Politics… well, politicians… and the rest of us…

Does anyone else wonder how politicians get to be the people they are?  I mean, how do you enter a field where, by definition, you are there to “help” other people.  You are there to represent your constituents and help bring prosperity to you state, district, etc. and then end up becoming an enormous shyster?  Yes, a shyster.  Of course, not all politicians are liars and scallywags (yes, thank you, I know, working scallywag into current discussions is a true feat), but more and more, we are learning that they are indeed not on the up and up.

So what is a concerned American to do?  We don’t necessarily want to be in the Government game, but who do we trust? Some of us are naive, yes, it’s true, naive.  We want to believe everything they tell us… so we do.  Some of us are so cynical that we move to the far reaches of Montana or Wyoming and wait for the paranoia to set in, firing weapons at anyone who doesn’t know the secret password.  Then there are those a few steps up from the militias and they just decide to not vote because “What’s the point?”

The rest of us… well, I think we try to approach it logically.  We know they are lying, but now to know who is the liar who lies the least… alliteration aside, how do we do that?  Some look deeply into our candidates eyes and determine whether or not they’re truthful.  Some decide they’re truthful if they are like the constituent (color of skin, religion, home base, prior job, etc. – pick one), I’m not sure why that means they would be honest… are you always honest?  I doubt it… most of us lie once in a while.  Maybe that’s why honesty is so important to so many people.

Some of us end of running for government and decide to take on the system.  Unfortunately, these people, the ones who really could make a change, aren’t the ones we vote for.  Why?  Well, they don’t have the money… or the experience… of the right way of speaking… funny thing is… we don’t know anything about them and experience is only achieved through… well, experience.  You may have studied the piano your entire life and you are a technical master, but you don’t know what will happen when you perform until… you perform.  It could be magic or it could be a disaster, but you won’t know until you do it.  Thus, how do we know these candidates won’t do a great job?

I guess if we really want the right people out there, listening to what we want, what we think is best for us, watching over us and helping to guide us, then maybe, just maybe, we need to take a chance sometimes.  That means voting for a party other than the Big 2, that means giving someone with “no” experience, the opportunity to get that very experience we need.  It means being brave and jumping off that precipice and trying something, and subsequently, someone new.

We have a system like no other in the world.  A lot of thought went into it and it does work when WE work it.  WE are the bosses and WE are the ones that hold the fate of those politicians in our hands.  Learn about how our system works and what each position has and does NOT have power over.  Although you may disagree with a candidates personal position on an issue, should your vote rest on that issue?  Well, the real question is, do they have any power over that issue?  No?  Then who cares?  If you need them for what they can offer that is in their power and it’s better than the other candidate, then why does it matter?

My goal isn’t to tell you how to vote or for whom, that’s up to you… it just seems that there are quite a few of “the rest of us” who want to do what the jobs in government entail, but the politicians still seem to keep getting voted in… maybe the non-politically driven “rest of us” can be brave and bring a little honesty back.  A little integrity.  A little courage.  Then, maybe, we can bring back the politicians to the masses… and maybe they’ll want to try something different, like farming or retail… it could happen.

New Horizons

Once again, here I am struggling to do something I love and have never done before.  A radio play.  For those of you unfamiliar with radio plays, they were television before there was a television.  Families would gather around their radios and listen in awe to the  air waves float into their living rooms, those strange voices that became familiar over time and wallow in the mystery and magic of storytelling in one of its purest forms, the radio play.

I was introduced to this world when I was twelve-years-old.  My father came home after work one day and after setting down his briefcase, he walked into the family room and told us to find a seat.  He turned off the TV… yes, I know, but he is the parent, so even though we were horrified, we sat quietly while he took several 8-track tapes from a bag.  Yes, 8-Tracks… yes, they were real… for those of you who are unfamiliar with 8-tracks, they were a form of tape (prior to CDs… even prior to cassette tapes) that people listened to and recorded on.  Well, as these were the popular format of the time, my father purchased 8-tracks, but I digress.  For on these big clunky tapes were the old-time radio shows my parents had listened to when they were kids, but I didn’t know this and listened attentively while my father explained.   He would sit and listen for hours to all of these tales.

Flash Gordon, Superman, The Shadow and my personal favorite that would start my long time love affair with radio… the horror compilation.  This tape consisted of one story each from the following: Lights Out!, Inner Sanctum, The Witch’s Tale and The Hermit’s Cave.  I fell in love!!  I would sit for hours in my dad’s chair and listen to this tape over and over.  I could see everything laid out in my mind and I was enthralled.

When I got older, I began to search out the shows.  It was an expensive endeavor as each cassette tape contained 2 shows.  Then I discovered Ebay and the ever wonderful MP3.  I know have over 400 different shows and I’m still not done.  But again, I digress.

My passion has now bridged over into the opportunity to do my own radio play, and in 2 days I will be listening with anyone else who wants to listen to my first (and hopefully, not last) radio play. And hopefully, somewhere out there, a twelve-year-old little girl will experience all the things I did when I heard my first radio play.

May wonder and excitement be her first kiss into a brand new world, and open up the new horizons it did for me.


How in the Hell do you act eleven?

When I was a kid, I saw a movie called Author, Author, starring Al Pacino and Tuesday Wield.  Great movie!  If you get a chance, you should see it, anyway at one point, Al’s character “Ivan” tells his step-daughter to act her age and her response is “How in the hell do you act eleven?”  I thought it was hysterical at the time and today, although it still makes me chuckle, I finally realize that it’s true.  How do you act an age?

When I was in my early twenties, I used to see people my age running around with babies and mini vans, talking about the PTA and the nutritional content of cereal.  WTF?!  I was concerned about where I was going to hang out, how I would do on a test at school, what my friends were doing and why wasn’t I there?  Babies!  Mini vans! Uh, uh!!  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think that those things made us old or that they weren’t worth having, I just couldn’t understand what the rush was.  These people and I were the same age, but who was acting that age?  Should I have been living that life?  Nope, I don’t think so.  Now, I was never a child who thought that 30 was old or 40 or 50… I remember thinking that 84 was old.  Maybe that was my problem.

During this “party” phase in my 20’s, I was able to invite my parents out with my friends (I love my parents, most people do, they are awesome… and yes, even then, I LOVED hanging out them), but most often they were too tired and followed the apology with the sentence “We’re getting old.”  I didn’t get it… they weren’t old.  They were in their 40’s and 50’s, that’s not old.

Then as I was spending time with my dad one visit a few years ago, he told me how much it sucked to get old.  He looked at me and said, I don’t “think” any differently than I did when I was 20, but I can’t do those things.  I want to go play sports and go listen to music, but my body won’t let me do it.  It was then I understood.  Now in my 40’s, I get it.  I still feel like I did in my 20’s, but I’m not.  I’d like to have babies, but I still don’t feel rushed (and I should).  I look in the mirror and I see time marching across my face, but it doesn’t matter because I still see me, the way I’ve always seen me.  Sure, maybe I have a few gray hairs (which annoys me) and a few more wrinkles, but it’s me.

I’m still all the things I was 20 odd years ago, with maybe a little more wisdom and experience.  But I still act stupid and play jokes and laugh at farts and like to do most of the things I’ve done since I was a kid.  I still stay out till the wee hours of the morning and have a blast. Seems to me, as long as we do what we need to do in terms of taking care of our families and ourselves, we should all be A LOT more silly, crazy, spontaneous, goofy, child-like… we should laugh A LOT, we should hug A LOT, we should… be who we are and enjoy it for as long as we can.

I’m still trying to get my friends to go with me on a cattle drive when I’m 50, they aren’t so keen.  Instead, maybe we’ll travel somewhere else, maybe stay in a high rise hotel, where I’m sure at some moment we’ll get bored and have to find something to do, and maybe it’ll be high tea or an art museum or looking at some 500 year old church.  Maybe it will be dropping a water balloon on someone’s head from our hotel room window, at which point I’m sure someone will tell me to act my age… and my repsonse will be…

How in the hell to you act 50?

The Journey Begins…

So now it begins… the first step into a new world. Here I am beginning the journey into the world of following my dreams. I’ve written a book and published it myself, I’m learning to play golf, I’ve purchased a guitar… not true, I have 3 (classical, acoustic and electric) now to learn to play them.  Well, I can play a little, but I want to play them.  Drag my fingers across the strings and here those sweet notes reverberate against the instrument, making the sounds I hear on the radio or on my IPod.  I’m on the road to getting healthy, working out and dropping all this excess baggage we call fat. That one is the hardest. Harder than writing, harder than learning something new. Why? Probably because it’s just that… hard.

It’s hard to move and hard to get motivated and hard to work through the pain… and I know, it’s worth it. I know this, but sometimes it’s just hard. My dad has always said there is no magic potion, no pill, just hard work, so do it.  And I do it… day after day, when I miss a day, I get back on the horse and I keep going.  But its still hard.  Like doing the things we know need to get done, but it will suck to do. Saying the things that need to be said, but you really don’t want to. So I try to be brave… but it’s hard.

But the things that are the hardest are the most rewarding, I know this too. So in short, here I am at the precipice of my life, looking into a deep ravine of the unknown, but rather than be frightened as I once was, I’m curious.  What’s down there? What’s waiting for me? So I ready myself and I jump… and I fall into whatever to waiting for me. Just like a giant amusement park ride like Tower of Terror, I plunge into the unknown… the only difference it there isn’t a ride operator to bring us back and let me off. This is life and it just keeps going.

Exciting isn’t it?