Thursday, July 26, 2007

IN A WORD (us!)


so we both said yes. and we both thought about it; cancelling, calling in chicken shit..

but we didn't. and we both prepared. re-read. re-highlighted new passages in the book. wrote down our favorite one-liners, and our favorite scenes

but honestly, it's impossible to capture all you love without re-writing the whole book. this is a shared sentiment..

and we talked, laughed and panicked together the night before..

and then we prettied ourselves up the morning of... i had my hair blow dried special for this occasion. dyan was a knock out in her pretty white top, sparkly sweater, denim skirt. hair, make-up and accessories: wow!

and i was comfortable in my white blouse and khaki skirt. this is the same outfit i wore for my flute recital with bernie and his students, at heritage estates in livermore, and since i succeeded in playing twinkle, twinkle, without any mess-ups, i thought it might be a good idea to wear the same thing for this

this: our guest appearance on in a word to talk about eat, pray, love by elizabeth gilbert, with co-hosts jim ott and kathy cordova.

and -cool thing is, we can walk from our duplex to the ctv studio. this is wonderful for calming the nerves

and so we all strolled, me, dyan, and our beloved little ones.. my taryn and jack, taking turns pushing her emma in the stroller

dyan was battling a bit of a headache

my stomach was creating acid rain clouds

and then dyan reminded me... this was the "unknown" for her

she was taking a leap.

and i thought about that.. about scott adams blogs... the one about being brave; the one about taking risks

and it seems worth celebrating to me -not the result; but the willingness.

willingness alone; a baby step in the right direction. but then it dawns on me..

those two things i've always hated about public speaking:

the public. and speaking.

and i think to myself... dear God.. do i have to perform like a trained seal to make it in this world? can't i just hang out and write? please.

and then we're at the studio's, and thank you to dyan being dyan, the kids are treated to a mini picnic at the table just outside the studio before we go in. she's got fruit drinks, apple sauce..

and it really was a perfectly beautiful day. sunshine. cool air in the shade. and i got to thinkin' about how lucky we are

just to be here. all of us. together.

and then jim walked up with a hug, and we went inside together and were greeted with more warm hugs and smiles from kathy. and there was taping in progress we could watch on a tv in the lobby: scott evans (i believe.. will check) was being interviewed about his movie and book which is a sequel to the secret. info at

and this was both intimidating and inspiring to watch. he was so at ease.. his message organized, professional and his delivery wonderful... "wish, which stands for




happiness." - i liked that. and he talked about how when you give a gift, your serotonin levels go up, and so do the recipients, and it also happens to people who witness giving and receiving.

i liked that too. -and, then taryn was picked up by my friend meg, so she could make drama camp on time (thanks meg!), and jack kept an eye on emma... taking turns in the lobby balancing on a stepping stool; feeling tall and special

and then the interview with scott wrapped up.. the cameras were off, but we could see the after talk.. jim and kathy thank him. he thanks them back, and says,

get this... "it was easy breezy." i will refrain from comment here.

and then it was our turn. and it is unnerving, the heat from the lights, the cameras, the monitor where you can see what you look like (tip: don't look).

and the mics were put on, under our blouses, and we counted to ten so they could adjust things according to the volume of our natural speaking voices

and before we knew it, kathy and jim were looking into the cameras, welcoming viewers to the show, and introducing us

and here was a thought i'd had on the walk over. i know my stomach, and i know it's going to get all acidy and tight and i know, i will feel the knot; the anxiety storm

but this time i equated it with lighting a match on fire and then blowing it out, and then right away putting the match on my skin. it's a very intense burn, but it does go away. it does not sustain it's burn over time. and so i was reminding myself the initial stomach pain would go away once i started talking

and it did. kathy asked me the opening question, "... so give us a summary of this book..."

and here is the part i actually enjoy.. not the talking

but the falling away of everything. this was my experience last time too when i talked to jim about blogging

at first there is complete awareness of the lights, the camera, the setting, but once i started talking, everything faded away, completely unconscious to me, until all i was consciously aware of was the conversation.

and i liked the set up this time. four people. four perspectives. the conversation, questions, comments divided by four.

funny thing is this.. we talked for nearly 15 mintues, the four us, but i don't think dyan or i, ever even got to the one liners we loved, or some of our favorite scenes; the things we wrote down.

it is further evidence elizabeth gilbert has written a masterpiece.

and then... "time to wrap things up" (oh! the sweet sound of those words!).

and it is our natural tendency to default to what went wrong.. how we wish we coulda said this, woulda said that,

but i chose not to, and tried to prevent dyan from going there too. instead, i went right to the words i'd read in scott adams blog: that was brave.

no focus on flaws. all focus on the fact we showed up. we stepped up to the plate. we didn't forfeit. we didn't chicken out. we followed through.

"that was brave of us!" i reminded. and then i treated for lunch and drinks at pasta's to celebrate. she had some wine.. i had one of those sexy devil chocolatini's. "cheers!"

and we enjoyed salad and lunch outside with the kids, played a cute alphabet game dyan inspired.

and then we gave our attention to life's next upcoming adventures

her & emma, packing and moving soon to montana;

taryn and friends in their little mermaid performance at the amador theatre

and jack, graduating soon from swim america

and it feels so good to remove "channel 30/in a word" from our mental/emotional to do lists.

thank you again jim and kathy for the opportunity. for the experience. for the memory.

it's a great show you've got going there, and fun to be a part of it's history.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

having vowed never to put myself through the agony of appearing,

or really, in truth,

the agony of preparing to appear, on television ever, ever, ever again, it should come as no surprise to fellow mental masochists, that when kathy cordova, jim ott's co-host, for in a word on local channel 30, invited me back this year to talk with both of them about elizabeth gilbert's book, eat, love, pray, i said yes.

not, "no thank you," or even, "let me think about it." nope. i said something really enthusiastic, like, "sure! i'd be honored."

and in kathy's email to me, she extended the invitation, asking whether i knew anyone else who had read and enjoyed gilbert's book.

do i ever! i bought the book for several friends, but, even better, there were three of us locals who went together to meet elizabeth gilbert when she did a reading and book signing in san francisco. me, dyan and carla; so right away i sent them an email. "it'll be fun!" i write them, "we can divide the anxiety, multiply the joy"

and, while their replies back to me were longer than what i'm about to type here, i can capture the essence of their responses ... in a word...

NO! and,


-gosh, i thought. they are so much smarter than me!

carla's no was bigger than dyan's no, plus she'll be out of town on the date of the taping; so, misery loving company, i begged dyan. successfully.

this will be a memory we can share, prior to her leaving for montana to start a new life with my brother.

-do here note the absence of any descriptive word, any adjective, nestled in front of the word memory, in the sentence above. we simply do not know in advance what type of memory this will be


best left forgotten?


so once again i ponder this...

why? why? why? knowing -in advance- what agony this brings me. do i say yes?

i don't get paid. it puts no food in my pantry, no beer in my fridge. i will spend four weeks worrying about four minutes; all for FREE.

if one does not already exist, this behavior deserves its very own diagnostic code number; and prescription drug

which brings me, in an off the post way, to oprah, martha beck and scott adams. my dream team. my imagined personal coaches, hired specifically to help me succeed.

as if God herself, wanted to ease my pain and lift my burden -what should appear before me in the aftermath of saying yes to kathy cordova, but a plethora of very inexpensive, but profound, and sage advice for people who suffer from prelude-to-public-speaking like i do

in "o" magazine, (this month!) july 2007 there are TWO articles by TWO majors in the public speaking arena: oprah and martha beck, that have not gone unread three times by me:

self conscious? martha beck's one-word cure, page 174, which talks about the spotlight effect (diagnosis) and beta - blockers (prescription drug!)

AND, what i know for sure, pg 230, oprah's regular column, where this month, she writes

" can't accomplish anything worthwhile if you inhibit yourself. if life teaches you nothing else, know this for sure: when you get the chance,

(and, i hear the lyrics too... when you get the chance to sit it out, or dance.. i hope you dance)

but, oprah, in her own words, writes, when you get the chance, go for it.

the center of her story showcasing on a 1978 interview of hers with robin williams -one of my favorite all time comedians and actors; king of the uninhibited universe.

and i think about what it might cost for tickets to see oprah, or what it might cost for a one-on-one session with martha beck, and i think.. i paid only $4 for this july issue of "O"

i know how to bargain shop for help and inspiration!

and it doesn't stop there either, because, just yesterday, i think it was, scott adams, in his blog, my compliments to you, writes about his secrets to success when it comes to public speaking. and i know i can't afford a ticket to see him speak either, but

there it is. sage advice in a blog post, for the built in cost of my monthly comcast internet connection.

none of this is lost on me.

it is well documented that people who have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, experience elevated levels of anxiety when it comes to any anxiety provoking experiences.

ours is ten times the work; ten times the battle.

i will re-read eat, love, pray. i will take notes. i will beg kathy and jim for questions in advance so i can discover my answers and say them out loud, write them down, rehearse them in my head. again. again. i will pray to God frequently for help and mercy. again. again. i will practice with dyan. i will reread oprah, martha beck and scott adam's words again. and again. i will invest a weeks worth of worry for every 1 minute of this interview.

if i bomb, i will blame my ptsd.

but if i succeed, i will credit my imagined personal coaches

and, thank you in advance scott adams, because either way,

on the walk home from studio 30

i will think to myself, and say to dyan

"that was very brave of us!"

-which is ten times the victory too.

Friday, July 06, 2007


oh! (don't) stop it. you're (not) embarrassing me.

this demands some of my on-the-spot poetry:

thanks for tickling my funny bone;

for my name up in the sky

thanks for homemade hot sauce

you're just the kind of guy

to check out something spicy

burn your tongue, then toast

"..dipping for your savory snacks!"

now, chase that with a post.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


ready? stay with me on this one..

there are 10 men

and it's the 530th crew

picture from 9th month, 1944

and one man missing (or, "absent" depending on your i.q. (imagination quotient)).

so.. if you take those numbers, multiply, divide, add, subtract -play around a little

you get


but it took me 2 minutes and 13 seconds to figure that out, so i feel lucky anyway

-like this one even better; thanks squidmann!


this makes up for your unauthorized vacation days.

it's so nice to be thought of like this

topless angel on cloud nine.

thanks squidmann!