Thursday, August 28, 2008

With 1 Motion, HISTORY was made.

Ask anyone, I'm not an Obama fan. I have to say, I really really wanted Hillary Clinton to be the nominee. But, it wasn't meant to be. I have been grumbling about it for days and watched the Democratic Convention each night nonetheless.

I was impressed by Michelle Obama and she held my attention throughout her speech. Pretty good speaker since I'm not keen on the subject of her speech - her husband.

The next night I watched Hillary Clinton. She was convincing, inspiring, and convinced me to vote for Obama. Why? No vote = McCain vote. I continued watching her speak, feeling so proud that she was one of the first women to run for the presidency. Her speech turned my stubborness around...pretty powerful if you know how stubborn I am.

Then, the next night: Bill Clinton. As he was introduced, his list of accomplishments were announced: The lowest unemployment in 20 years, a bull market for 8 years, job growth, hell, let's just say unprecedented prosperity. Easily, the finest American president in my lifetime. Whether you love him or hate him, he is brilliant. I listened with interest as he reminded us of the parallels between Governor Clinton of 1992 and Senator Obama of 2008. It was familiar rhetoric.

As I watched Sen. Hillary Clinton interrupt roll call. I was spellbound. This was a moment they would be writing in the history books and I am watching it unfold.

One of the first women to run for president is asking to forego the delegate count in order to nominate the first African American for the Democratic nominee. The first female Speaker of the House, accepted the motion and so it was done. I watched as the cameras panned to audience members as black women and men shed tears of excitement and remembered the long hard road that was navigated initially by Dr. Martin Luther King and a host of others.

Now that a black man is in a position of power, I worry that those who are ignorant and those who are affiliated with hate groups will cause this historical event to run a short course.

Just as Hillary quoted Harriet Tubman in her quest to have women be able to vote, "Keep Going", I'm reminded of Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" when Celie recounts her hardships as a poor, black woman in the South and voices concern regarding her sister-in-law's lofty attitude of herself.
Sure enough, her sister-in-law is labled as "trouble" because of her inner strength and power and she is publicly beaten to the ground both physically and emotionally.

Celie merely offers this simple phrase as the cause of her beating. ..."People don't like it when you're too free..."

Keep your head low and "Keep Going," Sen. Obama.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've Discovered that I'm a World Traveler

It's true. I began thinking about places I had been when I was watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. I also thought about it the last several nights in the wee hour of the mornings as my insomnia is particularly bad. It probably accounts for my pensive and somewhat blue mood.
I would have to say that thinking about it, not only make watching the infomercials more palatable at night, but caused me to reflect again how lucky I am. Of course, I'm from Texas, so I have been to all the big cities of Texas including Houston, Dallas and Austin, not to mention Fort Worth and every small town in between including the proud township of Fred, Texas. Salute! Once I made it out of Texas, I've visited virtually every state in these United States.

More of the noteworthy experiences have been where I've stepped in snow drifts up to my hip in Stowe, Vermont. Traveling to Bar Harbor, Maine to meet a woman I worked with long distance, but never met. She was battling cancer at the time and knew it was one of her last trips. A screenplay was born. It should be a book, but that is something I have on my "to do" list.

I've auditioned at the Juilliard School in New York City...was I ready? Hell no. But I did it. I also visited Studio 54, went to the Duplex and partied at Henrietta's (a Sandra Bernhardt and Madonna former haunt). I walked upon the eerily familiar cobblestone streets near NYU and drank beer in taverns and martinis at Sardi's.

I've also traveled to Turks and Caicos islands and stayed at an all-inclusive resort, I swam in the British West Indies ocean and snorkled. I saw some of the most incredible sunsets and matured that trip as fast as I was living it. I went almost to South America and revelled in the glorious weather of Aruba. I also drank Cabernet at a quaint Italian eatery near our hotel where the wine bottles were nestled in wicker holders and the bread was plentiful and crusty with a healthy dose of olive oil, cracked pepper and parmesean cheese floating nearby.

Once the airplane trips were done, I traveled overseas, all by the magic of my laptop seeing such exotic places as London, Paris, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Thailand and more. I saw where the elephants walked with elegance and grace with eyes that are saturated with wisdom that is still unrecognizable to most who gaze upon their countenance.

I've sat at a popular night spot on Loi Kroh Road and watched the crowds of people pass by unaware they are drowning in their own lonliness. I also saw a man who walked that road and caused my life to change from the silent observations he noted.

Once I came back from Thailand, it was difficult to let the memories go and travel somewhere else...but I did. I visited the deep south in America once more. Which led to the intrigue and mystique of Las Vegas. Suddenly, my travels are taking me to other Asian countries again; Manila, and Hong Kong to the fortune tellers.

The last couple of trips were courtesy of ghostwriting for clients. The dust is still settling upon my feet and the stars are still in my eyes. Everyone should try traveling, even if you never step outside of your home.

More Musings Later-

Monday, August 18, 2008

What would you do if you had a Million Bucks?

How many times have you wondered about that? I've done it all my life.

I remember when I was young, I would spend time with my grandparents at their small home in Port Arthur, Texas. I noticed one day a glass doorknob to their bedroom and was captivated.

"Why don't you sell the doorknob, Mamaw?" I would ask increduously.

"Why? It's just a glass doorknob," she replied.
"No it's not! It's the biggest diamond I've ever seen!" I was convinced she and my grandfather were "rich as creases" as they used to say and just not telling me about it!

Well, today I thought about what I would do if I had a million dollars...

Believe it or not, the very first thing I would do (I swear) would be to go to bed and not worry about getting up at any certain time in the morning. (That's my PDiddy talking though).

I would buy a private jet and hire a pilot to fly me, my partner and furry kids to:
  • Key West to see Ernest Hemingway's house and watering hole and 9 toed cats.
  • Chicago and see the Oprah show

  • Maine to sail around the coast
  • Boston to have a drink at where they filmed "Cheers" and to lay some flowers on my friend, Pearl's grave. She was the one who taught me to love vodka martinis. Cheers old girl! (Hallow?)
  • New York to have dinner at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants and 1 of Bobby Flay's restaurants.
  • California - to see San Francisco, Malibu, San Diego and other lovely coastline cities.
  • Then, I would have the pilot fly us to Hawaii for a few days.
  • After a couple or three days, I would fly to the places I have written about that have captivated me through other's eyes:
  • Manila, Hong Kong (I would want to see the fortune tellers I have heard about there), Thailand to see Loi Kroh Road, the most mystical road in the world, and Beijing, look up my good friend that I've never met, Alan Solomon.
The last of my selfish expenditures would be the purchase and creation of my own restaurant.

Called: "The Ghostwriter's Den". It will be furnished with overstuffed couches and chairs similar to Steak and Ale, with rich colors and fancy schmancy fair. All of my books would be framed and hung on the wall and other author friends would also have their books on the wall (but only if they held a book signing during the day there). The vodka martini would be called instead, "Taryn's Tini".
Once people have feasted on the finest of food, steak, chicken, seafood, sushi and more...then there would be the option of retiring to the library to read, browse books etc. while having an after dinner brandy or cordial.
ADJOINED to the "Ghostwriter's Den would be a casual place totally separated called, "The Writer's Pub". It would be a short order food place with tap beers, drink specials with tv's in every corner with either news, sports or some other interesting show.
The Pub would also feature games such as poker every night, cards, bridge, checkers, chess and other games. A great place belly up and get a cold beer and great sandwich or salad.

Who would run this operation? Gordon Ramsey...

Aaahhh, don't you love to dream? I think tomorrow I will go to the hardware store and purchase a glass doorknob to put on our bedroom door. Cause, you never know if you have a diamond or not.

More Musings Later-

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Where is Steve McNair When You Need Him?

After watching the pitiful Titan game on Friday night, I believe that phrase was on everyone's lips in sports bars across Tennessee.

Let me make myself clear...our defense is AWESOME. No problems there...we have some good people on's just that Vince Young ain't one of 'em. That's sad considering he's our quarterback. I saw him scramble and throw more than a couple of passes at freaking NO ONE.

What is going on here? This $56 MILLION dollar investment can't throw consistently to anyone? AND, if he gets a mosquito bite, he sidelines himself. He's the complete antithesis of Steve McNair. McNair played hurt ALL the time. Never griped, just played. If he wasn't on the field, he was in surgery. Period.

Coach Fisher even fired Norm Chow to get Mike Heimerdinger back to coach Vince. He was responsible for grooming McNair. See how his name keeps popping up? After hearing the thud of his thrown passes hit the ground with absolutely no one around it,

I listened to the after game interview to see what he had to say. ..."(sic) Well, ...How do you think it makes me feel?...People are always asking me over and over about it after the game..."

You're damn right I'm going to hound you about it. If you were in corporate America and made half the blunders you do on the field in an office, you would be FIRED by now. Poor Vince...he's a multi-millionaire....he can't throw a pass to anyone....he's got a boo-boo on his leg.... JEEZ MY KNEES! GET US A QUARTERBACK!
Anyone see the 3rd string quarterback play? He helped us WIN A GAME. What a concept.

More Musings Later-

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Pausch Principle vs "The Client"

The sad news came a couple of weeks ago that Dr. Randy Pausch passed away. For those of you not familiar with Pausch, he was a professor in Pennsylvania that gained fame through YouTube for his lecture series entitled, “The Last Lecture.”

I watched his lecture via ABC News and was astounded that this middle-aged man had found the meaning of life and was implementing simple ideas to his everyday life. One of his quotes or as I like to call them, “Pausch Principles” was: TELL THE TRUTH. When asked to elaborate, he simply smiled and said, ALL THE TIME. That phrase stuck with me.

You know, when each of us wake each day and try to love this life we’re given, even in the midst of chaos and confusion, sometimes our best intentions and joi di vive for the simple pleasures can be lost all too easily. It is through that chaos and confusion when we learn if our belief system works. Randy Pausch’s system WORKS. So does anyone that is able to find comfort, not become distracted or lost in pursuing our passion and dreams. Because, it is oh so easy to become complacent and careless with our lives in this area.

For example, last week, I agreed to work for a client by writing for her firm. Against my better judgment, I agreed to work for her. I kept pooh-poohing my inner voice and continued my contracting for her. I finished one assignment and she phoned me after I emailed it to her and proceeded to scream at me because the article didn’t have “pizzazz”. Hmmmm…alright, I apologized for my article, which was perfectly usable and written to the best of my ability. I emailed a second article. More yelling and screaming ensued because the article lacked, “you know…” Needless to say, I was confused, upset and angry with myself for allowing a stranger to interrupt my life in this way.

And then I thought of Randy Pausch. Tell the truth. All the time. One of the many reasons I began to freelance was because I wanted to be in a position of control when it came to my career. In one fell swoop, this client reduced me into an anxious, confused mess. I should have trusted my inner voice when I heard it calling to me in the beginning! But, I didn’t and thus I spent several days where my pursuit of my goals, dreams and passion were forgotten and put on hold. Shame on me. So, I told the truth, and I will do so all the time.

I contacted the client and told her that I was resigning as we had different goals. I told the truth, but nicely. I braced myself for the reply and was told I was a rotten writer. Ouch. She was trying to go for the jugular and succeeded by making disparaging remarks about a writer’s talent. I remembered Pausch’s comment after he said to tell the truth.People don’t want to hear the truth.” And, he was painfully correct. I didn’t want to hear the truth that perhaps I felt like I needed this client when I really didn’t. That perhaps I felt like I was losing control over my own destiny. Oh, you thought I was going to remark about the client not wanting to hear the truth? She didn’t. But, to learn from this opportunity that was given to me, I must face the truth myself as well.

My joy was interrupted. My pursuit of dreams was interrupted. My passion was interrupted. Shame on that client. But most of all, shame on me. It’s not always easy chasing your bliss; it takes a lot of attention, focus and hard work. But if I can look back on my life and know that I lived according to the Pausch Principle, I will be a very rich woman.

“The Last Lecture” will continue on. Cheers Dr. Pausch!

More Musings Later-

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ever Had a Psychic Reading via Email?

Neither have I until recently! You remember my good friend, Alan who lives in Beijing, China? Turns out he is not only a superb writer, but he is a very psychic dude as well. Our meeting as we have (via email only) has been serendipitous to say the least.

Alan Solomon - At a booksigning in Beijing, China

What did he need from me to do a reading? An extreme closeup picture of my eyes. I know from writing books for clients who have lived in Asia, that fortune tellers and psychics tend to examine the feet, eyes, and palms to accurately predict the future and get a sense of the person they are reading. Although Alan isn't Asian, I guess some of the culture has rubbed off on him...or not. I'll have to ask him!

Anyway, thought you would be interested to read what I'm about - according to my eyes.
..."You are a person who... is smart you know what you want to say, you say it but people don't seem to get it!

People who meet you like you instantly, you are warm, a little moody at times, and probably a little scary to many who don't understand your direct approach which you prefer over going around in circles to achieve the result you desire. You laugh a lot, you enjoy company, but you can be used too, so watch that.

But something I already know by chatting to you and what drew me to you initially is that you are not afraid of the world, you will meet challenges head-on, in the face of all the kicks you get you still stand tall and let people know who you are, and you are proud of who you are. That little eccentric piece of you intrigues people to the point that they need to investigate you further to try to find out what makes you tick. You are very courageous on the outside and can be a little vulnerable on the inside.

Looking into your eyes I can see a person who listens to people, to the point they talk at you and often you think, Jesus I wish he/she would shut up!..."

Was he accurate? The "eyes" have it.
More Musings Later-

Monday, August 04, 2008

Corporate America Rant

This post isn't going to be pretty...ok, I've warned you and I can proceed.

Today while I was running errands, I was listening to Dave Ramsey (as I do anytime I am in the car when his show is on). Now, Mr. Ramsey and I don't share political views, but we do agree about most everything of a financial nature. As he often advertises, "We give you the same advice Granny did, only we keep our teeth in." (What can I say? He's a southerner)

Anyway, a man calls in to his radio show and tells Dave that he lost his job because his paycheck was garnished. Here's the kicker: He is senior management making 6 figures! He states that he was fired because the company questioned his integrity. Dave starts to question him further about it and says, "That's awfully strange that a company would fire you for having a garnishment...are you sure that's why they fired you?" and the man confirms over and over. Eaach time, Dave is saying, No, can't be. The guy on the phone says, "It's Corporate America! they fire who they want!". Dave doesn't go for it.

Normally, Dave and I would see eye to eye on this. But, having been in Human Resources for so many years prior to my writing career, I KNOW DIFFERENT. Corporate America DOES do anything they want. Laws? What laws? They were meant to be bent, misinterpreted and flat out broken. Don't tell me no, I have seen it in progress with my own set of eyes. Not with just one company mind you, but several.
Dave Ramsey probably doesn't run his company like most Corporate America executives...that is why he is successful. And, it's probably difficult for him to imagine others doing business as they do. But Dave, when someone tells you they got fired for a reason like a garnishment, take my advice: BELIEVE THEM.
There's a reason why employees are either being laid off, fired or jumping ship on their own from the land of capitalism. It's called misery.

Here's hoping that everyone that has been laid off or fired, finds a better job soon. Cheers
More Musings Later-