01 November 2008

Hello "Dalia!"

"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."
~Dalai Lama~

Prior to last weekend, I knew little to nothing about the Dalai Lama. As a habitual “quote junkie,” a few of his quotes have made it into my quote journal, period, end of story. The irony is, I found his words profoundly enlightening, apparently just not enlightening enough to investigate who and what the “Dalai Lama” was. Now I am ashamed. While at the library last weekend, I spied a DVD entitled, “10 Questions for the Dalai Lama,” I picked it up, read the back cover and decided it looked interesting. I added it to my fast growing armful of items to check out, as I am always open to the impartation of free spiritual advice.

I popped the DVD in on Sunday morning and began the “journey” into the Tibetan world which was so brilliantly “guided” by travel filmmaker, Rick Ray. He did the most amazing job capturing the candor of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. Since I did not know what to expect, given my minuscule knowledge of this man and his country, I was taken aback by his inherent charm, sense of humor and most infectious giggles. In all his greatness, he is just a simple, down to earth man whose greatest convictions seem to be peace and self-discipline, something I have long aspired to achieve.

Rick Ray begins the documentary with the perception that the happiest people, during his travels, seemed to be the poorest people and that he saw more smiles in the slums than among the rich and privileged. (Now I know why they call me Smiley). The Dalai Lama’s explanation was simple, “If you have very little in life, you have very little to worry about. On the other hand, if you have a lot, you have a lot to lose.” Wow! It puts things in a whole new perspective, doesn’t it?

Ray goes on to say that, “greed is a source of problems; a source of suffering.” And that, according to the Dalai Lama, “makes a person very poor…mentally.” At this point Ray cites an old anecdote, “A Priest was once asked if he would rather counsel the rich or the poor and he said, ‘the rich, because the rich know that having more money will not solve their problems.’” (I had to process that one for a bit).

The Dalai Lama lives in Dharamsala, India, where he was granted political asylum when Communist China invaded his country and massacred over a million of his people. His home is a very modest structure, far from the extravagant palace he once resided in. The Potala Palace, located in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, has now been forcefully turned into a museum by the Chinese. And according to Ray, the city of Lhasa has been converted into a Disney Land, of sorts, for Chinese tourists. Sad, isn’t it? Not only was the Dalai Lama forced from his home; his country, but the Chinese have even gone so far as to ban any photos of the Dalai Lama from the Tibetan culture. “Over the years, the Chinese have jailed, brutalized and tortured anyone proclaiming independence from Tibet,” according to Ray’s documentary.

Through all of this hate, the Dalai Lama has remained true to his peaceful beliefs and continues to “encourage peaceful resistance in an attempt to shame China to its senses,” documented by Ray. The Dalai Lama admitted, however, that it takes an immense amount of self-discipline to watch what China has done to his country.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was born July 6, 1935 to a farming family. He was discovered by Monks at the age of two after being recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, which is the Tibetan tradition when searching for a successor. He was only 15 when Communist China invaded his country and forced him into exile. He has remained steadfast in his efforts to preserve his culture. In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his continued resistance to use of violence. His Holiness cites Ghandi as one his greatest inspirations.

A new Panchen Lama was chosen in 1995 at the age of 6 and within a couple of months of the announcement, he and his family were taken prisoner by the Chinese and have never been seen or heard from again. He is considered to be the youngest political prisoner in history. I thoroughly enjoyed “meeting” the Dalai Lama and learning about his beautiful culture. The documentary was heart wrenching at times and just when I felt the tears well up in my eyes, the Dalai Lama would giggle, smile or let out an enormous guffaw that would bring instant peace to my heart. He is truly an inspiration and a newfound hero in my most humble existence.

The words, "Free Tibet" will never sound the same to me again and I will forever be inspired by his wisdom. I urge you to view this documentary for yourself. It is a beautiful story and the Dalai Lama is a beautiful human being.

The Paper Whisperer

26 October 2008

Me, Myself and I


On the path of least resistance
I didn't know my name,
Remote controlled emotions,
My head hung down in shame.

My journey to tomorrow,
My exit yesterday,
Rejoicing in the moment,
the future, who's to say.

My color back to normal
My soul up from the grave.
My peaceful, warm demeanor,
A past I no longer crave.

Pages full of promises,
Contracts I have made.
A simple wish to live a life
My dues forever paid.

My spirit shone so brightly,
That dark and dreary day.
Magnetic kindred moment,
Dark clouds drift slow away.

Youth is gone forever,
Good-bye, please don't come back.
I made my peace an hour ago,
Foundation back on track.

My body is my temple,
My heart is all my own.
You did not get the best of me,
Just look how I have grown.

I love you from the inside,
I'm glad you let me out.
Stay true to all your glory,
Don't whisper, time to shout.

Take my hand and walk with me,
I'll show you how to live.
I'll teach you how to love yourself,
I've got so much more to give.

The Paper Whisperer

15 October 2008

"Write" Down To It

pink typewriter Pictures, Images and Photos

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E. L. Doctorow~

People are always so utterly amazed when they find out I am a writer. I chuckle every time. They always say it with so much awe in their voices as though I save lives or am able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. We are really all writers when it comes "write" down to it. We all have a story to tell or a point to get across and some of us are just better at the written word than others. I have a wicked hard time vocalizing my feelings, even standing in front of the cashier at McDonalds. I sound like a, well, a dumb blond. But give me paper and pen and I am free at last.

As far back as I can remember, I have loved to write. When I was about ten years old, I wanted my own newspaper. With pen and paper in hand, I started knocking on doors and begging for stories from the neighbors. Lucky for me, most were accommodating and eager to share. However, I did have to politely decline Mrs. Smith's story about Mr. Smith's new girlfriend. I was ten, after all, and not at all interested in her "scoop." After gathering my "newslets," I ran home and began to pummel the keys of my blue/gray plastic, and extremely manual, typewriter. It had been a Christmas present from Santa. A Smith and Wesson, Smithsonian, Smith Brothers or something like that. (Help me out here people!)

I hunted and pecked out my first and very last, Neighborhood Newspaper. The task was arduous and at ten, I wasn't about to burn the midnight ink....there was kick the can to be played and boys to be crushin' on. The good news is, I sold all five papers that I managed to tap out. If my memory serves me correctly, they went for a nickel a piece. Twenty-five cents; not bad for a beginner. Here I am, 444 months later, a lot older, a lot wiser and the proud owner of a kick ass computer (an acute exaggeration) AND my very own blog!

I am even working on a second blog for my alter-ego who adores sharing healthy eating tips, recipes, and great finds. I am a habitual researcher and have grave difficulty keeping a "secret." Before I discovered blogging I would run to my computer and type up my food revelations and send group e-mails. I quickly became an e-mailevangelist, Church of Health and Well Being.

Like every other writer, I dream of getting a book published someday. It's just so hard, what with the likes of Paris Hilton and now Marcia, Marcia, Marcia (Maureen McCormick), releasing their memoirs. How can one compete with that? I'm probably going to spoil it for you, but it seems that poor Marcia, Marcia, Marcia hit "rock bottom." *GET OUT!* I am so pleased (effing flabbergasted) that she is able to get $25.95 for that "SHOCKING" information. Winning Celebrity Fit Club and going on to appear as a complete "train wreck" on CMT's Gone Country just wasn't convincing enough for me. Bless her heart.

And to think I wanted to be a Brady when I was young. Those kids were destined for dysfunction; think about it. Six kids (not related), raging hormones, a gay dad, an enabler for a mom and a housekeeper who was in denial about her own sexuality while "pretending" to date, Sam the butcher. These, my role models through my pubescent years. And what the hell is so wrong with "Rock Bottom" anyway? I never understood why it gets such a bad rap. It usually means a book deal...at least in Hollywood. I think I'll get the book when it lands at the Dollar Tree just in time for Christmas. Ouch! Do you realize the bad karma I just imposed on myself? I think I just hit ROCK BOTTOM! That's a good thing, right?

Peace Out,
The Paper Whisperer

11 October 2008

Cougar 101

Mrs. Robinson Pictures, Images and Photos

"Mrs. Robinson, if you don't mind my saying so, this conversation is getting a little strange."
~Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) in The Graduate~

Since I had always been attracted to older men, at first I had trouble comprehending the whole Cougar-mania craze. However, the older I get, the older men get (I know, I'm a rocket scientist) and the less attracted I am to them. (There is NOTHING sexy about a Depends undergarment underneath running shorts) As a self-appointed gym rat, I have, in the last couple of years, noticed that my eyes tend to "survey" the, shall we say, "Cubs." *Meeeeow* It is not so much their sweaty, glistening, hard bodies *DROOOOL* but rather the energy that comes with their youth. You gotta love that energy and that zest for life! It's intoxicating!

Well, since I can safely give up my dream of becoming a Pussycat Doll, I guess I could "settle" for becoming a Cougar. *MEOWING, KICKING and SCREAMING!* Sad day indeed when you have come to the realization that at least six of your nine lives are over. So, what's a cat to do whilst waiting for the tranquilizer dart that will send me to that great big "litter box" in the sky...enjoy my remaining lives, that's what!

I didn't even know what a "Cougar" was until a couple of months ago. My parents were visiting right at the time I was going through a break-up with a "weasel" (just trying to keep it in the Animal Kingdom, people). My Dad, God love him, in his efforts at trying to cheer me up and with one arm around my shoulder said to me, "Why don't you become a cougar?" I looked at him through my tears and retorted, "A WHAAAT?!! What the hell is a cougar?" "You don't know what a cougar is?" "Um, no Dad, what is a cougar?" "A cougar is an older woman who enjoys the company of younger men." [What I heard was, "Since you didn't become a doctor or a lawyer, why not a cougar?"] Okay, Dad, I know your heart is in the right place, but that is just wrong on so many levels! But what the hey, I'm listening...proceed!

So last night I had a dream (nightmare) that I was on the prowl; I had finally received my cougar badge. I'm at the gym on a treadmill next to the "pièce de résistance" of hunka, hunka burning loves. I begin to growl, subtly. However, the noise from my "preys" pounding paws on the treadmill, drown out my lame attempts. I begin to growl louder, and louder, AND LOUDER!!(You can run but you can't hide) My cub reaches up and slows his belt to a trotting speed, looks over at me with the sweetest eyes and says, "Excuse me "Ma'am" (oh no, you did not just call me Ma'am!!) did you just growl?" "Well, it depends...did you like it?" I ask. "Excuse me?" he replied. No, no NOOOOO, you are not playing along, "Sonny!" You are supposed to say, "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me, aren't you?" You see what I mean? You just can't send a cub to do a Lion's job. What would we talk about anyway? Oh, yeah, right. Thanks for the encouraging words, Dad, but I think I'm gonna wait a couple more years.

And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know. God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson. Heaven holds a place for those who pray (not prey).

Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson....enjoy the following tribute and have a beautiful weekend,
The Paper Whisperer


06 October 2008

Drop Dead

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart~

And they said my hard work wouldn't pay off. Hmph! Check out my very first Blogger Bling! 14k gold pixels....someone (The Gumbo Writer) definitely splurged on The Paper Whisperer. I share this award with three other fellow writers who participated in an impromptu plot scenario gig. Here's the deal. We were shown a photo of a bus pulling out of a parking lot with the marquis reading "Cemetery" as its destination. (Above) It was the "dead of the night" and my writer's block had just risen from the grave...miraculously. I wasn't even frightened by the thought of digging my own grave, I just began to tap out my idea. My writing is hauntingly peculiar, as is my thought process on most occasions. It has absolutely nothing to do with the skeletons in my closet so don't even go there!

Anyhoo, I felt compelled to share my coveted award with you since the only thing I have ever won is the title of Turkey Bowl Queen during my stint as a cheerleader for the Terrytown Fighting Irish Little League Football Association. I just had the strongest urge to break out into a chorus of, "If they could see me now, those old (way old) friends of mine." Sadly, I am NOT eating fancy food OR drinking fancy wine, but what the "hey!" I'm still the Turkey Bowl Queen. Wow, that just stirred up a plethora of painful suppressed memories. How'd you like to go through life with that stigma attached? *Gobble, Gobble* (Oh shit, I think I am on to something here.)

It's been a long day, can you tell? I have been reduced to posting my own awards. Is that considered narcissistic? I didn't even get to dress up. I didn't even get to walk down the red carpet in a designer gown stopping only to twirl for Joan Rivers. I didn't get to walk through the theater after my name was announced while everyone stared at my evening gown stuffed into the back of my panties from a quick trip to the potty. I was robbed I tell ya! I've been saving my speech for years ever since I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" in the eighth grade. Up until this proud day I succeeded alright, succeeded in doing absolutely nothing! So whadya think now student body? Huh, huh? *cold sweats* Um, uh, is there a statute of limitations on an eighth grade superlative honor? *GULP!* Does this thing expire? Oh give me a break! I will always be a "drop dead" success. (That is a blonde oxymoron just in case you were wondering.) Envelope please..............and the winners are:

said...It's the whole, abstract "life's a journey" theme.

Janna Qualman
said...She knew the bus ride was significant, for it represented her transportation between two lives. The destination awaiting her, the cemetery, meant the end of one life, the beginning of another. She’d say goodbye to the woman she used to be, there, at the small headstone engraved with her given name. And there she’d take on her new name, embrace her new self, begin the new life she had no choice but to live...

Melissa Marsh
said...It was a strange place to do a business deal, a bus on the way to a cemetery, but business deals like this weren't done in normal places. No outdoor cafes, no shopping malls, no parking lots. But a bus to the cemetery...that was the perfect place for this deal.

The Paper Whisperer
said...Yes, it was true, the Nation's economy had hit an all time low forcing even the grim reaper into a moonlighting gig just to make ends meet. However, the strain of his second job was killing him. Being the savvy businessman that he was, he devised a plan that would allow him to kill two birds with one stone. He contacted the city's transportation department, where he presented his killer idea. "You are 'dead on' with that brilliant idea," exclaimed the Superintendent of Transportation. Mrs. Reaper, on the other hand, was not so happy. She was tired of Mr. Reaper working such long hours. At the end of his shift on the first night he grabbed a bouquet of flowers from a lonely grave. If nothing else, he knew he could always kill Mrs. Reaper with kindness.

Goodnight Guys and Ghouls,
The Paper Whisperer

04 October 2008

Nothing's Zen-Possible

Watch your thoughts; for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

There you have it. Five lines, thirty-six words and absolutely free of charge. You want fries with that? Since I absolutely abhor hypocrisy and make no bones about it, I will be the first to admit that I have royally messed up in the areas of lines one and two. Luckily I am currently in recovery from lines three and four. I was not going anywhere near line five unless my character could be defined as authentic and honorable. I am happy to report that I am almost there; the pinnacle of self-respect. A couple more rungs of life's ladder and I will finally be the woman, mother, friend and partner that I have admired in so many others. Never mind, I am taking back the mother part as that is the one area of my life I have down to a science. Although, I am a firm believer that there is ALWAYS room for improvement in any area of one's life.

I have been a "student" of life for the past 11 years, ever since someone informed me that I could have one, and furthermore, that I actually deserved one. I had no idea what I was missing. Somewhere along my zen journey, I discovered the wonder of karma. I embraced the concept and quickly fell in love with its magic. At first it seemed too simple; how could anything come that easily? I didn't have to take a class. I didn't have to purchase a book. I didn't have to spend one red cent on my new appendage. To give back, I have spent the last ten years spreading the joy of my discovery, a self-appointed Karma Commissioner, if you will. Some get it, some have got it, some, sadly, don't want it. It is an absolute lesson in futility if you think for one second that you can change anyone. You can purchase all the books you want and take all the classes you can fit into your hectic schedule and unfortunately the end result will still be the same.

This past week I was "fortunate" enough to be privy to the Mother of all "karma-tastrophes." I use the word fortunate because the experience validated, once again, "my" oh so very simple philosophy on life. My knee jerk reaction was to "get this schitt on tape!" Now there's a documentary worth filming, Mr. Moore! Scared Straight Part II. Take it into our classrooms, show it to our children. Make it part of the hiring process at a new job. "Interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring us an important word about KARMA!" Get *Karma Donor* stickers for our drivers licenses. Okay, I guess I am getting a little Karma'd away. That's just me. I am passionate about sharing any and all of my good fortune and perpetual life lessons.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Pay It Forward. If you haven't seen it, you should. A 12 year old boy, believing that people are basically good, sets out to change the world with an experiment in paying it forward. Wherein, a good deed done is not payed back, but rather payed forward by doing a good deed for someone else. It is karmessence at its finest...once again, so simple and yet so hard to grasp. It is a beautiful movie and like that 12 year old boy, I, too, always believe that people can be shown the way, pointed in the right direction. What they choose to do with the gift of knowledge is completely out of our hands. Invariably there is always that one damn "domino" that refuses to follow the path laid out. And that's okay. That is their karma, not your karma. That is the poetic beauty of karma.

Since it's almost Halloween, make a batch of "Karmal" apples or some "Karmal" covered popcorn balls and share them with friends, family and co-workers. Attach Karma inspired suggestions on little notes. Or even tell someone how important they are or what they have meant in your life. Attach a "coupon" entitling someone to a ride to the store, a free hour of babysitting or dog walking. Just do something for someone you love, want to love, someone who might need some love or even someone that you know you has a snowballs chance in hell of finding/getting love. And all the while, do not forget the most important ingredient, you must do it for yourself and yourself alone because it gives your heart joy. Love selflessly because YOU are good, expecting nothing in return or your "pay it forward" will be a big hot steamin' bowl of heartache, a lesson that I learned the "heart" way. I can only "teach" you what I continue to learn.

Reap what you sow; sow what you reap.
The Paper Whisperer

01 October 2008

'Til Death Do Us Part

"Love is a feeling, marriage is a contract, and relationships are work." ~Lori Gordon

Be honest...when your Pastor, Priest, Rabbi (you get the picture) is "wrapping things up" on the "happiest" day of your life, and he applies the "bond" that no man can tear apart (yeah, okay, whatever!), in no way, shape, or form would you ever believe that "'til death do us part," could be interpreted as the day you would like to be the one causing the death. You're in love, you're bonded, you are finally the Princess/Prince in your fairy tale. You just spent a year (or in my case, a couple of weeks) planning this monumental event that all your friends and loved ones would be able to witness.

I, personally, didn't have all the hullabaloo, not that I didn't want it, it just wasn't in the cards for me. I did do something very original, however, I flew to Vegas...yee haw! First class, Bay-bee! There I stood in my beautiful Princess gown, which was actually a marked down prom dress, but beautiful, nonetheless. It was white. (Lie #1) I actually thought the whole idea was very romantic until the officiator walked out into the chapel and I could swear his "other" job was impersonating either Cheech or Chong after midnight on the Vegas strip. He was dressed in a baby blue polyester suit and brown scruffy cowboy boots or something akin to cowboy boots. It was very hard to take him seriously...REALLY! But I was in loooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvveee!

I remember staring in the face of "Rosemary's Baby" with tears streaming down my cheeks and wondering how I got so lucky....and in Vegas, no less! Beginner's luck, perhaps? (Lie #2) And since I absolutely loathe gambling, one would have to wonder why, after a three month whirlwind relationship, I would be willing to take such a risk. I was in looooooooooovvvvvveeee! Ironically enough, I was born in Vegas as my father was stationed there at the nine month point of my gestation. I believe I was there a total of three months after birth. Thirty-something years later, and a few days after my birthday, I was back "home," and about to become Mrs. Rosemary's Baby. Jackpot! (rolling eyes...north, south, east and west)

Well, let me tell you something people, contrary to all of the advertisements, what happens in Vegas, DOES NOT STAY IN VEGAS! I "tried" that defense in Divorce Court, to no avail. Somehow I expected the ink on the marriage certificate to miraculously disappear once we exited the little "Chapel of Love." "But, but, Your Honor, I thought Cheech (or was it Chong?) was blowing smoke! Really, I've got pictures...you'll understand." *gavel striking desk!* "One more word out of you Mrs. Rosemary's Baby and I will be forced to hold you in contempt of court!" "Um, when you say, "hold" Your Honor, might you be referring to a hug, cuz I sure need one?" "BAILIFFFF!!!

Okay, so now I am in Vegas, married and not willing to part with my money...so what's a newlywed to do? Hmmmm, "wonder where the Wal-Mart is?" If I am going to spend my hard earned money somewhere, the "one armed bandit" better be the cashier at Wal-Mart placing something in a plastic bag to show for my efforts. "Bye "R.B.," see ya back at the hotel. "Taxi!!"

The "hotel" just so happened to be the Penthouse Suite of the Mirage Hotel on the Vegas strip. Now there's something I'd do again in a heartbeat! Monstrous television sets that came up out of the floor at the touch of a button, tacky gold furniture and mirrors every damn where....even above the bed! *Warning: Objects in mirror may appear to be larger than they actually are.* (including, but not limited to, my butt!) I did feel like a Princess, however....or was it Elly May Clampett? No matter, in my world I was royalty, at least for three days.

So here I sit, ten years, ten pounds (Lie #3), and ten times wiser, under my belt wondering what the whole marriage/divorce thing is about. Why is it, that the world is so hungry for love and yet the divorce rate is so high? Why do the people that should stay together split up and the people that should split up, stay together? "We stayed together for the children." (Lie #4) Puhleeeze! Yeah, that helped them alright...to get on the Jerry Springer show, that is. Thank goodness Little Johnny's parents stayed together and he was not the product of a broken home. Now he will be able to enter into the bonds of matrimony with all that "healthy" love and nurturing he witnessed at home. "Divorce granted Mrs. Little Johnny!"

I, for one, do not believe there are broken homes. I believe there are broken people. My home is my heart and it may not look like much from the outside, but whether I am single or married, the decor will never change. If you are lucky, I will invite you in. If you are luckier, I'll ask you to stay. If you are the luckiest, I'll give you your own drawer and show you the Vegas Strip! *wink-wink*

I promise to love you and honor you all the days of my life......The Paper Whisperer

26 September 2008

No Boys Allowed

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"A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do the rest." ~Rhonda Hansome

There are chick flicks and then there are, quite literally, CHICK FLICKS as the newly released film, "The Women" proved to be. Loved it, loved it, LLLLOOOOVED IT! There was not one single male in this movie, anywhere! Of course, since 100% testosterone free would be too much to ask for for two lousy hours, the "smell" was always there, in a cat marking its territory kind of way. Tears were shed, Botox injected, and sexy lingerie was still purchased just in case you were thinking that men cannot continue to wreak havoc even when they are NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!!

Since I LOVE men, I wasn't sure how I felt about a movie that didn't have one single pair of "well-filled jeans" to gawk at! It was okay; I survived. AND I came out of that movie with a whole new set of cajones. My initial feelings of trepidation turned out to be a catalyst to empowerment. Not that any of us need a dose of Hollywood antics to realize our own strengths, as well as weaknesses, however. It is just refreshing to have an actress playing your part once in awhile. After all, "she" gets paid to be stepped on, cheated on and lied to. And then we go pay "her" to inspire us, which "she" does, quite brilliantly.

The movie has a very happy ending which is paramount in my world. I refuse to believe in anything but happy endings and that the glass is half full. I remember going to Blockbuster and renting "Message in a Bottle," with Kevin Costner. After watching it, I stomped back in Blockbuster jokingly demanding my money back. The clerk was amazed that I didn't like it and asked why. I said, "The ending was awful and sad." She said, "It is not realistic to think that everything in life has a happy ending." To which I retorted, "Look Sister, my "real life" sucks! When I pay $4.95 for a movie to "entertain" me, it damn well be a happy ending that I can live vicariously through! Got it?!" Um, "SECURITY!!!" (I miss Blockbuster :0)

The Women has an amazing cast that includes, Meg Ryan, Cloris Leachman, Candice Bergen, Bette Midler, Annette Benning, Eva Mendes and Jada Pinkett-Smith. It is overflowing with some of the funniest lines that I have ever heard. Grab a gang of your girlfriends, a bucket of popcorn, a box of Hot Tamales and go see this movie. It is a barrel of laughs and feel good moments that will make you smile.

Remember that feeling you had walking out of the movie, Pretty Woman with Richard Gere? You know, be honest. As you look over at your schmuck of a date and think, "I can do so much better." "There is absolutely no reason I cannot become a prostitute and find true love with a rich, distinguished playboy!" Yeah,that's the thought I am referring to! Well, as you walk to your car wiping the popcorn hulls off of your clothing and reciting your favorite lines from the movie, you will get that same encouraging feeling..."I am WOMAN, hear me Roar!" Now go channel your inner balls.

The Paper Whisperer

24 September 2008

Up and At It-tude

It was back to business as usual today...no rest for the weary. Since I slept for most of the last two days, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed upon waking up this morning. That might be a "little" exaggeration, although, I am one of those morning people that makes all of the "not so morning people" sick. For me, the morning is representative of a new beginning; another chance. Fortunately for me, I am the only one (hopefully) that is keeping track of all my, "I swear I'll start tomorrows!" And as my dear friend, Bruce recently reminded me, "Everyday this side of the grass is a good one!" I love that!

Yesterday morning in between throwing up and getting ready for work, (probably too much information) I was watching the Today show (because that was what day it was)and listening to the most poignant interview between Matt Lauer and a thirty-eight year old man named Truman Duncan from Cleburne, Texas. Mr. Duncan was cut in half by a moving train car on his job as a railroad switch man. He smiled throughout the whole interview, showing no self-pity, whatsoever. "Life is good and life goes on," he repeated several times. I stood awestruck in my living room as my eyes welled up thinking how much the rest of us take for granted. It was becoming all too clear how trivial my life's "injustices" were. This half a man was more "whole" than I could hope to be.

So off I go to work today skipping on my TWO legs and stroking my very humbled demeanor. I turned on the radio and sang along with Nirvana's, "Come As You Are." I just had an epiphany! The definition of Nirvana is a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! Although, it is a little prophetic that Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, took his own life.

Today, proved to be a wonderful day on so many levels. It is amazing what a positive attitude can produce. It is just THAT simple; a GREAT ATTITUDE! My co-workers noticed immediately. So what if I had a lingering cough, a runny nose and an achy body...I had a whole body. I have a job that I love and co-workers that are nothing short of amazing.

My to-do list for the day was short, but sweet. First, thank God for all of my blessings. Secondly, release and let go of any anger (it only makes you O-L-D!)Last, but certainly not least, LAUGH...which I never seem to have to work very hard at. The end result...my day was extremely productive, the color came back to my face, I mended fences with a dear friend whom I love very much, subsequently restoring my amazing karma, unmarred. I still couldn't wait to get home and into my sweatshirt and flannels. Even perfectly perfect days are hard work when you are feeling under the weather.

But first I needed to stop by the school and pick up the reason I get up every day. There he was coming down the slide as I walked into the school play yard. I sat down on a bench under a tree to watch him for a few minutes and to finish filling out the check for the chocolate bars I purchased from a classmate. Another wonderful mom joined me on the bench and presented me with a beautifully wrapped package, while chanting, "Happy Wednesday!!" I just stared at her and said, "What?" I truly thought it was a joke. I knew it had been a good day, and all, but I wasn't quite sure I deserved a present for it...or did I? I kept waiting for the punch line or one of those coiled up snakes that pop out of a can of "candy." She just kept repeating herself..."HAPPY WEDNESDAY!" Still I sat there staring and waiting. Finally, she said, "Just say, thank you." To which I replied, "Thank you."

Immediately I tried to give her my five candy bars (kindness begets kindness). She had already bought six of her own and wouldn't accept them. I told her I was just going to give them out at work the next day so she suggested that I put little notes on them and leave them anonymously and "wouldn't that be a wonderful way to brighten someones day?" Yes, yes, yes it would indeed! What a marvelous idea and what little effort it would take to make someone else smile.

Go make someone smile, but don't forget to start with yourself!
The Paper Whisperer


23 September 2008

Out Sick

I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't type, I can't talk. Shut up!

The Paper W(cough)his(cough cough)perer

22 September 2008

My Normal Fantasy

Yep, that's me, The Paper Whisperer. Often times I like dressing up in my bitchy, uptight teacher garb when I write. I seem to take myself a helluva lot more seriously. Today I was "forced" to write, twenty times, "I promise to love, honor and obey the Paper Whisperer at all times!" Sheesh...you wallow in self-pity for a few decades and all of the sudden you are "branded!" Hey! It's MY party and I'll cry if I want to!

I struggle (yes, I just wrote that) with behemoth amounts of self-doubt and self-worth. I know, I know...you can hardly believe that someone who is so extroverted and personable could be such an emotional cripple at times. What can I say, it happens to the best of us for many different reasons. I would like to blame it on the way Mars lined up with Venus, George W. Bush or even global warming; anything, but me.

The easy part is wrapping the shroud of insecurity around oneself. The hard part is placing that shroud back in the bag, marching back to the store and attempting to return it...without a receipt. "I'm sorry, we don't do refunds or exchanges on items over 47 years old! May I help the next customer in line, please?" And just when I thought I had it ALL figured out.(Big sigh!)

Okay, now it is time for Plan B. Who am I kidding? I am on plan Z (just between you and me). This is it; my last chance...I've run out of alphabet. No more spinning the wheel(s), no more vowels to buy, it is time to solve the puzzle. The pressure is on and emotional bankruptcy does not compliment my skin tone...AT ALL! I want the trip to Normal, that's all, just Normal. Keep the car, the wide screen television and the lifetime supply of Rice-A-Roni, I just want to go to Normal. I'll even leave my extra baggage behind. (You know, everyone is so surprised that the airlines are charging for extra baggage and yet therapists have been doing it for years.)

I have had the extreme displeasure of running into many skeptics in my lifetime that say Normal doesn't exist. I just roll my eyes and laugh.(you know, with that evil, "I'll show you!" laugh) I know it exists! I've read about it in books, I've seen it in the movies, and I actually know a family that is from there and YES, they are on my Christmas card list!

I suppose with anything in life, there is always the chance I might get to Normal and not even like it. What if it is too boring? What if the Mayor gives me the key to the City and then I am forced to act like a Normal citizen for the rest of my life? Eeeeegads! I am not quite sure I am ready for that! I need to test the waters first. I need to find out if Normal is even for me. What if I made the move to Normal and no one liked me anymore? I would miss everyone in Bedlam terribly. We might be a community that is unstable, overcrowded and chaotic, but at least you can take us seriously.

See ya back in Bedlam,
The Paper Whisperer

21 September 2008

My Sunday Sermon

Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom. ~Author Unknown

I didn't make it to church today, well at least not to the big beautiful brick one that has 7000 members and its own coffee shop inside. You know, the one that I feel so connected to, where everyone knows everyone. Not! I am pretty damn sure I have yet to see the same face twice in that monstrosity of a church home. Oh, except for the pastors...I'm almost positive that I would recognize ALL TWELVE OF THEM!!

This church reminds me a lot like Disney World except that the seats don't sway back and forth or squirt water on you in appropriate parts of the sermon. Now that would be a cool church! Lights flickering, thunder and lighting crashing all around. A Noah's Ark log ride where multiple baptisms could be performed at one time. And whatever you do, don't forget your 3D glasses so you will be at one with the pastor and be able to completely forget about the other 6999 servants of God who are there on a family day pass.

I really love that church and apparently so does the entire Northern Colorado community. They use humor as a teaching tool and IT WORKS! Have you ever heard 7000 people laughing at one time? It is music to my ears. No matter what any one members strife is, no matter how heavy their heart, they will forget their woes and join in on a little aerobics for the soul for at least one hour. It is a truly remarkable experience.

My first experience with a church of this type was back in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was appropriately named The Healing Place Church. I will never forget my first visit as long as I live. I thought I was at a taping of the David Letterman show. There was uproarious laughter throughout most of the hour and the pastor was as genuine as the leather on a Coach purse. But once again, everyone else in Baton Rouge loved it as much as me. When it became standing room only, I decided I needed something a little more intimate.

If it wasn't for my son, I probably wouldn't be so concerned with finding a church "home." Don't get me wrong, I adore church and the way it makes me feel, however, I have never FULLY understood the huge emphasis placed on organized religion. My church has always been in my heart. I don't think just because I go to church that it makes me any better of a person. I am a good person and for the most part, live a life that I am very proud of. I know so many "Christian's" who talk the talk, but certainly don't walk the walk. But, THEY DON'T MISS CHURCH!! Some of the worst hurts in my life have been at the hands of so called Christians. Hypocrisy makes me GAG!

Actually, I learned most of my Christian values and beliefs outside the church. My first lessons were from my best friend Linda. She taught me all about unconditional love, the power of giving without expecting anything in return, and most importantly, that God helps those who help themselves. Then my friend Angie, whom I have dubbed a Saint on many occasions, showed me what genuine goodness meant and what helping those that were less fortunate did for ones heart. And then there is my friend LeAnne, whose very long and encouraging e-mails have always arrived just when I needed her extremely prophetic reminders that God would always take care of us and to remember that I must trust Him.

I have such an extremely diverse and eclectic group of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for. I have "collected" them from all over the country. Some girls have a sailor in every port, well, I have a friend in every port. My ex-husband once asked me if I ever just met someone without having to put them on my Christmas card list. To which I replied, "What would be the point? I like that about me." I never meet a stranger and I love most everyone...even the "ones" that make me use the "F" word.... A LOT!! Now that, my friends is a true test of Christianity.

Happy Sunday to everyone who has touched my life; good or bad, right or wrong, happy or even sad. You made me a stronger person whether you made me laugh or you made me cry. Now, keep me in your prayers that I get over this flu or WHATEVER IT IS that is keeping me knee deep in Kleenex.

Happy trails,
The Paper Whisperer

17 September 2008

The Hell You Say!

I received an e-mail from a friend yesterday, asking me if I had heard of the book, "23 Minutes in Hell," by Bill Wiese. Although I had not, the title and my friends synopsis piqued my curiosity so I googled him and found his devilish antics posted all over the place.

Mr. Wiese, a realtor from California, claims that on November 22, 1998 at 3:00 a.m. he was "plunged into Hell, not in a dream, but in actuality." Okay....whatever! That just so happens to be the same year that I got married...so, by November 22, I had already spent 215 days in Hell. If Mr. Wiese got a book deal after 23 minutes, I shudder to think what I might have missed out on. Hell! I've been there, done that, and got burned in the process.

Yep, he was just "lying in bed," minding his own business when "the Lord picked him up and threw him into a prison cell in Hell." Then "out of the darkness appeared two enormous beasts, approximately 10 to 13 feet tall." Mr. Wiese describes them as "hungry predators." Okay, here's a newsflash for you Mr. Wiese...you and your wife are Realtors in California...you wanna talk "hungry predators?" It was your conscience speaking to you, the ghost of your sinful past. Haven't you ever watched "A Christmas Carol?"

His wife tells how she woke up to her husband screaming from the living room. She looked at the clock (because you ALWAYS want to know what time your husband is screaming) and it was "exactly 3:23." She describes running into the living room and finding her husband "traumatized and holding his head." (make the voices stop...I'm guessing???) The first thing he did was ask his wife for a glass of water (confirming the exhausted expression, "people in Hell really do want ice water.")

If for no other reason but a little Stephen Kingish humor, you must go check out the YouTube video of Mr. and Mrs. Wiese. She looks rather tall (enormous beast, perhaps) and he looks like one of the oompa loompas from the Wizard of Oz. I'm thinkin' somewhere around 2:59 a.m., she rolled over and said, "What part of NO don't you understand, Bill?!!

But seriously, I must give the guy credit where credit is due. What an ingenious scam! Who's ever going to be able to do a "background check" on that one? Cha ching, cha ching, cha ching! They said Californy is the place you oughta be, so they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly, Hills, that is...swimmin pools, movie stars." I would like to follow up on what he and the Mrs. are doing now, ten years later. I have this visual of him getting out his little "pitchfork," and her STILL telling him to "Go to Hell!"

Funny stuff people...funny stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9BbFPkgr04

I would love to hear your thoughts.

The Paper Whisperer

15 September 2008

Black and White and Read All Over

Hi Rays...

It seems as though "someone" doesn't like the colors, or lack thereof, that I have chosen for my blog site. She said, "It is just not you! It is too black and dark and you are shiny and bright!" You gotta love constructive criticism! No, really, I mean it! Rarely, does someone ever just "tell it like it is." Nowadays every one is so worried about being politically correct, having social services called on them or being summoned to the Jerry Springer show. After I told her how fat she looked in her pants and urged her to never wear them again, I thanked her profusely for her candor. What?!

Although honesty is the best policy, it is one of the hardest things to do when another persons feelings are at stake. Last year I was soooo put on the spot by a co-worker who informed me she was making a DVD and wanted me to watch/listen to it and give her my honest opinion because she knew that she "could trust me to do that for her." So here's the catch...she already had 500 copies printed up and ready to be mailed to Nashville. I took the DVD home, popped it in the player and all I can remember is saying, "Oh my God....really?" It was HORRIBLE! It was all too clear at this point that I needed to get myself into a witness protection program somewhere, AND SOON!

There she was, waiting at my desk, bright and early the next morning. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! "Well? Whadya think, whadya think? Do you like it? Do you think they will like it? Huh, huh, huh?" I looked her straight in the eyes and said, "I've heard elk bugling that sounded better than that!" No, I didn't really say that, I was just thinking it! I just looked at her and did what any self-respecting southern girl would do. I gave her a big phony smile and said, "Bless your heart!" That was about as "honest" as I could get.

So, I guess I am going to paint my blog this weekend and add some color. Definitely can't get to it tonight. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I was tucking Christian in and he said, "Is everything alright Mommy?" I said, "Yes, Baby, everything is just fine. It's just been a long (pause) life. To which he replied, "You're telling me! And I'm only eight." Oh precious baby boy, I will die making sure that your life is long, happy, and so full of joy! But it will have to wait until tomorrow because this Mommy has run out of steam. G'night, The Paper Whisperer

14 September 2008

My Day of Rest

So, I was in church today, (yes, I do go to church...sometimes) and once again, I sat in amazement as I perused today's bulletin. Right there on the very front page was the verse from Ecclesiastes 3, the very same verse that I just sent out this past week along with my thoughts on time. Invariably, every time I go to church, it seems as though the message was intended for me.(It's alll about me!) But, I share those thoughts with so many others who feel the exact same thing. I believe it was Mother Teresa that said, "there are no coincidences in life," and doggone it...I BELIEVE HER!

Since time is of the essence and I am pushed for it tonight, I am just going to post my words regarding time, from this past week. It is Sunday, after all. The day that, yes, even potty mouthed humor bloggers rest. And they all said, "Amen!" Peace I leave you, my "piece" I give you. Enjoy. Goodnight....The Paper Whisperer

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." ~Alan Cohen~

This morning when I woke up, I thought about death. I thought about what my life meant right now...that very moment, at 4:30 this morning. I wondered if I was killed on the way to work or dropped dead of an aneurysm at lunch whether or not I was prepared. The answer was no...I was not. There are a ton of things I want to do and a million things I would "like" to accomplish before I leave this world. I have wasted so many days, months, years of my life putting off until tomorrow what I could have done today. NO ONE is going to do it for me. There will never be enough money, enough love, enough security, or enough hours in the day. But there will always be enough faith and faith is the first brick; the foundation of our souls.

Why was I pondering death? My mother-in-law shared a very sad story with me yesterday. During Hurricane Gustav, the residents of Abbeville, Louisiana were mandatorily evacuated. My MIL's sister, had a good friend whose daughter lived in Baton Rouge so, naturally they drove there as opposed to going to a hotel. (Baton Rouge is about an hour and a half from Abbeville.) Gustav, as you know, headed to Baton Rouge wreaking havoc on the city. In a horrible twist of fate, the couple who were forced to leave their home in Abbeville, seeking refuge at their daughter's home, were the only two fatalities in Baton Rouge due to Gustav. An enormous oak tree in a neighbor's yard was blown onto the home where the couple was staying and they were crushed to death.

Oh my God...where do I begin? There, that's where. God! Thank you God! Thank you for EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME and EVERYTHING YOU HAVE NOT DONE FOR ME. AND...bless each and every one of you, as you have all impacted my life in one way or another. Without you, I would not be who I am today...as in today, right this moment, on this blustery and wonderfully cold evening in September. Fall is here and what better time to "turn over a new leaf," to change with the season! Why wait with the rest of the world until the first of January? You see what I mean? No more "New Year Resolutions!!" I am "officially" changing it to New "Day" Resolutions. No time like the present and time is of the essence as today is really all we have.

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

No, I haven't lost ALL of my marbles...just the glass ones. "HANDLE WITH CARE" is a "label" I recently peeled off and one of my numerous changes. I knuckled down to a game of keepsies and left with a handful of steel balls. Who couldn't/wouldn't respect a girl with a mind full of magnums? I'm stepping out of the circle and taking my "shooter" with me!

Okay, so I am giving you way too much information at this juncture...as usual my mind doesn't stop running and my fingers do not stop tapping. I should have been a writer...no really, I shoulda been. haha I just wanted to share the first "chapter" with you because you are all part of my new "lease" and I want/need your help. Wow, do my fingertips deceive me or did I just ask for help? You know, that didn't hurt a bit. I could get used to that. Baby steps, ...baby steps.

Why does it take a "romp in the hay" with adversity before one realizes their true potential? Why, oh why, can't life just be a picnic....WITHOUT THE ANTS?!! Probably because the blood from our wounds becomes our wisdom and the pain becomes our strength. Once again, thanks be to God!

13 September 2008

Writer's Block

I am actually laughing out loud right now as I sit here staring at my computer screen, and have been for the last 1/2 hour. The one thing I, and everyone else, can always count on is my never being at a loss for words, or so I thought. Things just fly out of my mouth and often times, I know not where they come from. My mouth moves way faster than my brain. I "warn" everyone about my tourette's syndrome,(it is much easier than explaining my "issues") especially when they start giving me that look, the one I have become all too familiar with. It is a very awkward look, and you can tell that they are not sure if they should laugh at me or laugh with me. But they almost always look down to see if I have marks on my ankles from "the cuffs."

I am chalking tonight up to the newness of my blog, the pressure to "perform." Not unlike a first date where you make every attempt to be someone (anyone) that you are not. Okay, pre 40, at least. Now it's every man for himself. If you are not prepared to pay for my lobster, then you might ought to think about taking me to Bubba's BBQ. I am so over the little side salad and water with lemon.

I absolutely loved the liberation that came with my 40's. I NEVER cease to amaze myself; everyday is an adventure.I cower to NO ONE and am definitely a force to be reckoned with. I've earned it...God knows, I have earned it. A lot like the elderly who pass gas standing right next to you in the card aisle and then look at you like, "Yes, can I help you?" They've earned the right. Although, I am pretty sure that I hope to never become that liberated. Who knows, by that age, they might not even call it gas anymore, but rather, death rattles. It no longer makes me giggle like it did in my 20's and 30's. Now I find myself wanting to high five 'em!

I love old people. I love their wisdom, their spirit and their stories. I "navigate" their wrinkles as though their face were a road atlas, wondering what was around every bend. I wonder how many dead ends they stumbled upon in their life, how many accidents, if any, occurred. I wonder if they EVER ran out of gas!

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I also have "ToWrites Syndrome," which is why I have a WARNING on my blog. I just can't help myself and at this juncture... I gotta be me! Hey! At least I haven't started committing random acts of flatulence yet!

The Paper Whisperer

12 September 2008

Have Blog, will travel...

Okay, so it wasn't that difficult, after all. I think I just might get the hang of this. Modern technology can be such a beast. It's late, I'm off to bed, but I can't wait to get started on my baby blog. Goodnight..........The Paper Whisperer