it than the post card I picked up at the Armory.

From the Health Insurance For Artists website:

This workshop provides unbiased information to help you navigate the tangled web of our health insurance options. Topics include:

  • How to compare benefit designs.
  • Individual & family plans.
  • Guaranteed-issue group plans for the self-employed.
  • Association plans for artists.
  • What you need to know about health insurance reform.
Folks, I don't know if this is truly informational, a sales pitch or a two for one deal. If you go have a pound of questions ready and don't sign anything until you check it out.

On the other hand I do know that artists shouldn't have to depend on the fundraiser skills of friends and well wishers to pay for emergency health care or long term health care needs.

There next session of the workshop is September 11, 2010 at the Armory Center for the Arts 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103

Seems like you to have to RSVP at

Friday, August 27, 2010

What The World Need Now on the Finally Friday Freakout

This was a week that I felt blue. I am deep in the grips of it. I can function but if God himself came to pay me a visit I'd ask it we could do it next week.

It is not one specific thing. We Americans have no will to do better. Not collectively. Oh, no. That would be socialism. Booga, Booga.

We have no will to re-think the way we do things about transportation, food, employment or community. These are things we have to do right now if not sooner but first a word from our sponsors, detractors or good old fashion "Not in My Backyard" mantras.

Some days it is too much. Frack the liberal/conservative divide; if nothing changes but the political party in office we have nothing.

Let the mayor and the city council of Bell, CA stand out as our next to last warning bell. The change must come from where most of us are now.

It will be hard. It is hard. Our lives are designed to keep us away from contact, community or participation. It is possible if we say and act with intention.

We have got to change. We know this. And yet we do the same dumb ass stuff.

God knows, I'm frustrated.

A bit heartbroken that has nothing to do with romantic love. I've got cynics around me telling me to come on over to the dark negative side. I've got others folks that are Pollyanna who see no evil.

Here I am, alone in the middle able to see past both of them. It hurts.

We sang this song in assembly in elementary school. I think about how freaking far away we are from the message of the song. How this weekend there is going to be some extremely contentious speech. How the profiteers of misery will line their pockets in gold in the name of God and country.

I'm fighting my way back but for some reason it is a slow slog this time. I want be more than a consumer. Life isn't just about consumption. It never was.

I've lost my way to a higher plane of connection. I need to find my path again. All I need is love. All we need is love. And the will to act as if we meant it.

We use to sing this song. It was a long time ago.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Podcasting Literature - Salvation Road

I have been pulled deeper into audio fiction and drama podcasts. There is so much good work out there that I've missed. I'm telling you straight, broadcasts and cable television have lost me.

I have to add the exception of Mad Men;, I don't even have cable and that show rocks. It is up there with Homicide, Life on the Streets, China Beach, Sports Night and sigh, Babylon 5.

In other words. I got nothing to watch in 2010. Not that I don't have stuff to do, I just signed up for a technical writing class.

But a girl needs some fiction in her life. Danger and excitement, a wisp of romance. Super powers and human emotions fused in life and death. Who could ask for more?

I have switched over to theater of the mind with podcast from Phillipa Ballantine. I started out with Erotica al la Carte but I'm currently listening to Weather Child. She is such a good writer I generally listen twice. Once for the story and the second time for the structure.

My old faithful, The Secret World Chronicles, keeps me up if I listen before bed time. Can't help it they are doing a heck of a job.

The last story in the current series has just posted. I kinda hate to listen but the cliff hanger was a doozy. Once I do it is cold turkey until December 2010 as the team works on the new book.

The hard part is finding the good stuff. It is the same problem video folks have. There is good user generated content but sifting it out from the corporate dreak is hard work.

Worth the effort. Definitely worth the effort.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Eric Dolphy on The Finally Friday Freakout

I'm going to be honest. I don't know who Eric Dolphy is or why he is important to jazz. I'll tell you how I found him. I was looking at a advertisement for the Pasadena Jazz Festival.

I don't know most of the people on the ad. This is more my shame than the performers. I wasn't brought up in the jazz tradition. Jazz was separate from Funk.

I was raised a Funkateer. I will never turn my back on Funk. That doesn't mean I close my ears to other forms of music. I have an album around here with Chick Corea playing classical music. I knew that he was primarily a jazz performer but he was stepping out. I like classical so I took a chance.

I'm getting to the point, honest. Ok, so I watched some of Chick's work but in the sidebar are Eric Dolphy videos. I click on a video that lead to another that lead to this video from Germany.

I don't know the name of the tune.

Hollywood film, video and music makers are petitioning any one that will listen (FCC and Congress) to keep people from uploading copyrighted content. I am not for stealing other people's works. Really, I'm not.

The industry and the unions want more fines, imprisonment, non-net neutrality and anything that will keep people from uploading their content. I'm not saying they don't have rights. The way they are going about it is often wrong and ultimately will drive people away from what they claim to cherish. Money.

Yes, there are industrial bootleggers and pirates. Go after them.

Music content is a part of my cultural heritage. I want to know what I have missed.

Fans of performers want other people to discover their favorite artists. Other people do not want the art form known as Jazz to die a ignored death.

Even if I knew what to ask for I can't beg any of my local radio stations to play jazz artists that are not under the "Smooth Jazz" formula. No disrespect intended.

The programed play list is all knowing, all limited. All locked into the major recording labels so that independents don't have a chance of being seen or heard.

What if you want something different and don't know what it is until you hear or see it?

That is what happened this evening. I found something different and I liked it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Different Voices - Civil Debate Session BlogHer 2010

One of the things that I appreciate in a good web site or blog is the opportunity to find different voices and ideas about a topic.

It is far better to know want to know what other people think and believe about a topic. Being smug and correct is a good way to get your feelings hurt down the line.

This is a clip from the Change Agents: How to Start, Engage in and Moderate Civil Political Debate session at BlogHer 2010 in New York City. The panelists are Denise Tanton, Pam Spaulding and Suzanne Fortin.

Dealing with Thread Hijacking - Civil Debate Session at BlogHer 2010

We've all seen it happen. Folks are having a discussion and someone plunks down a screed or a twenty page smoking gun on why the rest of us are so pathetically wrong.

In this clip Denise, Pam and Suzanne share methods on how to deal with that problem. This is from the Change Agents: How to Start, Engage in and Moderate Civil Political Debate session at BlogHer 2010 in New York City.

The panelists are Denise Tanton, Pam Spaulding and Suzanne Fortin.

Beautiful Tree on the Finally Friday Freakout

Cleaning out the junk, the old e-mail and the things I missed the first time I found an e-mail from Jon Blecher. I don't know who Jon is or how he got my e-mail address. Maybe he noticed the music posted on the blog or something.

Anyway, I wanted to post music. I needed something non-toxic. This is Rain Perry singing Beautiful Tree.

This song is the theme for a television program called Life Unexpected. I clicked the link to view the video before I read anything about Rain. I was gonna like it or not. I went back to the e-mail. Yep, she has been knocked about a bit. Had challenges that would make me cringe.

And yet like most of us she gets up and does what she has to do. Like go to work on Monday.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Validating Your Creativity - BlogHer 2010

I've been fairly quiet, for me at least. I am actively trying to throw out computer magazines from 2006 and earlier. I'm cleaning, editing, writing, and being gobsmacked by what humans are doing.

I knew I was missing a load of stuff because of the day job. I go back to the cubical next week. I gotta get a smartphone.

I don't lack for ideas but sometimes the evil wicked voice in my head likes to remind me how truly despicable my writing and how I should donate my computer to a good school. Or a bad school. The effect is the same as a writer's block only more painful.

It is important to remember that the evil wicked voice is the voice of inadequacy. You have to be louder. You have to soothe it into silence or bring out the lance of truth. What ever you gift is, you can do it.

It is good enough until it gets better. You keep doing it and it will get better.

This is a brief clip from the Writing Inspiration: Stoke Your Creativity. The panelist are Rita Arens from BlogHer, author Carleen Brice and her blog Pajama Gardner and Jan Sokoloff Harness who also has her business writing and communications site.

Two Games About Women's Bodies and Both Make Me Sad

The power of intention always whacks me upside my head. My post for BlogHer about the FOX News report on Abstinence Video Game is up but as part of my research I was lead to these two games.

I'm not a gamer. I do not want to kill anything or anyone in reality or in a virtual environment. I will if I have to protect my life. But the hunt and execution has not thrill for me.

I do believe in sex education and empowerment but I'm not sure this is quiet the way to go. From E4 comes Privates where the troops are posted in the vagina to kill off the STD and nasty stuff in the lady bits.

It is a shooter game for ages 14 and older. I saw another example of the game and there is a bit of "disease ed" tossed in the game but there is something about having my or any woman's vagina thought of as a toxic battle ground is profoundly uncomfortable.

Having it voiced with a British sounding accents is makes me thing of Dr. Who. I would not mind a certain Doctor riding me up the pleasure canal but he is gonna have to leave the sonic screwdriver in his coat.

Non-sexual education parents can squawk all they want but the more they suppress education based sexual health instruction the more the commercial marketplace will pick up the slack.

This might be a good example of why you don't want that to happen. Except I've got one more.

Hey Baby
is a game where a woman walks down a street. Dude says the wrong thing and blammo, he's dead and the remark is on a tombstone.

Look, you can't grow up in an urban area or ride a bus without hearing some clown spewing a line or two. The low hanging fruits of the world will say dumb, vile and bordering on psychotic things to women and young girls.

I'm not sure I want to promote a shooting game as a method of handling the problem. And let me say this as a person who had to walk pass east coast construction crews back in the day.

Um, yeah.

I'm not sure killing a person for saying "God Bless You" is in the same league as I wanna suck your (insert the blank).

For some folks this is gonna be a hoot.

Not for me. It is the same line of thinking that every guy does this. Excluding the teen years, real mature thinking men do not insult women this way. I think the game might send the message that most men do let the brain dribble out of their mouths.

I can't support this but I haven't the right to tell others not to engage in this type of play. The hundreds of women abusing and hating games out in the world is way too many.

This one game is nowhere near as noxious as what people are plunking down cash money for modified versions of Grand Thief Auto and worse. Much worse. So much worse I'm not going to mention the name or link to them.

So there you have it. I don't want to kill for pleasure. And until producers can figure out a way to have entertaining game play that does not involve death I'm not going to have much to do with gaming.

We can do better. We are just not willing as yet. I hope I can hang on until we do.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Things I'd Want Other Women to Know

Last week I saw the movie Deep Impact at the hotel at BlogHer 10. I couldn't sleep. Jet lag I think. Anyway, the impending comet of doom is coming and the population is being selected for New Genesis, I think.

There is a line in the movie about how no one over 50, with skill based exceptions, would be selected for survival.

Eh? I'm doing the numbers in my head 50 + 2 = Rest in Peace. Now I do understand that from a science fiction standpoint this is a necessary plot point.

Looking at it from a resource survival of the species standpoint it is kinda understood you save and protect the younger population until they can re-establish society with the help of so-called elders.

I'm not an elder. Still getting use to the middle passage. I find myself being seen and not seen. The filters of race, weight, gender, vocabulary, beliefs and now age make interacting with other people more challenging.

Then again that dang peri-menopause thing can jack up your perceptions. It could be the reason I'm writing this post. I don't care, I've got to say what I need to because I can't get that scene out of my head.

So, just in case this is what I'd like folks to know.


For yourself and for other people. I know there are others that advocate the short cut or backstabbing approaches to life. Some of these people currently seem to do well on reality television shows.

That is an illusion.

Disrespect backs itself up in a corner waiting for you. Respect for yourself and other people can reduce the amount of crap you will have to handle.


I don't care if you are celibate or are just about to notch number 923 on the bed post. I do care that you are safe. I want you to be happy and comfortable in your life. Your sexuality shouldn't be totally dependent on another human.

You have to know what you want or be willing to find out. Not so easy, I know. I think when I incorporated some of the elements of sacred sexuality into my being I felt even more comfortable but that might not work for you.

Sexuality is not fear. Using sex to fight fear, lonesomeness or inadiquacy doesn't help. Might feel good for a minute but not a long term solution. Be safe, be educated and be loving to yourself.

Money Management

Do what it takes not to be in debt. I strongly believe in the better personal finance blogs like Get Rich Slowly, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Frugal Babe and The Consumerist. Debt is a means of subjugation.

Emancipate yourself and stay that way.

I'm thinking the spirit of Scarlett O'Hara - no you shouldn't marry just any ole body to make you comfortable. Bad, very bad. I just don't want you to be afraid of picking up the mail or answering the phone.

I had more but this will do for a start. I would tell you to have faith in being a decent person. If you need a book to tell you to do that ok fine but I don't think it is necessary.

Try to do better by the planet, we don't need as much as we think we do. Consumption shouldn't equal destruction. There is a balance.

Read. Question everything but at some point trust.



Be quiet and take deep breaths.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Heck of A Town - Pre-BlogHer

The trip was a trip. It started at 3:30a.m. with a ride to an empty airport. I didn't know that the airport opened at 5:30a.m.

The only pick-up time was 3:30a.m. I wasn't alone but it was spooky.

On the plane there were two crying babies and two yappy dogs. The dogs barked the first hour or so then it was ok for a bit. Then the last 45 minutes the babies kicked in a few notes.

I gotta say with Direct TV is wasn't so bad.

The trip into town was tough. I don't eat before a flight. I was hungry. I saw every food joint as we passed by. I damn near wanted to beg the driver to stop at Chipotle's. Got to the hotel and started looking for food.

Pizza called my name; I inhaled that sucker. I was so hungry I forgot that I can't have a lot of cheese.

My stomach reminded me this morning. I took the walking cure - so many great places in my immediate area, The Center of Photography, art places up the ying-ying and a special shout out to the New York Public Library who helped me get on-line and find stuff.

Much to do, will keep you posted.