June has thrown me for a spin! Hey I am really glad you have been a visitor to the site and I am gladened and warmed beyond belief that all of us have been able to contribute to your on going healing. Thats why we – us friends – come here. To contribute to each other and to ourselves.
Contributing is simply typing away at the key board and being honest about your feelings, your thoughts – expressing who you are even if you are not quite sure who you are. A few people appologised in our last thread for not having much to offer…………..HEY!!!!!!! YOU MADE ME SMILE FOR JUST CARING TO SAY HI! YOU MADE MY LIFE BETTER FOR SHARING. YOU SPARKED IN ME THE DESIRE AND INSPIRATION TO CONTINUE TO BECOME A BETTER, MORE WHOLE PERSON.
Arent you glad you did that June? Because of you Sarah shared something which sparked in many of us a fire to survive, to be strong in the face of other peoples dissapproval and misunderstanding. How many of us identified with Sarah and shared her pain, shared those same feelings. Sarah dont appologise and definately dont stop being a part of here.
It’s that great image of a beautiful still lake and then you take a tiny pebble and drop it in and watch the ripples gently extend out to caress many distant shores. So it is with your life. Orlando FL – how about a name:), said no one is a alone. My very first thought was that my brother is. When I went home to bury him I sat in the car that he gassed himself in. I sat right where he sat and died. There were a couple of beer cans in the car, a family picture stuck in the sun visa and it struck me deeply how lonely he must have felt. Or maybe it was me in that moment, how lonely I now felt that his pebble dropping into the lake, his ripple was to be felt no more. June said that you can understand my brothers motives…my brother once said I dont want to die I just want to stop the pain. I do not know why he chose to stop it that way nor why he chose to not seek out more help. In the end he felt he was only not dying for us.
I must accept his choice but I wish, I wish, I wish…
We all have our demons some more than others. I pray that somewhere some how we can always retain a small place within where we can hold safe that flame of who we are – beings of loving energy – so we can draw warmth from that. From there comes beginnings and from there comes hope and from there comes choice.
As Orlando pointed out the worst time to be self critical is when your down – but how do you get up??? Remember the flame, allow yourself some warmth give yourself the gift of not be being the judge the jury and the executioner. Know we dont think your inadequate for being honest. Understand there is hope and a future but it will take work and friends but the first step starts from you as will the last. Take inspiration in knowing you too are inspirational to many even if you dont see it. The good, the love the light you put out into the universe is vitally important – my brothers was and no doubt he will need to come back and pass his lessons before moving on to whatever lies at the end of that road. As I write I feel him with me smiling and laughing quietly and agreeing all along he’ll be back. Both of us are saddened that our time is done but…
The choice is – recognise you are special. And like something you hold dear treat it us such. Look after your body – no matter how old/young etc it is your temple. Look after your health – see a doctor, find a form of therapy that engages and enlivens. Accept fear and pain is part of loving and living too but is only a small part – grain of sand in fact. Have a massage, do Tai chi, dance like youve never danced – dont fear the hard yards – allow who you are to inspire you as it does others but remember You come first. Memorise the Desiderata or another inspirational poem so that when you find yourself falling to the negative brain storms you can allow yourself some positive respite.
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars
you have a right to be here and wether it is clear to you or not
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”
My thoughts are with you

49 Responses to “Choices”

  1. June says:

    Hi Paul and everyone
    I didn’t mean to cause you to go into a spin! Sorry about that.
    Two questions. 1. Paul do you think you will ever get over the anger you feel about your brother and do you still blame him or do you feel like you’re in a place that you might understand what he did?
    2. Is it the fact that you have children that keeps you so hopeful?
    I always think depression is so self indulgent. One can’t think about anything but oneself and one’s own troubles but when you have kids…. Having said that after my childhood experience I would never bring kids into the world just in case.
    I’m fascinated about your feelings for your brother simply because I would hate for anyone to hate me or be angry with me or feel anything negative if I committed suicide but then I know that’s niave. Sorry Paul I don’t mean to be too invasive and I apolgise if I am getting too personal but sometimes it’s the fear of what people might think of me afterwards that keeps me going.
    Thanks for caring and commenting. Needless to say, as have many of the messages here, your comments have reduced me to good tears!

  2. Nina - Orlando, FL, USA says:

    Dear Paul,
    You always write in a way that gives us inspiration — whether you are simply relating an anecdote, telling us of a bumper sticker quote you like, or sharing your inner thoughts with us. You radiate light and warmth in your words. I know I speak for all of us (which is a rare thing to be able to do!) when I say I love reading your column on the Corner, as well as your comments in the threads.
    Thank you! For being accessible, for caring, for sharing your ideas and experiences with us, for making me think, and for helping me learn – a million times thank you.
    Speaking of choices, for some reason when I first posted a comment on your website, I chose not to use my name. And I’ve kept it that way ever since. Why, I don’t know, but I think it may have something to do with shyness? I apologize. I’m Nina. 🙂 Hello!
    Thank you to everyone — Kelli, Diane, Sarah, Megan, Dhiana, Sherrlyn, Heather, Ruby, Lesley, Mildred Levine, Cammie, Kay Lynne, June, and the countless other beautiful souls who pop in to say “hi” — for making smile with your fun comments, and making me ponder with your profound comments. It is a wonderful education.
    Who knew Paul’s website could provide sanctuary in so many ways, for so many of us? I love that he has brought so many people together in this open forum.
    In line with what Paul said, here’s hoping that each one us recognises how special we are.

  3. Cat says:

    I have to chime in here a bit–
    I read through what you wrote, and I’m hearing the disease talking. I’d love to get to know YOU, the way you are. Depression is neither self indulgent nor a choice. It’s a disease, and it makes you someone you’re not. And the worst part is that this is impossible to see when you’re down.
    I live with this disease every day. You know what? It’s beatable. I’m doing it. You can do it. But you can’t beat depression without help any more than you can cure cancer with willpower.
    Take care of yourself,

  4. Megan says:

    Thank you thank you thank you Nina, your words were too kind. Cat- I second your comments: June you CAN and WILL beat this. I know that it seems bleak from where you are now, but trust me when I say this (I know from whence I speak) in retrospect you will see how strong you were for making it through and things will get better.
    I can sympathise with you and Sarah- I don’t always like to get too personal, but perhaps for sake of the story:
    I too, was raped- this year actually… by my boyfriend at the time… and was in a very abusive relationship. I was also suffering from an eating disorder at the time, and a real bout of depression. When I finally got the strength to leave my abuser I learned that his ex-girlfriend had been HIV positive. I got myself tested (thankfully I was negative), and then I fell into a whirlwind cycle of alcohol and drugs and other not so nice habits. I had some dear people in my life who helped to point out to me my troubles. I started to clean myself up and work hard at school- only to turn around and be sexually assaulted by my professor. Things were definately looking bleak- but I managed to pull through that- and a month later my Grandfather died. That’s when I just snapped— I, as Paul stated, allowed myself to believe that I do indeed come first. I started standing up for myself and my principles. (We don’t choose the things we believe in, they choose us). I got the courage to report both my professor and my rapist, and to get myself into counseling. I found myself in acting more than ever in my life, and got some good angry roles (i.e. Abigail in The Crucible) and really used them to release my anger and hurt. Eventually I found ways to put the hurt where it belonged– in the past where I wouldn’t allow it to darken my future. And to be sure, there are still times when I am in great pain for what I have seen this past year, but I am healing. And learning to put things into perspective.
    Missed work today because I was in the ER–my mom drove up here to see me, and finally they decided to schedule me for surgery- the short of it is that, although they’re not sure, they think I may not be able to have kids. I was lying in the hospital bed feeling sorry for myself, when my mom walked in and rushed over to me. I realized that she’d driven almost 100 miles to see me for no other reason than that she loves me. And no matter what the surgery determines, no matter what has been done to me in the past, regardless of everything else, I AM WORTHY OF LOVE BECAUSE I AM A GOOD PERSON. That may seem so small a realization, but believe me, it’s taken me quite awhile to reach it.
    June- the same is true for you. I know you can’t see it now, but I promise you, if you stick out the tough times things WILL get better. Take your medication, a hot bath, and a nap. Wake up tomorrow and greet the new day telling yourself to take things one step at a time. We can’t control what has happened to us in the past- what’s done is done, and however unfair it may have been, we have to work through it… we cannot let our abusers win in that way- to allow them to continue to control and dominate our lives. We have to live for ourselves, and know that we are worthwhile—because then they will have ultimately lost, and we will have won.
    I have endless amounts of faith in you, June. And I know that you will be able to see this through. Do it for yourself– take it from someone who’s been there– you DESERVE happiness. And it’s within your grasp.
    With Love as Always,

  5. June,
    I know a lot of times life really is horrible and the fight rarely seems worth the effort, but please do keep on fighting – take medication, talk to someone that can help you through this.
    I, like many of the others here, have felt out of control – I did have suicidal thoughts also, when my father was dying of cancer. I hated the world, everyone and everything in it. Many nights I spent crying myself to sleep, thinking if only I was dead, I wouldn’t have to go through this.
    How selfish I was, my father fought as hard as he could to stay alive, even with all the pain he was in and here all I thought about was dying to be away from the situation.
    Like you, I did also worry if people would hate me for what I would do, and I am glad that I decided that yes, they would hate me for being so selfish, that is what gave me the strength to go on.
    One good thing June, you’re talking to us, not keeping everything inside like I did – this is a step in the right direction.
    I am far from being perfect, I’m not a millionaire, I’m not a wife, I’m not a mother, and sometimes I feel life isn’t worth the fight, but I look back and see all the things that I’ve done in my life to this date and I’m happy that I am still alive.
    We all have a place in the world, I think I’m still looking for mine, but until then, I am thankful that I am here.
    I know you’ve been through a lot more than I could ever imagine, but let someone help you through June – it’s okay to have someone to lean on, it’s okay to take medication to get through, just try imagine all that the future holds for you – even though you don’t think there’s anything for you – there is.
    Carol xoxo

  6. Marie says:

    Hi Everyone,
    You are all such amazing people. Just wanted to let you all know that. It is so wonderful to know there is people in the world willing and wanting to care about others.
    Megan and June- My prayers are with you. You will both beat this. Remember you are not alone.
    Paul- Your comment(on choices) was very well said. Hope you and your family is well.
    Take care,

  7. Dolores says:

    A bit of information since everyone seems to enjoy the Desiderata so,written by Max Ehrmann (1927). He has several other poetry books that are just as wonderful, uplifting, and the themes are still revelavant today. Seems truth doesn’t fade with time, but stands the test of time. They are quick reading for those on the go, 15 minutes, but like the Desiderata you can read them a hundred times. You can find the Desiderata of Hope, Desiderate of Faith, the Desiderata of Happiness, and the Desiderata of Love floating around on the web. If anyone can’t find them, let me know and I’ll email the links.

  8. Diane says:

    Paul, thanks for sharing more about the passing of your brother. I’m sure he is there with you. Not an illusion. Not a memory. But just the other side of here. From my own experiences and that of friends, I know that to be true. Our loved ones do watch over us along with our angels. Would you please share your brother’s name with us and maybe some stories of your adventures?
    You express yourself so beautifully, as do the many friends who have been drawn here by your light. I really like the flame image. We have to protect that flame from the winds that whip against us in this life by giving ourselves all the love and care we would offer to anyone we hold in high esteem. When we can’t quite muster the sacred treatment for ourselves, we can ask ourselves how we would treat our best friend, our lover, the Dalai Lama, or… mmm… Paul, and then act lovingly toward ourselves on that impulse.
    I want to thank everyone who has visited this site for sharing. I gain insight from all of the comments and stories posted on every visit.
    Kelli spoke of turning off the negative tapes. I’ve been working on that for quite a while now. We start believing that things are true through repetition, a basic principle in advertising and political muckracking. So we can just as easily start running positive messages. I try to keep affirmations all over the house and when I start to get into self-bashing, I turn it off or correct the statement. The other aspect of this is neurological. Repetitive thoughts and behaviors become embedded in us and it does take effort to retrain ourselves.
    Megan, I really like that Martha Graham quote. I’m going to hang that one up on my wall next week. I think you had also referred to Chicken Soup for the Soul. My youngest son has read three of those books to date. He mentioned a story one afternoon over lunch about a man who had contemplated suicide until one day he happened to see a bumper sticker that read: “Someone loves you!” Someone, unknown to him, fanned that sacred flame.
    Ellen Burstyn tells the story of a young man who wrote to her after seeing her in the film “The Last Picture Show.” He told her that he had planned his suicide and while walking around town waiting for the appointed hour, he went to see the movie. By the time it was over he had decided that if the character she portrayed could live with such pain, he could too. Paul is so right. We never know when and where we create miracles, just by putting ourselves out there.
    June, it’s great that you’re going for that psychology degree! I used to think that therapists (and I’ve been to a few) were unscarred people who had it all together and delivered wisdom from on high. Not so. Many come from dysfunctional backgrounds and continue to work on themselves. And some of the best guidance I’ve ever received has come from people who have been through hell and returned to help others. Just think of all the people you will be able to help by your courage to carry on!!! In our prayers on Shabbat, we ask God to “help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.” I offer that prayer for you and all who gather here.
    Which reminds me, someone had mentioned charitible acts. I would highly recommend volunteer work. I’ve been doing it for ten years and it’s very rewarding . Focusing on the needs of others helps you find and develop your own strengths.
    I have’t suffered a violent physical attack, so I can only image the fear and pain several of you have described. But I do have a few close friends who were molested, one of them by family over a period of years starting at age 5. These women are not simply survivors, they’re beautiful women of power with confidence and compassion.
    For those of us females who have reached a certain stage, here’s a bumper sticker: “They’re not hot flashes, they’re power surges.”
    Goodnight all!

  9. Paul says:

    When someone asks if I am angry with my brother my first reaction is no. I in some way have to accept his decision. I think we all have the right to decide when and how we die. Parts of me believe that when Michael took his life it was a brave, courageous and dignified act. I am angry that he gave up. That the choice he made was really a cowardly way out of facing life. I dont want to be angry with him for the pain I feel or for the sense of loss I feel – they are things that are my responsibility to accept as part of my life journey. I am angry that he copped out, that he chose not be the fullest he could have been – angry that he refused to see, acknowledge and love his potential to give, nurture and grow. I am saddened and angry that such a beautiful man felt so inadequate that he decided to simply cease to exist.
    I dont understand depression. I have several close friends who suffer this disease and manage to live their lives sometimes with a smile and sometimes without. I have known others who have not survived it. I don

  10. Charlie says:

    It is sad the way depression can take a person apart. My sister suffers from depression, and I do what I can to

  11. Anonymous says:

    I just read your comments regarding your brother’s death. No one but the one who makes that choice can possibly understand what is happening inside them. Suicides are very confusing for those left behind and I think it takes a lifetime to try to come to grips with it.
    I’m very sorry for your loss.
    I disagree, however, with your comment that we have the *right* to choose how and when we die. My friends just gave birth to a beautiful little girl that had anencephaly (no brain). Did she get to choose? Certainly, her parents had the option, but thankfully, they chose not to terminate and got to hold her, introduce her to her older brothers and say good-bye. As devastating and painful as either path would be, I certainly don’t think we have any *rights* where life and death are concerned. We are not the originators of life and should not be the ones to terminate it.
    This is not to minimize your pain or that of others suffering, but just knowing that we are NOT in charge, I think, makes a huge difference. That there is One that has our lives all planned out for us. But that doesn’t mean that our lives are going to be a picnic.
    I admire the helping advice that people on this site are willing to extend. I think being able to have a place to *vent* is a blessing. No judgements, no backlash from parents (Charlie 🙂 ), just listening ears…or eyes!
    Research is being done on depression and ADD. That’s great. Has any of you ever done any reading and research on the links between depression and hormone imbalance? There, too, could be a major reason women suffer from depression in greater numbers than men. How many men do you know of that are put on synthetic hormones when they hit puberty, then more when they are done having children?
    Ok, I’m off the soapbox. 🙂

  12. Megan says:

    Greetings all!
    Thank you for your support Marie, Paul, and everyone else. Rest assured, I’m in a good place now, and I feel blessed for my life—for the good and for the bad. Given the opportunity to go back and change anything about my life, I wouldn’t. Every experience that we have had has lead us on the path to who we are at present. I do like who I am and I do like where I am despite the ups and downs I face… Therefore I cannot in good conscience wish that even one thing had been different. Through my personal troubles I have gained insight, and a deeper understanding of self. This is invaluable.
    I’d like to respond, if I may, to the last post. Although I’d never claim to be inside of Paul’s head, I can say that I didn’t interperate his words on “choice” in the same way that you did.. I don’t think he meant “choice” to apply to all situations, and certainly not to your friend’s baby (How horribly sad! I cannot even imagine what losing a child must be like). Certainly there are some situations where we are without a choice- cancer, heart attack, stroke–these things are the unexpected and uncontrollable of life, part of our own destiny, and we cannot make the choice to stop that which we cannot control in the first place (at least in this regard).
    But we can take contol of the way we die in certain ways: although suicide is very often prompted by a chemical inbalance or a disease like depression, it is still a choice. Now this is not to minimize suicide- I can’t imagine what the pain of losing someone you love to it would be like, nor can I imagine the hurt that would lead someone to feel like it was the only way out. But deciding to end your own life is precisely that… a decision (perhaps not always made in the soundest frame of mind or with the clearest judgement, but a decision none-the-less). And as with all decisions, there are alternate paths that can be taken.
    My heart goes out to all those who’ve suffered the loss of someone they love, and also it extends to those who feel alone and lost; who have ever contemplate ending their lives. You’re in my thoughts, my prayers. May you see your alternate path.

  13. Mildred Levine says:

    and that includes you, too, Paul! This is Great-Grandma Mildred Levine dispensing advice and information on that horrible disease, depression.
    Twenty-five years ago, when I was 44 years old (I
    am now 69) I was in the throes of depression that
    was to last over a year, bringing misery to myself
    and my poor husband and our then teenage daughters.
    I had to take a leave of absence from my job as teacher, which made my condition worse, it seems.
    I went to a boring shrink who listened
    as I told him how badly I felt every day, every hour. He prescribed a trycyclic anti-depressant that did not work. He must have concluded that I was not getting better, so in desperation, (and my
    good fortune) he sent me to a special type of doctor that although a psychiatrist, did not dwell
    on typical therapy, but prescribed a
    “big gun” pill for tough cases like mine. This
    type of doctor is called a psychopharmacologist,
    and at the first visit, he prescribed a drug which
    is a MOA inhibitor, called PARNATE.
    Within 3 weeks I was feeling better, and in 9 weeks I was really feeling great, and
    within 9 months I was taken off this
    anti-depressant for good, and have never had to use it again in all these years…I got
    my life back, went back to work, and finished 21
    years of teaching and went into retirement in Florida with my husband.
    Since depression is considered a disease,
    it stands to reason that medication will
    help and even cure, if it’s the right
    medication…depressions can be caused by
    heredity, or chemical inbalances in the
    brain…if one medication doesn’t help, try, try,
    another one. These MOA inhibitors are
    life-savers, but they have to be carefully monitored by a specialist, for the side effects
    are tricky, and certain foods have to be
    eliminated during the course of treatment. One
    just has to drop the herring and cheeses,
    (and other exotic stuff) but it’s well worth it!
    I have never had another reoccurrence of
    that depressive state. I am filled with
    boundless energy, am now producing and
    directing another big variety show in our
    retirement community, and as a film moderator,
    have shown Strictly Ballroom 5 times since September, for many people come back for
    more…they walked out of Moulin Rouge!
    I have made a request, and it has been
    granted, to have SB shown on our new
    multiplex screen in our newly renovated
    huge theatre (940) seats in the New Year.
    I believe this will be a first lately, for SB
    has only been shown on cable TV.
    Paul, the seniors love you because you
    are sooo handsome and so uniquely talented as
    a dancer, and as an actor…your scenes
    with Tara are breathtaking and poignant.
    This film is #1 as far as my husband and I are
    concerned, and at our age, we have seen them all!
    Stay well everyone, and cheers!
    Grandma Mildred

  14. Margie says:

    Hi Paul!
    Way to go Mildred!!!! What a character you must be. I love, love, love, SB too. Although, Moulin Rouge is a distant second.
    Paul, I agree with the statement that there is ONE, God, who does have our life planned for us. We just have to ask Him to show us that plan and be open to listening to His will. We may not always understand. We will though. I am deeply sorry for the lost of you much loved brother.
    June, I will pray for your recovery. God does answer prayers. Just yesterday I got the news that a friend had a tumer to be removed. She went into surgery, the docters found no evidence of a tumer. Completly gone!!! I truly believe that was an answer to prayer.
    Paul and All, I enjoy reading your posts. So much depth and really profound thinking. God has given us so many gifts.
    Cat, congradulations on you up-coming nuptuals.
    I will continue to pray for you, Paul, your family, and all of you you take the time to listen and respond to those in need.
    God Bless you,

  15. Mary Ellen says:

    My counselor says there are certain personality types that tend to be more morose, reflective and self-analytical. Those of us who fall into that catagory may fall into depression more easily than others. I guess then you sprinkle into the mix some life experiences, and you can go down that path-to depression- very easily. I went through a rough time 6 years ago when my mother died, my 4 year old had 3 surgeries, and my mother-in law was wasting away with cancer. It was hard, hard, hard. For me, I ended up on my knees in prayer, taking meds., taking care of others and walking in the early morning air with two girl friends. There are chemicals that our brain needs, sunshine and sometimes medicine. I try to keep in balance. I still struggle! God has made all of us exactly the way he has made us and accepts us the way he has made us. As a person of faith, I feel that we are given by God some challenges and tests. He wants us to realize that we can be dependent on Him to supply all of our needs. Millie, you are what they call around here a “pistol”! I want to be just like you! Paul, what can I say? You have turned my daughter into a dance-loving, theatre type. He eyse are now opened to dance-not just the kind that we see in videos. We watch a lot of old dance movies and SB is right up there with “On the Town”. I always tell her how handsome you are. We hope that things are going well for you and your family. I admire your resolve. Did you ever think that you would be communicating with people all over the world because of a role?
    Mary Ellen

  16. Sherrlyn says:

    Charlie: You needed my beautician, she told me today that it’s just hair, cut, curl or color. It makes no difference, it will grow out and we start all over again. Tomorrow I go to work as a redhead ( I think!), guess I’ll know in an hour or so.
    I saw this on a Church Marquee
    “Stumbling blocks are carved on the Steppings stones of our lives.”
    Thought it interesting way of looking at the challenges we go thru daily.
    I’ve read all four of Robert Fulghum’s books and find them to be humorous, and enlightening.
    Paul, we all grieve with you over the loss of Michael. We did not know him as you did, but the thought of losing someone close to you and in that way is very sad. Our hearts go out to you and your family.
    To those on the site living in the US, I do hope that you are all saying prayers for the fire fighters in Arizona and Colorado. We have a very dear friend on the fire line in AZ and his wife is manning the phones and cooking for the crew left at his base station. Prayers are appreciated as no one can get to them to help in any other way right now.
    Thanks to all of you for letting me ramble. I’m going to go watch Back of Beyond.

  17. Diane says:

    Sherrlyn, thanks for reminding me about those firefighters. We’ve had two big fires in my area in California within the last month and firefighters came in from at least four counties to battle them. I’m so grateful to them and to their families and my prayers will be offered for all.
    Mildred, thanks for your spirited posts. I hope to be as young as you when I’m 69.
    Paul, thanks for your thoughts about Michael. I look forward to reading your poem. Also, thanks for reminding me about “Seth Speaks”. I picked up a copy today. Here’s my question of the day: Are any of your dance performances available on VHS video? I remember reading about a piece you created called “Burning Desire.” I was reminded about it when I bought a beautiful Jackson & Perkins red rose bush by the same name. Anyway, I’d like to find a way to get my youngest son interested in dance, at least as a hobby. He has a dancer’s body and although he’s a shy kid, he lights up on the dance floor.
    So glad to learn your name, Nina. I’ve always been shy, too. That’s why I got into theatre. It’s only in the past 10 years or so that I’ve become more outgoing

  18. Dolores says:

    Mildred, just one thing to say, you go girl!
    When you write from the soul, speaking the truth, having the ability for people to recognize something familiar within themselves, the ability to touch people creates magic. Some of the greatest writers are the ones who dared to dream and share their souls, the good, bad, and ugly.
    Many, who have taken the creative path, don’t have the support and understanding of families. We are the odd freaks of nature, who chose the path less traveled. They whisper behind our backs, shake their heads at the dinner table, and give mum condolences for our career choices. Individuality makes you special, creativity is a gift to be shared, and that’s a good thing. I still dye my hair, the colour de jour, I went with my son to piece his ear, and he asked if I was stopping at ten earrings. I will if he will. My daily mantra to my son…. dream; you can be anything you want to be. I never close doors and I encourage any creative/interest he has. I’ve learned to live for yourself, believe in yourself, don’t allow anyone to have the power to tear down your beliefs, and accept people simply for who they are, relish each person’s uniqueness. If I’m lucky I have passed that strength onto my child.
    I began writing at 6 and I knew that’s who I was, even at that age. By 16 my family had extinguished that flame, and cured me of my abnormality. By 25 I was drafted into the corporate world. My epiphany came when I realized there were so many around me who also had artistic aspirations that they didn’t follow, either from fear, conformity, or lack of support from friends or family. When asked, no one knew why they gave up the dream, why they never tried, and therein lay the failing. So I realized it wasn’t too late, pulled myself up, believed I could do it (that’s half the battle) relit the fire and went for broke! I’ve got a long way to go in life, but at least I’m enjoying the journey. Do what you love, it may not always be easy, but you have to believe.

  19. D-Lo,
    I believe – even when I’m the only one who seemingly does. Keeping the faith on the journey. It has been a long one – never dull, but even a writer has got to eat. 🙂 Some of teh stuff I’ve written is far from pretty and I’ve laid many a soul bare. The truth usually isn’t pretty, but that’s not its nature – its nature is just being the truth. Sometimes it is so ugly it is rejected, but in even the ugly reality it still is. I have my bouts of tempermentality – like when my favorite bumper sticker is “GO AWAY AND STAY THERE!” But I also have my “Runs with Scissors” days – i guess that should actually go under the other thread huh. I wish that I could still dye my hair whatever color I felt like but – working for the “establishment” (funny that’s what I call the bad guys in my current work) I have to keep a somewhat “normal” outward appearance. (I work in a hospital. Proofing grant submissions and research manuscripts – TEDIOUS!)
    Thanks for your kind words – I know it sucks about my mom and her family – but as you said whatever lessons you’re supposed to learn… I just try to keep my distance and accept that they will never change and I don’t need their acceptance, I just wish for them that someday they see that their way isn’t the right way for EVERYONE, adn that their horizons widen. I feel sorry for them to have such a narrow view of everything – they are missing out on the joy and beauty of variety in the universe. It’s a technicolor world out there and to try and understand it in terms of black and white only, heck why limit yourself, like I said i don’t understand them, but I accept it. I think It hurts mostly because I’ve always thought “family” was supposed to love you unconditionally, I’ve found that it’s my friends who do that, and have no “I told you so’s” when all is said and done. And trust – there is a story there. Also I’m sorry to hear about your mother – I know how horrible cancer is – as I work in a major hospital and the past year I’ve been copyediting research manuscripts and trying to get grant/research money for the division I work in (Hematology/Oncology). I got so mad last year when cancer research funding got diverted to biological research (anthrax paranoia) and other things that will eventually come back to haunt later I’m sure.
    I know, you’re beautician is totally right. But I don’t need her – since I never have time for one. My hair is so long, people think it’s cool and must be so much work – but actually I only have to really get it cut once every few years and I can just pull it back in a ponytail or put it up and I’m “done” – so it’s pretty low maintenance as far as I’m concerend. But yeah, I could never understand my mom’s family’s preoccupation with my hair, my clothes, and lately the new thing “how fat I am” -?! I’m 5’7″ and I weigh 120 pounds. OK so in High School I weighed 88 pounds but that was nearly 20 years ago – and I was a total stick figure (even ate like a garbage compactor!) But, WHATEVER I know.
    And to Cat and Paul,
    For creating this place, and making it live. If anything from any of these dialogues helps anyone, give someone hope, a place to vent, or just simply brings people together in any way – you’ve made a diference.
    Cat have a great time in Vegas – I LOVE that city esp at night – the sensory overload is sometimes just what I need. (Could explain why I need music/Tv/white noise when i’m working!)
    Paul, let me know when Rima sends you the script –
    or if you’d like me to send you the PDF. Like I said I think you’d be great in it – hey do you direct? I know you choreograph…
    Best Regards to all as always,

  20. Dhiana says:

    There’s your blood family, and then there’s your blessing family, that is, your family of choice. Charlie, you’ve hit the nail on the head!
    Like attracts like…so take a look at the friends and family who do support you, and see yourself reflected in them. It’ll make you smile.
    Continually blessed, (esp. with Paul’s Entourage here!)

  21. Paul says:

    A response to – due to lack of a name left – Soapbox..
    You say the “one” has it all planned out for us and that we are not in charge of our life, future, past or destiny. That frightens the heck out of me because if I have no choices to make or no control over my life I may as well pull up stumps and go and do something else – but not on this planet.
    I dont think the “one” put us here in order for us to wander around on pre-ordained/planned paths. To live out their fantasies for their amusment.
    We are here on planet earth to experience this physical thing called humanity. It takes the form of a physical body and a spiritual being. From then on the choice on how why where when what etc falls to us. Without making choices we would discover, and thereby learn, nothing and therefore have completely no purpose in experiencing this life. I think it is the “one’s” ‘soul’ desire for us to make choices every step of the way. Only in doing so can we grow and thereby does the “one” grow also.
    To think that our lives are all ‘planned out’ for us is to step away from all reality and the responsibilty we have to living. – “I didnt mean to do it, it was all planned out for me!” – But that too is making a choice and therefore the whole point of living.
    As far as choosing our own death goes….it doesnt matter how many people tell us we cannot be responsible for our own death – whilst all the time insisting that we be responsible for our living – because no one can take away our right to act on our own. So it is a pointless arguement.
    It is only the right to lifer’s or pro life hardliners that go and kill innocent doctors, husbands and wives in the name of the right to live. People who believe in their right to die – and lets face it we are all dieing as we read this – seem to go about living and embracing life with the knowlege that it is their right to do so – living that is. ‘Living’ is making choices about the quality of that experience.
    I would ask that you read “Seth Speaks” by Jane Roberts or “Emmanuel’s Book” by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton….. or “Conversation With God” by Neil Donald Walsh or Krishnamurti’s writings or all of them. I ask everyone to do this so as to broaden the idea of what living is about. Read some Richard Bach too.
    If we go back to an earlier posting on love and fear/hate, in keeping with those ideas living and dying are one in the same. The moment we are born we begin the journey of dying – so, is the journey one of life or one of death. What most people will find abhorent in that idea is that attatched to the word death is our own set of fears. I have plenty of them but living is dying and dying is living – balance and harmony.
    Embrace life/death – choose the quality of that journey.
    And lastly I am sorry for all the suffering in the world. For all the children with cancer, for all the innocents that die in wars, car crashes and from dis – eases. I am sorry for those who only find hate in their heart and not love, suffering in their life and not joy.
    But this is the human experience and we choose to live it.

  22. Paul says:

    Charlie, Rima is away for the next month. If you posted her the script her assistant Bruce will forward it on to me. Yes I am also looking for projects to direct.
    Lets not get confused with family and friends. The hardest family members to deal with are those that are not also friends. My Mum is my Mum and also one of my closest friends. My Dad, mmm he is family and while we are mates of sorts there is more distance. It is not fair on ourselves to assume or expect that our family should also be our friends. It saddens me but it is a fact that sometimes family can be our worst enemies.
    I like what you said Dhiana and would add: make a family with your friends and make friends with your family. But realise that family and friends are just people and there are no rules saying you must like every person you come across.
    Diane, Lifes Burning Desire is a documentary I co produced about the setting up of my Dance company ACE. We shot it in 1992 at the same time SB was openning in Australia – it openned in USA in 1993. It is available on video but I wouldnt have any idea where. Let me know if you find it. If you draw a complete blank I may be able to do something – I will look into it. It was screened here by SBS Television.
    By the way we have Fathers Day in August.

  23. Diane says:

    Paul, thanks for the information. I’ll start looking for the video and I’ll let you know when and where I’ve found it.
    I agree with your comments about choice. That’s part of our agreement with the Creator, the “free will” clause that allows us to explore life and move our personal evolution along in our own time and at our own pace. The one thing that seems predestined is that we will all someday be joined in oneness. It reminds me of a board game I used to play with my youngest brother (who is one of my best friends) called “Civil War” based on the US North-South conflict in the 1800’s. It took us a while but we finally figured out that no matter how cleverly you played, there was no freekin’ way you could win if you were the South. The game, like the war, was stacked in favor of the North. We keep playing the game of life until we’ve learned all the lessons and given up the game.
    I also believe we have the right to chose whether we live or die. We make small choices in either direction each day when we either affirm ourselves or deny ourselves in the physical realm. To the Creator, there is no death, only change, so it’s not an issue of morality, it’s a matter of karma. We will experience what we give. If we are cruel, cruelty will come back to us so that we might learn to chose differently.
    That’s not to say that the baby born with anencephaly was being punished. I also believe that we chose the lessons we want to learn before we get here and we align ourselves with other souls with whom we can learn those lessons. (That would also explain why we can’t expect to be best friends with those closest to us.) It may well be that the soul of that baby had an agreement to incarnate, if only briefly, to bring a lesson. Unfortunately, there are anti-choice activists and politicians who will argue that, because the parents of that child could withstand the emotional trauma of bringing a baby to term for a brief life, all mothers/parents should be legally required to do. Who is to say what the lesson is for others? Not me!
    There are questions about karma in the next strand and I will post a quote on the topic there.
    Briefly back to politics… Are any of you following the big broohaha over the recent U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the phrase “under God” in the US Pledge of Allegiance is a violation of the Constitution since it implies endorsement of religion. The phrase was inserted during the McCarthy era, as was the “In God We Trust” on US paper currency. My lunch companion asked me what I thought God thought of the whole thing. I figured God was laughing and shaking her head. Then my husband told me that the man who brought the case is being condemned by “religious” folk and he’s receiving death threats. This only confirms to me that some people place far more emphasis on the word “God” and the wrote muttering of prayers than on the concept and embodyment of God. THAT seems like idolatry.
    I’ve read Conversations With God books I & 2. I read Richard Bach long ago, but I’ll go back and take another look. I just read The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav and highly recommend it.
    Fathers Day falls on what day in August, Paul?

  24. Ange says:

    You can buy Life’s Burning Desire from the follwing link

  25. Diane says:

    Ange, thank you so much for the link. I’ve just emailed Ronin Films to find out where I can buy the VHS video in the U.S.(Their company description says that they mostly ship in Australia and New Zealand) I’ll post that info when I get it.

  26. Ange says:

    I’ve just read and re-read your post about choices. It doesn’t feel
    like I have any choices to make. My life would never have made a
    difference to anyone and I do believe we are judged by ourselves
    when it comes to it. So I judge myself now. I have contributed
    nothing to the world. I haven’t made a profound difference to
    anyone. You have Paul. By using your talent and thereby being
    given celebrity status you have influenced all these people that
    post here. Whether they are on here because they think it’s just
    exciting emailing a film star or whether like me, they feel they are
    amongst kindred spirits – ones that can assist along the path. You
    have influenced me to a degree. The words you wrote about
    Michael and how you felt…I found them harsh -like a kick in the
    stomach cause it’s exactly what I don’t want to believe. I don’t
    really want to know that people continue to hurt. I want someone
    to tell me it’s OK, that I have permission to finish my own life.
    I feel like I only cause pain and antagonise others so they respond
    with the necessary actions. I know the rape wasn’t my fault but I
    played a part in leading him on. As far my physically abusive
    relationship – well, yeah I do feel responsible. I did wind him up
    sometimes, not always but sometimes. Every legitimate,
    reasonable person smacks their kids sometimes for pushing the
    boundaries too far – our relationship was no different.
    I listened to you Paul, I really did. I finished work the other night
    and I waited till everyone had gone home and I took over our
    theatre and danced and sang my heart out. A temporary respite.
    Maybe that’s the problem – I’m fundamentally lazy.
    I apologise to each and every one of you now. I find it a solice
    posting here, but I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive
    me. Please don’t judge me cause the strange thing is when you
    are all supportive and helpful as you have been, I feel even worse
    cause I feel like I don’t deserve it.
    A final note to all before I head off into the early hours of the
    morning. After everything that’s happened to me I have to go and
    see the doctor and find out if the growths she has discovered are
    malignant or benign. Kind of makes you wonder how evil I actually
    am to have deserved this life. Maybe I am the source of a great
    black comedy series that should be written. It doesn’t half make
    me wonder, as I stick around living this life, accepting the pain and
    hurt what the hell else is going to happen to me? Can’t wait to find out what she tells me!
    Sorry, time to let people move onto happier and easier subjects.
    Ignore me.

  27. Heather Hill says:

    Geez Ange,
    Come on. I could walk down the street naked. But, no one has the right to rape me. No is no! And a spank on the bottom is not the same thing as a right cross to the head. I don’t believe you really think these things are equal.
    If you choose to be miserable, guess what. You will be miserable. You’re a psych student. You might know what Learned Helplessness is. Read up on it.
    I’ll say it again. If you want to make a difference Ange, do some charity work. Serve meals at women’s shelter or work a hotline. You could influence people who really need it. No offense to Paul. I’m sure that being an influential actor/dancer is really great, but it’s not exactly like being a Mother Teresa, is it?

  28. I second Heather’s post. (Again, no offense Paul!) 🙂
    No one has the right to do anything to you, no matter what you did or didn’t do!
    Ange, I know you have had an overwhelming burden to bear in your life, but you really have to stop being a victim – you need to stand up for yourself, you *are* worthy of love, happiness and all things good. I wish we could convince you of this, but you are the only person able to do that.
    Life is its own little “hell.” No matter how good it can get, there will always be some obstacle to overcome, large or small.
    Life will always have good and bad, we have to accept that and learn not to focus so much on the bad, otherwise you will wallow in it until it consumes you.
    Most of us do tend to put celebrities up on a pedestal, but they also have faults, after all, they are human too. As much as we love to think their lives are perfect, I am sure fame and fortune doesn’t guarantee that.
    As for not feeling like you have made a difference in this world, Ange, I am sure the people around you would say otherwise.
    I feel as if I haven’t made a “mark” on this world yet, and who knows if I ever will. I don’t have the talents as someone like Paul does to share with this world, but I have other talents to share with my family and frinds, and that’s okay by me!
    The world will just have to keep on spining without being a witness to my talents! LOL
    Carol xoxo

  29. Paul says:

    My only fault is that I “am” human!!! As for fame and fortune…mmmmm…. I get recognised occassionally when I am on some of my plumbing jobs but the money just doesnt seem to come with it:)?!.
    Ange stop putting yourself down. It wont wash with us, we have already seen your good side! So you may as well fess up, you are actually a good person with some faults just like the rest of us!

  30. Heather says:

    I’d like to finish my post from earlier. I was interupted by bathtime. I may be the only one still on this thread, but I don’t care. Sleep eludes me tonight, anyway.
    Paul, I really enjoyed your comments on destiny. Very well spoken. You’ve earned my respect and admiration, that’s for sure.
    I will now commence rant and rave:
    Sometimes I feel like I an living in an era of personal and social irresponsibility, a sort of moral Dark Age where forethought has been forsaken by the dollar sign and the needs of the many pale in comparison to the needs of the one, me, I, Inc. How did this come about? Sometimes I think over-population is putting pressure on us making us more centric, more aggressive and protective. Have we lost touch with our roots, the land, people and animals by congregating in large cities?
    Has anyone ever seen that famous Disney lemming run? You know, that was all a hoax. They drove those poor things off those cliffs with big boards. Sometimes, I think the fantasy world of television and advertisments had given us false ideas of what life should be like. I heard an interesting woman on the radio the other day. I wish I could remember her name (I’m as bad with names as I am with jokes). She was criticizing American values, wondering how it came to pass that the poorest American has a TV and a dishwasher but no affordable health care.
    Has anyone taken a close look at the grocery store lately. It’s a packaging, landfill nightmare. There’s everything from disposable tupperware to individual portions of chips and dip. It’s worse than ever! And this is in an era of environmental awareness? Not if our president has his way! All we seem to do is sell each other new junk. Consume, consume, consume, they say to us. I wish I could believe that my individual efforts of conservation and my support for all those liberal (and how and when did liberal become a dirty word?) organizations is making a difference, but I’m afraid the problem is bigger than that. I’m frightened. I foresee an ugly period of regression, recession, and repression ahead of us.
    I would love for someone to share their thoughts on mankinds lack of forsight with me.

  31. Anonymous says:

    When did liberal become a “dirty word”? When Rush Limbaugh started spewing his maddness across the air waves.
    I’m not sure how to respond to the rest exactly. As for a moral dark age? There have always been morally corrupt things. I’m reminded of the holocaust, the spanish inquisition, slavery, the degredation and murder of countless native americans in this country. Despite what is done on a global scale, immoralities and evils have always existed, with previous generations fantasizing that things were different when they were young. . . (They most often never were).
    And I’ll agree that we’re more driven by the dollar sign now than ever before–more corporate if you will. But then, take a look at at the early 1900’s before the depression. . . Greed was still there, just on a smaller scale. As long as there has been money, it has talked. Sadly, this is not a new concept, and I see little way out of the situation.
    As for overpopulation making us more protective and agressive- I’d have to disagree. I think it forces us to give up our need to be protective of physical space. We guard our emotions, make ourselves our own personal sanctuary–for better or worse. Even early settlers donned guns and shot at intruders. And I won’t even get started on the Vikings….
    If we’re unaware environmentally. . . I can only say this is NOT by any means a new thing. Generations ago, the industrial age in Europe created much of the filth that still exists. The last hundred years in this country haven’t exactly been environmentally peachy. Environmental problems don’t grow overnight, they develop. But recycling rates are higher now than fifty years ago— that has to say something.
    And with all this said and done, am I attempting to say that evilness, lack of foresight, and greed are inherent in human nature? I don’t know. Certainly, we are a far from perfect race. And maybe I’m a fundamentally optimistic person. . . But I still like to imagine that the majority of people are basically good and decent at heart—we just need to learn to put a little faith in eachother… And trust. As difficult as it may be to see sometimes, I don’t think the world is as bleak as you made it out to be.

  32. Megan says:

    Sorry- got a little carried away and forgot to enter the info and sign that… The previous post was mine 🙂

  33. Kelli says:

    Response to “Soapbox” and, consequently to all:
    I agree that we all have choices to make in this thing we call life. What I disagree with is the idea that that is all it is, a series of choices and lessons. Yes, I believe that our lives were/are planned out for us as the hairs on our heads are numbered. But, God does allow us to make choices. But is that the whole point? To live, to choose and then to die? I think not. Where is God in all of that? Ah, the lifelong debate of predestination vs. free will.
    Paul, why do you fear death? If you believe, and I think you do, that you get to live again here on earth (why would ANYONE want to do this over again??), I would think you would be excited to give it another go. For me, death is bittersweet. I will be sad to leave my family behind, but will be filled with joy to be in heaven. No pain, no sadness.
    Ange, your life is full of choices. “Should I get up today?”, “Should I take my meds today?”, “What will my attitude be?”. All of these are choices that we can make every day of our lives.
    I agree with “Soapbox” that life is not our choice, so death should not be. I am saddened by those that take their own lives. They miss out on so much, eventhough they don’t know it. My goal is to strive to make God the focal point of every day…that’s not to say that I achieve that goal! Satan is strong and knows which buttons to push! But, what if we made that not only the focus of our day, but of our lives? That would change the choices we make, the attitudes with which we live and the outlook as well, I think. Life is complicated. Choices get complicated. On this I think we all agree. But I know that I am not alone in this life, that I do not make those choices all on my own, that I have guidance. If I would just listen to it… 🙂
    I know this may sound simplistic, but God calls us to have “faith like a child” while we increase in knowledge and, hopefully, wisdom.
    I can almost imagine the responses to this one!! But, then again, if we just wanted to be like everyone and liked by everyone life wouldn’t be very fun, would it?
    Taking a step out there…

  34. Ange says:

    Mr Mercurio
    Thank you for your very touching words, sir. I appreciate you
    cutting straight to the quick and not necessarily flowering up what
    you want to say – it’s very refreshing. You make me smile and I
    know that there are three little girls in the world that are very
    lucky to have you as their dad. (Enough soppy stuff.)
    I have a question. Bearing in mind that you acknowledge what life
    throws at you as a learning experience, I have to ask…if you had
    your life over would you change any of it? In a sense, yeah I guess
    it is a trick question!
    By the way I have just spent some time reading stuff on your site
    and wondered what you are currently driving at the moment, bike
    wise. I noted you wanted a Suzuki but personally I’ve always
    found the Hondas to be reliable. Dream bike would be…? That
    would always be, for me, the best way to work through any
    emotion, just get on my motorbike and ride. I miss that. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong!

  35. Paul says:

    Kelli, I dont know where you got the idea I fear death. As I said in my earlier post life and death, living and dying are one in the same. So to fear death would also be to fear life – something I do not do. I embrace my life (and thereby my death) with all my heart and soul. In the equation of my life I focus on the “living” part of it, not the “dying”. I havent really thought about my own death overly much – I have many things to achieve and am focusing on bringing them to life.
    I do not believe in heaven. I think heaven and hell are man made devices used as tools by man to gain – money, power etc However I do think that we – the human race – if we got our act together could in fact make this life, this planet our heaven. This is perhaps one of the choices God has made available to us.
    Lastly Life IS our choice. I choose everyday to live – as you do, otherwise we wouldnt be here.
    Ange, I am riding a BMW K1200rs. I have a deal with BMW where they give me the bike to ride and after five months or so they take it back off me and sell it and give me another new one to ride. Yes I am very lucky!! I am now on my 7th bike! They get the promotional benefits and I get to ride a terrific sports/touring motorcycle. I love riding the bike to work, to the shops, to pick up my girls from school….all the boys think they are very cool!
    As far as having my choice over….. a trick question?? I dont know who said …”I would rather die with dissapointment than regrets”….
    I have dissapointments but no regrets. If I had the opportunity to live my life over I think I would do it all differently only because I have already done it this way so why repeat it – go do it different and see how that is! That is in fact most likely what we do anyway when we die. We come back as other beings to live out things that we havent as yet experienced in this human form or to complete lessons or tasks that we didnt fully experience the first time round.

  36. Ange says:

    Hey Paul
    How jealous am I about the bike? No matter what the universe threw at you I guess you could suffer anything knowing you are getting a brand new bike twice a year! I can

  37. Ange says:

    I take back my comments about just aesthetics. Looked up the bike on the net and she’s a beauty. Heated hand grips though…..come on Paul, what happened to being a biker – a real biker!

  38. Paul says:

    I’m an aries actually. Heated grips rock – every bike should have them – who says you must suffer to be real biker. I have never in 22 years of riding fallen off – something I am proud of and something I am not dissapointed about:)
    As for being a biker #@&^ As long as it is over 750cc I’l take it. I’d love to have a Hyabusa the new zx1200sports tourer is pretty cool, a 998 Duck would be nice as would the new Benelli and perhap an MV Augusta also. I’m still orientated towards the sports/tourer side of my age group. The K12 goes like stink and is very comfy at 220km per hour on the way home – but dont tell anybody- and doing that in winter with the heated grips on means you can still use your fingers to operate the indicators!

  39. Angela says:

    See now you’re just trying to show off by naming bikes I’ve never even heard of! I am going hunting on the internet though. I’ve never heard of a duck but I am grown up enough to admit that and not be embarrassed! I am amazed you have not fallen off – ever. I spent more time off my bike that on it and quite a bit of time with my bike on top of me so I promised I would never ride anything that I couldn’t pick up from the floor – bear in mind I am girl (don’t spread that around though).
    Have to say too that you really have missed out. I love going to bike meetings and comparing scars and accidents with others. it makes me feel like I am keeping up with the crowd. My friend lost his leg in a bike accident (he still rides) and he reckons no-one can really beat him on that! I think he may have a point.
    You really like the power behind you don’t you. Don’t blame you mind, and if I had the chance I would certainly like to open her up to some fantastic speed – maybe one day.
    Please teel me you q jump in traffic and completely abuse your priviledges of being a biker – I trust you…I know you must.
    I love bikers – they know what life is all about and live it to the max (I sound like an advert) but it’s true. Nothing beats driving down the road, sweating in your gear and having flying insects hit your mouth at 80mph.
    Do you drive a car? Do you own a car? I drive but find it boring. I do follow fomula one though although it’s become quite staid lately with team tactics removing the excitement.
    Going to look up Ducks. I resent the fact I shall probably think it’s a gorgeous specimen too. There were problems with the K range for BMW but from the sound of it you think they’re OK. I may not ride currently but I TRY and keep up with the goss.

  40. Paul says:

    Ducati’s are often called ducks or dukes

  41. Ange says:

    Oh yes, I am embarrassed (please set scene, head held in shame
    and slight tinge of rouge about the facial area!), of course I flamin’
    well know what a duck is. I hide behind the pathetic facade of
    skiving on the net when I should have been working and the poor
    air quality we have in Scotland (sarcastic tone: aye right!)
    Bizarrely they are running tests between the Hayabusa and the
    Blackbird in my monthly mag. Yes the blackbird did come in last
    from all four bikes tested, yes the Hayabusa did come in first and
    finally yes, the Blackbird has been called ‘an old man’s bike’. I
    don’t apologise for formally admitting though that if I had the
    ability, purse strings etc it would be my bike of choice.
    Have to say they are also offering a comp to win a Tornado and it is
    the closest thing to perfection I have seen in a long time. At

  42. Diane says:

    Let’s see…the best I can contribute to this biker talk is that my second oldest brother (I have three brothers) used to own a Honda, then a Suzuki, and finally a Harley. He actually sold Harley’s for about 10 years. I remember those stupid scooters. I drove one when I was a teen, before I got my operator’s license. Oh yeh… and I have a black leather biker jacket. Okay, not very impressive, I admit. But hey, that jacket does turn heads when I go my friends’ gay and lesbian socials.
    So, Ange, you wanna bike across Australia? Read Robyn Davidson’s book “Tracks.” What an adventure she had!
    Back to Heather’s post and the one that followed it on the topic of social responsibility and moral decay. The more we think we need “stuff” to be happy, the more we make “stuff” our god. But I do think that more and more people are awakening to the emptiness of mindless consumerism. Have you heard of the simplicity movement? There are people who are rethinking where they spend their time, energy and money and changing their lives to reflect their new values. Social change takes decades, though. So, Heather, continue your conservation efforts and support of worthy causes. Know that the world is a better place because you care enough to make those efforts a part of your everyday life. And maybe someday, you’ll lead the charge on a specific issue and help guide our society back to the path. And yes, we may be in for some bumpy times ahead, so do what you can to prepare for recession because I think it will hit.
    You asked “when did liberal become a dirty word?” I’ve been kicking that around for a few days. (Rush didn’t start it, he’s not that smart.) Maybe it happened when we liberals lost control of our message about of core beliefs and priorities because we couldn’t figure out how to demonstrate the practical reasons for them.
    This year, I worked to help get the only electable environmentalist onto our otherwise conservate city council. Now that she’s there, she’s trying to work within the system to enlighten people and help the city change course. But that’s not good enough for some people in the environmental community. They’re accusing her of selling out because she isn’t willing to reduce her effectiveness by being their total puppet. Incredibly short-sighted. Terribly frustrating. And then we wonder why we can’t get people to run for public office! The next week should be an interesting one because said council member is prepared to name me to a post and I may be in for mud-slinging from both liberals and conservatives. Think I’ll break out that leather jacket!
    Peace and love to all,

  43. Charlie says:

    Hey all. Paul, Diane, Ange, Heather et. al.
    Here I am at work – when everyone else has the day off. Typical, but someone has to man the office so the “kid’s in the lab” (who don’t care about the 4th of July) aren’t totally lost! Medical research never sleeps

  44. Paul says:

    Charlie, I have just sold the title/concept of my script to a US company who are now writing the film. The title is – Dance Burglar – from what I know they are taking the basic premise – a dancer that is a cat burglar – and making their own story from there. My film is now at an end and the script will be removed from the bottom of the draw and put in the bottom of the bin.
    Glad someone is working to keep us healthy:)!

  45. Diane says:

    I’ve just received confirmation from Ronin Films that they’ve shipped “Life’s Burning Desire” (from Australia) and I should have it in 2-3 weeks. I’m really looking forward to viewing it. Thanks again for the lead on that Ange!

  46. Charlie says:

    I wish there were a more efficient way for us to communicate. I hope you get the script soon – cause if you like it – I may have another you’d be good in spec ready in a month or so – I’m still working out the continuity and plausability and I don’t feel the need to power write.
    Anyhoo… back to paying the bills. 🙂

  47. Innussiq says:

    Hi all. I usually lurk about the comments here, though I have contributed a time or two. Tonight I was compelled to respond to June’s question “Is it the fact that you have children that keeps you so hopeful?” It also rolls into the bumpersticker thing. I find having kids makes me more apprehensive. Your decisions have immediate effect on more than just you. I have felt more inadequate as a mother than in any other role I have played. Oh, and my favorite bumpersticker?
    “Having kids is like being pecked to death by ducks!”

  48. Diane says:

    Hi, Innussiq! I know what you mean about being more apprehensive when you have kids. My husband left this week with another “runaway production” and I am once more a bit anxious about playing single mom for an extended period of time, even though I’ve done it before. Under normal circumstances, I’d drive into L.A. without hesitation, but I don’t want to be too far away from my boys when my husband isn’t nearby.
    On the other hand, I think that having children makes me healthier because I have to focus on their well-being. I can’t let myself get sucked into self-pity/satisfaction. They keep me on my toes!
    Love your bumpersticker selection about parenting. I did feel that I was being pecked to death by my kids when they called me on my cell phone at a public meeting earlier in the week to complain in stereo (one on each of the cordless phones) about the atrocities of the other. After much soul-searching and discussion with my family, I had decided that I would volunteer to serve my community, even if it meant juggling my schedule to accomodate everyone. At the aforementioned meeting (on the evening before my appointment to office), my children decided to have a meltdown. Why me? Why now?
    Anyway, I repeated your slogan to my 14 year-old who smiled weakly and asked, “I’m not that bad, am I?” I reassured him that I wouldn’t be laughing if I thought it was REALLY true.

  49. Innussiq says:

    I can relate to your phone story. Happens to me all the time. They always call me with the “he did, she did” dilema. Usually when I have two customers on the phone and another four in line! Did you ever notice all the biggest crises come up when your in the dunnie?