Thanks For The Sunny Memories

After 44 years Sonia Manzano, who played the character Maria on PBS’ “Sesame Street”, is bidding the show good-bye.

Considering she has been a part of the show for as long as I’ve been alive, I spent a large part of my childhood watching Maria living and working among the rest of the “street” gang.  She was the one who always seemed to be there for Big Bird whenever he needed help or a shoulder to cry on.  Oscar’s nickname for her was “Skinny”.  She was one of television’s first Latina actresses.  On “Sesame Street” as Maria she not only befriended many muppets, but also many other human residents of the “Street”.  In the very early days she appeared to be hooked up with the character David.  When Sonia became pregnant in real life they worked in a relationship and marriage to Luis, a character who worked in the fix-it shop.  The two developed their relationship over the care of a kitten and after they were married, they went camping during their honeymoon.

Not only did Sonia act on “Sesame Street”, she also did writing for the show, winning 15 Emmy awards in the process.  Through her talents she taught countless children everything from letters and numbers to Spanish.  With her leaving it is almost like losing a piece of my childhood.

Although it has been many years since I’ve actually watched the show, the memories of “Sesame Street” and of Sonia Manzano’s character Maria, will always remain.

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To Be A Celebrity


But don’t expect my photo or autograph.  I’ve reserved those only for the people that matter

And The Winner Is: LOVE

When I think about Friday’s historical Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage is to be recognized and accepted nationwide, I think about how great it is to be alive at this moment.  This is like my generation’s Walk on the Moon or Roe v. Wade, only better.

It’s better because now EVERYONE can get married.  NOBODY has to live a lie any longer.  EVERYONE can benefit from LOVE.

I think the statement that Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote sums it up best:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.  In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.”

Congratulations to all the happy couples out there and congratulations to the Supreme Court of the United States of America for getting it right.

Love really does win.


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Remember back in 1985 when we wanted to make a phone call?  If we were on the road we had to find one of these:

The phonebooth--a true relic

The phone booth–a true relic

Or we had to wait until we arrived home and used one of these:


Now so many of us are walking around like this:


Most of the time we’re not even talking.  We’re texting.  Or playing.  Or who knows what the hell else.

How did it come to this?  As humans we really don’t know how to communicate correctly any longer.  Walking around staring at a phone all the time not only can cause us to be distracted and bump into things, it makes us look rude and self-centered.  We no longer are interested in looking straight ahead when we walk, making eye contact with each other.  We’d rather hide behind our “smart” phones, continuing to text away to someone we’re probably going to be seeing in five minutes anyway.  If our phones were so “smart”, maybe they’d start teaching us how to be humans again, not puppets being controlled by electronic devices.




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Review: The Emotion of “Inside Out”

Once again Disney-Pixar has decided to “toy” with our feelings–in a good way.

“Inside Out” portrays five emotions:  Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust.  They all live inside the mind of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who learns life isn’t always easy when she’s uprooted from her home in Minnesota to a new world in San Francisco.  Mom and Dad have their emotions too and we get to see them in action throughout the film as well.

At first it seems like Riley may adjust to her new situation very well.  But when she tears up in class on her first day at a new school, it’s all downhill from there.  It doesn’t help matters any when just as she needs her two most important emotions (Joy and Sadness), they go AWOL, having been sucked into her long-term memory bank.  This leaves Fear, Anger and Disgust to run the show.  And they’re not doing much to help matters any.

While trying to find their way back to Headquarters, Joy and Sadness encounter Bing Bong, Riley’s trusted but long forgotten imaginary friend.  Bing Bong is key in helping Joy and Sadness get back to where they need to be.  For me his exit is also where the tears started.  It was like Andy leaving Woody behind all over again.

Sadness tries to go off on her own, feeling that she is the cause for all of Riley’s problems.  Joy is able to stop Sadness and finally gets them both back to Headquarters, just in time to change Riley’s mind in wanting to run away back to Minnesota.  When Riley returns home to her frantic parents, she finally tells them how she’s been feeling and how she has tried to stay happy for them but it just isn’t working for her.  Then she loses it and so do I.

The ending leaves us with Riley, who is now twelve and part of a new junior hockey team called The Foghorns, bumping into a cute young fellow.  We see that his own emotions are so mixed up they don’t know if they’re coming or going and he is dumbstruck as Riley takes to the ice.

This little scene and the fact that the control board at Headquarters has now been updated, featuring a big red “PUBERTY” button, leads me to believe that we haven’t seen the last of Riley.  Nor have we seen the last of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.  Those five emotions better rest up.  They haven’t seen anything yet!


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What Makes One Hate Another?

Hate.  It’s not a nice feeling to have.  It’s not a nice word to use, especially towards another human being.  Yet we’ve all felt it at one time or another, whether it be towards a food, a song or yes, another person.

The other night a young psycho in Charleston, South Carolina hated so much he felt it was necessary to kill innocent people.  But what made him become so absorbed in hate that he had to kill?  What was he so angry about?  None of those people had done anything to him.  Even if they had, it wouldn’t justify being killed.

If the shooter had been black and the victims white it wouldn’t justify being killed.

If the shooter had been a woman and the victims all men it wouldn’t justify being killed.

If the shooter had been Jewish and the victims all Muslims it wouldn’t justify being killed.

I could go on and on and on…

Until I no longer walk the Earth, I will always fathom why people cannot get along.  As humans we all have so much in common:  we are all born, we all die, we all eat, sleep, defecate, bleed, breathe, get sick, sweat, etc.  Why does it matter what our sex, religion or race is?  Why would any of those factors cause another human being to hate so much?

In many cases hate starts at home.  This nut states he was “not raised in a racist environment”.  He’s attributing his actions to the Martin/Zimmerman incident and the fact he wanted to start a “race war”.  Whatever his reasons, it cannot bring back the lives he took.  It cannot make him any less a crazed gunman.

What this heinous crime can do for the rest of us is to make us stop and think about our fellow human being.  Before acting on your hate, ask yourself if you would like it if the tables were turned and the hate was acted on you.  You will begin to see others in a different light.


You Must BE The Change

Is it me or does it seem like everybody (or most everybody) today says they want to “change the world” but nobody  wants to “change” their self?

I’m not saying one person or one organization cannot put change into the world.  With all the inventions introduced over the years the world certainly has had its share of changes.  The world has even shifted because of tragedy.

But what about the person and/or organization that states they are going to “change the world” yet can hardly see past their own ego?  It’s clear that what they do, although undoubtedly welcomed, is not without some sort of self-satisfaction for themselves.

Charities are great.  I know they truly do help some people.  But not before the charity itself dips their hand into the pot and takes their share, which is usually way more than what they provide to actually helping anyone.  True charity works on the “nothing for something” method:  you get nothing but the joy of knowing you have helped someone and the ones you are helping get something they need.  There is no payment involved with true charity.

That is why YOU must BE the CHANGE.  Because if YOU can’t change your own wants/needs/desires first, how the hell do you think you’re going to be able to CHANGE THE WORLD’S?







Don’t Take “It” For Granted

It’s amazing how many people can take something so simple for granted.  It’s as if they just “expect” it.  And if “it” doesn’t happen, they get upset.

There’s always been that “fine line” which got crossed long ago.  The line that should never have been crossed.

I often wonder what life will be like for them when “it” no longer exists.  Devastation….

Advice well given

A new poem…take it or leave it

Why is it not enough?

I was recently reminded of a “memo” I read years ago regarding how some people–more like “fans”–feel they have a sense of “entitlement” when it comes to celebrities they admire.  These people feel that celebrities have an “obligation” to them.  The only “obligation” any well-known figure should feel they have is presenting themselves well in what they do and providing the entertainment the fans have paid for.

Sometimes as fans we are lucky to have the celebrity be gracious enough to grant us their time and offer a picture and autograph.  Why should we ask for more?

I have had the opportunity to hold court with a few famous personalities.  In looking back at those moments, I kind of wish they had never happened.  People think it would be so cool to have drinks with so-and-so celebrity.  As cool as it may seem, it is also very uncomfortable and awkward.  Try carrying on an intelligent conversation about politics with said celebrity and being interrupted every five minutes by everyone from their manager to autograph-seekers and photo hounds.  The real fortunate ones are those who make it into the hotel rooms.  At least nobody is going to bother them behind closed doors.  They can talk (and do whatever else they want) until the cows come home.  Or until some brash fan(s) start pounding on the door or slip a note under the door…

So take my advice:  the next time you have the chance to meet a celebrity, just be grateful to meet them, maybe get a picture, maybe an autograph and cherish those memories.  Don’t ask for or expect more.  It’s not owed to you.


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