Monday, April 27, 2009


i heretofore would like to creatively thank leonard stegmann for reposting the bright red spot between my eyebrows by writing new lyrics to billy joel's famous hit song, "the piano man"
feel free to grab a beer for breakfast and sing along
"it's five o’clock on what~ever day
the regular crowd’s all logged in
& there’s squidmann posting just for me
cut n’ pastin’ again and again

i said, squid, can you repost that story?
i'm not really sure how it goes
but it's funny and sweet and i read it complete
~ spit coffee all over my clothes

la la la, de de da, la la, de de da, da da...

spin us a tale, you’re the blogger man
post us a good one tonight
'cuz we’re all in the mood for a laugh or two
~ & your woe’s get us feelin’ alright

now most in the sphere, they are friends of mine
we all share our stories for free
we love a good joke ~laugh, drink n’ choke
and there’s no place that we’d rather be

we say, squidmann, your stories are killing us!
you’re a gift to the sub~human race
& we’re sure that you would be a rich man

if not for that angry red spot on your face

oh! la la la, de de da, la la, de de da, da dum

now squid, he’s an american blogumnist
loves the Beatles, the movies, his wife
he stopped bloggin’ like crazy, but don’t call him lazy
he can cut, paste and repost for life

and she, she’s the pre~famous writeous mom
wearing her dreams up her sleeves
fell from the ladder of success 3 times
but just keeps wipin’ the dirt from her knees

spin us a tale, you’re the blogger man
post us a good one tonight
‘cuz we’re all in the mood for a laugh or two
~ & your woe’s get us feelin’ alright

it's another great day in the blogosphere
“let’s post!” she says with a smile
'cuz we need to connect, let humor protect
our brains from real life for a while
squiddy, you’re my favorite blogger man
i thank God our lives have crossed path
we need bread in our jars, and gas in our cars
so, “dear Lord,

may we get paid to make people laugh!”

oh!, la la la, de de da, la la, de de da, da dum..

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

MORE PUBLIC THANK YOU'S from (me!) sandra, tvgp

BIG THANK YOU to (my spiritual therapists) KATHY CORDOVA and JIM OTT FROM TV30 -for inviting me back as a guest on their wonderful show, in a word, to talk about my first book: eat write & exercise. (notice i say first, in hopeful anticipation there will be more..)

always appreciate the opportunity and the experience! -you two are awesome hosts! AND.. thanks also to behind the scenes talented/kind people: terisa thurman and (my neighbor!) dar clark who help make the experience a postive one.

wonderful seeing patty powers on the set, and meeting for the first time, mother/daughter:

louise olsen and georgia sheppard

i was allowed in the studio prior to my own interview, (thank you jim!) to watch the taping of the book club discussion portion of the show: hosts jim & kathy with guests patty powers and georgia sheppard to talk about the very popular, my sister's keeper by jody (p)

"remarkable!" was the word that kept coming to mind as i watched georgia, this amazing 13 year old (?) on the set with these three adult professionals (kathy/jim/patty) discussing her understanding/perspectives/opinions about the book. -to see her so comfortable, knowledgable, articulate, composed, beautiful in appearance and spirit and contribution

clearly this is a gift.. one of many God-given gifts bestowed upon her, and it is ALWAYS a pleasure for me to witness people exercising -putting to good use- their gifts & talents.

and in watching her, her ease, her grace.. i re-realized how this is most definitely NOT one of my gifts

i don't say so for sympathy, pity or fishing for words of reassurance. i say so with a relaxed self-confidence; a knowing.

it's true i've made great progress. for my first in a word interview, i was a nervous wreck and spent way too many hours in preparation.. -and for this interview my anxieties were lessened, and my psychological/actual prep time was closer to normal. -plus there were kind things to help any reluctant televised interviewee: i could supply my own questions AND knew the material well, as it was my own book i'd be talking about

but still.. nausea. regret. -all work; such effort. continues to feel like an ob/gyn appointment. i know i should do it. i will do it. but mostly i look foward to having it over with. find myself saying over and over.. before you know it, you'll be on your way back home. it's only 4 minutes.. it's only 4 minutes..

in contrast, when georgia finished taping her portion.. a much longer portion, she said.. and quite honestly/sincerely, "that was fun!"

and so i have decided officially that television, for hosts and/or guests does and should belong to only those people who feel that way.. who think it's fun.

and that's what we should ALL be doing.. learning what it is we find "FUN!" and doing lots of it.

obviously i think writing is FUN. i was not nervous at all mixing/mingling meeting new people at the chamber mixer.. that felt FUN.. i'm looking forward to doing READINGS at various book stores, at amelia's.. that for me is FUN. radio felt FUN

but tv; not so much. i won't analyze it any further.. what is it? the lights.. camera.. time limit.. highly unnatural setting for what they hope will be a natural conversation? the distance between people sitting/talking? all the restrictions/expectations brewing in a tv studio environment

i don't know. i only know that for me, the word FUN does not come to mind.

and if oprah calls, i'll do but dread it.

[ side note for me: learned also georgia has stage experience.. was in the wizard of oz at the bankhead theatre in livermore -which i saw and loved! -and am reminded again how often i learn that great speakers have theatre experience]

but for me.. i'd rather write the play than perform in it. i'd rather edit a tv show than be in it.


the in a word show mentioned above wil air on tv30 for all of may 2009:

m-f 6:30a, 1p, 9:30p

sat 9a, 3p, 9:30p

sun 9:30a, 3:30p, 8:30p

AND LET ME ALSO COMPLIMENT the updated tv30 website! for a time it seemed the quality of the website lagged too far behind the high quality of the shows, giving a false impression

now they are equally wonderful; a great match! -continued success to everyone at tv30!


after the show was taped, i went (as has become tradition) to pasta's on main street for a sexy devil chocolatini: my reward for not chickening out! i always reward myself for not chickening out..

and kathy joined me/interviewed me for her next and upcoming book having to do with the 12 elements of passion.. and chasing your dreams in mid and late life

and 1) -she is great company/conversation and 2) honor to be included in this book

based on how much i love and gained from her first one: let go, let miracles happen

i'm excited to delve into the collection of stories, the wisdom, the lessons, the inspiration i know this book will also contain

she interviewed me for her section on authenticity.. not the main story/person on the topic, which belongs to an incredible human being named lawson day, but as a supplement

and it seems worth noting for me personally, that i was completely comfortable with her holding a microphone/tape recorder near my face for this interview.. it was in fact, fun

so now i have the recipe for fun:

outdoors on a gorgeous day at a restaurant on main street, sitting with a good friend, one sexy devil chocolatini, a delicious salad, great questions, no studio/no cameras.. only natural sunshine for light


i wonder, retrospectively, if i'm taking/given too much credit for being an authentic human being. -certainly in part, i have long been (and remain) a student of great sages, humanitarians, poets, -a student of truth in general; inner truth

think often about truth, honesty.. how we all have an inner truth, and whether the outside world, peers/friends/family, etc. know it or not

we know our own inner truths. we know, as individuals whether or not we are honoring our inner truths

and, by design, it seems we are happier/healthier honoring our inner truths than wearing social masks

but in part, my authenticity is born not from studying, learning, growing, trying, honoring, etc.,

but rather from an innate inability to lie or pretend well. i view it sometimes as a great life skill i'm missing.. that perhaps would serve me well in some places of life, if i could employ it correctly

so in my own self-assesment i will take credit for being authentic, find that word a compliment

but in remaining authentic, must confess that it is some portion an effort/evolved from stretching, growing, discovering and fighting to honor my own inner truth against all odds

and some portion just my inability to act; my lack of skill for lying/hiding inner truths that family/friends/peers/society judge unacceptable, controversial, wrong and/or distasteful in any way.

and i laugh here, because in a recent conversation with another friend.. sue~sue

she described how a friend of hers was reading my blog. commented, "she sure shares a lot more than i ever would!"

and sue~sue, who knows me quite well, said, "she just doesn't have an edit button in her brain"

and that's probably closest to my truth.

"to the success of our books! the blessing of our friendship!" much love, ~s.


a post script note: i have in the past, always ordered/paid c.o.d. for a dvd of the show i appeared on, and then paid again to have an excerpt placed on my website.

i've been told -as tv30 is under new managment- that while i can still order a dvd, i must pay in advance (which i don't mind at all), but that i cannot make it available for direct upload from my website.. this does not sit well with me. a) i did not know before participating in the show that the policy had changed b) i do not like having my own work/appearances/interviews the sole property of another entity. that feels yucky.

i'm glad to learn and know this now, locally, so i can inquire appropriately & weigh decisions accordingly as my career moves forward.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

THOUGHTS ON FAME by (me!) sandra, tvgp

things to write about/to do: the poetry, prose & art festival (while it's fresh in mind); my must love blogs workshop/mark curtis; thank you letters(dave/roz/more); keynote speech/dana gioia/the art of the short story book! (in love/physically, emotionally painful to put book down); responses to bloggers from class; blog rounds in general; the wildest/busiest/craziest day at amelia's/ my awesome co-workers; 12 lessons learned from 1 mistake; jack's ballgame; taryn's fashion show; the movie duplicity.. and thoughts on fame

which write now wins.

THOUGHTS ON FAME. random/out of order... but out:

in the same way a single, childless, young and free girl will sit around a table of mommies sharing their personal truths. - listen to the ghastly stories of pregnancy, horror stories of labor, exhausting stories of sleepless nights, painful breasts; the crying, the screaming.. the endless, relentless, thankless work of parenting

and still long to be pregnant herself one day. it is with this same inexplicable, counterintuitive desire, i long for fame. i suppose i want my very own experience with it; understanding of it; opinion & take on it

the majority of the stories i've heard, read, seen and/or witnessed have all been... bad. -very bad. exhausting, challenging, fuck-up-your head-screw-up-your-life bad

and yet...

is it really only for the hope it comes with $$ -??

but it hit me, when i was recognized by my book title recently.. when i was so excited about it

there was a great mommy analogy that surfaced: because as a new mommy, after you have breast or bottle fed around the clock, survived the sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, the unexplained illnesses, rejoiced in the first smile, the crawling, the sitting up by themselves...

somewhere in there comes first words. first words are THE most exciting thing for a new parent to hear, (while first smiles are THE GREATEST thing for a new parent to see!)

and once your baby begins to talk in words you can actually understand.. immediately.. is the longing to hear your baby say mommy. mama. ma. m. -anything remotely close

and it is pure heaven to hear it.. your hard-earned name; your new official title, -coming from the sweetest face, and most precious human voice in all the world

and you can't help but share your exciting news with others, "my baby said mama today!!"

and it really feels like for each and every one of us, THIS is what should be in the headline news

podcasts online
and ALWAYS. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, there is a veteran mom of two or three children that you tell that says something like, "yeah.. you like it now.. but one day it's going to get on your nerves. you'll be sick of hearing of it"
and ALWAYS. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, the new mommy cannot imagine such a day. "impossible!" "never!" (that's just her thing... i'm different)
and this very strong stand on the issue lasts around 1 year, i think. -until your baby now toddler wakes up saying, "mommy, mommy, mommy! water mommy! play with me mommy! mommy can you get me a snack! mommy! mommy! mommy! look at me mommy! mommy come sit with me! mommy! i have to go potty mommy! mommy! mommy? where'd you go mommy?"
and you surrender to the painful truth that you're not so different from your veteran-parent friend, and in fact, now wish your child had never learned to speak at all.
and i'm suspicious..
i'm mightily suspicious that being famous follows this exact same pattern. that those first few times you're at a restaurant or the grocery store and someone recognizes you, and calls out your name (or book, or movie, or song, or product, etc.).. it is as sweet and soulful to your ear as that very first "mama" coming from your precious child's sweet, little, darling mouth
who could ever tire of such a thing? it's a miracle! -and so even though i know the veteran nay sayers are write
i'm still having a baby of my own.
so how does fame muck up a person's mind and soul anyway... i have many theories. and one current example in my pre-famous state. goes like this. true story. -short version
i wrote a short story, creative non-fiction, about a handsome young man and how he was driving all the women in the area wild. never used his name, but did give him a copy of the story.
years pass. i see him in the grocery store. i go, "hey, that story i wrote about you got published,"
and then IMMEDIATELY FELT STUPID and backpeddled fast as i could, -because it seem ridiculous, silly, impossible that he would a) remember me and/or b) remember the story
and so i gave a great deal more background information.. "i'm sorry," i said, "about 2 years ago or so, when you worked at coffee beans and bistro..." -and i went on to give enough memory triggers that i thought it was fair that he might remember
and he pretended that he did! and then i asked him how he was doing, and he asked me how i was doing, and we went our separate ways
BUT! and this was the very exciting part: when we went our separate ways he said, "bye sandra"
and i practically skipped to my car in the parking lot over the fact that he a) knew b) remembered c) used out loud
my name! as i drove home, i said it to myself like three times in a row, he remembered my name/i can't believe it/how cool/how nice
fast forward to YESTERDAY, which is about 3 or 4 weeks (not years) since i saw him in the grocery store and he was so nice to remember my name and everything
saw him walking in downtown with some friends, and i happen to have my book flyers, and the story happens to be published again in my book, and so i stop at the stop sign, and get his attention, hand him a flyer and say like, "guess what.. that story i wrote about you will be published again. i have a book coming out"
and guess what he says, as he looks at me as if i am a total and complete stranger,
"what story?"
yeah. his eyes said, "who are you/never seen you before?" and his words said, "what story?"
and i thought, well, i thought much of the rest of the day about how awkward it felt to go from unexpectedly remembered to completely unknown by the same person within a matter of weeks. and how often i accidentally do that to others
i wonder how often we all do it? and concluded that whatever the number is, it's rare that it's on purpose.
the other conclusion i came to, is that we should all wear name tags. or learn to employ scott adam's technique and just pretend by saying, "i remember you, your hair is different"
and now.. back to work.