Sunday, September 30, 2012

INSPIRATIONAL INK for (shelby!) and a poem by (taryn!)

my co~worker friend, shelby, just got some beautiful inspirational ink. -reminded me write away of the poem my daughter wrote in the 4th grade. -an encore post:

compassion isn't what you do
have to do
need to do

compassion is a part of you
that speaks a kind language

compassion has its own way
every day
every way

compassion is a way to help
people all around

~taryn kay, 4th grade

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dear Phil cousineau from (me! And taryn!)

How timely! To read about you in livermore's independent today.. Especially with my daughter inventing a new word this very morning...See prior post/comments. And which re-triggered a re-post of the wild card word blog from 2006. AND! the extra push I needed to make this confession... Not sure what category this falls in? Same as your endlessly/Leslie mishearing or, it's kind of the opposite of the hors d' oeuvres story. What happen for me... To me, is this: k wait, yes a mishearing... 'cuz all my life I thought when people were describing someone with an unconquerable spirit they were using the same word used in the Christmas specials from my youth.. You know the one.. Rudolph and the abominable snowman, or snow-monster. I thought abominable meant no one Had ever or could ever conquer "THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN!!" I didn't know it meant Hateful or loathsome. OMG! How many times have I been meaning to compliment someone's unconquerable spirit and instead I've been criticizing and insulting them. I'm not going to confess how recently I read the word indomitable and was like, oh ship! ..for the love of words... Hope I get to tune into your global spirit program.. Sounds fun

WHAT DOES ZIXX MEAN? by taryn & mommy

what does zixx mean? the short answer is: "anything you want it to!"

yes, i am proud to announce that my daughter has invented what i believe is the first "wild card word" for the english language. feel free to use it at will; as a verb, a noun, an adjective, a synonym, antonym, prefix, suffix... it can literally become anything you will it to be. a four letter word designed to define the undefinable! explain the unexplainable! morph it's meaning, play with it's pronounciation. have fun! get zixxed out!

can't find a word to rhyme with orange? NOW YOU CAN: zixx!
need to replace the four letter word you want to say but shouldn't... zixx!
need a special code word? a new online password? way to describe the spot you kissed on the back of his or her neck? look no further. bite your tongue. lick the foot that's in your mouth.

zixx to your rescue!

formal entry application:

zixx zix, also prounounced vurg, porange, glot, nidus, nous -whatever you want, imagine or need. in poetry, rhymes with last word of line before or after or near within, but at least rhymes with one word on the same page. as a noun, n, becomes a person, place or thing. as an adjective, adj, describes something or keeps it a secret. as an adverb, adv, includes an ly, or ily, zixxily. as a verb, v, is very active. as a prefix, prefix, it comes before you do; as a suffix, after; as a wild card, sometimes at the same time. as a scrabble word: 26 1/2 points. on greeting cards, post cards, replaces used out words like, thinking, or of, or you. as a salutation, greets. as a salutary, wears a white coat. as a term of endearment, gets you into trouble.
def) wild card word. use it wisely. foolishly. often. never.

{english; pre-teen north american spontaneous slang. invented by taryn kay/pleasanton california. 2006. embellished by parent}

TRUTH AND LIES IN LITERATURE by (Stephen Vizinczey!)

I honor this quirk in my personality again... The same quirk that inspired me to devour Joyce carol oats journals, but not her actual novels. -because I find myself devouring Stephen vizinczey's essays and reviews, but not his... Well, wait a minute; a change of heart has come on.../and perhaps a dose of hormones... Landed me write at the Pleasanton library again: I pulled out truth and lies which I received thank you to the link program , from San Francisco university, I said.."let me tell you what has happened here... I love this so much I am forced to order another Vizinczey.. Can you link me up with in praise of older women?" -and I did not get her name, but the woman who placed my order /my age.. She said out loud how she liked the title. so, I will let you know when the masterpiece arrives. Now, I read for pleasure, for growth, and have managed to skip "reviewing" or critizing what I read personally, and also quite intentionally skip scholarly reviews and criticisms. I know what I like, and if I do, I keep reading... If I don't I stop. Especially! I detest when crap written by ugly people with ugly motivations is given even more time and attention due to public reviews and criticisms.. Feed what you love; starve what you don't. And speaking of feeding what you love... My daughter has just requested I make her a birds nest... That is my 1 out of about 3 things I can make in the kitchen that is not a shrinky dink. I'm off to foreign territory... Have a blessed day.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

HUMOR PROSE FROM THE 1994 ARCHIVES by (me!) sandra kersting

in 1994 my name was sandra kersting, and the college i attended was named cal state hayward. we've both changed names since then

but i think the campus newspaper's name remains the same: the pioneer.

here i retype an article i wrote for the pioneer in 1994 -it will be included in our upcoming 'diapers to diapers' exhibit

and worth noting, that another thing that has changed is my take on control-top panty hose. - i've ripped, torn, cut several pair of control top pantyhose to create the mixed-media art (& mixed~message) i will also have on display in our exhibit

it's so much fun!

***** ***** *****


First I heard it on the news, then I read it in the paper. Pantyhose are out and underwear is back in. Yeah, back in the crack of your butt, if you ask me.

The men I've talked to are thrilled, and most women equally delighted that the hosiery market is declining.

As for the men. I can understand. My fiance has been trying to separate me from my pantyhose for years. While this is a welcome effort on certain occasions (wink, wink), more often than not, I refuse to give up my control-top ways.

I'll admit that for men, removing a pair of pantyhose from a woman's body is far more difficult and less sexy than removing a pair of bikini underwear. But for men who enjoy a sexual challenge nothing beats tryint to romantically remove a pair of size-A pantyhose from a size-B body.

As for the women who are pleased to make the switch from a smooth, shapely buttocks to a underwear-lines-are-showing-half-way-up-your-butt look, well, I am surprised.

Don't you remember the UnderAll commercials? You know, "Help Keep America Beautiful." I thought we made a commitment.

I love pantyhose.

A nice pair of silky, snug, reinforced-toe, control-top pantyhose is refuge for women who just can't get to the gym on a regular basis.

Pantyhose keep out-of-shape thighs from jiggling, rear-ends from sagging, and tummies from bulging. Not to mention that pantyhose do not go slipping into undesirable places.

Who cares if they run, they're hot, or they cost too much when you can get all that.

If I could, I would wear pantyhose everyday. But since it's a huge fashion don't-you-dare to wear pantyhose with shorts or a swimsuit, I force myself to make the sacrifice during summer.

Yes, once again this summer I will reveal my flaws and my poor attendance record at the gym while I routinely practice how discretely pull my darling cotton panties out of dark, forbidden places.

Or I could be brave this summer and join in on the "thong solution." Thong underwear heroically saves a woman from having to dig her panties out from the crack of her butt by designing them to belong there in the first place. How clever.

You butt-er be in shape though. If you're not, consider this whole goodbye-to-pantyhose thing a call to war. Backlash revisited. The fashion industry forcing us to purchase underclothes that only a supermodel could wear with any dignity.

Beware I say.

Next thing you know support bras will be out and pasties in.

Sandra Kersting was a staff writer for The Pioneer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WRITE BOOK AT THE WRITE TIME for (me! ) and monica dawn!

i had to stop everything to run upstairs and post this. -so utterly perfect & timely considering our upcoming diapers to diapers exhibit

stranger in a strange land, soft cover, page 323:

"Attend me, Ben. Anybody can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is... and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be... more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart... no matter what the merciless hours have done. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me -- but it does to them. Look at her!"


i must frame this and include it in our exhibit -must!
thank you heinlein!

p.s. -this is what i mean about how the write book always lands in my hands at the write time.
thanks dad!

amen & amen

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PATENTS PENDING by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I'm still waiting for the retro patent I deserve for my mag time frames innovation... And apply here lessons learned from that experience: namely that the patent industry is among the most corrupt... And I also learned that if I mention a novel idea.. Here on my blog, for example, even if it's not on the market... No one else can claim a patent on it... So, stackable silverware.. I believe that's another Sandra Kay original... And do you know what else I think might be... A watermelon cutter! They've got ways to slice strawberries, eggs, tomatoes... But no specialized watermelon specific cutting tools! It would be shaped like a half moon and adjustable to big or small watermelons, but once you sliced one open you would just... Set the half-moon to match the size of your watermelon half and push down... Perfectly matches the shape... Cuts directly between the fruit and the rhine (sp?). No more trying to get straight knife to cut circular pattern... You heard it here first folks...

LET ME SHARE ONE OF MY FANTASIES.. (me!) sandra, tvgp

now, i know i can't go bein' miss goody too shoes all the time, and i need to make some effort to keep my handsome prince

how can i say? stimulated

so, let me share a brief obligatory fantasy and get it over with for april:

i'm at this hotel -happens to be the one i actually work at, because.. i'm too tired to imagine a different scene. it's built in; it's easy; it's convenient

/exactly the type of details you need to leave out when you share a fantasy. let me try again:

i'm at this hotel

wearing only a portion of my uniform. the jacket portion. nothing underneath. high heels seem important..

and i'm sitting on this stool behind the front desk. just me, my jacket, my high heels.. and a whip.

whips are important in fantasies too. picked it up in the movies... and on stage in the vagina monologues.

-now, darn it.. there i go again giving too much information.


me. hotel. nothing but a jacket. high heels. stool. whip.

waiting for my handsome prince...

and waiting...

and waiting...

now, i don't know about you, but i really can't wait that long.. so, i just start stimulating myself. figure he must be stuck in traffic or something

and of course.. that's write about when i hear the sliding glass doors open and it's him!

i hop off the stool. climb over the counter and grab him by his shirt

with great urgency, i rip off all his clothes

i crack the whip... "over there. NOW!" i say

and point to a place behind the counter.

"on your knees boy!" and crack the whip again

"please me" i tell him (and remember how seductive i must look and sound...)

and then he says,

"what master - what do you want me to do? how i can please you?"

then i stand up... swing my whip around.. crack it on the counter... crack it against the wall.

push up the sleeves on my jacket (remember, it's the only thing i'm wearing + the high heels)

and say

"redesign this whole fucking computer system!"

-the end.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


SHE's been down and out
SHE's been wrote about
SHE's been talked about constantly

SHE's been up and down
SHE's been pushed around
but they held (me!) down NYC

SHE has no regrets
SHE accepts the past
all these things they
helped to make SHE

SHE's been lost and found
and SHE's still around
there's a reason for every~thing

You know i've been holdin on
try to make (me!) weak
but i still stay strong
put my life all up in these songs
jus so you can feel (me!)   ~ so you can get the real (me!)

so take (me!) as i am
or have nothing at all
just take (me!) as i am
or have nothing at all

now SHE's older now
yes, SHE's wiser now
can't disguise her now
SHE don't need
no one tellin her
w´╗┐hat to do and say
no one tellin her
who to be

SHE's on solid ground
SHE's been lost and found
now SHE answers to G-O-D

and SHE's confident
this is not the end
ask (me!) how i know

-cause SHE is (me!)

you know i've been holdin on
try to make (me!) weak
but i still stay strong
put my life all up in these songs

just so you can feel (me!)
so you can get the real (me!)

so take me as i am
or have nothing at all
just take me as i am
or have nothing at all

so it's all or nothing at all
all or nothing at all
don't you know i can only be (me!)
i can only be (me!) yeah

so take (me!) as i am
or have nothing at all

take (me!) as i am
take (me!) as i am
said it's all or nothing at all
said it's all or nothing at all

just take (me!) as i am
or have nothing at all  -this is (me!)
just take (me!) as i am  -take (me!) as i am
or have nothing at all
just take (me!) as i am  -take (me!) as i am
or have nothing at all, nothing at all

take (me!) as i am.

"MARY. J. BLIGE! LIVE! IN CONCORD for (me!) sandra, tvgp

well, (us!) me, my daughter and our hp's. LET ME TELL YOU.. this is when i am the most disappointed in myself as a human being. when i think i must just embarrass Jesus.. or piss him off. because.. kinda like those moments when God gives you a perfectly healthy, beautiful new baby.. and you complain about the hair color. know what i mean? out of nowhere.. my daughter has a friend, who has a parent, who has like.. an INCREDIBLE DEAL on VIP.. VIP! tickets to see MARY J BLIGE IN CONCERT! IN CONCORD! k, so.. let me tell you about what VIP stands for: free close parking.. dinner on the private terrace, VIP seating, own private table, own private waitress, own private bathrooms! i will spare you the drama i experienced getting my shift covered so we could go.. (even if it has to cost me my job...) honey.. "WE ARE GOING!" -AND now it's true, my priorities will be judged harshly by some.. i need an oil change, i need new brakes, i need to see a dentist.. but! more than any of that, i needed to see MARY. J. BLIGE! LIVE IN CONCERT -a double date with my daughter. a memorable, wonderful experience no one could ever take away from us.. she loves her too! an artist who speaks write to the heart of both the young and .... middle aged. daughter.. mother... and our handsome princes love her too! so add on.. an artist who speaks to both genders and all generations. -so.. maybe this speaks to my inability to prioritize correctly.. or maybe it speaks to the power of music in our lives.. but i said, "Jesus.. i know you understand" and got the cash advance.. and got the tickets! but it is not this behavior/decision i think embarrassed or irritated Jesus.. it's this one: even with VIP parking, private dinner on the terrace, private seating, private waitress, private bathrooms.. gorgeous climate.. outstanding warm up performances.. and MARY. J. BLIGE! LIVE! giving her audience everything she had, and then some.. even though i smiled, and danced, and sang, and drank.. and had the absolute best time of my life.. shared such a beautiful evening with my daughter and our handsome princes.. in all honesty... i've still not entirely recovered from the fact that she did not perform.. the take me as i am song. everyone has that one song their (i mean they're) waiting to hear.. longing to hear... that one song you know all the lyrics too.. the one song you've heard on the radio.. or cd... and just know would be almost life changing to hear live... and if you don't hear it during the body of the main performance... you are ABSOLUTELY SURE you will hear it as part of the encore.. well.. i waited (and danced and sang and ate and drank), and waited.. (and danced, and sang, and ate and drank)... and waited and cried watching MJB... oh! you know that saying, "she left it all on the stage" -it means the artist held nothing back.. went inside the deepest place within themselves to sing their hearts out for their fans.. she did that for us! in a song i think is called, no more... -she gave us everything! well, ALMOST EVERYTHING..... she did not give us, -take me as i am. she did one of my daughter's favorites for her encore... and then i was extra sure mine was coming next.. but then: LIGHTS ON. ARTIST GONE. THE END. -because the lights went on.. no one even chanted and begged her to come back out.. everyone seem to know the show really was over. oh.. my heart was BR o Ken. and i felt so guilty.. such a rare night with all the spoilins' anyone could ever ask for.. and still... i longed for more. i wanted to hear take me as i am. i'm still disappointed and tryin' to make peace with it.. three or so days later i told my daughter it must mean that i'm supposed to see her again! "but dear Jesus... only on this one condition..." /can you believe the gall of my prayers.. but! i'm going to retype the lyrics in the next post and i think you will understand. it speaks to and about a gazillion different women from around the world.. (me!) included.

THE PROBLEM WITH BEING IN MY LATE 40's by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Is that by this time, I've read and/or listened to so many critical reviews of famous people that I know in advance what I'm going to read or hear. I reach certain paragraphs or parts of conversation, and say to myself, very sarcastically.... "don't tell me, let me guess...: there are scholars who question(insert any famous person's name here) sexuality.". And.. "don't tell me, let me guess...there are scholars who question whether (insert famous person's name here) actually did all the (insert craft/talent here).". And always a conspiracy theory... Then I find myself wanting to quote passages from the bible... From the prophet I thought seemed like a clinically depressed mysogynist (sp?). ...there is nothing new under the sun...Ecclesiastes 1:9. What has been will be again (and again, and again..) what has been done, will be done again (and again and again) There is nothing new under the sun. And if I let it... I get depressed thinking about the truth of that... There are new broken hearts everyday.. But not new ways to break them... There are two new people falling in love, but nothing new about love itself... No new stories... No new biographies.. Just change cast and scenery and time... So many repetitive patterns within humanity's narrative... Good ones, bad ones.. But quite predictable. ...what I wouldn't give to be surprised...

THE WILDLESS ONES by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I think it's a personality type.. And not sure just yet how to identify it succinctly, but I know it when I see it, or hear about it, or read it: the most revealing characteristic is demonstrated by an utter inability to just let things be, as they are. There is coupled with this, an equally utter compulsion to fix and adjust things. I'm going to have to call them, the wildless ones. -because if I plucked them from society and took them all on a field trip which passed through a meadow, a forrest, and a patch of wild flowers... The very sight would make their hearts uneasy. Several of them would stop and physically prune plants along the way... Several would be disturbed that the flowers didn't match, that the height of each blade of grass was not the same.. That there were more trees on one side of the path than the other... And speaking of the path... Every one of them would agree it needed cement; to be a sidewalk and not dirt(y). And as I read again this morning about Emily Dickinson.. I realize it is mostly people (and dare I point out,primarily men) like this that criticized and edited her poetry. They just couldn't let it be. It seems it must have been impossible for them to just reprint something as she wrote it... Always.. Even if it was just a comma... Nothing she wrote seemed to escape at least one, but often several, wildless, unwelcome, completely imposed, totally unnecessary! editorial stamps. They just had to fix, adjust, alter, prune, even out, pour cement... It reads to me like they were incapable of recognizing, appreciating, valuing or celebrating the force of nature she was... It is my belief, but not knowledge, that instincts and aesthetics alone explain Emily dickinson's style of writing. But the editorial and egotistic and wildless instincts of the editors/publishers of her time, won out in print.. And also, by simply not printing or publishing at all. It is my humble, irritated and defensive opinion that no one should read anything in print by Emily Dickinson without access to her original work. And there is a write and wrong way to compare the two... Not, this one reads better than that one... Or this one is correct and this one is not... Rather, this is original from her heart and this one has been imposed upon. Organic vs. Altered. Intuitive vs. Dictated. Truth vs. Fiction. Wild vs. Contained. And I would like to close this post by dedicating The Beatles song, let it be, to each and every person who added a coma or removed a dash, or updated a word, or shifted a line in any of emily's poems or letters. I realize you just couldn't help yourself; so, helped yourself.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

LOVE IS OUR RELIGION by (me!) sandra, ttgp

there was a flyer near the register at coffee beans & bistro: "life's ultimate questions"

and first monday night of each month, dr. robert evans speaks on a topic. this past monday, the topic was, "one God or many Gods?"

charlie, owner of the coffee shop, described robert evans as a "very down to earth man,"

and because i had 7pm monday night availability, and because charlie dropped a kind word; i went.

i don't know, in a factual way, if what i'm about to type is true, but here is my take from that experience: the people who attended -ALL of the 15ish people who attended- outside of only myself, were people who already knew dr evans from their church: christ church, which meets locally at the middle school i believe, and where robert evans is a pastor.

robert evans: perfectly nice, warm/welcoming and experienced speaker.

people attending: perfectly nice, warm/welcoming.. kind and attentive listeners

and it was my intention to listen attentively also. i'm still a little shocked at how much talking i did. in fact, it turned out that the bulk of the evening was a conversation between dr robert evans and sandra kay ... save only a few questions/testimonies/comments/scripture readings from other people

i will sum it up as follows: dr robert evans is a devot christian. he believes and testifies that there is only one God. only one son of God - Jesus - only one true text - the bible - and this is the only truth, the real truth, nothing but the truth, and any/all other religions/belief systems are false. dr robert evans BELIEVES this, and no one will ever change his mind, and i believe he will go to his grave defending his beliefs.

sandra kay: attends pleasanton presbyterian on sundays, willingly, freely, happily. - believes christianity is a valid religion, but does not exclude the validity of other religions/faith systems. believes diversity in religions/faith systems is as natural/organic/valid as diversity of culture: language, food, dress, music, traditions, etc. puts the thought of "one true religion" in the same category as "one true language" "one true food" "one true music" -ludicrous; diversity is part of the greater design

i believe Jesus is one of many ways; not the one and only way.

i believe there are people all around the world, joining together and worshiping, and reading scripture, and coming to beliefs, and defending a variety of beliefs as passionately, as adamantly, as unwaveringly as devot christians believe in and defend Jesus.

i believe we each arrive at our "personal truths" based on geography, historical time of birth, life experiences - things/people/places we are, and are not exposed to. i believe there are, can be, and in fact, there should be, a variety of "personal truths" that can co-exist and be valid and be respected.

and this may seem incongruent -because i do believe in an absolute truth, however, as i said to dr evans, "i would never claim my personal truth is the absolute truth for all of humanity on planet earth in the milky way galaxy"

and so dr. robert evans stated his point 3 different times, in 3 different ways

and i stated my point 3 different times, in 3 different ways

both of us unwavering. occasionally, fellow church members would defend dr. robert evan's points, but this had no effect on me

"when moving forward toward world peace.. and please do answer this directly," i said, "which do you think progresses us toward that goal

my way or the highway religions, where the goal is to convert everyone to the same religion (and good luck on that, i thought to myself)

or an openness, tolerance and respect for other religions?"

and then to my surprise, a lady interrupted, she said to me, "it sounds like you are only interested in living in harmony while we are here.. but what about the afterlife.. how can you reconcile?"

and i said, "that's very right! i am most interested in living in harmony -here- right now on planet earth"

and a gentleman read from the bible.. beautiful passage.. "i am the way - the only way -

passage -don't worship false Gods -

and i emphasized there are other groups, each claiming the same "i am the way - the only way - don't worship false Gods -

and dr evans started in on a conversation about how actually there are not other religions with one true God

and to my surprise again.. a 10 minute cameo appearance from my writer friend grace and her husband.. and she jumped in to defend my statement, that there are other religions who claim their own, one, true, right God

the upshot for me was this:

1) wow. wow. wow... to any and all world leaders who attempt to understand and unite people with different belief systems.

2) i believe there is a "belief anatomy" -that is to say, there is a path, a path that begins with a certain flexibility.. exposure ... awareness.. opinion.. and then some series of events that ultimately cements thoughts/opinions/ideas into beliefs in our brains -the belief itself a variable; the cementing process fixed

now, if i were interested in world peace, and i am very interested in world peace, and i took a look-see into the hearts and minds of various religions and religious people around the world

i would quickly come to this conclusion: converting all people around the globe to one religion is not humanly possible and counterproductive in the effort towards world peace.

teaching/increasing tolerance, understanding, and respect for diversity of religions (as we should & do for diversity of cultures in general) - so that we are each free to maintain our own, unique and differing beliefs while co-existing in peace on the planet -this is both a possible and productive approach

caveat: because i believe in a "belief anatomy" -cemented/fixed belief pathway formed in our brains.. tolerance/respect/openness cannot be inserted in dry cement

tolerance/respect/openness to diversity must be taught... exposure to this idea, must take place within the flexible process so it becomes part of the cemented belief (as it is for me)

the smartest thing then, hard, cruel, but true... start with new generations.

i hear a certain negative/dismissive tone, a certain mocking these days, when people talk about "the newest western trend.. this 'all religions are valid' thing

for older people with cemented mind sets there is total resistance.. for people who already have my way or the highway religious beliefs.. no hope.

just listen to the tone of ridicule they employ when discussing the idea of tolerance. they cannot conceive of two people living next door to one another, with two different religions, each remaining true to their own religion, respecting the others without one trying to convert the other

but we are and will see more and more of this tolerance with new generations. (thank my loving God!) we are maturing, evolving..

i bring my children to church every sunday. we learn scripture. we pray as individuals and as a family. this is a wonderful, enriching part of our lives

but i am careful to point out this is only one of many churches; one of many belief systems around the world. -such a variety of churches/religions just within our small home town of pleasanton..

and we co-exist peacefully, respectfully.

write back to the beautiful lyrics in ziggy's song: "i don't condemn. i don't convert. love is my religion"

love is our religion.

i left before the discussion was officially over. 3 times/3 different ways for each of us, was already 2 times too many. i thanked him and everyone there for their hospitality. "and i am so glad to live in a town, a state, a country, where we can gather freely like this, and share our beliefs"

they were all very kind, smiling, warm.. completely unoffended by my alternative views, saying goodbye to me and welcoming me back anytime.

~sandra, ttgp

Friday, September 21, 2012

VIEWER'S COMMENTS from (me!) sandra, tvgp

could be my imagination.. then again.. i could be write

but it sure seems like all my favorite tv people are like, on fire these past few weeks

joyce meyer -!- no one teaches the bible like she does.. i'm constantly tellin' the television set, "love you!" "that's write!" "amen!" -and.. how long, how long, how long have i been waiting for a spiritual leader to come write out with it

and tell these women in abusive relationships to get the heck out! FINALLY! she said it.. and it was interesting because she went from tellin' people they shouldn't be gettin' out of marriages to..

tellin' the ones in abusive relationships.. "God doesn't want you being abused.. or your children being abused"

so, "thank you! joyce meyer.." -we need a lot more straight talk from leaders like you "encore!"


and you know my charlie rose.. he's on fire too! now, i just can't watch him on cbs this morning, so no comment there, but on his pbs show

no stoppin' him. one great question after another.. and gracious as always.. and then.. well, and isn't he just so polite about knowing what he knows...

i'm not gonna say names, i'm just gonna say that when that one female author person was on, i was talkin' to the tv, like

"oh, honey... do you think he just started interviewing yesterday? he has so got your number.. you aren't foolin' him for one nano second " /but it's one of the many things i love.. he's so gracious. doesn't rip her up on national tv just because he can

but he knows when he's got a genuine guest and when he's got an opportunist. and i know when he knows; i've been watchin' him a long time

and since i've been watchin' him a long time.. i do believe i'm quite qualified to share my recommendation to cbs

spare him the "this morning" program, and give him his own uninterrupted hour -pbs, on cbs..

i see no reason why they aren't already doing this, do you?


and joel.. he is exactly correct.. the world is starved for someone to lift their spirits, give them hope, remind them that God is on their side

love, faith, hope -he sticks to these biblical truths -and true, he side steps the controverserial issues to a certain degree

but you can find controversary 24/7, 365, just about everywhere else on tv and the internet

how often can you find love, faith and hope?

thank you joel osteen! for reminding me i am a child of the most high God

i receive that today! " amen & amen"



in my effort to fit in.. i've found one sit com i can stomach.. i can more than stomach.. i actually enjoy: the big bang theory

catch myself laughing out loud at the great writing, wonderful delivery by the cast.. and i'm always, in my writer mode, seeing how they set up the comedy -brilliant.

and had to say no thank you to rob.. not because it isn't good.. but because i can only take so much formula/laugh track comedy in one week

they do change the set, the race and cast of characters.. but so much of it is just the same, the same, the same...

and even bigger no to..

what did handsome prince have me watching? game of thrones? apparently he loves it... i believe my brother would love it, handsome prince has a whole bunch of friends who love it

i'll never watch it again. the entertainment value i place on, and interest level i have for dramatic territory wars, incest, gratuitous nudity, abusive, gluttonous men is: zero.


but! i'd watch any one of those actors/directors/writers in an interview and find it fascinating if they spoke about their craft and art -even though i don't like that particular show

reminds me.. i read every word of joyce carol oats journals. have never read even one of her novels; probably never will


i AM going to clean today. all day. from write when i finish this, til i pick up the kids from school.

so no time to tell you about the pictures/albums gifted to me from my grandma. how i held one picture in my hand for the longest time; mesmerized

a picture from some ..30+ years ago.. family at a family wedding. and to know now, 30+ years later, how each of these lives has unfolded.. how utterly unique, but even more, how utterly


it's all i'll think about while i'm cleaning. because i AM going to clean.

the only other thing i have time and the impulse for, is to share this thought out of joyce carol oats journals. let grab that book/brb.

too many pages, sticky notes, folds to find it (and i'm aware i'm procrastinating again). i'll find it later. but it has to do with how well she could handle/receive false flattery; but could not imagine/let in, a genuine expression of affection

and the only other thing -the only other thing- i'm going to write about is how it is physically/emotionally painful sometimes to turn off the computer

in that same way it is physically/emotionally painful to say goodbye to a loved one at the airport, say

"i'll miss you! love you! can't wait to see you again..."

GOD IS GREAT, LIFE IS GOOD PART TWO by (me!) sandra, tvgp

original post date (?)  -2009.

a gorgeous day!

walk to the farmer's market for my fresh flowers, + hug and quick visit

orange juice, banana nut bread on the patio at rising loafer.. where i met the owner mary, for the first time.. i've seen her/talked with her.. have been going to the rising loafer every now and then for several years in fact.. but only yesterday learned mary is the owner

and she is quick to give credit for rising loafers success to her long time employees..

i do think they must have the lowest employee turn over on main street, and i enjoy seeing these familiar faces, month after month, year after year. always great service; great food

plus I LOVE anywhere i can sit and eat outdoors. -at my table for two on the sidewalk/patio, one chair was occupied by my 3 bouquets of fresh flowers, which meant raymond had to sit on my lap

raymond is my new true love. he makes me think AND laugh, which caused me to draw a heart shape next to his name in the book i'm reading

oh! he made me laugh so hard telling his cathedral story.. honestly.. couldn't stop laughing to finish the story; had to take three long breaks

but he can spin a tear-jerker too, and with equal skill

i found myself -not near tears- but in tears, at the rising loafer. such a beautiful day.. wonderful morning.. sunshine, fresh flowers, fresh orange juice, families filling the sidewalks with strollers, dogs, children, shopping bags from the farmer's market, to-go containers from the local eateries

and there i am falling all to pieces. stuck in the hospital waiting room with howard and ann, waiting for dr. francis.. our 8 year old son in a coma.. maybe. or maybe not.. we don't know yet

i realize i should not be crying on such a lovely day. it's only a story... it's only a story

and so i close the book and day dream some. watch the passersby.. nibble on my banana nut bread

damn you raymond carver! open the book and keep reading

feel i'm being watched from afar. notice in my peripheral vision that some feet, some legs.. they have not passed my table by, but have come to a complete stop

i look up to see bernie berke (my former flute teacher. and his wife linda -always a pleasant surprise, and i'm so relieved to have this chance to close the book and visit

learn linda loves the short stories too.. so i share more about the book i'm reading.. show her the table of contents and LOVE how many authors/stories she knows and can recommend

i glance at my hand-scribbled notes next to the names in the contents section.. the hearts.. the stars.. and then ..

i flipped quickly to page vi, vii. -where she sang the praises of shirley jackson, franz kafka, herman melville. and page viii, where she sang the praises of isaac singer, and we were triggered to talk in more detail about joyce carol oats

and here is my confession about joyce carol oats: i devour her televised interviews. i devoured her journals. -but have not read her novels. and hers is THE ONLY story in this book, the art of short stories, that i leaped ahead to read. but wished i didn't.

anyway.. while linda and i were chit-chattin' about authors/short stories, bernie went and visited with friends at casa madrid, where he performs on friday nights -AND- he snuck back to the farmer's market around the corner

set down a big basket of fresh strawberries on my table before leaving. -and.. save the date/join me because i'm really looking foward to seeing him/claude perform may 7th at studio 7 art gallery on the corner of main & w. angela

THANKS BERNIE! THANKS LINDA! -great seeing you as always


this book is a dream come true for someone like me.. because a) i love biography b) i love short stories c) i love discussing the craft of writing d) i love learning about other cultures/places/people in the world

here it is! all in one book.. organized/edited.. wonderful. -and as linda also pointed out, when i told her about how this book contained all those elements

"we had to search forever to find that kind of information about authors before.. you had to go to the library and research if you wanted to know more about the authors of your favorite stories.."


so, very nice to meet you raymond carver..

next stop was alexander's fine art gallery a little further down main street, to congratulate and celebrate with gary winter & other local artists and art-appreciater friends

it seems a year or two ago, gary pulled a napkin from his pocket.. told me about his upcoming idea.. showed me the draft for "SNgear"

the story behind "get your S.N. gear" /how to motivate without really cussin'

and now here he is with a whole, beautiful, creative, inspiring line of SNgear products, "to motivate & inspire. a lifestyle brand company with a concise rule of conduct, "put it in gear"

t-shirts; coffee mugs; paintings; music; jewelry. i've eye-witnessed his idea grow from paper napkin to popular product. -and the people he's inspired in the process!

claudett mcdermott got her SNgear.. and was invited/sparked/inspired to create a line of jewelry. darling/charming earrings, keychains and necklaces with beads and gear-looking embellishments... (will post picture soon of my purchase & gary/claudette)

michael dean got his SNgear.. and was invited/sparked/inspired to write & record a SNgear song.. "it's wonderful!" -i listened to it myself during gary's reception. -and learned how the invitation from gary winter to write this song, inspired michael also to finally record some other songs that have been in waiting for some too long of time..

and there are more, others.. creative people getting their SNgear thank you to gary winter

i just looked around and couldn't stop smiling.

noting how none of the products on the table -none of the t-shirts, paintings, coffee mugs, jewelry, music, etc.. existed this time last year. how each and every item manifested as a direct result of one man honoring his inspired idea, acting on it; inviting others to do the same

he walks what he talks, gary winter. got his own SNgear and is leading by example

and i note again:

everything that exists was first a thought.

think good thoughts. then get your SNgear...


PERMISSION TO REPRINT TO BLOG (please!) by sandra, ttgp

sometimes clothes look great on the hanger, but not on the body

sometimes they look blah on the hanger, but like wow on the body

sometimes clothes look blah and are blah

sometimes clothes look hot and are hot

writing is the same

there are articles that make great silent reads, but recite them aloud and they lose their power

there are articles that seem flat until you read them out loud, which proves required to reveal their power

there are articles that read flat and stay flat no matter who recites them

and articles that read wonderful and grow more wonderful no matter who recites them

and i found one of those wonderful, more wonderful pieces in the march 3rd issue of the new yorker. i've sent an email requesting permission to repost the article here on my blog. i will retype it regardless, but only post with permission. it is jack handey's piece in shouts and murmurs titled, how things even out. -smile just thinkin' 'bout it- will in the near future be looking to learn more about this author

also, in my asking for reprint permission file: a spectacular paragraph about art by joyce carol oats from her journals book (the journals of joyce carol oats 1973-1982). this book second to only eat, pray, love by elizabeth gilbert in how much i've decorated it with highlighter, post it tags, underlines, little hearts, smiley faces, page creases, etc. and i'm only half way through...

tomorrow: 1st class on to discuss the book, a new earth by eckhart tolle. have never participated in anything like this.. very excited to be a part

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"WHAT A VALENTINES!" for (me!) sandra, tvgp
how was your valentines?
let me do a quick a mental inventory so i can make sure..
this was the best valentines of my life so far.
and isn't that ironic.. that i have no romantic love. i didn't go out on a date; didn't have flowers or candy arrive at my doorstep; didn't fall in love.
no be mine secret admirers, nothing of that sort.
rather it was the greatest valentines of my life because i spent it with emily dickinson at old st. raymond's church in dublin.
my first time there.. but immediately, like my courage tattoo -it felt familiar. familiar and beautiful. ( you must see it! by clicking on the link above )
-and emily
i don't know her nearly as well as i'd like, and yet
i do. intimately and completely.
i know her, love her and feel so compelled to congratulate and liberate her
"emily! emily!" i mentally shouted during certain scenes
"F. the publishers, my poet friend.. we have blogs now!"
and i know this is the greatest way to introduce the poets of the past to the children of the 21st century
to answer the question: what if [emily dickinson] were alive today?
and the entire time i watched emily on stage i pictured myself on stage with her.. her writing in the then.. me writing in the now
hollering out to her as if she were alive write now, very alive, only, instead of a few blocks away, or miles down the road -she's a few centuries over
"you won't believe it emily!" i kept telling her, "you won't believe this!" -and i went on to describe computers, the internet,
and she was outside of her mind excited. and we were best, best, friends.
so, a great night. a great valentines; to get to hang out in a beautiful, historical, wooden church; to share secrets, poetry and advances in technology with emily.
"how was the turn out?" -my sister and real life best friend asks me
and here's the thing. there were not a lot of people. "but," i told my sister,
"you know how sometimes the size of the crowd speaks to the quality of the performance.. and low numbers mean poor performance
this was not the case. -sometimes the size of the crowd speaks more to the quality of the audience
i felt like part of a select, elite, special, vip, get's~ it, crowd; very lucky."
and i went on to tell her about how not only did gwyneth richards get a standing ovation.. "but none of us could stop clapping
even when she politely gestured, thank you/that's enough
no one stopped clapping. we went on and on and on standing and applauding her.
she was amazing! just amazing!"
THANK YOU GWYNETH RICHARDS for an extraordinary evening with emily dickinson; for bringing her to life the way you did. -love and continued success to you in all you do.
- and then -
another one of those rare saturday nights... although i'm smiling write now, because i write about them so often, how rare are they really?
but they always feel rare.. the night's my sister and i can go out together for drinks and dancing
and last night was another one of those feels rare nights. -and having just read scott adam's blog and learned there is music and dancing now at stacey's at waterford in dublin on the weekends
we were inspired to check it out.
felt like we were really branching out; breaking out of our close and comfort zone by leaving main street in pleasanton and going ALL THE WAY (3 miles) to dublin for dancing.
and hard to use valentines night as an example of what it's like on typical weekends.. but, still..
the harrison sister's give it a "we'll be back for more!" -the restaurant itself is gorgeous, the drinks delicious, the music dance~able.. some of it, anyway
the dj mixed it up quite a bit, trying to read the crowd.. answer the calls of a mixed group, from long-time married couples, to the newly dating.. to the young and obviously singles
my request for mjb went unanswered
"i'm gonna make a harrison sister's cd," i told my sister, "we'll come back and have everyone dancing all night long"
but i think that's stepping on the dj's toes.
it's just so frustrating though.. when you want to dance.. you're aching to dance.. but can't quite find your song; your music
i had a vivid image recently that made me laugh out loud.
what i pictured was a dance floor.. much like the one we were on last night. -and it was PACKED with people. only, instead of a dj, or a live band
everyone on the dance floor had their own ipod with their very own favorite dance music pumping in their ears.
so everyone was dancing to a different rhythm, different beat, different song
but everyone was dancing together. -this makes for a great visual if you can picture it like i do.
add on couples, slow dancing together, each with their own ipod, but the same song, and pushing play at the same time
"i think that might be the future!" my sister said.
so there you have it. -read it here first.
and i have the first 3 or 4 songs for my ipod: -the can't not dance list:
mary j blige -family affair- AKA: the percolator song.
ryan shaw -nobody-
prince -dog catcher
and once i have an hour worth or so loaded and ready
and my sister does too
you know where to find us. soaking up another rare night somewhere in the tri valley.
dancin' to the beat of our very own, personalized, ipod drummers.
happy valentines!

"THANK YOU JESUS!" from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

New day.. New obstacle. Finally uploaded pictures (reluctantly) to this iPad... So excited to post some of my favorite memories... Store them here in my external memory... But NOOOoooo. Clicked on the picture icon and got this: "Image upload is unavailable in your current browser". Now, it is great evidence I've not only been studying the fruits of the spirit, but putting some of what I've learned into practice, because I was briefly tempted to take this frickin' iPad and fly it write through a closed window. But I did not. I go.. This must mean it is time for me to get a new computer and new phone! /with a little help from my handsome prince... But oh! How I appreciate my pictures... How everyone should take pictures and lots of them! At least for me.. I am repeatedly reminded how quickly, subtly, unconsciously cherished experiences in our day to day lives slip from center stage into the bottom drawer in the back closet of our memory estates. We can't stay conscious of everything all the time.. We can't and don't remember every good thing, good moment without triggers. The power of photos is in their ability to immediately claim mental territory.. Kicking out and over any conscious thought that previously resided there... Just as once you learn how to read, you can't look at a word without reading it.. You can't look at a photo without..seeing it. The photo taking 1st place in your consciousness. I use my photos for good... But the above being true... How easily photos can be used for evil also. My knowledge in this area helps explain why I am hypersensitive about what I allow myself to see.. Very selective. As much as i can be in the environment I live in. Photos for good: wait til you see! How many great experiences God has blessed me with in between my sometimes 9 hour shifts and current 7 day work weeks! If that's all I mentioned... My financial woes and 7 day work weeks.. What a false picture that would paint... Just wait til you see! How many blessings in the past month... It is hard not to feel spoiled.. And every picture I will post /once I can post them... These are my "Thank you!" to Jesus cards. In every one I am in, or just taking... My heart is filled with joy, happiness, gratitude, faith, hope.... Enormous love. Amen!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DEAR COMCAST, from (me!) sandra, tvgp

i will take the time to hand-deliver a detailed version of this letter to the livermore comcast facility. -and then i'm done


Dear Comcast General Manager

I have been a loyal comcast customer for many years. Have publically sang the praises of what is my favorite techonology of all the time: the DVR

but problems started (and continue) since moving from one location to another.

Briefly -because I am exhausted and pressed for time,

When I moved in August of 2010, and started renting a room in Pleasanton, Comcast was unable to make this transition with me

It appears your billing/service systems do not currently have the ability to address a room renter vs. a home owner. /Although how you service/bill individual customers who live in apartments might serve as a template.

In any case, ... I am renting a room from a home owner. The home owner already has comcast cable tv -and I am privileged to have a tv in my room, covered by the home owner, so I no longer require comcast tv cable service.

The home owner also has wireless access, and I no longer require comcast internet wireless service, as my computer works with the home owners.

What I still do use.. and in fact depend on for my livlihood, is my COMCAST EMAIL. I have 1 email account with 3 email addresses that I use every. single. day.

And while I realize, I can set up free email accounts through other services, I have remained with Comcast, as I am deeply embedded with my comcast emails, which are connected to just about everything else I use, including but not limited to: paypal, amazon, my website, my customer base, my friends/family... and which serve as forms of reply communication for every query/submission, I send out as freelance writer... this list is very long.

Changing email addresses will require a great deal of my time, energy. I had been willing to pay $60 a month just not to have to...

So.. When I moved, the only thing I did, which set off what is now a comcast nightmare, is this:

I went in person to the Livermore Comcast facility to have my address changed. That's it.

Something went wrong, and my comcast was shut off -completely. No access to my email accounts.

Solving this problem took -3 different appointments. And over 12 hours. That is, 3 different appointments, with 3 different comcast service representatives coming to my new address

And while you are terrific at keeping appointments -and terrific at calling 3 times to verify that you will keep your appointment, and be on time,

Once the service people arrive -on time.. they have no knowledge for actually solving the problem they've been presented with, which -in my humble opinion; should be an easy fix for a high tech company like yourself

And so... at last! 3 people, 3 appointments, and 12 hours later, it appeared my problem was solved, -and I spare you here the details..

But.. turns out I then started receiving not one new bill with my new address (for nothing but emails, may I remind you)

but! Two different bills, with two different account numbers -and with service addresses different from the billing address

my goal was -one bill, emails only, service and billing address the same; my new location.

and so I received a call on one day, stating I owed some $136 -and then the very next day, a call where I was told I owed, $270?!

"Really?! My bill for emails only went up over $100 overnight?" That's amazing! And I know not to take my frustrations out on the customer service reps who have nothing to do with creating or solving the problem at hand

So I turn to you.. General Manager.. or perhaps.. Operations Manager.. who ever is over the General Manager...

In hopes you can resolve this.

And I am both relieved and thrilled -while my emails remain held hostage

that I do not also have my phone number attached to comcast, as I'm pretty sure, all forms of communication for me would be unjustly cut off while I sat at the mercy of your competence to correct errors which originate at your end.

So -this has created a grand disincentive for me to take advantage of any discounts for grouped services. I will never..

With great hope you will resolve this in under 10 days

credit my account. Restore my access to my emails -which I"ve had for more than -10 years? So that I can return to being productive.

Thank You,

Sandra Harrison Kay
925 337 2320
Pleasanton, California

CC: BBB, Change.Org, FBC

DEAR CHIEF OF POLICE by (me!) sandra, ttgp

nov 13th, 2007

dear michael fraser, chief of police

jennifer hosterman, mayor of pleasanton

sgt. mike collins, traffic supervisor

i am writing so you can applaud and recognize the stellar, by the book, police work performed today by officers harry mcintosh and matt lengel.

a few weeks ago they pulled my sister over while she was borrowing my car, because the license tags were expired. they could have had the car towed that very day, but gave her a fix-it ticket instead. she did know and explain current tags had been paid for but not received. i was under the impression you had 30 days to take care of fix it tickets, but learned today from mcintosh and lengel, that "you have none."

the entire reason the tags were expired was because dmv, overwhelmed, i'm sure with the population of drivers they manage, neglected to mail the tags even though they were paid for.

when i spent hours, weeks, and several phone calls trying to correct the situation, they insisted i had not properly proven i had insurance coverage. but, in fact, i did have insurance coverage.

i mailed the documents requested, but still no tags in the mail. i decided to hedge my bets. i did after all, take care of things from my end: i paid for my tags. i paid for my insurance. i mailed in the documents.

but when my sister was pulled over, i knew i must take the time and energy to re-prove my case. i went to the bank because i knew dmv would need to see a copy of the check they had recieved and cashed. months having passed, the check was in the archives and needed to be ordered; so i ordered the check. couple days later, had a copy of the check in my hand, plus my proof of insurance. would have gone to dmv on monday, but it was closed for veterans day, so was planning on going TODAY -despite the mimimum day at school, two parent-teacher conferences, and other prior commitments

my sister was pulled over TODAY before i made it to the dmv.

i met with officer mcintosh and lengel at the scene. i brought with me and showed them

1) proof i had paid for my tags

2) proof i had insurance coverage

3) proof that once the fix-it ticket was issued, i took action to correct things by ordering the check from the bank-

4) proof that i had the paper work to take care of things at dmv right then, only two blocks away

but mcintosh and lengel paid no attention; could not have cared less. the tags were expired and my car would be towed: exactly by the book. i couldn't believe it. hate myself now for wasting time/energy trying to plead my case; but i couldn't help it...

"if i didn't pay for my tags... if i didn't have insurance.. i could understand..

if i ignored the fix-it ticket.. didn't make an effort.. then maybe i could understand..

but look at my paper-work... i'm a good citizen!"

nothin' goin'. lengel's mind was made up. i wanted then to see mcintosh's face. look into his eyes, try to understand.. but he refused to take off his sunglasses.

"don't play games with me," he said real stern.

lesser trained and dedicated officers might risk cutting some slack given the circumstances, but not mcintosh or lengel

and some people criticize male officers for giving breaks to attractive women; but not mcintosh or lengel. my sister is one of the most kind, generous, beautiful blonds you've ever seen, with great big blue eyes... single mom, trying to make her way to work, with a 4 year old daughter and 7 year old son to pick up from school

i tell you this chief of police, michael fraser.. your officers did not give any unfair breaks to this beautiful, single, hard working mom; no sir.

expired tags = tow the car.

so we spent about a half hour at dmv waiting in line to re-prove the tags were paid for and the car was -and always had been- properly insured.

then we went to the police department and paid $100.

then we went to central towing and paid $215 to get the car (only, actually our mom paid $215. THANKS MOM!)

we now have temporary tags and wait again for new tags in the mail. ironically, the statement and bill for 2008 will arrive within the week anyway. some bets you win/some bets you loose, huh

but no unnecessary hardship is lost on me. i learn from everything that happens to and around me. today i learned what fine, by the book, unwavering traffic officers work here in pleasanton.

and i had to share this story so you could be as proud of your officers as they are of themselves.

sandra kay, ttgp

STRONGER NOW by (me!) sandra, tvgp

i do not hold grudges. i mean for the most part, i really don't. i fly pretty free on a day to day basis from any anger, resentment, or negative feelings in general.

and i don't mean that i temper, hide, shove, stuff or ignore these feelings. i literally don't experience them. nearly everything has been processed; to death!

but i do have this one stubborn thing remaining.. and it sits on a fence. on one side are altruistic, compassionate motivations for "my move" -my upcoming political posturing

my statement to the world (or less dramatically.. to pleasanton. the tri valley).

and on the other side is a kind of "i'll show you" motivation with an uglier attachment.

the origin is the cover of the pleasanton weekly some time ago. vol. IX, number 24, july 11, 2008, to be exact

and i can be exact because i have it on my lap write now.

"stronger now" the headline reads. with a subtitle reading: " gymnasts reflect on molestation by gym owner, their foundation to help other victims of abuse."

and from the get go my heart went out to these two brave, courageous, young she-roes, and my gratitude went out to the pleasanton weekly for how compassionate/professionally they covered this story.

and what got me all upset was not the cover, or the story, but one woman's letter to the editor in response to the cover and the story. -she thought molestation was so inappropriate for a cover story, and was ashamed/embarrassed to have her kids see it, or any guests that might be visiting -like the whole thing brought down pleasanton's reputation

and my response is already documented somewhere in the archives here, so no need to repeat

what is not documented is how i took that particular issue of the pleasanton weekly and put it in a special place. a keeper file.

one day.. i thought to myself... i will travel somewhere.. somewhere.. i don't know where..

and i will take this issue with me

i will hold it up with great pride and have my picture taken holding it. AND -i will send it in for inclusion in the "take us with you" section of the pleasanton weekly

and part of my motivation is to honor/celebrate these survivors, and part of my motivation is to re-stick it to this woman who wrote that letter.

that's not very nice, now is it. but it's true.

and it's been sitting on a shelf just waiting.. this pleasanton weekly from july 11 2008.

but where will i ever go? i really don't travel much.

at all, really. i'm pretty much a tri valley girl.

and sometimes i wondered if i took my picture with it, and i was only as far away, as say,

san francisco. -would the pleasanton weekly include it, when everyone else has traveled to greece, or florida, or india, or paris ( i've seen some from san diego/disneyland)

i don't know. maybe someday i will travel again..

and if i ever do.. (i look at the paper on the shelf) -you're comin' with me.



that i have actual and legitimate cause for getting a passport! -and not only will i be getting a passport

but (God willing) it will actually have a stamp in it!

and so i've been looking every now and then at the cover of this july 2008 issue of pleasanton weekly

smiling at the girls on the cover.

guess where we're going.. i think to them

but the rest is a surprise.

-and i'm not really at ease with any negative, ugly, "stick it" to someone feelings going on inside me. it's not good. and so reminding myself also, that the woman did not have ill-intentions when writing her letter to the editor. i'm certain she did not. i'm 100% convinced she had no intention for aiding predators in any way, and only did so out of a innocent and sincere ignorance.

and many people -good, intelligent, otherwise kind and contributing citizens- share her innocent and sincere ignorance, which means only

that the work to educate must continue.

SHE-ROES OF PLEASANTON by (me!) sandra, ttgp

i respond here to a woman's comments i read today in the pleasanton weekly, in the "letters to the editor" section.

her letter opens as follows:

i don't get it. we live here in this beautiful community with so much good going on and all you can slap on the cover of our small town community newspaper is a molestation story, ("Stronger Now," cover story, page 8, july 11)

i've been uneasy in spirit since reading that article myself; but not for the same reasons as the woman above. AND for the same reasons as the woman above.

i want to speak first to the stronger now article itself. the cover story. the pleasanton she-roes story.

as i read this story on july 11th, i felt first.. ENORMOUSLY PROUD OF THESE GIRLS for speaking out. to say it takes courage is quite an understatement. as we see from the woman's letter above; disincentive is abundant.

people don't want their lives interrupted with problems of this ugly, sexual nature.

and as i know from my own experience: people REALLY DO NOT WANT TO KNOW if you have been assaulted sexually; it makes them VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. they will distance themselves from you -as if you were the criminal. your entire lifestyle/social circle of support is at risk

and you'd think, it being 2008, we might have progressed past this; but i can promise you, we have not.

so to consider what enormous risks these girls took.. in not only reporting the crime -which is a huge, brave, amazing, miraculous accomplishment in and of itself, but to see in the pleasanton weekly that they went several extra brave steps beyond that by

SHARING THEIR STORY PUBLICALLY. i wanted to drive write to their individual homes and hug them, and praise them, and thank them.. bless them and shower them with gifts of gratitude

because i know

and i mean I KNOW. i am not guessing. i know

this act of bravery and courage HAS ALREADY PREVENTED SIMILAR CRIMES FROM HAPPENING - and will contribute beyond measure in PREVENTING CRIMES OF THIS NATURE IN THE FUTURE

as a result of their willingness to share their story publically, and as a result of the pleasanton weekly's willingness to publish it -and as the cover story-

WE WILL HAVE FEWER VICTIMS. and please repeat that out loud ten times.

these girls have prevented crimes and saved souls -they won't necessarily know which ones; or how many. (although i understand letters of gratitude are already pouring in) but these girls, in their sharing, did two great and very she-roic things

1) helped create an atomosphere where other victims will speak out and report. which,

2) helps PREVENT future victims.

allow me here to drive the point home with my own experience. it is no secret that i am a survivor of sexual assault and violence having been kidnapped and raped at 6 years old, 16 years old, and again at 17 years old.

i will keep here only to what is relevant for the point i want to make. in the case when i was 16 years old, this rape COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED BUT WAS NOT because two girls before me reported the crime but would not prosecute. -rapist; free to go and claim new victims.

and who knows how many did not report before those two.

i have only compassion and absolutely no anger, bittnerness or upset toward these girls.. it was many years ago and the cost for speaking out was too high.

-as a direct result of the cost being too high for victims to speak out, guess what..

MORE VICTIMS. -myself among them. but i did speak out. we did prosecute; successfully. and somewhere in my mind and soul, i know i helped spare others -we helped spare others: my family/friends, the police, the d.a., the justice system (flawed as it is).


these girls are HEROES or as Dr. Maya Angelou would say, SHE-ROES.

in this letter to the editor in pleasanton weekly, the woman writes:

my heart hurts for the families that had to go through what they did but i cannot believe this is what i had laying on my coffee table when i came home. i was packing up the weekly to take on our vacation to snap our family picture holding the paper. yeah... this is what i want my three children holding in a photo.

and later she writes: my visiting friends who are looking to move to pleasanton did not find this very welcoming.

and i think.. poor woman.. she has no idea. these two girls represent the best & bravest of pleasanton. they SHOULD BE CELEBRATED. they are HELPING PLEASANTON to become an even better and safer place for families, parents, children. and i have it in my heart to take that very copy of the pleasanton weekly.. the copy where these two girls are on the cover.. and that is the one i will be MOST PROUD to share with family and friends and to include for "take us along" vacation destination pictures.

this lady feels shame where pride should be; an ignorance these two brave girls have risen above to help spare others -and an ignorance they must continue to rise above for many years to come.

oh! i am so bothered by this letter! -and isn't it ironic that part of me shares her sentiment..

we live here in this beautiful community with so much good going on and all you can slap on the cover of our small town community newspaper is a molestation story,

ALL YOU CAN SLAP ON? -one of the reasons i do not subscribe to or read traditional daily newspapers is because i resent and refuse to pay for sensationalized, glamourized, exploitive, very skewed, bullshit stories

and the pleasanton weekly has somehow ... against some incredible odds... avoided that.

and they are not -ARE NOT- compromising their journalism standards with this story in my opinion. it is a justified cover story which is SAVING LIVES and helping to keep pleasanton the magical, wonderful community it is. and i was so pleased -SO PLEASED-


the photographs were of the strong, heroic, brave girls. the story was about the GIRLS.. their experience, their courage, their goals to help others. and it was titled STRONGER NOW.

the pleasanton weekly DID NOT do what so many other exploitive papers so commonly do, which is to make a celebrity out of the criminal.

THANK YOU PLEASANTON WEEKLY. -let yours be the new standard forever more-

but see here..

i must turn myself in.. because the woman also wrote:

i know you took a lashing after you put the "murder in castlewood" story on your cover a few months back. one would have thought you have realized that this kind of stuff is not what people are looking forward to in our small town community paper.

and i did think the pleasanton weekly made a poor choice there. murder in castlewood read to me like a high school student had written it - a high school student whose only exposure to violence has been via trailers for really bad scary movies. it seemed to beg for attention, with no real understanding or compassion for the cost or scope of the tragedy itself.

but as i do not wish to be judged and abandoned because of my occasional mistakes - i do not do that to others -individuals or organizations-

if it became THE PRACTICE of the pleasanton weekly to exploit and sensationalize.. good bye. but it is not the practice; it is the very rare exception.

but where the woman writes

this kind of stuff

i do not lump the murder in castlewood, and the brave act of these two girls in the same category. not even close.

had the pleasanton weekly turned the criminal into a celebrity -sensationalizing the crime/exploiting the girls/placing his picture on the cover; yes.. i may have stopped reading it all together -lumping the pleasanton weekly in with all the rest

but they did not. they did everything write. a great job. stellar. exemplary.

our entire community -the tri valley and beyond- will benefit for years to come.


despite the tremendous efforts of so many people -AGAINST TREMENDOUS OBSTACLES- and over many, many, years: despite the efforts/accomplishments which have:

helped create environments where victims can speak out

helped educate law enforcement to identify/capture criminals and help victims

helped educate children in homes/classrooms to help prevent crimes

which have


and track sexual predators



we have a great deal of ignorance; prejudice; stigma and taboo associated with this crime.

please note:



any word, any thought, any action which creates ANY disincentive for victims to speak out, contributes to an environment which REWARDS THE CRIMINAL, INCREASES THE CRIME AND PUNISHES INNOCENT VICTIMS

thank you woman with letter to the editor. i know your intention is not to help predators; but that is exactly what you have done. thank you for this painful reminder of the work that must continue.

i am rejuvinated by your words.

~sandra kay, ttgp

sister survivor, activist, volunteer

PLEASANTON WEEKLY by (me!), sandra ttgp

november 9th, 2006

dear paulette kenyon,

i just finished reading your letter to the editor in the pleasanton weekly titled: poems to iraq project inappropriate. i could feel your anger and frustration, which i realize is shared by many.

i must start by saying i believe you severely underestimate the power of poetry to heal and unite people.

as a poet myself and contributor to this project, i feel compelled to point out a few things.

first, in no way is this book of poetry being submitted as the solution to this crisis; but it can and it will contribute to healing the hearts of all survivors here and there.

you should know, the woman spearheading this very noble and important project, cynthia bryant, our poet laureate, turned to poetry originally to work through the pain of growing up in an abusive environment. not only did the writing of poetry help her heal, but the ongoing reading of her poetry continues to reach and help countless others, myself among them.

myself: i am a three time survivor of violent crime. i know the experience of being kidnapped, tortured, raped. i know the dark hell of post traumatic stress disorder. and i know reading and writing poetry continues to help me enormously in transcending my painful experiences.

and please do open any poetry book authored by Dr. Maya Angelou to acquaint yourself with the undeniable power of words over weapons.

i do understand your concern, your anger, your frustration. and i must turn to a recent traumatic experience here in pleasanton to make my final point:

on october 6th, 2006, when Shawn Michael-Harold Niethammer, a 9 year old classmate of my daughters, was accidentally hit and killed while riding his bike, it felt so strange, and severely inadequate to just bring a plant and a card to his parents.

what good is this? a stupid old plant and card when these people are experiencing such loss and trauma.

but if you ask his parents, those plants, flowers and cards meant a great deal. each gift and word a reminder that shawn was loved and they are cared for. shawn's parents expressed being overwhelmed by the outreach. and while the thoughtful acts of others cannot undo the tragedy, it sure does help in the healing process. and if you consider what their experience would have been like had not one person brought a flower or card by... how much more painful, unbearable, awful it would be.

and then please do consider here, how an
"arsty card," one hand made, hand-stamped, might also be a way of expressing care and love.

and how important that our love and care not only be expressed to shawn's parents, but to the person who accidentally hit shawn. no one wants to know such pain. no one. but imagine a world where when tragedy strikes, no one does a thing. no words, no cards, no flowers, no expression of outreach. that world is far worse than the one were currently living on.

words matter. cards matter. outreach matters. caring matters. and poetry can make a very positive difference in everyone's lives, both during crisis and especially it's long and painful aftermath. people here and there, and everywhere around the globe need poetry more than ever and i,

would not be here without it.

the "gift of words" poetry book for the iraqi people, a collection of heartfelt words from people all across the world, is not much different really than the collection of cards shawn's parents received in their time of crisis. we cannot undo what's been done; but we can and we will express our care and love. we will - us poets - make a difference and contribute to the healing with our words.

most sincerely,

sandra, ttgp

now wait. i must point out that here on my blog are two other posts you might benefit from reading. 1) maya's angelou's quotes regarding the difference between bittnerness and anger and 2) i would be honored to have you read my personal contribution to cynthia bryant's gift of words, poems for the iraqi people: perfect vision.

love, from me.

THINGS WILL EVEN OUT! from (me!) thanks to (jack handey!)

i've just retyped your piece from the mar 3rd new yorker and laughed again! -you give me hope jack; hope and inspiration

i'm still waiting for things to even out. few years back, i brought my revolutionary new product to a huge tradeshow. no one noticed. "it's your overalls and tennis shoes," the consultant guy told me.

so next trade show i dressed for success. and i'm not a lesbian yet, but something about that nordstrom woman's cleavage and italian accent made me buy three pair of expensive, pointy, 3" heels with three expensive dresses to match.

things will even out, i told myself at the register

i brought my revolutionary new product back to the trade show. the consultant man was right. people noticed. some people even engaged me in deep conversation while their friends loaded up on my product and power-walked towards the exit.

this is how things even out? i wondered from inside a very expensive 10x10 cage

had i been wearing my tennis shoes, i would have ran after that thief and tackled him to the tradeshow floor! but when i was wearing my tennis shoes; no one was stealing my product. yes, i can see then, things even out. i removed my 3" heels but my skirt was too tight to jump the counter

dressed for success i could only yell, "hey, that's stealing!"

"no," the consultant man told me, "that's business."

things will even out! i told myself as i filed for chapter 13

those people probably spent thousands of dollars and several years in business school learning to steal other people's ideas and products

when God gives inspiration for free.

WOMEN, a poem, by (charles bukowski!) ENCORE POST by (me!) sandra, tvgp

encore post from 12/26/07. inspired by tonight's visit to cosmo's where beautiful minh washed/dried & flat ironed my hair.. while my handsome prince sat patiently waiting

"i've written about this place too.." i said with a smile

"when?" he asked

"long time ago... but's it's rated R, i think you might like it"

"where can i find it?"

"i think it was 2008?"

"i tried reading each one of your blogs, but... [gestures exhaustion with his head tilted and face scrunched]

"i would never put anyone through that," i whispered across to him, "i have to write a lot of shit to get to the good stuff"

-so i promised him i would link it, make it easier.

i'm pleased with this post. i was nervous on a few accounts... my first stage performance at the bankhead theater in eve ensler's vagina monologues was upcoming, and i was not qualified really, to memorize my lines. i was nervous too, and at the same time, about reading a raunchy book in public.. all the nervousness escaped into this story...

PLUS -who doesn't have a great memory at cosmo's? such a staple, an important member in pleasanton's family tree. i have pictures of my son's first hair cut there.. and we have been returning, inconsistently, for some 11+ years


originally posted 12/26/07:

with so much cleaning to do, i've decided to blog.

somewhere on tine bruun's blog is a most incredible, passionate poem by charles bukowski. reading that poem on her blog was my introduction to this man, and i had to learn more

so i grabbed a book impulsively off the shelf at a book store when i saw his name:

women, a novel, by charles bukowski. -and now it makes more sense.. why that man in the book store winked at me

anyway.. i had NO IDEA what i was getting myself into. about 20 pages in, i said to myself..

you.. you the same charles bukowski who wrote that poem? can't be.

25 pages in, i said.. what year was this thing published? flipped to the front: 1978.

ah, now everything makes sense. and i do make it a practice to read a variety of authors and perspectives and styles. -but not a public practice.

this explains why when my son was getting his haircut at pleasanton's famous cosmo's, i was very careful about how i pulled this book out of my bag. -actually i had been very careful about how i placed this book in my bag. any other book, and i simply place in a book mark, but this one i folded inside out to mark my place (and hide the cover).

cosmo's being the popular place it is.. i was surrounded by men. God forbid one of them knew this author, this book, this story and associated it in any way with me. but something about this experience -reading things like

pg 134: "when we get to new york i'm going to fuck you like you've never been fucked before!"

"you mean it?"


she grabbed my cock and leaned against me.
my first and only redhead. i was lucky...

and realizing that there were at least 5 men over the age of 40 in various chairs at cosmo's

and realizing how men over 40 are often far-sighted...

well, something about this.. sitting center stage with such a raunchy read ... male creatures to my left and write, bodies veiled in backwards batman capes, scissors to their balding heads, in such obvious search for something, anything, to occupy their minds while they endure (for men unattracted to their barberess) or enjoy (for men sinfully attracted) this grooming tradition...

something about this experience primed me for nervous giggles. -i could feel it.

my mind drifted from the story... enjoyed a brief and very entertaining fantasy:

"excuse me. excuse me everyone. i'll be performing soon.. my acting debut..

do you mind if i practice a scene here? it will only take a moment... and then you can tell me how i'm doing.. would that be okay?"

and what else are men going to say when they're trapped in barber chairs for the next few minutes anyway? they would LOVE the entertainment. and so i didn't need to wait for an answer officially

i just jumped to my feet and started in:

"the clitoris is pure in purpose. it is the only organ in the body designed purely for pleasure. the clitoris is simply (and i've visions of myself walking from chair to chair, making eye contact with each and every vulnerable man) a bundle of nerves:

EIGHT THOUSAND! nerve fibers (i wink), to be precise. (i smile).

that's a higher concentration of nerve fibers than is found ANYWHERE else in the body, including..

fingertips (i kiss a few); lips (i kiss a pair) and tongue (add to next kiss)

and is twice (jump center stage/hold out two fingers)

TWICE (hold peace sign high in the air)

TWICE (two dance turns and solid landing) the number in the penis (light gesture over one or two pointing from beneath their cape)

who needs a handgun when you've got a semiautomatic?" (tilt head and smile. complete matter of fact, academic knowledge and sexual innocence).

and the room is entirely silent. still and silent with pup tents here and there. not one scissor, cutting. not one razor, buzzing. every barber and every customer unable to process what they've just witnessed.

and then.. unstoppable applause. and when i turn around to take my bow and thank everyone for their time.. a crowd has formed outside the barber shop too. everyone smiling, laughing, clapping.

and then i glanced at my son, 3/4 through his handsome big boy cut, and he was smiling so big at me. i realized then, he thought my smile was for him. it became so immediately. curtains closed on my grand and imaginative performance. i made a silly face at him. and he made a silly face back at me. something we do every haircut; as predictible and fun as the lollypop treat that follows.

i returned to charles.. the book wide open flat on my lap, hiding the cover. i read discretely, quietly, semi-conscious of my smile; still primed...

and then i got here, page 140, and couldn't hold back any more.


there is a problem with writers. if what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. if what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. if what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. if what the writer wrote never was published and he didn't have the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great.

and all my built up nervous laughter came write out.

i know this increased the curiousity about what book i was reading...

but this, they'll never know.

-woman's gotta write, to keep her secrets.