Friday, May 28, 2010

Never forgotten....

No Memorial Day passes that I don’t stop and think about Teddy and Ray Dobrenz…farm brothers, twins from Wyoming, hard working, loyal to the cattle, chickens and sheep while constantly being respectful of their parents Wilfred and Hattie Mae, two brothers that stayed true to their leadership qualities inside a circle of children that added to nine.

Then one day The United States of America knocked—a new plan, a call to a far away place. Maybe to the Dobrenz family it didn’t seem like much to send two more boys—earlier Chuck and Willie performed what was required then returning home safely.

I often wonder if Hattie Mae felt something different about these tours—I remember being the Grandchild who’d sit staring at black and white photographs begging to know more. The bedroom I spent many summers sleeping and playing in was blanketed with perfectly preserved school books, kid like trinkets, time scented closets were filled with clothing I was much too small to wear and colorful medals laid silently on the cabinet searching for the heart they were meant for.

I felt drawn to constantly wonder why I had never met two men who obviously meant a lot to the woman called Mom. She held on to many things except the memories, they were always set aside, locked in a self designed keepsake trunk and protected by every wish from this day forward to remember only the good times.

Teddy and Ray weren’t killed in action in Korea. That would mean there was a conclusion.

Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone who prays everyday for hope to become discovery? Mom’s brothers were MIA (Missing in action) interestingly enough, the twins were navigator’s onboard fighter planes—both brought to the earth over the waters that kissed the shores of a country many people then and now still don’t understand.

Standing next to Grandma Dobrenz I’d compassionately listen to her ever so soft cries always wanting to wipe the salt from the eyes she would hide. I dreamt of the day one or both boys would walk through that giant Wyoming farmhouse door and pick up their Mommy like a high school graduate and promise to never take off again.

Missing in Action means there’s no evidence of their being a loss of life.

In my tiny world…they didn’t seem lost. A moment captured on a playful day in Korea gave birth to a record—a 45 played at 78 that bared both boys’ voices, “Hi Mom! We had time to stop into this place and somehow they convinced us to hold this microphone and record a message for everyone we love back home. Mom, make sure you tell Violet and Betsy that we miss those pancakes on Sunday morning.”

A Dobrenz family connectedness blessed with courage and vigor to succeed…now shoved into a cardboard box and placed in an attic most aren’t tall enough to reach. One by one, year by year those who called themselves brother and sister have walked the path toward higher clouds and brilliantly displayed colors never locating the truths behind what happened on two separate days in American history.

Every chance I get I Google their names. While on Face Book I reach out to areas of the world planes don’t fly into only to hear, “No I am not the Teddy you are searching for. Good luck on your journey.”

A single answer that I can take to my Mother before time erases the trails she’s remained faithful to. Two brothers who put their country first leaving behind a family that has endured 57 years of wonder, what if and why?

This weekend we not only remember but honor in living love every man and woman who has put their government in front of God and family. Memorialized is their dedication to The United States of America…for there would be no freedom today if Mother’s and Father’s didn’t stand straight and support the children they gave birth to only to watch them be moved to places on the planet that exist only on globes, Google map and books that write the history of who, what, where and when.

There is no silence worse than the air that disappears from my mother’s lungs when she stops to hold a memory of growing up with her twin brothers.

She isn’t alone…

Honor should be never ending.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The root to all my evilness...

Your actions make up your true belongings.

Boy, talk about a masterpiece of thought that can be hidden away or comfortably displayed on a perfectly designed wall in an art gallery—pick a color, any color, expression, landscape or portrait of an apple, orange or bird sitting on a fence. This one comes with special Yoda powers capable of collecting more opinions than dust bunnies.

Your actions make up your true belongings.

Each who passes might look at the single sentence and do nothing but roll their eyes, another could pick a loose hair from their nose while a third party reaches to hold the hand of the human stick figure selected to share the moment with.

Whatever the action or reaction…the end result is ownership.

All that you are and will become is the result of action. In a weird Grim Reaper way…it’s the only thing you can stuff in the box at closing time.

Stealing The Beatles song Got to Get You into My Life from a JC Penny in downtown Billings, Montana gave birth to my radio career. Without that song added to the cue burned hunks of round black tar once owned by my stepbrothers and sister there wouldn’t have been a Casey Kasum copycat countdown in my bedroom which at the age of 14 led to KLYC in Laurel, Montana but I was forced to quit seconds after being hired because my dad wouldn’t drive me to work.

Everything has roots. But is it good to wrap our tired fingers around the wooden handle and start digging?

As much as I want to put fault on my artwork on a poor poet who couldn’t sell books so he elected to doodle around words others ignored isn’t exactly how the artist’s eye was put into play…the inner core of the four edges called a frame first became important during a childhood linked to the crazy idea that I could be an architect…and that meant learning how to draw, paint and constantly ask why.

So instead of putting energy in the studies of the art delivered in 1997…I reach back to the 70’s to better understand the curves selected and the reasons for separated shadows that silhouette in ways that tend to tease the imagination rather than give it a total release from an already cluttered world.

Your actions make up your true belongings.

Deep? Maybe too deep. But it’s who I am! So…who are you and why? This could be the reason why we begin to slow in our mid-30’s. Like a computer, the memory banks are caked to the brim like a Ford engine whose oil hasn’t been changed in 300,000 miles. A difference or correction isn’t usually tossed into everyday play until the cling and clang in the bang bang starts chattering louder than the voices in your head.

I love listening to those freaks! Some much louder than others. Artist Way author Julia Cameron invites you to give them a path but do so on your time and not theirs. Who I am as a writer at 2:30 in the morning compared to 6:11 am are ten completely different people...yet each presented mood and mindset is given the opportunity to speak.

Tired of your job? You think it stinks and life on the other side of the white picket fence appears to be more enjoyable? Then do it. Why keep from your unwritten chapters the words that would make up the perfect paragraph? Unmasking is completely healthy.

Your actions make up your true belongings.

I often wonder where stealing my brother’s pickup during the hot summer of 79 got me? I’m lucky he didn’t burn my record and 8-track tape collection! More importantly the five of us who turned teen fun into a crime should be counting our lucky stars a police officer didn’t take note of something odd and slap on the blue lights. How could I do this? Because my brother taught me how to hotwire my dad’s truck and I assumed it was ok to return the favor.

It doesn’t matter what’s handed to me today…I still can’t shake it. Your actions make up your true belongings.

It’s difficult to admit the rotary phone on my parent’s half painted kitchen wall has had a bigger impact on me than Elvis, KISS and Adam Lambert. Dad enforced one rule: five minute conversations or nothing for a week. The moment I left home, the first thing picked up was my own phone which has evolved into several cell phones and now a Droid. Your actions make up your true belongings.

If he had just let me talk longer than 5 minutes would I feel like I’m constantly missing out? I can’t hate or fault the man…as selfish as it comes across, when I hit his age I don’t want to be unloved for stupid reasons. I actually dig the guy…the cell phone company informed me last night that I barely use 200 minutes a month but I pay for um-teen million. Dad is working his magic years after planting the seed.

I am though addicted to 411. Where in God’s name did I go wrong in life to make me such a phone number loser? I blame it on my 6th grade teacher Mr. Barone who made me copy dictionary pages for talking too much in class. Phone books are in alphabetical order like a dictionary and I just can’t handle going near anything that brings up bad memories.

Your actions make up your true belongings.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

True to life Sex and the City...

Attended the southeastern premiere of Sex and the City 2 last evening…a cleverly designed 2 ½ hours away from cell phone conversations and messages, texting and emails only to take note of Carrie and Miranda’s never ending connection to constantly talking through manmade devices.

Talk about looking into a mirrored image of oh, oh that’s me!

As cute as Samantha can be, having a Bluetooth wrapped around her ear stole from the sexiness she’s turned into a household look. It didn’t matter what lines were being delivered, those in the audience firmly attached their eyes to the oddly shaped space aged chunk of plastic glued to the side of her head like a bumble bee that couldn’t rip its stinger away from the trouble zone.

What can you do but laugh at who and what we’ve become. Thanks to heavy duty security who threatened to rip us from our seats at the first sign of a phone going blink, blink, blink moviegoers kept their itchy fingers in the popcorn and candy and not tap, tap, tapping on itty bitty teenie weenie keyboards connected to brighter than a Christmas tree screens.

Is there a problem? It depends on who you talk to—science and research departments feel we’re five to ten years from seeing any repercussions. You can’t suddenly send a monkey into an crowded out of control office environment with a lip service electronic gadget attached to their hip and expect them to cry for their mother when it’s taken away.

If you find yourself fake laughing and or starting a conversation with the word, “So… So, how was your day? So, will you be seeing Sex and the City 2? So, your boss walked in on you.” You’re guilty of no crime but the message being sent is a portrait of codependency. A new loneliness has been given birth…welcome to the new age of whatcha doin now? What about now? It’s a booty call for your ears.

Adding fuel to the fires that tork bosses—endless amounts of personal emails. More time is spent checking for new messages than the average person spends learning how to better their chances of keeping a job. I wonder what that says about our home life? The Carolina’s are number six in the country for divorce.

Carrie and Big thought they had a cure for their unexpected twist of fate—while Carrie fears of becoming an old married couple, the suave and always engaging Big looks at her and gently asks if she’d bless his idea of having a five day on, two day off relationship—a totally different place to live for 48 hours geared toward keeping the sparkle in the origin of why they fell in love.

Wow! A real life BRB (Be right back)

When someone doesn’t react to your email for a couple of days…what is your response? You just sent a Face Book message…how long does it take your body clock to sound off its built in screw you alarms? You’re on G-mail and every attempt to IM someone you know keeps coming up empty handed…do you fire off an email showcasing your dissatisfaction in their disconnection to you?

Leo Babauta is an expert on getting back to a more peaceful (less email) life.

My job in radio depends on interoffice transcripts—98% of what I do today will be governed and commanded by people who failed to go through the proper channels and if something is left out, it’s my fault for not remembering how important their email was. I agree…in an age of constant changes and updates, leaders locate faster methods of keeping requests in proper order. I also had a heart attack at the age of 47.

Lou Babauta believes your email should be checked only twice a day. Not, not, not, not first thing in the morning. Emails opened first thing dictate your day. You're putting yourself in danger—the day becomes stuck and or surrounded by something one says or has ordered you to do. Nothing else can be accomplished until that particular email has been delivered out of your life.

Best way to break free of your habit of waking up and checking out what the world was up to while you were away is to become aware of email usage. Get the important part of your job done first then move into answering emails.

What do you do if nearly 100% of the people you create with carry Blackberry’s, IPhones and Droids and the only method of communication is the earth shattering email? Nobody deals well with the idea that nothing gets done. Formats are put into play for a reason. Paper trails are much easier to follow, when one is out the only thing keeping the project alive is the production order and not a casual verbal conversation inside a computer nobody has access to.

But! But! The workload will triple if we wait until both parties are present in the office!

Leo isn’t bothered by that behavior. He continues to push forward by convincing us to release the sounds that say, “An email has arrived.” Such things take you away from the project already in motion. Interruptions steal from quality. Once you’ve been drawn away, how long will it take for you to return to a state of performance?

How do you get coworkers and family members to better understand the importance of you checking your email only twice a day? The first step is to send out a message that reads, “I only check my mail twice a day.” Note what times they are and stick to it. If you’re constantly recognized as the person who bails people out…I gotta ask…when was the last time you were truly happy? Bet those you save have already started their Memorial Day weekend.

Turn it around…if emails and text messages are your link to bleeding the soul—how many times can you take someone down before they finally say, “Whoa…I need a six pack of Red Bull and the television musical Glee.”

Life seemed to carry a richer flavor when we didn’t have quicky verbal outlets and ATM cards. If qo back it might reintroduce mood rings and toe socks.

In Sex and the City 2 Charlotte’s adventure to the Middle East becomes a camel throwing blunder on her nearly innocent path. How many times have you fallen face first into a pile of not so good because your ear or fingertips required a backstage pass of importance over all other things including loving yourself first?

We aren’t social networking…we’re coming apart from the inside out…cell phones and computers are temporary Band-Aids. Legalized digital coke and meth…it all messes with the head and heart.

Will I stop? I can’t…

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Are you getting dizzy yet?

Every city has one. Every family, neighborhood, church, school and business—an inner circle; a place of influence, thought leaders and shapers. Author Gary Ranker calls the infamous inner circle an undefined matrix of relationships that don’t appear on an organizational chart.

If this was High School the Musical, Harry Potter, Twilight or Hannah Montana they’d be called cliques. But since we’re dressed up in adult clothes we gotta use big people talk; inner circle.

Not that I belong to one…cuz I don’t, but sadly, it took nearly half the career to recognize the importance of being part of a secret committee. Befriending the popular kids earns you brownie points…eventually you trade them in for a vote that could unlock a tied up situation.

Being un-clique-able isn’t just an Arroe thing…hard working, deeply dedicated players are everywhere but who they and what they do is far from being a bleep on the GPS system unless you’re part of the: inner circle.

Mom had no clue what she was talking about when expressing, “The cream always rises to the top.” People who spend their life locating and developing quality carry no weight. Inner circles want quantity for cheap.

There’s nobody cheaper than Wal-Mart. Seriously! One of my favorite activities is to walk around a Super Store taking note of the inner circle versus true star. A once sturdy American backbone had to find work somewhere and has ended up in the multitude of lanes that make up the worlds largest discount store. Patiently wade through the multitude of faces that make up their force…the Wal-Mart cliques are easily spotted in the front of the store while the cream that’ll never rise work solo positions physically taking the time to walk with a customer to an item not easily located.

The next great invention will come from a Wal-Mart employee…the individual who listens to the wants and needs of an always moving nation then privately develops it at home…once set free for all to enjoy the inner circles will manhandle the inventor forcing them to sell the patent at a cost much lower than it took to develop.

Workforces are unperfected split decisions—those who do and those who don’t and it’s usually those who don’t who methodize a plan to work their way through the inner circles of company policy making them more valuable than a quality driven performer.

Being outside the main power circle makes you a non-influence.

Soooooo…how do we get to the inside without having to contact 48 Hours or 60 Minutes? Attaining the rights to hold a card that bares your member name is nearly impossible. Dr. Ranker calls inner circles an elusive group that moves carefully throughout the day searching only for the highly exclusive.

Rule number one: Make multiple connections. The typical shaking hands and kissing babies approach is an award winner. Introduction followed by a great rapport then a simple request of their services. Mission accomplished. Ranker calls it an investment strategy that’ll take a while to payback.

Rule number two: Locate the connection route, who’s in and who’s out and how they campaign to make their connections. The most important tool is knowing how the inner circle acts and reacts outside the circles they keep.

Rule number three: Raise awareness while creating a positive profile. If those who make up the inner circle have no clue who you are…put the moment into motion by stepping out and forward. No awareness means no impression. Become the enigma and get the connection done right the first time.

What most of us lack is an elevator pitch: A short punchy personal advertisement of who, what, where, why and why you contribute to the success of the business. Make it short and to the point then get out. The number one reason why we love music has nothing to do with the guitars and drums and everything to do with the hook of the song we sing over and over again. Get a hook and stick to it.

Getting to the inner core of a circle isn’t easy and once there maintaining it can be just as energy stealing. Image and impression is an everyday all night event. If you’re truly an influence you have a fighting chance…searching for a newer way to rest, relax and kick back at work can be easily spotted unless you’re offering something of need—bring something to the game or there can be no fame.

Feeling like you belong is part of the top seven needs humans require in order to survive. When you can’t locate the curved edges of the circles we keep at work…that’s ok, modern day technology has given us Face Book and Twitter. IPad circle groups are popping up everywhere, GPS scavenger hunts, running a 5k has become a weekly adventure, sports fans have their favorite bar and Mom still gets you for Thanksgiving.

Even on the days you feel like a nerdy square there’s a big league chance you’re still part of an inner circle. Just because it’s not part of the department that puts more numbers on your paycheck doesn’t make you any less cooler. If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this Great Recession—nobody is safe.

Being somebody is a fun thing to hold onto until the day you suddenly become a used to be. Hey you used to be!

Be careful! I’ll call your parents and to them any circle is a gang.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I can't hear you!!!

My Step-Dad Joe constantly felt it was his calling to confront me about the size of my feet…not that it was breaking his bank to keep me in boat sized shoes but he never stopped reminding me how improper one comes across when he or she finds too much energy in sharing points of view that end up being a giant size eleven in the mouth.

I’ve always blamed my passion for openness on being a product planted by the thought farmers controlling the rolling hills and skyscraping mountains of Montana—with only 800,000 people calling it home…sometimes the only thing to do is bust open a can of product opinion and see if it’s capable of shooting a star across the wild Big Sky.

Is it wrong to pop out what comes to mind?

We go to the same malls, books stores and restaurants…people everywhere look like humungous zits without a whitehead—swollen to the soul with no desire to poof.

I did some research on this clam it up behavior. Being from Montana is a lame excuse for wanting to be filled with expression. Author Lou Solomon shines light on my word behavior by exposing three different types of communicators: Those who see original thoughts as being inappropriate, a few more capture the idea that everyone at the table contributes to the importance of the perspective and then there’s the massive amount who believe they have good ideas but lack the confidence to voice them.

As much as I love that word confidence…too much of it will kick your tail clean off the list of those inducted into the Debate Hall of Fame. I’m nothing compared to the family champion. Jokingly, as kids we used to call my sister Mouth…she was born ready to take anybody on—big, tall, small or somewhere in the middle…Thanksgiving and Christmas had nothing to do with family love, gifts and forgiveness…Rick Flair and Hulk Hogan would’ve never been crowned kings of the ring in my house…she’d have them down and out at hello.

Her ability to vocally lead has turned into a shoulder patch that reads #1 Protector—Susan’s commitment to my parents aging path showcases an understanding that falls into the folder called unconditional love. It doesn’t matter how many times she opened wide and shoved that foot inside…inner strength becomes visible to all involved.

So how can we do this at work? If confidence makes brothers and sisters hero’s at home—how can the rest of the wandering world of zombies invite electricity to the workplace?

Having the same confidence in front or near your boss is a difficult task…Lou Solomon writes, “Workers see only one boss…one that wants the job done, nothing else. Other bosses want employees to show up and be heard while the majority of those asked simply admitted that timing is everything—an idea or approach cannot materialize unless the timing is right but how often does a boss make that position available for the taking?”

Billions of books have been written about why there’s silence in 2010—fear of rejection.

From not wanting to clash with anyone to confrontation being a total waste of time to relationship being more important than a scorecard…things are left undone because of rejection and or the fear of.

In July of 2002 I elected to do battle with my Karate Sensei—how dare he make me run in the snow! I’m in radio! I have a career to protect! He took in my sharp words like a true warrior then softly explained to me after class, “You will do pushups and sit ups until you grasp the idea that attackers and aggressive people on the outside don’t give a flying flip about your career either. You can either be prepared or take your final step with no time to think about how you should’ve listened to me and not your heart.”

The problem with vocally folding is that it feeds the river that makes authentic speaking less of an important tool than balancing your checkbook in an online banking world. Authentic speaking is quickly becoming an endangered species and the world of science isn’t interested in saving the lips in movement planet.

Image is everything and nobody wants to come across as a jerk, power control freak or Mouth of the South. Solomon’s research project unveiled a very limited list of individuals who see authentic speaking as being something we should all do. Shocking was the number of people who are convinced that transparency is the ultimate freedom. Topping the peak of the mountain, “It’s perfectly fine to be you…just don’t be an idiot.”

Historians write, “Benjamin Franklyn was this nation’s first ever daily blogger.”

Benny is looked upon as being one of the masters who shaped the greatness of this beautiful country. If he had Twitter and Face Book he probably wouldn’t have written, “Going to the store. I’m home with the kids with nothing to do. Got a booger…I shall call him Kevin.”

I’m going to steal a thought from my radio Boss who boldly stood in front of five stations filled with Broadcasters and said, “You are in the communications business…you complain when we stop you from being creative over and out of songs but now that each of you have web pages to do whatever you want…I can’t get any of you to speak.”

Freedom of speech is becoming a lost art because hardly anybody is interested in authentically speaking.

Wait! Justin Bieber’s having a bad hair day! Huff! Puff! Oh no! Heidi Montag isn’t having plastic surgery today! No! Tell me it isn’t so John Mayer isn’t Twittering today! I love the way people are quickly gaining access to 5,000 plus friends on Face Book…how much longer before we start disconnecting those who have nothing to say. Not going to happen...popularity contests feel better than pats on the back.

I’m no Ben Franklyn but I’m willing to admit I have a job…to convince one person a day to put their thoughts in motion just to watch it spin around the world a thousand times or more. If this doesn’t work, maybe we can convince people to start making shorter calls on their cell phones. It obvious we have nothing to authentically say.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rediscover the written communication...

Pick a subject! Any subject! Purple birds with bad breath…what?

If we spent more time writing and fewer moments nose deep in books and on web pages the imagination might physically believe you like it.

When it feels loved…whoa! Life’s everyday journey finds value rather than expresses a mood that leans on being cheapened by accepting other peoples words into a system designed to be creative.

Stories take you anywhere in the world and nothing says time travel better than a classic novel or news story. Other people’s word patterns affect your thought process…so does beer, wine and most things considered illegal. We’re addicted to the printed high. The Twilight and Harry Potter series are great examples—cool books, billion dollar money makers but the Beatles and Elvis inspired other musicians to discover their own music. Where are the Twilight clones?

Who needs to discover writing when all you need is

Writing infects every muscle. Ever sat back and watched someone type into a computer or whip out a writing instrument and escape into a page that could’ve been a sheet of toilet paper? Challenge yourself to break free of your busy world and spend an hour in a park or Starbucks. Instantly you’ll be able to identify the separated personalities of a writer versus reader.

An authors toes wiggle, to locate deeper out of place thoughts noses are rubbed, eyes blink a billion times, smiles appear in the corner of coffee stained lips, fingers bend, fold and itch because the creative mind is full and the plastic funnel is unforgettably thin.

Don’t get me wrong…I love to read. I must have eight books going right now—autobiographies to self help, spiritual and whatever else caught the attention of my wandering soul while pacing back and forth at Barnes and Noble. I love books so much store management looks at me like a meth addict…book lovers know the look—employees stare as if to say, “You’re making me nervous…find a book and let me locate someone new to sell some words to.”

Technology believes it’s discovered where readers are going—the introduction of the Nook and Kindle combined with the easiness of Apple’s lightweight IPad gives readers the total George Jettson/Star Wars experience…but where are the programs that invite readers to become writers? You can’t toss an App onto a screen and expect your fingers to scream…writers need to be challenged, invited, soothed and convinced while always being extremely close to the door when criticism leaps into action.

Nothing silences a writer faster than someone’s opinion. It takes years, decades and quite possibly several reincarnations to gain the strength to say, “Bite me.”

Books are like art…the only reason why we bury our eyes into their presentation is because someone forgot to teach us how to pull the art out of our bodies without thinking of a dollar amount first.

“I want to be a writer and I’ll charge this much! When there’s no cha left in the ching…writers stop and pick up books to read.”

If we spent more time writing…depression’s butt would be kicked and tossed out of our vocabulary. What do we choose to do instead? When down magazine articles and storylines are picked up filling our minds, bodies and souls with other people bad times. There’s no better party to attend than with a bunch of addicts not interested in cleaning up their lives.

Pick a subject! Any subject! Purple birds with bad breath…we’ll call him Squawker the talker.

Interestingly enough, if Squawky the Walkie Talkie truly has bad breath, he’s sending major signals to the human figures in the way of saying, “Get me to the doctor…I’m having serious problems with my digestive system.” Birds most affected by such unexpected stinkiness are cute as can be hand fed babies and Amazon Gray’s. Ignoring the situation can lead to tremendous sickness costing big ole bucks at the vet. Parents of bad taste in the mouth birds have physically paid $2,000 to help bring peace to the air we breathe.

So…what does this have to do with writing? Through research a bird owner’s bank account might not be drained. I’ve always believed car dealerships and other businesses would gain tremendous ground in this newly created Social Networking world if they spent less time selling and more time writing about situations that affect our day. “Is your car going clink, clunk, pappa dunk, pow? That could be your right front tire hitting the ground before the other three which is caused by a bird with bad breath in the back of your car. Please don’t attempt Scope…just keep an eye on the situation then get in touch with me if the pappa dunk becomes momma walka wing wang chunk.”

Through writing a relationship is born. Sadly, most of what we write is never read the way it was meant to be picked up. “Have a great day!” Oh really…what if I called your mother that? We read too much into what’s been written so writers turn it off. In time we’ll go full circle…back to the day when crow magnum man said, “Ugh Ugh.”

He wrote! Pictures on the wall which have lived years beyond its original purpose.

Steal their art…writing is fun, filled with adventure and fully capable of painting the best story ever told...the one about you on a day when your great grand child asked, "Who were they and what was it like?" Oh won't get paid for putting those words down...forget I interupted your day today.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lovin me some Oprah...

Words taken directly from Oprah Winfrey: I will tell you that there have been no failures in my life. I don’t want to sound like some metaphysical queen, but there have been no failures. There have been some tremendous lessons.

If this was my eleventh grade Creative Writing class Mrs. Eschler would stand all six feet three inches of herself in front of the room and demand we locate the value of such comments, “People’s beliefs begin with thought—nothing exists on earth without there being thought first.”

Is it wrong to say Oprah has never tossed a pity party?

Oh boy…here it comes, that extremely tiresome story of the glass being half full or half empty. Nope, cuz I put less focus on the quantity and more on substance. If its milk, wine or Kool-Aid wash it before putting it in the dishwasher; I can’t stand stains in places I’ll be one day be drinking from.

Oprah didn’t say she’s never had a bad day—she’s admitting to not having failures.

The assumed rough patch on the path makes itself visible and immediately we’re quick to collide with a conclusion that “we” write not the lessons required to achieve a more acceptable place of value. Sort of reminds me of what Mom always preached, “Pick your battles.” Or to put it in more understandable terms; most people stop drinking celebration amounts of alcohol in their late 20’s because it’s no longer fun to wake up the next morning.

If Oprah stubs her toe on the bedpost she doesn’t spend the day moaning about it…her quote reveals a goal to better understand how to prevent it from happening again. Terrible times are never welcome, its never "if" they arrive but rather "when…"and in that shadow the presentation of self confidence rises to help heal by identifying the reason leading us to a purpose to which we’re fully capable of teaching.

I sat with a Presbyterian minister yesterday discussing the trials and challenges presented to the two of us over the past year—he had cancer, I had a heart attack…neither of us were bogged down with who, what, where and why? Looking into each others souls it was easy to see the assumed evils that attack each of our every days had in fact become reason to better understand so that others going through immediate changes can be given a newer hope to hold,

I will tell you that there have been no failures in my life. I don’t want to sound like some metaphysical queen, but there have been no failures. There have been some tremendous lessons.

I can’t be the only one who’s learned to ignore the billions Oprah is worth and finds more worth in how many she inspires with each passing minute. Not every message is meant to affect your quality…just like not every John Lennon and Paul McCartney song is going to slam you into a sing it out loud performance.

All too often one is left standing at the alter wondering why life didn’t give them what they deserved—a sense of entitlement. We purchase blue jeans with rips already in them. We have tattoos plastered on our bodies that showcase broken hearts, drops of blood, birds, cartoon figures and Asian writing that means something totally different than what you were told…it’s our sense of entitlement to mark up our skin like a writing tablet.

I’m so guilty of this! I have six tattoos, each telling the tale of multitude chapter changes as if to symbolize personal victory…and in the end the mind forgets leaving you with sagging pools of Indian ink. What we need to be tattooing are ATM numbers and computer passwords. There’s nothing worse than hitting the button that reads: Forget your password?

I will tell you that there have been no failures in my life. I don’t want to sound like some metaphysical queen, but there have been no failures. There have been some tremendous lessons.

Adopting and or approaching a more acceptable way of putting a positive spin on trips and blunders come with a price—friends, coworkers and family members come at you two different ways, they can’t stand up beat presentations that tend to always be walking forward and beg you to keep away from their self designed bad day or they latch onto you like sea urchins you can’t shake and if you do, like a good booger it can’t be flicked off.

Julia Cameron of Artist Way fame calls such behavior a wet blanket. Relationships are shattered. Extra pressure is put on your shoulders, creating anger, lack of confidence, trust and faith which is usually fired off in emails or seen on Face Book walls. Who needs to watch General Hospital and All My Children when real life American drama is put on public display in places the entire world can sit back and watch, then participate with by adding more fuel to the fire?

Its completely natural to see people battling it out on a Face Book wall then toss in a couple of thoughts that are guaranteed to freshen up the battle, all in the name of being entertained. There’s no better way to earn a quick phone call. No wonder Oprah continues to win, she’s not weighing her life down with self inflictions and or other people’s Grim reaper walks through passages that feel as if they’re constantly under attack.

The best way to better your day…be aware of how you’re treating the man or woman in the mirror. If all you’re doing is combing your hair and brushing your teeth while complaining about how your butts gotten bigger and your arms don’t look as round as they used to…coworkers, friends and family are getting the same treatment but in ways that say, “I’m better than you cuz…” Nobody wins in a world where there's no flavor on a burger. A true winner involves more than just a chunk of meat. You need the onions, mustard, pickles, lettuce and everything else that makes life yummy and worth chasing again tomorrow.

I will tell you that there have been no failures in my life. I don’t want to sound like some metaphysical queen, but there have been no failures. There have been some tremendous lessons.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Are you a boring no alcohol way too early personality?

I’m freakishly guilty of surrounding myself with an over abundance of rules and regulations—some more important than others while a few carry a weird sense of insanity…one being: Two hours early is three hours late.

No wonder I’ve never made it big in Los Angeles radio where it’s completely acceptable to be fashionably late. I blame it on Montana cows, cranky sheep, nosey don’t care where you slept last night I’ll find you chickens and constantly bumping rabbits with large metal empty pans that serve as plates with no silverware. Animals never accept the human's decison to be late.

As much as I couldn’t stand waking up to do my childhood chores, it fine tuned my awareness of all living things. The problem is one out of a billion live this way.

Attending neighborhood backyard parties wreak havoc on my love to be with people who cherish the opportunity to cut loose. I can’t digest the idea they kicked off the celebration way before I got home and to arrive late turns my stomach into the next hot rollercoaster attraction at the great amusement park in the sky.

Openly I admit…I’m the sick puppy. But what is the proper way to handle odd balls whose makeup is designed by the fear of being late? Morals and ethics advisor Anne Marie Sabath wants you to invite the early bird inside while gently explaining the gathering isn’t set to begin until blank blank time. The goal isn’t to make the guest feel uncomfortable but rather to plant the seed that’ll inspire them to leave then come back at the proper time.

If the person is a total nut job like myself—slip into what I call the intern-mode. Put their earliness to work. Last minute party preparations need hands.

Speaking of delegating…it’s almost summertime, neighbors and family members can’t wait to invade your space; that means the alcohol is about to flow. I don’t do beer, wine or mixed drinks. I do water. Do my guests have to abide by the same set of rules? No way!

Delegate the cork popping wine pouring to the professionals…my body language alone will tell you the beer is in the fridge get it yourself or quickly train one of my four dogs to pull of a major fetching that’ll land us on the Animal Planet’s Pet Tricks. If that doesn’t work, Anne Marie invites the host to pick someone who’ll handle the job of delivering the bottled buzz.

Sounds like I’m a bore doesn’t it? I’ve served as entertainment director for over one thousand wedding receptions, birthday parties and bar mitzvahs…this mind, body and soul knows how to booty shake the junk out of your trunk and keep you coming back for more. A bore I am not…

But we’ve all had someone at a party that can’t shake Winnie The Poo’s Ero off the map. There’s a reason why the purple donkey is no longer part of the word party…they kicked his tail out of the book because of being a totally un-cool buzz kill. What gives at your celebration?

Anne Marie invites you to shake their hand and make them feel overboard welcome. You being extremely open with your niceness have the right amount of energy to kick start their heart. If that doesn’t work, being positive serves as an invitation to pick up their act and move it on down the road. It’s an acceptable exit strategy. “Hi Mike…wow what a great party…upbeat, fun and always filled with the kind of stuff that people love to talk about!”

Then walk away…the message has been signed, sealed and delivered. Now break out the Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Buffett and Black Eyed Peas!

My stepfather Joe was notorious for breaking the mode of moving forward. If things weren’t put into play the way he likes to sing then everything suddenly became out of tune. What kept me from becoming my father was the day my daughter Jenny asked if all the clouds in my world were pink and purple…talk about a cool way to say, “It’s nice that you’re here in Hollywood with us but dude you aren’t going to win an Oscar for Best Actor of the Year.”

There’s nothing more humbling than your kids spending the day searching for the sales receipt required to take you back to where they found you.

The moral of today’s story…be you but don’t over or under do it. Early is cool but expect to work, if you don’t drink nobody will hold it against you unless you’re a card carrying member of the boring as hell lifeless department of bump on a logs…sometimes it’s not your fault but stank is stank and it needs to be yanked from your Hello My Name is card.

Party on Garth!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Starting more following...

Been compared lately? Never truly been given the chance to shine because those who make up your day see you as something you aren’t? Everybody goes through it—constantly measured up to coworkers or family members, it completely drains the bodies decision to grow faster than a farmer tilling the soil in a hot desert. This is where you’re supposed to be or you wouldn’t be doing it…right?

It’s extremely difficult to be something if surrounded by other be-er’s. This is where Mom pats you on the head like a puppy and says, “It’s ok…just be better.” So what do we end up doing? Being who inspired us…which is nothing more than legalized cloning. You can copy baseball legend Ted Williams but its what he experienced that generated the passion that became his ball game.

As much as I talk about Andrew Ashwood, Bill Conway, Master Todd Harris and my dog Harold…I am not nor will I ever be them but that doesn’t stop me from using their experiences as a tool to help define what will become my path. I completely abuse the lessons taught by Julia Cameron but you’ll never see me hosting an Artist Way seminar but I’ll open the door for you to stop in for a visit to take your voice to a creative more successful level of performance with the agreement that you are to never try and sound like me. If I already hate the way I sound…why make two? So I learn through you.

Comedian Billy Crystal was once told he wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans if he didn’t stop being everybody else—his focus needed to be fine tuned to the art of self rather than impersonations that made us laugh at those he poked fun of but never really at Billy himself.

On the morning show we’re talking about American Idol failing—nearly every finger is pointed at Paula, Kara, winners that go nowhere, too much Ryan I love myself Seacrest or a TV show that’s had its fun and needs to go. Valentine wanted to know what’s up.

I ask, "Why won’t someone stand up and say we’re burned out by the enormous amount of copycat programs? Plain Jane America is no longer interesting.”

Books are no different. Although we’re slowly gliding our imaginations toward a more digital presentation of writers meeting readers—everything available can easily be compared to something we’ve already put through our system.

Shrek 4, Iron Man 2, Rocky 26, when will it stop? When the common person with the common lifestyle turns a common pen into an outlet, then edits it on a common computer for other common folk to become part of. Writing needs to become regional again. The South doesn’t need Mark Twain but sentences that offer scent to the pages and the Pacific Northwest requires authors who paint a mountain top that frost bites the tips of your toes without leaving the comfort of a fire.

Rather than allowing your eyes to feast on the fingerprints already displayed on computer screens—how much longer before the rest of the world gets introduced to you?

I’ve heard the excuses, “Oh, I’m not a writer! I don’t have the focus required to tell stories. I’m horrified of other people’s opinions.”

You write everyday! Emails, Face Book conversations, IM’s, Twitter entries and Sticky notes! Writing is nothing more than a collection of thoughts. Your thoughts, experiences and reasons to believe during a time in American history where everything is fake and completely caked onto our plastic faces like the Joker in Batman.

Nobody shares a real laugh anymore because we’ve already heard the joke 500 times.

Viral videos on You Tube were once a brilliant concept until Ellen, Jay Leno and the 11 o’clock news made it part of their reasons to gain access to better ratings. We are a People who no longer find value in discovery…we expect to be handed Entertainment News through the efforts of Mary Hart and Marie Osmond only to spend the rest of the night wondering why you waited through an endless commercial break to get 30 seconds of nothingness.

I’m going to shatter an extremely important rule that was put into play by author Lou Solomon, “Stop telling other people’s stories! You aren’t in those stories so why share them?”

My love for animals made me look like a child freak—without ever seeing Dr. Doolittle or reading Dr. Seuss, I was convinced animal’s speak a language human’s ignore. I wanted nothing more than to become the locater of the hidden voice. Nobody will ever read how I took the time to mend the broken wings of pigeons gunned down by crazy teens with BB guns. Nobody will ever read about walking through the open prairies of Montana and Wyoming searching for the songs Antelope sing while sifting through a possible harmony invited to the stage by prairie dogs and distant cattle on a hillside covered with giant clovers the size of my ego. Those books and shapes of poetry don’t sell nor do schools teach students anything but those who lived 100 years before the computer was created.

Blogs, online books and daily web page entries serve as the greatest shape of open communication since the unveiling of the Declaration of Independence! You have the right to write then reach…or be burned out reading as well as watching everybody else.

Being a writer gives birth to originality. You may start out pretending to be the next Danielle Steele but through the evolution of imagination meeting purpose and page the essence of being creative gives you the confidence to start taking chances and that’s where the writer in you is given birth. Now feed it!

Stop cutting and pasting and start showing off your southern or northernisms! Make me sweat when talking about an Arizona summer night. I want to feel how high your imagination reaches while slowly walking across the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston. If you're penning out your wedding vows showcase your love not some Romeo and Juliette from Bozeman, Montana. Don’t know them, don’t care to know them…we love you!

Stop telling other peoples stories because you weren’t part of them…

Monday, May 17, 2010

Feel like winning or setting it aside again and again...

I come across the strangest quotes and often stand back wondering what I’m supposed to do with them.

Is it a game of tag? Am I to pick up the quote and run with it until I find someone to toss it to? Is it the classic kid’s game Telephone where I pass it to the person sitting next to me and by the time it makes it around the circle it’s far from being the original thought?

Good quotes tend to bend my day. If you study enough religions and spiritualities you begin to open your eyes to all forms of quote sharing that blow past common communication.

An owl or possum sitting above or below is an incredible way to talk. But were you listening? The average passerby points, giggles like a child discovering a new toy then moves about their day without thinking, “What was that supposed to mean?”

I love watching patrons at a Chinese Restaurant who feverishly fiddle their way through dinner trying to figure out what year they were born: dog, chicken, cow and lion? I almost never look…it never matches my mood. It’s like Native American animal signs, how many people do you know who think their totem animal is the wolf or the eagle? The first paragraph doesn’t always feature the best part of the story…dig a little deeper and discover a deeper truth. There's nothing wrong with being an earth worm.

Quotes are everywhere! It’s ultimately up to you to listen or keep on walking.

Assumption quotes are the most dangerous—that’s when someone looks into your next thought and participates with a soul dance leaving you in a state of, “Oh, oh that was meant for me.” Master Harris is brilliant at this game…he’ll send chi energy waves from a conversation with you onto the path of someone several feet away. He believes it sharpens your listening habits and puts you into an act of skill building…there’s a big chance your front kick is just as much off as the one he’s tossing the thought toward.

Making it dangerous are the people who use you as a tool to pass the message. They speak through you knowing your action and reaction will give their quote just enough energy to make it over the mountain top and straight into the hands of the person who needs it more.

I broke bread with a minister in the park yesterday…words sharper than nails. Couldn’t shake it all day—kept thinking the quotes were perfectly ripe for my picking only to realize my baskets were already full. Not quite as peaceful as my day with a Native American Medicine Man facing his nation’s history continuing to be erased by mans desire to construct. No anger...he walks in peace.

In both situations Master Harris’ approach to message delivery could’ve been used but like Telephone…the end result of his or her origin might not equal the purpose of their being enough energy given to making the correction—therefore the quote falls miles short from the opposite side of the valley’s we constantly create.

The quote I came across might not mean anything to you…my methods of sharing are no different than another writers next idea—put it into play and when the time is write, the required imagination will hear from the pages and be draw to a better destination. I can’t be the only person who walks into a book store with no clue what they’re going to purchase only to realize an authors written word had been screaming my name 25 miles away.

Books call out to me just like the owl that hoots in the backyard at all hours of the night. I’ll walk outside and calmly ask, “What is it going to take for you to speak English just once?”

The latest quote came to me in the shape of a short story based on glider airplanes created by dreamers who find value in reaching the open sky. The story speaks of how the pilot carefully crafted a beautiful piece of flight, each curve serving a purpose that would lift him higher or silently place him next to natures next kiss. Upon the completion of his latest project, he remembers looking out the window only to notice, the rope connecting him from being blown away on the ground had not been released…if the plane taking him into the air was to suddenly begin to move, his plan would suddenly be interrupted by a single rope that kept him connected to the ground.

How many ropes keep you from reaching your dreams? What if you climbed out of the ship you’ve shaped and disconnected from everything holding you back?

Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones were on Jimmy Fallon’s late night show Friday…Tom Petty and The Heart Breakers were on Saturday Night Live—age means nothing in the world of success. Cut the rope and find flight or your boss will continue to take credit for your hard work and dedication.

According to Sam Phillips of Sun Records, his stars of the future were Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash not a blonde truck driver who took note of their dark image and built upon its presentation by taking the grease from his big rig wheels and rubbing it through his hair. The receptionist flipped over his looks…Sam caught on and made Elvis Presley a household name.

The umbilical chord is the first rope cut in life…learn from your mothers greatest quote.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I did it! And yet I'm not proud of the accomplishment...

Shouldn’t “Enjoy” be spelled “In-Joy?” “En” is also pronounced “On…” those wearing Joy; can easily take it off.

The inside counts…so In-Joy

22 words

118 characters

129 with spaces

Just plugged in? A week long writing challenge—to Twitter-ize my normal two pages of build me up buttercup. Time Magazine is thinner than a fifty year old mans hair. Newspaper articles feature bigger pictures than substance. I couldn't help but think...I'm out of touch.

In 1992 Program Director Mike Easterlin busted down the radio station control room door shoving a dictionary onto my everyday, “Look up two words! Concise and Brevity…learn it then live it, not just today but everyday.”

My word speak and writing problem has nothing to do with using less than fewer words and expressions…I just get tired of hearing the same speech over and over again.

Someone has to begin the process of word display.

My writing goal was to do it inside the Twitter rules of 140 characters. Having less to say has done one thing…I’ve become withdrawn in character and my moods are of many. Who are we becoming? Mom and Dad are wrong! We should be seen and heard…that’s how the future is shaped or other people begin to talk for us. Why hold local and national elections if what we really want to say has already been said over and over again inside 140 words or less without affecting the most important muscle…your heart?

I’m back to normal Monday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You are leaving someone out...

Don’t even think about pulling away: Secret self thoughts. It’s where envy and blame breathe. The tiny place that holds dreams.

Sad isn’t what we think but how we treat our secret self thoughts.

Two selves—outside and inner. Billions spent to look and smell great. Everyday should be Christmas for the inner being. Secret self thoughts don’t require materialistic value—just two eyes in the mirror softly whispering, “I believe in you.”

My quest to better understand the Twitter format of writing continues; a week long exercise to challenge the creative hand. I don’t Twitter because 140 characters doesn’t allow the imagination to breathe. But what if I tried to be a better writer?

Today: 73 words

366 characters

444 characters with spaces

3 paragraphs

11 lines

A hundreds of emails from readers asking me to stop.

Comparing notes: Monday’s report…198 words, 979 characters without spaces, 1,187 with, 6 paragraphs and 22 lines.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'll never make the Dean's list...

Picked up a cool quote from the new film Letters to Juliet:

A perfectionist is a chicken.

Too chicken to try something new, chicken to step out, chicken to reinvent and chicken to believe in the mirrored image of self.

Artist Way author Julia Cameron writes, “Perfectionists are never happy, they tire, settling for less than perfect.”

Challenging myself this week to write in a Twitter/Face Book format has made me a perfectionist. I love words more than chocolate. Does the less is more approach of American culture generate a loud enough echo to reach a generation we’ll never meet?

If we don’t care about tomorrow…why do we spend all day trying to get there?

115 words
548 characters
665 with spaces
6 paragraphs
18 lines

I still have too much to say…

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ouch! This is killing me!

Quickly you wrote, “You’ve become a follower!” Other’s assumed, “What’s knocked you off your positive path?” A few challenged, “A master of thought can do it in less than 140 characters.” The majority felt my week long challenge to become Twittered or Face Booked was uncomfortable.

I write 15, 30 and 60 second radio commercials that you tune out 1.6 seconds after they begin...I’d say Twitter still doesn’t have your imagination mastered.

Books and well written newspaper articles once inspired readers. Keyboards and computer screens scream afternoon delight. If we truly want less words…why do we spend so much time talking on cell phones?

104 words

539 characters

648 with spaces

3 paragraphs

True writers have something to say on Twitter…everything else is a waste. Who cares if John Mayer is walking into a mall? Kevin Smith’s best joke is the Twittering idiot he’s making of himself. If Twitter is going to get Conan O’Brian better ratings this fall…lets see him perform a monolog in 140 characters.

What if the Declaration of Independence was written in the Twitter format?

No wonder they keep creating new taxes…they have us at, “Hello.”

Monday, May 10, 2010


Anything more than a couple of paragraphs is nothing more than too much in an age when it’s no longer about getting the most but just enough to get by. My weakness as a writer is control—knowing when is too much or too far over someone’s head.

During his You Tube interview with Google Conan O’Brian expressed the importance of social networking. He’s become a walking billboard promoting this nation’s new face of communication.

Parents scolding kids for ten minutes to two hours are over. If your boss shares more than 140 characters…tune out.

Paging through an extremely thin Time Magazine…words aren’t what people want. Thoughts sell not research or reason of their being a backbone to a great story.

My eleventh grade Creative Writing teacher wins…the first paragraph is the most important part of someone’s reading adventure. Inside a year Harry Potter books will be numbered into the 200’s. Local newspapers will start resembling church bulletins and restaurant menus will be a passing thought—we’ll be forced to assume Chicken Noodle is the soup of the day.

In 2010 shorter means impact. I should’ve listened to my Dad thirty years ago, “Shut up…just shut the h*ll up!”

And I will…

Today’s total count: 198 words, 979 characters without spaces, 1,187 with, 6 paragraphs and 22 lines.

“Shut up…just shut the h*ll up!”

Friday, May 7, 2010

What if we stopped asking what if?

In the new film Letters to Juliet actress Vanessa Redgrave shares her ageless wisdom with actress Amanda Seyfried, “The most powerful words you’re given are…what if. Everybody uses them! No matter where you walk, we’re always asking what if? What if I had done that? What if I changed my mind? What if I let go of the hand belonging to the person I should’ve been in love with?”

Based on the use of these two words, I’d love to see the research on how many products are purchased at the mall, cars are sold, television shows are watched or new songs are fallen in love with.

Once locked onto a solid What If…the system stands wide open to fill the void created by the What If.

When you feel empty…what do you choose to fill it with? I once had a doctor scream at me for drinking too much water. “You don’t need 120 ounces! Your heart can’t handle that large of a flush!”

When face to face with an ear shattering What If…we tend to lean harder on friends, coworkers or family members who claim to know you best but have never been inside the head consumed by the What If Monster.

What if your hard work and dedication was finally recognized in that building you race off to every Monday thru Friday? Seriously…would you truly be happy? I don’t have anything to back me up but I swear success is fed by a flooded desire to prove people wrong—without someone generating just enough silence to create doubt…you’ve got nothing to prove.

To call What If a buddy opens the imagination…what if you spent a little more time doing something that made you happy? Sounds selfish doesn’t it? You get two days, 48 hours, a bunch of seconds combined to make up a lot of minutes to be you—your birthday and Mothers and Fathers day—the rest of the year is already spoken for.

How do you do it?

I remember how my father reacted while driving through Yellowstone National Park…the only thing he wanted to do on his vacation was fish. Yep…he thought, “What if I landed the world’s largest trout? People at work might in fact be a little jealous.” It didn’t happen—we the tiny people of the step father’s clan completely took his dream and trashed it.

What if our fighting and bickering in the overcrowded backseat of that rust bucket of a car called an International Travel-all didn’t unwrap his world? Might we the children figures from the big ole state of Montana have earned a trinket that read, “Thank you for visiting our nation’s largest national park?”

What if my dad didn’t have long arms and he couldn’t reach back to swat the legs pressed into his back totally wiped out from so much driving? What if cell phones and texting had been invented three decades earlier? What if there were more booger buddies in the world? I can’t imagine what it would be like knowing your back is always covered and the snot canal is completely clean…What if people weren’t afraid to say, “Whoa! Weapon of mass destruction on the left side…time to seize control of that green missile!”

The problem with What If is our addiction to the assumption it constantly creates. That’s how sick I am! I’m assuming you’re like me and together we’re not only consumed by larger than life appearances of a What If but we’re willing to take each other’s What If’s off our backs to make the journey toward the horizon a little lighter.

Taxes; city, state and national are created by elected officials constantly asking What If. Like an architect, their sole mission is to live, love and protect the communities we keep and no decision or vote is tossed out without physically putting their system through a What If gut check.

Letters to Juliet is about love and its incredibly powerful curse on the masses. After fifty nearly forgotten years Vanessa Redgrave gets to be with the man she fell in love with as a teen. I know what its like to be away from the dogs for a day…fifty years? They’d look deep into my eyes, showcase a really cool pant I assume is a smile then loudly bark in the way they ordering me to break open a fresh box of puppy treats.

What If you started locating blooms for your What If’s?

Life isn’t like Edward in the Twilight series…you don’t get to come back with a pearl colored face with a heart meant for one. What If you were Bella? What If you were Eddie Vedder of the west coast rock band Pearl Jam…would you take back what you said in the 90’s about Ticketmaster being an evil empire? He’s never been happy with the idea that his efforts of being unlocked from Corporate America would make him the voice of Generation X. What If he hadn’t been so independent? Would my daughter be the incredible leader she is? Grunge wasn’t just a look…it’s a way of life.

Outside of What If…is there anything heavier to carry? What about Can You? Will You? What do you think? Does this make my butt look fat? Are you listening to me? Did you hear what you just said? Anyone close to me knows the golden Arroe question: How did that sound?

I bet Ryan Seacrest has it written on the palm of his hand, on his private Face Book page and on the inside of his underwear. Nobody gets anywhere in radio without constantly asking How did that sound? What If I stopped? Instantly you’ll become a used to be. You used to be that guy…um, that voice…that, whoa…maybe it wasn’t you.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Anybody can win a contest...but do you have a purpose?

Michael Jackson slept with a tape recorder beside his bed. One late, late night in the early 60’s Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones waddled his way toward an answering machine and mumbled the melody of Satisfaction into its memory banks. Deep into the darkness of night in 1877 Alexander Graham Bell poked through the thickness of communications and sent vocal vibes into the ear of another human several feet away. Bill Gates refused to sleep until the idea of developing an easy to use PC system came into our reality.

Nothing feels better than a great nights sleep but hindsight tells us…you could be missing out on some serious life changing success.

The compass was created at night. I bet the television remote control came from the chapters of night. The dude was way ahead of his time by realizing a person no longer had to climb out of bed to change channels. Now if we can only come up with a device that features sonar…I lose more TV remotes than I do socks. I’ve always believed Time Warner Cable hits a button that turns them invisible forcing us to haul tail into their store to rent another then another.

As a writer…words tend to flow better not at night but really, really early in the morning, which in a bar hoppers perfect world is still looked upon as being the day before the writing instrument touches a clean sheet of empowering paper.

At two this morning a thought leaped from me faster than a morning dove shoots from the floor of a forest the moment they take note of change: There must be a “reason” before “purpose” is born.

Let’s be honest…this modern state of Americana is blessed with too much of each—the average workday is blasted with every reason why the boss needs this, that and more of this and that without ever discussing what the possible purpose is…we do what we do because doing it keeps bosses away. It’s created an ocean wave of dreamers and wanna-be’s who have plenty of reason to believe they too can do but locating a purpose in life is the farthest gift on the quick fisted arrival of a horizon calling your name.

Do you hold a reason? Is it leading your feet toward a purpose? You don’t need me to tell you what happens when a purpose can’t be reached. I sit in the same traffic you do wondering where the same exact time went. A coworker asked me yesterday what year our paths first crossed...seconds after saying four years ago, his eyes picked up that wicked signal called disbelief.

I have no clue how to slow down time. My purpose tank light is starting to blink.

My Billings Senior High 30 year class reunion is this summer. Why did getting out of school feel like a lifetime yet as adults we’re nothing more than a pigeon soaring between overpasses. I take that back…as of late, I’ve not seen too many blue and gray birds zipping between manmade highways and the bridges created to get humans to places faster.

Pigeons tend to sit on telephone wires. Hot days, cold days, middle of the day or night…they coo and coo while I sit staring at their purpose of having nothing to do. I really became interested the day a red tail hawk sat next to a pigeon on the telephone line. How many of us would break bread with our enemy?

I eat a lot of apples, celery and carrots…but you’ll never catch me having breakfast, lunch or dinner with a farmer. Which is extremely odd because when writing and producing radio commercials I find tremendous value in sharing conversation with the companies to which I’m creating for—there’s something special about staring into the eyes of another dreamer and saying, “Yo…let’s create motion.”

There must be a reason for purpose to be born.

All too often and more times than one would like to face…having a reason, any reason is reason enough to quit and start someplace else. I’m a master of nothing; just call me a Jack of all trades. Don’t they give drugs to kids for that?

Rather than be a bank teller who takes money from hardworking everyday common America…think of your reason as being the link between a boring typical day and a better day tomorrow. Nobody truly relinquishes money to a bank—if that was the story, we’d stop worrying about our monthly balance. Build confidence in each and every person that stops by your counter by sharing an open, honest and approachable smile.

If you work at a grocery store, restaurant or gas station…stop asking if you can help, be a leader and just do it. Locate the reason then give birth to purpose.

Not the kind of purpose you’re searching for? Kinda wanna do that Mother Theresa thing? You love Dancing with the Stars and believe teaching people how to move will inspire inner city children to drop crime for better times? Wanna be a radio disc jockey that does more than play Michael Bolton twelve times every shift? Your reason is? Then give birth to purpose.

Through lessons learned and classes not yet taken, I’ve developed a mission statement that has me spending less time building the required energy to make the maps that may or may not lead you toward a purpose unless a reason has been developed first. Although it’s an extremely interesting subject, I won’t ask you about a purpose. Who you are and what you’ve become make up the materials that feed the soil. Asking someone about their purpose puts innocence on the defense. Once present, we become zombies walking in the middle of the night toward destinations that weren’t planned but oh well, accept life for what it is…right? Wrong!

My friend Melody just had double knee replacement surgery. She needs to be documenting the journey to share with other men and women requiring the same procedure. Her writing skills are being wasted at a time when being a writer is more important to a someone who is going to be just as lost as she was before the operation.

Reasons sit in front of us every second of every day…they lead to a purpose. Why do I write everyday? My reason is to affect one person I will probably never meet. The purpose: To showcase how willingness inspires change.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do you fly solo or are you one of the rest of us?

I love surveys! For no reason other than its entertainment.

Surveys are the media or Corporate America’s way of getting permission to gain access into other people’s privacy. I tend to laugh, grumble and or find interest in the way the average person acted last night, several months ago or years before this current day was put into play.

How about primetime news or Larry King reports that claim, “Our phone lines are open…let us know how you feel. So far 35% of women between the age of 25-40 with three point six cats and a dog named Mercury say blank, blank, blank. ”

How many people truly call in? I used to man the phones of a highly touted award winning talk show…after a week I knew everyone’s first and last name knowing very few of them had a dog named Mercury but they did have cattle in Florida…only because a survey told me so.

The majority of the circles we keep are kept alive by a need to be anybody but the real you. Survey’s give you the clearance to make mistakes already made by other people…suddenly there’s togetherness…you aren’t alone.

From the book Speaking from the Heart, author Lou Solomon posed the thought: Fear of appearing emotional…do things matter at work?

Survey says! Most people believe they speak from the heart only if they're with a small group of people they know. Leaping into second place is the idea of being transparent and how rare and bold it is and very few openly admitted that being emotional is a sign of weakness.

Where do you fit in? Writing on several web pages while doing radio shows in markets of many, it’s natural to assume I dig being with large numbers of thought provokers. I thoroughly enjoy speaking from the heart…once there, I spend 80% of my day trying to explain that everything written has “nothing” to do with people I know and love and everything to do with presenting a peaceful platform for people I’ll never meet.

Survey number two: Fear of losing control…do you want to be in control when you speak?

Second degree black belt in martial arts it’s only natural to assume I have this one mastered. The top answer from the national survey unveils that most people believe losing control is a sign of caring but you need to learn how to keep it together. Coming in at number two are the coworkers and family members who are tied up with their personal battle with self control and have no time to connect with others. Number three….no time what so ever to apologize for losing control.

Which one are you?

Business is business right? Money making can make business personal. Survey says! Topping the charts is the mindset that unfortunately it’s the way of the world. Not too far in second is a digestible reply—the best business people don’t distinguish between personal and work behavior. Number three business is business.

Thanks to Mr. Fox, the one thing I discovered in High School Government class was the solid white line sunk into the soil between church and state. I am not and never will be a radio person at home. I can’t stand it when neighbors call me Arroe…say Dude, Hey or Yo…make up a name, good, bad or ugly…please leave radio in the speakers it came from and not in the place where being real is more important than wrapping up another twenty songs in a row without talk.

When you walk into Martial Arts University you won’t see the radio name plastered to the black belt wall. Being a disc jockey has nothing to do with the sweat that pours into my passion to study a 2,000 year old way of life and living.

Today is The Great American Grump Out…a survey must have pointed the way for early risers to assume the workplace is filled with too many in a bad mood and that by identifying such a display of emotion might in fact invite peace. Does that mean admitted grumps get to go home early like most offices do during Christmas and Thanksgiving?

I’m being too cliché…is there such a thing? Lou Solomon’s survey gives us three ships to look at: Once in a while it’s the thing to do. It takes guts to speak not only from the head but from the heart and it sounds sugar coated.

Which one are you? Survey says!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ever wonder why your body feels like its constantly breaking down?

As bizarre as it may seem, I spent Sunday afternoon in a retirement village for no reason other than to visit and watch people as they push themselves toward a horizon most never admit they see they just know its coming.

I find it interesting that every generation seems to be in a rush. Men and women in their late 60’s couldn’t get into the club house fast enough with their pool cues and workout gear—nobody seemed to be sipping on their water bottles, they didn’t have time—each of them had somewhere to be and getting there was taking way too much time.

I kept thinking to myself, “Self! Will any of them remember where they were today?”

It’s nothing to brag about but like the Nicolas Sparks film The Notebook…my decision to write everyday paints for me no answers but rather presents a path I study like a student vowing to ace a math test. It’s within those 2:45 AM ink stains that I’m able to relocate what’s been lost, found or still undecided. More importantly, by electing to write I’m able to put focus on the amazingly high expectations others have placed on me without having to generate wasted energy on tasks that rob, steal and or borrow from a system that’s vowed to never crash but fate is fate.

How does one eliminate tasks or better handle what businesses are forcing their employees to endure?

To walk around the office or kitchen at home boasting about not having a worry in the world has evolved into the new American dream. Screw owning a house or rich persons fancy car or having 2.3 kids with a cat named Billy Joel…it’s not an option to survive, we force our life and style to obey a command. Another day is here and with it a brand new task that sits higher than family, God and personal endeavors that inspire your needs to want to grow.

The farthest thing from your boss’s biggest wish is cutting you some slack. They’ve earned the right to tell you what to do and for how long. So, ultimately it’s up to you to come up with a winning solution that puts balance in your morning, noon and night. But if you’re too busy doing the boss’s work, where do you locate enough space to put the long leather reins around the neck of this mammoth horse?

It’s everyone’s goal to settle in and find pleasure in sleeping with the tasks that offer the biggest and best return to your investment. It’s completely natural to become more creative, productive and competitive when there’s less to bog you down. Stress is caused by too many tasks.

What’s stressful to me might not be stressful to you but you’ll never see me wanting to walk a mile in your shoes. I know how busy you are and to this very second it’s extremely difficult for me to digest a plan that reveals how it is you make it through the single twenty four hour period you’re given.

Two decades ago the hottest words in the world of business were Time Management. Blah, blah, blah…no such thing in a struggling America—not when 96% if this country is working just so they can have insurance. The idea of being Zen or masterminding the perfect teamwork opportunity is exactly what former Philadelphia 76er’s owner Pat Croce called the biggest hoax on earth.

Task management is the underlying secret to keeping peace in your mind, body and soul. Learn to reduce before you produce. Do only three things a day. Don’t sicken your arms, legs and back with twenty—get control by putting forth the effort to maintain three tasks a day. Ha! Words are words and living out such actions is like trying to get past Simon Cowell on American Idol.

The number one reason why Health Care will never work in this country is because American business ego and expectations rate higher than lawmakers creating a plan that protects the backbone of once made us a great nation. It’s become legal for owners and operators to abuse their staff by gifting them with a single sentence, “If you can’t do it…I’ll find someone who will.”

And it’s only going to get worse…

All the more reason to take Task Management more serious—tasks are made to be reduced, eliminated, delegated, postponed or fully committed to. Not wanting to sound like your father but its time you start putting focus on what’s important.

I’ll never forget sitting in a radio station full staff meeting in 1991 where Andrew Ashwood shouted over the gray phone positioned in the center of the conference room table, “I don’t want employees who don’t put God and family first! I need a firm foundation to be with me everyday and you can’t get any stronger than having those two things first in your life.”

I find myself thinking about that statement a lot. Our hunger in this country no longer has anything to do with success or survival…spend five minutes in a nearby mall and everything we do is based on financing the objects we assume will make it all go away, even if its only for five minutes. It feels too damn good to hear, “Thanks for shopping _____.”

Research shows…it makes you feel incredible and guarantees them another day of insurance. I don’ think that’s supposed to be our top task. Nor is being first in line to see Ironman 2, scoring the most sushi at Benny Bob’s Buffet or harnessing control of the latest video game.

Do you remember the late 80’s television commercial where the aged person exclaims, “I’ve fallen and can’t get up.” Your current walk of life is no different except there’s nobody willing and able to pull your tail back into the game…they’re too busy working on their own tasks.

Cancer, migraine headaches, stomach aches, heart attacks, strokes, alcohol and drug addiction and divorce rates are at an all time high…the best we can do is shrug our shoulders and softly say, “Oh well.” Or we can put a little focus on locating three tasks and no more a day.

What’s your game plan?

Monday, May 3, 2010

The best Monday is a well rounded Monday....

Rollingstone Magazine has popped up and funcovered a shoulda, coulda, woulda, what if?

While Oprah continues to catch some pretty special vibes from her well touted connection to The Secret—a simple plan that involves thinking and believing then combining it with the universe by way of sharing it…Will-I-Am from the pop music group Black Eyed Peas might physically be onto something a little easier to digest…the only thing required circles.

The singer/songwriter/club DJ explains, “45’s and record albums were round…the music industry in the 50’s and 60’s was extremely influencing and on fire. History shows the industry nearly shattered during the introduction of 8-tracks and cassette tapes—not because the music was bad…the outlet was a square. By the mid-80’s along came the compact disc and sales soared through the roof.

While most believe the IPod and MP3 player connected massive amounts of music to millions who no longer wanted to carry heavy oblong cases…we’ve done nothing more than return to a square output. One view of the modern state of music, stores folding, artists without labels, sales plummeting by the billions annually…Will-I-Am might be onto something when he says, “We need to figure out how to make art work in a square.”

Nearly everything we do on an everyday basis is fortified by the power of the square! From flat TV’s to computer screens, books, magazine covers, restaurant menus, paychecks and credit cards—each have one thing in common, a connection to banks and a financial system that failed.

We need to figure out how to make art work in a square.

Toilet paper is round in the beginning then breaks off into squares. The cost of water to flush it away is skyrocketing. Medication comes in round bottles then its placed in square boxes...just learned Children’s Motrin is being recalled. What if they had stayed with the round concept? What about windows? They’re square until you step outside and the earth becomes round again. The grass might physically be greener on the other side of the fence if we elected to stay outside to find out.

When I slide, squish and swishy swoosh acrylic colors into the porefs of a blizzard white canvas…the rough cloth like surface is a square which is then placed into a square imprisonment of metal or wood, sometimes trapped for a few decades behind a single sheet of glass…how positive can that be?

Would stepping through the window make it round like the world? It's up to the artist to make it inviting.

In martial arts, the body is trained to move like water, wind and fire…from the outside it comes across that our arms, legs and thoughts have created an incredible relationship with objects that are round. Does that mean we’re blessed with good luck? Those who practice daily with arts such as Kung Fu and Tai Chi have proven to live longer.

On a more personal level…last summers heart stoppage usually pours scar tissue and damage into the ongoing chapters of those who suffer but my most recent checkup reveals two stints but no other proof that such a situation took place. The doctor stood back and laughed claiming I was given a mulligan. No…I’ve based my entire life and style on doing everything in circles.

Will-I-Am’s approach to 15 years of unforgettable music success where every song he writes, produces and performs becomes a world anthem shows how serious he is when it comes to doing everything within his personal power and wisdom to create art in a square. To read it was like painstaking walking through a long, wide, 200 degree desert and suddenly you’ve been handed a glass of water.

The Black Eyed Peas leader and mentor puts focus on the importance of communication realizing that the human race is currently running in every direction and laying out the brick work that’ll become the path to the songs they sing is what’s inspired U2’s Bono to hire the master of true social networking to help them design a sound geared toward giving listeners segments of jingles combined with moments of feeling great teamed up with ample space to let your own drive paint a destination for your fun button to dance with its own stars.

If the IPod has truly trapped music in a square…Will-I-Am will figure his way out of a paper bag.

Does this mean we’re on the brink of discovering the next Picasso, Elvis or Bill Gates? No…those now coming in contact with I Gotta Feeling and Boom Boom Pow are in essence 15 years behind. Will-I-Am should be credited for being the face behind the mask that’s turned the first ten years of this century into the most powerful musical force since the 1960’s.

To whom does he give thanks to? MC Hammer. Every generation has its pioneers—everything, including American Idol with it’s wanna-be artists wouldn’t be without the circles first created by someone whose gone full circle with his personal and professional life.

What does this have to do with the common man? Artists are artists and being wacked out weird is part of the process. How can a mother of two put a circle into place when everything around her constantly busy world is a square? By grasping onto the concept that no child is born without a willingness to create—teaching people to locate their creative outlet inspires the maker of inspiration to find peace in their own discoveries.

Family trees are the continuation of circles. Business, through its ups and downs is an acceptance of circles. Failures occur when a curved edge is pushed and prodded forcing the walls of dreams coming true to become weak…what happens when something breaks? Sharp edges appear…nothing round in that.

What comes around goes around. Gratitude is a beautiful game to play everyday. Suddenly we’re back to Oprah’s big push The Secret. Circles…in a square world.