Tuesday, July 31, 2012


didn't i have the great pleasure recently of meeting the new owner of studio 7 finearts, mr. dirk christiansen, the new public relations director, greg cross, and a most pleasant and intriguing artist:

florence de bretagne. originally from paris, she currently lives in palo alto with her husband and two young children.

you know.. or at least i know, that when you stand in front of a painting; any painting.. you either respond immediately or not

it either makes your heart smile; or it doesn't. it either calls you to look and linger, or else you continue merrily along

and i want to share that the very instant i set my eyes on florence's paintings, my heart did smile. they are instant mood elevators: colorful, fun, alive.. moving and making way for something new

perhaps an attitude.

and so, how fun to get to talk with her, and learn a little more about her story.

and here i must cut write to my favorite part! -count her among the countless artists who tried to override their creative instincts by studying business, and worse!


i don't mean to offend. actually it is just as entertaining to witness a person born with instincts for law n' business try to thrive as an artist, as it is an artist try to thrive in business

when will we learn, huh..

how many times does God have to tell us? /and, yes, yes, i recognize there are those rare few who master both, plus others, but you know my point:

it took a back injury to redirect florence toward the canvas, where she so obviously belongs.

when i met her at studio 7, i thought -well, she looked exactly like the stem of a flower to me.. she was wearing soft~greenish attire, and is thin and on the tall side

and then as she stood in front of her beautiful, colorful, painting -full of circles of life, and stories, and memories

i thought: exactly. -she is the stem. life flows threw her body and hands onto to the canvas.. and that is where her garden blooms for all of us to enjoy

bold. certain. playful. and happy despite it all.

i admit to being a tiny bit concerned she was repressing her dark side to assuage her fans, -but then after our conversation, and inquiring about the sad face near the bottom left of her in the countryside painting

i left our visit convinced that, like me, she doesn't necessarily ignore the truth of negative experiences or emotions -if they come out on the canvas, she yields the write of way

but she is determined to be happy. determined to let happiness, and happy memories, claim the lion's portion of her canvas, and her life

she honors sadness but places it in perspective.

i am reminded when i look at her work, that we all have our own unique canvas. our unique experiences, and unique stories to communicate

and while we can and should determine what time/attention we give to light and darkness on our journey; we can't and shouldn't try to override our God-given instincts.

what great evidence her life & art provide for this truth.

the other thing i found quite intriguing and mystifying, really, about florence as an artist, is that she

"NEVER!" -abandons a painting project.

that is to say... if she gets started and doesn't like the way her painting is coming out, she will...

well, one time she waited FOUR YEARS -before returning to an unfinished painting in waiting.

i haven't met an artist like her before in this regard. -most artists i know choose from a multiple choice quiz i adopted many years ago

when something goes wrong during the creative process, you either:
a) call the mistake a gift and use it to move forward
b) trash it/start way over
c) sell it /for cheap [or extra expensive because "it's a one of a kind mistake!"
d) donate it
e) gift it to someone you will never see again.

florence just a) paints over or b) finishes later. -no canvas has ever, or will ever, see the inside of a trash can or recycle bin. there is something so cool about that

brings me back to determined, as a core quality of this magnificent, lovable artist.

florence will be @ studio 7, on the corner of main st & angela in downtown pleasanton
saturday, june 5th, 10a-4p
painting, teaching, visiting, & lifting our spirits with her colorful, happy art.

and that's a great way to spend a saturday afternoon.

God bless you florence! -see you soon.

Monday, July 30, 2012

CHECK THIS OUT BOYS! by (me!) sandra, tvgp

hot car, huh...

as i was driving down first street toward studio 7, passing the crowd at concert in the park, i thought

oh.. friday night is not a good night for an art event -half of pleasanton is at concert in the park

then i rounded the corner on angela to find parking, and spotted another crowd on the corner of main & e. angela

a whole bunch of people... looking at what?

and as i walked near, thought

oh.. too bad, isn't it.. some hot-shot is stealing the show

write outside studio 7 where a great meet the artist event is going on.

pleasanton doesn't know what they're missing..
and between concert in the park & this hot shot on the corner.. i half expected studio 7 to be empty.

imagined the artist -frogman- traveling some far distance to guest appear & autograph art,

for only 2 or 3 people.

so it was with a little upset that i only half glanced at the hot car everyone was making such a fuss over, while i made my way into studio 7 to see what's really important in this world:



only to learn a few seconds later that the hot shot car & hot shot driver stealing all the attention away from frogman & the event at studio 7

was frogman.



that changes everything, now doesn't it.

turns out frogman designed the car...

owns the car.

and i've mentioned how pleasanton is like, the dog capital of california, but it is also quite a magnet for show cars & show car enthusiasts

just about any given day of the week, but especially during car events

you can see some gorgeous, expensive, custom, classic automobile

and a group of people, -primarily but not exclusively male

admiring that fine piece of transportation from every angle

the way a mad~scientist might admire a naked beauty.

how was this created? what can it do? how much does it cost? i want one.

.... i shall set out to create my very own....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

THE MAGNIFICENT GIFT OF FAITH (ALPHER!) reviewed by (me!), sandra, tvgp AKA: WriteousMom

Packed House, Rave Reviews & Standing Ovation
for Faith Alpher’s One Woman Show at The Bankhead Theater in Livermore
Sunday, Jan 9th, 2011

Through the Eyes of Faith, is technically speaking, a one-woman show, but actually speaking, it’s like a 15 women and 5 men show; performed by one amazing woman: Faith Alpher

The mood, tone and context are set brilliantly from the start with a dark and empty stage. Through the Eyes of Faith begins with only an engaging and nostalgic male voice narrating through the speaker system, inviting the audience to remember when.. remember when children played outside all day.. roller-skated without helmets and kneepads, -before video games and cable tv, before the internet and email; when (insert popular commercials and tv programs from the 60’s & 70’s here). And we learn, it was in this environment, this time in history, this popular culture, a baby girl was born in Teaneck, New Jersey

Lights up and we see Faith, charading her birth into the cold, cruel world with comedic flair. In no time, her earliest childhood memories are shared and instantly replace any sentimental affection for days gone by with nostalgia’s two notorious enemies: truth and reality.

She portray’s herself as a stinky and bossy pain in the ass younger sibling with a talent for pissing off, grossing out, annoying and chronically antagonizing her older sisters; but not with intention or malice of course. She reveals herself as unkempt, yes, but more from unconsciousness and youth than laziness. She confesses to the crime of ruining her sister’s purple Jordache corduroy’s with Clorox -but we have to laugh. The combination of her creative coveting paired with the life or death value her older sister places on that one pair of purple pants is familiar to us all. Race references are thrown in, like “you’d think a black girl would know how to wash clothes…” and succeed in earning the laughs they were designed to ignite.

Faith maintains an audience~friendly format throughout the performance by taking a few moments prior to each personality transformation, to politely introduce the true life character she is about to become. A master level actor, it appears she highlights that one perfect setting, and that one perfect conversation, which best showcases not only each person’s essence, but each person’s unique contribution to the shaping of her own life journey. These real life characters ranged from her divorced, single, hard-working, stage~ish, mom, to her recovering alcoholic father; her older, meaner, sister’s, to her crazy cousins; her heartless catholic teacher to her life~saving catholic teacher; her Caucasian new jersey boyfriend, slash, future husband to her Caucasion in-laws, cousins, aunts, and also included a sexually abusive uncle, described with air quotes as a “friend” of the family.

With truth, candor, humor and a rare objectivity, she animates each person’s dark, rejectable flaws along with their light and socially acceptable qualities, yielding a real factor and trust that bonds audience to story. With each new character we are attracted some, slightly repelled, but ultimately endeared.

The entire performance was remarkable from my seat in the house, but there are three stand-outs: Witnessing the elementary & middle school age Faith relive the anxiety-provoking, ego-bashing auditions she endured to ultimately be cast in commercials -which lead us to the most loving/tender scene between her crying young self on the subway and her mom, who employs love and humor to heal her daughter’s broken, rejected heart.

And another great scene which brings to life her alcoholic father cheering her on with great fatherly pride at a school basketball game.

In both acts, the love between parent and child rises above each individual’s struggle and weakness, until we are left with tears of hope; and smiles of faith.

Those private tears and spontaneous smiles are soon replaced with group belly laughs, when Faith invites us to her inter-racial wedding. Here she succeeds again in earning laughter with racial references stereotypical for the decade. It all leads to a very original, very raw, fresh and funny scene between her and new husband Daniel, in their honeymoon suite, “overlooking the Hudson River.”

“We had not, you know, ..sealed the deal.. before we married,” she explains, and the audience is treated to all the hilarity that comes with an exaggerated animation of the awkward, anxious, nerve-racking behaviors that precede a first sexual encounter between young man & new wife. We are further treated to a surprise stage appearance by her director/husband of 13 years now, Daniel, who -without the aid of dialogue, elevates the scene to roaring applause.

Through the Eyes of Faith, concludes with Faith sharing some amazing real life new chapters in the people’s lives she has brought to life: We learn her father gave up alcohol along his journey and is celebrating 27 years of sobriety. Better still, and equally inspiring, we learn Faith’s parents re-married -each other- in 1997 and remain married to this day. We learn she was able to share the secret of sexual abuse with her mom, as a young adult, and through prayer was able to forgive and more forward.

Collectively we cry, laugh and learn those terrifying auditions Faith endured in her youth.. the gifts she received from her flawed but loving parents, the obstacles, rejections, tragedies, the small successes and acts of kindness along the way, the death of her supportive father in law, all combined to bring us here: The Bankhead Theatre in Livermore, to embrace this chapter in our lives. To witness, firsthand, the power and presence of this one phenomenal woman who is also a daughter, sister, cousin, student, wife, mother of three, radio personality, actor, comedian and perhaps most importantly, fellow human.

She closes with an impactful poem which encourages each audience member to recognize their own life story and to have faith in and on their unique journey. And we, an audience of some 500+ people, closed by thanking and congratulating her with a standing ovation.

"WROTE A STORY 'BOUT THAT TOO!" (me!) Sandra tvgp

I really get around. Now, by that, I don't mean... Socially. Like my former friend who couldn't grocery shop in 10 different stores without still crossing paths with someone she'd been in bed with.. I really get around... Literature-ly. Like, I can hardly move around in this town without crossing paths with something or someone I've written about. My poor daughter must think I sound like a broken record... We walked into walgreens together.. Song playing overhead was the tallahatchee bridge song.. I start hummin' along and go, "oh yeah.. Leonard has a blog about this song.. I remember writing about this.. 'I solved the mystery!'". And I was telling' her about how I ran into chef Steve ("wrote a story about him winning the peoples choice award..) at cosmos ( wrote a story about a little fantasy I had in cosmos..) and how I know chef Steve from working at ....(wrote a story about..) amelias. And we talked about issues facing teenagers.. And she could hardly mention a topic without my saying.." you know honey... I wrote a piece about exactly that thing..." And then we were listening to the radio on the way home.. Kkiq,"our hometown station" and they mention faith al her will be hosting an event at Tommy t's comedy club.. I'm like.. "I wrote a story about her too..." -6 frickin times this thing refuses to let me type Faith "ALPHER!". -not al her! Anyway.. "wrote about that too! How much frustration this iPad causes..." And it just doesn't matter where we drive or go or what we talk about.. Or who we see... Seems I'm always sayin' the same thing.. Which is why I posted on this very topic today. So that Now, the next time my son or daughter gives me that look, like.. 'I know, I know.. You wrote about that!' I can smile at them and say "and! I wrote about how much I write about too!.." -at least they don't have to worry about me talking them to death, write.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

IT WILL ALL EVENTUALLY MAKE SENSE for (me!) sandra, tvgp

k-, so

i realize i must of seemed -odd. mentally challenged in some non-specific way, because the conversation in the ruby hill tasting room went something like this, after a little bit of regular chit-chat

"and my (son?) lives in prague" dad customer says

me: "NO!? PRAGUE?!"

dad, "yes. he lives in prague."

me: "NO!? that can't be, did you say prague?!"

dad, (with a concerned smile), "yes. he lives in prague, he's just visiting"

me: "no way! (looking at son) -you live in prague?! really?! prague?!"

then they both had a concerned smile... justifiable, i must say, and i was left with no alternative but to try and explain the unexplainable.

goes back several years. i was watching a travel channel with vague interest -but as the narrator was describing different people, places to visit

when the name prague came up.. it hit me like PRAGUE

absolutely no idea why... who knows how many cities, states, countries, places were mentioned... but PRAGUE like, leaped deep into my heart, soul, mind..

completely odd because -i know no one from prague; i've never read anything about prague; didn't quite know where it was on the map (no surprise); i've never written a paper, or traveled to, or been curious about, or even read any books that had any scene set in prague..

seemed entirely random. ignorable.

but ever since.. when i hear it mentioned, or read it.. that same big, pronounced, stand-out internal experience repeats itself

it's like i'm supposed to know something about it -but i have no idea what or why...

it's very vague and mysterious

but, this customer is the first person i've ever met who lives there; literally lives there, write now.

and so,

we agreed to connect on facebook

because i also have an internal mysterious intuitive feeling -that one day -and who knows when, why, where or how

but one day, this whole wierd PRAGUE thing will all make sense.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DRESSING WORDS FOR THE CLOSE READ GALA by (me!) sandra, the former masters candidate

THINK ORIGINAL POST WAS IN 2007: memory trigger: robert frost. the road not taken.

i'm reminded of this because kathy cordova recently asked me for a humorous excerpt from my poem, anything but love, in which i springboard off robert frost's masterpiece work.

and she has kindly featured me in their new blog: http://www.tv30inaword.blogspot.com/

but having been reminded of this poem, i started digging write away for the paper i wrote when i was at san jose state. -anyone who knows me knows my dominant form of communication is writing over talking, and my dominant form of writing is creative non-fiction over -well, over anything else.

but while i was (very briefly) at san jose state, i learned from my awesome and passionate professor, krishnaswamy, about new criticism. close readings. and was required to write a paper on robert frost's poem, the road not taken, applying this scholarly criticism.

very well.

i compare it to getting dressed up for a formal affair of some sort. -my dominant form of dress is comfortable~casual, but i don't wear my jeans and sweaters to weddings.

and while it does not come naturally to me.. to write in this way; or to criticize for that matter,

i did it. or more accurately, "i did it!" the professor said mine was an A paper and she was going to share it with the class as an example of great close readings.

-it has cut in front of the hummer story demanding to be shared first:

Eng 101/Literary Criticism/Fall 2007
Dr. R. Krishnaswamy

New Criticism / The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
by Sandra Harrison-Kay

If the signature of a great work is its ability to convey a complex universal human condition in an artistic and engaging way, and the signature of a great author, the ability to communicate through a demonstration of creatively employed, deliberately chosen and uniquely organized words, not merely a common retelling, then The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost falls easily in the classification of a masterpiece which promises to keep countless generations both entertained and engaged in debates between free will and determinism.

A harmonious melody rings from the onset, thanks to a selection and pacing of words that bring us immediately to a place of action:: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood. Prelude is unnecessary and consciously eliminated. ( once upon a time, I went walking,…) Instead, with a precise and economic use of only seven words we hear melody , experience intrigue, understand setting, see place and season. The use of Two as the starting place; brilliant and the selection of diverged perfect, in that using any other synonym would rob the poem of it’s beauty and rhythm and the use of the tense, ed, identifies from the beginning, we are being told a story from the past. Everything becoming story as fast as it takes place; almost simultaneously when it comes to humans. Use of present tense -often cited as more engaging - would be entirely incongruent with The Road Not Taken’s essence as a poetic story created from and destined for dramatic retellings: I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence;

The rhythmic pattern appears to originate from the onset, with conscious effort made to remain true to this organic melody but always without compromising the integrity of the poem’s deeper meaning: Beautiful words that serve the story and rhyme, not rhyming words forced inside a story. The A pattern relatively simple, blended with a more creative and artistic combination in the B rhyming patterns so that together they create a layered harmony but somewhat unpredictable in that it is not (A B A B A B) but a more adventurous combination (A, B, A, A, B)

A: would/stood/could * fair/wear/there * lay/day!/way, * sigh/I--/by,

B: travel both/undergrowth * better claim/about the same * had trodden black,/ ever come back * ages hence:/the difference.

Page 2 of 2/New Crit/Road Not Taken/S. Harrison-Kay

A series of complex human debatable truths is captured within the opening lines of the traveler in this poetic story. Intuitive response being immediate, the traveler nonetheless, treats the two roads as if he is faced with a choice (free will). “And sorry I could not travel both” “Long I stood” and “And looked down one as far as I could” offer excellent examples of how intuitive response is unperceived, ignored or postponed in favor of imagined contemplation and decision making.

But an argument in favor of determinism rises within stanzas and story which on the surface showcase free will. As in the very next stanza set, we see there was really no decision to be made at all. Only justification, rationalization, story, for instinctual response: “..took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim.” The words selection here, the better claim, unlocking this debatable truth, that the traveler knew before he knew and then created story around it. This, then, and so early in the poem, exceeds the criteria for masterpiece works: a two-layered poem revealing a complicated human experience in action not words.

This brilliance repeating itself in lines 13 through 15: Oh, I kept the first for another day!/Yet knowing how way leads to way,/I doubted if I should ever come back. In this relationship between doubting and knowing, the two layers are experienced again as we engage in a story being created around intuitive knowledge but dressed in the more familiar and comfortable attire we identify as free will; soothing the soul with the pretty idea of possibility and choice.

Quite a fascinating thing, unique to humans, is this conscious awareness of our instincts. And given our gifts for creativity and communication, amazing stories are born in the seconds, hours, days, years that exist between impulse and action. Frost captures, beginning to end, the nature of humans as storytellers, and then places within his poetic story all the crucial elements of dilemma, tension, action, lesson and result with hints of adventure poised to inspire. He then closes with a self-congratulatory and powerful rhythm which serves both as testimony and permission for fellow humans to recognize and follow their daring instincts and then take credit or blame for the outcome.

Monday, July 23, 2012

EVEN WHEN IM WRONG, IM WRITE by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I am registered an independent. (" surprise! "). So, sometimes vote democratic, sometimes not. I don't vote according to party loyalty, I vote based on.... Well, let me explain why I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger back in whatever year that was. "-What a life resume! That man had.". His parents were immigrants, and no strangers to hardship and poverty. That meant, to me.. Arnold had direct life experience and exposure to the issues that surround immigration/poverty. But! they thrived in the united states.. That meant that Arnold also had direct experience and understanding of the hope America offered -he, himself had achieved the "American dream" via, not entitlement or blessings of heritage, but old fashioned hard work. -great start. Add on, arnolds success in Hollywood which gave him direct life experience with big business, big money, power-players, lawyers, contracts, fame, etc. Those extremes by themselves -experiencing both poverty & great wealth, fame- are only experienced by a very small population of people on the planet. His success = world travels, which adds enormously to anyone's life resume in terms of enriching perspective and! then he falls in love with/marries a democrat. this meant for me, in addition to his already pretty amazing and rare life experiences with both poverty and success, he had life exposure -daily- of both democratic and republican points of view... Not saturated in one camp or the other which tends to breed dogma. When I watched him being interviewed I came to believe he had a) a genuine love/appreciation for the united states. B) a genuine love for California c) unique/practical insights into both big business and the everyday blue collar workers D) a true passion for politics. /which... Well, I still marvel at the fact that ANYONE wants these jobs. He certainly wasn't running for office for the money... And he didn't need fame/power.. In fact, from my observations, personal power is often lost, not gained, when you move from the business to the political arena.. When I added all his life experience up.. The exposures to so many different people, places, ideas and extremes, ..someone who had achieved success.. Who cared about our state, our country.. Who could navigate the attention, manipulations, personalities, stumbling blocks.. I was swayed. -in the wrong direction. Filed under votes I regret.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ironstone Heritage Museum: The Perfect Union of two Creative Minds in Pottery

Ironstone Heritage Museum: The Perfect Union of two Creative Minds in Pottery

Friday, July 20, 2012

MY FAVORITE QUESTION by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

My favorite question remains..."how do you know, you know?" So, I hand you a rock and say, "do you know whether or not this rock is alive?". And you answer, "I know this rock is not alive". And then comes my favorite question... "how do you know, you know?"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"DOESNT GET BETTER THAN THIS!" for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

K, -my Charlie Rose interviewing President Barack Obama and his beautiful wife, on...CBS Sunday morning! Three of my all time favorites wrapped up in one! Plus... It's DVR'd! So I can play back my favorite quotes at will! Thank you Jesus! /comcast,... Etc.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"PROVING IM NOT A ROBOT TO A ROBOT!?" by (me!) the very human, Sandra, tvgp

In order to leave my comments over @ leonardstegmann.blogspot.com, I must first A) come up with something to say, then B). Wait. I messed up. Let's make A, A 1/2) -because A) needs to be: A) I must log in to google, then A 1/2) come up with something to say and type it, then, B)"prove I'm not a robot" -to what in fact is a robot, via word verify. /since this frickin thing won't space the way I want... I shall at least show you where I would space by typing PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: so, PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: now, word verify for those of you who have thus far been spared, goes something like this: PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: two small rectangle boxes contain a combination of numbers and letters in font sizes which are of course small enough to fit inside the small rectangular boxes. PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: the combination of numbers and letters, in addition to being of small font size... Are of a variety of font STYLES, K, -AND! the individual letters/numbers are not spaced like what you read here, side-by-side and legible, but rather, -well, it's like a wild word/number orgy in a box. They are hanging all over each other, sometimes laying on top of each other. Like a horny 3pt. Old English capital R write on top of a 1pt. Lower case petina I. /note! This program will not allow me to even type a lower case I. <---see!! PARAGRAPH & PSYCHOLOGICAL BREAK HERE! Anyway.. Last week I decoded a seduction between mrs. Lucinda and mr script! /her handwriting was all over the wall. And how many times has this happened? Well, I leaned in very close to get a good ---"LOOK!". Not 8! But, if you pry them apart with your eyes and imagination... 63! That is how word verify works... You must not only use your eyes and imagination, but if you can't instant-grow your page size with the touch of two fingers, you should also have a magnifying glass. PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: eyes. Imagination. Magnifying glass. PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: now, and this is what separates, if you will, the people who really want to say something from --the other people. PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: it is really, really, human writer vs. Robot's robot, k. Because not only do the robots have traps like small, squishy, sweaty letter/number orgies you have to work your way through... But they also have pre-programmed spell check features which serve as like, -land mines. PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE: it really should be called WAR VERIFY not WORD verify, now that I type about it. PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE? Anyway, let's say, you use your eyes, imagination and magnifying glass and successfully figure out that before the orgy, what you had was 37 butters. OMG! ----I CAN'T EVEN EXPLAIN IT TO YOU WITHOUT BEIN! FRICKIN OVERWRITTEN! PARAGRAPH! PSYCHOLOGICAL &BEER BREAK HERE. "I said! 37 b. U. T. E. R. S". -one T!! -all of this helps make the point doesn't it. WAR VERIFY combinations are almost never actual words, but the pre-programmed programs keep turning whatever you type INTO A FRICKIN WORD! PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE. so, in order to prove I'm not a robot, to this robot, I have to type butter with one t, while it insists butter has two T's. PARAGRAPH BREAK HERE. AND I'm not your how we win this war... All I know is that I've been recruited to the front lines in this battle and I'm going to shoot the second I see a white I.

Monday, July 09, 2012

DRININ' & DANCIN' WITH MY CHARLIE ROSE, yeah, (me!) sandra, tvgp

i'm failing here to keep this a big secret. -my dinner with charlie rose

the most gracious tv host in tv land

this saturday!

/that is.. if he says yes when i make my way up on the stage and ask him


"thank you!" here to miracle mom -kathy cordova, for sending me the link which creates my next "thank you!" to ms/mh

for purchasing us the tickets.

charlie rose -write here in my own

well, maybe not my own~my own.. but, in my friend's backyard.


in my imagination, when i mention, charlie rose, everyone should be as familiar with his name as oprah's

but what i've found out

is there are a whole lotta people missin' out on PBS

"people! it should be on your favorites; dvr'd!"

so then when i mention our dinner, dancing date, people say, "who is charlie rose anyway? and i thought you already have a boyfriend.."

and i'm like.. "how can you not know charlie rose! -and he's not the kind of man who can be summed up in a few words..

you have to see for yourself.


and apparently, you need to see several programs before you catch on..

my handsome prince watched a couple with me -an interview with the ceo of the corporation he works for, for example..

and one with 4 powerful women being interviewed

and one with 4 talented men..

and i don't think we can continue in our relationship unless he watches the 12 part brain series with me...

but anyway..

you'd think, after witnessing several hours of charlie at the big round oak table, that he'd know better than to..

well, here's what happened:

my handsome prince occasionally watches the news in spanish, because he knows i won't permit the news to be on if i'm in the same room with the television set -and he figures if i can't understand what they're sayin' then he's safe

but just as love has a universal sound, no matter the language, when it comes to music

so does the news [operation spanish news: FAIL]


he points to this spanish speaking woman on tv who is chatting up a spanish storm and says to me, "she is like the charlie rose of [whatever the station is]."



then he went on to say, she only interviews celebrities.

"well, there you have it then don't you," i told him, "charlie rose interviews the greatest minds on our planet! the greatest scientists, the greatest architects, the greatest (and worst) world leaders! the greatest coaches! the greatest writers! the greatest teachers! greatest ceo's! PLUS! pop culture celebrities

and! commercial free! no live audience! -it's just him.. and his guests, around a cool oak table having a conversation.. an uninterrupted conversation!" i felt compelled to point out

and maybe i didn't say it exactly like that, or in that order.. but i was thinkin' it!

and i set him straight! with my thoughts.

no blow job for you tonight mister

but, on the other hand, he did get the tickets...

* = stupid rules i learned in school:

what person -who?! i ask you -came up with the stupid rule that A should be AN if the next word in the sentence begins with a vowel

i mean really!?

i say we end that silliness write here and now. we need grammar rules to join us in the 21st century

we've just had an earthquake

like, i just experienced an earthquake! -so, notice how i just slipped that N write back in

on the in~case.

not sure who i pissed off

let me take a guess -/and you KNOW it's a guess, because the news is definitely not on in this room

3.8 (?)

until the unknown next time....

"i love you! ~everyone!"


so, i happened across nova's, hubble's amazing rescue, on pbs last night, and was glued within the first 3 minutes

i went downstairs -and even though i knew i didn't stand a chance against the new, sonic the hedgehog, playstation 3 video game, i asked my son anyway

"wanna come watch this amazing show about the hubble with me?"

defeated, i went back upstairs. passed my daughter in the hallway bathroom trimming her own bangs

"wanna come watch this amazing show about the hubble with me?"

and you don't have to be a space-station engineer to figure out i ended up write back where i started: alone.

but i passed my sister on the solo journey back to my room. she was watching babe with her daughter. i stuck my head inside the room and said,

"one day my children WILL watch pbs with me!" in a loud whisper. then carried on.

plopped myself back on the daybed and


house shook back n' forth one big time, and next thing you know, both my kids are by my side.

we talked briefly about the earthquake -guessing its magnitude -what to do in the event of a larger/longer one...

but then,

there we were: all 3 of us snuggled together watching hubble's amazing rescue.

i glanced to the heavens with a silent thank you

and was glued again.

"RE-RELEASED!". The earthquake stories, by, (me!) sandra, tvgp

So, as mentioned before. - I-pad punctuation/grammar victim today. Spelling errors my own. *** So, as mentioned before, my over 1,532 posts are on hold while I court agents for our upcoming NYT best-seller, "SQUIDMANN & she Hold = " reverted to draft form" here @ e-blogger. That's a relatively new feature and I'm most grateful for it. Used to be you could save, publish, or delete. - but not really, unpublish/save simultaneously. If you unpublished it automatically deleted. So, very happy with the revert to draft option. But! now, let's say, I want to "republish" one of my stories. Rather than having it reappear according to the date it was originally written, it automatically appears as if it is a brand new blog post that day. It places the current date on top, with no mention of the original date it was written, EXCEPT that is, if you print put a hard copy, in which case, current (false) date is at the top, and original (true) date is found on very bottom along with the URL, etc. I'd like to see this corrected. I'd still also like to see the same creative options provided to comment-ors as are provided to the post-ers. That is, I'd love to sometimes comment with a picture vs. Text. But that's not currently available. if I want to include a picture or video, I have to post on my own blog and then link it in comments. All that said. /or typed, rather.. Today. Write now. I'm going to re-publish my two favorite California earthquake stories.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Emphasis on "FALL" by (me!) Sandra, tvgp


At least it better be jokingly...

My son tells me his life moto is, "cheaters always win."

After I hit him on the head with a bread stick, and he asked me mine, I said, "you know... God first. Everything else will fall into place."    /emphasis on fall.

But my favorite memory on the subject is one you've heard before and is well worth repeating: what grade was my son in? 1st, 2nd? When he told me he was being kicked and hit by some kid during recess.

"what did you do?" I asked with great concern. /simultaneously plotting our towns next homicide.

 "well," he said, "I kicked and hit him back!"

Then he followed by saying, "and that was the write thing to do, write mommy. The golden rule"

I said, "How is that the golden rule?"

And so sincerely he said, "do unto others as they have done unto you."

-permanent place in my favorite memories file.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

To be continued by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

My last post was rudely interrupted by yet another computer that. -crashed I go through em don't I And I'm 10 times happier, more productive on a pc than this iPad Kills my momentum. I dream. Which is all i can do at this point Of a new computer.. With an awesome firewall... Where I can sit down. Write. Upload my pictures.. Etc Safely. In peace. This is killing me Softly I want to cry but will instead go back to the batting cages where I can feel the physical sensation of what I accomplish with words Sometimes I strike out. Sometimes hit a single. Sometimes a double, a triple and occasionally Grand slam! I want to feel it

"GRAND SLAM!" by (me!) sandra, tvgp

i really did see a grand slam  -real life. yesterday morning.   my son was on 3rd when it was hit..  what i can tell you, is that if my son makes it to first base..  whether he walks or runs or crawls..  he'll be crossing home plate

there's another beautiful sports analogy gift wrapped in here..

i'll help you find it.  'cuz one of my sons strengths is..  making it from one plate to the next.  he's fast and he's determined.  nothing do i delight in more, than watching him at a base, when the pitcher is throwing to the batter..  and my son is in position to steal

that crouch! knees bent.. arms out..  head forward. eyes everywhere at once.  hangin' out at his favorite catch-me-if-you-can distance from the plate.  hyper-ready for that one false move..

"gone!"   pitcher over-throws and before he can even get the ball back..  jack's at second  -or third.  or across home plate

so yesterday..  well, i'll confess a certain..  how can i call it?  well, let me just say, i'd much rather see my son hit a single than walk..     but, "good eye" and all that, he made his way to first base

i looked at him on first..  and the way all intuitive mom's can do..  i said to myself  -now the fun. he'll be crossing home plate..

and here's the part where i give away how much of an active parent i am; and am not..  -because, do i know all the kids names, numbers, positions   -no.

next kid gets up.. gets on base; jack's now at 2nd.   next kid gets up; jack's now on 3rd.

bases loaded as i've learned to say

don't ask me how many outs..  who cares.  the important thing, is that next kid up..   HE SLAMS IT!

i follow the ball with my eyes into the beautiful blue sky and by the time i look back, jack has already crossed home plate and is heading back to the dug out    -then i watch the next kid come across the plate..    and another!  

everyone is certain the kid at bat hit a triple..  and "wow!"    -you can hear the cry of "hold at 3rd!  hold at 3rd!"   -cuz by this time, ball has made its way back to the infield, but no...

kid doesn't hold at 3rd.   kid gets in a pickle!   runs back toward 3rd.. no!   runs toward home plate... no!   back toward 3rd..

and then, appears to think..   f-it..   and just goes for it...  dances his way write around the glove that's chasing him.. runs, slides and referee gestures and hollers, "safe!"

1st grand slam i've ever seen in my son's  -i don't know what..  7 years of baseball.

side note:  this changed the score on the board to read 16 to 4.       and there's another sports analogy for you..  find it yourself.

anyway..   exciting.   i couldn't be present for the entire game, but i was present for that moment, and so; there you have it.   

if i hadn't already been craving my time at the plate.. this sealed the deal, as they say.    -we already know from my short story collections of my true life experiences   -i tapped danced my way through school; no sports.

and i know today..  dance is sport, and all that.. but back in my day..  dance was for stages, and sports was for athletes.   and at all the company picnics in my adult life..  no one organized a show; everyone organized a baseball game, so..

on my list of things the valedictorians fail to mention..

still, i love what see when it comes to sports..  everything it can teach.  all the life analogies tucked inside everything from practice, to competition, winning to losing, and    -/hurting here for the write words,     -and, "so much more!"

i've such a long list of favorite sport movies..  rudy! of course, pistol pete, birth of a legend!   -the passion...  the heart...  the determination...  destinies.   remember the titans!  hoosiers!  rocky!  -the soccer one with matt damon and morgan freeman..  

learn so much from the players/coaches i've seen interviewed by my charlie rose  -and it doesn't matter what sport.. tennis, baseball, football, wrestling, soccer, golf...


greats are greats.   and so even though i myself have never played..  and lack the vocabulary and experience to use the analogies i do   -i do it anyway.   awkward but often.

and i've been thinkin'...   /imagine that.

thinkin' for a long time now, how i need to get myself to the batting cages.   -thank here, my uncle ernie, who recently died, after a 18+ year battle w/parkinsons,  -for introducing me to the batting cages in my youth..  think i was 9 or 10 or so..

loved it!   -but haven't been back since.   -so, 36 years later; this hunger.   to hit a ball with a bat.

and i want to recommend it for ALL writers.   here's the thing..   as i explained to my daughter: 
 -when you are a writer

and may i say, this is even more true, if you are a blogger.    -and you've been at it for a good while.   well,

you have an internal feeling inside; writer's compass...   artist's score card of the sentient kind, that allows you to know


when,   -here's comes the analogy...  when you've struck out, hit a single, hit a double, a triple or in fact, you've

SLAMED IT! out of the park...  bases loaded; grand slam!

but this is easy and apparent in baseball; unquestionable sometimes  /based on the referee..  and playback videos

point is..  

Sunday, July 01, 2012

WHAT I IMAGINE VS. WHAT I KNOW by (me!) sandra, tvgp

i will make this list significantly shorter than it could be:


i don't have to imagine what it's like to be kidnapped; i know what it is like to be kidnapped.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be raped; i know what it is like to be raped.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be bullied; i know what it is like to be bullied.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be a pregnant teen; i know what it's like to be a pregnant teen.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to have a miscarriage; i know what it's like to have a miscarriage.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be in a near death car accident; i know what's it's like to be in a near death car accident

i don't have to imagine what it's like to live with an abusive alcoholic; i know what's it's like to live with an abusive alcoholic

i don't have to imagine what it's like to hate school; i know what it's like to hate school.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to have a phobia; i know what it's like to have a phobia

i don't have to imagine what it's like to have an addiction; i know what it's like to have an addiction

i don't have to imagine what it's like to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder; i know what it's like to suffer from post trauma stress disorder

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be suicidal; i know what it's like to be suicidal.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to go through a divorce; i know what it's like to go through a divorce.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to have to file bankruptcy; i know what it's like to have to file bankruptcy.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to have your heart mutilated; i know what it's like to have your heart mutilated

i don't have to imagine what it's like to have an eating disorder; i know what it's like to have an eating disorder.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to lose a loved one to cancer, or suicide, or fate; i know what it's like to lose a loved one to cancer, suicide and fate.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be ignored, stolen from, unjustly punished; i know what it's like to be ignored, stolen from and unjustly punished.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to live under the poverty level; i know what it's like to live under the poverty level.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be humiliated; i know what it's like to be humiliated.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be depressed; i know what it's like to be depressed.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to feel trapped; i know what it's like to feel trapped.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to be the outsider; i know what it's like to be the outsider.

i don't have to imagine what it's like to feel ugly; i know what it's like to feel ugly.

and i could obviously go on and on...

but what i imagine, -what i imagine, is that in the long ago and very near, i sat in the heavens as a student; a candidate

with a group of potentially pre-mortal consciouses -and we learned together, about this adventure called life on earth

and we were told many things.. about life, death, birth, sex, travel, hate, love, phobias and freedoms...

and the same way human students are excited, curious about different subjects.. some attracted to math, some art, some science; some a combination of many...

i kept returning to teachers who taught about this thing called compassion. every class there was on the subject of compassion i signed up for; every book...

"what is it exactly? " "how does one go about experiencing compassion?" "tell me more!"

and i imagine, that based on my level of curiosity and interest and endless fascination with the topic of compassion

i said yes to life on earth "yes, please!"

because i had to know.