Monday, July 30, 2007
Ooh-whee! It won’t be long now! I feel like singing one of John Denver’s signature songs:
All my bags are packed (well, not quite, but some are shipped!)
I’m ready to go…
I have a serious case of race horse nerves, standing inside a starting gate all a’twitter, being expected to wait until the “fence” swings open so I can run.
That’s really all this is. I’m ready. I’m willing. I’m able. And I wish I were already doing it so I could have it over with and have the rest of the weekend to relax and visit and hug folks. THAT’LL be MY “rose wreath!”
Writers love to write but many – if not most – are not as crazy about public speaking. My goal is to ENJOY it -- sooner rather than later, and the more I do it, the better I will like it and the sooner I will know how to relax and just share and have fun. I’m “rehearsing” sharing and having fun during these final days. It comes naturally to me one-on-one… so it’s definitely not beyond my grasp.
I’m a pretty good public speaker –just a nervous one (well-disguised from the audience, they tell me). I have a real fear of looking ridiculous, which is why I’m “photogenic” in front of a camera – I’d much rather try to “look the part” than duck, weave, frown, throw my hand up between myself and a camera, or upchuck. “Notoriety” is not native to me. I’d rather be in the shadows creating something dynamite to read rather than trying to look like dynamite myself.
It’s a pickle!
But I’m gathering up all my resources – emotional, physical, spiritual – and am going through with it. I keep my commitments – even the nutty ones – and boy was this a nutty one!
God bless you, Adam and Gary, for your faith in me. I won’t let you down. This presentation has been several months in the making and the memories were several decades in the living… so LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
On other fronts…
Sorry, I can see no other fronts right now. I am FOCUSED to the point of DISTRACTION – HA HA HA. Sounds like an oxymoron to me!
I could sing, walk, sleep to distract myself.
Gads, I’m waaaayyyy more unsettled about this than I was about having major surgery last year! That’s because in major surgery I didn’t have to do anything but show up! In this instance, I have to show up and be a “star.” Gulp… What is wrong with this picture? How did being friends with DeForest Kelley translate into giving speeches about him? Wasn’t the book SUFFICIENT?!
I will love it. I will love it. I will love it. I will love it. (Please note repeated affirmation... Fake it till you make it.)
All the people in Vegas in that room want to hear about De. Where else can I go and find this many people hanging on every word? NOWHERE!!!! It’s the perfect place to be – with other De fans! Might even sell some books. (Now there's an afterthought that encourages me!)
I will share. I will love it. During and after. God will see me through it.
Maybe I’ll take some Depends along, just in case….
Sunday, July 29, 2007
And here's a wonderfully "controversial" article: Is There Sex in Heaven?
Ponder some imponderables today, the way you did when you were a kid. It makes the world seem so fresh and alive and new again!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
What an amazing, positive-energy day it was yesterday at work!! It's quite nice nearly all the time at On-Hold Concepts (http://www.onholdconcepts.com/), but yesterday it seemed everyone on staff pulled out all the stops and went on a "blessing campaign." The ambiance was AMAZING -- truly like heaven on earth! I don’t know what caused it, but may it live long and prosper! It was just GREAT! I wonder if Chuck put something into the water or the ventilation system!
No. Just kidding. That wasn't it. I think the Holy Spirit just moved in and took over for the day!Holy Spirit: Hello!? Calling all Christians! I'm supposed to be wherever you are every day! See what happens when you give Me free rein?"
Holy Spirit: Ain't it GREAT!?!
Holy Spirit and Me (in unison) Amazing grace... how sweet the sound...
When “shalom” (peace as only God can provide peace by His presence, power and blessing) moves in, all of the lesser-vibration emotions (anything this side of agape love) move out! It’s an amazing feeling. Truly. Like heaven on earth!
I can now spill a few beans. Bobbie tells me that what she and Joel sent me need not be kept a secret from Alison, because she didn't receive the same thing. In fact, I think Alison's is a humorous item, based on something she wrote in her blog. (I have no clue! I'm not privy to what it is.)
Therefore I shall now shout it from the rooftops: I am wearing a dove necklace from the Bobsteins! I just came home from Target with a gold chain for it. It will be on display around my neck at the convention! I LOVE IT!
It's a gold dove -- with small die-cut "holes" in it; the filigree look(?) (if I'm using that term properly; my dictionary is in a box in the garage until I sell the condo and move into a duplex) . But within those die cut spaces lie a wonderful surprise: When the dove is tipped slightly, the word "shalom," in Hebrew, can be read!
I'm going to wear it just above my cross necklace (which is on another gold chain) to church and to the convention and everywhere else I go. I'm not big on wearing jewelry -- considering myself pretty much a Plain Jane -- but these are now my two favorite pieces of jewelry and I am going to show them off!
THANK YOU AGAIN, JOEL AND BOBBIE! You really know how to reach me where I live!
Two weeks from now at this time, God willing, I will be at the Hilton and my "trial by fire" -- er, excuse me, I mean, my wonderful opportunity to share De with his fans -- will be over and I will be visiting non-stop with several friends I haven't seen in years and with a few friends I haven't even properly met yet -- as in, being in the same room with them: Alison, Billie Rae, Marge Duff. Marge and I were in the same auditorium at Valley Forge watching De, and I took her photo on stage with him and surprised her with it afterward via mail... but we will meet for the first time in Vegas. She sent me a recent picture and is all grown up -- and very lovely, to boot!
Gadzooks… I’m excited… and believing that my brain will “work on all thrusters” from the time I arrive to the time I speak and all weekend as I interface with “the gang” – Trek fans from EVERYWHERE!
Helen Schofield from New Zealand is sending me a stuffed kiwi. She says New Zealand natives are called kiwis and for her it’s appropriate right now… as she is “another flightless bird” who wishes she could make it to the convention! awwww… that is so sweet, and so sad … I will send her a videotape if I get one… or an earlier one, if I don’t.
We really need an angel to step up and offer to videotape my appearance. I will ask Phil to use his camera, but hate to do that. Billie Rae says she’ll run it for me but then she won’t be able to really relax and enjoy the hour.. she’ll be “working”… I don’t want to do that to her. But if I sit still on a stool on stage we could use a tripod and leave it running in one place…
This morning at 8 a.m. I drove to Maple Creek to clean Aunt Tod's room while she was downstairs at breakfast. She doesn't have the energy right now (in addition to being underweight and on dialysis, she is battling a painful urinary tract infection) so I offered to come over and spruce up her room, vacuum, and file away a stack of documents she has received (or brought with her from Oregon) since arriving here three months ago. It was a great pleasure to transform her cluttered habitat into a clean, ordered environment.
Then I ran to Wal-Mart and Safeway for her (she didn't feel like going along) and will transport her to dialysis and back this afternoon and evening because I can tell she's too compromised to have to sit and wait downstairs up to 45 minutes for the shuttle to arrive. (The shuttle rules dictate that passengers be waiting up to 45 minutes so the shuttle driver doesn't have to wait for anyone. That's hard enough to do when a person is middle-aged and healthy; for a 94 year old, underweight, dialysis-dependent woman, it's very difficult.) I told her to sleep until 2:45 and I will call and pick her up at 3:00 to deliver her across the street for dialysis for her 3:15 appointment. Then I'll go get her at 6:15 and have her home in time for a late dinner before she goes upstairs...
She is very appreciative, the way De was. It's always such a blessing to bless others, but when they bless you right back with such sweet verbal appreciation, it feels almost self-serving to help them! Believe me, there have been others who, no matter how much you do for them, it's never acknowledged, never enough and always lacking somehow. I pray for and honor home health care and other personal care assistants who do this day in and day out with all kinds of people, because it is a very difficult road to hoe when the people you serve are angry, critical, or just plain mean-spirited. Not all oldsters are sweet grannies and grampies, you know. Some are sour apples and grumpies! I am fortunate to have only had to serve ONE of the crab apples to date... The staff at Maple Creek loves my aunt and treats her very well. They treat everyone very well, or we wouldn't have placed her there, but AGAIN, I realize how tremendously difficult it can be to treat mean-spirited, angry people the way God would have us treat them... Caregivers don't make much money, so it truly has to be a calling for those who elect to stay with it. They are earth angels, for sure...
Please keep my friend from Vegas, Betty Mosher, in your prayers. She is a breast cancer survivor for many years now. Recently the doctor found a small, new cancer spot in her cecum (a part of her colon) and will be going after that soon. She also has gall stones or some other blockage (doctor doesn't think that one is cancer) making her uncomfortable, so she is hoping they can go after both culprits at the same time during one surgery. Let's pray. God knows what and where the issues are and He definitely wants her healthy. Let's pray that she will realize that her future (now and eternally) is in His Hands and that He wants to heal her...
My sister is in Cle Elum this weekend for her 35th class reunion! OUCH! That means my 40th is just two years away. Where does the time go?
Ciao for now!
That's all for now!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Now I can't tell you what it is right now, because in the main box were two small boxes -- one for me and one for Alison -- and if she is destined to receive the same gift, I don't want to spoil the surprise. But it is sufficient to say I couldn't be more tickled. I'm treasuring mine from now until eternity probably. It was sent to calm my nerves and surround me with "shalom" (God's peace) before, during and after the upcoming convention appearance, and has already begun its ministry.
I love it! Thanks, you two!
No blog last night because Thursday was crafts night at church and I was invited to show people how to make greeting cards using stamps, appliques, stickers, and such. My table was quickly surrounded by people ages 8 to 68 (I'm guessing -- I didn't actually ask ages) and we spent 90 minutes stamping, embossing, cutting, pasting, and generally having a great time. I dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, which was a major mistake, because it was HOT in there. Not just warm, but HOT, and I was doing a lot of moving around, which made it even hotter. But hey, we all survived and I'll know better next time... whenever next time is.
I've been selected to be the "greeting card teacher" at the women's retreat in late September at Cannon Beach, Oregon, so will be taking my stuff (lots and lots of it) down there with me then. Perhaps not quite ALL of it, though, because there seems to be a run on about ten to fifteen stamps and no use of the others... so I can save some weight by taking only the most popular stamp when I do this again.
At the conclusion of our evening, the ladies surrounded me and prayed for my knee (which I tweaked a little a couple days ago) and for enormous success for my presentation in Vegas. Oh, that reminds me! Two of these ladies want to "preview" the presentation and see what they think about it before the event. They are both self-proclaimed "Trekkies" (enjoyed TREK as kids) and so are interested in what I'm going to be saying. They're also a good way to "pre-test" the thing.... So I'll send it off to them and wait to hear back....
Off to work for the day! Be well! Love y'all!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
It occurred to this thick cranium last night while sitting in a recliner that the only person expecting perfection out of me in Vegas is me! The nerves I'm feeling right now are completely self-generated (or serpent-generated: "Has God really said ---?" The same old "doubt God" ploy that Satan loves to interject into any worthwhile endeavor). Any nervous feeling of inadequacy about my ability to talk about my association with my dear friends Carolyn and De Kelley is BOGUS! If I'm not an expert in this field, I'm an expert in NO field!
The story I'll be telling is my story, and is as indelible inside me as the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer. So for me to be this nervous about it is nuts.
Okay, it's not nuts. It's perfectly natural for most of us to be nervous before a live presentation. Eighty percent of men have said they would prefer to go into battle and face death rather than engage in public speaking. Women probably fear it a little less because once we get going (talking) -- well, talking comes pretty naturally to us and our "audience" becomes our friend the moment we relax and "get real"!
But what I have to remember is that the people in that auditorium don't really give a fig about the messenger or how well she orates; they want me to relax (so they can) and be myself (so they can experience the message, not the messenger) and just share what it was like to know DeForest Kelley "up close and personal."
I CAN DO THIS!
I'm sure I will still have moments of almost-panic between now and when I step onto that stage -- realizing that this will be the largest crowd ever assembled to hear me (some of whom will be sitting there in very expensive reserved seating just waiting for the next speakers because they aren't Original Series fans. Maybe they'll be intrigued too, if I do it right... scratch that -- when I do it right! -- and BECOME Original Series fans, or at least DeForest Kelley fans. That would be terrific!)
Alison keeps telling me to just keep remembering to breathe normally between now and then. And I am remembering to unclench my fists whenever I find them clenched. Then I stop whatever I'm doing or thinking until I feel relaxed -- truly relaxed. These "exercises" keep reminding me, "There is no tiger in the room and there will be no tigers in the auditorium in Vegas..."
And I pray. "Lord, Adam and Gary [Creation's owners] invited me to this convention, and to the last one in Sacramento. I didn't ask for the opportunity, as I did in Seattle the first time. They asked me. So that tells me they believe I do a good job of remembering the De Kelley that they and I knew. And if I have been invited, twice, it may well be Your will for me too! You must believe I'm ready to start ministering to this audience -- and to any others that seek me out! This is an opportunity, and perhaps a test of my willingness to step out in faith and be a good servant while addressing De's fans. De reflected you, LORD. It's my turn. Please identify to me before the convention any words I intend to speak that were not written under your authority and instead give me what You would have me say to these precious people as I share a brief history of De, Carolyn and me. I am expecting the Holy Spirit to be with me and to help me along in the way, as I have been helped during the creation of the presentation. In Jesus' name I pray, amen!"
If God is with me -- and boy howdy, does it ever feel He is! -- all is ALREADY well at the convention (He sees all life from beginning to end!)!!!
That knowledge gives me peace...
Your prayers are helping! Please keep lifting them! THANK YOU!!!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I received rare approval from Creation to videotape my appearance in Las Vegas for personal, private, archival use. Problem is, I don't own a DVD or VHS video camera!
If you’re coming to Vegas and have a DVD or VHS camcorder, please let me know. I would like to make someone I can rely on my “designated videographer.” Please let me know if you are willing and able! I will try to get you a close-to-front-row seat for the hour…
P.S. If you do become the videographer, please bring a tripod, too. 40 minutes of hand-holding a video camera, no matter how small, results in serious shaking, guaranteed!
Update: Bummer! Terry Rioux, De's biographer, won't be coming to the convention after all. She says the university and her horses have her tied down that weekend. Crapola! I thought my six year Terry drought was about to come to an end. Guess not! Grumble, grumble... To those of you who were looking forward to meeting her, I'm sorry! She be a professor now and has responsibilities... and a horse mom... which is probably even more hobbling...
It is what it is. Drat and boogers... (I just made up that expletive -- and know I should send it back where it came from, sight unseen, but it expresses my disappointment quite well, somehow...)
Nada! Am continuing to listen to the presentation and read along. You would think that, since it's my own story, I shouldn't have to do this... but given just thirty minutes, I have to mold it so that it is sure to follow the 30-year path adequately without throwing anyone for a loop .. that's what makes it dicey. So I keep at it... Besides, I want to know it so well as written that I won't have to refer to anything other than an outline to keep me on-track. That takes time.
So... back I go...
Slept ten hours last night. Working and rehearsing places me into bed early these days!
Hope you love this as much as I did when you click on it. If so, pass it along to others!
Friday, July 20, 2007
Magid at Creation tells me I am scheduled to speak from 10:05 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on August 11th on the main stage at the STAR TREK Convention. So now you know. And I know. And will be able to RELAX (or collapse, as the case may be) afterward for the rest of the day! I’m glad it will be early in the day. (It might make for a sleepless night, but hey… conventions are like that, yeah, they are!) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Weather Report – cool and wet for many days in a row. We are LOVING IT! I just hope some of this wonderful wetness is getting to eastern Washington where it has been so hot and dry. There is grave fire danger in the forested areas; we are three inches shy in precipitation to date.
Despite the best-laid plans of mice and men, I didn’t get to sleep before midnight again last night. I was careful not to drink tea or caffeine yesterday afternoon, and was very weary at work as a result all afternoon, so caffeine wasn’t a factor. The major factor was sitting at the PC emailing folks who are coming to the convention or flying over to stay with me after it, which was great… and ordering a couple things at my CafePress.com store (DeForest Station) for the convention. That’s where I stumbled -- started looking at what other CaféPress stores are offering and lost myself to curiosity for an hour or so (searched on DeForest, and Kelley, and Robert Kennedy, and Faith, and Jesus, and such as that…) I almost ordered a few things from the RF Kennedy and Jesus stores, but changed my mind (came to my senses) and realized these are luxuries, not necessities, and I can put them on a wish list for Christmas. The prices are low enough that someone could actually get them without undue hardship to a checkbook. I took notes and will make a list. My family, every year, asks me what I want for Christmas and I can never think of anything other than Subway gift cards and phone cards. (Those are very important staples, you see!) Now I will prepare to answer the question for six months and give those who inquire a smile and an actual list – probably very short, but at least a list! -- instead of frustration. “She actually has a list this year! Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!” If they dance, it won’t be a surprise!
Bobbie Bobstein says I should reclaim my guitar from the garage (purchased in Mexico forty years ago for $10 by my dad for me) and she will tune it and play some folk songs on it when she visits! Maybe I will get the music sheet for A SIMPLE COUNTRY DOCTOR from its creator and have her sing that… It’s a great tribute to De, written the weekend he passed away. You can find the lyrics here: http://www.ovff.org/pegasus/songs/simple-country-doctor.html . You may even be able to hear it on the Internet, but I’m not sure about that. The creator of the song sent me a copy on DVD so I could use it as an intro, but it’s about five minutes long, and I have never had that much leeway for an intro. Wish I did. It’s exceptionally good. It won a folk song award (Pegasus?) a few years after it was written, and should have! I wish De could’ve heard it. I think it would touch him deeply, to realize the depth and breadth of the legacy he left. Not bad for a man who said, when asked what he thought his legacy would be: “That’s almost something for someone else to answer, but my first thought is, I hope they will remember! There’s nothing deader than a dead actor, you know!” As far as I know, that’s the only proclamation he ever missed by a mile! It may be true of most actors, but it’s certainly not true of De Kelley.
If Aunt Tod doesn’t need me tomorrow morning to take her shopping, I will probably have lunch with Della at Kings Manor. I left my TREK Magazine with her (the one with my interview in it) so she could read and then share it with her daughter (a big Trek/De fan), so she is expecting me to come back one of these weekends to have lunch again and retrieve it. If it’s cool still, I may stay and play Hangman with her and other ladies and gents who want that kind of challenge to their brain matter. They love it when I stay to play because of my extensive (writer’s) vocabulary and knowledge of critters, the Bible, geography within the U.S., movie and song titles, and other categories I can use to try to “hang” them. Rarely do I succeed, because Della still has a mind like a steel trap. She and a couple others usually figure out the word or phrase…
I also use fun/funny hints during Hangman. One hint, e.g., was “Biblical Prophet, He Was a Bullfrog… That threw them for a loop! “A bullfrog prophet?” one lady thoughtfully inquired. “Wasn’t that during the plagues against Egypt?!” I just about wet myself laughing! (Answer: Jeremiah.) That way we get laughs when the answer is finally discovered.
I put the word “douche” up there one time with the hint, “Internal sprucer upper” or something like that. Strangely enough, Della figured it out right away but was embarrassed that she may have guessed wrong and whispered (with a strategically-cupped hand to her mouth), “Douche?” I do have to remember that the older generation doesn’t talk about personal matters with the alacrity of more recent generations! (Who am I kidding? Neither do I! That’s precisely why I threw it in there – to wake ‘em up and make ‘em wonder if I finally had lost all sense of decorum!) A little shock to the system is just what a brain needs to wake up and smell the coffee. After “douche,” I didn’t stump anyone on anything all afternoon, no matter how difficult or unlikely the word! My elderly friends were fully alert, awake and aware; as McCoy would say, “working on all thrusters”!
Let’s face it, YOU’RE more awake now that I’ve shared this anecdote, aren’t you? It’s amazing what a picayune, unexpected “moral outrage attack” can do to one’s mental abilities! It certainly sits me bold upright!
One of my first jobs as a young adult was working in a veterinary hospital. (I was a very innocent young lady – my Dad never told me an off-color joke until I was 24!) At the veterinary hospital, I blushed red for three months straight. The vets would joke about artificially inseminating dogs while actively gathering sperm from a male and then depositing it into a female (believe me, you don’t want to know; don’t ask!). I would just about die of acute embarrassment, not necessarily by the process itself but by their description of the process! And Max would mangle lovely standards (songs) to fit the veterinary profession, ditties like, “They asked me how I knew… raccoon shit was blue… and to them I said … you have been misled, raccoon shit is red” and “colder than the ring around a polar bear’s ass, COLD!”
Yes, it’s true: I have Max Flockerzie and Pete Yantorni to thank for the lop-sided “blessing” that I almost never blush anymore! If you can survive working in a critter care facility with two veterinarian cut-ups (pun intended), you will not blush again, either. Your blood will learn to stay out of your face and chest. I don’t know how, but it will.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I'm shipping stuff to Vegas, my publisher is shipping stuff to Vegas, and comrades from afar are emailing to say, "See you soon!" -- so this means only one thing: the Las Vegas convention is --- there is no lingering doubt at all -- "perilously close."
Here's the link to what we're all getting into: http://www.creationent.com/cal/stlv.htm
You have to scroll waaaaaaayyyyy down the page to find the blurb about me. This should prove once and for all that I ain't no celebrity. So relax and treat me no differently than you would your best friend in the whole wide world who's scared to death -- pray for me! -- and all will be well! HA HA HA HA HA ! ! ! !
Today at lunch I re-recorded what I plan to say, because there was plenty of time at work between clients to "revise and edit." As mentioned before, I never "finish" a presentation -- I "surrender" it when the time comes. It isn't about perfection, though. It's about wanting to give the attendees the best time possible... and what I consider "the best time possible" changes from day to day and minute to minute!
I've been re-reading my book and noting things that haven't been brought out before at a convention. And it's worthy, but it won't "fit" the road map that will work in a 30 minute time frame. Since Creation can't tell me yet whether I'll have 30 minutes or 60, I'm planning for 30, expecting questions for 10 or 15, and hoping I come up with enough good responses and reminiscences (keyed by fans' questions) that the entire hour will fly by before anyone notices. That's my plan.
I did notice that some of my best stuff from earlier appearances isn't in this one. But those moments happened as a result of fans' questions -- they weren't in my presentations, they were brought to it by the hearts and questions of fans. It's the interaction that elicits the best stuff, so I want to allow plenty of time for that. That's somewhat risky, but it's also the best way to truly interface with De's fans. He did it. I want to kind of stick to the same format he used: Talk a little, read a little, then open it up for questions, comments, sharing of memories...
21 DAYS... by Marge's count. (I think she's flying in a day earlier.) My appearance is Saturday the 11th -- don't know the time yet... That's 23 days, the way I count (this being Thursday night).
23 days... Eeeeeeeeegaaaaaaaaddddddddddssssssssssssssss.
Plenty of time to tinker with the blueprint and figure out what needs saying and what can be left for fans to discover in the books (Terry's bio of De and mine)...
The Trek-motif On-Hold Concepts (www.onholdconcepts.com) post cards look terrific! I got a thousand of them, so will see if all my buddies will hold a handful during my appearance so that when I mention them from the stage, any business owner in the audience who wants one won't have to go far to get one...
Wait'll you see them. They are SO COOL! (blush) I wrote and designed them... so I shouldn't be bragging, BUT I AM!!!
Have a great evening. Emails are coming in here by the bucket load tonight --- (ding, ding, ding)
so I need to respond to them...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The basic problem is that I'm shy, so even in normal surroundings I rarely look at who I'm chatting with except for a few brief nanoseconds at a time. So at the convention I will have to pick out a few faces in the crowd (ideally people I know, as long as they aren't nervous for me) and concentrate on them! Enough of my friends and e-mail pals are attending that, if they spread out and sit all over the place, I will be able to look like I'm looking at everybody... That would be a very nice "special effect."
I will really, really try to "get over" the trauma of standing up there as quickly as possible because I want to look back on it having ENJOYED it, not just having SURVIVED it! :)
I can imagine myself being completely at ease and natural up there, so I know what it should look like -- kinda like De looked when he was appearing at a convention. (Truth be known, he looked a little nervous himself at first a time or two, so I'm accrediting these pre-show jitters to the perfectly natural tendency to compare public speaking with being positioned before a firing squad or atop a gallows trap door without the courtesy of a hood...)
The good news is that Bobbie Bobstein (the relocated New Yawker who now lives in North Carolina) has decided that she will fly to Washington a few days after the convention and spend ten days with me, encompassing two weekends. And Alison may end up flying to my place, too. Alison is definitely coming to the convention; she's just wavering back and forth on whether to fly to Washington with me afterward or to return to England and sell her flat first... WILL SOMEONE IN ENGLAND PLEASE BUY HER FLAT before the convention?! That would settle the matter once and for all! That way these two ladies could keep each other company while I'm at work weekdays. I have plenty to keep both of them entertained. I must have two solid weeks' worth of De movies and TV episodes (not counting anything having to do with STAR TREK), so they will be happier'n two peas in a pod with a week-day comrade to share that bounty and joy with... So I'm hoping it works out that they can both be here at the same time at least part of the time. I would feel less like a lousy host leaving for work in the morning... Being a working gal is the pits at times. Thank God I love my job!
Three hours later. I just got off the phone with Bobbie. Yes, we talked for three hours, coast to coast. We are going to have the BEST time when she gets here! WAHOO!!!!!
I need to hit the hay now. Bobbie said so. And Bobbie KNOWS 'cause I got silly toward the end of our marathon chat. (That's always a dead giveaway. Let this be fair warning to those of you heading to the Vegas convention. When you spend serious time with me, you will pay for it along about midnight! Silliness will ensue and that will be your cue: Kris is about to go tilt, totally sober! I can't wait!)
You take care and I'll dedicate myself to a seriously long blog tomorrow night.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Last week the Los Angeles Times released a front-page story on a Southern California medical practitioner. Dr. Prem Reddy is a cardiologist who has already purchased eight hospitals and hopes to add a further six in the next few months. The buying spree, claims the Times report, is making his company one of the largest hospital owners in the State and placing it in a position to challenge industry leaders.
The difference in Reddy's hospitals, however, appears to consist in a shift in the philosophy of medical care. The enterprise has proven very profitable for Dr. Reddy but at what cost to the adaptation of American values? According to the article, Dr. Reddy is unapologetic in providing health care commensurate with what a patient can afford. "Why should (everybody) expect the same medical treatment?" he asks. Evidently medicine, like so many other things, has here become simply a matter of making money and is no longer about compassion for ailing humanity.
The brother of our Lord Jesus, the apostle James once wrote an amazing thing (2:1-6):
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor."
As I continued to read the article, I learned that Dr. Reddy is originally from Nellore in India. At that point the disturbing pieces came together for me. Of course, he would think in terms of a human hierarchy with some people more deserving than others. The inequalities of the caste system are pervasive in Indian society.
America, by contrast, was founded on Christian ideals which affirm equality among peoples. As part of God's creation we are all equally deserving: black and white, rich and poor, celebrity or unknown, men and women.
Dr. Reddy's worldview, steeped in Hindu thought, is a reminder and perhaps a wake-up call that the very foundations of our society cannot be taken for granted and that the elements we espouse are under constant threat from our pluralistic age. So while it may be fashionable today to be tolerant of every conceivable ideology, that very acquiescence may result in the unraveling of American culture as we have known it.
Human equality is an American ideal only because it is first and foremost a Christian dogma. The concept that all men are created equal is actually foreign to most people in the world and is conspicuously absent from the ideologies of Hinduism and Islam.
For the Nations, Pastor Alan
Monday, July 16, 2007
3:33 has been popping up on the clock a lot lately – which is "fascinating. Why?
3:33 was my “De time” on the clock because of 333 Montgomery (http://www.neverpleadguilty.com/tv/tv.htm) and because it seems he or Carolyn often called me during the 3:33 time period in the afternoon when I worked at Warner Bros. (De portrayed real-life criminal defense attorney Jake Ehrlich in a pilot called 333 Montgomery. Jake Ehrlich chose De to play him after he saw De do a scene. He said, "That's me! That's me, exactly!"
I know, I know – 3:33 pops up twice a day, like (ha ha) clockwork, but usually I am utterly oblivious to time or do not refer to a clock often enough that any particular time is "locked in" that often. The past two weeks almost every time I look at the clock, it’s 3:33 (a.m. or p.m.) !!!
If feels mighty Twilight Zone-y to me!
I think this is heaven’s way of telling me the way is clear for me to present in Vegas in exactly the way I have in mind, which may seem pretty far off-course to folks in Sin City. But I know it’s what I am supposed to be doing with my life and I will do it there. Not in a heavy-handed way at all; just in passing. Those who are supposed to be influenced by it will be – the Holy Spirit will nudge them onto a new path, one they in no way anticipated when they elected to come hear me speak about De (in the same way I was nudged when I least expected it).
I’m reading Ann Spangler’s new book PRAYING THE NAMES OF JESUS. It’s even better than her earlier volume, PRAYING THE NAMES OF GOD. (She is becoming a better writer.) Quite often in this volume she will write something so profound that I want to post here verbatim, but it would be a violation of copyright to the extent I want to do it, so I suggest you get the book and read it for yourself. I promise you it will be worth every nickel you pay for it.
When you get it, turn to page 256 and 257 and tell me if a light bulb doesn't go off over your head and make you think, "Oh my gosh! That's it exactly!"
'Nuf said. You need to get the book. Truly. You do. You won't be sorry or I will buy it back from you -- after you have read it all the way through. But then you have to send it to me so I can give it to someone else living on a limited income who will be mightily blessed by it...
Alison's email address isn't working -- at least, it isn't working when I send her emails. She gave me a private address, and I'm waiting to see if that one works. The phone hasn't rung tonight, so I suspect that one didn't get back to her, either...
Veddy odd! Alison, I would like to give you my phone number right now, but then everybody and their brother would have it and that might not be good. I don't have a clue how many people read this blog...
Email Bobbie Bobstein. She can give it to you!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
A dear, dear former co-worker of mine has been diagnosed with Stage 4 leukemia. Her name is Jennifer Cuellar and if you knew her, you would be on your knees right now in intercession for her. She is a delightful, dedicated, hard-working woman, 27 years old, who works at Church For All Nations, where I served Pastor Ken Ecker for a year and a half just nine months ago. Jennifer occupied the cubicle next to me. She is a fantastic woman of God. You can access more information about her and send her prayers at this website URL: http://jennifercuellar.homeip.net/.
Please, please, please stop what you are doing right now and pray for a bone marrow donor and complete and total remission and healing for her.
So this is urgent... very urgent... let's overwhelm heaven with our prayers morning, noon and night!
Jenn's friend Kate Stinson says the doctors are talking about 16 weeks of chemotherapy treatment... so please continue keep cards, letters or emails coming to her. Notes mean a great deal, even when they are from people Jenn doesn't know. (Imagine what notes and emails from all over the world would do for you if you were the one in her hospital bed.) Be a blessing! Be a friend to a lovely, effervescent friend of mine! PLEASE AND THANK YOU! You can send Jennifer cards to this address:
c/o Kate Stinson
6320 90th Street Court East
Puyallup WA 98371
or email Jenn c/o Kate at Kate_Stinson@hotmail.com
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I will have some post cards and flyers, but very few books, so please don't expect to buy them there!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Those of you from warmer climes will probably laugh. It's 88 here today and will be close to 100 tomorrow, which will be a record for this time of year ( a record for ANY time of year up here).
Most of us in the Pacific Northwest don't have air conditioning because our summer temperatures are so rarely air-conditioner-necessary. I'm sitting in front of a 26" fan that's going full blast. All doors and windows are open, so I'm comfortable, but if any of these variables change (close a door, close a window, turn the fan down a notch, put on anything other than shorts and a t-shirt), I will be mizable immediately...
The temperature in my office is going to be scorching tomorrow. My side of the building is all glass and we face the sun most of the day, so it's hard to keep the place cool. I'm not looking forward to it.
I will be happy in three days when we are back to our usual 78 degrees. Very happy.
There isn't anything to report for today, so guess I'll give you a break for the evening!
Ciao for now!
How about something like this for your next adventure?
Monday, July 9, 2007
This is my father’s natal day. He woulda been eighty had he lived this long. Gads, I can’t even imagine…
Val Barrett emailed today saying “we basically introverted types” can fake gregariousness very well when necessary. I had no idea Val was an introvert but, now that I think of it, I should have known! We faked each other out royally in school; we were both aspiring actors in a bygone era, which looks –- to the outside world -- to be the least self-conscious/shy career on the planet!
It turns out that there are a lot of very shy people in acting and in other arts, and that makes sense to me. Acting is a shy person’s only outlet to “act out” (step out and be brave; act in ways they wouldn’t otherwise) and many writers begin because one-on-one casual conversation is so often superficial and unrewarding (“How are you?” “Fine, fine… Hot today, isn’t it?” “Sure is…”) -– or because they couldn’t get a word in edgewise in their boisterous families and took up writing as an outlet.
Almost everyone seeks to interact and communicate, but shy people have to find other ways to do it. So they act, or sing, or dance, or present puppet shows, or dress up like clowns, or in some other way take on a more interactive persona than the one they inhabit by nature or nurture.
I feel completely comfortable with small children and with elderly people – mostly because they are the people whose masks either don’t yet exist (wee ones) or because they’re too old and tired to keep wearing the mask they wore most of their lives. I love honest interaction and don’t find it (in abundance) in daily conversation. (Partly my own fault, too.)
I wear a “gregarious” mask to get by at work and in other public places. It isn’t who I am, but it’s who I was as a kid before the “correction of flaws” lessons began to settle in and take up residency in my psyche. Mom and Dad said I was their “sparkler” early on – their own little Shirley Temple, happy to dance and jump and yell and be the center of attention in the family – TOO happy, they decided, so they set about to “tame” me. They curtailed the essential me (unskillfully, causing unintentional damage along the way) and made me start to doubt the personality God gave me. Voila! Instant shy! (And as a side effect, instant author! They didn’t shut me up-- they just drove me to pen and paper the minute I learned how to string words together! My salvation!) Just add self-doubt to a sparkler and watch any “on-air” / out-in-public" personality traits implode !
Others wear other masks. It’s artificial and superficial, living that way, and not terribly rewarding. But many, if not most, of us do it anyway, I think…
I will have to wear a “gregarious persona” mask in Vegas or I could never do it! My mantra is: “I will be okay once I get on the platform.” I always am. It’s just the first few moments that cause such premeditated agony for months beforehand. I’m a helluvan actress so you won’t see much evidence of shyness. But stand in my shoes and feel my legs quiver and there will be no doubt!!!
Adam asked me to appear. I said I would. I’ve been kicking myself and thanking my God ever since. So yes, I’m pretty schizophrenic about the whole thing!
If I didn’t love De’s fans so much – he has the best fans on the planet – I wouldn’t have enough willpower to say yes to Vegas and follow through with it. Vegas is HUGE -- the big-time in TrekLand! If it didn't intimidate me, I would have myself committed right here and right now!
I just have to remember De’s wise counsel to Brent Spiner when he asked De what to do at his first convention.
“Just love them…”
I do and I will!
My TREK-themed post card for the convention is approved here at work. I’m just waiting for final approval of the transporter photo from my contact at CBS. When I get that, we will print and be ready to roll in Vegas! WAHOO!
Carolyn Kelley sent me a poem in calligraphy once. I still have it somewhere in my Kelley treasures but it just came to my mind this afternoon while I was out dead-heading the roses.
I don't know if she wrote it, but it resonates in my soul... Here it is:
Love will fly if held too lightly.
Love will die if held too tightly.
Lightly... tightly... how do I know
Whether I'm killing or letting you go?
Just something to ponder along with all life's other imponderables...
Senorita Invierno is back in action with a report of her pilgrimage. You should logon... Here's a particularly apt link to get you started somewhere in the middle of her pilgrimage. Don't miss it, De fans!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
This being 7/7/07 (seven is the number of completion in the Bible), I have spent much of the day reading God's Word and praying. I even fasted until noon. I had planned to fast from 7:07 a.m. to 7:07 p.m. but ended up going to King's Manor to fulfill my promise to Della to come see her, and she had a ticket in her purse for a complimentary meal. There went my resolve! Eighteen hours of a fast is better than no fast at all, I reckon... (For a person with a passion for food, an eighteen hour fast is pert-near a miracle!)
I am at the tail end of -- let's call it "introspection week." It began to happen as I was reading the Bible this morning (even though I read it daily). This morning it was a sustained reading in Charles Stanley's Life Principals Bible that brought so much clarification, realization and peace. And two email pals told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was being too hard on myself -- trying to "earn" righteousness, perhaps, rather than understanding that righteousness is not earnable, but is a free gift of God in Christ Jesus. I "know" that intellectually, but emotionally I'm always trying to surprise and bless God as well, finding ways of acknowledging "I know You're out there constantly blessing me... Here's something unexpected for YOU!"
I'm at the stage of my relationship with God that I was at one point earlier on with De and Carolyn, I think: the point at which I was striving to "prove" to them my trustworthiness and my worthiness to be called a friend. (Did you know Jesus calls us His friends? I cried so hard when I learned that, and still do when we sing a particular song at church!) The pattern in both relationships is the same (that's because I'm the common denominator in both relationships, the "broken" one!). And in both cases, it was already a "done deal": it was the other party that fostered and prospered the relationship even while I was back-pedaling and wondering, "What's going on here? Why me? Are you sure?!"
As soon as I noticed the similarities this morning, I started to relax and smile at my bubble-headedness. I let so much water go under the bridge before I realized I was enjoying a real friendship with the Kelleys. I simply couldn't believe that they weren't "just being kind to a fan" for so many years. In fact, if De hadn't called me in to care for him during his last months, I would still, to this day, believe that the Kelleys were "just being kind to a fan," despite all the evidence to the contrary, which is so apparent (in retrospect) throughout my book. (I am one thick chick! See what a low sense of self-esteem can do to a person's paradigm?) But De kept telling everyone at the hospital and other places we went that I was their friend... and when I met the Kelleys' other friends, while Terry was researching her bio of De, they told me the Kelleys had always talked about me to them as being their friend...
There is something about the word friend that is almost sacred to me. I have lots and lots of acquaintances, but I'm not the kind of person who has a lot of friends. (My doing, not theirs.) I guess I don't trust people enough to allow many people to get that close to me. You would never know this to meet me -- I'm not anti-social or mean-spirited in the least, but I am a recovering wallflower, remember! I can act gregarious and super-social, but it's not native to me at all! Portraying "outgoing" is the only way I can survive, but it's stressful to me -- I get back home generally feeling exhausted! Three days in Vegas will knock me for a loop for a week. My employer will get back a limp dish rag -- but a very happy one! I'm always glad I agreed to appear at a convention (after it's all over!) -- proving to myself that I can (with God's help) face the fear/"ride that rollercoaster" and live to tell about it!
The word "friend" is akin to the word "family" to me. I view a really good friend as a family member God gave me belatedly when He realized what I still needed to experience in order to become a more complete personality. My few friends are precious gemstones whose many facets enhance life and bring light and joy into it. You know who you are. Some of you I haven't even met face-to-face yet, but will very soon in Vegas (Billie Rae, Alison) -- or somewhere else soon (in the case of Bobbie & Joel Bobstein)! I've spilled my guts to you and you have sustained me with your empathy, prayers and love. I trust you. That's a hard word for me to come by!
I feel much better tonight. I've discovered that with friends, with family, and with God you don't have to be perfect to be cherished, treasured and accepted. Love is just the best thing ever!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Yesterday I stayed home except for a trip to Aunt Tod to take her two additional fans and to go to Wal-Mart to buy some larger fans for my condo. I gave Tod my two smaller fans because she doesn’t have any room for larger fans. While I was there, she told me she lost her purse at dialysis the day before, so I drove over there. They had it, so I brought it back and asked her to go through it and be sure everything was still in it. I also asked the ladies at Maple Creek not to let her take her purse to dialysis anymore… She doesn't need it, she’s getting forgetful, and the next time she leaves it, there may be more dire consequences – like theft!
I had planned to go see Della Pittman at Kings Manor for lunch (where I was Activity Director for a time three years ago), because they had a Fourth of July barbecue and she invited me to come over and reconnect. I decided to back out on it belatedly because of the delay in getting home after finding and returning Tod's missing purse, so will have to make it up to Della this coming Saturday or Sunday.
I was beating myself up yesterday because I was frustrated (surreptitiously, I hope!) when I visited and worked (too fast) with Aunt Tod. I am seldom that way with her or anyone else, but truly didn’t want to stay long there, as I was expecting to go have lunch with Della -- until the absence of Tod’s purse became known to me and the lunch idea went out the window.
Della called at 12:30 wondering where I was, saying the barbecue was half over and she wondered why I hadn't stopped by as I had said I would. I told her I had just gotten back inside the condo after tracking down Tod’s purse and that a Californian friend who had lost her husband a few months back had called saying she was in town and hoped to meet with me that afternoon and would call back to set a time if she could meet with me, so I didn’t feel good about leaving the phone to drive over for the last few minutes of the barbecue.
So, in a nutshell, I frustrated both of the people I had planned to bless on the 4th of July and now I will need to make it up to Della on the day I planned to fast and pray (7/7/07 between 7:07 a.m. and 7:07 p.m.)
I felt lousy about the way the day went except for watching TBN and 1776 while I waited for a phone call that never came in. I made too many commitments and ended up pretty much blowing all of them in some way by getting out of sorts and out of time because of a missing purse. (A missing purse is a Big Deal, or probably all of the rest of the day's scheduled events would have fallen right into place as planned, but I was hot and late and upset by the time I found and returned the purse, so elected to lie low rather than go to Kings Manor in an agitated frame of mind. The big new fan was just what I needed and desired most at that moment.)
It’s when stuff like this happens that I get down on myself. My heart wants to bless – my spirit wants to bless – but the slightest bump in the road, combined with hot temperatures, makes all my good intentions evaporate like water on a hot griddle. I just want to isolate when I feel this way. I feel good-for-nothing.
But I was right to cancel for the reasons I did and to re-schedule with Della. I was wrong to make Aunt Tod feel (if she did) that she needed extraordinary help in any way. It was not a big deal to drive across the street to inquire after her purse and return it to her care. I didn’t intend to make her think she was inconveniencing me (if I did). I just didn’t stay and bless her afterward – I just placed two fans, went on a quest for her purse, brought it to her, and then left, with a peck on the cheek, knowing I was late for the next engagement. That wasn’t right; I gave a perfunctory blessing. I was hot and wanted to go home and bless me with a huge fan and a cool cleansing shower by that time! I was miserable physically and emotionally by that time.
This has taught me that I need to be in the present from now on and not rush. I need to slow down and keep firmly in my mind that NOW is the only time I have in which to be a blessing. This may all be over tomorrow. I have to forgive myself and remember not to do it again…
I’m putting off the convention appearance practice, except for some editing of the presentation. I don’t know if that’s wise or dumb, but I just don’t want to worry it like a bone, as I have in the past. I know what I want to say… I will say it and read some excerpts and be done. Then I will enjoy the rest of the weekend without stress, just being with people who want to be with me. This convention is about blessing, not stressing…
The temperature will be breaking records in the West today. I am NOT looking forward to August in Las Vegas, let me tell you. If the power grid goes down, we will fry – or live in the bathtubs, naked!
Here I am borrowing trouble already. How stupid is that?!
What is causing this negative mood in me the past couple of days? Heat? (Likely, yes!) I’m sitting outside myself observing it and trying to figure out what it is that has me so snarled. I’m NOT depressed, I’m NOT angry, I’m not overly stressed. It’s just the weirdest thing ever!
Pastor Braaten was talking about how God looks down on us from above and sees where we were, are and will be all at once. Perhaps that idea has placed me “above” myself (via the Holy Spirit) so that I can witness the effects that my choices make on other people. I have always been so self-contained (I’ve called myself at times a functional autistic, and may not be far off) and self-absorbed/directed– not in the way a narcissist is, but in the way young children are totally absorbed in what they are doing. Their “play” is real to them… they really live the lives of the princesses and horses and cowboys and Indians they are imagining…
In the present world where I live (which is fallen and dangeous) I'm shy and reticent (fearful); but in the ideal (God's Kingdom) world (which is where I feel I serve as an employee, writer, presenter and Christian) -- I'm functional and fabulous because He adopted me and I take great delight in pulling out every stop I can think of to make Him grin and not rue the day that He invited me into His family and blessed me with His eternal, fabulous inheritance!
I got Joel Siegel's book for a dollar at Amazon, used. It's terrific. It's called Lessons for Dylan, from Father to Son. Every father and mother ought to write a book like it to their children, but alas, not every parent has the enormous talent with a pen as did Joel Siegel. I am thoroughly enjoying it... which is why I took me so long this evening to get to this otherwise-depressing blog!
Parents, write that book! You don't have to be Joel Siegel. Your book will be a bestseller on your family. MAKE IT SO!
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Jesus, Joseph and Mary...
If you can't trust people who are supposedly pledged by the Hippocratic Oath to "Do No Harm," I am here to tell you that the end times are here and that Jesus can come at any time now. (Are you ready? Have you given your life to Him yet? I implore, counsel and beg you to get on board -- this train is moving down the tracks and will arrive at the station without you as a passenger one day soon if you haven't acknowledged Him as Lord of life and Savior of your soul. I want you saved before the end comes. Desperately!)
The wickedness in this world apparently has no boundaries anymore... I am so far beyond appalled that I can't even find words to express it.
It's easy to lose faith in people in positions of power these days, isn't it?
The only thing we can have absolute faith in is God because men and women will always...always...always... disappoint us. There are no exceptions, except for Jesus, who was fully human and died for these miscreants who are intent on making life patently unfair and dangerous.
The Bible says to pray for those who spitefully use us. Okay, I'm praying -- but I'm not liking it.
Not one bit.
God is right, I'm wrong.
There are no exceptions.
If my people, who are called by my name
Will humble themselves and pray
And seek my face,
Then I will hear from heaven
And will forgive their sin,