Hey Oprah, How Do You Like Bill Cosby Now?

I’m sorry ( actually, I’m NOT) but I believe the alleged reports against Bill Cosby. Just because he has had a great national reputation in the past touting pudding and jello and being the best dad ever on The Cosby Show means nothing to me.  Nothing.

He really did seem too good to be true. He is (was?) best friends with Oprah (of course) and if anyone get’s Oprah’s stamp of approval, they automatically get mine. Not this time.  Basically, I support each and every woman who has stood up and said (allegedly) that Bill Cosby has touched them/raped them/treated them inappropriately.

Why do I feel this way? I don’t know, call it a gut feeling. There are a lot of women accusing him, this does not seem like some really bad publicity stunt or a class action suit for money. The stories are similar and they all involve what is now called the “date rape” drug. I’m sure whatever happened, Bill Cosby and his team of lawyers will define it as  “Sex Addiction” which only really rich people with even richer lawyers can afford. Maybe in a few years after rehab people will forget about it. I hope not. Not me. Not a lot of people I’m sure.

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You know what this feels like? The O. J. Simpson trial. I knew it reminded me of something. That same bitter feeling, the same green bile rising up in my throat. When the jury all said he was “Not Guilty” to all the disgusting offenses, planning to kill his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend, Ron Goldman. I remember watching the television and bursting into tears. Sometimes money can buy anything.

Maybe Bill Cosby can hire the same or similar team of lawyers. second generation creeps. It’s possible that he will be tried and found not guilty. But, just as many of us felt that OJ did do the crime, (and later confessed in some unofficial way) we will be looking at Bill Cosby, not as an educator or a role model anymore. We will no longer think of his wonderful show in the same light.

We will remember BIll Cosby, the rapist. The man who preached a good family life and behaved like an animal, in my opinion. I understand people are complex and they have many, many sides, some bad, some good. Yes, we should all be more forgiving and understanding. But, this? Sorry, I can’t forgive any man who rapes women, raped her with a trick by using a drug in their cocktail. If Oprah stands up for him, I will lose all respect for her too.

Hey, Oprah, we’re waiting for your opinion.

Just remember how much integrity is important to you. Also, I cannot in any way take credit for the following quote and I do wish I knew the author’s name to give him/her credit but I read somewhere a very simple and powerful quote: “IF THIS HAPPENED TO YOUR DAUGHTER, HOW MUCH MORE PROOF WOULD YOU NEED?” If you wrote this, I would LOVE to give you credit.

Exactly.

Whoever wrote that: Bravo.

I am so mad on behalf of all these women I could spit. How dare you (any one) not believe them or not at least interrogate Bill Cosby? If Bill Cosby was not a celebrity but an unknown man living in a poor section of Queens, would this be handled the same way? It is 2014 “STAND BY YOUR MAN” was written a long time ago, Really, Camille? Is this what you want? Power is independence, not dependence.

Think about it.

 

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Talia Castellano, Rest In Peace

heavens

heavens (Photo credit: Mystic Musings…)

I just found out that Talia Castellano passed away this morning and I burst out in tears. It was a beautiful but haunting photograph of Talia, shown right in Facebook. We all KNEW it was going to happen and I am glad that Talia is finally out of pain but it is still a shock. The actual ending, that she really is dead is unbelievable. Repeat. Talia really is dead. I can’t stop crying and I didn’t even know her personally.

My condolences, of course, go to her family and to her friends and to the angels of mercy who were with her the last few months. Bless you all. It’s hard to see anyone die, but the death of a child, especially to a mother, seems like the worst death of all. I remember my mother telling me that there is an order in life, that parents should never have to bury their children, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way and life isn’t fair.

Sweetheart, you will always be remembered. You made a nation smile, laugh and cry. You were an inspiration for all of us. I guess now I will finally have to learn how to put on make-up in your honor and believe me, for someone who has never worn make up, it won’t be easy. I will do it for you, just as you stayed strong and “kept swimming” for all of us.

Your sense of humor and intelligence kept us grounded, and you saw the positive in whatever bad news you got, we should all learn to live like that, we have all learned from you how to put a positive spin on something that is negative. You are out of pain, and I am grateful for that.

There is one thing I can assure you, you will NEVER be forgotten. You also have made way for us to help other children now because you started the fight and we will all continue it, for you, because of you, in honor of you.

Rest In Peace, sweet angel.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels We Have Heard on High (Photo credit: Randy Son Of Robert)

It’s OK To Be OK

Happiness

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A friend of mine wrote a post recently about whether she should strive for stardom or just be satisfied with mediocrity, (my very loose translation.) It’s a subject that has been on and off my mind for years and one that I’ve never answered. After reading her very well written blog: (Phylorsblog) I had an answer for myself. I don’t need stardom or unbridled stress like that of a frisky colt rearing up on a smoky ranch. As soon as I decided that writing was for enjoyment and for my blog, I felt lighter, happier and clearer than I have felt for years.

It’s interesting that if I had asked myself the question I probably would have been inundated with anxiety and stress but that didn’t happen. I don’t know what her answer will be to the question she posed but I’m happy with my answer. Everyone dreams of being famous and making a lot of money, I’m content where I am. I used to dream of being “famous” and then realized I liked my anonymity a lot more than being surrounded by strangers, watching and criticizing my every move.

I’m fairly low maintenance, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, I get excited about little things and I tend to amuse myself. I’m definitely child-like and I appreciate my humor even when no one else does; that doesn’t bother me in the least. I’m sometimes too sensitive, true, but it’s who I am. I’m 55 and have less angst today than I did in my twenties; do we have a choice? I choose to not cover the few gray hairs in my brown, curly hair, I feel that I have earned them.

When the snow finally starts to melt and the soggy, mush of ice-water remains, I will hold on, when I can, to try to avoid slipping and falling with my loose bones. Not everything is perfect at 55, but then again, nothing was perfect at any age. I do the best I can each day, sometimes it hurts a little more, sometimes a little less. I’m fine with where I am now, I’m content. That’s as close to happy as I can imagine.

The Sweet Scent Of A Perfect Peach

Helianthus annuus (Sunflower). Taken at garden...

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In my imagination I think we would be friends if only we lived closer together. I would give her, and only her, the true secret ingredient to my super moist banana chip/raisin bread. Her mouth would smile widely and crumbs would spill happily from her mouth as she ate it with delight; her big doe eyes would nod in agreement. I can’t compete with her cooking of course, she was born baking and cooking but there is no competition between friends. We laugh together at my lack of cooking skills and she constantly admonishes me and tells me she will force me to learn. Knowing her, I have a feeling, she will make me follow through.

On the side of her house I imagine her large garden where she picks her own deep, red  tomatoes from the vine and takes a big bite of one warmed by the sun. She has sunflowers, big tall, brown, vibrant orange and yellow, about fifty of them, near the rows of green peas and lettuce and carrots hiding in the moist soil. Next to them, sweet butter corn  grows tall and stretches to the sun like a morning yoga pose. Wildflowers grow nearby, purple, yellow, pink, white and the blue of a delicate robin’s egg. There are so many vibrant and intense colors in her garden, it’s like staring at a painting by Matisse.

I’ve never had the actual opportunity to meet an idol, someone I’ve cherished since I was a teenager, but I came close, by association, a few weeks ago. I spoke with her warm and friendly assistant and it was such a pleasure. Melissa, her assistant, told me something I will always remember. “She liked your writing and wants you in HER group.”  That lifted my spirits for days. While I could not go to the current workshop she was holding I hope one day to meet her and attend a different workshop.

I read her first book about one hundred times; a book that still sits on my living room shelf now,  forty years later. I share my house with my husband, a son who is soon off to college for the first time, a daughter who will now be a senior in high school and a nine-year old adopted shelter dog named Callie who is sleeping on top of my feet. That first book has been carted from my parents’ apartment to college to every city I have lived in.  We grew up together, she and I, for a forty-year time period, she just didn’t know me.

There’s no doubt in my mind, from her first magazine article in the New York Times that she would grow up to be an amazingly talented, gifted writer. True to herself and her family and friends. She grew as a writer and as a person, I wonder if people expected her to stay nineteen and if that was hard for her? We all change and grow, make mistakes, learn; stagnant is boring.

I think she would be warm and funny, intense about her work and friendly, she probably just baked apple muffins with a crumb topping and served it with sun tea. There’s a colorful tiled table that holds chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies that she whipped up in a spare hour;  sharp, white cheddar cheese and crispy pita chips would be nearby. Family and friends are always invited to her kitchen; there are always people and animals nearby.

I imagine sitting on a large white patio, rocking slowly on our rocking chairs and exchanging whispered secrets and watching the red sunset fall slowly into the water to form three lines of color, orange, dark green, ultimately black. I remember when my family and I used to go to Cape Cod, when our kids were much younger, at every sunset we would sit on the sand, other people around us, and we would wait for the sun to set. When it did, everyone clapped. That is my idea of heaven, living near the ocean, watching the sunset with strangers sharing stories, listening to Reggae music provided for free. Sitting still in front of nature as if we were in a theater waiting for the curtain to rise.

At night, in my imagination, we would creep down the stairs and meet in the kitchen unplanned. We would burst into giggles when we found out we were there for the very same thing.  I always snack after I am supposed to be asleep and I eyed a bowl of ripe peaches on a small, round table that she had recently repainted in pink-rose paint. That first bite of that juicy peach would make me happy, so happy I  can’t even describe it. This peach, this wonderful gift from nature was just perfect. It was ripe, juicy, sweet and had a silken texture. The juice rolled down my chin and I groaned with every bite of happiness. It was the sweet scent of a perfect peach with my new friend, laughing into the dark night.

Dedicated to Joyce Maynard and Melissa

Pop Cop: Lindsey Lohan (Get A Grip)

This mugshot is found from http://www.perezhil...

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I read today that the quintessential Lindsey Lohan is headed back to rehab for violating the terms of her probation. Really. If it were up to me I would  boot her skinny white ass to jail where, I think, she belongs. Forgive me for being crass but let’s take the rich, glamorous, Hollywood glitz and celebrity status out of this situation and then do the math.  Replace Lindsey Lohan’s name with an UNKNOWN drug addict from ANYWHERE:  Hawaii, Nevada, Florida, New York, a tiny crack house in Los Angeles ( you pick) and then hand down your verdict. Remove the expensive lawyers, the media frenzy and the public’s fascination for Hollywood and where does that leave you? Probably in jail, with the rest of the people who don’t have a ton of money for rich, top-notch lawyers. If this case involved an unknown, “regular” person would they too receive the “get out of jail free” card? Not in my opinion. I don’t think they would get the same number of chances when they relapsed either.

How many “do-overs” would we get for the same exact crime?  Many people have drug and alcohol addictions and I am sure its an extremely difficult thing to go through but, in my personal opinion, it was made easier for Ms. Lohan.

I’m sick of a justice system that allows a young addict like Lindsey Lohan to go back to a rehab program instead of sharing a cell in the county jail (oh right, I forgot, she had her own private cell when she was in jail.)  Where is her orange jumpsuit now? What privileges have been taken away from her? They even removed the SCRAM bracelet that detects drugs and alcohol from her fragile, famed, skinny, ankle.

What’s next for Lindsey Lohan after rehab? Perhaps a movie career, a modeling job or a talk show host for the daytime diva.  I seem to be missing the part where she is supposed to say “I am totally responsible for my actions.” I don’t know what will happen to Ms. Lohan after her stint in rehab; I have no idea, nor do I truly care. In all likelihood she will be able to work on her clothing line in rehab and will reap the financial rewards when she gets discharged.

Will Lindsey Lohan go the route of Anna Nicole Smith? It’s a possibility, I’m sure. It’s in her best interest to finally get herself clean, I’m just not sure if she can stay clean and sober. For her sake, I hope she does. She has brought this upon herself, partying to all hours of the night with her friends; touting liquor like it was her favorite lipstick. Get clean Lindsey, you’ve been given yet another chance. Don’t mess it up.