Sunday, June 30, 2013


Its 7:20 pm

     I should be:

folding my laundry
emptying the dishwasher
weeding my backyard
cutting and sorting coupons
cleaning the bathrooms
reading my Warrick Dunn autobiography
prepping my next 8 Questions interview
taking a walk
learning to cook something
figure out how to pay my July bills
fixing my shepherd's hook
contacting Sony for a new download cord
talking to Lori
eating dinner with her
walking hand in hand with her...
making coffee and hearing her warn me that it will keep me up (and it does)
calling my dad
brushing Derek Jeter
helping my neighbor Al rabbit-proof his garden
going to the Christmas Tree Shoppe with Lori
listening to some Barbara Manning music
watching baseball
stop thinking about 20 May,7:03 am
be grateful I'm alive and well

but I'm not.


Friday, June 28, 2013

We should all be like Mike Patterson

Its 5:15 pm

    Its a dark and stormy day here in SE Michigan...and sitting here with a bunch of thoughts in my head.

First I like to thank actor/director Stephen Foster for such a great interview..and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as fact,I was already approached by any actor who also wants to answer 8 Questions and so I will be bringing that to you very soon.

While the nation went through a pivotal week with the Supreme Court invalidating key sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which helped black Americans in 9 Southern states ensure a safe and fair vote without the same states gerrymandering districts in order to lessen the black vote.
  The Supreme Court said basically that such practices don't happen in today's society and that the law was old and outdated. The vote was 5 to 4. Of course the court showed again on how out of touch it is by telling a hostile Congress to push forward a new updated law designed to ensure equality at the polls. The 9 states affected now have the power to gerrymander without any fear of the Federal Government. And do you really think a teapublican Congress gives a rat's ass on pushing through any sort of reform?

So while America was debating the impact of such a move,the Court then said that gay marriage is now legal despite some slanderous lies from several justices about the ruling. Face it,this isn't about marriage but free will,always has been. Why it does it matter if someone is gay or not in order to get married,raise a child,join the Boy Scouts or even in the Armed Forces?  They are no different from any other American in the fact they have to work,pay taxes,obey the law of the land. Teapublicans are quick to say its against the Bible and its threatens American moral values....what a crock of bullshit. And considering the scum who are trying to deny these folks the same free will that allows them to shoot and maim 105,000 of their fellow Christians a year,well....what do you from a bunch of white men in power who seek to control what we say and do
on a daily basis. I read the crap these heathens sprout out of their asses,its downright embarrassing. No one has taken away of their rights,yet they continue to wage war against women in regards to abortion (Gov. Rick Perry called women a "breeding vessel"),blacks in regards to giving them a chance to go get an affordable education and having a chance at the American dream,illegal aliens in our country. (I have said it a thousand times over,if the teapublicans were serious about securing our borders,they could have erected a Berlin War type on the Mexican border on 9/12/2001 and no one would have said shit against it,instead,NOTHING was done and we're supposed to be upset now?)
  And of course George Zimmerman is on trial for murdering Trayvon Martin. Its not a racial crime...its a gun crime. Martin was just in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong state. Zimmerman should be convicted of 2nd degree murder but there is a strong chance he won't because of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. You know the law,Texas has one as allowed a man to shoot and kill a woman who denied him sex as a paid escort who was holding to his 150.00. Only in the NRA controlled America can you see two simple cases of cold blooded murder get defended by hiding behind a old and very out of date amendment.

But as all this was going down.....Mike Patterson lost his battle this morning. Who was Mike Patterson you ask?Mike was a 43 year old from Georgia who boating on a lake with his son on 8 June,saw a 4 year old little girl struggling to stay afloat. Mike,who just two weeks earlier,had saved a man from a burning inferno of a crash crash,dove in to help the little girl. What no one knew was the water was very shallow and upon entry,Mike Patterson shattered his neck in 3 places...His very act was to push the little girl towards safety before losing feeling and going face down for about 3 minutes in the water.
  The little girl,Javaeh Jones,was safe,thanks to Mike Patterson. Mike himself,who had just started a new construction job and had no health/life insurance,was rushed to a local hospital where he in critical condition
and remained so for the rest of his life. Friends and supporters started a "Friends of Mike Patterson" Facebook page and website to help defray what would have been a lifetime of huge medical bills. Prayers were sent up on the behalf of this very brave and unassuming father who saw someone's child in trouble.
 The Bible says "There is no greater love then when one gives their live for another". Mike Patterson proved that without a doubt.
  Mike really never regained any real consciousness as the doctors kept him in a medical induced coma and a ventilator for most of the time.

The posts on the Facebook page echoed a lot of what I went through with Lori's last week,a slow decline picking up speed. And today,God called Mike Patterson home,he had endured enough. I understand a little more about why God does what He does...the pain and suffering of our loved ones isn't to prolong their pain but to help us endure it for our lives. Its a harsh and very painful lesson to be sure of and now Mike Patterson's family,just like so many others,will have to stand stronger a little bit more and take comfort in the man,husband and father Mike was.

  Its been a very trying time at my job....our store is surrounded by so much pain and loss these days. Its just staggering to see how many lives have been affected,3 of my co-workers have lost a sister (who died two weeks after back surgery,they don't know why),a mother and a father. Another former co-worker just found out his dad has stage 4 brain cancer....add in the fact that Justin Carlson is still on the front lines in "The Stan",no wonder our morale is just so down. We are banding tight however and just as I wrote,we will have to stand endure this a little longer.

Of course that is relative...I still can't go into Lori's closet or drawers more then 2-3 minutes before I lose it.
  I know I have a long,long way to go....

Got a note from my dear friend Theresa Ingison this week....she said she had something she made as a memorial for Lori and she wanted to drop by. So yesterday she did and dropped off a homemade solar light jar. It has white and pink glass in it and its supposed to shine very brightly. I say supposed only because we have 2 days of thunderstorms and more on the way.

So Theresa tells me that she has hired on a young lady who moved here from Washington state to meet a fellow here in Michigan. Things didn't work out and she soon found herself in deep trouble. She has next to nothing but two dogs. Theresa hired her at her business and the young lady is slowly getting her wheels back under her feet. She just found a room to rent and is trying hard to move forward. Theresa has been guiding her along...she told me this young lady has some medical issues that badly need addressing...while I am no doctor (sorry my "expertise" only runs in cancer and cats),I did pass on a good resource that I,myself,used when I landed here in Michigan (That is how I knew about the school,Theresa *s*). Its a good place and I highly recommended it.
 I hope it works out for this young lady...she sure has a strong spirit. And I was glad I had a chance to return a act of kindness.

  I'm STILL waiting for my guest blogger to come and drop a entry....I guess Jessica must be in New Jersey with a certain Doctor or something along those lines. But I am expecting a very good guest post shortly.

And with that,I'm outta here.....

Oh more thing....lunch with Lori's two angels next week.....can't wait!!! Miss you Melanie and Terrie!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

8 Questions Stephen Foster

Its 9:00 pm

   Welcome to an another edition of my ongoing interview series,"8 Questions with.....". I started this waaaay back when on another social media site and have re-started it here. The series features people from all over who in one or another have perked my interest. So I ask to do a interview where they answer the questions themselves,in their own words.
  So recently I have been looking for ways to expand my readership,get folks to come read,sign the mailing list,add me as a link,you know....PROMOTE this blog. I have joined several different groups that feature e-book authors,bloggers,poets. But as I also like my interview series as I joined a group that features actors/writers/producers. My first post was a simple one...."Who would like to do a interview with me for my blog"? The silence was both deafening and surprising as I'm thinking about which actor/actress isn't looking to promote themselves these days? More then ever,you have to work that much harder to stay current,fresh and busy. Now a tiny interview on a personal blog doesn't seem like much but toss that link on your IMDB page or Wikipedia entry and suddenly you are getting exposed to more people,right? 
 Well Stephen Foster decided to take up my invite this afternoon and said he would be up for a interview. That was enough for me so I quickly did the background,saw that Stephen is a hardworking actor on the stage and is also a gifted writer and teacher. Of course seeing that he is working with the famous Jane Weidlin of the Go-Go's and Frosted also didn't hurt!
  I love the fact at how fast we made this interview happen,Stephen was a good sport to agree to do this on such short notice and while I am just like you,the reader,in now just discovering Stephen and his talent,I am glad he took the time to answer ....

8 Questions Stephen Foster!

 IC. What was growing up in your house like? What are some of your favorite moments with your family?
 SF:      My mother was a very young single mother for many years, and we moved every year. When I was 10 she remarried and my step-dad joined the navy and we moved a lot again. I had a sister who was 13 months younger than me and we were best pals. We were like twins, really…because I was born 3 months premature, I was slow in developing so she always looked older than me. I was raised by my extended family because my mother was working at odd jobs…my grandparents, my aunts/uncles…my great-grandparents. It was a constant merry-go-round so I had to learn how to become used to different sets of friends at school. This actually forced me to go inside myself and that’s where I developed my creative imagination.
Some of my favorite moments with my family was when I used to spend the summer’s at my great grandmother’s house and she would take us for long walks with her, and bake cakes for us. She also taught me how to write and each afternoon at 3:30 she let me watch “The Carol Burnett Show” on TV and I used to try to recreate those skits with my sister, Sharon.
(Photo by Laura Burke Photography)

IC. What creative moment led you to become an actor on stage?
SF:      Well, I had done little things in grade school…and always wrote little shows and stuff….like normal kids…but in 9th grade (high school where I was living in San Diego) I on a whim took a “stagecraft” class and unbeknownst to me, it turned out to be combined with the advanced acting class and so I got be around all the seniors who had been studying acting for 2 or 3 years (at least). The teacher made us sign a contract for the grade we would receive at the end of the year and I loved it…no real tests, no math equations, just putting up show and doing scene work….well, I loved it. It was also at this time that my sister started getting involved with boys and drugs and so I “hid” in the theatre department. It became my home away from home. At that point I didn’t think of myself as an “actor” but I did start to think theater was something I could do.

IC:. What is the biggest difference for you between working on a film/TV set to working on a theater stage? Do you have to prepare differently?
SF    The main difference is theater is performed in front of a “live” audience and film is NOT. Theatre requires you to be in the moment but flexible to the changing conditions both onstage and in the audience. With theater you get immediate feedback as to how the audience is responding to your performance. With film, you get 2 or 3 takes at a scene and you move on to the next one. You don’t know until you see the movie up on the screen whether what you did is good or not. So much of film depends on the director and the editing. My prep is the same no matter what format I’m using. I do extensive research on the character and the material, I learn the lines cold and create a “look” for the character. It also changes based on the character I’m taking on. For example, If it’s a comedic role, I surround myself with comedy things (Bette Midler, Woody Allen, jokes) if it’s a serious part, I surround myself with more somber things (music, Journaling,Joni Mitchell).

IC: Take us back to when you won your first "real" role...what was the role, how did you react and what do you remember on your first day in that role?
SF:     The first “real” role I got was Davis Davis the indie movie “Off Hollywood” (although I had been acting for about 15 years). I auditioned for the role for 2 months before I got it. The director/producer wanted to make sure I could carry a film. I was putting in my contact lenses (getting ready for a Christmas party at my job) when the phone rang and it was the director who said, “you are officially cast as Davis Davis” in “Off Hollywood”” I said a polite, “Thank you…” hung up the phone and started to jump up and down and scream and shout. I called my boyfriend who was just thrilled because I had worked like the devil for that role.
My first day on the set was very EASY because we had rehearsed for 5 months straight! I was so “in character” the entire time that I hardly noticed the camera, the lights, the other actors….I felt like a wind up toy.

IC: Was it very hard as a gay man to land stage/film roles in Texas? Did you feel you were going to be typecast?
SF:     Well, I only briefly studied acting in college in TX so I didn’t get a chance to audition for anything outside of that. I image that it would be.
I was never afraid of being type cast….the only time I did worry about it was when I started to become known for playing Bette Davis (in my play “Legends and Bridge”) and no one could understand that I was just a funny guy…Doing drag was funny and I was great at it, but I’m better in pants.

IC Walk us through the process of creating your two-man show,Divanalysis: the Mechanics of Camp. How does a one man show differ from a two man show or a full cast show other then the amount of dialogue?
 SF:       The process of co-creating “Divanalysis” was EASY! A cakewalk…because I had my friend Scott Wilkerson to aid me at every turn. We were both working at Tower Classical Records (I still can’t tell Mozart from Bach) as clerks and I would do impressions of Elaine Stritch, Karen Carpenter, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland and Janis Joplin…just anyone….anything to break up the routine of waiting on needy Hollywood types and putting away stock. Well, I went to Circuit City to buy a boombox and this guy said, “I have a theater…” and I said, “I have a show!” I lied. I did NOT! So, Scott and I put these little character pieces together and created a show. We begged, borrowed and stole the stuff we needed.
Doing a 2 character show gives you a lot of freedom and room to create freely. When you do a project with a bigger cast…well, that’s more complex because there is more room for error and egos…
I’ve never had trouble with a lot of dialogue, I obviously love to talk!
(Photo by Laura Burke Photography)
IC. What are pros and cons of doing auditions?
SF:     The pros: you get a chance to be seen. You get practice. You get experience.
The cons: I don’t do my best at cold readings or when I feel someone doesn’t believe in me. (Ruth Gordon and Bette Davis felt the same way, too!) And often, the people doing casting don’t know good acting from bad…they can be very surface.

IC:. How did you meet your spouse,Chuck? Has living in Hollywood reduce the prejudice and bigotry you may have experienced elsewhere?
SF:      I was leaving work one day and when I was exiting the building, this tall drink of water held the door for me and said, “hi”…we had a conversation by the fountain in the courtyard and he told me he was a singer/songwriter, I made him sing for me. HE GOT THE ROLE! NO CALLBACK!
I think living in Hollywood does reduce prejudice and bigotry, but I find a lot of “industry” hate here and queer hate as well in terms of “you don’t fit it to our weho game”, but it is a lot freer than texas.
Chuck and I have travelled all over the USA and even Ireland/England and have never experienced any hatred, but that’s probably because they think I’m a woman.

IC     What can you tell us about your latest project,"Hidden Hills"?What its about? Are you excited about your new role?
SF:     “Hidden Hills” is a comedy written and directed by the wonderful Dan Steadman. I can’t give too many details, but it’s a funny, quirky little movie. I play Arnie Dimble one of the lead’s friends who is the comic relief. When I auditioned, Dan said, “when I wrote the character I didn’t think of him as funny…now I see how funny he is.”
I had the most delightful time working on the movie and can’t wait for the sequel. “ARNIE takes Manhattan” is the working title.

To find out more about Stephen and his work:
drop by and say hello to him on Facebook

You can also Follow Stephen on Twitter by going here! Tell him I sent you!

Thanks for reading,commenting and supporting this interview.
Happy anniversary to Chuck and you,Stephen.

Follow me on Twitter @Jinzo_2400

Remember Kim,leave the belly button pure! (that was from Derek)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

On this,our ninth anniversary....

Its 7:00 pm

     This is the eulogy I delivered at Lori's service. Because of time constraints,I was able to share a small part of this.

Good morning.

I know we are all here to say good-bye to Lori as she has gone to reward in Heaven. While I could stand here and share how she fought hard during the last days,I much rather take the time and share with you about her life.
  Family. Family was Lori's first love,she really loved her family very much. Her bond with her momma was one we should be blessed to have. She spent a lot of time with her parents,always worrying about them,making sure they were doing okay,going on vacations all over with them. Later on,when they both had retired up north,Lori thought nothing of working a long week at work,to come home and make her folks meals,load up her car and make a 500 mile round trip to see them. I remember driving through two very nasty snowstorms,watching her sleep in the passenger side with a smile on her face...happy that she would be home soon.
  She loved her Uncle Larry. She said that he was one of the main inspirations for her career. She loved him for who he was. Larry has said that Lori was the daughter he would have had if he had any children. They would talk for hours about so many topics. He fed her drive in exploring the world. Lori and her friend Shawn explored Europe and Lori traveled to Southeast Asia many,many times for her company as a buyer.
  She share her experiences with Larry and later on,with me. The pictures she took are pretty amazing...
Her love of her friends was very strong. Every person who ever met Lori,almost instantly liked her. And no one ever disliked her. I have met thousands of people and I can count on one hand the people who had that gift and Lori was one of them for sure.
She always looked to raise other's before herself and anyone who ever worked with Lori are the ones who told me that...if you wanted to be the best,you worked with Lori. She always gave credit to her staffs and said she was a better leader and person because of the talented folks like Deb,Karen,Tammy who supported her. The people who believed in her ability like Tom McCallister of Jacobson's.
  She loved a good challenge...Lori excelled at making the impossible well...possible! Turning around departments or even whole stores,she wasn't afraid of hard work because the results were so worth it. It pained her greatly when some of the stores she worked at failed for reasons that were way beyond her control but she still felt responsible. She worried about what would happen to her employees and did her best to help them land jobs or at least stay with the dying store until the end so they would at least have a paycheck.
 She was proud of her last team at Lane Bryant,taking that store and moving it up the chain was perhaps her proudest professional moment. I mean this with the utmost respect but that group was in a bad way before Lori there and it was no fault of theirs. But she rallied those ladies and made that store one of the strongest in her region. Her team loved her and worked very hard to help her when her illness came. Lori enjoyed having her girls come to the house for the holidays,I always teased her about the amount of snacks she would make...what was supposed to be a plate of cheese and crackers and a splitting a can of Coke 12 ways often ended up becoming a full blown party with dinner,drinks and lots of laughs.
  Of course Lori loved all animals....well,except snakes. She hated those with a passion but otherwise,she loved animals. She rescued two cats when Geri's mom died and OSK when  his owner abandoned him in Livonia. She and her dad spent a winter making sure OSK (OutSideKitty) had a warm place to stay. It was all about the trust and when Lori spent 45 minutes holding OSK in her jacket getting him warm...he loved her and stayed with her.
I saw first hand the love she was just one of many things we had in common...we believed in helping people and animals. Be it Frank,the homeless man in Northville we reunited with his family after 8 years of them looking for him,to stopping in a busy street to rescue a huge snapping turtle from being hit by a car,Lori's compassion knew no bounds. This is just a few examples of why I fell in love with her.
Now I have lost my light,my soulmate and my one true love. But only for a little while....just for a little while.

On this day in 2004,in Northville,Michigan...Lori and I were married. She called it her happiest day but I cannot....because every day I was with her and yes,that means even at the end,I was blessed.
I tell people "How do I know if today is going to be a good day? I see Lori and then Derek and all is good in my world".
Happy anniversary my lovely Lori. I hope you didn't mind me staying quiet today...I'll know I'll see you soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Back in the saddle

Its 8:42 pm

     Happy Father's Day everyone.

While I am not a dad in the true sense,I am still a dad to my cat,Derek. He greeted me at the door today,tail high and a couple of happy "meows" to welcome me home.

Been a busy week here since I last had a chance to write anything. Started my trial run at my new job,I like it  but am concerned at how I am being trained and at how high the turnover rate is for my job. I already have heard at least 4 people haven't lasted a month and all of them had quit. Doesn't sound too promising but I am going to give it a serious go....
  While that was happening,I took advantage of a slow week at my main job and slowly started to clean the house. I cleaned both bathrooms and emptied out most of Lori's old make-up. It was stuff that went old when she couldn't really wear it anymore. Old vitamins,outdated meds from the first round...I discovered that one can clean despite having tears roll down your face. But I didn't stop this time,buckled down and finished it.
   I resumed writing my "thank you" cards that I received and then wrote my managers and my coworkers cards as well,thanking them for their support. I know this will appear to be incredibly late and there really no excuse for it...but I simply didn't have the will to write those cards until this week. I also finished up and hand delivered the rest of the cards to Lori's team at Lane Bryant. It was good to see Jomana again,she is the world class baker I have written about before. She had baked several hundreds of cakes and other goodies for her own business until she came down with carpel tunnel syndrome and had to semi-retire. She now just makes these awesome chocolate turtles during Christmas time.
   She mentioned that they still haven't found anyone to try and fill Lori's spot. I can't really blame one is going to be able to run that business and team build like Lori and I actually feel very sorry for the next person to manage that store. I chatted a little longer then walked over to Target...they have some pretty good deals on DVD sets this week and I picked up two from the bargain bin,the one and only season of SyFy's "Flash Gordon" and a spin off of "Law and Order" called "Conviction"which last on 13 episodes before getting the hook at NBC. But at 7 and 5 bucks,how can you go wrong with that?? I also picked Derek up a can of catfood,we have agreed that Sunday will be treat day as far as his having wet catfood.
 Friday afternoon saw me lose all cable,internet and phone service. I called Comcast from Al's house and I got ahold of a service tech....based in Mexico! He said a service call would take place on Saturday...which of course never happened. So I decided to wait til Monday before calling because I didn't think they would actually send anyone out on the weekend,at least not for a single house...Al's cable was working with no problem,he was pretty amused at the fact I was directed to Mexico for a Michigan problem. I told him that twice I had ended up in the Philippines while trying to solve a computer/internet issue.
 Saturday night while I was watching a "Murder She Wrote" marathon,my doorbell rang. My neighbor came over and said her cable was down as well...she called as well and said they were supposed to send a guy over earlier that day which turned into a "no show". She called them back up and complained again about having no service for the past two days. When they told her it was an isolated incident,she mentioned that it affected me as well. They said they would send someone out Sunday....and at 11:30 am,they did.
  Seems like another neighbor was either cutting his grass or digging...either way,it resulted in a cut cable. Comcast rolled a crew out to replace the cut cable and I was back online. Funny,I actually didn't mind the little time off....I finished a book about D-Day and started reading Larry King's executive producer,Wendy Walker's book "Producer" which I plucked off my huge backlog of books of which I still have about 100 to read. (Heidi,I'm sending your book out tomorrow). The book is a little too self egoist for my taste but I'm only on page 62 of a 280 page book,plenty of time to turn it around...
 As I mentioned,I watched the first season of "Murder She Wrote" on my DVD player,I also watched "The Lake House" as well....we had been sitting on that one for a while and never got to see it together. It was sort of hokey and cheesy but well intended and harmless.
  But I do have to share one thing before I found this all out. After I left my new job,I stopped by the Westland Humane Society to look at the cats. I am trying to decide if I want to get Derek another cat to chill with. Now he is 13.5 years old and while that may seem old to introduce him to a new kitty,just remember,he has ALWAYS been around other cats.
  I took a good long look at all the cats,there were several beautiful cats just waiting for a forever home. Some were very talkative,some had some very impressive motors ( i.e. loud purrs). I was looking for a 2-4 year old male kitty that gets along with others. I saw two...a black and white 2 year old named Charlie. I liked Charlie quite a bit but he seemed too nervous and unsure of himself. I think he deserves another look and the other cat was a 4 year old snowshoe mix named "Mark". Mark was only nine pounds but when I read his chart,I saw that he was a bit mouthy. This means he plays a little too rough for my comfort. I loved his motor however,he was a very friendly cat....
  I decided to look at the dogs....and I was pretty surprised to see that the Westland branch is now adopting pit bulls. They used to hold them or any pitbull mixes for three days before killing them. The policy has changed and now they are up...and up...and up. I saw at least 5 pit bulls that were up for grabs. They were very playful and excited but not for me. I am strictly a cat guy....
  I am going back to take a peek at Charlie again on Tuesday and see how he handles being in a private room with me,if he is calm and mellow,I might have to take a chance and see if he and DJ can hit it off.
A small musical break,brought to you by the October Project.

  I went to get my mail on Thursday morning. Inside was a note from Lori's insurance company,The Hartford. The envelope was addressed to her...which was perplexing to me.
See,the day after Lori passed away,I had to start calling places to let them know that she had died. One of them was the Hartford because they were paying Lori's short term disability pay. I called and talked to an agent who was sorry about Lori and said she would handle things on her end as far as stopping payments to me.
   I got a call a week later,it seems that the Hartford had over paid us 430.37 cents after Lori had died. I called them back and they explained what happened,no problem...I would be happy to return the money and so I did. I wrote a check and sent it,then called to let them know I did. Pretty simple and straight forward,right?
  I walked inside the house and opened the letter. Inside was a letter addressed to Lori stating that the Hartford had received the check and this was a receipt for said check. I stared at this letter in complete amazement...then I got royally pissed off.
  I called the Hartford claims office,found the person who sent the letter and left a very "loving,calm and serene" message about how fucking clueless and insensitive she was for doing such a asshole thing.
But I wasn't happy with that so I called back and got a supervisor on the phone and repeated the same thing.
I just couldn't believe it,I had talked to three different people about what was going on...the supervisor tried to say that maybe the file wasn't updated...well it sure as shit was when you needed your 430.37 cents back,wasn't it? But not updated to reflect Lori's passing? Horseshit and that is what I said to her.
   I posted this little adventure on my Facebook wall and was taken aback when Don Neilson,Amy's husband and all around nice guy,said he was getting mail addressed to Amy NINE MONTHS after the fact.
I understand some stuff is unavoidable,Lori's magazines subscriptions and junk mail. But to places like the Hartford and now Lane Bryant (!!!) and Comcast,yeah,I am going to be very nasty about this. Its offensive as hell to keep sending things in her name when I have called and told you what has happened and switched everything over in my name.

I know,I can I hear Michelle up in North Dakota saying "Holy crow,you are so scattered tonight"!!

 Last item. There is a very nice young lady at my day job named Anna. She has been there for 6 years but recently decided to leave and focus on her other job as well. She is studying to be a psychologist and I think she'll make a fine one. For the past two weeks,she has been insisting that she wanted to donate a little money to me as I try and make my way through the financial mess that cancer brings. I tried several times to say she didn't need to do that,that her kindness was enough for me.
  Well she caught me in the break room today and passed a little something to me. I just wanted to say "thank you,Anna" for thinking of me and my situation. I am very grateful.

Another musical highlight....the mighty Dave Alvin in action.

  He posted on Facebook tonight that he was playing at a place in San Antonio,Texas called Sam's Burgers. Not only was he playing on a Sunday which was bad enough but also was going against the Spurs-Heat game as well. That said,Dave said that tonight he might play a set based solely on what the fans wanted. All I know is this....I sure wish like hell I could have been there for this show!!!

Last,last item.  I like to say congratulations to Amy Lange and her husband Michael Shore for winning a Emmy Award Saturday night for their story about Josh Arnold who plays goalie for a local team...with only one hand. His special courage and Amy's great reporting of it won the three of them an Emmy. After Josh got his award,he wrote Amy a letter and personally delivered it to her house. What mighty hearts...

(Photo by Dewayne Croff)

(Photo by Michael Shore)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Of kindness,cruelty and redemption

Its 11: 56 pm

     Its a nice night here in SE Michigan. I have a cup of ice coffee from Dunkin Donuts this afternoon before I went to work. DD has a Happy Hour special where as you can buy a large iced coffee for .99 cents between 3 pm to 6 pm. Its a pretty good deal because a normal priced cup is 2.32. I normally brew my coffee at home but once in a while I do like to get a cup on the go and I won't go to Starbucks anymore.
  My week has been a quiet one. I did land a 30 day trial run with my neighbor's medical billing company that I start on Friday morning. We talked about it on Sunday and it was my idea for the 30 day period. The next day I got a call and was given my start date. I don't know much about billing but I do know my way around insurance companies and doctors as of late. I am hopeful that this will work out and I plan on taking serious notes. Its a good chance to expand my skill set and who doesn't want to take advantage of a opportunity like this?
   I have started to slowly work forward on the house again,I am having the exterminator come back out to hit a spot where my ant problem seems to be at. Then Howard Burkeen will drop by and we'll look at fixing a gap in the kitchen that needs to be repaired. Howard has been a really blessing to both Lori and I,he really cares about people and you see it in the way he acts with both friend and stranger.
  I worked in the basement and managed to throw out a bag of things that needed to go....I had to work a cabinet of pictures which was very hard to do but I did do it. Derek came down and stayed with me the whole time I was down there. I took the bag and this ugly fake tree that I really never understood why we kept out to the trash. Tiny steps,tiny steps.
   Had another chance to pay it forward,I find myself looking to do that more and more. The way people rallied behind us during our struggle really has touched me very deeply. It reinforces everything Lou and Anna instilled in me as a child,to do the right thing everyday. Lori and I really  did live that way and I know people respected it because of the love I still am getting from people.
   Last Saturday,a elderly man and his wife came into our store. The man was walking very slowly and gingerly. They asked me if we had any electric carts so he could drive around. Our store has four but two were in use,one was broken and the other was dead and needed a recharge.
  I told them this and offered to break out a old fashioned wheelchair,he said okay. As I helped him sit,he told me he was weak from stage IV liver/colon cancer. I nodded my head and said I understand. I told him about Lori and offered to push him through the store so he could shop. He declined but said "thank you". His wife was also very gracious and kind. She was a retired nurse and I couldn't help but think about how he was blessed to have such a wife as a caregiver.
  Sunday morning...its a grey,overcast,humid day. I came in at 9am and started my shift. Part of my duties in the greeter position is to keep the front of the store clear of shopping carts and material flatbeds. As I was doing this,I saw the same gentleman wheeling himself towards the store,he was alone.
He mentioned he had gotten the wrong lawn mower blade and wanted to get the right one. He brought along his own chair because ours are pretty pounded. I welcomed him back and asked about his wife. Turns out his wife has a weak heart and has to be very careful as well. She wasn't feeling well so she was at home resting.
  He and I went and looked for his blade,we were out but I offered to use the computer to see if the store in South Canton had any. No luck there but the store in Plymouth,which was about 10 miles away had a few.
I told the gentleman this and explained that he could buy it at our store and then  pick it up at Plymouth. He sat in his chair and said he didn't feel well enough to do that...normally he could had the item shipped to his home but he needed to buy at least 45.00 worth of stuff,the blade only ran 31.00.
  As he started to push away,I said I would get the blade for him after work. I know where the store was and said it would be no trouble for me to go get the blade. I told him to go home and we would call him when I got back. After I was done,I drove over to the other store. As I was walking back to the Rodger Young,I saw a lot guy who I could see was special needs,struggling to load about 30 bags of mulch into a van. I went to help and he said he had it...but when I told him was from another store,he looked happy and accepted my help. It was good timing as well as it started to rain. We finished up and off I went to my store.
I left the blade and told my front end supervisor that if he couldn't come get it,I would drive it over to his home.  He ended up picking it up on Monday. I knew my Lori would be very happy with what I had done and it made my day worthwhile.
And now read this story:

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio - A humane officer shot a family of five kittens outside a North Ridgeville house on Monday and the homeowner says her young children saw the whole thing happen.
North Ridgeville humane officer Barry Accorti was dispatched to a house on Vista Lake Way after a resident complained about a family of cats living in her wood pile, police said.
The homeowner said the feral cats were causing a flea problem in her house and that she wanted them removed for the health of her family.
The homeowner and mother of four said Accorti told her the shelters were full and the cats would go to “kitty heaven.” That’s when he shot the five, 8 to 10-week-old kittens, with the woman standing nearby and her children watching from inside the house.
She said her children, ages 5 months to 7 years, were screaming and crying at the sound of the gunshots. The mother cat ran away and was not killed.
Police said the resident understood the cats would be euthanized, but she said she didn’t expect it to happen in her yard. The Ohio SPCA said Accorti discharged his gun about 15 feet from the family’s backyard patio.
“NRPD recognizes the concerns of those who believe feral cats should not be killed for simply trying to survive but also acknowledges the risks associated with these animals and the need to manage feral cats. Research and other animal organizations accept shooting as an acceptable means of euthanasia,” the North Ridgeville Police Department said.
Police Chief Mike Freeman said that Accorti’s actions were appropriate and he will not be disciplined for the incident. He also said they will work with humane officers about improving communications with the public.
A firestorm of feedback over the shooting forced the police department to take down its Facebook page Monday night. The department said while emotions run high, it will not tolerate any threats on its page.
In April 2013, humane officer Accorti rescued a baby great horned owl at South Central Park. The owl was taken to the Bay Nature Center.
North Ridgeville employs two part-time humane officers.
The executive director of the Friendship Animal Protective League in Elyria told NewsChannel5 feral cats are a big problem in Lorain County. Greg Willey suggests trapping, neutering and releasing the cats to better control the wild population.
The general public may call their local spay and neuter clinic for help to trap cats, neuter them and then release them back to into the wild. The cost to spay and neuter a cat is about $30

Stunning,isn't it? I And this fucker actually has a badge and gun. This is one of the worst things I have ever heard about from a member of any public service department. What the hell was Accorti thinking when he pulled his weapon and decided to shoot five kittens???? The love of guns and the eagerness to shoot ANYTHING or ANYONE is just a epidemic in this country. What is really sad is for every asshole like Accorti and his police chief supporting him,it puts a taint on other hard working cops/humane society workers who are trying to save lives,human or animal. It weakens the badge,the cop wearing it. People tend to care a little less when a cop is killed or wounded. I know it may be wrong but that is what happens when cops go to far.

  While I was puttering around tonight,I had a chance to listen/watch  actress/author Jamie McCall do a interview with the Huffington Post Live show. I have been following Jamie's career for a few years now and was pretty excited to hear she was writing a autobiography of her life. Jamie has had to overcome quite a few hurdles to get where she is at now.

  It takes a lot of courage to come clean about nearly killing yourself through a bad choice. To acknowledge it in a open forum that a book conveys,makes you really want to know the type of person that can overcome those choices,to reclaim their life. Now I haven't had a chance to read Jamie's book as of yet but that won't stop me from encouraging you to support her.
  You can buy the book via the Kindle or like me,the old fashioned paperback,on Amazon.
For that...just follow this Link to Jamie's book page.

   You may have noticed I switched my page around a bit.....and now you can subscribe to receive my blog via e-mail. Let me know what you think of the new format.

Thank you for reading!!!

You can follow me at Twitter @Jinzo_2400

I love you Kitty!

Monday, June 10, 2013

San Jose State Football 2013 Preview

Its 7:28 pm

     Decided to put out a lighter entry today. I know it may be boring to some of you but those who know me well....they will be amused I'm sure.

Today I will be looking at the 2013 San Jose State football schedule. As you know,the Spartans had a year to remember last year as they went 11-2,won the Military Bowl,appeared in 4 national TV games (and won them all) and finished ranked 21st in the nation.
   But its a new day here in Sparta. The WAC has been whacked and the Spartans,along with long time rival,Utah State,have moved on to the Mountain West. The MWC got a fresh surge of energy when both Boise State and San Diego State woke up to reality and said "Hell no" to the Big East and stayed home in the MWC. With those teams staying home and SJS and Utah State having amazing years,the MWC in 2013 is simply going to be a brutal conference to play in.
    And that is the rub for the Spartans,while they did have a great year,chances are good they will not go 10-2 again this year,the schedule is so much stronger this year. And while the Spartans boast of having several starters back,they are not going to sneak up on anyone this year. Every team they play is going to be a challenge and if the Spartans are go 8-4 and bowling,2013 will be a huge stepping stone UP. They will have proven they can win with a new coach and a new defensive scheme.

Game One: 29 August

vs. Sacramento State

   The Hornets may be a FCS school but a pair of Pac-12 teams might need some convincing as the Hornets have stung both Oregon State and Colorado the past two years. The days of collecting a fat paycheck only to get beat by 70 are a thing of the past for Sac State. Now they are playing to win at the big boys level and knocking off the Spartans would only enhance Sac State's recent giant killer status. SJSU needs to come out blazing,establish the run behind a new offensive line and see how the 3-4 defense plays out. This will be a tough game but the Spartans should prevail.

Game Two : 7 Sept
    at Stanford

Stanford leads the series 14-44-1
Last game,Stanford 20,SJS 17 in 2012.

    Huge rivalry game for SJSU....Stanford is the Spartans 2nd biggest rival behind Fresno State.
Two years ago the Cardinal destroyed SJSU 57-3 and once again having Cardinal fans why they were still playing the Spartans. Last year they had their answer as SJS took the 21st ranked Cardinal to wire before dropping a heartbreaker. Where as Stanford is now reloading,the Spartans are cocked and ready to to go behind a veteran offense led by David Fales. A win here would show the Spartans are not a flash in the pan.

Game Three: 21 Sept
at Minnesota

Series tied 1-1
Last game,SJSU 39, Minnesota 30 in 1992

  SJSU travels back into Big 10 territory after losing a very close game to Wisconsin in 2010. The Spartans look to be favored in the game as the Golden Gophers are still about a year away from being a decent club.
This is an important game for SJSU as they look to impress on the road against a team from a major conference in back to back games. A win here would give the Spartans major momentum heading into Mountain West action.

Game Four: 27 Sept
vs. Utah State (ESPN)

SJSU leads series 17-14-1
Last game,Utah State 49,SJSU 27

San Jose open up league play by hosting the last WAC champion,the Aggies of Utah State. Last year the Spartans were coming off a big national TV win against Navy and had a bye before playing Utah State. It didn't help as USU scored early,scored often and held off a last charge by SJSU before sealing the game with two long TDs in the 4th quarter.
  This game will be on ESPN or ESPN2 and will be critical for both teams as they try to prove they were worthy of being asked to join the Mountain West. The winner gets a early lead in league play and potential recruiting juice while loser gets ready for a long week.

Game Five: 5 Oct
at Hawaii

Hawaii leads series 9-13-1
Last game,SJSU 29,Hawaii 27

One of the best games of the series took place in the last meeting as SJSU shocked the pre-season pick to win the WAC,29-27 on ESPN 2. This win showed the type of team and players Coach Mike McIntyre was seeking to establish and while a late season swoon dashed SJSU's bowl hopes that year,they ended up beating Navy and Fresno State to set up last year's terrific year. Hawaii plays extremely well at home and lit up the Spartans,41-7 in the last game at Hawaii.
  This is a important game as the Spartans in two extreme settings...the sun and warmth of Hawaii and the high altitude that is Colorado State the very next week....the team's conditioning and depth will be tested here as many players will have to step up and play well if the Spartans are to contend for a title. The Rainbow Warriors will a real test.

Game Six 12 Oct
at Colorado State

Series tied 3-3
Last game,San Jose State 40,Colorado State 20.

  SJSU enters this game on a two win win streak in this series. This is good because after a rough and rugged game at Hawaii,the Spartans won't have much time to prepare for the Rams. The good news is the that the Rams are in full fledged rebuilding mode and this is a team SJSU should still be able to handle. There aren't too many soft touches in the Mt. West but for now Colorado State has to be considered one and this is a game the Spartans have to win and win big.

Game Seven: 26 Oct
vs. Wyoming

Wyoming leads series 1-6
Last game,Wyoming 30,San Jose State 10.

  Back home after a two game road trip and a bye week as well,the Spartans face a team that has had their number,the Wyoming Cowboys. The good news is the game will be home and Wyoming,these are not the Spartans of old...this game will be won in the trenches as Wyoming has had good solid defensive lines that while not very fast,are very stout against the run and never quit.
  The Spartans will look to protect QB David Fales from a dogged rush and look to spread the ball around to bevy of talented wideouts like Chandler Jones,winning at home is a must for this Spartan team. The crowds have slowly been growing again,a win here keeps this happening.

Game Eight: 2 Nov

SJSU leads series 11-5-1
Last game,SJSU 55,UNLV 48

  Much like Colorado State,UNLV is rebuilding after suffering some horrible season as of late and becoming second fiddle to Nevada and its high powered Pistol offense. SJSU's depth should be a key here as they should be able to wear down a game and gritty Rebel squad playing at home. As in Colorado State,this is a must win and will jump start the Spartans on perhaps their most difficult stretch of games that will decide the season.

Game Nine: 9 Nov
vs. San Diego State

San Diego State leads series  5-11-1
Last game,SJSU 38, SDSU 34

  What once was a one sided sided regional rivalry in the Aztecs favor has suddenly turned into SJSU's as the Spartans have won the last 3 straight. This is a huge game as both school generally try and recruit from the same pool of talent. New Spartan Head Coach Ron Caragher used to coach at FCS school San Diego and most likely have a idea of what Rocky Long has in mind for this next match-up.
  The Aztecs are one of the better schools in the Mountain West as under HC Long,they have started bowling every year. The Spartans will have their hands full in this game. Who will win? Depends on who has the ball last!

Game Ten: 16 Nov
at Nevada (ABC/ESPN)

Nevada leads series,4-12-0
Last game,Nevada 17,SJSU 14.

Another game against one of the better Mt. West teams and this game will be featured on ESPN. The Spartans lost a tough game the last time these two met as the Wolfpack knocked away a last minute toss in the end zone to preserve a 17-14 win.
  Long time Nevada HC Chris Ault has retired and so begins a transition phase for Nevada. This will hopefully provide just enough edge for the Spartans to eek out a close win and get of out Reno alive!This game will most likely be for bowl positioning as both schools fight for one the few spots out there. This will not be a easy game but a loss here would not be shocking to see.

Game 11: 22 Nov
Navy (ESPN)

SJSU leads series,2-0
Last game,San Jose State 12, Navy 0.

  Third game of a four game series finds the Spartans playing Navy in a out of conference match-up that will be a nationally broadcast game on ESPN. Last year the Spartans shutout the Middies 12-0 for their first shutout since 1988,when they stopped UNLV,42-0. Needless to say,this will most likely not happen again and Navy and its option offense will be looking to run wild on the Spartan "D". The new 3-4 defense which is designed to stop the run will get its best test all year in facing Navy.
  And again,this is a critical game as far as recruiting goes as once again SJS finds itself on TV playing a major "name" team at home. A win here could inspire some key players to commit early and perhaps seal a bowl bid as well.

Game 12: 7 Dec
vs. Fresno State (CBS Sports Channel)

Fresno State leads series 34-39-3
Last game,SJSU 27,Fresno State 24

   Michigan- Ohio State,Alabama-Auburn,USC-UCLA,Bethune Cookman-Florida A&M.....
Good rivalry games....that is what every football fan looks forward to each year. It doesn't matter what the records are,both could be awful...(like New Mexico- New Mexico State),both could be very good...all that matters is the game itself and for us Spartan fans,we circle the Fresno State in red and wait for it to happen every year.
  SJSU used to dominate this series until Pat Hill took over at Fresno...after that,the Bulldogs have won just about  every game since 2002. Not only won but kicked ass. SJSU used to have a 10 game series lead but you can see,its Fresno who has the lead now....but with SJSU's marked improvement and Fresno's sudden decline that ended up costing Hill his job,the Spartans won last year's game at Fresno and will seek to win back to back for the first time since 1986-87. This is the game that Spartan Stadium needs to be sold out and turned into a sea of blue and gold. Win this game and even if the Spartans struggle,it will make for a good year and a great launching pad for 2014.
  Of course if the Spartans will the West Division,chances are they will play Boise State for the Mt West that and the sustained return of SJS football will be cemented!

I know....its not very exciting or hard hitting but I love my school and I like to support them whenever possible.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

8 Questions with......romance novelist Jan Romes

Its 2:25 pm

   Welcome to an another edition of my ongoing interview series,"8 Questions with.....". I started this waaaay back when on another social media site and have re-started it here. The series features people from all over who in one or another have perked my interest. So I ask to do a interview where they answer the questions themselves,in their own words.
  Some of you already know this but for the new readers here....I grew up in California,lived for my first 35 years. 10 of those years I spent in the music business in San Jose,Calif. I started in a small 150 seat room called Marsugi's where many local acts played our tiny stage in front of friends and family. The local music scene,while small,was pretty supportive of one another while chasing that elusive rock and roll dream. Some had great success (Smash Mouth),some had strong regional followings (The Kingpins,The Frontier Wives) while some just were aiming to play a headline gig and put out a quality record that was going to be their legacy. Bands did this despite not having a "major record deal" or radio play. Musicians who made it happen on their own had their own code...DIY,meaning "Do It Yourself" without any corporate help. It was a badge of honor to proudly show off your 45 record,a cassette and later on,a CD.

  Flash forward to today and there is a whole new DIY movement afloat...writers who are now publishing their own novels without HarperCollins,Del Rey,Tor or any other publishing houses. These artists do their research,type at their own deadlines,hunt for cover art,price their work and look to put it online without having to suffer the many rejection letters. The market for e-books is a rapidly growing one as Kindle,Amazon along with tablets are slowly eroding the brick and mortar bookstores. Just as it is for a local  bands,competition is rugged as despite selling e-books for as little as .99,you have to not going fight for that customer but also be a GOOD writer!

   Like Jan Romes. Jan is a writer who genre requires a very special talent,the romance novel. Just like the blues and jazz,romance writers are too often boxed in by tired plot lines and sappy dialogue. But you can't always blame the writer who tries to create some original ideas (like maybe its okay for there NOT to have a happy ending). So you can imagine how cool and refreshing it was to actually find that Jan is a very creative writer with those fresh and modern storylines that are so often overlooked.

Jan Romes

I discovered Jan via Twitter because someone who I respect,Chis Petersen,recommended her to his followers. And since this often how I found about great bands before anyone did,I simply took a chance and followed Jan. And when I got a chance to start reading her writing,I knew this was someone I really wanted to interview. And after a brief exchange of email,you are now reading our interview.
  As a added bonus,if you have a Amazon account and drop a comment below,we have three free copies of Jan's novel "Stay Close,Novac!" to give away.

And now......8 Questions with.......Jan Romes!

TIC: You grew up in Ohio…what was growing up in your house like?

What a great question, Michael! Growing up with six sisters and two brothers, in a house with one bathroom, was utter chaos. Mostly, it was a good chaos. (emphasis on ‘mostly’ - *grins*) Those of you who grew up in big families know what I’m talking about. Ohhh the stories I could tell… (but probably shouldn’t) Seriously, living with so many different personalities was an incredible experience that I wouldn’t have traded for the world. Drama. Hormones. Laughter. Fighting over clothes. And lots of love.

TIC:   What writers inspired you growing up? What three stick out the most and what makes them so special?

I loved books as a kid. I would go to the library and come back with as many as they would allow me to borrow at one time. The three writers that stick out the most: Hans Christian Andersen – fairy tales (because of the wonderment). Franklin Dixon – The Hardy Boys mysteries (easy intrigue). Erich Segal – Love Story (because of the simplicity of his writing style, but the depth of emotion).

TIC:  Describe the day where you decided you wanted to be published and what three steps helped you the most to do just that.

Truthfully, I think the desire to be published had been lurking for a long time. I’ve always been writing stories, but in September 2006 I decided to take things seriously. I started taking online writing classes to perfect structure and to get a realistic grasp as to where my writing needed to be. I sent out query letters to publishing houses and agents, received some rejections and went back to the drawing board, so to speak. I think you have to go through those steps in order to appreciate when you finally get a ‘yes’ from a publisher.

TIC:  Walk us through a day of Jan Romes when she is writing, what is the process like?

     Coffee. Bed-head. Barefeet. And my computer. (did I mention coffee? Hehe!) My day is pretty much the same as most writers. Throw in a load of laundry. Open up my current work-in-progress, type a few paragraphs. Let the distraction of social media take over. Go back to my W.I.P. and fight the urge to go back into Facebook and Twitter. I write until it’s time to make supper. It’s not a glamorous life but it works for me.

TIC:   It seems like anyone can self-publish these days. What is the most important factor to make ones work stand out above the rest?
     If I had to pick one thing – cover art. It’s the first thing that will draw a reader. After that, story content will keep the reader.

TIC:   I notice that it seems like everyone who self-publishes always seems to get nothing but “5 star” reviews. Does this type of hype undercut the writer’s work? What are the pros and cons of too many slam bang reviews?

Actually, I don’t know how to answer this question. I guess I would have to admit that I don’t know any authors who get all 5-star reviews. If they do, it might be on one of their books, not all of them. I feel that reviews can make or break a books’ success. Hopefully, if a reader gave the author 5-stars it means that they enjoyed the book.

 TIC:    How does one get their work out into the public eye? Were you nervous when you put your first book out?

The most common venue to get our work out there is through social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, our websites, blogs, and word of mouth. And yes, I was definitely nervous when my first book came out. Since I’m not a nail biter, I drank lots of coffee and ate a lot of chocolate instead.

TIC:   If an established publishing house approached you for a book deal, would you take it and give up the freedoms you have as a DIY (do it yourself) writer?

Actually, my first four books are with established publishing houses. My last four have been self-published. I love both ways to publish. I’m lucky to have tasted both security and freedom with my writing.

TIC:   What are the pros and cons of writing just online content? Doesn’t publishing just online hurt your sales?

Readers now have more of an online presence with e-readers so I don’t think it matters as much about having books on line today as it did a few years ago. Some readers prefer holding a print book in their hands versus an e-reader, so it’s good to still have a choice. I actually think print books and digital books can co-exist and be profitable for publishers/authors.

TIC:         What was the most important advice you have ever gotten in regards to your writing and how does it affect your writing today?

The most important advice would be to be yourself with your writing. Find your own writing voice and be true to it. And of course, if you decide to make writing your career, then put your butt in the chair and write.

To learn more about Jan and her work,please feel free to visit her on her website here:

Here and There (aka Randomness)

Its 10:16 pm

  Its warm and slightly muggy here in SE Michigan tonight. I got some Il Divo playing on iTunes and just posted in some new groups I joined on FB in trying to get this blog out there. I am tickled to see I am now 27 readers and growing. I can't thank you enough for your support. It means the world to me....

  The past two days have been a little rough again....I am back at work and glad for it. My co-workers are slowly getting their last respects in and things are starting to return to normal..but life is funny,it doesn't stop for just one amazing lady (despite what I think). Since I have been gone,two of my co-workers have lost a uncle and a grandfather and my friend Adam Marsland,who just completed a solo European tour,lost his mother in car crash. My heart really hurts for them and I will be praying for them and their families.

 Today was a beautiful one and I had to run some errands....quite amazed that Michigan finds itself paying 4.05 a gallon for gas because a "refinery" issue. I think its just a test flare to see how long it takes the public to react to the new prices. Our prices were creeping up all the way up to Memorial Day.


*thanks for letting me borrow this,Amy!

Now we are sitting on the 2nd highest prices in the country as I write this. If this is any indication of what summer is going to be,its going a staycation for a lot of folks.
  After putting 40 bucks in the Rodger's gas tank...I headed to Plymouth and out to straighten a couple of matters concerning Lori. Traffic was pretty heavy in downtown as people were out in force. There was some road construction going on as well,the sight of Michigan's official plant making its first appearance

is an positive sign that summer is now here. One of our major freeways is closed down to one lane for about 12-15 miles in both can imagine how nasty is going to be once school gets out and people are going to want to be heading to various places like Cedar Point. Yikes!

After my errand,I headed back home,it was time to saddle up and cut the grass. My neighbor's have been cutting our grass as we dealt with Lori's illness. I filled the mower up with some gas,checked the oil and on the 2nd pull,it fired up nicely. Once I hit the lawn,the only thing I was thinking about was how I need to complete the wall that Lori and I had planned for the backyard. I'm trying to figure out how to pull that off as of yet but I know I can.
   The grass was pretty tall but I saw that Big Al had helped me by cutting a huge swath of my yard for me when he was cutting his.

I finished the yard in about 45 minutes and disconnected the spark plug and put the mower in a cool down place before parking it.
  Came back the house....took a quick shower and then Derek Jeter and I watched "Fast Five" on DVD. I had gotten it for Christmas but still hadn't opened it as of yet. I spread out the blanket that my sister in law made for Lori and Derek settled right down into it. He made a biscuit and was purring as I put on the DVD.
  I had heard good things about this edition of the Fast and Furious series and with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson joining the cast,the reviews had been decent.
  So I pushed the button and went mindless for a couple of hours...

  It was pretty good....thought it was exciting and Rio makes for a great city to shoot a car chase in. Good chemistry all around but my only complaint was they didn't give Tyrese and Ludacris enough to do. With Fast and Furious 6 now playing,maybe they have fixed that a little bit.
  Speaking of FF6,can't express how it sucks that while Jason Statham is in the ending,its as the heavy and not Frank Martin from The Transporter series,we fanboys at work were really hoping that Statham's Martin character would cross over. It wouldn't be the first time as Luc Beeson (The Transporter's creator) has mentioned that Martin has two cameos in two different films.

  Still......even as a villain,Statham will be a force to reckoned with when Fast and Furious 7 comes out.

Today is "Hug Your Cat" day.

As you can see,every day is hug my cat day when you got someone as beautiful as this sharing your life.

My friend Gary Avila tossed a most interesting topic on his FB wall....he named a band and what he liked and disliked about their name your favorite/least favorite album and favorite/least favorite song.
If you hit "Like" on his page,he tossed you a band/singer and you did the same.
Now I'm supposed to be putting this on my wall.....but hey,why not here,right?

My band/singer : David Bowie
Favorite album: Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
Least Favorite: Low
Favorite Song : Under Pressure
Least Favorite: China Girl (the video was really bad)

And with that....I am heading off to post this.

Shout Outs

Karen Nash- Thank you for the kind words
Trish Brown - thanks for the laugh
Brad Beneke - Your support has been awesome
To anyone new who may be reading this for the first time,welcome!