Thursday, June 29, 2006

not the big m!

No, no, no, no, no ... and my humble apologies to the dozen or more folks who emailed excited greetings and scripts thinking the Michael M I referred to in the previous post was 'THE' Michael Moore.

Sorry to disappoint guys; I don't even know the big M. (The one I know is really dishy, but don't tell him I said that, LOL.)

adoption blues

Back in April I edited a script for Michael M., a good friend and filmmaker who was directing a documentary on adoption. I reviewed the first cut of his film two weeks ago and the images still haunt me.

To the hundreds of American couples flying overseas eager to adopt Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese babies, I say bless your hearts.

To the thousands of older American kids who’ve never snuggled against a mother’s soft breast, or felt safe in a father’s strong arms, or climbed into bed between mom and dad ... I say bless yours more.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

woo-woo whispers

Friends would tell you I’m definitely a healthy skeptic when it comes to all things woo-woo. I’ll consider possibilities and alternative explanations, but I also want facts; and I like to know the bottom line. Give it to me dry. So given my recent anxiety over the impending move, it’s not without a twinkle in my eye, that I say it “appears” my apartment’s had enough of me and is telling me to get the hell out!

Since making the decision to move, I’ve experienced a string of events that, by themselves, seem innocuous. But added together, many would call “signs from the universe”.

It started when a suitcase, which had comfortably hung on a hook at the back of my closet for several months, suddenly dropped from its anchor to the floor. Then the curtain rod fell down and refused to go back up, leaving my bedroom bare to the world. I lifted one book from a shelf and all 36 came with it. I reached for one envelope from my stationery unit, and dozens of labels, cards, and CD packs followed.

I fell up the steps on Wednesday. Down them on Friday. And on Sunday, my front door key snapped in the lock leaving me wondering who I could call for help at 1:30 a.m.

While I could have ignored the whispers, the final event roared loudly when the swipe card to my apartment’s community security gate suddenly stopped working. It happens. So I went down to the office for a new pass code, and surprise! It doesn’t open the entry gate at all … but the exit gate flies wide open. Hasta luego Bibi!

Monday, June 26, 2006

to believe or (maybe) not

I went to a business lunch last week where the panel discussed blogs and how they are—or already have—spawned a whole new kind of "consumer journalism". Because the panel included a TV news director and a Seattle newspaper editor, they spent most of our lunch discussing the importance of ensuring that blog readers could discern between “real journalism” written by traditional journalists, based on valid research and sourcesand “consumer journalism”, written more from hearsay or as personal opinion. And in other cases, written from a radically biased and agenda-driven viewpoint (like Fox TV News).

I believe the average person is discerning enough to distinguish the difference. And we all know that even highly respected traditional journalists have made huge judgment and reporting errors. But it got me thinking: If most magazines and newspapers are currently produced by professional writers and editors for 6th-grade level reading, what’s going to happen when (and if) traditional publications disappear altogether and they're replaced entirely by 6th-grade level writing and research skills, edited only by Microsoft’s Spell and Grammar Check?

Instead of curling up on the sofa with a French-press full of coffee and the New York Times on a rainy Sunday morning, sharing sections and exchanging stories with a "Wow, can you believe this?", I guess me and mine will be hunched over our individual laptops, flinging each other Instant Messages, asking “Wow … CAN you believe this?” Or maybe, “… can you even understand this?”

Thursday, June 15, 2006

moving angst

In between juggling 70-hour work weeks and trying to maintain some semblance of an interesting personal life—if one can stretch the descriptor that far—I now have to start packing for my upcoming move. It’s getting down to crunch time and all I’ve done thus far is clean out my closet. I know the closet might seem a strange place to start packing, but given the recent upsurge (or should I say down-surge) of gravity, I figured clothes were a mandatory requirement while everything else is negotiable, redundant, or replaceable.

During today's mid-afternoon sugar slump, I found myself seriously questioning the sanity behind my decision to move 50 miles away from the spot I've called home since leaving California. The place where I've made good friends, where I have a support system, and where most of my day-to-day business is conducted.

My nerves screeched at the thought of rush-hour commutes through Seattle and I suddenly developed new-found appreciation for all the little things I take for granted, like the four-minute drive to one of my major assignments. The movie theater I can walk to (but always drive to). The guys at Starbucks coffee kiosk who cheerfully greet me by name every morning. The ten bookstores, all within a five mile radius of my apartment, and the clerks who share new book finds with me. The lakes where I kayak; the trails I cycle. Friends who pop in unexpectedly when they’ve been shopping nearby. Phong, the dry cleaner who presses the tightest crease in just the right spot. And the lovely lady Lee who’s painted my toe nails an array of pretty colors for the past eight years!

But sometimes you just need to shake things up. Move things out. Move things in. Move energy up, down, and around. And it’s time.

Soon I’ll have a lovely studio to work from with a panoramic view of the Puget Sound. I’ll have the mental and creative space I’ve been yearning for, and a quiet location in which to write. I'll have a garden to potter in. I'll find new coves to kayak; virgin trails to explore. I’ll try new restaurants, new hotspots, and I'll meet new friends, and have old friends over to visit. I’ll have a beach just 50 yards from my house, where I can walk my new puppy each morning while I wake up with a mug of Seattle's Best Breakfast Blend. And at sunset, when I scribble in my journal and check off another day, maybe I’ll savor a golden Mai Tai or two as I dig my toes into the sand and contemplate how lucky I am.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Andre Gide.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

soul food

I just got back from LA where I had entirely too much fun, and I've been tired and ratty all day—as were most of the people I dealt with. (Hmm, could that have been a reflection of my attitude, I wonder?)

It’s Monday. Blah-day. It’s been raining for eight grey hours and no one wants to be working. But I try to make a conscious effort not to wish my days away, even the dull ones, and so I did what any sensible English woman my age would do. I called it a day. Came home, plugged in the woofer, revved up the bass so the floor vibrated, and leapt around my apartment to Eminem until I couldn't breathe. “White America…I could be one of your kids. White America.”

Tomorrow it could be Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Etheridge’s My Lover, REM's When a Man Loves a Woman, or Ali Farka Toure’s Ai Du.

The equation is simple: Music feeds the soul. The soul feeds the spirit. And before you know it, Hey Baby I’m Back!

Monday, June 12, 2006

more on natural cures revealed

Just to be fair, I checked out Kevin Trudeau’s second book (see natural cures post June 6th) which contains an inordinate amount of his favorite words throughout: I and me, and me and I. Overlooking his palpable absence of humility, the second book lacked equally as much as the first, seeming more of an attempt to excuse Trudeau’s behavior and explain why “everyone”, including the government, is out to get him.

Rhetoric aside, I was genuinely amused—to the point that I laughed out loud—when his book jacket read something like this …Trudeau now claims that he’s been a “secret covert operative” for the past 20 years. Huh, guess the prison uniform was simply part of his cover.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

npr and pbs vs. handicapped kids

It seems as though Washington once again has its priorities screwed up and is seeking a $115 million reduction in funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Adios NPR, PBS, and more if it passes.

According to the Boston Globe, Representative Ralph Regula, Ohio Republican and chairman of the appropriations panel that approved the cut said: "We've got to keep our priorities straight ... You're going to choose between giving a little more money to handicapped children versus providing appropriations for public broadcasting."

That's an EITHER / OR? And the connection is ... ???

(Contact your elected official at:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

kevin trudeau's natural cures

I hate to give his name Web space, but I really want to know why Kevin Trudeau’s book Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About is still on the shelves of superstores like Barnes & Noble? And even more perplexing, if not disturbing, why he now has a second book called More Natural Cures Revealed, sitting right next to his first book on the shelves of those same superstores?

Natural Cures has become a bestseller, not because Trudeau tells the truth—as he claims—but because of saturation marketing and snake-oil sales strategies. Yes, I've sat and watched his infomercials in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. And I've seen him bat his pretty blues at the camera, raising his eyebrows in a triangle of furrowed frustration at those 'evil' pharmaceutical companies and mysterious government agencies he claims don't want us to get well at any cost.

But at what cost are his books still on store shelves? And more importantly, at whose cost?

I've reviewed Trudeau's natural remedies and found no valid reference to documented clinical studies proving any of his cure claims for cancer, diabetes, or Parkinson's disease; in fact, I found much of nothing, and nothing much. My mother has Parkinson's, so trust me when I say that if I thought there was one ounce of hope in Trudeau's claims, I would be force-feeding her large daily doses of Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About.

Unless folks have been hiding under a rock, they must have heard that Trudeau served prison time for his part in a credit card scam; and that he was forced to pay thousands to consumers in redress for false product claims. And that the FTC* fined him two million dollars for making fraudulent cancer cure claims.

Take a look at this,
just one of many documents* available to the public. And then please tell me why Trudeau’s face still stares smugly from the shelves of these superstores, spreading false hope to the indiscriminate, the na├»ve, and the needy who believe their future lies in 'Trudeau's truth'.

(*Here's the URL to the Federal Trade Commission document in case the link fails to work