Philip Seymour Hoffman: How could drugs kill someone so smart?


I am a movie fan, and I really admired Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’ve watched his Capote more than once, and have enjoyed him in other movies. When I heard he died from a drug overdose I was shocked. I’d seen this man on the PBS show Charlie Rose, and he’d always impressed me as an extraordinarily thoughtful and intelligent person. He really delved into his characters. 

I really shouldn’t have been that surprised. For a brief time, I worked at a drug and alcohol facility and talked to a lot of addicts. I have to say some of them had sad stories about growing up, but some of them weren’t like that at all. Some of them were people you would never imagine would become addicted to substances.

I think being human makes us all vulnerable to wanting to feel better. 
It’s just so sad. What a waste of humanity.
Rest in peace Mr. Hoffman.

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Why are our 21st Century Heroes so narcissistic? The Tipping Point for me: Lance Armstrong


English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003

English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the old days that I remember, our heroes were strong, humble, and caring for others.  They did not make speeches about how great they were. This might explain why so many of us admire Barack Obama. The President

Lance Armstrong getting mobbed

Lance Armstrong getting mobbed (Photo credit: ShapeThings)

English: This photo depicts Donald Trump's sta...

English: This photo depicts Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

typifies old-fashioned behavior. He isn’t big on name calling, boastfulness, and he  loves his family. He’s not afraid to tell us that either. He also manages to appeal to our human positive side too.

In contrast to him, we have a lot of boastful narcissists continually taking the spotlight. It’s good to have a good self-image, but do you have to tell everyone else about it? Can you get outside yourself for five minutes?

Then we have members of Congress, who do nothing but argue and name call, and put themselves first. No wonder we’re all so discouraged.  If you ask me, they all need a good talking to about really caring about other people. What happened to respecting the office of President of the United States? People used to do that.

Media Narcissists

The latest media boastful heroes have been Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, and now Lance Armstrong.

Donald Trump is the example of the professional “I am great person.” I think people are finally sick and tired of him. He is nothing but a bully. He does prove the maxim if you tell people how great you are, they will believe you.

I watched “The Apprentice.” At first I thought he was nicer than people thought. But, as time went on, I realized first impressions can sometimes be correct.  He operates by telling  people how great he is, makes them call him “Mr. Trump,” and basically sets himself up as a king.

He rewards the people who are the most competitive and cut throat like him. He fought with comedienne Rosie O’Donnell by calling her names.  He challenged the President of the United States  to supply him with proof of his birth. He said “if he does this, I will contribute to the charity of his choice.” Really?

Then we  have good old Arnold Schwarzenegger walking all over Maria Shriver by fooling around right under her nose. He’s another one who managed to convince us to see his movies and elect him Governor.  Why? Because he told us he’s great and people believed him. He is trying to come back. I don’t think he’s going to make it. I think he went too far.

Now, we have Lance Armstrong. A person we thought was admirable turns out to be a pathological liar and a  bully. During his Oprah interviews he proved that he has little insight on his poor behavior and how he hurt other people. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if he comes back like other people displaying poor behavior.  Personally, I’ve had enough of him.

Yes, I’m talking about Bill Clinton. A lot of people forget he was impeached for his bad behavior.   I wonder what happened to the girl he victimized. But everyone forgave him, and he’s more popular than ever.

Maybe one day, the tide will turn. Maybe one day we’ll get back to politeness, good behavior, and acting civilized.
What do you think?

Harmony Project gets loads of bikes to give to kids for Christmas


305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_n305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_nHere’s what can happen if people work together, and do something positive. The Harmony Project, a philanthropic group that sings and shares had a one day drive in Columbus, Ohio, to buy bikes for foster kids.  It worked!  In one day, enough money was raised to buy 155 bikes!

In light of what has happened recently, this is encouraging news. If we put our minds to it, we can do anything.

We just need to believe in ourselves, and what we can accomplish! Picture by David Brown, director of The Harmony Project!

A BalletMet Production of “The Nutcracker” Doesn’t Disappoint but today it makes me a little sad


Vzevolozhsky's costume sketch for The Nutcracker.

Vzevolozhsky’s costume sketch for The Nutcracker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the day after the shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Yesterday, I watched all the news shows. I can’t watch them today. It’s too disturbing.  These shootings are just beyond comprehension. What could drive a person to shoot 20 children? Who was he? Why did his mother keep guns in her home?

Why do we always end up focusing on the murderer? I’m guessing it’s because the thought of someone human doing these things is so incomprehensible.

Today, I dragged myself out of the house to watch Columbus BalletMet’s version of The Nutcracker. The last time I’d seen a production was twenty-six years ago.

I usher for the Ohio Theater in Columbus, Ohio. It’s one way to help the community and see different events for free. Columbus does have a lot to offer as far as culture goes: the symphony, Broadway on tour, guest artists, lectures  and my favorite, Columbus BalletMet. This dance company does a lot of contemporary dance as well as the classics. The dancers are young, energetic, beautiful, artistic and talented. i never walk away disappointed.

It took me by surprise
I had forgotten that little girls come with their mothers and fathers to these shows. The little girls were dressed up in frilly colorful holiday dresses.  I hardly saw anyone wearing jeans or T-shirts. It was sweet and so nostalgic.

I couldn’t help but think of the children who were murdered yesterday. They were about the ages of many of the little girls who were so thrilled to be seeing this famous ballet for the first time. I couldn’t stop thinking of the  grief -stricken parents who lost their precious children.

BalletMet didn’t disappoint

I  was enchanted with the production. It was beautifully staged, the music charmed me and the costumes were extraordinary. It was a memorable production and cheered me up a little.

But, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop remembering all those little girls who will never get to get dressed up and see
The Nutcracker with their parents.

It’s  really time to do something to stop the violence. Don’t you agree?

Why did this happen to the victims in Aurora, Colorado? Will we ever know?


Joker (comics)

Joker (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happened to the quiet guy from Colorado. Was he evil, or sick? Will we ever know? Is there such a thing as evil? Where does it lurk?

The shooter, James Holmes, apparently broke with reality. Did he think he was “The Joker” from Batman? What would cause someone to be filled with such rage? What should happen to people like this?

Now there’s a lot of speculation that he was suffering from schizophrenia. It makes sense. Why else would anyone do something like that? He is the right age, and  maybe he got stressed during his PhD program. Nobody’s talking. He doesn’t sound like the typical mass murderer type. Except that he tended to be quiet. Why was he studying neuroscience? Was he trying to figure himself out? Shouldn’t he have realized he needed help?

isn’t it sad that there is a profile of a mass murderer we’re all familiar with?

He even worked with Big Brothers and Sisters when he was a teenager.

But what good is this guy’s life? Look at the horrible thing he did.

He’ll probably spend the rest of his life languishing in a mental institution.

It’s enough to make you believe in the death penalty.

But, I can’t help feeling a little sorry for him. He couldn’t have been in his right mind. What about his parents? Their lives are destroyed.

It’s too bad all those nasty weapons are legal. Aren’t we all responsible for letting this go on? Anyone can get those assault weapons.

How about all the violence on TV, movies and in Video games. Who is responsible for that?

PS: After watching CNN’s Anderson Cooper who focused on the victims, I don’t feel sorry for the shooter. He’s done too much destruction and yes, evil.

What do you think?

Andrea Yates Wants to Attend Church: What do you think?


A vision of Hell from Dante’s Divine Comedy. I...

A vision of Hell from Dante’s Divine Comedy. Illustration by Gustave Doré. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t believe that Andrea Yates is requesting to attend church once a week. She is a mother who drowned 5 of her children in 2001. She thought she was saving them from Hell. I do believe she was truly delusional and mentally ill.

I felt that she received the correct punishment when she was committed to a mental institution. She is bi-polar and suffers from depression. Now, she is taking medication that helps her.

Why would a judge grant her permission to attend a church? Isn’t that what filled her addled brain with the idea of killing her children in the first place?

I also was turned off when I found out  that her ex-husband  gave her permission to be buried next to her 5 children. It was part of their divorce settlement.  That just seems wrong to me. Whether or not she was mentally ill, it’s such an unspeakable crime. Those children deserve to be left in peace.

What do you think?