Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Glenn Logan

You know how you just get a feeling?

At 8:10 a.m., Wednesday, July 14, 2010, I decided to take my phones into the bathroom with me. Rarely does anyone call me, much less at that hour, but…

I had just sat down on the throne when the home line rang. It was my friend’s wife, and I knew. “Glenn won’t be at the meeting tonight. He just died. It was so sudden. He coughed and started hemorrhaging from his mouth, and before the paramedics got here 15 minutes later, he was gone.”

Fifteen minutes later.

“How are you?” I earnestly answered, knowing she must be experiencing shock. She didn’t hear me. When I asked a second time, I knew she was in shock.

“His body’s in the other room.”

I hadn’t seen Glenn since June 18 when I picked him up to go see my hiking bud who’d had a stroke. On our journey to Memorial Hospital, I remarked at how great Glenn looked. Alive, vibrant, tossing sexual innuendo into the air like an active volleyball.

He’d been undergoing chemo for lung cancer early Tuesday afternoons and radiation weekdays at 4:00 for a couple of months and had recently completed the series. Vietnam’s Agent Orange and the dreaded cigarette.

He said, “I’m almost disappointed that I’m not going in for chemo anymore. The people there were so kind. Fact is, I looked forward to it every week.” He’d been going to Penrose Cancer Center that apparently had hired people lovers. Praise God.

On July 3, he responded to my meeting reminder: “I’m looking forward to seeing y’all!
Love, Glenn”

Due to life’s events, the group hadn’t seen him since April 15, except hiking bud Bob. In the hospital, Glenn asked for permission, which was granted, to lay his healing hands on Bob, who attributes his quick recovery to spiritual healing via Glenn.

Glenn knew people immediately, sensed what they needed, initiated energy. He was an honorary tribal member of some Native American tribe. Glenn joined them all, did it all. If there was a judgment, it wasn’t found in Glenn.

But I’m not saying Glenn was a saint. He wasn’t, and I’ll leave it at that. Every man has his opinion, his past, his life.

The night before Glenn passed, my aunt whom I earlier wrote about (her husband of 62 years had passed) called. “You have incredible talent,” she said. “I just found another piece you had written,” and she read it to me.

On March 31, 1996, I had written about the last time you see someone, to make it positive, because it might be the last time you see this person. As she read it, I was amazed at the profundity in its words. But most writers know that feeling when they arouse themselves out of the trance.

My final trek with Glenn was a good finale: "I love you."

On the night of our monthly IONS* meeting, we honored our friend. And while we felt his humor, his spirit, his insightful observations, we deeply missed his physical presence.

From Glenn, Sunday, March 28, 2010, 1:49 a.m.:

"Many of you (and friends from other milieux as well) have asked what I would have you do, regarding my impending demise (which could be measured in days, weeks, months).

"What I’d ask, I guess, is that you would remember the good and use it as confirmation of the rightness in your lives, while taking note of my mistreakes and using them to avoid similar mishaps in your own lives.

"I would ask for kind thoughts, and an occasional boot in the rear to remind me to avoid the maudlin and pointless drama.

"Above all, I would ask that you nurture your love and compassion for all of Creation, for each act of kindness builds (imo) to the critical mass that I believe will eventually carry everything into that transcendent future that I see on the horizon.

"Peace and Love, Glenn"

Glenn leaves six children and a wonderful wife on this earth.

Awards Ceremony

In early April 2007 I received a call. “Hello, I’m Frances with Cheyenne Mountain School District’s Awards Committee. The district is recognizing you as Cheyenne Mountain Junior High’s Volunteer of the Year. The ceremony is Monday, April 30, from 3:45 till 6:00. Will you be able to attend?”

“Ahhh,” a voice resembling mine responded. “What did I do to deserve this?”

“I believe it’s for doing the newsletter for two years,” she cheerfully fed me.

“Gosh, well, thank you. But I don’t get out in public much anymore. Is the event a big deal?”

“It is,” she earnestly replied.

When I hung up with her, I was astounded. Someone appreciated me.

Days before the affair, I was still uneasy about going to be publicly awarded, but when the day arrived, I roped my daughter into driving back to her school with me. I tossed on my Rockies khakis, spikes, a long-sleeved yellow cotton top, and a wrinkled silk scarf that I could use to strangle myself if…

When we arrived, it was obvious the Twenty-second Annual Recognition Awards Ceremony was a big district deal. About 200 employees, award recipients, and their entourage were professionally dressed, hair coiffed, teeth whitened. Well, all but one. I freaked.

Nervously and with a slight tremor, I scoped an off-center place to hide under two metal folding chairs. Instead, though, we sat. I anxiously looked around for someone besides my daughter whose jacket I could crawl beneath, but all I saw were unfamiliar faces.

And so began the honors. Crimson, the senior high school music group, kicked off the event with great harmonies. Now that’s where I fit in: between that girl’s perfectly straight teeth. Then the education board president spoke, followed by a word from the superintendent, initiating the parade of our smiling district’s best.

The program I firmly gripped assured me I wouldn’t have to endure the agony of waiting too long. Volunteers would be awarded first, rising to a crescendo of retirees as the event’s finale.

Before a beautiful wooden plaque was handed to each recipient, an announcer would read a long introductory description of each person’s service to the district.

Good grief, I thought, what on earth could they say about me? My body was beginning to convulse into Tourette’s syndrome movements. And as if that weren’t enough, a photographer was capturing each glorious handshake. Ahhhh!

The award winner before me was on his way back to his seat when the announcer began reading about me. It was actually completely cool. They made up wonderful things about me that made me wish I’d have brought a compact, so I could check myself out. The writers had thrown in crazy, fun ideas suggesting I was with the FBI or CIA, since they’d e-mail all the stories and news to be included in the newsletters, and in return, they’d receive a completely edited and designed work. Most had never met me, so I suspect I was the mystery mom.

With great might, I pried the magnet in my butt away from the metal chair and strolled over to receive a fine gold-inscribed plaque with my name accurately spelled and a handshake from a guy whose daughter once hit our car. I gave my best Cheshire cat grin and sprinted back to my security-blanket daughter.

As I sat, I caught a glimpse of a thin, white article falling from my pants leg. Apprehensively, I wiggled my rear back into the chair and reached down to grab the thing. What I discreetly pulled up into our view was a dryer sheet!

To this day, I’ve wondered how many people saw the white, mesh, sheet dangling above my high heels as it tried to release itself from my khakis.

So along with my pretty Outstanding Volunteer plaque and the program, I keep the dryer sheet, just as a reminder of how special I really am.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Writing for a Living

I love copyediting. It gives me the opportunity to learn new subjects and words and meet new people, though not in person. You see, I’ve always had a face for radio, so it’s wonderful that my work arrives via the Net. It’s sort of like cyberdating, except I don’t have to endure the interrogation, the “you’re a lot homelier in person” comments, and I get paid for my input. In the emotional world when you offer ideas for another’s improvement, they tell you to go “edit” yourself.

Authors and editors respect my work. My Random House editor said I see things other don’t, like a rule one point thicker than another, or a gray hair on my blond head, or an impure thought. Except for those who desire a polished, fact-verified, credible work, I’m a pain, and I don’t think my being single is an accident.

Note: my editing means that someone has written. That makes me feel a little bit envious. I am awed that a person took the time to write more than a blog post. I wonder how long it took the author to write and rewrite a manuscript and how many people contributed to his or her effort by giving suggestions and allowing quiet, contemplative time.

I wonder if writers squirreled away money where they would receive the highest interest rate, say, in their mattresses, so they wouldn’t stress about paying insurance invoices. Food expenses no longer count, according to one “professional” Dumpster digger my neighbor told me about. The guy finds four-course meals and beer just under the lid. Hmm, maybe I’ll keep food as an expense.

So today I am a writer, not just a writer wannabe. My words might be fun, insightful, or inspirational. Contrarily, they might be unintriguing. But writers write, right? If I’m tapping on my iBook keyboard, I am like them. Plus when I’m done, I’ll have something to show for it, unlike sending a zillion applications and résumés to purported employers who really don’t exist.

Does anyone ever hear back from “employers” after sending letters of application? I’ve played the game for 12 years, have gotten two interviews, one temporary position, and lots of technical-job nudges from San Jose (though I’d written “not willing to relocate”).

I could be hurt by all the rejection if I had feelings, but everyone else in the U.S. tells me the same story, so I’m not special and you knew that. My dad thinks I don’t try, but he never grasped reality or empathy. “See if you feel this!” Bam! He always had a way with whirls.

So between editing jobs, I’m submitting my work to magazines again. As instructed in the Writer’s Market, I am reading and learning about each applicable magazine to hear its voice and ascertain if a publication blends with my style. If it blends, I need to suggest to them where in the magazine my work would best fit.

To the editor: “My work is best displayed on the front cover of your magazine…as a model of an old gal needing to share her message with the world. It would have a talk bubble nibbling at her mouth: ‘Buy me! Experienced. Vivacious. Willing to learn and earn. Oooo, baby, I can write a story.’”

Pretty erotic, isn’t it? Whaddaya say? Can I write about you?

Comment on Vasectomies

A friend of 38 years responded to my last post.

Been trimmed down there (vasectomized), and when the doctor was using the cauterizing tool, there was smoke coming up from between my legs. I sniffed a couple times and said to the doc, “They were right!”

He said, “They were right about what?”

I replied, “They were right that it smells like chicken!”

He laughed so hard, he dropped the new cauterizing iron, and then told me I would be responsible for the $85 cost.

I told him if he couldn't handle the heat to get out of my kitchen.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Forced Sterilization

In Uzbekistan, women are undergoing sterilization against their will, without their knowledge. After surprise mutilation and removal of their reproductive parts, women are left unable to bear children. It’s sort of like making eunuchs of Uzbek functionaries without their approval and “accidentally” lopping off their penises as an added bonus while the patients are alert and not under anesthesia, just so they remember the extraordinary event. Checkmate.

The government used to give Uzbek women medals for having six or more children, but overpopulation in our world has given their government reason to reconsider earlier lacking-in-foresight compensation.

Now they worry that with so many young men being born with so little imagination, they will join al Qaeda or the Taliban. The government believes these future male adults lack sufficient entrepreneurial spirit to deliver Uzbeks from their pit of despair.

So rather than bless Uzbek men with simple vasectomies and allow them sperm-free Uzbek manliness, the government, which I suspect equals men, mutilates women. Makes perfect sense to them.

Admit it, sex is fun unless one partner is evil and uses sex as a weapon. So why not free the world’s people and give them practice organs via vasectomies. According to my many male friends, it’s easy.

Get a vasectomy. Don’t contribute to Earth’s demise.

Friday, July 2, 2010

El Paso County, Colorado, Fourth Judicial District Corruption, Part 1

I think it’s time.

I’ve kept publicly quiet for 16 years, and the guilty need to face the jury.

It’s Friday, July 2, 2010, and I just read that the Jaycee Dugard family finally took a stand against the state of California, whose Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation failed to do what they were paid to do. And the Dugards won.

She had been kidnapped by a paroled sex offender as a young girl and kept in his backyard. After 18 years in captivity, she brought forth two children and, most likely, a horror story.

Welcome to Colorado Springs and El Paso County, Colorado’s, Fourth Judicial District.
In the months to come, I will reveal travesties and constitutional violations by not only the district’s judicial branch and its judges, but all ancillary financial feeders on the system: psychologists, social workers, lawyers, quasitherapists, the Department of Human Services and all their employees, funded by El Paso County, the state of Colorado, possibly federal tax dollars, and primarily, the victims.

Just know, sexual molestation and abuse is condoned by El Paso County’s Department of Human Services even after numerous reports, as long as it is done by a family member, such as the biological father, his new partner, her son, or someone within two familial degrees of anyone in their families.

My daughter was 18 months when the molestation began, and it continued until her twelfth year, when she released herself of the situation. I was not allowed to release her, though the system eagerly embraced my thousands of dollars.

Imagine the cost in all areas.