Thursday, August 14, 2014

Robin Williams: The Perseids are in Good Company

I delayed writing about Robin Williams because I wanted my words to be thoughtful, rather than reactionary.  I knew I had to wait because my reaction to his death surprised me.  I’m not what some might call a “fan boy” (or “fan girl,” so to speak).  I haven’t swooned over a celebrity since Peter Tork (of The Monkeys) and Justin Hayward (of The Moody Blues) were in their early 20s, and I was even younger.  For many years I’ve listened with interest as celebrity death announcements were made in the media.  Normally, I remember those performers fondly for their accomplishments and thankfully for the entertainment they have provided.  Once in a great while, a death will affect me to a much greater degree.
 
When they broke into the programming to announce that Robin Williams had died, I was completely taken aback.  I remember Robin’s first appearance on Happy Days and how we all laughed at his performance.  No one had ever seen the like.  He made the improbable and the impossible not only believable, but funny.  He launched a new kind of comedy that took the industry by storm; and he kept it up for 40 years.  He could bring down the house with a look, and no other actor or comic was able to emulate his improvisational genius…not then, and likely not ever.

As an actor, Robin showed us his other sides, his serious side, his sweet side, his emotional side, his angry side, his passionate side, and a side that was a more conventional version of funny.  He became his roles, and we believed he was Adrian Cronauer, or Alan Parrish, or Sean Maquire, or Patch Adams, or John Keating…even Mork, or Mrs. Doubtfire, or the Genie.  He breathed life into those roles and into our lives through them.

And he gave.  He gave his time, his money, his friendship and whatever else he could muster.  The Windfall Foundation that funds many charities, Comic Relief, many USO tours, donating performance proceeds to help rebuild Christchurch, New Zealand after an earthquake in 2010; the list of his charitable work is substantial.

Over the course of the last two days, I have spent much time thinking about why Robin Williams’ death has caused me to feel such a profound sadness.
  What I realize is that I am not sad for Robin Williams.  I am sad for all of us he left behind who will no longer have that bright, shining star to make us laugh and cry and know there is good.  

And Robin, he gave his wit, his humor, his brilliance, his genius, his passion until he had nothing left to give.  I would like to think that when he breathed his last, he said to God, “Beam me up, Scotty, I’m finished down here,” and laughing, God transported him on a beam of light to become a shooting star.  He has joined the Perseid’s as they streak through our sky and will sprinkle a little humor down on us every year as he passes by.  Safe travels, Robin.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sale starts today at 11:00 a.m. EST

I’m running a Kindle Countdown Deal on A Mystery in the Mailbox

In the US, the sale starts today, August 11, at 8:00 a.m. PST (11:00 a.m. EST).  The Kindle version of the book will be offered for $2.99, a 70% discount, for 32 hours.  For every 32 hours you delay purchasing, the price goes up by one dollar, the discount goes down by 10%.  The final sale price, $6.99, a 30% discount, ends at 12:00 a.m. PST August 18.  Then the price returns to the list amount of $9.95.

In the UK, the sale starts at 8:00 a.m. GMT on August 12.  The Kindle version of the book will be offered for £0.99, an 84% discount, for 32 hours.  For every 32 hours you delay purchasing, the price goes up by one pound, the discount goes down by ~17%.  The final sale price, £4.99, an 18% discount, ends at 12:00 a.m. PST August 19.  Then the price returns to the list amount of £6.99.

This could be your best chance to get A Mystery in the Mailbox, Kindle version, at a deeply discounted price!  Just remember, the longer you wait, the less you save.  And did you know you can "gift" Kindle books?  If your friend or relative has a Kindle you can buy the book for them, and it will automatically download on their Kindle.  Not a bad gift at $9.95 and an even better gift at $2.99!  Enjoy! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Day 5 of the Challenge, posted a bit late

I’m thankful for Fridays, because they give all of us working stiffs a little glimpse of what retirement holds.  I am thankful for the many tremendous Northeast Ohio musicians who perform around the area religiously and most of the time for pretty low pay.  They lend an immediacy to the local creative scene that artists of other genres can not.  And finally, I am thankful for my health, something most of us take for granted.  It’s never too late to make improvements to our own condition!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 4 of the Challenge....

Here it is, Day 4 of the 5-day challenge.  I am thankful that my daughter received the marketing materials we ordered, with plenty of time to spare before her first fall craft show, The Shabby Chic and Attic Sale at Rider's Inn.  I am thankful that my husband suggested we attend the In Cahootz concert at Perry Park this evening.  I really enjoyed the music, and I love the lack of stress I feel whenever I am on the shore of Lake Erie. I also had the pleasure of running into several friends while I was there.  I am thankful that the new knee brace I ordered from Amazon is working so much better than the old one.  It looks a little funky, but it really decreases the pain.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Day 3 of the Challenge...

Day 3:  Things I am thankful for today...

I am thankful for Margie Delong (author of Grand Observations), who started a poetry group in Painesville at Your Vine or Mine, the first Tuesday of every month.  There were many wonderful poets there this evening.  I am thankful for the lovely Anne Payne, a member of Water's Edge Writer's Meet-up, who introduced me to her friend at Channel 5, which led to my interview with the venerable Leon Bibb.  And I'm thankful that I managed to prep tomorrow's report before I left work today, reducing my angst and the stress of meeting tomorrow's deadline!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Taking the Challenge...

I have been challenged by my friend Liz Petry to post three things for which I am thankful each day for five days. 

Day 1, my post appeared on Liz's face book page and read as follows:  I am thankful for my friends at work who make every work day a new adventure.  I'm thankful that I have all five of my senses, because having them is a privilege and a blessing.  I'm thankful for my car, which gives me the freedom and the ability to travel when and where I wish. 

Today, Day 2, I am grateful for surviving yet another Monday at work (they seem harder to tolerate as I get older).  I am grateful to my dear friend Liz Petry for, well, everything (inspiration, encouragement, laughter, conversation, writing partner, etc.).  And I'm grateful for my parents, who taught me so many things.  Wish they were still here.

My challenge to you is to post three things you are thankful for each day for 5 days.  Who's up for the challenge?     

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Whoa Mama! The Mystery of Going Viral...

Let me start with:  No, Mama Roberto’s did not pay me to defend them.  As a matter of fact, I stated quite clearly that the behavior of the cashier was inexcusable.  That was one person.  That is not the whole restaurant.  Do I think she should get a free pass?  Absolutely not.  Do I think that the amount of negative publicity vastly exceeds the crime?  Yes I do.
 
Was my blog an attack on Mrs. Basiger?  No it was not.  Was she partially to blame for the situation?  Yes she was.  She failed to read her own Groupon rules.  She ignored or was distracted from reading prominently displayed signs.  Is this a capital offense?  No.  Did she deserve a beat down from the cashier?  No.  Does she deserve an apology?  Yes she does.
 
Am I as “heartless as that cashier?”  No, I am not.  I don’t pick on sick people.  However, I think everyone should be treated the same, and everyone has to take responsibility for their actions, or inactions, whether they are sick or not.  The cashier was acting irrationally.  Anyone ever think that perhaps that might be the symptom of a medical condition as well?  Not all medical conditions have outward signs.  None of us know what lies behind that irrational behavior.  Everyone needs to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before they condemn.

I am sorry that Mrs. Basiger was subjected to that behavior.  I am sorry that she was upset and embarrassed.  I would have been, too.  Being upset and embarrassed by someone else in a public situation is something I’ve experienced many times in my life…people can be thoughtless and cruel, or they can have some other reason for their behavior…who knows.  But I have always been a believer in not sinking to the level of the perpetrator.  I say nothing and walk away.  I’m not saying I was not horribly upset by those situations, I was.  But even if I blog about it, I always attempt to present both sides.  No one-sided story is a complete one.
 
For those who feel the need to attack me personally, I say only this.  You don’t know me.  You don’t know who I am, or what I do.  You don’t know my thoughts or my motivations.  I can’t stop you from misinterpreting my writing as an attack on your friend.  Defending your friend is an admirable thing to do.  But think about what that cashier said to your friend, then think about what your comments on my blog were and ask yourself, do I really want to sound as vitriolic and irrational as that cashier?

In my writers group last week, we were discussing what makes a post, a book, a video go viral.  I hate to think that only negative things are shared and discussed.  So I’ll post this one more time.  This is how I really pick on sick people.  The Interview.  Somehow, I don’t think I’ll get the 5000 page views I had yesterday!