Real men are always in control — of themselves, not others

Ned Hickson on Ned’s Blog posted this sensitive, honest definition. I feel it needs reblogging, and thank you, Ned.

Originally posted on Ned's Blog:

image Anyone who reads my weekly newspaper column or blog posts knows I try to keep life in perspective through humor. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the reasons my children are still alive today. While I joke about that, for many years humor was also part of a coping mechanism from a childhood witnessing both verbal and physical abuse by the men in my family — specifically, my father and older brothers.

The good news is that each of them eventually turned themselves, their lives and the lives of the people they loved, around. It wasn’t until I became a father that I realized the impact that a childhood witnessing abuse had on me, and how some of those wounds — as both a witness and recipient — had never truly healed.

I know this because I occasionally saw reflections of my father and brothers in myself as I…

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It is around Christmastime in the 1960s, and Eddie and Margo Albert are having a party for Harry and Julie Belafonte after one of his shows at the Greek Theater. It’s a typical Albert party with old friends dating back many years and newer ones. Among the guests are Rita Hayworth and her daughter, Princess Yasmin, the Vincent Prices, Rupert Allan(head of one of the most prestigious public relations firms in the industry), Frank McCarthy,  stage and movie producer (latest film then, “Patton”),Edward Albert, Jr., and many more.  Julie Belafonte is here, and we’re expecting Harry to appear after his performance.  There is a lot of music. Frank and I are playing bongo drums. Later, Julie and I bang our spoons on glasses to keep time to the guitar rhythms. Eddie and Margo play and sing. Margo dances. Rita Hayworth sings to the guitar. Everyone is basking in the warmth and pleasure of the evening. Time comes and goes when we expect Harry to appear. Julie starts to worry. We call the theater. He left, they tell us.  It has been a long time. Where is he?

A little after 1 a.m. people start leaving. Rupert and Frank take Rita home. Edward drives Princess Yasmin.  Eddie and Margo drive Julie. The only people left at the house are Maria Albert, then a teenager, and me. We’re sitting in the living room talking when the phone rings in the library where I answer it. “Hi, this is Harry… Julie there?”  I explain to him that the Alberts are driving her home. “How do I get to the house?” he asks. “I have something to drop off, and I think I overshot the mark. I’m by the Palisades market.”  I give him directions, and then Maria and I go outside into the street with flashlights to guide his way. Pretty soon, up drives Harry Belafonte. He takes out a present from the car and then walks into the house with us. As soon as we’re inside, he says, “Can I get a drink? I’ve had quite an experience.” Soon, we’re  settled, drinks in hand, in the living room, and he tells us what happened.  “I still can’t believe it,”he says. He had finished the show, changed his clothes, and then headed out for Pacific Palisades. It was going to be awhile before he reached us.  Driving through the white bread neighborhood, a black man late at night, he was stopped by a police car and asked for identification.  It was then he discovered that he had forgotten to switch his wallet when he changed clothes. No ID. No license. The police ushered him to the station, not believing him when he said who he was.  They were about to detain him for the evening when a detective on duty recognized him and sent him on his way.  Looking back, I wonder why they just didn’t have him sing a chorus of “Day O” or “Waltzing Matilda.”  That would have convinced them.  He called Julie to let her know he was all right, and was on his way back to Beverly Hills, driving very, very carefully.


Paul Lenzi does it again. I have to share this one for two reasons: for other viewers’ pleasure; so that I can read it any time I like. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Poesy plus Polemics:

Illustration from

Illustration from

bangin’ it
bringin’ it
crashin’ it
smashin’ this
damned LCD
verbs and blurbs
ripped and drippin’
like dismembered
body parts
in a frenzy of
verses with vengeance
no takin’
of prisoners
on digital battlefields
shambles and shards
every word
broken whole
bleedin’ phonemes
all over the screen
where they live
or they die
by the honesty
in the merciless fist
it’s war of a kind
in the mind
where the enemy
fights like
one poem
crudely thrown
just might
bring down the
end of the world

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Leonard Cohen ~ Dance Me To The End Of Love

Gill McGrath has put together a magical blog that I am compelled to rebog because I love everything about it and want to share with others.

Originally posted on In touch with Emma:

Beautiful Horses here but

Tango Scene ~ Al Pacino ~ Scent of a Woman ~ Movie CLIP (1992)
Leonard Cohen ~ Dance Me To The End Of Love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We’re both of us beneath our…

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The Power of 86,400

This is a great reminder of how to spend the minutes of each day.Thank you to Rich Muller.

Originally posted on Good Time Stories:

Photo Credit: Alex Rubin via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Alex Rubin via CC Flickr

Every once in a while I come across an article that makes me stop and think. In this case, I read an article on which made me ponder…exactly what do I do with the time that is given to me each day? After reading the following essay, I trust that it will allow you to step back and contemplate what you are doing with your gift of time.

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of…

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I was at the movies the other night and stopped to get some popcorn and coke before the show started. It reminded me of my daughter’s experience in the 1960’s when she was a college student and had a part-time job on weekends at  a movie theater in Westwood, CA. That particular Saturday, she was working the food concession when Terence Stamp(a big hit at the time in the film”The Collector”)walked over. He was a heartthrob of hers, and she took a few deep breaths before asking him what he wanted. “A coke and popcorn, medium,” he answered. She filled the popcorn container, poured the coke into a paper cup and, heart pounding at the sight of him, poured the coke over the popcorn.  She was almost in tears. He looked at her and, evidently realizing why this young girl was so flustered, just smiled and said, “That’s all right. We’ll just start again.”

It happens. Sometimes, celebrities are better looking in person. The first time I met Dennis Weaver, who was famous in “Gunsmoke” as the crippled deputy, I almost swallowed my gum. He was a tall, handsome, imposing gentleman.  The same with Fess Parker. Without that coonskin hat, he was a knockout as he lit my cigarette one day when I still had that habit. James Drury was more handsome in Stan’s kitchen when he came to visit than he was in “The Virginian.” Elsa Lanchester was a beauty, her coloring vibrant, and looked nothing like The Bride of Frankenstein or the mousy, bossy nurse in “Witness for the Prosecution” with her husband, Charles Laughton. When we visited their home now and then for a Sunday brunch, I was 17 and 18 years old and thought she was gorgeous. I used to have a heavy tan in the summer that would completely fade in the cooler months. One day in November, she looked at me very carefully and said, “I think I like you better paler.”  It almost ended my sunbathing…..almost.


Because I have to make a dental appointment soon, I flashed back several years to another time, another appointment.

The toothache is painful. Then, the prospect of a difficult extraction is daunting. I’m beyond nervous. I’m terrified. The dentist has advised me ,”Do not drive yourself.” My friend, Sir Chrisalot, steps up to the plate. (It is not surprising as baseball is one of his loves, and he coaches high school players on the side). The side of what? His career is acting. His name is Christopher Atkins, and he made a huge hit in “The Blue Lagoon” some years ago.  “I’ll drive you, he offers. Away we go, getting only a little lost. Once in the office, he keeps my mind busy as we tell each other stories about our first loves.
Then, the moment of truth arrives. The technician calls my name. I get up to follow her, and just as we reach the door beyond which lies my fate, Chris calls out loudly, “If they hurt you, yell, and I’ll get you out of here!” I laugh.  All the other patients in the waiting room laugh.  The tooth removal is a difficult one, but the painkiller holds, and I don’t have to yodel for Chris.  In the meantime, he’s holding forth with the other patients in his usual friendly way, telling corny jokes, asking them about themselves, making them smile and forget they’re in a dentist’s office.  By the time, a half-hour later,when I’m ready to leave,there is a relaxed atmosphere in the room. When I go to the desk to make a follow-up appointment, the receptionist says, “And be sure to bring him back with you”


When my daughter was a very young girl, Stan Jones, who was writing songs and acting in a Disney film “Ten Who Dared” had a meeting with Walt Disney, and took her along with him.  After Stan and Walt had finished their conversation in  his office, Walt turned to my daughter and asked her what film she would like to see on his television show, “Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.”  Immediately, she answered, “Ferdinand.” He wrote it down on a blank sheet of paper on his notepad. Two weeks later, “Ferdinand” appeared on the show.  He did listen to children.   We went to see the rough cut of “Ten Who Dared” at the theatre  at the Disney studio. The audience was comprised of some of the actors on the film, some Disney executives, and some people who worked at the studio.  When it came to the scene where one of the characters is threatening another one’s dog, there was a gasp and a voice cried, “Oh, no!  We don’t eat dogs in a Disney film!”  Needless to say, that broke up the audience.

When she  was twenty, my daughter, then in college, decided she wanted to travel, and the best way, she thought, was to become an airline hostess. She was thinking about TWA. Around that time, I was at a party at Eddie Albert’s home, where Mr. and Mrs. Rod Serling were also guests.  We started talking, and I mentioned my daughter”s desire. “Oh,” Rod Serling said, “my brother,Robert, is the only man to attend the TWA training school.  It was background for his book, ‘The President’s Plane is Missing.’Let me give you his phone number. Have her call him, and he can tell her about his experience. Just say I told her to get in touch with him.”  He gave me the number, and Robert gave her all kinds of information. The next year, she became a TWA hostess.It was a “Twilight Zone” moment.

When my friend,David, came to visit me while I was working at Desilu, he looked up his old schoolmate, Anne Bancroft, who was making lower budget films at the time and in the middle of getting divorced, It was before she went back to NY to become an outstanding stage actor and her film career spiraled out of sight.  David,Anne, whom he called “Annie,” and I had a couple of dinners together. One evening we went to Pacific Ocean Park, then a huge amusement center  on the beach. We went on the rides, we ate cotton candy, we inhabited the fun house, with Anne and I hiding in nooks and crannies together to jump out and scare David. We wondered about the people who lived in the apartments down there with flimsy curtains flapping in their open windows. We sang to the radio music on the ride home, Anne driving. It was a time when, in our twenties, we could become kids again. She was a one-of-a-kind beautiful, bright lady, and I am glad that I had that time with her just to be ourselves.

WordPress’s Own Welcoming Committee – HarsH ReaLiTy

Thank you, Linda, for posting this. Jason has helped many,many people.

Originally posted on lindaghill:

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing. I roamed around WordPress marveling at all the people who seemed to have something to talk about. I knew I had words inside me that I wanted to get out – but how to start was the biggest question, followed closely by, how do I get anyone to read what I’ve written?

So I began, rather lamely I might add. A few people followed me, most of whom when I looked at their sites were simply trying to sell something.

I read up on a few hints from WordPress themselves; things like click on people’s avatars and follow them, or comment on other people’s blogs. It didn’t get me too far, but it was a start. Then one day, someone who called himself “Opinionated Man” followed me. I made one of my bolder attempts at commenting on his…

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‘Red River” was a Western film that brought together people in my own life….the writer, Borden Chase, and the actors….Harry Carey, Sr., Harry Carey, Jr., Joanne Dru, and Walter Brennan.  I did not know John Wayne personally, although I was at a couple of social events with him and taught English to several of his grandsons.

Borden’s step-daughter, Pat, was one of my close girlfriends during our late teen years. We used to go horseback riding on their San Fernando Valley ranch, or go to movies or lunch together. We were both our “father’s daughters.”  After her marriage failed, and he divorced her mother, Pat and Borden got married, causing a huge scandal in the movie industry.

I have already written about Harry Carey,Sr.,Harry Carey, Jr. and Joanne Dru on former blogs. As for Walter Brennan, he was a tall, handsome man, the direct opposite of so many of the wizened old men he so famously portrayed in films and television. He and Stan Jones, for whom I was working at the time, were in discussions about a screenplay Stan had written with Walter in mind. One day,Walter came over to the house again, this time to hear the finished script, which I read out loud to him, trying to vary the voices of the different parts.  It took two hours, at the end of which Walter said, “Thank you. I never could have done that!”  Unfortunately, Stan died before any action was taken. It would have made a wonderful Western, based on the true story behind Stan’s song “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” and Walter would have been great as the lead.

Another Western star, James Arness, came to the house one day to talk with Stan. He was very, very, very tall.  When my twelve-year-old daughter came home from school that afternoon, she caught a glimpse of him in the den and in a quiet voice said to me, “How did he get through the doorway?” before disappearing up to her room.  Later, she came down, autograph book in hand, to be introduced. Arness was a soft-spoken, kind gentleman.  After he finished signing her book, he said, “I ducked.”  Obviously, he had overheard her comment.