Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Words

"The worst thing you've ever written is better than
the best thing you've never written."

DAY 22:  My friend, Ian, who held a playwriting workshop that I attended for many years used to say this every now and then.  I think he was quoting one of his graduate school playwriting professors, but it has stuck with me and I try to remind myself of this from time to time.  Last night, I went to see a production of an original play here in Jacksonville, and I will be seeing another in a few weeks.  Though I thought last night's play had promise but lacked a clear focus and needed some serious restructuring, I also realize that this playwright was actually having his work produced on a stage, which is more than can be said about anything I have penned. 

I love to write ... always have.  I was the editor of my high school literary magazine and currently have at least a dozen ideas for plays or musicals kicking around ... some are merely concepts but many have written outlines, and even dialogue and scene work.  I don't find the time to work on my writing, and I should - and that includes a series of educational children's books on Physics that I have tossed around in my head for years, and a few ideas for novels.  I am very self-critical and worry a bit that nothing will ever be "finished" in my eyes, but how will I know if I never actually try to finish something ... anything?  So tonight, I'm grateful for new theatre works that remind me to get to work and start writing again!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Track One

"Nothing to lose ... let it start."  Lynn Ahrens

DAY 21:  I didn't have a clue what to write today.  Tonight, I went to a theatre production featuring my friend Susan, who had burned me a copy of Liz Callaway's new solo CD "Passage of Time."  On my way home, I began playing the CD and wound up listening to Track One repeatedly at least a few times.  It's a philosophy of life I've been trying to get a handle on for years in a simple song with beautiful lyrics.  It came as no great surprise to me when I reached home to discover that the song was written by perhaps my favorite songwriting team, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens.  It's a terrific album filled with stirring, heartfelt interpretations and clever, but unexpected, song pairings.  But it was that amazing first track that I'm truly grateful for tonight ...

"Nothing to Lose (But Your Heart)"

Someone leaves and closes the door,
And you're sure love's over forever.
And you've wasted too much time believing
You have no time anymore.

Well, I know how hard it can be,
And I know how frightened you're feeling.
And I know the pain of starting over ...
No one knows better than me.

But the world calls your name,
I can see your breath on the window of life.
Take my hand -
I promise something new will start.
You have nothing to lose but your heart.

Let your tears fall like the rain.
You and I once filled up the ocean.
But if I knew then what I know now,
There's not a thing I would fear.

'Cause the world calls your name,

I can see your breath on the window of life.
Take my hand -
I promise something new will start.
You have nothing to lose but your heart.

Nothing to lose ... let it start.

'Cause the world calls your name,

I can see your breath on the window of life.
You and love are really not so far apart.
And there's nothing to lose ...
Let the world call your name,
Can't you see your breath on the window of life?
Take my hand -
I promise something new will start.
You have nothing to lose but your heart.
Nothing to lose ... but your heart.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Greatest Invention Ever

"He's making a list.  He's checking it twice."
J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie

DAY 20:  Post-It Notes ... greatest invention EVER.  I don't know how I could ever live without them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Read To Live

"A trip to the library has made a new girl of me.
For suddenly I can see, the magic of books!"

Sheldon Harnick

DAY 19:  Here's a picture of my "To Be Read" shelf at home.  A growing collection of about fifty books now ... It's always been a little frustrating that I never really find the time to read with my typically busy school, theatre, and music schedule.  BUT ... now that I'm not teaching any AP classes (meaning my school load is a LOT lighter) and I'm on a significant hiatus from my theatre "stuff" (at least until mid-January), I'm SO thankful that I've actually found some time to READ again!  The "Kindle" reader from Amazon was a topic of discussion at our Faculty Meeting today, but I still think there's nothing like the feel of a book in your hands and turning the pages ... even though shelves like this get REALLY cluttered!  Well, here's to making a substantial dent in that pile over the next couple of months (assuming, of course, that I don't add more to it ... which I most certainly will ;-).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paying It Forward

"I'd do anything for you, dear, anything ..."
Lionel Bart

DAY 18:  I'm grateful my momma and daddy raised me right.  I'm kind and respectful to waiters and other service people, I hold doors open for folks behind me, I'm polite even to phone solicitors (even though I hang up in their ears IMMEDIATELY after saying "No, thank you ..."), let people out in traffic, and pick up trash even if it isn't mine.  I've noticed a serious lack of courtesy and manners over the past few years and I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with this "entitled" generation that our society is producing.  I rarely get a "thank you" wave when I let someone out in traffic or even a vocal "thank you" when I hold the door for someone.  It's quite bothersome, but it certainly doesn't prevent me from acknowledging courtesy when it's given to me.  So, it was a nice reminder this past weekend when I accidentally left a bundle of paper towels behind at the checkout lane at Target and the woman in line behind me rushed out to get it to me after she checked out.  She even wished me a nice day after I thanked her.  What kind of world would this be if we were ALL this kind, respectful, polite, and courteous to each other ALL the time?

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Golden

"There's a kind of hush ..."
Les Reed and Geoff Stephens

DAY 17:  Planning Day ... a quiet, empty classroom ... heaven.  It's hard to believe the school year's already one-quarter finished!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday in the Park

"You're my best girl, and nothing you do is wrong.
I'm proud you belong to me ...
And if a day is rough for me,
Having you there's enough for me."
Jerry Herman

DAY 16:  Life has slowed down enough to take a long-delayed trip back to the lovely Dogwood Park, a free-roaming, leash-free, 25-acre fenced dog park in Jacksonville.  Sometimes Annabelle is shy and nonsocial, today she was hyper-energetic and VERY social - it was a JOY to watch her run (and she can, like the WIND ... see the picture above :-) and play with the other dogs.  I'm so grateful to have a place like this to bring her on the weekend after a week of being "cooped up" in my 2-bedroom condo.  The trip was topped off with a physical "HELLO!" from a big, wet, muddy dog (not belonging to me) who decided that I was going to be his best friend ... YUCK!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Art of Doing Nothing

"Weekends don't count unless you spend them
doing something completely pointless."

DAY 14-15:  I got up this morning and realized I had forgotten my OGJ yesterday!  Rather than beat myself up over it, it's going to be an "Oh well, it won't be the last time ..."  Especially on this EXCEPTIONALLY lazy Saturday.  Absolutely nuthin' to do ... and loving every minute of it.   That's what I'm grateful for today ... being able to simply hang out and let everything just S L I D E.  I only wish I had a hammock.  In fact, I'm so lazy today, I'm going to leave this post just as it is and say, "See ya tomorrow!"

(And does anyone miss "Calvin and Hobbes" as much as I do?)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can't Get It Out Of My Head

"Our hearts were ringing in the key that our souls were singing ..."
Earth Wind & Fire

DAY 13:  I didn't have a lot of fun in high school.  I had a blast in college ... in fact, I miss and still dream about my days at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, quite a bit.  But, one thing's for certain, the late 70's and early 80's had some TERRIFIC music (if you can forget that disco was still pounding our brains).  The soundtrack of my high school and college days has been playing in my car this week to and from work ... not sure why.  Last Sunday, I was grading papers at home and thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to listen to some ELO?"  Since then, I've cranked up my Styx playlist (bonus points if you can recognize the album graphic above), along with Earth Wind & Fire (even more bonus points if you can place the quoted lyric), Joe Jackson, Chicago, The Police, Prince, and Queen.  It's been loads of fun and I'm thankful for the wonderful music of my youth.  Now, if only the radio stations that play this music would STOP calling it "Classic" rock and roll.  Oy ...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mutual Admiration Society

"No matter what we are, we are a family ..."  Tom Eyen

DAY 12:  While growing up, my younger brother, Chris, and I weren't exactly the closest of siblings.  That's not a picture of us above, though there are plenty of pictures of us as kids smiling side by side.  Don't get me wrong, we got along fine and there wasn't any antagonism between us (at least I don't remember any).  I'm not sure what it was ... I suppose we just didn't "get" each other.  Unfortunately for Chris, I think he had to live in my shadow a little bit, particularly in school.  Chris was always closer to my Dad, while I was always closer to my mother.  Back then, we probably shared the misconception that we didn't have much in common, though we were both creative and artistic in our own way - Chris in the visual arts, me in the performing arts.  

So, it's been a remarkable and very pleasant realization at least for me (and I'm pretty sure it has for Chris, too) just how alike we are as we've grown older.  Many years ago, we had a long, soul-searching conversation on the phone, mostly about our Dad's death and some unresolved issues we both had relating to each other and how we each dealt with that.  I'd like to think that that was the beginning of a new phase in the relationship that has developed between us.  We are still pretty different in many ways ... Chris prefers life out in the middle of nowhere, the peace and quiet of the country, raising chickens and sitting out on the back porch watching the sunset with his wonderful wife, Kim, and his puppy (we both love our dogs!).  I prefer civilization, a little bit of hustle and bustle, and a mall right around the corner.  Chris is great with hands, can build and fix things, and is very mechanical.  I'm clueless with any kind of tool whatsoever.

But I'm amazed to say after all these years ... that's where the differences pretty much end.  We both turned out to be educators at the high school level.  Chris teaches Electronics, and I taught Physics for most of my years in the classroom.  We're both serious techies and we LOVE our "gadgets," particularly the computer variety.  Beyond that we are discovering just how much we THINK alike and share the same opinions, particularly when it comes to government, social, and military issues (Chris also served in the Air Force).  We both delight (a little too much, perhaps) in "tormenting" our ultra-Liberal bleeding-heart Mom with our barely left of center politics, but it's great trading opinions with Chris by e-mail, over the phone, or through his blog (  And I think it still astonishes us every now and then just how much we agree on.  I know Chris would like to hear me admit that it's probably because we both have an awful lot of our father in each of us.  Anyway ... he's one helluva guy and I proud to call him my brother. 

I'm grateful to you, bro, for your friendship and love.  It's taken us a while to get there, but even from many many miles away, I am always thankful for your support and the mutual respect and admiration that we share.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Light Bulb Moment

"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."  Thomas Edison

DAY 11:  There's a substance stronger than any known to man ... in fact, I don't think it's even from this Earth.  It is IMPENETRABLE.  Even if you could find some of those weapons of mass destruction, they wouldn't even make a dent.  It's the stuff found in the "I Don't Get Any of This" wall.  As soon as I hear that dire phrase, the one that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most stalwart of educators, I can almost see the 10-foot thick wall built with that impervious substance SLAM down between me and the student.  Attempting to chip away at it with even the most leading and probing of questions (without actually giving answers, of course), is like going at that barrier with a toothpick.  The "I Don't Get It" wall is a monster and I am ALWAYS thankful for that moment when you see the light bulb blink on, the wide-open eyes, and the grin that can burn a hole straight through that damn wall.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Quiet Thing

"Happiness comes in on tip-toe."  Fred Ebb

DAY 10:  There is no doubt that my life can be extraordinarily busy at times, particularly when I'm involved in a show.  By the time a show is finishing its run, I am always longing to "get my life back."  As a teacher, my days can also be quite noisy, chaotic, and remarkably exhausting.  So ... I am especially grateful for times like these when my life is marked by long periods of QUIET and SOLITUDE.  I often bemoan being single and get lonely from time to time, but I also recognize those moments when I can exhale and luxuriate in the bliss of being alone and totally relaxed.  This past weekend was one of those times ... I spent a great deal of time just sitting, in the quiet, with a curled-up dog at my feet, reading a book, doing a crossword puzzle, listening to soft music.  "Well, what d'ya know?  It's a quiet thing, a very quiet thing."  Sigh ...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ahhhhhh ...

"Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few ...
September, November,
And these few precious days I'll spend with you."
Maxwell Anderson

DAY 9:  OK, so it's not the beautiful autumn like the one in the picture ... the fall I used to love so much when I lived up North (except for that raking the leaves part), but it's lovely in its own way.  It looks like the heat has finally broken and I'm hoping we've seen the last of the upper 80's to lower 90's in OCTOBER.  I've had ALL the windows WIDE open this entire weekend and the fresh air is bracing, particularly when accompanied by the glorious cloud-free sunshine we've had for the past couple of days.  When I walked the puppy this morning, it was 48 degrees and I'm thinking my girl and I might be headed back to the dog park today after a prolonged absence!  The temps are forecast to head up back to around 80 later this week, but I'm thinkin' fall is finally here - and I'm grateful! :-)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I've Still Got My Health

"Got no diamonds, got no wealth, I got no men, but I got my health."
Cole Porter

DAY 8:  Within the past month or so, I passed a milestone that is simultaneously distressing and hopeful.  I have officially lived longer than my father.  My father died of congestive heart failure at the very young age of 48 (my current age) the day before Thanksgiving Day, 1985.  I inherited extremely high cholesterol and blood lipid levels from my dad which cannot be controlled by diet alone.  Fortunately, there are numerous medications available to me now that my father never had, and my blood lipid levels are WELL under control.  My dad was also a heavy smoker - a habit I fortunately never picked up.  I could write more about my father, but I'll save that for a future blog post ... this post is to express my gratitude for my health.

In the Fall of 2006, I finally recognized that my weight was out of control.  I was not happy with myself or my appearance, and that dissatisfaction was spilling over into over areas of my life.  It was also not lost on me that I was only a few years younger than my dad was when he died.  I had lost weight before, and quite easily, but the older I got, the more difficult it became.  My dear friend, Staci, had just started going to Jenny Craig, so I decided that it might be easier to face these demons and conquer this enemy with support from someone else who was waging the same battle.

Within about a year and a half, by the early Spring of 2008, I had lost 70 pounds and felt healthier and happier about my appearance than I had felt in a long time.  Unfortunately, 2008 was yet to send me a few other wake-up calls.  I had my first "old guy's physical" in December of 2007, and although my doctor was very pleased with my overall health, there were some things that concerned him.  My EKG was slightly abnormal and he sent me to a cardiologist, and although I've never had any symptoms of heart issues (that I'm aware of), he ordered a cardiac catheterization in April of '08.  After perhaps the most frightening procedure of my life, I am now the proud owner of three stents and there is apparently one other blood vessel that will likely need similar treatment before all is said and done.  That same year, I had my first regular colonoscopy.  Without going into unnecessary details, the doctor said I had "dodged a significant bullet" there as well.  Though I had succeeded in losing all that weight, I had never faced mortality so completely and frequently as I did in 2008.

Which brings me to 2009 ... it's been a tricky year.  I would be the first to admit that part of my reason (other than the obvious health concerns) for losing the weight was loneliness and the feeling that my appearance was preventing me from being in relationship.  I don't need to tell you (if you read my blog a couple of days ago) that I am still single and it's been a TREMENDOUSLY rocky up-and-down year of dating.  So, of course, being the emotional eater that I am, the old fat person took control and decided it wasn't quite worth it to stay too thin.  Add to that two nearly back-to-back theatre shows.  Theatre is a marvelous thing, but it can play havoc with your eating habits, particularly when it comes to late-night munching on really bad food (the only kind that's available late at night).

I've put back on about 20 of the 70 pounds I lost, but people still tell me I look great and that helps.  I know, however, that my health is important and I'm grateful for every day I'm alive.  I also know that I don't feel as healthy as I did at the beginning of this year and it's time to get back on the program and lose this weight FOR GOOD.  This time, though, it's for me and for the healthy, in control, person I want - NEED - to be ...  And when that "fat guy" who hides under my skin peeks out to knock me down, I need to learn to tell him to shut the hell up.  I have already lived longer than my dad, and FULLY intend to live for MUCH MUCH longer ...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Good Friday

"Let the wild rumpus start!"  Maurice Sendak

DAY 7:  Not much time today ...

It's Friday.
There was almost NO traffic on my way into work this morning.
It's turning considerably cooler this weekend.
I have a "date" for dinner and a movie tonight with two of my favorite people.

Lots to be grateful for ... a good Friday!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Moving On

"I chose and my world was shaken. So what?
The choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not."
Stephen Sondheim

DAY 6:  This is a topic I'll probably revisit more than a few times during the lifetime of this blog, because it's something I think about A LOT ... and I don't admit that easily.  I'm very unlucky in love, but saying that suggests that I play no part in and have no control over those failures.  That fact is, I play a LARGE role in those failures and, as the saying goes, I'm the only common element in all of them.  The quote that starts this post is my favorite musical theatre lyric of all time, and is probably my favorite quote PERIOD.  Whenever the "love of my life" doesn't work out, I try my best to remember this quote. 

I try not to let loneliness get the better of me ... and most of the time I succeed.  I try not to succumb to the fear that I will grow old and die alone ... and most of the time I can remind myself that I am far from alone.  But I'm most certainly grateful for the lessons my choices have taught me ... with each "failure," I become a stronger person and I learn more about who I am, who I'm looking for (or, more importantly, who I'm not looking for), and what I expect from a partner.  Perhaps that person is just around the corner ... could be ... who knows?

Today, I'll leave it at that ... more later on this topic ...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Meant To Do That

"There are no mistakes, only lessons."

DAY 5:  I knew I was in trouble today.  The first section in my Pre-Calculus class that I had to study myself before teaching the kids.  Hey ... I haven't had some of this stuff since college in the late 70's, for goodness sake!  Yes, I'm THAT old ...  You'd think I would've conquered this material last year teaching Calculus, but nope - this topic never came up.

Bottom line ... I'm grateful for my mistakes.  Every good teacher knows that students learn MUCH more by making mistakes and recognizing those mistakes than they learn by doing the problem properly the first time.  And when they see the teacher making mistakes?  GOLDEN educational opportunity!  There were riches of gold today, I tell you.

I'm not one of those teachers who thinks it's a bad idea to admit you've made a mistake in front of students.  I may joke and say something along the lines of "I meant to do that" or "I just wanted to see if you were paying attention," but I make 'em just like everyone else.  What's terrific is when a student catches the mistake ... particularly when I don't.  It shows the student was paying attention, focused, and has a clear understanding of the problem.

So here's to screwing up ...

And guess what?  There's MORE of this section next class!  I guess I should probably study a little more ...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Putting It Together

"Connect, George. Connect."  James Lapine

DAY 4:  There's one thing you should know about me if you didn't know it already.  In my veritable OCEAN of self-doubt, there is one thing about which I am ABSOLUTELY certain - I am a teacher, I have always been a teacher, I will always be a teacher, and I am a DAMN GOOD teacher.  But my gratitude for my chosen profession and the success I've had in it are subjects for a different day ...

I spent much of the day (while my students were testing) wondering just what the heck I was going to write about tonight.  It hasn't been a particularly memorable day personally or emotionally, so I suspected it might end up being something about work.  It wasn't until my regular Tuesday afterschool help that I realized one of the things I'm most grateful for as a teacher - my ability to connect.  And what brought it into focus today was my connection with a young man who has serious challenges connecting with anyone.

When I was informed that I would have an autistic student this year, I have to admit I was more than a little uptight about it.  I don't believe that I've taught a mainstreamed autistic child before in my 25 years, though a discussion with my good friend, Janet, our Exceptional Education teacher, about the student's condition allayed some of my fears.  I'll call him John ...

John is an extremely quiet, good-looking young man - a Junior in one of my standard Algebra II classes.  He rarely socializes with the other students ... the one time he has this year, I was a little taken aback to even hear his voice in conversation with other kids.  He clearly dwells in a solitary world of his own and Janet informed me that he has to train as much on his social skills as he does on his cognitive ones.  It wasn't long before I was communicating with his parents by e-mail and they informed me that John already seemed pretty comfortable with me and was eager to work with me rather than his regular out-of-school tutor.  I started working with John last week during my afterschool sessions and I already felt like we had started "putting it together."  He now says "hello" to me whenever he sees me in the hallway and says "goodbye" when leaving the classroom - and it's my understanding that even the most rudimentary of social interaction like this can be a challenge.

Unfortunately, John wasn't the only student afterschool with me last week.  Today, however, we were able to spend 45 minutes truly one-on-one and it was remarkable.  It's fascinating to watch him as he works - he's extraordinarily and compulsively deliberate about his work, beautiful and precise handwriting, intensely methodical.  He relies heavily on his calculator for even the simplest of operations but then, at times, he'll stop to think about the addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, his fingers will move with some mental arithmetic and he'll come up with the answer.  He only needs to see a pattern of steps once and can repeat them in a similar problem with little difficulty, though sometimes he'll look at his paper in this odd sideways glance (as if looking at the paper out of the corner of his right eye).  As frustation appears to be quick and often debilitating, I'm very careful to watch when his brow furrows and he rubs his face, and help him to slow down, relax, and reconsider the problem.  It's been an incredible experience so far, and my anxiousness has been replaced by wonder and excitement as I try to help John through what is a difficult subject even for a child without his challenges.

So, today I'm grateful for John and I'm grateful for how he has challenged my teaching ability.  I'm grateful that I've been able to connect with a young person who can have such trouble connecting ... And, finally, I'm grateful to be fascinated enough with this disorder that I'd like to learn even more about it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Talkin' 'Bout My Girl

"At times like this a guy could use a dog ..."
with liberties from Lynn Ahrens

DAY 3:  So, I've got this girl in my life ... she's UBER-smart, quiet, unconditionally devoted and loving, well-behaved, and she makes me smile at least a few times every day.  She's never more than a few feet away when I'm home during the day and often sleeps within arm's reach from my bed at night.  She greets me with the same enthusiasm whether I've been gone all day long or I've popped down to the grocery store for fifteen minutes.  And NOTHING beats the "SQUIRREL!" look (if you've seen the Pixar film "Up," you know what I'm talking about), except maybe for the "ball-in-mouth-chin-on-the-arm-of-the-chair-get-off-the-phone-and-play-with-me" look.

I lost my dear friend of 15 years, Simon, a little over five years ago, and it was devastating.  I was certain that it would be a VERY long time before I would get another dog - pictures of Simon can be found all over my home and his ashes are sealed in a wooden box that stands guard over me from my bedroom vanity.  However, it's been kind of a rough year for me personally and emotionally (that's a subject for another post somewhere down the line), and my dear friend, Carole, suggested this past Spring that maybe it was time.  She couldn't have been more right.

A trip to the Humane Society convinced me ... I wish I had been able to take most of those dogs home - it was more than a little heartbreaking.  But, I came across a cage that didn't contain a dog wildly barking and throwing itself at the cage door.  I had to bend down to look in and see the timid puppy staring back at me.  She was clearly afraid of her own shadow and nothing I did could coax her out to say "hello."  Simon had been extremely quiet and shy, and I was looking for a dog just like him.  Here was Annabelle, and all I could think was "No one's going to adopt this dog ..."  That's how we met, and Annabelle came home with me a few days later.

It's a great match.  She's still quiet - in fact, she startles herself as much as she does me on the rare occasion that she actually barks.  She's no longer afraid of everything, in fact she's incredibly alert, loves to explore, and can be social (when she wants to be).  But, best of all is her wagging tail every time I speak to her and how she stays even closer when she somehow instinctively knows I'm not feeling well or I'm upset.

I miss my buddy Simon, but Annabelle's my new sweetheart, and when she's around life isn't quite so lonely ...

A friendly face.
The kind of face
That melts you with a grin.
The kind of eyes
That welcome you
The minute you walk in.
A tender glance
You simply can’t refuse.
At times like this
A girl could use…
A dog
He listens when
You tell him things.
There’s nothing you can’t say.
And unlike certain people
You can teach him how to stay.
And if the world is giving you the blues
He cheers you up by chewing up the news.
It’s things like that
That make you choose…
A dog.
Other people need romance!
Playing around!
Other people need constant fun.
Well, I’m not one.
I have my feet on the ground.
A quiet night.
A stack of books.
A tuna melt on rye.
A simple walk together
Underneath a starry sky.
And suddenly the night is something rare
And all because there’s someone special there
Who’s gazing at the views
His head upon your shoes.
At times like this
I sure could use

A dog.
"At Times Like This"
from the musical Lucky Stiff
(lyrics by Lynn Ahrens)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Am What I Am

"I bang my own drum - some think it's noise, I think it's pretty ..." Jerry Herman

DAY 2:  I've never been much of a political or social activist, but today is "National Coming Out Day 2009."  So ... with that in mind, I'm particularly grateful today for my supportive and affirming family and friends who not only allow but encourage me to be who I am, completely, every day, without judgement, shame, or condemnation.  I know that I am an extremely fortunate man to have this kind of support ... thank you always for allowing me to be me, openly, without the need to hide.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My OhGeeJay

"Your friend is your needs answered ..."  Kahlil Gibran

DAY 1:   So ... I was having an e-mail "conversation" the other day on Facebook with one of my newest special friends, Susan, during which I expressed my gratitude for her CONSTANT support of my theatre projects and the projects of other mutual friends.  My e-mail clearly meant a great deal to her and it warmed my heart as well to know that I had made someone feel that way.

It struck me then that I don't always express thanks for all of the people and things that are clearly positive and good in my life.  In fact, I am more than often bemoaning what's "wrong" with my life when I don't take the time to appreciate the ABUNDANCE of things that are absolutely RIGHT.

So I've decided to follow the leads of my good friend, Susan, and another equally-positive and supportive special new friend, Judy, and start my own daily blog.  I'm calling it "My OhGeeJay," My OGJ - My Online Gratitude Journal.  I'm going to make a personal effort to post here daily and let the "universe" know what I'm grateful for ...

So, here it is, my DAY ONE of My OhGeeJay, and it seems only fitting that I dedicate this day of gratitude to two of my newest and dearest friends, Susan and Judy, who are the genesis of this project and whose support and love mean a great deal to me ...