May 31, 2015

Walking In Their Shoes

We watched Adam Sandler's movie, The Cobbler this evening. Not your typical Sandler nasty-slapstick!

The cobbler stumbles on an old machine in the basement of his shop to re-sole a pair of shoes because his modern machine breaks. He tries the repaired shoes on and mysteriously and magically turns into the owner of the shoes. It's still the cobbler on the inside, his virtues and integrity, only his physical appearance changes.

He 'walks' into the lives of various characters, visits their homes, witnesses their lifestyles.

If you found yourself in that magical cobbler shop with, oh, let's say 10 pairs of shoes, who's shoes would you like them to belong to. Who's life would you like to walk a mile in?

I would love to try on a pair of President Obama's shoes. What would it be like to have the weight of the free-world on your back? What are the things that he knows now that he is in office that he didn't know prior to stepping in?  How does it feel to have half of the government representatives throwing you under the bus every chance they get?

Michelle Obama's shoes would be interesting, too. She has all of her own challenges plus the stress of watching her beloved trying to move mountains while the Republican party pushes back.

Keeping in the realm of government, donning a pair of  Sonia Sotomayor's pumps (and black robe) would be an inspiring adventure. To be the first latino woman to sit on the Supreme Court, to see how she is treated, how she makes her decisions, how she relates to the other that is what I'm talking about!

Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava might have a pair of leather Berluti's in need of new soles. Slipping into them to wander through his studio would tickle me pink, just like his Sundial Bridge during Think Pink week.

Dr. Anthony Atala heads the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina where organs (kidneys, livers, bladders) are created to help heal thousands. As long as it is not a day where major decisions have to be made, traveling around his world would excite me to no end. To observe organs being built from scratch, knowing someone's life would be saved because of it; Wow!

If wearing the shoes could actually make one think like the owner, I would give my eye teeth to slip into novelist, Michael Chabon's slippers. He is one of the most celebrated writer's of our time. I'd want to know his process, his thinking, his inspiration.  Nevermind the shoes, I would just like to sit with him for an hour or two or six and, just listen.  Maybe he could squeeze his feet into my black pumps and look over (edit) my novel!

Aung Sang Suu Kyi spent 15 years in house arrest for her pro-democracy campaigning in Burmese. She was quoted, "In societies where men are truly confident of their own  worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued."  What must it of been like to be restricted to your home for 15 years for speaking your truth? 

Another author, J. K. Rowling, would definitely be on my list. Oh, to play with her imagination!

I doubt that many of you have heard of Margaret Lowman. She is an explorer or trees. Many of you that know me personally, know that some of my best friends are trees. Naturally (pun intended) I would want to live in her world, high, high up in her world.

Finally, there is Frosty Woodridge, a man, who penned the book "How To Live With A 21st Century Woman."  The short description of book from Amazon (and, I would imagine, from the book's cover states, ""How to Deal with 21st Century American Women teaches men from all walks of life how to understand and adapt to the evolving male-female paradigm shift occurring at every level of American society. Today, women run companies, become school principles, military generals, police chiefs, corporation CEOs and dozens of other power positions where they make more money and give orders to male employees. It’s no longer exclusively “a man’s world.”

I'd like to walk around in his world for just a little bit. It seems strange that a whole book could be written about how to "deal" with my gender!

So, what about you? If you were going to walk a mile in someone's shoes, who would you choose?

May 30, 2015

Stalking Is A Crime

Have you ever had a stalker or know someone who has been the victim of a stalker?

Stalking is an ambiguous crime. The victim suffers the psychological effects of their stalker's actions; the effects include anxiety, stress, emotional distress, but the actions of the stalker are so obscure that it is difficult to call the police to make a report.

When describing the actions of the stalker to my therapist, who has known me for over 30 years, she nods her head in complete agreement.

"Yes, in the truest definition of stalking, you are being stalked!" she says.

What is the definition of Stalking you might ask!

Wikipedia states: "Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them."

The psychological effects can be overwhelming, in my case, the symptoms of my PTSD are exacerbated.  In the article, Cyberstalking, Lamber Royakkers writes, "Stalking is a form of mental assault, in which the perpetrator repeatedly, un-wantedly, and disruptively breaks into the life-world of the victim, with whom they have no relationship (or no longer have). Moreover, the separated acts that make up the intrusion cannot by themselves cause the mental abuse, but do taken together (cumulative effect)."

 Wikipedia also notes that women typically stalk other women while men will usually stalk women.

Five different types of stalkers have been identified in an article in the monthly magazine Psychology. It is titled,  A Study of Stalkers and defines the five distinct types as:

1. Rejected Stalkers. These individuals pursue their victims in order to reverse, correct, or avenge a rejection.
2.  Resentful Stalkers. The stalking is to pursue a vendetta because of a sense of grievance against the victims – motivated mainly by the desire to frighten or distress the victim.
3, 4 and 5 are described as Intimacy, Incompetent or Predatory Stalkers, which, for this post, we will ignore.

Stalking was deemed illegal in the United States in 1990 but remains a controversial crime because a conviction does not require proof of physical harm to the victim.  How does one build a case?

Documentation is vital. Are you being watched? Does the stalker read your blog and make calls to family or friends to get the details, to gather information about you? Do you feel that you are being watched or does stalker intrude on your personal life?

Manipulation? Stalkers are looking for interaction with their victims, even though it is uninvited interaction. Is your stalker making up stories about you to others thinking that you will have to interact with them to "set the story straight?"

Internet Stalking, other wise called Cyber-stalking is also a crime. Has your stalker intimidated you into changing your online habits?

Defamation of character is another tactic for forced interaction.Stalkers try to isolate their victims from family and friends by releasing character-damaging information, whether it is true or not. Most people will pull away from such exchanges. Don't let yourself be isolated. Step up, tell the truth or explain your side of the situation. Again: Document the event.

Stalking is subtle but pervasive. Cumulative unwanted contact can harm you. Document all unwanted contact.

Call the police and file a complaint and request a restraining order. Your documentation will help.

May 29, 2015

How To....

As I was wandering through Blogville this morning I ran across a riveting series of blogs and posts.

It has me wondering how we have lived this long without these bits of random wisdom.

First title I tripped on,  "HOW TO CRAFT A PARTY PUP OUT OF A CANDY BAR".  Damn if I wasn't just wondering about how to do that.

A mere two blogs later came "LEMON AND ORANGE HEAD HANDKERCHIEF DOLLS"!  I am ashamed to admit that neither my children or grandchildren, nor nieces and nephews have ever received a handkerchief doll from me let alone a wonderful and whimsical lemon headed dolly!

Skipping over to a little blog interestly entitled "LIFE HACKS"! It even promised a printable life-hack! Now that is something I can get into!  (slumped shoulders and heavy sigh)  Turns out it is a a notepad to remind yourself what to pack if you are 'flying' somewhere, anywhere.Though there are several backgrounds to choose from on the printable hack. That makes it exciting....well....maybe not.  The post is "HOW TO PACK A SUITCASE"!


Honestly, I do want to fly away at times but I am not taking anything TECH-ish nor do I need to be reminded! BEAUTY-wise, I always carry a good moisturizer and body butter.

Reading further down that particular blog, I discovered the author (at 24 years old) is appalled that her weight is up to 112 pounds! 

Left Click!

Moving on!

Following chubby- chick's blog on life hacks and her personal morbid obesity crisis was another incredibly deep blog: PAINTED POPSICLE ART.

Sorry, I just can't eat a popsicle that smiles back at me.

I never realized how lucky I am to have THE VIEW FROM THE BRIARPATCH to peruse when my dear friend and author is not working on his book.

BERTRAM'S BLOG is filled with life's ups and downs, losses and gains. (Hi, Pat, I am still reading but may not comment as I should. Hope the renovations are moving along),

Then there is BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION, Cliff Burns' wonderful blog which includes a list of members of the NAA (Neglected Authors Alliance).

I often visit COSMIC VAGABOND. His pages give me the hallucinatory flashbacks that were promised so long ago (which, by the way, I regret to report have not manifested and I demand my money back).

Nathan Brandsford is one of my favorites for hints and advice about the secrets of writing and publishing.

Sadly, I remain sorely deficient in my ability to create puppies from candy bars and handkerchief dolls. I prefer to stick with my own system of tossing 'stuff' in a suitcase and having someone sit on it to zip it shut (hell, it probably isn't going to get to the same airport I do, so who cares!)

I enjoy my little library of favorites and am off to catch up to see what all are up to!

May 28, 2015


Crazy?  " be or not to be..."

There is a car outside, filled with gas. It can get me about 380 miles, depending on traffic and speed.

If I don't pay the mortgage, utilities and insurances I could probably rent a rustic cabin in the mountains for at least 6 weeks. Wait, need my meds, so maybe 5 and a half weeks in the wild. If I take my camping gear I could probably stay easily 3 months.

Three months in a forest with bears, mountain lions and slithery snakes....I'm there!


I.  Download 5 books into my Kindle:
             A. Wilderness Survival Handbook by Mike Pewthere
             B.  Ageless Goddess by Christiane Northrup
             C.  Newest Odd Thomas book by Dean Koontz (better to be afraid of scary spirits than 'lions and tigers and bears').
             D.  Untie The Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes ( can never be read too many times)
             E.  Original Blessings by Matthew Fox (again, can't be read enough).

II.  Pack camping gear:
           A. Tent, camp stove, shovel, case of Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet, matches and flint (yes, I said flint....I watch Survivor!) Blankets and my favorite pillow.

III.  Essential Toiletries:
            A.  Toilet Paper
            B.  Good Moisterizer
            C.  Large Towel

IV.  Food:
           A.  Grapes, Apples, Pears, Tangerines, Peppered Beef Jerky, Broccoli and a couple of bags of rice (One can learn lots from Survivor, including don't trust any alliances, especially the ones that say, "Trust me" and then shake on it!)

V.  Clothing:
          A. Jeans, t-shirt and tennies for the drive.
          B.  Two pairs of jammies (one for day, one for night)

VI: Lap Top:
        Just so I can work on book while the power lasts and good for squishing crawly things.

II.  Items to be left at home - no question about it:
        A. Cell Phone
        B.  Day Planner and Calender
        C.  Cell Phone
        D. Worries

p.s.  Note to hubby:
                Get an advance and pay mortgage.
                There is a map to campground under the not bring I-Pad.
                Please bring corkscrew, small pot for rice and AA batteries.