04.27.01

Yesterday someone emailed me with a question regarding something I had written in this journal. I did not recall the specifics of the entry, so I was forced to read back through some of my own writing.

Upon finding the correct entry and responding to the email, I began to realize that I have written many entries regarding my television viewing.

It would appear that I have no culture, no social life ... and perhaps nothing better to do.

That may indeed be the case.

I will admit that through most of my waking hours ... I have the teevee on to either The Weather Channel or one of the cable news channels.

The sound may be off and I may be listening to one of my beloved CDs, talking with friends or clients telephonically, typing a quotation or balancing spread sheets ... but it is always there ... the television in the background ... to speak to me about "breaking news" or perhaps a weather update.

Yes, I read books, the daily newspaper and Wall Street Journal. Yes, I do meet with clients in their places of business. Yes, I "do lunch" or go to the museum, galleries, and a few sporting events. Yes, I do attend concerts and live theatre. Yes, I do shop elsewhere other than online.

However, television has become my friend.

I am a single female and my home is silent. Without my music or the television, the only noise I would hear is the sound of the silly voices in my head!

[*ahem*]

But seriously ...

I can remember when the snobbish more intellectual side of me perceived television with disdain and wrote it off as a waste of time.

Some individuals may still have that perception.

However, teevee has brought Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Troy Aikman, Payne Stewart, Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi, Venus Williams, and so many more into my home. I have watched Olympics from all over the world and witnessed the tears of victory and "the agony of defeat".

I have seen the terror on the faces of soldiers in Viet Nam and on the faces of civilians in Bosnia. I have watched drought, floods, famine and fire. I have seen beauty being crowned and buildings felled by terrorists.

I have watched the USA and Russia launch men into space and bring them back safely. I have watched the common man become heroic and heroes lose face. I have watched miracles and spectacles. I have laughed, cried, became enraged and have been soothed by the sounds and images brought to me via television.

Through the magic of teevee I said goodbye to Johnny Carson and hello to Dennis Miller. I have seen the destruction of storms and the strength of communities pulling together. I have witnessed birth, death, prejudice and hope. I have seen bras being burned and women taking the oath of office.

I watched presidents get elected, ballots being disputed, chads being hanged, and a president resigning. I watched riots, sniper shootings, the National Guard at Kent State, and peace rallies, sit-ins and telethons.

I have learned how to craft, cook, garden, remodel and about relationships. I have watched Oprah change sizes. I have seen music go from vinyl to video. I have seen world leaders buried and royalty get married. I have witnessed countries in turmoil, countries in jubilation, and bombs exploding in the desert night.

Yes, I have written many entries about television. I guess the influence is apparent.

While it may appear that I have no culture, no social life ... and perhaps nothing better to do ...

...but where else can you, with the simple press of a button ... see Rod Stewart on NBC, Chaka Khan on CBS, and the BeeGees on ABC? And this was all before breakfast!


04.24.01

I read several online journals and blogs every week but I do not recall reading any mention about the American version (filmed in Canada) of the British Showtime series, "Queer As Folk".

Am I the only one out here watching it?

I got drawn into the series via all the pre-release hype.

As a heterosexual female, I would suppose that some people would find it odd that I am compelled to watch a series based primarily on the lives, loves, and antics of gay men.

However, some of the funniest lines I have heard in series teevee have been spoken by the ever so attractive gentlemen of "Queer As Folk".

And no, the series is not a comedy.

I also must admit that some of the issues addressed within and by "Queer As Folk" have moved me to tears.

In the last episode, the youthful yet sensitive and mature character Justin [a.k.a. "Sunshine" ... he of the genius IQ] is feeling forced to attend Dartmouth to appease his parents and hopefully stop their impending divorce. A divorce, he feels, was precipitated by his disclosure of his homosexuality.

As Justin is printing out his letter of attendance to Dartmouth, he looks up to the denim jacket hanging on the back of the door.

A kind of magic occurs.

You see, the character of Justin is an artist. His talent oozes through his pores. This character is written to simply BE art.

Justin looks at the jacket.

His eyes begin to traverse the stitching. His creative vision recognizes the chiaroscuro of the jacket against the white door. He is feeling the texture with the mind of an artist.

Justin turns the letter over and with a knowing smile, begins to sketch the jacket. As Justin sketches, the incredible voice of Freddie Mercury begins to sing, "A Kind of Magic".

I do not know if it was the pure beauty of listening to Freddie Mercury once again ... or if it was being drawn into that moment in time when an artist creates ... or perhaps the combination of the two...

... what led me to that magical place ... I only know ...

I wept.

Art and music ... the joy of creativity coursing down my cheeks, into my soul ... expressed in my tears of gratitude for their existence.


04.22.01

What a great day to be alive and living in Phoenix!

Last night a vicious but quick moving storm blew through the state. Today (whilst we overlook the uprooted trees, wind damage and swimming pools filled with debris), we celebrate the beauty of a crystal clear day with the hint of a brisk breeze.

The birds outside my window are singing in chorus to honor the majesty of this place in time.

Doors and windows wide open to invite the cool breeze to enter, I am in awe of the deep azure that is painting the Arizona sky.

Teevee is on and I just finished watching an exuberant Jennifer Capriati win the Family Circle Cup at Charleston, SC. The final set between Capriati and Martina Hingis was some of the best tennis I have watched in a long, long time.

Yep, it is nice to see Jennifer back on the courts.

Ugh, a dilemma: should I switch the channel to watch the Phoenix Suns play the Sacramento Kings in the First Round Playoffs ... or should I watch the Shell Houston Open for a more mellow afternoon of golf?

I choose the basketball.

I suppose I am living vicariously through the various athletes/athletics that I am obsessed to watch.

How I wish for those days of my youth when I spent Sundays rising very early with my Dad to make a 7:00am tee time.

By midday, I would be out on the tennis courts tossing the ball into the air and feeling that magical reverberation of ball meeting strings.

Some days I would wander over to the basketball court and beg the guys to let me play in a pick-up scratch game of Sunday afternoon "hoop".

Where did those days go? Oh, how I miss them.

I miss the energy. I miss the dull ache of weekend warrior muscles.

However, I am alive. And it is a great day to be living in Phoenix!


04.18.01

There is an odd karma hanging around the Arizona Diamondbacks' baseball team.

Odd ... and dangerous.

Back on March 26th, DBack's pitcher, Randy Johnson, threw a very hard fastball pitch.

At that moment, a bird flew in the path of the ball. Feathers flew.

The bird was dead and the announcers cried, "Fowl".

This video shows the feathers a-flyin'.

On Monday night, the Diamondbacks played the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Jay Bell, DBack's second baseman, was fielding a ball in short center field. He caught the ball, did a swing around turn, and threw to home plate.

One problem however.

Base umpire Larry Young's FACE was directly in front of Bell's throw.

Can we all say a collective "OUCH!"? That gotta hurt.

Fourteen stitches, much swelling and a shiner later, umpire Larry Young is reported to be doing just fine with no long term damage.

Obviously, the same cannot be said for the bird.

Baseball is a non-contact sport? Alrighty then.


04.17.01

Are any of you old enough to remember the commercials showing people (presumably somewhere in the Midwest or East) that are sneezing and blowing their noses?  The OTC antihistamine selling point slogan was:

"Send your sinuses to Arizona".

Uh huh, sure.

That sweet pollen that makes the desert come alive also wreaks havoc anyone with allergies. Which, here in the desert, is an overwhelmingly high percentage of residents and visitors.

Many public places (such as the Post Office to mail my right arm ... er, tax payment ... to the I.R.S.) look like a canister of tear gas has exploded amongst the patrons:

The coughing, sneezing, sniffling and nose blowing is running (no pun intended) rampant!

Do you have pollen?

"Send your sinuses to Arizona" my arse!

[*sniffle, cough, sneeze ... reaches for the Claritin*]



My stitches come out today. I am happy. No, I am overjoyed. No wait ... I am elated!


04.15.01

I have been M.I.A.

Missing In Action. Mindless Introspective Activity.

Whilst I am not fully back yet as I am still sporting these somewhat painful and horribly annoying sutures (dammit man, they itch to high Heaven!), I am nonetheless amongst the vertical.

Post surgically I was forced to deal with the even more painful task of tax data preparation.

Why the unseemly delay from someone as compulsive to detail as moi?

Blonde logic.

I surmised that if I died in surgery, then why waste all the time compiling data for Uncle Sam resulting in Y2K taxes being paid by a corpse?

[Technically it would be the estate of the corpse ... but alas, I digress ...]

And so ... my tax papers and I went off to the accountant Saturday morning.

Three and a half hours later I emerged feeling as though this time it was Uncle Sam taking a piece of my hide! Holy tax liability Batman!

Meanwhile, I have fallen way, way behind on email correspondence and thank you notes. Shamelessly behind. I beg your indulgence, seek your patience and ask your forgiveness.

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, so shall I recover.

I will emerge triumphant in this battle with skin cancer.

I will pay my enormous tax liability.

I will answer my cache of overdue email.

(I will find a way to scratch these damn stitches!)


For those that celebrate Easter, I wish you a blessed day. And for the rest, I wish you the blessings found in this time of life's renewal and rebirth.


04.07.01

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there lived a small fair haired child with eyes of blue.

She spent her days frolicking in the sun, dancing under the rays, worshipping at the feet of Sol, the Sun God ... and basking in the bronze glow that the warmth of sunshine claimed upon her skin.

Throughout the years, as the child grew into a young woman, she bared her skin to the caress of the sun.

Within these many years, Sol sought revenge numerous times against the girl for taking his rays. He would make her skin feel afire ... ablaze with red, sometimes blistered.

With the casual abandon afforded the immortality of youth, the girl laughed at Sol and stole his rays again and again.

As the girl became a woman, the ways of the world changed; the skies became polluted, the ozone altered and Sol grew angrier.

And the wizards soon revealed the anger of Sol, the sun personified:

"Children of the Earth," they proclaimed, "cover yourselves with magic potions."

The woman, now understanding the wrath of Sol, sought shelter and shade.

However, the revenge of The Sun God was long lasting, life changing ... and life threatening.

So, as I sit here ... the day after my third surgery in six weeks, sporting 18 stitches on my lower back, where the insidious disease once called home ... and living with the fourth diagnosis of cancer in a lifetime that right now, seems too short ...

... I am compelled to share these statistics:

Skin cells have a genetic memory. Every sunburn and bronze glow you had as a child, young person, and today are remembered within the cellular structure. The affect is cumulative. That sweet glow you get this summer will be remembered by your skin cells 20 years from now.

Cancer of the skin is the most common of all cancers.

It is estimated that almost 45,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2001. An alarming number of them will die.

79% of the deaths related to skin cancer are from melanoma.

Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes, the cells that produce the skin coloring or pigment known as melanin. Yes, the same melanin that makes you tan.

Regardless of the publicity or safety claims, there are no safe UV rays. No beds, lights or artificial exposure is safe.

Surgery is costly, painful and debilitating. However, even worse is hearing the words "biopsy", "malignant", "melanoma" and "I'm sorry" from your skin cancer specialist.

It never stops. Once diagnosed ... for the rest of your life ... you will be subjected to the indignity of having chunks and bits of your body cut away only to be sent to a path lab. You will wait. You will fear. You will pray.

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there lived a small fair haired child with eyes of blue.

God willing ... she will live on to tell the tale.

Read and learn about prevention, detection and symptoms.


04.05.01

The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience.

Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around.

Throughout history, "tender loving care" has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.

~ Larry Dossey ~


04.02.01

While I was sad to see the University of Arizona Wildcats lose the NCAA Championship, I am pleased to see a team that I respect so much, the Duke University Blue Devils and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, win the title!

"ONE SHINING MOMENT... you reach for the sky."

Congratulations to Coach K. and to your team!

And thanks Lute and the Arizona Wildcats, for a season filled with heart ... and courage.

So now ... Women's Basketball? Huh?

... *wink* ...

Yes, indeed ... congratulations to the Women "Fighting Irish" of Notre Dame for their defeat yesterday of Purdue, 68-66 and earning the NCAA title for Women's Basketball.

And this weekend ... on to The Masters! [Oh, to be in Augusta!]



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