Showing posts from October, 2006

WHOA Newsletter - October 30, 2006

For those of you who celebrate Halloween:


I couldn't make this up if I tried - Study finds 'surprising' level of paranormal belief
With Halloween fast approaching, adults across the nation are loading up on candy and decorations, planning to hunker down for a night of trick-or-treaters, parties and hi-jinx. But how many of them actually believe in the ghosts and aliens they so often display on their houses?

More than some might think.

A new study found 37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses. More than half believe dreams can foretell the future. Twenty percent believe it’s possible to communicate with the dead. And about a quarter of the people surveyed believe some UFOs are spaceships from other worlds.

The Baylor University researchers who conducted the 2006 Baylor Study of Religion, released last month, found a “surprising” level of belief in paranormal things among…

An update on Chris' Dad

For those of you who did not know, Chris' dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer just about two months ago. In late September, when doctors operated on him, the cancer was so aggressive they just sewed him back up and told him he had less than six months to live.

After some discussion, it was decided to do hospice and we were all optimistic, Dad especially, that he would be able to get up and around enough to leave the house, even drive and maybe work with Chris in their workshop. Unfortunately, in the past week, his health has gone quickly downhill and now hospice gives him less than a month to live.

Since Chris is not working, because he's been dealing with doctor's appointments, hospice, visiting nurses, etc, I began taking as many speaking engagements as possible to make up for the loss of income. Luckily, what with the media hype about Myspace and online predators, I have been gone every week, sometimes twice a week. That's the downside of being self-employed, we don…

Monterey, California

After the scare with Dad last Saturday night, I was hoping nothing would happen while I was gone.

The car service came to get me on Monday morning at 5:45 am to take me to Boston airport. I was flying Delta. Got on the plane and luckily had the middle seat empty - yay!

But we didn't leave the gate. A tire was flat. Then they had to replaced it. So we left late. Not good.

Got to see The Devil Wears Prada on the plane and it was better than I expected. Meryl Streep was deliciously evil.

So, we made it to LAX late and by the time I took the bus shuttle to the American Eagle terminal to get my connecting flight, they had just given my seat away. So I had four hours to kill. I got back on the bus to the main terminal and hit the only gift shop, LA Gear. If you've seen Pretty Woman, you'll understand when I say the salespeople there were just filled with themselves and judging everyone who walked in.

One guy was beyond gay (and I am not being mean saying that). He actually "snif…

Oh, what a night!

I saw my friend, Vivi (V2 as we call her), yesterday afternoon for a massage. That's how we met, she became my massage therapist after my right shoulder would get sore after airplane trips. I really needed a massage and I have a long flight tomorrow to Monterey, California. We chatted during the hour session, then hugged and confirmed dinner last night at around 6 pm at a local Japanese restaurant.

Chris & I got to the restaurant early and had a good time.

So when we got home, we were ready to watch The Omen (the new one) and relax. Chris called his parents house and when he hung up, he began freaking out. Something was wrong with his dad and his sister, Sandy, was calling the visiting nurse to come by and would call us back. When she didn't call right back, Chris was certain his father was dying. He tried calling twice and no one picked up. I finally called, got Mom, she sounded calm, then asked to speak to Sandy. I asked her if we should come and she said yes, she was scar…

Delhi, NY; Chippy update; Dad update

Sunday morning I packed and got my car ready to go for my road trip to Delhi, NY. According to Yahoo directions, it would be about five hours. I figured six with lunch and breaks. I also took my massaging/heat seat cushion from my office and put it on my drivers seat in the car.

I had an audiobook loaded up to listen to, kissed the dogs and Chris goodbye and headed out. I had 3/4 of a tank of gas when I left at 10 am.

The drive was long, but with the massage action of the seat cushion, it was more than bearable. The foliage was gorgeous and when I hit my last highway, it was a two-lane road through the country, near the Catskills and even more gorgeous.

I got to the Buena Vista Motel at about 4 pm. And it was not even half as bad as the reviews claimed it was. My biggest beef was that they still had me down for one night instead of two, even after Marty (from SUNY Delhi), Cindy (from Wolfman Productions, who booked me) and I called to confirm two nights. But it wasn't a problem and …

You know, when you're a publicist for big celebrities. . .

. . .such as

Elton John
Wolfgang Puck
Pierce Brosnan
Joan Rivers
Ben Stiller
Drew Barrymore
Dennis Miller
Suzanne Somers
Wynton Marsalis
Naomi Judd
Vanna White
Danny Glover
Susan Powter
Chuck Norris
Paul Reiser
Sandra Bullock

you really should pay attention to details better. The publicist for the above is my publicist. Yes, the one who screwed up my radio interviews the other day. Oh and I forgot to mention that when they sent me the list of radio stations, they listed my publisher's telephone number in New Jersey as my contact number instead of my home office number. Which means the radio stations would never have gotten me on their shows if I hadn't caught it.

And the plot thickens.

Remember the radio station that missed having me on their show because the publicist forgot to give me the station's phone number so that I could call in? Well, I had a book signing on Thursday night (noted below) and then had to take my car in yesterday morning for an oil change and checkup before my road t…

Trying to catch up

Friday, October 6th
Alexa, from ODU, drove me to the airport and was afraid we'd be late. She needn't have worried. My flight was delayed from the original flight at 9:45 am to 11:30 am due to the weather in Philly (my connecting airport). I was hoping I'd get out of Norfolk before that nasty nor'easter blew in. I did.

But once in Philly, again, flights were delayed. I didn't get on a flight until 330 pm, but had lunch with a group from Wyeth Pharmeceuticals out of Boston and a Philly lawyer who was headed to Los Angeles to visit his son and grandson. So it wasn't bad.

Finally got home, exhausted. Chris had a cold. Oh boy. I took some more Airborne.

Saturday, October 7th
Since Chris was sick, I went to his parents house to help out. Dad's feeding tube was leaking, so we called the visiting nurses and they sent someone over. Francie was nice and tried to stem the flow from where the tube was inserted in Dad, but we ended up taking him to the emergency room.

We wer…

WHOA Newsletter - 10/09/06

WHO@ Newsletter

October 9, 2006

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Whoa, Nelly!

'Why the long face?'
A new pub landlady got a shock when she discovered one of her regulars is a horse.

Jackie Gray recently became landlady at the Alexandra Hotel in Jarrow, Tyneside.

She says she got a pleasant surprise when carthouse Peggy joined owner Peter Dolan for a pint.

The 12-year-old's tipple is a pint of John Smiths and pickled onion crisps.

Mrs Gray said: "When I bought the pub a few weeks ago I heard rumours that one of the regulars was a horse but I didn't quite believe them. It was a hot day when the horse came in and I was shocked at first because I have never run a pub before."

Mr Dolan, 61, from Jarrow, bought Peggy six years ago and discovered her fondness for the pub when she followed him inside.

According to the BBC he said: "Peggy's no bother at all. Most of the regulars know her as …

More, more, more!

I talked with Dad the night before I left for Norfolk, VA and he sounded like his old self. I told him about Chippy and had him laughing. Chris spent two hours with his mom at the hospital on Wednesday with the head nurse, who is also in hospice. He wishes the hospital had done this last week. She answered so many questions for them and made them both feel tons better. He said his dad also felt relieved. What a difference that two-hour talk made.

I had ordered a book about chipmunks at Barnes & Noble and Chris picked it up. It's cute, about raising chipmunks and other critters and I told him to give it to his dad.

Flew to Norfolk yesterday - connecting flight, no non-stops. It was a long day. Took an hour nap after checking in to the Hampton Inn, then was picked up at 6 pm by Gretchen from Old Dominion University. Set up my laptop, checked the mic and audio and was ready to roll. The campus bookstore had set up a mini store in a side room, complete with cookies and beverages and…

Some good news

I didn't post about Chippy, mainly because of what was going on with Dad. But I hadn't seen Chippy since the day before I left for Seattle last Wednesday. I was really worried about him. Went out every morning calling him.

This morning, the other chipmunk, Sweetie, was sitting on the fence post. I can tell her from Chippy because she's bigger, has bright white circles around her eyes, bigger rounder ears (Chippy has a nick out of his left ear) and a bushy tail (Chippy's is short).

She ran when I put food out, but came back and let me talk to her.

I went on the porch, put food on the end of the lounge chair and the porch railing and waited. She came. Walked around the chair, shaking her tail. Jumped up, then down. Then up on the railing, stuffing her cheeks and watching me the whole time. I talked to her and she finally just sat there and stared at me.

She finally went away. I put more food out and went inside.

A little later, I took Bandit outside and there was Chippy! I al…

Aargh. Cancer sucks the big one

I had to go to a mediation hearing for a car accident I was in back in 2003 yesterday morning. Can't post anything about it yet. Will when it's over and done with (trial is in March).

If you want to read "between the lines," you have to go to my Livejournal because I can make my posts private, for friends only there.

I had a ton of things to catch up on - paying bills, filling book orders, updating my speaking schedule, etc. Chris' mom called to say Dad wasn't coming home because the nurses felt he wasn't strong enough and he was nauseous. I was relieved, in a way.

I took the dogs to do errands, came home and Chris said his mom had called again. She said Dad told her we'd hugged him and rubbed his back and he felt better.

This is going to be tough.

The doctors told Dad there was no hope. No second opinion was going to save him.

So I took it upon myself to follow up on some info a friend told us about. His dad had terminal cancer and was told of Essiac. His …

Things have calmed down a bit

Getting home Saturday night was a nightmare. The flight from Seattle to Detroit went fine. In Detroit, we were supposed to leave the gate at 5:27 pm. We did, but sat on the runway until 6:27 pm waiting in line to takeoff. There was weather to the west that was making the Air Traffic Controllers have to reroute that traffic. So it backed everything up.

Then, when we were third in line, the airport shut down due to thunderstorms, so no one could takeoff.

We did and during the flight at 7:30 pm, my reading light began to blink on and off. I looked up and down the plane. It was only my light. No one else's. I looked at it and watched it blink on. Off. On. Off. A few more times, then it was steady. The woman next to me raised her eyebrows.

Someone was trying to "talk" to me and I don't know why.


The plane finally landed in Manchester, NH just after 8 pm.

But wait, there's more!

Everyone is standing up, getting their things from the overhead, when the pilot announced t…