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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

6 Things That Make Me Happy Meme

I have been trying to read (skim) the blogs that I have read everyday for so long now..  I breath deeply between blogs and cry some because I miss what life I had.

A short update is that I am still not sleeping more than 3 hrs a night and then wake feeling sick to my stomach.  A couple hours later and at least 2 cups of tea and the stomach settles some. 

I don't want to say much because it's hard enough in everyday life to find things to smile about and it's way too easy to bring others down to ones own doom and gloom.

I found this post in my Windows Live Writer.. I guess I was going to post it the day David died...  not real sure that this holds up right now... but as I look down on them, I do my usual and cry again... seems to be all I can do anymore, that and beg David to come home from work at least a dozen times a day.

Things are very uncertain for me, and although I am still able to be on line, that may well end. (hopefully, not for a couple months)   If I can find a way to keep it you know I will !  It's been a reason to keep going to me for many years and that hasn't changed.. so it will be fought for.  Meanwhile, after I post this I will try not to post of my life and depression, though that means posts will be few.


I've noticed this meme going around.   Since I have a lot of depression it isn't always easy to come up with things that make me happy... but it might help to have to focus on this.. so here goes nothing.


1.  Books:    

Yeah, I know.. big surprise.  But I do love books.  I love the feel of them, the looks of them, the stories they hold beneath the cover.  There's not much I don't like about them.. except maybe the price.  But, that's only because money is a necessity and many would have you believe books are not a necessity.. but they are, even if only in small amounts.


2.  Movies    

Another shocker huh?!  I do love movies.  Had I ever been at the right place and the right time, I might have something to do with them instead of just enjoying watching them.  Often I thought that if computers had been available when I was in High School that I would have leaned towards learning how to do special effects. 

Having had the privilege of being on both Paramount and Warner Brothers lots when I lived in California.. I can safely say that I would have loved to been a part of making the magic happen.


3.  Dragons and Pern     

Boy, I am just loaded with surprises eh?!  Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time knows how I love dragons... and especially the dragons of Pern! 

Mnementh, Ramoth  , Canth, and Ruth are only four of the most endearing dragons ever to grace a book.  I realize that, "endearing" and "dragons" aren't normal in the same sentence, but when your dragon saves your life time and again, can read your every thought and lives just for you.. well... endearing isn't even the strongest word to use.

I do love dragons of all sorts, I even collect book dragon statues.. and Pern.. well, I'd give Pern serious consideration as where I'd want to live if it wasn't here on earth.


4.  Being Around Creative People     

I feel very comfortable around creative people, even though I don't have their talent, I feel no jealousy and seem to understand where they are coming from.  Creative people are many and varied.  Actors, writers, artists are a few that come to everyone's minds, but there are many many others.  The neighbor who can design and make clothes, the mother who crochets, the cook who makes their own recipes... they are all creative people.  But I will admit that being around talent such as actors and writers and designers of all sorts, and after I am in their company for any length of time.. I feel as if I could do it too!..  of course this is a fallacy but hey.. it feels good!


5   Autograph Shows/ Conventions 

I bet if I put this list on someone else's blog ya'll would still know that it's MY list!  sheesh.    Yep, I love my conventions and autograph shows!  Love collecting the autographs and love meeting both the celebrities and the folks that love the celebrities!  (some of them are better than the celebs lol)  It's a feeling that comes over me... that anything is possible.  It's a high that's stays only as long as the show.. but it's a great high, and although you have to come crashing down.. there's always the next one to look forward to!

6.  Imagination     

I saved this for the end.  Because it's the one thing that can give me all I could ever want.  It takes me away.  Sometimes to a distant land, sometimes just to a place I have never been.  I can linger there as long as I want.  I can forget all that life has dealt me and replace it with a whole new life.  I can become young again.  I can do magic!  I can fly on a dragon!  I can be happy. 

Without the imagination.. the books and  the movies wouldn't really mean very much.  With imagination you give yourself permission to run away and be anything you want, wherever you want,  and change everything anytime you want...  how could anyone not love imagination?

(extra credit)

7.  Animals     

All my life I have lived with animals.  When I was very young we had dogs and cats.. along with rabbits, mice, turtles and birds!  I know I loved them all because I'd cry when we'd loose them.. so it has to be love.

As I got older I trimmed it down to just a dog and cat.   And then just a cat.   Then I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren in California and helped out around Lions and Tigers, Cougars and Elephants!  I loved every minute of it!

Now in old life I moved in with my brother and David, who when I first moved here had 10 (that's TEN) cats!  Now 9 yrs later it's down to 5.  I like to think there will always be at least one animal in my life, but I have to admit, the cost of owning one anymore is getting outrageous, especially the Vet bills for them.  But if the time comes when I am not an owner of an animal.. well, I'll just share the neighbors animals!

Friday, February 20, 2009

update instead of comment

Thank you again everyone.. this post is not so much for everyone's information as to just write and see it it helps getting it off my chest...

I still can't believe this has happened and am constantly sick to my stomach.

I  am having some smallish medical problems which are worsening my frame of mind since I can't go to a doc until March first when medicare kicks in.  I did call and talk to my doctor and she sounds like it's not "very serious" and she sounds confident but I guess because David went to a doc a week before he died and did get an EKG and chest X-ray and they said they showed nothing that now i am leery and nervous but if I go to the doctor (full price) and it was something  they want tests for, I really can't afford that! I can't do anything until March 1st.  part of me thinks it can wait, the other part of me is so alone and afraid of what life might have in store for me that I am obsessing on this... being totally alone in this house with the 5 cats doesn't help. 

I know I need to eat but have zero appetite.. I am drinking tea though to try to settle my stomach.. for two night have slept with the TV on, which I never only sleeping about 3 hrs a night. It doesn't help that I've been having trouble sleeping for some time now.  I know it's nerves and I know I keep using the word "afraid" because it's how I feel. 

Fearful things going thru my head..

Where I will go when I can no longer be here. I cannot afford to live on my own from my social security and even if I was given a free apartment I have so little SS left after medical coverage I couldn't afford monthly bills.  Big problem also is I don't drive anymore and don't think my eyes would let me get another license and can't afford a car and gas and insurance even if I could.

afraid of the two medical problems..but I truly get fearful of all medical things so this is normal that I get full of anxiety and cry over things like this until they are fixed. (it's the not knowing that gets me this way)

afraid at night being alone in this house in this neighborhood.  again, probably more than I should be but I can watch drugs being sold day and night out my window .

I'm afraid in general because this sort of stuff stays in my head day and night. I haven't read even a sentence in my books, I can't concentrate. I keep waiting for David to come home from work.

I look around my room at all my books and clothes and think of packing them up and think of boxes still in the garage that I could never empty because this is not my house and there was no room for more.  I wonder if I can even keep my books and things in boxes because I don't know where I will be... my son isn't working due to machine shops closing up where he lives in Ft Lauderdale and they are close to loosing their home... they are doing the "refinancing" thing with the bank right now so that should help, but they can't continue to live on one income and I couldn't contribute enough to matter, not to mention their house isn't designed to house another person, at least not more then very short term without possessions.  I probably own a half a garage full of boxes (maybe 5 ft high) once all packed up.. a bed and desk one free standing book shelves and my computer.. that's it.  I can pack but I don't know where to go. (I will be here a few months before this occurs)

David is supposed to come home. 

My brother and David were my "security".. now they are both dead within 4 months of each other.  My brother beat the odds of a number of years so I am glad he did that much but I wish he wasn't dead. 

David never retired, he was 72 he never enjoyed his savings.  We were just beginning to get out of the house and go to movies.  We were leaning heavily on each other over my brother and it helped us both. He did love his job and the people he worked with, but he hadn't enjoyed his older years yet and he could have afforded to. (nothing grand but he could have retired and relaxed and even some traveling if he wanted to)  

sorry to ramble I thought if I wrote as things were going thru my mind it would help.. maybe it does, but it's not stopping me from crying as I write... 

Thank you all for your concern.  I especially appreciate it because I know, without a doubt, that all concerns come from people that all have their own problems to deal with... I hope  you troubles are few not too terribly serious and not long lasting.

The funeral is Sunday and the burial Monday. David will be buried in the same grave as my brother (he had gotten a double deep one) They'll be together again..but they left me here alone.  I wish I could stop crying long enough to be mad at them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A nightmare..

David went to work and died today... i don't know what will happen next.  His relatives are here to find papers and do what needs to be done... I don't know what will happen with me.. i'll let you know when I do... I am in shock at the moment.

Biography of Niv

Niv: The Authorized Biography of David Niven  by Graham Lord

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition (November 18, 2004)
ISBN-10: 031232863X

From Publishers Weekly
How do you write a biography of a film star whose memoirs are already considered among the best the genre has to offer? Lord, former editor of London's Sunday Express, begins by pointing out that the tales in Niven's books were frequently exaggerated, if not outright fiction, then sets out to gently correct the record. The real story is filled with absorbing details, particularly when Lord recounts the young Niven's struggle to make it in Hollywood and his varied military career during WWII. But as the "authorized" biographer of Niven (1910–1983), Lord is often overly sympathetic to the actor, most notably when the subject turns to "Niv's" second marriage to a Swedish model. Lord and his interviewees repeatedly attack the wife for alcoholism, extramarital affairs and an allegedly ridiculous desire to be an actress, while shrugging off Niven's constant womanizing and heavy drinking. Other unsavory aspects of his personality, like his treatment of his book publishers, are similarly glossed over. It's worth noting, however, that an overwhelming number of Niven's films are described as among his worst; even The Pink Panther is surprisingly dismissed as "dreadfully unfunny." Yet such harsh critical assessments do little to diminish Niven in his biographer's eyes, and the star's reputation as a lovable raconteur remains untarnished, even by the truth. Photos.

Before I talk about this book I need to fess up about something...

Recently, I read my first book by Charles Dickens.  I liked it, but it took me longer to read than other books, due to the language.  So, from there I wanted something to take me back to the present language and I read "the Parade's Gone By", which is about the making of silent movies.  Upon finishing that I thought:  I need a real get away book.. so I thought I would read The Time Traveler's Wife to escape.  *my head is hanging*.. I read the first 18 pages.  If you've read the book you know how it goes:  Henry.  Clare.  Henry.  Clare.  Henry.    Clare.  I was not being drawn in to this and wondered if this is how the whole book was going to read, and so I grabbed a bunch of pages and scanned them in my brain.  They went:  Henry.  Clare.  Henry.  Clare.   Henry.  Clare.

I closed the book and put it back in the tbr pile in hope that it's just "me".  I will try it again another time, but right now.. it was driving me nuts and was not sucking me in to a world of wonderful characters and story. 

So.. that's the confession.  I know MANY love that book... but it's not for me.  I will however give it a second try at another time, because I do know that sometimes things don't grab you just because of how you think or feel at the moment.

Ok.. now.. on to the book I picked up after that one! (not a fantasy)

David Niven, or Niv as he was known to his friends.  This is not an autobiography because his is out of print (The Moons a Balloon), and used copies seem to begin at 35.00, but an "authorized biography" by Graham Lord.

I have always liked David Niven's movies.  I can't say I've seen them all, but the ones I have seen I can say that he's a fine actor.  You are drawn to him and his character, his outgoing personality and of course to his wonderful British accent.

Now, about the book, I will say that I read it.. I didn't put it down nor set it aside, but I do wish I had been able to have his autobiography instead of his biography.

For one thing, if the author says the name of Niven's autobiography once, he says it a million times! (not exaggerating either! Not a page goes by that he doesn't refer to it)  Mr. Lord also seems driven to name every female that David Niven every slept with.. and trust me.. it's many!   Though he doesn't go into detail (thank gawd) he can't let the smallest chance that Niven slept with "so and so" get by him... it got old .

Somehow, in between ladies, he did get to mention Niv's youth and how he broke into movies, his marriages, and his kids.  

He also managed weave the movies into the book nicely and didn't spend too much time on individual movies, which was really done well; I didn't feel this was a list of movies and movie descriptions like in other books I've seen.

Something I was interested to see if it got mentioned was a favorite movie of mine that Mr Niven was a part of (though not the main star) called Murder By Death.  It is an absolutely comical movie spoof of old detectives, and a murder that happens at a house at "2 -2 Twain"  (that alone get a smile from me).  Anyway, that particular movie was made in 1976, his character was named Dick Charleston (a take off on Nick Charles) and the woman who played his wife was Maggie Smith.  Her character was named Dora Charleston (Nora Charles).  Together they spoofed  The Thin Man series of Nick and Nora with their dog Asta.  Anyway, I was shocked to find out that David Niven was 65 yrs old when he made that movie! That blew me away.  And beautiful Maggie Smith was a mere 32 yrs old.. and even with that huge age difference between Niv and Maggie.. they looked great together!

In some respects, there were some things that made me not think Mr Niven was the greatest of guys.. yet as you read the entire book you also realize that, although Niv was known as being a happy fellow all the time, that much of his life (married life) was actually pretty sad.  There seems to have been two David Niven's.  The happy carefree David..  and the man who's life you really wouldn't want for yourself.  Once all told, even with things in the book that irked me somewhat, David Niven, like anyone else, had a life story to be told.  He was a fine actor who made the best of his life that he could, and was lucky enough to have loved the work he did.

This book was good.  Not great, but good.  I did tire of the "conquests" because they were so "in my face" , and Mr Lord did like to mention any money that Niven made and compare it to what it would be equal to when he wrote the book, which made little sense to me, I couldn't understand his obsessing on what it would be equal to "today".. it didn't matter!... ah well,  I did get information about Niven that I didn't know, so  I did enjoy the book. 

If you like to read celebrity biographies or autobiographies and want to read about David Niven I hope you are luckier than I was and can get your hands on the book written by Mr Niven titled The Moon is a Balloon.   But this was by no means a bad book.. and should you want to read it and can overlook the quirks of the author, well.. all the better!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Walter Koenig, aka: Pavel Chekov, aka: Alfred Bester

Who, out there, can believe so many years have gone by, since Star Trek was on television that Walter Koenig (the beloved Chekov of Star Trek fame) is now 73 yrs old!


How can the cute little Russian from Star Trek be 73???  When did this happen?  Where did time go??!!!  ARGH!!!

I first met Walter at a convention in Florida in the 80's; over the years I've accumulated a number of Walter's signatures..

  Here's one from Star Trek

..  he began when he was only 31  yrs. old.. such a baby, and such a baby face!


(above: is a great little script Walter wrote. It's a chat between "Walter Koenig and Pavel Chekov" I actually saw him read this aloud. He went in and out of the character of Chekov so fast it was incredible! I could swear his face changed from Walter to Chekov too!)

Then there was Babylon 5

( he played Alfred Bester from 1994-1998)


... He even signed a photo I took myself.

(unknown year)(he wrote: We've got to stop meeting like this!)

Anyway.. I found out that Walter has signed to do the Chiller Autograph Show that I go to here in New Jersey in April.

So if he shows up at the Chiller Show, the last thing I need is another autograph.... but.. but...  I've been thinking (*big mistake*) and wondering.. I mean, I don't have his signature on a book. 

But.. do I need one?

Of course not.

Will I get one?

Mmmmmmm, maaaaybeeeee...  :o)

I have three of Walters books. His autobiography: Warped Factors: A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe (actually, I just sent for it) , Buck Alice (a yellowing paperback) and this one:


I adore this book. With THIS cover.  I smile just looking at it. 

At first glance you might be able to tell that there is something not quite right with this book.

.. at second glance, you have to admit it.  It's not lookin' good.  It is beginning to look like I used the "warp" tool on it in my paint program.  But I didn't ! The only *warping* is done by Walter .. in the book!

And then there's the third glance.  Yuck!  Many pages are stuck together and if you turn the pages many are ready to break away from the spine of the book. It's stiff and brittle.  It's been quite some time since I found this book like this and I have no idea how the book managed to get horribly wet but you are viewing the result of it. 

Yet I can't part with it... it brings smiles to my face, I can't possibly toss it out.  This is the book where I learned just how funny Walter's mind is.  It made me like him all that much more.  I mean, after all,... he's Chekov! I adored his character!  But that was just a character.  Then I met him... several times over a number of years.  He was nice. I like him as a person.  He used to come out and walk around the dealers rooms and anyone could approach him and he always responded with a smile and conversation.

So I thought, and thought, and then searched and searched for the exact copy of the above book.  There was another addition released but I liked this cover.  I've found one or two of them.. on ebay and I don't have paypal, so that's out.  When I find them else where they are generally the other cover or "no photo" and no ISBN number that I can tell it's the same book.. or, it's not listed as being in good condition. *sigh*

Let me tell you that this book is a journal Walter wrote while filming Star Trek the Motion Picture.. Now that you know that, let me give you a small excerpt page 28 (once I unstuck the pages!)

3:54 pm        Back on the set.  We're all gathered on the bridge now, around the conn for the group shots.  While we wait for the Rinky-Dinks, Baby Juniors and K-Tens (lights) to be positioned, Bill illustrates dramatically the myriad problems he foresees in climbing in and out of his command seat.  Everyone quietly stands and watches as Bill takes center stage and pleads his case; animated gestures, irresistible eye contact, moving oratory.  In all, very theatrical, very convincing.  Those who must contend with the changes he seeks nod hypnotically !  We all not hypnotically. We're all his audience.

There are reasons why some actors are leading men, get the girl and captain starships... even ten years later.. while others eternally push buttons.  For the first time that eerie feeling of familiarity for times bygone begins to creep up my neck.  Despite myself, the words escape my lips: My God, nothing has changed!" DeForest is standing nearby. Out looks hold for a moment. I can't be sure he is sharing my experience.  I would like to believe he is.  It's lonely being the only one who understands such profound concepts.

5:30 pm         I've finished with another costume fitting and am on my way home.  I've only been at the studio for six hours, but I feel exhausted.  I feel like I've been on the film for months.  It would seem that in recreating my role I am also recreating the circumstances surrounding it.  In our series days I was always drained after a long day at Paramount, and now, back at Paramount, back on the bridge, back as Chekov, I'm back being tired.  Somebody should do a treatise on the psycho-neurotic nature of fatigue.  Oh, well, nothing scheduled for Friday.  I have all day tomorrow to rest up from my memories.

I have some time before the show so I will continue to search for a copy that is in good condition and I can afford.  But if I don't get it.. I'll survive lol.. it's not like I don't have Walter's autograph!

Before I forget, I want to leave some links to Walters Books:

Chekov's Enterprise  

Warped Factors: A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe     Autobiograpy.

Buck Alice And the Actor-robot  

Raver (comic book. one of three)     yes, Walter wrote a comic book! A trilogy no less.         

I guess you'd say Walter has been on my mind since I saw he was coming to NJ in April.. then Carl, with his Sci Fi Experience, started mentioning the Star Trek franchise, and I found that I couldn't get Walter off of my mind... I sure hope he doesn't cancel for any reason, I'd love to see him again.  I did see him 3 or 4 yrs ago when he did this same show.  I remember I was helping Kevin McCarthy and while having a short break I went over to Walter.  I hadn't seen him in years, so my approach was expected.. "I don't know if you remember me, but I was a friend of DeForest and Carolyn's".  I was shocked by his answer, "Sure I remember you!".. and we proceeded to talk about De and past times.

All this Trek talk made me remember all those years ago when I met first met Walter in Florida. 

And then again at other conventions.  (numerous conventions!)

I remember being shocked when Walter was rushed to a hospital and had quadruple heart bypass surgery.  And I remember the first time I saw him after that surgery... he was quite thin.. but that special smile was still there.

I also remembered the time DeForest brought me on the set when they were making Star Trek 6.  That was the ONLY time I met Pavel Chekov.. in uniform!

We were both much younger back then.  

We didn't have gray hair back then.. or many wrinkles! 

Walter is one of the good guys, and he always appreciates his fans.

If you are interested, here are a few links to find out more about Walter..

News about Walter!  (very interesting!)


Wikipedia Biography

Appearances:  Florida      New Jersey       Canada         Spain

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Porn

A Happy package arrived in my mail.  Actually, 2 happy packages!

One from Amazon containing 3 books.  The other from SQT containing an ARC copy of The 13th Reality (book II):The Hunt for Dark Infinity, which is due out on March 4th.

I can only add one name to the Accused list this week, and that would be to SQT for The 13th Reality.  The other three books are my own fault.  Well, ... almost.  I have to admit that the purchase of this particular copy of A Christmas Carol went on my wish list due to a number of reviews.  None of which I can remember at the moment.

I am happy to say, as I did a quick flip thru each of these books they gave me the feeling that I will enjoy them all.

A Christmas Carol is filled with great illustrations!  And I love all the movies of Scrooge and have wanted to read this for some time.  Now that I have read The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens I knew I'd like reading this one.

The Maureen O'Hara book, 'Tis Herself,  I sent for this right after seeing the movie (for the umpteenth time) A Quiet Man.  It had reminded me of how much I loved the movies she made, and pushed me do a search to see if any books were out about her. I was surprised to find this one.

Over many years I have seen a number of books about the Little Rascals, and I guess because I am on this kick of reading about old movie making, that I finally decided to get one.  Once I made that decision I was also hoping that there would be photo's in the book of my friend Dorothy who played a little girl with banana curls named Echo in the Little Rascals.  I am pleased to say I saw several photo's when I did a quick flip thru the book of Dorothy!  Unfortunately most of the book is a list of each movie/ tv series they made and each contains a small synopsis. I can't say I like that sort of book.  It does  have a few chapters in the beginning and in the end though that I will enjoy, and then I will choose the episodes Dorothy de Borba was in and read those and a few selected others, but to read summary after summary is no fun.  I am glad I got it already though, just for the photo's inside!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Picture can be Worth 1,000 Words....

From the Australia Fires....



Friday, February 13, 2009

The Parade's Gone By


The Parade's Gone By  by: Kevin Brownlow

Paperback: 577 pages
Publisher: University of California Press (June 23, 1976)
ISBN-10: 0520030680

Passing in review here is the silent film era and Mr. Brownlow has done a splendid job of vitalizing the past through interviews and personal research. Most of this material has never seen print before and the filmophile will go wild over reminiscences such as Joseph Henabery's (who assisted Griffith on Intolerance). And the snaps: Garbo who loved watching talking pictures in reverse but refused to view them the right way. . . Fairbanks intimidated by the Robin Hood castle - "You expect me to jump across that?" . . .Buster Keaton who broke his neck doing his own stunts and didn't realize it until ten years later. . . the chaos that was the original Ben Hur - "we'll paint muscles on you!" . . . Irving Thalberg arguing with Von Stroheim over a foot fetishist scene - "You are a footage fetishist" . . . Producers, directors, writers, actors, stuntmen, the last of the pioneers, each with his own marvelous recollections. A fine splice of a fantastic life and with the 261 photographs well worth the price.??

First let me tell you if you go to Amazon to check on this book I did NOT pay the price it shows!! I sent for a used copy in excellent condition!

So... another chunkster!  577 pages!  ... and the book was published in: 1976!  Gosh, in 1976 my sons were a mere 10 and 8 yrs old!... and now they are in their 40's!  Be careful. Don't blink. Not only will the Parade go by but Life will pass you by too!

Here are just a few of the 261 photo's in the book..


As you can probably tell, this book is all about the Silent Movies.  It talks mostly about people no one would know  unless you studied this period of time in the movies.  Many people who became directors and cameramen and stuntmen with no special education or studies to 'qualify" them.. it was more learn as you go, but with a lot of hidden talent in each person. 

Back then it was very possible to start on a lowly job and work your way up to a well paid position within a short amount to time.

You have to realize that most of the movies back then were what they called "one reeler's"  Many could be made in one weeks time, and so if you ran a camera or worked at cutting the film, you were busy all the time, and so became an expert in record time.

This is not a book for everyone.  It is a book for someone wanting to know more than the average person about the making of silent movies .  I am guessing but I would bet that this book would be required reading for those studying the history of movies.

It was very well written.   Let's face it, I didn't know most of the names that were talked about but yet it was made interesting enough that I kept on reading!  

It's a book that belongs in the library of anyone deep into film, and especially the silent film era.  It's not what I would call a thrilling book to read.. but it was very informative and interesting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For No Reason ...

Have you even done something for no reason at all?  Or, "just because"?  Or, "it just seemed right at the time"?

I did that.

Not just once but twice this week. *gasp!*

The first thing I did, I have truly never done before.  I wrote to the President.  Yes.. Obama.  Don't ask me why.. I honestly don't know.  I just found myself sitting in front of the computer writing a letter.  When I was done, I didn't hesitate putting it into an envelope and addressing it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC.

Do I expect a response?   Hell no!  So, why did I write?  Damn if I know!

While I sat shaking my head the next day over writing to the President of the United States (not that anyone can't do the same thing.. it's just not me!), I was reading blogs (nothing new there lol) when I read something about a publishing company.

Now, most know I have written a fantasy trilogy.  Ya'll also know I'm not a "writer", and where the story came from I will never know, but I did it.  I know it's not publish worthy.. not even close !  But for the hell of it, ONCE I did send out a query and never heard back.  Well.. I did it again.  

Go ahead.. ask why when I know it's not publish worthy.  My response is the same as it was with the letter to the President.  I don't know, and I expect no response from either, but I did it anyway..... so tell me why?  I had no previous thoughts of doing either thing... and yet I did. 

Just because I could?

It just seemed right at the time?

I have no reason at all !...

This is beginning to drive me crazy...Sooooo.. I need to ask you.. have you ever done something ,out of the ordinary, and not know why??  If so, tell me about it.. I want to try to understand what makes this sort of thing happen, and I KNOW I'm not alone!  So.. talk to me!  Either in comments or as a post.. I wanna know why!  I need to know before I do something  even stupider !

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Asa. Asa. Asa

I'm more than sorry to be doing this again so quickly... but I adored Philip Carey, and I can't let the news of his passing go unnoticed. 

Philip Carey, best known as Asa Buchanan on One Life to Live dies.

He did mean with the best of villains.


(above: Asa, Clint and Bo 1980's)


Cowboy Carey with Peter Graves

  One of just many Cowboys Philip Carey Played.

Maybe it was because he stood 6'4" that he impressed me long before he became Asa Buchanan.  He was a big cowboy!   And handsome to boot!  Add to the mix that he had a fairly distinctive voice.     Sadly we won't be seeing or hearing him anymore, except in reruns now.

I can't believe he's gone, though I knew he had lung cancer and knew why he had left the soap opera, he just seems indestructible. 

While searching some photo's of him I came across the picture above of him when he first joined One life to Live and I discovered that Clint Ritchie, who played Clint Buchanan had also passed away this past January 31 of a heart attack.  (He was  70 yrs old)

So that makes us reach the magical number 3 that seems to happen with both deaths and bad news.  Here's hoping there are no more for some time to come.

Here's a good link to a report on Philip Carey's career and death.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Another Loss

James Whitmore  dies at age 87. 

I couldn't not mention the loss of yet another of our elder actors.  I take many deep breaths and sigh when we loose talented people and wonder if we will ever see the likes of each of them again...

    LOS ANGELES -- James Whitmore, the many-faceted character actor who delivered strong performances in movies, television and especially the theater with his popular one-man shows about Harry Truman, Will Rogers and Theodore Roosevelt, died Friday, his son said. He was 87.

Thanks to Kelly I have this meme...
The Letter Meme

I decided to play along and do the "Letter Meme". I have seen it around and decided to let Kelly to give me a letter. The idea is to name ten things that you love that start with that letter. Kelly gave me the letter 'S', so here goes nothin'..

1. Star Trek:    I'm guessing this is why Kelly gave me "S" lol   Way before I ever met DeForest I loved Star Trek.  I watched them all, right up to and including Enterprise, but the originals will always remain my favorites.

2. Sandwiches:     I love sandwiches!  probably because I love bread, and because it means I don't have to cook!!)

3. Spagetti  Sauce:    well.. there's a part of me that's Italian.. I think it's my stomach! I've always love tomatoes and especially Spagetti Sauce.  I remember when my kids were young, my neighbor directly across the street from me was Italian.  Every Sunday she made a big pot of Spagetti Sauce..and every Sunday I would go over to chit chat and she'd fill a cup with her sauce and tell me to let her know how it was!  Oh yeah!  I eat sauce even with out the spagetti!!

4. Stars:     movie stars that is.  Most know that I love movies and enjoy collecting autographs so this puts the actors high on the list.

5. Saddle:    the western saddle, the way they creak and love the smell of them.

6. Sale:     'Nuff said....who doesn't love a sale???

7. Stones:    Stone houses and stone walls, trees, wood, and stone.. love 'em love 'em

8. Story, Storybooks, Storytellers:    big surprise for this one huh?  love books so it follows that i'd love the stories they tell, the books and the authors of those books!

9. Stuffing:    I have to confess:  I love my own turkey stuffing! yeah!

10. Sneakers:     When I was young I loved boots... now it's sneakers!  the older you get the more comfortable you want to be!

Hey, Kelly!  I did it!... and it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be lol.. but I did it!!!  Anyone else wanna do this?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

TCM: Leading up to the Oscars


This past Saturday was an all day long love affair with TCM. (it often is).  They have been running many Oscar winning movies leading up to Oscar day.  Saturday was the day of the epics! sheesh............  we are talking looooong movies!  But ya know what?.. I had no problem watching them!  I never say a movie is "too long", never.  In the case of the two I watched the other day, well.. the full stories just would not be told if they hadn't made them so long.   So beautiful.   So dramatic.  Fabulous movies all of them!

Lawrence of Arabia  (3  hr 36 min) 1962 Oscar Winner
There's no getting around a simple, basic truth: watching Lawrence of Arabia in any home-video format represents a compromise. There's no better way to appreciate this epic biographical adventure than to see it projected in 70 millimeter onto a huge theater screen. That caveat aside, David Lean's masterful "desert classic" is still enjoyable on the small screen, especially if viewed in widescreen format. (If your only option is to view a "pan & scan" version, it's best not to bother; this is a film for which the widescreen format is utterly mandatory.) Peter O'Toole gives a star-making performance as T.E. Lawrence, the eccentric British officer who united the desert tribes of Arabia against the Turks during World War I. Lean orchestrates sweeping battle sequences and breathtaking action, but the film is really about the adventures and trials that transform Lawrence into a legendary man of the desert. Lean traces this transformation on a vast canvas of awesome physicality; no other movie has captured the expanse of the desert with such scope and grandeur. Equally important is the psychology of Lawrence, who remains an enigma even as we grasp his identification with the desert. Perhaps the greatest triumph of this landmark film is that Lean has conveyed the romance, danger, and allure of the desert with such physical and emotional power. It's a film about a man who leads one life but is irresistibly drawn to another, where his greatness and mystery are allowed to flourish in equal measure.


A young Peter O'Toole, little known to the movie world but very much known as  a stage actor.. until this movie.  He certainly paid  his dues making this movie!

He got to play along with the ever so gorgeous Omar Sharif  .. heat be still !

I also watched  Cleopatra    (3 hr 12 min) 1963 Oscar winner essential video
This 1963 extravaganza, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, is certainly an epic historical drama with all the elements: elaborate sets, intricate costuming, name actors, a factual basis, and an overlong script (just over four hours). But the acting is well performed and the backdrops are lush, making this a film worth seeing. Elizabeth Taylor is Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen who seduces Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) in a political move to hold onto her empire. When Caesar is killed in the Roman Senate, Cleopatra looks to Marc Antony (Richard Burton) for his support, practically enslaving him with her wiles. Taylor is dramatic in her role, at times overly serious, but stunning nonetheless as the woman described as "well versed in the natural sciences and mathematics. She speaks seven languages proficiently. Were she not a woman one would consider her to be an intellectual." While the film does seem to drag at moments, it deserves the four Oscars it won for cinematography, art direction-set direction, costumes, and special effects. Don't confuse this Cleopatra with the 1934 version directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Claudette Colbert.


Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton... I need not say another word!


Today the movies being shown are of a more normal length... and later they are showing one of my absolute favorites that I never miss if I can help it!... 3:30 today my favorite John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara movie is on "A Quiet Man" (1952)


Directed by the best western director ever, John Ford.  I cannot watch this movie and not want to rush right off to see Ireland!  The scenery Ford captured has got to be some of the best ever in a movie. essential video
Blarney and bliss, mixed in equal proportions. John Wayne plays an American boxer who returns to the Emerald Isle, his native land. What he finds there is a fiery prospective spouse (Maureen O'Hara) and a country greener than any Ireland seen before or since--it's no surprise The Quiet Man won an Oscar for cinematography. It also won an Oscar for John Ford's direction, his fourth such award. The film was a deeply personal project for Ford (whose birth name was Sean Aloysius O'Fearna), and he lavished all of his affection for the Irish landscape and Irish people on this film. He also stages perhaps the greatest donnybrook in the history of movies, an epic fistfight between Wayne and the truculent Victor McLaglen--that's Ford's brother, Francis, as the elderly man on his deathbed who miraculously revives when he hears word of the dustup. Barry Fitzgerald, the original Irish elf, gets the movie's biggest laugh when he walks into the newlyweds' bedroom the morning after their wedding, and spots a broken bed. The look on his face says everything. The Quiet Man isn't the real Ireland, but as a delicious never-never land of Ford's imagination, it will do very nicely.

   (doesn't she look angelic? LOL LOL.. sorry,  you have to see the movie to appreciate that face!)

One of the most famous scenes in the movie is when John Wayne drags Maureen O'Hara all the way home, with half of the town following and watching!

Oh forbid I should get away with just enjoying "free movies"...

..while looking for pics to show you I found out that Maureen O'Hara wrote her Autobiography!  (dang! another book on the wish list!! sigh..) It's called

'Tis Herself: an Autobiography

I won't even try to suggest a John Wayne book.. I looked in Amazon and there are more than 20 books about him, so you're on your own if you want one on him!

What a weekend of movies !  And the Oscars are just around the corner.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Old Curiosity Shop

Whew, finally, I finished the book!

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

 Hardcover: 624 pages

Publisher: Everyman's Library (August 1, 1995)

ISBN-10: 0679443738 Review
The sound of Little Nell clattering hurriedly over cobblestones immediately sets the stage by bringing to mind the narrow and dangerous streets of Victorian London. No fewer than 20 performers are called upon to conjure up the Dickensian world of wanderers, ne'er-do-wells, con artists, and kind Samaritans--and each performance is excellent. Tom Courtenay plays the sadistic Quilp, "the ugliest dwarf that could be seen anywhere for a penny" with magnificent sarcastic glee, and Teresa Gallagher's silvery, childlike voice is ideally suited for the role of the angelic Little Nell.

Nell is on her way home to the dusty shop where she and her grandfather live a rather mysterious life. The old man disappears every night--visiting gambling dens with the naive hope of winning a fortune. Instead he sinks deeper and deeper into debt. Enter Daniel Quilp, moneylender, who becomes furious upon learning that the grandfather is a pauper and will never be able to repay his tremendous debt. Quilp seizes the curiosity shop and begins making lecherous overtures to Nell, so she and her grandfather steal away one morning to seek their fortunes elsewhere. But the demonic dwarf is never far behind.

If, as they say, much of Dickens writing is based on parts of his life... he certainly met some unforgettable characters along the way.

This is the first book I have ever read by Charles Dickens.  Most might wonder why I chose a lesser known book of his to be my first time read.  To be honest I did it on purpose.  I love the old movies (and most newer versions too) of Dickens writings.  Needless to say I love love love A Christmas Carol .. all movie versions, with David Copperfield running a close tie.  Oliver Twist, and NIcholas Nickleby, and A Tale of Two Cities are some others.  I call them Period Pieces and just love the language and the characters he manages to create and the costumes.  So, having seen most of the movies at one time or another I thought that if I were to try READING Dickens that I would try something I hadn't seen a movie of.  I wanted to find out if I could see the characters he made without a visual help.   But I was concerned.  I am not the brightest bulb in the package and I worried that I would not follow his story well because of his wording.  

I was only partially right.  The language in which he writes is "foreign" to my mind, and so... I had to read slower... much slower.  But low and behold the characters came to me!

Here is a sample excerpt as Dickens describes a, not so nice, character, named Quilp on page 22 of The Old Curiosity Shop...

The child was closely followed by an elderly man of remarkably hard features and forbidding aspect, and so low in stature as to be quite a dwarf, though his head and face were large enough for the body of a giant.  His black eyes were restless, sly and cunning; his mouth and chin, bristly with the stubble of a coarse hard beard; and his complexion was one of that kind which never looks clean or wholesome.  But what added most to the grotesque expression of his face, was a ghastly smile, which appearing to be the mere result of habit and to have no connection with any mirthful or complacent feeling, constantly revealed the few discolored fangs that were yet scattered in his mouth, and gave him the aspect of a panting dog.  His dress consisted of a large high-crowned hat,  a worn dark suit, a pair of capacious shoes, and a dirty white neckerchief sufficiently limp and crumpled to disclose the greater portion of his wiry throat.  Such hair as he had, was of a grizzled black, cut short and straight upon his temples, and hanging in a frowzy fringe about his ears,  His hands, which were of a rough coarse grain, were very dirty; his finger[nails were crooked, long and yellow.

Now, I defy anyone to read that and tell my you don't get a very clear picture of the dwarf Quilp!

Many a time I had to go back and reread a paragraph I had just read, to be sure I understood what he wrote,  but .. I read on.

The story is not one of high adventure and does not render the book one in which you are rushing back to every free moment you have, but still.. it had captured me... and each time, upon lifting the book, I would totally want to be reading it.   Even the way it fit in my hands, being 5 x 8 in size and the smooth silkiness of each of the high grade pages, just felt right.  I felt different.  If there be one thing that bothers me, it's not the book itself... it's the fact that I am not quick to read the 'language" and understand it fast enough to be reading at my normal speed.. and even my normal speed isn't fast.  

Dickens writes this book dividing up the characters and thus when they are parted you read a few chapters of one person; possibly Nell and her grandfather, and then a few chapters on another character, possibly Quilp.

I am not one to "study" for long periods of time, otherwise I totally forget what I was supposed to remember.  And so it was with this book.  Thankfully the chapters are quite short which allowed me the luxury of stopping often when one ended and another about to begin.

I can't say I know why I continued to read this book.  I mean, there was surely a story there.  Most likely typical of a Dickens story, being dark , and dreary, and oft times sad.  But I think the same language that made me read slow and even reread whole pages was part of the reason I kept reading.  Actually, I found I did want to know just where this story was taking me.. and so I read the whole thing!  And yep, I'm proud of myself! 

I don't remember if I read any 'classics' while in school or not, if I did I'm guessing they didn't impress me enough to remember them.  I have a vague memory of the Pit and the Pendulum and maybe Le Miserable.  ... maybe.

This certainly isn't a book for everyone... unless you already like Dickens, and then I would say you might want to add this book to others you have already read.

The book has many characters that, as his other books, are quite unforgettable.  Dickens takes you through their lives in much detail and before ending the book lets you know exactly what happened to anyone mentioned in the story. 

I am glad I read this book.. and glad to have it in my library of books that I will be keeping.  I do have a copy of David Copperfield that I will attempt at a later time.  Two Dickens in a row would be a bit much for me, but I think now I will enjoy that one even more.   Yes, I already know the old movie about David Copperfield and even recently watched a BBC presentation of David Copperfield.  Now that I am more accustomed to his style of writing (though I doubt I will read it any faster!) I think I will enjoy a second book by Dickens.

Friday, February 06, 2009

In the News..

More on Phelps..

It seems Michael's troubles are just beginning.. along with this photo below, which is making the rounds on every piece of news available, Kellogg has dropped Michael . They may be the first, but quite likely not the last to drop him because of this photo.

It's brought me to a bunch of mixed feelings.  Not to mention I wonder how much the person who took this photo got paid for it.  What is the cost of someone's reputation these days? 

It's mixed feeling from many it seems.  Some will stick to their guns and say smoking marijuana is no big deal (those would be the ones smoking themselves).  And others are outright enraged. 

While I don't smoke marijuana and never have I have great pain in my heart thinking that this is "normal behavior" for so many people.  It's sad to me that smoking marijuana is considered "fun" and "relaxing" and "enjoyable" and "an enhancement for joy"  (to name a few).. it's sad because those things can be felt without "help".  At the same time I do see the medicinal use for people in dire pain.  But of course, as with so many other things, give an inch and take a mile.. or ten miles.

I am torn. I'd rather never see or know of anyone smoking marijuana, but that will never happen.  Will Michael  tire of it one day and not smoke anymore?  Or will he smoke it all of his life?  No one knows, not even Michael.

One thing I have to agree on.. I'd rather be seeing him like this..

.. and I hope for him that his life is happy.  Obviously, money is not his answer to happiness.


Today was the first day that:  all was quiet on the "baby front"

but from:   part of what we all know is going on....

She once told another neighbor that she wanted 12 children. "She told me that all of her kids were through in vitro, and I said 'Gosh, how can you afford that and go to school [college] at the same time?'" Yolanda Garcia told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "And she said it's because she got paid for it."

It was also reported that all 14 children are from the same donor, a neighbor, who unsuccessfully asked her to stop using his sperm after he got married recently.

An ethical debate is raging in America about why so many embryos were implanted in a woman aged under 35, particularly if the doctor or clinic involved knew that she already had six children. She only started to attend the Kaiser Permanente clinic, where the children were born, when she was three months pregnant and her mother said she does not know where the IVF procedure was performed.

Attention has also focused on the cost for a single mother of raising 14 children. Her parents filed for bankruptcy with liabilities of nearly $1 million last year, but Mrs Suleman said she has now paid her debts.

Her Palestinian-born husband, the children's grandfather, has said he intends to return to a contractor's job in Iraq as a translator to help pay for their upbringing. Ms Suleman, who worked as a psychiatric assistant until starting her family, is on welfare payments.

If nothing else (and I doubt that) this will become a book.


I had an "awwww, moment"  when I saw on the news that the temperatures in Florida had gotten so cold that Manatees were huddling for warmth!

I did further read that this happens every winter where they seem to gather near nuclear power plants where run off waters are warmer.  But this year they have much higher counts of Manatees .


Maybe BooBoo and Peanutchew are dreaming of one of those "big fishy's" to eat?! ya think?  (they are probably doing the same thing the Manatees are: huddling to keep warm!)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

T.V. News

Well.. I am still reading Dickens so I still don't have a book review!   It's slow going but, Dickens' writing is making sure I stick with it!


There have been two things taking over the news lately.

One is about snow in London.  Yes, we are actually getting news from across the pond!  First it was just that they have had more snow than they have had in over twenty years and brought the city nearly to a halt.  Then there was the man skiing up and down the sidewalks of London. 

And today.. well today they show that the folks in London made a 500 pound snowball and rolled it down a hill! lol..  Love it when adults act like kids!  But I think we all would do something like that if we (who have snow every year) didn't, and then suddenly we did!   It has been enjoyable seeing "news" that hasn't depressed the heck out of me!!

The second thing that is on the news every day and every night is the lady who had 8 babies. 

It bothers me that they talk about things before they know the entire story and so, people like myself start forming opinions based on partial information. 

I do have to say though.. on the dribble of information they are telling us, that it does bother me that a young lady, who is not married, and has 6 children under the age of 8 would have eggs put into her to have more babies, even if it wasn't supposed to be this many.

True, it's not my life and not my problem, but since it's shoved in my face day after day I do find it hard to think that this lone woman can both financially and emotionally take care of 14 children all under 8 yrs old.    It bothers me that some doctor saw fit to put 8 live eggs into an unwed mother of 6 !!  (No, I don't mean to say one "has to be married", but there is no talk of a boyfriend/ mate living with and helping this young lady.. so no matter what her work is.. it is still only one income.)

I realize that having 8 babies at once is going to hit the news.  But I can't say I like hearing about it day after day.  A follow up is welcome.. just not everyday.

Oh and after all of that.. we had another 3 inches of snow yesterday.  It was strange that it only amounted to 3 inches since it snowed all day long!  It was peaceful watching it... especially when it wasn't making me run out to shovel!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Year of the Chunkster??

January is gone, gone, gone.... where does time go?

I took a look at my first month of reading.. I'm certainly no speed reader lol.. but I did finish six books, at close to 2,500 pages total and I'm close to half way through the Dickens novel of The Old Curiosity Shop that is 555 pages!!  Heck, those numbers shock me!  (not others who read a whole lot more than I do, but had you told me years ago I would read 101 books last year  and I've read 6 and 1/2 books in one month is year I'd call you crazy.)  I will admit though, and memory not being what one would call "sharp", that I did begin the first read of January sometime in December.. that was Edgar Sawtelle and the book was a big one at 562 pages, add to that it was a very slow read.  In The Woods was 429 pgs, In Spite of Myself 656 pgs and the book I am reading now is 555 pgs.

I've slowed down this month because, it seems, that a lot of the books I have here to read are over 400 pages each!  While that would not deter a fast reader, it sure puts a dent in my reading quickly! 

So, what comes in my mail on Saturday?.. these...

The Shadow of the Wind: the smallest book at 486 pages.

Jonathan Strouds new book Heroes of the Valley: 481 pages

and last, but most impressive, Drood:  this one comes in at 775 pages! (can we say yikes!)

And that's not all!  Take a real good look at my TBR pile!

(take note that there are very few book so thin that you can't read the titles!)

On the top shelf, besides the three news ones, the Tracy Hickman trilogy is all fairly big.  Mystic Quest 452 pgs, Mystic Warrior 417 pgs and Mystic Empire 390.

On the middle shelf we have Name of the Wind at 661 pages, then the two that are deceiving in looks by Catherynne M Valente that weigh in at 482 and 516 pgs.  Labyrinth is 509 and Kept 451 pages. (*sigh*)

More in the middle are: The Hound of Rowan at 414 and The Second Siege at 476.  East by Edith Patton is a mere 503 pgs.  Grimpow sneaks in with 481 pages followed by The Mysterious Benedict Society with 485.  The Black Jewels takes the prize since it is three books in one and has 1204 pages.

Lawheads books start off the bottom shelf at 480 for Hood and 449 for Scarlet.  Some of the Biographies and Autobiographies (though not at big as Christopher Plummers) are over 400 pgs tool  Me (Katharine Hepburn) is 418 while Jack is 438.  The Time Travelers Wife slides in there with 546 pages, and David Copperfield is a whopping 861, while Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, is 635.

The last of the tbr pile is no better than the beginning...

The Magicians and Mrs Quent comes in at 498.   The Star Machine is 553, while The Parade's Gone By is 577.   Jonathan Strange which I began but never finished is 782 pages of which I did get to page 247.  Then the last too biggies.... Searching for John Ford is 848 heavy pages and the Complete Sherlock Holmes is the largest of all my books waiting to be read at 1123 pages!

So.. this is the year of the chunksters for me!... Reading will go quite a bit slower and I certainly don't see me reading more books than I did last year..... however,  other than my fingers getting sore from holding opening fat books... I have some awfully good reading sitting here just waiting for me!

Oh, and before I go I don't want to forget to give "credit" to Susan who's review of Drood pushed me over the edge to send for it.  It's her fault!