An incredible demonstration of trust

Amanda Palmer posted this on her facebook page recently, and I want to share it here because it’s too beautiful to get buried on the downward scroll of a facebook page:

“from the MINISTRY OF LIFE, DEATH and CROWDSURFING, i discovered this gem of a clip and it’s perfect for today. if you want to know how easy it is to try to sing in key while being turned upside-down in the hands of strangers, here is your answer. not easy.

“it’s me with The Grand Theft Orchestra (michael, jherek and chad) doing “bottom feeder” from the kickstarter record, “Theatre is Evil”. i’ve been writing about crowd surfing and trust in The Book, and chad raines, seen here playing guitar, just showed up at the house for a few days. tonight we cook kale. in a few days jherek bischoff (seen here singing INTO his bass and conducting the strings section) is going to show up with about 12 people since they’re recording up the road in hudson. we are readying all the guest futons. and a few days ago, in the rain, i was at michael mcquilken(the drummer)’s wedding.

“what’s most painful-beautiful about this clip, though, is that this was filmed in london, at Koko, a few weeks after the record came out.

“that was the night that, two hours before getting on stage, i got the phone call that becca had died. i barely remember playing the show….but i have these incredibly strong memories of feeling more alive than i ever had before. all the songs about death (like this one) took on a whole new meaning. i still won’t watch the “astronaut” clip. it was one of her favorites. all i can remember is that i couldn’t get through it. maybe next year.

“life, death, life, death, life in a circle.”

When she allows herself to fall into the waiting hands of her crowd, considering the emotional pain she’s in, she is demonstrating such incredible trust that it took my breath away. I can’t watch this video without being deeply moved. I hope you will find it so, as well.

The Goddess of Hummingbirds

I have two hummingbird feeders hanging from my second floor balcony. I love sitting out there and watching all of the birds in the nearby tree, but I especially love watching the hummingbirds.

I love the view from my patio.

I love the view from my patio.

I didn’t know, before I hung the first feeder (I started with the one on the far left), that hummingbirds are extremely territorial and downright vicious when it comes to protecting their food source.

One bird in particular laid claim to the feeder and wouldn’t let anyone else near it. He would sit on a nearby branch, chirping, and at first I thought he was singing a song of hummingbird happiness, “Look at all the food! Isn’t life grand? Hey, Other Hummingbirds, look what I found! Come join me!”

But once I Googled “hummingbird behavior” I discovered that what he’s really saying is, “This food is mine, bitches! You come near, you die!”

Say hello to my little friend.

Say hello to my little friend.

Whoa. Not so friendly.

So I bought another feeder and hung it at the other end of the patio, hoping that some of the other hummingbirds in the area would get a chance to eat.

I was wrong. That little bugger sits up in the tree, practically screaming, like Daffy Duck in Ali Baba’s cave, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” Any bird that dares approach gets dive bombed and chased away.

It’s funny to watch how the other birds seem to work together: “I’ll distract him, while you go get a quick sip. Then it’s your turn to have my back.” Meantime, Mr. Grabby spends his entire existence chasing and screaming, to protect an overabundance of food. He never gets a chance to relax and enjoy.

I wonder if that’s how the Universe works. It gives me all I need, and enjoys doing so, but I’m too busy stressing out and protecting what’s “Mine!” to notice. What if I’m sitting on my branch, freaking out whenever it looks like someone else is dipping into what I feel is a limited supply? After all, once in a while those feeders get empty and then they disappear for what feels like an eternity.

What if, while my feeders are gone–and it feels like the world has come to an end because my supply has disappeared–it’s just because the Big U is cleaning them and cooking up a new batch of sugar water for me?

My book was pirated–I’m somebody now!

When I was doing standup comedy for a living, I worked with Tim Allen a lot, before he got famous. I knew Tim had made it big when I saw his name as a clue in a TV Guide crossword puzzle. Well, I may not be that famous, but I just discovered that one of my ebooks is being offered as a torrent. These days, that counts for something. My work is now virtual currency!

Honestly, my initial reaction was, “Hey! That’s not cool!” and I looked into having it removed because of copyright infringement, but then I thought again. My  reason for caring is because the book is out of print, not because of the pirating issue. I’m rewriting it, and I didn’t want the first version of this book to be available anymore.

Meet Lola Garnett, a bored housewife, mom and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic fairy assigned to assist and educate her.  In this first book in a series, middle-aged Lola has resigned herself to an unsatisfying life of servitude as a wife, mother and office drone. The American Dream she's living feels more like a coma, and she secretly longs for a more meaningful life. In a perfect demonstration of "be careful what you wish for…" she gets her wish when she wakes up from a nap one day with extrasensory abilities and powers.  The adventure really kicks into gear once she learns that her condition is the result of a botched spell coming from across the street, where her wanna-be-witch neighbor, Melinda Underwood, is foolishly playing with powers she doesn't understand. Lola’s untrained intuition tells her that Melinda intends to use her equal, yet opposite, powers for evil against innocent people.  With the help of a tiny, sarcastic, ethereal sidekick, can Lola overcome her helpless resignation to overthrow Melinda's evil plot and, while she's at it, find her own self worth?

Cover art by Justin Spyres

I originally wrote Be Careful What You Witch For! in the first person, as Lola Garnett, an Ohio woman who wakes up from a nap with magical abilities and no instruction manual. She is eventually assigned a pissed off fairy as a sidekick/instructor. Hijinks, of course, ensue.

The problem is that Lola isn’t a writer, she’s just an average person, so the writing style is intentionally obtuse. When it was time to begin writing the sequel, I wanted to tell it in the third person POV so I won’t have to limit myself to just what Lola could know about. But that means I had to rewrite Book One, first. That’s what I’ve been working on, and it’s slow going. I’d really rather just move on to Book Two.

So I’m thinking … maybe this is the Big U’s way of telling me to just get on with Book Two and don’t bother rewriting the first book. Maybe the fact that it’s already out there, beyond my control now, means that I’m supposed to let go of it. What do you think? If you’ve read the book, visit my Facebook page to let me know if you think it’s fine, as is, or if it needs to be rewritten as a third person narrative.

Thanks!

Finally, sensible serving sizes!

Nice! I’ve long wished that so-called “serving sizes” would be addressed.

Have you ever looked at “serving sizes”? Some of them are sheer madness. I used to buy brownies from a vending machine at work before I learned to pay attention to that part of the label. I thought, “I can splurge this much,” but one day I read the label and saw that my brownie was actually two servings. I was double splurging and had no idea. And we’re not talking about a big brownie. It looked like a single serving, to me.

Serving sizes are designed to keep the consumer feeling like they can eat more than they actually should, exactly as I described above. Who can eat a single serving, according to the package, of Girl Scout Cookies?

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/nutrition-food-labels

Shape Shifting: Getting back on track

Today on Shape Shifting, the topic was “Getting Back on Track” and we had a great discussion! We talked about everything from the wisdom of Bob Newhart to whining about life’s occasional unfairness.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shapeshifting/2014/02/19/shape-shifting-getting-back-on-track

Are you who you thought you’d be?

SHAPE SHIFTING on BLOGTALKRADIO:
ARE YOU WHO YOU THOUGHT YOU’D BE?

After last week’s discussion about asking for help, tune in to find out where that conversation led. We’ll be talking about pushing ourselves forward, in creating our own reality. Did we end up where we thought we’d be? If not, now what? And, how did Amanda Palmer save Lisa’s life? ;-)

SHAPE SHIFTING = The conscious, deliberate release of old thought patterns, to create healthy changes in your life. (The bonus is that this usually results in weight balancing–loss or gain–depending on your body’s needs.)

Wed. Feb 12 12EST
http://ow.ly/twMVr

#BlogTalkRadio #BodyMindSpirit #Women #Goals #Spirituality #AmandaPalmer

When is it time to ask for help?

SHAPE SHIFTING on BLOGTALKRADIO:
WHEN IS IT TIME TO ASK FOR HELP?

I don’t know about you, but I’ll push myself really hard before I will ask for help. Sometimes I have to actually collapse before I’ll admit that I can’t do something.

There’s nothing wrong with pushing your limits. It is, after all, what life is all about. It’s what we’re here for–it’s how we create our own reality.

But once in a while, things fly out of alignment because we push too hard.

Or are we pushing too hard because things flew out of alignment?

Chicken/Egg?

In any case, this is what we’ll be talking about this week. Tune in.

Feb. 5, NOON EST/9 PST
http://ow.ly/thkwz