The Jig Is Up!

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Paracord Bracelet Jig

My Etsy shop is expanding to include Paracord products. I finally bought a Paracord Bracelet Jig and it arrived today. I’ve made the cobra and fish tail bracelets and chokers with hemp, and I’ve made lanyards with the plastic lacing, but I think paracord is so much better.

Before I got the new Paracord jig, I bought some pink and black paracord because my partner promised a pink and black ID lanyard to someone last year when he was in the hospital. He told me, but I really hated making the ID lanyards with the plastic lacing unless I was being paid to make them. The plastic lacing lanyards take about 2 hours to make, and they cause numbness and pain in both my hands. It’s not a pleasant experience, so I avoid making them at all costs. Making this paracord ID lanyard was so much faster and easier, although my hands did go numb and I had to shake it off, shake it off. Sorry, Taylor Swift got a hold of my keyboard. I was just making it without trying to make it perfect, so it got a bit twisted up. She’s getting it free, but if someone pays for one, obviously I will make it straight.

I used the remaining pink and black to make a cobra bracelet, which I gave to our tenants daughter. I also made a tan fish tail bracelet for myself, and I love it. I also made a trilobite bracelet, but I made it smaller than I can wear just because I wanted to make it for the picture. I kind of wish I made it bigger though, because I really love it. I hate the color, but I love the pattern, so I will make one for myself eventually.

What I really love about the paracord bracelets is that you can put them on and take them off to match your style or mood. I also love that there are so many patterns, so I literally will have many options to choose from on my Etsy shop. Of course I will have to make them, then give the option of size and color.

I hope the paracord bracelets, keychains, ID Lanyard and eGo e-cigarette lanyards will sell more than my other products, which don’t seem to be moving as much as they used to. Then again, perhaps paracord products will give my other products more visibility, I hope so.

Why did it take me so long to make paracord products? It’s expensive, and I didn’t want to pay for a bunch of colors with no sales. I don’t just buy a few feet at a time, I buy spools so I don’t have to keep going to the craft store. Unfortunately, until I know I will be successful, I will have to buy packs of 10-20 colors with 10 feet of each color. If someone requests another color, I will have to go to the craft store. I’d rather be safe than sorry since I have tons of the plastic lacing, and no sales.

Last year before Christmas I said I was closing my Etsy shop due to lack of interest, but I just put it in vacation mode for a couple of months. I figured I’d keep the shop just in case I really needed the money, and when I was eating Top Ramen for lunch and dinner, I had the Etsy shop so I could beg people to buy stuff so I could eat real food lol. I’m not eating Top Ramen now, but I’m almost there.

Shadow People (Book Excerpt)

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shadow people wikiThis is a book excerpt from my book Diary of a Gay Nerd which you can read for free if you have a Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and/or Amazon Prime. Instead of opening my book and searching for the paragraphs, I’m just going to type it all out from memory. The reason I’m doing this is because this memory is haunting me (pun intended) and the only way to shut it up is to write about it.

When I was 7 years old, I saw my first shadow person. We were living in Sepulveda which is part of Los Angeles at the time on Orion Street. We had just moved to a new apartment building and I had my own room. Unpacking my toys was very stressful for me because of the way my step father treated me. He had set up my bed and put my bedside tables in place, and I grabbed a telephone out of one of the boxes, it was a real telephone, but it didn’t work which is why they gave it to me as a toy. My step father picked up the telephone and threw it across the room and yelled at me and hit me.

I think a week or 2, maybe longer had passed and my sister and cousin Tabby were in my sister’s bedroom playing, when one of my sister’s dolls was thrown under the bed. My memory of this event is as clear as day. I can remember it as if it had just happened yesterday. The doll flung out from under the bed and it was thrown at us, at which point we all screamed like girls, well, to be fair my sister and Tabby were girls lol, and we ran to the living room to report the strange activity that had just happened, and the adults told us that it’s just our imagination and to go back to playing.

This is not something someone forgets. Shortly after I published my book I told Tabby about it and she had no memory of that. Well, I certainly do.

I forget how much time had gone by, but I was sleeping in my bed one night and I woke up in the middle of the night around 3amish. I felt like I was woken up. When I opened my eyes I could see a person standing at the foot of my bed, but it wasn’t a person, it was just a dark shadow figure of a person. When I say a dark shadow figure of a person, I’m talking head, torso, arms and legs. I had never seen that before, and it scared me. The next day we went to school and we were in the cafeteria eating lunch and the Principal came into the cafeteria shouting SILENCIO SILENCIO and she called my and my sister’s names and we both had a feeling of dread, like we were in trouble for something, and the other kids thought so too because they were oohing. We saw our mother, and she pulled us out of school because her mother, our grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night.

Coincidence? Could it be that my grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night, then she came to see us kids to let us know? Or maybe just to watch over us? I am curious to know if that’s what I saw. I don’t recall seeing this shadow person too often in that apartment building. Perhaps selective memory? I don’t know. What I do know is there was something in that apartment and I was afraid to go into my sister’s bedroom.

We moved to another apartment building in Van Nuys, California on Sherman Way. We lived in one of the apartments for several months, maybe longer, then we switched to the Manager’s apartment because my step father became manager of the apartment building. It wasn’t too long after we changed apartments when I think my great-grandmother passed away. I don’t think we were pulled out of school for this because I honestly have no memory of her passing. I don’t know the timeline. I’m just guessing because I started seeing 2 shadow people in front of the closet in our new apartment. Again with the timeline, I’m not sure how long we were there before I started seeing them, I just remember it was 2 this time, and they were there every night for months, maybe even a year. Every night I woke up at around 3amish and they were standing in front of the closet and every time I saw them, my body froze solid from fear. I could move my head and eyes just enough to look to see if they were still there, and I would close my eyes and hope they would go away, and sometimes they did, and then I was able to go back to sleep.

I’ve been told that I imagined the shadow people because shadow people don’t exist. Well, check out the Wikipedia article on Shadow People that says they do exist. Here is one paragraph from that article that makes me curious.

Although participants in online discussion forums devoted to paranormal and supernatural topics describe them as menacing, other believers and paranormal authors do not agree whether shadow people are either evil, helpful, or neutral, and some even speculate that shadow people may be the extra-dimensional inhabitants of another universe.

Believers and authors do not agree whether shadow people are either evil, helpful or neutral. Hmmm… When I told my mother about them she didn’t believe me at first. One night I told her I was so scared and I didn’t want to sleep in my room anymore. I asked if I could sleep on the couch and she told me absolutely not, under no circumstances am I allowed to sleep on the couch, but that night I woke up like clockwork at 3amish and there they were, and I had the courage to get up and run to the door and I opened the door and closed it and I ran to the safety of the couch where I fell asleep. My mother woke me up the next morning and told me that I wasn’t allowed to sleep on the couch and I told her I was so scared from the shadow people that I needed to get out of that room.

You have no idea what a child is going through if you are not also having the same experiences. There’s a saying about walking a mile in a person’s shoe, well, some people are so close minded that they are not willing to walk a mile in your shoe, nor are they willing to believe you.

Finally I think either my mother started to believe me, or that’s what she wanted me to think because she told me she believed me and that if I wanted the shadow people to go away to say the Lord’s Prayer and they will go away. That night I said it from what I could recall of the Lord’s Prayer, and I never saw them again… in that apartment building.

I believe it was in 1982 that we moved to Bakersfield to manage another apartment building. I didn’t have any sightings of spirits or shadow people for a long time. Well, let’s just say I wasn’t woken up from a dead sleep at 3amish until after we saw a movie called E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. After that movie came out I was woken out of a dead sleep and I looked at the clock and it was 3am. My heart sank in my chest because I knew that something was coming to visit me again. If my grandmother’s passing brought a shadow person, then my great-grandmother’s passing brought 2 shadow people, then who died and how many shadow people will I start seeing from now on? Well… the answer will surprise you. I didn’t see any shadow figures at all, instead I saw something a little more comical. I saw E.T. himself standing in the doorway of our bedroom. The door was open and I could see into the hallway and there he was staring at me with a lit cigarette. Every time he took a drag from the cigarette I could see the red light pulse from inhaling from the cigarette.

OK, now that sounds like I’ve gone crackers, doesn’t it? I actually didn’t feel threatened, probably because it was E.T. E FRIGGIN T! How could anyone be afraid of E.T.? So I went back to sleep and never saw another shadow figure nor figure from a movie (lol) ever again.

The shadow people were gone, but I think because when you get older you stop believing in such things, but since I had such a strong memory of “such things”, I knew I would never forget. I have seen spirits here and there, I even started seeing auras for awhile, but that’s another blog post.

I shared my memories of the shadow people in my book because like it or not, it’s part of my story. People can say they don’t believe me, and that’s fine, I’m not asking anyone to believe anything I say in my book. You have your own beliefs and I respect that, so respect my beliefs. These are just my experiences.

Never be bullied into silence

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never be bullied into silence

Well I said that I was going to make this, and I finally finished. I really wish I could give the person who created the pattern some credit because they deserve it for the work. I honestly wasn’t even sure if I would have the patience for this, but I did and it was actually fun. Some parts on the top are stretched in certain spots, but that’s fine, I’ll stretch the rest out to even it out, or maybe it will even out on its own.

It took me a couple weeks to make this because I was sick when I started this project. It took me a couple days to make the red, then another couple days to make the orange and so on. The green, blue and purple one day each. Actually I did the purple and the words on the same day. The reason I say it took 2 days for the first few colors is because I could only work on it for so long before the pain in my back came to stop me. This pattern is so detailed and the thing that took the most time was every time the embroidery floss knotted up as I was pulling it, and it was always in the back, but I always managed to remove them so I could continue. I didn’t have to use more than 1 skein of each color. In fact, I used less than a full skein for each color.

So some people may wonder why I would want to create something with the words “Never be bullied into silence.” Well, you see it’s personal to me. When I was a child, my mother knew I was being abused by my step father, she just didn’t want to admit it to herself. My little sister had bruises that the pre-school teacher saw. She was taken to the hospital and my mother was accused of abusing her, which in all honesty was false accusations. My little sister was so hyper that one day when I was sitting with her while she was playing on the stairs, cement stairs mind you, I was literally watching the bruises form. My parent’s were never abusive to her, but they were to me. When the guy from child protective services came to the house, my mother took me aside and threatened me. She told me so help me god if you say one word to these people, you will have the beating of a lifetime you will never forget. She knew I wasn’t going to accuse them of abusing my sister, she knew I would accuse them of beating me. So I was bullied into silence by my mother.

Another reason I would want to create this is because my sister does not like that I wrote my book. Her “friend” wrote a horrible review of “my book” (but it wasn’t a review of my book, it was an attack on me as a person by someone I’ve never even met). He said in his “review” that I am fooling my readers into thinking my lies are true when they are in fact lies and that I need to change the genre of my book from autobiography to fiction because it is full of lies. My response is it is not full of lies. This is my truth based on my memories of what happened in my life. I am allowed to tell me life stories, and if someone doesn’t like that, they can… and this is the part where I have to edit myself lol.

I wrote my book Diary of a Gay Nerd based on my memories of what happened to me during my childhood, when I was homeless at 15 and 17, and then homeless/sleeping on couches and living in motels until I was 23. And then of course my 3 bad relationships and my final relationship with the person I have spent the last 22 years with. These are my truthful life stories that I wanted to tell.

So I will never be bullied into silence, and that’s why I made this.

I said in my previous post that I was going to make this into a pillow, but my partner has convinced me to frame it instead. Since he wants me to frame it, and I still want it as a pillow, I’ve decided to compromise with him by making a second one lol. It was kind of fun to make and I want to make another one.

Never be bullied into silence

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Never be bullied into silence pillow

I saw this image on Facebook yesterday, and it was a powerful message for me, not just as a gay man who has been told many times by people to just stay in the closet because people like to keep thinking we don’t exist, but also as a child abuse survivor who was basically told I’m not allowed to tell my story.

My sister had some guy write a review of my book on Amazon, but it wasn’t just a review, it was an attack on me personally. He said that I am lying to my readers about an abuse that never occurred. How does he know? He wasn’t even there. But he told me in his review to change the genre of my book from autobiography to fiction because it’s all lies.

I will never be bullied into silence. I’m not going to remove my book from Amazon, which by the way you can read for free with Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. I’m not going to change the genre of my book to fiction because it’s not fiction. Every story in my book is true, and I honestly don’t care if anyone doesn’t believe me because I know it’s true.

When I saw this image, I knew I wanted to make it into a pillow. Sure, I could put it in a frame and hang it somewhere, but I’d rather make it into a pillow so it has some function other than just something to look at. It’s not going to be a square pillow, it’s going to be the shape you see in the picture.

I asked the person who shared it if there was a pattern, but they shared it from another source, and honestly, how many sources has this been shared from? So I decided I’m not even going to bother finding the original source, I’m just going to copy it into my program Plastic Canvas Design Studio. It does stitches like / but it also does \ so I just used both stitches so I could get an X. And here it is. You may take the image and turn it into your own pillow, or if you would rather just make it and frame it, it’s your choice. But please don’t sell the image for profit.

never be bullied into silence cross stitch

Facial Tics – Tourette Syndrome

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tourettes

Tourette Syndrome did not exist when I was a child, so my facial tics went unnoticed and undiagnosed. I was born with a tremor in my hands, and I also had Grand Mal and Petite Mal seizures as a baby. I’m not sure if I was given the dilantin for the tremors and they caused the seizures. At any rate, my life started out with neurological issues.

I know I had facial tics as a child, but I just don’t remember them. I actually didn’t start paying attention until they were actually causing pain. I was blinking my eyes so hard that my eyes would actually hurt, and it impaired my vision. Anyone who has facial tics know that you can’t just stop having facial tics. It happens, and you can’t do anything to stop it.

The facial tics never went away. I am 45 years old and I still have them. They usually evolve, or I may stop all tics for several weeks to months, but eventually they come back with a new tic. If I see someone doing it, it starts me up again.

For the last, I want to say 3 to 5 years, I’ve had the same facial tic, which is my eyebrows. I’ll move them up and down, or I may move them one at a time. If I am having a conversation with someone and they are looking directly at my eyes, I won’t do it, but once they look away, off they go.

It’s embarrassing when I am having a tic, and then I look and see someone staring at me, then I immediately stop and say “What?” to which they say “nothing.” I’ve acknowledged them to my partner and he denies that he’s ever noticed, but I know he has because I’ve caught him staring at me during a tic session.

Why do people have to stare at you, especially when you are in full on facial tic city mode? LOL Facial tic city. I just came up with that.

What suddenly brought this subject up was that we were in the bank today and one of the tellers had the same exact facial tic that I have had for the last 3-5 years, the eyebrow tic. At least I don’t feel alone in the world when I see someone else doing it.

The image that I found mentions Tourette Syndrome, and I mentioned earlier that they didn’t even have that when I was a kid. So I wonder, since I have had these tics since I was a child, do I have tourette syndrome? I don’t know, and I’m not quite sure it should have a label. I mean, I don’t mind that label because it certainly doesn’t bother me to think I may have tourette syndrome. I don’t yell words, but I do stutter from time to time. My younger sister made fun of me one time when I was stuttering and it really pissed me off. I can’t control other people’s reactions to a facial tic or a stutter. They have to use their own judgement and decide whether it’s worth it to ruin a relationship.

Let me know if you have facial tics, a stutter or tourette syndrome and how that has affected your life and perhaps your relationships with family and friends.

Edit: Just as I finished typing and published this post, I started with the blinking. I was typing a response to someone’s comment on an image that I posted on Facebook, and noticed the blinking. Oh boy, I hope this doesn’t start to be a new thing again. If anything, I’d rather keep the wonky eyebrow tic.

I Am Cait Transgender Protester

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IAmCait

Cait Jenner is still a baby, as she has only been transgender for less than a year in the second season of her show I Am Cait on the E! channel. So far (that I know of) she has won 2 awards because of the transition from male to female. I think that’s the reason people in the trans community hate her so much. These people have been transgender for half or most of their lives, and here comes Cait Jenner, a transgender woman for less than a year winning awards which comes with a big paycheck. For what? Being courageous? You know how much guts it takes a regular person to come out as transgender, and these people actually lose their friends, family, home and job and Cait Jenner doesn’t lose anything, she keeps gaining while other people are losing.

In the most recently episode of I Am Cait, we see Cait winning an award, then leaving only to see a small group of protesters saying  you don’t represent the trans community. She wanted to face the protesters to hopefully try to calm them down, only to get them more riled up. I can understand wanting to try to calm someone, because no one likes to have someone heckling you, but there are some people who have their mind made up, and there is nothing you can do to change them. She touched the protester on the shoulder and a man lost his shit as he hurried to yell not to touch her. Whoa, dude, she wasn’t going to shank your friend, take a Xanax.

Look, this is how I see it. Cait is a baby and just like all babies, she must first learn to crawl before she can walk. She has a lot of growing up to do, and that’s why she has a group of trans women who have been where she is now who are working as her teachers. Do I think it’s fair that she has already won awards and obviously hundreds of thousands of dollars? Absolutely not because she has a bank account that 1000 people could use to retire and never have to worry about anything for the rest of their lives, and she is accepting even more money from awards and a new tv show. I personally would have donated that money to a charity, but that’s me.

What I have seen so far is Cait going to people’s homes and schools and she is helping people by showing them that this is normal for a human being to be in the wrong body, and to keep an open mind.

We are all human beings at the end of the day. I don’t care if you have a penis or a vagina, black or white, rich or poor, fat or skinny, we are all the same on the inside, and when you die, you will still rot at the same speed as everyone else. This life is precious, and it’s short, so don’t waste what little time you have being so angry because someone is winning awards and making money after only being transgender for less than a year. Don’t waste your precious little time worrying about someone’s sexual orientation, or their race or if they are homeless and you’re not.

Cait Jenner is a good person and she deserves the same respect that you expect people to give to you. So if you don’t like her show, don’t watch it. You don’t owe her anything, just like she doesn’t owe you anything.

Ellen DeGeneres tells her audience at the end of every show to be kind to one another, and I’m telling you to be kind to yourself by living your life and stop worrying about what other people are doing with their’s. Cait Jenner will grow and become the role model you expect her to be, so just be patient.

22 Years!

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22 year anniversary cake

My partner and I are celebrating 22 years together today. No we never got married, and we probably won’t due to his and his families religious and political preferences, but that’s okay, because I don’t need a piece of paper or a ring.

I personally didn’t think we would make it the first year because we had our little trivial arguments about trivial things in the first year like all new couples do. You know, because when you are put in a living situation with someone who is practically a stranger, and you know nothing about that person, you both have to adapt to the other person’s personal habits. Like the toilet paper and paper towel situation. Does it go over or under? In my opinion it goes over, but to him it goes under. When we moved to Bakersfield, his mother had it going under too, so obviously he was taught that by his parents, just like I was taught by my parents the correct way (LOL). I also had a bad track record with relationships because my first 3 before my current one always ended after 10 months. Why 10 months I will never know. I guess neither of us were ready to give up on each other over stupid things, so here we are 22 years later.

I bought a cake tonight at the local Albertson’s. You can’t tell from this picture, but it’s one of those small round cakes. It’s 2 layers, and it’s probably 2 slices lol. I also bought some ice cream, chocolate for him and cookies and cream for me.

Well, here’s to another 22 years, if we are both still alive lol. Who knows, perhaps we will be married before we die.

Tiny Houses for the Homeless

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TINY-HOMES-facebook

Last year I blogged about Homeless Shelters. There is a huge problem in Bakersfield with the Homeless shelter, they don’t have enough room for all the homeless people. I’ve spoken with several homeless people about going to the homeless shelter and they have all told me that they’ve tried, and that it’s always full. How can a city not have enough room for all the homeless?

I’ve been going to physical therapy because I broke my leg in December. A few weeks ago we left PT and decided to go to John’s Burgers for lunch, and we saw a homeless man who was camped out across the street with a lawn chair, and he had a shopping cart towering above him. My partner decided that he was going to buy him 2 burgers, fries and a drink. So we left the drive-thru and drove across the street and he parked the car in the parking lot. He got out of the car to give him his food and I stayed in the car because I was still using crutches and the wheelchair.

He came back to the car and told me that the homeless man had all of the belongings that he was able to take with him when he became homeless. He also had several bags of cans and bottles for recycling. But what was most surprising is that he said to my partner “You mean to tell me that you saw me and you thought enough about me to buy me food?” He was practically in tears. We’ve fed many homeless people who seemed ungrateful for the food because they wanted money instead. It was refreshing to actually have someone feel surprised and say thank you.

In my previous blog post about homeless shelters, I said that I wish I had the money to build a shelter with those Japanese hotel containers that are stackable with twin beds in them. But, I’ve been watching several shows where people build tiny houses for themselves. They’re like trailers and RV’s, but they are the shape of an actual house with an upstairs loft for their bed. There’s also another upstairs loft on the opposite side for storage, or some people have built an upstairs loft for their entertainment with a couch and TV along with their video collection. I even saw one that was their kids bedroom.

There have been many articles about cities building tiny house communities specifically for homeless people, like the image above. They are about the size of a shed, but they are big enough for 1 person to live in. I mean think about it, if you were homeless, where would you feel most safe? Sleeping on a lawn chair on the sidewalk, or sleeping in one of these shed sized houses? At least in a tiny house you know your stuff is safe because it’s under lock and key, and I’m sure a tiny house community has a community bathroom similar to a trailer park bathroom with showers so they can stay clean.

I’ve had a fantasy that my book sold so many copies that I became rich, but instead of buying a huge mansion for myself like most rich people do, I would stay in the house we live in now, and spend that money on building a tiny house park specifically for homeless people with that trailer park bathroom. The park would have an actual address and each tiny house would have a number, sort of like an apartment number so they can fill out an application so they can get a job and get back on their feet. Once they have enough money saved up in the bank, they can get an apartment and they can get back to a normal life again.

My tiny houses wouldn’t just be a shed sized tiny house, it would have electricity powered by solar panels so they could keep their cell phones charged. You can get a free phone now with unlimited talk and text and 250mb of data per month. It’s probably a cheap flip phone, but it’s a phone that homeless people can use. My tiny houses would also have an actual bed in there so they don’t have to sleep on the floor, and a tv mounted on the wall with the very basic cable, and of course the park would have free Wi-fi for all. Oh and a small fridge and a microwave, and I would also build like a store with a food bank for them, and a laundry mat, and they would all get 3 meals per day. I was actually thinking that I could build a restaurant that they could work in and they could eat for free 3 times a day, and there would be actual paying customers who would donate money on top of their meals to help me so I don’t go from rich to rags and end in living there myself lol.

But… it’s all just a dream since I am not rich.

I was homeless and I lived in the Salvation Army homeless shelter for half a year when I was 17 years old. It wasn’t fun, but they gave me an address and phone number so that I could fill out applications to get a job. When their homeless shelter program ended in May, they helped me rent a room in someone’s house. That’s what I would like to do for the homeless people who cannot get in the shelter.

It’s really unfair to live in a world filled with empty houses and empty apartments, and you can’t live there because you got fired from your job and lost everything, or your parents kicked you out of their house because you were gay. It’s difficult for a homeless person to get a job when they don’t have an address and phone number, or they don’t have the means to take a shower and their clothes are filthy, or they don’t even own a pair of shoes. I’ve seen a homeless guy who didn’t even have any shoes, and I gave him my own shoes.

We live in a tough world, and someone has to make a difference. I can’t do it because I don’t have the money. I could do it if people bought my book. Heck, you don’t even have to buy my book if you have a Kindle with Amazon Prime because it’s free to read for Prime and Kindle Unlimited users. Kindle’s are so cheap now, you can buy a 7″ Kindle Fire with 8GB for only $49.99 and if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get it fast with free 2 day shipping. So help me help the homeless, buy my book, or read it for free on a Kindle.

Grease Live on Fox

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Last year I was watching The Ellen Show and she told her receptionist Jeannie that she was going to be in the upcoming live stage show of Grease and it was news to me that Fox was even doing a live production. I saw the live stage performance of The Sound of Music and then The Wiz on NBC, and then the live stage performance of The Rocky Horror Show on BBC America. I just assumed this was going to be on a stage as well, but it was more than a stage, they used an entire lot for this.

Let me take you back in time to 1978 when Grease first hit theaters. According to IMDb it was June 16, 1978. My mother and her friend, who I named Bubbles in my book would bring all of us kids (my sister, Bubbles’ son and myself) to the Drive-In in a pick up truck and we would watch it 3 times in a row. I remember one night we stayed until the next movie came on and no one was paying attention, and it wasn’t Grease, I don’t recall the name of the movie, but I saw a boobie and my mother freaked out and she was like OK guys lets go!

Some days my mother would drop my sister and I off at the walk in theater and we would literally watch it over and over like 4 times in a row. My sister kept a watch and we were supposed to leave at a certain time to be picked up. I honestly don’t remember why she did that. I remember that back then my parents managed an apartment building in Van Nuys, but for some reason I had assumed she dropped us off at the movies because she was going to work. I remember my step father occasionally worked as a trucker when we lived there, especially after my baby sister was born. My mother used to be a RN, but I don’t recall her working as a nurse in this time period.

When I was 19 and working as a telemarketer for the “Child Abuse Prevention Society”, they fired me (because I told my mother that my boss beat up my motel roommate who was my manager and punched me in the head and she told her friend who knew my bosses boss, and told him about it, so they fired me) and gathered all of my belongings from our motel room just days after we moved to Los Angeles. I was homeless, so I called my mom and told her, she called my step father who worked in Los Angeles at the time and he came and got me and my belongings and drove me to Canoga Park to live with my sister. She had a VCR and Grease on VHS, and I would watch it, then rewind it, then watch it, rewind, over and over.

I would estimate that the amount of times I saw Grease as a child, and then on VHS as a 19 year old, that I must’ve seen that movie at least 400 to 500 times. So that brings me to Grease Live (finally).

When I was browsing the guide on Sunday, I wasn’t expecting Grease Live to be on, so I was half an hour late watching it, but I used the Start Over feature with our cable and got to watch it from the beginning.

I don’t want to blame it on my antibiotics, but I was overly emotional watching. Every time they began singing, and keep in mind, I know ALL the words, I tried to sing, but I would get so choked up that I couldn’t sing along at all. I would get the first 2 words out, then start crying. It wasn’t just the first song, it was EVERY song in the live performance.

I spoke about the NBC and BBC America live stage performance and that Grease used an entire movie lot to film this, and I thought that was the most brilliant idea. The live audience that you could actually see was also a brilliant idea. I saw Samuel Marcus Egber from The People’s Couch in the audience during the cheerleader audition and thought how awesome it was that he was there.

Anyway, I just had to blog about this because it meant something to me to see this played out again with a whole new cast and they cleaned it up a bit. I loved their choices for every cast member. Juliana Hough couldn’t have made a better Sandy if she tried. I mean, it was like she really was Sandy. This show really was perfect.

I wonder which live performance is next. Hairspray? If so, I look forward that seeing it.

The Sleeping Bag Project

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sleeping bag project

I can’t stop thinking about Aron, the homeless man we met last Friday at the doctor’s office. I couldn’t help him with much at the time. My partner gave him $7 and we drove him to Martin’s Meats where he could have a “suspended sandwich” and then said goodbye to him. Oh, and we gave him one of our old umbrellas that we’ve had for probably close to 20 years. We bought new ones lol.

Tonight I was thinking about what I could do to help him if we saw him again before it got too cold outside. I know that one way I could help him is to make him a blanket. I have been crocheting since 1988, so I could whip him up something in a week. But my carpal tunnel syndrome would prevent me from doing that. So I went on Google to search for blankets for the homeless and I came across a website at the very top of the list called “The Sleeping Bag Project.”

The Sleeping Bag Project also known as “Ugly Quilts” was established in 1985 by “My Brothers Keeper Quilt Group.” They offer a free pattern on their website for people to make a sleeping bag out of your old sheets, shirts, blankets, or whatever you have that is old and ready to retire to the great beyond. Any fabric that you already have that you are ready to part with can be used to make this sleeping bag. That’s why it’s called Ugly quilts, because it uses random fabrics in a specific pattern. It’s not supposed to be pretty, it’s supposed to be cheap for anyone to make so they can give it away for free. Also, it’s supposed to prevent anyone from taking them from the homeless to sell. If they have no monetary value, then thieves won’t take them.

My first boyfriend and I spent our first couple of weeks together living in the park. We were so terrified of sleeping, so we were literally awake for 24 hours a day. We were afraid of either getting murdered, or robbed of what little we had. I can understand if anyone is afraid of their sleeping bag being taken away from them, because when it gets cold, it’s unbearable.

So this is what I would like to do. I don’t want to use our old sheets and blankets and shirts and what not. I want to buy fleece at the craft store because fleece is cheap and very warm. I’d love to buy enough to make at least 10 sleeping bags. They don’t have to be perfect, but they do have to keep you warm.

Here is where I found the image at the top of this post. It’s from The Sleeping Bag Project on Pinterest.

Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have, but there are people who have less than we do, so we should try to help those less fortunate by giving them things they need to stay warm. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just make them a sleeping bag to help keep them warm in the winter. That is if that is what you want to do. I’m not trying to force anyone or make anyone feel guilty, I’m just saying there are people out there who need them.