This is a blog dedicated to the healthy practice of grammatically correct writing (yes, you may correct me), the observation and analysis of human behavior (including my own), and the praise and criticism of higher ideals (including, but not limited to, ethics, social norms, and bodily functions).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

With METTLE, I'm Back in the Saddle Again

METTLE [met-l] -
1. Courage and fortitude.
2. Disposition or temperament.

And thus, with great courage, and not a lot of time or energy, I begin again.

Happy Chinese New Year, my readers! Or, as the Chinese might say - Gong Xi Fa Cai! I'm still working on how to pronounce that.
Yes, it is now the Year of the Water Dragon, and all signs point to EXCITING NEW ENDEAVORS! Okay, so I'm a sucker for any excuse to get excited about trying new things or starting projects. Never been good at finishing them, but that would be new and exciting, wouldn't it? Actually accomplishing something? My one and only requirement this year is to GRADUATE! BFA in Screenwriting in May, if all goes accordingly. But, I digress.

What isn't new for me, but may be new for you, is Astrological forecasts. Here's the best one I've seen so far. A general forecast for the year ahead, including Love & Money, and then an individual forecast, with surprisingly specific suggestions. As a Metal Monkey (you do the math), I will apparently be susceptible to "road rage" this year. And how is this different than any other year? Well, they suggest listening to podcasts or audiobooks to help me enjoy the prolonged time in the car. What a great idea! I've been meaning to listen to more free podcasts anyhow, and there are a few books I can think of already I'd love to read, but don't have the time to.

On an equally enthusiastic note, there were multiple suggestions about taking a risk and starting a business. HA! I still have to graduate this year! A business? They had better check their charts again...

Then again... it does bring to mind all those things I've been saying I'll do and then never do it. Like writing my book. I've been a Massage Therapist for almost 10 years now, and for all the suggestions and advice that I've been handing out, to clients and fellow therapists alike, I'm dying to get it all down on paper so I can just say "read pages 5-15 and get back to me in the morning". HA! Okay, so not the "in the morning" bit, but still... There are so many people that have valued my summations and observations that it would be a shame not to share it with the world at large. Both my personal and professional experience helping to enlighten and empower the masses? How cool!

AND... I think it will be a catalyst for a much bigger dream, if I were to be so bold as to believe the predictions of an internet Chinese New Year forecast.

What do you think of your forecasts, readers? Any good news?

What would you do if you could not fail?
Food for thought!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reflection Paper: Is Film Art?

I had to write this for my Film Theory class, and enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd share it with you, readers!

Please know that it is four pages, double spaced, so it will take a little while to get through. But I'll put some pictures in to break it up. Also, please note that I cut my comparison between the experience of theater for an audience versus the experience of film to shorten the page count, but I could easily go on. And may later on... Hope you enjoy!

Initially, when I began fleshing out my opinions of art as they apply to the cinema, I was reminded of a pivotal time in my theater career when funding for the “arts” was being cut from public schools. It was junior year of high school, and I had just begun to tackle community theater as well as our rigorous high school productions. Luckily, I had time for both because we were able to do work on our productions during theater class time. We were asked to write letters, petitioning that the state not eliminate classes for the arts. If work could only be done after school, we’d either loose valuable sleep or do a subpar job. It’s amazing how hard teenagers will fight to be able to slave over something they feel passionately about.
The above is a definitive high school theater mentality, especially during "hell week".

Later as a young adult, I explained this plight to a friend, who promptly responded that taxpayers shouldn’t be supporting attention-starved teenagers who just end up getting “real” jobs anyway. As the daughter of a professional actor and an educator, who thrive on public speaking and presentation, I was appalled. Is this how the layman sees the arts? A waste of money?
As a result, I began to philosophize about the function of science in society versus the function of art, and yes, I did so long before this class. This may sound very high-brow, but the truth is, I was looking for a simple answer that reflected my own experience in theater; functional and inspirational.
Here’s what I came up with: “Science is the fine art of answering questions. Art is the science of questioning.” If we don’t allow ourselves to question, then there is no room to grow, or invent, or discover. I always like using the example of the original Star Trek series. Long-range personal communicators had never been seen before Star Trek, and in the 60’s, it sparked the question – can we make those? How would we use them? Who would use them? Decades later, cell phones are almost mandatory, and those questions, from the creativity of a science fiction television show, are now answered.
As if you didn't pretend your first flip-out phone was a Star Trek communicator. Please.

If that was not evidence enough for my skeptical friend, then I’d like to add that Gene Rodenberry, who created Star Trek, served in World War II and was a police officer for the LAPD for years before Star Trek ever aired. It is more likely, in fact, that “normal” people just have something to say, and find a way to express it.

*There is a great quote from the recent film "Anonymous" (2011), when Ben Johnson meets Oxford for the first time and Oxford explains that all art (and writing) is political because all artists have something to say. You'll have to watch the movie to see/hear the quote.

But I think that very simple definition of art also simply explains the purpose of art in society – to make us question. We are made to questions ourselves, our perceptions, our morals, our priorities. So, while it is arguable that Star Trek might not be the most cinematic or “beautiful” expression of a possible future, it certainly did implore its audience to think and question.
            But perhaps these “questions” seem more relative to the “fine arts”: sculpture, painting, literature, each seemingly only evoking higher ideals. Or so we assume. Isn’t film made for the entertainment of the same layman who thought it was a waste of money to train the youth who would become filmmakers? O, so ironic.
*By the by, this same jackass tried friending me on Facebook recently. Some people, I tell ya...

            There should be a distinction made, however, between the artistic ability to present something – a scene, a person, an ideal – and the fully expressed art form that is film. I believe the balancing factor between the artistic execution and the art form is entertainment. Entertainment, from the artist’s viewpoint, means that the “art” was created with the audience in mind. Entertainment, from the audience’s viewpoint, means that the “art” is an original presentation of old information; a sort of comfort zone where the audience can enjoy the technical skill (which is part of the definition of “art”) without the highbrow concepts interfering with its “entertainment value”. If a film is to become a form of art (not just expressed artistically), then it must allow the artist’s intentions to out-weight the artist’s need to “entertain”.
This film was discussed in class because it is extremely artsy, but does it loose its entertainment value because there is not enough story for the audience to relate to? I say no.

            This is very similar to the balance between art and science I theorized about earlier. It is not a black and white distinction, but rather – entertaining films can be artistic and art films can have commercial value.
            However, it could also be stipulated that because film synthesizes so many aspects of the other arts, that if one aspect is employed that audiences enjoy, the whole will, thus, be entertaining. For example, someone may say they don’t like foreign films, but they love dance in film, so a film about Russian ballet would still be “entertaining” for them. Also, by virtue of the fact that film can do some things other arts do and also employ techniques that other arts cannot, the “art” of film is unique, and thus, entertaining. The same ability to become immersed into a fictional world in theater because of sets, costumes, and acting is amplified with locations and the ability to come closer to actors in film.
My boyfriend was inspired to read the Lord of the Ring series after obsessing over the movies, but even with the details of the books, he prefers the vision and the excitement of the films.

As I have a strong theater background, I would argue that theater is unparalleled with its ability to express fictional, narrative stories. But, perhaps that is because when deciding how to present theatrical productions, a director must remember that the audience is an interactive part of the performance. With film, a baby crying, or a lady laughing a little too long does not interrupt your vision. With theater’s single, stationary audience perspective, the “artist” must engage the audience in creative ways so that they continue to “suspend reality”. It could be said that film requires the audience to suspend reality moreso than theater, because we do not see forty-foot faces in reality. But emotionally, film duplicates a human experience more accurately. In theater, instead of a close-up, we’d make the stage dark and put a spotlight on the single actor, but we still have to relate to the actor at a distance. Not realistic. But regardless of the criticism of film as an art form, whether it be more entertaining or more artistic, if it evokes emotion, then it is effective.
The film, while entertaining, does not do justice to the energy and performance the stage can provide. Of course, theater enthusiasts still enjoyed the film ;-)

Interestingly enough, as much as film has become the most recent art form, a friend of mine did her senior thesis at University of Texas in Austin about how comic books will become the new modern art form because they read like storyboards of a film. And as we know from class – the human mind has a way of “filling in the gaps”. People can now read films through comic books. Talk about irony.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

No Longer Crying Over Broken Toys

As a Massage Therapist of almost 10 years now, I know quite well the associative properties of the elements of my work - smells, sounds, and touch. For example, we are taught early on that aromatherapy has the deepest connection to memory. So, if you have fond memories of baking pies with your grandmother, you may smell fresh apple pie and think of your family. This tends to be a direct relationship, but it can also be associative. That is to say, if you remember something unrelated to the smell, you may still remember it when the smell arrises. I think this association, this indirect connection, is more true for sounds than it is for smells.

For example, I remember a co-worker once working on a woman, seemingly healthy, no complaints, but tense... and then the satellite radio piping through the spa played a slower, remixed version of "Lullaby and Goodnight", and she began to sob. Unbeknownst to the therapist, she had just miscarried. It's what we call a trigger. A smell, sound, or touch that opens a traumatic experience without necessarily being able to articulate why, but still "triggers" the emotional response. I never really understood the full power of a "trigger" until now.

I heard on the radio not too long ago a song that always seems to choke me up, but this time, it made me sob. And tonight, I saw the movie it was in - "Toys" with Robin Williams and Joan Cusak.

The song plays within the first 3 minutes, and I was already sobbing. It went away, and so did the tears. The movie did nothing for me, not even a hint of emotion, really, which is unusual for me. But the song would blend with the ending theme, and I'd start crying again.

What in the world is going on?! I confess to being a sensitive soul, but this is ridiculous! Song, tears. No song, no tears. Hint of song, tears starting again. Ahh!

The movie ended and it became all to clear - made in 1992. The year Perry passed away.
Actually, he may have passed away in '93. Crud. Well, it was still a difficult time!

The last time I saw my father as a child was in September, 1991. I was 10, and revved for the 5th grade. That Christmas was the first where I did not see my father, but visited Perry's family instead. They were very kind to me, even though I was more than a little uncomfortable.

The next summer, Perry and my mother were to be married, but they never made it. Perry died 4 days before the wedding, and sadly, his father passed away a month later. It was like one of those horrible Jane Austin books where each woman wants a man, whether it be a suitor or their doting father, and no matter how hard they try, something always keeps them from a "happily ever after". Honestly, I think Perry's mother had it the worst, but she just kept on.

For the record, the chorus to the song goes "I may not bring you comfort, but at least I bring you home". It sends the pain of my father, consciously leaving me, and the pain of my mother, whose would-be husbad fatefully leaving her, searing through me.

And the bitch of it all is that just yesterday, I was working on a client who said something to stir this pot before it had the trigger to make it boil over. I mentioned my birthday was on the 1st, and he said, "Oh! That must have been lonely!"
To which I replied, "Well, only as a child."
"Oh? I was thinking recently. Did your parents neglect you?"
"Well, no."
"Then why lonely?"
"Well, my father wasn't around so much."
"Ahh, and it still upsets you."
"It doesn't? Why not?"
"As a 31-year-old, I've learned to forgive and move on."
He laughs and says, "I'm 55, and I still haven't done that. Unless you're a master, I think it's still a wound."
This conversation happened within the first 5 minutes of meeting him, and I'm trying not to go off  like a mad, starved Tasmanian devil just because the guy is a consultant and thinks he can presume to know anything about my life... rawr.
So, I shut up.
Lucky for me, he found another subject. Lucky for him, he was big enough to take the wrath of my deep tissue. Rawr, I say.

I don't know, today. I could theorize that it is all a sign and try to make amends, or maybe I'm just emotional before the Full Moon. But what I do know is that every time we remember, we remain human and humble. And every time we embrace our humanity and forgive ourselves for our frailty, we reach a little closer to divinity.

I blamed myself for so long for driving men away from me that I truly believed I would never find one strong enough to stay with me. And if I couldn't find a mate, how could I ever have children. My belief in my own infertility manifested into a softball-size cyst that could well have killed me.

But I must be far along in my forgiveness of myself, because I eliminated the threatening cyst, and I have a wonderful family that loves me, and I even have a caring, sweet man who loves me, even when I become drenched in my own uncontrollable tears from a silly 90's song.

Now, if only I can forgive myself for gaining 50 lbs. and wasting the last 10 years of my life. I hope I have many more years to try...

Here's to new, happier and brighter associations! May your days be merry, my readers.

***This post is dedicated in loving memory to Carol W. Dias, who remained a mother-figure and a friend to my mother, and made welcome her young, head-strong daughter. Mrs. Dias passed away Oct. 31st, 2011, Lord Bless Her Soul.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Worst Enemy or Best Friend?

Ah... the bitter-sweetness of silence. No roommate, no roommate's hyper dog, and no boyfriend. Ok, so I'm not really thrilled about that last one, but I can handle my own alone time. In fact, being okay with one's own self is the topic I wish to expand upon tonight.

This post has been inspired by a thought running through my head the last few days:

"I am my own worst enemy."

Hmm... we'll see about that.

Of late, I've been reading, reflecting and relenting about "personal responsibility". For those of you who have not studied psychology, this is the mentality that allows an individual to take action in a situation where others could, also, take action, but the individual does not rely on the expectation that anyone else will address the situation. This mentality is exemplified in emergency situations - a man in a mall collapses. Maybe it's a heart attack, maybe it's anaphylactic shock, maybe it's just dehydration, but there's no time to loose guessing. But you're just a passerby, there's no need to stop because the woman he's with surely called 911. But she's on the floor with him, crying and shaking him to wake up. Maybe the shop owner who rushed out to see the commotion called for the mall paramedics. Meanwhile, the man on the floor has begun to foam at the mouth and is twitching. More people gasp and gather around, but who's helping him? Surely one of the interested people getting closer is rushing to his aid.

If everyone of these people does not assume their individual "personal responsibility"- that is to say, act proactively and not as a result of a lack of someone else's actions - then this man will most likely die. And when he does, there will be plenty of guilty consciences, even more fingers pointed at one another, and a reinforcement to the general populace that our fellow man should not be trusted. And we thought it was cool to be irresponsible.

Perhaps this is a more entertaining example:

But this is more of an external example, and a dramatic situation. What about the baby steps? The little ways we can take "personal responsibility" for our actions on a daily basis? This is where we must recognize that our attitudes are also within our ability to take action and be proactive. After all, our attitudes are formulated from how we interpret our surroundings, situations, but also ourselves and our inner responses. Come, take a look...

I was reading this article in Psychology Today about how the ability to control our emotional responses is a skill to be developed, not a gift that you either have or don't. But if the only times we try to exercise such control is during these high drama, extreme situations, then we haven't developed the skill through regular practice enough to tackle it! Could you imagine - exercising our brains for greater emotional depth and satisfaction, and not just intellectual?

But let's back up to what stumps most of us... the premise: WE have the ability to control our emotional responses. So, not your parents? Nope. Not your significant other? Uh uh. Not your boss, traffic, or politics? Not at all.

But my dad is calling every hour, on the hour, and if he calls one more time, I'm gonna kill him! Are you, really? Or could you ask him to stop calling and let him know you'll call him when you get home that night? Or maybe you could just turn off the phone until you can call him back?

This reminds me of the move He's Just Not That Into You (2009) when Justin Long's character (Alex) explains to Ginnifer Goodwin's character (Gigi) that sometimes we allow ourselves to react this way for the drama. We thrive on the drama, and might not know what to do with ourselves if we didn't have something to panic about. I think part of becoming an adult is coming to terms with the notion that there will ALWAYS be something you CAN panic about, but it's a waste of precious time.

The point is we still have the ability to absorb that potentially negative energy, and, through our active involvement with it, turn it into a positive experience. It used to be thought that when you meditate that you should inhale all of the positivity surrounding you and then exhale all the negativity stored up inside you. It's a nice thought, and understandably the intention behind it is to "let go". However, it leaves anyone and everyone around you to deal with the negativity you've put out there, and leaves you feeling dependent on the positivity being provided by the outside environment (which you cannot control). It has only been in recent years that I've learned it should actually be the opposite - breathe in the negativity, embrace it, love it, and let it flow out of you, now changed into a beautiful part of you. Now, you're putting light and love into the world, and YOU have the power to brighten any Little Black Rain Cloud. It's an empowering thought, isn't it?

Just consider...

I know, we've seen the magnets, the mugs, the journals, but it doesn't make the quote any less true.

So, this whole rigamarole brings us back to "I am my own worst enemy". And the moment I though it, I felt this weight, a dead weight, just sitting on my shoulders, making me headachy.

'I can't live like this, feeling like my own mind is killing me', I thought.

And why should I? Wasn't I the one who could take action, make a choice, and change? Wasn't I the one telling myself that I was an enemy? Well, then, it's time to tell myself something new...

"What if... I am my own best friend." And I felt relieved.

I know it's not as noble or heroic as saving a stranger, foaming at the mouth, but the first life you should try to save is your own.

So, my readers...

What do you tell yourself? And how does it affect you?

In honor of my mother's birthday today, I will avoid today's Word-of-the-Day (gangrel - a lanky, loose-jointed person) in favor of yesterday's more fitting word:

procellous [proh-SEL-uhs] -adjective : Stormy, as the sea

Guide your way through the storm, my friends, and I shall meet you there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Will YOU Join My Cortege?

Good Morning, boys and girls! Time to put on your thinking caps...
And since I'm done reflecting on the past for now...

#4: What’s something you have that everyone wants?

Chutzpah. For those of you who don't know yittish - brashness, boldness, forwardness... but also overconfidence, presumptuousness, pushiness, rudeness, sassiness, sauciness, shamelessness. 
Ok, I know this sounds more insulting than flattering, but it was the first thing I could think of. I can't imagine _everyone_ wants it, and I know quite a few people that already have it. For example, when Quentin complained about the footage from set, I went to set the next day to confront the responsible parties and ensure that the goal was clear: get usable footage. I had nothing at stake, no grade nor money pending. It just needed to be done. When Qwest was giving us the run around, I demanded a supervisor and got us back on track.
But I remember when I was younger, my "overconfidence" always seemed to have a silver lining of sorts. For example, the first summer after I graduated high school I was working as an intern for Source Theater in downtown D.C. We did a short gig at the National Women's Museum with a series of short plays by women. Before one of our shows, the crew all went out for dinner at McD's across the street (I know, horrible). As we approached the door, there was an older homeless man, meakly occupying the space across from the entrance. There seemed to be no hope in his soft pleading for spare change, and it struck me to the core. To see a man reduced to such an extreme and not have the faith to carry him through broke my heart, and stifled my appetite.
I opened the door, but stopped before I could enter. A three second thought became probably the most generous gesture I've ever offered. I turned around and asked him to have dinner with me. Not buy him dinner, but offer food in exchange for his time. Because I wanted him to know that his time was valuable.
At the time, I believed that such bold actions could change the world, one person at a time, but I think it just made me bitter, as time went on, that no one cared about me that way. I'm slowly coming out of that funk, though, after my surgery and such. But I still find it difficult to tap into that bold power without seeming like I'm an uber-bitch.
By the way, if you'd like to know the rest of that story, let me know, and I'll respond with it.
In the meantime... What YOU got?

Also, I've been feeling the need to share the love, so here's one we can do together.

#41: What are you known for by your friends and family?
So, this one is on you guys. What am I known for? It's only fair if I answer the same for you. So, if you respond to this question, I will tell you what YOU are known for.

But first, here's some love I'd like to share...
But I digress. What's today's word? Oh, yes...
cortege [kawr-teyzh] -noun :
1. a procession, especially a ceremonial one: a funeral cortege.
2. a line or train of attendants; retinue.
Well, that's just morbid. But a fun word to pronounce. Look it up on to hear how it's pronounced. It just makes me want to learn French. I'm now at three language I'd like to learn - Sign Language (for future child rearing), Spanish (for its usefulness), and French ('cause it sounds pretty!).
So, I found an equally French-looking picture (even though it's English - Shh! Don't tell!):
Ok, so the flags give it away. Nevermind.
I think I prefer to appreciate the ceremony of it all rather than be a part of it. Probably why I never went into law enforcement. Or the military.
By the way, I am allowing myself to type in sentence fragments in order to become better accustomed to script form, which allows it, nay, encourages it. Please, be patient.
All right, readers, time for bed.
Until next time... 

An Irish Blessing for You:
"May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Take a Bough!

I've just sit down to a well-deserved lunch break (yes, I know it's 4:37pm, but that's what happens when you sleep in until noon thirty). With my turkey and tomato on gluten-free bread with olive oil mayo and honey mustard (just enough to moisten the bread), pickle, and IBC Root Beer, I got the urge to change the tone from my previous post. Btw, every time I have pickles with soda (not that it's very often at all), I always think of that scene in Bad Boys with Martin Lawrence and Tia Lioni - "Do you know how much salt is in that?" Yes, Tia, I do.

Since the word of the day seems to be a favorite (of mine, too), I shall use yesterday's and today's words.
bough [bou] -noun : a branch of a tree, especially one of the larger or main branches.

I thought this appropriately seasonal. But the range of pictures that came up was so vastly different, that I've decided to give a smorgasbord of examples.

 The artsy version. This one is called "Crimson Bough". I just enjoyed the simplicity of it, and I'm a sucker for pretty color combinations. Actually, I probably gravitated towards it because a friend of mine recently introduced me to this thing called "Canvas & Cocktails". And there's a million of 'em out there - "Sippin' N' Paintin'", "Canvas & Corkscrews", "Paint and Sip", "Sip 'N Paint"... I think you get the idea. Basically, for two hours you get a lesson on how to paint a particular painting (you choose the day and painting), have a drink (wine or cocktail), and then take the painting home! Kinda cool, huh?

 Wow, right? Totally out of left field, but it's called "The Golden Bough". I just thought it was lovely and empowering, especially after having a long and involved conversation at work about how a female therapist (massage or otherwise) should never feel like a victim in a session. But instead of blabbering on about what _I_ think, I'd rather ask - how do you feel about this "bough"?
It, of course, is not to be confused with...
 Is is bad that I've never heard of this? I'm poking around on Amazon to get a better idea of what it is, and all I can glean is a lost classic, and an exploration of magic and religion. Huh... sounds like something I'll have to read! Any of my readers privy to this book? I'd love to know your impressions!
 Just to stick to our nature theme - this one is "porcupine in bough". Really?! Where? Do they normally climb trees? Maybe he got stuck like a cat! HA! No one's gonna catch him, though...
 The "Political Bough"... this one I'm gonna have to look up. History has never been a strong subject for me. Math, English, Science (which, in my opinion, is the art of using English and Math to formulate questions and attempt to answer them), no problem. In fact, I'd have to say my ultimate strength has always been psychology of some form, which is the logical progression of a singular mind. History draws from too many sources for me to trust the information, and I just figure- what's the point? Well... unfortunately, a grade :-P
And last, but not least...
 The Holiday Bough. Yes, I say "holiday". I prefer celebrating the Yule tide, myself. My step-siblings celebrate Hanukkah while the rest of my family celebrates Christmas, but the truth is, my interest lies in the seasons and the phases of the moon. Yes, there is even a history behind  each aspect of our Yule traditions, but you'll notice how we give ourselves the liberty to incorporate such information or not as we choose. But, perhaps when it comes to our convictions, taking a quick peek back at how it became accepted is worth the consideration, variations on the history and all.
Well, that's as deep as I'll go tonight. Word #2!

adytum [ad-i-tuhm] -noun : 1. A sacred place that the public is forbidden to enter; an inner shrine.
2. The most sacred or reserved part of any place of worship.

Ha! So much for not getting any more serious. Before I could even get to the pictures, this link caught my eye, Builders of the Adytum, which "disseminates the Ageless Wisdom of Sacred Tarot". Sacred Tarot? To the common American mind, Tarot is mystic crap. How is it that there is an entire school dedicated to unite people using a "sacred tarot"? Wild...
Ok, moving on...
It's so interesting that a faith would choose other symbolic beings, such as depicted on these cards, to epitomize the tides of a human life. In choosing characters, writers will also sometimes use the personas in tarot, though I don't know many fellow students that know anything about tarot cards.
This was found as part of BOTA's website. I've seen this diagram before, but I never thought to equate it to the "Builders of the Adytum [who] offer its members a correspondence curriculum based on the Sacred Tarot and Holy Qabalah, the object of which is the self-transmutation of the aspirant's personality". Something about this just rubs me the wrong way. Does anyone know more about this?
I guess I just prefer to transform organically - by myself, for myself, with myself.

This one just reminds me of "Farscape" for some odd reason. Ok, that's all the brain power I've got for today.
But before I go, a simple reflection- #23:
In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?
Originally it was: Love, Happiness, money, health, fame
Because after my ordeal, I was thinking that as long as I have money, I could buy my health - HA!
However, I think I prefer: Love, Happiness, Health, Money, Fame

One of the many reasons I will probably never live in L.A.
Cheers, y'all!