From Tourette Syndrome To Grammy Nod

February 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

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Finding Beauty In Our Own Lives

March 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

I have many friends who live with a physical disability.

I’ve always had great empathy for others, but since my late husband’ illness and passing, I have added knowledge to my empathy.  That may explain a great new number of people that have come into my life suffering some form of loss.

Every day I learn from one of my friends what it is to live with a disability.  The struggle doesn’t end with the acceptance of the loss.  There is self-esteem, reinventing a life, and there is the constant health struggle.

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Give Peace A Chance

January 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

Peace

By Bob Holof

On December 8, 2010, about a month earlier, the world memorialized John Lennon on the 30th anniversary of his murder. Lennon was the most famous member of the Beatles, partly because of his composing talent and mostly for his stand against violence. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE was his song and his prayer, and defined his association with the principal that civility was the answer to a great number of the world’s problems. His death at the hands of an armed assassin was horrible and ironic.

At the time of his death, and at the many worldwide memorials held a month ago, I remember how surprised I was by how easily everyone seemed to slip into the comforting illusion that this was the act of one demented individual and how unable or unwilling people were to connect the dots. We were living in a violent world where leaders and prominent supporters incited violent acts. Some demented people would hear these words and see these images and go over the edge and commit these acts.

To me it was clear that with prominence comes responsibility and prominent people should be toning down, not ramping up the violence and they should be separating themselves from those supporters who sprinkle their political, religious, or personal pronouncements with words that could incite violence.

Now a month later, after the mayhem in Arizona, perhaps chastened by the fact that this violence put them in personal danger, many of our leaders spoke of toning down the rhetoric. Others, however, took great care to refer to this as a random act by a single demented individual and made it clear that they did not think incitement to violence had anything to do with this massacre.

I don’t think anything is served by pointing to Sarah Palin’s target map or anything said by Glen Beck as the direct cause of this violence, but neither of them have followed the lead of Don Imus who admitted to having said on more than one occasion when speaking of someone he disrespected, “He should be shot” and his pledge to never say that or anything like that again.

In the 30 years since John Lennon died tens of thousands of people have been murdered in this country by violent people. Oklahoma City, Ft. Hood, the World Trade Center, made the headlines, but still few of those who could exert influence in words and deeds took the time to censor themselves and refrain from saying or doing anything that could ramp up the atmosphere of violence that pervades us. Lennon’s message of love has not been heeded.

There is an art to persuasion without rancor. It is time we learned it. If not, no one is safe.

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The Truth About Love

January 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Popular Posts

heart on the beach

I was married at age twenty to a man who was eleven years my senior.  When I married the man, I was a recent Brazilian arrival doing a lot of drugs and hanging out with all the wrong people.  I thought getting married would settle me down and straight, but instead marked the beginning of the worst period of my life.  The man was intelligent and creative but he was also possessive, manipulative and had an ego that didn’t allow any other human to occupy the same space as his.  Within the first year the intelligent man showed himself as delusional and abusive.   It took me a long time to understand the man’s bravado was a cover up for deep seeded insecurity which he was ready to go to any lengths to hide.  Three years into the marriage, and I no longer knew if what I thought and felt was real or not.  Only my fantasies – where I took refuge- remained mine.  In them I dreamed of being rescued and of living the love story I so much craved.  But back in the real world my husband was busy spraying beer all over me and undermining any attempt I made to stand on my own two legs.

One day, as I stood on the edge of a subway platform, I thought I could make it all stop if I took one step forward.  Now I’m a survivor and that kind of thinking just scared the hell out of me, so I summoned all the courage I had, and sought out help.

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Dancing Under The Gallows

October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Video

The oldest holocaust survivor, 107 year-old Alice, shares her inspiring love for music and life.

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Modern English

September 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Once a month, I go get a manicure and pedicure and yesterday was the day.  I go to a very simple but very busy Vietnamese place in Silver Lake. 

As I’m sitting there getting a foot massage for an extra $5, I see a guy walk in with his dry cleaning.  I wondered if he was getting a manicure or looking for someone.  A minute later my question was answered.  He sat next to a woman drying her nails under the dryer.

For some reason nail salons are always a place that I let my mind wonder.  Maybe is the holding of hands, feet or sometimes the extra massage, but there I was again lost in thoughts watching the couple.  They smiled at each other and made faces, particular expressions, that were reflections of their high level of intimacy.  And I realized that is one of the things that I most miss in my life now; the intimacy I shared with Chris. We trusted our relationship and each other so much that we were able to just be.

I think the reason why as people grow older as couples - and they really love each other - and they continue to see the other person as beautiful is because they are not seeing the wrinkles or sagging skin but they are seeing the expressions that are unique to the other person which they have loved and trusted for so many years.

At some point the woman saw I was staring at them and I turned my focus to someplace else.  I don’t know what she though of my staring but it was not jealously it was recognition of something beautiful and special.

As I walked out of the nail salon with my nails and toes looking perfect, I remembered the lyrics to one of my favorite songs: “I Melt With You” by a band from the 80s Modern English.  I’m pasting the lyrics below.  I hope you enjoy it too.

I Melt With You

Moving forward using all my breath
Making love to you was never second best
I saw the world thrashing all around your face
Never really knowing it was always mesh and lace

I’ll stop the world and melt with you
You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time
There’s nothing you and I won’t do
I’ll stop the world and melt with you

(You should know better)
Dream of better lives the kind which never hate
(You should see why)
Dropped in the state of imaginary grace
(You should know better)
I made a pilgrimage to save this humans race
(You should see why)
What I’m comprehending a race that long gone bye

(I’ll stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you
(I’ll stop the world) You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time
(Let’s stop the world) There’s nothing you and I won’t do
(Let’s stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you

The future’s open wide

(Let’s stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you
(Let’s stop the world) I’ve seen some changes but it’s getting better all the time
(Let’s stop the world) There’s nothing you and I won’t do
(Let’s stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you

The future’s open wide

hmmm hmmm hmmm
hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm
hmmm hmmm hmmm
hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm

I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world)
You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time (Let’s stop the world)
There’s nothing you and I won’t do (Let’s stop the world)
I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world)
I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world)
I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world

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Love Or Music?

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Which of the two qualify for the most universal component for world peace?  Not that I have conducted a highly reliable scientific study to get the answer, but I sense that my conversations about this question would have most choosing love?  Whichever is your pick, I would certainly ascribe to either being a “perfect choice”.

Needless to say, the more we learn to love one another and treat each one accordingly as a result, the less fear and suspicion we will retain; thus allowing ourselves to be more at ease and receptive to our neighbors around the corner, as well as around the world.  As I would hope most reading this already know, love is not just about hugs and kisses or diamond rings and vacations or Valentines Day candy and birthday cards.  It’s about compassion and understanding; it’s about trust and patience; it’s about staying together when circumstances are not conveniently circumspect; it’s about a feeling that allows us to go beyond where we never dreamed to make our spouse or child or friend realize their dream and their deserved comfort. 

Then, there’s music.  Whether it is Puccini or Presley, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or the Temptations, a classical guitar solo or a DJ’s syncopated turn table technique, there is something in a certain sound that ‘floats our respective boats’.  I’ve quoted Friedrich Nietzche before, yet this presents another such opportunity:  “If God would have made the world without music, he would have made a mistake”.  We, of course, are not all musicians, but we can certainly appreciate what stimulates us … even if we don’t speak the same language nor practice the same customs.  Music does present a universal opportunity to learn more about its creators and listeners with the potential to love them as well.  It’s really not that far fetched.

As a matter of fact, I have decided to merge the two entities and suggest that the love of music can create a force powerful enough to command respect and appreciation for others that we may have never known otherwise.  Try discovering a new kind of music, you just may get to know someone, playing or listening, that you never dreamed of before.  And who knows, you just may love what you hear and whom you see?

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So Why Would You Be A Madonna Fan?

August 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

That’s exactly what a former coworker (who will remain nameless) at Warner Bros. Records asked me one Grammy Awards night.  That year, 1990 something or other, a lot of the headquartered staff were watching a live feed of music’s most celebrated night right here in Burbank … the show was being broadcast from the East coast. Obviously everybody in the industry doesn’t go to all the Grammys, all the time, as some outside of “tin pan alley” would presume.  Anyway, everybody is having pizza, telling jokes, taking bets (for no money of course), checking the audience for WB artists, as well as wetting our individual whistles with a little vino, a little brew, a little fruit juice (remember, this is California )….  You get my drift; we’re having a great time.

A few hours or so into the show, a Best Pop Album, category was announced.  Naturally, we’re all pulling for Madonna’s ”Ray of Light” project. The envelope. please .. And the winner is ”Bingo”.   No, Bingo didn’t win, Madonna did … as she did so often during one of the most incredible runs of any pop icon. Well, I was ecstatic, nonetheless.  To my knowledge, I’ve never been called “Poker Face Jones”; that evening was no exception.  I was legitimately thrilled about her being the recipient of the honor she had been given. Looking back, I guess it showed, my excitement was pretty evident.

It was then that the ringing question of the evening was echoed from a WB staffer, who incidentally worked in the Pop promotion department: “So, why would you be a Madonna fan … you’re in the Jazz department? For a brief moment I was stunned … was this a trick question … was my friend serious … was he ready to be placed in a corner of the conference room with a dunce cap?  As I continued to try to make some sense of what I couldn’t imagine, he continued to baffle me with the notion that because Madonna was on the company’s Pop roster, she wouldn’t generate dollars for my department’s budget!!   I was quick to inform him that profits, budgets, expenditures and all those monetary “goodies” were the farthest thing from my mind. 

I simply explained to “Mr Finance” that my joy came from my appreciation for her as a talent and that she had won over our competition.  My thought was, and still is, that when you’re a family, as we positioned our mindsets to be at WB,  you root for all of your relatives … not just the ones who have the best jobs or the most degrees or trophies.  As a company and as a family, we pulled for each other, no matter what genre; no matter what background or influence.  When you think about it, music of one kind or another has influenced another kind to become another kind of music.  So it is with people, the more we explain and support the other, the more enabled and enriched the other becomes.  The more we become involved with the welfare of our neighbor … across the street or around the world, the music will be for everybody.

That’s how I could become a  Madonna fan ….

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