The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Say something positive every chance you get!

I miss being in a group of like-minded positive people:  friends, other authors, worshippers, mothers, children, fathers, cousins, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, etc.   I find that phone calls, sending cards or letters, and even virtual meetings will suffice until things get better. 

What I have said a lot to people during this pandemic, “I miss… your smile, wisdom, pleasant personality, hugging you, etc.”   Elbow and fist bumps will have to do for now.

Things I have said to people in the past:

“I love the color of your suit.”   The female vice president thanked me for the compliment and her frown turned into a smile.

“Don’t let nobody tell you that you are not fiiinnneee (fine)!”  To a man who picked up my car to be serviced who looked like the reincarnation of a younger “Mr. Clean”—bald head, earrings, and muscles, too.   He blushed.

“You have beautiful skin”.  I told a lady who was helping me register for a class.

A lady told me that I have beautiful skin which both pleased and surprised me but was pleasant to hear.

I have even complimented people on their masks (political, nature, horror, sports, etc.), their eyes, their voices, their hair, etc.

You might be surprised how much it will help your day and theirs.   Passiton.com is a website with many positive stories.

The song below may be perceived as sad, but I don’t see it that way.   I had a boyfriend (one of a few) who wanted to break up with me but could not.   So, I broke up with him.   We had made an agreement at the beginning of the relationship that it was “friends with benefits” only.   I guess he thought that I would “act up”.   That has never been me!   So, I saved him the trouble.   It was really a relief because I have never wanted to stay with anyone who did not want me or was more trouble than they were worth (another story).

 Song:

“Say something, I’m giving up on you

I’ll be the one, if you want me to

Anywhere, I would have followed you…”

Sung by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, 2013.

Source:  Musixmatch

Songwriters:  Campbell Mike/Axel Ian/Campbelle Mike

Lyrics © Reservoir 416, Ian Axel Music, Chad Vaccarino Publishing, Manhattan Astronaut Music, Songs of Universal, Inc.

It has a romantic melody, but maybe a sad message.   

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Caregiving Part 2: Where is it on the National scene?

Get ready.   I will be talking about politics—a taboo subject for me.

As I said in Part 1, a caregiver is anyone who gives care to another whether for pay or not.   By that definition—parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, nurses, doctors, morticians, clergymen, teachers, writers, politicians, policemen, fire fighters, social workers, therapists of mind or body, trainers, counselors, lawyers, actors, etc.—nearly everybody gives care of some type.

I’ve never cared much for politics.  Most of my life in elections, I’ve voted for what seemed like the lesser of two evils.  But I did vote!   I felt Jimmy Carter was a good example of what a U.S. President should be because he tried to bring the nation together and avoid divisiveness. To this day, he and his wife are still doing good for those in need—what a caregiver does.

I have to say that President 45 was the polar opposite.   Once you “won” the election, 45, did you bother to do research to find out what people’s needs are—even the people in your own base? Whether the 49 Senate Republicans who voted for removing him by impeachment the first time really were serious or it was just for show, I like to think that there are still some thinking women and men among Republicans.

Although it’s been said that Russia interfered with our voting in 2016, America, you knew who President 45 was—dishonest, dishonorable—before you picked him from the other much more capable and experienced Republican candidates in the debates.  Had you done right, he would have never been among the candidates.

The ”man” cares for no one, ever, or he wouldn’t have done the things he did over the past 5 years.   You knew he was incapable of handling money at all.   He owes money to everybody and pays no one.  You knew, or should have known, that President 45 had at least five bankruptcies;  that he demeaned women and people of color every chance he got.   Why do you think there are women with 26 or more sexual claims against him?  Would you have wanted him around your young girls and women?   You knew and your actions show that you wanted slavery of people of color to be re-established.   Otherwise, most of you Republicans, why would you drink the poison consistently for five years?

Some white people who voted for President 45 said on newscasts, “What was I thinking?”.   Obviously, you had a taste of the poison drink.   And, from day one of the last five years, he broke every law and Presidential tradition there was.  Checks and balances can’t really occur when everybody you appoint is someone who only donated to your campaign or was just one of your unqualified “friends” that you constantly fired. 

But, you who were still worthy Republicans and Democrats couldn’t break the same rules he broke or 45 and Fox and Friends (entertainment show) would cry, whine, fall on the ground, throw tantrums and say Snoop Dogg should have been killed for making fun of 45 in a video or blackballed Kathy Griffin for doing worse in a video or other newscasters who were fired for telling the truth about President 45 or had an NFL football player fired for kneeling during the National Anthem.  Killing an Iranian general was just another tactic to start a war so 45 couldn’t be put out of office as a war-time President.   President 45 tried every gimmick in his playbook to stay in office a second term.

And citizens and non-citizens became victims of political insanity in the fight against disease, homelessness, unemployment, injustice, business loss, and prejudice.   His illegal dealings and actions made a laughingstock out of the United States around the world and he alienated every ally we’ve ever had.   Even his own state, New York, didn’t want him there.    And, poor Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, is probably being bankrupted by his constant golfing and security expenses for the past 5 years.  

We didn’t even get the crumbs from the table.  President 45 ordered hundreds of refugees’ children in cages while we don’t know where their parents are to this day.  And, several female women and children disappeared during that time.   Were they lost to international sex trafficking?   The better solution would have been to keep the children with their parents while organizing a solution to the problem.    It’s time for the good gals/guys in both parties to stop following the rules 45 never followed, grow a pair, and make sure he never comes back.

 Certain politicians on both sides (Democrat and Republican) are multimillionaires and looking out for their own Wall Street interests.    So, of course, they are looking to help other millionaires avoid taxes and make more money.    

Then, there’s the filibuster tool used by the Senate.   Was there ever a bigger time waster/bull shit tosser when the American people are suffering in every way possible?  Business as usual you say?   I watched Trevor Noah’s If You Didn’t Know, Now You Know episode on his Daily Social Distancing Show on March 18 in which he explained what a filibuster was.   Originally it was started to keep debate open, but I feel that debate should stop when you have run out of things to prove your point and just vote!  I thought the job of a public servant was to care for all our American people.   Obviously, we don’t have enough public servants.

But, it appears that we as a nation have adopted John Wycliffe’s (c.1380) Charity should begin at himself.   It appears that President 45 took that literally.   Did he do anything for his base?   His base seems to think that he did, but they couldn’t tell you what that was.   Where’s the money he collected for himself from the Saudi Arabian arms deal?   Why was the American journalist cut up? 

Did he bring manufacturing back?   He can’t count the temporary manufacturing that Ford and other companies did making ventilators and other personal protective devices during the pandemic.  Dude, they still manufacture cars which they have no problem selling in a pandemic since they didn’t have to close like restaurants and other small businesses had to.  Car dealerships staying open sell cars to the well-to-do.   President 45 tried to talk Harley Davidson into keeping their manufacturing in the U.S.  But, even that fell through because the trend of companies to move to other countries so they can pay workers less will never stop.  Where is Harley Davidson now?   Not in the U.S.

On March 5, 2020, I heard President 45 say that the COVID-19 virus was a Democratic hoax.   A week later, on March 15, he conceded that the virus was real.  Right now, no longer in office, he boasts about how fast he got those vaccine companies to produce vaccines.   Yes, after putzing around for a few valuable months and coming up with quackery in the form of his advice to insert ultraviolet light under the skin, swallow disinfect, sunshine/heat would get rid of the virus, he wasn’t going to wear a mask, etc.

The last lie—President 45 told his base to go to the Capitol Building, and he would go with them.   Some of the crowd waited patiently for him.   Others still waited for him to keep his word.   But he waited and watched to see what the crowd that he, his son and Giuliani sent there would do.   I know he was laughing the whole time watching the coup he caused—bloodshed, bodily harm, damage to government property, possible kidnappings, etc.  

How come the President and the Republicans did not come out and join their base—the people they claim to represent?   Why did the Republicans run and hide just like the Democrats did?  Yes, the Capitol Building and the White House belong to the people of the U.S., but even they don’t have the right to destroy it and the people within.

Although a U.S. President gets paid to be a caregiver, 45 never earned his money.   But he counted his money, all the while scheming where he would get more!   Even people on welfare, disability, social security, etc. sent him a big hunk of their money.   What did they get in return?   More talk and more poison drink.

Republicans who backed his every little whim for the past 5 years forgot they were supposed to be caregivers for ALL of the American people including the military, the CIA, the FBI, medical workers, medical research, fire department, police, etc.—all U.S. and future U.S. people.      Republicans said they didn’t want to help those unemployed who can still work.  Where were they going to work in a national shut-in?   Amazon, McDonald’s, car companies, etc. can’t hire everybody.

In the crowd of people outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021, I saw millions of dollars in 45 paraphernalia and merchandising that benefited 45.  If those same people had used that money to benefit their families, think what they could have bought instead—food, clothing, paid bills, car, etc.   Remember, he as a care giver is supposed to be taking care of us all, especially you, his base.

In the Twilight Zone movie (1983), a racist white man (played by deceased Vic Morrow) was put into a situation where he is bundled onto a train taking him to a Jewish internment camp.  Everybody sees him as a fellow Jew which he denies.   What if you were seen as every race you despise?   What then?  

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

The Good Enough Life

Editor’s Note, “Wanting What You’ve Got”, p. 5.

“Acceptance is not acquiescence.  Acquiescence is quiet, desperate defeat.  Acceptance is the ability to distinguish between a want and a need, and to abjure [solemnly renounce] the former.

My husband wants a sienna-tiled villa hanging off an Amalfi cliff, with a yellow Porsche and a green Ferrari in the garage.  (I just want the house.)  But he concedes that he does not need it.  In fact, it would be a hassle to actually own it all.  Acceptance sheds the need.   Acquiescence is not wanting to let go of the need and doing so only reluctantly.

To pursue the good-enough life is to accept imperfection, not to acquiesce to terms that make one miserable.

From the Stoics to some of the best cognitive behavioral techniques of the 20th and 21 centuries, we are reminded of the importance of acceptance.

If we choose our battles well, if we frame the immutable as trade-off rather than dead-end, if we find that one talent rather than rue the ones we will never acquire, then ‘good enough’ is indeed the best path forward.”   Twitter: @KajaPerina

@@@@@@@@@@@@

You Are Good Enough, p.26

“You were not at the top of the class, not the employee of the month, nor are you the ‘10’ you think your partner wants.   But you are probably pretty spectacular in some way, and definitely good enough in most areas of life.  If ever there were a time to stop beating yourself up for being human, it is now.”

@@@@@@@@@@@@

The Good-Enough Partner:  When Your Partner Is Not Your Romantic Ideal, by Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D., p.45

“Having a good enough partner implies making some compromises that are contrary to romance.

Enough can be defined as ‘as much as necessary.’  In ideal love, enough is not enough, and you cannot get enough of your partner—the better she [or he] is, the more you want.   Nevertheless, some people are not fortunate enough to have even a ‘good-enough’ partner—they might have a ‘just-enough’ partner or a ‘barely enough’ partner.   Consequently, many people settle for a partner who is no good for them at all. 

This becomes more complex, as someone who initially seems barely good enough can end up being the most suitable partner.  A nicer-looking wealthier woman might not be good for you if her values and attitude do not jibe with yours.  In short, constant comparison is lethal. 

We do not expect Mr. Right to fulfill all our needs, as some of these needs are fulfilled by us, ourselves.   As in the story of the pot of gold buried in the garden, sometimes the treasure can be found right at home.”

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How to Polish Your Personality:  …Change starts with a critical assessment of your traits and whether they work well for you—or don’t.  By Grant H. Brenner, M.D., pp.46-53.

“Katherine was grappling with a problem of identity, a problem, that, I find, is much more common today than is generally recognized.  Who she really was had been suppressed for years, in part due to her sense of duty, in part to her desire to please others, and in part to worries about what would happen if she did not conform.  Yet she never completely forgot who she was.

When the circumstances of her life and marriage changed, the authentic needs and personality traits she had long downplayed took on new importance.  She now had more opportunities and the freedom to pursue them.   The awareness of mortality can be clarifying.  It drives a lot of our decisions.”

Source: Psychology Today, psychologytoday.com, March/April 2021.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie, The Raven (2012)

If you are an Edgar Allan Poe fan, then this movie is for you!   But, if you are not a fan of “bloody violence and grisly images” (IMDb), you may have to avoid it.   This is why the movie is rated R.

I’m a fan of mild horror.  For example, I don’t like movies where people are killing people just for the thrill of it.  Rob Zombie comes to mind.

This movie was released in 2012, but I enjoyed seeing it again recently.    However, I didn’t remember that the Pit and the Pendulum (one of Poe’s short stories) scene in this movie followed all the way through slicing a man in half.  It made me jump out of my chair with each pass of the huge blade.   I thought the director would have left that scene to our imagination.  Poe’s short story ends differently—the man is rescued.

John Cusack does a great job of portraying Poe as a sad drunk mourning over his dead wife.    He hasn’t been able to write for a long time though he is supposed to be writing for a newspaper headed by Maddux (Kevin McNally Maddux of Pirates of the Caribbean, Downton Abby, Supernatural, New Tricks, Underworld, etc.).  

And, because Poe has not written any new stories in years, a villain hopes to inspire him to write more by reenacting Poe’s previous short stories at a high price.   Poe is the prime suspect at first.   The movie is a series of puzzles that Poe and Detective Fields (Luke Evans of Dracula Untold, The Alienist, Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) must figure out.  But, there is romance and dancing to curb some of the violence.

The movie is fast-paced because they have to find his kidnapped fiancé, Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve of Replicas, Star Trek into Darkness, Men in Black 3, etc.) before she becomes one of the grisly bodies.    Her father, Captain Charles Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson of Harry Potter, Edge of Tomorrow, The Village, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, etc.), hated Poe’s guts even before his daughter’s kidnapping.   

The excellent villain is played by Sam Hazeldine (The Huntsman, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, The Village, Ripper Street, The Wolfman, etc.), but I’m not going to tell you what character he plays.   The ending is unexpected.   The director is James McTeigue.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Caregiving Part One: Family and Friends

“Caregiving is providing care for the physical and emotional needs of a family member or a friend at home.   It may involve assisting with meals, personal care, and transportation, helping with medical procedures and therapy”.   (Source:  www.benzieseniorsources.org)

“The most common type is the family caregiver who takes care of a family member without pay.   Other types include professional, independent, private, informal, and volunteer caregivers.”  (Source:  www.griswoldhomecare.com)

“Communication is key in the relationship between a caregiver and a patient.   It is important to both openly share feelings and remain empathetic to the situation.”  (Source:   Patient Empowerment Network, www.powerfulpatients.org)

Two interesting articles:

“Caregiver Tools:  10 Things to Add to Your Toolkit”, Medically reviewed by Judith Marcin, M.D., written by Ann Pietrangelo, updated on November 21, 2016.  Healthline.com.

  1. Documentation
  2. Medication management
  3. Caregiver calendar
  4. Home accommodations
  5. Me time [the most neglected]
  6. Mutual respect
  7. Objectivity
  8. Limitations
  9. Balance and boundaries
  10. Why the caregiver tools matter

“Very Much like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the Symptoms of Burnout can Begin Surfacing Months after a Traumatic Episode.”   “Caregiver Burnout”, by M. Ross Seligson, Ph.D., P.A., May 11, 2017, Today’s Caregiver magazine at Caregiver.com.  

I joined the two groups below after I no longer had outings and other distractions to help me bear with my relative’s depression and bipolar symptoms during this pandemic.   I’ve always been a caregiver for someone most of my life, but I never realized until now that was what I was doing.

  1.  Coffee Tea and Me Caregiver Support Network on Facebook.  Shirl Parnell is the founder.  Located in Baltimore, MD, you can call Shirl at 443-538-1815 if you have questions about joining.

I found out about their existence from a member of an outdoor exercise class I was in that was discontinued due to cold weather.    I miss the hugs, handshakes, and physical closeness with others that helped to distract me away from depression myself.

Coffee Tea and Me Caregiver Support Network on Facebook has group prayer via conference call each Thursday morning at 6 a.m.  They also have guest speakers on the prayer line occasionally.   I found a little bit of God’s gold in the form of a conference call (425) 436-6397, access code 8363910 and you will be prompted to add an #. [If you have a Metro PCS or T-Mobile phone, you may have to use CTM’s back-up number 206 451 6063 before you use their regular number and access code]

  1. Another caregiving support group that I joined is DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance).   I signed up for the Family and Friends Group which is currently meeting on Zoom every two weeks at 7:15 p.m.   You can contact Louis M. Borowicz on email at louandvicki@verizon.net or call 410-467-4709 in the greater Baltimore area.  Website:  you can join the Persons w/Mood Disorders Group or the Family and Friends group (https://www.dbsalliance.org/helping-a-friend-or-family-member/dbsa-support -groups/).   Louis also recommended a book entitled YOU NEED HELP! by S. Conrad.

I can’t think about caregiving without thinking of the homeless.   One homeless man told me years ago that he was homeless because he refused to follow the rules of his brother’s house. 

I watched a documentary where a son was trying to help his estranged alcoholic father.   He got his father into Alcoholics Anonymous and even rented an apartment for him.   But his father continued drinking and nearly caused the apartment to catch fire.   So, the son decided that he would just help the father whenever he could and hoped that one day his father would stop drinking on his own.

Another problem that occurred in the 60’s was that President Ronald Reagan closed many state mental health facilities.   “1967 Reagan signs the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and ends the practice of institutionalizing patients against their will, or for indefinite amounts of time.  This law is regarded by some as a ‘patient’s bill of rights’.   Sadly, the care outside state hospitals was inadequate.   The year after the law went into effect, a study shows the number of mentally ill people entering San Mateo’s criminal justice system doubles”.  (“Did the Emptying of Mental Hospitals Contribute to Homelessness?”, Jessica Placzek, December 8, 2016, kqed.org)

And, lastly, I don’t know if you have ever watched the television show, MOM, on CBS.  It has been on 7 seasons going on 8.   It is a drama, comedy, and romance.   The show is all about addictions:  alcohol and gambling mostly.  

Mother Bonnie (played by Allison Janney) is a past alcoholic, thief, con-woman, drug mule, etc. who only thought about herself and had a child Christy that she totally neglected (played by Anna Faris).   Now, both of them are in Alcoholics Anonymous with a group of female friends in the same boat.   

In season 6, episode 18, (“Soup Town and a Little Blonde Mongoose”) Bonnie’s daughter Christy is so sick that she cannot stand up (the second time I can remember Christy being this sick).   But this time Bonnie steps up to the plate and becomes, of all things, a CAREGIVER!   She avoids going to an Eagles concert to stay home with her daughter (of course, after making her boyfriend turn around and drive her all the way back home to help Christy).

Then, we get to see a side of Bonnie we have never seen.   Christy becomes her only priority—washing her clothes, getting her medicine, bathing her, helping her to get to the bathroom to vomit, etc. to the point that she gets totally worn out herself and in tears because Christy’s sickness lasts for days.  

Christy never got this kind of care as a child and the lack of care helped push her too into alcoholism, stripping, gambling addiction, and helping her mother with a life of crime.  In other words, survivors at other people’s expense.  Christy reverts back to being a child for a while from this special treatment.   While marketing, Bonnie even helps another mother who is stressed about a sick child and unfortunately leaves a recovering Christy alone in the market which is Bonnie’s usual modus operandi.   I love the show but sometimes I just want to smack Bonnie and Christy!  

Rebecca Ancheta-Blum is the director of MOM (many projects back to 1980 In Living Color), creator and writer Chuck Lorre (a man of many tv shows including Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Young Sheldon, etc. back to 1988.), co-creators Gemma Baker (also Two and a Half Men and movie The Replacements), and Eddie Gorodetsky (also Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Bob Hearts Abishola, and many more back to 1980s.)

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Believe in Yourself and Make This a Brand New Day of Love. The Rest is Still Unwritten.

These are songs of love and hope at a time when we all need them.

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, SWEET LOVE

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It’s the only thing that there’s much too little of.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.

No, not just for some, but for everyone.”

Excerpt from Source:  Musixmatch.   Songwriters:  Hal David and Burt F. Bacharach.  Lyrics © New Hidden Valley Music Co., Casa David Music, Bmg Rights Management (uk) Ltd (Hal David).  

We “still” need love because in the last four years we seem to have less and less love for each other.   No matter what your religious or political view, there should be something that you have in common with another human being.   Try it!

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

“Believe in yourself, right from the start
You’ll have brains
You’ll have a heart
You’ll have courage
To last your whole life through.

If you believe in yourself
As I believe in you.

If you believe
Within your heart you’ll know
That no one can change
The path that you must go.”

Excerpt from Source: Musixmatch.   Songwriter: Charlie Smalls.  Believe in Yourself (Dorothy) lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp.

This song was in the 1978 movie The Wiz with an all-star cast consisting of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, Theresa Merritt, and Mabel King.  I loved The Wiz. Directed by Sidney Lumet who also directed other movies I’ve loved:  12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Serpico, and the Verdict.

You can do it.   Keep believing in yourself.  Don’t be discouraged.

A BRAND NEW DAY

“Everybody look around
‘Cause there’s a reason to rejoice you see
Everybody come out
And let’s commence to singing joyfully
Everybody look up
And feel the hope that we’ve been waiting for.

Everybody’s glad
Because our silent fear and dread is gone
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?

Everybody be glad
Because the sun is shining just for us
Everybody wake up
Into the morning into happiness

Hello world
It’s like a different way of living now
And thank you world
We always knew that we’d be free somehow
In harmony
And show the world that we’ve got liberty

It’s such a change
For us to live so independently
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?”

Excerpt from Source: Musixmatch.   Songwriter: Luther R. Vandross.  Music composed by Quincy Jones, Charlie Smalls, and Anthony Jackson.  A Brand New Day lyrics © Wb Music Corp.

This song was also in the 1978 movie The Wiz with an all-star cast consisting of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, Theresa Merritt, and Mabel King.  I loved The Wiz. Directed by Sidney Lumet who also directed other movies I’ve loved:  12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Serpico, and the Verdict.

UNWRITTEN

“I am unwritten
Can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it

No one else can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I break tradition
Sometimes my tries are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes
But I can’t live that way

The rest is still unwritten.”

Excerpt from Source: LyricFind.   Songwriters: Danielle A. Brisebois / Natasha Anne Bedingfield / Wayne Steven Jr Rodrigues.   Unwritten lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Domino Publishing Company.

I fell in love with Natasha Bedingfield’s singing of “Unwritten” the first time I heard it on the radio.   Phrases like “break tradition”, “outside the lines”, “conditioned to not make mistakes”, “live your life with arms wide open”, etc.   The song could apply to writers or anyone living his or her life.   And it is a hopeful song with a great beat.

Merry Christmas to all and God bless us everyone!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

I Have Always Been a Hand Washer

All my life I have washed hands after questionable acts like sneezing, handling trash, using the toilet, washing my body, after shaking hands or touching strange surfaces, etc.   So, to do it more for a pandemic was not that great an inconvenience.

I was browsing through tv shows a couple of weeks ago, and I came across a doctor talking about wearing masks and washing hands.   (Sorry, I forgot to write down the show it was on.)  What stood out to me was the part on washing hands.   The doctor showed pictures of people with really abused hands from washing them.   She said that we forget to put lotion or moisturizer on our hands each time we wash them.   Even before the pandemic, I’ve seen some really rough hands on men as well as women.  We all need to keep our hands moisturized.   

No matter which kind of moisturizer we use, our hands and other body parts need to be moisturized after each time we wash them.   I have a problem with the skin on my hands beginning mid-November to March of each year.   My hands start looking and feeling like soft parchment paper if I don’t put on lotion several times each day.   I still have tiny scars and rough patches on my hands from skin that itched and cracked to the point of hurting in spite of my wearing gloves and applying lotions in winter.  

I and other people I know have used various brands of moisturizers like Avon’s Silicone Glove Protective Hand Cream, Gold Bond Extra Strength Medicated Lotion, Vaseline Intensive Care, Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Moisturizing Lotion, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, Olay Body Quench Rapid Repair Lotion, Jergen’s Hydrating Lotion, etc., and love them.   But, a few years ago, a fellow coworker suggested Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion and even gave me a small tube of it.   Some people have told me that Eucerin is too thick and gooey for them, but it’s just right for me. 

“In most cases, dry hands are caused by environmental conditions.  Weather, for example, can cause dry hands.  Frequent handwashing, exposure to chemicals, and certain medical conditions can dry out the skin on your hands, too.”  The article includes 10 remedies for dry hands. [Healthline.com.  “How to Heal and Prevent Dry Hands” by Chaunie Brusie, updated March 7, 2019]   

“A body lotion’s key benefit is to bring hydration back to your skin, but these days, more and more formulas are delivering added benefits.   From improving your skin’s elasticity to reducing the look of cellulite, there’s a perfect, multitasking body lotion out there for you”.   The article goes on to mention body rubs, body scrubs, body washes, body creams, etc.  [Birdie:  All Beauty, All the time—For Everyone; “We Found the 16 Best Body Lotions of 2020 (So You Don’t Have To)” by Syden Abrenica, updated November 3, 2020.  https://www.byrdie.com/best-body-lotions-4159935 ]

While I’m talking about hands, another article covers topics such as weak hand grip; tiny red bumps or blisters; numb or tingly hands; trigger finger; red scales or pus-filled bumps; the symptom: white, blue, or red fingers; hand tremors; purple finger nodules; hand pain, stiffness, and swelling; and long ring fingers.  [Health, “10 Things Your Hands Can Reveal About Your Health:  Hands Rely on a Symphony of Body Systems to Function Properly, so Doctors Often Look to These Appendages for Signs of Illness and Disease”, by Karen Pallarito, May 15, 2018.  https://www.health.com/condition/skin-conditions/hands-health]

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of Outer Limits episode “The Vaccine”

The Outer Limits television show has always been ahead of its time.   It is my favorite science fiction show of all time.  It is done so intelligently and articulately bar none.   In descending order, OL is my number one, then Twilight Zone, Ray Bradbury Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, etc.   My favorite science fiction movie producers are too many to name.

Yesterday, I saw an episode of the Outer Limits tv show on the Comet channel entitled “The Vaccine”, season 4, episode 11, originally broadcast on April 3, 1998.   Before the episode began, a man’s voice made a disclaimer warning the viewer that the subject of the episode may be stressful to some because of the pandemic we are in.  

It was summarized in the scheduling as “A dozen survivors of a fatal plague must decide who will get the only 3 vaccines available”.  IMDb describes the plot as “After a doomsday cult releases a genetically engineered virus, a nurse named Marie must decide which patients under quarantine get a vaccine that may cure the plague.” 

Maria Conchita Alonso plays the nurse who wants to follow their CDC guidelines but it would involve not giving the vaccine to a child, an elderly person, or a dying person.   She passes out from exhaustion trying to carry this responsibility for her patients because she has to do everything including feeding them and monitoring them for contagion.   Her character Marie has been the only one with medical experience for months.  The science community suggests that only those of child-bearing age receive the vaccine.  

The usual suspects are among the group:  the enforcer (Biski Gugushe as James), the bystander (Laurie Murdoch as Lawrence), the misinformed (Jason Gaffney as Kirk), the bullies (Brent David Fraser as Graham and Megan Leitch as Barb), the elderly (Joy Coghill as Jean), the man dying from cancer (Jay Brazeau as Bernard Katz), the diseased soldier who delivers the vaccine on his way to his home to die with his family (Michael Buie), a male child (Lane Gates as Harry), etc.  You can easily identify with the characters.  

There is even a love interest for Marie in the form of Major Ford (played by Eric Keenley). He leaves in uniform to get more supplies and never comes back.   After all of Marie’s heartache, the episode ends with a twist which is the Outer Limits signature.   It is one of their best episodes ever and directed by Neill Fearnley.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie Stan and Ollie (2018)

I’ve always liked Laurel and Hardy as performers.   They portrayed two kind and sincere people who loved life but life didn’t seem to love them. Their characters had several careers to which they were neither suited nor qualified.   They danced, sang, and made jokes in their movies and live performances.    If you have never seen any of their old material, you are in for a calming treat.  

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy began in silent movies until talkies and lasted from 1927-1955.   In 1927, “Putting Pants on Philip” was their first official film released featuring the comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy.

1937 was the height of their careers and they should have had a luxurious life but Oliver wasn’t good with money.  They were in 107 short movies, feature films, and cameo roles.   In 1953, they went on their last tours as illustrated in the movie.   Lots of books have been written about them.  

Oliver (played by John C. Reilly) feels that Hal Roach (played by Danny Huston) is not paying him enough of the profits from their movies.   Roach feels that Oliver should stop collecting wives and get a better handle on his money.  The trouble comes when Laurel (played by Steve Coogan) doesn’t support Stan in his attempt to get more money.   Roach’s solution is to replace Oliver with another comedian.

John C. Reilly is a great character actor who came into his own after movies such as Talladega Nights:  The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Delores Claiborne, Dark Water, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the musical film Chicago that I’ve seen him in, but he has been in 105 movies.

Steve Coogan is also a great character actor of whom I have not seen enough.  I saw him as a villain in the movie The Other Guys, but he, like Reilly, has been in a lot of movies.

Danny Huston I would also describe as a character actor.   I’ve seen him in a few movies such as a vampire leader in 30 Days of Night, a military commander trying to steal the powers of and get rid of all mutants in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a Nazi commander greedy for power in Wonder Woman, a man using Hitchcock’s wife to get Alfred Hitchcock to read his script in the movie Hitchcock among others.

Shirley Henderson plays Oliver Hardy’s wife, Lucille.   She is a tiny woman with a tiny voice whom I’ve seen in a lot of British movies.   I’ve seen her as a drowned little girl ghost Moaning Myrtle in two Harry Potter movies, Jude in three Bridget Jones movies, Edythe in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Ursula Blake in Dr. Who, DS Angela Young in Death in Paradise, and doing Babu Frik’s voice in Star Wars:  The Rise of Skywalker.

Nina Arianda plays Stan Laurel’s bossy outspoken wife Ida Kitaeva Raphael Laurel with a Russian accent.  She was very good in the role. Unfortunately, the only movie I’ve seen her in is Midnight in Paris, but she is noted for many movies and plays.

Stan and Ollie was directed by Jon S. Baird.  The movie is very true to the acts they performed in real life.   I loved the movie.  Thanks for giving me insight into their lives.

Source:  Wikipedia    

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Ray Bradbury’s still got it!

As a child, I used to hang out in the Pratt library in east Baltimore by myself.   The public library is where I developed my taste for Science Fiction, Gothic Romance and Black Literature.   I remember coming across Ray Bradbury’s books.  

Recently, I was delighted to find that there was a marathon of his short stories broadcast on Comet tv called The Ray Bradbury Theater on Sunday afternoons.   Ray Bradbury himself speaking about how he came up with story ideas was repeated before each story began.

On September 20, 2020, I saw an episode of a Ray Bradbury short story called “A Miracle of Rare Device” (season 3, episode 2, 7/14/89, starring Pat Harrington, Jr. formerly of the “One day at a time” tv show; Wayne Robson, and William Kircher).   It is a story about two scraggly guys who drove around in their beat-up truck looking for whatever they could find to make money.   There was a less scraggly bully on a motorcycle who was always after them to get whatever they could find.

One day they outran the guy by sheer luck and found an opening in the desert on the side of the road in which they hid.   The more intelligent of the two saw over the horizon a mirage of New York City.  It was hard for his partner to see it, but eventually he did also.

The more resourceful fella figured he could charge one dollar per vehicle for others to see it.   A scam coming, right?   But it turned out that others saw what they really needed to see.   Yes, the two men made money, but to them, it became a miracle for the people who came.   The visitors told them what they saw and it seemed like miracles to the two men, who really started appreciating the mirages as miracles.

Of course, the motorcycle man found out about their money-making and took all their money.  And, although he could not see the mirage at all, he planned on taking over, but none of the people who came after that could see the mirage at all either.    Motorcycle man gave up and left the two honest men there with nothing but their truck, not even the mirage.   But eventually they could see it again and they decided to let people see the mirage for free from now on.  

I cried when the individual people told what they saw and when the men concluded that this was something of God.   I had forgotten how good Ray Bradbury’s stories were.  I’ve seen two marathons so far and look forward to seeing more.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin