Share Something New And Interesting

A big thanks to Cultural Muse blog and Clarity for nominating me for the following blog awards.

Not sure what happened to my original post, but most of it seems to have disappeared, so let me try this part over!  The above links nominated me for the following various posts.  The name of the game with these posts is usually as follows:  you list 7 interesting things about yourself that people probably don’t know.  Then you nominate 10-15 blogs that you find interesting, intriguing or just plain fun!  Of course, link back to whomever nominated you as a thank you!

7 Things about me:

1.  I was born on a military base in the Philippines…Clark Air Force Base, to be precise.

2.  I was an international traveller by the time I was 8 months old when we moved from the Philippines to California.

3.  I have an ear for languages.  In fact, I speak enough French and Spanish to be dangerous.  I can still speak Tagalog & understand Kapangpangan.  My parents say I used to speak German, too, when I was really young.

4.  I love musicals!  Although I’m thrilled about the Les Mis that is headed to theaters near you, I absolutely love the 10th Anniversary concert that happened at Royal Albert Hall with Lea Salonga playing Eponine.  She’s one of my favorite performers.  Such a pure voice!  Hope you enjoy her as much as I do!

5.  My mom says I started writing stories at 3 years old.  The first story I remember writing?  6th grade.  It was actually more a play.  Fan fic, at that…based around The Carringtons and Colbys from Dynasty.  🙂

6.  I’m the oldest of 5.  I have 1 sister, 2 brothers who passed away in tragic accidents when they were young, and one half sister.

7.   I love to cook as much as I love to bake.  My husband loves when I decide to cook Filipino dishes.  🙂 (Chicken adobo and fried rice are his biggest favorites)

The following nominees have earned their recognition because they keep me interested, engaged and entertained.  They’re talented and wonderful.  I hope you check them out and enjoy them as much as I do.

1.)  Enjoy the beautiful nature photography of Phil Lanoue.

2.)  The ever sweet Emma Meade who is launching her YA book Under The Desert Moon

3.)  Olivia Obryon who has one of the toughest, most important jobs out there and still manages to entertain!

4.)  Karen Rought who shares my passion for music.

5.)  You never know what’s going to catch Lorca Damon‘s eye…and her sympathy;-)

6.)  Stephanie Ingram who asks the really tough questions…like “Who Is The Tooth Fairy Anyway?”

7.)  Looking For The Sweet Spot whose unique ways of looking at things can get you both laughing and nodding.

8.)  Melissa MacKinnon -her big heart is beautiful to read and brought tears to my eyes. (not to mention her awesome 6 sentence Sunday is super exciting!)

9.)  Able to sum up entire womens magazines in several sentences-One Week To Crazy.

10.)  Tim Knox– You’re just never sure what direction the story is going in until the end.  🙂

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these nominees as much as I have!  Happy Sunday everyone.

Man Versus Nature

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Dark blue ripples
Blustering forward,
Bubble to cresting foam
Lead to grainy gray
Dusted with cracks
Of color
Coral and white.
Footprints indent
Moving surface
Leaving a single message.
“I was here.”
But wind whistles forward,
Powerfully unseen.
Sweeps across
The specks of sand
Carelessly
Wipes it clean.
Perversely, it whispers,
“Were you?”

Today was the rehearsal for my friend’s wedding. I sat on a bench on the beach waiting for the rest of the wedding party to arrive. I contemplated how beautiful nature could be as I watched the waves roll in. As I noticed the shoe and footprints in the sand, I started thinking about the marks we leave and the raw power nature has…and the above poem was born.

Living in Florida, people assume we get to enjoy the beach all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth. We usually have jobs and get too busy to enjoy the natural beauty around us. In fact, it’s been about 5 years since I’d been to the beach. While we rehearsed, I got to enjoy one of nature’s most beautiful gifts. A Florida sunset. I need to get to the beach more often. It inspires and rejuvenates.

Hope you enjoy my sunset…

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Girl Crushes and Badass Chicks

So continuing in the theme of strong females, but from a lighter note…  My best friend and I were talking about girl crushes a couple of weeks ago.  Kind of like guys have man crushes on people like Jason Statham or other badasses (My personal favorite is Jason Witten).  She’d mentioned that she would absolutely give it up for a woman like Scarlett Johanssen.  She makes her #1 spot.  I couldn’t see it.  Until I saw this scene from The Avengers.

Yeah…she rocked that scene.  And for the first time I could see why she thought Scarlett Johanssen was sexy.  She kicked some serious butt!  My kind of woman.  I like the butt kickers.  The ones who can stand on their own two feet and take down just about anyone.  So who makes my girl crush list?  Here are my top 5.  You tell me if you can figure out why…  😉

Yeah, leather and latex is hot…and so is Kate Beckinsale!

A Pink song…definitely fitting.  🙂  Jessica Alba in Dark Angel was one badass hottie!  I get why guys went gaga.

This scene cracked me up…but Lucy Liu makes the list…

I kinda like this song…first time I’ve heard it!  It fits the scenes they chose from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  I still think Eliza Dushku has come a long way from the little girl on True Lies.

Ok…so I had a little fun with this one.  I like tough chicks.  I admit it.  Gabrielle Anwar’s character on Burn Notice definitely qualifies.  And she was sooo soft spoken when she played the queen in The Three Musketeers.

Now what about you?  Any man crushes or girl crushes?  Do you have a type?  Inquiring minds want to know!  🙂

Changing the World…One Woman At A Time

Looking back, I guess I should have realized, with favorite books like A Proud Taste Of Scarlet And Miniver and the complete Nancy Drew series that I had my mission in life.  This may sound silly today, but as a little girl, I dreamed of winning Miss USA or Miss Universe.  Now before you go making your assumptions about my mom putting me in some sort of Toddlers and Tiaras thing let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth.  But as a girl, I was fascinated by the outfits, the poise, the beauty and the talent.  For me, though, I always picked my winners from the interview portion.

Why am I talking about this?  Because I was thinking…if I ever got up there and I was asked my question I know what I’d want it to be.  “If you could pick one cause that you feel passionately about in this world that you’d like to try to fix and that you think could have a lasting impact on the world around you what would it be?”  My answer:  Self Esteem in women.

My favorite female historical character is Eleanor of Aquitaine.  She isn’t very well known, but she is considered to be the grandmother of Europe.  Almost every monarchy in Europe have blood ties to her line.  She was the first queen to be married to two kings.  The king of France & the king of England.  She was smart, tough and feisty.  In fact, after her second husband, Henry II cheated on her she was able to get her sons to turn on him, wage war…and he almost lost his land!  My kind of woman.  Here is a clip from The Lion In Winter where she and Henry, her husband are talking.  By this time he’d locked her away in a distant castle where he felt she could do no more damage…

Perfect casting done…with Katharine Hepburn playing her role.  She was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John.  Most people have heard of them.  She intrigued me by being so strong and powerful and sure of herself in an age where women were regarded as nothing more than chattel!

Times have changed these days.  We have women’s lib!  We can vote.  We can own land.  We can do so much…and yet women of today seem to struggle every day with the person they see in the mirror.  Too many women gain their self worth from if they’re married…then who they’ve married.  Sometimes it’s the job they hold.  Or whether or not they have children.  Women stay in bad relationships because they’re afraid they deserve nothing better.  Or that they won’t be able to make it on their own.  But what message does this send their children?

Women are strong!  Powerful!  They give birth to children.  They make homes.  They enstill values in their children.  They’re tough, but they can temper that with understanding and compassion.  They show their strength every day in what they’re willing to do or to sacrifice for their children!  But somehow, it rarely translates to being willing to do the same for themselves!

Over the years I’ve developed friendships…and in my own little way, I’ve tried to be a friend.  I’ve listened.  I’ve encouraged people to go for their dreams.  To explore their talents.  To believe in themselves.  I’ve helped a couple friends learn to fight for themselves and to stand on their own two feet….and I’ve prayed that they’ve passed that newfound passion for life to their daughters.  I figure if I can help just one person…and they help one more…maybe we’ll have that chance!

Yeah, people blame magazines and skinny supermodels for women’s poor self image.  But I think it goes deeper than that!  I also think that if we can’t find a way to love ourselves enough to be willing to fight for ourselves, to stand up for ourselves…the cycle will continue to repeat itself.  What can you do to empower someone?  What issue in this world would you love to find a way to fix or to change?  How would you go about it?  Who do you look up to?  Who is your favorite historical character and why?

Rising Through The Ashes…

To say this week has been a challenge would be a mild understatement..and it’s just Tuesday.  Yesterday I chose to spend time with my husband and didn’t have much to say anyway.

Last week, Julie Glover wrote a blog on movies that defined our generation.  For whatever reason, Julie’s blogs always seem to get my own creative juices flowing.  I take a few days to soak up her posts, then I write.  Considering that Pump Up The Volume was my all time favorite (Yes, even over The Breakfast Club which is my 2nd fave), it really got me reminiscing…and thinking about what it was that made that movie matter so much to me.

You know, these days you hear so much about bullying and all of it’s causes.  This is nothing new.  In fact, it doesn’t just stop because you become an adult!  I don’t like it.  I don’t agree with it.  In my youth I’d gotten more than my fair share of it.  In Pump Up The Volumethe main character, Harry, played by Christian Slater says that getting through it…surviving it…that’s the point!  I think about that line a lot.  And I think he’s right.

There’s a scene where Samantha Mathis’ character (his love interest) tells him that he keeps waiting for a voice to tell him what to do or what to believe…then says…you’re the voice you’ve been waiting for!  In fact, earlier in the movie she sends his character a letter on red paper with a poem on it…She’s trying to figure out who his radio persona really is.  The only thing she knows at this point is that they go to school together and that he speaks to her on a very visceral level.

“You’re the voice
crying out in the wilderness,
you’re the voice that
makes my brain burn and make my guts go gooey.
Yeah you gut me,
my insides spill on
your alter and tell the future,
my steaming gleaming guts spill out your nature.
I know you,
not your name, but your game.
I know the true you,
come to me or I’ll come to you.”

Going through challenges in life, embracing them, allowing them to sink into your soul and strengthen you…it helps to define the person you are.  It feeds your passions.  As writers, musicians and artists…it really helps you constantly recreate yourself.  These are the gritty things that inspire you.  They’re the opposites of the good, clean positive feelings that help you to realize, remember and appreciate when the good ones come along!

There’s another not so well known movie from the recent past that starred Lindsey Haun  from True Blood & Toby Keith, that really drives that point home.  It’s called Broken Bridges. It’s where I discovered Lindsey Haun for the first time.  She has an amazing voice.  I’d love to hear more of it!  And the lyrics are just so powerful, so filled with emoition.  We artsy types really feed on emotion.  I know for me, though I can’t always write my grief while it’s happening, give me a couple days of distance and poetry or stories fly…and with a type of depth to them that speaks to real life experience.  In this movie, and the above song, Lindsey Haun’s character writes this song and sings her heart.

She found a way to turn her pain into something beautiful.  Because, like Christian Slater said…”surviving it’s the point!”  What about you?  Are there movies that have touched you deeply?  Maybe pushed you harder toward your dreams?  Maybe helped you get through tough times?  Or maybe it was music?  What inspires you?  Who inspires you?

Not Much To Say

Early this morning, my husband’s uncle passed away.  Those of you who’ve been following my blog knew we’d just found out he’d been ill only a couple of weeks ago.  He’d only found out he’d been ill a couple of weeks ago.  I hate cancer.  Saying goodbye sucks.  But death is another part of life.  I choose to think it’s not the end.  This song, to me, embodies that.

Not much to say tonight.  Live life.  It’s too short.  Don’t leave too much space for regrets.  Take time to hug and kiss the people you love.  It makes a difference.

Enflamed

Look at me,
My eyes reflect your heart.
Take my hand
Graze my skin
In sweet demand.

Dance with me,
Let me hold you close.
Breathe me in.
Warm my body,
Skin on skin.

Feel me quiver,
Tongue upon my flesh.
Set me free.
Guide my passion,
Feed on me.

Touch my soul,
Each thrust an answered call.
My heart trips,
Drives me forward,
Move your hips.

Feel my love
Wanton, wet and wild.
Surround your heat,
Core of iron
Strong in my defeat.

Surrender freely
At passion’s pearly gate.
Light my flame,
Own my pleasure
Scream your name.