Bill Mahr—Love him or hate him?


I put a blurb on Facebook saying I was going to usher at a Bill Mahr appearance in Columbus, Ohio.  I was putting it there to notify my daughter that the concert didn’t conflict with a birthday party she was throwing.

I couldn’t believe the reaction I got to that little comment. People either hate this guy or they love him. I find him very funny. He cracks me up. In these times, we all need a little humor.

Personally, I just loved his movie on religion, Religulous (2008) – IMDb. It made sense to me. But, I know it offended a lot of people. I guess it all depends on where you stand on religion. If you are a  very religious person, and don’t want to question your faith, don’t see this movie.

It just typifies what is going on in this country now. How is this constant quarreling ever going to end?

What mystifies me is how people can listen to the same speeches, be in the same circumstances and have such different reactions.

If you believe in freedom of speech it shouldn’t matter who says what. And I have to say I’m really intolerant to the Fox Station. I feel it’s nothing but an anti-Obama propaganda machine. I’ve felt that way since he’s taken office on the first day. They never gave him a chance.

Cover of "Religulous"

Cover of Religulous

I don’t remember a time when people differed so much in their political views.

I thought it would all end when Barack Obama got elected. But, now it’s worse than ever.

Do you think it will ever end?.

The only thing I can do is not watch TV, listen to the radio, or talk to people who don’t share my point of view.

This could prove to be very tricky in my situation. I do have friends and relatives that do not share my point of view. But, I love them just the same.

I, for one, do not believe in censorship. Everyone has the right to see, hear or watch whatever they want. Then, they can make up their own minds.

I guess it all makes life more interesting.

Post Script: I don’t get to go because my aunt is celebrating her 90th birthday, a much more important event.

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Harmony Project: #2 Watch this video. I guarantee you will feel inspired!


If you met Fred, you would really like him. He’s got a great personality, a great smile, and is appreciative about his life. He’s not a complainer. His joy of life rubs off on all of us who visit the Commons of Buckingham every week. It’s a place that gives people second chances.

He had some bad years, years when he was homeless, and out on the streets. He remembers feeling invisible. He doesn’t feel that way now.

I’ve gotten to know him through the Harmony Project. We are going to be in a show together in July. He’s a great singer too. Through the Harmony project, I’ve gotten an opportunity to spend time with a group of people who have the courage to change their lives.

I like spending time with these people. It keeps me inspired. Watch this video, and you will be inspired too!

A Full Moon sparks a discussion? What do you think?


Full moon

Full moon (Photo credit: PixSaurus)

Tonight the moon looked especially big. It hasn’t looked this big  to people on earth  for 18 years.  There are scientific reasons for this. My husband explained it all to me. He’s a scientific guy.

It started my husband and I thinking. We’ve discussed the very same issues for years and years. We always come up with different ideas.It’s always fun to speculate, but who really knows?

Do you ever wonder?

1. How did we get here?

2. Where are we going when our lives are over?

3. Do we really go anywhere, or is it  just over when it’s over?

4. Why do we consider the moon and stars so beautiful?

5. Is there life on other planets? It would be silly to think there isn’t in the large universe.

6. Have there been other places like the earth that self-destructed? Have we been here before?

7. Do we have a spirit that turns into something else?

8. Is there any sense to all the religions of the world?  Or are they just people’s ways of coping with their eventual demise?

9. Is there a creator?

10. Could all this just be an accident?

I’m sure I might get a reply from a religious fanatic, or someone who is certain they know the answer.

But nobody can really know. Even if you’ve been revived from death, you can’t know if your experience was real, or just some trick you’re brain was playing on you.

By the way, my husband and I will be married for 39 years today.  Isn’t it nice that we can still want to wonder together? Isn’t it nice we’re still in love?

Happy Anniversay!

Cover art for the High School Earth Science Wi...

Cover art for the High School Earth Science Wikibook. Shows the Earth’s moon in the foreground with a collage of the planets in our solar system positioned in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to keep off 20 pounds: Move more!


Gym

Gym (Photo credit: ivywoodavenue)

Although I go up and down in my weight, I have managed to keep off 20 pounds in the last few years. Okay, I need to lose 40 more. I have started a weight loss blog. Here is an example of one of my posts! If you want to get to it, it’s barbaralynnabel.wordpress.com. It’s called Losing the Last 40 Pounds. I may have to rename it because there’s about 40, 000 blogs with the same title!

I do talk about some of my emotional issues which has a lot to do with being overweight.

Elliptical machine: I love this machine. It’s great. You can adjust it to as hard as you want, you can keep track of your heartbeat, and there’s several workouts you can choose. I just listen to my I-Pod and let it rip.

arm and leg machines: if you belong to a gym, go to the basic machines. Put it on the lowest pounds, or where you feel comfortable, to start. Do 2 sets of 12 on arms, and 3 sets of 15 on legs. Ask the exercise guys and girls to help. That’s what they’re getting paid for. (Although they would like to personal train you.) Most gyms give you a complimentary workout to start! If you’ve got the $$, use the personal trainers. At least do it once or twice, so you really learn how to properly use the machines.

yoga classes: almost anyone can do something in yoga. They emphasize not to compete against others.

spinning: that’s a stationary bike class, and I love it. You can set the bike anywhere you want it, and they usually listen to music. One time, I watched an entire movie while spinning.

I also have a bike I bought a couple of years ago. I named it “Freedom”. I still get on it and tool around the neighborhood. It’s a good way to start the day. Sometimes I’ll go 4 or 5 miles, and sometimes less. I think I may look very entertaining going through the neighborhood.

Water aerobics has become my favorite because I’m a little older, and it can really get the heartbeat up. I think it works great. Lift those weights too. It does wonders for a lot of people. Just because it’s not torture doesn’t mean it’s not working.

I do have a tendency to get down-in-the-dumps, and exercise really nips this in the bud. Maybe, that’s why I like it so much!  I might feel crummy when I start my exercise session, but never do when I’m finished. This only takes me about an hour to feel the relief. It releases those endorphins— feel good chemicals in your brain.

Try it, you’ll like it!

Tell me some of your favorite activities.

You’re never too old to find a passion in life. Writing brings me joy!


Cover of "Immediate Fiction: A Complete W...

Cover via Amazon

A couple of years ago, I was reading an essay a friend of mine wrote for a well-known newspaper.

I thought, “i can do that.” I went home, pulled out an old story I wrote; I polished it up and sent it to The New Standardhttp//www.thenewstandardonline.com.

I was thrilled when the editor decided to put my piece on the front page. I’ve been writing for them ever since.

I’ve attended writer’s conferences, taken online classes, read about writing, and practiced my craft every day. I consider blogging another way, to practice my craft.

One of the books that really helped me write non-fiction is called  A Writers Guide to Nonfiction by Elizabeth Lyon. The book turned into my Bible. I will still open it up, and refer to it. It gave me different options that I found useful. .

Now, I’m exploring fiction and a book I’ve found helpful is Immediate Fiction, by Jerry Cleaver.

One thing I immediately liked was Cleaver’s suggestion that any method you use to get where you’re going in your story works. In real life I’m not much of a planner, so when I sit down to write this story, it just comes together on the paper.

Cleaver says that’s okay.  Do whatever works for you. We’re so brainwashed in school, that we figure you have to do things “correctly.” I like it when people say, there’s no correct way to do anything. Like it says, in the old Nike commercial, “just do it.”

Cleaver also talks about conflict, action, and resolution.  In a fictional story, if everything is happy, you have  no story. Okay, this is basic, but for a beginning fiction writer like me that’s helpful to get it drummed into my head. He also demonstrates how to show more than tell. That might be an old piece of advice, but still valuable.

Cleaver describes conflict in terms I can understand.

“Someone is faced with a problem (conflict), he must struggle with (action) and he wins or loses (resolution), writes Cleaver.  He also discusses at length how to get the reader to identify with the character, and how to get the characters to show emotion.

There’s a lot of great advice in this book. I only scratched the surface.

If you’re interested in fictional writing I would highly recommend this book. Especially, if you’re the type of person who likes to do things their own way!

Don’t be afraid to follow your passion

Don’t be afraid to follow your passion. So, what if you don’t become rich and famous? It helps you grow. If doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 65. Old passions are easy to reignite.

What I’ve liked the most about the writing experience are the other people I’ve met through writer’s groups, conferences and even online classes.

Don’t limit yourself because you are afraid of what others think.

When you get right down to it, nobody is sitting around judging you. I think we’ve all been judged so much, especially during our school years, that we can’t get out of that way of thinking.

The one person you have to please is yourself.

Since I first started intensely following my passion,  I’ve been doing everything I can, to improve my skill.

I have some fictional pieces on http://www.fictionwritersplatform.net, and one piece published in “The Granville Magazine.” “The Columbus Dispatch” also published a piece I did. I still religiously write for “The New Standard.” I’ve only missed one edition.

I was shocked at how easily I could think up topics. No problem. I’ve read tons of books on writing, and I want to share one with you

IMy question: What is your passion, and how have you grown? If you are a writer, do you have any other recommendations for exploring Fiction Writing.

A Humorous Update on DWTS Week5


I like to watch “Dancing With the Stars”. I thought I’d give those of you who missed it a birds eye view of what what happened half-way there.  My qualifications: I know what good dancing looks like! Can I dance? Not really.

Jaleel White and Kim Johnson /Samba

Erkel must work out in the gym.  He was showing his six-pack, and wearing an orange outfit. He also moved with skill and rhythm.

I thought he was underrated. Maybe the judges just can’t get the nerdy Erkel out of their minds.

24/ 30

Melissa Gilbert and Maxim/ SALSA

Melissa must be desperate for attention. She’s dancing with a concussion and whiplash. She hit Maxim’s leg last week with her head.  She asked him to put some of the same moves back in the routine. Maybe the concussion affected her common sense.

She was wearing a yellow and pink outfit. He put her between his legs. I hope she doesn’t have to go back to the hospital because he dragged her head on the floor. I’m still rooting for Half-Pint.

Dancing with whiplash and a concussion doesn’t impress these judges.

21/30

Maria Menounos and Derek/Salsa

If only she could change her laugh, I would really be rooting for her. Her costume was really cute. She looked like a Las Vegas dancer with a big head-dress.

She did a really good job. I know this because I didn’t spend the entire time watching Derek.

Derek took off his shirt and kissed her at the end. Carrie Ann thought that was too much.

I don’t know what they have to do to get a 10.

27/30

Katherine Jenkins and Mark/Argentine Tango

While they were rehearsing she hit Mark in his private parts more than once. Did we have to know this?

She was wearing a beautiful pink outfit, and looked gorgeous. She danced with perfection, no doubt about it.

Grumpy Len gave them a 9, but the other two judges gave them 10’s.

29/30

Gavin Degraw and Karina/Samba

They showed Gavin asking for votes at his concert. It’s like he’s trying to cheat.

He was wearing a white outfit and white hat.

He’s a weak dancer. Everyone likes the guy, but he ought to stick to singing and playing the piano. Isn’t that enough for him?

19/30

In the middle of everything, Carlos Santana does his masterful guitar playing.  I think everything he plays sounds the same, but what do I know? Two Dance-Pros did a beautiful Latin dance and showed us how it’s supposed to look.

William Levy and Cheryl/ Argentine Tango

During rehearsal they show that William is all stressed out. He doesn’t want to disappoint his new American fans. He is one hunky cute guy. When he comes out, we’re informed that he had an accident. His ankle is a mess.

His dance is a wow! Sexy and perfect.

Judges say “wow” Of course, grumpy old Len gives him a 9 instead of a 10

29/30

Gladys Knight and Tristan/Samba

Gladys is wearing a way too short green outfit.

Tristan  looked like he was really leading  her around the dance floor. I felt embarrassed for Gladys.

The judges didn’t agree with me. They were kissing up to Gladys. Even Gladys knew it wasn’t so good, but she said she “enjoyed it.”

They showed their true feelings by her score. I got to admire this lady. She ain’t no spring chicken, and I know what that’s like!

22/30

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie/Salsa

Roshon is a Disney star, and dances great. He’s no William Levy and he knows it. He brought in a picture of William Levy to the rehearsal, and asked him how to make sexy moves. It was cute.

He was wearing  all black with a blue shirt.

I knew he was good because I watched him the entire time.

The judges apparently go for hunks because they underrated him.

26/30

Donald Driver and Peta /Angentine Tango

He watches the dance moves on a video screen, and acts like he’s training for a football game. He’s a tough guy, but seems gentle too.

She’s wearing a red dress, and he’s wearing a black outfit with a red shirt.

He’s carrying her around the dance floor like she’s as light as a football. This guy is strong. He is sexy too.

He got a good score, but wasn’t happy with it. I guess they teach those football players to kill and win!

27/30

Update: Gavin had a dance-off with Jaleel in front of the judges. It was a foregone conclusion who would win. Ingratiating yourself with your fans will only get you so far. Congratulations Jaleel.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.